Taiwanese wins gold
Taiwan’s Kuo Hsing-chun grabbed the gold medal on Monday in the women’s under-58kg event at the Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia, with a record-breaking performance. Kuo broke Universiade records for the snatch, with a lift of 104kg, the clean and jerk (134kg) and the combined (238kg). Christina Iovu of Azerbaijan placed second with a combined lift of 226kg (100kg + 126kg), and the bronze medal went to Hyo Sim-choe of North Korea, who finished with a total of 225kg (100kg + 125kg). Troubled by an injury at the time, Kuo finished a disappointing eighth in the under 58kg weightlifting event at last year’s London Olympic Games with a combined lift of 228kg. The 20-year-old has since won two gold medals at the Asian Weightlifting Championships, held in Astana, Kazakhstan from June 21 to June 26, with a clean and jerk of 134kg and a total lift of 236kg.
Halep advances in Hungary
Third-seeded Simona Halep of Romania won the last nine games to beat Sesil Karatantcheva of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-0 in the first round of the Hungarian Grand Prix on Monday. Fourth-seeded Annika Beck of Germany dispatched Tadeja Majeric of Slovenia 6-1, 6-2. In the second set, Majeric broke to take a 2-0 lead, but Beck then won six consecutive games at the Romai Tennis Academy. Johanna Larsson of Sweden, seeded fifth, beat Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena 6-2, 7-5. Spain’s Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor defeated Nina Bratchikova of Russia 6-1, 7-5. The tournament was to continue yesterday with more first-round matches.
Errani routs Cohen
Top-seeded Sara Errani bounced back from her first-round upset at Wimbledon by routing 141st-ranked Julia Cohen of the US 6-0, 6-1 in the Italiacom Open on Monday. It was a welcome return to red clay courts for Errani, last year’s French Open runner-up, after losing to Puerto Rican teenager Monica Puig at the All England Club. Errani won this tournament in 2008 and last year. In the second round, Errani will face either last year’s runner-up Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova or Kristyna Pliskova. In Monday’s only other main-draw matches, seventh-seeded Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain held off Mathilde Johansson of France 6-4, 1-6, 7-5, and Italian wild card Corinna Dentoni rallied past Caroline Garcia of France 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Watt out of worlds
Olympic long-jump silver medalist Mitchell Watt yesterday pulled out of the Moscow world championships after an injury-plagued build-up. The Australian said his preparation was not good enough to compete at the championships in the Russian capital from Aug. 10 to Aug. 18. “I have been battling ankle and Achilles pain across my early season and this has caused continued trouble for me in practice and competition,” said the 25-year-old, who jumped 8.16m at the London Olympics for silver behind winner Greg Rutherford from Britain.
Benteke asks to leave Villa
The close-season bidding war is on for Christian Benteke after the Aston Villa striker handed in a surprise transfer request. The Congo-born Belgian international had already been given the once over by Villa’s Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea this summer after a magnificent first season in England.