uban star defects: report
A top Cuban pitcher has defected to the US, according to news reports on Wednesday. Misael Siverio, 24, left Cuba with a national team for an exhibition game in Iowa this week, but slipped out of the hotel where the team was staying late on Tuesday, the Spanish-language el Nuevo Herald newspaper reported. The left-hander told the Florida newspaper he had defected to the US and hoped to make a career in Major League Baseball. “Leaving your life behind is not easy, but it’s a decision that I have given a lot of thought to, and I took it for my future and for that of my family,” Siverio told the newspaper. “My dream is to make it in the major leagues, and from now on I will take the necessary steps to make that happen,” he said. The Web site for the Cuban national baseball squad lists Siverio as a team member traveling to the US for a series of games due to start yesterday. Attempts to reach the organization for comment were not successful late on Wednesday. Siverio is the latest in a line of Cuban athletes who have bolted the nation. Among Cuban baseball players, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez smuggled his way out by boat in 1997 and became a star pitcher with the New York Yankees, More recently, Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics left Cuba in 2011, while Yasiel Puig, who defected last year, has had a spectacular debut season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Israel want Stoudemire
Israeli President Shimon Peres has invited New York Knicks star Amare Stoudemire to play for the country’s national team because of his ties to Judaism. Peres met with Stoudemire yesterday to discuss the player’s charity efforts. Stoudemire, who says he has “Hebrew roots,” has traveled to Israel before and Peres urged him to help the national team. The six-time NBA All-Star already has significant ties to Israeli basketball. Last month, he joined a group looking to buy Hapoel Jerusalem, a team in Israel’s top league. Stoudemire is in Israel to coach the Canadian basketball team at the Maccabiah Games, a competition for Jewish athletes. Stoudemire won a bronze medal with the US at the 2004 Olympics, but has not played for the national team since 2007.
Maicon joins AS Roma
Manchester City defender Maicon has joined AS Roma, returning to Italy after a year in the Premier League. Maicon signed for City from Inter on transfer deadline day last year for an undisclosed fee. However, the Brazil defender made only 11 appearances. Maicon spent six years at Inter, helping them to a host of trophies including four Serie A titles and the Champions League.
Former Olympian dies at 26
A former Olympic runner from Ethiopia who was due to give birth in three weeks has died after collapsing at a Connecticut restaurant, but doctors were able to save her baby, her friends said on Wednesday. Meskerem Legesse, 26, who lived in Westport, Connecticut, was with her two-year-old son when she collapsed at a restaurant on Monday, her friend Fatima Sene said. She was transported to a hospital where she died and the baby was saved, Sene said. The cause of death was unclear. Sene said Legesse had suffered heart problems in the past. Legesse ran in the 1,500m at the Athens Olympics in 2004. She moved on to a professional running career in the US, competing in events including the Boston Indoor Games, Fifth Avenue Mile in Manhattan and the Millrose Games in New York.