Taiwan beat Curacao
Taiwan beat Curacao 11-0 yesterday to finish top in the international division of the Junior Little League World Series in Taylor, Michigan. This gave Taiwan an all-win record to compete with the US division champion for this year’s Little League Baseball (LLB) Junior World Series title. The team, mainly composed of players from Hsin-Ming Junior High School in Taoyuan County, is representing the Asia-Pacific region in the tournament. Perennial powerhouse Taiwan have defeated the Czech Republic, Puerto Rico, Curacao, which represents Latin America, and Canada to enter the final in the international division. Taiwan trounced Curacao again yesterday to clinch division championship. Meanwhile, Rio Rico (Arizona) beat Goodlettsville (Tennessee) 7-3 to win the US division title on the same day. Taiwan and Rio Rico are to play in the championship game today.
Chavanel wins time trial
Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel blitzed to victory in the fifth stage 13.2km time trial around Sittard during the Eneco Tour of the Low Countries on Friday as Dutchman Lars Boom maintained his overall lead. Omega Pharma’s 34-year-old Chavanel won in 16 minutes, 4 seconds to pip Dutchman Tom Dumoulin and New Zealand’s Jesse Sergent by just four seconds. This year’s national time-trial champion, who held the Tour de France yellow jersey for two stages in 2010, proved too strong for the field as he looks to build on his win earlier this year on the Three Days of De Panne in the Netherlands. Pre-stage favorite Bradley Wiggins surprisingly could manage only fifth, at nine seconds back. The result allowed Boom to extend his overall lead to four seconds, with Chavanel moving up to second and Dumoulin third.
Lyon beat Sochaux 3-1
Olympique Lyonnais warmed up for their Champions League playoff with a 3-1 win at against Sochaux-Montbeliard on Friday to stay top of the French first division. Lyon have a perfect six points from two games after their opening 4-0 win over OGC Nice last weekend. They will go into Tuesday’s Champions League playoff first-leg tie against Spain’s Real Sociedad buoyed by Friday’s performance, which saw them come back from a goal down after just four minutes. Ryad Boudebouz scored from the penalty spot for hosts Sochaux in the fourth minute after Milan Bisevac was punished for a foul on Cedric Bakambu. However, Lyon were 2-1 up at the break after Yassine Benzia leveled in the 35th minute and Alexandre Lacazette hit the target two minutes from the interval. Steed Malbranque started the move for Benzia’s goal, with Clement Grenier finding the decisive pass. Lacazette, who scored twice against Nice, was on target thanks to good work again from Benzia and the impressive Grenier. Yoann Gourcuff hit the third goal three minutes into the second half. Gourcuff had been nursing a knee injury early in the week, but he looked sharp when he finished off a fine Benzia pass.
Timberwolves re-sign Pekovic
The Minnesota Timberwolves announced on Friday that they had re-signed restricted free-agent center Nikola Pekovic. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Pekovic, 27, set career highs last season by averaging 16.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 31.6 minutes per game over 62 games (all starts). Pekovic has averaged 11.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 23.6 minutes per game over his career. He was drafted No. 31 overall by the Timberwolves in 2008.