Nottingham to face Sheffield
Nottingham Forest are to face a Sheffield United side managed by former City Ground favorite Nigel Clough in the last 16 of the FA Cup after beating Preston North End 2-0 in a fourth-round replay on Wednesday. Jamie Mackie’s early opener and Darius Henderson’s stoppage-time strike saw Championship side Forest, managed by former Preston boss Billy Davies, progress at the expense of their League One opponents. Now they will face another third-tier side in Sheffield United, with the trip to the Blades’ Bramall Lane ground sure to stoke plenty of memories. Former England international Clough, the son of legendary Forest manager Brian Clough, started his career as a player at the City Ground. Yet it was in his role as manager of Forest’s Midlands rivals Derby County that Nigel Clough had a run-in with Davies following a touchline row during a game at Derby’s Pride Park in 2010. Davies accused Nigel Clough of kneeing him in the back during a melee which involved players and coaching staff. Nigel Clough denied the allegation, but Davies made an official complaint to the League Managers’ Association.
Nike kits out Brazilian sides
Nike has produced yellow shirts for five Brazilian league teams as a special tribute to the country that will host the FIFA World Cup in June. Esporte Clube Bahia, Sport Club Corinthians, Coritiba, Sport Club Internacional and Santos have all been given a third shirt embossed with the national team’s logo Nascido para jogar Futebol (“Born to play soccer”). “When fans see the striking yellow of Brazil’s national team kit on pitch, they know phenomenal football will follow,” said Henry Rabello, vice president of marketing at Nike Brasil. “By designing third kits for our partner clubs, which bear the same vibrant yellow, we are paying tribute to Brazil’s unique style of play.” The shirts, which go on sale on Wednesday, are all slightly different, with each one incorporating the club’s colors into the design.
King cancels trip to Sochi
Billie Jean King will not attend today’s opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics in Russia because her mother is ill. King, who was selected to help lead the US delegation to the Games, has been outspoken in her opposition to Russia’s anti-gay law. She had planned to attend ice hockey and figure skating events and meet US athletes during her three-day visit. The White House on Wednesday announced that former US hockey player Caitlin Cahow, originally scheduled to attend the closing ceremony, will take King’s place.
FILA honors Putin for support
Wrestling’s quickfire return to the Olympic program was music to the ears of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who personally lobbied for its return last year. Putin was honored on Wednesday by the International Wrestling Federation (FILA) for his role in helping get the sport back onto the 2022 Games program after it was surprisingly taken off by the International Olympic Committee early last year. “It is hard to imagine the Olympic program without wrestling and athletics,” Putin said after a meeting with federation boss Nenad Lalovic. Wrestling featured in the ancient Olympics and every modern Games apart from 1900, but surprisingly lost its spot in February last year as the committee looked to freshen up its program. It completed an unprecedented comeback by reclaiming its spot for 2020, beating bids from rivals squash and baseball/softball.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017
TAIWANESE TO PLAY: Jason Jung faces Frederico Coria in the men’s singles first round today, while in the women’s singles, Hsieh Su-wei is to take on Barbara Haas Novak Djokovic is to renew his love-hate relationship with Roland Garros in the knowledge that it is himself rather than seemingly unsettled 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the greatest threat to winning a second Paris title and 18th Grand Slam crown. The only man to beat Djokovic this year is Djokovic after the Serb’s hair-trigger temper prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open. The 33-year-old arrives in the French capital with a 31-1 record this year after his New York brain-fade was followed by a record 36th Masters title in Rome. Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland Garros allowed him to