Sun, May 03, 2015 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

MARATHONS

Taipei to cap running events

The number of marathons or massive running events in Taipei is to be capped at two per month to ensure all citizens’ rights to smooth traffic flow, the city’s Department of Sports said earlier this week. Under the new rule, the number of running events that involve more than 10,000 participants is to be capped at 12 per year, the department said. Events at that level usually take course on main roads such as Renai Road and Ketagalan Boulevard, requiring cars to reroute and affecting traffic to a certain extent, the department said. The issue was raised following a Nike women’s half-marathon last Sunday, when 18,000 women ran across downtown Taipei from Taipei City Hall to the Dajia Riverside Park.

TENNIS

Svitolina to face Babos

Fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine is to face unseeded Timea Babos of Hungary in the Grand Prix SAR final after both players won their semi-finals in straight sets on Friday. The 20-year-old Svitolina, who now bids for her third career title, dominated throughout against seventh-seeded Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, breaking the Slovakian player’s serve six times in a 6-0, 6-3 win. Babos, who is one year older and is bidding for her second title, broke unseeded Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic — her friend and doubles partner — twice in each set in a 6-4, 6-4 win. Babos wobbled slightly, missing two match points and then double-faulting to give Mladenovic a break-point chance to get back into the game. However, her nerve held and she sealed victory on her third match point.

TABLE TENNIS

Xu, Yang win mixed doubles

China’s Xu Xin and Yang Ha-eun of South Korea have teamed up to become the first cross-border partnership to win the world mixed doubles table tennis championship in 61 years. The pair beat Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa and Maharu Yoshimura 4-0 at the world championships on Friday, becoming the first mixed nationality winners of the title since Czechoslovakia’s Ivan Andreadis and Hungarian Gizella Gervai at Wembley in 1954. Xu played through a shoulder injury he sustained in his men’s singles match earlier in the day, but was quick to deflect Yang’s assertion that his performance had been heroic. “The injury definitely affected my play,” the 25-year-old lefthander said. “I am glad that our partnership worked out well despite my injury… I am neither a hero, nor a warrior, but I made sure that I give my best. As long as that is the case, I think the outcome matters less compared to the process and efforts.” The world championships in Suzhou, China, conclude today.

SOCCER

Big club visits good: Soosay

Visits by big European clubs to Asia are good for soccer in the region, a senior Asian official has insisted, dismissing concerns over the trips. European clubs are welcomed by thousands of star-struck fans, but critics say their popularity comes at the expense of local leagues, many of which are struggling. However, Asian Football Confederation secretary-general Alex Soosay said complaints about the money-spinning tours were wide of the mark. Real Madrid, Liverpool and Arsenal are among the teams headed to Asia in the coming months, in visits that boost their fan base and merchandise sales. Soosay said the visiting clubs raise soccer’s profile and help development through their coaching clinics and by funding facilities like new pitches.

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