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.
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.
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.
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.
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
WOLFSBURG BEATEN: Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored from a penalty, his 34th league goal this season, finishing as the top Bundesliga scorer for the fifth time Werder Bremen gave themselves hope of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga by thrashing Cologne 6-1 to grab a playoff place on the last day of the season, while champions Bayern Munich routed VfL Wolfsburg before lifting the trophy on Saturday. Japan striker Yuya Osako scored twice as Bremen stole the lifeline of the relegation/promotion playoff place from Fortuna Duesseldorf, who lost 3-0 against Union Berlin and were relegated with SC Paderborn, finishing one point behind Bremen. “We put in a great performance under pressure, but we are aware that we haven’t achieved anything — in the relegation playoff, the emotions will be
Dustin Poirier won a thrilling unanimous decision over Dan Hooker on Saturday, surviving a brutal second round and persevering to finish a well-rounded performance in the main event at the UFC’s corporate gym. Mike Perry also ended his two-fight skid with a one-sided unanimous decision over Mickey Gall in the penultimate fight of the UFC’s fifth consecutive fan-free event in its hometown. The main event was a barn-burner from the opening round, with both lightweights trading wicked strikes and displaying minimal regard for defense. The second round was a particular spectacle, with each fighter badly hurting the other while throwing punches and
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but