Sat, Jun 20, 2015 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

CYCLING

Pinot maintains Suisse lead

Sprint specialist Peter Sagan of Slovakia tied a Tour de Suisse record with his 11th career stage win in the 82-year-old race, and Thibaut Pinot retained the overall lead on Thursday. Sagan’s victory in a 193km sixth stage from Wil to Biel tied him with Swiss greats Hugo Koblet and Ferdi Kuebler, who raced in the 1940s and 1950s. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider outpaced Jurgen Roelandts of Belgium and Alexander Kristoff of Norway after more than four-and-a-half hours in the saddle. Pinot conceded five seconds in the overall standings to Geraint Thomas of Britain, who placed 11th and trails the Frenchman by 42 seconds. The nine-day race, the last major warm-up for the Tour de France, should be decided in a final time trial stage tomorrow.

RUGBY UNION

ARU announces three Tests

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has announced a three-Test series against England scheduled for June next year in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The ARU yesterday said that the Tests would be in Brisbane on June 11, Melbourne on June 18 and Sydney on June 25. The Melbourne Test is to take place at the 30,000-capacity AAMI Park rather than the 53,000-seat Docklands Stadium used in the past, while the last match is to be at the 45,000-capacity Sydney Football Stadium and not the 80,000-seat Olympic stadium in the city’s west. The ARU said smaller venues would improve the atmosphere for fans. It will be the first time that Australia and England, who first played each other in 1909, have met in a three-Test series in Australia.

EUROPEAN GAMES

Mustafina secures title

Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina won the inaugural European Games women’s all-around title to lay down a marker to her rivals for Olympic gold medals next year. Mustafina won with a score of 58.566 points, exactly one point lower than the score that won her Olympic bronze in 2012. Second place went to Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber on 56.699, with bronze for Lieke Wevers of the Netherlands, who scored 55.065. Mustafina can add to her medal haul tomorrow, when four gold medals are on offer in individual apparatus events. Also on Thursday, Ukraine’s Oleg Vernyaev won the men’s all-around with a 90.332, with silver for Azerbaijan’s Oleg Stepko on 89.065 and bronze for Russian Nikita Ignatyev on 87.365.

BOXING

Lemieux, N’Dam to face off

David Lemieux and Hassan N’Dam are to clash today for the vacant International Boxing Federation middleweight world title, both eyeing elite status in one of boxing’s hottest divisions. Canada’s Lemieux is an explosive puncher who hopes a title will put him in line for potentially lucrative bouts with the likes of unbeaten Kazakh Gennady Golovkin and the devastating Miguel Cotto. “I’ve been waiting for a long time to be able to become a world champion. It is my time,” said Lemieux, who has won eight straight fights since enduring back-to-back defeats in 2011. With 31 of his 33 career victories coming by knockout, Lemieux believes he has the warrior mentality that fight fans crave — and that makes him a worthy opponent for the division’s best. “I want to destroy people and win the fight. That’s what people want to see,” he said. The 33-2 Lemieux and N’Dam — 31-1 with 18 knockouts — will be fighting for the title stripped in February from Jermain Taylor, who is contesting assault charges in Arkansas.

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