Fri, Jun 30, 2017 - Page 16 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

SWIMMING

Ledecky claims another title

Katie Ledecky claimed another US national title in another year’s best time, winning the 200m freestyle at the US Swimming National Championships on Wednesday. She notched her 12th career national title with a time of 1 minute, 54.84 seconds in Indianapolis, Indiana, as she ramps up for the World Championships in Budapest. On Tuesday, the opening night of the meet, Ledecky qualified for the 800m freestyle in a year’s best time and is also qualified for the 1,500m. Should Ledecky, who won four golds at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics last year, finish in the top two in today’s 400m free, she will be in line to contest six events in Budapest, including relays, her busiest schedule yet at an Olympics or Worlds.

BASKETBALL

Chris Paul traded to Rockets

Chris Paul on Wednesday was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets in the first major NBA talent move of the off-season with free agency looming tomorrow. The 32-year-old point guard, who helped the US win Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008 and in London in 2012, joins shooting guard James Harden in what might be the NBA’s most dynamic backcourt next season. In exchange, the Rockets sent the Clippers seven players — Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Wiltjer — plus a first-round NBA Draft pick for next season and US$661,000. “Any day you can acquire a Hall of Fame-level player is a good day for the franchise,” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. “It’s a weapons race in the NBA and you’re either in the weapons race or on the sidelines. We felt with Harden in his prime, Chris Paul in his prime, this gives us a real shot to chase the juggernaut teams that are out there and puts us right there with them.”

RUGBY UNION

Hansen criticizes media

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen yesterday criticized the media, saying that talk of a “feud” with British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland was off-base. Earlier this week, Hansen branded Gatland’s complaints about All Blacks players diving at the legs of Conor Murray in the first Test as “desperate,” which gave rise to articles about how the two New Zealanders did not get on. “I read somewhere that I ‘lashed out at Warren Gatland,’” Hansen said yesterday. “I haven’t lashed out at Warren Gatland, at all. I’ve got a lot of respect for him, and I’m looking forward to having a beer with him and a chuckle about life. We’ve got a lot of common interests. He likes racing horses and so do I. He coaches Wales and I’ve been through that experience myself. It’s the media that ramp it up because it sells you guys’ newspapers. Who am I to say stop it? But I do look at it and say: ‘Well, that’s actually not how it went.’” Hansen also criticized the New Zealand Herald’s decision to run a cartoon depicting Gatland as a clown. “I think it’s really disappointing. It’s one thing to have a bit of banter and you guys beef that up to make it bigger than it really is,” he said. “To come out and do that is ridiculing somebody. He doesn’t deserve it and, at the end of the day, we’re all coaches trying to do what we think’s right.”

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