‘Legend’ buried by partner
The funeral of South Korea’s Chung Jae-sung took place yesterday, with his former doubles partner Lee Yong-dae helping to carry the coffin after the Olympic badminton medalist, 35, died of a suspected heart attack. Chung was on Friday morning found dead by his wife in their living room, but the exact cause of his death is under investigation. He was diagnosed with the heart condition arrhythmia three years ago and complained of occasional chest pains, Yonhap reported, citing family members. Chung in January had participated in the torch relay for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as one of the bearers. Chung and Lee won bronze in the men’s doubles at the 2012 London Olympics — Chung’s final tournament before retiring. The pair also lifted two prestigious All-England Crowns in 2008 and 2012, reaching the world No. 1 ranking in January 2009.
Rule a tall order: players
A controversial new rule that might have put many of its taller players at a disadvantage has been panned by some of the sport’s greats, Malaysian media reported. The rule — which says a shuttlecock shall be held less than 1.15m from a court’s surface before serving — is to be tried out at the All England Open in Birmingham from Wednesday to Sunday. World No. 2 Lee Chong Wei criticized the rule, which took effect on March 1. “The Badminton World Federation should have opted for small tournaments to test it,” Lee was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times on Friday last week. Lee, who is to be playing in the All England Open, said he would have to make adjustments to his game. “If I make a mistake with my serve during the All England, I will ask the umpire the proper way to execute it,” the Malaysian star said. Lee is 1.72m tall, shorter than several other top 10 players. In January, world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen — 1.94m tall — was quoted by Malaysian daily the Star as calling the new rule “ridiculous.” In a YouTube video published in April last year, Axelson was seen mocking the rule by squatting and kneeling while serving at a training session.
Woods one behind leader
Tiger Woods on Saturday moved within one stroke of third-round leader Corey Conners at the Valspar Championship in Florida, as his comeback gathered more steam. In just his fourth official start since spinal fusion surgery in April last year, the former world No. 1 carded an assured four-under-par 67 in front of a huge and supportive gallery. Woods ended the round equal second with fellow American Brandt Snedeker (67) and Englishman Justin Rose (66). However, Canadian surprise package Conners continued to lead, posting a 68 for a nine-under 204 total with one round left. Woods has won 79 times on the PGA Tour. Victory would bring him within two of all-time leader Sam Snead. Whatever the outcome, Woods has left no doubt in his past two events that he is destined for further glory, as long as his body holds up. Swinging with a club head speed measured by laser as the fastest in the field on Saturday, he mixed power with precision on a day conducive to low scores. “I’ve played myself right there into contention, so it should be a fun Sunday,” he said. “The people of Tampa are really into it. It’s been incredible.”
APPROPRIATE RESPONSE: The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan expressed ‘sincere regret’ for publishing the image on its in-house magazine and Web site A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Games logo as the novel coronavirus has been pulled from online after Olympic organizers branded it “insensitive” and said that it infringed copyright. The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo Games logo. It appeared on the cover of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine. The Tokyo Games have been postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and halted sport worldwide. Club president Khaldon Azhari yesterday said that the club had decided to withdraw the image and remove
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly