Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - Page 11 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

BADMINTON

Tai graduates with honors

World No. 1 player Tai Tzu-ying yesterday received her master’s degree with the Taipei Mayor’s Award and Award for Outstanding Contribution to Non-Academic Fields. Tai, 23, graduated from the Graduate Institute of Sports Training, University of Taipei. She was the only graduate of the university to be granted an outstanding contribution award this year. Tai has been at the top of Badminton World Federation women’s singles ranking for the second time since May 3. She became world No. 1 in December 2016 and stayed on top for 67 consecutive weeks. “She is truly a model for athletes,” said university president Tai Hsia-ling, a retired athlete and a former head of the now-defunct Sports Affairs Council. Tai has been admitted to the university’s doctoral program at the Graduate Institute of Sports Training.

BOXING

Trump floats Ali pardon

US President Donald Trump on Friday said that he might grant a posthumous pardon to Muhammad Ali, seemingly unaware that the great boxer’s conviction was overturned by the US Supreme Court 47 years ago. Departing for the G7 summit in Canada, Trump told reporters at the White House that he was looking at “thousands of names” of people who could be granted clemency. Ali refused to enter the military during the Vietnam War and his local draft board rejected his application for classification as a conscientious objector. He received a draft-evasion conviction in 1967 and was stripped of his world heavyweight title. Ali was sentenced to five years in prison, but he appealed and in 1971 the Supreme Court overturned his conviction. Trump’s gesture is therefore meaningless.

FIGURE SKATING

Technical rules reformed

The International Skating Union has passed a series of technical reforms, among them limiting the number of high-scoring quad jumps in individual free skates. The quad jump came under intense scrutiny during the Pyeongchang Olympics, when male skaters who packed the most into their program finished atop the medal standings. During its biennial congress that concluded on Friday, it also established independent panels to evaluate scores for “national biases” at major competitions, modified the Olympic selection process, renamed the short dance to “rhythm dance” and created a greater range of scores. In pairs skating, the number of pairs who qualify for the free program at the world championships would increase to 20 from 16. The union also passed a series of proposals to add synchronized skating to the Olympic program. Officials hope to have the discipline included for the 2022 Beijing Games.

WORLD CUP

Cat to predict games

A deaf, white cat named Achilles is soon to begin his work as Russia’s official soothsayer, following in the tentacle-prints of Paul the Octopus, who became a star in 2010. Paul predicted winners for that year’s World Cup by choosing one out of two boxes containing food, while Achilles is to be presented with bowls marked with teams’ flags. “We went for Achilles because he is beautiful, first of all, but also because — like all white cats with blue eyes — he is deaf, so he has a great deal of intuition, he sees with his heart,” vet Anna Kasatkina said.

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