Tai eases into quarter-finals
Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying, the world’s top-ranked women’s badminton player, on Thursday cruised to the quarter-finals at the Yonex All England Open Badminton Champions in a match that lasted only 30 minutes, defeating American world No. 12 Zhang Beiwen 21-15, 21-14. Although Tai trailed Zhang early in the match, she recovered quickly and closed the gap, then went on to soar past her rival. Tai and Zhang have had seven previous encounters, with Tai scoring five wins, four of which were in recent consecutive matches. On Wednesday, Tai edged out Canada’s Michelle Li 21-12, 21-15 in only 28 minutes. The tournament, held at the Arena Birmingham until Sunday next week, carries a purse of US$1 million. The tournament’s title is one of the most coveted in the global badminton circuit, second only to the BWF World Championships.
Walters, Arnaus share lead
Justin Walters of South Africa and Spanish rookie Adri Arnaus on Thursday mastered the tricky winds at the Doha Golf Club to tie for the first-round lead at the Qatar Masters. Both carded a five-under 67 to sit one shot clear of a group of seven players on a tightly packed leaderboard, with another 18 players a further stroke behind. “Warming up today in the wind, I was thinking anything under par would be a great score, so to go five-under, I’m ecstatic,” Walters said. “I wouldn’t want to play in three more days of this... I came here today and thought ‘another day in the wind,’ so it’s nice to get away with a really good round and, as conditions improve, I hope to keep going the way I am.” Arnaus eagled the 18th hole for the best opening round of his first European Tour season, while Walters had five birdies in a bogey-free round. “It was a lot of fun,” Arnaus said. “The wind picked up early, but we kept the ball in play most of the time and gave myself good looks. I was able to take advantage of those, so I’m pretty pleased.” Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts, South African duo George Coetzee and Justin Harding, and Richie Ramsay of Scotland were among the players who were one stroke behind the leaders.
Cab driver stabs United fan
A Manchester United fan has undergone surgery after being stabbed by a taxi driver following the English club’s stunning UEFA Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain, Sky Sports reported on Thursday. A French police source confirmed that a man had been wounded on Wednesday after an argument with a cab driver, but that his condition was not believed to be life-threatening. Sky Sports said that the 44-year-old fan was traveling to the center of the French capital with three friends when the driver objected to their boisterous celebration of United’s 3-1 win. “The driver pulled over to get them out of his taxi, before pulling out a knife and threatening the female passenger in the group,” Sky said. “The victim tried to intervene to protect her, but the driver then turned the knife on him, stabbing him in the chest with what’s been described as ‘a large blade.’” The man was taken to Georges-Pompidou European Hospital, where he underwent surgery to remove blood from his lung. A suspect has been arrested by police, but the weapon used has not been found, Sky said.
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there