Sports Briefs


Mon, Nov 06, 2006 - Page 19

■ Soccer
Former player kills self

Former FC Barcelona player Sergi Lopez Segu died on Saturday after throwing himself under a train, Spanish national radio reported. He was 39. Lopez Segu, who played 19 first-division games for the club in the late 1987-1990 and represented Mallorca and Zaragoza, was said to have taken his life in his home town of Granollers, close to Barcelona. The former player, the brother of AS Monaco midfielder Gerard Lopez Segu, reportedly suffered from personal problems. No details were given. Lopez Segu's death was the second tragic incident to have affected Barcelona in the past two days. On Friday, the father of team captain Carles Puyol was killed in an accident at work.

■ Soccer

Bogdani's brace seals draw

Albanian Erion Bogdani notched a brace on Saturday afternoon, helping Siena clinch a last-gasp 2-2 draw against struggling Parma. The Tuscany hosts, who received a one-point penalty for a late tax payment, rose on to 16 points from 10 games and lie fourth behind Roma and joint leaders Inter Milan and Palermo, while Parma remain low in the standings on eight points. Parma's inspired play maker Domenico Morfeo opened the scoring on 35 minutes, firing under the bar from close range after controlling with his chest a loose ball off a corner kick.

■ rugby union

Umaga scores again

Former All Black captain Tana Umaga went some way further to justifying his enormous salary at French second division rugby club Toulon, scoring the match-winning try against Dax on Saturday. With Dax leading 16-15 with 10 minutes to play, Umaga powered over for a try to delight the 12,000-strong home crowd. The 33-year-old center, who is reported to be earning 300,000 euros (US$381,648) while he takes a temporary leave of absence from the game back in New Zealand, also scored Toulon's only try in his winning debut last week. The result saw Toulon rise into fourth position in the highly competitive league on 24 points, two behind Dax, but still 10 and 11 points adrift of Auch and leaders Beziers respectively.

■ Tennis

Bartoli, Poutchkova in final

Second-seeded Marion Bartoli of France and eighth-seeded Olga Poutchkova of Russia will meet in the Bell Challenge final after rallying from a set down in their semi-finals on Saturday. Bartoli defeated Lilia Osterloh of the US 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 and has a chance to end her year as she started it -- with a title. She won in Auckland, New Zealand, in the first week of the year, and won her second career title in Tokyo last month to break into the top 20 rankings. In the other semi-final, Poutchkova beat fourth-seeded Severine Bremond of France 2-6, 6-0, 7-5 to reach her second final in two months. The Russian teenager was finishing her year on a high with her 15th win in her last 19 matches.

■ Athletics
Hurdler stalker detained

A Swedish court on Saturday detained a man accused of stalking European 100m hurdles champion Susanna Kallur. The 26-year-old Frenchman, who reportedly lives near Lyon, is suspected of assaulting a doorman at a local indoor hall where Kallur practiced last week. During interrogation with police, the man said he is in love with the Swedish athletics star. He spent three weeks in Sweden trying to get in touch with Kallur. "She has never met this man; we have managed to keep him away from her," said her father Anders Kallur, a former Stanley Cup champion with the New York Islanders. The suspect must be charged or released by Nov. 11.

■ Asian Games

Torch relay hits Bangkok

The Asian Games torch was carried through the streets of Bangkok yesterday, one leg of its 50,000km journey by boats, planes, bicycles and camels to the site of the event next month in Qatar. The final runner will carry the torch into the main stadium for the games, which will run from Dec. 1 to Dec. 15 games in Doha. The 14km relay in Bangkok began and ended at the National Stadium, where ceremonies and fireworks were scheduled for later yesterday. The torch will be flown to Mashad in Iran tomorrow. Organizers say that 3,500 bearers in 15 countries will have carried the torch by the time it reaches Doha after a 50-day journey. Forty-five countries are scheduled to participate in the 15th Asian Games, the continent's version of the Olympics. The last quadrennial event was staged in South Korea.

■ Boxing

Diaz defends WBA title

Undefeated Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz successfully defended his World Boxing Association lightweight title for the fifth time by unanimously outpointing Fernando Angulo on Saturday. Diaz, 23, improved to 31-0 in the fight. He receiving winning scores of 118-109 from judges Luis Pabon and Gerald Maltz and 116-111 from referee Raul Caiz. Angulo (18-4) lost for the first time since July 2002. He had won 13 straight fights. The 12-round bout, held in Chase the infield of Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, featured few fireworks. Diaz built up a lead through the first six rounds but couldn't put the gritty Angulo away. Diaz landed several heavy shots to Angulo's head, but each time the challenger responded with a flurry. Caiz took a point away from Angulo for holding in the sixth round and warned him for headbutting Diaz in the eighth.

■ Running

Mbote wins Seoul Marathon

Kenya's Jason Mbote won the JoongAng Seoul Marathon yesterday, taking home the US$50,000 prize with a time of 2:08:13. Fellow Kenyans Kirui Paul Kiprop (2:09:05) finished second and Maniym Philip (2:09:35) finished third. The women's race was won by South Korea's Kim Hye-kyong in 2:40:36.

■ Horse Racing

Invasor wins Breeders' Cup

Invasor pulled alongside Bernardini in the stretch and blew past the seemingly invincible colt for a stunning victory in the US$5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in Kentucky on Saturday. The victory in the richest horse race in the US was the ninth win in 10 career starts for the 4-year-old Invasor, who was bred in Argentina and is Uruguay's Horse of the Year. After his victory over a star-studded lineup, Invasor is likely to be voted the world's Horse of the Year.