SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 - Page 18

RUGBY UNION

Baby Blacks accused of rape

South African police are investigating rape charges against members of New Zealand’s junior rugby team after they lost to South Africa in the Junior World Championship, a police spokesman said yesterday. “We are investigating a case of rape after a 22-year-old Cape Town woman alleged she was raped,” national police spokesman Vish Naidoo said. “It is alleged the rape took place during the course of Friday night,” he said. The charge was laid on Saturday. On Friday, South Africa beat New Zealand 22-16 in the IRB Junior World Championship at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town. Four Baby Blacks players were involved in the incident, according to the New Age newspaper. Naidoo declined to say how many players were being investigated. Forensic experts combed the Southern Sun Hotel Newlands on Saturday for DNA evidence in a hushed investigation, the newspaper reported. The whole Baby Blacks team was allowed to leave South Africa after the New Zealand High Commission intervened, according to the newspaper. Hotel staff told the newspaper the woman came to the hotel on Friday night and told the front desk she was visiting a cousin. She knew the hotel players’ rooms and had apparently met them before. “According to some of my colleagues, she was apparently drunk. And on Saturday morning she called her parents to fetch her at the hotel after claims that she was raped,” a hotel employee told the publication. “Her parents insisted on opening a case of rape. We are not certain that she was raped, but there was blood found on a sheet on a bed. The rugby players left the hotel at 12am on Saturday.”

OLYMPICS

Records fall at UK trials

Polevaulter Holly Bleasdale and long jumper Shara Proctor both set new British records on Sunday to seal their places at the Olympics. Bleasdale arrived at the trials in Birmingham without a current “A” standard qualification mark, but improved her previous best by 1cm with a clearance of 4.71m. Proctor broke a 29-year-old British record in the long jump to seal her place in the Games with a leap of 6.95m, surpassing the previous mark of 6.90m set by Bev Kinch back in 1983 — five years before Proctor was born. Only five women have jumped further than Proctor this year and the 23-year-old is certainly aiming high when it comes to the Olympics. “Of course I’m thinking gold, why am I here?” said Proctor, who hails from the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla.

SOCCER

Miki Roque dies at 23

Former Liverpool defender Miki Roque has died at the age of 23 after losing his battle with cancer, the English Premier League club announced on Sunday. The Spanish player was on Liverpool’s books between 2005 and 2009 and was part of their FA Youth Cup-winning team in 2006. He made just one substitute appearance for the first team in a Champions League clash with Galatasaray in December 2006. After being released by Liverpool in 2009, he joined Real Betis, but was diagnosed with pelvic cancer in March last year. “Everyone at Liverpool Football Club would like to send their thoughts to Miki’s family at this sad time,” a Liverpool statement said. Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez tweeted: “I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family of my former player Miki Roque, it is a tragedy to lose such a good boy so young.”