Taiwan fall to second loss
Taiwan’s women’s national team lost their cross-strait East Asian Cup qualifying match to China 2-0 in Shenzhen on Thursday to slip out of contention for a place at the finals in South Korea next year. In Thursday’s other match, Australia brushed aside Hong Kong 4-0 to top the qualifying competition on goal-difference ahead of China, heading into their showdown today. Australia and China both have a maximum six points, but the Aussies have a superior goal-difference. Both Taiwan and Hong Kong remain pointless ahead of their battle to avoid being awarded the qualifying tournament’s wooden spoon in Shenzhen this evening. The winner of the match between Australia and China will join Japan, South Korea and North Korea in the finals.
Roethlisberger becomes dad
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his wife, Ashley, have welcomed a “healthy, beautiful baby boy” to their family, the NFL star said on his Web site on Thursday. Benjamin Jr was born on Wednesday night and weighed in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce (3.2kg), Roethlisberger said — an extra helping of family joy on the US Thanksgiving holiday. “We would like to let everyone know that last night at 10:06pm Ashley and I welcomed a healthy, beautiful baby boy into this world,” the first-time father wrote. Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl champion, is currently sidelined with a sprained right shoulder joint suffered in a game against Kansas City on Nov. 12.
Armstrong loses degree
A US university has stripped disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong of an honorary degree after a unanimous vote by the school’s trustees. Tufts University, located in a suburb just outside Boston, Massachusetts, rescinded the doctor of humane letters bestowed on the former US icon six years ago. The university said on Wednesday that while respecting Armstrong’s cancer-fighting efforts, the board concluded his “actions as an athlete are inconsistent with the values of the university.” Armstrong had his seven Tour de France titles taken away after the US Anti-doping Agency disclosed evidence that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Genia stays in Australia
Wallaby scrumhalf Will Genia has signed a new three-year deal which will keep him playing in Australia through to the 2015 World Cup, the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) said yesterday. Genia, 24, currently sidelined with a knee injury, will continue playing for the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby. Under the ARU’s contracting system, players negotiate with the national body after agreement with their Super Rugby team, but those talks became strained, with Genia reportedly eying a big deal in Japan following a reported lower-than-expected offer.
Albrecht injures knee
Swiss former world champion Daniel Albrecht has sustained a serious knee injury after crashing in training for a World Cup downhill race at Lake Louise, Canada. Albrecht has rarely raced in speed events in nearly four years since spending 16 days in an induced coma to recover from brain and lung injuries after he crashed heavily in downhill training at Kitzbuehel, Austria. The Swiss ski federation says Albrecht sustained a “complex injury” to his left knee on Thursday, but no head injury. The 29-year-old skier was airlifted by helicopter from the slope and later treated in Calgary.