Injured Liu to miss season
Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang is likely to miss this season as he recovers from the injury that dramatically ended his bid to win back the Olympic title in London last year, a report said yesterday. Liu’s coach, Sun Haiping, said the 29-year-old, Olympic champion in the 110m in 2004 and one of China’s biggest stars, would make a “full recovery” from his ruptured Achilles tendon, but would probably not be in action this year. Last year in London, Liu clattered into the first hurdle in his opening heat and after being helped up, he hopped the length of the track before symbolically kissing the last barrier and exiting the Olympic arena.
‘Kekua’ predicts NCAA
A business analyst from Virginia beat out 8.15 million other entries to win ESPN’s annual prediction contest for the NCAA basketball championship — but has gained more attention for the handle he created than his powers of prognostication. Craig Gilmore, inspired by several pints of beer and using the name Lannay Kekua, won the contest, accurately picking Louisville to defeat Michigan in Monday night’s college basketball championship game before the 64-team tournament began. Lannay Kekua was the name an apparent hoaxster created to fool Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, leading the football player to think he had an online and telephonic relationship with a woman who in reality never existed. Reports of her death during the season became a touching story until it unraveled as an embarrassing hoax. Gilmore said he chose the name to tease two of his buddies, who are Notre Dame graduates. ESPN says the winner will “have a chance” to win the grand prize of a US$10,000 gift card for electronics retailer Best Buy.
Chinese firm sues Jordan
A Chinese sportswear firm sued by Michael Jordan for the unauthorized use of his name has counter-sued the retired NBA superstar for US$8 million for hurting its reputation, Chinese state media said yesterday. Jordan’s lawsuit against Qiaodan Sports Co last year alleged that the firm deliberately misled Chinese consumers about its ties to him. Jordan has been known in China by the Chinese name “Qiaodan” since he became a star in the 1980s. Qiaodan’s products also carry a silhouette of a leaping basketball player, which bears a resemblance to the “Jumpman” logo used by Nike’s Jordan brand. Qiaodan said Jordan misled the public with his lawsuit, the China Daily said.
Broad face benefits baseball
The shape of a man’s face can help predict his sporting acumen, a study revealed yesterday, after finding that Japanese baseball players whose faces are relatively broad instead of long were most likely to hit a home run. University of London psychologists measured the facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR), of 104 batters in Japan’s professional Central League Pennant who played in the 2011 season and last year. In both seasons, the players who scored the most home runs had the highest fWHR, said the study, which was published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. Previous research has found a link between face ratio and competitiveness among politicians and financial success among corporate executives, but this work had focused only on Caucasian subjects, not Asians. The new data suggests the association “may be generalizable across cultures,” the paper said, although why facial bulk appears to be so important in sporting success is unclear.