SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 - Page 18

BASKETBALL

Lin set for Asian tour

Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday that he is looking forward to an Asian tour upon which he will embark next month. Lin is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on Aug. 14 for a week-long stay. During his visit, Lin plans to attend various activities and charity events arranged by his sponsors, and will spend his remaining time with local children at a basketball camp. A devout Christian, he also plans to take part in evangelical services. Lin, the first NBA player of Taiwanese descent, has a great following in Taiwan. He will return to Taiwan in October for an NBA exhibition game between the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers, which will be played as part of the NBA Global Games series. The game on Oct. 13 is to be played at the Taipei Arena, with tickets priced between NT$800 and NT$28,000.

BOXING

Emile Griffith dies aged 75

Former welterweight champion Emile Griffith, best known for the brutal 1962 world title fight that claimed the life of bitter rival Benny Paret, died on Tuesday. He was 75. Griffith, who suffered from dementia, died at a care facility in New York, the International Boxing Hall of Fame confirmed in a statement. Griffith’s infamous rivalry with the Cuban-born Paret ended in a fatal third meeting between the two boxers at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 24, 1962, for the welterweight title. According to a 2005 documentary, Paret had allegedly enraged Griffith prior to the bout by taunting him in Spanish with the homophobic slur maricon (faggot). Griffith, who was married, but later admitted to being bisexual, claimed victory over Paret with a savage 12th-round assault. Paret never regained consciousness and died in hospital 10 days later. Griffith was ambiguous about his sexuality throughout his life and he told Sports Illustrated in 2005 he was bisexual. “I like men and women both ... I don’t know what I am. I love men and women the same, but if you ask me which is better ... I like women,” he said.

SAILING

NZ team clinch victory

Emirates Team New Zealand defeated Luna Rossa Challenge on Tuesday to clinch the round-robin stage of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the selection series to decide the challenger for the America’s Cup. The New Zealanders completed the 15.43 nautical mile (28.58km) course in San Francisco in 46 minutes, 53 seconds, comfortably ahead of an Italian team that were deemed not to have finished because they were more than five minutes behind. New Zealand’s win ensured they will finish at the top of the standings in the round-robin phase of the challenger series. By winning the round-robin stage New Zealand has the option of advancing directly to the Louis Vuitton Cup Final or picking an opponent for the semi-final round, starting on Aug. 6.

GOLF

Fans to pick pin position

Golf fans will play a direct role in course setup for the first time in a major at next month’s PGA Championship in Rochester, New York, organizers said on Tuesday. Through the “PGA Championship Pick the Hole Location Challenge Hosted by Jack Nicklaus,” fans will be able to choose online one of four designated pin positions at the par-three 15th for the final round. The 181-yard 15th is a downhill hole with a narrow green guarded by water on the right and by two bunkers on the left. Fans will make their selections via the PGA of America Web site until Aug. 10. The final round is scheduled for Aug. 11.

SOCCER

Juventus real Champions

Juventus may have been knocked out in the quarter-finals, but they were the biggest financial winners in last season’s UEFA Champions League. Bayern Munich beat German compatriots Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the final, yet neither side could match Juve’s earning power, a UEFA report said. The Italian champions made 65.3 million euros (US$86.3 million) last season from their participation, more than 10 million euros more than Bayern earned.Unsurprisingly, the two finalists were the next biggest winners, with Bayern earning 55 million euros and Dortmund making 54.2 million euros. The 32 clubs partipating in the group stages shared 904.6 million euros, according to UEFA. The main difference between the German pair and Juve was television rights, with the Torino giants earning 44.8 million euros from that alone, compared with just 19.1 million euros for Bayern. AC Milan, who only made it to the second round, were the next biggest winners with 51.4 million euros ahead of Spanish losing semi-finalists Real Madrid (48.4 million) and Barcelona (45.5 million) and French quarter-finalists Paris Saint-Germain (44.7 million).

SOCCER

Falcao snubs age rumors

AS Monaco’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao on Tuesday took to Twitter to slam rumors about his age amid claims he is 29, not 27. “I am surprised by these media reports about my age — they are ridiculous,” said Monaco’s recent 60 million euro (US$79.4 million) signing from Atletico Madrid. “I vehemently deny [the story] and want to put an end to it once and for all,” Falcao said after TV station Noticias Uno showed the player’s former headmaster saying the star was born in 1984, not 1986.

FORMULA ONE

F1 to return to Austria

Formula One will return to Austria next year after an 11-year absence, world champions and Spielberg circuit owners Red Bull said on Tuesday. The energy-drink company said a deal had been struck between Red Bull billionaire founder Dietrich Mateschitz and Formula One’s 82-year-old chief executive Bernie Ecclestone. “On condition of approval by the required authorities, July 6, 2014 is expected to be the date,” Red Bull said in a brief statement issued in Austria. Austria last hosted a grand prix in 2003, after which the circuit was due to be extended, but construction was stopped midway and the track became unusable for years before Mateschitz bought and rebuilt it, renaming it the Red Bull Ring. Formula One is due to introduce two new grands prix next year: at Russia’s Winter Olympic venue Sochi and in New Jersey.

SOCCER

Maradona surgery goes well

Soccer legend Diego Maradona underwent successful eye surgery on Tuesday, his surgeon said. Maradona, 52, underwent surgery to correct presbyopia, age-related loss of ability to focus on nearby objects, in Mendoza, Argentina. “Maradona was fine, it was a normal routine presbyopia procedure we do. He did well; he’s a great patient,” surgeon Roberto Zaldivar told reporters.

CYCLING

Trek sign Schleck brothers

US cycling team Trek says it has signed Andy and Frank Schleck to its squad for next year. The Luxembourg brothers will compete in the major Tours and the three Ardennes classics, among other races. Frank Schleck has not been racing since a one-year doping ban after testing positive for a diuretic during last year’s Tour de France.