Drogba bio comes to France
Didier Drogba walked at six months, left home at five and fell in love with the woman who was to become his wife at the tender age of 17. Those are some of the landmark events covered in an account of the Ivorian soccer star’s extraordinary life about to be published in cartoon form in France. Editions are also planned for Britain, where Drogba is still idolized by supporters of former club Chelsea; as well as in Brazil, where he is due to play in the FIFA World Cup later this year, and Turkey, where he plays for Galatasaray. Entitled From Tito to Drogba, the book traces the 35-year-old’s journey from modest roots in the Ivorian city of Abidjan to the summit of world soccer. The “Tito” in the title refers to his childhood nickname. It was first published in 2012 in his home country, where Drogba is revered as a linchpin of the national team and a symbol of national unity thanks to his detour into peacemaking when the country was on the brink of civil war in 2006. Part of the proceeds from the book sales will go to the Didier Drogba Foundation, which finances health and education projects in Africa.
Iwakuma to miss opener
Seattle Mariners all-star pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma will not be ready for the team’s MLB season opener, team manager Lloyd McClendon said on Saturday. The 32-year-old Japanese right-hander learned on Friday that he must keep a splint on his right middle finger for another three weeks to help heal a sprained tendon, doctors said. Iwakuma will then need three or four weeks of preparation to be ready, a timetable that would put him back in the Mariners’ rotation in the middle of next month at the earliest. “We’ve got to get him healthy. We can’t rush this thing,” McClendon said on the team Web site. Iwakuma will need about 20 innings of pitching in minor league games or simulated training outings before he will be able to take his place in Seattle’s lineup, McClendon said.
Talamashi jumps to victory
Teenage skiing star Sara Takanashi of Japan made up for her Olympic disappointment by securing the World Cup crystal globe after winning the ski jumping event in Rasnov, Romania, on Saturday. Takanashi went into the Sochi Games as the favorite following a sterling World Cup season, but missed out on a medal as she finished a disappointing fourth. After bagging her 11th World Cup win this season, the 17-year-old earned her second straight crystal globe. Takanashi compiled a total score of 252 points to finish well clear of Norway’s Maren Lundby (226.4) and compatriot Yuki Ito (221.6). The victory gave her an insurmountable World Cup lead over German Olympic champion Carina Vogt, who missed the Rasnov event through a knee injury, with five rounds still to go.
Massa sets pace in testing
Brazilian Felipe Massa put Williams on top on the penultimate day of pre-season testing in Bahrain on Saturday, as Red Bull’s quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel failed to complete a lap. Massa completed 99 laps in the Mercedes-powered FW36 car and set the fastest time yet in seven days of testing at the Sakhir Circuit. “I’m really happy with the car and feel we found a good balance,” the 32-year-old said. Vettel’s car broke down with electrical failure on its first lap. He tried again later, but only made it to the end of the pitlane before stopping again.