■ Basketball Lakers expect Kobe Bryant \n \nEmbattled NBA star Kobe Bryant is expected to be in attendance when the Los Angeles Lakers' veterans report to training camp in Hawaii in early October, a team spokesman said Tuesday. "It is our understanding that he will be there and he will participate," spokesman John Black said by telephone from Los Angeles. Black said the team has not heard otherwise from Bryant or his agent and is preparing for camp accordingly. The 24-year-old guard is charged with sexual assaulting a 19-year-old woman at a Colorado, hotel on June 30. Bryant has said the two had consensual sex. The NBA star is due to return to Colorado for a preliminary hearing Oct. 9. The Lakers, who last held training camp in Hawaii in 2001, open camp on Sept. 30. Veterans including Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal and newcomers Karl Malone and Gary Payton are scheduled to report Oct. 2. The Lakers play Golden State in exhibition games on Oct. 7 and 8 before returning to Los Angeles on Oct. 9. \n \n■ Panam games \nCuban athletes defect \n \nThree Cuban athletes have defected to the Dominican Republic, where they were competing in the Pan American Games, an official said Tuesday. The defections occurred during the international competition, which started Aug. 1 and ended Sunday, said General Fernando Cruz, director of the Dominican intelligence agency. Cruz refused to give further details on the defections. To diminish the potential for further defections, Dominican officials doubled security during the baseball final Aug. 12 between the US and Cuba. Soldiers in camouflage stood around the Cuban dugout during batting practice and guarded much of the section where Cuba's delegation was seated. Some gates that had previously been open during the tournament were locked and guarded. Defections by Cuban athletes are not rare. Two Cuban gymnasts participating in the World Championships defected Tuesday in California. \n \n■ Athletics \nCarl Lewis enters plea \n \nNine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis pleaded innocent Tuesday to a charge of drunken driving. Attorney Mark Rafferty appeared at the Metropolitan Branch Courthouse to enter the plea on behalf of his client to one count of driving under the influence. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 16. The charge stemmed from an early morning crash on April 21 involving Lewis' 2004 Maserati. Lewis allegedly lost control of the car and struck a sound wall on the side of the Harbor Freeway in South Los Angles, said city attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan. Lewis was arrested by the California Highway Patrol after allegedly failing field sobriety tests. A breath test administered at a police station allegedly showed a blood-alcohol reading of .08 percent, the level at which a driver is considered intoxicated in California. \n \n■ Tennis \nPaes undergoes treatment \n \nLeander Paes, one of the world's best doubles tennis players, is being treated for a brain lesion and will miss the upcoming US Open. Paes, 30, suffered severe headaches late last week. He checked himself into an emergency room near his Orlando home Sunday, and a scan showed a lesion in the left occipital region of the brain. He was transferred to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando on Tuesday, hospital spokeswoman Michelle Lynch said. Tests are being conducted to determine the lesion's cause, with the results expected within a few days.
INTO THE SEMIS: Top seed Tai Tzu-ying hit two stunning backhands in quick succession while on the floor in her quarter-final, prompting disbelieving gasps and cheers Taiwanese badminton stars Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin yesterday advanced to the gold medal match of the men’s doubles, while Taiwanese top seed Tai Tzu-ying got off to a rough start in a nail-biting women’s singles quarter-final against Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon, but rallied with a series of flash backhand smashes. Lee and Wang beat Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-11, 21-10 in their men’s doubles semi-final to set up a shot at the gold medal against China’s Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen, who had a 24-22, 21-13 win over Malaysia’s Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik. Tai rallied from a game
‘BOSS CHARACTER’: Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin said they had ‘crawled out of hell’ and have nothing to lose in a match against the world’s No. 2 pairing Badminton duo Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin made history in Tokyo yesterday by becoming the first Taiwanese shuttlers to advance to an Olympics semi-final after they edged their Japanese rivals in the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles. The world No. 3 Taiwanese duo defeated Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe 21-16, 21-19 in 44 minutes at the Musashino Forest Plaza. By reaching the final four, the pair have recorded Taiwan’s best ever showing in Olympic badminton, surpassing a quarter-finals finish by Lee Sheng-mu and Fang Chieh-min in the men’s doubles at the London Games in 2012. After clinching the hard-earned victory, Lee dropped to
Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who won the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold medal this week, on Thursday said that she has fond memories of training in Kaohsiung in 2019 and feels like she has family there. In an online interview organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, Diaz said she visited Taiwan twice in 2019 so she could concentrate on her training without being distracted by friends and invitations to socialize. “I feel like I have also family there,” she said, adding that she did her training sessions at Gushan Senior High School in Kaohsiung. Diaz, who claimed gold in the under-55kg class
Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying had just lost a heartbreaker in her Olympic badminton gold medal match final on Sunday, but comforting words from fellow shuttler P.V. Sindhu of India helped her work through a cauldron of emotions. In a Facebook post late on Sunday, Tai wrote that she was feeling reasonably satisfied with her performance after losing to China’s Chen Yufei 18-21, 21-19, 18-21 in the women’s singles final, when Sindhu, who won bronze, sought her out after the medal ceremony. Sindhu, who lost to Tai in the semi-finals on Saturday, hugged the Taiwanese athlete. “You performed very well. Today just wasn’t your day,”