IAAF praises Brisbane
A senior IAAF official said yesterday that Australian city Brisbane's bid to host the 2011 world athletics championships would be boosted by the "extraordinary quality" of its people-friendly Athletes Village. IAAF vice president Helmut Digel is heading an IAAF evaluation team that completed a two-day visit yesterday in Brisbane, its second-last stop on a tour of the four bidding cities. The team has visited Moscow and Barcelona and has Daegu, South Korea, to inspect before reporting their findings to the IAAF, which will decide the host city in Mombasa, Kenya, on March 27. Digel said the village appealed to the evaluation team because it was environmentally friendly, boasted its own four-lane 400m training track and its location ensured interaction between athletes and the public.
■ Rugby league
Wally Lewis recovering
Former Australian rugby league captain Wally Lewis was recovering in hospital yesterday after a three-and-a-half hour operation to help control his epilepsy, hospital officials said. Neurosurgeon Gavin Fabinyi said surgery on the 47-year-old Lewis television sportscaster went well at Melbourne's Austin Hospital. "I'm pleased to say Wally is looking good, he has come out of the operation and is still a bit sleepy," Fabinyi said. "The operation has gone well." Lewis will spend the next five days recovering in hospital and then another five days in Melbourne before returning home. It could be up to 12 months before doctors know if the operation has been a complete success. Lewis spent eight days at the hospital wired to monitors and having seizures induced to see whether the last-resort surgery was possible and if it would work. Lewis was the Brisbane Broncos' inaugural captain.
Mascherano gets the nod
Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano is free to play for Liverpool after the Premier League ratified his move to the Reds on Tuesday. The 22-year-old's career had been on hold as the Premier League debated whether to sanction the transfer, even though Mascherano had played for two clubs -- Corinthians and West Ham United -- already this season. Under FIFA rules, no player can represent three clubs in the same season but the sport's world governing body gave him an exemption as the South American and European seasons overlap. "The Premier League has confirmed that the application by Liverpool FC to register Javier Mascherano as a player has been accepted," a statement read.
■ Rugby Union
Candelon signs contract
France international back Julien Candelon signed a two season contract with French giants Perpignan from championship rivals Narbonne on Tuesday. The 26-year-old -- leading tryscorer in the French championship this season with 10 tries -- has been at Narbonne since 2003 but said it was time for him to join a club with real ambition. "It is time for me to try something a bit more challenging. Perpignan is a club with the means and ambition. I really want to seize this chance," added Candelon, who was capped twice in 2005 against Australia and South Africa. Perpignan are presently third in the Championship, 10 points off leaders Stade Francais, while Narbonne are fighting to avoid relegation as they lie fourth from bottom just three points off last placed Bayonne.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being