Bryant on Sina livestream
Kobe Bryant, who has won five NBA championships, was to be part of Sina’s pre-game and post-game livestream of Game 3 of the NBA Finals in China last night. The Lakers superstar was to provide analysis before and after the game, joining host Huang Shuo remotely from Los Angeles. Bryant remains one of the most popular players in Asia and played for the US Olympic team in the Beijing Games in 2008. He first traveled to China for a clinic in 1998 and has returned nearly every year since. He has almost 3.5 million followers on Weibo, a social media site and on Monday posted that he would be talking about the game and making an announcement about what’s coming this summer. Sina is an online media community serving China and Chinese communities.
Petherick dies at 72
Former New Zealand off-spinner Peter Petherick, a late-bloomer who became one of only three cricketers to take a hat-trick on his Test debut, has died. He was 72. Petherick died in Perth, Australia, on Sunday, New Zealand Cricket said. The cause of death was not disclosed. Petherick made his first-class debut for New Zealand’s Otago province in 1975 aged 33 and his Test debut against Pakistan the following year. He had 0-96 and Pakistan was 336-4 when Petherick achieved one of cricket’s rarest feats. Javed Miandad and Asif Iqbal had added 281 for the fifth wicket when Petherick dismissed Miandad (163), Wasim Raja (0) and Intikhab Alam (0) with consecutive deliveries. Petherick went on to take 16 wickets in six Tests at 42.56 and 189 first class wickets at 24.47.
Brazilians allocated 35%
Only 35 percent of the tickets initially available for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics have been allocated to Brazilian fans after the first phase of sales ended. Rio organizers on Monday said that almost 1.6 million tickets — of a total of about 4.5 million — have been awarded to fans after the first random draw happened this month. Brazilian residents made 5.2 million requests for tickets, but most were duplicated for the most popular sessions. Only 121 of the Games’ 694 sessions have sold out, including the opening and closing ceremonies, the men’s soccer final and both men’s and women’s volleyball finals.
Triple Crown tickets kept
Thousands of punters left more than US$315,000 on the table after declining to cash in their US$2 tickets following American Pharoah’s historic Triple Crown triumph. The majority of the horse racing fans who bet on American Pharoah to win at the Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack simply walked away without cashing in their tickets, ESPN.com reported on Monday. American Pharoah roared to victory in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, snapping a 37-year drought by becoming the first horse to sweep the Triple Crown since Affirmed. Belmont Park sold 94,128 US$2 win tickets, but after the bay colt — who is owned by Egyptian Ahmed Zayat — won, 90,237 of those tickets were not claimed. The winning tickets are worth US$3.50. Some of the tickets have appeared on eBay, where they have been selling for the most part between US$20 and US$30. Zayat on Sunday said the three-year-old Triple Crown winner would continue to race until the end of the year.
Woman hit by bat improving
The condition of a woman hit by a broken bat at Boston’s Fenway Park has been upgraded to fair. The family of Tonya Carpenter issued a statement on Monday that said: “Tonya is responsive, and her condition has been upgraded from serious to fair.” Carpenter, 44, of Paxton, Massachusetts, suffered what police initially said were life-threatening injuries during Friday night’s game between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics. She was struck on the head in the second inning when the bat of Oakland’s Brett Lawrie broke and sailed into the seats along the third-base line when he hit a ground ball. She was being treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where her condition was listed as serious on Saturday and Sunday. The Red Sox on Monday said her well-being is “forefront in our minds.” The team said Major League Baseball would re-examine fan safety and that it would “fully participate.”
Vandeweghe defeats Mitu
Coco Vandeweghe started the defense of her Topshelf Open title with a 7-6 (1), 6-1 win over Andreea Mitu on Monday as the season shifted to grass. The third-seeded Vandeweghe, who won her sole career title in the Netherlands last year, trailed 4-1 in the first set before she found her range. She saved four of the five break points she faced and fired nine aces. Mitu, who made it to the fourth round at the French Open, was overwhelmed in the tiebreak and dropped her serve twice in the second set. Fifth-seeded Camila Giorgi also progressed to the second round with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Irina Falconi. In men’s play, Robin Haase defeated Blaz Kavcic 6-2, 7-5 and Gilles Muller beat Marsel Ilhan 6-0, 7-5.
Kohlschreiber to proceed
Sixth-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-3 on Monday to ease into the second round of the Mercedes Cup. It was the only completed match of the day, as heavy rain delayed start of play for several hours and the meeting between Viktor Troicki and Borna Coric was postponed until yesterday. The tournament is being played on grass for the first time and is a build-up for Wimbledon. Rafael Nadal is top-seeded in the event, which also features Feliciano Lopez, Gael Monfils and Marin Cilic. They all had a bye into the second round.
Knapp and Tomljanovic exit
Seeded players Karin Knapp and Ajla Tomljanovic lost in the first round of the Nottingham Open on Monday as top-level women’s tennis returned to the central England grass-court venue for the first time in 42 years. The fourth-seeded Knapp lost 6-4, 6-2 to Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium and Tomljanovic, the No. 8 seed from Croatia, was beaten 4-6, 7-6 (1), 7-5 by Lauren Davis of the US. Other winners before rain arrived late in the afternoon were Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Bojana Jovanovski and Ana Konjuh. When play resumed, fifth-seeded Alison Riske of the US completed a 6-3, 6-4 win over China’s Saisai Zheng. No. 13 Agnieszka Radwanska is the only member of the world’s top 20 playing in the Wimbledon warm-up tournament and is looking to rebound from a first-round loss at the French Open. The Polish player was to begin her campaign yesterday when the first round was scheduled to be completed. Billie Jean King won the title the last time the Nottingham Open was staged on the main tour, in 1973.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
DISSENT: The US track and field body joined sports officials in Norway and Brazil, as well as Indian athletes, in calling on the IOC to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 organizers have started drafting possible alternatives to holding the Olympics this summer, two sources familiar with the talks said, in contrast to the Japanese government’s stance that postponement is not an option. While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted sports events around the world, Japan has been steadfast in saying that the Games would go on. A Japanese government spokesman on Wednesday said that Tokyo was not preparing for postponement. “Finally, we have been asked to make a simulation in case of a postponement,” said one of the sources, an official close to the organizing committee who is involved in drafting the
EXPENDITURE: Tokyo Games organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said that ‘additional expenses are going to be quite massive’ to reschedule the Olympics The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with sports bodies to arrange a July-to-August window next year for the postponed Tokyo Olympics and hopes to confirm the schedule within a month, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday. John Coates, head of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics, told the newspaper that the Games would have to be held between the tennis Grand Slams of Wimbledon, scheduled to end in mid-July, and the US Open, which starts in late August. “We want to more or less finalize the dates in four weeks’ time,” the newspaper quoted Coates as saying. Coates, who is also
PROUD, BUT BOWING OUT: The Dallas center missed all of 2018 due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, but Travis Frederick returned to be a standout again last season Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick on Monday stunningly announced his retirement. Frederick, who turned 29 on Wednesday last week, was a Pro Bowl selection in five of his six NFL seasons. Frederick revealed his retirement in a lengthy letter, beginning it by writing: “After much consideration, discussion, and reflection, I have decided to retire from football. This was not an easy decision.” Frederick cited his bout with autoimmune disease Guillain-Barre syndrome as a factor. He missed the 2018 season due to the illness in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system, but he returned to be a standout again last