All Black Carter wins award
New Zealand legend Dan Carter has won the Rugby Union Writers’ Club Pat Marshall Memorial Award as the sport’s Personality of the Year for last year. Carter was awarded the prize at the club’s annual dinner in London on Monday and follows in the footsteps of previous winners such as Jonah Lomu and Jonny Wilkinson. The 33-year-old flyhalf has amassed 112 caps during a 12-year Test career that reached its pinnacle with victory over Australia in last year’s Rugby World Cup final. He was subsequently named World Player of the Year for an unprecedented third time. “There are some amazing names on this trophy, so to have my name alongside these legends is very humbling,” said Carter, who is the fifth All Black to win the award.
Newcastle sign Saivet
Newcastle United have signed midfielder Henri Saivet from Girondins de Bordeaux on a five-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee. The 25-year-old Saivet made 178 appearances for the Ligue 1 club in all competitions, scoring 23 goals during his stay in Bordeaux. He was part of the side that won the French league title in 2009. “I am really proud to be able to play for this club and I am really excited at the challenge that lies ahead,” Saivet said. Newcastle manager Steve McClaren told the club’s official Web site that he was delighted with the deal for the midfielder, who becomes the club’s first signing since this month’s transfer window opened. “Henri is someone the club have been watching for a while and he has developed into an excellent player at Bordeaux,” McClaren said.
Cherries re-sign Grabban
AFC Bournemouth brought Lewis Grabban back to Dean Court on Monday after signing the striker from Norwich City for an undisclosed fee. Grabban scored 35 goals during his first two-year stay with the Cherries and has agreed to a three-and-a-half-year contract to return to the English Premier League club. The 27-year-old’s arrival, reported to have cost ￡8 million (US$11.6 million), is a further boost to Bournemouth’s attacking options, with coach Eddie Howe having signed young forward Benik Afobe from Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday. Grabban helped Norwich win promotion to the Premier League last season, but was unable to hold down a regular place in Alex Neil’s lineup this term. “I think we will be getting a better Lewis Grabban, but he will realize that we have got better as well and he will have to adapt, too.” Howe told Bournemouth’s Web site.
Fantasy sites given go-ahead
New York state Supreme Court on Monday allowed two fantasy sports Web sites to remain in operation while a legal battle plays out over whether they are illegal gambling enterprises or games of skill. In a similar move in December last year, a New York appeals court suspended an order that would have forced the DraftKings and FanDuel Web sites to cease operations, but that suspension was only temporary. New York state officials are seeking to shut down the sites, claiming they are in fact gambling operations illegal under state law. However, the companies say they are games of skill rather than gambling enterprises. The state of Nevada has already shut down their operations following a similar investigation and Illinois has declared them illegal. Fantasy sport sites that allow betting are already illegal in five other states.
Fickle winds produced farcical scenes yesterday on day two of the America’s Cup challenger series in Auckland, as the so-called “flying” yachts spent almost as much time in the water as above it. “I’m not sure today is a really accurate read because it’s so puffy, it’s shifty,” British sailing legend Ben Ainslie said after his Ineos Team UK maintained their perfect start to the Prada Cup series with a third straight win. The series would determine which of the 23m yachts — which fly above the water balanced on hi-tech foil arms — would challenge defending champion Team New Zealand for
VIRUS RISK: India’s Saina Nehwal tested positive for COVID-19 at the Yonex Thailand Open, while three other players were being retested after receiving conflicting results Taiwanese badminton star Tai Tzu-ying yesterday returned to international competition after an eight-month break with a victory at the Yonex Thailand Open in Bangkok. Twenty-six-year-old Tai, 26, the top-seeded player at the tournament, met 18-year-old Thai player Benyapa Aimsaard in the opening round and narrowly won 21-18, 26-24. Her previous tournament was the Yonex All England Open in March last year, where she won the women’s singles title, before the BWF World Tour was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Benyapa was a last-minute replacement after another Thai player pulled out of the event. It was a rollercoaster match for Tai.
NO FAIRY TALE: Non-league Marine tried to bridge the biggest gap between opponents in FA Cup history, but the part-timers fell to a 5-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur Leeds United on Sunday suffered a humiliating FA Cup exit against Crawley Town as the League Two side swept to a stunning 3-0 win, while eighth-tier Marine’s hopes of causing the competition’s greatest shock were crushed in a 5-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur. After the spiking COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc with matches across the third round on Friday and Saturday, the FA Cup was back on more familiar ground on Sunday as Leeds became the competition’s latest big name to be knocked out by feisty underdogs. While Marine’s romantic adventure was cut short by a Carlos Vinicius hat-trick, and Chelsea and Manchester
DOUBLES VICTORY: The men’s doubles pairing of Taiwanese Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin downed Malaysians Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, and face South Koreans today Men’s badminton world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen yesterday marched into the semi-finals of the Thailand Open, defeating younger opponent Lee Zii-jia 21-17, 21-15 after a rally, while Tai Tzu-ying had no trouble getting past her Canadian opponent in the women’s singles. The top male Taiwanese credited calm and focus in securing his win after briefly falling behind against his 22-year-old Malaysian opponent. “I think I had more patience against him and I won most of the long rallies,” the 31-year-old Chou said of Lee. “He wanted to attack [too much] and maybe he lost some focus,” Chou said. In today’s semi-finals, second-seeded Chou faces