Jan Bakelants recovering
Belgian rider Jan Bakelants is on the road to recovery following spinal surgery after suffering multiple fractures to his vertebrae in a horrific fall at the Giro di Lombardia this month. The 31-year-old, who rides for AG2R La Mondiale and is a former Tour de France stage winner, was one of several riders who crashed into a ravine during the tricky descent from the Sormano climb in northern Italy. Apart from the fractured vertebrae, Bakelants also broke seven ribs. After initial treatment in Italy, he was transported to a hospital in Belgium, where he has continued his recovery.
Romulo leads Verona to win
Romulo on Monday fired Hellas Verona to their first success of the Serie A campaign with a 1-0 win over 10-man Benevento. Luca Antei was shown a straight red card in the first half after a rough challenge on Mattia Valoti, and after missing a string of chances Brazilian fullback Romulo volleyed in on 74 minutes. Verona moved out of the relegation zone with their first maximum three points of the season giving them a total of six. Benevento remain stuck to the bottom of the table with eight defeats in as many games and 19 goals conceded.
Celta rout Las Palmas 5-2
Iago Aspas on Monday got his first goals of the season in a hat-trick in RC Celta de Vigo’s 5-2 win over struggling UD Las Palmas in La Liga. After eight matches without a goal for club or country, the Spain international found the net once in the first half and twice in the second as Celta thrashed the home side, despite playing a man down from the 52nd minute. Emre Mor and Pablo Hernandez also scored for Celta at the Estadio Gran Canaria. Las Palmas got on the board through substitutes Vitolo and Loic Remy in second-half injury time. Celta goalkeeper Ruben Blanco was sent off with a straight red card for a committing a foul outside the area while trying to stop a breakaway. It was the fourth consecutive loss for Las Palmas, who dropped to the relegation zone with the result. Celta, who moved to 10th place, dedicated the victory to those affected by wildfires in the Spanish northwest region of Galicia, where the club is based.
Ervin kneels for US anthem
Olympic 50m freestyle champion Anthony Ervin has joined the ranks of athletes protesting during the US national anthem by kneeling for a rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner at a swim meet in Brazil. Ervin, 36, who became the oldest man to win an individual Olympic swimming gold with victory in Rio last year, took a knee during the Raia Rapida gala. The veteran US star staged his protest after anchoring the US in the mixed 200m medley relay on Sunday, swimming news Web site SwimSwam reported. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first athlete to kneel for the anthem in a series of protests last year to draw attention to racial injustice. A fresh wave of protests in the NFL erupted last month after US President Donald Trump derided protesting players as “sons of bitches” who should be fired. Ervin, whose father is a black Vietnam War veteran, appeared to allude to his protest in a post on Twitter on Monday. “My point is to save lives, and understand the imbalance. We all have our area. I’m a swimmer,” Ervin said.
Lia Thomas has made a splash in US collegiate women’s swimming with her dominant performances for the University of Pennsylvania, but just a few years ago, she competed on the men’s team. The 22-year-old’s runaway success in the pool this season has reignited debate about inclusivity in sports and the competition requirements for transgender athletes. Thomas’ case has already prompted the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to amend its policies, and USA Swimming, which governs the sport at the elite level, is considering changes as well. In one of only a few interviews given since the controversy ignited, Thomas said she realized she
Australian Open organizers yesterday said that the safety of Peng Shuai remains their “primary concern” even as security officials at the Grand Slam forced fans to remove T-shirts referring to the Chinese former doubles No. 1. Drew Pavlou of Brisbane posted a video on Twitter showing Max Mok, a pro-democracy campaigner from Hong Kong who announced his intention to contest the Melbourne marginal seat of Chisholm in this year’s federal election, and a fellow spectator speaking with a member of Tennis Australia security who confiscated a banner and asked them to remove their T-shirts, which featured a photo of Peng on
Japan’s Mai Mihara on Saturday put her bitterness at missing out on a spot in the Winter Olympics behind her by winning gold for the second time in the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, as the US enjoyed a one-two in the pairs event. Mihara’s fourth-place finish at the Japanese nationals ended her hopes of competing in a first Winter Games in Beijing, but she held her nerve in Tallinn to reclaim a title she won five years ago. In the pairs, Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov survived a fall in the free skate to win gold by an 8.16-point margin
DAY OF SHOCKS: British teen Raducanu, making her Melbourne debut, struggled against Kovinic, as third seed Muguruza and sixth seed Kontaveit also exited Daniil Medvedev yesterday tamed Nick Kyrgios to surge into the Australian Open third round and avoid joining Garbine Muguruza and Emma Raducanu on the list of high-profile casualties. Also out on a day of shocks was former world No. 1 Andy Murray, losing to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel in straight sets, as the Grand Slam roared into life on day four. Second seed Medvedev is the highest seed left in the men’s draw and the favorite after the deportation of reigning champion Novak Djokovic on the eve of the tournament. The 25-year-old Russian faced a stern test of his title credentials — and