Ko, Park to play skins match
World No. 1 Ko Jin-young is to take on No. 3 Park Sung-hyun in a skins match on May 24, with the two South Korean golfers set to donate their winnings to charity, Yonhap news agency reported yesterday. The match at the Sky 72 Golf & Resort in Incheon, South Korea, is to have a 100 million won (US$81,645) prize, although the event would be held without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re hoping everybody will overcome the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible and return to normal life,” the players said in a statement. “With that in mind, we’ll try to play the best golf we can in support.” In the skins format, values are placed on each hole, with a player having to win the hole outright to pocket the money. Tied holes see the money carried over to the next hole.
No more post protector tries
Tries can no longer be scored by grounding the ball against the post protector, World Rugby announced on Tuesday. The rule change, effective immediately, was approved by the global governing body’s council on Tuesday. World Rugby, explaining the amendment to law eight, said that with defending players currently obliged to stay behind the goal line, and post protector shape and size increasing for welfare reasons, it was increasingly difficult for teams to legally defend the area. It also pointed to “extreme cases” in which the padding had been lifted or moved by defending teams to make it harder for their opponents to score tries, thereby exposing players to an increased risk of injury. From now on the post protector would no longer be considered an extension of the goal line. “World Rugby’s mission is to make the game as simple, safe and enjoyable to play as possible,” World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said. “This law amendment reflects that mission. By stipulating that an attacking team can no longer score against the post protector and therefore must ground the ball in-goal, this gives defending teams a fair chance of preventing a try from being scored.”
Sumo wrestler dies of virus
A 28-year-old sumo wrestler infected with the novel coronavirus has died, becoming the first sumo wrestler to die from COVID-19, the Japan Sumo Association announced yesterday. Wrestler Shobushi, whose real name is Kiyotaka Suetake, was hospitalized last month and died yesterday in a Tokyo hospital due to multiple organ failure related to the coronavirus, Japan Broadcasting Corp said. Shobushi made his professional debut in 2007 out of the Takadagawa stable and his best career ranking was No. 11 in sandanme, the fourth-highest division. Last month, the association announced that five wrestlers at the Takadagawa stable had tested positive for the virus. It is not clear whether the other wrestlers have recovered. Last week, the association announced that the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament, scheduled for May 24 to June 7 at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, had been canceled due to the pandemic. The Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka, Japan, was held behind closed doors in March, but the association decided that was not possible for this month’s tournament after the government extended a nationwide state of emergency until at least the end of the month.
A sudden shortage of locks in Australian rugby union has opened the door for Matt Philip to reclaim his Wallabies jersey, but the Melbourne Rebels player says that the uncertainties wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have left him with a difficult choice. The Australian yesterday named Philip among 16 Rebels players either set to leave the Super Rugby club or seriously considering it, underscoring the challenge Rugby Australia faces to retain talent. Linked with a move to Section Paloise Bearn Pyrenees, commonly referred to as Pau, in France’s Top 14, Philip said that he had yet to settle his playing future, and
When Chinese Super League club Tianjin Tianhai surprisingly thrashed Rafael Benitez’s Dalian Yifang 5-1 to stay in the league in November last year, disgruntled fans were quick to allege corruption — the legacy of a murky past that exploded into scandal 10 years ago. Benitez, who led Liverpool to the 2005 UEFA Champions League title, was perplexed by one of the heaviest defeats of his coaching career, saying: “This is a game that I don’t quite understand.” Despite fan complaints to the Chinese Football Association (CFA), no case was brought and there is no evidence of wrongdoing. However, the haste with which some
Georgian tennis star Nikoloz Basilashvili, ranked 27th in the world, was on Sunday charged with physically assaulting his ex-wife, prosecutors said. A court in Tbilisi charged Basilashvili with perpetrating “violence against a family member committed in the presence of a minor,” before releasing him on US$30,000 bail, prosecutor Natia Guruli said. He faces up to three years in prison if found guilty. Basilashvili’s ex-wife, Neka Dorokashvili, on Sunday told Mtavari TV that Basilashvili “physically assaulted” her on Friday in the presence of their five-year-old son. Basilashvili denied the charges, his lawyer Irma Chkadua said. The 28-year-old won his second ATP Tour title at the China
As professional soccer returned to Denmark, fans used Zoom to be part of the action. Thousands of Danish soccer fans on Thursday logged on to the conferencing software and were transported to Ceres Park for a league match between AGF and Randers that heralded the resumption of the nation’s pandemic-affected soccer season. While the stadium itself was without fans, the faces of thousands of supporters who joined the Zoom call were shown on giant screens that ran along one side of the pitch. Families wearing club shirts and scarves cheered inside their living rooms. Some were seen clenching their fists in joy after