Oceania teams to play
Rugby sevens powers New Zealand, Fiji and Australia are to clash in an Olympic warmup tournament in Townsville, Australia, from June 25 to 27, Oceania Rugby said yesterday. The men’s and women’s sides from each of the southern hemisphere nations are to compete in four-team tournaments along with an invitational Oceania Barbarians team. The Australian government is supporting the travel costs for Fiji’s national teams. “The impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt in all sports across the Oceania region and without this targeted support, we would not have been able to provide this much needed international competition,” Oceania Rugby president Richard Sapias said in a statement.
France defeat Wales
Karim Benzema on Wednesday missed a penalty and hit the post on his international return as France warmed up for the Euro 2020 with a 3-0 home win against Wales. Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele grabbed the goals. “I felt a lot of pride, I wanted to play and to show it. That’s what I did tonight,” Benzema said. “I had very good feelings out there. It’s been a difficult season with a lot of matches, but I felt good all game.” In other friendlies elsewhere, Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller made their returns for Germany, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Denmark, while the Netherlands scored an 89th-minute equalizer through Memphis Depay to draw 2-2 with Scotland.
Jeers mar knee gesture
England and Austria players on Wednesday took a knee before their Euro 2020 warmup match at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough, England, but it was met with a mixture of loud boos and applause. It was the first time an England side have made the anti-racism gesture in front of a home crowd. “I did hear it,” Southgate said of the jeers. “It’s not something on behalf of our black players that I wanted to hear, because it feels as though it’s a criticism of them. I think we have got a situation where some people think it’s a political stand that they don’t agree with. That’s not the reason we are doing it. We are supporting each other.” Bukayo Saka scored his first international goal to earn the win for England.
Dodgers score 11 in first
Cody Bellinger on Wednesday had a grand slam and six RBIs as the Dodgers scored 11 times in the bottom of the first — the most runs they have scored in one inning of a regular-season game since moving to Los Angeles — during a 14-3 blowout over the St Louis Cardinals. After Paul Goldschmidt homered to put St Louis ahead 1-0, Bellinger’s two-run single gave them a 3-1 lead. Later in the inning, he hit his sixth career slam, as his drive off Jake Woodford’s fastball just cleared the wall and Justin Williams’ glove in right field. In other games, the Athletics beat the Mariners 6-0, the Cubs beat the Padres 6-1, the Mets downed the Diamondbacks 7-6, the Orioles defeated the Twins 6-3, the Yankees topped the Rays 4-3, the Nationals overcame the Braves 5-3, the Blue Jays edged the Marlins 6-5, the Astros beat the Red Sox 2-1 and the Rockies won 6-3 over the Rangers.
Kanako Murata seemed destined to represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics as a freestyle wrestler, but that all changed when she saw MMA icon Ronda Rousey fight. “It was then that I knew what I wanted to do and I have never regretted it for a moment since,” said Murata, now a rising star with the Las Vegas-based UFC. First inspired by Japan’s Olympic wrestling queen Saori Yoshida, Murata had by her early 20s emerged as a junior world freestyle wrestling champion. Then came the night in 2015 that Murata saw the explosive American former UFC bantamweight champion Rousey in action, and
LACKING HEIGHT: With Indonesia hosting a qualifying tournament for the third-placed teams before the Asia Cup begins, Taiwan have one more opportunity to get a berth The Taiwan men’s national basketball team on Sunday lost to China 91-73, making it more difficult for the squad to qualify for the FIBA Asia Cup. The defeat at the Angeles University Foundation Gym in Pampanga Province, Philippines, followed Taiwan’s losses to China (115-66) on Thursday and Japan (98-61) on Friday. This third and final window of the qualifiers was held in a “competition bubble” to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With the loss, Taiwan (1-4) finished third in Group B, which included China, Japan and Malaysia. Third place does not automatically give them a berth in the Asia Cup, which is scheduled
‘A LITTLE EUPHORIA’: Germany managed to turn things around before halftime, to stave off a defeat that would have left them at the brink of elimination in Group F Germany on Saturday breathed life into their Euro 2020 campaign with a stunning 4-2 win over holders Portugal in Munich, despite Cristiano Ronaldo moving closer to the all-time international goals record, after world champions France were forced to settle for a draw with Hungary. Saturday also saw Spain stumble to a 1-1 draw with Poland in Seville, as the second round of group games at the tournament drew to a close. Germany knew a defeat against Portugal at the Allianz Arena would leave them on the brink of being eliminated from Group F, following their failure to make it beyond the group
Whether watching from Jamaica, Japan or the US, it was hard to miss the shock of flowing, orange hair that came streaking across the finish line first in Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday night. It belonged to Sha’Carri Richardson. After the eye-opening show she put on at the US Olympic trials — blowing away the field in the 100m semi-finals in a wind-aided 10.64 seconds, then again in the final in 10.86 seconds — she figures to grab her fair share of attention next month in Tokyo. With her performance, the 21-year-old out of Louisiana State University picked up a spot in the