Lin to rejoin Ducks
Jeremy Lin is to rejoin the Chinese Basketball Association’s (CBA) Beijing Ducks after a failed attempt to make an NBA comeback, the 32-year-old said yesterday. Lin became the first Asian-American to win an NBA championship while playing with the Toronto Raptors in 2019 and signed for Beijing as an unrestricted free agent that year. He made a tearful departure from China after the COVID-19 pandemic saw the CBA suspended for almost five months, but now says he will return. “Beijing Ducks, excited to be back this upcoming season!” Lin wrote on Instagram. Lin has said he still harbored “NBA dreams” and played earlier this year for a Golden State Warriors development team, but emerged at the end of the season without a contract. “I gave my ALL and hold my head high,” Lin wrote last month after he failed to meet the NBA callup deadline.
Australia advance with win
Australia became the fourth team in FIFA’s Asia region to advance to the third stage of World Cup qualifying after beating Nepal 3-0 on Friday. Goals from Mathew Leckie, Fran Karacic and Martin Boyle in Kuwait City earned Australia Group B honors and a seventh win out of seven matches. They joined Japan, South Korea and Syria in the next round, scheduled to start in September. “We came here to do a job and haven’t finished yet,” Australia coach Graham Arnold said. “We’ve played seven games, [secured] 21 points and we’re striving to finish this off with eight wins.” China kept alive their hopes of adding to their sole World Cup appearance in 2002 by beating the Maldives 5-0 in Sharjah, Iran thrashed Cambodia 10-0, Iraq defeated Hong Kong 1-0, Vietnam beat Malaysia 2-1, the United Arab Emirates downed Indonesia 5-0, Saudi Arabia defeated Singapore 3-0 and Uzbekistan beat Yemen 1-0.
Hedwall takes solo lead
Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall on Friday made history by becoming the first woman to hold the solo lead after a round of a European Tour event at the Scandinavian Mixed tournament. Austrian Christine Wolf had sat in a tie for the lead after the opening round, but Hedwall went one better on day 2. The 32-year-old made two eagles in a spectacular eight-under-par 64 in the second round in Gothenburg. Hedwall led by one shot on 13-under overall, ahead of Dutchman Joost Luiten.
Shakib smashes stumps
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has apologized after kicking over the stumps in a wild reaction to an umpire’s decision on Friday. In a Dhaka Premier League match, Mohammedan Sporting Club captain Shakib was bowling against Abahani Limited captain Mushfiqur Rahim, a fellow Bangladesh international. When Shakib’s appeal for LBW was denied by the umpire, he kicked at the stumps, uprooted them and threw them. He left the field because of a rain delay, but his side eventually won. “I am extremely sorry for losing my temper and ruining the match for everyone and especially those who are watching from home,” he wrote on Facebook after the match. “An experienced player like me should not have reacted that way, but sometimes against all odds it happens unfortunately.” Kazi Inam, the chairman of the body which runs the league, said that any disciplinary action would depend on the report of the umpires and match referee.
For Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin, there were no chances left: Either beat the world’s top-ranked men’s doubles badminton team from Indonesia for the first time or see their Olympic hopes dashed in the preliminary round. The world No. 3 Taiwanese duo answered the challenge, edging past Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in their final Group A match 21-18, 15-21, 21-17 to qualify for the final eight knockout round. “We finally made it,” Lee wrote on Facebook after beating the Indonesian duo. However, he said that the competition still had a long way to go. “We’re happy not only because
TWO AND TWO: Lin Chen-hao of Taiwan finished seventh in the women’s U-48kg category, winning two bouts before losses the quarter-finals and a repechage match Naohisa Takato yesterday won Japan’s first gold medal at their home Olympics, beating Taiwan’s Yang Yung-wei in the men’s under-60kg judo final. Yang’s second-place finish is Taiwan’s first medal in Tokyo and the nation’s first-ever medal in an Olympics judo competition. Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi beat Japan’s Funa Tonaki in the women’s under-48kg final less than an hour before Takato made sure that his team would not have a double heartbreak on the opening day of competition in its beloved homegrown martial art. Takato won his final three bouts in sudden-death golden score, but he took the final a bit anticlimactically after Yang committed
Taiwanese badminton player Tai Tzu-ying yesterday tried to coast through her second group match at the Olympic Games, but got a bit of a scare against a Vietnamese ranked 49th in the world before righting the ship and prevailing. World No. 1 Tai defeated Nguyen Thuy Linh 21-16, 21-11 in her second match in Group P, moving her one win away from a spot in the women’s singles quarter-finals. Playing somewhat nonchalantly at the start of the match, Tai could not shake off the consistent Vietnamese, making several unforced errors. Down 16-14 and in danger of letting the first game get away, Tai
CLOSE CALL: In what was almost an upset, Brian Yang kept Chou Tien-chen on his toes for more than an hour, but the world No. 3 managed to hold on for the win Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying yesterday reminded the world why she is No. 1 when she had France’s Qi Xuefei struggling to match up through their 25-minute encounter. Tai, who beat Qi 21-10, 21-13, had a rough start to the Tokyo Olympics, taking longer to fend off two hugely inferior opponents earlier in the Games. The 27-year-old has a history of slipping up at the Olympics, despite performing exceptionally in other competitions. Tai, who became world No. 1 in 2016, has won the All England Open title three times and was a gold medalist at the 2018 Asian Games. “This is the first time I