Malaysian ace quits team
Malaysian ace Lee Zii Jia, ranked seventh in the world, has quit his country’s national team to play as an independent, reports said yesterday. Lee has been held up as the heir to Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei, rising rapidly up the rankings and scoring a breakthrough victory at the prestigious All England Open last year. After weeks of speculation, Badminton Association of Malaysia president Norza Zakaria confirmed that Lee Zii Jia had quit the body earlier this month. It was not clear why Lee cut ties with the body, and there was no immediate comment from the player, but he could face sanctions. World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark voiced support for Lee’s decision. “If a player ... feels it’s best for him to follow another path where he is more independent as a player, then that is what he should do,” the Olympic gold medalist wrote on Twitter. “It’s his career and his life after all.”
University to pay US$490m
The University of Michigan has agreed to a US$490 million settlement with hundreds of students and athletes sexually abused by a long-time university doctor, the school and attorneys announced on Wednesday. “We hope this settlement will begin the healing process for survivors,” Jordan Acker, chair of the University of Michigan Board of Regents, said in a statement. Richard Anderson, who worked at the Ann Arbor-based university as a doctor from 1966 to 2003, is accused of sexually abusing hundreds of male students and athletes. Anderson died in 2008. The university said that US$460 million would be distributed to 1,050 victims of Anderson who have come forward and US$30 million would be set aside for future claimants. A 240-page report by the WilmerHale law firm released last year found that “Anderson engaged in sexual misconduct with patients on countless occasions.”
France nears veil ban
The French Senate late on Tuesday voted in favor of banning the wearing of headscarves in sports competitions, arguing that neutrality is a requirement on the field of play. The French upper legislative house voted in favor of amending a proposed law stipulating that the wearing “of conspicuous religious symbols is prohibited” to take part in events and competitions organized by sports federations. In their text, senators said that headscarves can put at risk the safety of athletes wearing them. The amendment proposed by right-wing group Les Republicains and opposed by the French government was adopted in a 160-143 vote. A commission is to review the text before it is published, meaning the amendment can still be erased. It is unclear whether the ban would be implemented for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Embiid scores 50, Jokic 49
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic lit up the NBA on Wednesday, underscoring their Most Valuable Player credentials in leading their teams to victory. Embiid matched his career high with 50 points in a display of ruthless efficiency that fueled the 76ers’ 123-110 victory over the Orlando Magic. Jokic scored 49 points in a triple-double that also featured 14 rebounds and 10 assists, powering the Nuggets to a 130-128 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Politicians are meant to kiss babies, not crash into children, but on the campaign trail yesterday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison barrelled into a young boy during a friendly kickaround, eliciting a chorus of stunned “ooohs” and “aaaws” from spectators. Morrison was playing five-a-side soccer in northern Tasmania, where he is trawling for votes ahead of Saturday’s election. At first, Morrison — shorn of his jacket, but still sporting a shirt and tie — sauntered around the field somewhat aimlessly, trying to get a toe on the ball here and there as it ping-ponged from boy to boy. However, then the 54-year-old stepped
Being shot in both eyes and completely blinded did not stop Zion Ricks-Gaines from skateboarding. It made him want to do it even more. “I still want to go pro, I still want to accomplish being a professional skateboarder,” the 19-year-old said as he readied a kickflip at a skate park in San Francisco. He wants to share that enthusiasm with everyone he meets. “I want to start more skate after-school programs for students. I feel like I wouldn’t have really looked in that direction if I had my sight,” he said. Ricks-Gaines’ life was derailed outside a bar late last year when a
Taiwan’s Chuang Chih-yuan on Sunday clinched the men’s singles title at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Feeder Westchester tournament in New York state after defeating Benedikt Duda of Germany in the final. Chuang, 41, known as Taiwan’s “godfather of table tennis,” edged out 25-year-old Duda 3-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7 in 55 minutes, 54 seconds at the Westchester Table Tennis Center. The win was Chuang’s first men’s singles title since he won the International Table Tennis Federation World Tour Hungarian Open in Budapest in 2016. It was his second title in Westchester following a victory in the mixed doubles final with
TATUM STEPS UP: The Boston Celtics forced Game 7 against the Milwaukee Bucks, with Jayson Tatum outdueling Giannis Antetokounmpo with the season on the line The Golden State Warriors on Friday grabbed 70 rebounds on the way to eliminating the Memphis Grizzlies 110-86 to advances to face either the Phoenix Suns or the Dallas Mavericks in a best-of-seven battle for the West. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are cherishing this playoff run a little more given that they spent the past two years watching the post-season instead of in their familiar position of chasing championships. Now, with those experienced faces and a cast of new stars, the Warriors are headed to another Western Conference Finals and need just four more wins to give themselves a