Naomi Osaka pregnant
Naomi Osaka is pregnant and plans to return to competition next year, the Japanese player said on Wednesday. The former world No. 1 posted what she called “a little life update for 2023” on social media, including a picture of an ultrasound. The 25-year-old Osaka has been dating Cordae, a rapper, for years. “I know that I have so much to look forward to in the future, one thing I’m looking forward to is for my kid to watch one of my matches and tell someone: ‘That’s my mom,’” Osaka wrote.
Bayern in ’keeper hunt
Bayern Munich want to sign a goalkeeper following an injury to Germany captain Manuel Neuer, but the options on the transfer market in the winter period are limited, manager Julian Nagelsmann said yesterday. Speaking in Doha at the end of a one-week training camp ahead of the Bundesliga season restart next week, Nagelsmann said that, while 34-year-old Sven Ulreich was ready to step in to replace Neuer, the club still needed another ’keeper. “Our job is to look at the market, although it’s difficult in the winter [transfer window] to find goalkeepers, as there are not that many options on the market that make sense for us,” Nagelsmann told a news conference. “It is a complex market, the one for goalkeepers. We are trying to do something. Ulreich has done it well in training here, but we are obliged to bring in another ’keeper, irrespective of who is No. 1 and 2.” Neuer was ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on a broken bone following a skiing accident.
Hyundai sign Abiteboul
Hyundai yesterday named former Caterham and Renault Formula One boss Cyril Abiteboul as the new principal of their World Rally Championship (WRC) team. The 45-year-old Frenchman left Renault in January 2021 after being in charge of the team since 2017, when they rebranded as Alpine. “Cyril’s experience in Formula One will help us to explore new opportunities for growth and improvements as we look to mount a more intensive fight for titles in WRC and to support our customer racing teams,” Hyundai Motorsport president Sean Kim said in a statement.
Kenyan driver charged
Kenyan prosecutors yesterday said that rally driver Maxine Wahome was facing a murder charge following the death of her boyfriend and fellow rally driver Asad Khan. Wahome, 26, is accused of attacking her 50-year-old boyfriend at their apartment in the capital, Nairobi, last month. Khan succumbed to injuries on his right ankle after a week in hospital. Senior magistrate Bernard Ochoi yesterday said that the case had evolved from the previous count of assault to murder. “The state is required to conduct investigations on the new matter and since we’ve yet to receive the report from the scene of crime, we will grant 14 more days to complete the investigation,” Ochoi said. Wahome, who won acclaim when she became the first Kenyan woman to win the third-tier WRC Safari Rally in June last year, has denied any wrongdoing. The court in Nairobi on Dec. 14 granted her bail of 100,000 Kenyan shillings (US$807). Ochoi yesterday directed Wahome to continue reporting to investigators each week until the court makes a ruling.
Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying on Saturday crashed out of the BWF All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham, with South Korea’s Se Young-an denying the world No. 3 Tai a chance at a fourth All England title. In a replay of their semi-final showdown last year, the world No. 2 Se again beat Tai, saving four match points in a thrilling deciding game to prevail 17-21, 21-19, 24-22. Tai won the women’s singles title in Birmingham in 2017, 2018 and 2020. In the three times the two superstars faced each other prior to Saturday, Tai, 22, had only come out on top once, when
California-born Lars Nootbaar had never played for Japan before the World Baseball Classic, but he has become so popular in his adopted country that sales of pepper mills have shot up in tribute to his trademark celebration. The 25-year-old outfielder — the first player born outside Japan to represent the country at the tournament — mimics twisting a pepper mill after each hit to show he wants to “grind out” a win for his team. The celebration has become a smash hit during Japan’s games in Tokyo, with Nootbaar’s teammates jumping on the bandwagon and fans bringing pepper grinders to the stadium. Nootbaar
When Taiwan lost to Cuba 7-1 at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) on Sunday, it was an opportunity missed. A win would have sent the team to the quarter-finals in Tokyo. Instead, the loss gave Taiwan a 2-2 record, the same as the other four teams in Pool A, but they finished last because of tiebreakers. So, was the team’s performance a success or a failure? The 2-2 record would suggest somewhere in between, but two baseball experts, National Taiwan Sport University (NTSU) associate professor Kung Jung-tang and veteran commentator Tseng Wen-cheng, gave Taiwan’s WBC performance a resounding thumbs-up. “The team’s offensive showing was
LAST ONE STANDING: The world No. 3 was the only Taiwanese left in the tournament, while there were upsets in the men’s singles and the women’s doubles Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying on Thursday defeated Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-19, 21-12 to reach the quarter-finals of the BWF All England Open in Birmingham. Tai, the world No. 3, needed only 40 minutes to close out the round-of-16 matchup at the Utilita Arena. In the opening game, the Taiwanese shuttler established an early 10-5 cushion, before an aggressive Ongbamrungphan fought her way back into the tie, winning nine straight points to take a 10-14 lead. The pair traded the lead to bring the scores to 18-19, but Tai held her nerve to close out the first game. After a 2-2 tie early in