Kevin Durant injured
Kevin Durant on Wednesday slipped on the floor during pre-game warmups and was ruled out of the Phoenix Suns’ NBA game against the Oklahoma City Thunder because of left ankle soreness. The game was supposed to be Durant’s home debut with his new team. He has played in three games since being traded to the Suns, but all were on the road. “We’ll get more testing done tomorrow,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “Right now, it’s just an ankle sprain and we don’t have anything official to report.” Video showed Durant driving to the basket during warmups when he rolled his left ankle as he jumped. He immediately hopped up and continued his work, but the Suns later said that he would miss the game. Torrey Craig started in Durant’s place and the Suns rolled to a 132-101 victory. Wednesday’s other results were: Pelicans 113, Mavericks 106; Wizards 120, Hawks 122; Clippers 108, Raptors 100; Celtics 115, Trail Blazers 93; Nuggets 96, Bulls 117; and Heat 100, Cavaliers 104.
An Indonesian court yesterday sentenced a match official to one-and-a-half years in prison after finding him guilty of negligence over one of the world’s deadliest stadium stampedes. The derby match in Malang, East Java, in October last year between Arema and Persebaya Surabaya ended in chaos with 135 spectators killed, many crushed as they fled for exits after police fired tear gas into the crowd. The match official, Abdul Haris, was found guilty “due to his negligence causing people to die,” the judge at the court in Surabaya said. Another match official was to hear his verdict later yesterday. Three police officers are also charged with the same offenses.
Pregnancy support praised
Chelsea midfielder Melanie Leupolz has nothing but praise for her club after the support they provided during her pregnancy, including hiring specialists for training. Players in the English Women’s Super League receive maternity cover as part of an agreement between the Football Association and Professional Footballers Association that came into effect this season. When Leupolz announced her pregnancy early last year, the deal was not effective, but the German international is grateful for the support she received from Chelsea and coach Emma Hayes. “Chelsea were doing much more than they had to do and that’s why I’m really thankful,” Leupolz told Sky Sports. “Emma has a child herself and she knows what’s important. We had a catch-up every two weeks, talked about my training program, what I was doing in Germany and after birth, how I can get back to my strength and fitness,” she said. “Other clubs should take Chelsea as an idol and ask questions about how we did it because, in my experience, they were super.” Hayes urged Women’s Super League clubs to offer more support to players who are mothers. “If a player tears an ACL, you do everything possible to get them back on the pitch in nine to 12 months,” Hayes said. “We should be exactly the same with a woman that has a baby, but we don’t. I think we have to ask ourselves more seriously why that is.” Leupolz, 28, signed a contract extension in January, something the player says gave her peace of mind, as Chelsea had offered her the deal months earlier while she was recovering in Germany.
TROUNCED: Taiwan beat Palestine in six innnings on day three of the Asia Baseball Championship, while it took just five innings for Japan to defeat Thailand Taiwan yesterday beat Palestine 19-0 at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium on the third day of the Asian Baseball Championship. The Group A game was over in six innings after a 6:03pm start. Taiwan went on the offensive from the first inning, scoring three runs, but the real damage was done in the third inning, when they scored seven. The Palestine players are all studying or working in the US. In another duel between two unevenly matched teams, Japan thrashed Thailand 16-0 in their late Group B game at the Taipei Dome. They won in five innings thanks to the mercy rule, which states
CUP READY: Although Taiwan lost, they qualified, along with Japan and South Korea, for next year’s U-23 World Baseball Cup, which is to be held in China for the first time Japan yesterday edged Taiwan 1-0 to win the Asian Baseball Championship at Taipei Dome, despite star pitcher Hsu Jo-hsi giving up just four hits in six innings. Unlike their showdown in the 2019 tournament when Taiwan pipped Japan 5-4, this time the teams battled for every hit, with the Wei Chuan Dragons’ Hsu striking out eight batters, giving up just one run off four hits. That was all world No. 1 Japan needed for the title, and after outlasting Taiwan for a 1-0 victory in 10 innings in the Super Round on Friday, they finished the tournament unbeaten. Yesterday’s first two innings flew
NATIONS LEAGUE: England crushed Scotland 6-0, but their Olympic hopes were ruined when the Netherlands beat them on goal difference with a 4-0 win against Belgium Germany and the Netherlands on Tuesday booked their places at the UEFA Women’s Nations League finals , where they are also to fight for spots at next year’s Paris Games, but there was heartbreak for England whose hopes of competing in the Olympics were dashed, despite beating Scotland 6-0. Germany drew 0-0 in Wales, but secured their passage thanks to Iceland’s 1-0 win over Denmark. The Netherlands needed a 95th-minute goal from Damaris Egurrola to see them to a 4-0 win over Belgium which meant they edged England on goal difference in Group A1 after the FIFA Women’s World Cup runners-up hammered
Now that Shohei Ohtani has his money — a record US$700 million, 10-year contact with the Los Angeles Dodgers — some fans in Japan are waiting for one more thing to complete the deal. “I want Ohtani to play in the World Series,” said Isshin Watanabe, a baseball fan speaking yesterday near Tokyo’s famous Ginza shopping area. “That’s my hope,” he added. Baseball fans across Tokyo yesterday lined to buy special editions of the Yomiuri Shimbun, announcing Ohtani’s move across town from the Los Angeles Angels to the Dodgers. This is perhaps the largest contract in sports history, topping highs believed to be set