SPORTS DAY: Khune reckons Chiefs can win the league
Your roundup of the sporting highlights
‘Chiefs can win the league’
Kaizer Chiefs are in with a “big chance” of winning the Absa Premiership‚ captain Itumeleng Khune said on the day after leaders Mamelodi Sundowns dropped points against Free State Stars at home. Khune revealed that Chiefs have a points target they are aiming for come the season close on May 12. Sundowns getting held to a 1-1 draw by tough Stars at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday night left second-placed Chiefs neatly positioned just five points behind the Brazilians.
Hughes returns for England
Nathan Hughes was recalled by England coach Eddie Jones on Thursday in the only change to the Six Nations champions’ starting side for this weekend’s Calcutta Cup clash away to Scotland. The Wasps No 8, who has been out of Test action since suffering a knee injury while on club duty in December, goes straight into the back row in place of the sidelined Sam Simmonds. “Nathan Hughes has worked hard on his fitness. I’ve never seen him in better physical condition, so we are looking forward to him playing,” said Jones.
‘Oops I did it again’ stops Canada doing it again
She’s practised the “Oops, I did it again” thousands of times in training, and on Thursday her signature trick was worth its weight in Olympic gold as American Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson’s shootout winner broke a Canadian 16-year stranglehold on the women’s ice hockey title. She weaved in on two-times gold medal winner Shannon Szabados, moved to her left with a backhand that drew the Canadian goalkeeper toward her and then pulled the puck to her forehand and slid it in behind her. “I’ve done that thousands of times around tyres just set out on open ice,” Lamoureux-Davidson said. “It’s called ‘Oops, I did it again’ and I’m just thrilled beyond words. I’ve butchered it a thousand times, ran into tyres, tripped over tyres just working on my hands. Just glad it worked out this time,” the 28-year-old said. Meanwhile, the Canadians were hurting. Jocelyne Larocque yanked her silver medal off immediately. “It just hurt,” she said. “We wanted gold and didn’t get it.”
Figure skating boosted music streaming
In a sport where music can play a big role in drawing in the audience, figure skating has introduced songs with lyrics at the Olympics, a move that has boosted several songs on at least one streaming service. Data from Amazon.com showed that some half a dozen songs featured at the Pyeongchang Games had become much more popular on its streaming music users. The soundtrack to the 2001 film Moulin Rouge, Cinematic Orchestra’s 2007 song To Build a Home and Coldplay’s 2014 song O saw major boosts in streaming during Olympic competition this month, a spokeswoman for Amazon Music said.
New Zealand ends drought
After going 26 years without a Winter Olympics medal, rugby-mad New Zealand toasted a pair of fresh-faced schoolchildren on Thursday as they captured bronze in snowboard and freestyle skiing. Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Nico Porteous, both 16, reached the podium to emulate countrywoman Annelise Coberger, who skied her way to a silver medal in slalom in 1992 — well before they were born.
‘Garlic Girls’ spice up curling
They’re dubbed the “Garlic Girls” but go by the names Pancake, Yoghurt, Steak, Cookie and Sunny — meet the South Korean curlers who are whipping up a recipe for success at the Olympics. The Koreans, ranked eighth in the world, have emerged medal contenders at the Pyeongchang Games. After stunning top teams like Canada, Switzerland and Sweden, they were the first to advance to Friday’s semifinals. Their giant-killing feats on the ice have drawn big crowds in a country where curling is little known.
Myhrer wins shock slalom
Swedish veteran Andre Myhrer took a shock slalom men’s gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Thursday as the two favourites both spectacularly bombed out. Ramon Zenhaeusern of Switzerland won silver, 0.34sec behind, and Michael Matt of Austria the bronze after his compatriot Marcel Hirscher and then Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway both imploded.
Mercedes chief would take chainsaw to new halo
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff criticised Formula One’s controversial new halo head-protection device as the double world champions unveiled their new F1 W09 car for the 2018 season on Thursday. After years of research and development, the FIA settled on the halo to protect drivers from flying debris and crashes following the fatal accidents of Jules Bianchi at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix and Justin Wilson in a 2015 IndyCar race. “I’m not impressed with the whole thing and if you give me a chainsaw I would take it off,” said Wolff, who complained about the weight of the new device. “It’s a massive weight on the top of the car. You screw up the centre of gravity massively and, as much as it is impressive to look at the statistic that you could put a bus on top, this is a Formula One car.”
Sprinter fails doping test
Australian sprinter Jessica Peris, the daughter of Olympic gold medallist Nova Peris, has tested positive to a banned substance, drug agency Asada said on Thursday, rocking her Commonwealth Games hopes. Peris, who shot into contention for the Games in April with several personal bests over 100m and 200m this year, was subject to an out-of-competition test in October where Asada collected both blood and urine samples. “Her ‘A’ urine sample tested positive for three prohibited metabolites listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List,” the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority said.
Wildcard downs Sock
Wildcard Reilly Opelka, ranked 228th in the world, stunned top seed and defending champion Jack Sock 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP tournament in Delray Beach, Florida. Towering 20-year-old Opelka, playing in his first ATP level tournament of 2018, fired 17 aces past world number eight Sock.