SPORTS DAY: Around the world
A roundup of international sporting highlights
Makwala to take on local heroes
Botswana sprint star Isaac Makwala will be in action in the opening meet of the Athletix Grand Prix series at Ruimsig on Thursday. His participation in the 200m — against local heroes Anaso Jobodwana and Clarence Munyai — was confirmed on Tuesday morning by organisers who also finally announced they had a title sponsor, Liquid Telecom. World 100m champion Justin Gatlin is the standout foreign star who will be competing‚ although he’s running only in the second meet in Pretoria on March 8.
Supporters blast Bolt for stunt
Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt faced a social media backlash on Tuesday after a cryptic tweet he sent out on Monday created the impression that he was about to join a soccer team. Both Bolt and Premier Soccer League leaders Mamelodi Sundowns are sponsored by sports gear company Puma, and given that he visited the club recently, many assumed that he was about to join the Pretoria club. Others assumed that the Jamaican, who has never hidden his desire to play football at the end of his athletics career, thought that he would join German side Borussia Dortmund. But it emerged he will be playing in a soccer-aid tournament at Old Trafford on June 10.CRICKET
Not so fast - it’s not Kingsmead of old
Some of the world’s best fast bowlers will square up when the first Test between South Africa and Australia starts at Kingsmead on Thursday. They may find, however, some of their sting drawn by pitch conditions. Kingsmead has lost the reputation it once had as a fast bowler’s paradise. It has been many years since wicketkeepers had to leap around as balls soared and sped off the playing surface. Indications are that the pitch will offer encouragement but not excessive help to the fast men, with enough grass on the surface to assist movement off the seam.
Reddy accused of dishonesty
Tubby Reddy‚ former CEO of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc)‚ has been accused of interfering in Athletics SA (ASA)‚ attempting to influence the outcome of an inquiry and dishonesty. These charges were made by two sports administrators at the inquiry into Sascoc governance issues in Johannesburg on Monday. Former ASA president James Evans alleged Sascoc and Reddy had agitated to remove him directly and indirectly before he was finally voted out in 2014. Former Mind Sports SA president Colin Webster said he had been on Sascoc’s legal and arbitration commission which had investigated the case involving ASA’s treatment of Caster Semenya in 2009. “One of my greatest concerns was that while we were sitting‚ hearing the case of Caster Semenya‚ Tubby Reddy actually even called me into his office and said ‘you do know how we want you to rule?’‚” said Webster.
Baroka jettison Oscarine
Baroka FC chairman Khurishi Mphahlele says they had no choice but to part ways with captain and defender Olaleng Shaku and goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke. Without going into much detail‚ Mphahlele said it is because they don’t want to be derailed by things that do not have anything to do with football and also to protect the image of the club. Shaku and Masuluke are accused of drinking alcohol in the team’s bus after the 2-0 loss to Free Stars Stars this month. When contacted for comment, Shaku said he was not available to talk as he was busy while Masuluke could not be reached.Bucs look to No 12 against Amakhosi
With both Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs chasing leaders Mamelodi Sundowns for the Absa Premiership title‚ Saturday’s derby will be anything but the dour affair of recent years. Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic predicted the teams would not sit back and the game would open up. “I believe with our performances so far in 2018‚ we have given an invitation letter to Orlando Pirates’ supporters to come to Soccer City in numbers because their presence as the 12th player will boost us. What we have done so far this year is because of player No 12,” he said in a reference to increased support in recent games as Pirates have won several key clashes.
Nasri slapped with 6-month doping ban
Former Manchester City midfielder and France international Samir Nasri was handed a six-month doping ban by European football governing body UEFA on Tuesday “for using a prohibited method” . Nasri, 30, had appealed to UEFA for a therapeutic use exemption following a multivitamin intravenous booster he received at a Los Angeles clinic in 2016. That was rejected last March, as was an appeal in December to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. He still has the right to appeal against his ban, UEFA said.
Renault holds Red Bull to deadline
Renault will hold Red Bull to a May deadline to decide what Formula One engine they will use in 2019, the French manufacturer said on Tuesday. Renault is supplying McLaren and Red Bull this year as well as their own factory outfit, but Renault Sport F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul said going down to two teams would be no problem: “We’ve always said that to be an engine supplier is a very bad business.” Formula One regulations stipulate that the four power unit manufacturers must inform the governing FIA in May of the preceding season which teams they have a supply agreement with.TENNIS
Davis Cup revamp could kill its soul
A proposal to rip up the Davis Cup format and replace it with a one-week World Cup of Tennis Finals in a single city risks “killing the soul” of the historic competition, according to Belgian tennis chief Gijs Kooken. “The Davis Cup atmosphere is really something unique. The (International Tennis Federation) are focusing on having a bigger event but our concern is that this part of it (the home and away format) creates big event value.” Kooken is especially concerned that the traditional home and away ties will be lost.
Lethal weather forces Everest retreat
A Spanish climber abandoned his bid to make the first winter ascent of Mount Everest in 25 years on Tuesday after “lethal weather” forced him to retreat. It is the second time in as many years that mountaineer Alex Txikon, 36, has been forced to call off his attempt to scale the world’s highest peak in winter without the use of tanked oxygen. The last successful winter summit was in 1993 by a Japanese team. But only one climber has previously reached the peak in winter without using supplemental oxygen: a Nepali mountaineer in December 1987.
TimesLIVE, Reuters and AFP