SPORTS DAY: Hollywood had a hand in Pirates' win
A roundup of international sporting highlights
Black Panther power to Pirates
Orlando Pirates had the power of Wakanda on their side in their 3-1 Soweto derby win against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday‚ Bucs coach Milutin Sredojevic has revealed. He said Pirates took a team-building day on Tuesday to watch Hollywood superhero movie Black Panther‚ set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda. Bucs’ emphatic Absa Premiership victory over Chiefs followed a thrilling 4-2 win against Chippa United in Port Elizabeth on Sunday and took charging Pirates to a fifth league victory in succession. “It is a film where we as a sports brand feel represented in that historical African theme. And it has been a special injection of motivation for us to go and prove the point today,” Sredojevic said.
Schoeman produces piece of history
Henri Schoeman scored more than a victory in the season-opening World Triathlon Series event in Abu Dhabi on Friday‚ he produced a critical piece of history. The Olympic bronze medallist became only the second competitor to win a WTS race coming through first after the three legs of swimming‚ cycling and running. The other is legendary Englishman Alistair Brownlee‚ the Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion‚ who was missing from this field. Schoeman destroyed a classy field over the 750m swim‚ 20km cycling and 5km run.
Fiorentina captain Astori dead at 31
Fiorentina captain and defender Davide Astori died of a sudden illness on Sunday morning at the age of 31, the Serie A club said, leaving Italian football in a state of shock. Serie A said all of Sunday’s matches, including the derby between AC Milan and Inter Milan, would be postponed. Italian media said Astori was found dead in his hotel room in Udine, where Fiorentina had been due to face Udinese at the Dacia Arena later on Sunday. The Fiorentina staff reportedly became worried when Astori did not join his team-mates for breakfast.
Lerena beats Kucher to retain title
Kevin Lerena convincingly beat Dmytro Kucher on points to retain his marginal IBO cruiserweight title at Emperors Palace on Saturday night. Lerena was too quick and busy for his more experienced opponent. The judges scored it 119-109‚ 119-109 and 117-111 for the South African‚ who improved to 22 wins (10 KOs) and one defeat. SA welterweight champion Tulz Mbenge outpointed Mexican Diego Cruz‚ whose flabby midriff suggested he was a professional pie-eater rather than a professional boxer. The judges scoring it 118-110‚ 118-110 and 119-109.
TENNISDelpo continues Anderson dominance
Juan Martin Del Potro continued his dominance over Kevin Anderson, putting the brakes on the South African’s brilliant run of success to claim the ATP Mexican Open title on Saturday night. Del Potro defeated the hard-serving Anderson 6-4, 6-4 to claim his first title of 2018 and post his seventh-straight career victory over Anderson. The 29-year-old Del Potro recorded his 21st career ATP title but this is one of his biggest in years and the earliest he has hoisted a trophy since the 2014 season.
Wie's monster putt ends title drought
Michelle Wie drained a monster birdie putt from off the green on the final hole to record a stunning one-shot victory at the HSBC Women’s World Championship following a thrilling final round of low scoring and late drama on Sunday. Wie’s seventh birdie of the day completed a bogey-free round of 65 as she finished on 17-under 271 for the tournament, a stroke ahead of American compatriots Danielle Kang and Nelly Korda, South Korea’s Jenny Shin and Canada’s Brooke Henderson.
ATHLETICSRoger Bannister dies at 88
Roger Bannister, who has died aged 88, will live forever in the annals of athletics history as the first man to run a mile in under four minutes. His family on Sunday said he died peacefully in Oxford surrounded by his family. British Prime Minister Theresa May led the tributes to the former athlete, who later became one of Europe’s leading neurologists and was made a knight. The “miracle mile” was run on the Oxford University track with only a few spectators to watch Bannister make headlines around the world at the age of 25. His achievement opened the physical and psychological door for many other milers who have since beaten his time of three minutes 59.4 seconds.
Farah wins inaugural Big Half
Britain’s top long-distance runner Mo Farah won the inaugural Big Half 13.1-mile half-marathon on Sunday in his build-up to next month’s London Marathon. Farah won a sprint to the finish line in the London district of Greenwich, ahead of Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru, winner of last year’s London marathon, with Scot Callum Hawkins in third. The 34-year-old Farah has been training in Ethiopia and arrived in London on Thursday. He managed to adjust to a huge drop in temperature for Sunday’s race, his first for six months.
De Bruin delivers some home truths
It was Lions coach Swys de Bruin‚ and not his grizzled Bulls counterpart John Mitchell‚ who delivered some home truths in the aftermath of the Trans Jukskei derby. Although the Bulls are in the throes of a revival and have embraced a new free-spirited playing style‚ the Lions went all medieval on their rivals by using their muscle men upfront to beat the hosts into submission. The 49-35 scoreline flatters the Bulls a tad but they did play with 13 players for a while due to ill discipline. “You can only play the game you want to play if your tight phases are up to scratch. That’s your bread and butter. Our bread and butter was good‚” De Bruin noted.
Brighton pile pressure on Wenger
Arsenal lost 2-1 at Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday, a fourth successive defeat in all competitions for the London club which intensified the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger. After a bright start from the visitors, Lewis Dunk volleyed in to give the home side the lead — ensuring Arsenal’s run without a Premier League clean sheet stretched to 11 games, their longest since February 2002. Glenn Murray’s fifth goal in as many league games made it 2-0 after 26 minutes, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled a goal back for Arsenal two minutes before halftime. Brighton held on to secure a third Premier League home victory in a row to go 10th in the table.
AFP, REUTERS and TimesLIVE