SPORTS DAY: It's a leap of faith for Manyonga's fans


SPORTS DAY: It's a leap of faith for Manyonga's fans

A roundup of international sporting highlights

Digital sports editor

It's all up in the air, admits Manyonga
World long jump champion Luvo Manyonga is doubtful for the third and final leg of the Athletix Grand Prix at the Dal Josaphat Stadium in Paarl on Thursday. Manyonga‚ who came first in the men’s long jump at the South African track and field championships at Tuks Stadium on Saturday night with a leap of 8.41m‚ said he is dealing with personal issues that may prevent him from performing in front of his home fans. “There is nothing confirmed yet‚ it would be great for me to compete back at home but we have to wait‚” he said.
Semenya runs fastest time yet
Caster Semenya continued to dominate the local scene after running her fastest time yet on South African soil in the 800m at the South African track and field championships at Tuks Stadium on Saturday night. The three-time 800m world champion won in one minute‚ 57.80 seconds (1.57.80) to beat Gena Lofstrand (2:05.82) and Lee-Ann Blake (2:07.73)‚ who finished second and third respectively. Semenya is hoping to take her blistering form to the third and final leg of the Athletix Grand Prix at the Dal Josaphat Stadium in Paarl on Thursday.
Yes to Olivier‚ Morris, no to Steyn
South Africa have added Duanne Olivier and Chris Morris to their squad for the last two Tests against Australia. But Dale Steyn‚ who is battling his way back from a heel injury sustained in January‚ has not been named. Olivier or Morris might have to step into the breach should Kagiso Rabada fail in his appeal on Monday against the two-Test ban he earned during the second test at St George’s Park. The series‚ which is level at 1-1‚ resumes at Newlands on Thursday.
We’ll keep pushing‚ says Komphela
Steve Komphela could not publicly throw in the towel in the Absa Premiership title race after Saturday night’s 0-0 home draw against AmaZulu‚ but the Kaizer Chiefs coach’s response to their chances was played down so much that he essentially did. Without saying it on those words‚ Komphela hinted that the Nedbank Cup is now Chiefs’ most likely source of silverware in 2017-18 after being held at FNB Stadium by Usuthu. “We’ve just made it even more difficult for ourselves‚” Komphela admitted of the league title race‚ where fifth-placed Chiefs are seven points behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns‚ but having played a game more.RUGBY
De Bruin likely to stick to rotation
Having committed to a rotation policy in selection‚ Lions coach Swys de Bruin is unlikely to deviate from his plans despite his team’s poor performances over the past two weekends. His team travels to Buenos Aires on Wednesday to play the Jaguares next Saturday at a venue the Lions are yet to achieve success. De Bruin has to carefully shuffle his resources as he seeks to balance immediate needs and long-term objectives in this season’s competition. Having travelled with slightly weakened teams to South America before‚ De Bruin is wary not to fall into the same trap.
Sunderland suspend Gibson
Ireland international Darron Gibson has been suspended by Sunderland after being charged with drink-driving, the English Championship (second-tier) club said on Sunday. “The football club has commenced a full investigation into the matter,” the official website said. “We expect the highest standard of behaviour from our players and should any individual fall short of those standards then robust action must be taken,” said club chief executive Martin Bain.
Hamilton not close to ‘final chapter’
Lewis Hamilton has vowed to reign supreme in Formula One for years to come as the world champion prepares for the start of the new season next weekend. The British star is reportedly ready to sign a new contract with Mercedes, which could earn him up to £40-million per year and solidify his position as British sport’s highest earner. That would be the ideal preparation for Sunday’s season opener in Melbourne as Hamilton eyes a fifth world championship.
Tributes to 'inspiration' Hawking
The Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics closed on Sunday with a dazzling ceremony featuring light shows, dancing and music, as well as tributes to late wheelchair-bound British physicist Stephen Hawking as an “inspiration”. Nine days of sporting action ended with a flurry of events, including victory for the US in a hard-fought sledge hockey final, helping them to top the medals table with 36 overall. International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons used his closing address to pay tribute to Hawking, who died last week aged 76. The scientist, seen as an inspiration by Paralympians, opened the London 2012 Games. Parsons hailed him as “a genius of a man, a pioneer and inspiration to us all”.SOCCER
Liverpool star Salah is 'indescribable'
Mohamed Salah has been hailed as “indescribable” by Liverpool team-mate Joe Gomez after the Egypt winger maintained his incredible debut season with a four-goal spree against Watford. Salah became the first Liverpool player since Luis Suarez in December 2013 against Norwich to score four times in a game as Watford were crushed 5-0 at Anfield on Saturday. The former Chelsea player, who arrived at Anfield from Roma last year, is just three away from Suarez’s total of 31 league goals in a single season.
Woman boxer breaks exercise taboo
Throwing punches in a gym tucked away from prying eyes, a Saudi female boxing trainer asserts a right long denied to many women in the conservative kingdom: the right to exercise. Halah Alhamrani, 41, runs a gym for women called FlagBoxing — its motto is Fight Like A Girl — in Jeddah, offering fitness classes such as callisthenics, CrossFit, boxing and kickboxing. Relying on word-of-mouth publicity in a country where exercising in public is culturally deemed unbecoming for women, Alhamrani is working to empower a generation with little to no exposure to sports. “On a daily basis, women who have never done sports walk into my class, some with their mothers,” Alhamrani said at her gym, which opened in 2016.
AFP, Reuters and TimesLIVE

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