SPORTS DAY: Five Saffers tee up for the Masters


SPORTS DAY: Five Saffers tee up for the Masters

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Digital sports editor

Trevor still has a little fire burning before Augusta
Ten years ago a 28-year-old Trevor Immelman won the Masters by three strokes over Tiger Woods‚ which seemingly ushered in what should have been a decade at the very pinnacle of the game. But a severe wrist injury all but ended Immelman’s competitive career‚ and even though he is one of five South Africans teeing up at the season’s first major on Thursday‚ he can’t be viewed as a serious contender. Brandon Grace‚ Louis Oosthuizen‚ Dylan Frittelli and Charl Schwartzel‚ the other quartet of SA players in the field at Augusta‚ most certainly are contenders. For Immelman‚ he is realistic and knows that at a stage in his life‚ where he is neither a competitive player‚ nor a retired ex-player‚ he is just happy to be at Augusta again.
Marawa’s new sports show at Radio 2000 hits a snagSports fans will have to wait for a bit longer for the return of popular sportscaster Robert Marawa to the radio airwaves after it emerged on Tuesday that he is yet to sign on the dotted line at Radio 2000. Marawa was expected to start work at the station on Easter Monday and host an eagerly awaited two-hour sports show between 5pm and 7pm on weekdays after a nine-month absence.
Latin Americans fans clamour for World Cup tickets
Latin American fans are buying tickets for the World Cup in Russia faster than Europeans, according to figures published by global soccer body Fifa on Tuesday. Fifa said that 394,433 tickets were sold in the most recent sales period and 216,134 of those were allocated to fans from the host nation. Fans from the US were the biggest buyers among foreign supporters with 16,642 tickets, even though their team has not qualified. However, as the numbers are based on country of residence, a proportion of the US sales could come from the nation’s large Hispanic community.
South Africans want out of Saracens
Saracens, fresh from seeing their hopes of a third successive European title go up in smoke, suffered a second blow on Tuesday with news that the South Africans who own half the club want to sell. Despite their European success in the past two seasons the club lost £2.74-million last year and £3.27-million the year before, and Johann Rupert said it was time for his company Remgro to sell up.  “Remgro is a public company,” Rupert said. “Is it therefore right to support a rugby club? One should not be using public shareholders’ money for your own loves.”
Lions hope scrumhalf is groomed for successScrumhalf Nic Groom is to return home to play for Super Rugby franchise the Lions after ending a two-year stay with Premiership outfit Northampton Saints. The 28-year-old — who scored seven tries in 51 appearances for Saints — will join up with the Lions immediately. Groom leaves a club which has had a turbulent season, long-time director of rugby Jim Mallinder being sacked in December as the team’s fortunes on the pitch plummeted.
NZ women’s team hit by mumps scare
New Zealand’s women’s rugby sevens team have delayed their arrival at the Commonwealth Games until after the opening ceremony after a player fell ill with mumps, officials said on Tuesday. The Olympic silver-medallists will remain at their training camp until Sunday, a delay of four days, after forward Ruby Tui was diagnosed with the highly contagious disease, a statement said. Tui, 26, has been placed in quarantine and the other players will be under observation by medical staff at their camp on Australia’s Sunshine Coast.
Seven cities confirm interest in 2026 Winter Games
Seven cities, or joint-bidding cities, have expressed interest in hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee said on Tuesday. Canada’s Calgary, Austria’s Graz, Swedish capital Stockholm, Sion in Switzerland, Turkey’s Erzurum, Japan’s Sapporo and a joint bid from Italy’s Cortina d’Ampezzo, Milan and Turin are all in the initial process. The IOC has overhauled the bidding process for Games after a sharp slump in interest from potential cities in recent years, cutting costs for bid cities and slashing the campaign time in half. The IOC will elect the winning 2026 bid in September 2019.
India cleared of doping, warned over needle find
India were cleared of doping but slapped with a “strong written reprimand” on Tuesday after syringes were found in the Commonwealth Games athletes village. The Games’ Federation Court said the doctor of India’s boxing team injected an unwell fighter with vitamins, but breached rules on the use of syringes. Games officials said analysis of the contents of the syringes, which were found by a cleaner, showed they didn’t contain performance-enhancing drugs, only a vitamin B complex. Under Games rules, teams need permission to use syringes and all needles must be central, secured location with access restricted to authorised medical personnel.
Media rights ensure another big pay day for IndiaThe world’s richest cricket board is poised to get even wealthier after media rights to Indian cricket for the next five years brought spirited bidding on Tuesday. The e-auction of television and digital rights, a first in cricket, was not concluded but the Indian board received a bid of $683-million for consolidated global rights from an unidentified bidder. The online auction resumes on Wednesday.

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