SPORTS DAY: No goofing off as Chad aims for the triple
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Chad le Clos kicks off with medal trifecta attempt
Chad le Clos will bid for a tough medal trifecta at the Commonwealth Games on Friday that could prove critical to South Africa’s hunt to recapture fifth place on the medals table. Le Clos is in action in Gold Coast on Thursday in the 50m butterfly heats and semifinals‚ but on Friday he will be pushed to the limit‚ trying for a trio of podium finishes in the space of two-and-a-half hours. He has the 200m freestyle heats in the morning‚ and then he comes back in the evening for his triple trick‚ the first of the seven medals he’s aiming for to become the most decorated Games athlete of all time‚ with 19 gongs.
Didgeridoo, downpours as opening ceremony starts
A blast from a didgeridoo, a sprinkling of royal stardust and a strong message of unity lit up the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast on Wednesday. A heavy downpour lashed the 35,000 crowd at Carrara Stadium as the ceremony began, ensuring a wet start to the proceedings for many in the half-covered arena. Britain’s Prince Charles and wife Camilla were among the guests and the heir to the throne was due to officially open the Games later in the painstakingly planned gala. The sporting action in the Games, which feature 71 nations and territories, gets underway on Thursday.
The Masters is wide open‚ but Tiger lurksTiger Woods is the story of the 2018 Masters and whoever the winner is on Sunday night‚ if it’s not the great man himself‚ the champion would have had to overcome Augusta‚ the pressure and Tiger. The season’s first major is also the most keenly awaited with Woods showing his best form in over five years while many of the usual contenders also appear to be peaking. Although he won the last of his four Masters titles in 2005 and the last of his 14 majors at the US Open in 2008‚ Woods has not looked more in control of his game in years.
Kagiso Rabada more careful with his celebrations
After a dramatic cricket series that saw his ban for physical contact with former Australian captain Steve Smith overturned‚ Kagiso “KG” Rabada has learned to be more careful with his celebrations, he has said. Reflecting on South Africa’s victorious 3-1 series‚ where he finished as the top wicket taker with 23 scalps after eight innings‚ Rabada said: “I never actually always celebrated the way I did with Smith‚ it was just in the moment. At times I celebrate casually but sometimes in the big moment you can’t control emotions. I have made an effort not to get banned.”
What makes a top goal scorer, Mom?
Benni McCarthy has decided that the gift of goal scoring is a hereditary asset and no amount of coaching and practice is going to turn a player into a goal machine. “You can’t teach it. I don’t know what makes a goal scorer. I’ll have to ask my mother because she gave birth to me. It is a natural thing‚ you cannot teach that‚” insists the Cape Town City coach‚ in his rookie season in charge‚ and after a playing career in which he set the record for the most goals scored for Bafana Bafana.
Modise’s season for Cape Town City might be overTeko Modise’s season could be over after the veteran midfielder suffered a hip injury in training last week and doctors have booked him off for the foreseeable future. Modise’s injury occurred right under the eyes of the media‚ who were invited to attend Cape Town City’s training last Thursday as the club prepared for Sunday’s Nedbank Cup quarterfinal at home to Mamelodi Sundowns. It seems the innocuous training ground strain is much more serious than originally anticipated and could see Modise miss the rest of the campaign.
It’s not just Wits kicking us‚ says Maritzburg coach
Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids admitted that his young players need to learn to deal with being roughed up after his side’s 2-1 Absa Premiership defeat on Tuesday night. At a rainy Bidvest Stadium Wits coach Gavin Hunt’s game plan seemed clear. Whenever third-placed‚ on-form Maritzburg came close to penetrating the Clever Boys’ half they were physically bullied off the ball. Davids was asked if that has been the way teams have been dealing with Maritzburg in their last few matches‚ and particularly with their Bafana Bafana call-up Siphesihle Ndlovu. “For the last six games I have a nice game (that I play) with the fourth official. After the first (rough) tackle (on Ndlovu) I tell him: ‘That’s number one.’ And then we get to 17 or 18 in every game. It’s unbelievable. You know‚ we have to wait until he breaks a leg‚ and then maybe we take some action.”
Erasmus calls Lions‚ Stormers players to Bok camp
Injured Lions wings Aphiwe Dyantyi and Ruan Combrinck were invited to the second Springbok alignment camp later this month, to run the rule over 22 players from the Lions and Stormers from April 8 to 11. Forwards: Kyle Brink (flank‚ Lions)‚ Nizaam Carr (loose forward‚ Stormers)‚ Ruan Dreyer (prop‚ Lions)‚Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock‚ Stormers)‚ Eben Etzebeth (lock‚ Stormers)‚ Steven Kitshoff (prop‚ Stormers)‚ Siya Kolisi (flank‚ Stormers)‚ Wilco Louw (prop‚ Stormers)‚ Malcolm Marx (hooker‚ Lions)‚ Frans Malherbe (prop‚ Stormers)‚ Bongi Mbonambi (hooker‚ Stormers)‚ Franco Mostert (lock‚ Lions)‚ Sikumbuzo Notshe (loose forward‚ Stormers)‚ Cobus Wiese (flank‚ Stormers)‚Warren Whiteley (No 8‚ Lions). Backs: Andries Coetzee (fullback‚ Lions)‚ Ruan Combrinck (wing‚ Lions)‚ Damian de Allende (centre‚ Stormers)‚ Aphiwe Dyantyi (wing‚ Lions)‚ Elton Jantjies (flyhalf‚ Lions)‚ Lionel Mapoe (centre‚ Lions)‚ Damian Willemse (flyhalf‚ Stormers).
Folau sparks outrage with anti-gay post
Australia rugby international Israel Folau has sparked outrage with a comment on social media suggesting that gay people would be condemned to “hell” unless they “repent” for their sins. Folau’s post was deleted but the screengrab was shared on social media. He made the comment on Instagram in reply to another user who asked what was “gods plan” for gay people. “HELL... Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God,” Folau wrote. Australia’s parliament voted to legalise same-sex marriage in December after the vote returned an overwhelming majority in favour of same-sex unions.
Lions’ record looks vulnerable against Stormers
They may be unbeaten in 19 Super Rugby derby matches‚ but the Lions will be at their most vulnerable when they host the Stormers on Saturday. They’ve lost three of their last four matches and their only win in that period came by just one point at home over the lowly Sunwolves. They have‚ however‚ dominated their conference in recent seasons with 13 of their 19 consecutive derby wins achieved by a winning margin more than 12 points. Their last defeat came against the Bulls at Loftus in May 2015.