SPORTS DAY: Manyonga fights off Aussie for gold
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Manyonga leaps over Aussie to gold
Luvo Manyonga delivered when it mattered most in Gold Coast on Wednesday night. The men’s long jump title was supposed to be his for the taking‚ but when Australian Henry Frayne soared to 8.33m to take the lead in the second round‚ it looked like the script had been tailormade for the partisan fans of Carrara Stadium. World champion Manyonga and world championship bronze medallist Ruswahl Samaai were South Africa’s last hopes to get a gold on the day‚ and there was an Aussie standing in the way. Frayne scored the first real blow to push Manyonga into second and Samaai third. Manyonga struck back in the fourth round‚ leaping to an 8.35m Games record. That did the damage‚ with the homeboy no-jumping his last two attempts‚ but Manyonga wasn’t done yet. He rocketed to 8.41m on his final take-off.
Sunette puts her back into it and bags bronzeSunette Viljoen won the fourth Commonwealth Games medal of her career on Wednesday‚ merely weeks after a debilitating back injury that had prevented her from even throwing. Viljoen‚ the champion at Melbourne 2006 and Delhi 2010 and runner-up at Glasgow 2014‚ took the javelin bronze behind Australians Kathryn Mitchell and Kelsey-Lee Roberts. Mitchell effectively sealed the competition on her first attempt as she launched a 68.92 personal best that also stretched the Games record by nearly 3m. Viljoen’s 62.08m opener was her best effort too‚ and it kept her in second place until the final sixth round when Roberts bumped her down to third place with a throw of 63.89.
Injured Lions roaring back to fitness
The Lions expect to embark on their four-match Australasian tour next week with their injured stars almost all restored to fitness. Regular captain Warren Whiteley (knee)‚ who was injured halfway through their defeat at the hands of the Blues at Ellis Park in round four‚ will be the most significant returnee from injury. His leadership has been sorely missed with the Lions losing to the Blues‚ the Jaguares and the Crusaders in his time off the field. Scrumhalf Ross Cronje (rib)‚ wing Aphiwe Dyantyi (pectoral muscle) and centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg (upper leg haematoma) are also expected to be cleared for the tour but it is still uncertain when exactly they will return.
Beast calls on Sharks to salvage seasonVeteran Springboks and Sharks prop Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira said an embarrassing Friday night in Melbourne may have changed their fortunes. After the feeble 46-14 loss to the Melbourne Rebels on March 23‚ a listless Sharks unit looked to be on the verge of implosion. The week before‚ they spat the dummy against a weak Brumbies side in Canberra. While their 63-40 win against the Blues was a case of the Sharks marrying power and precision‚ last week’s 38-37 loss showed the strides they’ve made since that night in Melbourne. “We just made a collective decision that we want to keep the ball in hand‚” Mtawarira said. “In Australia we allowed the teams‚ especially the Rebels‚ to keep the ball. We had to defend the whole time and you can’t play rugby that way. You can only play decent rugby by keeping the ball and that’s where we changed the mindset.”
Pay top dollar for Percy, says Pitso
Mamelodi Sundowns star midfielder Percy Tau is ready for the bright lights and glossy pitches of Europe but whoever wants to have him will have to dig deep into their pockets. This is the view of Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane who said the 23-year-old star could leave Chloorkop as early as the next transfer window between June and August. But the wily Mosimane warned that the in-demand player’s price tag would be substantial. “We have made a substantial investment in Percy and we want a return on our investment‚” he said.
Fountain plunge costs Roma chairman
A celebratory dive into a Rome fountain has cost the chairman of AS Roma dear. US businessman James Pallotta apologised on Wednesday for his late-night plunge following Roma’s victory over Barcelona in the Champions League and promised to pay not just a €500 fine but also offered €230,000 to restore a separate city fountain. Roma pulled off one of the great comebacks in European soccer history on Tuesday by knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League with a 3-0 win in their quarterfinal second leg, overcoming a 4-1 deficit from the first game. Crowds took to the streets of the Italian capital after the final whistle to celebrate the victory, including in the central Piazza del Popolo, which has four small fountains built into the base of an ancient Egyptian obelisk. A video posted on the Internet shows Pallotta taking off his jacket before deliberately falling backwards into the fountain to the cheers of surrounding fans. Anyone caught bathing in Rome’s plethora of fountains faces a €500 fine.
Uefa to charge Pep for improper conductManchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been charged with improper conduct after being sent to the stands in Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League defeat by Liverpool. Guardiola protested about Leroy Sane’s disallowed goal at the end of the first half in the quarterfinal second leg and was dismissed by referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz. The Spanish manager was charged for communicating with the team’s technical staff in the second half, according to Uefa’s regulations. Liverpool completed a 5-1 aggregate victory to reach the semifinals.
Blatter shocked by World Cup rule
Former Fifa chief Sepp Blatter says he is shocked at a rule which has been inserted into the World Cup bidding process that could allow a five-man task force to disqualify a candidate before a democratic vote is held. In 2011 the Fifa Congress, where each of the global soccer body’s 211 member associations hold one vote, was given the right to choose the World Cup hosts following a change proposed by Blatter while he was president. The first hosting decision since then will be in June at the Congress in Moscow, where only two bids are in the running — a joint proposal from the US/Canada/Mexico and one from Morocco. However, the two bids must first pass a technical inspection from a five-man task force, which has the power to disqualify a candidate whose proposal is seen as not up to scratch.
Hammer thrower banned after drugs test
Hungarian hammer thrower Kristian Pars, a gold-medal winner at the 2012 London Olympics, has been banned until July next year after failing a doping test. Pars, 36, tested positive for use of a banned non-performance-enhancing substance after a routine check in January. Officials accepted his argument that the substance entered his system during the off-season and that it was not performance enhancing.
Chennai could lose out on IPL
India’s cricket board is considering shifting Indian Premier League games from Chennai, which is in the grip of a water crisis, after protesters threatened to release snakes during the next match. The Board of Control for Cricket in India was mulling alternate venues for Chennai’s remaining six IPL matches after protesters scuffled with police and threw shoes on the pitch at their home match on Tuesday.
TimesLIVE, AFP and Reuters