SPORTS DAY: Time eventually catches up with Habana
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Bon voyage, Bryan Habana, thanks for the memories
Bryan Habana had the speed and skill to evade trouble and wreak havoc on a rugby field‚ but ultimately he couldn’t outpace age and injuries‚ which forced him to call time on his career on Tuesday. Habana‚ 34‚ announced that when the current French domestic season ends in June‚ he will retire from all rugby. The KES boy who fell in love with rugby as a spectator at the 1995 Rugby World Cup final would eventually make his own mark on the tournament and become South Africa’s greatest wing. “The inevitable moment has come knocking on my door and I’ve welcomed it in for a drink‚” Habana posted on social media.
New Bafana Bafana shirt unveiledBafana Bafana will be dressed in a new kit when they resume their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Libya in September. SA’s shirt sponsor Nike unveiled the new kit on Tuesday, saying the strip is filled “with strong vibrancy to reflect the fact that most of the national players are picked from the domestic league”. In the past “South Africa’s national side has been blessed with star players from European clubs. Today the squad is predominantly picked from the domestic league‚ a truth that fills it with a strong vibrancy and positions Bafana Bafana well for next year’s African tournament.”
Froome named in Sky team despite doping cloud
Team Sky have named Britain’s Chris Froome in their team for the Giro d’Italia starting next month despite the ongoing investigation into his adverse doping test. Briton Froome, 32, is fighting to clear his name after an increased dosage of asthma medication at the Vuelta a Espana last year threw up an adverse analytical finding from a urine sample. The four-times Tour de France winner’s sample showed double the allowed limit of Salbutamol but Froome has denied any wrongdoing and is free to race since he is not suspended. Froome, who has not ridden in the Giro since 2010 and has never won it.
Bulls complain about Rebels to Sanzar
The Bulls have lodged complaint with Super Rugby’s controlling body, Sanzar, about what they perceive as deliberate delaying tactics and faking of injuries by the Rebels during their match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday. The Pretoria side beat the Rebels 28-10‚ but the match was spoiled by the Australians’ tactics of slowing the game down. Only two of the five tries came in the second half as the Rebels slowed the game with tactics that contributed to what turned out to be a dull affair. Coach John Mitchell said the negative style of play by their visitors had the potential to hurt the Super Rugby brand.
Tendulkar fans fume over Fleming birthday wish
Fans of Sachin Tendulkar were left fuming on Tuesday after Cricket Australia poked fun at the “little master” — revered as a quasi-god in India — on his 45th birthday. The board posted a video of retired Australian paceman Damien Fleming, who shares a birthday with Tendulkar, bowling the Indian great with a quick delivery. “Some @bowlologist gold from the man himself — happy birthday, Damien Fleming!” Cricket Australia quipped in its tongue-in-cheek message. But Tendulkar’s fans seemed to either miss the joke or balk at the perceived slight on such a hallowed day. “No matter how many bans, Australians will never change,” wrote one fan, Shashank.
Simbine boosted by a tip from Bolt
Reigning Commonwealth 100m champion Akani Simbine has revealed that brotherly advice from retired and undisputed sprint king Usain Bolt helped boost his confidence earlier this year. Simbine qualified for the finals of major events for a number of years but failed to make the podium until he recently stunned Jamaican star Yohan Blake to win gold at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast. “He told me to keep my head up and believe in what I am doing because I am on the right track. I have a different mentality now and I believe in myself 100%,” Simbine said.
Judge boots Ajax review bid in Ndoro case
The Johannesburg High Court has dismissed an application brought by Ajax Cape Town for a review of an SA Football Association arbitrator’s decision regarding the eligibility of Tendai Ndoro. Judge Unterhalter decided that arbitrator Nassim Cassir’s decision that the Premier Soccer League’s dispute resolution chamber did not have the jurisdiction to decide on Ndoro’s eligibility was correct. Passing judgment‚ Judge Unterhalter said: “I find that the decision that Cassim took that on the decision of the DRC was correct and therefore the review cannot be signed.” He ruled that each party should pay their own costs. The matter over Ndoro’s eligibility continues at a further Safa arbitration.
Sharapova eyes more grand slam gloryMaria Sharapova will not settle for lower-tier titles after making her comeback last year and the former world No 1 is determined to add to her five grand slam crowns. The 31-year-old Russian returned from a 15-month doping ban at the Stuttgart Grand Prix last April and has since won one title, the Tianjin Open, after inconsistent performances and injury problems. She is back in Stuttgart this year and plays Caroline Garcia in the first round later on Tuesday. “When you’ve experienced grand slam victories, it’s absolutely natural to have that goal in your mind,” Sharapova told CNN. “I’ve experienced it, and I know what it’s like and I want that feeling again.”
'Old' but bold Tahir still SA's first-choice spinner
Whatever happens, Imran Tahir won’t be the oldest man to play in a World Cup in England next year. The leg spinner will be 109 days past his 40th birthday when the tournament ends on July 14. But 16 other players have been there‚ done that at more advanced ages. Top of a list that includes Omar Henry is Nolan Clarke‚ who was 47 years and 257 days old when he played the last of his five World Cup games for the Netherlands in Rawalpindi in March 1996. The opposition? South Africa‚ who racked up 328/3 and won by 160 runs. Half of the 18 players who have ended a World Cup over the age of 40 have been spinners.
Answer questions, Tokyo 2020 warned
Tokyo Olympic organisers were given a sharp reminder on Tuesday to raise their game after complaints from several international sports federations about preparations for the 2020 Summer Games. IOC co-ordination commission chief John Coates warned that as the spotlight falls on Tokyo after a successful Winter Games in Pyeongchang earlier this year, Olympic stakeholders would become increasingly impatient for answers. “It is very important that when you do presentations, you just have to answer the questions and be forthright in doing so,” Coates said in Tokyo.
- AFP, Reuters and TimesLIVE