SPORTS DAY: De Bruyn ton in vain for bamboozled Proteas
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Herath spins Sri Lanka to series sweep
Theunis de Bruyn’s gutsy century went in vain as Sri Lanka completed a 2-0 series sweep after Rangana Herath spun the hosts to a comprehensive victory against South Africa in the second and final Test on Monday. The 199-run win, with more than a day to spare, was due to Sri Lanka’s tireless spin trio of Herath, Akila Dananjaya and Dilruwan Perera who together claimed all 20 South African wickets. Resuming on 139-5 with a comprehensive defeat looming over them, South Africa’s end came rather later than expected as the tourists suddenly discovered a stomach for fight which was conspicuously absent in the series. De Bruyn and Temba Bavuma proved during their 123-run stand that Sri Lanka’s rampaging spinners could be tackled with decisive footwork and proper application.
Blitzboks take bronze at Sevens World Cup
The Blitzboks can never be accused of choking‚ but their semifinal elimination against England at the World Cup in San Francisco on Sunday night was an uncharacteristically poor performance. Typically the Blitzboks bounced back from their 29-7 loss to England‚ which denied them a place in the World Cup final for the first time since 1997‚ with a stirring bronze medal win over Fiji. The quest for World Cup glory though‚ will have to wait for another four years. New Zealand won the final 33-12 against England‚ to add their Commonwealth Games gold medal from earlier this year.
Titi puts his foot in it in London
Ncincilili Titi made his professional debut at the Anniversary Games in London on Sunday‚ and then put his foot in it straight afterwards – literally. After finishing seventh in the 200m in 20.44sec‚ the US-based sprinter took off his spikes and‚ barefoot‚ walked through the mixed zone where he stopped for a media interview. Titi was unconcerned about the platter-sized wet spot he happened to be standing in until officials nearby pointed out that the puddle was actually the watery contents vomited up by another athlete shortly before. He stepped away‚ but laughed it off with a shrug of the shoulders‚ pointing out he could wash his feet.
Özil departure puts focus on German-Turk relationsGerman soccer player Mesut Özil’s decision to quit the national team due to “racism and disrespect” he faced over his Turkish roots threw a spotlight on Monday on the country’s relations with its largest immigrant community. The player, who came under fire for having his photograph taken with Turkey’s authoritarian President Tayyip Erdogan in May, was especially piqued by criticism from German Football Association head Reinhard Grindel, who he said blamed him for Germany crashing out of this year’s World Cup tournament.
Froome ready to give up yellow jersey for Thomas
Defending champion Chris Froome said he is ready to sacrifice a record-equalling fifth Tour de France victory if it helps Sky teammate Geraint Thomas claim his maiden yellow jersey. Four-time champion Froome can pull level with the likes of former five-time winners Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain if he triumphs on the Champs Elysees next Sunday. But Froome, currently 1min 39sec behind Thomas in the overall standings going into three consecutive days in the Pyrenees, said he would be happy to forego all the glory if it means Thomas wins the race for Sky.
Nadal sitting pretty atop ATP rankingsRafael Nadal remains top of the ATP tennis world rankings with the 32-year-old 17-time Grand Slam winner enjoying a comfortable margin over his eternal rival Roger Federer. Novak Djokovic is in 10th position, after turning round from a long slump as a swathe of US tournaments swing into view ahead of the US Open in late August.
Formula One calendar up in the air
Formula One will have a draft 2019 calendar by the end of August but there could be only 20 races, with Germany out of contract and a proposed round in Miami still in the embryonic stages. F1 commercial manager Sean Bratches said Formula One wanted to keep Germany, home of champions Mercedes and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, on the calendar — hopefully from next year. Whether that is Hockenheim or somewhere else remains to be seen.
Tokyo focuses on environment before Olympics
With two years to go until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Japanese capital is hoping to use the Games as motivation to improve its environmental sustainability. Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike has made lowering emissions and plastic litter prevention some of her main objectives in charge of the capital. With Tokyo set to host the Olympics starting on July 24 2020, Koike is hopeful the Games can spur a change and make Japan more sustainable.
Record volunteer applications for Rugby World Cup
A record number of people in Japan have applied to volunteer at next year’s Rugby World Cup, with applicants outnumbering available spots by nearly four to one. Rugby still takes a backseat to baseball and football in Japan, and 2019’s World Cup will be the first time the event is held in Asia. But excitement about the event, and the Tokyo Olympics the following year, has been building, and World Cup organisers hailed the “phenomenal interest” in volunteer positions. Over 38,000 people submitted applications for just 10,000 spots, organisers said.
AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE