SPORTS DAY: Season gathers steam for Chiefs, Sundowns


SPORTS DAY: Season gathers steam for Chiefs, Sundowns

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sports reporter

Solinas sees the funny side of Andrianarimanana
Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas has in a lighthearted moment said he will not try to learn how to pronounce the tongue twisting full name of Madagascan midfielder Andriamirado Andrianarimanana.
It’s win or bust for Sundowns in Champions League 
Mamelodi Sundowns face their toughest assignment this year when they take on unpredictable Horoya AC in their must-win Caf Champions League group stages clash at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Tuesday (6pm).
SuperSport coach Tembo says Chiefs have the edge 
SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo has pointed out that Kaizer Chiefs have the advantage going into the hugely anticipated MTN8 semifinal second-leg clash at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Jordaan makes new bid for Fifa
Danny Jordaan’s bid to become a member of the Fifa Council‚ the all-powerful cabinet that runs the world’s game‚ could be determined by a meeting of regional body Cosafa in Johannesburg early next month. The SA Football Association (Safa) president is one of five candidates for the vacant African Anglophone seat on the 37-member council after the resignation of Ghana’s Kwesi Nyantakyi, who was nabbed in a graft sting.
No major Bafana surprises expectedFrance-based striker Lebogang Mothiba is among a number of overseas Bafana Bafana players expected to be included in coach Stuart Baxter’s squad of no major surprises for the Afcon qualifier against Libya in Durban next month. The 22-year old Mothiba‚ who has played in Lille’s opening three league matches in Ligue 1 where his team is sitting third after two wins and a draw‚ has been closely followed by Baxter. Mothiba has scored one goal in the three matches he has featured in and the Baxter may give him the nod because he plays in a more reputable league compared to Dino Ndlovu who has been scoring goals for Hangzhou Greentown in the second division in China.
Midfielder joins Tau in Belgium
South African attacking midfielder Kurt Abrahams has joined Percy Tau in the Belgian second division after he signed for Westerlo from top-flight Sint Truiden. The 21-year old Abrahams‚ who has seen limited opportunities at his former club where he has not kicked a ball since February‚ decided to drop down a division to reignite his career and is looking forward to getting back on the pitch. “I’m still young‚ so I still have a lot of things that can improve.”
Sponsors desert Cricket SA ahead of the new season
Two out of three ain’t bad. Except when you lose two and are left with only one. Sponsors‚ that is. Two familiar brands in the form of Sunfoil and Ram were missing from the franchise and domestic fixtures Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced for the 2018-19 season on Monday.  Their omission will be seen as further evidence that CSA‚ who have been heavily criticised for their handling of a proposed new T20 tournament‚ are losing credibility and with it the confidence of potential patrons. 
Anderson ‘uncatchable’ once he breaks recordJames Anderson will not be caught once the England cricketer becomes the most prolific fast bowler in Test history, says Australia’s current record-holder Glenn McGrath. Anderson has 557 wickets, just six fewer than the retired McGrath ahead of the fourth Test against India, which starts on Thursday. McGrath, who played his last Test in 2007, expects Anderson to surpass his record and that it will then stand the test of time. “Even though he is an Englishman I will be delighted for him when he goes past my record and becomes the most prolific fast bowler in Test history,” he wrote in Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper.
World No1 knocked out of US Open
World number one Simona Halep was upset 6-2 6-4 by unseeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi in the US Open first round on Monday, the second consecutive year the Romanian has lost her opening match at Flushing Meadows. Playing in the first match on the newly renovated Louis Armstrong Stadium court, the French Open champion failed to sustain any kind of service rhythm and her usually stout defence proved no match for Kanepi’s bruising groundstrokes and deft drop shots.
New champ Su impresses Coe
Su Bingtian’s Asian Games gold in the 100m came as little surprise to many, including athletics boss Sebastian Coe, long an admirer of the pint-sized Chinese sprinter. The 28-year-old streaked to victory in a competition record of 9.92 seconds in Jakarta at the weekend, missing the continental record by the tiniest of fractions. Su edged out Nigeria-born Qatari Tosin Ogunode — younger brother of Femi Ogunode, with whom the Chinese star shares the continental best of 9.91 — on a night when six African-born athletes bagged six track and field golds at Asia’s showcase sports event. “You could argue Japan and China are two of the most improved athletics nations over the last six or seven years,” said Coe.
Ready, steady, splash!
It’s greasy pole climbing time at St Julian’s in Malta. In the tournament, a 16m  pole is covered by 15 litres of lard and fixed at an angle from the promenade into the sea. Competitors try to grab three flags at its end. Organisers say participation has declined while costs, especially for insurance, have soared. Participants run up the pole from as far as possible before the lard and gravity take their toll. The watching crowd delights at the awkward angles at which they invariably fall into the Mediterranean. A few suffer minor injuries.
Hamilton can sense balance of power shifting
Lewis Hamilton still leads the F1 world championship by a handy margin but Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix left no doubt that the balance of power has shifted towards Ferrari. The Mercedes driver left Spa with his advantage trimmed to 17 points and the prospect of race winner and title rival Sebastian Vettel making further inroads at Ferrari’s home Italian Grand Prix next weekend. “Every time we do bring an upgrade they bring a bigger one,” the Briton said of Ferrari on Sunday evening. “We’ve known for the last four races or so that they’ve had some things on their car that’s enabled them to be quicker on the straights and yeah, we’ve just got to work harder, I guess,” he added.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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