SPORTS DAY: Elton gives Rassie a happy poser
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Jantjies impresses Bok coach
Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus was impressed with flyhalf Elton Jantjies’s performance in the 23-18 Rugby Championship defeat to Australia after he was promoted to the starting line-up ahead of Handre Pollard on Saturday. Jantjies scored eight points‚ including two penalties and one conversion‚ before he was replaced by Pollard just after an hour. His performance will give Erasmus a good selection poser ahead of the showdown against the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday. “He did brilliant things at times and he kicked very well at the posts‚” said Erasmus.
Baxter defends Bafana midfielder Furman
Stuart Baxter has defended his central midfielder Dean Furman after a man-of-the-match performance by the player for Bafana Bafana in their 0-0 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying stalemate against Libya on Saturday. Bafana found an excellentl organised Libya difficult to break down at Moses Mabhida Stadium. The South Africans could not be faulted for effort and had to work themselves ragged for the few scoring opportunities they were able to manufacture. Two players who came in for special praise for their effort on a frustrating afternoon on a pitch soaked from a heavy morning downpour were winger Keagan Dolly and SuperSport United defensive midfielder Furman‚ whose selection for Bafana can often be criticised. “I thought Dean was outstanding today. I thought Keagan Dolly was as well‚” Baxter said.
Osaka shows killer instinct, soft heart
The killer instinct that carried Japan’s Naomi Osaka to a first Grand Slam title evaporated as she hugged her idol Serena Williams after beating her in a controversial US Open final. Osaka said it wasn’t the ire of the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd — angered at penalties meted out to Williams — but just the realisation that she’d robbed the US great who inspired her career of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title. “I know that she really wanted to have the 24th Grand Slam,” said Osaka, who choked up again herself trying to explain her feelings. “When I step onto the court, I feel like a different person, right? I’m not a Serena fan. I’m just a tennis player playing another tennis player. “But then when I hugged her at the net I felt like a little kid again.” Osaka, 20, is Japan’s first Grand Slam winner.
Divided Trump-era US challenges ad industry
Nike’s unexpected move this week to feature Colin Kaepernick in a major ad campaign met instant condemnation in some circles, with critics destroying their Nike garb in protest. The reaction was hardly surprising following boycotts of Dick’s Sporting Goods by NRA supporters due to its gun control stance and of Macy’s and other stores over carrying Ivanka Trump’s now-defunct clothing line. There is even precedent within Nike’s sector for customer blowback, with some consumers burning their New Balance shoes after a company executive lauded US President Donald Trump’s trade policies and Under Armour garnering criticism when its chief executive praised Trump. Despite the backlash, Nike’s embrace of civil rights activist Kaepernick was seen as deepening the brand’s appeal to millennials and non-white consumers.
Dovizioso wins San Marino GP for Ducati
Italian Andrea Dovizioso won the San Marino Grand Prix for Ducati on Sunday while reigning world champion Marc Marquez finished second to increase his MotoGP championship lead to 67 points. Local favourite Valentino Rossi managed only a distant seventh for Yamaha and lost second place overall to Dovizioso who now has 154 points to Spaniard Marquez’s 221 with six races remaining. Rossi has 151. Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo, who had started on pole position at the Marco Simoncelli circuit on Italy’s Adriatic coast, crashed out on the penultimate lap while heading for a Ducati one-two finish. That lifted Britain’s Cal Crutchlow to third as the leading non-factory finisher on an LCR-Honda.
Mo Farah wins 5th straight Great North Run
Mo Farah delivered a dominant performance to claim a record fifth victory in the Great North Run on Sunday in the latest step in his bid to win a major marathon. The British runner led from the front to cross the line in 59min 26sec, just four seconds short of the personal best he set in winning his second title in 2015. It was also his fifth consecutive win in the race. Farah shrugged off New Zealand’s Jake Robertson in the final section of the race in Newcastle as he set himself up in style for his attempt to win his first major marathon crown in Chicago next month.
England ‘must not panic’ after Spain defeat
Kieran Trippier says there is no reason for alarm after England slipped to their third consecutive defeat in their Nations League opener against Spain. Saturday’s match at Wembley was the first fixture for Gareth Southgate’s side since they reached the World Cup semifinals in Russia. But England failed to take advantage of the feelgood factor from Russia, losing their third straight match after their semifinal defeat against Croatia and their loss to Belgium in the third-place playoff. Marcus Rashford struck early for England but Saul Niguez levelled for Spain moments later and Rodrigo scored the winning goal later in the first half. But Tottenham full-back Trippier said there was no need to panic after the 2-1 defeat: “It is not a concern. We are building and that is all we can do, play against these teams. We want to test ourselves against the best and certainly tonight we put up a fight.”
England’s Anderson fined for dissent in India Test
England fast bowler James Anderson has been fined 15% of his match fee for showing dissent to the umpire in Saturday’s play in the fifth Test against India at the Oval. Anderson is just two shy of Australia great Glenn McGrath’s record of 563 Test wickets, the most taken by any fast bowler. Chasing that record on the second day of the Test, Anderson was angry at an unsuccessful lbw review against star batsman Virat Kohli in the 29th over of India’s innings. He snatched his cap and jumper from umpire Kumar Dharmasena and “spoke to him in an aggressive manner”, the ICC said on Sunday. Anderson has admitted the offence and accepted the sanction, the ICC said. In addition to the fine, one demerit point has been added to his disciplinary record.
Dubious draw denies Nietes title
Donnie Nietes still hasn’t lost a fight in 14 years, but a controversial draw with Filipino compatriot Aston Palicte on Saturday denied his dream of a world title in a fourth different weight class. Judges scored the 12-round showdown for the vacant World Boxing Organisation super flyweight title 118-110 for Nietes, 116-112 for Palicte, and a 114-114 draw at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Nietes, 36, saw his record move to 41-1 with five drawn as his unbeaten streak since 2014 went to 34 fights – 30 wins with a fourth draw. Palicte, 27, now has a record of 24-2 with one drawn. Punch count statistics saw Nietes, 36, land 194 punches, 70 more than Palicte, his 40% of punches landed was nearly twice the accuracy rate of his rival. While not beaten, Nietes was denied a victory that would have put him alongside Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire as the only Filipino fighters with world titles in four weight classes.
Bolt takes break from Aussie football training
Sprint legend Usain Bolt’s football training has been put on hold after he flew out of Australia for a “previously planned commitment”, his A-League club has said. The Jamaican superstar is pursuing his long-held dream of playing professional football and arrived in Gosford, 75km north of Sydney, last month for training with the Central Coast Mariners. The 32-year-old has been with the A-League side for three weeks and in late August made a 20-minute cameo for the club in a pre-season game. “Usain Bolt will be abroad from Sunday, 9 September to Sunday, 16 September for a previously planned commitment,” the Mariners said on Saturday. The team did not say where Bolt was travelling to, but Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported he was going to France for an event.
AFP, Reuters and TimesLIVE