SPORTS DAY: Louis charges to first SA Open victory
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Louis Oosthuizen wins SA Open at last
Louis Oosthuizen put an early final round wobble behind him before emphatically charging to a maiden SA Open title on Sunday. He obliterated the field to finish on 18-under for a six-shot winning margin‚ the biggest since Tim Clarke won in Durban in 2005. He became only the sixth player after Bobby Locke‚ Gary Player‚ Bob Charles (New Zealand)‚ Ernie Els and Henrik Stenson (Sweden) to win the The Open and the SA Open. A tearful Oosthuizen was hugely relieved afterwards. “When the last putt dropped it was such a relief knowing I put my name up with greats that have won it. Any South African wants to win SA Open‚” said Oosthuizen, who had not played in this event since 2011 as a result of conflicting schedules.
Defeat to Fiji sours Blitzboks’ weekend
The Blitzboks’ weak start to the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series continued with semifinal elimination at the Cape Town leg on Sunday. The South Africans went down 17-12 in a tight semifinal clash against Fiji. After battling through the quarterfinals with a 21-12 win over a mediocre Scotland side‚ the Blitzboks had their chances against Fiji but faltered due to their own mistakes. Fiji scored three tries in total and all came from scrums‚ two deep inside their own half‚ and both came from simple missed tackles in the midfield. First the wonderfully agile Vilimoni Botitu smashed through Werner Kok and Justin Geduld 70m out and then Waisea Nacuqu followed the same script from a scrum to brush Rosko Specman aside. The Blitzboks managed to stay in the game with tries from Siviwe Soyizwapi and Specman‚ but their own errors cost them two more fine chances.
Newlands to host Mzansi Super League final
The final of the inaugural Mzansi Super League extravaganza will be played at Newlands in Cape Town after second-placed Jozi Stars were beaten at home by second-from-bottom Paarl Rocks in a thrilling match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday. Faf du Plessis and Grant Thompson scored sparkling half centuries for the Paarl Rocks to steer the Paarl-based side to a win over the Jozi Stars and in so doing boosted their hopes of clinching a playoff spot. Du Plessis (61 off 34) and Thompson (71 off 55 balls not out) put on solid match-winning fourth wicket partnership of more than 100 runs that laid the foundation for a successful run chase after the Stars could only make 170 for six in their 20 overs. The Rocks won by six wickets with six balls to spare as they posted 172 for four to leave the Stars stagnant in second place on 24 points after nine matches.
Transgender Manuel makes history with pro win
Transgender boxer Patricio Manuel made history Saturday with a unanimous decision victory over Mexican super-featherweight Hugo Aguilar in Indio, California. Manuel, 33, became the first transgender male to fight professionally in the US. “I wouldn’t trade any of it. It was worth everything I went through to get to this point,” Manuel said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I’m a professional boxer now.” Manuel fought in the 2012 US Olympic trials as a female, but a shoulder injury spelled the end of a bid to make the team for the London Games after just one bout. Months later he began the transition to male, and after surgery and hormone treatments waded through the bureaucracy of getting licensed to fight.
Coach wants Baroka to keep feet on the ground
The last thing Baroka coach Wedson Nyirenda would like to see is his players being “intoxicated” with their Telkom Knockout glory. Bakgaga were crowned champions on Saturday following their 3-2 penalty shootout win over the much-fancied Orlando Pirates. The match had ended 2-2 after two hours of pure football entertainment. Besides their promotion to the top flight a few years ago‚ this no doubt ranks as their biggest achievement since their formation in 2007. Nyirenda was full of praise for his “great boys”‚ but also shared some concerns about the way forward. “I would like to preach to the players once more what I talk about all the time and African players suffer from a succession level‚” said the Zambian.
Marsh, Head carry Aussie hopes
Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and paceman Mohammed Shami combined to tear through Australia’s top order and bring India within six wickets of victory on day four of the series-opening test on Sunday. Shaun Marsh (31 not out) and Travis Head (11 not out) were left clinging to their wickets after nudging Australia to 104 for four at stumps, after a nerve-jangling final hour at Adelaide Oval. Australia were 219 runs short of their victory target of 323 and will need to defy history to chase down the total. The highest successful run chase at Adelaide Oval was in 1902, when the hosts scored 315 for six to beat England. “We still believe we can win this,” said Australia spinner Nathan Lyon who took 6-122 to help restrict India to 307 in their second innings.
Kihira upsets Olympic champ to win Grand Prix gold
Japan’s rising star Rika Kihira won the battle of the 16-year-olds, upsetting reigning Olympic champ Alina Zagitova to claim ladies’ gold at the ISU Grand Prix Figure Skating Final on Saturday. Skating her free programme “Beautiful Storm” by Jennifer Thomas, Kihira missed her first triple Axel but skated clean the rest of the way, including nailing her triple Lutz-toeloop. “I made a mistake early but got to go out there and finish. I am really happy to perform that way on this stage,” said Kihira. Kihira, who also won the short programme, finished with a personal best total score of 233.12 points to beat runner-up Zagitova by more than six points. European champion Zagitova, skating to “Carmen” in her free programme, earned a total of 226.53 points while her Russian compatriot Elizaveta Tuktamysheva grabbed the third spot on the podium with 215.32 points.
Sterling accuses newspapers of fuelling racism
Raheem Sterling has accused British newspapers of helping to “fuel racism” with the way they portray young black footballers after he suffered alleged abuse during Manchester City’s defeat at Chelsea. Chelsea and the police are investigating the incident at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, which was highlighted on social media. Sterling, 24, posted on Instagram on Sunday, referencing a story from January about City teammate Tosin Adarabioyo reportedly buying an expensive house despite never having started a Premier League match. “The young black kid is looked at in a bad light. Which helps fuel racism an(d) aggressive behaviour,” Sterling wrote. “So for all the newspapers that don’t understand why people are racist in this day and age all I have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity an(d) give all players an equal chance.”
Celtics hand Bulls worst loss in franchise history
Daniel Theis scored a career-high 22 points, and Boston opened the game with 17 consecutive points while rolling to an easy 133-77 victory over the host Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. Jaylen Brown scored a team-best 23 points off the bench, and Jayson Tatum made all four three-point attempts while scoring 18 points as the Celtics won their season-best fifth straight contest. Terry Rozier added 15 points, Kyrie Irving and Semi Ojeleye each scored 13 and Marcus Morris tallied 12 for Boston. Shaquille Harrison scored a career-best 20 points, Zach LaVine added 11 and Cameron Payne had 10 for the Bulls, who have lost eight of their last nine. The franchise-worst 56-point defeat occurred in Jim Boylen’s third game as coach after replacing the fired Fred Hoiberg. It also was the Celtics’ largest margin of victory in franchise history.
Bangladesh beat Windies in first ODI
Bangladesh defeated the West Indies by five wickets in the first one-day international at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday. Mushfiqur Rahim top scored with 55 not out as Bangladesh reached their target 196 for the loss of five wickets in 35.1 overs. Earlier, three wickets each for Mashrafe Mortaza and Mustafizur Rahman helped them restrict West Indies to 195-9, as Shai Hope scored 43. The second contest of the three-match series will be held at the same ground on Tuesday.
– AFP, Reuters and TimesLIVE