SPORTS DAY: Catch Nyobo’s killers, Jordaan urges
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Cops hunt for clues after soccer boss’s murder
South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan has offered his condolences to the family and friends of slain soccer boss Siphiwo “Mawawa” Nyobo. The Tornado FC owner was shot dead as he was leaving North End stadium after watching a football match on Saturday afternoon. The prominent East London businessman and traditional healer was not alone in the car when three gunmen‚ who were on foot‚ sprayed the vehicle with bullets on Lennox Street next to the stadium. Police said the 68-year-old was shot several times in his upper body while the female driver of the vehicle has a bullet wound to the upper body. A bystander was shot on the lower body and was also rushed to Frere Hospital in East London. “We are saddened by another loss of life and on behalf of the soccer family‚ would like to extend my profound condolences to the family‚ club and friends of Nyobo. We call upon the law enforcement agents to track down the culprits who carried out this dastardly act‚ and bring them to book‚” said Jordaan.
Faf ton helps SA to easy win over Sri Lanka
SA captain Faf du Plessis scored an unbeaten century to lead his side to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the first one-day international at the Wanderers on Sunday. After winning the toss and electing to field, SA bowled the visitors out for 231 in 47 overs before chasing down their victory target for the loss of two wickets and with 67 balls remaining. Kusal Mendis (60 from 73 balls) top-scored for Sri Lanka before he was one of a trio of victims for leg-spinner Imran Tahir (3-26 in 10 overs), the pick of the home bowlers. Seamer Lungi Ngidi (3-60) also made a solid return to the team after four months on the sidelines through injury. SA never looked troubled in their reply as Du Plessis (112 in 114 balls) and Quinton de Kock (81 from 72 balls) put on 136 at more than a run-a-ball for the second wicket. Du Plessis’ century was his 11th in ODI cricket and continues his fine form in the 50-over format with 259 runs in his last four innings, during which time he has only been dismissed once.
Real wracked by scoring woes as Ajax visit
After their domestic season was left in tatters by back-to-back defeats to Barcelona, Real Madrid have been left to focus yet again on winning the Champions League as the only way to salvage a turbulent campaign. Yet, as the triple European Cup holders prepare to host Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday in the second leg of their last-16 tie, they are suffering from a goal-scoring crisis, having only netted once from open play in their past four matches. Real hold a 2-1 lead in the tie after riding their luck in Amsterdam, meaning a draw or even a 1-0 defeat would see them into the quarter-finals, but their inability to put the ball in the net is becoming a concern. Ajax meanwhile have been in imperious form since losing the first leg, scoring 13 goals and conceding one in three games.
Legese wins rain-sodden Tokyo marathon
Ethiopian Birhanu Legese cruised to victory at the Tokyo marathon on Sunday, winning in a time of two hours, four minutes and 48 seconds in miserable conditions to claim his first major title. The 24-year-old was part of a small leading group for the first 30km before pulling away easily from runner-up Kenyan Bedan Karoki (2:06:48) and strolling to victory. Karoki’s compatriot Dickson Chumba, twice a winner in Tokyo, was third. With rain lashing down for much of a frigid morning, it was never likely to be a fast race. Japan fancied their chances of a homegrown male victory for the first time since 2010, but Suguru Osako, who set a new Japanese national record in October, struggled to stay with the leading group and pulled out with an injury 30km in. Ethiopian Ruti Aga won the women’s race in 2:20:40, edging out compatriot Helen Tola by 21 seconds.
Blitzboks fail in Vegas
The Blitzboks’ last chance of staying in the title race of the 2018/19 HSBC Sevens World Series race ended with a heavy quarterfinal defeat in Las Vegas on Sunday. SA suffered a heavy 29-10 loss against the US in the quarterfinals of the Las Vegas Sevens in the early hours of Sunday. It was the third time in five tournaments this season that SA failed to make the last four. Before the Las Vegas event the Blitzboks were already 19 points behind New Zealand and the US on the standings. With the campaign reaching the halfway point after this event‚ SA will be more than 20 points adrift with no way back into the title race. There had already been a concession before Las Vegas that the realistic target was consolidating a place in the top four on the log. The leading four teams this season gain automatic qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Controversial sheikh re-elected Asian chief
Kuwait’s Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah was re-elected president of the powerful Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) on Sunday despite forgery charges that forced him to step aside from the International Olympic Committee and other duties. Ahmad, considered a major powerbroker in world sport, won a new five-year term until 2024, the OCA said, extending a reign that started in 1991 over the body that controls the Asian Games and other regional events. In November, Ahmad stood down as an IOC member pending an ethics committee investigation after a forgery case was brought against him in Switzerland. Among his Olympic duties was leading Olympic Solidarity, which decides how broadcast revenues are distributed among national Olympic committees. He also asked not to be re-elected president of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC). “I am confident I am innocent. I trust the court of justice in Switzerland ... I know I am innocent,” he told ANOC delegates at the time.
Kitayama takes Oman Open with late surge
Kurt Kitayama kept his cool as everyone else on the leaderboard collapsed to win the Oman Open by one stroke on Sunday. The American finished on a seven-under par total of 281, one stroke ahead of Spaniard Jorge Campillo, Frenchman Clement Sordet, German Maximilian Kieffer and Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti. The top five entered the event with a total of just three European tour victories between them (one to Kitayama, who has never won on the US tour, two to Zanotti) and the pressure told in the end. High winds and sandstorms earlier in the tournament led to a marathon final day at the at Al Mouj course as Kitayama played 33 holes on Sunday.
Pollard pays tribute forwards for Lions pummelling
Bulls captain Handre Pollard paid tribute to the contribution of his pack of forwards after they pummelled the Lions into submission at Ellis Park. The Bulls won their one-sided Super Rugby derby 30-12 to condemn the Lions to their second consecutive defeat. “Our pack‚” said Pollard when asked why there was such a gulf in class between the sides. “Definitely. No doubt about it. The guys who started‚ as well as the guys who came on. Usually we are in the game for 50‚ 60 minutes and then our wheels fall off.” Pollard helped himself to a haul of 20 points with six penalties and a conversion. He only had one blemish off the kicking tee. “It’s good but it’s my job‚ it is what I have to do‚” said the Bok flyhalf about his goal-kicking.”
Gayle blasts Windies to victory after England collapse
England’s batting line-up imploded in familiar fashion before Chris Gayle inspired the West Indies to a seven-wicket triumph in the fifth and final ODI international in St Lucia on Saturday to ensure the series ended drawn at 2-2. The 39-year-old Gayle, playing in what may be his final home ODI, smashed 77 off just 27 balls after England had been skittled out for 113 in 28.1 overs, with Oshane Thomas doing most damage with five wickets. Just three days after the visitors had posted 418 against the same attack, the West Indies, who won the test series between the two sides 2-1, this time needed just 12.1 overs to race to their target at 115-3. “I thought about it walking round after the game, ‘will this be my last innings in the Caribbean?’ We’ll have to wait and see for now,” Gayle told Sky Sports after being named player of the series for his 424-run haul from the four completed matches.
Galaxy honour David Beckham on MLS opening day
Major League Soccer kicked off a new season on Saturday with 10 games and a tribute to football great David Beckham whose arrival in 2007 helped usher in a new era for the then upstart league. A statue of the former England captain was unveiled by the LA Galaxy outside their stadium in an emotional ceremony prior to their 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire. Beckham’s former Galaxy coach Bruce Arena and teammate Robbie Keane, as well as Beckham’s wife, Victoria, attended the ceremony. “From day one when myself, Victoria, and the kids arrived in this city we felt at home and for that we will be forever grateful,” said Beckham, who is set to become an MLS club owner when expansion side Inter Miami joins the league. Beckham made headlines around the world when he moved to the US in 2007 after an illustrious career at Manchester United and Real Madrid.
– AFP, Reuters and TimesLIVE