SPORTS DAY: Olympic-size headache for shaky Blitzboks
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Blitzboks in qualification danger zone
The Blitzboks are in danger of missing out on automatic Olympic qualification after a dismal weekend at the Las Vegas Sevens saw them slip to fifth on the standings. This is the first time SA have been outside the top four since the 2011/12 season. The top four teams at the end of the 10-leg World Series gain automatic qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Hurricanes sign Ferreira Former Cheetahs and Lions lock Andries Ferreira has been signed by the Hurricanes for the remainder of the Super Rugby season after Sam Lousi was ruled out with a pectoral muscle injury that required surgery, the team said on Monday. “We’re hoping he’ll bring physicality. He’s a solid boy,” assistant coach Carlos Spencer said of the 1.97m, 120kg Ferreira. Aussie skipper suspended for biting
Australia’s national women’s captain Liz Patu has been suspended for six weeks after pleading guilty to biting an opponent during a Super W game in Australia, Queensland Rugby Union said. Under World Rugby’s regulations, the maximum penalty for biting is a four-year ban but Patu was allowed a 50% reduction on the minimum sanction of 12 weeks due to mitigating factors, her previous good character and her clean disciplinary record.
Banyana blow early lead
Banyana Banyana let a late lead and a numerical advantage slip as they lost 2-1 to Czech Republic in their final pool game at the Cyprus Cup on Monday‚ a further dent in their build-up to the Fifa Women’s World Cup in France later in the year. Coach Des Ellis had made three changes to the side that were thumped 4-1 by pool favourites North Korea on Friday. We don’t want to play at home, says Hunt
Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has said he would rather not play at home right now. After blowing a 2-0 lead before losing to Sundowns 2-3 against Cape Town City at the weekend, Wits have now lost five matches in their last 12 home ties. In 10 matches on the road they have lost just once‚ winning six times and drawing three.
Kane holds key to Spurs’ European ambitions
Harry Kane insists Tottenham will shake off their Premier League collapse as the England star looks to fire his team into the Champions League quarter-finals against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday. “Over the last week we have put ourselves under pressure but we have done it in the past and every game is a big game.” Tottenham have one foot in the last eight after a 3-0 first-leg win at Wembley.
Tahir to quit ODIs
Proteas slow bowler Imran Tahir will call time on his ODI career after the World Cup in England to make way for younger spinners. Tahir‚ who together with JP Duminy and Chris Morris were not offered new contracts recently‚ said the decision was the biggest of his life and it came after he reached a mutual agreement with Cricket SA. “I always wanted to finish after the World Cup and I am contracted until then ... I also want to play T20 cricket for South Africa because I have the ability and can still make a contribution.”
Disabled team set sights on Le Mans 24 Hours
Had Ash Hall’s legs not been blown off in Afghanistan, the former British Army bomb disposal expert would not now be part of a team contemplating entering the Le Mans 24 Hours race. Neither would Martyn Compton, whose road to becoming a racing driver started when he suffered 75% burns after his tank took a direct hit in a dusty village in Helmand Province in 2006. Both former soldiers are members of Team BRIT, aiming to become the first all-disabled outfit to compete in the world’s toughest sportscar race, possibly as early as 2021.
Old star’s memorabilia fetches nearly $3m at auction
A trove of NBA memorabilia – including championship rings and MVP hardware from the hall-of-fame basketball career of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, garnered nearly $3m at a US auction on Sunday. The 71-year-old former Los Angeles Laker put hundreds of items up for sale, with his 1987 diamond championship ring fetching the most at $398,937. Abdul-Jabbar said “much” of the proceeds would go to his foundation which helps educate children.
Johnson confirms return to No 1
Dustin Johnson officially regained the world No 1 ranking from Justin Rose on Monday following his triumph at the WGC-Mexico Championship a week ago. The 34-year-old replaces the Englishman by the narrowest of margins – 0.0008 average points – in top spot, a position he has held for 81 weeks in his career.
– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE