SPORTS DAY: Squeaky bum time for Pep’s title charge

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SPORTS DAY: Squeaky bum time for Pep’s title charge

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sports editor


SOCCER
Old Trafford holds no fears for Guardiola
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Old Trafford is no longer a “scary” place to visit ahead of Wednesday’s derby at the home of Manchester United. Victory for City in the Premier League clash will keep the reigning champions on course to become the first team in English football history to win a treble of all three major domestic trophies in the same season. City boast an impressive run of five wins and a draw in their last seven league visits to Old Trafford – a sequence that includes 6-1 and 3-0 victories.
Sundowns down Chippa in five-goal thriller 
Mamelodi Sundowns came from a goal down to beat Chippa United 3-2 at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday afternoon and move level at the top of the Absa premiership table‚ just behind leaders Orlando Pirates on goal difference. Mark Mayambela put the struggling Eastern Cape side ahead but Hlompho Kekana‚ Sibusiso Vilakazi and Gaston Sirino all scored to turn it around and keep the holders on course to defending their title. Rhulani Manzini pulled one back with six minutes to go to make Sundowns sweat for their points.
CRICKET
‘Shattered’ Lankan cricketer recounts bombing
Sri Lankan cricketer Dasun Shanaka barely survived one of the deadly blasts that killed more than 320 people in the island nation on Easter Sunday, and says the horrific scenes have left him “scared” to go out. The 27-year-old allrounder skipped Easter service at St Sebastian’s Church in his hometown of Negombo because of a long trip the day before, he told Cricinfo. It was among six churches and hotels targeted by suicide bombers.
TENNIS
 
Elbow injury forces Anderson to skip clay season
Kevin Anderson has pulled out of all clay tournaments this season, including next month’s French Open, to give himself time to recover from an elbow injury, the South African said on Tuesday. The big-serving 32-year-old, who also withdrew from Indian Wells and the Monte Carlo Masters this year, last played at the Miami Open in March where he was ousted in the quarterfinals by eventual champion Roger Federer.
ATHLETICS
Athletics SA fail to meet transformation targets
Athletics SA (ASA) were named and shamed as the only one among the top five federations that failed to meet its own transformation targets. This was revealed by sport minister Tokozile Xasa when she released the Eminent Persons Report on transformation in Pretoria on Tuesday, where she confirmed that SA Rugby‚ Cricket SA‚ Netball SA and the SA Football Association met 50% or more of their targets. A concerned Xasa said she would schedule a meeting with ASA‚ which is a repeat offender.
RUGBY
RG Snyman hoping for Rugby World Cup spot
Springboks and Bulls towering lock RG Snyman is hoping to stay fit for the remainder of the Super Rugby season to put himself in contention for a place in the World Cup in Japan later this year. Snyman returned to action during the Bulls’ win over the Reds at Loftus before last weekend’s bye and is raring to go again when they travel to the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday. He returned from his stint in Japan for Honda Beat with a knee injury that needed an operation at the beginning of the season.FORMULA ONEBerger says Hamilton is now on a par with SennaGerhard Berger has always rated former teammate Ayrton Senna in a league of his own but he says Lewis Hamilton now ranks alongside the late Brazilian Formula One champion in his estimation. Speaking ahead of the 25th anniversary of Senna’s death at Imola on May 1, Berger said his friend still led as a personality and the legend that surrounds him. Hamilton has five championships, one with McLaren in 2008 and four with Mercedes in the last five seasons. He is leading the championship into this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The 34-year-old Briton holds several records, including most pole positions (84), and his 75 wins are second only to seven times champion Schumacher’s career haul of 91.
RUGBY
Five anti-doping violations in English rugby last season
Five anti-doping violations within both the professional and community game were discovered out of more than 800 tests conducted across all levels of rugby in England in the 2017-18 season, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said on Tuesday. There were two professional anti-doping violations and three community violations last season. There were also four violations of the RFU illicit drugs policy last season after they conducted 332 tests. Yorkshire Carnegie’s SA flanker Brandon Staples was banned from all sport for four years last April after testing positive for three steroids while Wasps hooker Ashley Johnson was handed a backdated six-month ban last July.
– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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