Reigning French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova said she physically “hit the wall” as she crashed out in the first round at Roland Garros on Monday, losing 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to French teenager Diane Parry. The Czech world No. 2 was playing her first match since February after having been sidelined with an elbow injury. She looked to be in control up a set and a break, but dropped six games in a row to the 19-year-old Parry before again blowing an early lead in the deciding set. “I think set and 2-0, that was where I hit the wall,” said Krejcikova, who had yet to play on clay this season. “I just think I just collapsed physically, and, I mean, it was tough because I didn’t play the matches.” Krejcikova was booed when she returned from a bathroom break between the second and third sets, as the crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier got behind Parry. Krejcikova said she had no regrets about making her comeback at a Grand Slam. “For sure, I didn’t want to miss this one,” said Krejcikova, who last year became the first player since Mary Pierce in 2000 to win the singles and doubles at Roland Garros. Four-time Grand Slam winner Osaka was knocked out 7-5, 6-4 by Amanda Anisimova — the same player who ended the Japanese star’s title defense at the Australian Open this year. Osaka served eight double faults and committed 29 unforced errors on her return to Roland Garros, after withdrawing last year when she refused to honor mandatory media commitments before revealing that she had been depressed. “I thought I tried really hard, and I just feel like it was a bit unfortunate because I wasn’t able to play as many matches leading into this tournament,” said Osaka, unseeded at a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2018
The Eastern Conference Finals series between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics is as close as can be — heading back to Miami all tied up at two wins apiece — but the individual games have been anything but, with huge leads, lengthy scoring droughts and blowouts. Boston on Monday scored 18 of the first 19 points on the way to a 102-82 victory in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series. The Celtics led by as many as 32 in the third quarter — a big gap, even for a series that has been full of them. “Sometimes when you have two really competitive teams, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be a one-point game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It means that it can be flammable, either way. Both teams are ignitable.” The two teams seemed to be taking turns catching fire: The team that has gotten blown out has won the next game each time. “Whatever they have done to us, we can do to them,” Spoelstra said. “None of us are happy about what happened tonight. This is part of the playoffs. There are these extreme highs and lows, particularly when you have two teams that are pretty closely, evenly matched.” The series today shifts to Miami for Game 5, with Boston guaranteed another game at home on Friday. The Heat would host the decisive seventh game on Sunday, if necessary. “I think human nature plays a part in it — when you win a game, you can relax a little bit,” said Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who had 31 points in Game 4 after scoring 10 the previous game. “Obviously, when we lose a game, we feel like the next game is do or die, and then we come out and play like we did,” he added. “I think we have to have
Paul Goldschmidt on Monday hit a walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning, lifting the Saint Louis Cardinals to a 7-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. “I was just trying to make sure I could put something in play,” Goldschmidt said. “I was able to get enough of it to get it out of there.” Saint Louis native David Phelps (0-1) began the 10th and a wild pitch sent pinch-runner Lars Nootbaar — who was on second as the automatic runner — to third. After striking out two, Phelps walked Tommy Edman. Ryan Borucki, the sixth Toronto pitcher, came in and walked pinch-hitter Edmundo Sosa. Goldschmidt struck out three times and hit into a double play in his previous four at-bats. “You don’t have any other choice,” Goldschmidt said. “I had five outs in four at-bats. That’s not what you want to do. I was preparing for the at-bat. It was pretty cool.” Goldschmidt sent a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence for his seventh homer, extending his hitting streak to 15 games. “To start the game the way he did and then to stay locked in enough to take that at-bat and win that game is impressive,” Saint Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “What’s cool about today is he strikes out several times and he’s still in the dugout upbeat, smiling and having fun. That’s a player that’s confident in what he’s able to do. That was fun to watch today.” However, it was not as much fun for the Blue Jays. “I know they’re going to get hot,” Blues Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We’re just not swinging the bats right now. We had a chance. We just didn’t come up with the big hits again.” Also on Monday, it was: ‧ Dodgers 10, Nationals 1 ‧ Cubs 7, Reds 4 ‧ Pirates 2, Rockies 1 ‧ Orioles 6, Yankees 4 ‧
Two-time defending champions Ukraine aim to make their compatriots proud at this week’s Nations Cup, the world cup of match poker, Ukraine Sport Poker Federation president Sergey Eifimenko said in an interview. “The war in Ukraine affects everything, including the team,” Eifimenko said. The 14-team Nations Cup takes place until Friday in Gevgelija, North Macedonia. Eifimenko said the war prevented him from picking his first-choice team, with “key players” unable to leave Ukraine. “Unfortunately, we are unable to present our main team at this Cup, as men aged 18 to 60 cannot leave the country ... and these are the key players of the national team,” he said. “Of course, it’s hard morally to play poker, knowing that at this time bombs are falling on peaceful cities on your land and innocent people and children are dying,” he said. “I believe that the main task of the team at this Cup is not victory, but a worthy representation of Ukraine at the Nations Cup.” Eifimenko said that the eight-member squad taking part this year, which under the competition rules must contain at least one woman, are all living outside Ukraine, but could be called up to serve in the war at any time. “Among the members of the team there is Vasily Dobrodsky, a veteran of the war in the Donbas,” Eifimenko said. “All the guys at one time got on the military register and are waiting for mobilization.” “Unfortunately, there was no opportunity to hold training camps to prepare for the Cup, only online consultations,” he added. Ukraine’s emergence as a poker powerhouse has been rapid. Club poker only began in the country in 2006 and Ukraine won its first Nations Cup title in Dublin in 2019. “At that time, the team included the champions of Ukraine of the past years, as well as prize winners of international tournaments.
For years, the virtual world of video games was the only place where Kenyan gamer Brian Diang’a felt safe from his abusive, alcoholic father and their unhappy home in Kibera, Africa’s largest slum. “Gaming was my only escape,” Diang’a said, describing a childhood mired in poverty and violence. Popularly known by his online avatar “Beast,” the 28-year-old discovered video games when he was nine. “My dad had become an alcoholic and he would come back home in a drunken stupor and beat up my mom. Home became somewhere I did not want to be,” Diang’a said. His daily visits to gaming dens worried his mother, who believed they were a bad influence on her son and a distraction from his schoolwork. “I would receive a beating from my mom every time she found me in these gaming parlors,” Diang’a said. Far from being a gateway to the world of drugs and crime, his childhood pursuit has instead taken him to tournaments and offered lucrative opportunities to work with tech brands. Today, he earns about 50,000 Kenyan shillings (US$429) per month in a country where youth unemployment remains a huge problem. Diang’a never imagined that his childhood passion could lead to a professional career — until 2013. “I bumped onto YouTube videos where I saw gamers abroad playing Mortal Kombat — a game that I frequently played to pass time — and getting paid up to US$5,000 to compete,” he said. So he decided to try and join their ranks. Diang’a is one of several Kenyan gamers trying to find their feet in a multibillion-dollar industry that is slowly making its way onto international platforms such as the inaugural Commonwealth e-sports championships, which is expected to feature Kenyan participation. However, they are outliers in a society that has traditionally seen academic performance or exceptional athletic ability as the only route to success. Law graduate
Double Olympic champion Caster Semenya said she offered to show her vagina to athletics officials when she was just 18 years old to prove she was a female. In an interview with HBO Real Sports, she accused track and field’s world governing body of making her take medication that “tortured” her and left her fearing she would have a heart attack. In the interview, Semenya reflected on the 2009 world championships in Berlin, where she won the 800-meter title in dominant fashion as an 18-year-old newcomer at her first major international meet. However, her performance and muscular physique led the sport’s governing body to insist that the teenager undergo sex tests. Semenya said track officials from the governing body “probably” thought she had a penis. “I told them: ‘It’s fine. I’m a female. I don’t care. If you want to see I’m a woman, I will show you my vagina. Alright?’” she added. The 2009 world championships was the start of Semenya’s 13-year battle against track authorities. Updated testosterone regulations ban Semenya, now 31, from competing in distances from 400m to the mile at top-level track meets unless she agrees to again take medication to lower her testosterone — she has refused. Details of the sometimes bitter battle came to light in 2019 when court documents from Semenya’s first legal challenge revealed that the track body categorized her as “biologically male.” Semenya said she was outraged at a sports body “telling me that I am not a woman.” Semenya was identified as female at birth and has identified as female her whole life, but some experts say her elevated natural testosterone gives her a clear advantage against other women. Before she was banned from running in the 800m in 2019, Semenya went unbeaten in more than 30 races.
INCREDIBLE: German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan said of Manchester City’s Premier League title win: ‘These are the days you look back to — it was an unbelievable game’
Ilkay Gundogan hailed Manchester City’s “incredible” Premier League title triumph as the German midfielder came off the bench to spark their astonishing fightback to beat Aston Villa 3-2 on Sunday, the last day of the season. Pep Guardiola’s side were in grave danger of blowing the title after falling two goals behind at the Etihad Stadium, with a victory required to be sure of beating Liverpool to the trophy. However, German international Gundogan proved to be City’s superhero substitute as he headed home to give them a lifeline in the 76th minute. After Rodri equalized, it was Gundogan who wrote his name into City’s history books with the 81st minute winner from Kevin De Bruyne’s cross. City finished just one point ahead of Liverpool, and Gundogan admitted that he was almost at a loss for words after the dramatic denouement. “It was an unbelievable game,” Gundogan said. “We are human beings and after going 2-0 down the chances were just very, very small.” “But we had to do the simple things — and scoring two goals quickly and then having 10 minutes to score the third one gave us the right lift,” Gundogan added. “It was about getting that goal and then the momentum was on our side, then we were able to score three goals in just a few minutes. These are the days you look back to — it was an unbelievable game.” Gundogan paid tribute to Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp, who he played for at Borussia Dortmund, for pushing City to the wire before falling short in their bid for an unprecedented quadruple. Liverpool trailed City by 14 points in January and only Gundogan’s last-gasp heroics stopped the Reds from stealing away the title. “I know it’s tough to say, but if Liverpool did not play the way they play — incredible football and successful —
AC Milan supporters will look back on their club’s gamble to stick with unproven coach Stefano Pioli as the decision that set them on course to winning their first Serie A title in 11 years. A double from Olivier Giroud inspired Milan to a 3-0 victory at US Sassuolo in their season finale on Sunday to seal the Serie A title ahead of rivals Inter, ending what had been too long a wait for the “scudetto” for a club of Milan’s grandeur. The man who masterminded the title triumph collected the first trophy of his 19-year coaching career, but it could have been quite different had the club not shown faith in him at the start of Milan’s journey back to the top. Milan’s fall from grace following their previous league triumph in 2011 was spectacular. Four years after their 18th Serie A triumph, they finished 10th in the standings and spent seven seasons outside the top four between 2014 and 2020. After Massimiliano Allegri’s departure in 2014, six permanent coaches in five years tried and failed to turn things around, before Pioli came in to steady the ship. The initial results were mixed after Pioli succeeded Marco Giampaolo in October 2019, before a fine end to the 2019-2020 season secured Milan a return to European competition for the following campaign. However, Pioli appeared set to be replaced ahead of the 2020-2021 season, with former RB Leipzig and Schalke 04 coach Ralf Rangnick reportedly coming in. Sporting director Paulo Maldini instead decided to give Pioli a new deal, revealing that he felt Rangnick was not the “right fit” for the club. Pioli restored Milan to the big time without breaking the bank, and by keeping things simple. Astute signings last season, such as midfielder Sandro Tonali, Croatian forward Ante Rebic and Denmark captain Simon Kjaer, helped Milan to finish
Teenage Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz said the best part about being touted as the future of Grand Slam tennis is that he is realizing a “dream that is not for everyone.” The 19-year-old Alcaraz defeated Argentine lucky loser Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the second round of the French Open on Sunday. Bidding to become just the eighth teenager to capture a major men’s title, he is tipped to end the dominance of 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal and two-time winner Novak Djokovic. “I would say the best thing about being Carlos right now is that I’m reaching my dream,” said Alcaraz, who reached the third round in Paris a year ago on his main-draw debut as a qualifier. “I’m really happy with playing tennis — playing these kinds of tournaments, these kinds of stadiums, is not for everyone, so I would say that is the best thing,” Alcaraz said. The sixth seed next faces compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas for a place in the last 32. “I have been watching this tournament many years. It’s a unique place to play and I have been dreaming of playing here,” Alcaraz said. He broke Londero in the 10th game of a tight opening set, and then ran away with the match by breaking five more times over the next two sets on Court Philippe Chatrier. Alcaraz, who was ranked 97 this time last year, has won four titles this season — three coming on clay in Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona and Madrid, where he defeated Nadal, Djokovic and Alexander Zverev respectively to lift the trophy. Despite his rapid ascent, Alcaraz is doing his best to focus on the basics and put all the extra attention he is receiving to one side. “I am trying to be focused just on the tournaments, on the matches,” he said. “[With] everyone
Nothing was going right for Max Verstappen at the Spanish Grand Prix: The wind had blown his car off course, his Red Bull was struggling and top rival Charles Leclerc seemed headed for a sure victory. His fortunes turned when Leclerc lost power, his Ferrari suddenly sputtering to a near stop, but then Verstappen’s own Red Bull team intervened, ordering Sergio Perez to get out of Verstappen’s way. The reigning Formula One champion went from minimizing damage on Sunday to winning the race and reclaiming the points lead. “Not an easy start to the race, but we turned it around,” Verstappen said after his fourth win of the season — his third consecutive win. Then the Dutchman thanked Perez, who might have won himself, but settled for second when Red Bull issued team orders. “He is a great teammate,” Verstappen said. Perez took over the lead after Leclerc, who started from the pole and led the first 27 laps, lost power, but with 17 laps remaining, Red Bull told him to get out of Verstappen’s way. “It’s unfair, but OK,” said Perez, who was denied the ability to race for his third career F1 victory. Red Bull thought the stakes were too high for Verstappen, who trailed Leclerc by 19 points ahead of the race, but now holds a six-point advantage in defense of his first world championship. Perez, who registered the fastest lap in Sunday’s race, is third in the standings and 19 points behind Leclerc. “I am happy for the team, but we need to speak later,” Perez told his team by radio after the 1-2 Red Bull finish. Leclerc had a terrific start and easily cleared Verstappen and controlled the race until Lap 27. “No! No! No! What happened?” he said, screaming into his radio. Once out of his Ferrari, he said that it was engine failure. “I lost engine power
Defending champions Taichung Blue Whale thrashed Taoyuan Mars 6-0 in Taiwanese women’s soccer over the weekend, while Hualien City rolled on with their fourth win to sit atop the league table. While Thai fullback Pitsamai Sornsai partnered with compatriot goalkeeper Nattaruja Muthtanawech on defense, Japanese midfielder Maho Tanaka opened the scoring for Blue Whale in Saturday’s match, kicking a screamer on a volley from outside the penalty box — her first goal of the season. The match remained 1-0 heading into the break, although Taoyuan Mars striker Ho Chia-huan, a student at Hsing Wu High School in New Taipei City, had good opportunities. Two minutes into the second half, a blunder by Mars goalkeeper Wu Shao-hua gifted the opposition, with Blue Whale midfielder Chiang Tzu-shan slotting into the open net to double the lead. A few moments later, Tanaka hit another fierce volley from long range. While Wu made an initial stop, Blue Whale forward Chang Chi-lang sent the rebound home to put the hosts up by three. Slipping through Mars’ defense, Blue Whale striker Su Yu-hsuan made it 4-0 on a header, with less than eight minutes on the clock. Just before the end of regulation, she fired home from inside the penalty box for her brace. In added time, Thai fullback Sornsai tapped in an easy point from a corner kick for the 6-0 win against Taoyuan Mars. In other action on Saturday, Hualien City extended their winning streak to four — firmly holding on to first place — with a 1-0 rout over hosts Kaohsiung Sunny Bank. Hualien striker Tso Li-ling dribbled around two Kaohsiung defenders and rolled the ball past the goalkeeper in the 24th minute for the only goal of the game. Saturday’s other match saw Taipei Bravo Bear captain Lin Ya-han knock in a header against FC Hang Yuan early on. Just before intermission,
Escorted up three long climbs by his powerful Ineos Grenadiers teammates, Richard Carapaz on Sunday shook off an early crash to hold onto the Giro d’Italia overall lead during his first day wearing the pink jersey. Team Trek-Segafredo rider Giulio Ciccone got into an early breakaway and then launched a solo attack on the finishing climb to win the 15th stage. Carapaz, who had taken the lead a day earlier, remained seven seconds ahead of Jai Hindley and 30 seconds ahead of Joao Almeida. Carapaz, the 2019 Giro d’Italia champion and an Olympic gold medalist last year, was involved in a mass crash early on when he fell off his bike onto the grass lining a flat road. Carapaz said there was “no consequence at all” from the crash. “I just had to change bikes,” he said. “Then it went smoothly. The scenario of the race was pretty good. The first part was hard. Then we had it under control.” For his third career Giro victory after also winning stages in 2016 and 2019, Ciccone was cheered on by large crowds lining the cobblestoned streets in the finale. As is his tradition, Ciccone — who wore the yellow jersey for two stages during the 2019 Tour de France — threw his sunglasses into the crowd just before crossing the finish line. “This is my most beautiful win. It’s better than the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, better than my first wins at the Giro because I went through difficult times in the past two years, with crashes, illnesses and COVID-19,” Ciccone said. Ciccone clocked 4 hours, 37 minutes over the 178km from Rivarolo Canavese to Cogne, Italy. The final climb to Cogne was a lengthy 22.2km, but was steep only at the start and had an average gradient of just 4.3 percent. Requiring about an hour of climbing, it
QUEENS OF EUROPE: Lyon have won eight of the past 12 Champions Leagues, and their coach became the first woman to win as a manager as well as a player
Lyon have their trophy back. The French club on Saturday beat defending champions and favorite Barcelona 3-1 to earn a record-extending eighth UEFA Women’s Champions League trophy. “We felt a strength from all the team, I think everyone was motivated 200 percent,” said player of the match Amandine Henry, who scored a stunning opening goal. “We had said since the beginning of the season that we wanted to win this trophy back. So we really wanted to make our mark on the field, and I think we did it more through mental strength than physical,” she said. The final had it all: A contender for goal of the season early on — and an effort that would have given it strong competition had it gone in instead of hitting the woodwork — and a goal from the league’s all-time leading goal-scorer in her comeback season. That helped put Lyon 3-0 up after just 33 minutes, and some resolute defending saw it cruise home, as coach Sonia Bompastor became the first woman to win the competition as a manager as well as a player. “The feelings are the same in terms of intensity, as coach or as a player,” Bompastor said. “Because you know all the work that has gone into this, everything that has been done so we can hit this objective.” She helped Lyon to their first two Champions League titles at the end of her playing career. “The only difference between playing and coaching is experience. It was eight years ago and I’m a little bit older, a little bit wiser. What made me happy about tonight’s victory is that we were able to showcase exactly what this team is made of, individually and collectively,” she said. Lyon have taken eight of the past 12 Women’s Champions Leagues. Captain Wendie Renard, Sarah Bouhaddi and Eugenie Le Sommer
The Hsinchu JKO Lioneers on Saturday clinched the top spot in the P.League+’s regular-season standings after overpowering the Taipei Fubon Braves 108-99. At 20-10, the Lioneers are to enter the playoff semi-finals as the top-seeded side, while the Formosa Taishin Dreamers are currently in second with a 17-11 record, ahead of the Braves at 18-12. Lioneers head coach Greg Lin (林冠綸) said after the game that finishing atop the regular-season rankings was a testament to the team’s hard work. “This season has not yet finished. We will continue to press forward and continue to put in the effort,” Lin said. At Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium, the Lioneers led for most of the game, reaching a 65-48 advantage at halftime. Near the end of the third quarter, Braves forward Winston Tsai narrowed the deficit to a one-possession 75-72 game, but Lioneers forwards Nick Faust and Mike Bruesewitz quickly extended their lead beyond Taipei’s reach at 108-99. Faust led all scorers with a double-double of 36 points and 11 rebounds, while Bruesewitz had 28 points and 13 rebounds. Three postponed games remain in the regular season, and two of them could directly affect the Dreamers’ standings, league founder and CEO Blackie Chen (陳建州) said. The Dreamers are likely to play the Taoyuan Pilots on Friday, followed by the New Taipei Kings on Saturday, he said. Losses in those games could knock the Dreamers below the Braves in the standings. The Kings are in fourth place with a 16-13 record, while the Kaohsiung Steelers and the Pilots, in fifth and sixth respectively, will not advance to the playoffs. The top four teams by winning percentage in the regular season compete in the playoffs, consisting of a best-of-five first round series and the finals played in a best-of-seven format.
Faced with a machete, a fighter leaps and locks his legs around another man’s neck, bringing him crashing down to a cacophony of cheers. This is vovinam, Vietnam’s acrobatic martial art with roots dating back to the country’s struggle for independence, and it is showing at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games for the first time since 2013. Proponents are trained to use not only their hands and legs to grapple a rival to the ground, but also fend off assailants armed with blades. Short for “Vo Viet Nam” (literally “Vietnamese martial arts”) it was inspired by nationalists who sought an end to the country’s French colonial rule. Created in the 1930s, it borrows from elements of Chinese kung fu and other Asian styles, but was crafted to suit the Vietnamese of the time. “In the past, the Vietnamese people were small,” SEA Games silver medalist Tran The Thuong said outside a packed gymnasium near the capital, Hanoi, where the artists, men and women, grappled in matches. It was made from “the best parts of other martial arts and combined to fit the Vietnamese,” he said. Promoting nationalist undertones, vovinam went on a rocky road. It was first suppressed by the French before being banned by the South Vietnamese and the later communist government. Masters of it persisted, and it was allowed once more in its home country, before spreading to more than 70 nations across the world. First introduced at the SEA Games in 2011, the sport had a second showing in 2013 in Myanmar, but was absent for several years before returning to the ring in Hanoi. On Saturday, more than 1,000 fans crowded a gymnasium hall about 40km north of central Hanoi to watch seven nations contest for some of the Games’ 15 vovinam gold medals. Before the spectators, proponents in blue uniforms with colored belts tied around the
Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus yesterday smashed Katie Ledecky’s 400m freestyle world record at the Australian championships, touching in 3 minutes, 56.4 seconds. The 21-year-old upset Ledecky in the Tokyo Olympic pool last year to claim gold and has now shattered the American great’s world best of 3:56.46 set at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. “Oh my God, I’ve just loved swimming the past six months, just going to training with no pressure and just enjoying the sport,” she said poolside in Adelaide. “I never thought this meet, post-Olympics, I’d be swimming faster than Olympic trials and the Olympic Games. I guess if you keep surprising yourself it keeps the sport interesting,” she said. Titmus was under world record pace for the entire race, turning at the halfway mark in 1:56.99 before bringing it home to huge cheers from the crowd. Ledecky won the 400m free at the US trials last month in 3:59.52. Titmus is not expected to defend her world title against Ledecky in Budapest next month, opting to skip the event and focus on the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July. It capped an impressive meet for Titmus who won the 200m freestyle in 1:53.31, the third-fastest time ever, and clocked a personal best in the 100m. It was the second world record of the championships after Olympic 200m breaststroke champion Zac Stubblety-Cook smashed the mark on Thursday, hitting the wall in 2:05.95.
The New South Wales Waratahs yesterday wore down the 14-man Highlanders for a 32-20 win to lift them from seventh to sixth place in Super Rugby Pacific, while the Auckland-based Blues on Saturday clinched first place on the ladder after beating the ACT Brumbies 21-19. The Waratahs led 19-7 at halftime and held out a brief second half rally from the Highlanders before a late try to flyhalf Tane Edmed closed out their first win in Dunedin in 14 years. The Waratahs found themselves under pressure in the second half, but made ground with strong one-off running and turning the Highlanders with accurate kicking. “It was a tight contest,” Waratahs captain Jake Gordon said. “They got the first try, but we wrestled back momentum, played some pretty good footy when we got the ball and executed well when we had our chances.” In Saturday’s match against the Brumbies, the Blues went behind 19-18 to a Billy Pollard try with only 90 seconds remaining before Beauden Barrett kicked the winning dropped goal after the fulltime siren. “That was almost test match intensity with the young packs and see-saw nature of the game,” Barrett said. “When you come to Canberra you’re up for a hell of a fight and we certainly got that.” The Brumbies now have taken the Blues and the Christchurch-based Crusaders close in successive matches, gaining confidence as the playoffs approach. They were under pressure for most of the second half on Saturday, but held on through determined goal line defense. The Brumbies gave up 12 penalties and lost two players to yellow cards, but still were unbending in their defensive effort. “We showed so much heart tonight. Our backs were against the wall through the whole game,” captain Allan Alaalatoa said. “We defended our hearts out and I just don’t feel we were getting the rub
Kalle Rovanpera of Finland drives his Toyota GR Yaris Rally 1 during the final day of the Rally of Portugal, part of the World Rally Championship (WRC), in Fafe yesterday. Rovanpera won the rally to secure his third consecutive WRC win, while Toyota teammate Elfyn Evans of Wales, who trailed by 15.2 seconds, came in second.
ARCHERY Taiwanese wins bronze Taiwan’s Chiu Yi-ching yesterday won a bronze medal in her first Archery World Cup event, the women’s individual recurve, in Gwangju, South Korea. The 18-year-old defeated compatriot Kuo Tzu-ying 6-2 in the bronze medal match, after losing in the semi-finals to Lee Gah-yun of South Korea 6-2. Kuo, 19, earlier defeated Taiwanese Olympian Lei Chien-ying 6-5 in a one-arrow tiebreaker, but was shut out by top seed South Korean Choi Misun, who went on to win gold. Kuo and Chiu are both representing Taiwan on the World Cup tour for the first time this year. The men’s recurve team of Olympian Tang Chih-chun, newcomer Su Yu-yang and 19-year-old Tai Yu-hsuan was ousted by the US 5-4 in the second round. SOCCER Mbappe stays at PSG Kylian Mbappe on Saturday said he was “very happy” to stay at Paris Saint-Germain after the club announced that the World Cup winner was rejecting Real Madrid to remain in France until 2025. “I am very happy to stay in France, in Paris, in my city,” Mbappe told supporters on the Parc des Princes pitch before he marked his new deal with a hat-trick in PSG’s 5-0 win over Metz in their final Ligue 1 match of the season. La Liga president Javier Tebas said that the massive financial resources of PSG’s Qatari owners persuaded Mbappe to stay in France. “What PSG is doing by renewing Mbappe with large sums of money ... after posting losses of 700 million euros [US$738.9 million] in recent seasons and having a wage bill of over 600 million euros, is an INSULT to football,” Tebas wrote on Twitter. La Liga said in a statement that it was launching an official complaint “to UEFA, the French administrative and fiscal authorities,” and the EU. SOCCER Violence mars Greek Cup Crowd violence and tear
‘NIGHT NIGHT’: Despite trailing by 19 at one point, the Warriors pulled to 85-83 going into the fourth, and fought to a win that puts them on track to return to the NBA finals
Luka Doncic on Friday had been dominating for most of the night, yelling in celebration and flexing his arms in Stephen Curry’s house. Then Curry and the Golden State Warriors delivered one of their signature third-quarter flurries that have defined so many of their post-season runs — with this one sparked by Kevon Looney. Just like that, the Warriors are two wins from heading to another NBA Finals. “Night night,” Curry said as a three-pointer went through the net in the waning moments. Curry scored 32 points with six three-pointers and eight more rebounds, Looney had a career-high 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Warriors rallied past the Dallas Mavericks 126-117 for a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals. “I feel honored just to be a part of the ride,” Looney said. Doncic scored 42 points and the Mavericks led most of the way before Golden State grabbed its first lead of the night on Otto Porter Jr’s three-pointer 18 seconds into the fourth. Curry could see a momentum shift at that moment. “We have that attitude and spirit that we’re never out of it,” he said. Doncic had 18 points in the first quarter, two shy of his 20-point Game 1 total. His three-pointer with 13 seconds before halftime — the Mavs’ 15th of the first half — made it 72-58 at the break and gave him 24 points. Doncic even got a Twitter shout-out from Oakland’s own MC Hammer: “Ok young Luka . We see you.” Golden State answered with a 25-13 third quarter to pull to 85-83 going into fourth — coming out of halftime with a performance reminiscent of those thrilling third quarters of past. The Warriors trailed by 19 at one point. “We know how good they are as a third-quarter team,” Dallas forward Reggie Bullock said. “It’s just something that slipped away