Todd leads at Travelers
Brendon Todd and Dustin Johnson shot career-low 61s at the Travelers Championship on Saturday, leaving Todd with a two-stroke lead over the 2016 US Open champion. Todd, playing a couple holes behind Johnson, had a chance at the tournament’s second 60 of the week but missed a 10-foot putt to the left on the 18th hole. He finished with a 54-hole score of 192, 18-under-par, after shooting 66 and 65 the first two rounds. Johnson also has improved each day, opening with a 69-64. Both shot bogey-free rounds, with Todd making five birdies on the front nine and Johnson five on the back. Taiwan’s C.T. Pan missed the cut.
Lazio return to winning
Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto got title-chasing SS Lazio back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over ACF Fiorentina on Saturday to close the gap on Serie A leaders Juventus to four points. Lazio’s 21-match unbeaten run ended with a 3-2 defeat against Atalanta BC on Wednesday, after surrendering a two-goal lead. However, Simone Inzaghi’s side consolidated second position, behind the eight-time reigning champions, who dominated US Lecce 4-0 in Turin on Friday. “The lads know the stakes are high,” Inzaghi said as Lazio target a first Serie A title in two decades. “It’s a victory of character and determination. We have a limited squad at the moment with several injuries.” Earlier, Cagliari kept their Europa League hopes alive with a 4-2 victory over Torino. Basement club Brescia look destined for a return to Serie B after throwing away a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw against relegation-rivals Genoa.
Barca hopes take blow
Barcelona’s title hopes suffered a blow on Saturday after they were held to a 2-2 draw by RC Celta de Vigo, handing Real Madrid the chance to move two points clear at the top of La Liga. Luis Suarez twice put his team in front at Balaidos with his first goals since January, but Iago Aspas bent in a late free-kick to earn Celta a draw in what could prove a pivotal moment in the title race. Barca face an even tougher test tomorrow against in-form Atletico Madrid, who held off a late fightback from Alaves to win 2-1 at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Proposed changes slammed
Women’s cricket needs better marketing and investment to grow, not innovations like a shorter pitch or smaller boundaries, India pace bowler Shikha Pandey wrote on Twitter on Saturday. Her comments were a response to New Zealand captain Sophie Devine recommending a smaller ball and Pandey’s India teammate Jemimah Rodrigues suggesting a shorter pitch to pack more action into women’s cricket. “In Olympic 100m female sprinter doesn’t run 80m to win first place medal... So the whole ‘decreasing the length of the pitch’ for whatever reasons seems dubious,” she wrote. Pandey saw some merit in using a smaller ball, but said it must weigh the same because a lighter ball would be tougher to grip and travel more slowly. She resented the idea of having smaller boundaries to encourage power-hitting. “We have surprised you with our power-hitting in recent times, so remember, this is only the beginning; we will get better. Please have patience.”
The Taichung Warriors yesterday collapsed in the final at the 15th Taiwan Annual Cricket Cup in Chiayi City, but Chetan Sharma’s 50 scripted a near-unbelievable resurgence to snatch the trophy from the Taiwan Stars. Sharma’s 4-24 restricted the Stars to 130-6, but the reply was a disaster as the Warriors fell to 25-7 after six overs. However, Sharma undid all the work of opening bowlers Amir Sohail and Abrar Hussain (both 3-14) to guide them to a two-wicket win. The result reversed their group-stage encounter at the eight-team, two-day competition at the Yunsan baseball fields. In the semi-finals, Sohail took 4-21 as the Stars
British challenger INEOS Team UK yesterday launched their second America’s Cup sailboat in Auckland, New Zealand, a day after US syndicate American Magic also revealed their second-generation racer. The black-hulled monohull, christened Britannia, was lowered gently into the water outside the Team UK base after a small naming ceremony. Britannia, which is to be helmed by four-time Olympic sailing gold medalist Ben Ainslie in the challenger series starting in January next year, appeared to mark a major development over the team’s first-generation sailboat. “Today marks a landmark moment for all of us,” Ainslie said. “A huge amount of hard work and dedication has
Tennis player Sam Querrey of the US fled Russia in a private jet despite testing positive for COVID-19 and being ordered to quarantine, officials said on Thursday. The 33-year-old Querrey left Saint Petersburg with his wife, Abby, and nine-month-old son, Ford, following his removal from the Saint Petersburg Open ATP tournament after an initial negative test on Wednesday last week was followed by a positive test for him and “his family members” on Sunday. Under ATP health protocols, Querrey was told to isolate in his hotel room before plans were made for the family to move to a private apartment in the
Taiwanese swimmer Eddie Wang on Saturday broke the 200m short course butterfly world junior record at the opening meet of the International Swimming League season in Budapest, Hungary. The 18-year-old, who was representing the Cali Condors, a San Francisco-based professional swimming club, finished third in 1 minute, 50.79 seconds. Wang finished behind winner Tom Shields of the LA Current (1:50.43) and runner-up Chad le Clos of Energy Standard (1:50.48). Wang’s time broke the 2012 world junior record of 1:51.30 set by former Japanese national team captain Daiya Seto. It also broke his national record of 1:52.38, set at the 2018 FINA World Cup meeting