Chinese rookie Yin among 3 tied for LPGA Tour lead in Ohio

Chinese rookie Yin among 3 tied for LPGA Tour lead in Ohio
Ruoning Yin of China hits from a fairway bunker on the 18th hole during the first round of the Dana Open presented by Marathon at Highland Meadows Golf Club on Sept. 1, 2022 in Sylvania, Ohio. (AFP)
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Updated 02 September 2022

Chinese rookie Yin among 3 tied for LPGA Tour lead in Ohio

Chinese rookie Yin among 3 tied for LPGA Tour lead in Ohio
  • Hye-Jin Choi, who like Yin earned her LPGA Tour card last year for the first time, and Carlota Ciganda of Spain also had 65 at Highland Meadow

SYLVANIA, Ohio: Chinese rookie Ruoning Yin turned her irritation over a bogey into six birdies over his last 10 holes Thursday for a 6-under 65 and a three-way tie for the lead in the Dana Open.

Hye-Jin Choi, who like Yin earned her LPGA Tour card last year for the first time, and Carlota Ciganda of Spain also had 65 at Highland Meadow.

The large group at 66 included Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko and Leona Maguire of Ireland.

The 19-year-old Yin has been coping with a wrist injury and missed four straight cuts on the LPGA Tour. Her last appearance was in mid-July, though she played two Epson Tour events.

Her one goal was to play bogey-free, and that ended on the par-3 eighth hole.

“I was so mad after that,” she said. “I just tried to make some birdies.”

Choi did most of her work early in the round and was poised to take the lead until the South Korean had to settle for pars on the back-to-back par 5s at Highland Meadow. Ciganda played in the morning and finished her round with a two-putt birdie on the 18th.

Maguire returned to an area that brought good memories. She played some of her best golf at Inverness last summer in leading Europe to victory in the Solheim. Her return to the Toledo area included a new set of irons.

“It’s not like me to change,” said Maguire, who switched the Ping 230s. “I’ve been home for a couple weeks, did some testing while I was home. ... They felt good in practice, so figured it was as good a time as any to give them a test go.”

Ko is a two-time winner who has reason to feel she should have three. She had the tournament won two years ago when she gave away a late lead and then chunked a chip that rolled back into the bunker on the 18th, leading to bogey and a runner-up finish.

Still, the Kiwi star has nothing but positive vibes at Highland Meadows.

“It’s always nice to come back to a place that you’ve played well at. I’ve had good finishes outside of winning, so it’s nice to kind of draw back on those memories,” she said.

Her two wins were in 2014 and 2016.

“But at the same time, my game has changed a lot I think over the last few years, so I feel like I’m playing some holes a lot differently,” Ko said. “So just trying to play the best golf I can with how I’m playing right now. ”

US Women’s Open champion Minjee Lee, who leads the Race to the CME Globe, was in the group at 67. Defending champion Nasa Hataoka opened with a 69.

Paula Creamer played her first LPGA Tour event as a mom. In her first competition in more than a year, Creamer opened with a birdie. That was the lone highlight as she posted a 40 on the back nine on her way to a 77.

Another new mom, Azahara Munoz of Spain, opened with a 72. Munoz also has been coping with an autoimmune thyroid issue that she believes is now under control.

Among the three dozen players who shot in the 60s was Lucy Li, who opened with a 68. Li, best known for playing the US Women’s Open when she was 11, already has an LPGA card locked up for next year through the Epson Tour.

Gianna Clemente had a 73. The 14-year-old Ohio native was a Monday qualifier in Canada last week, and she made it through Monday qualifying against for the Dana Open.


World governing body of athletics bans transgender women athletes

World governing body of athletics bans transgender women athletes
Updated 12 sec ago

World governing body of athletics bans transgender women athletes

World governing body of athletics bans transgender women athletes
  • World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said that the decision to exclude transgender women was based “on the overarching need to protect the female category”
  • The governing body on Thursday introduced interim provisions for athletes already competing outside the restricted events

MANCHESTER, England: World Athletics has banned transgender women from competing in elite female competitions and tightened testosterone restrictions for other athletes, the governing body said on Thursday.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said that the decision to exclude transgender women who had gone through male puberty was based “on the overarching need to protect the female category.”

The tighter measures around one of the most contentious and divisive issues in sport follow a similar move by World Aquatics in 2022.

World Athletics’ council also voted to cut the maximum amount of plasma testosterone for athletes with Differences in Sex Development (DSD) in half, to 2.5 nanomoles per liter from five.

DSD athletes will also have to reduce their testosterone levels below the new limit for a minimum of 24 months across all events to compete, double the previous time.

The governing body had previously floated the option of transgender athletes being allowed to compete in the female category if they, too, maintained testosterone levels below 2.5 nanomoles per liter for 24 months.

Yet it said on Thursday that it became apparent there was little support within the sport for that proposal.

“We’re not saying no forever,” Coe told a news conference.

Coe announced the formation of a working group, which will be chaired by a transgender athlete, to further study the issue of trans inclusion.

“The working group will look at any prevailing or changing or furthering of our understanding in that space,” Coe said. “We don’t know enough, we now need to know more, and that is the journey that we’re on. But we weren’t prepared to risk the female category on that basis.”

The tighter testosterone rules will impact DSD athletes such as two-times Olympic 800 meter champion Caster Semenya, Christine Mboma, the 2020 Olympic silver medallist in the 200m, and Francine Niyonsaba, who finished runner-up to Semenya in the 800 at the 2016 Olympics.

WA regulations around DSD previously required women competing in events between 400 meters and a mile to maintain testosterone levels below five nanomoles per liter.

The governing body on Thursday introduced interim provisions for athletes already competing outside the restricted events, who will be required to suppress their testosterone level to 2.5 nanomoles per liter for six months.

This would prevent several women from competing at the World Athletics Championships in August.

Since being barred from the 800m, Burundi’s Niyonsaba turned her attention to the 5,000, winning the Diamond League Final in 2021.

She was disqualified in her heat of the 5,000m at the Tokyo Olympics for a lane violation, while Semenya failed to qualify for the Games.

Namibia’s Mboma, prevented from running the 400m, switched to the 200m, winning silver in Tokyo.

DSD athletes have male testes but do not produce enough of the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that is necessary for the formation of male external genitalia.

Coe said the decisions were made in consultation with numerous stakeholders including 40 member federations, coaches, athletes, plus a range of community groups including trans groups, United Nations experts and the International Olympic Committee.

Swimming’s world governing body World Aquatics voted last June to bar transgender women from elite competition if they had experienced any part of male puberty. A scientific panel had found that even after reducing their testosterone levels through medication, transgender women still had a significant advantage.

That vote passed with 71 percent of the national federations in favor.


Reports: Bayern on verge of firing Nagelsmann for Tuchel

Reports: Bayern on verge of firing Nagelsmann for Tuchel
Updated 5 min 58 sec ago

Reports: Bayern on verge of firing Nagelsmann for Tuchel

Reports: Bayern on verge of firing Nagelsmann for Tuchel
  • Both Kicker magazine and German tabloid Bild reported that Bayern was ending Nagelsmann’s spell in charge

MUNICH: Bayern Munich might be about to change coaches for the final stretch of the season.

The German champions were on the verge of firing Julian Nagelsmann and replacing him with Thomas Tuchel, according to reports in Germany on Thursday.

Both Kicker magazine and German tabloid Bild reported that Bayern was ending Nagelsmann’s spell in charge following the team’s 2-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

That defeat dropped Bayern to second place, one point behind Borussia Dortmund before the teams clash in Munich on April 1.

The club hasn’t commented officially. The Associated Press has asked Bayern for comment.

Kicker reported that Bayern is in touch with Tuchel and that the German coach is expected to join Friday or Saturday. Tuchel led Chelsea to the Champions League title in 2021 and previously coached Paris Saint-Germain and Dortmund.

Bayern face Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinals on April 11.


Kane sets scoring record in England's 2-1 win over Italy

Kane sets scoring record in England's 2-1 win over Italy
Updated 35 min 10 sec ago

Kane sets scoring record in England's 2-1 win over Italy

Kane sets scoring record in England's 2-1 win over Italy
  • The match marked England’s first win over Italy in a competitive match since a World Cup qualifier at Wembley back in 1977 — and its first away win over Italy since 1961

NAPLES, Italy: Harry Kane broke Wayne Rooney’s national team scoring record and England held on for a 2-1 win at Italy on the opening night of European Championship qualifying on Thursday.
It was a small measure of revenge for England against the team it lost to in the European Championship final two years ago. Italy also won the last meeting in September in the Nations League.
It marked England’s first win over Italy in a competitive match since a World Cup qualifier at Wembley back in 1977 — and its first away win over Italy since 1961.
“We haven’t won in Italy for so long," Kane said. “To score and win the game is special.”
It was another blow to an Italy squad that had failed to qualify for a second straight World Cup.
“We knew it was a difficult game, but we conceded two goals from two corners,” Italy coach Roberto Mancini said. “The first half was tougher, obviously. But we dominated the second half and tried to get at least a draw, which I think would have been a fair result. It’s disappointing, but there’s a long road ahead.
“We might be starting with an uphill struggle this time, but let’s hope we end it better.”
Kane earned and converted a penalty toward the end of the first half for his 54th goal with England after Declan Rice’s opener at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
“It means everything,” Kane said. “It had to be a penalty of course and once it hit the back of the net it was just so much emotion.”
Argentine-born striker Mateo Retegui pulled one back for Italy on his debut early in the second half.
England played the final 12 minutes with 10 men after Luke Shaw picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Retegui.
Also in Group C, North Macedonia beat Malta 2-1.
The penalty was assigned following a VAR review after it was determined that defender Giovanni Di Lorenzo touched the ball with his hand while attempting to prevent Kane from reaching a corner.
Kane then stepped up to the spot and sent Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma the wrong way as he drilled a shot inside the right post in the 44th minute.
Rooney played for England from 2003 to 2018, while Kane made his England debut in 2015.
Kane was also involved in the first goal, when he had a shot blocked following a corner and Rice redirected in the rebound.
Also, Jack Grealish missed an easy chance to make it 3-0 for England.
It was nearly all England until Italy came alive after the break and Retegui finished off a counterattack following a passing sequence involving Marco Verratti and Lorenzo Pellegrini.
“(Retegui) had difficulties in the first half, as the England defenders are physically strong and limited him,” Mancini said. “He moved better after the break, but he is young, he plays his football in Argentina, so he needs time.”
Italy wore shirts that featured a dedication to former striker and delegation chief Gianluca Vialli, who died in January at age 58 from pancreatic cancer. “Luca, Azzurri per sempre” (Luca, Azzurri forever) was printed on the back of the collars.
Italy visits Malta on Sunday, when England hosts Ukraine.


Ronaldo breaks men’s international caps record, scores double

Ronaldo breaks men’s international caps record, scores double
Updated 24 March 2023

Ronaldo breaks men’s international caps record, scores double

Ronaldo breaks men’s international caps record, scores double
  • Ronaldo netted a 51st-minute penalty after earlier goals from Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva, before drilling home a free-kick 12 minutes later
  • “I want to become the most capped player in history. That would make me proud,” he said

LISBON: Cristiano Ronaldo broke the men’s international appearance record on Thursday and marked the occasion by scoring twice in Portugal’s 4-0 thrashing of Liechtenstein in Euro 2024 qualifying.
The 38-year-old, who was dropped from the Portuguese first-choice XI during the World Cup in Qatar last year, won a 197th cap for his country in Lisbon as a starter.
He netted a 51st-minute penalty after earlier goals from Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva, before drilling home a free-kick 12 minutes later.
It was Ronaldo’s record-extending 120th goal for his country and made him the first man to score 100 times in competitive internationals.
“Records are my motivation,” Ronaldo had told reporters on Wednesday.
“I want to become the most capped player in history. That would make me proud.
“But it doesn’t stop there, I still want to be called up very often.”
Ronaldo made his international debut in 2003 and became the first man to score in five World Cups last year before Portugal lost to Morocco in the quarter-finals.
He is currently playing for Saudi club Al Nassr after an acrimonious end to his second spell at Manchester United.
Ronaldo’s appearance off the bench in the defeat by Morocco equalled the previous mark of 196 caps held by Kuwait’s Bader Al-Mutawa.
He left the pitch in tears following Portugal’s shock 1-0 loss against the North Africans.
Since leaving Europe, Ronaldo has scored nine goals in 10 matches for Al Nassr.
He was replaced as the starting striker by Goncalo Ramos during the World Cup, with the Benfica youngster scoring a hat-trick in a last-16 win over Switzerland.
But veteran coach Fernando Santos stepped down following the tournament and new boss Roberto Martinez has immediately put his faith in Ronaldo, who also captained the side.
There were questions over whether his 20-year international career had ended in Qatar as Ronaldo will be 39 by the time Euro 2024 kicks off.
But Martinez, who left his role as Belgium coach after the World Cup, has strongly defended his decision to keep Ronaldo in the fold.
“I do not look at the age,” said Martinez when he announced his first squad last week.
The Spaniard added his squad announcement was the “starting point” for Euro 2024, suggesting Ronaldo is likely to be involved if Portugal qualify for the tournament in Germany.
Portugal made the perfect start to their qualification campaign with a straightforward win against Liechtenstein.
Cancelo scored the only goal of the first half in the eighth minute but the floodgates opened after the break.
Bernardo Silva doubled the advantage less than two minutes into the second period before Ronaldo hammered a penalty into the bottom corner.
A powerful free-kick from the edge of the box flew through the hands of goalkeeper Benjamin Buchel to complete the scoring.
Ronaldo was substituted late on for Ramos, with the much expected changing of the guard put on the back burner.
Ronaldo adds the international appearance landmark to an impressive list of individual records.
He is the leading goalscorer in European Championship finals with 14 goals and has netted a record 140 times in the Champions League.
Ronaldo has also finished as the top-scorer in three of Europe’s top five leagues — in England, Spain and Italy.
Portugal will visit Luxembourg in their second Group J qualifier on Sunday.
They have also been drawn alongside Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland and Slovakia.


Man Utd owners await revised offers for Premier League giants

Man Utd owners await revised offers for Premier League giants
Updated 23 March 2023

Man Utd owners await revised offers for Premier League giants

Man Utd owners await revised offers for Premier League giants
  • Reports said bidders were initially told they had until 2100 GMT on Wednesday to submit new offers, but that has now been extended
  • Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad AI Thani, the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank, and Ratcliffe, the founder of chemicals giant INEOS, remain the front runners

LONDON: Manchester United’s owners were awaiting fresh bids Thursday from a Qatari banker and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe after a deadline passed for revised offers to buy the Premier League giants.
Reports said bidders were initially told they had until 2100 GMT on Wednesday to submit new offers, but that has now been extended. It is unclear when the new cut-off will be.
Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber AI Thani, the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank, and Ratcliffe, the founder of chemicals giant INEOS, remain the front runners should the American Glazer family, who own United, give up control of the club.
Finnish entrepreneur Thomas Zilliacus threw his hat into the ring on Thursday, with a bid he said will give fans the chance to own 50 percent of the club.
“My bid is built on equality with the fans,” Zilliacus, founder and chairman of investment company Mobile FutureWorks, said in a statement.
“My group will finance half of the sum needed to take over the club, and will ask the fans, through a new company that is being set up for this specific purpose, to participate for the other half.”
The Glazers have angered many United supporters by saddling the club with huge debts since they took over in 2005. They appeared ready to cash out at an enormous profit when they invited external investment in November.
However, they could yet shun the option of selling a controlling stake in the club, with other parties understood to be interested in a minority shareholding.
The Times reported US hedge fund Elliott Investment Management, which sold AC Milan for $1.3 billion last year, had made a bid to buy a minority stake.
A first round of bidding took place last month and it has been reported there are as many as eight separate potential investors in the club.
The BBC said several other proposed investors made their submissions by the Wednesday deadline.
No figures have been revealed but one or more of the initial bids was understood to be in the region of £4.5 billion ($5.5 billion).
That would make Manchester United — who have not won the Premier League for a decade — the most expensive sports club in history, although it would be short of the £6 billion valuation reportedly placed on the Old Trafford side by the Glazers.
Sheikh Jassim is bidding for 100 percent control, aiming to return the club to its “former glories.”
A source close to Sheikh Jassim’s bid told AFP he remains confident his bid is “the best for the club, fans and local community.”
Ratcliffe, a boyhood United fan, wants to buy the combined Glazer shareholding of 69 percent of the 20-time English champions.
The 70-year-old told the Wall Street Journal this week he was not interested in paying “stupid prices” for one of football’s most iconic clubs.
Ratcliffe, who already owns French club Nice, said his interest in United would be “purely in winning things,” calling the club a “community asset,” rather than a financial one.
He visited Old Trafford last week along with INEOS representatives, a day after a delegation from Sheikh Jassim’s group toured the club’s stadium and training ground.
A Qatari purchase of United would boost the sporting profile of the Gulf state months after it hosted the 2022 World Cup.
Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City’s fortunes have been transformed since a takeover from Sheikh Mansour, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, in 2008.
In 2021, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund bought a controlling stake in Newcastle.
Amnesty International has called on the Premier League to tighten ownership rules to ensure they are “not an opportunity for more sportswashing.”
If Sheikh Jassim’s bid succeeds, it would also raise the question of whether Qatar is shifting its attentions away from Paris Saint-Germain — currently home to the trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe — who were bought by Qatari investors in 2011.
United, three-time European champions, have not won the Premier League since Alex Ferguson led them to a 20th English title in his final season before retiring in 2013.
But they are enjoying a renaissance under Erik ten Hag’s management this season and ended a six-year trophy drought by lifting the League Cup last month.