S'pore cagers boosted by China training stint
XI'AN • The Singapore national basketball team yesterday left Xi'an after a confidence-boosting training stint to prepare for December's SEA Games in the Philippines.
During their tour of China, the team faced Team Xi'an, Shaanxi Province's youth team and the Northwestern Polytechnical University team, and coach Hsu Tung Ching said they visited China due to the lack of "proper warm-up rivals". The Xi'an team were the only side Singapore lost to, going down 107-92.
Uphill task for next year's Tour de France
PARIS • Next year's Tour de France promises to be one for the climbers after organisers yesterday revealed a route which includes 29 mountains across eight mountain stages with five summit finishes, including the individual time trial.
The race, which starts a week earlier than usual on June 27 to accommodate the Tokyo Olympics, also has three hilly stages and should suit reigning champion Egan Bernal and his Ineos teammate Chris Froome as well as the French duo of Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet.
The 3,470km race rarely strays from the mountains even though there are nine flat stages and Tour chief Christian Prudhomme said "it will be physically challenging throughout".
Brazil, Argentina set to clash again
RIO DE JANEIRO • Brazil will take on Argentina in a friendly in Saudi Arabia for the second time in a little more than a year next month, the Brazilian Football Confederation said on Monday night.
The game will be held at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh on Nov 15, while Brazil's 1-0 friendly win was played in Jeddah in October last year.
Brazil forward Neymar, meanwhile, would be out for four weeks with a hamstring injury he suffered while playing against Nigeria at the National Stadium in Singapore on Sunday.
F1 to keep 3-day race format with tweaks
LONDON • Formula One is to stick with its three-day race format, but with changes to the Friday schedule to cater for an expanded calendar, according to the sport's managing director for motorsport Ross Brawn.
Schedule changes have been debated by teams and stakeholders as part of the measures to improve the show and cut costs while reducing the burden on staff who face travelling to an unprecedented 22 races from next year.
F1 has also talked of experimenting in three rounds next year, with plans for sprint races to be held on the Saturday afternoon to decide Sunday's starting grid instead of the traditional qualifying.