S'pore teams end on losing note in China
Singapore's women's team, sans Feng Tianwei, finished eighth after a 0-3 loss yesterday to Thailand at the Asian Table Tennis Championships in Wuxi.
Their male team-mates were sixth after losing 0-3 to Hong Kong. China retained their men's title with a 3-0 win over South Korea.
The Republic's mixed doubles pair of Ethan Poh and Wong Xin Ru lost 3-11, 7-11, 4-11 to the China's Fang Bo and Wang Manyu in the round-of-16 tie. The tournament ends on Sunday.
Xu sets new Asian backstroke mark
QINGDAO (China) • Xu Jiayu broke the men's 100m backstroke Asian record at the Chinese Swimming Championships yesterday.
The 21-year-old won gold in 51.86 seconds, only 0.01sec shy of Ryan Murphy's world record, and sliced a big margin from the previous Asian mark of 52.24sec set by Japan's Ryosuke Irie in 2009. He won silver at last year's Rio de Janeiro Games in 52.31sec behind the American (51.85sec).
S. Africa to decide on Super Rugby cull
JOHANNESBURG • South Africa on Tuesday began a process to decide which two of their six Super Rugby franchises will be axed at the end of this season.
A South African Rugby (SAR) statement said a committee consisting of representatives from all the franchises met and agreed to consider various criteria. The financial and economic sustainability, support base, team performances and stadiums and facilities of each team will be analysed.
SAR said the data will be considered at a meeting of the committee "within the next two to three weeks".
Gerrard to coach Reds U-18s next season
LONDON • Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is to take an important step forward in his coaching career next season by taking charge of the club's Under-18 side.
The 36-year-old has had a floating role at Liverpool's academy since stepping into coaching in February, but will lead the age group from the start of the new campaign.
THE TIMES, LONDON
Cricket refs given new powers to can players
LONDON • Cricket umpires have been given the power to eject disobedient players while tethered bails will be permitted to protect wicket-keepers from eye injuries as part of a series of law changes coming into effect from Oct 1.
The new "players conduct" rule will allow on-field officials to remove a misbehaving competitor temporarily or permanently and award five penalty runs to the opposition, the Marylebone Cricket Club - the custodians of the game's laws - has said.
Liverpool eyes 2022 or 2026 C'wealth Games
LONDON • Liverpool has formally launched its bid to host the 2022 or 2026 Commonwealth Games, with the city's mayor Joe Anderson claiming its rivals did not have the "oomph" to stage the competition.
The city is expected to face competition from Birmingham and Manchester , both of which have also expressed interest in hosting either event, after Durban lost the right to host the 2022 edition in South Africa.