Sport Digest

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 September, 2012, 3:32am

Emotional farewell for Paralympics, Olympics

London 2012 organisers yesterday promised an emotional celebration to bid farewell to the Olympics and Paralympics, as the curtain falls on a summer of elite sport in the British capital. Coldplay will headline tonight's show, entitled "Festival of the Flame", which will draw heavily on Britain's rich history of cultural, musical and seasonal festivals, artistic director Kim Gavin said. One sequence will include injured British armed forces personnel and the Help for Heroes charity, that works to rehabilitate wounded veterans from battlefield injuries in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. AFP

Formula One 'at risk of being unsustainable'

Formula One risks becoming unsustainable and must cut costs further to keep all 12 teams in the championship, International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Jean Todt said. Speaking at the Italian Grand Prix after an informal meeting at Ferrari's Maranello headquarters with the team's president Luca Di Montezemolo and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, Todt hoped things were moving. "Anyway, it's a will to move in the right direction," the Frenchman declared. "Formula One is too expensive … what are the priorities? Reduce the cost, improve the show, implement new technologies, have a vision for the future because the world is changing. We need to agree what to do, otherwise it will be unsustainable." Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton took pole position for today's race, while teammate Jenson Button made it a McLaren one-two. As speculation about his future and a possible switch to Mercedes continued, Hamilton took his fourth pole of the season in a time of 1 minute, 24.010 seconds, just over a tenth of a second faster than Button. Ferrari driver Felipe Massa was third, but championship leader Fernando Alonso will start way back in 10th position. Reuters


Australia slump to 10th in T20 world rankings

Australia will begin this month's Twenty20 World Cup ranked 10th in the world in the shortest form of the game after losing a thrilling match to Pakistan in a "super over" in Dubai. Having been beaten by seven wickets in their first match against Pakistan earlier in the week, Australia lost the series 2-0 and dropped behind Ireland in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings. "I'm really pleased that we played a lot closer to what we're capable of," captain George Bailey said. "I think our guys will take a lot of confidence out of it. But to be so close, and then to lose, leaves a lot of questions in your head." Australia, losing finalists at the last Twenty20 World Cup in 2010, are in the group with Ireland and the West Indies in the opening stage of the tournament, which starts in Sri Lanka from September 18. Reuters


Hurt pitcher improving after surgery

Oakland pitcher Brandon McCarthy is improving after brain surgery but Athletics team officials said he remained in danger days after he was struck in the head by a line drive. McCarthy, 29, who was hit during a game on Wednesday and had surgery to relieve pressure on his brain from an epidural haemorrhage on Thursday, got out of bed three times on Friday. He can eat solid food and is able to speak, but team head trainer Nick Paparesta said McCarthy's health remained precarious. The line drive was struck by the Los Angeles Angels' Erick Aybar. AFP


Golfer shot after ball breaks window

A man has been arrested on suspicion of shooting and wounding a golfer after an errant ball broke a window at his home. Jeff Fleming, 53, is accused of firing at a pair of golfers at the 16th hole, striking the one who hit the home in Reno, Nevada. The golfer was treated for minor injuries to an arm and both legs. The suspect's neighbours told investigators that it was common for stray golf balls to hit their homes, police Lieutenant Keith Brown said. "We were shaking our heads, and no one could put rhyme or reason to this [shooting]. It's crazy," Brown said. AP


Serena urged to go up against men

The latest woman to absorb a lopsided loss against Serena Williams thinks the 14-time grand slam champion should take on a new challenge. "Given that men are always quick to say women are a lot worse ... I'd love to see her play in a [lower-level] men's tournament and see how they deal with her. It's easy to talk. On the court, it would be different," 10th-seeded Sara Errani said. "I've practised with a lot of guys ranked 400th or 500th," Errani said. "I've never played with a man who hits as hard as she does." Fourth-seeded Williams wasted little time or energy while overwhelming Italy's Errani 6-1, 6-2 to reach the final against top-ranked Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (early this morning Hong Kong time). Errani found some satisfaction in forcing Williams to stay on court for more than an hour. "My objective … was to prolong the match as much as possible," said Errani, the runner-up at the French Open. AP


Review panel lifts bans on bounty scandal players

Four players who were suspended for their connection to the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal had their bans overturned by an arbitration panel that left the door open for further discipline by the National Football League. The players were punished by the league in May when the NFL identified them as having key roles in a programme where players were given cash rewards for knocking opponents out of games from 2009-2011. League commissioner Goodell can apply new bans if he proves there was an intent by the players to injure. Reuters