Sports Digest, January 8, 2013

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2013, 3:04am

Li Na beats heat and McHale in Sydney

Li Na was forced into a battle in the heat before overcoming American Christina McHale 7-6, 7-5 to reach the second round of the Sydney International tennis tournament yesterday. Li took almost two hours to dispatch her 33rd-ranked opponent in 30-degree Celsius temperatures. She only arrived in Australia a day earlier, having won the Shenzhen Open on Saturday. "I was playing in China, so I have to get used to the heat," Li said. "Very tough because in China it was like five, six degrees, but here it's over 30." Reuters


Italian minister calls for end to racist chants

Italian Interior Minister Annamaria Cancellieri yesterday demanded "more incisive" action be taken to end the abuse of non-white players by racist fans. Cancellieri was speaking after AC Milan's Kevin-Prince Boateng last week responded to racist chants by a small group of fans during a soccer friendly by storming off the pitch. Cancellieri said Boateng's stance was a "nice gesture" but that a "more comprehensive strategy" needed to be put in place to avoid games being decided by "a minority of racists". "Fans involved in racist chanting should be hit very hard and must be removed from the stadium," she said. AFP


Scotland's Mike Blair quits internationals

Mike Blair, former Scotland captain and most-capped scrumhalf, has retired from international rugby. Blair, 31, who plays for French club Brive, announced his decision yesterday. He won 85 caps, captained Scotland 14 times and is the only Scottish player to be nominated for the International Rugby Board World Player of the Year title (in 2008). Reuters




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