Sports Digest, January 23, 2013

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2013, 4:39am

Hanover's new signing comes up short

Hanover 96 were left feeling short-changed with new signing Franca as the Brazilian does not quite measure up to the towering midfielder the Bundesliga soccer club had expected. The 21-year-old joined on January 13 after signing a deal to 2016, but upon arriving in Germany, coach Mirko Slomka discovered Franca was far shorter than the 1.9-metre man he had been expecting. In fact he is 9cm smaller. "What can I say, I was totally surprised," Slomka told Bild yesterday after he realised the Brazilian was even shorter than himself and ordered an assistant to measure him. Sporting director Joerg Schmadtke had said at the time of the transfer that Franca, "with his 1.9 metres and 88kg frame, has physical attributes which he uses to great effect in games". Reuters


Wiggins won't lead Sky in Tour de France

Tour de France cycling champion Bradley Wiggins has hinted that fellow Briton Chris Froome is likely to replace him as Team Sky leader for this year's race, which is expected to favour the pure climbers. Wiggins, whose main target this year is to add the Giro d'Italia title to his list of honours in his quest to retire having won all three grand tours (France, Italy and Spain), insisted he would not race as Froome's domestique, however. "I would love to win the tour for a second time if given the opportunity, not necessarily this season, that would be great, but it is likely that Chris will be the team leader this year," Wiggins told French daily L'Equipe. "But it does not mean that I'm going to work at the front of the peloton for 200 kilometres everyday for Chris. Something could happen to Chris ... he could be sick, he could crash as happened to me in 2011 when we ended up without a team leader." Renowned climber Froome helped his teammate through the mountain stages last year to eventually finish second. Reuters


HK eye 2nd win after thrashing Malaysia

Hong Kong face a hard test in the Eastcolight Super Kung Sheung Cup when they take on group favourites the Philippines at Queen Elizabeth Stadium tonight. After a flying start with a convincing 87-53 victory over Malaysia in group B last night, they hope to take full advantage of their morale-boosting match for a second consecutive win to finish at the top of the group. The Philippines showed no mercy, crushing Indonesia 110-78 in the other group B match. In group A, Changsha Park Lane Snow Wolf beat Thailand 83-70, despite the fact the latter is managed by Joe Bryant, father of NBA star Kobi. Chan Kin-wa


Tomic still out in the cold for Davis Cup

Australia's Davis Cup tennis captain Pat Rafter stuck by his guns and left Bernard Tomic out of his squad yesterday despite his promising Australian Open form. Tomic reached the third round and tested four-time champion Roger Federer in Melbourne, but his name was missing when Rafter announced the squad for next month's Asia-Oceania tie in Taiwan. "You've got to stick by your decisions," said Rafter. "In terms of his form and everything, yes, it would be great to have him part of it. But we had our issues. The reason we left him out was hopefully to teach him a lesson [about discipline]." AFP