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BRIEFS

Serena may miss Shanghai meet

Shanghai: Wimbledon champion Serena Williams is due to headline the Shanghai Polo Open in September but recent knee surgery has cast doubts on whether she will be fit to play.

Organisers said the current world number one would be the top draw, competing for $585,000 in prize money if she recovers from surgery last week. The operation to repair a partially torn tendon on her left knee has forced Williams to withdraw from this month’s US Open.

Olympic test event upset

Schinias (Greece): High winds sweeping over the Olympic rowing centre on Wednesday sank four boats competing in the junior world championships, the first in a series of test events for the Athens 2004 Olympics.

However, Vassilis Likomitros, in charge of rowing for the Athens Olympics Organising Committee (ATHOC), said he was “not worried” about the Olympic competitions in August 2004, even if they had to take place under similar conditions.

The Olympics event can be delayed to make time for the winds to abate as they will be stretched over eight hours, compared with the current event’s four, Likomitros explained. The wind blew 5m/second in the early morning hours, but reached 11m/second during the last races four hours later. As a result, the Japanese and Austrian four-man-crews with helmsman as well as the eight-man boat with helmsman of the United States and Britain went under water.

Ralf appeal

Paris: The Williams Formula One team appeal against Ralf Schumacher’s penalty following the start line pile-up at Sunday’s German Grand Prix will be heard by the FIA’s international court of appeal here on August 19. The FIA said that the decision will be made known the day after the hearing on August 20.

Ralf, Kimi Raikkonen and Rubens Barrichello were all caught up the pile-up and it was the German driver who was held responsible by the race stewards and was relegated ten places on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix on August 24.

El Guerrouj out of London GP

Stockholm: Moroccan athlete Hicham El Guerrouj is set to miss Friday’s IAAF Super GP in London because of a back complaint, his agent said.

The 28-year-old three-time world 1500m outdoor champion has been suffering from the a degenerative joint disorder in his back for the past five days and according to Laurent Boquillet does not want to risk aggravating it just three weeks away from the world championships in Paris.

Jonah Lomu return

Wellington: Jonah Lomu could make a return to rugby this weekend after successfully coming through his first training session since being struck down with a relapse of a career-threatening kidney illness.

The All Blacks winger trained with Wellington on Wednesday and has every chance of playing in a non-championship match against Taranaki on Saturday, coach John Plumtree said. He said Lomu stood a strong chance of being picked for the game if he showed no adverse reaction to Wednesday’s 90-minute workout, the giant winger’s first since a flare-up of a chronic kidney complaint laid him low in April.

SPORTS ON SCREEN

Cricket, UK domestic season: Surrey vs Gloucestershire, from 3.00 pm on ESPN n General: Sportsline, live from 7.30 pm on STAR Sports Tennis, ATP Tour: Montreal Masters, live from 5.00 am (Friday) on STAR Sports


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