Sports Briefs

Bloemfontein-based professional golfer Dean Burmester was a late inclusion into this week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf presented by Samsung, and he opened with a 67 to be three shots off the first round lead yesterday. Jacquin Hess and Drikus van der Walt share the lead on eight under par. Being back in the Free State certainly inspired Burmester, who has been experiencing the challenge of playing on the European Challenge Tour. He should have teed it up in Kazakhstan this week, but had Visa trouble. Burmester admits it is difficult playing in foreign countries and he feels it is the reason many South Africans struggle on the European Challenge Tour. Burmester won in Zimbabwe in April and Swaziland in May on the Sunshine Tour and also had a second on the European Challenge Tour in Austria in July.

Chelsea, Spurs to make Wembley home

Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn has backed plans by Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur to use Wembley as their temporary home while their own stadiums get redeveloped. Premier League champions Chelsea plan on increasing the capacity of Stamford Bridge to 60000, a £500-million (about R10-billion) plan that would require a new home for at least two seasons. Tottenham may also spend the 2017-18 campaign away as the seek to rebuild the White Hart Lane which will also host National Football League (NFL) games. Both the clubs are naturally interested in a temporary relocation to Wembley, according to British media reports.

Coe called to explain himself over doping

IAAF President Sebastian Coe will be called to Britain's parliament to explain his comments that recent media reports on doping were a “declaration of war” on the sport, the BBC reported. The Sunday Times published data from 5000 athletes in August, which it said revealed an “extraordinary extent of cheating”. The IAAF called the allegations “sensationalist and confusing” and denied it had failed in its duty to carry out effective blood-testing. Coe, twice Olympic 1500 metres champion, was critical of the reports and will be called to the next parliamentary session to explain his position.

Amawheelaboys sharpen for qualifiers

The South African Senior Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team will look to build on their recent superb showing against the New Zealand Roller Blacks when they take on the All Stars Invitation in the third leg of the Sasol Green v Gold Series. The game is at Mandeville Sports Centre in Bezuidenhout Valley tomorrow from 2pm. Amawheelaboys head coach Franck Belen will be looking for improvements in certain areas of play ahead of the national team’s participation at the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation’s African Qualifiers in Algiers, Algeria, from October 31-November 7. “The stakes are high in Algeria, as only the winning African nation will get a chance to compete at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. But Amawheelaboys will want to set the record straight after being beaten in the final of the 2013 African qualifiers by Algeria,” said Belen.The defeat in the African Qualifiers players in Angola two years ago cost the South African team the chance to participate at the 2014 World Championships in Korea. Regarding tomorrow’s Green v Gold Series match, Belen said that the platform allows for the coaching staff to try out different combinations on the court which could come in handy in Algeria. “We know the African nations think that blocking out our three-time Paralympian Richard Nortje is the key to beating the Amawheelaboys, but there are several other players who stood out during the 5-0 All Star Series win over the New Zealanders, and who are prepared to go the extra mile for the team and for their country,” said Belen. The Mandeville Sports Centres doors will open at 12.30pm and the first 50 fans to enter the venue will each receive a complimentary T-shirt.

Waddell grabs fourth gold in Samoa

The Commonwealth Youth Games aquatics programme ended yesterday with an additional seven medals (two gold, one silver and four bronze) for the South African swimming team in Samoa, bringing their total to an outstanding 23 medals. Zane Waddell was the star of the competition, bagging his fourth gold medal in the 50m freestyle with a sparkling 22.80, while in the women’s 50m freestyle race, Erin Gallagher scooped the silver medal in 25.80. Waddell was also part of the gold winning 4x100m medley relay team, alongside Neil Fair, Brendan Levy and James Isemonger when they finished first in 3:46.91. The ladies’ 4 x 100m medley relay team of Gallagher, Jamie Reynolds, Nathania van Niekerk and Kaylene Corbett grabbed the bronze medal in 4:15.13. Corbett was also in the water in the 200m breaststroke, where she won her second bronze of the night with a time of 2:33.90. Isemonger and Fair were also in action in the 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley, winning bronze in 2:19.90 and 2:05.00 respectively. - AP/ANA/Reuters