Tennis, baseball, both forms of football, badminton, athletics and mahjong all feature in this week’s wrap…
Li Na eased through her French Open first round match against Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 6-4, despite having a 0-3 record against the Spaniard on clay. Li is due to face American Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Thursday. Zheng Jie will also face an American, Melanie Oudin, in round 2, while Peng Shuai plays her first round match on Wednesday. No men in the main draw: Wu Di, who made history with an appearance at the Australian Open this year, failed to make it through qualifying.
Mixed news for Chinese carmaker Chery: the deal with Brazilian soccer side Santos failed to lead to a long-term partnership, but with Neymar’s departure to Barcelona, the Santos front of house property becomes decidedly cooler. Elsewhere, though, Chery has agreed a sponsorship deal with the Badminton World Federation to become the BWF’s Official Car.
The AP has an article about some extremely optimistic Americans who feel sure that the Arena Football League is sure to make it big in China. The writer appears to be drinking the Kool-Aid, too. Either that, or hongbao culture has extended beyond China’s shores…
I wrote recently that Liu Xiang has nothing left to prove and should retire gracefully. Here’s why: China Daily says there are plenty of promising track and field athletes ready to take over the mantle.
An interesting video from AFP, which shows 1. that print journalists continue to struggle in the multimedia world, and that 2. China’s sporting system may be forced to reform further. Good footage of budding Chinese gymnasts, too.
The Daily Telegraph argues quite convincingly that the newly formed New York City FC in MLS will put David Beckham’s plans to own a MLS expansion team “on hold”. Which presumably frees him up to spend more time in China
hawking products coaching kids, at least in the short to medium term.
The IOC will vote on Wednesday on which new sport(s) it will recommend should join the Olympic programme – or if wrestling will survive the cull. Wushu almost certainly won’t be selected, but the Chinese can still hope for a miracle.
The Europeans have crushed China at a mahjong tournament in France. As a European who grew up playing mahjong at home, I should feel pride. But it was the French that won, so all pride has gone.
And Manny Ramirez, who is romping through the Taiwanese baseball season, was treated to some earlier birthday celebrations (he turns 41 on Thursday) by his teammates, who all dressed up as Manny with amusing results:
More photos here.