World Sports News in Brief

Motor racing: More than 100 women apply for US$1.5 million 'W Series'

More than 100 applicants from around the world have sought to join a new all-female motor racing series aimed at getting them into Formula One, where no woman has competed since 1976.

General view of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the German Grand Prix - Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany - July 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski
General view of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the German Grand Prix - Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany - July 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

Organisers on Wednesday issued a long list of 55 for the W Series, which is set to launch in May with 18 drivers racing 1.8 litre Formula Three cars for a US$1.5 million prize fund. The first race is scheduled for Hockenheim, Germany, on May 3 and the overall series winner will collect US$500,000, with prize money down to 18th place.

* International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach says he cannot remember a host city being as well prepared as Tokyo, a little more than 600 days before the start of the 2020 Summer Games. The German visited the offices of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic organisers on Wednesday, lavishing praise on the hosts for their readiness to host the summer showpiece.

* The Association of National Olympic Committees postponed their presidential election amid farcical scenes on Wednesday in the wake of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah's decision to temporarily step down from the post because of an ongoing legal case. The Kuwaiti has denied any wrongdoing and, without giving any further details, said the allegations made against him in a Swiss court were politically motivated.

* Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate left a personal message of condolence as they paid tribute to Leicester soccer club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha during a visit to the team's stadium where he was killed in a helicopter crash last month.

* A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) delegation held talks with Russian officials and visited a suspended Moscow anti-doping laboratory on Wednesday as it waits for Russia to meet a year-end deadline to hand over incriminating test data. The Russian anti-doping agency, RUSADA, was suspended in November 2015 after a WADA-commissioned report found evidence of widespread, state-sponsored doping in Russian athletics. Moscow has vehemently denied the allegations.

* There were 10 goals and a red card as Aston Villa drew 5-5 at home to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday in England's second tier Championship. Tammy Abraham scored four goals for Villa, who trailed 2-0 and 3-2 in a remarkable first half that ended 3-3.

* Napoli swept aside Red Star Belgrade with a typically entertaining performance as two goals from Dries Mertens helped them to a 3-1 win over the former European champions in their Champions League match on Wednesday. Napoli stayed top of Group C with nine points from five games while the Serbian champions, on four points, were eliminated after shipping 13 goals in their three away games.

* Atletico Madrid clinched their place in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday by beating AS Monaco 2-0 at home while also ensuring that Thierry Henry's hapless visitors will now even miss out on qualification for the Europa League.

* Arsenal’s Europa League match against Vorskla Poltava on Thursday is in doubt, with the Ukrainian side saying they are still awaiting confirmation from the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev over whether it is willing to host the fixture. UEFA decided on Tuesday to move the Group E clash from Poltava’s Oleksiy Butovsky Stadium to the national sports complex in Kiev due to security concerns following the introduction of martial law in Ukraine.

* FIFA’s ethics committee member Sundra Rajoo resigned on Wednesday, one week after being suspended from his post following an investigation by an anti-corruption unit in his native Malaysia, the global soccer body said.

* Watford head coach Javi Gracia has signed a new 4-1/2 year contract to keep him at Vicarage Road until 2023, the Premier League club said on Wednesday.

* Italian tax police said on Wednesday they had seized more than 2.6 million euros from Serie A club Sampdoria, its president Massimo Ferrero and five other people as part of a fraud investigation.

* Chelsea forward Eden Hazard will miss Thursday's Europa League game against Greek side PAOK Salonika due to a minor ankle injury, but should recover in time to face Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday, manager Maurizio Sarri said.

* FC Barcelona booked a 2-1 victory at PSV in Champions League Group B on Wednesday in Eindhoven. After a free-kick by Messi, Gerard Pique tipped in the second Barcelona goal in the 70th minute and in the 83rd minute the home-team PSV managed to find the net.

Reuters, Xinhua