Global sports round-up

Ryder eager to trade blows with Flintoff

AUCKLAND – Jesse Ryder has said that he wants to take on Andrew Flintoff in a boxing match.

The 28-year-old New Zealand international cricketer won his first fight against sports radio host Mark Watson in Auckland in July, while Flintoff began his boxing career by defeating American Richard Dawson in November.

“My people have been in touch with Freddie to try and set up a fight,”

The Independent quotes Ryder as saying. “I’m keen to get in the ring again so hopefully it will be possible to try and get that on.

“It depends on timing but having a fight between the Test matches (England travel to New Zealand for a three-match Test tour next month) and getting the Barmy Army involved would be great.

“Freddie looked in good shape, he had obviously done a lot of work before his own fight. Between us we must have shed a lot of weight.”

Ryder has not played for New Zealand since March 2012.


Jang calls it a day

Jang Mi-ran

SEOUL – South Korea’s Jang Mi-ran bid an emotional farewell to weightlifting after a decorated 15-year career when the ‘Female Hercules’ announced her retirement today.

The 29-year-old said goodbye to a sport that has rewarded her efforts with four world titles, as well as Olympic and Asian Games success.

Jang’s crowning moment came when she completed a ‘grand slam’ with the 2010 Asian Games title in Guangzhou in the over 75kg class, following up her success at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a quartet of world championship victories.

At her peak in her triumphant Olympic year, Jang set world records in the snatch (140kg), clean and jerk (186kg) and for the overall weight lifted (326kg).

However, age and injuries took their toll in recent years and the South Korean struggled to keep pace with emerging lifters such as Tatiana Kashirina of Russia and China’s Zhou Lulu.

Last year, her dreams of earning a third straight Olympic medal, she also won a bronze at Athens in 2004, were dashed in London when she could only finish fourth.


Walcott ‘overrated’

Theo Walcott

LONDON – Former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson believes that winger Theo Walcott doesn’t “deserve” to receive a new big-money contract at the Emirates.

The 23-year-old has been in negotiations with the North London club over the last few months and reports have claimed that the Premier League outfit have offered the England international a 90,000-a-week contract.

“Theo Walcott has come along at just the right time and will get paid double what he really deserves,” Robson said.

“Theo Walcott is overrated. He’s got good pace and is looking like a good finisher but his general game understanding is not very good. Most of the other players at Arsenal have a better technical understanding of the game.”

Walcott’s current deal expires at the end of the season.

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