Global sports round-up

Official impaled with javelin

DUESSELDORF – An official at an athletics event in the German city of Dusseldorf has died after being speared in the throat with a javelin.

The 74-year-old man was rushed to hospital after the accident on Sunday but died of his injuries.

The official, named locally as Dieter Strack, had gone to measure a throw but was hit by a javelin before it hit the ground, according to local media.The competition was called off after the incident.

The 15-year-old competitor who threw the javelin is receiving psychological counselling, police spokesman Andre Hartwig said. A statement on the website of the local athletics association identified the man as Mr Strack and said he was a “much-loved and experienced” sports judge.


Joe Ansbro

CORK – London Irish and Scotland centre Joe Ansbro has suffered a broken neck while playing in a pre- season match against Munster.

Ansbro, 26, is in hospital in Cork but is expected to be flown home later this week.

“He’s got a triple fracture of the C1 vertebrae at the top of his spine,” Ansbro’s father Paul told BBC Scotland. “They’ve put a metal halo on his head that’s got to be in place 24/7 for three months.”

Ansbro Snr said there was “nothing malicious” about his son’s injury, adding that he dived in to get the ball and came off worse.

“Your blood runs cold when you hear about it and it’s something every parent worries about.

“They did a CAT scan and an MRI scan, and they’ve had a neurosurgeon looking after him,” Ansbro Snr said. “He was really lucky that it was what they call a stable fracture and there’s no nerve damage. That was the thing they were most concerned about; Joe’s still got movement in his hands and feet.”


Jamaicans continue good form

BIRMINGHAM – Jamaicans Nickel Ashmeade, Rosemarie Whyte and Kaliese Spencer took victories but compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce played second fiddle again to American Carmelita Jeter at the Birmingham Grand Prix yesterday.

The 22-year-old Ashmeade, a former double CARIFTA sprint champion, clocked 20.12 seconds to capture the 200 metres at Alexander Stadium. He finished ahead of American Tyson Gay (20.21) with another American, Wallace Spearmon, trailing in third in 20.23 seconds.

Spencer, who finished fourth at the recently concluded Olympic Games in London, England, found herself in winners row for the second time in four days when she again captured the women’s 400-metre hurdles.

She crossed the line in a new meet record 53.78 seconds, getting home ahead of hometown favourite Perri Shakes-Drayton who was timed at 54.08.

Spencer had a slight scare when she was disqualified for bringing her leg around a hurdle. Her appeal was upheld, however.


Wach to challenge Klitschko

Mariusz Wach

BERLIN – Wladimir Klitschko will defend his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles against Polish challenger Mariusz Wach on November 10 in Hamburg.

Klitschko’s management company announced the bout recently and said it will be the first time the fighter will face a taller opponent. Wach is 6-foot-6, more than an inch taller than Klitschko.

“The challenge for me is his size because, for the first time in my career, I’ll be meeting an opponent who is taller than me and has a longer reach,” said Klitschko, the super heavyweight champion at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. “Wach is unbeaten, has a strong punch and irrepressible resolve.”

The 32-year-old Wach is No. 4 in the WBC rankings, with a 27-0 record (15 knockouts) since turning professional in 2005.

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