Off the wire

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE -

BOX­ING Kl­itschko re­tires

For­mer heavy­weight world cham­pion Wladimir Kl­itschko has an­nounced his re­tire­ment from box­ing. Kl­itschko, 41, dom­i­nated the heavy­weight scene for a decade but lost to Bri­tain’s An­thony Joshua in April af­ter be­ing knocked out in the 11th round.

In a state­ment re­leased by his man­age­ment Thurs­day, Kl­itschko said: “As an ama­teur and a professional boxer, I have achieved ev­ery­thing I dreamed of, and now I want to start my sec­ond ca­reer af­ter sports.” He said that he had de­lib­er­ately taken a few weeks to reach a de­ci­sion “to make sure I had enough dis­tance from the (Joshua) fight at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium.” Kl­itschko was 64-5 in a ca­reer that be­gan in 1996 af­ter he won Olympic gold in At­lanta. Kl­itschko fol­lowed his older brother Vi­tali Kl­itschko into box­ing. Both found im­me­di­ate suc­cess in the professional ring, and held all of the main heavy­weight ti­tles be­tween them when Vi­tali Kl­itschko re­tired in 2013. They never fought each other, say­ing that would break a prom­ise to their mother.

TEN­NIS An­dreescu ad­vances

Cana­dian wild card Bianca An­dreescu knocked off sec­ond-seeded Kristina Mlade­n­ovic in straight sets to ad­vance to the quar­ter­fi­nals of the Citi Open in Wash­ing­ton. An­dreescu beat Mlade­n­ovic 6-2, 6-3 on Thurs­day. In other women’s matches, top-seeded Si­mona Halep came back from los­ing the first set to beat Mar­i­ana Duque-Marino 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, and An­drea Petkovic beat Eu­ge­nie Bouchard 6-2, 4-6, 6-0. Five of the top seven seeds in the women’s draw reached the quar­ter­fi­nals. In the men’s draw, third-seeded Mi­los Raonic won a lengthy first-set tiebreak on the way to beat­ing Mar­cos Bagh­datis 7-6 (7), 6-3, and eighth-seeded Jack Sock beat fel­low Amer­i­can Jared Don­ald­son 7-6 (6), 6-2. Raonic and Sock will face each other in the next round.

Pair moves up in Aus­tria

Fabio Fognini and Philipp Kohlschreiber both reached their sec­ond semi­fi­nal in as many weeks at the Gen­er­ali Open on Thurs­day at Kitzbuehel, Aus­tria. Fognini, who won his fifth ca­reer ti­tle in Gs­taad, Switzer­land on Sun­day, re­ceived med­i­cal treat­ment for a lower back in­jury early in the open­ing set but eased past Thomaz Bel­lucci 6-3, 6-1. The Brazil­ian won just one of his eight ser­vice games. The third-seeded Ital­ian plays for­mer cham­pion Kohlschreiber for a place in Satur­day’s fi­nal of the last clay court event of the sea­son. The Ger­man took the last five points of a third-set tiebreaker to out­last Du­san La­jovic of Ser­bia 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5). Last week, Kohlschreiber pulled out of his semi­fi­nal in Ham­burg with a thigh in­jury. Also, 157th-ranked Se­bas­tian Ofner of Aus­tria reached his maiden semi­fi­nal by de­feat­ing Renzo Olivo of Ar­gentina 6-3, 1-6, 6-3. The wild card en­trant will next play Joao Sousa of Por­tu­gal, who ral­lied to beat Ger­ald Melzer of Aus­tria 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 in a match in­ter­rupted by rain.

Cilic to miss Rogers Cup

Wim­ble­don fi­nal­ist Marin Cilic will miss the Rogers Cup next week in Mon­treal due to an ad­duc­tor in­jury. Cilic an­nounced Thurs­day that “un­til the very last mo­ment I was hop­ing that im­prove­ment con­cern­ing my in­jury will be good enough, but I am forced to with­draw.” The six­thranked Croat said he suf­fered the in­jury at Wim­ble­don where he lost to Roger Fed­erer in straight sets in the fi­nal. Fed­erer is play­ing in Mon­treal but his Swiss com­pa­triot Stan Wawrinka with­drew Wed­nes­day with a knee in­jury.

SOC­CER Re­play starts Satur­day

De­spite purists who be­lieve soc­cer should never be sul­lied by video re­play, it has ar­rived and isn’t go­ing any­where. Ma­jor League Soc­cer will start us­ing it for ev­ery match, even the post­sea­son, be­gin­ning Satur­day. The Video As­sis­tant Ref­eree, VAR for short, was show­cased on an in­ter­na­tional level dur­ing this sum­mer’s Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup in Rus­sia and the Un­der-20 World Cup in South Korea, with mixed re­sults. But MLS has been pre­par­ing for this mo­ment for three years, de­ter­mined to get it right. “The idea is min­i­mum in­ter­fer­ence for max­i­mum ben­e­fit,” said vet­eran ref­eree Howard Webb, who is over­see­ing the league’s im­ple­men­ta­tion of video re­play. “We’re not try­ing to change the way the game is played. We’re try­ing to en­hance it. We’re try­ing to make it fairer. We’re try­ing to make sure the out­comes are right.” Aus­tralia’s top-flight A-League used a ver­sion of video re­view on trial ear­lier this year, and the South Korean K-League Clas­sic be­gan work­ing with it in July. At least two other top-tier leagues will add a VAR soon. The Ger­man Bun­desliga will de­but video re­play for the sea­son opener be­tween Bay­ern Munich and Bayer Lev­erkusen on Aug. 18. The Ital­ian Serie A will also in­tro­duce its ver­sion af­ter adding goal-line tech­nol­ogy last sea­son.

MO­TOR SPORTS Harry Scott Jr. dies

For­mer NASCAR team owner Harry Scott Jr. has died at 51. His fam­ily says in state­ment he died Wed­nes­day but de­tails were not dis­closed. The fam­ily on Thurs­day de­scribed him as a “lov­ing fam­ily man and suc­cess­ful busi­ness owner.” Scott owned HS­cott Mo­tor­sports, which ran teams in the NASCAR Mon­ster En­ergy Cup se­ries from 2013 un­til last sea­son. Clint Bowyer and Michael An­nett had full-time rides with HSM in 2016. The team said in De­cem­ber it wouldn’t com­pete in the Cup se­ries be­cause of a lack of spon­sors. Bowyer re­placed Tony Ste­wart at Ste­wart-Haas Rac­ing this sea­son. Funeral ar­range­ments were not an­nounced.

TRACK AND FIELD Pis­to­rius hos­pi­tal­ized

Os­car Pis­to­rius was taken from prison in South Africa to a pub­lic hos­pi­tal on Thurs­day with chest pains and was sched­uled to stay overnight for ob­ser­va­tion. “He’s fine now,” Pis­to­rius spokesman Jo­han van Wyk told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Van Wyk said South African me­dia re­ports that the for­mer track star and con­victed mur­derer had a sus­pected heart at­tack in jail were un­true. Pis­to­rius, the dou­ble-am­putee Olympic run­ner who is serv­ing a six-year prison term for the 2013 mur­der of his girl­friend, was taken to the hos­pi­tal Thurs­day morn­ing and had been ex­pected to re­turn to the prison later the same day, Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions spokesman Lo­gan Maistry told the AP. How­ever, it was de­cided Pis­to­rius would stay overnight in the hos­pi­tal “for ob­ser­va­tion,” Maistry said. Maistry de­clined to give de­tails of Pis­to­rius’ med­i­cal com­plaint, cit­ing depart­ment rules pre­vent­ing the di­vulging of in­for­ma­tion about of­fend­ers. He said only that Pis­to­rius was hav­ing “med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tions.” But van Wyk con­firmed that Pis­to­rius had com­plained of chest pains and was taken to Kala­fong Hos­pi­tal in the South African capital of Pre­to­ria.




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