SPORTS BRIEFS – Taipei Times

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BASKETBALL

Smart defends collision

Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart said he was not a “dirty player” after a Wednesday collision with Steph Curry injured the Golden State Warriors star. Curry left the game in San Francisco in the second quarter after Smart dived for a loose ball and crashed into the Golden State talisman’s left leg. Curry was having magnetic resonance imaging of his foot after the Warriors’ 110-88 loss to assess the extent of the injury. Warriors coach Steve Kerr called Smart’s actions “a dangerous game.” Smart said he understood Kerr’s criticisms, but insisted he would never intentionally hurt a fellow professional. “Me and Steve have a relationship with American basketball, so he knows I’m never trying to hurt anyone,” Smart said.

ATHLETICS

Russia banned from the euro

Athletes from Russia and Belarus were officially banned from the European Multisport Championships in August on Wednesday. Organizers of the August 11-21 championships in Munich, Germany, said they supported the decisions of officials from the nine individual sports not to invite Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials. “We are united in our condemnation of Russia’s war against Ukraine,” said organizing committee chairman Libor Varhanik.

BASEBALL

Cubs, Suzuki agrees to deal

The Chicago Cubs and Japanese star outfielder Seiya Suzuki have agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. The person, confirming multiple reports, spoke on condition of anonymity as the deal was ongoing. The deal signals the Cubs hope to speed up the rebuilding process after severing their 2016 championship core before last season’s trade deadline. Suzuki, 27, was a five-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner in nine seasons with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Nippon Professional Baseball.

FIGURE SKATING

Chen abandons the worlds

Olympic champion Nathan Chen pulled out of the world championships on Wednesday due to what he called a “nagging injury” he suffered after winning the Beijing Games. The three-time defending champion would be replaced in the USA team by Camden Pulkinen next week in Montpellier, France. “I have a nagging injury that I’m dealing with, and I don’t want to risk any further injuries while training and competing next week,” Chen said in a statement. Chen, 22, picked up a gold medal in the free skating in Beijing and helped Team USA win a silver, which could become gold pending the outcome of a doping investigation involving the Russian team.

SKI

Shiffrin wins overall title

Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States won the overall Women’s World Cup title for the fourth time yesterday, rebounding from a disastrous performance at the Winter Olympics. Shiffrin finished second in the Super-G in Courchevel, France, to give her an unassailable 236-point lead over her nearest rival, Slovakian Petra Vlhova, with two races to go this season. At 27, Shiffrin equaled retired compatriot Lindsey Vonn’s record by winning the overall title for the fourth time.

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