Sports News Roundup: James Harden returns, leads Nets past Spurs; Marc-Andre Fleury's 67th career shutout lifts Knights and more
In Philadelphia, social-distancing guidelines have been reduced from six feet to three, and on May 21, the capacity at Citizens Bank Park will be increased from 11,000 to 16,000, the Phillies said Thursday. Olympics-Fear Of Missing Out keeps athletes onside for Tokyo Ten weeks before the start of the Olympics, Tokyo remains in a state of emergency, 60% of the Japanese people do not want the Olympics to go ahead, and only around 3% of them have been vaccinated for COVID-19.
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
NHL roundup: Marc-Andre Fleury's 67th career shutout lifts Knights
Marc-Andre Fleury made 19 saves to register his sixth shutout of the season as the visiting Vegas Golden Knights kept alive their hopes for a West Division title and Presidents' Trophy with a 6-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night in the regular-season finale for both teams. Fleury also moved into a tie for 14th place on the NHL's all-time shutouts list with Roy Worters with the 67th of his career while also extending his personal win streak to nine in a row.
Gymnastics: Body suits could help keep young gymnasts in the sport - Voss
Full-body suits could encourage teenage gymnasts put off by traditional leotards to stay in the sport, according to German Sarah Voss, who drew praise for wearing one at the recent European Championships. The 21-year-old Voss, who hopes to compete at this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo, donned a full-body suit at the 2021 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Basel last month, in what was described as a stand against sexualisation in gymnastics.
Japanese towns drop plans to host Olympic athletes - Nikkei
Dozens of Japanese towns have abandoned plans to host Olympic athletes because of concern they will overburden stretched medical resources amid a fourth wave of coronavirus infections, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Thursday. Forty of more than 500 towns registered to welcome international competitors had decided not to accept athletes for training camps and cultural exchanges before the global sporting showpiece, the newspaper reported, citing a government source.
James Harden collected 18 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in his return from a strained right hamstring as the Brooklyn Nets posted a 128-116 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night in New York. Harden came off the bench for the first time since April 22, 2012, when he was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. He played under a minutes restriction after missing the previous 18 games, and he wound up logging 25:44 of court time in his first game since April 5.
Phillies, Twins increasing stadium capacity
The Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins are increasing seating capacity with an eye toward full stadiums in the coming weeks. In Philadelphia, social-distancing guidelines have been reduced from six feet to three, and on May 21, the capacity at Citizens Bank Park will be increased from 11,000 to 16,000, the Phillies said Thursday.
Olympics-Fear Of Missing Out keeps athletes onside for Tokyo
Ten weeks before the start of the Olympics, Tokyo remains in a state of emergency, 60% of the Japanese people do not want the Olympics to go ahead, and only around 3% of them have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Yet the message from the International Olympic Committee, local organisers and the Japanese government has been consistent -- full speed ahead to the opening ceremony on July 23.
NBA: League creates award to recognize social justice efforts
The NBA is set to announce on Thursday a new award that will recognize a current player for pursuing social justice and upholding the league's values of equality, respect and inclusion. Named after one of the most accomplished players in NBA history, the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award winner will select an organization to receive a $100,000 contribution on his behalf, according to an NBA statement reviewed by Reuters.
New York's Gerrit Cole crafted eight brilliant innings to finally solve Tampa Bay in the regular season, and the Yankees secured another series Wednesday night with a 1-0 victory over the Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. Cole (5-1) yielded only four hits, struck out 12 and did not issue a walk in moving to 1-4 in his career against the Rays in the regular season. He is 3-0 against Tampa Bay in the playoffs, however.
Tennis-Murray 'deserves' French Open wildcard, says tournament director Forget
Andy Murray has entered the qualifying rounds for the French Open later this month but tournament director Guy Forget said the former world number one "deserves" a wildcard spot for the claycourt Grand Slam. Three-times Grand Slam champion Murray has fallen to 123rd in the world rankings after long injury lay-offs because of hip surgeries but Forget said the Scot, a Roland Garros finalist in 2016, could probably beat "half of the people in the main draw".
Boxing-Joshua v Fury set for Aug. 14 in Saudi Arabia - Hearn
British rivals Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have agreed an Aug. 14 date for their world heavyweight unification title fight in Saudi Arabia, promoter Eddie Hearn said on Thursday. Hearn, who is Joshua's promoter, did not provide details of the location but said local organisers planned to build a new stadium.
(With inputs from agencies.)