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China gushes over Su and Gu at Olympics, but Zhu mocking rolls on – National Post

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“There should be no politicization and narrow-mindedness to treat this matter, sportsmanship must come first.”

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The Chinese public on Monday gushed over teen heroes Su Yiming and Eileen Gu after their much anticipated appearances on the Olympic slopes as a prominent pundit urged the country’s netizens to stop panning foreign-born figure skater Zhu Yi.

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The name of 17-year-old Su, a former child actor, was the most viewed topic on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform. The term “1800” — referring to his completion of one of the toughest snowboarding tricks — was a close second.

Su took silver in the men’s snowboarding slopestyle event behind Max Parrot of Canada. His Chinese fans, however, questioned why he was not given a higher score for what they called a “perfect” performance.

“You are the king of snowboarding in our hearts,” state broadcaster CCTV posted alongside a video clip of Su receiving his medal.

In contrast, the public continued to mock U.S.-born Chinese figure skater Zhu Yi for crying after she flopped in the figure skating on Sunday.

The 19-year-old fell on the ice and finished last, triggering a fierce backlash nL4N2UH00Z on Chinese social media that critiqued her performance and raised questions about her selection for the Olympic team.

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Some members of the Chinese public urged sympathy.

“As long as she represents China, or no matter which country she represents, even though she fell down, we have to be tolerant,” a man who gave his surname as Hu, told Reuters in Beijing while waiting at a bus station near the Olympic tower.

“There should be no politicization and narrow-mindedness to treat this matter, sportsmanship must come first.”

Hu Xijin, a prolific commentator who recently retired as editor-in-chief of the nationalist Global Times tabloid, said on his official Weibo account that the attacks on Zhu were speculative and “too much”.

“I hope that some people will stop humiliating themselves and our country without any bottom line,” he said, defending the decision by Zhu, who was born and raised in the United States in a Chinese immigrant family, to represent China.

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“This sports driven reverse immigration is a new product of the times,” Hu said.

China has staffed some Olympic sports with foreign-born players, such as its ice hockey teams for the Beijing Games.

Freestyle skier Gu, whose Chinese name is Ailing and who is one of Team China’s most popular athletes, was also born and raised in the U.S. Her decision to compete for China has been criticized by Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

“Chinese netizens generally like Gu Ailing but their rebuke of Zhu Yi is rude and uncalled for,” Hu said. “I want to say that we should all be more open-minded than Fox and more civilised.”

Gu also trended heavily on Weibo on Monday after participating in the Big Air qualifier.

Her reaction to losing her skis during her second jump was described as “cute”. Gu later managed to get through to the final after nailing her third jump.

“Anyway, she’s able to flip in the air whereas I find it difficult just to turn myself around at home,” said one user, Zhurenyiwen Qi. (Reporting by Brenda Goh and Yin Xiaoyu; Editing by Ken Ferris)

  1. A medical staffer in personal protective equipment collects a daily mandatory COVID-19 swab sample from member of the media on February 04, 2022 in Beijing, China. As activity ramps up ahead of the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, interest remains high in seeing how

    What it’s like inside China’s COVID-safe, high-tech Olympic bubble

  2. Torch bearers Dinigeer Yilamujiang and Jiawen Zhao of Team China hold the Olympic flame during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at the Beijing National Stadium on February 04, 2022 in Beijing, China.

    China’s U.N. envoy says choice of Uyghur torchbearer not meant to deflect Western criticism

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Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Durant, Brogdon, Melton, Knicks – hoopsrumors.com

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The potential price tag for acquiring Kevin Durant isn’t what should matter most to the Raptors, argues Scott Stinson of The National Post, who says that determining whether Durant would actually be motivated and invested in playing for Toronto should be the most important factor for the team’s lead decision-makers.

As Stinson writes, Durant’s motivation in asking for a trade out of Brooklyn remains a bit nebulous, especially since he just signed a four-year extension last August. That should concern vice chairman and president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri, because dealing for a superstar who might not be engaged or on the same page as the club could be disastrous, according to Stinson.

Drawing parallels between Ujiri’s trade for Kawhi Leonard in the 2018 offseason to the Durant sweepstakes now doesn’t make sense, per Stinson, because the situations aren’t similar.

Leonard was coming off an injury that caused him to miss almost the entire 2017/18 season, was on an expiring contract, and the Raptors teams led by Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan had been given ample time to breakthrough in the East, but couldn’t get past LeBron James. The Raptors finished second in the East in the two years after Leonard left Toronto, so obviously the team remained competitive and didn’t mortgage its future to acquire him, Stinson writes.

Durant, on the other hand, has four years remaining on his deal, so obviously it will cost significantly more to land him, plus the current version of the Raptors is ascendant, with Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr., and Precious Achiuwa among the new additions who made significant contributions to a team that improved its win total from 27 to 48. Dealing away from an emerging core only for Durant to balk at the idea of staying could put Toronto in a hole that would be difficult to climb out of, says Stinson.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Could a lesser role on the Celtics benefit Malcolm Brogdon from a health perspective? “The knock against him coming out of college is that he had terrible knees,” a rival general manager told Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com. “I mean, some of the examinations were really suspect in terms of how long his lower body would be able to take NBA pounding. So that’s why he ended up going in the second round, because he was damn near red-flagged. So the fact of the matter is he’s probably better off coming off the bench with limited minutes, trying to be impactful in 18 rather than trying to play 30 and always being injured. The question becomes how he’ll accept that.” Boston reportedly views Brogdon as a sixth man, and he said shortly after the deal was announced that he’s motivated to win a championship and is willing to sacrifice his individual stats for the betterment of the team.
  • De’Anthony Melton believes he’s a “great fit” for the Sixers, writes Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer (subscriber link). “Once I saw the team, I’m like, ‘OK, that’s a great spot,’” Melton told The Inquirer by phone last week. “That’s a great fit for me. … I understand what this team needs. I understand what this team is trying to do. I’m ready for the task at hand. I’m ready for whatever’s to come.” Melton was acquired from the Grizzlies in exchange for the No. 23 pick (David Roddy) and Danny Green in a draft-day swap.
  • Signing free agent guard Jalen Brunson was a solid move for the Knicks but they still look like a play-in team on paper, Ian O’Connor of The New York Post opines. According to O’Connor, while Brunson is a good player and the best point guard the Knicks will employ in years, neither he nor RJ Barrett or Julius Randle are capable of being the best — or second-best — players on a championship-caliber team, and unless something drastic changes, New York will begin 2022/23 as “just another barely relevant club.”

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Ailing Nick Kyrgios prevails at Wimbledon, advancing to 3rd career Slam quarter-final – CBC Sports

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Much quieter, much calmer than in his previous match, Nick Kyrgios overcame a troublesome right shoulder to deliver 35 aces and beat Brandon Nakashima 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-2 at Wimbledon on Monday to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time in 7 1/2 years.

The unseeded Kyrgios improved to 6-0 over his career in five-setters at the All England Club and collected his tour-leading 11th grass-court victory of the season.

“I need a glass of wine, for sure, tonight. For sure,” Kyrgios told the crowd during his on-court interview in London, after swapping out his rule-conforming white hat and shoes for red versions.

Playing before a nearly full house at Centre Court, the 27-year-old Australian only occasionally displayed his unusual repertoire of trick shots — a between-the-legs swing here, an underarm serve there — or the temper that earned fines of $10,000 US for spitting in the direction of a heckling spectator at the end of his first-round match and $4,000 for an audible obscenity during his tempestuous win against No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round.

Against Nakashima, an unseeded 20-year-old from California, Kyrgios repeatedly was visited during changeovers by a trainer, who massaged and manipulated his shoulder. There was a stretch where Kyrgios’ high-speed serves dipped from above 217 kilometres per hour to closer to 177, but he eventually seemed to get past that and was back to producing unreturnable offerings over and over.

After Nakashima evened things by taking the fourth set with a break, then went up 1-0 in the fifth, Kyrgios surged to the finish. He earned five games in a row, before serving it out and closing this way from love-30: cross-court forehand passing winner; hanging in on an 11-stroke exchange until Nakashima missed a backhand; 216 km/h service winner; forehand volley winner.

“I’ve played a lot of tennis in the last month and a half. I’m just proud of the way I steadied the ship,” Kyrgios said. “Honestly that’s what I was thinking about: I’ve never lost a five-set match here. … I was like, ‘I’ve been here before. I’ve done it before.”‘

Garin wins in comeback fashion

This will be Kyrgios’ third appearance in a major quarter-final. The others came as a teenager at Wimbledon in 2014 — when he surprised then-No. 1 Rafael Nadal along the way — and at the Australian Open in 2015.

“I stepped out here against one of the greatest of all time and beat Nadal,” Kyrgios said. “So, these are all things I have in the back of my mind.”

Kyrgios next faces unseeded Cristian Garin, a 26-year-old from Chile who authored the fortnight’s first comeback from two sets down, saving two match points and turning things around to defeat No. 19 seed Alex de Minaur 2-6, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (10-6) after more than 4 1/2 hours.

Garin, who is ranked 43rd, reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final in his 15th major appearance.

Dabrowski eliminated

Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and Australian partner John Peers were eliminated in the mixed-doubles quarterfinals at Wimbledon on Monday, ending Canada’s involvement in the professional draws at the grass-court Grand Slam.

Dabrowski and Peers fell 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 to Croatia’s Mate Pavic and India’s Sania Mizra.

Peers and Dabrowski, seeded fourth in the tournament, combined for 13 aces but converted just one of their three break point chances. Pavic and Mizra broke their opponents twice on three opportunities.

Pavic is a former partner of Dabrowski. They won the Australian Open in 2018 and reached the French Open final in 2018 and 2019.

Dabrowski and Mexican partner Giuliana Olmos were eliminated from the women’s doubles event on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Americans Danielle Collinas and Desirae Krawczyk.

The Canadians in the singles main draws — Denis Shapovalov, Bianca Andreescu, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Rebecca Marino — were eliminated over the first two rounds at the All England Club.

Several Canadians are still playing in the junior draws at Wimbledon.

Nadal converts 4th match point to seal win

Everything went smoothly for Rafael Nadal against Botic van de Zandschulp until it came time to close out their fourth-round match at Wimbledon.

Serving for the win at 5-3 in the third set, Nadal was broken for the second time in the match and he then failed to convert three straight match points when leading 6-3 in the ensuing tiebreaker.

That was the end of the Dutchman’s resistance, though, as Nadal converted his fourth match point for a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (6) win on Centre Court.

The Spaniard is playing his first grass-court tournament since 2019, when he lost to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semifinals. He is looking for his third Wimbledon title and has a chance at a calendar-year Grand Slam after winning the Australian Open and French Open to take his career tally to a record 22 major titles.

He will next face 11th-seeded Taylor Fritz, the only American man left in the draw. The 24-year-old has yet to drop a set and will be making his major quarter-final debut after defeating qualifier Jason Kubler 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.

2019 champ Halep moves on

Simona Halep is living up to her status as the only former Grand Slam champion left in this year’s women’s draw.

The Romanian beat fourth-seeded Paula Badosa 6-1, 6-2 on Centre Court to return to the Wimbledon quarter-finals and extend her winning streak at the All England Club to 11 matches.

The 16th-seeded Halep won the title in 2019 but missed last year’s edition with an injury, while the 2020 tournament was cancelled because of the pandemic. This was, however, Halep’s first win over a top-five ranked player on grass.

The former No. 1, who also won the French Open in 2018, has yet to drop a set in this year’s tournament and consistently got the better of Badosa in the baseline rallies. She finished with only nine unforced errors and saved the only break point she faced.

Badosa’s loss means No. 3 Ons Jabeur is the only top-10 seed left in the women’s tournament.

Halep will meet No. 20 Amanda Anisimova, a 20-year-old American who beat Harmony Tan of France 6-2, 6-3. Anisimova had eliminated French Open runner-up Coco Gauff last week; Tan eliminated 23-time major champion Williams in the first round.

The other quarter-final on their side of the field will be 17th-seeded Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan against Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia. Rybakina made it to the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Petra Martic, while Tomljanovic is there for the second straight year after beating Alize Cornet 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Cornet ended No. 1 Iga Swiatek’s 37-match winning streak on Saturday.

“I didn’t really think I could do it,” said Tomljanovic, who lost to eventual champion Ash Barty in last year’s quarter-finals. “After some tough moments this year, I thought: Am I ever going to get a chance again? I can’t believe a year later, I’m in the same position.”

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Argos miss tying convert as Bombers escape with win – TSN

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TORONTO — Although Boris Bede missed a routine convert that would have tied the game and forced overtime, his Toronto Argonauts teammates blamed themselves for their heartbreaking loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

“A whole lot more points were missed than just on missed kicks,” Argonauts quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson said Monday night after his team slipped to 1-2 in the standings.

With 25 seconds left in regulation, Bede missed a convert attempt that would have tied the game as the Argos fell to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23-22 at BMO Field.

But the Argos pivot pointed to his two interceptions and some other turnovers that led to 17 of Winnipeg’s 23 points.

“It drives us crazy,” Bethel-Thompson said. “It’s been three weeks now and we haven’t seen the real Argos.”

The unbeaten Blue Bombers are the first team in the CFL to reach four wins this season.

“We did enough,” Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea said. “That’s what matters.”

Bethel-Thompson overcame a disastrous first half for the Argos to throw for 314 yards. He completed 27 of 37 passing attempts and had two interceptions.

Argos running back Andrew Harris was playing in his first game against the team he helped win consecutive Grey Cups in 2019 and 2021. He was Toronto’s leading rusher with 111 yards on 22 carries.

“When it mattered, we came together,” Harris said. “That’s the best team in the league, unfortunately we lost, but we got some positives once we started playing.”

Winnipeg’s defence opened the scoring on Toronto’s first possession after the game.

While deep in their own territory, Bethel-Thompson’s intended pass to Brandon Banks was picked off by Winnipeg’s Winston Rose for a 46-yard touchdown interception return. Kicker Marc Liegghio converted the extra point that gave Winnipeg a 7-0 lead.

Bethel-Thompson was picked off for a second time in the opening quarter after a bobbled snap led to a rushed throw. That set Winnipeg up with short field position. On the ensuing possession, Winnipeg pivot Zach Collaros connected with Drew Wolitarsky on a 15-yard touchdown pass. Liegghio’s convert put the Bombers up 14-0.

Toronto’s pivot managed just 18 yards of offence in the first quarter.

Winnipeg opened the second quarter with a 15-yard field goal that put the Bombers up 17-0.

Toronto appeared set to get their first points of the game after moving the ball down to Winnipeg’s 29-yard line. They found themselves in a third-and-one situation and decided to go for it but turned the ball over on downs. Toronto head coach Ryan Dinwiddie challenged the spot of the ball after his team’s failed attempt but the spot was upheld by the CFL’s command centre.

The Argos recorded their first points of the game late in the first half. Bede connected on a 52-yard field goal that cut Winnipeg’s lead to 17-3.

Collaros was effective for Winnipeg in the opening half, completing 15 of 17 passes for 132 yards and one touchdown. He also had an interception, but it came in a desperate attempt to add points as time was winding down.

Toronto got off to a much better start in the second half and had a bit of luck to go with it. Bethel-Thompson’s pass in the end zone appeared set to be his third interception of the game. The ball went right to the hands of defensive back Demerio Houston. But Banks managed to strip the ball from Houston’s hands while in the end zone for Toronto’s first touchdown of the game. Bede’s convert trimmed Winnipeg’s lead to 17-10 in the third quarter.

Late in the third, Toronto was on the Winnipeg 10-yard line with a chance to tie the game, but Bethel-Thompson’s completed pass to Banks was fumbled. Malcolm Thompson picked up the ball and lateralled the ball to Nick Taylor who ran the ball up to midfield.

Liegghio connected on a 20-yard field goal on the ensuing possession and put Winnipeg up 20-10 in the fourth quarter.

After the change of possession, tensions began to rise on the Argos sidelines. Banks and offensive lineman Trevon Tate had to be separated by teammates. Toronto general manager Pinball Clemons, who wasn’t on the sidelines to start the game, went down to the field to play peacemaker. Clemons returned to his seat after issues on the sidelines appeared to be under control.

“I’ve got to sit down and talk to those guys, we’ve got to get more disciplined and grow up and be men and find ways to fight through the frustration,” Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie said. “We can’t act like that. It looks like Junior College.”

Bede hit his second field goal of the game on Toronto’s next possession to cut Winnipeg’s lead to 20-13. Later in the fourth, Bede connected on a 39-yard field goal to bring Toronto to within four points, 20-16.

Liegghio responded with another field goal to put Winnipeg ahead 23-16 with 1:38 to go in regulation time.

On the ensuing possession for Toronto, Bethel-Thompson engineered one of his better drives of the game. He found Markeith Ambles for a four-yard TD pass to cut Winnipeg’s lead to 23-22, but Bede missed on the point-after attempt to spoil the comeback.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 4, 2022

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