Sports News in Brief
League in Asia
BANGKOK, International rugby league arrived in Asia on Sunday night with a flurry of points, Gold Coast stars Matt Srama and Kevin Gordon, plus their brothers, accounting for 56 points in the Philippines' flogging of Thailand. In fact, each NRL star was eclipsed by his lesser-know sibling in the 86-0 rout at the Royal Thai Police Stadium. Titan Gordon scored two tries but his brother Dennis, who plays for Queanbeyan Blues, got four.
OLBIA, Finland's Mikko Hirvonen finally won the Rally of Italy in Sardinia for the first time on Sunday after finishing runner-up on five occasions. The Citroen driver took top spot ahead of two Ford Fiesta drivers with Russia's Evgeny Novikov second at 1min 20.6sec and Estonia's Ott Tanak third 2:21.1 off the pace. "I feel like I've just won my first rally! It feels really, really good," said Hirvonen, who secured his first victory this season and first as a Citroen driver, but the 15th of his career.
PARIS, - Christian Donze, who masterminded France's best-ever Olympic Games swimming performance in London just two months ago, died on Sunday at the age of 51 after taking part in a mountain bike race. Donze had been racing with his wife and his son at an event in Murianette in south-eastern France when he suffered a heart attack. "The emergency services were called at around 1300, but they were unable to resuscitate him," said a medical services spokesman. Donze was the French team's national director at the 2012 Olympics where the country's swimmers finished third in the medal table behind pool superpowers United States and China.
NEW DELHI, Thai golfer Thaworn Wiratchant won his third Asian Tour title of the season on Sunday at the Indian Open by defeating Scotland's Richie Ramsay on the first play-off hole. Thaworn, playing one flight in front of Ramsay, birdied the last hole in regulation play when his seven-iron approach shot landed about one foot from the hole as he closed with a five-under-par 66. Ramsay, who lad led the previous three rounds, needed a par putt on the last for victory but made a three-putt bogey for a 68.
44th career title
LUXEMBOURG, US veteran Venus Williams won a 44th career title on Sunday when she brushed aside unheralded Romanian Monica Niculescu in straight sets in the WTA's Luxembourg Open final. Playing in the 71st final of her career the 32-year-old Williams won through 6-2 6-3 in her first meeting with the 25-year-old from Bucharest. Niculescu, who was runner-up in 2011, made the final by seeing off Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 6-1 6-3. Williams had been dogged for two years by injuries and illness.