Swimming: Federica Pellegrini has hit back over a row about carrying the Italian flag during the opening ceremony at the 2012 Games. Pellegrini has come under fire for saying that she doesn’t want to carry the flag. “I’ll repeat the same thing I said. Whoever doesn’t understand that for me to stand up for eight hours the day before my race is impossible, isn’t blessed with very much intelligence,” she said.
Boxing: Bernard Hopkins says being the underdog has its advantages as he seeks to extend his reign as the oldest world champion tonight. Hopkins will face fellow American Chad Dawson for Hopkins’s WBC light-heavyweight title in New York. “I am the underdog because of my age,” said the 46-year-old. “I never operate well when I am the favourite in a fight.” Hopkins set the age record for world champions in May when at 46 he won the WBC light-heavyweight title by unanimous decision over Canada’s Jean Pascal.
Racing: Irish jockey Richard Hughes vowed to quit after being hit by another suspension for excessive use of the whip. Hughes fell foul of tougher guidelines which allow Flat riders to hit a horse only seven times, with five of those permitted strikes only in the final furlong. He received a five-day suspension for breaching the rules and was hit by another 10-day ban at Kempton, ruling him out of the Breeders Cup.
Rugby union: Australia’s Eddie Jones emerged as the likely successor to departing Japan coach John Kirwan as reports said he had been recommended by officials and was interested in the job. The Sankei Sports said a Japan Rugby Football Union panel had put forward Jones, who guided Australia to the 2003 World Cup final, as it searches for Kirwan’s replacement. And Jones, who is half-Japanese and is now coaching Japan’s Suntory Sungoliath, told the Daily Yomiuri: “I would definitely be interested.”