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Great PR for World Cup

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Police say enraged spectators invaded a football field, stoned the referee to death and quartered his body after he stabbed a player to death.

The Public Safety Department of the state of Maranhao says in a statement it all started when referee Otavio da Silva expelled player Josenir Abreu from a game last weekend. The two got into a fist fight, then Silva took out a knife and stabbed Abreu, who died on his way to the hospital.

The statement issued this week says Abreu's friends and relatives immediately "rushed into the field, stoned the referee to death and quartered his body."

Local news media say the spectators also decapitated Silva and stuck his head on a stake in the middle of the field.

Police have arrested one suspect.

Hoopsters fall to China

DAQING, China -- Canada lost its first game at the Four Nations women's basketball tournament, falling 70-44 to China on Saturday.

Tamara Tatham of Brampton, Ont., led the Canadians (1-1) with 10 points in her 100th game for the national team. Kia Nurse added eight points for Canada, which outrebounded China 27-17.

The Chinese (2-0) pressured Canada early with a balanced attack and opened up the game with a 14-4 stretch before finishing the half with 36-21 advantage.

Canada tried to mount a comeback, but China held the Canadian offence in check while putting together an impressive shooting display en route to a 22-7 third quarter. Canada outscored the Chinese side 16-12 in the final frame, but the outcome had already been decided.

"We struggled against their defensive pressure tonight," said Canadian head coach Lisa Thomaidis. "China really presented some difficulties for us and played tougher defence than we've seen so far this summer. This will be a good game for us to go back and watch film from in order to improve."

Canada will take on Puerto Rico on today before travelling to Nanjing for the second leg of the tournament.

Italians won't sail

SAN FRANCISCO -- This is supposed to be the most eye-popping America's Cup ever.

Sleek, space-age catamarans capable of sailing three times the speed of the wind will race on San Francisco Bay against a stunning backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and the Transamerica pyramid.

But then British sailor Andrew "Bart" Simpson was killed in a capsize on a training run that shattered Artemis Racing's first boat two months ago, and suddenly it didn't seem quite as much fun anymore.

Now, the Italian syndicate has announced it won't sail against Emirates Team New Zealand in the opening race of the Louis Vuitton Cup for challengers.

That leaves Simpson's teammates shaking their heads.

The Italians have a boat and won't sail. Swedish-based Artemis desperately wants to sail, but its new boat is about two weeks from being ready for sea trials.

Bolt runs year's best 200

PARIS -- Forget for a moment the laid-back, fun-loving Usain Bolt. Even when he's winning, the six-time Olympic champion is finding fault with his running these days.

The Jamaican sprinter only gave himself a grade of 7 out of 10 after running the fastest 200 metres of the season Saturday with a time of 19.73 seconds at the Areva Diamond League meet in Paris.

Bolt shaved 0.01 second off the previous best time this year, set by American sprinter Tyson Gay at the U.S. trials last month.

"I think I could have run the last 50 after the turn much better," Bolt said. "I didn't come in the straight as powerful as I used to. The last 30 metres, I was kind of, I won't say struggling, but my technique wasn't perfect."

Fellow Jamaican Warren Weir was second in 19.92.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 7, 2013 B12

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