What’s up? This weekend’s sporting action
EWN sports editor Adrian Ephraim tracks the main sporting events to keep an eye on this weekend.
What is athletics without Caster Semenya? Sadly, we’ll find out this weekend when the IAAF Diamond League moves to Shanghai, without South Africa’s star middle-distance runner.
This weekend marks the first competition that Semenya has been barred from competing in since the IAAF introduced its new regulations to restrict high testosterone levels in female athletes.
Semenya is appealing the ruling, but until it is heard she must either take medication to lower her testosterone levels, or sit on the sidelines.
One thing is for sure, her absence will be felt – and maybe her nemesis Lynsey Sharp will have a chance at finishing better than ninth place this time. (Saturday 18 May, SS8, 1-3pm)
The Proteas women’s team is in action this weekend in two T20 internationals against Pakistan. The two teams tied the one-day international series after a thrilling tied match in Benoni last week.
One of the stars of the Proteas women’s team has been captain Sune Luus who scored a free-flowing 80 runs in the last match. Watch out also for Proteas bowler Masabata Klaas who has been in good form. The matches will be played on Saturday and Sunday in Pietermaritzburg. Unfortunately, these matches won’t be televised but you can stayed tuned to @EWNSport for updates.
For rugby fans, the Stormers versus Crusaders clash is a must-see. The Crusaders, as usual, have been unstoppable this year, losing just one match so far. They’ll face a motivated Stormers team who have come off a week’s break but needing to play catch-up as they languish at the bottom of the South African conference and tenth place overall. The Crusaders demolished the Bulls last week by 45-13 so expect a tough afternoon for the Cape side. (Saturday 18 May, SS1, 5pm)
Golf enthusiasts will be keeping a close eye on the PGA Championship currently under way at the Bethpage Black Course in Bethpage, New York. All eyes will be on the inimitable Tiger Woods to see if the man-who-can-do-no-wrong-(anymore) can win his 16th major. Don’t forget though that there are eight South Africans in the field, including Louis Oosthuizen, Justin Harding and Branden Grace – all with a shot at winning.
Football fans are in for a treat this weekend, with two big cup finals on offer. Locally, the Nedbank Cup final sees PSL giants Kaizer Chiefs play giant-slayers TS Galaxy at Moses Mabhida Stadium. (Saturday and Sunday, SS1 and SS2, starting from 7pm). Chiefs have won no silverware for four years now, and have been sooo bad lately, that even legend Lucas Radebe says he doubts the glamour club can beat minnows TS Galaxy on Satuday. That’s quite a statement!
Further afield, newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City take on Watford in the FA Cup final at 6pm on Saturday. Winning is a habit for manager Pep Guardiola’s men, and despite their Champions League disappointment, City will be aiming for a unique domestic treble to add to their growing trophy cabinet. Along with the Premier League trophy, they already have the Carabao Cup (former League Cup) in their possession. (Saturday 18 May, SS4, 7pm)
If you’re looking for a change of pace, keep an eye on the Italian Open final this Sunday, where rivals Rafael Nadal and Noval Djokovic are likely to meet again. They’ve had some epic encounters in the past and if they meet again on clay, it will be well worth putting up with their grunting on court. (Sunday 19 May, SS6, 4pm)