Taiwan’s annual mountain bike challenge still on despite pandemic

Focus Taiwan
Date: 10/20/2020
By: Lee Hsin-Yin

CNA photo Oct. 20, 2020

Taipei, Oct. 20 (CNA) The annual King of the Mountains (KOM) Challenge, the biggest bike race in Taiwan, will be held as usual this month, but only local residents will participate, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the organizers said Tuesday.

Some 425 cyclists, 103 of them foreign nationals living in Taiwan, have registered to take part in the challenge, the organizers said, noting that registration was 40 percent lower than last year.

Taiwanese professional cyclist Fan Yung-yi (范永奕), who has participated in almost every KOM Challenge since it was launched in 2002, will take part again this year.

Other outstanding cyclists registered to compete this year include frequent KOM winner John Ebsen of Denmark and the 2020 champion of the Yangmingshan Mountain Challenge Christian Trenchev of Bulgaria, both of whom live in Taichung.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s Wang sets new world junior record

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 20, 2020
By: Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s Eddie Wang is pictur/ed in an undated promotional photograph.
Photo: screen grab from the Cali Condors Web site

Taiwanese swimmer Eddie Wang on Saturday broke the 200m short course butterfly world junior record at the opening meet of the International Swimming League season in Budapest, Hungary.

The 18-year-old, who was representing the Cali Condors, a San Francisco-based professional swimming club, finished third in 1 minute, 50.79 seconds.

Wang finished behind winner Tom Shields of the LA Current (1:50.43) and runner-up Chad le Clos of Energy Standard (1:50.48).

Wang’s time broke the 2012 world junior record of 1:51.30 set by former Japanese national team captain Daiya Seto.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan Steel rally to go clear at top

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 13, 2020
By: Jason Pan / Staff reporter

Taiwan Steel’s Benchy Astama, left, shoots against Taichung Futuro in their Taiwan Football Premier League match in New Taipei City on Sunday.
Photo courtesy of the CTFA

Taiwan Steel on Sunday came from behind to beat Taichung Futuro 2-1 and seize their 10th consecutive victory, giving them a three-point advantage at the top of the Taiwan Football Premier League table.

Taichung Futuro, who were in second place ahead of the match, looked on course to challenge for the title in New Taipei City when they opened the scoring in the 20th minute from a set-piece, with South Korean striker Joo Ik-seong credited for the goal, although replays suggested the free-kick bounced off a defender.

Taiwan Steel believed they had equalized just before halftime when Yu Chia-huang’s glancing header from a corner seemed to have crossed the goal-line before Futuro goalkeeper Tuan Yu scooped it out.

Despite their protests, the officials did not give the goal and Futuro clung on to their 1-0 lead.

Pirates sign Taiwan pitcher Chen Po-yu

STAYING ALIVE: Kevin Kiermaier’s tie-breaking three-run homer brough the Tampa Bay Rays within one win of the American League Championship after defeating the Yankees

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 09, 2020
By: Staff writer, with CNA and AFP, LOS ANGELES

Taiwanese pitcher Chen Po-yu poses in a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in this undated photograph.
Photo courtesy of Flight International Marketing

Taiwanese teen pitcher Chen Po-yu on Wednesday signed a free agent deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, the MLB club announced.

The 19-year-old right-hander received a US$1.25 million signing bonus, making him one of Pittsburgh’s highest-paid international amateur signees, according to a post on the MLB’s Web site.

Chen was scouted by the Pirates for three years before being signed to a deal, it said.

Last year, the Taoyuan native pitched for Taiwan’s under-18 world champion team, starting twice at the U-18 Baseball World Cup in games against Panama and South Korea, earning a two-inning save in the gold-medal game against the US.    [FULL  STORY]

Hsieh, Strycova crash out of Paris Open

UNDERDOGS PREVAIL: Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur became the first Arab woman to make the last 16, while world No. 186 Altamier defeated seventh seed Berrettini to advance

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 05, 2020
By: Dave Carroll / Staff reporter, with AFP, PARIS

Ons Jabeur of Tunisia hits a backhand during her third-round match against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus during the French Open in Paris on Saturday.
Photo: EPA-EFE

Top seeds Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova yesterday crashed out of the French Open as they suffered only their second defeat of the season on the clay courts in Paris.

The Taiwanese-Czech duo were stunned 6-4, 7-5 by 14th seeds Alexa Guarachi of Chile and Desirae Krawczyk of the US in 1 hour, 25 minutes in the third round of the women’s doubles on Court 14 at Roland Garros.

The reigning Wimbledon champions won only 52 percent of points on their first serve, while their opponents won 64 percent and converted five of six break points, as they denied Hsieh and Strycova a shot at a second Grand Slam title in the French capital.

It was only the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s second loss of the season, following a 6-2, 6-1 defeat to Hungarian-French reigning French Open champions Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in the final of the Australian Open before the COVID-19 suspension.

Hsieh, Strycova advance to second round

BOWING OUT: Jelena Ostapenko swept Karolina Pliskova out of the tournament, ending a miserable year for the Czech star who struggled at the Australian Open and US Open

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 02, 2020
By: Dave Carroll / Staff reporter, with AFP, PARIS

Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko celebrates after beating the Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova in their women’s singles match at the French Open yesterday.
Photo: AFP

Top seeds Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova yesterday advanced to the second round of the women’s doubles at the French Open as the duo began their bid for a second Grand Slam trophy.

The Taiwanese-Czech pairing survived a scare in the second set when they fell 0-3 behind, but rallied to defeat Maria Sanchez of the US and Astra Sharma of Australia 6-1, 6-4 in 69 minutes on Court 3 at Roland Garros in Paris.

Taiwan’s Hsieh bounced back from the disappointment of a 6-1, 6-4 defeat to Polish 19-year-old Iga Swiatek in the second round of the singles on Wednesday, while Strycova had also been knocked out 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 by fellow Czech Barbora Krejcikova.

Hsieh, the world’s No. 1-ranked player in women’s doubles, and Strycova, ranked No. 2, won 57 percent of their receiving points and converted five of six break points to set up a second-round clash with Czech-Dutch duo Marie Bouzkova and Arantxa Rus, who defeated Ana Bogdan of Romania and Rebecca Peterson of Sweden 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 on Wednesday.

Tens of thousands swim across Sun Moon Lake in annual festival

Focus Taiwan
Date: 09/27/2020
By: Wu Che-hao and Kay Liu

Participants from the Australian and Canadian representative offices in Taiwan. Photo courtesy of the Nantou County government

Taipei, Sept. 27 (CNA) Some 20,000 people took part in the annual Sun Moon Lake International Swimming Carnival in Nantou County on Sunday, with extra disease prevention measures in place amid COVID-19 concerns, according to the organizers.

Nantou County Magistrate Lin Ming-chen (林明溱) said businesses in the popular tourist area were relieved to learn that the annual event would go ahead, after the central government gave the go-ahead once the additional measures were in place.

This year, the organizers checked each participant's temperature, and required all participants to wear a face mask before they entered the water and immediately after finishing the 3-kilometer swim.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s Hsieh advances in Paris

BACK IN FULL SWING: Apart from two wins in the qualifiers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in February, the match was Hsieh Su-wei’s first singles victory of the season

Taipei Times
Date: Sep 30, 2020
By: Dave Carroll / Staff reporter, with AFP, PARIS

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei returns to Austria’s Barbara Haas in their Paris Open women’s singles first-round match at Roland Garros in Paris on Monday.
Photo: AFP

Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday defeated world No. 143 Barbara Haas to advance to the second round of the French Open on a rain-affected day at Roland Garros in Paris.

Hsieh defeated the Austrian qualifier 6-3, 7-6 (7/1) in 1 hour, 34 minutes on the clay courts in the French capital.

The Taiwanese world No. 63 saved five of eight break points and converted four of four, hitting 17 winners and taking advantage of her opponent’s 39 unforced errors to improve her career record against Haas to 2-1, after they claimed a victory apiece in their previous encounters in 2017.

Apart from two wins in the qualifiers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in February, it was Hsieh’s first singles victory of the season and she next faces Polish 19-year-old Iga Swiatek, who knocked out last year’s runner-up, Marketa Vondrousova, 6-1, 6-2 in just 63 minutes.

Hsieh and Strycova triumph in Rome

’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha

Taipei Times
Date: Sep 22, 2020
By: Dave Carroll / Staff reporter

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei, left, and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic celebrate with their trophies after winning the Internazionali BNL d’Italia women’s doubles final at the Foro Italico in Rome on Sunday.
Photo: EPA-EFE

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico.

It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February.

“After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site. “In doubles, you have a small court and it’s tough to get into the rhythm, but I felt like we started off [well] right away from the first match. I felt we were playing better and better.”

Hualien City take Mulan league title

THOROUGH THRASHING: Hualien City beat Taichung Blue Whale 2-1, ending their three-year winning streak with one round of matches left and eight points to spare

Taipei Times
Date: Sep 14, 2020
By: Jason Pan / Staff reporter

Hualien City’s Lin Kai-ling, right, scores the opening goal in her team’s Taiwan Mulan Football League match against Taichung Blue Whale at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City on Saturday, as Blue Whale’s Nien Ching-yun, left, and Liu Chien-yun, center, look on.
Photo courtesy of CTFA

Hualien City on Saturday clinched this year’s Taiwan Mulan Football League title with one game to spare, by beating Taichung Blue Whale 2-1 at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City.

Hualien City have scored 38 points this season. Blue Whale are second on the scoreboard with 30 points, while Taipei Bravo are third with 23 points. One final round of matches is to be played on Saturday.

It is the fourth league trophy for Hualien City, and ends Blue Whale’s three-year winning streak. Hualien had won the title from 2014 to 2016.

Both teams defended well, leaving few chances in front of goal through most of the first half, although Blue Whale squandered several good opportunities inside the final third.