Yachting NZ calls for stand against Malaysian government

The Malaysian government effectively banned the Israeli team from competing at the Youth Sailing World Champs in Lankawai by refusing to issue them visas.

Yachting New Zealand, which has an 18 strong team in Malaysia, are now calling on the world sailing organisation to make a stand.

World Sailing have released a video boasting a record 80 countries at the Youth Worlds. There would have been one more if Malaysia hadn't denied the Israelis their visas.

Sail World editor Richard Gladwell says the decision is outdated.

"They've used the tactics that we saw in the apartheid era to keep the All Blacks or the Maori out of rugby teams by basically putting visa restrictions on them."

Malaysia, a long-time supporter of Palestine, has no diplomatic ties with Israel which produced the boys windsurfing champion at last year's youth worlds – a result Gladwell believes may have influenced the host’s government.

"Of course that was going to be hugely embarrassing for the Malaysian government.

"Suddenly they've got an Israeli athlete standing on the podium with a gold medal round his neck playing the national anthem."

Such embarrassment was never going to happen at this year's worlds in Lankawi with Malaysia drawing up a list of conditions for the Israelis to be considered for visas.

It included no flying of the Israeli flag, no national emblem on their sails and no playing of the Israeli national anthem if they won a medal.

"Of course these conditions haven't been put on any other countries," Gladwell said.

"Imagine the uproar if New Zealand had these sorts of conditions and we had to go there as honorary Australians or something like that. It's just a completely unacceptable situation."

Yachting New Zealand's chief executive David Abercrombie said the Kiwi sailing organisation wanted to take action against the discrimination.

"I really believe that World Sailing have to step in here and make a stance because Malaysia or Lankawai haven't adhered to the rules set by World Sailing for holding an event of this nature."

"Now that might get me into trouble but I believe this should have been dealt with a lot earlier.

"They should have realised that changes were going to be put forward."

Political tainting of the young sailors is of particular concern and an inquiry is underway.

The suspension of Malaysia from World Sailing and even exclusion from the Olympics are possible sanctions.

The Malaysian government has effectively banned the Israeli team from competing at the Youth Sailing World Champs. Source: 1 NEWS

'He's a little dog' - Kiwi UFC fighter Mark Hunt unloads verbal tirade on 'weak minded' drug cheat Fabricio Werdrum

New Zealand mixed martial arts veteran Mark Hunt has unleashed a tirade of verbal assaults at former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum ahead of his bout at UFC Fight Night in Russia.

Hunt is headlining the UFC event at Moscow's Olympic Stadium, set to fight Alexei Oleinik on Sunday (NZ time).

He told media he was excited to fight in Russia and was extra pleased to fight someone close to his age.

"He's a clean fighter, so it's great,” said Hunt.

The 44-year-old has had a long battle against performance enhancing drugs after facing a rivals who had failed tests, namely former champion Brock Lesnar.

Hunt unloaded a war of words on Werdum after he was handed a two-year suspension by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

"I'm glad that Fabricio Werdum got caught, that little b****," said Hunt.

"Go back to the favelas. F*** you, you little c***. Good job. He was supposed to be here, but that's what you get for being weak. That's what you get, Fabricio, for being a weak-minded person. See you later."

Mark Hunt v Fabricio Werdum Source: Associated Press

Werdum was meant to face Oleinik in Russia but was withdrawn after an out-of-competition test conducted in April showed the steroid trenbolone and metabolite epitrenbolone in his sample.

Hunt has fought several fighters who have failed drug tests - Lesnar, Frank Mir and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.

His UFC 180 fight with Werdum is topical, with the Brazilian fighter going on to win the UFC's interim heavyweight belt and then going on to beat Cain Velasquez for the undisputed heavyweight title.

"I had to lose 21 kilograms in three and a half weeks to make that a title fight," Hunt said.

"I got kneed in the head by that little cheater. Then he beats Cain in Mexico. That really upsets me about that guy.

"Then he wouldn't fight me – he's just a cheating little b***, man. He's a little dog, that guy. See you later, Fabricio. Enjoy, mother f*****.”

Hunt has a MMA record of 13 wins 12 losses and 1 draw with eight wins in the UFC, six losses and one no contest bout.


New Kiwi baseball team attempting to lure young Black Sox softball star

The manager of New Zealand's first professional baseball team is trying to lure one of the country's best softball players back to the other side.

Steve Mintz is in the country ahead of trials for the Auckland Tuatara in three main centres this weekend and says they want Pita Rona there.

“I reached out to him and he showed some interest,” Mintz told 1 NEWS.

“We’re hoping he comes out and we’ll see what he’s got.”

Rona was tipped for big things in baseball after signing a contract with the Baltimore Orioles but he was released after two years in 2014.

The 24-year-old recently arrived back in New Zealand after touring Europe with the World Champion Black Sox where he helped the side win the Intercontinental Cup in Prague.

The Auckland Tuatara have invited Pita Rona to trials this weekend. Source: 1 NEWS


Olympic legend Usain Bolt goes airborne as he runs in zero gravity

Was it a bird? A plane?

No, Usain Bolt's latest publicity stunt.

The eight-time Olympic gold medalist took a zero-gravity flight over France today, courtesy of a champagne producer.

Taking a break from his efforts to become a professional football player, Bolt said he felt like a "kid in a candy store" after spending about four minutes floating and joking around in near-weightless conditions.

Aboard the Airbus A310 plane, the 32-year-old Jamaican caught a free-floating globule of champagne in his mouth and ran in low-gravity conditions.

The eight-time Olympic gold medallist took a zero-gravity flight in France, promoting a champagne brand. Source: Reuters