The News International - Sports

Oct 142017
US interested in Winter Games bid

LOS ANGELES, California: The US Olympic Committee wants to bid for the Winter Olympics, but is still mulling whether it would be better to seek the 2026 or 2030 Games. “I put a stake in the ground that we are interested in hosting the Winter Games,” USOC chairman Larry Probst told reporters on Friday as he discussed talks at the USOC Assembly in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “Ideally, that’s probably 2030, so that there’s no confusion with preparations for 2028,” Probst added, referring to the Summer Games awarded to Los Angeles. The United States last hosted the Winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002. USOC board members discussed the pros and cons of possible 2026 or 2030 Winter Olympic bids on Friday, Probst said, adding that officials still need more information from the International Olympic Committee on the bidding process.   Click for detailed story

Oct 142017
Shakib, De Villiers return for ODI series

KIMBERLEY, South Africa: The return of leading all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan provides encouragement for Bangladesh ahead of a three-match One-day International series against South Africa starting at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley Sunday. But Bangladesh, outplayed in two Tests against the hosts, will have to contend with a South African team strengthened by the inclusion of AB de Villiers, one of the world´s most dazzling limited-overs batsmen. Also back in international action for South Africa is JP Duminy, who retired from Test cricket after a run of low scores, but who remains a highly effective one-day player. In the most recent one-day outings for both teams, Bangladesh reached the semi-finals of the ICC Champions League in England in June, while South Africa failed to advance beyond the group stage. Bangladesh were victorious in their two most recent one-day internationals against South Africa when they won a series at home in 2015. But the hosts will start strong favourites. South Africa have won 14 of 17 one-day matches against Bangladesh and triumphed in all six previous encounters in South Africa by convincing margins. Bangladesh will be under new leadership with veteran bowler Mashrafe Mortaza captaining the side instead of Mushfiqur Rahim, who remains in the squad. Although Shakib´s return from a brief sabbatical will strengthen the tourists, they still rely mainly on the players who suffered two crushing Test defeats.   Click for detailed story

Oct 132017
PSG chief in corruption probe put villa at Valcke?s disposal: police

ROME: Accused Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi put a Sardinian villa at the disposal of disgraced former top FIFA official Jerome Valcke, Italian police said on Friday. Khelaifi, the powerful Qatari sports executive who heads the BeIN media group, is said to have used the villa in Porto Cervo as a “means of corruption” over the sale of media rights for upcoming World Cups between 2018-30. Italian police said they had searched and seized the luxury “Villa Bianca”, owned by an international real estate agency, in a raid conducted in the presence of a “representative of the Swiss government”. Several people “linked to various titles to the company that owns the villa” have been questioned, police added. The Swiss attorney general’s office said Thursday they had opened a probe into Khelaifi and Valcke — who was Sepp Blatter’s right-hand man at FIFA — in March. Click for detailed story

Oct 132017
Gavrilova stutters into Hong Kong semi-finals

HONG KONG: Daria Gavrilova reached the semi-finals of the WTA Hong Kong Open for the second year in succession after a “silly” second-set meltdown and an error-strewn win against teenager Lizette Cabrera on Friday. The Australian world number 22 eventually came through 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, but only after an almighty struggle with her serve, a string of unforced errors and her own state of mind. She will play American Jennifer Brady on Saturday for a place in Sunday’s final. There was no sign of the drama to come when the 23-year-old raced through the first set 6-1 against her fellow Australian ranked 155. But the Russian-born seventh seed grew increasingly petulant in a second set where she committed 20 unforced errors. She took out her frustration on everyone including her father and coach Alexei Gavrilov at courtside, the crowd, the line judges and even a ball boy. “I lost my focus,” admitted the world number 22. “I said something silly to my dad. And I was just angry with myself.” And when, on losing the set, she threw her racquet at her chair it brought a chorus of boos from the normally respectful centre court crowd in Victoria Park. The third set was littered with double faults and unforced errors from both players. In the end Gavrilova sneaked over the line despite serving 16 double faults and having her serve broken five times. Her opponent on Saturday, Brady, reached a WTA Tour semi-final for the first time in her career [Read More…]

Oct 132017
Liverpool?s Klopp wary of much improved United

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp believes Manchester United have improved a lot since the teams last faced each other and is keeping an open mind about how Jose Mourinho’s side will set up when they visit Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday. United’s last trip to Liverpool ended in a scoreless stalemate, with Mourinho’s men sitting deep for most of the contest while looking to hurt Liverpool with long balls over the top to Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford in the reverse fixture ended in another draw, this time 1-1, as United looked once again to stifle their opponents, but Klopp knows they have more ways to hurt his team this time around. “Jose Mourinho’s teams play like they have to play in different moments,” the German told reporters on Friday. “In this moment of course they are in a much better situation than they were last year when we played them, but we cannot think too much about it. “We know how Manchester United is playing. Fantastic players involved in the team and we know about the qualities of (Romelu) Lukaku, (Marcus) Rashford, (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan, (Juan) Mata, all these guys.” United have been running riot over the opposition this season, with Lukaku’s raw power well complemented by Mkhitaryan plus Rashford’s pace and Mata’s guile. Mourinho’s men are second in the table, behind Manchester City on goal difference, with both teams unbeaten after seven league games with one draw each. Liverpool are seventh, with three [Read More…]

Oct 102017
FATA Football Super League from Friday

PESHAWAR: FATA Football Super League 2017, featuring three foreign players, will kick-off here at Qayyum Sports Complex on Friday, writes Alam Zeb Safi. Shahid Shinwari, chief organiser and FATA Olympic Association’s president, told ‘The News’ here on Tuesday that one player each from Indonesia, Malaysia and Afghanistan would be seen in action in the competitions. He added that these players would reach Peshawar on Wednesday (today). In the competitions as many as 12 outfits will vie for the top honour. Koza Hanipi Mochamad of Indonesia and Ahmad Nazim Bin Ahmad Nazrin of Malaysia will arrive in Islamabad, while the Afghan player, whose name Shahid did not disclose, will arrive directly in Peshawar. Pakistan’s current and former players, including Yasir Afridi, Mohammad Rasool, Mohammad Riaz, Mehmood Khan and Jadeed Pathan, will also be seen in action. “All the participating clubs are hiring the services of departmental players and we hope it will be a competitive event,” Shahid said. The 12 outfits have been bracketed in four groups. The Group A comprises Young Jamrud United, Khyber Eagles and Shinwari Football Club. Khyber Greens, Darra Eagles and Ghazi Ajab Khan form the Group B.  Faqir EP North Waziristan Agency, Shams FC Landi Kotal and Al-Haaj Group have been bracketed in the Group C. Bajaur Stars, Malik Saad Falcons and Kurram Shaheen have been clubbed in the Group D. The leading two sides from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals, which will be held on October 19 to 20. The semi-finals will take [Read More…]

Oct 072017
Yadav inspires India to big win in rain-hit T20

RANCHI, India: Spinner Kuldeep Yadav led an inspired bowling effort to help India down Australia by nine wickets in the rain-shortened first Twenty20 international here on Saturday. Chasing a revised target of 48 runs in six overs, the hosts achieved the win with three balls to spare. Opener Shikhar Dhawan, on 15, and Virat Kohli, on 22, remained unbeaten. But it was left-arm spinner Yadav who set up India’s 1-0 lead in the three-match series as he returned figures of 2-16 to restrict Australia to 118-8 in 18.4 overs when rain stopped play for about two hours. Opener Aaron Finch’s 30-ball 42 was the only bright spark for the David Warner-led side. Score Board India won toss Australia *D A Warner b Kumar         8 A J Finch b Yadav     42 G J Maxwell c Bumrah b Chahal      17 T M Head b Pandya   9 M C Henriques b Yadav        8 D T Christian run out 9 †T D Paine b Bumrah 17 N M Coulter-Nile b Bumrah   1 A J Tye not out         0 A Zampa not out      4 Extras (lb 1, w 2)     3 Total (8 wickets; 18.4 Overs)         118 Did not bat: J P Behrendorff Fall: 1-8, 2-55, 3-76, 4-87, 5-89, 6-111, 7-113, 8-114 Bowling: Kumar 3.4-0-28-1; Bumrah 3-0-17-2; Pandya 4-0-33-1; Chahal 4-0-23-1; Yadav 4-0-16-2 India R G Sharma b Coulter-Nile   11 S Dhawan not out     15 *V Kohli not out        22 Extras (lb 1)   1 Total 49/1 (1 wicket; 5.3 Overs)     49 To bat: M K Pandey, [Read More…]

Oct 072017
Mannarino upsets Cilic, to face Goffin in final

TOKYO: Unseeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino upset top seed Marin Cilic 6-7(5) 6-4 6-0 in the Japan Open semi-finals on Saturday to reach his first ATP 500 final. Mannarino, 29, will face fourth seed David Goffin after the in-form Belgian eked out a 7-6(3) 7-6(6) victory over Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in the first semi-final. In a fiercely-contested match, Cilic’s powerful groundstrokes gave him a 5-3 lead in the first set but Mannarino fought back to force a tiebreak, which the Frenchman led 4-2 before losing five of the next six points. Mannarino took advantage of Cilic’s weaker backhand to take a 5-3 lead and although he lost his next service game, the 29-year-old broke the Croatian’s serve to win the second set. Mannarino won seven straight games to beat world number five Cilic and secure his first win over a player ranked in the world’s top-five. Goffin and Schwartzman both saved break points as the first set went to a tiebreak and with the score tied at 4-4, the eighth-seeded Schwartzman made three straight errors to gift his opponent the set.   Click for detailed story

Oct 072017
Hurd captures surprise all-around World gold

MONTREAL: US teenager Morgan Hurd snatched a surprise women’s all-around gold on Friday at the injury-hit World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. The bespectacled 16-year-old, who was born in China and adopted as a toddler, followed in the footsteps of celebrated compatriot Simone Biles — ably shouldering US hopes after national champion Ragan Smith withdrew minutes before the competition with an ankle injury. It was a stunning World Championships debut for Hurd, who was sixth at the P&G Championships in August but secured a place on the four-woman US team for the championships at a selection camp in September. “It’s crazy that I was even competing here,” Hurd said. “To think that I won is just the most surreal feeling in the world.” Hurd won with a total of 55.232 points, denying home hope Ellie Black of Canada who took silver with 55.132. Russian Elena Eremina was third with 54.799, with Mai Murukami narrowly missing the podium with a total of 54.699. Hurd sealed the win with her final routine, the floor exercise, erasing a deficit of two-tenths of a point to surpass Black. It was a disappointment to fans at the 1976 Olympic venue, but Black became the first Canadian gymnast, man or woman, to win an Olympic or world all-around medal. Hurd continued a long streak of success for US women in all-around competition. Hurd opened the competition by scoring 14.533 on the vault, which put her in fourth. She was tied with Black for the lead after the second [Read More…]

Oct 072017
Fleetwood takes share of lead

ST ANDREWS, United Kingdom: England’s Tommy Fleetwood set a new Carnoustie course record to move into a share of the halfway lead at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland on Friday. Race to Dubai leader Fleetwood, 26, produced a bogey-free nine-under par 63 to lower the previous best by one shot on the course that will play host to next year’s Open Championship. The effort, in bright but very cold conditions, saw the new father join compatriot and defending champion Tyrrell Hatton in the lead at 11-under par. Hatton also played his second round at Carnoustie and fired a 65. Fleetwood’s 63 bettered the 64s carded by 10 other golfers, including Sweden’s Alex Noren last year. Click for detailed story

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