The News International - Sports

Aug 202017
 
BMC win opening stage at heavily guarded Vuelta

NIMES, France: BMC Racing emerged victors from Saturday’s team time trial as the Vuelta a Espana got under way under heightened security measures following two terrorist attacks in northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia. For just the third time the Vuelta started outside Spain in the southern French city of Nimes as American team BMC beat out Quick-Step Floors and Team Sunweb by six seconds in a time of 15mins 58secs for the 13.7km route with Australian Rohan Dennis taking the leader’s red jersey. Pre-race favourite Chris Froome’s Sky team finished fourth a further three seconds back, but that was still enough for Froome to gain some early ground on his rivals in the general classification. “We executed it perfectly,” said Dennis. “The circuit was very technical, there was a bit of a hill, there was speed and you needed everything so we showed our true power as a team.” The threat of terror overshadowed the start of cycling’s third Grand Tour of the season after 13 people were killed when a van ploughed into packed crowds on Barcelona’s famous Las Ramblas on Thursday. Attackers struck again in the early hours of Friday morning in Cambrils, 120 kilometres south of Barcelona, where a car rammed into pedestrians, killing one person.After two more stages in France and the tiny Principality of Andorra, the race enters Spain on Tuesday in Tarragona, just 20 kilometres along the Mediterranean coast from Cambrils. However, the race got off to a gentle start in picturesque surroundings with [Read More…]

Aug 202017
 
PTF president inaugurates renovated grass courts

KARACHI: President of Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Salim Saifullah Khan on Sunday inaugurated the renovated grass courts at the Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad. He played some points with Pakistan’s No 1 Aqeel Khan, who is in Islamabad these days and following a strenuous regime to prepare for the Davis Cup Tie in September. The PTF president expressed his satisfaction on the overall arrangements under way for the mega event. “The return of the Davis Cup to Pakistan in February this year, after a dozen years, was a huge achievement, thanks to President ITF David Haggerty and the ITF Board Members,” said the PTF president. Pakistan are to play the final of the Zone Group II against Thailand in September. The winners will be promoted to Group I of the Asia-Oceania Zone. Pakistan are seeded first in the Group and Thailand second, so a tough competition is on the cards.  As the hosts having the choice of courts, Pakistan’s top players, world-ranked Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Aqeel Khan, opted to play on grass given their experience and style of play, and the fact that this is now a very sparsely deployed surface world-wide, due to the intensive labour required for maintenance. Click for detailed story

Aug 202017
 
Fahad, Fatima win table tennis singles titles

KARACHI: Fahad Khwaja of Army and Fatima Khan of Chromatex won the junior boys singles and junior girls singles titles, respectively, at the Panasonic 24th National Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championship, which concluded here at the Islamia Club Gymnasium on Sunday. On the final day of the four-day event, Fahad wore the junior boys’ singles crown when he whacked his teammate Ubaid Shah 4-3 after a sweating affair. After losing the first game 8-11, Fahad staged a strong fightback by securing an easy 11-4 victory in the second game. Fahad took the lead by clinching the third set 11-5. Shah bounced back when he won the fourth set 11-6 to make it 2-2. Fahad again took the lead with an 11-6 win. The sixth game went to Shah which made it 3-3. However, Fahad showed a lot of determination at this stage, bringing into application the best he had and managed an 11-6 victory to seal a 4-3 triumph. The junior girls singles’ final remained one-sided with Fatima Khan defending it strongly through straight sets win over Hareem Anwar of Sindh, who failed to offer any worthy resistance. The set score was 11-9, 11-4 and 11-9. Ejaz Ali Shah, CEO Pakistan Mercantile Exchange Ltd, distributed cash prizes among the winners. Also present were Pakistan Table Tennis Federation’s (PTTF) president SM Sibtain, Karachi Table Tennis Association’s (KTTA) president Tahir Loan and Sindh Table Tennis Association’s (STTA) chief Azher Khursheed. More than 100 players representing the four provinces, Islamabad, Chromatex Chemicals, [Read More…]

Aug 192017
 
Farah bids to give British fans memorable farewell

LONDON: British athletics great Mo Farah will hope his final track race on home turf on Sunday (today) will have a happier ending than last Saturday’s world 5,000 metres final. The 34-year-old, who will compete in the 3,000 metres at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, produced a courageous performance just falling short of overhauling Ethiopian Muktar Edris. That defeat, his first since the 10,000m in the 2011 world championships, ended a remarkable run of global titles in which he upset the Kenyan/Ethiopian hegemony in distance races and included achieving the 5,000/10,000 double in successive Olympics. Farah, who came to England aged eight with his mother and two of his brothers after a long trek from war-torn Somalia, is assured of a warm reception from the spectators if not from the press at whom he fired a blast after his 5,000m defeat. His relations with large parts of the British media have deteriorated over the years because of his association with controversial coach Alberto Salazar. The spectators, though, have largely given him the benefit of the doubt and Farah admits Sunday’s race will have his emotions in turmoil. “It’s definitely going to be emotional,” said Farah, who will make his final track appearance in the Zurich Diamond League meet next week. “I’ve had a long career and to come here year after year, it’s been something special. “But, at some point, anything we do in life must come to an end and this is it. I just have to take [Read More…]

Aug 192017
 
Smith banks on India experience to defeat Bangladesh

DHAKA: Australia captain Steve Smith said on Saturday his team’s experience in India earlier this year will help overcome the challenge of Bangladesh in the forthcoming two-Test series. “I think Bangladesh have played some very good cricket and they won a Test match here not very long ago. So we are seeing it as a big challenge,” Smith said in his first press conference since arriving here late Friday amid tight security. “Hopefully we can learn a lot from what we did in India and bring them into the game here and show some improvements,” he said. Australia visited India from February to March for four Test matches and despite a 2-1 loss in the series Smith’s men were praised for putting up a good performance. Smith led his side from the front scoring three centuries to become the highest run-getter in the series with 499 runs at an average of 71.28. The Aussies will leave Bangladesh on September 9 after the end of two-match Test series.  —AFP   Click for detailed story

Aug 192017
 
?Waseem needs funds to have title bout staged in Korea?

KARACHI: World Boxing Council (WBC) two-time world silver flyweight champion Mohammad Waseem’s promoter Andy Kim is making hectic efforts to organise the world title bout for the Pakistani boxer in South Korea but he is facing a huge sponsorship problem. If he fails to meet the required financial demand then Waseem will have to play in his rival’s country and this may create problems for the Quetta-born fighter to secure his first world crown. “I will need the funds so that I will be able to host the world title bout in Korea, our own territory. Otherwise, we may get the title shot but have to go to Japan which means he is likely to lose by hometown decision,” Kim told ‘The News’. The world No 1 Waseem is expected to meet in the world title fight against the knock-out artist and Japan’s most accomplished 22-year old boxer Daigo Higa, reigning flyweight world champion. He is the most dangerous fighter in his class, having won all his 13 bouts he has played so far through knock-outs. In the WBC convention in October, Kim would formally file a request for the title shot of Waseem against Higa. When asked how much sponsorship he has managed so far he said: “I have got no sponsors and we will need funds more than we needed last time because world title fight is very expensive. I am worried as Japanese have a lot of money. Higa is their hero just like Waseem,” Kim feared. [Read More…]

Aug 182017
 
Chromatex win junior girls team event title

KARACHI: Chromatex lifted the title of the junior girls team event after beating defending champions Sindh, while Sindh wore the crown of the cadet girls team event competitions when they upstaged Punjab in their last league fixtures of the Panasonic 24th National Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships here at the Islamia Club on Friday. In the junior girls team event’s last fixture, Chromatex defeated Sindh 3-2. In the first game, Maira Khan lost to Hareem Anwer 0-3 with the set score of 2-11, 7-11, 2-11 and Fatima Khan defeated Nimra Faiq 3-0 with the set score of 11-2, 11-4, 11-4. Maheen beat Ayesha Zafar 3-0 with the set score of 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 while Fatima Khan lost to Hareem Anwer 11-5, 11-13, 9-11, 9-11 and Maira Khan overcame Nimra Faiq 3-2 with the set score of 11-9, 13-11, 8-11, 8-11, 11-7. Meanwhile in the cadet girls team event’s final fixture, Sindh defeated Punjab 3-2 to win the title. Maryam Faiq lost to Zainab 2-11, 6-11, 3-11, Maria Tazeem overpowered Nimra 11-2, 11-5, 11-4 while Maryam and Mehak went down 2-3 against the pair of Zainab and Nimra with the set score being 9-11, 1-11, 15-13, 11-7, 10-12. Similarly, Maria Tazeem defeated Zainab 3-1 with the set score of 3-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 and Maryam Faiq overwhelmed Nimra 3-0 with the set score of 11-6, 12-10, 12-10. Meanwhile, Army and Sindh blasted their way into the final of the junior boys team event competitions. In the semi-finals, Army defeated Punjab [Read More…]

Aug 182017
 
Premier League managers back transfer window change

BURNLEY, England: Premier League clubs will vote next month on a proposal to ensure the transfer window closes before the season starts, with the plan already winning the backing of several managers. A vote will take place at the Premier League shareholders meeting on September 7 and clubs from the lower divisions in the English Football League are set to follow suit next month.Currently, the window closes on the last day of August but the Premier League season began on August 11 with the lower divisions kicking off a week earlier. Burnley manager Sean Dyche said the current system can seriously disrupt the work of a manager and his team.“You don’t want to start the season and lose three of your players when you’re three games into the season. That could be really hard to take. And that happens,” he said. “I think if you could get that done as well, it means that once the football starts, the managers, coaches and teams can just get on with the football.” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, Swansea boss Paul Clement and Stoke’s Mark Hughes are among those who have backed a change.“From a manager’s point of view I would be in favour of the window closing before the season starts because of the disruption it causes,” Hughes said on Friday. West Ham United’s Croatian manager Slaven Bilic supports the idea but has highlighted one potential pitfall to a change — the risk of a different window deadline from European leagues. “For me [Read More…]

Aug 182017
 
Cyclist Usama, coach Haroon to attend UCI camp in Seoul

KARACHI: Young cyclist Usama Ahmed and coach Mohammad Haroon will attend a cycling camp which will begin at the international cycling governing body’s (UCI) satellite training centre in Seoul, South Korea, from August 20. They were scheduled to fly out of Islamabad for the Korean capital on Friday night.Lahore-born 17-year-old Usama is yet to make his international debut. Haroon is the secretary of Islamabad Cycling Association. He is also the grandson of former Test cricketer Fazal Mehmood. He will attend level-1 and level-11 coaching courses. The camp will last 40 days. They will return on September 30, Pakistan Cycling Federation’s (PCF) secretary Syed Azhar Ali Shah told ‘The News’ on Friday.Sardar Nazakat Ali (coach) and Marium, the rider of Army, got training in Seoul last year. Shah said that such centres are also operating in Japan and India. He thanked Korean Cycling Federation (KCF), President and Secretary of Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC), and President of UCI Bran Cookson for their efforts in providing world-class training opportunities to PCF cyclists and coaches. Shah also requested the federal and provincial governments’ sports departments to include the scheme of construction of cycling velodromes in their respective ADPs so that they could be used to groom national riders for future national duty.   Click for detailed story

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