first_imgLeicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has asked Arsenal not to give him a rude awakening when the Premier League leaders visit the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (2pm).Leicester’s amazing tilt at a first league title is turning doubters into believers and their convincing 3-1 defeat of Manchester City in their last league outing led to them being installed as title favourites by the bookmakers.The question now hanging over Leicester’s season is whether they have the experience to handle the pressure of a title run-in, but Ranieri insists their rivals have more to worry about.“This time I hope the bookmakers are right. They’re just words though, not points. Give me points,” the Italian told reporters on Friday.“The pressure is on the others. Tell me why we have pressure? Why must I feel pressure? We just continue to dream with our fans. Nobody wake us up please.“It is not pressure for us, the pressure was at the beginning to start well and carry on. We wanted to maintain the standard of performance and now we are safe.”Third-placed Arsenal, who trail the leaders by five points, are one of only two teams to have beaten Leicester in the league this season, having prevailed 5-2 at the King Power Stadium on Sept. 26, and Ranieri is anticipating another thriller.“Arsenal have so many fantastic players. They have magicians that can score suddenly,” he said.“In the last match they scored five, we scored two and hit the post twice. It was an exciting match. It will be open on Sunday… (but) Arsenal has more pressure because they have spent more money.”last_img read more

first_imgTurkey have left it late to bid for a place in the knockout stage of Euro 2016 but defender Gokhan Gonul believes they still have a chance, if they can beat a buoyant Czech side in their final Group D game on Tuesday.“There is a thing the Turkish national team always does, which is chasing the game until the last minute,” the 31-year-old defender said.“Again we have left it until the last game, maybe we don’t have much of a chance this time, but we will still do our very best and hopefully, with the help of some luck, we can defeat the Czech Republic and go through.”The Czechs, though, are full of confidence after fighting back from two goals down to draw with Croatia on Friday.Turkey, by contrast, were lacking in bite when they lost 1-0 to Croatia in their opening game before being given a footballing lesson in a 3-0 drubbing by reigning European champions Spain.Aside from scoring their first goal of the tournament in Lens, Turkey would need other results to go their way even if they do win, while victory for the Czechs would put them on four points and in a good position to make the last 16.Spain, who have already qualified for the knockout stages with two wins in their first two games, face a Croatia side looking for the win that would guarantee their progression in the tournament.The Czech Republic and Turkey claimed away victories against one another in a topsy-turvy qualifying group that the Czechs won, with Iceland coming second and the Turks qualifying directly as the best third-placed team, while a much-fancied Netherlands side missed out altogether.“Turkey are a very strong side, they have a lot of good players who play for top teams,” said Czech forward Tomas Necid.“As a team, they have good link-up play and plenty of flair.”The Czechs will be missing their flair player, Tomas Rosicky, who has been ruled out of the tournament with a thigh injury sustained in their remarkable comeback from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Croatia.The Czechs have two players, Tomas Sivok and David Limbersky, who risk suspension for the knockout stages if they get another yellow card, while the Turks have five — Burak Yilmaz, Cenk Tosun, Hakan Balta, Ozan Tufan and Volkan Sen — who will need to stay on the right side of Scottish referee William Collum.last_img read more

first_imgWith one month of the transfer window left remaining, Premier League clubs are poised to push escalating fees closer to another new record this week.The projected move of France midfielder Paul Pogba from Juventus back to Manchester United for a world record one hundred million pounds ($132.3 million) would take spending by the 20 teams to almost 600m, adding to the 175m recorded by accountancy firm Deloitte in the January window.Last year was the first in which annual fees reached one billion pounds.So far this close-season Arsenal — criticised in the past by many supporters for not spending enough — have recorded the highest individual outlay by paying 35 million pounds for Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka.But Pogba’s proposed return to Old Trafford would dwarf that and all other sums in the history of the sport, smashing the world record of 85.3 million pounds that Real Madrid paid for Wales forward Gareth Bale three years ago.Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is among those who are bemused by how high fees have risen but still believes there is no longer any limit.“Since I’ve been in the sport I always thought it can’t go any higher up and I’ve always been wrong,” he told reporters.“Maybe it will be 200 or 300m, who knows?”Trevor Francis, the first million-pound player in English football back in 1979, said he was surprised the new world record might be set by a midfield player.“I really thought if (100m) was paid, it was going to be for a striker who could be a match-winner and probably provide you with 30 goals a season,” he told BBC Radio.“Possibly the only two I thought could command that figure were Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi because people realise they are exceptional talents that will go down in the history of the game.”BROADCASTING DEALWith a lucrative new broadcasting deal coming into effect this season and new managers taking over at Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs, it is perhaps not surprising that a spending spree has materialised.Under Antonio Conte, Italy’s head coach at Euro 2016, Chelsea paid more than 30 million pounds for beach of Marseille’s Michy Batshuayi and Leicester City’s N’Golo Kante.The fee for Kante, who helped Leicester become surprise Premier League champions, clearly illustrated football’s inflation rate — a year ago the midlands club paid barely one-sixth as much for him.Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was always likely to spend big in attempting to revive Manchester United, with Pogba expected to become his fourth major signing.Ironically, the most exciting of them could be Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who arrived on a free transfer from Paris St Germain and scored a spectacular goal on Saturday four minutes into his debut.Pep Guardiola, having already spent 35 million pounds at Manchester City, was reported by British media on Sunday to be on the verge of almost doubling that by signing German forward Leroy Sane from Schalke 04.At the other end of the spectrum, Burnley and managerless Hull City, two of the newly promoted clubs, have hardly begun recruiting.Once they do over the next 31 days, the amount of money shelled out will only increase.last_img read more

first_imgFive tries to PNG was the tale of the tape as they did it easy over a Tahiti side that was no match.Bomai racked up 6 points converting three of the five tries.In the second half is when Bomai grabbed her two tries one after the other.The kicking responsibilities were left to Kymlie Rapilla who added the extras for both tries.Alice Alois grabbed the last try for PNG in what has been PNG’s easiest win yet.But PNG’s acid test will come tonight when they play Australia tonight at 8:30pm.last_img read more

first_imgPNG took a 1-0 lead after the 8th minute of play when Patrick Aisa powered a kick into the nets.PNG held on to the lead going into half time.Fiji came out stronger in the second half and dominated possession early on in the game.This resulted in the equalizer in the 53rd minute through Tony Tuivuna.The game looked to be going towards a draw with three minutes extra time given.A header from Captain Alwin Komolong off a PNG corner kick in the dying minutes of extra time sealed the game before an estimated crowd of about four thousand.In the gold medal play off later tonight at 7pm, New Caledonia takes on Tahiti.last_img read more

first_imgThose are the words of International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, speaking at the 128th Session of the IOC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.“We are living in the middle of a modern and diverse society that holds us accountable for what we do. This is why from the very beginning of developing the Olympic Agenda 2020, it was important to have close consultation with stakeholders from inside and outside the Olympic Movement. “This is what made the Olympic Agenda 2020 truly inclusive, transparent and reflective of the many priorities of all stakeholders. “Our founder, Pierre de Coubertin, put it well, when he said: “Olympism is a destroyer of dividing walls. It calls for air and light for all.” President Bach said that the IOC has opened its doors and windows to building partnerships with other like minded stakeholders. “We let air and light in through dialogue. We speak with a wide range of stakeholders from all walks of life. These include, among others, the United Nations, Transparency International, Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Trade Union Confederation and other NGOs. “In this context we also discussed the responsibility of the IOC with regard to political issues and human rights. In all these talks we made it very clear what our responsibility is and what the limits are. “This responsibility is to ensure that the Principles of the Olympic Charter and the Host City Contract are fully respected in the context of the Olympic Games. “That means for all participants and for all directly Olympic-related issues. This includes among many other matters the principles of non-discrimination and the right to freely report from the Olympic Games. Outside the context of the Olympic Games the IOC has to respect the laws of sovereign states. The IOC is not a world Government. Governments have their own responsibilities.” He said the Olympic Values of tolerance, respect, excellence, non-discrimination sends a strong message to the world – the strong message spread by the athletes living together in the Olympic Village in a community where all people are equal. “In my many discussions about this topic I get the feeling that this principle is more and more accepted.” He said how the IOC lives up to this responsibility can be demonstrated by the approach of its Evaluation Commission. The Commission have been tasked to openly raise various issues by taking into consideration the views of other NGOs and independent experts. The Commission discuss these questions openly with the Governments and seek the relevant assurances. “Our Evaluation Commission for 2022 – even if it started working before Olympic Agenda 2020 – has already applied this principle. “This is what Olympic Agenda 2020 means for all of us.”last_img read more

first_imgRyan Pini, Tegan McCarthy, Sam Seghers and Barabra Vali-Skelton lined up in the Mixed 4 x 100m Medley Relay along with host nation Russia.Ryan Pini got the team off to a great start and put the island team in the lead at 100m securing 56.38 as the atmosphere began to build in the Kazan Arena.“ With a home crowd and a loud noise, there’s always a little bit of nervousness and excitement. In terms of my time I was a little bit better than my time in the individual event which I aimed for.” Ryan remarked.Tegan followed up with a Breaststroke leg in 1 minute 17.87 seconds which she declared that she “was really pleased with that time and probably the fastest I’ve gone all year.”Seghers had an impressive third leg of Butterfly setting the team up for a strong finish. His time of 56.07 seconds for his 100m was the fourth fastest for the third 100m out of the entire 26 team event.“ It felt pretty good after backing up so soon after the Pacific Games. It was a little bit slower than I’ve been before, but I’m happy.”Barbara bought the team home in a new national record of 4 minutes 13.90 seconds and was equally pleased with her performance and that of the team who finished behind winners Russia, who broke the World Record.“ I did a lot better than I thought I would, It didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would.”It was left to Ryan to sum up their pleasure,“We smashed our record from the Oceania Championships last year with the same team, which was pleasing.”Sam Seghers was in action in the 100m Freestyle, his biggest competition to date, Seghers adapted seamlessly to the big occasion. Weeks before he raced in the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea, achieving a time of 51.53. However, the big test came today on the biggest stage yet.“It’s pretty surreal. I’ve never done a comp this big in my life. It’s intimidating at times but it’s a great experience”, he claimed afterwards. The atmosphere is amazing, especially with a Russian in your heat!” he stated with a smile.His first 50m then saw a time of 24.93 registered before a quick second 50m of 26.42. The result was a new personal best of 51.35.Seghers recognised this was the case, stating his second half was much improved.“I felt it was pretty good. The first 50m felt too controlled but I ended up with a PB…The Second 50 went really well and my dive felt really good”.The future is certainly bright, for the young swimmer, and his aim is high;“It’s one step closer to an Olympic Qualifying time and I’m pretty happy with that”.last_img read more

first_imgThe championships will run from the 26th-29th and will be staged at the Peter Torot centre in Kavieng town.This is the first time the boxing championships will be staged in Kavieng.More than 150 boxers and 50 officials from the associations are expected to converge on Kavieng town.PNG Boxing Union president John Avira said there are 10 male divisions (49kg-91+kg) and 5 female divisions (48kg-75kg).He said that some associations are yet to confirm their participation.“I appeal to these associations to register quickly before the closing date on the 9th of this month,” said Avira.last_img read more

first_imgPhoto Getty Images. Caption: Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko Up until April 2015, Klitschko had only lost three of his 67 professional fights, but he was then beaten by two British fighters – Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.His final defeat to Joshua at Wembley was considered by many as a classic heavyweight title fight, with both men sent to the canvas during the bout.However, in the 11th round there was no way back for Klitschko as Joshua unleashed a barrage of punches that left the Ukrainian beaten.There was talk of a rematch but Klitschko chose to hang up his gloves rather than fight on, opting to focus on other interests.Despite finishing up with two successive defeats, the 41-year-old has no regrets and looks back fondly on a hugely successful career in the ring.”It wasn’t an easy decision to pull the plug after 27 years,” he told DAZN. “You say ‘oh sure, I’ll do that easily’, but it’s not true, because you really have to pull yourself out of it. “It’s not easy and I understand my fellow athletes who weren’t able to do it when they wanted to and had to keep going. “After 27 years, I can say that I ended my career successfully, even if I lost my last fight. I’ve never won so much with a defeat before. I can say that I ended my career successfully. “There were a lot of highlights, which are often talked about. I enjoyed both the wins and the losses. The losses helped me, that’s when you truly get to know yourself. “You learn to work with yourself and explore new sides of yourself. It was a great time to be involved in sport, including for my future, because life after sport will be just as long. “The sport taught me so much, like no university in the world ever could. I am glad I took this path in my life and that I became the athlete so I could explore the world on my own.”last_img read more

first_imgThe Briton, who started from pole position, crossed the line 1.2 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo to move 59 points clear at the top of the overall standings.Vettel made it no further than the fourth lap before retiring in the pits.Already 34 points behind Hamilton before the start, the setback was the third in as many races for the German, whose hopes now rest on Hamilton suffering similar misfortune in the last four grands prix.”I could only have dreamed of having this kind of gap,” said Hamilton, interviewed on the podium by Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato.”I wouldn’t say that I have one hand on it [the title],” he added later.”There’s still 100 points available so I’m still going to keep the pedal to the metal.”Sunday’s win was the 61st of Hamilton’s career and third at the Suzuka circuit. It came a day after the 32-year-old smashed the track record to seize pole at the 5.8-kilometre track in dominant style.With the gap he now holds over Vettel, the 32-year-old could clinch the title as soon as the next race in Austin, Texas, on October 22.Vettel hurt and disappointedVettel had lined up alongside the Briton, raising the prospect of the two title rivals racing side-by-side to the first corner, but the Ferrari had already run into trouble before the start.Vettel’s mechanics changed his car’s spark plug on the grid and seemed to have resolved the problem.But while he made a clean start, Hamilton chopped across to keep the lead at the first corner.Clearly lacking power, Vettel fell back through the field before getting the call from his race engineer to retire the car.”Of course it hurts, and we’re all disappointed,” said the four times world champion, who hugged his mechanics and gave the crowd a quick wave after returning to the pits.”For sure now you don’t look at the positives because it’s not the day to look at positives.”With Vettel sidelined and Mercedes back up to speed after two lacklustre weekends, Hamilton’s afternoon should have consisted of a straightforward drive to victory, but late tyre vibrations allowed Verstappen to reel him in.For a moment it looked like the Dutchman could cause a late upset and snatch a second consecutive win to add to his triumph in Malaysia.But with back markers between him and the chasing Red Bull, Hamilton hung on.”The first half of the race was very well under control and the second part was a lot harder,” Hamilton said.”I had massive understeer. I’m really grateful the car stuck in and I didn’t make any mistakes.”Valtteri Bottas, who had started sixth due to a grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change, fought through to finish fourth for Mercedes.Fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen, also struck by a gearbox-related grid penalty, was the sole-surviving Ferrari in fifth.Force India’s Esteban Ocon, who ran as high as third at one stage, was sixth ahead of Mexican teammate Sergio Perez, as the Silverstone-based team came away with another strong haul of points.Kevin Magnussen was eighth ahead of Haas teammate Romain Grosjean. Brazilian Felipe Massa rounded out the top 10 for Williams.Britain’s Jolyon Palmer completed his last race for Renault in 12th place. His replacement from Toro Rosso, Spaniard Carlos Sainz, was the first retirement of the day.Reuterslast_img read more