DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS RESULTS 30 October 2015

ITF DAVIS CUP

The ITF has announced the latest results for the three Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Zone Group I second round play-off ties taking place on 30 October-1 November.

The three winners of these ties will remain in Zone Group I in 2016, while the three losers will be relegated to 2016 Zone Group II.

The draw for the 2016 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Americas Zone Group II and Europe/Africa Zone Group II will be held at the ITF offices in London at 10:00 GMT on Tuesday 3 November. The seeds will be based on the new ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking of 2 November.

AMERICAS ZONE GROUP I SECOND ROUND PLAY-OFF

BARBADOS level with URUGUAY 1-1
Venue: National Tennis Centre, St. Michael, BAR (hard – outdoor)

Santiago Maresca (URU) d. Seanon Williams (BAR) 62 62 61
Darian King (BAR) d. Rodrigo Arus (URU) 61 63 36 61
Darian King/Haydn Lewis (BAR) v Rodrigo Arus/Santiago Maresca (URU)
Darian King (BAR) v Santiago Maresca (URU)
Seanon Williams (BAR) v Rodrigo Arus (URU)

Davis Cup photo credit: elPadawan  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode
Davis Cup
photo credit: elPadawan
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

EUROPE/AFRICA ZONE GROUP I SECOND ROUND PLAY-OFFS

SWEDEN leads DENMARK 2-0
Venue: Antvorskovhallen, Slagelse, DEN (hard – indoor)

Markus Eriksson (SWE) d. Andreas Bjerrehus (DEN) 67(5) 67(5) 76(3) 76(3) 97
Mikael Ymer (SWE) d. Frederik Nielsen (DEN) 75 63 64
Thomas Kromann/Frederik Nielsen (DEN) v Johan Brunstrom/Fred Simonsson (SWE)
Frederik Nielsen (DEN) v Markus Eriksson (SWE)
Andreas Bjerrehus (DEN) v Mikael Ymer (SWE)

SLOVENIA leads LITHUANIA 2-0
Venue: Teniski Klub Triglav Kranj, Kranj, SLO (hard – indoor)

Grega Zemlja (SLO) d. Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 63 75 62
Blaz Rola (SLO) d. Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) 76(6) 62 62
Blaz Kavcic/Grega Zemlja (SLO) v Laurynas Grigelis/Lukas Mugevicius (LTU)
Blaz Rola (SLO) v Ricardas Berankis (LTU)
Grega Zemlja (SLO) v Laurynas Grigelis (LTU)

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Uchimura extends the legend with his sixth World All-around title

Since being crowned World champion for the first time in 2009, no one has been able to impede the royal march of Kohei Uchimura. Nobody did Friday night in Glasgow either, as the Japanese gymnast many call the greatest ever won his sixth consecutive World All-around title. Including the Olympic title he won in 2012, Uchimura has now dominated World competition for seven straight years.

Liberated by the Japanese men’s victory in the team competition for the first time in 37 years Wednesday night, Uchimura sailed through the Men’s All-around final, smiling and pumping his fists after each hit routine. Overall, he accumulated 92.332 points, a comfortable 1.634 ahead of the rest of the pack.

With his unique mix of power, elegance, fluidity and catlike stuck landings on his dismounts, Uchimura at times seemed to come close to the thing he seeks above all: perfection. With his high-flying performance on High Bar — and stuck landing on his dismount — he broke his own record for consecutive wins at Worlds. Normally reserved, he acknowledged the occasion by counting to six with his fingers in front of the camera.

“Throughout the competition I felt very strong emotions,” Uchimura said. “I have not been thinking about the number of medals. I just thought about the quality of my performance. In competition, I think about how I can move the audience with my gymnastics.”
In the same manner that he crushed the competition in the runup to the London Olympics, the 26-year-old has dominated the pre-Rio cycle. If all continues to go well, he will arrive in Brazil nine months from now the favorite to defend the Olympic title he won in 2012.

Uchimura already has 18 World medals, including nine gold. But before he can start thinking about another Olympics, there is still a small business matter to attend to: the High Bar final, to be held Sunday afternoon in Glasgow.

46th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, October 23 - November 1, 2015 in Glasgow, Great Britain
46th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, October 23 – November 1, 2015 in Glasgow, Great Britain

Seven years of domination
In 2009, Uchimura won his first World title, beating Britain’s Daniel Keatings by 2.575 points (91.500-88.925).
In 2010, Uchimura won his second World title, beating Germany’s Philipp Boy by 2.283 points (92.331-90.048).
In 2011, Uchimura won his third World title, beating Boy again by 3.101 (93.631-90.530).
In 2012, Uchimura won his first Olympic All-around title, beating Germany’s Marcel Nguyen by 1.659 points (92.690-91.031).
In 2013, Uchimura won his fourth World title, beating Japan’s Ryohei Kato by 1.958 points (91.990-90.032).
In 2014, Uchimura won his fifth World title, beating Britain’s Max Whitlock by 1.492 points (91.965-90.473).
In 2015, Uchimura won his sixth World title, defeating Cuba’s Manrique Larduret by 1.634 points (92.332-90.698).

Manrique Larduet, the Cuban surprise
After several years’ absence, Cuba made a big return to the World stage with the talented Manrique Larduet. Just 19 years old and with few international competitions under his belt, Larduet proved himself stronger than every other gymnast save Uchimura Friday night. In clinching the silver, the powerful Larduet showed the form and sangfroid of a champion, calmly hitting every routine. If anything, the Pan American Games silver medallist was too powerful — during his Floor routine, he seemed to be landing on a trampoline. With a stronger exercise on Pommel Horse, he might have challenged Uchimura more. “I am really proud to represent my country and to be with these amazing gymnasts,” Larduet said. “I’m also really proud to win this medal for my country.” Fourteen years after Cuba’s first World medals in Men’s Gymnastics, the country has a new star.

China’s Deng pops in for bronze
If Larduet’s silver was unexpected, so too was Deng Shudi’s bronze, which made him the first Chinese man to mount the podium in World All-around competition since 2007. Though solid everywhere, Deng was spectacular only on Parallel Bars, where he attained the second highest score of any competitor. In a competition where steadiness over six pieces serves a gymnast better than flash on a few, the fact that Deng didn’t fall and others did helped him clinch a medal when all was said and done. “I have made my aims come true,” said Deng, who also won bronze with the Chinese team. “But I still have a lot of work to do in order to increase my skills. We want to have better results in the team finals.”

Deng Shudi (CHN), Kohei Uchimura (JPN) and Manrique Larduet (CUB)
Deng Shudi (CHN), Kohei Uchimura (JPN) and Manrique Larduet (CUB)

For Verniaiev and Whitlock, disappointment
Much to the disappointment of the pro-British crowd that had hoped to see one of their gymnasts mount the podium again, 2014 World silver medallist Max Whitlock took himself out of contention with a fall from the High Bar on his penultimate event. Billed as the only man with the potential to knock Uchimura from the top place on the podium, a stumble on Floor and a fall on Pommel Horse put Oleg Verniaiev in a deep hole from the beginning. The pressure off, the Ukrainian seemed to relax and delivered good scores everywhere else, particularly on Parallel Bars, where he will defend his World title this weekend. Verniaiev ended fourth, Whitlock fifth.

REEM ACRA FEI WORLD CUP DRESSAGE 2015/2016: Spain’s Ferrer-Salat steals Reem Acra limelight in Lyon

Riding the crest of the wave that saw them take Freestyle bronze at the FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany two months ago, Spain’s Beatriz Ferrer-Salat and Delgado registered a convincing victory at the second leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2015/2016 Western European League at Lyon, France this afternoon. They sent a warning shot across the bows of their rivals when topping yesterday’s Grand Prix with a personal-best mark of 79.250, and today all five members of the Ground Jury were in complete agreement when awarding them the winning Freestyle score of 82.875.

However the spectators held their breath after a spectacular performance from Patrik Kittel who was last to go in today’s thrilling contest. If there had been extra marks on offer for pure excitement, then the Swedish rider would definitely have had it in the bag because, with the willing assistance of his lovely mare Deja, he threw down a test that was nothing short of funky. The crowd couldn’t resist moving to the sound of his Stevie Wonder-themed musical score, but his final mark of 81.175 left him in second spot ahead of Germany’s Fabienne Lutkemeier and D’Agostino in third. Switzerland’s Marcel Krinke Susmelj lined up fourth with Smeyers Molberg, Ireland’s Judy Reynolds finished fifth with Vancouver K and the sole French representative, Pierre Volla, claimed sixth spot with his young mare Badinda Altena.

High standard of competition

There was a high standard throughout the entire competition today. As Judge at C, Isabelle Judet from France, commented afterwards, “on paper you had one group at the very top who were clearly at a high level, but even the performances of those in the second group were of a very good standard – it was a great competition to judge”, she said. The Ground Jury, which also included The Netherlands’ Ghislain Fouarge, Belgium’s Jacques van Daele, Luxembourg’s Christof Umbach and Germany’s Katrina Wuest, had the 72.125 earned by Denmark’s Rikke Svane and the eye-catching black stallion Finckenstein TSF as their leading score at the halfway stage.

However, much to the delight of the home crowd, Pierre Volla and his charming chestnut mare, one of three hugely promising nine-year-olds competing in today’s class, bounced well into the lead with a mark of 74.150 when first into the arena after the break. But Krinke Susmelj raised the target all the way up to 78 percent when Smeyers Molberg got into the swing, and Reynolds and Vancouver K slotted in behind the Swiss pair on a mark of 77.425 for temporary runner-up spot when next into the ring. It might not have been the winning score today, but there were big smiles all round in the Irish camp, as this is a new Irish Freestyle record, Reynolds also setting the previous one at Hagen, Germany in April.

REEM ACRA FEI WORLD CUP™ DRESSAGE 2014:2015

Raised the bar

With three left to go, Germany’s Fabienne Lutkemeier and D’Agostino raised the bar even higher, the big chestnut’s powerful and expressive movement complemented by great lightness as they marched out in front for a mark of 79.850. But the team gold medallists from the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA) and the FEI European Championships 2013 in Herning, Denmark, were immediately relegated by the foot-perfect performance from Ferrer-Salat and Delgado.

This pair are a picture of symmetry, and as they easily worked through their floorplan in complete harmony with their music, it was clear a new lead would be established. Putting 82.875 on the board, it was now up to Kittel to dethrone the Spanish partnership when last to go. And the crowd watched with amazement as he gave it his very best shot, his 11-year-old mare, Deja, seemingly dancing with delight as the excitement built to a crescendo. The arena erupted when they drew to a halt, but the scoreboard showed 81.175 for second place. However Kittel now stands at the top of the Western European League leaderboard at this early stage of the series when adding today’s 17 points to the maximum 20 he picked up when winning the Central European League qualifier at Kaposvar in Hungary two weeks ago.

First competition since Europeans

“This was only our first competition since the Europeans, so I’m very happy!” said winning rider Ferrer-Salat tonight. It has been quite a year for the 49-year-old who, during her highly-successful career with her former ride, Beauvalais, finished third at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in s’Hertogenbosch (NED) in 2002, claimed individual silver at the FEI World Equestrian Games on home turf in Jerez (ESP), and won individual bronze at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens (GRE).

Her partnership with Delgado has been beset by injury problems for the horse over the last eight years, but somehow she kept faith with to the 14-year-old gelding and that faith has being repaid handsomely over the last nine months. The pair re-emerged onto the international stage in March and had just two competitions under their belt before taking that bronze medal in Aachen in August where she also helped her country qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Together they present a beautifully balanced, forward-going picture. She said this evening, “with him it is always very harmonious, there is an understanding between us, I know how he is feeling and he knows me very well also.” Asked to compare Delgado to Beauvalais she said, “Delgado is better in piaffe, but they are both special because they give me everything they can. What they have in common is that they are both very good in their heads and they have big hearts, always wanting to go forward, always wanting to be with me and that’s a very wonderful feeling for any rider”, she said. Ferrer-Salat plans to compete at the next leg of the Reem Acra series in Stuttgart, Germany in three weeks’ time.

Kittel meanwhile recognised that this had been an afternoon of great sport, and complimented the Lyon organisers on opening the doors to the public free-of-charge this afternoon. “The more of the general public we have in the audience the better if we want our sport to progress. The crowd were great, they really enjoyed the competition and supported us all, and the horses were fine in the prize-giving even though the spectators were really noisy. It was a lot of fun!” he said.

For further information on the second leg of the series at Lyon, France go to website http://www.equitalyon.com

The third leg will take place at Stuttgart (GER) on Saturday 21 November 2015. For details of the German fixture visit http://www.stuttgart-german-masters.de

Result: 1, Delgado (Beatriz Ferrer-Salat) ESP 82.875; 2, Deja (Patrik Kittel) SWE 81.175; 3, D’Agostino (Fabienne Lutkemeier) GER 79.850; 4, Smeyers Molberg (Marcela Krinke Susmelj) SUI 78.000; 5, Vancouver K (Judy Reynolds) IRL 77.425; 6, Badinda Altena (Pierre Volla) FRA 74.150; 7, Batuta (Goncalo Carvalho) POR 74.125; 8, Finckenstein TSF (Rikke Svane) DEN 72.125; 9, Spirit of the Age OLD (Bernadette Brune) GER 72.075; 10, Dandy de la Roche CMF (Antonella Joannou) SUI 71.300; 11, Raffaelo v. Bene (Anna-Mengia Aerne) SUI 71.075; 12, Beckham (Marina Mattsson) SWE 69.600; 13, Santurion de Massa (Daniel Pinto) POR 68.625; 14, Sal (Silvia Rizzo) ITA 64.975; 15, Sunny Boy (Juan Antonio Jiminez) ESP 64.775.

REEM ACRA FEI WORLD CUP DRESSAGE GRAND PRIX  FREESTYLE  PRIX FFE GENERALI  Beatriz FERRER SALAT - DELGADO  Pic Pierre Costabadie
REEM ACRA FEI WORLD CUP DRESSAGE GRAND PRIX FREESTYLE
PRIX FFE GENERALI
Beatriz FERRER SALAT – DELGADO
Pic Pierre Costabadie

Facts and Figures:

Lyon in France staged the second leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2015/2016 Western European League today.
15 horse-and-rider partnerships competed in the Grand Prix Freestyle won by Spain’s Beatriz Ferrer-Saslt and Delgado with a score of 82.875..
The Spanish pair also topped yesterday’s Grand Prix at the French fixture with a personal best score of 79.260.
Runner-up today was Sweden’s Patrik Kittel with Deja.
The sole competitor for the host nation was Pierre Volla riding the nine-year-old mare Badinda Altena
9 nations were represented – Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The panel of judges was: At E, Ghislain Fouarge (NED); At H, Jacques van Daele (BEL); At C, Isabelle Judet (FRA); At M, Christof Umbach (LUX); At B, Katrina Wuest (GER).
The next leg of the series take place in Stuttgart, Germany on Saturday 21 November 2015.

Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2015/2016 leaderboard: standings after Round 2 of the Western European League at Lyon (FRA):

1. Patrik Kittel SWE – 37
2. Marcela Krinke Susmelj SUI – 33
3. Inna Logutenkova UKR – 30
4. Judy Reynolds IRL – 24
5. Alexandre Ayache FRA – 20
5. Beatriz Ferrer-Salat ESP – 20
5. Edward Gal NED – 20
5. Ellen Schulten-Baumer GER – 20
9. Charlotte Haid Bondergaard SWE – 19
9. Goncales Carvalho POR – 19
9. Jenny Larsson SWE – 19
12. Anna Kasprzak DEN – 17
12. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl GER- 17
12. Matthias Bouten GER – 17

Louise Parkes

Katie Taylor and Jennifer Chieng honoured at ANOC Awards in Washington D.C.

Thursday night saw the second edition of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Awards in Washington D.C. Held to recognise the achievements of the biggest stars from the five Continental Games that have taken place over the past 14 months, two greats of women’s boxing were among the athletes to receive awards.

Irish hero Katie Taylor and Jennifer Chieng from the Federated States of Micronesia received the Best Female at the European Games in Baku and Best Female at the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea awards respectively, underlining the huge impact women’s boxing has had since AIBA introduced it into the Olympic program at London 2012.

“These awards are a recognition of how far women’s boxing has come in the short time since we introduced it to the Olympic program at London 2012″ said AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu. “The women’s events have proved to be as competitive as they are impressive and a fantastic addition to the world of boxing, thanks in no small part to these two great athletes that I would like to vividly congratulate for their accomplishments”

Taylor’s gold in Baku was her 18th major international title, underlining a dominance of women’s boxing since bursting onto the scene in 2005 that she will be hoping to continue with a second Olympic gold next year.

“It was amazing to compete at the first ever European Games in Baku and to become the first ever women’s European Games lightweight champion. This recognition is extremely humbling and I am very grateful to ANOC for awarding me this honour. I am looking forward to travelling to Rio with the OCI and bringing home some more medals for Ireland.”

Katie taylor and AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu
Katie taylor and AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu

The awards proved to be yet another milestone in the continuing growth of women’s boxing. Among those present at the star-studded ceremony in Washington as they collected the awards were IOC President Thomas Bach and ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.

ABIA WARRIORS MOTIVATE PLAYERS BY INAUGURATING MAN-OF-THE MATCH AWARDS

In order to motivate and bring out the best in her players, Abia Warriors FC have commenced man-of the match awards to their best player in every home game.

According to the club marketing manager Johnny Ogbah in a release, the award commenced in the last league match against Lobi stars and former Kwara Utd utility player Anthony Okemmiri was voted as man-of-the-match by journalists at the game and was immediately presented with a handsome cash reward.

“We are raising the bar in the Enyimba game,” said Ogbah who doubles as the club legal adviser. “Our Chairman has increased the M.O.T.M cash prize just to motivate the players to give their best in the Abia Classico”.

ABIA WARRIORS MOTIVATE PLAYERS BY INAUGURATING MAN-OF-THE MATCH AWARDS

“We shall also be conducting our usual raffle draw where lucky fans will be given replica shirts, standard balls, bags, kitchen stools and various other items and also ensure that all children who come to the stadium on match day are given family packs and light refreshment to make their day. “

AIBA Stars Line Up For Movember Charity Campaign

November. The trees may be bare and the winds cold, but two star AIBA boxers will be keeping their top lips warm with fresh facial hair as part of the Movember charity movement to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues.

The health of its boxers has always been central to the AIBA philosophy. Following the launch of the #HeadsUp! campaign in October at Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships, initially training boxers to use a more upright style, joining forces with the Movember movement is yet another element of AIBA’s commitment to put boxers first.

The high-profile figures of Ireland’s first ever World Champion Michael Conlan and Team GB star Joe Joyce will be the moustachio’d faces of AIBA for Movember.

“The Movember campaign promotes awareness for issues that we are all familiar with to some extent, whether its through boxing or our personal lives. I couldn’t be happier to put my top lip and full support behind it and raise money for some great causes.” Michael Conlan – twitter.com/MickConlan11

Ireland’s Conlan reaches bantamweight final as Cuba, Russia and Uzbekistan dominate on first night of semis
Ireland’s Michael Conlan

“In sport, you are acutely aware of the issues facing other sportsmen and the impact that health issues can have on a career, and AIBA has always been proactive in preventing them. Movember has done an incredible job in raising awareness of those issues in a way that people easily can relate to.” Joe Joyce – twitter.com/JoeJoyce_1

Joe JOYCE
Joe JOYCE

Since 2003, the Movember Foundation has raised £400m, and it is the largest men’s health movement in the world. Follow the boxers’ progress throughout Movember on AIBA Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

#HeadsUp! is a global program developed by AIBA to promote the values of boxing and the global AIBA family. The objective is to foster AIBA initiatives to promote the development and growth of boxing at a national and international level through four key pillars, such as sports, education, health and sustainability.

Men and women sign up at http://www.Movember.com to grow, give or MOVE for the 30 days of Movember.

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final: Battle For Gold Heats Up In Abu Dhabi

The battle for gold in the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final is turning into a classic contest of skill and concentration in Abu Dhabi, with the sport’s top athletes turning on a spectacular display in near perfect conditions.

The second day of the Sailing World Cup grand finale brought offshore breezes of 9-13 knots at Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club (ADSYC), and the cream of the Olympic sailing classes were in their element.

It was another good day for Great Britain’s Bryony Shaw, defending champion in the Women’s RS:X, who followed up her second place in the first of the three races with victory in the last to hold a two-point overall lead from Italy’s Flavia Tartaglini, the second race winner.

Shaw commented on here day saying, “It’s about keeping everything simple and minimising mistakes, as I made a few today. We might have a different breeze tomorrow so I will be racing smart and keeping my energy levels as good as they can be.”

This is proving to be one of the most competitive of the eight Olympic sailing classes being contested in the UAE capital’s World Cup regatta, which is sponsored by ADS Securities and Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

Brazilian Patricia Freitas is another with her sights still on the World Cup gold after a win in the opening race helped her to third at the end of the day.

Australian Tom Burton, leading the 20-boat Laser fleet overnight, once again showed his liking for conditions in Abu Dhabi, and second place in the day’s opening race won by German Philipp Buhl saw him extend his advantage to 3 points over Robert Scheidt, the five-times Olympic medalist.

The Netherlands Marit Bouwmeester At the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.  Credit  Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy /ISAF
The Netherlands Marit Bouwmeester At the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.
Credit Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy /ISAF

Brazilian Scheidt immediately discarded his eighth place finish while Britain’s Nick Thompson completed the top three after finishing third behind another Aussie, Matthew Wearn, who was fifth overall.

In the Laser Radial Netherland’s Marit Bouwmeester won the first of two races from Josefin Olsson and, after discarding her 8th position in race two, ended the day leading the Swede by three points.

Second race winner Tatiana Drozdovskaya of Belarus was down in 7th overall, while Belgium’s defending champion Evi Van Acker continued to have a difficult title defence, her 3rd and 11th positions on the day leaving her in 5th overall.

Austria’s defending champions Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar are having a great battle with Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark in the Women’s 470 class, and there is nothing between them after two days of fleet racing.

The first day of the regatta had been a mixed one for Vadlau and Ogar, as their opening win was followed quickly by disqualification for a false start in race two.

They reclaimed the outright lead by winning today’s opener from Mills and Clark who were placed third. But the British girls reversed the positions in the second race to draw level with last year’s gold medalists. Japan’s Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka are third after a 4th and 2nd place.

Ogar described her thoughts on the early starts and her class competition by saying, “The wind was really nice today but it’s the hours we struggle with, we don’t like sailing so much in the morning. The wind conditions were perfect with some great waves. The GBR girls are a good team and it’s good to be so close to them – we like them.”

Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.  Credit Pedro Martinez/ Sailing Energy/ Isaf
Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.
Credit Pedro Martinez/ Sailing Energy/ Isaf

Great Britain’s Tom Squires stayed on course for gold in the Men’s RS:X when he snatched victory in the last of the day’s three races after earlier 7th and a 2nd place finishes.

He leads by four points from Spain’s Ivan Pastor Lafuente who followed his opening race win with a pair of 5th place finishes, with Brazilian Ricardo Santos in third after a run of 3rd, 4th and 2nd. After an opening second position, Byron Kokkalanis of Greece, last year’s silver medal winner, slipped to 7th and 9th to finish the day in 5th.

Another intriguing contest for gold is developing in the 49er class, with Poland’s Dominik Buksak and Szymon Wierzbicki tied at the end of the day with Italy’s Stefano Cherin and Andrea Tesei.

The Poles followed their first race win with two 4th positions, while Cherin and Tesei fitted a race victory in between two 2nd places. British brothers Rory and Neil Hunter climbed to third by taking the third race of the day.

There are still two days of racing left, but already multiple world champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan are looking good for another pair of Men’s 470 World Cup gold medals in Abu Dhabi.

Finishing second in today’s first of two races to Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström, the Australians won race two to earn a four-point advantage over Americans Stuart McNay and David Hughes who’s opening 4th place was followed by a disappointing retirement. Dahlberg and Bergström are another point away in third.

Croatia’s Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic is clearly enjoying conditions in Abu Dhabi, scoring victory in both of today’s races in the Finn class to take a 4pt overall lead from Britain’s Edward Wright and Turkey’s Alican Kaynar who are tied in second. Consistency seems to be the theme in this class, as Wright was third in both of today’s races while Kaynar collected a couple of second places.

The open kiteboarding event was continuing through the afternoon off the Corniche in Abu Dhabi as defending champion Oliver Bridge of Great Britain looked to add to his hat-trick of race victories from the previous day.

After tomorrow’s third day of fleet racing, the top ten athletes from each of the eight Olympic sailing classes, as well as the open kiteboarding competition, will move forward into Sunday’s Medal Races to decide who leaves Abu Dhabi with World Cup gold, silver and bronze.

VALENTINO ROSSI FILES AN APPEAL AT THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT (CAS)

Italian MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi has filed an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the FIM Stewards’ decision to impose 3 penalty points on his record following an incident with another rider during the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix race held on 25 October 2015.

The FIM Race Direction found that Mr Rossi deliberately ran wide in order to force the other rider off line, resulting in contact causing the other rider to crash out of the race. For this breach of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations (the FIM Regulations), the FIM Race Direction imposed 3 penalty points on the rider’s record. Mr Rossi immediately appealed such decision to the FIM Stewards who dismissed the appeal and confirmed the penalty imposed by the FIM Race Direction.

Italian MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi photo credit: Sean Rowe https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode
Italian MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi
photo credit: Sean Rowe
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

Since Valentino Rossi already has 1 penalty point from an earlier incident, this decision brings him to a total of 4 penalty points. On the basis of the FIM Regulations, a rider with 4 penalty points must start the next race from last grid position.
In his appeal to the CAS, Mr Rossi seeks the annulment of the penalty, or at least a reduction from 3 points to 1. Together with his appeal, Mr Rossi has filed an urgent application to stay the execution of the challenged decision in order not to lose his place on the starting grid at the next, and last, event of the season which will be held in Valencia/Spain on 6-8 November 2015.
An arbitration procedure is in progress. A decision on Mr Rossi’s request for a stay is expected to be issued no later than 6 November 2015.

ABIA WARRIORS BATTLE ENYIMBA IN ABIA EL-CLASSICO BY IGWE ONUOHA

It is going to be battle royale on Sunday, the 1st of November, 2015 when Abia Warriors Football club of Umuahia host league leaders, Enyimba international of Aba in what has been widely described as the “Abia el-classico”.

The Peoples Elephant will be visiting Umuahia with the intention of breaking the jinx of never defeating their oriental brothers in the Premier league since the capital club made it to the elite class two seasons ago. In their previous three meetings, Abia Warriors have an edge with a win and two draws.

Enyimba fc
Enyimba fc

In their first Premier league season, Abia Warriors, with 1-0 win became the only team to beat Enyimba in their fortress in Aba while the second leg encounter ended 3-3 in Umuahia. Earlier this season at the Enyimba International stadium, Aba, the two sides settled for a 2-2 draw.

But on current form, Enyimba on 65 points lead their neighbours by 15 points and the six-time Nigerian Champions are gunning for their seventh title and do not see the Warriors stopping them. On 60 and 59 points respectively, Giwa FC of Jos and Warri Wolves are however giving Enyimba a run for their money but luckily, Enyimba’s last home match of the season is against the Seasiders in Aba.

So Enyimba’s Championship ambition is not actually tied to the Abia Warriors match on Sunday contrary to the widely held view but rather the match against Warri Wolves where they have their fate in their own hands.

A victory against the Wolves in Aba will see them win the league even with a game to spare against Sunshine Stars in Akure on the last day of the league and irrespective of the result in this weekend’s encounter against the Warriors who have won 14 of their 17 home games so far this season.

ABIA WARRIORS FC
ABIA WARRIORS FC

For Giwa FC, a team of the moment that have lost only seven of their 35 games so far, their two away matches against Heartland in Owerri and neighbours Nasarawa United in Lafia could determine their ambition of picking a continental ticket although they are expected to win their only remaining home game against Shooting Stars of Ibadan before their visit to Lafia.

In all, the Abia Warriors Chairman, Chief Emeka Inyama has called on the Enyimba and Abia Warriors officials, Players and Supporters to maintain a high sense of decorum before, during and after the game on Sunday as government will not be happy with anybody whose conduct could tarnish the image of the state using the match as a cover to ferment trouble.

Asian Shooting Championship in Kuwait: IOC Executive Board revokes the Olympic Qualifying Status

During the Asian Championships to be held in Kuwait from 1 to 12 November 2015, there will be no distribution of quota places nor will there be any MQS results recognized and registered.

The International Shooting Sport Federation has been informed by the International Olympic Committee that the IOC Executive Board unanimously agreed to revoke the Olympic Qualifying Status of the Asian Championships to be held in Kuwait from 1 to 12 November 2015.

The decision comes after the designated Technical Delegate from the ISSF, Mr. Yair Davidovich, who was due to supervise the event on behalf of the ISSF, was denied a visa by the Kuwaiti Immigration Department. The denial of a visa is against the non-discrimination principle of the Olympic Charter. The Olympic Charter must apply for all Olympic Qualification competitions.

Another reason for the decision is the fact that the Kuwait NOC is currently suspended by the IOC due to governmental interference against the rules of the Olympic Charter, and the Kuwait Olympic Committee is not entitled to participate in any activity connected with the Olympic Movement or exercise any right conferred upon it by the Olympic Charter or the IOC, as stated in an IOC press release yesterday evening.

This decision means that during the Asian Championships to be held in Kuwait from 1 to 12 November 2015, there will be no distribution of quota places nor will there be any MQS results recognized and registered. However, the Asian Shooting Championships can still be organized under normal conditions but without Qualifying Status.

ISSF, Shooting federation

“The ISSF is very concerned about this development and regrets it in particular regarding our Asian athletes. We will work under full speed to provide a location for another Qualifying Competition and try to find a good solution for the distribution of the 35 quota places assigned to our Asian athletes as soon as possible. This solution should also include some financial support to the participating athletes to cover part of the extra costs.” The ISSF President Olegario Vazquez Raña stated in a letter addressed to all ISSF member federations, today.

The ISSF will monitor the situation and inform its stakeholders about any development in this matter.

Nigerian Rugby Football Federation Releases 14 Man List For Olympic Qualifiers

In line with their promise and drive to qualify for the 2016 Olympics, the Nigerian Rugby Football Federation Technical Committee has released a strong 14 man list for next month’s qualifiers in South Africa.

Arising from their technical meeting held on Tuesday in Lagos, the federation listed Nigeria’s rugby golden boy and speedster, Christian Ogar (Cowrie RFC), Nuhu Ibrahim Samaila (Barewa RFC), Alfred Oche (Jos RFC), Onoru Oyiza Jatto (Cowrie RFC), Samuel Ekpo (Cowrie RFC), Hafis Ayinla (Cowrie RFC) as part of the team to be captained by Azeez Ladipo (Cowrie RFC).

Determined to have a blend of homegrown and foreign base players, 3 players were invited from the United Kingdom, 2 from the United States of America and 1 from South Africa, most of whom were discovered at the recently held President Cup international invitational tournament The Onwukanjo brothers may be in line to feature for the national team together for the first time following the decision of the federation to extend an invitation to Onyinye Onwukanjo (Davenport University Rugby, USA) and Ike Onwukanjo (USA Northeast Olympic Academy).

Other foreign based players are Omotohunola Odulaja (Old Blues RFC, UK), Ayomide Joseph Mogaji (Doking RFC UK), Danjuma Mshelia (Richmond RFC, UK) and Thankgod Okafor (Sharks RFC South Africa)

In a statement made available to the federation’s media department, NRFF Technical Direstor, Fasimoye Olatunji, Technical Adviser, Bandele Coker and Team Doctor, Bukola Bojuwoye will be part of the 19 man delegation to South Africa.

The delegation which will be led by President of the federation, Edward Pam Fom will leave Lagos on the 8th of November for the tournament slated for the 14th and 15th of November Johannesburg.

Head coach and South African Rugby 7s legend, Fabian Juries and all invited foreign players will join the Local boys in Johannesburg on the 9th for the 5 days training ahead of the qualifiers.

Nigerian Rugby team the Black Stallions,
Nigerian Rugby team the Black Stallions,

Nigeria is drawn alongside Zimbabwe, Uganda and Zambia in Pool B.

Full list

Christian OGAR (Cowrie RFC, Prop/Hooker)

Ikechukwu ONWUKANJO (USA Northeast Olympic Academy, Wing/Prop)

Nuhu Ibrahim SAMAILA (Barewa RFC, Scrum half/ Playmaker)

Danjuma MSHELIA (Richmond RFC, UK, Wing)

Alfred OCHE (Jos RFC, Fly half)

Omotohunola ODULAJA (Old Blues RFC, Scrum Half/ Playmaker)

Azeez LADIPO (Cowrie RFC, Fly half/ Playmaker)

Ayomide Joseph MOGAJI (Dorking RFC, Prop/ Wing)

Onoru Oyiza JATTO (Cowrie RFC, Wing)

Samuel EKPO (Cowrie RFC, Prop)

Onyinyeukwu ONWUKANJO (Davenport University Rugby, Prop/Hooker)

Hafis AYINLA (Cowrie RFC, Prop)

ThankGod OKAFOR (Sharks RFC, South Africa, Prop/ Centre)

Standby Player
Emmanuel AKINLUYI (Samurai Midwives, HFW Wailers, Prop/Centre)

IOC Executive Board revokes Olympic Qualification Status Of The Asian Shooting Championship In Kuwait

Upon request of the International Sports Shooting Federation (ISSF), the IOC Executive Board today revoked the Olympic Qualification status of the Asian Shooting Championship taking place in Kuwait City between 1 and 12 November.

The decision comes after the designated Technical Delegate from the ISSF, Yair Davidovich (Israel), who was due to supervise the event on behalf of the ISSF, was denied a visa by the Kuwaiti Immigration Department.

The denial of a visa is against the non-discrimination principle of the Olympic Charter. The Olympic Charter must apply for all Olympic Qualification competitions.

Another reason for the decision is the fact that the Kuwait NOC is currently suspended by the IOC due to governmental interference against the rules of the Olympic Charter. The KOC is not entitled to participate in any activity connected with the Olympic Movement or exercise any right conferred upon it by the Olympic Charter or the IOC. This includes, in particular, any activity organised by associations of NOCs to which the KOC is affiliated.