The Hala Mosir sports venue in Szczecin played host to five thrilling bouts of WSB boxing on Saturday night as the Russian Boxing Team conjured up a spirited fight back from 2-0 down to beat Rafako Hussars Poland 3-2.
A tight flyweight bout between the Hussars’ German 24-year-old Hamza Touba and Russia’s Ovik Ogannisian saw Touba recover from a slow start to put his opponent on the back foot with a stirring finish, taking a crucial fifth round to give the hosts the early advantage.
The lead was doubled when the experienced lightweight Dawid Michelus – stepping out for his 15th WSB contest – capitalised on a brilliant start against Gabil Mamedov, delivering a controlled performance that put the Hussars one bout away from a precious first Group C win.
Russian Boxing Team’s Albert Karibian had other ideas, showing no sign of debut nerves as he got his welterweight bout against 22-year-old Damian Kiwior off to a flying start. The Polish athlete finished well, but Karibian’s accurate punching and dangerous hooks early on had done enough to earn him the judges’ verdict and make it 2-1.
Another Russian debutant Iaroslav Doronichev then drew the match level, shocking the taller Pawel Wierzbicki with some fierce hooks and taking the contest down to the wire. That left super heavyweights Arkadiusz Szwedowicz and Pavel Silyagin to decide the evening, and despite a quick start from the Pole, Silyagin’s defence remained tight, from which he launched successful attacks that won him the judges’ decision and his team the match in a remarkable turnaround.
When emcee Hamza Lubwama announced the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the 2015 National Volleyball League as George Aporu this weakend at City Royale Hotel in Kampala, the latter’s mother, Christine Amongin did like the rest of the fraternity with a congratulatory hand-clap.
But it was not just a routine hand-clap for the State minister for Teso Affairs. Hon Amongin’s last born had just emerged the best volleyball player for the second time in four years and she couldn’t hide her excitement.
“It gives me great joy as a mother to see that at least there is a child of Aporu (Edward -RIP) who plays the game so well just like his father and is recognised in the country,” Amongin told Sunday Monitor.
“It was also the fourth straight time that George Aporu was being nominated for the most prestigious individual award by Uganda Volleyball Federation (UVF) and the second time he was scooping it, the other being 2013. “As a family we are proud that we have a national icon among us and as a mother I always pray that his game continues to grow.
“I am delighted that his star never stops shining,” added Amongin, who also doubles as the UVF patron.
Earlier in the week, Aporu had been voted by the Uganda Sports Press Association (Uspa) as the Male Volleyball Player of the Year, a feat he has also claimed since 2012.
The national hero concurred that his source of inspiration and driving force was his father, the late George Edward Aporu-Okol, who passed away in June 1992. “I am always inspired by my father’s exploits. I never had a chance to watch him play but I am told he was a great player,” said the young Aporu before adding.
“Winning these awards is a great feeling, especially if you work tirelessly to keep yourself at the top.”
“Though I always feel that my fellow teammates should share my joy with me, because without them I can’t be the player I am.”
The Nemostars’ skipper also walked away with the best server and best attacker gongs on a night the Kololo-based side dominated the men’s awards. Tom Paul Amou and Smith Okumu won the best blocker and best setter accolades respectively. KAVC’s Emmanuel Elanyu and Sport-S’ Stephen Oguti walked away with the best receiver and best defender. Lady’s MVP was Margaret Namyalo who also walked away with the attacker plaque.
M: George Aporu – Nemostars
W: Margaret Namyalo – Ndejje Elites
M: Stephen Oguti – Sport-S
W: Christine Alupo – Ndejje
M: Tom Paul Amou – Nemostars
W: Zaina Kagoya – VVC
M: George Aporu – Nemostars
W: Margaret Namalyo – Ndejje Elites
M: Smith Okumu – Nemostars
W: Milly Laker – VVC
– Chelsea have announced the signing of Matt Miazga from New York Red bulls on a four-and-a-half-year deal.
– Udinese have completed the signing of Emil Hallfredsson from Hellas Verona.
– Norwich City have signed Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford on loan until the end of the season.
– Zenit Saint Petersburg have completed the signings of Aleksandr Kokorin & Yuri Zhirkov from Dinamo Moscow.
Today’s reports and rumours:
– According to reports, Swansea have received a loan offer from Marseille for Portuguese striker Eder.
– Aston Villa manager Remi Garde says the deal to sign Croatian goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic is now off due to work permit issues.
– Manchester City forward Patrick Robers is set to join Celtic on an 18-month loan deal, according to reports.
– Newcastle are reportedly lining up a late deal for Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis.
– Manchester United are locked in talks over a £30million deal for Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches, according to reports.
– Stoke City boss Mark Hughes says he may be forced to make a late bid for a centre-back after Marc Wilson sustained a knee injury that could keep him out for 12 weeks.
– According to reports, Everton have agreed to loan Aiden McGeady to Sheffield Wednesday until the end of the season.
– Andre Ayew’s agent says he is surprised the player is still at Swansea after Sunderland’s offer.
– Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed Serge Gnabry will be returning from his loan spell at West Bromwich Albion.
– According to reports, Real Madrid are close to sealing a 50million deal for PSG defender Marquinhos.
– Marseille are closing in on the signing of Spanish side Rayo Vallecano striker Miku, according to reports.
– According to Sky Sports Italia,Sampdoria have made an offer for Stade de Reims midfielder Prince Oniangué.
– Newcastle are reportedly considering a loan move for Valencia left-back Lucas Orban.
– Genoa have sent Diogo Figueiras back to Sevilla just six months into his season-long loan.
– Watford are prepared to pay Liverpool £3m to sign 19-year-old striker Jerome Sinclair, according to reports.
– Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone wants to swap striker Jackson Martinez for Chelsea’s forward Diego Costa, according to reports.
– According to reports, Chelsea striker Loic Remy is set to move on loan to Leicester, with only a few details of the transfer yet to be completed.
– Florian Thauvin is set to join Ligue 1 side Marseille on a season-long loan deal, having left Newcastle to travel to France on Saturday.
– Everton are poised to sign the striker Oumar Niasse from Lokomotiv Moscow after having an offer of £13.5million accepted by the Russian club.
Football tit bits:
– Juan Antonio Pizzi has been announced as the manager of Chile’s national
– West Ham manager Slaven Bilic was satisfied after a 0-0 draw at Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup and feels the replay at Upton Park will be a “great night”.
– Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed that the executive vice-chairman of the club, Ed Woodward, always treats the Dutchman to expensive wine when his side beat teams in the top six of the Premier League.
– The FA Cup fifth round draws come up Tomorrow evening at 6:15pm
The tension on the water at Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella was fully loaded as Medal Races across the ten Olympic fleets drew the first big regatta of 2016, the Olympic year, to a close.
Many podium finishers from six days of racing in Miami will feature on the Rio 2016 pedestal in 188 days’ time and Miami can be viewed as a marker of what is to come this year.
In a week plagued by grey skies and fickle breeze the sun shone brightly in Miami but the light winds remained.
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) came into the day as the only team who had gold wrapped up. In the remaining nine events it was wide open and in a shifty northern 6-8 knot breeze there were up, downs, disappointments and highs in their numbers.
Olympic medallists such as Robert Scheidt (BRA), Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED), Evi Van Acker (BEL) and Bryony Shaw (GBR) showed their worth, taking the honours in their respective fleets. In the remaining divisions, several new contenders emerged including Diego Botin and Iago Lopez (ESP) and Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED) who won in world class fields.
Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED) claimed gold in the Nacra 17, jumping up the leader board after a tense light wind Nacra 17 race.
The Dutch pair occupied third overall heading into the Medal Race with Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) in pole position and Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger (SUI) in second.
Eight points split the trio beforehand with an unassailable advantage over the chasing pack. The sailors on the podium were decided, but the colour of the medal they’d receive was far from certain.
The leading Australians were penalised at the start and were up against it immediately, crossing the start line well behind the pack. Meanwhile, the Dutch pair got underway without fear and worries as the only way for them was up.
Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves (GBR) ran away from the fleet to take the race win by a minute over Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco (ESP).
The Dutch crossed the finish line third and had to watch the finishers to see if they’d moved up. Waterhouse and Darmanin crossed in seventh and the Swiss in ninth which gave them gold.
“Out there we used our speed well and we went to the left of the first upwind and it paid off,” explained Mulder. “We were leading at the top mark and consolidated. We ended up third which was enough for the regatta win.
“We were in a perfect position to go full on today and take some risks.”
Darmanin and Waterhouse ended up tied on 119 points with the Dutch but missed out via the Medal Race countback, settling for silver. Buhler and Brugger completed the Nacra 17 podium.
The Nacra 17 fleet will have to go through the emotions again in just a matter of days with the World Championships taking place in Clearwater, Florida, USA from 6 -14 February.
Laser and Laser Radial
When regatta leader Marit Bouwmeester (NED) was flagged by the officials shortly after the start, it appeared Evi van Acker (BEL) had the opening she needed to close the 6-point gap that stood between her and a gold medal. Indeed, Bouwmeester was 10th around the first mark. But van Acker was ninth. These positions held around the second mark. On the third leg, van Acker made her move.
“I went on the right side when the wind was dying, but I thought change was coming,” said van Acker, the bronze medalist in the 2012 Olympics in London. “The wind turned to the right and I was there when it turned.”
Van Acker went from ninth to third on the second beat and then picked up another place on the final run. Meanwhile, Bouwmeester, who had so little trouble moving through the fleet earlier in the regatta, was unable to make any significant gains during the second half of the race. Van Acker’s second, to Bouwmeeter’s seventh, was enough to flip flop the overall positions the two sailors held coming into the Medal Race.
Sarah Gunni Toftedal (DEN) struggled during the medal race and finished last. But none of her rivals for the bronze medal were able to take advantage of the situation and Gunni Toftedal held on to the bronze. Alison Young (GBR) was fourth, with Emma Plasschaert (BEL) in fifth.
Paige Railey (USA) won the medal race and while her move from 10th to eighth didn’t factor into the podium standings it did earn her two additional places in her battle for the U.S. Olympic berth in Rio. Her primary rival, Erika Reineke finished 17th in the regatta and will have to make up 9 places on Railey in Part 2 of the U.S. Athlete Selection Series.
Displaying a veteran’s poise, five-time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt (BRA) sailed a steady medal race in trying conditions to win gold in the Sailing World Cup Miami. While the positions around him switched considerably over the course of the 25-minute race, Scheidt rounded each mark in fourth place and finished fourth.
“It was a tough race, the wind was light and shifty,” he said. “I was worrying about the French guy as he was the one I had to finish ahead of to win today. He got to the [first] mark ahead of me, which made things very interesting. At the gate we had a split, which was lucky for me as I finished ahead of him.
“I sailed well this week. The Medal Races are always tough and very close. The day has a huge impact on the result and I took my opportunities today.”
Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA), who made his international regatta debut the same year Scheidt won his third Olympic medal, started the day with a one-point lead in the overall standings. Though he didn’t win the gold, he can be comforted that he was just a place away from defeating one of the sport’s living legends. He’s clearly moving up the ladder and in good position to improve upon his 10th in the London Games.
Scheidt, though pleased with his results this week, knows the work of an Olympic sailor is never done. He’ll take some time to recoup, and then get right back to the grind.
“After this I am taking a break,” he said. “In March I will be back training in Rio. Rio is going to be quite a difficult venue with challenging conditions. I’ve sailed there for 25 years and I still don’t know the place. I’ll try and get myself comfortable with the place.”
Men’s and Women’s RS:X
Bryony Shaw (GBR) made a terrific comeback in the second upwind in the Women’s RS:X to seal her third consecutive Sailing World Cup Miami gold.
After the first lap of the course, Shaw was as low as ninth, leaving Lilian de Geus (NED) first overall. Shaw knew what had to be done and her never say die attitude enabled her to fight and push up the fleet.
On the final upwind Shaw swiftly moved into seventh, sixth and at the top mark had overtaken de Geus and was third overall. She maintained that position through to the finish to seal the deal.
“This week was about consistency,” said Shaw, a Beijing 2008 bronze medallist. “We had a lot of different winds this week so I was happy to sail well in the light winds and strong winds. The focus for more has been on training to prepare for the World Championships. We’ve had a really good quality fleet here so I am pleased to take the win today. It’s good momentum to take into the World Championships.”
De Geus wrapped up the week with silver and Peina Chen (CHN) completed the podium.
London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) started 2016, an Olympic year, with a big, convincing win in the Men’s RS:X.
Van Rijsselberge finished seventh in the Medal Race, his worst result this week, but his consistency over the series kept the pressure off him as he went in with a nice gap between him and the chasing pack.
“I like Miami and like racing here,” said Van Rijsselberge after competition. “I’ve been coming here for eight years now so I’ve got the place sorted and I enjoy racing here.”
Nick Dempsey won the Medal Race finishing six points off the Dutchman to pick up silver and Aichen Wang (CHN) rounded off the podium.
No class had more sailors enter the medal race with a shot at the gold. Six Finn sailors started the final contest with a legitimate shot at the medal. Adding to this was a light, shifty breeze that provided plenty of passing lanes. But when the dust had settled the top two sailors entering the race, Jorge Zarif (BRA) and Jonas Hoegh-Christensen, were the top two in the final results.
“It was really hard as everybody was really close before the race,” said Zarif. “I thought the left side of the racing area was paying a little bit more. I tried to be there more than the others and it worked well.”
Zarif held the lead around the first two marks, but dropped to fourth on third leg when a big left shift jumbled up the standings. On the fourth leg he ground back to second place, where he finished. Arkadiy Kistanov of Russia won the Medal Race and was able to vault from fifth to third in the overall standings. Jake Lilley (AUS) was fourth in the race and third in the overall standings.
For Zarif, who hadn’t previously won a World Cup race, this was a significant victory as he prepares to compete for the home crowd in Rio.
“Next we will have 15 days of training in Rio now with Rafa [Trujillo] my coach and then we go to the Europeans, Palma, Hyeres, the Worlds and then back to Rio,” said Zarif. “I was happy with the week I had, but I could have finished sixth or first today. That could have easily happened if something bad happened today. I just tried to do the best I could.”
Men’s and Women’s 470
For the Men’s 470 fleet, the crucial moment in the Medal Race came right at the starting gun. Stu McNay and David Hughes (USA), one of three teams that entered the race in a virtual tie for first, controlled the left end of the starting line and were able to tack at the gun and cross the fleet, putting themselves in a very strong position right out of the starting blocks.
“We saw an opportunity at the start and we were able to take advantage of it and get an early lead on the fleet,” said McNay, a two-time Olympian in the 470. “Dave called some great shifts on the first upwind.”
McNay and Hughes rounded the first mark with a 30-second lead over the fleet and never looked back, at least figuratively. In light conditions, no lead is ever truly safe.
“It was an easy race course to become frustrated with as it was very shifty and variable,” said Hughes. “By the same token, the teams that did well at this event just embraced it and played it forward from whatever position they were in. We are happy to better them all in the end.”
The most interesting battle of the race was for the silver medal, with Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) and Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) rounding the first mark separated by just 4 seconds. On the second upwind leg the Greek duo was able to put over a minute on their rivals and all but clinch the silver medal. Jacob and Graeme Chaplin-Saunders finished second in the medal race and moved up a spot, to seventh, in the overall standings.
McNay and Hughes will hope to carry the momentum they earned in Miami this winter into the class’s world championships in Argentina in February.
“This is the third of three events in Miami this winter and we can proudly say we have won all three of them,” McNay said. “We felt that to do that many competitions back to back to back would be the best way to prepare ourselves for the upcoming World championships.”
Consider it a job well done, on to the next challenge.
“There are many events between now and Rio and we are just going to chip away at one event of a time,” said Hughes. “We’ve got lots to work on and as with any Olympic campaign there are a lot of different boxes to tick.”
Shasha Chen and Haiyan Gao (CHN) started the Medal Race much the way they started the regatta, in last place. The first race of the event, which might seem like it took place a month ago given the twists and turns of this event, resulted in a DSQ for the Chinese team. Likewise, the first leg of the Medal Race didn’t go well and Chen and Gao rounded the first mark in last place, 48 seconds off the lead and in real danger of missing the podium entirely.
But in the light and shifty conditions, persistence was the key; and passing opportunities were there for the taking. Chen and Gao found a few on each of the next three legs, moving to sixth on the first run and then to third on the final run. Meanwhile, their chief rivals for gold, Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT) and Fernanda Oliveira and Luiza Ana Barbachan (BRA) found the going much more challenging. With those teams finishing in eighth and 10th respectively, Chen and Gao claimed the gold medal, with the Austrians in second and the Brazilian team, which led for much of the regatta, in third.
49er and 49erFX
Diego Botin and Iago Lopez (ESP) ventured into the 49er Medal Race with a strong lead and as they came through in second, a convincing victory was signed, sealed and delivered.
Portugal’s Jorge Lima and Jose Costa had an outside chance of overthrowing the Spaniards but Lopez felt no worries as he explained, “For us we had to take control of the Portuguese guys today. We had a 12-point advantage so we wanted to control them with some tactics to win.
“We finished second, which was a really good result for us and we won. We’re really happy.”
Lima and Costa settled for silver and Carl P Sylvan and Marcus Anjemark (SWE) completed the podium.
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) had gold all sewn up before the Medal Race so the pressure was off.
The real battle in the 49erFX was for silver and bronze with Jena Mai Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN) and Lisa Ericson and Hanna Klinga (SWE) split by one point.
Hansen and Salskov Iversen were sublime in the Medal Race. Chased by the Swedes they did not let up. They led from the off and used their superior boat speed to pull away and claim a well deserved silver medal.
From now on, it’s full on to Rio 2016 with World Cups, World Championships and continental championships coming thick and fast before the flame is lit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 August 2016.
The 470s, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 and RS:Xs will have to reset quickly with their World Championships taking place in February. The remaining fleets will hold theirs later on this year.
London 2012 Olympic Games women’s pole vault champion Jenn Suhr added a centimetre to her own world indoor record * when she cleared 5.03m at the Golden Eagle Multi and Invitational in Brockport, New York state, on Saturday (30).
Her previous world indoor record of 5.02m came in Albuquerque on 2 March, 2013.
Four Asian sides – India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka –advanced to the Super League quarter-finals of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh with their second successive wins on Saturday.
India and Nepal, which took the two top spots in Group D at the expense of New Zealand and Ireland, will clash on Monday in their last league match to decide the group winner. The match will be produced by the ICC TV and will be aired around the world by 15 broadcasters.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka advanced from Group B, which also included Afghanistan and Canada, and will play each other on Wednesday, February 3, to determine who tops the group. This match will be produced by the ICC TV and will be aired around the world by 15 broadcasters.
Nepal rode on a five-wicket haul by leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane – which included the first hat-trick in the tournament – to defeat Ireland by eight wickets and confirm its maiden appearance in the quarter-finals.
Ireland was tied down to 131 for nine after electing to bat and Nepal, which had stunned New Zealand in its opening match, coasted home in the 26th over with Yogendra Karki making 61.
Lamichhane had Lorcan Tucker and Adam Dennison caught off successive balls in his fourth over and then bowled Fiachra Tucker with his next delivery to complete the hat-trick.
“What was more important than the hat-trick was that we won an important game and qualified for the quarter-finals,” said Lamichhane. “I hope we can continue the same way in other matches.”
Nepal’s captain Raju Rijal said qualifying for the quarter-finals meant a lot to his nation.
“I am sure there will be a lot of celebrations back home because cricket is very popular in our country,” said Rijal. “Performances like these will inspire more people to play the game in Nepal.
“The team spirit is very good and we enjoy each other’s success. The target now is to get past the quarter-finals also.”
Ireland captain Jack Tector blamed his team’s low total on the regular fall of wickets. “The hat-trick really did us in and our batsmen could not get enough runs on the board.”
India, sent into bat by New Zealand in Mirpur, piled up 258 for eight with Sarfaraz Khan top-scoring with 74 for the second time in the competition. Rishabh Pant made 57 and Armaan Jaffer scored 46.
But Mahipal Lomror stood out with a fine all-round display as he followed up his 45 with the bat with five for 47, which bundled New Zealand out for 138 in the 32nd over.
Seamer Avesh Kumar, who took three wickets in his first four overs to reduce the Kiwis to five for three, finished with four for 32. He was later declared player of the match.
“Our first aim to make the quarter-finals has been realised, but we cannot afford to relax,” said India captain Ishan Kishan. “We need to top the group, so the match against Nepal will be very important.
“I am confident because the batsmen are in form and the bowlers too are doing well. It is good that the seamers and spinners have got used to conditions here.”
Sri Lanka survived a tense run-chase by Afghanistan before clinching victory and a place in the quarter-finals.
Skipper Charith Asalanka top-scored with 71 in Sri Lanka’s modest 184 all out, but Afghanistan was itself bowled out for 151 despite opener Karim Janat’s 40 and Waheedullah Shafaq’s 47.
Kamindu Mendis, who possesses a rare talent of bowling both right-arm off-spin and left-arm orthodox spin, claimed three wickets for 36 runs.
Pakistan scored a seven-wicket win over Canada after bowling out the unfancied rival for 178. Hasan Khan took three wickets and Shadab Khan took two.
The Pakistanis surpassed the target in the 41st over with opener Zeeshan Malik scoring an unbeaten 89 and Saif Badar 44. Zeeshan was later declared player of the tournament.
Pakistan captain Gohar Hafeez said he was satisfied with the way the tournament was progressing for his team.
“We are batting and bowling well and that is a good sign,” he said. “We will be well prepared for the Sri Lanka game because we want to win and top the group.”
The 11th edition of the biennial 16-nation tournament features nine Test-playing nations and seven Associate and Affiliate Members – Afghanistan, Canada, Fiji, Namibia, Nepal, Ireland and Scotland.
Teams have been divided into four groups with the top two in each advancing to the Super League quarter-finals and the other two qualifying for the Plate championships.
Scores in brief:
Group B: Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 33 runs in Sylhet
Sri Lanka 184 all out, 48.1 overs (Charith Asalanka 71; Shamsurrahman Wali 3-19, Karim Janat 2-37, Zahir Khan 2-36)
Afghanistan 151 all out, 44.5 overs (Waheedullah Shafaq 47, Karim Janat 40; Kamindu Mendis 3-36).
Group B: Pakistan beat Canada by seven wickets in Sylhet
Canada 178 all out, 48.3 overs (Bhavindu Adhihetty 51, Abraash Khan 44; Hasan Khan 3-36, Shadab Khan 2-44)
Pakistan 180-3 in 40.5 overs (Zeeshan Malik 89 not out, Saif Badar 44)
Group D: India beat New Zealand by 120 runs in Mirpur
India 258-8, 50 overs (Sarfaraz Khan 74, Rishabh Pant 57, Armaan Jaffer 46, Mahipal Lomror 45; Zak Gibson 3-50, Nathan Smith 2-39, Rachin Ravindra 2-41)
New Zealand 138 all out, 31.3 overs (Christian Leopard 40; Mahipal Lormor 5-47, Avesh Khan 4-32)
Group D: Nepal beat Ireland by eight wickets in Fatullah
Ireland 131-9, 50 overs (Harry Tector 30 not out; Sandeep Lamichhane 5-27, Dipendra Airee 2-18)
Nepal 132-2, 25.3 overs (Yogendra Karki 61, Aarif Sheikh 31 not out)
Group A: Bangladesh v Scotland, Cox’s Bazar
Group A: South Africa v Namibia, Cox’s Bazar
Group C: West Indies v Fiji, Chittagong
Group C: England v Zimbabwe, Chittagong
Argentina Condors scored their first WSB win of Season VI as they edged past Venezuela Caciques in spectacular fashion in Buenos Aires on Friday night. With the match tied at 2-2 going in to the final bout, Kevin Espindola kept his cool to deliver a match-winning performance, delighting the home fans.
It was the Condors’ Christian Roda who set the tone from the opening contest, stepping up against Caciques’ AMBC American Confederation Champion Yoel Finol. The Venezuelan looked to be in control in the early exchanges, but after knocking down the southpaw mid-way through the third round, Roda’s confidence visibly grew, and he powered through to take the first bout and give the hosts an unlikely advantage.
The lead was cancelled out when Brian Ivan Nunez defeated the hosts’ 20-year-old lightweight Luis Angel Cabrera. Having lost to Cabrera in Season V, Nunez was in no mood for a repeat showing, and his attacking style brought Caciques back on level terms.
The most hotly anticipated contest of the evening came in the third bout, with the experienced WSB welterweights Alberto Ignacio Palmetta and Gabriel Maestre both looking to give their sides the advantage. Southpaw Palmetta started well against Venezuela’s Pan-American Games champion, and as Maestre came back strongly the Argentinian reacted brilliantly, raising the tempo and delivering a vital win for the Condors.
It was a timely introduction for Caciques’ in-form light heavyweight Albert Ramon Ramirez, who won five out of his six bouts during last season’s campaign and never looked in trouble against Argentina’s Sergio Lebensztajn, levelling the tie at 2-2. Step forward the hosts’ Kevin Espindola who, at thirteen years younger than his opponent Edgar Munoz, boxed like a man with nothing to lose. Controlling the tempo from the outset, the Condors’ super heavyweight delivered a boxing master class to the delight of the home fans, landing enough strong punches to bring a precious win for the Argentine team in the capital.
The Nigeria Pillar of Sports, Chief Donatus Agu Ejidike, J.P has called on the Nigeria football ruling authority to step-up measures in the aspect of officiating and security to enhance validity of the results of league matches in the new season.
The Pillar of Sports made the remark when he paid a courtesy call on the Grand Patron of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN and financier of F.C Ifeanyi Ubah, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah in Abuja.
Chief Donatus Agu Ejidike who disclosed that he paid the courtesy visit as solidarity and support for Chief Ubah encouraged him not to be discouraged; but, he should remained focused in his efforts to rebrand the round leather game in Nigeria and towards the development of sports in general.
The Pillar of Sports who also doubles as the National President of Karate Federation of Nigeria said that sports promotion and development is more of social value and sacrifice, in this part of the world than profit-making ventures.
He commended Ubah for the ultra-modern stadium he is putting up in Nnewi, Anambra State which will not only attract sports championships, but also serve as breeding ground for the budding talents.
Chief Ejidike commended him equally on his tabloid, “The Authority newspaper” which has provided employment opportunities for the unemployed and added to the information dissemination sector.
However, The Pillar of Sports, declared that state governments have no business in floating professional football clubs as this at most times, serves as drainage pipe to siphon money; rather, business men and private individual should be allowed to run the clubs and make it a profit-making venture as obtainable in Europe.
He equally encouraged the Nigeria League Management Company, LMC to be more proactive in the area of officiating and security to make the results acceptable and non-controversial.
The sixth seed who won her first Grand Slam game in 2008 was at her attacking best as she jumped into an early 3-1 lead in the first set before closing it out 6-4.
“It’s my dream come true. I worked for this my whole life,” said Kerber who walked away with $3.4million AUD. She added “i had nothing to lose, but still I had to win the match. I knew that I must play the best tennis against her tonight. I was going out there to try to show really that I can play, that I can beat her”.
Serena made a lot of errors in the game (23 Unforced Errors in the first set) and was surprisingly nervous against a player who has never played in a Grand Slam final.
The top seed who admitted that Kerber has really improved her game, was unable to match Steffi Graph record of 22 Grand Slam titles.
Kerber will rise to a career high No.2 in the world when the rankings are released on Monday. She is also the first German to win the Australian Open After Steffi Graf won it twenty years ago.
Meanwhile a host of Tennis greats have congratulated Kerber on Twitter for achieving this career milestone
Ten nations in North and South America have qualified sailors for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition as fleet racing at Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella came to a close.
Sailing World Cup Miami acted as an Olympic qualifier for all ten of the Olympic classes for North and South America with 22 nations across both regions sending sailors with one aim, to book their spot at Rio 2016.
After the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships and the 2015 Class World Championships, Sailing World Cup Miami was the last chance for sailors to qualify.
The following nations have qualified in the following classes:
North – Canada
South – Chile
North – Canada
South – Chile
North – USA
South – Chile
North – USA
South – Chile
North – Canada
South – Uruguay
North – Mexico
South – Venezuela
North – Bermuda
South – Peru
North – Canada
South – Argentina
North – Canada and USA
South – Venezuela and Colombia
Great Britain’s 2.4mR sailor Helena Lucas and the Canadian Sonar team led by Paul Tingley snapped up gold in their respective fleets as Paralympic racing concluded at Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella.
Tingley and his team of Logan Campbell and Scott Lutes wrapped up gold with a race to spare after a strong series of races. Meanwhile, Lucas asserted herself in the 2.4mR with a trio of victories that ensured she took her first gold at World Cup Miami after five previous attempts.
Lucas had a shaky start, retiring from the first race of the series, but came back dominant, winning seven of ten races over the week.
A perfect final day of three race victories sealed her fate as she ended well clear of Bruce Millar from Canada in silver and USA’s Charles Rosenfield in bronze.
“It’s been a really good regatta,” said Lucas. “We have had some great winds and some good conditions in different directions. It’s made it a good regatta and we had 20 knots yesterday so it’s been great. Miami is always a really nice one to win so it’s great to start 2016 off with a win.”
Lucas won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and was the first British athlete in any sport to be selected for Rio 2016. No one has been able to defend the 2.4mR gold medal at the Paralympic Games but Lucas has a full schedule this year as she attempts to do exactly that.
“This is a good stepping stone for my preparations in September. It’s busy from now on until the Paralympic Games. I have some stuff planned in the UK in February and then from March onwards I will be at the World Cup and EUROSAF events. It’s a busy calendar from now on.”
In a Paralympic year, sailors are looking to peak and lay down a marker in the build up regattas. Those winning medals now, will be winning medals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Canadian Sonar team came off the water buoyed by their performance over a strong pack of racers. Their week featured three consecutive race wins midway through that put them in a good spot leading into the final day that featured three races.
A third and a fourth in the opening two was enough to seal gold and with the pressure off they completed the regatta with a seventh.
“It feels like the work is starting to pay off,” explained Tingley, a Beijing 2008 2.4mR gold medallist. “We are committed to the process and it takes time as a team. We have worked hard on our communication and as a result, we executed really well this week.
“The very best in the world are here and we beat the best. Gold is the reassurance we needed going into Rio.”
Australia’s Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden took second followed by Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA).
Paralympic racers have a relatively quiet period before a full on period in April and May that includes Sailing World Cup Hyeres and Weymouth & Portland as well as the Para World Sailing Championships in Medemblik, the Netherlands.
From 11:00 (EST), 16:00 (UTC) on Saturday 30 January, the Medal Races from Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella will be broadcast live on the World Sailing TV YouTube channel as well as ESPN3 in the USA.