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Boro close to Downing deal

first_imgMiddlesbrough are close to bringing former England midfielder Stewart Downing back to the Riverside Stadium from West Ham. Boro have been in talks with the Hammers for some time over their former Academy graduate, who left the club for Aston Villa in a £12million switch in July 2009. It appears he is surplus to requirements under new boss Slaven Bilic and despite interest from other suitors, including Barclays Premier League club Sunderland – with whom Downing had a loan spell earlier in his career – the Riverside seems to be his preferred destination. Head coach Aitor Karanka and his players are currently training in Marbella with the club’s medical staff on hand, meaning there could be delay in processing medical checks before a transfer could be completed. Press Associationcenter_img Press Association Sport understands that no fee has yet been agreed between the clubs, but that discussions have progressed and there is an appetite to do a deal, meaning the 30-year-old could be on his way to Teesside within days. Downing has been left out of the Hammers squad for their Europa League clash with Birkirkara on Thursday evening. last_img read more

Serena beats Venus to set Grand Slam record

first_img…back to No.1 with title 23By Ian RansomMELBOURNE,(Reuters)-Serena Williams reigned supreme in tennis’s great sibling rivalry, edging an emotion-charged clash with sister Venus to claim her seventh Australian Open tennis yesterday and a record 23rd grand slam title in the professional era.Beset by nerves early in the tense family affair, the American needed all her firepower and famed mental strength to fend off Venus, who scrapped hard to the end before going down 6-4 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena.Fourteen years after beating Venus for her maiden title at Melbourne Park, Serena’s seventh crown was sealed with a heady charge to the net that forced a desperate backhand from Venus to float wide.Eyes ablaze in joyous disbelief, Serena slumped to the court and threw her hands in the air, the world number one ranking also re-captured from Angelique Kerber.She paid tribute to Venus, her long-time doubles partner and enduring inspiration.“She’s an amazing person, there’s no way I would be at 23 without her,” said Serena, cradling the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.“There’s no way I would have anything without her.“My first grand slam started here, and getting to 23 here, but playing Venus, it’s stuff that legends are made of. I couldn’t have written a better story.”The win moved Serena past Steffi Graf on the list of all-time grand slam champions. Only Margaret Court, who watched the match from the terraces, is ahead of her on 24.Serena arrived in Melbourne with only two matches under her belt, having cut short her season to recover from injury after the U.S. Open.But she roared through the tournament without losing a set and, at the age of 35, the relentless pursuit of grand slam silverware will go on, and with sister in tow.“We’re both, like I say, 30-fun,” said Serena of their longevity.“Now I just feel like I’m satisfied with where I am, although I always want to win.”Venus, 36, had already proved an inspiration by reaching her first final since her loss to Serena at Wimbledon in 2009. It made her the oldest woman to do so at Melbourne Park since tennis went professional in 1968.BATTLING HARDShe lost her seventh of nine grand slam title deciders to her younger sister but won over the Rod Laver Arena crowd by battling hard to the finish.“Congratulations Serena on number 23, I’ve been right there with you, some of them I’ve lost right there with you,” said the seven-times grand slam champion, raising a laugh from the crowd.“Your win has always been my win, you know that.”The sisters’ combined ages added up to the ‘oldest’ grand slam final in the professional era but they ran like the teenagers they were in 1998, when they played each other for the first time in a tour match at the same tournament.Nerves weighed heavier, however, and in a tense start, both dropped serve twice in the opening four games.Serena was the worst afflicted, and she smashed her racket in a rage in the third game, having slipped behind the baseline when chasing down a ball.The game’s greatest server double-faulted three times to be broken a second time, causing a gasp from the crowd.But she soon settled to forge a 5-3 lead before sealing the set with a thumping pair of aces.Venus was quickly under siege, with Serena feasting readily on her modest second serve.Serena pounced in the seventh game, breaking her in the seventh game with a searing backhand return and she served out to love to come within a game of the title.Venus pushed hard to break back at 5-4 but flung her racket away in despair after hammering a forehand into the net to give up match point.It was all Serena needed and after a furious exchange of shots, she charged in to the net swinging to claim yet another major title.last_img read more

CAS clears American Lawson of doping, quashes ban

first_img(REUTERS) – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday annulled the four-year ban imposed on Jarrion Lawson by the sport’s governing body World Athletics, following an appeal by the American long jumper and sprinter.The 25-year-old, who was suspended last year after testing positive for the banned substance epitrenbolone, had denied any wrongdoing, saying the substance could have entered his body through the consumption of contaminated beef in June 2018.Lawson said that he ate the tainted meat at a restaurant in Fayetteville, Arkansas. An out-of-competition doping control test the next day indicated the presence of the exogenous anabolic androgenic steroid.“The CAS Panel found it more likely than not that the origin of the prohibited substance was contaminated beef consumed in a restaurant the day before the test,” sport’s highest court said in a statement.“Following a careful review and examination of the evidence and expert testimony … the panel was unanimously of the view that Lawson had established that he bore no fault or negligence for his positive finding.“As a consequence of such finding, the period of ineligibility was eliminated.”Lawson captured the long jump silver medal at the world championships in London three years ago.last_img read more

Algeria to Miss Two Star Players against Nigeria

first_imgFour victories in five games including the hard-fought win over South Africa pushed the Super Eagles to make it to the semifinal stage of the AFCON.The Algerians, on the other hand, have won four of their matches at the ongoing championships, drawing once. They have scored 10 goals, conceding only once. The last tie against Ivory Coast was won on penalties after the game ended one-all, despite lasting for 120 minutes.That victory appears to have cost the Desert Warriors more, with the team losing two players to injury.Youcef Atal was replaced by Mehdi Zeffane in the 30th minute of the encounter after picking up an injury.He would later be joined on the treatment table by Feghouli who was also replaced by Andy Delort deep into stoppage time.Both players are not expected to be fit for Sunday’s clash.Meanwhile, Rennes’ Algeria defender Ramy Bensebaini has admitted that they need to be wary of the Super Eagles when both countries face off in the semifinal of the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday evening.Given the caliber of players in the Super Eagles ranks, Bensebaini says it is not going to be easy for the new tournament favorites who beat the top ranked African nation, Senegal in the group stage.‘’We are in the semifinals and we do not think which opponent to face and which to avoid,’’ said Bensebaini to Le Buteur.‘’At this stage of the competition, all teams are formidable, especially when it comes to a top team like Nigeria who are having a great Africa Cup of Nations.‘’It is also a team composed of several good individual players. Our task looks so difficult.’’The winner of the match will play the victor of the other semifinal tie between Senegal and Tunisia.The Nigeria versus Algeria game to be played at the Cairo international Stadium begins by 8pm Nigerian time.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The Desert Warriors will be missing the services of two key players when they file out against the Super Eagles on Sunday.The two former champions meet in the semifinal of the Africa Cup of Nations.Galatasaray’s midfielder Sofiane Feghouli and Nice’s defender Youcef Atal are both unlikely to feature in the crucial game to decide who plays in the final.last_img read more

USC awaits Signing Day

first_imgIt’s not quite as important as the Super Bowl. Though the association is easy given how close they fall on the calendar, it’s not like a championship is actually won today. It probably feels like Christmas morning for college head coaches — when they find out whether they got the shiny new toy they wanted all year, or coal — walk-ons. But much like my attitude toward the consumerist nature of the holidays, I don’t like the objectification of student-athletes, so I won’t make that comparison either.Instead, I’ll say that today is the start of a very early Welcome Week for Trojan fans. Today is National Signing Day — the day we can start to search, follow and Facebook stalk a group of our next classmates. They’ll be the life of the party every Saturday in the fall, part of a cooler fraternity with a more grueling pledge process than the most exclusive houses on The Row; we’ll secretly Snapchat the back of their heads if we are so lucky to be in class with any of them.The Trojans already have a great list of commits before today’s deadline for high school seniors to sign. Twenty-one recruits have already signed national letters of intent with USC, and 13 of those recruits are on ESPN’s Top 300 recruiting list. The list is currently headlined by Chuma Edoga, one of the top-ranked offensive linemen, out of Powder Springs, Georgia, and Ronald Jones II, ESPN’s top-ranked running back, from McKinney, Texas.The question for coach Steve Sarkisian is if he can close out local talent on the final day as well as he did last year. Sarkisian’s first major accomplishment as the head coach of the Trojans was getting five-star recruits and Southern California products Adoree’ Jackson, Damien Mama and JuJu Smith to all commit to USC. All three featured prominently in this past season—Mama as a starting offensive lineman, JuJu Smith as one of the team’s best receiving targets and Jackson a cornerback with some time as a receiver and special teams threat—proving the importance of strong recruiting.The biggest potential target left undecided on the Trojan’s list is Iman Marshall, a five-star cornerback out of Long Beach Polytechnic. Though he doesn’t have the classic apostrophe in his first name like Jackson or Su’a Cravens, the star             defensiveback/linebacker hybrid who committed two years ago and is going into his junior season, Marshall certainly would fit right in with those two and make up maybe the best secondary in the country.Speaking of the All-Name Team — which is actually a list on the Sports Illustrated website — I would be really excited if the Trojans could land commitments from either Soso Jamabo, a running back/all-around athlete from Plano, Texas, or Equanimeous St. Brown, a receiver from Servite High School in Anaheim. Not only would I get a kick out of hearing those names on the loudspeakers at the Coliseum after plays, but Jamabo is apparently leaning towards UCLA and St. Brown’s mom wants him to pick Stanford, so stealing those commitments from conference rivals would be great.On a more serious note, National Signing Day serves as a chance to validate Sarkisian’s first calendar year as the director of the program. Contrary to some national commentators or columnists for this publication, I still have full faith in Sarkisian leading this program forward. His in-game decision-making has come into question, but I give criticism of that very little weight, and I think he should be judged much more by the general progress of the program.The biggest complaint was that overly cautious strategy cost the team in one-possession games. Those detractors seem to forget that SC won more one-possession games — Stanford, Arizona, Cal and Nebraska — as it lost — Boston College, Arizona State and Utah. The Boston College loss had more to do with pregame preparation than late-game strategy, but not even the legendary Pete Carroll could figure that out how to keep his team mentally an edge above an opponent every single week. If you really want to blame the Hail Mary loss to ASU on the coaching staff, then you probably didn’t watch the replay enough times.Speaking of the legendary Pete Carroll, the Super Bowl this weekend goes to show how hard certain           in-game decisions are and how easily the execution of those plays can skew the media’s judgment on the strategy of those decisions.Nobody would argue that he isn’t fit to lead the Seahawks. He turned around a USC program into a national title winner, then he did the same thing in Seattle. In 20/20 hindsight, yes, he should have overruled his offensive coordinator’s pass call, but it was not a completely irrational decision not to run it on the goal line. The Patriots had stacked the line of scrimmage to protect against the run, the Seahawks had single coverage with a rookie cornerback and nobody would have guessed that that rookie would make a game-saving interception. In fact, there’s a great article on ESPN’s sports statistics blog saying that statistically speaking, Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s decision not to call a timeout the play before the interception was even more irrational than Carroll’s call to throw, but “winning erases all sin.”The most common explanation for the Trojans’ struggles this year has been the lack of depth from recruiting sanctions—which honestly explains a lot of the conservative strategy used by Sarkisian. But for the first time in years, USC can finally recruit a full class and offer 25 scholarships. This really should make a huge difference for the program in the next couple of years, and we should even see the fruits of it this year, with some writers projecting that USC will finish in the Top 4 and make the playoffs next year.With four open scholarships still on the table, signing day should be a very exciting day for the Trojans. The NCAA has tested the patience of fans for a long time, but the Trojan Family may finally be rewarded with a consistent national contender. The Trojan recruiting class is ranked No. 6 by ESPN, but I think that will climb by the end of the day.Maybe today really is Christmas for USC fans. And we can really celebrate it this year, because finally, we’re off the NCAA’s naughty list.last_img read more

Quarter finals of Sigerson Cup today

first_imgUL will play host to Queens Belfast in a 2pm throw-in today in Limerick.Meanwhile, UCC will take-on UCD at the Mardyke from half-past two.Later this evening, IT Carlow will take-on DCU in a match that is due to throw-in at 7pm.last_img

Okpekpe Organisers Give Timeline for Registration of Athletes

first_img”To pick up your race number you will need to print a copy of your orderconfirmation email or Order Number and present a form of identification (a driver’s licence, school ID, etc.)”.Amodu who also revealed that those who are unable to make it to the pick-up venue can send a third party to pick it up for them with proper form of identification.“We feel it is important to give this registration timeline very early because of the nature of the race. It is an IAAF silver label race which means it is a world-class race comparable to all the other silver label road races across the globe.“We thus want to tidy up logistics for the administrative and technical organisation of the race very early,” said AmoduLike it was last year, this year’s edition will be the first IAAF Silver Label 10km race of the year.It will hold six days after the IAAF Gold Label Tata Consultancy Services World 10km in Bengaluru, India on May 19 and on the same day the IAAF Gold Label Ottawa 10k holds in Ottawa, Canada.The Okpekpe International 10km Road Race is organised by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, leaders in sports marketing with the technical assistance from the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Organisers of the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race have given Wednesday, May 22, as the closing date for registration of athletes for the seventh edition of the only IAAF Silver Label road running event in Africa in 2019 which holds on Saturday May 25 in Okpekpe, Edo State.Zak Amodu, the race’s Director of Organisation said the online registration for the historic race will close on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019.”Accreditation and number pick up will begin on Thursday, May 23 and end the next day, Friday May 24. It will start at 8:00 a.m. each day at Yak Hotel along Auchi-Benin Road,” revealed Amodu who insisted that there will be no accreditation on race day.last_img read more

IZIBET partnership sees Kiron Interactive launch first Virtual Sports games for Malta

first_img StumbleUpon Betgenius expands virtual sports range with Kiron August 20, 2020 Submit TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 Related Articles Share Share Genesis to appeal UKGC’s ‘disproportionate suspension’ July 23, 2020 Kiron Interactive has become the first industry supplier to service Virtual Sports provisions in Malta through its partnership with licensed retail betting operator IZIBET.The industry virtual games provider is set to service 30 IZIBET branded retail points, including the bookmaker’s flagship store at the Dragonara Casino dedicated Sports Lounge.Virtual Football was launched initially to coincide with the end of season football calendar. This will be followed shortly with Kiron’s range of virtual racing titles including horse racing, dog races and other cutting edge virtual sports events.A pleased Steven Spartinos, CEO of Kiron Interactive, was happy to announce an industry first with IZIBET “We’re delighted to team up with Gaming Operations Limited in launching our virtual sports in the Maltese market via Malta’s most extensive sports betting retail network.”“We are confident that our virtual games will prove to be as popular in Malta as they have been in other European markets such as Italy. We expect that our diverse portfolio will appeal to a whole range of players in IZIBET’s retail shops.”Franco Degabriele, Business Development Director at IZIBET, added: “We’re always looking for ways to add to our already-rich portfolio of sports betting products. We feel we’ve just added a great product with the Kiron range of Virtual Sports titles.“Our aim is to provide our punters with the best range of products possible. We are extremely excited to have brought these games to Malta and are confident that the take up for this type of sports betting will be great. To stay one step ahead of the competition, it’s important we continue to give our players fresh and new content, and we know our players will be quick to enjoy the thrills that virtual sports offer.”last_img read more

Kotoko mutually part ways with Joseph Addo

first_imgKotoko Asante Kotoko have parted ways with keeper Joseph Addo by mutual consent after two years at the club.The former Ghana youth international joined the Porcupine Warriors in the 2013/2014 season where the club won the league and cup double.Addo however had a torrid spell at the club last season losing his place to Eric Ofori Antwi and making only six appearances all season.His position in the club further came under threat after the return of Felix Annan from a loan spell at WAFA and the signing of former Berekum Chelsea keeper Ernest Sowah.His departure was confirmed by the Communications Manager of the club.“Kotoko and Joseph Addo have mutually terminated the goalie’s existing one year contract” said Communications Manager, Kwaku Ahenkorah while briefing Addo, now a free agent, is rumored to have already sealed a deal with Dormaa side Aduana Stars where he will be in the company of former Porcupines Yahaya Moahammed and Richard Mpong.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

Tributes for a boxing legend: the best quotes mourning Godwin “Alloway” Kotey

first_imgTributes have been pouring in for deceased legendary Ghanaian boxing trainer Godwin Nii Dzanie Kotey a.ka coach Alloway. The accliamed trainer died this weekend in Accra. He was 56.Leading the chain of tributes is Ghana Boxing Authority President Peter Zwennes, who feels Alloway’s contribution to sports are good enough to earn him posthumous recognition from the state and the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG). The following are Joy Sports Editor, Nathaniel Attoh’s compilation of tributes for the late trainer.“The late Coach Alloway was one of many people in the sporting fraternity who had done a lot of work in the background and contributed substantially to the progress of the sport of boxing but hardly got any recognition.” “The Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) has recognized more people in football than in boxing. The state has over the years honored mostly politicians leaving out people like Alloway who have made genuine contributions to boxing. I believe this is the right time for SWAG to honor him posthumously. Also it will be appropriate to name a national edifice after him” – Peter Zwennes Esq, President Ghana Boxing Authority.“This is a massive blow to the nation. Growing up I watched Coach Alloway train many generations of boxers. I agree with Azumah Nelson when he said that it will be difficult to replace him. We can only celebrate him by doing the right thing in Ghana Boxing. His demise has come at a time when we don’t have many distinctive coaches in the sport of boxing. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and the sporting fraternity in Ghana” – Kwabena Yeboah, President Sports Writers Association of Ghana. “This is a very painful experience in my life. He was my friend my father and my mentor. In my last fight against Gabriel Rosado in the US, his absence affected me. I worked hard and won the first four rounds. All I needed was his voice in my corner to push me and encourage me to change my strategy to win this fight. We have shared some good times together and it is difficult for me to bear the pain” – Joshua Clottey, ex IBF welterweight champion.“Coach Alloway is simply irreplaceable. He was god at what he did but interestingly very humble as well. Despite his knowledge in the sport, he was ready to learn to better his skill. This is a sad time for us all but I guess we have to look forward to tomorrow with hope. We have lost one the greatest boxing trainers of our time.” – Azumah Nelson, International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee/WBCs Greatest Super featherweight of All Time. “He inspired me a lot in the days when I was working towards becoming a world champion. He has done a lot for me and the progress of my career and played the role of a father. I learnt a great deal of lessons under him. I remember how he constantly taught with us tricks and skills that he learnt from and shared with the legendary Azumah Nelson. Every new day under Coach Alloway was a big learning experience for us. I learnt about his ill health when Joshua Clottey recently came to the US without him for his last fight against Gabriel Rosado. We have lost a very great trainer – Joseph Agbeko ex IBF Bantamweight champion.“He was a gentleman whose daily methods earned himself and the United Boxing Coaches Association of Ghana, which he led, the needed respect. He led a lot of advocacy for boxer and trainer welfare and had amazing skill which he transferred to different generations of boxers beginning from the legendary Azumah Nelson himself. As a journalist, visits to his Attoh Quarshie gym were always rewarding. He ensured that you got good interviews and left you with leads to other big stories. I recall with sadness how Coach Alloway broke down in tears together with his boxer Joshua Clottey at a news conference because he had been denied a visa to travel to the US for the mega fight against Manny Pacquiao. I could feel his pain, because I saw in his eyes the passion to prove to the world that Ghana was indeed a great boxing nation. He gave his boxers confidence and was a father figure to many of them. Our relationship went beyond journalist and news source. We related well and he will place a phone call to check on me anytime we lost touch. We pray God receive Alloway in his arms” – Nathaniel Attoh, Ring Announcer/Editor, Joy Sports“I switched my phone to see messages sent to me from my boxer Obodai Sai. I didn’t believe what I saw. He hasn’t been well and I visited him last week.I have lost a great guy. He was one of my pillars politically. He played a major role in the career of Nana Yaw Konadu. He always had a smile even under extreme provocation. We learnt the art of boxing together.” – Nii Lante Vanderuye, Dep. Minister Local Government/MP/Sports Broadcaster/former boxer    “He always had the confidence to speak the truth in a sport where people unfortunately liked cut corners and do things the wrong way.”  “I always admired him for that. He was a delight when it came to dealing with journalists. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest boxing coaches to have emerged from Ghana.  I spoke to Joshua Clottey before his last fight and he mentioned that Alloway’s absence would affect him and true to his words, it did. We have lost a great treasure and will pray God to give us more of his kind.” – Worlanyo Wallas – Rainbow Radio  –last_img read more