Turkey sells out tickets
Turkey sells out of tickets for Turkey-England match
Next month's crucial European championship qualifier between Turkey and England at Istanbul's Sukru Saracoglu Stadium has been sold out, organizers said Friday, two weeks before the Oct. 11 Group 7 game. The sellout was widely anticipated as the match determines which team will advance directly to next year's Euro 2004 finals. England leads the group standings with 19 points from seven games, followed by Turkey with 18. The Anatolia news agency reported Friday that the 42,000 seats were sold out at a total revenue of 2.5 trillion Turkish lira (US$1.8 million). England has turned down its ticket allotment for the game and has warned fans not to travel to Turkey because of a history of crowd trouble between fans from the two countries. Turkish officials have promised tight security and have said English fans would not be allowed in the stadium even if they have tickets.
Play gets washed out
Rain continued to hit New Zealand's tour opener Saturday as play was washed out on the second day of a three-day match against the Board President's XI, cricket officials confirmed. Early morning showers left the outfield soggy in southern city of Visakhapatnam, the Andhra Pradesh Cricket Association said. The first day's play on Friday was restricted to 10.2 overs. The Indian Board President's team scored 23 without loss in 46 minutes of batting. Heavy rain has been lashing the coastal city of Visakhapatnam since Wednesday. New Zealand will play two tests and a one-day international series that also features world champion Australia during its eight-week tour of India.
Russia wins group title
Russia defended its title Friday in the group competition at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships to lead eight countries in qualifying for the Olympic Games next year. Russia scored a total of .50.325 points in the two exercises: five ribbons and three hoops and two balls. Bulgaria took second with 50.175 points. Italy and Belarus tied for third with 46.450 each. The top eight teams qualiyfing for the group competition at the Olympics. Two more wild card teams will be chosen. Russia took the gold in groups ahead of Greece and Ukraine. The individual all-around finals are today.
Simeoni wins 19th stage
Filippo Simeoni won the 19th stage of the Tour of Spain on Friday while Isidro Nozal's overall lead dwindled to just under two minutes. Simeoni, riding for the Domina Vacanze team, edged Denmark's Klaus Moller in a final stretch sprint, finishing the 164km leg between La Vega de Alcobendas and Collado Villalba in three hours, 51 minutes and 18 seconds. The pack, led by Cristian Moreni of Italy, finished 16 seconds back. Heras, riding for the US Postal Team, sliced more than a minute off Nozal's lead, climbing to second place overall and ending the day 1:55 minutes behind the Spaniard. Nozal finished 31st, 1:30 behind Simeoni, but that was still enough for the Spaniard to hold on to the yellow jersey for the 15th straight day.
Massu upsets Montanes
Top seed Nicolas Massu of Chile, ranked 28th in the world, defeated Albert Montanes of Spain 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 Friday in the US$380,000 Campionati Internazionali di Sicilia, the final ATP event on clay this year. No other quarterfinal matches were completed because of rain. In the day's second match, No. 8 seed Luis Horna of Peru led Spain's Oscar Hernandez two games to one in the first set when the downpour began. That match will resume Saturday morning. Other quarterfinals to be played on Saturday include No. 6 seed Alberto Martin of Spain against Argentine Franco Squillari; No. 5 seed Paul-Henri Mathieu of France against Argentine Diego Varonelli. In the final match Thursday, Argentine qualifier Diego Veronelli, playing for the first time since his upset of No. 2 seed Russian Nikolay Davydenko, needed little more than an hour to take apart Romania's Victor Hanescu, 6-4, 6-2. Veronelli is ranked 232 in the world.