Mon, Jul 24, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Soccer
Duff signs for Newcastle

Ireland winger Damien Duff is moving from English champions Chelsea to Newcastle United. The 27-year-old has signed a five-year contract and will be unveiled at St James' Park today, Newcastle said on their Web site on Saturday. Newcastle have lost striker Alan Shearer, who has retired, and Michael Owen will be out for most the season after injuring his knee at the World Cup. Duff joined Chelsea from Blackburn in 2003 in a ?17 million (US$31.4 million) deal and won two league titles. He played 125 games for the London club, starting 95, and scored 19 goals. At Newcastle he will join former Chelsea players Scott Parker and Celestine Babayaro.

■ Soccer

Calderon's post under threat

Real Madrid's electoral commission have recognized that president Ramon Calderon only holds the position on a provisional basis pending a decision on the validity of the postal vote, rival candidate Juan Miguel Villar Mir said on Saturday. Two days before Real's July 2 presidential election a judge backed complaints from two candidates that the postal vote should be temporarily suspended due to the lack of controls in place to guarantee their legitimacy. Calderon was named president of the nine-times European champions on July 3 after edging a victory.

■ Tennis

Ferrer and Acasuso in final

Third-seeded David Ferrer of Spain was to play fifth-seeded Jose Acasuso of Argentina in yesterday's final of the Mercedes Cup. Ferrer beat second-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-3, 7-5 to advance on Saturday, while Acasuso rallied to defeat compatriot Juan Monaco 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Ferrer broke his 20-year-old Czech opponent's serve in the opening game and closed the first set out with another break. The Spaniard had led 5-2 in the second set before Berdych broke back. But he double-faulted four times in the 12th game to lose the match after 80 minutes. It will be the fifth career final for Ferrer, while Acasuso is aiming for his fourth career title and second this season after winning at Vina del Mar.

■ Swimming

Aussie breaks US record

An Australian marathon swimmer shattered an 81-year-old record by swimming from Battery Park in New York City to Sandy Hook in just over 5 hours. Tammy van Wisse covered the 35.4km in 5 hours, 6 minutes, 48 seconds on Friday, breaking the old mark of 7:11, set by Gertrude Ederle on June 15, 1925. A holder of 11 Australian and world records, van Wisse chose this swim because Ederle, an American, was her childhood hero. Ederle was the first woman to swim the English Channel. "Although I have swum more than one-and-a-half times around the world, these 22 miles have been some of the most meaningful," van Wisse said. "Meeting the Ederle family and getting to know them helped me to swim with the spirit of Gertrude. She was a pioneer for women, a barrier breaker for all athletes and a timeless inspiration."

■ Soccer
Steaua down Rapid

A late goal from striker Daniel Oprita gave champions Steaua Bucharest a 1-0 win over arch-rivals Rapid Bucharest in the Romanian Super Cup on Saturday. Oprita's last-minute strike from a cross by defender Daniel Balan settled a match that featured 10 yellow cards. The Romanian championship gets underway on Friday.

■ Soccer

Yobo re-signs with Everton

Nigeria defender Joseph Yobo re-signed with Everton for four years on Saturday. The 25-year-old Yobo, who moved in 2002 on a season-long loan from French club Marseille before making the move permanent the following year, is now contracted to Everton through to 2010. "There was no doubt of me being happy, I wanted to stay -- but I wanted a commitment from the club," Yobo said. "At the end of the season, I spoke with the manager and he told me the ambitions of the club and that was the first step." Yobo, who has played 98 games for Everton, was captain of Nigeria at the African Nations Cup earlier this year.

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