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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Kaizer Chiefs beat United
Manchester United were beaten on penalties in their final game on tour in South Africa, losing 4-3 after a 0-0 draw with Kaizer Chiefs in Pretoria on Saturday. The two sides were playing the final of a challenge event set up for the tour of the English club, who had won previously against Chiefs on Tuesday and beaten Orlando Pirates 4-0 in Durban last Saturday. Manchester United, without any of their World Cup players, missed several good chances to wrap up the result inside 90 minutes before Chiefs' goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez turned hero for his club with a penalty stop and then the decisive kick against United's Ben Foster in the shootout.
Petrenko dies in car crash
Russian international Alexander Petrenko has died in a car crash, his basketball club Khimki said on Saturday. Petrenko, 30, his wife and both of her parents died when his car smashed into a truck on a motorway near the Volga River city of Samara in central Russia on Friday evening. Petrenko's daughter survived and was rushed to hospital in critical condition, local media reported. The Kazakhstan-born power forward made a name for himself in 2000-2002 when he played for Russian champions CSKA Moscow before joining Superleague rivals Khimki the following season.
Bourdais clinches pole
Defending champion Sebastien Bourdais stayed atop qualifying for the second straight day and won the pole on Saturday for the West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix at City Center Airport. It was his fourth pole of the season and the 22nd of his Champ Car World Series career, consolidating his provisional No. 1 sport with a lap of 58.560 seconds (195.157kph) on the 3.17km, 14-turn temporary circuit. Bourdais started 10th in last year's race and only won because both AJ Allmendinger and Justin Wilson, then RuSport Racing teammates, both crashed late in the race. "There's a lot to be said about having track position here and I'm glad we got it, but any of the three of us could have been on the pole," Bourdais said, gesturing to runner-up Paul Tracy and third-place Wilson. Tracy would have been on the pole with a lap of 58.553 seconds had he not caused the first of three red flags in the 30-minute session on Saturday when an electrical failure caused him to spin and back into a tire wall.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on