Becks wants more caps
Former England captain David Beckham confirmed his desire to extend his international career yesterday. The 32-year-old said he is not planning to quit the national team with 99 caps. "I want to go on and I believe I can," he said. "I've got the experience and passion to still play for my country. I hope when the next manager comes in he will give me the chance."
Hamburg take points
Hamburger SV shook off the news last week that coach Huub Stevens will leave the team and beat Hansa Rostock 2-0 on Sunday in the Bundesliga. Rafael van der Vaart scored in the 19th minute and Ivica Olic headed in the second in the 61st as Hamburg moved even with Werder Bremen. Both are just a point behind leader Bayern Munich. Stevens, given much of the credit for turning Hamburg into a winning side, will coach PSV Eindhoven next season to be close to his ailing wife in the Netherlands. Van der Vaart finished Hamburg's first chance, taking a pass from Romeo Castelen and rifling a low shot inside the opposite post. Olic headed in Piotr Trochowski's cross as Hamburg had an easy time against Rostock, a slot above the relegation zone. Also on Sunday, FC Nuremberg extended Borussia Dortmund's winless streak to five matches with a 2-0 win.
Bal clinches top spot
American swimmer Randall Bal won the 50m backstroke in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on Sunday to clinch first place in the overall short-course World Cup final. Bal clocked 23.62 seconds to total 186 points and take home US$100,000 in prize money. Stefan Nystrands of Sweden was second with 101 points. Thiago Pereira of Brazil, who won the 200m medley in 1 minute, 54.58 seconds, came third with 96 points. In the women's event, Therese Alshammar of Sweden, who won the50m butterfly in 25.69 seconds, took first place with 160 points to earn the same prize money. Natalie Coughlin, who won the 100m medley in 59.81 seconds on Sunday, was second with 110 points. Marleen Veldhuis of the Netherlands was third with 65 points. Sunday's event was the seventh and last meet of the competition that began on Oct.19 and was held in seven cities around the world.
■ Rugby Union
Henry to fight for job
Graham Henry has decided to fight for his job as All Blacks rugby coach, adding his name to a list of candidates for the position before applications closed yesterday. Henry and co-coaches Wayne Smith and Steve Hanson guided the All Blacks to outstanding success in three years from 2003, before presiding over New Zealand's worst-ever World Cup campaign in France this year. The New Zealand rugby union decided, after assessing the performance of the coaching trio earlier this month, to invite applications for the All Blacks job and to make the appointment of the next coach through a "contestable process" in which Henry was invited to participate. The union's decision amounted to a lukewarm endorsement of Henry, Smith and Hansen, who guided the All Blacks to 42 wins from 48 Tests over four years, and opened the position to other candidates. Successful Super 14 coach Robbie Deans has already applied along with Junior All Blacks coaches Ian Foster and Colin Cooper.