Tue, Oct 07, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Sport Briefs

AGENCIES

■CRICKET

Afghanistan beats Jersey

Afghanistan’s push toward a place at the 2011 World Cup continued on Sunday when they thrashed Jersey by 124 runs to make it two wins in two matches in the World Cricket League Division Four. Batting first, Afghanistan made 203 for 9 in 50 overs and then bowled out Jersey for 79, a performance that delighted their coach, Kabir Khan. “Everybody is very happy as we have taken one step closer to the final and the team has played very well,” he said. “Bowling-wise, I am really happy and our fielding was excellent again today. We do need to work on our batting but I was not worried because I knew 200 runs would be a winning score on this wicket.” The top two sides in the six-nation tournament here will ensure spots in Division Three with the leading two nations there progressing to the final World Cup Qualifier next April.

■HORSE RACING

Longchamp in start fiasco

Unprecedented scenes followed a starting fiasco in the first big race on Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe day at Longchamp in Paris on Sunday. As runners for the five-furlong (1km) Prix de l’Abbaye left the stalls, one of the starting gates failed to open, leaving Fleeting Spirit and jockey Ryan Moore rooted to the spot. Hungarian-trained Overdose blazed to an impressive victory but some of the jockeys who had seen the red re-call flag and were aware something was wrong had begun to ease their mounts soon after the start. As Overdose, ridden by Andreas Suborics, made his way back to the unsaddling enclosure, some jockeys followed but others, expecting a re-run, began to turn back towards the start. Stewards quickly decided the race would be re-run, but not until four hours later to give the horses a chance to recover.

■HORSE RACING

Vinokourov wants to return

Disgraced Kazakh cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov, who was banned for a year for doping at last year’s Tour de France, confirmed on Sunday that he wants to return to the sport. The 35-year-old told Belgian TV station Sporza that he wants to race again next year. “I love cycling. I want to come back because I didn’t want to end my career in this way. I feel as if I can win once again the big races.” Before returning to the saddle, however, the controversial Vinokourov faces the angry opposition of world governing body, the UCI, who have reserved the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to increase the ban which was imposed by his national federation. Various media reports claimed on Sunday that UCI president Pat McQuaid wants the Kazakh to serve a two-year ban, in line with the organization’s guidelines.

■CYCLING

Flecha wins Franco-Belge

Spaniard Juan-Antonio Flecha claimed his first notable victory this season when he won the Circuit Franco-Belge on Sunday after a final stage won by Belgian Sebastien Rosseler of Quick Step. Rosseler’s victory on the fourth and final stage put smiles back on the faces of Quick Step after their leader, former world champion Tom Boonen, crashed 75km into the ride. Boonen got back up slowly, but was apparently uninjured and looks likely to bounce back for a victory bid at the Paris-Tours classic next week. His team later said he would go for a scan on his right wrist yesterday. Flecha, who rides for the Rabobank team, began the final stage 18 seconds down on overnight leader Jurgen Roelandts, the Belgian champion who rides for Silence-Lotto. The Spaniard lost out to Rosseler in the sprint for stage victory but his efforts were enough to secure win.

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