S Korea seeks marathoners
South Korea’s athletics boss is open to naturalizing foreign athletes to lift the marathon standard in the country, local media reported yesterday. Hwang Young-cho won the marathon gold for the country at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, while Lee Bong-ju bagged silver four years later in Atlanta. However, in recent years South Korean athletes have failed to replicate that success, prompting the Korea Association of Athletic Federations (KAAF) to look for ways of reviving the past glory. “I’ve had extensive discussions with experts in the field on how to revive our marathon,” KAAF chairman Oh Dong-jin was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency. “To help improve our national record, giving South Korean citizenship to foreign-born athletes is considered an option.” The time of 2 hours, 7 minutes and 20 seconds set by Lee at the Tokyo Marathon in 2000 still stands as the country’s national record, something Oh was not pleased about. “In Kenya, I understand there are more than 3,000 marathoners who can clock about 2 hours, 10 minutes,” Oh said. “In South Korea, only Jeong Jin-hyeok is able to do about 2 hours, 9 minutes to 2 hours, 11 minutes, but others are well behind. We can’t compete internationally with that.”
Inter get extra-time win
Andrea Ranocchia scored in the last minute of extra-time to give Inter a 3-2 Italian Cup win over Bologna, whose fightback from two goals down proved in vain on Tuesday. Bologna had scored twice in the last 10 minutes of normal time to stun a sparse San Siro crowd in the quarter-final tie, after Fredy Guarin and Rodrigo Palacio had put Inter in control with long-range goals. Bologna suddenly came to life as Alessandro Diamanti pulled one back with a free-kick in the 80th minute and Manolo Gabbiandini equalized four minutes later, volleying in Marco Motta’s cross. Both teams could have won the game, with Javier Zanetti hitting the post for Inter and Bologna having several chances on the break, before Ranocchia headed in from a corner at the end of extra-time to earn Inter a semi-final against AS Roma or ACF Fiorentina.
Saint-Etienne in final
AS Saint-Etienne qualified for their first final in more than 30 years when they won their French League Cup semi-final against LOSC Lille Metropole on penalties after a 0-0 draw at home on Tuesday. Six-times French Cup winners Saint-Etienne, who already beat Paris Saint-Germain on penalties after a goalless draw in the quarter-finals, had not featured in a final since 1982. They are to face Stade Rennais or Montpellier Herault at Stade de France on April 20. St Etienne, who had the best chances throughout, were on the brink of being eliminated, but Lille’s midfielder Florent Balmont missed his penalty to keep them alive. They eventually won 7-6 after Idrissa Gueye’s attempt flew well above the crossbar.
Rogic to join Celtic
Young Australian playmaker Tomas Rogic is to leave the A-League to join Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic, his Central Coast Mariners team said yesterday. The 20-year-old midfielder, who recently made his international debut for Australia, had trials with the European club earlier this month at their mid-season training camp in Spain. “Central Coast Mariners FC wish to officially advise that terms have been agreed for the transfer of Tomas Rogic to Celtic FC,” the club said in a statement. Rogic had also been a target for English Premier League club Reading.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very