Six PNG weightlifters hope to qualify for 2018 Games

first_imgTo compete at next year’s Commonwealth Games in weightlifting, an athlete must now qualify as no longer can countries send a team to compete.The six PNG lifters are currently training at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute, namely Thelma Toua, Dika Toua, Morea Baru, Toua Udia, Steven Kari and Lorraine Harry.Oceania coach Paul Coffa confirmed that only fifteen lifters in the Oceania region, one per country, per category will be eligible to compete in the Gold Coast Games.In the Oceania region there are only two events this year, where an athlete can qualify.One was the Australian International Open held in Melbourne on March 17-19 and the second one is the Commonwealth and Oceania Championships on the Gold Coast from September 4-9.Four of the six lifters, Thelma and Dika Toua, Morea Baru and Toua Udia, did well competing at the Australian International Open in Melbourne.The six lifters are now looking forward and training hard in preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth and Oceania Championships.last_img read more

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Tearful David Warner apologises over ball tampering scandal

first_imgWith tears rolling down his face, Warner apologised for his part in the cheating and vowed to earn the public’s respect again.He said he now understood that he needed to make changes in his life, and he would be seeking help with that.An inquiry by Cricket Australia found that Warner came up with the plan to tamper with the ball and then instructed a junior player, Cameron Bancroft, in how he went about it.Warner said he took full responsibility for his actions, but refused to answer questions about whether other players were involved.Warner has been banned from test cricket for a year, and he said he realised he may not play cricket for Australia again.last_img

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United making worst ever PL start

first_imgAfter seven matches of the 2019-20 campaign, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have only won twice and collected nine points.They sit 10th in the table, only in the top half on goal difference, having amassed the same number of points as Burnley.United have twice had 10 points on the board at this stage of the season, in the 2018-19 and 2013-14 campaigns.9 – Manchester United’s haul of nine points from their opening seven league games is their lowest at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 1989-90 (7). Flat. #MUNARS— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 30, 2019Jose Mourinho lasted until December last term with Solskjaer installed as his replacement, initially on a temporary basis.David Moyes limped through to April before being sacked in the 13-14 season, United’s first campaign after Alex Ferguson’s retirement.last_img read more

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No panic buying at Liverpool, says Klopp

first_imgLiverpool will not be influenced by their Premier League rivals’ moves in the transfer market and will stick to their own signing plans, manager Juergen Klopp has said.Klopp’s side have added winger Mohamed Salah and England under-20 striker Dominic Solanke so far, but their spending has been put in the shade by local rivals Everton, who have splashed out more than 100 million pounds.Manchester United and City, as well as Arsenal, have also spent heavily, but Klopp has urged his team’s supporters not to get caught up in what the opposition are doing.“We cannot buy players because other teams buy players,” said Klopp after his team’s 4-0 win over Tranmere Rovers in a pre-season friendly on Wednesday.“We do our business as good as we can do it and we are convinced about the way we are going.”Egypt international Salah needs to finalise work permit issues before he can play but Solanke made his debut in the friendly and Klopp was full of praise for the under-20 World Cup winner.“He is a really skilled boy. He has to improve of course but a lot of things are already really good: first touch, movement,” Klopp said.“It is about him and the situation but I will not avoid his development. In the moment when he is strong enough he is there.“He will train with us, of course, as often as it makes sense and often as possible and then we will see.”Liverpool face third-tier Wigan Athletic in their next friendly on Friday before travelling to Hong Kong to play Crystal Palace in the Premier League Asia Trophy on July 19.last_img read more

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Premier League clubs smash own transfer spending record

first_imgPremier League clubs have broken their own spending record for the transfer window, a sports analyst group said on Wednesday, with more deals expected before business closes next Thursday.Southampton’s 15 million pound purchase of Lazio centre back Wesley Hoedt brought the overall spend by England’s 20 elite clubs to 1.184.9 billion pounds, the respected website Sporting Intelligence said.The figure exceeded the £1.18 billion pounds the clubs spent in last summer’s window.Across the 20 clubs, net spending stands at 565 million pounds, with 619.9 million pounds received. The figures do not include add-ons or agent fees.Although the biggest deal of the window was done by French club Paris St Germain, who paid Barcelona 222 million euros ($261.58 million) for Neymar, English clubs have rivalled them for overall spend with Manchester City (221.5 million pounds) leading the way, ahead of Manchester United (145.8) and Everton (139.9).Barcelona could yet emerge as the biggest spending club, however, with British and Spanish media reporting they are about to table a 138 million pound bid, including add-ons, for Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho.The Spanish club have already paid China’s Guangzhou Evergrande 40 million euros for Paulinho and been heavily linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele.Should the Coutinho deal go through, it would trigger a chain reaction with Liverpool reported to be interested in signing Southampton centre back Virgil van Dijk and Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in deals that would exceed 100 million pounds.last_img read more

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Costa without attitude – Morata era dawns at Chelsea

first_imgThe day after Diego Costa flew to Atletico Madrid after sealing his £58m move, his replacement, Alvaro Morata, scored a hat-trick in Chelsea’s 4-0 rout of Stoke City to mark the dawning of a new era at the champions.The hat-trick was the first by a Chelsea player in the Premier League since Costa’s in September 2014, but the second in a week for the Blues after Michy Batshuayi’s treble in England’s domestic EFL Cup against Nottingham Forest last Wednesday. Morata’s opener against Stoke came on two minutes when he was put through by a long ball over the top. Choosing his moment perfectly, the striker took one touch before planting a right-foot shot past keeper Jack Butland inside the post.For his second, Morata exploited an error by Glen Johnson near the halfway line to outpace his pursuers and dink the ball clinically over Butland from a tight angle on 77 minutes before completing his hat-trick five minutes later on the stretch after good work from Cesar Azpilicueta.“I am pleased for Alvaro’s performance, pleased for the performance of the team. Now he has to continue this way to be a great striker,” said manager Antonio Conte, who on Friday showed himself so enamoured by his new striker that he said he was the sort of polite young man any father would like his daughter to marry.On Saturday Conte’s words were more prosaic but equally heartfelt. “This game is very difficult — I remember last season. I think Alvaro played very well. He scored three goals. For a striker, that’s important. Michy did the same versus Forest.”Morata’s goals will surely now end all talk of Costa, who has dominated much of Chelsea’s narrative this year. Saturday’s hat-trick crowned an impressive all-round performance in which Morata held the ball up well, showed excellent control and took his goals clinically.Costa without the attitude, in other words.Morata’s record after six games is six goals and two assists. Costa also contributed to eight goals in his first six games, suggesting that Chelsea have lost nothing of their potency since his departure.And just like Costa, Morata was back in his own area heading balls to safety when required.Chelsea remain three points behind leaders Manchester City, who they play at Stamford Bridge in what could be one of the season’s formative games next Saturday.“I think we have to be focused at what we do and not others,” said Conte. “We want to fight in every competition we are playing.”last_img read more

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Locust swarms pose threat to World Cup pitches

first_imgSwarms of locusts pose a threat to Russia’s FIFA World Cup as they could attack stadium pitches and cause a “global scandal”, an Agriculture Ministry official said on Wednesday.President Vladimir Putin is hoping to use the the World Cup from June 14 to July 15 to showcase his country as a superpower at a time of frayed relations with the West over Syria and Ukraine.Matches will be played in 12 stadiums in 11 cities. Pyotr Chekmarev, head of the agriculture ministry’s crop farming department, said the pitches could be targeted by locusts during the summer months.“One way or another, we have learnt how to deal with locusts, but how do we not fall into a global scandal with locusts this year?” he said at an agricultural event in Moscow.“The whole world is coming here. Football fields are green. Locusts love it where there is lots of green. How would they not come to the place where football is being played?”Chekmarev said around a million hectares of land in southern Russia was infested with locusts, including around the World Cup host city of Volgograd.last_img read more

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Conte faces continuing uncertainty over Chelsea future

first_imgChelsea manager Antonio Conte goes into Monday night’s Premier League game at Watford with mounting uncertainty over his future amid concern the champions may miss out on a Champions League spot next season.Fourth-placed Chelsea are one point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur after an unimpressive start to the year in which they were knocked out of the League Cup by Arsenal and beaten at home in the Premier League by Bournemouth.Conte has been the subject of persistent British media reports that he will leave the club at the end of the season after publicly criticising their transfer policy.Although the 48-year-old has been linked with a return to his former job as Italy manager, Italian football federation (FIGC) assistant commissioner Alessandro Costacurta said on Sunday that he has ruled himself out.“As Conte reiterated the other day, he wants to continue working as a coach on a day-by-day basis at club level for at least the next 18 months, the length of his Chelsea contract, so he has pulled out of the running,” Costacurta said.Conte has called on the Chelsea board to end the uncertainty over his future by publicly confirming they trust in his work.One way or another he may well be disappointed.The only time Chelsea have done anything similar was in Oct. 2015 when they released a statement backing Jose Mourinho following Chelsea’s worst start to a season since 1979. Two months later the Portuguese was sacked.Conte’s methods underwent further scrutiny over the weekend when it was revealed that new signing Ross Barkley will miss Monday’s game at Vicarage Road after becoming the eighth Chelsea player to suffer a hamstring injury this season.Conte has consistently said his squad is not strong enough, although striker Olivier Giroud and defender Emerson Palmieri were recruited last week in an attempt to provide more options.Publicly at least, Conte is putting a brave face on the situation, refusing to confirm media reports he has been at odds with director Marina Granovskaia, one of owner Roman Abramovich’s most trusted employees, following November’s surprise departure of transfer chief Michael Emenalo.Conte maintains that he intends to stay until at least until next summer when his contract runs out.“We are doing the maximum for this club. If the club understands this and the club wants to extend a new contract, we can talk,” he said.“We can talk. Why not? My contract expires in 2019. My desire and my will are to continue to work with this club.”Although Conte’s position would be bolstered by a strong showing against Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16, he knows that, after 18 months in the job, he has survived longer than most at a club which has employed 10 managers in as many years.last_img read more

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No panic from Pochettino despite slow Spurs transfer window

first_imgTottenham Hotspur’s lack of activity in the transfer window is no cause for concern and the club will not be rushed into spending for the sake of it, manager Mauricio Pochettino has said.While Tottenham have tied down several key players to long-term contracts they are one of only two Premier League teams, alongside Burnley, who have yet to add to their squads.“We’re working hard trying to improve the squad,” Pochettino told reporters.“The market has only started to move very quickly after the World Cup. Be sure that we are going to do some movement but like always, we’re working hard – no rash decisions.“I’m not worried, I’m happy preparing the team to arrive in the best condition for the first Premier League game.”Tottenham, who will play AS Roma in the pre-season International Champions Cup later on Wednesday, face Newcastle United in their league opener on Aug. 11, two days after the transfer window closes.last_img read more

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