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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blues bounce back against Man United

Chelsea came from a goal behind against champions Manchester United to extend their unbeaten home Premier League record to 85 matches with a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge here on Sunday.Park Ji-Sung gave United an 18th minute lead when, after Dimitar Berbatov’s shot was parried by Chelsea keeper Petr Cech, he slotted the loose ball home. But unmarked substitute Salomon Kalou drew Chelsea level 10 minutes from time when he headed in a free-kick from Frank Lampard.The final score saw the Blues move to with a point of leaders and London rivals Arsenal as they went above Liverpool and into second place on goal difference. Champions League holders United were left seven points behind Arsenal and six adrift of Chelsea.On Saturday, Arsenal surged to the top for the first time this season after coming from behind to beat Bolton 3-1. Goals from Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner and Denilson sent the Gunners clear on a day when Liverpool’s title credentials were dented by their goalless draw against newly-promoted Stoke.Fulham’s strong start to the season was checked by a 1-0 loss at Blackburn. Managerless and up-for-sale Newcastle dropped to second-from-bottom of the table after a 3-1 defeat at West Ham. Sunderland won 2-0 over local rivals Middlesbrough.La LigaMADRID: Atletico Madrid capped a fantastic week with a 4-0 home victory over Recreativo Huelva on Saturday to go second in the Spanish La Liga.After demolishing PSV Eindhoven 3-0 on Tuesday in their first Champions League match for 11 years, Atletico crushed Recreativo by one goal more. Atletico lie behind Espanyol who return to the summit despite a 1-1 draw with Getafe, which ended their 100 per cent start to the season.Argentina’s Sergio Aguero opened the scoring for Atletico before Portuguese schemer Maniche added the second. French striker Florent Sinama Pongolle scored twice in the final 13 minutes to down his former club.Serie AROME: AS Roma lifted the gloom surrounding the Stadio Olimpico by claiming their first win of the season at the fourth attempt in a 3-0 home success over Reggina.Veteran defender Cristian Panucci opened the scoring at the end of the first half and a rocket from Alberto Aquilani doubled the advantage soon after the break before substitute Simone Perrotta struck the third goal with the last kick of the match.In the day’s other game Catania ended Atalanta’s 100 per cent start with a 1-0 victory in Sicily. Michele Paolucci scored the only goal of the game on 59 minutes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gurung wins double gold

Shila Gurung of Kathmandu Valley claimed two gold medals at the 10th Galaxy Cup Age-group Swimming Championship here at the Satdobato Swimming Complex today.Gurung claimed the championships in the U-10 girls’ 50m butterfly and 50m backstroke event. Mahesh Jirel of Little Angels (LA) also struck double gold in the boys’ U-17 100m backstroke and 50m breaststroke. Likewise, Jay Prakash Gurung of Kathmandu Valley won the U-12 boys’ 50m butterfly gold and Banin Shensah of Baba Boarding clinched the 50m backstroke (U-14 boys).Other winners include Sirish Gurung of Shuvarata in 50m backstroke (U-10 boys), Milan Thapa of Little Angels in 50m butterfly (U-17 boys), Pravesh Adhikari of Baba in 50m backstroke (U-12 boys), Pratistha Shrestha of LA in 100m freestyle (U-17 girls), Jitjwali Maharjan of LA in 50m butterfly (U-12 girls), Sonia Gurung of LA in 50m breaststroke (U-17 girls), and Shreya Dhital of Lincoln School in 50m butterfly (U-14 girls).Khim Bahadur KC of Nepal Army won the Men’s Open 200m freestyle gold medal. Two other armymen also won gold in the Men’s Open section. Chandra Singh Mahato claimed the 100m butterfly gold and Puspa Raj Shahi won the 50m backstroke championship for Nepal Army.Bibidha Rimal clinched the Women’s Open 100m backstroke title while Karishma Karki won the 50m butterfly gold. Sudha Shrestha became the 50m breaststroke champion in the Women’s Open section.In all, 153 boys and 55 girls in the Age-group and 51 swimmers in Open Section are participating in the three-day tournament organised by Nepal Swimming Association. Member Secretary of the National Sports Council Jeevan Ram Shrestha among others gave away the awards.

Monday, September 15, 2008

NPC leaves for Kyrgyzstan

The Nepal Police Club (NPC) today left for Kyrgyzstan to participate in the final round of the fourth AFC President’s Cup Football Tournament.The NPC, who qualified for the semi-finals as the Group B runners up from the first-round held in Malaysia, will take on Dordoi Dynamo of Kyrgyzstan on September 19. The other semi-final pits Regar TadAZ of Tajikisthan and Ashgabat of Turkministan. The final is slated for September 21. All the matches will be held at the Bishkek Central Stadium, home ground of Dordoi Dynamo.In the three first round matches in Malaysia, the NPC defeated Abhami Limited of Bangladesh 4-0, played a 1-1 draw against WAPDA of Pakistan and hold Regar TadAZ of Tajikistan 2-2 to finish runner up behind Regar TadAZ.The AFC President’s Cup is the tournament for the league champions of the 16 ‘C’ category Asian nations. The NPC earned the chance to participate in the AFC President’s Cup for the second straight year after the ANFA’s failure to hold the league last year. The NPC had reached the final last year in Pakistan. Nabil Three Star Club reached the semi-finals in the first edition held in Kathmandu in 2005, while Manang Marsyangdi Club could not advance beyond the group stage in 2006.DIG Sharada Bhakta Ranjit and All Nepal Football Association President Ganesh Thapa bade farewell to the team and officials. SSP Tapendra Dhoj Hamal is the team manager of the 19-member squad that comprises 16 players. Ramesh Budhathoki is the skipper of the team, while Birat Krishna Shrestha is the coach and Anil Adhikari his assistant.Ananta Raj Thapa, Rakesh Shrestha, Tika Ram Karki, Jumanu Rai, Bhola Nath Silwal, KunjanNagarkoti Shrestha, Dipendra Poudel, Suman Subedi, Parbat Pandey, Ritesh Thapa, Chetan Ghimire, Roshan Karki, Bishal Shrestha and Rabin Shrestha are the players in the team.Coach Shrestha said the team was in good shape to compete in the tournament. “I won’t say the preparation was very good, but I can say for sure that the team is good,” said coach Shrestha. Asked about the team strategy, Shrestha said he would study the opponents’ game first and set the strategy accordingly.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Real Madrid win Supercup

Real Madrid won the Spanish Supercup for the first time since 2003 with a 4-2 win at home over Valencia with goals by Ruud van Nistelrooy, Sergio Ramos, Ruben de la Red and Gonzalo Higuian.The Spanish champions headed into the return leg of the tournament — which is contested each year between the league champions and the winners of the King’s Cup — with a 3-2 deficit.Valencia midfielder David Silva, who helped Spain to win Euro 2008, opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with an accurate shot that slipped in the left side of the net as Real keeper Iker Casillas looked on helplessly. Real striker van Nistelrooy equalised four minutes into the second half with a penalty kick that slid past the right side of Valencia goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand. The Spanish champions were awarded the penalty due to a goal-line incident involving Valencia defender Raul Albiol.Real Madrid took the lead in the 77th minute with a confusing and contested goal by defender Sergio Ramos from close range. De la Reg scored in the 85th minute from 35-yard with Higuain adding the club’s fourth goal three minutes later. Morientes managed to score a second for Valencia in the dying minutes of the match following a pass from David Villa.Players and observed a minute of silence before the start of the match as a mark of respect for the 154 people who died after a Spanair jet crashed on Wednesday at Madrid airport shortly after takeoff.Real coach Bernd Schuster was without a number of players. Midfielder Wesley Sneijder, defender Fabio Cannavaro, striker Javier Saviola and defenders Michel Salgado and Christoph Metzelder missed the match due to injury. Argentine midfielder Fernando Gago and Brazilian defender Marcelo were absent due to their participation at the Olympics in China for their national squads.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Curtain down as China top medal tally

The Beijing Olympics, played out against a background of political intrigue and featuring 16 days of compelling and controversial action, drew to a spectacular close today.International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge described the Games as “truly exceptional” in a lavish closing ceremony at the Bird’s Nest stadium which culminated in the handing over of the Olympic flag to Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, which will host the 2012 edition. Former England football skipper, David Beckham booted a ball off the top of a London bus before the Olympic flame was extinguished.The Games saw China depose the United States as the new sports superpower but the final day started with Kenyan Samuel Wansiru relishing the heat to record an historic first Olympic marathon for the African nation.Zou Shiming won China’s first ever boxing gold and his country’s 50th gold of the Games when he claimed the light-flyweight title. At the end of the 16 days of competition and 302 events, China had 51 gold medals, 15 more than the United States on 36, with Russia winning 23 and Great Britain 19. It is the first time China have won the gold medal count, although in total medals the US have 110 to China’s 100.Wansiru, striding to Kenya’s first marathon success, celebrated in the hot sun as he broke the 24-year-old Games record while those around him wilted. Kenya may have won according to the script but the principal actors were different as the outstanding Martin Lel, a triple London marathon winner, faded to fifth and it was half-marathon specialist Wansiru who pulled through. Wansiru won in 2:06:32, ahead of Jaouad Gharib of Morocco (2:07:16) and Tsegay Kebede of Ethiopia (2:10:00).There was success for Mongolia in the bantamweight final when Badar-Uugan Enkhbat won their first ever boxing gold beating Cuba’s highly fancied Yankiel Leon 15-5. It was a miserable Games for traditional ring titans Cuba and the United States. Cuba failed to get a gold despite eight of their boxers reaching the semi-finals, while for the first time no USA boxer made the finals and they ended with a solitary boxing bronze.The United States beat defending champions Spain in men’s basketball as expected but the match was closer than the final 118-107 scoreline suggested. The United States picked up further gold beating Brazil 3-1 in the men’s volleyball final.Earlier, Rogge said that overall “the IOC was extremely pleased” with the Games. “More than 40 world records were set, more than 100 Olympic records, and of course we had the two icons of the Games, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.”For China, the investment of more than $40 billion on the Games reaped handsome rewards. They not only topped the gold medal count, but a near flawless organisation meant the controversies that marred the build-up largely slipped into the background.Phelps, with his unprecedented eight gold medals and seven world records, and Bolt, the fastest man on earth winning three gold medals with three world records, were the headline stories.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lama claims national chess championship

Surbir Lama claimed the 15th National Rating Chess Tournament after winning the ninth and final round against Balram Napit on Saturday.Napit had one point lead going into the final round and he only needed a draw over Lama to win. But Lama, who has never lost to Napit in their previous meetings, kept his nerves to win the deciding round played under Swiss League system. This was the first national title for Lama in 13 years.The win in the final round meant both Lama and Napit were tied on 7.5 points but Lama won the championship on better progressive points. “This is the greatest achievement in my sports career,” said jubilant Lama. Lama have represented Nepal at the 2004 Chess Olympiad in Spain and 15th Asian Games in Doha.Sujendra Prasad Shrestha finished third after beating former national championKeshav Shrestha. Sujendra Prasad also had 7.5 points but he was placed third due to weaker progressive points than the top two players.Likewise, Bhagwati Prasad Sharma came fourth as he overcame Binod Gyawali in the final round. Manish Hamal, Rajendra Bajracharya, Uttam Raj Thapa, Badri Lal Nepali, Bilam Lal Shrestha and Prem Krishna Maharjan ended up fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bista ready to play

Nepali taekwondo star Deepak Bista is gearing up to fight against a tough opponent, Saei Hadi of Iran in the welterweight category first-round bout at the Beijing Olympic Games on Thursday.“The physical training is over and now I am preparing myself mentally for the match,” Bista told The Himalayan Times in a telephonic conversation from Olympic Village in Beijing. “I will play with full confidence and try my best,” said Bista.Asked about the game plan against the Athens Olympics gold medallist and Sydney Olympics bronze winner, Bista said he would initially adopt defensive strategy. “He (Hadi) is an aggressive player and there is no point going offensive against such a player. I will follow the instruction of my coach (Kwon Hyouk Joung) as we might have to change the strategy after each round,” said Bista, the three-time South Asian Games gold medallist and two-time Asian Games silver medallist.Bista, however, added that he might switch to offensive play if the situation demands him to do so. “Hadi is a class player. But that does not mean I have to worry about the bout. Anyone can beat anyone in taekwondo and I am also capable of beating anyone,” said Bista. “My coach has asked me to play my natural game and use the tactics I have learnt during the training,” he said.Bista, only the second player in Nepal’s sports history to qualify for the Olympics after SanginaBaidya, also a taekwondo player, was confident of winning a medal for the country. “The country and the people have expected a lot from me as I have won many medals in the past and I will try my best not to let them down,” he said. “I will play confidently and if the luck is on my part tomorrow, I will win a medal for the country,” he said.