ONOC Secretary General Ricardo Blas says the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed last November between ONOC, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and hosts of the 5th AIMAG, Turkmenistan National Olympic Committee opens up a lot of opportunities for associate members.“Now they have an opportunity such as Tahiti, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna to actually come here and field a large team using the umbrella of their sporting community.“So for Tahiti you know they are going to walk into the stadium two years from now and really identify their representation with their country and not necessarily be imposed by the French political alignment that they currently in today,” Blas said.ONOC President Dr Robin Mitchell, Blas and representatives from American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, Tahiti (French Polynesia), Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Niue, Northern Marianas, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu were guests at the 34th OCA General Assembly in Ashgabat. The General Assembly chaired by OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah brought together the 45 National Olympic Committees of Asia and Oceania under one roof.“To see the rest of us come together here in Turkmenistan and to have a better understanding of whats in it for them, what are the opportunities are for them and to march in a platform that basically equal their representation with the rest of the sporting community that includes Asia and to be included in this programme is a big opportunity for all of us. “And not just one particular NOC or associate member, it includes the entire Oceania family and I’m very proud that between Dr Mitchell our president who takes the lead in moving the charge forward, gives us all that opportunity and the relationship we have with Asia- Sheikh Ahmad (President of OCA) who really was the architect behind the invitation of the ONOC members.“I’m very proud to be a part of this historical moment participating and supporting our President Mitchell as he leads the delegation two years from now to the stadium, marching the entire Oceania family and that’s the beauty about this whole process. Its all about us in the family.“You know the reality is that coming here is gonna cost a lot of money so we gotta plan today and focus our support for the athletes who are gonna come here. “For many of the sports this will be their Olympic Games. This level is gonna be higher and I believe we can be competitive.”Australia and New Zealand were not represented at this gathering.Most of the Oceania delegates are optimistic that they will be able to send athletes to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in two years time.
The Eastern End consists of teams from Morobe, Eastern Highlands, Chimbu, Jiwaka, Southern Highlands, Central, National Capital District and Port Moresby.A total of eight teams will compete in the finals.The first game on Saturday will see Okapa Hawks play Huon Gulf Ravens, followed by Sine Suai Brothers taking on Pokana Jets.The afternoon matches will see Six-Mile Storms battle Kamkumung Crushers and later Morobe Chiefs will play Gumine Wisomo.On Sunday, the winner of game one will take on winner of game four, and the winner of game two will play winner of game three in the qualifying finals.Winners from these two matches will advance to the grand final in April at Wabag for a shot at K100,000 prize money.
Naru said after three solid years in waiting, they have made it through and commended the team for putting up a spiritual fight with a convincing 14-8 victory over reigning premiers, Rabaul Agmark Gurias.”We have come after four elusive years. Credit to all our players, coach and team officials. Big thank you to our major Lae Biscuit Company and all the other supporting sponsors.”With that, all praise and thanks to God.”Naru, who was with the major sponsor watching the game live at the Sir John Guise Stadium, said this was their second big win this year. This was after soccer paved the way with Lae City Dwellers winning the Telikom-sponsored National Soccer League title.He said Team Morobe will seal off everything with their PNG Games win in West New Britain later this year.”We aim to complete the trifecta of trophies and championships by putting the icing on the cake and cement Morobe as a champion sports province by winning the PNG Games in Kimbe later this year. We can simply do it,” Naru said.The Governor early last week presented a cheque of K20,000 to Lae Snax Tigers to prepare for this win. read more
Poreporena batted first and posted a target of 218 for victory at Amini Park in front of a decent crowd of close to 1000.This was thanks to a superb knock of 39 runs from opening batsman John Ovia.The pick of the bowlers for Hoods was Hitolo Areni who finished with 3/25 off his four overs. He was also assisted by Rodney Maha with 2/9.In their run chase, Hoods did it easy chasing down the target after 16.4 overs of play with opener Ratu Maha top scoring with 68 runs.In the women’s division grand final, Poreporena beat United by 12 runs.
D + B Hayes + T Dabernig A Wohler Barrier 7 11 16 O Couretil W Mullins W Mullins S Baster 6 22 J O’Brien F Dettori 18 Humidor 3 H Palmer C Waller 21 19 J Cummings D + B Hayes + T Dabernig Tiberian D Weir R Hickmott 1 Jockey M Walker C Brown B Mertens Almandin Hartnell K McEvoy 20 D Weir 22 5 13 R Hickmott 23 K O’Hara 1 14 6 2 16 Trainer D Weir J Spencer 24 10 17 H Bowman 3 Who Shot Thebarman (SCRATCHED) N Olive J Moreira T Berry 23 12 C Waller 9 8 18 Big Duke 13 Gallante 11 4 Wall of Fire B Melham 8 20 D Yendall Boom Time G Schofield A O’Brien 4 G Boss The five-year-old bay horse, trained by Hughie Morrison in Berkshire in England, has come in for increased attention since flashing home to be sixth behind Boom Time in the Caulfield Cup.Marmelo had the fastest sectionals — times for the last 200 metres — in the race, covering the final furlong in 11.79 seconds.The British horse had already caught the eye with a solid win in one of the key Cup lead-up races in Europe, the Prix Kergorlay at Deauville in France in August.Last year’s winner, Almandin, has drifted out in the market to $9, and another local, the Darren Weir-trained Humidor, has gone out to $10 from $9.Aside from Marmelo, the other main mover 24 hours out from the Cup is Rekindling, the Joseph O’Brien-trained stayer, who, like Almandin, is owned by Lloyd Williams.Rekindling was $16 after drawing barrier four on Saturday, but is now in to fifth favourite at $12.Max Dynamite, the Willie Mullins-trained horse who came second in the 2015 Cup and has been receiving top reviews for his work at Werribee, remains steady at $15.The streets of Melbourne will come to a standstill today for the traditional Cup parade, followed by the Call of the Card, where people will get a better idea of who the money is coming for in this year’s race.Melbourne Cup drawHorse Cismontane C Parish 9 15 Libran Red Cardinal I Jardine 10 7 Johannes Vermeer Wicklow Brave 19 C Williams H Morrison Single Gaze Max Dynamite 12 M Dee W Mullins Nakeeta Thomas Hobson O Peslier B Shinn 5 N/A 2 J O’Brien D Lane Ventura Storm 14 D Dunn US Army Ranger Z Purton 17 15 Number R Hickmott Marmelo Rekindling Amelie’s Star B Avdulla 21 Bondi Beach G Waterhouse + A Bott read more
Joseph Parker’s promoter David Higgins looks set to head to Britain for face-to-face talks to seal a world heavyweight boxing title unification fight with Anthony Joshua that now looks to be heading for a major stadium.”We feel like there is a deal that can be in place with Parker and his team within the next week or so,” Joshua’s boss Eddie Hearn Hearn told Sky Sports on Thursday.”There’s a good chance [Parker’s promoter] David Higgins will fly over in the next week to try and close the deal.”Sometimes when you’re this close you need to get face-to-face and eye-to-eye. Work on it, keep talking, no one goes home until you make the deal.”And it seems Team Parker’s pleas for a bigger promotion are winning favour with plans to have the fight in London’s premier indoor stadium now being replaced by what could be a massive outdoor crowd if a venue can be found.”We looked at The O2 but if it’s a unification against Parker, why have a 16,000 attendance when you could have 80,000? We have looked at the Principality Stadium and Twickenham. Major football stadiums don’t want you using the pitch during the season,” Hearn said.Wales and England both wrap up their Six Nations rugby programmes with home matches at those venues on March 17.The two camps have been in talks for several weeks now but appear to be getting very close. Hearn believes it is achievable and emphasised that WBO champion Parker is the preferred unification option over American Deontay Wilder, the WBC belt holder, right now. But he wants things worked out as quickly as possible to keep Joshua, the IBF and WBA champion, on course for a busy 2018.”There are two perfect fights for AJ – Parker and Deontay Wilder. The Wilder fight is unrealistic because of what they want. The Parker fight is a lot closer,” Hearn told Sky Sports.”Parker is the frontrunner, he’s the guy we want. But we can’t be in a position where this goes on for three weeks then falls through.”We’ve got two weeks until we need to start making offers to other fighters, apart from Parker.”There is no deadline but we want to fight at the end of March or the first week of April.”You are only one phone call away from a completed deal.” Photo by: PHOTOSPORT. Caption: Joseph Parker’s promoter David Higgins has always believed a unification fight with Anthony Joshua in the UK could be massive and it looks like he may get his way. read more
Burnley midfielder Joey Barton has been suspended from the game for 18 months with immediate effect after admitting to an FA misconduct charge over betting on matches.Barton, who said he will appeal the length of his ban, was charged with placing 1,260 bets on football matches or competitions from 26 March, 2006, to 13 May, 2016, in breach of FA rules which outlaw gambling on games.The FA said in a statement that the 34-year-old was suspended from “all football activity” with immediate effect, fined 30,000 pounds ($38,500) and warned as to his future conduct.There was no suggestion that Barton was involved in match-fixing.In a statement, Barton, who says he has struggled with an addiction to gambling, noted that in a “handful” of cases he had bet on his own club to lose games but only when he was not selected to play for the team.He said that since 2004 he had made over 15,000 bets across a whole range of sports with about 1,200 placed on football and that his betting account did not attempt to hide his identity.“I am very disappointed at the harshness of the sanction. The decision effectively forces me into an early retirement from playing football. To be clear from the outset here this is not match fixing and at no point in any of this is my integrity in question,” he said in a statement.“I accept that I broke the rules governing professional footballers, but I do feel the penalty is heavier than it might be for other less controversial players,” said the midfielder, who was involved in violent incidents earlier in his career.“I have fought addiction to gambling and provided the FA with a medical report about my problem. I’m disappointed it wasn’t taken into proper consideration,” he said.In his lengthy statement Barton also pointed out the heavy involvement of the gambling industry in British football where bookmakers act as sponsors at several levels.“That all means this is not an easy environment in which to try to stop gambling, or even to encourage people within the sport that betting is wrong,” he said.The former Manchester City and Newcastle United midfielder, who made one appearance for England in 2007, helped Burnley win promotion to the Premier League last season and returned to the club in January after a brief spell with Glasgow Rangers.Burnley are 16th in the league standings, five points above the relegation zone with four games left to play. read more
First-half goals from Spaniards Diego Costa and Marcos Alonso and a tap-in by Nemanja Matic propelled exuberant Chelsea to within three points of clinching the Premier League title on Monday and condemned Middlesbrough to relegation.Costa got his 20th league goal this season, controlling a ball lofted into the area by compatriot Cesc Fabregas and neatly nutmegging keeper Brad Guzan. Two Spaniards were involved in the second goal, Cesar Azpilicueta feeding Alonso to score.With Antonio Conte’s team buzzing, Matic put away the third in the 65th minute to pile the misery upon Boro, who will join north-east neighbours Sunderland in the second tier next season.Chelsea can claim the title in Conte’s first season in charge even before nearest rivals Tottenham Hotspur play again if the west London side win at West Bromwich Albion on Friday. read more
Injured Liverpool playmakers Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah are doubtful for Friday’s FA Cup match against Merseyside rivals Everton after missing their side’s 2-1 Premier League win over Burnley on Monday, manager Juergen Klopp has said.Salah, Liverpool’s top scorer who has notched 17 goals in 21 games, missed the trip to Burnley with a groin strain. The Brazilian Coutinho, who has netted seven goals in 14 league matches, was ruled out due to a thigh injury.“Phil are Mo are injured, not massively but enough for today (to be) no chance. And (they are) a doubt, at least a doubt, for Everton,” Klopp told reporters after the dramatic victory.Sadio Mane was the only one of Liverpool’s “Fab Four” to start against Burnley, and the Senegal international along with Egyptian Salah will travel to attend the Confederation of African Football awards in Ghana on Thursday.Klopp has no worries about his key attacking players travelling on the night before the Everton game, saying that he respected the prolific duo’s decision to attend the ceremony.“We have everything organised. We have two of the three best African players in our squad. We have to show them respect. If it had been a match day, they wouldn’t have asked,” Klopp said.“We sleep in a hotel, they sleep in a plane. That is all the difference… If Mo is not fit (for the Everton game), it will not be for that. For our side, it is just a sign of respect.”The German boss also said newly-signed defender Virgil van Dijk would not be rushed into action for Liverpool as the Merseyside club’s aim to get the Dutchman match ready read more
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson walked away from a spectacular crash in Friday’s practice for the Italian Grand Prix, with the Swede’s car wrecked after hitting the barriers and barrel-rolling multiple times.Television footage showed the car suddenly spearing left at speed as he applied the brakes at the first chicane moments after the afternoon session had started.The car flipped three or four times before coming to rest on the grass the right way up. Replays suggested that the car’s drag reduction system (DRS) — a flap that opens and closes on the rear wing — had failed.“I don’t know what happened there,” he said over the radio before stepping out.Ericsson went to the medical centre for precautionary checks while the session was suspended for marshals to clear the debris.The Swede gave a thumbs-up signal on his return to the pit lane and the session resumed after a 20-minute stoppage. read more