Wayde’s Olympic world record confirmed

waydeThe International Association Athletics Federations (IAAF) has confirmed Wayde Van Niekerk’s 400m world record set at this year’s Rio Olympic Games.

Van Niekerk clocked for gold at 43.03, only 0.15seconds quicker than American athlete Micheal Johnson’s previous world best set in 1999.

Van Niekerk is joined on the list by fellow African from Ethiopia, Almaz Ayana in the women’s 10 000m clocking at 14.33 seconds earlier than Wang Junxia’s record.

The athletic governing board approved Van Niekerk and Ayana’s time, along with two other world records.

The gold medallist retweeted IAAF’s Twitter post confirming the records.

Meanwhile, Helen Zille has reportedly written to Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille suggesting that Green Point Athletics Stadium be renamed after Van Niekerk.

Zille said Van Niekerk flew South Africa’s flag high and did the nation proud.

“These are extraordinary feats‚ especially for a 24-year-old university student. I believe it would be appropriate to honour Mr Van Niekerk by renaming the current Green Point Athletics Stadium after him. He has not only done the country proud‚ but his home city and province,” said Zille.

“The renaming of the stadium would not only serve as a reminder of his incredible story‚ but as an inspiration to many other young people – demonstrating that anything is possible‚ with the right combination of discipline‚ hard work and dedication”.

Confirmed world records:

Women’s 100m hurdles: 12.20 (0.3m/s) Kendra Harrison (USA) London, July 22, 2016
Previous: 12.21 (0.7m/s) Yordanka Donkova (BUL) Stara Zagora, August 20, 1988

Women’s 10 000m: 29:17.45 Almaz Ayana (ETH) Rio de Janeiro, August 12, 2016
Previous: 29:31.78 Wang Junxia (CHN) Beijing, September 8, 1993

Men’s 400m: 43.03 Wayde van Niekerk (RSA) Rio de Janeiro, August 14, 2016
Previous: 43.18 Michael Johnson (USA) Seville, August 26, 1999

Women’s hammer: 82.29m Anita Wlodarczyk (POL) Rio de Janeiro, August 15, 2016
Previous: 81.08m Anita Wlodarczyk (POL) Cetniewo, August 1, 2015

Pique: Errors was key to Barca fightback

Pique.JPEGGerard Pique said committing fewer second-half errors was the key to Barcelona’s 2-1 come-from-behind victory at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday as they proved they can win in the Champions League without injured Lionel Messi.

Thorgan Hazard — the younger brother of Chelsea midfielder Eden — gave Gladbach a shock yet deserved first-half lead at Borussia Park.

But goals in the final 25 minutes, from Arda Turan and Gerard Pique, sealed Barcelona’s second Group C win after their 7-0 hammering of Celtic at the Camp Nou a fortnight ago.

“They scored with the only chance they had in the first half, but the game is 90 minutes long and they put in a huge effort,” said match-winner Pique.

“They didn’t have the same legs in the second half and we made fewer mistakes in midfield.

“By losing possession less and them running less they had fewer counter-attacks and it was more difficult for them.

“Overall, I think we were better and it is a deserved result.”

Barca fought back when Neymar shook off his marker to float a pass over the top of the Gladbach defence and Turan won the race to the ball before drilling his shot home on 65 minutes.

The winning goal came just nine minutes later.

Neymar’s corner was deflected into the path of Suarez, who was unmarked in the area.

He slammed in a powerful shot which was blocked by goalkeeper Yann Sommer, but Pique was on hand to tap home the loose ball from close range.

“It was a set-piece, I was set up to block and I went for the rebound. I saw the ‘keeper was a bit unsure and I managed to score the goal,” explained Pique.

Barca coach Luis Enrique cut a relieved figure after the final whistle at Borussia Park.

“We created chances in the first half too, but they are on a great run and it showed,” he said.

“We weren’t totally clear in our play in the first half, but they took their chance and we didn’t.

“We were much better in the second half and got the victory that helps us a lot.”

Gladbach saw an 11-match winning streak at home come to an end as they were left with nothing to show for an impressive display in which they refused to be overawed by the Spanish giants.

“The team gave it everything and came out of this with some credit. We can be proud,” said Gladbach’s sporting director Max Eberl.

Gladbach did much better than in their 4-0 loss at Manchester City last time out, but winger Patrick Herrmann admitted it was hard to put the brakes on the Spanish giants.

“We did brilliantly to go 1-0 up, but Barcelona are such a quality side — you have to stay focused for the entire 90 minutes,” he said.

“If you don’t, they take full advantage. We wanted to win the game and it was a close-run affair in the end, but not the result we wanted.”

Gladbach’s next Champions League outing is away at Celtic next month, while Barcelona prepare for a home clash with City as Pep Guardiola returns to the Camp Nou.

Gerard Pique said committing fewer second-half errors was the key to Barcelona’s 2-1 come-from-behind victory at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday as they proved they can win in the Champions League without injured Lionel Messi.

Terry to be back into action against Hull

Tery.JPEGChelsea icon John Terry looks primed to be thrown straight back into action on Saturday against struggling Hull in a bid to end a run of two successive Premier League defeats.

Both losses to Liverpool and Arsenal have been since Terry damaged ankle ligaments but having returned to training this week and with England central defender Gary Cahill out of form the 35-year-old club captain is needed more than ever.

Terry, who looked to have ended his Chelsea career at the end of last season only to accept a year long contract, has quickly emerged as a central figure in Conte’s plans after the Italian missed out on his main defensive targets during the recent transfer window.

The arrival of David Luiz and Marcos Alonso on transfer deadline day at least bolstered the defensive numbers but neither player has made a significant impact since then.

Luiz’s partnership with Cahill in central defence has looked anything but convincing.

Cahill in particular was guilty of an error in Arsenal’s 3-0 victory which confirmed the scale of the task confronting Conte as he attempts to revive the club.

The England defender is likely to make way for Terry for a game that has grown in significance ahead of back to back meetings with champions Leicester and Manchester United.

Already the head coach has spoken of the difficulties of improving the confidence of a side who finished mid-table last season.

And while the focus has been trained on problems at the back, the manner of the Arsenal defeat also raised questions about other players with midfielder N’Golo Kante’s lack of form identified as a growing concern.

“When you want to win you must have a good balance when you attack and when you defend,” said Conte.

“I think this is the right way if you want to win.

“It’s important to work together in defensive situations and in offensive situations.

“We must work together. We can improve a lot and it’s important to understand this and try to work together.”

Pre-season relegation favourites Hull posted back-to-back Premier League wins at the outset of the campaign, but they have struggled since that encouraging start and are aiming to arrest a slump in form which has seen them take one point from the last 12.

They have conceded nine goals in their last two games, heavy defeats by Arsenal and Liverpool, as they go in search of a first victory against Chelsea in almost 28 years, a winless run covering the sides’ last 12 meetings.

Uncertainty over the future of caretaker manager Mike Phelan, who after almost a fortnight of deliberation is yet to accept an offer to take the role full-time, and on-going talks to sell the club have played a part in the downturn in results for the 14th-placed Tigers.

Ryan Mason is set to make his full home debut following a club record £10million move from Tottenham Hotspur last month.

“We’ve shown what we’re capable of already this season, and it’s up to us to reproduce that kind of form again,” said the 25-year-old.

“It’s another massive game on home soil, and we want to respond. Our home form is going to be important for the rest of the season, we know that.”

Barcelona is Interested in Signing Atletico Madrid Forward

Barcelona are reportedly interested in signing Yannick Carrasco from La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid.

Spanish news publication Sport claimed that the reigning champions are monitoring the progress of the Belgium international, with sporting director Robert Fernandez present at the Vicente Calderon stadium to watch Carrasco fire Atletico to a 1-0 Champions League victory over Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Atletico would do everything in their power to prevent Carrasco from leaving for one of their main rivals in Spain.

However, they would not be able to stand in the striker’s way if Barcelona meet a rumoured £34.5m release clause fee in Carrasco’s current contract.

It remains to be seen, though, if Carrasco would fancy a move to the Camp Nou, particularly with the competition for place in attack for the Catalan outfit.

World-class South American trio Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar are sure fire starters for Luis Enrique’s side if all three are fit and available to play.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-TRAINING

And, in the event that one or more of those forwards are not featured in Enrique’s starting lineup, the likes of Arda Turan and Paco Alcacer remain other options up front for the Spanish giants.

Carrasco has become a major player at Atletico under head coach Diego Simeone ever since

the 23-year-old completed a July 2015 switch from Ligue 1 side Monaco for around £15m.

The left winger notched five goals and five assists for Los Colchoneros last season as Atletico finished runners-up in the Champions League, as well as coming third in La Liga. Carrasco has featured in all eight of Atletico’s matches so far this term, with five of those coming as starts for Simeone’s charges.

Nathaniel Clyne: watch out for Sheyi Ojo this season.

Liverpool full back Nathaniel Clyne has exclusively revealed to 90min that young winger Sheyi Ojo is the one player from the club’s youth system to watch out for this season.

Clyne, speaking at the launch of EA SPORTS FIFA 17 earlier this week, said the attacking qualities of the 19-year-old makes him one of the most exciting stars in the club’s ranks.

International Champions Cup 2016 - Liverpool v AC Milan

Ojo has made a handful of appearances in the Reds’ first team since making his senior debut as a substitute in the FA Cup third round match against Exeter City in January – grabbing his first goal for the club in the replay game – but Clyne is tipping him for big things in the years to come.

He said: “Sheyi Ojo has come in to the side and done really well. He’s a fast, attacking winger with loads of skills and he can take on players.”

Liverpool fans are particularly excited about Ojo for the reasons Clyne has already mentioned, though his impact for the season so far has been limited because of a back problem. Ojo made his Premier League debut for the Reds back in March, and his first start against Stoke City in April.

x

Ojo is however not the only Liverpool youngster Clyne is looking forward to seeing develop, and he mentioned another trio of players from the academy who could very well make the grade, adding: “Trent Alexander-Arnold is pretty good. (Cameron) Brannagan is another one of them, Connor Randall too.”

Liverpool have enjoyed a stunning start to the new Premier League season, beating the likes of Arsenal, Leicester City and Chelsea in their first six games, and currently sit in fourth in the table. They next travel to Swansea on Saturday afternoon, looking to improve upon their current standing of fourth place.

Europa League Round-up

logo-europa-leagueManchester United failed to produce their brand of quick-passing, penetrative football that dismantled Premier League champions Leicester City on Saturday, but still managed to scrape past Zorya Luhansk 1-0 thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic header in the second half, giving Jose Mourinho’s men their first points in the Europa League campaign. Fenerbahce beat Feyenoord by the same scoreline with Emmanuel Emenike grabbing the winner, leaving the Turkish side on top of Group A.

FC Astana and Young Boys played out a 0-0 draw in Group B, while APOEL Nicosia edged past Olympiacos 1-0 in Greece. In Group C, German side Mainz overcame FK Qabala 3-2 while Anderlecht beat Saint-Etienne 1-0.

Manchester United FC v FC Zorya Luhansk - UEFA Europa League

There was a historic moment for League of Ireland champions Dundalk in Group D as Ciaran Kilduff’s 72nd minute strike was enough for the Lilywhites to clinch their first European victory and becoming the first Irish side to claim a Europa League group victory, seeing off Maccabi Tel Aviv at Oriel Park. Zenit St Petersburg stormed past AZ Alkmaar 5-0 in the group’s other tie.

 In Group E, Austria Wien and Viktoria Plzen finished scoreless while Roma thumped Astra Giurgiu 4-0 at the Stadio Olimpico. In Group F, Athletic Bilbao slipped past Rapid Wien 1-0 while Genk eased past Sassuolo 3-1.

In the night’s earlier kick-offs, Ajax edged past Standard Liege thanks to a first-half strike from Kasper Dolberg, lifting the Eredivisie club to the top of Group G. In the group’s other game, Celta Vigo beat Panathinaikos, with Daniel Wass and former Manchester City striker John Guidetti both getting on the scoresheet.

In Group H, goals from Kenneth Saief and Renato Neto were enough for Gent to see off Turkish side Konyaspor while the ten men of Shakhtar Donetsk overcame Braga at the Arena Lviv, with goals from Taras Stepanenko and Viktor Kovalenko coming either side of Fred’s sending off.

Krasnodar comprehensively brushed past Nice 5-2, despite Mario Balotelli continuing his excellent start to life at the French club. Joaozinho and Ari both bagged braces to overcome the Ligue 1 club. Meanwhile, Schalke recorded their second straight victory with a 3-1 win over Salzburg, with Leon Goretzka and Naldo striking to add to Duje Caleta-Car’s own goal.

Fiorentina made light work of Qarabag with a 5-1 win, Khouma Babacar, Nikola Kalinic and former West Ham striker Mauro Zarate all getting in on the act for the Italian club. PAOK Thessaloniki beat Slovan Liberec 2-1 in the other match in Group J.

Southampton travelled a long way to meet Hapoel Be’er Sheva in Israel, but were held to a frustrating 0-0 stalemate, leaving the Premier League side at the top of the group. However, Frank de Boer’s misery deepened at Inter after the Nerazzurri were beaten 3-1 by Sparta Prague.

Finally, in Group L, FC Zurich overcame Osmalispor FK 2-1 and Steaua Bucharest held Villarreal to a 1-1 draw.

Andriy Shevchenko Names His All-Time Greatest Starting XI

Shevi.jpgAndriy Shevchenko enjoyed a remarkable playing career before he retired in 2012.

The Ukrainian striker’s time on the football pitch took in spells at three of Europe’s top clubs – Dynamo Kiev, AC Milan and Chelsea – and, during his 18-year career, the now 40-year-old played alongside or came up against some of the world’s best stars.

Now manager of his nation’s senior squad, Shevchenko took time out to sit down with FourFourTwo magazine to name his all-time greatest eleven comprising of both former team-mates and formidable foes:

12. Gianluigi Buffon (Goalkeeper)

FBL-EUR-C1-JUVENTUS-SEVILLA

Still going strong for Juventus at the ripe old age of 38, Shevchenko says that Italian shot stopper Buffon is the best keeper he ever faced during his playing days.

He said: “I won the penalty duel against him in the 2003 Champions League Final but Buffon saved far more of my shots than I scored past him.”

11. Cafu (Right Back)

Serie A - Milan v Udinese

Shevchenko’s former team-mate at AC Milan, Brazil legend Cafu was always a shoe-in for the right back berth in his side.

Shevchenko said: “A warrior on the field and a sincere, kind man off it. Strong and powerful, his runs from defence led to numerous goals at AC Milan and his jokes helped to ease the pressure during training and in matches.”

10. John Terry (Centre Back)

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-MAN UTD

With nearly 500 appearances to his name for Chelsea, club captain Terry was described as “extremely dangerous” by Shevchenko as he named him in his best eleven.

He said: “A resolute defender and a natural leader, he can calm the panicky behaviour of players. His trademarks are anticipation and judgment. He’s also exceptionally dangerous from attacking corners.”

9. Alessandro Nesta (Centre Back)

AC Milan v FC Viktoria Plzen - UEFA Champions League

A giant in the Italian game, former Milan defender Nesta pairs John Terry in defence for Shevchenko’s greatest eleven.

He said: “I’ve never seen a better reader of the  game. A supremely intelligent and pacy defender, he made a great  contribution in AC Milan’s efforts to keep Juventus at bay in the 2003 Champions League Final.”

8. Paolo Maldini (Left Back)

AC Milan's defender and captain Paolo Ma

Another Milan and Italy legend that Shevchenko had the pleasure of playing alongside, ex-captain Maldini is as deserving of a place in the Ukrainian’s side as anyone else.

He said: “The most gifted and hard-working player I’ve ever seen. He was an excellent all-round footballer with true leadership virtues and the rare ability to be reliable in defence and creative in attack.”

7. Kaka (Right Midfield)

AC Milan v US Sassuolo Calcio - Serie A

Continuing the theme of ex-Milan stars, Shevchenko opts for former Brazil international Kaka as the player tasked with providing the creativity from the right wing.

He said: “A creative maestro who dictates the pace of the game. It was a real pleasure to be in the same side as he supplied me with incredibly precise passes. I scored a lot thanks to his clever deliveries.”

6. Steven Gerrard (Centre Midfield)

Liverpool FC Legends v Australian Legends

Shevchenko faced off against Liverpool midfield legend Gerrard with AC Milan in the 2005 and 2007 Champions League finals, and was gushing in his praise for the now LA Galaxy star.

He said: “A world-class midfielder, Gerrard loves to lead by example and is famous for his never-say-die attitude. He loves to run at and beat defenders, and is blessed with a powerful and precise shot.”

5. Zinedine Zidane (Centre Midfield)

Real Madrid French Zinedine Zidane celeb

Now head coach of Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane used to leave opponents in awe at his footballing ability for Los Blancos – and Shevchenko was chief amongst those who believed the former France international was one of the world’s best.

He said: “He could do magical things using his vision, technique and powerful shot. During games it was impossible to predict his next move. Off the pitch, he was a kind and generous man.”

4. Lionel Messi (Left Midfield)

FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-CELTIC

Arguably the best player in the world at this time, mercurial Barcelona star Messi is another who just had to feature in Shevchenko’s all-time best eleven.

He said: “It’s difficult to find another player who can dribble and score like Messi. He is the attacking player of the 21st century. I can’t even specify his position. He’s everywhere, making fools of defenders.”

3. Ronaldo (Striker)

Brazilian forward Ronaldo celebrates aft

Another South American legend to make Shevchenko’s list, Ronaldo makes the grade to his truly amazing goalscoring record at club and international level.

Shevchenko said: “Skilful, powerful and takes chances like a machine. His strike-rate for every team he’s played for tells you everything. I can only imagine what he could have done in football if not for his injuries.”

2. Wayne Rooney (Striker)

Manchester United v A.F.C. Bournemouth - Premier League

Perhaps the most surprising name in Shevchenko’s list, Manchester United captain Rooney partners Ronaldo up front in the Ukrainian’s side.

He said: “No player in modern football can match his efficiency and work-rate, and he’s not egotistical like many men of his speciality. He’s the sort of magnificent team player every coach wants in his starting XI.”

1. The Best of the Rest… The Substitutes

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid CF - UEFA Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo – “He adds to his tricks with tactical wisdom, work-rate and ball control.”

Petr Cech – “I have great respect for Cech, who stayed in football despite a terrible injury.”

Carlos Puyol – “A superb defender who makes the complete sacrifice for his team.”

Michael Ballack – “A utility man of great talent and determination in midfield.”

Frank Lampard – “My former Chelsea team-mate can start and finish a team’s attacks.”

Andrea Pirlo – “A clever, generous midfielder who can pass over any distance.”

Ryan Giggs – “Mr Gentleman of modern football: wise and creative, with wonderful individual skills.”