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SPORTS

TUESDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2018,

SAUDI GAZETTE

16

SNIPPETS

Kenyan runner hit by car in

ill-fated Colombian half-marathon

MEDELLIN, Colombia —

Kenyan athlete Joseph Kiprono was

knocked down by a car Sunday as he was leading a half-marathon

in Colombia in which another competitor collapsed and died, the

organizers said. Kiprono — a previous winner of the event — was

leading the 21-kilometer (13 mile) race in second-city Medellin when

he was struck by a car that authorities said had “violated a road

closure.” After being treated by medics on the spot, he was taken to

hospital with cuts and bruises and later reported by doctors to be in

good condition. Organizers said a 38-year-old runner had collapsed

during the race with heart problems and was pronounced dead after

being taken to hospital.

— AFP

Bulls held by Rooney’s DC

despite Wright-Phillips hat trick

WASHINGTON —

English striker Bradley Wright-Phillips scored a hat

trick Sunday for the New York Red Bulls, netting the last goal in the

90th minute to snatch a 3-3 draw at DC United. It was the fifth Major

League Soccer treble for Wright-Phillips, but wasn’t enough to push

the Red Bulls back above Atlanta United at the top of the Eastern

Conference. Former England and Manchester United star Wayne

Rooney scored his fifth goal of the season for the US capital team.

The Red Bulls remained one point behind Atlanta in the chase for the

best record in MLS, a fight that appears set to be decided when the

two go head-to-head in two weeks’ time. United remained four points

behind sixth-place Montreal for the final Eastern Conference playoff

berth, DC having one match in hand. Three times the hosts seized

the lead only for former Manchester City and Southampton forward

Wright-Phillips to equalize each time. — AFP

Former Ipswich and England

defender Kevin Beattie dies aged 64

LONDON —

Former Ipswich Town and England central defender

Kevin Beattie has died aged 64, the player’s family announced

Sunday. Beattie, born in Carlisle, northern England, became a key

member of the successful Ipswich side under future England manager

Bobby Robson that won the FA Cup in 1978. Beattie also won nine

caps for England, scoring one goal, in a career cut short by injury.

Beattie’s death was announced by BBC Radio Suffolk breakfast show

presenter Mark Murphy. Beattie missed Ipswich’s victory in the 1981

UEFA Cup final because of injury but was finally awarded a winner’s

medal in 2008 following a petition organised by Rob Finch, the

ghostwriter of his autobiography. Ipswich, which now plays in English

football’s second-tier Championship, has announced there will be a

minute’s applause in honor of Beattie before its home game against

Brentford at Portman Road Tuesday.

— AFP

Sri Lanka detains 5 Indians

over match-fixing fears

COLOMBO —

Sri Lanka cricket’s anti-corruption unit detained five

Indian spectators on suspicion of match-fixing during Sunday’s third

and final women’s ODI between the hosts and India, an official said.

The five were initially asked to leave the ground at Katunayake,

just north of the capital Colombo, and later detained by police for

investigations, the official said. “We felt their behavior was suspicious

at the grounds and all of them were seen excessively communicating

on their phones,” the Sri Lanka cricket official, who declined to be

named, said. “We exercised our right to remove them from the ground

and the police took over the investigation.” Authorities believe that the

suspects may have had links with foreign gambling operations. Betting

on sports is illegal in Sri Lanka. Police said they were questioning the

suspects. Sri Lanka won Sunday’s match by three wickets, but India

won the three-match tournament 2-1.

Sapporo drops 2026 Winter Olympics

bid to focus on 2030

TOKYO —

The Japanese city of Sapporo has changed its bid to

host the 2026 Winter Olympics to 2030 following an earthquake in

Hokkaido which left 41 dead and caused widespread damage, the

International Olympic Committee confirmed Monday. Olympic and

local officials said last week they were considering changing the

dates because “the 2030 option will be a better environment to host

the Games”, city official Akihiro Okumura said. Following a meeting

in Lausanne Monday between representatives of the Japanese

Olympic Committee (JOC), the City of Sapporo, and the IOC, the IOC

confirmed the decision in a statement which said: “The Japanese

National Olympic Committee and the IOC agreed today that the

IOC would not put Sapporo on the list of candidates for the Olympic

Winter Games 2026, but to continue with the close dialogue already

underway for the Olympic Winter Games 2030.”

— AFP

Kuwait first up for

Arnold’s Australia

SYDNEY —

Australia will begin the preparations for its Asian Cup

defense with a friendly against Kuwait next month as new coach

Graham Arnold looks to build on the work done at its just-concluded

training camp in Turkey. Arnold succeeded Dutchman Bert van

Marwijk after the Socceroos were dumped out of the World Cup

group phase. The former national team striker, in his second stint in

the job having led the side for a year after the 2006 World Cup, said

the camp had focused on building an attacking-style of play as he

looks to replace the retired Tim Cahill. “The fresh faces in camp did

exceptionally well, they added a lot of energy to the training sessions

and plenty of enthusiasm,” he said of the five uncapped players he

invited to the camp. We worked hard to add attacking layers to the

strong defensive base the Socceroos had at this year’s World Cup.”

The team will have another training camp in the United Arab Emirates

before the match against Kuwait in Kuwait City on Oct. 15. It then

faces fellow Asian Cup finalists South Korea in Brisbane on Nov. 17

and Lebanon in Sydney three days later. Kuwait did not qualify for the

2019 tournament, which is being hosted by the UAE.

— Reuters

Flames co-owner Riddell dies

CALGARY —

Calgary Flames co-owner Clay Riddell has died,

the team confirmed Sunday. Paramount Resources, one of the oil

and natural gas companies the 81-year-old billionaire built, said

Riddell died Saturday. “We mourn the passing of a great man of

industry, sports, philanthropy and human decency along with our

city, province and country,” Flames vice chairman and CEO Ken

King said in a statement. “His legacies to all of us are immeasurable.

To his family our gratitude, respect and deepest sympathy.” Riddell

joined the Flames’ ownership in 2003, and he relinquished his role

as CEO of Paramount Resources in 2015. “On behalf of the National

Hockey League and our board of governors we extend our deepest

condolences to the family of Clay Riddell,” NHL commissioner Gary

Bettman said in a statement. “Clay’s passion and commitment to his

city and beloved Flames will be deeply missed.”

— Reuters

Stanford wins Evian for maiden major title

Finch plans to seize chance

‘Complete machine’ Hamilton

offers no comfort for Ferrari

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France

American Angela Stanford

claimed her maiden major title

at the Evian Championship Sun-

day by one shot after compatriot

and long-time leader Amy Olson

made a double-bogey on the final

hole.

The 40-year-old Stanford

carded a three-under-par 68 in

the final round at Evian-les-Bains

in France to finish with a 12-un-

der total of 272 for the tourna-

ment.

Olson, who had maintained a

firm grip on the lead for major-

ity of the weekend, missed a six-

foot putt for bogey on the 18th to

force a playoff.

The 26-year-old signed for a

74 to slip into a four-way tie for

second spot alongside fellow

Americans Austin Ernst and Mo

Martin and Kim Sei-young of

South Korea.

“I was aggressive with my

putt - a little too aggressive obvi-

ously,” said Olson, whose previ-

ous best finish in an LPGA event

was tied for seventh in 2014.

“Obviously it’s really — it’s

disappointing to finish like that,

but I had a great week. I have

so many positive things to take

away from it.

“I’m very pleased. This is my

best finish I believe in a major, so

that’s always a positive.”

Stanford ended her long wait

for a major title, 15 years after fin-

ishing runner-up at the US Wom-

en’s Open.

She becomes the lone golfer

from the US this year to capture

a major title, and the first since

Danielle Kang’s triumph at the

Women’s PGA Championship in

July 2017.

For her sixth and the biggest

victory of her career, Stanford

will take home $577,500 in prize

money.

It was a roller-coaster ride for

Stanford, who went eagle, dou-

ble-bogey, birdie from the 15th,

then saw her birdie chance brush

the hole at the 18th.

Wu becomes China’s 1st triple

winner on EuropeanTour

Wu Ashun became the first

player from China to win three

times on the European Tour

when he claimed a one-stroke

triumph at the KLM Open in the

Netherlands Sunday.

Wu carded a closing four-un-

der-par 67, finishingwith a two-putt

birdie at the final hole after his ag-

gressive second shot with a hybrid

club skirted a water hazard and

ended in the heart of the green.

He finished at 16-under 268

and secured victory when Eng-

lishman Chris Wood made a

three-putt par on the same hole

at The Dutch course in Spijk.

Wu’s surprise victory came

after a poor season and he cred-

ited his turnaround to work with

his coach.

“We just fixed my swing at

the beginning of the year and we

still trust that we are going the

right way,” the 33-year-old said.

“My coach and I were working

very hard and he has flown to (Eu-

rope) to help me so I think we are

getting better and better so that’s

why I think last week was top 10

and then this week just win.”

Wu started the week ranked

344th in the world and is now

projected to rise inside the top

200.

Wood lamented his third run-

ner-up finish of the year.

“My putting has been so good

all week and it’s just a shame that

it let me down at the last,” he

said.

— Agencies

SYDNEY —

Opening batsman

Aaron Finch knew time was run-

ning out on ever wearing the

baggy green cap handed out to

Australia’s Test cricketers, but

also thought next month’s series

against Pakistan might be his best

chance yet to earn one.

Finch was one of five un-

capped Test players named last

week in Justin Langer’s raw side

for the two Tests in the United

Arab Emirates, with the first

match starting on Oct. 7.

The 31-year-old made his in-

ternational debut for Australia

in a Twenty20 match in 2011 be-

fore playing his first one-dayer in

2013, but had never been selected

for a test tour.

Former captain Steve Smith

and vice captain David Warner

and Cameron Bancroft were sus-

pended earlier this year for their

roles in a ball-tampering scandal

and Finch told reporters on Mon-

day he realized that had poten-

tially opened the door for him.

“I thought it wasn’t ‘now or

never’ but thought that if it didn’t

happen now then it was less like-

ly (to happen) down the track,”

Finch told reporters in Brisbane

on Monday. “It was a nice call to

get.”

An aggressive opening bats-

man in limited overs cricket,

Finch said he was unsure what

role he would be asked to play in

the UAE, if selected.

With Warner and Bancroft

the preferred openers before

their bans, he could potentially

join Matt Renshaw at the top of

the order or occupy a spot fur-

ther down.

Finch said either way he was

still going to try and adopt the

free flowing approach that had

allowed him to accumulate more

than 3300 runs with 11 centuries

in one-dayers and almost 1600

Twenty20 International runs at

an average of 45.60.

“Being aggressive has made

me reasonably successful in the

two shorter formats,” said Finch.

“I suppose it depends on where

they see me in the order if there

is a spot in the (team).

“(But) I think it’s about stick-

ing to your natural game and to

your strengths. And when you

do that, you give yourself a high

chance of success.”

Finch added he had recog-

nized the tour could be a similar

opportunity that former Austra-

lian batsman Mike Hussey had in

2005.

Like Finch, Hussey was a late

bloomer who did not make his

Test debut until he was 30. He

then went on to score 6235 runs

in 79 matches at an average of

51.52.

“Hopefully if I get an oppor-

tunity I can take it,” Finch said.

“This is my first test tour but

I have been around for quite a

while and I know the demands of

international cricket.

“It’s tough. It’s a game where

if you let your guard down for a

second, someone will take your

spot.

“You can’t leave anything to

chance, you can’t leave one per-

cent of preparation undone.

“(But) you grow up in the

backyard dreaming of playing

test cricket and getting a baggy

green and it’s closer than it has

(ever) been before.”

— Reuters

LONDON —

Formula One champion Lewis

Hamilton and Mercedes won big in Singapore

Sunday and the signs are looking ominous for

title rival Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari.

The Briton’s fourth victory in five races

suggests that once again the 33-year-old is hit-

ting a purple phase just as the season enters

its critical stages.

“He just turns into a complete machine

at this time of year,” marveled Mercedes

technical head James Allison after Hamilton

stretched his lead to 40 points with six rounds

remaining.

“His focus and his enjoyment, and just ev-

erything about him, lifts to a level that is bril-

liant to watch.”

Last season Hamilton went on a run of

five wins in six races in the second part of the

season before wrapping up his fourth title in

Mexico with two races to spare.

While Vettel was favorite to reduce the

points gap Sunday at a circuit that should

have suited Ferrari, Hamilton sowed the seeds

of victory with a stunning qualifying lap for

pole position.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff hailed

that as “the best lap I’ve ever seen in a Formu-

la One car” while Hamilton himself described

it as ‘surreal’.

The race was no thriller, with Vettel third

and the top six finishing in starting order, but

the outcome still delivered a hammer blow for

Ferrari, whose immediate public response had

a distinct whiff of sour grapes.

“Boredom the winner in Singapore,” the

team website declared in a headline over their

race report. It was later modified to read “po-

sitions unchanged”, but the sting was clear.

Ferrari is hurting and it is running out of

time to do anything about it, even if many sus-

pect it of having the faster car.

Sunday, as Hamilton said in his post-race

news conference, might have left “a couple of

people snoring” but it was also “a special mo-

ment” for him and Mercedes, which was tak-

ing nothing for granted.

They know one retirement can throw every-

thing up in the air, but the champions are certainly

breathing easier than might have been the case.

“It feels significant, not for the champion-

ship but it feels significant because we have

understood the car in Singapore,” said Wolff.

“It was won on merit and real pace and I

think we have the right clues now and let’s see

how we can translate that into the end of the

season.”

If Hamilton is fast approaching the point

at which he can secure a fifth championship

without having to add to his tally of seven

wins for the season, he was quick to recognize

the credit is not his alone.

Singapore was once a track where Mer-

cedes struggled, with overtaking difficult and

grid position all important, but it has worked

hard to address its weaknesses in slow-speed

corners.

“We’ve been just chipping away at it over

the last 12 months, but with a massive amount

of effort because it’s quite a big thing you have

to change in order to do it,” Allison told Sky

Sports television.

“It’s just a real delight to come here now.

Lewis got the job done but we gave him a

car he could do that with and that’s a huge

source of pride to all of us.”

— Reuters

US golfer Angela Stanford poses with her trophy after winning the Evian Championship in the French Alps town

of Evian-les-Bains Sunday.

— AFP

Aaron Finch

Lewis Hamilton