Make Chiangmai Mail | your Homepage | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail | Pattaya Mail TV

 

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Update September 2018


Home
Thailand News
World News
World Sports
Arts - Entertainment - Lifestyles
Book Review
Health & Wellbeing
Odds & Ends
Science & Nature
Technology
Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
WORLD SPORTS
 

Update September 18, 2018

Mack, Amukamara lead Bears over Seahawks 24-17

Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack chases Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson during the second half of their teams NFL game, Monday night in Chicago, Sept. 17. (AP Photo)

Andrew Seligman

Chicago (AP) — Khalil Mack had one of six sacks against Russell Wilson, Prince Amukamara returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown and the Chicago Bears beat the Seattle Seahawks 24-17 Monday night to give coach Matt Nagy his first career victory.

Mack, who landed with Chicago after a blockbuster trade with Oakland in September, had a strip-sack in the first half and consistently pressured Wilson in another dominant performance.

Amukamara jumped the route on a pass intended for Rashaad Penny near midfield for his first career touchdown, making it 24-10 with 6:37 left. It was his first interception since 2015 with the New York Giants.

Danny Trevathan then stripped Wilson with his second sack of the game. The Bears' Leonard Floyd recovered the fumble, and Chicago hung on after blowing a 20-point lead in a season-opening loss to a hobbled Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

The Seahawks (0-2) lost for just the second time in nine Monday night games under coach Pete Carroll.

Wilson has been sacked six times in each game this season. With the Bears applying constant pressure and his receivers struggling to get open, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback completed 22 of 36 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Chicago's Mitchell Trubisky was 25 of 34 for 200 yards. The No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft, Trubisky threw touchdown passes to Trey Burton on Chicago's first possession and rookie Anthony Miller early in the fourth quarter. But he was also intercepted two times by Shaquill Griffin.

The Bears presented longtime linebacker Brian Urlacher with his Ring of Excellence for being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The ceremony came after an ugly first half that saw Trubisky get picked off twice and Wilson get sacked five times. But the Bears managed to take a 10-3 lead to the locker room.

Trubisky gave them a 7-0 lead when he shoveled to Trey Burton from the 3 on Chicago's first possession, finishing a 96-yard drive. He also led a drive to the Seattle 7, only to throw two incomplete passes — one that should have been picked off by Justin Coleman — before Cody Parkey kicked a 25-yard field goal to make it 10-0 with just over a minute left in the half.

The Seahawks didn't score until Sebastian Janikowski nailed a 56-yard as the half ended.

NATIONAL ANTHEM

Seahawks defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson and offensive tackle Duane Brown stayed off the field during the national anthem, something they did in the opener and preseason.

INJURIES

Bears: RB Tarik Cohen suffered an ankle injury. ... DT Akiem Hicks walked off gingerly with two minutes left after he was hurt rushing the quarterback.

UP NEXT

Seahawks: Host Dallas on Sunday.

Bears: Visit Arizona on Sunday.


Potential end of Russia anti-doping suspension sparks outcry

 

In this June 5, 2018, file photo, Beckie Scott, World Anti-Doping Agency athlete committee chairperson, Beckie Scott, speaks at a news conference following the agency's first Global Athlete Forum in Calgary, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)

Eddie Pells

London (AP) - The potential reinstatement of Russia's anti-doping agency drew further outcry Monday, this time from a worldwide group of drug-fighting organizations that portrayed it as the result of an eleventh-hour deal designed to appease a powerful nation.

The Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations lashed out at a recommendation to end the nearly three-year suspension of RUSADA. In a news release, iNADO said World Anti-Doping Agency officials had told European government representatives as recently as last week that the issue would not be decided at Thursday's meeting of the WADA executive committee.

Last Friday, however, WADA released a statement saying that its compliance review committee had recommended RUSADA's reinstatement and that the issue would, in fact, be decided at the upcoming meeting.

WADA defended the proposal as "grounded in pragmatism" and inclusive of "nuanced interpretations" of the steps required by RUSADA. It said the proposal would prevent the undoing of the progress the agency has made since its suspension in 2015 following the uncovering of a state program designed to help athletes cheat without getting caught, all in the name of winning medals at the Olympics and other major events.

A day after the compliance committee's recommendation, a key member of the panel, Olympic champion cross-country skier Beckie Scott, resigned .

On Monday, iNADO — which represents anti-doping operations in 67 countries — issued a two-page news release.

It called the sudden about-face rushed, and not offered in time for interested parties to fully digest and interpret its meaning. The recommendation, iNADO said, was made "simply out of expedience pandering to the will of a powerful nation."

The news release came shortly after a British representative on the WADA athletes' commission, Vicki Aggar, added her name to the growing list of those upset with the prospect, telling BBC Sport the recommendation is "a shifting of the goalposts, a fudge, an unacceptable compromise."

At issue are two critical elements to RUSADA's "road map" to compliance:

—That Russian entities publicly accept the findings in an investigation by Richard McLaren, who concluded the government directed the doping program. WADA has since shifted this, requiring that Russia accept findings from a less-critical report commissioned by the International Olympic Committee.

—That Russia hand over data and samples that could be used to corroborate evidence of doping. Russia's sports minister has agreed to do this at a still-undecided date — and after RUSADA is reinstated.

In a blog posting on the website Inside the Games , American skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender questioned WADA's resolve.

"The two standards left for Russia to adhere to was the only stand taken in the face of this scandal; without those standards what has been done in the face of this abuse?" Uhlaender wrote.

In defending its position, WADA said bringing a revamped RUSADA back into the fold "was never going to be achieved without small degrees of movement on both sides."

INADO disagreed, saying international anti-doping rules provide "no opportunity for those bound (notably athletes) to negotiate changes in the wording of the Code to suit their purpose."

"The Code stands and must be adhered to, and so should the 'Road Map' for Compliance (as WADA had assured the world it would be)," iNADO said.


Brighton come from 2 down to draw Southampton 2-2 in EPL

Brighton & Hove Albion's Shane Duffy, 2nd left, scores his side's first goal of the game against Southampton during their English Premier League soccer match at St Mary's in Southampton, Monday Sept. 17. (John Walton/PA via AP)

 Southampton, England (AP) — Glenn Murray converted a penalty in injury time for Brighton to recover from two goals down to draw with Southampton 2-2 in the English Premier League on Monday.

Shane Duffy was fouled by Southampton substitute James Ward-Prose, leaving Murray to roll the ball down the middle for his fourth goal of the season.

Pierre Hojbjerg's drive from distance and a penalty from Danny Ings appeared to put Southampton on course for successive league wins for the first time since April 2017.

Duffy began the comeback by heading in a free kick.


Sapporo ends bid for 2026 Winter Olympics

In this Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 file photo, people walk by a poster for the Sapporo Asian Winter Games, displayed at the main media center in Sapporo on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

Lausanne, Switzerland (AP) — The Japanese city of Sapporo has dropped its bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics following a recent earthquake.

After meeting with Sapporo representatives, the International Olympic Committee said Monday the city, which became the first in Asia to host the Winter Olympics in 1972, will now focus on a bid for the 2030 Games.

Japanese officials have said 41 people were killed when an earthquake hit Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, where Sapporo is located, on Sept. 6. Even before the earthquake, Sapporo officials had said they might prefer to focus on 2030.

The IOC said in a statement it "expressed its understanding that recovery from the earthquake in the region should be the immediate principle focus but greatly appreciated the continued strong commitment as a future host for the Olympic Winter Games."

Four bids remain in contention for 2026: Stockholm, Sweden; Calgary, Canada; a three-way Italian bid from Turin, Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo; and Erzurum, Turkey.

Sapporo's exit means there is no chance of having three consecutive Winter Olympics in East Asia after this year's games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the upcoming 2022 event in Beijing.

With four remaining bids for 2026, the race so far remains in healthier shape for the IOC than the 2022 bidding, which came down to only Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan, both of which faced criticism for their governments' human rights records and a perceived lack of winter sports tradition.

However, each of the remaining bids faces its own challenges.

Government support for Stockholm's bid appears less certain after recent elections in which the governing party lost ground, while there has been infighting between the three Italian cities despite their nominal alliance. Calgary's bid faces a non-binding referendum Nov. 13 — Olympic bids elsewhere have often struggled to win over voters. Erzurum's key problem is Turkey's status as a winter sports outsider which has never won an Olympic medal on snow or ice.

The host city or cities will be chosen at the IOC session in Milan next September.


Update September 17, 2018

Alvarez wins narrow decision for middleweight title

Canelo Alvarez, right, lands a punch against Gennady Golovkin in the eighth round of their middleweight title boxing match, Saturday, Sept. 15, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Tim Dahlberg

Las Vegas (AP) — Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin fought 24 rounds in the space of a year, with little to pick between them.

When the scorecards were totaled Saturday night, though, the judges crowned a new middleweight champion of the world — but just barely.

Alvarez won the 160-pound titles held by Golovkin by the narrowest of margins, taking a majority decision to hand the longtime champion his first loss as a pro in a spirited fight that had a sold out crowd roaring.

Two judges gave Alvarez the final round, allowing him to pull out the win.

A year after the two fought to a draw, the second fight was almost as close. There were no knockdowns, but the action was spirited throughout as the two battled to the final bell before a frenzied crowd at the T-Mobile Arena.

Two judges favored Alvarez 115-113, while a third had it 114-114. The AP scored it 114-114.

"He's a great fighter but I'm a great fighter and I showed it tonight," Alvarez said.

The two fighters switched roles from their first fight, with Triple G trying to counter Alvarez and the Mexican fighter coming forward much of the fight. Both landed well to the head and Golovkin (38-1-1) controlled some rounds with his jab though neither were ever in any trouble of going down.

The fight was a rematch of a draw last September that left neither fighter satisfied. This time it was Golovkin who was upset, and he stormed out of the ring without talking.

"I'm not going to say who won tonight because the victory belongs to Canelo according to the judges," Golovkin said later from his dressing room. "I thought it was a very good fight for the fans and very exciting. I thought I fought better than he did."

Ringside punch stats showed a close fight, though they favored Golovkin by a small margin. Golovkin was credited with landing 234 of 879 punches while Alvarez (50-1-2) landed 203 of 622.

"We had a great fight, the one we expected the first time around," said Abel Sanchez, Golovkin's trainer. "I had it close going into the 12th round. We had good judges who saw it from different angles — I can't complain about the decision, but it's close enough to warrant a third fight."

Almost immediately there was talk of a third fight between two middleweights who now know each other well.

"If the people want us to do it again let's do it again," Alvarez said. "For now I'm going to enjoy it with my family."

"Under the right conditions, yes," Golovkin said of a rematch.

Alvarez seemed to take control of the fight in the middle rounds, using sharp punches to batter Golovkin, who seemed to slow down from his pace earlier in the fight.

"We're losing the fight!" Sanchez told Golovkin after the eighth round.

But Triple G came on strong in the final few rounds to make it as close as it could be. Golovkin landed several big punches to start the 12th round but still lost it on the two scorecards that ended up favoring Alvarez.

Both fighters were cut with Alvarez having one over his left eye and Golovkin cut over the right eye.

It was the first loss in 40 fights for Golovkin, the fearsome puncher from Kazakhstan who held portions of the middleweight title for seven years and hadn't lost since the 2005 amateur world championships. And it came at the hands of the red-headed Alvarez, a Mexican star whose positive test for clenbuterol forced the rematch to be postponed from May.

They put on another show before a roaring crowd of 21,965, who crowded into the arena on the Las Vegas Strip with high anticipation in the biggest fight of the year.

Most of the crowd on Mexican Independence Day weekend favored Alvarez, who seemed to control much of the pace of the fight even while taking some sharp shots to the head. Though Golovkin has a reputation as a knockout artist, he never seemed to hurt Alvarez, who credited his fight plan with the win.

"I showed my victory with facts," Alvarez said. "He was the one who was backing up. It was a clear victory."

Alvarez said in the days leading to the fight that he went to bed every night visualizing a knockout. He seemed to want to follow up on his prediction, stalking Triple G at times, but never seemed to really hurt him.

Alvarez was guaranteed $5 million to $4 million for Golovkin, though both fighters were expected to make many millions more from the biggest pay-per-view in boxing so far this year.


Hamilton turns up the heat on Vettel after Singapore F1 win

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, left, of Britain leads the field at the start of the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore, Monday, Sept. 17. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Jerome Pugmire

Singapore (AP) — In the sweltering heat of the Singapore Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton turned up the heat on Sebastian Vettel a notch further.

Hamilton won comfortably from pole position on Sunday, extending his Formula One championship lead over Vettel to 40 points.

Winning from pole on one of the hardest tracks for overtaking in F1 was nothing special in itself. But Hamilton's masterclass in qualifying was exceptional as he recorded one of the best pole positions of his career — described as epic within his Mercedes team.

It afforded him a more relaxing race than expected — heat aside — given Ferrari's advantage during practice this weekend.

Considering Vettel makes more mistakes than Hamilton, a 40-point gap looks a huge advantage with only six races left.

Especially as Hamilton has no intention of easing up.

The British driver is on a major roll after winning four of the past five races, pinning Vettel firmly on the ropes in their bid for a fifth F1 title.

"I think the approach I have is working really well, so I don't see the point in changing," Hamilton said after his seventh win of the season and 69th in F1.

"I've been (around) a long, long time and I know I can't get ahead of myself, we can't get ahead of ourselves," Hamilton said. "I truly think we can deliver like this for the rest of the season, and that is the goal."

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was nine seconds back in second place, with Vettel way back in third.

"We didn't come here expecting to lose 10 points," said a dejected Vettel, who trailed by 30 heading into Singapore.

Vettel's championship bid crumbled when he crashed from pole here last year and went on to lose the title by 46 points to Hamilton.

It is looking increasingly like a repeat scenario for the Ferrari driver, who is in disappearing into Hamilton's slipstream.

Vettel was unhappy with his team after qualifying in third place behind Verstappen, and the German driver sounded irritated during Sunday's race after a team strategy error to send him into the pits for a tire change before Hamilton failed to work.

Instead he lost position and crucial points, dropping back behind Verstappen having earlier overtaken him.

"We tried to be aggressive in the beginning and obviously it didn't work out," Vettel said. "I think today, with the way we raced, we didn't have a chance. I said before the weekend we can only beat ourselves and today we didn't get everything out of the package."

The only thing bothering Hamilton seemed to be the conditions. Despite the night-time start, the temperature was around 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) and the humidity intense.

"I'm spent," Hamilton said moments after victory, crouching down by his car.

His teammate Valtteri Bottas was fourth ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo. Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso, who won the inaugural race here 10 years ago, was seventh for McLaren.

Hamilton's stunning pole Saturday was a record-extending 79th.

"It's so hard to overtake here," Hamilton said. "So positioning is everything."

Vettel tried to make ground, almost bumping into Verstappen as they headed into the first corner on Sunday. They just avoided contact.

Moments later, Vettel passed Verstappen with a great move on Raffles boulevard while behind them Sergio Perez knocked his Force India teammate Esteban Ocon into the wall and out — bringing a safety car onto the track for four laps.

When the race re-started, Ferrari gambled on pitting first for new tires by bringing in Vettel first. Mercedes pitted Hamilton moments later, and when Vettel came back out he was still behind Hamilton and lost more time getting past Perez.

Verstappen was the next in, almost colliding again with Vettel into turn 3. Verstappen held position, Vettel dropping to third.

"No chance, we are again too late," Vettel complained over team radio, taking another apparent swipe at team strategy. "If (being aggressive) works it's great — today it didn't work by quite a bit."

Time is running out for Vettel, who realistically has to win in Russia in two weeks' time if he is to get back into title contention.


Grand Tour sweep for Britain as Yates wins Spanish Vuelta

British rider Simon Yates of the Mitchelton-Scott team sprays champagne on the podium after winning the La Vuelta cycling race in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Sept. 16. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Tales Azzoni

Madrid (AP) — Simon Yates won his first Grand Tour title after a largely ceremonial ride into Madrid in the final stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Sunday, giving British riders a sweep of the season's three biggest races.

The 26-year-old Englishman was dominant throughout the three-week race across Spain, thriving on the toughest climbs and the flattest routes to secure the victory after a last stage in which riders didn't attack the leaders under cycling tradition.

Yates' Vuelta title means Britain has swept the three Grand Tours. Geraint Thomas of Wales won the Tour de France in July and Kenyan-born British rider Chris Froome the Giro d'Italia in May.

Froome was the defending Vuelta champion and also won the Tour de France last year, meaning Britain has five straight Grand Tour victories.

"It's astonishing really," Yates said. "Growing up I was so accustomed to seeing the French, Italian and Spanish riders lead the way, so for myself, Chris and Geraint to all win a Grand Tour in the same year just shows how far the sport has come in this country."

Thomas and Froome skipped the race in Spain this year.

Italian rider Elia Viviani won the final sprint for his third stage win in this year's Vuelta, with Peter Sagan close behind him.

Yates, who rides for team Mitchelton-Scott, successfully defended his lead of almost two minutes in Saturday's demanding 20th stage, the last competitive one since the peloton took off from Malaga on Aug. 25. On Sunday, riders mostly paraded in a 100.9-kilometer (62.7-mile) route from the city of Alcorcon to the center of the Spanish capital.

Yates held the leader's red jersey through stages 9-11, then won stage 14 in the northwestern Picos de Europa mountains to take full control of the race until the end.

Spain's Enric Mas, from team Quick-Step Floors, won Saturday's difficult stage in Andorra and finished second in the general classification, 1 minute, 46 seconds behind Yates. Miguel Angel Lopez of Colombia, from thte Astana Pro Team, was third, more than two minutes off the lead.

"It's been a great moment to appear on the final podium," Mas said. "It was my goal although I kept it for myself coming into the race ... I hope for more moments like this in the future, including on the top spot."

Veteran Spaniard Alejandro Valverde was in contention from the first day but failed to keep pace with Yates on Saturday, dropping to fifth for Movistar in the final overall standings. Steven Kruijswijk of Team Lotto NL-Jumbo finished ahead of Valverde in fourth place.

Yates had already come close to a Grand Tour victory in the Giro d'Italia in May, a race he led for 13 stages before losing the lead to eventual winner Froome with two days left.

"It's still hard to believe that I've won," Yates said. "I was disappointed to not win the Giro but I've made it up. I'm in shock. I got really nervous when I went on stage. My natural habitat is on the bike . I enjoyed the moment. It was a very special one."

Yates made his Grand Tour debut in the 2014 Tour de France. In last year's Tour, he won the young rider's classification, finishing seventh overall.

Movistar ended first in the overall team classification.


Angela Stanford wins Evian for first major title

Angela Stanford of the U.S. poses with her trophy after winning the Evian Championship women's golf tournament in Evian, eastern France, Sunday, Sept. 16. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Angela Stanford wins Evian for first major title

Evian-les-Bains, France (AP) — Angela Stanford ended her long wait for a first major title when her 3-under 68 was enough to win the Evian Championship by one shot Sunday after long-time leader Amy Olson made double bogey on the 18th.

At age 40, and 15 years after she was runner-up at the U.S. Women's Open, Stanford's wild final few holes gave her a 12-under total of 272.

Olson missed a six-foot putt for bogey on the 18th to force a playoff, while Stanford waited near the green signing autographs for dozens of young spectators.

Stanford, who got the last of her five LPGA Tour titles in 2012, put her hands to her mouth on hearing she had won, and was in tears during television interviews.

Stanford earned a $577,500 check for making her 14th career top-10 finish in majors a winning one.

Olson carded a 74 to fall into a four-way tie for second place with fellow Americans Austin Ernst (68) and Mo Martin (70), and Sei Young Kim (72). Martin barely missed with a birdie chance on the 18th to face Stanford in a playoff.

After Olson was outright or joint leader all day — briefly with Stanford at 13 under with four holes to play — she three-putted to end the week with a career-best result.

The 26-year-old Olson's best finish in an LPGA event was tied for seventh in 2014.

WEB.COM TOUR

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Sangmoon Bae won the Albertsons Boise Open to regain his PGA Tour card, birdieing the final hole for a one-stroke victory in the Web.com Tour Finals event.

Bae finished at 19-under 265, closing with a 5-under 66 at Hillcrest Country Club to edge Anders Albertson (62), Roger Sloan (63) and Adam Schenk (64).

Bae returned to the PGA Tour this season after two years of mandatory military service in South Korea, but lost his card with a 202nd-place finish in the FedEx Cup standings. The two-time PGA Tour winner entered the week needing a few thousand dollars to wrap up a card and ended up making $180,000.

Albertson had already earned a PGA Tour card with a top-25 finish on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list, and Sloan, Schenk and fifth-place finisher Roberto Diaz all earned enough money to get three of the 25 cards available in the four-event series.

The series features the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list and Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings. Albertson and the other top-25 finishers on the Web.com money list are competing against each other for tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. The other players are fighting for 25 cards based on series earnings.

The season-ending Web.com Tour Championship is next week at Atlantic Beach Country Club in Florida.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

GRAND BLANC, Mich. (AP) — Paul Broadhurst won The Ally Challenge for his PGA Tour Champions-leading third victory of the season, closing with a birdie to beat Brandt Jobe by two strokes in tour golf's return to Warwick Hills.

Broadhurst rebounded from a bogey on the par-3 11th with birdies on the par-4 12th and par-5 13th and made a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th. The 53-year-old Englishman finished at 15-under 201 on the tree-lined layout that was the longtime home of the PGA Tour's Buick Open.

Jobe birdied five of the first six holes on the back nine in a 67. Tom Lehman bogeyed the 18th for a 70 to drop into a tie for third with Mark O'Meara (69) at 13 under.

Broadhurst won for the second time this year in Michigan, following his Senior PGA victory at Benton Harbor in May with his fifth senior title. He also teamed with Kirk Triplett for a playoff victory over Lehman and Bernhard Langer in April in the Legends of Golf.

Scott McCarron, tied for the second-round lead with Tom Lehman and Jeff Maggert, had a 77 to tie for 33rd at 5 under. The winner two weeks ago in Canada, McCarron dropped four strokes on the final two holes on the front nine, making a bogey on the par-3 eighth and a triple bogey on the par-4 ninth. Maggert shot a 72 to tie for eighth at 10 under.

EUROPEAN TOUR

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Ashun Wu birdied the 18th hole on Sunday to secure a one-stroke victory over Englishman Chris Wood at the KLM Open, becoming the first Chinese player to win three times on the European Tour.

Wu had an eagle putt on the final hole at The Dutch in Spijk that narrowly missed, leaving him a tap-in bidie for a 4-under 67. Wood, who had the 54-hole lead, needed a birdie on the par-5 18th and had to settle for par and a 69.

Wu pevious won the 2015 Volvo China Open and the 2016 Lyoness Open.

"It is very special for a Chinese player to play on the European Tour," Wu said. "I love to play here and to win three times feels amazing."

Thomas Detry, who thought he had missed the cut on Friday and drove home to Belgium, made it back in time for a 63 on Saturday and then a 66 on Sunday to finish alone in third.

OTHER TOURS

MEN

Sanghyun Park completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Shinhan Donghae Open with a 8-under 63 on Sunday for a five-shot victory over Scott Vincent on the Asian Tour. ... Liam Johnston closed with a 5-under 67 for a two-shot victory over Tom Murray in the Kazakhstan Open on the European Challenge Tour. ... Neil Schietekat shot a 4-under 68 for a one-shot victory over Louid de Jager in the Vodacom Origins in Arabella on the Sunshine Tour. ... Colombia's Nicolas Echavarria won the Sao Paulo Golf Club Championship, leading wire-to-wire in the PGA Tour Latinoamerica event. The former Arkansas player shot 64-66-68-67 for a one-stroke victory over Augusto Nunez of Argentina. ... Danny Walker won the Freedom 55 Financial Championship in London, Ontario, for his first Mackenzie Tour title. The 22-year-old former Virginia player closed with a 6-under 64 for a two-stroke victory. ... Gary Orr made birdie on the final hole at Craigielaw Golf Club and closed with a 5-over 76 for a one-shot victory over Paul Streeter in the Scottish Senior Open on the Staysure Tour.

WOMEN

So Young Lee closed with a 5-under 67 for a four-shot victory over Ju Young Pak in the All For You Championship on the Korean LPGA Tour. ... Kotono Kozuma closed with an 8-under 64 and won the Mungingwear Ladies Tokai Classic by one shot on the Japan LPGA Tour. ... South Korea's Hyemin Kim won the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout in Arkansas for her second career Symetra Tour title. She finished with a 1-over 73 for a three-stroke victory over Brittany Benvenuto.


Mayer sets decathlon WR after Kipchoge runs fastest marathon

Eliud Kipchoge celebrates winning the 45th Berlin Marathon in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Eliud Kipchoge set a new world record in 2 hours 1 minute 39 seconds. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Samuel Petrequin

Paris (AP) — On a spectacular day for track and field fans, Kevin Mayer of France set a decathlon world record in front of a home crowd, just hours after Eliud Kipchoge smashed the marathon world record in Berlin.

Competing at the Decastar event in Talence, southwestern France, world champion Mayer finished with a total of 9,126 points, improving on the previous record of 9,045 set by American athlete Ashton Eaton at the 2015 world championships in Beijing.

Earlier, Kipchoge clocked 2 hours, 1 minute, 39 seconds at the Berlin Marathon.

The 33-year-old overturned the previous world record set in Berlin by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 by 1 minute, 18 seconds.

"I lack words to describe this day," Kipchoge said after becoming the first person to finish a marathon in less than 2 hours and 2 minutes.

"They say you miss two times but you can't miss the third time," he said in reference to his two previous failed attempts to break the world record in Berlin.

In the decathlon, Mayer fell on his back in celebration after he crossed the line in the 1,500 meters — the last of 10 events — in 4 minutes, 36.11 seconds, a time he knew would guarantee him the record.

"I've been waiting for this moment for a long time," said Mayer, who became the first Frenchman to hold the decathlon world record. "We live for moments like this that are simply incredible. I couldn't cry. I don't have any more tears left because I was crying so much before the 1,500 meters."

Mayer came to Talence on the back of a disappointing showing at last month's European Championship, where he was eliminated after three fouls in the long jump. He made a strong start, setting a personal best in the 100 and long jump, but Mayer was 140 points behind Eaton's record after the first day. He was even more consistent on Sunday with 13.75 seconds in the 110 hurdles and a 50.54-meter throw in the discus. Mayer cleared 5.45 meters in the pole vault and reached 71.90 meters in the javelin.

The Decastar has been a major fixture of the season-end for years. Back in 1992, just after he missed out on the Barcelona Olympics, Dan O'Brien of the United States set a world record of 8,891 in Talence.

Eaton congratulated Mayer for his performance in a message posted on Twitter.

"That was an incredible display of ability!" he wrote. "Important thing to me has always been to keep pushing the limit and inspiring others to do the same. The more 9K can become commonplace the better."

In Berlin, Kipchoge successfully defended his 2017 title, pulling ahead of other runners early on amid perfect conditions. Mild temperatures and little to no wind in the German capital gave runners in the 45th edition an advantage over last year, when rain slowed the race.

A total of 44,389 runners from 133 countries took part in the race, organizers said.


49ers hang on to beat Lions 30-27

San Francisco 49ers tight end Garrett Celek (88) gets past Detroit Lions defensive back Glover Quin (27), cornerback Quandre Diggs (28) and defensive back Darius Slay (23) to score a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 16. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Josh Dubow

Santa Clara, Calif. (AP) — Another miscommunication almost led to another game-altering interception for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Only this time, the San Francisco 49ers got bailed out by a flag and held on to beat the Detroit Lions.

Garoppolo threw two touchdown passes and caught a break when a defensive holding call negated a late interception as the 49ers held on to beat the Lions 30-27 on Sunday.

"Very happy," Garoppolo said of his emotions after realizing a penalty wiped out his mistake. "I didn't see what happened on that with the flag and everything but very happy."

The big play came after Detroit (0-2) had cut San Francisco's 30-13 lead to three points thanks to two fourth-quarter touchdown passes by Matthew Stafford. Then with the 49ers (1-1) facing a third-and-2 near midfield, Garoppolo threw a quick out to Matt Breida. Tracy Walker stepped in front and intercepted the pass, returning it to the San Francisco 7.

But Quandre Diggs was called for holding George Kittle on the other side of the field, giving the 49ers a reprieve.

"I didn't see it, but it doesn't matter," Detroit coach Matt Patricia said. "That's the way the game is being called all the way across the board. We just can't do it, make plays and then the penalties."

Last week a wrong pattern run by Kendrick Bourne led to a pick-six by Garoppolo, who threw three interceptions in a 24-16 loss at Minnesota that gave him his first loss after winning his first seven career starts.

Garoppolo threw a 4-yard TD pass to Bourne in the second quarter Sunday and an 11-yarder to Garrett Celek in the third to hand Patricia, his old friend from their New England days, a second straight loss to begin his tenure as coach of the Lions. Garoppolo finished 18 for 26 for 206 yards, but was sacked six times.

Breida did much of the rest by rushing for 138 yards and breaking the game open with a 66-yard touchdown run in the third quarter with help from impressive downfield blocking by receiver Pierre Garcon. It was the longest run for San Francisco since Colin Kaepernick scored on a 90-yard run against the Chargers on Dec. 20, 2014.

"It's like backyard football," Breida said. "You see someone break a long run, see someone out there running, you have to block someone. That's what he did."

Stafford was much sharper than he was last week for the Lions when he threw four interceptions. He went 34 for 53 for 347 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions but it wasn't enough.

He threw TD passes in the fourth quarter to Marvin Jones Jr. and Michael Roberts but was unable to lead another scoring drive after taking over at the 16 with 1:08 to play. He threw an incomplete pass to Theo Riddick on fourth-and-2 from his 39 with 14 seconds left, ending the comeback attempt.

"We just have to make a few more plays, whether it be earlier in the game or later," Stafford said. "There's a million plays throughout the game we can clean up and be better, and it starts with me."

EJECTION

Detroit running back LeGarrette Blount was ejected in the third quarter. Blount took exception to Elijah Lee pushing Stafford as he stepped out of bounds. Blount was standing on the sideline right in front of the play and went on the field and pushed Lee. Blount was assessed a personal foul and ejected.

THIRD-QUARTER WOES

The Lions once again struggled coming out of halftime. Detroit was outscored 31-7 in the third quarter in a loss to the Jets last week and then 14-3 by the 49ers in this game.

RECORD-SETTING

The 49ers had three drives stall after getting inside the red zone in part because Detroit sacked Garoppolo three times on plays that started inside the 20. That led to three field goals for Robbie Gould, giving him 29 straight makes, two more than Phil Dawson's franchise record set in 2013.

GOOD RETURNS

Rookie D.J. Reed started the second half with a long kickoff return that initially appeared to go for a touchdown. But he was called for a facemask penalty while giving a stiff arm and was only credited with a 90-yard return, the longest for the Niners since Kyle Williams had a 94-yarder in 2012. San Francisco still managed to get a TD with a 26-yard drive capped by Garoppolo's pass to Celek.

INJURIES

Lions CB Darius Slay left with a concussion in the third quarter. ... 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt left in the second half with a shoulder injury.

ANTHEM

Injured 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin raised his fist during the national anthem. No other player had a visible protest.


Update September 15-16, 2018

Raikkonen fastest in 2nd practice for Singapore GP

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland steers his car during second practice at the Marina Bay City Circuit ahead of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

By Jerome Pugmire, AP Sports Writer

Singapore (AP) — Kimi Raikkonen posted the fastest time Friday in the second practice for the Singapore Grand Prix.

Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton stalled his Mercedes early in the session after misjudging the entry into a turn. The British driver drove solidly after that, finishing a fraction of a second behind Raikkonen's Ferrari under floodlights at the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) Marina Bay track.

Max Verstappen was .5 seconds behind Hamilton in third, with Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo fourth.

Sebastian Vettel was nearly two seconds behind Raikkonen in ninth, but set the time on slower tires than his teammate. He could not get onto the quicker tires after clipping a wall and damaging the rear right corner of his car. It forced the German driver back to the team garage, although the extent of the damage was not immediately clear.

It was hardly ideal preparation for Vettel, who has looked out of form in recent races. He is second in the overall standings and trails Hamilton by 30 points with six races remaining after Singapore. Both drivers are aiming for a fifth F1 title.

Earlier, Ricciardo was quickest in the first practice ahead of Verstappen, with Vettel in third ahead of Raikkonen.

In the first session, Hamilton had a scary moment when his front wheels locked and he momentarily veered off the track. Also, Sauber driver Charles Leclerc, who is replacing Raikkonen at Ferrari next year, mangled his front right suspension after clipping the barriers.

There is a final practice Saturday evening before qualifying at 9 p.m. local time.


Through the legs: Coric's 'tweener' draws bows at Davis Cup

Borna Coric of Croatia plays a return to Steve Johnson of the United States during a Davis Cup semifinal singles tennis match between Croatia and the United States in Zadar, Croatia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

By Andrew Dampf, AP Sports Writer

Zadar, Croatia (AP) — Borna Coric pulled off a through-the-legs lob shot winner that drew bows from the crowd in the Davis Cup semifinals on Friday.

Early in the third set of a 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-3 victory over Steve Johnson, Coric ran down a lob and replied with a shot known as a "tweener" that flew over the head of his 6-foot-2 (1.88-meter) opponent and landed within inches of the baseline.

Later, sixth-ranked Marin Cilic gave Croatia a 2-0 lead over the United States with a 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory over Davis Cup debutant Frances Tiafoe.

Carlos Ramos, the chair umpire who penalized Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final, officiated the second match without incident.

The 21-year-old Coric, considered one of the top up-and-coming players in the game, said he had never before even come close to landing such a difficult shot.

"I normally go somehow around my back," he said. "But I just felt that I can do it. It was not such an important point, so I just did it. Honestly I never do it in practice as well, so I don't know how it was that good, to be honest. It was really luck.

"I did mean it (to be a lob) but I thought I'm going to miss by a lot," Coric added. "But I made it."

Moments earlier, the 18th-ranked Coric had landed a delicate forehand drop-shot winner to close out a close second-set tiebreak.

"He came up with some good stuff today," Johnson said.

The winner of the best-of-five series on an outdoor clay court along the Dalmatian coast will meet either France or Spain in the final.


US Open umpire tells AP he is focusing on 'working again'

Tennis umpire Carlos Ramos, bottom right, talks to an official prior to the start of the first Davis Cup semifinal singles match between Croatia and the United States in Zadar, Croatia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

By Andrew Dampf, AP Sports Writer

Zadar, Croatia (AP) — The chair umpire who penalized Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final is back at work.

Carlos Ramos has been assigned to the best-of-five Davis Cup semifinal series between Croatia and the United States.

"I'm just focusing on this tie and working again. That's all I can say," Ramos told The Associated Press on Friday before the opening singles match between Borna Coric and Steve Johnson, which he did not officiate.

But Ramos did work the second singles match between Marin Cilic and Frances Tiafoe, which was completed without incident.

Ramos calmed the raucous crowd on several occasions and checked a ball mark in the clay at one point but otherwise had no impact on the match, which Cilic won in straight sets to give Croatia a 2-0 lead.

Ramos gave Williams three code violations in her straight-set loss to Naomi Osaka last weekend, and the American great argued she wasn't being treated the same as some male players.

USTA president and CEO Katrina Adams, who defended Williams, was overheard apologizing to Ramos on the sidelines of Thursday's draw ceremony.

Ramos wouldn't go into details over his discussion with Adams, who initiated the conversation.

"You know I cannot talk about that," Ramos said.


The Iceman is 1 drive away from a fifth IndyCar championship

In this May 12, 2018, file photo, Scott Dixon, of New Zealand, heads through a turn during the IndyCar Grand Prix auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis. Dixon has blazed his way through the record books to cement himself as the greatest IndyCar driver of his generation. One more championship will give him five, second in the open wheel record books only to A.J. Foyt. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

By Jenna Fryer, AP Auto Racing Writer

Sonoma, Calif. (AP) — Scott Dixon said just one word over his radio, a four-letter expletive, as his car crashed off course on the opening lap of a critical championship race. He fell silent as track workers rushed to free Marco Andretti from an overturned car nearby, chaos all around him in the multi-car crash.

Dixon was not rattled. He maneuvered his car out of the dirt, wedged it around the accident scene and back onto the track, spraying a cloud of dust as he sped away,

The critical moment at the start of Portland's race two weeks ago could have erased Dixon's lead in the championship standings. Instead, he saved the season with a calm and steady fifth-place finish that has him in line for his fifth IndyCar title.

When the race was over, Dixon returned to his team transporter, changed out of his firesuit and nonchalantly leaned into a room of Chip Ganassi Racing executives.

"I need a new engine," the New Zealander said.

Then he left. He was met by a crowd of fans when he stepped outside, so he ducked back in to grab a handful of his race hats, then went back out to sign them and give them away. When he ran out, he took the orange PNC Bank hat off his head and gave that one away, too.

Just another race for "The Iceman," the skillful veteran who can be found stretched in the lounge of the team truck fast asleep 10 minutes before he has to climb into his car and drive 200 mph. His focus is laser like and this latest run at a title came during a season in which Ganassi downsized and Dixon was presented with outside job opportunities. He simply dedicated almost all his attention toward winning another championship.

"He's on a different level. Everything is about winning right now, and it makes him a bit boring," said Dario Franchitti, the retired IndyCar champion. "Away from all this, he's brilliant, can have a lot of fun. But right now he's just totally focused on racing."

Dixon saved his season in Portland by avoiding any damage to his car in the accident, then pulling out a strong finish. He takes a 29-point lead over Alexander Rossi into Sunday's season finale at Sonoma Raceway, a race worth double points.  He simply needs a decent race to lock up the championship, which would move him within two titles of all-time leader A.J. Foyt (7).

Dixon already ranks third on the all-time win list and his 44 victories trail only Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52). He is without the question the most prolific IndyCar driver of his generation.

So what would another title mean to Dixon?

"It says that I did OK this year, if we do win, then we move onto the next year," the 38-year-old said.

Dixon, understated and even-tempered, is similar to his NASCAR contemporary Jimmie Johnson. Both Dixon and the seven-time champion are consummate at-track professionals with tunnel vision when it comes to racing and fitness, neither gets the proper recognition for their accomplishments and both have party personalities that are only occasionally seen.

It was Dixon who won the pole for last year's Indianapolis 500, then went to grab dinner with Franchitti at Taco Bell. The duo was robbed in the drive-thru, Dixon had a gun pointed at his head and he showed up at the track the next day as if nothing had happened. He was so nonchalant about the entire episode his publicist initially thought it was a joke.

Dixon didn't want to talk about the armed robbery, and at this time of the year, he doesn't want to talk about anything. It's a nuisance, not unlike his recent courtship during a contract year. Dixon has been with Ganassi since four races into the 2002 season and he's the longest-tenured driver with the organization. Dixon wins races, doesn't make any trouble for the team and does his job. He is exactly who Ganassi is referring to every time the owner uses his signature #ILikeWinners on Twitter.

"He's proven that he's not just a normal run-of-the-mill driver," Ganassi said. "I think on and off the track he shows that he is the man. He's the driver that if you were to take a stone and inject some brains into it, you'd chisel out Scott Dixon. He has the same desire to win today as he did when he came with our team, and I think that's impressive. He's a team player. He's always pushing the limits, and he likes to get the most out of any situation."

Dixon has recently shown more of himself to fans and recently unveiled the trailer for a feature-length documentary about him called "Born Racer," to be released Oct. 2. It will perhaps show more of the personality that Dixon keeps throttled while he's on the job.

When he finished signing autographs in Portland, his sweat-matted hair exposed because he'd given away his hat, Dixon headed to a suite alongside the track. He joined his wife there, as well as Franchitti and a host of friends. He grabbed a beer and settled in to watch a support race.

"It's right there in front of us right now, so that's what we're after," Dixon said. "It's on to Sonoma, we'll try to have the fastest car we can prepare, qualify where we can, put our heads down. That's what we can do."


Update September 14, 2018

Osaka's US Open win re-opens identity discussion in Japan

Naomi Osaka, the champion of U.S. Open women's singles, smiles during a press conference in Yokohama, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. Osaka defeated Serena Williams of the U.S. on Saturday, Sept. 8, to become the first Grand Slam singles champion from Japan. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

By Stephen Wade and Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press

Yokohama, Japan (AP) — Naomi Osaka's victory in the U.S. Open has added her to a growing list of athletes, Nobel Prize winners, and beauty pageant contestants who have raised the issue of what it means to be Japanese.

The daughter of a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, Osaka was born in Japan but raised in the United States. But she is being lauded in Japan as the first from the country to win a Grand Slam singles tennis title, which has upstaged most questions about her mixed background.

Some children from mixed race families in Japan often get bullied and demeaned, called "hafu" — from the English word "half" — and are chided that they aren't fully Japanese.

Japan has embraced the 20-year-old Osaka, and she — despite barely speaking Japanese — talks fondly of her affection for her adopted country. But her victory also challenges public attitudes about identity in a homogeneous culture that is being pushed to change.

"It is hard to say for sure if the extremely narrow conception, unconsciously or consciously, held by many Japanese of being Japanese, is being loosened," Naoko Hashimoto, who researches national identify at the University of Sussex in England, wrote in an email to Associated Press.

"In my opinion, it still appears that Japanese are generally defined as those who are born from a Japanese father and a Japanese mother, who speak perfect Japanese and 'act like Japanese'."

Athletes and celebrities seem to fall into a different category. Osaka has lots of company in this realm with an increasing number of sports stars claiming mixed backgrounds.

For instance:

— Yu Darvish, the Chicago Cubs pitcher: son on a Japanese mother and Iranian father. Born in Osaka.

— Mashu Baker, an Olympic gold-medal winner in judo: son of a Japanese mother and American father. Born in Tokyo.

— Asuka Cambridge, Olympic silver-medal winner in the 4x100 track relay: born in Jamaica to a Japanese mother and Jamaican father, but grew up in Japan.

— Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, track and field sprinter: son of a Japanese mother and Ghanaian father. Born in Tokyo.

— Koji Murofushi, Olympic gold- and silver-medal winner in the hammer throw: son of a Romanian mother and Japanese father. Born and raised in Japan.

Murofushi said he's always felt Japanese.

"I know that I have a mixed heritage," he told AP. "But I always feel Japanese." He added it's "not something that really concerned me or anything."

The visibility of mixed-race athletes in Japan is sure to increase as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approach and the country hunts for competitors in sports where it has little history.

The reverse happened two years ago in the Rio de Janeiro Games, where Brazil found athletes with Japanese roots — more than 2 million Brazilians claim Japanese ancestry — to compete in non-Brazilian specialties.

One thing is clear, Osaka is cashing in.

The U.S. Open victory was worth $3.8 million in prize money. And on Thursday, Osaka was introduced in Japan as a "brand ambassador" for the Japanese car maker Nissan. It's a three-year deal, though financial terms were not disclosed.

Osaka defeated Williams in Saturday's chaotic final . Forbes magazine reports that Williams is the highest earning female athlete with income of $18.1 million, almost all from endorsements and sponsorship deals. She's topped the list for several years.

But Osaka's mixed-race profile, her appeal in the huge Asian market, and her links to Japan's world-wide brands should drive her long-term earning potential.

Osaka was asked if she's a "new type of Japanese" — mixed race and representing three cultures.

"For me, it's just who I am," she said. "When someone asks me a question like that, it really throws me off because then I really have to think about it. I don't know. I don't really think that I'm three separate — like mixes of whatever. I just think that I'm me."

Osaka said people tell her that she acts "kind of Japanese." But she added: "I think my tennis is not very Japanese."

Jonathan Jensen, who researches sports marketing at the University of North Carolina, told AP by email that the size of the Nissan contact would depend on how much of her time the company uses. And how many tournaments — and what tournaments — she wins.

"She seems very shy and it's not for everyone," Jensen wrote. "But the potential is there if that's the route she wants to take, particularly with brands based in Asia, like Nissan. Tech firms and consumer electronics would also be a natural fit."

Osaka has charmed Japanese audiences with her grace and gentleness off the court, and her ferocity on it. She's talked about her fondness for Japanese food — curried rice topped with a pork cutlet is a favorite.

She's also been a spokeswoman for two years for the Japanese cup noodle brand Nissin, which is launching a new noodle cup to commemorate her victory.

Kazuyoshi Minowa, a spokesman for Windsor Corp, which operates tennis shops in Tokyo, said customers are asking to buy the same racket that Osaka uses. He said he met her two years ago when she visited a store.

"My impression was that she was very quiet, unlike her powerful image playing the game," he told Japanese broadcaster NHK.

Questions about race also surfaced in 2016 when Priyanka Yoshikawa was crowned Miss World Japan. Her mother is Japanese and her father in Indian and she was born in Tokyo.

This came a year after Ariana Miyamoto won the Miss Universe Japan title. She was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and African-American father.

Hashimoto, the researcher at the University of Sussex, pointed out that under Japanese law, Osaka will have to decide on her nationality before she turns 22. She's 20 now and cannot legally hold two passports.

Hashimoto referenced three Nobel Prize winners born in Japan who eventually took other nationalities. The writer Kazuo Ishiguro holds a British passport, and scientists Yoichiro Nanbu and Shuji Nakamura both now hold American passports.

She said the strict one-passport rule "could risk leading to brain drain of great talents out of Japan."

"While Naomi Osaka's victory should be celebrated on its own," Hashimoto said. "Her case provides those Japanese with a narrow conception of Japanese-ness with an excellent opportunity to rethink what it means to be Japanese."


Raikkonen on leaving Ferrari: "It's not my decision"

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland speaks during a press conference at the Marina Bay City Circuit ahead of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

By Jerome Pugmire, AP Sports Writer

Singapore (AP) — Kimi Raikkonen was hardly in the mood to talk about why he's leaving Ferrari next season.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix, he reverted to his typically monosyllabic and nonchalant style when asked about the reasons for his departure. It was announced this week that Ferrari will not be renewing the Finnish driver's contract in 2019.

"This is what happened. It's not up to me and it's not my decision," Raikkonen said on Thursday. "This is the outcome. At least we have an outcome."

His seat is going to Charles Leclerc. The 20-year-old from Monaco is joining from Sauber, while Raikkonen is heading to Sauber on a two-year deal.

Raikkonen was asked if he was happy to join a lesser team like Sauber, where he started his F1 career in 2001. He replied bluntly, while staring ahead with his piercing gaze.

"Why not?" Raikkonen asked the news conference interviewer. "Because I want to go. Why do you make it so complicated?"

Raikkonen won F1 in 2007 driving for Ferrari, and has 20 wins among his 100 career podiums.

Aside from driving skills, he has become a huge hit with fans for his sense of detachment and disinterest when talking about himself. He even seemed to be reveling in his role this time, veering into sarcasm as he fielded a question regarding his age.

Raikkonen will be 39 when he takes the grid for Sauber next year, making him comfortably the oldest driver on the grid.

Asked if he is still passionate about racing, despite his advancing years, he replied stone-faced: "No, I'm not, actually."

Raikkonen was informed of Ferrari's decision a little less than two weeks ago, during the team's home race at the Italian GP in Monza.

After finding out, he quickly turned to some old friends at Sauber and contract discussions proved straightforward.

"I obviously know people from the past and it started after that," he said, adding that this will likely be his last contract. "There's a big chance for sure."

Raikkonen lies third in the ongoing series.

"I will stop (racing) when I feel it is right for me."

Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel has enjoyed a trusting relationship with Raikkonen, and will miss him.

"The most important thing as teammates is the respect you have for each other," said Vettel, a four-time F1 champion. "Obviously, it's a great chance for Charles, but sad to know Kimi's not there anymore, because we get along very well even though we're different."


Golovkin trainer calls positive test by Alvarez insulting

 

In this Sept. 15, 2017, file photo, Canelo Alvarez, left, and Gennady Golovkin pose during a weigh-in in Las Vegas. Golovkin's trainer says his fighter was insulted when Alvarez tested positive for a performance enhancing drug that caused their planned May middleweight title rematch to be postponed. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

By The Associated Press

Gennady Golovkin's trainer says his fighter was insulted when Canelo Alvarez tested positive for a performance enhancing drug that caused their planned May middleweight title rematch to be postponed.

Abel Sanchez tells PodcastOne Sports Now co-host Tim Dahlberg that Alvarez's claim the test was positive because of tainted meat he ate in Mexico rings hollow, and that it could be Alvarez didn't want to fight when the bout was originally scheduled.

"Sometimes I feel he ingested the meat on purpose," Sanchez said. "It's not like he lives under a rock. The fact it happens makes me believe there's either carelessness on his part or he simply didn't care."

Sanchez also said Triple G was serious when he said he wouldn't fight unless he got more money after the positive test. He did, and the two meet Saturday night in a rematch of their draw from last September.

Also on the podcast with co-host Jim Litke is author Jeff Pearlman, whose new book on the United States Football League came out Tuesday. Pearlman tells Litke and Dahlberg that the book was a labor of love because of the uniqueness of the league and its owners in the 1980s.

The USFL would fold after three seasons, but not before team owner Donald Trump and others sued the NFL over antitrust violations. The USFL won, but got damages of only $1 and went out of business.

Also on the show is some talk about food and what really constitutes a true Neopolitan pizza.


Wallays wins Vuelta stage, Yates leads before decisive tests

Mitchelton-Scott's Team Simon Yates of Great Britain, red shirt leader, is congratulated by La Vuelta staff member Oscar Pereiro at the end of the 17th stage between Getxo and Balcon de Vizcaya, 157 kilometers (97,55miles), of the Spanish Vuelta cycling race that finishes in Balcon de Vizcaya, northern Spain, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Lleida, Spain (AP) — Jelle Wallays won the Spanish Vuelta's flat 18th stage on Thursday, while Simon Yates held on to the overall lead ahead of two decisive days in the Pyrenees.

Wallays produced a long breakaway attack before edging out Sven Erik Bystrom and world champion Peter Sagan to win the 186-kilometer (116-mile) leg from Ejea de los Caballeros to Lleida in just under four hours.

The Belgian rider said the victory made up for not being selected by his Lotto Soudal team for the Tour de France in July.

"I worked very hard to be selected for the Tour de France," the 29-year-old Wallays said. "I didn't go there and then I worked for a stage win at La Vuelta and I got it. It's fantastic."

Yates, who rides for Mitchelton-Scott, kept the red jersey for a fifth consecutive day, and eighth day in total.

He leads former Vuelta winner Alejandro Valverde by 25 seconds, with Enric Mas third at 1:22. Miguel Angel Lopez is fourth at 1:36, Steven Kruijswijk is fifth at 1:48 while Nairo Quintana is sixth at 2:11.

Yates called the uneventful stage, which came a day after he lost time to Valverde in a grueling mountain test, "the easiest so far."

He also said he would feel at home when the race has its last two key stages on the slopes of the tiny nation of Andorra in the Pyrenees.

"I've been living in Andorra for most of my professional career, since 2015," said the British rider. "I know the climbs very well. I think the two coming stages are going to be very difficult. I'm just trying to do my own race, I think I can win."

Friday's 154-kilometer stage starting in Lleida is flat until an uphill finish. That will be followed by Saturday's short, but demanding, ride over six categorized climbs.

The Grand Tour will finish on Sunday with its traditional arrival into Madrid where riders honor the custom of not challenging the leader.


Update September 13, 2018

Cook makes record wicket more special for Anderson

England pose for a team photo after winning the fifth cricket test match and the five match series between England and India at the Oval cricket ground in London, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

By Sam Johnston, Associated Press

London (AP) — Although his record-breaking wicket clinched victory for England over India, what meant most to James Anderson was that his retiring teammate Alastair Cook was on the field to witness it.

Anderson became the most successful fast-bowler in test history by claiming the final wicket in England's 118-run fifth test win at the Oval on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old Anderson bowled Mohammed Shami for his 564th career wicket, passing Glenn McGrath for fourth on the all-time list and leaving himself only trailing spin bowlers, as England wrapped up a 4-1 series victory.

McGrath took to social media on Wednesday, saying: "Congratulations on becoming the most successful fast bowler in the history of the game," the retired Australian bowler said on Twitter. "It takes dedication, commitment, work ethic, skill and mental toughness to achieve what you have. Very well deserved mate."

Despite Anderson's moment of glory, it was his long-time teammate Cook — playing in his 161st and final test — who led England from the field, having set up the victory with a second innings century that left India chasing a record 464 to win.

"It was (perfect)," Anderson said. "Happy that Cookie was on the field to see that wicket. It's been a tough week."

Centuries from Lokesh Rahul and Rishabh Pant threatened what looked like a simple victory, but England took five wickets after tea to end No. 1-ranked India's second innings on 345.

Adil Rashid removed both centurions, before Sam Curran struck twice to set the stage for Anderson.

"What Jimmy's achieved and what he's capable of achieving still is astounding really," England captain Joe Root said. "For him to have taken as many wickets as he has, to even be in the same league as McGrath and now chasing the big two spinners is a phenomenal effort."

India made a good start after beginning the day 58-3 before Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari were lost in consecutive overs to leave it facing defeat on 167-5 at lunch.

That was despite Rahul's first test century since December 2016, which was reached with three boundaries in one over against Ben Stokes. It was the first time an Indian opening batsman had gone past 50 in the series.

Rahul's runs at first seemed consolatory but a comeback victory then appeared realistic when Pant, India's 20-year-old wicketkeeper, hit a six off Rashid shortly before tea for his maiden test century.

That left India needing 166 runs in the final session to reach what would have been a record chase of 464.

"We did sort of think about (winning)," India captain Virat Kohli said. "But we knew that these guys had to be in there until the (required) score got below 100 and then we'd probably have a chance and England were waiting for someone to get out and then take the new ball."

Despite already having the new ball available to him, Root persisted with Rashid, who had bowled a wicket-less and costly 10 overs.

He was rewarded when the leg-spinner got the breakthrough with a stunning delivery which turned from outside leg-stump to clip the top of Rahul's off-stump, ending his innings on 149.

"It was a brilliant delivery," Root said. "Rash has that in him. That's why we have him in the side because he has the ability to change games, to turn situations like that on their head and thankfully got us in a position where we could then go on and win the game."

Pant went for another six in the next over but was caught on the boundary at long-off by Moeen Ali, giving Rashid his second wicket in 12 deliveries and turning the match back in England's favor.

Curran then had Ravindra Jadeja (13) and Ishant Sharma (5) caught behind, before Anderson toiled away — in a 14-over spell either side of tea — without reward.

He had been denied Jadeja's wicket when wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow dropped a tough chance to his left, but ultimately the landmark came in the most fitting style.

Anderson uprooted Shami's middle stump to ensure the wait for his wicket — and an England victory — was over.

While it was Cook who led the side off the field, he didn't see that as a reflection of who has been England's most important player during his 12 years playing alongside Anderson.

"I think he's England's greatest cricketer," Cook said of Anderson. "Just the way he's constantly kept going. It's just a phenomenal effort and god knows how many he's going to end up with."


Tyler Adams scores 1st goal to give US 1-0 win over Mexico

U.S. midfielder Tyler Adams (4) applauds the fans after an international friendly match, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Adams scored the only goal as the U.S. won 1-0. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

By Teresa M. Walker, AP Sports Writer

Nashville, Tenn. (AP) — The Americans is testing young players to get the United States back to the World Cup in 2022. Tyler Adams, Antonee Robinson and goalkeeper Zack Steffen are giving glimpses they might be able to help.

Adams scored his first international goal, four minutes after Angel Zaldivar was ejected for a studs-up tackle, and the United States rebounded from a poor first half for a 1-0 victory over Mexico on Tuesday night, the Americans' first win over their rival in three years.

"We wanted to show our character and pride for the country, and we went out there and battled at times," Adams said. "Maybe at the beginning the soccer wasn't there completely, it got a little chippy at times, but we handled ourselves well.

Adams, a 19-year-old who made his national team debut last November, scored after Kellyn Acosta passed to a sprinting Antonee Robinson on the left flank. Robinson crossed for Adams, who one-timed the ball from the penalty spot past goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez, who played his first match for El Tri at age 28.

"He's a winner this kid, and I think I've been really pleased in terms of his growth with the ball in tight spots," U.S. interim coach Dave Sarachan said. "We know that he can run and cover ground and win tackles and compete. But at the next level now can you do the next part? And that's have a presence with the ball and picking your spots so it just keeps getting better."

The left-footed Robinson, burned by Douglas Costa with a cross that led to Brazil's opening goal in a 2-0 loss Friday, had replaced right-footed Eric Lichaj at left back in the 56th minute.

"I just saw the defenders dropping really deep toward the goal so I cut it back across so hopefully someone could get on the end of it, and thankfully Tyler did," Robinson said. "And it was a really great finish.

Adams called Robinson's cross good timing with the ball trickling right to him.

"So watching it was like in slo-mo, the ball just came to me and I was able to finish it," Adams said.

Mexico played a man short after Zaldivar took down U.S. captain Wil Trapp in the 67th minute, and the U.S. immediately surged in its attack.

U.S. midfielder Weston McKennie was replaced in the 40th minute after what appeared to be a non-contact injury to his left knee. McKennie will have a scan Wednesday.

The U.S. now has three wins, two losses and three draws under Sarachan, who took over last October after Bruce Arena quit when the Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup. New general manager Earnie Stewart plans to announce a permanent coach later this year.

The Americans had two losses and a tie in their previous three matches against Mexico, including a home defeat and a road draw in World Cup qualifying. Sarachan liked how his team kept their composure.

"This was a group that wasn't going to lose tonight, and I couldn't be more proud," Sarachan said.

Since opening the World Cup with wins over defending champion Germany and South Korea, Mexico has lost four straight games for the first time since 2001. Losses to Sweden and Brazil and the World Cup were followed by an exhibition defeat to Uruguay, with El Tri outscored 10-1 over the four matches.

There were few chances in the first half, when both teams showed little creative flair.

The match between the regional rivals became heated in the second half. Edson Alvarez was given a yellow card for bumping Matt Miazga after the 6-foot-4 American mocked Diego Lainez, who was defending him despite being nearly a foot shorter.

A crowd of 40,194 turned out for the game at Nissan Stadium, one of the sites on the proposed preliminary list for 2026 World Cup matches.

Sarachan made six changes from Friday and his lineup averaging 23 years, 5 days, the youngest starting lineup for the Americans against Mexico since at least 1990.

Mexico changed 10 starters from Friday and gave debuts to Gonzalez, defenders Jose Abella and Gerardo Arteago, and midfielder Erick Aguirre.


Newspaper reprints controversial cartoon of Serena Williams

Melbourne-based newspaper Herald Sun displays a controversial cartoon of Serena Williams that has been widely condemned as a racist depiction of the tennis great, in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. The newspaper defended its cartoonist Mark Knight's depiction of Williams and is asserting the condemnation, which has come from all parts of the world, is driven by political correctness. (AP Photo)

By Rod Mcguirk, Associated Press

Melbourne, Australia (AP) — A cartoon of Serena Williams that has been widely condemned as a racist depiction of the tennis great has been partially reprinted on the front page of the Melbourne-based newspaper that initially published it.

The Herald Sun newspaper printed an edited portion of the cartoon — featuring 23-time Grand Slam winner Williams jumping on a broken racket during her dispute with a chair umpire in the U.S. Open final — among caricatures of other famous people Wednesday under the headline "Welcome to the PC World."

The newspaper, which has Australia's largest circulation, has defended its cartoonist Mark Knight's depiction of Williams and is asserting that the condemnation, which has come from around the world, is driven by political correctness.

"If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very dull indeed," the paper said on its front page.

Williams has won the Australian Open singles title seven times at Melbourne Park, including in 2017 when she was pregnant. She is a crowd favorite at the first tennis major of the year, which is held each January at a venue that is within sight of the Herald Sun's headquarters.

In comments published by News Corp., Knight said he created the cartoon after watching Williams' "tantrum" during her U.S. Open final loss to Naomi Osaka on Saturday and that it was designed to illustrate "her poor behavior on the day, not about race."

Knight reportedly has disabled his Twitter account after his post of the cartoon attracted tens of thousands of comments, mostly critical.

During the final against Osaka, Williams got a warning from the chair umpire for violating a rarely enforced rule against receiving coaching from the sidelines. An indignant Williams emphatically defended herself, denying she had cheated. A short time later, she smashed her racket in frustration and was docked a point. She protested and demanded an apology from the umpire, who penalized her a game.

Critics of Knight's cartoon described it as a clear example of a stereotype facing black women, depicting Williams as an irate, hulking, big-mouthed black woman jumping up and down on a broken racket. The umpire was shown telling a blond, slender woman — meant to be Osaka, who is Japanese and Haitian — "Can you just let her win?"

"I was deeply offended. This is not a joke," said Vanessa K. De Luca, former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine, who wrote a column about the U.S. Open furor.

The cartoonist "completely missed the point of why she was upset," De Luca told The Associated Press. "It was about her integrity, and anybody who doesn't get that is perpetuating the erasure that so many black women feel when they are trying to speak up for themselves. It's like our opinions don't matter."

In a social media post, Peter Blunden, managing director of News Corp.'s operations in the state of Victoria, said: "Australia's finest cartoonist Mark Knight has the strongest support of his colleagues for his depiction of Serena Williams' petulance. It's about bad behavior, certainly not race. The PC brigade are way off the mark ... again."

This isn't the first time a cartoon in a News Corp. newspaper has drawn allegations of racism. In 2009, civil rights leaders and others criticized a New York Post cartoon that some interpreted as comparing President Barack Obama to a violent chimpanzee.

In Britain, where fiercely competitive tabloids often trade in sensationalism, Rupert Murdoch-owned newspapers have been accused of sexism, racism and xenophobia over the years. Last year a former editor of the Murdoch-owned Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie, quit as a contributor to the tabloid after writing a column comparing a soccer player with part-Nigerian heritage to a gorilla.

Many years of outrage over articles and cartoons did little to hurt Murdoch's power over British politics and media, though his papers' underhanded practices did. Murdoch was forced to shut down the 168-year-old tabloid News of the World in 2011 after the revelation that its employees had eavesdropped on the phone voice mails of celebrities, politicians and crime victims.

Australian indigenous playwright and actress Nakkiah Lui tweeted in response to the front page, saying the Herald Sun needed to "chill."

"Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom above criticism," she said.

"What we have is a bunch of people who get paid to publicly exercise their implied freedom to speech then whining when people disagree with what they have had the privilege of being paid to say," she added.

Australian writer Maxine Beneba Clarke said she believed the front page demonstrated a "misunderstanding" of the criticism leveled at the cartoon.

"I think it's really interesting that the Herald Sun has not included really any other caricatures or cartoons of black people — either Aboriginal people or African-American people, black people of any descent," Clarke, who is of Afro-Caribbean descent, told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Cartoonist Paul Zanetti, a friend of Knight, said cartooning was under threat from political correctness, and the Herald Sun front page "spelt out exactly where we are at this point."

"Political correctness is really all about censoring, it's about being bullied into conforming to a view of the world," he said.


Yates loses time in Vuelta; Woods earns emotional stage win

Canada's Michael Woods celebrates after winning the 17th stage of the Spanish Vuelta cycling race between Getxo and Balcon de Vizcaya, northern Spain, Wednesday, Sept.12, 2018. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Balcon De Bizkaia, Spain (AP) — Simon Yates lost a few seconds of his Spanish Vuelta lead on Wednesday, while Michael Woods of Canada earned an emotional victory on a difficult mountain stage.

Woods outlasted the field in a 157-kilometer (97.5-mile) 17th stage that finished with a tough climb up Balcon de Bizkaia in Basque Country, and then dedicated the win to his stillborn son, who died this year when his wife was 37 weeks pregnant.

The Canadian rider crossed the line five seconds in front of Dylan Teuns and 10 seconds ahead of David de la Cruz.

"It's a special moment for me. I was very moved on the finish line," the 31-year-old Woods said. "My coach was in the car and in the final 500 meters (yards) he told me on the radio to think about my family."

Woods said that his wife also lost her father a month ago.

"It's been a very hard year," he said. "I was cracked on the finish line. I tried to stay calm, I tried to think of my family and to think of my little Hunter as an inspiration."

This was the first stage win at a Grand Tour race for the rider from team Education First-Drapac.

Yates' gap to Alejandro Valverde was cut from 33 seconds to 25 seconds after a solid climb by the veteran Spaniard.

Enric Mas also had a good run and moved up to third place overall, 1 minute, 22 seconds behind Yates.

"There's still a lot of racing to come, hard stages ahead. The gaps are still small behind me," Yates said. "Nobody really attacked in the climb. There's no shame in losing a few seconds to Valverde and Mas in such a finale. I truly believe Andorran stages are much better for me. Of the stages left, this is the one I feared most. I know Andorra very well and I think the climbs suit me very well."

Nairo Quintana struggled the most, losing more than a minute and dropping out of the top 5 in the general classification.

No changes at the top are expected on Thursday, when riders will face a flat 186.1-kilometer (115.6-mile) stage from Ejea de los Caballeros to Lleida in northeastern Spain.

The three-week Grand Tour race ends Sunday in Madrid.


Update September 12, 2018

Girl soccer player challenges gender rules in Argentina

In this Sept. 8, 2018 photo Candelaria Cabrera, center, plays with her soccer teammates against the Alumni Club, in Chabas, Argentina. While she's officially now banned from playing with Huracan because she is a girl, the team has let her keep playing, at least until an opponent objects. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

In this Sept. 8, 2018 photo, 7-year-old Candelaria Cabrera poses for a portrait holding a soccer ball in Chabas, Argentina. She was 3 years old when her parents gave her her first ball. Her desire to play soccer has called attention to the obstacles women face in the sport in Argentina. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

By Debora Rey

Chabas, Argentina (AP) — At age 7, Candelaria Cabrera goes after the soccer ball with determination. She drives toward her rivals without caring much about getting hurt and deftly manages the bumps on the dirt field.

She wears a loose white jersey from Huracan de Chabas, her hometown, located 230 miles (370 kilometers) north of the capital, Buenos Aires. Printed on the back and on her red shorts is a number 4. She uses white boots and shin guards. Her long, copper colored hair tied in a ponytail distinguishes her from the rest of the players.

"Cande," as she is known by friends and family, is the only girl playing in a children's soccer league in the southern party of Santa Fe province, birthplace of stars including Lionel Messi, Gabriel Batistuta and Jorge Valdano. Former Argentine coaches Marcelo Bielsa, Gerardo Martino and Jorge Sampaoli were also born there.

But a regional regulation that prohibits mixed-gender teams in children's categories threatens to take her off the field — a ruling that has helped dramatize the inequality in opportunities for men and women in this soccer-crazed county.

"I had to sit down with her and tell her that there are some people who have to make rules in soccer and that these rules do not agree with what she wants," said Rosana Noriega, Candelaria's mother. "And, well, we both cried, and she said: 'The people who make the laws are bad people.'"

She was 3 years old when her parents gave her her first ball. They understood that it didn't make sense to insist she play with dolls, even if there were "comments from other moms that they should not give her male toys because it would encourage her to be a lesbian," Noriega recalled.

Two months ago, the regional soccer authorities notified Huracan that the team could no longer include Candelaria. She could only play on a girls' team — which does not exist where Candelaria lives.

Noriega took to social media to speak out about her daughter's case and was surprised to find that she was not the only one. Girls wrote to her saying they were facing the same problem in nearby towns and more distant provinces.

Of the 230 regional leagues recognized by the Argentine Football Association, only 68 have women's teams. This is just one of the many disparities with men's soccer. The most notable is financial: The best-paid contract in men's first division is around $3 million a year. In contrast, women who play in their top category receive a travel voucher of $44.

Argentina's female players, who will play in a November runoff game for the 2019 World Cup, have struggled financially when their payments were delayed. They also expressed discomfort when Adidas, the brand that sponsors a few members of the national teams of both genders, unveiled the new shirt for the Female America Cup this year with models rather than players.

"The biggest lack is that they don't have younger players. They start playing at age 16, 17 and by then they've missed out on a bunch of issues that have to do with understanding the game," said Ricardo Pinela, president of the Football Association's Women's Football Commission.

"The important thing is that every club in every corner of the country gives a girl the possibility of joining a female soccer team, to play with other girls, even if it's just for fun, and from there generate the necessary structure that ... sets them on equal standing as the male players", he argued.

After Candelaria's case became widely publicized, her regional league committed to reviewing the rule in an assembly at the end of the year — leaving her case in limbo until then.

While she's officially now banned, the team has let her keep playing — at least until an opponent objects.

Candelaria's most recent match ended with her team beating rival Alumni de Casilda 7-0.

"No one should say that a girl can't play soccer," she said.


'Super Bowl of equestrian' set to begin in North Carolina

In this aerial photo taken on Sept. 21, 2010, a giant corn field maze at the Kelley Farms welcomes the riders for the World Equestrian Games, in Lexington, Ky. (Charles Bertram/The Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

By Steve Reed, AP Sports Writer

It's referred to as the Super Bowl of equestrian competition.

The World Equestrian Games are scheduled to kick off Wednesday at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina, a small town about two hours west of Charlotte, and will run through Sept. 23 — although Hurricane Florence has the potential to postpone some events.

The games, which take place every four years — in the middle of the Summer Olympics cycle — at various locations around the world, will feature more than 600 equestrians from 71 countries and six continents competing in eight different disciplines. Nearly 700 horses will be competing in the 2018 Games, which are expected to attract more than a half-million people.

This is only the second time the WEG has been held in the United States. The other was eight years ago in Lexington, Kentucky.

Mark Bellissimo invested more than $200 million to build the Tryon International Equestrian Center after receiving the bid to host the Games. The facility features a temporary 20,000 seat stadium for the main events.

Some things to know about the event:

TRAVEL TIME

Many of the horses competing in the Games will be flown in from overseas on a Boeing 777, a large aircraft without seats. There is always a veterinarian on board in case a horse gets sick.

MEN VS. WOMEN

In equestrian events, men and women compete against one another, which is extremely rare in most major sporting events. In fact, the only other Olympic sport where men and women compete against each other is sailing.

The only exception in equestrian is vaulting, where men and women compete in separate events.

WATCHING THE WEATHER

The WEG says ion its web site it is preparing for the possible severe weather the storm system may bring to this area and has strategic and emergency plans in place for both the people and horses on-site. It says there are numerous multi-floored buildings at the venue and the permanent stabling is "secure and safe." They also have an evacuation protocol in place.

BRING YOUR WALLET

Equestrian competition is not for those who are a little light in the wallet. According to NPR , a dressage-trained horse can cost anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000 — and that doesn't even include the $12,000 uniforms.

NOT BORN TO RUN

Needless to say, the sport attracts the wealthy.

There had been some excitement that Jessica Springsteen, the daughter of rock-and-roll singer Bruce Springsteen would be competing for the U.S. team as a jumper — and that "The Boss" might make an appearance.

However, Springsteen withdrew her nomination earlier this summer because she not have a horse that would be ready for the WEG. She was replaced on the team by Adrienne Sternlicht, the daughter of Barry Sternlicht, the founder of Starwood Capital Group, an investment fund with $51 million in assets.

DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES

The eight core disciplines of equestrian are jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining.

Dressage, para-equestrian dressage, jumping and eventing are Olympic events, and the World Equestrian Games serves as the first opportunity for athletes to earn team spots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

— Dressage: Think prim and proper when you think of dressage. The riders are wear black or dark top hats and tailcoats with white pants and gloves. They ride on horses who perform at walk, trot and canter with all of the motions performed by the horses strictly from memory through a pre-trained pattern of movements. Para-dressage is similar, but those riders with lesser skills or disabilities compete.

— Driving: The driving competition is where three team members are pulled by four horses in a carriage and compete in full-speed events, as well as turns.

— Jumping: This is the most popular event and one the casual viewer may be most familiar with. The event is self-explanatory, where horses jump over a series of obstacles while racing for the best time. Riders can accumulate penalties if their horse knocks down a bar.

— Endurance: This is basically the marathon of horse racing, where horses compete in a 100-mile race.

— Eventing: Consider this the triathlon of equestrian competition, held over three days with riders competing in dressage, endurance and jumping.

— Reigning: When you think of reigning, think old Western cowboys competing in an arena in various events. Horses are asked to move in circles, fast and slow canter, along with sliding and spinning across the dirt.

— Vaulting: This is a little like watching a circus act, where riders essentially play the role of gymnasts — often times doing handstands on horseback — and are judged by their stunts.

WHERE TO WATCH

The event will be aired exclusively in the United States on NBC, NBC Sports Network, and the Olympic Channel. NBC is planning to broadcast nearly 65 hours of the Games.

POTENTIAL ECONOMIC IMPACT

The WEG estimates the potential economic impact of $400 million in the region.

TICKETS

The tickets for the event begin at $20 for a grounds pass, but run up to $1,380 for an "all games" pass for the entire two weeks.


Former F1 champion Raikkonen leaving Ferrari for Sauber

In this May 23, 2018 file photo, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany, right, is flanked by Sauber driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco during a news conference, at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco. Kimi Raikkonen is leaving Ferrari for Sauber and will be replaced by rookie Charles Leclerc, that will team up with Sebastian Vettel. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Maranello, Italy (AP) — Kimi Raikkonen is leaving Ferrari for Sauber and will be replaced by rookie Charles Leclerc.

Raikkonen, who won the 2007 Formula One title with Ferrari, will be heading back to Sauber from next season while Leclerc will take his seat alongside Sebastian Vettel.

The 20-year-old Leclerc is touted as one of the most talented young drivers in F1 and had been widely expected to move to Ferrari if Raikkonen left.

The young driver from Monaco had earned praise from across the F1 paddock — including from world champions Vettel and Lewis Hamilton — after a strong showing in his debut season with Sauber.

"Dreams do come true," Leclerc wrote on Twitter. "I'll be driving for @scuderiaferrari for the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship. I will be eternally grateful to @scuderiaferrari for the opportunity given."

Raikkonen will be back with the team where he started his F1 career in 2001. The Finn signed with Sauber for the next two seasons.

"Next two years with @sauberf1team ahead! Feels extremely good to go back where it all began!" Raikkonen posted on his Instagram account.

Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur said signing Raikkonen represented an important step in the team's project.

"Kimi's undoubted talent and immense experience in Formula One will not only contribute to the development of our car, but will also accelerate the growth and development of our team as a whole," Vasseur said.

Raikkonen has 20 wins and 100 podium finishes in his F1 career. Nine of those wins came with Ferrari, where he had been since 2014. He also was with the team from 2007-09 before leaving to compete in the World Rally Championship for two years. He returned to F1 in 2012 to drive for Lotus, where he stayed until rejoining Ferrari two years later.

"During these years, Kimi's contribution to the team, both as a driver and on account of his human qualities, has been fundamental," Ferrari said in a statement. "He played a decisive role in the team's growth and was, at the same time, always a great team player. As a world champion for Scuderia Ferrari, he will always be part of the team's history and family. We thank Kimi for all of this and wish him and his family a prosperous future."

Leclerc, a member of Ferrari's driver academy, won the GP3 title in 2016 and the F2 title in 2017 before joining Sauber in F1 this season. His highest finish was sixth place at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

"It's been a great pleasure to support Charles Leclerc in his rookie year in Formula One," Vasseur said. "Since his arrival, he has given the team great motivation. We have constantly improved and we will work hard until the end of this season to achieve the best possible results together. We are aware of Charles' talent and are confident that he will have a bright future."


Osaka charms Japan with her manners _ and broken Japanese

People walk by a huge screen showing US Open women's singles champion Naomi Osaka with her trophy, in Tokyo, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

By Stephen Wade and Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press

Tokyo (AP) — Naomi Osaka's halting Japanese, her manners — she bowed and apologized after beating Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final — and her simple charm have swelled national pride in Japan and eclipsed many questions about her mixed-race parentage in a famously insular country.

Two days after becoming the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam tennis title, Osaka is still filling the front pages of the country's three major daily newspapers and leads the discussions on talk shows.

The perspective from Japan on Monday: Osaka is being embraced as Japanese despite her mixed background. National pride — at least for now — is overriding questions of cultural identity and what it means to be Japanese.

Williams' dramatic behavior during a chaotic final on Saturday, a hot topic in the United States and around the world, has been largely brushed aside in Japan with the focus on Osaka's poise under pressure.

Japan's largest newspaper, Yomiuri, called Osaka a "new heroine that Japan is proud of" and characterized her appeal as "the contrast between her strength on the court and her innocent character off the court."

Yomiuri centered Osaka's photograph holding the U.S. Open trophy at the top of its Monday front page — as did the two other large dailies. In a headline inside the paper, Yomiuri called her an "Overnight Queen — Powerful and Stable."

The Asahi newspaper also called her the "New Queen," picking up on her mix of "strength and gentleness."

None of the main-line newspapers dwelled too much on her background, which has been well reported. She was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Haitian father, moved to the United States when she was 3 and now lives in Florida where she has trained for more than a decade.

In an interview Monday from New York on Japan's TBS television, she was asked what she wants to do now. She replied in Japanese: "Have curried rice topped with a pork cutlet." Then she slipped into English and said: "I am very honored. I don't know how to say that in Japanese."

She gave some of the same answers in a similar interview with Japan's NTV television.

"She is such a lovable character," said Seiji Miyane, the NTV talk show host.

She smiled through the media pressure, which several newspapers have called a Japanese trait. Her broken Japanese works as an asset, apologizing occasionally for getting the wrong word — or not knowing the Japanese word at all.

"She is not the type of person who asserts herself boldly, but she is shy and humble and that makes her look more like a Japanese," Junko Okamoto, a communications specialist, wrote in the weekly magazine Toyokeizai.

Okamoto also said Osaka could become a face of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, leading to big sponsorship deals.

Forbes magazine has reported that Williams is the highest earning female athlete with income of $18 million per year, almost all from endorsements. The Evening Fuji tabloid newspaper, citing Forbes, speculated wildly about Osaka's potential lifetime earnings. Its headline suggested she could earn $100 million.

The Mainichi, one of top three general circulation newspapers, noted that Osaka was wearing a dress at a victory celebration from a well-known Japanese designer.

Osaka's 73-year-old grandfather, Tetsuo Osaka, surfaced in several interviews from Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, where he heads a fishing cooperative. He said he plans to meet his granddaughter when she plays next week in a tournament in Japan.

Their relationship seems solid now, but the New York Times reported that for a more than a decade Naomi's mother, Tamaki, had little contact with her family in Japan.

Roland Kirishima, a photographer who is half Japanese and Scottish, criticized some internet comments questioning if Osaka is really Japanese, because of her darker skin color.

"Look at the French soccer team that won the World Cup," he wrote on Twitter. "Half of the players are immigrants' sons or multi-racial. I'm surprised many people in Japan are still obsessed with racial purity. It's 21st century already. Please overcome this type of insular prejudice."

It looks like Japan has taken at least a first step.


Update September 11, 2018

Athletes from the Americas win Continental Cup

Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia competes to win the women's triple jump for the Americas at the IAAF track and field Continental Cup in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Ostrava, Czech Republic (AP) — The athletes from the Americas won the Continental Cup on Sunday, dethroning defending champion Europe.

Leading overnight, Team Americas finished on 262 points after winning 18 of the 37 events in the two-day competition, beating Team Europe (233) by 29 points. Team Asia-Pacific was third on 188 and Team Africa last on 142.

The Continental Cup, previously known as the World Cup, gathers four continental teams with two athletes from each team in each event, except the relays.

After winning the triple jump on Saturday, Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia added another victory for the Americas with 6.93 meters in the women's long jump.

Olympic and world champion Christian Taylor of the United States leapt 17.59 to dominate the men's triple jump and American sprinter Noah Lyles was fastest in the men's 100 meters in 10.01.

Paul Chelimo of the United States clocked 7:57.13 to win the men's 3,000 and his fellow countryman Sam Kendricks cleared 5.85 to take the men's pole vault.

Olympic 400-meter champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of Bahamas won the women's 200 in 22.16, while Janieve Russell of Jamaica claimed the women's 400 hurdles in 53.62.

In the final unusual event, Team Americas won the 4x400 mixed relay with Taylor and Miller-Uibo part of the winning team.

The Continental Cup takes place every four years.


Woods calls Nike Kaepernick ad a 'beautiful spot'

Tiger Woods plays his shot from the third tee during the first round of the BMW Championship golf tournament at Aronimink Golf Club, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, in Newtown Square, Pa. (Jose F. Moreno/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

By Dan Gelston, AP Sports Writer

Newtown Square, Pa. (AP) — Tiger Woods endorsed Nike's latest "Just Do It" ad narrated by Colin Kaepernick with a message nearly as succinct.

"It's a beautiful spot ," Woods said.

The two-minute ad, which debuted during the NFL opener, highlights superstar athletes LeBron James, Serena Williams and others, and touches on the controversy of NFL player protests during the national anthem.

Woods, a Nike athlete since turning pro in 1996 who rarely delves into divisive issues, said Friday he was a fan of the apparel giant featuring the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback known for his social protests.

"I think Nike is trying to get out ahead of it and trying to do something special and I think they've done that," Woods said at the BMW Championship. "It's a beautiful spot and pretty powerful people (are) in the spot."

The ad aired during the first commercial break in the third quarter of the Eagles-Falcons game on Thursday night. Kaepernick watched the first television airing on NBC at an event held at Nike's headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

Woods has been a big part of Nike Golf through his 14 major championships, no moment more indelible than when his chip shot on the 16th green at the Masters hung on edge of the cup for two seconds — with the swoosh facing the camera — before dropping. His "TW" logo has made him an embodiment of the brand.

He said Nike didn't consult his opinion on the ad that featured Kaepernick.

"They did not tell me it was coming," Woods said. "When corporate does things that are outside of golf and outside of my realm, that's what they do."

Nike's swoosh logo was omnipresent on hats, polos and spikes for golfers at Aronimink Golf Club.

Tony Finau, the leading candidate to be the final Ryder Cup pick for the U.S. team, said the Nike campaign with Kaepernick "definitely stands out"

"As far as Kaepernick and all that's concerned, we all have the freedom of speech and he's using it in a way that's non-violent which is something you just have to respect as an American," he said. "They came out with a campaign that they feel is who they are. As an athlete of theirs, it's not my job to agree or disagree with whatever they do."

Kaepernick's deal with Nike for the 30th anniversary of the "Just Do It" campaign was the most polarizing issue in sports this week, prompting heated debate on several topics including athletes protesting social injustice and Nike wading into political waters. Some fans responded to Kaepernick's sponsorship deal by cutting or burning gear with Nike's signature swoosh logo. Others argued the backlash to the campaign and calls for a Nike boycott showed how the debate has morphed well beyond how athletes try to highlight issues like racial inequality and police shootings of unarmed minorities.

President Donald Trump, a critic of protests during the anthem, tweeted Friday, "What was Nike thinking ?"

Serena Williams, who will play her in ninth U.S. Open final, said last week at the tournament that she was proud of Kaepernick. He was in Flushing Meadows to watch Williams play.

"I think every athlete, every human, and definitely every African-American should be completely grateful and honored (for Kaepernick)," she said.

Kaepernick began a wave of protests by NFL players two seasons ago, kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.

PGA Championship winner and two-time U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka said the biggest winner might be the publicity sparked for Nike.

"I mean, let's put it this way, their name is in the paper and people are talking about it," he said. "So Nike is doing what they want to do."


Senegal to be 1st African Olympic host at 2022 Youth Games

In this Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 file photo, IOC president Thomas Bach speaks during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda,File)

Lausanne, Switzerland (AP) — Senegal is set to be the first African host of any Olympic Games.

The IOC says its executive board picked Senegal in a four-nation hosting contest for the 2022 Youth Olympic Games.

The recommendation is a formality to be approved by International Olympic Committee members. They meet from Oct. 8-9 ahead of the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Senegal project is in "Dakar; the new city of Diamniadio; and the coastal resort of Saly," the IOC says.

The other bidders were Gaborone, Botswana; Abuja, Nigeria; and a four-city project in Tunisia.

IOC Thomas Bach says: "It is time for Africa. Africa is a continent of youth."

After Senegal officials sign a host contract in Buenos Aires, they will begin a "co-construction phase with the IOC," the Olympic body says. 


Tour de France champion Thomas signs new Team Sky contract

In this Sunday July 29, 2018 file photo, Britain's Geraint Thomas, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, holds the Welsh flag on the podium after the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race on Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, file)

London (AP) — Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas has ended speculation over his future by signing a new three-year contract with Team Sky.

The 32-year-old Thomas, whose previous deal was set to expire at the end of 2018, had been the subject of interest from other teams.

However, the Welshman has decided to stay with the British team and is now contracted through to the 2021 season.

"I'm pleased it's sorted and delighted to be staying with the team," Thomas told Team Sky. "It's working really well for me here and I'm excited about what's still to come."

Thomas, who picked up Olympic gold medals in team pursuit in 2008 and 2012, finally triumphed at this year's Tour de France, having spent much of his career playing a supporting role to the likes of former champions Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.


Probst leaves complex legacy after 10 years as USOC chairman

In this June 30, 2015 file photo, U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst speaks during a news conference in Redwood City, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

By Eddie Pells, AP National Writer

Denver (AP) — Larry Probst will step down as chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee, exiting with a complicated legacy that includes restoring the federation's international reputation while leaving it saddled with as many problems on the home front as he faced when he arrived.

Probst, who announced his departure Monday, will step down at the end of the year, to be replaced by Susanne Lyons, a board member who recently finished serving as interim CEO following the resignation of Scott Blackmun in February.

Lyons and new CEO Sarah Hirshland are tasked with restoring credibility to a federation that has been widely criticized for its slow response to a mushrooming sex-abuse scandal in Olympic sports.

"I became chairman at a difficult time for the USOC and worked diligently with my colleagues here in the U.S., and around the world, to change the USOC for the better," Probst said. "It's now time for a new generation of leaders to confront the challenges facing the organization, and I have the utmost confidence in Susanne's and Sarah's ability to do just that."

The 68-year-old Probst, a longtime executive at video-game behemoth Electronic Arts, spent hundreds of days overseas during his 10 years at the helm, helping repair badly fractured international relationships that stemmed from decades' worth of financial disagreements with the IOC, to say nothing of the sometimes-curt style of his better-known predecessor, Peter Ueberroth.

Probst's work helped bring the 2028 Olympics to Los Angeles, giving America a win after a number of embarrassments, including Chicago's bid for the 2016 Games, and the mistaken, and ultimately aborted, choice of Boston as a candidate for 2024; both debacles came on Probst's watch.

Probst also earned a highly coveted spot on the International Olympic Committee — a position that gave him insider status in the decision-making process. But critics said he didn't use the position to advocate for U.S. athletes, especially on matters concerning Russian doping, where he rarely broke ranks with IOC president Thomas Bach, who supported Russia's return to the Olympic fold despite solid evidence of wrongdoing.

In the United States, doping has been overshadowed of late by the sex-abuse scandal.

The USOC has gotten some credit for creating the U.S. Center for SafeSport to serve as a clearinghouse for all Olympic-related sex-abuse cases. But it has been criticized — and sued — for not acting quickly enough, or taking its share of responsibility. That played a part in Blackmun's departure, and it's no surprise to see Probst, whose greatest successes came with Blackmun at his side, follow him out shortly after.

Blackmun helped stabilize the federation after Probst and his board surprisingly dismissed CEO Jim Scherr following a successful 2008 Olympics and replaced him with Stephanie Streeter, whose short tenure was a complete failure. Many viewed Scherr's firing as a self-inflicted mistake, and Probst was forced to spend a large part of his tenure rebuilding trust on both the domestic and international levels.

Among his successes were establishing a charitable foundation that raises multiple millions for Olympic athletes, the settling of a controversial revenue-sharing agreement with the IOC, and improving an already healthy financial situation under the tenure of Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Baird. (Baird left the Olympic movement last month.)

The U.S. also stayed atop the medals table in the Summer Games, and had largely successful Winter Olympics under Probst's watch, though the U.S. team's total of 23 in Pyeongchang earlier this year — its lowest haul in 20 years — raised some eyebrows.

That disappointing showing came as the Larry Nassar scandal was turning into front-page news, and one of the most-repeated critiques of the USOC was that its leaders cared about medals more than the people who won them.

The delicate task for Lyons and Hirshland will be to make sure the USOC keeps winning, while also changing the culture in their own organization, as well as in the various sports that make up the Olympics.

"I wish Susanne and Sarah the best of luck in handling the very complex and difficult scenario they find themselves in," Scherr said.


Update September 10, 2018

Amir Khan recovers to beat Samuel Vargas on points

Amir Khan, left, knocks down Samuel Vargas in action during their Welterweight contest at Arena Birmingham, in Birmingham, England, Saturday Sept. 8, 2018. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

Birmingham, England (AP) — English welterweight Amir Khan had to climb off the canvas to continue his comeback with a points win over Samuel Vargas on Saturday.

In his second fight since returning to the ring after a two-year absence, Khan was knocked to the floor in the final seconds of the second round.

The Colombian-born Vargas, a former North American champion, had already been put down himself when he stunned Khan and the capacity crowd.

But, with potential next opponent Kell Brook watching at ringside, Khan recovered on his stool, came out and floored Vargas again.

The 31-year-old Khan (33-4), a former world super lightweight champion, was unable to finish the job and eventually had to settle for a unanimous points victory from the grueling fight.

Vargas' record dropped to 29-4 plus two draws.


Dovizioso wins San Marino GP; Marquez extends MotoGP lead

Italy's Andrea Dovizioso, the winner, is flanked on podium by runner-up, Spain's Marc Marquez and third placed Britain's Cal Crutchlow after the MotoGP race during the San Marino Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Misano circuit in Misano Adriatico, Italy, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Misano Adriatico, Italy (AP) — Italy's Andrea Dovizioso and the Ducati team won on home soil in the San Marino Grand Prix on Sunday, while Marc Marquez extended his lead atop the MotoGP standings.

Starting fourth, Dovizioso quickly moved up the grid, then passed pole sitter Jorge Lorenzo to take the lead early on and wasn't challenged the rest of the way.

It was Dovizioso's third win this season and the 11th of his MotoGP career.

Lorenzo was in a tight battle with Marquez for second until he fell with two laps to go. That handed second to Marquez, while Cal Crutchlow finished third.

Lorenzo got back on his bike and finished 17th.

Marquez now leads Dovizioso by 67 points, while Valentino Rossi — who finished seventh — dropped from second to third in the standings, 70 points behind.

Francesco Bagnaia won the Moto2 race and Lorenzo Dalla Porta won the Moto3 race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.


Maradona to coach soccer club in Mexico's cartel heartland

In this Sept. 8, 2018 file photo, Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona walks through the airport in Culiacan, Mexico. Maradona, the soccer world's poster child for the perils of substance abuse, is setting up camp to lead a team in the heart of Mexico's drug cartel land. (Prensa Club Dorados de Sinaloa via AP, File)

By Carlos Rodriguez and Amy Guthrie, Associated Press

Culiacan, Mexico (AP) — Diego Maradona, whose public battles with cocaine made him soccer's poster child for the perils of substance abuse, is setting up camp in Mexico's drug cartel heartland as the new coach of a second-tier team.

Draped in official club gear, the Argentine soccer legend arrived this weekend in Culiacan, home turf of the Sinaloa Cartel, to take over the bottom-dwelling Dorados in what some describe as a publicity stunt for the team and a last-ditch effort to resurrect a career marred by drugs and antics.

Maradona, 57, is a big fish for a little-known team founded just 15 years ago. He will reportedly earn $150,000 a month to coach a team where players complain of missed paychecks. A Dorados club representative could not be reached to confirm or deny the salary or missed payments.

Tom Marshall, who covers Mexican soccer for ESPN sports network, said the question floating among fans is whether the Maradona hire is part of a long-term plan to raise the prospects of the Dorados or an "ego trip" for the owners, the Tijuana branch of the politically connected Hank family which also owns casinos and horse racetracks?

Few expect Maradona to succeed in the post. Many anticipate an inevitable clash of personalities.

"Is this kind of a joke?" Marshall wondered. "Is this making Mexican football look a bit ridiculous?"

The gig marks a return to the country where Maradona scored one of the most controversial goals in soccer history during Argentina's World Cup quarterfinal against England in 1986. Photos and TV replays showed Maradona's hand helping the ball into the net. He attributed the assist to the "Hand of God."

The match 32 years ago exemplified Maradona's theatrics both on and off the field. Some consider him to be the greatest player to have ever played the sport. But he is also prone to outlandish outbursts, profanity-laced tirades and public debauchery.

Maradona struggled openly with drugs for more than a decade after FIFA briefly banned him for testing positive for cocaine in 1991. He again tested positive for drug use during the 1994 World Cup and was subsequently denied entry by the United States, leading him to seek drug rehabilitation treatment in Cuba. He was hospitalized in 2000 and again in '04 for heart problems blamed on cocaine.

The soccer great began coaching in 1994 with uneven results. He led the Argentine national team to the quarterfinals in the 2010 World Cup before notching stints with the Al Wasl and Al-Fujairah squads in the United Arab Emirates. He accepted a role as honorary president for the Belarus premier team Dinamo Brest in July before promptly departing for Argentina.

But Maradona has gotten more attention recently for his behavior as a spectator at Argentine matches than as a coach. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Maradona launched his middle fingers into the air after Argentina bested Nigeria and was captured on video appearing seriously inebriated in the stands. At another match, he apparently pulled his eyes into slants while gazing at a South Korean soccer fan.

Culiacan locals are hopeful that Maradona's off-field tomfoolery won't interfere with his ability to lead the Dorados.

"We all make mistakes and we all deserve a second chance," says Culiacan resident Jose Luis Morales.

The northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa is an agro-business stronghold known for producing lots of beef, tomatoes and drug lords. By some estimates the drug trade accounts for 20 percent of Sinaloa's gross domestic product. Drug money permeates throughout Mexico, but narco culture is more visible in places like its capital Culiacan, where residents flash bling and expensive watches.

Sinaloa-raised Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman climbed to the cartel's top through a combination of brutal repression of rivals and Robin Hood-like handouts to the poor. The Sinaloa Cartel, run by his sons while El Chapo faces trial in Brooklyn, dominates wholesale distribution of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine in much of the U.S.

"The Sinaloa Cartel will love Maradona. They are patriots. They really love their home state and this will raise the profile of Sinaloa," said Mexico security specialist Alejandro Hope, who sees drugs and sports intersecting as much as drugs and music.

But Sinaloa is now contested territory with Guzman in prison. The Sinaloa Cartel has fractured, with top lieutenants challenging the sons for power. And the Jalisco New Generation Cartel is waging war across Mexico, including in Sinaloa. "The whole system is destabilized," says Vanda Felbab-Brown, an expert on Mexican organized crime with the Brookings Institution.

Adding to the questions surrounding the Dorados, the Hank family's Tijuana-based gambling operations have long drawn suspicion from U.S. officials. Law enforcement agencies often see gambling as an easy way to launder illegal money, and Tijuana is a major corridor for drug traffic to the United States.

Yesenia Barraza, a 33-year-old soccer mom, hopes Culiacan can overcome the stereotype of being a drug hub. Moms like her are holding Maradona up to their children as a soccer star to emulate.

"As a city we are known for negative things; now we will be known for sports," she said.


Pro surfing league on board for equal prize money in 2019

In this May 12, 2012, file photo, Australia's Stephanie Gilmore competes in the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Billabong Rio Pro women's surfing competition at Barra da Tijuca beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

By The Associated Press

The World Surf League will award the same prize money for men and women starting in 2019.

CEO Sophie Goldschmidt says the equal pay for surfers will apply for the league's various tours — world championship, junior world championship, longboard and big wave.

Eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater says in The Players' Tribune this move sends "a message to society — that equal prize money should be the standard."

Current No. 1 and six-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore writes that despite winning four straight world championships, she didn't receive nearly the same prize money and sponsorship as men did. The women also had fewer events.

The 2019 championship tour calendar features 11 men's and 10 women's events in Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, North America, French Polynesia, Europe and Hawaii.
 


DAILY UPDATE

|

Back to Main Page

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Mack, Amukamara lead Bears over Seahawks 24-17

Potential end of Russia anti-doping suspension sparks outcry

Brighton come from 2 down to draw Southampton 2-2 in EPL

Sapporo ends bid for 2026 Winter Olympics


Alvarez wins narrow decision for middleweight title

Hamilton turns up the heat on Vettel after Singapore F1 win

Grand Tour sweep for Britain as Yates wins Spanish Vuelta

Angela Stanford wins Evian for first major title

Mayer sets decathlon WR after Kipchoge runs fastest marathon

49ers hang on to beat Lions 30-27


Raikkonen fastest in 2nd practice for Singapore GP

Through the legs: Coric's 'tweener' draws bows at Davis Cup

US Open umpire tells AP he is focusing on 'working again'

The Iceman is 1 drive away from a fifth IndyCar championship


Osaka's US Open win re-opens identity discussion in Japan

Raikkonen on leaving Ferrari: "It's not my decision"

Golovkin trainer calls positive test by Alvarez insulting

Wallays wins Vuelta stage, Yates leads before decisive tests


Cook makes record wicket more special for Anderson

Tyler Adams scores 1st goal to give US 1-0 win over Mexico

Newspaper reprints controversial cartoon of Serena Williams

Yates loses time in Vuelta; Woods earns emotional stage win


Girl soccer player challenges gender rules in Argentina

'Super Bowl of equestrian' set to begin in North Carolina

Former F1 champion Raikkonen leaving Ferrari for Sauber

Osaka charms Japan with her manners _ and broken Japanese


Athletes from the Americas win Continental Cup

Woods calls Nike Kaepernick ad a 'beautiful spot'

Senegal to be 1st African Olympic host at 2022 Youth Games

Tour de France champion Thomas signs new Team Sky contract

Probst leaves complex legacy after 10 years as USOC chairman


Amir Khan recovers to beat Samuel Vargas on points

Dovizioso wins San Marino GP; Marquez extends MotoGP lead

Maradona to coach soccer club in Mexico's cartel heartland

Pro surfing league on board for equal prize money in 2019

 



Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
189/22 Moo 5, T. Sansai Noi, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210
THAILAND
Tel. 053 852 557, Fax. 053 014 195
Editor: 087 184 8508
E-mail: [email protected]
www.chiangmai-mail.com
Administration: [email protected]
Website & Newsletter Advertising: [email protected]

Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.