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Australia's Sydney to host 2023 FIBA Women's Asia Cup

China celebrate after winning the FIBA Womens World Cup qualifer against France in Belgrade, Serbia on Feb. 13, 2022. (File photo: Xinhua)SYDNEY, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Australias Sydney will host the 2023 FIBA Womens Asia Cup (Division A) from June 26 to July 2, the Australian state government of New South Wales (NSW) confirmed on Wednesday.This will mark the second consecutive year that Sydney welcomes international teams and fans to its shores, after successfully hosting the 2022 FIBA Womens Basketball World Cup in September last year."The 2023 FIBA Womens Asia Cup will see the regions leading basketball nations battle it out for gold at Sydney Olympic Park and give Sydneys passionate basketball fans the chance to again get behind the Opals," NSW Minister for Sport Alister Henskens said in a statement."This years FIBA Womens Asia Cup will include a likely eye-watering rematch between world No. 2 and world No. 3, China and Australia," the minister added.Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Matt Scriven said this will be the first time Australia has hosted the FIBA Womens Asia Cup."Were incredibly honored that the best basketballers from across our region will make their way to Sydney to compete on our home soil," Scriven said.According to the FIBA Regional Office - Asia, South Korea is the all-time leader in Womens Asia Cups with 12 titles, followed by Chinas 11.The 2023 FIBA Womens Asia Cup Division B will be held later from August 13-19 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Australia T20 captain Finch announces retirement

Australian mens T20 captain Aaron Finch on Tuesday announced his retirement from international cricket, saying he was honoured to play with some of the best in the game. Englands captain Eoin Morgan (2L) and his Australian counterpart Aaron Finch wait for the toss before the start of the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and England at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on October 30, 2021. (Photo: AFP)"Realising that I wont be playing on until the next T20 World Cup in 2024, now is the right moment to step down and give the team time to plan and build towards that event," he told reporters.

Man City accused of misleading Premier League over finances

Manchester City was accused by the Premier League on Monday of providing misleading information about its finances over a nine-year period when the club was attempting to establish itself as a force in English and European soccer following its takeover by Abu Dhabi’s ruling family.(File photo: AP)The explosive development came at the end of a four-year investigation by the worlds most popular soccer league in the wake of leaked club emails and documents from City officials that were published by German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2018.The Premier League released a long statement detailing a list of about 80 alleged breaches of its financial rules by City from 2009-18, the first nine full seasons under Abu Dhabi ownership. In that time, the team won three Premier League titles — in 2012, 2014 and 2018 — in what has become the most successful period in Citys 143-year history.The league also accused City of 30 more breaches relating to its alleged failure to co-operate with the investigation since December 2018.The league said it has referred the breaches to an independent commission ahead of a confidential hearing.In a statement, City said it was “surprised" by the allegations, "particularly given the extensive engagement and vast amount of detailed materials that the EPL (English Premier League) has been provided with.“The club welcomes the review of this matter by an independent commission to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence that exists in support of its position," City said. “As such we look forward to this matter being put to rest once and for all.”The Premier League has accused City of breaching rules requiring provision “in utmost good faith” of “accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position” between 2009-18 and failing to give “full details of manager remuneration in its relevant contracts” from 2009-13. Roberto Mancini was manager during that peri...

China takes 2 gold medals at Short-Track Speed Skating World Cup

BERLIN, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese speed skaters showed good form Sunday on the last day of the ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dresden, Germany, winning gold medals in mens 500m and mens 5,000m relay.Photo: XinhuaIn the mens 500m event, Lin Xiaojun took the gold medal for China in 41.329 seconds. Another Chinese skater Zhong Yuchen finished second in 41.549. Japans Yoshinaga Kazuki won the bronze medal in 41.750.The Chinese team of Li Wenlong, Lin Xiaojun, Liu Guanyi and Zhong Yuchen won the mens 5,000m relay in six minutes 51.106 seconds, ahead of Japan and Hungary. The Netherlands won gold in the womens 3,000m relay.Kim Gilli (2:38.406) was victorious in womens 1,500m(2), earning the fourth gold medal for South Korea in Dresden. Anna Seidel (2:38.611) of Germany crossed the finish line in second, ahead of South Korean Shim Suk-hee (2:38.815).Park Ji-won of South Korea won the mens 1,500m(2) in two minutes and 18.263 seconds, followed by the Netherlandss Sjinkie Knegt and Latvias Reinis Berzins.Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands clinched the title in the womens 500m in 43.203 seconds. Schultings teammate Xandra Velzeboer was second in 43.254 before Choi Min-jeong of South Korea, who finished in 43.343 seconds.

Nostalgia heats up with cool celebrations

Fond memories abound as ceremonies held at the Ice Cube and Shougang Industrial Park to celebrate Games anniversaryOne year after its grand opening, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics have reshaped the landscape of winter sports globally, and the International Olympic Committee has lauded the rich legacy of the Games.Beijing 2022 venue the "Ice Cube" welcomes organizers, staff and volunteers of the Games to an event on Saturday marking the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Winter Olympics. (Photo: China Daily)With figure skating shows, the slogans of the Games and themed songs presented at the iconic venue, a ceremony was held at western Beijings Shougang Industrial Park on Saturday night. It brought back fond memories of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, as organizers celebrated the one-year anniversary of the start of the Games on Feb 4 last year."The legacy of these Olympic Games is already tangible with all the venues open to the public," IOC president Thomas Bach said in a video speech addressing the ceremony on Saturday."In so many other aspects, Beijing 2022 has set new standards: whether it is showcasing innovative green technologies, promoting healthy and active lifestyles, or boosting the winter sport industry — the impressive legacy of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 has set the path for the future."A fitting example of Beijing 2022s influence on winter sports development and urban renovation in Beijing, the Shougang park that hosted the ceremony reinvented itself from a former steel mill into a modern destination for winter sports, sightseeing, fashion events and exhibitions through a transformation project as part of the Games.Erected against three abandoned cooling towers at the park, the Shougang Big Air slope, which hosted some of the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events at Beijing 2022, became a new city landmark and has received 1 million visitors over the past year, according to the ven...

IOC chief hails 'impressive' legacy as Beijing 2022 marks one-year anniversary

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach gives a speech during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics closing ceremony in Beijing, China, February 20, 2022. (Photo: CFP)International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has applauded the Beijing 2022 Winter Games for the "impressive" legacy that it left behind as China marked the one-year anniversary of the opening ceremony of the global sporting event.The first city ever to host both the Summer and Winter Games, Beijing lived up to its promise of delivering the world a streamlined, safe and splendid Olympics last year, while managing to spur a remarkable winter sports boom with over 346 million people across China engaging in various snow activities over the past few years."China can look back with great pride into the past and with even greater confidence in the future," said Bach in a statement on Saturday. "All of you were an essential part in writing this great chapter in Olympic history."An infographic about the legacy of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games. (Photo: International Olympic Committee)According to statistics from the General Administration of Sport of China, by the beginning of 2021, the worlds second-largest economic power had built 654 standard ice rinks, up 317 percent compared with 2015, and 803 indoor and outdoor ski resorts, up 41 percent from the 2015 figure."The impressive legacy of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 has set the path for the future," added Bach. "The Olympic community in China demonstrated our new Olympic motto at its best: Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together."The sentiment was echoed by Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi. "Beyond staging spectacular Games, Beijing 2022 was laser focused on delivering lasting social and economic benefits for its residents," said Dubi, who led the planning, preparation and delivery of the Beijing Olympics."One year on, the most outstanding featu...

Messi wonder goal saves PSG, Arsenal stunned by Everton

Lionel Messi (C) of PSG controls the ball during the Ligue 1 match between PSG and Toulouse FC at Parc des Princes in Paris, France, February 4, 2023. (Photo: CFP)Lionel Messi scored a superb second-half winner as a Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) side missing the injured Kylian Mbappe and Neymar came from behind to beat Toulouse 2-1 on Saturday and consolidate their lead at the top of Ligue 1.Dutch midfielder Branco van den Boomen gave mid-table Toulouse the lead at the Parc des Princes from a 20th-minute free-kick, only for Achraf Hakimi to curl in the equalizer with half-time approaching.Messi then put PSG in front just before the hour mark with a glorious first-time strike on his left foot low into the corner of the net from just outside the area.It was Messis 10th Ligue 1 goal of the season and his 15th for his club this campaign, as the World Cup winner stepped up in the absence of PSGs two other superstar attackers."Leo is holding the team together," PSG coach Christophe Galtier told broadcaster Amazon Prime."It is not just two players we are missing. There are Kylian and Ney but also Marco Verratti and Sergio Ramos," he added."He takes on the role of leader naturally, and he did so in midweek too. He was so important to the way we played. He takes the initiative. We need to give him the ball even more."James Tarkowski (R) of Everton celebrates his goal with teammates during the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, February 4, 2023. (Photo: CFP)Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta said his team must now show the resolve of champions after a shock 1-0 defeat to Everton dented the Gunners bid to land a first Premier League title in 19 years.Arsenal still lead Manchester City by five points at the top of the table, but blew the chance to extend that advantage as they suffered just a second league defeat of the season.James Tarkowski headed in the winning goal for the Toffe...

President Xi and Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian

Su Bingtian (1st R) of China competes during the mens 60m final A during the Gothenburg Games of World Athletics Indoor tour in Gothenburg, Sweden, on February 2, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian won the mens 60 meter in 6.59 seconds during his season debut at the World Athletics Indoor Tour 2023 Gothenburg Games on Thursday.Su, 33, is the current holder of both 60 meter and 100 meter Asian records.Despite missing out on a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Su broke the mens 100 meter Asian record in 9.83 seconds during the semifinals on August 1, 2021.President Xi Jinping meets with individuals and groups who are advancing Chinas sporting cause, both professionals and amateurs, as well as representatives of athletes and coaches from the Chinese Olympic delegation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Xian, capital city of Nnorthwest Chinas Shaanxi Province, September 15, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)When meeting with individuals and groups from the Chinese Olympic delegation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Xian, capital city of Northwest Chinas Shaanxi Province, on September 15, 2021, President Xi Jinping recognized Su at first sight."Although you did not take the medal, the value is not inferior to a gold medal, you broke the Asian 100 meter record," Xi said."Its both a matter of spirit and a matter of science. Scientific training can improve your 100-meter performance and keep you in good condition for a long time," Xi added.(Source: Xinhua)

A year on, Beijing Olympic legacies reflected in winter sports boom

One year after the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, all competition venues are being reused by athletes and the general public, and Chinas winter sports sector is thriving, with 346 million Chinese engaging in winter sports since 2015.China was awarded the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics on July 31, 2015, and the Beijing Winter Olympics began on February 4, 2022. Beijing was the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.The Games have created lasting and wide-ranging social and economic benefits for Chinese people. The post-Games legacies include winter sports boom and sustainable venues, according to the legacy and sustainability reports released by Beijing 2022 organizers on Wednesday.Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are the first Olympics that have fully implemented the Olympic Agenda 2020 which requires host cities to minimize new construction to reduce emissions and ensure long-lasting use of any new venues.Of 12 competition venues, 4 venues were reused from the Olympic Games 2008. All venues have been awarded green building labels and have been powered by renewable energy. All the permanent venues have been reused after the Games.The National Aquatics Center, which hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and was turned into an "Ice Cube" to host the Beijing 2022 curling competitions, had more than 3,000 visitors on the first day of its opening, earning it the nickname of "the hottest ice" in Beijing.The National Speed Skating Oval, which features the largest single-piece ice formation in Asia, was also a popular destination for ice sports fans and amateur skaters during the Spring Festival holiday, with over 1,000 tickets sold per day, according to the venue operators.In Yanqing District, a 3-kilometer ski trail is now open to amateurs, while more experienced skiers can enjoy the slopes at the National Alpine Skiing Center. In Zhangjiakou City, 30 events are scheduled at the Genting Snow Park, including junior ...

Messi considering playing on until 2026 World Cup

Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates during his teams Champions League clash with Maccabi Haifa FC at Parc des Princes in Paris, France, October 25, 2022. (Photo: CFP)BUENOS AIRES, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Argentina captain Lionel Messi has left open the possibility of playing at the 2026 FIFA World Cup, but says his participation will depend on many things.The Paris Saint-Germain forward previously declared the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would mark his last appearance in footballs showpiece event.But Argentinas triumphant campaign - in which Messi scored seven goals and won the best player award of the tournament - has prompted him to reconsider the possibility of playing in a sixth World Cup.Messi will turn 39 during the tournament in the United States, Canada and Mexico."I dont know, I always said that due to age it seems to me that it will be very difficult to make it to 2026," the 35-year-old told Argentine sports daily Ole."I love playing football, I love what I do and as long as Im good and feel fit and continue to enjoy it, Im going to do it. But it seems like a lot to go until next World Cup. Im going to see where my career is going, what I am going to do and it depends on many things."Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni told reporters in December last year that he would keep the No. 10 shirt for Messi for as long as he wants to play on.Meanwhile, Messi said he was still on an emotional high after Argentinas penalty shootout victory over France in the World Cup final in Lusail on December 18, 2022.It came less than 18 months after the Albiceleste beat Brazil in the Copa America final - the teams first major trophy since the 1993 Copa America."Achieving it at the end of my career was amazing," Messi said. "If it had happened earlier, it would have been great too, obviously. But then you have your whole career ahead of you. My career has almost ended and I dont think ...

China's sprinter Su wins gold medal in season debut

Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian won the gold medal in the mens 60m final in his season debut at the Gothenburg Games, part of the World Athletics Indoor Tour, in Gothenburg, Sweden on Thursday.Su secured the first place in his group in 6.75 seconds in the heat, and the 33-year-old finished the final with a time of 6.59 seconds, 0.01 seconds ahead of Japanese sprinter Akihiro Higashida, while Even Meinseth of Norway finished third in 6.69 seconds.Su Bingtian (1st R) of China competes during the mens 60m final A during the Gothenburg Games of World Athletics Indoor tour in Gothenburg, Sweden, February 2, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)Su, the current holder of both the 60m and 100m Asian records, routinely starts the season indoors.He will compete in two more indoor meetings in Mondeville and Lievin in France. The Asian sprinter, who holds the fifth fastest record of all time in the 60m event, faces world championships 4x100m relay silver medalist Elijah Hall of the United States in Mondeville on February 8.In the Lievin competition on February 15, Su will meet Italys Olympic 100m champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs.Swedens Olympic champion and world record holder Armand Duplantis competes during the Mondo Classic pole vault competition in Uppsala, Sweden, February 2, 2023. (Photo: CFP)Also on Thursday, Olympic champion pole vaulter Armand Duplantis said he "feels close" to setting a new world record after opening his 2023 season with a convincing win on home soil. The 23-year-old was only thwarted by his own world record at the Mondo Classic indoor meeting in Uppsala, failing to clear 6.22 meters and settling for the highest jump at 6.10 meters.He said after the match, "I feel close, I can do it, 100 percent. But its not so simple, I need to do a little better on the approaches."Since 2020, Duplantis has broken his own world record five times.American KC Lightfoot took second place with a jump of 5.91 meters at the second attempt, while Ern...

2024 Olympic torch relay to start in Marseille: organizers

The torch relay for the 2024 Paris Olympics will start in the southern port of Marseille, organizers announced on Friday. "It was a natural and clear choice," said chief organizer Tony Estanguet, evoking Marseille's historical links with the home of the Olympics, Greece.

2024 Olympic torch relay to start in Marseille: organisers

The French Aerial Patrol fly by the Eiffel Tower in Paris as part of the handover ceremony of Tokyo 2020 to Paris 2024, as Paris will be the next Summer Games host in 2024. (Photo: AP)The torch relay for the Paris Olympics will start in the southern port of Marseille in April 2024, organisers announced on Friday.The torch will arrive in Marseille from Greece, the spiritual home of the Olympics, on a three-masted ship.It will set the tone for a Games whose opening ceremony will be held on the Seine in Paris."In the spring of 2024, Marseille will have the honour and good fortune to be the first city to welcome the Olympic flame on French soil," organisers Paris 2024 said in a statement.Marseille "was a natural and clear choice," said chief organiser Tony Estanguet, evoking the citys historic links with Greece.The ancient Greek colony of Massalia was founded on the French Mediterranean coast in 600 BC.The Paris OIympics take place from July 26 to August 11, 2024.

A year on, Beijing Olympic legacies reflected in winter sports boom

One year after the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, all competition venues are being reused by athletes and the general public, and Chinas winter sports sector is thriving, with 346 million Chinese engaging in winter sports since 2015.China was awarded the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics on July 31, 2015, and the Beijing Winter Olympics began on February 4, 2022. Beijing was the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.The Games have created lasting and wide-ranging social and economic benefits for Chinese people. The post-Games legacies include winter sports boom and sustainable venues, according to the legacy and sustainability reports released by Beijing 2022 organizers on Wednesday.Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are the first Olympics that have fully implemented the Olympic Agenda 2020 which requires host cities to minimize new construction to reduce emissions and ensure long-lasting use of any new venues.Of 12 competition venues, 4 venues were reused from the Olympic Games 2008. All venues have been awarded green building labels and have been powered by renewable energy. All the permanent venues have been reused after the Games.The National Aquatics Center, which hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and was turned into an "Ice Cube" to host the Beijing 2022 curling competitions, had more than 3,000 visitors on the first day of its opening, earning it the nickname of "the hottest ice" in Beijing.The National Speed Skating Oval, which features the largest single-piece ice formation in Asia, was also a popular destination for ice sports fans and amateur skaters during the Spring Festival holiday, with over 1,000 tickets sold per day, according to the venue operators.In Yanqing District, a 3-kilometer ski trail is now open to amateurs, while more experienced skiers can enjoy the slopes at the National Alpine Skiing Center. In Zhangjiakou City, 30 events are scheduled at the Genting Snow Park, including junior ...

Beijing Winter Olympics boosts China's winter sports

People ski at a skiing field during the Chinese Lunar New Year in Hohhot, north Chinas Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Feb. 1, 2022. (Photo: Xinhua)BEIJING, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Du Mingxuan has spent almost every day of his winter break practicing snowboard tricks at a ski resort in Jilin City in northeast Chinas Jilin Province.After five years of hard training, the 10-year-old snowboarder is already a veteran in the field. He is now busy working on his front flips and aims to master the frontside 720, an aerial maneuver in which the snowboarder rotates 720 degrees.Inspired by the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Du has developed a stronger passion for snowboarding and achieved excellent results in competitions."Su Yiming is my idol. His performance at the Beijing Winter Olympics was amazing. I want to practice as hard as he does and move on to higher-difficulty tricks," said Du.Su is a Chinese snowboarder who won gold in the Beijing 2022 mens big-air snowboard and silver in the mens snowboard slopestyle.Driven by the Beijing Winter Olympics, ice-and-snow activities have gained popularity among Chinese people. During the Spring Festival holiday, which ran from Jan. 21 to 27 this year, winter sports and leisure programs became preferred choices across China."Many of my students are children. I can feel the growing popularity of winter sports among the people, especially after the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics," said Zhang Zida, a part-time ski instructor at Aoqiwan Ski Resort in Chinas northernmost Heilongjiang Province."The Beijing Winter Olympics ignited the public enthusiasm for participating in winter sports, and more and more people choose to have a skiing holiday to celebrate the new year," said Zhao Lanju, general manager of Vanke Songhua Lake Resort in Jilin City, adding that the resort received about 45,000 visitors during the Spring Festival holiday, up 13 percent year on year.In northwest Chinas Xinji...

Su Bingtian wins season debut at World Athletics Gothenburg Indoor

STOCKHOLM, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian won the mens 60m with 6.59 seconds on his season debut at the World Athletics Indoor Tour 2023 Gothenburg Games on Thursday.(Photo: Xinhua)Su, the current holder of both 60m and 100m Asian records, chose to kick off his 2023 season at the Challenger-ranked Gothenburg Games (D-level).The 33-year-old secured the first place of his group in 6.75 in the heat and edged Japans Akihiro Higashida by 0.01 seconds in the final race. Higashida took silver with a personal best time of 6.60 seconds, while Even Meinseth of Norway finished third in 6.69.Gothenburg Games was also Sus first appearance on an international stage after Oregon 2022. The highly popular Chinese sprinter had his routine of starting seasons at indoor games.Su will compete in another two indoor meetings in Mondeville and Lievin in France. The Asian sprinter, who holds the fifth fastest record of all-time in the 60m event, faces world championships 4x100m relay silver medalist Elijah Hall of the United States in Mondeville on February 8.In Lievin competition on February 15, Su will meet Italys Olympic 100m champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs.Also on Thursday, Greek Olympic champion Miltiadis Tentoglou emerged victorious in the mens long jump with 8.12m.World record holders Armand Duplantis and Karsten Warholm got their 2023 campaigns off to strong starts in World Athletics Indoor Tour Challenger meetings.Competing at the Mondo Classic in the Swedish city of Uppsala, Duplantis delighted his home fans by winning the pole vault with 6.10m.Warholm was dominant at the Karsten Warholm Invitational in Ulsteinvik, his first competitive appearance of 2023. The Olympic 400m hurdles champion won the 400m competition in 45.31, his second-best indoor clocking.

Winter sports lovers enjoy Olympic venues

SkaterstaketotheiceattheNationalSpeedSkatingOval,orIceRibbon,inBeijingonJan26.Beijing2022WinterOlympicsorganizersarepreparingeventsonSaturdaytomarktheanniversaryoftheGames'opening。

IOC hails Beijing 2022 legacy

BEIJING, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- One year after the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) hailed the social and economic benefits created by the Games.File photo: CFP"The first city ever to hold both the Summer and Winter Games, Beijing delivered spectacular Olympic Winter Games last year," read an article published on the IOC official website on Wednesday."Driven by Olympic Agenda 2020 and Olympic Agenda 2020+5, the Games have engaged 346 million Chinese in winter sports since 2015 and created lasting, wide-ranging social and economic benefits for local people," the article continued, highlighting the post-game use of the competition venues and booming winter sports industry in China.The IOC pointed out that Olympic legacies had already been created before the Games as China strived to build itself into a snow and ice destination. "By the beginning of 2021, the country had already built 654 standard ice rinks, up by 317 percent compared with 2015; and 803 indoor and outdoor ski resorts, up by 41 percent from 2015 levels."The efforts bring long-standing influence as a report on Chinas snow and ice tourism development predicts that the number of snow and ice leisure travelers in China is expected to exceed 300 million in the 2022-2023 snow and ice season. The number is expected to reach 520 million in three years, and the related tourism revenue will reach 720 billion yuan.The Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee (BOCOG) on Wednesday released the Beijing 2022 Post-Games Sustainability Report, summarizing the Games approach to sustainability, protection of the ecosystem, addressing climate change, implementing sustainable sourcing, promoting development for the region, enhancing peoples well-being, and the legacy of sustainability.The BOCOG also published the Beijing 2022 Post-Games Legacy Report, which covers the achievements in winter sports popularization, post-Games use of Olympic venues, ...

NFL superstar Brady announces 'retiring for good'

Record-breaking NFL quarterback Tom Brady announced on Wednesday that he was "retiring for good" at the age of 45, one year after reversing his decision to quit the sport.In this photo taken on January 31, 2023, NFL star Tom Brady arrives for the Los Angeles premiere screening of "80 For Brady" at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles. (File photo: AFP)Brady, whose Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost in the wildcard round of the NFL playoffs last month, called time on his 23-year career in a social media video."Good morning, Ill get to the point right away: I’m retiring for good," Brady said, sitting by a beach.Widely viewed as the greatest quarterback of all time, Brady won a record seven Super Bowls, six of them with the New England Patriots before adding his final triumph with Tampa at the end of the 2020 season.The quarterback had announced he was retiring on February 1, 2022, but 40 days later changed his mind and said he was returning for another season with the Bucs."I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning I figured Id just press record and let you guys know first. So I wont be long-winded," he added."I think you only get one super emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year. So, really, thank you guys, so much, to every single one of you, for supporting me. "My family, my friends, teammates, my competitors, I could go on forever, theres too many. Thank you, guys, for letting me live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. Love you all," he said.Brady was due to enter free agency and already the rumour mill had begun with several teams being linked with the veteran who threw for 4,694 yards and 25 touchdowns in the 2022 regular season.The Californian leaves the game owning a host of records in the NFL.He is the leagues all-time regular-season leader in pass attempts (12,050), completions (7,753), passing yards (89,214) and t...

Beijing 2022 releases Post-Games Sustainability Report

BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee (BOCOG) released the Beijing 2022 Post-Games Sustainability Report on Wednesday.Aerial photo taken on May 11, 2019 shows the performance during the 1,000-day countdown celebrations of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Chongli of Zhangjiakou City, north Chinas Hebei Province. (Photo: Xinhua)The report focuses on the approach to sustainability, protection of the ecosystem, addressing climate change, implementing sustainable sourcing, promoting development for the region, enhancing peoples well-being, and the legacy of sustainability.Fu Xiaohui, Secretary General of the Beijing Olympic City Development Association, noted that "the organizers have accumulated a wealth of experience in sustainability, contributing to the Olympics and Paralympics, which is highly recognized by the international community."According to the report, Beijing 2022 successfully established and implemented a sustainability management system by integrating several international standards that address the environmental and socially responsible elements of large-scale events, which also received third-party certification.All venues of the Games were either constructed or renovated according to national green building standards that concentrate on a minimum use of resources and energy.For the first time in the history of the Olympics and in China, Beijing 2022 applied new refrigerants made of natural carbon dioxide at four ice venues, which helped reduce carbon emissions to nearly zero.During the Games, the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway guaranteed efficient and safe travel among the three competition zones. Energy-efficient and clean-energy vehicles accounted for about 85 percent of all the vehicles used.In the Yanqing and Zhangjiakou mountain competition zones, the local government prioritized the ecological conservation and carried out a series of measures, such as establishing wildlife corridors ...

Chelsea complete record signing of Benfica's Fernandez

​Argentina's Enzo Fernandez poses with his Best Young Player award during the award ceremony of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

30-month sentence sought for ex-chairman over Tokyo Games bribery

Fireworks light up the sky during the closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on September 5, 2021. (Photo: AFP)TOKYO, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo prosecutors on Wednesday demanded a prison term of two years and six months for the former chairman of Japanese major business suit retailer Aoki Holdings Inc., Hironori Aoki, for allegedly giving bribes over the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.In the hearing at the Tokyo District Court, the prosecution also sought an 18-month sentence for Takahisa Aoki, former vice chairman and younger brother of the former chairman, and a one-year sentence for former senior managing director Katsuhisa Ueda, seeing Hironori Aoki as the main offender who bears the "heaviest responsibility."The defense asked for suspended sentences as all three had admitted to the bribery charges at the first hearing held in December last year.The court is set to issue its ruling on April 21.The former officials of the apparel maker are alleged to have given former Tokyo Olympic organizing committee executive, Haruyuki Takahashi, some 28 million yen (215,000 U.S. dollars) in bribes for favors including on the selection of Tokyo Games sponsors.Aoki Holdings supplied uniforms to the Japanese teams athletes after becoming an official supporter of the Games in 2018. It also sold jackets with the Games emblem.The case is among a series of bribery cases involving Takahashi over the Summer Games in 2021. A total of 15 people, including those in senior positions at five firms, have been indicted in the bribery scandal.

Chelsea sign Fernandez for Premier League-record 121 mln euros: Benfica

Enzo Fernandez of Argentina kisses the World Cup trophy at the award ceremony following their final win over France at Lusail Stadium in Lusail City, Qatar, December 18, 2022. /CFPChelsea have signed World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez from Benfica for a British-record 121 million euros ($131 million), the Portuguese club announced early on Wednesday.Fernandez, 22, was named Best Young Player of the World Cup for his displays during Argentinas successful campaign in Qatar.

Matildas' FIFA World Cup opener moved to Stadium Australia

Tazuni, the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 official mascot, makes a first Australian appearance alongside junior players to celebrate the FIFA Volunteer Programme launch in Melbourne, Australia, on November 9, 2022.

Former world halfpipe champion Smaine killed in avalanche in Japan

TOKYO, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Former world halfpipe champion Kyle Smaine of the United States has died in an avalanche in the backcountry of Japans Nagano prefecture on Monday.Kyle Smaine of US celebrates at the podium after the Mens Ski Halfpipe Final at FIS Freestyle and Snowboarding World Ski Championships in Kreischberg, Austria on January 22, 2015. (File photo: AFP)"Today we lost an incredible person, friend, skier and teammate to the mountains," the U.S. freeski team announced on social media. "Kyle Smaine was a world champion freeskier, loved exploring the mountains, was a fierce competitor but an even better person and friend."Local police said that the 31-year-old, who won freestyle skiing halfpipe gold medal at the 2015 world championships, was one of two men found dead in the avalanche.

NBA's Phoenix Suns acquiring Kevin Durant in trade from Brooklyn: US media

NBA superstar forward Kevin Durant is headed to the Phoenix Suns in a blockbuster trade from the Brooklyn Nets, US media reported on Wednesday.File photo: CFPThe Nets were trading Durant and TJ Warren in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder and four first-round draft picks, according to US outlets, including ESPN, which cited unnamed sources.The move, on the eve of the NBAs trade deadline on Thursday, follows Brooklyns trade of Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, after Irving requested a move.It also comes on the same day that US billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia made his debut as the new owner of the Suns, promising that he was "not going to be sitting here counting the dollars. Im going to look at how can we improve our team."Durant -- a two-time NBA champion, two-time Finals MVP and a former NBA regular-season MVP -- had requested a trade in June, less than a year after he inked a four-year, $198 million contract extension with the Nets.The 34-year-old had reportedly grown frustrated with the direction of the franchise, who were swept in the first round of last seasons playoffs despite having the star duo of Durant and Irving.In August it became clear that Durant would remain in Brooklyn, but the club got off to a chaotic start this season.They sacked head coach Steve Nash in November after a 1-5 start to the season.Then Irving was suspended for eight games after a social media post publicizing a movie with anti-Semitic themes and declining to apologize.Although the Nets fortunes had turned around under new coach Jacque Vaughn, Durant has been sidelined since January 8 because of a sprained ligament in his right knee.On Tuesday, Vaughn told reporters that Durant "had a really good report" in his latest medical evaluation, although the team had offered no timeline on when he would return to the court.Durant was averaging 29.7 points per game on 55.9 percent shooting, 6.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists...

Dortmund down Bochum to progress into German Cup quarters

BERLIN, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Marco Reus second-half winner secured Borussia Dortmund a 2-1 victory over Bochum in the German Cup last 16 on Wednesday.Dortmunds Marco Reus, left, and Freiburgs Lucas Hoeler fight for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and SC Freiburg in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. (Photo: AP)BVB assumed control from the kick-off, but Bochums well-positioned defense gave the visitors a hard time.Dortmund needed 13 minutes to produce its first noteworthy opportunity as Jamie Bynoe-Gitters tested Bochum goalkeeper Manuel Riemann from close range.The visitors increased the pressure and came close through Sebastien Haller, who slipped from a promising position before Bynoe-Gitters missed his second chance from inside the box.Bochum still had to swallow the deficit before the break as Riemanns short clearance allowed Emre Can mark the opener with a long-range effort into the empty goal.The hosts gained the upper hand after the restart but for all that Christopher Antwi-Adjei couldnt beat Dortmund custodian Gregor Kobel in quick succession.Bochum eventually restored parity at the hour mark when Kevin Stoger converted a handball penalty into the center of the goal.Dortmund answered in the 70th minute after joker Marco Reus tapped home Jude Bellinghams square pass, three minutes after his substitution.Bochum pressed frenetically for the equalizer in the closing period, but Dortmunds defense stood firm to ensure a quarterfinal berth."We are of course disappointed. It was a see-saw match, but we didnt look good when Dortmund scored," said Bochum coach Thomas Letsch."It was a typical cup fight, intense and rough. Bochum made our life difficult, but we left many chances unused and failed to extend our advantage despite several golden chances. We scored two great goals and are happy that we advanced into the next round," commented Dortmund coach E...

China's Fan, Chen to defend WTT Singapore Smash titles

BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese paddlers Fan Zhendong and Chen Meng are aiming to defend their titles at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Singapore Smash to be held in March.(File photo: Xinhua)The 2023 WTT Singapore Smash will also feature prominent names including womens world No. 1 Sun Yingsha of China, world No. 5 and No. 6 Hina Hayata and Mima Ito of Japan, Germanys Han Ying, Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico and Austrias Sofia Polconova."Im looking forward to competing again at Singapore Smash 2023. It is always an honor to be returning as the defending champion," Chen said in an interview with the WTT website."Theres a very strong field of players and Im expecting the competition to be tough, but this is what we train for and its a good chance for us to put this training into practice," added the reigning Olympic womens singles champion.In his title defense, Fan is expected to face a stern challenge from his compatriots, world No. 2 Ma Long and third-ranked Wang Chuqin, as well as Japanese prodigy Tomokazu Harimoto and Brazilian ace Hugo Calderano, who won back-to-back WTT Contender titles last month. The sixth-ranked Truls Moregard of Sweden, German legend Timo Boll and Liam Pitchford of England are other paddlers to look out for in Singapore.The 2023 Singapore Smash will feature 64 players in the mens and womens singles, and 24 pairs each in the mens, womens and mixed doubles, with a singles qualifying competition to feature a further 64 male and 64 female paddlers.

Former Tokyo Olympics official arrested over bid rigging

TOKYO, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Japanese prosecutors arrested a former operations executive of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee and three others on Wednesday over bid-rigging accusations, local media reported.File photo: XinhuaTokyo prosecutors arrested the former senior official, Yasuo Mori, on suspicion of being a key player in the anti-monopoly law breach of preparing games test events, running the Summer Games competitions, and rigging bids for contracts.The contracted amount to run the pre-games and competitions at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2021 totaled around 303 million U.S. dollars, Kyodo News reported.The other three arrested are Koji Hemmi, a former executive at Japanese ad giant Dentsu Inc., and officials Yoshiji Kamata and Masahiko Fujino from event production companies Cerespo Co. and Fuji Creative Corp., respectively, both firms that won contracts to plan test events.Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike told the press that Moris arrest was "extremely regrettable," according to local reports.In the bribery scandal, Haruyuki Takahashi, a former official at the organizing committee, has been charged four times with accepting bribes totaling over 198 million yen (about 1.5 million U.S. dollars) in exchange for assisting businesses in being chosen as sponsors or marketing agents of the major event.Prosecutors claimed that Takahashi, who was also a former senior managing director at Dentsu, had influence over the committees marketing division, which was in charge of choosing sponsors.

LeBron James breaks NBA all-time points-scoring record

LeBron James poses with a ball at the Los Angeles Lakers media day on September 26, 2022 in El Segundo, California. (Photo: AFP)LeBron James finally eclipsed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the most prolific scorer in NBA history on Tuesday, breaking a 39-year record that many throughout basketball believed would never be beaten.The Los Angeles Lakers star, playing in his 20th season in the NBA, passed Abdul-Jabbars longstanding total of 38,387 points after nailing a 21-foot shot late in the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder.James flung his arms aloft in relief as the Crypto.com Arena erupted in wild celebration at his new record of 38,388 points.Abdul-Jabbar, sitting courtside, was among the first to congratulate James as play was interrupted to salute an iconic moment in NBA history."To be able to be in the presence of a legend and great as Kareem it means so much to me," James told the crowd before thanking family, friends and fans."Everybody thats ever been part of this run with me these last 20 years, I just want to say I thank you so much because I wouldnt be me without all your help, all your passion and all your sacrifices to help me get to this point."James also paid tribute to NBA commissioner Adam Silver and his predecessor, the late David Stern."Thank you guys so much for allowing me to be a part of something Ive always dreamed about, and I would never ever in a million years have dreamt this even better than what it is tonight," James added before signing off with an F-bomb.

Djokovic unsure on injury return after Australian Open 'perfect 10'

Photo: Serbias Novak Djokovic poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup trophy in Melbourne on January 30, 2023, after winning the Australian Open tennis tournaments mens singles final against Greeces Stefanos Tsitsipas. /AFPNew Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic said on Monday he hopes to return to action in a months time but is "not sure" how quickly his injured hamstring will heal.The Serb also revealed that he had not had time to properly celebrate winning a record-extending 10th Melbourne title on Sunday.His 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5) victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas saw Djokovic equal Rafael Nadals mens record of 22 Grand Slam tournament wins and go back to world number one in the rankings.Djokovic was troubled throughout the competition by his left hamstring, although it improved as the Grand Slam went on.While the 35-year-old paraded the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup around the gardens of Government House in Melbourne on Monday for a photoshoot, he was asked by AFP how his leg was and when he might play again."Im not sure, Im going to do some medical check-ups in the next few days," he replied. "Then Ill be able to talk about it a bit more and understand the situation."Djokovic pulled his hamstring before the Australian Open, having won a warm-up event in Adelaide, and was badly hampered at times at Melbourne Park, particularly in the early rounds.At one point he did not practise between matches."As it stands today I am still signed in for the Dubai tournament, which is in a months time. I hope Ill be able to come back to the courts in several weeks time," he said Monday."Lets see, you know, Ill speak to the medical team and then take it from there," he added.Djokovics coach, Goran Ivanisevic, said most players would not have played after a pre-tournament scan showed the extent of the hamstring injury."But not him -- he i...

Djokovic claims 10th Australian Open men's singles title

ReutersSerbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas, January 29. Novak Djokovic won his 10th Australian Open men's singles title on Sunday to equal Rafael Nadal's record haul of 22 Grand Slam trophies, after a straight-set

Djokovic beats Tsitsipas, wins 10th Australian Open title

Novak Djokovic of Serbia beat Stefanos Tsitsipa from Greece 3-0 in the Australian Open mens singles final to win a record-extending 10th title in Melbourne, also his 22th Grand Slam title on Sunday. Novak Djokovic of Serbia holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the mens singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023. (Photo: AP)

China's Su Yiming claims snowboard big air bronze on X Games debut

Photo: Shanghai DailySAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Chinas snowboard star Su Yiming grabbed a big air bronze on his Winter X Games debut in Aspen, the United States on Saturday.The 18-year-old took a gold in big air and a silver in slopestyle at the Beijing Winter Olympics last year, but had never competed at the X Games before Saturdays competition.By successfully landing a left side 1980 run and a right side 1800 run, Su ranked third with a total of 87 points.Su throwed out his snowboard and whooped to celebrate his first ever successful 1980 run in a formal competition.The gold went to Norwegian Marcus Kleveland, who got 96 points in total. Japans Takeru Otsuka took silver with 90 points.Eight elite snowboarders are invited to this big air competition. Each athlete can do as many runs within a time limit of 30 minutes with the two best scores per rider counting.

Hu, Adams named CBA Players of the Month

BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Zhejiang Lions center Hu Jinqiu and Fujian Sturgeons guard Darius Adams have been named Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) Players of the Month for January.Hu Jinqiu (top) of Zhejiang Lions vies with Andrew Nicholson of Fujian Sturgeons during the 29th round match at the 2020-21 season of the CBA league in Zhuji, China, on Jan. 13, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)Hu helped Zhejiang to 5-3 tally from the 21st to the 28th round with averages of 19.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.0 block and 1.6 steals.Adams led Fujian to a 4-4 month by averaging 32.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2.8 steals.After the second stage of the CBA regular season, Zhejiang rank 10th with a win-loss record of 14-14, while Fujian sit second from bottom at 6-22.Also on Saturday, Xinjiang Flying Tigers center Tacko Fall was named CBA Defensive Player of the Month.Standing 2.28m tall, Fall averaged 3.5 blocks and 7.4 defensive rebounds in January. With his huge frame protecting the rim, Xinjiang have managed to claw themselves back into the top eight, currently sitting seventh with a 17-11 record.The CBAs third stage will resume on March 1, with games to be played on a home-and-away basis.

Sabalenka wins Australian Open women's singles title

Belarus Aryna Sabalenka celebrates with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after defeating Kazakhstans Elena Rybakina in the womens singles final match on day thirteen of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 28, 2023. (Photo: AP)MELBOURNE, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus fought back from a set down to defeat reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina to win the Australian Open womens singles title on Saturday.In a nerve-jangling final, Sabalenka overcame the gallant 22nd seed 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to record her first Grand Slam triumph.It capped a spectacular tournament for 24-year-old Sabalenka, who hadnt dropped a set before the final, and now will move to No. 2 on the world rankings.23-year-old Rybakina of Kazakhstan was unable to add a Grand Slam title to last years Wimbledon crown, but she still moves inside the world rankings top 10 for the first time in her career.An emotional Sabalenka collapsed on court after clinching the two-hour, 28-minute epic match before running over and celebrating with her team."Its tough to explain what Im feeling right now," said Sabalenka, who had 51 winners and 17 aces. "Oh, I just super happy. Super happy. Proud. I dont know how to explain. Just the best -- its the best day of my life right now."Sabalenka prevailed in a match between two heavy hitters but not before a major fright. The volatile Belarusian looked to be melting under the bright lights in her first Grand Slam final.She struggled against Rybakina, who looked unperturbed and won five straight points to capture an early break in the opening set.But Sabalenka hit back against the strong-serving Rybakina with a break in the eighth game, only to immediately lose her serve, and was broken through a double fault to further sour her mood.Rybakina held her nerve to draw first blood and became the first player to win a set against Sabalenka this year.Sabalenka a...

Gu Ailing withdraws from X Games through knee injury

Gold medallist Chinas Gu Ailing poses on the podium during the freestyle skiing womens freeski halfpipe victory ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Zhangjiakou Medals Plaza in Zhangjiakou on February 18, 2022. (Photo: A)WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Olympic freeski champion Gu Ailing has pulled out of the X Games Aspen 2023 after sustaining a knee injury in training."Had a heavy crash today in training and was told by doctors that they were worried about my ACL. Had the most agonizing couple of hours waiting to get an MRI until I finally got my results back about 30 mins ago. Turns out my knee is intact!! So so lucky to be walking away with a bad MCL sprain, ACL strain, and bone bruise," Gu wrote on Instagram."The bad news is I wont be competing at Xgames this weekend. The last few hours really put everything in perspective and made me realize how important it is to keep my body healthy. Ill be back soon," she added.Gu claimed gold medals in the womens big air and halfpipe and a silver in slopestyle at the Beijing Winter Olympics, becoming the first freestyle skier to win three medals in three different events at a single Winter Olympics.Earlier this month, she made a strong return to the FIS Freeski World Cup in nearly a year by winning two halfpipe titles in Calgary, Canada.Gu won two golds in superpipe and slopestyle, and a bronze in big air at the X Games Aspen 2021. She was scheduled to compete in the superpipe and slopestyle this year.

Manchester City outclass title rivals Arsenal in heavyweight FA Cup showdown

Sambi Lokonga (L) of Arsenal challenges Bernardo Silva of Man City during their FA Cup clash at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, January 27, 2023. (Photo: CFP)The eagerly-awaited FA Cup face-off between the Premier League champions Manchester City and current leaders Arsenal was billed as a rehearsal for their extremely vital league meeting in February with the title on the line.The Gunners have established a formidable five-point lead in the league, but during this intensely fought cup tie at the Etihad, Pep Guardiolas resilient Manchester side displayed a rare hunger to land a psychological blow on their London rivals and ultimately edged out Mikel Artetas team thanks to Nathan Akes 64th-minute wonder strike.Argentina striker Julian Alvarez, who scored four goals in his home nations World Cup winning run in Qatar last month, played a huge part in the breakthrough. It was the 22-year-olds long-range effort that hit the post and was collected by Jack Grealish, who then smartly placed the ball to Ake for a calm finish with his less-favored right foot."It was the first one I ever scored with my right foot so pleased with that," said Ake. Its worth noting that both of the Dutch defenders goals this term have been game-winning goals (GWG). That is tied for most GWG this season among defenders at Premier League clubs, along with Arsenals Gabriel. He also joins Joao Cancelo as the only City defenders with multiple goals this campaign."What a season Ake is playing," beamed Guardiola afterward. "He is really good in the duels in the box, defending the far post and set pieces is an extra bonus. He is an exceptional guy, there was a period where he didnt play and he never complained once."This was just Arsenals fourth defeat of the season and their first since November, but they have now lost 13 of their last 14 games against City in all competitions, including each of the last six. It r...

Rampant Djokovic surges into 10th Australian Open final

A rampant Novak Djokovic surged into a 10th Australian Open final Friday to close in on a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam crown, with only Stefanos Tsitsipas now standing in his way.Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Tommy Paul of the U.S. in their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. (Photo: AP)The Serbian fourth seed overcame an early wobble to romp past unseeded American Tommy Paul 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena in style. Another title on Sunday will move him alongside Rafael Nadal with 22 Slam wins and see the 35-year-old return to world number one for the first time since last June.Greek third seed Tsitsipas, who ground past Russian 18th seed Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3 in the other semi-final, can also become the top-ranked player should he lift the trophy."Im really thankful that I have enough gas in my legs to be able to play at this level on one of the biggest tennis courts in the world," said Djokovic, who is now 11-0 for the season and into a 33rd Grand Slam final."Of course, Im not as fresh as the beginning of the tournament but we put in a lot of hours in the off-season on fitness in order to be in a good condition to play best of five (sets)."I know whats expected of me, Ive been in this situation so many times in my career. Experience helps also," he added of being in another final. The win extended his unbeaten streak at the Australian Open to 27 matches to claim sole ownership of the Open-era record at Melbourne Park ahead of Andre Agassi.Djokovic had never played Paul before and said he was wary of a "very explosive, very dynamic player", with the American initially refusing to go quietly.

Record Premier League spending fuels transfer market recovery: FIFA

Record spending by English Premier League clubs fueled a recovery in the international transfer market in 2022 with a total outlay of some $6.5 billion, according to a report published by football governing body FIFA on Thursday.The figure represents an increase in the last two years as football recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic but is still below the levels of 2019 ($7.35 billion), just before the health crisis, International Association Football Federation (FIFA) said in its Global Transfer Report.The report only takes into account international transfers, in which over 20,000 were recorded and fewer than 3,000 involved a fee.English clubs spending "reached a record high of almost $2.2 billion", the report said, with six of the 10 biggest international transfers involving moves to Premier League sides.Liverpools Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield in Liverpool, England, January 21, 2023. (Photo: CFP)Among those moves were Liverpools signing of Darwin Nunez from Benfica for an initial 75 million euros ($82 million) plus 25 million in potential bonuses and Luis Diaz from Porto as well as Manchester United’s purchases of Casemiro and Antony from Real Madrid and Ajax respectively.There was also Erling Haalands switch from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City and Newcastle Uniteds signing of Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad.French clubs brought in the most money, although the total amount recouped of $740.3 million was still down on 2019 figures of over $900 million.Keira Walsh (R) of England is put under pressure by Rose Lavelle of the United States during the Womens International Friendly match between England and USA at Wembley Stadium in London, England, October 7, 2022. (Photo: CFP)Meanwhile, the continuing growth of womens football was reflected by a 19 percent increase in the number of international transfers to a t...

Tsitsipas beats Khachanov to reach 1st Australian Open final

Stefanos Tsitsipas had a harder time strictly following all of the rules than he did outplaying his opponent in the early going, then recovered after blowing two match points late in the third set, and eventually reached the final at the Australian Open for the first time by beating Karen Khachanov 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 on Friday.Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece reacts after defeating Karen Khachanov of Russia in their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. (Photo: AP)The No. 3-seeded Tsitsipas had been 0-3 in semifinals at Melbourne Park, but he finally went a step further to get to the second Grand Slam championship match of his career.It looked easy for the better part of three sets against Khachanov, but Tsitsipas got broken when serving for the match at 5-4 in the third, then failed to convert either chance to end it when he went up 6-4 in the ensuing tiebreaker. Khachanov collected four consecutive points there, erasing the match points with a pair of booming forehands. Tsitsipas, though, regained his footing quickly, grabbing a 3-0 lead in the fourth.Karen Khachanov of Russia plays a forehand return to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during their semifinal at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. (Photo: AP)"If you stick around, if you dedicate yourself even more and if you concentrate on these important moments," Tsitsipas said, "it pays off quite well."Now Tsitsipas will face Novak Djokovic or unseeded American Tommy Paul in the mens singles final on Sunday.If he claims his first major trophy, Tsitsipas would also achieve another milestone: He would rise to No. 1 in the ATP rankings for the first time."I like that number. Its all about you. Its singular. Its 1," Tsitsipas said. "These are the moments that Ive been working hard for."Djokovic, who would return to No. 1 if he wi...

China sweeps five titles at WTT Feeder Doha

Xu Yingbin (R) and Zhou Kai of China pose with the trophies during the awarding ceremony after their mens singles final match at WTT Feeder Doha 2023 in Doha, Qatar, Jan. 26, 2023.DOHA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- China claimed five titles on offer at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Feeder Doha, the first tournament of WTT Feeder Series 2023 here on Thursday.He Zhuojia (R) and Kuai Man of China pose with the trophies during the awarding ceremony after their womens singles final match at WTT Feeder Doha 2023 in Doha, Qatar, Jan. 26, 2023. (Photos: Xinhua)With their respective semifinal victories, Zhou Kai and Xu Yingbin secured the mens singles championship for China before Xu won three straight sets over Zhou in the final."I had not expected this score. I just prepared for difficulties ahead and fought point by point," said Xu, attributing his success in the Qatari capital to a fine mindset."I felt that I had a strong will this time, drew lessons from the past matches and made some adjustments here," commented Xu.China took up all berths in the womens singles semifinals, meaning it would be an all-Chinese affair in deciding the winner.Kuai Man edged past Liu Weishan 3-2, setting up a final clash with He Zhuojia, the winner in a comfortable 3-0 victory over Zhang Rui. Later in the title contention, He accounted for Kuai 3-1 to stand on top of the podium.Fresh from her title, He expected much room for her improvement in the future. "I can do better, and I need to make full preparation for the upcoming tournaments," she said.Yuan Licen/Xiang Peng of China and Ho Kwan Kit/Lam Siu Hang of Chinas Hong Kong pose with the trophies (from R to L) during the awarding ceremony after their mens doubles final match at WTT Feeder Doha 2023 in Doha, Qatar, Jan. 26, 2023.The mens doubles title went to Xiang Peng and Yuan Licen, who bounced back from two sets down to defeat Lam Siu Hang and Ho Kwan Kit of Hong Kong, China 3-2.Qian...

People ring in Chinese New Year with sports

BEIJING, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- After eating dumplings on the first day of the Year of the Rabbit, Tong Shijin packed his skiing equipment, started his car and headed to a place that was quite familiar to him.Photo: Beijing DailyTong is a skiing enthusiast in Hohhot, north Chinas Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. After his graduation from university, he set up a skiing club, opened a skiing equipment store with his friends and became a skiing coach.After a half-an-hour drive, Tong arrived at the Mazongshan Ski Resort. As he didnt need to offer guidance to skiing amateurs, he had enough time to enjoy skiing in the clear air and bright sunshine."It feels so cool. Without so many people here, now I can gambol as much as I like," Tong said.Nowadays in China, the Spring Festival holiday is not only about reuniting with family members and visiting scenic spots, but also basking in the joy brought by sports.Like Tong, people across the country have engaged themselves in various sports during the holiday.In a badminton venue of the Zhengzhou Olympic Sports Center in Henan province, Jia Junling wiped the sweat off his face after finishing a game with a friend."We have been playing here for four days since the Lunar New Years Eve, without missing a single day. Playing badminton and chatting with friends makes me feel happy and healthy. Its a meaningful way to celebrate the Spring Festival through sports," Jia grinned.In many cities, sports venues are open to the public free of charge or at a low price during the Spring Festival holiday with the aim to attract more people.In Hangzhou, host city of the 19th Asian Games set for September 23 to October 8 this year in Zhejiang province, some of the Games venues are free or at a low cost for no less than 12 hours every day for citizens fitness exercises, which ensures a non-stop operation of the venues during the holiday.According to the State General Administration of Sport, thousands...

Wimbledon champion Rybakina, 5th seed Sabalenka to clash in Australian Open women's final

MELBOURNE, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- A new Australian Open womens champion will be crowned with reigning Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina and fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka to battle for the trophy after recording commanding victories in the semifinals on Thursday.Kazakhstans Elena Rybakina hits a return against Belarus Victoria Azarenka during their womens singles semi-final match on day eleven of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2023. (Photo: AFP)Belarus Aryna Sabalenka smiles after victory against Polands Magda Linette during their womens singles semi-final match on day eleven of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2023. (Photo: AFP)Strong-serving 22nd seed Rybakina ended the resurgence of former champion Victoria Azarenka, who won titles in Melbourne in 2012 and 2013 but couldnt wind back the clock on this occasion.Rybakina of Kazakhstan fired down nine aces in her 7-6 (4), 6-3 victory over 33-year-old Azarenka to reach her second Grand Slam final."Im super happy to be in the final. Today it was a bit tougher for me because it was different conditions," said Rybakina, who noted the blustery conditions on Rod Laver Arena."I couldnt play really aggressive tennis...but Im happy that in the end I managed to win.""For sure, I got a lot of experience from Wimbledon and, to be honest, I just want to come on court and really enjoy the moment, enjoy the atmosphere."The 23-year-old Rybakina has proven her shock Wimbledon triumph is no fluke after a stellar run in Melbourne yielded impressive victories over top seed Iga Swiatek in the fourth round and 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the quarterfinals.In a see-saw of a first set against 24th seed Azarenka, Rybakinas trusted serve occasionally deserted her, but she broke twice and then held her nerve in the tiebreak to draw first blood.A confident Rybakina put the foot do...

Novak Djokovic, Aryna Sabalenka march into Australian Open semifinals

Novak Djokovic celebrates victory against Andrey Rublev during their mens singles quarterfinal match on day 10 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, January 25, 2023. (Photo: CFP)Novak Djokovic is two wins away from a 22nd Grand Slam crown after bulldozing into the Australian Open semi-finals on Wednesday, while Aryna Sabalenka was equally impressive in reaching the womens last four.Serbias Djokovic delivered a masterclass to crush Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena and set up a meeting with Tommy Paul for a place in Sundays final.Djokovics quest to go level with great rival Rafael Nadal on a leading 22 major titles carries an air of inevitability.The 35-year-old struggled with a hamstring injury in the early rounds at Melbourne Park but was dominant during his fourth-round demolition of Alex de Minaur and was equally clinical against the outclassed Rublev."Last two matches, playing against two guys who were in form and to beat them dominantly in three sets is something that I definitely want in this moment, something that sends a message to all my opponents," said a buoyant Djokovic."With this kind of game the confidence level rises, so I feel better on the court as the tournament progresses."Victory for the red-hot favorite propelled him into a 44th Grand Slam semi-final to close the gap on Roger Federers all-time record of 46.Anything other than a rampant win for Djokovic against unseeded Paul would amount to a massive upset, albeit at a tournament that has seen numerous shocks in the mens and womens draws.Aryna Sabalenka (L) shakes hands with Donna Vekic after Sabalenkas victory in their womens singles quarterfinal match on day 10 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, January 25, 2023. (Photo: CFP)Sabalenka set up a semi-final with surprise-package Magda Linette after once again displaying the kind of form a...

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