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Thursday, July 30, 2009

ARSENAL OFFER VIEIRA DEAL - REPORTS



Arsenal are reportedly set to make a sensational bid to bring Patrick Vieira back to the club.
The Sun reports that Arsene Wenger wants his former captain to return to Arsenal, after he was sold to Juventus in 2005
.
The midfielder is now out of favour at Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan, and the paper reports that Arsenal have offered Vieira a one-year deal that will reduce his basic wage, but include heavy bonuses.
Tottenham are also keen on bringing the Frenchman to London, and have offered him similar terms.
Fulham and Birmingham are also reported to be interested, but clearly Arsenal would be favourites to sign Vieira if he decided to return to England.
Wenger initially signed Vieira from Inter's rivals AC Milan in 1996 for £3.5million, and was sold nine years later for around £13million.

Olympics

After stunning loss, Phelps sets record
Bernard, Cielo face duel in the pool
Hartford to host 2010 USA Gymnastics championships
Van Zyl, Demus set leading times at Herculis
Phelps' coach threatens to pull swimmer from meets
Kuwait changes sports laws, averts Olympic ban
Silver anniversary brings back golden memories
Olympic volleyball medalist sentenced for assault
Janet Evans: Suits making the sport a 'mockery'
NCAA also placing limits on high-tech suits
Descenza sets world record in 200 butterfly
After topping Thorpe, Biedermann takes down Phelps
USOC honors 2 Oklahoma training sites
Britain selects doping-tainted Chambers for worlds
Napolitano tours new Olympics center in Washington
Kukors sets 2 world records in 2 days

Phelps actually has day off at world championships


ROME (AP)—Michael Phelps had another swimsuit issue.
It didn’t slow him down this time.
Phelps bounced back from a stunning loss with something more familiar—a world record in the 200-meter butterfly Wednesday. For good measure, he surpassed another of Mark Spitz’s accomplishments with the 34th world record of his career, one more than Spitz had during his brilliant run in the pool.
One night after he was soundly beaten by Germany’s Paul Biedermann, Phelps sliced the time in what he calls his “bread and butter” to 1 minute, 51.51 seconds, more than a half-second lower than his gold medal-winning time of 1:52.03 at the Beijing Olympics.
With all the hullabaloo over swimsuits, everyone wondered about Phelps’ decision to wear one that stretched only from his waist to his ankles, leaving his upper body bare. Was he trying to make a fashion statement?
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“No, that didn’t even cross my mind,” Phelps said. “It was just me being comfortable.”
Actually, he had planned to wear a Speedo bodysuit, only to discover during warmups the one he brought to the Foro Italico was too tight in the shoulders. So he went back to the legsuit, which he prefers in the fly anyway.
“He actually warmed up with the full body and he just said it felt too tight and he took it off,” Phelps’ coach Bob Bowman said. “Then I noticed he hadn’t shaved his chest, but I’m like, ‘Don’t worry about it. I don’t think you have much hair.”’
Phelps went out much faster than he normally does in the fly, and paid for it on the final push to the wall. His arms were burning. His legs, too. But there was no way he was losing again.
He surged to the wall a body length ahead of silver medalist Pawel Korzeniokski of Poland, with Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda settling for bronze. Phelps whipped around quickly to see his time and held up his right index finger when the “WR” was posted.
“I wanted to step on it in the first 100 to get out there in the clean water, and that’s pretty much what happened,” Phelps said. “It was a lot more pain last night than tonight.”
On Tuesday, he was blown out of the water by Germany’s Paul Biedermann, who routed Phelps in the 200 freestyle and also snatched away his world record.
Most of the talk afterward was about what they were wearing—and there wasn’t a red carpet in sight. Biedermann was in a polyurethane Arena X-Glide suit, which everyone concedes produces much faster times than Phelps’ year-old Speedo LZR Racer.
Bowman threatened to pull his star from all future international events unless FINA speeds up its timetable for banning bodysuits. The governing body had mandated that male swimmers go back to wearing waist-to-knee “jammers” made from textile materials, but says the new rules may not be fully implemented until May 2010.
Phelps will let others debate those issues, though he’s never real happy about losing. Friends stepped up to help him cope with his first major individual loss since 2005, sending along texts to the effect: “If you want to call me and just yell at the phone and get some frustration out, I have no problem sitting there and listening.”
He took them up on the offer.
“I was having some texting battles with a couple of buddies from home, and it was cool just being able to let some emotions out and have somebody listen to it,” Phelps said. “I think that definitely helped.”
It also helped to swim the 200 fly. That event produced Phelps’ first trip to the Olympics in 2000 (he finished fifth at Sydney as a 15-year-old). That event produced the first of all those world records in 2001.
“I’ve always done well in it,” he said. “I guess you can call it my bread and butter event.”
There couldn’t have been a more appropriate place for Phelps to add another record to his resume. Shortly after he climbed from the pool, Italy’s Federica Pellegrini sent the home crowd into a frenzy when she set the 20th world mark of the four-day-old meet in the 200 freestyle.
With no disrespect to Phelps, Biedermann and Pellegrini have been the stars of these worlds. Biedermann dispatched Ian Thorpe from the record book in the 400 free before knocking off Phelps. Pellegrini thrilled the home folks with her second win and third world record.
“I feel that my heart is for Italy,” she said after clapping along with the crowd during her country’s bouncy national anthem, “Fratelli d’Italia” (Brothers of Italy).
Before this night was done, South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh broke the mark he set in the semifinals to win the 50 breaststroke, and China’s Zhang Lin took down Grant Hackett’s four-year-old record in the 800 free by more than six seconds (7:32.12), with Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli also going under the old mark but only getting silver. Both are non-Olympic events.
Earlier, Germany’s Daniela Samulski and Russia’s Anastasia Zueva got things rolling by setting records in consecutive semifinal heats of the 50 backstroke, another event not on the Olympic program. And let’s not forget American Mary Descenza, who took more than three seconds off her personal best to swim the fastest women’s 200 butterfly ever—in the morning preliminaries, no less.
For those who’ve lost count, that’s 22 records in Rome, hardly living up to the label as the Eternal City. Nothing is sacred in these suits, which have already helped surpass the 15 records set at the last worlds in Melbourne two years ago, with four days still to go.
Phelps had been eager to get another shot at the 200 fly on the big stage, even after winning gold in China. During the Olympic race, his goggles filled with water and he actually had to count his strokes in his head because he couldn’t really see where he was. He was disgusted afterward.
“That’s something I really wanted to do last year, break the 1:52 barrier,” he said. “Coming into it tonight I said, ‘Whatever happens, happens.’ I tried to give it my all the first 150.”
Was redemption on his mind as well?
“Not really,” Phelps insisted. “I’ve always been able to put races behind me, having to do so many events. You can’t get caught up with one event.”
That said, Phelps couldn’t wait to get on the podium to collect his first individual title of the meet, which he spurred on to enter by his mother, Debbie. While his name was being announced in English and Italian, he stood impatiently with his right foot already on the stand.
Finally, Phelps hopped up to the highest rung, thrust both arms in the air with a defiant look that melted into a crooked smile. Then he plunged into the stands to hug his mom, just as he the night before.
No consoling this time. Only a celebration.
“My mom did want to come to Rome,” Phelps said. “After the Olympics, I said I would just send her over there and she could have a nice vacation. But she said, ‘No, I want to come over there and see you swim.’ So I got back in the pool, lost some weight and got back in shape.”
And back on top.

Phillies get Cy Young winner Lee from Indians

PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Cliff Lee’s(notes) new teammates were so excited to get him, they gave the man responsible for the trade a clubhouse curtain call.
Looking for an ace to bolster their so-so rotation, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired Lee on Wednesday from Cleveland, marking the second straight year the Indians traded the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner.
When general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. walked through the locker room hours before the defending World Series champions played in Arizona, many Phillies greeted him with applause.
“One of our goals has been to add someone to our rotation that can be a difference-maker,” Amaro said in a conference call. “It’s important to show our guys on the field that we’re making the best effort to put the best team out there.”
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The NL East-leading Phillies gave Cleveland four minor league prospects for Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco(notes). The left-handed Lee is 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA in 22 starts this season after going 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA last year.
“I’m going to miss all these guys here, but it’s an opportunity for me to help a team that’s in first place,” Lee said after the Indians lost to the Los Angeles Angels 9-3 in Anaheim, Calif.
“They’re the defending world champions. So as far as that goes, I’m excited. But right now I’ve got to figure out how to get there and meet up with them and get acclimated to their team,” Lee said.
The Phillies sent Triple-A pitcher Carlos Carrasco(notes), infielder Jason Donald(notes) and catcher Lou Marson(notes) along with Single-A pitcher Jason Knapp to Cleveland.
Last year, the Indians dealt CC Sabathia(notes), then the reigning Cy Young winner and in the final year of his contract, to the Milwaukee Brewers. Sabathia helped the Brewers into the postseason before signing a $161 million, seven-year contract with the New York Yankees.
Lee turns 31 next month and his contract includes a $9 million club option for next season.
“At the root of this deal was balancing the conviction of our ability to compete in 2010 with the opportunity to impact the team’s construction for years to come,” Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said in a statement.
The Phillies pursued Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay(notes), but shifted their attention to Lee because Toronto’s asking price for the six-time All-Star is high. Philadelphia balked at trading top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek, who was the 18th overall pick in the 2006 amateur draft.
Amaro acquired Lee without giving up Drabek, rookie left-hander J.A. Happ(notes), who was 7-1 going into his start at Arizona, or highly touted minor league outfielders Michael Taylor and Dominic Brown.
“Watching him go through last year and this year, it’s not like it’s far off of Halladay at all,” Phillies closer Brad Lidge(notes) said of Lee. “He’s that kind of pitcher. And not having to give up Happ to get him, that’s pretty impressive.”
Lee gives the Phillies another top starter to join Cole Hamels(notes). The MVP of the World Series and NLCS last fall has been inconsistent this season—Hamels was 7-5 with a 4.42 ERA, though he pitched well in a victory at Arizona on Tuesday.
The Phillies have a comfortable lead in the division—seven games ahead of second-place Florida going into Wednesday’s games. They’ve sought pitching help since No. 2 starter Brett Myers(notes) had hip surgery in June. Jamie Moyer(notes) leads the staff with 10 wins, but he is 46 and has a 5.32 ERA.
The addition of Lee means Philadelphia has to drop someone—possibly Rodrigo Lopez(notes)—from its starting rotation. Lopez, though, is 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA in four starts. The Phillies also have Pedro Martinez(notes) rehabbing in the minors. The three-time Cy Young Award winner signed a $1 million, one-year contract during the All-Star break.
“I’d rather have a surplus than have needs,” Amaro said. “It’ll work itself out.”
Manager Charlie Manuel said he’ll probably make a decision about the rotation on the team’s plane ride to San Francisco after the game.
Francisco, who is batting .250 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs, upgrades Philadelphia’s bench, which has lacked a solid, right-handed hitter.
The Indians have been a disappointment this season and their decision to deal Lee for prospects is another blow for Cleveland fans, who have seen stars like Manny Ramirez(notes), Jim Thome(notes) and Sabathia leave via free agency or trade.
“We’ve been through this before with much less talent in our cabinet,” Shapiro said. “If we hadn’t made tough decisions and trades before like this in the past, we wouldn’t have had guys like Cliff.”
The club had hoped to sign Lee to an extension but talks broke off during spring training. A succession of injuries and dismal relief pitching dropped the Indians out of contention and forced Shapiro to begin rebuilding.
The Indians traded infielder/outfielder Mark DeRosa(notes) to St. Louis last month, sent reliever Rafael Betancourt(notes) to Colorado last week and dealt first baseman Ryan Garko(notes) to San Francisco on Monday.
Carrasco may be the closest to joining Cleveland’s roster. The 22-year-old right-hander struggled early this season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but has pitched well recently. He was 6-9 with a 5.18 ERA in 20 starts, and had 112 strikeouts in 114 2-3 innings.
The 18-year-old Knapp was Philadelphia’s second-round pick in last year’s draft. He’s 6-foot-5, 215 pounds and possesses an overpowering fastball, with 111 strikeouts in 85 1-3 innings. But he hasn’t pitched since July 11 because of right shoulder soreness.
Marson, 23, was hitting .294 with one homer and 24 RBIs in 63 games at Lehigh Valley. He was 4 for 17 in seven games with the Phillies. Donald, 24, recently returned from knee surgery and was batting .236 with one homer and 16 RBIs in 51 games at Lehigh Valley.
“We gave them four very good baseball prospects, and that hurts,” Amaro said. “When you want to acquire talent, you have to give talent, and that was part of the deal here.”
AP Sports Writers Tom Withers in Cleveland, Gregg Bell in Seattle and Andrew Bagnato in Phoenix contributed to this report.

Everton reject new Lescott offer


Everton have rejected a second bid from Manchester City for Joleon Lescott.
The Goodison Park side confirmed City had upped the offer they made for the 27-year-old England defender last week from £15m to £18m.
"We have received an offer of £18m for Joleon and that offer has been rejected outright," read a statement on the Everton website.
Earlier this summer, Everton boss David Moyes said no player would leave the club without his approval.
The news of the offer was relayed to Moyes in Salt Lake City, where he was preparing his side for their friendly with the Major League Soccer All-Stars side, a game that Everton won 4-3 on penalties after the teams were level at 1-1 after normal time.
City have signed Roque Santa Cruz, Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor and are top heavy in attack, despite adding defender Kolo Toure to their squad.
They recently failed with a bid to sign Chelsea centre-back John Terry.

City had a £30m offer rejected recently by the Blues and Terry pledged his future to the London club last week.
It had been suggested that Everton would have been prepared to do business if City defender Nedum Onuoha was part of a new deal.
However, Onuoha signed a new five-year deal at Eastlands on Wednesday.
Lescott joined Everton for £5m from Wolves in 2006 and has been an integral part of Moyes' successful side, which finished fifth last season.
Moyes will also be reluctant to weaken his squad further in central defence, with Lescott's fellow England international Phil Jagielka not expected to return until November after knee surgery.

BMW to quit F1 at end of season

BMW will withdraw from Formula 1 at the end of this season.
The German car manufacturer, who took over Sauber in 2005, have cited "current developments in motorsport" as the reason for their decision.
BMW are the second major manufacturer to leave the sport in eight months after Honda's withdrawal in December.
BMW had given themselves three years to win the world championship and won their first race in 2008 but have amassed only eight points this season.
The team, who currently have Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld as their drivers, held a meeting on Tuesday where they made the decision to quit the sport.
BMW began the season determined to challenge for the world championship but the car they designed to meet 2009's major technical rule changes has been uncompetitive.

BMW_Sauber_FTW
"Of course, we, the employees in Hinwil and Munich, would all have liked to continue this ambitious campaign and show that this season was just a hiccup following three successful years," said team boss Mario Theissen.
"But I can understand why this decision was made from a corporate perspective.
"We will now focus sharply on the remaining races and demonstrate our fighting spirit and put in a good result as we bid farewell to Formula 1 racing."
Bernie Ecclestone, Formula 1's commercial rights holder, believes the team's inability to match their title ambitions is behind their withdrawal.
"It has not quite been like that so perhaps that's why they've [decided] to stop," Ecclestone told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"When you consider how much money they've spent and the results they've got, it's probably not such a good investment.
"They were quite sure that they were going to win the championship within three years, and I was hoping they would."
However, the sport's governing body, the FIA, said it was not surprised by BMW's decision given the difficult global economic climate.
"The FIA regrets the announcement of BMW's intended withdrawal from Formula 1 but is not surprised by it," a statement said.
"It has been clear for some time that motor sport cannot ignore the world economic crisis.
"Car manufacturers cannot be expected to continue to pour large sums of money into Formula 1 when their survival depends on redundancies, plant closures and the support of the taxpayer."
BMW would be a loss to F1 - Croft
There has long been speculation that BMW could quit F1 along with fellow car manufacturers Toyota and Renault because of the effects of the economic downturn on car sales.
Ecclestone claimed on Wednesday that Toyota and Renault were among the remaining teams that have signed a new version of the Concorde Agreement, which is expected to be finalised by the FIA this week. The new legal and financial agreement commits teams until 2012.
The FIA has been pushing to cut costs but its plans to cap spending to £40m a year led to the Formula 1 teams' umbrella group, Fota, threatening to walk away to form a rival series.
While that dispute has now been resolved, the FIA says the teams could have prevented teams quitting F1 by accepting their proposals.
"This is why the FIA prepared regulations to reduce costs drastically," a statement added.
"Had these regulations not been so strongly opposed by a number of team principals, the withdrawal of BMW and further such announcements in the future might have been avoided."
Fota, which represents all teams on the grid with the exception of Williams and Force India, pledged to offer its continued support to BMW.
A statement said; "Fota teams have immediately consulted each other and are ready to assure all the necessary support to BMW, whose membership in the association is confirmed, to continue its involvement in the F1 sport."
The BMW Group have decided to divert their resources into other areas, although they plan to stay involved in other strands of motorsport.
"Of course, this was a difficult decision for us, but it's a resolute step in view of our company's strategic realignment," said Dr Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management of BMW.
"Premium will be increasingly defined in terms of sustainability and environmental compatibility. This is an area in which we want to remain in the lead.
"Our Formula One campaign is thus less a key promoter for us."
BMW's takeover of Sauber in 2005 saw them enter their own team in 2006 and in their debut season they were fifth in the constructors' championship before being promoted to second in 2007 after the exclusion of McLaren-Mercedes.
They put up a strong challenge in 2008 with Kubica scoring their first win at the Canadian Grand Prix and the team finished third behind Ferrari and McLaren.

Bad start for BMW in Melbourne
BMW first entered Formula 1 as an engine supplier to Brabham in 1982 and the first victory of the pairing came in 1983 when Nelson Piquet won in Brazil on the way to claiming the drivers' crown.
But BMW pulled out as an engine supplier in 1987 before returning in 2000 as engine partners to Williams.
The duo were together for six years and ended up as constructors' championship runners-up in 2002 and 2003, while winning 10 grands prix and taking 17 pole positions.
Following their decision to withdraw from Formula 1, BMW will now focus on the touring car series, Formula BMW and the American Le Mans series.

Celtic 0-1 Dinamo Moscow


Celtic's Champions League qualification hopes suffered a hefty blow after they were beaten at home by Dinamo Moscow.
With only seven minutes on the clock in Glasgow, Alexander Kokorin ghosted in behind Gary Caldwell to divert a low cross under Artur Boruc.
Marc-Antoine Fortune and Scott McDonald both missed good first-half chances to help the home team's cause.
McDonald later had an effort cleared off the line and Georgios Samaras failed to convert a point-blank header.
Mowbray encouraged despite defeat
The defeat in Tony Mowbray's competitive debut as Celtic manager means the Glasgow club must win in Russia in a week's time or they will drop into qualifying for the Europa League.
The visitors, 15 games into their domestic season, looked the sharper side, and Celtic goalkeeper Boruc was forced to save with just four minutes on the clock.
Dinamo's Australian midfielder Luke Wilkshire struck a fierce drive from 30 yards, which the Pole clawed away from the top corner.

But the hosts did not heed that warning sign, and found themselves a goal down 90 seconds later.
Alexander Kerzhakov collected a ball into the left channel, and fired a dangerous low ball into the six-yard area where Kokorin nipped in ahead of Caldwell to get the deftest of touches through Boruc's legs.
With Celtic struggling to get to grips with the game, Dinamo continued to press and looked menacing - especially when Kherzakov received the ball, peeling out wide on the left.
Mowbray's men were finding it difficult to penetrate the Russians' tight-knit seven-man defensive structure, and in the opening quarter the best the hosts could muster was a close-range Fortune effort which was easily held by Vladimir Gabulov.
The Celtic midfield showed signs of rustiness, with Landry N'Guemo and Massimo Donati, as well as Fortune up front, guilty of surrendering possession too easily on occasion.
Chances did present themselves for Celtic, although the front pair of Fortune and McDonald lacked a predatory instinct.

Kokorin and Kerzakhov caused Celtic problems on the break
Fortune missed two gilt-edged chances to score within the space of 30 seconds.
First, the striker failed to connect properly with Aiden McGeady's cross at the back post, then, only three yards out, Fortune was unable to divert Shaun Maloney's excellent ball to the other post.
With 30 minutes played, McDonald showed good skill to cut inside a defender but should have done better than shoot at the goalkeeper from the corner of the six-yard box.
After ending the first period strongly, Mowbray's side pressed straight from the restart, and McDonald had a looping header cleared off the line after good work by Maloney - who was Celtic's brightest player on the night.
Kerzhakov gave the home side reminders of his threat, as twice on the counter-attack he used his strength and pace to trouble Caldwell and Glenn Loovens at the back.
Mowbray swapped his front pairing, bringing on Chris Killen and Samaras with half an hour to play.
The Greek striker had a fantastic chance to score with four minutes to go, but he headed straight into the thankful Gabulov's arms when unmarked from just a couple of yards out, and Dinamo take a valuable away win into the second leg.

Weather threatens Edgbaston start


Ground staff at Edgbaston have been working through the night in an attempt to get the ground ready for the start of the third Ashes Test.
Torrential rain in the Midlands has soaked the outfield and with further rain forecast for Thursday morning, there could be a delayed start.
The Met Office has predicted a day of sunshine and heavy showers.
England, who lead Australia 1-0 in the series, are confident Andrew Flintoff will be fully fit for the contest.
The Lancastrian has undergone intensive treatment on an ongoing knee problem, but England skipper Andrew Strauss expects the all-rounder to play a full part in the Test.
Australia have lost their aura - Strauss
"Barring any dramatic stuff overnight, he'll be fit," said Strauss.
England will pick from a 12-man squad after spinner Monty Panesar was released.
Wednesday's heavy rain prevented both teams from holding their final practice sessions at the ground, with the sessions moved to an indoor cricket school instead.
More rain is expected on Saturday and Sunday after sunny intervals on Friday.
Australia are expected to keep faith with misfiring bowler Mitchell Johnson.
The paceman, who came into the series with a burgeoning reputation following a series of match-winning displays against South Africa earlier this year, has struggled in the first two Tests.
The left-armer took a total of eight wickets at an average of 41.37 from the Cardiff and Lord's Tests, and was then hammered for 107 runs in 18.1 overs, taking only one wicket, in a tour match against Northamptonshire last week.
But asked if he had considered dropping Johnson, Australia captain Ricky Ponting replied: "No, to tell you the truth.
"There has been a lot of talk about his technique and his action being all over the place. (But) we have had some good close looks at that and it is actually not.
"I think right at the moment it is more of a confidence thing and we will probably use him more as a strike impact type of bowler."
Johnson's form is in stark contrast to Flintoff, who produced a sensational spell of bowling on the fifth morning at Lord's to lead England to a 115-run victory.
The 31-year-old has been sleeping with a special 'Game Ready' compression wrap - designed from NASA spacesuit technology - around his troublesome knee, which helps to remove fluid and reduce inflammation.
And his fitness, proven over two days of intensive workouts leading up to Thursday's start, is a major boost for England following the loss of star batsman Kevin Pietersen to an Achilles injury.
Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell will come into the side as Pietersen's replacement on his home ground, despite a concern earlier this week over a slight ankle problem.
And Strauss is tipping him to return to the side "a better player" since being dropped in February.
I think he's going to be a better batsman for that experience
Strauss on Ian Bell
"A player of the calibre of Ian Bell coming in is very reassuring. He's a proven Test performer, he's played in the Ashes before and he's done that spell out of the side that a lot of us have been through.
"Ian's done a lot of work. We sent him away and it was a pretty bitter pill to swallow. He's done a lot of fitness work, scored a lot of runs for Warwickshire, he's done everything we've asked of him and he's had to dig pretty deep to do that.
"I think he's going to be a better batsman for that experience. It makes you very, very hungry when you come back in."
That means England's only selection issue would appear to be the final pace-bowling spot, with Steve Harmison vying to replace Durham team-mate Graham Onions.
Onions, who took 3-91 at Lord's, has been suffering with a slight hand injury, but is widely expected to get the nod again, despite Harmison being the leading wicket-taker in County Championship division one this season.

Twenty five runs is not what I am after in this game. I'm after a big score
Ricky Ponting
However, England will not name their final starting XI until the morning of the match, with the Edgbaston pitch causing some concern.
Groundsman Steve Rouse described the surface as "jelly" last week, and the outfield was still covered in pools of water on Wednesday, despite warmer weather in recent days helping to dry the Test strip.
"I am actually a bit surprised that the wicket itself is so dry but there's plenty of rain around still," noted Ponting, who believes spin will still have a part to play.
With conditions expected to favour seam bowling, Australia could recall either Shane Watson or Stuart Clark, but are still without Brett Lee, who is recuperating from a side strain which has kept him out of the first two Test matches.
Meanwhile, Ponting has the chance to become his country's highest run-scorer in Test cricket.
The 34-year-old needs only 25 runs to overhaul Allan Border's record tally of 11,174 runs, and averages 56.31 for his country since making his debut against Sri Lanka in Perth during the 1995-96 series.
But he insists he would swap the record for victory at Edgbaston in a heartbeat, saying: "I must admit I haven't thought about it at all. I've got bigger fish to fry than than that right at the moment.
"Twenty five runs is not what I am after in this game. I'm after a big score. I haven't thought about it since the end of the Lord's Test.
"We are looking to get level in this series."
England (from): Strauss (capt), Cook, Bopara, Bell, Collingwood, Prior, Flintoff, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Onions, Harmison

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One of the most world-renowned of the 2010 Sporting events is the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

One of the most world-renowned of the 2010 Sporting events is the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
This time it will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia and will be the winter games. Officially known as the XXI Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver has been preparing for this event for several years.
Both the Olympic and the Paralymic Games are being organized by the Vancouver Organizing Committee. This will be the third Olympics hosted by Canada and the first by the province of British Columbia.
In the past, Canada was home to the 1976 Olympic Summer Games in Montreal and the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. Following Olympic tradition, the official Olympic Flag was given to the Vancouver mayor during the closing ceremonies at the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.
The flag was raised in Vancouver’s City hall on February 28, 2006 in a special flag raising ceremony. At the same time the Olympic flame had begun its journey to Vancouver.
See also

Football:DOSSENA MOVE ON HOLD



Liverpool defender Andrea Dossena's proposed move to Napoli has been delayed due to the player's wage demands.
The Reds have accepted a £4million offer for the Italy international, who failed to make an impact in his debut campaign in England.
Napoli sporting director Pierpaolo Marino insists there will be further talks with the full-back, but his £2million-a-year salary at Anfield is a problem.
Marino said: "Dossena? We have taken a break in order to reflect on this. The move is therefore on hold.
"There are no immediate prospects. The president [Aurelio De Laurentiis] has spoken to [Rafa] Benitez, but there is some distance with the player."

HILLSBOROUGH DOCUMENTS TO BE RELEASED


Home Secretary Alan Johnson has agreed to release previously unseen documents relating to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, his office confirmed on Wednesday.
Mr Johnson told the mothers of three of the 96 victims of his decision at a face-to-face meeting in London on Tuesday.
The release of the documents, in cooperation with South Yorkshire Police, will be co-ordinated by The Hillsborough Independent Panel, which is to be set up in the coming weeks.
The panel could start sifting through the paperwork as early as September.
The Home Office said the documents would be made available to the families before they are made public because they many contain sensitive and personal information about the last minutes of the victims' lives.
A Home Office spokesman said: "Hillsborough was a terrible tragedy and the Government is committed to full disclosure of information held centrally and by local agencies in order to help provide a permanent record of documentation relating to the tragedy.
"This will be done in close co-operation with South Yorkshire Police.
"The Home Secretary, together with Health Secretary Andy Burnham and justice minister Michael Wills, have had a useful and productive meeting with the Hillsborough Family Support Group to explore options that will enable them to have access to all relevant papers.
"The Government's intention is to appoint an independent panel, 'The Hillsborough Independent Panel', to oversee release of this information.
"Disclosure will take into account the wishes of the families to protect sensitive and personal information about the victims.
"With this in mind, the Government will seek to ensure that representatives of the Hillsborough families will have prior disclosure of documents on an agreed timescale before they are made more widely available.
"The Government will continue to work with the families to complete this work."

Football:Boa Morte faces six-month lay-off

West Ham winger Luis Boa Morte could be out until 2010 after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage in his right knee at the Asia Trophy in China.
The 31-year-old was injured during Wednesday's 1-0 defeat by Tottenham.
Boa Morte hurt his right knee after catching his studs in the turf at the Beijing Workers Stadium following a tackle with Spurs' Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola said: "It is a big blow. He's an important player for us both on and off the pitch."
Boa Morte was taken to hospital with his knee in a brace and further tests will determine whether he needs surgery.
The injury happened only 10 minutes into a goalless first half in a game that was settled by Jermain Defoe's solitary strike.

Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes but his curling effort came back off the post.
Spurs dominated for long periods and deservedly took the lead after 75 minutes when Defoe's shot squeezed past West Ham keeper Rob Green and trickled over the line.
Spurs will play Hull, who beat Beijing Guoan 5-4 on penalties, in Friday's final.
Geovanni opened the scoring for the Tigers, but his ninth-minute effort was cancelled out by Beijing's Mobido William just after the break.
The game ended 1-1 and Hull kept their composure to win the penalty shootout.

Football:Hargreaves comeback put in doubt

Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves may have to be put his comeback from injury on hold.
The 28-year-old has had operations on both knees in the past year in a bid to cure tendinitis and there were hopes he would be back at the end of September.
But Hargreaves, whose last game was in September 2008, is out of the Audi Cup in Munich, which raises new concerns.
"We had hoped he would be joining us but he is still in rehabilitation," said United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
"He has had major operations on both knees and we are not rushing that."
Hargreaves is currently in the United States being treated by renowned knee surgeon Dr Richard Steadman.
The England international will be desperate to reignite his United career, having only started 25 times for his club since a £17m move from Bayern Munich in July 2007.

Soccerspeare
It has been a frustrating spell at Old Trafford for the Canadian-born midfielder, who last played for United in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on 21 September 2008.
Hargreaves had surgery on his right knee last November and on his left knee in January, with the procedures carried out under the guidance of Steadman.
The leading surgeon has previously operated on former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer, new United signing Michael Owen and ex-Red Devils forward Ruud van Nistelrooy, who is now at Real Madrid.
Hargreaves' rehabilitation has had to be a long and delicate process, with BBC Sport revealing in June that he could be forced to quit top-level football in the next two years if the chronic knee problem were to persist.
His condition, patellar tendinitis, can be described as inflammation of the tendon that attaches the quadriceps (thigh muscle) to the tibia (shin bone).
Hargreaves may not have joined the United squad in Germany but centre-half Nemanja Vidic and summer signing Antonio Valencia have travelled to Munich.
Vidic appears to have recovered from an ankle injury he picked up playing for Serbia in June, while winger Valencia - seen as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who has joined Real Madrid - needed to go back to Ecuador to gain a UK visa following his move from Wigan.
Ferguson also revealed that winger Gabriel Obertan would miss the first three months of the season with an injury that was already known about when he signed from Bordeaux.

Football:Arbeloa on brink of Real switch

Spain international Alvaro Arbeloa is set to complete his move to Real Madrid from Liverpool after passing a medical.
The 26-year-old, who joined the Reds for £2.6m from Deportivo La Coruna in January 2007, will sign a five-year deal for a fee believed to be £3.5m.
Right-back Arbeloa had one year left on his Anfield contract so could have left for free next summer.
Defender Glen Johnson's June arrival from Portsmouth paved the way for Reds manager Rafael Benitez to sell Arbeloa.
Switzerland international Philipp Degen is fit again after rib and lung injuries so is another option for Benitez at right-back, while Jamie Carragher can also play in that position.
Arbeloa first joined Real from Real Zaragoza as a 16-year-old and worked with Benitez, who was the club's youth team coach at the time.
He struggled to break into the first-team and left for Deportivo before moving to Anfield.

"He's been subjected to a standard examination," said Real Madrid doctor Carlos Diez after Arbeloa's medical.
"The results of every test are very satisfactory. He is delighted about playing for Real Madrid. It's always been his dream. He can't wait to join his team-mates."
Arbeloa, who was part of Spain's Euro 2008-winning squad, scored two goals in 98 games for Liverpool and speculation had suggested he could join Real in a joint deal that would result in Xabi Alonso also leaving the Merseysiders.
However, a question mark over midfielder Alonso's future still remains as the club's players enjoy a three-day break before returning on Thursday.
Benitez has spoken to Alonso and urged him to stay at Anfield.
"I talked to Xabi and told him, as he can see here, that the fans love him and said to him 'Maybe you have to stay," said Benitez recently.
"You can see he is a really good player and I'll be really pleased if he stays. All the players and his team-mates want him to stay. If we keep Xabi I will be very pleased."
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is also keen for his Spanish international team-mate to stay at Anfield.
"It would be a bad piece of work if Xabi left - he plays his cards close to his chest so I don't know what is going to happen," Torres told The Sun.
"I'd put Xabi's own wishes ahead of everything else, of course, but he's got three years left on his contract with us and I'd love it if he stays.
"It would be a serious loss for Liverpool if he left this summer."
Liverpool are also believed to be close to selling Italian left-back Andrea Dossena to Napoli.

Football:Toure completes Man City switch


Manchester City have signed central defender Kolo Toure from Arsenal for a reported £16m on a four-year contract.
The 28-year-old, who spent seven years with the Gunners, passed a medical on Wednesday and becomes City's sixth signing of the summer.
Boss Mark Hughes said: "It is no secret that we have been looking to strengthen our defence and in Kolo I feel we have recruited a world class player.
"He brings a wealth of Premier League experience from his time with Arsenal."
Hughes, who failed to lure Chelsea centre-back John Terry to Eastlands last week, added: "Kolo has been a central figure in a strong Arsenal team for many years, and I have been an admirer of him for a long time.
"He is strong, quick, reads the game well and will be an influential figure in the dressing room."
Toure was linked to City in January but Arsenal said then he was not for sale.
He has been with Arsenal since 2002 but failed to hold down a regular starting place last season.

Toure played for Arsenal on Monday night in a pre-season friendly in Hungary.
In all, he played 326 games for the Gunners, scoring 14 goals, and had two years left on his contract at the Emirates Stadium.
He handed in a transfer request in January, which was rejected by the Arsenal board.
As well as missing out on Terry, Hughes had a £15m bid for Everton defender Joleon Lescott rejected earlier this month.
But the Gunners, who have already sold striker Emmanuel Adebayor to City for £25m this summer, have been more receptive to offers from the oil-rich Eastlands club.
On top of capturing Adebayor, City have already brought in former Manchester United forward Carlos Tevez, midfielder Gareth Barry from Aston Villa and striker Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn for a total of about £55m this summer.
Meanwhile, defender Nedum Onuoha has ended speculation over his future by signing a new five-year contract at Eastlands.
The 22-year-old, who came through City's academy, had been rumoured to be on his way out of the club due to the number of high-profile additions to the squad, but he has pledged to fight for his place in the team.
Onuoha broke into City's back four midway through last season and never relinquished his place with a series of composed performances.

Swimming:Phelps coach wades into suit row


Fina World ChampionshipsDate: 17 July-2 August (swimming from 26 July) Venue: Rome

Michael Phelps's coach says swimming's biggest star should not compete again until the sport's governing body bans the use of controversial new suits.
Phelps lost his first major race since 2005 to Paul Biedermann, who wore a suit Fina will make illegal in 2010.
So far 11 world records have fallen at the World Championships to swimmers in contentious 100% polyurethane outfits.
Bob Bowman said he would tell eight-time Olympic champion Phelps "not to swim until the rules are implemented".
Phelps, whose dominance in the pool at the Beijing Oympics sparked an upsurge of interest in the sport, still wears a Speedo LZR suit, which is 50% polyurethane and has been superseded by a new generation of hi-tech bodysuits.
The 24-year-old American was beaten in the 200m freestyle final in the World Championships in Rome on Tuesday by Germany's Biedermann, who was wearing an all-polyurethane suit and took Phelps's world record in the process.
Fina have agreed to ban the performance-enhancing suits next year but this ruling may not come into effect until April or May and Bowman feels this is not soon enough.
"I'm done with this. It has to be implemented immediately. The sport is in shambles right now and they better do something or they're going to lose their guy who fills these seats," he said.
RECORDS IN ROME
Day One (six records):M 400m free Paul Biedermann (Arena X-Glide)W 200m IM Ariana Kukors (Jaked 01)W 4x100m free (2) Netherlands AND Britta Steffen broke 100m free on her leg (Adidas Hydrofoil)W 100m butterfly Sarah Sjostrom (Arena X-Glide)W 400m free Federica Pellegrini (Jaked 01)
Day Two (five records):W 100m butterfly Sarah Sjostrom (Arena X-Glide)W 200m IM Ariana Kukors (Jaked 01)W 100m breaststroke Rebecca Soni (Arena X-Glide)W 100m backstroke Anastasia Zueva (Arena X-Glide)M 100m breaststroke Brenton Rickard (Jaked 01)
Day Three (four records):W 100m backstroke Gemma Spofforth (Speedo LZR)W 200m Freestyle Federica Pellegrini (Jaked 01)M 50m breaststroke Cameron Van Der Burgh (Arena X-Glide)M 200m freestyle Paul Biedermann (Arena X-Glide)
Day Four (six records)*:W 200m butterfly Mary Descenza (Jaked)M 50m breaststroke Cameron Van Der Burgh (Arena X-Glide)M 200m butterfly Michael Phelps (Speedo LZR)W 200m freestyle Federica Pellegrini (Jaked 01)W 50m backstroke Daniela Samulski (Speedo LZR)W 50m backstroke Anastasia Zueva (Arena X-Glide)(* event still ongoing)
"We've lost all the history of the sport. Does a 10-year-old boy in Baltimore want to break Paul Biedermann's record? Is that going to make him join swimming?
"It took Michael from 2003 to 2008 to go from 1:46 to 1:42.9 and this guy's done it in 11 months. That's an amazing training program. I would love to know how that works."
Biedermann clocked one minute 42.00 seconds, which beat Phelps' world mark of 1:42.96 from the Beijing Olympics.
On Monday, Biedermann also broke the men's 400m freestyle record, which was held for seven years by Australian Ian Thorpe.
The German has improved on his personal best by almost seven-and-a-half seconds since he started using the suit.
Phelps praised Biedermann's achievement, but looked forward to a time when the banning of 100% polyurethane suits returns swimming to an even contest.
"Paul is a very strong swimmer and has had an excellent year," said Phelps. "I have not been beaten by the swimsuit but by a great athlete.
"However, a solution needs to be found to the issue of swimsuits as this is not swimming any more.
"Technology has to go forward but I am looking forward to the time when we can go back to pure swimming.
"I will start working as soon as I can and I am confident that I will be in my best shape for the next major competitions, particularly for London [2012 Olympics]."
On Tuesday, a Fina committee upheld last week's decision by the wider organisation to restrict males to suits that go from the waist to the top of the knees, while female suits cannot go past the shoulders or beyond the knees, from next year.
What Fina's top officials have done to the sport, what they have allowed to happen, is an absolute disgrace
Grant Hackett
In addition, Fina also announced that suit materials will be restricted to "textiles", a definition which will be determined by a scientific committee, and that there will be specific standards for buoyancy, thickness and permeability.
The complete rules will be given to swimsuit companies by 30 September.
"The rules will be applied in 2010. That can be April or May. It depends on the time manufacturers need to pass from polyurethane to textiles," said Fina executive director Cornel Marculescu.
The controversy began at the start of 2008 when swimmers began to wear the part-polyurethane Speedo LZR suits.
At the Beijing Olympics 23 of the 25 world records set were by swimmers wearing the new attire and by the end of the year 108 new world marks had been set by those wearing the suit.
Since swimmers began to wear the 100% polyurethane suits - the Jaked 01, Arena X-Glide and Adidas Hydrofoil to name but a few - 42 world records have fallen up to and including the third day of the World Championships.
"I would be perfectly happy if we adjust all the records starting with the LZR. If we took them all out and went back to 2007," said Bowman.
606: DEBATE
What is your view on the swimsuit debate?
"Even those in Beijing. We can have them in a separate list. These were done in polyurethane suits and then these are done in textile suits. Then we can start over in January and make the sport about swimming."
Three-time Olympic champion Grant Hackett has branded Fina an "absolute disgrace" for allowing the polyurethane suits at the World Championships.
The Australian's 800m and 1500m freestyle marks are the only pre-bodysuit records still standing.
"New leadership is needed to look after the sport. I'm furious at Fina," said the Australian, who retired in 2008.
Speaking about Biedermann's new mark in the 400m freestyle, Hackett told The Australian Newspaper: "I hate saying this because I sound like a bad sport, but that world record would not have gone without that suit.
"What Fina's top officials have done to the sport, what they have allowed to happen, is an absolute disgrace."

Cricket:Flintoff passed fit for Edgbaston


Third Ashes Test, Edgbaston: England v AustraliaDates: Thursday, 30 July to Monday, 3 August Start time: 1100 BSTCoverage: Live Test Match Special commentary (from 1025 BST on day one, 1045 BST on remaining days) on BBC Radio 4 LW, 5 Live sports extra, the Red Button and BBC Sport website. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobile phones. Also live on Sky Sports.

England captain Andrew Strauss expects all-rounder Andrew Flintoff to play a full part in the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston, which starts on Thursday.
The Lancastrian has undergone intensive treatment on an ongoing knee problem, but Strauss said: "Barring any dramatic stuff overnight, he'll be fit."
England, who lead 1-0 in the series, will pick from a 12-man squad after spinner Monty Panesar was released.
Australia are expected to keep faith with misfiring bowler Mitchell Johnson.
The paceman, who came into the series with a burgeoning reputation following a series of match-winning displays against South Africa earlier this year, has struggled in the first two Tests.
The left-armer took a total of eight wickets at an average of 41.37 from the Cardiff and Lord's Tests, and was then hammered for 107 runs in 18.1 overs, taking only one wicket, in a tour match against Northamptonshire last week.
But asked if he had considered dropping Johnson, Australia captain Ricky Ponting replied: "No, to tell you the truth.
"There has been a lot of talk about his technique and his action being all over the place. (But) we have had some good close looks at that and it is actually not.
606: DEBATE
The third Test will end in a draw, simple - the weather forecast is pants - England to take a 1-0 lead going into the final two tests
Dan188
"I think right at the moment it is more of a confidence thing and we will probably use him more as a strike impact type of bowler."
Johnson's form is in stark contrast to Flintoff, who produced a sensational spell of bowling on the fifth morning at Lord's to lead England to a 115-run victory.
The 31-year-old has been sleeping with a special 'Game Ready' compression wrap - designed from NASA spacesuit technology - around his troublesome knee, which helps to remove fluid and reduce inflammation.
And his fitness, proven over two days of intensive workouts leading up to Thursday's start, is a major boost for England following the loss of star batsman Kevin Pietersen to an Achilles injury.
Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell will come into the side as Pietersen's replacement on his home ground, despite a concern earlier this week over a slight ankle problem.
And Strauss is tipping him to return to the side "a better player" since being dropped in February.
I think he's going to be a better batsman for that experience
Strauss on Ian Bell
"A player of the calibre of Ian Bell coming in is very reassuring. He's a proven Test performer, he's played in the Ashes before and he's done that spell out of the side that a lot of us have been through.
"Ian's done a lot of work. We sent him away and it was a pretty bitter pill to swallow. He's done a lot of fitness work, scored a lot of runs for Warwickshire, he's done everything we've asked of him and he's had to dig pretty deep to do that.
"I think he's going to be a better batsman for that experience. It makes you very, very hungry when you come back in."
That means England's only selection issue would appear to be the final pace-bowling spot, with Steve Harmison vying to replace Durham team-mate Graham Onions.
Onions, who took 3-91 at Lord's, has been suffering with a slight hand injury, but is widely expected to get the nod again, despite Harmison being the leading wicket-taker in County Championship division one this season.
However, England will not name their final starting XI until the morning of the match, with the Edgbaston pitch causing some concern.
Groundsman Steve Rouse described the surface as "jelly" last week, and the outfield was still covered in pools of water on Wednesday, despite warmer weather in recent days helping to dry the Test strip.

Twenty five runs is not what I am after in this game. I'm after a big score
Ricky Ponting
"I am actually a bit surprised that the wicket itself is so dry but there's plenty of rain around still," noted Ponting, who believes spin will still have a part to play.
Heavy rain showers are forecast for Thursday, which could see a delayed start, with more rain expected on Saturday and Sunday after sunny intervals on Friday.
With conditions expected to favour seam bowling, Australia could recall either Shane Watson or Stuart Clark, but are still without Brett Lee, who is recuperating from a side strain which has kept him out of the first two Test matches.
Meanwhile, Ponting has the chance to become his country's highest run-scorer in Test cricket.
The 34-year-old needs only 25 runs to overhaul Allan Border's record tally of 11,174 runs, and averages 56.31 for his country since making his debut against Sri Lanka in Perth during the 1995-96 series.
But he insists he would swap the record for victory at Edgbaston in a heartbeat, saying: "I must admit I haven't thought about it at all. I've got bigger fish to fry than than that right at the moment.
"Twenty five runs is not what I am after in this game. I'm after a big score. I haven't thought about it since the end of the Lord's Test.
"We are looking to get level in this series."
England (from): Strauss (capt), Cook, Bopara, Bell, Collingwood, Prior, Flintoff, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Onions, Harmison
Australia (from): Hughes, Katich, Ponting (capt), Hussey, Clarke, North, Watson, Haddin, Hauritz, Hilfenhaus, Johnson, McDonald, Siddle, Clark, Manou.

Formula1:Massa set to leave intensive care


Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is to leave intensive care as he continues his recovery from a crash in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The 28-year-old fractured his skull on Saturday when he was struck by debris from another car while driving.
"He speaks, can sit upright and was even able to take his first steps," said a Ferrari team statement.
"From the clinical and radiological point of view everything is going extremely well."
Massa was hit on the helmet by a metal spring, the size of a drink can and weighing almost a kilo, which fell off fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello's Brawn car.
When he was flown to hospital, Massa's condition was initially diagnosed as "life-threatening", and there were fears for his eyesight, but he seems to be progressing well, although he is not ready to leave hospital yet.
"If his recovery continues at this pace, I wouldn't rule out that he could leave within 10 days," said Peter Bazso, the medical director of the AEK Hospital in Budapest.
Doctors took Massa out of an artificial coma and off a respirator on Monday as his recovery continues.

Massa's engineer reflects on crash (UK only)
"He's spending more and more time awake, talking to family and friends," added Bazso on Hungarian TV channel M1.
Massa was visited by Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali and his predecessor Jean Todt on Tuesday, and team president Luca di Montezemolo, who was at his bedside earlier in the week when he was sedated, is flying back to Budapest to greet him.
"It was incredible to see such a fantastic improvement after just three days," said Domenicali, who was also upbeat on Massa's chances of returning to F1. "As soon as he is back, that is his car."
And Massa's own doctor, Dino Altmann, is so encouraged by the Brazilian's condition that he is convinced the Ferrari star's motor racing career is far from over.
"I have no doubt Felipe will race again. I'm sure of that," Altmann told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"The situation is still delicate but I believe his life is not in danger anymore.
"From the beginning I felt the trauma wasn't as extended as it was believed but the improvements have gone beyond our wildest expectations."
But F1 rights holder Bernie Ecclestone believes Massa may not drive again this season or even next.
"I spoke to the hospital and they're now very hopeful that it's certainly not as bad as they expected it would be," Ecclestone told BBC Radio Five Live on Wednesday.
"It's difficult to say whether or not he's going to be in a position to compete this year. Next year I don't know, but I doubt we'll see him this year."
A spring from Barrichello's Brawn car struck Massa's helmet just above his eye, and his feet are believed to have come to rest on both the throttle and brake, as his car ploughed head-on into a tyre wall at about 125mph.
Massa was swiftly attended to by trackside medics before being taken to the circuit's medical centre, after which he was airlifted to hospital.
Massa accident 'a wake-up call' - Gascoyne
His father, mother and pregnant wife have all flown from Brazil to be with him during his recovery.
At a joint news conference with Massa's doctors, Di Montezemelo said the team were focused on their driver's recovery and not on considering any possible replacements.
"For us, the first priority is to find out Felipe's recovery progress and situation. He is a very important member of the Ferrari family not just the Ferrari team," said Di Montezemelo.
"First we will find out the situation with Felipe and then we will see and we will think, without pressure."
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for seven-time champion Michael Schumacher said the German would consider returning as a stand-in for Massa, if asked by Ferrari, who he still works for in a consultancy role.

Barrichello reassured by Massa's doctors
Massa's accident came days after Formula Two driver Henry Surtees, 18, was killed in what was described as a freak accident during a race at Brands Hatch.
The son of motorsport legend John Surtees was struck by a wheel that flew off a competitor's car.
Barrichello has led the calls for more stringent safety measures to be looked into. Referring to Surtees, the veteran refused to believe the two incidents were coincidental.
The Legend that is PhilSlocombe
"I honestly don't believe in coincidences in life," he said on Saturday. "Things happen for a reason and I think this is the second message.
"Imola [where Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger died in 1994] was a message and the cars were improved. Unfortunately, we lost a boy [Surtees], which is tremendously sad."
Barrichello's team boss Ross Brawn said the team are still investigating why the spring came loose from the back of their car.

Fomula1:Schumacher makes shock F1 return


Michael Schumacher will make a shock return to Formula 1 to replace injured Ferrari driver Felipe Massa.
The seven-time world champion retired at the end of 2006 but will drive at the European Grand Prix on 23 August.
Ferrari said the 40-year-old will stand in for as long as Massa is sidelined by the serious injuries he sustained in the Hungarian Grand Prix last week.
"For team loyalty reasons I can't ignore this unfortunate situation," said the former Ferrari driver.
His spokesman Sabine Kehm had told the BBC on Tuesday that although Schumacher - who was working as an advisor for Ferrari - was not willing to make a full-time return to F1, he would not rule out standing in for Massa.
606: DEBATE
I hope he comes back, decides he still loves it and wins the championship next year
Contented_fan
And the German racing legend has decided to come out of retirement and make a sensational return to the sport.
"It is true that the Formula 1 chapter has long been closed for me," said Schumacher, who won five world titles for Ferrari.
"The most important thing first: thank God, all news concerning Felipe is positive, and I wish him all the best again.
"This afternoon I met with team principal Stefano Domenicali and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo and together we decided that I will prepare myself to take the place of Felipe.
"As the competitor I am, I also very much look forward to facing this challenge."
SCHUMACHER'S F1 RECORD
1991: Makes F1 debut for Jordan, switches to Benetton
1992: First Grand Prix win (Belgium), finishes third in the championship
1994: Wins first world title with Benetton, winning eight races
1995: Retains world title, winning nine races
1996: Joins Ferrari
1997: Finishes season second but is disqualified from championship
1999: Breaks leg at Silverstone when leading world championship
2000: Ends Ferrari's 21-year wait for a world title, winning nine races
2001: Retains world title, again winning nine races
2002: Quickest ever world title win, with 11 race wins
2003: Breaks Juan Manuel Fangio's record of five world titles
2004: Wins seventh and final world title
2006: Retires at the end of the season
2009: Announces comeback to fill in for injured Felipe Massa
Schumacher has not driven an F1 car since April 2008 and competed in the last of his 249 grands prix came in October 2006.
And the most successful F1 driver of all time now has slightly more than three weeks to prepare himself for the European Grand Prix in Valencia.
The ban on in-season testing means Schumacher will not be able to turn a wheel of the 2009 specification Ferrari before first practice on Friday 21 August.
Nevertheless, the team have chosen Schumacher - who won 91 grands prix in a glittering career - ahead of reserve drivers Marc Gene and Luca Badoer while Massa continues to recuperate.
"Ferrari intends to entrust Michael Schumacher with Felipe Massa's car for as long as the Brazilian driver is not able to race," a statement said.
"Michael Schumacher has shown his willingness and in the next few days he will undergo a specific programme of preparation at the end of which it will be possible to confirm his participation in the championship starting with the European Grand Prix."
There are six more races to go after Valencia, including trips to Belgium, Italy, Singapore and Japan.
Schumacher will undergo an intensive training programme to determine whether he is fit enough to return to the rigours of F1 racing.
Since retiring from the sport, Schumacher has occasionally taken part in motorcycle events but in February he suffered neck and back injuries in a bike accident.
Those injuries could affect his ability to drive an F1 car which places huge pressures on the neck because of the varying G-forces.
Massa could be out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on a fractured skull sustained when a spring from Rubens Barrichello's Brawn hit him on the helmet when he was travelling at more than 160mph during qualifying in Hungary on Saturday.

40-year-old Schumacher has kept himself fit since retiring from F1
The Brazilian is set to leave intensive care and is making progress, though there is also concern about damage to his left eye.
Schumacher is close to Massa, who was his team-mate in his final season, and has taken a close interest in the Brazilian's career.
BBC Radio 5 Live F1 commentator David Croft believes Schumacher is coming back partly because of his close relationship with the Brazilian.
"I think he's coming back because it is to replace Felipe Massa, temporarily. He is very close to Felipe, they've had a great relationship over the years," said Croft.
"I think it's his way of doing something to help Felipe, and doing something to help Ferrari at the same time, because if you look at the alternatives Ferrari had, they weren't really alternatives.
"Who else is there who could come into Ferrari and hit the ground running, who knows the car, who knows the team, who could give them a podium?
"The European Grand Prix, which was not one we were looking forward to at the start of this year, has now got a real spice to it.
"Lewis Hamilton against Michael Schumacher for the first time ever? Jenson Button up against Michael Schumacher? How will Kimi Raikkonen respond? It's going to be fascinating

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Contador, Armstrong trade barbs after Tour


3Hours 45 minutes ago.

MADRID (AP)—Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong are sniping again after a fragile truce during the Tour de France.
Contador, who secured his second Tour win on Sunday in Paris, said he had no admiration for the American as a person and tensions between the two had a negative effect on the Astana team. Armstrong, the seven-time champion who finished third in his first Tour since 2005, responded that Contador should “drop this drivel.”
“My relationship with Lance Armstrong is zero,” Contador said late Monday in his hometown of Pinto outside Madrid. “He’s a great rider and he did a great Tour. Another thing is on a personal level, where I have never admired him and never will.”
Armstrong, who had criticized Contador as being inexperienced earlier this year, responded with his own salvo on Twitter.
“Hey pistolero, there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’. what did I say in March? Lots to learn. Restated,” Armstrong wrote.
The “pistolero” remark stems from Contador’s habit of celebrating victories by shooting an imaginary pistol.
“Seeing these comments from AC (Alberto Contador). If I were him I’d drop this drivel and start thanking his team. w/o them, he doesn’t win,” Armstrong added. “A champion is also measured on how much he respect his teammates and opponents.”
Contador and Armstrong entered this year’s Tour jousting for position as the Astana team leader—an unusual situation in cycling, where team’s normally have a clear No. 1 rider who is supported by the rest of the squad.

FILE -- This is a July 11, 200… AP - Jul 28, 9:52 am EDT
While Armstrong briefly held a slight edge over the Spaniard in the first week, Contador proved too strong in the mountains and was able to pull away for a decisive edge in the Alps.
On a couple of occasions, Armstrong questioned Contador’s tactics during the race, saying they went against the good of the team.
“It was a tense situation,” said Contador, who also won the race in 2007. “We didn’t have fluid communication despite the fact that we were the two main riders on the team. And this meant the rest of the cyclists and the technical staff also felt a bit of tension.”
Armstrong is launching his own U.S.-based team for next year, while Contador’s future with Astana remains uncertain.
“Wherever I go I will look for a teammate who is with me 100 percent,” Contador said.

More Photos For Liu Xiang






















What Chinese Stars Like Liu Xiang Earn From Sport
















The injury that cost Liu Xiang his chance to defend his Olympic gold in Beijing is likely to cost the Chinese hurdle star financially as well. It is unclear how much the athlete will lose in terms of endorsements and ad revenue, but what is clear is that his earnings show just how much China has changed over the years. Olympic stars who once could not have expected to make a living from their sports are now finding that there is money to be made from their prowess--but that bureaucracy often takes a cut, too. NEWSWEEK’s Chinese-language partner, Newsweek Select, takes a look at how fame has brought fortune to some of the nation’s stars.By Diao YingNEWSWEEK SELECT IN CHINAXu Haifeng was the first Chinese to win an Olympic gold medal. That was in the 1984 free pistol shot competition in Los Angeles, and it earned Xu the first national prize money for an Olympic champion--9,000 RMB (about $1,312) and a salary increase from 51.5 RMB ($7.50) to 98 RMB ($14) per month. "At that time, that was already considered a lot of money," says Xu, now the deputy director of China’s Cycling and Fencing Sports Administrative Center.
No longer. While Xu Haifeng might have been one of the first athletes to make any money out of his sport, China’s top-earning athlete is now NBA star Yao Ming, whose estimated income for 2007 was 380 million RMB ($55.4 million). The country’s second biggest earner is Shanghai’s Liu Xiang, whose 2004 Olympic gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles earned him 160 million RMB (about $23 million) last year. Both are beneficiaries of China’s changing economic system. Wei Jizhong, a consultant to the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee, and former national sports official who led the women's volleyball team to five consecutive championships, points out that during Xu Haifeng's era, people around the country were still discussing whether or not China should adopt a free-market economic system, not the commercialization of sports. "Xu Haifeng won in 1984, but the formal decision to adopt a market economy was made after [former Communist Party leader] Deng Xiaoping's 1992 southern tour," says Wei.
The changing stakes have led to changing attitudes too. While older athletes saw their sports as more about the glory of themselves and their nation, the new generation has learned the value of packaging itself. One example of an athlete ‘on message’ is Liu Xiang as spokesman for Amway’s nutrition supplement Nutrilite. At one press conference for the brand, Liu Xiang’s first comment was a plug for the brand. "It's been my dream to represent Amway,” he said as he took his seat. “From a young age, I used Amway products my father's work unit gave to him and felt they were great." When a journalist asked about Liu's dreams for the future, the athlete did not speak about hurdles or life, but instead resolutely said, "I hope everyone will use Nutrilite."

Olympic medals don’t always bring in the money. Lu Hao, a high profile sports agent whose clients include Yao Ming, says that athletes’ market values are closely related to their media exposure and the type of sport they play. That’s why the gorgeous young athletes on the national badminton team--featured last year on a magazine cover that presented them dressed like Hollywood stars--have signed contracts with Federal Express, Bank of China, Pepsi and L’Oreal. The Chinese Ping-Pong team, by contrast, lags behind in these deals, in spite of its excellent match performances.
Most athletes, also, are still managed by state organizations. While sports like basketball and soccer are more commercialized than others, most still fall under a system called Sports for the Nation, where the value of an athlete’s brand falls largely under the domain of “state assets”. Yao Ming, who moved abroad to play, has an international team of professional money managers. Liu Xiang's "state owned" business activities, on the other hand, are managed by the Chinese Athletics Association. Intermediary organizations must pass through the Association to discuss advertising representative business. Under the state-owned athletic system, athletes' advertising earnings are allocated by provisions of China’s State General Administration of Sport. Accordingly, Liu Xiang keeps 50 percent of his earnings, with 15 percent going to his coach Sun Haiping, and 20 percent to his hometown Shanghai's sports bureau. The remaining 15 percent is allocated to the Chinese Athletics Association. Although there isn't a vast difference between the number of ads done by Yao Ming and Liu Xiang, the hurdle star’s income is less than half of the basketball star. “Yao Ming is already a professional athlete,” says Wei. “He only participates in national training for a short time when there's to be a match. Under the national system, athletes receive government subsidy and are financially taken care of by the state. So they don't entirely answer to themselves." Chinese athletes who disobey the rules can pay a heavy price. In 2005, Sydney Olympic diving champion Tian Liang was removed from the Olympic team for participating in too many commercial events. The decision forced Tian out of the Beijing Olympics and also saw the sponsorships for the former “Sunshine Boy” fade into the twilight.
The next generation of sports stars is likely to be even savvier about marketing their achievements. Where Yao Ming’s parents refused to let him go to sports school because they felt he would not be able to make a living from his athleticism, parents like Ding Wenjun are now making enormous financial sacrifices to promote their children’s talent. Ding is the father of snooker player Ding Junhui, winner of the 2005 World Snooker China Open and the world’s Number 11 ranked player. Ding Wenjun, a former cigarette salesman, risked ruin by selling his family’s house to support his son’s career. The gamble paid off. Last year, the 21-year-old champion made 4.8 million RMB (almost $700,000) in ad and endorsement money--more than 500 times the award money Xu Haifeng received back in 1984.

Man City in talks over Toure deal


Manchester City are close to signing Arsenal defender Kolo Toure for about £15m, BBC Sport understands.
City boss Mark Hughes, who failed to lure Chelsea centre-back John Terry to Eastlands last week, has long admired the Ivory Coast international.
Toure was first linked to a move to City in January but the Gunners insisted then that he was not for sale.
The 28-year-old has been with Arsenal since 2002 but failed to hold down a regular starting place last season.
Newspaper reports that Toure has agreed personal terms with City are premature but the deal is expected to be completed by the end of this week.
Toure played for Arsenal on Monday night in a pre-season friendly in Hungary, but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said: "We will see what's happening in the next 24 hours, nothing is decided yet.
"We have seven centre-backs and I am in the position where I have to play some in midfield but of course Kolo is a very good player and we will see what will happen in the next 24 hours."
Toure has played 326 games for the Gunners, scoring 14 goals, and has two years left on his contract at the Emirates Stadium.
He handed in a transfer request in January, which was rejected by the Arsenal board.

As well as missing out on Terry, Hughes had a £15m bid for Everton defender Joleon Lescott rejected earlier this month.
But the Gunners, who have already sold striker Emmanuel Adebayor to City for £25m this summer, have been more receptive to offers from the oil-rich Eastlands club.
On top of capturing Adebayor, City have already brought in former Manchester United forward Carlos Tevez, midfielder Gareth Barry from Aston Villa and striker Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn for a total of about £55m this summer.

Sailing:British 49er pair clinch silver


British pair Rick Peacock and John Pink took silver after a superb final day at the 49er World Championship in Riva del Garda, Italy, on Sunday.
The British development squad duo started the day in fourth place but fought their way up through the field.
Britain has now had a place on the Worlds podium eight times in a row.
The world title went to Australia's Nathan Outteridge, sailing with Iain Jensen, with Italian brothers Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello taking bronze.
Last year's silver medallists, Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes, finished fourth, while Athens bronze medallist Chris Draper and Peter Greenhalgh placed sixth in their first World Championship together.
Paul Campbell-James and Mark Asquith came in ninth, the lowest-placed of the four British boats to reach the 10-boat medal race.
"After we finished the medal race we thought we were third and were happy enough with that," said Pink.
"Then it turned out the Italians were another boat behind where we thought they were, which gave us the silver, so that made it even better."

Baseball:Buehrle pitches rare perfect game


Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle threw the first perfect game in the major leagues for five years in a 5-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Buehrle retired all 27 batters he faced, getting Jason Bartlett for the last out on a grounder to shortstop.
He needed a great catch from DeWayne Wise at the start of the ninth inning, with the centre-fielder getting a glove above the fence to prevent a home run.
Randy Johnson pitched the most recent perfect game for Arizona in May 2004.
The feat is regarded as the holy grail among baseball pitchers, and has only been achieved 16 times since 1904.
davros182
On Thursday, the crowd in Chicago held their breath as Wise bounced off the fence and rolled to the ground, but he came up with the ball still in his hand.
Michel Hernandez then struck out, and with fans chanting Buehrle's name, Bartlett was his last victim, and the pitcher was mobbed by his team-mates.
"I don't know if it's really sunk in yet," said the 30-year-old left-hander. "We have a short flight to Detroit - I'm sure it will be a little hectic later."
Buehrle later received a congratulatory telephone call from US president and White Sox fan Barack Obama.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama told Buehrle: "It was an unbelievable achievement, something that everyone will always remember."

Swimming:Brilliant Biedermann beats Phelps


Fina World ChampionshipsDate: 17 July-2 August (swimming from 26 July) Venue: Rome

Germany's Paul Biedermann beat Michael Phelps in the men's 200m freestyle final to win gold - obliterating the American's world record in the process.
Biedermann led from the second turn and finished in one minute 42.00 seconds beating Phelps' record by 0.96.
The 22-year-old adds the 200m title and record to the 400m title and world best he achieved on Monday.
Phelps, who touched home in 1:43.22, suffered his first major individual loss in four years.
That occurred at the 2005 World Championships when Ian Crocker beat him in the final of the 100m butterfly.
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The 24-year-old blamed his defeat to Biedermann partly down to lack of training.
"Theoretically that was a pretty good swim for me," said the American, who picked himself up after the defeat to qualify second fastest for Wednesday's 200m butterfly.
"Three tenths off my best time after taking sixth months off. I'm not happy but I know I didn't train much this year."
The German champion was overjoyed with his sensational win.
"For the moment it is just like a dream," he said. "It's such an amazing feeling. I'm so fine."
In total, four world records fell on Tuesday to take the total at these championships to 15.
Britain's Gemma Spofforth broke the 100m backstroke record to win gold, while Italy's Federica Pellegrini sent the home crowd wild with her superb performance in the 200m freestyle semi-final.
The Italian, who smashed her own world record to win Sunday's 400m final, cruised to 1:53.67 to better her 1:54.47 mark she set in March.
The host nation also struck gold when Alessia Filippi captured the women's 1500m freestyle title in 15:44.93, ahead of Denmark's Lotte Friis and Romanian Camelia Potec.
The other world record of the night went to Cameron van der Burgh who set a new best in his 50m breaststroke semi-final.
The South African posted 26.74 seconds to eclipse Felipe Franca da Silva's previous time of 26.89.
In Tuesday's other finals, American Rebecca Soni, who set a world record in the 100m breaststroke semis, recorded a slightly slower 1:04.93 to win gold.
And Japan's Junya Koga came though fast at the end to take the men's 100m backstroke title in 52.26, ahead of Germany's Helge Meeuw and former world record-holder Aschwin Wildeboer of Spain.