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TOUR DE FRANCE: OVERALL LEADER: Primož Roglic (SLO) 74:56:04 - STAGE 16 WINNER: Miguel Ángel López (COL) 4:49:08
THURSDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2020
Woods in need of some magic at US Open
This year I really haven’t putted as well as I wanted to, and the
times I did make a few swing mistakes, I missed it in the wrong
spots. Consequently, I just didn’t have the right looks at it. I’ve
compounded mistakes here and there that ended up not making
me able to make pars or a birdie run.
Sport |10
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Tiger Woods
Sport
We must improve, Xavi tells Al Sadd
FAWAD HUSSAIN
THE PENINSULA
Unhappy with a draw against
Al Ain, Al Sadd coach Xavi
Hernandez (pictured) has
urged his players to bring
improvement on the pitch
in what he termed as a
‘long and difficult path’ in
the 2020 AFC Champions
League.
Al Sadd were held
3-3 by UAE’s Al Ain in
a thrilling match on
Tuesday on their
home turf. The
Wolves moved to
five points, behind
table toppers Al
Nassr (7 points) of
Saudi Arabia in Group D. A point from
a hard-fought draw opened Al Ain’s
account.
Xavi blamed missed opportunities
as his side lost two valuable points due
to Al Ain draw.
“We deserved better against Al Ain.
We created many opportunities in the
first half but we were not good enough.
In the second half, the team was
excellent and we gave the best, but luck
did not favour us in front of the goal,”
the Barcelona legend said in a
statement.
“This is football. Naturally, we
should have won, because of all the
opportunities that we created. But this
did not happen. We must develop ourselves more. We have a long and
difficult path in the Champions League,
and we must focus and be more careful
in the upcoming matches,” said Xavi
before adding Al Sadd’s focus is now
on tomorrow’s reverse fixture against
Al Ain.
“We have a match in two days and
we are trying to regroup from now to
be fully prepared for the next match,”
he said.
Meanwhile, captain Hassan Al
Haydos rued that his side failed to give
their best in Tuesday’s game.
“We are capable of doing much
better. We faced a strong Al Ain team,
but we will work on getting a win in the
next game,” said Al Haydos, who led
Qatar to Asian Cup triumph last year.
“Unfortunately, we conceded goals
in a strange manner and we need to be
careful in the upcoming games as we
are going to face really strong teams
that want to compete in Asia,” Al
Haydos said.
While Al Sadd played out a draw, Al
Duhail – the QNB Stars League cham-
pions – returned to the continental
event with a 2-1 victory over Sharjah
in Group C at the Education City
Stadium.
Al Duhail coach Walid Regragui said
he was satisfied with his team’s overall
performance, which also saw the Red
Knights missing chances.
“It was an important victory as we
returned to the event after a long
break,” said Regragui.
“The win will give the team a lot of
confidence in our campaign. We wasted
opportunities but in the end we
managed to win the match and I am
happy,” he added.
“It was a difficult match and Sharjah
performed very well. Now, we must
focus on our next match,” Regragui said
while referring to tomorrow’s reverse
match against Sharjah.
Al Duhail coach also praised star
Almoez Ali, who scored the first goal
against Sharjah on Tuesday.
“Almoez is a special player for Al
Du hail who plays a leading role. I hope
he continue with his good form in the
League,” said Regragui.
After three matches, Al Duhail are
second in Group D with 6 points, with
Al Taawoun FC leading on goal
difference.
‘Sharp focus’ helped Qatar win 2019 Asian Cup: Almoez
CHINTHANA WASALA
THE PENINSULA
Qatar’s 2019 Asian Cup hero Almoez Ali
yesterday said playing matches at the
16-team championship last year with
‘sharp focus’ was key to the team
winning against the top sides in Asia.
The 24-year-old Al Duhail star, who
played a major role in Qatar’s conti-
nental victory last year, made the
remarks during an Instagram Live
session conducted by Generation
Amazing yesterday.
The influential forward was the
22nd player to feature on the Live
sessions.
Almoez, who was a part of the Qatar
U19 team that won the 2014 AFC U-19
Championship title and followed up
with the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, was one
of the star for Al Annabi on both
occasions.
During the 2014 tournament, he
scored three goals, including one against
Myanmar in the semi-final.
Last year, the charismatic striker
spearheaded the Al Annabi outfit at the
AFC Asian Cup in UAE where they
emerged champions. Almoez was the
star of the show all the way from the
beginning till the end as he went on to
become the tournament’s top goal
scorer. Almoez scored nine goals and
was named the Player of the
Tournament.
“Since the beginning we had a spe-
cific goal. Our goal was to go as far as
possible in the championship. We were
among the best teams in Asia and with
13 young players. It was remarkable,”
Almoez said yesterday.
“The goal was clear from the
beginning. Initially our goal was to reach
the semi-finals. At that time, any other
coach would have pressured us but we
did not have much pressure.
“The main goal was to remain
focused. The whole team had just one
goal in mind. When Qatar won in Asian
Cup, our fans rejoiced,” he added. “We
all rejoiced, of course, we remember
that tournament,” Almoez said.
The performance of the young Al
Annabi team at the continental level was
a source of inspiration for youngsters
and Almoez is happy to have played a
part in that.
“My advice to youngsters who wish
to follow in my footsteps is, love what
you do. Whether it’s football or any
other sport, you must practice hard and
love it in order to reach higher levels,”
Almoez said yesterday.
Almoez also said he hopes Qatar will
perform well at next year’s Copa
America tournament hosted by
Argentina and Colombia.
Qatar featured in the Copa
America tournament last year, but
the fortunes were against Al Annabi
as they finished fourth among some
of the strongest teams in the world
in the Group stage.
Qatar competed in Group B along
with former world champions
Argentina, Paraguay and Colombia.
“The first participation, of course,
was very difficult because it is a very
strong competition” Almoez, a big
fan of Argentinian superstar Messi,
said.
“The level of football it has, makes
it one of the toughest tournaments in
the world, with the biggest stars of the
world playing."
Qatar drew with Paraguay in the
group stage of last year’s event in
Brazil, and Almoez was the sole scorer
for Al Annabi. The Al Duhail striker
remembers the goal.
“Scoring the goal at the Maracana
Stadium, one of the most famous sta-
diums in the world, is something very
special to me. Like I said earlier, I always
think about the team, not my personal
achievement. We played the tour-
nament with caution. We gained a lot
of experience the first time we played
there.
“Currently our team is in very good
spirits and I tell you the team will do
better in the next Copa America,”
Almoez said.
The Asian Champions, Qatar are one
of the emerging forces to be reckoned
with at the next FIFA World Cup.
Almoez is hoping to give his best
during the Qatar 2022 in front of the
home crowd.
“Every player dreams of playing
the World Cup and it is an honour as
a Qatari to play in the national team
in the World Cup at home. It is a
dream that we have since
childhood. Of course we all
play in our country and our
ambition is to play the
World Cup to the best of our
abilities,” Almoez said.
With football action
gradually re-emerging, safety
measures to aid in prevention
of COVID-19 has become the
new normal. Almoez said it has
affected the youth and the world as
a whole.
“Of course, I have advised young
boys and girls to follow the necessary
precautionary measures. Since Qatar
has been gradually lifting the restric-
tions and we have reached the fourth
stage, everything is going to be grad-
ually allowed. But I hope everyone will
be careful because the disease is dan-
gerous,” Almoez said.
This is football. Naturally, we
should have won, because of all the
opportunities that we created. But
this did not happen. We must
develop ourselves more. We have a
long and difficult path in the
Champions League, and we must
focus and be more careful in the
upcoming matches.
Xavi Hernandex
Al Sadd coach
FIXTURES
TODAY
GROUP A
Al Shorta (IRQ) vs Al Ahli Saudi FC (KSA)
Khalifa International Stadium 18:00
GROUP B
Shahr Khodro FC (IRN) Shabab Al Ahli
Dubai (UAE)
Al Janoub Stadium 18:00
Pakhtakor (UZB) vs Al Hilal SFC (KSA)
Al Janoub Stadium 21:00
TOMORROW
GROUP C
Sharjah (UAE) vs Al Duhail SC (QAT)
Education City Stadium 18:00
Al Taawoun FC (KSA) vs Persepolis
FC (IRN)
Education City Stadium 21:00
GROUP D
Al Sadd SC (QAT) vs Al Ain FC (UAE)
Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium 18:00
Al Nassr (KSA) vs Sepahan FC (IRN)
Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium 21 : 00
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic plays
a forehand to Italy’s Salvatore
Caruso on day three of the
Men’s Italian Open at Foro
Italico in Rome, yesterday.
Djokovic back to winning ways
in Rome, Nadal makes fast start
AFP – ROME
Defending champion Rafael Nadal and
Novak Djokovic made winning returns
at the Italian Open yesterday with the
top two men's seeds easing into the
third round of the clay-court tour-
nament in Rome.
Nine-time winner Nadal swept
aside fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno
Busta 6-1, 6-1 in his first match in over
six months, played behind closed
doors at the Foro Italico.
The world number two has not
played since winning in Acapulco at
the end of February, opting to skip
the US hard court tour amid corona-
virus concerns.
"It was a good feeling going out
there," said 34-year-old Nadal.
Nadal only conceded one break
point chance to his 18th-ranked rival
who showed signs of tiredness having
reached the semi-finals of the US
Open.
Nadal is building towards his bid
for a 13th French Open title, although
he stressed: "I never take Rome like
preparation for nothing else."
Earlier, Djokovic eased past Italian
wild card entry Salvatore Caruso 6-3,
6-2 after his unbeaten record this
season was ended with a US Open last
16 default for accidently striking a line
judge with a ball hit in frustration.
"I didn't feel that I had any mental
or emotional blockages or any dramas
playing a match today," said the world
number one.
Djokovic, who had said he had
learned a "big lesson" was keen to
move on in Rome.
The 33-year-old playfully greeted
an imaginary crowd in an empty
Central Court because of strict coro-
navirus measures.
Only some noisy workers
managed to unnerve the 17-time
Grand Slam winner after missing
break points.
Djokovic continued where he left
off before his US Open exit, having
won the Cincinnati Masters on the
same Flushing Meadows courts.
Every player dreams of playing the
World Cup and it is an honour as a
Qatari to play in the national team
in the World Cup at home. It is a
dream that we have since
childhood. Of course we all play in
our country and our ambition is to
play the World Cup to the best of
our abilities: Almoez Ali

11 THURSDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2020 SPORT
It’s a huge number and it
covers the football
economy in its entirety,
including all youth
academies. This will
impact next year as well,
there is a carry over.
Olli Rehn
Chairman of FIFA’s
coronavirus steering
committee
Werner eyes Chelsea dynasty
AFP – LONDON
Chelsea striker Timo Werner
believes the Blues have assembled
a team capable of winning titles for
years to come after a £200m
($260m) spending spree in an
otherwise depressed transfer
market.
Werner made a £50m move
from RB Leipzig in June and has
been joined in London by German
international teammate Kai
Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Ben
Chilwell and Thiago Silva.
“I’ve come here to win titles.
Chelsea is a big club and a club that
always wants to win,” said Werner
yesterday.
“Now we have a very strong
team and a young team that can
develop, and can go through a
period of a long time where we can
stay together, because we are
young and we want to win.”
Chelsea, who beat Brighton 3-1
in Werner’s debut on Monday, face
an early test of their Premier
League title credentials when
reigning champions Liverpool
travel to Stamford Bridge on
Sunday.
Werner was linked with a move
to Anfield for many months before
he joined Chelsea, but was
reportedly convinced by Frank
Lampard’s plans to make him his
first-choice striker.
“I decided to join Chelsea
because for me it was the best
decision I can take,” he said. “Not
only because of the style of football
but also because of what they have
shown to me.
“I think it was a hard decision
in the end but I am very, very
excited and proud that I decided
like this because now when I have
been here for at least one-and-a-
half months, it feels right.
“It feels good. The team is bril-
liant. We have some very good, but
always calm and nice players. It is
fun to play here at Chelsea and to
be part of the team.
“We can do very well with this
team in the next few months and
the next few years.” And Werner
stressed the importance of the role
Lampard played in convincing him
to choose Chelsea after a 34-goal season for Leipzig. “He called me
a lot, we had a lot of conversations,
he texted me a lot and he sent me
some videos where he could show
me what style of football he wants
to play,” said the German.
“For me those were important
things to know about moving to a
new club because I loved to play
for Leipzig and everything was well
for me there.
“So it was really important for
me to come to a team with a vision
that fits my style of football.
“And I think the whole Premier
League fits very well to my style of
football, because it’s so fast, and
fast players have really good
space.”
REUTERS – LONDON
Tottenham Hotspur
manager Jose
Mourinho refused to
confirm yesterday
whether the north
London club were in
talks to re-sign
Gareth Bale from
Real Madrid but said
he tried to sign him
when he was still a
Spurs player.
Bale’s agent said
on Tuesday that both
clubs and the Welsh
winger’s camp were
discussing a potential
arrangement which would see the
31-year-old return to the Premier
League after seven years with the
Spanish champions.
Mourinho said he tried to sign Bale
when he was in charge of Real Madrid
from 2010 to 2013. The Wales interna-
tional was also regularly linked with a
move to Manchester United when
Mourinho was at the helm at Old
Trafford.
“Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player
and I don’t talk about players from other
clubs,” Mourinho told reporters ahead
of Today’s Europa League qualifier
against Bulgarian side Lokomotiv
Plovdiv.
“It’s not my job to have contact
with agents and I don’t want
to comment. I don’t
comment on
hypothetical
stuff.
“I tried to
sign him during
my time at
Real Madrid
and the pres-
ident followed my instinct and
knowledge and the
season I left, he brought
Gareth to the club.
That’s no secret and
Gareth knows that.”
Bale had said earlier
this month that he
would be open to a
move back to the
Premier League if Real
Madrid sanctioned a
transfer.
Spurs have also
been linked with Real
left back Sergio
Reguilon, with British
media reporting the
23-year-old Spain
international is set to make the switch
for €30m ($35.62m).
Mourinho added that he has
informed club chairman Daniel Levy
about his transfer plans “three or four
times” and that players could also leave
Spurs before the transfer window closes
on Oct. 5.
“A squad is a puzzle and when a new
signing completes the puzzle it’s great
for the team,” the Portuguese manager
added.
“Three more weeks, the market is
open both ways. I think in football you
have to be always waiting for something
to happen. Let’s see what happens to
us. I never liked to start the com-
petition with an open
transfer
window.”
Gareth Bale is a Real
Madrid player and I don’t
talk about players from
other clubs. It’s not my job
to have contact with agents
and I don’t want to
comment. I don’t comment
on hypothetical stuff.
Jose Mourinho
Tottenham Hotspur
manager
Mourinho coy on
attempt to sign Bale
COVID-19 to cost global
football $11bn, says FIFA
AFP – BELLINZONA,
SWITZERLAND
FIFA yesterday put the cost of
COVID-19 on football around
the world at $11bn in lost
revenue.
The pandemic has already
led to over 150 football asso-
ciations to seek financial help
from the $1.5bn emergency
relief fund set up by football’s
governing body.
Olli Rehn, chairman of
FIFA’s coronavirus steering
committee, laid bare for the
first time the true financial
impact the virus has had on
the game through fixture list
chaos, empty stadiums and
loss of TV rights revenue.
“It’s a huge number and it
covers the football economy
in its entirety, including all
youth academies,” Rehn, a
Finnish politician and gov-
ernor of the Bank of Finland,
told a press conference.
“This will impact next year
as well, there is a carry over.
“That is why this COVID-19
relief fund is not time-bound
- they may request loans later
on if they need to,” Rehn, who
is also independent deputy
chairman of the FIFA Gov-
ernance Committee, said.
He said that while Europe
was hit hardest in terms of
absolute cost, it was the asso-
ciations outside Europe which
“have suffered more”.
“In particular in South
America, many on account of
their relative means and the
spring to autumn season,” he
said.
Last month European Club
Association chairman Andrea
Agnelli predicted lost revenue
of four billion euros over two
years for its member clubs.
Each national association
can request a FIFA grant of
$1m ($2m for confederations)
plus $500,000 for women’s
football.
Loans are available to
national associations up to a
maximum value of $5m ($4m
for confederations).
Rehn was at pains to stress
that unlike in the past it was
imperative the money made
available by FIFA “is being
used for the right purposes”.
“Corruption has no room
in football,” he stated.
“Good governance is at the
heart of this COVID-19 relief
fund,” he said.
“We have made this clear
to member associations. I
know some member associa-
tions have complained about
heavy compliance procedures
- I’m quite used to that. We do
require full compliance and
we have been working with
globally-known auditing
companies.
He gave some examples of
how the relief fund is already
being put into use, like in
Thailand, where it has helped
restart the national league
competition, including coro-
navirus testing, but also to
implement video assistant
referee (VAR) technology.
Mexico spent its entire
$1.5m grant on its national
women’s league, and in Brazil
the funds are supporting the
testing programme in the
women’s competition.
And in Uruguay, the
money has helped the feder-
ation re-hire staff it had been
forced to lay off, who were
crucial to its effective
operation.
Arsenal and Liverpool players in action in front of the empty stands at the Wembley Stadium in London, during the FA
Community Shield tournament in this August 29 file photo.
FIFA’s coronavirus steering committee
reveals the true financial impact the
virus has had on the game through
fixture list chaos, empty stadiums and
loss of TV rights revenue.
garian s ide Lokomo tiv to hap pen. Let’s see w hat happ ens to
us. I n eve r lik ed to start the com -
an ope n
Plovdiv.
“It’s not m
with a gents a
to comm ent.
co mm en t
hypotheti c
stu ff.
“I tried
sign him duri n
my time a
Real Madri d
and the pres
ide nt follow
my job to have co nt ac t
and I don’t want
I do n’t
on
cal
to
ng g g
att
d
s-
wed
us. I never liked to start
pe tition wit h
transfer
win do w.”
QSL holds
Ooredoo Cup
2020-21
technical
meeting
QNA – DOHA
The Qatar Stars League
(QSL) held the technical
Meeting for the 2020-21
season Ooredoo Cup
yesterday, as part of
arrangements being
made ahead of the tour-
nament’s start.
The meeting was
attended by Ahmed
Abdullah Al Sayed, Head
of Football Operations at
the QSL, Abdullah Al
Balooshi, representative
of the Qatar Football
Association’s Referees’
Department, and repre-
sentatives of clubs.
The topics discussed
were: The regulations
and conditions for the
tournament.
Organizational
guidelines and match-
day operations, with
special mention that the
approved protocol
related to Covid-19
would continue, and that
all instructions and spe-
cific precautionary
measures should be
adhered to.
Importance of com-
mitment to come to the
stadium on the dates
scheduled for the
matches.
Emphasis on the
clothing sets (home and
away) for each team, and
specifying the sets and
colors of clothing that
each team will wear in its
match.
Australia
tweaks
players’ pay
deal to reflect
virus impact
REUTRERS – MELBOURNE
Australia’s national football players
have agreed to pay-cuts as part of
an adjusted collective bargaining
agreement (CBA) that takes into
account the economic impact of the
novel coronavirus, the players
union said yesterday.
The revised CBA, which applies
to both the men’s and women’s
teams, will carry through to the
completion of the 2023 Women’s
World Cup in Australia and New
Zealand, Professional Footballers
Australia (PFA) said in a joint
statement with Football Federation
Australia (FFA).
“Working collaboratively ... FFA
and PFA have agreed to adjust
various mechanisms within the CBA
to respond to the economic impacts
presented by the COVID-19 pan-
demic,” they said in a statement.
Australia’s home-based profes-
sional players have yet to strike an
adjusted pay deal with clubs,
however, having already taken
heavy cuts to allow the A-League
season to finish after a nearly four-
month disruption due to the
pandemic.
The clubs are aiming for a sig-
nificant reduction to their player
salary burden as they grapple with
lower revenues in the wake of a
renegotiated broadcast agreement
with News Corp-owned Fox Sports.
The players union rejected a
proposal from the clubs on Tuesday
that they said would allow the clubs
to “unilaterally impose salary
reductions” and would prevent
players negotiating reductions in a
“fair and adequate manner.” Players
are expected to return to training
with their clubs in October, ahead
of the new A-League season in early
2021.
I’ve come here to win
titles. Chelsea is a big club
and a club that always
wants to win. Now we
have a very strong team
and a young team that can
develop, and can go
through a period of a long
time where we can stay
together, because we are
young and we want to win.
Timo Werner
Chelsea striker
Werner, who made a
£50m move from RB
Leipzig in June, has
been joined in London
by German international
teammate Kai Havertz,
Hakim Ziyech, Ben
Chilwell and Thiago Silva.
Jose
Mourinho Gareth
Bale

AP - PARIS
Former track federation president
Lamine Diack was sentenced yesterday
to two years in prison for corruption
during his nearly 16-year tenure at the
IAAF, including a scheme that allowed
Russian athletes who paid millions in
hush money to keep competing when
they should have been suspended for
doping.
The guilty verdict in a Paris court
represented a spectacular fall from
grace for the 87-year-old Diack, who
was the powerful head of the IAAF
from 1999-2015 and mixed with world
leaders and was influential in the world
of Olympic sports.
The court also sentenced Diack to
another two years of suspended jail
time and fined him €500,000
($590,000).
His lawyers said they will appeal,
which will keep Diack out of jail for
now. Diack did not comment as he
walked out of court.
One of Diack’s lawyers, Simon
Ndiaye, called the verdict “unjust and
inhuman” and said the court made his
client a “scapegoat.”
Diack was found guilty of multiple
corruption charges and of breach of
trust but acquitted of a money laun-
dering charge.
At Diack’s trial in June, prosecutors
requested a four-year jail term and a
fine of €500,000.
Diack, wearing a white robe, sat
impassive in front of the chief judge as
she read out the guilty verdict and sentence. The judge, Rose-Marie
Hunault, detailed his role in the payoff
scheme, dubbed “full protection,” that
squeezed Russian athletes suspected
of doping of about €3.2m ($3.74m) in
hush money.
“The money was paid in exchange
for a program of ‘full protection,’” she
said, adding the scheme allowed athletes who should have
been suspended “purely and
simply to escape sanctions.”
“You violated the rules of
the game,” the judge said.
The court also handed
guilty verdicts to five other
people, including Diack’s son,
Papa Massata Diack, who
worked as an IAAF marketing
consultant.
The judge said $15m was
funnelled to the younger
Diack’s companies, including
commissions and money
creamed off contracts and the
sale of TV rights and other
transactions while his father
was in charge at the IAAF.
The judge said the Diacks
worked together in diverting
funds, telling Lamine Diack
that there was “an under-
standing between you and your son.”
The younger Diack lives in Senegal,
which has refused to extradite him. He
was not in court for the verdict and did
not attend the six-day hearing in June.
The court sentenced him in his absence
to five years in prison and a fine of 1m
($1.17m).
Another of those found guilty on
corruption charges was former IAAF
treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev, also
tried in his absence and not in court
yesterday.
The court handed the Russian a
three-year jail term and said the
amount announced in fine would be
confiscated from his account in
Monaco, where the IAAF is based.
Balakhnichev vowed to appeal to
“the highest instances.”
“I have been deprived of the legal
right to defend myself. They said that
I was not cooperating with the inves-
tigation and I categorically disagree
with that,” Balakhnichev said
yesterday.
Gabriel Dolle, a doctor who
oversaw drug testing at the IAAF, was
handed a two-year suspended jail term
and fined €140,000 ($163,000) for
taking money to slow down doping
sanctions.
Also found guilty were lawyer
Habib Cisse, who served as Diack’s
legal counsel and was said by the judge
to have played an “essential role” in
corruption under Diack, and Russian
coach Alexei Melnikov, who was tried
and sentenced in his absence.
10 THURSDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2020 SPORT
Tiger Woods (second left) and his team walk the ninth
fairway towards the clubhouse during a practice round
for the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club - West.
Woods in need of some magic at US Open
AP - NEW YORK
By now, Tiger Woods should have had a chance
to defend his Masters title. By now, there should
be an answer for his rabid fans about just how
much time they should devote to cheering him
on in the US Open.
But in a year where answers are hard to
come from anywhere, there isn’t a simple one
about his chances of winning a fourth US Open.
It’s so complicated that even Woods seems
to be having problems figuring it out.
“This year I really haven’t putted as well as
I wanted to, and the times I did make a few
swing mistakes, I missed it in the wrong spots,”
Woods said yesterday. “Consequently, I just
didn’t have the right looks at it. I’ve com-
pounded mistakes here and there that ended
up not making me able to make pars or a birdie
run, and consequently I haven’t put myself in
contention to win events.”
Don’t feel bad if that seemed difficult to
follow. With Woods, we’ve been guessing at
things for years.
Is his back OK? Is he rusty from not playing
enough? How about the putter?
And add this one into the mix for this
tournament: At the age of 44, will he be able to
match players two decades younger when it
comes to hacking out of the rough and
steadying himself on the 6-footers for par?
We’ll know soon enough, with Woods
teeing off early today at Winged Foot in a
pairing that includes two players who, unlike
Woods, have a lot more professional golf in
their future than they do in their past. One of
them, newly crowned PGA champion Collin
Morikawa, wasn’t even born when Woods won
his first PGA Tour event in 1996, while Justin
Thomas, until last month, was officially the best
player in golf.
Oddsmakers don’t exactly fancy his
chances, making Woods a 35-1 shot to edge
closer to the biggest record he doesn’t hold in
golf - the 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus.
Woods himself doesn’t sound terribly confident,
even if he’s not quite ready yet to take his place
as an elder statesman of golf.
“I think it gets harder to win as we all age,”
he said.
Compounding the issue for Woods this
week isn’t necessarily the length of Winged
Foot, which stretches nearly 7,500 yards with
a par of 70. He’s plenty long to still be competitive with players like Thomas and
Morikawa, even if they will likely be outdriving
him in the opening rounds.
It’s what happens when he can’t find the
fairway and needs to scramble that will be the
toughest part. By all accounts, the rough at
Winged Foot is brutal, which means Woods
will need to overcome mistakes off the tee with
the kind of short game that has won him 15
majors.
Unfortunately, the putts under 10 feet that
used to be automatic for Woods are automatic
no longer. It doesn’t help that he missed the
FedEx Cup Playoffs and hasn’t played compet-
itively in three weeks.
There’s also the fact that in six rounds in
two major championships at Winged Foot,
Woods is a combined 18-over-par. That
includes the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot,
where Woods shot 76-76 and missed the cut.
Still, as his magical win at the Masters last
year reminded everyone, it would be a mistake
to sell him short.
“When I won the Masters last year I was
not feeling particularly well prior to that,”
Woods said.
“My neck was bothering me. I didn’t play
in Bay Hill. For some reason I felt physically
better and my training sessions felt good. I
changed shafts in my driver right before the
event, and I was able to start turning the ball
over. Then all of a sudden I put myself in con-
tention and I wasn’t really - I wasn’t leading
but I was near the lead, and each day I pro-
gressively got a little bit better, and come
Sunday, I put all the pieces together.”
Could that happen again at Winged Foot, a
course that doesn’t have the wide fairways of
Augusta National and is lined with deep rough?
A course that Woods doesn’t know nearly as
well and hasn’t had previous success?
Woods isn’t making predictions, and anyone
else is simply guessing. Things tend to happen
in golf that can’t be predicted, as evidenced by
Morikawa’s win at the PGA Championship last
month in his first major as a professional.
One thing is clear: Time is running out on
Woods if he is to add four more major titles to
break the record he wants the most. And
snagging one during a pandemic would be a
perfect springboard heading into the Masters
in November, where he will be the defending
champion.
Meanwhile, don’t forget: He is Tiger Woods.
LPGA Tour’s Asia schedule
wiped out as last two
events fall to coronavirus
AFP - HONG KONG
The LPGA Tour has cancelled events in South
Korea and Japan because of coronavirus,
meaning the elite women’s golf circuit has
been forced to scrap all seven 2020 Asian
tournaments in the latest blow to the conti-
nent’s hard-hit sporting calendar.
“Given the travel restrictions and quar-
antine requirements” the BMW Ladies Cham-
pionship from October 22-25 in Busan and
the Toto Japan Classic from November 6 in
Ibaraki “will not take place in 2020”, said a
Tour statement issued late on Tuesday.
The announcement follows the axing of
next month’s Buick Shanghai LPGA in China
and Swinging Skirts Championships in Taiwan
because of stringent anti-virus measures.
At the beginning of February, soon after
the initial virus outbreak in Wuhan, the tour
was forced to cancel China’s Blue Bay LPGA
on the southern island of Hainan, due to be
played in early March.
Just 10 days later the prestigious Women’s
World Championship in Singapore and LPGA
Thailand also fell victim as countries began
to impose lockdown and quarantine measures.
The seven Asian events totalled $13m in
prize money.
The LPGA Tour has been dominated by
Asian players since the emergence of South
Korea’s former number one Pak Se-ri more
than 20 years ago.
The World Championship, won last year
by second-ranked Park Sung-hyun, is the
most prestigious event on the US LPGA Tour
outside the five majors, with the top 20 and
all the previous year’s major-winners among
a 66-player field.
Unable to travel to Asia, the LPGA has
added a new tournament, the Drive On Cham-
pionship - Reynolds Lake Oconee, from
October 22-25 in Georgia.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts by our
partners at BMW and Toto to try to host their
events this season and we look forward to
returning to Korea and Japan in 2021,” said
LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.
The virus has laid waste to Asia’s interna-
tional sporting programme this year, with the
ATP and WTA tennis tours cancelling all
events on the continent, including the season-
ending WTA Tour finals in Shenzhen.
Football’s Asian Champions League East
Zone has been suspended since March with
the West Zone only resuming this week.
Formula One has drawn a blank in Asia
this year, with races in China, Singapore and
Japan and the inaugural Grand Prix in Vietnam
all cancelled. The Asia-dominated badminton
and table tennis world tours have also lost the
bulk of their calendar.
Men’s golf has not escaped the carnage
either. The Asian Tour has been idle since the
Malaysia Open on March 7 and some players
in the worst affected countries such as India,
haven’t been able even to practise.
The Asian Tour should have been
restarting last weekend at the Shinhan
Donghae Open in South Korea, the first of
three planned events. But that became a
domestic event only and the other two tour-
naments, in Japan and Taiwan, were
cancelled.
Australian PGA tournament
postponed to February
AP - BRISBANE
The Australian PGA tournament
has been postponed to February
because of uncertainties over
coronavirus-enforced restric-
tions.
The PGA of Australia on
Wednesday said the European
Tour co-sanctioned golf tour-
nament, scheduled for early
December at Royal Queensland
in Brisbane, is now tentatively
scheduled for Feb. 18-21, but the
status of the event will be
reviewed again in December.
It follows the postponement
of November’s Australian Open
at Melbourne’s Kingston Heath
to sometime next year. Victoria
state is experiencing a second
wave of COVID-19 infections
and deaths, and the city of Mel-
bourne is in lockdown with
nightly curfews.
“The uncertainty created by
the COVID-19 pandemic makes
it extremely difficult to stage
events at the level we would
normally expect,” PGA of Aus-
tralia chief executive Gavin
Kirkman said. “Our new date
will be subject to health regula-
tions and will be reviewed again
in early December, when we
expect to be armed with a more
accurate prediction of
COVID-19s impact across the
country during summer.
“At that time we will
determine whether the event
will proceed in February or, as
a last resort, canceled.”
Adam Scott won last year’s
Australian PGA at Royal Pines
on the Gold Coast, where it had
been played for seven years.
Scott, the 2013 Masters
winner at Augusta, begins play
today at the delayed US Open in
a group with Rory McIlroy and
Justin Rose.
Adam Scott hits from the
12th tee during a practice
round for the 2020 US
Open at Winged Foot Golf
Club - West.
Former IAAF head Diack sentenced to 2 years in prison
Former President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Lamine
Diack, wearing a face mask, and his lawyers Simon Ndiaye and William Bourdon talk to
journalists after the verdict in his trial at the Paris courthouse, France, yesterday.
Hopefully this is the only
one that it's going to
happen, and we can get
back to somewhat normal
life next year and crowds
are allowed back. But it
has to be this way for a
while, unfortunately, but
hopefully not for too
much longer.
Northern Ireland's
Rory McIlroy
on the US Open taking
place without spectators.

09 THURSDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2020 SPORT
Australia down England to win ODI series
‘World’s best’ Mumbai Indians
attempt back-to-back IPL titles
AFP — NEW DELHI
Already regarded as the world’s
richest and most successful
Twenty20 cricket team, the
Mumbai Indians will now
attempt to underline their status
by claiming their first back-to-
back titles in the Indian Premier
League.
Led by senior Indian
batsman Rohit Sharma and
owned by Nita Ambani -- wife
of India’s richest man, Reliance
Industries billionaire Mukesh
Ambani -- Mumbai have won
an unsurpassed four IPL titles.
So far they have been
unable to match the Chennai
Super Kings’ feat of 2010 and
2011 by winning the world’s
most lucrative T20 league twice
in a row.
But Mumbai, who open the
coronavirus-delayed IPL
season against the Super Kings
in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, head
into the tournament as the
bookies’ favourites for a fifth
trophy. Mumbai’s financial clout
is formidable. Ambani, who
bought the franchise for more than $100m in 2008, has been
rated by Forbes as the world’s
second richest sports team
owner behind former Microsoft
chief executive Steve Ballmer,
who owns the Los Angeles
Clippers. According to an
Economic Times estimate, the
Indians are worth $115m, the
highest among the eight IPL
franchises.
The team has an impeccable
playing pedigree too. Their
founding captain was the now
retired Sachin Tendulkar, the
record-breaking batsman who
is worshipped by Indian fans.
Former Australia captain Ricky
Ponting is another ex-skipper.
But it was only when
Sharma was appointed captain
in 2013, after Ponting stepped
down due to loss of form, that
the team became a force to be
reckoned with.
The 33-year-old star
batsman has led by example,
scoring 3,728 runs since joining
Mumbai in 2011 and captaining
the team to IPL trophies in 2013,
2015, 2017 and 2019.
Sri Lankan legend Mahela
Jayawardene is the coach, while
West Indian big-hitter Kieron
Pollard and India quick Jasprit
Bumrah add power to the team.
Australia paceman Nathan
Coulter-Nile, part of the
Indians’ first title win in 2013,
returns this season after being
snapped up for $1.12m in the
December auctions.
“It’s good to come back to
the most successful T20 fran-
chise of the world,” said
Coulter-Nile.
“Obviously the team I was
involved with then was filled
with absolute greats. Ricky
Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar,
Harbhajan Singh, Rohit Sharma.
“And to come back to see
this team now developing those
sort of greats again. Rohit
Sharma is a great in himself.
Bumrah, best death bowler in
the world.”
However, the loss of pace
ace Lasith Malinga earlier this
month was a big blow, after the
veteran Sri Lankan opted out
of the tournament to be with his
family.
Mumbai Indians team players
celebrate with the IPL trophy
in this May 13, 2019 file photo.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan meets with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials Chairman Ehsan Mani and CEO Wasim Khan at
the PM House in Islamabad, yesterday. Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram and Pakistan head coach Misbah Ul Haq were joined by
current Test skipper Azhar Ali and veteran all-rounder Mohammed Hafeez during the meeting. Special Assistant to the PM for Overseas
Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Z Bukhari was also present.
PCB finalises 3-year
broadcast deal for
matches in Pakistan
THE PENINSULA — ISLAMABAD

Pakistan Cricket Board
yesterday signed a satellite
broadcast deal for broadcast in
Pakistan with PTV Sports and
a further agreement to secure
cable distribution with I-Media
Communication Services.
The agreements were signed
in the presence of the Prime
Minister Imran Khan, who is
the Patron of Pakistan Cricket
Board.
The broadcast deal will be
for the 2020 to 2023 cycle.
The broadcasting
arrangement is structured to
provide for increasing revenues
over the term of the cycle and
PCB expects to earn in excess
of $200m over the three-year
term.
The Chairman Pakistan
Cricket Board Ehsan Mani
speaking at the occasion
thanked the Patron for his
unwavering support to PCB.
The broadcast agreement
is for Pakistan only while PCB
will be soon finalising the grant
of its broadcast rights for inter-
national territories separately
as well as launching a new
structure for its digital media
rights.
Under the arrangement all
Pakistan International Home
Series of the Senior Cricket
Team and the Women’s and
Junior cricket teams will be
broadcast live on PTV Sports.
Also for the first time all the
major Domestic tournaments,
including the Quaid-e-Azam
Trophy, the National T-20 Cup,
the One Day Pakistan Cup and
the National U-19 One-Day and
National U-19 Three Day tour-
naments, will be broadcast live
on PTV Sports and distributed
across Pakistan on cable
networks.
The supporting cable dis-
tribution agreement, unlike in
the past, seeks to ensure that
the broadcast content of PCB
cricket is not redistributed
without proper authorisation
which was one of the reasons
for greatly diminishing the
value of PCB content.
PCB plans to invest Rs15bn
over the next three years on
Men and Women Domestic
Cricket including upgrading of
stadiums and infrastructure,
building provincial academies
and centres of excellence,
employment of over 100
former cricketers as coaches
and managers for the City
Cricket Associations, restarting
inter-university cricket,
investment in grass roots
cricket and improving players’
earning and welfare.
The broadcasting
arrangement is structured
to provide for increasing
revenues over the term of
the cycle and PCB expects to
earn in excess of $200m
over the three-year term.
Mumbai Indians
captain Rohit Sharma
Pakistan’s Rana claims
he endured racist abuse
during county stint
AFP — LONDON
Former Pakistan fast bowler
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan
claimed that he was racially
abuse by Yorkshire
supporters when he played
for the English county.
Rana alleges he was sub-
jected to racist slurs and
hooting from the home
crowd when he played for
Yorkshire in 2008 and 2009.
The 41-year-old’s com-
ments came after Pakistan-
born English spinner Azeem
Rafiq revealed earlier this
month that he was left on the
brink of suicide during his
time at Yorkshire because
the club was “institutionally
racist”.
“I fully support what
Azeem said and this has been
the case with me as well,” Rana told ESPNcricinfo. “I
never spoke about it because,
as foreigners, we were tem-
porary and somehow I
managed to accept the way
it is.
“There was systematic
taunting. To us as overseas
players from Asia, when you
are not able to perform, the
home crowd which should
be supporting us, instead
started hooting and would
taunt us with racist slurs like
‘p***’.
“If you are performing
then you get all the space but,
in case I am not taking
wickets, the attitude sud-
denly started to change.
“They started to give us
a tough time, giving me a
smaller hotel room and there
used to be a clear case of
discrimination.”
Maxwell, Carey tons lift visitors in thrilling Manchester decider
AFP — MANCHESTER
Australia beat world champions
England by three wickets to win
the thrilling third one-day inter-
national at Old Trafford
yesterday.
Victory gave Australia
victory in the three-match
series 2-1 as England suffered
their first home ODI series loss
in five years. Set a target of 303
to win, Australia collapsed to
73-5 before a stand of 212
between Alex Carey (106) and
Glenn Maxwell (108) took them
to the brink of victory.
They still needed 10 off the
last six balls but Mitchell Starc --
who’d earlier taken two wickets
off the first two balls of the game
-- hit his first ball, from leg-spinner Adil Rashid, for six
and then struck the winning runs
with two balls to spare.
Earlier, Jonny Bairstow’s 112
revived England from the
depths of none for two after
left-armer Starc dismissed
Jason Roy and Joe Root in a sen-
sational start to the match.
Sam Billings (57) and Chris
Woakes (53 not out) also helped
take England past 300.
Australia were again
without Steve Smith, the star
batsman not featuring at all in
this series after being hit on the
head by a throw-down from a
member of the tourists'
coaching staff while batting in
the nets last Thursday.
The visitors insisted he was
being rested purely as a pre-
caution despite passing two
concussion tests.
But, having seen Smith bat
in the nets again on Tuesday,
they decided against playing
him, with Australia captain
Aaron Finch saying at the toss:
"Steve Smith had a long hit yes-
terday and pulled up a little groggy. When you're dealing
with a head injury, you want to
be cautious."
Australia were unchanged
but England recalled fast bowler
Mark Wood, fit after an ankle
injury, in place of Sam Curran.
That followed a dramatic 24-run win on Sunday when
Australia, seemingly cruising to
victory, lost their last eight
wickets for 63 runs.
ENGLAND
J Roy c Maxwell b Starc ................................... 0
J Bairstow b Cummins ..................................112
J Root lbw b Starc ............................................ 0
E Morgan c Starc b Zampa ............................ 23
J Buttler c Finch b Zampa ............................... 8
S Billings c Marsh b Zampa ........................... 57
C Woakes not out .......................................... 53
T Curran b Starc .............................................. 19
A Rashid not out ............................................. 11
Extras (lb8, nb1, w10) ................................. 19
Total (7 wkts, 50 overs) .................... 302
Did not bat: J Archer, M Wood
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Roy), 2-0 (Root), 3-67
(Morgan), 4-96 (Buttler), 5-210 (Billings),
6-220 (Bairstow), 7-266 (Curran)
Bowling: Starc 10-0-74-3 (2w); Hazlewood 10-0-68-
0 (1w); Cummins 10-0-53-1 (2w); Zampa 10-0-51-3;
Marsh 6-0-25-0 (1nb, 3w); Maxwell 4-0-23-0 (2w)AUSTRALIA
D Warner b Root ............................................ 24
A Finch (c) lbw b Woakes ...............................12
M Stoinis c Morgan b Woakes ........................ 4
M Labuschagne run out (Billings/Buttler) ..20
M Marsh c Buttler b Root ................................ 2
A Carey c Wood b Archer ............................106
G Maxwell c Curran b Rashid ......................108
P Cummins not out ........................................... 4
M Starc not out ................................................. 11
Extras (lb 5, nb 1, w 8) ................................... 14
Total (2 wkts, 49.4 overs) ................. 305
Did not bat: A Zampa, JR Hazlewood
Fall of wickets: 1-21 (Finch), 2-31 (Stoinis,), 3-51
(Warner), 4-55 (Marsh), 5-73 (Labuschagne),
6-285 (Maxwell), 7-293 (Carey)
Bowling: CR Woakes 10-0-46-2, Archer 9-0-
60-1, Wood 9-1-40-0, Root 8-0-46-2, Curran
6-1-40-0, Rashid 7.4-0-68-1
SCOREBOARD
Australia’s Glenn
Maxwell (right)
congratulates
team-mate Alex
Carey after he
scored a century
against England
during final ODI
at Old Trafford
in Manchester,
yesterday.

08 THURSDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2020 Sport
Armand
Duplantis
reacts after
clearing
5m91 in the
men’s pole
vault event
in Berlin on
Sunday.
Diamond League: Warholm and
Duplantis target records in Rome
AFP — ROME
Norwegian hurdler Karsten Warholm
and Swedish pole-vault sensation
Armand Duplantis both threaten to
break more records as the Diamond
League series heads for Rome today.
Two-time world-champion
Warholm, the second fastest 400m
hurdler in history with 46.87 seconds,
will be hoping to topple a record that
has stood for 28 years.
Duplantis, 20, broke his own
world record in February, first
jumping 6.17 meters in Poland before
clearing 6.18 in Scotland the following
weekend.
The Golden Gala meet will be held
behind closed doors at Rome’s Stadio
Olimpico having first been slated for
Naples in May before the coronavirus
pandemic.
Warholm holds the second fastest
time in history with the European
record of 46.87 clocked in Stockholm
last August.
The 24-year-old came within
0.09 seconds of Kevin Young’s long-
standing world record of 46.78sec
which the American set at the 1992
Barcelona Olympics. The Norwegian
warmed up with a blistering 47.08 in
Berlin last week.
“Happy with a win (47.08) and
breaking the 40-year old record of
the legendary Ed Moses, Rome on
Thursday!” Warholm tweeted.
Warholm won consecutive world
titles in London 2017 and Doha 2019
and the European gold medal in
Berlin 2018, and is unbeaten in the
past two years.
He is the only hurdler to boast two
times under 47 seconds. In the Italian
capital he will be competing against
French duo Wilfried Happio and
Ludvy Vaillant, Estonian Rasmus
Magi and Italian Mario Lambrughi.
Duplantis has maintained his
winning streak throughout the
outdoor season, with wins in Oslo,
Monaco, Stockholm and Lausanne,
the latter a season-leading 6.07m, the
highest outdoor vault since 1994.
The world runner-up and
European champion will face French
former record holder Renaud Lavil-
lenie and Poland’s Piotr Lisek in the
eight-man lineup.
In the men’s 100 metres, South
African Akani Simbine is the only
competitor to have dipped under the
10-seconds this season.
The 26-year-old clocked 9.91
seconds at the Athletics Gauteng
North Championships in Pretoria
back in March as he prepared for his
Olympic season.
American Michael Rodgers and
Italians Filippo Tortu and Marcell
Jacobs will also race in Rome.
In the women’s 100, Olympic
champion Elaine Thompson-Herah,
who has competed exclusively in
Jamaica this season, has registered
to compete.
Thompson-Herah, 28, has won
twice in Rome in 2016 and 2019, with
the field also including Ivorian Marie-
Josee Ta Lou, winner two years ago.
European 1,500m champion
Laura Muir, 2016 world indoor high
jump champion Gianmarco Tamberi
and Italian shot putter Leonardo
Fabbri will also be in action on
Thursday.
Muir will be making her first
appearance over 800m where she
will duel with fellow Scot Jemma
Reekie.
NBA: Nuggets stun Clippers in game
seven as Heat edge Celtics in opener
AFP — LOS ANGELES
Jamal Murray scored a game
high 40 points and Nikola
Jokic had a triple double as the
Denver Nuggets stunned the
Los Angeles Clippers 104-89
in game seven to reach their
first Western Conference
finals in 11 years.
The underdog Nuggets
became the first team in NBA
history to rally from a 3-1
series deficit twice in the same
postseason.
Jokic completed his triple
double by the third quarter of
Tuesday night’s contest in the
NBA’s quarantine bubble in
Florida, finishing with 16
points, 13 assists and 22
rebounds.
His rebound count is the
most by a Nuggets player in
an NBA play-off game,
breaking his old record of 19.
Denver’s dynamic duo com-
bined for 56 points.
An odd couple for sure. A
Serbian and a Canadian pair
that has engineered the
biggest upsets of the 2020
postseason so far.
Denver will once again be
the underdogs when they face
LeBron James and the Los
Angeles Lakers in the con-
ference finals beginning
tomorrow.
Adebayo blocks Boston
In the Eastern Conference
finals, Bam Adebayo made a
clutch block with 2.5 seconds
left in overtime as the Miami
Heat beat the Boston Celtics
117-114 in the opening game
of the series.
Adebayo leapt high to take
what appeared to be an easy
dunk away from Celtics star
Jayson Tatum to preserve the
Heat’s slim lead, 116-114.
Adebayo then capped the
scoring by sinking a free
throw at the other end.
“He is the heart and soul
of our team on the defensive
end,” Jimmy Butler said of
Adebayo.
“We love and appreciate
him. I know I sure do.”
Tatum, who finished with
a game high 30 points, missed
a desperation 29-foot three-
pointer at the buzzer.
Goran Dragic scored 29
points, Jae Crowder had 22
and Butler finished with 20 for
the Heat, who eliminated the
Celtics from the playoffs in
2011 and 2012.
Butler gave the Heat the
lead for good, 115-114, with
just 12 seconds left in overtime
when he willed in a shot in
that was delivered while he
was falling backwards and
guarded closely at the side of
the basket.

Eastern Conference (Finals)
Miami Heat 117 Boston Celtics 114
(OT)
(Miami leads series 1-0)
Western Conference (Semi-finals)
DNuggets 104 Los Angeles Clip-
pers 89
(Denver wins series 4-3)
NBA PLAY-0FF RESULTS
Jamal Murray (right) of the Denver Nuggets
drives the ball against Montrezl Harrell
of the LA Clippers during Game Seven.
NHL: Islanders stay alive
with win over Lightning
REUTERS — EDMONTON
Jordan Eberle was the overtime
hero for the New York Islanders
in a 2-1 double-overtime victory
against the Tampa Bay Lightning
in Edmonton that kept their
Stanley Cup play-off hopes alive.
Tampa Bay leads the best-of-
seven Eastern Conference finals
3-2, with a berth in the Stanley Cup
Final against the Dallas Stars up
for grabs. Game 6 will be played
today in Edmonton, with Game 7,
if necessary, scheduled for
Saturday. After the Islanders killed
a double minor handed Anthony
Beauvillier for high sticking with
1:23 remaining in regulation, they
held strong until they could get a
legitimate scoring chance.
It came when Anders Lee fed
Eberle on a two-on-one rush and
Eberle buried the one-timer at
12:30 of the second OT.
New York goaltender
Semyon Varlamov made 36
saves in a stellar outing from
start to finish, especially early in
overtime.
New York Islanders
right wing Jordan
Eberle (foreground)
scores a goal against
Tampa Bay Lightning
goaltender Andrei
Vasilevskiy for the
victory in game
five of the Eastern
Conference Final of
the 2020 Stanley Cup
Play-offs at Rogers
Place.
Colombia’s Lopez wins on Tour
summit, Roglic extends lead
AFP — MÉRIBEL
Colombia’s Miguel Angel Lopez
won stage 17 of the Tour de
France yesterday to climb third
in the overall standings as race
leader Primoz Roglic extended
his advantage.
The race ascended to
2,304m altitude atop the Col de
la Loze where Slovenian rookie
Tadej Pogacar lost a handful of
seconds to his compatriot Roglic
in the race for the yellow jersey
on a day the 2019 champion
Egan Bernal withdrew.
“I’m glad this is behind me,”
said Roglic after his toughest
challenge as he merely needs
to survive without a major
incident to win this year’s Tour.
“Every metre counts on a
climb like that,” said the
30-year-old.
Richard Carapaz produced
a doomed solo bid for Ineos as
the Giro champion was caught
on the ever-changing gradient
of the final 7km above 2,000m
as the top 10 experienced a
slight shake-up.
A day after the race was
cleared of COVID-19 to run all
the way to Paris on Sunday,
French President Emmanuel
Macron was present as the
peloton struggled through vil-
lages full of ubiquitous baskets
of flowers hanging from Swiss-
style ski chalets.
In the rarefied air that suits
the men from the Andes, the
26-year-old Lopez leapfrogged
compatriot Rigoberto Uran and
extended his lead over Adam
Yates and Richie Porte.
Roglic now leads his young
compatriot Pogacar by 57
seconds with just three real
races left before the Tour gets
to Paris.
Suffering from a bad back
for a month now Bernal, his
Tour defence in tatters, said a
sad goodbye to the 2020 edition
when Ineos decided to protect
the long-term interests of their
23-year-old captain by withdrawing him. But his
compatriot Astana captain
Lopez, who is known as
“Superman” in his homeland
after fighting off three thieves
who tried to steal his bike, gave
Colombia something to shout
about.
Lopez had complained
earlier in the race that Jumbo’s
dominance was suffocating the
race, but saw his opportunity
on a mentally challenging finale
where the varying gradient
called for constant
adaptations.
“I felt strong coming into the
race and on the Grand
Colombier, which was the first
big one (climb) of the race, like
the ones I train on in Colombia,
I felt good,” Lopez said.
“I won many things in my
life, but this is impressive and I
worked so hard to get here,”
said the man who has previ-
ously finished on the podium at
both the Giro and the Vuelta.
The long hard 14km struggle
up the Col de la Madeleine to its
2,000m summit was at the
halfway point of the race.
Lopez made the difference
on the even higher Meribel
mountain with a sudden turn
of pace while Roglic and
Pogacar were watching each
other.
“I felt at home over 2,000m,
as I live at 2,500m above sea
level,” he explained. “But I won’t
win, the others ahead of me are
too good on time trials. I’m just
going to enjoy myself.”
The key remaining chal-
lenge is stage 20, a 36km indi-
vidual time trial that runs over
30km of rolling terrain before
tough 6km ascent.
Miguel Angel Lopez
celebrates his stage
win yesterday. I won many things in my
life, but this is impressive
and I worked so hard to
get here: Miguel Angel
Lopez
Reds beat
Pirates,
inch closer
to play-offs
AP — CINCINNATI
Tucker Barnhart hit a
home run and Brian
Goodwin prevented one
with a leaping catch as the
Cincinnati Reds extended
their winning streak to a
season-high four games
with a 4-1 victory over the
Pittsburgh Pirates on
Tuesday.
Michael Lorenzen
(2-1) looked sharp in a
spot start, helping
Cincinnati inch closer to
a play-off spot.
The third-place Reds
went into the game higher
than fourth in the NL
Central for the first time
since August 23.
They were 1 1/2 games
behind second-place St.
Louis and ninth in the
overall National League
standings, one game
behind the Giants for the
final postseason berth.
San Francisco’s game
at Seattle was postponed
because of poor air
quality.
The top two teams in
each division and the two
teams in the league with
the next-best records
qualify for the play-offs.
“It feels like we have
a lot of momentum on our
side and we haven’t felt
that all year,” Lorenzen
said.
“It feels like we’re
picking up steam. It’s a
really good feeling when
you’re getting timely hits
and robbing home runs
like Goody did tonight. We
haven’t felt like that. Balls
are dropping in on offense
instead of us hitting
rockets at guys. A
60-game season can flip
in an instant. It feels like
we’re in a good position."
Lorenzen, primarily a
reliever since starting 21
games in 2015, made his
first 2020 start as the Reds
try to bolster a rotation
hampered by injuries to
Sonny Gray and Wade
Miley. The right-hander
allowed one run and four
hits in five innings with no
walks and six strikeouts.
Pittsburgh’s only run
came in the fourth on
Ke’Bryan Hayes’ double
and Colin Moran’s single.
Tejay Antone and Lucas
Sims combined for three
innings of shutout relief
before Amir Garrett pitched
the ninth for his first career
save, getting help from
Goodwin’s grab that robbed
Moran of a leadoff homer
to center field.

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