Pakistani javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem bags silver at World Athletics Championship

Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem gestures during Men's Javelin Throw final at the World Athletics Championship in Budapest, Hungary on August 27, 2023. (REUTERS)
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Updated 28 August 2023
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Pakistani javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem bags silver at World Athletics Championship

  • Arshad Nadeem wins Pakistan its first ever World Athletics Championship medal with 87.82m throw
  • India’s Neeraj Chopra bags gold medal with highest throw of 88.17m in javelin throw final at Budapest

ISLAMABAD: Star javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem scripted history on Sunday by securing second place at the World Athletics Championship, winning Pakistan its first ever medal at the global competition.

India bagged the gold medal with its most acclaimed javelin thrower, Neeraj Chopra, sending the javelin over an impressive 88.17m in the final at Budapest.

Nadeem began with a modest throw, sending the javelin over 74.80m before following it up with a better throw at 82.81m. In his third attempt, Nadeem impressed all with a stunning 87.82m throw. With three more throws left, Nadeem was placed at number two only behind Chopra.

In the fourth attempt, Nadeem followed up his previous impressive throw with another strong showing, sending the javelin flying over a distance of 87.15m. However, his fifth attempt was declared a foul, effectively putting him out of the race for the gold while Chopra won the competition.

Congratulations poured in for the Pakistani athlete, with many taking to social media platform X to congratulate Nadeem for winning Pakistan its first ever medal in the World Athletics Championship.

 

 

“You’ve done us all proud once again champ!” wrote former ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Pakistani cricketer Javeria Khan praised Nadeem for putting in sheer hard work for his success.

 

 

“People like Arshad remind us and the system time and again that if we invest where it is needed, then there is no one stopping us,” she wrote on X.

Pakistani cricketer Shadab Khan said the entire nation salutes Nadeem.

 

 

“I just want to say that I am your fan,” Khan wrote on X.

Nadeem secured a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics with a remarkable 86.79-meter throw on Friday at the World Athletics Championship.

He also crossed the Olympic qualifying benchmark of 83 meters, pushing his way into the group of top 12 international javelin throwers that will compete with one another in France in the coming year.

The star Pakistani sportsman hails from a small town, Khanewal, located in Punjab province. He is one of the nine children of a daily wage laborer who showed great versatility as an athlete from a young age while dabbling in all kinds of sports at school.

Although his family lacked the financial means to encourage Nadeem’s enthusiasm for sports, his spirit earned him the support he needed, with his elder brothers working to help him build a career in athletics.

Last year, he won the top medal at the Commonwealth Games in a fifth-round throw of 90.18 meters, making a new record at the games where he currently holds the title of the biggest throw recorded by a South Asian athlete.


Saudi Arabia hosts Red Bull Four 2 Score Championship

Updated 6 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia hosts Red Bull Four 2 Score Championship

RIYADH: The Red Bull Four 2 Score Championship is returning to Saudi Arabia for its second edition from May 24 to June 7.

The tournament will feature teams of four players each competing in local qualifiers across three Saudi Arabia cities, culminating in a national final. The ultimate goal for participants is to win an all-inclusive trip to the world final in Germany later this year.

The event is being held in partnership with Red Bull Mobile, Subway and the Kingdom’s Ministry of Sports and Sports for All Federation.

Qualifiers will take place in five stages in Riyadh and Jeddah, with the national final scheduled for June 7 in Abha.

The tournament’s rules and concept are designed to showcase Red Bull’s “power football” philosophy. In the first and last 60 seconds of the 10-minute matches, goals are doubled. There are no breaks or goalies, emphasizing the importance of scoring at critical moments. Both male and female players aged 16 to 35 are eligible to participate.

The two winning teams from the female and male categories will represent Saudi Arabia alongside other international teams at the world final, hosted by RB Leipzig.


Timberwolves knock out defending champion Nuggets, Pacers oust Knicks

Updated 16 min 33 sec ago
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Timberwolves knock out defending champion Nuggets, Pacers oust Knicks

  • Timberwolves became the first team to come back from a halftime deficit of more than 11 points to win a Game 7
  • Minnesota will play the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals while the Pacers booked an Eastern Conference finals showdown with the top-seeded Boston Celtics

LOS ANGELES: The Minnesota Timberwolves erased a 20-point deficit to stun Denver 98-90, knocking the defending NBA champions out of the playoffs Sunday as Indiana ousted the New York Knicks.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Jaden McDaniels added 23 points and Anthony Edwards hit his stride late as the Timberwolves became the first team to come back from a halftime deficit of more than 11 points to win a Game 7.

The Pacers connected on an NBA playoff record 67.1 percent of their shots — making 53 of their 79 attempts from the floor — in a 130-109 Game 7 triumph over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Edwards, who has emerged as a star for the Timberwolves at 22, said poise was the key to Minnesota’s latest unlikely victory over three-time NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets.

Down by 15 at halftime, Minnesota trailed by 20 early in the third. But Denver went cold as Edwards found his range and the Timberwolves cut the deficit to one point going into the fourth quarter.

Edwards, who scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half, said coach Chris Finch told him at the break to “play quicker.”

“If they’re going to continue to trap you, you got to make the right play and trust your teammates,” Edwards said. “We was just poised throughout the entire game. We just fought, fought.

“And KAT played spectacular tonight,” Edwards added of Towns. “He carried us tonight.”

Minnesota had pulled within one point going into the fourth quarter and took the lead for good on Rudy Gobert’s driving layup in the first minute of the final period.

Jokic scored 14 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter. He added 19 rebounds and seven assists and Jamal Murray scored 35 points but both said the Nuggets just missed too many shots.

“I felt like we got the shots we wanted and the opportunities were there,” Murray said.

The Timberwolves, who had rocked the Nuggets with two wins in Denver to open the series before dropping three straight games, closed it out with a blowout Game 6 win and their final comeback triumph.

“It’s a special moment,” Finch said. “This is a hell of a team with the best player on the planet. The series was wild, and this game was just a microcosm of the series.”

Minnesota will play the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals while the Pacers booked an Eastern Conference finals showdown with the top-seeded Boston Celtics.

Tyrese Haliburton scored 26 points while Pascal Siakam and Andrew Nembhard added 20 apiece as six Pacers players scored in double figures.

Donte DiVincenzo made nine three-pointers on the way to 39 points for the Knicks. Jalen Brunson scored 17 and handed out nine assists before departing with a broken left hand at the start of the fourth quarter — a final injury blow for the ravaged Knicks.

The Pacers broke through for their first road win of the series with a breathtaking offensive display in the first half, when they made 29 of their 38 shots for a 76.3 shooting percentage.

The Knicks cut a 15-point halftime deficit to six early in the third, but the Pacers had all the answers.

“Just a great game overall, top to bottom for us,” Haliburton said. “We hadn’t won on the road all series — we just found a way.”

The Knicks, chasing a first Eastern Conference finals berth since 2000, hurt their own cause with two costly turnovers on inbounds plays and the Pacers quickly pushed the lead back to 19 points.

The Knicks had hoped for a boost from forward OG Anunoby, who returned to the starting lineup after missing four games with a hamstring injury.

But Anunoby was clearly limited and departed in the first quarter as hurting teammate Josh Hart soldiered on despite an abdominal strain.

“Guys gave everything they had, and that’s all you could ask,” said Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, who was without Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and Bojan Bogdanovic for the playoffs.

“It was a battle all year and there was nothing left to give at the end.”


Whittaker and Chimaev to clash at Saudi Arabia’s inaugural UFC event

Updated 25 min 20 sec ago
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Whittaker and Chimaev to clash at Saudi Arabia’s inaugural UFC event

  • Dubai-based Chimaev is aiming to continue his undefeated streak and rise up the middleweight ranks

RIYADH: The UFC will mark its inaugural event in Saudi Arabia with a main event between No. 3-ranked Robert Whittaker and undefeated No. 10 Khamzat Chimaev on June 22.

Tickets for the event, organized in collaboration with the Kingdom’s General Entertainment Authority, are now on sale.

Former middleweight champion Whittaker (26-7-0), fighting out of Australia, returns to the Octagon with the aim to continue his winning streak.

A professional fighter since 2009, Whittaker made his mark by becoming middleweight champion at UFC 213, with his most recent win taking place against Brazil’s Paulo Costa at UFC 298.

Chimaev (13-0-0), fighting out of the UAE, aims to continue his undefeated streak. He has six wins by knockout, five by submission, and eight first-round finishes. At UFC 294, Chimaev defeated former welterweight world champion Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman in a middleweight bout.

Also on the card is Sergei Pavlovich (18-2) who takes on Alexander Volkov (37-10) in an all-Russia clash.

Other fights include Kelvin Gastelum (18-9-0, 1 no contest), fighting out of the US, taking on Daniel Rodriguez (17-4-0) also from the US, in a welterweight matchup.

Brazil’s Johnny Walker (21-8-0, 1 no contest), fighting out of Ireland, faces Volkan Oezdemir (19-7-0) from Sweden. And undefeated Shara “Bullet” Magomedov (12-0-0), fighting out of Russia, takes on newcomer Joilton Lutterbach (38-10-0) from Germany.

For Arab fans, Nasrat Haqparast (16-5-0), fighting out of Morocco, clashes with Jared “Flash” Gordon (20-6-0, 1 no contest), from the US, in the lightweight division. And Abu Azaitar (14-4-1), fighting out of Morocco, takes on Denis Tiuliulin (10-9-0, 1 no contest) from Russia, at light-heavyweight.


Zverev serves his way to Italian Open title and sets himself up as a contender in Paris

Updated 20 May 2024
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Zverev serves his way to Italian Open title and sets himself up as a contender in Paris

  • It’s been a long road of recovery for the fifth-ranked Zverev after tearing three ligaments in his right ankle during the 2022 French Open semifinals against Rafael Nadal
  • This year’s French Open starts next Sunday and now Zverev has established himself among the favorites again

ROME: Alexander Zverev put on a serving clinic in a 6-4, 7-5 win over 24th-ranked Nicolas Jarry to claim his second Italian Open title Sunday and earn his biggest trophy since tearing his ankle apart two years ago.

Zverev opened the match with three straight aces and won 20 of his 21 service points in the first set. The German didn’t drop a point on his first serve until late in the second set when the 6-foot-7 (2.01 meter) Jarry ran down a well-placed drop shot and replied with a cross-court winner.

In all, Zverev won 44 of his 49 service points — helped by getting in 95 percent of his first serves.

It’s been a long road of recovery for the fifth-ranked Zverev after tearing three ligaments in his right ankle during the 2022 French Open semifinals against Rafael Nadal.

When Zverev broke Jarry to convert his fourth match point, he dropped to his knees on the red clay court, leaned back and let out a scream.

“The last two years have been extremely difficult,” Zverev said during the trophy ceremony. “I didn’t know whether I was ever going to be on this stage — regardless of winning or losing — so this moment is extremely special.”

This year’s French Open starts next Sunday and now Zverev has established himself among the favorites again — especially with top-ranked Novak Djokovic and 14-time Roland Garros champion Nadal both struggling lately. Djokovic and Nadal were eliminated in the second and third rounds, respectively, in Rome.

There are also injury concerns for second-ranked Jannik Sinner (hip) and third-ranked Carlos Alcaraz (right forearm) — who both withdrew from Rome.

“The focus is on Paris,” Zverev said. “But let me enjoy this one for a day or so, and then I’ll have my full focus on Paris.”

Zverev, who has disputed a penalty order from a German court over allegations that he caused bodily harm to a woman, faces a trial starting during Roland Garros. He said recently that he won’t attend the start of the legal proceedings.

And Zverev isn’t 100 percent healthy either. He had the pinky on his left hand bandaged due to a fall in his quarterfinal win over Taylor Fritz, after which he said he “tore a capsule” and that his finger was “crooked.” The German plays right-handed but uses a two-handed backhand.

Zverev will also be defending his gold medal when the Paris Olympics tennis tournament is held at Roland Garros starting in late July.

Jarry, a Chilean playing in his first Masters Series final, upset Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals.

“This has been an incredible week,” Jarry said.

Jarry was cheered on by his grandfather, Jaime Fillol, who was a top-20 player and who gave Jarry his first racket as a kid. Fillol was on Chile’s Davis Cup team that lost the 1976 final to Italy.

Jarry’s wife and two sons were also courtside and he grew emotional during the trophy ceremony and had to look away from his family to regain his composure.

“This is a fantastic example of what a family life on tour can look like,” Zverev said.

“I’m not so emotional,” Zverev added. “My dad cries, I don’t cry. It’s a good mix.”

It was Zverev’s third final in Rome. He won in 2017 by beating Djokovic in straight sets for his first Masters Series title then lost to Nadal in the title match a year later.

It was also Zverev’s first Masters final since getting beat by Alcaraz at the 2022 Madrid Open. The only previous titles he won since his ankle injury came in Hamburg, Germany, and Chengdu, China, last year.

Zverev earned a winner’s check of €963,225 (more than $1 million).

Top-ranked Iga Swiatek beat No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the women’s final on Saturday.

In the women’s doubles final, Coco Gauff double faulted on match point to hand Sara Errani and Jasmine Paolini of Italy the title with a 6-3, 4-6, (10-8) victory. Gauff teamed with Erin Routliffe.

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos beat Marcelo Arevalo and Mate Pavic 6-2, 6-2 for the men’s doubles title.


Man City win historic fourth straight Premier League title

Updated 20 May 2024
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Man City win historic fourth straight Premier League title

  • The champions’ relentless surge to the finishing line has included 19 wins and four draws since their last defeat in the league, at Aston Villa in early December
  • The Gunners, without a Premier League trophy since 2004, came from a goal down to beat Everton 2-1 but had to content themselves with second place for a second straight season

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom: Manchester City created English football history on Sunday, beating West Ham 3-1 to win their fourth straight Premier League title and break Arsenal’s hearts as Jurgen Klopp made an emotional Liverpool exit.

Phil Foden scored two early goals — including one after 79 seconds — at an expectant Etihad to lay the foundations for City’s victory.

West Ham’s Mohammed Kudus pulled a goal back with a spectacular overhead kick to give Arsenal renewed hope but Rodri struck just before the hour mark to effectively wrap up the title.

The Gunners, without a Premier League trophy since 2004, came from a goal down to beat Everton 2-1 but had to content themselves with second place for a second straight season after they finished two points behind City’s tally of 91.

The champions’ relentless surge to the finishing line has included 19 wins and four draws since their last defeat in the league, at Aston Villa in early December.

City, who have now won six titles in seven seasons, stand alone as the only English team to have won four straight top-flight titles, eclipsing the achievements of the great Liverpool and Manchester United teams of the past.

“When I moved here, if someone had said I would win six leagues in seven seasons I would say ‘You’re insane — no way’,” said City manager Pep Guardiola.

“All these players for Manchester United and Liverpool and Chelsea, all these teams. Now is our period. We are part of that.”

But while City have set new standards in English football, they remain under a cloud as a result of 115 Premier League charges for alleged financial irregularities, levelled early last year.

Elsewhere on the final day of the Premier League season, Luton’s relegation was confirmed with a 4-2 loss at home to Fulham. They will join Burnley and Sheffield United in the Championship next season.

Tottenham beat Sheffield United 3-0 to seal fifth spot and a place in next season’s Europa League while Chelsea guaranteed a sixth-place finish and European football with a 2-1 win against Bournemouth.

Newcastle’s 4-2 win at Brentford condemned Manchester United to an eighth-place finish — their lowest since 1990.

Erik ten Hag’s men, who beat Brighton 2-0 in Roberto De Zerbi’s last game in charge of the south coast club, have a chance to salvage something from a disastrous season in next week’s FA Cup final against City.

But if United lose that they will miss out on European football.

Foden, 23, has enjoyed his most impressive season yet for City, taking his tally to 27 goals in all competitions on Sunday, together with 11 assists.

The England midfielder opened the scoring on Sunday in the second minute with a vicious left-footed shot from outside the penalty area, settling nerves among the home fans. He then stroked the ball into the net in the 18th minute after an assist from Jeremy Doku.

The title race briefly came alive again when Takehiro Tomiyasu side-footed home to level for Arsenal at the Emirates before Kudus pulled one back for West Ham.

The atmosphere became more subdued at the Etihad but the visitors rarely threatened again in David Moyes’s final game in charge for the visitors and Rodri’s goal in the 59th minute ultimately made the game safe.

Kai Havertz’s late winner for Arsenal proved irrelevant.

Arteta gave a rousing speech to the fans in the immediate aftermath of the match, urging them to crave more.

“All this is happening because you started believing, you started to be patient and started to understand what we tried to do,” he said.

“All the credit has to go to the players and the staff. Don’t be satisfied. We want much more than that and we’re going to get it.”

Klopp ended his Liverpool reign with a 2-0 win at home to Wolves but the match was merely a sideshow as the fans paid a warm tribute to a manager who has transformed the club since arriving in 2015.

“It doesn’t feel like an end,” the German told a packed Anfield. “It just feels like a start. Today I saw a football team play full of talent, youth, creativity, desire, greed.”

He added: “We have this wonderful stadium, training center and you — the superpower of world football. Wow.”