BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer With more than 60 swimmers in the program, coach Jean Marie Gillen is working to build a strong team for the future at the Hazlet Swim and Tennis Club. “The main things are for everyone to become a better swimmer and to have some fun,” said Gillen, now in her seventh-year at the helm for the Hazlet club, which is now managed by the Community YMCA in Red Bank. “Their times are dropping and their strokes are improving. That’s very encouraging.” The team’s top swimmers in the girls competition are: (8 years old and under) Tara Anderson, Erin Finn, Samantha Ferrigno and Jamie McHarg; (9-10) Megan Lunney, Kristen McGowan, and Maggie and Regina Santora; (11-12) Salina Catani, Briann Lentine and Alexis Walsh; (13-14) Helen McDonald, twins Holly and Heather Miara, and Kim Renna; and (15-18) Lorraine Costello, Jessica McLean, Katie Miller and Adrienne Pannullo. Costello also serves as an assistant coach. On the boys side, the competitors include: (eight years old and under) Ryan Kelly, Brian Lazicki and Cassidy Tripolitis; (9-10) Joseph McCarthy, Freddie McDonald and Colin McHarg; (11-12) Mario Ferrigno, T.J. Miara, Matt Roomey and Andrew Walunas; (13-14) Richie DeMarco and Joe Pannullo; and (15-18) Eric Bachmann, Danny Dunphy and John Renna. Dunphy is an assistant coach as well. Although the team has struggled at times in meets, Gillen said all of the Hazlet swimmers have worked hard. The team has two meets remaining. “We have a great group of kids and I really enjoy working with them,” Gillen said. “They want to learn and they always give their best.”
Smilin Eli has been selected as the New Jersey Sire Stakes (NJSS) Premier Division Horse of the Year for 2013. The son of Muscles Yankee won all three of his NJSS starts at the Meadowlands, including the $150,000 championship finals in a career best and stakes-record matching 1:51.2.The award for NJSS Green Acres Division Horse of the Year went to 2-year-old pacing filly Ideal Helen, winner of all three of her major N.J.-sired stakes races at Freehold Raceway — the $61,900 Lou Babic Memorial Filly Final, $52,650 New Jersey Futurity and $25,000 NJSS Green Acres Final.These awards, which are voted on by the Sire Stakes Board of Trustees, are based only on performances in races for New Jersey-sired horses, including NJSS races and other N.J.-sired major stakes and futurities.Owned and bred by Nicholas Cimino of Pompano Beach, Fla., Smilin Eli is out of Cimino’s homebred mare Gerri’s Joy. Unraced at 2 years old, he won both his preliminary NJSS Premier Division legs in the first two races of his career.Smilin Eli compiled an overall 2013 record of four wins and 11 in-the-money finishes in 14 starts, with four seconds and three thirds. His purses earnings for the year totaled $638,629.In open competition, he was second in the $1-million Hambletonian at The Meadowlands and the $500,000 Colonial at Pocono, and third in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Final at Pocono.Ideal Helen, a daughter of Western Ideal out of the mare Armbro Nectarine, won six of her nine starts in N.J.-sired competition and was in the money in 11 of 14 starts overall, earning $125,736 for owner D. R. Van Witzenburg of Crest Hill, Ill.The awards will be presented on Jan. 26 at the 57th annual New Jersey Breeders Awards luncheon at Charley’s Other Brother in Easthampton. Tickets are $35. For reservations, call 609-984-4389.
By Brian HomewoodFrance ended Nigeria’s hopes of a first World Cup quarter-final appearance when they scored two late goals to beat the Super Eagles 2-0 in a rough and physical second-round match on Monday.Midfielder Paul Pogba put France ahead in the 79th minute, heading in at the far post after Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama flapped at Mathieu Valbuena’s corner following a sustained spell of French pressure.The win was sealed when Joseph Yobo turned a low cross into his own goal in stoppage time and France will play Germany or Algeria in the last eight.It was a controversial victory, however, as the game had swung France’s way after Nigeria’s influential midfielder Ogenyi Onazi was injured and carried off following a late tackle from Blaise Matuidi, who was lucky to escape with only a yellow card.Nigeria also had a first-half goal by Emmanuel Emenike disallowed in a marginal offside decision.“I am very proud of everything we did from the start,” France coach Didier Deschamps said in a television interview.“There was tension out there. They are a very strong side and there were a lot of duels. But we’re through. We’re in the quarter finals and we’ll do everything we can to go a stage further.”Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi was upset at both the tackling on Onazi and the disallowed goal.“I am not happy with the officiating,” Keshi told a news conference. “On two occasions Onazi had very bad tackles. He’s out now probably for weeks.“This is the first time in my life I speak about the referee but it wasn’t good.”“If you look at the goal that we scored I don’t think there was any infringement,” he added. “I would love to know the reason why the referee disallowed the goal.”Pogba was elated after scoring such an important goal.“There are no words to describe this,” he said.“I know there is a whole country behind us. Scoring that goal really liberated us. I am so happy for the team and all France. I’m speechless.”“To score a goal for your country, especially in an important match like this to get into the World Cup quarter finals, it’s one of the best moments of my life.”Nigeria had been defending increasingly desperately in the run-up to Pogba’s goal.France were centimetres from going ahead when Karim Benzema poked the ball past Enyeama, who managed to partly block his shot and Victor Moses hooked the ball off the line.Nigeria escaped again when John Obi Mikel cleared Benzema’s shot off the line, then Yohan Cabaye struck the underside of the crossbar with a thunderous long-range strike.Enyeama then tipped Benzema’s close-range header over the bar, leading to the corner from which France scored their first goal.The first half had been much more even.Nigeria made a bright start and thought they had gone ahead when Emmanuel Emenike turned in Ahmed Musa’s low cross at the near post but the effort was ruled offside in an extremely close call.Pogba was denied when he met Valbuena’s low cross from the right with a flying volley, only to be brilliantly denied by Enyeama who parried the ball away with a tremendous reflex save.Nigeria produced some neat moves in midfield interspersed with basic unforced errors and Mikel was lucky to escape when he sliced Patrice Evra’s low cross towards his own goal and was relieved to see the ball land in Enyeama’s hands.Nigeria should have gone ahead just before halftime when France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris parried Emenike’s fierce shot back into his area but Moses handled as he attempted to control the rebound.
By Martyn HermanUEFA president Michel Platini’s vision of a European Championship spread across the continent came to fruition on Friday as London’s Wembley Stadium was chosen to host the climax of Euro 2020 with 12 other cities joining the party.The 90,000-seater Wembley, rebuilt from 2003 to 2007 and venue of the 2011 and 2013 Champions League finals, will stage both semi-finals and the final of the 60th anniversary tournament dubbed a “Euro for Europe”.It will be the first time in the competition’s history when a tournament will be hosted by more than two countries.Wembley got the nod over Munich’s Allianz Arena, the other stadium initially bidding for semi-finals and final hosting rights. Munich had to make do with being one of 12 cities awarded one of the standard packages, comprising three group matches and a knockout round tie.The home of Bayern Munich will host a quarter-final, along with the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan, Rome’s Olympic Stadium and the Zenit Arena in St Petersburg, Russia.Last 16 ties will take place in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Dublin, Bilbao, Budapest, Brussels and Glasgow.Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium along with bids from Stockholm, Skopje, Jerusalem, Sofia and Minsk were all rejected.The vote for Wembley comes as a welcome tonic for the Football Association after its failed bids to host the 2006 and 2018 World Cup finals but FA chairman Greg Dyke denied any deal had been done with their German counterparts, the DFB.“There is no deal,” Dyke told reporters at the ceremony in Geneva. “Other than we will not bid (to stage) Euro 2024 because it would be a waste of time because we wouldn’t get it.”Dyke, however, hinted that England would support a German bid to host the 2024 tournament.DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach, whose federation are believed to have pulled out from trying to host final and semi-final games with an eye on a 2024 bid, said: “I am very satisfied and happy that we could convince UEFA with our bid and have in 2020, after 32 years, European championship games again in Germany.”England has hosted only one major tournament since the 1966 World Cup, the much-praised Euro 96, the final of which between Germany and the Czech Republic was played at the former Wembley.“It’s nice to win one,” Dyke said. “Wembley is a great stadium and we are delighted to be hosting the finals of this tournament. Wembley has been completely rebuilt since 96 and it’s now a beautiful stadium.“I would also like to say what a good idea this is when you sit and watch all these capital cities across Europe, what a good idea to play a tournament across all those, so congratulations to UEFA.”“This bidding process was open to more than 50 UEFA countries so for Wembley to be ultimately recognised in this way is testament to a lot of hard work behind the scenes,” Dyke added on the FA website.“It will be a great honour to be part of what will surely be a superb celebration of 60 years of the European Championship.”Dublin’s inclusion in the tournament coincides with the Football Association of Ireland’s 100th anniversary.“This one off opportunity to host part of the European finals at our home stadium will provide a major boost for Irish football and the country as a whole,” FAI chief John Delaney said in a statement.There was relief too for Russia, given the current conflict near its border with Ukraine.“I want to congratulate all supporters of Russian Football,” Russian Minister for Sport Vitaly Mutko said.“Of course, there was a chance that because of the current political situation, the powers would refuse to let us host matches at Euro 2020. But we are really happy that the world of sport and politics are kept separate.”The choice of Rome’s Olympic Stadium for a quarter-final match, follows on from Thursday’s UEFA announcement that Milan’s San Siro would be the venue for the 2016 Champions League final.Football Federation president Carlo Tavecchio said it showed the country is making strides after years battling problems with hooliganism and crumbling stadia.“From a sporting perspective our intention is to consolidate the international dimension of Italian football, contribute to the renewal of our stadiums and support the growth of the football movement, in particular at grass roots level,” he said.No French cities will be used although France is hosting the next finals in 2016.
By Tatiana RamiBrazilian football legend Pele has undergone prostate surgery and is in stable condition, a Sao Paulo hospital has said.This is the second time Pele, 74, has been hospitalised in six months.In a statement, the Albert Einstein Hospital said Pele had undergone a transurethral resection of the prostate. According to the US National Institutes of Health’s website, the procedure involves removing an internal part of the prostate gland in order to treat an enlarged prostate.Earlier in the day, local news site Globo Esporte said Pele had a prostate condition known as hyperplasia, which it said increases the risk of a urinary infection. The report did not cite sources.Pele, whose given name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, was released from the same hospital in early December following a two-week stay with kidney problems.With more than 1,280 career goals, and an unequalled three World Cup titles during his playing career, Pele is considered by many the greatest football player of all time.
Sevilla extended Spain’s dominance of European competition when they won the Europa League for the third time in a row on Wednesday night, soundly beating Liverpool 3-1 in the final.Their title meant that, with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid clashing in next week’s Champions League final, Spanish clubs will have won both European competitions for each of the last three seasons.Eight of the last 13 teams to win the Europa League have come from Spain, with Sevilla victorious five times, while the Champions League will go to a La Liga side for the fifth time in eight seasons.Sevilla coach Unai Emery also joined Giovanni Trapattoni as they only manager to have won the Europa League, or its predecessor the UEFA Cup, three times.Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp had praised Spanish clubs on the eve of the match, saying they had better scouting, coaches and player development than their English, German and Italian equivalents.“Maybe, it’s not for us to say it, others should analyse,” Emery told reporters.“I have my own theory. Perhaps, the standard of Spanish football is very good. But is has also been proved that Spanish teams compete passionately. They are able to reach highest levels of European football and we have been able to win against teams better than us.”Unlike Real Madrid and Barcelona, who cherry-pick the world’s top players, Sevilla are a more modest outfit who have successfully carved a niche for themselves.They bear more of a resemblance to Portuguese teams Benfica and Porto in the way that they manage to reinvent themselves season after season, despite selling their top players to richer clubs.Those to have left the club over the last five seasons include Carlos Bacca, Ivan Rakitic, Alberto Moreno, Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas, Geoffroy Kondogbia, Gary Medel and Martin Caceres. Yet, expert scouting has enabled them to fill the gaps.English teams often regard the Europa League as a nuisance which clutters up the fixture list, preferring to concentrate on qualifying for the Champions League by finishing in the top four of the Premier League.Sevilla, with little hope of winning La Liga where they have finished fifth in the last two seasons, have realised that it represents a real chance of silverware as well as a back door to the Champions League.“The Europa League has given us a lot,” Emery said. “At Sevilla, we love this competition. It is our competition and we have underlined that once and again. The Champions League is an opportunity to imrpove but the reality is this competition is growing.”
Roger Federer has pulled out of the Rio Olympics and will miss the rest of the season, including the U.S. Open, because he needs “more extensive rehabilitation” to prolong his career after knee surgery earlier this year.Last month he described how “one stupid move” sparked a chain of bad luck – which resulted in left knee surgery in February and sitting out the French Open with a back injury – culminating in this week’s decision to end his wretched season.“I’m extremely disappointed to announce that I will not be able to represent Switzerland at the Olympic Games in Rio and that I will also miss the remainder of the season,” the record 17-time grand slam champion said on his Facebook page.“Considering all options after consulting with my doctors and my team, I have made the very difficult decision to call an end to my 2016 season as I need more extensive rehabilitation following my knee surgery earlier this year.“The doctors advised that if I want to play on the ATP World Tour injury free for another few years, as I intend to do, I must give both my knee and body the proper time to fully recover. It is tough to miss the rest of the year.”For much of his career, the former world number one had been blessed with a body that seemed bullet-proof against the aches, pains and injuries suffered by most top athletes.But one false move by the man known for his gliding footwork, while running a bath for his twin daughters following his Australian Open semi-final loss, means he would have gone a whole season without a title for the first time since 2000.Now aged 34, the announcement also probably ended the 2012 silver medallist’s hopes of ever winning an Olympic singles title.“The silver lining is that this experience has made me realise how lucky I have been throughout my career with very few injuries,” said Federer, who won an Olympic doubles gold with Stan Wawrinka in 2008.“The love I have for tennis, the competition, tournaments and… the fans remains intact. I am as motivated as ever and plan to put all my energy towards coming back strong, healthy and in shape to play attacking tennis in 2017.”KNEE TROUBLEUntil May this year, Federer had appeared in 65 successive grand slam tournaments and the last time he was absent from one of the four majors was at the 1999 U.S. Open.When he reached the last four at Wimbledon, which included winning a five-set thriller in the quarter-finals against Marin Cilic, it appeared as if Federer’s injury woes were finally behind him and his absence from the French Open was a one off.However, he was clearly rattled when he landed heavily on his left knee after rolling his ankle during the fifth set of his semi-final defeat by Candaian Milos Raonic at Wimbledon.Although Federer, who was left sprawled face down on the turf following the fall, got up to complete the match, he was worried about the long term effects on his knee.“I just hope with the slip I had in the fifth, I’m going to be fine… I hope I didn’t hurt myself,” the world number three said at the time.“Is it (the pain) a three-day thing, is it a 24-hour thing or is it more? I don’t know at this point.“With the body that’s been playing up this year, I just hope I’m going to be fine.”It seems his worst fears were realised this week as he called time on his season after appearing in only seven tournaments and with a 21-7 win-loss record.
Olympic champions Mo Farah, Rafael Nadal and Justin Rose were among athletes targeted on Monday in the latest leak of confidential medical documents that the world anti-doping agency (WADA) says were hacked by a Russian cyber espionage group.Britain’s Farah became only the second man to retain the 5,000 and 10,000 metres Olympic titles at the Rio de Janeiro Games last month while compatriot Rose won the first gold medal in golf for 112 years.Spaniard Nadal, a 14-times tennis grand slam winner, won Olympic men’s doubles gold with Marc Lopez. He also won the men’s singles title at the 2008 Beijing Games but missed London 2012 due to a knee injury.WADA has said it believes the hackers, named as APT28 and Fancy Bears, gained access to its anti-doping administration and management system (ADAMS) via an IOC-created account for the Rio Games.Documents relating to Farah, and published on the fancybear.net website, showed that the distance runner had no active Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) at the time of the Olympics.He received intravenous infusions of saline solution, morphine sulphate and vicodin administered orally during a period in hospital between July 3-5, 2014 when he had collapsed after a training run.Prior to that, he was given a TUE for an 80mg dosage of the corticosteroid triamcinolone in October 2008.Rose had authorisation for daily dosages of the anti-inflammatory drug prednisolone between May this year and June 20.The documents relating to Nadal, who was out for more than two months with a wrist injury that forced him to miss the French Open and Wimbledon before the Olympics, showed exemptions in 2009 and 2012.The fourth release of data so far concerned 26 athletes from Argentina, Belgium, Burundi, Canada, Denmark, France, Britain, Hungary, Spain and the United States.Other high-profile names included Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, British cyclist Callum Skinner and double Olympic rowing gold medallist Helen Glover.TUEs allow athletes to take banned substances for verified medical needs and there is no suggestion any of those named have broken any rules.WADA has said the “criminal attack” has recklessly exposed personal data in an attempt to smear reputations.The agency has also said it believes the attacks are being carried out as retaliation for investigations that exposed state-sponsored doping in Russia.Fancy Bear has previously posted data for U.S. athletes Simone Biles, Elena Delle Donne, and Serena and Venus Williams as well as Tour de France-winning British cyclists Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.
Manchester United put a spate of recent draws behind them to boost their top-four hopes with a routine 3-0 victory at bottom club Sunderland to move fifth in the Premier League on Sunday.Once again it was veteran Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic who provided the inspiration for Jose Mourinho’s side, scoring the opener and setting up a late goal for Marcus Rashford.Henrikh Mkhitaryan was also on target while Sunderland had Seb Larsson sent off shortly before halftime.Six draws in their last nine league games had eroded United’s hopes of a top-four finish and victory over Sunderland was imperative if they were to stay in touch.They were frustrated for 30 minutes but once Ibrahimovic produced a clinical finish for his 28th goal of the season in all competitions they were untroubled.“The result was good. We resisted the results of yesterday when Manchester City and Liverpool won, they left us in a position of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It was ‘yes’,” Mourinho, whose side moved above Arsenal and are four points behind Manchester City with a game in hand, told Sky Sport.“We got three points and it was a solid display. It was against a team that is sad, it’s normal. Against a team that is sad, if you score before then it’s difficult for them to react.“You could feel the negative feeling around the team. That is felt with a team close to relegation.”Sunderland have gone seven league games without scoring and with seven games remaining they are 10 points adrift of safety and seemingly doomed to relegation.Manager Davis Moyes said Larsson’s red card for going in on high on Ander Herrera had killed the game.“I don’t want to blame referees for my position and us losing,” he said. “Today the result was helped by the referee.“Manchester United were playing well but it was a decision that went against us.”United took the lead at a sun-drenched Stadium of Light when Ibrahimovic, receiving the ball with his back to goal, shook off his marker and buried a low 20-metre shot past Jordan Pickford.Victor Anichebe went close to an equaliser but his close-range effort was blocked by United keeper Sergio Romero who was starting in place of the injured David de Gea.Any Sunderland hope disappeared with Larsson’s red card and 46 seconds after the break Mkhitaryan fired past Pickford.In the 89th minute Ibrahimovic combined with substitute Rashford who beat Pickford with a cross-shot for his first league goal since September. EVERTON 4 LEICESTER 2Lukaku double as Leicester’s winning run ends at EvertonRomelu Lukaku scored twice as Everton defeated champions Leicester City 4-2 at Goodison Park in a game which saw four goals inside the opening 23 minutes.Leicester, who face Atletico Madrid on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, made five changes ahead of their trip to Spain and the defeat ended the run of five straight wins since Craig Shakespeare replaced Claudio Ranieri as manager.Everton took the lead after 30 seconds through Tom Davies but the visitors struck back with two goals in nine minutes –- Islam Slimani finishing off a Demarai Gray counter-attack and Marc Albrighton beating a poorly positioned Joel Robles with a curling free kick.The home side got back on level terms with a 23rd-minute Lukaku glancing header from a brilliant Ross Barkley cross from the right and skipper Phil Jagielka headed in a corner four minutes before the break.Lukaku struck again, with his 23rd league goal of the season, in the 57th minute, firing home at the back post after Leicester failed to clear a corner.
Chairman, Pipi Dai Boe confirmed late this afternoon that in the Bowl division, Mirigini Sharks (1) will play Muniogo All Tribes.For the Plate division play off, Poreporena Brothers (White) will face off against Vabukori Gold.While in the Cup grand final, the Poreporena Marlins go up against the Ranugure Broncos.However, Boe said the venue and the date for the grand final is yet to be confirmed as the tournament was supposed to come to end this afternoon.Since it started on Thursday this week, games for the 9s tournament were played at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium.A venue is yet to be confirmed for the finals.A total of K18, 500 in prize money is up for grabs for the Cup, Plate and Bowl division.