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last updated: Thu, 02 Jun 2016 12:18:47 -0400

Water pollution in Rio ahead of the Olympic Games

Water pollution in Rio ahead of the Olympic GamesJust days ahead of the Olympic Games the waterways of Rio de Janeiro are as filthy as ever, contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria, according to a 16-month-long study commissioned by The Associated Press. The AP’s survey of the aquatic Olympic and Paralympic venues has revealed consistent and dangerously high levels of viruses from the pollution, a major black eye on Rio’s Olympic project that has set off alarm bells among sailors, rowers and open-water swimmers.


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Wash Post Sports
last updated: Sun, 13 Mar 2011 01:45:03 EST

NCAA basketball: Navy women beat American, earn first NCAA tournament bid
Navy seniors Angela Myers and Cassie Consedine were the first to embrace at center court following a 47-40 victory over American in the Patriot League final Saturday at Alumni Hall. Their improbable journey from the depths of the league standings four seasons ago to champions was complete, and ah...

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Sport | The Guardian
last updated: Sun, 25 Jun 2017 21:30:42 GMT2017-06-25T21:30:42Z

Mets promote Tim Tebow to Advanced A due to 'chase rates and exit velocity'

  • Former NFL star has underwhelming average so far in baseball career
  • Twenty-nine-year-old will now play for St Lucie Mets

These are testing times for the New York Mets, with the team well off the pace in the National League East, star players injured and veteran players unsettled. And now Tim Tebow is creeping his way towards the major leagues.

The Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL star is still a long way from an MLB appearance but he has been promoted from the Low A Columbia Fireflies to the Advanced A St Lucie Mets. It is unlikely that Tebow’s move is due to his stunning play: the 29-year-old rookie batted .222 with three home runs and 23 RBIs for the Fireflies, stats that the Mets general manager, Sandy Alderson, admitted are underwhelming.

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Confederations Cup: Germany reach semi-final after video replay confusion

The world champions, Germany, reached the Confederations Cup semi-final on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over a Cameroon side reduced to 10 men after further confusion with experimental video replays.

Germany were leading through Kerem Demirbay’s strike when a case of mistaken identity halfway through the second half – which replays were meant to eradicate – left Cameroon bemused and irritated.

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America's Cup: Team New Zealand one point from glory after win over Oracle

  • Oracle Team USA trail 6-1 after New Zealand win both Sunday’s races
  • First team to seven will be the holders of the Auld Mug

Helmsman Peter Burling and his underdog Emirates Team New Zealand won two races on Sunday to reach match point in the America’s Cup against Jimmy Spithill and two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA. Now the New Zealanders need to avoid the kind of soul-crushing collapse that kept them from winning the oldest trophy in international sports four years ago.

Burling, who at 26 could become the youngest helmsman to hoist sailing’s greatest prize, steered his red-and-black, 50-foot foiling catamaran to victories of 12 seconds in Race 7 and 30 seconds in Race 8 on the Great Sound. His team moved to 6-1 in the first-to-seven match. Team New Zealand has won seven races but began with a negative point because Oracle won the qualifiers. The clincher could come on Monday, when two races are scheduled.

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Novak Djokovic’s peace mission may have neutered killer instinct – McEnroe

• Former great questions Pepe Imaz’s influence on troubled Serb
• Djokovic awaits confirmation Andre Agassi will be at Wimbledon as mentor

John McEnroe fears Novak Djokovic’s burgeoning spirituality could be draining the Serb of his “killer instinct”.

The American, who wrestled with his own volatile personality for much of his career, says of the one-time shirt-ripping beast of the Tour: “From an emotional standpoint he perhaps felt he wanted to bring in somebody who wants to give people a lot of hugs. That does not necessarily translate to having that killer instinct. It does not automatically lose it, but you don’t want to get into a situation where it is all peace and love and then have to go out and try to stomp on somebody’s head in competition.”

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Lewis Hamilton challenges Sebastian Vettel to sort it ‘face to face’
• War of words ensues after German rams Briton in Azerbaijan GP
• Ferrari driver hit with 10-second penalty for double collision

Lewis Hamilton has branded his Formula One world championship rival Sebastian Vettel a disgrace after the German deliberately drove into him at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Hamilton demanded that, if they are to clash, they should do so like “men” outside the car.

Hamilton’s Mercedes was leading the race in Baku and was behind the safety car just before the restart when Vettel’s Ferrari hit him from behind. An angry Vettel, believing Hamilton had braked deliberately and sparked the collision, then drew level and swerved into the side of the British driver’s car.

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Paolo Maldini courts new love to join grand band of sport switchers | Jacob Steinberg

The legendary Milan and Italy captain will make his professional tennis debut this week after stepping away from football to pursue an unexpected ambition

It was the kind of story that made one do a double take. The Paolo Maldini? The retired footballer? The five-times European champion, former Italy captain and devilishly handsome H&M model? He’s a professional tennis player now? Are you sure? There was a temptation to assume it was nothing more than a joke that had spun out of control. It would have made sense if news had broken about Maldini becoming Milan’s manager. But tennis? At the age of 49?

After all, someone of Maldini’s standing would not have had to wait long for the offers to start rolling in if he had decided to follow in his father’s footsteps by becoming a manager. Yet he has never sounded like a man driven by a desire to enter the cut‑throat world of coaching.

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Latest Russia allegations raise big questions for Fifa - and football | Sean Ingle
Fifa must deprive Russia from staging next year’s World Cup if possible doping offences by the country’s 2014 World Cup squad are found to be true

Of course there were denials. There are always denials. It is part of the dance, the fast‑paced barynya, when it comes to Russia and doping allegations. No sooner had the Mail on Sunday revealed that the country’s entire 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup was under investigation by Fifa for possible doping offences, than its deputy prime minister, and chairman of 2018 World Cup Russia, Vatily Mutko, put up the shutters. “There have never been and will never be any problems with doping in our football,” he said. “They have written some sort of nonsense.” He was similarly dismissive about allegations about doping in Russian athletics in 2013. So it goes.

This, of course, is the same Mutko that a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation found might have personally intervened to cover up a failed drug test by a banned foreign footballer, which meant the sample was never declared positive and he was free to keep playing. And the same Mutko who was Russia’s sports minister during the period when the Canadian law professor Richard McLaren found that more than 1,000 elite Russian athletes across 30 sports had benefited from a state-sponsored doping programme. Strangely it did not harm his political career. In fact he was promoted.

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Chris Froome: This Tour de France route is biggest challenge of my career

The three-times Tour de France winner feels fresh and is not perturbed by his failure to win the Critérium du Dauphiné

Chris Froome is certain he is on track to contend for a fourth Tour de France victory next month despite his not managing to win the Critérium du Dauphiné, traditionally his warm-up race for La Grande Boucle. The Team Sky leader won the eight-day race in France each time before his Tour victories in 2013, 2015 and 2016 but this year could finish only fourth to the Dane Jakob Fuglsang.

“I’m not the superstitious type, to think that winning the Dauphiné is a precursor to winning the Tour,” Froome says. “It’s certainly good for the morale and the confidence to win your last race before the Tour but I don’t think it’s a prerequisite.”

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Roger Federer dispatches Alexander Zverev to secure ninth Halle title
• World No5 wraps up 6-1, 6-3 victory in statement of intent for Wimbledon
• Petra Kvitova wins Aegon Classic just six months after stabbing incident

Roger Federer, to the delight of his fans and despair of his rivals, installed himself as an undeniably strong candidate to win Wimbledon for the eighth time when he blitzed the 20-year-old Alexander Zverev in 53 minutes of the Halle final on Sunday.

With Andy Murray hidden away repairing a game that remains worryingly short of the pleasing consistency he needs to keep his title, the three-times champion Novak Djokovic heading for Eastbourne to do a similar job on his own, even more fragile tennis and Rafael Nadal – who has lost to players outside the top 100 on his last four visits to the All England Club – biding his time at home in Majorca, the ageless Federer has emerged to revive memories of past glories.

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Martín Rodríguez’s equaliser against Australia takes Chile to semi-finals

• Chile 1-1 Australia (Rodríguez 67; Troisi 42)
• Socceroos exit as Chile line up last-four Confederations Cup tie with Portugal

The line between genius and insanity can be wafer thin. When the Socceroos coach, Ange Postecoglou, made six changes to his starting line-up to face the South American champions, Chile, many critics thought he was deluded. The embattled manager left two of his best attacking players – Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic – on the bench, for an encounter Australia needed to win by two goals to qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup semi-finals.

On a warm Moscow evening Postecoglou’s surprising team selection proved inspired. Australia played with vigour and dynamism, matching and at times even outplaying a Chilean side 44 places above them in the Fifa rankings. Following two insipid performances in recent days the Socceroos were outstanding on Sunday.

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Hirving Lozano seals Mexico win to send Russia out of Confederations Cup
• Mexico into semis after hosts Russia throw away lead to lose 2-1
• Portugal beat New Zealand 4-0 to earn semi-final spot

Russia fought valiantly in Kazan but the hosts could not avoid early elimination from the Confederations Cup, losing 2-1 to Mexico, who join the Group A winners, Portugal, in the semi-finals after the European champions beat New Zealand 4-0 in St Petersburg.

Needing a win to advance from their difficult group, Russia played well and took the lead with a goal by Alexander Samedov in the first half, but the experienced Mexico side equalised with Néstor Araujo before half-time and secured the victory early in the second half with a goal by Hirving Lozano after a blunder by the goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

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Mauricio Pellegrino, the complete coach who hates losing and frets when he wins | Sid Lowe

Southampton’s new manager, highly regarded for his man-management and tactical nous, obsesses about the damage victory can inflict on players’ hunger

There were around 40 people on the coaching course Mauricio Pellegrino took when he was a player at Valencia in 1999 and he wanted to know what it was that moved them to be there, so he did something he has done ever since football took him from his home in the Argentinian pampas: he asked and he listened. There were all sorts of reasons but surprisingly few matched his. For some, it was just something to do. For others, it was about money, just a job. Not for Pellegrino. He asked a friend there whether he would take it if a tiny third division club came for him. “No,” he said. “Coaching’s not your vocation, then,” Pellegrino replied.

It is Pellegrino’s. “Had it not been for football I would never have left home,” he once said. He was a little introverted, at least to start with, and one former team-mate says football is his life while he told a player who worked under him that through football he found a way to express himself. Especially through coaching, his calling. He has emerged and evolved over the years but even as a player he was a manager. Louis van Gaal once said: “He’ll make a great coach.” Although Pellegrino was not pleased, joking that meant the Dutchman did not think he was much of a centre-back, Van Gaal is not a man given to handing out compliments and he knew he was right.

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NBA draft: blockbuster Jimmy Butler trade makes Wolves the big winners

Minnesota picked up one of the best players in the league, Philadelphia and LA did what they were supposed to do, and don’t write off San Antonio

Everyone was expecting something major to happen in the NBA on Thursday night, yet it was a little surprising when something actually did. Heading into the 2017 NBA draft there was plenty of talk of a team pulling off a big deal. Insiders threw out names like Paul George, Kristaps Porzingis and LaMarcus Aldridge. Yet nobody had the Minnesota Timberwolves trading for the Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler until the deal was nearly completed, after the draft has already begun. The blockbuster deal overshadowed an a draft night that otherwise went pretty much as expected and heads our discussion of last night’s winners and losers.

Related: NBA draft: social media error sees Fultz heading No1 to (team name) and (City)

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Premiership expects Philadelphia sell-out for Newcastle v Saracens

  • 18,500 crowd at Talen Energy Stadium ‘integral to success’ of project
  • Executives: staging game on NFL and college football weekend no concern

Premiership Rugby expects its game in Philadelphia on 16 September to sell out, the main lesson of its venture to New Jersey in March 2016 having been that “success in year one is that the event actually happens”.

Related: Pro12 plan for US expansion with Houston team faces tough challenges

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Stefan Kuntz hopes to put England on the spot again in Germany semi-final
The hero of Germany’s Euro 96 semi-final win prepares his nation’s under-21s for another showdown with their old rivals in the European Under-21 Championship

Stefan Kuntz has good reason to look forward to another semi-final against England. A day short of 21 years since he scored the equaliser and then converted the fifth penalty for Berti Vogts’s side in the Euro 96 shootout, the former striker will lead Germany into the European Under-21 Championship showdown with Aidy Boothroyd’s team on Tuesday night.

Perhaps understandably, Kuntz became something of a folk hero in England and in his homeland after his exploits at Wembley, with the reprisal of David Baddiel and Frank Skinner’s tournament anthem Three Lions before the World Cup two years later featuring the two comedians playing against a team of Germans all wearing shirts bearing his name.

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Aidy Boothroyd shakes off Hoofroyd taunts to find England vindication | Barney Ronay
Boothroyd has proved his critics wrong and crafted an effective England Under-21 team preparing for a European Championship semi-final with Germany

There is a good Aidy Boothroyd story in Living On The Volcano, Michael Calvin’s book about the febrile world of Football League management. With half-time approaching Boothroyd takes his Colchester United assistant Joe Dunne to one side. Dunne, Boothroyd explains, should make sure he is not standing near the tactics board during the break. Boothroyd has been thinking about it; he is planning to kick the tactics board across the room as he walks through the door in an explosion of spontaneous rage. He has already put the board in a specific position just for that purpose. “Sure enough, he did,” Dunne says. “It helped him get a point across.”

Boothroyd puts great store in moments of catharsis and inspiration. There was another, more vital one of these at half‑time against Slovakia in Kielce last week, with England’s Under-21s smoking and juddering on the launchpad and in danger of failing to get off the ground at all in this Uefa Championship.

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Rachel Yankey: ‘There aren’t enough female managers. Barriers need to be broken down’
One of the most decorated players in women’s football is at the forefront of a campaign to deliver more Uefa-qualified female coaches and believes they would bring different qualities to the job

Would Rachel Yankey like to become the first female manager in the Premier League? “Look, it’s not an ambition of mine. It’s not as if I sit there and think ‘that’s what I want to do’. If I was good enough to go in there and get a job … but right now, I’m nowhere near good enough.” So that’s not a no, then.

Related: 'Women’s football needs to stand on its own' - readers on the FA's new plans

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Russia’s entire 2014 World Cup squad face Fifa doping investigation
• Investigators deem all 23 players in Russia’s 2014 squad ‘people of interest’
• 34 Russian footballers in total are among 1,000 individuals being looked into

Russia is at the centre of another doping scandal after it emerged the country’s entire 23-man squad from the 2014 World Cup is being investigated by Fifa over possible drugs offences. Russia is currently hosting the Confederations Cup and in under a year will stage the World Cup but these allegations are likely to throw its suitability to stage such events into serious doubt.

The 23-man squad, who were knocked out in the group stages of the Brazil World Cup three years ago, are among 34 Russian footballers being investigated by football’s world governing body. Five of the 23 players tested in 2014 are members of the squad that was knocked out of the Confederations Cup on Saturday.

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West Bromwich Albion ‘very keen’ to trial safe standing in Premier League
• West Brom director Mark Miles impressed by rail seating on trip to Celtic Park
• ‘Our position remains that we would be very keen to be involved in a pilot’

West Bromwich Albion have responded positively to the Premier League’s letter asking the 20 teams about their interest in re-introducing standing sections in stadiums on a trial basis.

English clubs are legally required to have all-seater stadiums since the 1990 Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster recommended the change but the league’s governing body is keen on re-opening discussions about the matter.

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Warren Gatland wants end to All Blacks' ‘dangerous' harassment of Conor Murray

  • Lions head coach wants referees to watch late lunges on scrum-half
  • Itoje and Warburton in line to start second Test in Wellington

Warren Gatland has accused the All Blacks of illegally targeting his scrum-half Conor Murray and warned that the British & Irish Lions will hit back hard in the second Test this weekend. Having reviewed footage of Saturday’s first-Test defeat, Gatland is calling for more scrutiny on players who launch “dangerous” lunges at the standing legs of kickers rather than seeking to charge the ball down.

The Lions management concede their team were outgunned physically during their 30-15 defeat but were aggrieved by several incidences of Murray being tackled or pushed after launching box-kicks. “From my point of view, if someone pushes him afterwards, that’s fine but diving at his leg … I know other teams have used that in the past,” Gatland said, referring to the Glasgow v Munster Champions’ Cup game in January when similar complaints were made.

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Wounded Lions seek to reclaim pride in crucial week for Warren Gatland
• Gatland: ‘There are potentially a couple of changes we need to make’
• Match against Hurricanes to determine final selection for second Test

It does not take a genius to work out the British & Irish Lions face an uphill struggle to win their best-of-three Test series in New Zealand. Everyone knew it would be tough before their tour kicked off and it is an even more fiendish assignment now. The All Blacks lose successive Tests on home soil about as often as it snows in the Sahara.

Nor can the Lions, as they pause momentarily for breath after their 30-15 Test defeat at Eden Park, duck the perception that they were out-thought and outmuscled. They probably needed the All Blacks to be 10-15% below their best; the opposite occurred and the home side’s smart, forceful and direct approach at the breakdown also caught them out. Although the Lions will hope switching cities brings a change of luck, they will also be uncomfortably aware that the All Blacks have the capacity to improve.

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Eoin Morgan says dropping himself from series decider was a ‘tough call’
• England captain defends his decision for final South Africa match
• Vaughan tweet: ‘1-1...Series decider...and England Skipper is resting!!!!’

Eoin Morgan, the England limited-overs captain, defended the controversial decision to drop himself from the team’s series Twenty20 decider against South Africa on Sunday, insisting the need to blood new players for the future was his overriding priority.

Dawid Malan struck 77 from 44 balls as England, captained by Jos Buttler, claimed a 19-run win against the tourists in Cardiff and 2-1 win. But with a host of first-team players rested from the squad originally, including Joe Root and Ben Stokes, Morgan stepping down to give Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone a second cap was seen as a step too far by some.

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Racing news and tips: James Fanshawe takes aim at Northumberland Plate
• Trainer has ambitions of second Pitmen’s Derby with Higher Power
• ‘He doesn’t lack class,’ says Fanshawe of 10-1 hope for Newcastle

Having stored away the top hats, many trainers look to a less glamorous venue next Saturday – Gosforth Park and the Northumberland Plate, also known as the Pitmen’s Derby. The two-mile handicap is hardly cloth-cap territory, however, with a penalty value of £92,000 and an assured big field attracting runners from leading stables.

The Newcastle upon Tyne track refers to its Plate meeting as “north-east England’s version of Royal Ascot”. It is also proud of a far less pompous atmosphere. There is no dress code for the grandstand enclosure, though the rules do stipulate: “The removal of shirts is not permitted.”

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Daniel Ricciardo wins in Baku after Hamilton and Vettel clash on track
• Vettel, who seemed to turn into Briton’s car, finishes fourth; Hamilton fifth
• Valtteri Bottas overtakes Lance Stroll just before finish to take second

For many observers it was only a matter of time before what has been an entirely civilised competition for the Formula One world championship turned into a proper fight. Few, however, expected it to ignite with the level of drama and emotion that was on show at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday.

Related: Hamilton challenges Vettel to sort it ‘face to face’ after Azerbaijan clashes

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Steve Cummings seals rare double with national road race title on Isle of Man
• Lizzie Deignan reels in Elinor Barker to win fourth women’s road race
• Cummings first man in decade to win road race as well as time trial

Steve Cummings has become the first man in a decade to complete the time trial and road race double at the HSBC UK National Road Championships on the Isle of Man.

Cummings followed his time trial win on Thursday with victory in the men’s race on Sunday, catching a breakaway group comprising Ian Bibby (JLT Condor), Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates), Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) and Chris Lawless (Axeon Hagens Berman CT) before staging a late solo attack to cross the line first.

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Oracle takes first win against Team New Zealand in America's Cup

  • Skipper Jimmy Spithill cuts Kiwis’ lead over American boat to 4-1
  • Rival skipper Peter Burling says: ‘It’s great to see a bit of fight’

Jimmy Spithill skippered two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA to its first victory of the America’s Cup regatta, taking a thriller in race six to earn a split Saturday and slow the momentum of Emirates Team New Zealand.

Related: Ben Ainslie vows to bounce back after costly America’s Cup semi-final exit

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Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar ordered to stand trial on sexual assault charges

  • Longtime USA Gymnastics doctor accused of assaulting six young gymnasts
  • Judge makes decision after hearing testimony from gymnasts over two days

A judge on Friday ordered Larry Nassar, a longtime doctor at Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, to stand trial on charges of sexually assaulting six young gymnasts who said he molested them while they were seeking treatment for various injuries.

Judge Donald Allen Jr made his decision in Mason, Michigan, after hearing testimony from the gymnasts over two days and watching a police interview of Nassar.

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NBA draft: social media error sees Fultz heading No1 to (team name) and (City)

  • Lonzo Ball will stay in California to play for Los Angeles Lakers
  • Boston Celtics take Jayson Tatum at No3 overall
  • Timberwolves trade for Jimmy Butler in deal with Bulls

The Philadelphia 76ers got the player they wanted and Lonzo Ball the team he wanted. The 76ers selected guard Markelle Fultz on Thursday night with the No1 pick and the Lakers followed by taking Ball, the start of a record-setting run of one-and-dones in the NBA draft. The point guards from the Pac-12 Conference began a run of seven straight freshmen. Nine of the first 10 selections played just one season of college ball.

Fultz’s selection was made all the more memorable when a pre-written template on his Instagram page wasn’t filled out correctly, leaving the interesting caption: “Excited to head to (City) and join the (team name).” It was unclear at the time of publication who (team name) were hoping to select in the second round or what the fans in (City) thought of Thursday’s events.

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Oakland Raiders make $125m Derek Carr highest-paid player in NFL history

  • Quarterback agrees to five-year deal as team prepares for Las Vegas move
  • Twenty-six-year-old has helped turn team into playoff contender

Derek Carr has signed a $125m, five-year contract with the Oakland Raiders in a deal that will make him the highest paid player in NFL history. Carr will make $25m per year, topping the $24.8m a year Andrew Luck makes at the Indianapolis Colts.

Carr tweeted news of the deal on Thursday, and the contract was later confirmed by sources who spoke to the Associated Press and NFL.com.

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'Look at those legs': Aly Raisman in awkward encounter at NHL awards

  • Olympic gold medallist was presenting award alongside Marcel Dionne
  • Gymnast has spoken out before about body shaming

What’s the best way to proceed after introducing three-time gold medallist Aly Raisman to stage? Ask her about how it felt to win Olympic gold? Or about competing on the same team as Simone Biles? Or maybe her work with Unicef? If you’re hall of fame hockey star Marcel Dionne, it appears vital to talk about her legs.

Raisman and Dionne appeared together at the NHL awards show to present the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship. After saying their hellos, the 65-year-old Dionne gestured towards Raisman and said: “Look at those legs!” Raisman laughed awkwardly as Dionne’s comment was greeted by boos, as well as a few whistles from the crowd.

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Japanese team skipping, Parma's return and the Lions in New Zealand | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features a perpendicular putt, purple umbrellas and mountain bike legend Rachel Atherton going through the pain barrier

1) The wait is almost over; the first Lions test against the All Blacks kicks off this Saturday. The last New Zealand tour back in 2005 was a painful one, not least for Brian O’Driscoll, whose tour was ended by an infamous tackle in the opening seconds of the first Test, which ended in a 21-3 defeat. The second Test was even worse, Dan Carter inspiring a 48-18 thrashing in one of the all-time great No10 displays, before the tourists’ misery was completed in the third fixture at Eden Park. Lions fans looking for a little cheer might enjoy England’s women winning in New Zealand this weekend, these five classic Lions moments, or two Lions tries against the All Blacks from the vault: Rory Underwood in 1993 and JJ Williams back in 1977.

2) It’s Queen’s this week, Wimbledon’s fancy cousin, a tournament which takes an awful lot of work and coordination to get ready. There have been some wonderful moments for Andy Murray in recent years – here he is winning last year’s event, having to come from behind against Milos Raonic to claim his fifth title. The lowest point of recent times came in 2012 when David Nalbandian inadvertently injured a line judge, getting himself disqualified and handing the title to Marin Cilic. Queen’s Club has hosted tennis for 130 years, including a Davis Cup tie in 1930 and a memorable women’s tournament one year later.

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The gifs that keep on giving: laughter, face football and two big clearances

Featuring two UFC fighters trying to pretend, a new form of badminton, fast fists, a very short game of pool and an exceedingly chamring basketball player

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The forgotten story of … how the white ball was dismissed as an unwanted fad | Simon Burnton
The white ball was widely disliked during trials in 1927 and one manufacturer declared it ‘practically impossible to make’. It would take another 24 years for the Football League to give it the go-ahead

In 1939 the Football League made the wearing of numbers on the backs of shirts mandatory, and in 1951 it officially allowed footballs, previously a shade of mud brown that given the state of many pitches at the time must have been extremely unhelpful, to be white. These novelties stand as two steps on football’s long journey to modernity though superficially they have little in common, separated as they were by 12 years and a world war. In fact, however, they were introduced in a single pioneering week during the pre-season of 1927, a time of wild experimentation which appears to have gone forgotten or unnoticed in the game’s many histories and timelines.

Herbert Chapman, who had already won two leagues titles and an FA Cup with Huddersfield Town and was in due course to repeat that feat at Arsenal, has been credited with playing a decisive role in both. In fact he seems to have been supportive but only tangentially involved, with credit for player numbers more rationally belonging with Chelsea’s manager, David Calderhead, his chairman, Claude Kirby, and later with Everton’s William Cuff, and for the white ball with a certain Mr EL Roberts of Kingsland, Shrewsbury.

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The Fiver | Twitching at the sight of interaction between Mignolet and Lovren

In today’s Fiver: Mohamed Salah, tractors and the power of Fiver letters

Liverpool have officially completed the signing of Egyptian wonder-winger Mohamed Salah from Roma. Both clubs have confirmed that the deal has been done. So has the player himself. Photographic evidence has been supplied to give the whole caper an air of finality. Excited quotes from all parties have been passed around like hot blather about Virgil van Dijk’s sporting proclivities. But don’t go picking Salah for your fantasy teams just yet, that’s The Fiver’s advice. Because anyone who has even flicked through the recently published 53,761-page collection of Liverpool’s Amazing Transfer Market Misadventures (Volume I) knows there is still plenty of time for this deal to go the way of Wile E Coyote’s most cunning wheezes.

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The Joy of Six: Diego Maradona

From a debut remembered mainly by opponents to the rousing of Napoli and that goal against England, half a dozen moments that sum up El Diego

“A lot of people claim they were there on 20 October 1976 when we played Talleres de Córdoba at home. The truth is, if everyone who says they were there for that match – my debut in the first team – had actually been there it would have had to be played at the Maracanã, not La Paternal” – Diego Maradona in El Diego, his autobiography

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It's time to introduce a two-legged MLS Cup - with a twist

The single final is insufficient, and the two-leg final doesn’t reward the higher-seeded team for their regular-season performance. So why not combine the two?

Do US soccer leagues need their own Super Bowl, a week-long festival of the sport at a neutral site? Or should they reward the best regular-season team with home-field advantage for the final game?

Related: Didier Drogba fined but not suspended for Montreal Impact tantrum

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Liverpool, Leyton Orient and Love Island dalliances – Football Weekly Extra

The podders discuss Leyton Orient’s latest owner and football’s dalliances with Love Island. Obviously. Plus all the latest transfer news, including Liverpool splashing the cash on Mohammed Salah

Your post-season bonus pods continue with this special Friday edition of Football Weekly Extra, as AC Jimbo, Barry Glendenning, James Horncastle and Simon Burnton round up all the oodles and oodles of football news from the past, er, four days.

We riff on the success of the England U-21s in Poland, hear from Nick Ames about his experiences at the Confederations Cup in Russia, and get stuck into the real tasty business – Liverpool signing Mo Salah from Roma for a club record fee, and Dunkin’ Donuts getting a piece of Leyton Orient.

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Lions’ margin for error is spent and All Blacks will only get better | Nick Evans

The Lions must be smarter and more physical in the second Test but the All Blacks will be ready for whatever Warren Gatland throws at them

The biggest problem for the British & Irish Lions is that the All Blacks are only going to get better in Wellington. They will know what is coming – Warren Gatland is going to throw the kitchen sink at them because the Lions must be more physical. I know Graham Rowntree well and he will be cracking the whip this week but New Zealand were not at their best on Saturday. They made uncharacteristic mistakes and they will improve.

But it is not just that the Lions could not handle New Zealand’s physicality. The big thing was the All Blacks’ forwards’ work with the ball at the contact area. What I noticed most was the yards they made after contact. Carriers like Brodie Retallick and Kieran Read were getting tackled behind the gainline a lot but they have the ability to spin out, make that extra one or two metres and make the pass.

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Steve Hansen hails All Blacks' scrum as the 'highlight' in win over Lions – video

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen was hard-pressed to narrow down the list of reasons why his team beat the British and Irish Lions 30-15 in Saturday’s first test of the series, but he chose to highlight their superior scrum, as well as their overall play in forcing the Lions to make many more tackles.

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Chris Froome: winning a fourth Tour de France would be 'incredible' – video

The Tour de France favourite Chris Froome says winning another yellow jersey would be ‘incredible’ but admits 2017 could be his most challenging Tour yet with fewer mountain-top finishes and shorter time-trial stages. Froome has won the last two editions of the Tour, as well as the 2013 race. Only four cyclists have ever won the Tour de France more than three times

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Mohamed Salah: I joined Liverpool to win trophies – video

Liverpool’s latest signing, Mohamed Salah, says he joined the Anfield club to win silverware. The Reds completed the deal for the Egyptian from Roma on Thursday for a club record fee of £36.9m. That figure could rise to £43.9m with add-ons according to the Italian club. Salah impressed with 29 goals in 65 Serie A appearances whilst in Rome

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Royal Ascot – in pictures

From hats and cold showers, to jumpsuits and singing in the round, Tom Jenkins cast his eye around the first three days of a very hot summer spectacular at the Berkshire racecourse

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Lions must be 'bold and courageous' against All Blacks, says Gatland – video

British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland wants his side to play with positivity and flair in the first Test against the All Blacks on Saturday. Speaking on Thursday in Auckland, Gatland says his team must be ‘courageous and bold’ if they are to challenge the world champions at Eden Park, a venue where New Zealand have not lost since July 1994  

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Warren Gatland on Lions' win: 'Some guys put their hands up' – video

An impressive 34-6 win over the Chiefs provided the British and Irish Lions with a timely confidence boost in their final match before the first Test in Auckland on Saturday. Jack Nowell scored two tries, while Jared Payne finished off a superb team effort as several players pushed their claims for a place in the squad to face the All Blacks. Coach Warren Gatland stressed that while strides have been made, the Test series will be another step up for his players

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Sarfraz Ahmed receives hero's welcome on return to Karachi – video

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed arrived home to a hero’s welcome in Karachi on Tuesday after Pakistan’s win over arch-rivals India in the ICC Champions Trophy final. Fans crowded into the streets and waiting through the night to catch a glimpse of him with the trophy. The captain dedicated the win to the fans, and said he hoped to bring more trophies to Pakistan

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Lions looking for 'real positivity' before New Zealand Test series – video

Andy Farrell insists the British & Irish Lions’ tour additions are blending seamlessly into the squad, as all six of them are among the replacements for the game against the Chiefs on Tuesday. Rory Best will captain the largely shadow side, with Elliot Daly and Liam Williams among those most likely to sneak into the Test squad. Flanker James Haskell hopes that a midweek win will generate some ‘real positivity’ before the three-match series with the All Blacks which gets under way on Saturday

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Brooks Koepka: 'I don't think I ever got nervous' – video

Brooks Koepka insisted that nerves played no part as he equalled the US Open’s lowest winning score of 16 under par to claim his first major in challenging conditions in Wisconsin. Three straight birdies from the 14th hole saw him fend off his closest rivals and capture the title by a two-shot margin. It was the seventh consecutive major to be won by a first-time champion

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Pakistan thrash India in Champions Trophy final – video highlights

Pakistan thrashed bitter rivals India by 180 runs in the final of the Champions Trophy on Saturday to win the title for the first time. Helped by 114 runs from Fakhar Zaman, Pakistan put up a total of 338 at the Oval. India were immediately under pressure and never settled with the bat, dismissed by a rampant Pakistan bowling attack for just 158 runs

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F1: Ricciardo wins Azerbaijan Grand Prix after Hamilton and Vettel clash – as it happened

  • Daniel Ricciardo stormed through from 10th on the grid to win a dramatic and unpredictable Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas second and Lance Stroll third

Related: Hamilton challenges Vettel to sort it ‘face to face’ after Azerbaijan clashes

Here’s Giles Richards’s race report:

Related: Daniel Ricciardo wins in Baku after Hamilton and Vettel clash on track

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Steve Hansen keeps it clean while praising down and dirty All Blacks | Andy Bull
New Zealand coach remains respectful of dogged opponents but the truth remains that Warren Gatland’s Lions fell far short of requirements in Auckland

It’s an immutable truth that anyone who says “I don’t mean to brag” is about to do exactly that, just as the words “with the greatest respect” will surely be followed by anything but. Late on Saturday night Steve Hansen managed to use both, back-to-back, in his post-match press conference at Eden Park. Hansen was asked about his pack. He gave a good answer, spoke about how well they had played, and how their work was the foundation of everything his team had done. Then he paused, thought, and added: “You don’t become the No1 side for as long as we have been, with the greatest of respect, I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging here, but you don’t do that unless you have a very good tight five.”

Related: Warren Gatland wants end to All Blacks' ‘dangerous' harassment of Conor Murray

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Dawid Malan stars on debut as England win series against South Africa
• England 181-8, South Africa 162-7; England won by 19 runs
• Malan hits 78 on T20 debut in emphatic victory for England

Dawid Malan has waited 11 years since turning professional to make the step up to international cricket and appears keen to make up for lost time. The Middlesex left-hander’s brutal debut innings of 78, followed by a professional shutout by the bowlers, took England to a 19-run victory over South Africa in Cardiff and with it a Twenty20 series win.

Malan’s 44-ball innings was a record score by an England debutant in the shortest format that, along with 31 from Jos Buttler, took them to 181 for eight after losing the toss. Chris Jordan’s three for 31 and two for 22 from Tom Curran on his second appearance then helped derail the chase, with South Africa stuttering to 162 for seven by the end of their 20 overs.

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Chris Froome’s Tour de France rivals? Porte, Quintana, Contador and Bardet | William Fotheringham

A three-times winner who might not be quite what he was, a route that offers something for everyone and high-quality contenders may produce a spectacular

When a three-times Tour de France winner is on the start line in anything resembling a decent state of fitness, forecasts boil down to a simple statement: one man versus the rest. Thus it was with Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong – now disgraced, once perennially dominant – and so it is with Chris Froome, who starts the Tour as the overwhelming favourite, even though he has not yet shown the incisive form of his better years.

There is always speculation that the sheer weight of opposing numbers will one day overcome the counterweight of incumbency but it tends to be wishful thinking. Each of those contenders has his own priorities and the immense importance of the Tour induces a risk-benefit analysis: the favourites weigh up what they have to lose with what they might have to gain and all too frequently it is the former that consumes them.

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Innovation helps Emirates Team New Zealand take 3-0 lead in America's Cup

  • Defending champions Oracle Team USA defeated in Sunday’s two races
  • New Zealanders have won all four races but started on negative point

Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand are threatening to sail — and cycle — away with the America’s Cup.

The 26-year-old Burling calmly steered the New Zealanders’ 50-foot catamaran to two more dominating victories against Jimmy Spithill and two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA on Sunday to remain undefeated in the showdown on the Great Sound.

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Roger Federer rolls back years to set up Halle final against Alexander Zverev
• Federer beats Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6 (5) in Gerry Weber Open
• Marin Cilic will play Grigor Dimitrov or Feliciano López in Queen’s final

Across the tennis landscape a week before Wimbledon, young and old are eying each other like wolves hunting lambs and nobody looks more relaxed on the way to the All England Club than the 35-year-old genius who all but owns the tournament, Roger Federer.

The seven-times Wimbledon champion with realistic ambitions of prevailing again goes into the final in Halle on Sunday, reaching for his ninth title, after dowsing the high-octane challenge of the 21-year-old Russian Karen Khachanov, 6-4, 7-6 (5). Federer has not dropped a set all week, although he has been pushed hard, which is exactly what he needs after 11 weeks off the Tour to prepare for the short grass swing.

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Cherish the Age of Usain Bolt – it will be gone in 90 seconds | Barney Ronay

As Bolt’s farewell season crunches up through the gears, it is time to celebrate this most natural and unaffected of all great sports people, apparently uncorroded either by stardom or by his own otherworldliness as an athlete

It isn’t often we get to see sporting superstars able just to be themselves, freed from the pressure of performing, of standing around saying things in front of a board covered in adverts, getting off a bus wearing vast, tumorous headphones and all the rest of it.

This state of being constantly observed creates a kind of remoteness. Presumably Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t actually spend most of his spare time wandering around a sealed glass skyscraper dressed in a solid gold bowler hat and a song-thrush feather jockstrap. But it’s hard to be completely sure.

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'Random and reckless' the norm in classic round of AFL football | Craig Little

Round 14 provided more of the same in a season that lacks any coherent plot, focus or rhythm

This season of AFL football continues to unfold as an epic. On Thursday night, the Adelaide Crows lost a game at home that nobody thought they would. For the second time in three weeks, the top team dropped a game to that placed second-to-last. What happened? Mainly, the Crows got Burgoyned. From his goal in the opening minute, the 34-year-old Shaun Burgoyne was every bit as silky and running just as hard in the final quarter as he did in his prime – although this is a period becoming more difficult to pin.

When the then Port Adelaide vice captain requested a trade at the end of 2009, most pundits figured Hawthorn would get two, maybe three years out of the shopworn Burgoyne who required off-season surgery on his knee. But here he is in his eighth season for the Hawks, having played 175 games for the club – the last 96 consecutively. In terms of disposals, his output for 2017 is statistically better than any of his years at Port Adelaide and sits below only 2010 and 2014 for his career. A few more nights like Thursday and he might just pass both of those. He is not one for tiring.

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NYT > Sports
last updated: Sat, 24 Jun 2017 19:35:03 GMT

Oracle Team USA Finally Breaks Through at the America’s Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand, the challenger, won Saturday’s first race, but the American boat forged an 11-second victory in the second to cut the Kiwis’ lead to 4-1.

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CNN.com - RSS Channel - Sport
last updated: Fri, 23 Jun 2017 11:29:01 GMT

Azerbaijan GP: Ricciardo wins after F1 title rivals clash
Daniel Ricciardo won a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sunday as Sebastian Vettel increased his F1 title lead over Lewis Hamilton in controversial circumstances.

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Fox Sports Top Stories RSS feed merging with Breaking News
The Fox Sports Top Stories RSS feed is merging with Breaking News. Please use http://feeds.news.com.au/public/rss/2.0/fs_breaking_news_13.xml instead.

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FOXSPORTS.com.au | Breaking News
last updated: Wed, 11 Jan 2017 23:58:00 GMT

The returning Saint who’s all grown up
AFTER a year away from St Kilda, Jake Carlisle is a changed man, according to a teammate, and is primed to reassert his influence on the AFL in 2017.

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www.espn.com - TOP
last updated: Sun, 25 Jun 2017 15:24:40 EST

Sources: Mavs to decline Dirk option, eye deal
Sources: Mavs to decline Dirk option, eye deal

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Kevin Harvick scores first win of season, first of career at Sonoma - FOXSports.com


FOXSports.com

Kevin Harvick scores first win of season, first of career at Sonoma
FOXSports.com
Kevin Harvick won the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway, scoring his first win of the season and also the first of his career on the tricky, demanding 1.99-mile road course. With five laps to go, Harvick held an 8.5-second lead on Clint ...
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The new status quo
The World Baseball Classic rosters were announced on Thursday, drugs price and as we expected there are a couple of Pirates planning to participate. Team Canada will be of the most interest to Pirate fans. Russell Martin will be the starting catcher, and the Bucs

The World Baseball Classic rosters were announced on Thursday, drugs price and as we expected there are a couple of Pirates planning to participate.

Team Canada will be of the most interest to Pirate fans. Russell Martin will be the starting catcher, and the Bucs

Original article: The new status quo

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