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					                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ARAB TIMES, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2012
    SPORTS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          41

                                                                                                   Women’s team proving a serious challenge

Demanding conditions for Sailing Arabia yachts
ABU DHABI, Feb 17: The second and                that the entire fleet arrived safely in Abu     12 hours of racing, but as night fell and       Raya al Habsi, one of four Omani            Renaissance in fourth place.                    sailed a good race with his Arabian crew
longest leg of Sailing Arabia - the Tour         Dhabi in darkness after 36 hours at sea and     the breeze freshened from eight to 14        women competing with Al Thuraya                   The Omani skipper Ahmed Al Mamari            to come home seventh ahead of Team
yacht race was as mentally exhausting as         there are some very tired sailors,” he said.    knots, Courrier Dunkerque continued to       BankMuscat, explained:                         on Team Renaissance, commented on his           Muscat 2012 skippered by Omani
it was physically demanding for crews in            It was the French-skippered yachts that      stretch their lead, eventually winning the      “It was a long race and very tough but      crews performance. “It was a tough leg          Mohsin Al Busaldi.
the nine-strong race fleet, who arrived at       proved their experience in the Farr 30          leg by 42 minutes over Team BAE              we are very happy with the result. It was      and all the team did a great job. We are           The UAE-flagged entry Team Ras Al
the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club             class and led the fleet out from the start.     Systems with Team Commercialbank 18          so cold last night (Thursday 16) but in the    pretty tired after that but we are feeling      Khaimah skippered by John Curran and
during the early hours of Friday morning         First leg winner Daniel Souben’s French         minutes further back for third.              early morning as the sun came up, we had       great. We were fighting right to the finish     largely crewed by first-time sailors
(Feb 17).                                        crew onboard Courrier Dunkerque                    Despite being over the line during the    dolphins swimming alongside us and it          line for the third place. We are now look-      rounded out the placings in ninth, finish-
   Unlike the relatively easy first downhill     arrived at the first of three ‘gates’ in pole   start and having to go back, the all         was perfect”, she said.                        ing to the next leg, and are aiming for at      ing at 3,28.25 am, less than two minutes
run from Manama, Bahrain to Doha Qatar,          position, ahead of countrymen Cedric                                                            “ We had good wind and we were real-        least a top five finish again.”                 before the 3.30am time limit.
the second and longest leg of the tour to        Pouligny’s all Omani team on Team BAE                          SAILING                       ly excited when we started catching up to         Despite having won the first two legs           Curran commented after the race that
Abu Dhabi was a test of stamina and              Systems (Oman) and Bertrand Pace on                                                          the other teams. It was so close but we        of SATT, Courrier Dunkerque’s position          to finish a 36-hour race within four hours
resilience in what race director Jean-Michel     Team Commercialbank (Qatar) — the                                                            had some problems with one of our sails        at the top of the leaderboard is far from       of second place was a great result and tes-
Gaudon described as a very tough race.           three skippers that were ultimately to          women team representing Oman, Al             in the very leg stretch to the finish so       secure. With five more legs to complete,        tament to the determination of his crew
   “Conditions were difficult with light to      claim the podium positions in leg two           Thuraya BankMuscat, fought hard to           Team Commercialbank just beat us!”             the competition between the fleet is            who put in a worthy performance.
moderate headwinds for the entire 160-           respectively.                                   regain control, and by the mid-afternoon        Less than three minutes separated           expected to get even tougher, as the               “When we consider the crew came
mile leg and navigating around oil rigs,            Sailed in mostly light northerly winds,      on day two they were in a tense battle for   boats three to five on the finish line, with   teams representing the GCC countries            together less than a week before the race
restricted no-sail zones and dense ship-         which the fleet encountered head first          third place, with Team Commercialbank        Team Commercialbank eventually just            challenge for a place on the podium.            and half hadn’t sailed before it’s an
ping was tricky and complicated.                 through most of the leg, little separated       and Team Renaissance - often with just       taking third place from the women, who            Team Bahrain first-time skipper,             encouraging result given it was a very
   “It is a credit to the skippers and crews     the first to last placed boats over the first   boats lengths between them.                  finished just 47 seconds ahead of Team         Bahraini national Qassim Abdul Razaq            tough and long race.”

                                                                                                                                                                                  Stosur, Azarenka
                                                                                                                                                                                  into Qatar semis
                                                                                                                                                                                             Berdych, Del Potro win in Rotterdam
                                                                                                                                                                                  DOHA, Feb 17,
                                                                                                                                                                                  (AFP): World num-
                                                                                                                                                                                  ber one Victoria
                                                                                                                                                                                  Azarenka won her
                                                                                                                                                                                  15th     consecutive
                                                                                                                                                                                  match of the season
                                                                                                                                                                                  to make the semifi-
                                                                                                                                                                                  nals of the WTA
                                                                                                                                                                                  Qatar Open on
                                                                                                                                                                                  Friday, a year after
                                                                                                                                                                                  she almost quit the
                                                                                                                                                                                     The Belarusian star
                                                                                                                                                                                  defeated              Yanina
                                                                                                                                                                                  Wickmayer of Belgium 6-
                                                                                                                                                                                  0, 6-4 to stay on course for
                                                                                                                                                                                  a third title this year, after
                                                                                                                                                                                  victories at Sydney and the
                                           Close encounters by the teams in the leg 2 of the Sailing Arabia — The Tour                                                            Australian Open.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Australia’s        Samantha
                                                                                                                                                                                  Stosur also advanced with a
                                         ‘Game could combat this dark art on 3 fronts’                                                                                            6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win over
                                                                                                                                                                                  Romania’s               Monica
                                                                                                                                                                                  Niculescu, while France’s

And the Oscar goes to ... Soccer cheats!                                                                                                                                          Marion Bartoli defeated
                                                                                                                                                                                  Lucie Safarova of the Czech
                                                                                                                                                                                  Republic 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Azarenka lost in the first
                                                                                                                                                                                  round to Daniela Hantuchova        Marion Bartoli of France returns to Lucie Safarova of
PARIS, Feb 17, (AP): Clearly, the              Madrid’s Pepe went for a loose ball          gamesmanship backfired. Minutes                                                       in Doha last year, and after       Czech republic during their WTA Qatar Open quarter-final
Oscar will go to the wrong guy.                with raised legs. Like the Zapruder          away from qualifying for the semifi-
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, best                film of US president John F.                 nals, Brazil pulled all the old tricks       Best of the Rest                         another lacklustre show in
                                                                                                                                                                                  Dubai, where she was beaten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             tennis match in Doha on Feb 17. (AFP)
actor? Pah! What about Dani Alves              Kennedy’s assassination, the slow-           to preserve its 2-1 lead over the                                                     by Flavio Pennetta, she had
or Bryan Carrasco?                             mo was scrutinized across the foot-          United States, including wasting                                                      become so demoralised that
   If those names don’t sound famil-
iar then, like Hollywood’s academy,
                                               ball world for clues: Did Pepe actu-
                                               ally touch Alves?
                                                                                            time. With a dramatic roll for added
                                                                                            effect, Brazil’s defender laid down         Carter dies at 57: Gary Carter,
                                                                                                                                                                                  she even considered quitting
                                                                                                                                                                                  the sport for good.                    Greipel wins stage
you’ve not been paying attention.                 Real Madrid’s almost frame-by-            in front of her own goal, clutching         the hard-hitting Major League                Azarenka was in imperious
You don’t need to sit in a dark room
with popcorn to see great acting. It
                                               frame           post-mortem
                                      - con-
                                                                                   -        her back. Precious seconds passed
                                                                                            as medics arrived with a gurney to
                                                                                                                                        Baseball catcher who helped the
                                                                                                                                        New York Mets make an amazing
                                                                                                                                        rally to beat Boston in the 1986
                                                                                                                                                                                  form in the first set on Friday
                                                                                                                                                                                  but stuttered slightly in the
                                                                                                                                                                                  second when she was broken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         4 at Tour of Oman
is showing now at football stadiums            vincingly suggested not only that            cart her away. Then, behold! A                                                                                               WADI AL KABIR, Oman, Feb 17, (AFP): Germany’s
                                                                                                                                        World Series, died on Thursday of         for the second time in the
around the world. Players who pre-             Pepe was innocent but that Alves             miraculous recovery! She sprinted           brain cancer. He was 57.                                                         Andre Greipel of the Lotto team won the fourth stage of
tend an opponent attacked them,                wasn’t the only Barcelona player             back on, to boos and whistles from                                                    eighth game by Wickmayer
                                                                                                                                           Carter, who was inducted into the                                             the Tour of Oman on Friday to consolidate his overall
who suddenly drop dead only to                 who hammed it that night.                    the     crowd.     Referee      Jacqui      Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003, sin-                                              lead of the race.
make       Lazarus-like    recoveries             Referee Wolfgang Stark sent Pepe          Melksham wasn’t duped. She                  gled in the 10th inning in game six                  TENNIS                         Greipel, who also won the race’s first stage on
moments later, who writhe like a tub           off. Messi then scored twice. And            showed Erika a yellow card and              of the 1986 World Series to start a                                              Tuesday, beat home Slovakian Peter Sagan and
of eels in faked agony on the pitch,           that,     pretty     much,     sealed        added three additional minutes to           comeback that saw the Mets take                                                  Frenchman Tony Gallopin in a sprint at the end of the
                                                                                                                                        game six and then win game seven          to level the scores at 4-4.
these are the thespians who give               Barcelona’s                                  the clock, just enough for Abby                                                          But Wickmayer could not             142.5km ride from Bidbid Naf’a to Al Wadi al Kabir.
football a bad name.                           place in the                                 Wambach to head in the equalizing           to capture the crown.                                                               Saturday’s fifth stage is a 158km run from the Muscat
                                                                                                                                           An 11-time All-Star in his play-       hold her serve in the next
   The aim, of course, is to con ref-          final, which it                              goal that sent the game to a penalty                                                  game, hammering the ball               Opera House to Jabal Al Akhdar, featuring a climb up to
                                                                                                                                        ing days, Carter had been taking                                                 the top of the ‘Green Mountain.’
erees, to swing a game by getting              won, too. This                               shootout, won by the United States.         radiation treatments and chemother-       into the net and then sending a
opponents cautioned or sent off or             ticked all the                                  If Erika hadn’t stalled, would                                                     backhand wide to concede                  Results/Standings
                                                                                                                                        apy to combat the cancer but new
by winning undeserved penalties                boxes of stand-                              Wambach have had time to rescue             tumors were discovered last month.        what proved to be the decisive            1. Andre Greipel (GER) 3hr 37min 02sec, 2. Peter
and free kicks. Cheating, pure and             out football act-                            US hopes?                                      Carter played 19 seasons for four      break for Azarenka. The top            Sagan (SVQ) same time, 3. Tony Gallopin (FRA) st, 4.
simple, and a blight on the sport.             ing: It must be                              ■ Peter Wisgerhof, Johan Cruyff             major league clubs, spending 12           seed then closed out the               Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) st, 5. Christopher Sutton (AUS)
   Not all pros stoop so low. Lionel           deceptive and                                Shield, July 30. Not deceptive, not         years with the Montreal Expos,            match by winning the final             st, 6. Martin Kohler (SUI) st, 7. Paolo De Negri (ITA)
                                                                                                                                        including his first 11 Major League       game without conceding a               st, 8. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) st, 9. Ramunas
Messi is their standard-bearer.                effective and, if                            effective, but Monty Pythonesque.                                                                                            Navardauskas (LIT) st, 10. Baden Cooke (AUS) st
Because of his speed and skill,                possible, be per-                            In this match between the Dutch             Baseball seasons and his last, in         point.
                                                                                                                                        1992.                                        Earlier, Australian third              Selected
Barcelona’s little forward attracts            formed on the             Alves              Cup winners and Dutch league                   After leaving Montreal, Carter                                                   11. Tom Boonen (BEL) st
more than his share of nasty tackles.          biggest stage.                               champions, the captain of FC                                                          seed Stosur overcame a spir-
                                                                                                                                        played for the Mets for five seasons,     ited fightback by Niculescu               17. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) st
But rarely does the Argentine make             ■ Gervasio Nunez, Europa League              Twente looked like a mountain goat          starting in 1985, then played one                                                   35. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) st
a song and dance of them.                      group stage, Oct 20. Pushed on the           skipping over a rock or a frog on                                                     to advance to her first semifi-
                                                                                                                                        season each for the San Francisco                                                   49. Andy Schleck (LUX) at 11
   Not all football actors act well.           shoulder by Fulham’s Mousa                   takeoff as he jumped into the air and       Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers            nal of the year.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Stosur, the reigning US                Overall standings
Type “Hamit Altintop worst dive                Dembele, the Argentine midfielder            rolled onto the ground after a tickle       before finishing his career where it                                                1. Andre Greipel (GER) 13hr 36min 33sec, 2. Peter
                                                                                                                                        began in Canada.                          Open champion, won in a lit-
ever” into YouTube. Not only did               for Polish side Wisla Krakow pre-            of a tackle from Ajax defender                                                        tle short of two hours after           Sagan (SVQ) at 6sec, 3. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) 18, 4.
the Turkey midfielder’s “Help! I’ve            tended he had been thumped in the            Daley Blind. To his credit,                    Carter was a career .262 batter                                               Tony Gallopin (FRA) 18, 5. Baden Cooke (AUS) 19, 6.
                                                                                                                                        who smacked 324 home runs and             totally losing her momentum
lost all control of my legs!” plunge           face and collapsed. Referee Martin           Wisgerhof later laughed at himself.                                                   in the second set and surviv-          Tom Jelte Slagter (NED) 21, 7. Christopher Sutton
                                                                                                                                        batted in 1,225 runs. (AFP)                                                      (AUS) 22, 8. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) 25, 9. Ramunas
                                               Hansson bought it, Dembele                   “The worst dive of the match was                                                      ing a tough spell in the third
                                               trudged off, Wisla turned its one-           definitely mine,” Dutch websites                     ❑        ❑       ❑                                                      Navardauskas (LTU) 25, 10. Fabian Cancellara (SUI)
              SOCCER                           man advantage into a 1-0 win. “Of            quoted him as saying. “I felt some-         Russian teen dies: A teenage
                                                                                                                                                                                  when Niculescu took three
                                                                                                                                                                                  games in a row to level at 3-
                                               course, we will never complain after         thing, but fell much later. Why did-        Russian ice hockey player has died        3.
in Croatia’s penalty box on Nov 11             a red card,” said Fulham manager             n’t I get a yellow card? I quickly          after falling into a coma during a           Niculescu had a wonderful
fail to fool referee Felix Brych, but          Martin Jol before going on to com-           told the ref I’m a defender and don’t       match in Penza, south-west Russia,        opportunity to break Stosur in    the afternoon at the Ahoy sta-       ry in Memphis.
                                                                                                                                        last Saturday, the regional sport         the seventh game when she         dium, after breaking the                French top seed Gael
the slow motion replays made                   plain. “It was a push on the shoul-          even know how to fall.”                     authority announced on Friday.
Altintop look silly for attempting             der, after being kicked,” he said.              But the Oscar goes to ...                                                          was leading 30-0, but sent an     Italian three times.                 Monfils withdrew with a
                                                                                                                                           According to media reports, 16-                                             Berdych took a 3-2 lead in        right knee injury and was
such a stunt.                                  “You shouldn’t raise your hand. He           ■ Carrasco, South American Under-           year-old forward Maksim Koposov           easy volley long after a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    their head-to-head series, hav-      replaced by US lucky loser
   Football could combat this dark             (Dembele) pushed him on the shoul-           20 Championship, Feb 12. This               lost consciousness and collapsed          lengthy rally to give the
                                                                                                                                                                                  Australian the opening she        ing last played Seppi in 2008.       Blake Strode, who was elimi-
art on three fronts. Referees should           der and you shouldn’t do that. The           cheeky Chilean is our runaway win-          after being hit by a puck towards the                                          Berdych will on Saturday face     nated by Bulgarian Dimitar
yellow card ham-actors more fre-               referee gave us a red card, but we           ner. Such ingenuity! The midfielder         end of a match between his side,          was looking for. Bartoli
                                                                                                                                                                                  ended Safarova’s giant-           off against third seed and tourna-   Kutrovsky 7-5, 6-3.
quently (Altintop’s dramatics went             felt hard done by.”                          plumbed new depths by grabbing an           Olympia, and local outfit Dizel
                                                                                                                                        Penza.                                    killing run, but not before       ment debutant Juan Martin Del           South African sixth seed
unpunished); football bosses must              ■ Erika, Women’s World Cup quar-             opponent’s arm and whacking him-                                                                                        Potro, who hammered Serb sev-        Kevin Anderson dispatched
                                                                                                                                           “The doctors fought for                conceding the second set, and
become intolerant of such cheating;            terfinal, July 10. More worthy of a          self in the face with it, and then col-     Maksim’s life for almost a week...        gave credit to her fitness.       enth seed Viktor Troicki, 6-0, 6-1   Australian Matthew Ebden 6-
and flagrant offenders should be               Razzie than an Oscar, because this           lapsing.                                    but he wasn’t able to come out of            In Rotterdam, Tomas            in just over an hour.                1, 6-2 to book a quarter-final
pointed out and shamed into chang-                                                                                                      the coma and today, his heart             Berdych took his indoor              Del Potro won the first           date against defending cham-
ing their ways.                                                                                                                         stopped beating,” read a statement        record to an unblemished 8-0      eight games and allowed his          pion and third seed Milos
   Or be forced to get their actor’s                                                                                                    published on the website of the           this season as the Czech over-    opponent just one before get-        Raonic of Canada.
card.                                                                                                                                   regional authority.                       powered Italy’s Andreas           ting on with the runaway vic-           In Sao Paulo, Nicolas
   Working on the principle that                                                                                                           In 2008, another Russian for-          Seppi 6-3, 6-4 on Friday to       tory.                                Almagro of Spain extended
Academy Award organizers cast                                                                                                           ward,        19-year-old      Alexei      reach the semifinals of the          He had won his last two           the defense of his Brazil
their net too narrowly by looking                                                                                                       Cherepanov, died after suffering a        ATP                               meetings with Berdych, both          Open title to the quarterfinals
                                                                                                                                        heart attack during a match in                                              played in 2009.                      by defeating Victor Hanescu
only at film actors, we assembled a                                                                                                     Chekhov, near Moscow. (AFP)               Rotterdam
jury of crack Associated Press                                                                                                                                                    Open.                                In San Jose, California,          of Romania 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3.
                                                                                                                                                 ❑        ❑        ❑                 But     the                    Belgian Steve Darcis upset              Almagro, the top seed, did-
sports reporters to select our own                                                                                                                                                                                  Czech fourth seed Radek              n’t allow a single break point
Oscar winner from football. Feel                                                                                                        Greece to suspend games:                  second-seed-
                                                                                                                                        The Greek football league will be         ed perfec-                        Stepanek 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/2) to     to Hanescu in his victory at
free to email the address below if                                                                                                                                                                                  reach the quarter-finals of the      the Ibirapuera sporting com-
you don’t like our choice or have                                                                                                       suspended for one week at the end         tionist was
                                                                                                                                        of the month in protest at a new          slightly                          $531,000 ATP San Jose Open.          plex. He had 12 aces and only
your own winner.                                                                                                                        sporting law that has also drawn                                               Darcis, ranked 72nd in the        one double fault in the sec-
   Without further ado, our nomi-                                                                                                                                                 annoyed
                                                                                                                                        criticism from FIFA.                      after losing                      world, will next face French         ond-round match which last-
nees for Best Actor/Actress in foot-                                                                                                       League organizers said Friday                                            fifth seed Julien Benneteau,         ed more than two hours.
                                                                                                                                                                                  serve for the      Berdych
ball, 2011, are:                                                                                                                        that scheduled games will not be          only time in                      who ousted Luxembourg’s                 “I played well but I know
■ Alves, Champions League semifi-                                                                                                       played on Feb 25-26 in opposition         the match in the second set, a    Gilles Muller 6-2, 6-4 in            that I can improve, I have
nal, April 27. Think of Willem                                                                                                          to a law voted this week that gives                                         another second-round match           confidence in my game,”
                                                                                                                                        expanded powers to a state-con-           mistake which he quickly
Dafoe’s death scene in “Platoon.”                                                                                                                                                 rectified to get the contest      at the indoor hardcourt event.       Almagro said. “Victor took
Screaming, mouth agape, the                                                                                                             trolled sporting oversight commit-                                             In his 10th professional          advantage of his chances in
                                                                                                                                        tee.                                      back on level-pegging.
Barcelona defender acrobatically                                                                                                                                                     Berdych completed his 67-      season, 27-year-old Darcis is        the second set, but in general
                                               Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan (right) and Bona Septano play a shot                             Games planned this weekend                                               seeking his third ATP title          it was positive, I didn’t have
spun to ground, clutching his right            against China during the Thomas Cup badminton tournament in Macau on                     will be played normally. (AP)             minute victory over the 45th-
calf muscle, after he and Real                                                                                                                                                    ranked Seppi on a fifth ace of    after a 2007 triumph in              any break points against
                                                                           Feb 17. (AFP)                                                                                                                            Amersfoort and a 2008 victo-         me.”

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