Iceland make history

Iceland have made history by qualifying for there first major football tournament. On Sunday night they took on Kazakhstan in their latest European Qualifier and a nil-nil draw saw them take the point that they required to qualify for the finals in France during the summer of 2016.

Qualification for the European Championships is more than impressive with the island nation becoming the smallest nation to qualify for a Euros, with an estimated population of just 317,000.

Sitting top of group A they have fought off challenges from the far more experienced nations of Turkey and World Cup 3rd place finishers the Netherlands. The later have been beaten twice by this tiny nation during the qualification process.

Iceland rise to footballs top tier of world football was first noted during the 2014 World Cup qualification where they beat the likes of Slovenia and Norway to second in their group. Only a 2-0 aggregate defeat to Croatia prevented them from qualifying for Brazil. The continued development of this team has now seen them grow further and with the team now sitting in 23rd position in the World Rankings, above the likes of France, Ukraine and Russia they will surely be a team to keep an eye on as the build up to the European Championships continue.

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PDC Europe Tour 2016

In 2016 the PDC have announced that the European Tour is set to grow to 10 events.

With the continued growth of the PDC this move will surely bring smiles to the European darting world. With a large focus around Germany we will look and hope for a German to realise this darting countries potential and start to challenge for titles on the PDC circuit. Youngster Max Hopp continues to show the promise required but as of yet has failed to live up to the talent he has shown. Failing to even win on the PDCs Youth or Development tours. Maybe 2016 will be Max’s opportunity to shine.

With the European Tor supplemented with the World Cup opportunities for the European Darter has never been so great. See below for the events that are set to take place in 2016:

Date Event City Land
12.02.-14.02. Dutch Darts Masters Venray NL
26.03.-28.03. German Darts Masters München D
06.05.-08.05. Gibraltar Darts Trophy Gibraltar GIB
13.05.-15.05. International Darts Trophy Hamburg D
02.06.-05.06. World Cup of Darts Frankfurt D
10.06.-12.06. European Darts Matchplay To be confirmed AUT
29.07.-31.07. European Darts Open Düsseldorf D
02.09.-04.09. International Darts Open Riesa D
09.09.-11.09. European Darts Trophy Mülheim a.d.R. D
16.09.-18.09. European Darts Grand Prix Sindelfingen D
14.10.-16.10. German Darts Championship Hildesheim D
28.10.-30.10. European Darts Championship To be confirmed B

Marco Polo Cycling Team – Marco Polo Cycling Team 2012 – first Ethiopian Pro Team

Marco Polo Cycling Team – Marco Polo Cycling Team 2012 – first Ethiopian Pro Team.

This article talks about the first Cycling team to be registered out of Ethiopia. With their rich heritage in long distance running it can only be a matter of time before Ethiopia starts to produce top cyclists. Marco Polo Cycling who for many years have had a team based in China have now changed their focus to this country as they hope to spread the cycling world and find new talent.

Donckers Koffie will be the new title sponsor of the Marco Polo Cycling Team in 2012, meaning the team will be able to race a full season of a pro-level program in Europe, with additional races in Asia and Africa.

The Marco Polo Cycling Team in Europe with sports director Gilbert de Weerdt and the Ethiopian (and Eritrean) cyclists.
(photo: www.marcopolocycling.com)

Marco Polo Squad:

Riders
ABEBE Alem Grmay ETH 15.11.1990
ABELLO SANCHEZ Ruben ESP 19.04.1976
ABRAHAM Daniel ERI 11.02.1985
BARTLETT Chris GBR 12.08.1986
BEKELE Binyam Fitsum ETH 18.09.1987
DE WEERDT Sven BEL 29.03.1978
GEBRESILASSIE Estifanos Kebede ETH 18.02.1988
GIDAY Kbrom Hailay ETH 19.02.1989
GREEN Matt GBR 02.10.1988
GREENE Edward RSA 26.11.1990
KINFE Yirga Woidemariam ETH 19.02.1988
KUYCKX Jan BEL 20.05.1979
MACIC Christopher NZL 01.08.1988
PRONK Matheus NED 01.07.1974
SHIFERAW Solomon Bitew ETH 13.07.1987
VAN MECHELEN Matthias BEL 23.02.1988

Team GB – Olympic Swimmers

After the Great Britain trials 38 swimmers have been named as part of the squat that will be heading to the Olympics in London.

Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington and world champion Liam Tancock are among the 19 men and 19 women selected.

Head coach Dennis Pursley identified the breakthrough of younger swimmers as the most positive aspect of the competition.

“What excites me most about this meet – for the first time since I’ve been here, some of the kids have stepped up,” said the American.

“Young kids finally stepping up and in some cases knocking off the veterans and swimming stroke for stroke in some races which I think bodes well for the future.”

Swimmers selected to Team GB:

Women:

Rebecca Adlington (Nova Centurion, 400m & 800m freestyle)

Sophie Allen (Stockport ITC, 200m individual medley)

Georgia Davies (Swansea ITC, 100m backstroke)

Eleanor Faulkner (City of Sheffield, 800m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle)

Ellen Gandy (Nunawading, 100m & 200m butterfly)

Fran Halsall (Loughborough ITC, 100m butterfly, 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle)

Kate Haywood (Nunawading, 100m breaststroke)

Joanne Jackson (Loughborough ITC, 400m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle)

Jemma Lowe (Swansea ITC, 200m butterfly)

Jessica Lloyd (City of Manchester, 4×100 freestyle)

Caitlin McClatchey (Loughborough University, 4x200m freestyle)

Hannah Miley (Garioch, 200m & 400m individual medley)

Keri-Anne Payne (Stockport ITC, 10km open water)

Elizabeth Simmonds (Loughborough ITC, 200m backstroke)

Amy Smith (Loughborough University, 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle)

Gemma Spofforth (Florida Gators, 100m backstroke)

Stacey Tadd (University of Bath, 200m breaststroke)

Rebecca Turner (City of Sheffield, 200m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle)

Aimee Willmott (Middlesbrough, 400m individual medley)

Men:

Robert Bale, (Stirling ITC, 4x200m freestyle)

Craig Benson (Warrender, 100m breaststroke)

Adam Brown (Hatfield, 4x100m freestyle)

Simon Burnett (Tuscon, 4x100m freestyle)

Ross Davenport (Loughborough ITC, 4x200m freestyle)

David Davies (City of Cardiff, 1500m freestyle)

James Disney-May (Auburn, 4x100m freestyle)

Daniel Fogg (Loughborough ITC, 1500m freestyle)

Craig Gibbons (Maxwell, 4x100m freestyle)

James Goddard (Stockport ITC, 200m individual medley)

Michael Jamieson (Bath ITC, 200m breaststroke)

Ieuan Lloyd (City of Cardiff, 4x200m freestyle)

Roberto Pavoni (Loughborough ITC, 400m individual medley, 200m butterfly),

Robbie Renwick (City of Glasgow, 200m & 400m freestyle)

Michael Rock (Stockport ITC, 100m butterfly),

Joe Roebuck (Loughborough University, 200m & 400m individual medley, 200m butterfly),

Daniel Sliwinski (Stockport ITC, 100m breaststroke),

Liam Tancock (Loughborough ITC, 100m backstroke),

Andrew Willis (Bath ITC, 200m breaststroke).

PDC North American Pro Tour

After years of the PDC trying to get darts to take off in North America it seemed that they had given up when no events were released on the 2012 calendar. However PDC darts in North America does not seem to be over.

The PDC will launch a North American Pro Tour (NAPT) that is designed to grow each year and sustain itself after the first 3 years. Each NAPT event will be held over a weekend with the Pro Event being held on the Sunday. An associated tournament or warm-up event would precede the Pro Event on the Friday and Saturday.

The program is designed to sustain itself after the first three years meaning that there would be at least 8 Pro Events in 2015 and subsequent years. Success of the program will mean additional growth in year 4 (2015) in terms of increased prize money per event and/or an increase in the number of Pro Events throughout North America in 2015.

The following details outline the PDC NAPT program for the first three years. At the present time, one of the 3 Pro Events to be held in 2012 has been confirmed, the London Ontario NAPT Pro Event to be held on Sunday, August 26, 2012 at the Hilton London Ontario. The 2 additional Pro Events will be announced as soon as they are confirmed and will be posted on the Bull’s-Eye News website: bullseyenews.com

1. The PDC NA Pro Tour would be open only to North American residents.

2. Each Pro Event in the PDC North America Pro Tour would consist of a guaranteed $10,000
singles event with the PDC Players Championship format.

1st 2nd T-4 T-8 T-16 T-32
$2,000 $1,600 $800 $400 $200 $100

Format: Best of 11 legs of 501 throughout.

• 3 PDC NAPT events in 2012
• 5 PDC NAPT events in 2013
• 8 PDC NAPT events in 2014

The three events for this year are now confirmed

July 20-22 NAPT Event #1 & The Chicago Open (Chicago)

Aug 24-26 NAPT Event #2 & The London Open (Ontario)

Sept 7-9 NAPT Event #3 & The Atlantic City Open (New Jersey)

Hopefully they will be well attended, and we can see some new stars from North America. There are secondary events on Fridays and Saturdays, with the main NAPT events on Sundays. The Canadian U21 event is still going ahead when the tour ventures to Ontario, only open to Canadians. Unfortunately no U21 qualifier for USA yet.

lomaxbike

Bradley Wiggins became only the second Briton to win the Paris-Nice race after triumphing in Sunday’s final stage.

Wiggins went into the final stage, a 9.6km time trial in Col d’Eze, with asix-second lead over his nearest challenger, Dutchman Lieuwe Westra.

And Team Sky rider Wiggins crossed the line in 19 minutes and 12 seconds, a mere two seconds faster then Westra.

a href=”http://lomaxbike.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/bradley_wiggins2_1488663c.jpg”>Image
The only previous British winner of the Paris-Nice was Wiggins’s childhood idol Tom Simpson in 1967.

Although Simpson collapsed and died later that year on the slopes of the Mont Ventoux during the Tour de France, Wiggins – who was born in 1980 – has always spoken of how Simpson has inspired him. 

Speaking after the event, Wiggins said: “I know my cycling history and this is an enormous achievement.

“It’s an honour to be up there with Tom Simpson.”

Alejandro Valverde was third overall, one…

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International Association of Athletics Federations – Hall of Fame

Up until now Athletics has never had an Official Hall of Fame. But on Thursday March 8th the IAAF announced the creation of one and the first 12 members.

The first 12 inaugural Members are:

 

Jesse Owens (USA)

1936 100/200/LJ + WR 100, 200 & LJ (25 years)

 

Abebe Bikila (ETH)

1960, 1964 Oly MAR + WR

 

Paavo Nurmi (FIN)

1920 10,000, 1924 1500/5000 & 1928 10,000 + WR 1500, Mile, 3000, 5000 & 10,000

 

Carl Lewis (USA)

1984 100/200/LJ & 1988/1992/1996 LJ + WR 100 + 5 world titles

 

Emil Zátopek (TCH)

1948 10,000 & 1952 5000/10,000/Mar + WR 5000 & 10,000

 

Al Oerter (USA)

1956/1960/1964/1968 DT + WR DT

 

Adhemar da Silva (BRA)

1952/1956 TJ + WR TJ

 

Ed Moses (USA)

1976/1984 400H + WR 400H (16 years) + 2 world titles

 

Fanny Blankers-Koen (NED)

1948 100/200/80H + WR 100, 80H, HJ, LJ & Pen

 

Betty Cuthbert (AUS)

1956 100/200 & 1964 400 + WR 200

 

Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA)

1988 LJ/Hep & 1992 Hep + WR LJ & Hep (25 years as at 7.7.2011) + 4 world titles

 

Wang Junxia (CHN)

1996 Oly 5000 & 93 World 10,000 + WR 3000 (18 years as at 12.9.2011) & 10,000 (18 years as at 8.9.2011)

To see the full IAAF press release click the link below.

IAAF Hall of Fame created – First 12 Members announced

via iaaf.org – International Association of Athletics Federations.

I would personally have had Michael Johnson included. Broke many a world record and won many top titles. But who else would you include in your Hall of Fame?

FA Cup 6th Round Preview

This weekend sees the 6th round of the FA Cup. The teams remaining are surely looking ahead to an appearance at Wembley as for many this will now be the main focus of their season. The ties are split over two days. On Saturday we will see Everton v Sunderland and Tottenham v Bolton. Then on Sunday Chelsea host Leicester and last seasons runners-up Stoke travel to Liverpool.

Tottenham on paper look to be favourites in their match, riding high in the Premiership and Harry Redknapp at the helm you will have to think that they have too much ability for lowly Bolton to cause an upset. Bolton though,struggling at the wrong end of the table will come out all guns blazing and with on loan signing Ryo Miyaichi putting in some good performances and a win against fellow strugglers QPR last week they must surely believe they have an opportunity in this tie. Kick Off Sat 17:30 Prediction: Score Draw

In the other match Everton host Sunderland and again this match will be very close. Sunderland rejuvenated under the management of Martin O’Neil are moving up the Premiership table and last weekend defeated Liverpool. Following this result Liverpool then played Everton on Tuesday night and promptly dispatched them 3-0. Just based on these results you have to favour Sunderland. With nothing much more to play for this season both of these teams will be putting full focus on this game and I expect a cracker. Kick Off: Sat 12:45 Prediction: Sunderland Win 3-2

On Sunday the only Championship team left in the draw, Leicester take on a Chelsea team that are currently blowing hot and cold. I believe Chelsea will be far to dominant in this match despite their patchy form. Playing Napoli on Wednesday night this will either leave them either on top of the world after knocking Napoli out of the Champions League, or it will leave them with only the FA Cup to play for. Either way Chelsea will not be wanting to lose this match and will do anything to claim victory. I am sure Leicester will push Chelsea all the way but without the regular exposure of the Premiership they will surely come up short. Kick Off: Sun 14:05 Prediction: Chelsea Win 3-0

The final game will see Stoke travel to Liverpool. Last years runners-up will be aiming for a repeat visit to Wembley and will be the fresher of the two teams with not playing midweek. Liverpool could tire in this game following an enthralling Mersey derby win over Everton. Having previously been on a poor run of form I think this match is going to be very evenly fought. One big question for Liverpool fans is whether Steven Gerrard is capable of playing another 90mins following the derby match. Stoke put in a good performance against Chelsea at the weekend only losing 1-0 despite being down t 10 men for much of the game. Kick Off: Sun 16:00 Prediction: Stoke Win 1-0

What are your thoughts about this weekends matches?

 

Future Star – Tom Farrell

I’ve known of Tom for a number of years through Border Harriers Athletics Club in Carlisle, UK. Tom, only 20 years old, was always very driven and through the encouragement of his parents took his talent to the USA where he would study and compete. Tom is the future of long distance running for Team GB. Having moved to the USA to study he currently is attending Oklahoma State University and is mixing study with hard graft as he tries to make the Team GB Athletics Olympic squad for the 5,000m.

Already this year Farrell in his first race of 2012 on the 28th of January in Fayetteville, Arkansas at the Razorback Invitational ran a new personal best 7mins 52.38 secs over 3,000m indoors finishing in 4th place. Tom knocked more than two seconds off his previous best time. This time was the 2nd fastest ever by a GB U-23 indoors and puts him ahead of Mo Farah at the same age in the Indoor Rankings. Farah only managed 7mins 54.08 secs at the same age.

Last year Tom ran the “B” standard for the 5,000m in California during the Summer of 2011 (5000m 13mins 26.59 secs) and will be hoping to step up to the A standard this Summer. Last year Tom ended up 2nd ranked GB athlete only to Mo Farah the current World 5000m Champion. The standard that Tom is aiming for is 13mins 20.0 secs and after the fantastic progression seen from him last year this time barrier is most definitely within this young mans grasp.

This years Olympics may come to soon in terms of winning a medal for Tom but he has his sight set on 2016 where he hopes to take on the best of the Africans and claim a medal. But at only 20 Tom has the world at his feet and definitely has the drive and determination to not only qualify for the Olympics this summer but to cause a stir in the world of Athletics over the coming year.

Cuba, Sudan and now Great Britain!

At the weekend 39-year-old Yamile Aldama by being the second oldest winner of a World Athletics Championship medal when she claimed victory in the Triple Jump at the World Indoors.

Having been born in Cuba Yamile started her international career representing them. Winning Silver at the World Indoor Championships in 1999 she then represented her country of birth at the 2000 Olympics where she finished fourth.

In 2001 Yamile married a Scottish man and re-located to the UK where she applied for citizenship. However , shortly after, her husband was sentenced to 15 years for his part in drug trafficking heroin valued at £40million. Yamile, unconnected with the offence, chose to remain in the UK but her application for citizenship started to hit rocks. This caused her to be unable to represent Team GB at the major sporting events.

Because of these problems Yamile looked at other options and with offers from a number of countries she chose to represent Sudan. After acquiring the Sudanese citizenship on January 23, 2004, she went to represent Sudan at the 2004 Summer Olympics where she finished in fifth place. In 2004 she also broke the Sudanese triple jump record achieving 15.28 metres.

On February 5, 2010, nearly ten years after her initial application, she finally gained British citizenship. And on the 13th of March 2012 she finally got the news that the IOC had finalised her application to change the nation of representation. Meaning that after over 10 years of trying Yamile will compete for Team GB at this years Olympics in London.

An International Olympic Committee statement said: “In both cases the Executive Board agreed to the request to reduce the three-year waiting period outlined in the Olympic Charter as the requirements for such reduction or cancellation had been met.”