Tag Archives: Sport

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:

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:


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)


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.

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.”

Scotland beat Kenya

The World Twenty20 qualifier is well under way now and Scotland opened up their account by defeating Kenya by 14 runs in their opening World Twenty20 qualifier in Dubai. The tournament is staged across the United Arab Emirates from 13-24 March, with two of the 16 nations progressing to the finals in Sri Lanka later this year.

The Scots made a very impressive 178 thanks to top scores from Calum MacLeod (55) and Kyle Coetzer (46).

Kenya led by skipper Collins Obuya could never get on terms with the run rate required. The Captain had led the charge with an impressive 50 but the Scots made short work of the Africans’ lower order batsmen.

Gordon Drummond was the pick of the Scottish bowlers, taking three wickets for 20 from his four overs.

MacLeod scored 55 off 35 balls hitting 7 4s along the way as Scotland hit 178 for the loss of seven wickets.

Coetzer scored 46 from 36 deliveries and there were also valuable contributions from Richie Berrington (28) and an unbeaten 22 from Preston Mommsen.

James Ngoche was the leading Kenya bowler with two for 31.

Collins Obuya led the way in Kenya’s reply but when he fell for 50, made from 36 balls, the momentum was lost.

Alex Obanda scored 35 and Rakep Patel also made 21 before he was run out by Berrington.

When Ngoche and his brother Shem were run out off the last two balls, both by Berrington, Kenya were all out for 164.

Elsewhere in the tournament:

     P.N.G. 112/6 v Afghanistan 113/4 (19/20 ov)
Afghanistan won by 6 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)
     Namibia 160/8 v Ireland 156/9 (20/20 ov)
Namibia won by 4 runs
     Oman 89/9 v Italy 90/1 (14/20 ov)
Italy won by 9 wickets (with 36 balls remaining)
     U.S.A. 123/8 v Uganda 124/6 (19.2/20 ov)
Uganda won by 4 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)
     Bermuda 116/7 v Denmark 117/3 (19.1/20 ov)
Denmark won by 7 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
     Netherlands 135/6 v Canada 93 (16.4/20 ov)
Netherlands won by 42 runs
     Nepal 130/6 v Hong Kong 102/9 (20/20 ov)
Nepal won by 28 runs

UK World Indoor Athletics Team

A 39-strong squad has been announced as part of the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland team for the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey  9 – 11 March.

The team is led by Jessica Ennis who will be in the Pentathlon and Mo Farrah who will be going in the 3,000m. The event allows many top British athletes to step up there preparations for the Olympics later in the year.

Dwain Chambers will look to defend his 60m title, while Robbie Grabarz who has had a great start to the season will look to take a medal in the High Jump.

On the womens side Yamile Aldama will look to win a medal in the Triple Jump at the age of 40. Young Pole Vaulter Holly Bleasdale will be looking to win her first major medal.

Aviva GB & NI Team:



Dwain Chambers (self-coached) – Belgrave (PB: 6.42 SB: 6.58)
*Andy Robertson (Sam Robertson) – Sale Harriers (PB: 6.61 SB: 6.61)


Nigel Levine (Linford Christie) – Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow (PB: 45.71 SB: 45.71)
Richard Buck (Steve Fudge) – City of York (PB: 45.88 SB: 45.88)


Joe Thomas (Arwyn Davies) – Cardiff (PB: 1:46.35 SB: 1:46.35)
Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow) – Harlow (PB: 1:46.53 SB: 1:46.53)


Lewis Moses (John Nuttall) – New Marske (PB: 3:41.33 SB: 3:41.33)
James Brewer (Craig Winrow) – Cheltenham (PB: 3:38.03 SB: 3:38.03)


Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) – Newham & Essex (PB: 7:34.47 SB: 7:37.4)


Andy Pozzi (Malcolm Arnold) – Stratford-Upon-Avon (PB: 7.62 SB: 7.62)

High Jump:

Samson Oni (Trevor Llewelyn) – Belgrave (PB: 2.31 SB: 2.31)
Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed) – Newham & Essex (PB: 2.34 SB: 2.34)

Pole Vault:

Steve Lewis (Dan Pfaff) – Newham & Essex (PB: 5.72 SB: 5.72)
*Andrew Sutcliffe (Julien Raffalli-Ebezant) – Sale Harriers (PB: 5.55 SB: 5.55)

Long Jump

*JJ Jegede (Peter Stanley) – Newham & Essex (PB: 8.04 SB: 8.04)


Nigel Levine (Linford Christie) – Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow
Richard Buck (Steve Fudge) – City of York
Conrad Williams (Linford Christie) – Kent
Michael Bingham (Kevin Tyler) – Birchfield
James Forman (Andy Forman) – Isle of Wight
Luke Lennon Ford (Linford Christie) – Birchfield



Asha Philip (Christine Bowmaker) – Newham & Essex (PB: 7.19 SB: 7.19)
Jodie Williams (Mike McFarlane) – Herts Phoenix (PB: 7.21 SB: 7.29)


Shana Cox (Lloyd Cowan) – Woodford Green Essex Ladies (PB: 52.16 SB: 52.18)
Nadine Okyere (Joe Caines) – Birchfield (PB:53.01 SB:53.01)


Marilyn Okoro (Ayo Falola) – Shaftesbury Barnet (PB: 1:59.27 SB: 2:02.62)


Helen Clitheroe (John Nuttall) – Preston (PB: 8:39.81 SB: 8:45.59)


Tiffany Porter (James Henry) – Woodford Green Essex Ladies (PB: 7.80 SB: 7.93)

Pole Vault:

Holly Bleasdale (Julien Raffalli- Ebezant) – Blackburn (PB: 4.87 SB: 4.87)
Katie Byres (Julien Raffalli- Ebezant) – Sale Harriers (PB: 4.52 SB: 4.52)

Long Jump:

Shara Proctor (Rana Reider) – Birchfield (PB: 6.80 SB: 6.80)

Triple Jump:

Yamile Aldama (Frank Attoh) – Shaftesbury Barnet (PB: 14.90 SB: 14.09)


Jessica Ennis (Toni Minichiello) – Sheffield (PB: 4937)


Shana Cox (Lloyd Cowan) – Woodford Green Essex Ladies
Nadine Okyere (Joe Caines) –  Birchfield
Nicola Sanders (Tony Lester) Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow
Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) – Newham & Essex
Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah) – Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets
Laura Langowski (Nick Dakin) – Coventry

*Subject to qualification standard reached by 27 February

WGC Match Play Championship

The WGC World Matchplay gets under way today. The format adds a new twist to golf as players are paired up to compete against each other. The worlds top 64 go to Arizona with the aim of winning the £900,000 first prize. Reigning champion Luke Donald opens up against South African Ernie Els. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano is in bullish mood ahead of his game against Tiger Woods and believes he can defeat the former World number one. Paul Casey meanwhile has had to withdraw from the event and has been replaced by another South African George Coetzee, he has now been given the task of taking on Rory McIlroy.

With so many top players at the event the winner could be any of the 64. My choices for each quarter of the draw will be Luke Donald, you can’t look past the world number one and defending champion, but with players such as Adam Scott  and KJ Choi in his quarter it wont be an easy route to the final. In the second quarter I will have to go for Ian Poulter, he has McIlroy in his quarter but he has great experience in these events through the Ryder Cup. He has an unknown to me South Korean in the first round. Bubba Watson will be my pick for the third quarter, big hitting he will put anyone he plays under pressure to come up with some bg shots to counter act this. In the bottom quarter I will throw in a bit of a wildcard in Matteo Manassero a youngster he will not have much fear and nothing to lose in the event.


Luke Donald (Eng) v Ernie Els (SA)

Jason Dufner (US) v Peter Hanson (Swe)

KJ Choi (Kor) v Kyle Stanley (US)

Brandt Snedeker (US) v Retief Goosen (SA)

Adam Scott (Aus) v Robert Rock (Eng)

Bo Van Pelt (US) v Mark Wilson (US)

Dustin Johnson (US) v Jim Furyk (US)

Thomas Bjorn (Den) v Francesco Molinari (Ita)

Rory McIlroy (NI) v George Coetzee (SA)

Kim Kyung-tae (Kor) v Anders Hansen (Den)

Sergio Garcia (Spa) v Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa)

Keegan Bradley (US) v Geoff Ogilvy (Aus)

Jason Day (Aus) v Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa)

Simon Dyson (Eng) v John Senden (Aus)

Charl Schwartzel (SA) v Gary Woodland (US)

Ian Poulter (Eng) v Bae Sang-moon (Kor)

Martin Kaymer (Ger) v Greg Chalmers (Aus)

David Toms (US) v Rickie Fowler (US)

Matt Kuchar (US) v Jonathan Byrd (US)

Bubba Watson (US) v Ben Crane (US)

Steve Stricker (US) v Kevin Na (US)

Louis Oosthuizen (SA) v Aaron Baddeley (Aus)

Graeme McDowell (NI) v Yang Yong-eun (Kor)

Hunter Mahan (US) v Zach Johnson (US)

Lee Westwood (Eng) v Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel)

Robert Karlsson (Swe) v Fredrik Jacobson (Swe)

Nick Watney (US) v Darren Clarke (NI)

Tiger Woods (US) v Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa)

Webb Simpson (US) v Matteo Manassero (Ita)

Alvaro Quiros (Spa) v Martin Laird (Sco)

Bill Haas (US) v Ryo Ishikawa (Jap)

Justin Rose (Eng) v Paul Lawrie (Sco)