2020 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup: Algerian star eager to halt dominance of Quadri, Assar

first_imgRelatedPosts Aruna Quadri’s uncommon qualities stand him out, says Oshodi Quadri Aruna leads Africa to World Cup Aruna’s arrival attracted interest in Germany — TTBL After hobnobbing with the heavyweights in several major competitions, Sami Kherouf alongside Mohamed Boudjadja at the 2019 African Games became the first set of Algerian players to win gold medal at the multi-sports tournament. The men’s doubles title was celebrated by the government of Algeria and again Kherouf is hoping to go beyond this at the 2020 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Tunisia. The 31-year-old has been listed among the cast for the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Tunisia from February 24 to 26 and the 31-year-old is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to halt the dominance of Aruna Quadri and Omar Assar. He said: “I am preparing for the ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup like every African competition with the ambition to do better than the last edition. “My main goal in Tunisia is to win a medal at Africa Top 16 Cup.” Being his third appearance in the tournament, Kherouf has been threatening the old order and believes he might alter the order this year. He boasted: “I don’t set a specific goal as the dream of every player is to win tournament and this is my ambition which is the will to go farther. “I am not bothered about the seeding list as seeding can be altered on table. “I don’t care about the rating as I am aiming to win every game I play. “I believe the ranking will change after the tournament.” Also, the President of Tunisia Table Tennis Federation, Lotfi Guerfel, has assured of the country’s readiness to stage a befitting tournament. Guerfel said: “Everything is ready. “We started planning for the events when the announcement was made that Tunisia will host the two tournaments at the Annual General Meeting of African Table Tennis Federation in Morocco in 2019. “We have booked the venue, arrangement for the hotel has been made, while officials of the African Federation have also come for inspection of facilities. “For us, hosting a major competition is the best way to promote table tennis more in Tunisia and it is an opportunity to talk about table tennis in the media as well as to get equipment donations from ITTF.” Acknowledging the quality of players, Guerfel said: “The best players are from Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia and Algeria. “This was again confirmed at the 2019 African Games in Morocco with the emergence of individual talents like Ibrahima Diaw of Senegal and Sarah Hanffou of Cameroon.”Tags: 2019 African Gamesaruna quadriITTF AfricaMohamed BoudjadjaSami Kherouflast_img read more

Rodgers: Card should have been red

first_img The Belgium international, who had a hand in all Everton’s goals in the 3-3 Merseyside derby draw, escaped with a booking for his knee-high challenge. Rodgers, who also made a veiled criticism of England for playing unfit striker Daniel Sturridge for 90 minutes in the midweek friendly against Germany, felt Mirallas was lucky not to be sent off. Press Association “I thought Mirallas should have been sent off. It would’ve been interesting if Luis made the challenge,” said Rodgers. “I have seen Kevin for a few years and he looks a real honest player but if you look at it in every way, real time and slow motion, it is a bad challenge. “He caught him on the back of his knee and that can end your career. “It was awful jumping in like that and it took Luis 10 or 15 minutes to try to run it off and he (Mirallas) had another one by the (far) touchline where he’s jumped up and come down on the back of Luis. “He (Suarez) is a player who can look after himself on the pitch, he is a strong player, but I just think it was a bad challenge. “It wouldn’t matter if it was on Luis or someone else it was a naughty challenge. “You don’t want to see people getting sent off but if they should be than that’s what should happen.” Sturridge came off the bench to salvage a point with an 89th-minute header after two goals from Romelu Lukaku had turned around Liverpool’s 2-1 advantage with Philippe Coutinho and Suarez scoring either side of Mirallas. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers accused Everton forward Kevin Mirallas of a “naughty” potentially career-ending tackle on Luis Suarez which deserved a red card. Rodgers decided the striker, who has been playing with a dead leg, was not fit to start after being over-played at Wembley. “He had obviously not trained and he played 90 minutes (against Germany) and anyone who saw the game could tell he was not fit,” added the Reds boss. “Because he played 90 minutes he couldn’t train because he has to recover. “His first action on the field was Friday and assessing him on that he was nowhere near ready to start. “I said to him before the game he has been a match-winner for us since he came in but he may have to do it from the bench. “Thankfully he came in and got a great header.” Everton manager Roberto Martinez, in his first Merseyside derby, did not feel Mirallas deserved to be sent off but accepted Rodgers’ viewpoint. “I can see why. I have seen the replay and obviously Kevin goes for the ball with a typical striker’s tackle and closes his eyes when he gets to the incident and his right leg catches Suarez,” he said. “I don’t think it is a red card because it is not a malicious incident, he tries to win the ball but gets there late. “I think a yellow card, bearing in mind the emotions you bring into a derby, was the right decision. “But I can see why, if that had been against my team, I would’ve been thinking it would have been a red card. “I think the referee was very right to give it as a yellow card. He allowed the whole game to be played at a very good tempo and was outstanding playing the advantage. “I was a little bit disappointed with Steven Gerrard’s elbow on Gareth Barry. It did not contact his face but it was not a natural position to have an elbow and that could have been a nasty incident.” Martinez became a father for the first time on the eve of the game after his wife gave birth to a daughter but insisted it did not affect his focus on the game. “That comes through the family. My dad missed both mine and my sister’s births because he was involved in football,” he said. “I am delighted. My wife is in a great condition. I was at the birth but I did very little.” last_img read more

Agent claims strong Toure interest

first_imgYaya Toure’s agent has reportedly claimed offers have been made for the Manchester City midfielder and that the intention is to sit down with the Blues soon for discussions about the future. Reports are suggesting Toure could be set for a move away in the summer, with the likes of Paris St Germain and Inter Milan – managed by his former City boss Roberto Mancini – being mentioned in reports as possible destinations. Ivory Coast international Toure was quoted on Tuesday as saying he is open to ”new challenges” and that he will not stay at a club simply to collect wages. Those comments came two days after his agent Dimitri Seluk was quoted as saying “two of the biggest clubs” had asked him about Toure’s availability, adding: “If City want Yaya to leave, they should come out and say so.” And, quoted by Sky Sports News on Wednesday, Seluk said: “We have had different offers for Yaya but we must speak to Manchester City. “People think he will stay because of money but we don’t care about money. If Man City don’t want him – no problem. “I want someone to say that they want Yaya to stay at Manchester City. Yaya is a legend at the club. All the supporters like him, he’s helped them make history.” City manager Manuel Pellegrini, whose side are set to finish this season trophyless, insisted at a pre-match press conference last Friday that Toure – winner of major silverware four times with the club – would ”continue playing here because he is a very important player”. Pellegrini also admitted he had been disappointed by the 31-year-old’s form this term, but backed Toure, who has two years left on his current contract and captained the side in Sunday’s 2-0 win over West Ham, to come good again. In the quotes on Tuesday, Toure said: “I owe it to the City fans to fight until the end of my career at this club. ”My decisions will not be affected by changes in management, but more by the challenges that will be offered to me.” There have been questions over Pellegrini’s future, and Seluk was quoted on Sunday calling the Chilean a ”weak manager”, as well as criticising City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain. When asked immediately after the West Ham win about that interview, Pellegrini said he did not want to comment. City, likewise, declined to comment on the latest quotes from Seluk when contacted by Press Association Sport on Wednesday. Press Associationlast_img read more

White relieved to make Test debut

first_imgNathan White has admitted he feared he would never realise his dream for Test match rugby during two injury-ridden spells. Marty Moore will provide the immediate back-up if he recovers from shoulder trouble in time as expected, leaving White battling it out with Michael Bent for the last prop berth in Ireland’s 21-man World Cup line-up. Bent’s ability to prop on both sides of the scrum offers the kind of versatility Schmidt has already revealed he craves, but White’s unfussy solidity may yet see him trump his main rival. White himself was simply happy to have made his long-overdue Test debut, conceding he “felt like a kid again” on his international bow. “Being involved in November and in the Six Nations in the camps, that definitely helped me in terms of knowing what was expected on the field,” said White. “I felt like a kid again myself, especially when you’ve got Paul O’Connell out there, a guy I’ve watched for a fair while. “So I just really wanted to cherish the moment. “If Joe’s happy with what I’ve done on the field then hopefully I’ll get the call to go back into camp on Sunday night. “I’m just going week to week really at the moment, hopefully I can go back again. “Marty Moore is coming back, and Michael Bent covered tighthead last week so there’s plenty of options there.” Head coach Joe Schmidt kept faith with the 33-year-old, however, and his impressive cameo off the bench on Saturday has boosted his chances of squeezing into Ireland’s World Cup squad. “When I injured my arm back in November that was very disappointing, but then to get fit and injure my back, there were definitely a few demons,” said White. “Connacht offered me a new contract though, so that really made me determined to get myself right and do right by them. “And this opportunity came along, and that’s just great. “I don’t know how many coaches would show the kind of faith that Joe has shown in me. “He’s backed me and given me a crack, and it’s just fantastic to have had that chance. “There were dark days in rehab but the carrot was always to be in the position to play in a game like this, so it’s great to have done it.” Leinster stalwart Mike Ross remains the only player to feature in every Test in the Joe Schimdt era, and has the starting tighthead spot nailed down for next month’s World Cup. Connacht’s tighthead prop became Ireland’s third oldest debutant of all time in Saturday’s 28-22 victory over Scotland in Dublin, then conceded he fretted his Test chance had passed him by. New Zealand-born White was all set for his Test debut in Ireland’s autumn series in November, only to suffer an arm injury in training that then required surgery. Press Associationlast_img read more

Manuel Pellegrini laments complete disaster after Liverpool thrashing

first_img Beginning the day top of the Barclays Premier League, having lost just once at home and conceded five in six matches, they ended it in third place. An own goal from Eliaquim Mangala was followed by efforts from Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino as City conceded three league goals in the first half for the first time since February 2003. Sergio Aguero’s ninth of the season just before the break on his return from injury barely softened the blow with Reds defender Martin Skrtel brilliantly volleying home in the second half to complete the rout. “I am more than angry, it is unbelievable the performance we had,” said Pellegrini. “I have never seen this team play in the way they did tonight. “It was a complete disaster, the whole team. “It is difficult to understand why we should play so badly – not just one name but a complete team in defending or attacking possession. “I think we didn’t prepare – we lost so many balls in attack it was impossible to create chances, we conceded four goals and could have conceded at least three or four more.” Pellegrini’s decision to leave out centre-back Nicolas Otamendi and midfielder Fernandinho, two of City’s most consistent performers recently, was questioned but the Chilean refused to expand on his team selection – or his reasons for substituting captain Yaya Toure and Jesus Navas at half-time. “I will not explain the starting XI, if I had to choose the same starting XI again I would do,” he added. “There are a lot of things why I took the decisions with the starting XI but there was not one thing. “I was not happy with the performance of the 11 players, not just Yaya and Navas when I substituted them at half-time. “We tried to make another system and press high but it was exactly the same, it was not our night.” Pellegrini also refused to discuss the performance of Raheem Sterling on his first appearance against the club he left in the summer in a £49million deal. “I don’t want to talk about one player,” he said. “These things sometimes happen in football, why we played so badly today – that is why I do not want to talk about one player or a tactical system.” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, having won 3-1 at defending champions Chelsea last month, has now taken maximum points from his meetings with two of last year’s top four. His biggest win since taking over seven weeks ago more than made up for the home defeat against Crystal Palace immediately before the international break. “It was very satisfying. I’m not sure if it was the best (performance) but I rarely compare games,” Klopp said. “Two weeks ago we lost the game against Palace, now we have taken those points back. “For us it is important we can see and feel there is a development in our game. We need common experience so we can work with it. “We can do better than we did tonight – maybe not on the counter-attack because they were really good but we can start to believe in our own strength. “At half-time I had a little bit of a feeling some of them were feeling surprised we were in the lead here and that is what we have to learn. “It is normal in football if you have quality – and we have quality – you can be in the lead.” Klopp left £32.5million striker Christian Benteke among the substitutes, where Daniel Sturridge was named for the first time in Klopp’s tenure after recovering from injury. The German selected the majority of players he had to work with at Melwood during the international break and the link-up play between Coutinho and Firmino certainly proved that was the right call with the latter particularly impressive. “I told you a few weeks ago I know about his quality,” said Klopp of Firmino. “He trained 10-12 days with us without interruption, the same as Coutinho, and that is the reason we played like this with the formation like this – we tried to put on the pitch as many players who trained together.” Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admits his side were a complete disaster and unrecognisable to him in the 4-1 defeat at home to Liverpool. Press Associationlast_img read more

Messi’s 500th Barca goal sinks Real Madrid in thriller

first_imgBy Rik SharmaMADRID,(Reuters)-Lionel Messi scored his 500th Barcelona goal with the last kick of the game to snatch a stunning 3-2 win at Real Madrid and put the two teams level on points at the top of La Liga on Sunday.James Rodriguez appeared to have rescued a point for the hosts with an 86th-minute strike to make it 2-2 after goals by Messi and Ivan Rakitic had overturned Casemiro’s opener.Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Messi in the 77th minute and that left Barcelona in a strong position, until Rodriguez fired home at the near post.But Messi’s second goal in the final minute of added time earned Barca a vital win in the title race that leaves both sides with 75 points, although Madrid have a game in hand.“We are first now but Madrid have an extra game,” said Barcelona coach Luis Enrique. “It will be tight down till the end. We got the result we came here for.“This is a season that weighs (on us) like five. So many things have happened, good things, not so good things, things I’ve already forgotten.“The 2-2 (goal) was a terrible blow but players were able to come back in the last breath — the happy ending that we all wanted at Barcelona.”The match was a thriller which will go down as one of the best Clasicos in history, with end-to-end action from the off.Cristiano Ronaldo was furious when Samuel Umtiti tripped him in the box and referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez waved away his appeal, but Barcelona were complaining afterwards when Marcelo got away with an elbow on Messi.The Argentine came in for harsh treatment throughout, with Casemiro lucky not to be sent off for multiple hacks on him after picking up an early booking for a foul.The Brazilian opened the scoring for Madrid in the 28th minute, tapping home at the back post after Ramos had fired Marcelo’s cross against the post.Five minutes later Barcelona were level and it was Messi who finished it, dancing away from Dani Carvajal and slotting the ball beyond Keylor Navas.Gareth Bale went off injured towards the end of the first half and was replaced by Marco Asensio. The youngster set up Ronaldo in the second period but the Portugal international blasted over from close range.Rakitic made him pay with a long-range strike that flew beyond Navas and then Ramos was dismissed as he lunged in on Messi recklessly.Rodriguez levelled the score after he reached Marcelo’s near-post cross but Messi had the final say, blowing the title race wide open.Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said his team were still in control and the result would not upset their title charge.“Nothing changes now. Maybe after today the league will be more open,” he said. “But we still depend on ourselves.”last_img read more

West Indies vs India 2nd T20… Simmons, batsmen inflict 8-wicket thrashing upon India

first_img–Windies level series 1-1Opener Lendl Simmons cracked a half-century as West Indies trounced India by 8 wickets to level the T20 series 1-1, following their defeat in game one.India racked up an imposing 170 for 7 in their 20 overs, thanks mainly to middle-order batsman, Shivam Dube, who led the way with 54 off 30 balls.Dube hit three fours and 4 maximums while wicket-keeper Rishbah Pant scored an unbeaten 33 in support of his partner.Windies seamer Kesrick Williams and leg-spinner, Hayden Walsh Jr, starred with two wickets apiece.Hayden Walsh Jr celebrates a dismissal ©(BCCI)Simmons then made light work of a seemingly stiff target by smashing four fours and as many sixes in his unbeaten 67 from 45 balls; leading the chase as they ended on 173 for 2.His countryman and fellow opening partner, Evin Lewis, was also aggressive, adding 73 with Simmons while hitting three fours and three big sixes in his 40.The pair of Guyanese Shimron Hetymer, who smoked 23 off 14, and the returning Nicholas Pooran who blasted an 18-ball 38 not out, saw the Windies to safety in 18.3 overs.The 3rd T20 bowls off in Mumbai on Wednesday.(Clifton Ross)last_img read more

IR journal hosts spring release party

first_imgThe Southern California International Review, USC’s undergraduate journal of international studies, hosted its release party for its Spring 2014 issue at the University Club Monday night.Global scholar · Matthew Prusak, editor-in-chief of the Southern California International Review, spoke during Monday evening’s event. – Austin Vogel | Daily TrojanFunded by the university, the SCIR publishes twice a year and seeks to advance discussion on pressing global issues.Monday’s event, the First Annual Release Symposium, celebrated the published work of undergraduate students in international affairs all across the globe, and those in attendance were able to network and pick up copies of the published journal.Distributed globally, the SCIR receives submissions from undergraduate students around the world and staff then chooses the five best pieces to be published.Editor-in-chief of the SCIR Matthew Prusak noted that the SCIR is the largest journal of its kind on the West Coast, with competitors at Tufts University, University of Pennsylvania and University of Wisconsin-Madison.“West of the Mississippi we’re the biggest journal in town, and that’s starting to show,” Prusak said. “We get many, many excellent pieces — it’s competitive. We’re proud of the final product.”He specified that submissions to the journal doubled in the fall issue and again in the spring.Some of the authors of the journal were in attendance for the release party Monday night. Sean McGuire, author of “Explaining Jewish Terrorism in Mandatory Palestine,”  said he was very proud to have been selected for the journal.“I’m really thrilled to have been published,” McGuire said. “I didn’t expect to get selected at all because I know the reputation of this journal has been expanding globally, and I know the competition is really stiff.”McGuire, a USC alumnus who graduated from the university last December with a degree in international relations and economics, wrote his piece for a class he had taken at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.“I had written a good paper for a religion and political science and journalism class … I expanded the paper really with the goal of submitting it to [SCIR],” McGuire said.His piece studied the reasons why certain minority groups lash out in pursuit of their freedom and analyzed case studies from the first half of the 21st century regarding the Jewish population in Mandatory Palestine –— a British civil administration operating in the Palestine region from 1920 to 1948.“I’m interested in the question of why some minority groups — specifically religious minority groups — turn violent in expressing their sovereignty,” McGuire said.Prusak noted that the SCIR fosters a culture of identity for international relations students, and churns out an admirable publication.“This organization [has] really just become a way for the [international relations] community to rally around its own culture,” Prusak said. “We work together, we create a good product — that’s what its about.”last_img read more

Thurles Sarsfields ready to be target, says Chairman

first_imghe mid tipp club get their campaign for Dan Breen underway this weekend with the opening round of games in this year’s senior hurling championship against Borris-Ileigh in Templemore on Sunday. There are a total of 14 games down for decision over Saturday and Sunday.Michael Maher, Chairman of Thurles Sars says it’s understandable that they are more of a target as the title-holders.last_img

Australian Open qualifying delayed as smoke blankets Melbourne

first_imgThe poor air quality has already impacted the event, with the Australian Open announcing practice had also been suspended during the morning Tuesday.”Practice was temporarily suspended this morning due to poor air quality,” a statement read.Further decisions will be made based on onsite data, and in close consultation with our medical team, the Bureau of Meteorology and scientists from EPA Victoria.As always the health and safety of our players, our staff and our fans is our priority.— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 13, 2020Air quality in Melbourne has been in the “hazardous” and “very poor” range since midnight local time (8 a.m. ET Monday) in readings provided by the Environment Protection Authority Victoria. Bushfires have ravaged Australia in recent months and there have been concerns over player and spectator welfare at the year’s first grand slam tournament, with the main draw beginning Monday, Jan. 20 (Sunday in the U.S.). Australian Open qualifying was delayed Tuesday due to poor air quality as smoke from bushfires in Australia impacted Melbourne.Play was due to get underway at 10 a.m. local time (6 p.m. ET Monday), but thick smoke blanketed Melbourne, leading to it being pushed back by an hour.last_img read more