bits and pieces
Waseem confident about making Olympic cut
KARACHI: Mohammad Waseem – the most successful pugilist in Pakistan’s present team — is hopeful of making a forceful show in Olympics Qualifiers to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan in March.
Waseem has proved himself as by far the most successful boxer in Pakistan in recent times. He won a bronze medal in the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010 and also recently claimed the only gold for Pakistan in an international event in Islamabad last December. He also clinched a gold in the 2010 World Combat Games in China, bronze in 2011 President’s Cup in Jakarta, bronze in the 2009 King’s Cup in Bangkok and silver in the 2010 South Asian Games in Dhaka.
“I have been in good form and I have performed well in international tournaments. So I think if I get proper training ahead of the (Olympic) qualifiers then I can perform well and qualify for London Olympics,” Waseem told PPI.
Waseem has also been nominated for AIBA Professional Boxing (APB) World Series. APB officials would interview Waseem in February and his selection in the APB World Series, which is an effort of AIBA to make amateur boxing more interesting by making some changes.
Track great Johnson to assist Williams
LONDON: Olympic champion Michael Johnson is to work with Williams as the faltering Formula One team look to rediscover the form that made them one of the most successful names in Grand Prix racing.
Michael Johnson Performance Inc, a company founded by the three-times Olympic gold medallist will provide a training programme for the team’s pit crew as well as look at Williams’ overall training set-up. Williams have won 113 Grand Prix and lifted the constructors’ world championship nine times.
But last season the British outfit scored just five points — a long way from the glory years that saw drivers like Australian Alan Jones, Finn Keke Rosberg, Britons Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill and Canadian Jacques Villeneuve taking drivers’ world titles.
Although Johnson, who won gold in the 200 and 400 metres at the 1996 Games in Atlanta before triumphing in the 400m again in Sydney four years later, comes from a vastly different sporting background, Williams principal Sir Frank Williams believes his team will benefit from the partnership.
Russian clubs notch up million dollars in fines
MOSCOW: The disciplinary panel of the Russian Premier League handed out over a million dollars in fines to clubs last season, mainly due to misbehaviour by fans, the league’s press service said.
The clubs’ various misconducts forced the panel to meet in special sessions after every one of the season’s 32 matchdays to exact fines in 188 matches from 256 played overall. None of the league’s clubs managed to avoid penalty.
Nine-time champions Spartak Moscow led the penalty list with a total sum of 6.28 million rubles (over $198,000), one million rubles ahead of the second-placed Zenit St Petersburg.
Tomsk paid the lowest fines with sum of 180,000 rubles ($5,678 dollars). The overall sum of the season’s fines amounted to over 33 million rubles ($1.067 million). Reports said that fines for the clubs’ fans misbehaviour made up the biggest share in the overall amount at over 26 million rubles ($832,000).
PCB chief spends busy day in Karachi
KARACHI: Pakistan’s cricket chief Zaka Ashraf had a hectic schedule at National Stadium, Karachi on Thursday. To intimately acquaint himself with the goings-on under the PCB’s aegis in the city, the PCB chairman visited each and every office there, and had a number of meetings with people related to cricketing fraternity.
In important set of meetings that Ashraf engaged himself in were with the officials of the Karachi City Cricket Association, Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association and the Disabled Cricket Association.
The exchange of views facilitated everyone about the issues in these important cricketing entities. Another event of significance was Ashraf’s discussions with former cricketers and cricket administrators of note. These included Sadiq Mohammad, Shoaib Mohammad, Moin Khan, Jalaluddin, Salahuddin Sallu, Iqbal Qasim and Abdur Raquib.
Milan chief travels to England for Tevez talks
ROME: Chief executive Adriano Galliani travelled to England on Thursday in a last-ditched effort to conclude a deal that will bring rebel Argentina forward Carlos Tevez to AC Milan.
Milan are believed to have had two offers turned down by Tevez’s club, mega-rich Manchester City, and Italian press reports claim this is a make-or-break effort from the Milan official. Galliani was joined by lawyer Lorenzo Cantamessa and FIFA agent Giuseppe Riso to meet with Tevez’s agent Kia Joorachian in London, from where they will hold talks with City.
Milan, who claim to have already reached an agreement with the 27-year-old player, still want to secure a loan deal until the end of the season with a compulsory sale, under certain conditions, at that point.
AFC coaching course concludes in Islamabad
By our correspondent
KARACHI: The AFC License-C coaching course concluded in Islamabad on Thursday. In the 13-day course, which was conducted by former PFF’s Director Youth Development and Grassroots Siddique Shaikh, 23 coaches from across the country took part. The participants included: Saquib Omer, Farooq Nazir, Abdul Waseem, Sajjad Hafeez, Syed Hassan Abbas Jafri, Syed Mudassar Sabir, Muhammad Khan, Junaid Muhammad Khan, Faisal Javed, Muhammad Jamil, Waris Khan, Johar Ali, Muhammad Noman, Muhammad Ramzan, Sohail Imran, Mahmood Akram, Zafarullah Zafri, Dilshad Ali, Ari Masih, Ayyaz Mahmood Butt, Khuda Bux, Ghulam Shabbir and Zahid Qureshi.
Poor team spirit blamed for SL loss
COLOMBO: A Sri Lankan minister slammed the country’s cricket team on Thursday, blaming poor team spirit for its humiliating 258-run thrashing by South Africa, the island’s worst One-day International (ODI) defeat.