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  • Kenenisa Bekele Has Confirmed His Appearance At The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon On January 20

     

    Just over three months since running the second fastest marathon time in history, Ethiopian Olympic legend Kenenisa Bekele has confirmed his appearance at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 20.

    The three-time Olympic gold medalist stormed to victory in the Berlin Marathon in September crossing the finish line in 2h:03m:03s, just six seconds short of Dennis Kimetto’s world record (2h:02m:57s).

    And after voicing his disappointment at missing out on the world record, Bekele is targeting Dubai for the next chapter in his marathon running career. It will be his second appearance in the world’s richest marathon after an injury forced him to pull up on his Dubai debut in 2015.

    “It’s a massive boost to have Kenenisa confirmed for the 2017 staging of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon,” said Event Director Peter Connerton. “His performance in Berlin proves that he is now very comfortable at the distance and we know he has unfinished business in Dubai after dropping out here two years ago.”

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  • Sir Mo Farah given 'wake-up call' with rare defeat at Edinburgh Cross Country

     

    Sir Mo Farah (centre) was competing for the first time since his knighthood  CREDIT: PA

    Sir Mo Farah has urged his supporters not to worry about a first competitive defeat by a fellow Briton in seven years, insisting it has given him a “wake-up call” following a poor training stint.

    A severely undercooked Farah struggled home in seventh place atSaturday’s Edinburgh Cross Country as British team-mate Callum Hawkins came within a whisker of victory, missing out by just one second to American Leonard Korir.

    Competing for the first time since he was knighted in the New Year Honours list, the defeat was Farah’s first against another British athlete since the same event in 2010, although he also finished behind boxer Anthony Joshua over 100 metres in the BBC television show Superstars after the London 2012 Olympics.

     Understandably downbeat after Saturday’s race, Farah revealed he was only “65 to 70 per cent” fit and was adamant he would use the poor performance as motivation.

    “It definitely fires me up,” he said. “It gives me a little wake-up call. “It shows me, no matter what, if you are Olympic champion, world champion, that if you haven’t done the work, you will get beat.

     

    “It’s as easy as that and the last couple of weeks haven’t gone as well as I wanted.

    Don’t worry. Mo knows.” MORE... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/athletics/2017/01/08/sir-mo-farah-given-wake-up-call-rare-defeat-edinburgh-cross/

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  • World Cup: Fifa to expand competition to 48 teams after vote

     

    The World Cup will be expanded to host 48 teams, up from 32, Fifa has decided.

    An initial stage of 16 groups of three teams will precede a knockout stage for the remaining 32 when the change is made for the 2026 tournament.

    The sport's world governing body voted through the change at a meeting in Zurich on Tuesday.

    The number of tournament matches will rise to 80, from 64, but the eventual winners will still play only seven games.

    More to follow.

     

     

     

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  • The former AC Milan and England manager has tipped the Real Madrid forward to claim the award, especially after his Euro 2016 triumph with Portugal

     

    Fabio Capello has backed Goal 50 winner Cristiano Ronaldo to lift the Ballon d'Or trophy, claiming he has outperformed "genius" Lionel Messi in 2016.

    The former AC Milan and Real Madrid manager admitted that he prefers the Barcelona forward overall, but that the two are not comparable over the last 12 months.

    Goal 50: The best footballers of 2016

    Ronaldo helped Real win their 11th European Cup title with the winning penalty in the shootout victory over rivals Atletico Madrid, and then scored three goals at Euro 2016 as Portugal won their first ever major trophy.

    The 31-year-old has eight goals in nine Liga games for Zinedine Zidane's side this season, having scored 35 in the previous campaign.

     

    Capello believes that Ronaldo's achievements in 2016 make him the prime candidate to lift the Ballon d'Or, but revealed that he still has a certain fondness for Barcelona attacker Messi.

    “He deserves to win the Ballon d’Or this season," Capello told Fox Sports Italia.

    "He’s the best player of Real Madrid and Portugal, he has won everything this season. He’s been scoring bags of goals and has great personality.

    "He’s not a genius like the other one [Messi], but he’s a great player. I prefer Messi, but Ronaldo deserves to win the Ballon d’Or.”

    Deployed as a central striker, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid in the derby on Saturday, surpassing Alfredo Di Stefano's tally of 17 to become to highest scorer in the history of the fixture. 

    Zidane has said, however, that he was not confident that the Portugal international will continue in the No.9 role going forward.

    "It's not definitive. He was comfortable, we know that, but we'll see how things are for every match," he told reporters.

    Ronaldo's furious reaction to gay insult

    Capello is already looking forward to the next meeting of Ronaldo and Messi - on December 3 - and is intrigued as to whether the Portuguese will play up front.

    “It will be important to see how Zidane prepares the next game against Barcelona," Capello said.

    "He may require his strikers to help the midfield or leave them up front.

     

    @goal.com

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  • Andy Murray becomes world number one after Raonic withdraws from Paris Masters

    Andy Murray became the second oldest player to reach number one for the first time, after John Newcombe, who topped the rankings for the first time in 1974

     

    Britain's Andy Murray will become the world number one for the first time after Milos Raonic withdrew from their Paris Masters semi-final.

    Murray, 29, needed only to reach the final in Paris after current number one Novak Djokovic lost to Marin Cilic in Friday's quarter-final.

    But Canadian Raonic announced before Saturday's match that he was injured.

    Murray will be the first British singles player to hold top spot since computerised rankings began in 1973

     

    The Scot will play John Isner in Sunday's final, after the American beat Cilic 6-4 6-3 in Saturday's first semi-final.

    Djokovic had topped the rankings for 122 weeks, and completed his career Grand Slam by beating Murray in the French Open final in June.

    But Murray has reached 11 finals in his past 12 events, and has won 73 matches in the year, a personal record.

    He will be officially confirmed as world number one when the revised rankings are released on Monday.

    @BBC.com

     

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