Category Archives: sport

Gay Games Cologne 2010

Around 10,000 gay and lesbian athletes from around the globe are expected to descend on the western German city of Cologne tomorrow to participate in the international Gay Games.

Entrants from more than 70 countries are due to take part in an eclectic mix of events including football, transgender ballroom dancing and cheerleading. A cultural programme includes art exhibitions, choir concerts and film screenings.

Many of the participants have adopted false identities because of fears that they will be persecuted on their return home.

“We want to demonstrate that the exclusion of gays and lesbians, especially in the sporting world, has to end,” said Thorsten Moeck, of the organisation committee.

“Among the represented countries are plenty in which it’s still an absolute taboo to out yourself.”

While most participants come from Germany and the US, the list of countries represented will also include Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Zimbabwe.

Moeck said for many, including Mexico’s gay soccer team, whose identities have been deliberately kept secret, it would be a “unique opportunity” to be surrounded by fellow gays and lesbians.

Eastern European sportsmen and women, from countries where discrimination is more or less systematic, have this year been invited to the event for free.

The Gay Games first started in San Francisco in 1982 and takes place every four years. Its founding father was the openly gay decathlete Tom Waddell, who died of Aids in 1987.

This year’s host city is home to Europe’s largest gay and lesbian sport club, SC Janus.

The Australian Olympic gymnast Matthew Mitcham, who won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and is one of the few major athletes to have ever come out, will open the event.

“This event brings gay and lesbian life onto the soccer pitch, the athletics track and into the swimming pool,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for all gays and lesbians to show the world that as a community we’re not a bunch of stereotypes.”

The event has been overshadowed by events at last week’s Love Parade festival, in the nearby city of Duisburg, in which 21 people were trampled to death and which has led to calls for tighter safety procedures at large-scale events in Germany.


I wonder whether openly gay athletes such as Gareth Thomas, Matthew Mitcham and Blake Skjellerup would be there, it would be fun 🙂

Lastly, a pic of Gareth Thomas

one pitcher of Matthew Mitcham

one of Blake Skjellerup


Nadal tops Federer in 5 sets to win Wimbledon

dari yahoo

WIMBLEDON, England (AP)—Rafael Nadal, grass stains on his white shirt and a Spanish flag tucked under his arm, scampered through the Centre Court stands to celebrate his first Wimbledon title with hugs and handshakes.

Roger Federer sat in his changeover chair, protected from the night’s chill by his custom-made cream cardigan with the gold “RF” on the chest. Alone with his thoughts, alone with the knowledge that he had come so close to becoming the first man since the 1880s to win a sixth consecutive championship at the All England Club.

Two points from victory, the No. 1-ranked Federer couldn’t pull it out, instead succumbing to No. 2 Nadal 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7 Sunday night in a 4-hour, 48-minute test of wills that was the longest men’s final in Wimbledon history—and quite possibly the greatest.

Even Nadal felt sympathy for Federer.

“I am very happy for me,” Nadal said, “but sorry for him, because he deserved this title, too.”

Through rain, wind and descending darkness, the two greatest players of their generation swapped spectacular shots, until, against a slate sky, Nadal earned the right to fling his racket aside and collapse on his back, champion of the All England Club at last.

“Is impossible to explain what I felt in that moment, no?” Nadal said after accepting the golden trophy that has belonged to Federer since 2003.

The first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win Wimbledon and the French Open in the same year, Nadal stopped Federer’s streaks of 40 victories in a row at the All England Club, and a record 65 in a row on grass, thereby stamping his supremacy in their rivalry, no matter what the rankings say.

“Probably my hardest loss, by far,” Federer said. “I mean, it’s not much harder than this right now.”

No man since 1927 had come back to win a Wimbledon final after losing the first two sets, and none had overcome a match point to seize victory since 1948. If anyone could, it figured to be Federer, especially on this particular lawn.

He hadn’t lost a match on grass since 2002, and he hadn’t lost a set during this tournament before Sunday. He also hadn’t faced anyone nearly as talented and indefatigable as Nadal.

“Look, Rafa’s a deserving champion,” Federer said. “He just played fantastically.”

Indeed he did, earning Spain its first Wimbledon men’s title since Manolo Santana won in 1966.

Nadal managed to regroup after blowing a two-set lead, managed to recover after wasting two match points in the fourth-set tiebreaker, managed to hold steady when Federer needed only two points to end the match while ahead 5-4 in the fifth.

He earned his fifth Grand Slam title, but first away from the French Open, by showing fortitude on his serve, saving 12 of 13 break points. He did it by breaking serve four times—twice as many times as Federer lost serve in his previous six matches combined. And Nadal did it by being better from the baseline, winning 24 of 38 points that lasted 10 or more strokes, according to an unofficial AP tally.

“He was rock-solid, the way we know him,” said Federer, who hit 25 aces. “He’s definitely improved his game.”

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after beating Roger Federer of Switzerland 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7, in the Men's Singles Final during the 2008 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Tennis Club in south-west London, July 6, 2008. AFP PHOTO/IAN WALTON/POOL (Photo credit should read Ian Walton/AFP/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrat…
Getty Images – Jul 6, 6:36 pm EDT

Borg and Santana watched from the front row of the Royal Box at Centre Court, which next year will have a retractable roof. Perhaps Mother Nature wanted one last chance to leave her mark, delaying Sunday’s start by 35 minutes with rain. Showers again caused a delay of 1 hour, 21 minutes late in the third set, then another of 30 minutes at 2-2, deuce, in the fifth set.

When action resumed at 8:23 p.m., it already was tough to see, and the players traded service holds until 7-7. That’s where Nadal finally broke through, as Federer’s forehand really began to break down. A forehand into the net gave Nadal his fourth break point, and a forehand long conceded the game— the first break of serve by either man since the second set.

Nadal still had to serve out the match, though, and he still had to avoid the sort of nerves Federer noticed when his opponent led 5-2 in the fourth-set tiebreaker.

“I played terrible there,” said Nadal, who double-faulted to 5-3.

Down 6-5 in that tiebreaker, Federer erased a match point with a 127 mph service winner. Down 8-7—again, one point from losing—Federer hit a backhand passing winner.

Spain's Rafael Nadal (R) is congratulated by Switzerland's Roger Federer after winning their final tennis match of the 2008 Wimbledon championships against  at The All England Tennis Club in southwest London, on July 6, 2008. Nadal won 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7.     POOL  AFP PHOTO / RYAN PIERSE (Photo credit should read RYAN PIERSE/AFP/Getty Images)

Spain’s Rafael Nadal (R) is co…
Getty Images – Jul 6, 6:29 pm EDT

A forehand winner put Federer ahead 9-8, and when Nadal missed a backhand return, the match was even. Federer jumped and screamed, and the crowd of about 15,000 joined him.

“Rafa keeps you thinking, and that’s what the best players do to each other in the end,” Federer said. “That’s what we both do to each other.”

It was their sixth Grand Slam final, already more than between any other pair of men in the 40-year Open era, and there could be several to follow. Federer is only 26, after all, and Nadal is 22. Federer has led the rankings for a record 231 consecutive weeks, and Nadal has been second for a record 154.

Nadal defeated Federer at the French Open en route to each of his championships there, in the 2005 semifinals and the past three finals, including a 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 rout last month that was Federer’s most lopsided loss in 180 career Grand Slam matches.

But the Swiss star kept reminding everyone this week that he has had the upper hand on surfaces other than clay.

Not this time.

Spain's Rafael Nadal bites the trophy after defeating Roger Federer in  the Men's Singles final on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, Sunday, July 6, 2008.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal bites the…
AP – Jul 6, 5:48 pm EDT

Nadal lost to Federer in the 2006 Wimbledon final in four sets, and the 2007 final in five. Although the latter was certainly suspenseful, it featured neither the drama nor the all-around excellence of Sunday’s encounter, which ended at 9:15 p.m., when Federer pushed a forehand into the net on Nadal’s fourth match point.

Federer made clear afterward he was not pleased that play continued despite the low visibility at the end.

“It’s rough on me now, obviously, you know, to lose the biggest tournament in the world over maybe a bit of light,” he said.

Said Nadal: “In the last game, I didn’t see nothing.”

Both players figured that if Federer had broken back to 8-8 in the fifth, play would have been suspended until Monday because of darkness.

“It would have been brutal,” Federer said.

It didn’t happen. Nadal came through.

Afterward, the new champion was asked if it was the greatest match he’d ever played. Plenty of others around the grounds, including John McEnroe—whose five-set loss to Borg in 1980 gets many votes—already were calling it the greatest match they’d ever seen.

“I don’t know if it’s the best,” Nadal said.

Then he thought about it for a moment.

“Probably,” he continued. “Probably the best, yes.”

Algae woes hit China’s Olympic sailing host city

dari yahoo

BEIJING (AP)-To host the Olympic sailing events, the Chinese port city of Qingdao moved a massive boat yard, relocated industries and spent about $850 million on transport links, parks, pollution controls and coastal green belts.

But with little more than a month to go until the Games, a different challenge is cropping up: A forest of blue-green algae is choking the coastal waters, suffocating beaches and lying in thick layers along sailing routes.

Authorities have ordered an all-out drive to clear it and block any more drifting into the area.

“We have stressed … that the priority should be given to the Olympic venue,” Yuan Zhiping, an official with the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Committee, was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

City officials say they’ll need at least two weeks to clear coastal waters, mobilizing 10,000 workers aboard 1,000 boats. It wasn’t clear how they planned to block other algae from drifting in.

Environmental problems have posed some of the biggest concerns for organizers of the Beijing Olympics, particularly the dust and filthy air in the Chinese capital, compounded by expected torrid heat and humidity.

It isn’t clear whether Qingdao’s Olympic planners ever allowed for algae-related contingencies. Calls to the city’s Ocean and Fishing Bureau, charged with handling the problem, rang unanswered Monday.

Blue-green algae blooms when nutrients, sometimes caused by excessive pollution, build up in water.

China has had a number of similar outbreaks in recent years, mostly on inland lakes, largely as a result of severe pollution from industrial sources, farm chemicals and domestic sewage. Along the coast, red tides of microscopic algae have forced fishing industry shutdowns.

The blooms can be caused by both natural factors and human activity. Wang Shulian, vice director of the Ocean and Fishing Bureau, told reporters Sunday the outbreak had no “substantial link” to environmental conditions or water quality.

“The algae is of various sorts, which will prosper under satisfying temperature and salinity of sea water,” Wang said. Calls to the bureau were not answered Monday.

In all, the algae is blooming over an area of 5,000 square miles, Xinhua said-including 32 percent of the coastal area set aside for the Aug. 9-21 sailing events, with a closing ceremony on Aug. 23.

The algae alert comes as Beijing and other cities hosting Olympic events are making final preparations for the Aug. 8-24 Games. Organizers announced over the weekend that all 37 venues were now fully functional, and sailors from 30 countries and regions have already arrived in Qingdao to begin training, according to Xinhua.

The Games are a huge opportunity for Qingdao to build its brand. German colonizers in the early 20th century left the city with its two best-known features: the European-style buildings of its old town and the brewery that makes China’s best-known beer, Tsingtao-the old-style spelling of the city’s name.

The Olympic marina sits at Fushan Bay, up the coastline on the East China Sea beside the high-gloss glass-and-marble new city center. Qingdao created 100 acres of land for dormitories, offices and boat storage by moving out the enormous Beihai boat yard.

The blue-green algae blossomed around June 1 in waters off Qingdao on the coast of Shandong province, about 400 miles southeast of Beijing. Its bright green strands have smothered beaches, forcing swimmers to clear a path with their hands up to several hundred feet from the coast.

Officials say the Qingdao blossom poses no health threat. However, some algae can produce dangerous toxins and if ingested can cause vomiting, respiratory failure and, on rare occasions, death.

The cleanup is expected to be completed by July 15, Xinhua said.

Whew, I hope everything would be settle before the opening of the Olympics 🙂

Celtics wins 17th NBA title with 131-92 rout of Lakers

dari yahoosport

BOSTON (AP)—On a new parquet floor below aging championship banners, the Boston Celtics won their 17th NBA title and a first one—at last—for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen—their Big Three for a new generation.

After 22 long years, the NBA has gone green.

Lifted by ear-splitting chants of “Beat L.A.” from their adoring crowd, which included Boston legends Bill Russell John Havlicek and JoJo White, the Celtics concluded a shocking rebound of a season with a stunning 131-92 blowout over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 on Tuesday night.

With the outcome assured, Boston fans sang into the night as if they were in a pub on nearby Canal Street. They serenaded the newest champs in this city of champs, and taunted Kobe Bryant and his Lakers, who drowned in a green-and-white wave for 48 minutes.

Garnett scored 26 points with 14 rebounds, Allen scored 26 and Pierce, the finals MVP, added 17 as the Celtics, a 24-win team a year ago, wrapped up their first crown since 1986.

This was total domination. The Celtics obliterated the Lakers, who were trying to become the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the finals.

No way. No how. No chance.

Boston’s 39-point win surpassed the NBA record for the biggest margin of victory in a championship clincher; the Celtics beat the Lakers 129-96 in Game 5 of the 1965 NBA finals.

Pierce doused Celtics coach Doc Rivers with red Gatorade. Owner Wyc Grousbeck, who named his group Banner 17 to leave no doubt about his goal, put an unlit cigar in his mouth—a tribute to Red Auerbach, the patriarch who had a hand in the franchise’s first 16 titles.

Garnett dropped to the parquet and kissed the leprechaun at center court, then found Hall of Famer Bill Russell for a long embrace.

“I got my own. I got my own,” Garnett said. “I hope we made you proud.”

“You sure did,” Russell said.

it’s predictable, congratulations to Boston Celtics 🙂