•     KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- The two-time U.S. Open champ Retief Goosen finally seized the title in the Iskandar Johor Open as it drew the curtain on Sunday in Johor Baharu, the southernmost city of Malaysia.

        The 2001 and 2004 U.S. Open champ proved his professional strength with dramatic performance in the fourth round at the Royal Johor Country Club on Sunday, securing six under 66 and a four-round total of 12 under 276 to take away the title of the second largest golf open in Malaysia.

        He took the lead by the 11th hole in the final round which was halted for an hour and a half because of rain. And from then on he continued his triumph to bag the 79,250-U.S.-dollar winner's cheque.

        "It's nice to win again after almost 18 months without a victory. It means a lot to me. At least, I have managed to pick up one win every year since 1995," he said.

        Thailand's Thaworn Wirachant's played a final round of 71, overcoming the previous forerunners Niclas Fasth from Sweden and Mitchell Brown from Australia with a total of ten under 278 to become the runner-up.

        Australia's Kane Webber also surpassed Fasth and Brown to stand at the third place with two 70 in the last two rounds.

        Brown, former world top amateur golfer, saw his lead disappear with one over 73 in the final round on Sunday, while and Fasth, the Swedish pro and a 14-time winner on the European Tour, got three over 75.

        Both ranked at the fourth place, together with Andrew Dodt of Australia, Iain Steel from Malaysia, and Richard Moir of Australia with a total of seven under 281.

  •     MADRID, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Barcelona moved to the top of the Spanish Primera Liga following a convincing away win over Malaga after the season's ninth round of games.

        Midfielder Xavi Hernandez scored two goals and Leo Messi added another as Barcelona beat the home side, which had gone into the game with four consecutive wins, by 4-1. The last Barcelona goal was an own goal on a pitch made virtually unplayable by constant heavy rain.

        The rain was a key factor in the Mestalla Stadium where the Valencia side crashed to a shock 4-2 home defeat to struggling Racing Santander. Valencia had started the weekend top of the table, but a hat-trick from Racing forward Mohamed Tchite was to prove decisive. David Villa and Joaquin scored for Valencia, who never adapted to a muddy playing surface.

        Valencia is now joint third along with Real Madrid, who could only draw 1-1 away to Almeria. The deadlock in a tight and tactical first half was broken when Raul Gonzalez headed Real Madrid ahead following a cross from Gonzalo Higuain.

        However, the home side, after not scoring in their last two games, reacted well in the second half and Pablo Piatti levelled from close range with nine minutes remaining.

        Villarreal also kept the pressure on and moved into second place thanks to a 4-1 win in Bilbao.

        A tight first half ended with the scores level at 1-1 and Athletic Bilbao's players will think themselves unfortunate not to have been ahead. However, Villarreal were to prove lethal on the break in the second 45 minutes, with Robert Pires, Santi Cazorla and a goal from substitute Jozy Altidore sealing the points.

        Athletic have now lost their last five games and are deep in trouble second from bottom of the table.

        Meanwhile in Madrid, Kun Aguero returned to the starting 11 and scored both goals as Atletico Madrid returned to winning ways with a straightforward 2-0 win over a very average Mallorca.

        Sevilla missed a great chance to move into the top four as they let a two-goal lead escape them before losing 3-2 in Valladolid. Renato and Jesus Navas put Manolo Jimenez's side 2-0 up and they looked to be cruising to a win.

        Everything changed just after the half-hour, when Luis Fabiano was shown a second yellow card for diving and Valladolid took advantage of the extra man. Jonathan Sesma pulled a goal back before the break and two goals from second half substitute Nestor Fabuian Canobbio gave the home side an unlikely win.

        Elsewhere Sporting Gijon won their fourth consecutive game with a 3-1 win over Numancia. Recreativo Huelva and Getafe drew 1-1 anda Raul Tamudo goal was enough to give Espanyol all three points over bottom of the table Osasuna.


  • AC Milan's Kaka (L) fights for the ball with Napoli's Christian Maggio during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan Nov. 2, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


    AC Milan's Ronaldinho (R) celebrates with his team mate Gennaro Gattuso after scoring against Napoli during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan Nov. 2, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


    AC Milan Brazilian forward Ronaldinho celebrates after an own-goal by Napoli forward German Gustavo Denis of Argentina during their Italian major league soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


    AC Milan Brazilian forward Ronaldinho (R) celebrates with his teammate Gennaro Gattuso after an own-goal scored by Napoli forward German Gustavo Denis of Argentina during an Italian major league soccer match between AC Milan and Napoli at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

  • Paula Radcliffe has a special mission here tomorrow beyond the goal of becoming the first woman in 20 years to win the New York marathon for a third time. She wants to catch up with Olympic champion Constantina Dita. The Romanian won the race in Beijing which came too soon for Radcliffe as she recovered from injury. But it is Dita's age that interests Britain's world record holder, who has failed twice to win an Olympic marathon title.

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  •     BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Boca Juniors president Pedro Pompilio died of a heart attack on Thursday at the age of 55, according to sources from the club.

        The unexpected death of Pompilio caused deep sorrow in the sports sectors because he was a beloved and respected person.

        Pompilio, who passed away at his home outside Buenos Aires, has been at the helm of the club since June 1 when he beat Roberto Digon in the campaign and his mandate was due to run until 2011. He had been vice president of the club since 1995.

        In a daring move in February, Pompilio brought mercurial midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme back to the club after he had become an outcast at Spain's Villarreal.

  •     BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Argentine former soccer player Diego Maradona said on Thursday that he will debut as coach of the Argentine soccer national team in a friendly match against Scotland on Nov. 19 in Glasgow.

        "We are going to play a match against Scotland, we are going to form the team with the best we have and then we are going to prepare the match against Venezuela in the World Cup qualifiers," Maradona said.

        Maradona confirmed that the agreement between Barcelona and the Argentine Soccer Association (AFA) to skip Argentine forward Lionel Messi "will be respected".

        "We are not going to pass over nobody, the president of Bracelona (Joan Laporta) was a gentleman when he let Messi attend the Olympic Games, so we will do the same," Maradona said.

  •     BELGRADE, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Slovenian basketball club Union Olimpija failed to accomplish a stunning reversal against Tau Ceramica of Spain on Thursday, suffering their second defeat in the second round of Euroleague, Europe's premier basketball competition.

        The club from the Slovenian capital Ljubljana lost a nail-biter against Tau Ceramica with 90-91 before the cheering home crowd, the Slovenian news agency STA reported.

        After clearly dominating the first half and heading into half-time with a 12-point lead, Tau Ceramica built up an impressive 21-point lead (49-70) by the end of the third quarter, said the reports.

        Union Olimpija's captain Marko Milic effected a reversal with seven consecutive point and took Olimpija within six points of the Spanish club five minutes before the final whistle.

        In the nervous final minutes, a three-pointer by Jonathan Wallace took Olimpija into the lead for the first time. But Tau Ceramica scored through Mirza Teletovic just three seconds before the end.

        One week ago, Union Olimpija opened this year's campaign in theEuroleague in Badalona with a 64-81 loss to DKV Joventut.

        Slovenia's sole representative in Euroleague is playing in Group C, which also includes Turkey's Fenerbahce Ulker, Lottomatica Roma of Italy and Alba Berlin. Tau Ceramica survived the tough test on Thursday and became the only undefeated team in the group.

        Union Olimpija aims to progress through the group stage, which the team has failed to achieve since the 2003/04 season.

        The first stage of the 2008/2009 Euroleague is to finish on Jan. 15, 2009, with the top four of six teams in every group advancing to the Top 16 stage.

  •     SHIYAN, Central China, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- The 3rd World Traditional Wushu Championships (WTWC) opened on Wednesday in Shiyan city, central China's Hubei province.

        Nearly 2,000 excellent kungfu athletes will compete in Wudang Mountain, birthplace of Chinese traditional Wudang Wushu.

        "These championships will provide a great opportunity for the public to witness great performances by all these athletes who have incredible agility and talent," Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee(IOC), said in a congratulations letter.

        "As the largest one since WTWC began in 2004, this will be a distinguished gathering with far-reaching significance for helping Chinese traditional Wushu culture better go into the world," said Wang Xiaolin, General Secretary of the International Wushu Federation (IWF) and also president of the Chinese Wushu Association (CWA).

        During the three-day championships, athletes from 69 countries and regions, including Britain, the United States, Poland, Russia and Greece, will compete in 300 events like Taijiquan, Broadsword, Sword, Cudgel, and Spear.

        It is the first time for some countries to participate in the Wushu Championships, such as Columbia and Brunei. Some countries like Japan and Canada also sent large delegations to this event, according to Wang.

        "These all show the special fascination of Chinese Wushu and the enthusiasm in Wushu from people all over the world," he said.

        This event also attracted lots of Wushu masters, experts, famous entrepreneurs and government officials from home and abroad.

        A series of cultural events will also be held during the kungfu festival, including a grand welcome ceremony, lectures and performances given by kungfu masters.

        As the quintessence of Chinese culture, Wushu has a history of 2,500 years. To better spread Wushu in the world, IWF was established in 1990 and officially approved by the IOC in 2002.

        With years of efforts, IWF has made great progress in spreading Wushu to the whole world. The charm of Chinese kungfu has attracted more and more people from all over the world. A total of121 countries and regions have joined the IWF.

        Sponsored by IWF, the biennial WTWC has become the one of the largest traditional Wushu events in the world and has become an important platform for Wushu's popularization. The first and second editions were held in Zhengzhou in 2004 and 2006 respectively.

        Renowned as a world culture heritage, Wudang Mountain is the birthplace of one of the three major schools of Chinese traditional martial arts, with a saying that "respecting Wudang most in the south while admiring Shaolin most in the north".

        Shiyan is recognized as a city with grand Wudang Mountain ancient architecture complex, gorgeous natural environment, and rich Taoism cultural resources.

  •     RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Rebeca Gusmao, the Brazilian swimmer who is involved in a doping case, said on Wednesday that she would not rule herself out of the possibility of becoming a professional wrestler.

        Gusmao is waiting to hear the CAS's judgment on whether or not she will be banned for life from swimming. Despite being optimistic about the results, Gusmao likes the idea of becoming a professional wrestler.

        "I love close combat sports. I wouldn't mind giving wrestling atry," said the swimmer, having said earlier that she was considering soccer too.

        "I know that in the U.S., professional wrestling is quite popular. I like to try new things."


  • Yi Jianlian(L) of the New Jersey Nets defends Carton Butler of Washington Wizards during their NBA basketball game at Verizon Center, Washington, DC, USA, Oct. 29, 2008. Nets won 95-85.(Xinhua Photo)


    Yi Jianlian (R) of the New Jersey Nets defends as JaVale McGee of Washington Wizards goes up to shoot during their NBA basketball game at Verizon Center, Washington, DC, USA, Oct. 29, 2008. Nets won 95-85.(Xinhua Photo)

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