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World champion Ashour celebrates dream return to squash


World champion Ashour celebrates dream return to squash


The PSA World Series brings the planet’s best squash players together for some of the most prestigious events throughout the season.

Most recently the rubber balls were thrashed around the courts of El Gouna in Egypt.

Home hope Ramy Ashour was hoping to complete a fairytale return to action when he reached the final.

Ashour was returning to competition for the first time since winning the 2014 World Championship in December.

In the showpiece match he met world number one and compatriot Mohamed Elshorbagy – the man he beat for the world crown last year.

In a breathless encounter Ashour got off to the better start and soon found himself two games up and with championship point.

His 24-year-old rival, however, responded superbly to claw his way back to take the contest to a deciding fifth game.

Elshorbagy raced into the lead in the fifth and at one point held a match point ball himself.

But like at the world championships five months prior, 27-year-old Ashour was to inflict heart-break on his fellow Egyptian.

Known as the ‘Artist’ three time world champion Ashour rallied back and took the final game to a tiebreaker which he duly won to wrap up the 94-minute intense battle and celebrate a dream comeback.

Size doesn’t matter

The World Series of Boxing is made up of teams from the four corners of the globe battling it out over a gruelling league format that leads to play-offs and a final.

As you know well, boxers come in all shapes and sizes – but sometimes looks can be very deceiving.

The impressive and pre-bout favourite Joe Joyce entered the ring for the British Lionhearts looking for a perfect six wins from six bouts this season.

But going toe-to-toe with the 29-year-old was Russian boxing team’s Maxim Babanin.

What initially looked like a complete miss-match turned out to be the surprise of the team contest at The Brewery in London.

The fighters who finish top of each weight division in the league automatically qualify for Rio and Joyce was looking good to claim his place early.

But despite his athletic disadvantage Babanin managed to score the points that mattered and it all came down to a split-decision that went in the Russian’s favour.

It was the final bout of the evening and saw Russia win the week 12 contest 4-1.

Joyce meanwhile was left ruing missed opportunities that led to a first defeat and fading hopes of an early automatic Olympic qualification.

Kiwi’s avenge Cricket World Cup loss on the hockey field

Six nations participated in the 24th edition of field hockey’s Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at Ipoh, Perak in Malaysia.

But inevitably those six were whittled down to two.

Having recently disputed the Cricket World Cup final, Australia and New Zealand once again flew their national flags high and proud.

They continued their recent fine sporting form to reach the hockey final and cross sticks in a bid for gold.

Andy Hayward got the Kiwis off to the ideal start – the drag flick king hit the mark from a short corner to open up the scoring.

Australia’s Jamie Dwyer got a cheeky deflection to level matters for the eight-times champions before Hayward scored another short corner to give the ‘Black Sticks’ a 2-1 lead with 29 seconds left.

But after winning a contested penalty Aussie captain Mark Knowles beat goalie Devon Manchester from the spot to send the match into a shootout

Hugo Inglis, Blair Hilton and Ryan Archibald all converted the Kiwis’ first three attempts.

But it didn’t go quite so well for the Kookaburras infront of an on-fire Manchester between the posts.

Jake Whetton scored Australia’s sole conversion.

Daniel Beale missed the first attempt…twice.

Another miss by Eddie Ockenden and then Aran Zalewski left New Zealand celebrating a 3-1 shootout win and their second Cup title after 2012.

Where sport meets

This action-packed event involves over 100 sports federations and association members.

It brings the ‘behind the scenes’ of sport directly onto centre stage.

This year the event takes place in Sochi and will also see President Marius Vizer re-elected for a four-year term on Monday at the General Assembly as he stands unopposed.

It’s an action-packed 6-day event that also hosts thousands of people who attend meetings, conferences, exhibitions and enjoy cultural activities as well as vast sports demo zone.

It has something for all.

The commonality shared by all who attend, from visitors to industry leaders and from athletes to tech companies aiming push the boundaries is, by far, their passion for sport.

Simply smashing

Badminton is the fastest racket sport that exists – not to mention one of the best sports to play if your looking to tone up your buttocks and arms before the summer holidays.

With help from the badminton academy at the Singapour sports school we take a look at the the fastest shot of the lot – the forehand smash – which is the sport’s most potent shot and when executed well there is very little defence against it.

The racket velocity for the smash clocks 25 metres per second

That’s equivalent to the fastest land speed animal – the cheetah.

The contact between the shuttlecock and the strings is four milliseconds while the ‘birdie’ leaves the racket head at 76 metres per second – three times faster than the cheetah.

The world record for the fastest smash is currently 493 kmph held by Tan Boon Heong in test conditions. That’s a stunning 100 kmph faster than a formula one car.

To work the smash you need to work the arm, shoulder and chest muscles.

Incline dumbbell chest presses, jumping push-ups and overhead tricep extensions will help as will overhand and underhand wrist curls.

These help increase power in the wrist flexor, forearm extensor, biceps, triceps and deltoid muscles which all work together to help you produce that deadly smash.

X-trial des Nations

This week’s end-of show-clip comes from Nice and the impressive FIM X-trial des Nations, where control, balance and skill are combined to produce some edge-of-your-seat entertainment.(see clip above)

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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