Game on!

HR-GettyImages-545500946Latest sports news, reviews and interviews

Football
The Champions League is back in action in Europe this September – and this time Kenyan superstar Victor Wanyama will be there too.

Wanyama moved from Southampton to Tottenham Hotspur in an £11m move during the English summer, motivated by the chance to return to a competition he remembers so fondly.

“The Champions League is a big stage,” he said. “It’s where every player dreams of playing. It’s all about the big teams of Europe meeting each other and they’re just great nights.

“Here at Spurs, playing against teams like Barca and Real Madrid, it’s only going to make us better and if you brush shoulders with the world’s best players then nothing is impossible.”

Moving to north London is a massive transfer for Wanyama who was very popular in Southampton.

Says Wanyama on Tottenham’s official website: “My father and brother made me think that everything is possible. Watching my brother win the Champions League with Inter was really good. My father has always encouraged me to work harder to try to achieve what my brother did.”

Women’s football
Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon will represent Africa when the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup is staged in Bahrain. The tournament, which features 16 teams, begins on 30 September with the final being staged in Amman on 21 October. Games will also be staged in Irbid and Zarqa.

Running
Kenya stars will be in action at the Great North Run in Newcastle, England on 11 September – but they definitely won’t be alone!

The famous race, run between Newcastle and South Shields and founded by British legend Brendan Foster, has been a great venue for Kenyans over the years. Martin Mathathi still holds the course record while Mary Keitany has won the women’s race two years in a row.

This year, however, there will be intense competition as the race aims to include a runner from every country in the United Nations – that’s 193 in all.

What’s on in September and October?
1-11 Tennis
US Open, New York

4 Formula 1
Italian Grand Prix, Monza

4-5 Football
World Cup qualifying begins

10 Rugby Union
Australia v South Africa, Brisbane

7-18 Paralympic Games
Rio de Janeiro

9 Athletics
Diamond League, Brussels

11 Athletics
Great North Run, Newcastle, UK

13-14 Football
Champions League groups start

16-18 Formula 1
Singapore Grand Prix

17 Rugby Union
New Zealand v South Africa, Christchurch

24-25 Darts
The Champions League of Darts, Cardiff

24-25 Triathlon
Triathlon World Cup, Ecuador

30-2 Oct    Formula 1
Malaysian Grand Prix

30-2 Oct    Golf
Ryder Cup, Minnesota, US

Paralympics: Africa’s five to watch

The Paralympics kicks into action in Rio de Janeiro with African athletes once again going for gold. The tournament takes place from 7-18 September.

1 Kevin Paul (South Africa) – Swimming
Kevin aims to follow in the footsteps of his hero, Natalie Du Toit, South Africa’s most successful para-swimmer. He trains alongside Olympic legend Chad le Clos and is a two-time world champion. He also smashed the 200m world record last year.

2 Yakubu Adesokan (Nigeria) – Powerlifting
A superstar in the 49kg category, Yakubu won gold at the London Paralympics setting a new world record. He aims to retain his title in Rio.

3 Sherif Othman (Egypt) – Powerlifting
A Paralympics champion in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, Sherif is a world record holder in more than one weight category. He is likely to compete at 50kg in Rio, up against British world champion, Ali Jawad.

4 Ilse Hayes (South Africa) – Athletics
Ilse became the world’s fastest para-athlete after clocking 11.89 seconds for the 100m at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Sao Paulo in 2015. She has also won Paralympic gold medals in long jump.

5 Walid Ktila (Tunisia) – Athletics
A relative latecomer to the competitive scene, Walid Ktila has wasted no time in making his mark in the T34 class and has dominated the world stage in recent years. At the London 2012 Paralympic Games he stole the show with gold in both the 100m and 200m T34. After four golds in the world championships last year he is one of the favourites for Rio.