Latest sports news, reviews and interviews
African stars will be going for glory when the IPC Athletics World Championships are held in Doha’s Suhaim bin Hamad Stadium at Qatar Sports Club from 22 to 31 October 2015. The event, featuring 1500 athletes from more than 100 countries, is an opportunity for athletes to qualify for Rio 2016. Look out for Tunisia’s Walid Ktila, a man who has dominated the T34 class on the track for many years. Despite some strong opposition from stars such as Switzerland’s Bojan Mitic, Finland’s Henry Manni and Australia’s Rheed McCracken, Ktila is still favourite for gold. South Africa’s Ilse Hayes is a gold medal hope, too. She ran the 100m in under 12 seconds this year, recording an incredible 11.89 at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in April to become the world’s fastest female para-athlete. She will have competition from China’s Guohua Zhou, Cuba’s Yunidis Casti and Brazil’s Terezinha Guilhermina.
The Kenya Wildlife Marathon, Half-Marathon and 50k makes its debut on 3 October at the Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary. Organised by race director Sue Rudolph, the course will see runners sharing the route with zebras, lions and elephants, taking in some incredible views on the way – with even snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro visible on the horizon. The race has been set up to raise money for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and several professional Kenyan athletes will be on hand to offer advice and training tips to the gallant racers.
Nigeria are gunning for the 2018 World Cup with a new coach after appointing former Super Eagles midfielder and captain Sunday Oliseh. “This is the biggest job in African football,” Oliseh said. “With everyone’s support we can get the Super Eagles flying again.” Oliseh won 63 caps for Nigeria and helped his country win the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations and Olympic gold in 1996. The qualifying campaign for the next World Cup begins this month (ties scheduled to take place from 5-13 October), with 53 teams from Africa taking part. Further ties take place from 9-17 November. Teams reaching the third round will be split into five groups of four at a separate draw and the winners after the six-match day series go to Russia for the 2018 World Cup.
Buy of the month – SA home shirt
The Rugby World Cup continues this month with the final at Twickenham on 31 October. Get behind the Springboks by kitting yourself out in the new South Africa home shirt. Every Rugby World Cup 2015 team taking part has had its team Jersey remodelled for the tournament. Available from the official Rugby World Cup Shop (www.rwcshop.com).
One-to-one with Asamoah Gyan
Ghana striker and captain Asamoah Gyan, 29, is the talk of football after signing for Chinese side Shanghai SIPG. Having also played for Al Ain in the UAE, as well as in England, Italy, France and Africa, it makes him one of the most well-travelled players in the modern game.
Q How are you finding life in China, Asamoah, and what are your goals?
I’m doing well. The standard of football is good and it’s a challenge for me. They play good football in China and my job, as always, is to score goals and to win. The target is to help this side achieve all of its objectives. I want to help the side become successful.
Q You scored on your debut, so that was a good start!
That was a good feeling because I hadn’t played for months before that. But I’m an experienced player and so there’s no problem working with new teammates. I am fitting in
well and learning to adapt.
Q Some people criticised you for moving to China, saying it was more about money than football. Did that upset you?
I didn’t understand it. I work hard for what I earn and everywhere I go I just focus on my job. I have learned to turn the negatives into positives in my career.
Q Will playing in China affect your form for Ghana?
I don’t think so. People said that when I went to Al Ain, but I continued to score goals for my country. At Al Ain I won three titles and scored 95 goals. So I want to win things in China too.
What’s on in October…
1-31 Rugby Union World Cup, England
4 Horse racing Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, France
11 Formula 1 Russia Grand Prix, Sochi
22-31 Paralympic Sport IPC World Championships, Doha, Qatar
23-1/11 Gymnastics World Artistic Championships, Glasgow
25 Motorcycling Malaysia Grand Prix, Kuala Lumpur
26-1/11 Tennis WTA Championships, Singapore
31 Rugby Union World Cup Final, Twickenham