North, South Korea hockey players team up for Olympics

first_imgThe players were sharing the same locker room and the lockers of the North Korean players were deliberately placed between those of their South Korean teammates so that they could become close quickly, according to Yonhap news agency.The Koreas fielded a single team to major sports events only twice, both in 1991. One event was the world table tennis championships and the other soccer’s World Youth Championship. But this is the first time they’ve assembled a single team for the Olympics.The Koreas explored how to cooperate in the Olympics after the North’s leader Kim Jong Un abruptly said in his New Year’s address that he was willing to send an Olympic delegation. As part of the rapprochement deals, the Koreas also agreed for their athletes to march together under a single flag during the Feb. 9 opening ceremony. Some experts say North Korea may want to use improved ties with the South as a way to weaken U.S.-led international sanctions.The International Olympic Committee has allowed 22 North Korean athletes, including the 12 hockey players, to compete in Pyeongchang in exceptional entries given to the North, which initially had none for the games. The 10 others will compete in figure skating, short track speed skating, Alpine skiing and cross-country skiing. They will come to South Korea on Feb. 1.The joint hockey team deal has triggered a backlash in South Korea, with a survey showing about 70 percent of respondents opposing the idea because it would deprive South Korean players of playing time. The IOC-brokered agreement requires at least three North Korean players to suit up for each game, meaning that three from South Korea’s original roster cannot play in those games.ADVERTISEMENT View comments North Korean women’s ice hockey players arrive at the South Korea’s national training center, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Jincheon, South Korea. Twelve North Korean female hockey players have crossed the border into South Korea to form the rivals’ first-ever Olympic team during next month’s Pyeongchang Winter Games. (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)SEOUL, South Korea — Female hockey players from the rival Koreas were paired up with each other Thursday to form their first-ever Olympic squad during next month’s Pyeongchang Winter Games, as their countries press ahead with rare reconciliation steps following a period of nuclear tensions.A dozen North Korean hockey players wearing white-and-red winter parkas crossed the heavily fortified border into South Korea earlier Thursday, as about 30-40 conservative activists shouted anti-Pyongyang slogans at a nearby border area.ADVERTISEMENT 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting The North Koreans traveled on to a national athletes’ village in southern South Korea, where they were welcomed by their South Korean teammates and Canadian coach Sarah Murray, who presented them flower bouquets in an outdoor welcoming ceremony.“I sincerely welcome your arrival,” Lee Jae-kun, head of the athletes’ village, told the North Koreans after they got off a bus.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutPark Chol Ho, a North Korean coach who arrived with the 12 athletes and two support staff, told reporters that he’s happy to team up with South Koreans. “I’m very pleased with the fact that North and South are united as one to participate in (the Olympics). I expect we’ll see good results if we unite our efforts … though we don’t have much time,” he said.The Korean players later shouted “We are one!” and took a group photo. North and South Korean players plan to practice separately for several days as Murray needs time to learn about the North Koreans. Read Next NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Murray has said that the North Koreans’ hard-hitting style would make them suited to be her fourth line, a group of players who are typically asked to provide strong physical play in short bursts while giving their teammates with greater scoring responsibilities a chance to rest.Murray, who examined the North Koreans first hand during an event in Gangneung last year, has identified five players as memorable, but among them, only forwards Jong Su Hyon and Kim Hyang Mi made the trip for the Olympics.The unified Korean team will open their group action against Switzerland on Feb. 10. It will then face Sweden on Feb. 12 and Japan on Feb. 14. What draws attention is its Japan match, as many in both Koreas still harbor bitter resentment against Japan’s 35-year colonial rule that ended in 1945, three years before two different governments were formally established on the Korean Peninsula.Conservatives in Seoul have held a series of small-scale rallies in recent days. On Monday, activists burned Kim’s photo and a North Korean flag as the head of the North’s popular girl band passed by them during a visit to the capital. North Korea responded Tuesday by warning similar actions could disrupt ongoing reconciliation efforts.South Korean officials hope an Olympic-inspired mood of detente would serve as a stepping stone to the resumption of diplomatic talks that could slow down North Korea’s nuclear advancement. North Korea, however, has insisted it won’t discuss its nuclear program during its ongoing talks with South Korea, and some experts warn that tensions could flare again after the Olympics. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:13US says it will resume talks with North Korea soon00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa D-League: Zark’s-Lyceum destroys AMA by 24 Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

India’s No. 1 ranking at stake says AB de Villiers

first_imgSouth Africa’s star batsman AB de Villiers has said that there would be a question mark on India’s number one ranking if they falter in the three-match series starting on December 16.”There’s been this feeling and stats show it, that their batters score bigger and they generally perform better at home, which is normal. This will be a big test for them. There’s always been the label that they struggle in South Africa,” de Villiers told The Independent. “If they don’t have success here, there’ll definitely be a question mark about their No. 1 ranking,” he said.De Villiers said he admires Sachin Tendulkar in the Indian team but hoped that the batsman does not strike form in the three-Test series starting in Centurion.”Sachin is a legend of the game and I will always look up to him and it’s great that he is here. It might be his last series in South Africa, so you’ve got to enjoy having the man around, but I’m hoping he doesn’t score too many hundreds.”The 26-year-old de Villiers has scored 4,540 runs in 63 Tests and has been a mainstay of South Africa’s batting line-up.De Villiers said the visitors would gain from having South African Gary Kirsten as coach but the hosts have quality bowlers to contain their much-vaunted batting line-up.”He (Kirsten) has got a lot of knowledge of conditions here. They’ll have all the necessary information. They are a class team and they gave us a run for our money the last time they were here. I back our seam bowlers. Dale (Steyn) and Morne (Morkel) will be big danger men. We are playing at home and we should know the conditions,” he said.advertisementDe Villiers, who had scored an unbeaten 278 against Pakistan in November, to become the highest scorer for South Africa in Tests, said “I would like to achieve a lot more. I have my goals now and I just want to go out there and win games for the team.”About his captain, the star batsman said, “I am the type of guy that needs a boost every now and then from the coaching staff and the captain. Graeme Smith’s always been there for me, backed me 100 per cent, even during the bad times,” he said.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Game 5s await for Nuggets-Blazers, Raptors-76ers

first_imgPanelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard, left, holds the ball away from Philadelphia 76ers’ Jimmy Butler, right, during the second half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Philadelphia. The Raptors won 101-96. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)Denver and Toronto started this second round of the playoffs feeling great about their chances.And then things went bad.ADVERTISEMENT Sunday’s situation was dire for Denver and Toronto: A loss would have meant a 3-1 series deficit, which is almost always a precursor to elimination.The trick now, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said Monday, is to keep that same level of desperation — a lesson his team learned in Round 1.“Well, it is dire,” Malone said. “It’s a best-of-three … and we don’t want to do all that work to allow them to come in and win Game 5 and have a chance to close it out in Game 6 back in Portland. We attacked it the same way in Round 1 in the same scenario. We beat San Antonio down there in Game 4 and we approached Game 5 like it was all or nothing. And we were able to get that win. So, it’s the same thing for us now.”Kawhi Leonard’s numbers have been ridiculous for Toronto so far in this Eastern Conference semifinal series: He’s averaged 38 points, nine rebounds and four assists on 62 percent shooting.He’s scored 152 points in the series. Philadelphia’s top two scorers, Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid, have 163 combined in the four games.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Desiree Cheng bids La Salle goodbye with ‘happy heart, much contentment’ And then they bounced back.So now, going into a pair of big-time swing games on Tuesday night — Denver plays host to Portland, Toronto plays host to Philadelphia — the Nuggets and Raptors can either take a firm grip on their respective series or get themselves into pits of trouble that would be even deeper than the ones they were in a couple of days ago.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsGame 5s await. Blazers-Nuggets, tied 2-2. 76ers-Raptors, tied 2-2. Toronto and Denver both reclaimed home-court advantage with series-tying road wins on Sunday, and the task now is to keep that momentum going with very high stakes.“You win a game, and you’ve got to play another one,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said Monday. “To borrow a phrase that everybody uses, this is a grind. These things are grinders, and being even-keeled, professional, hard-working, tough mentality is what it needs on each game and each possession, really, on both ends.” Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid LATEST STORIEScenter_img DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue KEEP AN EYE ON: Kyle Lowry and Danny Green. Everything is running through Leonard right now, and rightly so, but Toronto has to be thinking that either — or both — of these guys are overdue for a big game.PRESSURE IS ON: Ben Simmons. The Philadelphia guard has 40 points, 37 shot attempts and 19 assists in 153 minutes. Too quiet.TRAIL BLAZERS AT NUGGETSSeries tied 2-2. Game 5, 10:30 p.m. EDT, TNT.NEED TO KNOW: Could this series be more even? No, probably not. Total points, Denver leads 464-462. Field goals, Denver leads 169-168. Both teams have exactly 44 3-pointers. Both teams have exactly 82 free throws made.INJURY WATCH: Portland center Enes Kanter battled through 29 minutes of Game 4 with his ongoing shoulder problem.KEEP AN EYE ON: Portland’s starters. Blazers reserves like Seth Curry, Rodney Hood and Zach Collins were great in Game 4, but the starting five couldn’t generate any real sustained success.PRESSURE IS ON: Denver. Yes, the Nuggets went through a seven-game grind in Round 1. But the Blazers won’t rattle easily and know they can win on the road. MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte “He’s been really, really, good,” Nurse said of Leonard. “From my vantage point, it’s been really fun to watch. And we’ve needed him to be that good.”Meanwhile, Denver has gotten help from a perhaps surprising source. Will Barton suddenly isn’t an offensive liability anymore.Booed at home while going 1 for 10 from the floor against San Antonio last month and benched for Torrey Craig not long afterward, Barton finally found his shooting touch in Portland. All 22 of his points in the Nuggets’ 140-137 quadruple-overtime Game 3 loss came after the third quarter. And Barton had two crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter of Denver’s 116-112 win in Game 4.“I thought those two 3s in that fourth quarter were huge for us,” Malone said. “It’s back and forth, neither team could really get a stop in the fourth quarter. But we kept on answering the bell. We scored enough points and Will’s 3s were a big part of surviving their push at the end of that quarter.“And hopefully that continues into Game 5.”A look at Tuesday’s games:76ERS AT RAPTORSSeries tied 2-2. Game 5, 8 p.m. EDT, TNT.NEED TO KNOW: Not that this technically matters to either team, but history shows how vital Game 5 wins are in a series that is tied at 2-2. Each of the last five times that Toronto has been in a series tied 2-2, the Game 5 winner has ultimately advanced. And in Philadelphia’s case, this is the 25th time in franchise history that it has been in a 2-2 matchup. The Game 5 winner has won 24 of those series.INJURY WATCH: More of a health watch in this case, but Embiid was impeded by illness big-time in Game 4. When he was on the floor, the 76ers controlled play at both ends. When he wasn’t, the 76ers simply could not score — and Toronto took advantage of his absences to win the game. View commentslast_img read more