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Ahn poised for J-League switch

Tokyo: South Korea striker Ahn Jung-hwan is poised for a switch to the J-League after failing to secure a move to a European club, a Japanese newspaper reported on Monday.

Ahn has signed with Tokyo-based company, ‘Professional Management,’ which has paid Italian Serie A club Perugia $3.1 million to release the 26-year-old from his contract, according to the Nikkan Sports.

Last week a proposed move to Premier League club Blackburn Rovers collapsed after British authorities refused to issue the player with a work permit.

The European transfer window closed on August 31, and Ahn was facing the prospect of another season of frustration at Perugia or negotiating a move outside Europe.

There would certainly be no shortage of J-League clubs prepared to sign the South Korean who is currently training on his own in Seoul.

World mark by Matt Welsh

Melbourne: Matt Welsh set a world record time of 23.31 seconds in the men’s 50 metres backstroke at the Australian national short-course swimming championships on Monday.

Welsh bettered the previous world record of 23.42 set by Neil Walker of the United States in March 2000.

Marcos lets in five goals

Rio de Janeiro: Little-known striker Marcio hit four goals past World Cup goalkeeper Marcos as Parana thumped Palmeiras 5-1 in the Brazilian championship at the weekend. Palmeiras, missing six first-team players, crashed to their third successive defeat, leaving coach Flavio Murtosa — Brazil’s assistant coach at the World Cup — in danger of losing his job after less than one month. “I don’t know what’s happening but I’m ashamed,” said Marcos. His team dropped to 24th in the 26-team table after conceding 11 goals in three games.

Elsewhere, Veteran striker Romario completed his fourth game without scoring as Fluminense lost 0-2 to Coritiba. “I didn’t play well and the team lost. I’m here to score the goals and I wasn’t efficient,” said the 36-year-old.

In Aussie footsteps

New York: The US Open could follow the lead of the Australian Open and install a retractable roof over its main court, the tournament’s chief executive said after Sunday’s schedule was all but washed out. “We love that retractable roof,” Arlen Kantarian said after a day of downpours at the Grand Slam event. “We have looked at it... no promises here but we do love that roof. You know, it is something that can be looked at not just for Arthur Ashe stadium court but also for Grandstand court and Louis Armstrong (court).”

Injured Zhang keeps World Cup

Singapore: China’s Zhang Yining retained the women’s table tennis World Cup here Monday, shrugging off a thigh injury as she demolished fellow-Chinese Li Nan in straight games.

Zhang, the world No. 2 but tournament favourite following the withdrawal of No. 1 Wang Nan, was in no mood to stay at the table longer than necessary.

Despite not being able to move as freely as she would like, Zhang looked invulnerable against the left-handed Li, ranked eighth in the world, and raced to an 11-9, 11-8, 11-3, 11-9 win.

Title for Barbados

Discovery Bay, Jamaica: Barbados won the Red Stripe Bowl, beating Jamaica by 32 runs, their first limited-over title in 14 years. Batting first Sunday, Barbados scored 241 for eight off 50 overs, then bowled Jamaica out for 209 in 46.2 overs. The win was secured by Floyd Reifer’s innings of 86 and a 63 from opener Kurt Wilkinson.

Milan sells Contra

Milan: AC Milan have sold Romania defender Cosmin Contra to Spanish club Atletico Madrid, the Italian club said on Monday.

Contra is the fourth player to move from Milan to newly-promoted Atletico in recent months, following Spaniards Jose Mari and Javi Moreno, and Italian Demetrio Albertini.

Right back Contra, signed from Alaves last season, will return to Spain after a year at the San Siro.

nCricket, India vs England, third Test, Day IV highlights from12 noon on ESPN

n Soccer: Football focus from 9 pm on ESPN n Soccer: Premier League from 9 pm on ESPN n Tennis: US Open live from 8 pm on STAR Sports


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