Tuesday 19 September 2017

In brief: Gebrselassie in retirement U-turn

Athletics

Haile Gebrselassie yesterday confirmed he has reversed his decision to quit athletics. The veteran Ethiopian tearfully announced his intention to retire after pulling out of the ING New York Marathon with 10 miles remaining due to a knee injury earlier this month.

The double Olympic gold-medallist, regarded by many as the greatest long-distance runner of all time, hinted via his Twitter account last week he may have been too hasty and needed time to consider his future. And he confirmed via the same social networking site that he was going to carry on.

"I want to thank you for all your support," he wrote. "Running is in my blood and I decided to continue competing. My announcement in New York was my first reaction after a disappointing race. When my knee is better I will start focusing on my next race."

Johnson key to Ashes hopes, says Ponting

Cricket

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has backed Mitchell Johnson to regain his best form in the Ashes.

Johnson was yesterday named in an enlarged 17-man party for the first Test at the Gabba on November 25, the selectors opting to hedge their bets with several players scratching around for form and fitness.

Australia's bowling department is giving concern but Ponting is adamant left-arm paceman Johnson will be key despite his indifferent form since returning from the tour of India.

"I'm not concerned about Mitchell's form at all," he said. "He's always been a wicket-taking, striking sort of bowler, and that's the way we need to use him during the Ashes series."

The squad named yesterday -- which will be trimmed back to 12 or 13 players over the weekend -- only contained one real eyebrow-raising selection, that of Tasmania's Xavier Doherty as one of just two front-line spinners.

Class act Brady destroys Steelers

Gridiron

Tom Brady maintained his mastery of the Pittsburgh Steelers, throwing three touchdown passes to tight end Rob Gronkowski and scoring once himself, as the New England Patriots bounced back from an embarrassing 20-point loss by winning 39-26 at the weekend.

The Patriots and AFC East rivals New York Jets are tied for the conference's top record at 7-2 after the Jets secured a 26-20 overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns

Elsewhere, Jon Kitna passed for 327 yards and three touchdowns and the Dallas Cowboys looked revitalised with Jason Garrett running the team in a 33-20 victory over the New York Giants.

Irish Independent

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