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Petronas Yamaha SRT riders take front row grid at Japanese GP

KUALA LUMPUR, Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) riders, Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo will start their race side by side on the front row for the third time this season at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Italian Morbidelli set his best lap time of one minute and 45.895 seconds to finish in second place followed by his teammate, Frenchman Quartararo with 1:45.944s in third place.

Reigning MotoGP world champion, Spain’s Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda Team will eye his tenth win of the season after snatching the pole position with his best lap time of 1:45.763s set in the second qualifying session.

“We did a great job in the wet today after working very well together and after doing a good job yesterday in the dry conditions. It was half wet and half dry in qualifying, but we were able to be fast again so it was an amazing session.

“I wasn’t expecting to be as fast as I was because I hadn’t tried out the conditions on slick tyres at the end of FP4 (free practice 4). The conditions affected qualifying a little bit and we were a second quicker yesterday,” said Morbidelli in the team’s statement issued today.

The premier class race will be held at 3 pm local time tomorrow (2 pm Malaysian time) at the Twin Ring Motegi.

Tomorrow’s race could be Quartararo’s chance to secure the Rookie of the Year title as well as extending his 24-point lead in the Independent Riders’ classification.

The 20-year-old rider currently topped the Rookie of the Year standings with 143 points, 85 points advantage over Spaniard Joan Mir of Suzuki Ecstar.

“We’ll work a little more in warm-up tomorrow morning to improve our race pace. We need to make a good start, and then let’s see what happens. But I’m feeling good and I think we can fight for the podium again. I’ll give my 100 per cent and try to fight with the guys,” said Quartararo.

In MotoGP riders standings, Quartararo stood in seventh place after accumulating 143 points.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Tawau has the potential of producing world class e-sports players

TAWAU, Tawau has the potential to produce world class e-Sports players based on the increased involvement of players in the event in Sabah, in line with the industrial revolution 4.0, said Apas Assemblyman Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan.

“I believe youngsters in Tawau can be the best e-Sport players. Actually, many benefits could be gained through e-Sport, where the youngsters were exposed to electronic and cyber technology,” he said at the Sabah Gaming Carnival Tournament organised by Tawau Gamers Community (TGC) here, today.

In addition, he said e-Sport could serve as a catalyst for strengthening friendships and enhancing unity as the players involved are of various races and religions.

“As we played the game, more importantly, we can see that we are equally responsible for keeping the state and the country together just like we compete in e-Sport,” he added.

Meanwhile, Nizam also wants parents to give their support but at the same time monitoring their children who have a keen interest in e-Sport as the new sporting event could offer good income.

“However, parents should not take things for granted but should also monitor their children against negative things even when they are actively involved in e-Sport,” he said.

Nizam noted that the government is also providing support to strengthen e-Sport in the country by allocating RM20 million in Budget 2020 for e-Sport development.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Cycling: Spaniard wins inaugural Tour of Peninsular

KUALA LUMPUR, Spaniard cyclist Marcos Garcia created another history for himself today by clinching the inaugural Tour of Peninsular (ToP) title after the fifth and last stage from Kuala Lipis to Setiawangsa here.

The 32-year-old from Kinan Cycling Team won the yellow jersey (overall leader) via an absolute three minutes and two seconds advantage over second placed Igor Chzhan, with an overall time of 16 hours, 59 minutes and seven seconds, despite finishing 35th, 16s behind today’s winner in the bunch.

Garcia, who gained the three minutes advantage after winning the queen stage from Sungai Koyan to Cameron Highlands yesterday, also secured the red jersey (King of Mountain) with 37 points, two points higher than teammate Thomas Lebas.

Today’s race a bit crazy and another difficult stage. Everyone wanted to finish it fast, but with good team work, we managed to control the race.

I am very happy to become the first winner of ToP.. I hope to come back next year to defend the title, but it depends on the team, he said after the prize giving ceremony at Wangsa Walk Mall here.

The ToP title is the Spaniard’s second UCI (International Cycling Union) 2.1 Asia Tour title, after winning the 2018 Tour of Japan. He also won the 2.2 Tour de Hokkaido in 2017.

The one-two finish at Cameron Highlands with teammate Thomas also contributed to the Kinan Cycling Team’s win in team classification with a total time of 51:06:54s, followed by two Malaysian teams – Terengganu Inc TSG Cycling Team (TSG) with 51:09:34s and Team Sapura Cycling (TSC) with 51:11:25s.

In the 151.4km distance race today, Moldovan Cristian Raileanu from TSC secured his second podium in ToP by clocking 03 hours, 19 minutes and 12 seconds, followed by Iranian Mohammad Esmaeil Chaichiraghimi from Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan, with similar time.

Sofian Nabil Omar Mohd Bakri from the Malaysian national team headed the bunch finish to secure third place, 14s behind the two leaders.

Meanwhile, TSG’s Nur Amirul Fakhruddin Marzuki could not defend his blue jersey (King of Sprint) after failing to add points in today’s three sprint zones at Raub, Bentong and Gombak, as South African Rohan du Plooy from Protouch sprinted for another 14 points to wrest the jersey with 58 points in total.

Kazakhstan’s Igor took the white jersey after leading the Best Asian rider classification with an overall time of 17:02:09s, followed by Singaporean Choon Huat Goh of TSG (17:03:09s) and Muhammad Nur Aiman Mohd Zariff of TSC (17:03:26s).

The 751.6km distance race started on Tuesday with a 180.6km long Dungun-Kuala Terengganu stage, followed by Kuala Terengganu-Chukai, Kuantan-Karak, Sungai Koyan-Cameron Highlands, before finishing today.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Peng Soon-Liu Ying Malaysian only survivor at Denmark Open Tourney

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysian professional mixed doubles pair, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are the only Malaysian pair left standing in the Denmark Open Badminton Tournament in Odense, Denmark on Thursday (Friday in Malaysia).

The fourth seeded pair advanced into the last eight after securing a hard-fought 26-24, 13-21 and 21-11 win against unheralded Indian pair, Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Reddy N. Sikki in the second round match held at the Odense Sportspark, according to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) website;www.bwfworldtour.bwfbadminton.com.

Peng Soon and Liu Ying is slated to meet the fifth seed, Seo Seung Jae-Chae Yujung in the quarter-finals match, later today after the South Korean pair defeated Chang Tak Ching-Ng Wing Yung of Hong Kong; 21-12 and 21-6 in another second round tie.

Two other Malaysian pairs, however, crashed out from the US$775,000 (RM3.245 million) tournament after they were beaten by their respective opponents.

Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Jemie Lai lost 15-21 and 20-22 to the eighth seed, Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong in the mixed doubles, while Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, suffered a 20-22 and 16-21 defeat at the hand of the current world champion, Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia in the men’s doubles.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Peng Soon-Liu Ying Malaysian only survivor at Denmark Open Tourney

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysian professional mixed doubles pair, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are the only Malaysian pair left standing in the Denmark Open Badminton Tournament in Odense, Denmark on Thursday (Friday in Malaysia).

The fourth seeded pair advanced into the last eight after securing a hard-fought 26-24, 13-21 and 21-11 win against unheralded Indian pair, Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Reddy N. Sikki in the second round match held at the Odense Sportspark, according to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) website;www.bwfworldtour.bwfbadminton.com.

Peng Soon and Liu Ying is slated to meet the fifth seed, Seo Seung Jae-Chae Yujung in the quarter-finals match, later today after the South Korean pair defeated Chang Tak Ching-Ng Wing Yung of Hong Kong; 21-12 and 21-6 in another second round tie.

Two other Malaysian pairs, however, crashed out from the US$775,000 (RM3.245 million) tournament after they were beaten by their respective opponents.

Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Jemie Lai lost 15-21 and 20-22 to the eighth seed, Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong in the mixed doubles, while Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, suffered a 20-22 and 16-21 defeat at the hand of the current world champion, Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia in the men’s doubles.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Elephants optimistic of semi-final match against Kedah

KUANTAN, The current form of the Pahang football squad has emboldened the Elephants to give FA Cup champions, Kedah a tough fight in the first leg Malaysia Cup semi-finals at Darul Aman Stadium tomorrow.

Coach Dollah Salleh is also happy that all players are injury-free in their march to lift the trophy this season.

Our boys have fully recovered and I hope they are at their best fitness level now. Nonetheless, the players really focused on the mission, which is a relief to me.

I believe both teams are aware of each other’s strength and weaknesses which will make the match even more interesting, he said when met by Bernama after the team’s training session at Darul Stadium here yesterday.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Marcos conquers Camerons climb, secures the yellow for final push

CAMERON HIGHLANDS, Spanish rider, Marcos Garcia is now leading the general classification (yellow jersey) of the inaugural Tour of Peninsular (ToP) road cycling stage race with a three- minute advantage after winning the penultimate stage today.

The 32-year-old from Kinan Cycling Team, edged favourite and teammate, Thomas Lebas to win the queen stage which began from Sungai Koyan for an uphill climb to Tanah Rata (89.5km), clocking 2 hours, 21 minutes and 12 seconds.

Thomas, among the favourites to win the yellow jersey, finished 50 seconds behind, while Indonesian Odie Purnomo Setiawan from PGN Road Cycling Team took the last podium spot (2:22:53s).

Today’s hilly route started with two sprints at Kg. Tiat and Kg. Leyar, before a Category 1 climb at Ringlet (1,104m elevation) and ended with a hors category climb towards finishing at Tanah Rata (1,440m elevation).

With the win, Marcos wrested the yellow jersey from yesterday’s winner, Nur Amirul Fakhruddin Marzuki from Terengganu Inc TSG Cycling Team (TSG), who only managed to finish in 68th place, 13 minutes and 32 seconds behind the winner.

Having won the 2018 Tour of Japan, Marcos is set to win his second UCI (International Cycling Union) 2.1 Asia Tour title, if nothing goes wrong in the last stage tomorrow, as the Spaniard now leads with an impressive 3:02s ahead of nearest rival, Igor Chzhan of Vino-Astana Motors, with a total time of 13:39:41s.

Marcos also wrested the red jersey (King of Mountain) from Indonesian rider, Aiman Cahyadi of PGN Road Cycling Team, with a two point advantage over Thomas, after collecting 37 points in total.

Today was a great day for the team and I am grateful that the whole team were super strong to secure 1-2 finish in this stage. I have 100 percent trust in my teammates that they will help me retain the jersey tomorrow, Marcos said after the prize presentation.

Nur Amirul however, only managed to retain one of the three jerseys he won yesterday, the blue jersey (King of Sprint), as he stayed on top with 44 points.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s Igor Chzhan from Vino-Astana Motors, took the white jersey as the best Asian rider (13:42:43s), after finishing seventh today with 2:24:24s.

The final jersey winners and overall champion will be decided tomorrow after the last stage from Dataran Lipis, Kuala Lipis to Wangsa Walk Mall, Setiawangsa, Kuala Lumpur (151.4km), featuring sprint zones at Raub, Bentong and Gombak, besides climbs at Bentong (Category 4) and Genting Sempah (Category 2).

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)