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CANBERRA, Australia - Challenged before the Asian Cup to prove it can be more than a footnote in Australias crowded sporting calendar, the national capital Canberra has responded with good attendances and an impressive audition for more prominent roles in

Started by luyp123, 2015/08/06 09:31AM
Latest post: 2015/08/06 09:31AM, Views: 449, Posts: 1
CANBERRA, Australia - Challenged before the Asian Cup to prove it can ...
#1   2015/08/06 09:31AM
CANBERRA, Australia - Challenged before the Asian Cup to prove it can be more than a footnote in Australias crowded sporting calendar, the national capital Canberra has responded with good attendances and an impressive audition for more prominent roles in the future.In the leafy streets of the capital, quiet in January with the politicians on holiday, Asian footballs biggest event has taken hold. It is a payoff for organizers who took a gamble by giving Canberra — a city of around 400,000 people — seven out of the 32 games, equal to Sydney and Melbourne, cities with populations ten times as large.The national capital has a Super rugby team in the ACT Brumbies, while the Canberra Raiders are a long-term fixture in the National Rugby League, but otherwise it has little presence when it comes to national and international sporting events.In the week before kick-off, Asian Cup CEO Michael Brown drew the ire of Canberra residents by telling the city to put up or shut up and that the only way to get more sporting events was to show up to the Asian Cup.I may have upset a few people but Canberra has been amazing, Brown told Associated Press. They have talked for years about having an A-League team or a Big Bash (Twenty20 cricket) team but the only way to do that is to turn up in big numbers for the events that do come.China versus North Korea last Sunday was a virtual sell-out and there is not expected to be a spare seat for Fridays quarterfinal between Iran and Iraq. Canberra has so far averaged over 10,000 for the six games it has hosted, without yet seeing the three biggest drawing teams of the tournament: Australia, Japan and Iran.Overall, the target of 500,000 tickets sold is almost certain to be met as with eight games to go, the figure is almost at the 400,000 mark. Australia has been amazing, added Brown. We sold out Japan and Jordan, and think we will have up to eight sell-outs across five cities. The best teams have reached the quarterfinals, and with a surprise or two such as China there as well, it is a promoters dream.Nicholas Amies, 22, is a volunteer at Canberra Stadium and has enjoyed the experience of being close to the best teams in Asia and sampling the atmosphere. Its been really good so far. Attendances have been better than expected. There have been a lot of neutrals attending games, the tickets are affordable which is good for families.Attendances at stadiums may have been helped by the difficulty accessing games on television, as the tournament is on a newly launched cable channel which most homes, and even many bars, do not have.Viewing figures on the channel have been mixed. While almost 400,000 watched Australia lose to South Korea, just 26,000 saw Uzbekistan defeat Saudi Arabia 3-1 in a vital Group B decider.The local media has given a reasonable amount of prominence to the Asian Cup, even as the tournament competes against the familiar mainstays of Australian sporting summers: cricket and the Australian Open tennis.When it comes to quality on the field, the fare has been fine rather than fabulous but quarterfinals such as Australia against China and Iraq versus Iran are sure to provide drama and excitement. And then it will be time to discuss the legacy.For Canberra, it is simple: a team of its own in the countrys professional competition, the A-League, to get behind and support.It already is a football city and thats why we have seven games, said Jeremy Lasek, the CEO of the National Australia Day Council as he watched Australia defeat Oman 4-0 in a Canberra bar. We love sport. Its great to see the different cultures here and it really shows what the world game is all about. . And he has responded by stepping up his play. Griffin had 26 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 112-95 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. [url= Puckett Jersey . Instead, Atletico Madrid ended a 14-year winless run against its city rival by taking the title on Friday, coming from behind for a cathartic 2-1 win in extra time after Mourinho and his star forward Cristiano Ronaldo were sent off. Brazilian defender Miranda headed in Jorge "Koke" Resurrecions cross in the eighth minute of extra time to give Atletico its 10th Copa del Rey title and first since 1996. .J. -- The New York Jets have signed first-round draft pick Quinton Coples to a four-year contract. [url= Cruz Jr. Jersey . Tired of losing and determined to stop it, the New York Knicks toughened up and fought their way out of their worst slump of the season. KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Swapping shrieks along with their shots, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka made rallies sound like a car alarm. Sharapova was the soprano, Azarenka the alto, and their alternating arias could be heard on the beach across the street from the Sony Ericsson Open. But Sharapova was flat and her opponent sharp. Azarenka swept nine consecutive games to take charge Saturday and won the tournament for the second time, beating Sharapova, 6-1, 6-4. The final matched two of the most notorious grunters in tennis, and while both were noisy, Azarenkas shots had more bang. Sharapova committed 43 unforced errors, held serve only once and came up short with a late comeback bid. "I played real well the first set," the No. 8-seeded Azarenka said. "Maria is such a great fighter, I knew she was going to fight to the end. She came up with great tennis at the end, and I had to hang in there. Thats what paid off." And who had the better shriek? "I think mine is quieter," Azarenka said. Sharapova committed eight errors in the first game alone. She lined one especially unsightly serve into the concrete in front of the net. By the time she found her range, Azarenka led 4-love in the second set. "Its a little bit too late to pick up the pace when youre down a set and 4-love," Sharapova said. "I wish I picked it up earlier, obviously. She did many things better than I did today." While the womens tournament was full of surprises, the mens draw is down to the games top-ranked players. No. 1 Rafael Nadal will play for the championship Sunday against No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who is 23-0 this year. Also on the mens side, Torontos Daniel Nestor and partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus lost the doubles title to Indias Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. The third-seeded Paes and Bhupathi earned a 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 10-5 (match tiebreak) victory over Nestor and Mirnyi, the second seeds. Sharapova, who announced shell skip the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C., lost in a final for the fourth time since her most recent title, at Strasbourg in May 2010. Shes 0-3 in finals at Key Biscayne, where she was also the runner-up in 2005 and 2006. But the three-time Grand Slam champion is healthy again after battling a series of injuries, as the results are starting to show. Shes projected to climb next week to No. 9, the highest she has been ranked since early 2009. "It means that Im winning matchees, and winning more of them," she said.dddddddddddd. "It has been a long road to get here. Its not over yet." Azarenkas also on the rise, and projected to be ranked No. 6 next week, matching a career-best. Alas, the 21-year-old Belarussian cant play Key Biscayne every week. She also won the tournament in 2009, stopping Serena Williams in the final. The two titles are the biggest of her career, and she joked shes planning to move to Miami from Minsk. Serena and Venus Williams, who between them have won eight Key Biscayne titles, missed the tournament for health reasons. But Azarenka still faced a tough path to the final, beating No. 2 Kim Clijsters and No. 3 Vera Zvonareva in straight sets. Through six rounds, Azarenka avoided the sort of emotional outbursts that derailed her in the past. She said that after losing in the third round at Dubai in February, she went home and reflected on the state of her game. "I changed my mentality a little bit," she said. "Im enjoying myself so much on the court that theres no room for me for frustration. I just dont care if I lose -- what I mean is not to create such a big drama out of it. If you lose the match, its not the end of the world." Before facing Sharapova, Azarenka suggested fans wear earplugs, and the two finalists went at it like a couple of "Aida" rejects. The screeching on one early exchange had spectators giggling before the point ended, but a grim Sharapova pretended not to notice the strident soundtrack. "I dont really think about it when I play," she said. "Its about thinking what I have to do." She had trouble there, with Azarenka hitting aggressively from the baseline to prevent Sharapova from finding her rhythm. Sharapova broke serve to reach one-all, but it was an hour before she won another game. She failed to convert 11 game points on her serve before holding for the only time to trail 4-2, and briefly steadied her strokes. Pounding winners, she overcame two match points to break for 5-4. "I didnt feel like I was doing anything wrong," Azarenka said. "She was just playing really good." But Sharapova was too erratic to sustain her rally -- or the rallies. When she dumped a forehand into the net on the final point, Azarenka dropped her racket in disbelief and celebrated by spinning and dancing across the court. And then the only noise came from the cheering crowd. cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys ' ' '

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