Saturday 25 August 2012

Nigerian forward Moses close to joining Chelsea,says coach

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo Friday confirmed the European champions are close to signing Nigeria forward Victor Moses from Wigan.

Nigerian forward Victor Moses
Moses, 21, is believed to have travelled to London for a medical and to discuss personal terms on Friday and Di Matteo expects the former Crystal Palace star will be confirmed as a Chelsea player shortly.
"The clubs have agreed terms now. The player will have a medical. (Wigan manager) Roberto Martinez has done a wonderful job with this player since signing him. He's really developed him." Di Matteo said on Friday.
"He had a very good season last year and hopefully we can progress his development. He can play on either wing and will give the team width. He has good dribbling ability, has pace and is powerful.
And German Bundesliga side Bremen and Belgian club Bruges agreed on transfer of Nigerian striker Joseph Akpala on a four-year deal, both sides said on Thursday.
Eight days before the closure of the transfer window Bremen reinforced their squad with the signing of the Nigerian international.
"We are glad that we were able to convince Joseph Akpala to join us. He will increase the attacking power of the squad. Of course we hope for many goals," Bremen manager Klaus Allofs said.
"It is a big step in my career. It is a great privilege to play for Werder Bremen. This club is one of the big clubs in Germany," Akpala said.
The 25-year-old striker played four years for Bruges and scored 38 goals in 102 matches. Overall he scored 63 goals in 166 matches at Belgians first division soccer league.
"Joseph has shown in many games that he is a powerful striker who benefits from his speed and his scoring prowess," Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf said.
In Athletics,Berlin marathon champion Florence Kiplagat from Kenya announced on Friday that she has pulled out of the Chicago Marathon.
Kiplagat, who clocked 2:19:44 in winning Berlin marathon last year, cited an ankle injury for her withdrawal, just a month ahead of the race.
However, Kenya will still have another promising star Lucy Kabuu, winner of the Dubai Marathon, for the prestigious event.
"I think I put my body under too much pressure trying to qualify for the Olympics in 10,000m race. I have to slow down and leave my leg to heal now," said Kiplagat Friday in Eldoret.
This leaves the field to Russia's Liliya Shobukhova who will be going for an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory in the event's 35th edition on Oct. 7.
After she was unable to finish the Olympic Games Marathon on Aug. 5 due to stomach cramps, Shobukhova will look to get back to her winning way in Chicago where she is undefeated in three appearances.
Shobukhova, who ran the third-fastest time in history (2:18:20) to win last year's race, will face her stiffest competition yet in the bid for her fourth title.
Sub-2:20 performer Kabuu (2:19:34) stands in her way, as does Ethiopia's Ejegayehu Dibaba, who ran 2:22:09 in a runner-up finish to Shobukhova last year.
These three athletes have the potential to put Paula Radcliffe's 10-year-old course record of 2:17:18 in jeopardy.
Kabuu currently has the third fastest performance of the year - and she is ranked 14 in all-time list - after her 2:19:34 run at the Dubai Marathon in January.
"Lucy is one of the most exciting athletes in the sport," said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski in a statement.
"She is relatively new to the marathon, which, combined with what she has accomplished on the track and in cross country, promises a very bright future ahead.
"The Chicago marathon is a course that will suit them well and I think these two athletes will push each other to even greater heights."
Dubai was Kabuu's first marathon, and her debut ranks as the second fastest all-time (behind marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe). In April, she placed fifth at the London marathon, narrowly missing out on making her third Olympic team.
Also joining the field is Kenya's Caroline Rotich, the fourth place finisher from the last year's Boston Marathon with a personal best of 2:24:26. She will compete in the Chicago marathon for the first time.
Incredibly, it has been 10 years since a Kenyan woman broke the finish tape in Chicago - that being Catherine Ndereba in 2001 in a then world record time of 2:18:47.
In fact, since Ndereba's runner-up performance the following year, a Kenyan woman has not finished among Chicago's top three, and only Joyce Chepchumba (fourth, 2004) has finished among the top five.
This trio of Kenyan athletes will look to put an end to the winless streak at the October event. (Xinhua)

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