Farah retains Great North Run title

LONDON: Mo Farah followed up his recent 5,000 and 10,000 metres double triumph at the World Championships by defending his title in the Great North Run half-marathon in Newcastle on Sunday. In a thrilling finish, the 32-year-old double Olympic and five-time world champion held off Kenyan Stanley Biwott to cross the line first in a time of 59 minutes and 23 seconds. Biwott's countryman Mike Kigen, who came second in 2014, was third. "I didn't expect that -- I thought it was going to be a lot easier," Farah told the BBC. "I thought Mike Kigen gave me a good run last year and that it would be him and a few others, but Stanley Biwott is a class athlete and he definitely pushed me today. "But I also didn't think I was going to run that quickly towards the end of the season.–AFP

It is nice to finish with a win. That is the most important thing. It has been an amazing year. I couldn't have had a better one than this."

Kenyan Mary Keitany retained the women's title in a time of 1hr 07min 32sec. In the wheelchair races, Britain's David Weir claimed the men's title for the sixth time, while fellow Briton Shelly Woods won the women's race for her seventh title and third in a row.

Pieters wins Dutch Open for second title

ZANDVOORT: Belgian youngster Thomas Pieters fired a five-under 65 to win the Dutch Open by one stroke on Sunday just two weeks after winning his maiden EPGA tournament at the Czech Masters. The 23-year-old, from Antwerp, becomes the first player since Rory McIlroy to win back-to-back EPGA starts after Englishman Lee Slattery blew a chance to send the championship to a playoff after missing a six-foot putt at the 18th. Pieters finished with a winning score of 19-under par at the Kennemer Golf and Country Club in northern Holland. Spaniard Eduardo De La Riva shot the day's joint-best score of 63 to share second spot with Slattery who was devastated after his final hole miss that ruined his chances of following on from his triumph at last week's Russian Open.–AFP

AFP"I'm a little bit surprised because I was getting ready for the playoff," said the big-hitting Pieters. "Lee (Slattery) played really well but this victory is even cooler than the first one and now I want number three.

"I was confident and just tried to tee it up. I missed a putt at the first hole and was a bit nervous, but I then made a couple of birdies and felt good after that. Now I'm going to go and celebrate with my family." he added.

Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti was alone in fourth after his 63 lifted him up the leaderboard while Englishman Eddie Pepperell and Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen were a further shot back on 16-under. Spaniard Rafa Cabrella-Bello, who shared the overnight lead with Slattery, slumped to a final day 71 and a share of seventh place, while Scotland's 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie, who began the day one shot off the lead, also misfired with his 71 and finished tenth.

Ogier clinches third world title

SYDNEY - France's Sebastien Ogier clinched his third successive world rally championship for Volkswagen on Sunday after winning the Rally of Australia. The 31-year-old became just the third driver to win three titles in a row, joining his countryman Sebastien Loeb and Finland's Tommi Makinen. "It's an amazing season, the best I've ever done," said Ogier. "No mistakes, so many great performances and this one is once again a very high one." Ogier won the final seven stages in Australia, including all five held on Sunday, to win the three-day gravel road event near Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales. Teaming up with his longtime co-driver Julien Ingrassia, Ogier completed the rally 12.3 seconds faster than his Finnish teammate, Jari-Matti Latvala. Northern Ireland's Kris Meeke finished third, a further 20.3 seconds behind.–Reuters

Ex England goalkeeper Springett dies

LONDON: Former England goalkeeper Ron Springett has died at the age of 80 following a short illness, his former club Sheffield Wednesday announced on Sunday. Springett won 33 England caps and was a member of the squad that triumphed at the 1966 World Cup on home soil, finally receiving a winner's medal in 2009 following a change to FIFA's rules.He made 384 appearances for Wednesday before returning to formative club Queens Park Rangers in 1967 in a swap deal involving his brother, Peter, and remains Wednesday's most-capped England international. "Sheffield Wednesday are saddened to learn of the passing of the club's legendary former goalkeeper Ron Springett," Wednesday said in a statement on the club website.–AFP

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Ron at this extremely difficult time." Peter Springett died in August 1997 at the age of 51.

Pakistan disabled team returns home

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan disabled cricket team along with captain Hasnain Alam, manager Amir Uddin Asnari, head coach Zafar Iqbal, assistant coach Muhammad Javed, team Dr Noman Palekar, media manager Muhammad Nizam arrived after participating in 5-nation tournament in Bangladesh in Karachi on Sunday. While talking to The Nation skipper Hasnain said he was thankful to all mighty Allah over teams’ performance in the ICRC International Cricket Tournament for People with Physical Disabilities Bangladesh 2015 in Dhaka. He further said, he is quite satisfied with the runners up place and looking forward to carry on the good work, he thanked PDCA and Pakistan Cricket Board for providing excellent facilities and great platform for disabled cricketers on national and international levels.–Staff Reporter