Sport360 picks out the main talking points from the sporting world with Anthony Joshua, Daniel Cormier, Rory McIlroy, Fernando Torres and Aaqib Javed all featuring this week.
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They’re hating on my beach body. If they want, I’ll give them some sessions. They can come train with me.
– British heavyweight Anthony Joshua in response to criticism from Tyson Fury.
Shane Warne has a problem with me. I don’t know what – I’ve never disrespected him. It seems he has a lot inside him that needs to come out. I don’t appreciate the way he continues to talk about me. And the things he keeps doing. I don’t know – maybe it’s because my face is real and his face is not.
– West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels on Shane Warne.
Jon Jones, I have never been afraid of you or anyone in my entire life. You calling me coward is insane. Your day will come b****.
– UFC light-heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier after he was forced to pull out of his rematch with Jon Jones through injury.
I don’t think I have ever heard a roar that large in a practice round.
– Rory McIlroy after a hole-in-one on the 16th hole at Augusta National preparing for The Masters.
It was a complicated day. If not the worst day, probably among the worst in my career. I am sad to have left the team with 10. In a way I feel responsible for the team not winning. I am certain that with 11 it would have been totally different.
– Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres
The Pakistan board approached me and said that I am one of the contenders for the job. They asked me that if I was offered the job of the coach, will I be willing to work. I said yes. If I get the job, I will be very happy to coach Pakistan.
– UAE cricket coach Aaqib Javed on replacing Waqar Younis
Algeria’s Oussama Sahnoune became the first swimmer to book his spot to the Rio 2016 Olympics via the Arab Swimming Championships that are taking place in Dubai at the Hamdan Sports Complex (HSC) this week (April 4-7).
Sahnoune, clocked 22.27 seconds to take gold in the 50m freestyle event and match the A-standard Olympic qualifying time he needed to secure a place at the Olympic Games in Brazil this summer.
The 24-year-old, who had previously made the semi-finals in the 50m freestyle at the Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010, said he is ecstatic over qualifying for his first Games at the senior level.
“I was really happy when I made that semi-final in Singapore but now, I’m over the moon for qualifying for my first senior-level Olympic Games,” Sahnoune told Sport360° at the HSC.
“This is the result of a huge effort from my entire team in France. I especially thank them and my family for all the support.
“The 50 free is my signature event but now I’m hoping to go even better and qualify in the 100 free tomorrow.
“I prepared well for this competition and I came here to Dubai eyeing gold as well as Olympic qualification. Thankfully I have achieved both goals. It’s a big honour for me to accomplish this for my country. And I hope to do the same for Algeria in Rio.”
Defending Arab champions Egypt are currently leading the medals table but Algeria are close behind, with Tunisia also in the mix.
“It’s well-known that Egypt has really good swimmers and they’re making this competition a lot stronger. It’s great that Arab swimming is advancing like this,” added Sahnoune.
Olympian Ahmed Mathlouthi led a Tunisian one-two in the 200m individual medley, clocking 2:02.62 to take gold ahead of his team-mate Taki Mirabet.
It made up for a disappointing 400m freestyle he raced earlier in the evening, which saw him clock 3:50.49 to place second behind Egypt’s Ahmed Akram, who swam 3:49.07.
“I had a very bad first race, the 400 free, I was hoping for 3:48 but it didn’t go well. The 200IM was a little bit better,” said Mathlouthi, who competed in the 200m freestyle at the London 2012 Olympics and is already qualified for the 400 free in the Rio Games.
“I’m targeting the final at the Olympics, or at least the semi-finals, just to feel like you’re part of the competition, to feel present and to represent your country and the Arab world.”
UAE’s Yaaqoub Al Saadi was not pleased with his 27.27 swim that earned him a fifth place in the 50m backstroke final.
“I didn’t swim my best times so I’m not really happy,” he confessed.
Many iconic centre forwards have donned the famous white shirt of Real Madrid. Morientes, who turns 40 today, cannot lay credit to being in the same bracket as the likes of Ferenc Puskas, Ronaldo or Raul. But his partnership with the latter mentioned from 1997-2005 rightly earns his place as a club great.
He was the hard-working target man alongside Raul for club and country during many of his celebrated team-mate’s most-productive years. Morientes first came to notice at Albacete, with a successful spell at Real Zaragoza leading to a switch to the capital giants. A solid 72 goals in 182 appearances followed before he was sold to Liverpool. Several moves around Europe followed before he retired in 2010. An international record of 27 strikes in 47 games for Spain also stands testament to his quality.
1960: Hiromi Taniguchi, a former Japanese long-distance runner who won the London and Tokyo Marathons (56).
1962: Richard Gough (soccer) – former Rangers and Scotland defender (54).
1973: Brendan Cannon, ex-rugby union hooker who played 42 times for Australia from 2001-06 (43).
1973: Peter Nicol (squash) – retired former world number one who switched his allegiance from Scotland to England (43).
1975: John Hartson (soccer) – former Celtic and Wales striker (41).
1976: Kim Collins (athletics) – former men’s 100m world champion from St Kitts & Nevis (40).
1980: Matt Bonner, a veteran power forward for the San Antonio Spurs who is a two-time NBA champion (36).
1982: Thomas Hitzlsperger, ex-Germany midfielder who earned nickname ‘Der Hammer’ for his fierce shots (34).