Sport

Ajax secures crucial victory in Zagreb

By Christiaan Frankin

AMSTERDAM- Ajax took a big step toward qualifying for the knockout stage of the Champions League by beating Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 at Zagreb’s Maksimir stadium Tuesday.

Second half goals by Derk Boerrigter and Christian Eriksen made the difference against a lacklustre Zagreb side.

Siem de Jong should have scored on 11 minutes after Zagreb goalkeeper Ivan Kelava failed to hold on to Jan Vertonghen’s powerful free-kick, but the midfielder-cum- forward missed a seater in front of open goal.

Ajax almost conceded after 37 minutes, when rightback Gregogory van der Wiel needlessly lost possession in his own half only for Ante Rukavina’s shot to go wide.

Van der Wiel was a torrid time at the heart of the Ajax defense, losing possession in dangerous positions on several occasions and also not impressing on the Zagreb’s half.

Despite several further chances from both sides, the score after 45 minutes remained 0-0

Boerrigter then opened scoring early in the second half off a left-footed strike for his first in the competition. Miralem Suleymani set up Boerrigter, dribbling past a horde of Zagreb players before playing in a good pass.

Eriksen put the score beyond reasonable doubt, snatching another goal in the dying moments of the game capitalizing on a quick counter attack.

Ajax moved up to second place in group D with 4 points, after its main rival Olympique Lyon lost 4-0 at Real Madrid

Ajax has a good chance of reaching the first knockout stage if it secures a win against Zagreb in the upcoming home game, and then a return match against Lyon.

 

Badr Hari retires from kickboxing; Sets sights on Heavyweight Boxing title

By Omid Azadi

AMSTERDAM – Dutch super heavyweight kickboxer Badr ‘Bad Boy’ Hari, is retiring from kickboxing to pursue a boxing career in the United States.

Officials of the kickboxing federation ‘It’s Showtime’ recently announced Hari’s parting from kickboxing.

“This announcement will be a shock to millions of kickboxing fans all around the world, but the boxing world will welcome and embrace this charismatic fighter” stated Simon Ruts C.E.O of ‘It’s Showtime’

Arguably one of the greatest fighters in K-1 history, Badr Hari was infamous for his explosive style of fighting, record amount of knockouts, and many controversial moments inside as well as outside the ring.

Last year, Hari took a personal hiatus from kickboxing after being disqualified on two consecutive times due to “unsportsmanlike conduct” in the matches versus Remy Bonjasky (2008) and Hesdy Gerges (2010).

More controversy ensued as Hari was charged with hitting a nightclub attendant late November, but he was later cleared from all charges and released from custody due to insufficient evidence.

Kickboxing fans will still have one last fight to look forward to, as Hari takes on fellow heavyweight fighter Gokhan Saki at a ‘It’s Showtime event’ on the Jan. 28 at the WTC Expo in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden

Alistair Overeem takes on Brock Lesnar in pre-title shot bout

By Omid Azadi

AMSTERDAM – Former Strikeforce Heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem has signed a multi-fight deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The British-born Dutchman, who is a former K-1 World Grand Prix champion, takes on former UFC heavy weight champion and the association’s biggest star, Brock Lesnar Dec. 30 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed the bout on ESPN Tuesday, stating that the five-round, non-title fight will headline the UFC 141 event at the MGM Garden Arena.

“It will not be a heavy weight title fight, however, the winner of the matchup between Overeem vs. Lesnar will receive a title shot versus the winner of a second fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos.” Said Dana White, CEO of the UFC.

Overeem told the Los Angeles Times that he’s excited about the match up with Lesnar:

“I’m very excited to fight Brock. He’s a big guy. We have different styles. I think it’s going to be very exciting for fans. These are going to be two big trucks going at it on a collision course.” Says Overeem.

Lesnar vs. Overeem promises to be a memorable fight and a great pay-per-view draw. UFC fanatics have been debating on the potential outcome of a clash between these two juggernauts for years and on Dec. 30 all speculation will be put to rest.

Netherlands makes baseball history after beating Cuba in World Cup final

By Omid Azadi

AMSTERDAM – The Netherlands baseball team has made history by winning the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) Baseball World Cup final in Panama after defeating Cuba 2-1.

It is the first time in baseball history that a European team has won the IBAF World Cup.

The Dutch played an excellent game, as they were superior throughout the match. Veteran pitcher Rob Cordeman gave an outstanding performance in the final as he only allowed two hits and one run in over 7 innings, completely defusing the Cuban batters efforts.

Furthermore, upcoming talents Shairon Schoop and Mariekson Gregorius proved their importance for the team as they made several crucial defensive plays. Third baseman Jonathan Schoofs secured the victory in the ninth inning as Cuba’s Hector Olivera stepped in and lined the first pitch directly into Schoofs glove, which was the third and game ending out.

More awards ensued for the Dutch as in the wake of the final. The IBAF technical committee made Dutch player Curt Smith the most valuable player while compatriot Tom Stuifbergen was named the best pitcher of the tournament.

The Dutch baseball team will be honored for their historical achievements when they return to the Netherlands on Tuesday.

New Bike-Polo league for Benelux

By Maayan Arad

AMSTERDAM – An official bike-polo league for the Benelux countries, the “Beneleague”, will be established in coming month, the initiator has said.

“So far such a thing was inexistent. We would play some games once in a while but now we want to take it to the next level”, said Guilio Sanna, a member of “Classic Amsterdam” and one of the initiators of the new league.

The first tournament is expected to kick off on Oct. 19. in Antwerp and will host teams from Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Arnhem, Utrecht, Antwerp and Luxemburg.

Every club is expected to host a tournament, which is commonly held in a basketball court or a hockey field.

At the end of all the tournaments, the best 3 teams will qualify for the European Championship in 2012.

“We decided to start this league for three main reasons”, said Sanna. “First, it will promote bike-polo in the Benelux.”

“We also wanted to show the community that the Benelux is active and that we can compete with other teams from other countries” he says.

The third is that, “starting this year will qualify us for participation in the European games of 2012.”

Euro 2012: Sweden stuns Netherlands to sneak in 

By Alex Camille

AMSTERDAM – Sweden halted the Netherlands’ perfect qualifying record Tuesday, beating the world’s top-ranked side 3-2 to advance to the European championships.

Lyon midfielder Kim Källström opened scoring in the 15th with a beautiful  free kick after Jeffrey Bruma had fouled Johan Elmander on the edge of the area.

The Netherlands leveled in the 23rd courtesy of a great link up between Klaas- Jan Hunteelar and Erik Pieters.  Huntelaar notched the equalizer off a brilliant header.

The beginning of the second half was the defining moment for both sides as three goals were scored in the space of 3 minutes.

Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt was first to grab a goal in the 50th with an unstoppable header.

Two minutes later, Sweden equalized off Sebastian Larsson’s  penalty before PSV Eindhoven striker Ola Toivonen made it 3-2, smashing a diagonal shot from the end of the area.

Huntelaar almost scored his 31st international career goal after a corner from the left, but his superb header was parried by Andreas Isaksson.

A curling free kick taken by Rasmus Elm nearly surprised badly-positioned Michel Vorm as the match wore on but the Swansea shot stopper made a prompt reaction tipping the ball over the crossbar.

Sweden finishes second in Group E following Tuesday’s victory with 24 points from 10 games and qualifies for next year’s tournament as the best runner-up.
Despite losing its perfect record, the Netherlands will still be quite pleased with its qualifying campaign after recorded nine wins and one loss enroute to the finals.

Dutch baseball team keep winning

By Tom Schoonen

AMSTERDAMThe Dutch baseball players also won the third game in their group at the World Championships in Panama City.

“One productive batting brought the Dutch team their third victory. Japan was beaten with 5-2 in the Rod Carew-station this Tuesday” the Dutch baseball league said.

The two battings of Sharlon Schoop and Shaldimar Daantji gave the Dutch side an advantage.

The Dutch team already had a good start at the World Championship when they won against Greece.

“In offence the Dutch were not the best, but three battings were enough to get two points”, said the Dutch media about the match against Greece.

The Netherlands is now leading in their group, but still has to play four matches. That includes matches against the second-placed Canada and No. 3  Panama.

Sweden desperate for win against Netherlands

By Alex Camille

AMSTERDAM – Sweden takes on the Netherlands Tuesday in the final qualifying game of the European championships desperately needing a win to clinch its spot in the competition.

The Netherlands has already confirmed its participation in the tournament to be co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland.

The Swedes can’t book their tickets as yet.

Only a win would ensure the Swedes secure a place as the best second-placed side.

The Netherlands, which currently boasts a perfect qualifying record, thumped Sweden 4-1 in the reverse fixture in Oct. 2010.

Several key players are missing from the Netherlands roaster.

First choice shot-stopper Maarten Stekelenburg is out injured along with Everton defender John Heitinga.

Midfielders Hedwiges Maduro, Wesley Sneijder and Ibrahim Affelay will all sit out with injuries joining Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben on the sidelines.

Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm will most likely start in goal, while Jeffrey Bruma is a likely replacement for Heitinga at the back.

PSV Eindhoven ‘s Kevin Strootman is expected to keep his place in central midfield alongside skipper Mark Van Bommel.

Rafael van der Vaart will attempt to fill in for Sneijder while Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie is assured of a starting spot on the right.

Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss out for Sweden as he is serving a one-match suspension.

Six of Sweden’s players including PSV goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson, all ply their trades in the Eredivisie.

Probable lineups:

Sweden:Isaksson, Lustig, Melberg, Majstorovic, Olsson, Larsson, R. Elm, Kallstrom, Wilhelmsson, Elmander and Toivonen

Netherlands: Vorm, Van der Wiel, Bruma, Mathijsen, Pieters, VanBommel, Strootman, Van Persie, Van der Vaart, Kuyt, Huntelaar

WWE Wrestlers taking a stance against bullying

By Anneclaire van Not

AMSTERDAM – WWE wrestlers have endorsed the anti-bullying initiative “Be a STAR” in support of the national Bullying Prevention month, which begins Wednesday.

STAR stands for Show Tolerance and Respect and is co-founded by the Creative Coalition and
the WWE.

It provides information about bullying and how to prevent it to parents and caregivers,
students, educators and school administrators.

“There is nothing good bullies bring to society” said Robin Bronk, CEO of the Creative
Coalition.

Via its website www.beastaralliance.org, it is possible to take the official “Be a STAR” pledge to show support for a bully-free environment.

The website offers special tools for students and a guide for them to start a “Be a STAR” chapter in their school.

Moreover, it has developed a free teacher’s aide, aligned with National Education Standards, with the purpose to help and motivate students and end bullying in schools.

Also, it contains a resources and answers session for parents in case they have questions about how to deal with a bullied or bullying child.

Bronk is happy that famous WWE stars, such as Triple H, have taken a clear stand against bullying via the “Be a STAR” initiative: “Entertainment and the arts have a unique and powerful platform that we can use to galvanize to stand up to bullies”.

The “Be a STAR” initiative sure uses the powerful platform of entertainment: it is not only promoted on WWE’s television, but also present on their social media and print platforms.

In addition, the WWE Superstars and Divas will be visiting local schools in Mexico to promote “Be a STAR” and to spread the anti-bullying message outside of the US.

Netherlands beats Moldova 1-0 in Euro qualifier

By Christiaan Frankin

AMSTERDAM – A 40th minute strike by  Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was enough to secure a win against a Moldovan team that never looked ready enough to upset the Netherlands at home in De Kuip Friday.

Despite enjoying complete dominance over Moldova, recording an
impressive 80 percent possession in the first half, the Dutch side was
unable to extend its lead beyond 1-0.

Huntelaar opened the scoring after just three minutes of play, but his early
strike was rightly disallowed for offside.

A number of attempts followed, with Robin van Persie being denied by the
crossbar on two occasions, and the Moldovan goalkeeper, Stanislav
Namaco making several good saves to keep his team in the game.

Holland coach Bert Van Marwijk chose to start with Rafael van der Vaart in
the attacking midfield position, and picked PSV’s Kevin Strootman over
Manchester City’s Nigel De Jong to occupy the central midfield alongside
captain Mark van Bommel.

Holland, despite missing several key players in Arjen Robben, Wesley
Sneijder, and John Heitinga due to injury, maintained its unbeaten record
in the European Championships qualifiers.

After nine games, Holland leads Group E with 27 points, scoring 35 goals and conceding only five.

Though Holland had already qualified for the 2012 European Championships
after beating Finland in the previous international week, the win left the world’s top-ranked side top of its group.

Holland will play the final game of their qualifying campaign on Tuesday
against Sweden.

Injury-depleted Netherlands meets Moldavia in Euro tie

By Marlene Werner

KATWIJK – Already assured of a spot in the European championships, injury-plagued Netherlands takes on Moldavia Friday needing a win to ensure progress as the group’s top side.

The world’s top-ranked team is desperate to finish first so as to avoid other European heavyweights in the first round.

While the majority of the players successfully completed the final session Thursday, the Netherlands will be missing key players including Wesley Sneijder and John Heitinga, who are both nursing injuries.

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben will sit out with a severe pubic bone injury.

Several key players complained of minor injuries earlier this week.

Captain Mark Van Bommel, who had a painful knee got a clean bill of health Thursday.

Twente forward Luuk de Jong attracted most attention with his dazzling performance.

Of late, he has become the pundits’ favorite because of his notable Eredivisie performances.

Former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel will definitely not make part of the next two international games.

“Of course I am disappointed,” he told OnsOranje. “But the coach gave me a first sign that he follows what I do and that I am present. I have to keep it up, then it will be different next time.”

The Dutch lineup is not yet known, as coach Bert van Marwijk would not disclose any hints, nu.nl reported.

The second last of the qualification round will be played at Feyenoord’s Kuip stadium.

Amsterdam Derby Dames Get Ready to Roll

By Hallie Engel

AMSTERDAM – The Amsterdam Derby Dames, the first roller derby team in the Netherlands, is preparing for a bout with Ireland’s Cork City Firebirds.

An all-female team, the Derby Dames recently celebrated the second anniversary of their founding, after devoting their first two years to training and their legal organization and establishment in the Netherlands and abroad.

The team played their first official bout on Aug. 13, against the Germany’s Devil Dolls Essen and was defeated 165-83.

The bout with the Cork City Firebirds will take place Nov. 12 in Ireland, marking the Derby Dames’ second competitive game and first outside of continental Europe.

Presently, the Derby Dames are recruiting new members for their sixteen-member team.

The Ice melts for Kristina Groves

By Maayan Arad & Sefanja Saino

AMSTERDAM – Canadian ice-skater Kristina Groves has ended her career, Dutch media has reported .

The world-champion has been recovering from a concussion, after a fall in Berlin last year.

Her decision to quit has nothing to do with the concussion.

During recovery, she decided there was nothing left to accomplish in her career.

“I am thankful that the injury came at the end of my career and did not prevent me from achieving my goals or derailing my career as a young athlete”, Groves told The Globe and Mail. “My decision stems from a combination of feeling completely fulfilled by a long and successful career and the desire to pursue other challenges in my life.”

In her Olympic career that spans for 9 years, Groves earned 18 world championships. She is also a bronze and silver medalist from the Winter Olympics of 2010 in the 3000 and 1500 meters.

Panama dumps Greece 8-3 in opening WC Baseball match


By Linda Meijvis

PANAMA – Host Panama beat Greece 8-3 in the opening match of the 2011 Baseball World Cup Saturday.

Sixteen teams, including a Dutch side, are taking part. The teams are divided into two pools.

The Netherlands thumped Chinese Taipei 2-1 Sunday while Canada dispatched Puerto Rico 9-1.

The Netherlands qualified during the 2010 European Championship in Germany. In the 2005 and 2007 meets, the Dutch team snatched a reasonable fourth place.

Hosting the event is expected to usher new opportunities for Panama, International Baseball Federation President Riccardo Fraccari said.

“It will leave behind a number of top quality facilities that will allow the country to become the natural venue for a number of big baseball events in the future,” he said.

For the first time in tournament history, more than 50 matches, can be followed live online.

The 2011 Baseball World Cup runs until Oct. 15.

In other matches, top-ranked Cuba blanked Australia 14-0 while Dominican Republic demolished Italy 7-0.

The Netherlands is due to play Greece while Japan meets Canada Monday.
Makau sets new world record in Berlin Marathon

By Linda Meijvis

AMSTERDAM – Kenya’s Patrick Makau completed the Berlin Marathon in a remarkable 2 hrs 03 minutes 38 seconds, setting a new world record, German media recently reported.

“I came to Berlin to win,” said an exuberant Makau. “At the half way point I knew that I could break the record. It is the greatest day of my career.”

Makau (26) specializes in running half marathons and is among the world’s top five fastest long distance runners.

The 38th edition of the BMW Berlin-Marathon was held on Sept. 25.

The event takes places annually in the German capital and is famous for producing the most world records, presumably because of the flat profile course and mild autumn temperatures of the city.

Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie is the former world champion, with a very close time of 2.03.59.

He dropped out at between 35 and 40km this time around.

“Probably he saw that he would not get a time fast enough for London 2012”, a spokesperson of the Berlin-Marathon said.

Gebrselassie will most likely launch another attempt to qualify for the Olympic Games in another marathon this year.

The best Dutch athlete was Miranda Boonstra, who finished 10th with a time of 2:29:23.

The 38-year old athlete improved over 5 minutes on her personal record, and therefore nearly qualified for the Olympic Games, had she finished in the top 8.

Ajax beats VV Noordwijk 3-1 to advance in Dutch Cup

By Job Oberman

AMSTERDAM – Ajax advanced to the third round of the Dutch Cup Wednesday by defeating VV Noordwijk with 3-1.

“I was hoping for better results, but we made it to the next round” said Frank De Boer, coach of the Amsterdam football club. The former Netherlan international promised more exciting football for the next round.

The opening goal was an astonishing long range shot from Siem de Jong in the 47th.

The other two goals were scored by Dimitri Bulykin and Lesley de Sa respectively, both in the second half.

Only in the 65th minute did the amateur team score a goal, with Sijbren Bartlema, netting against the reigning Dutch champion.

Surprisingly, Ajax experienced some difficulties with defeating VV Noordwijk, which is, on paper, a very weak opponent.

Ajax displayed a pragmatic playing style. Players were possibly saving their energy for more important matches coming up against Real Madrid and AZ.

Lesley de Sa, Ricardo van Rijn and goalkeeper Japser Cillessen made their Ajax debuts.

Dutch League: PSV 2- AJAX

By Aimée Dirkzwager

EINDHOVEN – PSV held Ajax to a 2-2 draw in the Dutch league Sunday, helping the Dutch league champion maintain its unbeaten start to the season.

The match was discolored by a head injury to PSV’s Polish goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton, who collided with team-mate Timothy Derijck in the 30th.

PSV made a brilliant start with Tim Matavz firing the Eindhoven side in front after just two minutes.

Fifteen minutes were added to first half play as compensation for the time team medics took attending  to Tyton.

In the added time of the first half, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson netted Ajax’s equalizer from close range.

In the second half, Gregory an der Wiel fouled Dries Mertens in the area and Georginio Wijnaldum doubled PSV’s advantage off a penalty.

Mertens had a big chance to increase PSV’s lead but Toby Alderweireld cleared the ball from the line. Matavz also wasted another chance for PSV.

However in the 79th minute Van Der Wiel made a darting run on the right flank before setting up Dmitry Bulykin for Ajax’s equalizer.

Mertens expressed disappointment over the draw. “This feels like a loss, since we had multiple chances to score the 3-1.

AMSTERDAM: Ajax plays Lyon Wednesday seeking  its first group victory in the Champions League.

Jan Vertonghen, who captains the Dutch champion,  expects nothing but a positive result.

“We have a lot of faith in the squad, we are only getting stronger,” he said.

The two teams’ last meeting was also in the Champions League with Ajax beating the French side 2-1 in 2002.

“Playing in the UEFA Champions League is the most beautiful thing there is for a player,” Ajax coach Frank de Boer said. “That is what you come to Ajax for”

Lyon’s star players Lisandro Lopez and Cristiano Marques Gomes will sit out with injuries.

The pair is only expected back in action in October.

Also, Yannis Tafer, Ederson Honorato Campos, and Yoann Gourcuff are expected to miss out.

Aras Ozbiliz and Bruno Silva are unvailable for Ajax.

Midfielder Christian Eriksen will seek to continue with his brilliant form, which saw him net six goals in 28 league match last season.

The Danish player also provided nine assists.

Amsterdam pirates grab fourth baseball title

By Job Oberman

AMSTERDAM – The Amsterdam Pirates routed Hoofddorp Pioniers 10-2 to claim its fourth national baseball crown Sunday.

“It is a deserved achievement after months of hard training,” coach Charles Urbanus said after the victory.

The two teams rod in balance up until the 8th inning when the Amsterdam Pirates scored four hits in a row with Markjan Moorman grabbing the last.

In a best of seven series, the Amsterdam Pirates won the last three games on its home court to clinch the Holland Series title.

“It is a total and optimal achievement of the entire club,” a representative of the team said in a statement after the winning match.

The Amsterdam Pirates claimed the 1987, 1990 and 2008 championships.

Diepeveen unveils new viaduct in Noorderpar

Meike Mol

AMSTERDAM- This year’s edition of the Noorderparkloop mini-marathon witnessed the unveiling of a new viaduct linking two areas of the Amsterdam Noord borough of Noorderpark.

“It is an important step in the development of the new Noorderpark”, said municipal official Kees Diepeveen, who officiated proceedings Sunday. “With the coming of the new viaduct it is easier to cross from one part of the Noorderpark to the other both by foot and bike,”

A total of 40 competitors attended the 11km shot marathon, although the organizers said they had anticipated a much higher number.

Bad weather conditions affected attendance.

Latecomer Ayoub Benchabaane took honors despite starting almost three minutes after other participants.

The event is a curtain raiser for the Damloop, which will take place Sept. 18.

Vandalism to four greens causes delayed start at KLM Open

By Meike Mol

HILVERSUM – The commencement of the KLM Open golf tournament Thursday was delayed by 45 minutes due to vandalized greens and bad weather conditions.

A total of four greens were found to be severely damaged.

“This is a big disappointment for all the people who have been working on the greens for months,” tournament director Daan Slooter said.  “It is only due to the expertise of our green keepers that we were able to restore the greens in such a way that the tournament can continue.”

The restoration of the greens was complicated further by bad weather conditions in the rain-doused Dutch city of Hilversum.

Heavy rainfall during the last month led to floods of both the greens and the tournament’s public parking. The Open can now only be reached by public transport.

The KLM Open is one of the largest tournaments on the renowned European Golf Tour.

About 45.000 spectators are expected to visit the tournament this year.

Big names including Englishman Lee Westwood, defending champion Martin Kaymer of Germany and World No. 4 Rory McIlroy will participate in this year’s competition.

Meanwhile, play was halted after heavy rainfall caused large puddles on the greens.

The tournament was suspended around 13:30 hrs with Robert Dinwiddie enjoying a -4 lead at 18 holes.

“To me the bad weather was an advantage,’’ Dinwiddie said.  “I was hardly thinking of my technique and only hit towards the green.”

Simon Dyson and Marcel Siem were tied at -4.

Netherlands beats Finland 2-0 to earn EURO 2012 spot

By Aimée Dirkzwager

AMSTERDAM: Kevin Strootman and Luuk de Jong scored a pair of goals Tuesday to help the Netherlands beat 10-man Finland 2-0 and earn a European Championships berth.

PSV midfielder Strootman pounced on a loose ball to put the Netherlands in front in the 29th before Luuk de Jong converted fellow substitute Eljero Elia’s cross in the 90th.

Finland had Perparim Hetemaj ejected for a second booking in the 60th.

The Netherlands, unbeaten in qualifying, leads group standings with 24 points from eight matches.

Bert van Marwijk’s side will qualify as the best second-placed side, UEFA said Wednesday.

The Netherlands, keen to avoid Europe’s top teams in the opening rounds, has to beat Moldova and Sweden in its final two matches to be assured of progress as group leader.

The Netherlands becomes the fourth team to earn a ticket for the championship, which will be jointly hosted by Ukraine and Poland.

Spain, Italy, and Germany have already qualified.

Top-ranked Netherlands thrashed San Marino 11-0 last week en route to securing its qualification off a decent victory against Finland.

The win against San Marino was the 1988 European champion’s biggest ever win.

———————————————————————————————————————————————

Amsterdam announces bid to stage 2016 European Athletics Championship

By Job Oberman

AMSTERDAM – Amsterdam on Wednesday formally announced its bid to host the 2016 European Athletics Championship.

“During the preparation of our bid, we are convinced of the importance of the European Athletics Championships of 2016 to be held in Amsterdam,” said city official Eric van der Burg.

The submission deadline is Oct. 20.

Other confirmed candidates are the Polish city of Bydgoszcz, the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul and Split, Croatia’s second city.

A winner will be announced during the European Athletics Council meeting Nov. 3-5 in Helsinki, Finland.

Van der Burg said he expected the tournament to boost the city economy.

Amsterdam, which successfully hosted the 1928 Summer Olympics, will folk out €5,9 million to enhance its bid.

With the province of North Holland expected to chip in with a further €19 million, extensive preparations will likely be the key to a successful bid.

Helsinki will host the 2012 championships while the 2014 event in will be held in Zurich, Switzerland.

“The European Championships will have an important stimulus on the urban economy, the amateur athletics and the sport climate in the city as a whole,” Van der Burg said.

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