Sports Shorts: Ronaldo fit for Super Cup decider
Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit for Real Madrid's Spanish Super Cup second leg against Atletico Madrid on Friday, coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed on Thursday.
The Portuguese went off as a precaution at half-time during the first leg at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, suffering a hamstring strain during the 1-1 draw.
"He is available to play and will be able to start the game. All the players are ready but that doesn't mean I won't make changes," Ancelotti told a news conference in Madrid.
There were initial fears that Ronaldo had suffered a recurrence of the knee injury that he suffered at the back end of last season and carried into the World Cup but that was quickly played down.
Real have set their sights on winning all six trophies on offer this season, having won the European Super Cup against Sevilla, but they were lacklustre against Atletico and the draw has put their city rivals in the driving seat.
"We are used to playing against Atletico and they are used to facing us. I don't think the style of game will be different; they now have the advantage from their positive result at the Bernabeu but I think it will be the same type of match," said Ancelotti.
"We need to defend, counter attack well and take advantage of free-kicks."
Angel Di Maria has been strongly linked with a move away from Real and despite his good form started on the bench in the first leg, but Ancelotti says he will treat him as any other member of the squad if he ends up staying.
"Di Maria asked to leave this summer and rejected the option to renew. We will look for the best option for him and if at the end of August he is still here then he will work with us like last season," he said.
NEXT: World champion Franklin fails to make final
Image: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo grimaces in pain during the Supercopa first leg match against Atletico de Madrid
Photographs: EGonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Bolt wants roof over his head for Polish race
Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt is hoping the roof will be closed when he runs his first-ever race in Poland at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial in Warsaw on Saturday.
The Jamaican world record holder will have his eyes on a special mark when he competes over 100 metres on a newly laid track at Warsaw's National Stadium, which has a retractable roof.
"I've never run indoors, I was always too tall," Bolt joked at a news conference on Wednesday. "When I heard there was going to be a roof, I was looking forward to that."
If the roof is closed, the competition would count as an indoor event, a novelty itself for Bolt, but the new surface could call into question the legitimacy of any times set.
The towering Bolt, however, said, perhaps with his tongue placed firmly in his cheek, he is looking to challenge Namibian Frankie Fredericks's unofficial indoor world record of 10.05 seconds set in 1996.
"If they treat it as an indoor world record it'll be good for me," said Bolt, who holds both 100 and 200m outdoor world records. "It's always good to have more records."
Even if it is unofficial.
Bolt has recently spoken of his plans to retire from athletics after the 2017 World Championships in London, where he won three Olympic golds medals two years ago.
Next: Zenit, Porto close in on group stage
Image: Usain Bolt during the Team Jamaica Press Conference
Photographs: Michael Steele/Getty Images
World champion Franklin fails to make final
World champion Missy Franklin failed to make the 200 metres freestyle final at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships on Australia's Gold Coast, despite setting the fourth-fastest time in Thursday's qualifying.
The 19-year-old American, who has been struggling with back spasms in the lead-up to the four-day meet, clocked one minute, 57.63 seconds in her morning heat.
But she was ruled out of the final, to be held Thursday night, because she was the third fastest American and under the rules of the competition, only two swimmers from each country can contest the final.
Franklin's team mate Katie Ledecky, who has set three world records in freestyle swimming in the last two months, was the top qualifier in 1:56.45.
Australia's Melanie Schlanger was second-fastest in 1:57.16 while Shannon Freeland finished third overall in 1:57.40, knocking Franklin out of the final.
Franklin did however rebound to qualify safely for the 100m backstroke final, one of two individual events she won at the 2012 London Olympics.
She was third-fastest overall behind Australia's Emily Seebohm, who was the only woman to dip under one minute.
"There is still some discomfort but it is getting much, much better day by day," Franklin said.
Michael Phelps, competing in his first international meet since retiring after London, was scheduled to make his first appearance on Friday.
Next: Bolt wants roof over his head
Image: Missy Franklin of the United States
Photographs: Albert Gea/Reuters
Champions League: Zenit, Porto close in on group stage with away wins
Zenit St Petersburg and Porto both put a foot in the Champions League group stage with 1-0 away wins in the first leg of their respective playoff ties on Wednesday.
Oleg Shatov's first-half goal gave Andre Villas-Boas' Zenit a 1-0 win at Standard Liege and a second-half effort from Hector Herrera was enough for the Portuguese coach's former team Porto at Lille.
Wednesday's other three matches, Slovan Bratislava-BATE Borisov, Maribor-Celtic and Aalborg-APOEL Nicosia, all ended in 1-1 draws.
Zenit's goal in the 16th minute was a superb team effort, beginning when Domenico Criscito sent a clever pass into the path of Danny.
The Portuguese player chested the ball down for Hulk and the Brazilian picked out Shatov who side-footed home from near the penalty spot.
Danny and Jose Rondon both struck the woodwork in a dominant Zenit performance
Porto, who have only missed out on the group stage four times since it started in 1992, took control of their tie when Mexico forward Herrera stabbed in from close range in the 61st minute after Vincent Enyeama had parried Jackson Martinez's header.
Next: BayernLB open to a deal to end dispute with F1 boss Ecclestone
Image: FC Zenit St. Petersburg head coach Andre Villas-Boas
Photographs: Epsilon/Getty Images
BayernLB open to a deal to end dispute with F1 boss Ecclestone
German bank BayernLB on Thursday signalled it was open to a compromise to end a legal fight with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone relating to his involvement in the 2006 sale of its stake in the motor racing business.
BayernLB chief executive Johannes-Joerg Riegler indicated a deal was still possible after the lender rejected a 25 million euro ($33 million) settlement offer earlier this month.
"If the overall package is right, we wouldn't be closed to it," Riegler told a conference call with journalists after unveiling the lender's results for the first half of the year.
State-backed BayernLB claims the 83-year-old British billionaire collected unjustified commissions and undervalued its stake in the motor racing business when private equity fund CVC became Formula One's largest shareholder eight years ago.
BayernLB had originally demanded up to $400 million from Ecclestone, according to financial sources. But during a court case against him over allegations he paid a $44 million bribe to a former German banker to facilitate the sale of BayernLB's stake, the public prosecutor and several witnesses said the bank had got a good price.
A German court earlier this month halted the bribery trial in exchange for his paying a $100 million fee. He is considered innocent under German law following the settlement.
Riegler said he was unsure how BayernLB's dispute with Ecclestone would develop.
"It is still open whether it will come to a settlement or we will have to sue," he said.
Image: Bernie Ecclestone (centre), the 83-year-old controlling business magnate in Formula One racing, and his lawyers Sven Thomas, Andreas Weitzell and Norbert Scharf arrive for the first day of his trial for bribery in April 2014
Photographs: Joerg Koch/Getty Images