Wide run no problem for War Affair

NUMERO UNO: War Affair beating stablemate Happy Money in the Stewards' Cup at Kranji yesterday.
CELEBRATION TIME: Warplan Racing Stable's Pam Sew Chaw popping the champagne with jockey Alan Munro and trainer Alwin Tan after War Affair's victory in the $300,000 Group 2 Stewards' Cup in Race 8 at Kranji yesterday.
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Sizzling Svitolina

Twenty-year-old is first Ukrainian to make last eight at French Open

MAKING HER POINT: Alize Cornet arguing with the umpire during her match against Elina Svitolina (above).
MAKING HER POINT: Alize Cornet (in light blue) arguing with the umpire during her match against Elina Svitolina.
MAKING HER POINT: Alize Cornet (in light blue) arguing with the umpire during her match against Elina Svitolina.
MAKING HER POINT: Alize Cornet (in light blue) arguing with the umpire during her match against Elina Svitolina.
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Messi's magical goal sparks Barcelona's King's Cup triumph

YET ANOTHER ONE: The Cup runneth over for Messi (above). 


A magical Lionel Messi goal, the first of a personal double, led treble-chasing Barcelona to a 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao in the King's Cup final yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Argentinian skipped superbly past four players in a mazy run after 20 minutes before shooting into the bottom corner of the net beyond goalkeeper Iago Herrerin to claim his 33rd goal in his 50th appearance for Barca in the competition.

Messi has been in top form in the second half of the season and again provided the inspiration for his team who went 2-0 up when Brazilian Neymar slotted the ball into an open goal having been set up by Uruguay's Luis Suarez in the 36th minute.

Read the full report in our print edition on June 1.

Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at http://bit.ly/tnpeshop.

Japan must stay alert for big quake

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Singapore swimmers settle for home comforts in five-star hotel

Singapore swimmers right at home in their five-star accommodation

STATE OF THE ART: The Singapore Swimming Association's SEA Games recovery room (above) at Swissotel The Stamford comprises an oxygen chamber, two foot massagers, two massage beds and a television hooked up to a computer for race analysis. 


They will have the biggest number of supporters in the stands, among them a huge group of family and friends roaring them on.

The surroundings will be ever so familiar, they will be comfortable at the competition venue because they would have spent more time there than any of their opponents.

This is why "home ground advantage" will help Singapore's 749 athletes at the 28th South-east Asia (SEA) Games.

"Home ground-advantage" also helps with the finer details.

While visiting athletes will have to contend with weight and size restrictions for their luggage, some Singapore's swimmers had the luxury of lugging several bags, and a couple of peculiar items, when they checked into Swissotel The Stamford yesterday afternoon.

Breaststroke specialist, Roanne Ho (below), carried her pillow and bolster along, to the bemusement of her teammates.

Said the 23-year-old: "I try to be as comfortable as possible before any major Games, so this time I brought along my own contour pillow and bolster from home."

Debutant Dylan Koo, 16, included a set of his school uniform in his luggage.

The Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student said: "I have Chinese 'O' level exams on Tuesday (tomorrow), so I even brought along my notes to revise.

"The school has been very supportive of me taking part in the SEA Games and allowed me to skip my mid-year exams."

The five-star hotel in the heart of the city will be the home of all swimmers and track and field athletes, and its proximity to the Sports Hub, which houses the OCBC Aquatic Centre and the National Stadium, will almost certainly mean a hassle-free competition for them all.

Especially when big-name shopping outlets, restaurants and chill-out cafes also dot the vicinity.

Singapore swimming head coach Sergio Lopez has adopted the theme "support" of late.

The 29-strong Singapore swimming squad will focus on enhancing team spirit ahead of the competition, scheduled from June 6 to 11.

Yesterday, only Tao Li and Darren Lim - based in China and the UK, respectively - were missing from the hotel as they are due to fly in later this week.

Said Lopez: "(During our training camps) we have been trying to make them understand how the team can help the individual perform at a higher level.

TRUSTING

"For sure each of them will have their personal demons and pressure, and over the next few days hopefully they can let those out by trusting one another."

Singapore are traditionally the most powerful swim team at the SEA Games and Lopez believes every athlete in this year's group can win a medal, while former national coach Ang Peng Siong is hoping they can mimic the 1973 group and pass the 20-gold mark.

With home-ground advantage also comes a different sort of pressure, and Dylan, who will be competing in the men's 100m fly, said: "The team bonding sessions have been helpful because I got to learn from the seniors about their experiences, and I got to know them more through talking to them.

"Swimming is an individual sport, but the thought of having your teammates cheering you on and supporting you will spur you to do better."

Support will also come in the form of the Singapore Swimming Association's recovery facility, situated in a room on the swimmers' floor in Swissotel.

The room is equipped with two massage beds, an oxygen chamber and two foot massagers.

The room's television is hooked up to a computer for a biomechanist to analyse a swimmer's race, and the bathtub has been converted to an ice bath.

All that is left is for the swimmers to take the plunge.

Said Lopez: "At the end of the day, no matter what, they have one lane (in the pool) and they will have to stand up and trust themselves."

Brazilian MP caught watching porn in Parliament

CAUGHT: Brazilian Member of Parliament Joao Rodrigues of the ruling party was spotted watching a pornographic video on his phone while the lower house was debating and voting on electoral reform.

A Member of Parliament in Brazil has been caught watching porn on his phone during a debate in the capital Brasilia.

According to local media, the video that Mr Joao Rodrigues of the ruling Social Democratic Party was watching last Wednesday showed women "in very obscene positions", reported UK's Daily Mail.

He seemed to be enjoying the clip so much that he waved over his parliamentary mates.

Footage of the incident shows two other MPs watching the lewd video over his shoulder.

Photos have also surfaced of Mr Rodrigues doing so while an invitation to attend mass at the headquarters of the Bishops of Brazil sat on his desk.

At the time of the incident, Brazil's Chamber of Deputies was in full session, debating and voting on electoral reform.

Mr Rodrigues later defended himself by posting on Facebook that he received the video through a group conversation on WhatsApp and was about to remove the offensive clip.

He wrote: "I participate in nearly 100 groups on WhatsApp and during the day, I search and separate the wheat from the chaff.

"What interests me, I keep or forward and what doesn't interest me, I delete.

"It was just what I was doing, erasing the rubbish."

FRIEND

Brazil's English-language newspaper Folha de S.Paulo also quoted Mr Rodrigues as saying: "He (the sender of the pornographic clip) is a friend on WhatsApp, who often does this."

When asked about the matter, current president of the Chamber of Deputies Eduardo Cunha said: "It was an atypical behaviour... but I'm in no position to assess this matter at this time."

EPL players in Bangkok sex scandal

Footballers, including manager's son, film sex acts, make racist remarks about Asians

SCANDAL: Internet screengrabs show Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson's son, James (above), and fellow players Adam Smith and Tom Hopper, having sex with Thai women.
SCANDAL: Internet screengrabs show Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson's son, James, and fellow players (above, from left) Adam Smith and Tom Hopper, having sex with Thai women.

Three budding players of Leicester City Football Club have apologised for their behaviour, after a video showing them in an orgy with Thai women in Bangkok was publicised.

In the video, the footballers are heard in the clip making racist remarks towards their sex partners.

The incident is likely to enrage Leicester's Thai billionaire owners.

The trio involved are striker Tom Hopper, 21, goalkeeper Adam Smith and defender James Pearson, both 22, who is the son of club manager Nigel, reported Britain's Daily Mirror.

They were in Thailand for the Premier League club's end-of-season tour to promote goodwill, though this has arguably been severely undermined by the trio's antics.

After all, the owners Vichai and ­Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, who are father and son, have ploughed millions into establishing Leicester as a Premier League side since taking over the club in 2010.

A statement from the club said the trio "would like to convey their sincere apologies for their behaviour - to the women involved in the incident, to the club and its owners, to the club's fans and to their families."

The club also said the players are "returning to the UK, in advance of the rest of the squad". 

Video

The video, which the trio shared with friends back home, starts with the three players naked and cheering the women, who are performing sex acts.

Hopper does a running commentary and is heard saying: "Go on that love."

One of the players is then heard off-camera saying: "Come on... you slit-eye."

In another scene, Hopper says one of the Thai woman is "minging" (British slang for unpleasant or foul-smelling), adding that she is "an absolute one out of 10".

Hopper and Pearson are next seen exchanging high-fives as if they are celebrating the scoring of a goal.

The sex clip will be a huge embarrassment for the club manager, who is an outspoken ambassador for the Kick It Out scheme, the campaign to end racism in football.

Leicester's Thai owners was able to form a partnership with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, one of the club's sponsors, and the authority's "Amazing Thailand" branding has appeared on the back of team shirts for the last two years, reported Daily Mail.

THAI AUTHORITIES

The Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mr Thawatchai Arunyik, has previously said: "We are very proud to be working with Leicester City and its supporters who have embraced the club's increasingly strong association with Thailand."

Yesterday morning, as news of the incidents broke, the trio deleted their Twitter accounts, while Leicester City officials, who were said to be aware of the scandal, were unavailable for comment.

Pearson signed for Leicester in July 2013 before being loaned to Peterborough.

Hopper joined Leicester City in October 2011 from Boston United. He was loaned to Bury for part of the recently concluded season.

Smith joined the club in August 2011 from Middlesbrough and was loaned to Mansfield Town for part of the season.

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