SHORT CORNER | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 08, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, December 08, 2018

SHORT CORNER

Swimming team off to China

--Sports Reporter

A six-member swimming team was scheduled to leave for China last night to take part in the FINA World Swimming Championships to be held in Hangzhou from December 11 to 16.

The six-member team comprises four players. Mahfizur Rahman will compete in 50m and 100m freestyle while Mahmudunnabi Nahid will complete in 50m and 100m butterfly. Sonia Akter Tumpa will participate in 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly events while Naima Akter will take part in 50m and 100m backstrokes.

“Participating in FINA World Championships is a platform for us to gather experience but we will definitely try to better our previous records. I am hopeful that all four swimmers will put their best efforts in the meet,” Mahfizur told reporters.

The swimmers have taken training since November 1 as part of Bangladesh Swimming Federation's preparation camp for next year's South Asian Games.

Afghan 'Messi boy' flees Taliban

--Agencies

An Afghan boy who went viral over his love of the Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi has had to flee his home after being hunted by the Taliban.

Murtaza Ahmadi, now aged 7, was pictured wearing a homemade Messi shirt that his brother fashioned out of a blue and white plastic bag in 2016.

The colours matched the jersey of the Argentinian national side, and the footballer's name and shirt number were scrawled on the back in pen.

Murtaza, who later met his idol after the image went viral, had to flee Afghanistan's southeastern Ghazni province with his family in November.

The UN has said 4,000 families left amid intense fighting after the Taliban launched an offensive in the previously safe area.

Murtaza's family belongs to the Shiite-denominated Hazara ethnic group, who were targeted by the Sunni Taliban in the attacks.

The boy is now living in a cramped room in the capital Kabul with his mother and brother.

His father Arif has remained in Jaghori where he works as a farmer.

Shafiqa has said the Taliban have been searching for her son by name.

She said: "(They) said if they capture him, they will cut him into pieces."                

Real in last 16 after  Melilla mauling

--Afp

Real Madrid cruised into the Copa del Rey last 16 on Thursday with a 6-1 rout of third-tier Melilla to progress 10-1 on aggregate in a competition they have won 19 times.

Real cantered into the next round with a first half double from Marco Asensio and a second half brace from Isco, with Javi Sanchez and Vinicius Junior completing the drubbing.

Already waiting for Real in the next round are their La Liga rivals, current champions and record 30 time winners Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Sevilla, Valencia and Espanyol.             

Kulfa Goshthi move into semis

--Manikganj Correspondent

Kulfa Goshthi ensured their place in the Manikganj Municipality Gold Cup Cricket Tournament semifinals by defeating Bangladesh Sport Academy (BSA) by two wickets at the Shaheed Miraz-Tapan Stadium yesterday.

Electing to bat, BSA were all out on 177 runs in 38.1 overs with Enam top scoring for the side with 46 runs. Polash and Jony took three wickets each for Kulfa Goshthi

In reply, Kulfa Gosthi reached the target for eight wickets in 34.4 overs, courtesy of a team high 55 from Shakil while Shuva added 37 runs.

Kulfa Goshthi will now face defending champions Dashara Palli Mangal Samity in the semifinals.                

Arsenal players filmed using 'hippy crack'

--Afp

Arsenal said Friday they will "remind players of their responsibilities" after a video emerged that appears to show a number of stars inhaling nitrous oxide.

Players including Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Matteo Guendouzi feature in the footage, which appears to come from CCTV footage and was published by the Sun newspaper on Friday.

In a statement Arsenal said: "The players will be spoken to about this and reminded of their responsibilities as representatives of the club."

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas or "hippy crack", is freely available although it is technically illegal to sell it for recreational purposes.  

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