Olympics: S. Korea says winter Games will be safe despite nuclear threat

South Korea promised Tuesday that the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang would be safe after some nations suggested they may skip the event if tensions over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions worsen. (File photo by Reuters)
Updated 26 September 2017
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Olympics: S. Korea says winter Games will be safe despite nuclear threat

SEOUL: South Korea promised Tuesday that the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang would be safe after some nations suggested they may skip the event if tensions over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions worsen.
The Pyeongchang Winter Games will be held from February 9-25 only 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the heavily guarded border with the nuclear-armed North.
French and Austrian officials last week raised the prospect of not sending athletes as US and North Korean leaders intensified their war of words.
Seoul’s foreign ministry played down the security fears, saying it is working through diplomatic channels to reassure the participants.
“The South Korean government is doing its utmost to ensure that the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and Paralympics will be safe,” said ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-Duk.
“As of now, no country has officially said it will not participate.”
Tensions have soared following Pyongyang’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, which triggered a heated volley of threats and personal insults between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
Trump has threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, while Kim hit back with a personal attack on Trump — branding him “mentally deranged” and warning he would pay dearly for his threats.
In the latest episode of the saga, the North’s foreign minister claimed on Monday that Trump’s latest comments amounted to a declaration of war.
But the head of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Lee Hee-Beom said earlier this month there was no “plan B” to move the Games and next year’s event would have “perfect security” despite the nuclear tensions.
The South has successfully staged several international sporting events including the 2002 football World Cup despite decades of military tensions on the peninsula.
The 1988 Seoul summer Olympics took place only months after a bomb planted by North Korean agents killed all 115 people on board a South Korean plane, in an apparent attempt to scare off foreign spectators and contestants.


Joe Root’s century seals England series win over India, maintains No. 1 ODI ranking

Updated 17 July 2018
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Joe Root’s century seals England series win over India, maintains No. 1 ODI ranking

  • This was Root’s second unbeaten century in successive innings
  • Joe Root became England’s leading one-day international century-maker

LEEDS: Joe Root became England’s leading one-day international century-maker as an innings of exactly 100 not out on his Headingley home ground saw the hosts to an eight-wicket victory over India on Tuesday and a 2-1 series win.
This was Root’s second unbeaten century in successive innings after his 113 not out helped England level the three-match contest with an 86-run win at Lord’s on Saturday.
This latest hundred was also Test skipper Root’s 13th in ODIs, taking him past the England record of 12 he had previously shared with Marcus Trescothick.
Tuesday saw Root and one-day captain Eoin Morgan (88 not out) share an unbroken third-wicket stand of 186 as England, first in the ODI rankings to their opponents’ second, ended India’s run of nine straight bilateral series wins in style.
England, who will be bidding to win the World Cup for the first time when they stage next year’s edition, had said they would treat Tuesday’s match as a dress rehearsal for a winner-takes-all game at the showpiece tournament.
And that made the comprehensive manner of their victory all the more satisfying for Morgan’s men.
It was England’s bowlers who set up this win, with Adil Rashid and David Willey, two of the five Yorkshire cricketers in their XI, taking three wickets apiece.
But, after left-arm quick Willey had kept things tight early on, it was leg-spinner Rashid who did significant damage by taking two wickets in an over.
He bowled India captain and star batsman Virat Kohli (71), as well as dismissing Suresh Raina, on his way to three for 49 in a maximum 10 overs.
Willey, who took three for 40 in nine overs, received excellent new-ball support from Durham quick Mark Wood (one for 30).
Root, who was dropped from the final match of England’s preceding 2-1 Twenty20 series loss, told Sky Sports: “It feels fantastic.
“To come into a big series like this and perform how we have as a side is great.”
Morgan added: “I think we were outstanding. I think the tone was set by the bowlers early on, David Willey and Mark Wood were on the money. From that point there was no let up.”
Meanwhile Kohli accepted his side had been outplayed.
“I thought we were never on the mark as far as runs on the board were concerned, we were 25-30 short, and England were really clinical with the bat and in the field as well,” he said.
After Morgan won the toss, Rohit Sharma, who scored a superb century during India’s eight-wicket win in the series-opener at Trent Bridge, struggled to make two off 18 balls, his innings ending when he flicked Willey to Wood at deep square leg.
Opening partner Shikhar Dhawan made a fluent 44 before was run out by Stokes’s direct hit.
Dinesh Karthik, preferred to KL Rahul for this match, then made 21 before he was bowled between bat and pad by Rashid.
Kohli pressed on, however, completing a 55-ball fifty before Rashid struck twice in six balls as India slumped to 158 for five.
He bowled Kohli with a superb leg-break and had Raina caught low at leg-slip by Root.
James Vince, called up in place of the injured Jason Roy cut the first ball of England’s reply, from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, for four.
Vince’s frustrating England career has seen him repeatedly get out on Tuesday he fell for a run-a-ball 27, although it needed a brilliant one-handed take by wicket-keeper Dhoni, from Hardik Pandya’s throw, to run him out.
But by then England were 74 for two inside 10 overs, well above the required run-rate.
Root, stumped off a Yuzvendra Chahal no-ball on 69, went to his century when he pulled Pandya through midwicket for his 10th four in 120 balls as England won with 33 deliveries to spare.
An elated Root celebrated by dropping his bat to the ground — the ‘mic drop’ gesture more associated with rock stars and stand-up comedians than cricketers.