Arise ‘Sir Andy’, ‘Sir Mo’ as Murray, Farah knighted

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Andy Murray with the winner's trophy after his men's singles final victory over Canada's Milos Raonic on the last day of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, in this July 10 file photo. (AFP)
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Gold medalist Britain's Mo Farah celebrating near the podium for the men's 5000m during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in this Aug. 21 file photo (AFP).
Updated 31 December 2016

Arise ‘Sir Andy’, ‘Sir Mo’ as Murray, Farah knighted

LONDON: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah will each receive a knighthood in the New Year Honours.
Murray’s knighthood caps a dream season for the Scot, who finished as the year-end world number one for the first time after ending Novak Djokovic’s long spell at the top.
The 29-year-old clinched a second Wimbledon title in July before successfully defending his Olympic singles crown and then winning a first ATP Tour Finals crown to stop Djokovic regaining first place.
Murray, previously honored with an OBE in 2012, became a father for the first time in February and earlier this month was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for a record third time.
“Obviously it is the highest honor you can get in this country. But I feel like I’m too young for something like that,” said Murray before the announcement was made on Friday.
“When I win any award or am presented with anything it is nice because it is recognition for what you have given your life to — up to now anyway.
“I am still young and there are still a lot of things that can go wrong. I could still mess up and make mistakes. I am just trying to keep doing what I am doing, working hard and achieving stuff.”
Farah receives his knighthood after he retained his 5,000 and 10,000 meters titles at the Rio Olympics, becoming the first British track and field athlete to win four Olympic gold medals.
The 33-year-old Somalia-born athlete is already a CBE following his double gold at London 2012.
“I’m so happy to be awarded this incredible honor from the country that has been my home since I moved here at the age of eight,” Farah said.
“Looking back at the boy who arrived here from Somalia, not speaking any English, I could never have imagined where I would be today. It’s a dream come true.
“I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to race for my country and win gold medals for the British people, who have been my biggest supporters throughout my career.
“My successes have only been possible because of their support and the commitment, sacrifices and love of my amazing family and the team around me now and over the years.”
Para-equestrian Lee Pearson is also knighted after adding gold from the Individual Freestyle grade Ib and silver in Dressage to his golds in Beijing and London.
The decorated Paralympian already held the MBE, OBE and CBE for services to equestrianism and to disabled sport.
Damehoods go to heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill and rower Katherine Grainger, who both retired from competitive action following the 2016 Rio Games.
Ennis-Hill, who had returned to compete in Rio after becoming a mother, has been made a Dame for services to athletics.
The 30-year-old from Sheffield added silver at the 2016 Games to her gold at London, and was already a CBE.
Grainger receives her damehood for services to sport and charity, the veteran rower having come out of retirement to compete in Rio, where she won silver in the double sculls alongside Vicky Thornley.


Southgate to bring Sterling back from England exile

Updated 17 November 2019

Southgate to bring Sterling back from England exile

  • World Cup semifinalists ‘still have room for improvement as they chase first major title since 1966’

PRISTINA:  Gareth Southgate is set to bring Raheem Sterling back from his brief England exile in Sunday’s qualifier against Kosovo as he seeks to end the controversy over the Manchester City star’s row with Joe Gomez.

Sterling was dropped for Thursday’s 7-0 rout of Montenegro after clashing with England team-mate Gomez in the Three Lions’ training base canteen.

It is believed Sterling was unhappy with Gomez following an altercation with the Liverpool defender during City’s Premier League defeat at Anfield last weekend.

Although Sterling was left out of the Montenegro game as punishment for his attack on Gomez, Southgate has confirmed the winger will return for England’s final Group A fixture.

Sterling and Gomez, left with a scratch under his eye after the incident, are said to have patched up their relationship, but the center-back was jeered by England fans at Wembley when he came on as a substitute against Montenegro.

Both Southgate and Sterling expressed their support for Gomez and criticized the booing supporters, with the England manager reportedly comforting the shocked 22-year-old and his family after the match.

Now Southgate could include Gomez against Kosovo in a show of support for the Liverpool player.

With England already guaranteed to qualify for Euro 2020 in first place in their group, Southgate already planned to make changes, although he is keen to ensure England finish with a win as they eye a top-six seeding in next year’s tournament.

“We will make some changes, for sure, but the seeding in the group could be critical and we know it’s a big night for the Kosovans,” Southgate said.

“It’s a shame for them that they’re now out of this part of the qualification, although they’ve still got the playoffs in which I think they’ll be a huge threat in that format. “So, it will be a good test for us because it will still be a lively environment.

“The enthusiasm for the game is high and we want to finish the group with as many points as we can.”

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson could return following a one-match ban, while Southgate has to decide whether to keep faith with Ben Chilwell ahead of Danny Rose at left-back.

Harry Kane may have scored a hat-trick against Montenegro but it was Leicester’s Chilwell who was named England’s man of the match following a fine display in which he provided three assists in the opening 24 minutes.

“Ben, I liked the hunger in his game, the enthusiasm to get forward,” Southgate said.

“The whole team pressed well but he also pressed well from that full-back position, got into overlaps, his quality of delivery was excellent.”

Although England have cruised through their qualifying group, Southgate believes the 2018 World Cup semifinalists still have room for improvement as they chase a first major title since 1966.

“There were a couple of chances we conceded that just shouldn’t happen, so that’s still part of our game that we’ve got to improve upon,” he said.

“If we are to be a team that are going to challenge seriously, although we’re young, we’ve got to manage games well.

“We’ve got to make sure that, although we’re such a fantastic attacking threat, the rest of the team is right as well. There are things we’ve got to be better at.”