Schumacher Jnr eyes F1 career

BERLIN - Michael Schumacher's teenage son wants to follow in his father's footsteps into Formula One following his demonstration laps before Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix. Mick Schumacher, 18, is currently competing in Formula Three, but drove his father's Benetton B194 car round the Spa-Francorchamps track to commemorate the seven-time champion's first Formula One win 25 years ago. "Of course, Formula One is my goal, but first I want to be a complete driver before I race," Schumacher Jnr told German daily Bild on Tuesday. "I would like to continue working on myself, deepen my knowledge, improve as a driver, but also as a team member." He plans to spend two more years in Formula Three, where he races for Italian outfit Prema Powerteam, then a further two years in Formula Two before moving up.–AFP



‘Pocket Rocketman’ seeks Olympic glory

NILAI - Malaysia's "Pocket Rocketman" Azizulhasni Awang set his sights on Olympic glory after he filled a gap in his trophy cabinet with cycling gold at the Southeast Asian Games – and set off national rejoicing in the process. The pint-sized world keirin champion, who is 1.66m (5ft 5in) tall, had never won a SEA Games individual title until his assured victory in the men's sprint late on Monday. It also happened to be table-topping Malaysia's 111th gold medal of the Games -- matching their record haul in 2001, when they last hosted the regional mini-Olympics. "I can't even describe with words," Azizulhasni said. "Mostly because I won in front of my parents, they hardly ever watch my race live. And also to be the winner of the 111th gold medal is absolutely amazing for me."–AFP


Liverpool agree record deal to sign Keita

LONDON - Guinea international midfielder Naby Keita will join Premier League giants Liverpool next year after the English outfit agreed a reported club record deal of £48 million ($62 million, 51.9 million euros) with German side RB Leipzig. Liverpool will also reportedly pay an undisclosed premium for the 22-year-old midfielder, who scored eight goals in 31 league appearances last term to help Leipzig finish runners-up in the title race. "Liverpool Football Club can confirm they have reached an agreement with RB Leipzig for the future transfer of Naby Keita," read the Liverpool statement. "The Reds have agreed a deal with the German club and the midfielder that will see the 22-year-old move to Anfield on July 1, 2018 following the conclusion of the current season."–AFP



I'm not smartest guy, admits Tomic

NEW YORK - Volatile Australian Bernard Tomic admitted on Monday that he's "not the smartest" guy in the world but insisted he has no regrets over his frequent controversial outbursts. Tomic's first match since his first-round loss at Wimbledon - and his subsequent complaints that he was "bored" with tennis and a sport that has brought him over $5 m in prize money was just a "job" - ended in predictable defeat. He went down 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to Luxembourg 19th seed Gilles Muller in the US Open first round after missing the entire summer hardcourt season with illness. "It's not like I can go and start a real estate business or a restaurant. I would have no idea. My job is to play tennis," he said. "I'm not the smartest person in the world -- I'm not going to be able to do a doctor's degree.”–AFP



Pitch battle ahead of Korea-Iran clash

SEOUL - Iran have sparked a war of words in South Korea after complaining about the state of their training pitch ahead of Thursday's crucial World Cup Asia zone qualifier. With the visitors already having secured their place as Group A winners and only the runner-up sure to join them in Russia, the heat is all on the Koreans who could face a potential winner-takes-all clash in their final match against third-placed Uzbekistan in Tashkent next week. Iran coach Carlos Queiroz ramped up the pressure-cooker atmosphere on Monday by claiming that the training pitch in Incheon, 27 kilometres west of Seoul, was not up to the standard of a nation that hosted the World Cup with Japan in 2002. "The quality of the grass is not good," Queiroz said according to the Korean media.–AFP