Sports World: Hammers sell Payet to end transfer saga

Hammers sell Payet to end transfer saga

LONDON • France international Dimitri Payet's prolonged transfer saga ended yesterday as Premier League side West Ham agreed to sell him to French Ligue 1 outfit Marseille for a reported £25 million (S$44.9 million).

The 29-year-old - who starred for the Hammers last season with 12 goals - had effectively gone on strike at the beginning of the month.

Having turned down two earlier bids - rumoured to be £19 million and £20 million - West Ham changed their tune with the higher offer after having signed Robert Snodgrass from Hull.

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Watanabe smashes breaststroke record

TOKYO • Japan's Ippei Watanabe broke the men's 200m breaststroke world record yesterday, becoming the first swimmer to go under two minutes and seven seconds.

The 19-year-old clocked a time of 2:06.67 at the Kosuke Kitajima Cup in Tokyo, eclipsing the previous best set by countryman Akihiro Yamaguchi in 2012 by 0.34 seconds.

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Pole vaulter Braz gets one up on Lavillenie

ROUEN (France) • Brazil's Olympic pole vault champion Thiago Braz got the better of world record holder Renaud Lavillenie again on Saturday when he won the Rouen indoor event with a leap of 5.86m.

Lavillenie, beaten in stormy circumstances by Braz in the Rio Games final in August last year, managed just 5.50m, well outside his world record of 6.16m.

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Arrogate wins in dominating fashion

MIAMI • Arrogate romped to victory in the first running of the US$12 million (S$17 million) Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, as California Chrome failed to shine in the world's richest horse race.

Arrogate powered alone through the stretch to win by 4 3/4 lengths ahead of Shaman Ghost, with Neolithic third.

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Bayern get 13th win in a row against Werder

BERLIN • Bayern Munich edged past Werder Bremen 2-1 on Saturday for a Bundesliga record 13th consecutive win over them to stay three points clear at the top of the table.

Bayern are now on 45 points, with promoted RB Leipzig on 42 after they ended Hoffenheim's unbeaten run this season with a 2-1 win.

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Controversy as Barca held 1-1 by Real Betis

MADRID • Barcelona's Spanish La Liga title challenge suffered a huge blow as the Spanish champions were held 1-1 at Real Betis.

Alex Alegria gave Betis the lead their dominance deserved 15 minutes from time. However, Barca were infuriated seconds later as the ball clearly crossed the Betis goal-line, but no goal was given.

Suarez did at least rescue a point in the dying seconds, but Barca (42 points) are a point behind Real Madrid, who have played two games fewer. Real faced Real Sociedad later yesterday.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2017, with the headline 'Sports World'. Print Edition | Subscribe