Sports Digest, November 24, 2012

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 November, 2012, 3:06am

Forte dei Marmi to skip Hong Kong Cup

The Longines Hong Kong International Races will be without a North American runner, with Hong Kong Cup entrant Forte dei Marmi taken out last night. Forte dei Marmi finished third in the recent Canadian International at Woodine but would have been an outsider in Hong Kong, and connections have preferred a target closer to home. Instead of the Hong Kong Cup, Forte dei Marmi has preferred tomorrow's Group Two W.L. McKnight handicap at Calder in the United States, where he is expected to run as favourite. The scratching leaves a field of 13 for the cup, but the Jockey Club has added to the field for the Hong Kong Mile. The Charlie Hills-trained Red Jazz, owned by former Jockey Club chairman Ronald Arculli, has been added to the field for the mile race, taking it up to 13 runners. Alan Aitken


Zheng shortlisted for AFC player of the year

Guangzhou Evergrande's Zheng Zhi has been shortlisted for Asian Footballer of the Year, along with Iran's Ali Karimi and South Korean Lee Keun-Ho. The Asian Football Confederation will name the winner in Kuala Lumpur on November 29. Karimi, a 34-year-old who has played for German clubs Bayern Munich and Schalke 04, won the award in 2004 and has been in a rich vein of form in his third spell with Tehran-based Persepolis. Lee played an instrumental role in helping Ulsan Hyundai capture their first Asian Champions League title this month to qualify for the Fifa Club World Cup in Tokyo. Zheng, a former Charlton Athletic and Celtic defender, has impressed again this season, helping Guangzhou Evergrande retain their Chinese Super League title. Reuters


IAAF names Guiyang as cross-country host

The IAAF says the mainland city of Guiyang will host the cross-country running world championships in 2015. The Guizhou provincial capital hosted the Asian Cross Country Championships in 2005 and this year. The date for the world event has yet to be decided. AP


Hamilton fastest in Brazil GP practice

Lewis Hamilton prepared to leave McLaren on a high by setting the fastest time in first practice for the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix yesterday. The Briton lapped the anti-clockwise layout with a best time of one minute and 14.131 seconds. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, the championship leader, was second fastest and just 0.009 off Hamilton's pace. Reuters