Olympic ‘Vibes’ for Qatar’s High-Jump Great Barshim in Hangzhou 

Asian Games - Hangzhou 2022 - Athletics - Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, Hangzhou, China - October 2, 2023 Qatar's Mutaz Barshim gestures during the Men's High Jump Qualification - Group A. (Reuters)
Asian Games - Hangzhou 2022 - Athletics - Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, Hangzhou, China - October 2, 2023 Qatar's Mutaz Barshim gestures during the Men's High Jump Qualification - Group A. (Reuters)
TT

Olympic ‘Vibes’ for Qatar’s High-Jump Great Barshim in Hangzhou 

Asian Games - Hangzhou 2022 - Athletics - Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, Hangzhou, China - October 2, 2023 Qatar's Mutaz Barshim gestures during the Men's High Jump Qualification - Group A. (Reuters)
Asian Games - Hangzhou 2022 - Athletics - Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, Hangzhou, China - October 2, 2023 Qatar's Mutaz Barshim gestures during the Men's High Jump Qualification - Group A. (Reuters)

Three-time high-jump world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim compared the Asian Games to the Olympics Monday after skipping the season-ending Diamond League event at Eugene to be in Hangzhou.

The reigning Olympic gold medalist won Asiad titles in 2010 and 2014 and is determined to cap his 2023 season with another.

"For me, the Asian Games are important. You see these vibes, it's like our Olympics before the Olympics," he said after needing only a single jump of 2.19m to lead the field into Wednesday's gold-medal showdown.

"Eugene? I am not saying it's not important, it's about having different priorities now.

"For me, it was too much travel and I am a different high jumper now. I have three Diamond (League) trophies. Adding a fourth would have been great, but it's not my top priority at the moment so I decided to skip that."

Barshim shares top billing as Qatar's most famous sportsman with five-time Dakar Rally champion Nasser Al-Attiyah, who also took time out from his hectic schedule to be in China.

Along with rallying, Al-Attiyah is an accomplished skeet shooter and won men's team silver and individual bronze in Hangzhou.

Barshim has extra motivation to get back on top of the Asian Games podium after being shocked at the Budapest world championships by Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi, who denied him a fourth consecutive title.

"The stadium is amazing, the crowd is amazing. This is the last competition of the season, hopefully finishing at the top," he said.

"Then I need a good break, a good vacation to recharge before the Olympic season starts."

His chief rival is South Korea's Woo Sang-hyeok, the 2022 world silver medalist who won the Diamond League trophy in Eugene that Barshim skipped, with a personal best 2.35m.

He also qualified comfortably on Monday.



Germany Looking to Book Spot in Euro 2024 Knockout Stage with Another Win against Hungary

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
TT

Germany Looking to Book Spot in Euro 2024 Knockout Stage with Another Win against Hungary

Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer smiles during press conference of the German national soccer team in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (dpa via AP)

Germany faces Hungary on Wednesday in Stuttgart in their second Group A match. Germany tops the group after beating Scotland 5-1 in the opener while Hungary lost 3-1 against Switzerland. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT). Here’s what to know about the match:

Match facts:

— Victory for Germany would all but guarantee a spot in the knockout stages and it would definitely advance if Switzerland also beats Scotland in the other group match.

— Another defeat would not end Hungary’s chances as it could still claim one of the four best third-place spots up for grabs.

— Germany is winless in its last three meetings against Hungary and was beaten 1-0 in the last game between the two teams, in September 2022.

— Germany had to twice come from behind when the teams met in the group stage at the last European Championship. That was the teams’ first competitive meeting since the 1954 World Cup final, won 3-2 by West Germany.

Team news:

— Hungary coach Marco Rossi is hopeful French-born midfielder Loic Nego will have recovered to face Germany after he was only fit for a place on the bench against Switzerland.

— Germany has reported no injury concerns.

By the numbers:

— Germany’s five goals scored against Scotland leaves it just one short of its best-ever group stage tally at the European Championship, when it scored six at Euro 2020.

— Hungary midfielder Ádám Nagy, who turned 29 on Sunday, could make his eighth tournament appearance if he plays against Germany. That would be a new record for Hungary, breaking the joint mark Nagy holds with former captain Ádám Szalai.

— Germany’s victory over Scotland saw the team win its European Championship opener for a record-extending eighth time.

What they’re saying:

“Hungary is an unpleasant opponent, they can sometimes be wild and they’re difficult to get a hold of. There are a lot of free spirits out there” — Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann.

“We beat them (Germany) in 2022, so I’m sure it will be an extra motivation for them. They’ll be thinking: ‘Not again.’ But it’s clear from the first game that this Germany side is a completely proposition to what they were back then or even last year.” — Hungary forward Martin Ádám.

“On the pitch you felt how every single one of our players was annoyed that we conceded. That is a good sign. Scoring goals is nice, but we are thinking defensively and want to have stability at the back.” — Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.