NXT Championship match official for TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

Image: WWE

Karrion Kross is getting a shot to reclaim the title that he never lost.

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WWE has officially announced that NXT Champion Finn Balor will defend his title against Kross (w/ Scarlett) at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver. The two-night event is taking place on Wednesday, April 7 and Thursday, April 8. The first night will air live on the USA Network. The second night will be live on Peacock in the United States and live on the WWE Network everywhere else.

Balor retained his NXT Championship against Adam Cole in the main event of last week’s NXT episode. After the match, Balor was confronted by Kross. As Balor was turning around, he realized Kross was in the ring and asked what took him so long. The two then went face-to-face as the episode went off the air.

Balor and Kross also had a confrontation at the start of tonight’s NXT episode, with both saying they deserve to be considered the real NXT Champion. They were interrupted by NXT Tag Team Champions Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch. Lorcan & Burch said that sooner or later Pete Dunne will be NXT Champion. Scarlett then got Lorcan & Burch to agree to put their NXT Tag Team titles on the line against Balor & Kross later tonight.

Kross won the NXT Championship by defeating Keith Lee at TakeOver XXX last August. But Kross suffered a separated shoulder during the match and had to relinquish the title. A four-way Iron Man match featuring Balor, Cole, Johnny Gargano, and Tommaso Ciampa was made to decide a new champion. After that match ended in a tie between Balor and Cole, Balor defeated Cole in a singles match in September to win the NXT Championship.

Balor vs. Kross is the first match that’s been announced for TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.

Julian Assange refuses to surrender to U.S. extradition request as legal battle begins

London — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faced a court hearing Thursday over the U.S. request to extradite him for allegedly conspiring to hack a Pentagon computer. Assange appeared by video link from prison for the hearing at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

According to a reporter for The Guardian newspaper who was in the courtroom, the judge asked Assange whether he would voluntarily surrender to the U.S. extradition request.”I do not wish to surrender myself for extradition for doing journalism that has won many, many awards and protected many people,” Assange replied. The judge adjourned the brief proceeding and said the next hearing, another procedural one, would be held on May 30, with a more substantial hearing set for June 12, according to the Reuters news agency.
A few dozen supporters holding signs reading “Free Assange” and “No extradition” gathered outside the courthouse before the hearing. It’s an early stage in what is likely to be a months- or years-long extradition process.The 47-year-old Australian was sentenced Wednesday to 50 weeks in prison for separate charges on jumping bail in 2012 and holing up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. At the time, he was facing extradition to Sweden for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations made by two women.Assange said he took to hiding in the embassy out of fear — what he called “terrifying circumstances” — of being sent to the U.S. to face charges related to WikiLeaks’ publication of classified U.S. military documents.WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said Wednesday that the extradition battle was “a question of life and death” for Assange.Assange was arrested last month after his relationship with his embassy hosts went sour and Ecuador revoked his political asylum.What is the U.S. case about?Lawyers have said Assange will fight extradition to the U.S., where authorities have charged him with conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer system.The Justice Department’s indictment shows that Assange has been charged with computer hacking crimes for trying to illegally access “secret” materials on a U.S. government computer. The charge is officially listed as “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.”

The indictment accuses Assange of trying to access the secret material “with reason to believe that such information so obtained could be used to the injury of the United States and the advantage of any foreign nation.”The charges relate to materials stolen by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who was convicted in 2013 of leaking classified government and military documents to WikiLeaks. She had worked as an intelligence analyst in Iraq and was arrested in 2010. Manning is transgender and at the time of her arrest, her name was Bradley.Manning was jailed again in March for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton ordered Manning to jail for contempt of court after a brief hearing in which Manning confirmed she had no intention of testifying.Duelling extradition bids?The case against Assange in Sweden was dropped by prosecutors in May 2017 — not because of any conclusion about his guilt or innocence, but because they accepted there wasn’t any reasonable chance of prosecuting him as he remained holed-up in London.Swedish lawyer Elisabeth Massi Fritz, who represents one of the claimants behind the sexual abuse allegations, said shortly after Assange’s arrest that it had “understandably come as a shock to my client that what we have been waiting and hoping for since 2012 has now finally happened.”Massi Fritz said in a tweet that she and her team would “do everything we possibly can to get the Swedish police investigation re-opened so that Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted for rape. No rape victim should have to wait 9 years to see justice be served.”Her client has claimed Assange had sex with her without a condom while she was asleep. In Sweden, having sex with an unconscious, drunk or sleeping person can lead to a rape conviction punishable by up to six years in prison.

Swedish law experts and Assange’s own lawyer in Sweden have said, however, that it appears unlikely a new extradition request will be issued by the Scandinavian nation, simply due to the amount of time that has passed.”I think it would be a very uphill task to reopen the investigation in Sweden,” Britain’s Guardian quoted former prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhemas telling a Swedish news agency. “Testimony usually weakens with time, and it’s now been 10 years.”What happens nextIf Swedish prosecutors do decide to reopen their investigation and issue a new arrest warrant for Assange, it will be down to U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid to make the decision on which request to honor — if any.More than 70 British legislators have urged Javid to give priority to a case involving rape allegations ahead of the U.S. request, if Sweden reopens the case.A U.S. official told CBS News justice correspondent Paula Reid that even with an official U.S. request now filed with Britain, extradition is a lengthy process and the WikiLeaks boss was likely hit U.S. soil quickly.That said, Britain and the U.S. do have a fast-track extradition agreement, so the process should be easier than it would be with many other nations.Assange would not be expected to enter a plea to the Department of Justice charge unless he loses his extradition case in the U.K. and is brought to a courtroom in the United States.

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“Wait and see”: China still mulling retaliation in trade war with U.S.

Beijing — Companies were bracing Monday for how Beijing might retaliate against President Trump’s escalation of a fight over technology and trade that threatens to disrupt a Chinese economic recovery.

China has threatened “necessary countermeasures” for Mr. Trump’s tariff hikes Friday on $200 billion of Chinese imports. But three days later, in a break with previous tit-for-tat penalties that were imposed immediately, Beijing had yet to announce what it might do.A foreign ministry spokesman said Monday he had no details about Chinese plans or high-level contacts since negotiations ended Friday without a deal.
“We are determined and capable of safeguarding our legitimate rights and interests,” the spokesman, Geng Shuang, told a daily news briefing. “We hope the United States will meet China halfway to address each other’s legitimate concerns.”China “will never surrender to external pressure,” Shuang said, according to the Reuters news agency.According to Reuters, he said, “As for the details, please continue to pay attention. Copying a U.S. expression – ‘wait and see.”‘Asian stock markets fell sharply Monday, European shares also declined and U.S. stock futures suggested a significantly lower opening in New York.China is running out of U.S. imports it could penalize due to the lopsided U.S.-Chinese trade balance. Regulators have been targeting American companies in China by slowing down customs clearance for shipments and processing of business licenses.Officials appeared to be studying the potential impact on China’s economy before picking their next steps, said Jake Parker, vice president of the U.S.-China Business Council, an industry group. He said officials might be worried companies may shift operations out of China in response to “aggressive retaliatory actions.””I assume this goes fairly high within China’s government before retaliatory actions are settled upon,” said Parker.

On Sunday, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow contradicted recent statements by Mr. Trump,  conceding that a recent increase in tariffs on Chinese goods will not only hurt China, but American companies and consumers as well.”Both sides will pay,” Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser, said on “Fox News Sunday,” referring to the escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China — the world’s largest economies. Pressed about comments in which Mr. Trump has alleged Beijing will end up paying for the increased levies, Kudlow responded that “both sides will suffer on this.”Still, he argued that China’s Gross Domestic Product will ultimately suffer more from the recent 15 percent tariff hike — which went into effect Friday — because of a “diminishing export market.”On Monday morning, the president persisted with his assertions, tweeting, “Their is no reason for the U.S. Consumer to pay the Tariffs, which take effect on China today.”Forecasters warned that Friday’s hikes could disrupt a Chinese recovery that appeared to be gaining traction. Growth in the world’s second-largest economy held steady at 6.4 percent over a year earlier in the latest quarter, supported by higher government spending and bank lending.Mr. Trump started raising tariffs last July over complaints China steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

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Longtime wrestling fan Trump to get a taste of sumo in Japan

Tokyo — President Trump begins his second official trip to Japan on Saturday, and as CBS News’ Lucy Craft reports, one highlight of his visit will be watching the national sumo finals in Tokyo.

The Kokugikan Sumo Arena, with its courtly rituals, is a world away from the tights and melodrama of professional wrestling, the sport with which Mr. Trump has been most closely associated throughout his business career.Seats are reportedly being installed at the Tokyo arena so the first couple won’t have to sit on the floor, as is tradition at Kokugikan.
Next to pro wrestling, the centuries-old sport of sumo is genteel, and infused with Shinto religious customs.The sumo wrestlers, known as Rikishi, undergo rigorous, grueling training, and are expected to be role models in Japanese society.Despite weighing an average of about 360 pounds, wrestlers are surprisingly fast and agile. They’re able to push or shove opponents from the ring and win bouts within seconds.Mr. Trump’s sumo outing has already prompted tongue-in-cheek social media speculation about whether the president might don a loincloth himself — a notion unthinkable to fans in Japan.”Sumo is not just about being large,” one fan told Craft. “These wrestlers have been training since age 15. It would be impossible for Trump to compete.””What you need to understand is that sumo wrestlers aren’t just blobs,” another fan told CBS News. “They’re actually quite fit. I don’t think Trump’s in very good shape.”Mr. Trump’s visit will take him to the Imperial Palace for an audience with the new emperor, Naruhito. The president will also get in a round of golf. It’s all part of an unprecedented — and according to scholar Stephen Nagy, notably successful — charm offensive by the Japanese.

With Japan’s massive neighbor China exerting increasing influence in the region, diplomacy faltering with nuclear-armed North Korea and global trade in tumult, Tokyo may be keen to foster the warmest ties possible with the American leader.  “These are all opportunities for the Japanese to put Mr. Trump front and center and in the spotlight,” said Nagy. “This is the kind of treatment that he is accustomed to, and I think that It disposes him favorably to the Japanese because he’s being flattered.”The president is scheduled to present a trophy in his own name to this weekend’s sumo champion.

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Ironman World Champs 2018: Patrick Lange is the King of Kona

The 40th birthday of Ironman was always going to be a special race, and so it proved with the Kona debut of Javier Gomez, course records broken, emotional stories of redemption and some heavyweights showdowns between the world’s greatest long-course athletes.


Grabbing the headlines in the men’s elite event was Patrick Lange, who broke the Ali’i Drive finish line tape in 7:52:39 to become the Ironman World Champion for the second time. Following the German home was Belgium’s Bart Aernouts in second and David McNamee of Scotland, who ran in his way to third in 8:01:09.

Brit Joe Skipper would come home in seventh, while Javier Gomez was 11th on debut in Hawaii. Tim Don, after his horrific bike crash just over a year ago, crossed the line in 36th in tear-jerking scenes.


Not since the multiple Ironman world champ Chrissie Wellington went toe-to-toe with Julie Dibens, Rachel Joyce and Leanda Cave in 2011 have British elite athletes received some much focus in Kona (head here for the women’s report featuring Lucy Charles).

In the men’s race, Scotland’s David McNamee was hoping to go even better than in 2017, when his third-placed finish was the best British male placing in Kona history. East Anglia’s Joe Skipper – second behind Jan Frodeno at Challenge Roth in 2016 – was also vying for his first top 10 finish in Hawaii, and there was the emotional appearance of Tim Don in the starting field, following a severe crash ahead of the 2017 edition of Hawaii.

Elsewhere on the starting pontoon was the five-time ITU World Champion, Javier Gomez, making his Kona racing debut, the reigning champion Patrick Lange, former winner Sebastian Kienle, and a Jan Frodeno-shaped hole after the two-time Kona champ pulled out ahead of the race.

In relatively cool and calm conditions for Kona, the men’s event saw Aussie athlete Josh Amberger first out of the water, closely followed by France’s Denis Chevrot. Gomez came out in 5th after 47:46mins and David McNamee was in 13th, 1:52mins down after a time of 49:31mins. Don would exit Kailua Bay in 50:34, 20th pro man overall

Some big names were already 2-3mins in arrears, including the reigning champion Patrick Lange and 2014 winner Sebastian Kienle. The 2017 second-place finisher and uber-biker Lionel Sanders was a further 3mins back.

.@JoshAmberger is in the lead and nearing the swim exit. #IMWC

Tune in to catch all the action from the @rokasports Swim Course via NBC Sports (US) and https://t.co/DRAL10Rxpg (Global). pic.twitter.com/sSGEq4Of2g

— IRONMAN Triathlon (@IRONMANtri) October 13, 2018

Onto the bike, and the major early news was that Kienle had suffered a puncture and was riding with a replacement wheel. But the German star had moved up to 14th by halfway through the 180km bike leg, with the field being led by biking powerhouses Andrew Starykowicz (USA) and Australia’s Cameron Wurf. Gomez was in ninth, Lange tenth, while the Brits of McNamee, Skipper, Don and Will Clarke were riding in proximity to each other in around 20th place.

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Approaching transition two and Wurf’s bike course record of 4:12:54 from 2017 was in jeopardy, and the Australian would once again enter the Hawaii record books after a 4:09:36 split.

#IMWC @cameronwurf has come off the bike with the lead and established a new course record of 4:09:36! pic.twitter.com/koj3J5Y9Ee

— IRONMANLive (@IRONMANLive) October 13, 2018

Lange would enter T2 around 6mins back, with Gomez 8mins behind, and both in serious contention to see their run prowess move them to the front of the race. Kienle, meanwhile, would quit in T2.


With the 40 years of Ironman in Hawaii being celebrated in the build-up to the race, it was apt that major landmarks in the sport’s history would be broken in 2018. And that was the men’s course record and the magical eight hour barrier in Hawaii, a time that had eluded such greats as Mark Allen, Dave Scott, Craig Alexander and Jan Frodeno in Kona history.

#IMWC pic.twitter.com/a7KdM06IsT

— IRONMAN Triathlon (@IRONMANtri) October 14, 2018

Lange, who we interviewed earlier in the year about the sub-8hr record, moved to second almost instantly and was in control of the chase group on Cameron Wurf. He made the pass after 15km and gave Wurf a classy fist bump on the way, before taking off at 6min/mile pace to deliver a 2:41:32 marathon run that kicked the course record into touch. His 7:52:39 finish time was nearly 10mins faster than his 2017 course record of 8:01:40, and was scarily only his sixth-ever full Ironman race.


Aernouts was next home in 7:56:41 to become the second man to dip under 8hrs in Hawaii, while McNamee was third in 8:01:09, which itself was the third-fastest Hawaii time in history. Skipper was seventh in 8:05:54.

AEW Revolution media call: Tony Khan on the Omega/Moxley finish

AEW president Tony Khan talked to the media as part of a post-Revolution conference call Sunday and attempted to explain the flat finish of the show that saw Eddie Kingston cover Jon Moxley from “explosions” that more resembled a watered down version of Goldberg’s entrance pyro.

You can listen to the whole audio down below.

Khan said the explanation is that Kenny Omega built a faulty ring and that his plan to blow up Moxley ultimately failed which was a good thing. He referred to Omega’s crayon drawing of the setup several times and questioned whether fans actually thought they were going to blow people up.

He never admitted to any pyrotechnic failure nor was he asked why Kingston continued to lay on Moxley despite no visual danger to either man.

Khan also said the Christian Cage signing came up over the past few weeks and that he was initially bummed when he saw him return in the Royal Rumble as he didn’t know he was interested in returning to the ring. Cage called him and said he was interested in AEW and it was on from there.

For more of Khan talking about the show and the finish plus short interviews with Darby Allin, Hangman Page, and Paul Wight, click below to listen.

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2 British paratriathletes secure paralympic qualification in South Africa

Paratriathletes Lauren Steadman and Alison Patrick have both won gold at the Buffalo City ITU World Paratriathlon Event,  gaining automatic qualification for the Paralympics in Rio


 Steadman, 23, won the PT4 category and has now qualified for her third Paralympic Games, having competed twice before as a swimmer. She said: “The top women weren’t here today so I planned to keep it steady and ensure that nothing went wrong. Meeting automatic qualification was the absolute priority. The swim was calm, the bike was a little hilly. Overall it was a great way to start the season!”

Alison Patrick, 28 from Dunfermline won the PT5 race for visually impaired athletes, guided by Nicole Walters. She finished more than three minutes ahead of Spain’s Susana Rodriguez and will look forward to her first Paralympic Games where she will line up against ITU world champion, Katie Kelly of Australia.

>>> BTF announce selection policy for Paralympics

There was also another gold from Ryan Taylor in the men’s PT2 event two silvers from David Hill (PT4) and Phil Hogg (PT1 ) and one bronze Melissa Reid won bronze in the PT5 category with Hazel Smith guiding..

Head coach, Jonathon Riall said that it was “a great start to 2016 with two more quota places secured for Rio and two athletes meeting automatic qualification.”

Steadman and Patrick will be automatically selected for Rio, however general selection for the rest of the team will take place following the ETU European Championships at the end of May and the conclusion of the ITU World Paratriathlon Event Series in June.


Paratriathlon: the ultimate guide

 Britain’s pioneering approach to elite paratriathlon training

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Commonwealth Games to host Paratriathlon for first time

2016 Buffalo City ITU World Paratriathlon Event results

Men’s PT1

1. Giovanni Achenza, ITA, 1:08:00

2. Phil Hogg, GBR, 1:12:09

3. Junpei Kimura, JPN, 1:17:28

Men’s PT2

1. Ryan Taylor, GBR, 1:13:33

2. Mohamed Lahna, MAR, 1:15:52

3. Michele Ferrarin, ITA, 1:16:23

Men’s PT4

1. Yannick Bourseaux, FRA, 1:04:03

2. David Hill, GBR, 1:04:55

3. Alexander Yalchik, RUS, 1:05:46

Women’s PT4

1. Lauren Steadman, GBR, 1:13:00

2. Gwladys Lemoussu, FRA, 1:18:21

3. Tamiris Hintz, HUN, 1:27:41

Women’s PT5

1. Alison Patrick, GBR, 1:07:31

2. Susana Rodriguez, ESP, 1:10:45


3. Melissa Reid, GBR, 1:10:59

Doping debate film: sporting figures, including Kelly Sotherton, debate doping

The panelists, including Nicole Sapstead (CEO UK Anti-Doping), Kelly Sotherton (Olympic medalist) Wendy Martinson OBE (nutritionist to elite sport) and Chris Fisher, Head of Healthspan Elite (a supplier of high-quality vitamins and supplements) debated the use of performance enhancing drugs in athletics and the issues facing the sport ahead of the Rio. Panel members discussed the alternatives for athletes looking to gain a competitive edge, through nutrition, training and education.

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The clips include comments from Kelly Sotherton (who discusses openly witnessing an athlete doping at an event), the criminalisation of doping and the nutrition and education alternatives for athletes in all sports. 

See some clips from the discussion below and let us know your thoughts


Julian Jenkinson: a legend of the British tri scene remembered

Julian was a formidable athlete, breaking and holding British triathlon records back in the 1990s, and forging a path for British athletes at Ironman Hawaii. 


“He was not just a formidable cyclist but an all round swimmer, cyclist and runner and always had a smile and time to talk before or after he’d raced. I will miss him” says Mark Kleanthous, another stalwart of the UK tri scene.

Alongside his successful property developing, Julian was also instrumental in the creation of the Southampton Tri Club, with his amusing, insightful and colourful columns for 220 during the nineties entertaining our readers for many seasons. Below are some of Julian’s first words for 220 back in 1989, where he details his newfound love of multisport.

‘The 1989 Swindon Biathlon was my first-ever duathlon after my first season in triathlon. I remember spotting Richard Hobson who was the “star” and thinking he was twice my size and appeared to have all the kit. I rode in trainers. I recall an indoor transition and quite a buzz about the place. Coming from cross country running this felt like the big time; people watching and prizes!

‘I was completely unknown and ran with Hobbo. I beat him out of transition because of my trainers. I think it was an out and back course and I got caught on the way home, a few other runner types were quickly over hauled; a very young Julian Bunn and this guy called [Mike] Trees who had run a 4min mile or nearly. Hobbo led off bike and I took second. It was a massive surprise to me and everybody there. I loved it.

‘Why did I love it? Atmosphere, Exciting, Buzz, Cool. I was young cocky student and the girls and beer and everything was perfect. I did number two at Leicester meeting Dave Bellingham – mad as a hatter. I had almost learned to cycle and won the race from Steve Meads. Never won much at running, got the bug now, found something that I was half decent at.’

And half decent at multisport Julian would prove to be. He’d go on to win the UK Iron-distance classic The Longest Day on numerous occasions, and would hold the British Iron-distance record for 13 years after his 8:15:21 finish at 1995’s European Iron-Distance Championships in Detern. A year later, he recorded the then fastest British time at Ironman Hawaii after a 8:54:53 minute finish on the lava fields of Kona.


Look out for more tributes to Julian later this week. 220’s thoughts are with his wife, family, friends and the countless athletes he inspired in triathlon.

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High protein beer gets the taste test

With a fairly low alcohol content of 3.6%, each 330ml bottle is said to boast 33% fewer calories (92.4) than a regular brew, 85% fewer carbs (1.65g) and 95% more protein, with a bumper 21.8g per bottle. So, most importantly, how does it taste? 


BrewDog’s Dead Pony Club, Moor Beer Co’s Revival, Bath Ales Spa and a handful of others aside, we rarely trust beers of a sub-4% alcohol content, reminding us of that mild stuff they drink in the West Midlands and Manchester or barbecue lagers like Carling. 

Like BrewDog and co., Barbell Brew does have plenty of taste. This provides plenty of hoppyness yet tastes decidedly – and disconcertingly – sweet (said by Muscle Food to derive from the added protein), putting it closer to a fruit beer (or a glass of squash) than hoppy classics like Sierra Nevada Pale.

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 At £15.95 for a six pack it certainly doesn’t come cheap either, with the £2.65 per bottle tag putting it above many top-end independent brews on the market.

For us personally, a beer is a reward. We’d rather have a bottle of something we enjoy and cherish, instead of thinking about amino acids and how much protein we need. So bring us a Beavertown any day, and a bowl of cashews and beef jerky to provide the amino acid hit.

 But if you’re serious at cutting the carbs, compared to the ‘lite’ (i.e. weak and devoid of taste) beers from Coors, Miller and Michelob, you could do worse in the taste test then Barbell Brew.