Ace Trinidad and Tobago cyclist Nicholas Paul was involved a two-cycle crash in the Mens Keirin semifinals at the UCI Championships in Hong Kong, on Saturday.

Fortunately, Paul, 25, an Elite sprinter and World Record holder, only suffered minor bruises and will rest up for the Men's Sprint competition on Sunday.

“I am good. Just some track burns,” Paul told SportsMax.TV.

Though slightly disappointed by the fall, he remains focused on the task at hand, and is intent on making amends in Sunday's event.

The decorated Paul, whose accolades includes Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games Sprint gold medals, will be joined by his compatriot Kwesi Browne in Sunday’s men’s sprint competition.

Despite Paul’s fall, Browne pushed on to reach the finals of the keirin and had a creditable performance and finished sixth overall.

Lionel Messi said it was a “shame” he could not play in Inter Miami’s pre-season friendly in Hong Kong on Sunday, with his absence leaving angry fans demanding a refund.

Messi, who has been suffering with a hamstring injury, was left on the bench as his side beat a Hong Kong XI 4-1, much to the anger of local fans who had turned up in numbers in expectation of seeing the eight-time Ballon D’Or winner.

Inter co-owner David Beckham was also greeted with boos at a post-match speech while the Hong Kong government later expressed its “deep disappointment” over Messi not playing and at organisers for “failing to provide a detailed explanation promptly”.

Beckham’s MLS side have since moved on to Japan where they will play Vissel Kobe on Wednesday and Argentina superstar Messi trained on Tuesday.

The World Cup winner said in a press conference shown on Sky Sports: “Unfortunately in football things can happen in any game, that we may have an injury. It happened to me.

“I couldn’t play in the Hong Kong match, and it was a shame because I always wanted to participate, I wanted to be there and even more so when it came to these matches.

“When we travelled so far and people were so excited to see our matches. I hope we can return and we play another game and I can play as I do whenever I can. But the truth is that it is a game that I was not able to participate.”

Palestine and Syria advanced to the last 16 of the Asian Cup for the first time on a historic day for the tournament.

After Syria had overcome India 1-0 to book their progression from Group B, Palestine claimed their maiden Asian Cup victory by beating Hong Kong 3-0 to make it out of Group C.

Both teams – whose home nations are in the midst of conflicts – will progress as two of the four best third-placed sides.

Oday Dabbagh scored twice for Palestine, with Zeid Qunbar getting their other goal, in their emphatic victory at Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Stadium.

While Iran's 2-1 win over the United Arab Emirates in Tuesday's other Group C match was not enough to see Palestine through in second place, their progress was nevertheless sealed thanks to their improved goal difference over the other teams that either have, or may, finish third in their groups.

Both Iran and UAE join Palestine in progressing to the next round.

Mehdi Taremi scored both of Iran's goals in their victory, with Yahya Al Ghassani missing a penalty for UAE before grabbing a late consolation.

Syria, meanwhile, made it through thanks to Omar Khrbin's 77th-minute winner against India at Al Bayt Stadium.

Khrbin's decisive strike was Syria's only goal from their three group games.

Syria had failed to advance from the group stage in any of their previous six attempts.

Progress is a triumph for Argentine coach Hector Cuper, who was a back-to-back Champions League runner-up when in charge of Valencia. He also led Egypt to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2017.

Australia advanced as the Group B winner after drawing with Uzbekistan 1-1.

The 2015 champions had already secured a place in the round of 16 after two straight wins, and they confirmed top spot after picking up a point at Al Janoub Stadium.

Martin Boyle fired the Socceroos ahead from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time after a handball from Odiljon Xamrobekov. 

But Uzbekistan held onto second place in the group thanks to a goal from substitute Azizbek Turgunboev, who rose to meet Jaloliddin Masharipov's cross in the 78th minute.

Despite going ahead after an early strike by Son Heung-min, South Korea needed a last-minute own goal to salvage a 2-2 draw with Jordan at the Asian Cup.

Yazan Al-Arab's late intervention at the Al Thumama Stadium prevented a second surprise result in the space of 24 hours after Iraq had stunned tournament favourites Japan.

The draw leaves both South Korea, led by former United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann, and Jordan with four points from the first two games in Group E.

"It was a very, very intense game, which we expected," Klinsmann said. 

"After we got the lead, we were too slow. We were not physical enough. We lost one-on-one battles on the field, and that gave them a lot of energy."

Klinsmann, who won the 1990 World Cup with West Germany, was more satisfied with the second-half fightback.

He added: "We were in control. We created enough chances to win this game. Still, a tie is fine at the end of the day."

South Korea, two-time champions but searching for a first title since 1960, started well. After just five minutes, Son was fouled in the area by Ehsan Haddad. After a four-minute long VAR check, the Tottenham captain scored from the spot.

Jordan levelled after 37 minutes as Park Yong-woo headed a corner into his own net. Six minutes into first-half stoppage time, Jordan took the lead on Yazan Al-Naimat's goal.

But South Korea's pressure paid off in the first minute of second-half stoppage time. Son pulled the ball back in the area for Hwang In-beom and the low shot from the Red Star Belgrade midfielder was turned into his own goal by Al Arab.

Also in Group E, Bahrain beat Malaysia 1-0 to go third with three points. Ali Madan scored the only goal of the game in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time to leave Malaysia pointless.

The top two from each of the six groups advance to the round of 16, where they are joined by the four best-performing third-place teams.

The entertaining Saturday play came after two low-scoring affairs rounded out the action on Friday.

Indonesia moved level with Japan in the Group D standings after beating Vietnam 1-0.

The deadlock was broken after 42 minutes when Nguyen Thanh Binh pulled Rafael Struick's shirt in the area. Captain Asnawi Mangkualam fired home the penalty to give Indonesia a chance of a place in the knockout stage for the first time.

Vietnam, who have lost both of their games, were reduced to 10 men late in the game after Le Pham Thanh Long's second yellow card.

In Group C, Iran defeated Hong Kong 1-0 to secure a place in the round of 16. Mehdi Ghayedi scored with more than an hour left.

The win put three-time champions Iran on top, two points ahead of the United Arab Emirates. The teams meet on Tuesday.

Hong Kong stayed bottom with successive defeats and are a point behind their final group opponents Palestine.

Palestine suffered a 4-1 defeat to Iran in their opening game at the Asian Cup on Sunday, with a moment of silence observed before the match to commemorate the victims of the Israel-Hamas war.

As the war reached the 100-day mark, both teams lined up in the centre of the Education City Stadium pitch as an announcement asked for silence "in memory of the lives tragically lost as a result of the ongoing conflict in Palestine".

A hush fell across the stadium in the city of Al-Rayyan before shouts of "free Palestine" were heard from members of the crowd.

Once the game began, three-time champions Iran never looked back after Karim Ansarifard struck within two minutes, with Shoja Khalilzadeh adding a second goal 10 minutes later.

Mehdi Ghayedi made it 3-0 with 38 minutes on the clock, but the loudest cheers came when Palestine's Tamer Seyam pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage time.

Sardar Azmoun scored a fourth for Iran 10 minutes after the break as Amir Ghalenoei's team made a winning start to their Group C campaign.

Elsewhere, Takumi Minamino scored twice as Japan came from behind to beat Vietnam 4-2 in Group D.

The tournament favourites trailed 2-1 in the first half despite Monaco attacker Minamino opening the scoring after 11 minutes.

Nguyen Dinh Bac levelled things up at Al Thumama Stadium five minutes later and Vietnam, ranked 94th in the world by FIFA, went ahead through Pham Tuan Hai's goal in the 33rd minute.

Record four-time Asian Cup winners Japan, who have been heavily tipped to reclaim the trophy they last won in 2011, recovered from that setback as former Liverpool forward Minamino equalised in the 45th minute.

Keito Nakamura then made it 3-2 in first-half stoppage time and substitute Ayase Ueda made the points safe five minutes from full-time.

Finally, Hong Kong's Philip Chan Siu Kwan scored the 1,000th goal in the history of the Asian Cup, but his team still fell to a 3-1 defeat against the United Arab Emirates.

Chan briefly levelled the Group C match four minutes into the second half after Sultan Adil had given UAE the lead from the penalty spot 11 minutes before the break. However, it took just three further minutes for UAE to regain their advantage through Zayed Sultan.

Substitute Yahya Al Ghassani then struck deep into stoppage time to clinch victory against the lowest ranked team at the tournament, with Hong Kong sitting 150th in the FIFA World Rankings.

Connections of Highfield Princess are keen to “let the dust settle” on her creditable effort in Hong Kong last weekend before making a decision on her future.

A triple Group One winner in 2022 for John Quinn, the popular mare has fully justified the call to keep her in training as a six-year-old, with victories in the King George Stakes at Goodwood and the Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp supplemented by several fine performances in defeat.

Highfield Princess was unable to land a telling blow on local superstar Lucky Sweynesse in Sunday’s Hong Kong Sprint, but was far from disgraced in being being beaten four lengths into sixth place and the trainer’s son Sean Quinn was proud of her performance.

“I thought she did her very best, it was tough from her wide draw and she just got a little bit lit up and nudged wide on the bend when the winner came up her inside,” he said.

“I’m not making any huge excuses, it might have cost her a place or two, but she performed very creditably on a very tough stage.

“She kept going and picked up £55,000 for finishing sixth, whereas if she’d finished seventh she’d have picked up nothing, so she paid for the trip and more.”

With Highfield Princess and her trainer having not yet returned to UK soil, a final call on whether she will be retired for broodmare duties, or race on in 2024, has yet to be made.

“She’s still in Hong Kong as we speak, so I think it’s just a case of getting her home, let the dust settle and keep her ticking over and see how she is,” Quinn jnr added.

“To win another Group One this year and probably one of the most valuable Group Twos in Europe when she won at Goodwood, not only has she picked up huge prize-money but she’s enhanced her CV.

“We can look back on this year very satisfied.”

Vincent Ho saw off the challenge of some of the best riders around the world to win the International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley in Hong Kong.

Ho, best known for his association with local superstar Golden Sixty, who will be back in action at the weekend attempting to win the Hong Kong Mile for a third time, needed victory in the last leg on Tomodachi Kokoroe to seal the title having finished third in the first two contests.

The likes of Ryan Moore, Tom Marquand, Hollie Doyle and Zac Purton were also in action, but Ho sealed victory with a half-length success aboard David Hayes’ charge.

“Of course I’m very happy, I didn’t know about the score so it’s great,” said Ho.

“I’m pleased to have a winner. When the horse changed legs today, he came home very well.

“I was lucky to get some good draws today and of course it is a privilege to join all the top jockeys here, I enjoy racing against them.

“It’s good to have a home-grown jockey win it to inspire more upcoming jockeys.”

Ho took the title with 20 points, with Purton second on 18 and Rachel King, once racing secretary for Clive Cox in the UK and now a multiple Group One-winning jockey in Australia, third on 16.

King won the first leg on Oversubscribed and said: “I had to pinch myself halfway up the straight as the horse just travelled into it and if anything, I thought I might have got there a little bit too soon.

“He was a beautiful ride, he showed me around the track and it was a perfect start.”

Moore, who won the second leg on M Unicorn, said: “It’s always a real pleasure to be asked to ride here, I love to ride at Happy Valley, it’s a fantastic week. It’s great to have a winner but I appreciate being here.”

Andrea Atzeni enjoyed the first win of his new Hong Kong venture when Mega Bonus landed a valuable Happy Valley handicap.

The Italian rider made the move to Hong Kong in search of further opportunities after the Ebor meeting at York, gaining an initial six-month licence which will last until February 12.

After four rides the jockey registered the first win of this stint in a new jurisdiction as Mega Bonus, trained by Ricky Yiu, took the £120,000 Tao O Handicap by a length and a half.

Atzeni said: “I landed my first ever win in Hong Kong here at Happy Valley eight years ago, so it’s a nice feeling to be back, and to bang in a winner at only the second meeting of the season feels good.

“A massive thank you to Ricky, who has been very supportive from the minute I arrived.

“He’s been using me a lot in barrier trials and gallops, so it’s nice to get my first winner for him.”

Mansa Musa could continue his racing career in Hong Kong following his shock maiden win at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Trained by Irish-based Brazilian Diego Dias, the son of Ten Sovereigns was sent off at 20-1 for the British EBF 40th Anniversary Maiden Stakes over six furlongs, but showed a good deal of ability to repel the well-regarded 4-6 favourite Array at the business end of the contest.

The former jockey, who trains on the Curragh, was keen to add the talented youngster to the line-up for this Saturday’s Keeneland Phoenix Stakes on home soil, but a deal now appears to be done for Mansa Musa to head to the Far East.

“It’s nice to work with horses like him,” said Dias.

“He was showing plenty at home and we thought he was a proper little horse who could win first time out.

“He improved a lot at Goodwood and the form is good. The second horse is a nice horse who they think a lot of and it was a hot maiden.

“I was going to supplement him for the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday, but I think we have sold him and he is probably heading to Hong Kong.”

Even though Mansa Musa will not be seen at the Curragh this weekend, another of Dias’ string is set to take her chance in the Group One contest, with Deauville runner-up Gaenari poised for the go-ahead.

Although still a maiden, she has twice placed in Listed company and the handler is happy with her condition ahead of her foray into deep waters.

Dias added: “She was second in Deauville last time, but she came back home and she’s fresh and happy and we will probably give her a run in the Phoenix.

“She looks fine and the race at Deauville did not take much out of her, so she’s in great form.

“She’s been unfortunate not to get her head in front yet, she’s been second three times now and two times in Listed races.”

Royal Ascot winner Waipiro will continue his career in Hong Kong, trainer Ed Walker has announced.

The three-year-old has made huge strides in four starts this term, winning a Newmarket novice in April before going on to finish second in the Lingfield Derby Trial and a respectable sixth in the Epsom Classic itself.

Dropped back to 10 furlongs for the Group Three Hampton Court Stakes last week, Waipiro posted his best performance to date when triumphing by a cosy two and a half lengths from Exoplanet.

A half-brother to Waikuku, a multiple Group One winner in Hong Kong, Waipiro will not run again for Walker and will be campaigned towards the Hong Kong Derby in March for owners the Siu family.

Walker told Racing TV: “The reason I have horses for the Siu family, and they are such great supporters, is for that reason, to produce horses for Hong Kong.

“He’s the perfect horse for the Hong Kong Derby. Mr Siu tries to buy one or two horses for the Hong Kong Derby every year and why would you not take Waipiro and try to buy another one.

“Every owner in Hong Kong wanting a European horse for the Derby would want Waipiro. He’s the perfect horse – loves fast ground, has a high cruising speed, huge talent, 10 furlongs, he’s the right horse for the job.”

Captain Stafanie Taylor’s Tornadoes Women have finished fifth in the FairBreak T20 Invitational after a 55-run win over Sapphires Women in the fifth-place playoff at the Kowloon Cricket Club in Hong Kong on Friday.

The West Indies all rounder top-scored with 24 to help the Tornadoes post 115-5 off their 20 overs. Sterre Kallis (19) and Aliya Riaz (19*) also had meaningful contributions. Pacer Shabnim Ismail took 2-8 off four overs for the Sapphires.

Winifred Duraisingam (3-8 off 2.2 overs), Sita Rana Magar (3-17 off four overs) and Chanida Sutthiruang (3-22 off four overs) then combined to restrict the Sapphires to a modest 60 all out in just 14.2 overs.

West Indies all-rounder and current Tornadoes Women captain Stafanie Taylor scored 61* but could not prevent her team from going down by six wickets to Spirit Women in their FairBreak Invitational T20 fixture at the Kowloon Cricket Club in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Taylor won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring her 61* off 48 balls and hitting 10 fours in the process to help her team post a respectable 150-4 off 20 overs.

Stere Kallis and Dane Van Niekerk also provided valuable contributions of 37 and 28, respectively.

Their total, however, proved to be not enough in the end as Spirit Women needed only 15.4 overs to reach 155-4. Captain Nicola Carey led the way with a magnificent 28-ball 84* including seven fours and seven sixes. Natthakan Chantham also made 35*. Aliya Riaz took 2-15 from three overs for the Tornadoes.

Taylor’s Tornadoes finished last in the six-team table with two points from five games.

Former West Indies all-rounder Deandra Dottin returned to form with an excellent display to help the Barmy Army Women secure a narrow 17-run win over Warriors Women in their FairBreak Invitational T20 game at the Kowloon Cricket Club in Hong Kong on Sunday.

First, Dottin smashed an impressive seven sixes as well as three fours on her way to a top score of 69 off 48 balls to help the Barmy Army post 163-6 from their 20 overs after losing the toss.

Bangladesh’s Rumana Ahmed chipped in with 37 as Scotland’s Kathryn Bryce took 2-24 off her four overs for the Warriors.

Dottin’s form with the bat then carried over to the bowling crease where she bowled three economical overs, conceding just nine runs and picking up a pair of wickets including that of current West Indies captain Hayley Matthews who made 28.

Bryce top scored with a 26-ball 45 as the Warriors were dismissed for 146 from their 20 overs.

Deandra Dottin’s return to the field of play did not go as planned as her Barmy Army Women suffered a four-wicket defeat at the hands of Spirit Women in their FairBreak Invitational tussle at the Kowloon Cricket Club in Hong Kong on Monday.

Spirit Women won the toss and elected to field first, restricting Barmy Army Women to 135-5 off their 20 overs.

West Indian Shemaine Campbelle top-scored with 33* off 25 balls while Kavisha Egodage made 30 and captain Lauren Winfield-Hill 22.

Dottin, who controversially missed the recently concluded WPL, made eight as Mahika Gaur and Betty Chan took two wickets each.

Then, thanks to 40* from captain Nicola Carey and 35 from Sophia Dunkley, Spirit Women needed juts 18.2 overs to reach 138-6.

Tara Norris took 2-34 off her four overs while Rumana Ahmed took 2-21 from her four. Dottin also bowled her full quota of overs, finishing with 1-33.

India cruised into the Super 4 of the Asia Cup with a routine 40-run win over Hong Kong.

Virat Kohli (59 not out) and Suryakumar Yadav (68 not out) inspired India to 192-2 after they were put into bat in Dubai. 

Their third-wicket stand of 98 in the Twenty20 match removed any realistic chance of Hong Kong producing an upset.

Suryakumar hit six fours and six maximums in a blistering 26-ball innings, which marked his sixth half-century in T20 cricket.

Hong Kong produced an admirable reply but never threatened to reach an imposing target.

Babar Hayat top scored with 41, but only two other batters scored more than 20 as Hong Kong could only manage 152-5.

India join Afghanistan in the Super 4. Hong Kong now face a winner-take-all match with Pakistan.

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