17-year-old sets new world record for chin-ups

Andrew Shapiro used an American TV show and his father’s cancer diagnosis as his inspiration to literally pull his way into the record books.

The 17-year-old completed more than 7,000 chin-ups over the course of 18 hours, breaking the previous 24-hour record of 6,800 set in 2015 by Czech Republic athlete Jan Kares.

He also set new six-hour and 12-hour marks during a Relay for Life event in Fairfax County, Virginia.

“It was blood, sweat and hours and hours and hours of hard work,” Shapiro told the Washington Post.

“I’ve always liked challenging myself so I’ll add this to my resume as a person for American Ninja Warrior. I figure they won’t say no to someone who has the world record for pull-ups.”

In addition to his desire to appear on television, Shapiro used the challenge to raise $4,000 for the American Cancer Society.

His dad had a five-year battle with colon cancer, undergoing two major surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. He is now cancer free and in remission.

Shapiro’s record breaking efforts included completing 3,515 pull-ups after six hours and 5,742 by the 12-hour mark.

He matched Kares’ record after 15 hours and continued for another three hours before stopping, having put his chin above the bar 7,306 times.

His family set up three video cameras to record the attempt, with 15 judges on hand to certify the achievement for the Guinness World Records books.

The $250m football game: Welcome to the Championship Playoff Final

Sheffield Wednesday will play against Hull City in the Championship playoff final for a place in the Premier League in a game which will provide a massive cash windfall for the winners.

Wednesday’s victory against Brighton & Hove Albion secured their place in this year’s Championship play-off final, while City progressed to the one game shoot-out at Wembley after easing past Derby County in their semi-final.

The winners of the final will be promoted to the Premier League and gain access to untold riches.

With a new $7.44 billion TV deal coming into force next season, the rewards for promotion have never been greater.

Despite finishing bottom of the Premier League this season, Aston Villa pocketed $95.6 million in prize money.

Next season the team finishing 20th will earn $145 million – the same as Leicester City received for winning the league this time around.

Parachute payments for any team relegated from the league will be a staggering $108.6 million over two years.

With increased matchday revenues, coupled with new sponsorship and commercial deals, the playoff game is financially the biggest prize in football today.

Clubs who stay up for another season can expect to rake in around $435 million.

City finished nine points ahead of Wednesday during the regular season, although there was nothing between the teams when they faced each other.

The pair fought out a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough back in October, with February’s return at the KC Stadium finishing goalless.

Wednesday are bidding to return to the Premier League after 16 years out of the top flight.

Thai businessman Dejphon Chansiri has bankrolled the club since taking over from Milan Mandaric two years ago. Chansiri had targeted promotion by 2017, the year of the club’s 150th anniversary.

Portuguese coach Carlos Carvalhal has invested heavily in the club’s playing squad, bringing in the likes of Fernando Forestieri and Marco Matias for seven-figure sums.

The Tigers are looking to bounce back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Steve Bruce has spent shrewdly this season, selling the likes of James Chester, Robbie Brady and Tom Ince and bringing in Moses Odubajo, Sam Clucas and the experienced Shaun Maloney.

Bruce has raised over $38 million in transfer income, while spending just $10 million on players, but he has comfortably guided Hull into the play-off final.

Both Wednesday and City will hope the new found wealth promotion brings will lead to them becoming established Premier League clubs.

Two of last year’s promoted teams, Bournemouth and Watford, have comfortably retained their status and the rise in income next season could further level the playing field.

While England’s top teams compete with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich for the world’s best players, those further down the table have been able to attract talents like Dimitri Payet, Sadio Mane and Xherdan Shaqiri – something which would have been unthinkable a few seasons ago.

Hull have been in fine form in recent weeks and will go into the game as favorites, but Wednesday have also been playing well with just three defeats in their last 16 games and could easily upset the odds.

(VIDEO) Strongman Hafthor Bjornsson posts hilarious video training with his tiny dog

When you see the size and sheer bulk of the man they call The Mountain, its a safe bet to say cardio is not at the top of Hafthor Bjornsson’s priority list.

The Icelandic powerhouse is one of the favorites to win the 2016 World’s Strongest Man title after coming close in recent years and has recently revealed his incredible eating schedule to complement his training ahead of the event.

However, Bjornsson has also been doing a spot of cardio and has a special companion to keep him company while hitting the track.

The Stongman’s pomeranian Asterix has a profile of its own on social media and unlike its owner, is struggling for size.

The most cardio I've done in years!!#TimeForPizza #Asterix&Obelix @asterix_astrikur

A video posted by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (@thorbjornsson) on

As can be seen above, Bjornsson and his training buddy have been getting their hearts pumping but the Game of Thrones star obviously prefers strength and conditioning work to cardio.

Wins for Czech Republic and United States in Hockey World Championship Day 8

Czech Republic and United States both recorded victory on Day 8 of the Hockey World Championships on Friday, as Russia prepare to return to the ice on Saturday.

In Group A, the Czechs maintained their unbeaten record by overcoming Kazakhstan at the Ice Palace, winning 3-1 in the first game of the day.

Tomas Plekanec gave the eventual victors the lead just before the seven-minute mark and struck again in the final period to double his side’s advantage.

Despite Nigel Dawes pulling one back for Kazakhstan, a Robert Kousal effort ensured that the Czechs have now won all five of their fixtures in Russia and sit on top of Group A.

Elsewhere in the group, Denmark made slight amends for their 10-1 thumping at the hands of the competition hosts by beating Latvia 3-2.

The teams were equally matched and scored a goal apiece in the first two periods, with the final 20 minutes drawing a stalemate.

As such, a penalty shot shootout was required, with Nicklas Jensen, who also had opened the scoring in normal time for Denmark, proving his country’s hero.

In Group B, United States appear to be coming into some form after a shaky start to the tournament and made it two wins on the bounce by beating the pool’s bottom side Hungary 5-1.

John Hynes’ men had 37 shots compared to their opponents’ eight, but had to wait until the second period to break the deadlock.

Goals from Nick Foligno, Vince Hinostroza and Dylan Larkin in the second 20 minutes virtually handed victory to the US, while Foligno and Connor Murphy completed the scoring in the final period before a consolation from Istvan Sofron.

The result consolidates United States’ third place in Group B, with the North American side looking destined now to make the quarter-finals.

Friday’s action was rounded up by Germany beating European rivals Belarus 5-2 at Yubileiny.

Marco Sturm’s men came out with a point to prove and duly did by scoring three unanswered goals in the first 20 minutes.

Although Belarus scored the first goal of the second period to keep it interesting, Germany were always in control and cruised to their second win of the tournament.

Saturday’s games see Russia back in action, with the competition hosts on a high and set to face Switzerland, with six fixtures in total on Day 9.

Group A participants Kazakhstan and Latvia will also face-off, while Scandinavian rivals Noway and Sweden will compete.

In Group B, frontrunners Finland and Canada will face France and Slovakia respectively, with the in-form pair looking to maintain their 100 per cent records. Hungary and Belarus will also take to the ice.

Manchester United hope for Champions League luck as Madrid wait on Barcelona to slip up

Europe’s top leagues reach the finishing line this weekend with some important issues still to be decided.

Barcelona lead the way by a point from Real Madrid in La Liga, but both face last day games away from home – Barca at Granada, while Real travel to Deportivo La Coruna.

Granada need a point to be certain of avoiding relegation, but with Barca having won eight of their last nine meetings they will be confident of securing their second successive title.

Real, who are are chasing their first La Liga crown since 2012, have dominated against Deportivo in recent times, winning 10 and drawing one of their previous 11 games.

Deportivo have been tricky opponents this season with 18 drawn games, but Real will fancy their chances of victory and then hope Granada can lend them a helping hand against the current league leaders.

In the Premier League, the two Manchester clubs are hunting the lucrative fourth Champions League place.

United’s 3-2 defeat at West Ham United on Tuesday left City two points in front of their rivals and with a far superior goal difference.

City travel to Swansea City knowing a point should be enough to seal fourth place, but the Welsh side are in good form at the moment having scored seven goals in their last two games.

The Swans have won just one of their last meetings with City, leaving Manuel Pelligrini’s side big favorites to fend off United’s challenge.

Despite reaching the FA Cup Final, Louis van Gaal has overseen a frustrating season for United and while they should see off Bournemouth with ease at Old Trafford on Sunday it is likely they will miss out on the Champions League.

Elsewhere, there is a similar scenario in Ligue 1 in France with Monaco currently in the third and final slot just two points ahead of Nice.

With ten games to go Monaco looked certainties to finish in the top three, but a run of three wins in their next nine matches opened the door for Nice.

They head into Saturday’s home game against Montpelier unbeaten in their last 28 meetings, but the visitors are in good form having won four on the spin.

Just two defeats in their last nine games has given Nice a fighting chance of overtaking Monaco, although they face a difficult final day at Guingamp.

The hosts have a reasonable record against Nice in recent times, winning six and drawing four of their previous 17 games.

Thunder through to face Warriors in Western Conference final

Oklahoma City Thunder beat San Antonio Spurs 113-99 on Thursday to win the NBA Western Conference semi-final series 4-2.

Kevin Durant scored 37 points, with Russell Westbrook adding 28 as Thunder set up a mouth-watering Conference final against the Golden State Warriors.

After losing 124-92 to the Spurs in Game 1, Thunder bounced back in style in win four of the next five.

Westbrook believes the defeat was the wake-up call the team needed.

“We had that game, and we left it behind us,” he said. “We came out after that and had a different mindset.

“We knew what we had to do to win the series. They’re a great team. They’ve been winning for 10-plus years, same pace. I’m just proud of our guys.”

Thunder dominated the first half, racing into a 55-31 lead. They kept up the pressure in the third quarter and led 91-65 at the next break.

Spurs rallied in the final session, but could get no closer than 11 points as the Thunder comfortably closed out the game.

Elsewhere, attention switches to the Eastern Conference on Friday, with the Miami Heat looking to take their series against the Toronto Raptors to Game 7.

Raptors’ 99-91 victory on Wednesday gave them a 3-2 lead in the battle to face Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern final.

The Heat struggled during the early stages of Game 5, but rallied during the second half before eventually falling just short.

“We’ve gotta stay positive,” Tyler Johnson said. “If we eliminate that slow start, we have a good chance at winning. We’ve gotta learn from it. If we win at home, after that it’s anybodyís game.”

If the Heat can overcome the Raptors they would become the first in NBA history to overcome two 3-2 deficits in the same post-season after winning Games 6 and 7 to defeat the Charlotte Hornets in the previous round.

“We’ve been in a lot of tough positions this season, but recently we have been in this exact position,” Gerald Green said.

“We’ve done this. We feel we can get it back to Toronto, and then in Game 7 anything can happen.”

While the Eastern final line-up is yet to be decided, Steph Curry and the Warriors are enjoying some much needed rest ahead of Monday’s opening Western Conference final game against the Thunder.

The reigning champions eased past Portland Trail Blazers in the last round and with Curry now fully recovered from knee and ankle injuries, head coach Steve Kerr is confident his team can successfully defend their title.

“Anytime you win a series, you’re just relieved and then you move on and at that point you have a brand new set of challenges,” said Kerr.

“So this was a great series and I’m happy we pulled through. Now we’ll get a little rest and see what happens on the other side of the bracket.”

Having won six of their previous seven meetings with the Thunder, it would be a major surprise if the Warriors failed to earn a crack at winning a second successive NBA championship.

Real Madrid say terrorism will never beat football after ISIS kill 16 fans

ISIS militants wielding AK-47s killed 16 Real Madrid fans at a supporters’ club in Iraq – because they ‘don’t like football’.

The group stormed the building in Samarra, Iraq, and opened fire on a group of around 50 people who had gathered to watch a game.

ISIS claim the massacre was carried out to honor Abdel Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, the group’s second-in-command, who was killed in a coalition strike in March.

The La Liga giants published a statement on their official wesbite saying football will never be defeated by terrorism.

“Real Madrid C.F. deeply regrets the terrible attack in Iraq which today saw 16 members of a Real Madrid supporters club lose their lives and which has also left over 20 injured,” it read.

“The club expresses its great sadness and offers its regards and condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

“Real Madrid extends all of its solidarity to the people of Iraq, who suffer the excessive injustices of extreme violence.

“The Real Madrid players will tomorrow wear symbolic black armbands as a sign of their mourning and respect. Football and sport shall always be spaces in which to come together and in which harmony and peace reign and with which no form of barbaric terrorism will be able to compete.

“Today Madridismo across the whole world cries for its supporters, who shall never be forgotten.”

The president of the supporters club, Ziad Subhan, said: “A group of Islamist terrorists, from ISIS, came into the cafÈ armed with AK-47s, shooting at random at everyone who was inside.”

“They don’t like football – they think it’s anti-Muslim. They just carry out attacks like this. This is a terrible tragedy.”

One of the gunmen is reported to have set off his explosive vest, killing four more people, at a nearby vegetable market hours later after police and residents surrounded him in a disused building.

The scorched body of a suspected gunman was found hanging upside down from a post outside the cafe yesterday, with residents saying they captured a man who confessed to the attack and burned him alive.

Javier Tebas Medrano, president of La Liga, said he was “dismayed by the attack” on the fans and that the league was “with the victims and their families”.

Earlier this week, three separate car bombings in Baghdad killed at least 93 people and wounded 165.

ISIS later claimed responsibility for all three bombings.

Iraqi authorities are coming under increasing pressure over security breaches in Baghdad, with the country’s top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani condemning the latest attacks.

He said the government is ultimately responsible for such security breaches, following protests in Baghdad’s Sadr City district and has called for the defense secretary and Prime Minister to resign.

Chelsea search for new kit supplier after ending Adidas deal

Chelsea are on the hunt for a new kit supplier after confirming there are terminating their deal with Adidas six years early.

The split at the end of next season is said to be by mutual consent, although the London club is thought to have become disillusioned at the level of support they’ve received from Adidas.

The sportswear giant currently has deals with Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus, and the Stamford Bridge club believe those clubs have been promoted more intensively.

Chelsea’s deal was worth $43.4 million per year, compared to Unitedís $108.44m contract. They have agreed a $57.8m severance package with Adidas.

The Blues are understood to want $72.3m per year for their replacement deal, but this is unlikely to put off would-be suitors.

Nike, who are currently in talks with Tottenham Hotspur about a shirt deal, have been without a London club since parting ways with Arsenal a couple of years ago.

Japanese firm Uniqlo could also be interested, with Chelsea’s $57.8-a-year shirt sponsorship with Yokohama an obvious attraction for a possible future link-up.

Under Armour may also be an option, especially if Spurs sign with Nike, although they have just signed a seven-year agreement with Southampton.

Liverpool kit suppliers New Balance are new to the Premier League scene, but the opportunity to tie up one of Europe’s biggest clubs could be too good to pass up.

Chelsea had a deal with English manufacturer Umbro from 1987 to 2006, during which time they won two Premier League titles.

Puma provided the title-winning kits for Leicester City this season, although their current deal with Arsenal may be a problem for Chelsea’s decision-makers.

With Antonio Conte set to take over as the club’s new boss this summer, Italian company Kappa may fancy their chances of securing a deal.

They previously supplied Manchester City back in the 1990s, but currently only have deals with Championship clubs Leeds United and Wigan Athletic in the English leagues.

The world’s highest earning players 2015

The debate over whether Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi is the world’s greatest footballer may never truly be resolved, but the Portuguese star certainly has the advantage in the earning stakes.

Forbes has reported that Ronaldo raked in $82 million last year to cement his status as the world’s highest-paid footballer, with Messi finishing second with $77m.

Real Madridís all-time leading scorer topped up his $53m annual salary with $29m in endorsements from top companies such as Nike, Tag Heuer and Herbalife.

Messi earned $51m from Barcelona plus a further $26m in sponsorships from the likes of Adidas, Gatorade and EA Sports.

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic made $37m last year, with $30m coming from the 34-year old’s contract with Paris St Germain.

His 38 goals and 14 assists during 2015 cost the club $579,000 each, comparing favorably to his two La Liga rivals who earned over $720,000 each time they scored or set up a goal.

Messi’s teammate Neymar finished fourth on the list, although his earnings were heavily boosted by his off-field activities.

He made just $14 million in salary and bonuses, but pulled in another $22 million from a range of endorsements including Nike and Beats by Dr Dre.

Gareth Bale rounded off the top five with total earnings of over $34 million, although his endorsements of just under $10m lag behind the big two of Ronaldo and Messi.

Wayne Rooney ($25.8m), Sergio Aguero ($24.4m), Luis Suarez ($22.8m), Eden Hazard ($22.2m) and Cesc Fabregas ($20.8m) complete the top 10,

Ronaldo’s career earnings of $550m compare favorably with football’s original poster David Beckham, with the former Manchester United star making $650m to date – $450m coming from his playing years.

Kobe Bryant is the only team sport athlete who earned more during his playing career. He retired from the NBA in April with $680m in career earnings.

Golfer Tiger Woods ($1.4billion), Formula One driver Michael Schumacher ($800m) and boxer Floyd Mayweather ($700m) are the highest ever earners from individual sports.

Highest Earning Players 2015

(salary and endorsements)

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo $82.1 mil
  2. Lionel Messi $76.5 mil
  3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic $37.1 mil
  4. Neymar $36.3 mil
  5. Gareth Bale $34.4 mil
  6. Wayne Rooney $25.8 mil
  7. Sergio Aguero $24.4 mil
  8. Luis Suarez $22.8 mil
  9. Eden Hazard $22.2 mil
  10. Cesc Fabregas $20.8 mil

Arsenal give United fighting chance to overtake rivals City

Last weekend’s results in the Premier League have set up a thrilling final week in the race for Champions League places.

Manchester United cranked up the pressure with victory at Norwich City on Saturday, and with Manchester City only drawing against Arsenal the following day it’s now any two from three for the remaining top four spots.

Arsenal are currently third in the table with 68 points, three ahead of City with United a further two points behind but with a game in hand.

United head to West Ham on Tuesday knowing a win would see them leapfrog City going into the final weekend.

Louis Van Gaal’s team welcome Bournemouth to Old Trafford on the last day of the season, with City travelling to Swansea City. Arsenal host Aston Villa needing just a point to secure a top four finish.

Recent history suggests United will avoid defeat at West Ham, with the last four meetings at the Boleyn Ground resulting in two wins and two draws for the Red Devils.

However, the Hammers have been defying expectations all season and it will undoubtedly be a great atmosphere for their final game at the stadium which could make it tricky for the visitors.

Bournemouth already proved they can be tricky opponents for United, after securing a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

The Cherries’ season has stagnated of late and they could find facing a United side with everything to play for a step too far.

Swansea won’t be an easy game for City as they seem to be ending the season on a high after scoring seven goals in their last two games – three against Liverpool and four against West Ham.

Since they came up to the Premier League, Swansea have beaten City once and lost twice in four meetings at the Liberty Stadium.

Finishing outside the top four would cap a slowly declining season for City as they say goodbye to Manuel Pellegrini ahead of Pep Guardiola’s arrival in the summer.

Qualifying for the Champions League may buy some time for Van Gaal after what has been a largely indifferent season for the club.

With an FA Cup Final against Crystal Palace still to come, the Dutchman could yet end the campaign on a high note. Whether that would be enough to prevent Jose Mourinho’s appointment as manager for next season remains to be seen.