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China's Olympic champion Zhang wins at FINA Short******
ABU DHABI, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's Olympic champion Zhang Yufei took victory for the first time at the FINA short-course swimming World Championships by winning the women's 200m butterfly race on Friday.。
On the second competition day at Abu Dhabi, Zhang finished the final first in two minutes and 3.01 seconds, followed by American Charlotte Hook and Lana Pudar from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who both touched the wall more than one second later.。
"The gold medal is just what I have expected. Actually I was thinking about breaking the world record. If I were in the good form as I had been in at the Tokyo Olympic Games, it would be possible. However, I took a rest after the Olympics and now I feel a little bit disappointed about the result," said the 23-year-old.。
Zhang's result is 3.40 seconds behind Spaniard Mireia Belmonte's world record from 2014, which is still the only sub-two minute performance in the event.。
In the men's 200m freestyle, the 18-year-old South Korean Hwang Sunwoo repeated his compatriot Park Taehwan's victory in the event five years ago, winning the hard-fought race in 1:41.60.。
Russia's Aleksandr Shchegolev was only 0.03 behind Hwang and Danas Rapsys from Lithuania came third in 1:41.73.。
Ilya Shymanovich of Belarus broke the Championships record in the men's breaststroke in 55.70 seconds.。
Louise Hansson did not only triumph in the women's 100m backstroke in 55.20 seconds but also grabbed the gold in the women's 4x50m medley relay as Sweden finished the race with a time of one minute and 42.38 seconds, equalling the world record set by the United States three years ago. Enditem。
Japan's Nikkei closes at 15******
Tokyo stocks closed sharply lower Thursday, with the benchmark Nikkei stock index falling to a 15-month low as investors offloaded issues amid concerns over the Ukraine issue.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 478.79 points, or 1.81 percent, from Tuesday to finish at 25,970.82, marking its lowest closing level since November 20, 2020.
Markets here were closed on Wednesday for a national holiday.
The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, lost 23.50 points, or 1.25 percent, to close at 1,857.58.
Local brokers said that losses were extended from the morning and the market tumbled in the afternoon on reports about the situation in Ukraine.
They added that concerns were now rife that energy costs could soar, as prices for crude oil surged due to the likelihood of disruption of supplies from Russia.
"The Nikkei seems to have fallen to its bottom relative to its valuations and domestic corporate earnings. Investors will now look at how the Ukraine situation affects the real economy and central bank reactions to it," Ikuo Mitsui, fund manager at Aizawa Securities, was quoted as saying.
Other strategists said the market could fall even further over uncertainties over the Ukraine situation, as investors will switch out of riskier assets like stocks and into safe havens.
"Market participants turned risk-averse following the reports. As uncertainties remain over the situation, the Nikkei index could lose further ground following new developments," Shingo Ide, chief equity strategist at NLI Research Institute, said.
Ide added that investors are "worried that higher energy prices could cool the economy. Another concern is that the US Federal Reserve may tighten its monetary policy drastically to battle a possible rise in inflation."
By the close of play, air transportation, rubber product and glass and ceramics issues comprised those that declined the most, and issues that fell outpaced those that rose by 1,294 to 824 on the First Section, while 64 ended the day unchanged.
Rubber product-linked issues extended losses on fears of higher raw materials costs, with Bridgestone skidding down 5.4 percent, while Yokohama Rubber reversed 4.7 percent by the close.
Technology-oriented issues followed their US peers lower, with Screen Holdings and industrial robotics maker Fanuc both dropping 5.4 percent. SoftBank Group, meanwhile, ended the day 6.8 percent lower.
Heavily-weighted Nikkei component Fast Retailing, owner of the Uniqlo chain of casual clothing stores, weighed on the broader market, relinquishing 3.8 percent.
Oil explorers gained on surging prices for crude oil, however, with Japan Petroleum Exploration climbing 4.1 percent, while Inpex soared 7.2 percent.
On the main section on Thursday, 1,594.12 million shares changed hands, rising from Tuesday's volume of 1,138.93 million shares.
The turnover on the penultimate trading day of the week came to 3,628.10 billion yen (US$ 31.62 billion).
Flamengo eye move for Portuguese manager Carvalhal******
RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian giants Flamengo have identified Portuguese manager Carlos Carvalhal as their preferred choice to replace Renato Gaucho next year, according to local media reports.。
However, the Rio de Janeiro club faces competition from Turkey's Besiktas, who are also keen to secure Carvalhal's services, Brazilian newspaper O Globo said on Saturday.。
Flamengo have been looking for a head coach since parting ways with Renato after the team's defeat to Palmeiras in the Copa Libertadores final last month.。
The club had initially targeted Argentine Marcelo Gallardo and Portuguese Jorge Jesus for the vacant position. However, Gallardo renewed his contract with River Plate during the week while Jesus is expected to remain in charge of Benfica after the team's qualification for the Champions League knockout phase.。
Carvalho has six months to run on his contract as manager of Braga, who are currently fourth in Portugal's top flight standings.。
The 56-year-old is well known to Besiktas, having previously managed the club in 2011 and 2012. The Super Lig side began their search for a new manager on Thursday after the resignation of Sergen Yalcin. Enditem。