Sports Digest: Sweden closes in on Euro qualification

Sports digest is The Local's weekly look at sporting events making the news in Sweden and beyond.


Sweden’s Euro 2008 qualifier against rivals Denmark ended goalless on Saturday night, a result which effectively ends Denmark’s hopes of qualifying but leaves Sweden in pole position in Group F.

With Northern Ireland dropping points in Riga, Sweden extends its lead at the top of the group to three points. With a trip to Liechtenstein next on the agenda, that lead looks safe as the group moves into the final stages.

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There were mixed fortunes for Sweden when the annual battle against the Finns, Finnkampen, took place in Gothenburg at the weekend.

In keeping with Finnkampen tradition, Finland’s men had just too much for their Swedish counterparts.

Johan Wissman put in another fine 400m performance to add to his exertions in Osaka, and an 800m win for Tor Pöllänen pulled the Swedes to within four points of their rivals.

But Finland’s continued dominance in the throwing events proved too much for the Swedes to overcome.

The Swedish women however overcame a Day 1 deficit to defeat the Finns for the seventh year running.

Carolina Klüft racked up plenty of points with victory in the long jump and a second place finish behind Susanna Kallur in the 100m hurdles.

Despite a bright start from the Finns, the Swedes’ final margin of victory was 30 points.

On the men’s side, Finland stretched its all time lead over Sweden to 42-25.

Sweden’s women on the other hand were able to stretch their advantage to 29-23.


Simon Aspelin of Sweden and Julian Knowle of Austria won the US Open men’s doubles title on Friday by defeating Czech pair Lukas Dlouhy and Pavel Vizner 7-5, 6-4 in the final.

It was a first Grand Slam title for the pair in what was their eighth appearance together in one of the four major tournaments.

Aspelin and Knowle won a tight first set and then hit back from a break down early in the second to serve for the match.

The experienced Czech pair, playing in their 31st tournament together, saved two match points at 40-15 down on Aspelin’s serve, but their opponents clinched the title on their third match point.

“I have only been to the quarter-finals before, but Julian and I have been playing great,” said Aspelin. “I felt very nervous at the start coming out in my first Grand Slam final.”

For Dlouhy and Vizner it was the second time they had lost in a Grand Slam final this year, having gone down in three-sets to Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor in the final of the French Open in June.

AFP/The Local