IBA elects new President and Board of Directors in Istanbul
(Boxing news) The International Boxing Association (IBA) Extraordinary Congress concluded two days of meetings in Istanbul earlier today. Of all eligible National Federations, 145 were in attendance in person in Istanbul, while ten joined online. The election for the position of President saw Umar Kremlev elected by acclamation to serve a second term.
“Athletes and their coaches are the most important part of boxing and we must all work to support them. For me, the most important thing is the trust of the boxers, the trainers and you, the National Federations,” Kremlev told delegates after his election. “Thank you for your trust. We have much to do: let’s do it as a united team. We must help each other without discrimination.”
“A year and a half ago, I made bold promises: to settle IBA’s debts and build our best future with governance reform, financial integrity and sporting integrity,” added President Kremlev. “We have made huge progress and I am determined to make sure IBA keeps its promises, by implementing the reforms that are now well under way.”
The election for the Board of Directors saw the following candidates elected:
Elise Seignolle (USA) - 106 votes
Pearl Dlamini (Eswatini) - 88 votes
Belhaj Abdeljaouad (Morocco) - 82 votes
Kristy Harris (Australia) - 84 votes
Zsuzsanna Toth (Hungary) - 71 votes
Marta Forcen Celaya (Spain) - 63 votes
Volodymyr Prodyvus (Ukraine) - 76 votes
Yousuf Al-Kazim (Qatar) - 71 votes
Jinquiang Zhou (China) - 69 votes
Dian Gomez (Sri Lanka) - 69 votes
“Women’s boxing has only been part of IBA events for 21 years. And here we are at a record-breaking IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul, where women have taken the top three places in IBA elections,” continued President Kremlev. “With this result, IBA has sent a clear message to the world that women are performing at the highest level both in the ring and outside it as leaders of our sport.”
The election was conducted by Mr Jacques Blondin, Head of Regulatory Enforcement at FIFA, with the voting technology having been provided by Lumi.
World Boxing Championships: Nikhat, Parveen, Manisha register comprehensive wins
New Delhi, May 11 (Boxing News) Indian boxers Nikhat Zareen (52kg), Parveen (63kg) and Manisha (57kg) advanced to the second and third rounds of the IBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Istanbul after clinching impressive wins in their respective bouts on Wednesday.
Zareen outpunched Mexico's Herrera Alvarez 5-0, while Parveen defeated Ukraine's Mariia Bova by a similar margin.
Manisha, who received a bye in the opening round, too prevailed by unanimous decision against Kala Thapa of Nepal to make her way into the third round.
Zareen, who won the gold at the prestigious Strandja Memorial earlier this year, continued her winning run as she dispatched Alvarez without breaking a sweat.
The 2019 Asian Championships bronze medallist was in complete control throughout the bout, making use of her long reach. She attacked with some sharp and precise punches in her opening bout.
The 25-year-old Telangana boxer will square off against 2021 Asian Championships bronze medallist Mongolia's Lutsaikhany Altantsetseg next.
Parveen, the 22-year-old from Haryana, won by an unanimous decision against the much more experienced Ukranian boxer, who is 12 years her senior, in the light welter division to set the tone for the Indian boxers.
Although the 2017 youth national winner began on an aggressive note, she was edged out by Bova in the opening round, who matched Parveen's energy.
But the Indian showed amazing tenacity as she upped the ante in the second round. She attacked the 34-year-old Ukrainian, landing a flurry of punches to eventually seal the tie in her favour.
After an impressive start to her campaign, Parveen will be up against the former Youth Olympics champion Jajaira Gonzalez of USA in the pre-quarter finals on Sunday.
Manisha, like Zareen and Parveen, didn't have to dig deep as she too eked out an easy win against Thapa.
The tournament features 310 boxers from 73 countries across the world.
On Thursday, 2021 Asian Championships bronze medallist Jaismine (60kg), Anamika (50kg) and Shiksha (54kg) will start their campaigns in the round of 32.
Jaismine will face a challenge from the two-time Youth Asian Champion Porntip Buapa of Thailand in the 60kg category, while Anamika will fight against Romania's Eugenia Anghel.
Shiksha, who was handed a bye in the opening round, will play Argentina's Herrera Milagros Rosario in the 54kg match.
In the last edition of the tournament, held in Russia in 2019, Indian boxers secured one silver and three bronze medals.
Also Read : World Boxing Championships: Nitu sparkles on debut, cruises to second round
News Source : PTI
World Boxing Championships: Nitu sparkles on debut, cruises to second round
New Delhi, May 10 (Boxing News) India's Nitu (48kg) put up a dominant display in her debut appearance at the IBA Women's World Boxing Championships as she outpunched Romanian veteran Steluta Duta to enter the round of 16 in Istanbul on Tuesday.
The two-time former youth world champion Nitu continued her sublime form from the Stradja Memorial tournament earlier this year, where she clinched the gold medal in her maiden appearance, as she dominated all three rounds to win her opening bout by unanimous decision.
Both the boxers were aggressive from the onset, landing punches on each other. But the young Indian proved too much for the 40-year-old Romanian.
The two continued to attack in the second round with Nitu using her height advantage as Duta, a three-time world championship silver medallist, struggled to keep her momentum going in the electrically charged round of 32 bout.
The 21-year-old from Haryana then landed a flurry of punches in the third round as the last three minutes were closely-fought between the two. But Nitu defended tightly and looked in control to emerge victorious.
Incidentally, all three of Duta's silver medals at the event came from losses against an Indian -- six-time world champion M C Mary Kom, who withdrew from the tournament.
Nitu will take on Spain's Marta Lopez Del Arbol in the round of 16 on Saturday.
On Wednesday, 2019 Asian Championships bronze medallist boxer Nikhat Zareen will fight against Mexico's Herrera Alvarez in the 52kg opening round match.
Manisha (57kg), Parveen (63kg) and Saweety (75kg) will also begin their challenge in the round of 32 on the third day of the prestigious event, which has been witnessing a record participation of 310 boxers from 73 countries across the world.
Manisha, who received a bye in the opening round, will square off against Nepal's Kala Thapa, while Parveen and Saweety will take on Ukraine's Mariia Bova and England's Kerry Davis respectively.
On the opening day of the competition, Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain made a winning return to the international circuit after clinching a thrilling 3-2 victory against two-time world championships medallist Chen Nien-Chin of Chinese Taipei.
Also Read : Women’s World Boxing C'ships: Winning start for Lovlina, beats Chen by split decision
News Source : PTI
India's Diksha Dagar tops stroke-play, enters last eight in Deaflympics
Caxias do Sul (Brazil), May 9 (Golf News) India's Diksha Dagar outclassed the field with rounds of 67-72 to top the 36-hole stroke play segment of the women's golf competition at the Deaflympics in Brazil.
The Indian, who won a silver medal at the 2017 Deaflympic, and competed at the Tokyo Olympics last year, was 14 shots clear of the second-placed American Ashlyn Grace Johnson, who carded 76-77 in her two rounds.
Diksha's 67 and 72 were the two best rounds of the two days and the next best was 76 by Ashlyn Grace Johnson and Margaux Berjo of France (76-78).
The top eight players from stroke play will now feature in the match play segment as Diksha takes on Alemie Paloma Gonzalez Podbicanin of Germany.
Diksha should have an easy passage into the semis as the German had qualified as the eighth best with rounds of 100 and 96.
The losing semi-finalists will play for the bronze medal.
In the men's section, India's Yogesh Dagar was Tied-18th and failed to get into the Top-16, who made the match-play section of the tournament.
India have so far won four gold and two bronze medals. Ukraine tops the table with 31 gold, 15 silver and 18 bronze.
Also Read : Tvesa lands two birdies on back nine to make the cut in Spain
News Source : PTI
Consortium led by Todd Boehly sign agreement to purchase Chelsea FC
(Football news) Todd Boehly’s consortium has agreed to buy Chelsea Football Club from Roman Abramovich. Announced by the club on Saturday, the proposed deal is subject to approval by the UK Government and the Premier League before its completion, with the formalities expected to close by late May. The consortium is led by the LA Dodgers’ part owner and has the backing of Clearlake Capital, a US investment firm.
In a statement released by Chelsea, the club said “Of the total investment being made, £2.5bn will be applied to purchase the shares in the Club and such proceeds will be deposited into a frozen UK bank account with the intention to donate 100 per cent to charitable causes as confirmed by Roman Abramovich. In addition, the proposed new owners will commit £1.75bn in further investment for the benefit of the Club. This includes investments in Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the Women's Team and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Chelsea Foundation."
The Blues had a deadline of May 31st to find new owners as the Government license to operate the club would have expired after that. The Raine Group, hired by current owner Roman Abramovich has been overseeing the takeover and were responsible in choosing the preferred bidder, subject to the government granting a special license for the sale of the Premier League club. Chelsea would need a license before June 8th in order to compete in England’s top flight as the Premier League will meet on the date to constitute the new season.
Other potential owners were the Pagliuca consortium, who were told that they were out of running at the end of last month while the Broughton consortium - led by former Liverpool and British Airways chairman Sir Martin, billionaire Crystal Palace shareholders Dave Blitzer and Josh Harris as well as Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams were still in contention. The Ricketts family, who are the owners of Chicago Bulls, hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin and US investment bank Lazard were also interested in buying the club but pulled out in March.
Roman Abramovich had denied multiple reports claiming that he is looking to alter the deal for the repayment of his £1.5billion loan to Chelsea FC, reaffirming that proceeds from the sale of the club will be given to charity for "all the victims of the war in Ukraine". In a statement released by Roman Abramovich, a spokesperson said “Firstly, Mr Abramovich's intentions in relation to gifting the proceeds from the Chelsea sale to charity have not changed. Since the initial announcement, Mr Abramovich's team has identified senior representatives from UN bodies and large global charitable organizations who have been tasked with forming a Foundation and setting out a plan for its activities. The lead independent expert has had conversations with Government representatives presenting the structure and initial plans.
"Mr Abramovich has not been involved in this work and it has been managed independently by experts with years of experience working in humanitarian organizations. Secondly, Mr Abramovich has not asked for any loan to be repaid to him - such suggestions are entirely false - as are suggestions that Mr Abramovich increased the price of the Club last minute. As part of Mr Abramovich's objective to find a good custodian for Chelsea FC, he has however encouraged each bidder throughout this process to commit investing in the Club - including in the Academy, Women's team, necessary redevelopment of the stadium as well as maintaining the work of Chelsea Foundation."
The spokesperson added in the statement: "Following sanctions and other restrictions imposed on Mr Abramovich by the UK since announcing that the Club would be sold, the loan has also become subject to EU sanctions, requiring additional approvals. That means that the funds will be frozen and subject to a legal procedure governed by authorities. These funds are still earmarked for the Foundation. The Government is aware of these restrictions as well as the legal implications. To be clear, Mr Abramovich has no access or control of these funds and will not have any access or control of these funds following the sale. Despite the changing circumstances since his initial announcement - he remains committed to finding a good custodian for Chelsea FC and making sure the proceeds go to good causes."
Vedika wins bronze in women's 10m air pistol at Deaflympics
New Delhi, May 6 (Shooting News) India won its third shooting medal at the ongoing 24th Deaflympics at Caxias do Sul, Brazil, with Vedika Sharma clinching a bronze in the women's 10m air Pistol event.
Vedika shot 207.2 in the finals to finish behind Chinese Taipei's Kao Ya-Ju, who won silver with a score of 232 on day four of competitions.
Ukraine's Inna Afonchenko won gold with final tally of 236.3 at the end of the 24-shot eight-woman final.
Dhanush Srikanth had won gold and Shourya Saini bronze in the men's 10m air rifle competition on day three to give India its first two shooting medals of the Deaflympics.
With the mixed team gold in badminton, India now has four medals in the Games and is in eighth place in the standings.
The final of the women's 10m air pistol event saw two Indian competitors with Pranjali Dhumal, who had qualified ahead of Vedika, finishing fourth to narrowly miss out on a medal.
Pranjali had topped the qualification round with a score of 561 while Vedika had grabbed the eighth and final qualifying spot with a round of 538.
In the women's 10m air rifle, two Indians again made it to the final round but a medal eluded them.
Priyesha Deshmukh finished fourth in the finals with a score of 203.4 while Natasha Joshi was seventh with 141.1. They had qualified in the same individual positions with scores of 618.9 and 617.6 respectively in the 60-shot qualification round.
India has sent 10 shooters in its 65-strong contingent for the Brazil Deaflympics. It is its largest and youngest ever squad and will be participating in 11 sporting disciplines.
Also Read : Dhanush Srikanth wins gold, Shourya Saini bags bronze at Deaflympics
News Source : PTI
Dhanush Srikanth wins gold, Shourya Saini bags bronze at Deaflympics
New Delhi, May 5 (Shooting News) Dhanush Srikanth struck gold in the men's 10m air rifle competition on day three of the ongoing 24th Deaflympics at Caxias do Sul, Brazil, ensuring a golden start to India's campaign at the Games.
Shourya Saini put the icing on India's cake with a bronze, finishing behind Korea's Kim Woo Rim in the eight-man final on Wednesday.
Dhanush shot 247.5, a finals world record score, to emerge triumphant as Kim fell short with 246.6, while Shourya finished third with 224.3.
Later the Indian badminton team also won gold beating Japan 3-1 in the final to make it a double celebrations for the country.
India is currently placed eighth on the medals table with two gold and one bronze medal. Ukraine tops the standings currently with 19 gold, six silver and 13 bronze medals.
Dhanush and Shourya were second and third respectively in the qualifications.
Hailing from Telangana, Dhanush trains at Gangan Narang's academy in Hyderabad.
Under the guidance of the Olympic bronze medallist shooter, Dhanush produced a fine performance to win his his career's biggest prize at the Games.
Dhanush and Shourya, who were also helped by National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) coaches Anuja Jung and Priti Sharma for the marquee sporting event, shot well throughout the day to emerge as deserving medal winners.
Dhanush shot 623.3 in qualification to finish behind Kim, who shot 625.1 to top the field. Shourya was third with 622.7 ensuring two Indians made it to the final stage.
In the final too, Kim began with a bang and was leading Dhanush till the 18th shot of the 24-shot final. The Indian found his bearings when the single shots began after the 10th shot and slowly but surely made up lost ground to march ahead.
After going past Kim on the 18th shot, Dhanush never looked back and kept widening the gap, eventually leaving the Korean almost a point behind to seal victory. Shourya was third throughout the final and ensured a full return for the squad from the event.
India has sent 10 shooters in their 65-strong contingent for the Brazil Deaflympics. It is their largest and youngest ever squad and will be participating in 11 sporting disciplines.
In the previous 2017 edition, India had finished with one gold, one silver and three bronze medals.
Also Read : Ezhilarasi, Narwal, Palak top air pistol selection trials
News Source : PTI
Anhelina Kalinina knocks out Emma Raducanu from the Madrid Open
(Tennis news) Despite a spirited comeback, Emma Raducanu was knocked out of the Madrid Open’s third round by Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina. The first set lasted just 35 minutes as Raducanu couldn’t keep up with the demands and was forced to leave the court for a medical timeout, clutching her back on multiple occasions.
Raducanu put up a valiant fight and took the third round match to a decider but Kalinina displayed nerves of steel to win 6-2 2-6 6-4. Speaking after the match, Kalinina said “I want to give credit to Emma because I think we both played very good quality tennis, the match was great in my opinion. I appreciate in this moment I was maybe luckier and I did better in the decisive points. I am happy I won this match."
The match lasted for a total of two hours and 19 minutes with the last set going on for a mammoth 63 minutes. It was a one sided first set for Kalinina who has only lost three games when she defeated former French Open and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza earlier this week. Raducanu had no answer to Kalinina’s groundstrokes despite putting up a much improved performance in the second set. As the match progressed, Kalinina couldn’t maintain her intensity which allowed Raducanu to mount a spirited comeback.
When Kalinina found her range again, Raducanu refused to concede and the pair competed hard for the points with the Ukrainian fighting back from 3-1 to win three games in a row. Fatigue ended up creeping in for both the players, Kalinina managed to get a decisive break with a magnificent backhand and eventually won the match when Raducanu volleyed wide. It will be the Ukrainian’s first WTA 1000 quarter-final of her career and she will face Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann.
Chelsea takeover at risk after Roman Abramovich alters deal
(Football news) Chelsea Football Club’s takeover is at risk after the UK Government has become aware of attempts to restructure the deal by potential owners which would have seen Roman Abramovich receive the £1.5billion he has loaned the club through its parent company Fordstam Limited. The Russian oligarch was sanctioned by the UK government on March 10th after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the club was subsequently put on sale two months ago with proceeds going to “all the victims of the war in Ukraine".
The government has issued a special licence for the sale of Chelsea and it will not allow a sale to go through if there are any indications that Roman Abramovich may benefit from the deal. Their licence to operate is valid only till May 31st and the club could go out of business unless a sale has been sanctioned before that or the licence is extended. This is a risky position for Roman Abramovich to be in, especially for a club that holds a dear place in his heart as Chelsea FC could cease to exist if big strides aren’t taken for a potential takeover.
As things stand, a consortium led by Todd Boehly is the preferred bidder by the club and they have until the end of this week to come to an agreement and buy the club. The Premier League is already scrutinising the deal in order to assess whether the potential owners will pass the owners and directors test. The plans for the takeover have already been presented to Raine Group with an assurance that the club won’t be sold for at least a decade from the time of takeover and at least £1billion will be invested into the club and infrastructure so that Stamford Bridge can be redeveloped.
There are other bidders also in contention with Sir Martin Broughton and Steve Pagliuca’s consortium still interested in purchasing the club. If Todd Boehly’s bid is unsuccessful, both the parties stand a good chance of being the next favourites. Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe has also been linked with a bid for Chelsea after he tabled a £4.25 billion bid to purchase the club but LA Dodgers part-owner Boehly remains the preferred choice for Raine Group and Roman Abramovich.
Chess Olympiad: India names two teams in open and women's section, Anand to mentor squad
Chennai, May 2 (Chess News) Two teams each will represent India in the Open and women’s section at the 44th Chess Olympiad with five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand to be the mentor of the home teams at the prestigious tournament, kicking off here on July 28.
India being the host are entitled to field two teams each -- in Open category as well as women's section -- for the first-time ever.
It has bolstered the home team's medal chances at the 14-day event, which is expected to witness participation of world's top names from more than 150 countries, according to All India Chess Federation (AICF).
Vidit Gujrathi, who led India to gold medal in the 2020 Chess Olympiad, held virtually, will be part of India's first team in open section alongside Pentala Harikrishna and Chennai-based Krishnan Sasikiran, who have represented India on numerous occasions.
The 19-year-old Arjun Erigaisi and SL Narayanan will also be part of the first team.
Arjun has been impressive in the past year and will be one of the players to watch out for as he makes his debut at the event along with SL Narayanan, whose solid style has been very impressive.
The second team, on the other hand, will comprise of young talents, who have been making headlines with their consistent performances in the last couple of years, including Praggnanandhaa R, Nihal Sarin, Gukesh D and Raunak Sadhwani.
They will be making their debuts at the Chess Olympiad. The team will also have experienced player Adhiban B, who was a part of the Indian side which won the bronze medal in 2014.
In the women's section, the first team will have the immensely talented Koneru Humpy and World No 10 Harika Dronavalli, who have stamped their authority on many international tournaments, and the prolific Tania Sachdev with R Vaishali and Bhakti Kulkarni.
The second team will consist of national champions Soumya Swaminathan, Mary Ann Gomes and Padmini Rout along with Vantika Agarwal and 15-year-old Divya Deshmukh.
Anand, who decided against playing the upcoming Chess Olympiad, will be very much in action as the mentor of the Indian teams.
"I am playing very few events these days and after playing many Olympiads, I thought it was time for the younger ones to play. India has many talented youngsters like Nihal, Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh, Arjun and a few more," Anand said.
Interestingly, Praggnanandhaa and Vaishali will be the second set of siblings to represent the country at the same Olympiad after N Saritha and N Sudhakar Babu, who played in 1988’s edition held in Greece.
GM Pravin Thipsay will be the Head of the Delegation. GM Srinath and GM RB Ramesh will be the coach for first team and second team of open section respectively.
GM Abhijit Kunte will be the Coach for the Women's first team and GM Swapnil Dhopade for the second team.
India won a bronze medal at the Tromso Chess Olympiad in 2014. While in the two virtual Olympiads, India won gold jointly with Russia in 2020 and the women's team won bronze in 2021.
"Opportunity to field two teams at the Chess Olympiad opens the door for many young Indian talents to showcase their game at the biggest stage which otherwise would have been possible after a wait of probably another couple of years.
"Teams look strong and have a good mix of experience as well as young talents and I’m confident that they will make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I wish all the members the best luck for the event and their preparations," AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan, said.
The Chess Olympiad was moved out of Russia after it invaded Ukraine and was awarded to Chennai in March.
Alongside the Olympiad, the 94th FIDE Congress and elections will also be held in the city.
The teams: Open - India A: Vidit Gujrathi, P Harikrishna, Arjun Erigaisi, S L Narayanan, K Sasikiran.
India B: Nihal Sarin, D Gukesh, B Adhiban, R Praggnanandhaa, Raunak Sadhwani.
Women: India A: Koneru Humpy, D Harika, R Vaishali, Tania Sachdev, Bhakti Kulkarni.
India B team: Vantika Agarwal, Soumya Swaminathan, Mary Ann Gomes, Padmini Rout, Divya Deshmukh.
Also Read : KIUG: Jetlee Singh strikes gold, upsets galore in shooting and archery
News Source : PTI
Raducanu defeats Kostyuk to progress into third round of Madrid Open
(Tennis news) Emma Raducanu displayed a sublime performance to defeat Marta Kostyuk 6-2 6-1 to progress into the third round of the Madrid Open. It was perhaps her best performance since winning the US Open and the 19 year old looks to be in good form, having won 11 out of the last 12 games to defeat Tereza Martincova in the opening round despite a poor start and then defeating fellow teenager Kostyuk.
Speaking after the match, Raducanu said “I'm definitely very happy with my performance today. Marta is a great opponent, we played several times in the juniors and then once last year. I knew it was always going to be a really tough battle so I went out there trying to be really aggressive and it definitely paid off." The pair are almost the same age but Kostyuk has been in the professional tennis circuit since she was 15 years old while Raducanu has been a full-time professional for less than a year.
The pair faced each other last year with Kostyuk winning with an identical scoreline although Raducanu was unwell but the British tennis star made amends this time around, starting on the frontfoot and the 19 year old on her own delivery during the match. The ninth seed will face another Ukrainian in Anhelina Kalinina who defeated Garbine Muguruza convincingly. Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka lost 6-3 6-1 to Sara Sorribes Tormo, who will now face Daria Kasatkina.
In other results, unseeded Bianca Andreescu overcame Danielle Collins 6-1 6-1 and will now face Jessica Pegula who defeated Kaia Kanepi. After the match, Andreescu said “I did not expect for it to go like that at all, but I stuck to my game plan and it worked so I'm very happy.” Jack Draper also defeated World Number 27 Lorenzo Sonego 6-4 6-3 and will face Andrey Rublev in the next match. Having lost six of his last seven matches, Dan Evans enjoyed a morale boosting 6-3 6-4 win over Argentina’s Federico Delbonis.
Indian archers make quarterfinal exits in season-opening World Cup Stage 1
Antalya, Apr 21 (Archery News) The new-look Indian archery teams without some big names produced disappointing performances to get eliminated in the quarterfinals in the season-opening World Cup Stage 1 here on Thursday.
The men's recurve trio of Tarundeep Rai, Sachin Gupta and Jayanta Talukdar got the top billings in the qualifying but the team failed to live up to expectations, going down to their rivals from the war-ravaged Ukraine 1-5 (58-58, 53-56, 55-58) in a lop-sided contest.
The Indians started off with a solid shot of 58/60, but they slipped to 53/60 in the second set, hitting thrice in the red ring (8-8-8) to fall 1-3 behind.
Their 55/60 in the third set was not enough as the Ukrainian trio of Artem Ovchynnikov, Usach Mykhailo and Oleksii Hunbin sealed the issue with a 58/60.
There was worse in store from the fourth-seeded women's trio of Ridhi Phor, Ankita Bhakat and Simranjeet Kaur who capped poor scores of 52/60 twice to lose to lower-rung Italy 2-6 (52-57, 55-46, 52-53, 54-55) and get eliminated.
The only set the Indians won was when their Italian rivals shot a below-par 46.
It remains to be seen how the Indian recurve archers fare in the mixed pair and individual events that will get underway on Friday.
In the compound section, Priya Gurjar and Rajat Chauhan were the best finishers with quarterfinal exits.
Priya lost to Chen Yi-Hsuan of Chinese Taipei 136-143, while Chauhan was ousted by Jean Philippe Boulch of Luxembourg 146-149.
Former Asian Games gold medallist Abhishek Verma lost in the second round in a tight shoot-off finish (9-10) against Frenchman Quentin Baraer after being locked 146-all.
So far, India have assured one medal in the compound men's team event by advancing to the final where they will take on France on Saturday.
India had some big upsets in the selection trials last month as three of the four Tokyo Olympics-returned archers -- including the star couple of Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari -- failed to make the cut.
The only Tokyo Olympian to make the cut was veteran Army man Tarundeep Rai who was joined by another old warhorse in Jayanta Talukdar, who made an International comeback after six years.
The recurve women's team, on the other hand, are mostly youngsters.
The compound team is also without four-time World Championships silver medallist Jyothi Surekha Vennam.
Also Read : Indian compound archers in final of team event, assure of medal in World Cup Stage 1
News Source : PTI
Russian and Belarusian players banned from participating at Wimbledon
(Tennis news) US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, world number 8 Andrey Rublev and women’s fourth ranked Aryna Sabalenka will be ineligible to participate in this year's Wimbledon as per a ruling by The All England Club. Medvedev reached the fourth round of Wimbledon last year while Sabalenka was knocked out in the semi-finals. Russian world number 15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Belarus' Victoria Azarenka will also not be participating.
The All England Club said in a statement: "We share in the universal condemnation of Russia's illegal actions and have carefully considered the situation in the context of our duties to the players, to our community and to the broader UK public as a British sporting institution. If circumstances change materially between now and June, we will consider and respond accordingly."
Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Club, said: "We recognise that this is hard on the individuals affected, and it is with sadness that they will suffer for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime. We have very carefully considered the alternative measures that might be taken within the UK Government guidance but, given the high profile environment of The Championships, the importance of not allowing sport to be used to promote the Russian regime and our broader concerns for public and player (including family) safety, we do not believe it is viable to proceed on any other basis at The Championships."
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said “The UK has taken a leading role internationally to make clear that President Putin must not be able to use sport to legitimise Russia's barbaric invasion of Ukraine. "Whilst the withdrawal of individual athletes is a complex issue that will divide opinion, there is a bigger cause at stake. We have set out our position with sport governing bodies and event organisers and will continue to encourage them to take appropriate action for their sport."
An ATP statement read: "We strongly condemn Russia's reprehensible invasion of Ukraine and stand in solidarity with the millions of innocent people affected by the ongoing war. Our sport is proud to operate on the fundamental principles of merit and fairness, where players compete as individuals to earn their place in tournaments based on the ATP Rankings. We believe that today's unilateral decision by Wimbledon and the LTA to exclude players from Russia and Belarus from this year's British grass-court swing is unfair and has the potential to set a damaging precedent for the game.
"Discrimination based on nationality also constitutes a violation of our agreement with Wimbledon that states that player entry is based solely on ATP Rankings. Any course of action in response to this decision will now be assessed in consultation with our Board and Member councils. It is important to stress that players from Russia and Belarus will continue to be allowed to compete at ATP events under a neutral flag, a position that has until now been shared across professional tennis. In parallel, we will continue our joint humanitarian support for Ukraine under Tennis Plays for Peace."
A WTA statement read: "The WTA strongly condemns the actions that have been taken by Russia and its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. We continue our humanitarian relief efforts to support Ukraine through Tennis Plays for Peace. We are, however, very disappointed in today's announcement by the AELTC and the LTA to ban individual athletes who are from Russia and Belarus from competing in the upcoming UK grass court events. A fundamental principal of the WTA is that individual athletes may participate in professional tennis events based on merit and without any form of discrimination.
"That principle is expressly set forth in our rules and has been agreed to by both AELTC and LTA. Prohibitions against discrimination are also clearly expressed in their own rules and the Grand Slam rules. As the WTA has consistently stated, individual athletes should not be penalised or prevented from competing due to where they are from, or the decisions made by the governments of their countries.
"Discrimination, and the decision to focus such discrimination against athletes competing on their own as individuals, is neither fair nor justified. The WTA will continue to apply its rules to reject discrimination and ensure that all athletes are able to compete at our Tour events should they qualify to do so, a position that until today's announcement has been shared across professional tennis. The WTA will be evaluating its next steps and what actions may be taken regarding these decisions."
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said “Given that Russia is a strong tennis country the competitions [which take this decision] will suffer from this. To make sports people hostages of political intrigue is unacceptable. I hope the players won't lose their fitness."
A lifetime opportunity for youngsters, says Anand as 100-day countdown for Chess Olympiad begins
Chennai, Apr 18 (Chess News) The 100-day countdown for the 44th Chess Olympiad, to be held here later this year, began on Monday with the legendary Viswanathan Anand terming the tournament a life-time opportunity for youngsters to catch a glimpse of their idols.
"It is a lifetime opportunity for youngsters to get a glimpse of their idols, watch them play and possibly interact with them," said India's first-ever Grandmaster Anand in a press release.
The Olympiad will be held from July 28 to August 10.
"The Countdown to the #ChessOlympiad2022 begins! #100daystogo and to mark the occasion find me on livestream looking at some games of the past Chess Olympiads," Anand said in a tweet.
Several other players including women's star D Harika and noted coach R B Ramesh tweeted about the countdown.
"And the countdown begins. Just 100 more days to go for the grand #FIDECHESSOLYMPIAD2022 to take place in India," Harika said.
Meanwhile, All India Chess Federation (AICF) secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan said, "We are sparing no effort to ensure that this Olympiad will be the best ever and hope that people will be talking about it for the next 100 years." Several Grandmasters and national champions from more than 150 countries will be participating in the Chess Olympiad.
Hundreds of district-level players from Tamil Nadu have already put in their requests to witness the games live and soon the fever will catch up in the whole country, the release said.
The Olympiad was originally scheduled to be hosted by Russia between July 26 and August 8 in Moscow but was moved out following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February.
Subsequently, FIDE (world chess body) allotted the championship to Chennai.
The last chess event of such stature to come to India was the 2013 World Championship clash between Anand and Magnus Carlsen, the current world No. 1.
Also Read : Indian GM Gukesh wins title at La Roda International tourney
News Source : PTI
India to host the 44th Chess Olympiad
(Sports news) History will be scripted as India is all set to host the biggest chess event in the world, the Chess Olympiad, for the first time ever. The 44th edition of the event will be held later this year in the mecca of chess Chennai. The participant’s list will be a virtual who’s who with most of the stars from across the world participating from more than 150 countries.
“It’s a great honor for India to host such a big event. This shows the position of the country in the chess world. I’m thankful to everyone involved and supported us to make this happen. This is a historic step and I believe it will take Indian chess to greater heights,” said Bharat Singh Chauhan, Secretary, All India Chess Federation (AICF), who played a crucial role in bringing the Olympiad to India.
Here are some interesting facts that led the 44th Chess Olympiad to become a reality for India
1. FIDE’s search for a new host post-Russia-Ukraine war
The 44th edition of the Chess Olympiad was initially scheduled to take place in Russia. However, with the war-like situation between Russia and Ukraine, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) began searching for new hosts and invited new bidders.
2. A timely move by AICF Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan
While the FIDE was looking for new hosts, All India Chess Federation Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan sensed the opportunity. Having shared a good relationship and reputation with the international federation and its officials, Chauhan made a quick movement and got in touch with FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich. Within 24-hour time, using all his experience, Chauhan did some preliminary enquiries and immediately conveyed to the FIDE President that India was ready to bid in principle. With AICF’s willingness to leave no stone unturned went in India’s favor. After successfully getting the official rights to host the tournament, Chauhan sums up by saying, “Cannot complain about anything in life now.”
3. Support from the Tamil Nadu government
Chauhan was at his best in setting up a quick and crucial meeting with the Chief Minister Stalin, who instantly approved, assured and endorsed the government’s support for the event. A whole-hearted support by Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister MK Stalin clinched it for Chennai. The city, seeped in chess culture, had earlier hosted the World Chess Championship in 2013 between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen. 1200 rooms for the participants were booked in a single day and the Convention Centre of Four Points Sheraton was decided as the playing venue.
4. Requisite $10 million guarantee
AICF was quick in its movements as it fulfilled the hosting criteria set by FIDE within less than a week. They were able to answer all the queries by FIDE satisfactorily, had all the plans in place and also ensured the $10 million guarantee. This made India’s bid stronger than most of the other countries and put them in a better position.
5. Chess great Anand’s endorsement to India’s bid: The five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand endorsed India’s bid which gave AICF a huge boost, according to Chauhan.
The strong efforts from the federation and Secretary Chauhan brought the impossible to reality as FIDE granted India the rights to host the Olympiad which has been taking place for the last 95 years.
UK Government in talks with Wimbledon about featuring Russian players
(Tennis news) Wimbledon officials are taking part in ongoing talks with the government of the United Kingdom regarding the participation of Russian and Belarusian players in this year’s championship. One of the favourites to win the tournament is World Number 2 Daniil Medvedev and the Russian could be banned as there are fears that his victory could boost Vladimir Putin’s regime while the ongoing invasion in Ukraine is taking place.
As things stand, Russian and Belarusian players have been allowed to compete at ATP, WTA and ITF competitions as long as they participate under a neutral flag and no anthem. However, Wimbledon is hosted by the All England Club which could ban players from these countries without any legal repercussions as it’s an independent body. Wimbledon organisers are working alongside the government and the Lawn Tennis Association before next month’s deadline.
A statement released by the All England Club said “We have noted the UK Government's guidance regarding the attendance of Russian and Belarusian individuals in a neutral capacity at sporting events in the UK. This remains a complex and challenging issue, and we are continuing to engage in discussion with the UK Government, the LTA, and the international governing bodies of tennis. We plan to announce a decision in relation to Wimbledon ahead of our entry deadline in mid-May."
Earlier, UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston had asked for the Russian and Belarusian players to prove that they are “genuinely neutral” and give assurances that they don’t give or receive money from Putin’s regime. When asked in a recent interview if players from these countries would be allowed to play, Huddleston said “Absolutely nobody flying the flag for Russia should be allowed or enabled. We need some potential assurance that they are not supporters of Vladimir Putin. We're considering what requirements we may need.
"Would I be comfortable with a Russian athlete flying the Russian flag? No. When it comes to individuals, that gets a bit more complex so we are looking at and talking to various sports in terms of what the response and requirements should be there." If permitted, some of the players who could play at Wimbledon include Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, Aslan Karatsev, Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Veronika Kudermetova, Daria Kasatkina and Ludmilla Samsonova. The last Russian player to have won the Wimbledon title was Maria Sharapova in 2004 after defeating Serena Williams.
World Cup 2022 draw announced: Spain to face Germany in Group Stage
(Football news) The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be held later this year and the Group Stage draws have already been announced despite some playoff final fixtures remaining. Gareth Southgate’s England will begin their World Cup campaign on November 21st against Iran before facing the United States in their second game on November 25th. However, their third Group Stage fixture remains ambiguous as one of Wales, Scotland or Ukraine are yet to qualify for the World Cup.
The tournament will kick off with hosts Qatar facing Ecuador on November 21st with kick off timings and venues yet to be decided. The hosts are in Group A alongside Ecuador, Senegal and the Netherlands. Reigning world champions France have been drawn in Group D alongside Denmark, Tunisia and one of Australia/UAE or Peru. Meanwhile, Group E features two blockbuster teams as 2010 champions Spain will take on 2014 champions Germany while Japan and one of Costa Rica/ New Zealand are also in the group.
Group G features four time winners Brazil alongside Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon while their rivals Argentina are in Group C alongside Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal will face tricky opponents Uruguay, Canada and South Korea while Belgium will take on Ghana, Morocco and Croatia.
2022 World Cup draw in full
Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
Group B: England, Iran, USA, Scotland/Ukraine/Wales
Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
Group D: France, Australia/UAE/Peru, Denmark, Tunisia
Group E: Spain, Costa Rica/New Zealand, Germany, Japan
Group F: Belgium, Ghana, Morocco, Croatia
Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
Group H: Portugal, Canada, Uruguay, South Korea
Gareth Bale's future will depend Wales' World Cup fate
(Football news) After 6 months of very little game time at Real Madrid, Gareth Bale turned up for Wales' World Cup qualifier play off against Austria. The winger scored twice to ensure that Wales made it to the final playoff where they will be one step away from making it to the World Cup for only the 2nd time ever. Their final game will be later this year against the winner of Ukraine and Scotland.
Bale's Real Madrid contract runs out at the end of the season and it is more clear than ever that Los Blancos are not going to renew his deal. His agent has come out and said that the player hasn't decided about his future yet. Reports suggest that Bale's future depends on Wales' World Cup qualification. The rumours are that Bale will retire from all forms of football if Wales don't qualify for the World Cup and if they do, he will sign a short term contract with another club. The clubs the Welshman is being linked to are Newcastle United and Cardiff City.
It will be a sad day if Bale has to retire at the age of just 32. He has certainly been the best Welsh player of all time and probably the best British player in terms of collective accomplishments. He has been a legend at Real Madrid who has always delivered in big matches and played a major role in their success. He has also been a game changer for Wales starring in two Euro campaigns and is also one step away from taking them to the World Cup. Bale has done all this and more despite being troubled with injuries.
Carlo Ancelotti may look at Bale's performance against Austria and give him a chance to replicate that with Real Madrid. If a player like Bale's calibre is available for selection then Ancelotti might as well use him. Los Blancos have a cramped up schedule coming as they are fighting for the La Liga and the UCL title. It will be an abrupt and strange end to a magnificent career if Bale does decide to hang up his boots after the end of the season.
With support from boxing family, Ukrainian athletes win at EUBC U22
(Boxing news) The Ukrainian team has won medals at this year’s EUBC U22 European Boxing Championship in Croatia thanks to the support of European boxing stakeholders.
The men’s Ukrainian boxing team won six medals in total including two bronze medals, three silver medals along with Yuriy Zakharieiev winning gold in the men’s light middleweight category. The women’s team also won medals with three bronze medals and Karolina Makhno winning gold in the middleweight category.
IBA remains proud of the boxing community and how it has come together to support the Ukrainian boxing team in their attempt to continue to compete. IBA wishes to acknowledge the support of the German Boxing Association (DBV), The German Olympic Committee (DOSB) and the city of Heidelberg for accommodating the Ukrainian boxing team and providing training facilities. Some of the Ukrainian team has returned to Heidelberg to train, some have carried on to Assisi and others to Bulgaria, as they turn their attention toward the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championship in Sofia, Bulgaria on April 10-22.
The Polish Boxing Association (PZB), the European Boxing Confederation (EUBC), the German government, the City of Heidelberg, the Croatian Boxing Federation, the Italian Boxing Federation and the Bulgarian Boxing Federations have all been involved in providing support for the Ukrainian team. Support has been offered both financially and logistically, offering accommodation, travel and training facilities among others. Many team members were at a training camp in Heidelberg before travelling to Croatia to compete at this year’s EUBC U22 European Boxing Championship, while others were provided with dedicated transport from the border between Ukraine and Poland.
IBA is continuing to look for solutions to help support the Ukrainian boxing team in the short and long term as its boxers aim to compete in numerous competitions throughout 2022. IBA is also committed to providing displaced and refugee athletes with opportunities to compete through the IBA Fair Chance team.
Also read: In the ring you face your opponent just like facing problems in life - Indian boxer Akashdeep Singh
Poland to take on Sweden for a place in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar
(Football news) With a place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on the line, Poland and Sweden will battle it out at the Stadion Slaski in the playoffs. The hosts received an automatic bye in the playoff finals after their match against Russia was cancelled due to the Ukraine invasion while Sweden defeated Czech Republic after 120 minutes.
Earlier this month, FIFA had announced that Russia will not be eligible to participate in the playoffs due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, which meant that their opponents Poland automatically progressed to the playoff final. However, they didn’t use the period to rest, instead, Czeslaw Michniewicz's side took on Scotland in a friendly to retain sharpness ahead of the fixture against Sweden.
The friendly against Scotland backfired in a few ways as two Polish players were forced to be substituted because of injuries while Kieran Tierney broke the deadlock in the 68th minute before a penalty by Krzysztof Piatek right before full time levelled the score. A result against Sweden would mean that Poland would qualify for their second consecutive World Cup and would aim to do better than their group stage elimination in 2018.
The hosts have only lost one match in the last eight across tournaments and haven’t failed to score in a single qualifying match since 2009. Moreover, a fit and ready Robert Lewandowski is the best striker in the world and Sweden would be extremely wary of the threat he possesses.
Sweden are also looking for back-to-back appearances in the World Cup after losing in the quarter-finals to England in 2018. The side must recover from their 120 minute fixture against the Czech Republic which saw substitute Robin Quaison score in the 110th minute to seal a place in the playoff final. Worryingly for Sweden, they have lost each of their last three World Cup qualifying away matches and have won only one of their last nine in all tournaments. However, Sweden have traditionally played well against Poland, winning six consecutive games, the last one being a 3-2 win in the group stage of Euro 2020.
In team news, Poland’s Arkadiusz Milik and Bartosz Salamon are currently injured while midfielder Mateusz Klich is suspended. With Piatek struggling with fitness, Lewandowski is expected to start the match and one of Marcin Kaminski or Bartosz Bereszynski should feature in the back three. Sweden’s answer to Lewandowski is none other than Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is back from serving his ban alongside Emil Krafth. However, Martin Olsson will be unavailable for selection due to injury and either Ludwig Augustinsson or Pierre Bengtsson will replace him at left back. Despite being a closely contested fixture, Sweden should edge it out and find a place in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
India seek improved performance against Belarus in second international football friendly
Manama, Mar 25 (Football News) A close 0-1 defeat against Bahrain in their previous match notwithstanding, India would look to dish out an improved show against higher-ranked Belarus in their second international football friendly here on Saturday.
Six players could not accompany the team that left Mumbai on Monday due to visa issues but they reached here on the day of the Bahrain match on Wednesday, with only Anirudh Thapa and Aniket Jadhav being able to play in that game against the hosts, that too in the second half.
But against Belarus, head coach Igor Stimac is expected to use the services of Indian Super League-winning side Hyderabad FC defender Chinglensana Singh as well as midfield lynchpin Brandon Fernandes, who were among the six who landed here on Wednesday.
Sandesh Jhingan and Chinglensana have formed a formidable centre-back pairing for the Blue Tigers in the past and they are expected to team up at the deep defence against Balarus, who are ranked 10 places above India at 94th.
But Stimac will be without the services of another defender, Mumbai City's Rahul Bheke, who scored India's lone goal against Bahrain.
Stimac had earlier said that three Mumbai City players will leave Manama after the Bahrain match for their side's AFC Champions League preparations.
Another Mumbai City player Bipin Singh, however, did not travel to Manama. He was one of the seven players who did not accompany the team due to visa issues and there was no point for him to travel to Manama to reach on match day (against Bahrain) and then return back. Stimac gave international debut to five players -- Anwar Ali, Danish Farooq, VP Suhair, Aniket and Roshan Singh -- in the match against Bahrain and he is expected to hand Kerala Blasters defender Ruivah Hormipam his first match in India colours against Belarus.
He is expected to field Jeakson Singh also against Belarus as he tries out as many players who did not get game time against Bahrain.
The coach had said that he would give game-time to almost all the 25 players -- save the goalkeepers -- in the two friendly matches in Manama to check out various combinations ahead of the Asian Cup final round qualifiers in June in Kolkata.
Stimac had, however, hinted that goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will play in both the friendly matches as he wanted stability in that crucial position as India will not be playing too many matches before the Asian Cup qualifiers.
"There will be some big changes for the Belarus game. I want to introduce a new team with fresh faces and energy which will give us more stability in the passing front," Stimac said ahead of the match.
"Friendly games are the best opportunity to give players the chance to perform, and I believe if you don't take risks, you will never succeed," he added.
Stimac said he want his players to be brave enough to take risks.
"They need to understand to react more once they lose a ball," he said.
For Belarus, this would be their first international friendly match this year. In the past year, they have played against some higher-ranked teams like world's top ranked team Belgium, Wales (20th) and Czech Republic (31st). Their last match was a 1-0 win against Jordan in November last year.
India's match against Belarus was, in fact, in doubt initially as the All India Football Federation wanted to avoid playing against the East European country in view of its support to Russia in the Ukraine invasion. The world governing body FIFA had banned Russia from international matches but had not done so against Belarus.
Talking about Belarus, Stimac said, "Belarus are a very well-known opposition to me. They are much more technical than Bahrain. They have recently played against higher ranking teams such as Belgium and Wales.
"They play much more defensive and counter attacking football. But I don't see them being that much defensive against us," Stimac said.
Match Starts 9:30pm IST.
Also Read : Jermain Defoe hangs up his boots from football at age 39
News Source : PTI
Bale heroics help Wales overcome Austria; Sweden win in extra time
(Football news) Gareth Bale single handedly took Wales to the World Cup playoffs final as they won 2-1 against Austria. The game started in the balance as both teams looked nervous. Christoph Baumgartner hit the bar in the fifth minute as Wales survived a major scare. Gareth Bale broke the deadlock in the 25th minute with an outrageous direct free kick to give Wales the lead.
In the 51st minute, the Real Madrid man scored another outstanding goal after being set up by Ben Davies. 13 minutes later, Stefan Lainer set up Marcel Sabitzer who pulled a goal back to make it 2-1. Austria couldn't manage to create another chance as Wales booked their place in the final. Gareth Bale was at his absolute best despite not playing regular club football. Carlo Ancelotti may look at that performance and think about giving more game time to Bale once the international break is over. Austria's quest to play in the World Cup finals continues as they haven't qualified for the tournament since 1998. Wales' dream of reaching only their 2nd ever World Cup is still alive. They will now face the winner of Ukraine Vs Ukraine which is expected to take place in June.
Sweden left it late to win 1-0 against Czech Republic in extra time. The game as a whole was a stalemate as both teams were very cautious and barely created any chances in regular time. It was in the 110th minute when the deadlock was finally broken after Alexander Isak set up Robin Quaison. Sweden negotiated the rest of the game well and didn't concede many chances. They will now take on Poland away from home for a place in the Qatar World Cup.
Marcelo Brozovic signs a new contract extension with Inter Milan
(Football news) Croatia national team midfielder Marcelo Brozović has extended his contract with the current defending champion Inter Milan until the summer of 2026. He has been an integral part of the squad ever since he joined from Dinamo Zagreb in January 2015, and has so far played 279 games for Inter Milan in all competitions. Brozovic's previous contract was set to expire at the end of June of this season, but renewing the Croatian has always been a priority for the club given his importance to the team.
This season particularly he’s been tremendous in the holding position role for Inter, more than his defensive workrate it is his leadership qualities that the club have heavily invested in. The likes of Barcelona, Manchester United and Tottenham were all interested in the 29 year old but he ultimately decided that Inter is his home. The 29-year-old played a key role under Antonio Conte as the Nerazzurri ended a 10-year wait for the Scudetto last season. This season, he has started 37 games in all competitions, a tally on Samir Handanovic (40) which is better among Inter players. He again leads the Nerazzurri in the Serie A for making the most tackles (55), passes (1,924) and passes into the final third (251).
The midfielder had earned a net salary of €3.5 million on his old contract, but now has been handed a significant pay raise to €6.5 million net per season to reward him for his importance in the team. Brozovic was purchased from Dinamo Zagreb on a loan with an obligation to buy for €5.7 million in January of 2015, and has since then gradually risen to the most important and also the first name on the team sheet for the Nerazzurri. He has been injured over the last month and Inter since his absence from the team have only managed to win one game against bottom team Salernitana, this highlights the importance of him in the team.
"I am really happy to have extended my contract with Inter. Out of respect for the club, I didn’t even want to talk to other clubs. I would only do that if Inter told me they didn't need me anymore. I am proud to be a part of this club with a great tradition and history, and I am determined to strive to achieve new great successes with this club. Our only goal is to win and I am sure that we will do everything in our power to defend the title of champion and win the Cup," said Brozović after signing a new contract.
He added, "Inter fans have always loved me. I can't wait to get back on the pitch and keep celebrating with them. Money has never been why I play football, and it never will be. When I see people's suffering and disease, especially now in Ukraine, I realize how happy I am to play for a club like Inter and live in such a top city as I spent some tough moments at Inter, both for the club and me. Still, we continued to fight to be better. All this was rewarded when we won the title last year. I am here to become an even better player and help Inter win more trophies," concluded Brozović.
Chelsea allowed to sell tickets after government licence is amended
(Football news) The government of the United Kingdom has made amendments to Chelsea’s operating licence, which means that fans can now buy tickets for certain matches and the club has access to £30m. As per Section 10.3 of Chelsea's amended operating licence, it says: "Under this licence, subject to the conditions below, the Parent may pay the Club up to £30,000,000.00 in respect of cash flow or liquidity issues faced by the Club."
Chelsea’s parent company is Fordstam Ltd which is owned by Roman Abramovich and was sanctioned by the UK government on March 10th. As per the amendments of the licence, Chelsea fans can now buy tickets for away games, cup matches and women’s fixtures. As a result, fans will be in attendance for Chelsea’s FA Cup semi final match against Crystal Palace at the Wembley Stadium on April 16th and 17th. However, only season ticket holders and those who purchased the tickets before the sanctions were imposed are eligible to watch Chelsea’s home games at Stamford Bridge.
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "The Government has today made alterations to the licence to Chelsea Football club so that fans will be able to access tickets to away matches, cup games and women's fixtures. I would like to thank fans for their patience while we have engaged with the football authorities to make this possible. Since Roman Abramovich was added to the UK's sanctions list for his links to Vladimir Putin we have worked extensively to ensure the club can continue to play football while ensuring the sanctions regime continues to be enforced."
A spokesperson said: "Chelsea FC have requested and the Premier League agreed that this revenue will be donated to charity to benefit victims of the war in Ukraine. The beneficiary charities will be announced in due course after consultation with the club." This means that revenues from future FA Cup and Champions League matches will go via the Premier League to the relevant organiser or the home team as per the sanctions. However, fans can continue to buy home and away tickets for the Women’s Super League and the Women’s FA Cup tickets will be sold to the competition's organiser rather than the club itself.
Moved out of Russia, Chess Olympiad to be held in Chennai now
Chennai, Mar 16 (Chess News) The 44th Chess Olympiad, which was moved out of Russia after it invaded Ukraine, will be organised in Chennai later this year, making it the second major global event of the sport to be held in India after the World Championship match in 2013.
The announcement was made by Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin on his Twitter page on Tuesday night.
"Delighted that the Chess Capital of India is set to host the 44th Chess Olympiad! A proud moment for Tamil Nadu! Chennai warmly welcomes all the Kings and Queens from around the world! #ChessOlympiad2022," he said in the tweet.
"It's official now....India will host the 44th World Chess Olympiad 2022 at Chennai!" the All-India Chess Federation added on its Twitter handle.
The All-India Chess federation (AICF) had submitted a guarantee of USD10 million (approx Rs 70 crore) to FIDE to host the tournament. The Olympiad was moved out of Russia after it invaded neighbouring Ukraine on February 24.
The Chess Olympiad is a biennial team event in which teams from some 190 countries compete over a two-week period. It was supposed to take place in Moscow from July 26 to August 8.
The other events that have been moved away from Russia are the first Chess Olympiad for People with Disabilities and the 93rd FIDE Congress.
The last chess event of such stature to come to India was the 2013 world championship clash between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen, the current world No.1.
The invasion of Ukraine has led to a slew of sporting cancellations in Russia with the International Olympic Committee urging member countries to ensure that no events are hosted by the country.
"It’s a matter of great pride and responsibility that we are entrusted with and we are committed to make it a grand success. The entire Chess fraternity of the country is ready to come together for this," said Dr. Sanjay Kapoor, All India Chess Federation President.
The AICF Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan added, "I cannot complain about anything in life now. All the countries of the world now have this great opportunity to come under one roof in the country where Chess was born. My thanks to Thiru M K Stalin the Hon'ble CM to make this dream come true." The event is held over 11 rounds in both open and women's category with likely participation of over 2000 players. This is a team event with five players and one trainer allowed per team in both the sections.
World Champion Magnus Carlsen has often turned out to play for Norway and almost every top player of the world is present in this event to represent their country.
India were the joint winners of the gold medal in the last Olympiad that was organised online.
This time the team will be led by Viswanathan Anand who will have the support of P Harikrishna and Vidit Gujarathi for sure.
The other two members are still unclear but young guns like Arjun Erigaise, Nihal Sarin and some truly special players like B Adhiban, Sasikiran and few others have a strong case.
The final decision for the team selection in open will be taken on May 1 as per AICF rules.
In the women's section, Koneru Humpy will spearhead the challenge with D Harika, and R Vaishali as nearly confirmed participants.
The other two places up for grabs have Tania Sachdev as a strong candidate while Bhakti Kulkarni and few others will try to be part of the team.
As host, India will be entitled to field an additional team and this could likely go to juniors or the 'B' team in both sections. The final decision will be taken by AICF on May 1.
Also Read : 77 Sports Infrastructure Projects in Himalayan Region worth Rs 506.13 crore sanctioned: Anurag Thakur
News Source : PTI
Haas confirm Kevin Magnussen will replace Mazepin for 2022 season
(Motorsport) Formula 1 team Haas have confirmed that Kevin Magnussen will replace Nikita Mazepin for the 2022 season. The US owned team dismissed Mazepin after being subjected to intense pressure following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Magnussen, who previously raced for Haas for four seasons until 2020 has signed a multi-year contract agreement and will race alongside German driver Mick Schumacher at the season opening race in Bahrain on March 20th.
Meanwhile, the Haas car will be tested by Brazilian reserve Pietro Fittipaldi on Thursday in Mazepin’s absence. Fittipaldi was thought of as the most likely candidate for the vacant F1 seat; he raced instead of Romain Grosjean at the 2020 Sakhir and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The manufacturer will look to improve on their disappointing 2021 campaign in which they finished last and were the only team not to score a single point throughout the season. In their defence, Haas’ focus was on the development of the 2022 car and expectations are high with regards to how they will improve in the upcoming season.
Magnussen told Haas' website: "I was obviously very surprised but equally very excited to receive the call from Haas F1 Team. I was looking in a different direction regarding my commitments for 2022 but the opportunity to return to compete in Formula 1, and with a team I know extremely well, was simply too appealing.
“I really have to say thank you to both Peugeot and Chip Ganassi Racing for releasing me promptly - both are great organisations. Naturally, I also want to thank Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for the chance to resume my Formula 1 career - I know just how competitive they both are and how keen they are to return to competing week in and week out.
"We've enjoyed a solid relationship and our positive association remained even when I left at the end of 2020. I've been briefed as much as possible on the development of the VF-22 and the potential in the package. There's work to do but I'm excited to be a part of it. I can't wait to get back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car in Bahrain."
Meanwhile, Nikita Mazepin spoke out on the same day Haas announced that Kevin Magnussen will be replacing the Russian in Formula 1. Mazepin said “I was ready to agree with this and consider myself neutral. When they added an additional letter which I had to sign, I did not look at it because my contract had already been terminated. I do not want to be at a team that doesn't want me. Formula One is a dangerous sport and you have to rely on the team you are working with. It is a question of safety, and it is fair to say I don't have that trust in them.
"It is good to keep all (legal) options open. There was no legal reason that could enable the team to terminate my contract. I was very disappointed with the way it was handled. I was told if the FIA allowed me to compete on their rules, and I agreed to them, there would be no actions to remove me from the seat. I have not heard from the team since it happened and I learnt about the firing of me the same time it was released to the press.
"I am a young man and I was not ready for it. I did not receive any hint, or any support, or be told that this is the decision we have taken. I learned at the same time as you did. I lost my dream which I have been working towards for 18 years. I didn't imagine the situation of losing my drive would happen so soon. But I absolutely do not see Formula One as a closed chapter. I am going to stay in race condition and I will be ready to take on an opportunity if it comes."
Meanwhile, Mazepin’s father Dmitry Mazepin, who is the part owner of Haas' former title sponsor, Uralkali has demanded that the Formula 1 team reimburse the sponsorship payment after terminating the contract between the two parties. A statement published by Uralkali said “Uralkali has been for many years contributing considerably towards global food security and providing significant assistance to a whole range of sports associations, organisations and events both in Russia and abroad. The company views the team's decision as unreasonable and believes that sports should always be free of politics and pressure from external factors.
"Given the above, Uralkali intends to protect its interests in line with applicable legal procedures and reserves its rights to initiate judicial proceedings, claim damages and seek repayment of the significant amounts Uralkali had paid for the 2022 Formula One season.
"As most of the sponsorship funding for the 2022 season has already been transferred to Haas and given that the team terminated the sponsorship agreement before the first race of the 2022 season, Haas has thus failed to perform its obligations to Uralkali for this season.
"Uralkali shall request the immediate reimbursement of the amounts received by Haas. The refund from Haas and the remaining part of Uralkali's sponsor financing for 2022 will be used to establish the We Compete As One athlete support foundation."
Todd Boehly and Hansjorg Wyss make bid to buy Chelsea FC
(Football news) Roman Abramovich and Chelsea FC have received a joint bid by US businessman Todd Boehly and Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss. Boehly is part owner of MLB team Los Angeles Dodgers and previously attempted to buy Chelsea in 2019 in a £2.2billion deal. He has now teamed up with Hansjorg Wyss to purchase the London based club while US billionaire Josh Harris, who also has a minority stake in Crystal Palace is also considering making an offer.
Harris has several investments in the sports industry, most notably in the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA and the New Jersey Red Devils of the NHL. US businessman Woody Johnson, heir of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company is also considering making an offer for Chelsea FC and is the current owner of the New York Jets. He bought the NFL franchise in 2000 but has only won one season since then and hasn't reached the play-offs since 2010.
Turkish billionaire Muhsin Bayrak publicly said that he had made an offer to buy Chelsea, below the £3 billion asking price set by Roman Abramovich. The Russian oil tycoon had announced his intention to sell Chelsea "in the best interest of the club" in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the uncertainty surrounding the sanctions by the United Kingdom. Abramovich has pledged to donate all the net profits from the sale to the “victims of the war in Ukraine”.
There are many other interested parties in Chelsea such as RedBird Capital Partners who own 11% stake in Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group. However, they will be ineligible to purchase the club due to Premier League regulations while Thomas Ricketts, chairman of MLB side the Chicago Cubs is also said to be interested. One of the most famous potential buyers is none other than MMA fighter Conor McGregor whose management company Paradigm Sports have been working with McGregor Sports & Entertainment and Empowerment IP Capital on a bid.
Despite a number of potential suitors, a takeover for Chelsea isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. With the number of sanctions placed on Russian banks, oligarchs and business, a high value takeover such as this with Roman Abramovich under the current circumstances would be challenging to say the least. Moreover, Abramovich’s asking price of £3 billion is a vastly inflated price for the club, especially considering that Stamford Bridge is in dire need of redevelopment and it will cost at least £1 billion to do so. Chelsea are not viewed as an ‘investment opportunity’ like Newcastle, simply because they are already the European and World Champions and there is limited room to grow. Meanwhile, a £300 million investment in Newcastle can eventually lead to a £3 billion valuation one day. Only time will tell how the Chelsea deal may pan out but stay tuned for more updates.
Rajasthan United down 9-man Aizawl FC, Punjab FC thrash Kenkre
Kolkata, Mar 8 (Football News) Punjab FC jumped to top-four with their second win from three matches, while debutants Rajasthan United FC secured their maiden victory in the I-League on Tuesday.
At the Naihati Stadium, former I-League champions Aizawl FC showed late urgency and were down to nine players in the second-half injury time as RUFC rode on Aman Thapa's 37th minute strike to open their account with three points after two matches.
At Kalyani, Punjab skipper Gurtej Singh (15th) opened the gate before British forward Kurtis Guthrie struck a double (20th and 42nd), while Robin Singh (72nd) came off the bench to seal a 4-0 rout of the Mumbai debutants.
The win lifted Punjab FC to fourth place with seven points from three matches, while Rajasthan remained on eight place with three points from two outings.
Up against the 2016-17 I-League champions, RUFC began on a positive note and held the possession.
Defender Mauro dos Santos kept threatening the Aizawl defence with long passes to the front line but the Northeast side kept averting the danger.
After missing a flurry of opportunities, Thapa finally broke the resistance, heading in the only goal of the match.
Aizawl started the second half with attacking intent, looking to quickly cover up the deficit.
Mauro Javier was booked for a challenge on Lalremsanga within two minutes of the second half.
The resulting free-kick provided a chance to Aizawl FC, but the intended shot by Shaiza from outside the box went above the post.
Aizawl missed a sitter in the 55th minute when Rajasthan goalkeeper Bhaskar Roy made an error as he spilled the ball after a free-kick from Malsawmtluanga.
But Lalremsanga's half-volley went above the bar.
Thapa had a chance to score a double but his 65th minute strike soared above the bar.
As the clock started ticking down, Aizawl FC started showcasing urgency and things became heated in injury time.
Robert Primus was sent off for dissent and a minute later, R Malsawmtluanga was also sent off for a rash tackle on Anil Chawan.
Punjab FC on the other hand had it easy against Kenkre FC dominating right from the start.
Gurtej drew first blood when he headed Kean Lewis' corner into the goal.
Their second goal came courtesy Travis Major, whose turn of pace on the left flank allowed him to whiz past Khongsit and square the ball for Guthrie, who swiveled inside the box and made no mistake with the finish from close range.
Guthrie completed his brace when he capitalised on a failed clearance to smash home an instinctive half volley into the bottom corner.
Singh topped off the evening for Punjab FC with a towering header to add the fourth and final goal of the evening for his side.
Also Read : World Cup play-off between Scotland and Ukraine postponed
News Source : PTI
There has been change in perception about women's hockey after Olympic performance: India players
Bhubaneswar, Mar 8 (Hockey News) The historic fourth place finish in the Tokyo Olympics lifted the profile of women's hockey in the country immensely with youngsters taking up the sport in large numbers, India players Vandana Katariya, Navjot Kaur and Gurjit Kaur said on Tuesday.
India ended at fourth place in the Tokyo Games women's hockey after losing to Great Britain in the bronze medal play-off last year. It was the best performance in 41 years after 1980 Moscow Olympics where the national team had also finished fourth.
"There has certainly been a change in mindset since Tokyo Olympics last year," midfielder Navjot Kaur said during a virtual press conference on the occasion of International Women's Day on Tuesday.
"Now, all parents want their children to play sports. Most of the parents believe that the future of their children will be better if they play sports along with focusing on their studies." Echoing similar sentiments, forward Vandana Katariya said she was amazed to see so many girls coming out to play hockey at her home town Roshnabad in Uttarakhand.
"After the Olympics, it has been fantastic to see over 250 athletes play the game of hockey in Roshnabad (Uttarakhand) and majority of the 250 athletes are girls. It feels great to see the popularity of hockey and everyone in my hometown also tells me the rules of the game," she said.
Asked what she would advise young girls who want to take up the sport, Katariya said, "There will be a lot of people who say a lot of things when women step out to play sports, but we shouldn't listen to anybody.
"If we listen to people, then we might take a step backwards. We need to believe in ourselves and keep our focus on the game intact and ignore everyone who say wrong things." Defender Gurjit Kaur said women should always believe in themselves.
"Women have a lot of power and they can do anything. Women should continue to be strong and not give up. Whatever women do, whether it's playing sports or working in business, they should believe in themselves," she said.
"If one has the support from her family, then anything is achievable. We also need to have a positive approach towards every problem we face in our lives. I know it's easier said than done, but we need to learn how to keep a positive frame of mind in difficult circumstances." The Indian women's hockey team will be seen in action in the two-legged FIH Pro League tie against Germany on March 12 and 13 here.
Also Read : FIH bars Russia from taking part in Junior Women's WC for invasion of Ukraine
News Source : PTI
World Cup play-off between Scotland and Ukraine postponed
(Football news) The World Cup play-off semi final between Scotland vs Ukraine, originally scheduled for March 24th, has been postponed due to Russia’s invasion. In a discussion involving FIFA, the Scotland, Ukraine, Wales and Austria Football Associations, the group jointly decided to postpone the fixture to June. The play-off semi final was going to be played at Hampden Park with the winner facing either Austria or Wales in Cardiff for a spot at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Russia was due to face Poland in their semi final but have now been expelled from the tournament by FIFA as a sanction for the invasion. There remains a sense of ambiguity regarding Wales’ fixture against Austria which was scheduled for March 24th. The game between the two sides is sold out and will take place at the Cardiff City Stadium. It’s expected that the game will go according to plan and The Football Association of Wales (FAW) is hopeful to get more clarity over the situation in the coming days.
Chhetri ruled out of India's Bahrain and Belarus friendlies
New Delhi, Mar 7 (Football News) The Indian football team was dealt a huge blow on Monday as its talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri was ruled out of the upcoming international friendly matches against Bahrain and Belarus due to injury.
The 37-year-old forward had been named among the 38-member probables by coach Igor Stimac for the matches to be played in Manama on March 23 and 26.
"I was really looking forward to the two friendlies against Baharain and Belarus and it's a shame I'll be missing out," Chhetri told the All India Football Federation (AIFF) website.
"It's been a long, tough season and I've suffered a few small injuries that need time to heal. I will be doing all I can to recover in time for the predatory camp in May," he added.
As many as eight new faces figured in the list of 38 probables named for the preparatory camp ahead of the freindlies.
"The potential this squad possesses is immense, and a lot of the lads are riding high on confidence on the back of good performances in the League season.
"I'm certain we'll put out best foot forward. I'm wishing the team all the luck," said Chhetri who did not specify the nature of injury.
Goalkeepers Prabhshukhan Gill and Mohammad Nawaz, defenders Deepak Tangri and Roshan Singh, and midfielders Vikram Partap Singh, VP Suhair, Aniket Jadav and Jerry Mawihmingthanga got their maiden national camp call-up for the two matches.
The AIFF said midfileder Ashique Kuruniyan, who was also named for the preparatory camp, is under rehabilitation.
The players, along with the head coach and the staff, will assemble in Pune on March 10, for the camp with practice starting from next day onwards.
The players whose clubs would be playing in the semi-finals of the ongoing Indian Super League will be joining the camp as and when their club commitments end.
The contingent will be flying to Bahrain on March 21. The Blue Tigers are scheduled to play Bahrain on March 23, and Belarus on March 26, with both matches kicking-off at 9.30pm IST.
There is still a cloud of uncertainty whether India will play against Belarus as the AIFF had said on Tuesday that it was trying to "avoid" playing against the east European country which had extended support to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
FIFA has suspended Russia but has not announced any such measure for Belarus as yet.
Last week, European football governing body UEFA barred Belarus from hosting international games but it will have no impact on India's international friendly.
Also Read : ISL announces expansion of metaverse with new 'Moments' collection
News Source : PTI
Young hockey striker Sangita eyeing bigger laurels after making successful India debut
Bhubaneswar, Mar 7 (Cricket News) Young striker Sangita Kumari has set eyes on achieving bigger laurels in future after making a memorable debut with the Indian senior women's hockey team recently.
While Sangita has been an integral part of the junior national side, she got her first opportunity with the senior team against Spain in the FIH Pro League double-header here recently. She grabbed the opportunity with both hands by scoring a fine goal in her maiden outing.
"I was very excited and also nervous making my senior India debut but I think what helped me was the exposure I had received in the junior India team over the past few years," the youngster from Jharkhand said in a Hockey India statement.
"Also, training with the senior group has been a completely different experience. I have learnt a lot over these past few months and I feel this is only the beginning for me." Sangita first came into the limelight during the 2016 U-18 Asia Cup, where she scored eight goals and helped the team clinch the bronze medal.
She was also a part of the Jharkhand team which won the ninth Hockey India Junior Women's National Championship 2019 (A Division).
Riding on those impressive performances, Sangita played in as many as six international tournaments for the junior side and was also one of the key members of the team that remained unbeaten in the Chile tour last year. She scored four goals in five matches during that tour.
"I feel these outings with the junior team gave me a lot of confidence. The junior team also follows a similar structure to the senior side so it was not too hard for me to adapt to their game," she said.
"But I feel there is still a lot of hard work that I need to put in to make a mark in the senior team and find a regular place."
Also Read : FIH bars Russia from taking part in Junior Women's WC for invasion of Ukraine
News Source : PTI
Chelsea and Liverpool secure three points in the Premier League
(Football news) Chelsea have consolidated their third place in the Premier League with an emphatic 4-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor. The Blues scored their opening goal in the 47th minute through Reece James’ solo effort before a brace by Kai Havertz all but sealed a win and Christian Pulisic added the cherry on top with a fourth goal. Burnley were quite wasteful, especially in the first half as Dwight McNeil missed an open goal after Thiago Silva had cleared an effort from Wout Weghorst off the line. The result means that Chelsea are five points ahead of fourth place Arsenal who have played one game less while Burnley remain in the relegation zone with 21 points.
The match also had a moment of controversy as Chelsea fans chose the moment when the clubs were showing their support to Ukraine by paying tribute to Roman Abramovich who had announced his decision to sell the club. After the match, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said “It was not the moment to do this. If we show solidarity, we show solidarity, we should do it together. We take the knee together. If an important person from our club or another club unfortunately dies, we show a minute of respect, it is not the moment to give other messages, it's a moment to show respect.
“We do this because this is what we are, we show respect as a club, and we need our fans to commit to this minute of applause. We do it for Ukraine, there is no second opinion about the situation there. They have our thoughts and our support; we should stand together as a club. It's not the moment for other messages." Speaking about the match, Tuchel said “It was very calm, we just reminded everybody what we wanted to do, where the spaces were, and where we also needed to step up. It was clearly up front; we needed to ask more questions and make life more difficult for their back four.
"The goal opened the game for us and gave us a lot of belief and confidence, and then our attacks were more fluid, and we were absolutely more decisive. We had a bit of a switch in tactics to give N'Golo [Kante] more space. The team did very well, we kept on believing, and it was a fantastic second half with a brilliant result."
At Anfield, a first half goal by Sadio Mane ensured that Liverpool secured three points against West Ham. The Reds had an unsettled performance and the Hammers could have secured the three points if they were more composed in front of goal but their failure to do so ensured that Jurgen Klopp’s side managed to get a 12th successive victory. Mane capitalised on Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross and fired it past Lukasz Fabianski. Liverpool could have doubled their advantage through Luis Diaz but his effort was cleared off the line by Aaron Cresswell.
The Columbian had more opportunities to score in the second half while Manuel Lanzini missed a great opportunity to level the advantage by failing to hit the target from six yards after controlling Tomas Soucek's right-wing cross brilliantly. Despite a less than convincing performance, Jurgen Klopp will be happy to have secured three points as Liverpool remain in the hunt for the Premier League title despite six points separating them from league leaders Manchester City.
Speaking after the match, Jurgen Klopp said “It was a really tricky fixture in the first place, we know about all the different things West Ham are good at. I told the boys after the game, if we are not well organised, we have to defend with passion. You cannot win the amount of games we have won in the last few weeks without stress and luck from time to time. I know we can do much better, but you have to get it over the line and I'm very happy about that. It's a very special win. You look at the Burnley game, we went there and got a 1-0 win too. These are the ones that really matter - it's nice with a 4-0, 5-0 win, but it's three points. It's about getting the job done."
Formula 1 team Haas terminate Nikita Mazepin’s contract
(Motorsport) Nikita Mazepin will not be competing in the 2022 Formula 1 season after Haas confirmed that his contract has been terminated. The US based team was forced to take action after being subjected to immense pressure due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Despite the FIA stating that Russian and Belarusian drivers would be allowed to compete under a neutral flag, Haas has decided to part ways with Mazepin with immediate effect. In addition, the Formula 1 team has terminated its partnership with title sponsor Uralkali, the Russian company owned by Mazepin's father.
In a statement released by Haas, the racing team said “Haas F1 team has elected to terminate, with immediate effect, the title partnership of Uralkali, and the driver contract of Nikita Mazepin. As with the rest of the Formula 1 community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes for a swift and peaceful end to the conflict.” The team had previously indicated that test driver Pietro Fittipaldi could replace Mazepin in the vacant Haas seat. The 25 year old Brazilian is the grandson of Brazilian F1 world champion Emerson and has represented the Haas team before, driving instead of Roman Grosjean for two races at the end of 2020.
In a statement on Instagram, Mazepin said: "Dear fans and followers, I am very disappointed to hear that my F1 contract has been terminated. While I understand the difficulties, the ruling from FIA plus my ongoing willingness to accept the conditions proposed in order to continue were completely ignored and no process was followed in this unilateral step. To those who have tried to understand, my eternal thanks. I have treasured my time in F1 and genuinely hope we can all be together in better times. I will have more to say in the coming days. Nikita."
Other options for Haas include Antonio Giovinazzi, Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg, Callum Ilott and Oscar Piastri.
Aston Martin on track to become title contenders by 2025: Mike Krack
(Motorsport news) Aston Martin’s new team principal Mike Krack has reiterated his belief that the Formula 1 team are on their way to become title contenders by 2025. The former boss of BMW Motorsport was hired by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll and has extensive experience in motorsport engineering and management, having been a race engineer at the BMW Sauber team in Formula 1.
In an interview, Krack said “We have everything we need but we need to make the right decisions. It doesn't come by itself. It is hard work over many days, weeks and months. I agree that five-year plans do not always come to success. There can only be one winner. And very often you have a disruption - like this year with a new set of regulations - where you have to readjust.
“But on the other hand, what is a little bit different to the team you have mentioned [Alpine] is we aren't an OEM [major car manufacturer]. We are a lean management structure and we can decide very quickly and we are very flexible. We have big possibilities and we have a quick decision path. This is an asset not everyone has. Obviously you cannot plan success, but you have to put everything in place to achieve it."
The team currently being led by Krack became Aston Martin last year. Lawrence Stroll acquired the team which was known as Force India F1 team in 2018 after its collapse into administration. The team has had various names over the years and was initially named Jordan in 1991 and have traditionally had a reputation for overachieving despite their limited resources.
One of the reasons for Krack to join Aston Martin was the similarities he saw to his time at Sauber. Krack said “I sense a little bit the situation I had with Sauber. We were in a similar situation where at times we were clearly over-performing to our capabilities and then we had a big partner coming in where you all of a sudden had possibilities you never had before. We have something similar here. BMW also had a five-year plan and it was handled in a very corporate manner, which we must avoid at any cost here."
Aston Martin are currently building a new state of the art facility at Silverstone which will be finished by 2023. The British team’s driver lineup for the upcoming season comprises Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll and they will hope to build on to their 7th place Constructors Standing finish from the 2021 season. Krack said “It is clear a guy like Sebastian does not want to be 15th or or 12th or eighth. It is our task to deliver a performing structure. Sebastian is a clever guy. He will not just be focusing on this year's car but [on whether] he sees the potential. And if we can offer him this we have a chance to keep him for longer. I have not spoken to him about it. It is our task to deliver the right package and then Sebastian will [want to] stay and other drivers would like to join."
Chelsea and Liverpool hope to secure 3 points in the Premier League
(Football news) Chelsea will hope to make it three Premier League wins in a row when they visit Turf Moor to face Burnley on Saturday. The Blues have two games in hand as compared to league leaders Manchester City but are 16 points behind the reigning champions and are currently third on the table. Burnley on the other hand are fighting in the relegation zone in the 18th place, one point above Everton who are 17th.
In team news, Erik Pieters, Dale Stephens, Matej Vydra and Johann Berg Gudmundsson will be unavailable for Burnley while Ben Mee is a doubt. Wout Weghorst is expected to feature in the final third alongside Maxwel Cornet and Aaron Lennon featuring on the right. As for Chelsea, Ben Chilwell is out for the season after a knee operation while Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta, Hakim Ziyech and Trevoh Chalobah are doubtful.
Reece James, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic are expected to feature in central midfield while Romelu Lukaku could start alongside Mason Mount and Kai Havertz. Chelsea are expected to secure the three points in this fixture although Burnley desperately need the points and will put up a fight at Turf Moor.
Liverpool will welcome West Ham at Anfield, desperately hoping to secure a win and remain in the race for the Premier League title. The Reds recently defeated Chelsea 11-10 on penalties in the Carabao Cup finals and progressed to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup in a 2-1 win over Norwich City. For Liverpool, Roberto Firmino will be unavailable for selection due to a muscular problem but Thiago Alcantara might be available for Jurgen Klopp. Curtis Jones and Jordan Henderson are also doubtful to start the match.
As for West Ham, Vladimir Coufal, Ryan Fredericks, Arthur Masuaku and Angelo Ogbonna are absentees for David Moyes’ side while Ukraine's Andriy Yarmolenko has taken some time off after Russia’s invasion of his home country. Aaron Cresswell should be fit to return over Issa Diop and Said Benrahma will hope to be back in the starting XI. Liverpool’s squad is fully rested for this clash and are expected to comfortably secure three points in this fixture.
Russian GP contract terminated by Formula 1 due to Ukraine invasion
(Motorsport) Formula 1 has terminated the contract of the Russian Grand Prix and the country will not be hosting the event in the future. A statement released by Formula 1 said “Formula 1 can confirm it has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter meaning Russia will not have a race in the future.” The race has been one of the most lucrative in the Formula 1 calendar and was added in 2014 after Bernie Ecclestone struck a deal with Vladimir Putin.
The race was originally scheduled to take place in September with the race venue set to be moved from Sochi to St. Petersburg in 2023. However, the contract termination means that the country will not be featuring any Formula 1 races in the foreseeable future. The decision was made last week in a joint meeting between F1, the FIA and team bosses. Earlier, Sebastian Vettel had publicly said that he will not be racing in Russia if the event were to take place with Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris echoing similar thoughts.
The sporting industry has been proactive in taking measures against Russia in the wake of their ongoing invasion of Ukraine with the International Paralympic Committee recently banning the country and the Belarusian athletes from the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. Motorsport UK had announced on Thursday that Russian-licensed drivers will not be allowed to compete in events at the United Kingdom, which means Haas driver Nikita Mazepin will not be competing at Silverstone in the British Grand Prix later this year.
Earlier this week, Formula 1’s governing body FIA had announced that Russian drivers will be allowed to compete in the upcoming 2022 season but only under a neutral flag.
Roman Abramovich decides to sell Premier League club Chelsea FC
(Football news) Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has announced that he will be selling Chelsea FC with the net proceeds of the sale being donated to the victims of the war in Ukraine. Earlier this week, Abramovich had released a statement on the club’s website that he was handing "stewardship and care" of Chelsea to the club foundation's trustees in order to protect the club amid talks of sanctions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Abramovich purchased Chelsea in a £140m deal in 2003 and the club currently owes him £1.5billion. However, the Russian has claimed that no outstanding loans will need to be repaid and has said that the sale "will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process". Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss has claimed that he was offered a chance to buy the club while Irish professional mixed martial artist Conor McGregor has expressed interest in purchasing the London based club.
In a statement released by Abramovich, he said “I would like to address the speculation in the media over the past few days in relation to my ownership of Chelsea FC. As I have stated before, I have always taken decisions with the club's best interest at heart. In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the club, the fans, the employees, as well as the club's sponsors and partners.
“The sale of the club will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process. I will not be asking for any loans to be repaid. This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and club. Moreover, I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated. The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine. This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery.
“Please know that this has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it pains me to part with the club in this manner. However, I do believe this is in the best interest of the club. I hope that I will be able to visit Stamford Bridge one last time to say goodbye to all of you in person. It has been a privilege of a lifetime to be part of Chelsea FC and I am proud of all our joint achievements. Chelsea Football Club and its supporters will always be in my heart.”
One of the biggest talking points in this statement is whether Roman Abramovich will be allowed to sell off his prized asset. If he is subjected to sanctions by the United Kingdom, his assets could be frozen and it would create complications for the deal to go ahead. It’s unlikely that chairman Bruce Buck and Director Marina Granovskaia will remain at the club beyond the potential takeover. Having bought Chelsea almost two decades ago, Roman Abramovich is expecting £3bn from the sale and the net proceeds are expected to be around £2.9bn which would go to the victims of the invasion in Ukraine.
Spurs crash out of the FA Cup while City defeat Peterborough
(Football news) Having already defeated Manchester United in the FA Cup, Middlesbrough caused an upset yet again by dumping Tottenham Hotspur out of the cup competition with teenager Josh Coburn scoring the winning goal in the 107th-minute. Not only did Middlesbrough win the match and progress into the quarter-finals, they were arguably the better side throughout and the result also means that Spurs will be trophyless for yet another season.
Being eliminated from the FA Cup raises a number of questions for Tottenham Hotspur, particularly regarding the future of Antonio Conte and Harry Kane. The results have been very inconsistent of late and at 29 years of age, Kane has no trophies to his name and it’s clear he would like to move to Manchester City in the summer. Only a strong finish in the Premier League with qualification for the Champions League next season can salvage the situation for Spurs but the possibility is looking more unlikely with every passing week.
Speaking after the match, Tottenham boss Antonio Conte said "We lost a good chance to go to the next round and play in the quarter-finals of an important competition like the FA Cup. There is for sure disappointment for the final result. I think this type of game, especially when you play away, against a team that plays in the [Championship] you have to know the difficulty.
"For this reason, we had to try to kill - in a sporting way - the opponent quickly. We have had the chances to score but we didn't take it. And then you give confidence to your opponent and you risk [defeat]. At the end, Middlesbrough won the game and deserved to go to the next round. Today we are talking about a defeat. The last game we won. Two games ago we lost. Three games ago we won. I can't hide the reality. We're having too many ups and downs. This is a problem and maybe it was also in the past. In my opinion, there is only one way to try to improve: to continue to work in every aspect."
Manchester City visited Peterborough United at the Weston Homes Stadium with Oleksandr Zinchenko leading the charge as captain for Pep Guardiola’s side. The decision to award Zinchenko the captaincy was to show support for his home nation of Ukraine with he and Peterborough captain Frankie Kent holding the Ukrainian flag before kick off. Despite the obvious gap in quality, Peterborough proved to be a tough nut to crack for the reigning Champions of England who eventually broke the deadlock through Riyad Mahrez’s trademark left footed strike that went into the back of the net in the 60th minute.
Just seven minutes later, Jack Grealish doubled City’s advantage by capitalising on Foden’s inch-perfect pass that was converted by the 26 year old who scored his first ever FA Cup goal. Despite Peterborough displaying a valiant performance, City’s quality and experience were too great for the Championship side and the six-time FA Cup winners emerged victorious and progressed into the quarterfinals. City will now shift their attention to the local derby as they welcome arch rivals Manchester United to the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League while Peterborough will travel to Huddersfield in the Championship.
Speaking after the match, Jack Grealish spoke in support of Zinchenko by saying “It has been quite emotional. He is such a big character in the squad and has unbelievable quality. He is so underrated as a player. We have had to be there for him. It has been an extremely difficult time for him and for everyone associated with Ukraine. But fair play to him, he came out and captained the side. I think he did brilliantly." City manager Pep Guardiola said “He got not just [support from our fans], but all around the world, the UK, about this insane situation we are living in right now."
FIH bars Russia from taking part in Junior Women's WC for invasion of Ukraine
Lausanne, Mar 1 (Hockey News) The International Hockey Federation on Tuesday barred Russia from taking part in the upcoming FIH Women's Junior World Cup as the global sporting fraternity unitedly continued to boycott the country from international events for its invasion of Ukraine that has evoked worldwide condemnation.
The FIH Junior Women's World Cup is scheduled to be held in Potchefstroom, South Africa from April 1 to 12.
"Following yesterday's recommendation by the IOC to avoid the participation of Russian athletes and officials in international competitions - in order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all participants – the Executive Board (EB) of FIH has taken the decision to exclude Russia from the upcoming FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup scheduled from 1 to 12 April in Potchefstroom, South Africa," the FIH said in a statement.
The FIH's decision came after it had expressed its full solidarity to the members of Ukraine's hockey community at this terrible time earlier this week.
"FIH is in regular contact with the Hockey Association of Ukraine and is doing its utmost to offer any support it can, in the hope that the Ukrainian team will be able to participate in the upcoming FIH Hockey Women's Junior World Cup," the game's governing body said.
"FIH expresses its strong hope for a peaceful resolution rapidly." Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week triggered global condemnation and the country is being suspended from international sporting events.
Most recently, Russian teams were suspended from all international football, including qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup.
This was after the IOC Executive Board issued an "urgent recommendation not to organise any sports event in Russia or Belarus." IOC EB also strongly urged International Sports Federations and organisers of events to "do everything in their power to ensure that no athlete or sports official from Russia or Belarus be allowed to take part under the name of Russia or Belarus."
Also Read : Indian men make remarkable comeback to down Spain 5-4 in FIH Pro League
News Source : PTI
FIA allows Russian drivers to compete, but in neutral capacity and under its flag
Paris, Mar 2 (MotorSports News) Formula One's governing body, the FIA, has allowed Russian drivers to continue competing in the sanctioned motor racing events, but only in a neutral capacity and under its flag.
Unlike many international sporting federations, the FIA move is not fully in line with the International Olympic Committee's push to ban all Russian athletes and officials' participation in tournaments and competitions after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement the motor sports' apex body said, "Russian/Belarusian drivers, individual competitors and officials to participate in international/zone competitions only in their neutral capacity and under the FIA flag, subject to specific commitment and adherence to the FIA's principles of peace and political neutrality, until further notice." However, it has also said that no competitions will take place in Russia or Belarus until further notice, and no flag, symbol or anthem of those countries will be allowed at any FIA event.
The FIA had earlier cancelled this year's Russian Grand Prix.
The decision was made at an extraordinary meeting of the world motor sport body even as the conflict in Ukraine entered its sixth day.
FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, condemned the Russian invasion, spoke of his sadness at events in Ukraine and expressed the body's solidarity with the country.
"As you know, the FIA is watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and I hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation," Sulayem said in a statement.
"We condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and our thoughts are with all those suffering as a result of the events in Ukraine.
"I would like to stress that the FIA, together with our promoters, proactively acted on this matter last week and communicated accordingly on the Formula 1, Formula 2, WTCR and the International Drifting Cup.
"An updated version of the different FIA International Calendars will be presented to the WMSC meeting in Bahrain for approval." Responding to Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week, the IOC's executive board recommended on Monday that international federations and organisations "not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials" in competition.
Also Read : Alfa Romeo reveal 2022 car C42 ahead of upcoming season
News Source : PTI
Indian chess player Anwesh leaves Kyiv, reaches city closer to Polish border
Chennai, Mar 1 (Chess News) Former Indian national rapid chess champion Anwesh Upadhyaya, who was stranded in Ukraine, has managed to leave the capital city of Kyiv and reach Lviv, close to the Polish border.
The 30-year old, who like several of his compatriots has been stuck in Ukraine amid a Russian invasion, reached the western Ukrainian city of Lviv after undertaking a nearly 10-hour long train journey.
Anwesh said he would look to reach India after resting for a day.
"I will rest for a day and then look at the logistics to reach India," he told PTI from Lviv.
"I am in constant touch with my parents. That will reassure them. I am following whatever advisory the Indian Embassy is providing," he added.
Meanwhile, Anwesh's mother Jayshree said he had managed to board a train out of Kyiv after a long wait and undertook a journey, the most part of which he was a standee.
"We have been anxious over the past few days and thankfully when Anwesh told us that he was in a safe place in Lviv, we felt a little bit relaxed...," she told PTI from Bhubaneshwar, where she and her husband Netaji live.
"We had a video call this morning with Anwesh and spoke just half an hour ago. He is planning to proceed to Poland from there," she added.
Jayshree further said she and her husband were keeping track of the developments in Ukraine through news channels and were waiting for phone calls from Anwesh.
"Though we feel a little bit relaxed after speaking to Anwesh, we are worried about the other Indian students stuck in Ukraine," she said.
Anwesh had moved to Ukraine in 2012 to pursue medicine. He is doing apprenticeship in gastroenterology at a Kyiv hospital. He had planned to return to India in March. But with Russia launching military operations on February 24, flights were suspended, resulting in uncertainty for foreign citizens.
Anwesh had tried to leave Ukraine earlier but could not get flight tickets.
Also Read : Praggnanandhaa stuns world no 1 Carlsen in Airthings Masters chess.
News Source : PTI
Saurabh Chaudhary claims gold in ISSF World Cup in Cairo
Cairo, Mar 1 (Shooting News) Indian shooting ace Saurabh Chaudhary won the gold medal in the men's 10m air pistol event, opening the country's account in the year's first ISSF World Cup here on Tuesday.
The Asian Games gold medallist shot 16 in the gold medal contest to finish ahead of Germany's Michael Schwald (6).
The bronze in the event was bagged by Artem Chernousov of Russia, whose country's flag was removed owing to its involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The 19-year Saurabh, an Olympian who also has a Youth Olympic gold medal to his name, was third in the men's 10m air pistol qualification stage with a total of 584 points, making it through to the elimination as one of the top eight shooters.
He topped the final stage relay 1 with a score of 38, making it through to the medal match, which was contested by the last four shooters. There he again topped with a score of 42.5.
Esha Singh, Shri Nivetha and Ruchita Vinerkar are representing India in the 10m air pistol women's event.
Over 500 shooters from 60 nations are taking part in the Cairo World Cup which has 20 medal sets on offer.
Also Read : NRAI signs MoU with All India Sports Council of the Deaf, to conduct tournaments at all level
News Source : PTI
Russia suspended by FIFA and UEFA until further notice
(Football news) FIFA and UEFA have suspended Russia’s national and club teams from all football competitions until further notice. This means that until there is a significant change of course in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the country will not only be eligible to face Poland in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers but will also be banned from competing in the 2022 Qatar World Cup and the Women’s European Championships. In addition, Spartak Moscow has been expelled from the UEFA Europa League.
UEFA have also announced that they have terminated their deal with Russian energy company Gazprom, which has been a major sponsor of the Champions League. UEFA’s sponsorship deal with Gazprom has been in place since 2012 and is worth around £33.4m (€40m) per season. German club Schalke 04 had also announced a few days ago that they had ended their sponsorship with Gazprom following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A joint FIFA and UEFA statement read: "Following the initial decisions adopted by the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, which envisaged the adoption of additional measures, FIFA and UEFA have today decided together that all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, shall be suspended from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice.
"These decisions were adopted today by the Bureau of the FIFA Council and the Executive Committee of UEFA, respectively the highest decision-making bodies of both institutions on such urgent matters. Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine. Both Presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people."
Both FIFA and UEFA have been under intense pressure from other countries to go further in their sanctions after the world football governing body had initially said that Russia could compete under the name 'Football Union of Russia' and compete at neutral venues. Following the announcement, Poland, Sweden, Czech Republic, England and Ireland declared that they will refuse to play in matches against Russia.
UEFA Europa League’s tie between Spartak Moscow and RB Leipzig will not take place and the German club will automatically progress to the quarterfinals. A UEFA statement read: "As a consequence of today's decision by the UEFA Executive Committee to suspend Russian club and national teams from taking part in UEFA competitions until further notice, the UEFA Europa League matches between RB Leipzig and FC Spartak Moskva cannot take place, and, as a consequence, RB Leipzig are qualified to the quarter-finals of the competition".
In response to UEFA's decision, Spartak Moscow say it is "extremely upsetting" and one "we do not agree with", but are "looking forward to a speedy achievement of peace". A club statement read: "This verdict is connected to the organisations' position on recent events that have taken place in Ukraine. The recent decision taken by UEFA and FIFA, although expected, is extremely upsetting. Unfortunately, the efforts that our club made in the Europa League have been nullified for reasons that are far outside the remit of sports.
"Spartak has millions of fans not only in Russia, but all over the world. Our successes and failures bring people from dozens of different countries together. We believe that sport, even in the most difficult times, should aim to build bridges, and not burn them. We are forced to obey a decision that we do not agree with. For now, we shall focus on domestic competitions, and are looking forward to a speedy achievement of peace that everybody needs."
UEFA has said that a decision regarding the impact of Russia’s expulsion from the Women's Euro 2022 tournament in England in July will be made at a later date. The decision is also expected to affect the UEFA Nations League later this year with Russia expected to play Albania twice in June followed by matches against Israel and Iceland.
Strandja Memorial Boxing: Nandini ends with bronze after semifinal loss
New Delhi, Feb 26 (Boxing News) Indian boxer Nandini (+81kg) ended with a bronze medal in the 73rd Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria after going down to former world champion Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhstan in the semifinals.
Nandini lost 0-5 in the bout held late on Friday night.
Former youth world champion Nikhat Zareen (52kg) and Nitu (48kg) are the only Indians left in fray after they advanced to the finals of their respective weight categories.
While Zareen defeated Tokyo Olympics and world championship silver-medallist Buse Naz Cakiroglu, Nitu pummelled her Ukrainian rival Hanna Okhota, who threw in the towel at the end of the second round in bouts held last evening.
The two will fight their final bouts on Sunday.
Nitu will be up against Italy's Erika Prisciandaro, a former youth world championship bronze-medallist.
Zareen will square off against Ukraine's Tetiana Kob, a three-time European Championships medallist, including a gold back in 2009. Zareen had won a gold medal at the Strandja Memorial's 2019 edition.
India won two medals in the last edition with Deepak Kumar and Naveen Boora securing silver and bronze respectively.
The performance of the men's squad was underwhelming this time with none of the seven in fray managing to enter the medal rounds.
In all, the tournament featured over 450 boxers from 36 countries, including traditional powerhouses such as Kazakhstan, Italy, Russia, France and Ukraine, where Russia launched a military operation on Thursday despite global appeal for restraint.
Also Read : Nitu, Anamika through to quarters of Strandja Memorial boxing tourney
News Source : PTI
UEFA moves Champions League final from St. Petersburg to Paris
(Football news) UEFA has announced that the 2022 Champions League final, which was set to be held in St. Petersburg will now take place at the Stade de France in Paris on May 28. A UEFA statement said: "The UEFA Executive Committee today held an extraordinary meeting following the grave escalation of the security situation in Europe.
"The UEFA Executive Committee decided to relocate the final of the 2021/22 UEFA Men's Champions League from Saint Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis. The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday 28 May at 21:00 CET.
"UEFA wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to French Republic President Emmanuel Macron for his personal support and commitment to have European club football's most prestigious game moved to France at a time of unparalleled crisis. Together with the French government, UEFA will fully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who face dire human suffering, destruction and displacement."
The UEFA executive committee has also decided that Russian and Ukrainian clubs as well as national teams that are competing in UEFA tournaments will be required to play their home matches at neutral venues until further notice. This means Spartak Moscow, Russia and Ukraine will be unable to play their upcoming fixtures in the Europa League and the UEFA Nations League at their home stadiums.
FIFA is yet to announce their decision regarding the upcoming World Cup play-off matches. Russia is scheduled to play against Poland on March 24th in a play-off semi final and the winner will take on one of Sweden or Czech Republic from the other semi-final. FIFA President Gianni Infantino has reiterated that his organisation is looking into the matter with absolute urgency and expressed his hopes that the situation would be resolved in a month.
More to follow as the story progresses.
Ajax draw with Benfica as Sebastien Haller creates Champions League history
(Football news) Ajax drew 2-2 with Benfica after Sebastian Haller became the third player to score in 7 straight games after Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski and Ruud van Nistlrooy who have scored in more consecutive Champions League matches, Ronaldo holds the record to have scored in 11 straight games from 2017 to 2018. Roman Yaremchuk headed home from close range to secure a very hard fought draw for Benfica leaving the tie finely poised for the second leg in Amsterdam.
Yaremchuk rescued the match for the Portuguese team as he reacted quickest after Ajax goalkeeper Remko Pasveer saved a fierce shot from Gonçalo Ramos and the Ukraine international pounced on his mistake to slot the ball in the net, he subsequently received a yellow card for taking his shirt off during his goal celebrations. Yaremchuk was wearing the Ukrainian coat of arms under his Benfica kit and his support in the ongoing dispute. Sebastien Haller on the other hand created Champions league history by scoring in every Champions League game he has played this season but in the first half he put the ball in his own goal and then made up for his mistake and found the net at the right end in a five-minute spell.
Dusan Tadic had scored the opening goal of the game when he fired a fierce volley to put Ajax in front in the first 20 minutes, after playing a brilliant one-two with Noussair Mazraoui, the Serbia international struck a crisp shot into the goal from 12 yards out. Benfica then came out strong after conceding early as they equalised on 25 minutes when Vertonghen’s misjudged shot deflected of Haller who completely misjudged his clearance and put the ball in his own net, but the Ivorian striker put made up for his previous mistake moments later when he easily beat Jan Vertonghen and had drawn a very good save from Odisseas Vlachodimos but he could only parry the ball back to the 27-year-old who just tapped in the rebound from eight yards for his 11 goal in the Champions League. Ajax had a penalty appeal turned down which in turn led to Benfica counter-attack, leading to Yaremchuk's goal.
"We are a bit frustrated. We could and should have done better and we are a bit disappointed to leave here having drawn 2-2," Haller after the match.
Boxing: Sumit stuns world silver-medallist, 3 other Indians lose openers in Strandja Memorial
New Delhi, Feb 21 (Boxing News) Indian boxer Sumit Kundu (75kg) upstaged world championship silver-medallist Dzhambulat Bizhamov of Russia to enter the second round but three others lost their opening bouts in the 73rd Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Competing in only his second senior international tournament, reigning national champion Sumit prevailed 5-0 over his opponent on Sunday to set up a clash with Ukraine's Oleksandr Khyzhniak.
However, Narender Berwal (+92kg), Varinder Singh (60kg) and Lakshya Chahar (86kg) lost their opening round clashes.
Narender went down 2-3 against Spain's Ayoub Ghadfa Drissi while Varinder and Chahar lost to Russians Artur Subkhankulov and Sharabutdin Ataev by 5-0 and 4-1 margins respectively.
The second day of Europe's oldest international boxing tournament will see four Indian boxers starting their campaigns.
Shiksha will face reigning Asian champion Dina Zholaman from Kazakhstan in the 54kg category, while Nitu (48kg) and Anamika (50kg) are the other two Indian women who will begin their campaign.
Among men, Akash Sangwan (67kg), who received a bye in the opening round, will fight German pugilist Deniel Krotter in his second round bout late this evening.
The tournament, features over 450 boxers from 36 countries, including traditional powerhouses such as Kazakhstan, Italy, Russia and France.
A 17-member Indian contingent, including seven men and 10 women, is participating at the tournament.
India won two medals in the last edition with Deepak Kumar and Naveen Boora securing silver and bronze respectively.
Also Read : Indian boxers handed tricky draws at Strandja Memorial, Nikhat to start in quarters
News Source : PTI
Dubai Tennis Championships: Sania-Hradecka lose in semifinals
Dubai, Feb 19 (Tennis News) Trailblazing Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her Czech partner Lucie Hradecka fritted away a great opportunity to lose the Dubai Tennis Championships doubles semifinal here.
After dominating the first set, Sania and Hradecka lost 6-2 2-6 7-10 to Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine and Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko on Friday night.
The Indo-Czech duo, which had received a wild card for the tournament, saved 11 break points while converting two of the three in the first set to take a 1-0 lead in the WTA 500 tournament.
However, the two were unable to keep the momentum going as Kichenok and Ostapenko levelled the proceedings in the second set and then eventually sealed the match in their favour.
The veteran Indian had won the doubles title here in 2013 with USA's Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
The 35-year-old, who is India's most accomplished woman tennis player having won six Grand Slam titles, including three mixed doubles trophies, had earlier announced that 2022 would be her last season.
Also Read : Jelena Ostapenko bounces back to beat Petra Kvitova at Dubai
News Source : PTI
Sania-Hradecka pair enters semifinals of Dubai Tennis Championships
Dubai, Feb 17 (Tennis News) Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her Czech partner Lucie Hradecka progressed to the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships with a straight set win over Japan's Shuko Aoyama and Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia here on Thursday.
Sania and Hradecka, who had received a wild card for the tournament, claimed a 7-5 6-3 win over the Japanese-Serbian combination in the quarterfinals of the WTA 500 tournament.
The Indo-Czech pair will face the winner of the match between top seeds Japan's Ena Shibahara and China's Shuai Zhang and Ukraine's Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.
Sania is a past winner here, having lifted the title in 2013 with USA's Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
The 35-year-old, who is India's most accomplished woman tennis player, having won six Grand Slam titles, including three mixed doubles trophies, had earlier announced that 2022 would be her last season.
Also Read : Novak Djokovic’s return to 2022 season remains unclear
News Source : PTI
Prannoy enters second round of Syed Modi badminton, Sameer retires hurt
Lucknow, Jan 18 (Badminton News) India's HS Prannoy entered the second round of the men's singles competition at the Syed Modi International badminton tournament after registering a straight-game win over Ukraine's Danylo Bosniuk here on Tuesday.
On a comeback trail, the fifth seeded India took just 36 minutes to get the better of Bosniuk 21-14 21-18 in his opening clash.
A former top-10 player, Prannoy, who gave a good account of himself before being stopped by 20-year-old Lakshya Sen in the quarterfinals of the India Open last week, will next meet compatriot Priyanshu Rajawat, who got a first round walkover from Rahul Yadav Chittaboina.
However, the tournament was over for fourth seed Sameer Verma after he retired hurt against Ireland's Nhat Nguyen.
Sameer was training 2-7 in the first game before he decided to concede the match due to a calf muscle injury, which he had sustained in October last year.
Subhankar Dey also conceded his match against compatriot Kartikey Gulshan Kumar due to an injury when he was trailing 2-9 in the opening game.
Among women, Ashmita Chaliha gave a first round walkover to Malvika Bansod, while Aakarshi Kashyap defeated Mugdha Agrey 21-13 21-14 and Anupama Upadhyaya eased past Rituparna Das.
Two-time Olympic medallist and top seed PV Sindhu will open her campaign against compatriot Tanya Hemanth on Wednesday, while London Games bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, seeded fourth, will test her fitness when she takes on Czech Republic's Tereza Švábíková in the first round.
Also Read : More relieved than happy to have pulled off Indian Open: BAI secretary general Singhania
News Source : PTI
Sindhu looks to end title drought at Syed Modi International
Lucknow, Jan 17 (Badminton News) Two-time Olympic medallist P V Sindhu will look to recover from her unexpected semifinal loss at the India Open and end her title drought at the Syed Modi International, which begins here on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old from Hyderabad was well on course to win her first title since the 2019 World Championship triumph last week before left-hander Supanida Katethong of Thailand shattered her hopes with a three-game win at the India Open.
Sindhu, who had finished runner-up at Swiss Open and World Tour Finals last year, will hope to turn things around this week when she begins her campaign against compatriot Tanya Hemanth.
The Indian will be itching to settle scores against Supanida, whom she is likely to face again at the semifinals at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium here.
Second seeded Canadian Michelle Li, a Commonwealth Games silver medallist, will be one of the strong contenders for the title in women's singles, which also has Polish eighth seed Jordan Hart, second seed Iris Wang of USA and Russia's fifth seed Evgeniya Kosetskaya.
Men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty has decided to give the Super 300 tournament a miss after claiming their maiden India Open Super 500 crown.
Lakshya Sen, who secured his maiden Super 500 title at New Delhi on Sunday, also is likely to follow suit after playing continuously since October last year.
Among others, World Championships silver medallist and top seed Kidambi Srikanth also is unlikely to compete this week as he is undergoing seven-day mandatory quarantine after withdrawing from the main draw last week following a positive COVID-19 result.
Third seed B Sai Praneeth, who had pulled out of India Open after testing positive, is also awaiting a RT-PCR test result, while Ashwini Ponnappa and Manu Attri are yet to recover from the virus and will miss the tournament.
Ashwini is part of the top seeded women's doubles pairing, while Manu and B Sumeeth Reddy are seeded third in the men's doubles event. On a comeback trail, former top-10 player H S Prannoy gave a good account of himself before being stopped by 20-year-old Sen in the quarterfinals last week.
Fifth seed Prannoy will hope to go deep in the draw this week when he opens his campaign against Ukraine's Danylo Bosniuk.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, seeded fourth, too will test her fitness when she takes on Czech Republic's Tereza Švábíková in the opening round. She had lost in the second round last week.
There are a host of other Indians in men's singles, such as seventh seed Sourabh Verma, fourth seed Sameer Verma -- who he is still recovering from a calf muscle injury -- Subhankar Dey and youngsters like Kiran George, Mithun Manjunath and Priyanshu Rajawat.
In women's singles too, Aakarshi Kashyap, who had reached the quarterfinals last week, will look to continue her good run when she faces fellow Indian Mugdha Agrey in opening round.
Malvika Bansod and Ashmita Chaliha will be tied in a battle of supremacy in the opening round, while Samiya Imad Farooqui, Ira Sharma and Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli will be the other prominent Indians in action.
Fourth seeded Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam will look to put up a good show in women's doubles.
There are likely to be more withdrawals and a clearer picture will emerge only after the manager's meeting later in the day.
Also read : We played one of the best matches ever: Satwik
News Source : PTI
Bharath Subramaniyam becomes India's 73rd chess GM
Chennai, Jan 9 (Chess News) Fourteen-year old Bharath Subramaniyam on Sunday became India's 73rd chess Grandmaster, securing the third and final GM norm at an event in Italy.
The Chennai-based player scored 6.5 points from nine rounds along with four others to finish seventh overall in the event held at Cattolica.
He obtained his third GM norm here and also touched the requisite 2,500 (Elo) mark.
Fellow Indian player M R Lalith Babu emerged winner in the tournament with seven points, winning the title on the basis of a better tie-break score after he tied with three others including top-seed Anton Korobov (Ukraine).
He finished with six wins and one draw while losing two games - against Korobov and Lalith Babu.
Bharath achieved his first GM norm after securing 11th place at the Aeroflot Open in Moscow in February 2020. He secured the second norm after placing 4th in the Junior Roundtable Under 21 tournament in Bulgaria with 6.5 points in October 2021.
To become a GM, a player has to secure three GM norms and cross the live rating of 2,500 Elo points.
His coach M Shyam Sundar, a GM himself, congratulated Subramaniyam and tweeted: "Congratulations Bharath for becoming the latest GM of India!! Let's focus on new goals in this new year!!" Subramaniyam had become an International Master at the age of 11 years and 8 months in 2019.
Mitrabha Guha had become the country's 72nd GM in November last, two days after Sankalp Gupta became the 71st GM.
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News Source : PTI
All eyes on Yuki, Ramkumar at Australian Open qualifiers
Melbourne, Jan 9 (Tennis News) India will keenly watch Yuki Bhambri's progress after his return to competitive tennis at the Australian Open Qualifiers while compatriot Ramkumar Ramanathan will enter the competition after a confidence-boosting maiden title triumph on the ATP Tour.
Bhambri, 29, lost invaluable three years due to a troubling knee but in a few tournaments that he has played going into the fresh season, the talented Delhi player seems ready for the grind yet again.
The close fight he had had against Aljaz Bedene in March was a testimony that he is ready for top flight tennis but his return came to halt again due to the same knee issue.
He began again in November, competing on the Challenger and ITF circuit and won a doubles titles with Saketh Myneni in Gurugram.
In the tune-up event for the first Grand Slam, Yuki tied up with old partner Michael Venus but lost first round in Melbourne at the ATP event.
He has got a decent draw as he has been pitted against Portugal's Joao Domingues, ranked 248 and clearing first round should not be an issue for Yuki. A good show at Melbourne Park will set the tone for him in the 2022 season.
In 22 attempts so far, Ramkumar has not yet succeeded in cracking the singles main draw of a Grand Slam and it's time that he breaks the losing trend. He will be up against Italian Gian Moroni, ranked 197.
Ramkumar has enjoyed fantastic results going into Australian Open. He has just won his maiden ATP doubles title in Adelaide with compatriot Rohan Bopanna and also won his maiden singles Challenger title in Manama, Bahrain in November.
His booming serve, a big heart to fight and nicely developed serve-and-volley game is there, just that he needs to put everything together at the big stage.
"It's amazing feeling to win my first ATP Title With Bopsy (Bopanna). A great week ended on a high note, always lived for these moments. Thankful to almighty God for all his blessings,"Ramkumar told PTI.
"I'll surely keep it going and give my best as always. I learnt a lot of things from Bopsy and Scott Davidoff (Bopanna's coach) who was part of our team. We combined well and didn't lose even one service game all week." Another Indian in the qualifying is Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who will open his campaign against Colombian Daniel Galan, ranked almost 100 places above him at 120.
In the women's singles, Ankita Raina will clash with Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko, ranked 118.
Also Read : Bopanna and Ramkumar win Adelaide International with upset win over top seeds.
News Sources : PTI
Everton sign Vitaliy Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson
(Football news) Everton this season are struggling as they lie 15th in the table and are only eight points above the relegation zone after their 3-2 loss against Brighton at home. Rafa Benitez has identified and rectified the two full back positions by purchasing both Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson for a combined fee of 29 million pounds.
The 20 year old from Scotland Nathan Patterson signed a five-and-a-half-year contract after Rangers accepted a deal worth about £11m. The right back was pursued in the summer after Evertin had two summer bids rejected, having been identified as a prime young target to challenge and ultimately succeed the 33-year-old Séamus Coleman, the selfless captain who continues to carry a substantial workload as well as heavy responsibility for a dysfunctional team is coming to his twilight of his career and has subsequently lost a touch pace. A younger and fresher full back is what the Evertonian fans as well as the manager wanted.
Nathan Patterson after signing for Everton said, “It was an easy choice to sign. This is a massive club with a huge history and a tremendous fan base. Obviously we aren’t in the place where we want to be right now but we can definitely get there with the talent in the changing room and staff here, and I have full belief we can do that. It was also great for me knowing the manager really wanted me here and that made my decision. When a club really wants you, it makes your mind up early on. I wanted to come here from the very start.”
Everton also signed Vitaliy Mykolenko from Dynamo Kiev for a reported fee of 17.9 million pounds, the Ukraine international has agreed on a four-and-a-half-year deal until the end of June 2026. Mykolenko, 22, comes into the club as a direct replacement for Lucas Digne, who after falling out with Benitez might leave the club. Mykolenko has impressed at both club and international level in recent years as he’s Ukraine’s premier left-back along with that he has won 21 caps for his country and was an integral part of the team which reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020. Mykolenko has featured regularly in the last two Champions League campaigns and was a key part in his side’s domestic league title triumph in 2020/21. He has also won two Ukrainian Cups with Dynamo.
Mykolenko said: “Moving to Everton is a big and important step in my life. I have always dreamed of playing in the Premier League. English football is where the game was born and I think that it will suit my game very well. I am 22 but I don’t feel like a youngster. I have experience of playing at European level and hope I will continue to improve as a player. I am excited about the opportunity of playing in front of our supporters at Everton. I have seen the last few games at Goodison Park and they were unbelievable. They are incredible fans to whom I feel great responsibility.”
Everton this season have had their worst start as they are on the back of a dreadful run of eight defeats and one win from their past 11 Premier League games. A return of 19 points from 18 league games is the club’s lowest haul since 2005-06. Benítez wanted to strengthen both full-back positions and midfield this month, having spent £1.7m during his first window as Everton had to navigate the Premier League profits and sustainability rules. A fallout over tactics is believed to be behind Digne’s ostracism from the squad, with the manager wanting the creative him to concentrate more on his defending attributes rather than attacking all the time. Digne has now become a sellable asset at a club as Benítez prefers full-back who are tall. Mykolenko and Patterson may not be mountainous but they bring more height to a weak backline than 5ft 9in Digne and 5ft 8in Coleman compared to being 6ft 1in and 5ft 9in respectively.
World Blitz tourney: Vaishali in 2nd place in women's section, Humpy joint third
Warsaw (Poland), Dec 30 (Chess News) Twenty-year old Indian player R Vaishali is in second place with 7.5 points from nine rounds in the women's section of the World Blitz chess championship here while her countrywoman Koneru Humpy is in joint third.
Vaishali, sister of the Indian chess prodigy and GM R Praggnanandhaa, scored impressive victories over Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine) and Russia's Valentina Gunina on the opening day of the Blitz championship.
At the end of nine rounds late on Wednesday, Bibisara Assaubayeva of Kazakhstan is the leader with eight points.
In the ninth round, Vaishali put it across Polina Shuvalova (Russia) and faces Assaubayeva next.
Humpy, the country's top player, has a share of the third place along with Russian Alexandra Kosteniuk, who managed to recover from a loss in the first round to Turkey’s Ekaterina Atalik and another Kazakh player, 21-year old Zhansaya Abdumalik.
Humpy defeated Aleksandra Goryachkina in the ninth round and will meet Kosteniuk in the 10th round.
Humpy had finished sixth with 7.5 points in the Rapid event.
The other Indians - Vantika Agrwal and Padmini Rout are placed 32nd and 57th respectively with 5 and 4.5 points each.
In the open event, defending champion Magnus Carlsen got off to a bad start, having suffered three losses on the first day and is a point and a half behind the tournament leader Levon Aronian.
Sitting alone at the top on 10/12, Aronian (who in 2010 won the world blitz) lost just one game but beat all of his main opponents of the day. He is, however, yet to play the defending champion Carlsen as well as American Hikaru Nakamura (who has won the silver medal in the previous edition of the event).
Eighteen-year old Indian GM Arjun Erigaisi held world No.1 Carlsen to a draw in the 12th round in a 72-move game with black pieces. He has 8.5 points and is in 12th place, the highest among the Indian players in the Open event.
Young GM D Gukesh, who finished a creditable 9th in the World Rapid championship, has scored 6.5 points in 12 rounds to be in 81st place.
Vidit Gujrathi, who share honours with compatriot Nihal Sarin in round 12, is the next highest placed Indian after Erigaisi with 8.5 points to occupy the 27th spot. Gujrathi (7.5 points) is 35th followed by P Harikrishna (7 pts, 48th).
The other Indians and their positions in the open section - Abhimanyu Puranik (6.5 pts, 60th), Hasha Bharathakoti (6.5, 64th), Raunak Sadhwani (6, 90th), Mitrabha Guha (6, 95th), S L Narayanan (5.5, 109th), Sankalp Gupta (5.5, 119th) and Aditya Mittal (3.5, 170th).
In the open event, Egypt’s Bassem Amin has pulled off a big surprise so far, finishing day one alone in second place, with 9.5 points and is followed by the top Iranian player and former junior world champion Parham Maghsoodloo who is on 9 points.
They are chased by a field of 12 grandmasters all with 8.5 points, including defending champion Carlsen, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Daniil Dubov, Alexander Grischuk as well as one of the top blitz players in the world, Hikaru Nakamura who also struggled to make a breakthrough, making five draws in a row.
The third tier of players, on 8/12, is led by local favourite Jan-Krzysztof Duda and includes former contender for the world chess crown and the 2016 World Blitz Champion Sergey Karjakin.
Also Read : World Rapid Chess: Humpy takes 6th place in women's event, Gukesh finishes 9th in open section
News Source : PTI
World Rapid Chess: Humpy in joint second spot
Warsaw (Poland), Dec 28 (Chess News) Defending champion Koneru Humpy bounced back in style after a slow start, posting three wins and a draw to jump to joint second spot with six points in the women's section of the FIDE World Rapid Chess Championship 2021 here.
With three victories in a row and a draw against Polina Shuvalova in the eighth round, Humpy has reached the top board and will be facing leader Alexandra Kosteniuk on the final day of the rapid event.
The Indian chess ace beat Julia Movsesian (Czech Republic), Marta Michna (Germany) and Ekaterini Pavlidou (Greece) in rounds five, six and seven respectively late on Monday.
Young WGM R Vaishali is the next best Indian in the 12th spot with 5.5 points, while Padmini Rout is 23rd having garnered five points so far.
While Vaishali got the better of Ukraine's Inna Gopanenko in round eight, Rout defeated Russia's Baira Kovanova.
Kosteniuk is on 7.5 points, one and a half (points) ahead of the rest of the field after eight rounds, with the last four to be played later on Tuesday.
In the Open event, world number one Magnus Carlsen has 7.5 points after nine rounds, half a point ahead of everyone else. He is chased by three players, all on seven points -- Russia's Alexander Grischuk and Ian Nepomniachtchi and the big surprise of the tournament, 17-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan.
Following a draw in round six with Baadur Jobava, Carlsen demolished the challenge of world number two, Alireza Firouzja, the 18-year old.
Carlsen finished the day on a high, with a win over the fast-rising Pole Jan-Krzysztof Duda.
Among Indians, Mitrabha Guha and D Gukesh, both have six points after nine rounds and are placed 22nd and 23rd respectively.
Gukesh posted wins over Nikolas Theodorou of Greece and Tigran Petrosian of Armenia in the eighth and ninth rounds, while Guha beat Russia's Alexandr Predke in the eighth before drawing against former world championship challenger Sergey Karjakin in the subsequent round.
GM Abhimanyu Puranik (5.5 points) lies in 48th spot while the highest rated Indian in the fray -- P Harikrishna (seeded 18th) languishes at 122nd position with four points.
Young GM Harish Bharathakoti, who started well, has dropped to 29th spot with 5.5 points.
Also Read : Indian GM Bharathakoti holds higher-rated Paravyan in World Rapid Championship
News Source : PTI
MOC approves sailors' proposal to train overseas ahead of 2022 Asiad
New Delhi, Dec 14 (Sports News) The Sports Ministry's recently-reconstituted Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) has approved proposals from four Indian sailors to train and compete overseas in the run-up to next year's Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
The proposals from the four Olympians will cost more than Rs 2.75 crore, according to a statement issued by the ministry on Tuesday.
The 49er sailors Varun Thakkar and KC Ganapathy (Rs 1.34 crore), Laser Radial specialist Nethra Kumanan (Rs 90.58 lakh) and Laser Standard ace Vishnu Saravanan (Rs 51.08 lakh) will use the sanctioned money towards travel, boarding and lodging, coach entry fee, coach boat charter and coach salary until the Asian Games.
Besides, the MOC also ratified several proposals which had been approved on an emergency basis. These include Olympic Games javelin throw gold medallist Neeraj Chopra's proposal to have his off-season training in Chula Vista, US and defending women's badminton world champion PV Sindhu's proposal for assistance to engage the services of her fitness trainer at the BWF World Championships in Spain.
The MOC also approved the support extended to the development group of badminton players who will compete in tournaments in Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The cost of the exposure trip for Shikha Gautam, Ashwini Bhat, Priyanshu, Vishnuvardhan, Krishna Prasad, Ishaan, Saipratheek, P Gayatri, Treesa, Tanisha, Rutuparna and Samiya Farooqi was around Rs 45 lakh.
The meeting held on Monday under the supervision of Sports Minister Anurag Thakur approved Abhinav Sathe as physiotherapist of the Indian men's hockey team until the funding for his fee is given through ACTC.
It was also decided in the meeting to sanction Rs 4.90 lakh for badminton player Aditi Bhatt for three tournaments in Estonia, Sweden and Ukraine and Rs 3 lakh for Lakshya Sen towards the services of his coach and physiotherapist for the world championships.
Skeet shooter Gurjoat Singh's request for ammunition and clay targets was also approved at a cost of Rs 2.23 lakh, the statement added.
Also Read : Ajay Singh wins 3rd gold for India in Commonwealth Weightlifting C'ships, qualifies for 2022 CWG
News Source : PTI
Commonwealth Weightlifting C'ship: Bidyarani wins silver in 55 kg
Tashkent, Dec 9 (Sports news) S Bidyarani Devi won a silver at the women's 55kg category in the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships here on Thursday.
Devi lifted a total of 198kg (84+114) to finish second behind Nigeria's Adijat Olarinoye who had an effort of 203kg (90+113) in the Commonwealth Championships.
However as per Commonwealth Championship rule, she would also get a gold having lifted the highest weight in the clean and jerk category with her 114kg effort.
Devi missed a bronze in the World Championships as she finished fourth behind Ghofrane Belkhir (total 203kg) of Tunisia, Olarinoye and Svitlana Samuliak (201kg) of Ukraine.
The World Championships and the Commonwealth Championships are being held simultaneously in Tashkent.
The gold winners (in total lift) in each category in the Commonwealth Championships qualify directly for next year's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Also Read : India's Jhilli Dalabehera wins silver at Commonwealth Weightlifting C'ship
News Source : PTI
Manika, Sharath out of World TT C'ships singles events, Sathiyan enter 2nd round
Houston (US), Nov 24 (Table Tennis News) Star Indian paddler Manika Batra crashed out of the women's singles event in the World Table Tennis Championships Finals with a first round defeat, while Sathiyan Gnanasekaran advanced to the second round of the men's singles here on Wednesday.
Another top Indian player Sharath Kamal also bowed out of the men's singles competition in the first round while Ayhika Mukherjee advanced to the women's singles second round.
Gnanasekaran emerged as the lone Indian to win the men's singles first round match.
Tokyo Olympian Batra, the country's best-ranked women's player, went down 3-4 (11-5, 15-13, 8-11, 4-11, 6-11, 11-4, 7-11) to Brazil's Bruna Takahashi.
Compatriots Sutirtha Mukherjee and Madhurika Patkar lost to South Korea's Choi Hyo-joo (11-8, 4-11, 5-11, 0-11, 4-11) and Japan's Saki Shibata (7-11, 4-11, 3-11, 8-11) respectively.
Ayhika Mukherjee was the lone Indian winner in women's singles in contention as she beat Egypt's Farah Abdel-Aziz 4-2 (11-7, 14-16, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6).
She will now face Japan's Hina Hayata, the current world No 18, in the round of 64.
Batra has paired up with Sathiyan in the mixed doubles and the duo got a bye in the round of 64. Batra and Archana Kamath have also got a first round bye in women's doubles.
In the men's singles, Tokyo Olympian Gnanasekaran beat Ukraine's Yaroslav Zhmudenko 4-0 (11-2, 11-9, 11-4, 11-3) in the men's singles opening round to set up a clash against Table Tennis Federation of Russia's Vladimir Sidorenko in the round of 64.
All the other three Indian men's singles players -- Sharath Kamal, Anthony Amalraj and Harmeet Desai -- lost their respective first round matches.
The four-time Olympian Sharath Kamal lost to Belgium's Cedric Nuytinck 1-4 (11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 7-11, 9-11) while Harmeet Desai was blanked 0-4 (9-11, 7-11, 7-11, 4-11) by Germany's Benedikt Duda.
Amalraj went down to Nigeria's Bode Abiodun 3-4 (6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10, 9-11, 6-11).
Sharath Kamal is still in the fray in the mixed doubles as he and Archana Kamath beat the Algerian pair of Sami Kherouf and Katia Kessaci 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-7) to make it to the second round.
Sharath Kamal has also paired up with Sathiyan in men's doubles and the duo got a first round bye.
Also Read : Manika-Archana win their maiden women's doubles title in Slovenia
News Source : PTI
FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers: France and Belgium ease their way into Qatar 2022 as Netherlands win against Norway
(Football news) France comfortably made it into next year's World Cup after a 2-0 victory over Finland. On the other hand Finland missed out on playoff position after Ukraine won 2-0 against Bosnia Herzegovina. For France it was a straightforward victory as substitute Benzema combined with Mbappe for the first goal in the 66 minute, the provider of the first goal then got into the act after Mbappe curled a glorious strike into the far corner, this was Mbappe’s fifth goal in two matches for France. Reigning world champions France have now scored in their last 18 games, matching a record that dates back to 1999-2000. With this result France finished the Group with 18 points, 6 points clear of Ukraine.
"We wanted to finish on a high and we're happy we did it. Now we're looking forward to the World Cup. With the team we have it's natural to think about (winning) it”, said Benzema
Belgium already secured their qualification last match week, drawing 1-1 against Wales, who will go into the playoffs in order to qualify for Qatar 2022. Roberto Martinez handed a lot of debuts as Kevin De Bruyne silenced the home team at 12 minutes after he scored a beautifully curled goal but Wales levelled shortly after the half an hour mark when Daniel James cross evaded everyone and found Kiefer Moore who took a touch and scored. As it transpired, the draw was enough to seal what could be a crucial home advantage in March's play-off semi-finals. Wales had already guaranteed a play-off place thanks to their success in the Nations League, and their point against Belgium was enough to secure second spot in Group E despite the third-place Czech Republic's win over Estonia.
“When the crowd is behind us like it was tonight, we'll take on anyone. I was a blubbering wreck in the huddle with the players at full-time – a very emotional time for me. We're not done yet, we're dreaming of a World Cup but it's definitely achievable.We're always going to miss Gareth Bale but there's so much he brings to this team off the pitch too, just having him around the dressing room.I couldn't be prouder. I was very emotional at the end. We'll go against anyone at home. We respect the teams but we don't fear anyone. Bring it on. To be part of a World Cup would be unbelievable.'' said boss Page
Netherlands won 2-0 against Norway, which was a costly loss as they missed out on a playoff spot to Turkey. Netherlands on the other hand booked their place at the World Cup after missing out on the last two editions. Two late goals from Steven Bergwijn and Memphis Depay made sure that this time around they topped the group and earned automatic qualification. Norway have not qualified for the finals of a World Cup since France 1998, while they have not reached a European Championship since 2000. As a result Turkey now have the chance to qualify after a 2-1 comeback win over Montenegro
Also read:FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers: Kane drives England to Qatar as Italy suffered a shock draw and will have to play in the playoff
The other significant results were:
Montenegro 1 (Beciraj) - 2 Turkey (Akturkoglu, Kokcu)
Bosnia 0 - 2 Ukraine (Zinchenko, Dovbyk)
Czech Republic 2 (Brabec, Sykora) - 0 Estonia
FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers: Kane drives England to Qatar as Italy suffered a shock draw and will have to play in the playoffs
(Football news) England secured a safe passage to Qatar 2022 as they routed San Marino 10-0, this was the first time that England hit double figures in a competitive game. England's captain Harry Kane scored all four goals in the first half including two penalties, to move his international goal tally to 48 which is tied with Gary Lineker and only five goals away from Wayne Rooney to become the country’s all time leading goal scorer. Kane finished 2021 with 16 goals for England which is also a national record for a calendar year. Goals from Harry Maguire, Emile Smith Rowe, Tyrone Mings, Tammy Abraham, Bukayo Saka and an own goal from Filippo Fabbri sealed a historic win for the three Lions. With this result England finished on top of Group I with 26 points, six points clear of second place Poland on 20 points.
"Fantastic. It came to the last game and we were expected to win tonight but we've done a good job. Fantastic to go through," the 28-year-old Kane said
England coach Gareth Southgate said, “If we left him for another half an hour, we would have had Wayne Rooney's family on the phone. He is a phenomenal goal scorer. We wanted to give him the chance tonight and he took it well. We cannot do anything about the level of opposition, but the mentality and the way they applied themselves was terrific.”
Northern Ireland produced a spirited performance against the European Champions Italy to deny them an automatic qualification spot as they drew 0-0. Now subsequently Italy will have to qualify for Qatar 2022 the hard way as they are into the playoffs, Italy knew that they had to win after Switzerland beat Bulgaria 4-0 as the Jorginho penalty miss will hurt even more. The Azzurri's were not at their usual best, they were missing captain Giorgio Chiellini, first choice striker Ciro Immobile and key midfielder Marco Verratti but Italy still had a lot of match winners on the field. The Italians hardly created any clear cut opportunities as they kept bumping against a green and white wall. With this disappointing draw Switzerland topped the group C with 18 points as Italy finished second with 16 points.
Italy coach Roberto Mancini after the match said, “We can't do anything about it now, we have this game in March and will try to give our best. At the moment we are struggling to score goals, despite dominating possession. Northern Ireland put everyone in defence and we struggle to break sides like that down.We missed two penalties in the two key matches, that means that we had things under our control, but if you don't create chances you're going to find yourself in difficulty, I have faith, let's see in March, but we might even win it”
Switzerland against all odds stamped their ticket to Qatar 2022 after a 4-0 win against Bulgaria. In the first half, Switzerland dominated from the get go but couldn’t really score before half time but in the second half Noah Okafor converted with a header after Xherdan Shaqiri found him with a inch perfect cross, the second goal came in the 57th minute after Ruben Vargas lashed home a finish at the near post, and two late goals from Cedric Itten and Remo Freluer capped of an historical night in Lucerne.
Shaqiri said, “It's like a dream for me in my 100th game for Switzerland," an excited Shaqiri told reporters. “I have to pay a big compliment to the team. We believed in it, we went into this match with confidence. Seldom has a day been as beautiful. We also have to say thank you to (coach) Murat Yakin”, Shaqiri said. “It was not easy for him to follow in Vladimir Petkovic's footsteps. He did a great job, the team is in excellent shape. It's fun to play with this team. A lot of players were missing, it would be nice if everyone could have been there ... we're all going to Qatar together!"
The other results were:
- Scotland 2 (Souttar, Che Adams) - 0 Denmark
- Austria 4 (Arnautovic x2, Trimmel, Ljubicic) - 1 Moldova (Nicolaescu)
- Poland 1 (Swiderski) - 2 Hungary (Schafer, Gazdag)
- Albania 1 (Cekici)(pen) - 0 Andorra
The fixtures for today are:
- Finland vs France
- Netherlands vs Norway
- Wales vs Belgium
- Bosnia vs Ukraine
- Czech Republic vs Estonia
Grand Swiss chess: Harika finishes 5th, qualifies for next GP cycle
Riga (Latvia), Nov 8 (Chess News) Indian chess ace Dronavalli Harika held top-seed Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine to a draw in the 11th and final round of the FIDE Women's Grand Swiss chess tournament here to finish fifth and qualify for the next women's Grand Prix cycle.
Harika, who started the event as the fourth seed, shared a point with Muzychuk in 31 moves late on Sunday to end with seven points and remained undefeated in the tournament.
She was tied for joint third spot with the Ukrainian but eventually settled for fifth place on the basis of the tie-break score.
Meanwhile, 19-year old Vantika Agrawal, who recently became a Woman Grandmaster, finished a creditable 14th with 6.5 points, which included three wins, seven draws and one loss.
In the Open event, Indian GM Nihal Sarin had the best finish, taking 18th place with 6.5 points. Compatriots P Harikrishna and K Sasikiran finished a distant 30th and 31st respectively with six points from 11 rounds.
Sarin, who remained unbeaten in the event, drew his final round match against the talented Russian Daniil Dubov while Harikrishna signed peace with Yuriy Kuzubov of Ukraine.
Sasikiran, who had done well to be among the joint leaders for a while, lost to Ukraine's Anton Korobov to finish with six points. GM Raunak Sadhwani drew with Hans Moke Niemann of USA in the final round to secure 5.5 points and finished 57th.
In all-Indian clash, D Gukesh and R Praggnanandhaa drew in 34 moves. Both finished the event with five points. Praggnanandhaa took the 72nd spot while Gukesh ended up three spots lower.
In the women's event, only Vantika Agrwal apart from Harika managed a draw while the others -- R Vaishali, Divya Deshmukh and Padmini Rout -- lost their final round games.
Alireza Firouzja and Lei Tingjie emerged winners in the Open and women's events respectively.
Naturalised Frenchman Fioruzja scored eight points from 11 rounds after a draw with Grigoriy Oparin and finished half a point ahead of the field. World no 2 Fabiano Caruana took the second place with 7.5 points.
Tingjie dominated and finished on top with nine points, 1.5 points ahead of the rest. The second and third places were shared by Elisabeth Paehtz of Germany, who also secured her final GM norm and Zhu Jiner of China, both with 7.5 points.
Final placings of Indian players: Open: Nihal Sarin (6.5 points, 18th place), P Harikrishna (6.5 points, 30th), K Sasikiran (6 points, 31st), Raunak Sadhwani (5.5 points, 57th), Arjun Erigaisi (5.5 points, 58th), R Praggnanandhaa (5 points, 75th), D Gukesh (5 points, 75th), S P Sethuraman (4.5 points, 83rd), Surya Shekhar Ganguly (4.5, 88th), B Adhiban (4.5 points, 90th).
Women: D Harika (7 points, 5th), Vantika Agrawal (6.5 points, 14th), R Vaishali (5.5 points, 29th), Padmini Rout (4 points, 44th) and Divya Deshmukh (4 points, 46th).
Also Read : Grand Swiss chess: Harika draws with Paehtz, in joint third place
News Source : PTI
Lakshya Sen enters second round of HYLO Open
Saarbrucken (Germany), Nov 2 (Badminton news) Young Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen stormed into the second round of the HYLO Open Super 500 tournament with a straight set win over Thomas Rouxel of France here on Tuesday.
Lakshya took 36 minutes to get the better of Rouxel 21-17 21-14.
However, a tough second round awaits the Indian as he faces the winner of the match between fourth seed Tzu Wei Wang of Chinese Taipei and Sweden's Felix Burestedt.
The other Indian in men's singles, Ajay Jayaram will take the court later in the day against fifth seed Rasmus Gemke of Denmark.
Young Lakshya, ranked world number 22, had a decent outing at the Denmark Open and French Open with second round and quarterfinal finishes respectively.
The 20-year-old from Almora was forced to pull out of the event last year after his father and coach DK Sen had tested positive for COVID-19.
However, the Indian mixed doubles pair of B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa crashed out in the opening round of the tournament, which was earlier known as SaarLorLux Open.
Sumeeth and Ashwini suffered straight sets defeat against Denmark's Niclas Nohr and Amalie Magelund. The Indians were no match for their rivals, losing the tie 12-21 13-21 in just 25 minutes.
It was curtains for Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli in the women's singles, losing 18-21 14-21 against Maria Ulitina of Ukraine.
Also Read : Srikanth, Lakshya lead India's challenge at HYLO Open
News Source : PTI
UCL: Barcelona take on Dynamo Kiev in a crucial encounter as Manchester United travel to Bergamo to face high flying Atalanta
(Football news) With all the league fixtures done all the focus will shift to the midweek Champions League fixtures. Barcelona face a must win match against Dynamo Kiev as nothing more than three points is required for them to qualify for the round of 16, Manchester United will hope to produce a clinical performance against Atalanta.
Manchester United face Atalanta at Bergamo in what is expected to be a humdinger of a match between two attacking sides. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might have passed his first test but he needs to win his next two games to save his job. United will be hoping that they don’t repeat the same performance they had a few weeks ago against Atalanta at Old Trafford, although United won that match the performance was far from convincing and Atalanta are no strangers picking points against English oppositions. For United getting the victory is very important as only three points separate Manchester United and bottom placed Young Boys, meaning qualification is far from secured at the moment.
Gasperini in his press conference said, “We faced City and Liverpool when they were in a good period, established teams that were well organised for some time with their style of play, United seem to be a team in construction that still has some things to work out. But they have considerable potential. They might be jumping from a defeat to an impressive win, but that does not take anything away from their potential.Tomorrow will be a completely different game compared to our first meeting,”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in his press conference said “The next one is the one that matters and we’ve been working to get consistency and we know that when we get that consistency we will get results and performances, One swallow doesn’t make a summer and it’s important we keep focusing on what we did well in that game and improve on what we didn’t do as well. It is relentless with games every three days and it’s a chance against Atalanta to prove that we can go again”.
Bayern take on Benfica at the Allianz Arena, Julian Nagelsmann’s side will seek to assure a safe passage into the knockout stages with a victory over the Portuguese team. After their 5-0 loss against Monchengladbach, Bayern bounced back in emphatic fashion winning 5-2 against Union Berlin and will hope to continue the same form. Bayern will be without Leon Goretzka, Alphonso Davis and Lucas Hernandez, as for Benfica they will be without Haris Seferovic and Rodrigo Pinho for this all important champions league fixture. Robert Lewandowski will look to score in his fourth successive Champions league match as aims to reach 20 goals in the season already and also become the top scorer of the tournament.
Barcelona face a must win match against bottom placed team Dynamo Kiev, coming off a three-match winless streak in the Spanish league with an interim coach, Barcelona will head to Ukraine to face Dynamo Kyiv without two of their veterans because of health issues. Defender Gerard Piqué is nursing a right calf strain and striker Sergio Aguero is under observation after undergoing heart tests. The team is being coached by interim manager Sergi Barjuán after Ronald Koeman was fired last week. If Barcelona need to win their remaining matches to even stand a chance of qualification into the Knockout phase or else that will have to settle for Europa League.
The other fixtures to look out for are:
- Malmo vs Chelsea
- Wolfsburg vs RB Salzburg
- Villareal vs Young Boys
- Juventus vs Zenit
- Sevilla vs Lille
X44 set the pace in practice ahead of the Enel Island X Prix
(Motorsports news) The action got underway in Sardinia today as 18 drivers had their first taste of the 7-kilometre Enel X Island X Prix course, it was the most anticipated and challenging experience so far this season.
Solid rock bases and water splashes were the new challenges in the Extreme E field, and being able to master these difficult conditions quickly ensures there is a lot of scope to improve in the series’ inaugural European round.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “We love this location and it’s great also to see St. Helena from the course. It’s really great to be in Europe and the response we have had to the race has been fantastic.
“I would like to thank our hosts, the Italian Army, and the region of Sardinia which is truly an amazing place. It is also great to have the Island X Prix’s title sponsor, Enel X, here this weekend. We have a very long relationship with Enel X, first from Formula E and now with Extreme E.
“Sardinia has proven to be a very different setting to our last race in the Arctic in Greenland. It’s been great watching the cars out on the course, especially as it’s really tough here. We will have to see how it is with the dust and if we have rain over the weekend. We have many things in motion, and so we will have to see how it is tomorrow and during the racing on Sunday.”
Michele Cecchini, Head of E Motorsport at Enel X, said: “We at Enel X are very proud to be here as part of this championship. It’s extremely fascinating in terms of sustainability and how we can improve motorsport, and we are super excited to be a part of that.
“We want to develop technologies, we want to develop effective solutions and we believe that in motorsport we can really define what the real requirements are. We like the idea of accelerating what we are doing with motorsport, particularly in Sardinia.
“It has been hard to see what has happened here in Sardinia, and so alongside developing sustainable solutions we are very pleased that we have been able to be part of the recovery programme here.”
A brief Shakedown session was followed by Free Practice, seeing the cars back on the course for the first time since August certainly set the tone for tomorrow’s qualifying runs and Sunday’s all-important Finals.
Championship challenger X44 was the fastest out of the blocks in the Free Practice session, posting a total time of 11:53:421 to lead the field. SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing were second quickest, just under 20 seconds off X44’s pace. Behind them were the early Free Practice pace-setters Veloce Racing, who ensured they finished third fastest. XITE ENERGY RACING enjoyed a solid start to the weekend and ended the session in fourth ahead of Championship leaders Rosberg X Racing who completed the top five in the practice session.
The top-two last time out in Greenland endured a troubled start to the Enel X Island X Prix. Both Andretti United Extreme E and JBXE suffered significant damage in Free Practice which meant they were unable to complete their respective runs, with both squads in a race against time to get their cars fixed ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying sessions.
Sébastien Loeb, X44, said: “I have some good memories from Sardinia in WRC, so I like this surface to drive on. It is a bit different from what we had in the other events with a lot of sand and big ruts, so you know it is hard. It is a bit more like a rallying style of driving, with more routes and some tight corners.
“Hopefully it will be fine for us and hopefully the other teams will find the solutions to the different problems they had so we will have a good fight this weekend.”
Sara Price, SEGI TV Chip Ganassi Racing, said: “I like this kind of terrain – it reminds me of home and also the Baja. It is going well so far and we just want to keep it that way, so we’re going to go out there and do the best we possibly can.”
Carlos Sainz Snr., ACCIONA | Sainz XE Team said: “In terms of driving I really like the course. It is very complete – you have low, medium and high-speed elements and I would say it is a complete course. It is challenging and that’s good.
“We are hoping for a good weekend, but we have unfortunately not started well. We had an issue in practice which meant we couldn’t complete the run – we lost our power steering which meant that I nearly lost the car on the course. It is a pity, especially for Laia [Sanz] being unable to get a true feel for the car. It means we go into qualifying with a lot of unknowns, but hopefully we can prepare well and have a good run tomorrow."
Molly Taylor, Rosberg X Racing, said: “You have to take every corner as it comes. It is interesting because you can see that there is a lot of attrition and typically on a course like this it is more of an endurance course, but then you only have 7-kilometre of it so it is also a sprint. Managing that is certainly a challenge here. We just need to take every corner as it comes and see where we’re at and put our best foot forward.”
Catie Munnings, Andretti United Extreme E, said: “When I did the course walk, I was really nervous about it as it’s really rough and bumpy. I would say it’s one of the hardest courses we’ve had in the championship, especially after coming off smooth Greenland - but I’ve actually really enjoyed it. I thought it would be one of those things where you are trying to survive, but I managed to get in the flow with it.
“Timmy [Hansen] touched a rock on his run and that broke a rear damper. It wasn’t a perfect run for me either, but the sectors were fast and we’ll look to build on that tomorrow.”
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, JBXE: “We had a rough start. Neither Kevin nor I managed to do a lap in free practice so it is going to be tough for sure for tomorrow. But we had a good weekend in Greenland, we showed good pace, and we just want to keep going that way.
“We have been watching the others, though, so we will try to figure out what are the best lines and then just drive after what we see. It is a challenging course, so I think it is about pushing where you can push and keeping it safe where you have to keep it safe.”
Qualifying for the Enel X Island X Prix gets underway tomorrow and will be shown across a number of broadcasters including Mediaset in Italy, Fox Sports in the USA, ITV, Sky Sports, BBC digital channels and BT Sport in the UK, Teledeporte in Spain, Prosieben MAXX in Germany, as well as Eurosport across most European Markets.
All times CEST
Saturday 23 October
1100 – 1300 CEST Qualifying Round 1
1600 - 1800 CEST Qualifying Round 2
Sunday 24 October
1200 – 1330 CEST Semi Finals
1600 – 1800 CEST Final
Setanta Sports to broadcast Extreme E in Ukraine
(Motorsport news) Radical off-road electric racing series, Extreme E, has today expanded its coverage in Ukraine with Setanta Sports
As part of the series’ growing expansion in Ukraine, Setanta Sports will show Extreme E’s full debut season, including the live race feed, highlights, preview, review and magazine shows on its Setanta Sports and Setanta Sports + channels, as well as on-demand on its digital outlet: https://www.setantaplay.tv.
With its population becoming more and more aware of the negative impact of air pollution caused by fossil fuel, Ukraine’s electric car market has shown major growth in recent years. In 2020, the number of electric cars on the roads grew by 375 per cent since 2018, and the country currently boasts the biggest number of public charging points compared to its nearest EU countries – with more than 8,500 (a 57 per cent increase compared to the same period two years ago).
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, said: “We are thrilled to be announcing Setanta Sports as our latest broadcaster. As a sport for purpose championship which is committed to amplifying the benefits of electrification, it is important to further the exposure of Extreme E in a market where EV sales are continuing to increase.
“There is an even greater purpose to our championship than the radical racing on show, with the need to reduce carbon emissions and combat the climate crisis, something which Ukraine has clearly recognised. As we expand our coverage in Ukraine by partnering with Setanta Sports, I am confident that there will be continued interest in the action-packed wheel-to-wheel racing delivered by Extreme E, as well as the wider storytelling around electrification, the environment and the series’ gender equal platform.”
Following the races in Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Greenland the series now goes on to visit Sardinia (23-24 October 2021). The locations that the championship visits are all, in some way, affected by environmental issues such as desertification, deforestation, melting ice caps, plastic pollution, and rising carbon emissions. By holding races in areas that are suffering at the hands of the environmental crisis, the aim is to raise viewers' awareness and interest in environmental issues.
AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships in Belgrade to have 105 participating countries
(Boxing news) Boxers from 105 different countries are to take part in the XXI AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. There are 650 registered boxers, which is a record in the tournament’s history.
The contest will be held in 13 different weight categories for the first time in the history of AIBA. The weight classes were extended from August 2021, and the Belgrade Championships will become the first major competition with such a format. The event will feature Andy Cruz Gomez, Roniel Iglesias, Arlen Lopez, Julio La Cruz, as well as Lazaro Alvarez, all from Cuba who are all AIBA World champions.
Belgrade will also welcome such top-class boxers as Hovhannes Bachkov (Armenia), Loren Alfonso Dominguez (Azerbaijan), Wanderson de Oliveira and Abner Teixeira (Brazil), Javier Ibanez and Radoslav Pantaleev (Bulgaria), Yuberjen Martinez Rivas (Colombia), Billal Bennama and Sofiane Oumiha (France), Nelvie Tiafack (Germany), Sanjeet Sanjeet and Sachin Kumar (India), Simone Fiori (Italy), Reito Tsutsumi (Japan), Saken Bibossinov and Aibek Oralbay (Kazakhstan), Azat Usenaliev (Kyrgyzstan), Enkhmandakh Kharkhuu (Mongolia), Eumir Marcial (Philippines), Vsevolod Shumkov and Dzhambulat Bizhamov (Russia), Atichai Phoemsap (Thailand), Tsotne Rogava (Ukraine), Mirazizbek Mirzahalilov, Hasanboy Dusmatov and Shakhram Giyasov (Uzbekistan).
The prize fund is set at $2.6 million by AIBA. Gold medalists of each category will receive $100,000, while silver medalists are to be given $50,000, and both bronze medalists(semi-finalists) will be awarded $25,000.
“I believe that this World Championships will start a new chapter in AIBA’s history. We have a record number of participants competing in 13 new weight categories, which is a sign of boxing’s strength and extensive global development. We are providing our athletes with the best opportunities to succeed and we will do our utmost to ensure a fair chance and fair fights for every participant. I am truly looking forward to the opening of the Championships in Belgrade,” said AIBA President Mr. Umar Kremlev.
The AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships are scheduled for October 24th – November 6th, 2021.
Anshu creates history, becomes first Indian woman wrestler to reach World Ch'ship final
Oslo (Norway), Oct 6 (Wrestling news) Anshu Malik on Wednesday created history by becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to reach the World Championship final when she outclassed junior European champion Solomiia Vynnyk even as Sarita Mor lost her semifinal after shocking world champion and will fight for a bronze here.
The 19-year-old Anshu, the reigning Asian champion, controlled the semifinal from the beginning and won by technical superiority in the 57kg category to go into history books.
Only four Indian women wrestlers have won medals at the Worlds and all of them -- Geeta Phogat (2012), Babita Phogat (2012), Pooja Dhanda (2018) and Vinesh Phogat (2019) -- have clinched bronze.
Anshu also became only the third Indian ever to make the Worlds gold medal match after Sushil Kumar (2010) and Bajrang Punia (2018).
India has only one world Champion in Sushil till date and Anshu can create another history on Thursday.
Anshu's win also ensured India's first medal from this edition of the event.
Anshu was clever with her moves. At least thrice, she effected take-down moves from the left of Vynnyk and finished the bout with an exposure move. The Nidani girl started competing in the senior circuit only from last year and has made a steady progress since then. She also had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
Earlier, she was hardly troubled by Kazakhstan's Nilufar Raimova, whom she beat by technical superiority and later outwitted Mongolia's Davaachimeg Erkhembayar 5-1 in the quarterfinals.
Seasoned Sarita Mor shocked defending champion Linda Morais 8-2 in her opening bout and beat Germany's Sandra Paruszewski 3-1 in the quarterfinals.
Up against the reigning European champion from Bulgaria Bilyana Zhivkova Duodova, Sarita fought her heart out but lost 0-3. She will now fight for a bronze.
The reigning Asian champion had a tough opening bout against the 2019 World champion from Canada but came out trumps with a tactical 8-2 win in the pre-quarterfinals.
A quick take-down move, followed by an expose together with some superb defence put Sarita 7-0 ahead by the time the first period was over.
The only scoring point she conceded was a take-down move in the second period. She did not let Linda play her game, keeping her in lock positions.
Later, the quarterfinal against Paruszewski turned out to be a tougher bout, in which the two wresters were largely restricted to standing fight which took a lot out of them.
There was only one point-scoring move, a take down effected by Sarita late in the match and that sealed the outcome.
In the 72kg, Divya Kakran stunned Kseniia Burakova with a 'win by fall' but lost by technical superiority to Japan's Under-23 world champion Masako Furuich.
The 2020 Asian champion Divya fought her heart out in both the bouts and wriggled out of difficult positions umpteen times but hurried moves and over aggression cost her the quarterfinal against the Japanese.
Meanwhile, Kiran (76kg) won her repechage round against Turkey's Aysegul Ozbege to reach bronze play-off but Pooja Jatt (53kg) lost her repechage by fall to Eucuador's Luisa Elizabeth Melendres.
Kiran will face 2020 African champion Samar Amer Ibrahim Hamza.
Ritu Malik (68kg) was blown away by Ukraine's Anastasiia Lavrenchuk in the qualification bout that lasted only 15 seconds. It seemed Ritu was carrying a knee injury.
Also Read : World Championship: Sarita stuns world champ before making semifinals along with Anshu
News Source : PTI
World Championship: Sarita stuns world champ before making semifinals along with Anshu
Oslo (Norway), Oct 6 (Wrestling news) Seasoned Indian wrestler Sarita Mor shocked defending champion Linda Morais en route to the semifinals while Anshu Malik too advanced to the last-four stage of the World Championship, keeping country's medal hopes alive, here on Wednesday.
Sarita, the reigning Asian champion, had a tough opening bout against the 2019 World Champion from Canada but came out trumps with a tactical 8-2 win in the 59kg pre-quarterfinals.
Quick take-down move, followed by an expose together with some superb defence put Sarita 7-0 ahead by the time first period was over.
The only scoring point she conceded was a take-down move in the second period. She did not let Linda play her game, keeping her in lock positions.
Later, the quarterfinal against Germany's Sandra Paruszewski turned out to be a tougher bout, in which the two wresters were largely restricted to standing fight which took a lot out of them.
There was only one point-scoring move, a take down effected by Sarita late in the match and that sealed the outcome.
She will now fight it out against reigning European champion from Bulgaria Bilyana Zhivkova Duodova for a place in a historic final.
In the 57kg, young Anshu Malik lived up to the expectations with confident victories. She was hardly troubled by Kazakhstan's Nilufar Raimova, whom she beat by technical superiority and later outwitted Mongolia's Davaachimeg Erkhembayar 5-1 in the quarterfinals.
In the 72kg, Divya Kakran stunned Kseniia Burakova with a 'win by fall' but lost by technical superiority to Japan's Under-23 World champion Masako Furuich.
The 2020 Asian Champion Divya fought her heart out in both the bouts and wriggled out of difficult positions umpteen times but hurried moves and over aggression cost her the quarterfinal against the Japanese.
Meanwhile, Kiran (76kg) won her repechage round against Turkey's Aysegul Ozbege to reach bronze play-off but Pooja Jatt (53kg) lost her repechage by fall to Eucuador's Luisa Elizabeth Melendres.
Ritu Malik (68kg) was blown away by Ukraine's Anastasiia Lavrenchuk in the Qualification bout that lasted only 15 seconds. It seemed Ritu was carrying a knee injury.
Also Read : Indian girls struggle at World Wrestling Championship
News Source : PTI
On this day 20 years ago David Beckham scored that injury time free-kick to take England into the World Cup final
(Football news) The England team of this generation has reached new heights having played the World Cup semifinal in 2018 and Euro final in 2021. There was a period of time when England was never the team to look out for. The famous 'Golden Generation' of English football that included the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and the captain David Beckham never found success in big tournaments.
In 2001, England were pitted in a 2002 World Cup qualifiers group with arch rivals Germany. According to the format back then only the top team of the 5 team group would achieve direct qualification while the 2nd placed team had to play a playoff in order to qualify. Before their last game against Greece on 6th October 2001, England were on 16 points while Germany were top of the group with 17 points. Thanks to their superior goal difference England needed just 1 point from the game to qualify for the World Cup.
England conceded in the 36th minute and had to chase the game from there. Teddy Sheringham's 68th minute equaliser was almost immediately cut out by Demis Nikolaidis. Trailing 2-1 England got a free-kick in David Beckham's range around the 3rd minute of extra time. The England captain left Old Trafford in a frenzy when he launched the free-kick into the top left corner leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.
England ended up qualifying for the World Cup. Although Germany had to go through a playoff game against Ukraine, they did qualify for the World Cup and won the silver medal as well. In hindsight if Beckham hadn't scored the goal there is a high chance that England would've still made it to South Korea and Japan for the tournament.
20 years later the goal is still fresh in the memory of football fans not just in England but all around the World. In the quarter finals, England were defeated by the eventual champions Brazil. Had it not been for David Beckham's magical right foot, there may have been a World Cup played without England.
India beat Kazakhstan, to meet Georgia in semifinals
Sitges (Spain), Oct 1 (Chess news) D Harika and Mary Ann Gomes played key roles as India beat Kazakhstan 1.5-0.5 in the quarterfinals of the FIDE World Women's Team Chess Championship here.
After the first match had ended in a draw (2-2), India won the second 2.5-1.5 to secure passage into the next round.
India will take on George in the two-match semifinals later on Friday while the formidable Russia meet Ukraine in the other last four clash.
India's No.1 player Harika scored a crucial win against Zhansaya Abdumalik on the top board in the second match after having drawn in the first match while Gomes was impressive in beating Gulmira Dauletova 2.5-1.5 in the second match late on Thursday night.
Gomes, who had beaten her Kazakh opponent in the first round too, continued her impressive form to post a 57-move win in the second.
Tania Sachdev, who came in for Bhakti Kulkarni in the second match, went down to Meruert Kamalidenova.
R Vaishali, playing on second board, settled for a draw against Dinara Saduakassova after having shared honours in the first round also.
In the first match, Bhakti Kulkarni's loss to Kamalidenova on the third board was neutralised by Gomes on the fourth, with a fine 85-move win over Dauletova and helping India eke out a 2-2 draw.
In the other quarterfinals, Russia beat FIDE Americas 2-0, Ukraine edged past Armenia 2-1 winning the tie-break and George knocked out Azerbaijan 2-0.
Also Read : World Women's Chess Championship: India beats Spain in round 2
News source : PTI
AIBA extends registration for Men’s World Boxing Championships-2021 in Belgrade until October 4
(Boxing news) Belgrade will host the 2021 edition of the AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships from October 24 to November 6. So far, applications for participation in the tournament have been submitted by national federations of 68 countries, including Cuba, Uzbekistan, Thailand, the Philippines, Ukraine, India, Mongolia and others. Champions and winners of the biggest and most important boxing tournaments will participate in the tournament. Such recognized stars as Khasanboy Dusmatov, Julio La Cruz, Emomali Rahmon and other world famous boxers are already preparing to demonstrate their highest level in Belgrade.
The number of applications for participation exceeded the expectations of the organizers and due to the numerous requests of the national federations, therefore AIBA management has decided to extend the terms of accreditation till October 4, 2021.
For the first time in AIBA’s 75-year history, medal winners at the forthcoming AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia will be rewarded with significant prize money from AIBA. The prize money fund has been set at $2,6 million USD. The prize for first place is $100 000 USD. Silver medalists receive $50 000 USD, and both bronzes in each weight category receive $25 000 USD.
East Bengal sign Croatian stopper Franjo Prce
Kolkata, Sep 15 (Football News) Croatian U-21 national team stopper Franjo Prce on Wednesday signed up for SC East Bengal, making him red and gold brigade's third foreign recruit.
Prce, who has played a match for Lazio senior team, has joined East bengal from Croatian club NK Slaven Belupo. Slovenian midfielder Amir Dervišević and Tomislav Mrcela are the two overseas recruits.
"I have played with some of the big names in world football and it has helped me grow on and off the field. I think I can use my experience here in the ISL and try to help my team do well," he said.
"I am eagerly waiting to experience India and I also know this club has a massive fan base. It’s a shame that they can't be with us in the stands but we will play for them. We always play for the fans." At Lazio, Prce shared the locker room with the likes of former Germany striker Miroslav Klose and Ciro Immobile who earlier this year helped Italy win the European Championships.
Inter Milan centre-back Stefan de Vrij was also with Lazio during that time as was Italy's Antonio Candreva and Lucas Biglia of Argentina.
Born in Čapljina in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Prce started his career with the youth academy of Croatian club Hajduk Split. After his stint in Italy, Prce moved to Croatian club Istra 1961 again on a loan deal before shifting base to Cyprus where he turned out for AC Omonia.
Prce also had spells with FC Karpaty Lviv in Ukraine besides playing for NK Varaždin and NK Slaven Belupo at home in Croatia. Prce was included in the Croatian under-17 team for the 2013 UEFA European Under-17 Championships. He also featured for the team in the 2013 FIFA under17 World Cup.
Prce is a no-nonsense defender who will add to the squad’s experience despite being only 25 years of age. The six foot tall footballer is well travelled and has played with and against the best.
SC East Bengal take on Jamshedpur FC in their opening game of the Hero Indian Super League 2021-22 season, on November 21 at the Tilak Maidan.
Also Read : Star A-League defender Tomislav Mrcela joins SC East Bengal
News Source : PTI
Online Chess Olympiad: India bows out in semifinal after losing to US
Chennai, Sep 14 (Chess news) The US team fought back brilliantly after being trounced in Round 1 by India to win the second and the Blitz tie-break 4.5-1.5, emerging victorious in an exciting semifinal in the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad on Tuesday.
The Americans bounced back strongly after being outclassed in Round 1 by winning the second 4-2 to force a Blitz tie-break to decide the winner.
In the tie-break, Jeffrey Xiong, Ray Robson, Irina Krush and Thalia Cervantes Landeiro registered wins to set up a stunning 4.5-1.5 win for the US.
Harikrishna, playing on the top board in place of Viswanathan Anand, went down in 35 moves to Xiong, who had earlier shocked India's No 1 (Anand) in round 2.
B Adhiban, who had done the star turn in India's tie-break win over Ukraine on Monday, had no such luck on Tuesday as he was beaten by Robson.
Vaishali could not make much of an impression and went down to Cervantes Landeiro, while the country's top woman player Koneru Humpy's defeat at the hands of Krush crushed India's hopes.
Harika won all her three matches on Tuesday but it could not help India advance to the summit clash.
In round 2, Xiong was the star for the US as he shocked former world champion Viswanathan Anand, while Robson Ray pulled off an important win over Vidit Gujrathi, playing on the second board in place of P Harikrishna.
Awonder Liong secured a crucial point by getting the better of Praggnanandhaa. D Harika continued her good run by beating Nazi Palkidze, while Koneru Humpy and R Vaishali drew against Irina Krush and Thaila Cervantes Landeiro, respectively.
Riding on Vaishali's victory to open the scoring, Anand-led India romped to a 5-1 win in the first round.
After Vaishali gave India the first point beating Landeiro in 38 moves, Anand, Harikrishna and Harika added to the points posting wins over Jeffrey Xiong, Dairusz Swiercz and Anna Zatonskih, respectively.
In the Harika-Zatonskih match, the Indian player defended a difficult position before cashing in on an error by her opponent.
Konery Humpy drew with Irina Krush, while the young Nihal Sarin held Awonder Liang to a draw.
The US will face Russia who got the better of China in Wednesday's finale.
Results: Seminals: Round 1: India beat US 5-1 (Anand beat Xiong, Harikrishna beat Swiercz, Humpy drew Krush, Harika beat Zatonskih, Sarin drew Liang, Vaishali beat Cervantes).
Round 2: India lost to US 2-4 (Anand lost to Xiong, Vidit Gujrathi lost to Robson, Humpy drew Krush, Harika beat Paikidze, Praggnanandhaa lost to Awonder Liang, Vaishali dew Cervantes Landeiro).
Blitz tie-break: India lost to US 1.5-4.5 (Harikrishna lost to Xiong, Adhiban lost to Robson, Humpy lost to Krush, Harika beat Paikidze, Sarin drew with Awonder Liang, Vaishali lost to Cervantes Landeiro).
Also read: Online Chess Olympiad: India edges out Ukraine in tie-break to reach semi-final
Online Chess Olympiad: India edges out Ukraine in tie-break to reach semi-final
Chennai, Sep 13 (Sports news) India held off a fighting Ukraine via the tie-breaker to enter the semi-finals of the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad on Monday with B Adhiban, D Harika and Nihal Sarin playing key roles.
The blitz tie-break saw India outclass its opponent 5-1 thanks to wins for Adhiban, Harika, Sarin and R Vaishali storm into the last four.
India's top woman player Koneru Humpy drew her game against Iulija Osmak while Vidit Gujrathi, playing on top board instead of the rested former world champion Viswanathan Anand, shared honours with veteran Vasyl Ivanchuk.
In the blitz tie-break, Adhiban broke the resistance of Kirill Shevchenko in 36 moves in a Larsen Indian variation game. The Ukraine player had in the two regular games held his own, drawing against P Harikrishna and beating Vidit Gujrathi.
Ukraine bounced back after losing the first round 2-4 by trumping India 3.5-2.5 in the second to force the blitz tie-breaks.
In the second round, R Praggnanandhaa, playing in place of Nihal Sarin, posted the first win for India, beating Platon Galperin with white pieces. The young GM underlined his superiority, securing victory in just 20 moves in a Sicilian variation game.
Harika extended India's lead by getting the better of Natalia Zhukova in 32 moves with white pieces. She had in the first game of the quarterfinal beaten her opponent.
Also read: Online chess Olympiad: India placed in Pool B of Top Division
While Anand drew a second straight game against long-time rival Ivanchuk, Vidit Gujrathi who came in for P Harikrishna lost to Kirill Shevchenko.
However, the defeat of Humpy at the hands of IM Iulija Osmak in a marathon 114-move game secured a win for Ukraine.
In the first set of matches, Anand and Ivanchuck played out a draw while Harikrishna, Humpy and Vaishali also shared honours with their respective opponents. Harika and Sarin scored important wins over Natalia Buksa and Platon Galperin.
India awaits the winner of the USA-Kazakhstan quarterfinal to be played later tonight in Tuesday's semifinals.
Results: Quarterfinals: Round 1: India beat Ukraine 4-2 (Anand drew with Ivanchuk, Harikrishna drew with Shevchenko, Humpy drew Osmak, Harika beat Buksa, Sarin beat Galperin, Vaishali beat Mariia Berdnyk).
Round 2: India lost to Ukraine 2.5-3.5 (Anand drew Ivanchuk, Vidit Gujrathi lost to Shevchenko, Humpy lost to Osmak, Harika beat Natalia Zhukova, Pragganandhaa beat Galperin, Vaishali lost to Berdnyk).
Tie-break: India beat Ukraine 5-1 (Vidit Gujrathi drew Ivanchuk, B Adhiban beat Shevchenko, Humpy drew Osmak, Harika beat Buksa, Sarin beat Galperin, Vaishali beat Berdnyk).
News source: PTI
England and Denmark win to put one foot in Qatar next year but France and Italy both stutter
(Football news) After a scintillating matchweek 4, the World Cup qualifiers were in full flow, with victories for England and Denmark they maintained their perfect record in the qualifiers to put one step in Qatar next year. World Champions France and European Champions Italy are still yet to find their mojo in these ongoing qualifiers.
England won comfortably 4-0 against lower ranked opponents Andorra. Gareth Southgate completely changed his playing eleven as he handed out full international debuts to Patrick Bamford and Sam Johnstone. The star of the show was Jesse Lingard as he bagged two goals and an assist for Saka who scored his first goal for England on his birthday. Harry Kane put the finishing touches by scoring a penalty on a dominant performance for the Three Lions. With this result, England have 5 wins out of 5 matches and lead Group I with 15 points.
The World champions France drew 1-1 to Ukraine in what was their fifth consecutive draw. Dider Deschamps made changes to the starting line up by deploying out of favour Manchester United striker Anthony Martial who only scored his second goal for Les Bleus. Ukrainians under new management showed a good account of themselves as they put the French under the back foot in the first half which resulted in them scoring through Mykola Shaparenko. With this draw, France still lead Group D with 9 points from 5 matches.
European Champions Italy were held to a dull 0-0 against Switzerland, Robert Mancini’s side couldn’t break the resolute defence of the Swiss as they had majority of the possession and more shots on goals. The Italians won a penalty in the 53rd minute which was taken by Jorginho but it was brilliantly saved by Yan Sommer who was arguably the man of the match as he kept the Swiss in the game. With two draws the Italians now have 11 points from 5 matches in Group C but have played two more games then Switzerland.
Also read: Rampant Belgium and England win comfortably but European Champions held at home
Germany won 6-0 against Armenia in a resounding performance, this was Hansi Flick’s first home match and they were rampant in the first half as two goals from Serge Gnabry, Marco Reus and Timo Werner put the contest to an end in the first half itself. The story of the second half was of the debutants as goals from Jonas Hoffman and Karim Adeyemi helped put the Germans top of Group J as they have 12 points from 5 matches.
The Dutch won 4-0 against Montenegro as two goals from Depay helped them consolidate their 2nd position in a tough group G consisting of Turkey and Norway. Spain won 4-0 against Georgia as goals from Jose Gaya, Carlos Soler, Ferran Torres and Pablo Sarabia helped them reclaim top spot in Group B but have played two matches more than Sweden. Belgium continued their winning run as they won 3-0 against Czech Republic as goals from Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Saelemaekers helped the Red Devils to 13 points from 5 matches to lead Group E from the Czech’s.
The other notable results were:
Denmark 1 (Jonas Wind) - 0 Faroe Islands
Belarus 2 (Lisakovich, Sedko) - 3 Wales ( Gareth Bale x3)
Slovakia 0 - 1 Croatia (Brozovic)
Gibraltar 0 - 3 Turkey (Dervisoglu, Calhanoglu, Karaman)
Latvia 0 - 2 Norway ( Haaland, Elyounoussi)
Soman Rana misses podium finish in Shot Put at the Tokyo Paralympics, Lakra and Ekta produce season bests in Club Throw
Tokyo, Sep 3 (Paralympics news) live update: India's Soman Rana finished a creditable fourth in the men's shot put F57 event while Kashish Lakra and Ekta Bhyan ended at sixth and eighth respectively in the women's club throw F51 final in the Paralympics here on Friday.
The 38-year-old Rana produced a best throw of 13.81m in his first attempt and that was enough for a fourth place finish in a strong field. Even a personal best (14.61m) might not have been enough for him to clinch a medal.
Brazil's world record holder and reigning world champion Thiago Paulino dos Santos took the gold with a best throw of 15.10m. His world record still stands at 15.26m.
But he bettered the Paralympic record of 14.42m which was earlier in the name of Goshan Wun, the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Paralympics champion Chinese athlete, who took the silver on Friday with a best throw of 15m.
Another Brazillian Marco Aurelio Borges won the bronze with a best effort of 14.85m.
Athletes who meet one or more of the Minimum Disability Criteria (MDC) for impaired muscle power, limb deficiency, impaired passive range of movement and leg length difference, who do not fit any of the previously described profiles, compete in F57 class.
In women's club throw F51 event, Lakra and Bhyan produced their season's best efforts of 12.66m and 8.38m but were enough for sixth and eighth place finish respectively. Eighth athletes competed in the final.
Ukraine's Zoia Ovsii (25.12m), American Cassie Mitchell (24.18m) and Elena Gorlova (24.08m) of Russian Paralympic Committee won the gold, silver and bronze respectively.
In F51 classification, athletes use the slightly decreased to full muscle power at the shoulders, elbow flexors, and wrist extensors for throwing an implement.
The triceps muscles are non-functional and may be absent. Muscle power in the trunk is absent. Grip of the implements is difficult due to non-functional finger flexors. The non-throwing hand usually requires strapping to the support bar.
Also read: Harvinder Singh wins bronze in shoot-off win in archery at the Tokyo Paralympics
News source: PTI
Not satisfied, could've done better: Lekhara after becoming 1st Indian woman with 2 Paralympic medals
Tokyo, Sep 3 (Paralympics news) Not quite satisfied despite becoming the first Indian woman to win two Paralympic medals, shooter Avani Lekhara on Friday said she had it in her to perform better at the ongoing Games but was done in by the nerves.
The 19-year-old, who had won the 10m air rifle standing SH1 gold, added a 50m rifle 3 position SH1 bronze to her haul, making her the first Indian woman with two Paralympic medals and second overall from the country to claim multiple medals in the same edition of the Games.
"I was not satisfied with the gold only (laughs), when I won the gold, I wanted to fire that last shot better...so this bronze is definitely not satisfying," Lekhara said in a virtual press conference facilitated by broadcasters Eurosport and the Paralympic Committee of India.
"...that's what finals do to you, you become nervous.
"I am keeping all the celebrations aside and focusing on the next match, so that is my goal, to give my 100 per cent in the next event also," she said referring to the mixed 50m rifle prone event on Sunday.
Lekhara reiterated her admiration for Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra and that she always wanted to become like him. On Friday, she in fact went one better on him with her second medal.
"...when I read Abhinav Bindra Sir's autobiography, it really inspired me, because he gave his 100 per cent to what he did and he won India's first individual gold medal.
"I always wanted to become like him (Bindra) and always wanted to make my country proud, so that is what inspired me a lot," she said.
"I am very happy that I was able to get another medal for the country and it is just I still can't believe it.
Lekhara, competing in her debut Games, qualified second for Friday's event with a score of 1176, including 51 inner 10s.
In the fiercely contested finals, she totalled 445.9 to finish ahead of Ukraine's Iryna Shchetnik, who let slip her grip on the medal spot with a poor third shot of 9.9 in the elimination.
"...for me it was to give (my) best in standing. And I just thought everybody is feeling the same, so I just concentrated on myself, without thinking about others," she elaborated when asked about her mindset.
Athletes in SH1 Rifle have an impairment in their legs, for example amputations or paraplegia. Some athletes compete in a seated position, while others compete in a standing position.
The Jaipur-based shooter sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident in 2012 rendering her immobile.
"I had never won a medal in sitting, this is my first international (medal), so I was more nervous. But I just had my focus on my shots. So (in the) last match I was focusing on one shot at a time and it just happened," she said.
Also read: Avani Lekhara wins her second medal in Shooting at the Tokyo Paralympics
Lekhara also thanked her coaches especially former Olympian shooter Suma Shirur, for the assistance she gave.
"We have a very wonderful team, my coaches, JP Nautiyal Sir, Subhash Rana Sir, Suma (Shirur) ma'am, my support staff, all the team members and the other athletes.
"We have a very good environment, very supportive, so that helps. If I had any problem, Suma ma'am kept me motivated and she helped me a lot. It is like a team effort," she signed off.
News source: PTI
Tokyo Paralympics: Bhagat-Kohli pair enters semifinals; Suhas, Tarun, Manoj too qualify
Tokyo, Sep 3 (Paralympics news)Live updates: India's Pramod Bhagat and his partner Palak Kohli qualified for the mixed doubles semifinals, while three singles players, including Noida District Magistrate Suhas Yathiraj, also made the last-four stage to continue a rampaging run at the Paralympics badminton competition here on Friday.
Bhagat, who had qualified for the men's singles SL3 event on Thursday, and Kohli beat Thailand's Siripong teamarrom and Nipada Saensupa 21-15 21-19 in a 29-minute clash to finish second in group B.
In men's singles, Suhas, Tarun Dhillon and Manoj Sarkar also made it to the semifinals on a fruitful day for India.
In SL4 class, Suhas, a world number 3, took 19 minutes to get rid of Indonesia's Hary Susanto 21-6 21-12 in group A, while Tarun, seeded second, recovered from a mid-game slump to outwit Korea's Shin Kyung Hwan 21-18 15-21 21-17 in a group B match.
Suhas will face France's top seed Lucas Mazur, while Tarun will cross swords with Indonesia's Fredy Setiawan later in the day.
In SL classification, persons with standing/lower limb impairment/severe are allowed to compete, while SU refers to athletes with upper limb impairment.
With two wins out of three matches so far in their respective groups, both Suhas and Tarun have qualified for semifinals and might face-off in the knockout stage.
Suhas has an impairment in one of his ankles, while Tarun has restricted knee movement following a severe injury that he suffered at the age of eight.
In SL3 class, Manoj secured a 21-16 21-9 victory over Ukraine's Oleksandr Chyrkov to make it to the knockout stage after finishing at the second spot in group A behind world no.1 Bhagat.
Also read: Paralympics: World number 1 Pramod Bhagat wins and enters the semifinals, mixed day for Kohli
The 31-year-old, who had contracted polio at one, suffered a loss to Bhagat in his opening match.
Earlier, Palak, 19, and Parul Parmar, 48, suffered their second successive loss in women's doubles SL3-SU5 group A, going down 12-21 20-22 to French pair of Lenaig Morin and Faustine Noel.
While Suhas hardly broke any sweat during his contest, Tarun had to toil hard to edge out Hwan, who recovered from an opening game reversal to grab the second game.
News source: PTI
Ronaldo magic sinks Irish hearts, France held by Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Football news) With the club football on hold International World Cup qualifiers are in full flow as teams like France, Portugal, Netherlands, Denmark all played their fourth match of the group. With Portugal and Denmark winning they look in a strong position to qualify as respective group leaders.
Portugal won 2-1 against the Republic of Ireland in the most dramatic fashion as two late goals sank the Irish spirit. The match began with Portugal dominating and this dominance showed as Bruno Fernandes won a penalty in the 15 minute which was taken by Ronaldo but the unthinkable happened as he missed it. The Irish were buoyed by the penalty save from the young 19 year old keeper Gavin Bazunu which in turn inspired them to score just before the first half ended through Joe Egan’s header. The second half began in the same manner but resolute defending from Ireland kept Portugal at bay for 90 minutes, then came Ronaldo who had the last laugh by scoring the winner with the last kick of the ball. With this win Portugal sit on top of group A with 10 points from four matches.
Also read: Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the all-time record goalscorer in International football
France were held to an unexpected 1-1 draw by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Didier Deschamps fielded his strongest eleven but an unnecessary challenge from Jules Kounde resulting in a red card meant that France played most of the second half with 10 men. Bosnia took the lead through their record goal scorer Edin Dzeko in the 36th minute but France quickly responded through a fortunate goal from Antoine Griezmann. France even after this draw sit on top of group D with two wins and two draws but the fight for the second position in the group is intensifying as Bosnia, Ukraine and Finland anyone can come second.
The match between Norway and Netherlands ended in a 1-1 draw as this was Louis Van Gaal’s first match back in charge. The Norwegians took the lead courtesy Erling Haaland in the 20th minute but were pegged back by the dutch through Davy Klaassen in the 36th minute. This draw makes Group G very interesting as Turkey lead the group but only by one point as Netherlands, Norway and Montenegro are all tied on 7 points.
Denmark took one step closer to qualification as they won 2-0 against Scotland as goals in the first 15 minutes from Daniel Wass and Maehle were enough to secure victory. With this victory Denmark have won all four matches in group F and currently sit on top with 12 points.
The other notable results were:
Austria 2 (Baumgartner, Arnautovic) - 0 Moldova
Russia 0 - 0 Croatia
Turkey 2 (Cengiz Under, Yazici) - 2 Montenegro (Marusic, Radunovic)
Slovenia 1 (Stojanovic) - 1 Slovakia (Bozenik)
Fixtures to keep an eye today:
Germany vs Liechtenstein
Italy vs Bulgaria
Estonia vs Belgium
Sweden vs Spain
Hungary vs England
Paralympics: World number 1 Pramod Bhagat wins and enters the semifinals, mixed day for Kohli
Tokyo, Sep 2 (Paralympics news) World No.1 Pramod Bhagat sailed into the men's singles semifinals after beating Ukraine's Oleksandr Chyrkov in his second group A match of the Tokyo Paralympics badminton event here on Thursday as the country's shuttlers expectedly produced strong performances.
The 33-year-old, also a reigning world champion, saw off Chyrkob 21-12 21-9 in 26 minutes to top his group and enter the last four in class SL3.
"I was in the groove today and played really well. Oleksandr Chyrkov is a good player and played some good strokes in the match. I am very happy that I have reached the semi-finals," Bhagat said.
"Things are going to be tough from here as the knock out stages start. My focus is on one match at a time and also the last league game of the mixed doubles which is a do-or-die situation for us." Bhagat and Palak Kohli will play Siripong Teamarrom and Nipada Saensupa in mixed doubles class SL3-SU5 on Friday.
Other Indian shuttlers, including Suhas Yathiraj, Tarun Dhillon and Krishna Nagar also had a good day in office as they opened their men's singles campaign impressively.
While Suhas and Tarun notched up easy victories over Germany's Jan Niklas Pott and Thailand's Siripong Teamarrom in SL4 class respectively, second seed Krishna outwitted Malaysia's Taresoh Didin in SH6 class.
Young Palak also overcame Turkey's Zehra Baglar in her second women's singles match of group A.
The 38-year-old Suhas took just 19 minutes to see off Pott 21-9 21-3 in a lopsided group A clash, while Tarun, 27, too didn't break a sweat, beating Teamarrom 21-7 21-13 in a group B match that lasted 23 minutes.
Krishna then prevailed 22-20 21-10 over Didin in a 33-minute group B match.
While Suhas will face Indonesia's Hary Susanto and then France's top seed Lucas Mazur on Friday, second seeded Tarun will be up against Korea's Shin Kyung Hwan and Indonesia's Fredy Setiawan.
The 22-year-old Krishna will take on Brazil's Vitor Goncalves Tavares on Friday.
Suhas, who has an impairment in one of his ankles, has been at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 menace as the district magistrate of Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.
Tarun, on the other hand, had sustained a severe knee injury while playing football at the age of eight, which resulted in restricted knee movement. He is the current world no.2 and a former two-time world champion.
Krishna, who has a short-stature impairment, is the world no 2 in SH6. He has won bronze and silver at 2019 World Championships in singles and doubles.
In SL classification, persons with standing/lower limb impairment/severe are allowed to compete, while SU refers to athletes with upper limb impairment.
In women's singles class SU5 class, Kohli beat Zehra 21-12 21-18 in 27 minutes. She had lost her opening match to Japan's Ayako Suzuki.
Earlier in the day, the 19-year-old Kohli and her partner Parul Parmar, 48, went down 7-21 5-21 to second seeded Chinese pair of Cheng Hefang and Ma Huihui in a group B women's doubles SL3-SU5 class match.
The Indian pair will square off against the French duo of Lenaig Morin and Faustine Noel on Friday.
Parmar, who competes in SL3 class, was no match for China's Cheng Hefang, losing 8-21 2-21 in 18 minutes in a women's singles group D match at the Yoyogi national stadium here.
Also read: India’s Tarun Dhillon defeats Thailand’s Teamarrom Siripong at the Tokyo Paralympics
Parmar will meet Germany's Katrin Seibert later in the day.
Suhas, who had qualified after the game's governing body BWF granted bipartite quotas to India, said he is looking forward to his match against top seed and title favourite Mazur on Friday.
"We have gone head-to-head on the circuit running up to the Paralympics and I have lost some and won some against him. It will be a good challenge," he said.
"Because of his height, his strokes come from a certain depth which generally you are not used to, but I have trained specifically for that. I am sure he will also specifically train for me." Suhas said he has specifically trained for his match against Mazur.
"My coach used to stand on a chair. I had to be mobile. My coach first used to give the shuttle to one position, and then another. A real match is different, but you do the best that you can," he said.
Badminton is making its debut at the Paralympics this year.
News source: PTI
Shooter Rahul Jakhar ends 5th in mixed 25m pistol at Paralympics
Tokyo, Sep 2 (Paralympics news)Live Updates: Indian shooter Rahul Jakhar signed off 5th in the P3 mixed 25m pistol SH1 event of the Paralympics here on Thursday.
The 35-year-old Jakhar was eliminated at the end of the seventh series in the finals after qualifying second with a score of 576, which included 284 in precision and 292 in the rapid stage.
It is by far his best international performance.
Athletes in SH1 pistol competitions have an impairment affecting one arm and/or the legs, resulting from amputations or spinal cord injuries.
The other Indian in fray, Akash, could not qualify for the finals after ending 20th in the qualifications with a score of 551 (278 in precision and 273 in rapid).
The mixed event features both male and female shooters with the top eight qualifying for the finals.
Also read: Taekwondo player Aruna withdraws from Paralympics repechage due to suspected fracture
China's Xing Huang claimed the gold medal with a Paralympic record score of 27 in the finals. He also holds the world record score of 36 that he shot in 2018 in this event.
Poland's Szymon Sowinski claimed the silver with a 21, while Ukraine's Oleksii Denysiuk notched up the bronze after finishing at 20 in the finals.
India have so far claimed two medals in shooting.
The first was an unprecedented gold by Avani Lekhara in the women's 10m air rifle SH1 competition.
Singhraj Adana later picked up a bronze in the men's 10m air pistol SH1 event.
News source: PTI
World number 1 Pramod Bhagat beats fellow Indian shuttler Manoj Sarkar
(Badminton news) Tokyo Paralympics 2021 Live Update: World no 1 in the SL3 category in badminton Pramod Bhagat beat fellow Indian Manoj Sarkar in a very intense match which went on for an hour. The final score was 21-10, 21-23, 21-9 in favour of Pramod Bhagat in the group A match. Both the Indians will now take on Chyrkov of Ukraine in their second match of the group.
Also read: Palak Kohli loses her opening badminton match to Ayako Suzuki at the Tokyo Paralympics
Pramod Bhagat also plays his mixed doubles match tomorrow with Palak Kohli in bid to keep their campaign alive. Pramod is hoping that he becomes the first Paralympian from India to win a badminton medal.
Indian women's football team hoping to make most of national camp ahead of AFC Asian Cup
New Delhi, Aug 22 (Football news) Grateful to the Jharkhand government for allowing them to camp in Jamshedpur amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian women's football team players are hoping to make the most of it ahead of the AFC Asian Cup.
The team gathered in Jamshedpur for the preparatory camp leading to the continental event, which is to be hosted in India next January.
At a time when the pandemic has affected normal life, the players are elated at being back at the national camp.
Captain Ashalata Devi said: "Keeping in mind the current pandemic situation in the world it's not easy to set up such camps for any sporting events. We are extremely thankful that the Jharkhand government and AIFF have come together to arrange this camp for the team.
"We only hope to move forward together in our preparation for the Asian Cup," she mentioned.
The Indian women had earlier travelled twice on international exposure tours in Turkey and Uzbekistan where they played the likes of Uzbekistan, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia earlier this year.
Also read: Chennaiyin FC sign Polish striker Lukasz Gikiewicz
The team's new head coach Thomas Dennerby has an experience of over 30 years in guiding several national squads with much success.
The UEFA Pro diploma holder had guided Sweden's women's national team to a 3rd-place finish in the FIFA World Cup in 2011, and a quarter-final spot in the 2012 London Olympics.
He also served as the head coach of the Nigerian women's national team and guided the Super Falcons to the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. He also helped the Nigerian women to win the AWCON Award 2018, and was awarded the 2018 Coach of the Year in Nigeria.
"Being back in the camp feels absolutely great. Personally, I am even more elated as I am back after a long injury. But we are all aware of the massive task ahead of us, to get ready for the Asian Cup," winger Sanju Yadav said.
"Everyone is motivated, and our new coach Thomas Dennerby has also been very helpful on and off the pitch. He has experience of coaching at the highest level, and we're all looking forward to learning as much as we can from him." Midfielder Sangita Basfore feels the Indian's women's team is "one big family." "We are like one big family. We can now shift focus to preparing for the Asian Cup, and I can guarantee that everyone is highly motivated. We are all very thankful to the Jharkhand Government for hosting us in Jamshedpur," said Sangita.
News source: PTI
Long jumper Shaili Singh misses gold by 1cm, wins silver at the U20 World Athletics Championships
Nairobi, Aug 22 (Sports news) Highly talented long jumper Shaili Singh on Sunday missed out on scripting history by a mere 1cm as she settled for a silver in the U-20 World Athletics Championships here.
The 17-year-old Indian's personal best effort of 6.59m was not enough for a gold as she was pipped to the post by Sweden's reigning European junior champion Maja Askag, who managed 6.60m for the top spot on the final day of the championships.
A protege of legendary long jumper Anju Bobby George, Shaili was leading at the end of the third round but the 18-year-old Swede overtook her in the fourth round by a mere 1cm which proved to be decisive in the end.
Mariia Horielova of Ukraine took the bronze with a best jump of 6.50m.
India ended their campaign with a best ever medal haul of 2 silver and 1 bronze, though the country had won one gold each in the earlier two editions -- by Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra (2016) and quartermiler Hima Das (2018).
Also read: Three Indians assured of medals at ASBC Asian Youth & Junior Boxing Championships
The mixed 4x400m relay quartet and 10,000m race walker Amit Khatri had earlier won a bronze and a silver respectively in this championships.
Shaili began brightly with a 6.34m and repeated the same distance next before her best effort in the third round. Her next two attempts were fouls and she could not get past the 6.60m in her final jump and the youngster seemed to be distraught at missing a gold and chance to create history. Shaili, considered one of the brightest upcoming stars in Indian athletics, had topped the qualification round on Friday with a best jump of 6.40m.
The Jhansi-born athlete, who was raised by a single mother who worked as a tailor, currently trains at the academy of Anju Bobby George in Bengaluru. She is coached by Anju's husband Bobby George.
She had won the women's long jump event at the National (Senior) Inter-State Championships in June with an effort of 6.48m, her previous personal best. She is the current U-18 world No. 2 and U-20 national record holder.
News source: PTI
Anju's protege Shaili Singh tops qualification, makes long jump final in U-20 World C'ships
Nairobi, Aug 20 (Sports news): Up and coming long jumper Shaili Singh lived up to the expectations as she made it to the finals after topping the qualification round with an effort of 6.40m in the U-20 World Athletics Championships here on Friday.
The 17-year-old Shaili, considered one of the brightest upcoming stars in Indian athletics, achieved her best of the day in her third and final jump after starting off with a 6.34m in Group B. Her second jump recorded 5.98m.
Shaili is considered a medal prospect but the final, which will be held on Sunday, is expected to be a tough affair with some of the world's best having made the cut.
Also read: Developing a conditioning program for peak athletic performance (Part 2)
Sweden's 18-year-old Maja Askag, who had won the European U-20 title last month, qualified as second best overall after winning Group A with a best jump of 6.39m. Lissandra Maysa Campos (6.36m) of Brazil, Shantae Foreman (6.27m) of Jamaica and Mariia Horielova (6.24m) of Ukraine, who qualified as third, fourth and fifth respectively, have jumped beyond 6.40m this season. Shaili, who had won the long jump event at the National (Senior) Inter-State Championships in June with an effort of 6.48m, is the current U-18 world No. 2 and U-20 national record holder.
The Jhansi-born athlete was raised by a single mother who worked as a tailor. She currently trains at the academy of celebrated long jumper Anju Bobby George in Bengaluru. She is coached by Anju's husband Bobby George.
In other events, Nandini Agasara qualified for women's 100m hurdles semifinals after finishing fourth in heat 4 and 21st overall.
But Tejas Shirse (men's 110m hurdles; 5th in heat 3), Pooja (women's 1500m; 11th in heat 1) and Shanmuga Srinivas (men's 200m; 5th in heat 2) failed to advance to the semifinals.
News source: PTI
Indian Grandmaster S L Narayanan finishes second in Riga Open chess tourney
Riga (Latvia), Aug 15 (Sports news) Indian Grandmaster S L Narayanan logged seven points from nine rounds to finish second in the tournament 'A' of the 10th Riga Technical University Open here on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Narayanan was in joint lead with Serbia's Luka Budisavljevic after seven rounds, but draws in the eighth and ninth rounds meant he finished half a point behind the champion, Alexander Donchenko of Germany.
Donchenko notched up 7.5 points from nine rounds and sealed the title with a win over Igor Kovalenko of Latvia in the final round.
Narayanan remained unbeaten through the tournament and registered five wins and settled for four draws.
Three others including Karthikeyan Murali finished on seven points but Narayanan took the second place on the basis of a better tie-break score.
He beat Paulius Juknis of Lithuania), Thomas Dionisi of France, Yevgeny Roshka of Ukraine, Kaido Kulaots of Estonia and Budisavljevic.
Also read: Indian Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi qualifies for FIDE Grand Swiss League
Narayanan's compatriot Karthikeyan Murali was the next best Indian, finishing fifth.
India's International Master Arjun Kalyan took the eighth spot with 6.5 points. IM Pranav Anand and teen prodigy R Praggnanandhaa logged 6.5 points and finished 11th and 13th respectively.
Three other Indians -- S P Sethuraman, Arjun Erigaisi and Nihal Sarin -- ended 16th, 17th and 18th, respectively, in the 150-player tournament.
Young Chennai-based GM D Gukesh secured the 26th spot after ending with six points. News source: PTI
Komalika Bari emulates Deepika Kumari to win successive Archery world titles, record haul for India
Wroclaw, Aug 15 (Sports news) Reigning under-18 world champion Komalika Bari made a perfect transition to the under-21 age group, winning the junior title in the Archery Youth World Championships here on Sunday to become the second Indian after Deepika Kumari to achieve the feat.
Komalika ended with two gold medals including one with Parth Salunkhe in junior mixed team as India returned with a record haul of eight gold, two silver and five bronze from the tournament.
Overall, the recurve archers on Sunday won three gold in the junior (under-21) and two in the cadet (under-18) section, where Bishal Changmai also bagged two gold medals.
India also bagged three bronze medals in the women's team, individual and men's individual events for a perfect show in the cadet section.
The compound archers concluded their campaign on Saturday with three gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
Their gargantuan medal haul, however, came in absence of the Asian heavyweights Korea and China who have skipped the meet.
India's previous best show in the tournament was in the last edition at Madrid 2019 where they bagged two gold and one bronze medal.
Exactly 10 years after Deepika completed the only other Indian double in Legnica, which is just one hour away from this venue in Poland, the Jamshedpur-born Tata Archery Academy archer emulated the feat of her senior teammate.
Also read: High time that I stop feeling pressure and see my game from a different perspective: Archer Deepika Kumari after early Olympic exit
The 19-year-old Komalika, whose breakout performance came when she won her first individual title at the Youth Worlds in Madrid two years ago, held her nerve to overcome a 1-3 deficit to down Spain's Elia Canales 7-3 (26-27, 27-27, 29-27, 29-27, 29-28).
World number one Deepika is the only other Indian to win successive cadet and junior titles (Ogden 2009 and Legnica 2011).
"We are on the right track for Paris Olympics. It was a fitting tribute to the nation on the 75th Independence day," Dronacharaya Awardee team coach Sanjeeva Singh told PTI.
In the mixed pair final, the duo of Komalika and Parth defeated Spain 5-3 (35-36, 37-37, 38-35, 39-34).
Komalika missed out on a third medal as the women's team lost to Ukraine 5-1 in the bronze playoff.
India bagged their third gold in the recurve junior section when the trio of Salunkhe, Aditya Choudhary and Dhiraj Bommadevara defeated their Spanish rivals 5-3 (47-49, 58-52, 54-54, 56-52).
Earlier, the men's team defeated their French rivals 5-3, while the mixed pair followed suit with a 6-2 win over Japan to continue their winning run.
The top-seeded cadet men's team of Bishal Changmai, Amit Kumar and Vickey Ruhal had it easy against the French trio as they dropped just one set en route to clinching the gold 5-3 (53-50, 56-54, 55-57, 54-54).
Changmai, who stood third in the qualification round, later returned to bag his second gold when he paired up with Tamnna to win the mixed event 6-2 (36-33, 32-34, 35-31, 35-34).
Changmai ended up annexing a third medal when he overcame Zhangbyrbay Dauletkeldi of Kazakstan 6-4 (29-28, 27-29, 29-26, 27-27, 27-27) in an intense five-setter for the individual bronze.
For Tamnna, the mixed pair gold was her second medal as she had in the morning won a bronze in the team event.
Tamnna, Avani and Manjiri got the better of their German opponents 5-3 (53-50, 49-51, 52-52, 54-51) in a tight third-place match.
Manjiri went on to clinch her second bronze when she defeated Quinty Roeffen of the Netherlands 6-4 (27-23, 26-27, 25-24, 22-28, 25-22).
Prior to Wroclaw, Indian archers have won a total of 26 medals (6 gold, 9 silver and 11 bronze) at the Youth World Archery Championships/Junior World (old name), while 15 only came from this meet.
News source: PTI
Biel Chess festival: India's Karthikeyan Murali stays in front
Biel (Switzerland), Aug 1 (Chess news) Indian Grandmaster Karthikeyan Murali defeated higher-rated compatriot S P Sethuraman in the sixth round here on Sunday to grab the lead in the Master Tournament being held as part of the Biel Chess Festival here.
The 37-move win for Karthikeyan (Elo 2606 as against his opponent's 2644) took him to 5.5 points from six rounds and gave him a clear lead in the 73-player field.
He has won four straight games, including one against top-seed Saleh Salem AR of the UAE in the fifth round.
India's teenaged Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa, who was in joint second place after five rounds, was beaten by Ukraine's Pavel Eljanov in 57 moves.
While Eljanov is on five points, Praggnanandhaa has four points after six rounds.
Indian GM Arjun Erigaisi (4.5 points), who started the tournament with four wins and a draw in his first five rounds, lost to Viktor Erdos in the sixth round.
In other results of the day, Raja Harshit, an International Master, pulled off an upset win over GM Abhimanyu Puranik to move to four points.
Also read: Anand to lead strong Indian team in online Chess Olympiad
Matches in the Grandmaster Triathlon featuring Indian GM Nihal Sarin will resume with the fifth round of the Classical event on Monday after a day's rest on Sunday.
The 17-year-old Sarin notched up eight wins to go with three draws and as many defeats to be placed joint second with 24 points behind American Gata Kamsky (25.5 points).
Eight players are taking part in the Biel Grandmaster Triathlon which features Classical, Rapid and Blitz events and is part of the Biel Chess Festival.
News source: PTI
Easy-going Assam goes on overdrive after Lovlina's exploits
Guwahati, Jul 30 (Sports news) Basking in their "daughter's" glory, the normally easy-going people of multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic Assam, in their quaint towns and villages, went into overdrive on Friday after boxer Lovlina Borgohain's Olympic medal-clinching exploits at the Tokyo Olympics.
Lakhya Konwar, general secretary of the Assam Olympic Committee, called it one of the greatest sporting moments for the state.
It came as no surprise when people broke into impromptu celebrations. After all, they witnessed something that had never been experienced before -- seeing one their own assured of a medal at the Olympics.
The media personnel, with their OB vans made their way into the Borgohain house in Golaghat district's Bara Mukhiya village, barely few hours after the 23-year-old welterweight (69kg) boxer put the hamlet on the Olympic map with her entry into the semifinals in Tokyo.
As the others around his house basked in her daughter's glory, Lovlina's father, Tiken Borgohain, expressed confidence that she will definitely translate the bronze medal into gold with two more victories.
"Her dream is finally realised," Borgahian said of his daughter.
"She started in 2012, and since then, has been working tirelessly to fulfil this goal of reaching the Olympics and winning a medal there," he added.
If Friday's display, highlight of which was her calculative approach, is any indication then a silver or even a gold cannot be ruled out even though a reigning world champion awaits the Indian in the semifinals.
The 23-year-old Assam boxer won 4-1 to make the last-four where she will square off against Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey, who hammered Ukraine's Anna Lysenko in her quarterfinal bout.
Borgohain senior has faith in his daughter's ability to go all the way and not stop at the bronze.
"She will reach the final I am very sure about that, after winning the semifinal. We spoke to her in the morning and blessed her before the bout," he said.
Borgohain, a two-time world championship bronze-medallist and the first female boxer from Assam to qualify for the Games, displayed tremendous calm in the face of a plucky opponent, who had beaten her four times in the past.
As the news trickled in about her success in Tokyo, locals started flocking to her house and danced on the road, even as microphone-totting reporters and cameramen tried to get their reactions.
Konwar missed the bout as he came back from Tokyo on Thursday night but the official, nevertheless, was delighted that they could play a role in her development.
"It's a really proud moment for not just Assam but the country also. Last four-five years she has been working hard and the Boxing Federation of India and the Assam boxing association has also supported the boxers.
Also read: Didn't have any strategy, just wanted to fight fearlessly: Lovlina on historic Olympic win
"The BFI has given ample opportunities to the boxers. Since she qualified for the Olympics we knew that she would finish on the podium.
"She was dominating the world number two, and I can tell you that she will easily beat the world number six in the semifinals. We have given her Rs 25 lakh during the lockdown last year." In support of the boxer just before the Games, Assam Chef Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had flagged off a bicycle rally, calling her the state's "daughter".
Lovlina is the second boxer in the Olympics, after Shiva Thapa, to hail from Assam.
News source: PTI
Israel’s Shanny Itay defeats India’s Tarundeep Rai 6-5 at archery men’s elimination
(Archery news) Olympic 2021 Live Update: In a close and hard fought battle, Israel’s Shanny Itay emerged winner with a score of 6-5 after five sets. In the 1/32 elimination round earlier today, Rai defeated Ukraine’s Hunbin 6-4 and held his nerves in the tie-breaker to get perfect 10s. However, he fell short in the second round and missed out by a single point in the shootout against Shanny Itay.
Set Scores: 24, 27, 27, 28, 27
Set Scores: 28, 26, 27, 27, 28
Later in the day, India’s medal prospect Deepika Kumari will face off against Karma of Bhutan in the women’s individual 1/32 elimination with the hope of progressing to the next round.
Also read: Indian men’s archery team outclassed by South Korea in the quarter-finals
India’s Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary fail to qualify for medal round in 10m Pistol Mixed Event
(Shooting news) Olympic 2021 Live Update: After a disappointing Day 4 at the Tokyo Olympics, things didn’t start too well for Indian Olympic contingent as shooters Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary failed to qualify for the medal round in the 10m Pistol Mixed Event. The pair finished qualification in the 7th position with a total of 380 points as Manu Bhaker was particularly disappointing, dropping 14 points in two series.
The day’s events started with Qualification 1 of the 10m Pistol Mixed Event and both Bhaker and Chaudhary qualified strongly while Yashaswini Singh Deswal and Abhishek Verma failed to progress. India’s only shooting hope rests with the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Event where Elavenil Valarivan and Divyansh Singh Panwar are all set to be the first team while Anjum Moudgil will team up with Deepak Kumar.
China’s R. Jiang and W. Pang qualified for the 10m Pistol Mixed Event in first place with 387 points followed by Russian Olympic Committee’s V. Batsarashkina and A. Chernousov with 386 points. Third place went to Ukraine’s O. Omelchuk and O. Kostevych with 386 points followed by Serbia’s D. Mikec and Z. Arunovic with 384 points.
Also read: India out of men’s skeet shooting; Angad Bajwa places 18th in qualification
Day 3: Mary Kom,PV Sindhu and Manika Batra keeping up India’s medal hopes
1) PV Sindhu cruises through her first match:-
PV Sindhu, a medal contender for India and a silver medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, won her first round match against Israel's Ksenia Polikarpova 21-7 21-10. Sindhu swept to the following round with a win in straight games, completing her victory with ease.
PV Sindhu will face Cheung Ngan of Hong Kong on 28th July and will be looking to comfortably go through.
2) Indian rowers excel:-
In Lightweight Men's Double Sculls the repechages were held today and Team India consisting of Arvind Singh and Arjun Lal Jat have qualified for Semifinals A/B at the Tokyo Olympics.With a timing of 6:51.36 they finished ahead of Uzbekistan.They have qualified along with Poland and Spain who came first and second respectively.
The Semifinal A/B will be held on 27th morning at 11:28. They will hope to qualify for Finals A as Spain and Belgium will look to come on top. India has only one team in rowing and both will look to capitalise on the opportunity.
3) Manika continues her march forward:-
In Table Tennis Women’s Singles Manika Batra overcame Margaryta Pesotska from Ukraine in 7 games that lasted for almost an hour. The Ukranian took the first two games for a lead but couldn't hold the momentum as the Indian clinched the next two. The fifth game was won by Margaryta and was one game away from victory but Manika comprehensively won the last two games to emerge victorious. She even won 9 consecutive points in the crucial game 6 as it was a must win game for her.
Manika will be hoping to replicate her commonwealth games performance in this years Olympics and win India its first table tennis medal
4) Mary Kom starts her campaign with a win in Tokyo:-
In Boxing Women’s fly 48-51kg six time World Champion and Olympic Medalist MC Mary Kom defeated Miguelina Hernandez from Dominican Republic 4:1 in the round of 32. The 38 year old has a 15 year difference with her opponent but showed no signs of aging or weakness.
This is her second and possibly her last Olympics but by looking at her form even that looks doubtful. In a sport where you have to be extremely tough and rough, she is still after all these years a favourite wherever she competes.
Also read:Day 2: India’s highs and lows at Tokyo Olympics
1) Indian women fail to qualify for the 10m air pistol final:-
Disappointment continues for the Indian shooting team, as Manu finished 12th in the 53-woman field after the electronic trigger on her pistol failed in the middle of the second session of qualification. Manu placed 12th overall in the 53-woman field with 575 points.
Meanwhile, it has mostly been an up and down outing for world number one Yashaswini, who shot her way back into contention with a 98 in the second series, including scoring five 10s in the second part, after a subdued start. But she was not consistent enough to challenge the top guns, bowing out in 13th place with scores of 94, 98, 94, 97, 96 and 95 for an aggregate of 574.
2) Pranati Nayak fails to qualify for the final:-
India’s run in the Artistic Gymnastics has come to an end as the lone competitor did not qualify for the finals in the Tokyo Olympics . Pranati Nayak was competing in the all around event and attempted all bars, beams, floor exercise and the vault. She scored 10.633 in the floor exercise, in the vault she scored an impressive 13.466,in uneven bars she scored 9.0333 and in the balance beam scored 9.433.
3) Sania Mirza and Ankita bow out in the first round:-
Team India in the Women’s doubles lost to the Ukraninan team of Nadiia Kichenok and Lyudmyla Kichenok in the First Round at the Tokyo Olympics. Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina got off to a flying start as they bageled their opponents in 21 mins in the first set, in the second set they had the lead 5-2 and were ready to close the match. The twins fought back, making it to the tiebreak and winning it in almost an hour.In the final set they continued their fightback by winning 8 points on the trot and looked for a comfortable victory. Indians fought valiantly and made it 8-8 but couldn’t hold off the last two points as they lost the match in 1 and half hours.
4) Indian shooters miss the target again in the 10m air rifle:-
In 10m Air Rifle Men’s Deepak Kumar and Divyansh Singh Panwar could not qualify for the finals. Deepak Kumar finished 26th with a score of 624.7 and Divyansh Singh Panwar 32nd with a score of 622.8 over a total of 6 series. India was expecting a podium finish in the event but couldn't do it this time, the shooting contingent were expected to get the majority of the medals but till now haven’t delivered. There are still medal probabilities in the remaining events in the coming days, especially the mixed team events considering the World Cup trophies the shooters have won.
5) Indian mens boxing looking for 1st victory:-
In Men’s Boxing Manish Kaushik has lost to Luke McCormack of Britain 4-1 in the round of 32 in Men’s light (57-63kg) in Tokyo Olympics .This is his debut at the Olympics and he did come close in the three rounds. He will be looking forward to competing next time and do better than this year.
6) Australia overwhelm India in hockey:-
The Kookaburras gained a huge victory over the Indian men’s team in the Pool A match at the Hockey Stadium North Pitch in Tokyo Olympics. In the first quarter saw the Australian side take the lead in the 10th minute when Daniel Beale netted the first goal from a penalty corner shot,in the second quarter saw the Australians scoring three goals. The first one as Jeremy Hayward scored from a penalty corner in the 21st minute,the second goal came in the 23rd minute by Flynn Ogilvie and the third goal of the quarter by Joshua Beltz in the 26th minute.
In the third quarter, Dilpreet Singh struck a goal in the 34th minute giving a slim hope but that was soon crushed as Govers Blake struck two penalty corner goals in the 40th and 42nd minute making the overall score 6-1. In the final quarter Brand Tim struck the 7th goal for his team and the 8th of the match in the 51st minute. India will face Spain in their third pool match on 27th.
7) Maana and Nataraj come up short in heats:-
Both of them made their debut here, Maana Patel came second in the Women's 100m backstroke Heat 1 with a timing of 1:05.20 but wasn't good enough to finish in the top 16 timings to clinch a spot in the semifinals. She finished 39th overall.
Srihari Nataraj finished 5th in Men's 100m backstroke Heat 3 with a timing of 54.31s which wasn't enough to find a spot in the top 16 and finished 27th overall. He qualified through “A” standards to get into Tokyo, both of them are in their early twenties and have plenty of time to prepare to get on top of the podium.
Manika rallies against Margaryta to secure win in round 2 at Tokyo
Table Tennis news) Olympic 2021 Live Update: In Table Tennis Women’s Singles Manika Batra overcame Margaryta Pesotska from Ukraine in 7 games that lasted for almost an hour. The Ukranian took the first two games for a lead but couldn't hold the momentum as the Indian clinched the next two. The fifth game was won by Margaryta and was one game away from victory but Manika comprehensively won the last two games to emerge victorious. She even won 9 consecutive points in the crucial game 6 as it was a must win game for her.
Also read: Indian men fail to find the target in 10m Air Rifle at Tokyo
Manika is expected to finish high in this year’s Tokyo Olympics and she has been in great form in the first two matches. Let's hope she goes all the way to the podium. She is inching closer in securing a medal for India.
Indian rowers move to repechage round in men's lightweight double sculls, finish 5th in heats
Tokyo, Jul 24 (Rowing) Olympic 2021 Live Update: The Indian rowing duo of Arvind Singh and Arjun Lal Jat qualified for the repechage round after finishing fifth in the men's lightweight double sculls heat here on Saturday.
Competing in heat 2, the Indian pair finished with a timing of 6:40.33 in the six-team field, failing to qualify for the semifinals.
The top two teams -- Ireland (6:23.74) and Czech Republic (6:28.10) -- advanced to the semifinals while Poland (6:31.85), Ukraine (6:36.05) and Uruguay (6:42.85) moved to the repechage round alongside India.
The repechage round allows boats a second chance to qualify for the quarter-finals, semi-finals or finals.
While Arjun assumed the role of the bower, Arvind was the stroker. Trailing till the 1500m mark, the duo sped up in the 500m to secure the fifth position.
The event includes two rowers in a scull boat using two oars each. The long, narrow and broadly semi-circular in cross-section boats helps to reduce the drag.
Also read: Olympic records floating away as Netherland looking to finish on top in Tokyo
The maximum weight set for each male competitor is 72.5kg (159.8lbs) and the average weight cannot exceed 70 kg (154.3lbs) while for the female rowers, the maximum individual weight is 59 kg (130.0 lbs) and the average weight cannot be more than 57kg (125.6 lbs).
News source: PTI
Olympic records floating away as Netherland looking to finish on top in Tokyo
The Tokyo Olympics 2021 from day one is looking at records tumble as the water events splashed on the previous best timings at the Olympics. Rowing has been a part of the Olympics since 1900 and Women’s rowing was added in 1976. The Sea Forest Waterway where all the rowing action is taking place saw Olympic best times being beaten twice in just a gap of 20 minutes in Men’s Double Sculls. In Men’s Double Sculls heat 1 Boucheron Hugo and Androdias Matthieu from France bettered the Olympic Best by recording a time of 6:10:45, little less than 20 mins later in heat 3 Twellaar Melvin and Stef Broenink from the Netherlands team beat the timing by recording 6:08:38.
In Men’s Single Sculls 18 competitors qualified for the Quarterfinals in 6 heats and the remaining 18 have qualified for a second chance when they race in the three repechages which will be held tomorrow. In the Women’s Single Sculls 18 competitors have qualified for the quarterfinals in 6 heats and the remaining 14 have qualified in the three repechages which will be held tomorrow.
In Men’s Double Sculls the Olympic was bettered twice in a matter of minutes. In three heats 9 countries qualified for the semifinals and the rest 4 have qualified for the repechage which will take place tomorrow. In the Women’s Double Sculls 9 countries have qualified for the semifinals in 3 heats and 4 have qualified for repechages taking place tomorrow.
Also read: Indian archers brace up for Korean challenge after mixed ranking round performance
In Men’s Quadruple Sculls Four countries have qualified for the Finals and the rest 6 have qualified for the repechage which will take place on the 25th of July. In the Women's Quadruple Sculls Four countries have qualified for the Finals and the other 6 will compete in the repechage which will be held on 25th July.
India’s Lightweight Men's Double Sculls team of Arvind Singh and Arjun Lal Jat will compete on 24th July in heats 2 against Uruguay, Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Ireland. Their timing has been changed from 8 am to 11 am.
In the Olympic 2021 Live update there has been a change in certain races that were scheduled on Saturday, 24 July, Sunday, 25 July and Monday, 26 July due to expected adverse weather conditions on Monday, 26 July.
Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav and Tarundeep Rai fail to find their rhythm at the Men’s Individual Ranking Round
(Archery news) Olympics 2021 Live Updates: With the conclusion of all 72 arrows at the Men’s Individual Ranking Round, Pravin Jadhav finished 31st ahead of Atanu Das (35) and Tarundeep Rai (37) on the opening day of the Tokyo Olympics. It was an inconsistent performance by the Indian trio at Yumenoshima Park with the Indian archery contingent finishing ninth across Mixed teams with 1319 points and Men’s teams with 1961 points.
Pravin Jadhav, who is making his Olympics debut is likely to team up with World number 1 Deepika Kumari in the Mixed Event in Tokyo. 17 year old Korean prodigy Kim Je Deok reached an incredible 688 individual total out of a possible 720. The results for India mean that they could face tournament favourites South Korea in all three events in the quarter-finals.
At the end of the men’s team event, Republic of Korea finished 1st, Netherlands 2nd and China 3rd while India languished in the 9th position and faces an uphill task to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Pravin Jadhav is set to face Galsan Bazarzhapov of Russia, Atanu Das to meet Chinese Taipei’s Yu-Cheng Deng and Tarundeep Rai to clash against Oleksii Hunbin of Ukraine in the next round.
Also read: South Korea dominates as Deepika Kumari finishes 9th in Women’s Individual Ranking Round
Indian tennis players need miracle to go deep in draws
Tokyo, Jul 23 (Tennis news) Indian tennis players need no less than a miraculous performance to get close to the medal rounds as an under-prepared team of Sania Mirza and debutant Ankita Raina faces a tough Ukrainian challenge in the opener while Sumit Nagal has got a tough draw in the singles competition starting Saturday. Mirza, who is making a record fourth Olympic appearance, and debutant Raina are going into the Olympics without playing a single competitive match together this year, which is far from ideal preparation for the biggest sporting event on earth.
The last time Mirza and Raina shared the court was in March 2020 during the Billie Jean King Cup.
They will open their campaign against Ukraine's twin sisters Nadiia and Lyudmyla Kichenok.
"Every match is going to be a challenge and we will take one match at a time. Because Of pandemic and quarantine rules we were playing different tournaments. So after Fed Cup we didn’t get a chance to play together," Raina told PTI.
However, Mirza has tons of experience and she is playing with a player who is known to punch above her weight while representing the nation.
Raina has a big heart for fight but it will all depend on the performance of Mirza, who has not been in the best of form with her serve being an issue.
During the recent Wimbledon championships, Mirza gradually upped her game from the baseline but her feeble serve was easily tackled by the rivals.
Interestingly, when Mirza returned to competitive tennis after the COVID-19 induced break in March this year, she and her Sloveinan partner Andreja Klepac had faced the same Ukrainian sister pair and had prevailed. Ranked as low as 137 post maternity break, 34-year-old Mirza has played only eight matches this season with a 4-4 win-loss record.
Also read: Deemed 'extreme risk' nation, India denied entry into ITF World Junior Finals
The 28-year-old Raina, ranked 100, has just one singles main draw victory to show since the beginning of the 2021 season.
In the doubles, she grabbed her first ever WTA title with partner Kamila Rakhimova at the Phillip Island Trophy in Melbourne in February and broke into doubles top-100 but suffered five straight first round defeats after that.
Had it not been for Mirza's Protected Ranking of nine, India would not have a women's doubles team at the Games.
In complete contrast, Nadiia, ranked 44, had played eight WTA Tour events with her sister Lyudmyla Kichenok, ranked 48, in 2020 and one this year.
Together they did not enjoy much success but Nadiia otherwise had decent results with Romania's Raluca Olaru in 2021.
They won the won St Petersburg (WTA 500) in March and reached the semifinals in Stuttgart (WTA 500) in April and ended runners-up in Bad Homburg last month.
If Mirza and Raina win their opener, they could face American eighth seeds Nicole Melichar (doubles world number 9) and Alison Riske (singles world number 36) in the next round.
In the men's singles, Nagal is extremely lucky to get an entry into the Olympics as with a rank of 144 on the cut-off date of June 14, he was far away from making the cut.
However, a spate of withdrawals pushed him inside.
Nagal's recent performances do not inspire confidence though at the start of the season he had pulled off the biggest victory of his career when he beat then world number 22 Cristian Garin.
However, after that he has managed only two quarterfinal appearances at the Challenger level, struggling badly on the Tour.
Nagal had hinted that he was struggling with some health issues and that was the reason for him not getting the desired results.
He faces Asian Games champion Denis Istomin in his first round. The Uzbekistan veteran had won the quota from the 2018 Jakarta Games by taking the men's singles title.
The grinder that Nagal is, there is a possibility of him getting past the 34-year-old Uzbek but the Indian may next face world number two and Australian Open runner-up Danill Medvedev from Russia and that could be end of the road for him.
News source: PTI
South Korea dominates as Deepika Kumari finishes 9th in Women’s Individual Ranking Round
(Archery news) Olympics 2021 Live Update; World number 1 Deepika Kumari started India’s Olympic campaign with 12 intense sets and a score of 663 in the Women’s Individual Ranking Round at Yumenoshima Park. Despite starting well and finishing fourth at the end of the fourth round, Deepika failed to maintain momentum in the second half which was dominated by the South Korean trio of An San - 680, Jang Minhee - 677, Chaeyoung Kang- 675 who occupy the first three spots.
The Olympics was always going to be a level above any other sporting competition and An San of South Korea broke the Olympic record previously held by Ukraine’s Lina Herasymenko tally of 673 points in 1996 with an impressive score of 680.
Deepika Kumari’s points total at the Women’s Individual Ranking Round means that the Indian archer will avoid the South Koreans in the Round of 64 but will face Bhutan's Karma who finished with an overall points total of 616. However, the Indian archer faces the possibility of clashing against top seed An San of South Korea in Round 3 in the quarterfinals.
The Men’s Individual Ranking Round is set to begin at 9:30 am on Friday, 23rd July, 2021.
Also read: Indian archers hope to make a mark at the Tokyo Olympics
Tennis player Sumit Nagal to face Denis Istomin in opening round at Tokyo Olympics
Tokyo, Jul 22 (Tennis news) Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal will face Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in the opening round of the men's singles event at the Tokyo Olympics, starting here on Friday.
Nagal, who qualified for the Games last week after large-scale withdrawals, was pitted against the lower-ranked Uzbek in the draw on Thursday.
A first-round win for the 23-year-old Indian, ranked 160, could see him face second-seeded Russia's Daniil Medvedev, who takes on Alexander Bublik in his opening round match.
In women's doubles, six-time Grand Slam champion Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina will lock horns with the Kichenok twins -- Nadiia and Lyudmyla -- of Ukraine in the opening round.
Interestingly, Mirza had paired up with Nadiia after returning from her maternity leave to win the Hobart Open last year.
Also read: AITA Secretary General Anil Dhupar rues Bopanna and Mirza comments on social media, calls it inappropriate and misleading
News source: PTI
Indian paddlers handed tough draws, Sharath-Manika pair to face third seed in opener
Tokyo, Jul 21 (Olympics news) India paddlers were on Wednesday handed tough draws at the Tokyo Olympics with the mixed doubles pairing of Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra pitted against third seeds Lin Yun-ju and Cheng I-Ching of Chinese Taipei on Saturday.
Batra, ranked 62, though got an easy women's singles first round where she will face Great Britain's Ho Tin-Tin, ranked 32 places below the Indian.
Should she win the opening round, Batra will lock horns with Ukraine's Margaryta Pesotska, world no 36, in the next round followed by Sofia Polcanova of Austria, who is ranked 17, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
Sharath and Manika had sealed the Olympics berth in mixed doubles after beating world number eight Korean Sang-Su Lee and Jihee Jneon in the final of Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament in March.
Also read: Table tennis player Sathiyan feeding off historic Asian Games performance against Japan for success in maiden Olympics
Before leaving for Tokyo, the duo could practice only for three days in the national camp before Batra returned to her training base in Pune.
The duo that won a bronze in 2018 Asian Games will not have it easy against the Taipei pair, a left-right combination. The left-handed Lin, ranked No. 6 in the world, has speed and potent forehand while Cheng, ranked No. 8, brings in a lot of experience and variety.
The Indian pair needs to win three matches to be in medal contention.
In the men's draw, Sharath and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran seeded 20th and 26th respectively, received first round byes. Their opponents for the second round will depend on the winners from first round matches.
However, the going will not be easy for the duo as Sharath is slated to meet Rio Olympics champion China's Ma Long, seeded second, in the third round should the Indian win his second round match.
Sharath has never won against the Chinese whom he has met twice in 2011 and 2012.
The veteran paddler is scheduled to take on either Portugal's Tiago Apolonia or Nigeria's Olajide Omotayo in the second round on Monday.
Sathiyan, on the other hand, will meet either Puerto Rico's Brian Afanador or Hong Kong's Lam Siu Hang in his second round match on Sunday.
The 28-year-old will run into Japanese teen-sensation Tomokazu Harimoto, seeded third, in the third round if he wins his second round match.
But the Indian will head to the fixture full of confidence having beaten Tomokazu in the Asian Championships though the team lost the rubber in 2019.
The other female singles paddler in the fray, Sutirtha Mukherjee will take on Linda Bergstrom of Sweden in the first round.
If Suthirtha wins her opening match she will face Portugal's Yu Fu, ranked 55, in the second round, and much tougher Mima Ito of Japan, world No. 30, in the third.
News source: PTI
New events add more excitement in the Tokyo Olympics with only 2 days to go
At This year’s Tokyo Olympics we are going to experience a few things which we have never seen in previous Olympic Games. For the first time spectators will be missed, this is also the first time that the Olympic Games have been postponed. The positive side is that we are going to witness new events in the games, there will be newly crowned champions and more reasons to watch the games starting from 23rd July till 8th August. There will be 339 medal events in the games, which will give us more than what we asked for.
Four games will be making their debut this year along with the athletes. They are Karate, surfing,sailing and skateboarding.
With its origins in Japan, it will be a perfect time and place to make its debut in the Olympics. There are two types, Kata and Kumite. In Kata athletes will showcase their skills and moves on a virtual opponent and in Kumite two competitors of the same weight category will come face to face in a three minute battle. It will take place on Nippon Budokan which hosted the First ever World Championships in 1970. It won't be present in the next Olympics in Paris. The top athletes in men’s and women’s kata karatekas per the World Karate Federation, Damián Quintero and Sandra Sánchez both from Spain are expected to take the top honours.
In kumite, men’s medal probables include 2018 world champion Steve Da Costa of France and Italy’s Angelo Crescenzo in the under-67-kg category. Five-time world champion Rafael Aghayev of Azerbaijan under 75 kg and Turkey’s Ugur Aktas (over 75 kg) will also fight for spots on the podium. Croatia‘s Ivan Kvesic over 75 kg finished top in the World Championships and the European Championships and has the ability to finish strong in Tokyo.
Ukraine’s Anzhelika Terliuga under 55 kg is the number one in her weight class. Serbia’s Jovana Prekovic under 61 kg and Azerbaijan’s Irina Zaretska over 61 kg, both finished on top in the 2018 world championship and are competing in Tokyo. The events start on August 4th and will go on till the 7th.
Also read: We will definitely beat our London Olympics medal count in Tokyo: Sprinter Arokia Rajiv
Multiple Athletes will be facing waves in a 20 to 25 minute fight in each round. The bigger the waves the higher the score. It will be interesting to see many games in the water as opposed to land. This time there is surfing and the other usual games like sailing and rowing. The sport will take place at the Tsurigasaki Beach in Ichinomiya. It starts from 26th July till 29th, Australian Stephanie Gilmore has seven world titles in the women’s tour, the most recent in 2018, from the USA Carissa Moore has four world titles on the women’s side and John John Florence won consecutive world titles in 2016 and 2017.
Rock climbing will include speed climbing, lead climbing and bouldering. Athletes in speed climbing will race each other on a 15 metre wall, in bouldering athletes will have to clear as many as routes on a four meter wall and athletes don’t wear a harness but there are crash pads at the base. Lead climbing athletes will have to climb a wall which is more than 15 metres tall with complicated rock combinations to race through. Parts of the wall are not vertical, which means in some combinations the athletes will be hanging in the air to go past it . Whichever athlete can climb the highest in six minutes wins.
The last full World Cup was in 2019 and the overall men’s winner was Tomoa Narasaki and Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret has won the last four combined World Cup trophies from 2016 to 2019, making her the favourite overall.
In this the participants will have a hollowed out court and incline for Athletes to give the audience an adrenaline rush. The next one will have rails, stairs and ramps. We can see the athletes performing flips and nose grinds. India has a few skateboard parks, but the first rural skate park has come in Rural Madhya Pradesh Janwaar village. It was built by German Activist Ulrike Reinhard and the park is free for all the children. In a few years we can see an Indian in the skateboarding event. In Olympic news it has already been approved for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Sky Brown is a 12 year old Anglo-Japanese skateboarder, who competes for Great Britain. She is the youngest professional skateboarder in the world. In Olympic news she will be the second youngest Olympian in Tokyo as Syrain Table Tennis player Hend Zaza will be the youngest to compete in the Games. The event will start from 25th july and go on till 5th August.
Interesting Fact: Tokyo is the only Asian city to host the Summer Games twice. (1964, 2020
National chief coach JP Nautiyal: Indian shooters capable of winning 4 medals at Paralympics
New Delhi, Jul 12 (Olympics news) Indian para shooters have the temperament to pull off some good results at the Tokyo Games, says chief national coach JP Nautiyal, who is expecting a haul of at least four medals at the Paralympics.
In a first, a record 10 para shooters, have booked quota places for the Tokyo Paralympics beginning August 24. At the Rio Games, only one shooter – Naresh Sharma – had attained the qualifying berth in rifle events.
"Everyone is working very hard and staying focused. And I am confident that they will produce good results. I am expecting at least four medals including gold from the team," Nautiyal told PCI.
"It has been a great journey for the entire team who have shown great results in the last few years. Many of them also have good temperament to pull off good results in the finals," he added.
The 10-member team, including top pistol shooters Singhraj and Manish Narwal, is currently undergoing six hours of training every day that includes physical and mental training, live shooting, dry firing, strengthening and stretching at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting range.
"It's a balanced team with young and senior players and many of them are coming out with excellent scores in the training that has been ongoing since last month," said the Shooting Technical Committee (STC) president.
Nautiyal's biggest concern remains the mental health of the athletes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"A lot of countries have been doing very well in the recent past, especially Ukraine and Russia. Tokyo 2020 will definitely be challenging.
Also read: National sports awards selection process to be delayed to include Olympic medallists
"But my biggest worry is keeping the team safe and healthy in this Covid-19 situation. A lot of factors including mental strength will play an important role on the day,” he added.
Team: Men: Manish Narwal (P1, P4), Singhraj (P1, P4), Deepender Singh (P1), Deepak (R1, R6, R7), Sidhartha Babu (R3, R6), Swaroop Mahavir Unhalkar (R1), Akash (P3, P4), Rahul Jakhar (P3).
Women : Avani Lekhara (R2, R3, R6, R8), Rubina Francis (P2).
News source: PTI
Anand finishes second in Croatia Grand Chess Tour, beats Kasparov again
Zagreb, Jul 11 (Sports news) Former world champion Viswanathan Anand finished second in the Croatia Grand Chess Tour here on Sunday with an impressive performance, accentuated by his two victories over long-time rival Garry Kasparov.
Anand, who had beaten Kasparov on the first day of the Blitz on Saturday, came up with a superb performance again to defeat the Russian legend in the 13th round on Sunday.
Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (22 points) sealed the title with a round to spare, thanks to a victory over a misfiring Kasparov in the 17th round. Indian ace Anand took a quick draw in his 18th round game against Alexander Grischuk to finish with 21 points and a clear second ahead of the top-seed Ian Nepomniachtchi.
In the penultimate round, he drew against Shakriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan. He would receive USD 25,000 as prize money for his second-place finish.
Playing with black pieces, Anand got the better of the legendary Russian in 25 moves in a Nimzo-Indian defence game.
The victory came for the Indian maestro after three straight draws in rounds 10, 11 and 12 against Anish Giri (the Netherlands), Jan-Kryzstof Duda (Poland) and Vachier-Lagrave respectively.
He followed it up with a superb win over Russian Nepomniachtchi, the top-seed in the 14th round.
Also read: Anand goes down to Anish Giri in Croatia Grand Chess Tour
Continuing the good run, Anand then defeated Anton Korobov (Ukraine) and Jordan Van Foreest (the Netherlands) and shared honours with Shakriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan).
On the first day of the Blitz on Saturday, the Indian ace had recorded four wins, drawn three matches and suffered two defeats.
The former world champion had ended up seventh after the Rapid section, with nine points. He had posted two wins and drawn five and lost two matches.
News source: PTI
Is football coming home or going to Rome?
The stage is set at the iconic Wembley stadium, home of the England national football team as they welcome Italy in the Euro 2020 finals. It’s been 53 years since the Italians won a EURO title while the Three Lions are looking to be crowned European champions for the first time ever. In their journey leading up to the final, it can be argued that the Italians have had the tougher draws, having faced the likes of Spain and Belgium so far while England have defeated Ukraine and Denmark in their previous two fixtures.
England are currently on a high and the nation has truly rallied behind their players, rooted in the firm belief that football is finally coming home. Gareth Southgate’s squad have looked defensively solid so far and also lethal in attack, having enjoyed their biggest Euro final tournament victory with a 4-0 win over Ukraine. If there was ever a time for the Three Lions to win a major piece of silverware, it’s now as England have never lost a final of a major tournament in Wembley with 11 wins and four draws. Only three teams have ever won the Euro’s on home soil, France (1984), Spain (1964) and Italy (1968) and England will hope to be the fourth.
Also read: An analysis for all the Euro 2020 quarter-final results
Italy on the other hand have never lost to England at a major tournament, winning thrice and drawing once. They won 1-0 in Euro 1980, 2-1 at the 1990 and 2014 World Cups and drew 0-0 in Euro 2012. Roberto Mancini’s men have looked rock solid so far, winning all three matches of Group A without conceding a single goal and are unbeaten in 33 matches in all competitions, scoring 86 goals and conceding only 10. A staggering record to say the least. Having won 28 games and five draws in their 33 match run so far, breaking a national record that lasted since the 1930’s. It’s fair to say that we definitely have a game on our hands!
Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane look to have found their scoring boots for England, with Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire also displaying their fine form. For the Italians, Federico Chiesa scored his second successive goal at the Wembley Stadium against Spain and is one of five Italy players who have scored two goals at Euro 2020 along with Matteo Pessina, Manuel Locatelli, Lorenzo Insigne and Ciro Immobile. Another ridiculous record set by Italy is that goalkeeper Donnarumma has never conceded more than one goal in any of his last 32 games for Italy, keeping 19 clean sheets.
In conclusion, it promises to be a blockbuster clash between two European heavyweights with very little between them. The Euro 2020 final is a fixture that promises to deliver a blockbuster event in a tournament that has delighted fans across Europe and the world with goals galore, shocking upsets and most importantly, the fans back in the stadiums.
Croatia Grand Chess Tour event: Anand held to a draw in sixth round
Zagreb, Jul 8 (Sports news) Former world champion Viswanathan Anand was held to a draw by Russian Alexander Grischuk in the sixth round of the Croatia Grand Chess Tour tournament here on Thursday.
The Indian GM was held to a 40-move draw in a Ruy Lopez game and now has seven points after the sixth round. Earlier, Anand had scored an impressive fifth-round win over Anton Korobov of Ukraine in the rapid competition here.
He had also drawn his fourth-round game against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) in 70 moves in an Alekhine variation game.
The 51-year old Indian maestro, who is playing his first over-the-board event in more than a year, quelled the challenge of Korobov in the fifth round which saw the other four games end in stalemate.
He had on Wednesday started with a fluent win over Dutch Grandmaster Jorden van Foreest before faltering against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the second round.
He drew his third round match against Ian Nepomniachtchi.
Russian GM Nepomniachtchi, who will challenge Magnus Carlsen for the World champion title later this year, continued to lead the table after five rounds following a win over countryman Alexander Grischuk and a draw against Poland player Jan-Krzystof Duda.
The tournament will see the 10 elite Grandmasters compete over nine rounds of rapid chess (to be played from July 7 to 9) and 18 rounds of blitz chess (to be played on July 10 and 11) for a total prize fund of USD 150,000.
Also read: Mixed fortunes for Anand in Croatia Grand Chess tour event
News source: PTI
Mixed fortunes for Anand in Croatia Grand Chess tour event
Zagreb, Jul 7 (Sports news) Former world champion Viswanathan Anand started with a fluent win over Dutch Grandmaster Jorden van Foreest before faltering against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the second round of rapid event in the Croatia Grand Chess Tour tournament which began here on Wednesday.
He drew his third round match against Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia.
The 51-year old Indian maestro, who is playing his first over-the-board event in over one year, defeated Foreest in 54 moves in a Sicilian Defence game.
However, he could not repeat the magic against his French opponent in the second round, going down in 48 moves in a Caro-Kann Defence encounter.
Anand drew his third round match against Russian GM Nepomniachtchi, who will challenge Magnus Carlsen for the World champion title later this year.
The Sicilian Defence game saw Anand and his opponent settle for a draw in 27 moves.
Nepomniachtchi leads the standings after three rounds with two wins and a draw and five points. He beat Anton Korobov (Ukraine) and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) in the first and second round respectively.
Anand has three points (two points for a win and one for a draw) after three rounds.
The tourney will see the 10 elite Grandmasters competing over 9 rounds of rapid chess (to be played from July 7 to 9) and 18 rounds of blitz chess (to be played on July 10 and 11) for a total prize fund of USD 150,000.
In rapid chess, each player will get 25 minutes to complete the game with 10 second increment time added after each move.
In the blitz event, players will get five minutes for the game with two seconds increment time added after each move.
Results: Second round: Maxime-Vachier Lagrave beat Viswanathan Anand; Anton Korobov beat Ivan Saric; Anish Giri (Holland) drew with Jan-Krzystof Duda (Poland); Ian Nepomniachtchi beat Shakhriyar Mamedyarov; Alexander Grischuk (Russia) drew with Van Foreest.
First round: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov beat Lagrave; Nepomniachtchi beat Korobov; Anand beat Van Foreest; Grischuck drew with Giri; Duda drew with Saric.
Also read: Indian-American Abhimanyu Mishra becomes youngest chess Grandmaster in chess history
News source: PTI
Chess player Anand returns to over-the-board action after a year in Croatia
Zagreb, Jul 6 (Sports news) Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand will resume his storied rivalry with Russian legend Garry Kasparov in the Croatia Grand Chess Tour Rapid and Blitz tournament beginning here on Wednesday, returning to over-the-board action after more than a year.
The Indian maestro's last over-the-board event was in March 2020 before COVID-19 and related restrictions put a halt to sporting action across the globe.
Anand will be featuring in both the rapid and blitz segments, while his long-time rival and former world champion Kasparov will take part only in the blitz event.
Anand and Kasparov, who retired in 2005, have been involved in several memorable matches including in the PCA World Championships final held at the World Trade Center in New York in 1995.
He said he was looking forward to playing over-the-board chess again and also taking on Kasparov.
"I am excited to be able to play again. I have had a lot of memories playing with Kasaparov. But it (playing against him) will be different this time," Anand said.
The Chennai chess ace, who is now ranked 15th in the world, will be looking for some good results in a high quality field.
He was a part of the Indian team, which won the FIDE Online Olympiad in August last year jointly with Russia.
Anand, who was stuck in Germany last year when lockdowns and travel restrictions kicked in due to the pandemic, returned to India in June.
Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Elo 2807) is the highest ranked player in the field, which also includes Russian Grandmaster Alex Grischuk, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia).
Also read: Indian-American Abhimanyu Mishra becomes youngest chess Grandmaster in chess history
Nepomniachtchi, who will challenge Magnus Carlsen for the world title later this year, has entered the event through a wild card like Anand.
GMs Anish Giri (the Netherlands), Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland), Ivan Saric (Croatia), Anton Korobov (Ukraine) and Jorden Van Foreest (the Netherlands) are also in the fray.
The tourney will see the 10 elite Grandmasters competing over nine rounds of rapid chess (to be played from July 7 to 9) and 18 rounds of blitz chess (to be played on July 10 and 11) for a total prize fund of USD 150,000.
In rapid chess, each player gets 25 minutes to complete the game with 10 second increment time added after each move.
In the blitz event, players get five minutes for the game with two seconds increment time added after each move.
News source: PTI
An analysis for all the Euro 2020 quarter-final results
We’re moving on to the business end of the Euro 2020 tournament with the quarter-finals just wrapped up and it did not disappoint fans one bit! Before the tournament took place, some fans were apprehensive about the overall quality, especially considering stadiums would not be packed to the brim with fans, and players being burnt out after playing too many fixtures for their respective clubs.
However, those doubts were cast aside once the opening fixtures proved why we all love the beautiful game and the Euro 2020 has moved from strength to strength since then. In case you missed out on the quarter-final fixtures and failed to catch up with the football news in its aftermath, don’t worry because we have you covered!
Here is SPOGO’s analysis of all the results in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals.
Ukraine vs England
It’s a common belief amongst strikers that all it needs is a single goal and the rest will follow and that’s exactly what former England striker Michael Owen echoed on Twitter after Harry Kane netted the winner in the Three Lions clash against Germany and he was right! The match had scarcely begun when Kane opened the scoring after four minutes at the Stadio Olimpico after going nearly eight hours without finding the back of the net for his country. Admittedly, Ukraine was one of the easier opponents England could have faced in the quarter-finals but, in a tournament of surprises, Gareth Southgate’s men were not complacent and thoroughly executed their job to perfection. Another Harry scored a powerful header at the beginning of the second half (Harry Maguire) before Kane netted his second of the night and Jordan Henderson added the cherry on top with a fourth goal around the hour mark. Manchester United and England left back Luke Shaw continued his fine form with two assists as the Three Lions prepare themselves to face Denmark in the semi-finals on Thursday, July 8th at 12:30 am IST.
Belgium vs Italy
In a clash of the two titans, Italy emerged the winners as they eliminated the number 1 ranked team Belgium in a sensational 2-1 victory. Two first half goals from Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Insigne gave the Gli Azzurri the edge over their opponents to take them through to the semi-finals. While this Italian side may not boast of the star power of previous teams, Roberto Mancini’s men have proved time and again that they are a well coached, drilled and a compact unit that are extremely difficult to defeat, the proof being that Italy have won 13 consecutive games and remain unbeaten for 32. After this win, another blockbuster clash awaits us when Italy face Spain at the Euro 2020 semi-finals at the Wembley stadium on Wednesday, 7th July at 12:30 am IST.
Also read: Everything you can expect from the Euro 2020 quarter-finals
Switzerland vs Spain
By far the most interesting match in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals, the two sides fought to the death for a place in the semi-finals against Belgium. Spain started the match strongly when Jordi Alba’s shot took a big deflection off Denis Zakaria into the back of the net in the eighth minute. However, the Swiss were already on a high, having defeated world champions France in a penalty shootout and did not give up easily. Their attempts paid dividends in the 68th minute when veteran Xherdan Shaqiri scored after a defensive disaster by Luis Enrique’s team. Despite Switzerland’s Remo Freuler being sent off in the 77th minute, Spain could not find an equalizer and the game moved onto extra time and penalties. In a nail-biting conclusion at St. Petersburg that left fans at the edge of their seats, Spain emerged the winners after Mikel Oyarzabal’s winning penalty led his side through with a 3-1 victory.
Czech Republic vs Denmark
The reason why football is widely considered to be the ‘beautiful game’ is because of fairy tale stories such as Denmark’s Euro 2020 campaign. The tournament started on the worst possible note for Danes, with Christian Eriksen collapsing during the opening match due to a cardiac arrest as Denmark lost against their Nordic cousins Finland to now reach the semi-finals after a nervy win against the Czech Republic in Baku. Goals from Thomas Delaney and Kasper Dolberg were all it took for Denmark to go through to the semi-finals, having now scored an impressive 10 goals in their last three matches in a fantastic turnaround that began with two defeats. This is the first time Denmark has reached the European Championship semi-finals since their historic win in 1992 and the inspired side will hope to give a fight against tournament favourites England.
Everything you can expect from the Euro 2020 quarter-finals
The Euro 2020 has been an action packed competition already, with shock eliminations, high scoring matches and most importantly, fans back in the stadiums. The emotions are running high after the round of 16 fixtures as you may have read in the football news, but with the quarter-finals just around the corner, we’re here to give you a peek into what you can expect ahead of another set of exciting Euro 2020 fixtures.
Belgium vs Italy
Current world number 1 Belgium may have defeated the defending champions Portugal, but the ‘golden generation’ are currently struggling with injuries. Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard are doubtful against Italy, having suffered injuries in the round of 16 clash. Neither of them have trained in the Belgium camp and doctors are working around the clock to have them ready against Italy. In comparison, Italy is on a high at the moment and are currently unbeaten in 31 games. They will definitely prove to be the toughest competition Belgium have faced so far in the Euro 2020 and it will be a clash that you shouldn’t miss out on.
Switzerland vs Spain
It’s fair to say that Spain will be approaching this fixture cautiously because while it might seem like a mismatch on paper, Switzerland defeated the current world champions France to reach the Euro 2020 quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Spain defeated Croatia, runners up of World Cup 2018 in an action packed 120 minutes which finished with a 5-3 victory for La Roja. Switzerland will be missing their skipper Granit Xhaka due to suspension, Denis Zakaria will replace the Arsenal midfielder and will be hungry to show his qualities while many European clubs are hunting for his signature. While the current Spanish side does not have the oomph of the old, Luis Enrique’s team still features some notable stars who could turn the tide in their favor in an instant. We predict a win for Spain, but it’s football and one thing is for sure that nothing is certain.
Ukraine vs England
Despite being overwhelming favourites in every international tournament, England last made a semi-final appearance in the European Championships back in 1996. Meanwhile, dark horses Ukraine have qualified for the Euros only thrice before and this is their first ever appearance at the knockout stage. In their last seven meetings, England have won four times, drawing twice and losing once and it’s likely that the Three Lions will continue their fine form to reach the semi-finals of the Euro 2020 this time around.
Czech Republic vs Denmark
Nobody would have predicted that Czech Republic and Denmark would have made it to the quarter-finals of the Euro 2020, but here we are and Baku Olympic stadium will witness one of those two sides progress to the semi-finals of the tournament. Czech Republic have only made it to the knockout rounds twice previously, as runners up in 1996 and semi-finalists in 2004. Meanwhile, Denmark are making their eighth appearance in the competition, having failed to qualify in 2016 the Danes have made a strong comeback this year. This evenly contested match has ended with two wins for Denmark and three wins for Czech Republic and seven draws in their last twelve meetings. Despite Czech Republic causing one of the many upsets by defeating the Netherlands, we predict Denmark to go through.
Archery: India women's firm favourites to make Tokyo cut
Paris, Jun 19 On a high after winning a World Cup gold in the first stage, Indian women's recurve trio of Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari will start as firm favourites to grab the team's quota from the final Tokyo 2020 Qualifier here on Sunday.
Paris represents the final opportunity for India to upgrade their single women's quota place to team invitations in Japan as India would look to qualify a second and third recurve archers to join the Deepika who is all set for her third successive Olympics.
All they would have to achieve is finish among the top-three in a field of 28 teams which include heavyweights Colombia, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Mexico, which gave India a stiff challenge in the World Cup final in Guatemala City.
Less than two months after they lost the final in an intense shootoff in the first stage of the World Cup, the Mexican team of London Olympics silver medalist Aida Roman, Alejandra Valencia and Ana Vazquez will again stand in their way.
Of the 28 teams, four teams will be eliminated from the qualification round while the top-eight will directly make the quarterfinals as world number three Deepika along with southpaw Ankita and teenager Komalika would look to start well.
In their last attempt, Indian women's team had failed to qualify, losing to Belarus 2-6 at the World Championships in Den Bosch, the Netherlands two years ago, while the men's team had secured the first quota.
Since then India made a solitary change with Ankita making the cut to the team and it worked well as they won the World Cup first stage -- the women's team's first gold medal since Wroclaw-2014.
In the women's section, India so far have an individual quota secured from the Continental Qualification during the Bangkok Asian Championships in November 2019 as India number one Deepika is already bound for her third successive Olympics.
So the pressure will be evident for the less experienced duo of Ankita and Komalika.
"Of course we are under pressure," 19-year-old Komalika said after Friday's practice session.
Incidentally, at the same Stade Charléty, Deepika had clinched one of her four World Cup Final silver medals in 2013 and the former world number one is confident of a good show.
"Technically, we all are up there but all it takes is to shoot with a calm, uncluttered mind, without doubting your abilities," Deepika told PTI.
"A bit of pressure is good to bring out your best. We are confident of making it." So far, Belarus, China, Chinese Taipei, Great Britain, Germany, Korea, Russia, Ukraine and hosts Japan have already qualified for the Olympics slated from July 23.
Qualification round: 12.30pm IST. News source PTI
Former chess world champion Viswanathan Anand to feature in Croatia leg of Grand Chess Tour
Chennai, Jun 15 Former world champion Viswanathan Anand will participate in the Croatia Grand Chess Tour Rapid and Blitz tournament to be held in Zagreb from July 5 to 12.
The tournament will be the third leg of the 2021 Grand Chess Tour. Apart from the Indian Grandmaster Anand, the event will also see former world champion Garry Kasparov, who will feature in the blitz section.
It will be the first across-the-board event for Anand (ELO rating 2753) in over a year as sporting schedules across the world have been hit owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions.
He had in 2020 helped India win the gold medal in the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad.
Russian Grandmaster Alex Grischuk, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) and Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave are also in the fray. Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia), who will challenge Magnus Carlsen for the 2021 World Chess champion title, has entered the event as wild card, like Anand.
Dutch GM Anish Giri, Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland), Ivan Saric (Croatia), Anton Korobov (Ukraine) and Jorden Van Foreest (the Netherlands) are also in the fray.
Grand Chess Tour Executive Director Michael Khodarkovsky said, "Fans can expect five days of exhilarating chess demonstrated by the famed world champions, like Garry Kasparov and Vishy Anand, as well as a new wave of top players." The tournament will see 10 elite Grandmasters competing over nine rounds of rapid chess and 18 rounds of blitz for a total prize fund of USD 150,000.
The Grand Chess Tour is a circuit of international events, each demonstrating the highest level of organisation for the world's best players. News source PTI
All India Football Federation in talks with Jharkhand government for women's national camps
Kolkata, Jun 9 The All India Football Federation on Wednesday said it's in talks with Jharkhand government to hold the women's team national camps for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup and AFC Asian Cup, to be hosted by the country next year, in the state.
Ranked 57th in the FIFA chart, the Indian senior women's team had fruitful exposure trips to Turkey and Uzbekistan earlier this year. They played five international friendlies following which their preparation for the Asian Cup was stalled by the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
Now the Maymol Rocky-coached side will hope to get back to business with a training camp in Jharkhand.
“We are in the process of discussions with the Jharkhand government to kick-start the national team camp for the women, and we will do so as soon as we get an approval from the MYAS," AIFF deputy general secretary Abhishek Yadav said during an online meeting.
"We are also in talks to try and get the players vaccinated. As soon as that can happen, we can get the camp underway," he said in a release.
In Turkey, India lost all their three games against higher ranked opponents -- Serbia (0-2), Russia (0-8) and Ukraine (2-3).
In Uzbekistan, India suffered a narrow 0-1 loss to the host team, while in the second game against Belarus, they put up a spirited show before going down 1-2.
The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and the AFC Women’s Asian Cup are set to be held in India next year and the AIFF has planned to submit its proposals for the bio-bubble and how to secure the travel of the players and the teams from one city to another.
The committee also discussed the viability of hosting the fifth edition of the Indian Women’s League (IWL), originally scheduled in Odisha from April to May this year.
The new timelines for the same will be finalised after analysing the pandemic situation across the country.
In the event that the fifth edition of IWL cannot be held, the champions of the fourth edition will be nominated to the AFC Women’s Club Championship 2021, the AIFF said.
The Golden Baby Leagues and grassroots development of women’s football was also discussed in the meeting. The members discussed how girls could be further encouraged to take up the sport, while continuing their education, to ensure overall development.
The meeting was chaired by AIFF's Women’s Football Committee head Sara Pilot and was attended by other members -- Sudeshna Mukherjee, Shabana Rabbani, Anjali Shah, Madhureemaraje Chhatrapati and Shama Mohamed -- along with general secretary Kushal Das. New source PTI
Indian shooters Manu Bhaker and Rahi Sarnobat produce strong show at European Shooting Championship
Osijek (Croatia), Jun 1 Tokyo-bound Indian shooters Manu Bhaker and Rahi Sarnobat finished 1-2 in the Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) section of the women's 25m pistol event at the European Shooting Championship here on Tuesday.
The duo shot well above the Regulars' final qualification mark in a seven-strong field.
While Manu shot a quality 587, the fourth best overall score among Regulars and MQS combined, Rahi's return of 584 matched the sixth best Regulars score on the day.
Manu and Rahi were on Monday placed eighth overall after shooting a steady 291 in the first precision round.
On Tuesday, Manu shot two perfect 100s in the Rapid Fire round for a tally of 296/300, the second best overall round of the day.
Rahi had two 99s and a 95 for a return of 293, helping her gain two spots from the previous day, in the overall rankings.
The top eight make it to the final of the Olympic event, which was eventually won by Frenchwoman Mathilde Lamolle.
Among those in the classy field were reigning Olympic and world champion Anna Korakaki, whose score of 581, meant that she missed the finals.
Making it through were former Olympic champion Olena Kostevych of Ukraine and Rio Games silver medallist Vitalina Batsarashkina and Hungarian ace Veronika Major.
The 13-member Indian Olympic pistol and rifle team is on a training-cum-competition trip to Croatia, where presently they are shooting in the MQS rounds of Olympic events as invited guests.
In the MQS rounds, athletes register official scores but do not compete for medals.
The Indian team will next compete in the final ISSF World Cup stage scheduled to begin here from June 22. New source PTI
Sharp shooters Elavenil, Saurabh put up strong show in European Championship
Osijek (Croatia), May 24 World number one in women's 10m air rifle, Elavenil Valarivan, and world number two in men's 10m air pistol, Saurabh Chaudhary, put up a strong show in the European Shooting Championship here on Monday.
As many as 10 members of the 13-strong Indian Olympic-bound rifle and pistol shooting squad got their first taste of competition during their ongoing training-cum-competition tour of Croatia.
Shooting in the MQS (Minimum Qualification Score) section, the sensational Chaudhary shot more than the tournament proper's topper in the men's 10m air pistol event.
World Cup and Asian Games gold medallist Chaudhary shot 589 to top the chart in his event's MQS, while compatriot Abhishek Verma was fourth with 579.
The Tokyo-bound Chaudhary was way ahead of Ukraine's Oleh Omelchuk, who topped the main qualification with 586.
Both Chaudhary, a Youth Olympic gold medallist, and his equally talented compatriot Verma, will be headed for Tokyo after their training-cum-competition stint in Croatia.
In the women's 10m air rifle, Elavenil shot 630.4 to finish on top ahead of Iranians Armina Sadeghian (629.8) and Fatemeh Karamzadeh (628.7). Elavenil's score would have seen her make the finals in second place, behind world number two and New Delhi World Cup gold medallist Ziva Dvorsak of Slovenia.
Apurvi Chandela was fourth with 627.8, while Anjum Moudgil was seventh with 624.7.
Dvorsak topped the main women's 10m air rifle qualification with 630.8 and she was followed by Norway's Jeanette Hegg Duestad (630.6) and Italian Sofia Ceccarello (630.2).
"Dusting off from Delhi WC score .. training in Hyderabad with @gagunnarang has been productive with a 630.4 .. in Euro Champs," Elavenil tweeted after her event.
In the women's 10m air pistol, world number one and two Yashaswini Singh Deswal and Manu Bhaker shot scores of 572 and 573 respectively. They have shot much better earlier and the pair would have missed Monday's final as well, given the 10th place in regulars logged 574.
It was a high-class field, nonetheless, with reigning Olympic and world champion Anna Korakaki shooting the same score as Bhaker to finish 13th and outside the finals spots.
The talented Divyansh Singh Panwar (628.10) was second in the men's 10m air rifle qualification. The other Indians -- Deepak Kumar (627.4) and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (625.0) -- were third and fifth, respectively, in the event.
China's Lihao Sheng finished ahead of Divyansh, with 630.5.
Russia's Vladimir Maslennikov topped the main qualification with 631.8, with 627.1 being the cut.
Sharing her thoughts on behalf of the squad, rifle coach Deepali Deshpande said, "This competition is the best possible start for our final preparations for Tokyo. Though this competition is non consequential in terms of medals, its a very good competition exposure for the team.
"Everyone looked good today. At the Delhi World Cup itself all except Apurvi looked ready technically. Today our focus was Apurvi and thankfully she is back on track. Even Deepak Kumar after COVID recovery and surgery, looks good. Some more training and they will be ready." Participating in the continental tournament as guest invitee, the Indians only shot in the MQS section, and hence, their scores were not considered for medals.
India's 13-member Olympic-bound squad arrived here from Croatian capital Zagreb on Saturday, which is the team's training base in the run-up to the Olympics.
The Indian shooters are taking part in the men's and women's individual Olympic events only.
A total of 15 Indian shooters have qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.
Skeet shooters Mairaj Khan and Angad Bajwa, who have also qualified for the Games, are training in Italy. New source PTI
AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships 2021- Statistics after semi-finals
According to a press release by AIBA,Overall 40 women’s and men’s boxers from 13 countries became finalists at the AIBA Youth Men’s and Women’s World Boxing Championships 2021 and will contest for gold medals in Kielce, Poland
– India, Russia: 8 finalists
– Kazakhstan: 6 finalists
– Ukraine, Uzbekistan: 4 finalists
– Poland: 3 finalists
– Armenia, Cuba, France, Japan, Moldova, Montenegro, Turkey: 1 finalist
Finalist countries in the women’s event :
– India: 7 finalists
– Russia: 3 finalists
– Kazakhstan, Poland, Uzbekistan: 2 finalists
– France, Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine: 1 finalist
Finalist countries in the men’s event:
– Russia: 5 finalists
– Kazakhstan: 4 finalists
– Ukraine: 3 finalists
– Uzbekistan: 2 finalists
– Armenia, Cuba, India, Japan, Montenegro, Poland: 1 finalist
Finalists by Confederations at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships:
– Europe (EUBC): 20 finalists
– Asia (ASBC): 19 finalists
– America (AMBC): 1 finalist
AIBA Youth Men’s and Women’s World Boxing Championships: Medal Tally after quarter-finals
According to a press release by AIBA, a total of 80 boxers from 23 countries remained in actions at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships and bagged medals in Kielce:
– India, Russia: 11 medals
– Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan: 10 medals
– Poland: 8 medals
– Ukraine: 6 medals
– Cuba, Italy: 3 medals
– Bulgaria, Mongolia, Thailand: 2 medals
– Armenia, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Moldova, Montenegro, Turkey: 1 medal
Medalist countries in the women’s event:
– India, Poland: 7 medals
– Uzbekistan: 6 medals
– Kazakhstan: 5 medals
– Russia: 4 medals
– Italy, Thailand: 2 medals
– Czech Republic, France, Latvia, Moldova, Mongolia, Turkey, Ukraine: 1 medal
Medallist countries in the men’s event:
– Russia: 7 medals
– Kazakhstan, Ukraine: 5 medals
– India, Uzbekistan: 4 medals
– Cuba: 3 medals
– Bulgaria: 2 medals
– Armenia, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland: 1 medal
Medals by Confederations at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships:
– Europe (EUBC): 39 medals
– Asia (ASBC): 37 medals
– America (AMBC): 4 medals
7 more Indians boxers in semifinals of Youth World Championship
Youth World Boxing C'ship: Arundhati in QFs, 3 others also win in another good day for India
Youngsters hoping to get valuable experience from friendlies
We will gain from playing against quality sides like Uzbekistan, Belarus: Indumathi
Sathiyan, Sharath and Batra qualify into the second round of WTT Star Contender Doha
According to a press release by Ultimate Table Tennis, star paddlers Achanta Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra kick started their WTT Star Contender Doha campaign in high spirits and cruised into the second round of their singles categories on Monday.
Sharath Kamal, the Melbourne Commonwealth Games champion struggled in the beginning stages of the match as he went down in the first game against Brian Afanador. The World No. 32 however bounced back impressively to set the tone and didn't give any further chance to his counterpart and sealed the match 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-1 against the Puerto Rican during the men’s singles first round. The Indian paddler will now take on the World No. 16 Patrick Franziska from Germany in the next round on Tuesday.
World No. 37 Sathiyan was also down to 0-2 in the match before making a brilliant comeback with a stunning counter attacking show and sealed a 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 win against his French opponent Emmanuael Lebesson in the first round of men’s singles competition. Sathiyan will now have a tough job in the next round as he will be up against World No. 5 Japanese paddler Tomokazu Harimoto.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Batra made a clinical straight-set 11-5, 11-9, 11-9 victory against China's Taipei’s Hsein-Tzu Cheng during the women’s singles opening round match and advanced into the next round where she will face World No. 3 Mima Ito of Japan.
Sathiyan, Sharath Kamal and Batra have won direct entries into the singles competition in the current tournament. The second round matches will be held on Tuesday.
Earlier in the first qualifying round of men’s singles, Anthony Amalraj faced a 6-11, 11-9, 3-11, 7-11 loss against Japan's Mizuki Oikawa whereas Harmeet Desai suffered a loss to Ukraine’s Yevhen Pryshchepa - 10-12, 9-11, 11-13, 9-11.
In the women’s singles qualifiers, Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ahyika Mukherjee didn't qualify for the third round. Sutirtha lost a hard-fought 11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 9-11, 9-11 battle to Korea's Hayeong Kim while Ayhika had to see a 5-11, 11-13, 7-11 defeat against Romania's Irina Ciobanu.
Boxing - Naveen Boora in medal rounds of Strandja Memorial tourney
New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) Naveen Boora (69kg) assured himself of at least a bronze by advancing to the semifinals while Manjeet Singh (+91kg) entered the quarters on an all-win day for Indian boxers at the 72nd Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Boora defeated Brazil's Eravio Edson in his quarterfinal bout, prevailing 5-0 in the contest.
Manjeet, on the other hand, got the better of Ireland's Gytis Lisinskas in his last-16 stage bout on Wednesday night.
Earlier, Jyoti Gulia (51kg) upstaged two-time world champion Nazym Kyzaiby of Kazakhstan to enter the quarterfinals along with two others.
Gulia, a 2017 world youth champion, defeated the gold-winner from the 2014 and 2016 senior world championships.
She will take on Romania's Perijoc Lacramioara in her quarterfinal bout later in the day.
Another Indian to enter the quarterfinals on the second day was Bhagyabati Kachari, who outclassed Russian opponent Anna Galimova 5-0 in the 75kg category.
The tournament features boxers from 30 nations, including France, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, United States of America and Uzbekistan.
India has sent a 12-member team for the prestigious event -- seven men and five women.
Jyoti Gulia stuns world champ to enter quarters of Strandja Memorial
New Delhi, Feb 24 (PTI) Jyoti Gulia (51kg) upstaged two-time world champion Nazym Kyzaiby of Kazakhstan to enter the quarterfinals but three other Indians bowed out after second-round losses in the 72nd Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Gulia, a 2017 world youth champion, prevailed 3-2 over Kyzaibay, a gold-winner from the 2014 and 2016 senior world championships. The Haryana-boxer is also a 2019 national champion.
She will take on Romania's Perijoc Lacramioara in her quarterfinal bout on Thursday.
However, there was disappointment in store for other Indians in fray on Tuesday, all from the men's draw.
Naveen Kumar (91kg) went down to France's Wilfried Florentin 5-0, while Ankit Khatana (75kg) lost a close one to Belarus' Viktar Dziashkevich. The Indian was beaten 2-3.
In the light heavyweight (81kg) division, Sachin Kumar endured a 0-5 defeat at the hands of Armenian Gor Nersesyan.
The tournament features boxers from 30 nations, including France, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, United States of America and Uzbekistan.
India has sent a 12-member team for the prestigious event -- seven men and five women
Indian women boxers sign off with 5 gold medals at Montenegro youth tourney
New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI) Babyrojisana Chanu (51kg) and Arundhati Choudhary (69kg) fetched two more gold medals as Indian women boxers ended with five overall for a top finish in the 30th Adriatic Pearl Tournament in Budva, Montenegro.
Lucky Rana (64kg) secured a silver as Indian women emerged as the top team with 10 medals (five gold, three silver and two bronze).
Uzbekistan (2 gold) and Czech Republic (1 gold) ended at second and third position respectively.
Three-time Khelo India gold-medallist Arundhati pulled off a dominating 5-0 victory over Ukraine's Maryana Stoiko on Sunday.
Chanu, who trains at MC Mary Kom's Imphal-based academy, got the better of Asian junior champion Sabina Bobokulova of Uzbekistan in a close fight which ended 3-2 in favour of the Indian.
However, Lucky suffered a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Finnish boxer Lia Pukkila to claim a silver medal.
Alfiya Pathan (+81kg), Vinka (60kg) and T Sanamacha Chanu (75kg) are the other Indian women boxers who secured gold medals in their respective categories earlier in this tournament.
For her magnificent show, Vinka received the Best Woman Boxer of the Tournament award.
With two medals in the men's category, the 19-member Indian team concluded its campaign with an overall second position (12 medals).
Uzbekistan and Ukraine claimed first and third position respectively in the overall standings.
Asian youth silver-winner Ankit Narwal enters quarters of tourney in Montenegro
New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) Asian youth silver-medallist Ankit Narwal (64kg) advanced to the quarter-finals of the 30th Adriatic Pearl Tournament in Budva, Montenegro with a comfortable opening-round win.
Ankit registered a resounding 5-0 win over Uzbekistan's Lazizbel Fattoev and moved to the last-eight stage, where he will face Ukraine's Ratmir Turchaninov.
However, Meitei Sanjarmbam (56kg) and Vishal (75kg) lost their pre-quarterfinal bouts to Ukraine's Dmytro Todorov and Nurisiom Ismoilov respectively, held on Wednesday.
Later on Thursday, seven Indian boxers will be looking to secure podium finishes when they enter the ring for their respective quarter-final bouts.
Arundhati Choudhary (69kg), Babyrojisana Chanu (51kg) and Vinka (60kg) are in contention among the women.
Four male boxers -- Arambam Naoba Singh (52kg), Sumit (69kg), Vishal Gupta (91kg), Jugnoo (91+ kg) -- will be competing in the quarter-finals.