Sports

Mary creates history

SIX-TIME champion MC Mary Kom (51kg) on Thursday surpassed herself as the most successful boxer in the Women’s World Championship history by securing an unprecedented eighth medal before debutants Manju Rani (48kg) and Jamuna Boro (54kg) also joined her in the semi-finals here. The third-seeded Mary Kom defeated a spirited rival in Colombia’s Valencia Victoria, fetching a unanimous 5-0 verdict to make the last-four stage...

Osaka to renounce US citizenship to play for Japan in Oly: Media

TENNIS star Naomi Osaka has taken steps to give up her US citizenship to play for Japan in the 2020 Olympics, Japanese media said on Thursday. The 21-year-old, born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother but raised in the United States, told NHK it will be special for her to represent host Japan at the Tokyo Games, the public broadcaster said. Osaka, who will turn 22 on Wednesday, faced that deadline to relinquish one nationality because neither Japan nor the United States permits dual citizenshi..

‘Hope to attend GP with Schumi one day’

FORMULA One boss Jean Todt said Thursday he remains hopeful that “one day” he will be able to attend a Grand Prix race with stricken former world champion Michael Schumacher. Schumacher, 50, has not been seen in public since suffering catastrophic head injuries in a high-speed skiing accident in December 2013. “There is no news other than the fact that Michael is fighting every day to improve the situation,” Todt told Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica. “I’ve been telling the truth, I watch Grand ..

Humpy jumps to world No 3 in latest FIDE ranking

   NEW DELHI :   INDIAN woman chess player Koneru Humpy has jumped to world number 3 position in the latest rankings released by the world body (FIDE). The 32-year-old from Andhra Pradesh made a brilliant comeback after a two-year hiatus to win the FIDE women’s Grand Prix tournament held in Skolkovo in Russia recently. Grand Master Humpy accumulated 17 ELO points to rise to the third spot with a global rating of 2,577.   Humpy had taken a break of two years to take ..

Murray unhappy with low turn-out

ANDY Murray expressed disappointment about crowds at the China Open tennis, where some of the best players in the world have competed in front of swathes of empty seats. Poor attendances have been in the sporting headlines because of sparse turn-out at the World Athletics Championships in Doha. And at the ongoing China Open in Beijing, the biggest matches have played out to rows of unoccupied seats at the cavernous Diamond Court, the main arena. “I think as the tournament goes on you tend to get better ..

When Sania was told to stop playing tennis as ‘no one would marry’ her

A TRAILBLAZER in Indian tennis, Sania Mirza on Thursday revealed that as a child, she was once asked to stop playing as “no one would marry” her if her complexion turned “dark” due to the rigours of an outdoor sport. Speaking at the World Economic Forum here, Sania, who has three doubles and an equal number of mixed doubles Grand Slams to her credit, reflected on the challenges she faced during a panel discussion on women and leadership. Sania remains India’s most successful woman tennis player, rising ..

Annu finishes eighth in javelin throw

A CREDITABLE eighth-place finish in the World Athletics Championships under her belt, India’s top javelin thrower Annu Rani has called for giving equal opportunities to women in sport as they can also perform and bring laurels to the country. Annu became the first Indian woman javelin thrower to qualify for the final round of the World Championships but in the end finished eighth here on Tuesday. She broke her own national record in the qualification round on Monday with a throw of 62.43m but failed ..

Brazier brushes off doping controversy to win 800m gold

DONAVAN Brazier shrugged off the doping controversy surrounding his Nike Oregon Project training base on Tuesday to blast to 800 metres gold at the World Championships. The 22-year-old American produced a tactical masterclass at Doha’s Khalifa Stadium to surge away from the field in a championship record time of 1min 42.34sec, breaking the previous mark which had stood for 32 years. Brazier is one ..

WORKLOAD

THE issue of workload for national cricket team’s captain has once again surfaced with former cricketer Yuvraj Singh suggesting splitting of captainship load between Virat Kohli and prolific batsman Rohit Sharma. Similar discussion had ensued when Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the captain . The issue was settled with Dhoni himself choosing to relinquishing the captainship of the Test team and opting to shoulder the responsibility of leading the team in the limited overs format games. Subsequently he opted ..

No sweat for Coleman

  DOHA :   CHRISTIAN Coleman hit back at US sprinting legend Michael Johnson after powering to a brilliant 100m victory at the World Championships. Coleman blew away his rivals to take the first major outdoor title of his career, clocking a world-leading personal best of 9.76 sec at the Khalifa Stadium. The win cemented Coleman’s status as the man to beat at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, and elevated the 23-year-old American to the head of a pack of sprinters aiming to ..

Suzuki delivers gold for Japan in men’s 50 km walk

  DOHA :   DEANNA Price of the United States won the gold medal in the women’s hammer at the World Championships in Doha, completing a superb victory after a career ravaged by injury. The 26-year-old from Missouri took gold with her third throw of the night, launching a 77.54-metre effort onto the field at the Khalifa Stadium. Poland’s Joanna Fiodorow took silver with a throw of 76.35m while China’s Wang Zheng claimed bronze with a best throw of 74.76m.   Price ..

Hamilton wins in Russia to foil Ferrari renaissance

 SOCHI (Russia) :  A EUPHORIC Lewis Hamilton extended his World Championship lead to 73 points on Sunday when he rode his luck to claim a strategic victory for Mercedes in a roller-coaster Russian Grand Prix. The defending five-time champion came home 3.829 seconds ahead of team-mate and nearest championship rival Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes took advantage of Ferrari’s reliability and tactical problems by delivering a Silver Arrows one-two.  Having grabbed the lead from pole man ..

Messi and Fati couldn’t save Barca from defeat

   MADRID :  BARCELONA threw on their stars of the present and the future but neither Lionel Messi nor Ansu Fati could save them from a dismal 2-0 defeat away at Granada. Messi was still not deemed fit enough to start at Los Carmenes while Fati, the 16-year-old who has lit up La Liga in recent weeks, also began the game on the bench on Saturday. But while both came on at half-time with Barca trailing to Ramon Azeez’s opener, it was Granada that scored again, Alvaro Vadillo ..

‘Don’t want award for myself, but please honour my coach’

 Amit Panghal NEW DELHI :  IGNORED for the Arjuna award due to an “inadvertent” doping violation in 2012, trailblazing Indian boxing ace Amit Panghal (52kg) said he does not care for personal honours but pleaded for a Dronacharya award for his formative coach Anil Dhankar. Panghal became the first Indian boxer to claim a silver medal at the just-concluded World Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia. He is also an Asian Games and Asian Championships gold-medallist. However, ..

Vettel ends long wait for victory with Singapore triumph

FERRARI’S Sebastian Vettel ended his year-long drought without a win at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday, mastering a hazy circuit to claim a record fifth triumph in the city-state. The German was chased home by team-mate Charles Leclerc, who started on pole but lost the lead to the four-time world champion after making his pit stop, and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who finished third. “It was a very late call on the pit stop and I just gave it everything on the out lap. I was surprised to come out ..

Klopp’s men flop in opener Holders Liverpool lose to Napoli

   PARIS :  HOLDERS Liverpool began their defence of the Champions League trophy with a defeat against Napoli on Tuesday, while one missed spot-kick condemned Chelsea to defeat against Valencia and another came to Barcelona’s rescue. Liverpool survived a 1-0 defeat in Naples in the group stage last season to go on and win their sixth European Cup, and this time a 2-0 reverse at the San Paolo made them the first reigning champions to lose their opening game in the competition since ..

Vinesh freezes Olympic quota NUR-SULTAN

  (Kazakhstan) :   INDIAN wrestling had a lot to celebrate on Wednesday as Vinesh Phogat secured Tokyo Olympics qualification and won a bronze, while Pooja Dhanda put herself one win away from her second medal at the World Championships here. Having endured a medal-less run in three World Championships before, Vinesh finally ended the drought by pinning Maria Prevolaraki to win by fall in the bronze-medal bout. “It is my first World Championship medal and it is a big thing ..

Panghal, Kaushik assure India of two medals

 EKATERINBURG :  INDIA were assured of an unprecedented two medals at the World Men’s Boxing Championships after Amit Panghal (52kg) and Manish Kaushik (63kg) entered the semi-finals of the marquee event with impressive victories here on Wednesday. While Asian Games and championship gold-medallist Panghal defeated Filipino Carlo Paalam 4-1, Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Kaushik got the better of Brazil’s Wanderson de Oliveira 5-0. Both the boxers sealed their maiden world ..

Norwich stun defending champions Man City

 LONDON :  NORWICH City stunned title holders Manchester City 3-2 in the English Premier League as Teemu Pukki scored one goal and assisted another at Carrow Road. Kenny McLean nodded in a corner in the 18th minute to give Norwich the shock lead over the reigning Premier League champions on Saturday night. Norwich were without 10 first-team players through injury but that did not stop them from doubling their advantage as ten minutes later Todd Cantwell made it 2-0 after Pukki broke clear ..

Fati lights up Barcelona

 BARCELONA :  BARCELONA’S 16-year-old forward Ansu Fati continued his explosive start to life in the first team by scoring and providing an assist as the La Liga champions thrashed Valencia 5-2 on Saturday. Goals from Fati, Frenkie de Jong, Gerard Pique and two from Luis Suarez gave Barca their second win of the season. Kevin Gameiro and Maxi Gomez scored for Valencia, who suffered their biggest defeat in over three years in coach Albert Celades’ first game. The victory took ..

With fourth straight crown, Advani lifts World title No 22

  MANDALAY (Myanmar) :  ONE of India’s most consistent sportspersons, Pankaj Advani, on Sunday increased his tally of world titles to 22 by winning a fourth straight final in the 150-up format at the IBSF World Billiards Championship here. The 34-year-old has brought home a world trophy every year ever since returning from a professional stint in the UK in 2014. In the short format of billiards, this is Advani’s fifth title in the last six years. “It’s such a ..

Have kept an empty space in cabinet for Oly gold: Sindhu

 NEW DELHI :  THE World Championship gold has healed the wounds of all past final debacles except the Rio Olympics, says Indian badminton ace PV Sindhu, who has kept an empty space in her trophy cabinet for the top prize, which she hopes to claim in Tokyo next year. An Olympic silver-medallist, Sindhu clinched the historic World Championship gold at Basel after beating Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7 in her third successive final. Before that historic day, the 24-year-old Indian ..

Kaushik advances to Rd 2 of World Championships

EKATERINBURG (Russia) :   COMMONWEALTH Games silver-medallist Manish Kaushik (63kg) hardly broke a sweat as he out-punched Kyrgyzstan’s Uulu Argen Kadyrbek to enter the second round of the World men’s Boxing Championship. Kaushik prevailed 5-0 in the thoroughly lopsided opening-round bout. He will next face the Netherlands’ Enrico Lacruz.   The only Indian in action on Thursday, Kaushik was advised to keep his distance from Kadyrbek by his corner and he executed ..

Hima named Gatorade brand ambassador

 NEW DELHI :  INDIA ace sprinter Hima Das was on Thursday named as the brand ambassador of Gatorade India. The 19-year-old from Assam, nicknamed the Dhing Express, thus joins ace badminton player PV Sindhu and star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra as the brand’s ambassador in the country. “I am honoured to join the Gatorade family which consists of sporting legends across the world,” said Das, who had won two gold medals in women’s 4x400m and mixed 4x400m at the Jakarta ..

Belgium, Netherlands cruise

  PARIS : BELGIUM and the Netherlands both cruised to 4-0 wins over Scotland and Estonia respectively in Euro 2020 qualifying on Monday, while Germany claimed a crucial victory over Northern Ireland in their bid to qualify for next year’s finals. Roberto Martinez’s Belgium, the world-number-one ranked side, were not at their best but still swatted aside a poor Scotland outfit at Hampden Park to make it six wins from as many matches in Group I. Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku ..

‘My parents made a lot of sacrifices’

 NEW DELHI :  INDIAN badminton ace PV Sindhu says she will be marked by opponents after her World Championships gold and would need to constantly discover “new things” in her game to maintain her stranglehold on international badminton. Olympic silver medallist Sindhu became the first Indian to win a historic World Championships gold medal after thrashing Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7 in a lop-sided final at Basel, Switzerland last month. Asked about the challenges ..

Schumacher in Paris for cell therapy

  PARIS : THE stricken seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher is in Paris’ Georges-Pompidou hospital for cell therapy surgery, according to French daily ‘Le Parisien’. The Paris hospitals department, contacted by AFP, refused to confirm or deny the news citing medical privacy laws. But according to Le Parisien, the 50-year-old German is in the cardiovascular department overseen by surgeon Philippe Menasche, described as a ‘pioneer in cell surgery ..

Rafa overcomes ‘Big Fight’

 Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his victorry over Diego Schwartzman NEW YORK :  The Spaniard storms into semis after beating Schwartzman DIEGO Schwartzman may have been the smallest player in 25 years to reach the US Open quarter-finals but gave Rafa Nadal a big fight and forced the Spaniard to grind out a 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 win on Wednesday to reach the last four at Flushing Meadows. With Roger Federer and 2018 champion Novak Djokovic having already made exits, Nadal’s path ..

Canadian Andreescu makes it to last four

 Canadian Bianca Andreescu reacts after her quarter-final win. (AFP) NEW YORK :  CANADIAN Bianca Andreescu became the first teen US Open semi-finalist in a decade, rallying to defeat Belgium’s Elise Mertens on Wednesday and advance to a last-four match-up with Belinda Bencic. Andreescu, a 19-year-old from suburban Toronto, downed 25th seed Mertens 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to book a clash against fellow Slam semi-final debutante Bencic, the Swiss 13th seed who beat Croatian 23rd seed Donna ..

Chhetri strikes but India lose to Oman

    GUWAHATI :   CAPTAIN Sunil Chhetri’s splendid first-half strike went in vain as India surrendered a one-goal advantage to lose 1-2 to Oman in their opening fixture of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, here on Thursday. The 87-ranked Oman turned it around in the last eight minutes of regulation time by scoring twice through Rabia Alawi Al Mandhar, leaving the hosts distraught. India were left to rue the missed chances in the first half after a spirited second half ..

Saina, Sourabh eyeing to regain titles at Chinese Taipei

 TAIPEI :  FORMER champions Saina Nehwal and Sourabh Verma will look to finding their best form when they begin their quest to regain the women’s and men’s singles crowns at the Chinese Taipei BWF World Tour Super 300 beginning with qualifiers here on Tuesday. Top seed Saina returns to the tournament for the first time since winning the title way back in 2008, while reigning national champion Sourabh had achieved the glory here in 2016 and will look to repeat his feat.  On ..

Bale scores twice and sent off as Madrid held by Villarreal

 MADRID : GARETH Bale scored twice to save Real Madrid from a damaging defeat away at Villarreal on Sunday before capping a dramatic 2-2 La Liga draw by being sent off in injury-time. Zinedine Zidane said in July it would be “best for everyone” if Bale left this summer but it was the Welshman’s double that earned Madrid a point from a thrilling contest at la Ceramica. Villarreal took the lead through Gerard Moreno in the 12th minute and then Moi Gomez 16 minutes from the ..

Will work harder and win many more medals: Sindhu

  NEW DELHI : INDIA’S first badminton world champion PV Sindhu was welcomed exuberantly on her return to the country but she said the feeling is yet to sink in given her hectic schedule since the triumph. The Olympic silver-medallist, who out-played Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7 in a lop-sided final of the big event in Basel, Switzerland on Sunday, was mobbed at the airport after she touched down with national coach Pullela Gopichand by her side on Monday night here. Despite ..

Nagal stretches great Federer

 NEW YORK : Prajnesh goes down in straight sets THE improbable did not happen but India’s Sumit Nagal exited the US Open fighting, stretching and even earning the respect of his opponent, the incomparable Roger Federer. In another first-round match featuring an Indian, Prajnesh Gunneswaran got a taste of high-level tennis, losing to world number five Daniil Medvedev in straight sets at the Flushing Meadows on Monday night. With their losses, India’s singles challenge drew to a close ..

Cantona to be honoured with UEFA President’s Award

 FORMER Manchester United and France legend Eric Cantona is to receive the UEFA President’s Award at the Champions League draw in Monaco on Thursday. The 53-year-old, who won five English championships with Leeds and Manchester United in the 1990s and two French titles with Marseille, joins an illustrious list of previous recipients which includes Johann Cruyff, Alfredo Di Stefano and Eusebio. Cantona is the third Manchester United player to receive the award after Bobby Charlton in 2008 ..

‘This is my answer to critics’

  BASEL (Switzerland) :   PV SINDHU says she felt “angry and sad” after being criticised for not finishing on top in the last two World Championship finals and the gold medal in the just-concluded edition is her answer to all the critics who questioned her. Two-time silver-medallist Sindhu ended an agonising wait for an elusive gold with a maiden World Championship title on Sunday. “This is my answer to the people who have asked me questions over and over. I just ..

Nishikori cruises into second round

  NEW YORK : KEI Nishikori became the first man to advance to the US Open second round as the 2014 finalist beat qualifier Marco Trungelliti who was forced to retire with the Japanese leading 6-1, 4-1 on Monday. Nishikori’s serve clicked from the start and the seventh seed won 90 percent of his first-serve points while never facing a break point against the Argentine in 47 minutes on Grandstand. Next up for Nishikori is a second-round clash with Thiago Monteiro or Bradley Klahn.  ..

Need to improve in certain areas but team on right track: Rani

  INDIA’S invincible run in the Olympic test event has boosted the confidence of the women’s hockey team but there are still areas where it needs to put in the hard yards ahead of the FIH Olympic Qualifiers, said skipper Rani Rampal. The Indian women’s hockey team put up a brilliant performance at the Olympic test event in Tokyo as they defeated hosts Japan 2-1 in the Final to win the competition. Captain Rani seemed extremely pleased with the way the side played against ..

No words to express, have waited for so long: Sindhu

 BASEL (Switzerland) :  TWO-TIME silver medallist PV Sindhu was left speechless after her agonising wait for the elusive gold finally ended with a maiden World Championship title here on Sunday. Sindhu became the first Indian to win World Championships gold by thrashing familiar rival Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-7, 21-7 in one of the most lop-sided finals ever. Two years after being robbed of the gold by Okuhara in an epic 110-minute final that went down as one of the greatest battles in ..

Aguero strikes for City

 BOURNEMOUTH : SERGIO Aguero struck twice as Manchester City moved into second place in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Liverpool, with a 3-1 win at Bournemouth on Sunday. Aguero, who has scored in all three games this season, gave City a 15th-minute lead, slotting home after left back Oleksandr Zinchenko’s low cross had been mis-hit by Kevin De Bruyne only to fall kindly for the Argentine. Adam Smith then missed a great chance to level for the Cherries, firing high over the ..

Sindhu creates history

 BASEL (Switzerland): Becomes first Indian shuttler to win World C’ships gold, beats Japan’s Okuhara in final  PV SINDHU on Sunday became the first Indian to win badminton World Championships gold by beating familiar rival Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in a lop-sided final here on Sunday. The Indian won 21-7, 21-7 in the summit clash that lasted just 38 minutes. Two years after being robbed of the gold by Okuhara in an epic 110-minute final at Glasgow that went down as one ..

Lampard’s Chelsea held at home

 LONDON: CHELSEA manager Frank Lampard had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Leicester City in his first home match in charge on Sunday as a second-half header by Wilfred Ndidi cancelled out Mason Mount’s early goal on his home debut. Chelsea raced into a quick lead when the 20 year-old Mount, one of a crop of young players given their chance by Lampard, stole the ball from a dallying Ndidi and left Kasper Schmeichel with no chance with his shot in the seventh minute. The goal capped an ..

Djokovic dumped as Medvedev sets up Cincinnati final with Goffin

 CINCINNATI:  WORLD number one Novak Djokovic wilted under pressure from Daniil Medvedev, falling 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to the ninth-seeded Russian in the Cincinnati Masters semi-finals. Medvedev’s upset win on Saturday sent him into a title showdown with another unexpected finalist, 16th-seeded Belgian David Goffin, who defeated France’s Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-4 to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 final. A fuming Djokovic, who looked to have control of the contest in the early going, ..

Deepa dedicates Khel Ratna to late father

 NEW DELHI:  AFTER being recommended for the highest sporting award in the country the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna para athlete Deepa Malik has dedicated the honour to her late father Bal Krishan Nagpal, saying the recognition was a real tribute to “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikaas.” The Government on Saturday decided to recommend Deepa’s name for the Khel Ratna award. She will become the second para athlete to be honoured with the prestigious award after javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia ..

Man City seek Spurs revenge

MANCHESTER City will seek revenge against Tottenham on Saturday for their dramatic Champions League exit last season as Liverpool and Manchester United also look to build on impressive Premier League starts this weekend...

Adrian saves Liverpool from another heartbreak

STAND-IN goalkeeper Adrian was the hero as his save from Tammy Abraham allowed Liverpool to beat Chelsea 5-4 on penalties and win the UEFA Super Cup after a richly entertaining match in Istanbul finished 2-2 at the end of extra time.Every penalty in the shoot-out had been successful before Mohamed Salah stepped up to convert Liverpool’s fifth kick at the home of Besiktas. Substitute Abraham then had his effort saved by Adrian, the summer signing only playing in the absence of the injured Allison Becker...

Djokovic motors into quarters, Federer crashes out

WORLD number one Novak Djokovic has a remarkably clear road to the ATP Cincinnati Masters final after producing an efficient victory while third seed Roger Federer crashed out of the US Open tuneup event...

Judgement Day for Real Madrid

 Real Madrid’s French forward Karim Benzema (R) vies for the ball with defender Jerome Junior Onguene during the pre-season friendly match against FC Red Bull Salzburg in Salzburg, Austria. (AFP) MADRID:  ZINEDINE Zidane returned to save Real Madrid and the time has come for results. In a packed-out press conference under the Santiago Bernabeu in March, the club’s president Florentino Perez delivered the grandest of re-introductions. “We need to start working on a ..

Federer, Djokovic advance, Serena pulls out in Cincinnati

  CINCINNATI:   ROGER Federer and Novak Djokovic overwhelmed opponents at the WTA-ATP Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday, where Serena Williams withdrew because of back trouble. Williams had hoped to rebound from the back spasms that forced her out of the WTA final in Toronto on Sunday, where she lasted only four games before retiring. But the 23-time Grand Slam champion said her back was “still not right” casting a further shadow on her chances at the US Open starting in ..

Each day, I want to improve, says Pant

 PORT OF SPAIN: RISHABH Pant is on a learning curve in a tricky journey called international cricket and his only endeavour is to improve each day, not only as a cricketer but also a human being. The nascent international career of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s heir apparent has been an eventful one — a few eye-catching knocks interspersed with indiscreet shot selections that invited a lot of critical comments. With India having a packed schedule in the next six months, Pant was asked ..

NZ eye top Test ranking in Sri Lanka series

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson plays a shot during a practice session at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle. The first Test begins Wednesday in Galle.     GALLE: NEW Zealand have a chance of securing the top spot in Test cricket when they take on Sri Lanka in a two-match series from Wednesday, exactly a month after their cruel World Cup defeat to England. New Zealand, with 109 points in Test cricket, are ranked behind India on 113 points, but a 2-0 series win ..

CoA clears Dravid as cricket head of NCA, finds no conflict of interest

    MUMBAI: THE Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Tuesday cleared Rahul Dravid’s appointment as Head of Cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), ruling that there is “no conflict of interest” case against the former India captain. Lt General Ravi Thogde, the new member of the CoA, said the ball is now in BCCI Ombudsman-cum-ethics officer DK Jain’s court. “There is no conflict on Rahul’s case. He has got a notice and we have cleared his appointment..

Rankireddy-Shetty makes history

 BANGKOK: Becomes first Indian pair to win BWF Super 500 tourney  SATWIKSAIRAJ Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty on Sunday became the first Indian pair to win a BWF Super 500 badminton tournament with a hard-fought victory over Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen of China in the summit clash of Thailand Open here. The unseeded Indian duo prevailed 21-19, 18-21, 21-18 over the third seeded Chinese pair after battling hard for an hour and two minutes. It was the first final of the 2019 season ..

Eager Nadal leads ATP Montreal field

MONTREAL: DEFENDING champion Rafael Nadal heads the field for the ATP Montreal Masters that starts on Monday with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer opting out of the key US Open tune-up. With Djokovic and Federer putting a return to action on hold after their dramatic Wimbledon final, 33-year-old Nadal will be seeking to retain the title he earned last year in Toronto, when he beat rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.  The Greek is back, taking the fourth seeding behind a pair of ..

Hamilton wins Hungary Grand Prix after hunting down Verstappen

 BUDAPEST: FORMULA One leader Lewis Hamilton hunted down Max Verstappen to win the Hungarian Grand Prix for a record-extending seventh time on Sunday and surge 62 points clear in the championship standings. Dutch 21-year-old Verstappen, who had started from pole position for the first time, was runner-up after being reeled in and overtaken four laps from the end with his tyres worn to the limit. “That was definitely a tall order but I’m grateful we did it,” said Hamilton ..

Praneeth advances to last eight

 BANGKOK: ACE Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth crashed out of the Thailand Open after suffering unexpected defeats but B Sai Praneeth sailed into the quarter-finals of the men’s singles here on Thursday. Seventh seed Saina, who returned to action after nearly two months, squandered a game advantage to lose 21-16, 11-21, 14-21 against unseeded Sayaka Takahashi of Japan in a women’s singles second round duel that lasted 48 minutes. In the absence of PV Sindhu, ..

Four Indian boxers in Russia semis

 NEW DELHI: ASIAN gold-medallist Pooja Rani (75kg) and world bronze-winner Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), along with two others Indians, entered the semi-finals of the Magomed Salam Umakhanov Memorial International Boxing Tournament in Kaspiysk, Russia. India Open gold medallist Neeraj (57kg) and former world youth bronze-medallist Jony (60kg) were the other two to make the semi-finals on Wednesday night.  A bronze-medallist from the Strandja Memorial Cup earlier this year, Lovlina defeated ..

Gurjit ready ahead of Olympic qualifiers

 BENGALURU:  PULLING off a victory against the world No 2 Australia will help boost our confidence ahead of the Olympics qualifiers, feels Indian women’s hockey player Gurjit Kaur. The Indian women’s team, currently ranked 10th in the FIH Rankings, will face tough challenges against the likes of Australia, China (11th) and hosts Japan (14th) at the Olympic test event, scheduled to begin in Tokyo on August 17.  The tournament will give the Indian team a chance to work on ..

Brazil police end Neymar rape probe

 POLICE in Brazil probing rape allegations against football superstar Neymar have closed the case due to a lack of evidence, the Sao Paulo attorney general’s office said Monday.  The police decision will be sent to prosecutors on Tuesday, who will have 15 days to evaluate the case, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office told AFP. A final ruling on the case will be made by a judge. A spokesman for Neymar said he was not able to comment on the police decision ..

Hima nearing her best, says Volker

 NEW DELHI: INDIAN athletics’ High Performance Director Volker Herrmann feels star sprinter Hima Das is nearing her best, having won five successive gold medals in three weeks in Europe. The 19-year-old Hima has won five races — four in 200m and one in her pet 400m event — in Poland and Czech Republic since July 2. She has been improving on her timing even though the field in all the five races was mediocre. “Hima is progressing in the right direction. If you want ..

Lowry’s career comes full circle

 Ireland’s Shane Lowry poses with his family and the Claret Jug after winning the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland. (AFP/Glyn Kirk)  PORTRUSH (Ireland):  SHANE Lowry burst onto the professional scene with an incredible victory as an amateur at the Irish Open a decade ago, and he delivered again on Sunday by romping to a memorable British Open triumph at a wind-swept Royal Portrush. The 32-year-old became only the second player from ..

Sindhu aims to complete unfinished business

 TOKYO:  ACE Indian shuttler PV Sindhu will have to quickly pick up the pieces after her deflating loss in the Indonesia Open final and prepare for the next battle at the Japan Open BWF World Tour Super 750 starting here Tuesday. The USD 750,000 tournament will also see the return of Saina Nehwal, who had missed the Indonesia Open Super 1000 event due to fitness issues.  Sindhu missed an opportunity to break a seven-month title drought when she lost in straight games to Akane Yamaguchi ..

Sindhu goes down to Yamaguchi in final

 JAKARTA: PV SINDHU’S hopes of breaking a seven-month title drought came crashing down as the Indian lost in straight games to Akane Yamaguchi in the finals of Indonesia Open BWF Tour Super 1000 tournament here Sunday. Seven months after becoming the first Indian to win the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals in December, Olympic silver medallist Sindhu had an opportunity to finally lay her hands on another crown only to squander, losing 15-21, 16-21 to the Japanese in a lop-sided ..

China’s Sun blazes to record fourth 400m freestyle world crown

China’s Sun Yang poses with his medal after the men’s 400m freestyle final at the 2019 World Championships at Gwangju, South Korea. (AFP/Oli Scarff)   GWANGJU: CHINA’S Sun Yang stormed to 400 metres freestyle gold at the world swimming championships Sunday, retaining his title and winning it for a record fourth time. The controversial triple Olympic champion clocked three minutes, 42.44 seconds in Gwangju with fierce Australian rival Mack Horton taking silver ..

Pacquiao captures WBA crown

 LAS VEGAS:  FILIPINO legend Manny Pacquiao rolled back the years to become the oldest welterweight champion in boxing history with a thrilling split decision victory over WBA champion Keith Thurman. Pacquiao, 10 years older than the previously undefeated Thurman, delivered a vintage performance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to leave the sell-out crowd of 14,356 roaring its approval.  Pacquiao floored Thurman with an electrifying combination in the first round and remained on the front ..

Sindhu, Srikanth make winning starts

 JAKARTA: TOP Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth made impressive starts to their campaign, progressing to the second round of the Indonesia Open with contrasting wins at the BWF World Tour Super 1000 tournament here Wednesday. Rejuvenated after a month-long break from a hectic BWF schedule, Sindhu and Srikanth prevailed over Japanese shuttlers Aya Ohori and Kenta Nishimoto in women’s and men’s singles respectively.  Fifth seed Sindhu, who is looking for her ..

Deepika bags silver in Olympics test event

 TOKYO: INDIA’S top-ranked woman archer Deepika Kumari Wednesday clinched a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games test event after going down to 18-year-old Korean An San in straight sets. Ranked fourth in the qualification round, Deepika found the going tough against the second seed, who produced fine shooting including a flawless third set to clinch the match 6-0 in her favour. A double gold medallist at the recently-concluded fourth stage of the World Cup in Berlin, San took ..

Hima Das clinches fourth gold in 15 days

 STAR Indian sprinter Hima Das clinched her fourth gold in a fortnight as she won the 200m race with a creditable timing in the Tabor Athletics Meet in Czech Republic, Wednesday. Hima won the race in 23.25 seconds, which had a mediocre field with most of the competitors representing clubs of Czech Republic. Hima’s compatriot VK Vismaya was second with a season of best 23.43 seconds. Hima has a 200m personal best of 23.10 seconds.  This was 19-year-old Hima’s fourth gold since ..

Calming words from Stokes helped me in Super Over, says Archer

ENGLAND pacer Jofra Archer said reassuring words from team-mate Ben Stokes helped him to keep his calm in the Super Over of the World Cup final against New Zealand at the iconic Lord’s here. Hosts England lifted their maiden World Cup trophy on Sunday night by defeating New Zealand in the Super Over in the heart-stopping final...

The Good (NZ), The Bad (Rules), and The Lucky (Eng)

NEW Zealand did not lose. England did not win, but they are the World Champions. That is the insanity this game throws up once in a blue moon..