Sports

Dhoni dropped from BCCI’s central contracts list

MAHENDRA Singh Dhoni was on Thursday dropped from the BCCI’s list of centrally contracted players, raising fresh doubts on the future of the former India captain who has not played since the World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand last year. The BCCI announced the central contracts for the period of October 2019 to September 2020. The 38-year-old Dhoni was in the A category, which fetches a player Rs 5 crore as annual retainership, until last year. Skipper Virat Kohli, his white-ball deputy Rohit ..

Thomas set to tee it up at 1st PGA Tour of 2020

JUSTIN Thomas’ all-around game has made him one of the hottest players on the PGA Tour and the American will try to carry that momentum into this week’s Tournament of Champions, the first event of 2020...

You win sometimes, other times you learn: Vijender

HE hasn’t lost a bout in close to five years and Vijender Singh is determined to keep the record with a world title to boot as he enters the new decade donning multiple hats, including the one of an active politician “with strong opinions”. The 34-year-old trailblazing boxer, who delivered India’s first Olympic and men’s world championship medals in boxing back in 2008 and 2009, has logged an enviable 12-0 record in the professional circuit, which he entered in 2015...

Flamengo come from behind to book Club WC final slot

BRUNO Henrique scored one goal and made two more to book Flamengo’s place in the final of the Club World Cup as the Brazilian giants came from behind to beat Asian champions Al Hilal 3-1 here. Salem Aldawsari gave the Saudi club a deserved lead in the first half of this semi-final on a rare rainy night at the Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday, but Flamengo woke up after the interval and equalised through Giorgian De Arrascaeta in the 49th minute. Bruno Henrique then headed home after 78 minutes ..

‘Let election decide, no compromise with AICF chief faction’

THE question of compromise between the two factions in the All India Chess Federation (AICF) does not arise and the issue will be settled in an electoral showdown, said a senior official, the leader of one of the factions. The AICF is split into two factions one under its President PR Venketrama Raja and the other under its Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan. “There is no question of compromise. Let the issue get settled by elections. The elections should be held under the supervision of a retired Supreme ..

Azhar seeks home win after 10-year drought

PAKISTAN skipper Azhar Ali said he wants the return of Test cricket to the country to be a memorable one as his team seeks victory over Sri Lanka in Karachi starting Thursday. Their series is the first in Pakistan since a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus killed eight people in March 2009, leading to the suspension of international cricket in the country as foreign sides refused to visit over security fears. The return of Test cricket to Pakistan last week was something of a washout, with ..

Pleased about pulling off big score batting first: Kohli

INDIA captain Virat Kohli said the best aspect of the series-clinching win over West Indies in the third and final T20 International here was that his team finally managed to post a big score while batting first. While India have been good at chasing for a while now, they have been making a conscious effort to amass big totals batting first ahead of the T20 World Cup next year. Kohli led from the front smashing an unbeaten 70 off 29 balls as India beat West Indies by 67 runs in the third T20. For ..

Not executing our plans has been the story this series, says Pollard

WEST Indies skipper Kieron Pollard said failing to execute their plans has been the story of his team as it went down by 67 runs in the third T20I against India to lose the series 1-2 here. “They scored 240. I thought we didn’t execute as we wanted. Yes they got off to a good start but we got a couple of wickets where we got back into the game. But when we came back in that scenario we didn’t execute properly. That has been the story this series in terms of where we need to improve,” Pollard told ..

Labuschagne ton stalls Kiwis in day-night Test

EMERGING Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne on Thursday posted his third successive Test century to frustrate a resilient New Zealand attack on the opening day of the first Test in Perth. After Australia won a potentially pivotal toss in scorching heat and elected to bat in the first ever day-night Test in Perth, the home team was 248 for four at stumps after facing some challenging bowling from the disciplined Kiwi bowlers. Having toiled without much success in 40C heat, the Kiwis fought back ..

Wozniacki to retire after Australian Open

FORMER world number one Caroline Wozniacki announced on Friday that she will retire from tennis after next month’s Australian Open.   The 29-year-old Dane won her only Grand Slam singles title in Melbourne last year in her third major final.“I’ve accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court,” she said in an Instagram post. “I’ve always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis that I want to do more, ..

Woods turns down Saudi event, backs Mickelson

FORMER world number one Tiger Woods said he had turned down offers to play in the Saudi International golf tournament, but defended the right of players to participate in the event. Speaking on the eve of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, Woods said he had rejected approaches to play in Saudi Arabia despite appearance fees reportedly in the region of $3 million (2.7 million euros). “I just don’t want to go over there,” Woods told ESPN. “It’s a long way.” Golfers participating in the Saudi Internatio..

I will get another chance to surpass Lara’s 400: Warner

EXPLOSIVE Australian opener David Warner believes that he will get another chance to have a crack at Brian Lara’s world record individual Test score of 400 after missing out against Pakistan here. Warner was left stranded at 335 not out when Australia skipper Tim Paine declared the innings on Saturday. Lara, who was in Adelaide on that day attending to some commercial engagements, was getting ready to meet Warner and congratulate him if the Australian went past 400 runs...

Ramkumar, Sumit trample Pakistan

NUR-SULTANA RUTHLESS India raced to a 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup tie for the loss of just two games as Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal toyed with their teen rivals from Pakistan, here on Friday. In a mismatch of epic proportion, Ramkumar double-bageled 17-year-old Muhammed Shoaib in just 42 minutes in the opening singles.The only time Shoaib made it look like a match was in the sixth game of the second set when he stretched Ramkumar to two deuce points. Sumit Nagal reacts after winning a ..

Kipchoge, Muhammad win Athlete of the Year awards

ELIUD Kipchoge, the first man to run a marathon in less than two hours, and 400 metres hurdles world champion Dalilah Muhammad won the World Athlete of the Year awards. Kipchoge, 35, claimed governing body World Athletics’ year-ending prize in Monaco on Saturday after making history last month when he ran the marathon distance of 42.195 kilometres (26.219 miles) in 1hr 59min 40.2sec...

Davis Cup an absolute success: Pique

BARCELONA footballer Gerard Pique has insisted the inaugural Davis Cup Finals in Madrid have been an “absolute success”, although he did admit some changes would have to be made in future. The controversial week-long finals were launched by Pique’s investment company Kosmos, replacing the old World Group which saw teams play each other in longer ties spread across the year. “The competition is an absolute success,” Pique told broadcasters Movistar on Saturday...

Nadal-led Spain face Canada in final

RAFAEL Nadal inspired Spain into their first Davis Cup final since 2012 as he teamed up with Feliciano Lopez to secure a dramatic last-four victory over Britain in Madrid. The hosts trailed 1-0 after Lopez’s singles defeat by Kyle Edmund on Saturday, but Nadal thrashed Dan Evans before partnering Lopez in a 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (10/8) win in the deciding doubles over Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski. Spain will face Canada in Sunday’s final after the North Americans won their semi-final against Russia, which ..

Perfect Thiem: Dominic meets Tsitsipas in final

DOMINIC Thiem beat defending champion Alexander Zverev to join Roger Federer’s conqueror Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final of the ATP Finals in London. The Austrian fifth seed saw off the big-serving German 7-5, 6-3 on Saturday after Greece’s Tsitsipas, making his debut at the tournament, had earlier beaten Federer 6-3, 6-4. Thiem is playing in his fourth ATP Finals but during his first three trips to the season finale, he won only three matches and never advanced out of the group stage at the O2 Arena. ..

Harmeet claims Indonesia Open TT Championship

INDIAN paddler Harmeet Desai staved off a strong challenge from compatriot Amalraj Anthony to win the ITTF Challenge Indonesia Open in Batam, Indonesia on Sunday. In an all-Indian men’s singles final, it was Harmeet who started on a positive note winning the opening game 11-9 but he lost the next game 9-11, allowing Amalraj to draw level...

Anand an inspiration, says So

FILIPINO-AMERICAN Grandmaster Wesley So on Sunday hailed Viswanathan Anand as his inspiration, saying that he had no clue how the Indian chess legend was still going strong and was among the best in the world. “He is an inspiration. I don’t think I could play at this level 20 years from now. It’s incredible what he is doing,” Wesley said on the sidelines of the Tata Steel Chess India event where the recently-crowned World Fischer Random Chess champion met budding chess players. Wesley, one of the ..

Federer stays alive

ROGER Federer kept alive his hopes of a seventh ATP Finals crown on Tuesday, beating Italian debutant Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 at London’s O2 Arena. The Swiss third seed put himself under enormous pressure by losing his first match on Sunday in straight sets in Group Bjorn Borg to Dominic Thiem. The six-time champion was not at his fluent best on Tuesday but ultimately had too much for Berrettini, who won just three games against Novak Djokovic in his opener. Both players were solid on serve ..

Srikanth gets first round walkover after Momota pull-out

TOP Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the men’s singles second round without playing a shot after his opponent Kento Momota’s pull-out while Sourabh Verma entered the main draw of the Hong Kong Open after clinching straight-game wins in his two qualifying clashes on Tuesday. Srikanth was to play against Momota in the first round on Wednesday but the Japanese world number one pulled out of the tournament on Tuesday. The reasons for his withdrawal were not known. A few days back, the 24-year-old ..

Ronaldo avoids fine despite his anger at substitution

STAR striker Cristiano Ronaldo will be escaping both fine and ban for his angered reaction when he was substituted by coach Maurizio Sarri during Juventus’ 1-0 Serie A win over AC Milan. On Sunday, Sarri hauled off Ronaldo after just 55 minutes of their Serie A showdown at the Allianz Arena. The Portugal international was replaced by Paulo Dybala with the Italian champions in search of a goal. Dybala, however, proved Sarri right as he scored the goal in the 77th minute...

Djokovic crushes Tsitsipas to set up Dimitrov semis in Paris

NOVAK Djokovic produced a magnificent performance to thrash seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-1, 6-2 on Friday and set up a Paris Masters semi-final against Grigor Dimitrov. The 32-year-old, battling Rafael Nadal for the year-end world number one spot, dispatched Greek star Tsitsipas in only 58 minutes...

City hope Bernardo gets back to his peak form

MANCHESTER City host struggling Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday with Pep Guardiola hoping that Bernardo Silva maintains his recent return to something approaching the peak of his powers. Portuguese playmaker Silva was among the most feared players in the Premier League last season as City won all three domestic trophies...

American dream to deliver sixth world title for Hamilton

LEWIS Hamilton is set to clinch his sixth drivers’ world championship at one of his favourite venues this weekend when he leads Mercedes into what promises to be a close scrap with Ferrari at the United States Grand Prix. Just days after his unexpected, but perfectly-conceived, strategic victory in Mexico, the 34-year-old Briton is in the luxurious position of knowing that only a wildly-extraordinary result at the Circuit of the Americas can frustrate him again. His only title rival, Mercedes team-mate ..

Thapa, Rani clinch golds at Olympic Test event for boxing

SHIVA Thapa (63kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) clinched gold medals with impressive wins, while Ashish (69kg) settled for a silver as India ended with a decent haul of seven medals at the Olympic Test event for Boxing on Thursday. The other four medals are bronze owing to semi-final losses of Nikhat Zareen (51kg), Simranjeet Kaur (60kg) Sumit Sangwan (91kg) and Vahlimpuia (75kg) on Wednesday. Four-time Asian medallist Thapa out-punched Kazakhstan’s national champion and Asian bronze-winner Sanatali Toltayev ..

‘Captain’ Ganguly takes charge as BCCI chief

FORMER India captain Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday took charge as the BCCI President, easily the most high-profile name to head the world’s richest cricket board that has been mired in administrative turmoil for the past three years. The 47-year-old Ganguly was officially entrusted with the task of heading Indian cricket for the next nine months at the BCCI’s General Body meeting here, ending a controversial 33-month reign of the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA). Ganguly’s appointmen..

Nadal ties knot with longtime girlfriend

RAFAEL Nadal married his partner of 14 years, Xisca Perello, at a castle in Mallorca. Nadal, the 19-time Grand Slam champion, tied the knot with 31-year-old Perello at La Fortaleza, with a reported 350 guests invited to a private ceremony...

Bad day for Maharashtra cagers

HOLDERS Tamil Nadu girls beat Maharashtra 86-59 to top the pool A at the 79th junior national basketball championship at Patna. Maharashtra girls started well with captain Abha Lad finding the hoop at regular intervals. She was ably supported by Siya Deodhar who controlled the game beautifully. She repeatedly penetrated the rivals defence to make her team-mates free for easy shots. TN, who were down 17-27 in the first quarter regained their composure in the second to reduce the lead at the half time. ..

Mallorca stun Real Madrid as Barca reach top of La Liga

BARCELONA sailed back to the top of the table and trouble returned to Real Madrid after they endured their first La Liga defeat of the season at newly-promoted Real Mallorca. Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and Robinho were in the last Madrid team to lose a league game at San Moix in 2006 and 13 years later, Mallorca repeated the trick thanks to a scintillating strike by Junior Lago in the first half on Saturday. Alvaro Odriozola allowed Lago too much room to cut inside and was then sent off late on, ..

Federer to ply trade in French Open next year

SWISS tennis legend Roger Federer said Thursday he will play the French Open in Paris next year. “I will play the French Open. I probably won’t play much before that because I need some time away from it (tennis) and I need some time with the family,” the 38-year-old told CNN. The 20-time Grand Slam champion returned to Roland Garros this year after a three-year absence, falling to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. Federer confirmed he will compete at next year’s Tokyo Olympics after Wimbledon and ..

It’s game over for India Shuttlers bow out en masse

INDIA’S campaign at the USD 775,000 Denmark Open came to a disappointing end with the trioka of PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma — all-exiting after suffering straight-game losses, here on Thursday. World Champion Sindhu, seeded fifth, yet again struggled to buck the trend of recent early exits as she was knocked out after she lost 14-21, 17-21 to Korea’s An Se Young in a 40-minute second-round women’s singles clash at the BWF World Tour Super 750 event...

Bindra backs Zareen

Supports demand for trial match against Mary Kom INDIA’S only individual Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra on Thursday backed Nikhat Zareen’s demand for a trial bout against celebrated boxer MC Mary Kom before India’s squad for next year’s Olympic Qualifiers is decided. Former junior world champion boxer Zareen, who was refused a trial by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) for the World Championships, has written to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, demanding a “fair chance” to make it to ..

Sourav Ganguly files nomination papers, expected to be elected BCCI president unopposed

FORMER India captain Sourav Ganguly and Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah on Monday filed their nominations papers for the post of president and secretary, respectively, ahead of the October 23 BCCI elections where all office-bearers are expected to be elected unopposed. Flanked by former BCCI President N Srinivasan, former Secretary and Saurashtra stalwart Niranjan Shah and former IPL chairman and Uttar Pradesh strongman Rajiv Shukla, Ganguly entered the BCCI headquarters to submit his nomination papers to ..

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 ..