Advani opens gold account
Bhajji talks again with bat
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Guangzhou, November 14
Defending champion Advani kept his reputation intact with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Myanmar's Oo Nay Thway in the billiards final as India pushed their medals tally to one gold, three silver and two bronze to retain their fifth position on the table.
Hosts China continued to rule the roost and maintained the top position on the medals table with a tally of 37-14-12 while South Korea (13-10-12) and Japan (8-20-15) were in the second and third spots respectively.
The shooters were again in the spotlight with Heena Siddhu, Annu Raj Singh and Sania Rai claiming the silver in the women's 10 m air pistol team event and Vijay Kumar bagging the bronze in the men's 10 m air pistol at the Aoti shooting range.
Alok became the first Indian to win an Asian Games medal in pool events by bagging a bronze though he lost his semifinal contest 5-7 against Kuo Po-Cheng of Chinese Taipei.
Under rules of the event, both the losing semifinalists are awarded a bronze each instead of playing a third-place play-off.
India's men's tennis team also assured itself of a bronze medal by securing a place in the semi-finals against top seed Chinese Taipei but the performance in other disciplines such as weightlifting, judo, swimming, cycling and triathlon left much to be desired on a day of mixed fortunes.
The day clearly belonged to the 25-year-old Advani who showed nerves of steel under severe pressure to clinch the first gold medal for India when he came twice from behind to edge out Myanmar's Oo Nay Thway 3-2 and retain his title after a bitterly fought billiards singles final.
Advani was down 1-2 after losing the first and third frames, but fought back in dogged fashion to clinch the fourth to take the match into a nerve-wracking final frame.
A beaming Advani, who has won the world professional and IBSF titles in the past, said this was the biggest title of his career.
"This feels great. This is Olympics for me as unfortunately we are not there in the Olympics. This time I made it a point to win the first gold for the country. It's an absolutely emotional moment for me. I cant't ask for more," he said.
After Narang's exploits on the opening day, the Indian women shooters Heena Sidhu, Annu Raj Singh and Sonia Rai had their moment of glory as they won the silver medal in the 10m Air Pistol team event. — PTI
Bhajji talks again with bat
Hyderabad, November 14
Harbhajan was unbeaten on 85 while Sreesanth was not out on 14. Sreesanth played a dour game, fending off some intimidatory bowling from Tim Southee, a to give company to Harbhajan. The left-arm spinner went hammer and tongs at the bowling to scatter the field and gather some fast runs to take India to a much-needed first-innings lead.
Barring the brilliant 74 by VVS Laxman, playing a Test match on his home ground for the first time, and to a lesser extent by the resilience of Rahul Dravid (46), no other Indian batsman could get over the bowling and fielding of the visitors. That India could score only 258 runs for the loss of seven wickets put the value of the knocks of Harbhajan and Laxman in perspective. An 18-minute hold up due to a sudden drizzle after tea threatened to play the spoil sport, but nearly 29,000 spectators packing the stadium (according to official figures), waited patiently for the Harbhajan magic to unfold, and he did not disappoint the crowd, who had expected much from maestro Sachin Tendulkar, on the threshold of his 50th century. But Sachin departed in the fourth over of the morning, after adding just two runs to his overnight total.
India could score only 59 runs in the first session, and the second new ball was taken after it was due before tea. And in 25 overs between lunch and tea, India improved the scoring, making 86 when Laxman made a brave effort to get out of the shackles put around the batsmen by the bowlers. After Dravid's departure, Laxman and Suresh Raina hoisted a 50-run partnership in 11 overs before the latter holed out an easy catch to Guptill off Vettori.
Laxman waited for the right ball to hit, without falling into the trap of the bowlers, so as not to disappoint his home fans, but a century from his blade in the first innings could not be realised as Chris Martin had him lbw for 74.
India (overnight 178-2)
Gambhir c Hopkins b Southee 54
Sehwag b Vettori 96
Dravid lbw b Southee 45
Tendulkar c Taylor b Vettori 13
Laxman lbw b Martin 74
Raina c Guptill b Vettori 20
Dhoni c McCullum b Vettori 14
Harbhajan not out 85
Zaheer c Arnel b Southee 7
Ojha run out 0
Sreesanth not out 14
Extras (b-4, lb-8, w-1, nb-1) 14
Total (9 wickets; 134 overs) 436
Bowling: Martin 29-6-87-1, Southee 28-6-95-3, Arnel 24-5-79-0, Vettori 45-6-123-4, Williamson 7-0-31-0, Taylor 1-0-9-0
New Delhi, November 14
Asked if the behaviour against him was racist, Chertkov said "it was insult straight on my face. It was humiliation.
It was discrimination. The way he (chef-de-mission Abhay Singh Chautala) was asking me (to go), I can say it was racism".
Chertkov told NDTV that managers of the different teams in the Indian contingent had complained about the dress given to athletes for the opening ceremony because of the "wrong" size.
Chertkov said he was told by Chautala that he could wear "something close enough to the dress or same colour blazer, Olympic style".
Chertkov said when he went for the opening ceremony with that dress, he was told by chef-de-mission Abhay Singh Chautala that he cannot take part as the dress was "not fit" and asked him to go away. "You cannot go with us. You can go". "It was the last straw. I cannot take it any more. If I'm not good enough for participating in the opening ceremony, what have I to do?" he said.
Asked if he was willing to resolve the issue and return to the Games, Chertkov said "I think it is already late".
He said he went to the Indian Olympic Association office on his return but "everybody ran away. I could not meet anyone".
Chautala for his part denied the charge of racism and said "racism would have been there had we stopped all foreign coaches of our contingent from going to the opening ceremony. "But all other foreign coaches were there. Have you so far got any complaint of racism from any other foreign coach"? He is the only one to complain".
Chautala said that Chertkov wanted to wear jeans and a T-shirt but was told he needed to be in the team uniform or "something close enough to the dress or same color blazer, Olympic style." — PTI
Abu Dhabi, November 14
The 23-year-old Red Bull driver lapped up the pressure under the Yas Marina floodlights to chalk up his fifth win of the season while Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, the pre-race favourite for a third title, struggled home seventh.
Vettel, adding the drivers' crown to the constructors' championship won the previous weekend in Brazil, ended up with 256 points to Alonso's 252.
"Thank you boys, unbelievable," gasped the German over the team radio, the tears flowing behind the visor after he took the chequered flag.
Team principal Christian Horner spared him no emotion: "You are the world champion. Enjoy it. You are the man," he bellowed from the pit wall.
"I love you," said Vettel in reply.
Alonso, who was the overall leader before the start, paid the price for an early pitstop that dropped him to 13th. The Spaniard then spent lap after lap trying in vain to find a way past Renault's steely Russian Vitaly Petrov while Ferrari held their breath and hoped for the rookie to make a mistake under pressure. It never happened.
"It's critical to pass, I know you are doing your best," team boss Stefano Domenicali told him over the radio as early as lap 16.
"Use the best of your talent, we know how big it is, use it," implored his race engineer Andrea Stella 26 laps later with just 13 remaining and the title hopes trickling away into the night.
Australian Mark Webber, Vettel's team mate, was eighth. He had been the first of the contenders to pit and also became bogged down in traffic in a race full of frustration for the 34-year-old. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who had to win in Abu Dhabi to have any hope of the title, finished second and was first to congratulate Vettel after they had stepped out of their cars.
Team mate and outgoing world champion Jenson Button took third place. While Vettel celebrated, seven times world champion Michael Schumacher's comeback season ended with a smash on the opening lap when his Mercedes spun and was speared by Force India's Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi.
The great, who last stood on the podium as a Ferrari driver in 2006 and is the only other German to have won the title, was fortunate to escape serious injury as the car ploughed into the side of the stationary Mercedes and rode up over the airbox just behind Schumacher's head.
The safety car was immediately deployed and stayed out for four laps.
Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher's Formula One comeback season ended with a smash in Abu Dhabi on Sunday when his Mercedes spun and was speared by a Force India car on the opening lap.
The seven-times world champion, who last stood on the podium as a Ferrari driver in 2006, was fortunate to escape serious injury as Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi's car ploughed into the stationary Mercedes just behind the German's head.
The safety car was immediately deployed and stayed out for four laps of the season-ending race.
Schumacher, who stepped out unscathed, had spun moments earlier after being nudged by team mate and fellow German Nico Rosberg as they sped side by side into turn six at the Yas Marina. Schumacher, who ended three years in retirement to return to the grid at the age of 41, has struggled to conjure up even traces of his old magic.
In his 19 races with Mercedes, his best result was fourth place in Spain, Turkey and South Korea.
The most successful driver the sport has ever seen wraps up his year with 72 points compared to the 130 Rosberg had scored
before Sunday's race. "As a seven-time World Champion he will be disappointed," McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh had said earlier in the week when asked about Schumacher's season.
"Let's be frank, he will be disappointed with this season. He's a winner, he's won many, many races. But, it's a driver, a team, a car. "We all play a role in our end success and lack of success, There's no reason why he can't come back very strongly in the following season." — Reuters
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