Coaches, wrestlers turn junior Nationals into a farce
Coach Ashok Dhaka (in blue) accepted the gold medal on behalf of his trainee Amit, who had won in the 74 kg Greco-Roman category. — Tribune Photo
Narine, Kallis shine in KKR win
Indian athletes win 12 medals in Asian Grand Prix series third leg
Krishna Poonia won the bronze medal in discus throw in the third leg of the Asian Grand Prix on Sunday. — File Photo
Rampant MI take on spirited Hyderabad
Royals pip CSK in battle royal
Alonso wins Spanish GP
Fernando Alonso wins the Spanish Grand Prix for the second time on Sunday. It was his second win of the season. — Reuters
Rafa, the irresistible force
Serena too good for Maria
His last bow
Wigan stun Man City in FA Cup final
Barca’s title hides season’s struggle
Woods, Garcia tied for lead with Swedish rookie
Coaches, wrestlers turn junior Nationals into a farce
Chandigarh, May 12
Ashok Dhaka, the Delhi coach, crossed all limits when he failed to persuade his 74kg medal-winning wrestler Amit (Greeco Roman) to give sample to the doping agency, himself rose up on the podium to recieve the gold medal by the obliging organizers.
The medals of four Greeco Roman grapplers Rahul Phal (MP, 84kg), Amit (Delhi, 74kg), Sandeep (Chd, 60kg), Sunil Kumar (Chd 120kg) and two freestyle wrestlers Anoop (Har, 84kg) and Manjeet (Har, 84kg) have been withdrawn and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) diciplinary committee has initiated a inquiry against them.
Such was the state of affairs for three days that NADA officials were forced to physically whisk the players and the burly youths pushing and shoving them only to flee from the spot.
For three days, the Sector-10 Skating Rink, the venue for the meet, witnessed massive upheavel as wrestling virtually became a free-for-all present at the venue. Scorers, referees, spectators and the organizers flouted all rules of the game to suit their convenience
During the bouts, the coaches left their designated places and indulged in a war of words with the scorer while Secretary General Raj Singh took sides to resolve the dispute time and again.
"Players must make themselves available for the dope test after the bout. If he/she refuses, rule states that he be immediately considered as a "positive" case. There is no way a coach can leave his place. He can guide and at the best leave his seat for 30 seconds in between the bouts to guide his ward. Under no circumstances he is supposed to influence the scorers of referees. If such a thing has happened, what were the referees doing, they could have disqualified the coach then and there." said a former India national coach.
WFI secretary general Raj Singh said, "Action will be taken against players according to the set rules. They may be banned for 2-5 years." Regarding the Delhi coach, Singh said, "Amit realized his folly and appeared for the Test next day," however evading a reply on the action to be taken against the coach.
Ranchi, May 12
Opting to field, KKR restricted RCB to 115 for nine, and then chased down the modest target with four balls to spare at the JSCA International Stadium Complex.
Narine finished with impressive figures of four for 22 and there were two wickets apiece for Jacques Kallis and Lakshmipathy Balaji.
Kallis also top-scored for the 'hosts', playing a responsible knock of 41 off 45 balls. Manoj Tiwary made 24 off 27 balls.
After doing a good job with the ball, KKR were dealt an early blow as Manvinder Bisla was sent back by Ravi Rampaul in their innings' first over.
Gambhir and Kallis steadied KKR with a 31-run partnership for the second wicket.
Playing according to the situation, the two experienced pros relied on the ones and twos, besides hitting boundaries occasionally.
In the fourth over bowled by Abhimanyu Mithun, the KKR skipper scored three successive fours — all through the off-side, with the first one almost going all the way.
However, what was turning out to be a promising stand, was cut short as R Vinay Kumar induced a thick outside edge off the blade of Gambhir for Chris Gayle, the lone slip fielder, to pounce on to the offering.
Yusuf Pathan arrived, and straightaway got into the groove, hitting Murali Kartik's tossed up delivery for a massive six over long-on.
The all-rounder from Baroda then guided Jaydev Unadkat for a boundary with an upper cut.
But, as had been the case in the past, Pathan again got out after getting a start, trapped in front while going for a sweep shot against Kartik.
Kallis was going steady at the other end, helping the hosts close in on the target. The South African veteran though, got out with KKR 20 short of pulling off a win.
After hitting Mithun for two fours in as many balls, Kallis, to KKR's fans' dismay, played one towards Moises Henriques who back pedalled to complete an easy catch.
Tiwary followed Kallis as the batsman played Vinay Kumar towards cover for Virat Kohli to pull off a difficult catch. Needing five off the last over, Ryan ten Doeschate sealed the issue in KKR's favour with a boundary.
Earlier, on a slow wicket, RCB struggled to score freely.
Chris Gayle found the going tough, hitting just one four and a six for his 33, before being stumped off Narine's bowling.
AB de Villiers was the next best scorer with a 22-ball 28. Attempting a reverse sweep off Balaji immediately after hitting the paceman for a six in the 16th over, the South African found a faint edge and Bisla took a well-judged catch.
Apart form Gayle, Narine accounted for the wickets of Saurabh Tiwary (1), Rampaul (0) and Mithun (2). — PTI
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Pujara c Balaji b Senanayake 5
Gayle st Bisla b Narine 33
Kohli b Kallis 17
de Villiers c Bisla b Balaji 28
Henriques c Tiwary b Kallis 11
Tiwary lbw b Narine 1
Vinay Kumar not out 14
Rampaul lbw b Narine 0
Mithun c Tiwary b Narine 2
Kartik b Balaji 0
Unadkat not out 1
Extras: (b 1, lb 1, w 1) 3
Senanayake 4 0 18 1
Balaji 4 0 22 2
Narine 4 0 22 4
Kallis 4 0 17 2
ten Doeschate 1 0 14 0
Pathan 1 0 6 0
Bhatia 2 0 14 0
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders
Bisla c Henriques b Rampaul 0
Gambhir c Gayle b Vinay 14
Kallis c Henriques b Mithun 41
Pathan lbw b Kartik 18
Tiwary c Kohli b Vinay 24
ten Doeschate not out 11
Bhatia not out 3
Extras: (lb 1, w 4) 5
Rampaul 4 1 17 1
Mithun 4 0 37 1
Unadkat 4 0 27 0
Vinay Kumar 3.2 0 17 2
Kartik 4 0 17 1
Colombo, May 12
Quarter-miler MR Poovamma stole the limelight as she bagged her third gold of the series in 400 meters, while her male counterpart Rajiv Arokia grabbed his second gold.
The Indians had won 12 medals (four gold, five silver and three silver) in the first leg in Bangkok on May 4 and 10 medals (four gold, three silver and three bronze) at Chonburi on May 8, before today's 12 medals (five gold, two silver, five bronze).
Besides Poovamma and Rajiv, other gold medal winners were Arpinder Singh (men's triple jump), Siddhanth Thingalaya (men's 110m hurdles) and Nitendra Singh (men's 5000m).
After winning a gold each in the first two legs of the series, Jithin Thomas ended up with a silver today in the men's high jump with an effort of 2.21 meters. Another Indian, Nikil Chitrasu cleared the same height of 2.21m but had to settle for a bronze as he did that in more number of attempts. Chitrasu had won a silver in the first leg.
Kheta Ram bagged the only other silver for India today as he finished second behind Nitendra in the 5000 meters race.
Ace woman discus thrower Krishna Poonia seemed to be taking some time to hit her form as she continued her below-par performance to bag a bronze with an effort of 55.41 meters. — PTI
Mumbai, May 12
The Mumbai Indians have an impeccable home record this year with six wins at the Wankhede Stadium in as many matches and the hosts would look to maintain that, especially when a win would guarantee them a spot at the play-off stage.
The Rohit-Sharma led side is placed second on the league table having won nine out of 13 matches and has 18 points, while the Hyderabad franchise has 16 points in 13 games with eight wins.
Mumbai inched closer to a play-off berth with a clinical performance to defeat state rivals Pune Warriors by five wickets yesterday.
Mumbai's top-order hasn't fired in unison in most of the games and even against the weaker Pune attack, they lost West Indian opener Dwayne Smith for a nought.
Senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar has failed to convert his starts into big scores, his highest score being 54 in 13 games. He has aggregated just 249 runs at an average of 19.15.
Smith has looked in good touch with 263 runs in nine matches under his belt.
Rohit has led from the front and is the highest run-scorer for the side with 467 in 13 games at an average of 51.88. He has been at the backbone of the Mumbai batting along with wicket keeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik.
The stumper has scored 405 runs in 13 games with two half centuries.
The bowling attack comprising Aussie pacer Mitchell Johnson (19 wickets) and Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga (11 wickets) has been formidable. Johnson, by his own admission, has been in the form of his life and has been the key bowler for the Mumbai Indians outfit, making early inroads into the opposition batting order.
The duo has been complemented well by Indian spin twins Harbhajan Singh (17 wickets) and Pragyan Ojha (14 wickets) who have been choking up the runs and also taking wickets in the middle overs.
On the other hand, a win tomorrow will certainly keep the Hyderabad franchise in hunt for a berth in the knock-out stage of the competition. — PTI
Jaipur, May 12
In trouble at one point, with the scorecard reading 45 for four, the duo played sensibly to take their team to a comfortable victory in the end.
Though, Watson fell in the 17th over to Dwayne Bravo, Binny saw the chase through.
Earlier, Mike Hussey and Murali Vijay provided a good start at the top of the order while Dwayne Bravo finished the innings with a flourish as Chennai Super Kings made 141 for four.
After Rajasthan Royals won the toss and chose to field, Hussey and Vijay put up a partnership of 83 in 11.3 overs to provide a good, if not explosive, beginning for the table toppers.
Hussey made 40 from 40 balls with six fours before he was bowled by Stuart Binny. Suresh Raina, who has been in good form in the recent matches, could make only one off two balls before he fell, as he drove Kevon Cooper to Samson. Captain MS Dhoni, who came in at No. 4 today, did not last long as he was caught by Watson off Cooper after making only 2. At 89 for three, Chennai were in some sort of trouble.
They lost the wicket of Vijay, after he had made 55 off 50 balls, when the score was 113, in the 18th over.
It was only a fiery knock of 23 off 11 balls by Bravo, who hit four fours, that CSK managed to cross the figure of 140. Ravindra Jadeja remained unbeaten on 12 from 14 balls. — TNS
Barcelona, May 12
The double world champion's second victory of the season, and 32nd of his career, made him the first driver in 23 years of racing at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya to win from outside the top three grid positions.
The Spaniard, who started in fifth place with the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton locking out the front row, seized third place through the third corner and had the crowd roaring him on as he led after 13 of the 66 laps.
Alonso, who won in Barcelona with Renault in 2006, took the chequered flag 9.3 seconds ahead of 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen in a Lotus.
The Finn, in the points for a 22nd successive race and now just two short of Michael Schumacher's all-time record, denied Ferrari a one-two finish with Brazilian Felipe Massa taking a distant third.
Red Bull's triple world champion Sebastian Vettel was fourth, 38.2 seconds behind Alonso, and saw his overall lead over Raikkonen cut to four points. After five of the 19 races, the German has 89 points to Raikkonen's 85 and Alonso's 72.
Hamilton slipped to fourth overall with 50 points after spending the afternoon falling through the field as Mercedes — as expected — again failed to live up to their electrifying qualifying pace.
The 2008 world champion ended up out of the points in 12th and was even heard exclaiming that he had been overtaken by a Williams —driven by last year's winner Pastor Maldonado — as a measure of how much he was struggling.
In a race dictated by the quick-wearing tyres, Alonso pitted four times — the same as Vettel and Massa — while Raikkonen made only three trips to the pitlane.
Nico Rosberg, who had also been on pole at the previous race in Bahrain where he finished ninth, led for the first 10 laps before facing up to the inevitable. The German finished sixth behind Red Bull's Mark Webber.
Britain's Paul Di Resta was seventh for Force India with McLaren's Jenson Button eighth after starting 14th. — Reuters
Rafa, the irresistible force
Madrid, May 12 Nadal was sidelined for seven months by a knee problem and since his return in February has won the events at Sao Paulo, Acapulco, Indian Wells, Barcelona and now Madrid. He also reached the final at Vina del Mar and Monte Carlo and Sunday’s success was his third at the Masters event in the Spanish capital. Wawrinka, who came through gruelling matches against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych on the way to his second Masters final, never looked like claiming a first win against Nadal at the ninth attempt. Nadal broke his serve three times in the match and did not face a single break point himself and collapsed on to his back in celebration when Wawrinka went long with a backhand to hand the Spaniard victory. “Maybe this win is even more special given where I have come back from,” Nadal said later. “Playing in Madrid is always very exciting for me and the tournament couldn’t have worked out better.” — Reuters
Madrid, May 12
Nadal was sidelined for seven months by a knee problem and since his return in February has won the events at Sao Paulo, Acapulco, Indian Wells, Barcelona and now Madrid.
He also reached the final at Vina del Mar and Monte Carlo and Sunday’s success was his third at the Masters event in the Spanish capital.
Wawrinka, who came through gruelling matches against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych on the way to his second Masters final, never looked like claiming a first win against Nadal at the ninth attempt.
Nadal broke his serve three times in the match and did not face a single break point himself and collapsed on to his back in celebration when Wawrinka went long with a backhand to hand the Spaniard victory.
“Maybe this win is even more special given where I have come back from,” Nadal said later. “Playing in Madrid is always very exciting for me and the tournament couldn’t have worked out better.” — Reuters
Madrid, May 12
Williams’ victory, her fourth tournament success of 2013 and only the seventh on clay since she turned pro in 1995, prevented Sharapova from leapfrogging her to the top of the rankings.
It also showed the 31-year-old American, a 15-times grand slam singles champion, is on red-hot form as she prepares her bid to add to her sole French Open title at Roland Garros starting later this month.
With the sliding roof over the Manolo Santana show court open to a cloudless sky, Sharapova struggled to find her range as Williams battered winners to all corners to race into a one-set lead.
The Russian world number two mounted a fightback at the start of the second set but could not sustain it and Williams broke her for a fifth time in the match to secure a first title on red clay — the Madrid courts were blue last year — since the 2002 French Open.
“It’s not the ultimate title, but it’s a good start in the right direction,” Williams, who was upset by Virginie Razzano in the first round at Roland Garros last year, said.
“I don’t know how many more (titles) I can win,” she added. “Like I say every day, who knows if I’ll ever win another title? I just want to live the moment and the dream every chance I get.”
Sharapova, 26, the French Open champion, has a woeful record against Williams. She has only beaten her twice in 15 attempts, and never on clay, with both victories coming almost a decade ago.
She did not seem too dejected by her latest reverse to the American and said she was pleased with the way her preparations for Roland Garros were going.
“At the end of the day I’m setting myself up opportunities to go out on the court and face her and play against her,” Sharapova said. “Obviously I wouldn’t be happy if I wouldn’t set up those opportunities because I do want to go on the court and I do want to face someone that’s number one in the world and is playing tennis the way she does.”
“So I am happy about the fact of getting late into tournaments, winning tournaments, getting to the finals.
“If that means having to face Serena in the final that’s a pretty great challenge out there. I take it, because I’m a very big competitor.”
Williams, the oldest player to hold the number one ranking, is 10th on the all-time list for most career titles.
Martina Navratilova leads on 167, followed by Chris Evert with 154 and Steffi Graf with 107. Sharapova has 29, third among active players behind Serena and her sister Venus Williams who has 44. — Reuters
London, May 12
The winning goal, headed home on the stroke of full-time by substitute Ben Watson, gave the underdogs a thoroughly deserved victory in one of the most memorable finals for years.
Wigan, still threatened with relegation from the Premier League, played better throughout and thoroughly deserved to win against a largely listless City side who had defender Pablo Zabaleta sent off for a second yellow card in the 84th minute.
He became only the third player red-carded in the 142-year history of the competition following Kevin Moran of Manchester United in 1985 and Jose Antonio Reyes of Arsenal in 2005.
His first yellow came in the 60th minute for a clumsy challenge on the outstanding Callum McManaman and the second followed a late, sliding challenge on the same player leaving referee Andre Marriner with no option but to dismiss him. It was Wigan's first FA Cup final since they were formed in 1932. They won when Watson powered an unstoppable header past goalkeeper Joe Hart. — Reuters
Madrid, May 12
Vilanova wrestled the title back from their arch-rivals in his first season since replacing Pep Guardiola at the helm, making it four league trophies in the last five years for the Catalans.
Barca were top from the opening day of the campaign, and are only the second side to have led a 20-team league from beginning to end after Real completed the same feat in 1987-88.
With Real coach Mourinho publicly writing off his side’s chances of overhauling Barcelona as early as the beginning of the year, they have been keen to stress that winning the title was not as easy as it might have appeared.
“We played such a good first half of the season that people have had the sensation it was a league that had been won a long time ago,” Vilanova said.
“But (Real) Madrid have played an incredible second half of the season and if we had relaxed we would have had problems. This league means a lot. We’ll have beaten what many say is the best Real Madrid side in history, the Madrid of the 100 points (last season). Our first objective is to win the league. There is no trophy for notching 100 points. But if it is possible, we will give it a try.”
Barca have 88 points from 34 games and if they win their remaining four matches they could surpass Pep Guardiola’s club record tally of 99 when they triumphed in 2009 and match Real’s league record of 100 points from last term.
In setting a La Liga best of 100 points in the 2011-12 campaign, Real also broke the league’s scoring record of 107 goals set by the Whites in 1989-90 by finding the net 121 times. Barca have scored 105 goals so far this season, and their leading scorer Lionel Messi, who netted a record 50 league goals last term, has notched 46 so far.
Real coach Mourinho was magnanimous in defeat when he spoke after the Espanyol game. “First I want to congratulate Barcelona, their coaching staff, their players, directors and fans,” the Portuguese said. — Reuters
Ponte Vedra Beach, May 12
Former champions Woods and Garcia improved by a stroke in completing their last four holes, while 25-year-old Lingmerth lost one when he bogeyed the 18th to stand on 11-under-par 205.
Lingmerth posted a three-under-par 69 for the round, while Woods shot 71 and Garcia 72. One stroke back were Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who completed a 71, and Americans Ryan Palmer (70) and Casey Wittenberg (70). Wittenberg, who competed last year on the Web.com Tour with Lingmerth, completed a birdie-birdie-birdie finish to burst up the leaderboard. — Reuters