Vijender returns with his best punches
Bronze winner denied salary
Hyderabad Hotshots storm into IBL final
Butt meets vigilance unit
Anger, disbelief over Pakistan’s stunning loss
Chargesheet clause: Jitendra wants IOC to stay firm
England apologise after pissing off everyone
India thrash Bangladesh, to face Malaysia in semifinal
That uplifting moment
Bolt not worried about failure at 2016 Olympics
Rooney says he will stay at United, but tension lingers
Arsenal’s sweet 16 in Champions League
IBF ready for elections
Vijender returns with his best punches
Patiala, August 28
Although the Indian Boxing Association (IBF) will announce the final list of the Indian squad tomorrow, Vijender’s bout today has left no one in doubt that he will be a part of the Indian contingent for the world meet. However, the celebrated boxer chose to be subdued and preferred to wait for the final announcement.
Speaking to The Tribune, Vijender said he was satisfied and everything seemed to be falling in place. He said, “I had trained hard for the trials because this is a very prestigious competition. I am, by and large, content with my bouts. I am just hoping to sail through and make it to the Indian team so that I once again get the opportunity to bring laurels for the country,” he added.
Focus on Vijender
All eyes were on him on the concluding day of the trials for the World Boxing Championship. Vijender was pitted against the young and talented Sukhdeep Singh of Punjab. By the end of their bout, it was clear that Vijender was the superior boxer. It was a treat to see the star boxer back in rhythm.
Fit and confident as ever, the boxer had entered the ring with the commitment to prove his mettle. He did exactly that. Landing calculated punches on his comparatively young but talented opponent Sukhdeep, who was fighting without headgear, Vijender was relaxed and unhurried.
He gave enough opportunities to his opponent to come closer and take his chances in order to study his strengths and later dealt him good straight punches and left hooks in counter-attack to sail past his opponent. However, the bout really drained him since Sukhdeep showed some great stamina and continued to fight till the end, keeping pace with the experienced Vijender.
Meanwhile, with the power-packed trials coming to an end, no major upsets are expected as far as the final list of players is expected, maybe except two-weight categories i.e. heavy weight (91 kg) and super heavy weight (+91 kg).
While Nanao (49 kg), Madan Lal (52 kg), Shiva Thapa (56 kg), Vikas Malik (60 kg), Manoj (64 kg), Mandeep Jangra (69 kg), Vijender Singh (75 kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81 kg) are the front runners to grab berths in their respective weight categories, it will be interesting to see as to who makes it to the upper weight categories as the bouts really close.
I had trained hard for the trials because this is a very prestigious competition. I am, by and large, content with my bouts. I am just hoping to sail through and make it to the Indian team so that I once again get the opportunity to bring laurels for the country.
"I had to prove myself and I had to restore my image. I always had faith in myself and so have my well wishers and my coming out clean from this entire controversy is enough to prove my innocence" —Vijender Singh
Bronze winner denied salary
Patiala, August 28
Despite being appointed as a Lower Divisional Clerk in the Revenue Department of Bihar under the sports category in April, 2012, the boxer hasn’t received his salary over the past 13 months because he was a part of the Indian camp and was not reporting on duty.
Speaking to The Tribune, Anil Kumar, the junior national champion who had also won a gold medal in the Child of Asian Games Tournament, said that he was given appointment letters by the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar himself with a promise that they would render him every possible help. Yet, he said, he has not been paid his salary for the past 13 months as the state government has clearly told him that he could not take more than 30 days of leave, even if he is training with the Indian camp.
“While all my fellow players are marked on duty when in the camp, I am being allowed for the camp on leave without pay, which is very disappointing,” he said. “I have been selected in the sports category and wish to bring more laurels to India. This is just the beginning.”
“How can I be present on duty when my camp is in Patiala? Our association has also taken up my case with the government, but to no avail.”
Hyderabad, August 28
Star shuttler and Hyderabad Hotshots' Saina Nehwal beat Pune's Juliane Schenk 21-10, 19-21, 11-8 in the women's singles while Ajay Jayaram defeated Tien Minh Nyugen 21-17, 21-11.
Hotshots' pair of Goh V Shem and Wah Lim Khim them emerged victorious in the doubles event against Pune's Joachim Fischer and Sanave Thomas to take their team into the final. They won 16-21, 21-14, 11-7.
Earlier, Saina survived some anxious moments before prevailing over Schenk in a tight contest as Hotshots took a 2-0 lead over Pune Pistons.
Hyderabad's icon player Saina won a tense decider after she could not finish off the match in the second game.
Jayaram pulled off a surprising victory over the top-ranked Tien Minh Nyugen in the first match. The match between Saina and Schenk, currently world No.4 and No.3, respectively, proved to be an exciting battle marked by long rallies, powerful smashes and drop shots as both tried to outsmart each other. The first game went in Saina's favour as she managed to expand her initial lead of 7-3 at the time of the first break to a massive 14-4 by the second interval.
Saina gained momentum as the game progressed and some unforced errors proved to be the undoing for her German opponent who conceded the first game 10-21.
Schenk, however, put up a tough fight in the second game which witnessed long rallies between the two as they did not let any opportunity to score go by. Saina had an edge of 7-6 by the first break and succeeded in taking it to 14-8 by the second interval. Schenk, however, staged a remarkable comeback and levelled the score at 18-18 before taking the game at 21-19. The decider was a keenly-fought between the two celebrated players and the spectators were on the edge of their seats.
Cheered by the home spectators who enjoyed every bit of the rallies and powerful smashes, Saina finished the duel at 11-8.
"I lost my focus in the second game and was unable to retrieve a few shots. Schenk also changed her shots a little bit, which became quite dangerous. But I just thought about winning for a few seconds and got myself back in action to win the match," Saina said after the match.
Karachi, August 28
“I met with the anti-corruption and vigilance officers of the board today and assured them of my full cooperation in any rehabilitation program they want me to attend to get over the spot fixing episode,” Butt said. Butt and two other Pakistani players, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir were banned by the International Cricket Council in early 2011. — PTI
Karachi, August 28
“If I was in the team management I would have not spared any of the players. It is difficult to comprehend how they could lose to a team which is struggling and placed at the bottom of the rankings,” former Test leg-spinner, Abdul Qadir said.
Pakistan were beaten by seven wickets in the first ODI after having won the Twenty20 series comfortably 2-0.
Despite captain Misbah-ul-Haq scoring 83 and Muhammad Hafeez 70, Pakistan could post a modest 244 for seven, and Zimbabwe comfortably reached the target in 48.2 overs to win their first ODI against Pakistan since 1998.
Clearly the defeat hurt more since India had rested five of their key players including captain M S Dhoni for their recent tour to Zimbabwe and still ended up winning 5-0 with a reserve bowling line up.
“The batting was a big flop as 250 is not good enough against Zimbabwe with our batting line-up and the bowlers failed miserably. They were very, very disappointing,” Qadir said.
Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas said no team should be taken lightly.
“I think we underestimated Zimbabwe, specifically their batting. We played just three specialist bowlers and even they didn`t impress at all. Batting and bowling are both areas of concern,” he said.
“I just hope this defeat is a wakeup call to our boys and they come back strongly in the remaining games. But definitely the batsmen need to play more aggressively and create momentum,” Zaheer added. Former coach and Test batsman Mohsin Khan said he was appalled by the defeat as there was no match between the two sides in terms of experience and talent.
“We didn`t take their challenge seriously and we just played very poorly and that is a not a good sign as we have to play South Africa and Sri Lanka in full series this year,” he said. — PTI
New Delhi, August 28
On Sunday, the IOA's Special General Body Meeting sought to dilute IOC's directive to bar chargesheeted persons from contesting elections by proposing to apply the sanction to only those who are convicted and sentenced to a jail term of more than two years. They had argued that under Indian law, chargesheeted persons can stand even Parliamentary elections.
Jitendra does not seem to be convinced with IOA's argument to dilute the contentious clause.
“I am disappointed with the outcome of IOA meeting which adopted resolution that allows tainted officials to contest elections. I think this kind of restriction can be misused and totally misplaced. I think it falls short of what IOC has proposed to IOA,” Jitendra wrote in the letter to IOC President Jacques Rogge. — PTI
London, August 28
The statement, released on the England and Wales Cricket Board's website, followed allegations that England players urinated on the pitch hours after the series had ended on Sunday night in a 3-0 win for the home side.
“The England cricket team would like to state that during our celebrations after winning the Ashes at no time was there any intention to disrespect Surrey CCC, the Oval or anyone else involved in the game we love,” the statement on www.ecb.co.uk read. “As a team we pride ourselves on respecting all things cricket including the opposition and the grounds we play at. We got carried away amongst the euphoria of winning such a prestigious series and accept that some of our behaviour was inappropriate.
“If that has caused any offence to anyone we apologise for that and want to reassure people that it was a simple error of judgement more than anything else.”
The allegations arose following eye-witness accounts from Australian journalists, who were still in the ground while England celebrated their win. Reports have since indicated the ECB has launched an investigation into the matter after being contacted by Surrey chief executive Richard Gould.
Sports minister Hugh Robertson has even been drawn in to making comment, telling the Daily Telegraph: “If it happened, it's not good behaviour.”
Off-spinner Graeme Swann appeared to confirm the story when writing in Tuesday's Sun newspaper, but attempted to play it down.
“We did go out to the middle of the pitch, all the lads, drinking beers, singing a few songs and enjoying each other's company,” he wrote.
“I think the call of nature might have come once or twice but it was nothing untoward.
“It was midnight, a private celebration in the middle of the pitch and the ground was dark.” — Reuters
Ipoh, August 28
The Indians, who were through to the semifinals after wining their previous two matches, led 5-1 at the breather and pumped in four more goals in the second session.
Rupinder (4th, 19th, 27th, 61st minutes) scored four goals in the match, out of which three came via penalty-corners, while Raghunath (29th, 52nd, 59th) converted short corners to join Jang Jong Hyun of South Korea as the joint top-scorer, with six apiece.
Nikkin Thimmaiah (25th) and Malak Singh (47th) were the other goal-getters for India.
Bangladesh’s lone goal came from the stick of their skipper Md Mamunur Rahman Chayan (35th minute).
By virtue of this win, the Indians finished on top of Pool B with nine points from three games. Defending champions South Korea, who beat debutants Oman 10-0, earlier in the day, are second in this pool with six points. India will now face Pool A runners-up and hosts Malaysia in the second semifinal on Friday, while South Korea will be up against Pool A toppers Pakistan.
The fancied Koreans, however, were slow to start with as they scored just two goals in the opening half through a penalty corner conversion by Jang Jong Hyun (15th minute) and a fine field effort by Kang Moon Kweon (22nd). But after the breather, the Koreans changed their gear and looked a completely different side, pumping in as many as eight goals to show supremacy over the lowly Oman. — PTI
That uplifting moment
New York, August 27
While Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and the rest of the sport’s old order calmly went about their business, 17-year-old Victoria Duval became the toast of New York.
Making her second appearance in a grand slam event against the Australian who beat Serena Williams in the final just two years ago, the pint-sized Duval clawed and fought her way to a 5-7 6-4 6-4 first-round win. It was a remarkable performance but made all the more astonishing because of her background.
When she was seven years old, Duval was taken hostage by robbers at her aunt’s house in Haiti, a terrifying incident that convinced her parents, both doctors, to move back to the United States.
“It’s not a good memory, so I try to forget as much as I could about it. I don’t remember too much of it anymore, which is great,” she said.
In 2010, her father was buried alive in the Haiti earthquake. He survived by digging himself out but suffered serious injuries, including broken legs, broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Duval took to tennis instantly and has quickly risen through the American junior ranks but Tuesday’s win was by far her biggest.
With her family watching from courtside and chants of “U-S-A!” echoing around the Louis Armstrong Stadium, Duval had to battle all the way to beat the vastly more-experienced Stosur.
“I think I’m very much of a child at heart ... (but) on the court, you have to be a warrior because that’s just the sport we are in,” she said.
Stosur paid tribute to Duval, saying she deserved the win, but said she had contributed to her own downfall with a whopping 56 unforced errors.
“I’m not going to be a sore loser and say she didn’t do anything,” said Stosur. “But, you know, I think I certainly helped her out there today.”
Federer and Djokovic blasted their way into the second round with ruthless efficiency, crushing their hapless opponents in straight sets.
Defying the sceptics who had dismissed his chances of winning a sixth title in the Big Apple, Federer was in vintage form as he brushed past Slovenia’s Grega Zemlja 6-3 6-2 7-5 in a delayed afternoon match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Djokovic then lit up Tuesday’s night session with a dazzling combination of power and precision to defeat Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis 6-1 6-2 6-2. The world number one hardly broke sweat on a balmy New York night as he took the first step toward a possible fourth straight appearance in the final.
The 32-year-old Federer won the last of his five US Open titles in 2008 but the Swiss master said he had lost none of his love of the game, ripping 35 winners in his win over Zemlja. “I’m in a good spot right now. I want to enjoy it as long as it lasts,” Federer said.
Twelve months after her agonising defeat in the women’s final, Victoria Azarenka made a triumphant return to Arthur Ashe Stadium, chalking up a rare double-bagel win by thrashing Germany’s Dinah Pfizenmaier 6-0 6-0 in just over an hour.
Italy’s Sara Errani showed why she is looming as a real contender as she also handed out a 6-0 6-0 thrashing to Australian Olivia Rogowska.
Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki survived a tough examination to join grand slam winners Petra Kvitova and Ana Ivanovic in the second round.
Kvitova also had to put in some overtime before winning her clash with Misaki Doi 6-2 3-6 6-1 while Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open winner, cruised to a 6-2 6-0 win over Georgia’s Anna Tatishvili. — Reuters
Round 1&2 results
Women’s Singles Round 1
Men’s Singles Round 1
Zurich, August 28
“It wouldn’t be the greatest moment, but I would understand because I’ve had my time, I’ve been dominant for a long time.”
“So, if I get to Rio and it doesn’t happen, I would have to understand because I’m getting older and there are greater athletes coming up,” added Bolt, who turned 27 a week ago.
“I know the athletes have to work harder to step their game up, and be the best. For me, I’ll be happy for the sport because it would mean its stepping up and moving on.”
Earlier, Bolt, who will compete in the Zurich Diamond League meeting on Thursday, was handed a ticket for the 2014 World Cup final by Blatter along with a furry toy depicting the tournament mascot, a grinning blue and yellow armadillo named Fuleco.
“To go to Rio and win again would be a feat in itself, because it would be the first time anybody has ever won three times in a row so that would also add to my greatness,” he said.
“As an athlete you are always pushing the limit and for me I want to continue pushing the barrier,” added Bolt, who won the 100 and 200 metres double at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and will be approaching his 30th birthday in Rio in 2016.
“At the end of the day I want to be remembered among the greatest athletes, Pele, (Diego) Maradona, Michael Johnson.”
Bolt also commented on a suggestion that he could take up a sports administration role after retiring as an athlete, but said he might be “too lazy” for the role.
“I have thought about it, I have to admit I’m slightly lazy, but we’ll see where it goes,” he said. — Reuters
London, August 28
Nevertheless, he still has issues over what he regards as unfair treatment in recent months, chiefly the assertion by the fomer manager Sir Alex Ferguson, now a director, after the last game at Old Trafford last season that Rooney asked for a transfer. Moyes’ remark during United’s summer tour that Rooney would be a back-up for when Robin van Persie is injured is less of a concern.
After United’s game against Chelsea on Monday night Moyes said that the quality of Rooney’s performance had not surprised him and that the player was looking “leaner” than he had done in the recent past. The United approach has not changed towards Rooney throughout the summer.
They hope that he will rediscover his affinity for the club and potentially sign a new contract, but losing him for free would be preferable to selling him to Chelsea.
It is United’s view that, whatever the financial disadvantage of losing Rooney for nothing in two years’ time, it would be far outweighed in what they would lose in terms of prestige, not to mention the advantage on the pitch, were they to sell him to Chelsea this summer.
It leaves Chelsea with some more work to do in the transfer market before Monday. The club expect to sell Demba Ba, whom they regard as having been a huge disappointment. There have been talks with Anzhi Makhachkala over Samuel Eto’o, 32, with a provisional deal in place for the possibility that Rooney would not sign.
— The Independent
London, August 28
After victories against Fenerbahce, twice, and Fulham, Arsène Wenger will approach Thursday’s draw and Sunday’s derby at home to Tottenham in good heart, optimistic too that, having confirmed a place at European football’s high table, he will persuade one or two players to join his club for the feast before Monday night’s transfer deadline.
Reasons to be far more cheerful than on the opening day of the season included the continuing rehabilitation of Aaron Ramsey, who gave another impressive display and scored both goals to add to one in the first leg.
Making the most of Mikel Arteta’s continued absence through injury, he has made one of the holding midfield positions his own, while looking increasingly confident in breaking forward.
That is where he was in the 25th minute as a typical Arsenal move flowed through Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski on to Theo Walcott, just onside, who kept his balance under challenge and slid the ball square for Ramsey to knock in. Just under 20 minutes from the end, he burst into the penalty area again to score from a pass by Kieran Gibbs.
The Istanbul side were unable to spoil Arsenal’s record of having won every game, home and away, in the six seasons they have had to play in the qualifying round.
Arsenal, who lost Podolski to a hamstring injury which is set to rule him out for three weeks, would have been more comfortable had Olivier Giroud kept up his early-season form but after scoring in the last three games he was less clinical and made way after an hour for Yaya Sanogo. — The Independent
Patiala, August 28
After the AIBA had threatened to bar the Indian team and coaches from international tournaments, the IBF sent a draft to AIBA with all amendments in its constitution for their consideration.
Bhandari said: “We don’t have any problem with the re-elections as we have already incorporated all the changes suggested by the AIBA,” he said. — TNS
Gambhir falls for duck against Gloucestershire
Kush aims for British Open triumph
‘Tour by ‘A’ teams helped SA players develop’