Boxing enters ring of controversy
Murray on the move, Venus halted
India need to be cautious against quirky Malaysia
On his birthday, Dhyan Chand forgotten by sports officialdom
Hotshots storm into IBL final
Hafeez’s ton anchors Pakistan to 299-4 against Zimbabwe
Saxena scalps six before Ronchi rescues NZ ‘A’
Valdes helps Barca reclaim Super Cup
AIBA extends deadline for IBF
It’s Warriors vs Hotshots in final
SC postpones BCCI hearing
Boxing enters ring of controversy
Patiala, August 29
Pugilists Dinesh Kumar (91 kg), Dilbagh Singh (69 kg) and Parveen Kumar (+91 kg) alleged the NIS coaches manipulated the results and the selection committee has picked up weak players for the Indian contingent.
The boxers also said that they would go to court against the selection process, saying that they would not sit back and tolerate the whims and fancies of the coaches and selectors.
National champion Dilbagh Singh said, “This is not the first time I have been discriminated against but I have lost patience now. I got to know that Mandeep Jangra has been selected, which is awful. I have performed brilliantly in the trials. I have been in great form for past many months. Yet the selection committee has excluded my name. I don’t understand what is happening. It smacks of partiality.”
Taking a dig at Olympian Akhil Kumar, Dilbagh said: “Maybe I am not as clever as Akhil and therefore I have to pay the price. Akhil is very close to the coaches and office-bearers of the federation. He tries and manipulates the coaches to favour a particular boxer.”
Dilbagh went to the extent of saying that the boxers these days are offering expensive gifts, like expensive luxury cars and mobile phones, to the coaches and selectors to get themselves selected.
Heavyweight boxer Dinesh Kumar protested against the selection of Manpreet Singh, saying that he (Dinesh) was much superior to Manpreet in terms of experience as well as skills. Parveen, who fought in the super-heavyweight category (+91 kg) in which Satish has been selected, expressed anger over being dropped from the team.
Rubbishing their claims, coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said the selection is merit-based. “We have not made official announcement yet but we can assure you that the process is transparent. Such allegations spoil the sanctity of a game and those who have lost should not stoop this low. Rather, they should work hard and make a comeback in the next tournament,” he added.
Terming the entire incident as unfortunate, IBF Secretary General Rajesh Bhandari said none of the boxers has approached them with any grievance. “If they had any problem with the selection criteria, they should have given a representation to us. Anyway, we have a recording of every bout to justify our selection. Still, we will try to resolve the matter.”
Meanwhile, perturbed over the entire episode, Akhil said the committee takes decision in the presence of the General Secretary, Chief Coach, foreign expert coach and a panel of AIBA-3 star Referees and Judges, along with the Referee and Judges Commission chairman and Vice President of the IBF.
“I fail to see how I come into the picture. If I had the money to pay for selection of others, why wouldn’t I pay and include myself?” he said. “The coaches and the federation have taken boxing to great heights in the country, and it is an insult to their hard work when someone makes accusations like these.”
“Also, under sections 499 and 500 of the IPC, defamation can lead to imprisonment for two years, and the people indulging in such an act can be made to pay damages of up to Rs. 50 lakh. So I ask these fellow boxers to watch what they say as they try to pull off a publicity stunt,” he said.
Nanao Singh (49 kg)
Madan Lal (52 kg)
Shiva Thapa (56 kg)
Vikas Malik (60 kg)
Manoj Kumar (64 kg)
Mandeep Jangra (69 kg)
Vijender Singh (75 kg)
Sumit Sangwan (81 kg)
Manpreet Singh (91 kg)
Satish (+91 kg)
New York, August 29
A quirky schedule combined with persistent rain left Murray waiting until almost 10PM ET (0200 GMT) on the third night before he finally started his first-round match against Frenchman Michael Llodra.
With his patience beginning to wear thin, the Scotsman was in a hurry to make up for lost time in his first match back at Arthur Ashe Stadium since he won his first grand slam title 12 months ago.
He whipped Llodra 6-2 6-4 6-3 in just over 90 minutes with a brilliant display of shotmaking that left the New York crowd wanting more on a day when dozens of matches were postponed because of foul weather.
"It was more kind of going back onto that court again... obviously I have great memories here from last year," Murray said. I didn't necessarily feel like I had much time to enjoy last year because I was so relieved. I was also a little bit in disbelief, as well.
Of the remaining matches that were completed, Venus Williams was the biggest casualty, sent packing following a 6-3 2-6 7-6(5) loss to China's Zheng Jie after the pair had slugged it out for more than three hours. Once the undisputed Queen of Flushing, the 33-year-old American's best days now seem behind her after she crashed to her third successive second-round defeat here.
Two other former champions, Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro and Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, fared better, surviving tough battles to set up a second-round clash. Del Potro, the winner in 2009, beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-3 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(7) while Hewitt, who won in 2001, wore down American qualifier Brian Baker 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4. — Reuters
Women’s Singles Round 2
15-Sloane Stephens (U.S.) beat Urszula Radwanska (Poland) 6-1 6-1
23-Jamie Hampton (U.S.) beat Kristina Mladenovic (France) 7-5 6-4
Zheng Jie (China) beat Venus Williams (U.S.) 6-3 2-6 7-6(5)
30-Laura Robson (Britain) beat Caroline Garcia (France) 6-4 7-6(5)
3-Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) beat Maria Teresa Torro (Spain) 6-0 7-5
18-Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) beat Coco Vandeweghe (U.S.) 6-3 6-4
5-Li Na (China) beat Sofia Arvidsson (Sweden) 6-2 6-2
32-Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) beat Ashleigh Barty (Australia) 6-4 6-0
Men’s Singles Round 1
Ivo Karlovic (Croatia) beat James Blake (U.S.) 6-7(2) 3-6 6-4 7-6(2) 7-6(2); Alex Bogomolov Jr (Russia) beat 24-Benoit Paire (France) 7-5 2-6 6-4 5-7 7-6(5); 3-Andy Murray (Britain) beat Michael Llodra (France) 6-2 6-4 6-3; 9-Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) beat Radek Stepanek (Czech Republic) 7-6(2) 6-3 6-2; Rajeev Ram (U.S.) beat 16-Fabio Fognini (Italy) 6-1 6-2 6-2; Evgeny Donskoy (Russia) beat 29-Jurgen Melzer (Austria) 7-5 6-3 7-6(3); Lleyton Hewitt (Australia) beat Brian Baker (U.S.) 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4; 6-Juan Martin Del Potro (Arg) beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (Spain) 6-3 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(7) ; Peter Gojowczyk (Ger) beat Igor Sijsling (Netherlands) 7-6(7) 2-6 6-4 6-1; 20-Andreas Seppi (Italy) beat Xavier Malisse (Belgium) 6-3 3-6 7-5 7-5, Tim Smyczek (U.S.) beat J Duckworth (Aus) 3-6 6-2 6-4 6-1.
New York, August 29
The 28-year-old former US college star defeated Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in three hours and 11 minutes of match time, although rain halted the match for more than four hours after he won the third set.
“Bummer for me, momentum switch,” Devvarman said. “But you have to pull your pants up and deal with it. Just the nature of the beast.”
Devvarman made 36 unforced errors, fewer than half of Lacko's 73 such mistakes, and hung tough at the finish
“When you are playing in the fifth set, a lot of it is you play with adrenaline at that point. I know both of us were dying at the end,” Devvarman said.
“I was pretty antsy and he was too. The nervous energy affected the both of us. We were just trying to do our best.”
Devvarman had just battled back to secure the third set when showers began to fall, sending him into the locker room. After a tease of returning quicker, more rain left him to sit and the marathon wait continue. — Reuters
Ipoh, August 29
Unlike their opponents, the Indians will be high on confidence after securing their semifinal berth with an unbeaten record. Fully aware that two more wins here would ensure their ticket for next year's World Cup at The Hague, Netherlands, the 11th ranked Indians cannot afford to relax in the business end of the eight-nation tournament, and especially against an unpredictable side like Malaysia.
India, who never missed out on a World Cup berth since the tournament's introduction in 1971, will like to avoid the repeat of yet another debacle after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the Indian team had failed to qualify for the first time in the history of the game. Having played Malaysia on numerous occasions, the Indians, who start as favourites, know very well that the hosts on their given day can upset top teams of the world.
Another factor which will work against India in the semifinal is home support. Come tomorrow the Malaysians would be backed by a vociferous home crowd, a fact which India captain Sardar Singh admitted. "It is a very crucial match for us in the recent times. Malaysia is tough opponent. You cannot predict them. We will have to play against the entire stadium tomorrow as they will have home support behind them,” Sardar said.
"But we are completely focussed on our job. We know we have to win and we are confident of pulling it across," he said. On the game front, the Indians have impressed all and sundry so far in the tournament and would be hoping to carry on the momentum in the final two games. As always captain Sardar Singh has been a rock in India's midfield under whose shadow youngsters like Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh and SK Uthappa have blossomed. India's young and inexperienced forwardline too have managed to live up to the expectations so far.
India fielded a young, untested forwardline for this tournament. But the likes of Mandeep Singh, Nithin Thimmaiah, Malak Singh, Ramandeep Singh and Nikin Thimmaiah rose to the occasion and did not let anyone feel the vacuum created by the injuries to senior players. Mandeep is in superb form and so far scored four goals. But coach Roelant Oltmans would be most happy with the fact that after making a slow start his dragflickers have finally joined the party. — PTI
pc cONVERSION VERY GOOD: cOACH
India's penalty corner exponents Rupinderpal Singh and V R Raghunath slammed hat-tricks each against Bangladesh in their last pool match. In fact, Rupinder went on to score four goals in the match as India converted six out of the 10 short corners they earned in the game.“We converted 60 % of our penalty corners and that is a very high rate. I am happy with Rupinder and Raghunath. It's a very good percentage," Oltmans said.On the goalkeeping front, P R Sreejesh is in rollicking form and against Korea he made as many as six-seven clear saves, which included some acrobatic efforts.Oltmans, however, cautioned his wards ahead of the all-important semifinal tie against Malaysia. “It will be a very tight game," he said. — Reuters
On his birthday, Dhyan Chand forgotten by sports officialdom
New Delhi, August 29
In the past, Dhyan Chand’s birthday was celebrated with much pomp and show, because it fell on the day when the national sports awards were distributed by the President of India at the Rashtrapathi Bhawan.
But this year, with the national sports awards function having been postponed to August 31 due to the preoccupation of Sports Minister Jitendra Singh, the lustre of Dhyan Chand’s birthday was almost completely lost at the National Stadium, which, incidentally, is named after him.
Though the Sports Authority of India (SAI) hosted a function in the afternoon, presided over by Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Taroor, to launch a pictorial book on Dhyan Chand’s life by Amar Chitra Katha, named Dhyan Chand, The Wizard of Hockey, the cold shoulder given to the late wizard was apparent.
When Uma Bharati was the Sports Minister during the NDA coalition rule at the Centre in 2002, she instituted an award in his name for “Lifetime Achievement” for sportspersons, which is presented during the National Sports Awards function. Uma Bharati was also responsible for naming the National Stadium, meant for hockey, as the Dhyand Chand National Stadium.
After her stint at the Sports Ministry, subsequent Sports Ministers like Dr M.S.Gill and Ajay Maken followed the tradition started by Uma Bharati by beginning the National Sports Day with offerings of floral tribute to the hockey wizard in the morning.
But this year, in the absence of Minister Jitendra Singh, Dhyan Chand was all but forgotten. Though the Sports Ministry did not organise any function to commemorate the day, many other functions were held in Delhi to mark the day, by those who continue to cherish Dhyan Chand’s magical feats.
The Physical Education Foundation of India conducted a day-long seminar, presided over by BCCI joint-secretary Anurag Thakur, while the Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Society organised matches, as is its wont, at the Shivaji Stadium. The highlight was an exhibition match between MP Women’s Hockey Academy (Gwalior) and the Haryana Women’s Hockey Academy (Shahabad), witnessed by some of the legendary names of Indian hockey.
Hyderabad, August 29
Saina survived some anxious moments before prevailing over Schenk 21-10, 19-21, 11-8 in a tight women’s singles contest after Ajay Jayaram pulled off a surprising victory over the top-ranked Tien Minh Nyugen 21-17, 21-11 in men’s singles in the first match.
Hyderabad pair of Goh V Shem and Wah Lim Khim then defeated Pune’s Joachim Fischer and Sanave Thomas 16-21, 21-14, 11-7 in men’s doubles to take their side to the final at the GMC Balayogi indoor stadium.
The match between Saina and Schenk, currently world number four and number three respectively, proved to be an exciting battle marked by long rallies, powerful smashes and deceptive drop shots. 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 staged a remarkable comeback and levelled the score at 18-18 before taking the game 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.
The first game between Jayaram (ranked 25) and Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nyugen (world number five) promised to be a competitive affair from the start as the Indian put up a fight against his more fancied rival.
Jayaram led 7-6 at the time of first break and the young Hyderabad player maintained a consistent lead with brilliant smashes and cross-court shots. He won the first game with an impressive margin of 21-17. In the second game Jayaram, who had a 7-1 lead at the time of first break, established an unassailable lead of 18-8.
Though ranked lower, Jayaram showed that he was equal to the task and won the second game 21-11. — PTI
Harare, August 29
Hafeez’s 136 off 130 balls included nine four and five sixes and he fell only three runs short of career-best unbeaten 139, which came against Zimbabwe two years ago.
After being put in to bat, Pakistan struggled to 84-3 before Hafeez and left-handed Umar Amin (59) took charge with a 129-run stand off 126 balls against some wayward bowling. Shahid Afridi (39 not out) added 86 off 45 deliveries with Hafeez.
Zimbabwe had shocked Pakistan on Tuesday with a seven-wicket win in the first ODI of the three-match series — the African nation’s first ODI win in a bilateral series against Pakistan in 15 years. — PTI
Pakistan: 299/4 (Hafeez* 136, Amin 59, Afridi* 39; Vitori 2/68)
Visakhapatnam, August 29
For India A, all-rounder Jalaj Saxena did the star turn with his off-breaks grabbing six for 106 in 22.4 overs, while left-arm spinner Rakesh Dhruve got two wickets.
At stumps, India A were six for one, having lost Unmukt Chand (4) cheaply. Friday is the last day of the match.
New Zealand were in trouble at one point with the scoreboard reading 106 for six before Ronchi’s swift counter-attacking knock of 125 off only 110 balls changed the course of the New Zealand A innings at the Port Trust Stadium.
The 32-year-old Ronchi struck 16 fours and four huge sixes and was involved in a 146-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Todd Astle (63, 157 balls, 7x4), who dropped anchor at the other end. Ronchi, in fact, reached his 50 with a huge six over long-on off Dhruve.
When Ronchi, who had made his international debut for Australia before shifting to his native country, was finally trapped leg-before by seamer Dhawal Kulkarni’s incoming delivery.
“There was a bit of help for the spinners but basically it was a flat track. I took my chances and I am happy that it paid off,” Ronchi said.
Saxena impressed one and all with his control although Ronchi did take him on after the initial trouble. The all-rounder was not afraid to flight the ball and vary the length. “I am happy that I could execute my plan perfectly as I have worked on certain variations. The caught and bowled dismissal that I got was the best among the six,” Saxena said.
Left-handed opener Tom Latham (15) prodded at an off-break and was taken at silly point by Jiwanjot Singh.
Daryl Mitchell (0) was taken at first slip by Chand to give Saxena his second.
Carl Cachopa (15) was done in a by a doosra as glovesman CM Gautham effected a smart stumping.
Jimmy Neesham (27) added 50 runs with Ronchi before he was caught at slip.
Wicketkeeper-batsman de Boorder was deceived by flight and offered a return catch to become Saxena’s fifth scalp. — PTI
New Zealand A (1st Innings) 310 in 77.3 overs (Ronchi 125, Astle 63, Saxena 6/106); India A 6/1 in 3 overs (Chand 4, Jiwanjot 1 batting, Ladda 1 batting)
Barcelona, August 29
After last week’s first leg at the Calderon ended 1-1, expectations of an entertaining spectacle were high when new signing Neymar, who came off the bench to head the equaliser in Madrid, was included in the starting lineup for the first time since his joining.
World Player of the Year Lionel Messi was also back from injury but both struggled to cope with the visitors’ muscular tactics in what turned out to be a poor quality game littered with fouls including the 81st-minute dismissal of Atletico fullback Filipe Luis.
Messi smashed a penalty against the crossbar in the 89th minute after Miranda had bundled substitute Pedro over in the area but Atletico, constantly looking to catch Barca on the break, had the clearer chances from open play. Arda Turan skipped into the area shortly before halftime and belted the ball toward goal but Valdes flung out an arm and diverted it to safety.
David Villa, playing against the club he left in the close season, drew another brilliant stop from his Spain team mate in the 56th minute, Valdes diving full length to tip his curling effort from just outside the box around the post. Filipe Luis had been tangling with Brazilian compatriot Daniel Alves all night and another incident led to him being shown a straight red card before Messi saw his penalty ricochet back off the bar.
Arsenal’s Podolski out for up to 10 weeks
London: Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski could be ruled out for up to 10 weeks with a hamstring injury, manager Arsene Wenger said on Thursday. Podolski pulled a muscle during his side’s 2-0 Champions League playoff win over Fenerbahce. “His hamstring is much more damaged than we thought at the start,” Wenger said. — Reuters
Patiala, August 29
“The AIBA is satisfied with the progress that the IBF has made with regard to the holding of new elections and the adoption of a new constitution,” AIBA's Communication Director Sebastien Gillot said. — PTI
Bengaluru, August 29
World No 10 Sindhu gave a flawless performance as she defeated veteran Baun 21-16 21-13 to level proceedings after world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei drew first blood for Masters, thrashing talented Guru Sai Dutt 21-15 21-7.
In the men’s doubles encounter, the formidable Warriors’ pair Markis Kido and Mathias Boe made short work of the inexperienced Indians Sumeeth Reddy and Pranav Jerry Chopra with a scoreline of 21-15 21-10.
Buoyed by the presence of owners — cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and Telegu actor Nagarjuna cheering from the sidelines — Lee produced a clinical win. At the first break, Lee lead 7-4 but Gurusai reduced the margin to 12-14 at the second break.
Gurusai provided Lee with some anxious moments with down-the-line smashes and impressive net play.
Although he committed nine unforced errors compared to five by Gurusai, the experienced Malaysian bagged the first game 21-15.
After losing the first game, Gurusai came under far too much pressure as he conceded the first break of the second game 2-7 against the Masters’ icon player.
Lee capitalised on the retreating confidence of Gurusai and played some magnificent badminton leading 14-2 in the second break.
“I’m very happy after the win. I’m thankful to all the fans for all their support. I think now our team is in a good position to reach the final,” Lee said.
In the second match, Sindhu kept the hopes alive for Warriors after she beat Baun 21-16 21-13 for the second time in the tournament to equalise the score at 1-1.
The rising Indian shuttler carried her form into the knockout stage, especially after winning all her last three matches.
The world No. 10 lead 7-4 at the first break and yet again 14-9 at the second break, before snatching the game 21-16. Sindhu repeated the tactics of unsettling Baun in the second game right from the word go.
The Warriors’ icon player tightened the noose and outplayed Baun in every department. “I’m thankful to the crowd for all the support. My coaches told me how to play my game. As an icon player, I tell all my team players to give their best,” Sindhu said after beating Baun.
Sindhu’s win placed Warriors at an advantage, for men doubles have been a bane for the Masters in the tournament and B Sumeeth Reddy and Pranav Jerry Chopra combo are no match for the formidable Warriors’ pair Markis Kido and Mathias Boe. The Warriors’ pair proved their mettle by thrashing Masters’ combination 21-15 21-10. — PTI
New Delhi, August 29
In the fresh appeal, the CAB has pleaded that the Bombay High Court, which said the BCCI had violated its own rules in formation of the commission, should have either formed a new commission or monitored a fresh panel formed by the BCCI. — Agencies
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