Sports Update

Sandeep, Shivendra dropped from Asia Cup probables

Shivendra-Singh-Sandeep-SinghNew Delhi, July 2 : India's hockey selectors have dropped senior players Sandip Singh and Shivendra Singh from the 48 core probables for the Asia Cup to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia, from Aug 24 to Sep 1.

The two seniors were dropped after India finished a disppointing sixth in the World League and failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Kirani James sets new 400m record in Ostrava

Kirani-JamesOstrava (Czech Republic), June 28 : World and Olympic 400 metres champion Kirani James lived up to expectation to win the event at the Golden Spike Meet in Ostrava on Thursday.

James thrilled a capacity crowd by racing to a new meet record of 44.49 seconds on the track where he was first noticed as a 400m prodigy when he competed as a 14 year-old to win silver at the World Youth Championships six years ago.

The Grenadian athlete successfully chased down another outstanding quarter-miler's achievement - the meet record of 44.70 set by Cuban Alberto Juantorena in 1976.

Bhupathi-Knowle advance at Wimbledon

Mahesh-BhupathiLondon, June 26 : Eighth seeded Indo-Austrian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Julian Knowle advanced to the men's doubles second round at Wimbledon beating unseeded Argentine-Spanish duo Leonardo Mayer and Albert Ramos here Wednesday.

Bhupathi-Knowle won 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 37 minutes in the first round clash.

New Zealand rugby team defeats France 24-9

All-Blacks-rugbyWellington, June 22 : New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team Saturday defeated France 24-9 in their third and final test, at Yarrow Stadium.

New Zealand had two try scorers, Ben Smith and Beauden Barrett, and one conversion by Daniel Carter who also kicked four penalties, reports Xinhua.

For France, Jean-Marc Doussain kicked two penalties and Florian Fritz kicked a drop goal.(IANS)

Italy edge spirited Japan to seal final-four spot

Italy-vs-JapanRecife (Brazil), June 20 : Second-half substitute Sebastian Giovinco scored a dramatic 86th-minute winner here as Italy defeated Japan 4-3 in a pulsating FIFA Confederations Cup Group A match.

The result Wednesday night secured Italy a place in the semi-finals alongside Brazil while eliminating Japan and Mexico from the tournament, reports Xinhua.

CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda and Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa gave Japan a dream start before Italy wrested the lead via Daniele De Rossi, Mario Balotelli and an own goal from Atsuto Uchida.

Murray beats Becker to reach Queen's semis

Andy-MurrayLondon, June 15 : Top seed Andy Murray entered the semifinals of the Queen's Club grass court championship for the third time defeating Germany's Benjamin Becker here.

Murray, ranked second in the world and twice a Queen's champion, won a testing match 6-4, 7-6(3) Friday to set up a semifinal showdown against French star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, reports Xinhua.

Tsonga, a beaten semifinalist at the French Open, beat American Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-2.

Bad weather had forced Murray to complete his opening two matches Thursday but he saw off Becker in bright sunshine and a stiff breeze, despite a rather more uneven performance.

Saina enters Indonesia Open semis

saina-nehwalJakarta, June 14 : Defending champion Saina Nehwal entered the women's singles semifinals of the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier defeating Spaniard Carolina Marin at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno Stadium here Friday.

However, it was the end of the road for men's singles shuttlers Ajay Jayaram and R. M. V. Gurusaidutt, who lost their respective quarterfinal matches.

It was considerably an easy outing for Saina, who won the tournament in 2009, 2010 and 2012, triumphing in her first ever encounter against Carolina. The World No. 2, who had also reached the 2011 final, won 21-16, 21-19 in 39 minutes.

Michael Clarke to miss New Zealand match

Michael-ClarkeBirmingham, June 11 : Australia captain Michael Clarke has not yet recovered from a chronic back injury and will miss out on his side's second league match against New Zealand in the Champions Trophy here Wednesday.

Cricket Australia Physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said: “Michael is continuing to have intensive treatment in London, and whilst he is making good progress, he has not improved sufficiently enough to play the game against New Zealand on Wednesday. We will continue to monitor his progress and determine his availability for next week's final group game against Sri Lanka."

Van Persie replaces Sneijder as new Dutch captain

Wesley-Sneijder-Van-PersieThe Hague, June 8 : Robin van Persie has replaced Wesley Sneijder as permanent first captain, Dutch head coach Louis van Gaal said.

Van Gaal informed the Dutch media about the change in captaincy after the friendly match against Indonesia in Jakarta, Friday.

When Louis van Gaal started his second term as head coach he appointed Sneijder as first captain, Dirk Kuyt as second and Kevin Strootman as third. However, Sneijder was not playing at Inter in the first half of the season and was not fit during the second half at his new club Galatasaray.

Saina ousted from Thailand Open

Saina-NehwalBangkok, June 7 : World No. 2 Saina Nehwal exited the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament going down to eighth seed Juan Gu of Singapore in the quarterfinals here Friday.

Saina, who was the top seed in the tournament, lost 21-13, 12-21, 18-21 in 53 minutes.

The Hyderabadi shuttler started the match on the front foot, never giving her opponent even a sniff of a chance in the opening game. However, her fortunes changed dramatically in the next game in which she won just two consecutive points.

Eriksson new coach of Guangzhou R&F

Sven-Goran-ErikssonGuangzhou, June 5 : Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F officially appointed former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson as the club's new coach until the end of 2014.

The club was reported to ink a contract of more than 2 million euros, and a one or two years optional clause, reports Xinhua.

"Mr. Eriksson is one of the most famous coaches in the world, we believe with his ability and experience we could do better in Chinese Super league," Lu Yi, vice president of the Chinese club said here Tuesday.

French Open: Kirilenko reaches quarters

Maria-KirilenkoParis, June 4 : Russia's Maria Kirilenko beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands in straight sets to advance to the quarterfinals of the French Open.

It took Kirilenko, the world No. 12, more than two hours for the 7-5, 6-4 victory Monday, reaching her first-ever quarterfinal at Roland Garros.

The Russian started the match down 0-3, but managed to pull out the first set despite five double faults and 17 unforced errors.

Paes-Melzer lose at French Open

Paes-MelzerParis, June 1 : Ninth seeds Leander Paes and Jurgen Melzer were shown the door in the men's doubles second round at the French Open here Saturday.

The Indo-Austrian lost to Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas and Argentine Horacio Zeballos 7-5, 4-6, 6-7 on court 17 of Roland Garros.

Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna play their opening mixed doubles matches later in the day.(IANS)

Gunneswaran clinches tennis title

Prajnesh-GunneswaranChennai, June 1 : Prajnesh Gunneswaran capped his fine run by defeating third seeded Vijayant Malik 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the final of the MPTA ITF Men's Futures tennis tournament here Saturday.

In an 108-minute match, the unseeded Gunneswaran drew first blood when he broke Malik in the third game without conceding a point and then held serve to lead 3-1 and 4-2.

Malik held serve in the seventh and then began to slow down the pace while keeping the ball short and low. This unsettled Gunneswaran who dropped serve in the eighth.

Lochte returns to competitive swimming with a bang

Ryan-LochteVancouver, May 27 : A month into his return to serious training, US Olympian swimmer Ryan Lochte demonstrated he was on the right track over the weekend when he won four out of six races at the 2013 Mel Zajac Jr. International Canada Cup.

Against a top field of swimmers from around North America, Lochte, the holder of 11 Olympic medals and three world records, posted victories in 200m backstroke (1:59.56), 200m freestyle (1:52.27), 200m individual medley
(2:00:15) and 100m freestyle (50:97), reports Xinhua.

Corinthians beat Santos to win Campeonato Paulista

Corinthians-beat-SantosRio de Janeiro, May 20 : Corinthians won their 27th Campeonato Paulista title after a 1-1 draw in the second leg of the final against Santos.

The result at the Vila Belmiro stadium Sunday gave the reigning FIFA Club World Cup champions a 3-2 aggregate victory, reports Xinhua.

Cicero scored the opener for Santos just before the half-hour with a stunning left-foot volley before Danilo equalised two minutes later with a powerful shot after Paulinho's effort was kept out by goalkeeper Rafael.

Federer, Djokovic, Nadal reach quarters in Rome

Djokovic-Nadal-FedererRome, May 17 : Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic brushed aside their opponents to reach the quarter-finals while Rafael Nadal was made to sweat before reaching the final eight of the Rome Masters here.

Second seed Roger Federer saw off the challenge from French Gilles Simon 6-1, 6-2 to continue his pursuit of a maiden final in 2013. He will now play Jerzy Janowicz, who beat Richard Gasquet 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 Thursday, Xinhua reports.

World no. 1 Djokovic dispatched Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1, 6-4.

Wigan’s FA Cup win puts Trinidadian into the history books

Dennis-LawrenceLondon, May 15 : Former Trinidad and Tobago International Dennis Lawrence has become the first man from the Caribbean on the coaching staff of the English FA Cup Champions.

Lawrence is an assistant coach to Roberto Martinez, manager of Wigan Athletic which activated the history making feat by producing the biggest FA Cup Final upset for 25 years when they beat Manchester City one-nil over the weekend.

Grenada biggest mover in FIFA rankings

FIFAZurich, May 14 : Grenada has emerged as the most improved team in the latest FIFA rankings.

The Spice Boyz, crowned Windward Islands' football champions last month, climbed 20 spots to 121 in the global rankings and 16 in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF).

The movement is owed in part to the two victories in the Windward Islands Football Association (WIFA) Tournament in St Vincent.

Grenada defeated the host 1-0 and St Lucia 2-1 to win the three-team tournament following the withdrawal of Dominica after the tragic death of the coach and a player a few days before the kick-off.

Nadal defeats Ferrer to enter Madrid semifinal

Rafael-NadalMadrid, May 11 : Rafael Nadal came within two points of defeat before he fought back to progress into the last four of the Madrid Open.

Nadal had lost the first set and was trailing 5-6 on his serve and 15-30 down to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer Friday when Ferrer missed a relatively easy shot to force two match points.

Instead, the No. 4 seed saw his chance vanish, and Nadal recovered to take the game and force the set to a tiebreak, which he won, reports Xinhua.

He then used his new-found confidence to brush a crestfallen Ferrer aside in the third set to win 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-0.

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