CANASTOTA, N.Y. — When Ray Mancini got the call, he was caught off guard.“It was pretty incredible. Who gets in the Hall of Fame?” the boxer known as “Boom Boom” marveled at his selection for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. “I don’t know exactly what it takes to get in there. It’s the culmination of a career. It’s terrific.“I’m so honored to be with my heroes, and there’s a couple of guys I beat pretty good,” said Mancini, chuckling. “I never thought of myself as a Hall of Famer. It never even crossed my mind.”The rest of the class of 2015 announced Dec. 5 includes heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe, featherweight champion “Prince” Naseem Hamed of England, light flyweight champion Yoko Gushiken of Japan, manager Rafael Mendoza of Mexico, referee Steve Smoger of Norfolk, Virginia, journalist Nigel Collins of England, and broadcaster Jim Lampley of Asheville, North Carolina.Posthumous honorees include Japanese flyweight Masao Ohba, middleweight Ken Overlin of Decatur, Illinois, and publicist John F.X. Condon of New York.Mancini, the pride of Youngstown, Ohio, followed his late father, Lenny, into boxing and turned pro in 1979. He captured the NABF lightweight title in 1981 from Jorge Morales and in 1982 scored a first-round knockout of Arturo Frias to win the WBA lightweight title.That might have been his crowning moment. His dad was “Boom Boom” first, a promising fighter who never got that title fight he was oh-so-close to achieving when World War II intervened.“My father was my inspiration. My mother was my motivation,” Mancini said. “She always told me I could be anything I want in this world. I had a great balance. I wish they were here with me. They’d be floating. They’d be so proud, so happy.”Though his career was brief, Mancini was wildly popular and left an impact on the sport.In November 1982, he defended his title against 23-year-old challenger Duk Koo Kim of South Korea at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in an outdoor bout televised live by CBS. Mancini scored a knockout in the 14th round, but Kim suffered brain injuries that led to his death four days later.The WBA immediately shortened its title fights to 12 rounds and by 1990 all sanctioning organizations had followed suit. But Kim’s death was a cruel reminder of the perils of the sport.Mancini also made successful defenses against Ernesto Espana, Orlando Romero, and Hall of Famer Bobby Chacon before losing the title to Livingstone Bramble in 1984 and in their rematch the next year. He officially retired in 1992 with a pro record of 29-5 (23 KOs).“I want to be remembered as a guy who gave everything he had — left it all in the ring — a pretty good fighter,” Mancini said.Bowe compiled a 104-18 amateur record that included a super heavyweight silver medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, losing the gold-medal fight to Lennox Lewis. Bowe became the undisputed heavyweight champ when he scored a decision against Evander Holyfield in 1992 for the three major crowns.One of 13 siblings who grew up in poverty in Brooklyn, Bowe had somehow made his way to the pinnacle of the sport.A 6-foot-5, 235-pounder, Bowe won his first 31 fights to get a shot at the title, knocking out all but two of them. He fought only 10 times after taking the crown and won nine of them, but it was evident his career was declining when he had to get up off the canvas to stop Holyfield in their third and final meeting.Bowe suffered two straight beatings from Andrew Golota in 1996, although he won both fights because Golota hit him with low blows. In interviews after the second fight, Bowe’s speech was badly slurred and former manager Rock Newman persuaded him to retire.Bowe then joined the Marines before quitting after only a few days of basic training. Out of the ring, his marriage quickly unraveled and he kidnapped his ex-wife and kids at gunpoint for what he thought would be a reconciliation.He served time in federal prison and after his release returned to the ring in 2004 and won three more fights, the last in 2008 to improve his pro record to 43-1 (33 KOs).“He was just a big, wonderful kid,” Newman told the AP in a 2000 interview. “In the middle of all this, he survived without using drugs or alcohol or anything.”Hamed learned to box at age 7 and turned pro in 1992. In the ensuing decade, he captured bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight titles and had an impressive string of 15 successful title defenses before retiring in 2002 with a pro record of 36-1 (31 KOs).The Tokyo-born Ohba turned pro in 1966 and compiled a 25-2-1 record before winning the WBA flyweight championship in 1970.He successfully defended the title five times over the next three years and in his lone bout outside his native country stopped Rocky Garcia in the ninth round in the United States.His last fight was a successful title defense over Thailand’s Chartchai Chionoi in January 1973. Three weeks later, he died at 23 from injuries suffered in an automobile accident, finishing with a pro record of 35-2-1 (16 KOs).Overlin learned to box in the Navy and turned pro in 1931. Perhaps his finest moment was a 10-round victory over future heavyweight king Ezzard Charles. He retired in 1944 with a record of 135-19-9-2NC (23 KOs) and died in 1969 in Reno, Nevada.Inductees were selected by the Boxing Writers Association and a panel of international boxing historians. They will be enshrined in June at the Hall of Fame in upstate New York.(JOHN KEKIS, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
NEW YORK — Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul filed a lawsuit Feb. 24 against ESPN and reporter Adam Schefter for posting his medical records last summer.The lawsuit, filed in Miami Dade County in Florida, alleges that Pierre-Paul’s privacy was violated — as was the state’s medical records statute — by the report after the player severely injured his right hand in a fireworks accident on July 4.The New York Post first reported the lawsuit which doesn’t specify how much money Pierre-Paul is seeking, other than it “is an action for damages in excess of $15,000.”According to Pierre-Paul’s lawyers, Mitchell Schuster and Kevin Fritz, Schefter “improperly obtained” the defensive end’s medical chart, which showed he had his right index finger amputated at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.According to Florida statute 456.057, patients’ medical records can’t be given to or discussed with anyone not involved in their care — something the suit alleges Schefter violated.Schefter posted a photo of Pierre-Paul’s chart on July 8 on Twitter, where he currently has more than 4.5 million followers.“This action arises out of ESPN reporter Schefter’s blatant disregard for the private and confidential nature of Plaintiff’s medical records,” the lawsuit states, “all so Schefter could show the world that he had ‘supporting proof’ of a surgical procedure.”In a later interview with Sports Illustrated, Schefter said he “could have and should have done even more to protect (Pierre-Paul’s) medical records,” according to the lawsuit.The suit also states that while Pierre-Paul’s amputation “may have been of legitimate public concern, the chart itself was not.”Pierre Paul returned to the Giants last season for the final eight games and started them all. He managed only one sack and struggled to finish plays with his hand wrapped to protect it.Pierre-Paul had surgery on the hand after the season, hoping to improve flexibility. He is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason.TweetPinShare0 Shares
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — When rookie Donovan Mitchell spun by Giannis Antetokounmpo and made a layup in the fourth quarter, he felt like he was walking on air.“When I made that move on him, I started smirking just because he’s an All-Star and it’s cool to make that sort of play on a guy like that,” Mitchell said.Mitchell scored 24 points and the Utah Jazz made a season-high 18 3-pointers in a 121-108 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.Mitchell, who made a career-high six 3s, had 10 points in the fourth quarter as the Jazz broke open the game and finished with a season-best 56.8 percent shooting from the field.When Antetokounmpo was announced in the starting lineup after he was questionable with a sore knee, Mitchell lit up because of the respect he has for the “Greek Freak”.“I was watching him when I was in college. He’s been dominating and it’s really impressive what he’s been doing,” Mitchell said.Mitchell has been impressing as well and made even difficult plays look easy against Milwaukee, including a desperation 28-foot jumper to beat the shot clock that kept Utah ahead by double digits midway through the final period.Rodney Hood scored 21 and Derrick Favors added 16 for the Jazz, who have defeated the Bucks seven times in a row.Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 13 rebounds after missing the last game, but showed frustration several times during the contest as the Bucks played from behind most of the game.“We’ve just got to play harder, put more effort into it,” Antetokounmpo said. “If you get frustrated, there’s no point.”Malcolm Brogdon scored 19 points, while Eric Bledsoe and Tony Snell each contributed 18 for the Bucks, who shot 53 percent but couldn’t keep up with the quick Jazz passing on the perimeter.The Jazz closed the third quarter with eight straight points, including 3s by Thabo Sefolosha and Hood, to lead 95-85.“When we play at our pace, it’s very hard to guard,” Hood said. “We move the ball. We attack seams. We make the game easy for each other.”The Jazz reserves, who had 53 points, have posted more than 50 points in three of their last four games.Utah played without Rudy Gobert, who missed his eighth with a bruised knee, and the Bucks found little resistance on many drives to the basket. But they couldn’t match Mitchell’s six 3s and Joe Ingles’ five makes from beyond the arc.The Jazz have won 16 consecutive games at home over the Bucks.TIP-INSBucks: The Bucks shot 10 free throws before the Jazz took their first. … Brogdon made 5 of 6 from 3-point range. … After connecting on 13 of their first 14 free throws, the Bucks twice missed both free throws on trips in the fourth quarter.Jazz: For the first time, the Jazz wore bright gold uniforms with blue and green numbers and trim. … Raul Neto got a technical with 8:30 left in the game. … The Jazz are now 4-4 with Gobert out of the lineup.ATTACKING THE BLITZMilwaukee’s aggressive pick-and-roll defense backfired against the Jazz. “When they come out and blitz, you make the first pass and the bigs are doing a great job finding the corners and the wings,” Mitchell said. “That’s where I got a lot of my shots and Joe got his shots.”THE BUCKS STOPPED HERECoach Jason Kidd on what his team lacked: “Effort, energy and caring. Sprinkle in a little trying. We didn’t do that tonight. We tried hard on the offensive end but we didn’t do anything on the defensive end.”EXTRA PASSThe Jazz tied their season high of 31 assists that was just set in a 125-85 win at Orlando on Nov. 18. “I thought we were incredibly unselfish and offensively we were connected, trying to help each other,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “You’ve got to share the ball. I think our guys knew that and they really did it.”UP NEXTBucks: Visit Sacramento on Tuesday.Jazz: Host the Nuggets on Tuesday night.TweetPinShare0 Shares
TURIN, Italy (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving Real Madrid to join Italian club Juventus, bringing to an end a hugely successful nine-year spell in Spain.Soon after Portugal was knocked out from the World Cup, Ronaldo and his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, along with the football star’s son and the couple’s daughter, arrived at Kalamata Airport in the Peloponnese in a private jet and then boarded a helicopter that flew them straight to Pylos, a coastal resort in Messinia, to enjoy some quality rest and relaxation.While Ronaldo was in Kalamata, Madrid said Tuesday it has reached an agreement with Juventus after a request by Ronaldo. No financial details were disclosed but Italian media reports Juventus is paying Madrid 105 million euros ($123 million) for the 33-year-old forward.“Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude to a player who has proven to be the best in the world and who has marked one of the greatest eras in the history of our club and of world soccer,” the club said in a statement.Ronaldo is currently on vacation in Greece following Portugal’s elimination from the World Cup. Juventus president Andrea Agnelli flew out Tuesday to meet the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in 2009 from Manchester United and was the Spanish club’s all-time leading scorer with 451 goals in 438 matches. He helped the club win four Champions League titles — beating Juventus in the final in 2017 — and also won the league and cup twice each.“In addition to the titles he won, Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of dedication, work, responsibility, talent and determination,” Madrid said. “For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of its greatest symbols and a unique reference for the next generations. Real Madrid will always be his home.”Ronaldo signed a five-year deal with Madrid in 2016, saying he wanted to end his career at the club. But he has also publicly expressed his discontentment about being jeered at times by some Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.Ronaldo was also moved by the Juventus fans for giving him a standing ovation after he scored a spectacular goal against the Italian club at the Allianz Stadium in the Champions League quarterfinals last season.Ronaldo made his debut for Sporting Lisbon when he was 17. His crossover dribble was already famous when Alex Ferguson brought him to Manchester United ahead of the 2003-04 season and gave him the No. 7 shirt of the recently departed David Beckham.He spent six seasons in England, winning three Premier League titles, one Champions League title and one FA Cup.Ronaldo led Portugal to its first major title at the European Championship two years ago in France. He helped the Portuguese team reach the semifinals in his first World Cup in 2006.Portugal was eliminated by Uruguay in the round of 16 of this year’s tournament in Russia. Ronaldo scored four goals to take his tally to 85 for his country and break Ferenc Puskas’ record as Europe’s all-time leading international scorer.TweetPinShare33 Shares
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and a season-high 21 rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Brooklyn Nets 120-113 on Monday after finally trading Jimmy Butler.The Nets lost leading scorer Caris LeVert to what appeared to be a severe right leg injury late in the first half.Jeff Teague returned from a six-game absence to score 24 points for Minnesota, which snapped a five-game losing streak.The Timberwolves officially dealt Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, along with big man Justin Patton. The Wolves received Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round pick in the trade.LeVert’s gruesome injury brought the entire crowd at Target Center to a silence. LeVert spent several minutes on the court being attended by medical personnel. Timberwolves players huddled in prayer while Nets players surrounded their injured teammate before he was wheeled off the court.D’Angelo Russell made a career-high nine 3-pointers and scored 31 points for the Nets, who shot a season-worst 39.6 percent from the field.Brooklyn Nets’ Ed Davis (17) guards Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns (32) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves won 120-113. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)PELICANS 126, RAPTORS 110TORONTO (AP) — Anthony Davis had 25 points and a season-high 20 rebounds, E’Twaun Moore scored a season-high 30 points and New Orleans snapped Toronto’s six-game winning streak.Jrue Holiday had 29 points and matched a season high with 14 assists, and Julius Randle added 17 points and 12 rebounds as New Orleans won its third straight following a six-game losing streak.The Pelicans outscored the Raptors 72-42 in the paint and snapped a six-game losing streak against Toronto.Pascal Siakam scored 22 points, Kawhi Leonard had 20 and Serge Ibaka had 19 points and 14 rebounds as the Raptors lost for the first time in eight home games this season. Toronto entered with an NBA-best 12-1 record.CLIPPERS 121, WARRIORS 116, OTLOS ANGELES (AP) — Lou Williams scored 10 of his 25 points in overtime after the Clippers blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, and Los Angeles hung to beat Golden State at home for the first time in nearly four years.Williams rallied after missing shots in the closing minutes of regulation, when the Warriors ran off 11 straight points to force overtime tied at 106-all.Montrezl Harrell added 23 points off the bench and rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 18.The Clippers snapped a seven-game skid against the Warriors at Staples Center, where they last won on Dec. 25, 2014.Kevin Durant had 33 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the Warriors before fouling out with 3:46 left in the extra session. Klay Thompson added 31 points, but was just 5 of 16 on 3-pointers on a night without injured fellow Splash Brother Stephen Curry.76ERS 124, HEAT 114MIAMI (AP) — Joel Embiid scored 35 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, and Philadelphia added to Miami’s early-season struggles.The win came hours after the 76ers finalized a trade with Minnesota to land four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler, who was in Philadelphia and not with the club in Miami. Butler will be introduced at the 76ers’ facility in Camden, New Jersey, on Tuesday, before he flies to Orlando and makes his debut with Philly on Wednesday night against the Magic.JJ Redick scored 25 points, Furkan Korkmaz scored 16 and Ben Simmons and Mike Muscala each had 13 for Philadelphia.Goran Dragic scored 22 points for Miami, which got 17 from Josh Richardson and 14 from Wayne Ellington. The Heat have dropped three straight, all of them at home.JAZZ 96, GRIZZLIES 88MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Joe Ingles scored 19 points, Rudy Gobert added 15 points and 16 rebounds and Utah won its third straight.The Jazz broke open a close game in the final six minutes with a 14-5 run. Gobert had eight points in the stretch as Utah built its lead to 11 points in the late stages.Derrick Favors and Donovan Mitchell finished with 12 points apiece for Utah.Mike Conley led Memphis with 24 points, while Marc Gasol added 16. Jaren Jackson Jr. and MarShon Brooks finished with 10 points each, and Jackson had 11 rebounds.The loss was the first at home for Memphis this season.THUNDER 118, SUNS 101OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Paul George matched his season high with 32 points and went 6 of 10 from 3-point range, Dennis Schroder added 20 points and nine assists, and Oklahoma City beat Phoenix.The Thunder have won eight of their last nine games after a 0-4 start while the Suns have lost four straight and 11 of their last 12. Two of those losses have come in Oklahoma City.Oklahoma City scored 22 straight points in the first quarter, holding the Suns scoreless for nearly seven minutes, to take a 24-5 lead. The Thunder never trailed again and led by as many as 28 points in the second quarter before settling for a 64-40 halftime lead.T.J. Warren led the Suns with 21 points while Devin Booker had 19 points and six assists.KINGS 104, SPURS 99SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Iman Shumpert made a tiebreaking jumper with 4:05 remaining, De’Aaron Fox and Nemanja Bjelica followed with 3-pointers and Sacramento pulled away to end a 14-game losing streak to San Antonio.Fox finished with 19 points and seven assists. Willie Cauley-Stein had 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 22 points for the Kings.Sacramento led the entire third quarter but didn’t shake San Antonio until late in the fourth.LaMarcus Aldridge had 14 points and 18 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points with eight assists, and Rudy Gay added 14 points and nine rebounds in his return to the Spurs lineup.WIZARDS 117, MAGIC 109WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall had 25 points and 10 assists, Bradley Beal added 21 points and Washington won consecutive games for the first time this season, beating Orlando.Jeff Green added 18 points off the bench on 6-of-7 shooting for Washington, which lost at Orlando on Friday night to fall to 2-9 before winning at Miami.The Wizards made 24 free throws on 33 attempts, 22 more than the Magic earned, and out-rebounded the visitors 41-34.Terrence Ross scored 21 points off the bench to lead Orlando, which saw a two-game winning streak snapped.MAVERICKS 103, BULLS 98CHICAGO (AP) — Harrison Barnes scored a season-high 23 points and Dallas overcame a sluggish performance by prized rookie Luka Doncic to beat Chicago.Doncic, the leading scorers among NBA rookies, shot 3 for 12 and finished with 11 points as Dallas won for the third time in four games after a six-game skid. J.J. Barea added 14 points, five rebounds and five assists.Zach LaVine led Chicago with 26 points. Jabari Parker scored all but two of his 16 points in the second half.TweetPinShare0 Shares
TORONTO (AP) — With a weary Kawhi Leonard fighting through fatigue, the Toronto Raptors found enough energy to pull away from the Milwaukee Bucks.Kyle Lowry led the way.Lowry scored 25 points, Leonard had 19 and the Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 120-102 on Tuesday night to even the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece.“This was one of the nights that we knew Kawhi was a little bit limited and we had to come out and be aggressive for him,” Lowry said.Leonard played 52 minutes in a double-overtime win in Game 3 on Sunday despite dealing with leg soreness. He limped away from the basket following a third-quarter dunk in Game 4, but still toughed it out for 34 minutes.Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka battles for the ball against Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)“I feel good,” Leonard insisted. “I’m going to keep going and keep fighting. We have a chance to make history.”Raptors coach Nick Nurse said he’s not worried about Leonard’s health.“He’s certainly tired, like a lot of guys in this series are,” Nurse said. “He looks OK to me. There was one time I was trying to give him an extended rest and he didn’t really want it so he must be OK.”Serge Ibaka had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors, who improved to 7-2 at home this postseason. Reserve Norm Powell scored 18 points, and Marc Gasol had 17 points and a team-high seven assists.“The first two games, they really brought the intensity to us,” Powell said. “They really came out and were more physical, more active. We wanted to change that narrative coming home.”The home team has won all four games in the series so far. Game 5 is Thursday night in Milwaukee.“We need to take this challenge of playing in a hostile environment,” Nurse said. “We’re going into a tough, loud place to play. Let’s see if those guys can bring that same pop and focus and determination on the road.”Toronto Raptors forward Norman Powell (24) celebrates his basket with Fred VanVleet (23) during the second half of Game 4 of the team’s NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals against the Milwaukee Buck, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the top-seeded Bucks. Khris Middleton scored 30 points, but no one else had more than 11.Milwaukee lost its second straight following a six-game winning streak. It dropped consecutive games just once during the regular season, at Utah on March 2 and at Phoenix on March 4.“This is probably the first night defensively where I don’t feel like we were close to where you need to be,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “We got punched. They played really well.”Toronto’s Fred VanVleet, who missed 16 of 20 shot attempts through the first three games of the series, went 5 for 6 from the field in Game 4. He made each of his three 3-point tries and finished with 13 points.“He needed one of those games,” Lowry said. “He played well and made some great plays tonight.”Ahead 94-81 to start the fourth, the Raptors extended their lead with a 10-3 spurt, including seven points from VanVleet. Powell’s fast-break layup with 8:35 left put Toronto up 104-84.Toronto Raptors forward Norman Powell (24) heads for the baskets as Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton (24) defends during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)“We’ve got to guard better,” Middleton said. “Everybody on their team, I feel like they got pretty much whatever they wanted. Everything was easy.”Antetokounmpo shot 5 for 8 in the opening frame, matching the number of made baskets he had during Game 3. However, the Bucks star went 4 for 9 the rest of the way.Leonard and Pascal Siakam, who both played more than 50 minutes Sunday, looked sluggish in the opening half. Leonard missed the only shot he took in the second, while Siakam played fewer than three minutes in the second after picking up his third foul. Siakam had two points at halftime.Leonard came up limping after dunking against Antetokounmpo early in the third, but remained in the game. Moments later, Siakam completed a three-point play that put Toronto up 73-60 with 8:43 left.“We just came out in the third quarter flat,” Antetokounmpo said.Ilyasova missed a 3 with 3:50 remaining in the third that could have cut the deficit to four points. Powell replied with a 3 and, following miss by Malcolm Brogdon, Leonard drained a jumper to push Toronto’s lead to 86-74.TIP-INSBucks: Middleton missed his first attempt of the game, and then made the next eight in row. He finished 11 for 15. … Antetokounmpo air-balled his first free-throw attempt in the first quarter. … Brogdon shot 0 for 5 in the first half and missed seven straight before connecting late in the third. He finished 2 for 11.Raptors: Lowry scored 12 of Toronto’s first 17 points. He finished 10 for 10 at the line. … The Raptors are 4-0 on Tuesdays in these playoffs. … Toronto outscored Milwaukee 28-6 on bench points in the first half. The Raptors finished with a 48-23 advantage in bench scoring. … Siakam scored seven points, his lowest total in these playoffs. … Leonard had four of Toronto’s nine steals.PROUD PAPAVanVleet became a father for the second time Monday with the birth of his first son, Fred Jr.ATTENTION HOGEven when Leonard isn’t scoring 35, Lowry said the three-time All-Star still helps with spacing.“The great thing about having him on your team is he still gets all the attention,” Lowry said. “That’s the benefit of having a superstar like him on the team.”MANY TONGUESIbaka answered post-game questions in English, French, and Spanish, and jokingly asked whether anyone wanted to talk to him in Italian or Portuguese.___By IAN HARRISON Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shares
\R Belgrade, Jul 13 (AFP) Croatia’s neighbours in the former Yugoslavia have largely praised the team’s surprise success in reaching the World Cup final in Russia — just don’t expect the Serbian president to support them, at least for now. Every time a major tournament comes around, a familiar refrain is heard in the region: “If only Yugoslavia was one country, imagine the amazing team we could have.” That nostalgic lament hides the fact that Croatia are doing just fine without Bosnian or Serb players — and Yugoslavia, after all, never reached a World Cup final. If one man embodies football and the dream of a multi-cultural Yugoslavia, it is Ivica Osim, the coach of the last Yugoslavia team before the country violently broke apart. He was in charge of a superb team at the 1990 World Cup in Italy that was knocked out at the quarter-final stage in a penalty shootout by Diego Maradona’s Argentina. When Serb forces began bombing the city, Osim, barely holding back the tears, told Serb journalists that he hoped they would remember “that I come from Sarajevo”. Now 77, the Bosnian has watched Croatia and midfield maestro Luka Modric’s run to Sunday’s final against France with huge admiration. “They have managed to integrate their individual qualities into the collective” and never give up even when they are exhausted, he told the Jutarnji List newspaper, adding that “this is not a common trait with us”.- Plain jerseys -================= In a region still scarred by the conflicts of the 1990s in which 130,000 people died, many people find it hard to throw their support behind Croatia despite a common language and culture.advertisement That is especially the case in Serbia, whose team failed to qualify for the knock-out stages of the World Cup. In early June, a mini-World Cup was organised for children attending football schools in Belgrade. Each team wore the colours of one of the 32 qualified teams — except the team representing Croatia. To avoid offending any Serbian sensitivities, the children in that team had to wear blank white t-shirts. Novak Djokovic is Serbia’s best-known sportsman and an idol in his country, but when the 12-time Grand Slam winner voiced support for the Croatia World Cup team, he was condemned by Vladimir Djukanovic, a lawmaker from the ruling Serbian Progressive Party. “Only idiots can support Croatia. Aren’t you ashamed Novak?” Djukanovic tweeted. His argument was that Djokovic has wide support from Serbs in Krajina, a region of Croatia where Serbs were in the majority before they were driven out during the war. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic made no secret of which team he backed in Croatia’s World Cup quarter-final against host nation Russia. “I supported Russia, that is my right. Serbia is a democratic society and everyone has the right to support whoever they want,” Vucic said.- ‘Well done neighbours!’ -=========================== That opinion is by no means shared by everyone. Many Serbs have expressed admiration, and sometimes even outright joy, at Croatia’s success. “Congratulations with all my heart, bravo!”, Miodrag, a resident of Nis in southern Serbia told the website of Serbian state TV on Wednesday after the semi-final win over England. “Our players and the (Serbian) federation could maybe ask the Croats to give us football lessons,” someone else commented. Milojko Pantic, a well-known sports commentator when Yugoslavia was still a single country, said that Serbs with a sense of brotherliness had supported Croatia in the quarter-finals while those who wanted to see Russia beat Croatia were “bigots and nationalists”. In Macedonia, most residents are supporting Croatia, despite the nationalist right’s unswerving support for Russia. “Congratulations Croatia. Politics, sport, the region and the world have all come together tonight,” Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev tweeted along with a photo of himself and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic at a NATO summit. “Politics aside, hats off to you, neighbours! You are the pride of the former Yugoslavia,” said an unnamed Montenegro on the website of the Vijesti newspaper. Around 6,000 Croats live in Montenegro. Croats in Bosnia, where they make up 15 percent of the population, also supported the Croatia team, but Bosnian political analyst Zoran Kresic detected something deeper, saying the support “has unified the region and Bosnia for the first time since the bloody wars”. He saw it as part of a “gradual warming of relations” between Croats, Bosnians and Serbs. (AFP) ATKATK
Croatia will take the field on Sunday in the final of the World Cup 2018 against France.It’s the first final for the European nation. Their best finish before the ongoing tournament came in the 1998 edition, where they lost in the semi-finals against the eventual winners France.The Sunday match will undoubtedly be the greatest moment in the sporting history of Croatia. What makes the final extra special for the nation is the fact that just 10 months back they were not even guaranteed a place in the World Cup finals.Croatia qualified for the quadrennial event after winning the play-offs match as they failed to secure the automatic qualification.WORLD CUP QUALIFICATIONHaving drawn against Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland and Kosovo, Croatia were the favourites to win Group I. But a 1-0 loss against Turkey and a 1-1 draw against Finland in their eighth and ninth game respectively meant Croatia slipped from first to third in their group.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGETheir last match against Ukraine became a must-win affair and the Croatian football federation decided to shake things up. Ante Cacic was sacked from his position as coach. Croatian players celebrate after qualifying for World Cup 2018. (Reuters)The current coach Zlatko Dalic, who coached the U21s for five years up until 2011, was brought in as replacement to turnaround the team’s fortune. And the change made an immediate impact as they registered a 2-0 win over Ukraine to secure a play-offs spot.A reinvigorated Croatia then thumped Greece 4-1 in the two-leg affair to book a ticket to Russia.advertisementAlso read – World Cup 2018: When a photographer got buried in Croatia’s manic celebrationIt was the third time that Croatia qualified for the World Cup finals through play-offs after also reaching 1998 and 2014 tournaments in the similar fashion.NIKOLA KALINIC’S EXCLUSIONOne of the goalscorers in Croatia’s play-offs win over Greece was Nikola Kalinic. The striker played a major role in ensuring the qualification for Croatia but has played no role in Croatia’s World Cup journey. And it’s not because of injury or exclusion, but because he failed to carry on the instructions of the coach.Kalinic refused to come on as a substitute during the 2-0 win over Nigeria in their opening match of the tournament. The act of indiscipline didn’t go down well with Dalic, who ordered the striker to leave the Croatian camp. Nikola Kalinic was sent home back after he refused to come on as a substitute late in the match against Nigeria. (Reuters)The World Cup finalists were not allowed to bring in a replacement and have been forced to make do with 22 players.Also read – World Cup 2018: Croatia fans unfurl giant flag to say ‘Thank you, Russia’Assistant coach and former striker Ivica Olic replaced Kalinic during the training sessions of the team.Now that Croatia have qualified for the final, Kalinic has become butt of jokes on twitter with many calling him the unluckiest player of the tournament.WORLD CUP JOURNEYCroatia began their World Cup campaign on an impressive note as they registered a win on the opening night against Nigeria. In their next match, Croatia defeated Lionel Messi’s Argentina 3-0 to qualify for the last 16. They defeated Iceland 2-1 in the final group match to finish at the top with a 100 percent record.Also read – Croatia lowest ranked team in history to reach World Cup finalThey defeated Denmark in the Round of 16, Russia in the quarter-finals and England in the semi-finals. All three victories were come-from-behind. Mario Mandzukic scored in extra time as Croatia defeated England in the semi-finals. (Reuters)Croatia were a goal down against Denmark as well as against Russia , before equalising and forcing extra time and penalty shootouts to advance.Also read – World Cup 2018: Ivan Perisic living the dream as Croatia create historyAgainst England, Mario Mandzukic scored in the extra time as they registered a 2-1 after falling behind after just five minutes.France have a former World Cup-winning player Didier Deschamps as their coach and numerous exciting talents like Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe in their ranks.There’s no doubt which team is the underdog, but Croatia’s never-say-attitude and strength of character must serve them well as they hope to clinch their maiden World Cup title.
Heena Sidhu is gearing up to break the gold medal jinx at the Asian Games after her failed attempts to bag the top prize in her previous appearances in the quadrennial extravaganza.The 2018 Asian Games will be held Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2.”This is another opportunity to do that, improve my medal and performance. I have got two team bronze in the Asian Games, and hopefully, I will improve my performance and maybe even get the gold,” said the 28 year-old today.Heena, however, cautioned that medals cannot be guaranteed even if the performance is an improvement on earlier displays.”I cannot guarantee a medal. Medals are subjective and it’s a comparative sort of thing which comes at the end of a good performance. That’s what I am trying to do, put up a good performance and improve my score,” said the two-time Commonwealth Games gold medal winner.Heena will take part in the 10m air pistol event but post Games, will be seen in action in the 25m event as well as in the mixed event at the World Championship in Korea.READ – Athletics Continental Cup: Neeraj Chopra, Hima Das among 7 Indians selected”Preparation has been going well. We are also preparing for the World Championship, which is an even bigger competition. I will be participating in all three events in the World Championships 10m and 25 m individual and 10m mixed – and 10m air pistol in the Asian Games.”Both are important for me. It’s been a long time we have been practising,” said Heena, who is married to shooter-turned-coach, Ronak Pandit.advertisementREAD – Weighlifter Sanjita Chanu vows to prove innocence after doping allegationsHeena is confident of the Indian shooters improving on their showings in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games in the upcoming edition.”I think it will improve. I have seen the performance. I have trained with them and I have seen where we went wrong last time. Overall, it will be much better as a team and the scores will be better,” she said.See Photos – Asian Games: Indian gold medallists at Incheon 2014India had secured one gold, won by pistol marksman Jitu Rai, one silver and seven bronze medals in shooting four years ago.The Indonesia-bound women’s volleyball team and gymnast Dipa Karmakar were among those present at the event along with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar.Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary general Rajeev Mehta was also present on the occasion, as Edelweiss announced a life insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh to each member of the Indian contingent.(With inputs from PTI)
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Neeraj Chopra, after the 20-year-old won India its first Javelin gold in Asian Games history.Neeraj broke his own national record by clearing a distance of 88.06m, to win India’s second second gold in athletics at the 2018 Asian Games.Neeraj became the first Indian javelin thrower to win an Asian Games gold medal as he shattered his own national record, and his gold is India’s only second medal in javelin throw in Asian Games history after Gurtej Singh won a bronze in 1982 in New Delhi.Overall, he became the third Indian to win a medal in javelin throw. Parsa Singh was the first Indian to achieve the feat when he won a silver medal at the 1951 New Delhi Asian Games.The 20-year-old’s wining threw came in his third attempt. He began with 83.46m and fouled the second attempt.Liu Qizhen of China was a distance second with a best throw of 82.22m while Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem won the bronze with a 80.75 effort.The Commonwealth Games and reigning Asian champion completely dominated the competition as he bettered his own national record of 87.43 which he had come up with in Doha during the first leg of the Diamond League series in May. None of the competitors in the field had a 85-plus throw this season.ASIAN GAMES 2018 – FULL COVERAGE | MEDALS TALLYChopra’s biggest rival was expected to be Chao Tsun Cheng, who last year recorded a throw of 91.36m but the Chinese Taipei thrower could manage a best of 79.81 to finish fifth.advertisementChopra, the world junior record holder of 86.48, has been in tremendous form this season as has consistently crossed the 85m mark.READ – Neeraj Chopra wins India’s first javelin gold medal in Asian Games historyHe won the Federation Cup in March with 85.94m, clinched a gold in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with a throw of 86.47m, before the 87.43 effort in Doha. Before coming here, he had 85.17 and 85.69 in France and Finland during his preparations for the Asian Games.Incidentally Virender Sehwag had said that Neeraj Chopra would make India proud again at the Asian Games, after winning Gold at the Savo Games.When @Neeraj_chopra1 is on the field, expect the very best from him.This youngster makes India happier by winning a Gold in the Mens Javelin Throw Final. We also congratulate him for setting a new national record. #AsianGames2018 pic.twitter.com/juRElLZQfxNarendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 27, 2018A historic Gold! The whole nation is immensely proud of @Neeraj_chopra1 for winning the Gold in Men’s Javelin Throw event at the #AsianGames2018. A special moment for you, for Haryana and for all of India! Congratulations.. Keep it up! #PresidentKovindPresident of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 27, 2018All put your hands together for #NeerajChopra. Another gold.Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 27, 2018NEERAJ CHOPRA creates a NATIONAL RECORD WITH HIS GOLDEN THROW!Unstoppable @Neeraj_chopra1 shatters a national record to claim a in men’s Javelin Throw at the #ASIANGAMES2018. His consistent performance speaks volumes about his hard work! WAY TO GO NEERAJ #KheloIndia pic.twitter.com/q7GDhsSN8dRajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) August 27, 2018And the champion makes us proud once again with a throw of 88.06 mand giving us a Gold. So proud of you @Neeraj_chopra1 #AsianGames2018 https://t.co/yLTp8rQsCcVirender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 27, 2018Is this man one of the biggest stars in world athletics?? By deed, by looks, by style, by attitude. Congrats @Neeraj_chopra1 You are just simply amazing pic.twitter.com/elIQgVeiWSViren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) August 27, 2018Congrats #NeerajChopra for winning GOLD.Excellent performance by Neeraj Chopra with 88.06 m.#AsianGames2018#AsianGames#KoiKasarNahi#IndiaAtAsianGamespic.twitter.com/P8lCJuHithSandeep Kumar (@Jaatboyz786) August 27, 2018What a delight to watch you throw #Javelin and clinch a gold for IndiaHeartiest congratulations @Neeraj_chopra1 ! You nailed it! #AsianGames2018 #Athletics #RecordBreaking #NeerajChopra pic.twitter.com/rhxk3tl7zJSuresh Raina (@ImRaina) August 27, 2018(With inputs from PTI)
Siddharth Vishwakarma was a brute force to deal with at the centre court of DLTA in New Delhi on Saturday. The underdog, ranked 1195 in the world, surpassed World No.358 and top seed Arjun Kadhe 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 in a gruelling battle in the men’s singles final of the Fenesta Open.Siddharth, who looked confident with his forehand and backhand from the word go, took a 2-0 lead over his higher-ranked rival in no time.Tournament-favourite Arjun, who made plenty of unforced errors in a span of 20 mins, gave away the set 6-2 without any fightback.Interestingly, Arjun, who normally has a strong backhand, couldn’t execute his two-handed backhand to perfection throughout the set.However, the top seed was in no mood to give up and came back in a different avatar in the second set.Arjun, who previously lost two final at the same competition, took his counterpart by surprise and soon took a 3-0 lead before. The Pune boy gained the much-needed momentum as left-handed Siddharth looked incapable of dealing with his massive forehands.But just when crowd thought Arjun will runaway with the set, Siddharth got hold over his nerve and used his big serve to perfection to churn out first game point in the set and then soon broke his competitor, followed by another game to make it even at 3-3.A special moment came in the game when Arjun left his opponent shell-shocked with an unbelievable shot on the volley.Siddharth sliced a drop shot which moved away from Arjun after falling on his court, but the seven-time ITF futures event winner was swift enough to smash the ball back to Siddharth, who didn’t for a moment what just happened and soon applauded his colleague with a clap.advertisement”It was an unthinkable shot by Arjun. I don’t know if it’s right to applaud your opponent but I couldn’t stop myself from clapping after what he did,” said the newly-crowned champion.The duo was soon involved in multiple long rallies where every game, irrespective of the server, saw numerous deuces and break point opportunities until the set was decided 7-6 (2) in Arjun’s favour.Siddharth, however, restored his dominance by breaking his counterpart early in the third set to take a decisive lead.Arjun’s backhand, which looked fine in the second set, again seemed off the mark as he suffered to deal with the natural angle created by southpaw and eventually lost the set and the match 6-3 as Siddharth sealed the game in style by breaking the serve.Arjun admitted he was good in patches and struggled to build on the momentums he had.Women’s final between second-seed Mahak Jain and giant killer Natasha Palha saw a pale final where Mahak finished the game off in a jiffy 6-0, 6-2.Mahak’s backhand’ strength was in sync with her forehand as she overpowers her Goan opponent, whose backhand was lacking in power and accuracy.In the under-18 boys’ events, top seed Siddhant Banthia took the title with a straight-set win of 7-6 (0), 6-2 over third-seed Calvin Golmei.While the girls’ event saw a confident Humera Shaik slam her counterpart Rashmikaa Bamadipaty 6-2, 6-4.
New York, Oct 10 (PTI) Actor Rishi Kapoor, who is here for a medical treatment, said his grey hair has nothing to do with his health but a part of his look that he is sporting in an upcoming film.The actor was seen with grey hair in his pictures with actor Sonali Bendre and Priyanka Chopra, which led to speculation on social media that it got something to do with his health.Taking to Twitter, Kapoor denied that his hair turned grey “overnight” and clarified that he dyed them for his look in the film.”This is to dispel all notions and wrong speculations of my hair turning grey/white overnight. My hair was dyed by Awan Contractor for a film produced by Honey Trehan and Sony pictures directed by Hitesh Bhatia. Film is untitled. Trust this clears the air,” he wrote.He also shared a picture of the final look of the character and said, “This is the final look of the film. Sharma ji. All grey! Will revert to original hair colour soon.”Earlier this month, there were reports that Rishi was suffering from a serious illness following his absence from the funeral of his mother, Krishna Raj Kapoor, who passed away on October 1.His brother, Randhir, had denied the reports and had said, “He is at the moment fine. As he is in great pain, he will be undergoing test. He did discuss it with us regarding his health,” Randhir had told PTI. PTI RB RB BKBKadvertisement
Roger Federer defeated a hobbling John Isner 6-1 6-4 for his 101th career title at the Miami Open on Sunday.Holder Isner struggled to continue late in the second set, hampered by pain in his left foot. Federer, who won his fourth Miami title, broke Isner three times in a blazing opening set.”It was a dream start, relaxing my nerves,” the Swiss, 37, said in a courtside interview.But the American fought back in the second, levelling the set at 3-3 and 4-4 before the pain made it difficult to continue. Federer took the final two games for the victory.”What a week its been for me,” said the fourth seed. “I’m just so happy right now. It’s unbelievable. I played here in 1999 for the first time and here I am in 2019. It means a lot to me.”Only American Jimmy Connors, with 109, has more career singles titles than Federer.Isner began to feel pain in the first set.”I started feeling some pain on the top of my foot, and it didn’t go away. It only kept getting worse,” he said. “I have never had anything like this before, ever.”MASTER FEDEREREven before the injury slowed the seventh-seeded American, Federer was the master, tempering Isner’s big serves and winning 32 of 35 points on his own serve”Roger was too good,” Isner said. “In the first five games, I was fine. Nothing was bothering me. He was all over me.”Federer elected to receive to open the match and the strategy paid off as he broke Isner.advertisementThe American held on the third game but Federer took the next four.Isner played much better in the second set but in the end the pain became too much, even with a medical examination after the seventh game.”I knew at 3-4, whatever, I knew I wasn’t going to win. I can tell you that much,” said Isner.”Which is a weird feeling, you know, being on serve in the finals of a match and knowing that I wasn’t going to win.”Federer also sensed the American was in trouble.”I knew it was going to be something that was not right. The way he was moving was not well,” Federer said.”But at the same time I have got to make him work hard, keep doing my things.”The title was Federer’s second of the year, coming after his historic 100th win in Doha in February.Also Watch:
After teasing on social media for the past few weeks, Meizu has finally unveiled its latest lineup of smartphones for the Indian market.The Meizu 16th is first or their 2018 products, being a flagship smartphone from the company. The handset features a glass-metal construction and is 7.3mm thick, making one of the slimmest flagship grade smartphones in the country. The Meizu 16th offers a 6-inch Full HD+ full screen display with a screen to body ratio of 89 per cent. The display has extremely narrow bezels on the top and bottom, and doesn’t sport a notch. The handset features an in-display fingerprint sensor that Meizu claims can unlock in 0.3 seconds — faster than some capacitive sensors. The M16th is built around a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip paired along with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Meizu has built in a water cooling system for keeping the device temperatures down while playing games or undertaking resource intensive tasks. As for the camera, Meizu is using a Sony IMX 380 sensor.The M16th also sports a combination camera of 12MP and 20MP dual imaging system on the rear, while the front camera is a 20-megapixel shooter with f/2.0 aperture The primary sensor is also assisted by a 4-axis image stabilization system. The camera comes with AI algorithms that determine the best parameters for the camera while shooting photos and is claimed to churn out good looking photos. A 3010mAh battery keeps the Meizu 16th alive and has fast charging that promises to charge up to 60 per cent in around half an hour. Meizu has priced its flagship at Rs 39,999 for the only 8GB/128GB variant.advertisementThe next product in their lineup is the Meizu M6T. The Meizu M6T, priced at just Rs. 7,999 comes equipped with a 13MP + 2MP dual-camera, which uses a Sony IMX278 RGBW four-color sensor. Apart from the multi-frame noise reduction technology, it also preserves more dark details on the software level, enhancing the low-light photo experience. Packing a 3300 mAh battery, the M6T will be available in two colour variants-black and rose gold in India. It also sports a fingerprint scanner to enhance the security options.The last product in Meizu lineup for India contains the Meizu C9. The C9 is an extremely affordable smartphone battling the likes of Xiaomi’ Redmi 6A. The phone, powered by the UNISOC SC9832E is a mix of popular specs such as face unlock and best-in-class display of 5.45 inch, with a screen resolution of 720 x 1440 pixels. The phone has a 3000 mAh battery and a 13 MP rear camera. Besides this, the phone also sports light sensors, proximity sensors, and an accelerometer, and fingerprint scanner, making it a good proposition at just Rs 5,999. There is an introductory offer from Amazon and Reliance Jio for 1st 10 days wherein the device price is at Rs 4,999.ALSO READ: | Meizu M6 launched in India with 13MP camera, 3,070 mAh battery for Rs 7,699, will be available on Amazon
4th Test, Day 4, brief scores: India 622 for 7 declared (Pujara 193, Pant 159 not out, Jadeja 81, Lyon 4 for 178) vs Australia (300 all out; Harris 79, Kuldeep 5 for 99) & 6/0 (Harris 2*, Khawaja 4*) at stumps, trail by 316 runs following on. Full ScorecardAustralia batsman Peter Handsomb has praised India star bowlers Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah for their performance in the Test series Down Under. Japsrit Bumrah consistently troubled the Australian batsman throughout the four-match series while Kuldeep Yadav, who missed the first three matches, bagged a five-wicket in the ongoing Sydney Test.Kuldeep Yadav picked his second five-wicket haul in Test cricket and first on Australian soil, as the home side were bowled out for 300 in their first innings. Kuldeep Yadav returned 5 for 99 and Peter Handscomb praised him as well as Jasprit Bumrah as two toughest bowlers to face in this Indian bowling attack.”Obviously both are world class bowlers in their own right. Bumrah coming in can crank it up to 150 km/h and is always pretty tough with his accuracy. He has not missed his mark too much and has been able to swing it both ways, which is quite impressive with that action, and also adds to the fact how hard he is to pick,” Peter Handscomb said.”Kuldeep has obviously been very impressive as well. He was very accurate and hard to get on top of. With the pace that he bowled, it was hard to get down to the wicket and force through the field. He was accurate and used the footmarks well, giving it a good spin.”advertisementKuldeep Yadav’s first Test on Aussie soil and he collects a five-wicket haul!#AUSvIND | @Domaincomau pic.twitter.com/e29NWD6oyZcricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 6, 2019Bumrah was fired up after this one!#AUSvIND | @toyota_aus pic.twitter.com/8uy8LPbTp7cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 6, 2019He said Kuldeep has become more consistent after playing more international cricket and honing his skills since his debut in 2017.’DRAW STILL POSSIBLE’The series is virtually in India’s pocket after Australia were enforced a follow-on for the first time in 31 years at home but Handscomb Sunday said they will try to salvage some pride by saving the fourth Test on the final day on Monday.Handscomb said the nearly-washed out day four of the fourth Test at the SCG has given his side a great chance to draw the match and restrict India’s margin of series win to 2-1. The home side finished at 6 for no loss in their second innings, when bad light intervened with only 25.2 overs possible through the day.”We will be coming out tomorrow and drawing this game, and then we will assess where we need to improve and get together as a team. We know that as a batting group we can take some confidence out of tomorrow if we can last the day, showing the country and the world that we are not far off from clicking as a really good team,” said Handscomb.The Australian batting line-up has come under severe criticism through the series, with not a single batsman being able to score a hundred, and more will be heaped on them after they were made to follow on in Test cricket for the first time since 2005 and first at home since 1988.Handscomb said they will try to change the momentum on an intriguing Day 5 on Monday.”Obviously it hurts, you never want to follow on in any Test match for obvious reasons. It is huge for us to push for the draw and we have got a really good chance to shift some momentum back into our camp. Not just for the ODIs coming up but also there’s a World Cup and the Ashes. So this movement can really start tomorrow.”It will be really nice if someone scores a hundred because we have not scored one this series which is obviously a big thing. Someone can come out tomorrow and score a hundred that would be great, or face 200 or 300 balls in a Test-saving knock. It will also give a lot of confidence going forward,” he signed off.Also Read | Australia slack and not desperate enough: Ponting furious after Lyon chooses not to use DRSAlso Read | Mistakes made in South Africa, England helped us in Australia, says Bharat ArunAlso Read | Kuldeep Yadav 1st Chinaman bowler to bag 5-wicket haul in Tests in Australia in 64 years
Ace Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar is likely to restart her training for the gravity-defying Produnova vault after next month’s Doha World Cup, her mentor and coach Bisheshwar Nandi said.Dipa had vaulted her way to glory after her audacious display in Produnova at the 2016 Rio Olympics but she was forced to dump the ‘vault of death’ routine following a career-threatening knee injury in 2017.But the Indian is likely to be back to her favourite vault after her participation at the Baku World Cup (March 1417) and Doha World Cup (March 2023).”Produnova needs 3-4 months of continuous training which has not been possible because of the regular qualifying competitions. I have that in mind, and possibly after returning from Doha she will once again work on Prudonova,” Nandi told PTI.”We have to find a way to get the time to do that. It is a very hard vault and she has already gone through injuries and surgeries, so it becomes risk, so we haven’t done that yet.”Dipa had to undergo surgery in April last year and missed the Asian Championship, World Championship in Canada last year and the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.She returned to action by claiming a gold at the World Challenge Cup in Turkey in July last year but a strained knee saw her miss the vault final in Jakarta Asian Games, before she pulled out of the team event as well.Last November, Dipa started her qualifying bid for the Tokyo Olympics by winning a bronze at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Cottbus, Germany.advertisementDipa had scored an average of 14.316 on her two vaults at Germany and Nandi said the Indian’s preparation for the upcoming events are spot on.”Dipa is back to her best. I am making another attempt for Dipa’s qualification. There will be no lack of effort from us,” Nandi said.”The points of all the vaults have been reduced now in the new system. For example Produnova had 7.00 points but now it is 6.40, similarly all vaults have been reduce, but I believe her average score in this new system is fine.”It is still around 14.34 and we are trying to improve it little bit more. This is the plan for the next two events. With this score she will be able to fight for the gold.”Talking about her bid to Olympic qualification, Nandi said: “Qualifying for the Olympics through these World Cups is very tough. If she can win gold in next 3-4 events, we will get a confirmation of her qualification.”Everyone will be going for the gold and from these competitions, one gymnast will be selected from each of the apparatus for the Olympics, so it is very tough.”Being India’s best bet in gymnastics, Dipa is receiving support from all quarters. physio Sajjad Ahmed Mir, who was with her at the Rio Olympics, now cater to her needs day in and day out at the Agartala centre, thanks to GoSports foundation.TATA Steel too have recently come on board to sponsor a foam pit at Tripura to help her with training.Nandi also thanked Sports Authority of India (SAI), Gymnastic Federation of India (GFI), Govt of Tripura and TATA Steel for all the support.There will be no Indian participation at the Melbourne World Cup which is scheduled to be held from February 21-24.”The Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) follows a policy wherein the gymnasts have to request for participation at any International event and based on which registration is done by the Federation. We did not receive any request for the World Cup in Melbourne,” said Riyaz Bhati, Vice President, GFI.”We have recieved request from Dipa Karmakar for participation in World Cup at Baku, Azerbaijan and Doha, Qatar in March 2019 along with her Coach Bishweshwar Nandi and they have been duly registered.”Also Watch:
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The Supreme Court on Thursday appointed former justice DK Jain as the ombudsman who will look into disputes between state cricket associations in the Board of Control for Cricket in India and will also look into the controversy surrounding Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul.DK Jain, who was the former chairman of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, will also look into allegations of misconduct against BCCI officials. Justice Jain will resume charge as soon as possible.A bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and A M Sapre said: “We are happy that by consent of the parties and the suggestions, the name of retired Justice D K Jain has been agreed to be appointed as the ombudsman in the BCCI.”We accordingly appoint Justice (retired) D K Jain as the first ombudsman in the BCCI.”The Supreme Court is also likely to appoint the third member of the Committee of Administrators headed by former CAG Vinod Rai after consulting Narasimha. The third name would also be finalised on Thursday.The top court has also asked Committee of Administrators (COA) chief Vinod Rai and member Diana Edulji to not go public over their differences. Earlier, Diana Edulji has squashed rumours of a rift between her and chairman Vinod Rai on the issue of Pakistan’s participation in the ICC World Cup.”We have heard in newspaper reports that some sparring is going on between CoA members…tell them not to go public with their differences,” the bench said.There were reports claiming that Edulji was not in favour of Rai’s decision to ask the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) CEO Rahul Johri to write a letter to the International Cricket Council urging them to ban Pakistan from the World Cup in May-June.advertisementBut Edulji cleared the air on this issue stating that, “There are no differences between the COA members on the issue. We will be meeting on Friday after which a collective decision will be taken taking into account all factors.”In the last hearing on January 17, the apex court had appointed PS Narasimha as the new Amicus curiae before adjourning it for February 21.There were differences of opinions in the last hearing over the appointment of the ombudsman. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the BCCI, said that an ombudsman cannot be foisted on. He said the BCCI is a private and elected body.The CoA lawyer had pointed out that an ombudsman is necessary and cited the delay in the handling of the Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul case. CoA lawyer also insisted that the two players can’t return to playing cricket until the ombudsman decides their plea.Notably, both the cricketers were suspended pending an inquiry following their controversial comments on Koffee with Karan.COA also submitted its status report before the Supreme Court. They also pointed out that once the draft constitution had been approved by the court, no amendments could be made by state associations.Not a single state association has yet fully complied with the RM Lodha recommendations which were approved by the Supreme Court in 2016.(With inputs from Aneesha Mathur)
Australia’s Claire Polosak became the first woman to officiate in a men’s one-day international in the World Cricket League Division 2 final match between Namibia and Oman in Windhoek on Saturday.The 31-year-old never played cricket but blazed a trail in 2017 when she became the first woman to stand in a men’s top-level match when New South Wales played a Cricket Australia XI in a one-day match in Sydney.”I am thrilled to be the first woman to stand in a men’s ODI and how far I have come as an umpire,” Polosak told the International Cricket Council (ICC) ahead of Saturday’s match.”It really is important to promote women umpires and there’s no reason why females can’t umpire in cricket. It’s about breaking down barriers, creating awareness so more females can come into the role.”Polosak has officiated in 15 women’s ODIs, the first one in November 2016 between Australia and South Africa, and has also taken field in the semi-final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2018 between England and India and four matches at the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.Namibia and Oman both secured ODI status after finishing in the top two positions of the table in the ICC World Cricket League Division 2.”Congratulations to Claire for this fantastic achievement of becoming the first woman umpire to stand in a men’s one-day international,” said Adrian Griffith, ICC senior manager – umpires and referees.”It is one thoroughly deserved and a result of her hard work and perseverance. She is a role model for women who want to get into officiating and proves how successful they can be once they are on the right path and get the opportunities.”advertisementAlso Read | No Aussie in women’s IPL: BCCI says Cricket Australia blackmailing for men’s series reschedulingAlso Read | Next big step for women’s cricket is IPL: Australia captain Meg LanningAlso Read | Mithali Raj backs women’s IPL after World Cup performanceAlso Watch | Getting better with age, looking forward to the World Cup: Chris Gayle to India Today