MLS Review: Davies nets two stunners

first_imgFresh off of completing an MLS-record deal to move to Bayern Munich, Alphonso Davies flashed the type of skill that made him such a hot young prospect as the Vancouver Whitecaps rolled to a 4-2 win over Minnesota United on Saturday. Yordy Reyna had Vancouver out in front before halftime, but it was Davies who scored the second for the Whitecaps in spectacular fashion.Rolling the ball past one defender and splitting three others, the teenager calmly slotted in with his left foot to double the lead.  Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! WOW! What a finish by Alphonso Davies! #VANvMIN https://t.co/4xnuvQAkLr — Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 29, 2018 Kei Kamara tacked on a third for Vancouver before Ibson and Abu Danladi scored to pull MNUFC back to within one. But Davies struck his second to put the match on ice, once again ghosting past multiple defenders before finding the back of the net. Alphonso Davies with the 🚀 #VANvMIN https://t.co/eV6qXo1urK — Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 29, 2018 For the first time this season defending MLS Cup champion Toronto FC has won back-to-back matches, with both victories coming against the Chicago Fire. TFC, coming off a victory over Chicago last Saturday, ran riot over the Fire this week in a 3-0 win.Jozy Altidore found his way back among the goals to open the scoring in the 52nd minute, with Jonathan Osorio continuing his fine form 20 minutes later to make it 2-0. Sebastian Giovinco rounded out the scoring in the closing minutes as Toronto closed the gap on the Fire in the East standings, though both sides still have plenty of work to do in their push to make the playoffs. Eastern Conference leader Atlanta United shouldn’t have any concerns about making the playoffs thanks in large part to Josef Martinez, who netted his 23rd and 24th goals of the season on Saturday night to hand the Five Stripes a 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact. Franco Escobar puts in the hard work, and it pays off!Josef Martinez taps this one in and @ATLUTD double their lead. #MTLvATL https://t.co/YkrElaKiCM — Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 29, 2018 Martinez now needs just three goals to tie the MLS single-season scoring record. The New York Red Bulls came up just short in their bid for a comeback against the Columbus Crew at Red Bull Arena. Jonathan Mensah, Patrick Mullins and an own goal from Sean Davis had the Crew three goals up, but Mensah repaid the own-goal favor just after the break before Daniel Royer cut the lead to just one. Royer had a chance to complete the comeback but scuffed the shot and Columbus held on for a 3-2 win. Wayne Rooney netted his first MLS goal in a win over the Colorado Rapids, though it was an own goal that proved to be the winner for D.C. United in a 2-1 victory. FC Dallas took a 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City, the club’s first victory in Kansas City in seven years, to move six points clear in the Western Conference. Michael Barrios was the man of the moment for Dallas. Having not scored all season, the Colombian netted a hat trick to secure the win. The Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo traded early goals before Portland scored twice in the final 10 minutes in a 3-1 win.Sebastian Blanco powered home an Alvas Powell cross just seven minutes in, but Houston pulled level in the 12th minute through Romell Quioto.With 10 minutes left Fanendo Adi – reportedly playing his final game for Portland before a transfer to an unknown team – scored the winner.Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes played out the only game of the night that didn’t produce a goal, with the sides playing out a 0-0 draw.last_img read more

Ibra promises MLS Cup in call to Galaxy fan

first_imgZlatan Ibrahimovic has already endeared himself with LA Galaxy fans. The Swede kicked off his time in MLS with some stunning heroics on his debut back in March and hasn’t slowed down since. A hat trick against Orlando City last week saw the 36-year-old bring his side from behind on three occasions in a winning effort.  Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Ibrahimovic has been a hit off the pitch as well, from his full page ad announcing his arrival in LA to his multiple appearances on national television shows to his welcoming of NBA star LeBron James to the city. Now he’s making good with the fans of the club on a personal level as well. The Galaxy shared a video of the former Manchester United star calling a season ticket holder and thanking him for renewing his package. And, as you would expect, the Lion brought a little of flair and entertainment to the conversation. After thanking the fan for his loyalty, Ibrahimovic makes a series of promises before asking if there’s anything else he would like. #LAGalaxy Employee of the Month: @Ibra_official. 😂The 🦁 hits the phone lines to thank Season Ticket Members for renewing in 2019: https://t.co/AChion65ce pic.twitter.com/DKCfeb6UYW— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) August 3, 2018Then, of course, he promises to bring the MLS Cup back to LA. Would you expect anything less?last_img read more

Man City vs Shakhtar: Jesus and Sterling lead the line

first_imgWith the Champions League group stage entering its second phase, matchday four cranks up the battle for progression to the last 16 in Europe’s top club competition.In Group F, Manchester City sit in pole position to reach the knockout rounds and Pep Guardiola’s side can all but assure themselves of qualification with a win at the Etihad Stadium against Shakhtar Donetsk.The Ukrainian Premier League leaders were soundly beaten on home soil a fortnight ago, thanks to goals from David Silva, Aymeric Laporte and Bernardo Silva – but Paulo Fonseca’s side could yet deliver a shock in the return fixture. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! They need a win to keep their hopes alive too – but do City have too much class for them to handle? Game Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk Date Wednesday, November 7 Time 8pm BST / 3pm EST TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream Univision Deportes fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on BT Sport ESPN and livestreamed on BT Sport Live. UK TV channel Online stream BT Sport 3 BT Sport Live Squads & Team News Position Manchester City players Goalkeepers Ederson, Grimshaw Defenders Walker, Danilo, Kompany, Stones, Laporte, Mendy, Otamendi,  Midfielders Delph, Sane, David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Zinchenko, Gundogan Forwards Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling, Gabriel Jesus Manchester City remain without the services of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo through injury while Kevin De Bruyne and Eliaquim Mangala are also missing for the hosts.Both Ilkay Gundogan and Nicolas Otamendi will return to the fold however, though they start on the bench.Oleksandr Zinchenko starts at left back for the Citizens while Pep Guardiola has gone heavy in the attack with Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterlin and Gabriel Jesus all included.Manchester City XI: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Silva, Mahrez, Bernardo, Sterling, Jesus Position Shakhtar Donetsk players Goalkeepers Pyatov, Shevchenko, Kudryk Defenders Butko, Kryvtsov, Rakitskiy, Ismaily, Khocholava, Matviyenko Midfielders Mayco, Stepanenko, Taison, Dentinho, Marlos, Wellington Nem, Alan Patrick, Maycon, Marquinhos Cipriano, Totovytskyi, Bolbat, Kovalenko, Danchenko Forwards Junior Moraes, Kayode The visitors are without Fernando or Ivan Ordets and may have to make do without Marlos too – but otherwise have a clean bill of health.Junior Moraes will lead the charge from the front for Paulo Fonseca’s side as they chase an unexpected result in Manchester.Shakhter Donetsk XI: Pyatov, Matvienko, Kryvtsov, Rakitskiy, Ismaily, Stepanenko Maycon,Taison, Kovalenko, Bolbat, Moraes.Betting & Match Odds Manchester City are 1/9 favourites to take the victory, according to bet 365, while a draw is available at 10/1. Shakhtar Donetsk, meanwhile, are priced at 25/1.Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview David Silva Man City vs Southampton Premier League 2018-19With virtually every honour collected at the Etihad Stadium across the past decade, Manchester City’s campaign to crown themselves champions of Europe resumes once more as they host Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.Pep Guardiola’s side have won all major domestic honours, including the Premier League and FA Cup – but success across the continent has continued to elude them in this era of dominance.Now competing in their eighth consecutive Champions League season, they will hope to better their best finish in the competition, achieved in 2016 when they slipped out in the semi-finals to Real Madrid.First though, they must get into the knockout rounds and they can all but assure themselves of passage to the last 16 with victory over the Ukrainian Premier League holders.City convincingly won in the reverse fixture a fortnight ago, with goals from David Silva, Aymeric Laporte and Bernardo Silva ensuring a comfortable 3-0 result.They could be forgiven for expecting an easier ride on Wednesday too, at home in the comforts of the Etihad Stadium.But Paulo Fonseca will be determined to at least make a spirited showing in Manchester, particularly as his side can thrust themselves back into contention with a win of their own after earning draws against Lyon and Hoffenheim.Guardiola will at least be boosted by the return of Ilkay Gundogan and Nicolas Otamendi with both named to the bench; however, with the talismanic Kevin De Bruyne missing, he may need another figurehead to pick up the slack.last_img read more

Gujarat Lions sign unknown Ankit Soni as Shivil Kaushik’s replacement

first_imgGujarat Lions have signed all-rounder Ankit Soni as replacements for the injured Shivil Kaushik for the remainder of the Indian Premier League.Chinaman Kaushik featured in three matches before being ruled out of the tournament.Kaushik’s replacement is the 23-year-old Soni, an all- rounder from Mumbai. However there are no statistical data available about Soni’s cricketing credentials. It is not known what exactly is the skill set of this particular player.last_img

IPL: Kochi Tuskers Kerala beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 17 runs

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India aim to begin new season on a high at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

first_imgIndia will hope to begin a new season on a strong note with a good performance at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup — beginning on Saturday — which is seen as a precursor to the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final to be held in June.Getting off to a good start in the season will be crucial in the lead-up to an all-important year where India also play the Asia Cup and Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar in the winter. The following year will see them compete at the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Champions Trophy and World Cup in Bhubaneswar 2018 slated for next year.Coming into this tournament, Roelant Oltmans-coached India had a 40-day long national camp where the players were put through a tough regime involving nearly five-six hours of intense training.This year’s edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, which is scheduled to run from April 29 to May 6, will see England, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea vie for top honours along with India.Having arrived here in Malaysia a week before the start of the tournament, the Indian team has had enough time to get used to the humid conditions and is geared up for a good start at the tournament, according to captain P.R Sreejesh.”The team is doing well. We have trained every single day after arriving here and I feel we have had a good five-six days to acclimatise to the conditions here,” said the ace goalkeeper.advertisementIndia have picked four debutants — defender Gurinder Singh, midfielders Sumit and Manpreet and goalkeeper Suraj Karkera. While Gurinder, Sumit and Manpreet were part of the Junior World Cup winning squad, the 21-year-old Karkera was in the junior India squad that toured England in 2016. Harmanpreet Singh is also another member of the Junior World Cup winning side.Manpreet Singh will be Sreejesh’s deputy and he will be joined by the experienced Sardar Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Harjeet Singh, Sumit and Manpreet in the midfield.The defence includes Rupinder Pal Singh, Pardeep Mor, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh and Gurinder Singh while the forward line will feature S.V Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Affan Yousuf, Akashdeep Singh and Mandeep Singh.India will take on Great Britain in their first match on April 29. India last played them at the 36th FIH Champions Trophy in London last year where India won 2-1. “But it’s a new team this year with a lot of youngsters. I think only about three or four members in their squad are senior players. But knowing the mental strength of the team, I know they will play with a lot of energy,” Sreejesh pointed out.”First match is always a game turner and we definitely want to start on a great note and the mood in our dressing room is very upbeat right now,” said the 28-year-old.The reason for Sreejesh’s optimism also stems from the 2-0 win they tasted against Japan in their practice match on April 26. It was young forward Mandeep Singh who scored both the goals for India and according to chief coach Roelant Oltmans, the team’s defence was “outstanding” in the match.”It was good to win the practice game as it was the first time before the start of the tournament, we were playing against a different team as opposed to playing matches against our own teammates during practice sessions.”It is good to get that winning momentum ahead of the start of the tournament and we will further discuss on our strong points and low points in the team meeting today (Friday). Our immediate focus is to play well against Great Britain on Saturday,” concluded the skipper.The squad:Goalkeepers: P.R. Sreejesh (captain), Suraj Karkera.Defenders: Pardeep Mor, Surender Kumar, Rupinderpal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh.Midfielders: Kangujam Chinglensana Singh, Sumit, Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh (vice-captain), Harjeet Singh, Manpreet.Forwards: S.V. Sunil, Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Affan Yousuf, Akashdeep Singh.last_img read more

Wimbledon 2017: Johanna Konta becomes first British woman in quarters since 1984, Simona Halep downs Victoria Azarenka

first_imgJohanna Konta became the first British woman to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals since Jo Durie in 1984 when she beat Caroline Garcia of France 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 on Monday.Konta had previously won only one match in five Wimbledon appearances but now suddenly finds herself with a realistic chance of winning it and becoming the first home champion since Virginia Wade 40 years ago. (Wimbledon 2017: Angelique Kerber knocked out by Garbine Muguruza, loses number one spot)The seventh seed, who spent her formative years in Australia before moving to play in Spain as a 14-year-old and then becoming British in 2012, delivered an efficient display in an even battle, albeit with a major wobble in the middle, to overcome a tenacious opponent. (Wimbledon 2017: Wily veteran Venus Williams powers past rookie Ana Konjuh)Konta was always on top in the first set despite having to take it via a tie break but then lost five games in a row en route to losing the second.Serve dominated the final set so much that the first break point did not arrive until the 10th game, but when it did, Konta took full advantage as Garcia netted to lose the match.HALEP CRUISES PAST AZARENKASimona Halep sent new mum Victoria Azarenka packing 7-6(3), 6-2 in the fourth round on Monday as a litany of second-set errors put paid to the Belarussian’s dreams of a fairytale Wimbledon comeback.Azarenka, playing in her second tournament after the birth of her son Leo in December, out-hit and out-thought the second-seeded Romanian for much of a pulsating first set, mixing deep groundstrokes with frequent dropshots and forays to the net.advertisementReuters PhotoBut the two-times semi-finalist at the All England Club began to flag in the first-set tiebreak, losing it 7-3 before conceding the next five games.A mini fightback pegged the second-set deficit back to 5-2 before another Azarenka backhand groundstroke error saw Halep home in just under 90 minutes, keeping alive the Romanian’s hopes of a maiden grand slam victory and an ascent to the world number one ranking.Halep will face Britain’s Johanna Konta in the quarter- finals.last_img read more

West Indies recall fast bowler Kemar Roach for England tour

first_imgFast bowler Kemar Roach has been recalled to the West Indies squad for their three-Test tour of England starting next month, the selection panel said on Saturday.Roach, who has not played a Test for 18 months, was chosen after displaying fine form in domestic competition, said chairman of selectors Courtney Browne.”Kemar’s return is welcomed as he was one of the best fast bowlers in Tests in the recent past for us,” Browne said.”He may not be bowling as quickly as before, but still possesses that skill we all knew he had, plus his experience adds greater depth to the attack.”Roach has played 37 Tests, taking 122 wickets at an average of 30.23.Uncapped opening batsman Kyle Hope and left-handed all-rounder Raymon Reifer were also chosen in the 15-man squad.But Darren Bravo has not been picked, despite his recent apology for calling Cricket West Indies president Dave Cameron a “big idiot” in a tweet following disagreement over his playing contract late last year.The apology came too late for him to be considered.Bravo, who has a very respectable test batting average of exactly 40, will be eligible for selection for future matches.West Indies will play three Tests against England before a new squad is chosen for five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 game.West Indies, the sport’s dominant team in the 1980s, have fallen on hard times in Test cricket, losing their past six series.Squad: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Braithwaite (vice-captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roachadvertisementlast_img read more

Steven Finn retained in England squad for final Test against South Africa

first_imgEngland have retained Steven Finn in their 13-man squad for the fourth and final Test against South Africa after injured Mark Wood was ruled out of the Old Trafford match.The Middlesex fast bowler, who has played 36 Tests, was included as late cover for Wood on the eve of The Oval clash, after the later was sidelined with a heel injury.However, Finn did not make it into the Playing XI.England are currently 2-1 up in the Test Series after debutants Toby Roland-Jones, who took eight wickets, and Tom Westley, whose composed 59 in the second innings drew praise, helped England to a thumping 239-run win at the Kia Oval. Moeen Ali also recorded a rare hat-trick on the final day.Hampshire left-arm spinner Liam Dawson, who did not play the third Test after featuring in the first two games of this series, was also retained in the squad.England squad: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Tom Westley, Joe Root (capt), Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Toby Roland-Jones, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Liam Dawson.last_img read more

Roger Federer outclasses Marin Cilic to lift record 8th Wimbledon title

first_imgRoger Federer’s wait for No. 8 at Wimbledon is over.He is once again the champion of the grass-court Grand Slam tournament, now more often than any other man in the history of an event first held in 1877.Federer won his eighth title at the All England Club and 19th major trophy overall, capping a marvelous fortnight in which he never dropped a set by overwhelming Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday in a lopsided final that was more coronation than contest.When it ended, with an ace from Federer after merely 1 hour, 41 minutes, he raised both arms overhead. A minute or so later, he was sitting on the sideline, wiping tears from his eyes.”I always believed that I could maybe come back and do it again. And if you believe, you can go really, really far in your life, and I did that,” Federer said.”And I’m happy I kept on believing and dreaming and here I am today for the eighth. It’s fantastic.”He turns 36 on Aug. 8, making him the oldest man to win Wimbledon in the Open era, and is a father of four. Both of his sets of twins — boys, 3, in their light blue blazers; girls, 7, in their dresses — were in the guest box for the trophy ceremony.One son stuck a couple of fingers in his mouth; a daughter grabbed her brother’s hand.”They have no clue what’s on. They think it’s probably a nice view and a nice playground. But it’s not quite like that here, so one day hopefully they’ll understand,” Federer said about his boys.advertisementAs for the girls, he said: “They enjoy to watch a little bit. They come for the finals, I guess.”When Dad is Roger Federer, you can wait until the last Sunday to show up.Truly, this outcome was only in doubt for about 20 minutes, the amount of time it took Federer to grab his first lead. Cilic, whose left foot was treated by a trainer in the late going, was never able to summon the intimidating serves or crisp volleys that carried him to his lone Grand Slam title at the 2014 U.S. Open, where he surprisingly beat Federer in straight sets in the semifinals.This one was all Federer, who last won Wimbledon in 2012.That seventh championship pulled Federer even with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw in what’s still officially called Gentlemen’s Singles. Sampras won all but one of his in the 1990s; Renshaw won each of his in the 1880s, back in the days when the previous year’s champion advanced automatically to the final and therefore was able to successfully defend a title with one victory.Federer had come close to bettering his predecessors but couldn’t quite do it. He lost in the 2014 and 2015 Wimbledon finals to Novak Djokovic — “Tough ones,” Federer called them Sunday — and in the semifinals last year after erasing match points to get past Cilic in a five-set quarterfinal.With clouds overhead and a bit of chill in the air, Federer’s early play, in general, was symptomatic of jitters. For everything he’s accomplished, for all of the bright lights and big settings to which he’s become accustomed, the guy many have labeled the “GOAT” — Greatest of All Time — admits to feeling heavy legs and jumbled thoughts at important on-court moments to this day.And so it was that Federer, not Cilic, hit a double-fault in each of his first two service games. And it was Federer, not Cilic, who faced the match’s initial break point, 15 minutes in, trailing 2-1 and 30-40. But Cilic netted a return there, beginning a run of 17 points in a row won by Federer on his serve. He would never be confronted with another break point.”I gave it my best,” Cilic said. “That’s all I could do.”It was as if the first indication of the slightest bit of trouble jolted Federer.In the very next game, Federer broke to lead 3-2. He broke again to take that set when Cilic double-faulted, walked to the changeover and slammed his racket on his sideline chair. Cilic then sat and covered his head with a white towel.After Federer raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set, Cilic cried while he was visited by a doctor and trainer. At that moment, it wasn’t clear, exactly, what might have been ailing Cilic. During a later medical timeout, Cilic’s left foot was re-taped by the trainer.Federer would break to a 4-3 edge in the third set and all that remained to find out was how he’d finish. It was with his eighth ace, at 114 mph (184 kph), part of a total of 23 winners. He made only eight unforced errors.advertisementThis caps a remarkable reboot for Federer, who departed Wimbledon a year ago with a lot of doubts. He had lost in the semifinals, yes, but more troublesome was that his body was letting him down for the first time in his career.Earlier in 2016, he had surgery on his left knee, then sat out the French Open because of a bad back, ending a record streak of participating in 65 consecutive majors. Then, after Wimbledon, he did not play at all the rest of the year, skipping the Rio Olympics, the U.S. Open and everything else in an attempt to let his knee fully heal.It worked. Did it ever.Feeling refreshed and fully fit, Federer returned to the tour in January and was suddenly playing like the guy of old, rather than like an old guy.In a turn-back-the-clock moment, he faced long-time rival Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final and, with a fifth-set comeback, won. It was Federer’s 18th Grand Slam title, adding to his own record, and first in 4 and a half years. Those who had written Federer off needed to grab their erasers.The formula made sense, clearly, so why not try it again? Federer skipped the clay-court circuit, missing the French Open again, to be in top shape for the grass courts he loves so dearly. Sunday’s victory made Federer’s record 31-2 in 2017, with a tour-leading five titles.He is back to being supreme in tennis, lording over the sport the way no man has.”It’s magical, really,” Federer said. “I can’t believe it yet.”last_img read more

Olympic silver medallist Jack Bobridge arrested for drug dealing

first_imgAustralian cyclist Jack Bobridge, who won silver medals in the team pursuit at the last two Olympics, was arrested in Perth this week on charges of dealing in ecstasy, local media reported on Friday.Bobridge, who was forced into retirement last year because of the effects of rheumatoid arthritis, was arrested after police raided his home in the western Australian capital on Wednesday, the ABC reported.”The investigation led detectives to charge the 28-year-old man with two counts of sell and supply a trafficable quantity of MDMA and three counts of sell and supply MDMA,” Perth police said in a statement to the national broadcaster.Bobridge was bailed to appear at a Perth magistrates court to face the charges next month, ABC added.Reuters Photo In a highly successful career, Bobridge rode in four versions of the Giro d’Italia and won the Australian road race national title for the second time in Ballarat in January 2016.On the track, he competed in three Olympics, won three world championship gold medals, four Commonwealth Games titles and still holds the world record for the 4km individual pursuit with the time he set in Sydney in 2011.last_img read more

Indias Manushi Chhillar is Miss World 2017

first_img(Eds: Adding details, Chhillars tweet)By K J M VarmaBeijing, Nov 18 (PTI) Indias Manushi Chhillar today won the coveted Miss World 2017 crown at a grand event in China, bringing to an end the countrys dry spell of 17 years at the top pageant contest.The 20-year-old from Haryana, who is a medical student, edged out top five contestants from England, France, Kenya and Mexico at the event, which saw participation from 118 countries.Chhillar was presented the crown by Stephanie Del Valle, the last years Miss World winner from Puerto Rico at an event held at a resort in the coastal city of Sanya.”Thank you, everyone, for your constant love, support, and prayers. This ones for India,” Chhillar wrote on her official Twitter handle.The first and the second runners-up were Miss England Stephanie Hill and Miss Mexico Andrea Meza at the event, which was televised live globally.In the top five round, Chhillar was asked which profession according to her deserved the highest salary.”I think a mother deserves the highest respect and when you talk about salary its not always about cash but I feel its the love and respect that you give to someone. My mother has always been the biggest inspiration in my life.”All mothers sacrifice so much for their kids. So, I think it is the job of a mother that deserves the highest salary,” Chhillar said to a wide-applause.Chhillar is the sixth Indian to win the coveted crown, which was first won by Reita Faria back in 1966.advertisementAishwarya Rai had bagged the title in 1994, followed by Diana Haydon in 1997, Yukta Mookhey in 1999 and Priyanka Chopra in 2000, the last for India.Chhillars win brings India at level with Venezuela as the countries with most victories in the history of the pageant.Taking to the Twitter, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar praised Chhillar and said, “I congratulate Haryanas daughter Manushi Chhillar on winning the Miss World crown.”According to Chhillars profile on the Miss World website, her father, Dr. Mitra Basu Chhillar, is a scientist at the Defence Research and Development Organisation, while her mother, Dr. Neelam Chhillar, is an associate professor and department head of neurochemistry at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences.Chillar studied at St. Thomas School in New Delhi, and is pursuing a medicine degree at the Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonipat.She aims to be a cardiac surgeon and wants to open a chain of non-profitable hospitals based in rural areas.A trained Indian classical dancer, Chhillar has a passion for outdoor sports and actively participates in paragliding, bungee jumping, snorkelling and scuba diving besides sketching and painting.Her personal motto, as described on the website, reads: “When you cease to dream you cease to live” and “Courage to give flight to your dreams and the ability to believe in yourself makes life worth living”. PTI RB KIS SC RBlast_img read more

David Silva fit and will play in Manchester derby, says Pep Guardiola

first_imgManchester City’s Spanish playmaker David Silva is fit and will play in Sunday’s derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford, City manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.Guardiola had suggested that Silva was doubtful for the game after he had reported feeling “uncomfortable” following his match-winning 83rd-minute goal against West Ham at the Etihad last weekend.Silva did not travel with the City squad to Ukraine for their final Champions League group match against Shakhtar Donetsk.”He’s going to play. He’s going to play – after the game he had a bit of doubt that’s why I said it but today he arrived and said he’s really good so he’s going to play,” Guardiola told reporters.However, the City manager will have to wait until training on Saturday before deciding on whether centre-half Vincent Kompany and left back Fabian Delph are ready to face Jose Mourinho’s side.”Kompany, before the game against Shakhtar, felt something, was not comfortable and couldn’t play. Delph was sick, vomited and had fever the day before. Today they are off so I don’t know but tomorrow we will check how the conditions are,” Guardiola said.last_img read more

PV Sindhu shines like an absolute star in this shimmery gown

first_imgThere is nothing PV Sindhu can’t do–she can be an absolute beast on court, and be an absolute beauty off it.Badminton World Federation’s Gala Dinner in Dubai last night was one such event, where Sindhu showed that being a sports star does not mean she can’t look like a million bucks when she chooses to.Attending the dinner with all badminton stars of the world–including India’s Kidambi Srikanth–PV Sindhu looked ravishing for the glitzy night.Picture courtesy: Instagram/pvsindhu1The badminton star wore this midnight blue-green and black RS by Rippii Sethi gown and made a lot of hearts flutter. Sindhu paired her glittery gown with a comfortable-looking pair of black, flat sandals and left her beautiful hair loose, giving her whole demeanour a rather comfortable vibe.Picture courtesy: Instagram/pvsindhu1To even out all that shimmer of the gown, Sindhu wore just a simple pair of studs in her ears in the name of accessories, and sported a simple, gold watch.Picture courtesy: Instagram/worldbadmintonnews What really worked for Sindhu’s look was the apt bodice of the dress, and its halter neck, which let the badminton star flaunt her well-toned arms.  Hoping to see you make many more public appearances like these, Sindhu!last_img read more

Big 100M Splash From Phelps

first_imgMESA, Ariz. — Michael Phelps felt something coming off the wall in the 100-meter freestyle, a sensation he hadn’t experienced since resuming training four months ago.It was like a switch flipped in the 18-time Olympic gold medalist.He zoomed off the wall in lane seven, rallying from last to win in 49.72 seconds April 18 night in his comeback from a six-month suspension at the Arena Pro Swim Series.“As soon as I was under water I just started kicking and one of the kicks I just felt something different that I hadn’t felt before,” Phelps said. “I don’t know if that was the switching gear in knowing how to race again or what. I haven’t felt that switch in anything.”Ryan Lochte came in as the fastest qualifier and finished second at 49.77, while fellow Olympian Conor Dwyer took third in 50.02.Katie Ledecky won her fourth event of the meet in the 800 free. She briefly dipped under world-record pace before coming home in 8:13.02. The high school senior from Maryland also won the 200, 400 and 1,500 freestyles.“I try to be consistent,” she said. “I’m training really well, that gives me a lot of confidence.”Phelps, Lochte and Dwyer returned for the 100 free about 25 minutes after competing in the 200 individual medley.Lochte led all the way in winning that race in 1:58.70. Phelps trailed Lochte after the opening 50 meters, then dropped back to third and finished there in 2:00.01. Dwyer was second at 1:59.04.“It’s feels like old times,” Lochte said about resuming his long rivalry with Phelps.Phelps handled quick turnarounds easily during his historic run to eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics. He had some doubts this time, having not competed since August.“I don’t know if having a tight turnaround like that is better for me,” he said. “I always have in the past kind of seemed to do better in situations like that.”Phelps was suspended by USA Swimming after his second drunken driving arrest last fall. He won the 100 butterfly, finished third in the 200 individual medley and didn’t make the final in the 400 free during the four-day meet.“I was pleased with the IM because he kind of showed a little spark there, which he hadn’t yet this meet,” his coach Bob Bowman said. “These times are very good to start from. As we go along, we can compare off of this.”Lochte is tuning up for the world championships in Russia in August.“My times aren’t spectacular, but I know my effort and my overall attitude toward swimming is perfect,” Lochte said after the preliminaries. “I’m happy where I’m at right now, and hopefully I get better and better.”Phelps has been banned from worlds as part of his punishment by the sport’s U.S. governing body. He’s planning to compete in Charlotte next month and likely Santa Clara, California, in June before U.S. nationals in August, which will be held at the same time as worlds.Three-time Olympian Katinka Hosszu of Hungary won the 200 IM in 2:11.40 for her third victory of the meet. She came back later to finish second behind two-time Olympic champion Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe in the 200 backstroke.Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of the Bahamas completed a sweep of the women’s sprints, adding the 50 free to the 100 she won earlier. She finished in 54.18 seconds, ahead of Olympian Allison Schmitt, who touched in 55.35.The final was missing 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, who was the fastest qualifier in the morning with the exact same time as Vanderpool-Wallace in the final.Coughlin scratched the final in order to return home to California. Also scratching were Ledecky, while Simone Manuel and Lia Neal also headed home.(BETH HARRIS, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

US Men Gymnasts Excel

first_imgGLASGOW, Scotland — Alex Naddour watched his buddies labor through one skittish pommel horse routine after another, none with any particular degree of precision or artistry.The good vibes surrounding the somewhat patchwork U.S. men’s gymnastics team were gone. The seemingly comfy spot in the team finals and the automatic spot in next summer’s Olympics suddenly didn’t quite feel so comfy.Naddour, the rare American who seems to actually enjoy the 45 seconds of lactic acid torture that is the pommel horse, smiled. This is kind of his thing.“Some guys when they feel the pressure, they get tight,” Naddour said. “For me, I look at each guy in the eyes and I tell myself I’m not going to mess up, I’m going to do it for all these guys right here.”Sliding from one side of the horse to the other with a controlled flair rare for an American, Naddour calmly put together a routine that cemented a trip to Rio next August and allowed the U.S. men’s program to exhale.The six-man group missing Olympic veterans Sam Mikulak, Jake Dalton and John Orozco finished qualifying in fifth place with a total of 350.322. The Americans will be joined in the finals and by Japan, China, Britain, Russia, Switzerland, Brazil and South Korea.The U.S. officially moved on after Naddour posted a passport-punching 15.266 on pommels, the final routine on the final rotation that capped an uneven but gritty performance.“I love a good fight,” Chris Brooks said.Good thing, because the U.S. was in one for much of the afternoon.Rising star Donnell Whittenburg battled a cold and a series of wobbles, including a memorable brawl with the parallel bars where his massive arms nearly turned one of the poles into splinters as he tried to hold on.The resilient Brooks, added to the team when Mikulak sprained an ankle a few weeks ago, tried to ignore the searing pain in his left shoulder when not serving as the de facto cheerleader.Danell Leyva, a bronze medalist in the all-around at the 2012 Olympics, showed extended flashes of the brilliance that has appeared only occasionally since his triumph in London three years ago while earning a spot in the all-around final.It wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t always pretty. That can wait until Rio. This was about survival for a team minus some vital parts from the group that captured bronze at worlds a year ago. Yet the U.S. survived to remain firmly in the pack behind front-runners China and Japan.The top of the podium is likely out of reach. That third step, however, remains in sight. Three days after a sloppy training session, one that included Paul Ruggeri laughing in frustration during his floor exercise, the U.S. regrouped. They’ve been doing this long enough to know the difference between a tough day and a bad one. It’s why national team coordinator Kevin Mazeika didn’t feel the need for a pep talk.“They do their best gymnastics when they’re not too tight,” Mazeika said. “I don’t micromanage that. I let them be themselves.”The Americans looked loose, breezing through still rings and vault before things started to get shaky. Brooks’ bum shoulder kept him from making the lift he needed on parallel bars, and his 12.933 put the U.S. in the need of a big score to offset it.Enter Leyva was the world champion in the event back in 2011, when he was a teenager. Not anymore. The 23-year-old remains a work in progress, but his athletically aggressive set produced a 15.633. Twenty minutes later Leyva was at it again, soaring over the high bar in what is the gymnastics version of the half-pipe, a series of turns and daring flips that seems to connect with Leyva’s inner showman. He drilled his landing and received a massive hug from stepfather and coach Yin Alvarez.Leyva’s 15.566 was the highest of the meet and the highlight of an all-around total that put him fourth overall and placed him in the premier group with Japan’s incomparable Koehi Uchimura for the all-around finals on Friday.“It wasn’t the best and that’s what I needed,” Leyva said. “I need to have something to look forward to. I need to know I didn’t do my best.”A sentiment echoed by the rest of a team that will have to find a way past Russia and the rapidly improving Brits if it wants to find its way onto the medal stand Wednesday. It’s telling that the group which has spoken incessantly about its depth since London needed it more than ever. The highest U.S. score on each event was spread among five different gymnasts, and Leyva, Naddour, Whittenburg, Brooks and Brandon Wynn all advanced to at least one event final.The chase for individual glory can wait. For now they’ll settle for a mix of relief and guarded optimism. “We did our job today, we’re going to Rio,” Whittenburg said. “But we still have more jobs ahead of us.”(WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

US Davis Cuppers Lead Aussies

first_imgMELBOURNE, Australia — Grass court or hard court, it didn’t seem to matter to Bob and Mike Bryan on March 5 when the brothers, after a mid-match lapse, gave the United States a 2-1 lead over Australia in their World Group Davis Cup first-round tie.The Bryans beat Australia team captain Lleyton Hewitt — who came out of a short-lived retirement to replace Sam Groth — and John Peers 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 in doubles to put the Americans in front ahead of Sunday’s reverse singles. Hewitt had replaced an ill Nick Kyrgios in the Australian squad but didn’t play in either of the opening singles.On Friday, John Isner beat Groth and Australia’s Bernard Tomic defeated Jack Sock to leave the tie level at 1-1. Isner is scheduled to play Tomic on March 6, and Groth vs. Sock, but those reverse singles lineups could change and again see another appearance by Hewitt.The weekend victors will play the winner of Croatia and Belgium in the quarterfinals.Ahead of the match, the court surface became somewhat of a controversy when the International Tennis Federation admitted that the Kooyong matches should have been played on hard courts, not grass.In 1999, the last time Australia and the U.S. met in the Davis Cup, Australia should have hosted the matches. But a decision was made by the ITF to stage a 100th-anniversary celebration of the Davis Cup at Longwood Cricket Club near Boston.The ITF placated Australia by allowing the matches to be played on hard court instead of clay, which the Americans preferred.In exchange, the three groups agreed that the next time the two countries played, the matches would be played on hard courts.But that agreement was somehow overlooked when Australia announced a drop-in grass court as the surface for this weekend’s tie at Kooyong, the former Australian Open venue in suburban Melbourne.The Bryans broke first Hewitt’s serve at 3-3 in the second set, held their own and then broke Peers to finish the second set. The Australians broke the Bryans in the seventh game of the third set and went on to hold their service and stave off the Americans, then did it again in the fourth to set up a deciding fifth set.In the decider, the Bryans held serve twice and broke the Australians in between to quickly take a 3-0 lead, then 4-1 after only 14 minutes.The Australians saved three match points in the eighth game on Hewitt’s serve, but lefthander Bob Bryan held service to love in the following game to clinch the match.The American brothers have won 16 Grand Slam doubles titles and have a 23-4 record in Davis Cup. Statistically, the Bryans are better on hard courts — having won the Australian Open doubles title six times, the U.S. Open five and on the grass at Wimbledon three times.In an earlier statement, the ITF said the court confusion came from a three-way “oversight” by the ITF, the United States Tennis Association and Tennis Australia over a 1999 agreement.“While the notes in the ITF database did include the reversal of choice for the next two subsequent ties, it did not specify the surface requirement for the next tie currently being played in Australia,” the ITF’s Barbara Travers said in a statement.“This was an oversight by the ITF, USTA and TA which all acknowledge and will refer to the Davis Cup Committee. While neither nation remembered the condition attached to this tie, now that it has been brought to their attention both Australia and USA, in the spirit of sportsmanship … have agreed to accept the decision of the committee regarding surface for the future tie.”Both Hewitt and Jim Courier, the current U.S. captain, played in that 1999 quarterfinal match near Boston which Australia won and went on to clinch the title that year over France in the final. It was also the 18-year-old Hewitt’s debut in Davis Cup play.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Nyquist Kentucky Derby Favorite

first_imgLOUISVILLE, Ky. — Doug O’Neill was all smiles after early 3-1 favorite Nyquist drew the No. 13 post for the 142nd Kentucky Derby.The number with an unlucky reputation didn’t faze the trainer. In fact, it brought back good memories.Nyquist left from the same spot when he won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last year at Keeneland, part of his 7-0 career record.“No matter if we drew the one or the 20, the thought is we were going to leave there with the intent of being forwardly placed and just play it by ear,” O’Neill said May 3 after the post-position draw. “More than anything, I’m so happy with the way he’s training, the way he’s acting. He’s thriving on all the positive attention.”Four horses have won from the No. 13 spot since 1900, most recently Smarty Jones in 2004. O’Neill, jockey Mario Gutierrez and owner Paul Reddam teamed to win the race in 2012 with I’ll Have Another.“The whole team is pumped up,” O’Neill said. “We’re just very optimistic for a big day.”Exaggerator drew the No. 11 post and is the 8-1 second choice in the full field of 20 horses for the 1 1/4-mile race May 7 at Churchill Downs. He’s trained by Keith Desormeaux, whose Hall of Fame brother, Kent, will be aboard.Horses are loaded into the gate two at a time, starting with posts one and 11, which spend the most time waiting for the start.“Kent thinks it’s a little disadvantage because we load first in a 20-horse field,” Keith said. “It might be less than perfect but it doesn’t bother me much because my horse has always been real calm in the gate. What’s there to worry about?”Creator, Gun Runner and Mohaymen are the co-third choices at 10-1. Creator will break from the No. 3 post with Gun Runner in the No. 5. Both are trained by Steve Asmussen. Mohaymen drew the No. 14 post for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.Mor Spirit, trained by four-time Derby winner Bob Baffert and ridden by three-time winner Gary Stevens, will break from the No. 17 post. No horse has won from there in the race’s previous 141 editions. Mor Spirit is 12-1, the same odds as Brody’s Cause, who drew No. 19.Last year, Baffert won with American Pharoah, who swept the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes to win the sport’s first Triple Crown in 37 years.“The last time I had the 17 post was Point Given with Gary Stevens (fifth in 2001), and here we are again,” Baffert said. “I wanted the 16. All the speed is on the outside, so there will probably be two different races going on.”Speedster Danzing Candy drew the No. 20 post on the far outside. Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith will be gunning his horse to gain the lead before the chaotic first turn.“I’m sure Mike Smith is happy,” Stevens said. “That speed horse is nasty in the starting gate so he won’t be in there long. I’m glad of that because I need a target in front of me.”Todd Pletcher will saddle a pair of 15-1 shots in Destin and Outwork. Chad Brown has 20-1 shots My Man Sam and Shagaf.The dreaded No. 1 spot that pins a horse to the inside rail coming out of the gate went to Trojan Nation, who has yet to win a race. Along with Trojan Nation, the other 50-1 shot is Oscar Nominated, whose owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey put up a supplemental fee of $200,000 to get him into the race.That fee boosted the Derby purse to $2,391,600 if 20 horses start. The winner would receive $1,631,000.Japanese entry Lani is listed at 30-1. The horse is known to be unpredictable in the gate, where he landed in the No. 8 hole.New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson has a pair of long shots in 20-1 Mo Tom and 30-1 Tom’s Ready. Saints coach Sean Payton was on hand to lend support. Mo Tom drew the No. 4 post and Tom’s Ready got No. 12.(BETH HARRIS, AP Racing Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Takes a Village: “Greek Freak” Got Many Assists Growing Up

first_imgATHENS – He was just a scrawny, hungry kid, the son of migrants from Nigeria, trying to survive in Sepolia, a modest Athens neighborhood.The club coach who spotted 13-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brother kicking a soccer ball around a neighborhood field says the NBA All-Star grew up in constant fear of the police, and of being deported.At that time, Antetokounmpo had only dabbled in basketball and was mostly interested in soccer.“He could not make a layup and he could not dribble,” says Spiros Velliniatis.But the teenager’s character impressed Velliniatis, with a determination and toughness that showed through.“He was a champion before he was a basketball player,” Velliniatis said.Now the young man born in Athens is known to basketball fans as the “Greek Freak,” and he credits Velliniatis for putting him on the road to stardom.“He was the one that gave us the opportunity to look at basketball, because me and my brothers were more focused on playing soccer because my dad was a soccer player,” Antetokounmpo said.In this Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, photo, young players train in Athens, Greece, under the directions of coach Spiros Velliniatis, center, the coach who discovered Giannis Antetokounmpo. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)Many still can’t pronounce his name, but they are familiar with the athletic 6-foot-11, 22-year-old Milwaukee Bucks forward’s ability to play above the rim.But as a youngster, Antetokounmpo and his older brother, Thanasis, had to be enticed to attend basketball practices.“I asked him about his parents and (I said) if I found a job for his parents would he (join) my club? He said yes,” Velliniatis said.Even with that, getting the Antetokounmpos to show up to practice with the club, Filathlitikos, which was in another neighborhood, was still a challenge.“We said, ‘We must find a way to keep the kid on the court,’ This would be a success for all of us,” recalls Panagiotis Zivas, the Filathlitikos coach. “They were children, they did not understand they had to be consistently committed.”The family didn’t have much, but neighbors would help.People like Giannis Tzikas, a cafe owner, who sometimes prepared sandwiches for Giannis and his brothers so they would not go to practice hungry.“Some people said to me ‘why are you feeding the black kids?’” Tzikas said, adding the reactions made him even more determined to help.“He helped us a lot,” Antetokounmpo said. “I would see him every day. He was a big fan of the national team and he helped my little brothers, too, a lot.”Tzikas remembers times when the Antetokounmpo brothers were not welcome on the neighborhood courts. Most of the time, Tzikas said, the boys’ father took them to the courts and the kids were protected from violence.AP Photo/Thanassis StavrakisBesides helping find the boys’ parents jobs, Zivas said the general manager for Filathlitikos gave the family money to underscore the club’s commitment. The family eventually moved into a better neighborhood, closer to where the club was located.Once settled, Giannis prospered.“He was a leader in the youth team and quickly made it to the seniors,” Zivas recalls. “He was the team worker. The team expected him to rebound, block. (Scoring) points did not interest him.”In one of Giannis’ last games with the junior team, he scored 50 points, and that drew the attention of several senior clubs.Filathlitikos officials made sure the tape was circulated near and far. Interest soared, including from the NBA. One of the people who made the trip to Greece to watch Giannis play was Boston Celtics’ president and former star, Danny Ainge.“I remember that game; it was in the city of Volos and Ainge sat at the end of our bench and the opposing team’s fans thought he was a Filathlitikos executive and started calling him names. Maybe they threw something, as well,” Zivas said.Interest in a player not even playing in a country’s top division was unusual, but not unprecedented. Future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki took the same route to the U.S., from second division Wurzburg.The Spanish club, Zaragoza, was the first to make an offer to Antetokounmpo.Tzikas remembers how excited Giannis was at the prospect of going to Spain.“He came to me and said, ‘Mr. Giannis, I signed a contract with Zaragoza, they are giving me 400,000 euros a year. I’ll bring my family along with me and I’ll buy a car.’”In this Sunday, May 29, 2016, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, center, jumps to dunk the ball during a street basketball game in Athens, Grteece. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)Antetokounmpo never played for Zaragoza because the Bucks made him a first-round draft pick in 2013 and his contract with the Spanish club included an NBA “escape clause.” He moved to Milwaukee that year and his family has since joined him.Thanasis, a 6-7 small forward who played for the Knicks and in the NBA’s D-League, now plays in the Spanish Liga, although he has not given up on his NBA dream. Their coach at Filathlitikos said their two younger brothers, Constantinos and Alex, also have NBA potential.The brothers’ basketball careers may have taken them around the world, but they continue to make an impact in Greece. Once in constant dread of being deported, Giannis now has his citizenship papers.Giannis also has become the mainstay of the Greek national team.“What Giannis has accomplished at his young age is simply amazing,” Greece national teammate Kostas Papanikolaou. “He is an example for every kid.”Zivas continues to see Giannis in the offseason.“He comes here every summer, he trains and lifts weights,” his former coach said.In May 2016, Giannis and Thanasis, along with another little-known foreigner who has made his presence felt in the NBA — the Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis — came to Athens to play a game with assorted Greek players and veterans. An enthusiastic crowd of 5,000 crammed into the stands of a gym next to Athens’ largest public high school to watch them play to a 123-123 tie.Thanasis overshadowed the two NBA stars, scoring 69 points, 5 more than his brother. Porzingis finished with 21.“If he had no idea how big he is in Greece,” Tzikas said of Giannis, “he sure found out that day.”The scrawny youngster has come a long way.TweetPinShare99 Shareslast_img read more

Track and Field Still Waiting for ‘The Next Usain Bolt’

first_imgLONDON (AP) — If track and field’s wildest fantasy — “The Next Usain Bolt” — really is out there somewhere, he most certainly was not in the vicinity of the world championships on Thursday.Eight men lined up for the final of the 200 meters, trying to become the first sprinter other than the Jamaican great to win the world title at that distance since 2007.Among them was Isaac Makwala, the Botswana runner who became a celebrity of sorts with his soap opera-like story of being barred from the track meet with an alleged case of stomach flu, only to be readmitted for his shot at glory.There was Wayde van Niekerk, the South African who has a 400-meter title under his belt from earlier in the week and certainly possesses the running credentials to be touted as the next great sprint champion.And then, there was the winner: Ramil Guliyev, a 27-year-old who competes for Turkey but hails originally from Azerbaijan.Guliyev, who finished last when Bolt won the 200 at last year’s Olympics, crossed the line in 20.09 seconds. It was the fourth-slowest time to win this race in the history of the championships. But Turkey’s second gold medal of the week had its perks. Moments after the win, Guliyev was on the phone with his country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Hours later, he was still wearing the Turkish flag around his shoulders — and making no apologies.“I was competing against some of the best athletes in the world, so it didn’t bother me that the attention was on them,” Guliyev said. “Maybe at the next competition, everyone will look at me instead.”Give him his due. Guliyev made up two steps on Van Niekerk over the last 20 meters to squeak out a .02-second victory.Van Niekerk, who holds the world record at 400 meters, was trying to become the first person since Michael Johnson in 1995 to complete the 200-400 double at the worlds. How difficult that quest really is became evident the night before when Van Niekerk, coming down from the high of his 400 win, struggled in the 200 semifinals and barely squeezed into the final.Though many are looking to him to occupy the mantle Bolt is leaving — and Van Niekerk says he’ll try Bolt’s specialty, the 100-200 double, in the future — the runner himself got a crash course in how hard it will be to take it.“They made me realize it’s not going to be a walk in the park,” he said after capturing silver in a photo finish over Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago.Makwala, meanwhile, could have put an exclamation point on his drama with a medal, but was never a factor. A week full of uncertainty and being hounded 24-7 by TV cameras, to say nothing of the illness he may or may not have had (he claims he was never sick), clearly took its toll. His time, 20.44, was .67 seconds slower than his season best.“I don’t think I will ever face this again,” he said. “I will always pray to not face this again.”Seven days into this most expectation-defying of track meets, fans of the sport must be growing used to seeing their world turned upside down.Bolt finished third in his 100-meter finale to open the festivities. He’s already shut things down in the 200. When asked if he wished he could still run that race, he insisted “it would have been worse.”A few things did go to form on a crisp, cool night at the stadium that hosted the Olympics five years ago — most of them involving the United States.Christian Taylor and Will Claye repeated their 1-2 finish from the last two Olympics. Taylor won with a jump of 17.68 meters but was a bit disappointed because he didn’t hit the 22-year-old world record that he’s had his sights on for a while.“Honestly, I’ve just been chasing this number, this magical 18.29,” Taylor said.In the 400-meter hurdles, Kori Carter started outside in Lane 9 and never saw a soul on her way to gold. She crossed ahead of the Olympic champion, Dalilah Muhammad.Back to the madness.After her would-be gold turned into an inexplicable fourth-place finish Wednesday in the 400, Shaunae Miller-Uibo returned to win her 200-meter semifinal heat. She looked much better than when she limped down the homestretch the night before, and explained that things weren’t quite what they seemed.“A lot of people thought I got hurt with my hamstring or something along that line,” said Miller-Uibo, the 400-meter Olympic champion. “I took a look at the screen and lost my balance. I ended up (stubbing) my foot into the track.”She’ll get her second chance for gold in the 200.And good news, track fans: Bolt will get another chance, too.He returns Saturday as the headliner for Jamaica’s 4×100 relay team — to serve up one final glimpse of what this sport is going to miss once he’s gone.“He finished his career, and of course he’s king,” said Guliyev, the new 200-meter champion. “The time is coming for us. We made it.”By EDDIE PELLSTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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