Rio de Janeiro: India's Mariyappan Thangavelu created history on Saturday morning by winning a gold medal in the men's high jump T-42 event at the Rio Paralympics. His compatriot Varun Singh Bhati clinched the bronze medal the same event. While Thangavelu made a leap of 1.89 metres, Bhati jumped his personal best of 1.86 metres to finish third. India's other medal prospect Sharad Kumar finished at number six. USA's Sam Grewe bagged the silver medal.
Posted by RP on 26 August
Monaco: Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo won the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award after winning both last season's Champions League and Euro 2016 with Portugal. Ronaldo, 31, received the accolade for the second time in his career after finishing ahead of Real team-mate Gareth Bale and Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann. "I'm obviously delighted to receive this award, it's been an incredible season. But these two other players deserve it as well," said Ronaldo, who also won the prize in 2013-14. Ronaldo struck the winning spot-kick as Real claimed a record 11th European Cup title, beating city rivals Atletico on penalties in May, before leading his country to Euro 2016 glory. Ronaldo scored three goals en route to the final of the tournament to equal France's Michel Platini's record of nine goals in the European Championship finals. The award was voted for by journalists from each of UEFA's 55 member associations. Norway striker Ada Hegerberg won the women's award, ahead of France's Amandine Henry and Dzsenifer Marozsan of Germany, after helping Lyon lift the Women's Champions League trophy in addition to the French league and cup double.
Rio de Janeiro: India's P V Sindhu fought valiantly but failed in her attempt to win the gold medal, as she lost to World No. 1 Carolina Marin in the women’s singles final on Friday. She, however, became the first Indian to win a silver medal in badminton at the Olympics. In a match that lasted one hour and three minutes, Marin defeated Sindhu 19-21, 21-12, 21-15. Marin became the first European to win the Women's Olympic badminton gold. Marin started the final strongly with a 11-6 lead but Sindhu retrieved every smash and drop shot and kept it close. Trailing 16-19, Sindhu scored five straight points to take the first game 21-19. The Spaniard started with a vengeance in the second game, smashing her way to an 11-2 lead. Sindhu staged a brief comeback, but Marin overpowered the Indian with offensive play. The World No. 1 closed out the second game 21-12 to take the match to a decider. The third game started in the same way, the Spaniard running away with a 6-1 lead but Sindhu showed tremendous grit to pull things back and equalise 10-10. From then on, every point was fought tooth to nail, but Marin managed to hold on to her lead and kept her date with history. On Thursday, Sindhu became the first Indian to reach a final in badminton at the Olympic Games after she defeated Japan's Nozomi Okuhara. Earlier, she defeated World No. 2 Wang Yihan in the quarterfinals.
Rio de Janeiro: P V Sindhu scripted history by becoming the first Indian shuttler to reach the finals of the women’s singles competition at the Rio Olympics as she stunned Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in straight games to assure India of at least a silver medal here on Thursday. The two-time bronze medallist at World Championship notched up a sensational 21-19 21-10 victory over the All England Champion from Japan in a pulsating semi-final that lasted 49 minutes. The World No. 10 from Hyderabad will next take on two-time World Champion and top seed Carolina Marin of Spain in the summit clash on Friday. Sindhu had a 1-3 head-to-head record against Okuhara but all that went for a toss as the Indian came out with a well-thought strategy as she engaged the Japanese in long-rallies with her angled returns and deft drops. In the opening game which lasted 29 minutes, Sindhu opened up a 4-1 lead early on and rode on Okuhara’s unforced errors to extend the advantage to 8-4. The Indian engaged her rival in long rallies and tried to vary the pace and finish them with well-executed drops. A cross court forehand return after a long rally which consisted of 32 strokes helped Sindhu reach 9-6 before the Indian reached the interval with an 11-6 advantage after Okuhara hit long. The Hyderabadi pushed the Japanese to the corners by playing half smashes and drops, while Okuhara continued to find the net while trying to play the cross court drops from the baseline. Leading 14-10, Sindhu hit wide and long before coming up with a superb drop even as Okuhara forehand returns. At 16-18, Sindhu failed to negotiate a body return but she again caught hold of the shuttle early using her height and sent it sailing out of the Japanese reach. A missed net shot by Okuhara saw Sindhu reach the game point. What ensued next was a long rally with Okuhara hitting across as the Indian grabbed the opening game after the Japanese found the net. Sindhu once again opened up a 3-0 lead but the Japanese soon clawed back and grabbed a slender 5-3 lead with the Indian finding it difficult to keep the shuttle inside the court. The duo moved neck-and-neck from 5-5 to 8-8. A forecourt deception gave a point to Sindhu but she hit wide again. Sindhu retrieved everything that was thrown at her but she rushed on to a stroke to hit the net. At the interval, Sindhu managed a slender 11-10 lead after her return landed at the corner of the court. Sindhu came out all cylinders blazing after the change of sides and reeled off 11 straight points with the help of her array of strokes, which included some brilliant backhand flick and drops, to completely demolish the third seeded Japanese. It was a deceptive return which helped Sindhu reach a massive 10-point match point and then eked her name into the history books with a smash that caught Okuhara at the forecourt. For the record, Marin also entered her maiden Olympic final beating London Olympic champion Li Xuerui 21-14 21-16.
Rio de Janeiro: Gritty woman wrestler Sakshi Malik ended India's painful wait for a medal at the Rio Olympic Games by clinching the bronze in the 58kg category, pulling off a sensational 8-5 victory over Aisuluu Tynybekova in the Play-off bout, here. The 23-year-old from Rohtak became only the fourth woman athlete from India to win an Olympic medal as she earned the dramatic win after falling behind 0-5 in the do-or-die bout on day 12. Weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari (2000, Sydney), boxer MC Mary Kom (2012, London) and shuttler Saina Nehwal (2012, London) were the only other women players from India to have won a medal in Olympics. Like in three of the four other bouts earlier in the day, Sakshi won the crucial bout after coming from behind. Sakshi's victory brought cheers to the Indian contingent that had endured agonising 11 days without a medal. Sakshi turned the tables on the Kyrgyzstan wrestler in the dying seconds of the bout as Tynybekova was in complete command in most part of the clash. Tynybekova grabbed Sakshi's leg and quickly earned two points before adding one more for the Indian's passivity. She repeated her move and successfully bagged two more points to lead 5-0 at the break. Sakshi could open the scoring only in the second period and got two points after throwing her rival down and out of the mat. She then managed to earn two points again with a similar move to bring down the margin to 4-5. Thereafter, it was no looking back for the Indian girl and she took the opponent down to level the scores 5-5. But she did not stop there and gained three more points by pinning down the Kyrgyzstan wrestler in the dying moments of the match.
Port of Spain: BCCI, on its Twitter handle, on Wednesday announced that Team India has taken over the number one spot on ICC Test rankings. India will have to beat West Indies in the fourth test in Trinidad that starts on Thursday to retain the position. After Australia lost to Sri Lanka 0-3 in Colombo on Wednesday, Team India moved to top spot. With 112 points, India rules the rankings with arch rivals Pakistan in hot pursuit with just one point behind. Australia now join England with 108 points but is ranked above Alastair Cook's side, said BCCI in a statement. To maintain the top spot, India will have to win the fourth Test match against West Indies which begins in Port of Spain on Thursday. If India wins the last Test they will finish on 112 points but if they draw they will finish at 110 points, one point behind Pakistan. And if they lose, India will end on 108 points and go down to fourth spot. Captain Virat Kohli's men, who surpassed Australia in the International Cricket Council rankings, will relentlessly probe for weaknesses in the West Indies team, says fast bowler Ishant Sharma. India lead the series 2-0 heading into the final game at the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain.
Rank Team Points1 India 112 2 Pakistan 111 3 Australia 108 (-10) 4 England 108 5 New Zealand 99 6 Sri Lanka 95 (+10) 7 South Africa 92 8 West Indies 65 9 Bangladesh 57 10 Zimbabwe 8
Rio de Janeiro: Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar scripted history as she became the first Indian to make the cut for the individual vault finals in her debut Olympic Games after finishing 8th in the qualifying round here. The Tripura-girl, who is the country's first woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, managed to perform her much-appreciated 'Produnova' vault cleanly to secure 14.850 points after two attempts. It was a nervous wait for the Indian after that. She had ended sixth after the third of five sub-divisions. She dropped to 8th eventually when Canadian Shallon Olsen's terrific effort of 14.950 rejigged the overall standings. But that was just about enough to secure her a place in the finals scheduled for August 14 as the top-8 made the cut for the medal round. Dipa secured 7.000 on difficulty and 8.1 on execution in her first attempt. Her score for difficulty was a tad lower at 6.000 in the second attempt. She landed low on her Produnova vault in the first attempt, while her second vault was a 'Tsuk double full twist' with step to the side. Three-time world all-round champion Simone Biles topped the charts with a sensational score of 16.050. The American scored a brilliant 9.700 on execution in both her attempts. North Korea's Jong Un Hong was a distant second after securing 15.683 followed by Switzerland's Giulia Steingruber (15.266). In the other routines, Dipa secured 11.666 for her effort on the uneven bars, scoring low on difficulty but decent on execution. Later, Dipa scored 12.866 for her performance on the balance beam. The floor exercise fetched Dipa a score of 12.033, which also included a 0.300 penalty. Dipa, the first Indian woman gymnast to win a Commonwealth Games medal, stood a poor 47th in the all-round standings with a combined score of 51.665. The eight gymnasts with the highest individual scores in each apparatus move on to compete for an individual event title in that apparatus. The 24 men and 24 women with the highest combined individual totals move on to the all-around finals.
Galle: Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera bagged six wickets to fashion Sri Lanka's historic series win over Australia on Saturday as the world number one side suffered a humiliating 229-run loss inside three days in the second Test in Galle. Australia, chasing a challenging 413 for victory, were bundled out for 183 after lunch as Sri Lanka, who won their last series against the visitors in 1999, took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber. Veteran spinner Rangana Herath set up the win for the hosts with his maiden Test hat-trick which helped dismiss Australia for a record low of 106 in their first innings. Australia faltered in their second outing as well after Perera, who registered his career-best figures of 6-70, sent the visitors packing in just 50.1 overs as the Sri Lankan players went into a celebratory huddle. Overnight batsmen David Warner and skipper Steven Smith offered some resistance with their 51-run fourth wicket partnership but both of them fell to Perera's guile. Warner, who tried to counter attack during his 31-ball 41, was trapped lbw off a straighter Perera delivery that hit the batsman on the front pad. Smith (30), who used his feet well against the spinners during his 58-ball stay, was the next to go as he gave away a catch at backward short leg. Perera, who also took two wickets on Friday, then bowled Adam Voges for 28 to register his fourth five-wicket haul in 11 Test matches. But it was Herath's left-arm spin that did the early damage in a match dominated by Sri Lankan slow bowlers. Herath and Perera shared four wickets between them on a chaotic second day which saw the fall of 21 wickets and put the match on the fast track. Australia's pace spearhead Mitchell Starc though made his presence felt on a track that offered little help to the fast bowlers with his career-best match figures of 11-94. Sri Lanka won the first Test at Pallekele by 106 runs.
Rio de Janeiro: Brazil showcased its rich history and cultural heritage, combined with Rio’s famous ’Samba’ dance, as the 31st Olympic Games was officially launched with a subtle yet powerful message of global warming plaguing the world in a glittering opening ceremony here. Brazil organisers put their passion for football aside and made climate change and depletion of natural resources as the central theme in a thought—provoking nearly four—hour long ceremony to signal the opening of the 17—day extravaganza which will be competed by more than 11,000 athletes from 209 countries, including India, and a refugee Olympic team. Brazil’s Acting President Michel Temer declared open the Games, the first to be held in South America, in the presence of International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach, who gave a lengthy speech, and United Nations head, Ban—Ki Moon. “I declare the Rio Olympics open, and celebrate the 31st Olympic Games of the modern era,” Temer said to formally signal the commencement of competitions as the Rio night sky was lit with fireworks emanating from Maracana Stadium. After the formal declaration of the Games, Brazilian 2004 Athens Olympics marathon bronze winner Vanderlei de Lima lit the Olympic cauldron after former tennis world number one and three—time French Open winner Gustavo Kuerten brought the torch into the arena to the thunderous applause of spectators. Having witnessed many memorable clashes on its pitch, the 78,000—capacity Maracana Stadium today bore testimony to Brazil’s effort to make the world a better place, and how! It was, in a way, putting aside the trouble-torn build up that the host city faced from a Zika virus threat, to slumping economy and cost over-runs. “It is not enough to stop harming the planet, it’s time to begin healing it. This will be our Olympic message: Earthlings, let’s replant, let’s save the planet,” said the creators of the opening ceremony. Following the tradition, Greece, the birthplace of ancient Olympics, led the athletes’ parade with the hosts country Brazil coming last. The countries marched in alphabetical order based on the spelling of their names in Portuguese. Led by its only individual gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, who is in his swansong Olympics, as the flag bearer, the Indian contingent entered the stadium as 95th country. Indian contingent Around 70 Indian athletes (out of 118) and 24 officials took part in the march past with the male athletes wearing navy blue colour blazer and trousers and their female counterparts donning blue blazer and traditional Saree. In his record seventh Olympic appearance, tennis ace Leander Paes was seen waving at the crowd, while the spotlight among the female members fell on the likes of shuttlers Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponappa and gymnast Dipa Karmakar. Among the officials who were part of the march past were chef-de-mission Rakesh Gupta and his deputy Anandeswar Pandey. The men’s hockey players skipped the parade as they have a match against Ireland. The archery, table tennis and weightlifting teams also skipped the opening ceremony.
Kingston: Ajinkya Rahane scored his seventh Test hundred here on the third day of the second Test against West Indies to take India to a mammoth total of 500/9 declared. This is the eighth straight series that he has scored a score of at least 90 in. For the Windies, off-spinning all-rounder Roston Chase took five wickets conceding 121 runs. Rahane squirted an outside edge between slip and the wicketkeeper in the 170th over to reach his third hundred in four innings, captured on camera by the coach Anil Kumble and celebrated vigorously by his team-mates. The locals at Sabina Park had something to cheer too when Chase induced a top edge from Umesh Yadav to wrap up his first five-for in his second Test. It remain to be seen if India would give enough time to register their first set of consecutive wins outside Asia since 2006, but they were assured they were not going to lose this one. Brief Scores: India 500 for 9 decl. (Rahul 158, Rahane 108*, Chase 5-121) lead West Indies (196) by 304 runs.