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    Sports - MAY

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    Abhishek

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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Mon May 16, 2011 12:13 am

    Varun, Ashitha bag titles

    Amrita Vidyalaya's Varun Krishna, with 4.5 points from five rounds, won the Ernakulam District under-9 chess title at Paravur, near here. Devanand S. Pai (4.5 points), Jinan Jomon (4) and Varun M. Pai (4), in that order, took the next three spots.

    Little Hearts School's K.M. Ashitha took the girls' title with four points from as many rounds. Akshara Raj (3), Haneen Ameer (3) and P.V. Dharsana (3) finished second, third and fourth respectively.

    Ernakulam Chess Association secretary M.S. Ananthakrishnan gave away the prizes.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Mon May 16, 2011 6:21 pm

    Rafael Nadal in Rome final

    A dominant Rafael Nadal broke down Richard Gasquet's resolve to ease into the Rome Masters final with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over the 16th seed here on Saturday.

    Taking an 8-0 record against Gasquet into this match, the World No. 1 survived some nervous moments in the first set before completing a comprehensive win.

    It took the Spanish 24-year-old's record at this tournament to 31 wins and just one loss — in 2008 to Juan-Carlos Ferrero — as he aims for a sixth title in seven years here.

    Having suffered from fever earlier in the week, Nadal showed no ill-effects from it on Saturday.

    The undisputed ‘King of Clay' has won two tournaments on the dirt this season, but last week suffered his first defeat on the surface to Novak Djokovic in the Madrid final.

    It was the third Masters final he had lost to the Serbian this season following those in Indian Wells and Miami.

    Stosur meets Sharapova

    Australian Samantha Stosur stormed into the women's final with a 7-6(6), 6-0 victory over China's Li Na.

    She will play former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova in Sunday's final after the Russian beat World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 6-3.

    This will be Stosur's first final since Roland Garros almost a year ago.

    Looking ahead to the final, Sharapova said: “It's the first time I'm playing (Stosur) on clay and her best results have been on clay.”

    “She's playing really good tennis, clay really suits her game but it's a great feeling to be in the final of this event, I'm just going to go out and go for it.

    “With every year I feel better and better on it (clay). When I was first on tour I wasn't the strongest, I didn't have the strongest legs and I didn't find it easy to recover from one match to the next but I've improved on that.”

    The results:

    Men: Semifinals: Rafael Nadal bt Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-1. Quarterfinals: Novak Djokovic bt Robin Soderling 6-3, 6-0.

    Women: Semifinals: Maria Sharapova bt Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 6-3; Samantha Stosur bt Li Na 7-6(6), 6-0. Quarterfinals: Maria Sharapova bt Victoria Azarenka 4-6, 3-0 retd .
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Mon May 16, 2011 6:21 pm

    India finishes sixth

    Indian girls went down fighting 0-2 to second-seeded Japan in the match for the fifth place in the Asia-Oceania World junior under-14 tennis tournament at the Sarawak Centre, Kuching, Malaysia, on Saturday.

    Final: Australia bt Korea 2-0 (Lizette Cabrera bt Bae Do Hee 2-6, 6-2, 6-1; Naiktha Bains bt Kim Da Bin 6-2, 7-6(4)). Fifth place: Japan bt India 2-0 (Yuna Ito bt Dhruthi Venugopal 5-7, 6-1, 7-5; Chihiro Muramatsu bt Sneha Devi Reddy 3-6, 6-4, 6-2).

    Final placings: 1. Australia, 2. Korea, 3. China, 4. New Zealand, 5. Japan, 6. India, 7. Uzbekistan, 8. Thailand, 9. Chinese Taipei, 10. Indonesia, 11. Hong Kong, 12. Malaysia, 13. Sri Lanka, 14. Kazakhstan, 15. Philippines, 16. Singapore.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Mon May 16, 2011 6:22 pm

    Pakistan to meet Australia

    Australia will lock horns with Pakistan in the final of the Azlan Shah hockey tournament here on Sunday.

    While the Aussies ensured their final spot with a match to spare on Thursday, Pakistan defeated Malaysia 3-2 to confirm its berth. Australia beat New Zealand 4-2 in the last match to finish with 16 points.

    A win was mandatory for Pakistan to have a shot at the glittering trophy. The team accomplished it warding off a formidable challenge from the host.

    Sohail Abbas gave Pakistan the lead, followed by Waqas Muhammad. Malaysia's Hanafi reduced the margin but after the break Shakeel Abbasi produced a gem of backhander to increase the lead that was reduced again late in the match by Razie following a penalty corner.

    Korea avoided the humiliation of finishing at the bottom of the table with an inspired performance that saw Britain plunge to a 1-3 defeat.

    India had an outside chance of contesting for a podium finish on goal-difference with New Zealand if the latter had conceded a difference of more than four goals. But at 2-4 against Australia, New Zealand finished with one minus in goal difference against India's two.

    New Zealand will play Great Britain for the bronze medal. Korea will take on India in the match for the fifth and sixth place.

    Asian Champions Trophy

    The first hockey Asian Champions Trophy for men will be held at Ordos (China) from September 3 to 11.

    This was confirmed at the council meeting of the Asian Hockey Federation on Saturday. The top six of the last Asian Games are listed as the contenders. They are Pakistan, Malaysia, India, Korea, China and Japan. Four women's teams, which finished in that order at Guangzhou — China, Korea, Japan and India — will take part in Ordos.

    The results: Korea 3 (Yoon Sung Hoon, Jeong Byung Jin, You Hyo Sik) bt Great Britain 1 (Matt Daly); Pakistan 3 (Sohail Abbas, Waqas Muhammad, Shakeel Abbasi) bt Malaysia 2 (Hafifihafiz Hanafi, Rahim Muhammad Razie); Australia 4 (Brent Dancer, Glenn Turner 2, Christopher Cirello) bt New Zealand 2 (Stevan Edwards, Marcus Child).
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Mon May 16, 2011 6:22 pm


    IOB takes on MSP


    Indian Overseas Bank, Chennai, takes on Maharashtra State Police (MSP) in the third match under floodlights at the Aga Khan Hockey, sponsored by Development Credit Bank, commencing on Sunday at Bombay Gymkhana grass surface.

    Revived after nine years, Western Railway will set the ball rolling against Bombay Engineering Group, Pune in the opener, followed by Central Railway pitted against debutant Abhi Foundation.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Mon May 16, 2011 6:23 pm

    Mahesh in final

    Mahesh Mangaonkar lost the opening game but recovered to beat Gaurav Nandrajog 3-1 in the semifinals of the Otters Open squash tournament here. He will meet defending champion Harinderpal Singh Sandhu in the final.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Tue May 17, 2011 8:20 pm

    Australia regains Azlan Shah Cup

    A golden goal by Chris Ciriello in the second half of the extra-time gave Australia its sixth triumph in the Sulan Azlan Cup Hockey tournament before a splendid crowd here on Sunday.

    The teams were deadlocked 2-2 at the end of the regulation time. The Aussies had last won the trophy in 2007.

    What appeared to be a prosaic final developed into an absorbing duel as Pakistan injected a rare element of verve, recovering twice from arrears, to get the equaliser seven minutes before the time.

    The Pakistani fight-back was led by the indefatigable Shakeel Abbasi who tormented the rival defenders with his delightful sallies. Rizwan and Zubair contributed their share and were supported well in the mid-field by Waseem Ahmed.

    Strangely, the Aussies were unable to exert continued pressure. There were phases when they tended to be tentative, despite the good work by Matthew Swann and Glenn Turner.

    Ciriello converted a penalty corner early on and the Pakistanis hit the equaliser from Sohail Abbas following a penalty corner. Earlier, Zubair and Haseem Khan had nearly hit the target.

    Minutes after the break, Australia surged ahead from a brilliant move initiated Liem de Young which Glenn Turner completed with a fluent shot from the top of the circle. Even as Australia was mounting pressure, came the equaliser for Pakistan from Rehan Butt, who hooked on to an astute forward pass by Abbasi.

    There were several pulsating moments in the extra-time with the goalkeepers Imran Khan and George Bezeley effecting exciting stops from penalty corners.

    Smothering persistent pressure with utmost equanimity, notwithstanding an early reverse, Great Britain pounded the Kiwis for a 4-2 defeat to pick the bronze medal.

    It was lively encounter in which the Kiwis matched their opponents move for move in the first half.

    Stephen Jenness put New Zealand ahead, but progressively Britain took control of the proceedings. A brilliant leveller from a thundering penalty corner by Richard Mantell sent the team on an equal score 1-1 for the break.

    In the second half, Britain held the whip-hand and netted three goals. The best among them came from Matt Daly who tapped in a cross from Ian Mackay. In the closing minutes, Hilton Blair restricted the margin, making capital off a pass from Nicolas Wilson.

    Palpably sluggish and sombre in mood, reflecting perhaps the overcast weather conditions here, India slumped to the sixth place against Korea.

    Ironically, Sunday's contestants had fought for the trophy last year and emerged as joint champions after heavy rain prevented the final being played.

    There was precious little to relate anything about India's showing with a veneer of eloquence. It looked as though the team was going through a routine in a monotonous manner, caving against even feeble moves.

    Goal-keeper Adrian D'Souza was unequal to the task of saving the two penalty corners that Korea slotted in the first half. Nam Woo and Jang Jong are too well known in the area of converting penalty corners.

    The only sparkle the team had was in the early minutes in the second half when Mandeep Antil strove manfully to inject an element of verve. But that too was brief as none in the team displayed ever an iota of fervour.

    The moment to cherish surfaced immediately on resumption when Vikram Pillay scored off a cross from Vikas Sharma. Thereafter everything slipped into the rut again.

    Rupinderpal makes it

    Rupinderpal Singh was the only Indian selected by the team of coaches from among the players who took part in the tournament for the Sultan Azlan Shah's XI.

    The team: Goalkeeper: Kumar Subramaniam (Malaysi): Defenders: Rupinderpal Singh (India), Dean Couzins (New Zealand), Glenn Kirkham ( GB), Fergus Kavanagh (Australia); Mid-fielders: Shakeel Abbasi (Pakistan), Steven Edwards (New Zealand), Simon Orchard (Australia). Forwards: You Hyo Sik (Korea), Glenn Tuner (Australia) and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (Malaysia).
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Tue May 17, 2011 8:21 pm

    Asian meet from today

    At the centre court of the SDAT-Nungambakkam Stadium here on Sunday, four Indian players — three girls and a boy — are hitting balls with tremendous power. Watching them and shouting words of encouragement is their coach Michael Baroch.

    The 44-year-old Australian, a former coach of famous names such as Maria Sharapova, Ivan Lendl (sparring partner) and Mark Philippoussis, currently runs an academy in Melbourne and Singapore called MITS (Melbourne International Tennis School).

    Flexible

    He loves the attitude of Indians. “They (the players) are flexible and have tremendous skills but woefully lack in fitness,” he said.

    The six-day Asian closed junior (under-18) tennis championships beginning on Monday simultaneously at the SDAT Stadium and the Presidency Club courts will provide ample opportunities to 80-odd Indians of the 128 in the fray to prove their mettle and grab the 180 ITF points and along with it the direct entry to the junior French Open and junior Wimbledon.

    Great chance

    India's Rakshay Thakkar, seeded third in boys' section, realises this as a great chance. “I haven't played at the Nungambakkam Stadium before. But I really want to do well as this is my last year in juniors,” he said.

    For Kelvin Lam of Hong Kong, the conditions will play a crucial role. “It's pretty humid here. It will be tough,” said the sixth seed.

    Hong Kong's Katherine Ip Cheng, seeded seven in girls' section, said the weather is similar to Hong Kong but “it's too hot here.”

    The top seed Gao Xin of Japan will play Raswant Ravi of India in the boys' first round while Ayaka Okuno, the girls' No.1 seed, will be challenged by Binu Ravikumar.

    Arjun Kadhe, No.2, will take on Goel Dhruv in the boys' first round. However, Rishika Sunkara, seeded No.2 in girls' will not be taking part as according to organisers “she didn't sign in”.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Tue May 17, 2011 8:21 pm

    Sharapova wins Rome International

    Triple Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova won her first tournament in almost a year when she powered past Australia's Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4 to win the Rome International on Sunday.

    Stosur picked up only one of the first 15 points.

    The sixth seed was 4-0 down before she seemed to settle and managed to hold serve as Sharapova started missing off both flanks.

    Stosur started to move Sharapova around and some positive play saw the Russian net a forehand to give up a double break point.

    The cool and windy conditions were not helping the server and Stosur slumped to 0-40 on her next service game.

    She saved the first with a forehand winner down the line and the second when Sharapova went long, but a wayward, lofted forehand saw the Australian broken again.

    And she sent a backhand long on set point as Sharapova wrapped up the opening set 6-2.

    Stosur was equally erratic at the start of the second as she was broken again.

    However, a poor forehand on break point in the next game looped up and down into the corner to bring her back on level terms.

    That slice of luck was just the tonic she needed and Stosur held serve with a service winner to nose ahead in the set.

    However, a wild inside out forehand from the Australian landed well into the tramlines on break point in her next service game.

    Sharapova wobbled when serving for the match at 5-4, but when Stosur had a simple backhand down the line to bring up double break point, she hit the top of the net.

    Her next return went long and then Sharapova wrapped up the title with a forehand winner.

    At Nice, Somdev Devvarman was beaten by Adrian Mannarino in the first round.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Tue May 17, 2011 8:22 pm

    West Ham United relegated

    Chelsea's bid to finish second in the English Premier League suffered a setback after Steven Taylor's stoppage-time header secured a 2-2 draw for visitor Newcastle at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

    It went ahead as early as the second minute through defender Branislav Ivanovic.

    However, Newcastle equalised eight minutes later through Argentina midfielder Jonas Gutierrez.

    Chelsea though regained the lead seven minutes from time when a mistake by Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul, who misjudged a Frank Lampard free-kick, allowed Brazilian defender Alex to head in at the far post.

    But defender Taylor punished Chelsea's inability to clear a corner by heading in from close range shortly before the final whistle.

    West Ham was relegated after squandering a 2-0 lead in a 3-2 defeat away to fellow strugglers Wigan.

    Demba Ba's first half double gave West Ham hope in a match it had to win to set up a chance of a last day reprieve against Sunderland next weekend.

    But Wigan, which stayed second bottom, hit back through Charles N'Zogbia's blistering 57th minute free-kick before substitute Conor Sammon drew the host level 11 minutes later.

    N'Zogbia then sealed Wigan's remarkable recovery in stoppage time when he slid a shot under the body of England goalkeeper Robert Green, who had previously made several fine saves.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Wed May 18, 2011 6:28 pm

    Novak Djokovic's dominant run continues

    Novak Djokovic took his unbeaten start of the year to 37 matches as he stunned World No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-4 to win the Rome Masters on Sunday. Sunday was the fourth time in a row the Serbian has beaten Nadal in a Masters final this season and the second successive week he has done so on clay after winning in Madrid.The World No. 2, who lost all of his eight previous matches on clay against the Spaniard before his Madrid triumph, is also homing in on Nadal's top ranking.

    But Nadal said he is focussing on improving his own game.

    “I'm there all the time, I've played in six straight finals, I've lost four (Miami, Indian Wells, Madrid and Rome; wins at Monte Carlo and Barcelona) but there is one player playing better than the rest, he is doing unbelievably,” said Nadal. “My goal is to be there next time. In the last few months he's been on a different level to the rest of the players.

    “I have important personal satisfaction in how I'm doing this year. This week was very positive for me,"

    Having lost twice in a row to Djokovic on clay, Nadal said he is not worried that his aura of invincibility has been damaged.

    “For me, it doesn't matter if people think I am more beatable than before, the important thing is to be confident and happy with what I'm doing and to do everything I can,” he said.

    However, Nadal acknowledged that it's not easy to find a weakness in Djokovic's game.

    “He's a complete player, he can do everything. He defends very well, better than he did before. He can attack very well, like he did before. He's very, very good, that's the problem. He has all the shots.

    “He beat me in the last four Masters but I beat him in lots of important things in the past — the semifinals of the Olympics, the final of the US Open, two semifinals at Roland Garros. “We will see what happens in the future.”
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Wed May 18, 2011 6:29 pm

    Ronaldo equals Spanish league record

    Portuguese goal-machine Cristiano Ronaldo equalled the all-time league record of 38 goals with a brace in Real Madrid's 3-1 victory at Villarreal in the Spanish La Liga football on Sunday.

    Ronaldo made it nine goals in his last three games with a 22nd-minute free-kick and a last minute strike to stay on course to pick up the Pichichi Trophy for the league's top-scorer. Barcelona's Lionel Messi, his nearest rival, has 31 La Liga goals.

    Ronaldo's 38-goal tally equals the all-time best record set by Athletic Bilbao's Telmo Zarra in 1951 and matched by Real's iconic Mexican striker Hugo Sanchez in 1990 and he has the final game of the season to set a new record.

    The newly-crowned champion, Barcelona, had its eye on the Champions League final against Manchester United on May 28 as it rested stars in a dull 0-0 draw against Deportivo de La Coruna at Camp Nou.

    The visitor performed the traditional guard of honour to salute the league champion, which secured the title on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw against Levante, although most of the Barcelona stars were on the bench.

    Deportivo was fighting relegation and undoubtedly happy to see Messi and company watching from the sidelines and it claimed a valuable point in its bid to beat the drop. Deportivo, the league champion in 2000, is one point above the bottom three heading into the final game next weekend.

    “It is a good point and we know that if we win next weekend we will have 46 points and that is enough,” said the Deportivo coach, Miguel Angel Lotina. “If we win at home we stay up and the important thing is we don't depend on anyone else.”

    Valencia third

    Elsewhere, Valencia clinched third place for the second successive season with a 0-0 draw against derby rival Levante. Valencia earns direct qualification for the Champions League, while the fourth-placed Villarreal must negotiate a two-legged qualifier.
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    Re: Sports - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Wed May 18, 2011 6:29 pm

    Maradona to coach Al-Wasl

    Argentina legend Diego Maradona is to take over as coach of Al-Wasl Sports Club next season at Dubai, the club announced on Monday.

    “Al-Wasl Sports Club is proud to announce the appointment of Diego Armando Maradona as head coach of Al-Wasl Football Club, in a momentous development that will see the football legend lead the team for the next two seasons,” the club said in a statement.

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