James shines on track with Games record, says early to target MJ’s mark

Published on: Thursday, 31 July 2014 //

Olympic champion Kirani James lit up the Commonwealth Games with a devastating and graceful run to win gold in the men’s 400 metres on Wednesday.

In a Games hampered by big-name withdrawals and weakened fields, the arrival of the powerful Grenadian was a welcome sight at a wet and windy Hampden Park.

James took charge of the final from the start and looked in complete control as he finished in a Games record time of 44.24 seconds ahead of South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk and Trinidad and Tobago’s Lalonde Gordon.

“I expected to have a great performance,” James told reporters. “I can’t predict the outcome of the event but all I an do is come out here and try my best. Every championship, every accolade, is unique in its own way and these Games are no different. I think the crowd really makes it special; the stadium was full at 10am, that says something about Scotland and how much they appreciate track and field.”

The 21-year-old James has won Olympic and World Championship gold, but he said talk of breaking American Michael Johnson’s World record time of 43.18 was premature. “I’m going to be 22 in September,” James said. “Michael Johnson set the record when he was nearly 32 so I’ve got 10 years to work with.”

Aussie lifter fined for head-butting Welshman

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A Scottish court has ordered an Australian medal winner to pay compensation to a Welsh weightlifter after he admitted head-butting him in the athletes’ village. Francois Etoundi, also a weightlifter, assaulted Gareth Evans early on Wednesday after a verbal exchange relating to the Welshman’s girlfriend.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Sheriff Andrew Cubie ordered Etoundi to pay £400 ($675) compensation to Evans for causing injury. Cubie says Etoundi brought “the law of the playground” into the village, adding that his behaviour “undermines the concept of the friendly games.”

The Cameroon-born Etoundi, who won the bronze medal in the 77-kilogram (170-pound) division on Sunday, had already been stripped of his games accreditation after being arrested. Evans was fifth in the 62-kilogram (137-pound) division.

Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper described it as a “very serious incident” that was witnessed by many people in the village. “I made it clear I didn’t want him back in the village when violent behaviour is asserted,” Hooper said. “The Games have to be safe and secure. It is a big village like a city that has developed over a very short period of time,” Hooper said. “People have to respect each other’s space and this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated.”

This incident is the latest in the series of events afflicting Australia, which could see the country’s 20-year domination of the competition coming to an end Australia have topped the medals standings at every Commonwealth Games since 1990, but slipped to second place behind England, trailing 36-44 in the gold medal count. With the Games ending on Sunday, Australia looked unlikely to regain the lead because swimming, where the team won 19 of the total 44 golds, is over. On a tumultuous day for Australia, officials also had to deal with strife within the track and field team. Eric Hollingsworth, head coach of the athletics team, was ordered to return home as punishment for releasing an unauthorised statement criticising Olympic hurdles champion Sally Pearson for not attending the team’s pre-Glasgow training camp.

“We decided the appropriate action was to revoke his accreditation and he will fly home as soon as possible,” Australia chef de mission Steve Moneghetti said. “He understands the sanctions that have been imposed on him and he has his right to his own views and opinions on the matter. He’s been open and honest with us, but he breached the team agreement set by the Australian Commonwealth Games Federation and that is like our bible to us.”

Hollingsworth cut Pearson’s funding for her Commonwealth Games preparations after she opted not to attend the athletics team’s training camp in England, saying “her no-show sets a bad example to the entire national team.”

Dutt’s how it is done

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Yogeshwar Dutt (R) performs the move ‘Fitele’ against Canadian opponent Jevon Balfour to win gold in the final of the men’s 66kg category. (source: AP) Yogeshwar Dutt (R) performs the move ‘Fitele’ against Canadian opponent Jevon Balfour to win gold in the final of the men’s 66kg category. (source: AP)

It was almost a reproduction from a giddy evening two years back. The mood was almost the same, the crowd waited in anticipation and Yogeshwar Dutt says the pressure was on.

Some slight alterations here – it was a gold medal match and the 31-year-old Yogeshwar did not have a swollen right eye. The bout though, was an exact replica. On came Yogeshwar, probed his opponent, Canada’s Jevon Balfour for the first 40 seconds, and then it was business as usual. Next, it was the fitele (the leg-twisting technique) as usual. Within a minute, Yogeshwar’s signature move was out. The same fitele had been paraded in front of the Excel Arena in London and it had fetched him an Olympic bronze. On Thursday, it came out at the SECC complex, providing him with a gold.

The technique, one in which Yogeshwar swiftly attacks his opponent’s lower body, head between thighs and a vice-like grip on the rival’s legs concluding in flipping his opponent like a rag doll, was employed in front of a sizable Indian contingent.

“It is something that is very close to my heart. I think it was one of the first techniques I learnt and it has stayed my favorite. I use it in crunch situations because it has never failed me till now. Also, this technique ensures that there is no chance of my opponent recovering to pin me,” he says.

19-year-old Balfour, in his first Commonwealth Games, could hardly be blamed for offering negligible resistance. Up against the vastly experienced Yogeshwar, wrestling in the 66 kg category for the first time in an international event, he was steamrolled 10-0, the bout finishing in under two minutes.

Immediately after the victory, Yogeshwar trooped into the stands to give a big hug to his mate, Sushil Kumar. The former had been the one leading the cheers for Yogeshwar as the points racked up. Both grapplers, wrestling in their new categories for the first time on the international stage, had got the job done and that too emphatically.

“I was quite confident of doing well. More so because in Italy last month I had won the gold medal in the 66 kg category. I beat the 2013 world champion (David Safarayan of Armenia) there and that made the difference. I knew I was ready to fight in this category and now the goal is the Asian Games,” he says.

Yogeshwar was hardly troubled as he swaggered his way through the rounds. He did not drop a single point, recording 11-0, 10-0 and another 10-0 victory on his way to the gold medal match. Finishing the tournament without conceding a single point, Yogeshwar says he could not have asked for a better preparatory tournament before the Asian Games.

Double for Phogats

Yogeshwar’s bulldozing run aside, it was a case of double delight for the Phogat family as Babita Kumari clinched the gold medal in the 55 kg women’s category. Having seen cousin Vinesh Phogat win the gold a couple of days earlier, Babita says there was definitely some familial pressure to bring about a similar result.

The younger sister of Olympian Geeta Phogat, Babita defeated Brittanee Laverdure of Canada 3-1 in the final. “After the results on Wednesday, there were a lot of mixed emotions in our camp. There was also some pressure because Indian wrestlers had lost four consecutive finals on Wednesday. Geeta had told me what to expect, I had fought the Canadian before and I am glad I gave India a gold,” she says. Having won a silver medal at the Delhi Games, bettering her performance this time was Babita’s top priority. “Ever since Geeta knew that she was not travelling to Glasgow, training was focused on me winning the gold medal. Two gold medals in the family is definitely a great thing,” she says.

India finished its campaign in the wrestling event with a silver and a bronze in the last two remaining categories. Geetika Jakhar was comprehensively defeated by Canadian opponent Danielle Lappage 0-7 in the final of the 63 kg class. Pawan Kumar won himself a bronze in the last category, beating Pakistan’s Inam Mohammed 6-6 (winner by points) in an enthralling clash in the 86 kg category.

With 13 medals in the bag and all its wrestlers having won a medal at the event, wrestling has turned out to be a bright spot for India with the five gold medals contributing handsomely to the tally.

With rare double twist, Karmakar wins bronze and breaks new ground

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Karmakar performed the double twist at a difficulty level of 7.0. Karmakar performed the double twist at a difficulty level of 7.0.

Dipa Karmarkar’s father, a weightlifting coach, served half a decade in the Andaman islands, training little-known athletes at the SAI facility there. At the time of the Delhi Games, when his daughter was 17 and the baby of India’s gymnastics team, he was in two minds whether to turn up at Delhi to watch her.

On Thursday, the Tripura girl’s modest father, who insisted she start on gymnastics at age 5, would have definitely wanted to be in Glasgow at the Hydro stadium as his girl attempted something that has been achieved only once before in the world, on way to a historic first medal for a Indian woman in gymnastics at the Commonwealth Games.

The Agartala gymnast, who only saw a half-decent international vault when Delhi got the games, attempted the highest difficulty on the vault table, valued at 7.0, which has previously been performed only by Dominican Republic’s Yamilet Pena at the last World Championship.

It was a frighteningly risky manoeuvre of a handspring double front vault — the maximum difficulty of a double twist in somersault, usually carried out only by the men, owing to the high dangers of injury and the strength required.

Dipa, who was 8th after a poor 13.633 from her first vault, performed a stunning double salto, taking a massive punt, after flying high off her palm, and stuck it cold to impress with a 15.100, the highest at the Commonwealth Games in vault at Glasgow. The forward landing — one of the toughest after the twin-twist — was achieved with such steadiness that she hiked up her average to 14.366 and grabbed the bronze medal in a breathtaking comeback.

That, she had a slight ankle injury, makes her clean landing even more impressive. “We wanted to let her rest in the team event so she wouldn’t aggravate the ankle. But she insisted she would turn up for the team and not let them down,” says manager Shanthi Kumar.

Dipa finished third behind England’s Claudia Fragapane (14.633) and Canada’s Elsabeth Black (14.433).

Incidentally, India’s last-time gymnastics medallist Ashish Kumar had also gone for broke with a 7.0 difficulty, and a couple of mis-steps in landing cost him the gold, despite pulling off the double-twist.

Starting in Agartala at age 5, Dipa is coached by Bishweshwar Nandi — always pushing her to go for the high-value routines, and has been national champ for a few years now. “The competition in vault is always difficult at the Commonwealth Games, and she decided to take the risk on her second vault,” the manager said.

Though gymnastics is very popular in Tripura and Manipur, Dipa had started out on the most basic equipment, but she always fancied the 360 degrees on the vault.

India only got perfect landing mats that are 30 cm (not 10 cm like earlier) four years ago. Women gymnasts have greatly improved their core-stability — stomach, hips, back — which improved balance and movements. And importantly, posture. “Her strength has improved working on trampolins,” the manager says.

Ashish had dared to do the yeopike (or Tsukuhara) with 2 and a half rotations at Delhi. Dipa Karmarkar pulled off a 7.0 and was on seventh heaven having medalled for the nation.

Vikas Gowda bags rare gold for India in discus throw

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Vikas gowda Vikas gowda celebrates his win at Hampden Park ,Glasgow

Vikas Gowda gave its first athletics gold medal of the 20th Commonwealth Games by winning the men’s discuss throw event, in Glasgow on Thursday.

The 31-year-old US-based Indian pocketed the gold with an effort of 63.64m, way below his personal best effort of 66.28m, under incessant rain at the Hampden Park.

The silver went to Apostolos Parellis of Cyprus who threw the discuss to 63.32m, while the bronze was bagged by Jason Morgan of Jamaica with an effort of 62.34m.

2010 Delhi Games gold medaliist Benn Harradine of Australia finished fourth with a below-par effort of 61.91m.

The incessant rain did not help the athletes’ cause in any way as the throwers failed difficulty in gripping the discuss and were continuously seen rubbing the discuss with a towel.

Gowda, who won a silver in the 2010 Delhi Games, registered his best effort in his third attempt, which proved to be enough for him to ran away with the yellow metal.

But the 63.64m effort was way below his personal best as well as his season’s best effort of 65.62m.

Incidentally, Gowda’s gold is the third for India on the eight day of the competition today after Babaita Kumari and London Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt clinched two yellow metals in wrestling.

Meanwhile, India’s Tintu Luka failed to qualify for the finals of the women’s 800m race after finishing seventh in the eight-contestant first semifinal.

Luka could only manage a timing of 2:03.35s to finish on the pentultimate position in her semifinal round.

India tour of England: Naman Ojha to replace injured Wriddhiman Saha for remaining matches

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Wicket-keeper batsman Naman Ojha will replace an injured Wriddhiman Saha in the India squad for remainder of the five-match Test series in England, the BCCI said on Thursday.

“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked Naman Ojha as his (Saha’s) replacement. Ojha will join the squad at the earliest,” said BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel in a statement.

Ojha has been rewarded for scoring three centuries including a double hundred in the recently concluded four-day matches against Australia A.

The series is tied at 1-1 after England won the third Test by 266 runs in Southampton on Thursday.

India shuttlers advance at Commonwealth games

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Indian shuttlers Parupalli Kashyap, R M V Gurusaidutt and P C Thulasi entered the quarterfinals of badminton competition at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Thursday.

Delhi Games bronze medallist, Kashyap took just 24 minutes to end the misery of his rival Jeff Tho of Australia 21-7 21-8, while Thulasi thrashed Rachel Honderich of Canada 21-12 21-7 in a 31-minute match.

Gurusaidutt also notched up an easy 21-13 21-9 win over Andrew D’Souza of Canada in a men’s singles match that lasted 27 minutes at the Emirates Arena.

World No. 22 Kashyap will now take on Daren Liew, ranked 47th. A former top 10 player, Liew has beaten Kashyap twice in the past but the Indian had won the last time they met at Denmark Open in 2013 after the Malaysian retired midway.

Guru will face World No. 18 and top seed Chong Wei Feng of Malaysia. The Indian has always played three games against him but lost 0-4 so far.

Thulasi will be up against World No. 33 Jing Yi Tee, a player against whom she has lost twice in the past.

After his victory on Thursday, Kashyap said: “I knew I could win. I just needed to get myself going and get into the rhythm. When you practice and when you’re on for a tournament, it’s different and you can’t slack off.”

Gurusaidutt said: “I just wanted to get this match over with. Andrew is a fighter. If I gave him the chance, he’d have come back.”

On facing No.1 seed Chong Wei Feng in the next round, Guru said: “I’ve always had close matches with him. This time I hope it’s in my favour.”

“He plays sharp strokes a lot so I’ve worked on getting the net strokes into my training. I just need to have confidence in myself now.”

UPDATE 3-Cricket-Moeen puts India in a spin as England level series

Published on: //
* England unchanged for next test (Adds England naming unchanged squad for fourth test)

We have to think on our four-bowler strategy, says MS Dhoni

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MSD criticized the strategy MSD criticized the batsman for “soft dismissal.”(Source: AP)

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday blamed his batsmen for the “soft dismissals” which saw them suffer an embarrassing 266-run defeat in the third cricket Test and said they would need to discuss their four-bowler strategy ahead of the fourth rubber.

Asked about the decision to go with four bowlers in the third Test, Dhoni said: “The reason for using four bowlers is the we never used the fifth. We just used him for 10 and 8 overs. With Shikhar and Vijay and Rohit around we thought we could do it.

“But it’s the bowling we need to improve and hit the top of the off stump. We will have to think about the four-bowler strategy. We can say the extra batsman didn’t score, but then again the extra bowler didn’t pick up wickets. So we have to discuss a lot and decide on the basis of the pitch.”

Part-time off-spinner Moeen Ali’s six-wicket haul saw India bundle out for 178 in the second innings to earn a huge win for England and draw level in the five-test series and Dhoni said his batsmen should have been more positive.

“I don’t think we played good cricket. We played the fast bowlers well. Moeen (Ali) bowled well, but we also allowed him to bowl well,” said Dhoni after India lost the third Test by a huge 266 runs here today.

“He bowled good lines and one ball will turn, there is some wear on the wicket and we should have been more positive.”

“There were quite a few soft dismissals during the phase where Jinx (Ajinkya Rahane) got out and a couple of other wickets that fell. The last session yesterday, we lost too many wickets. We could have looked at the Test today a different way without that,” he added.

Asked about debutant fast bowler Pankaj Singh, Dhoni said: “Pankaj bowled really well, tall guy bowled good lengths. In this pitch, he bowled the right length. He could have got three wickets but it just didn’t go his way. Shami and Bhuvi bowled well too.”

“When it comes to talent, we are good. In the mental approach, we have to play out shots and back ourselves because cricket is about runs and wickets,” Dhoni added.

England skipper Alastair Cook said he was happy that they dominated all the sessions in the third Test.

“Happy is the word, not relieved. We pretty much won every single session and that credit to the guys,” Cook said after the match.

“It’s a great win, we wanted to get on that wicket first and to get 570 is a great start. We bowled well and batted quickly and knocked em over again,” he added.

Troubled by poor form, Cook finally got his bearing right in the third Test as he scored 95 and 70 not out in the first and second innings respectively and the 29-year-old said he had to work really hard on his batting.

“I thought my game was heading in the right direction even with 10s and 20s. It was frustrating not to get the hundred, but I’d take what I got,” he said.

“Getting back into the ball is vital, I’m pretty good with the short ball. I nick outside off and I had to take care of that. I had to work incredibly hard.”

Asked about the contribution of his teammates, especially all-rounder Moeen Ali and wicketkeeper Jos Butler, Cook said: “The team from 1 to 11 have been fantastic. Moeen’s bowling has come on leaps and bounds, credit to him. When you’re bowing behind Ajmal at Worcester and he’s been bowling a lot.

Responding really well and on a spinning wicket to get a six-for, can’t really ask for more.

“Buttler’s been brilliant with his quick runs and his keeping has been great too. Leader of the attack, Anderson. Got a couple of wickets to set us off and settle nerves.”

Cook also thanked the spectators for turning up for the third Test. “It is a fantastic crowd, it was a touch Test (scheduling wise), walking out on Sunday after lunch, the ovation was great.

“It’s been a fantastic week and thank you Southampton.”

England pacer James Anderson, who marked his birthday with a five-wicket haul yesterday, said: “Lovely, it was a good day yesterday, We just wanted to finish them off early and get out there and bat again.

“I don’t think we lost a session in the game. Fantastic performance through the five days.”

The 32-year-old from Lancashire, who took five wickets in the first session before scalping two more in India’s second essay, said it was the batsmen who set the game for them after scoring 569 in the first innings.

“570 is a huge score. It makes a huge difference for the bowlers. It was quite easy for us after that. Gary (Ballance) and Bell batted brilliantly, and set the game for us. We bowled brilliantly and got this win,” said Anderson, who was adjudged the Man of the Match.

“We definitely enjoyed it as well, we’ve obviously performed well. It was slightly different atmosphere in the field, me and Broady set the tone with the new ball and then we threw ourselves around in the field.

“The ball swung both innings and that made my job easier because that’s what I’m good at and if it keeps swinging hopefully I can continue.”

Anderson is facing an ICC judicial commission hearing tomorrow set up to investigate accusations that he pushed India’s Ravindra Jadeja in the Trent Bridge pavilion during the lunch interval on the second day of the first Test.

Asked if he is confident to get a decision in his favour, Anderson said: “I’m not sure tomorrow. We will have to wait and see. But I am happy that we have done brilliantly to put that out of our minds and level the series.”

Cricket-Captain relieved to handle the pressure-cooker

Published on: //
SOUTHAMPTON, England, July 31 (Reuters) - England captain Alastair Cook was pleased with the way he handled the huge pressure he felt under to make his first significant scores of the year and set his team on their way to a first win in 11 tests against India on Thursday.

Sri Lanka drop Dinesh Chandimal, Ajantha Mendis for Pakistan series

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Wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal and spinner Ajantha Mendis were left out of the Sri Lanka squad of 15 named for the two-Test series against Pakistan starting at Galle next week.

Chandimal lost his place to Niroshan Dickwella who made his Test debut in the second test against South Africa in Colombo last week and scored a half-century.

On the strength of his performance Dickwella has been retained for the two Tests against Pakistan.

Mendis has been left out after a disappointing bowling performance in the drawn Colombo test which secured a 1-0 series win for South Africa.

Mendis, one of three spinners in the side, failed to take a wicket in either innings while conceding 85 runs.

Mendis’ place has been filled in by fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep who returns after injury.

Shaminda Eranga, who missed the Colombo Test due to a hand injury, and Suranga Lakmal have been selected subject to fitness.

“Eranga has recovered from his injured hand that required eight stitches, it’s a question of whether he can field,” said Sri Lanka manager Michael de Zoysa.

“Lakmal complained of pain in his heel during the second innings of the second Test.

“We had a scan and an X-ray done but there doesn’t seem to be any fracture or anything but we are monitoring him carefully.”

Squad: Angelo Mathews (captain), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kaushal Silva, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Niroshan Dickwella, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Shaminda Eranga, Suranga Lakmal, Chanaka Welegedara, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep.

Wrestlers assure India three silvers in Commonwealth Games

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Yogeshwar_m India’s Yogeshwar Dutt qualified for the finals in men’s 65 kg freestyle wrestling. (Source: PTI)

Three Indian grapplers, including Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt, qualified for the finals in their respective weight categories to ensure at least three silver for India on the third and final day of the wrestling competition in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Thursday.

Yogeshwar (men’s 65kg freestyle), Geetika Jhakar (women’s 63kg) and Babita Kumari (women’s 55kg) made the finals, while Pawan Kumar (men’s 86kg) will fight for the bronze medal.

Yogeshwar used his trademark ‘fitele’ (leg-twisting) technique to great effect in all his three bouts of the day so far in the men’s 65kg category.

First, he beat Alex Gladkov of Scotland 4-0 as he rolled over the mat a few times by grabbing both the legs of his opponent to win the bout in style.

Yogeshwar then easily defeated another Scottish wrestler Gareth Jones in the quarterfinals by employing the same technique he had used while winning bronze in London Olympics.

The Indian pressed his hand on Jone’s head, positioned himself at the side of his opponent and pinned him down on the mat in a flash. He then clutched both the legs of his opponent before twisting and rolling himself over and over to get the necessary points and end the contest in one minute and 40 seconds.

In the semifinals, Yogeshwar’s Sri Lankan opponent Chamara Perera seemed to know the Indian’s trademark technique and once during the bout he managed to slip out of the grip of his opponent, who was trying to twist his legs.

Yogeshwar, however, was smart enough and he did not allow the Sri Lankan to escape the next time as he successfully used his favourite technique again to end the contest in two minute and three seconds.

Yogeshwar won with a 0-5 verdict after taking a 10-0 lead on technical points.

Coach Vinod Kumar later said he was happy about Yogeshwar making good use of his techniques.

“The ‘fitele’ technique had won him a bronze in 2012 London Olympics. There is another technique ‘kheme’ and with that you can turn around your body and get yourself over your opponent.

Then he (Yogeshwar) used the ‘fitele’,” he said.

Geetika was trailing initially in her 63kg freestyle opening bout against Epanga Metala of Cameroon but she came back strongly to beat her opponent 5-0 in two minutes and 45 seconds.

In the semifinals against Sarah Connolly of Wales, Geetika took the early advantage and she threw her opponent out of the mat twice. The Indian led 9-2 in the first period of three minutes and then the referee stopped the bout after Geetika was ahead 12-2.

Geetika won the bout 4-1 to book a place in the final.

Babita Kumari, meanwhile, met a tougher opponent in her 55kg quarterfinal bout against host country’s Kathryn Marsh before finally emerging victorious 4-1.

Babita was then up against Louisa Porogovska of England in the semifinals and she had an easy outing, winning her bout in a victory by fall verdict to make it to the gold-medal round.

Pawan also seemed to be going strong to make it to the finals but he lost his semifinal bout. Pawan took exactly two minutes to overpower Steve Hill of New Zealand 4-0 in his first bout of the day to enter the quarterfinals.

The referee stopped the contest after he led 10-0 on technical points.

The Indian then overpowered Luigi Bianco of Scotland 5-0 in a victory by fall verdict in just one minute and 16 seconds to book a place in the semifinals.

Pawan was, however, no match to Tamerlan Tagziev of Canada in the semifinals and the Indian lost in a victory by fall verdict in two minutes and 35 minutes.

He had won gold in 2013 Commonwealth Championships in Johannesburg in 84kg freestyle.

Cricket-Sri Lanka drop Chandimal and Mendis for Pakistan series

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COLOMBO, July 31 (Reuters) - Wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal and spinner Ajantha Mendis were left out of the Sri Lanka squad of 15 named for the two-test series against Pakistan starting at Galle next week.

UPDATE 2-Cricket-Moeen puts India in a spin as England level series

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SOUTHAMPTON, England, July 31 (Reuters) - Spinner Moeen Ali claimed six wickets to inspire England to a crushing 266-run win over India on Thursday to level an absorbing series at 1-1 with two matches to play.

Cricket-Moeen takes six as England beat India to level series

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SOUTHAMPTON, England, July 31 (Reuters) - Moeen Ali claimed six wickets as England beat India by 266 runs to win the third test on Thursday and level the series at 1-1 with two to play.

Cricket-England v India third test scoreboard

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SOUTHAMPTON, England, July 31 (Reuters) - Scoreboard on the final day of the third test between England and India on Thursday. England won by 266 runs. England first innings 569-7 declared (I. Bell 167, G. Ballance 156, A. Cook 95, J. Buttler 85, B. Kumar 3-101) & 205-4 declared (Cook 70*, J.Root 56, R.Jadeja 3-52) India first innings 330 (A.Rahane 54, MS Dhoni 50) Second innings M. Vijay run out (Broad) 12 S. Dhawan c Jordan b Root 37 C. Pujara

Cricket-England beat India by 266 runs in third test

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July 31 (Reuters) - England beat India by 266 runs to win the third test in Southampton on Thursday and level the five-match series at 1-1.

Live Cricket Score, India vs England 3rd Test Day 5: India stare at defeat after poor Day 4 against England

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Live Cricket Score, India vs England 3rd Test Day 5: India take on England on Day 5 of the third Test on Thursday (Source: AP) Live Cricket Score, India vs England 3rd Test Day 5: India take on England on Day 5 of the third Test on Thursday (Source: AP)

India have a mountain to climb on Day 5 against England. The visitors need 333 runs with only six wickets in hand. ( Full Coverage: India tour of England)

LIVE SCORECARD: India vs England

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Day 4 recap

The Indian openers were yet to start their walk down the pavilion stairs. On the field Alastair Cook had arranged his fielders and James Anderson, after his trial run, was on top of his bowling mark. While taking each step down the slope, the uphill task ahead would have weighed on the minds of Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan. England had set India a victory target of 445 but that seemed beyond them. Vijay and Dhawan would have taken field thinking of surviving the 132 overs that still remained in the game. (Also Read: Incriminating video evidence shot in arm in Jadeja case)

Breaking down the task ahead made it look less threatening. Casual calculations showed that each batsmen would need to score 40 runs for an incredible win or play 72 balls to pull off an unbelievable draw. Very early it was clear that Dhawan wasn’t told to do a Virender Sehwag and this wasn’t going to be a repeat of Chennai ‘08 where India chased down 387. This was Southampton and 445 seemed just as far as Chepauk from here. (Also Read: It has been a good team effort, says Root)

In the space of 8 balls, forget the target, even the time for stumps on Thursday seemed light years away. Things would go from bad to worse — 26/0 would change to 29/2. As batsmen, after surviving Anderson and Stuart Broad with the new ball, kept succumbing to the off-spin of Moeen Ali or Joe Root, India found themselves in a hole at 112/4. (Again! Anderson in another spat)

Glasgow gives Maharashtra village three reasons to cheer

Published on: Wednesday, 30 July 2014 //
(From left) Ganesh Mali, Chandrakant Mali and Omkar Otari with their bronze medals at the Glasgow Games. Source: Express Photo (From left) Ganesh Mali, Chandrakant Mali and Omkar Otari with their bronze medals at the Glasgow Games. Source: Express Photo

As the bright red band bearing the bronze disc settled around Chandrakant Mali’s neck in Glasgow, a 55-year-old man seated in his village thousands of miles away in Maharashtra felt the tug of vindication. Pradeep Patil, owner of Hercules Gym in Kurundwad, had produced his third weightlifting medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

With Mali clinching the bronze in the 94 kg category, Patil saw all three of his gym’s trainees stand atop the lowest step of the podium in Scotland. Ganesh Mali kicked off the celebrations in Kurundwad with a bronze in the 56 kg category, while Omkar Otari’s third-place finish in the 69 kg category gave the village more reason to keep the party going. However, Patil claimed he would only be satisfied when Ganesh’s cousin, Chandrakant, completed the set. And when that happened on Tuesday night, Kurundwad prepared its streets for a grand welcome.

Life, though, was not always rosy for the three boys and their coach. Kurundwad, located 55 km from Kolhapur in west Maharashtra, is not exactly a weightlifting hub. Patil’s gym does not have proper equipment, with almost 45 weightlifters practicing on one single barbell purchased six years ago. The flooring is rough, stray pieces of plywood have been glued together to create some sort of platform for the lifters to practice and the power is erratic. But the coach’s resolve made up for all of that and kept the boys going.

“What we are today, we owe everything to sir (Patil),” says Otari. “He was the one who got us started, treated us like his own children and taught us how to lift like pros.” These pros from an obscure village gym have managed to bag a little over a fourth of all Indian lifting medals at the Games — 3 out of 11.

Today, thanks to the medals, a beeline of aspiring lifters can be seen waiting outside Hercules. “Sir has never taken a single rupee from a weightlifter. I think weightlifting is something very close to his heart and all of us, whenever we have won medals, always dedicate our victories to him,” Otari says.

Patil himself is far too modest to take that praise seriously. “I was pretty bad at weightlifting during my amateur days to be honest. I used to participate in local competitions when I was in college. However, I never did manage to finish in the top three,” says Patil. “But the love for the sport stayed strong even after college, so I opened a small gym just to be in touch with the sport. And when the boys soon began to get noticed at state meets, we decided to take this seriously.”

Patil faced several problems, the biggest of which was procuring international standard weightlifting equipment and getting it transported to Kurundwad. “I tried my best to raise funds for professional weightlifting sets but we only managed to get one,” says Patil, who works as a dealer in drip irrigation systems during his day job. But lack of equipment was never going to stop this determined man.

“No equipment, no problem. We fashioned a number of barbells and weights on lathe machines here in the village itself. That equipment works just fine and the boys always have access to better facilities when they start performing,” he adds.

Otari and Chandrakant Mali started weightlifting in 2003, while Ganesh Mali joined the gym in 2008. When the two began, Otari says they could not even drop the weights on the floor. “There was no wood nor the typical cork flooring for weightlifting. We had to catch how much ever weight we lifted. It was quite challenging but I think all those unique drills have helped us as we have progressed through the sport,” he says.

Today, Otari is a clerk in Western Railways while the Mali brothers are in the Army and Air Force respectively. All three have multiple international medals to their name and have become the first weightlifters from Maharashtra to win medals at the Commonwealth Games.

“All three boys have put in lots of hard work. They have made sacrifices along the way and these medals are just rewards for that. Omkar had given up the sport, Chandrakant came out of a serious injury and Ganesh managed to train himself after squeezing out time from his work in the fields,” says Patil. “They are all great sources of motivation, and something that will give a lot of hope to young boys who want to serve the country.”

With 39 medals, Glasgow officially better than Edinburgh

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No spoken exclamations or gushing and no uttered consternation or chiding in Scotland would be complete without the delightfully emphasised adjective ‘wee’ for little Scots – mostly tiny, though not always young. Angus war veteran Andy Coogan, 97, could call his great-grand-nephew, the great Sir Chris Hoy, wee.

You need to hear them say it, to believe the glee when they talk of their many ‘wees’. And so it was that wee Erraid Davies, a 13-year-old from Shetland islands – a tiny community with two schools that has routinely produced great writers and poets – ended up inching the whole of Scotland towards their all-time medal-count high at their home Commonwealth Games.

They’re fourth as of mid-Wednesday with 39 medals, six more than the Edinburgh count.

The Para-sport SB9 final breaststroke swimmer in 100m won Scotland its 33rd overall medal, helping equal their best pickings from the last home Games at Edinburgh in 1986. The home nation had started with modest expectations of bettering Edinburgh, but with five more days to go, that number might be way higher and help them hold onto the third position.

Reaching 33 though could not have been more rousing. “Her face lit up the whole of Tollcross when she knew she’d won bronze. She couldn’t stop smiling,” said Graham Worral, Scotland’s swimming high performance director of the Monday night magic.

Suffering from Perthes disease that debilitates her hip and mobility, Davies won bronze behind Paralympic champ and world para-games champion medallist Sophie Pascoe – herself a single-leg amputee – and if that wasn’t enough charmed the audience by confessing that she’d kept the fact that she’d be spending her summers at the Commonwealth Games a secret from her school-mates at Brae for she didn’t know how to phrase it.

But Tollcross, Glasgow’s most intimately warm venue serving hot fresh scones, also home-pool to a few swimmers who’ve grown up in the neighbourhood, was the scene of some emotional moments this last week, as swimming alongside Judo has pushed Scotland’s medal tally dramatically. “It’s not that we expected it. Though we hoped, swimming would do well,” says Worral, adding, “we’re delighted that Scottish swimmers have stepped up to the occasion, and are not scared to take on the likes of Australia.”

Record spree

The Aussies are intimidating sharks in any water-body, but in a pool at the Commonwealth they carry an aura that can drown anyone daring to line up in adjacent lanes. In his own grudgingly respectful way, an Australian supporter remarked, “They’re lucky if they win 1, but 3 gold is amazing!” forgetting that Melbourne had fetched them 14, including 6 gold. Women’s swimmer Caitlin McClatchey was the big star at Melbourne, and has happily handed over the baton to Hannah Miley.

“19 Scottish national records have been broken and Erraid showed great maturity in handling the Games experience,” the pool-professor added.

Led by the darling of the crowds Hannah Miley and Ross Murdoch, swimming has contributed 9 medals to the tally. Home expectations have hardly seemed like pressure. “We think it’s exciting to swim in front of friends, and Tollcross has seen a lot of athletes’ friends and families tear up watching their boys and girls claim medals,” he adds.

The first couple of gold medals came on the first day of competition, and ever since, cameras have parked themselves for the big tub splash that the Scots are enjoying this summer.

However, what has amazed everyone at these Games is the staggering 13 medals in judo (including 6 gold) – the same as England incidentally. “To be honest, we don’t know much about judo, though it’s very popular in Scotland for self-defense and fitness. But judo’s taken us by a massive surprise,” said spectator at Tollcross Loren, 23, who had jetted to judo and back the first week.

Medals all around

Perhaps, the 100kg judoka Euan Burton carrying the Scottish flag at the opening ceremony was a sign of things to come, as he picked gold over the weekend. “It’s an honour, I just hope I don’t drop the flag,” he’d said sheepishy.

Cycling’s brought its fair share, though it was another para-athlete Libby Clegg who scorched the Hampden Park track the same night as Erraid, winning the Women’s 100 metre (T12), led by guide Mikhail Huggins. If Tollcross was cheering lustily, Hampden gave Libby, who suffers from a deteriorating eye condition called Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy, the wings to fly across the track.

Saltire-waving is at an all-time high, though there’ll be a lot of the flag even past the Games as Scotland goes into its independence referendum next month. “But right now we want to celebrate clean competing,” says Catherine Mosley, a local, who is glad no politics has hijacked the Games.

England has been cheered second only to Scotland (it’s predicted that 7 lac people will leave if Scotland opts for a Yes in the latest alarming, if not alaramist poll), and on Sunday, Wales who went down to Australia in Rugby 7s narrowly, got some sympathetic lamenting from the Scots, who’ve proudly been part of Team GB.

When the sun’s out and the sky’s blue, two fighter jets start from two eastern ends of the city and cross each other with the trail leaving behind a Saltire in the sky. Weightlifter Georgina Black couldn’t pick a medal, but left the SECC hall grimacing and grunting with her every lift, the barbells dangling precariously above her blue-glazed short crop of hair, with a trimmer razing a cross over her ears, and Glasgow’s Games venues are filled with the favourite airs – Sweet Caroline and 500 Miles for you. To borrow from Shetlands famous poet Hugh MacDiarmid and babble around with it, the fighting spirit of wee Erraid Davies is lighting up this city.

Missing the final touch

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Bajrang Kumar’s entry into the SECC wrestling arena was greeted with bout of praise from the television commentator. The World Championship bronze medallist was due to fight David Tremblay of Canada for the gold medal in the 61 kg category.

The commentator elaborated on Bajrang’s dominating performance all through the earlier rounds, strongly hinting that this bout would end fairly quickly in favor of the Indian. Tremblay, the 26-year-old Canadian, was an also-ran at the London 2012 Olympics and wasn’t given much of a chance. The commentator believed that the Canadian, having missed his weight in the 57kg category, would at best pose a modest challenge to Bajrang.

Tremblay, a graduate in Leisure Science, the science of fun as he called it later. 1.35 minutes after the bout began it was over — 12-1 in the Canadian’s favor. Tremblay caught Bagrang in a swift leg clamp and then dragged him along the mat, Bajrang unable to release himself from the hold and only managed to writhe about.

The Canadian, said later that he did not have an idea that Bajrang was a World Championship medallist – the Canadian press attaché whispering the particular detail in his ear during the course of a television interview. Having entered the 61 kg category only because he weighed in 750 grams heavier on Tuesday, Tremblay’s victory was clinical. “I have never lost a match when I use the leg clamp. Once my opponent is on the floor, its done. I never expected Bajrang to give me such a big opening early on, once I saw what he was doing, I knew I had this medal locked up,” said Tremblay.

Opposing fortunes

While Tuesday had been all about India’s all-conquering domination in wrestling, Wednesday was the opposite. Lalita Sehrawat, lost her gold medal match in the women’s 53-kg category within 35 seconds, Nigeria’s Odunayo Adekuoroye whipping the Haryana girl’s legs from under her, before pinning her down with utmost precision.

It only got worse for India. Sakshi Malik, widely tipped to take home the gold in the 58-kg event was hardly given a second to breath as another Nigerian, Aminat Adeniyi, pounced on her almost as soon as the referee put the whistle to his lips. Once again, a mistake allowed Adeniyi to dive for Malik’s legs. A 10-0 victory later, Malik sulked off, shaking her head repeatedly, later saying that she made the mistake of failing to guard her legs properly. It cost her a gold medal.

Perhaps the closest bout was the last one. Satyawart Kadian was up against Arjun Gill, a Canadian of Indian origin in the final of the 97 kg event. The results favored Kadian because he had won his last bout against Gill 1-5 at Sassari in Italy last month.

In an clash of attrition, both grapplers never really tried to attack. Kadian ended the first round with 2-0 advantage but a brilliant fightback by the 22-year-old Gill in the second had the match at 4-4 in the last ten seconds. A jury decision gave Gill victory, handing India its fourth straight loss within an hour.

Kaur’s consolation

A win in the repechage round for Navjot Kaur was India’s only victory on a day that promised almost an encore of Tuesday but delivered a rather chastening verdict.

A common theme running through all the four defeats was the lack of defense, especially when it came to the legs. Bajrang conceded as much after his bout saying his leg defense has never been his greatest strength. “I should have defended better. I think I opened up very soon and exposed my legs right at the beginning,” he said. All the women wrestlers, were guilty of being a little too enthusiastic and often their eagerness to get a hold on their opponents giving them just an extra yard of space, proving fatal in the end.

Sakshi Malik conceded that the pressure of playing a gold medal match had perhaps got to her at the last moment.

“Its not like we haven’t played finals. But this being my first Commonwealth Games experience, I guess it definitely played a part,” she said. The Indian wrestling contingent has now picked up nine medals and will be hoping to return to gold medal wining ways when London 2012 bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt is slated to wrestle tomorrow along with Pawan Kumar, Geetika Jakhar and Babita Kumari.

Kallis gives up on Cup dream, calls it a day

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Jacques Kallis retired from all international cricket Wednesday, as one of the game’s greatest allrounders admitted that a swansong at the World Cup next year was “a bridge too far.’’

The 38-year-old Kallis retired from tests and Twenty20s in December, but remained available for one-day internationals in the hope of making the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in February at the age of 39. But he conceded on Wednesday that wouldn’t happen, and said he came to his decision to give up all internationals after the recent ODI series in Sri Lanka, where he scored 0, 1 and 4 and didn’t bowl.

“I realized in Sri Lanka that my dream of playing in a World Cup was a bridge too far. Ï just knew on that tour that I was done,’’ Kallis said in a statement released by Cricket South Africa.

Kallis is widely considered South Africa’s best player of any age, and was probably the greatest allrounder of the modern era.

“To say that we will miss him on the playing field is stating the obvious,” CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said. “Each one of us from this day on will treasure the many fond memories of his awesome career.’’

Kallis gave up tests last year as the third-highest run-scorer behind India’s Sachin Tendulkar and Australia’s Ricky Ponting. He finished with a century in his final test to take his run total over an 18-year career to 13,289, one more than Rahul Dravid in fourth. He also made 45 centuries in his 166 tests, which is second on the all-time list to Tendulkar’s 51 hundreds. His average of 55.37 is better than both Tendulkar’s and Ponting’s.

As well as being a world-class batsman, Kallis also took 292 test wickets as a mean medium-fast bowler, placing him fifth on South Africa’s list of most successful test bowlers.

He played 328 one-dayers, having made his debut in January 1996, and was seventh on the list of all-time run-scorers in the 50-over format with 11,579 runs.

“It has been an amazing journey,’’ he said.

However, Kallis’ outstanding career won’t now end with a World Cup victory, the one accolade he longed for with South Africa yet to win the title.

Kallis said he would still play for Australia’s Sydney Thunder after agreeing on a two-year contract, and hopes to appear in the Indian Premier League next year after winning it this season with Kolkata Knight Riders.

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