Moscow,Russia – Jamaica’s star athlete, Usain Bolt, did it all again at the IAAF World Championships held in Moscow, Russia on the 11th of August. He won the Gold Medal for the men’s 100 meter dash with an amazing 9.77 seconds, his season’s best so far.
On a very stormy Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the IAAF Championships open. The event was met with quiet an indifference from the Russian public as the astounding 75,000 seat Luzhniki Stadium was barely even half full. But the show did go on despite the low turnout.
Bolt set off from the blocks slow and steady but caught up with the opposition quickly enough. All the athletes agreed that this wasn’t their best race with Bolt admitting that he “came here just to win”. He also claimed that he wasn’t as fast as wanted to be as his legs were unusually swollen from the semi-finals. Usain did more than just win a medal though as he got the Athletic’s World out of a depressing rut of doping allegations by winning the race clean.
The silver medal was secured by America’s Justin Gatlin who came in at 9.85sec and the bronze was taken by Jamixa’s Nesta Carter who came in at 9.95 sec.
Guangzhou, China: On Saturday evening, India’s PV Sindhu lost the World Badminton Championship semi-finals to Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand, ranked No. 3 in the world. Sindhu, ranked 12th,previously beat World No. 1 Shixian Wang on Friday to qualify to the semis.
The 18-year-old from Secunderabad committed a few errors that cost her the game to Ratchanok by 10-21, 13-21 in a 36 minute encounter. Sindhu is being applauded in her effort to reach till the semis, especially when her senior compatriots Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap lost out in the quarterfinals.
Sindhu is the daughter to P V Ramana who captained the Indian Volleyball Team, and became only the second Indian to reach a World Badminton Championship semi-final after Prakash Padukone managed to also win a bronze in Copenhagen, 1983.
Monchengladbach: In a nail biting finish, the Indian Woman’s Hockey Team bagged the bronze medal in the Junior Women’s World Cup in Germany on Sunday. Creating history, the junior team is the first in its category to win a medal in the World Cup for India. India entered the “loser’s final” after losing to Netherlands, but clinched the bronze medal after defeating England, 3-2, on penalties. Neil Hawgood, India’s coach, took the risk of playing goal keeper, Bigan Soy, for the first time in the tournament to defend the penalties. This paid off in the end as she made some spectacular saves to lead India to victory. Netherlands beat Holland, 4-2 on penalties, earning the World Cup trophy.
Tottenham Hotspur have broken their transfer record to agree a fee with Valencia for Roberto Soldado, but the player’s representatives are believed to be delaying the deal.
Speaking to local media on Wednesday, club president Amadeo Salvo said “The deal with Tottenham has been completed. A problem with Soldado’s agents has come up and the player will not leave the club until a solution has been found.” This after Salvo claimed last week that Soldado would not be sold below his release clause of 26 million GBP.
Tottenham have been chasing the Spaniard’s signature for quite some time now, after an impressive last season where he scored 30 times in just 46 appearances.
With a comfortable 2-0 lead over the Baggy Greens, England seems all set to wrap up the series at Old Trafford with the Test starting tomorrow. Though the hosts were lucky enough to stay on the safer side in the close shave first Test which they won by a mere 14 run margin, they surely lived up to prove it wasn’t a fluke at Lords, where the former champions were humiliated by a 347 run mammoth drub.
A comeback for the Aussies, from this bad a condition however looks quite improbable by the outlook of the Englishmen, however not impossible. It has actually even happened, but only once, during the 1936-37 series where Gubby Allen’s side was 2-0 up only to witness an Australian comeback at the end of the series.
Pietersen is likely to make a comeback that would boost the attitude of the squad if not anything else, as against the Aussies who needs to get their basics right. With Haddin’s buttery fingers behind the stumps and Agar’s naïve bowling, they do have a lot to worry with England’s best batsmen for the past two years, Cook and Prior yet to go all guns blazing.
British sport has never had it this good. After years of struggling in the shadow of (arguably) more illustrious competitors, British athletes seem to have finally cracked the code on how to perform at least close to their potential. One could probably pinpoint the Olympics last summer as the starting point of this recent ascendancy. The summer games in 2012, which Britain hosted, ended with the kingdom’s most successful medal haul in over a century. Since then, British sport seems to have taken a definite upward turn, and in a wide variety of disciplines. Bradley Wiggins became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France last year, with compatriot Chris Froome repeating the feat last month. The summer Olympics then saw a host of athletes from the Isles emerge triumphant. Cycling, rowing and athletics proved particularly fruitful, with 16 gold medals being shared across the three disciplines.
Success also soon followed in the shape of Andy Murray, with the Scot becoming the first British mens’ Olympic champion since 1908. He followed this up with more firsts – the first British man in the Open era to win a Grand Slam title (the US Open last winter), following it up with tennis’ holy grail, Wimbledon, earlier this year. Murray’s victory at the Championships seemed to be of particular significance to Britain’s sporting populace, as it ended a 77-year hoodoo with no seeming end in sight. British pride flowed freely after his victory, with even talk of a knighthood being thrown into the mix. The overwhelming response to his achievement seems to perfectly encapsulate the peoples’ regard for the trophy.
Even English cricket is slowly but surely making a comeback. The sport has limited competition, with only 9 nations currently competing at the Test level. However, the prestige attached to the game is in little doubt, particularly in the longest format of the game. And the team has not disappointed. They were top of the ICC Test rankings for a whole year, whitewashing India 4-0 along the way, till they were displaced by South Africa in mid-2012. However, their overall excellent form has continued well into the ongoing Ashes tournament. They registered two extremely convincing victories over Australia, and will no doubt look to tie up the series over the next week at Old Trafford in Manchester.
One interesting observation, is the number of athletes in Britain’s talent pool who don’t fit the “full-blooded Brit” description. Tour de France hero Chris Froome is Kenyan-born, and Olympic darling Mo Farah didn’t even set foot in the UK till he was 8. The English cricket team is also littered with “non-Brit” players – in fact some of the better players, including Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott weren’t born in the United Kingdom. While it’s not unusual for European countries to have non-native athletes in their ranks, it may offer an explanation as to why there has been a sudden upswing in Britain’s fortunes in general.
The biggest advantage for British sport is that most of these athletes are still quite young. They seem well equipped for the purple patch to carry on in this vein for at least half a decade, if not more.
Kolkata: 2 months after Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested for spot fixing, a two member panel appointed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) cleared him of all charges due to lack of evidence. The panel comprised of two retired judges, T Jayaram Chouta and R Balasubramaniam, submitted its report to the BCCI’s working committee in Kolkata on Sunday. “The report mentioned that no concrete evidence was found against CSK, Rajasthan Royals, Gurunath Meiyappan and Royals co-owner Raj Kundra as far as their involvement in fixing was concerned”, BCCI treasurer Ravi Savant told The Indian Express.
The report has been forwarded by the working committee to the IPL governing council which will take the final decision. N. Srinivasan, President of BCCI could be back as early as August 2 when the IPL governing council meets in Delhi.
With this fast forward inquiry, where all the accused have been given a clean chit, the credibility of the BCCI is questioned yet again. A lot of questions are being raised about the BCCI following the rule and regulations or not? Role of Mumbai Police in the whole fiasco? Whether or not the whole issue was fast resolved so that Srinivasan could return as the president head?