Tottenham close to ending trophy drought, says Toby Alderweireld

first_imgTottenham Hotspur are long overdue for a trophy and will win one either this season or the next, defender Toby Alderweireld said ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley.Tottenham, seeking their first silverware since winning the 2008 League Cup, challenged for the Premier League title last season but faded during the last few weeks of the campaign and finished in third place, 11 points behind champions Leicester City.They are four points behind league leaders Chelsea with six games left this season and Alderweireld is confident that silverware is not too far away, provided that they keep improving.”With this team, and with the people working for it, we will get a trophy – 100 per cent. If it is not this season, then it will be the one after. We will do everything we can to make it happen this season,” Alderweireld told Standard Sport.”Even with the disappointment of last season we have kept fighting, and this season we are in an even better position… we have to keep improving and get better for next season as well.”The desire to achieve something and to get better, as a young group, is there…We want to become better. It says a lot about the mental strength of the team.”Team mate Eric Dier said that the club’s dismal record at Wembley, where they played their home European matches earlier this season, will not affect their performance on Saturday.”I don’t think that’s going to have any impact on it or make any difference to the game. I just expect a really good match and we’ve created a bit more of a rivalry with Chelsea over the years so it will be an interesting game,” the midfielder said.advertisementlast_img read more

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Apple set to launch new Macbook Pro, MacBook Air at WWDC in June: Report

first_imgIt seems that the wait is soon going to be over for the Mac users who are hoping to see an updated MacBook Air. Although earlier the indications were that Apple was going to kill the MacBook Air line, a report now suggests that the company will launch an updated version of the Air at WWDC in June. Along with the new MacBook Air, Apple will also reportedly launch new 12-inch MacBook and an updated MacBook Pro, which will have a faster Intel processor.The repair about the new MacBooks come through Bloomberg , although India Today Tech had also earlier learnt that Apple was planning to introduce new Mac hardware at WWDC. Along with the new hardware, Apple is also expected to announce new version of iOS – iOS 11 – for the iPad and the iPhones, and updated macOS for its laptops and desktops.Also Read: MacBook Air, and not MB Pro, was best laptop Apple made and now it’s deadIf Apple indeed introduces a new MacBook Air at WWDC, this will come as a relief to the Air fans, and there are many of them. For the last three years, the Air has not been updated leading to speculations that it is destined for retirement. Interestingly the lack of update for Air means that it is now the only computer in Apple’s product lineup that lacks a Retina display. All other laptops, and even iPads, come with high-resolution IPS screens while Air still sports the older TN technology and low resolution 900P screen.advertisementBut despite its lack of a good screen, the MacBook Air continues to be popular among buyers. It is still remarkably superior to other laptops in its class and at a selling price of around Rs 55,000 is one of the best value for money computers in the market. In comparison, both the MacBook and the MacBook look somewhat over-priced.Also Read: iPad 2017 quick review: More affordable, less futuristic In fact, it is not just Air. The Mac has done well in the last two years even though Apple’s bigger focus has been iPhone and iPad. In the latest quarterly results, Apple’s balance sheet showed that Mac sales grew compared to the corresponding quarter last year even as the iPhone and the iPad sales show a dip. It seems that impressive Mac performance in the last few quarters has forced Apple to rethink its Mac strategy.In March Apple CEO Tim Cook had said that the company was investing heavily in Mac. “Revenue grew 14 per cent to a new March quarter record and gained market share thanks to strong demand for our new MacBook Pros,” he had said after the company declared the latest quarterly results. “Our Mac business has generated over $25 billion in revenue over the past four quarters. We’re investing aggressively in its future and we are very excited about the innovation we can bring to the platform.”last_img read more

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AIFF moots stakeholders meeting in Kuala Lumpur

first_imgNew Delhi, May 24 (PTI) The AIFF will have a meeting with its stakeholders in Kuala Lumpur on June 7 to discuss the roadmap for Indian football under the aegis of Asian Football Confederation. At the invitation of All India Football Federation president Praful Patel, the general secretary of AFC Dato Windsor John visited India today and had a discussion on the sport, with AIFF secretary Kushal Das also being in attendance. It was a follow-up to the earlier meeting which they had on the sidelines of the FIFA Congress in Bahrain in April. The central part of the discussion revolved around the growth of football in India involving all stakeholders ? the players, infrastructure, the national league and the commercial partners. Patel mooted the idea that a meeting of all stakeholders be held under the aegis of AFC to discuss the roadmap for the growth of Indian football, which Dato readily accepted. The meeting, which will be chaired by Dato, will be attended by various AFC directors. Invitation will also be extended to senior representatives from FIFAs competition department, Sports Ministry, I-League and ISL clubs, AIFFs commercial partner and the Football Players Association of India. Patel said: “I need to thank Dato Windsor John for taking the time to spend his day for Indian football and readily accepting our proposal to have an all stakeholders meeting and confirming a date at such short notice.” PTI AH AHlast_img read more

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Indian men’s hockey team settles for 2-2 draw against Germany

first_imgIndia settled for a 2-2 draw against Germany in a high-voltage encounter on Saturday here at the 3 Nations Invitational Tournament. Mandeep Singh and Sardar Singh scored for India, while Niklas Wellen scored Germany’s first goal and Tobias Hauke scored the equaliser.India’s goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya was kept busy in the first quarter with Germany winning their first PC in the fourth minute, but he denied an early lead to the Germans.In the 12th minute of the match, India came close to taking a 1-0 lead. Soon after, Germany found success when Niklas Wellen perfectly deflected the ball with a good assist by his fellow compatriot to take a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.In the second quarter, an in-form Wellen came close to scoring his second goal of the match. It was an open goal with no Indian defender posing a threat, but his flick was off-target with the ball going over the post.The third quarter, however, belonged to India as they made great amends to get ahead of Germany. First it was India’s young sensation Mandeep Singh who struck gold with an impressive strike in the circle to give India the equaliser in the 45th minute. Soon after, Sardar Singh wielded magic with inspiring dribbling abilities to carry the ball into the circle and successfully take a shot on goal.With a crucial 2-1 lead, India pushed hard to stay ahead of Germany, but seven minutes into the fourth quarter Germany equalised.India will play their next match on June 5 against Belgium at 6.30 p.m. IST.advertisementlast_img read more

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International Yoga Day observed in Kakinada

first_imgKakinada, Jun 21 (PTI) International Yoga Day was today observed at the sports stadium here in which Deputy Chief Minister Nimmakayala Chinarajappa along with other senior politicians and officials performed asanas.Amalapuram MP Pandula Raveendra Babu, MLC Chikkala Ramachandra Rao, District Collector Kartikeya Misra, BJP district president Y Malkondaiah and a large number of students, sportspersons and officers of various departments performed various asanas.Elaborate arrangements were made at the sports stadium by putting up LED screens for the convenience of general public.Representatives from Art of Living, Patanjali group and Brahma Kumaris performed different asanas during the event.Speaking on the occasion, Chinarajappa said yoga is part of our culture and doing it gives one good health and relieves the person of mental stress. PTI COR RMTlast_img read more

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1st Test: Joe Root leads from the front with unbeaten 184 vs South Africa

first_imgNew England captain Joe Root rode his luck to make a battling unbeaten 184 and lift the hosts to a commanding 357 for five on the opening day of the first Test against South Africa at Lord’s on Thursday.Root, dropped twice, and Ben Stokes (56) shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 114 to dig England out of a deep hole after they had stumbled to 82 for four at lunch having won the toss in excellent batting conditions.The skipper reached his 12th Test century by sweeping spinner Keshav Maharaj for three, raising his bat to all corners of a sun-kissed home of cricket as a packed crowd rose to applaud him.”I rode my luck a but early on fell into place and I managed to capitalise on it,” Root told Sky Sports.”They bowled very well early on and I couldn’t get my feet moving but credit to Stokesy and Moeen (Ali) for the way they played and, hopefully, we can come back tomorrow and post a really big score.”Root emulated the feat of the last three England Test captains, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss, in scoring a hundred in his first game in charge but his day had not started well.South Africa fast bowler Vernon Philander dismissed openers Alastair Cook (three) and Keaton Jennings (eight), forcing Root to stride out to the middle with his team reeling at 17 for two.The 26-year-old struggled to find his usual fluency against a disciplined South Africa pace attack and, on 16, he was dropped at gully off Kagiso Rabada shortly after offering a much more difficult chance to fine leg.advertisementGary Ballance made a scratchy 20 before he was trapped lbw by Morne Morkel and Jonny Bairstow fell lbw to Philander for 10.Root and Stokes batted watchfully in the afternoon session, accumulating runs with careful placement.LUCKY BREAKStokes did advance down the wicket to lift Maharaj over long-on for six but the firebrand all-rounder also enjoyed a stroke of luck when he was bowled by a Morkel no-ball.Root reached 50 off 89 balls and slowly began to find his usual sweet timing as the South African bowlers tired in the warm conditions.Stokes got to his half-century shortly before tea but he fell soon after the interval, nicking a bouncer from Rabada through to De Kock.After passing his century, Root lit up the ground with crisp punches through mid-wicket and square drives but he had another reprieve on 149 when he was stumped off a no-ball from Maharaj.He struck 26 fours and one six, sharing an unbroken partnership of 167 with Moeen Ali, who finished on 61 not out, as runs flowed in the evening sunshine with England on top at the start of the four-test series.”It’s a nice start, that’s all it is, we have to kick on and the good sign for us moving forward is it looks like the surface is a bit dented so we will be in the game with our seamers,” Root said.South Africa were disappointed with their performance.”It was a very good start but the way we came out after lunch was something we are not very proud of as a bowling unit, there were too many loose deliveries and no-balls,” Morkel said.”Take nothing away from Joe Root, he rotated the strike really well but the quality of this team is that we will come back and fight.”last_img read more

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Wheelchair marathon in Chennai on Sept 3

first_imgChennai, Aug 11 (PTI) The second edition of Kotak Wheelchair Marathon will be held here September 3 with an aim to create awareness on rehabilitating persons with disabilities. The events at the marathon, organised by The Spinal Foundation, a pan-India self-help group for persons with spinal cord injury, include a half-marathon (21.1 km), 10-km run and a five-kms run/walk. “People with disabilities who have picked up a sport continue to work on it, stay fitter and healthier. It also helps them to be more active in society. This should be the true mission of every stakeholder in the society for rehabilitation of persons with disability,” Justin Jesudas, international Paralympic swimmer and rifle shooter, the man behid Kotak Wheelchair Marathon, said in a press release. Participants for the marathon can register at www.thespinalfoundation.in. PTI SS SS RClast_img read more

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Asus ZenFone Zoom S with dual cameras, 5000mAh battery launched in India at Rs 26,999

first_imgAsus on Thursday announced a new smartphone dedicated to photography enthusiasts called the ZenFone Zoom S. This is said to be the Indian version of the ZenFone 3 Zoom. The smartphone comes with advanced dual 12-megapixel rear cameras with 2.3X true optical zoom and 12X total zoom which will allow users to capture distant objects clearly and “delivers photographic perfection”. The new ZenFone Zoom S comes with a price tag of Rs 26,999 and will be available exclusively on Flipkart. ZenFone Zoom S comes in two colour options — navy black and glacier silver. Both will be available on Flipkart.The ZenFone Zoom S features two cameras at the back, where one camera includes 12-megapixel SONY IMX362 sensor which is coupled with an f/1.7-aperture, 25mm wide-angle main lens. While the second camera comes with a dedicated 59mm, 12-megapixel zoom sensor which comes with an instant 2.3X true optical zoom and 12X of total zoom. “This setup ensures sharp focus on subjects at any distance,” notes Asus.The smartphone also comes with ASUS SuperPixel Camera which allow users to shoot clear photos in night-time or in low-light situation. “The SuperPixel Camera comes combined with advanced hardware and software enhancement by ASUS SuperPixel technology and let users achieve light sensitivity that is 2.5 times (2.5X) greater than that of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, and 10X that of an average smartphone,” mentions Asus. The phone also features Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) to capture photos and 4K videos.Also Read: Asus ZenFone AR: Top specs, India price, availability and everything you must knowadvertisementAnother key highlight of the device is its battery set up. ZenFone Zoom S houses a massive 5000mAh battery which is said to deliver 6.4 hours of continuous 4K UHD video recording and an outstanding 42 days of standby time. The phone is also claimed to work as a power bank to charge other devices.On the front, the ZenFone Zoom S features a 13-megapixel SONY IMX214 sensor which is coupled with an f/2.0 aperture lens. The front camera is said to expertise at shooting high-resolution selfies. The ASUS SuperPixel technology provides twice the light sensitivity while clicking selfies. The front camera also comes with a new ‘screen flash’ mode that uses the display as a flash in low-light situation for better outcome. ZenFone Zoom S features a full metal body and a 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display. Although the phone comes with a massive battery it weighs a mere 170 grams. This makes the “ZenFone Zoom S the world’s thinnest and lightest 5.5-inch smartphone sporting a Dual Camera setup with 5000mAh battery.” The screen of the phone is further protected with a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 that is claimed to be up to 70 per cent-more resistant to drop damage compared to the previous Gorilla Glass generation. This makes the ZenFone Zoom 3 a strong phone. It also features a blue-light filter that prevents eye strain over long periods of viewing.The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 14nm processor which makes the ZenFone Zoom S a really power efficient performer. The device comes with a 5-Magnet speaker that is boosted by an NXP SmartAMP to deliver “clear, crisp and full Sound even at loud volume levels”. For headphone audio, the ZenFone Zoom S is HiRes certified which means that the phone can playback lossless audio formats with ease at 192kHz/24-bit and deliver 4X better audio quality than CD Audio.The fingerprint sensor is placed at the back side of the ZenFone Zoom S. The company claims that the fingerprint sensor can unlock the device in 360 degrees, 5 finger recognitions and also allows users to receive calls directly by swiping the registered finger directly at the lock screen.last_img read more

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India in South Africa: Virat Kohli’s real test begins now, says Ajay Jadeja

first_imgThe real challenge for Virat Kohli as a captain begins with the tour of South Africa, feels former Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja. The three-Test series in South Africa begins in Cape Town on Friday. After facing the Proteas, Kohli and his boys await tough away tours in England and Australia this year.Stakes remain high for Kohli, who will lead the side in his first series away from the subcontinent as a full-time captain, and Jadeja feels the series will set the tone for the rest of season.”I think it’s incredible what Virat (Kohli) has done in the past as a captain. Obviously, the boys have played well and the captaincy has worked well for Virat but the real test for him begins now. We played a lot of home series last season and so with plenty of away tours, it will be a good challenge for Virat,” Jadeja told Mail Today on Friday.Jadeja added that India’s performance in tough conditions will prove vital for the 2019 World Cup, suggesting the team needs to play with a set combination of players.”It’s down to how they endure this spell. They have to keep performing and I believe the vision should be to play a combination keeping the World Cup in mind. That would be Virat’s bigger challenge, if you believe me.”Expectations are high on this team and they have shown they can play. Complaints about the tight schedule is an individual outcry but I think more players need to be tested for better outcome,” said the 46-year-old.advertisementThe hype in the South Africa series revolves around the lethal fast bowling options India have at their disposal – a quality fast bowling attack comprising Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami. Add newcomer Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the mix and on paper India boast of good bowling attack in overseas conditions.But if a skeptical Jadeja is to be believed, talent doesn’t make a difference if the right combination is not played.”It’s like saying you have five Mercedes and you are driving a scooter. What I mean is, it doesn’t matter whether you have five best bowlers because you are not going to play all of them in the match. It depends on the conditions, the combination the team management goes with because it’s a different ball game to bowl in South Africa than impressing in India. So it’s too early to say anything, we’ll see after the first Test,” he said.Drawing comparisons from India’s tour of South Africa in the past, Jadeja expressed his delight on the first Test being played in Cape Town. The cricketer turned commentator says the conditions are apt for India to draw first blood.”The first Test match is probably going to be the most important and India are lucky to play in Cape Town this time. Normally we play in Cape Town at the end of the series and by that time we are beaten mentally. Luckily we will be playing on a pitch that gives us the best chance to win because that’s the one that turns, that’s the one that gives a little help. It’s very hot out there and I believe it might turn. So, hopefully we will start well and have a better tour this time,” he explained.last_img read more

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Jasprit Bumrah’s prize debut scalps: Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, David Warner, now AB de Villiers

first_imgJasprit Bumrah is one of the best bowlers in limited-overs cricket now — a fact uncontested by the cricketing world. The lanky pacer, on Friday, made his Test debut for India in South Africa.Bumrah’s career-graph has been splendid — going from strength-to-strength with each game of cricket.He may be not be the most talented of the pacers out there but his hard work has shown and how. It looks like he has a knack for picking big wickets on his debut days.Bumrah’s debut in each format of cricket has paid dividends for the lanky bowler. All of his debut wickets have been big names and crucial wickets.Beginning with the Indian Premier League to the first Test in South Africa, Bumrah has sent some big names packing.We take a look at all of those incredibly important wickets:IPL debut, April 4, 2013:Jasprit Bumrah arrived on the cricketing scene with IPL 2013 for Mumbai Indians with his peculiar bowling action. He got his first cap against a sturdy Royal Challengers and he got the big wicket of captain Virat Kohli.Bumrah was brought into the attack by Ricky Ponting in the fifth over of the match and Kohli got to business straight away against the youngster.In the first four deliveries of the over, Bumrah was hit for three boundaries and the youngster was under pressure straightaway.But this is how Bumrah responded.Bumrah bowled a good length from wide of the crease and trapped Kohli LBW around the off stump. The big man had tried to flick with the angle of the ball but missed his stroke an got hit on the pad.advertisement In totality, Bumrah picked three wickets — Virat Kohli, Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair — in his first-ever four competitive overs. However, Mumbai Indians lost the match by 2 runs.ODI debut, January 23, 2016:After years of IPL success, Bumrah got his first international cap against Australia Down Under. In conditions strange, Bumrah was given one of the biggest stages to shine.Bumrah bowled all his 10 overs and went for only 40 runs and picked one wicket. That lone wicket was not just a wicket but he sent Steve Smith back to pavilion.Bowling his third over, Bumrah built some pressure on Smith with three straight dot balls. He then bowled a short delivery towards off stump and Smith, in his eagerness to score, committed to the short and pulled it straight to short mid wicket.Another big debut and another big wicket for Jasprit Bumrah!T20I debut, January 26, 2016:Bumrah was handed his maiden T20 International cap in the same tour, owing to his good showing in his first ODI.Just three days after cleaning up Smith in his ODI debut, Bumrah picked up the huge wicket in David Warner in his T20I debut. Another big buck showing by the youngster.Bumrah was bowling his second over of the match, having given away just three runs in his first.In just the first ball of the second over, Bumrah bowled a short delivery. Warner, tempted seeing the short ball, attempted to pull but Bumrah had put a bit more pace on the ball than expected. Warner could not make the perfect connection to the ball and was caught on mid-on.Bumrah returned with figures of 3-23 in the match, the other two wickets being James Faulkner and Cameron Boyce.Test debut, January 5, 2018:Nobody expected Bumrah to get his first Test cap in his maiden selection to the India squad for the longest format of the game.However, captain Kohli threw a major surprise by including Bumrah into the squad for the first Test in Cape Town of the all-important South Africa series.Proud moment for @Jaspritbumrah93 as he receives his Test cap from #TeamIndia Skipper @imVkohli #FreedomSeries #SAvIND pic.twitter.com/H7s4w8gSmh- BCCI (@BCCI) January 5, 2018Bumrah, throughout his spell in the first session, bowled a good line and length and looked to be going on a fine path.In the 31st over, Bumrah had perhaps caught Faf du Plessis LBW and India took a review. However, the no-ball nemesis for Bumrah never seems to be leaving him and it was ultimately called a no-ball and India lost a review.Bumrah came back with vengeance in the 33rd over and bowled a fullish delivery and AB de Villiers fell prey and the pacer picked another big fish on his debut.De Villiers was going great, taking the innings away from India but finally walked out to the pavilion out at 65 off 84 deliveries.advertisementBumrah’s full delivery had a hint of seam after pitching and De Villiers could not judge the seam and went for a big drive down the ground. However, he got an inside edge to the ball and it eventually took the bails off.The third umpire checked for Bumrah’s front foot for no-ball and it was bang on line and the youngster with the peculiar action had dazzled once more on another debut.Bumrah, in his international career till now, has picked 97 wickets from 64 matches with an average of 21.64. With one five-wicket haul and a strike rate of 24.43, Bumrah is only getting better each day.last_img read more

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Speeding Bengaluru sports biker crushes 11-year-old girl, locals storm highway, tie rider to tree

first_imgAn 11-year-old girl died on the spot after a sports biker rammed a bike on which the girl was riding pillion.The sports biker was headed towards Hyderabad with a group of bikers for a Sunday ride from Bengaluru. The biker, a techie, was riding a KTM sports bike when the accident took place.Immediately after the accident, the locals of Bullali Gate, Bengaluru, blocked traffic on the road in protest.The protesters also caught hold of the accused rider and tied him to a tree before the police arrived.During the course of the protest, the locals demanded that speed breakers be built on the stretch. They also targetted three more bikers and damaged their vehicles, including a Harley Davidson motorcycle.The Bengaluru Police managed to bring the situation under control after some time.ALSO WATCH | Delhi: 24-year-old biker killed in mishap in Mandi House, case of rash driving lodgedlast_img read more

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Dynamo Moscow Edges Panathinaikos

first_imgThe opening night of the Europa League on Sept. 18 produced mixed results for Greek teams with one of its best, Panathinaikos being beaten by Dynamo Moscow, 2-1, in Athens.There was better news for PAOK, which pounded Dinamo Minsk, 6-1, in Belarus, while Asteras Tripolis drew 1-1 at Besiktas in Turkey.PAOK’s Stefanos Athanasiadis score a first-half hat-trick against Minsk, which opened on a bad note, giving up an own goal by player Nemanja Nikolic.Substitute Dimitris Papadopoulos scored early in the second half for PAOK before a red card saw Minsk cut down to 10 men and playing short-handed the rest of the way. Fanis Tzandaris made it 6-1 after Nikoljc scored.In Istanbul, Besiktas took a first-half lead on a goal by Gokhan Tore before the Peloponnesians stunned the Turks with an equalizer two minutes from the end, scored by Facundo Parra.The match at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium was the first ever for Asteras in the group stage of a European competition.Panathinaikos trailed  Moscow 2-0, which got goals from Alexander Kokorin and Aleksey Ionov four minutes before and after half-time. The Greens got one back from Thanassis Dinas bust before the 60-minute mark. The Russians also hit the post twice and then played tough defense.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Olympiacos-Madrid For Hoop Title

first_imgMADRID — Point guard Vassilis Spanoulis scored 11 fourth-quarter points May 15, including the go-ahead 3-pointer, to lead Olympiacos to a 70-68 comeback win over CSKA Moscow and into the Euroleague final.Real Madrid also reached the May 17 game after Gustavo Ayon scored 18 points in the host’s 96-87 win over Turkish club Fenerbahce.Olympiacos beat Madrid for the European title in 2013.Spanoulis, a three-time Euroleague champion and former Houston Rocket, shook off an 0-for-8 first-half shooting performance by hitting three 3-pointers and another jumper to help the Greek club erase a nine-point deficit with under five minutes to play.Spanoulis finished with 13 points, with Giorgios Printezis leading Olympiacos with 14. “One more time we showed our character and heart,” Spanoulis said. “They tried to put me out of the game, but I stayed in there and at the end I knew that I could do it again.”Nando de Colo led CSKA with 18 points off the bench.In the second semifinal, Ayon scored 12 early points and guard K.C. Rivers hit all four 3-pointers he attempted in the first half to give Madrid a 55-35 lead by halftime.Madrid was ahead by 26 points in the third quarter, and held on after the Turkish visitors whittled the deficit down to 10 points with two minutes left.Guard Andrew Goudelock scored most of his game-high 26 points for Fenerbahce in the final period.The match had an ill-tempered finish filled with fouls, as Madrid saw Ayon and two other centers foul out along with Fenerbahce’s Emir Preldzic and regular-season league MVP Nemanja Bjelica.Madrid reached the last two Euroleague finals, losing to Maccabi last year.“This is championship game No. 3 for some of our guys, there is no celebration tonight,” Rivers said. TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Cheater Olympic Skiier Cleared

first_imgLAUSANNE, Switzerland — Pop violinist Vanessa-Mae was cleared by sport’s highest court June 19 of allegations she helped fix Alpine skiing races so she could qualify for the Sochi Olympics.The Court of Arbitration for Sport, however, upheld the ruling that Vanessa-Mae should have been ineligible for the 2014 Games because the qualifying events in Slovenia were “so defective.”The court lifted the four-year ban imposed on the celebrity athlete by the International Ski Federation, meaning she can try to qualify for the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.The CAS judging panel said “a number of irregularities had occurred in the organization and management of the four races” in January 2014 which helped Vanessa-Mae accumulate the points needed to qualify for the Sochi Games.The rigging included inventing times for skiers who did not race and faking times for skiers who did finish. However, the court said there was no direct evidence to implicate Vanessa-Mae in fixing.She had denied wrongdoing and called the sanctions “nonsensical.”“(The panel) could not find, to its comfortable satisfaction, evidence of any manipulation by Vanessa Vanakorn herself that justified the guilty finding,” the court said in a statement, using her family name.Vanessa-Mae competed in Sochi for her father’s native Thailand, finishing last of 67 racers in the two-run giant slalom. She was more than 50 seconds behind gold medalist Tina Maze of Slovenia.The scam, revealed five months after the Winter Games, tarnished one of the feel-good stories of the Olympics.Without the cheating orchestrated by her managers, Vanessa-Mae “would not have achieved the necessary FIS point performance level to be eligible to participate in the Olympic Winter Games,” the governing body said in its ruling last year.“A previously retired competitor with the best FIS points in the competition took part for the sole purpose of lowering the penalty to the benefit the participants in the races,” FIS said.Race officials also broke rules by not changing the course design between the first and second runs, and allowing skiers to continue in poor weather which should have forced abandonment.FIS also banned five race officials from Slovenia and Italy for between one and two years for their role in the scandal.IOC President Thomas Bach was photographed with Vanessa-Mae in Sochi and later appointed her to a working group helping shape future policy for the Olympic movement.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Yankees in 20-6 Rout of Braves

first_imgATLANTA — New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi says baseball “has a way of evening out.”Following a sluggish end to a homestand that cost the Yankees the AL East lead, things evened out for their bats in a big way against the Braves.Jacoby Ellsbury hit a three-run homer, Chase Headley and Stephen Drew each added a two-run shot and New York routed the Atlanta Braves 20-6 on Sunday to finish a three-game sweep.The Yankees almost matched their season high for runs set in a 21-5 win at Texas on July 28. They totaled 38 in the series after scoring a combined seven while losing three of the last four games of a 5-5 homestand.“When you struggle offensively, you’re due to get some guys hot and that was kind of what happened here,” Girardi said.All three homers, which helped build an 8-2 lead, came with two outs. Headley and Drew, who had four hits, both drove in four runs.“Guys in here understand there are going to be swings,” Headley said. “This is a confident group.”The U.S. flag at Turner Field flew at half-staff and a moment of silence was observed before the game in memory of Gregory K. Murrey.Murrey, a Braves season-ticket holder, died after falling from the upper deck to the lower-level seats on Saturday night. He was 60.The Braves displayed a photo of Murrey on the video board during the moment of silence.After the Braves cut the lead to 8-5, pinch-hitter Alex Rodriguez drove in two with a bases-loaded single in the Yankees’ nine-run seventh inning.“It’s been a while since we swung the bats like this, so hopefully we can set the tone for September,” Rodriguez said.Despite the sweep, the Yankees gained no ground on AL East-leading Toronto, which beat Detroit 9-2. The Blue Jays still lead New York by 1 1/2 games.The Braves have lost five straight and 12 of 13. They’ve dropped nine consecutive interleague games since a win over Boston on June 17.“They just kicked our butts,” said first baseman Freddie Freeman, who had two hits and drove in a run. “The whole series. … That’s what that lineup is capable of doing.”Nathan Eovaldi (14-2) allowed five runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. He left the game after giving up three straight hits in the Braves’ three-run sixth.Atlanta rookie Adonis Garcia led off the seventh with a homer against Branden Pinder.Ellsbury hit his seventh homer with two outs in the second. Headley’s homer came after Julio Teheran (9-7) walked Greg Bird in the third inning. Teheran then walked Didi Gregorius before Drew’s homer to right.Andrelton Simmons’ two-run single in the sixth — the third straight hit in the inning — knocked Eovaldi out of the game.Pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes’ bloop single to right field off Adam Warren drove in Simmons, cutting New York’s lead to 8-5.Brian McCann had a two-run single and Headley a two-run double in the big eighth inning.DIGGING THE NLPinder, New York’s fourth pitcher, hit a run-scoring double off Jake Brigham in the eighth for his first career hit. It was the first hit by a Yankees pitcher this season.HOME LETDOWNTeheran gave up nine hits and eight runs in 4 1-3 innings. He had been 7-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 13 home starts but was hurt by three walks and the two-out homers.TRAINER’S ROOMYankees: Girardi said after the game 1B Mark Teixeira (bruised right shin) is feeling “a little better” but won’t play Monday night at Boston.UP NEXTYankees: RHP Ivan Nova (5-6) faces the Red Sox. Nova is 3-4 with a 5.05 ERA in 10 career games, including nine starts, against Boston.Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz will start the opening game of a home series against the Marlins. Foltynewicz beat Miami on Aug. 8, when he allowed two runs in 5 2-3 innings of Atlanta’s 7-2 win.CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer ___TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Athletes Push Doping Probe

first_imgCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Cleaning up the corrupt anti-doping system in Russia matters because of these stories:—Cross-country skier Beckie Scott missed out on her Olympic gold-medal celebration in 2002 because she was beaten by a group of Russian drug cheats.—Biathlete and cross-country skier Sarah Konrad was a first-of-her-kind, two-sport Olympian, but competed in sports where it was often hard to figure out who was clean.—Runner Alysia Montano figures she’s been robbed of at least three bronze medals because Russians who finished in front of her at Olympics and world championships cheated.—Olympic champion Edwin Moses thought he had seen the worst back in his day, when Ben Johnson’s doping tainted the Seoul Olympics, but has now been reminded that, yes, things really can get worse.“What a mess,” Moses said, shortly after the World Anti-Doping Agency declared Russia’s anti-doping agency to be out of compliance.It was the expected move after more than a week’s worth of sanctions and recriminations that came from an independent commission’s report about corruption in the track and anti-doping systems in Russia.Now, Russia’s anti-doping lab, its anti-doping agency and its track team are all suspended — the first two by WADA and the latter by track’s governing body, the IAAF.The Russian anti-doping agency said in a statement that it “is already carrying out work to rectify all the shortcomings that have been brought to light,” including cooperation with WADA on appointing outside experts to oversee reforms. “We confirm our commitment to the fight against doping,” it said.But to many athletes, that’s only a start. They want assurances that the Russian track team won’t compete at the Rio Olympics next year, and they want to see WADA expand its probe in Russia beyond track and into other sports that they’re sure have been tainted by doping.“It has to be acknowledged that this is a systemic policy in Russia that’s impacting their athletes in all sports,” Scott, a member of WADA’s athlete commission, told The Associated Press.Scott finished her race at the 2002 Olympics behind two Russian skiers who were later stripped of their medals because of doping. She finally received her gold medal in 2004, at a ceremony in Vancouver, after a number of appeals and lawsuits were settled.“It was a sensational moment, in that it was the first Olympic medal for Canada in cross country,” Scott said. “It could have been an even more incredible moment had I not been up against the amount of doping that was going on in our sport at that time. I don’t think things have changed very much.”WADA President Craig Reedie said he’s open to expanding the Russian probe if evidence surfaces to justify that. But he also insists WADA needs to find more money to fund these investigations.While those searches play out, the athletes keep waiting.At the 2006 Olympics, Konrad became the first American female to compete in two different sports at the Winter Games. Then, like now, both sports had their share of doping troubles, and she knows the problems stretch beyond the athletes.“We’re worried the Russians will scapegoat the athletes, and that the coach who told them to dope and the person who helped them dope will not be punished,” Konrad told AP.Russian deputy minister of sport Pavel Kolobkov said his country is on board with the reforms needed to bring his country in compliance. There’s healthy debate about whether they can really all happen between now and next August, when the Olympics start in Rio de Janeiro.Moses is among the skeptical. He said the only way to send the right message would be to ban the track team from the Olympics.Moses won the bronze medal in the 400 hurdles at the Seoul Olympics, which got swallowed up in the Ben Johnson doping scandal — at the time, the most blatant and high-profile case the sport had seen.“We saw the tip of the iceberg exposed then,” Moses said. “But never would I have thought that high-level officers of IAAF would be close to being indicted with a money trail for extorting athletes to get rid of positive drug tests.”That is the focus of the second part of the independent commission’s investigation, details of which will be made public in the next two months.Repercussions are expected. But some of the damage is hard to undo.When details of the report came out last week, Montano, the American middle-distance runner, went on social media and detailed her heartbreak at being cheated out of medals, time and again.Because she finished behind Russians who are alleged to have doped, Montano could be in line to win 800-meter bronze medals from the 2012 Olympics and the 2011 and 2013 world championships.What she’ll never enjoy is that moment on the medals stand. “I feel for the longest time,” Montano said, “I tried not to think about it not being fair.”___By Eddie Pells, AP National Writer. AP Sports Writer James Ellingworth in Moscow contributedTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Petrounias Triumphs For Third Time in Row in the European Championships

first_imgΑΤΗΕΝS (ANA) — Greek Olympic medalist Lefteris Petrounias won his third consecutive gold in the rings in the European Championships on Saturday, an achievement accomplished by only three gymnasts in the sports’ history.Petrounias won the top position in Montpellier in 2015 and in Bern in 2016. Performing his routine with a difficulty value of 6.3, he scored 15,433 points.He is also only the second in rings’ history to win gold in the European Championships right after an Olympic gold medal, without taking a break.TweetPinShare22 Shareslast_img read more

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