Sports Shorts: Pistorius at increasing risk of suicide, says psychologist
South African Paralympic and Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius has post traumatic stress disorder and is at an increasing risk of suicide, according to a psychiatric report read out at his murder trial on Wednesday.
Pistorius, a double amputee athlete, could face life in prison if he is found guilty of murdering his law graduate and model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, whom he shot and killed at his high security home in Pretoria on Feb. 14 last year.
His defence team have sought throughout the trial to portray Pistorius as a vulnerable individual who killed 29-year-old Steenkamp accidentally after mistaking her for an intruder hiding behind a closed toilet door.
"Should he not receive proper clinical care his condition is likely to worsen and increase the risk for suicide," defence attorney Barry Roux told the Pretoria court, reading from the psychological analysis.
The report went on to say that Pistorius, known as 'Blade Runner' due to the carbon-fibre prosthetics he uses in competition, suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and depression, and would require further psychological treatment.
The evidence from the clinical psychologist came on the third day of the resumption of the trial after a month-long break for Pistorius to undergo psychiatric evaluation.
The court heard on Monday that the athlete was not suffering from a mental condition when he shot Steenkamp, meaning he had the ability to distinguish between the rightful or wrongful nature of his actions.
Pistorius was once revered around the world as the ultimate example of triumph over adversity as he overcame having his lower legs amputated at birth to compete alongside able-bodied athletes at the London 2012 Olympics.
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Image: Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius stands beside his sister Aimee during court proceedings
Photographs: Leon Sadiki/Pool/Reuters
Fernandes sells Caterham team and quits Formula One
Malaysian aviation entrepreneur Tony Fernandes ended an unhappy Formula One adventure on Wednesday by selling his struggling Caterham team to a group of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors with former driver Christijan Albers at the helm.
The team announced in a statement ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix that they would continue to race as Caterham, from their existing factory at Leafield in central England, for the immediate future.
Dutch retired driver Albers, who competed in 46 grands prix with tail-end teams between 2005 and 2007, will take over the day-to-day running of the team with the assistance of Manfredi Ravetto.
Albers replaces the departing Cyril Abiteboul, who was appointed principal by Fernandes at the end of 2012 when the AirAsia boss decided to step back and focus on other business interests.
Caterham said Romanian-born Colin Kolles, who was Albers' principal when the Dutchman drove for the Midland and Spyker teams that became Force India, has been advising the consortium.
The sale ended a costly and ultimately failed foray into motor racing for Fernandes, whose main sporting interests have increasingly become focused on his Premier League soccer side Queens Park Rangers.
Fernandes has been noticeable by his absence from racetracks this year and he heralded the end of his involvement when he closed down his Twitter account last week with the words ‘F1 hasn't worked’.
Fernandes had warned before the season started that he was losing patience and would walk away without clear signs of improvement and his decision to sell shows that that was no empty threat.
In January, after announcing Japan's Kamui Kobayashi and Sweden's Marcus Ericsson as his drivers, he said F1 was too predictable, too expensive and not exciting enough with insufficient chances for underdogs to surprise.
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Image: Marcus Ericsson of Sweden and Caterham
Photographs: Clive Mason/Getty Images
'Billiards & snooker should be part of CWG'
Fresh from his recent World 6-Reds Snooker Championship triumph, ace cueist Pankaj Advani feels the time is ripe for billiards and snooker to be included in the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
"I think in both billiards and snooker we have been doing well in the last three four years. I think there needs to be a push for them to be included in the Commonwealth and Asian Games. We were there in the Asian Games but somehow this time we are not on the list of the Asian Games in South Korea, which is disappointing," said Advani.
Back from Egypt, where he won the World 6-Reds Snooker Championship on Sunday, the 27-year-old cueist along with national and Asian billiards champion Sourav Kothari and Mumbai player Dhruv Sitwala were given a rousing welcome by the media and the Delhi Billiards and Snooker Association team, including secretary Ravi Tandon.
English billiards and snooker were part of the Bangkok (1998), Busan (2002), Doha (2006) and Ghuanghzou (2010) Asian Games in recent times.
Pankaj, who was the proud winner of the gold medal in the 2006 and 2010 edition, still has a strong urge to compete in these Games.
"But with all our achievements, we should be part of more Asian and Commonwealth Games because we are a serious competitive sport. I don't know what happened to the bid that we are going to make it to the 2019 edition, I am not following it," said the Padmashree winner.
Advani, who has won seven world titles in billiards and two in snooker, created history by becoming the only player in the world to win world title in the longer and the shorter format of billiards and snooker after he won the IBSF 6-Reds event.
The Banglore cueist said it really takes effort to juggle with two sports and formats.
"I think that's one area where I have really been able to do well. Without boasting, I would admit that only I know how difficult it is to switch from billiards to snooker or from one format to another."
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Image: Pankaj Advani
Ritu Rani to lead women's team at C'Wealth Games
Midfielder Ritu Rani will lead the Indian women’s hockey team in the Commonwealth Games, at Glasgow from July 23 to August 3.
Defender Deepika (126 caps) will be the vice-captain of the 16-member squad.
The selection trials were conducted at the NIS Patiala on June 28-29 in the presence of Hockey India selectors B P Govinda, Harbinder Singh,
Surinder Kaur and Director High Performance Roelant Oltmans, Chief Coach Neil Hawgood and Scientific Advisor Matthew Tredrea.
The women's team, which recently did well in a Test series against Malaysia, will be take on Canada in their first match on July 24, followed by matches against New Zealand on July 27, Trinidad and Tobago on July 28 and South Africa on July 30.
The team is in a preparatory camp in Patiala till its departure for Scotland on July 9.
"The team showcased good play, team spirit and a go-getter spirit on the recently-concluded Malaysian Tour. Each one of them had performed remarkably under the proficient leadership of Ritu Rani and has earned their position to make it to the team for the all-important Commonwealth Games," chief coach, Neil Hawgood said.
"I hope the team continues its form during the Commonwealth Games and make itself a team where the opponents feel the pressure of meeting them on the field," he said.
Ritu Rani said her team is confident of bringing laurels to the country.
"It's an honour to captain a team which is capable of beating any team on any given day. The entire team is looking forward to the upcoming tournament and we are confident that we will win and get back laurels. We are ready and excited for our first clash against Canada in our opening match," Rani said.
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika (vice-capt), Kirandeep Kaur, Namita Toppo, Jaspreet Kaur.
Midfielders: Ritu Rani (capt), Sushila Chanu, Lilima Minz, Vandana Katariya, Navjot Kaur.
Forwards: Rani, Poonam Rani, Ritusha Arya, Anupa Barla, Anuradha Devi.
Image: Ritu Rani (right) during a match against Malaysia
Photographs: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Barcelona to open Suarez talks with Liverpool
Barcelona officials will meet their Liverpool counterparts in London on Wednesday to open negotiations on a possible deal for disgraced Anfield striker Luis Suarez, according to British media reports.
Barcelona appear to be leading the race among clubs linked with the 27-year-old Uruguayan, who was expelled from the World Cup and handed a nine-match competitive international ban as well as a four-month sanction from any soccer activity for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in a Group D match.
A meeting between the Merseyside club officials and a delegation led by Raul Sanllehi, Barcelona's director of football management, was scheduled to discuss the future of last season's Premier League top scorer, the reports said.
In order to prise Suarez away from Liverpool, the Spanish club will either need to meet the release clause, reportedly around 70-80 million pounds ($118-$134 million), in his revised contract or possibly offer a player-plus-cash deal.
Should the Merseysiders opt for the latter agreement, Barcelona's Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez - a Liverpool target in the past - appears to be the Anfield side's preferred choice as Suarez's replacement.
After initially denying that he bitten Chiellini in Uruguay's 1-0 win in Natal on June 24, Suarez issued a carefully worded statement on Monday, admitting his offence and vowing there would be no repeat.
Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta stoked rumours of a possible move for Suarez to the Catalan club on Tuesday by praising him for his 'humility' in admitting his mistake. [ID:nL6N0PC54J]
In the run-up to the tournament in Brazil, Suarez scored 11 goals in 16 qualifying matches to help Uruguay secure a berth at the finals, while at Liverpool, his 31 league goals was the catalyst for the club's surprising second-place finish.
Suarez also finished the season with a share of the European Golden Boot and was named Footballer of the Year by the Professional Footballers' Association and the Football Writers' Association.
However, his life in England has not been without controversy since he arrived from Ajax in January 2011.
He has served lengthy bans twice during his stay at Anfield, once for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra and again for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in 2013.
Image: Luis Suarez celebrates scoring for Liverpool in the English Premier LEague
Photographs: Paul Gilham/Getty Images