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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Dutch sprinter Schippers wins 200m gold at Euro C'ships

Sports Shorts: Dutch sprinter Schippers wins 200m gold at Euro C'ships

Last updated on: August 16, 2014 19:06 IST

Sports Shorts: Dutch sprinter Schippers wins 200m gold at Euro C'ships

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Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers ran the fastest 200 metres this year on Friday to collect her second gold medal of the European championships.

Schippers, who has switched from the heptathlon event where she claimed a world championship bronze last year, powered down the final straight to win in 22.03 seconds and easily beat American Tori Bowie's previous best 2014 time of 22.18.

Jodie Williams of Britain was second in 22.46 and Myriam Soumare of France finished third in 22.58.

"The world's leading mark is something unbelievable and I did not even dream of it," the 22-year-old Schippers told reporters after following up the 100 gold she won on Wednesday.

World champion Bohdan Bondarenko won the men's high jump, clearing 2.35 metres at the second attempt to push fellow Ukrainian Andriy Protsenko (2.33) into second place.

Bondarenko's great rival, Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov of Russia, was third on 2.30.

On a damp and chilly evening, Bondarenko was well short of the 2.42 he jumped earlier this year and Javier Sotomayor's long-standing world record of 2.45.

Olympic silver medallist and former world champion Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland retained the women's hammer title with a year's best effort of 78.76, less than one metre short of Betty Heidler's world record of 79.42.

Britain took two track golds as Adam Gemili won the men's 200 in 19.98 seconds, ahead of Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre, and Martyn Rooney was first in the 400.

Kariem Hussein brought the house down when he won the 400 hurdles in 48.96 seconds for hosts Switzerland.

Poland took gold and silver in the 800 with Adam Kszczot winning in one minute 44.15 ahead of Artur Kuciapski.

Cuban-born Libania Grenot won the women's 400 for Italy in 51.10 seconds while Sifan Hassan bagged another gold for the Dutch when she won the 1,500 in 4:04.18.

- NEXT: English Premier League’s Chopra signs up for ISL


Image: Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands celebrates with the Dutch national flag after winning gold in the Women's 200 metres final during day four of the 22nd European Athletics Championships at Stadium Letzigrund in Zurich on Friday
Photographs: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

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First Indian to play in Premier League signs up for ISL

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Former Newcastle United striker Michael Chopra, an Indian-origin English footballer, confirmed his participation in the inaugural season of Hero Indian Super League on Saturday.

Chopra said: "I'm delighted to be part of the new Indian Super League. It's an exciting time for Indian football and an honour for me to be involved in this new era.

The 30-year-old Chopra has a vast footballing experience. He made his UEFA Champions League debut in December 2002, as a substitute against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, and also played against Bayer Leverkusen.

In 2006, Chopra made headlines after scoring what was then the fastest goal by a substitute in Premier League history, finding the target after being on the pitch for 15 seconds.

Chopra, who has an Indian father, was the first player of Indian parentage to play and score in the English Premier League.

A product of the Newcastle United youth system, Chopra has played for England at all age category competitions starting with U-16.

He also represented England at 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship.

During his long career, Chopra has played for Sunderland, Cardiff City, Ipswich Town, Blackpool and has spent loan spells at Watford Nottingham Forest and Barnsley.

Chopra has made over 300 club appearances at senior level and scored 100 plus goals in his impressive playing career.

In 2010, Chopra had expressed his interest to play for the Indian national team. The ISL provides an excellent opportunity to the striker to show his skills, for the first time, on Indian soil.

Chopra will feature in the 'central international player pool', to be held in Mumbai on August 21.

- NEXT: Ultra competitive Phelps taking it slow but still hates to lose


Image: Michael Chopra of Ipswich Town
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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Ultra competitive Phelps taking it slow but still hates to lose

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Almost two years of retirement has meant Michael Phelps needs to listen to his body and take it slower than in the past but it has not dulled his competitive fire as he sent an ominous warning to his fellow swimmers at next week's Pan Pacific championships in Australia.

"I still can't stand to lose," the 18-time Olympic champion told reporters in Brisbane on Saturday ahead of his first international meeting since the 2012 Olympics.

The 29-year-old Phelps, who retired after the London Games before he made a comeback earlier this year, qualified for the 100 metres butterfly and 200 individual medley at the Aug 21-24 Pan Pacs after finishing second in both events at the recently completed US championships.

The fact he was pipped by Tom Shields in the 100 butterfly by 0.01 seconds and by world record holder Ryan Lochte by 0.05 seconds in the medley in Irvine, grated with him though he did recognise he was getting older.

"Losing by a hundredth (of a second) and losing by five one-hundredth at the (US) nationals in two out of three events was frustrating," he added.

"I am taking it a lot slower now than what I did before because I do understand that I need to give my body time to get back and build up to where I want to be," he added.

"I can't just expect to do everything I want from the get-go. Being able to have a year-and-a-half off, I've been able to learn a lot about myself and I still have that competitive side.

"It's still the same with anything I want to do. But it's going to take a little time for me to get back. We're doing it slowly."

Phelps had said prior to the US Nationals he would see where he stood before committing whether to go ahead to the next Olympics in Rio and the Pan Pacs were a step in helping make that decision.

His decision to make a comeback to the sport, however, was not a surprise for team mate and great rival Lochte.

- NEXT: German Mertesacker quits international football


Image: Michael Phelps of the United States climbs out of the pool
Photographs: Clive Rose / Getty Images

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German Mertesacker quits international football

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Germany centre half Per Mertesacker, a member of the World Cup-winning squad in Brazil last month, has quit the international arena in order to focus on club football.

The 29-year-old Arsenal player, who won 104 caps and scored four goals, becomes the third squad member to retire since the end of the World Cup following captain Philipp Lahm and record goalscorer Miroslav Klose.

Mertesacker, who came on in the last minute of extra-time in Germany's 1-0 final win over Argentina, told the Sueddeutsche newspaper he wanted to determine when his international career finished.

"First and foremost it was about me, after a 10-year career in the team, being able to say when the chapter ended," Mertesacker said.

Tall and powerful, the defender was Germany's first choice centre back for a decade after winning his first cap in 2004.

Mertesacker lost his place when coach Joachim Loew opted for Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels in the middle of the back four when they crushed hosts Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Loew started with the same pair in the final as well.

"That tournament was a golden finale," Mertesacker said. "Now I want to be Premier League champions with Arsenal and also attack the Champions League."

Mertesacker played in three World Cups and also featured at the 2008 and 2012 European Championships.

Arsenal launch their Premier League season with a London derby against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

- NEXT: Bayern will sign replacement for injured Martinez


Image: Per Mertesacker
Photographs: Markus Gilliar - Pool /Getty Images

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Bayern will sign replacement for injured Martinez, says Guardiola

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Bayern Munich hope to quickly sign a replacement for injured holding midfielder Javi Martinez who will be sidelined for the rest of the year, coach Pep Guardiola said.

Martinez suffered a cruciate ligament tear in his left knee in Bayern's German Super Cup defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

"We need a new player," Guardiola, who before Martinez's injury had said he would make no more signings in this transfer window, told reporters ahead of Sunday's German Cup first round match against Preussen Muenster.

"We have to react and there are candidates. There are many candidates but only a few who would do for us.

"With this injury we have a special situation and now we must act," the Spaniard added. "There are still two weeks."

Martinez's absence is a big blow for last season's domestic double winners with the Spain international capable of playing several positions including at the heart of a new-look three-man defence Guardiola fielded against Dortmund.

The Bundesliga starts on August 22.


Image: Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez tackles Barcelona's Andres Iniesta
Photographs: Albert Gea/Reuters

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