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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Majka prevails in the Alps at Tour de France

Sports Shorts: Majka prevails in the Alps at Tour de France

Last updated on: July 19, 2014 22:00 IST

Sports Shorts: Majka prevails in the Alps at Tour de France

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Vincenzo Nibali strengthened his stranglehold on the Tour de France when he gained further ground over his rivals in the second Alpine stage won by Poland's Rafal Majka on Saturday.

Astana rider Nibali finished the 14th stage, a 177-km mountain trek from Grenoble, in second place but beat Alejandro Valverde, who had a bad day, by 1:10 as the battle for second overall looks set to go to the wire.

Valverde trails Nibali by 4:37 overall with Romain Bardet in third place 13 seconds further back after he, fellow Frenchman Thibaut Pinot and American Tejay van Garderen dropped Valverde in the closing stages of the final climb to the ski resort of Risoul.

Pinot is fourth overall 5:06 off the pace, 43 seconds ahead of Van Garderen while another Frenchman, Jean-Christophe Peraud, is sixth (6:08) after taking third place in the stage.

- NEXT: Hamilton crashes in German GP qualifying


Image: Rafal Majka of Poland and Tinkoff-Saxo leaves Alessandro De Marchi of Italy and Cannondale on the climb to the finish en route to winning the fourteenth stage of the 2014 Tour de France, a 177km stage between Grenoble and Risoul in Risoul, France on Saturday
Photographs: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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Sports Shorts: Hamilton crashes in German GP qualifying

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Formula One title contender Lewis Hamilton crashed during the first phase of qualifying for the German Grand Prix on Saturday, halting the session.

The front left wheel on the Mercedes appeared to lock up as the Briton approached the stadium section of the circuit, with the car spinning sideways and into the tyre wall on a blisteringly hot afternoon.

Hamilton, who is four points behind championship leading team mate Nico Rosberg in the overall standings at the halfway point in the season, stepped out and appeared unhurt.

"I'm OK. I hit the brakes and something...the brakes failed," he said over the car radio. The session was halted for nine minutes before resuming.

- NEXT: India cagers swamp Singapore to finish 7th 


Image: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP's car is transported back to the team garage after crashing during qualifying ahead of the German Grand Prix
Photographs: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

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India cagers swamp Singapore to finish 7th in Asia Cup

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India ended their campaign in the 5th FIBA Asia Cup Basketball at Wuhan, China by swamping Singapore 85-36 to finish seventh in the tournament on Saturday.

India, ranked 11th in the continent and 61st in the world, outplayed their South East Asian rivals from the beginning and were totally in control in all four quarters.

There was some fight back from Sngapore in the third quarter but India won the match after leading 49-13 at half time.

India, who dominated the 'key', led 26-10 after the first ten minutes and increased the lead to 36 points at the halfway mark.

Singapore showed glimpses of coming back into the game in the third quarter but American Scott Fleming-coached India took total control in the last quarter to round up a comprehensive win in the 7-8 placings game.

India, who lost 60-65 to Jordan in the 5-8 place game on Friday after being beaten 70-66 by Philippines in the quarter-finals, were well-served in the shooting department by Amjyot Singh who contributed 30 points and also came up with 7 rebounds.

Amritpal Singh was the next best with 13 points and 10 rebounds while Visesh Brighuvanshi shone in the play maker's role with five assists, besides logging 6 points.

Narender Kumar Grewal accounted for 14 points while Yadvender Singh came up with 7 points and as many rebounds.

For Singapore, Wei Jie Oh, with 13 points, was the leading scorer.

The Indian campaign which started with a loss to higher ranked Japan (52-75) gathered pace when they shocked hosts and Asia no.1 China 65-58. They defeated Indonesia 91-55 in their last league game before losing to Philippines in the quarters.

- NEXT: Dunga to be named Brazil's new coach?


Image: The Indian national basketball team
Photographs: Basketball Federation of India/Facebook

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Dunga is favorite to coach Brazil's soccer team - sources

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Former World Cup winning captain Dunga is the favorite on a short list of candidates to coach Brazil's national soccer team, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said on Friday.

Dunga, whose real name is Carlos Bledorn Verri, previously coached Brazil from 2006 to 2010, where he won the 2007 Copa America and the 2009 Confederations Cup.

He was fired by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) after losing to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup.

One source, who declined to be identified since the process is underway, said Dunga has a good relationship with Gilmar Rinaldi, who was named on Thursday as general manager for Brazil's national teams.

Both players were part of the 1994 World Cup winning team.

The CBF and Dunga, 50, began talks early this week, a second source said.

"He is the front runner in the list and things are moving forward satisfactorily," a second source told Reuters.

"There were important meetings that took place in São Paulo, and Gilmar is fine-tuning details already."

A new coach to replace Luiz Felipe Scolari is expected to be named next Tuesday.

Scolari, who guided Brazil to their fifth World Cup title in 2002, resigned as coach after the 2014 tournament where the hosts entered as hot favourites but finished fourth.

They were also humiliated by eventual champions Germany 7-1 in the semi-finals and then lost the third-place playoff 3-0 to the Netherlands.

Both sources dismissed recent local media reports that Tite, who led Corinthians to the World Club Championship in 2012, and Sao Paulo manager Muricy Ramalho were front runners for the job.

Dunga's last job was as coach of Internacional, where he spent a great part of his playing career, but was sacked last October after a fourth successive loss in the Brazilian league that left them mid-table.

As coach of Brazil's national team, he led the team to 42 victories, 12 draws and six defeats.

NEXT: Transfer market closed for Chelsea, says Mourinho

 


Image: Brazil's Dunga
Photographs: Pilar Olivares/Reuters

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No Khedira for Chelsea as transfer market closed, says Mourinho

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Chelsea's purchase of Brazilian defender Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid on Friday was the English Premier League club's final act of the transfer window, manager Jose Mourinho said.

The Blues, who finished third last season, have spent around 80 million pounds ($136 million) in the close season on Luis, striker Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Hajduk Split midfielder Mario Pasalic.

"We finished the market today," Mourinho told BT Sport.

"The transfer market closes 31 August and we close on July 19.

"My club did a fantastic job, not just because of what we bought, but because we did it in almost record time.

"The club did fantastic, we knew the targets, we knew the players and the club attacked them and their clubs at a very early stage."

Chelsea had also been linked with a move for Real Madrid's German World Cup-winning midfielder Sami Khedira but Mourinho said he was pleased with the squad he had at his disposal.

"We got exactly what we need and what we want. The squad is one which I like very much and I look forward to starting the season," the former Real boss said.

The purchase of former Arsenal captain Fabregas was a particular coup but Mourinho said the Spaniard took little convincing and had not been considering a return to the Gunners.

"I spoke with him for 20 minutes. I think he really wanted to come to us," the 51-year-old said.

"Arsenal had an option where they could interfere, but I think he was not open to that. He was very much in our direction, so it was an easy job for me." 

- NEXT: Toure pledges future to Man City


Image: Jose Mourinho
Photographs: Darren Staples/Reuters

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Toure makes 'embarrassing' U-turn, pledges future to Manchester City

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Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure has reportedly been forced to make an embarrassing U-turn and he has pledged his future to ManchesterCity after losing his battle to leave the club.

Toure has been involved in a summer of speculations following a series of outbursts from both him and his agent Dimitri Seluk as the midfielder was keen on a move back to Europe to join either Barcelona or Paris Saint Germain.

The Ivorian had also been a target of City's bitter-rivals and neighbours Manchester United but he upset a move to Old Trafford, the Daily Star reported.

Despite constant rumours that Toure was set to leave City, the club''s billionaire Abu Dhabi bosses have refused to sell the midfielder.

Owner Sheikh Mansour made it clear that Toure would be going nowhere and now the midfielder has been forced to admit defeat and has vowed to stay and honour his 2,00,000 pounds-a-week deal. Seluk started all the speculation about the Ivorian leaving City back in May when he slammed the club for not respecting Toure on his birthday and the agents comments were backed by the midfielder.

Toure had also taken a pop at the club last month for not giving him compassionate leave to see his brother, who died of cancer. However, the claims were denied and the midfielder has now backed down and insisted that he is going nowhere. Toure said that the fans have always been good to him and his family, adding that he wants to stay and would always honour his contract.

NEXT: Bolt believes he can set another world record


Image: Yaya Toure of Manchester City
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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CWG: Bolt believes he can set another world record

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Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt has said that it is possible for him to break his world records as he prepares to take part in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, which begin on Wednesday.

Bolt said that he thinks he can lower his 100-metre and 200-metre world records because his coach Glen Mills is the world's greatest sprint coach, adding that he knows sprinting better than anyone.

Bolt said that if his coach thinks that it is possible for him to break his world records than he believes him, Gulf News reported.

The sprinter said that the key is to get a good training period with no injuries and get in good shape. The 6 feet 5 inches Bolt, who is a multiple Olympic and world champion, said that his main aim is to defend his World Championship and Olympic titles.

He said that if he can run faster and break some more world records, then it would also make him happy.

Bolt will compete only in the 4x100 metre relay in the Commonwealth games after missing the Jamaican trials last month following his rehabilitation from a foot injury, which has ruled the fastest man on the planet out of action this season, the report added.

- NEXT: Juventus close in on Real Madrid striker Morata


Image: Usain Bolt


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Juventus close in on Real Madrid striker Morata

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Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata is poised to seal a move to Italian champions Juventus for a reported fee of 18 million euros ($24.3 million).

Morata, 21, arrived in Turin on Friday night and will undergo a medical on Saturday.

"I am very happy to start a new adventure here. I am looking forward to starting right away,” he told reporters at Turin airport.

According to Spanish newspaper As, Real retain the option to buy Morata back for 30 million euros ($40.59 million) after the first season and 36 million euros after the following campaign.

A highly-rated product of the Real youth academy, Morata came to the fore in the 2012-13 season, Jose Mourinho’s last at the club as coach, but he was not able to maintain that progress during the last campaign.

- NEXT: Results from the Diamond League athletics meet in Monaco


Image: Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid
Photographs: Visionhaus/adidas via Getty Images

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Monaco Diamond League: Kiplagat shocks world champ Kiprop in sizzling 1,500m

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Kenyan Silas Kiplagat shocked compatriot Asbel Kiprop to become the fourth-fastest 1,500 metres runner of all time at a sizzling Monaco Diamond League meeting on Friday.

Kiplagat broke through to run a year-leading three minutes, 27.64 seconds and surprise two-time world champion Kiprop, who was attempting to break Hicham El Guerrouj's 16-year-old world record of 3:26.00 in the race.

"I could see Silas coming closer and closer. It was a tough race," said Kiprop, who ran 3:28.45.

Kiplagat said he too would be thinking about the world record in the future.

"I have the fast time now, but why not be faster and attack the world record?" he told reporters.

"I always run well here, so I'm thinking my win and result is no surprise. I was aware I can do it."

Botswana's Nijel Amos and U.S. sprinters Justin Gatlin and Tori Bowie also posted the best performances of the year.

Olympic silver medallist Amos delivered a second middle-distance surprise when he defeated fading Kenyan world record holder and Olympic champion David Rudisha in the 800 metres.

Amos finished in 1:42.45, the year's top time, with Pierre-Ambroise Bosse setting a French record of 1:42.53 in second place. Rudisha was fifth.

Gatlin continued his unbeaten sprint season by running a personal best in the 200 metres with 19.68 seconds. Only seven men have run faster.

Gatlin already was the year's leader at 100 metres.

"I'm ready to face the best Jamaicans in both sprints," the 32-year-old Gatlin said. "This year I want to win the Diamond Race in the 100m and stay unbeaten."

Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade was his closest challenger at 19.99 seconds with France's Christophe Lemaitre third and American Tyson Gay fourth.

Bowie overwhelmed a world-class field in the women's 100, clocking 10.80 seconds as she easily defeated Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown, who finished in 10.96.

Ukrainian world champion Bohdan Bondarenko continued an outstanding season for high jumpers, clearing 2.40 metres to outlast indoor gold medallist Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar.

Another world champion, Colombia's Caterine Ibarguen used her last attempt in the women's triple jump to bound 15.31 metres and become the fifth-best ever in the event.


Image: Silas Kiplagat of Kenya
Photographs: Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

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