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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Chitra Magimairaj wins World women's senior snooker

Sports Shorts: Chitra Magimairaj wins World women's senior snooker

Last updated on: April 22, 2014 20:02 IST

Sports Shorts: Chitra Magimairaj wins World women's senior snooker

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Chitra Magimairaj made light of an early exit from the World Snooker Championships to pocket the Senior snooker title on her first appearance in the event, in Leeds, on Tuesday.

Competing against accomplished snooker players from 13 countries the Bangalore cueist won all her four matches without dropping a single frame.

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En route to the final against Alena Asmolava of Belarus, the 41-year-old met compatriot Umadevi Nagraj in the semi-finals.

A former World billiards champion, Chitra has won three gold, three silver and three bronze medals in the World Ladies Billiards and Snooker Association event so far.

Meanwhile, reigning National billiards champion Uma, who lost to Chitra 0-2, is still in contention for the billiards crown.

The Bangalore duo had failed to clear the league stages of the World snooker event on Monday.

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Image: Chitra Magimairaj
Photographs: www.cuesportsindia.com

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Another first round exit for Somdev

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Somdev Devvarman's lean run extended on Tuesday when he was beaten in the first round of the Barcelona Open by Martin Klizan of Slovakia.

It was the India No 1 singles player's fifth straight first-round defeat on the ATP Tour.

Ranked No 100, he was beaten 2-6, 4-6 by the 108-ranked Klizan in 68 minutes.

Since winning the Delhi Open Challenger, Somdev has only one victory on the Tour – against Juan Marti del Potro, who retired midway through the match at the Dubai event in February.

He did win two matches in the Davis Cup match against South Korea earlier this month, but even in those victories was stretched by the lower-ranked Koreans.

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Image: Somdev Devvarman
Photographs: Renee McKay/Getty Images

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Nadal maintains No 1 status despite poor form

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Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has continues to hold his position atop the latest men's world tennis rankings.

The 13-time Major winner, on 13,310 points, is closely followed by his Serbian rival Novak Djokovic, who maintained second place with 11,040 points.

According to sport24, David Ferrer, who defeated compatriot Nadal in the quarter-finals in the Monte Carlo Masters last week, moved up a place to fifth while Frenchman Richard Gasquet dropped out of the top 10 as Milos Raonic and John Isner both gained a spot at his expense.

ATP Top 10 as of April 21:

1. Rafael Nadal (Spain) 13 730 pts

2. Novak Djokovic (Serbia) 11040

3. Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) 6580

4. Roger Federer (Switzerland) 5805

5. David Ferrer (Spain) 4910

6. Tomas Berdych (CzechRepublic) 4720

7. Juan-Martin Del Potro (Argentina) 4215

8. Andy Murray (Great Britain) 4040

9. Milos Raonic (Canada) 2715

10. John Isner (USA) 2555 

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Image: Rafael Nadal
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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Ecclestone faces probable 10-year imprisonment if found guilty

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Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone will reportedly stand trial in a bribery case, starting on Thursday in Munich, which could end up with the billionaire being imprisoned for up to 10 years.

The 256-page indictment against Ecclestone reportedly describes him as an autocrat who had been so concerned about losing power that he paid part of a $44 million bribe to a former German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky, to retain his job in the sport.

According to the Guardian, Ecclestone's bribery case also concerns events that led to private equity firm CVC becoming Formula One's largest shareholder after buying the sport's parent company SLEC Holdings from the billionaire's Bambino family trust and an association of three banks.

Munich prosecutors have reportedly claimed that Ecclestone, who has dominated Formula One for almost 40 years, bribed Gribkowsky followed by chief risk officer of the German lender BayernLB to guide the motorsport group to CVC as the private equity firm had agreed to retain the billionaire as the sport's chief executive.

However, Ecclestone has denied any wrongdoing, arguing that he paid Gribkowsky $10 million to stop the banker from making false claims about his tab affairs, rather than to favour CVC as a bidder.

Hearings will be held once or twice a week until September this year so that Ecclestone, who remains in day-to-day control, is able to run Formula One and negotiate all of the most valuable deals in the sport, which generates revenue of $1.6 billion per year, the report added. 

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Image: Bernie Ecclestone
Photographs: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

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Rising costs force Qatar reduce number of WC stadiums

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The organising committee of the 2022 Qatar World Cup has reportedly reduced the number of stadiums it is planning to build for the tournament due to rising costs and delays.

Although the country originally announced plans for 12 stadiums, including nine new playing fields and three refurbishments, it is now planning to build eight stadiums for the event at a cost of four billion dollars, as confirmed by the organising committee.

According to Gulf News, Qatar is planning to spend more than $200 billion on new infrastructure before hosting the sporting event, including $34 billion on a rail and metro system, seven billion dollars on a port and $17 billion on an airport.

An expert said that Qatar's decision was motivated by cost-cutting following an assessment of the real needs on the ground, adding that it is in good sense to do necessary cost-cutting and reviews of capex for such huge projects that are front loaded.

The Gulf nation is facing delays and escalating costs related to the event, with work starting later than planned on the metro system and the opening of the new airport being six years behind schedule, the report added. 

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Image: Fans watch a game in Qatar
Photographs: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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Burnley get promotion to English Premier League

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Burnley secured a return to the English Premier League amid joyous scenes at Turf Moor on Monday when a 2-0 home victory over Wigan Athletic sealed automatic promotion from the Championship.

First-half goals from Ashley Barnes and Michael Kightly were enough for the Clarets to join LeicesterCity in the top-flight next season.

Fans invaded the pitch to celebrate after the final whistle while manager Sean Dyche was lifted into the air by jubilant players who embarked on a lap of honour.

"We were intent on getting promoted ourselves, not having to rely on anyone else for help. It's getting harder to win automatic promotion to the Premier League because of all the constraints on teams like ourselves. I'm extremely proud," Dyche told the BBC.

Burnley striker Danny Ings, who has formed a formidable partnership with Sam Vokes this season with the pair scoring 20 league goals apiece, added: "I'm so proud of all the lads. From pre-season to now they have been absolutely fantastic.

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Image: Burnley celebrate following the Sky Bet Championship match between Burnley and Wigan Athletic at Turf Moor in Burnley, England on Monday
Photographs: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

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Burnley spent one season in the top-flight in 2009-10 before being relegated

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"Sam Vokes has been top class this year, it was a shame he was not out on the pitch today but he deserves it. People did not back us at the start of the season but it's been great to prove them wrong."

Burnley spent one season in the top-flight in 2009-10 before being relegated.

They can again look forward to visiting venues like Old Trafford and Anfield next season after reaching 89 points from 44 games, four behind leaders Leicester who have played one game less and look like being promoted as champions.

Derby County (81), Queens Park Rangers (76), Wigan (70) and Brighton & Hove Albion (66) occupy the play-off places.

Burnley enjoyed a remarkable start to life in their only Premier League season in 2009 -- their first in the top-flight for 33 years -- when after losing their opening game at StokeCity they beat champions Manchester United and Everton at Turf Moor.

But despite their impressive home form, Burnley struggled on their travels and after manager Owen Coyle departed for Bolton Wanderers in January, replacement Brian Laws was unable to stave off relegation as they eventually finished 18th.

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Image: Burnley celebrate following the Sky Bet Championship match between Burnley and Wigan Athletic at Turf Moor in Burnley on Monday
Photographs: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
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Leverkusen's veteran Spanish 'keeper Palop to retire

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Bayer Leverkusen's veteran Spanish goalkeeper Andres Palop is planning to retire from soccer at the end of the Bundesliga season.

The 40-year-old, who featured in Sevilla's UEFA Cup title triumphs in 2006 and 2007, left the Spanish club for Leverkusen in June.

"After 19 years living and enjoying my time as a professional football player the time has come to hang up my gloves at the end of the current campaign," Palop said in a statement on Monday.

The keeper also had spells with Sevilla's La Liga rivals Valencia and Villarreal and was an unused member of his country's Euro 2008-winning squad.

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Image: Andres Palop
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

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Staff linked to Armstrong doping get long bans

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Lance Armstrong's former cycling team manager Johan Bruyneel, doctor Pedro Celaya and trainer Jose "Pepe" Marti have all been handed long bans from sport for their involvement in doping, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said on Tuesday.

Bruyneel was banned for 10 years, while Celaya and Marti got eight-year bans after the decision by the American Arbitration Association North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (AAA), USADA said in a statement.

All three worked for the U.S. Postal Service team and opted for arbitration when the charges were levelled against them in 2012. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and given a lifetime ban for doping the same year.


Image: Johan Bruyneel
Photographs: Bogdan Cristel/Files/Reuters

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