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Sports shorts: Pallikal crashes out of World Squash

Last updated on: March 20, 2014 21:01 IST

Sports shorts: Pallikal crashes out of World Squash

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Dipika Pallikal was outplayed by Raneem El Welily of Egypt in the pre-quarter-finals of the women's World Squash Championship in Penang.

World No. 11 Pallikal lost 7-11 7-11 1-11 to Raneem, ranked third, in just 26 minutes to bow of the competition.

The Egyptian had got the better of Pallikal in the last edition in 2012 as well.

Pallikal's best finish at the Worlds came in 2011, when she reached the quarter-finals.

Joshana Chinappa, the other Indian in the main draw, had lost in the opening round on Tuesday.

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Image: Dipika Pallikal of India in action against Raneem El Weleiley of Egypt during the Round of 16th matches of the CIMB Women's World Championship
Photographs: Stanley Chou/Getty Images

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How Herschelle Gibbs's name crops up in Pistorius trial

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Some people get unnecessary attention when not intended, and similarly, former South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs’s name has come under the spotlight in the highly publicised trial of Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius.

Pistorius is being tried for allegedly murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.

The trial is being broadcast live on television and radio, generating unprecedented public interest.      Gibbs started receiving messages from fans and friends after close-ups on television repeatedly showed the bat with which Pistorius broke down the bathroom door behind which Steenkamp was shot by bullets.

The bat in question prominently featured Gibbs's autograph, prompting him to tweet his view.

"Just saw my signature on the bat used by the accused in Oscar trial… lol#neveradull moment."

There was extensive interrogation of state witness Colonel Johannes Vermeulen by both the prosecution and the defence about the bat.

A fan of Gibbs (@maxlezar123) joked that the former opening batsman might be called as a state witness, to which Gibbs laughed at the comment, replying: "hahaa my lady."

Gibbs is no stranger to controversy having publicly battled alcoholism, which he has written about in his autobiography ‘To the Point’.

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Image: Herschelle Gibbs


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Petkovic zooms into Miami 2nd round

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Andrea Petkovic has not had much reason to dance this season but the effervescent German flashed some of her moves after advancing to the second round of the Sony Open on Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Spain's Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor.

Ranked in the top 10 at the end of 2011 with two titles on her resume and regarded as one of the WTA Tour's rising stars, Petkovic had plenty of reason and occasions to kick up her heels.

Better known for her post-match dance 'the Petko' than her punishing forehand, Petkovic's career was on an upward arc until 2012 when she was hit by a string of injuries that sent her ranking into a nose-dive.

A sore back was followed by ankle and knee injuries that left her sidelined for almost all the 2012 season leaving her 143rd in the world at the end of the year.

Back in Miami, with a new coach and fit, Petkovic is looking to climb another rung on the rankings ladder this next fortnight.

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Image: Andrea Petkovic of Germany plays a forehand
Photographs: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

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Del Potro withdraws from Miami with wrist injury

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World No 8 Juan Martin del Potro has withdrawn from the Sony Open due to a nagging wrist injury, the ATP Tour said on Wednesday.

The injury also forced the 25-year-old Argentine to pull out of the BNP Paribas Open two weeks ago at Indian Wells.

In six visits to the Miami event, Del Potro had reached the fourth round three times and the semi-finals in 2009 the same year he claimed his only grand slam title at the US Open.

Del Potro claimed his 18th career title in Sydney but has won just three matches since and withdrawn from his last three events.

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Image: Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters

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Mourinho charged with improper conduct

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been charged with improper conduct by the FA following his side's 1-0 Premier League defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Mourinho was sent to the stands by referee Chris Foy for encroaching on the turf after Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Ramires had been shown a straight red card for a tackle on Aston Villa's Moroccan international Karim El Ahmadi.

"Jose Mourinho has been charged by The FA following his side's game against Aston Villa on Saturday 15 March 2014," the FA said in a statement on Wednesday.

"It is alleged the Chelsea manager's behaviour in re-entering the field of play in or around the 90th minute of the fixture and approaching the match referee amounted to improper conduct."

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Image: Jose Mourinho
Photographs: Juan Medina/Reuters

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I can still make Spain World Cup squad: Torres

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Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has not given up on making Spain's World Cup squad and will work hard to convince coach Vicente del Bosque he deserves a place with the defending champions in Brazil.

Torres, who turns 30 on Thursday, faces stiff competition from the likes of Diego Costa, Alvaro Negredo, Fernando Llorente and David Villa, but believes if Chelsea have a successful end to the season and he plays an important role, he can secure a place in Del Bosque's final 23-man group.

"The World Cup is not just any tournament," Torres, who has scored 35 goals in 106 appearances for Spain, said in an interview published in As sports daily on Thursday.

"Those who go must be the best prepared and that's why you have a coach who picks the squad," added the former Atletico Madrid and Liverpool player.

"I will work, which is the only thing I know how to do, and the final part of the (club) season is very important. The World Cup is just around the corner and those who are in the best form will be the ones to go."

Torres has had an indifferent season with Chelsea, netting nine goals in 30 appearances, and coach Jose Mourinho has typically preferred Samuel Eto'o to the Spaniard.

There was no place for Torres in Del Bosque's most recent squad, the last before he has to name a preliminary 30-man group for the finals, but if he has a run of good form in the next couple of months he could still be in with a chance of going to Brazil given his proven goal-scoring record with La Roja.

"The national team is very special for me," Torres, who scored in the finals of Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, told As.

"Getting called up has always been an emotional experience whether it's the first, the 100th or the 107th time."

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Image: Fernando Torres of Chelsea
Photographs: Scott Heavey/Getty Images

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Ronaldinho misses penalty, scores another as Mineiro held

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Ronaldinho missed one penalty but converted another within five minutes of each other as holders Atletico Mineiro were held to a 1-1 home draw by Paraguay's Nacional in the Libertadores Cup on Wednesday.

The former World Player of the Year's first attempt was saved by Nacional goalkeeper Ignacio Don with a spectacular dive to his right in the 13th minute.

The 33-year-old was given another chance five minutes later, this time following a handball, and made no mistake as he chose the opposite corner and put the ball out of Don's reach.

However, he was upstaged when Marco Riveros equalised for the rank outsiders by chipping a majestic free kick over the Mineiro wall eight minutes before halftime.

Mineiro, unbeaten after four games, stayed top of Group Four on eight points, three ahead of their opponents who are second.

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Image: Ronaldinho Gaucho of Atletico MG
Photographs: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

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Kashyap jumps to 24 in badminton world rankings

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India's ace men's shuttler Parupalli Kashyap has jumped a rung to 24th in the latest Badminton World Federation rankings issued on Thursday.

Kashyap had reached a career high of World No. 6 last year, but witnessed a slump in form for quite sometime now, resulting in his slide in the world rankings.

But the Hyderabadi's impressive performance in last week's Swiss Open, where he reached the semi-finals, helped him to arrest his slide and gain vital points.

Kashyap's compatriot, Kidambi Srikanth, however, has slipped two places to 22nd because of his first round exit at the All-England Championships and Swiss Open.

Meanwhile, ace female shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu retained eighth and ninth spots respectively in the women's singles rankings.

Indian shuttlers, however, do not feature in the top-25 of the men's, women's and mixed doubles rankings.


Image: Parupalli Kashyap
Photographs: Victor Fraile/Getty Images

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