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Sports Shorts: Anand beats Carlsen but settles for bronze at World Rapid

Last updated on: June 19, 2014 22:07 IST

Sports Shorts: Anand beats Carlsen but settles for bronze



Indian chess ace Viswanathan Anand came up with a thumping victory over reigning World champion Magnus Carlsen but had to settle for the bronze medal in the World Rapid Chess Championship that concluded in Dubai.

The game with Carlsen, who won Gold despite the defeat, was the talking point for thousands of chess buffs on the social media as Anand is set for a re-match with Carlsen in November to determine the next world champion.

Anand, a five-time world champion, had lost the crown to Carlsen last year.

Anand, tied at joint third spot on seven points before the start of the final day was trailing Carlsen by a full point and did well to beat the Norwegian in the twelfth round of the championship to declare his real intentions.

However, as it happened, Carlsen's final spurt was still good enough to win the title on 11 points in all while a last minute surprise by Fabiano Caruana of Italy earned him the silver medal.

For the records, Carlsen ended with 11 points out of a possible 15 for a clear first place while Caruana, Anand and Alexander Morozevich of Russian ended joint second on 10.5 points apiece.

Among other Indians in the fray P Harikrishna apparently lost steam on the last day as he could muster just two points out of five games. This was only good enough to finish on 7.5 points, a tally matched by compatriot Surya Shekhar Ganguly.

Sandipan Chanda, Debashish Das, M Syam Sundar and Sriram Jha also had mediocre result and the Indians are now keeping their fingers crossed on the blitz championship that starts next.

There will 21 rounds in the World blitz to be played over next two days.

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Image: Viswanathan Anand
Photographs: FIDE


Saina sails into quarters, Jwala-Ashwini crash out

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Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal cruised into the women's singles quarter-finals of the US$ 750,000 Indonesia Open Super Series even as India's challenge ended in the women's doubles event with the ouster of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, in Jakarta, on Thursday.

Saina, seeded eighth, had a relatively easy outing against Kirsty Gilmour as the Indian took just 36 minutes to sent her rival packing 21-17, 21-9 to take a 3-0 career lead over the world no. 17 Scottish shuttler at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

But a Herculean task awaits Saina, the three-time winner here, in the next round as she takes on world no.1 Li Xuerui of China, on Friday.

Saina has a 2-6 win-loss record against the top seeded reigning Olympic champion.

However, it was curtains for India in the women's doubles event as the fancied pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa lost to South Korea's Ye Na Jang and So Young Kim in the second round.

The combination of Jwala and Ashwini fought hard before losing 21-16, 15-21, 21-12 in 45 minutes against their fifth seeded South Korean opponents.

Image: Saina Nehwal
Photographs: Michael Regan/Getty Images

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Almagro out of Wimbledon with foot injury

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Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, the 25th seed, has withdrawn from next week's Wimbledon championships with a footy injury, organisers said on Thursday.

The 28-year-old claycourt specialist's withdrawal means Canadian Vasek Pospisil now takes a seeded spot in the draw which takes place on Friday.

He will be seeded 31, ahead of original 32nd seed Dmitry Tursunov, owing to a better grasscourt record.

Almagro has reached the Wimbledon third round on four occasions.

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Image: Nicolas Almagro of Spain
Photographs: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

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Force India seek to overturn Perez penalty

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Force India have presented new evidence to Formula One's governing body in a bid to have Mexican Sergio Perez's five-place grid penalty overturned for Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix.

Perez picked up the punishment after he and Brazilian Felipe Massa, driving for Williams, collided in Canada while battling for fourth place as they started the last lap.

Stewards ruled the Mexican had changed his racing line, sending both cars into the barriers, but Force India said on Thursday that new evidence had come to light.

A team spokesman said Perez and the team would meet the Austrian stewards, who include nine-times Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, at 0900 on Friday to determine whether or not there were new elements in the case.

If the stewards accept Force India have a case, a hearing will then be convened for 1600 after practice has finished for the day.

The team did not give details of the new evidence but media reports indicated Perez had not been questioned by the Canadian stewards after the crash because he was still in hospital.

Perez, whose car was hit from behind by Massa, has blamed the Brazilian for the collision and said he was following the same lines and braking patterns as on the previous laps.

"I watched several replays of the incident and I can't help but notice how Felipe turns right just before he hits me. I can only think he must have changed his mind and wanted to rejoin the racing line," he said after Canada.

"His misjudgement cost us a big amount of points."

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Image: Sergio Perez
Photographs: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

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Australia coach Charlesworth bows out on top

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Australia's Ric Charlesworth has decided to step down as head coach of the national men's hockey team after leading them to the World Cup title on Sunday.

A giant in the sport, five-time Olympian Charlesworth won a silver medal as a player at the 1976 Montreal Olympics before coaching the Australian women's team to back-to-back gold medals at the 1996 Atlanta Games and at Sydney in 2000.

Charlesworth, who also won four World Cups with both the men's and women's teams, had planned to step down after the Glasgow Commonwealth Games starting next month.

"I have thought about it a lot. The high point of my year was the World Cup," the Perth-born 62-year-old said in a statement.

"The team will be moving on and it's my personal decision - I don't want to be packing up and away for another three weeks."

A former first class cricketer for Western Australia and a Member of Parliament, Charlesworth's coaching nous has been in high demand, leading to a role as a high performance manager for New Zealand cricket among various other consultancies.

As Hockey Australia searches for a successor, he will continue to prepare the Australian men for another month before they leave for Glasgow, where they will bid for a fifth successive gold medal in the July 23 - August 4 Games.

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Image: Ric Charlesworth, coach of Australia
Photographs: Paul Kane/Getty Images

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Happy Wozniacki back in the groove

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Former World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki was happy to be back on grass and enjoying her game again after easing into the quarter-finals of the pre-Wimbledon Eastbourne event on Wednesday.

"The grass really suits me", said the Dane following her 6-3, 6-3 win over unseeded American Sloane Stephens. "I like the fast ball and pace I get from my opponent's shots.

"I just enjoyed it and I played well out there," said Wozniacki, who suffered a shock first round defeat on the slow clay of the French Open last month.

"I held my composure and I served well. I'm pleased with how I played."

Eighth-seed Wozniacki now faces Italian Camila Giorgi who has played over five hours of tennis in two days after two marathons.

She beat fourth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in three sets in round one, and on Wednesday came through against Britain's Johanna Konta 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 after saving a match point.

Briton Heather Watson shocked sixth seed Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2 to set up a quarter-final with Czech second seed Petra Kvitova, who beat American Varvara Lepchenko 6-1, 6-4.

Fifth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany saved two match points as she struggled against Alize Cornet of France before winning 7-5, 1-6, 7-5.

In the men's event, top seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet overcame the tough challenge of Australian Bernard Tomic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 but fourth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain was beaten 6-2, 7-5 by Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

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Image: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark returns a shot during her women's singles match
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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Despite paralysis, swim star Van Dyken in good spirits at Denver hospital

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Olympic swimming champion Amy Van Dyken said she was excited to be starting her new life on Wednesday as she arrived partially paralyzed at a hospital near her hometown of Denver for specialist treatment after severing her spine in an all-terrain vehicle accident.

Van Dyken, 41, whose six gold medals make her one of the most decorated Olympic swimmers of all time, has put a particularly brave face on her recovery since the accident, chatting warmly with well-wishers on social media and posting photos of her smiling and waving.

The crash happened on June 6 in Arizona and she had six hours of surgery the next day at a hospital in Scottsdale. On Wednesday she was transferred to the CraigHospital in Englewood, a suburb of Denver where she grew up and where much of her family lives.

"I'm doing alright. Rocking and rolling!" Van Dyken told reporters as she was wheeled from an ambulance into the facility, which specializes in spinal cord and brain injuries.

"I'm feeling great. We've got the pain under control. I’m excited to start my new life."

Van Dyken says she has no feeling from the waist down and does not know whether it will return.

Van Dyken won six gold medals at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta and the 2000 Games in Sydney, winning in relay races, the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly. In recent years she had been a sports radio talk show hostess.

Image: Amy Van Dyken
Photographs: Al Bello/Allsport/Getty Images

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