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Sports Shorts: Anand out of contention in Norway

Last updated on: June 14, 2019 16:06 IST
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Summary of sports events and persons who made news on Friday

Viswanathan Anand had to hold himself with black and he survived many anxious and nearly catastrophic positions under the normal time control to force a draw under the Classical game against Fabiano Caruana of United States

IMAGE: Viswanathan Anand had to hold himself with black and he survived many anxious and nearly catastrophic positions under the normal time control to force a draw under the Classical game against Fabiano Caruana of United States. Photograph: Kent Skibstad/NTB Scanpix/Reuters

Five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand's chances of a top three finish ended after he went down fighting to Fabiano Caruana of United States in the Armageddon game at the Altibox Norway chess in Stavanger, Norway.

The Indian slipped to joint seventh place in ranking with just two rounds to go in one of the strongest event of the year.


Anand had to hold himself with black and he survived many anxious and nearly catastrophic positions under the normal time control to force a draw under the Classical game.

Caruana went to the extent of calling it "embarrassing", as the American was close to being on top for several moves but still the victory deserted him.

However in the tiebreaker, which is the new world order in Chess to make it a decisive sport in every game played, the native Italian turned American was spot on in the Italian opening.

Anand could not get the counterplay he is famous for and a systematic attack led to a complete collapse on the king side.

That left Anand with only six points with two more rounds to come and even two victories now might be insufficient to finish on the podium.

The seemingly invincible reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen scored another victory – his sixth in Armageddon besides a lone win in Classical – over Wesley So wherein he "was gifted a point" according to the now second placed Levon Aronian of Armenia.

Carlsen just did enough, the Sicilian Sveshnikov in Classical, that has served him well and then Wesley turned the heat on in the faster game which only suited the best player on the planet currently.

Carlsen took his tally to 11 points, and now enjoys a two point lead over Aronian who played a fine tiebreaker to beat Yu Yangyi.

Yangyi is in third place on 8.5 points, a full point ahead of compatriot Ding Liren in sole fourth spot.

Wesley So is fifth on seven points while Caruana finds himself in sixth spot on 6.5.

Maxime vachier-Lagrave of France and Anand are tied seventh on six points apiece, a full point ahead of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan.

Someone has to be last in any ten-player event and it seems Alexander Grischuk of Russia is going to be there till the end.

The usually charismatic Russian is not finding any good moves and is still in the cellar on 3.5 points.

Results round 7: Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 6.5) beat V Anand (Ind, 6); Wesley So (Usa, 7) lost o Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 11); Levon Aronian (Arm, 9) beat Yu Yangyi (Chn, 8.5); Ding Liren (Chn, 7.5) beat Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Aze (5); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 5) beat Alexander Grischuk (Rus, 3.5).

Matt Prior to attempt to ride full Tour de France

Former England wicketkeeper Matt Prior

IMAGE: Former England wicketkeeper Matt Prior. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Former England wicket-keeper batsman Matt Prior on Thursday informed that he would be attempting to ride the full Tour de France and said he would be attempting to do it one day ahead of the actual race.

In the first Tweet, Prior wrote: "Hi guys, you may or may not know but in just three weeks time I will be attempting to ride the FULL Tour de France route -- 21 stages, 3500km over 3 weeks -- just one day ahead of the actual race".

The former England player mentioned that he hopes to raise money for charities through his attempt.

"This is the biggest physical challenge I have ever attempted and will hopefully be very worthwhile as we have set a target to raise PS300k for the chosen charities @Chance2Shine @DansTrust2012 & @ParkinsonsUK".

Prior announced his retirement in 2015. His retirement came after an injury he endured in 2014.

In 2014, Prior suffered from an Achilles injury and it had required him to undergo a surgery.

He played 79 Test matches for England, scoring 4099 runs. The player went to afflict 256 dismissals behind the stumps.

The player has been a part of three Ashes-winning squads. Prior scored a Test match century on his debut against West Indies.

Prior played 68 ODIs and 10 T20Is for England, but he was not able to achieve huge success in the limited-overs format.

Semenya denied entry into Rabat 800 metres race

Caster Semenya has been denied participation in her favoured 800 metres race in Morocco, the athlete said on Thursday, despite Switzerland's highest court rejecting an IAAF request for eligibility regulations to be reimposed on the South African.

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regulations say XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) can only race in distances from 400m to a mile if they take medication to reduce their naturally-occurring testosterone levels.

The Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) temporarily lifted the regulations affecting Semenya until June 25 but could extend that further after hearing submissions from the IAAF and Athletics South Africa over an appeal against a May 1 Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) award upholding the rules.

The IAAF wanted the regulations reinstated against 28-year-old Semenya immediately, but this was rejected by the SFT, according to the South African's lawyers.

However, her request to race in Rabat this weekend has been denied by the Royal Moroccan Athletics Federation, without reasons being given.

Semenya’s lawyers said in a statement on Thursday that she was seeking clarity over this apparent "violation" of the SFT order.

The IAAF has told Reuters it has no say in who competes in the Diamond League events.

"The IAAF continues to comply with the Swiss Federal Tribunal's order dated 31 May to suspend the DSD Regulations in as far as they apply to the appellant," the ruling body said.

"It should be noted that the Diamond League meetings are not organised by the IAAF.

"Entry for any athlete into a Diamond League meeting is by invitation only from the meeting organiser."

The Moroccan federation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Semenya, twice Olympic 800 metres champion, had toyed with the idea of boycotting the event in solidarity with other athletes affected by the regulations, but said she had decided that running was the best form of protest.

"No woman should be subjected to these rules," Semenya said.

"I thought hard about not running the 800m in solidarity unless all women can run free. But I will run now to show the IAAF that they cannot drug us."

Semenya will also apply to race at that distance in the Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California on June 30, where she has entered the 3,000 metres.

"I am a woman, but the IAAF has again tried to stop me from running the way I was born," she said.

"The IAAF questions my sex, causes me great pain and required me to take hormonal drugs that made me feel constantly sick and unable to focus for many years.

"No other woman should be forced to go through this in order to have the same right that all women have -- to do what we love and run the way we were born."

McLaughlin upstages Olympic champion Muhammad in Oslo

World junior record holder Sydney McLaughlin upstaged Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad to win the women's 400 metres hurdles race at the Bislett Games on Thursday.

McLaughlin, running in her favourite event for the first time as a professional, made a poor start and clipped the first hurdle with her knee but took advantage after Muhammad, who appeared to be cruising, ran out of gas in the closing stages.

The 19-year-old burst past three other runners including world champion Kori Carter to win in 54.16 seconds, ahead of fellow American Muhammad in 54.35.

"It wasn't the cleanest race for me but I came back strong," McLaughlin said.

"It was a sloppy race but I pulled through. I've got to work on my first half of the race, the second half is always my strongest."

The men's 400 metres hurdles produced an outstanding run from world champion Karsten Warholm as the Norwegian won in a European record of 47.33 seconds to the delight of the home crowd.

Warholm and Commonwealth champion Kyron McMaster were level after the fifth hurdle but the British Virgin Islander stumbled slightly as he landed and Warholm burst away.

World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech was beaten in the home straight by fellow Kenyan Norah Jeruto who won the women's 3,000 metres steeplechase in a world leading time of nine minutes 03.71 seconds.

World championship silver medallist Christian Coleman also set a world leading time as he won the 100 metres in 9.85 seconds, especially impressive in the cool conditions.

"It was a good run and a pretty good time - now I'll look back at the video and critique it," said Coleman.

"It wasn't ideal conditions but the crowd made it exciting."

The American was quick out of the blocks and was so far ahead by the halfway point that it did not matter when he lost ground over the last few metres.

Ferrari may seek review of Canadian stewards' decision

The team had said on Sunday they intended to appeal after stewards handed Vettel a five-second penalty at the Canadian Grand Prix for going off track and returning in what they deemed to be an unsafe fashion

IMAGE: The team had said on Sunday they intended to appeal after stewards handed Vettel a five-second penalty at the Canadian Grand Prix for going off track and returning in what they deemed to be an unsafe fashion. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters

Ferrari will not formally appeal the penalty that cost Sebastian Vettel victory in the Canadian Grand Prix, the team said on Thursday, but could still seek a review of the decision by presenting fresh evidence.

The deadline for the Formula One team to lodge a formal protest was Thursday evening, 96 hours after the end of the race in Montreal.

"We have withdrawn our intention to appeal and are evaluating the right of review," a Ferrari spokeswoman said.

The team had said on Sunday they intended to appeal after stewards handed Vettel a five-second penalty for going off track and returning in what they deemed to be an unsafe fashion.

Vettel had led from start to finish but lost out to Mercedes' championship leader Lewis Hamilton after the penalty was added on to the German's time at the chequered flag.

"They are stealing the race from us," Vettel, a four-times world champion, had said over the radio when told he was under investigation.

The stewards' decision triggered an immediate controversy with some defending the penalty while others felt the officials had killed off an exciting race by over-zealous application of the rules.

Some ex-drivers, who felt Vettel could have done nothing different, questioned whether the rules were fit for purpose with Formula One trying to encourage better and more entertaining racing.

"He stayed ahead the entire race, he crossed the chequered flag first, for us he’s the moral winner. We won today," said Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto at the time.

The sporting regulations do not allow for in-race penalties to be appealed but Ferrari can seek a review of the stewards' actions under article 14.1.1 of the FIA's International Sporting Code.

This allows for further action in the event of any "significant and relevant new element" coming to light that was not available to those seeking the review at the time of competition.

Ferrari have 14 days since the publication of the final race classification to produce fresh evidence, if they do decide to take that course.

The stewards then have sole discretion to determine whether such a significant and relevant new element existed, with their decision final.

Holders Toyota sweep front row at Le Mans

Holders Toyota took pole position for the 24 Hours of Le Mans sportscar race on Thursday night with Japan's Kamui Kobayashi leading the third front-row lockout in three years for the factory TS050 hybrid cars.

Kobayashi set the fastest lap of three minutes 15.497 seconds in the second of three qualifying sessions at the Sarthe circuit.

The Japanese, who shares the number seven car with Britain's Mike Conway and Argentine Jose Maria Lopez, has yet to win the French endurance classic but has now twice secured pole position.

Spain's double Formula One champion Fernando Alonso, Switzerland's Sebastien Buemi and Japan's Kazuki Nakajima won last year and again share the number eight Toyota with their eyes also on winning the overall world endurance championship.

Nakajima set their fastest lap, 0.411 slower than Kobayashi, in second place.

Russian Egor Orudzhev secured third spot on the grid for the number 17 non-hybrid SMP Racing car.

The next on-track action will be a Saturday morning warm-up before the start at 1500 local (1300 GMT).

Former Juventus boss Allegri wants year off from football

Former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has said he needs to recharge his batteries and will take a year off from football before returning to management.

The 51-year-old led Juventus to five consecutive Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias and two Champions League runner-up finishes in his five years in charge, but parted ways with the club at the end of the season.

"I'm going to take a year off to recharge the batteries and take my personal life back in hand," the BBC quoted Allegri as saying at an event in Milan.

"The last 16 years have felt like being in a spin-dryer."

Allegri began his managerial career in 2004 in Italy's fourth division and also managed AC Milan, who he led to the Serie A title in 2011, before joining Juventus in 2014.

British and Italian media have reported that Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is close to being named as Allegri's replacement after Juventus reached an agreement in principle with the Premier League side to sign the Italian.

Australia, Qatar invited to 2020 Copa America

Australia and Qatar will be the invited guests at next year’s Copa America, the South American Football Confederation said on Thursday.

The two teams from the Asian confederation will join the 10 South American nations in the 2020 tournament, which for the first time will be held jointly in two countries, Colombia and Argentina.

One of the two visiting nations will be drawn in the Colombia-based northern section along with Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru.

The other will be drawn in the Argentina-based southern section along with Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile.

Four will qualify from each six-team section for the quarter-finals.

The decision means Qatar, the current Asian champions, will compete in two consecutive Copa Americas.

The 2022 World Cup hosts are already in Brazil to take part in the 2019 version which kicks off on Friday.

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