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Sports Shorts: Bekele wins Berlin marathon

Last updated on: September 29, 2019 23:45 IST

Summary of sports events and persons who made news on Sunday.

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele celebrates on the podium after winning the men's elite race at the Berlin Marathon in Berlin on Sunday

IMAGE: Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele celebrates on the podium after winning the men's elite race at the Berlin Marathon in Berlin on Sunday. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Former Olympic and world champion Kenenisa Bekele staged a thrilling comeback to win the Berlin marathon on Sunday, dramatically missing out on the world record by two seconds after recording the second fastest time ever.

Ethiopian Bekele, winner in Berlin in 2016 and world record holder over 5,000 and 10,000 metres, finished in two hours, one minute and 41 seconds, agonisingly close to Eliud Kipchoge's world record time despite a full sprint in the final 400 metres.

 

Kipchoge, who set the world's best mark in Berlin last year, was absent to prepare for his renewed sub-two hour marathon attempt in Vienna on Oct. 12.

"I felt a little pain in the beginning so I dropped behind," Bekele told reporters. "After a few kilometres I started relaxing so I tied to push a little bit.

"I am very sorry. I am not lucky. I am very happy running my personal best. But I still can do this (world record). I don't give up. It is encouraging for the future."

Bekele was part of a group, including fellow countrymen Birhanu Legese and Sisay Lemma, that quickly broke from the pack with a quick pace.

Legese, winner of this year's Tokyo marathon, then gradually shook off Bekele and then Lemma after the 30km mark.

But Bekele battled back, leaving Lemma in his wake and then reined in Legese to cruise ahead but missed the world record time by two seconds despite a thrilling sprint towards the finish line.

"I was recovering (from injury) only three months ago. My preparation was not 100%. Fantastic result but I feel sorry missing marathon record by two seconds," Bekele said.

Legese took second place in 2:02:48, becoming the third fastest marathon runner ever. Lemma was third, another 48 seconds behind.

In the women's race Ethiopian Ashete Bekere beat Mare Dibaba in a sprint to the finish to win with a time of 2:20:14 and complete the Ethiopian sweep.

Race walking medallists upset at plans to ditch 50 kilometre event

Two of the world championship medallists in the 50 kilometre race walk have criticised plans by the sport's governing body (IAAF) to get rid of the event from 2022 onwards.

Canadian Evan Dunfee, bronze medallist in the race held in the early hours of Sunday morning, said the IAAF were missing out on its potential.

"I love this event, this event is so special and I am really disappointed they are getting rid of it because I think this event could be so big," he told reporters after the race.

"There are so many opportunities in the 50k to promote track and field...not just race walking. You can throw a festival out there, you can put a stage and you have live music, you have kids events and you teach kids about track and field, you bring in new fans."

"There's a whole market we can get -- if we just put in a tiny bit of effort we could attract that fan base and promote track and field and active living," he added. That's the solution -- the solution isn't getting rid of the event."

Silver medallist Joao Vieira of Portugal was also upset. "It's bad, very bad," the 43-year-old told Reuters after becoming the oldest man to win a medal at any event in world championship history.

The IAAF's race walking committee recommended in February that the 20k and 50k events should be replaced with 10k and 30k respectively, with the 2023 world championships in Budapest the first major event to be affected.

The decision-making IAAF Council agreed with the recommendation "in principle" the following month, although it suggested a choice of two out of 10k, 20k, 30k or 35k.

Dharmamer wins Maldives International Challenge

Indian shuttler Kaushal Dharmamer clinched the men's singles badminton title at the Maldives International Challenge with a straight-games win over Siril Verma, in Male on Sunday.

The 23-year-old from Mumbai, who won the Myanmar International Series earlier this month, registered a comfortable 21-13, 21-18 victory over his compatriot in a match that lasted 35 minutes.

The final day of the competition saw Indians competing for the title in four of the five events. However, apart from Kaushal all others ended on the losing side.

In the women's doubles event, the duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy ended runner-up after going down 10-21, 21-17, 12-21 in a hard fought battle to the Japanese pair of Sayak Hobara and Natsuki Soni.

Saipratheek Krishnaprasad and Ashwini Bhat went down 11-21, 15-21 to Thailand's  Chaloempon Charoenkitamorn and Chasinee Korepap in the mixed doubles final.

While the second seeds men's doubles pair of Arun George and Sanyam Shukla lost 9-21, 20-22 to top seeds Keiichiro Matsui and Yoshinori Takeuchi from Japan.

Shuttler Malvika wins Nepal International Series event

India's Malvika Bansod beat compatriot Gayatri Gopichand 21-14, 21-18 to win the women's singles event at the Annapurna International Super Series in Tripureshwor, Nepal, on Sunday.

The 18-year-old Bansod defeated national coach Pullela Gopichand's 16-year-old daughter in 42 minutes.

However Swarnaraj Bora of India lost men's singles final to Seng Zoe Yeoh of Malaysia 19-21, 8-21 in just 37 minutes.

India's Saurabh Sharma and Rohan Kapoor won the men's doubles event beating Malaysian pair of Zachary Choin Seng Sia and Izzat Farhan Azhar 21-10, 21-12.

The mixed doubles pair of Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan beat the combination of Ririn Amelia and Bowornwatnuyong Phuttaporn 21-19, 17-10. The Indo-Thai pair conceded the tie in the second game.

Indian fencer Bhavani Devi wins silver at meet in Belgium

India's C A Bhavani Devi won the silver medal in women's sabre individual category in the Tournoi Satellite Fencingcompetition (World level) in Ghent, Belgium on Sunday.

In the final, the Chennai-born fencer lost to Bashta Anna of Azerbaijan 10-15.

She had got the better of Italy's Martina Pertaglia in the semi-finals.

Ranked 44th in the world, Bhavani Devi hopes to improve her position and edge closer to qualification for the Olympics and participate in more tournaments in the lead-up to the Games next year.

Grappler Sajan wins gold and place in Indian team for U-23 Worlds

Sajan Bhanwal, the only Indian to win two junior World Championship medals, expectedly earned a place in the country's Greco Roman team for the Under-23 World Championship by emerging champion in that age-group Nationals, which concluded in Shirdi on Sunday.

Sajan won gold in the 77kg Under-23 Nationals for Haryana, which finished third in the team championship.

With four gold, two silver and three bronze medals, Services Sports Contro Board (SSCB) took the team championship.

Arjun (55kg), Rajeet (63kg), Rahul (72kg) and Deepak (130kg) won gold for Services.

The only category in which SSCB did not win a medal was 97kg, in which Haryana's Ravi took gold with a win over Rajasthan's Pushpendra.

Delhi finished second (170 points) ahead of Haryana (136).

Kento Momota wins Korea Open

Japan's shuttler Kento Momota won the Korea Open on Sunday after defeating Chou Tien-Chen of Taiwan in the finals in Incheon, South Korea.

Momota defeated Tien-Chen 21-19, 21-17 to clinch the final that lasted for almost 53 minutes. The 25-year-old defeated his opponent in straight games.

The world number one Momoto had defeated India's Parupalli Kashyap 21-13, 21-15 in the semi-finals.

In the women's final, He Bingjiao of China defeated Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon 18-21, 24-22, 21-17.

South Korea's pair of Kim So-Yeong and Kong Hee-Yong defeated Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan 13-21, 21-19, 21-17 to win the women's doubles.

Indonesia's pair of Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto defeated Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda 21-16, 21-17 to win the men's doubles title.

Hockey India names 33-member core probables for junior women's camp

Hockey India on Sunday named a 33-member probables list for the junior women's national coaching camp, beginning on Monday at the Sports Authority of India here to prepare for a tour of Australia.

Players will report to coach Baljeet Singh Saini for the camp that concludes on October 26.

India is scheduled to play a Three-Nations Tournament starting December 3 in Australia, where the team will play against the hosts and New Zealand.

"I expect those matches to be tough and it will be a good exposure tournament for the athletes. Our aim will be to up our fitness levels with a lot of emphasis on speed and the team needs to be able to keep up with the high-intensity hockey the Australians and New Zealanders play," said Saini.

He emphasised on every player giving their 100 per cent in the camp.

"I would be expecting every player to give their 100 per cent in each session. They will be watched closely and if they intend to make the squad then they need to show improvement in every aspect of the game."

"I am quite pleased with the talent coming up and each passing year there is at least one player from junior ranks making their senior team debut so in that sense the performance at the 3-nation tournament will be important," he added.

Core probables list:

Goalkeepers: Rashanpreet Kaur, Khushboo and F. Ramengmawii

Defenders: Priyanka, Simran Singh, Marina Lalramnghaki, Gagandeep Kaur, Ishika Chaudhary, Jotika Kalsi, Sumita, Akshata Dhekale, Usha, Parneet Kaur.

Midfielders: Baljeet Kaur, Mariana Kujur, Kiran, Prabhleen Kaur, Preeti, Ajmina Kujur, Vaishnavi Phalke, Kavita Bagdi, Baljinder Kaur, Sushma Kumari.

Forwards: Mumtaz Khan, Beauty Dungdung, Gurmail Kaur, Deepika, Lalrindinki, Jiwan Kishori Toppo, Rutuja Pisal, Sangita Kumari, Yogita Bora, Annu.

Indian junior boys win bronze in TT tourney

Indian junior boys Raegan Albuquerque and Yashansh Malik paired with Netherlands' Lode Hulshof to win the bronze medal at the Serbia Junior and Cadet Table-Tennis Open.

The team put up a big fight before going down 2-3 in the semi-finals to the Czech Republic trio of Radek Skala, Tomas Martinko and Ondrej Kveton.

Starting the proceedings, Raegan lost 2-3 to Radek but Lode got them back into the tie, beating Martinko 3-2.

Yashansh then increased the lead in his team's favour, beating Ondrej 3-1. With just a win away from entering the final, Raegan and Lode went down by identical 0-3 margins to Tomas and Radek to end their campaign.

Earlier, in the quarter-finals, the combination of India and Netherlands got the better of Spain and Slovakia 3-1.

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