Chitra finishes creditable 4th, Jinson seventh in IAAF Continental Cup
PU Chitra finished a creditable fourth in women's 1500m race while Jinson Johnson ended seventh in men's 800m on the first day of the IAAF Continental Cup, in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Saturday.
Chitra, who had won a bronze in the just-concluded Asian Games, crossed the finishing line a surprised fourth place with a time of 4 minute 18.45 seconds in the eight-woman field. She had clocked 4:12.56 in Jakarta.
Winny Chebet of Kenya emerged as the winner in a time of 4:16.01 while Shelby Houlihan (4:16.36) of United States and Rababe Arafi (4:17.19) of Morocco took the silver and bronze respectively as all the competitors ran well below their best in the season-ending event.
The IAAF Continental Cup was competed in 37 events in men and women sections taken together with two athletes from the four regions of Europe, Americas, Africa and Asia-Pacific taking part in each of them. Chitra was representing Asia-Pacific.
In men's 800m, national record holder Johnson clocked 1:48.44 to end at seventh in the race won by Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir of Kenya who ran 1:46.50.
Johnson had clocked 1:46.35 while winning a silver in the Asian Games. He had broken the 42-year-old Sriram Singh's 800m record with a time of 1:45.65 during the National Inter-State Championships in June in Guwahati.
On the second and final day on Sunday, Neeraj Chopra (men's javelin throw), Arpinder Singh (men's triple jump), Mohd. Anas (men's 400m) and Sudha Singh (women's 3000m steeplechase) will be seen in action.
Bolt takes break from Mariners
Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt will put his efforts to carve out a football career on hold for a week to fulfil a 'previously planned' overseas commitment, the A-League’s Central Coast Mariners said on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Jamaican has been training with the Mariners for the last three weeks in the hope of securing a professional contract for the 2018-19 A-League campaign.
The break, from Sept. 9-16, had been agreed before he joined Mike Mulvey’s team for training, the club said in a statement.
Bolt made his debut for the Mariners on Aug. 31, coming off the bench for 18 minutes against a local amateur side.
The Mariners won the game 6-1 but Bolt looked well short of match fitness and lacked the touch on the ball of many of his team mates. Bolt himself said he would need at least four months to get up to speed.
Bolt’s attempt to transform himself from the face of global athletics to professional football player has generated huge publicity for the Mariners, who finished bottom of the 10-team A-League last season.
It has also drawn scepticism, with Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz questioning Bolt’s open-ended trial, saying the A-League should focus on recruiting proven talents and improving Australian youngsters.
Fans urge Ferrari to keep Raikkonen as decision awaited
More than 20,000 Kimi Raikkonen fans have signed an online petition urging Ferrari to keep the Finnish Formula One driver for another year rather than replace him with rookie Charles Leclerc.
The petition, on change.org, argued that replacing the 38-year-old was “not justifiable” and that the team needed him to keep the balance alongside four times world champion Sebastian Vettel.
“Kimi has also outperformed Vettel a number of times proving he is back on form and his drive in Monza just adds more credibility to that,” argued petition organiser Christy John.
The petition is highly unlikely to have any influence on matters, with Ferrari widely assumed to have already made their decision to replace the 2007 world champion with their 20-year-old Monegasque protege who debuted for Sauber this season.
An announcement to that effect is expected soon in Formula One circles, with the series heading to Singapore for next week’s race.
Raikkonen is the oldest driver in the sport and remains the last Ferrari driver to have won a title and one of the most popular on the starting grid.
Nicknamed ‘The Iceman’ for his often glacial demeanour, his dour nature and dislike of media and sponsor engagements has also endeared him to many fans who see him as a throwback to a bygone era.
Sameer Verma beats Gurusaidutt to enter final of Hyderabad Open badminton
Top seed Sameer Verma scored a fighting three-game win over compatriot RMV Gurusaitdutt to enter the final of the men's singles event at the Hyderabad Open badminton tournament.
Verma had to sweat it out for 51 minutes to get the better of unseeded Gurusaidutt 16-21, 21-15, 21-11 in the semi-final of the $ 75,000 BWF Tour Super 100 tournament.
Verma will take on Soong Joo Ven of Malaysia in Sunday's summit clash. The Malaysian had defeated seventh seed Firman Abdul Kholik of Indonesia 21-17, 21-14 in the other semi-final.
Elsewhere, top seeded local pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also made it to the final of the men's doubles event with an easy 21-14, 21-6 win over compatriots Arun George and Sanyam Shukla.
The mixed doubles duo of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy, top seeds, too booked their place in the final with a 21-19, 21-15 straight-game victory over fifth seeded Hong Kong pair of Chang Tak Ching and NG Wing Yung.
They will face sixth seeds Akbar Bintang Cahyono and Winny Oktavina Kandow of Indonesia in the final.