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Sports Shorts: Czech Republic pair stun Brazil for first Major Series title

August 05, 2018 12:40 IST

Czech Republic

IMAGE: Barbora Hermannová and Markéta Sluková of the Czech Republic celebrate during the gold medal match at the third 2018 Beach Volleyball Major Series stop in Vienna. Photograph: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Poo/ via Reuters

Czech Republic pair Barbora Hermannová and Markéta Sluková staged a thrilling comeback to win their first Beach Volleyball Major Series title in Vienna. Here is all you need to know:

The Czechs battled through a shoulder injury to Sluková to set up a final against the Brazilians Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Alves, who triumphed at Fort Lauderdale in March.


Barbara and Fernanda looked on track for another Major Series gold in the early action after waltzing into a massive 10-point lead that they converted into a 21-10 first-set lead.

Hermannová and Sluková, though, were not done and they launched into a stirring comeback in front of a packed crowd to go five points up en route to claiming the second 21-16.

The Brazilians raced into an early lead in the third, only for the Czechs to dig deep and reel off a string of brilliant points to take the decider 15-12 and $ 40,000 cheque.

Hermannová, 27, revealed: “I don't believe it, we really wanted this trophy and it feels amazing. I must praise Maki because she went all tournament with pain on her shoulder. It was fantastic what she did. Sometimes it didn't look like. She was fantastic.”

Sluková, 30, added: "We really like to play here, the fans are amazing, and we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves here. We fought for them."

Dutch duo Madeleine Meppelink and Sanne Keizer took home bronze after an excellent 21-19, 21-18 victory over Brazil's Carol Solberg Salgado and Maria Elisa Mendes Ticon Antonelli.

Jordan backs James after president questions player's intelligence

NBA legend Michael Jordan and US athletes rallied to LeBron James' defense on Saturday after US President Donald Trump questioned the star player's intelligence in a tweet.

"I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community,” Jordan, now owner of the National Basketball Association's Charlotte Hornets, told NBC News through a spokesperson.

The comment by Jordan and others came after Trump had tweeted: "Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!"

Trump was referring to an interview CNN's Lemon did in the days after James, who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, and his foundation had opened a public school for some of the most disadvantaged children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

The president's "I like Mike!" comment apparently was Trump stating his opinion on the debate of whether six-time NBA champion Jordan or James, the four-time league most valuable player and three times champion, is the NBA's best all-time player.

Even the president's wife was supportive of James' work with children.

"It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today," Melania Trump said in a statement issued by her spokeswoman.

NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns added in a tweet: "So let me get this straight: Flint, MI has dirty water still, but you worried about an interview about a man doing good for education and generations of kids in his hometown?"

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