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Sports Shorts: India lose to Argentina in Azlan Shah opener

Last updated on: March 03, 2018 21:00 IST

A summary of sports events and sports persons, who made news on Saturday

Hockey team

IMAGE: Amit Rohidas converted two penalty corners for India. Photograph: Hockey India/Facebook

India went down 2-3 to Olympic champions Argentina in the opening match of the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey, in Ipoh, on Saturday.


Star drag-flicker Gonzalo Peillat (13th, 23rd, 33rd minute) scored a hat-trick for Argentina while Amit Rohidas (24th, 32nd) converted two penalty corners for India.

Play was stopped in fourth quarter due to heavy rain. At resumption, India were reduced to 10 men though a last-gasp effort from Talwinder Singh almost found the equaliser for India.

India next play England tomorrow. The other teams taking part in the tournament are Australia, Ireland and Malaysia.

India are fielding a young team here in the absence of key players like Akashdeep Singh, SV Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Manpreet Singh and goalkeeper PR Sreejesh. Drag-flick specialists Rupinder Pal Singh and Harmanpreet Singh too have been rested.

Leander ends runner-up in Dubai, likely to return to top-50

Veteran Indian Leander Paes had to be content with a runners-up finish at the Dubai Tennis Championships with Jamie Cerratani but the crucial 300 points is likely to help him leapfrog in the rankings ladder ahead of Davis Cup selection.

Paes, playing his 97th ATP World Tour event, and America's Cerretani lost the final 2-6, 6-7(2) in one hour and 27 minutes.

The 44 -year, old was playing his first ATP World Tour final in more than three years and the performance has earned him 300 ranking points. He is ranked 52 now with 1525 points. He was defending 180 ranking points, having made the semi-finals in Dubai last year.

Divij Sharan India No 2 behind Rohan Bopanna (world No 20). Divij, who is currently world No 45, has 1715 points and had lost in the first round with Yuichi Sugita.

It will be interesting to see if Leander goes ahead of left-handed Sharan, one of the most consistent Indian players in 2017.

Mihelic penalty gives Chennaiyin FC win over Mumbai City FC

A 67th minute penalty strike by Rene Mihelic ensured Chennaiyin FC beat Mumbai City FC 1-0 in Chennai, to end their league phase engagements of the Indian Super League on a winning note.

The result meant that Chennaiyin finished second in the points table, behind Bengaluru FC, with 32 points.

A new-look Chennaiyin team, with the coach ringing in the changes, kept a determined Mumbai City team at bay, with some good defending.

A Balwant Singh goal for Mumbai in the dying seconds was disallowed, as he was off-side.

The second half saw both teams step up the attack though Chennaiyin FC looked sharper and likely to break through.

The two sides made substitutions and then came the big moment. Mehrajuddin Wadoo brought down Chennaiyin skipper Jaime Gavilan with a rash challenge and the referee pointed to the spot instantly.

Slovenian Rene Mihelic slotted the ball past a diving Arindam Bhattacharja to give the all-important lead, sending the home fans into raptures.

Star gymnast sues US Olympic Committee over Nassar sex abuse

Aly Raisman

IMAGE: Victim and Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman speaks at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, right, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

US gymnast Aly Raisman has sued the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics over decades of sexual abuse by former national team doctor Larry Nassar, saying they put 'money and medals' before the safety of athletes.

Raisman, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, said in November that she was sexually abused by Nassar, who pleaded guilty last year to molesting female athletes under the guise of medical treatment for nearly 20 years.

"I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing. It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed,” she said in a statement on Friday.

According to her lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, Raisman still suffers from "depression, anxiety and fear" stemming from the abuse. It was filed on Wednesday in California state court in Santa Clara County.

The 23-year-old athlete was among nearly 200 gymnasts, including several Olympic medallists, who spoke out during Nassar's televised sentencing hearings about decades of abuse.

Ahoure, Ta Lou roar to glorious Ivorian one-two

Ivory Coast

IMAGE: Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahoure celebrates winning the women's 60m final with runner up Marie-Josee Ta Lou. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Murielle Ahoure produced one of the great 60 metres runs to lead home compatriot Marie-Josee Ta Lou and make it a landmark night for the Ivory Coast at the world indoor championships in Birmingham on Friday.

Ahoure, already a 30-year-old trailblazer for Ivorian athletics, produced a dazzling start before powering away from the field to win in 6.97 seconds, the equal sixth fastest time in history and the best by anyone for eight years.

Ta Lou, the 29-year-old who has been pursuing and even overhauling Ahoure, won the desperate dip for second, clocking 7.05 seconds, the same as Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji, who was eventually ruled to have lost out on the silver by five-thousandths of a second.

“It’s amazing. Ivory Coast is on top, we’re so happy,” said Ahoure, who had previously won four silvers in global competition without hitting the top spot but who could now celebrate her nation’s first-ever world indoor gold.

“We’re looking for a third girl and then we can take over the whole podium.”

Ahoure’s coronation may have been the highlight of the second day but the finest contest proved a magnificent men’s long jump, which saw the lead keep swapping before 19-year-old Cuban Juan Miguel Echevarria proved a surprise but deserved champion.

With a fine sequence headed by his fifth-round lifetime best of 8.46 metres, the unheralded youngster could hardly believe his breakthrough, not to mention the hug and medal he received on the podium from Cuban track great Alberto Juantorena.