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Sports Shorts: India registers comfortable win against Aus 'A'

May 10, 2019 13:28 IST
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Hockey

IMAGE: Sumit Kumar scored a brace, helping India win their second game in a row.Photograph: Hockey India/Twitter

Young striker Sumit Kumar Jr struck a brace after comeback-man Rupinder Pal Singh opened the scoring as India's men's hockey thumped Australia 'A' 3-0, in Perth, on Friday.

Drag-flicker Rupinder, competing after nearly eight-month injury layoff , scored in the the sixth minute to give the visitors the lead. Sumit found the back of the net in the 12th and 13th minutes, helping India win their second game in a row.

 

The aggressive Indians dominated the first quarter, constantly looked to break into the striking circle. The tactic worked as all three goals were scored in the first quarter putting the home team on the back-foot.

India's first goal came when the team won their first short corner of the match. Rupinder showed good nick, as he timed the flick well with good power and speed to send it past the opposition goalkeeper.

Defender Harmanpreet Singh's skillful tackling saw Australia 'A' lose ball possession which led to India's second goal. A fine assist by skipper Manpreet Singh to Sumit saw the youngster score a superb field goal in the 12th minute.

The home team were left stunned when India converted their third goal in the very next minute when striker Akashdeep Singh set-up the goal scored by 21-year-old Sumit.

With a formidable 3-0 lead in the first quarter, India did well in terms of stitching together good defence to hold off the Australian attack.

Harmanpreet remained a vital cog of Indian defence as he won possession from Australian ball-carrier on several occasions that broke the home team's rhythm.

Australia's lone goal-scoring opportunity came in the second quarter when they created a PC but India goalkeeper Krishan Pathak was up to the task.

"It was a very good first quarter with the basics right. After a 3-0 lead, it was important we stayed focused on the process. The second and third quarter was tight. I was happy with the things we have been working on, we created a lot of opportunities and I believe we can still do better in our finishing," Indian chief coach, Graham Reid said.

India will play their next game on Monday where the team will look to continue their fine run in the tour.

"The next game will be harder and we are looking forward to it. The team will be stronger from today's which had about seven national players from Australian senior team. But it's a good progression," Reid added.

Ankita moves to semifinals in Luan

India's Ankita Raina quelled a strong challenge from lower-ranked Eudice Wong Chong to make it to the singles semifinals of the $ 60,000 ITF women's event.

The second seeded Indian, ranked 175, came back from a one-set deficit to beat her Hong Kong rival 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a nearly two-hour long quarterfinal.

It turned out to be a very close game, with Ankita winning 88 points, just two more than Eudice, ranked 497.

They broke each other seven times in the match.

"It was a tough match, happy that I pulled off this one. In first set she started well and was not missing much. When I moved her around, I started coming back, so I persisted with the strategy," Ankita said from Luan.

"She played really well. I enjoyed the match and was in control in second and third sets," the 26-year-old added.

Ankita now has a chance to make her third final of the season as she faces seventh seed Chinese Shuyue Ma.

The gritty Indian had won a USD 25k event in Singapore and ended runner-up at a $ 60k tournament in Istanbul.

Sheeraz Sheikh records perfect opening day in men's skeet in Korea

India's Sheeraz Sheikh recorded a perfect 50 out of 50 in the men's skeet competition to jointly lead a strong field of 84 shotgun shooters in the ongoing World Cup, in Changwon (Korea), and inch closer to an Olympic quota.

The other three shooters at the top of the field are from Kuwait, Argentina and Norway.

Mairaj Ahmad Khan, the only other Indian in the competition after Angad Bajwa pulled out due to health issues, shot 49 to also be favourably placed in seventh position with three more rounds of qualification to go on Saturday, before the top six finalists are identified.

Sheeraz and Mairaj are aiming for the two Tokyo 2020 Olympic quota places on offer in the event, besides medals of course.

Earlier, in the women's skeet, youngster Ganemat Shekhon shot a score of 115 out of a maximum 125 to end her qualification campaign in 21st spot.

The Chandigarh shooter, who won bronze in the ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney last year and began the day with an even chance to make it to her first senior ISSF final having shot 72 out of 75 on Thursday.

She had rounds of 22 and 21 on the day to fall short. The sixth final spot went on a score of 119.

American Kimberly Rhode continued her dominance, winning her third straight World Cup gold of the year. The two Olympic quotas in the event went to Italy, with one of them being reigning Olympic champion Diana Bacosi.

Two athletes positive for steroids in London 2012 retests: IOC

Two athletes who competed in the London 2012 Olympics tested positive for anabolic steroids following retests of their seven-year-old samples, the International Olympic Committee said on Friday.

Armenian weightlifter Meline Daluzyan, who competed in the women's 69kg event, tested positive for steroid turinabol while Latvian long jumber Ineta Radevica, who finished fourth, found to have used another steroid, oxandrolone.

Both athletes, who have retired, face doping bans from their respective federations for the use of prohibited substances.

The IOC stores and regularly re-tests samples from past Games with methods that did not exist at the time or looking for substances that were not known, as part of what it says are efforts to protect clean athletes and the integrity of the competition.

Samples since the 2004 Athens Olympic Games have been stored and reanalysed systematically.

More than 110 adverse findings have been found in Olympics since 2004 through re-testing of samples, including dozens from the London Games.

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India tour of Australia 2020

India's tour of Australia 2020