Summary of sports events and persons who made news on Thursday
It has been more than a decade since two young filmmakers from Canada started working on a documentary on Indian women's boxing. There were many obstacles along the way, but Ameesha Joshi and Anna Sarkissian never gave up hope on documenting a sport many in India did not know existed till M C Mary Kom's bronze medal win at the 2012 London Olympics.
Made over the course of 10 years and having funded the project from their own pockets, the duo set about recording everything possible related to Indian women's boxing and even visited the country a few times to cover boxing training camps and competitions since 2005.
Their hard work bore fruit when the documentary, With This Ring, was premiered at the Mumbai International Film Festival in 2016.
With This Ring will be available March 12 to rent or purchase on Amazon Prime Video through the Prime Video Direct self-publishing service in India and around world. It will also be available on YouTube in all of Asia and Africa.
Bengaluru FC stun Goa 3-0 to seal top spot in ISL
Ten-man Bengaluru FC sealed their place at the top of the table with a stunning 3-0 win over FC Goa in the Indian Super League in Bengaluru.
Full-back Nishu Kumar received his second yellow card and was sent for an early bath in the 42nd minute.
Down to 10 men, Bengaluru produced a brilliant second-half performance to pick up all three points as Juanan (50'), Udanta Singh (58') and Miku (69') wrote their name on the scoresheet.
The win sees Bengaluru assured of finishing top of the league for a second consecutive season while FC Goa will be disappointed at not pressing home their numerical advantage.
FC Goa looked to be the better team in the opening session but the tables turned in the second.
The hosts were given an early scare when Ahmed Jahouh stole the ball off Dimas Delgado's feet in the midfield and unleashed a piledriver at the goal that ricocheted back off the inside of the post.
Bengaluru also had a chance when Miku and Dimas combined brilliantly in the 20th minute but the scoreline remained unchanged, thanks to an alert Mourtada Fall.
The defender stuck with Miku as he tried to get a show away after Dimas' excellent lob, allowing Naveen Kumar to collect what turned out tobe a tame effort.
Bengaluru were dealt a blow just before the break after the referee showed a second yellow card to Nishu Kumar for dissent.
The full-back, after bringing down Jackichand Singh, was punished for his frustration as the referee awarded a free-kick to Goa.
Despite going down to 10 men, the hosts nearly scored at the stroke of half-time when Harmanjot Khabra forced a brilliant save from Naveen Kumar.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Bengaluru started the second half on the front foot and took the lead within five minutes.
Xisco Hernandez delivered an excellent cross into the centre of the box and the ball fell for Juanan. The defender chested the ball and lashed a volley into the top corner.
The hosts piled the pressure on the visitors and showed no signs of holding back.
In the 58th minute, Dimas gained possession of the ball in midfield and played Udanta Singh behind the defence with a delightful through-ball.
The Indian winger raced into the box and with just the goalkeeper to beat, finished with aplomb to double his team's lead.
Goa took risks and pressed further up the field to try and get back into the game. Brandon latched onto Edu Bedia's ball into the box in the 66th minute but his effort was denied by the crossbar.
Bengaluru exploited the space at the other end and added to their tally minutes later.
Dimas found Miku in space at the edge of the box. The Venezuelan beat the Goa goalkeeper with a terrific long-range strike to score his first ISL goal after a long injury lay-off and end Bengaluru's two-match losing streak.
Nine more over-age athletes disqualified from Youth Championships
Nine more athletes were Thursday disqualified after being found over-aged in the medical examination conducted by the national federation during the 16th National Youth Championships in Raipur.
Three athletes in boys hammer throw, three in boys 2000m steeplechase, two in boys pole vault and one in heptathlon were found over-age in the age verification tests on the third and final day of the event.
Thursday's nine cases took the total number of over-age athletes from the championships, which serves as selection trial for next month's Asian Youth Championships at Hong Kong, to a whopping 50.
As many as 41 athletes, including promising Delhi sprinter Nisar Ahmed, were found over-age in the first two days of the championships.
AFI Competition Manager and secretary of the championships, Nitin Arya said he will recommend a two-year ban on the over-age athletes to the Age Verification Committee of the federation.
"We will recommend two-year ban of these over-age athletes to the Age Verification Committee," Arya said.
"This is the first time the AFI is doing these verifications in a large scale at this level. Very few national federations do these kind of initiatives. The AFI wants to weed out this menace," he added.
The Age Verification Committee is headed by Anita Rodrigues.
Mugdha Agrey lone surviving Indian at Barcelona Spain Masters
Young shuttler Mugdha Agrey emerged as the lone Indian survivor at the Barcelona Spain Masters, reaching the women's singles quarterfinals with a hard-fought three-game win over USA's Natalie Chi in Barcelona.
On a day when the Indian trio of Sourabh Verma, Parupalli Kashyap and Ajay Jayaram suffered second-round defeats, the 19-year-old from Nagpur shone bright with a thrilling 21-14, 13-21, 21-16 win over Natalie in the second round of the World Tour Super 300 tournament.
The Nagpur shuttler, who had won a title at the All India Senior Ranking tournament at Guntur in 2017, had to dig deep as she recovered from a mid-game slump to outdo her opponent in a 50-minute duel.
World No 82 Mugdha, an arts student of LAD College, will next play top seeded Chinese Han Yue.
In men's singles, national champion Sourabh failed to get across 22-year-old Ren Pengbo of China, going down 17-21, 13-21 in a 44-minute clash, while Kashyap went down fighting 12-21, 21-1, 15-21 to Kean Yew Loh of Singapore.
Ajay then lost 19-21, 16-21 to top seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
Young men's doubles pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila was also no match for the experienced Danish pair of Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen, who won 21-17, 21-14 in the 38-minute match.
Nike shares slip, faces Twitter storm after sneaker fail
Shares of Nike Inc fell nearly 2 per cent, a day after a sneaker worn by emerging basketball star Zion Williamson split in half 33 seconds into a hotly anticipated game between Duke University and North Carolina.
The freshman center, who plays for the Duke Blue Devils, suffered a mild sprain to his right knee, according to his coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Williamson did not return to play in the match-up, which ended with No. 1 Duke losing 72-88 to the No. 8 ranked Tar Heels.
"We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery," Nike said in a statement.
"The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue."
Williamson was wearing the Nike PG 2.5 basketball shoe when he was injured, according to ESPN. The line of sneakers are a product of a collaboration between the world's largest sportswear company and six-time NBA All-Star Paul George, who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Nike shares were down about 1 percent at $84.03 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange, while its relatively thinly-traded shares on the Frankfurt market fell around 1 percent. Shares in rivals Adidas and Puma edged higher.
Nike is Duke's exclusive supplier of uniforms, shoes and apparel under a 12-year contract that was extended in 2015 and has had an exclusive deal with the private university since 1992, ESPN reported.
"At this juncture, we are optimistic that while negative headlines might weigh upon Nike shares for a bit, any lasting damage to the company and its shares will prove minimal," Oppenheimer analyst Brian Nagel said in a note.
Williamson, who averaged 21.6 points a game, has been tipped as the "next Lebron James" and is expected to be selected first in the NBA draft this June.
Krzyzewski said it was unclear how long Williamson would be out because of the injury.
The game between the interstate rivals and two of college basketball's best teams was the marquee match so far in the season with tickets selling for thousands of dollars, according to multiple media reports.
Former President Barack Obama, director Spike Lee and star NFL running back Todd Gurley attended the game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the home court of the Blue Devils.
A video from the match posted on Twitter showed Obama, sitting courtside, expressing shock and mouthing the words, "his shoe broke!"
Twitter blew up with criticism and colorful remarks against the world's biggest sports brand.
"Nike better give Zion the biggest shoe deal when he gets to the NBA.....Strong shoes that don't come apart," said one Twitter user with the handle @TeamMurray05.
This is not the first time Nike has faced controversy over the craftsmanship of its sportswear.
In 2017, the Beaverton, Oregon-based company faced backlash when its NBA jerseys ripped apart after several incidents with basketball stars, including James.
Paris proposes breakdancing among four sports for 2024 Games
Breakdancing will become an Olympic sport in 2024 if the International Olympic Committee backs the inclusion of four sports proposed by the Paris Olympics organisers.
The Paris 2024 organising committee said on Thursday the four sports - also including surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing - would reflect the French capital's identity and help take the Games out of stadiums and into the streets.
The organisers said they wanted to deliver a Games that were "in keeping with the times and inspire new audiences and attract young people ... and which can be played anywhere and anytime in urban and other environments."
Skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing will all be making their debuts in the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Under new IOC rules first introduced for the Tokyo Games, Olympic host cities can hand-pick sports and propose them for inclusion in those Games if they are popular in that country and add to the Games' appeal.
The IOC needs to approve the French proposals before they can be formally added to the Paris Games sports programme.