Summary of sports events and persons who made news on Saturday
Manny Pacquiao beat defending champion Keith Thurman on a split points decision on Saturday to take the WBA Welterweight Super Championship in Las Vegas.
Two judges scored it 115-112 to Pacquiao and another gave it 114-113 to Thurman, who suffered his first defeat in 30 fights.
Thurman had vowed to beat the 40-year old Filipino into retirement, but he was behind from the first round at the MGM Grand.
The 30-year old American had a height, reach, weight and age advantage over the Filipino but he got knocked down with less than a minute to go in the first round and was chasing the fight thereafter.
Thurman started to bleed from his nose in the fifth round and looked beaten but he recovered in the middle of the fight before Pacquiao stormed back to take the last few rounds.
Pacquiao, whose speed and stamina belied his age in a highly entertaining fight, is the only man in boxing history to hold world titles in eight different divisions.
His win takes his record to 62-7-2 with 39 knockouts. Thurman falls to 29-1 (22 KOs).
Junior Asian C'ship: Indian shuttlers in quarters
India set up a quarter-final clash with Indonesia despite losing their last group match to Korea at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships 2019 (Mixed Team Event) in Suzhou, China on Sunday.
Maisnam Meiraba's great effort was the silver lining of the day for the Indian contingent in their 1-4 loss but by finishing second to Korea in Group C, they made it to the last-eight.
On the first day of the continental event, India blanked both Mongolia and Macau China by an identical score of 5-0.
Manipur's Meiraba had been in sterling form of late and he even won his first international tournament at the White Night Russian Junior International earlier this month. Meiraba refused to give up and fought for 1 hour 32 minutes to subdue Korea's Hyeon Seung Park.
While that was the solitary win of the day for Team India, there were encouraging performances from others. The doubles teams, especially, stood out for their gutsy displays in a losing cause.
The mixed doubles pair of Dingku Singh Konthoujam and Ritika Thaker fought for 56 minutes before going down 21-19, 12-21, 12-21 to Dong Ju Ki and Eun Ji Lee. Goa's Tanisha Crasto and Kerala's Treesa Jolly were equally impressive in their 16-21, 21-16, 12-21 girls' doubles loss to Young Bin Ji and Eun Ji Lee.
The boys' doubles combine of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Vishnu Vardhan Goud Panjala found Korea's Dong Ju Ki and Joon Young Kim too strong in their 17-21, 15-21 defeat. In girls' singles, Malvika Bansod suffered a 10-21, 8-21 defeat to Ga Lam Kim.
Nagal qualifies for his maiden ATP 500 event
Taking a big step forward, Indian youngster Sumit Nagal on Sunday assured himself a maiden appearance in the main draw of an ATP 500 tournament, qualifying for the Hamburg European Open.
The 21-year-old pipped 3rd seed and 128-ranked Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4, 7-5 in the second and final qualifying round of the clay court event.
He has been pitted against the former top-10 player Richard Gasquet, who is a winner of 15 ATP Tour singles titles.
Before this, the 205-ranked Nagal, competed in the main draw of the ATP 250 Tata Open Maharashtra in 2018 as a qualifier.
ATP 500 events are next only to ATP Masters series tournaments and the Grand Slams.
Of late, only Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswarana and Yuki Bhambri played at the big stage.
Nagal has enjoyed stupendous success in the last few weeks in the Challenger circuit, where he made five semifinals in seven tournaments.
He recorded the biggest win of his career when he beat world number 56 Martin Klizan at Bratisilava Open last month.
He had started the year outside the 350-bracket but is now very close to top-200.
Paes-Daniell out of Hall of Fame Open
Veteran Leander Paes could only match his season's best performance as he lost a fiercely-fought semi-final alongside partner Marcus Daniell at the ATP Hall of Fame Open in Newport on Saturday.
Paes and his Kiwi teammates, seeded third, lost 6-3, 6-7(8), 9-11 to the unseeded combo of Marcel Granollers and Sergiy Stakhovsky.
With his semi-final appearance he became the oldest ATP Tour semi-finalist since John McEnroe (47) at 2006 San Jose. He is likely to rise three places to 72 when the new rankings are issued.
It is the fourth time this season that Paes has reached the semi-finals on the ATP World Tour, reaching the same stage at Lyon (May), Marrakech (April) and Montpellier (February) in the first half of the season.
With 766 tour wins, Paes is sixth on the all-time doubles match victories. He is just one of six players to pick up 750 tour-level doubles match wins, which he achieved in April 2018.
Balazs to meet Lajovic in Croatia Open final
Nearly three years after reversing his decision to retire from the sport, Hungarian qualifier Attila Balazs reached his maiden ATP final with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over third seed Laslo Djere at the Croatia Open on Saturday.
Balazs, 30, faces another Serbian in the final in fourth seed Dusan Lajovic, who advanced after his opponent Salvatore Caruso was forced to retire in their semi-final due to a leg injury having dropped the first set 7-5.
Injury woes forced Balazs to prematurely end his career in August 2014, four years after reaching a career-high ranking of number 153. But a future in coaching did not satisfy him and he returned in 2016 and has since reached number 207.
Lajovic is also seeking his first title after the world number 36 missed out in April, losing in straight sets to Italian Fabio Fognini in the Monte Carlo Masters final.
21st Commonwealth TT: Sathiyan-Archana win mixed gold, Sharath loses men's singles semi-final
India added another golden chapter to the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships when its mixed doubles pair of G. Sathiyan and Archana Kamath defeated Singapore's Peng Yu En Koen–Goi Rui Xuan 3-0 in the final in Cuttack on Sunday.
The gold count, on the penultimate day of the championships, stood at three.
This had, in a way, avenged the earlier loss of A Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula in the semi-final by the same Singaporean pair as well as the defeat of Sharath in men's singles quarter-finals by Peng.
The Indian pair was on top in the final as they piled on the agony of their rivals, particularly on a tired Peng who could not cope with the pressure applied by the top-seeded duo.
But the second-seeded Sharath Kamal squandered three match points and then the quarter-final match, shattering his men singles medal hope. Though Sharath failed to go past the semifinals in mixed doubles, he would definitely rue the singles loss to the younger legs of Peng in the quarters.
The other Indians that made the grade included top-seeded G Sathiyan, who beat Nigerian Bode Abiodun 4-0 and Harmeet Desai who accounted for fellow Indian Sushmit Sriram 4-1. Sanil Shetty joined Sharath when he went down to England's Thomas Jarvis 1-4.
Earlier, the top-seeded Ho Tin-Tin of England beat the unseeded Archana Kamath, the reigning national champion, 4-1 to enter the women's singles semi-finals.
But the second-seeded Madhurika Patkar and fourth seed Ayhika Mukerjee easily followed the English woman in the last-four stages while in a marathon battle, Sreeja Akula defeated Sutirtha Mukherjee 4-2 even as Madhurika downed Krittiwika Sinha Roy 4-1 and Ayhika beat Mousumi Paul in straight games.
Archana, who played well until this point, was unable to find her feet against the attacking Ho who cashed in on several unforced errors committed by the Indian. After losing the first game, the Bengaluru girl came back to level 1-1 but lost her rhythm from there to lose tamely.
Madhurika had a good measure of Krittwika, the national runner-up and despite losing a game she punished her rival when the opportunities presented themselves.
Krittiwika had a slight advantage in the fourth game but lost it 10-12 and then the steam. However, for Ayhika it was rather easy as Mousumi could not cope with her rival's quick returns and excellent placements.
Two extended games must have sapped the energy of both Sreeja and Sutirtha but the former held her nerves despite squandering five match-points to romp home winners.
The scratch pair of Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula, in the absence of Manika Batra, had little problem up to the semi-finals. But once there, the mismatch became more palpable when the Indian duo took on Singapore's Yu En Koen Pang and Rui Xuan Goi, who play together more regularly.
In men's doubles, two Indian pairs -- Sharath and Sathiyan and Anthony Amalraj and Manav Thakkar -- made it to the semifinals while the two other pairs that will challenge the Indian domination will be Pang Yu En and Chua Shao Han from Singapore and the English duo of Samuel Walker and Thomas Jarvis, respectively, on Monday.
In women's doubles, Pooja Sahasrabudhe and Krittiwika Singha Roy, Sreeja Akula and Mousumi Paul and Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee entered the semifinal while the fourth pair, top-seeded Madhurika Patkar and Archana Kamath went down to Singapore's Goi Rui Xuan and Won Xin Ru 2-3 (5-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 9-11).
The Results: Final: G Sathiyan-Archana Kamath bt Peng Yu En Koen–Goi Rui Xuan (SGP) 11-1, 11-7, 11-4; Semifinals: G. Sathiyan-Archana Kamath bt Harmeet Desai-Ayhika Mukherjee 11-2, 11-2, 11-9; Peng Yu En Koen–Goi Rui Xuan (SGP) bt Sharath Kamal-Sreeja Akula (IND) 13-11, 8-11, 6-11 11-8, 11-4.
Men's Singles: Quarter-finals: G Sathiyan bt Bode Abiodun (NGR) 11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6; Thomas Jarvis (Eng) bt Sanil Shetty 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 12-10; Harmeet Desai bt Sushmit Sriram 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8; Pang Yu En Koen (SGP) bt Sharath Kamal 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10.
Women's Singles: Quarter-finals: Ho Tin-Tin (Eng) bt Archana Kamath 11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6; Ayhika Mukherjee bt Mousumi Paul 11-6, 11-6, 11-2, 11-8; Sreeja Akula bt Sutirtha Mukherjee 11-5, 11-6, 11-9, 17-19, 6-11, 17-15; Madhurika Patkar bt Krittiwika Sinha Roy 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9.
Nikhat Zareen advances in Thai boxing tourney
Former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) on Sunday advanced to the second round of the Thailand Open International boxing tournament with a comfortable opening win in Bangkok.
The Hyderabadi boxer prevailed 5-0 over New Zealand's Tasmyn Benny in the first round of the tournament.
However, former youth world champion Shashi Chopra (60kg) bowed out of the competition early.
The Haryana-boxer went down to local favourite Sudaporn Seesondee in her opening clash, making it a mixed day for India.
Vivek Kohli elected chairman of Commonwealth TT Federation
India's Vivek Kohli and M P Singh have been elected as chairman and secretary general, respectively, of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Federation (CTTF).
The elections were held in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
Stag chief Kohli defeated incumbent Alan Ransome of England, who both secured 22 and six votes respectively.
MP Singh, who is secretary general at Table Tennis Federation of India (TTF), was unanimously elected as secretary general of CTTF.
The CTTF president's post is already held by TTFI chief Dushyant Chautala.
It is for the first time that all the three positions in CTTF are held by Indians.