Summary of sports events and persons who made news on Sunday
American Deontay Wilder retained his WBC heavyweight title after a thrilling split decision draw with Britain's Tyson Fury at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, leaving both fighters talking up a rematch.
The hard-hitting Wilder knocked Fury down twice, including a brutal right-left combination that sent the towering Fury to the canvas in the 12th in what initially looked to be the end of the fight.
But the 'Gypsy King' willed himself to his feet and held on to send the fight to the judges, who rewarded him for controlling much of the fight behind his long jab, precise footwork and slippery defense.
One judge scored the fight 115-111 to Wilder, another 114-112 to Fury and the third had it 113-113.
The scorecards showed that Wilder benefited greatly from his two knockdowns in the ninth and the 12th, which all three judges scored 10-8 in favour of the champion. In all the other rounds the fighters were separated by a single point.
Wilder said he thought the battle was over when he saw Fury's eyes "roll into the back of his head" as he fell hard on his back early in the 12th round.
Wilder at first celebrated with a shimmy only to appear stunned when Fury beat the count and got back on his feet.
Both fighters preserved their unbeaten records with the draw, but both thought they had done enough to earn the victory in the bout, which played out before 17,698 fans in downtown Los Angeles.
"I think with the two knockdowns I definitely won the fight," said Wilder (40-0-1), adding that he started slow and rushed his punches in a sub-par performance.
"We poured our hearts out tonight. We're both warriors but with those two drops I think I won the fight," he said in the ring after the fight.
"When I rush my punches like that I'm never accurate.
"The rematch I guarantee I'm going to get him."
Former world champion Fury (27-0-1), in just his third bout since a two-and-a-half year absence from the sport following mental health issues and a failed drug test, was convinced he should have walked away with the title.
"We're on away soil, I got knocked down twice, but I still believe I won that fight," said Fury, who out-landed Wilder 84-71 overall.
"That man is a fearsome puncher and I was able to avoid that.
"The world knows I won the fight."
Ullas Narayan wins India's first international medal in ultra running
Ullas Narayan on Sunday became the first ever Indian individual medal winner in an international ultra running event by clinching a bronze in the 2018 International Association of Ultra Running (IAU) 24 Hour Asia & Oceania Championships in Taipei City.
Narayan bagged the third position, completing 250 km, behind two Japanese runners Yoshihiko Ishikawa (253 km) and Nobuyuki Takahashi (252 km).
The Indian team, comprising Narayan (250 km), Sunil Sharma (202 km) and L L Meena (192 km), also won a bronze with their combined distance of 644 km.
Japan won the team event gold with a distance of 756 km and Australia (684 km) got the silver.
Among the Indian women, Hemlata Saini completed 172 km while Meenal Kotak ran 161 km.
Ultra races involved running over extremely long distances which are far longer than the traditional races. They are contested over two different types of race modalities, either over a set distance (like 50 km, 100 km and longer events) or a set time (like 6 hr, 24 hr, and multi-day events).
The Athletics Federation of India joined the International Association of Ultra Runners (IAU), the official body for Ultra Running, only last year.
The IAU conducts International Ultra Marathon Championships and includes World and Continental Championships in the category of 50 km Ultra Marathon, 100 km Ultra Marathon, 24 Hour Race and Trail Championships.
AFI President Adille Sumariwalla said, "This is indeed a very proud moment for Ultra Running in India. The aim is to leave an impression, and this is precisely what the team has done.
"Our endeavour is to encourage ultra runners to achieve higher standards comparable on the global platform. The Ultra Running Committee of AFI has been working to take the sport forward with a vision of excellence and free of drugs."
Kapur finishes Tied sixth in Queen's Cup
Shiv Kapur finished as the best Indian golfer in the Queen's with a final round of 3-under 67, placing him Tied-sixth in Bangkok on Sunday.
Five birdies against two bogeys saw him finish the week at 11-under 269 at the Queen's Cup hosted by Jaidee Foundation.
Among other Indians, M Dharma (70) and Abhijit Chadha (68) were T-28, Rashid Khan (69) was T-38; Kshitij Naveed Kaul (70) and Honey Baisoya (66) were T-48 and Amardip Malik (78) had a sharp fall to T-62 after being in Top-10 first two days.
Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines signed for a stunning four-under-par 66 in the final round to end a three-year title drought on the Asian Tour.
The 24-year-old Filipino dug deep into his reserves to hold off the challenge from the fast-chasing field after he birdied four of his closing six holes to reign supreme on a 20-under-par 260 total at the Legacy Golf Club.
"Overall, I can't complain, I think I played quite well, made a couple of bogeys where I shouldn't but that is going to happen to anyone. Especially on the back nine I was trying to attack as much as I could. The leaders were getting away from me but I was still out there flag hunting and trying to make as many birdies as I could. Only made two bogeys today so that's a positive," said Kapur.
American Johannes Veerman made a charge on the final day after carding a bogey-free 66 highlighted by four birdies, but he was unable to catch up with the relentless pace of Tabuena, and settled for second place on 263 at the USD 500,000 event hosted by Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee.
Home favourite Jazz Janewattanond had a chance to complete a successful title defence after reeling in three birdies from the 11th. However, he struggled to a dropped-shot on the last and left Tabuena running away with a three-shot victory.
IOA to discuss IOC's diktat on not awarding world events to India
The Indian Olympic Association, in its annual General Body Meeting in New Delhi on December 22, will discuss its parent body IOC's diktat to not award any world event to the country in the wake of the controversy involving a Kosovo boxer.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had asked all its member federations not to grant any world event to India involving Kosovo after the country denied visa to a boxer from the European nation for the AIBA Women's World Championships held in the Indian capital last month.
Kosovo could not participate at the boxing event after their sole representative Donjeta Sadiku was refused visa by the Indian government, which doesn't recognise the European country.
The IOC has asked all the IFs to get a written undertaking from the Indian authorities for equal participation before allotting the country any world event involving Kosovo.
One of the items of the agenda of the GBM reads: "Participation of sporting delegations and athletes in international sports events - principle of autonomy and non-discrimination -- IOC letter 19 November 2018".
"It is a serious matter and the IOA GBM will discuss it threadbare," IOA Secretary General Rajiv Mehta told PTI on Sunday.
"We have already written a letter to the sports ministry on this issue. The GBM will decide what course of action needs to be taken. The IOC can take action against India if this issue is not resolved," he added.
The election of a senior vice president and a vice president will also be held during the GBM.
The IOA had amended its constitution in August to increase the number of senior vice presidents to two from the current one and the number of vice-presidents to nine from the current eight.
The name of former IOA Treasurer Anil Khanna, who withdrew his candidature against current president Narinder Batra in the elections held last December, is doing the rounds as a likely candidate for the election of senior vice president.
R K Anand is the lone senior vice president in the existing executive council.
The last date for submission of nominations for the two posts is on December 4. The list of contestants after scrutiny will be announced on December 13. Retired District Judge Devendra Kumar Naliwal will act as the returning officer.
This will be the first annual GBM after Batra took over as IOA chief in December last year.
Shuttlers Lakshya, Ashmita clinch Tata Open singles titles
Rising Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen avenged his defeat in last month's World Juniors final in style with a straight-game victory over Thailand's Kunlavat Vitidsarn to lift the men's singles title in the Tata Open India International Challenger in Mumbai on Sunday.
Sen, beaten in three games in the final by the Thai who was the defending champion in the world juniors in Canada last month, came out with all guns blazing to chalk out an impressive 21-15, 21-10 victory in just 35 minutes in a lop-sided final at the Cricket Club of India’s courts.
In the all-Indian women's singles final, qualifier Ashmita Chaliha outclassed her eighth-seeded opponent Vrushali Gummadi 21-16, 21-13 in half an hour to lift her first international crown.
Left-handed Ashmita had dumped top seed Ksenia Polikarpova of Israel and fourth seed Chananchida Jucharoen of Thailand on way to the summit contest in which she blew away Vrushali with her speed and aggression.
The men's final was a grudge match and was expected to be no-holds-barred contest, but the 17-year-old Almora-born Sen -- a trainee at the Prakash Padukone academy in Bengaluru turned in a commanding performance and emerged triumphant.
Sen, ranked 91 as compared to his rival's 213, was incisive in his net play and produced some timely and telling cross-court smashes against his Thai opponent who committed far too many unforced errors to stand a chance against the Asian Junior champion and silver medalist in this years Youth Olympics.
Sen, a losing finalist to another Thai shuttler S Thamassin last year, got off the blocks on a canter and quickly jumped to an 11-7 lead at the first break. He then increased the leeway to 16-11 and 18-12 before Vitidsarn hit the shuttle over the baseline after the longest rally of the match, when faced with game point.
The second game started on a more even note with the Thai even holding a narrow lead. But once Sen nosed ahead at 6-5 it was a one-way traffic as the young Indian shuttler applied pressure with his superb net play and aggressive tactics to jump to a commanding 20-10 lead to hold multiple match-points at which stage Vitidsorn committed his second successive unforced error by hitting the bird long to lose the match tamely.
"I knew his game as we have played before and had prepared for it. I was totally focused. It's a great feeling," said Sen after his one-sided victory.
The women's final too did not provide any thrills with Ashmita gaining control of the match from the beginning.
"I had lost to her 3-4 times earlier and this is the first time I have beaten her and, that too, in an international event. I am very happy. Her defense was not that good and that's why I attacked the way I did," said Ashmita.
India clinched another title when the unseeded doubles combine of Sumeeth Reddy and M R Arjun stunned the top-seeded Malaysian pairing of Sze Fei Goh and Nur Izzuddin 21-10, 21-16 in a 35-minute title contest.
Results (all finals):
Mixed doubles: 2-Nipitphon Phuangphuapet/SavitreeAmitrapai (THA) bt 1-Chang Tak Ching/Ng Wing Yung (HKG) 21-13, 21-16.
Women's singles: Ashmita Chaliha (IND) bt 8-Vrushali Gummadi (IND) 21-16, 21-13.
Men's singles: 2-Lakshya Sen (IND) bt Kunlavut Vitidsarn (THA) 21-15, 21-10.
Women's doubles: 2-Ng Wing Yung/Yeung Nga Ting (HKG) bt 1-Meghana Jakkampudi/Poovisha S Ram (IND) 21-10, 21-11.
Men's doubles: Sumeeth Reddy/M R Arjun (IND) bt 1-Sze Fei Goh/Nur Izzuddin (MAS) 21-10, 21-16.