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Sports Shorts: Bronze for Advani in long-up format at World Billiards

Last updated on: November 15, 2017 20:48 IST

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

Pankaj AdvaniIndia’s 17-time world champion Pankaj Advani settled for bronze in the long-up format of the IBSF World Billiards Championship after losing to English opponent Mike Russell in the semi-finals in Doha.

Russell reached the desired 1250 mark ahead of Advani.

After a strong start by Advani, Russell rose to the occasion and fired in breaks of 551, highest of the tournament so far, along with a 447 to race to the final where he awaits the winner of Myanmar’s Nay Thway Oo and England’s Robert Hall.

Earlier in the quarter-finals, both Indians Dhruv Sitwala and Sourav Kothari crashed out of the tournament, leaving Advani as the sole medal winner in this format of the Championship.

After a memorable outing in the World Billiards with a gold and bronze, Advani now has a day to switch from the 3-ball game to snooker for the World Snooker Championship commencing on Thursday.

Result: Mike Russell defeated Pankaj Advani: 1251-620.

Joshna Chinappa advances in Hong Kong; Ghosal, Pallikal exit

Joshna Chinappa was the only bright spot for India on the opening day of the Hong Kong Open, a PSA world tour major in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

In the top half, Chinappa was the first to take the court and the Indian faced a tough fight against qualifier Hollie Naughton of Canada, who stretched the match to five games.

The 51-minute tussle finally ended in favour of the Indian at 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6. The 11th seeded Indian meets Egyptian and seventh seed Nouran Gohar next.

However, Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal failed to cross the first round.

Fresh from his success in the CCI International in Mumbai, Ghosal’s initial struggle seemed an aberration but his opponent, qualifier James Declan of England looked in good touch.

Declan had beaten Ghosal once before and the same confidence saw him carve out an inspiring 11-9, 11-6, 11-9 win.

Pallikal was unlucky to have faced a tough opponent in Egyptian, Nour El Tayeb. The 13th seeded Egyptian took just 17 minutes to reel out a 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 win.

Earlier, Harinder Pal Sandhu attracted attention with his two impressive shows in the qualifying phase against higher-ranked Karim Ali Fathi and Youssef Soliman, both from Eqypt.

However in the main draw, he went down in the first round itself to Paul Coll of New Zealand. The Indian grabbed the first game but thereafter could not sustain the tempo. Coll won 9-11, 11-3, 11-5 11-1. 

UCLA players in Los Angeles after Trump seeks help from China's Xi

 LiAngelo Ball

IMAGE:  LiAngelo Ball looks on before the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft. Photograph: Mike Stobe/Getty Images. 

Three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting arrived back in the United States on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump said he had sought the help of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the case.

The players landed at Los Angeles International Airport on a flight from Shanghai Tuesday evening, their heads down. The three - LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill - declined to speak to throngs of reporters before boarding a bus.

"What they did was unfortunate," Trump told reporters earlier in Manila. He said the trio, who had been held since last week, could have faced long prison sentences. Trump described Xi's response as "terrific."

Trump had raised the issue with Xi at a dinner held during the U.S. leader's Nov. 8-10 state visit to Beijing. Trump was in the Philippines capital for a summit of Asian leaders.

Asked about the trio and Trump's discussing the issue with Xi, China Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing in Beijing that he was unable to provide any further information.

The three basketball players from the University of California, Los Angeles, were detained by police on November 7 in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou over allegations of shoplifting. They were not on the team's return flight to the United States on Saturday.

A senior White House official said the players had been given relatively light treatment due to Trump's intervention.

"It's in large part because the president brought it up," the official told Reuters.

The UCLA team had been in China for a game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Saturday, which UCLA won 63-60. The teams had traveled to Hangzhou earlier in the week to visit the headquarters of the game's sponsor, Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The three students, all freshmen, were taken in for questioning by police about alleged shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store.

They were released from police custody early on Wednesday and had been confined to a luxury hotel pending legal proceedings.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, who had not spoken with the three players, said what had occurred was a "very regrettable situation." Pac-12 is the college athletic conference in which UCLA participates.