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Boxers Manoj, Sumit advance at Olympic qualifiers

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Manoj Kumar Sumit Sangwan

Baku (Azerbaijan), June 21 : Indian boxers Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) won their respective pre-quarterfinals bouts at the World Qualifying Tournament here on Tuesday.

Manoj defeated Smetov Ayrin Smetov of Bulgaria 2-1, while Sumit thrashed Mongolia’s Sandagsuren Erdenebayar 3-0. Both will be assured of Olympic berths if they win their respective quarter-final bouts on Thursday.

Former World Championships bronze-medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg) also entered the pre-quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Japan’s Takahashi Makoto late on Monday night.

Manoj struggled in the early stages of his bout wih Ismetov winning the first round. But Manoj fought back to win the next two rounds.

He will now face Rakhimov Shavkatdzhon of Tajikistan in the last eight stage. Rakhimov defeated Williams Rashield of Bahrain in the pre-quarterfinals.

Later in the day, Sumit produced a power-packed performance to ease past Erdenebayar in his pre-quarterfinal contest. Petr Khamukov of Russia, who defeated Slovakia’s Denis Lazer Sumit in the last-16 stage, will face Sumit in the quarter-finals.

The ongoing tournament offers a total of 39 Olympic spots. The flyweight (52 kg), bantamweight (56 kg), lightweight (60 kg), light welterweight (64 kg), welterweight (69 kg), middleweight (75 kg) and light heavyweight (81 kg) categories will see the top five boxers in each class make the cut for Rio while both finalists in the light flyweight (49 kg) division will qualify.

However, only the gold medal winners in the heavyweight (91 kg) and super heavyweight (91+ kg) divisions will be able to travel to Rio de Janeiro.

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Our style of play is non-negotiable: Mumbai City boss Lobera

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

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Sergio Lobera

Panaji: After Sergio Lobera’s reign at Mumbai City got off on the wrong foot on Saturday with a 1-0 loss to NorthEast United, the Spaniard said that his attack oriented possession-based game was non-negotiable.

“Our style of play is non-negotiable. I used some players in different positions from what they are used, for example Adam in right wing but I believe he has the experience to adjust. We have to improve a lot of course,” Lobera told media after the match.

Mumbai went in with two strikers up front with Adam Le Fondre playing as a make shift right winger along with Bartholomew Ogbeche. The Englishman created some good chances in the first half but a red card to midfield mainstay Ahmed Jahouh and Rowllin Borges conceding a penalty in the second meant at Mumbai ended up losing the match 1-0.

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

“Today (the red card) was a big problem for us. It changed the game, we were playing with 10 men and missing a very important player. But for the next game, I have 28 players, I am very happy with my squad. Just one player is not an excuse for losing the next game,” said Lobera.

“We need to improve, we had a short pre-season and have a short time between games. But it is my job to improve the level of the team and I am very positive that it is possible for the next game.”

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ATP Finals: Thiem beats Djokovic to reach 2nd successive final

He will now face either Daniil Medvedev or Nadal in the final which is scheduled to be played on Sunday.

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Dominic Thiem

London: Dominic Thiem outlasted world no.1 Novak Djokovic in a gripping last-four clash to reach his second successive final at the ATP Finals in the O2 Arena in London. Thiem, ranked third behind Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, won the match 7-5, 6-7(10), 7-6(5).

Thiem broke serve at 5-5 in the first set and sealed it with an ace. Djokovic, however, grinded his way to victory in the second set, denying Thiem the win despite the Austrian getting four chances to seal the game.

The third game was also pushed to a tiebreaker, which was started by Thiem but he went on to lose the next three points. He however roared back to win the next six points and while Djokovic saved a fifth match point, Thiem got the job done at the next opportunity.

He will now face either Daniil Medvedev or Nadal in the final which is scheduled to be played on Sunday.

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Even our reserves are quick, you don’t see this kind of attack: Shami

The biggest advantage is that I can now prepare for the upcoming series without any pressure. There is no burden on me. I am very comfortable at the moment.

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New Delhi, Nov 21: The depth in the fast bowling department and the camaraderie that the players share between them are among the biggest reasons why India’s pace battery is rated as one of the best in the world, according to leading pacer Mohammed Shami.

Shami and Jasprit Bumrah are considered the core of a plethora of fast bowlers who have been integral to India’s success in Test cricket in recent years.

“Our fast bowling group can bowl at 140 kmph plus and you need that kind of pace in Australia,” Shami said in an interview on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) official website.

“Even our reserves are quick, you don’t get to see that kind of an attack. We thrive on challenges. We have the experience. We have variety in our spin bowling attack too. We can bowl fast but we are all different, our skills are different. India have quality batsmen and we bowl at them in the nets. We don’t look at names, we focus on our skills. You can be a world-class batsman, but one good ball will still get you out,” Shami said.

India will be banking on Shami and Co. during their upcoming tour of Australia. The 30-year-old pacer comes into the series after a successfull Indian Premier League in which he took 20 wickets in 14 matches.

“My performances for Kings XI Punjab in IPL has given me a lot of confidence and put me in the right zone. The biggest advantage is that I can now prepare for the upcoming series without any pressure. There is no burden on me. I am very comfortable at the moment. I had worked hard on my bowling and my fitness in the lockdown. I knew that IPL would take place sooner or later and I was preparing myself for it,” he said.

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