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Indian junior hockey team beats Malaysia 4-2 in Sultan of Johor Cup

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Indian junior hockey team beat Malaysia

Opening the scoring in the 12th minute, Rupinder saw Malaysia equalize through Razie Rahim’s drag flick in the 18th minute, but got into the goal-scoring act again two minutes from the end to clinch India a win in the crucial outing and top the league standings.

India survived some anxious moments as hosts Malaysia posed a serious challenge and had their citadel under pressure in the second half and even got a penalty corner in the dying seconds, but the defenders held their ground.

Rounding off their five outings with four wins and a draw, India topped the round-robin league standings with 13 points and now await the results of the last couple of games on Thursday to find out who they play in semi-final.

Malaysia, with nine points from four matches, take on South Korea tomorrow, while defending champions Pakistan play China. [1 9459003]

Indian captain PR Sreejesh was rested for another game to help recovery from his foot injury, giving the chance to reserve goalkeeper Akash Chikte to play this important match. Chikte justified the faith reposed in him and brought off some fine saves.

Starting with a couple of brisk raids, India forced their first penalty corner in the third minute, but Rupinder’s rising drag-flick was deflected out by a defender’s stick.

Ace Malaysian striker Faizal Saari had a view of the Indian goal in the sixth minute, but shot wide trying to find an angle past the goalkeeper and under pressure of time from the Indian defenders.

Rupinder put India into the lead in the 12th minute off his second penalty corner, when he slammed the rebound into the net from close range.

His initial drag-flick went off a defender’s stick and hit the cross-bar before bouncing back to Rupinder, who had moved up several steps.

Nikkin Thimmaiah could have stretched India’s lead two minutes later, but his deflected was saved by custodian Kumar Subramaniam, who played a fine game for Malaysia under the bar by effecting numerous saves.

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Australia suspends Olympic bid amid COVID-19 recovery

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Sydney, May 25 (IANS) Australia’s Queensland has suspended its bid to host the 2032 Olympics recently as the state government focuses on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the bid process had been paused, reports Xinhua news agency.

“It’s just on hold. I wouldn’t read too much into that,” Palaszczuk told reporters last weekend.

“We’re focused absolutely on the economic recovery at the moment.”

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said it fully supported the Queensland government’s position in placing the Brisbane 2032 candidature on hold.

AOC President John Coates said in a recent statement that meetings of the Olympic Candidature Leadership Group (OCLG) scheduled earlier this year were deferred, allowing governments to focus on dealing with COVID-19.

Coates said he’d proposed to OCLG members that the meetings would not proceed while all three levels of governments dealt with the pandemic.

He also told the AOC Annual General Meeting on May 9 that discussions with the IOC on the candidature would resume when appropriate.

“We all understand there are pressing issues of public health and community wellbeing for governments to address,” Coates said.

“The candidature will have its role to play in terms of jobs and growth in the Queensland economy once we have seen our way through the current crisis.”

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‘Hockey has lost its brightest star’: Balbir Singh Sr passes away

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Balbir Singh Senior

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Hockey India has expressed condolences on the sad demise of legendary player Balbir Singh Sr who breathed his last on Monday morning in Mohali. The triple Olympic Champion and World Cup-winning team manager had been battling for life since May 8 when he was hospitalised.

“Today, we have not only lost our greatest hockey legend but we have also lost ‘our guiding light’. While his achievements in post-independent era have been well-documented, Balbir Sr remained the greatest fan of the sport and was always there when we needed his advice. Hockey has lost its brightest star and everyone at Hockey India is pained by this news,” said Hockey India President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad.

He further said: “Balbir Singh Sr’s exemplary achievements, his passion for the sport, his life as an icon of the game will remain an example for generations to come. On behalf of the federation, I express my deepest condolences to his family.”

He was the most decorated athlete in Indian sports history with Olympic medals in 1948, 1952 and 1956 Summer Games. He coached the Indian team which won the bronze medal at the 1971 World Cup and was manager of the Indian team that won the gold medal at the 1975 World Cup.

He had scored five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Under his captaincy, India scored 38 goals and conceded none on its way to the gold medal in 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

Beating England 4-0 in their own backyard during the final of the 1948 Olympic Games as an independent nation was Balbir Sr’s ‘greatest moment’.

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Former Pak batsman Taufeeq Umar tests positive for COVID-19

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New Delhi, Former Pakistan opener Taufeeq Umar tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. Umar featured in 44 Tests and 12 ODIs, amassing 2,963 and 504 runs respectively for Pakistan.

He played his last international match in 2014, a Test against New Zealand in Dubai.

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