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World Wrestling C’ships: India look to Shakshi for change in fortunes

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Summer Olympics

Budapest, Oct 23 : India will expect a change of fortune in womens freestyle event when Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik enters the Papp László Sportaréna for her 62 kilogram bout in the World Championships here on Wednesday.

If the Khel Ratna awardee does manage to climb the podium, she will be the first Indian woman wrestler to etch her name in the history books with a medal in the senior world championships.

Along with Sakshi, the other three that will enter the fray on Wednesday include Ritu Phogat (59 kg), Pinki (53 kg) and Pooja Dhanda (57 kg) on the concluding day of the freestyle events.

On the eve of her bout, Shakshi was upbeat and was looking forward to it.

“The field here looks really great. I have prepared well and ready for the challenge. I will do my best to reach the medal round,” said the 26-year-old.

Equally optimistic was Ritu Photogat, the under-23 world championship’s silver medal winner.

“I have trained really hard for this day and I won’t let the chance go by,” said Ritu, who replaced her injured sister Vinesh, in the squad.

The expectations on the remaining four wrestlers have risen, particularly after the other six, including four today, faded away without making an impression.

On the second day of the women’s freestyle event, Ritu (65 kg) had managed to enter the quarter-finals only to falter when Petra Maarit Olli of Finland won 6-2 on points. The winner secured three each in the two periods while the Indian got one each.

Ritu had beaten Ilona Prokopevniuk of Ukrain 5-4 after getting a first-round bye.

Similarly, Navjot Kaur won her first-round bout 4-2 in 68 kg against Wen Ling Chen of Chinese Taipei, but lost the pre-quarterfinals to Koumba Selene Fanta Larroque of France without a single point. The Frenchwoman won 4-0.

Rajni did not even last one round – she received first-round bye – as she went down to Martina Kuenz of Austria 2-0 in 72 kg category. In the 76 kg class, Kiran lost her pre-quarterfinal bout to Kazkhstan’s Elmira Syzdykova by technical fall (2-12) after defeating Chinese Taipei’s Hui Tsz Chang 6-0 in the qualification stage.

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Serena Williams outlasts Simona Halep in epic battle in Australian Open

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Serena Williams
Photo Credit- Twitter/AustralianOpen

Melbourne, Jan 21: Serena Williams of the US advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Monday after a hard-fought 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Romanian world No 1 Simona Halep.

The 37-year-old shone at the Rod Laver Arena to again demonstrate her remarkable longevity and ability to compete at the game’s highest level, reports Efe news.

“It was an intense match and there were some incredible points,” Williams said on court after the match. “I really needed to elevate my game. She’s the number one player in the world.”

The number 16 seed started strongly, storming into a comfortable lead before taking the first set 6-1 as the number one seed Halep struggled to get a foothold in the match.

After bossing the opening exchanges, Williams let her opponent back into the contest as Halep took the second set 6-4.

The American broke Halep’s serve in the seventh game of the third set to go 4-3 up; she was soon serving for the match at 5-4, sealing the win on the first of two match points.

Williams advances to the last eight of the tournament as she continues her bid to add an eighth Australian Open title to her 23 career Grand Slam wins.

IANS

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Tendulkar eagerly waiting for Anil’s Netflix web series ‘Selection: Day Part 2’

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Tendulkar Selection Day Part 2

Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar engaged in a Twitter conversation with actor Anil Kapoor to announce the second season of “Selection Day”. The official Twitter handle of Netflix then announced that “Selection Day: Part 2” will start streaming from April 22 this year.

The series is a coming-of-age drama about two brothers Radha and Manju who are raised by their strict, obsessive father to be star cricket players in India.

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Happy to bat at any number: MS Dhoni

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ms dhoni-wefornews

Melbourne, Jan 18 (IANS) With just a handful of ODIs to be played ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup, the No.4 slot in the Indian batting order is still up for grabs and with former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni staking a strong claim with a hat-trick of half-centuries against Australia, it will be interesting to see if the team management persists with him in the quadrennial event.

Ask Dhoni, who was on Friday promoted to the No. 4 spot and ended up belting a 114-ball unbeaten 87 to guide India to a maiden 2-1 ODI series win against the Kangaroos in their own backyard, the 37-year-old is “happy to bat at any number”.

“It is not about where you want to bat; I am happy to bat at any number and after playing for 14 years I can’t say that I don’t want to bat at number six and want to bat at four,” said Dhoni, who was adjudged the Man-of-the-Series.

Dhoni’s selfless approach was echoed by none other that his successor Virat Kohli, who said “nobody is more committed to Indian cricket than Dhoni.”

Kohli also heaped praises on middle-order batsman Kedar Jadhav, who despite being benched for the opening two ODIs, grabbed the opportunity with both hands in the final ODI, as the right-hander scored an unbeaten 61 and more importantly forged an 121-run unbeaten stand with Dhoni to see India home by 7 wickets.

“It wasn’t a great wicket to bat on, so we had to take it deep, but they were professional in getting the job done. We were a bit nervous but two set batsmen in knew exactly what they wanted to do. Kedar with bat and ball is always handy. We have been here for a long time,” he said.

Dhoni also praised Jadhav’s efforts saying: “Kedar did a great job in playing unorthodox shots and it is important to hit boundaries.”

Similarly, man-of-the-match Yuzvendra Chahal also made the most of the opportunity, returning 6/42 to restrict the hapless Aussies for a meagre 230 at the MCG.

Commenting on the leg-spinner’s effort, Kohli said: We wanted to get in a good combination. We wanted to give Kuldeep (Yadav) a rest and we don’t want to be too predictable as well. Chahal came in and bowled beautifully. 6/42 was magnificent.”

“It’s been an amazing tour for us. We drew the T20 series, won the Test and the ODI series. If someone gave me these results before the tour I would have taken it with both hands.”

“I am really grateful and proud of the side. It was a collective effort. We are feeling confident and balanced as a side with the World Cup in mind. Few games against New Zealand and few more back home to strengthen the areas that we need to work on as a team,” Kohli added.

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