The quarter-final stage of the World Cup has been reached and the quarter-finalists have been decided. Ghana will take on Uruguay in the first quarters, and will look to create history by becoming the first ever country from Africa to enter the semi-final of the World Cup.
The second quarter-final on Friday have the five-time champions Brazil play the Dutch and while Brazil have not been their own self, they have played some effective soccer in the tournament. Holland, on the other hand, have won all their games so far, and can be expected to give them a tough fight for a berth in the semi-finals.
Argentina and Germany will feature in what should be a cracker of a quarter-final on Saturday and the winner will take on the winning side from the Spain-Paraguay game. Argentina have been the form side of the tournament, but the side will need to tighten up their defence against Germany who have scored many goals as well.
Spain’s campaign had started disastrously, but the win over Portugal in the second round means that they will be a difficult side to overcome in the quarter-finals for Paraguay.
Indian women’s 4X400 relay team won a gold while Jauna Murmu bagged a bronze in 400m race on the concluding day of Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Tehran today.
The 4X400 quartet of Priyanka Pawar, Murmu, Ashwini Chidananda Akkunji and Karnatapu Sowjanya clocked 3:43.83 to clinch gold. Kazakhstan (3:44.20) and Iran (4:00.03) won silver and bronze respectively.
In women’s 400m, Murmu clocked 54.56 sec to win the bronze. Munira Saleh (53.79 sec) of Syria and Maslyonko Marina (53.89 sec) of Kazakhstan bagged gold and silver respectively.
On the second day yesterday, shot putter Satyendra Kumar had fetched the first gold for India by hurling the iron ball
to a career best and meet record shattering effort of 19.17m.
Second Indian in the fray, Saurabh Vij, finished a distant fifth with a forgettable 17.22m.
Kuwait’s Mohammad Mashari (18.78m) and Iranian Hamid Reza Farahani (18.58m) made it to a podium finish behind Satyendra.
In men’s heptathlon, Pulimoottil Vinod Joseph won a bronze with a total score of 4981 points. Iranians Hadi
Sepehrzad (5292 points) and Abdul Jalil Tomaj (5054) finished first and second respectively.
National record holder Hari Shankar Roy had a forgettable championships finishing a poor sixth with an effort of 2.14m
On the first day on Wednesday, Resmi Bose won a bronze in women’s long jump with an effort of 5.93m while compatriot M A Prajusha was fourth with 5.92m. Mohammad Ibrar won a bronze in men’s long jump with an effort of 7.56m.
Source : hindustan Times
Germany’s seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher admitted today that he had doubts ahead of his historic comeback, but that uncertainty was a secret to his success.
“I always had doubts in myself before, even in the good years,” 41-year-old Schumacher, who returns after a three year
hiatus at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix with Mercedes GP on Sunday, told Germany’s Stern magazine.
“I think that this is part of the reason for my success – constantly looking for new areas where I can improve.”
Following his break, “Schumi” also said he has “found out how to have fun again, something which I had lost.”
And in case anyone wondered, the German, winner of 91 Grand Prix in 250 starts, was crystal clear what his goal was
this season: an eighth drivers’ title.
“Of course. It goes without saying,” he told Stern. “That’s why I signed a three-year contract.”
Dieter Zetsche, the chairman of the Daimler group and the head of Mercedes-Benz, was also bullish, saying his team had
“probably” the best management, the best drivers and the best engines.
“We’ve got all the ingredients for a superb recipe. Now all we have to do is cook it right,” Zetsche told Stern.
Observers do not necessarily share his confidence, with Schumacher having to contend with a new crop of drivers keen
to teach the German a lesson and send him back into retirement.
Source : Hindustan Times
India thrashed archrival Pakistan with 4-1 in their opening match of the Hero Honda FIH World Cup in New Delhi on Sunday.
The Indians played brilliant attacking hockey put the Pakistani defence under constant pressure. Pakistan could not play their natural game as the Indian midfield held sway throughout the first half and tackled the ball between the half-line and the 23 yard line in the Indian half.
The Pakistani forward kept waiting for their midfield to counter the Indian attacks and start a steady supply of the ball to them but that didn’t materialise.
On the few occasions they got the ball near the Indian goal, the Indian defenders, Dhananjay Mahadik,Sandeep Singh and Bharat Chikara thwarted them easily.
India went ahead in the 28th minute when Shivendra Singh scored off a rebound off their second penalty corner. Sandeep Singh’s flick was saved by Pakistani goalkeeper Salman Akbar but Shivendra, was lurking nearby, pushed the ball past the last defender to put India ahead 1-0.
Pakistan had a great chance of equalising when they earned a peanlty corner in the 30th minute but Sohail Abbas’s rasping drag flick only rattled the cross piece and fell in.
The Indians, obviously thanking the Almighty for the luck escape, cemented their lead off their third penalty corner when Sandeep Singh flicked the ball home to make it 2-0.
Prabhjyot Singh scored the 3rd goal.
Source : Hindustan Times
MUMBAI: The smartest-looking lady made the smartest bid to snare Kieron Pollard, the most sought-after cricketer in the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) third player auction held in Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon.
Nita Ambani, Mumbai Indians’ owner, walked into the bidding room at a five-star hotel here wearing a newly-designed team T-shirt. She later said she was sure of what to purchase. It is a different matter that three other teams – Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers and Kolkata Knight Riders – had walked in with similar plans. However, it was Ambani’s superior, secret, bid that prevailed.
The bidding for Pollard began at a base price of $200,000 and soon turned into a hot battle between Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata. Every passing bid of $10,000 saw all the four teams locked in a tie when the entire purse of $750,000 was emptied. Lalit Modi, the IPL chief, then called for the tie-breaker rule where all three franchisees concerned had to quote an amount – a silent bid which wouldn’t be revealed – and the team quoting the highest amount could buy Pollard.
The Knight Riders were the first to back off at this stage, leaving the other three to slug it out. Ambani wrote an amount slightly higher than Rs 6.5 crore (approximately $1.75m) which saw her pip rivals N Srinivasan (Chennai Super Kings) and Vijay Mallya (Royal Challengers). The idea, it seemed, was to keep in mind that the Kings and the Challengers would be missing out on the services of their costliest players this season – Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen – and so they would utilize that money to buy another player.
Mumbai Indians may have caught a whiff of it (considering that Chennai and Bangalore would have to pay Flintoff and KP only 10% of their cost price of $1.5m) and thus quoted a figure slightly higher than $1.5m. Pollard was theirs.
“The team strategy, discussed between Sachin Tendulkar, TA Sekar and Robin Singh was that we wanted a batting allrounder and we are happy to have him,” Nita Ambani said after the successful bid.
Pollard technically emerged the costliest player of the IPL, as the money spent on him totals up to a mindboggling $1.75m. Ironically, according to the auction rules, the Trinindadian will only get $750,000. The rest of the amount ($1.55m) will go into the IPL kitty.
Following the sale of Pollard, there was another equally intense bidding for Shane Bond in the second round. The New Zealand pacer attracted three teams and all were tied till they expended their entire amount. Bond’s latest CV update, that he doesn’t play Tests for New Zealand any more, made him a more viable option because of his availability. This saw his value rise from a floor price of $100,000 to the price cap of $750,000 after which Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers submitted their respective ‘silent bids’.
Eventually, Bond went to the Knight Riders, who quoted an approximate amount of $1m to net him. They had, in fact, entered the bidding at $640,000 first-up and shown enough inclination to buy the fast bowler.
“From what we have understood he won’t be playing Tests anymore but only ODIs and Twenty20. Yes, he is prone to injuries but his coach said he is in good shape. We wanted a fast bowler and he provides us that,” Jai Mehta, co-owner, Knight Riders, said after the bid.
Two other notable signings were South African Wayne Parnell, who was bought by Delhi Daredevils for $610,000 and West Indian Kemar Roach, who went to Deccan Chargers for $750,000. In both instances, the franchisees which ‘won out’ had to go through gruelling bidding.
Source : Times of India
MELBOURNE: Somdev Devvarman and Prakash Amritraj fought their way into the second round of the men’s doubles event of the Australian Open but Rohan Bopanna’s challenge came to an end with a first round defeat on Wednesday.
Wild card entrants Somdev and Prakash had to dig deep to beat Americans James Cerretani and Travis Rettenmaier 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 in their opening round at Melbourne Park.
In contrast, Bopanna and his Pakistani partner Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi squandered one set lead to lose 6-4, 1-6, 6-7(6) to South African Rik De Voest and Scott Lipsky of the United States.
Somdev and Prakash will next take on the winners of the first round match between 11th seeds Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley and Marcos Daniel and Daniel Koellerer.
Mahesh Bhupathi, who was runner up here last year with Mark Knowles, and Belarussian Max Mirnyi are seeded fourth and will open their campaign against Michael Kohlmann of Germany and Jarkko Nieminen Finland.
Leander Paes and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy are seeded third and will take on the Czech pair of Leos Friedl and David Skoch in the first round.
Source: Times of India
NEW DELHI: The Glazers are at it again. The owners of the most-recognised football club in the world have sent an SOS to the Manchester United players for financial help!
According to the British tabloid Sun, the Glazer family has appealed through a handout to the stars for a multi-million pound loan. The millionaire stars were surprised, to say the least, by the request when they returned home last week from their Qatar training camp.
Players were handed a prospectus, as owner Malcolm Glazer attempts to raise a staggering 500-million-pounds through a bond issue to refinance huge debts.
A United insider said: “The players don’t know what to make of it, really. Most are bemused that the people who pay their wages are basically trying to find out if they can have some back.” United are believed to be offering investors an annual return of seven per cent on the bonds, which start at 50,000-pounds a block.
United’s holding company carries 509.5m pounds in debt secured on the club and its assets. A further loan, secured on the Glazers’ shareholding in the club, is believed to be worth £200 million.
The Glazer family bought United in May 2005 for £810 million – £540 million of it borrowed from banks and hedge funds – and their takeover would have already cost United £340 million in cash, according to a Guardian report. That comprises £220 million in bank interest plus “early-repayment premiums” made when the borrowings were first refinanced in August 2006.
On top of that, the “payments” have incurred interest payable of around £124 million since the Glazers first borrowed the money to buy United.
They are even trying to sell out Carrington, United’s training ground and get it back on lease, according to another report. All this follows the hike in ticket prices, much to the chagrin of the fans and members.
The £500 million bond and a new £75 million credit facility, which will add to an overall debt pile of more than £700 million, will be secured on the majority of property owned by United, including Old Trafford. A prospectus has been circulated to potential investors in a £500 million refinancing scheme this week, reports said.
Source : Times of India