National motorcycle racing meet to kick off in Coimbatore

first_imgChennai, Jun 8 (PTI): The MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2017 kicks off at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore with the Rolon round to be held 10 and 11 June.A full-fledged national championship for women would be a highlight of the five-round meet, organised by Madras Motor Sports Club (MMSC), said a press note here.Alisha Abdullah, who has participated in super bike events abroad, is set to make a comeback after eight years and will participate in the womens championship, the release said.She became the first Indian woman to gain a podium finish in an international motorsport competition, the Toyota VIOS Cup in Thailand in 2014.While the practice sessions would be held tomorrow, the main races would be conducted on Saturday and Sunday. There would be a total of 19 races with over 200 riders vying for honours.Chairman of the organising committee and race director Manoj Dalal said, “In keeping with MMSC?s constant endeavour to promote motorsport at all levels, we decided to introduce a national championship exclusively for women. So far, 15 entries have been received.”Along with the national championship, leading two-wheeler manufacturers TVS and Honda will run their separate One-Make series in two categories ? Open and Novice ? besides a support race each for women.The focus would be on Super Sport Indian 165cc (Open) category, which has attracted the country?s top riders including last years champion Jagan Kumar along with his TVS team-mates KY Ahmed and Harry Sylvester, besides Shankar Sarath Kumar of Honda Ten10. PTI SS SSadvertisementlast_img read more

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PM to inaugurate athletics track via video conferencing

first_imgKozhikode, Jun 12 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate, via video conferencing, the synthetic track at the Usha School of Athletics at Kinalur in the district on June 15.Addressing a press meet, former national athletic champion P T Usha said the 400m eight-lane synthetic track was laid under the supervision of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and Steel Authority of India (SAI).”The two-layer track with all allied facilities is the third in the state, the other two being at Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam,” she added.The school spread over an area of 30 acres of land, was constructed with a grant of Rs 8.5 crore from the National Sports Development Fund, has besides the synthetic track, a mud track, a 40-bed hostel and gymnasium.”The next step would be to install floodlights at the campus,” Usha, who made all out efforts to realise her dream project, said. PTI KV SS MAVlast_img read more

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Waive Air Indias debt, instead of selling it: Workers union

first_imgNew Delhi, Jun 28 (PTI) An employees union of Air India today met NITI Aayog chairman Arvind Panagriya and demanded that the government waive the airlines debt, instead of selling it to a private player.However, the move may have come a little too late as hours later the Union Cabinet gave its in-principle approval for the disinvestment of Air India.NITI Aayog, the government think tank, had earlier proposed privatisation of Air India because of its debt of Rs 52,000 crore.”We request you to waive Rs 30,000 crore and give opportunity to Air India management to keep flying the flag of national carrier,” according to a letter the Air India Employees Union submitted to Panagriya.Expressing concerns about the uncertain fate of 25,000 employees of the airline, the union representatives have also demanded that if Air India is privatised, their salary dues should be cleared.The union members also highlighted that the airline had incurred huge losses because of “hasty decisions and wrong civil aviation policy of the Government of India” such as the purchase of 111 aircraft and surrendering of profitable routes to private carriers.They also add that appointing retired employees on last- drawn salary has affected the airline adversely as well as recruiting sports personalities such as Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh cost the airline several crore rupees.Another employees union, Air Corporation Employees Union, is planning to seek an appointment with the Prime Ministers Office.Seven unions of Air India employees had earlier warned the government of large-scale protests if the NITI Aayog proposal to privatise the national carrier was approved. PTI JC SMNadvertisementlast_img read more

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Virender Sehwag catches up with India’s women cricketing stars

first_imgFormer India opener Virender Sehwag met up with the stars of the India women’s cricket team who reached the final of the World Cup last month and lost to England by a mere 9 runs.Sehwag took to Twitter to share an image of his meet with Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Raut and Rajeshwari Gayakwad.Sehwag was elated after meeting the girls and said, “What a joy and pleasure to meet these wonderful girls who make us so proud.”What a joy and pleasure to meet these wonderful girls who make us so proud.@ImHarmanpreet , @vedakmurthy08 Jhulan, Ekta,Poonam & Rajeshwari pic.twitter.com/2oG1oXbHvf- Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 4, 2017Wishes and rewards have been pouring in for Indian women after their stellar performance at the World Cup where they defeated the mighty Aussies in the semi-final.India captain Mithali Raj was gifted a BMW for her team’s wonderful performance in England along with her personal accomplishments on the road.While veteran Jhulan Goswami dished out an outstanding bowling performance in the final, Harmanpreet Kaur’s brilliant 171* against Australia steered India to the final of the tournament.Poonam Raut also scored a century in the tournament and was a stable figure in the Indian batting line-up. On the other hand, Ekta Bisht and Rajeshwari Gayakwad both registered a five-wicket haul each against Pakistan and New Zealand respectively.last_img read more

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Manushi, Mithali, Sania to address GES in Hyderabad

first_imgHyderabad, Nov 26 (PTI) Newly-crowned Miss World Manushi Chhillar, star woman cricketer Mithali Raj and ace tennis player Sania Mirza will be among the speakers at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), beginning here on November 28.The summit, on the theme of Women First, Prosperity for All, will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.US President Donald Trumps daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump will lead a delegation from her country at the three-day event.Popular Telugu actor Ram Charan Teja and Bollywood actor Aditi Rao Hydari will also speak at the event, according to the organisers.Manushi Chhillar and actor Sonam Kapoor will speak in a session on The Female Influencer: Advancing Womens Opportunities in the Media Industry.Mithali Raj, Sania Mirza and Indian badminton teams chief national coach P Gopichand will speak at a session on The Business of Winning at Sports Entrepreneurship, on November 29.NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant will participate in a session on The City that Never Sleeps: Cities of Tomorrow.A senior official in the Telangana government had earlier said actor Deepika Padukone and cricketer M S Dhoni withdrew their participation from the summit.Over 1,500 delegates, including entrepreneurs and investors, CEOs of major knowledge-based industries, representing the full measure of entrepreneurial talent from diverse backgrounds across the world, are expected to attend the summit.NITI Aayog has taken the lead in organising the event.The event will primarily focus on four thematic sectors — energy and infrastructure; healthcare and life sciences; financial technology and digital economy; and media and entertainment sectors.advertisementModi and Ivanka Trump, along with 100 special guests, would attend a special dinner at the Taj Falaknuma Palace hotel in the old city on November 28, Hyderabad Police Commissioner V V Srinivasa Rao had earlier said. PTI GDK GK ABMlast_img read more

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Rafael Nadal to participate in Tie Break Tens to prepare for Australian Open

first_imgWorld No. 1 Rafael Nadal will play an exhibition event in Melbourne Park to get some much needed match practice ahead of the Australian Open.The Spaniard has not played since he withdrew from the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London in November with a knee injury.The 31-year-old has already withdrawn from an exhibition tournaments in Abu Dhabi, Sydney and also from this week’s Brisbane International, citing lack of time to properly prepare.Therefore, he decided to take part in the winner-takes all Tie Break Tens event at Melbourne Park on January 10, five days before the Australian Open begins.”Tie Break Tens is a great concept and we will see and play some exciting matches,” Nadal said in a statement.”The field is fantastic and I expect some tough competition which will be great for the Aussie fans.”The eight-man field includes Novak Djokovic, three-time grand slam winner Stan Wawrinka, Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, and former world number one Lleyton Hewitt.Each match is comprised solely of super tie breaks to 10 points. The knockout tournament provides a winner take-all purse of $250,000.”It really will be an intriguing contest,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.”These guys are all coming in at different stages of their preparation, but once their competitive instincts kick in, which will be almost instant in this format, there will be some absorbing contests.”Remember, there is not much room for error. You lose the tie break and you are out.” (With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

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South Africa face ‘selection headache’ ahead of first Test vs India

first_imgSouth Africa seem to be getting headaches over team selection for the first Test against India in Cape Town in the three-match series, starting January 5.Viraty Kohli-led India have been in splendid form for the past two years, breaking and making a plethora of records. Along with having a settled and defined batting line-up, India have upped their game in terms of pacers, which put India in the spot of a great contest.India will be having their own selection conundrum for the first Test but like captain Kohli has said that is a happy headache to have.South Africa coach Ottis Gibson in under a similar cloud and is scratching his head trying to find the best team for the upcoming Test.With Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers back in the squad and available for selection, Gibson is trying to figure out the best possible combination.ALSO WATCH”We have to try and pick the best team for the conditions and it is clearly a selection headache, but it is a good headache to have all the best players back and available to play,” Gibson told a news conference.AB de Villiers has returned after a two-year hiatus from the Test arena while Steyn is available again after a year-long lay-off and major shoulder surgery for the three-match series against the top-ranked Test team.But Steyn, five wickets shy of becoming South Africa’s top Test wicket-taker, will only play if South Africa decide to go with an extra bowler on what is expected to be a green, seamer-friendly wicket at Newlands.advertisement”We don’t know just yet whether we will play him in the first test but, depending on the selection, he might well play,” Gibson said.The 34-year-old Steyn has not had a rigorous examination of his injury since returning to action in November and it is a risk to play him, particularly if he breaks down as he did against England in late 2015 and Australia in 2016.”I don’t think that if we were to pick a three-man seam attack plus a spinner we would want to put him in, in case something happens and he leaves the team vulnerable if he can’t finish the game,” Gibson added.”I’m not saying that will happen but you don’t want to take that risk with the first Test. We have to look at the best combination to try and win the game and he will certainly come into the discussion but it depends on the formation of the team we put on the field.”QUICK WICKETGibson, recently appointed South Africa coach after previously serving as England’s bowling coach, said the hosts had asked for a quick wicket to be prepared and that looks likely to be the case at the toss on Friday. But he warned the bowlers they still had to efficiently use the favourable conditions.”With some grass on the wicket, bowlers sometimes tend to get a bit carried away. You still have to put the ball in the right area. However the wicket looks, you still have to play well on it. We will be playing the best team in the world, so we have to bring our A-game,” he said.(Courtesy: Reuters)last_img read more

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Novak Djokovic adds Radek Stepanek to coaching team

first_imgFormer world number one Novak Djokovic said on Thursday he had added close friend Radek Stepanek to his coaching team and was excited to be working with the Czech.American Andre Agassi, eight-time grand slam champion, will continue to coach Djokovic at the grand slams with 39-year-old Stepanek stepping in at other tournaments.”Radek is one of my very close friends on the tour and I was always impressed with his level of determination, passion and love for the sport,” Djokovic said in a statement.”The fact that he just recently retired speaks volumes of his love for the game.”He has lot of experience and knowledge, and has played on a high level for many years. I am excited to join our forces and cannot wait to compete again having a new team to back me up.”The 30-year-old Djokovic, who has won 12 grand slam titles, suffered a year-long dip in form before an elbow injury forced him to retire in this year’s Wimbledon quarter-finals. The Serb has not played competitively since.Djokovic lost the world number one ranking to Andy Murray 12 months ago, leading him to cut his coaching ties with German Boris Becker, and after a second-round exit at this year’s Australian Open he parted ways with his back-up team in May.Stepanek, 39, reached a career-high number eight in the world rankings and twice helped the Czech Republic win the Davis Cup before announcing his retirement this month.He was also looking forward to the challenge of helping Djokovic return to winning ways.advertisement”I’m honoured to be a new member of Novak’s team,” said Stepanek. “It is a new and exciting challenge for me, which I’m looking forward to, and I believe that as a team we can help Nole (Novak) reach his goals.”As long-time friends off the tennis court, I believe that our friendship and similar views will translate onto the court as well, and we will share some memorable moments together.”Djokovic, 12th in the world rankings, is due to start his comeback at the Abu Dhabi exhibition event in December.last_img read more

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Virushka married: Anushka Sharma to spend New Year’s eve with Virat Kohli in South Africa

first_imgVirat Kohli and Anushka Sharma are officially a married couple now. The two tied the knot at Borgo Finocchieto in Tuscany, South of Italy. The couple has been a favourite of the masses and has dominated headlines ever since they started dating back in 2013.And according to a statement issued, the couple are set to spend New Year’s eve in South Africa.This was very likely as the Indian team is supposed to leave for South Africa on December 27 for a three-match Test series that starts on January 5, 2018 at Newlands. The Test series will be followed by six ODIs and three T20Is.However, Anushka will return in the first week of January to begin the next schedule of Anand L Rai’s film with Shah Rukh Khan in Mumbai.Earlier in the day, both Kohli and Anushka came out on their Twitter handles and shared pictures of their wedding with their fans. They openly confessed love for each other and sought blessings from their fans.Today we have promised each other to be bound in love for ever. We are truly blessed to share the news with you.This beautiful day will be made more special with the love and support of our family of fans & well wishers. Thank you for being such an important part of our journey. pic.twitter.com/aobTUwMNAK- Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 11, 2017Today we have promised each other to be bound in love forever. We are truly blessed to share the news with you. This beautiful day will be made more special with the love and support of our family of fans & well wishers. Thank you for being such an important part of our journey. pic.twitter.com/Scobdiqk7ladvertisement- Anushka Sharma (@AnushkaSharma) December 11, 2017This is the statement issued by Anushka Sharma’s spokesperson:We are very happy to announce that Ms. Anushka Sharma and Mr. Virat Kohli got married at a private ceremony in Italy, today. The wedding was attended by close family and a few friends as they wished their wedding to be a very private affair. The wedding was performed as per Hindu rituals. Top fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee has designed the wedding ensemble for both the bride and the groom. Virat and Anushka will now start inviting all industry friends and colleagues for the celebrations that are set to happen in Mumbai.Heartiest congratulations to this lovely pair. Wishing the couple a very happy married life. https://t.co/d1gd5vCkiw- BCCI (@BCCI) December 11, 2017Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli said in a joint statement, “Today we have promised each other to be bound in love forever. We are truly blessed to share this wonderful news with you. This beautiful day will be made more special with the love and support of our family of fans and well wishers. Thank you for being such an important part of our journey.”The couple will be hosting a reception in New Delhi for their relatives on 21st December which will be followed by a reception for industry friends and cricketers in Mumbai on 26th December.The newly wed couple will travel to South Africa where Virat will start prepping for the upcoming series and Anushka will spend New Year’s Eve with him and return in the first week of January to begin the next schedule of Anand L Rai’s film with Shah Rukh Khan in Mumbai. She will also start prepping for Sui Dhaaga as the shooting for the same starts in February 2018 with Varun Dhawan. Anushka will also be busy with the marketing and promotions of Pari which is releasing on 9th February.Congratulations @imVkohli and @AnushkaSharma! https://t.co/tx09TnLl0V- ICC (@ICC) December 11, 2017Virat, on the other hand, will be playing the series in South Africa for two months which includes three Tests, six One Day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty20 International (T20I) matches.Post their wedding the newly wed couple will be shifting to their new residence in Worli, Mumbai in December once they return from Delhi.Their spokesperson said, “We are extremely grateful to the media for their support and understanding in making this special occasion a memorable one and thank them for their continued love and support.”last_img read more

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Yankees Lose Cano to Mariners

first_imgNew York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano has agreed to terms with the Seattle Mariners on a 10-year deal worth at least $240 million, according to multiple reports.Cano’s representatives wouldn’t comment on the reports, which said that Cano elected to join the Mariners after a quick courtship that saw he and agent Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter fly to Seattle, with promises of a nine-year deal worth $225 million, only to have Cano’s camp seek a 10th year upon arrival.That was worked out the morning of Dec. 6, and the five-time All Star agreed to join Seattle, as ESPN’s Enrique Rojas first reported, and reiterated by The Wall Street Journal.The Mariners issued a non-denial denial of the signing on their Twitter account after being bombarded with media requests.“We aren’t able to confirm any news regarding Robinson Cano at this time. If & when an agreement is completed & finalized, we will announce,” said the message on the Mariners’ official account.The Yankees had insisted all along that they wanted Cano, but that they were never willing to go to the range of 10 years to get him and after New York signed Jacoby Ellsbury from the Boston Red Sox it seemed they were less interested in their star infielder.Burned by the length of the 10-year Alex Rodriguez contract, among others, the Yankees had offered a seven-year deal worth roughly $170 million in the hope that no team would blow them away with an offer much longer than that.The gambit failed, the Journal reported. For the first time in the history of free agency, the Yankees were outbid on a homegrown star in his prime, who they wanted to keep on a deal of five years or more, by a mid-market team. TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Another Olympic Fall For Jacobellis

first_imgKRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Same sting, different day for Lindsey Jacobellis.The woman who has dominated her sport for a decade came to the Olympics for the third time on Feb. 16, in search of the gold medal she gave away once and lost in one of those so-called “racin’ deals” the other time.Far ahead of the other five riders in her semifinal heat on a sunny, slushy afternoon at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, Jacobellis misjudged the second-to-last turn on the course, flew over a jump too fast, lost her balance and skidded onto her back.She raised her hands for leverage as she skittered into the middle of the course, hoping the momentum might pull her back to her feet. But the snow was too soft and Jacobellis was stuck. She moved to the side and trudged down the hill, snowboard in hand.“It’s how the wheel turns,” she said. “It just so happened not to work out. It’s hard to accept that.”Moments after her latest hard-luck loss in the Olympic version of NASCAR on snow, she overcame a slow start and dominated the field in what they call the Small Final — the race that decides seventh place.Jacobellis now has second-, fifth- and seventh-place finishes in her three Olympic trips. Yes, it keeps getting worse.Her first Olympic loss, eight years ago in Italy, was a sheer matter of showboating. Out in the clear with two jumps left, she tried a showy grab of her board and tumbled, then got passed for the victory and held up for ridicule in some corners, derision in others.Four years ago in Vancouver, she collided with Canadian Maelle Ricker, the eventual winner, on an early turn in the semifinal round. That put her off balance and she couldn’t regain control before she rode completely off course. She won the consolation heat — then a four-woman race — that day, as well.This time, it was a cruel melding of human error and the randomness of snowboardcross that combined to ruin her day.Jacobellis was well in the lead when she headed into the second-to-last turn and set herself up for a set of four gentle bumps — called “rollers” in snowboard parlance.The traffic behind her — bunched in a four-way scrum for what looked like the last two spots in the final — wasn’t bearing down, but Jacobellis wasn’t sure, so she pushed things as she headed to the corner.The last roller shot her blindly into the final turn and she lost her balance. Within seconds, the entire field passed her.“There’s a lot out there you can’t control, but unfortunately, what I could control today was what didn’t work,” she said. “That’s the unfortunate part.”Over a career that began when she was a teen, the 28-year-old Jacobellis has a record of putting things together when it counts. She won her eighth Winter X Games title last month, and also has 26 World Cup victories and three world championships.Then, the Olympics roll around.“People don’t understand how much pressure is on her,” said her American teammate, Faye Gulini, who finished fourth. “It breaks her heart because I think it takes the fun out of it for her.Just for this event. She loves the sport. She’s a phenomenal snowboarder. But it’s in her head, with that much pressure on you. I’ve never had that kind of pressure but I know it just breaks her as an athlete.”Another American, Nate Holland, was on hand a day before he tries to end his own 0-for-2 Olympic drought. “A little bit of heartbreak, for sure,” Holland said.Jacobellis, who made this Olympics after a full recovery from a pair of knee operations in 2012, acknowledged that heartbreak but said it wasn’t pressure that did her in.“It’s not that I’m over-amped, or over-excited,” she said. “I was really happy with how the course was coming together for me. It just didn’t work out. I don’t really know how else to say it.”Jacobellis will be 32 in 2018. There’s talk the Olympics might add a team snowboardcross event for the Games in South Korea — essentially a relay. Jacobellis has been excited about the prospect of racing with her American teammates instead of against them.It would’ve been so much easier to take one last trip with a gold medal in her pocket. But it wasn’t to be. Again.“There’s worse things in life than not winning,” Jacobellis said. “A lot worse. And, of course, it’s every unfortunate this didn’t work out for me.”(EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Jets Braced For Big Bad Bears

first_imgNEW YORK — Rex Ryan has watched plenty of film of Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears’ offense during the past several days.And from what Ryan and the New York Jets’ defense have seen, they know they’ll have their hands full with those big, bad Bears receivers.“Sometimes they just throw it up there,” Ryan said. “Sometimes there are timing (routes). … A lot of times it’s like, ‘Hey, run behind the Buick, I’ll throw it to you.’ They have two monsters and they don’t mind feeding it to them, regardless of what your coverage looks like.”Press-man coverage, zone coverage, whatever. The 6-foot-4 Brandon Marshall and 6-3 Alshon Jeffery cause opponents fits, and they’ll be looking to do more of the same against the Jets (1-1) when the Bears (1-1) come to MetLife Stadium on the night of Sept. 22.Both Marshall (ankle) and Jeffery (hamstring) were listed as questionable — but they were in the same position last week and both played. Marshall looked especially healthy Sept. 14th night when he caught three touchdown passes and helped the Bears roar back for a 28-20 comeback win at San Francisco.“They’re both big receivers,” Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman said. “They both can go up and catch the football. They both know how to box you out. They’re both strong. They’re built. They both can make one-handed, spectacular catches down the field.”Other than all that, they should be no problem to defend. Yeah, sure.Marshall has 13 catches for 119 yards with four touchdowns, while Jeffery has eight receptions for 118 yards.Oh, and the Jets will also have to be fully aware of playmaking 6-6 tight Martellus Bennett, who leads the Bears with 15 catches and has two TDs.“They have a group of receivers that can get down the field and create mismatches,” Thurman said. “You’ve got to go up, fight them and contest them for the football and hope you win your share of them. Obviously, versus most teams, they win their share.”Having an unsettled situation in the secondary also isn’t ideal for the Jets. Top cornerback Dee Milliner is doubtful for the game as he deals with ankle and quadriceps injuries that kept him out of practice Sept. 18-19.Milliner, who suffered a high ankle sprain on Aug. 10 during training camp, missed the season opener against Oakland but then played last week at Green Bay. He was done for the day after allowing Jordy Nelson to score on an 80-yard touchdown catch.Converted safety Antonio Allen and Darrin Walls are expected to start for the third straight game and will have to try to keep Marshall and Jeffery — and Bennett — from having huge games in the passing game. The Jets’ front seven will also be counted on to put lots of pressure on Cutler, forcing him into making mistakes.“They give you a lot of looks up front, which takes time as a quarterback,” Cutler said. “It takes your eyes off the secondary because you have to worry about where they are coming from. Are you going to be picked up? Are you going to be hot? And that just takes away a click or two you have that you could be reading the secondary and finding your routes. So, it’s a tricky defense.”But it’s also one that knows it needs to buckle down after allowing Aaron Rodgers to throw for 346 yards — 209 to Nelson — and three touchdowns last week. The Jets are facing a stretch of pass-happy opponents that doesn’t get much easier after Sept. 22.Detroit, San Diego, Denver and New England are next, so Chicago will provide a good test as to where New York’s defense is. The Jets are ranked third in overall defense, helped by their No. 1 spot against the run. But they’re also a mediocre 17th against the pass.“Hopefully, if you’re stopping the run, you’re pretty decent on second down against the pass,” linebacker Calvin Pace said. “And that way, on third down, you can kind of make them a little bit more one-sided. You can pin your ears back and go.”Not that that will be a given against the Bears. Matt Forte is one of the league’s top dual threats, a running back who can rush for 100-plus yards and make plays catching short passes and turning them into big gains.“We’re not sleeping on the fact that he’s in their backfield,” Thurman said. “Our No. 1 objective almost every week is to stop the run first and then play good pass defense and not let the ball go over our head.”___(DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Moosed Opportunity: Bumgarner too Much for Moustakas and the Royals

first_imgKANSAS CITY, MO – It was a Cinderella year for the Kansas City Royals. An improbable 8-0 postseason start, much of it on the clutch power-hitting heroics of Greek-American Mike Moustakas, thrust them into the World Series against the vaunted veteran San Francisco Giants.Losing the first game at home, the Royals evened things up in Game 2 as the Series headed West. Now with home field advantage, the Giants could have wrapped things up in Frisco by Sunday night, but it was not to be.After edging their hosts 3-2 in Game 3, the Royals fell victims to the Giants’ bats in Game 4, and the masterful pitching of Madison Bumgarner in Game 5. With their backs to the wall if not their tails between their legs, they flew back to Kansas City, determined not to lose the championship on their home turf.A resounding 10-0 blowout – clearly the most decisive game of the Series – was highlighted by Moustakas bat: he drove in the game’s first, and last runs. First, with a double, then with a home run. The moose antlers, a hometown prop in Moustakas’ honor – his nickname is “Moose” – could be spotted throughout Kauffman Stadium. It all boiled down to Game 7. Six games, three wins apiece, 25 total runs for the Royals, 27 for the Giants. It doesn’t get more evenly-matched than that.In the final game, undaunted by the 10-0 mauling the night before, the Giants struck first, scoring two runs in the top of the second inning. Kansas City answered back with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning, and that’s the way it stayed until the Giants scored again in the fourth to jump ahead 3-2. The rest was pitching. More specifically, Madison Bumgarner. Amazingly, he pitched five scoreless innings on just two days’ rest to keep the Royals at bay. Things almost got out of hand in the bottom of the ninth, as an fielding flop saw a runner on third with two outs, and Moustakas on deck.  What a showdown that would have been: Bumgarner v. Moustakas. But it was not to be – as Bumgarner got Salvador Perez to pop up in foul territory and the ballgame was over. Needless to say, Bumgarner was named Series MVP.The Giants added to their glory, winning their third World Series championship in five years, and eighth overall. The first five came when the team played in New York City at the Polo Grounds.The Royals, meanwhile, will have to wait at least another year to win what would be their second championship ever. They won it all in 1985, on the back of another third baseman (that is Moustakas’ position) – a fellow who is a legend in Kansas City – George Brett.Now the team’s Vice President of Baseball Operations, Brett has been supportive of Moustakas during the latter’s hitting slumps, often recalling his early days before he blossomed into one of the game’s greatest hitters. Graciously, he said “Moustakas isn’t the first young, struggling, Royals third baseman.”But Moustakas has a great deal to be proud of this season, including four home runs and five RBIs against the California Angels and Baltimore Orioles, helping his team get to the World Series.They may not have won it all this time, but as the Royals set to defend their American League Championship, all bets are on the moose calls and moose antlers being abound.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Celtics Rout Woeful Knicks, 115-94

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares BOSTON — The recently reshuffled Boston Celtics hadn’t practiced lately and it showed early in a Feb. 25 game against the New York Knicks.Midway through the third quarter, the Celtics got in sync and turned a six-point deficit into a 115-94 rout of the reeling Knicks.“We just kept rocking,” said Evan Turner, who had his first career triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. “We made a lot of great plays to start that fourth quarter as a team. We got the energy going.”Boston’s top three scorers were all picked up in trades over the past few months. Isaiah Thomas scored 19, hitting all 11 of his foul shots, and Jonas Jerebko had 20 points as both played their first home games as members of the Celtics. Jae Crowder, acquired from Dallas in the Rajon Rondo deal on Dec. 18, finished with 18 points.“We’ve got a lot of talented guys,” Thomas said. “Coach’s offensive system is freedom for everybody and he wants everybody to have confidence and attack.”Boston hit 14 3-pointers, including eight in the fourth quarter to put away the Knicks and extend New York’s losing streak to eight.Coach Brad Stevens said he’s still learning what he has with the recent additions, but was impressed with what Boston accomplished with a smaller lineup.“We’re just throwing darts,” Stevens said. “Like today — we found a lineup that nobody would ever thought would play together right in an NBA game.”The Celtics outscored the Knicks 35-22 in the final period and 77-45 in the second half.Andrea Bargnani led New York with 17 points. Lou Amundson, Jason Smith and Langston Galloway scored 14 points each for the Knicks.Amundson gave the Knicks a 68-62 edge midway through the third quarter, tying their largest lead of the game, then New York’s offense stalled and never recovered as the Celtics starting hitting from outside.“It was really those last couple minutes that got away from us,” coach Derek Fisher said.Boston scored the last nine points of the third quarter and first 11 of the fourth.The Celtics closed the third quarter on a 16-3 run, scoring the last nine points of the period and taking an 80-72 lead into the fourth. Smart opened the fourth with back-to-back 3-pointers and New York called timeout trailing 86-72.The delay did nothing to spark the Knicks or slow down the Celtics, who added another 3-pointer by Crowder and two free throws by Jerebko for a 91-72 lead.“We were going back and forth pretty much the whole third quarter and they had a few big shots down the stretch,” Galloway said. “They separated a little bit going into the fourth and they just kept it going and hitting a lot of big shots.”Amundson ended New York’s drought on a jumper with 9:03 left to play. It was the first points for the Knicks since Bargnani’s jumper with 2:59 left in the third put New York up for the last time at 72-71.(DOUG ALDEN)last_img read more

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Kenya’s Kipkorir Wins 36th Athens Marathon

first_imgATHENS (AP) — Brimin Kipkorir of Kenya has won the 36th Athens Marathon in the third fastest time, beating Ethiopia’s Tesfa Wokneth by almost two minutes.Kipkorir broke away from the leading group after 25 kilometers to win the hilly course in 2 hours 10 minutes and 56 seconds, 19 seconds off the course record set by his compatriot Felix Kandle in winning the 2014 race.Wokneth was second in 2:12:52 and fellow Ethiopian Asmeraw Mengistu was third in 2:13:20.Two other Kenyans rounded out the top 5.Shelmith Muriuki of Kenya won the women’s race — and was 17th overall — in a personal best of 2:36:46, beating fellow Kenya runner Rebby Koech (2:38:54) and Greece’s Eleftheria Petroulaki (2:46:09)A record 18,750 runners started the race Sunday morning.Kenya’s Misoi Brimin Kipkorir crosses the finish line to win the 2018 Athens Marathon, in Athens, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. (InTime News via AP)Spectators cheer participants as they past Mati village, where 99 people died in a forest fire last summer, during the 2018 Athens Marathon, in Athens, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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James Rodríguez Gets 2nd Chance After Return To Real Madrid

first_imgBARCELONA, Spain — Having gone from star to cast-off at Real Madrid, Colombia midfielder James Rodríguez now has a second chance to regain a prominent role with the 13-time European Cup winners.James arrived at Madrid after an outstanding 2014 World Cup, when he was the tournament’s top scorer with six goals. He earned support from fans and coach Carlo Ancelotti with his ability to score and create chances for others, and appeared set to triumph with the Spanish powerhouse.But an injury and competition from his teammates led to falling minutes. He eventually lost his starting spot and became unhappy when Zinedine Zidane used him sparingly. He left in 2017 on a two-year loan for Bayern Munich.James’ future was up in the air again this past summer when Bayern opted not to exercise the option of buying his contract outright, sending him back to Madrid. Rumors abounded in the Spanish media that he would be shipped out to Atlético Madrid or Napoli to be reunited with Ancelotti.Neither of those moves materialized, though, and he started the season back with Madrid and its squad full of talented midfielders. James was facing an uncertain.But injuries to Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio, Francisco “Isco” Alarcón and Luka Modric, and the exit of Dani Ceballos, left Zidane in need of a healthy player to link up with his forwards.James seemed clearly thrilled to get the opportunity on Saturday when he made his first start since returning to the club. He hustled when pressuring the ball, and showed his excellent playing skills, combining vision and passing precision to set up Karim Benzema for his second goal in a 3-2 win over Levante.Now he may have another chance to lead Madrid’s attack when it visits Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League opener on Wednesday.“You can see he is very good. He is a player who has lots of talent,” Zidane said Saturday. “He still needs to reach his peak fitness, but he left it all on the field with his aggressive attitude. I am happy for him.”IS HE READY?Barcelona could start its European campaign at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday without Lionel Messi, who hasn’t played since injuring his leg in the preseason.In his place, 16-year-old Ansu Fati has become a fan favorite after scoring twice to set records for the youngest Barcelona player to score in the Spanish league and the youngest player to score at Camp Nou.That leaves coach Ernesto Valverde with the intriguing question of whether Fati should take the next step and make his first appearance in the continent’s elite competition.If Messi does not recover in time, then Valverde will likely need to find somebody to accompany Luis Suárez and Antoine Griezmann in attack. That could either be the versatile Sergi Roberto or reserve team player Carles Pérez.Or he could give his teen sensation another go at Dortmund.“With Ansu there is going to be a lot of hype and huge expectations, but we have to take the pressure off him. Our job is to protect the player,” Valverde said after Fati scored once and set up another goal in a 5-2 win over Valencia on Saturday.“I see that he is a boy who is focused. But it is not easy to play for Barca, and for someone as young as Ansu Fati it is even more difficult.”BAD TIMINGValencia is in chaos before it plays at Chelsea on Tuesday.Owner Peter Lim fired successful coach Marcelino García Toral, who led the team to a Copa del Rey title last season, over García’s complaints that the club had not reinforced the squad to his liking.Several players voiced their disagreement with the decision on social media, and the team was beaten by Barcelona in its first match under new coach Albert Celades.Not the best situation before a high-profile trip to Stamford Bridge, where Valencia has not won in three visits.ATLETICO WOMENIn Spain’s women’s league, Atlético Madrid has started its bid for a fourth consecutive title in perfect fashion ahead of its showdown with Barcelona.Atlético won its second straight game to begin the campaign when it rolled past Sevilla 3-0.Barcelona needed a late penalty by Spain forward Jennifer Hermoso to salvage a 1-1 draw at Rayo Vallecano. Barcelona trails Atlético by two points in third place.Barcelona, a Champions League finalist last season, hosts Atlético next weekend.By: Joseph Wilson, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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