Archive for ‘Sports news’

July 2, 2011

Double glory for Djokovic

The 24-year-old Serb had lost five of his seven previous encounters against Tsonga and despite a spirited third-set fightback from the Frenchman, Djokovic maintained his composure to close out a well-deserved victory in three hours and seven minutes. PHOTO: AFP


Novak Djokovic powered into his first Wimbledon final with a four-set defeat of France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga which ensured he will take over the world number one ranking.

The Serbian second seed downed the 12th-seeded Tsonga 7-6, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 to clinch a final berth. The win also guarantees Djokovic will be named as the new world number one on Monday when the ATP Tour releases its latest rankings, the first time in seven years that either Nadal or Roger Federer has not occupied top spot.

“It’s difficult to put into words,” said Djokovic. “This is one of the best feelings I’ve had on a tennis court. My dreams are coming true – into my first final at Wimbledon.

“I’ve been working all my life for this. I’ve been dreaming about playing the final in Wimbledon since I started playing tennis when I was four, so to be there in the final [tomorrow] will be fantastic.”

The 24-year-old had lost five of his seven previous encounters against Tsonga but despite a spirited third-set fightback from the Frenchman, Djokovic maintained his composure to close out a deserved victory in three hours and seven minutes.

Sharapova ready for final showdown

Maria Sharapova will attempt to complete her long journey back from the wilderness at Wimbledon today when she takes on Czech eighth-seed Petra Kvitova for the women’s singles crown.

The 24-year-old Russian fifth seed is the overwhelming favourite to reclaim the title that she won for the first time in 2004.

Sharapova’s victory in seven years ago was followed by further Grand Slam titles at the Australian and US Opens by the time she turned 21, a period that also saw her rise to world number one.

Sharapova is bracing for a sterner challenge from Kvitova in today’s final however, the 21-year-old Czech challenger who is appearing in a Grand Slam final for the first time.

“I expect her to be a really tough opponent because she’s a really good grass court player,” said Sharapova.

“She’s also a lefty, which on grass is very tricky. It will be tough. She’s been playing really good tennis.”

Novak Djokovic

“It’s difficult to put into words. This is one of the best feelings I’ve had on a tennis court. My dreams are coming true – into my first final at Wimbledon. I’ve been working all my life for this.”

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

“I think he’s the best player in the world for the moment. I can beat everybody today, but not Djokovic, because he just played unbelievable. He was everywhere. It was so tough.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2011.

July 2, 2011

Special Olympics Summer Games 2011: Day five: Pakistan reach impressive heights

Pakistan have bagged medals in a number of event including bocce, cycling, badminton and table tennis and are certain to at least win a silver in the basketball event. PHOTO: SAIMA MOHSIN


Pakistan athletes reached unprecedented heights on an impressive fifth day of the Special Olympics Summer Games 2011 in Athens when Bakhtawar Gul and Ayesha Iftikhar bagged the top two positions at the girls’ 100-metre race, while Adeel Ameer secured a gold medal in the high jump event and Ali Sakhawat grabbed a silver medal in the men’s 200-metre race.

Rabia Saeed won the badminton women’s singles title and Mehwish Iftikhar won gold in the women’s singles table tennis event.

Eleven-year-old Gul covered the distance in 17.37 seconds while nine-year-old Ayesha followed her squad-member to bag a silver medal with 17.90 seconds to finish second. The athletes outran five other competitors in their division, as Bahrain’s Nayla H Aalathem came third with 18.12 seconds.

Meanwhile, Ameer won the gold medal in the high jump event when he covered 1.35 metres to outplay Switzerland’s Alfio Lorenzetti (1.25 metres), and Argentina’s Dario machuca (1.20 metres).

Similarly, 22-year-old Sakhawat Ali won the silver medal when he covered the distance of 200-metres in 25.53 seconds, losing the first place to China’s Bayaer Haosi with the difference of 11 seconds. Jmaica’s Owen Reitchie finished third with 25.72 seconds on the clock.

“We had an exciting day here with a lot of celebration and a major disappointment as well,” athletics coach Javad Arshad told The Express Tribune.

“Rahimullah Baig had almost won a silver medal in the 800-metre race today, but he got disqualified. We couldn’t believe it. The officials said that he entered into the race from a wrong position and ran before the signal.”

On the other hand, Saeed defeated South Korea’s Han Ui Lim 2-0 in the women’s badminton singles final. She had outplayed Netherlands’ Celine van Parijs 2-0 and China’s Chenxue 2-1 earlier in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, cyclists Billawal Aslam and Mohammad Nazeer Ahmed grabbed bronze medals in the five-kilometre men’s time trial event.

Aslam covered the distance in nine minutes and 5.62 seconds outrunning seven other competitors, losing to Colombia’s Carlos Gonzales (eight minutes and 39.89 seconds) and Greece’s Panagiotis Kontos (nine minutes and 4.84 seconds). Ahmed finished third in his division with 10 minutes and 17.69 seconds.

Meanwhile, the women’s basketball team continued with their winning streak when they defeated the UAE 31-10 in the semi-final.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2011.

July 2, 2011

‘We can beat South Korea in Davis Cup’

Five member Davis cup squad leaves for Hong Kong. Aisam to join squad directly in Hong Kong. PHOTO: AFP


A five-member Pakistan squad for the Davis Cup will depart for South Korea today to play the Asia Oceania Group-II away-tie slated matches from July 8 to 10.

The squad comprises country’s top-ranked players including Aqeel Khan, Yasir Khan, Samir Iftikhar and Muhammad Khalid while Aisamul Haq Qureshi will fly to Seoul from London on July 3.

Meanwhile, ace tennis player Aqeel Khan, who prior to the camp trained for 15 days with the Sri Lankan Davis Cup team in Colombo, termed his stay there as “fruitful”.

“Training the Sri Lankan team has helped me prepare,” he told The Express Tribune. “The Koreans are a tough side and will have the home advantage but we are fully prepared to beat them.”

The last time Pakistan played against South Korea was in 2003 in Lahore when they won 3-2.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2011.

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July 2, 2011

International boxing tournament postponed

Pakistan Boxing Federation says the event has now been rescheduled to start on October 20, a three month delay. PHOTO: FILE


The Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) has postponed the second edition of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto International Boxing Championship due to a delay in the issuance of funds by the country’s sports board.

The tournament, which was due to start from July 20 at the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Complex in Islamabad, has now been scheduled to begin on October 20 at the same venue.

The PBF Secretary Akram Khan said the delay by the PSB led to the postponement but added that the event would now be planned in a befitting manner.

“We’re yet to receive the funds,” Khan told The Express Tribune. “Although the PSB has given the NOC and assured financial assistance, we cannot hold the event this month.

“It’s a huge event and the federation requires time to make the arrangements.”

The PBF has invited over 50 countries including European teams and Akram added that the federation was expecting the event to be a success.

“There will be fewer international events in October and we are expecting nearly all the teams to take part.”

The first edition of the international championship that was held in Karachi in January last year also saw boxers from over 50 countries taking part.

Pakistan to field three teams

Meanwhile, in order to give maximum exposure to the boxers, Pakistan will field three teams – Green, White and Red – in the tournament.

“It’s a good chance for our players who rarely get international exposure,” said Khan

The secretary added that the teams will be selected from the NBP All Pakistan Ranking event in Quetta, which was postponed following the murder of Olympian Syed Abrar Hussain Shah last month and will now be held from September 26.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2011.

July 1, 2011

Pakistan bag gold, silver medals Special Olympics Day four:

Pakistan athletes at the Special Olympics find another reason to smile. PHOTO: SAIMA MOHSIN


Pakistan’s medal count increased on the fourth day of the Special Olympics Summer Games 2011 when Shumail Rubab bagged a gold at the women’s singles bocce event, Husnain Abbas Zaidi secured silver in the men’s 25-metre backstroke competition and Tahir Siddique ended as runner-up in the shotput event.

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July 1, 2011

PCB faces inevitable shake-up

“PCB is now ready to operate independently” Former Pakistan captain Hanif Mohammad ILLUSTRATION: SAMAD SIDDIQUI

The ICC’s Full Council meeting that culminated the body’s annual conference in Hong Kong yesterday gave its members until the end of 2012 to implement free elections, ending political appointments across all boards.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) currently has the country’s president as its patron-in-chief who has the power to nominate the chairman. This setup will be heavily affected following the amendment in the ICC constitution.

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the two other countries with similar set-ups.

A new future

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July 1, 2011

The International Cricket Council ICC to probe World Cup ticket sales


nvestigation to review allegations of ‘black marketeering’. PHOTO: FILE


The International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched an investigation into “black marketeering” during the World Cup ticket sales fiasco that left thousands of fans ticketless.

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July 1, 2011

Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung Football: Birmingham City owner appears in court

Birmingham City owner, a hairdresser turned football tycoon, appeared in court charged with money-laundering. PHOTO: FILE


Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung, a one-time hairdresser turned football tycoon, appeared in court in Hong Kong charged with money-laundering, a day after being arrested by police.

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July 1, 2011

World champion and this season’s runaway I’d pay to compete in Formula One’

Reigning champion Vettel keen to stay with Red Bull. PHOTO. AFP


World champion and this season’s runaway leader Sebastian Vettel says he loves his chosen sport so much that he would pay to compete in Formula One.

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July 1, 2011

Rawalpindi Rams stunned favourites Lahore Lions Rawalpindi Rams through to final

Sohail Tanvir led from the front with a superb half-century that put the Lahore Lions on the backfoot. PHOTO: FILE AFP


Rawalpindi Rams stunned favourites Lahore Lions in a surprisingly one-sided encounter by 47 runs to storm into the final of the Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup yesterday.

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