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Antim Panghal Wins Bronze On Tough Day For Indian Wrestlers At Asian Games

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Teen sensation Antim Panghal humbled Tokyo Olympics medallist Bolortuya Bat-Ochir 3-1 to win a bronze medal but other Indian wrestlers struggled badly at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Thursday. The 19-year-old Antim bounced back after losing to two-time Japanese world champion Akari Fujinami in the quarterfinals in a superb manner as she did not let the Mongolian attack much in the women’s 53kg bronze play-off. Antim saved the day for the Indian contingent which badly needed a medal after Narinder Cheema (Greco-Roman 97kg), Naveen (Greco Roman 130kg) and Pooja Gehlot (women’s 50kg) were ousted. (Asian Games Medals Tally | Asian Games Full Schedule)

Pooja was outplayed 2-9 in the bronze medal bout by Aktenge Keunimjaeva, the Asian championship bronze winner.

A lot was expected from Mansi Ahlawat (women’s 57kg) too but she ended up losing her bronze play-off ‘by fall’ to Uzbekistan’s Laylokhon Sobirova, who needed just 70 seconds to win the contest.

Antim had come to Hangzhou after winning a bronze at the world championships and she carried her good form into the prestigious event.

Her bronze is only the second wrestling medal of this edition.

She raced to a 3-0 lead after scoring her first point on the passivity of the Mongolian and later scored off a brilliant counter-attack.

Antim foiled a single-leg attack from the Bolortuya and later lost a point in the second period when she was put on ‘clock’.

The Mongolian attacked from distance and mostly went for single leg attacks but could not breach the solid defence of Antim.

Antim was included in the Indian contingent for the Asian Games after Vinesh Phogat pulled out due to an injury. She had challenged her decorated compatriot for a trial bout but Vinesh accepted a direct entry.

Later Vinesh injured her knee and underwent a surgery, opening the door for Antim.

Earlier, Antim scored an easy 11-0 victory over Uzbekistan’s Jasmina Immaeva to set up a quarterfinal clash against the Japanese, the world championships winner in 2021 Oslo and 2023 Belgrade.

In other match-ups, Cheema lost his quarterfinal 1-3 to South Korea’s Lee Seyeol 1-3, while Mansi was defeated 2-5 by Japan’s Sakurai Tsugumi in the last-eight round.

Greco-Roman grappler Naveen, too, lost his quarterfinal contest 0-3 to 25-year-old Chinese Meng Lingzhe.

Bajrang Punia (65kg), who was widely criticised for accepting a direct entry into the Asian Games and the supremely talented Aman Sehrawat (56kg), will be in action on Friday.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Rafael Nadal Knocked Out of French Open Round 1 By Fourth Seed Alexander Zverev

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File photo of Rafael Nadal© AFP




14-time champion Rafael Nadal knocked out of 2024 French Open Round 1 by fourth seed Alexander Zverev

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‘One Format May…’: Mitchell Starc Hints ODI Retirement After IPL 2024 Triumph

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Australia fast-bowler Mitchell Starc hinted on his ODI retirement after lifting the IPL trophy with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). The left-arm pacer said with a long wait before the next one-day World Cup, he might shift focus to more franchise cricket around the world. Starc’s return to the IPL has been nothing short of spectacular, culminating in a title win with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). After years of prioritising international cricket, Starc’s decision to rejoin the cash-rich league paid off, and he now contemplates altering his cricketing commitments, potentially stepping away from ODIs.

Starc, who had largely stayed away from the IPL during his peak years to focus on his national duties and manage his workload, revealed his thoughts on this shift at a press conference following KKR’s emphatic win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL 2024 final by eight wickets. KKR secured their third IPL title, with Starc playing a pivotal role.

“The last nine years, I’ve prioritised Australian cricket. I have given myself a chance to give my body a break and spend some time away from cricket with my wife as well, so that’s certainly been where my head’s been for the last nine years,” Starc said at a press conference.

“Moving forward… look, I am certainly closer to the end of my career than the start. One format may drop off. There is long time before the next one-day World Cup and whether that format continues for me or not… it may open doors for more franchise cricket.”

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season,” he said. “It’s been great, it leads into the World Cup, that’s the other side of the benefit of being here against some amazing players in an amazing tournament. It’s a great lead-up to a World Cup.

“Next year – I don’t know the schedule exactly – but I’ve enjoyed it, I look forward to being back next year and hopefully be seen in purple and gold [KKR’s colours] again.”

Starc’s consideration of dropping ODIs from his cricketing calendar could mean more appearances in franchise cricket, including the IPL. Despite being the most expensive player in IPL auction history, fetched for Rs. 24.75 crore by KKR, Starc had a tough start to the season. He conceded 100 runs in his first two games without taking a wicket, but his performance dramatically improved as the tournament progressed.

Starc’s match-winning figures of 3-34 and 2-14 in Qualifier 1 and the final, respectively, against SRH showcased his ability to perform under pressure. His efforts were instrumental in KKR’s dominant campaign, ending with a resounding victory in the final.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season,” Starc said. “It’s been great, it leads into the World Cup, that’s the other side of the benefit of being here against some amazing players in an amazing tournament. It’s a great lead-up to a World Cup. Next year – I don’t know the schedule exactly – but I’ve enjoyed it, I look forward to being back next year and hopefully be seen in purple and gold (KKR’s colours) again,” he said.

“I’ve played a lot of cricket, so I know how to manage myself. I haven’t played a lot of T20 cricket in the last few years, so for me, it was trying to find that rhythm of [the] T20 format, and trying to stay ahead of batters,” Starc concluded.

–IANS

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“I’d Do It In A Heartbeat”: England Great Throws Hat In India Head Coach Race

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The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India has started to look out for a new head coach for the men’s Indian cricket team. The tenure of Rahul Dravid, who is currently the head coach of the Rohit Sharma-led side, is going to end with the conclusion of India’s campaign at T20 World Cup 2024. The final match of the event will take place on June 29. BCCI has already started inviting applications for the job with the deadline being May 27.

At present, former India opener Gautam Gambhir seems to be the front runner for the role among the names that are surfacing. Of latest, former England spinner Graeme Swann has also shown his interest in the role.

“If India asked me to become their coach, I’d do it in a heartbeat! I love this place,” Swann told Sports Tak.

“Andy was an incredible coach for England when I played. He took us to no.1 in the world, and was the best coach I’ve played under. India would be lucky to have him,” Swann said.

“India… you’ve got such a strong squad, such highly talented players, that whoever gets the job… it will be the biggest coaching job in the world of cricket these days. Whoever gets it, hope they can bringing success because they are really under the microscope,” he added.

Teams like Pakistan, England and South Africa have adopted split coaching but Swann had earlier suggested that the Indian team doesn’t need that.

“In England, we have three teams that go all around the world cause our summer is in a different time, that’s one of the main reasons that split coaches in England. You don’t need it in India,” Swann told PTI.

“A good coach is a good coach, he’s the right man for all three forms so be it. If the guy is specialist in white ball cricket and he’s available then you can use him,” he added.

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