Other Sports

Magic's Isaac takes lone stand at NBA resumption

Posted on 2 Aug 2020 07:07:10 GMT - other-sports

Orlando Magic player Jonathan Isaac stood for the US national anthem ahead of his team's clash with the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, declining to join teammates and coaches who knelt for the pre-game ritual. In Thursday's opening games at the NBA restart in Orlando, all players and coaches, many wearing "Black Lives Matter" T-shirts, dropped to one knee in a silent demonstration during the anthem.

Magic and Nets players followed suit on Friday as the "Star-Spangled Banner" was played, but Isaac did not take part. Instead, Isaac, who also did not join his teammates in wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, stood alone wearing his Magic jersey.

Speaking after Orlando scored a 128-118 victory, Isaac, an ordained minister, said he was "absolutely" supportive of Black Lives Matter. "I believe that Black Lives Matter. A lot went in my decision. I just felt that kneeling or wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt don't go hand in hand with supporting Black Lives," he said.

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F1: Racing Point's Sergio Perez out with COVID-19

Posted on 1 Aug 2020 06:53:07 GMT - other-sports

Formula One driver Sergio Perez says he might have contracted the coronavirus during a trip to Mexico between races in Hungary and Britain. The Racing Point driver tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and will miss Sunday's race at Silverstone and another the following week at the same track while in isolation.

Perez says he was visiting his mother in Mexico after she was hospitalized following a "big accident."
Perez says it is "one of the saddest days in my career" missing races "but it just shows how vulnerable we all to this virus."

The Mexican used a private jet to fly home and says he has no symptoms. The pandemic delayed the start of the season by more than three months.

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Music helps Lewis Hamilton overcome tough times

Posted on 1 Aug 2020 02:08:13 GMT - other-sports

British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton feels writing and recording music has helped him overcome some of the most difficult times in his life.

"Guys, I've spent the last 10 years or more writing and recording, working with some of the most talented and beautiful people which I'm so grateful for. It's been the most incredible outlet. Finding something you love so much and can do just for you, for your spirit is I think such an important process. I've come to the place where I'd love to share it with you," he recently wrote on Instagram.

"I haven't got a project or album, just a bunch of different songs that perhaps some of you will be able to connect to. They have helped me get through some of the most difficult times. At some stage I'm going to find a moment to share with you so bear with me," the six-time world champion added.

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National-level Kabaddi player scores 100 per cent marks in SSC exam!

Posted on 31 Jul 2020 05:52:17 GMT - other-sports

A national-level Kabaddi player from Maharashtra's Parbhani district, who had participated in Khelo India tournament in 2019, has scored 100 per cent marks in SSC (Class X) examination. Siddhi Sharma, a resident of Manvat town in Parbhani from Marathwada region, has achieved this rare feat. The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) results of the Maharashtra Board were announced on Wednesday.

Siddhi studies in Madhyamik Vidyalay at Devnandra, around eight kms away from her place. Her father, Deepak Sharma, earns livelihood by carrying out maintenance work of solar equipment at a co-operative sector organisation. Talking about her results, he said, "My daughter scored 100 per cent marks in SSC exam by maintaining balance between sports and studies."

"I used to watch Pro Kabaddi matches on TV along with Siddhi and slowly she developed interest in that sport," he added. Siddhi said, "Playing Kabaddi helped me remain mentally and physically fit and took away the stress of studies." "My friends were tense about the board exams, but my practice of around four hours a day helped me keep the stress away," she added.

She said that her parents and coaches supported her in both the activities. "I took part in tournaments even during Class 10," she said.

Talking to PTI, Shiv Chhatrapati awardee and coach Mangal Pande said, "Marathwada is a place where sports infrastructure is not much developed. Manvat is a rural place which lacks facilities. Despite that, the girl reached Khelo India and other state competitions in just two years of commencing practice."

"Siddhi is a perfect example of how balance can be struck between sports and studies. Parents in rural parts must follow this example and encourage their children to play sports and the coaches should keep asking the players about their studies," Pande, who is a treasurer of State Kabaddi Association, added.

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Michael Jordan's sneakers expected to set new record for sports shoes

Posted on 31 Jul 2020 04:49:53 GMT - other-sports

Eleven pairs of Nike sneakers worn by NBA legend Michael Jordan are up for auction from Thursday, including a set that could smash the record for sports shoes. The highlight of the online sale is the Air Jordan 1 High that the NBA megastar wore during a 1985 exhibition match in Italy, where he dunked the ball so hard that it smashed the glass backboard into thousands of pieces.

A piece of glass is still lodged in the sole of the left shoe. "It was an iconic moment in the history of sport," said Caitlin Donovan, head of handbag and sneaker sales at Christie's, the organisers of the auction with Stadium Goods.

The red, white and black sneakers, which are signed by Jordan, are estimated to fetch between $650,000 and $850,000. If they match their lowest pre-sale estimate, they will break the all-time record price for a sports shoe, set by Sotheby's in May when it sold a pair of Air Jordan sneakers for $560,000.

Other pairs on offer in the auction are the Nike Air Ship set that Jordan wore at the early part of his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls in 1984.

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British GP sans fans will be super weird: Lewis Hamilton

Posted on 31 Jul 2020 04:09:14 GMT - other-sports

Fresh from two dominant triumphs, Lewis Hamilton will seek to complete an early-season hat-trick and extend his home wins record to seven without his usual impassioned supporters in "super weird" circumstances at this weekend's British Grand Prix. The six-time world champion and current standings leader has always drawn energy from the big crowds that support him at Silverstone, but this year's event will be run behind closed doors in front of empty grandstands. "The British Grand Prix is the best and that's particularly because of the fans -- thousands and thousands always turn up to create a great spectacle," said the Briton. "So, it is going to be super weird to be there without them."

For Hamilton, that means no crowd-surfing celebrations and keeping his feet on the ground as he bids to add to his wins at the Styrian and Hungarian Grands Prix as the coronavirus-delayed 2020 season returns. This Sunday's race will be the 71st British Grand Prix and 54th at Silverstone and is followed one week later by a race at the same venue to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the inaugural world championship event in 1950. After his recent victories, and given his great record at Silverstone, Hamilton will start as favourite, but can expect a strong challenge from his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who won the season-opener in Austria.

Already the two 'black Arrows' drivers have demonstrated the clear supremacy of their unbeaten W11 cars, dubbed "the fastest F1 cars ever" by team chief Toto Wolff this week. He said: "We will miss our fans at Silverstone -- but we know that they will be rooting for us from home so we are determined to show our gratitude by putting on a great show. "These are the fastest F1 cars ever built. They have broken the track records at both Spielberg and Budapest and it will be thrilling to see them on the iconic Silverstone circuit."

Reliability 'crucial'

The high-speed track's demanding and fast corners are expected to suit the Mercedes cars, but Wolff said he is taking nothing for granted. "We've had a good start to the season," he said. "We resolved the issues that troubled us on the first weekend, won three out of three races and scored a good amount of points, but they highlighted a crucial factor -- the importance of reliability in this shortened season. "We're one of only two teams that have finished all the races with both cars this year and we know how quickly a DNF (did not finish) can make a points lead disappear."

Arriving at Silverstone, Hamilton leads Bottas by five points with Max Verstappen of Red Bull third, 30 points adrift, but hoping to close the gap. The Racing Point team's base is only a few hundred metres from the circuit entrance and, after demonstrating their speed and potential in Austria and Hungary, they hope to be in a scrap with Red Bull to secure a podium finish before Renault lodge another expected protest at the integrity of their 'pink Mercedes' car.

Ferrari, the only team to have interrupted Mercedes' supremacy at Silverstone in recent years, when Sebastian Vettel triumphed in 2018, are likely to continue their struggle for competitive form after a lacklustre start to 2020. Vettel, in his final season at Ferrari, has this year emerged as a close supporter of Hamilton in backing the sport's anti-racism stance and the wider Black Lives Matter movement, which has not seen clear and unambiguous backing from the drivers. Hamilton called for more unity and leadership on the issue following a confused and muddled pre-race 'taking the knee' ceremony in Hungary. McLaren's Lando Norris, 20, said this week that the drivers would react and he expected to see "a better structure and a better plan in place" than at previous weekends. The Briton suggested that Formula One management would be allocating proper time for a ceremony prior to the national anthem.

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Jennifer Lopez, Shakira's Super Bowl show picks up four Emmy nominations

Posted on 31 Jul 2020 03:52:23 GMT - other-sports

Singers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s Super Bowl halftime show has earned four Emmy nominations.
In February, the two singers performed during the National Football League final between Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

According to Fox News, the show picked up four nominations: Outstanding variety special (live), outstanding directing for a variety special, outstanding lighting design/direction for a variety special and outstanding music
direction.

However, it is not clear if JLo and Shakira were specifically nominated, though Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars have earned Emmy nominations as halftime show performers in the past.

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Boxer Vikas Krishan picks US Pro bouts over national camp

Posted on 31 Jul 2020 02:35:55 GMT - other-sports

Top Indian boxer Vikas Krishan has decided to revive his professional career in the US instead of training at the national camp in Patiala as he believes conventional is just not good enough for a podium finish at next year's Tokyo Olympics. Vikas is currently training in Bengaluru's Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS) with another professional boxer and close friend Neeraj Goyat after being asked to leave NIS Patiala for alleged violation of COVID-19 quarantine norms, later deemed unintentional.

He has no plans of going back even though the Sports Authority of India (SAI) decided to allow him to return after an inquiry.

"I will continue training here (in Bengaluru). I have fallen into a rhythm and I don't wish to disturb myself by once again taking the trip to Patiala. I don't see the point," Vikas, who is training under American coach Ronald Simms at the IIS, told PTI in an interview over phone. Asked about the controversy in Patiala, and Vikas offered a philosophical take.

"I have never harmed anyone. I have made mistakes but the intent is only to do well for the country. I have never caused problems for anyone else. That's all I have to say," he said. The 28-year-old Haryana-lad is more eager to talk about his plans to return to the US, where he continues to have a contract with Hall of Famer Bob Arum's Top Rank Promotions. The welterweight (69kg category) boxer will compete in the 70kg division in the pro circuit.

"As soon as I manage to get a flight, I am going to the USA. I am in touch with Top Rank Promotions. They have promised to arrange fights for me and I hope to compete in 3-4 bouts before the Olympics," he said. "That would help my Olympic chances more than anything else because it is in the pro circuit that I learnt the crucial lesson of not believing in luck. It is all about ability, there is nothing called luck," added the former world bronze-winner, who won his two pro bouts before returning to amateur circuit last year.

The Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold-winner will be making third Olympic appearance in Tokyo next year. He is the most experienced among the five men who have made the cut so far. "I took a break from professional with due permission from my promoter to pursue my Olympic dream. Now that I have qualified, I will go back to pro to prepare myself," he said. Talking of preparations, do High Performance Director Santiago Nieva and national coach C A Kuttappa know of his plans?

"They know and they are supportive. They know what I am capable of and they have encouraged me. I have also got immense support from Boxing Federation of India Executive Director R K Sacheti," he said.

Less than a year away from his third Olympics, Vikas said he has never enjoyed boxing as much as he does now. "If you watch me fight now, you can see the artistry. In my past two Olympics (2012 and 2016), I used to be bothered by pressure and expectations, not anymore. I fee free of that. "This has made boxing very enjoyable for me. Earlier there was an element of stress," he explained.

His friend Neeraj, also a pro boxer, has been a constant in his life for the past few years and Vikas said he is grateful for the support. "I don't think I will be able to do as much for him as he has done for me. He has come to train with me, support me whenever I have asked him," he said. Amid the strenuous preparations, has he factored in the COVID-19 mayhem, the one which forced the Olympics to be postponed and which still is a threat to the Games going ahead even next year.

"I am destined to win an Olympic medal. Olympics will happen because God can't be so cruel to me. I know that," asserted the boxer.

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Viswanathan Anand ends Legends of Chess campaign with 8 defeats

Posted on 30 Jul 2020 06:18:40 GMT - other-sports

Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand ended his campaign at the Legends of Chess tournament with eight losses, the latest coming against Vasyl Ivanchuk of Ukraine.

The four games of the ninth-round contest on Wednesday between Anand and Ivanchuk ended in draws, forcing the match into the Armageddon (a tie-breaker), which also ended in a stalemate. However, the Ukrainian, who is Anand's long-time rival, emerged victorious as he played black in the decider.

Anand finished ninth in the standings with solitary win coming against Israel's Boris Gelfand. Apart from Ivanchuk, the 50-year-old, who was making his maiden appearance on the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, had suffered defeats against Ding Liren, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Peter Leko, Peter Svidler, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik and Anish Giri in the competition.

Legends of Chess pits Carlsen, Liren, Nepomniachtchi and Giri, semifinalists at the Chessable Masters which is also a part of the Magnus Carlsen Tour, against six legends aged 40-52, who have been at the top of world chess at various points in their career.

Following the conclusion of 10-player round-robin league, the top-four will move into the semi-finals, which are currently scheduled to be played from July 31-August 2. The final will be played from August 3-5.

The winner of this event will qualify for the $300,000 Grand Final scheduled from August 9 to 20.

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Lindsey Vonn and fiance PK Subban sweat it out at the gym with 'The Rock'

Posted on 30 Jul 2020 03:14:46 GMT - other-sports

American skiing great Lindsey Vonn, 35, and her National Hockey League (NHL) star fiance PK Subban, 31, had a gruelling workout session with none other than actor/wrestler Dwayne Johnson, fondly known by his ring name, The Rock, at his home gym in Virginia recently.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by P.K. Subban (@subbanator) onJul 27, 2020 at 6:35am PDT

On Monday, Lindsey and Subban, who got engaged last year, shared videos of the workout on social media.

Lindsey Instagrammed the video of the couples training with Dwayne, for her two million followers and captioned it: "Name a better workout partner...I'll wait." In the video, Subban can be heard saying, 'Iron Paradise, the most beautiful place, right here.'

Lindsey Von

Meanwhile, Subban Instagrammed a video (screengrab above) where he can be seen pulling weights under the guidance of Dwayne. English heavy metal band Black Sabbath's song, Iron Man playing in the background. Subban captioned the video: "Today, I became a man." Subban is currently enjoying a forced break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic at Lindsey's Los Angeles home.

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Usain Bolt: I won't push my daughter Olympia to play any sport

Posted on 30 Jul 2020 03:09:03 GMT - other-sports

Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt will not pressurise his daughter Olympia Lightning to become an athlete like him. The eight-time Olympic gold medallist and partner Kasi Bennett welcomed Olympia on May 17.

"I won't push her to play sport. Everybody is already asking, 'Is she going to run?' But I won't push her to play any sports. She can do whatever she wants, I am just here to support [her]," Usain told Wide World of Sports recently.

Meanwhile, Usain said he is currently enjoying the journey of being a father. "Fatherhood has been good. It's been just about living it and experiencing it day by day. I am happy.

Olympia Lightning
Olympia Lightning

Being a parent now, it is different. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, so I am really happy and just excited to go on this journey,"
he added.

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F1: Mercedes to use all-black livery for final six races

Posted on 30 Jul 2020 02:51:11 GMT - other-sports

The Mercedes cars in Formula E season will witness all-black base livery for the final six races of the season. This comes after Mercedes had earlier changed its colour from silver to black for the revamped 2020 Formula 1 season. Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team announced the change on their Twitter handle and their post read: "We stand against racism. Our team will contest the season's final six races with an all-black base livery, taking a firm stand against racism and all forms of discrimination while advocating greater diversity."

Mercedes' reigning F1 champion Lewis Hamilton has been particularly vocal about racism and he has spoken time and again about the same since the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police personnel in May. Prior to the season, Hamilton had also unveiled a new helmet in support of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement. His customised helmet came after Mercedes had announced black-liveried cars for the 2020 season.

Apart from the 'Black Livers Matter' message, Hamilton's gear has 'Still We Rise' message engraved on the back of the helmet which is predominantly black in colour with shades of purple. "The whole reason my helmet has changed colour, the suit has, and also the car, it's all for equality above all, and just really continuing to solidify that message," Hamilton had said in a video uploaded on his Twitter handle.

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