Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Sasikiran secures draw against Hungary

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Ningbo (China): Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran survived some anxious moments before eventually defeating Zoltan Almasi to help India salvage a 2-2 draw with Hungary in the first round of the World Team Chess Championship that got underway here. Much before Sasikiran’s hard-earned victory, P Harikrishna did well to hold highly regarded Peter Leko on the top board while G N Gopal split the point with Csaba Balogh on the fourth, but Surya Shekhar Ganguly went down to world’s best woman player Judit Polgar to give Hungary the lead which forced Sasikiran to play for a victory with black pieces. Meanwhile Armenia emerged as the early leader in world’s premier team championship giving Israel a 3.5-0.5 drubbing. The United States went down to Russia 1-3 losing with black pieces on second and fourth board while lowest rank Egypt sprang a surprise knocking down 1.5 points off Ukraine. The other match in the ten-teams round-robin event was a 2-2 draw between China and Azerbaijan. (PTI)

Clarke within sight of debut major

England: Darren Clarke heads out for the final round of the British Open today with aone-shot lead over American Dustin Johnson and the best chance of his career to land his first major title. The Northern Irishman will hope he gets as lucky with the weather as he did yesterday as gale-force winds and driving rain blew many of his potential rivals out of contention, only for balmy conditions to take over a third of the way through his round. Clarke, 42, tied for second in the 1997 British Open and tied third in 2001 but has not managed a top-10 finish in any major since. Should he go on to win today, becoming the 12th different winner of the last 12 majors, he will be the third Northern Irishman to win one of the sport’s flagship events in 14 months following the back-to-back US Open triumphs of Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy. Clarke will go out last at 1840hrs IST with Dustin Johnson, who shot an impressive 68 yesterday as he too seeks a debut major and a first in six for America. Rickie Fowler and Thomas Bjorn are a further two shots back on two-under par. (Reuters)

F1 rejects canopy proposals for cockpits

London: The Formula One governing body has rejected the proposals to fit car cockpits with F-16 type safety canopies. Many Formula One teams were considering to use poly- carbonate screens to provide added protection following Felipe Massa’s near fatal smash with a flying suspension spring in Hungary nearly two years ago, The Daily Mirror reports. But, drivers fear the device could prevent escape in the event of a car overturning or catching fire. Ross Brawn, Mercedes Grand Prix boss, has stated that extracting a driver from the car in case of any sort of emergency would become difficult if this rule was passed. (ANI)

Novak shows football skills in St Tropez

London: World No.1 tennis pro Novak Djokovic was spotted showing his football skills in the Mediterranean. The 24-year-old Serbian treated his girlfriend Jelena Ristic to a holiday in St Tropez, reports the Daily Mail. Looking tanned and relaxed, the reigning Wimbledon champ played with his blonde partner and their dog in the sea. He recently hinted that the couple might wed soon after noting improvements to married tennis players. (ANI)

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