Friday, May 24, 2024
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ITTF World Cup: Manika, Sreeja kick off with wins
MACAO (China), April 16: Indian paddlers Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula won their respective opening matches at the ITTF World Cup in Galaxy Arena here on Tuesday.Sreeja defeated world No. 52, Natalia Bajor of Poland, 4-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5) while Manika came back from a game down to win 3-1 (9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8) against world No. 46, Adina Diaconu of Romania.Sreeja will next face world No. 4 Chen Meng of China to progress into the Round of 16, whereas Manika will face world No. 2 Wang Manyu of China in her other group-stage match.There are sixteen groups in each of the men’s and women’s singles competitions. Group stage matches comprise four games, with the ratio of wins to losses determining the final rankings that will further help to book a berth for the knockout stages. (IANS)

U20 Men’s Football: West Bengal seal quarter-final berth
NARAINPUR (Chattisgarh), April 16: West Bengal became the first team to book their spot in the Swami Vivekananda U-20 Men’s NFC quarter-finals as they beat Uttarakhand 3-0 here on Tuesday.Ahead of the last matchday in Group E, Uttarakhand and Tamil Nadu were the other two sides vying for a last-eight berth. However, the latter could only earn a last-gasp draw against already-eliminated Punjab to bow out of the first-ever U-20 Men’s NFC.West Bengal took an early lead in the must-win clash after Santanu Naskar scored in the third minute. Rahul Naskar and Shibam Munda added a second and a third in the 60th and 69th minute, respectively. The former is West Bengal’s top scorer in the tournament so far with three goals. While the winners finished atop Group E with seven points, Uttarakhand ended their campaign in third place with a solitary win over Punjab on the opening day to their name.West Bengal will face the winner of Group C in the first quarter-final on April 19. (IANS)

Roma’s Ndicka discharged from hospital a day after collapsing
ROME, April 16: Roma defender Evan Ndicka was released from hospital on Monday, a day after he collapsed at the end of a Serie A match.Ndicka appeared to have suffered a collapsed left lung, Roma said in a statement on Monday.No cardiac issues were detected in multiple tests on Monday morning, and Ndicka was discharged from Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital in Udine, Roma added.Ndicka fell to the ground in the 71st minute, far from the action, and started pointing at his chest. He never lost consciousness and was taken off on a stretcher two minutes later, giving a thumb up to the crowd.But the game between Roma and Udinese, at 1-1, was abandoned.Roma said Ndicka, will undergo more tests back in Rome. (AP)

Scotland’s Lewis Ferguson out of Euro 2024 after injuring knee
BOLOGNA, April 16: Scotland midfielder Lewis Ferguson will miss the European Championship after injuring his right knee while playing for Bologna at the weekend.Ferguson went off injured in the 62nd minute of Saturday’s match against Monza and the club announced on Monday its captain would need surgery.“Lewis Ferguson today underwent a medical examination which revealed that he has sustained an injury to his cruciate ligament,” Bologna said in a brief statement.“He will undergo an operation, after which his recovery time will be assessed.”The 24-year-old Ferguson, who has made 12 appearances for Scotland, will miss not only the rest of the season but likely the bulk of the remainder of the year.Scotland opens Euro 2024 against host nation Germany on June 14. Switzerland and Hungary are also in Group A. (AP)

Werder Bremen suspends Naby Keïta for skipping match
BREMEN, April 16: Werder Bremen has suspended former Liverpool midfielder Naby Keïta for the rest of the season after he skipped the team’s last Bundesliga match.Bremen said in a statement on Tuesday that it also gave Keïta “a substantial fine” and that he will no longer train with the team.On Sunday, Keïta chose not to travel with the rest of the team to the game at Bayer Leverkusen and instead went home after he found out he was not going to be in the starting lineup, the club said. “As a club, we won’t tolerate Naby’s behavior. He let his team down in a time of difficulty surrounding our recent run of form and squad availability and put his own interests above those of the team. We can’t allow that,” Bremen sporting director Clemens Fritz said. “At this stage of the season, we need full focus on the remaining games and a team who stick together. That’s why we’ve been left with no alternative.” (AP)

Asian CL semifinal postponed in UAE after flooding
DUBAI, April 16: The first leg of the Asian Champions League semifinal between Al-Ain of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal has been postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday after torrential rain brought floods to the host country.The Asian Football Confederatoin made the decision after thunderstorms pounded the UAE, flooding out portions of major highways and closing roads and bridges. The UAE’s national federation had earlier called off all local football games.The game is now set to be played at 8 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) on Wednesday at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.The AFC said it was “keeping in view the safety of all fans, players and stakeholders” in pushing the game back 24 hours.The second leg remains unchanged with Al-Hilal hosting Al-Ain in Riyadh next Tuesday. (AP)

Sabalenka to face good friend Badosa in Stuttgart opener
STUTTGART, April 16: Paula Badosa battled past Diana Shnaider 6-3, 6-4 to set up a match with friend and world No. 2 Sabalenka at the Porsche Grand Prix.Shnaider fended off four match points before former No. 2 Badosa took her fifth opportunity at the clay-court tournament on Monday.Badosa’s 10 double faults allowed Shnaider eight break point opportunities. The 20-year-old Russian was unable to take any of them on the center court in Stuttgart.Sabalenka has finished runner-up on her last three appearances in Stuttgart, losing the final to former No.1 Ashleigh Barty in 2021 and current No.1 Iga Swiatek in 2022 and 2023. (PTI)

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