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Anand loses to Caruana, likely to miss out on top-3 finish in Norway chess

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New Delhi: Five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand is most likely to miss out on a top-three finish after his loss to American Fabio Caruana. Grandmaster Anand lost to Caruana in the Armageddon game at the Altibox Norway chess tournament on Friday.

Anand slipped to joint seventh place in standings with two rounds to go in one of the strongest events of the year. Playing with black pieces, Anand managed to stave off anxious moments during the match by holding on to catastrophic positions in his pursuit to force a draw in the classical game. Despite being on top in several moves, a victory deserted Caruana.

However, in the tiebreaker, the American was spot on in the Italian opening with Anand suffering an entire collapse on the king side due to a systematic attack by Caruana. That left Anand with only six points with two more rounds to be played.

Thereafter, World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen scored another victory, his sixth in Armageddon besides a lone win in the classical game over Wesley So. Carlsen took his tally to 11 points, and enjoys a two point lead over Aronian, who played a fine tiebreaker to beat Yu Yangyi.

Key Results (Round 7)
Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 6.5) beat V Anand (Ind, 6); Wesley So (Usa, 7) lost o Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 11); Levon Aronian (Arm, 9) beat Yu Yangyi (Chn, 8.5); Ding Liren (Chn, 7.5) beat Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Aze (5); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 5) beat Alexander Grischuk (Rus, 3.5).

Boxing

Nikhat Zareen knocks on Rijiju’s door for trial bout against Mary Kom

Press Trust of India

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Nikhat Zareen

New Delhi: Former junior world champion boxer Nikhat Zareen has written to the Sports minister Kiren Rijiju, demanding a trial bout against the celebrated MC Mary Kom before India’s squad for next year’s Olympic Qualifiers is decided.

Mary Kom (51kg) claimed her eighth world medal at the recently-concluded championships in Russia. She was selected for the event ahead of Zareen, who was refused a trial by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), which decided to go by Mary Kom’s consistent performances while making the choice.

The BFI now also plans to send Mary Kom for the Olympic qualifiers on the back of her bronze-winning show at the world championships, moving away from the previous decision to give direct selection only to the gold and silver winners.

The qualifiers will be held in China in February next year.

“Sir, the very basis of sport is fairplay and need to keep proving oneself each and every time. Even Olympic gold medallists have to fight again to qualify to represent the country,” she wrote in the letter.

“I have been inspired by Mary Kom since I was a teenager. The best way I can do justice to this inspiration was to strive to be as great a boxer as her. And Mary Kom is too big a legend in sport to need to hide from competition and not actually defend her Olympic qualification,” she said.

Interestingly, the BFI criteria for men made it possible for even the bronze-winners to get direct selection.

“After all, if 23-time gold-medallist Michael Phelps has to re-qualify every time for the Olympics, the rest of us should do the same.”

Mary Kom has maintained that she would follow the BFI guidelines on selection trials and will compete if asked by the federation.

The Sports Ministry is not entitled to intervene in selection matters of any national federation unless requested by the parent international body as any such unilateral move is considered a violation of the Olympic Charter.

Zareen said even if she were to lose the trial bout, should she get one, she would feel content about at least getting a chance.

“I look for no favours, just fairplay. And whether Mary Kom or any other boxer qualifies after the trial, we can at least sleep at night knowing that every one of the candidate for the best possible opportunity to make India proud at Olympics,” she said.

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Boxing

Boxer Patrick day dies 4 days of brain injuries after fight

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Boxer Patrick day.
Image credits: @nbcchicago

Chicago: Boxer Patrick Day died Wednesday, four days after sustaining head injuries in a fight with Charles Conwell.

Promoter Lou DiBella said Day died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He was 27.

“He was surrounded by his family, close friends and members of his boxing team, including his mentor, friend and trainer Joe Higgins,” DiBella said in a statement on his website.

“He was a son, brother, and good friend to many. Pat’s kindness, positivity and generosity of spirit made a lasting impression with everyone he met.”

Day had brain surgery after being knocked out in the 10th round Saturday night at Wintrust Arena. Knocked down twice earlier in the bout, the junior middleweight was taken from the ring on a stretcher.

Two days after the fight, Conwell posted a heartfelt message to Day on social media.

“I never meant for this to happen to you. All I ever wanted to do was win. If I could take it all back I would. No one deserves for this to happen to them,” Conwell wrote.

“I replay the fight over and over in my head thinking what if this never happened and why did it happen to you.”

From Freeport, New York, Day had a career record of 17-4-1 with six knockouts. As an amateur, he won two Nationals titles, the New York Golden Gloves tournament and was a U.S. Olympic team alternate in 2012.

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Kabaddi News

UP Kabaddi League: Varanasi Volcano and Muzaffarnagar Maharaja emerged winners of season II

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UP Kabaddi League

Lucknow: The second season of the UP Kabaddi League, which is partnered by UP Yoddha – the Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh based Pro Kabaddi League franchise,  was capped off by two contrasting finals in the men’s and women’s format.

In the men’s final, Muzaffarnagar Maharaja squared off against RR Polytechnic Varanasi Warriors. In contrast to the women’s final, this match turned out to be one-way traffic as the Muzaffarnagar outfit were in total control from the onset, dictating the pace of the game and eventually clinching the UP Kabaddi League Men’s title in convincing fashion, by a score line of 50-25.

Muzaffarnagar’s Ajay was named the Player of the Match, credits to his 11 point haul for the champions. Muzaffarnagar claimed another accolade, when their star all-rounder Bhishm Choudhary was named the Player of the Tournament.

In the women’s final, Varanasi Volcano defeated Baghpat Anokhi in what turned out to be a closely contested affair, thus claiming the UP Kabaddi League Women’s title. The match ended 27-27 after normal time, with the Varanasi outfit edging out 34-32 after extra time to clinch the championship.  Varanasi’s Kamini Tiwari was adjudged to be the Player of the Match following her stellar performance in defence.

The Champions of both formats were awarded one lakh rupees each while the runners-up were awarded seventy-five thousand.

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