Olympic silver medallist Paul Tanui to take part in 10K Bengaluru 2022
Kenya’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games 10,000m silver medallist Paul Tanui and his compatriot Nicolas Kipkorir Kimeli, who was fourth in 5000m at Tokyo Olympics last summer will be among the top attractions at the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) World 10K Bengaluru 2022 tobe run on May 15.
The full elite field for the 14th edition of the World Athletics Elite Label Race was revealed here on Monday.
Prestigious additions already named include Muktar Edris, Kibiwott Kandie, and Tadese Worku in the men’s race; Hellen Obiri, Irene Cheptai, and Joyce Tele in the women’s race.
Tanui’s road racing record is rather modest, his personal best of 28:39 was when he finished sixth in the 2019 10K at Bangalore, but on the track, the Japan-based runner has an outstanding record and has a best of 26:49.41.
In addition to his Rio silver medal, Tanui has three World Athletics Championships 10,000m bronze medals to his name as well as a World Cross Country Championships silver medal.
His younger compatriot Kipkorir Kimeli was the 2017 African U20 10,000m champion on the track and will arrive in Bengaluru in very good shape after running 12:55 for 5km on the road last month.
Fellow Kenyan Bravin Kipkogei succeeded Kipkorir Kimeli as the African U20 10,000m champion in 2019 and made a big impression when he finished sixth in the famous 2020 Valencia Half Marathon, in which Kandie set a world record of 57:32, despite having been originally employed as a pacemaker.
Kipkogei has raced sparingly in 2021 and 2022 but has the pedigree to make an impact in Bengaluru.
A third notable Kenyan addition to the men’s field is Matthew Kimeli, who ran 58:43 for the half marathon last year and has already had three outings over that distance in 2022, culminating in a win in Herzogenaurach, Germany in 59:30 just nine days ago.
Another man in great shape at the moment is the 2015 world U20 cross country champion Yasin Haji, from Ethiopia — who has twice run 27:00 for 10km in recent weeks, firstly in the French city of Lille in March and then in Herzogenaurach.
In total eight men in this year’s field have run faster — either on the track or the roads, than Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor course record of 27:44 which dates back to 2014.
In the women’s race, a number of young and very talented road runners from Kenya and Ethiopia have been added to the elite field to challenge the three well-known names that have already been announced.
Faith Cherono, from Kenya, is just 19 and had a sensational international debut less than two months ago when she stunned onlookers with a superb win over 10km in Lille in 31:06. She followed that up by improving to 30:50 in Herzogenaurach, the organisers Procam International informed in a release on Tuesday.
Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Nigsti is only two seconds slower than Cherono over 10km and has been in good form in half marathons recently, clocking a personal best of 1:06:17 in Valencia last October and going close to that mark twice in March, her only two races in 2022 before the Bengaluru 10K.
Seven women in this year’s TCSW10K have personal bests quicker than the course record of 31:19 set by Kenya’s Agnes Tirop in 2018.
The TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2022 has a total prize fund of US$210,000, with the men’s and women’s winners taking home USD 26,000 and course record bonuses of an additional USD 8,000 on offer.
“The world has had to wait three years because of the pandemic since the last TCS World 10K. This is the 14th edition of this fantastic race, and I am feeling very honoured because many of the world’s best distance runners have committed to coming back to India to make this one of the best events in the world over this distance,” commented Vivek Singh, joint managing director of race promoters Procam International.
Saudi Arabia to host FIFA Club World Cup 2023
Saudi Arabia has been named the host of the FIFA Club World Cup 2023, scheduled to take place from December 12-22.
“In relation to the FIFA Club World Cup 2023�, which is due to be played under the current format with seven clubs, the FIFA Council unanimously appointed the Saudi Arabian Football Federation as tournament hosts from 12 to 22 December 2023,” the FIFA said in a statement on Tuesday night.
The unanimous decision was made at a FIFA Council meeting and came only a few days after Real Madrid lifted the trophy in Morocco, following a thrilling 5-3 win over Al-Hilal, the first Saudi club to reach the final of the tournament.
Saudi Arabia will be only the sixth host of the competition since its inception in 2000.
The Gulf nation, earlier this month, was awarded the hosting rights of the men’s Asian Cup 2027 and is also bidding to host the Women’s Asian Cup for the first time in 2026.
The FIFA Council also confirmed a change in the format of the tournament from June 2025 — to expand the FIFA Club World Cup from 24 to 32 teams — with 12 teams from Europe involved along six from CONMEBOL, while CONCACAF, CAF and the AFC will each have four, with one place for the OFC and another for the hosts.
In addition, the Council also confirmed that the hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2026, namely Canada, Mexico and the USA, will qualify automatically as the joint hosts of the tournament, with their slots, therefore, being deducted from the overall allocation of six assigned to Concacaf.
Australian Open: Sania Mirza bids adieu to Grand Slam career as runner-up in Melbourne
India tennis star Sania Mirza on Friday wrapped up her legendary Grand slam career as Australian Open mixed doubles runner-up. The Indian ace and partner Rohan Bopanna lost to the all-Brazilian pair Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos in the mixed doubles final here at Melbourne Park.
Sania and Bopanna were beaten 7-6(2), 6-2 by Brazilians Stefani and Matos, who were playing in their first-ever Grand Slam final.
In her final major, the 36-year-old Sania admitted her emotions almost boiled over after the Indians stunned third seeds and reigning Wimbledon champions Desirae Krawczyk and Neal Skupski in the semifinals. There was no holding them back after her final match at Melbourne Park, 22 years after she first teamed with Bopanna.
Interestingly, Sania claimed her first major in 2009 at Melbourne Park, when she paired up with Mahesh Bhupathi. And she ended her illustrious Grand Slam career here.
Melbourne Park has been a happy hunting ground for the Indian star. After his maiden triumph in 2009. Seven years later, in 2016, she paired up with Swiss star Martina Hingis and claimed the women’s doubles title as the top seed.
Outside Australia, she earned four other Grand Slam titles: 2015 Wimbledon and 2015 US Open women’s doubles with Hingis, 2012 Roland Garros mixed doubles with Bhupathi and 2014 US Open mixed doubles with Bruno Soares.
“The journey of my professional career started in Melbourne� in 2005 when I played Serena Williams in the third round as an 18-year-old,” an emotional Sania said.
“That was scarily enough 18 years ago and I’ve had the privilege to come back here again and again and win some titles here. Rod Laver Arena has really been special in my life� To play the final, obviously, we couldn’t get over the line, but there’s no better place and no better person to finish my Grand Slam career with.”
“I never thought I’d be able to play in front of my child in a Grand Slam final, so it’s truly special for me to have my four-year-old here and my parents here, Rohan’s wife here,” she added.
Bopanna was looking to add a second Grand Slam mixed doubles title after his 2017 Roland Garros victory. Despite coming up short, he paid tribute to his compatriot and friend.
“It’s truly special for me to play with Sania,” he said. “Our first mixed doubles together was when she was 14 years old and we happened to win the title.
“Today we get to play the last match here on Rod Laver Arena. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the title, but thank you so much for your time, for Indian tennis, for inspiring each and everyone.”
Stefani and Matos are the first all-Brazilian team to win a major after ending Sania and Rohan Bopanna’s farewell appearance together in the Australian Open mixed doubles final.
“Rohan and Sania� I know how many people you’ve inspired,” Stefani said. “Like Brazil, like India, this means so much to our countries. It inspires the kids, it inspires the next generations.”
The six-time Grand Slam champion, Sania, earlier this month announced that she will retire from professional tennis after the Dubai Tennis Championships, a WTA 1000 event, which begins on February 19.
Bangladesh might have succumbed to pressure v India; not taking fake fielding issue any further: Sriram
Bangladesh coach Sridharan Sriram has conceded his team might have succumbed to pressure in the thrilling five-run loss to India in their Super 12 Group 2 match of the ICC T20 World Cup, and has also said he has no intention of taking the potential fake fielding incident involving Virat Kohli during the match any further.
Bangladesh were cruising along at 66 without loss in seven overs, with Litton Das coming out all guns blazing and snatching the advantage of making 184/6 from India through a breath-taking 59 not out off 26 balls — laced with seven fours and three sixes at a strike rate of 226.9 — when rain put a halt to his pyrotechnics.
Bangladesh’s target was revised from 185 in 20 overs to 151 in 16 overs. They needed 85 more runs in nine overs to win the match, with all wickets in hand. India’s bowling attack, which took a beating in the power-play, got the much-needed respite thanks to the rain break and they went on to win the match by five runs (D/L method).
Sriram agreed the rain delay and the revised target brought the pressure on his side and it crumbled.
“Well, it was quite frantic for that brief (last) 10-12 minutes (of the match), which is understandable. I think the boys, nine runs an over or 9.75 runs an over, definitely I think the pressure got to them a little bit. Yeah, it was a little bit of a frantic 15-20 minutes if I can put it, yes,” said Sriram, the former Australia spin-bowling coach.
Bangladesh are scheduled to play their last Super 12 game against Pakistan on Sunday with a win not guaranteeing them a place in the last four, but the results of the remaining two Group 2 games — South Africa vs Netherlands and India vs Zimbabwe — could facilitate their semifinal entry.
Much heat has been generated over on-field umpires missing a potential fake fielding incident involving Kohli, which could have earned Bangladesh five runs in penalties and a victory against India, but Sriram said he is not here “to offer any excuses” for the defeat.
Wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan accused Kohli of fake fielding during the match, claiming that the umpires missed the incident and could have resulted in the opposition getting crucial five runs as penalty. The incident that Hasan talked about going unnoticed took place in the seventh over of Bangladesh’s chase when Kohli feigned a throw while standing at point, as if he was relaying a throw coming from Arshdeep Singh from the deep off the bowling of Axar Patel.
Neither the on-field umpires, Marais Erasmus and Chris Brown, spotted it, nor did the two Bangladeshi batters, openers Litton Das and Najmul Hossain Shanto, out in the middle, pointed it out.
Law 41.5, pertaining to unfair play, prohibits the “deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction of (the) batter”, and if an incident is deemed to be a breach, the umpire can declare that particular delivery as dead ball, and award the batting side five runs. But Hasan didn’t mention if either of Das or Shanto spoke to him or to the team about distraction or deception from Kohli pretending to throw the ball to the keeper.
Shedding light on the controversy, Sriram said, “No, we are not here to offer any excuses. I did speak to the fourth umpire as soon as it happened, but I think it was the on-field umpire’s call, and that’s what we were told, but we’re not here to offer any excuses.”
Sriram said the focus now is to beat Pakistan and wait for the results of other matches to go in his team’s favour.
“I’ve been very clear in all my press conferences. We’re just taking it one game at a time, plan for one opposition at a time. Every game we want to go, we obviously want to win it, but we’re aware of what challenges Pakistan present. We played them in New Zealand just recently (in the Tri-series), and we have high respect for that team, so we’re going to turn up and be at our best on that day.”
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