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Saturday,13-August-2022

International

Olympic silver medallist Paul Tanui to take part in 10K Bengaluru 2022

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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.

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England beat Germany after extra time to win UEFA women’s Euro

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England beat Germany 2-1 after extra time in a packed Wembley Stadium in London, bringing home the trophy of the UEFA women’s Euro for the first time.

Germany suffered a heavy blow minutes ahead of the final on Sunday evening as their captain Alex Popp had to pull out after picking up an injury during the warm-up.

The 31-year-old forward had scored in all five previous matches in this tournament and scored twice in Germany’s 2-1 win against France in Wednesday’s semifinal, reports Xinhua. England, reaching the Euro’s final for the third time, couldn’t break the deadlock until Ella Toone came off the bench to score the opener in the 62nd minute.

But midfielder Lina Magull helped Germany equalise in the 79th minute.

The 1-1 scoreline was held until the 110th minute while substitute Chloe Kelly prodded in her first goal for the England team.

“What we’ve done is incredible. I knew we had England behind us- we saw that coming to the stadium,” said England head coach Sarina Wiegman in front of 87,192 fans in Wembley.

“But the whole tournament we’ve had so much support from our fans. I’m so proud of the team.”

The 52-year-old Dutchwoman, who also guided the Netherlands to win the women’s Euro trophy in 2017, is the first coach to lead two different teams to the title.

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Pakistan Cricket Board wants ICC to form strategy on growth of franchise T20 leagues

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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Saturday that it has asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to form a strategy on controlling the growth of lucrative franchise T20 leagues with rising concerns about its impact on the international cricket calendar.

Earlier this week, South Africa pulled out of a three-match bilateral ODI against Australia in January as it clashes with their new domestic T20 competition, the third time they will be attempting to have a successful franchise T20 League.

The next cycle of the Future Tours Programme (FTP), for 2024-31, which shows the schedule of teams playing bilateral series against each other and at what venues, is set to be confirmed in the upcoming week during the annual conference of the ICC at Birmingham.

“Growth of franchise cricket is impacting the already crammed international cricket calendar. The PCB is concerned about this development and wants the ICC to formulate a strategy on this issue,” said PCB Chief Executive Faisal Hasnain in a statement.

“We have sent a proposal to the ICC, which they have added to their meeting agenda. Two other boards have also conveyed their apprehensions to the ICC on this matter and urged the ICC to create a working group to debate on the expansion of franchise-based T20 leagues,” added Hasnain.

Talking about the confirmation of the FTP, in the context of Pakistan recently starting to host international cricket at home, Hasnain remarked, “Finalising the Future Tours Programme (FTP) is very important for us.

“This will give us certainty about which teams will be visiting us and which countries we will be touring. 80 per cent of the FTP has already been agreed upon and the remaining 20 per cent will be completed in the upcoming meeting.”

The upcoming ICC Annual Conference in Birmingham also marks the first time the meeting will happen after a Covid-19 pandemic caused a stoppage. “The annual conference presents a unique opportunity for networking with representatives of the world cricket.

“We are planning several initiatives that involve fellow members and meetings have already been set up on the sidelines with other boards to collectively enhance our common interest,” concluded Hasnain.

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T20 World Cup could be a swansong for several Australian cricketers, indicates Finch

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Australia white-ball skipper Aaron Finch has no doubt in his mind that he will be leading an “ageing side” in the ICC T20 World Cup at home later this year, and indicated that the tournament could be a swansong for several cricketers, especially batters.

As Australia prepare to defend the title they won in the UAE in 2021, Finch added that lifting the trophy in front of a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground in November would be a dream come true for him.

“It might be a full stop on everything (several players retiring from T20Is, including him) if it goes to plan like that. Fairy tales can happen in sport,” Finch, 35, was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au during the 100-day countdown celebration to the mega event on Friday.

While Finch has indicated that this could be the last T20 World Cup for him, it could also be opener David Warner and wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade’s last mega T20 event, given that both are in their mid-30s.

Wade has already said the 2022 T20 World Cup will be his international swansong, while Warner has also indicated that he might retire from T20Is to prolong his Test and ODI career. Finch will also probably turn his attention to the 50-over World Cup in India in 2023 to finally call it a day from international cricket.

Asked about his white-ball future post the T20 World Cup, Finch said, “Good question… It obviously shifts to a 50-over World Cup focus… after the (T20) World Cup, so I don’t think there’s too many T20 games in the next 12 months (after the World Cup) anyway. So I don’t know.

“I think just naturally when guys get to their mid-30s, it’s going to be that way. Davey (Warner) just keeps going; he could play for another 10 years, I think, with how fit he is and how much he loves the competition and continuing to challenge himself.

“(Matthew) Wadey has gone through a few phases (and) he’s now become so important to the structure of our team, batting at seven there and being so dynamic. But it’s an ageing side, isn’t it? Especially in that batting group,” said Finch.

Finch added that the World Cup in Australia would be “incredibly tough” after what he saw in the UAE last year where South Africa, in spite of winning four out of their five games, missed out on net run rate.

“Iit’s going to be an incredibly tough competition. We saw how brutal the format is with South Africa winning four out of their five games at the last World Cup and still not qualifying on net run rate. It’s just so brutal that you do need a bit of luck along the way. So let’s see.”

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