Wimbledon 2017: Lukasz Kubot-Marcelo Melo outlast Oliver Marach-Mate Pavic in marathon men’s doubles final

first_imgPoland’s Lukasz Kubot and Brazil’s Marcelo Melo won the Wimbledon men’s doubles title on Saturday after beating Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(2), 3-6, 13-11 in an epic test of endurance.The match had to be finished under the Centre Court floodlights with play suspended at 11-11 in the evening gloom for the roof to be closed.Photo Credit: Reuters Marach and Pavic were caught cold and broken in their first service game after the restart, leaving the victorious pair to fall to the floor in an exhausted celebration after clinching victory in a match lasting four hours and 39 minutes.Both pairs had come through titanic five-set battles in the semi-finals, with Austrian Marach and Croatia’s Pavic taking more than four and a half hours to subdue Croatians Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor 17-15 in the final set.EKATERINA MAKAROVA AND ELENA VESNINA CRUISE TO WOMEN’S DOUBLES TITLERussians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina won the Wimbledon women’s doubles title for the first time on Saturday with a crushing 6-0, 6-0 victory over the pairing of Taiwan’s Hao-Ching Chan and Romanian Monica Niculescu.The second-seeded Russian pair have now won three of the grand slam events in doubles following their triumph at the French Open in 2013 and the U.S. Open a year later.Photo Credit: Reuters The final lasted 54 minutes and the Russians, runners-up at the All England Club in 2015, had to save just two break points in the entire match against the pairing playing in their first season together.advertisementThe top-seeded duo of American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Czech Lucie Safarova had to withdraw before the second round after Mattek-Sands suffered a severe injury in a singles match.last_img read more

Mercedes launches AMG GLC 43 Coupe in India at Rs 74.8 lakh

first_imgNew Delhi, Jul 21(PTI) German luxury carmaker Mercedes- Benz today launched AMG GLC 43 Coupe in India priced at Rs 74.8 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).”This new SUV Coupe is going to be a key addition to our 43 AMG line and will be instrumental in further popularising the 43 AMG range to a new customer base,” Mercedes-Benz India Managing Director and CEO Roland Folger told reporters here.The model combines elegance of a coupe with dynamics of a sports car and versatility of the Mercedes-Benz GLC, he added.”We are confident that this brand will be well received by our elite Indian customers,” Folger said.The petrol powered vehicle produces 367 HP and can sprint from 0-100 km/h in mere 4.9 seconds.The new model is the 8th product launch by the company in India during the year.The vehicle comes with various features including all wheel drive, electric sunroof and LED light system.Commenting on the sales performance during the current year, Folger said: “It has turned out to be a golden year for us”.In the first half of the year, the automaker has sold 7,171 units in India, its best performance till date.”We are confident that we will lead the luxury car segment this year as well,” Folger said.In order to further push AMG brand in India, the company plans to add two new AMG performance centres at Chennai and Kochi, he added.The company currently has AMG performance centres at Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad. PTI MSS BALlast_img read more

Maha winners of 2015 Natl Games yet to get award money of

first_imgover Rs 5 cr Mumbai, July 28 (PTI) The Maharashtra government is yet to pay Rs 5.20 crore it promised to the sportspersons from various categories who won the National Games held in Kerala in 2015, Sports Minister Vinod Tawde told Legislative Assembly today.”Once the Finance department approves the proposal, these sports personalities will get their dues,” Tawde said in a written reply.The reply said the state Kho Kho team which had won gold medal is yet to receive Rs seven lakh promised by the government.Some of the sportspersons who are still awaiting the payment are the winners of the states Shiv Chhatrapati Award for sports, the highest in the category.As per the reply, the Olympic Association had sent nine reminders to state Finance Ministry headed by the BJP heavyweight Sudhir Mungantiwar, and also held personal meetings with him.”The state government is yet to take the final decision on a revised proposal on the cash awards to be given to sportspersons,” the minister said in his reply.The 2015 National Games of India, also known as the 35th National Games of India, was held from January 31, 2015 to February 14, 2015 across seven districts of Kerala. PTI ND NSKlast_img read more

Hardik Pandya can do for India what Ben Stokes does for England: Virat Kohli

first_imgIndia captain Virat Kohli feels that all-rounder Hardik Pandya has all the skill sets required to emulate world’s premier all-rounder Ben Stokes.”I have a lot of faith in him (Hardik) as far as any format is concerned. If he grows in confidence you see someone like Ben Stokes, what he does for England, brings in great balance as an all-rounder. I see no reason why Hardik Pandya can’t become that for India,” Kohli said at the post- match press conference.Kohli singled out Pandya for special mention, praising his second innings bowling apart from his debut half-century.”In the first innings, he didn’t get opportunity to bowl much but I think in the second innings, he bowled really nicely on a wicket that wasn’t offering much and he kept it in the right areas,” said Kohli.The skipper was impressed as to how Pandya used the shirt ball and also the speed at which he bowled.”He used the bouncer well. He bowls around 135, so he is a great asset and I have mentioned this before as well,” he said.His whirlwind 50 in the first innings was the difference between a total of 550 and 600.”We would have been 540-550 in the first innings. He got those 50 runs quickly and that saves you time as well. That gives you another 15 overs to bowl at the opposition. And his fielding is also tremendous,” Kohli added.last_img read more

Russell Brand marries Laura Gallacher

first_imgLos Angeles, Aug 27 (PTI) Actor-comedian Russell Brand has tied the knot with his fiancee Laura Gallacher in an intimate ceremony at Remenham Church near their home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxon.In pictures obtained by The Sun, the bride wore a white dress with a long slit, while the groom donned a three-piece suit.The guests included Oasis rocker Noel Gallagher, radio presenter Jonathan Ross, and Sky Sports presenter Kirsty who is also the brides sister, reported Ace Showbiz.After the intimate service at the church, the newlyweds boarded a New Orleans style paddle steamer along with the guests to an Indian-themed reception.They were joined by staff wearing sarees. Russell reportedly spent almost USD 3,000 to rent the boat.”They wanted a very small, personal affair, with their daughter Mabel, family and close friends rather than a circus. It was a lovely occasion. Mabel was guest of honour,” a source said.Russell and Laura, a lifestyle blogger, have dated on and off since 2007. The couple started to get serious in 2015. Mabel, their first child, was born in November 2016.Russell was previously married to pop star singer Katy Perry.They got engaged in India and married in a Hindu ceremony in the country. He dumped her via a text message after a year of marriage. They have no child together. PTI JCH JCHlast_img read more

Ambati Rayudu slaps and abuses man who objected to cricketer’s rash driving

first_imgIndian cricketer Ambati Rayudu in a shocking incident has been reported to be involved in a scuffle wherein he abused and slapped a person, who reportedly objected to his rash driving in Hyderabad.The unpleasant incident took place on Thursday morning, when the person was out for a walk and Rayudu was on his way to the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, located in Uppal, Hyderabad.It is reported that the cricketer was driving his SUV rashly and was very close to the morning walkers near the stadium.When the person advised Rayudu to drive slow, the latter got angry, got down from his car and started shouting at him.Following this, there was an altercation between the two. Many fellow walkers came in support of the senior citizen and tried to Rayudu. But the 31-year-old cricketer kept on abusing the person and later on slapped him.The whole incident was captured by one of the fellow walkers on his mobile phone.However, no police complaint has been lodged into the incident.#WATCH: Cricketer Ambati Rayudu seen in scuffle with a man allegedly after argument over rash driving in Hyderabad (Unverified video source) pic.twitter.com/r1pdq5Lh9g- ANI (@ANI) August 31, 2017last_img read more

Jerome Valcke says reputation destroyed as he appears before tribunal

first_imgFormer FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said his reputation had been destroyed by his 10-year ban from football as he appeared before a hearing to overturn the punishment at sport’s highest appeal court on Wednesday.The Frenchman, whose job was to ensure the smooth running of FIFA, and in particular the World Cup, was right-hand man to now banned president Sepp Blatter before both were embroiled in a corruption scandal which swept soccer’s governing body in 2015 and led to a significant change in leadership.Valcke was found guilty by FIFA’s former ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert of misconduct over the sale of World Cup tickets, abuse of travel expenses, attempting to sell TV rights below their market value and destruction of evidence.After being sacked from his post in January 2016, he was initially banned for 12 years, which was reduced to 10 by FIFA’s own appeal committee last June. He has denied wrongdoing and is now appealing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).last_img read more

Ata-ur-Rehman threatens legal action against Pakistan Cricket Board

first_imgFormer pacer Ata-ur-Rehman, who was banned for life by a match-fixing inquiry commission, has threatened to take the Pakistan Cricket Board to court for double standards while dealing with players involved in corruption.”I have told a high-ranking board official today that if chairman Najam Sethi does not want to hear me out then I will have no option but to go to the high court for justice,” Ata said.Ata, who played 13 Tests and 30 ODIs between 1992 and 1996, was banned for life in 2000 by the Justice Malik Qayyum Commission for committing perjury during the investigations into the match-fixing allegations against Pakistani players in the 90s.Ata had the ban overturned in a high court and also got clearance from the International Cricket Council to resume his cricket activities.”I have been told by PCB officials that I can’t be given any job or coaching assignment because of my background. Why did they appoint me as regional coach four years back,” Ata said.The tall pacer, who had accused former captain Wasim Akram of offering him $100,000 for under-performing during a one-day series in New Zealand in 1994, later changed his statement before the Qayyum commission and was sanctioned for committing perjury.”I have told the board official today that if they don’t give me a fair hearing I will take them to court and also challenge the Qayyum report. At least three players, Wasim, Mushtaq Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq, who the commission recommended should not be given high-profile assignments by the board, are enjoying with well-paid jobs and assignments, so why should I be made to suffer?”advertisementAta also questioned the board’s refusal to hear him out and give him a coaching assignment when it had allowed Mohammad Aamir to come back into the Pakistan team. “Aamir served a five-year ban for spot-fixing. I didn’t even commit any fixing and was punished for not speaking the truth. Yet they say they can’t employ me,” he questioned.last_img read more

Manchester City’s lead counts for little at this stage, says Pep Guardiola

first_imgManchester City’s five-point lead over neighbours Manchester United counts for little at this stage and they cannot become complacent in their pursuit of the Premier League title, manager Pep Guardiola has said ahead of Sunday’s game against Arsenal.Guardiola’s side are the only unbeaten team after 10 league games this season and their attacking style has been compared to Arsenal’s 2003-04 ‘Invincibles’. However, Guardiola was not interested in suggestions that City too could end the season unbeaten.”We are five points in front of Manchester United… (with) 84 points to play for. It’s nothing,” the Spaniard told a news conference on Friday.”If we play until May the way we have the last two months, I think ‘wow we have a good chance to win the Premier League’.”Who will assure me that is going to happen? Who will assure me we won’t have injured players? Who’s going to assure me we won’t have bad moments… It is impossible to maintain what we have done in the past two months.”Guardiola, who guided City to a 4-2 win at Napoli in the Champions League in midweek, acknowledged the threat that Arsene Wenger’s men posed to his team as they look to go into next week’s international break with a win.”Arsenal are one of the best opponents for my team. They have won a lot of games. Against Arsenal it is always complicated,” Guardiola said.”It is the last game before the international break and hopefully we can recover well from Napoli and put on a good performance in front of our fans and win the game.”advertisementArsenal, who are fifth in the league with 19 points, have lost only once to City in their last nine meetings in all competitions winning four and drawing four.last_img read more

La Liga: Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates Ballon d’Or with brace in Real Madrid’s thrashing of Sevilla

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo celebrated his recent Ballon d’Or award by scoring twice for the first time in a La Liga game this season as champions Real Madrid swept to a stunning 5-0 win over Sevilla on Saturday to go five points behind leaders Barcelona.Real faced a crisis in defence with Raphael Varane, captain Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and holding midfielder Casemiro all unavailable but Zinedine Zidane’s side produced a lethal attacking display, scoring all their goals before halftime.Nacho Fernandez cashed in on a woeful attempted clearance from the visitors following a corner to put Real ahead in the third minute. Ronaldo sidefooted home a through ball from Marco Asensio to score the second in the 23rd.Ronaldo, who had paraded his joint-record five Ballon d’Or trophies on the Santiago Bernabeu pitch before kick-off, then thumped in the third from the penalty spot, his kick proving too powerful for visiting goalkeeper Sergio Rico.Photo Credit: ReutersToni Kroos scored the most impressive goal of the game by charging forward from his own half and playing a wall pass with Lucas Vazquez before stroking the ball beyond Rico, while 18-year-old Achraf Hakimi notched his first goal for Real in the 42nd minute to complete another lethal breakaway.Real go third in the standings on 31 points, level with Valencia who host Celta Vigo later on Saturday, and five behind Barcelona, who visit Villarreal on Sunday.Sevilla went into the game level on points with Real and after qualifying for the last-16 of the Champions League but they were blown apart and suffered their heaviest defeat of the season in all competitions.advertisementReal, meanwhile, head off in confident mood to the United Arab Emirates to try and defend the Club World Cup title and will miss next week’s domestic action.last_img read more

HWL Final: Australia edge Argentina 2-1 to clinch win gold medal

first_imgDrag-flicker Blake Govers struck two minutes from time as defending champions Australia edged past Argentina 2-1 to win the title in the Hockey World League (HWL) Final at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.Govers struck to the left of Argentine goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi in the 58th minute after Australia saw Jeremy Hayward’s penalty corner conversion in the 17th minute being equalised within a minute by Agustin Bugallo.It was a fitting final given that the contest was between Olympic champions Argentina and the world champions.The match lived up to the expectations, with both teams showing their attacking game.While Australia kept their game of all-round attack, Argentina did their best to maintain their game of holding the ball in their half and wait for a counter-attack.Even though Australia pressed hard, Argentina kept moving the ball quickly.Australia drew the first blood, with Hayward flicking between Vivaldi’s left leg and left-bar defender Ignacio Ortiz.However, the South Americans pulled level within a minute as Bugallo deflected home at the right near post a right cross from Juan Gilardi.Afterward, both teams were locked in a tight battle. Argentina matched Australia’s physical game head-on.Eddie Ockenden came closest to give Australia the lead a few seconds prior to the close of the third quarter. Central defender Mark Knowles’ long-range ball was met by Blake Govers just outside the circle and he fed the veteran attacking midfielder on the left but the latter was denied by the cross-bar.Juan Lopez responded for Argentina following a superb counter-attack but with only goalkeeper Tyler Lovell to beat, the attacker drove wide of the left post.advertisementJust when it seemed the match will go to the penalty shootout, Australia earned a penalty corner from which Govers made no mistake to make it 2-1.In the dying seconds, Diego Paz failed to connect a flick from the left as Australia survived some anxious moments to earn the 2-1 win and retain the title they had won in Raipur two years ago.”We controlled the game well and got some clear-cut chances but didn’t make the most of them,” Man-of-the-Match Gilardi of Argentina said after the match.last_img read more

Time for India to look beyond MS Dhoni in T20 Internationals?

first_imgTeam India’s experimentation with the middle-order has been going on for a while keeping in mind the 2019 World Cup in England.Virat Kohli has tried Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav and even Hardik Pandya in the No. 4 and 5 slots around Mahendra Singh Dhoni in one-day international cricket. While some have failed, some have met with moderate success. The likes of Yuvraj, Manish and Jadhav have been patchy but thanks to the calming influence of Dhoni, India have survived a scare and eased through to the top of the rankings and are now second to South Africa due to points in the ODI format.And recently, the team’s experimentation has even shifted to the shortest format of the game. In the recent series against New Zealand, India handed a debut to Shreyas Iyer and dropped Jadhav. In the first game, thanks to a brilliant start by Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, the hosts got away and the middle-order did not have to do much but in the second game, India stumbled in the chase of 197 at Rajkot. Iyer was pushed to three, Kohli came in at 4 and looked dangerous but the batsmen around him were struggling. (MS Dhoni a good helping hand for Virat Kohli: David Warner to India Today)While Pandya struggled to pick Ish Sodhi, Dhoni took too long to settle in, forcing Kohli to go after the bowling and end up giving away his wicket.BCCI PhotoDhoni scored 49 off 37 balls with a strike-rate of 132. It may not be all that bad but the former captain’s inability to rotate strike much like the past one year,  proved to be a cause for concern. He is still lightning quick between the wickets but he has struggled to hit the ball right from the word go nor has he been able to create enough opportunities to steal quick singles.advertisementIn Dhoni’s innings in the second T20I against the Black Caps, he had scored 26 runs in boundaries from five deliveries (3×6, 2×4) and managed only 23 from the remaining 32 deliveries, which is far less than run a ball.Dhoni, over the years, has evolved as a player and takes some time to settle in and then he has a go towards the end. While this suits India in the 50-over format, it is a bit of a worry in T20s. He could be a perfect No. 4 in ODIs…also in T20s if the team loses early wickets, is he really a person to bank on when you need 12-13 run-per-over right from the word go? His current stats and numbers certainly suggest otherwise and pundits and greats of the game would definitely agree.”In T20s, MS Dhoni’s role is at No 4. He requires more time to get his eye in and then do the job. But (the match on) Saturday  was a classical example because when Kohli was batting, Dhoni had to give strike to Kohli. Kohli’s strike rate was 160, MS Dhoni’s strike rate was 80. That’s not good enough when India were chasing a mammoth total,” Laxman said in a post-match show.”I still feel it’s time for MS Dhoni to give youngsters a chance in T20 format. It will be an opportunity for a youngster to blossom and get confidence playing international cricket. He is definitely an integral part of ODI cricket,” he added.Another legend of the game, Sourav Ganguly, in an interview with India Today , had this to say about Dhoni’s T20 credentials: “I am not too sure if Dhoni is a good T20 player. He is a champion ODI player but when it comes to T20 cricket, in 10 years, he has got one fifty and that’s not the best record. So that’s an area which needs to be looked at.”Dhoni has scored 169 runs from eight innings in the last 10 T20 Internationals he has played, which includes only one fifty against England in Bengaluru in February.He has scored 1281 runs from 82 matches at an average of 35.58. The numbers are not bad but gone are the days when he would come, hammer the bowlers round the park and give his team the edge from ball one. The odd innings might be around the corner, here and there but overall, he has struggled recently and the Rajkot T20 was another example.India will face New Zealand in the series decider on Tuesday at Thiruvananthapuram and Dhoni will again play a key role if India have to clinch the three-match series. However, with the Sri Lanka series coming up, India can well afford to rest him and look at the likes of Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul. They are decent keepers and big-hitters of the ball. They might not provide the huge experience that comes with MSD but this will certainly be a step forward as India look to be the top ranked side in all formats of the game.advertisementIf they fail, there’s always MSD to fall back to as long as he is there to offer his services.last_img read more

Cyprus Soccer Ref’s Car Bombed

first_imgNICOSIA, Cyprus — The football association in Cyprus postponed all first division matches this weekend after a bombing damaged the car of a top referee in the country.An explosive device was placed on the hood of referee Leontios Trattos’ car in a parking lot outside his apartment in a Nicosia suburb, police said. No one was injured in the pre-dawn blast, but his car and another vehicle were damaged.The bombing comes ahead of a friendly between the United States and Ukraine March 5 that was moved from Kharkiv because of violence in Ukraine. It wasn’t immediately clear why Trattos may have been targeted, but the Cypriot league is tightly contested this season and passions are running high among supporters.Football in Cyprus is dogged by hooliganism, and referees, including Trattos, are often the target of abuse by overzealous fans. Unruly fans allegedly attacked Trattos after a local friendly last summer.Trattos is the President of Cyprus’ Referees’ Association and he has overseen World Cup qualifiers, and Champions League and Europa League matches.Instantly recognizable with his shaved head, the 41-year-old Trattos is considered to be among Cyprus’ best referees and is often called upon to handle some of the toughest domestic league matches.The Cyprus Referees’ Association said in a statement that previous appeals for authorities to protect their members from “cowardly masked bandits” have gone unheeded.Both the football association and the country’s top sports body condemned the bombing as a “terrorist attack.” The players’ association said it stands in full solidarity with Trattos and all other referees.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Tigers Beat Yanks in 9th, 3-2

first_imgDETROIT — Brad Ausmus saw the ball come off Brian McCann’s bat and sail toward the foul pole in right field, a potentially devastating drive with the game tied in the ninth inning.“From where I was standing you could tell it was kind of hooking,” said Ausmus, Detroit’s first-year Manager. “Pretty quickly off the bat, I was pretty confident it was going foul.”It ended up foul by a few feet, and Phil Coke went on to strike McCann out. Then the Tigers took advantage of the reprieve, scoring in the bottom of the ninth to beat the New York Yankees 3-2 on Aug. 28.Alex Avila’s two-out single off the wall in right gave Detroit the victory. The Tigers, still chasing Kansas City for the AL Central lead, pulled even with Seattle in the race for the American League’s second wild card. The Yankees are three games back.A day after David Price gave up nine straight hits, the Tigers sent Kyle Lobstein to the mound for his first major league start. The rookie performed well, allowing one earned run in six innings.Then Detroit’s bullpen held off New York until the Tigers scored in the ninth off Shawn Kelley (2-5). Victor Martinez led off with a double through a shifted infield, then Kelley walked J.D. Martinez before striking out Nick Castellanos and pinch-hitter Torii Hunter.Avila followed with a drive to right that Ichiro Suzuki couldn’t quite get to. Kelley flung his glove to the ground as soon as Avila connected.“That’s about as bad as I’ve felt walking off a mound in my career,” Kelley said. “I got myself in a hole, but then I got the two outs I needed, and I had a chance to keep the team alive. But I hung a slider, and Alex Avila can hit that pitch. Most guys can hit that pitch.”Coke (2-2) got one very eventful out for the win.Hiroki Kuroda allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings for New York, but he’s still without a victory over the Tigers in his career. He’s beaten baseball’s other 29 teams.Avila opened the scoring in the second with a sacrifice fly, then Jacoby Ellsbury tied it in the third with an RBI single. McCann’s RBI groundout in the fourth put New York ahead, and Rajai Davis tied it with a run-scoring single in the fifth.(NOAH TRISTER, AP Baseball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Olympic Bike Lane Collapse Kills 2

first_imgRIO DE JANEIRO — A new elevated bike path that was heralded as a top legacy project of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics collapsed April 21, killing at least two people.The accident on the Tim Maia bike path was the latest in a series of problems besetting preparations for the Aug. 5-21 games, which include worries about an outbreak of the Zika virus, political turmoil that threatens to topple President Dilma Rousseff, underwhelming ticket sales and budget cuts amid Brazil’s worst recession in decades.Municipal Secretary Pedro Paulo Carvalho said a third person was thought to be missing after a giant wave apparently swept up a rocky cliff, lifted an approximately 150-foot (50-meter) stretch of the bike path and sent it plunging onto the rocks and sea below.Rio’s fire department confirmed only the two deaths. Local news media said two other people were rescued alive.Helicopters fished the two who died out of the water and laid them out on the golden sands of Sao Conrado beach. Initially covered by colorful beach sarongs, they were later shrouded by a sheet of black plastic.The bodies were left on the sand for hours, and waves periodically washed over them. A crowd of beachgoers gathered around the corpses, while others continued a game of beach soccer nearby.April 21 was a public holiday in Brazil, and with the weather sunny and warm, the city’s bike paths, beaches and other outdoor recreational spots were packed.Joao Ricardo Tinoco identified one of the victims as his brother-in-law, Eduardo Marinho Albuquerque. He said the 54-year-old father of one was out jogging at the time of the accident. Tinoco’s sister, Eliane, kneeled over the body, kissing his face and begging to be given another moment to “say goodbye” to her husband.Carvalho said it was too early to tell what caused the accident and said an investigation was underway.Shoddy construction is a perennial problem in Brazil, where graft is a fixture of many construction projects.“It’s clear that an accident like this is unpardonable,” Carvalho told the Globo television network.The entire 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) bike path, which links the tony beachfront neighborhoods of Sao Conrado and Leblon, is now closed, he said.Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, who was in Greece for the lighting of the Olympic torch, was quoted in a statement as also calling the accident “unpardonable,” and saying he was flying back to Rio immediately to follow the investigations into its causes.When the structure was inaugurated, Paes hailed it as “the most beautiful bike path in the world.”The respected newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo reported that the company that built the bike path is owned by the family of the Municipal Public Works secretary, Antonio Paulo Viegas Figueira de Mello. The report said Concremat was founded by Mello’s grandfather, Mauro Viegas.A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment on the alleged family connection. She also declined to provide any details about the bike path and could not say whether the company was involved in any other Olympic projects. Concremat’s website was down on April 21.“The priorities at the moment are to ensure treatment of the victims and their families and evaluate the causes of the accident,” said the company’s two-sentence statement.The bike path is perched high above the water on concrete and metal pillars set into a rocky cliff. Inaugurated on Jan. 17 with much fanfare, the 45 million-real ($12.5 million) project was initially heralded as one of the most successful Olympic legacy projects, earning kudos for its spectacular views.But soon detractors began to complain that the brand-new structure was already showing signs of deterioration and that the narrowness of the path made cyclists easy prey for muggers.The bike path runs parallel to a road high above the sea that will be used for the road-cycling event in the Olympics. Construction is under way to extend the bike path westward to the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood that is one of the Olympic hubs and Carvalho said engineering of that stretch would face extra scrutiny. The Concremat spokeswoman said the company was not building the extension.In an emailed statement, Rio’s Olympic organizers said “our thoughts and sympathies are with the people and their families and friends affected by the tragic accident.”The collapse happened just hours after the flame for South America’s first Olympics was kindled at the Greek birthplace of the ancient games. The flame begins a 15-week journey that will culminate with the Aug. 5 opening ceremony in Rio.___By Felipe Dana and Renata Brito. AP writers Jenny Barchfield and Stephen Wade in Rio de Janeiro contributedTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Westbrook, Durant Put Rolling Thunder On Warriors, 108-102

first_imgOAKLAND, Calif. — Outside his locker room, first-year Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan received a round of handshakes and hugs for pulling off something no other team has this postseason.The Thunder beat the defending champs at Oracle Arena.Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma City dazzled in the fourth quarter the way the Warriors have done so many times during their record-setting season, rallying from 14 points down for a 108-102 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals May 16.“You have to have a mindset coming into these kinds of venues. Our guys, I think they understand what they’re walking into,” Donovan said.“You don’t just walk in here say, ‘Oh, everything’s going to be OK.’ You have to have a mindset to understand. The first thing is to embrace the fact it’s going to be hard.”Durant scored 26 points and made a key 17-foot jumper with 30.7 seconds left, while Westbrook scored 24 of his 27 points in the second half. Westbrook also had 12 assists and seven steals in the opener of the Thunder’s fourth West finals in six years.“We just stayed with it on the defensive end and when we got the shots late in the game we were able to focus in and knock them down,” Durant said. “We’re just a resilient group and keep fighting ’til the end.”Game 2 is May 18 at Oracle Arena. If this one was any kind of preview of what is coming, this should be a dandy of a series between the NBA’s highest-scoring teams from the regular season.“We’ve just got to compete,” Westbrook said. “It’s going to be a tough game. It’s a tough building. They have a lot of great players on their team, but I know we’re a great team and when we put our minds to it, tonight we didn’t play our best game and we came out with a win.”Steven Adams made a pair of free throws for Oklahoma City with 1:01 remaining, and Klay Thompson missed a reverse lay-in moments later on the other end. Adams finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots.MVP Stephen Curry had 26 points and a playoff career-high 10 rebounds, but the Warriors missed too many shots down the stretch. The Warriors’ 42 second-half points and 14 in the fourth both were lows for this postseason.“We got rushed and tried to go for the home-run plays. Sometimes it works,” Curry said. “Defensively we were getting enough stops and rebounds. We got out of character a little bit. It’s something we’ll learn from going forward.”With his team down 105-102, Steve Kerr begged for a traveling call on Westbrook at mid-court with 17.2 seconds left, with the NBA Coach of the Year signaling with his arms before going into a squat. Oklahoma City got a timeout instead. Westbrook made one free throw with 14.5 seconds to go.“I do think we lost our poise a little bit,” Kerr said. “And that had a lot to do with the quick shots.”Thompson scored 19 of his 25 points in the first half, but shot 3 for 10 over the last two quarters. Curry’s 3-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer gave Golden State a 60-47 lead at the break.Durant scored to get his team within 88-85 going into the final quarter, and then knocked down a tying 3 just 12 seconds into the fourth. Dion Waiters’ layup at 10:30 put the Thunder ahead for the first time since the opening quarter.Westbrook missed nine of his first 10 shots before finding a groove and scoring 19 points in his team’s 38-point third quarter. His jumper with 5:03 left pulled Oklahoma City to 73-68 before Thompson answered two possessions later.Westbrook stole the ball from Green and drove the length of the court for a dunk at the 3:07 mark of the third, and that helped swing momentum.Durant, Serge Ibaka and Adams each had double-digit rebounds — a focal point for Golden State after the Warriors won 121-118 in overtime on Curry’s long game-winner at Oklahoma City on Feb. 27 despite being outrebounded 62-32.Westbrook took a hard hit to the face by Andrew Bogut for a foul ruled a Flagrant 1 after a review at the 5:37 mark of the first quarter. Trainers checked Westbrook’s mouth.“Time of the year you’re going to get hit but you’ve got to find a way to get back up,” Westbrook said.Curry was 9 for 22 from the field, including a 6-for-14 performance from beyond the arc, and committed seven turnovers to go with seven assists.He hit a 3-pointer in his 45th straight playoff game, breaking Reggie Miller’s record set from 1995-2000.“It’s not a good feeling losing Game 1, especially at home,” Curry said. “It’s fun to have this opportunity to come back, show what we’re made of.”This marked the unanimous MVP’s second straight start since coming off the bench in Game 4 against the Trail Blazers following a right knee sprain that still isn’t 100 percent. He said he can manage just fine, it’s just about “pain tolerance” going forward.(JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Warriors Await Word on Top Defender Iguodala as LeBron looms

first_imgOAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Klay Thompson sat on the floor in the middle of his teammates and pointed to his “2018 NBA FINALS” hat during a locker-room photo.An important face was missing from the moment: Andre Iguodala.In a postseason defined by uncertainty for the defending champions, Golden State could be without one of its top defenders as the Warriors chase a repeat title — taking on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a fourth straight NBA Finals matchup.Iguodala’s status for Game 1 on Thursday night is a question as he recovers from a bone bruise in his left knee, which caused him to miss the final four games of the Western Conference finals against Houston. Cleveland’s Kevin Love is in concussion protocol, so he might not be ready, either.Coach Steve Kerr has said Iguodala, the 2015 Finals MVP, will return when he can run without pain. The Warriors sure could use his presence against King James, who is making an eighth straight Finals appearance.“We’re still without Andre, which is a big blow for us,” Kerr said before Monday’s Game 7 at Houston. “In a different way. He’s not a scorer for us as Chris (Paul) is for Houston, but a huge component. So you go through the playoffs and things happen, and you’ve got to be able to bounce back no matter what and keep going.”FILE – In this June 7, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts against the Golden State Warriors during the second half of Game 3 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)Last month, Kerr became concerned his team’s defense wouldn’t return to its top form after Golden State struggled late in the regular season and even endured a particularly poor stretch in which the Warriors dropped seven of 10 games.Yet here they are in a familiar spring spot as June approaches.Once the buzzer sounded and the 101-92 Game 7 win over Houston was official, the Warriors could exhale. It hasn’t been pretty for much of these playoffs, a far cry from that remarkable, record-breaking 16-1 romp through last year’s postseason.There is clearly some relief to be back where this All-Star group expected to be all along.Stephen Curry kept the game ball tucked under his left arm long after Monday’s game, toddler daughter Ryan held in his right arm.Kevin Durant hugged general manager Bob Myers, while always-animated Nick Young beamed wearing his Finals hat and “Champions of the West” T-shirt, then enjoyed hoisting the shiny trophy.Draymond Green smooched his 1-year-old son, Draymond Jr.Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry celebrates with teammates as they receive their trophy after defeating the Houston Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Monday, May 28, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Back home, fireworks went off in the East Bay as everyone anticipates another battle with King James.“There’s a lot of just built-up anxiety, I guess, about this moment. When you walk off the court with a win and get this fancy hat, it’s a good feeling,” Curry said. “We had to work for it, and you’ve got to appreciate the moment. Somebody asked, ‘It’s four years in a row getting to The Finals, do you appreciate it?’ Yes, because it’s really hard. So all the smiles and embraces you have with your teammates, your coaches, it’s well deserved.”Golden State struggled to hit shots for stretches. The stars went through funks and the Warriors had to play catch up time and again — including from double-digit deficits in the final two games to beat James Harden and the 65-win Rockets on their home court after settling for the second seed in the West.James has willed his Cavs this far, saying, “I don’t know how I can compare it to other seasons because I can only think about this one in the present.”“Definitely a different team but we know everything goes and stops with LeBron James with them,” Green said.—By JANIE McCAULEY , AP Sports WriterFILE – In this June 1, 2017, file photo, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James during the second half of Game 1 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif. Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Cavaliers is Thursday, May 31. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)FILE – In this May 26, 2018, file photo, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) gestures during the second half of Game 6 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets, in Oakland, Calif. The odds are longer than a Stephen Curry 3-pointer. The Cavaliers are being given little _ or no _ chance in their fourth straight NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, who have been installed by Las Vegas as the biggest favorites in 16 years. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more