QPlay: Belgium, Germany in Euro QF; 3 Indian Athletes Win Rio Spot
All the latest sports news in The Quint’s morning wrap.
1. Three Indian Athletes Qualify for Rio Olympics
Quarter-miler Mohammad Anas and long jumper Ankit Singh booked their Olympic tickets with national record shattering efforts while 200m specialist Srabani Nanda also qualified for the Rio Games on Sunday.
24-year-old Odisha athlete Srabani clocked 23.07 sec at the 26th G Kosanov Memorial Meet in Almaty, Kazakhstan to realise her Rio Olympics dreams. The qualifying mark for the Olympics in women’s 200m is 23.20 sec.
23-year-old Ankit also smashed the existing national record with his best effort of 8.19 m in men’s long jump in the same meet in Almaty to ensure his passage for the Rio Games. The earlier national record of 8.09 m was in the name of Kumaravel Prem Kumar set here in August 2013. The qualification standard for the Olympics in men’s long jump is 8.15 metres.
Mohammad Anas qualified for the Rio Olympics by shattering the men’s 400m national record on the second day of Polish Athletics Championship at Bydgoszcz. 21-year-old Anas clocked 45.40 sec, the exact Rio qualification timing, to book the Olympics ticket.
2. “Pressure? What Pressure?,” Asks Williams at Wimbledon
Serena Williams gave little away on Sunday as she assessed her chances of retaining her Wimbledon title – and dismissed suggestions that she is under any pressure.
The 34-year-old American has not struck a ball competitively since losing to Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in the French Open final on 4 June – a defeat that frustrated her hopes of matching Steffi Graf’s professional era record of 22 Grand Slam titles.
Considering she also fell at the final hurdle in Australia against Angelique Kerber and went out of the US Open semi-finals last year, when two wins away from a calendar grand slam, Williams can be forgiven for feeling a little edgy.
But she was hiding any tension, well, from the world’s media on the eve of the tournament.
“I don’t feel any pressure. I feel good and confident,” she said at the All England Club where she has won six singles titles, one more than her older sister Venus.
3. Djokovic to Play Wildcard Ward in Wimbledon Opener
Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic will play British wildcard James Ward in the first round of the Wimbledon championships on Monday as he continues his bid for a calendar year grand slam.
The 29-year-old Serb, the top seed, could face a semi-final with third seed Roger Federer, the seven-time champion he beat in the last two finals at the All England Club.
Federer, who missed the French Open due to an injury, plays Guido Pella in the first round. Second seed Andy Murray faces an all-British first round against wildcard Liam Broady. Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka, Murray’s prospective semi-final opponent, begins against American teenager Taylor Fritz.
4. Germany Cruise into Last Eight With 3-0 Slovakia Win
Germany beat Slovakia 3-0 with goals from Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez and Julian Draxler to cruise into the Euro 2016 quarter-finals on Sunday and confirm their status as tournament favourites.
Central defender Boateng, who had recovered from an injury, connected perfectly with a clearance in the eighth minute to volley in from 25 metres for his first international goal as the world champions took control from the start. The Germans, who next face either holders Spain or Italy, saw Mesut Ozil’s weak 13th minute penalty saved but Gomez made no mistake two minutes from halftime when he tapped home a perfect cut back from the marauding Julian Draxler.
Draxler, slipping into the starting lineup for the lacklustre Mario Goetze, was then left with far too much space at the far post to volley in their third just past the hour as the Germans kept a fourth straight clean sheet at the finals.
5. Hazard Inspires Belgium to 4-0 Defeat of Hungary
Captain Eden Hazard inspired Belgium to a resounding 4-0 victory over Hungary at Euro 2016 on Sunday, setting up a quarter-final clash with Wales. Hazard set up one goal and scored another as Toby Alderweireld, Michy Batshuayi and Yannick Carrasco completed a comfortable victory.
Belgium took the lead after 10 minutes when Kevin De Bruyne swung an inviting cross into the box where centre back Alderweireld rose at the far post to power his header past Hungary keeper Gabor Kiraly.
Substitute Batshuayi tapped home Hazard’s low cross with 12 minutes remaining shortly after coming on. The Chelsea player cut inside the Hungary box and then rifled home a superb finish for the third before Carrasco grabbed a late goal.
6. Griezmann Double Sends Hosts France into Last Eight
Hosts France came from behind to beat 10-man Ireland 2-1 and reach the Euro 2016 quarter-finals after a tactical switch freed forward Antoine Griezmann to score two second-half goals at Parc OL on Sunday.
The masterstroke from coach Didier Deschamps at the break unshackled France’s attackers, who had struggled to get a hold on the game early on after a Robbie Brady penalty in the second minute, the fastest goal so far at this year’s tournament.
Griezmann struck either side of the hour mark to the relief of the nervous home fans before Ireland had defender Shane Duffy sent off after 66 minutes for bringing down the flying forward.
7. England v Sri Lanka: Third ODI Abandoned Due to Rain
Rain forced the abandonment of the third one-day international between England and Sri Lanka on Sunday with the hosts’ hopes of taking a 2-0 lead thwarted just four overs into their run chase at Bristol.
England, who lead the five-match series after a thumping 10-wicket triumph at Edgbaston on Friday, were on 16-1 and chasing Sri Lanka’s tally of 248 for nine when the match was called off.
Rain had earlier delayed the start of England’s reply.
Kusal Mendis (53), Dinesh Chandimal (62) and Angelo Mathews (56) had made half centuries for the visitors with Liam Plunkett taking 3-46.
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