Praneeth stuns Hidayat
Young Indian shuttler B Sai Praneeth stunned former world and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia to storm into the pre-quarterfinals of the Indonesian Super Series Premier on Wednesday. The 20-year-old Indian, who made it to the main draw through the qualifiers, came back from one game down as he won the remaining two in stunning fashion to shock the former world number one and 2004 Athens Olympics gold medallist 15-21 21-12 21-17 in a 52-minute gruelling first round contest. Three other Indians ~ Ajay Jayaram, RMV Gurusaidutt and Sourabh Verma ~ also reached the prequarterfinals but it turned out to be a bad day in office for world number 10 Parupalli Kashyap as he crashed out of the men&’s singles competition.
Armenia smashed Denmark 4-0 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier in Parken, Denmark, crushing the hopes of the Danes to qualify for the finals. Armenia on Tuesday scored the first goal after only 27 seconds into the game through Yura Movsisyan and, 20 minutes later, the score was 2-0. Movsisyan scored his second goal to make it 3-0 14 minutes into the second half before Mkhitaryan sealed the victory with an 81st-minute goal. Meanwhile, Argentina managed a 1-1 draw against Ecuador on Tuesday in the thin air of Quito to remain on top of South America’s World Cup qualifying standings.
Sergio Aguero opened the scoring with a penalty in the fourth minute for Argentina, but Segundo Castillo equalised with a header in the 17th. Lionel Messi came on as a substitute in the 60th minute.
Indian players made a positive start in the Association of Tennis Professionals Nottingham Challenger event as Somdev Devvarman recorded a victory in singles while Divij Sharan and Purav Raja advanced to the doubles quarter-finals. Devvarman, ranked 140, defeated local qualifier Brydan Klein, 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the opening round of the 64,000-euro grasscourt event. The fourth-seeded Indian pair of Divij and Raja overcame a fighting Rik De Voest of South Africa and Adil Shamasdin of Canada 6-1, 3-6, 10-7 in the opening round.
In Mulhouse, France, India outclassed Venezuela 3-0 to top pool H and make sure of their progress to the pre-quarter-finals of the men’s World Team Squash Championship. Results: India beat Venezuela 3-0: Mahesh Mangaonkar beatt Miguel Vallennilla 11-1, 11-2, 11-7; Harinder Pal Sandhu beat Gabriel Teran 11-3, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5; Ramit Tandon beat Miguel Mendez11-2, 11-2, 11-3.
The Union sport ministry has decided to lay out synthetic surfaces for football, hockey and athletics and to invest in multi-purpose indoor halls across the country under the urban sports infrastructure scheme.