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Denmark’s world No.1 Viktor Axelsen is currently in India playing in the Premier Badminton League for Bengaluru Blasters for the second season in a row.On Thursday night, Axelsen dazzled in front of the New Delhi crowd in his match against Delhi Dashers’ Tian Houwei of China and put up a dominating display for the audience that cheered and screamed behind him all the while.Earlier in the year, Axelsen had won the India Open Super Series in New Delhi after reaching his third final and he mentioned that it meant a lot.Axelsen says he enjoys playing in India and the people’s passion for badminton is “good to see.””It’s good, I love being in India. I think the fans here, especially at Siri Fort (Sports Complex) in Delhi, it’s really nice and everyone is really passionate for badminton, which is really good to see,” Axelsen said to IndiaToday.in.WATCH FULL VIDEOAxelsen entertained the crowd at Siri Fort with a no-look push and piruvet backhand shot and the world No.22 Chinese had no answers.”I’m most doing fun in training. I think it is very important to remember the fun things in badminton and that is to get shots like that,” Viktor explained the origination of those fancy strokes.Viktor began the game on a high note racing to a 5-2 lead. The Chinese tried to stop the juggernaut but Viktor eventually went into the break 8-6 with a brilliant drop at the net.Houwei attempted to counter Viktor’s backcourt forehands by playing an all-court game and hitting the lines but the Danish superstar easily negated it with his strong wristplay to win the opening game.advertisementViktor continued the same onslaught in the second game as well and Houwei had no answers. Viktor’s barrage of smashes rattled Houwei to the T and sealed the match for his side.Axelsen is currently the world No.1 and having won the World Championships and Dubai World Super Series Finals, the Danish has dominated with his all-round game.Having reached the peak, Axelsen shared that he prepares to add new things to his armoury all the time and looks to stay fit physically and mentally.”I try to prepare and make a good plan every time I am meeting a player and of course, I try to physically and mentally be in the right place when I go on court. So, it’s working out fine at the moment and I am doing a lot of other things (in training) and I am in a good place.”Axelsen will now head to Lucknow for a match against Mumbai Rockets on January 1, 2018 in the PBL.
ATHENS — Top-flight Greek club OFI has had six points deducted following disciplinary action demanded by football’s world governing body FIFA.The decision was implemented by Greek league organizers Jan. 1, a day after notice was received from FIFA’s disciplinary committee, backing a complaint over delayed salary payments made by 22-year-old Serbian striker Aleksandar Pesic, who currently plays for Toulouse.The deduction drops OFI to 16th place in the 18-team league with 14 points from 18 matches. Financial troubles facing the Crete-based club prompted the recent walkout of coach Gennaro Gattuso.Olympiakos currently leads the Greek league with 42 points. TweetPinShare0 Shares
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Sheldon Richardson is eager to find out when he’ll be able to play this season.The New York Jets defensive lineman has already been suspended the first four regular-season games by the NFL. He’s awaiting word on if he’ll have to sit out a few more.“When I get the date of when I actually can return, then I can actually start moving forward,” Richardson said after practice Aug. 26. “Until then, it’s just going to be a cloud over my head.”Richardson was suspended July 2 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He could face an additional suspension from Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was charged with resisting arrest in Missouri on July 14 and not reporting it to the team — a possible violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy.Richardson was in a high-speed road race in which he traveled up to 143 mph, and sped from police, who found a loaded gun in his car, which smelled of burnt marijuana. One of his three passengers was a 12-year-old boy.Richardson’s arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 31 in Missouri. He’ll remain with the team while his lawyers handle things, and remains confident he ultimately won’t face jail time.“I really don’t think it’ll go that far,” he said, “but we’ll see.”Richardson acknowledged that he’s anxious about his situation, and uncertain as to what to expect from Goodell and the league as far as a possible extension to his suspension.“That’s out of my hands, right there,” he said. “Whatever happens, happens. … I could go from four games to however long he wants to give me, so it’s pretty tough.”Richardson was the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year and played in the Pro Bowl last season. Because he’ll be sitting out at least the first four games, Richardson has been mainly working with the backups during training camp and in preseason games, while first-round pick Leonard Williams has gotten the bulk of the playing time with the starters.“It’s most definitely been a humbling experience,” he said about his situation. “I’ve just got to learn from it. I consider myself a humble guy off camera.”Richardson apologized to the organization and his teammates after the news of his arrest came out, something he withheld from even his parents until reports on the internet surfaced early in training camp.Several Jets players offered public support for Richardson, with many saying he was a good person who made a mistake and just needs to get his life situated.Richardson said the camaraderie of his teammates has been “comforting.” He added that after the first day following the news, he didn’t feel the need to keep saying he was sorry to his teammates.“They’ve been my teammates, same regular conversations,” he said. “They’re waiting on the verdict, just like I am, and waiting for me to get back and carry on.”During his suspension, Richardson will be able to work out at the team’s facility, but will not be allowed to practice.After first resisting the idea, Richardson agreed at his parents’ suggestion to undergo counseling through the team, which he said has been “somewhat” helpful.“I’ve just been learning things about myself,” he said, “dealing with life endeavors that have been hard for me to deal with, talking to someone outside my circle, little things like that.”Richardson considers himself a private person despite his sometimes loud and colorful personality on the field. Opening himself up during counseling hasn’t been difficult, though. And, he doesn’t feel the need to make drastic changes to his life.“Other than doing a bad mistake on one night, nah, not really,” Richardson said. “That’s the only thing I’d change. I’m pretty quiet off the field, honestly. I keep to myself, stay in my room, really, play video games. Regular person, except I just happen to be in the NFL.”(DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
ATHENS – Greek soccer players will go on an indefinite strike next week to protest the league’s failure to pay players let go by financially troubled teams.The came from the Greek Professional Soccer Players Association (PSAP) whose members are upset about the lack of payment promised two years ago.said that the country’s federation and top two leagues failed to keep to their agreement of two“The players have exceeded the limits of tolerance and patience and are tired of hearing promises,” a players’ statement said, according to Agence France Presse.The association said the strike action will begin with the third round of Greek Cup group matches of December 15-17 and continue with Super League and second division matches of December 19-21.“We have no other way to preserve our professional, economic, athletic and material existence. We ask nothing more than to activate the relief mechanism that was agreed upon. We do not want anything more than what we are entitled to,” added the players.Greek soccer is already in disarray with top power Panathinaikos facing stiff penalties for allowing fans to bring in flares and disrupt a game with rival Olympiacos, which had to be called off. The league also has been accused of rampant match-fixing and financial improprieties but successive governments have done almost nothing about it.TweetPinShare0 Shares
Midfielder Carli Lloyd is among four Americans chosen for the first Women’s World XI.Lloyd’s hat trick led the U.S. past Japan in last year’s World Cup final. She is joined on the team by American goalkeeper Hope Solo and defenders Meghan Klingenberg and Julie Johnston.The international All-Star squad was announced Thursday by FIFPro, soccer’s world players’ union. Players from 33 nationalities in 20 countries voted.Other selections include defenders Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada) and Wendie Renard (France); midfielders Amandine Henry (France) and Aya Miyama (Japan); and forwards Eugenie Le Sommer (France), Anja Mittag (Germany) and Celia Sasic (Germany).Lloyd was voted FIFA Women’s Player of the Year last month and earned the Golden Boot as top player at the World Cup. Buchanan, who attends the University of West Virginia, was voted Best Young Player at the World Cup.TweetPinShare0 Shares
Giannis Antetokounmpo will lead the Greek national team in the upcoming pre-olympic tournament of Turin, Italy.The Greek player met today with the Bucks’ owner Marc Lasry and expressed his wish to play with the Greek national team. Despite the fact that the initial plan of the Bucks for Giannis was to take a break from the national team and work on his game during the summer, they understood what playing for Greece means to him.After all, with Giannis Bourousis being the only veteran left from the 2005 European champions, the team is ready to turn the page and be build around Giannis.This is how the Greek freak announced the outcome of the meeting.TweetPinShare0 Shares
Panathinaikos shook off another bad night in Europe on Thursday to defeat Atromitos in the league on Sunday and cut the distance from the top to four points, at least for 24 hours as leader Olympiakos is in action on Monday at PAS Giannina.The Greens had Marcus Berg to thank for their only goal in their second consecutive 1-0 league win under new manager Marinos Ouzounidis, this time behind closed doors at Peristeri.This was one of just 12 goals scored in seven weekend games, four of which came from AEK that thrashed 10-man Levadiakos 4-0 on Saturday. The Yellows leaped up to third at the table, six points off the pace through goals by Andre Simoes, Tomas Pekhart, Costas Galanopoulos and Patito Rodriguez.Xanthi has risen to a surprising joint third with a Thodoris Vassilakakis goal that gave the Thrace club a 1-0 home win over Larissa.Panionios is a point behind AEK and Xanthi, in fifth, after beating Kerkyra 1-0, and Panetolikos moved away from trouble with a 2-0 victory over Iraklis.PAOK lies ninth after its 3-0 win over Platanias in Thessaloniki, while Asteras Tripolis was unable to beat lowly Veria (0-0).Source: KathimeriniTweetPinShare0 Shares
Olympiacos Piraeus showed its resilience to hold off Brose Bamberg for a hard-fought 83-77 victory at the Peace and Friendship Stadium. The Reds improved to 14-6 in the standings with their sixth consecutive home victory, while the gutsy visiting team dropped to 7-13. Athletic big man Khem Birch was the standout performer for Olympiacos with a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds. Veteran Vassilis Spanoulis led the offense with 15 points and 6 assists and Matt Lojeski and Kostas Papanikolaou added 13 and 12 points, respectively. Nicolo Melli paced the visitors with 14 points, Darius Miller and Nikos Zisis scored 13 each and Janis Strelnieks and Fabien Causeur had 12. Both teams saw players fouled out – Nikola Milutinov and Jerel McNeal – in a physical contest, which Bamberg kept close right until the end, partly thanks to converting 23 of 25 free throws.Olympiacos started strong behind an active Papanikolaou, who recorded 5 points, 2 steals and 2 assists by the midway point of the first quarter to establish an 11-3 lead. Eight first-quarter points from Spanoulis sent the advantage into double digits, but Bamberg finally found some offensive rhythm in the second quarter as Causeur and Leon Radosevic supplied a steady stream of points. Dominic Waters scored 6 from the bench for Olympiacos, which led 41-32 at the break. Lojeski netted a quick 7 points at the start of the second half to further extend the lead as the home team’s defense continued to hold Bamberg at bay. Having failed to score a single three-pointer in the first 29 minutes, the German champion then scored 4 triples in quick succession to make it 71-69 midway through the fourth, but Olympiacos pulled away again as Birch dominated inside. And although Bamberg continued to battle hard, there was no way back as Olympiacos finished strong.TweetPinShare0 Shares
LONDON (AP) — Arsene Wenger got the better of managerial rival Jose Mourinho for the first time in a competitive game as Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0 in the Premier League on Sunday to keep alive its Champions League qualification hopes.Granit Xhaka, with a deflected shot, and former United player Danny Welbeck, with a bullet header, scored goals in a four-minute span early in the second half to end United’s 25-match unbeaten in the league dating to October.This was the 16th competitive head to head between Wenger and Mourinho — and the 13th in league play — since 2004. It has been a one-sided rivalry but Wenger finally got a victory over the man who once dubbed him a “specialist in failure,” for a result that might end United’s chances of a top-four finish and leaves Arsenal with some hope.“Finally, I leave this (Emirates) stadium with Arsenal fans happy,” Mourinho said. “It’s the first time I see them smile, enjoy.”Arsenal moved two points behind fifth-place United with a game in hand, and is seven points behind third-placed Liverpool having played two games fewer and six behind fourth-placed Manchester City having played one game fewer. Wenger’s team has four matches remaining to earn a 20th straight season in the Champions League.“We still have a mathematical chance but we need some help,” Wenger said. “But the best help we can get is by winning our own games.”A disappointing game burst into life in the 54th when Xhaka, afforded plenty of space in central midfield following a throw-in, advanced and sent in a 30-meter (yard) shot that struck the turned back of Ander Herrera and looped over goalkeeper David de Gea.Welbeck, who was sold to Arsenal in 2014 to end a 13-year association with United, has now scored in each of his last three appearances against his old club after powering a header in off the bar in the 57th from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross.Mourinho made eight changes to his starting team from the 1-0 win over Celta Vigo in the first leg of the Europa League semifinals on Thursday. The second leg is at Old Trafford on Thursday and Mourinho has suggested the European competition, which offers a place in the Champions League for the winner, is his priority for the remainder of the season.“Of course, we knew we were not coming in our maximum power,” Mourinho said. “Thursday is the match of the season.”It meant the 19-year-old Axel Tuanzebe was handed his Premier League debut, at right back up against Alexis Sanchez, and he performed excellently. Scott McTominay, a 20-year-old midfielder, came on as a second-half substitute for his first-team debut while Paul Pogba — the world’s most expensive player — didn’t even come off the bench.United hasn’t scored away to a top-six rival all season.Arsenal will climb above United with a win at Southampton on Wednesday.Milner misses penalty as Liverpool held 0-0 by SouthamptonLIVERPOOL, England (AP) — James Milner’s perfect record from the penalty spot ended at a crucial time in the Premier League season for Liverpool in a 0-0 draw against Southampton on Sunday, damaging his team’s quest for Champions League qualification.The left back scored from his first seven spot kicks this season but his eighth attempt was saved by Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster in the 66th minute of a lackluster game at Anfield.“I can’t do more than hold my hands up and apologize to the boys,” said Milner, whose last penalty miss in the Premier League was in 2009.The point lifted Liverpool back into third place above Manchester City, but this was a missed opportunity in its bid to finish in the top four and return to Europe’s elite competition next season.Southampton defended deep and in numbers, and barely ceded a chance to a Liverpool side that played too narrow and was predictable going forward.Liverpool has picked up only two points from its last three games at Anfield and is struggling without injured top scorer Sadio Mane.The Reds have two games left, away to West Ham and at home to Middlesbrough, but can still be caught by City, Manchester United and Arsenal.The penalty was awarded following a hopeful ball into the box, with Liverpool running out of ideas. Southampton center back Jack Stephens first held off Divock Origi, then connected with the falling ball as he moved his right arm.Forster engaged in some gamesmanship before the penalty kick, talking in the ear of Milner and stamping near the penalty spot. The players were teammates at Newcastle and also know each other from time together in the England squad.“I’ve been around long enough not to let that affect me,” Milner said of Forster’s antics.Liverpool has played Southampton four times this season — twice in the league and in the two-legged League Cup semifinals — and didn’t manage to score in any of the games.“Southampton wanted to come here and somehow get a point, or more, and I’m fine with defending,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said.“They did not create anything and we had a hard job to do. To play against 10 deep defending Southampton players is very difficult … it is a point more but doesn’t feel like that.”TweetPinShare0 Shares