Kholik claims crown in style

SPORT
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Gulf Daily News Sunday, 9th November 2014
Bahrain receives special IOC award
BAHRAIN was one of six nations to
receive a special award for winning
its first-ever medal at the Olympics
during the inaugural ANOC awards
gala in Bangkok.
The award came as a result of Bahrain’s Maryam Jamal winning the
women’s 1,500m bronze medal at the
2012 Olympic Games in London.
International Olympic Committee
(IOC) president Thomas Bach presented the award to Bahrain Olympic
Committee (BOC) general secretary
Abdulrahman Askar.
Askar said the award reflects the sig-
nificant progress Bahrain has made with
the backing of Supreme Council for
Youth and Sports chairman and BOC
president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad
Al Khalifa and Supreme Council general secretary and BOC vice-president
Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Meanwhile, Askar and BOC sports
advisor Abduljalil Asad congratulated
Kuwait’s Shaikh Ahmed Al Fahad Al
Sabah who was re-elected uncontested
as president of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC)
for a four-year term through 2018.
In another development, the ANOC
General Assembly gave formal approval for ANOC to start a World
Beach Games.
A date and host city were not declared
but delegates from 203 national Olympic committees present were assured
that costs would not be high for the host
city and that all NOCs would have the
opportunity to take part.
The General Assembly concluded
with presentations from Asia’s two
candidate cities fighting for the rights
to host the 2022 Winter Olympics –
Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Beijing,
China.
Kholik claims
crown in style
n Askar receives the award from IOC president Bach
By VIJAY MRUTHYUNJAYA
n Kholik...
deserving
winner
FIRMAN Abdul Kholik and P
C Thulasi claimed the men’s and
women’s singles titles respectively last night in the Indian Club
Centenary Li-Ning Bahrain International Challenge, on an anti-climatic
note though following intense semi-final showdowns on Friday.
‘Friday Fever’ was followed by a
steady of sorts ‘Saturday Night’ as Kholik of Indonesia played his best badminton over five days for just about seven
or eight minutes in the decider to tame a
fast tiring Anand Pawar of India 20-22,
21-13, 21-13.
It was all over in those few final moments when the 17-year-old from Bandung, about two hours from capital Jakarta,
won eight points in a row to race from 1313 to the title consisting of some handsome
prize money in dollars and, more importantly, some precious ranking points.
The men’s final was a match within
many matches so to say. Both had their
moments of superiority and sorrow,
Pawar in particular who lost the plot and
points at a time when he should have
pressed the pedal to the metal.
Kholik, by contrast, seemed to have
been waiting for this very moment since
the last five days to prove his championship credentials.
The third child of a middle class family,
who speaks very little English, let his game
do the talking. The slim and shy left-hander
encapsulated his entire performance in this
tournament in a sort of a trailer which lasted only a few minutes.
From 13-13 in the decider, Kholik
moved into the lead with a smash from
the back court which almost cost a
spectator wearing spectacles and sitting
close to the sidelines his eye.
Kholik won the next seven points
with a series of absolute winners which
included a delicate cross court drop, a
jumping smash from the middle of the
court and a back hand deceptive shot
which caught Pawar in the ‘no man’s
land’ land.
The women’s singles final was a
three-game clash as well but it lacked
the breathtaking quality of its corresponding men’s showdown as top seed
P C Thulasi recovered from a first- game
set back to win a close second and then
cruise to the title in 80 minutes – 18-21,
23-21, 21-15 – against Ruselli Hartawan
of Indonesia.
The much anticipated India-versus Indonesia showdown ended 1-1.
But the Indonesians won the men’s
doubles title to edge out India for the
bragging rights and so did the Russians
winning the mixed and women’s doubles.
The finals were followed by an elaborate prize-giving ceremony and a gala
dinner. But seeing the losing finalist
Pawar sitting cramped in a mini bus,
with his kit on his lap, outside the Indian Club gates waiting to be transported
to his accommodation while the party
was in full swing inside left a lump in
the throat.
Other results (final):
Mixed doubles: 1-Vitalij Durkin and Nina
Vislova (Russia) bt Fran Kurniawan and Komala
Dewi (Indonesia) 21-8, 21-10.
Women’s doubles: Ekanerina Bolotova and
Evgeniya Kosetskaya (Russia) bt 1-Anastasia
Chervyakova and Nina Vislova (Russia) 23-6,
21-15.
Men’s doubles: Y Sugiarto and A Wirawan
(Indonesia) bt 3-Fran Kurniawan and Agripinna
Prima (Indonesia) 23-21, 21-15.
Al Dossary wins qualifying endurance race
AHMED Al Dossary won
the Qualifying Endurance
Race held over 80 kms
yesterday at Bahrain International Endurance Village in Zallaq.
The event was the opening round of
the national endurance racing season and
was held in presence of Supreme Council for Youth and Sports chairman, Bahrain Olympic Committee president and
Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance
Federation (BREEF) honorary president
Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Rashid Al Rowaie was second overall
while Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak
Al Khalifa finished third.
In the first stage which was over
30 kms, Al Ruwaie on Jamal from Al
Zaeem Stables was first with a total time
of 1h 12m 26s and at an average speed
of 24kph.
Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak on
Happy from Al Zaeem Stables was second in 1h 13m 12s and an average speed
of 24kph while Al Dossary on hamon
n Action from
the race
from Al Zaeem Stables third in 1h 13m
52s and an average speed of 24kph.
The second stage was over 30 kms
and Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak
was first in 1h 14m 06s and an average
speed of 24kph.
Al Rowaie was second in 1h 15m 11s
and an average speed of 23kph while Al
Dossary finished third in 1h 14m 10s
and an average speed of 24kph.
The third and last stage of the race
was over 20 kms and Al Dossary was
first in 41m 03s and an average speed
of 25kph. Al Rowaie was second in 41m
29s and an average speed of 25kph,
while Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak
came third with a total time of 41m 50s
with an average speed of 25kph.
On this occasion, Shaikh Nasser assured that the opening endurance ride of
the season was very strong in all stages,
and what made it strong was the participation of Bahrain’s finest riders from
start to finish.
Shaikh Nasser expressed his delight
with the entry of many young riders,
which confirms that endurance riding in
the kingdom is capable of producing a
fine field of stars, riders who will be able
to continue their march of progress.
Shaikh Nasser noted that BREEF has
planned for years to ensure the entry of
young participants in endurance races.
He said that the next races will see
stronger competition from the stables.
He expressed his satisfaction with the
results achieved by the participants at
the opening race of the season.
Al Dossary explained that taking the
win in the season’s opening race makes
him proud, especially since all the other
stables and riders were seeking to win as
well. He praised the significant role of
each member of his team management
in helping him claim his win.
29
New faces out
to make mark
at ATP Finals
LONDON: Not long
ago at Wimbledon,
Milos Raonic had to
tell journalists how to
pronounce his name. Less than
five months later, things have
changed dramatically for the
big-serving Canadian, one of
the three newcomers playing at
the ATP World Tour Finals.
At 23, Raonic is now a wellknown name on the tour, and
the youngest player in the field
at the O2 Arena in London —
where the eight best players of
the year, minus the sidelined
Rafael Nadal, have gathered for
the season finale. The two other
new faces at the indoor tournament are US Open champion
Marin Cilic and Japan’s Kei
Nishikori, the first Asian player
to qualify for the event.
Although the top-ranked
Novak Djokovic, 17-Grand
Slam champion Roger Federer
and Nadal continued to dominate the tour this season, 2014
has seen two new Grand Slam
champions and a bunch of new
talents emerging.
“It’s nice to see new faces out
there with Raonic, Cilic and Nishikori,” Federer said. “We’ll
see how it plays out this week.”
Raonic had a breakthrough at
Wimbledon, where he reached
the semi-finals following an early season marred by a left ankle
injury. The big-serving Raonic,
who was born in Montenegro
when it was still part of the former
Yugoslavia before his family left
for Canada when he was 3, sealed
his spot at the finals last week at
the Paris Masters after defeating
Federer in the quarter-finals.
Cilic had an even better
season, surprisingly winning
his first Grand Slam title after
beating Nishikori in a US Open
final that few had predicted.
“I think this year has been
the best year of my career with
a lot of great tournaments, especially a big success at the US
Open,” said the 26-year-old
Cilic, who climbed from No.
37 to No. 9 in the ATP rankings. “I feel that opens a little
bit of a door for the other guys,
for us from the second line. It
shows that tennis is expanding
a little bit.”
India’s Gangjee
remains on top
NEW
DELHI:
Rahil
Gangjee kept other contenders at bay with a
birdie on the last hole to
hold a one-shot lead after
the third round of the $300,000
Panasonic Open at the Delhi
Golf Club yesterday.
The Indian was unable to extend his overnight two-stroke
lead as he shot a one-underpar 71 in the Asian Tour event
co-sanctioned by the Professional Golf Tour of India.
Gangjee’s overall 11-under-par 205 put him just one
stroke ahead of defending
champion Wade Ormsby of
Australia, Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman, Indian teenager Shubhankar Sharma and
Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka.
Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand, who came up with a 69,
was one shot behind on 207,
setting the stage for an exciting
finish today.
Gangjee, whose lone victory on the Asian Tour came in
2004, rubbished suggestions he
came under pressure after leading over the first two days.
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