Fognini used the offensive Italian word repeatedly during the three-set loss to Russian player Daniil Medvedev in the third round on Wednesday. Fognini wrote in an Instagram story early on Thursday that the extremely hot conditions "affected his head" and that he "used a really stupid expression toward myself." "Obviously I didn't want to offend anyone's feelings," Fognini added. "I love the LGBT community and I apologize for the nonsense that I let out." The Instagram story was written on a rainbow background. Medvedev nearly fainted during the match and Fognini also struggled with the heat. Fognini repeatedly slammed his racket during the loss, including after the final point, upon which he picked the racket up and deposited it in a court-side trash can. The volatile Fognini was kicked out of the doubles tournament at the U.S. Open in 2017 for vulgarly insulting the chair umpire during his first-round loss in singles. He was then handed a suspended ban of two Grand . . .
Six-time world champion Mary Kom on Thursday slammed the International Olympic Committee's Boxing Task Force for "poor judging" in her Flyweight (51kg) pre-quarterfinal at the Tokyo Games which she lost despite winning two of the three rounds. The Task Force is conducting the boxing competition at the Tokyo Olympics after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) was suspended by the IOC for alleged mismanagement and financial wrongdoing. "I don't know and understand this decision, what's wrong with the Task Force? What's wrong with the IOC?" she asked in a telephonic interview to PTI after the 2-3 loss to Colombian Ingrit Valencia in the pre-quarters in Tokyo. "I was also a member of the Task Force. I was even giving them suggestions and supporting them in ensuring a clean competition. But what have they done with me?" she said. The 38-year-old, multiple-time Asian champion who was eyeing her second Olympic medal after the bronze at the 2012 London Games, said the loss . . .
After failing to defend 201 against Dindigul Dragons, the Kovai Kings fielded and bowled with purpose to restrict Madurai to 153-8 in 20 overs. The win was doubly sweet as it catapulted Kovai Kings to the top of the table with five points from four matches. Ashwin Venkatraman who plucked a stunning catch off Abhishek Tanwar to dismiss the dangerous Jagatheesan Kousik (29 off 15 balls, 2 fours, 2 sixes) indicated the fielding standards set by the Kovai Kings in the match. 1 9919-nonopta-7502 Medium-pacer S Divakar (3-18) and left-arm spinner S Ajith Ram (3-24) did most of the damage to the Madurai innings with their economical strikes. Captain NS Chaturved (39 off 26 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) and opener KB Arun Kaarthick (21 off 12 balls, 4 fours) dominated when they were at the crease but they did not last long, both falling prey to Ajith Ram. Earlier, the bluster of captain M Shahrukh Khan (58 off 30 balls, 2 fours, 5 sixes) and the grit of young Bhardwaj Sai Sudharsan . . .
Speaking to ANI, Kamal opened up about his Olympic campaign and the challenges of taking part in the quadrennial event amidst the coronavirus pandemic. "I think this was my best performance in all the Olympics games I have played till now. Really happy that I could put myself in this place both physically and mentally. "Prepared a lot, complete planning went into it with my table tennis coach Rajat Kamal and Shrinivas Rao. Fitness coach, my mental trainer, and dietician planned with me on where and how do we get into preparation and make me peak at the right time. We worked really hard so I am really happy to be in this place currently. It also motivates me to continue," Kamal told ANI. Kamal, who went down to Ma Long in a 46-minute thrilling men's singles contest against Long, labelled it as one of the best matches he's ever played. "Yes, I think the match against Ma Long is one of the best that I have ever played. And the way, I carried myself and the way I had an attitude . . .
There have been numerous instances when our brave soldiers defied all odds and their unflinching spirit guided them to become a legend off the battlefield. One such name on this long list is that of Havildar Soman Rana - who is going to represent India in the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics. The Tokyo-bound Paralympian, Rana, lost his right leg after suffering an injury in a landmine blast in December 2006. While many consider losing a body part as an end to their sporting career, Rana's second innings as a para-athlete began after the personal loss. Rana (38) began training at the Army Paralympic Node in Pune and has already established himself as a reputed para-athlete in the international circuit. Hailing from a modest family in Shillong, Rana picked up shot-put as a para-sport and he'll be competing in the F-57 category in the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics 2020. Havildar Soman Rana, a para athlete of the Army Paralympic Node, BEG & Centre, Kirkee has been selected for . . .
Bhaker registered a sub-total of 292 points at an average of 9.733 after shooting 30 shots on the target in the precision round, while her compatriot Sarnobat amassed 287 at an average of 9.567 in the qualifications which took place at Asaka Shooting Range in Tokyo. The second stage of the qualification - the rapid round - will take place on Friday (July 30) and top-8 shooters after both the stages of qualification will go into the final, which is also scheduled for Friday (July 30). Currently, Serbia's Zorana Arunovic leads the chart with 296 points at an average of 9.867, followed by Greece's Anna Korakaki who has 294 at an average of 9.800, while Antoaneta Kostadinova of Bulgaria currently occupies the third spot with 293 points at an average of 9.767. Rahi, who was in the first relay of 10 shooters started the precision round with a 96 and followed it with 97. And in the final series she could only manage 94 thanks to an 8 and bunch of 9s. Rahi ended the precision round . . .
Dressel started strongly and held off rival Kyle Chalmers of Australia at the end to win the 100m freestyle, the 24-year-old's first individual Olympic gold after taking two relay wins in Rio and one earlier this week. The Floridian swam the 100m free three times in Rio and his time got worse from the preliminaries to the semi-finals to the final, ultimately leaving him sixth overall at 48.02 while Chalmers won gold with a 47.58. This time, Dressel was at his best when it mattered most, posting a 47.02 to break an Olympic record that had stood since Beijing 2008. Afterward, he described winning his first individual gold as a weight off his shoulders. "It is different," Dressel said. "I didn't want to admit it but now that I did it, I can. "It's a lot different – you can't rely on anyone else. It's just you and the water, there's no one there to bail you out. It's tough." Winning the gold in a head-to-head showdown with the reigning champion made victory even sweeter. . . .
A week after their mixed team partnership was split up, the duo's bonding was well evident during Das' upset last-32 win over Oh Jin Hyek. Deepika was seen shouting from the gallery to cheer her husband who came from being 2-4 down to win in the shootoff. The duo thus remains the only Indian archers in medal fray, advancing to their respective pre-quarter finals. "I was listening to her full time. She was pushing me: 'believe in myself', 'you can do it', 'just stay calm and handle the situation'," Das said in the mixed zone after his 6-5 (10-9) win. "She is world number one and I'm privileged to have my wife in this competition. It was a great support and motivation for me." Das was denied a chance to recreate his chemistry with Deepika in the mixed pair section after he slipped four places behind Olympian debutant Pravin Jadhav, who stood 31st in the ranking round. The Indian think tank went by the rankings, ignoring the star couple's gold medal feat at the Paris World . . .
Getty Images The 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup is winding down, and only four teams remain ahead of Thursday's semifinal matchups. The United States is set to take on invited guest Qatar in the tournament's first semifinal pairing, and the Americans hold an edge against the Gold Cup's highest-scoring team. What will prevail between the Unites States' stout defense and Qatar's impressive attack? Kickoff from Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas, is set for 7:30 p.m ET. William Hill Sportsbook lists USA as the -105 favorite (risk $105 to win $100) on the 90-minute money line in its latest USMNT vs. Qatar odds, while Qatar is the +275 underdog. The over-under for total goals scored is set at 2.5. Before making any Qatar vs. USMNT picks or Gold Cup 2021 predictions, you need to see what consummate soccer insider Martin Green has to say . After working in the sports betting industry for several years, Green became a professional sports writer and handicapper and has covered the game worldwide. . . .
USATSI The Atlanta Braves will meet the New York Mets in the fifth and deciding game of their four-day series in a key National League East matchup on Thursday. The Braves (50-52), who are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Mets (54-46) on Wednesday, are 24-27 on the road this season. New York, which holds a four-game lead over the second-place Philadelphia Phillies and five over Atlanta, is 32-17 at home in 2021. The Mets have lost four of the last six games against the Braves. First pitch is set for 12:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field in New York. New York is priced at -140 (risk $140 to win $100) on the money line in the latest Braves vs. Mets odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total runs scored is 8.5. Before making any Mets vs. Braves picks, be sure to see the MLB predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven model . This model, which simulates every pitch of every game 10,000 times, is a profitable 132-109 on top-rated money-line MLB picks . . .