Official: Berardi extends at Sassuolo

first_imgDomenico Berardi has officially signed a new contract holding him to Sassuolo until June 2024. The 25-year-old forward spent his entire career with the Neroverdi, save for a brief period in a co-ownership deal with Juventus. He had been approached to make the switch to Juve, but preferred to continue his maturation process at the Mapei Stadium. His previous contract had been due to expire in June 2023, so this is a one-season extension. Berardi has scored six goals in six Serie A games this season, plus two assists. His record in a Sassuolo jersey is of 80 goals and 51 assists in 236 competitive games. However, he also has a notoriously short fuse and received six red cards with 61 bookings. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

Gasperini: ‘Ilicic stupid, but…’

first_imgGian Piero Gasperini admits Atalanta “were below par” in a 2-0 defeat to Cagliari, but believes Josip Ilicic isn’t the only one who deserved to be sent off. “We were below par and didn’t win any individual duels. It wasn’t a physical issue, because we kept pushing to the end, but unfortunately we lost this game in the first half and didn’t start on the right foot,” Gasp told DAZN. The turning point was after 32 minutes, when Ilicic was sent off for a reaction foul on Charalampos Lykogiannis. “They were tussling and Lykogiannis was already on a yellow card, so it wouldn’t have been entirely surprising if the referee had sent both off. That would’ve been a different game. Ilicic was stupid, there’s no arguing with that. “We had a completely different performance in the second half and could’ve suffered more with Cagliari counter-attacks, but we defended well and never stopped attacking. “Now we dive into the Champions League, it’s a tight turnaround yet again, but we’ll try to put in a good performance with Manchester City.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

Going for Gold

first_imgIt is now official. The age of the barefoot champion is over. What was once an orientalist image of the athlete rising from eastern rags is, in the 21st century, an embarrassment for India’s sporting establishment. Nations to their east have flexed muscles, resources and success. India’s sports leaders at,It is now official. The age of the barefoot champion is over. What was once an orientalist image of the athlete rising from eastern rags is, in the 21st century, an embarrassment for India’s sporting establishment. Nations to their east have flexed muscles, resources and success. India’s sports leaders at the moment are grappling with their failings and foibles as the run-up to the Commonwealth Games looks like a grandiose sting operation.What will save the Games are India’s elite athletes. They have now risen above the swamp that dominates Indian Olympic sport, lifted by ambition, held aloft by support their predecessors never enjoyed and armed with assistance and knowledge previously unknown and untapped.Indian cricketer Sunetra Paranjpe with her trainer Latey in Mumbai.India’s finest, particularly those in individual sports, now enjoy frequent and sustained access to the benefits of sports science in training, injury management, planning and nutrition. It matters. Saina Nehwal could spend half-an-hour on court for a match or game, while boxer Mary Kom’s bout is all of three minutes. Former international hockey player Viren Rasquinha explains, “For them to perform at their peak in that half hour or three minutes, they need 12-15 committed back-end people who will work to get them in the best condition and when it is over, to work on their recovery, rehab and get them ready again for the next round.”The attention to detail and the detail of attention given to the best Indian athlete can now be measured in coffee spoons. Nehwal gets her pulse checked while practising every morning with coach Pullela Gopichand. She needs to be “working” at what is called her “threshold” heart rate, 180-190 beats per minute, for half-an-hour. So, in competition when her heart climbs up to 160 beats per minute in a match, its thudding will not scramble her mind.advertisementBeijing gold medallist Abhinav Bindra works with a four-strong team-coach Gaby Buhlmann, technical coach Heinz Reinkemier, consulting coach and manager Uwe Riesterer and physiotherapist/ trainer/chiropractor Stuart Clifton. In trying to wring out that extra micrometre, Bindra had lasik surgery after the Olympics to improve his eyesight. He has bought home a mapping machine, which amo-ng other things, contains an encoder whose vibration sensors attached to parts of the body and of the rifle give him, “live” feedback about rifle-shooting’s central issue-stability.The most unheralded of these game-changers is Viswanathan Anand. In a sport dominated by the Soviet Bloc, Anand became the first Asian world champion, a pioneer of both race and nation. As the young player called the “Lightning Kid”, his early education came from chess tomes and he grew into maturity along with the sophisticated evolution of the sport’s computerised database. The first chess databases began appearing commercially in 1989-90, the year after Anand became India’s first Grand Master. Science has been one of the most intrinsic building blocks in Anand’s monumental achievements.As the cases of Nehwal, Bindra and Anand show, the benefits of sport science come in varying forms but its consequences are identical-constant improvement. The access to better facilities and understanding of training and treatment, says Rasquinha, “adds to the self-belief of the athlete”. Rasquinha is now COO of Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), one of several private bodies set up in the last few years to support, finance and assist India’s elite athletes. OGQ, backed by Geet Sethi and Prakash Padukone among others, has on call a sports science doctor, peak performance trainers and nutritionists. In his days as India’s centre-half, Rasquinha remembers the hockey team was accompanied by a coach, manager and a four-in-one individual-doctor-physio-masseur.The Best ToolsPune’s Balewadi Sports Stadium hauled in the most hi-tech equipment in the run-up to the 2008 Youth Commonwealth Games. It has every sports doctor’s essential tools, like lactate analyser, high-speed treadmills and a Cybex machine. Yet, maintenance and personnel issues are holding it back.Total cost of these machines: Rs 2.45 croreLactate analyser, gas analyser and high-speed treadmill: Rs 25 lakhCybex machine: Rs 70 lakh Manisha Malhotra, former national tennis champion, Asian Games medallist and Fed Cupper said the 90s’ Indian athlete prepared for major tournaments by playing a couple of warm-up events. “We never worked out a periodisation programme to peak at big events; we would eat chocolates for “energy” during matches and didn’t know about things like slow-release energy foods,” says Malhotra. She is now chief administrator for Mittal Champions Trust, steel baron Laxmi Mittal’s mission for Indian sport which supports and invests in training India’s best athletes.It is not as if sports science is as alien idea as penguin breeding could be to India. The Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala, could ideally have been a continental leader in the field. It set up a Faculty of Sports Sciences in 1983, which now offers courses in sports medicine, exercise physiology, bio-chemistry, physiotherapy, sports anthropometry, bio-mechanics, kinesiology, training methods, sports psychology and research methodology. It is an impressive list but suggest it to any informed athlete as a centre for rehabilitation or technical or biomechanical development and they will either cough politely or turn around and run.advertisementSouth Korea’s hockey guru Kim Sang Ryul trained as an NIS coach before returning home to turn his national team into an Asian powerhouse. Kim’s old textbooks could well be included in the NIS curriculum. An exercise specialist with India’s leading athletes said, at the NIS, coaches used drills taught to the institute, “three decades ago in East Europe”. It is why all development of sports science in India is taking place not just outside the NIS but miles away from it.Former Olympic swimmer S. Hakim recalls being scheduled to be sent to Colorado Springs at the US Olympic training centre for testing in January 2000, as the Sydney Olympics were months away. He could not go because the dates clashed with the All India Police Meet in which Hakim represented the Border Security Force. In the run up to London 2010, five of the country’s leading swimmers have been travelling to high performance centres in Bordeaux, France and this year to Sierra Nevada mountains in Southern Spain to be tested for the biomechanics of their strokes by coach Nihar Ameen. In Sierra Nevada they were tested, Ameen says, with a dazzling range of equipment unavailable to swimmers in India, like velocity meters, start and turn analysis, a dozen underwater cameras and viewing mirrors for real-time stroke analysis. Ameen says, “The information I get from this tells me if changes in technique are required do to loss of velocity in the different phases of the stroke, start and turn.” The swimmers so tested included India’s two best: Virdhawal Khade and Sandeep Sejwal managed by the sports management firm Go Sports, set up by Hakim and Harvard lawyer Nandan Kamath. Ameen says one of the reasons for great leaps forward in sport was, “the development of the science of biomechanical analysis”.Under the official systems run by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) or the federations, though, large ministry budgets are spent not in R&D or athletic issues, but in holding long, meaningless camps. Access to modern technology is treated as if it were the perk of a government job rather than a basic athletic requirement. When discussing new training and rehab tools, Malhotra was once told by an official, “Don’t spoil the athletes with this, they’re not at that level yet.” Rasquinha says, “If we want to be world champions, we will have to professionalise. If we just want to be a participating nation, we can continue on the same path.”advertisementDespite widespread feudal attitudes, India’s athletes are breaking through. They now have around them a forward-thinking generation of coaches and support teams who place the athlete at the centre rather than themselves. Boxer Jitender Kumar could compete in the Olympic quarter-final because the team’s physio Heath Matthews traced a cosmetic surgeon in Beijing the night Jitender cut his chin after a pre-quarter-final bout. The 11 stitches virtually made the injury invisible, giving the referee enough leeway to deem Jitender fit to box on in the next round. Matthews is now senior sports physiotherapist at the Kokilaben Dhirubai Ambani (KDA) Sports Medicine Centre, an ultra-modern, hi-tech facility at Mumbai’s KDA hospital which aims to be at the heart of India’s sports medicine within a year.The benefits of sports science help both coach and athlete. Dr Nikhil Latey, 27, director of Sports Science and Rehab, OGQ, tells the story of a boxer who was found to have weak shoulder strength and less power after being tested. As the boxer admitted to getting shoulder pains after bouts, his coach too understood instantly the importance of improving his ability to generate explosive strength.Along with his work for OGC, Latey and his partner Prakkash Sharoff now run a rudimentary sports medicine centre under the Institute of Environmental Medicine, located in Mumbai. Latey was drawn to sports medicine when after spending two years as a competitive short-sprint swimmer, he discovered that his forte was long-distance. He gave up the opportunity to enter into the MBBS bandwagon, studied physiotherapy, then went to London’s Roehampton University for a Masters in Sports Medicine, where among other things, he did off-season testing for English Premier League team West Ham United.Latey wants his tribe to increase. Sports science in India is at its take-off point; it can expand and impact from corporate investment, professional practice and governmental backing for R&D because it is the software of the sports business. Science will not substitute talent or skill, but it will give it the advantages of a nano-second or a micrometre. In sport, that is the difference between clutching gold and grasping at thin air.last_img read more

Looking forward to Sachin’s 100th ton here: Aus PM

first_imgIndian cricket team and their Australian counterparts on Sunday attended a high tea hosted by Prime Minister Julia Gillard who wished Sachin Tendulkar to score his 100th international ton during the ongoing Test series.Her head turning towards Tendulkar, who is just one ton short of his 100th international century, Gillard said, “While Australians are barracking very hard for our cricket team, I think they are looking forward to what may be a very special 100 (from Tendulkar) in Australia some time during the course of this series.”Gillard was speaking at her Sydney official residence Kirribilli House where she invited the two teams for a high tea.She also posed with Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and other players.Australian captain Michael Clarke, who also spoke, quipped, “I think Sachin Tendulkar is an amazing player. But we are hoping he scores his hundredth 100 in his next series, not against us.”Tendulkar scored 73 and 32 in the two innings in the first of the four-match Test series in Melbourne, which India lost by 122 runs. The second Test starts on Tuesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.last_img read more

Don’t curse Mahendra Singh Dhoni for thinking aloud

first_imgPoor Mahendra Singh Dhoni! These days whatever he says and does only gets rubbished. Well before the decimation in Perth began, the Indian skipper became a victim of his own words at a press conference.Sports View by S. Kannan.Many people believe that on the eve of the Perth Test, it was wrong on the part of Dhoni to have spoken about his retirement plans. From the unrelenting media to former India skippers, everyone has lambasted Dhoni for his comments.I took a closer look at the videos of the press conference and it is clear what Dhoni said was in response to a question asked by an Aussie journalist. The question was if Dhoni could play the next World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand in 2015. And the answer was pretty simple.”That’s something I need to see. I will take it as it comes,” said Dhoni, and added that by 2013 he will take a call on how he feels form-wise and how his body copes with it.Dhoni also spoke on how for him it is not about personal interest. All that he said was if someone was going to take his place as the wicketkeeper for the 2015 World Cup, he should have played at least 60 to 100 One-Day Internationals.I think there is nothing wrong with this suggestion from Dhoni as he is merely looking ahead at the larger picture as a captain. If one is to compare Dhoni with his predecessors, he has been very different, almost a maverick.advertisementFrom Kapil Dev to Sourav Ganguly and from Anil Kumble to Rahul Dravid, they were all conventional captains.Dhoni has been very different in almost every aspect. If you go back to his old pictures, be it the long flowing locks or any other avatar, he has been flamboyant. To say that Dhoni is now a useless Test captain and does not know how to handle the team is being uncharitable.Agreed, the record in away Tests has been pathetic and the thrashing in England last summer and now in Australia is testimony to larger ills.But to blame Dhoni for it is not right as the famed batsmen have flopped and the bowling looks club class.When Dhoni won India the World T20, he was seen as ‘The Leader’ Indian cricket needed. And when India reclaimed the ICC World Cup after 28 years, Dhoni was hailed as the best captain who achieved something spectacular.Quite often, the complaint is that when Dhoni speaks he tries to muddle matters or confuse you. The truth is, in the present context, Dhoni has only been outspoken. As one who began his international career under coach John Wright, there has been a huge difference in Dhoni’s mental approach.You cannot compare him with any other Indian captain as he has never been conventional. After that Greg Chappell took over and in the Gary Kirsten era, Dhoni became the master.So, all along, Dhoni did things his way, being very radical in approach.Today, if Dhoni speaks about the future, it includes his own career and that of India. Most of us seem to have presumed Dhoni wants to say goodbye to Test cricket so that he can play the ODIs and the cash- rich Indian Premier League where he has been so successful with Chennai Super Kings.I agree discussions on the future and captaincy is something the Indian cricket board will best handle. But to say that Dhoni has done a huge wrong on the eve of the Perth Test is an exaggeration.In Australia, when Steve Waugh was the captain, their cricket board let him continue very long. Yet, when he had to go, it was made clear that the Sydney Test against India in 2004 would be his last.Similarly, in 2007-08, wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist decided that Adelaide would be his last Test. Having dropped VVS Laxman, Gilly realised his reflexes were slowing down. In the ODI series that followed, Gilchrist was given a fond farewell at the venues he played at. If we appreciated Gilchrist then for his gesture, why should we now be aghast at comments Dhoni has made.I don’t think in modern day sport, any athlete actually gets to know in advance his or her last series of outings. The one exception which readily comes to mind is how Andre Agassi celebrated his last year on the tennis circuit, though results in it were not outstanding.As Dhoni-bashing reaches a crescendo and the Indian team hurtles towards another defeat, I wonder how the seniors in the present side view his remarks on retirement. Perhaps, Dhoni is actually sending a message out to the seniors – Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman – that time is up for them.advertisementIf at 30 Dhoni is looking at the future, this can be seen as a message for Dravid and Laxman that they need to spell out their plans immediately. The golden oldies have lost the shine and maybe they are the ones who actually need to think of what use they actually are to Indian Test cricket today.s. [email protected] inlast_img read more

Citizen launches ‘Citizen Land E-2100 Series’

first_imgCitizen’s new Promaster sports watches are a work of art, an amalgamation of style and accuracy.The AV 0020-55A is packed with features such as a 12-hour chronograph, intervals of one-fifth of a second alarm, 20 bar water resistance and titanium carbide coating. Added to these is a sapphire glass (non-reflective,Citizen’s new Promaster sports watches are a work of art, an amalgamation of style and accuracy.The AV 0020-55A is packed with features such as a 12-hour chronograph, intervals of one-fifth of a second alarm, 20 bar water resistance and titanium carbide coating. Added to these is a sapphire glass (non-reflective coating) and a stainless steel case and band.The watch can run for six months on a fully charged battery and is equipped with a power reserve indicator to warn of a dying battery.last_img read more

Tiger Woods’ ‘no sex’ vow

first_imgChampion golfer Tiger Woods has vowed never to have sex with another woman unless he really feels something for her, says a new biography.In his book The Big Miss, due to be published in America Tuesday, Hank Haney paints the 36-year-old superstar, as rude, cheap and completely oblivious to those around him.”There are some girls who are going to be after me even more now, especially the wild ones. But what I’ve learned is that for the rest of my life I can’t have sex with anyone unless I genuinely feel something for them,” Woods told one of the former coaches after sex addiction therapy.”If I do, I’m putting myself in jeopardy,” he added.At dinner with pals, and even with then wife Elin, Woods would get up without a word after he had eaten his meal and leave the restaurant, expecting everyone to follow whether they had finished or not, reports”Woods could be a walking contradiction, charming and then suddenly cold and aloof,” Haney said.last_img read more

NU keeps Final 4 bid alive, pulls rug from under FEU

first_imgHotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim “This is what I was expecting from our players. Our maturity. Like what we said, we can fast track talent, but the maturity, the experience that you cannot fasttrack so I’m just happy right now because I saw the maturity today,” said NU head coach Jamike Jarin after his team improved to 5-8.“I hope it’s not too late. I’m just very proud of all the players,” Jarin said. FEU made a run at the start and in the middle of the third, but we never bowed down and that was the maturity that we’ve always wanted.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe Bulldogs stared at a 79-64 deficit before Alejandro and Gaye willed the team back. A 3-pointer by Alejandro gave NU the lead for good, 82-81, with 4:51 remaining.The graduating guard, who also had six rebounds and nine assists, then, capped a 20-2 run by the Bulldogs with a layup. MOST READ Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netNational University stayed in Final Four contention after rallying past Far Eastern University, 87-84, in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.With the Bulldogs’ season on the line, J-Jay Alejandro took over in the fourth quarter, where he fired 11 of his 17 points.ADVERTISEMENT The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay Palace: Robredo back to ‘groping with a blind vision’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ UCF’s Tacko Fall is 7-foot-6, and his game is still growing For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. LATEST STORIES Malditas save PH from shutout Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Ron Dennison finally stopped the bleeding for FEU with a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game but the Tamaraws blew several cracks at the basket and had a crucial turnover off the inbound to help the Bulldogs’ case.Arvin Tolentino misfired on a potential game-tying triple as time ran out.The Tams squandered a golden opportunity to close in on a semifinals spot. A win would’ve gotten them at least a playoff for the fourth spot.Tolentino and Dennison scored 21 points apiece for FEU, which fell to 6-7.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Brilliant Kyrgios too good for Dimitrov in Brisbane

first_imgKyrgios served superbly in the second and third sets, winning over 80 percent of points on his first serve and facing just one break point.Dimitrov, on the other hand, has struggled with his serve all week and Kyrgios was able to take full advantage, with his returns keeping the Bulgarian under constant pressure.He cracked at 3-3 in the third set and was broken, and the way Kyrgios was serving, the match was as good as over.“I hadn’t beaten him before (so) going into today, I knew that I was going to do something a little different,” Kyrgios said.The Australian said he wanted to disrupt Dimitrov’s rhythm and be aggressive.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ “He played a pretty solid first set, I played a pretty loose game to get broken,” Kyrgios said.“From then on, I felt pretty in control of the match.”Kyrgios will be the overwhelming favourite to win his fourth title when he takes on Harrison. The two players have some history between them, going back to 2015 when in a match against Stan Wawrinka, Kyrgios told the Swiss star that fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis had slept with his girlfriend.A week later Harrison and Kokkinakis had to be separated by officials during a fiery match, with Harrison reportedly saying “Wawrinka should’ve decked Kyrgios and I should deck that kid.”But Kyrgios downplayed any tension between the two.“(Our) matches haven’t been very close, so I don’t really know why there’s much history there,” he said.De Minaur had looked like becoming an unlikely finalist when he took the first set against Harrison, the world number 47, and led 5-3 in the second set tiebreak.However, Harrison stepped up the pressure and reeled off the next four points to take the set and level the match.Harrison then broke de Minaur twice at the start of the decider and although the Australian got one break back he was unable to complete the comeback.  BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives Harrison had earlier ended the fairytale run of 18-year-old wildcard Alex de Minaur 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 in two hours and 37 minutes.Kyrgios admitted after his quarter-final win over Alexandr Dolgopolov that he sometimes turns his talent on and off “like a tap”.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingAnd as he has done all week, he started slowly against defending champion Dimitrov, losing the first set to a single break of serve.But he came out firing in the second set, breaking Dimitrov twice and taking just 30 minutes to level the match. LATEST STORIES SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next FILE – Nick Kyrgios of Australia hits a return during the men’s singles against Steve Johnson of America at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on October 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / CHANDAN KHANNAControversial Australian Nick Kyrgios produced two sets of superb tennis to see off top seed Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday and reach the final of the Brisbane International.Kyrgios came back from losing the first set to win 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 and set up a decider against American Ryan Harrison.ADVERTISEMENT Hornets whip slumping Lakers Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READ ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Dutertelast_img read more