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Feyenoord hand Ajax their biggest defeat ever in Eredivisie

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The Hague, April 8 (IANS) Feyenoord booked an emphatic 6-0 win over Ajax in Rotterdam, handing the archrivals their biggest-ever defeat in the Eredivisie, the Dutch top flight.

It was the 197th edition of the Klassieker in all competitions, the match between Feyenoord and Ajax, reports Xinhua.

Feyenoord dominated from the start and after Ajax defender Ahmetcan Kaplan lost the ball, Igor Paixao opened the scoring in the 34th minute. Another mistake by Jorrel Hato led to the second goal by Yankuba Minteh and David Hancko headed in another for the 3-0 lead on the stroke of halftime, on Sunday.

In the second half, Feyenoord continued to completely outclass their archrivals. Minteh found the far corner for his second goal, Quinten Timber hit home for the 5-0 lead and Paixao produced his second and Feyenoord’s sixth in the 66th minute.

Only in the 82nd minute did a lackluster Ajax produce their first attempt at goal, by substitute Julian Rijkhoff. Feyenoord goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther saved the attempt.

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The 6-0 defeat was the biggest-ever defeat for Ajax in the Eredivisie since 1956.

–IANS

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Formula One: Lando Norris pips Verstappen to take pole in thrilling Spanish GP; Hamilton to start third on grid

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Barcelona, June 22 (IANS) McLaren’s Lando Norris delivered a spectacular final lap to snatch pole position from Max Verstappen in the thrilling qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix here on Saturday. Norris claimed his second Formula 1 pole of the career and first of the season. Initially, Verstappen seemed certain to start Sunday’s race from the front of the grid. However, Norris narrowly stopped the Red Bull driver on the final throw of the top-10 shootout by a mere two-hundredths of a second.

Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate George Russell will line up on the second row after finishing third and fourth, respectively. Charles Leclerc and home favourite Carlos Sainz had to settle for fifth and sixth in what was another tight session around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, while Pierre Gasly starred en route to seventh for Alpine.

Sergio Perez was eighth in his Red Bull but will drop three places on the grid with his penalty from Canada, promoting the other Alpine of Esteban Ocon and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, who had a scruffy Q3 and failed to log a time. Fernando Alonso gave it his all to reach the pole position shootout on home soil but ultimately missed out on Q3 by just a couple of hundredths of a second, having been pushed into the Q2 drop zone by former teammate Ocon.

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Alonso was joined in the drop zone by Kick Sauber drivers Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu in respective P12 and P15 slots, with Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg and the other Aston Martin of Lance Stroll slotting between them. Magnussen could not quite match the pace of teammate Hulkenberg as he fell at the first qualifying hurdle in 16th position, the Dane just missing out on a Q2 spot to Stroll, who appeared to be impeded by Logan Sargeant during the Q1 phase.

A raft of updates this weekend brought the promise of cementing RB’s position at the front of F1’s midfield battle, but their practice struggles carried over to qualifying and left Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo in a disappointing P17 and P18 respectively. Williams also experienced one of their toughest sessions of the season, with Alex Albon and Sargeant unable to prevent the team from propping up the rear – leaving them with a significant challenge to add any more points to their tally on race day.

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–IANS

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T20 World Cup: Hardik Pandya’s unbeaten 27-ball fifty propels India to a commanding 196/5

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North Sound (Antigua), June 22 (IANS) An unbeaten 27-ball half-century by Hardik Pandya, coupled with attacking 30s from Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, and Shivam Dube, propelled India to a commanding 196/5 against Bangladesh in their Super Eight stage clash of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here on Saturday.

On a fresh pitch, India dominated from the word go with immaculate ease, as every batter looked to attack, resulting in four batters having strike-rate above 150. Pandya’s half-century was laced with four boundaries and three sixes, which was key in India amassing 62 runs off the last five overs. Kohli made a solid 37, while Pant smashed an entertaining 36 and Dube overcame his struggles to hit 34, as India also posted the highest T20I score at the venue. They also hit 13 sixes -– the most number of maximums they have hit in a T20 World Cup game, as Bangladesh struggled to contain them for prolonged periods.

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Pushed into batting first, with cross wind blowing, Rohit Sharma didn’t let the spinners settle by sweeping Mahedi Hasan for four, followed by repeating the same shot against Shakib Al Hasan for a similar result. Kohli joined in taking the attack to spinners by smacking Shakib for a clean six over long-on, followed by using his bottom hand strongly in flicking Tanzim Hasan Sakib for four. Rohit danced down the pitch to hit Shakib for a big six, before slicing him past backward point for four more in the fourth over.

Shakib eventually had the last laugh as Rohit got a top-edge on slog and was caught by backward point. Kohli used his bottom hand well in swinging Mustafizur Rahman for six, followed by slamming leg-spinner Rishad Hossain down the ground for another maximum. But in the ninth over, Tanzim’s clever change in pace got Bangladesh back in the game -– getting a slower off-cutter which kept straight to castle Kohli. Though Suryakumar Yadav swiped him for a six, Tanzim got extra bounce on a length delivery outside off-stump to take Suryakumar’s glove edge behind to keeper.

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Pant, who was at 12 off 15 balls, greeted Rahman with a drive through the gap between cover and mid-off for four. He was quick to heave a slower ball from Rahman high over mid-wicket for six and flicked a full toss in the gap between square leg and fine leg for four more to take 14 runs off the 11th over.

Hossain was next in the firing line, as Pant smashed him with the spin over long-on for six and then swept him behind for four more. But Hossain bounced back as Pant reverse-swept straight to short third man. Pandya and Dube dealt in singles before the former cut loose by hammering Mahedi with the wind through extra cover for six and four respectively.

Dube hammered three quick sixes before being cast by a slower googly from Hossain. Pandya continued to be at his free-flowing best -– slamming two sixes, before hitting three fours in the final over off Rahman to take India past 190 and get his fifty on the last ball of the innings.

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Brief scores:

India 196/5 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 50 not out, Virat Kohli 37; Tanzim Hasan Sakib 2-32, Rishad Hossain 2-43) against Bangladesh

–IANS

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Reliance Foundation celebrates Olympic Day with 900 children through Let’s Move India in Mumbai

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Mumbai, June 22 (IANS) Around 900 children celebrated a unique Olympic Day organised by the Reliance Foundation, featuring a special carnival as part of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Let’s Move India initiative, promoting volunteerism and sports. The event held at the Reliance Corporate Park (RCP) in Mumbai on Saturday, treated children from disadvantaged communities across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) to a day filled with fun, sports, and educational activities centred around Olympic values such as excellence, respect, and friendship.

The highlight of the event was a meet-and-greet session with six-time Olympian Shiva Keshavan. He shared his experiences and emphasised the importance of key Olympic values such as excellence, respect, and friendship with the children. Keshavan also participated in a special “move and groove” session with the children, the organisers informed in a release on Saturday.

The event aimed to inspire children to embrace an active lifestyle and recognise its significance. More than 200 employees from Reliance Industries volunteered for the initiative, overseeing various sports stations such as basketball, football shootouts, walking races, and fitness sessions, alongside drawing and art activities. These sessions were designed to instill the importance of physical movement and activity among the children, motivating them to adopt healthier lifestyles.

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Speaking about the initiative, Keshavan said, “Reliance Foundation has always taken the lead in supporting the growth of the Olympic movement in India. Let’s Move is a great way to help children understand the benefits of being physically active and how movement is medicine.

“The kids were extremely enthusiastic, and their passion and energy were infectious. They had a lot of questions and will learn a lot from this experience. As an Olympian, I hold the Olympic values very close to my heart, and they are values that will serve the kids well in their lives too. I hope some of these kids are inspired to play sports actively and maybe even pursue a career in it,” he added.

Leandro Larrosa, Director, Digital Engagement and Marketing, IOC, added, “Thank you to the Reliance Foundation, for collaborating on the Let’s Move initiative in India and creating this opportunity for young people to meet and learn from an Olympian. The initiative is all about encouraging people to embrace the joy of movement and an active lifestyle as the world warms up for Paris 2024 and we hope this will inspire more kids in India to join the fun of sport”.

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Through the Let’s Move India campaign, Reliance Foundation aims to promote inclusivity, development, and the importance of physical activity among 10,000 children from disadvantaged communities across multiple cities in India in the coming weeks. This initiative will be facilitated by 500 volunteers from Reliance employees, who will work towards encouraging a healthier lifestyle and fostering positive growth among these children.

The Let’s Move India edition aligns with Reliance Foundation’s goal of supporting the expansion of the Olympic movement in India and engaging more kids with Olympic values through sports. The initiative is part of the Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP), supported by a partnership between the Reliance Foundation and the IOC.

–IANS

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Football: Endrick ready to wait for Brazil chance in Copa America

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Los Angeles (USA), June 22 (IANS) Real Madrid-bound forward Endrick said Friday that he is willing to bide his time as he seeks to establish a starting spot for Brazil at the Copa America in the United States. The 17-year-old has been touted by many as a future star after becoming the youngest player since Pele to score in three consecutive matches for the South American giants.

Brazil manager Dorival Junior last week expressed concern that too much pressure was being placed on the teenager, warning that the weight of expectation could be “fatal” for his development, reports Xinhua.

But Endrick downplayed those fears by guaranteeing that he would stay patient and humble. “No one needs to burn stages,” Endrick told reporters. “I stay on the sidelines, training hard, contributing, working alongside my teammates. I know my time will come.”

The comments came as Brazil prepared for their opening 2024 Copa America fixture against Costa Rica in Los Angeles on Monday.

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Endrick is expected to start the match on the bench, with Dorival likely to opt for an attacking trident of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, and Raphinha.

“I will do what I can, whether that’s playing or encouraging others,” said Endrick, who will join Real Madrid when he turns 18 next month after parting ways with Palmeiras.

“I’m trying to help the team spirit off the pitch to create a good atmosphere. And when Dorival puts me on, I’ll fight with all my life.”

He added: “I’ve had a change of mindset and now I don’t care about pressure or what the media says. I was always seen as a precocious talent … [but] I adapted to it and now I’m very calm about it all. I just want to help the Selecao however I can.”

–IANS

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ATP Tour: Hubert Hurkacz moves past Zverev to reach final in Halle

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Halle (Germany), June 22 (IANS) Former champion Hubert Hurkacz moved to within one win of clinching his second title when he overcame World No. 4 Alexander Zverev 7-6(2), 6-4 at the Terra Wortmann Open here on Saturday. The fifth-seeded Pole produced an impressive serving display in his semifinal clash against Zverev, firing 17 aces and saving all four breakpoints he faced to earn his fifth Top 10 grass-court win.

“It needed to be really good,” Hurkacz was quoted as saying by ATP Tour in a report on their website. “He is such a good competitor and is playing good tennis, reaching the final at the French [Roland Garros] and playing at a really high level.

“I am really confident on my serve. I am serving really good. There were some moments, but I managed to believe in my game and hit some good serves and good shots, so I stayed pretty calm,” he said.

With his one-hour, 33-minute triumph in Halle, Hurkacz improved to 1-3 in his ATP head-to-head series with Zverev. Into his 11th tour-level final, the 27-year-old will aim to clinch his ninth ATP Tour title when he faces top seed Jannik Sinner or China’s Zhang Zhizhen on Sunday.

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Hurkacz has often produced his best level on grass, winning the title at the ATP 500 event in 2022. The 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist is up two spots to No. 7 in the ATP Live Rankings and will move to a career-high on Monday.

Germany’s Zverev advanced to the title match on home soil in Halle in 2016 and 2017 but was unable to find a way past Hurkacz, who won 81 percent (43/56) of his first-serve points according to ATP Infosys Stats. The two-time ATP Finals champion leaves the event holding a 37-11 record for the season.

–IANS

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