Kanetkar moves into Round II
New Delhi: Nikhil Kanetkar has moved into the second round of the Bitburger Open badminton tournament, being played in Saarbruecken, Germany. He defeated Evgenij Isakov of Russia in straight sets. Kanetkar, who won his first-ever international title when he triumphed at the Toulouse Open in France last month, gave no chance to his opponent in a 15-0, 15-12 victory on Wednesday, according to information received here. The southpaw will now face Per-Hendrik Croona of Sweden in the Grade 1 tournament that helps to garner ranking points ahead of the April 30 deadline for Athens Olympics qualifying. Croona defeated local boy Arnd Vetters 14-17, 15-6, 15-4 on Tuesday.
Ahn spark in Korea win
Tokyo: World Cup hero Ahn Jung-hwan provided the spark for South Korea in a 3-1 win over Hong Kong in their East Asian Championship opener on Thursday, lifting the pressure from embattled coach Humberto Coelho.
The Japan-based striker, whose goals helped South Korea reach the 2002 World Cup semi-finals, sealed victory with 57th-minute header, seven minutes after Kim Do-hoon had made it 2-1 from close range. South Korea had lost three of their last four matches, including embarrassing Asian Cup qualifying slip-ups against Vietnam and Oman, and struggled to impose themselves during the first half in near-freezing conditions in Tokyo.
Mijatovic hangs up boots
Belgrade: Serbia and Montenegro striker Predrag Mijatovic has announced his retirement at the age of 34, a Belgrade daily reported on Thursday. Mijatovic, who scored 28 goals in 71 internationals, said he had decided to end his illustrious career after turning down a lucrative offer from a club in Qatar. “It is over and it’s the right time to quit,” he said. “I thought about going to Qatar and playing alongside the likes of Gabriel Batistuta and Stefan Effenberg, but I decided to devote more time to my family and myself instead.”
Annacone to coach Henman
London: Tim Henman has taken on Paul Annacone as his part-time coach, the British No.1 said on his website on Wednesday. Henman has been without a coach since splitting with Larry Stefanki after the US Open in September. “Paul and I have been friends for a long time and we got to know each other pretty well when he used to work with Pete (Sampras). I obviously have a lot of respect for him for what they both achieved together,” said Henman.
Hertha sack coach
Berlin: Hertha Berlin sacked coach Huub Stevens following a 6-1 demolition by Werder Bremen in the German Cup, the Bundesliga club said on Thursday. Wednesday’s thrashing in a third round tie was the latest in a series of setbacks for the capital club, who lie second from bottom in the Bundesliga.
Peralta to join Inter
Montevideo: Uruguayan striker Horacio Peralta is joining Italy’s Inter Milan, his club Nacional said on Wednesday. “The deal is confirmed,” Nacional director Alejandro Balbi said. “I understand the transfer cost around $10 million.”
Peralta, who began his career with Danubio and joined Nacional last year, will either leave the club this month or in June, Balbi said. The 21-year-old has played eight times this year for his country, all in friendlies, scoring one goal.
Sport on Screen
Cricket, India vs Australia — First Test, Day II, live from 5.30 am on STAR Sports
Cricket, England vs Sri Lanka — First Test, Day IV, live from 9.30am on TEN Sports
Cricket, New Zealand vs Pakistan — Fourth ODI, live from 2.30pm on TEN Sports