India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal made a rousing start to her bid for an Olympic medal as she beat Swiss Sabrina Jaquet in straight games in women’s singles group stage opening match on Sunday. The world number five Saina was too good for the 65th ranked Sabrina as she took just 22 minutes to complete a 21-9 21-4 victory at the Wembley arena.Sabrina, who had qualified for the Games by reaching the quarter finals of the 2012 European Championship in Karlskrona, Sweden, could not provide any resistance to Saina, who launched her campaign on a dominating note.The 22-year-old Indian, who came into the tournament after winning the Thailand Grand Prix Gold and Indonesian Super Series Premium last month, took 12 minutes to wrap up the first game, before sealing the issue in her favour by winning the second game in just 10 minutes.Such was the domination of the Indian that Sabrina was reduced to a bystander as the Indian kept lapping up her points in quick succession. The girl from Hyderabad led by a massive 12 and 17 points in the first and second game respectively.Saina, who had reached the quarterfinals in her Olympic debut at the Beijing Games four years ago, will take on Lianne Tan of Belgium in another group E match on Monday.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd boss Mourinho insists luck was with Liverpoolby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Jose Mourinho insists luck was with Liverpool for Sunday’s 3-1 defeat.Sadio Mane had put the hosts ahead on 24 minutes, but a mistake from Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker allowed Jesse Lingard to equalise soon after. However, further strikes followed for Jurgen Klopp’s men after the break, with substitute Xherdan Shaqiri netting two deflected efforts to seal the hosts’ 3-1 victory.Mourinho said, “They had a strong team and showed they are the strongest team. It’s hard to concede two goals in the moments we conceded and even harder the way the goals happened [with the deflections]. I think our difficult period in the game was the first 20 minutes when we couldn’t cope with their fantastic intensity and speed and pressing. After that we were quite calm in the game and the game was controlled. “We can say of course they attacked much more than us, they had corners, they had more play in our half than we had in their half, but it was exactly the moment when the game was going into the dynamic when they were really frustrated. “You had centre-backs coming with the ball and shooting from 30 yards into the stands – that was a period when the game was more under control and we felt that we could win, even a little bit undeservedly, but it was the moment when sometimes teams that are dominating a game can lose matches. But that was when we conceded two goals. David [De Gea] was saying in the dressing room afterwards that they [Shaqiri’s shots] would have been two easy balls for him, but because of the deflections he had no chance.”Mourinho insisted luck was with the hosts, “If you want to speak about fortune, then speak about their second and third goals. Our goal was a good move by the side, I think [Romelu] Lukaku got in the space behind the full-back with a good cross and then Jesse [Lingard] arrived in a dangerous position and the goalkeeper made, what I used to call, half of a mistake. To speak about luck and goals we have to speak about the second and third goals.”
The Prince of Wales has described climate change and sustainable development agreements expected at major summits this year as a “Magna Carta” for the planet.His Royal Highness has called on world leaders to seize the “crucial opportunity” afforded by the summits in 2015 to set an ambitious framework governing a range of areas from poverty and climate change to disaster risk reduction.The Prince’s comments were made as he addressed The Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit meeting on forests, climate change and development in central London.He also mentioned his unborn grandchild, urging delegates not to earn the “condemnation of our grandchildren” for failing to safeguard their future.He added: “With a new grandchild on its way into this increasingly uncertain world. I certainly do not.”The Prince told delegates, who included Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary: “In the 800th anniversary year of the Magna Carta, perhaps this year’s agreement of the new Sustainable Development Goals and a new climate agreement in Paris should be seen as a new ‘Magna Carta for the Earth, and humanity’s relationship with it’.“It is worth remembering that two years after the agreement of the Magna Carta, in the year 1217, a Charter of the Forest was also signed, under King Henry III, setting out the rights, privileges and uses of forest land for the people of this country.“Some things really are timeless. Even after almost 800 years, the new agreements on climate change and sustainable development goals still need to have forests and sustainable land use at their heart.”In September the Special Summit on Sustainable Development will be held at the UN headquarters in New York where world leaders are expected to agree to a new development agenda, including a set of sustainable development goals, expected to provide a blueprint for action until 2030.Three months later positive climate change agreements are also expected to be reached by countries attending the UN climate conference in Paris.The Prince, who has been an environmental leader for more than four decades, added: “It is clear to me, as I hope it is to all of you, that this year provides an absolutely crucial opportunity – if not the last chance before we end up in an irreversible situation – for the international community to establish a new set of interlocking, coherent and ambitious frameworks governing human development, poverty, disaster risk reduction, the natural environment and climate change.“We could, and should, see an agenda set for the coming decades that is capable of transforming the prospects for humanity by improving and nurturing the state of the planet upon which we all depend.”The Prince has been a strong advocate of taking action to protect the environment for many years.In 2007 he set up the Prince’s Rainforest Group to find a solution to save the world’s threatened forests. He addressed a UN international climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009 and the following year he gave a keynote speech to the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference.The Prince’s Rainforests Project is now part of the International Sustainability Unit, an organisation created by the Prince of Wales to help build consensus on how to develop the durable solutions required to meet the challenges of climate change and natural resource depletion.Brendan Cox, director of policy at Save the Children and spokesman for campaigning initiative action/2015, said: “It’s not often you talk about the Prince of Wales, Shakira and Matt Damon in the same breath, but the scale of the change possible in 2015 is creating a unique campaigning coalition.“Action/2015 launched days ago and is already garnering support from around the world and it’s great to have the Prince of Wales join that grassroots movement.”Read an article by Tony Juniper for the Huffington Post on why we need forests for the future.Source:www.princeofwales.gov.uk
As the San Antonio Spurs took the Oklahoma City Thunder apart Thursday night on their way to winning Game 5 by 28 points, Thunder forward Kevin Durant quietly battled to finish with 25 points. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but it’s still short of the sparkling numbers he had been putting up before the NBA’s Western Conference finals began.Through the first two rounds of the playoffs, Durant had been magnificent, averaging 31.4 points per game and hitting the 30-point mark in nine of 13 games. In the five games against the Spurs, Durant has hit the 30-point mark just once, and in the Thunder’s three blowout losses, he’s averaged just 22.7 points.Durant’s efficiency has also suffered. His shooting accuracy from different areas of the floor hasn’t been significantly different, but the Spurs have forced him away from his preferred spots. Shot location statistics from NBA.com show how the distribution of his true shot attempts has changed in these games (true shot attempts include field goal attempts and trips to the free-throw line, essentially all non-turnover possessions).Kevin Durant’s Distribution of True Shot AttemptsIn the Thunder’s three losses against the Spurs, far fewer of Durant’s true shooting attempts have come around the basket. Durant has been pushed back into the inefficient mid-range zone.This may seem like splitting hairs; we’re talking about a potent scorer from anywhere on the floor. But even a great scorer like Durant is much more efficient in some areas. For example, during the regular season, a Durant trip to the free-throw line had an expected value more than twice that of one of his mid-range jump shots.In fact, if we give Durant his shooting percentage from the regular season but his shot selection from the three losses against the Spurs, Durant would have a true shooting percentage of 54.4. That’s far less his 63.5 regular-season number, which ranked second in the league this season and was the best in NBA history by a player who used at least 32 percent or more of his team’s offensive possessions.Defensive pressure usually conjures images of blocked shots and steals. But by making Durant change his shot selection, the Spurs’ defense turned an elite scorer into merely a good one.
The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw that concluded Saturday was the first ever to feature 24 teams; previous World Cups had only 16. Eight countries will make their debut, possibly paving the way for new talent to make a splash, and four champions will return stronger and more experienced. Here’s how the draw shook out, followed by our initial reactions to each group:Group A: Canada, China, Netherlands, New ZealandGroup A has the second-highest combined FIFA points score, 7522, and is likely to be exceptionally difficult to advance from. It’s led by host nation Canada (currently ranked eighth), and even the lowest-ranked team in the group, New Zealand, has an aggressive style of play that’s proved to be tough for Brazil and other strong squads. The young, technical Chinese team features standout forward Yang Li (nicknamed “Young Sun Wen,” after China’s all-time leading scorer), and the 15th-ranked Netherlands is making its World Cup debut after beating the higher-ranked Italy to qualify.Group B: Germany, Norway, Thailand, Ivory Coast Second-ranked Germany leads Group B. The Germans, having won back-to-back World Cups in 2003 and 2007, are regimented and unaccustomed to losing, as well as notorious for playing their best soccer at the World Cup. Norway clinched a World Cup title in 1995 but has yet to do it again. The Norweigans’ style of play is very direct (meaning they don’t focus on possession), but look for Olympique Lyon standout Ada Hegerberg to hold the ball up top. The Europeans should cruise through to the next stage — Thailand and Ivory Coast are relatively inexperienced and making their first World Cup appearances.Group C: Japan, Switzerland, Ecuador, CameroonSimilar to Group B, Group C features two top-ranked teams and two much weaker opponents — Cameroon and Ecuador — with Ecuador barely qualifying by beating Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 last week. The 2011 champions, Japan, are currently ranked third and play a highly technical style of soccer; the crafty midfielder Aya Miyama allows Japan to connect beautifully between the back and front lines. Switzerland is an exciting addition to the World Cup — the newcomers can compete against the strongest European teams. Swiss Ramona Bachmann has been likened to Marta and is nominated for the 2014 player of the year in Sweden’s Damallsvenskan, one of the top women’s leagues in the world.Group D: USA, Australia, Sweden, NigeriaThis group is being called the Group of Death — it has the highest total of combined FIFA points, 7786, and includes three teams in the top 10 FIFA rankings. The No. 1-ranked U.S. will again face Sweden in group play; the Swedes defeated the Americans 2-1 in the 2011 World Cup, and this time Sweden will be led by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage. Australia is an athletic team that could give the U.S. and Sweden tough games, especially with explosive forward Lisa De Vanna leading the offense. And Nigeria should not be overlooked. Its young, talented team includes Asisat Oshoala, the winner of the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Adidas Golden Ball.Group E: Brazil, South Korea, Spain, Costa RicaSixth-ranked Brazil hasn’t looked as strong as it once did, losing 2-0 to France last month in a friendly, but it’s the strongest team in the rather weak Group E. First-timers Spain are led by forward Vero Boquete, a 2014 FIFA women’s player of the year nominee, and could match up well against Brazil — both teams are creative and patient. And South Korea is technical and organized, which could cause problems for the often disorganized Brazilians. But don’t count out Costa Rica, which placed second in the CONCACAF qualifiers (but was handedly defeated by the U.S. in the final). Some of its players, including Shirley Cruz Traña (who plays for the French club Paris Saint-Germain), have moments of brilliance.Group F: France, England, Mexico, ColombiaFoes France and England will face off in Group F, the third-strongest group based on combined FIFA points. France is a not-so-dark horse for 2015; it’s technical, physical and fast, and its players alternate between direct and possession-style play almost seamlessly. Élodie Thomis, Louisa Nécib and Eugénie Le Sommer are some of the top women’s players in the world. Meanwhile, the seventh-ranked England will be looking for retribution — France knocked out England in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinals. CONCACAF and CONMEBOL teams Mexico and Colombia will be hoping for a point against England and France, but lately Mexico has looked unfit and disorganized from the team that beat the U.S. in 2010.
3. Nick Vannett, redshirt-junior tight endMeyer has called senior tight end Jeff Heuerman one of the best in the country, but the OSU coach had praise for Vannett on Monday as well.“Nick Vannett has had as good of camp at tight end that I’ve seen, which is great for him to see him do that,” Meyer said.That’s pretty big praise, especially coming from a coach like Meyer, who has coached some extremely talented tight ends in his career. Heuerman, though, happens to be working through an injury heading into week one.Meyer said Heuerman isn’t 100 percent healthy yet, but he expects the tight end to play against Navy on Saturday.For Vannett, that could be the chance of a lifetime as he had eight receptions for 80 yards and one touchdown last season. Heuerman tallied 26 catches for 466 yards and four touchdowns in comparison.No matter how much Heuerman plays Saturday, look for Vannett to be a key contributor on offense, especially as a safety blanket for Barrett.If he plays well, Vannett could push Heuerman for touches all season. 1. Steve Miller, senior defensive linemanEven though some have dubbed OSU’s defensive line the best in the nation, that doesn’t mean the starting four will be the only players to see the field along the defensive front.In fact, one of those starters — junior defensive lineman Noah Spence — won’t see the field at all for the first two games of the season because of a three-game suspension. That’s where Steve Miller comes in.While he isn’t necessarily expected to start in place of Spence — coach Urban Meyer is expected to release the week one depth chart on Tuesday — he is one of the most experienced reserves on the defensive line. Steve Miller played in 11 games last season and totaled 12 tackles, three of which were sacks. Those three sacks caused the opposition to lose a total of 21 yards.Look for Steve Miller to be a key contributor not only while Spence is out, but for the rest of his senior season. 2. Darryl Baldwin, redshirt-senior offensive linemanBaldwin came to OSU as a standout defensive lineman, but he’ll be leaving as the starter at right tackle along the Buckeyes’ offensive line.The Solon, Ohio, native redshirted in 2010 before playing in seven games as a backup defensive lineman the following season. In 2012, he switched over to offense but played mainly on special teams and backed up All-American Jack Mewhort at left tackle the last two seasons.While two offensive line spots are still up for grabs, Meyer named Baldwin the starter on Barrett’s strong side going into his final season. Baldwin and his position-mates will be tasked with attempting to replicate the success of the 2013 offensive line, which graduated four starters — two of whom were selected in the NFL Draft in Mewhort and Corey Linsley while the other two, Andrew Norwell and Marcus Hall, were signed as undrafted free agents.If the Buckeyes want to replicate their success running the ball from 2013, Baldwin will need to have a big season on the offensive front. OSU senior offensive lineman Darryl Baldwin. Credit: Courtesy of OSUEverybody knows senior quarterback Braxton Miller, and now everyone the name of redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett. The 2014 Ohio State football roster is speckled with big-name players and former five-star recruits.But while some of those players will still be key to OSU this season, some previously lesser-known players could become household names for the Buckeye faithful this season.Here are five previously lesser-known and lightly-used players to watch on the OSU roster heading into the new season: 4. Tommy Schutt, junior defensive linemanAlong with Vannett, Meyer named Schutt as one of the most improved players on this Buckeye roster, even though he’s not expected to start with players such as senior Michael Bennett and junior Adolphus Washington ahead of him on the defensive line.What Schutt does bring to the table is depth, and if he’s getting praise like that from Meyer, he would probably be much more than a role player at most other schools.Schutt struggled with injuries in 2013 as he tallied just three tackles and 0.5 sacks in six games. The Glen Ellyn, Ill., native might have been limited last season, but he proved his talent as a true freshman in 2012 when he played in 10 games for the 12-0 Buckeyes.Barring injury, Schutt won’t get a starting nod this season, but he’ll see his fair share of the field and make an impact every time he’s out there. 5. Rashad Frazier, redshirt-senior defensive linemanAnother defensive lineman you ask? Yes, another defensive lineman.Of course Bennett, Spence, Washington and sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa will be the headline players, but they can’t play every snap.Going back to Spence’s suspension, Frazier could be the man to gain the most as he has been named as a potential replacement for the first two games of the season.After transferring to OSU from Purdue University in 2012, Frazier played in just one game last season while battling through injuries. He had a strong showing in the spring, capped off by a headline-stealing performance in OSU’s annual Spring Game on April 12.In the Spring Game, Frazier recovered a fumble in the end-zone for the first points of the game and totaled two sacks and a forced fumble. It might have been a practice game, but he was probably the most dominant defensive player for much of the day.If Frazier does in fact get the nod in Spence’s slot early this season, look for him to be playing with a chip on his shoulder as he gets his first and last shot at playing time. OSU’s season opener against Navy on Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore is set to kickoff at noon.
Senior forward Sam Thompson (12) dribbles past a Penn State player during a game on Feb. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 75-55.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographerTwenty-five games into the season, the Ohio State men’s basketball team had relied heavily on its freshmen, in particular its star rookie guard D’Angelo Russell.But when the No. 23 Buckeyes left the floor after a 75-55 drubbing of Penn State at home, it was a battle-tested senior who had led OSU to victory.Senior forward Sam Thompson scored a career-high 22 points in the win, and said Wednesday night was the kind of game he has been working toward since arriving in Columbus.“I’ve worked really hard over the years just on every facet of my offensive game. I really try to become a threat offensively,” Thompson said. “I played a pretty good game today, and just gonna try to keep that rolling.”Thompson scored in a variety of ways against Penn State, whether it be from behind the arc, or down low.He joked after the game that despite being a veteran on the team, he is still capable of his famous high-flying dunks.“I can still jump a little bit,” he said with a smile.Thompson threw down multiple times against the Nittany Lions, a team that defeated the Buckeyes in both meetings last year.The senior from Chicago said despite the losses last season, his team was focused on the present heading into the game.“We weren’t talking about last year as much as we were talking about this year,” Thompson said. “It’s a different team, they’re a different team. We just wanted to come out and play our best basketball. We knew that was a team that could beat us, as evident from last year.”OSU coach Thad Matta said Thompson was one of the main reasons the Buckeyes were able to win their fifth game in six appearances.“That was big for us. I was so happy to see the ball go in for Sam,” Matta said after the win. “He puts a lot of time in and we have kind of been saying, ‘if we can get him making some shots, I think it makes us a lot more effective.’ His ability in transition — everybody fears he’s running to the rim — being able to step out and knock down the shot definitely helps open things up for us.”Thompson did more than just play well on offense, he also drew the task of defending the Big Ten’s leading scorer, Penn State senior guard D.J. Newbill.While Newbill still led the Nittany Lions in scoring with 16 points, he shot just 5-of-13 from the field and pulled down just three rebounds.Matta said Thompson’s defense was just as important as his offense, especially when matched up with the Penn State star.Thompson, however, credited the Buckeyes as a whole for shutting Newbill down.“(We had to) make him work. No open looks, try to keep him off the foul line. Make sure when he had the ball he saw five Ohio State defenders,” Thompson said. “We did a good job of doing that across the board.”Newbill’s coach, Pat Chambers, also recognized Thompson’s elevated play and added that he thought last year’s wins over OSU might have had something to do with his performance.“I thought Sam Thompson was terrific, and that’s what seniors do,” Chambers said. “He was on that team last year and I’m sure he had a little extra ‘oomph’ to play against us.”Moving forward, Thompson said it will take more than just himself or Russell to continue the winning ways.“We know that the season is coming down to an end. We know it’s time for the players to play,” he said. “Seniors gotta step up, younger guys have to keep doing what they’re doing and we’ll be fine.”The Buckeyes will attempt to win their sixth game in seven tries as they are set to travel to East Lansing, Mich., to take on the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday. Tip-off is set for noon.