Harika enters prequarters, Humpy out
Khanty Mansiysk: Grandmaster Dronavalli Harika advanced to the pre-quarterfinals, crushing Bela Khotenashvili of Georgia in the second game of the rapid tiebreaker in round two of the world women's chess championship here. After the shocking ouster of Grandmaster Koneru Humpy, Harika emerged as the last remaining hope for the Indian fans and the lady from Andhra did not disappoint, winning with black in the second rapid game played with 25 minutes for each player. Having drawn the second game of the match as white without achieving much, Harika knew her chances were bright in the tiebreaker as she is known to be a good rapid player. For Harika the chance to get in to the last eight are bright as she takes on Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia in the next round. The Russian is a former world champion but Harika had beaten her handsomely in the previous edition. Earlier, Humpy's campaign came to an end after she lost to Jolanta Zawadzka of Poland in the second game of the second round here.
Sathiyan qualifies for Austrian Open
New Delhi: Indian paddler G Sathiyan stunned world number 17 Sangeun Jong in the final match of the preliminary rounds to qualify for the main draw of the ITTF Austrian Open in Linz. Sathiyan began his impressive run in the elite Platinum tournament, featuring 59 out of the world's top 60 players, by beating the recently-crowned Youth Olympic champion Wang Chuqin from China. He tamed Chuqin 4-1 to make the most of his first round bye in the preliminaries. He got off to a winning 11-8 start but lost the next one 12-14. He, however, recovered quickly to claim the next three games 11-8 11-6 and 18-16 for a morale-boosting victory. Sathiyan then beat Slovakia's Lubomir Pistej 4-0 to show that he was on a roll. In the final preliminary, he faced Jong and erased a two-game deficit to come out a 6-11 13-11 11-3 11-8 11-6 11-6 to grab a berth in the main round. He faces Marcos Freitas of Portugal in the Round of 32 later in the night.
Coutinho to be sidelined for 3 weeks
Barcelona: Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho of Brazil will be sidelined for around two-three weeks due to a hamstring injury, the Spanish club announced on Thursday. Coutinho, 26, sustained a left leg injury in Barcelona's UEFA Champions League draw with Inter Milan on Tuesday, reports Efe. "Tests carried out on Thursday morning have confirmed that Philippe Coutinho has a small rupture in the biceps femoris of his left leg," the club's statement read. The Brazil international will miss the upcoming home La Liga clash against Real Betis at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on Sunday.
Ramkumar crashes out of Slovak Open
Mumbai: There was no end to Ramkumar Ramanathan's lean patch as the Indian Davis Cupper yet again made an early exit, losing his second round at the Slovak Open in Bratislava while Purav Raja lost his doubles quarterfinal with partner Antonio Sancic. Seeded sixth, Ramkumar lost 3-6, 6-3, 2-6 to Germany's Matthias Bachinger in the second round of the Euro 106,000 hard court tournament. Ramkumar has not crossed a second round either on the Challenger circuit or on the ATP World Tour since making the summit clash of the Hall of Fame Open in July. In the doubles, though, Ramkumar and his partner Andre Vaselevski moved to the semifinals with a 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 win over local wild card pair of Andrej K Martin and Filip Polasek. But Purav Raja and Sancic lost their quarterfinal 6-4, 4-6, 6-10 to top seeded Britons Ken Skupski Jonny O'mara in 72 minutes.