Chinese badminton superstar Lin Dan retires at 36

first_img“I have dedicated everything to this sport I love.”As well as the double Olympic golds, Lin was also a five-time world champion and a long-time former world number one.Lin earned the nickname “Super Dan” at the peak of his career.However, the left-hander’s career has tailed off in recent years as age and injuries took their toll.He always said that he was determined to reach the Tokyo Olympics, but his ranking of 19 in the world and the postponement of the Games made that dream unlikely.Read also: Lee retirement leaves ‘Super Dan’ ploughing lonely Olympic furrowLin had always maintained that he would try to make it a last Olympics hurrah in Tokyo in an unlikely bid for a third Olympic gold.But he said on Saturday his body would not allow him to plough on.”‘Persevere’, I said to myself in every moment of suffering, so that my sporting career could be prolonged,” he wrote on Weibo.”Rather than simply pursuing rankings as I did when I was younger, in these years, I have been wanting to challenge the physical limits of an ‘old’ athlete and practice the sporting spirit that I will never give up.”(But) my physical abilities and pain no longer allow me to fight alongside my team-mates.”Topics : The duo reigned over the sport for more than a decade and have only relinquished that hold in recent years as their powers waned.Lin, who had something of a “bad boy” reputation during his younger days and has several tattoos, ends with 666 singles wins and a glut of medals.”My family, coaches, team-mates and fans have accompanied me through many peaks and difficult troughs,” he said in a post on China’s Twitter-like Weibo that quickly went viral.”Every forceful jump was a desire for victory. China’s two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan, arguably the greatest badminton player of all time, announced his retirement on Saturday aged 36.It means that Lin, who won gold at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games, will not compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which were pushed back to next summer because of coronavirus.The end of Lin’s glorious career comes just over a year after the retirement of his great rival and friend, the Malaysian star Lee Chong Wei.last_img read more

Cricket News Clinical India dismantle New Zealand in Napier ODI affected by break in play due to sun

first_imgShikhar Dhawan went past 5000 ODI runs.Dhawan hit a fifty after nine ODI innings.Play in Napier was suspended due to sun. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Williamson waged a lone battle by hitting his 36th fifty but there was no support from the other end. When he holed out to long on off Kuldeep for 64, the rest of the lower order folded up meekly to Kuldeep. He picked up 4/39 and New Zealand was bundled out for 157.Rohit Sharma and Dhawan got going and laid a solid base but following the dinner break, Rohit (11) edged Doug Bracewell to slip and then there was the dramatic break for sunshine. Dhawan had complained that the sun was getting directly in his eyes and the umpires stopped play. This was a continuation of Napier’s problems, with the ground being criticised for a poor drainage during the abandoned game between New Zealand and Australia in 2017.Following the resumption in which the revised target was 156, Dhawan top-edged a pull from Doug Bracewell only for Tom Latham the keeper to spill the chance. Along the way, Dhawan also became the second-fastest Indian player to get to 5000 ODI runs. Kohli got off in sublime fashion and both batsmen played confident strokes and Dhawan reached his 26th fifty. Kohli was looking good for yet another fifty but he top-edged a short ball off Ferguson to miss out on his milestone.Dhawan held firm and guided India to their first win in New Zealand in over 10 years and for the Blackcaps, the momentum that they built before the series has ended with this loss in Napier. New Delhi: Shikhar Dhawan slammed a fifty after nine innings, Virat Kohli continued his dominant run-making and Kuldeep Yadav picked up 4/39 as India outclassed New Zealand in all departments to win by eight wickets and with 85 balls to spare to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series in Napier on Wednesday. The action on the field mirrored the set pattern of India’s recent dominance but the match at McLean Park will be remembered for the status, “Play halted due to sun.” Napier was witness to a strange development in which play was halted for over 30 minutes due to the sun shining directly in the eyes of the batsman. In most cricket grounds where the alignment is North-South, the East-West alignment at Napier resulted in a strange problem and it was big enough to ensure one over was deducted.Apart from the break due to sunshine, it was darkness all around for New Zealand who was simply blown away by an Indian cricket team on top of their game. Kane Williamson won the toss and had no hesitation in batting but any chances of a positive start in the powerplay evaporated when Mohammed Shami sent back Martin Guptill (5) and Colin Munro (8). Guptill’s wicket gave Shami his 100th ODI wicket and India had made a great start.Ross Taylor, who had hit six consecutive 50+ scores in ODIs prior to the game in Napier, looked in decent touch as he stitched a solid stand with Williamson. However, on 24, Taylor’s attempt at creating a record was dented when he chipped a return catch to Yuzvendra Chahal. Following Taylor’s dismissal, most of the New Zealand batsmen came in but did not capitalise, leaving Williamson the last man standing. Tom Latham (11) gave a return catch to Chahal while Henry Nicholls (12) fell to an outstanding catch from Kuldeep Yadav diving to his right at midwicket. highlightslast_img read more

Cricket News Vizag crowd ‘disrespects’ CRPF jawans killed in Pulwama Terror attack during minute of silence

first_img New Delhi: Before the start of the first Twenty20 International between India and Australia in Vizag, the players from both teams, including the support staff walked out and observed a two-minute silence to pay their tribute to the 40 CRPF jawans who were killed in the Pulwama terror attack on February 14. The Indian cricket team players also wore black armbands. Television crews spotted both teams observing the silence diligently but the Vizag crowd did not exactly reciprocate the sentiment. During the telecast of the silence, there were many sections of the crowd who were hooting and many were shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. There were reports that some sections of the crowd who were waving at the camera and flashing mobile phones. Apparently, Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli had to gesture to the crowd to remain silent.The behaviour of the crowd drew the ire of many social media users. There were some media personalities who tried to deflect the issue by stating as to why the Australian players did not wear black armbands to pay their tribute to the Pulwama terror attack. The black armband is traditionally worn by the teams when they pay their respect to past cricketers who died. FIFA, the world football governing body rules state display of any political or religious symbol is strictly prohibited but some changes were made after Football Associations of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland displayed poppies on the black arm bands in 2016 to mark Armistice Day.The Pulwama terror attack has angered India and in particular the sporting individuals in the country. The target in the aftermath of the attack is the India vs Pakistan ICC Cricket World Cup encounter which will be played in Manchester on June 16. Pulwama terror attack killed 40 CRPF jawans on February 14.Australia defeated India by three wickets in the first T20I.A boycott of India vs Pakistan ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash has been called for. Sachin Tendulkar had earlier tweeted out a statement which said: “India has always come up trumps against Pakistan in the World Cup. Time to beat them once again. Would personally hate to give them two points and help them in the tournament. Having said that, for me India always comes first. Whatever my country decides, I will back that decision with all my heart.”Ganguly, who has advocated a strong position against Pakistan and has called for cutting off all sporting ties with the country in the wake of the terror attack, has responded to Tendulkar’s comment stating, “He wants two points against Pakistan, I want the World Cup. Whichever way you look at it,” Ganguly.Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar want Indo-Pak clash to happen. On the other hand, Harbhajan Singh, Ganguly, and Mohammad Azharuddin are against the idea of the game. Gavaskar, in an interaction with India Today TV channel, said the aim was to beat Pakistan in the field and not give them two points. “India decide not to play Pakistan in the World Cup, who wins? Pakistan will get two points. We have beaten them every time in World Cups. We can play them and beat them and make sure they don’t reach the semi-finals. Not playing bilateral series vs Pakistan hurts them. I know India are strong enough to qualify by not playing Pakistan. Not playing bilaterally hurts them. But it’s a World Cup, it’s two points…,” Gavaskar told the channel.Virat Kohli, before the pre-match press conference against Australia in the T20I in Vizag, said the team will adhere to the decision the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the Government takes. “Our sincere condolences to the families of CRPF soldiers who lost their lives in Pulwama Attack. We stand by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do. We will go by what the govt and the Board decides, we will respect that,” Kohli stated. highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Warriors end CPL home leg in rampant fashion

first_imgTHE Guyana Amazon Warriors ended their home leg of the Hero Caribbean Premier League twenty20 tournament in impressive fashion, whipping the St Lucia Stars by seven wickets last evening at the National Stadium, Providence.The victory for the Warriors takes them above Barbados Tridents, to fourth in the table and gave them a crucial net run rate boost in the race for a Playoff place.The Warriors produced a disciplined bowling and fielding effort to restrict a marauding St Lucia Stars to a modest 100-7.They then overhauled the target in 14.4 overs, with Jason Mohammed hitting an unbeaten 42.The Warriors’ fielding was universally outstanding. No catches were dropped, and some of those taken were far from straightforward. The bowlers were all hard to get away, with leg-spinner Rashid Khan and Rayad Emrit, taking two wickets apiece for 19 and 26 runs respectively.Leg-spinner Rashid Khan has a successful leg-before appeal against Darren Sammy. (Photo: Adrian Narine)Left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul had 1-16, while off-spinner Steven Jacobs and Sohail Tanvir leaked 22 and 16 runs in their respective spells.It was a struggle for the tourists from the word go as they lost early wickets, which eventually was the main reason they failed to put on a substantial partnership to get to a winning total.Despite having so many big-hitting batsmen in their ranks, the Stars could hit only five boundaries and two sixes in their entire 20 overs.Jesse Ryder made 29 with three fours, and was the only batsman who contributed more than 20.Sent in to bat by Martin Guptill, Johnson Charles kick started the innings, with a boundary in front of point off Tanvir, but the top order spluttered yet again and slumped to 35-3.Permaul was right on the money, removing the danger man Andre Fletcher (1) off the fifth ball of the second over to a long-off catch taken by Khan.Shane Watson (0) became victim of a terrible mix up in the third over, and was run out from a direct hit from Keemo Paul, who was stationed at point.Those two dismissals restricted the Stars to 26-2 inside the Powerplay overs. Much was expected from Johnson Charles, but he too perished in the eighth over, caught on the long-on boundary off Emrit for 15, and half way through the innings, the Stars were struggling at 46-3.As if that was not enough, the Warriors removed another dangerman, Ryder, who was run out attempting a second run.Sunil Ambris (15 not out) and Darren Sammy (19) then held the innings together for a short period with a crucial 26-run stand for the fifth-wicket to take the visitors somewhat forward.But just when it seemed things were starting to look a little bright for the Stars, Sammy, on whom the Stars depended much to get to a fighting total, perished after a fighting 24-ball 19. Sammy was unfortunately dismissed leg-before wicket to Khan off a massive inside edge.Rakheem Cornwall muscled Tanvir over square leg for the innings first six but perished soon after, so too was Shane Shillingford before Jerome Taylor closed the innings off with a six off Emrit.The Warriors did not have a great start to the run chase as opener Chadwick Walton fell off the first delivery of the innings, leg-before wicket to Taylor.Guptill followed him soon after, stumped off Cornwall for 8, but Tanvir who was again promoted to open, ensured the run rate never became a concern.Man-of-the-Match Tanvir scored 38 from 29 balls, with five fours and a six and his partnership of 51 with Mohammad took the Warriors within 28 of victory when he was stumped.Mohammed and Gajanand Singh then eased them home comfortably, with Mohammed who hit three fours and two sixes unbeaten on 42.The Warriors next game is against Barbados Tridents next Tuesday, before taking on the Jamaica Tallawahs on Friday, September 1.SCOREBAORDSt Lucia StarsA Fletcher c Rashid Khan b Permaul 1J Charles c Singh b Emrit 15S Watson run out (Paul) 0J Ryder run out (Paul/Walton) 29S Ambris not out 15D Sammy lbw b Khan 19R Cornwall c Guptill b Khan 10S Shillingford c Jacobs b Emrit 2J Taylor not out 7Extras: (lb-1, w-1)Total: (seven wickets; 20 overs) 100Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-6, 3-35, 4-47, 5-73, 6-87, 7-92Bowling: Tanvir 4-0-22-0, Permaul 4-0-16-1, Emrit 4-0-26-2, Khan 4-0-19-2, Jacobs 4-0-16-0Guyana Amazon WarriorsC Walton lbw b Taylor 0S Tanvir st †Fletcher b Shillingford 38M Guptill st †Fletcher b Cornwall 8J Mohammed not out 42G Singh not out 8Extras: (lb-1, w-4) 5Total: (three wickets 14.4 overs) 103Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-22, 3-73Bowling: Taylor 2-0-13-1, Shillingford 4-0-20-1, Cornwall 4-0-27-1, Leie 3-0-24-0, McClenaghan 1.4-0-16-0last_img read more

Junior quietly making name for herself

first_imgGREGORY DIXON/Herald photoThe old adage goes that offense scores points, but defense wins the game. In the world of soccer, a team’s goal is usually achieved by a sparkling defensive play. The hero of the soccer team, much like any other sport, is the player who made the incredible goal or made the improbable save to propel her team to victory. However, it is the hardworking defender who started the goal-scoring play and, more importantly, kept the other team out of the goal. Of course, that play never gets the credit it justly deserves.Such is the case with women’s soccer defender Ann Eshun, as she has been making it her job to make the Badgers look good for years and she has done an admirable job.In her three-plus years on the Wisconsin defensive front, Eshun has been a notable presence on the field for the Badgers. Paired up with high-caliber defenders like assistant captain Natalie Horner and former Badger defensive MVP Jessica Ring, Eshun is on a short list of proven Badger defenders. Through 11 games this season, Wisconsin has allowed only 15 goals, the best opening start for the Badgers through their first 11 games in two years. The minimal goals have been due to Eshun’s growth into the role, a role that has propelled Wisconsin’s defense.”Ann has developed and matured tremendously this year,” assistant coach Carrie Barker said. “She is our anchor in the back [and] the quarterback of our defense. The other three defenders are primarily marking [the opponents], while she is looking at the whole picture [on the field]. She’s done a tremendous job in stepping up in her role.”In addition to her growth at her position, Wisconsin has been able to count on Eshun to play solid defense every single game since she came to campus. Much as Cal Ripken is to baseball and Brett Favre is to football, Eshun has been the iron woman for the Badgers, playing in 56 of Wisconsin’s 58 games the last three years, starting 55 of those games. For Eshun and her teammates, it’s that comfort factor of knowing that on game day, they can count on Eshun to be on the field.”I have been lucky not to be hindered by any serious injuries and been able to practice day in and day out,” Eshun said.”[Having Ann out there] makes me feel more comfortable,” Horner said. “She really helps lead us in the back. Her confidence and her experience helps me play better.”Not only has Eshun developed as a defender, she has thrown her hat into the Badger scoring as well. So far this season, Eshun leads the team in assists with four and scored her first career goal against Illinois earlier this year. With the departure of Ring, Eshun is finding more opportunities to not only run the defense, but to start the scoring attack as well. “It’s good for our team and being dangerous on teams is important,” Eshun said. “It’s something that we have to be consistent with and people know that we are a threat on set plays.””Not only is she keeping goals out of our net, she is putting goals in their net,” Baker said. “That’s huge to be able to get points from our backs and she’s done a great job in getting those points.”But the added scoring is just an added bonus for Eshun this year, since her favorite part of playing defensive soccer is denying an opponent the opportunity to get a goal. “The best part of playing defense is when people run at you one-on-one and tackle, be hard and be that physical presence [on the field],” Eshun said. “People are going to not want to play against you because you are that hard and love to defend.”As for the glory, Eshun doesn’t mind that her teammates get the front-page stories and the scoring records. All that matters is that Wisconsin comes away with a victory and that they don’t let any goals on the scoreboard.”[Defenders] don’t get the glory, but that is something that you have to take with the position,” Eshun said. “You aren’t in the front of the paper unless you let the ball in the net. I don’t have a problem with [not getting the attention]. It’s my job and what I am here to do.”last_img read more

DuPont, Dolgner watch from sidelines on Senior Night

first_imgAs Brittney Dolgner wrote in her final “captain’s log,” it was supposed to be a great day to be a Badger as Wisconsin hosted Purdue in its season finale Saturday at the Field House.Unfortunately for Dolgner and fellow senior Caity DuPont, things didn’t exactly go according to plan on senior night against the Boilermakers.Through the first two sets, the seniors struggled along with the rest of the Wisconsin attack, as the Badgers fell behind the Boilermakers two sets to none. As a result, UW head coach Pete Waite opted to sit his two seniors when the third set began.“We weren’t quite getting it done in the first two sets, so we came out with a different lineup, switched some things around,” Waite said. “We had people who came in and did some nice things.”And while the changes did help the Badgers dominate the third set 25-15 and win the fourth set 25-20, Wisconsin’s only seniors were forced to watch much of their final match as Badgers from the sideline as the team’s younger players made an impact.“It was different… I don’t know,” Dolgner said of the last three sets. “It’s kind of frustrating because I was kind of struggling out there. … You just kind of have to take it in stride, I guess.”Dolgner seemed to take her own advice, as she remained positive after the game despite seeing only limited opportunities in two of the final three sets.DuPont, on the other hand, struggled to find much to say after the game, as she seemed to be overcome by the emotions that came along with her final match as a Badger.She did, however, offer one observation from the final three sets, all of which she watched from the sideline.“I was really proud of the younger players,” DuPont said. “They stepped it up and really played well tonight, picking it up.”As much as their final match did not go according to plan for Dolgner and DuPont, it was not much different than the Badgers’ season as a whole.From the beginning, one of the goals for the seniors was simply to be able to play when this final weekend rolled around as they battled injuries from the start of the 2009 season.According to Waite, being able to accomplish that goal was a feat in itself.“These two have worked really hard and we’re really proud of what they’ve done and what they’ve battled through,” Waite said. “Our goal for them was to have them playing here at the end of the season because of the injuries they’ve been dealing with and have been for the last couple of years.“We managed their backs really well and they were very smart about it this year, and we had them out there for the last weekend. That was a big goal for us.”With eight newcomers to the squad, including six freshmen, the Badgers’ early struggles were not surprising. The team did find its stride after seven matches, though, winning eight of its next 13 matches between Sept. 12 and Oct. 30.At that point, UW sat at 11-9 overall and 6-5 in Big Ten play, putting them in contention for a potential NCAA bid after missing the tournament last season for the first time in more than a decade.The rest of the 2009 season did not go as Wisconsin had hoped, however, as the Badgers lost their final nine matches to finish with the fewest wins of any UW team since 1985.After what looked like a promising season turned into the Badgers’ worst in more than 20 years, another loss was a tough way to go out for Dolgner and DuPont.“It’s overwhelming, I guess, knowing that it’s your last game,” Dolgner said. “You want to go out giving everything you have. Being out on the sideline, it’s hard to watch when you know you can do so much better, but you’re kind of limited by injury or something in your mindset.“I think, just knowing that it’s the end and you’re done, it’s emotional, and I think that’s what got to Caity.”Waite added his thoughts as DuPont struggled to keep from crying after the match.“Players go through their careers and experience a lot of things with a lot of different teammates and have a lot of fun off the court and on the court,” he said. “You know, those are some of the tears that are coming now, just thinking, ‘oh, it’s done.’”last_img read more

Senior Johnson scores 3rd and 4th goals of career on same night

first_img Published on February 5, 2014 at 12:59 am Contact Connor: | @connorgrossman Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse senior forward Cara Johnson hadn’t scored a goal since her freshman year, and she positioned herself perfectly to break that streak on Tuesday night. After a shot from a fellow SU forward clanked off the left post and settled almost directly in front of the goal box, Johnson was there to wrist it past the Saints’ goalie for her first goal of the season.Syracuse (15-11-2, 6-6-2 College Hockey America) defeated St. Lawrence (9-15-3, 8-5-3) 3-0 at the OnCenter Complex, and it was a night that Johnson won’t soon forget.“[St. Lawrence] messed up their break out and couldn’t get to the puck before I did,” Johnson said. “It all happened so fast, it’s almost a blur to me.“I do know I was lucky, though.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith just two and a half minutes left for St. Lawrence to make up a two-goal deficit, they opted for an extra offensive player and pulled goalie Mikaela Thompson. Johnson was opportunistic once again, and got the puck in front of the open net to collect her second goal of the game, and the season.Despite netting two goals, Johnson wasn’t inclined to believe this was the best game her or her teammates could have played.“The team really needed this game to stay positive,” Johnson said. “Myself included, we all picked up the pace a little more in the third (period) and were able to do the things we needed to do to win.”Johnson has played 116 games in her four years in the program, and she doubled her career goal total from two to four on Tuesday night.All 116 of those games have come under the guidance of head coach Paul Flanagan, who has seen her grow immensely as a player and person on and off the rink. Flanagan was very vocal regarding the mentorship Johnson has provided to the younger players on the team.“She’s got a good perspective and balance on the game,” Flanagan said. “She prides herself in talking to the younger plays during games and keeps her composure on the bench.”Johnson and junior forward Allie LaCombe have a long history on the ice together, both grew up in Minnesota playing hockey with one another. LaCombe, who’s a year younger than Johnson, has always looked up to Johnson admirably. Both Minnesota natives were able to score Tuesday night, and LaCombe was not shy about her pride for her fellow Minnesotan.“I know it’s her first goal, but she works hard every single game and practice,” LaCombe said. “Sometimes all the hard work doesn’t show up on the score sheet.”Johnson has embraced her role as a senior leader this year, and is highly regarded an instrumental defensive forward for her line. Her experience has allowed her to realize the kind of player she needs to be on the ice for her team, and that job description doesn’t include being a consistent goal scorer.She realizes as her final season winds down, she has had to work harder and play every game as if it would be her last.“The position I’m in now is so much different then when I was a freshman,” Johnson said. “The season’s going to be over sooner than you know it, so you can’t take it for granted.”Her teammates value her perspective on things as an outspoken and occasionally unspoken leader and mentor who maintains a consistent, level-headed approach to the game.“Cara doesn’t ever get too high when things are going well for the team and won’t let it get too low either,” Flanagan said.Johnson has tried to keep a simple mindset for the remainder of the season, and has set out just two goals for herself and the team.“Just win,” she said. “And beat Mercyhurst, too.” Commentslast_img read more

What fueled Syracuse’s historic run to the Final Four

first_imgHillsman took the blame for not getting his team ready to play after the loss to Louisville in which SU fell behind by 29 in the second quarter. But he also said he wouldn’t take on a role as a victim. Hillsman compared his team to a wounded lion, something that would be dangerous once it recovers. Even though SU was going through a bad stretch, he vowed to put a better product on the floor.When Syracuse fell behind 10-2 at N.C. State on Feb. 14, the Orange could have crumbled again. But Sykes pointed to the situation as one tangibly affected by the losses to Notre Dame and Louisville. This time, SU fought back and squeaked out a three-point win.“We got nine (regular season games) left,” Hillsman said on Jan. 25. “What if we win the rest of them? It’s a different conversation right? We got a lot of basketball left.”And the Orange finished the regular season 9-0. Then won two games in the ACC tournament before losing to Notre Dame by just 11 in the title game. Then won four straight in the NCAA tournament. Related Stories Syracuse women’s basketball opponent preview: Visual breakdown of WashingtonAlexis Peterson has been the center of it all on Syracuse’s Final Four runCornelia Fondren gives Syracuse scoring depth off the benchBrianna Butler sinks 6 3s in Elite Eight win over Tennessee Courtesy of Doug Eggen In the locker room after the loss to Louisville, everyone did a little talking, Sykes said. Senior captains Maggie Morrison and Brianna Butler spoke. So did Alexis Peterson, Briana Day and Bria Day. Nobody was afraid to say how they felt.Players knew they disappointed Hillsman and the rest of the coaching staff. They wouldn’t let it happen again.“A team could easily get divided and point fingers and say, ‘it’s your fault, it’s your fault, it’s your fault,’” Sykes said. “But we didn’t choose to do that.”After that discussion, the shooters Syracuse relies so much on got in the gym more often. When they’d go, they’d encourage teammates to come with them. One player getting extra shots up turned into two or three. Those two or three got two or three more. Sykes likened it to a pay-it-forward effect.The Orange now enters the final weekend of the women’s college basketball season as one of only four teams still playing. Two months ago, playing for a national title was a long shot.“They had soul-searching,” Reiss said. “Kind of that moment of, ‘Are we going to falter? Are we going to let this define us? Or are we going to be who we can be.’”“They chose they wanted to be champions.” Comments Watching the film made Brittney Sykes sick as she was reminded of the wakeup call the game served as. Moments when it could have turned around but never did. A season off to a solid start came to a screeching halt.A 28-point road loss to No. 3 Notre Dame was bad enough. Then an 18-point loss at home to No. 14 Louisville four days later put Syracuse’s long-term goals on hold. In the locker room, Orange head coach Quentin Hillsman told his team it needed to make a decision. Would it reach those goals or not?“It was the turning point of our program,” Sykes said.Since those two losses, Syracuse (29-7, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) has won 15 of its last 16 games. The Orange received a double-bye in the ACC tournament and then hosted the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament for the first time. And then it reached its first Sweet 16. And then its first Elite Eight. And now its first Final Four.No. 4 seed SU will take on No. 7 seed Washington (26-10, 11-7 Pacific-12) on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. in the national semifinals in Indianapolis. Syracuse’s current hot streak, the one that’s carried it far from the team that UND and UofL blew out, started after those two awful losses on Jan. 21 and 25, respectively.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I started to question, ‘Does this team have the character, the fight in them? … And how are they going to respond after this?’” assistant coach Tammi Reiss said. “Collectively I think they went home and said, ‘This isn’t us. This isn’t who we want to be.’”MORE COVERAGE:Visual preview: Interactive graphics breakdown Syracuse-WashingtonAlexis Peterson is at the center of Syracuse’s postseason runCornelia Fondren’s aggressiveness to the basket gives SU scoring depth Published on March 31, 2016 at 1:44 am Contact Paul: | @pschweds Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Aidan O’Brien sets new world record

first_imgBallydoyle’s Aidan O’Brien has set a new world record for Group 1 winners in a single season.That’s after Saxon Warrior claimed the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster this afternoon.It’s O’Brien’s 26th Group 1 winner in a stunning season for the Tipperary based trainerlast_img

Los Angeles Dodgers hit road with pair of fresh losses under belt

first_imgThe Los Angeles Dodgers had four starters out of the lineup on a getaway day. With bags packed for Colorado and long-term thinking on the mind of Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, the Dodgers sat Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, Juan Uribe and Hanley Ramirez.Hyun-Jin Ryu provided a spark on the mound and at the plate, but relief pitcher Brian Wilson could not hold a lead in the eighth inning during the Dodgers’ 5-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday afternoon in front of an announced 50,199 at Dodger Stadium.The Dodgers’ string of five consecutive series wins came to an end. They finished the homestand 4-3. The Dodgers held a 3-2 lead when Brian Wilson entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. Ryu had not walked a batter in seven innings, but Wilson promptly walked Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana. After Yan Gomes struck out, pinch hitter David Murphy delivered a game-tying RBI single to left field, and the runners advanced to second and third on a throwing error by Matt Kemp. Wilson intentionally walked Lonnie Chisenhall to load the bases with one out for Mike Aviles, who drove in two runs with a single to right field for a 5-3 Indians lead. J.P. Howell relieved Wilson for the final two outs.Kemp, who briefly bobbled the ball before deciding to throw it to a vacated third base instead of home, took the error hard.“I made a big mistake, I feel it was my fault we lost the game,” Kemp said. “I take responsibility. When I made the throw, I wanted to crawl into a hole.”Mattingly said he was not concerned with Wilson’s outing because the veteran reliever has pitched well lately. Scott Van Slyke hit a solo home run off reliever Scott Atchison in the bottom of the eighth to pull the Dodgers within 5-4. Ryu paced the Dodgers for seven innings. He went 2 for 2 with a double, drove in the Dodgers first run and allowed two runs on seven hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.Ryu’s seven innings without a walk marked the Dodgers’ 36th consecutive game in which the starting pitcher has allowed two or fewer walks, tying the 2005 Minnesota Twins rotation for longest such streak since 1900.The Dodgers trailed 2-0 after a two-run home run by Ryan Raburn in the top of the fourth inning. In the top of the fifth inning, with Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera on second, Dodgers third baseman Miguel Rojas made a diving catch on a line drive off the bat of Michael Brantley, saving a run. Carlos Santana followed with a single to right field, but Scott Van Slyke threw it on one hop to catcher A.J. Ellis, who made the swiping tag on Cabrera’s back-door slide.The defensive gems seemed to spark the Dodgers offense, which was dormant to that point. In the bottom of the fifth, Rojas had a one-out single, then Ryu delivered a run-scoring double down the left-field line. Ryu went into the game batting .138 with one RBI. Dee Gordon and A.J. Ellis walked to load the bases with two outs for Andre Ethier, who delivered a two-run single to center field on a 2-2 fastball from Trevor Bauer to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead.Mattingly said he was not frustrated with dropping the last game of the series because of the way the team played.“We battled back and got the lead, then battled again and put the winning run on second base,” Mattingly said. “I was happy with the effort.”Bauer (Hart High, UCLA), a local product making his Dodger Stadium debut, went 5 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts. Bryan Shaw earned the win, and Cody Allen recorded the last four outs to earn his eighth save.Former Indians closer Chris Perez threw a scoreless ninth for the Dodgers.Puig, Gonzalez, Ramirez and Uribe all entered the game in the late innings as pinch hitters. Ramirez walked with two outs and nobody on in the ninth before Ethier blooped a double off Allen down the left-field line to put runners on second and third. But Kemp flew out to the warning track in right-center to end the game.“I put a good swing on it, I just got under it,” Kemp said.Despite dropping the last two games of the series, Ethier said there is no frustration.“Three weeks ago you guys said we’re out of it,” Ethier said. “Now we’re one game out. Should we be down? No.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more