Sports news in brief
Norrie breezes into BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals
British number one Cameron Norrie powered his way into the quarter-finals at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells with a commanding straight-sets victory over Andrey Rublev. The 27year-old needed just 75 minutes to see off the Russian sixth seed 6-2 6-4 and claim an eighth successive win with one of his best performances of the season to date. Norrie, who won the tournament in 2021 and beat world number two Carlos Alcaraz to secure Rio Open glory last month, will face either American Frances Tiafoe or Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo in the last eight.
In a match which started with three successive service breaks, it was the Briton who took the initiative to race into a 3-1 lead, breaking for a third time to give himself the chance to close out the first set. Indeed, the world number 12 converted all five of his break points as he completed a victory which squared his ATP Head2Head series against 25-year-old Rublev at 2-2.
Animal welfare groups protest after horse dies at Cheltenham
A horse died on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival yesterday after a horror fall during the National Hunt Challenge Cup race. Malinello, an eight-year-old ridden by Gina Andrews and trained by Ben Pauling, hit the 16th fence and fell awkwardly. Cheltenham’s veterinary team attended as he lay on the racecourse, but Cheltenham later confirmed his death. A spokesperson said: “Sadly Malinello sustained an injury in the final race of the day. He was attended to by the on-course veterinary team and assessed immediately, but very sadly passed away. Our thoughts are with all his connections.”
Animal welfare groups raised their concerns over the latest incident. Recent runnings at Cheltenham have been marred by the tragic passing of horses after falls in competition. According to long-standing animal rights group Animal Aid, at least one horse has died every year that the Festival has been held since 2000. The organisation’s data shows that a total of 73 horses have died after running at the event in the last 23 years. Yesterday, Animal Aid called for an end to the kind of fence jumping seen in the Hunt Chase, writing: “RIP – 8 year old Malinello was killed at Cheltenham today in the notorious amateur riders race, the National Hunt Chase. It’s time to Ban Jump Racing.” The RSPCA tweeted: “We’re very distressed to hear of the death of Malinello at the Cheltenham Festival today. We believe that racehorses should have a good life on and off the track, and should never be exposed to unacceptable risk of injury or death. We will be discussing this incident with the BHA.” Malinello, owned by Martin and Lynn Jones, had raced nine times in his career and picked up two wins, earning almost £20,000.
High jump pioneer Fosbury dies aged 76
Dick Fosbury, who revolutionised the high jump with his innovative backward style that became known as the “Fosbury Flop”, has died at the age of 76. Fosbury’s agent Ray Schulte wrote on his social media account: “It is with a very heavy heart I have to release the news that long-time friend and client Dick Fosbury passed away peacefully in his sleep early Sunday morning after a short bout with a recurrence of lymphoma.”
Fosbury used his new technique to win the gold medal at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, setting a new Games record of 2.24m in the process, and paving the way for the style to be universally adopted by future generations in the event. After his retirement, Fosbury had a brief career in politics. In 2008 he announced that he had been diagnosed with stage one lymphoma, but said in an interview six years later that he was in remission and clear of the disease.
Batting collapse by England sees Bangladesh clinch T20
England’s batting faltered again as a dramatic collapse helped Bangladesh claim a 3-0 T20 series clean sweep following a 16run victory in Dhaka. Dawid Malan and Jos Buttler’s 95-run stand carried England to 100 for one after 13 overs in pursuit of 159 but the pair were dismissed off back-to-back balls before the wheels fell off in this dead rubber. The tourists lost five for 28 as their challenge faded even if, needing 27 from the final over, Chris Woakes hit the first two balls for four before they subsided to 142 for six.
England’s threadbare batting has been a constant feature in this series and will be the key talking point again after failing to build on Malan’s 53 off 47 balls and 40 off 31 deliveries from Buttler, batting at three for the first time in his international career as part of a rejigged top order. Buttler had earlier won the toss for the first time in nine attempts this year but an unchanged England delivered a slipshod fielding performance replete with
basic errors on the boundary while Rehan Ahmed and Ben Duckett spilled simple catches, both off Jofra Archer.
Litton Das, dropped by Duckett on 51, top-scored with 73 off 57 balls, putting on 84 with Najmul Hossain Shanto, who contributed an unbeaten 47 from 36 deliveries in Bangladesh’s 158 for two. It proved to be a winning score despite England’s seamers finishing strongly in their final assignment of a long winter, allowing Bangladesh just 27 in the last five overs.
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