Barcelona Reserves Pummel Hercules 7-0 In Copa Del Rey
- MADRID : Turkey international Arda Turan scored a hat-trick as holders Barcelona thrashed third-division side Hercules 7-0 in the second leg of their Copa del Rey last-32 tie. Turan struck his second hat-trick in as many weeks -- following a quickfire treble against Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League a fortnight ago -- as Barca eased into the last 16 following an 8-1 aggregate win. Luis Enrique rested his formidable front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar but the floodgates opened once Lucas Digne broke the deadlock on 37 minutes at the Camp Nou.
- Ivan Rakitic added a penalty before half-time with Rafinha and Paco Alcacer the others to get on the scoresheet. Luciano Vietto and Wissam Ben Yedder also scored three goals each as last year's beaten finalists Sevilla pummelled fourth tier Formentera 9-1 in Andalusia, completing a 14-2 victory over the two legs. Rodrigo netted both goals for Valencia in a 2-1 win over Leganes in an all-La Liga affair, with the former progressing 5-2 on aggregate. Eibar, Deportivo La Coruna and Osasuna also advanced to the next round.
SC Convicts Doctors For Giving 'Medical Asylum' To Accused Ex-MLA
- NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court has convicted two senior doctors of a private hospital in Gurgaon for contempt of court for providing "medical asylum" to a former Haryana MLA who was allowed to be admitted in the hospital for 527 days without any ailment in order to frustrate the court's order to send him behind bars in a murder case. A bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justices R Banumathi and UU Lalit held that the doctors — Dr Munish Prabhakar and Dr K S Sachdev — and former MLA Balbir had tried to obstruct administration of justice as there was no medical reason to justify his admission in the hospital for such a prolonged period.
- It directed them to be personally present in the court when it will decide the quantum of punishment for contempt of court. The apex court had quashed Balbir's bail plea on October 24, 2013 in a murder case and asked him to surrender but he got himself admitted in 'Privat Hospital' in Gurgaon to avoid arrest. The Supreme Court said, "Both these medical professionals are responsible for such prolonged admission which was actuated by only one reason which was to extend medical asylum to the respondent(the accused) as a cover to defeat the orders passed by this court and the trial court.
- In this process, these medical professionals not only helped him in violating the order of this court but they also obstructed administration of justice." The apex court had quashed Balbir's bail plea on October 24, 2013, in a murder case and asked him to surrender. The trial court repeatedly passed orders directing police to arrest him but it failed to take action. The victim's family them approached the apex court seeking contempt proceedings against the accused for not complying with its order. The accused was discharged from the hospital on May 1, 2015 only after the court sought explanation from it for protecting an accused.
- The court had ordered a CBI probe that revealed the accused was not suffering from any serious disease and his stay at the hospital was only to evade arrest. The court held that the accused had also committed contempt of court by getting himself admitted in the hospital when there was no medical reason to justify such admission. "We thus hold that the respondent(the accused) guilty of having violated the order dated October 24, 2013, passed by this court and for having obstructed administration of justice," the bench said.
Bhupathi's Name Crops Up For Davis Cup Captaincy, Somdev For Coach
- NEW DELHI : Veteran Mahesh Bhupathi's name has cropped up as a possible candidate for Davis Cup captaincy, but beleaguered Anand Amritraj has sought one more term and his fate will be decided when AITA Executive Committee discusses changes in support staff on Thursday. AITA is keen to replace Amritraj before the next tie against New Zealand, scheduled for February 3-5 in Pune, as the national federation feels he has failed to impose discipline in the team even as the players want him to continue in the job. Both Amritraj and coach Zeeshan Ali's terms are up for review by the Executive Committee, the members of which will have consultations via conference call, while the S P Misra-led selection committee will meet here tomorrow to pick the team for the Asia/Oceania Group I tie. Both Amritraj and Zeeshan had joined the side as support staff in 2013, replacing Misra and Nandan Bal respectively after a players' revolt, led by Somdev Devvarman.
- "Neither Ramesh Krishnan nor Nandan Bal is in race to become captain as reported earlier. Mahesh is a possible candidate for captaincy," an AITA source told PTI. "Amritraj told AITA that he wants to lead the side for one more year and his proposal will also be discussed at the meeting," the source added. Bhupathi has played in 35 Davis Cup ties for India and the last time he featured in a tie was in 2011 when he competed against Japan in a World Group Play-off tie in Tokyo. Meanwhile, insiders say Somdev, who has not played competitive tennis for a while, has shown interest in becoming the coach of the side in place of Zeeshan.
- "Yes, Somdev has thrown his hat into the ring for the coach's position. Now, committee will decide if Mahesh and Somdev can be installed as new support staff members," the source said. It was reported that AITA was keen to bring back the legendary Ramesh Krishnan. However, Krishnan, who twice reached the quarterfinals of the US Open (1981, 1987) and once at Wimbledon (1986) told PTI that "he has not been approached by the AITA" for the job as yet. "I have not got any offer so far," Krishnan, who captained the side in 2007, said. Nandan Bal's name was also doing the rounds for the captaincy but he has also not been contacted by any AITA official so far. Meanwhile, Yuki Bhambri, who missed both the 2016 Davis Cup ties against Korea and Spain due to tennis elbow injury, is set to make a comeback, having made a recovery.
- AITA prefers three singles players in the side and that means the line-up would be Saketh Myneni, Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar Ramanathan. Yuki last played a Davis Cup tie against Czech Republic in September 2015 and his ranking has plummeted to 534 after missing on-court action in 2016 season. The fight for the lone doubles spot will be between Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna. Sources say, Paes will be preferred over Bopanna, who had opted out of the tie against Spain that India had lost 0-5.
Heena Shoots 10m Air Pistol Gold With New Record
- PUNE : It was a good end to the day for Heena Sidhu as she clinched the women's 10m air pistol gold with a new national final record at the 60th National shooting championships at Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex in Balewadi on Wednesday. Heena, who holds the finals world record (203.8) in this event, scored 201.9 to break Malaika Goel's earlier record of 201.1 (2013) and beat Yasha Singh (197.8) of Rajasthan by 4.1 points. Though Heena won the gold by a huge margin, it wasn't easy for her to enter the final. The former World No. 1 had to rely on inner tens to get into the final of her pet event, which included three junior and one youth category shooter.
- Heena had shot 378 in the qualifications, a score that was shot by four other shooters. Railways' Priyanka Susvirkar was placed seventh with 12 inner 10s, while Heena was eighth in the qualifications with 11 inner 10s. Delhi's Sanjana Sherawat (8 inner 10s) and Madhya Pradesh's Kajal Patel (6 inner 10s) were placed 9th and 10th In the final, Heena shot like a champion, but what stole the limelight was the presence of Muskan (youth), Yasha (junior) and Harshada Nivathe (junior) and Yashaswini Deswal (junior), who gave their seniors, Heena and Harveen Srao a tough fight. Harveen finished sixth with 115.1 points.
- Heena maintained lead right from the first shot. Her gold was certain, but the fight was for silver and bronze. Yasha, who won silver, was on fourth position till the 10th shot. The Rajasthan shooter then shifted gear and some 10s, including a 10.8 in her 16th shot to come up in the ranking. She left Yashaswini behind for bronze with 176.7. "When I saw my scores after 10 shots, I told myself to calm myself. I was a little nervous before the match as shooting besides Heena Sidhu was a big thing. I was prepared for fourth position, but then I had a chance of winning here. I gave my best, but it was still four points less than Heena," said Yasha, who also won junior bronze an hour before the senior match.