Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 7th 2015 Contents AKRON---Rory McIlroy posted two
videos on Instagram that suggest he
might be able to return for the PGA
The world s No 1 player is in the field
for the year s final major next week at
Whistling Straits, and he will be listed
in the tee times released today. That s
common practice for the majors, and
McIlroy does not have to decide
whether he plays until his tee time at
the start of the championship.
McIlroy has not played since he fin-
ished fourth in the US Open. He rup-
tured ligaments in his left ankle while
playing soccer with friends in Northern
Ireland the first weekend in July, forcing
him to miss title defenses at the British
Open and this week at the Bridgestone
His chief spokesman, Sean O Fla-
herty, said in a text yesterday that rehab
was "progressing well as the video
posts suggest and still taking it day by
One Instagram video showed McIlroy
balancing on a foam pad on only his
left leg---without a brace or other sup-
port on the left ankle---while he turns
to catch and heave a weighted ball.
Another posted on Thursday showed
him taking a full swing with a driver
on the practice range. His left ankle is
"Feels good to hit the driver again!"
the post said.
Without having played for nearly
two months, McIlroy is in jeopardy of
losing his No 1 ranking. Masters and
US Open champion Jordan Spieth can
replace him with a victory this week
in the World Golf Championship.
Meanwhile, the PGA Championship
field was set at 154 players, leaving two
spots open in Wisconsin in case the
winners of the Bridgestone Invitational
or the Barracuda Championship in
Nevada on the PGA Tour were not
Martin Laird and Sean O Hair were
the first two alternates.
Chris Kirk has withdrawn as he
recovers from a broken hand, and Alex
Noren of Sweden has withdrawn
because of injury. Both also missed the
British Open. The field includes 98 of
the top 100 in the world, a number
that still hinges on official word from
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Murray s return to the
Citi Open sure resulted
in a short stay.
Seeded No 1 and
appearing at the hard-
court tuneup for the US
Open for the first time
in nearly a decade, the
two-time major cham-
pion bowed out in his
opening match with a 6-
4, 4-6, 7-6 (4) loss to
Gabashvili of Russia on
Murray had his
Gabashvili, who was
limping between points
on a bad left leg. Murray
broke for a 5-4 lead in
the third set and served
for the victory. But he
got broken right back,
sailing a backhand long
to make it 5-all.
pointed not to close it
out in the third set when
that," said Murray, the
first top-seeded man to
lose his opening match
in Washington since Ivan
Lendl in 1993. "There s
things I feel I could have
In the tiebreaker, the
went ahead 4-3. From
there, though, he would-
n t take another point,
dropping the last four
against Gabashvili, who
has never won a tour title
and came into this match
with a 9-13 record in
Gabashvili said he
earned the nickname
"Tsunami" in the past,
because he would "play
one match great, but
then I could lose to any-
"When you win 7-6
in the third against Andy
Murray, it s something
special," said Gabashvili,
who had won only three
of 25 previous matches
against top-10 opponents
and called Wednesday s
victory the "100 per
cent" most important of
Murray, who received
a first-round bye, was
playing his first match of
the North American
in his first tournament
since reaching the semi-
finals at Wimbledon last
KAZAN---Standing on the highest
step of the podium after winning swim-
ming s signature race, Ning Zetao
clutched his warmup suit by his chest
where there was an image of the Chi-
nese flag and thrust it upward.
And before he even got out of the
pool he did the same thing with his
The message was clear: China, already
dominant with Sun Yang in the distance
races, can sprint now, too.
Ning surprised a depleted field to win
the 100-metre freestyle at the world
championships in 47.84 seconds yes-
Pre-race favourite Cameron McEvoy
of Australia touched second in 47.95,
and Federico Grabich of Argentina was
third in 48.12.
The 22-year-old Ning became the
first man from Asia to win a medal of
any colour in the 100 free at the worlds.
"It is a dream of Asia, of China, to
get gold medals in sprint distances,"
Ning said through a translator.
Ning swept the 50 and 100 freestyle
titles at last year s Asian Games, becom-
ing the first Asian swimmer to break
the 48-second barrier. He entered this
meet with the second-best qualifying
time of 47.70, and has his first world
title a year before the Rio de Janeiro
Olympics. He s a member of the Chinese
"I will have more confidence to pre-
pare for Rio," Ning said. "I know it s true
that it could be a slight change in my
life and that I could be in the focus of
the public. That is my life---changing."
Russian sprint great Alex Popov pre-
sented the gold medal to Ning, who gave
a military salute while his national
"I m a fan of Popov," Ning said. "I
always (employ) the skill of Popov s
swimming to keep up my training."
McEvoy had the lead on the second
lap until Ning passed him in the final
"It might have been a couple of
strokes, maybe in the second 25, which
were a bit overworked," McEvoy said.
"In the moment, it doesn t feel like that,
and that s the nature of sprinting. The
smallest increase in energy, you can pay
for it in the last five metres.
Olympic champion Nathan Adrian of
the United States tied for seventh.
Russia s Vladimir Morozov was dis-
qualified for a false start in the semifinals,
and defending champion James Mag-
nussen of Australia watched from home
with a shoulder injury.
Grabich grabbed Argentina s first medal
in the history of the long-course worlds.
"It s very important for the movement
in Argentina," Grabich said. "But the
Olympics will be completely different.
Magnussen will be swimming, Adrian
will be in better form. It will be much,
much more difficult."
China's Ning Zetao celebrates after
winning the gold medal in the men's
100m freestyle final at the Swimming
World Championships in Kazan, Russia,
yesterday. AP PHOTO
Ning places China's flag atop the sprinting podium
Recovering McIlroy listed in PGA field
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