Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 12th 2014 Contents A66
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, August 12, 2014
ZURICH---Britain s Mo Farah wants to underscore
his status as the pre-eminent long-distance runner
of his age with another double in the 5,000 and
10,000 metres at the European Championships.
Dafne Schippers could evoke memories of her
Dutch compatriot Fanny Blankers-Koen by winning
a sprint triple at the six-day event opening Tues-
Farah has been unbeaten at the Euros since he
won his first double in 2010, then defended his
5,000 metres title in Helsinki two years ago---his
only race there as he prepared for the London
Two Olympic gold medals and a similar double
at the 2013 world championships in Moscow has
put him on a status in distance running only slightly
lower than Ethiopian greats Haile Gebrselassie and
A late withdrawal from the Commonwealth
Games early this month because of a stomach ail-
ment has cast some doubt on his form and raised
some criticism he picked the easier European com-
petition over one which included many of the best
Still, in Switzerland he should be busy enough
with one 10,000 final and possibly a 5,000 heat
and final in a mere five days.
Schippers should be even busier with a possible
eight races over six days---three over 100, three
over 200 and two relays.
"Eight races, I am not used to that at all. But I
have great speed and form," she said.
Schippers has one big thing in her favor---she is
a heptathlete; athletes known for stamina and per-
severance until they, usually literally, drop after the
last of seven events.
This season, she shares the top European time
over the 100 with France s Myriam Soumare at
11.03 seconds and is on her own with the best
European time of 22.34 over 200. In the 4x100
relays, the Dutch team could give any other European
nation a run for its money.
She only decided to skip the heptathlon at the
Euros after an excellent training camp in Florida
in April, where her speed stood out. "At that point
I thought, who knows? Why not give it a try at
the euros. It is the ideal opportunity.
Ahead of the races this week, she was adamant
she would go back to the seven-event discipline
where she won bronze at the world championships
Yet a sprint triple here would be the best per-
formance for a Dutchwoman since Blankers-Koen
won three gold and a silver at the 1950 Euros in
"It was before my time but those were incredible
performances. It is very special," she said.
Schippers starts out with the 100 heats today.
Beyond the chase for multiple medals, the out-
standing event with a realistic shot at a world record
will be Friday s high jump, pitting world champion
Bogdan Bondarenko of Ukraine against Olympic
champion Ivan Ukhov of Russia.
Both are chasing the 21-year-old world record
of 2.45 metres set by Cuba s Javier Sotomayor. Bon-
darenko set a European record of 2.42 this year,
while Ukhov follows closely behind with 2.41 he
jumped this spring.
In the women s high jump, the issue will not be
how high, but how well athletes can bounce back.
Blanka Vlasic of Croatia won two world titles
before she needed an operation on her Achilles two
Her recovery was slow, but this season she has
jumped two metres again, only .01 shy of the world s
top mark by Anna Chicherova. And since the Russian
is out injured, 30-year-old Vlasic could take her
first title in four years.
Renaud Lavillenie coming back from injury. The
French pole vaulter needed 16 stitches in his left
foot after a botched attempt at a world record of
6.21 metres this winter, but the Olympic champion
has confidently returned to dominate the outdoor
season and will be looking for his third straight
"It will mean a lot to win three titles in a row,"
Lavellenie said. "It will show that I can be consistent
Two years ago, Germany topped the medal stand-
ings with 16 overall, including six gold, after a tight
race right up to the last day with France, Ukraine
and Russia. It could be close again on Sunday at
the 25,000-capacity Letzigrund Stadium. (AP)
won the Rogers Cup late Sunday,
beating second-seeded Roger
Federer 7-5, 7-6 (3) for his fourth
straight victory over a higher-
The 13th-seeded Frenchman
won his first ATP Tour title of the
season and 11th overall. He beat
top-ranked Novak Djokovic on
Thursday, eighth-seeded Andy
Murray on Friday and seventh-
seeded Grigor Dimitrov on Sat-
Tsonga improved to 5-11 against
Federer dropped to 2-5 in finals
this season, with his victories
coming in Dubai and Halle.
The Swiss star made several
uncharacteristic errors and had a
hard time with Tsonga s powerful
serve and ground strokes. The
first set was a rather choppy affair.
Both players made some
unforced errors over the first few
games, but each held serve.
Tsonga struggled with his first
serve midway through the set,
though his spin-heavy second
serve was effective.
The quality of the match picked
up late in the set.
With Tsonga serving at 5-5,
Federer showed his skills at the
net with a deft drop shot that a
Tsonga could not retrieve. The
Frenchman held to put the pres-
sure back on Federeer.
Federer struggled in the final
game, spraying two shots long to
fall behind 30-15. He pulled even
with a winner, but was wide with
a groundstroke that was unsuc-
cessfully challenged, setting up
the first break point opportunity
of the set.
Federer launched a ball well
long to give Tsonga the opening
set in 44 minutes.
Tsonga kept the pressure on in
the second set and had a break
point chance with a 3-2 lead. Fed-
erer answered with an ace and
fought back for the hold.
Tsonga then had a great chance
with a 4-3 lead in the second set
and a double-break point. How-
ever, Federer answered with two
straight points to get to deuce.
Tsonga had two more break point
chances later in the game, but
Federer saved them both and then
held with an ace.
In the tiebreaker, Tsonga picked
up a mini-break at 4-3 and took
the next three points for the vic-
In the doubles final, Bruno
Soares Alexander Peya topped
Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Meloof
6-4, 6-3. (AP)
Serena Williams could-
n t---beating Alize Cornet.
Keys pulled off a 6-2,
6-4 win over Cornet in the
first round of the Western
& Southern Open yester-
"I don t have many
complaints about today
(yesterday)," the 19-year-
old American said. "I def-
initely played pretty well
and stayed in my game for
the most part."
Cornet, who upset the
top-ranked Williams in the
third round at Wimbledon
six weeks ago, was playing
with an injured left leg that
she said started bothering
her during her second-
round loss to Victoria
Azarenka last Tuesday at
the Rogers Cup in Mon-
advanced in other women s
first-round action. Taylor
Townsend outlasted Klara
Koukalova, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5,
while Pauline Parmentier
eliminated Casey Dellac-
qua, 7-6 (4), 6-2, and
Karin Knapp upset wild-
card Belinda Bencic, 6-2,
Also, Kirsten Flipkens
defeated qualifier Polona
Hercog, 6-3, 6-2, while
Zhang Shuai beat Heather
Watson, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, and
Elina Svitolina cruised past
Lauren Davis, 6-3, 6-2.
In the men s draw,
Tommy Robredo survived
a first-set tiebreaker to
advance to the second
round with a 7-6 (5), 6-3
win over wild-card Amer-
ican Jack Sock.
needed three sets to elim-
inate Marcel Granollers, 5-
7, 6-3, 7-6 (5). Three other
players advanced with first
career wins over their
opponents, led by qualifier
Benjamin Becker, whose 7-
6 (5), 6-4 upset of Ivo
Karlovic was the German s
first win in seven matches
against the 28th-ranked
Croatian. Also, Philipp
Kohlschreiber beat Jeremy
Chardy, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, the
24th-ranked German s first
win in three matches
against the Frenchman, and
Lu Yen-Hsun advanced
with a 6-3, 6-4 win Denis
Istomin, Lu s first win in
four matches against
Istomin. Qualifier Marinko
Matosevic moved on with
a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over
Nicolas Mahut, while Gael
Monfils needed three sets
to get past 63rd-ranked
Federico Delbonis, 6-3, 3-
6, 6-3. (AP)
second round in
Cincinnati Farah, Schippers look for
big Euros medal hauls
Tsonga beats Federer in final
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France kisses the trophy after
defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland during the
Rogers Cup Men's tennis tournament final in Toronto
on Sunday. Tsonga won in two sets 7-5, 7-6.
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