Upsets in Euros, Crashes in Tour de France and more…10 min readReading Time: 7 minutes
The Top Two
Indian Swimmers Create History
Sajan Prakash, a 27-year-old swimmer from Kerala completed the 200m butterfly event in 1:56:38 seconds, 0.10 seconds faster than the ‘A’ standard time at the FINA-accredited Olympic qualifier in Rome to qualify for the Olympic Games. This will be Sajan’s second successive Olympics, having represented India in the 2016 Rio Games.
Srihari Nataraj too breached the ‘A’ standard time, a day after Sajan Prakash achieved qualification. Srihari did so in the 100m backstroke in a time trial organized at the Sette Colli meet in Rome. His timing though is yet to be ratified by FINA (world swimming body).
No Indian swimmer has previously qualified by beating the ‘A’ standard time before Sajan Prakash.
Serena Williams Opts Out of Tokyo Olympics
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams has decided to skip the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. She is the first woman tennis player to withdraw from the games. The top-seed is currently at Wimbledon, in pursuit of her 24th Grand Slam title.
France, Portugal and Netherlands knocked out
Defending champions Portugal were knocked out of the Euros by an in-form Belgium team. Thorgan Hazard’s splendid first half strike helped the world’s highest-ranked team to the quarter-finals.
In what was the match of the tournament thus far, Switzerland ousted World Champions France in a penalty shootout after a 6-goal thriller. The Swiss took the lead in the first half and the French hit back with spectacular goals from Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba to take a 3-1 lead. However, Switzerland clawed back to level the score to take the game to extra time and eventually to a shootout. Kyrian Mbappe was given the responsibility of the fifth penalty with France trailing 4-5 in the shootout and his shot was saved by Yann Sommer at goal to send his team packing.
The Netherlands suffered a loss at the hands of Czech Republic, losing 2-0.
The Dutch centre-back Mathijs De Ligt was shown the red card for a handball offence and the Czechs made their extra man advantage count. Tomas Holes scored the opener, a close range header before setting up Patrik Schick for the second goal.
Italy and Denmark Advance to Quarter Finals
Denmark cruised to the quarter finals following a 4-0 victory over Wales. Striker Kasper Dolberg scored a brace and goals from Joahim Maehle and Martin Brathwaite in the final minutes added gloss to the win.
Italy survived a scare against Austria to progress to the quarters. After a goalless 90 minutes, Italy scored two in the first half of Extra time. Austria hit back with a goal but the Azurris held on to the one-goal lead to seal the win.
The group stages of the Copa America came to a close this week with Brazil and Argentina topping their respective groups. Bolivia and Venezuela were the teams eliminated after the first round
The table toppers managed a similar record with three wins and a draw in the group stage. Lionel Messi is the top scorer so far with 3 goals in four games.
Here are the quarter-final fixtures:
Massive Crash at Tour de France
A giant domino-effect pile-up marred the opening stage at the Tour de France.A spectator leant into the path of the speeding peloton holding up a sign ‘Granny and Grandad’ and looked up the road towards the race’s motorbike cameras. She had her back to the speeding peloton. German rider Tony Martin brushed into her, lost his balance and fell, causing a wave of falls that swept through most of the peloton.
German rider Jasha Sutterlin had to pull out of the race due to injury. Eight other riders needed treatment from the official doctor and many were treated for bruises and cuts after the crash.
Italian champion Sonny Colbrelli and Dutch rider Wout van Aert who had both been among the favourites to win the first stage, fell head over heels after running over Martin.
Julian Alaphilippe avoided the carnage and emerged victorious in the first stage. Mathieu van der Poel won the second stage and Tim Miller emerged victorious in the third stage of the race. Van der Poel holds the yellow jersey as the overall leader of the race at the end of stage three.
Wimbledon kicks off after 715 days
The All-England Club at Wimbledon is back to host the most prestigious Grand Slam. Wimbledon was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Novak Djokovic, Garbine Muguruza and Andrey Rublev were some of the top seeds who won their first round matches on the opening day. Former champion Andy Murray won his first match at Wimbledon since 2017. Murray defeated Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 here at the Centre Court.
American star Sloane Stephens ousted two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the first round, 6-3, 6-4.
Verstappen wins Styrian Grand Prix
Max Verstappen made it back-to-back wins with a dominant performance at the Styrian Grand Prix.
Starting at pole position, the Red Bull driver remained ahead for the entire race, beating his Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton by more than 35 seconds. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas finished third.
This was Verstappen’s 14th career win and fourth of the season. He leads by 18 points in the driver’s standings.
Serbia win FIBA Eurobasket
Serbia claimed their second FIBA Women’s EuroBasket trophy in history after beating France in the Final.
Yvonne Anderson and Jelena Brooks starred with 18 and 15 points respectively.
Serbia remained undefeated in the tournament, winning all six games en route to the title.
France yet again stumbled at the final hurdle despite 5-match win streak leading to the final, picking up their fifth silver medal in a row at this tournament.
New Zealand Win Inaugural Test Championship
Rain threatened to play spoilsport in the Test Championship final at Southampton as almost three days were washed out. However, the benefit of a reserve day, ensured a result and the Kiwis were crowned Test champions.
On the final day of the Test, India were 32 runs ahead in the second innings for the loss of two wickets.
A splendid bowling performance from the quartet of Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson provided New Zealand an opportunity to force a result. India were bowled out for 170, setting their opponents a target of 139 with a little more than fifty overs left in the day. The Kiwis reached the target for the loss of two wickets and were awarded the Test championship mace and a prize money of $1.6 million dollars.
Maharaj’s hattrick; A win apiece in T20Is
The visitors South Africa completed a clean sweep of the Test series against the West Indies, winning both the Test matches.
In the second Test, left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj became only the second South African bowler to take a hat-trick in Test cricket.
The hosts were chasing a target of 324 on the fourth day and lost three wickets off consecutive deliveries to slip from 107 for 3 to 107 for 6 before being bowled out for 165.
Catch his hattrick here:
In the ensuing 5-match T20I series, the West Indies won the opening game and the visitors levelled the series with a great bowling performance in the second T20I.
England Ease Past Sri Lanka in T20I series
England won over Sri Lanka at home, winning all three T20Is of this limited overs tour. England’s bowling was able to restrict Sri Lanka to below par totals in the opening two games and their top order chased down targets without breaking a sweat. In the final game, England batted first and posted a total of 180/6. In reply, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 91.
Sue Redfern became the first woman to officiate in an England men’s home international match after officiating as the fourth umpire for the first T20I against Sri Lanka in Cardiff.
Sam Curran was named the player of the series. The two teams will compete in a three-match ODI series this week.
India Women lose Opener in ODI series
India 201/8 (Raj 72, Raut 32, Ecclestone 3-40, Shrubsole 2-33, Brunt 2-35)
England 202/2 (Beamont 87*, Sciver 74*)
Unbeaten fifties from Tammy Beaumont and Nat Sciver gave hosts England an eight-wicket win over India in the opening game of the ODI series.
Batting first, India struggled to score briskly as they played as many as 181 dot balls. Captain Mithali Raj was the top scorer with a patient knock of 72. This was England’s 100th ODI home win.
With this victory, England lead 4-2 in the multi-format points standings.
Multan Sultans win maiden PSL title
Multan Sultans 206/4 (Maqsood 65*, Rossouw 50, Gul 2-26) beat Peshawar Zalmi 159/9 (Malik 48, Muzarabani 2-26) by 47 runs
Mohammad Rizwan’s Multan Sultans beat Peshawar Zalmi in the PSL final by 47 runs to win the PSL 2021 title. The Sultans posted a high total of 206/7. thanks to blistering half-centuries from Sohail Maqsood and Rilee Roussow. Zalmi’s chase was derailed by a three-wicket spell by Imran Tahir. Zalmi finished with 159/9 in 20 overs, as the Sultans celebrated their first ever title.
(Out-Actioned is a weekly sports bulletin)
Author’s Note: Adithya G is a freelance writer and sports enthusiast.