Two Indonesian sport associations have decided to boost their athletes fighting spirit through exhibition tournaments despite the country’s increasing number of COVID-19 cases.The Indonesian Tennis Association (Pelti) and Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) have tailored the tournaments to be part of their preparations for future local and international events, including the Tokyo Olympics, which has been postponed to July to August next year due to the outbreak.Pelti recently concluded a three-week tournament for its women’s squad, with all of its players competing in singles and doubles’ matches with a round-robin format. Topics : The competing players were 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalists Aldila Sutjiadi, Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies, as well as juniors Priska Madelyn Nugroho, Janice Tjen and Rifanty Dwi Kahfiany.Aldila, who ranks 378th in the Women Tennis Association (WTA), won the singles category, defeating Jessy in a July 1 final. After the tournament, Aldila acknowledged that she was still unsure about competing in the near future because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She added that one tournament was scheduled to take place in Thailand in August, but she was hesitant about attending.Australian Open junior girls doubles champion Priska was grateful for the tournament, saying that the three-week event had allowed her to practice her skills with the racket. “It feels great to be back playing matches and feeling that exciting atmosphere again,” Priska wrote on her Instagram account after completing the three-week simulation tournament. Veteran player Christopher Rungkat claimed victory of the men’s singles category after defeating Rifqi Fitriadi 7-5, 6-4. The men’s doubles victory was secured by the Rifqi Triadi and M Gunawan pair.All the men’s and women’s simulation tournaments were held at the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) sports complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta. Though it was open to the public, the tournament did not attract many spectators to the arena.Unlike Pelti, which decided to hold the tournament at the GBK’s tennis stadium, the PBSI organized a simulation tournament at its training camp in Cipayung, East Jakarta, which closed its doors to the public at the beginning of the pandemic in March.The month-long tournament, sponsored by homegrown streaming services Mola TV, started in late June with the men’s doubles being the first category to be contested. As of the second week of July, the Mola TV PBSI Home tournament has featured games from three categories, namely men’s doubles, mixed doubles and men’s singles. The women’s doubles and women’s singles games will be held next week.In the men’s doubles category, players were not paired up with their usual partners on the court but with new players, with veterans and juniors paired together for the first time. Fajar Alfian — who is usually paired with Muhammad Rian Ardianto — and his junior partner Yeremia Erich Yoche cane out as winners.Meanwhile, 2020 All England champions Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti were still too strong for their compatriots as they won the final against Akbar Bintang Cahyono and Winny Oktavina Kandauw.Meanwhile, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting defeated Shesar Hiren Rustavito in the men’s singles final. PBSI secretary general Achmad Budiharto said the exhibition tournament was a chance for coaches to study their player’s current condition in terms of physical and technical readiness. “This could be an evaluation for them, so they can be ready for a real tournament,” he said as quoted by badmintonindonesia.org. “The players felt the benefits of this tournament. Many of them previously thought that a home tournament would be like a regular match amid their daily training, but they were quite surprised as we designed the competition to have the atmosphere of a real tournament.”International badminton competitions are scheduled to start in early September with the Taiwan Open as the first major tournament to take place after the pandemic-induced hiatus.
But it was then that something remarkable happened: they remembered how to win football matches. Having been denied victory at Manchester City only by a late goalkeeping error, they defied the odds to beat both Chelsea and Manchester United on their own pitches to pave the way for a completely unexpected great escape which was sealed against the Baggies with a game to spare thanks to goals from Jack Colback and Fabio Borini. Cattermole, whose own form over that run of games proved inspirational, said: “When everyone is writing you off, it’s your job to go out and play. “We are all competitors and we don’t give in. That’s where we are as people and that’s probably why we have made it in the game. We have shown our character. “You can say all the cliches, but, ultimately, it came down to us playing some good football and sticking together.” Poyet celebrated on the pitch with his players after the final whistle, having completed the mission he was handed last October. A man who wears his heart on his sleeve, he admitted the enormity of the situation had got to him at times, and there was one overriding feeling as he and owner Ellis Short congratulated each other on an emotional evening on Wearside. Poyet said: “I think there was a little bit of relief for both, for him and for me.” The 46-year-old Uruguayan will prepare his players for Sunday’s final-day clash with Swansea knowing the pressure is off, and already turning his attention to preparations for the new campaign and the more immediate task of dealing with a host of out-of-contract players. By contrast, opposite number Pepe Mel will head into Sunday’s showdown with Stoke looking for a reaction after a poor first-half display in the north-east which left his side with a mountain to climb. West Brom are not yet mathematically safe, although Norwich would need them to lose to Stoke and beat Arsenal with an improbable swing in goal difference to overhaul them. It appears unlikely that out-of-contract Zoltan Gera will get his swansong in a Baggies shirt against the Potters, having failed to train since suffering a hamstring injury last month. Mel said: “Zoltan Gera has not trained with the team since his injury, so it really is very difficult, almost impossible, that he will play.” However, while Wearside is celebrating now, there is also an acknowledgement that the lessons of an eventful campaign must be learned. Cattermole said: “I think there will be a day in the summer when we wake up and think, ‘That was some achievement’. “It hasn’t sunk in yet, but, as lads, we have got to thank everyone who has had to deal with the whole season. “We have stuck together and come through it. We don’t know how, but the results have been absolutely incredible. There isn’t another word. “We have pulled it off and we have got to be looking at pushing the other end of the table next year. That’s what we have got to aim to do. “It was a bit too close for anyone’s liking. We have got to learn lessons from that and improve, because when you see nights like (Wednesday) night and the Cardiff game with the place full, it means a lot.” The fightback inspired by head coach Gus Poyet has been little short of miraculous. A 1-0 home defeat by Everton on April 12 left the Black Cats at the foot of the table and seven points adrift of safety with just six games remaining. Cattermole and his team-mates woke up on Thursday morning to the realisation that they will be playing Barclays Premier League football once again next season – something which looked a remote possibility just a few weeks ago. They will do so by virtue of a remarkable series of results which has seen them take seven points from a possible nine from trips to Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United, a maximum return from Cardiff’s visit to the Stadium of Light and Wednesday night’s 2-0 home victory over West Brom. Press Association Lee Cattermole is not quite sure how Sunderland managed to dig themselves out of relegation trouble.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I’ll wait until I’m ready to go,” Bryant said. “Our goal is to win a championship. That’s our expectation. But if we’re struggling and I can’t go because I’m physically not ready, I’m not going to jump out.”Nonetheless, Bryant seemed aggressive with his recovery.He had surgery on his Achilles the day after his injury. The Lakers’ training staff traveled with Bryant on trips to China, Italy and Brazil. Bryant also routinely visited the team’s facility for treatment.Still, Bryant’s 40-foot high dive that was later posted on Vine made the Lakers cringe.“I got out and jumped again; I just didn’t Vine that,” Bryant said with a grin. “I felt great. I just wanted to go out and have fun.”Bryant displayed that personality until someone brought up Dwight Howard’s departure to the Houston Rockets.“I really don’t give a ..,” Bryant said. “If he came back, it would’ve been great. If he didn’t, then it’s not.”Instead, Bryant raved about the team’s athleticism, the versatility Chris Kaman and Gasol have in the post and having a full training camp under D’Antoni. Bryant still shared the need for Nick Young and Wesley Johnson to improve defensively and to play at a methodical pace. Despite all the uncertainty surrounding his injury and the team’s dynamics, the 35-year-old Bryant enters the final year of his contract with high hopes.“Another championship,” Bryant said, grinning. “That’s an easy one.” Kobe Bryant walked gingerly across the Lakers’ practice floor, a sign he’s both progressing surrounding his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon and eager for the 2013-14 season to start.It’s also a sign that, despite a skeptical general public, Bryant remains optimistic about the Lakers’ championship prospects.“Our expectations are always the same with every single season,” Bryant said. “That’s to improve every single day with the mindset to win a championship.”Of course, that goal hinges on Bryant. But whether he will play in the Lakers’ season opener Oct. 29 against the Clippers or practice in training camp remains anybody’s guess. Bryant has recently run at 80 percent of his body weight on a weight-bearing treadmill and completed ladder exercises to improve his footwork without sprinting. He then will advance to defensive and conditioning drills before fully practicing. “I need to get in shape, but it doesn’t really take me long to do that,” Bryant said. “I work hard at it. When I get back on the court, I’ll be good to go. I don’t think I’ve ever played a season where I was 100 percent. So, like 78 percent, is fine.”The Lakers have other health concerns.Lakers guard Steve Nash has fully progressed from his right hamstring, back and broken left leg that sidelined him for a combined 32 games last season. But Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni plans to limit Nash both in training camp and in games. Lakers forward Pau Gasol reported progress with his knees after having a procedure this offseason to decrease the tendon pain in his knees. But Gasol admits he’s not fully healed and hasn’t completed many basketball drills yet.“Health is always a concern,” Bryant said. “That can really cripple a team as it did for us last year.”Bryant suffered the injury April 12, shattering any optimism on the Lakers’ already slim playoff hopes. Their success will ride once again on when Bryant returns and if he can mirror last season’s output when he averaged 27.3 points on 46.3 percent shooting, six assists and 5.6 rebounds.