India's hopes of qualifying for the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament went up in smoke after they crashed to their third defeat in the event, losing 0-2 to defending champions New Zealand in their must-win penultimate round-robin match here on Thursday.
Five-time champions India needed a victory to stay in the competition, instead it was the Black Sticks who scored two second half goals to keep their flag flying in the tournament.
New Zealand struck through Andy Hayward from their second penalty corner in the 40th minute before Cory Bennett took the match out of India's reach, scoring the team's second goal in the 55th minute.
Despite the 3-3 draw against Korea earlier in the day, six-time champions Australia are still atop the leaderboard with eight points from four games, followed by hosts Malaysia (7 points) and New Zealand (6), who has leapfrogged to the third spot by virtue of the win over India.
Saina becomes world no 2, Kashyap 7th
New Delhi: Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal regained her second place while Parupalli Kashyap continued his upward progress, earning two places to reach the seventh spot in the latest badminton world ranking.
Saina had lost a position to slip to the third spot last week but after a semifinal finish at All England, the Indian regained her place in the world ranking.
Kashyap jumped two places from being world No 9 to No 7.
Rising woman shuttler P V Sindhu remained at 16th position. Among the men, Ajay Jayaram is at 31st, RMV Gurusaidutt 36th, Sourabh Verma 39th and Anand Pawar 44th.
Meanwhile, both Nehwal and Kashyap reached the pre-quarters of the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold.
IOC to meet Indian officials in April
New Delhi: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has finally agreed to discuss the issue of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) suspension jointly with the Indian sports administrators and sports ministry’s officials in the second week of April.
The meeting will take place at IOC headquarters in Lausanne. Following the IOA election in December, the apex sports body was suspended. But IOC recognises VK Malhotra as the acting chief and Randhir Singh as secretary-general.