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5 most dominant athletes in sport for the week 18 April - 25 April

Mairaj Ahmed Khan Shooting
Mairaj is the first ever India skeet shooter to qualify for the Olympics

This week was one for the older sportsmen, with a number of them making our list with top-notch performances in their respective sports to win titles.

Our five favourite sportsmen this week:

Mairaj Ahmed Khan

It had been a disappointing 10 days for India at the ISSF Shooting World Cup in Rio De Janerio, until Mairaj Ahmad Khan, late on Sunday night created history by becoming the first ever Indian to win a World Cup medal in skeet shooting, winning the silver medal in a tight contest.

The 40-year-old was tied on 14 points with Marcus Svensson of Sweden and lost out on the Gold in a shoot off.In Sepetmber 2015, Mairaj had become the 1st ever Indian skeet shooter to book a berth into an Olympics, and hopefully, in just over 3 months’ time, he can take it a step higher and win the coveted Olympic medal at the same venue.

Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi Spanish Grand prix 2016 win
Six-time World Champion Valentino Rossi took his ninth win at the Circuito de Jerez

Six-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi, who is considered one of the legends of the sport, participated in the Spanish MotoGP Grand Prix at the Circuito de Jerez this past weekend, and showed his immense experience, but drove like a man much younger.

He had won the race at Jerez six times prior in the premier class, and another two times more – one each in the 125cc and 250cc class.

Rossi started the race on pole and held on to top spot from beginning to end of the 25-lap race. With teammate Jorge Lorenzo and two-time World Champion Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda on his tail, Rossi appeared completely unperturbed, continuously widening his lead to in excess of 2.5 seconds.

Eventually, the race would simply prove to be a battle for P2 between Lorenzo and Marquez, who both rounded off the podium, with a number of place fights further down the grid. But the Spanish Grand Prix of 2016 was thoroughly the Valentino Rossi show, and the Italian, fondly nicknamed the Doctor, absolutely owned that show.

David Warner

David Warner
The Sunrisers captain played match-winning knocks in his team’s last three games

The Australian, who captains the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing Indian Premier League, has had a stellar week in terms of his batting. After two straight losses, the Sunrisers came back thunderingly – led from the front by Warner – to beat the Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Lions and the Kings XI Punjab on the trot.

Chasing a 153-run total from the Mumbai Indians, Warner and his men got safely home with 3 overs to spare, with the captain contributing a stellar 90* off 59 deliveries to take his team over the line.

Next playing the Gujarat Lions, the Sunrisers were set 135 runs. Openers Warner and Shikhar Dhawan made a meal of Gujarat’s bowlers, with Warner 74* off 48 deliveries on this occasion.

Set to chase on a third occasion against the Kings XI Punjab, the Sunrisers restricted the Kings XI to 143 runs, and yet again, it was Warner who fired with the bat. Off Warner’s 59 off 31, the Sunrisers cantered home with two overs to go, with the Australian batting for half the innings.

His series of absolutely dominant performances, which took his team to fourth on the IPL leaderboard, make him one of our sportspersons of the week.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal wins Barcelona Open ATP 500 2016
Nadal won his ninth Barcelona Open title yesterday with a straight sets victory over Kei Nishikori

Many had all but written off the King of Clay, with Rafael Nadal’s form having faltered over 2015. The Spaniard did not get off to the best start in 2016, either, crashing out in the first round of the Australian Open.

Nadal had described 2016 as his ‘comeback year,’ but the earliest tournaments of the year did not do much by way of proving that right for him. Once the clay court season began, however, the Spaniard, regarded as the greatest clay court player of all time, truly hit his stride. At the clay-season opening Monte Carlo Masters, Nadal, who had stuttered slightly in the earlier stages of the tournament, took on French ace Gael Monfils in the final, and after a tough first set, bageled him in the second.

He won the title at Monte Carlo for a record ninth time.

Yesterday, Nadal played the finals of the Barcelona Open, an ATP500 event and a home tournament for him, taking on reigning champion and World No. 6 Kei Nishikori in the finals. He would go on to trump the Japanese ace in straight sets and take a ninth title at that venue as well.

That win gave Nadal nine clay titles each at three different venues – the Monte Carlo Masters, the Barcelona ATP Open and the French Open. With his win, he also matched Argentine Guilermo Vilas’ clay court record of 49 titles.

Despite a dominant year so far from World No.1 Novak Djokovic, Nadal has announced his ‘return’, and all but thrown his name into the ring as a contender for a tenth French Open title.

Chris Paul

chris paul
Paul has starred in the Clippers’ attacks this week

We're through one week of the 2016 NBA Playoffs and Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul has been the most valuable player so far.

With Blake Griffin still finding his rhythm nine games into his return from injury, Paul has been delivering not only on the offensive end for the team but also on the defensive end as well.

The Clippers implemented the trap on the pick and roll in Games 1 & 2, and Paul played a huge role in that, making life difficult for Portland Trailblazers superstar point guard Damian Lillard.

Through three games Paul averaged 26.3 points, 8.3 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals, doing all that he can to carry the Clippers to the Western Conference Semifinals.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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