Month

October 2020

Indian Women’s Hockey Team Defender Reena Khokhar.

Indian Women’s Hockey Team Defender Reena Khokhar has been mesmerized with the way The Netherlands upped the ante in their second FIH Hockey Pro League match against Great Britain on Thursday.

After closing out their first encounter through a Penalty Shoot-out, the Netherlands raised their game to another level to win 3-0 in the second encounter. Khokhar expressed that it has been amazing for her to see the way The Netherlands have put pressure on Great Britain through early goals.

“It’s been really nice to see international hockey back in action since September. I have been watching the games very closely. It has been absolutely amazing to see the way The Netherlands have put pressure on Great Britain via early goals in both their matches in the FIH Hockey Pro League. Scoring an early goal gives a huge advantage to any team and it’s something that we keep discussing as well. As a Defender, our job is also to ensure that we don’t concede an early goal, otherwise, it can become quite tough for us,” said the 27-year-old.

The Defender, who has played 45 matches for the national side, expressed that the next few months is the most crucial phase of her career.

“I have already experienced a lot of ups and downs in my short career so far and I have dealt with injuries as well. However, now, I am completely fit and feeling very good about my game. I am very determined to utilize the extra year and improve drastically as a player. My first and foremost goal is to make it to the Olympic team and then contribute to the side winning a Medal in Tokyo. The next few months is certainly the most crucial phase of my career and I have to make the best use of it,” said Khokhar.

Asked about her best moments in her career so far, Khokhar said the FIH Olympic Qualifiers 2019 is her favourite tournament to date.

“The kind of reception we got from the crowd after we defeated USA at the FIH Olympic Qualifiers 2019 is something that’s unbeatable. It was just magnificent to experience the support we received from our home crowd. We have grown as a team in the last few years and a lot of credit has to go to Hockey India for the way the federation has supported us and given us a chance to perform on the big stage by ensuring that we have the best facilities and Coaches with us. With their continued support, we will certainly rise to greater heights,” said the Defender.

Indian boxer Amit Panghal

विश्व चैम्पियनशिप के रजत पदक विजेता अमित पंघाल (52 किलो) और संजीत (91 किलो) ने कोरोना वायरस महामारी के बाद पहली प्रतियोगिता में स्वर्ण पदक हासिल किया। दोनों खिलाड़ी फ्रांस के नांतेस में हो रहे अलेक्सिस वेस्टाइन अंतरराष्ट्रीय मुक्केबाजी टूर्नामेंट में शीर्ष रहे।

एशियाई खेल चैंपियन और राष्ट्रमंडल खेल रजत पदक विजेता अमित ने अमेरिका के रेने अब्राहम को शुक्रवार की रात हुए मुकाबले में 3-0 से हराया। इंडिया ओपन स्वर्ण पदक विजेता संजीत ने फ्रांस के सोहेब बूफिया को मात दी।

भारत के लिए स्वर्ण जीतने के बाद अमित पंघाल ने डीएलपी से बातचीत करते हुए अपनी खुशी जाहिर की। साथ ही उन्होंने अपना यह पदक अपने कोच अनिल धनकर को समर्पित किया।
अमित ने कहा कि वह चाहते हैं कि अनिल धनकर उनके साथ ओलंपिक तक रहे। अपनी नाराजगी जाहिर करते हुए बताया कि अमित ने बॉक्सिंग फेडरेशन ऑफ इंडिया से पिछले दिसंबर को अनुरोध किया था कि उनके कोच अनिल धनकर को उनके साथ रहने की अनुमति दी जाए।

किंतु अभी तक उनकी बात पर कोई सुनवाई नहीं हुई है। अमित ने कहा कि वह आज जो कुछ भी हैं वे अपने कोच अनिल धनकर की बदौलत है। अमित ने आशा जताई है कि स्पोर्ट्स अथॉरिटी ऑफ इंडिया उनकी कही हुई बात पर संज्ञान लेगी और कैंप में उनके कोच अनिल धनकर को भी अनुमति दी जाए।

बहरहाल, रजत पदक विजेता आशीष कुमार ने 75 किलोवर्ग में स्वर्ण पदक जीता जब उनके प्रतिद्वंद्वी अमेरिका के जोसेफ जेरोम हिक्स चोट के कारण फाइनल नहीं खेल सके। एशियाई रजत पदक विजेता कविंदर बिष्ट (57 किलो) को रजत पदक से ही संतोष करना पड़ा जो सैमुअल के से 2-1 से हार गए।

Anirban Lahiri

Anirban Lahiri was in full flow for the first 10 holes, before lapsing on the back nine, as he finished with 3-under 68 in the first round of the Bermuda Championship in Bermuda.

Beginning with a pair of birdies, he was 4-under for the front nine at Port Royal and was then 5-under through first 10 holes. But back-to-back bogeys on 12th and 13th followed by a birdie on 17th and  a closing bogey saw him card 68 as he was placed T-26 after the first day.

Arjun Atwal began with a birdie and then had to wait till the 18th for his only other birdie but in between he dropped a double bogey and four other bogeys for a disappointing 4-over 75, leaving him to do a lot of work to stay on for the weekend.

A year ago Lahiri opened with a 66 on the same course but suffered a side strain late in the second round to withdraw despite making the cut.

Peter Malnati continued his rich vein of form as he celebrated seeing his infant son at a PGA TOUR event for the first time since the pandemic, with a 8-under 63 – his third round of 63 or better in last three weeks. The fine start gave him a one-shot lead over Ryan Armour and Doug Ghim, who birdied his last two holes. Malnati is coming of finishes inside Top-5 in last two starts – T2 at Sanderson Farms and T-5 at Shriners Hospital for Children Open.

The Bermuda Championship presented another step towards normalcy, as the event allows 500 spectators a day as the PGA Tour threw the event open for fans for the first time since the PLAYERS. The event has also been upgraded to full status, which means 500 Fedex Points and an invitation to the Masters Tournament next year. Till last year, the Bermuda Championship was held in the same week as the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, which was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic this year.

Three players Doc Redman, Vaughn Taylor and Chase Seiffert were at 65.

Three-time major champion and Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington opened with a 67 while Fred Funk, the 64-year-old regular on the PGA TOUR Champions, shot 69 as he played in the same group as his son, Taylor Funk, who shot a 73.

The Bermuda Championship also heralds the start of consecutive PGA TOUR events allowing limited fans. The Houston Open has said it will sell no more than 2,000 tickets a day. The Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, the first event of 2021, also announced this week it would have limited fans.

Dipsan Tirkey, a popular name from the India Colts team that lifted the FIH Junior Men’s World Cup in 2016, has had a rough patch over the past two years. After his last appearance for the Senior India team in 2018 at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, he has been in and out of the Senior Core Probable list while most of 2019 he had been out of action due to a career-threatening surgery. 

Now, back in the reckoning, Tirkey wants to make most of the opportunity he has been provided with. “The last two years have been very challenging for me. While I went back to representing the Junior team in a few tournaments, I was mostly out of action in 2019 due to a surgery I required. It took me a while before I could return to full fitness but now that I am given another opportunity to show my potential, I want to make full use of it,” stated Tirkey, who was ViceCaptain of the India Colts team that won the FIH Junior Men’s World Cup held in Lucknowin 2016. 

Having been selected in the Senior Core Probable Group again, Tirkey says his focus is now on executing what the Chief Coach expects of him and also focus on his drag-flicking. “After the lockdown, we have begun activities in a slow and steady manner. We are building up our game slowly and the sessions are not very tough yet. It is more like going back to basics and I feel this is the perfect time for me to work on my drag flicking skills and I have been focused on improvising this skill,” expressed Tirkey who hails from Odisha. 

Though India may not travel for any competitions this year due to the prevailing travel restrictions, Tirkey hopes he will earn the India jersey again. “I am working on giving my 100 percent in every session. I last played for India at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2018 and I am waiting to earn back the India jersey again. The Core Group is strong with some very good players and I will have to bring out my best performance to earn a spot again in the India team and I am working towards it with a positive frame of mind,” Tirkey said.

The year 2020 has been a challenging and pushed us to the limit in every way possible. But what we will remember is, how we all emerged together from this, to adopt the new normal and restart the healing and rebuilding process.

The World Athletics Gold Label Road Race, the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM), since its inception, has held India’s flag high; representing its sporting spirit, and generosity. 

On November 29, 2020, the world’s most prestigious half marathon, will be the showcase of a resurgent sporting India to the world.

Supported by Government of NCT of Delhi, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Ministry of External Affairs, Sports Authority of India, Athletics Federation of India, World Athletics (WA), Association of International Marathons & Distance Races (AIMS) our sponsors and partners; ADHM 2020 will once again have the best athletes from around the world, running alongside our national elite, in the heart of our capital city.

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon will follow the highest level of safety-standards, with bio-secure zones to ensure a COVID free race for the elite runners.

While the Elite runners will be at the start line at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, on the 29th November, amateurs from across the globe will join them via the exclusive Airtel Delhi Half Marathon Mobile App. Participation this year will be from a convenient location, wherever you are. Registrations for   three Race categories begin 30th October 2020.  

Kiren Rijiju, Minister Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt of India,said”Sport has always been a symbol of optimism, and we look forward to the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Nov. 29. We extend our full support to this event that is India’s pride and welcome the world’s best athletes to our capital city. The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is representative of a healthier and fitter nation and reinforces the vision of the Fit India movement. I would encourage each and every one of you to participate from the safety & security of your own surroundings.”

NEW LOOK: Airtel Delhi Half Marathon has always inspired us to #GoBeyond – go beyond convention, go beyond what’s expected and push the boundaries of what’s possible.

The spirit of every participant has always been at the heart of ADHM. Inspiring you to create history and not just be a part of it! The new logo captures the story of every runner and the ethos of an event that has become a part of the fabric of Delhi and India. 

Manish Sisodia, Dy. Chief Minister of Delhi, stated, Over the years, the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon has become an integral part of Delhi’s sporting calendar and an enduring symbol of sporting excellence, philanthropy, health & fitness. To watch the finest runners in the world compete on our home ground, will certainly be a boost for the citizens of Delhi and across India. That along with the thousands of amateur runners who participate in this event give us a great opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate the joy of running.”

Shashwat Sharma, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel said: “These are unprecedented times for the world. This year’s Airtel Delhi Half Marathon will be extra special as it sends out a message of humanity’s resolve to collaborate and overcome odds. As an enabler of digital lifestyles, Airtel congratulates Procam for this year’s innovative race format that allows runners to participate from anywhere in India while staying safe. In many ways this will be a symbol of the emerging Digital India. We wish everyone participating, including the professional runners, a safe and exciting event.”

Having suffered three consecutive defeats, the Delhi Capitals will look to end their losing streak as they take on Mumbai Indians in their penultimate match of the league stage of the Dream11 Indian Premier League on Saturday.

Despite three losses, Shreyas Iyer & Co. are still in the top four of the points table, courtesy their successful run in the initial phase of the tournament.

Speaking on the current situation, Delhi Capitals’ opener Ajinkya Rahane reckoned that three losses doesn’t make his team a bad one and these kinds of things happen in big tournaments like IPL.

“I think we started off really well, won seven out of nine games initially, and then the last three games were not as per what we wanted, but this is going to happen in a tournament like IPL. You play fourteen league games, it’s a big tournament, and it’s all about staying in that contest, staying in the journey, and learning from each and every game. I think the upcoming two games are really important, and it’s all about staying positive. Three losses don’t make us a bad team. It’s all about playing to our strength and backing each and every individual. As a team, we are really looking forward to playing against Mumbai now and then RCB,” said Rahane.

Commenting on head coach Ricky Ponting’s way of tackling this kind of pressure situation after back-to-back defeats, the 32-year-old batsman said, “He’s (Ricky) been really fantastic. I have personally really enjoyed working with him. He is always been positive, and he told us to play positive cricket. We were just thinking about playing one game at a time, sometimes what happens is when you think about yourselves and the outcome, you put yourself under pressure, so I think it’s all about giving your best in the middle, whichever game you are playing, doesn’t matter if it’s your first game or a playoffs game. It’s all about playing as a team, so that has been the talk.”

Talking about the penultimate game against Mumbai Indians, who have already qualified for the playoffs, Rahane said the team will play as a unit against a strong opponent.

“Mumbai are a good team, they are a strong team and we know their past as well. I mean, they did so well in IPL. For us, what is important is to play to our strength, what we have been doing, and it’s all about giving our best tomorrow. Each and every individual is capable of winning the game for our team, so  I think we should believe in that and believe in our ability,” said Rahane.

“They play as a team and we all know that they play as a unit and we know how strong they are. So, for us, it’s all about playing as a unit against Mumbai Indians tomorrow and play to win,” added Rahane ahead of the match in Dubai.

The Mumbai-born batsman also spoke about how a three-day break in between the matches was helpful to him and the team.

“Sometimes it does help, you can actually reflect what went wrong, especially last three games. You can actually think about it and learn from your mistakes. It does help mentally and physically also. You get a break, switch off completely, and think about your own preparations and what your team needs from you. I believe in that (the break), it’s all about how you take it. After losing a game, you always learn a lot. In fact, after each and every game, I always believe that you learn something or the other,” signed off Rahane.

Indian Women’s Hockey Team Forward Udita.

Indian Women’s Hockey Team Forward Udita, who is still finding her feet on the international stage, expressed that she has enjoyed watching the FIH Hockey Pro League matches since the tournament resumed in September. The Forward said that she particularly learned a lot from the close encounter between the Netherlands and Great Britain in the FIH Hockey Pro League on Tuesday.

“It’s always great to see the World Number 1 team Netherlands in action and it was even better to see the way the World Number 5 team Great Britain kept putting pressure on their opponents and didn’t get bogged down after conceding an early goal. Even though Great Britain couldn’t convert their Penalty Corners, they kept putting pressure and levelled the match in the third quarter. The biggest learning for me was that continued pressure on oppositions will yield great results and we have to keep that in mind when we are trailing against any team,” said the 22-year-old.

Udita added that the fight shown by Great Britain in the FIH Hockey Pro League match was very inspiring.

“The Netherlands closed out the match in the Penalty Shoot-out, but it was amazing to see the way Great Britain fought throughout the match. It’s very important to keep giving our best in any situation. Great Britain put up a very inspiring performance and showed that a team needs to stay in the game until the final whistle is blown,” said the Forward.

Udita expressed that she is very determined to utilize the next few months to become a much better Forward.

“The next few months are very crucial for me as I have a chance to improve drastically and possibly make it to the Indian Olympic team. I am continuously speaking to our Coaches and senior players about the aspects I should improve in order to improve as a Forward. I haven’t made a huge mark in the international circuit yet and I am very determined to change that. It’s been really great to be back on the pitch after a long break. I have a chance to hone my skills in the upcoming months. We are very grateful and thankful to Hockey India for putting the procedures in place at the right time so that we could come back to the pitch and improve as players,” said the 22-year-old.

Daksh Burrmann

Brilliant hundreds from Daksh Burrmann (122 off 116 balls) and Karunesh (116 off 123 balls) helped Greenfields Cricket Academy thrashed Star Cricket Academy by 89 runs in 5th League of Emerging Players U-19 at 3S Cricket Academy ground in Ghaziabad.

Karunesh

After deciding to bat first, Greenfields Cricket Academy scored 278/2 in 40 overs. Star Cricket Academy bundled out for just 189 runs in 39.3 overs. Sagar Gill scalped four wickets for GCA. Whereas, Luckymehra, Mayank Kanojia and Gaurav Sharma shared two wickets each.

Greenfields Cricket Academy coach Akash said that the match was made one-sided by the superb innings of Daksh and Karunesh. He wished both the batsmen a good luck for the future tournaments.

Inspired by India’s top badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, reigning world para champion Manasi Joshi aims to create a conducive environment for para athletes in India after she hangs up her boots. Joshi shared her vision and future plans while talking to Indian paddler Mudit Dani’s on his online talk show “In the Sportlight”,

Joshi, who started playing badminton professionally in 2014, has been training under Gopichand for the last two years. She is determined to do her bit in changing the country’s perception on being differently abled. “Post badminton I want to be a part of a script that changes perception about people with disability in India. I want to make it better for future generations,” Joshi said.

“I will definitely see myself involved in sports because the experience I have gained, I want to utilise it to the fullest to develop and train young athletes. I want people to use the experience that I have gained,” she added.

Olympic medal winning coach Gopichand has groomed and honed Joshi’s technical and tactical skills. She believes she is a better player since she started working with Gopichand. “He always advises to keep pushing and keep on working. And when you are out for matches or tournaments, it’s the most important advice you get from your coach. Gopi sir pays attention to even minor things and I’m learning technical tricks from the best,” Joshi, who considers Gopichand as inspiration with his glorious career as a player and as well as coach, said.

The 31-year-old Asian Games bronze medallist feels there has been immense growth over the last few years in para badminton. “Since 2015 para badminton has picked up and even able body badminton people love it and it’s the second most favourite sport in our country. I see people choosing para badminton as a career option. I see in the next five years, more and more people taking up para sports. People will pursue it to the highest level,” Joshi concluded.

TheIndian Women’s Hockey Team Forward Navjot Kaur, who has played over 170 matches for the national team, expressed that peaking at the right time will make a big difference to the performance of the side at the Tokyo Olympics. Kaur said that only getting back to full form is not enough, the team will also have to time their return to full form well.

“The team is gradually improving day by day which is a great sign for us. We are slowly and steadily moving back to full form, however, peaking at the right time is very crucial for us. We have to get back to full form at the right time in order to play to our full potential at the Olympics. We are very grateful to Hockey India and SAI for planning the national camp well as now we have enough time to get into the groove and push hard for a great result in Tokyo,” said the 25-year-old.

When asked about her personal targets for the next few months, Kaur said that she wants to make much bigger contributions to the team’s victories in the future and therefore is looking to improve on certain aspects of her game.

“I feel I can do much better for the Indian team and therefore I watched a lot of footage of my game during the lockdown period. I have understood the aspects I need to work on and I will start working on them after I reach the form I was in before the lockdown. I am keen on making much bigger contributions to the team’s victories in the future and hopefully, I will be able to become a much better player by the Tokyo Olympics,” said the Forward.

Kaur added that the Coaches and senior players have jotted down a clear-cut plan for the Olympics and the team is currently on track for a great result in Tokyo.

“The plan for the Olympics is very clear to everyone and more importantly all players are clear about their own roles. Everyone is gaining confidence day by day and the team is very determined to perform in the quadrennial event. The Coaches and senior players have devised a good strategy and we are executing it well at the moment. It’s great that we still have a lot of time to move back to our full form so we are taking it slow at the moment. However, we are certainly moving in the right direction,” said the 25-year-old.

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