Over the past few years, there has been no dearth of talent when it comes to the Indian Women’s Hockey Team. The World No. 9 side has a huge pool of players who are yet to play for the Senior Team, but have already gained useful experience and exposure representing the Junior Team around the world. One such individual is Haryana’s talented Defender Manpreet Kaur who is currently a part of the Senior Core Probables group, but is yet to feature for the Senior side. The 22-year-old has been knocking on the doors of the selectors for a while, and wants to continue focusing on doing the basics right.
“I am so happy and proud to be a part of the Senior Core Probables group, and to have this opportunity to play and work with the best players from India. My ambition has always been to represent my country at the highest level, and having done so at the Junior level, my next milestone is to represent the Senior Team soon,” said Kaur.
“It is obviously something that is not in my hands, but I want to focus on everything that is in my hands. I want to put my 100% effort and hard work into getting myself ready for the time when I get the chance. I am really happy that we’ve had such great support and planning from Hockey India and SAI with regards to the exposure that I’ve been able to get at the Junior level, even without having played for the Senior Team yet,” she added.
Winner of the Bronze Medal at the 4th Girls U18 Asia Cup 2016 held in Bangkok, Thailand, the young Defender recalls it as her most memorable tournament. “I was really young back then, only 17 and it was such a big occasion for us to be representing the country at the continent’s most important tournament at the Junior level. I remember how amazingly everyone in the team performed and I thought we were unfortunate to not make it to the Final, but the 3-0 victory in the Bronze Medal match against Republic of Korea made it worth it,” expressed the youngster.
The Defender has also been part of some of the best teams at the domestic level, having won National Championships and Khelo India Medals with her state team of Haryana, and also represented her employers Railway Sports Promotion Board. “When you are playing, you always step onto the field with only one aim – to win. Whenever I’m on the hockey pitch, I just focus on helping my team and winning the match. It has of course led me to some medals, but the real medal for me will be the day when I put on the Senior Team’s jersey, and play my first ever match for the ever-improving Indian Women’s Hockey Team,” said Kaur, who also won a Silver Medal at the 6-Nations Invitational Tournament in Antwerp, Belgium in 2018.
2020 ended in style culminating with the 13th French Open title for Rafael Nadal and 20th overall adding another milestone to the illustrious career of the ‘King of Clay’. The win at the French Open 2020 also lead to a trending congratulatory post by Nadal’s greatest rival and friend Roger Federer giving everyone a reason to smile in a year which hasn’t given many such occasions.
While this historic feat by Nadal headlined the tournament, there was another development which was the talking point much before the start of the French Open and it was the return of Former World No.1 Andy Murray as a wild-card entry in the main draw after a career-threatening hip injury that sidelined him since November 2019. Though, Murray did feature at the US Open but his run didn’t last beyond the first round.
Speaking on a special edition of Eurosport’s Tennis Legends Podcast alongside Eurosport experts Alex Corretja – who also used to Coach Murray and former Swedish world no.1 Mats Wilander; eight-time Grand Slam Champion and Murray’s former coach Ivan Lendl with whom Murray won the Wimbledon, US Open and Olympic Gold, gave a wholehearted defence of the Brit’s entitlement to play when he wants to play given all he has achieved in the game.
Ivan Lendl said, “I disagree. I think players like Andy Murray or Pete Sampras, before he won his last US Open, everybody was asking me, ‘shouldn’t Pete Sampras retire?’, and I said, ‘Pete Sampras has earned the right to retire when he wants to retire’.” He further added, “To me, Andy Murray has earned the right to play when he wants to play, as long as he has passion for it and I do believe that Andy has passion.
Lendl also spoke about the wild card system in Grand Slams and said, “Let’s go back a little bit into the history of wildcards. The wildcards, in general, were given to the sponsors to get attractive players for the tournament. It kind of turned somewhat towards young players, which is fine as well. But it’s not written anywhere that it needs to be a young player and not somebody older.” He said
Analysing the turn of events at the French Open 2020 he said, “What happened at the French I think was not normal. Something else happened and I don’t know what it was, but I think Andy has the passion. “I think Andy is trying to prove that he can come back after a serious hip surgery, and all I can say is we should all be pulling for him and wishing him the best.”
Swedish legend, Mats Wilander who was a witness to the 33-year-old Murray’s encounter against Stan Wawrinka and commentated on Eurosport about it said he received a bit of criticism for his comments on the Brit. “I got in a little bit of trouble here during the French Open with Andy Murray. He lost to Stan Wawrinka in the first round. And I was watching it and commentated on it for Eurosport. And I thought we saw on Andy Murray that wasn’t that excited. He got beaten pretty easily. He wasn’t excited. He wasn’t angry. We all worked really hard as well on the tennis court, but not off the court. Andy Murray, he works this hard and he shows up at the French Open and he doesn’t show emotion.”
Though he agreed to the fact that there is no loss of commitment from Murray and while speaking on podcast vouched for him after Lendl’s disagreement saying, “I’m pulling for him 100 per cent. He has deserved it. I think the interesting question is passion. Does Andy have the passion? And I think he does. I am 100 per cent sure he does.”
India’s only individual Olympic Gold Medallist Abhinav Bindra, who is the event ambassador of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2020, expressed during a media conference on Friday that the event will bring people together in India.
The event is set to be held on Sunday, 29 November. 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.
“Sport unites people and the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon will help in uniting people. Bringing in more solidarity is important at the moment. Each one of the runners participating in ADHM 2020 has a good role to play in uniting people and the community. My best wishes to the participants and also congratulations for their contribution” said the former shooter.
Bindra added that ADHM 2020 is a significant moment for Indian sports since the pandemic started earlier this year.
“The ADHM 2020 is a very significant moment for Indian sports since the pandemic started. Our athletes have resumed training but we have to get them in the competitive space again. This is a very important step towards resuming competitive sports in India. This event would be a benchmark for other sports to follow in the future,” said the Olympic Gold Medallist.
Speaking on the amateur runners participating from remote locations, Bindra said, “This era forces us to embrace technology more and innovate more. Sports needs technology and innovation. To survive a challenging situation, we have to adapt to the situation.”
When asked about his own tryst with running, Bindra said that it was a vital part of his training regime during his shooting days, “I picked up the sport of shooting because I thought I didn’t have to move, but to succeed in shooting, I had to run quite a bit. Running helped me to sustain pressure in a competition so it was a very important part of my training regime.”
The sixth-season of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) has been postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The league, which is amongst one of the highest prize money badminton tournaments in the world and has witnessed participation of Top-10 players along with thrilling badminton action for the past 5 years, was initially scheduled to take place in the last week of December. However, now fresh dates are being worked in for early next year.
The decision to postpone the Season 6 was taken by SportzLive—the official license holder of the league under the aegis of the national sports federation—in consultation with Badminton Association of India (BAI) owing to international travel restrictions which are still in place as per issued guidelines. Also, safety of all players and stakeholders involved is of prime concern. However, with the sporting world gradually returning on track, the organisers are keen to roll out the season next year.
“The usual window for PBL is December end – January. This year, as the world deals with the Covid-19 pandemic we have been monitoring the situation closely. Health & Safety of all is of paramount importance, hence, carefully considering all guidelines, protocols and commitments, and post discussions with BAI, we have decided to rework fresh dates for 2021,” said Prasad Mangipudi, MD, SportzLive.
The PBL has provided a strong platform for all shuttlers to not just showcase their skills but also financially assisted in their career development. For the young Indian shuttlers, it has given an opportunity to play alongside the world’s top players, which has resulted in the growth of badminton in the country over the last five years.
“With the cases on the rise again and the second wave hitting the country, it is pertinent that we adhere to the COVID-19 advisory issued by the Health Ministry. However, with the recent announcement of the vaccine, we are optimistic that the economy shall improve and things shall return to normalcy including international travel soon. The league meanwhile plans to introduce grassroots as well as other badminton activities in order to bring back the badminton actions ahead of the next season,” Mangipudi further added.
PBL is one of the most sought-after global badminton leagues having six-franchise based teams are played in a home and away format.
The world of football was dealt a huge blow on Wednesday with the news of Diego Maradona’s passing at the age of 60. In Spain, there was particular sadness as so many of those currently at the heart of Spanish football knew the Argentine or were touched by him from his time in LaLiga.
It was in LaLiga that Maradona took his first steps in European football, joining Barcelona for a then-world-record fee of $7.6million after starring in his home country for Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors. Joan Gaspart, who was the vice-president at Barcelona at the time, later revealed in interviews that the Barça directors who went to Argentina to work on the signing had to travel in a tank because the Argentine authorities feared for their safety.
Prizing Maradona away from his loyal fans in Buenos Aires was tough, but it was worth it. Barcelona had acquired an elite player. Injury and illness meant Maradona didn’t play as many games for the Blaugrana as the club had hoped, but when he did take to the pitch of Europe’s biggest stadium it was quite a spectacle.
Even at the Bernabéu, the home of Barcelona’s eternal rivals Real Madrid, Maradona impressed. In one match, he was even applauded by the fans of the capital city side, with white handkerchiefs waved respectfully in the air after Maradona performed a graceful sidestep right next to the goal line to leave right-back Juan José flying into the post as the No.10 rolled the ball into the net.
“I remember our early training sessions with him, where the rest of the team were so amazed that they just stood and watched him,” Lobo Carrasco, one of the other Barcelona squad members at that time, recalled when looking back to that era.
After leaving Barcelona to embark on his iconic adventure with Napoli in 1984, Maradona returned to Spain in 1992. This time he signed with Sevilla FC and reunited with Carlos Bilardo, who’d been the coach as Argentina won the 1986 World Cup in Mexico with Maradona as the star of the show.
It was only one season, but that 1992/93 campaign was one that all Sevillistas from that time still remember. In his first home game at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, Maradona scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Real Zaragoza. Who else?
It wasn’t peak Maradona at Sevilla and he’d been out of the game for the year before his arrival, but his mere presence made an impact across the club. Fans would arrive at the stadium early just to watch his famous warm-ups, while the forward made an impact on the young players in that squad, players such as Diego Simeone or current Sevilla Sporting Director Monchi. “He helped me in a spectacular way at Sevilla,” Simeone remembered. Monchi, meanwhile, has often told a story that sums up Maradona’s generosity: “I was walking with Maradona one day and he saw that I had a Rolex, which I admitted to him was a fake one. Then, after training one day, he told me to wait behind and he gifted me a Cartier so that I’d never have to wear a fake watch again.”
Maradona intended to stay at Sevilla for some time, bringing several of his favourite cars to the city. But he departed at the end of the 1992/93 season, returning to Argentina.
It wasn’t only at Barcelona and Sevilla that Maradona left an impact in Spain, though. He also impressed fans in Barcelona and Alicante, the cities where Argentina played during the 1982 World Cup. And, in 1987, Maradona even featured for Granada in a friendly match against Swedish side Malmö, doing so alongside his brothers Hugo and Lalo, who had just signed for the Andalusian club, at the old Estadio de Los Cármenes. That game remains to this day the only game in which the three brothers lined up on the same side.
Despite spending just a few years of his legendary career in Spain, Maradona made a huge impact, netting 27 goals in 62 games and winning the Copa del Rey, the Copa de la Liga and the Spanish Super Cup. His legacy will never be forgotten in Barcelona, Seville… or anywhere.
The top Indian elite athletes – Avinash Sable, Srinu Bugatha, Abhishek Pal and Pradeep Singh in the men’s category, and Parul Chaudhary, Chinta Yadav and Sanjivani Jadhav in the women’s category, will face off against each other in the 16th edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday, 29 November.
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.
During a media conference on Friday, Avinash Sable, who is the national record holder in 3000m steeplechase, expressed that the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is a very important event for the athletes.
“We’ve been only training so far and therefore the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is very important for us. We need to get back to competition mode and find out how much we have improved. Endurance is required for both, steeplechase and marathon, so the two events complement each other for me,” said Sable.
Defending champion Srinu Bugatha added that ADHM will be a bit different without spectators this year, “The preparations for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon have been good. It always feels great when there are spectators, but this time the event will be different due to the situation.”
Parul Chaudhary, who has finished second in the last two editions of ADHM, also expressed delight about getting back to competition mode.
“It’s always great to run here at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. I have to do a bit more this year to bag the first position as I have been finishing second in the last two editions of ADHM. I have practiced a bit harder as far as I am concerned. It’s great to be back in the competitive space again as only training without competitions is not enough,” said Chaudhary.
Chinta Yadav, who finished third in the last edition of ADHM, said that she’s well prepared for the race on Sunday, “I trained really well last year and that’s what helped me to improve my timing by six minutes. I feel I have prepared well for this year’s ADHM and I think I will perform well.”
The topic of discussion at the traditional pre-race press conference for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Thursday was whether the course records could be broken at this year’s race on Sunday (29).
The response was resoundingly positive from everyone.
“I have been training very well, and I was disappointed with my fifth place at the World Half Marathon Championships in Poland last month, so I am in shape and very motivated to run well here,” commented the two-time men’s defending champion Andamlak Belihu, from Ethiopia.
“Last year, I was just four seconds outside the course record (59:06 set by Ethiopia’s Guye Adola in 2014) and I think I can find the difference.”
On Sunday, Belihu will be bidding for an unprecedented third successive title in the Indian capital but the course he will cover is radically different to the one he won on in 2018 and 2019.
To comply with prevailing health-related related measures, the runners will cover around 4.5 kilometres, starting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, and then embark on two loops of approximately six kilometres, before returning to the finish outside the stadium by the same route.
“However, with smoother corners, less undulations and with the elite runners not having to contend with mass-race participants, I believe this is a faster course than previous years,” said race director Hugh Jones.
Belihu’s compatriot Tsehay Gemechu, who revised the women’s course record when winning in both 2018 and 2019 – it currently stands at 66:00 – concurred with the comments about course records being in danger.
“I am in shape to go even faster than last year,” said Gemechu. However, the defending champion will face an even stronger set of rivals on Sunday than the two outstanding fields she defeated in the past two years.
On the start line will be Gemechu’s fellow Ethiopian and world half marathon record holder Ababel Yeshaneh.
“I am coming here looking to show what I can do after finishing fifth at the World Half. I fell there (about three kilometres from the finish) and was very frustrated, finishing in tears, because I know I was in shape to win but you just have to pick yourself up and carry on. I have brought the shape I had in Poland to Delhi,” said Yeshaneh
This year’s Airtel Delhi Half Marathon can boast of not one but two world record holders in the women’s race.
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei stunned the world when she broke the long-standing women’s world marathon record by more than a minute at 2019 Chicago Marathon, clocking 2:14:04, with Yeshaneh a distant second on that occasion although she still ran a superb personal best of 2:20:51.
However, at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February this year Yeshaneh prevailed in a world record 64:31 with Kosgei second in 64:49. More recently, Kosgei won the London Marathon on 4 October in 2:18:58.
“After London, I took 10 days off, but I have since had six weeks very good preparation for this race. I have a good record in half marathons, but I am not going to make predictions about this race as it is a very tough field. Some of the ladies may be better prepared as they competed at the World Half Marathon Championships last month,” commented Kosgei.
Updated elite ﬁelds for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2020
(with personal bests)
Andamlak Belihu (ETH) 59:10
Amdework Walelegn (ETH) 59:08
Leonard Barsoton (KEN) 59:09
Josphat Boit (KEN) 59:19
Shadrack Kimining (KEN) 59:27
Abrar Osman (ERI) 59:47
Aron Kiﬂe (ERI) 59:51
Stephen Kissa (UGA) 60:00
Tesfahun Akalnew (ETH) 60:10
Victor Kiplangat (UGA) 60:16
Muktar Edris (ETH) debut
Tsehay Gemechu (ETH) 66:00 course record holder
Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH) 64:31 world record holder
Brigid Kosgei (KEN) 64:49
Yalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH) 65:19
Ruth Chepngetich (KEN) 65:30
Brillian Kipkoech (KEN) 66:56
Bekelech Gudeta (ETH) 67:03
Irene Cheptai (KEN) 67:39
Mimi Belete (BRN) 68:16
Failuna Matanga (TAN) 69:36
Nazret Weldu (ERI) 70:51
Eva Cherono (KEN) debut
दिल्ली अंडर-19 प्लेयर देव लाकड़ा के शानदार 146 रन की पारी बदौलत माता भाटी देवी अकैडमी ने गुरुवार को पहले रोशन लाल सेठी मेमोरियल प्राइज मनी अंडर-19 क्रिकेट टूर्नामेंट में ज्ञांती क्रिकेट अकैडमी को 65 रन से हरा दिया।
पहले बैटिंग करने उतरी भाटी देवी अकैडमी की ओर से देव लाकड़ा ने अपनी शतकीय पारी में 11 छक्के और 11 चौके जमाए। उनके अलावा ऋतिक शर्मा ने 55 रन की उम्दा की बदौलत 35 ओवर में 10 विकेट पर 261 रन बनाए।
लक्ष्य का पीछा करने उतरी ज्ञांती अकैडमी 30 ओवर में 196 रन बनाकर ऑल आउट हो गई। उसकी ओर से यशवर्धन ओबराय ने 83 रन जोड़े लेकिन अभिषेक कुमार (4/48) की शानदार गेंदबाजी के आगे अन्य कोई बल्लेबाज मैदान पर ज्यादा वक्त नहीं गुजार सका।
भाटी देवी अकैडमी की ओर से ऋतिक और देव ने बल्लेबाजी में जलवा दिखाने के बाद गेंदबाजी में भी अपना दबदबा बनाते हुए क्रमश: 2 और 1 विकेट भी निकाला।
Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM), outlined arrangements that are in place for the International and Indian elite athletes on Sunday, 29th November including medical facilities and the route at a media conference on Wednesday.
Present on the occasion were Huge Jones, Race Director, Dr. Sandeep Jain, Medical Director of ADHM 2020, Surinder Chaudhary – IPS, Deputy Commissioner Traffic, South Zone, Delhi, Kulbir Singh, Assistant Commissioner Police, Law and Order and Vivek Singh, Jt. MD, Procam International.
“We have made all the traffic arrangements for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday. The International and Indian Men’s Elite race will begin at 7:10 am and the Women’s Elite race will begin at 8:30 am from the JLN Stadium. A traffic advisory will be issued for the general public. Traffic will not be permitted on the route of ADHM from 6:30 am to 11:30 am,” said Surinder Chaudhary – IPS, Deputy Commissioner Traffic, South Zone, Delhi.
“The route for ADHM 2020 is more compact as compared to the routes utilized in the previous editions. We are not using Mathura Road for this year’s edition, instead, the runners will turn into Archbishop Makarios Marg. We are using only one carriageway for the entire half marathon. Usually, we use both the carriageways of the road during ADHM. We have ensured that the route still consists of the usual scenic structures such as the India Gate. Since there will be no amatuer runners this time, it has given us a chance to make the route more compact which puts lesser restrictions on traffic during the race on Sunday,” said Huge Jones, Race Director.
BIO-SECURE ZONES FOR ELITE ATHLETES
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. All mandatory protocols in line with the advisory issued by the Government of India have been laid out for the event crew, vendors and suppliers, Elite Athletes, Media and all guests.
RACE DAY TIMINGS
The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon will be telecast live on Star Sports Select 2 & Star Sports Select 2HD from 7:00 am to 10:30 am. The event will also be streamed live on Hotstar.
RACE DAY ARRANGEMENTS
The elite athletes are the topmost priority for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon and Procam will continue deploying initiatives towards making race day more memorable for all participants. Since the past 5 editions additional measures have been taken in the following areas – Medical Facilities, Anti-pollution measures and SPM Management.
SUPPORTED BY NDMC
Apart from being a globally acclaimed sporting event, the event is committed to putting the environment first.
This year ADHM is ably supported by New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) who will lend their expertise to ensure all the waste on the route is efficiently managed.
Arrangements made by Medical Partner – Max Healthcare
- Fully equipped base camp with 10 beds at the finish line
- Trained medical personnel present at the base camp and in the ambulance to deal with any kind of emergencies
- Three advanced life support ambulances on the race route to ensure help is made available at all times:
- 1st Ambulance at Start and Finish Lines (Base Camp)
- 2nd Ambulance at Rajpath & Rafi Marg junction (Halfway Point)
- 3rd Ambulance following the last elite runner of both the races.
- More than 60 healthcare providers on Race Day spread across the course and base camps.
Speaking on the bio-secure zone for the elite athletes, Dr Sandeep Jain, Medical Director, Max Healthcare, said, “We are ready to deal with any kind of medical that may happen during the race. We are ensuring that the race remains Coronavirus free by creating a bio-secure zone. Every person who is entering the bio-secure zone will be tested at least twice for Covid-19. Pulse oximeters and thermometers will be put in place at the entrance of the JLN to check each and every person entering the complex. We have created isolation rooms in the JLN complex as well. We will set up a Medical Base Camp which will have an ICU set-up which will be fully geared to deal with any medical emergency.”
Anti-Smog Machines will be used from 27th November 2020 to 29th November, 2020 on the roads in the internal periphery of the JLN Stadium and the entire ADHM course.
The ADHM course will comprise of Bhishma Pitamah Marg, Lodhi Road, Archbishop Makarios Marg, Subramaniam Bharti Marg, Zakir Hussain Marg, Part of C – Hexagon, Rajpath, India Gate Round About, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Marg and Parliament Street Sansad Marg.
Further on the 29th November 2020 the entire course will be sprayed with ecologically safe reagents from 4.00 a.m.
Pure Skies Systems by Devic Earth
In addition to the above measures, for the last three years, the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon has been working closely with Devic Earth to deploy Pure Skies, a smart technology conceptualized and executed by Dr. Srikanth Sola Co-Founder, Director and CEO, Devic Earth.
Low power-pulsed Wifi waves will be concentrated over the course to catalyse clearance of air pollutants primarily through dry deposition. Devic Earth’s Pure Skies technology uses pulsed Wi-Fi to safely and effectively reduce air pollution over large areas, typically by 50-60% outdoors.
Pure Skies systems will be deployed during ADHM at 2 locations, to safely and effectively improve the air quality across the 21 km race course.
OTHER FACILITIES ON-COURSE & IN-STADIA
To keep all participants sufficiently hydrated, there will be two Bisleri water stations along the course which will serve runners at (2km, 5m, 9km, 11km, 15km & 19km points) and two Fast&Up energy drink stations servicing Fast&Up at (9km & 15km points) on the race routes.
वेटरन पत्रकार रोशन लाल सेठी मेमोरियल टूर्नामेंट के पहले एडिशन के उद्घाटन मुकाबले में क्वेटा डीएवी स्कूल ने विश्वकर्मा स्पोर्ट्स को 7 विकेट से हराकर विजयी आगाज किया।
पहले बल्लेबाजी करने उतरी विश्वकर्मा स्पोर्ट्स ने सागर पांचाल के 40 रन की मदद से निर्धारित 35 ओवर में बोर्ड पर तीन विकेट पर 168 रन टांगे।
क्वेटा की ओर से इब्राहिम खान ने तीन विकेट निकाले। लक्ष्य का पीछा करने उतरी क्वेटा की टीम की ओर से प्रताप वशिष्ठ ने 75* रन और विशांत भाटी ने 45 रन की शानदार पारी खेल कर टीम की आसान जीत पक्की की। क्वेटा ने 27 ओवर में 3 विकेट पर 168 रन बनाए।