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2018 Asian Games

Dutee Chand, Asian Games, Olympics
Dutee Chand speaking during a press conference at Hyderabad

Ace Sprinter Dutee Chand Faces Ire for Revealing Same-Sex Relationship

Same-Sex relationships have always been a taboo topic in Indian culture owing to the conservative societies. The ace Indian athlete Dutee Chand is one of the victims of taboo thinking. Dutee claimed of being threatened of expulsion by her family for having a same-sex relationship. Meanwhile, her fans are continuing to support her over social media.

A few hours back, the Indian sprinter revealed her relationship with a girl of her village. She refused to reveal her “soulmate’s” name so as not to let her become “the centre of undue attention”.

Dutee Chand’s revelations left her sister fuming:

Dutee Chand
Dutee Chand has been a fascination for sprinters. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Dutee has a record of the 100m race to her name, while she won two silver medals at the Asian Games 2018.

Dutee has been India’s first athlete to come forth and accept her sexuality. It came after the historic decision made by the Supreme Court, last year. But her family is not willing to stand with the Indian athlete in her decision. Where Dutee claims of being threatened of imprisonment, her elder sister says that her partner has vested interests to lure property.

Dutee says, “My elder sister wields power and authority over my family. She has thrown out my elder brother from home because she didn’t like his wife. She has threatened that the same will happen with me also,” Dutee told PTI.

“My elder sister feels that my partner is interested in my property. She has told me that she will send me to jail for having this relationship” Dutee added.

Dutee said that her parents have not yet objected over her decision. But the knowledge of being an adult and the right to make her own decisions has led her to make her relationship public

Currently, the athlete now is preparing for the Olympics and is ready to face any repercussions thrown at her and her unknown partner.

Hima Das is Unicef-India's 1st youth ambassador

Hima Das is Unicef-India’s 1st youth ambassador

New Delhi, Nov 15: The United Nations Children’s Fund-India (Unicef-India) has appointed Asian Games gold-medalist sprinter Hima Das as the country’s first ever youth ambassador.

The name of the woman athlete from Assam was announced by the world organisation in a tweet on Wednesday eveing coinciding with the Children’s Day celebrated on November 14 commemorating the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday.

Read More – Chances brighten for Indian men’s handball team to feature in Asian Games

“I’m honoured to be chosen as Unicef India’s Youth Ambassador, and I hope I will be able to inspire more children to follow their dreams,” Das responded.

Hailing from Nagaon district, Das clinched a gold medal in Women’s 4×400 metre relay event at the 2018 Asian Games. She also won a silver in the Women’s 400m Race event.

Manu Bhaker
Manu Bhaker

Shooters like Manu are strong Olympic medal hope, says Jaspal Rana

New Delhi, Oct 10: Jaspal Rana feels the Asian Games heartbreak was a blessing in disguise for Manu Bhaker, who went there as the one who could do no wrong, only to fall and rise again in a matter of weeks.

The moment of glory at the Youth Olympics, according to the acclaimed shooter-turned-coach, makes her a strong Olympic medal hope, alongside a few of her contemporaries.

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Delighted as much as he was after the 16-year-old Bhaker rediscovered her form with a first-ever gold medal for India in shooting at the Youth Olympics on Tuesday, Rana admitted that not being able to continue her medal-winning run in Indonesia may have proved to be a boon, as she learns to not only take failures in her stride, but also overcome them.

A multiple Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medallist and now the junior national coach, Rana put in a lot of emphasis while calling the likes of Bhaker clear “Olympic materials”.

“These shooters are clearly Olympic materials and we should be careful in preparing them for glory in the world’s biggest sporting event. I am really happy with the way our shooters have performed here (Buenos Aires). We already have three medals and could have actually had two gold,” Rana told PTI.

The 42-year-old was referring to rifle shooter Mehuli Ghosh’s medal, the colour of which could have been yellow instead of white, if she had scored better than 9.1 in her 24th and final shot.

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Asked about Bhaker’s Asian Games heartbreak, Rana felt it was all part of the game, but expressed his happiness over the way the Jhajjar-girl roared back to form to top of the podium.

“Yes, I think definitely that could help. Though we all want to win but you can’t win everyday. You will rise one day, you will fall another. That’s how it is. 

“But she has done well and I am really happy for her. There was pressure and there were so much expectations, which I don’t think is fair. At the end of the day, one must remember that she is just a 16-year-old. 

“She may not win everyday, but the experience will help her become a better shooter,” Rana said.

The ISSF Senior World Cup double gold-medallist and Commonwealth Games champion Bhaker shot 236.5 to finish on top of the podium in the women’s 10m air pistol event, making up for the heartbreak at the Asian Games and the World Championship, where she could not live up to her billing.

Read More – Couldn’t win singles gold due to high fever: Rower Dattu

Rana also said that world famous Olympic gold-medallist pistol shooter Anna Korakaki from Greece followed Bhaker at the range for two days.

“She was there yesterday (Monday) and she was also there for the qualification and final today. She was speaking about Manu’s shooting. I think it’s nice that a shooter of her (Korakaki’s) calibre spoke about her,” the coach said.

Representing her country at the 2016 Rio Olympics as a 20-year-old, Korakaki won a gold medal in the 25m pistol and a bronze in the 10m air pistol.

Now, a book on sprinter Dutee Chand

Now, a book on sprinter Dutee Chand

New Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) The incredible story of Dutee Chand, who rose from abject poverty to become one of Indias biggest sprinting stars, will be brought alive in the form of a book titled “Story so far”.

The announcement was made on Tuesday by publisher Westland, which was acquired by Amazon in 2017. The book is written by a journalist, author, and filmmaker Sundeep Misra, who has previously authored a biography of hockey legend Dhanraj Pillay.

“Dutee Chand’s story is an inspiration for all. She stood her ground, fought her case and made a comeback, finishing on the podium in two events at the very Games she wasn’t allowed to compete in four years back. Sandeep’s account of her life is a narrative of hope, grit and hard-won success,” said Westland CEO Gautam Padmanabhan.

Misra said “Story so far” is an “honest and emotional narrative of a rising star” and chronicles “her fight from the court to her fight on the tracks”.

With two silver medals at the 2018 Asian Games, Dutee is one of the top sprinters on the sub-continent.

“I never stopped believing in myself. I had faith in my God,” she said.

The book will release in 2019.

Couldn't win singles gold due to high fever: Rower Dattu

Couldn’t win singles gold due to high fever: Rower Dattu

Kolkata, Sep 8 (IANS) Ace rower Dattu Bhokanal, who was part of India’s gold medal-winning team in the men’s quadruple sculls event at the 2018 Asian Games, on Saturday said his single sculls performance was affected due to high fever.

Besides the gold, India won two bronze medals and was in five finals of the rowing competition.

Dattu had finished sixth in the men’s single sculls competition of the just concluded Asiad after his boat had capsized. Despite a good start, the 27-year-old rower lost momentum and missed a podium finish.

Dushyant Chauhan, who had won bronze in lightweight single sculls at Incheon, defended his third place in the event while Bhagwan Singh and Rohit Kumar helped India win another bronze in the men’s lightweight double sculls.

“I couldn’t win gold due to high fever and was not fit even before the tournament. Since August 19, I had a fever but still managed to train,” Dattu told reporters on the sidelines of a felicitation ceremony by the Calcutta Rowing Club here.

“On race day (August 23), my boat (single sculls) toppled and I fell into the water. My ears and nose got blocked and it aggravated my fever,” he added.

“I could have performed much better had I not had health issues to battle with,” Dattu said.

He stressed that it was due to his teammates that he could fare well in the team event and took complete rest before the quadruple sculls.

“I was disappointed as I failed in my singles sculls. My teammates were there to support me and I took complete rest before the team event,” Dattu said.

The Indian men’s team comprising Sawarn Singh, Bhokanal, Om Prakash and young Sukhmeet Singh, were present on the occasion along with chief national coach Ismail Baig. Dushyant, Bhagwan, and Rohit were also present.

There were off-field controversies which marred the rowing contingent’s showing, the biggest being team coach Nicolae Gioga from Romania being sacked hours after India bagged the gold, only their second in the Asian Games history.

The tussle between coach Gioga and the Indian rowers had existed for a while and came to the fore during the Games with the former openly criticising the rowers while his methods were not liked by his wards.

Asked about that, Dattu refused to blame the Romanian.

“I do not want to comment on that. I took advice from our Indian coach as well and foreign coach too. I have delivered under both of them so I would not like to blame anyone,” he said.

Coach Baig though, was more forthright, saying Gioia’s obstinate ways came in the way of the team’s preparation.

“He has a brilliant track record. But it just did not click with us. He never listened to the players and went about his ways,” Baig told IANS.

The trouble started when Gioga alleged that one of the rowers – Dattu Bhokanal – gave up the race midway. He also alleged that the other rowers neither trained enough nor followed his methods, thus becoming prone to injuries.

The 66-year-old Romanian had won five gold medals with the Romanian national team at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics before coaching teams in Asia, including China and Iran. At the 2017 Asian Rowing Championships, he coached Iran to five gold medals.

Besides the rowers, heptathlete gold medal winner Swapna Barman and bridge gold medallists Pranab Bardhan and Shibnath De Sarkar were also felicitated.

Twitter recorded 12 million Tweets on Asiad

Twitter recorded 12 million Tweets on Asiad

New Delhi, Sep 6: Twitter recorded 12 million tweets on the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, it was announced on Thursday.

The two-week event generated 12 million Tweets, from the opening ceremony on August 18 until the closing ceremony on September 2, according to a statement.

The closing ceremony was also something to remember. From the amazing fireworks, athletes and volunteers parade, to performers by national and international artists, ClosingCeremonyAsianGames2018 succeeded to amaze the world, generating 1.8 million Tweets related to the event.

India sent the second highest number of tweets, while the host nation was placed at number one. Among the events, badminton was the most mentioned on Twitter.

Sensational Saurabh smashes junior record for gold at world championships

Sensational Saurabh smashes junior record for gold at world championships

Changwon (South Korea), Sep 6: Asian Games gold-medallist Saurabh Chaudhary shattered the world record to claim the junior 10m air pistol gold at the ISSF World Championships here Thursday but senior shooters failed to impress yet again.

Arjun Singh Cheema settled for a bronze in the same event and the Indian team took the silver, propelled by Chaudhary’s phenomenal individual performance.

The 16-year-old Chaudhary, who won the Asiad gold last month, qualified third with a score of 581 before shooting down his own world record with a score of 245.5 in the final. Singh managed 218 once the field was pruned to eight following the qualifying round.

Chaudhary first set a world record in the 10m air pistol event at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Junior World Cup in June.

Korean Hojin Lim, who made the finals as the top qualifier, finished second with a final score of 243.1 for the silver medal.

The Indian team of Chaudhary, Singh, and Anmol, who could not make the individual final, claimed the silver with a combined score of 1730.

The gold was snared by the Korean team, which broke the world record with its total of 1732. Russia picked up the bronze with a score of 1711.

Chaudhary, son of a farmer based in Kalina Village in Meerut surprised everyone with his maturity to keep calm under the pressure at the Asian Games.

He picked up the sport only three years ago. A student of class XI Chaudhary learned the tricks of the trade at Amit Sheoran’s academy at Benoli near Baghpat, 53 kilometers from Meerut.

However, there was a disappointment for senior shooters, who endured a successive barren day. Asiad bronze-medallist Abhishek Verma raised hopes for a medal by qualifying third for the 10m air pistol event for men.

However, the lawyer-cum-marksman disappointed with an eighth-place finish in the final after shooting a score of 118.

Korea’s Jin Jongoh claimed the gold in this event. The local favorite was tied on a score of 241.5 with Russia’s Artem Chernousov but prevailed in the shoot-off.

So far, Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela are the only Indian shooters to secure quota places for the Olympics by winning a silver and finishing fourth respectively in the women’s 10m air rifle event.

Though the two shooters have secured quotas, as per the stated policy, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) will take the final call on selection, based on the aggregate scores of shooters (in international tournaments and selection trials) leading up to the Olympic Games.

Bajrang honoured with golden crown

Bajrang honoured with golden crown

New Delhi, Sep 5: Asian Games gold medallist Bajrang Punia was felicitated by powerlifter Gaurav Sharma here on Wednesday.

Punia was presented with a gold crown worth Rs 6 lakh.

“I am honored with the love I get from my country. I want to thank Gaurav Bhai for such a lovely function. I will keep working hard for making my nation proud in the international arena,” Punia told IANS.

The function was organized by Indraprastha Shiksha and Khel Vikas Sangthan and Kamal Institute of Health and Advanced Technology. Chairman VP Tandon and president Dr. Bharat Jha were also present on the occasion.

Gaurav said that athletes like Bajrang are helping in making India a sports hub.

“I think PM Modi Ji and Rathore Ji (sports minister) are really doing so much for the athletes. I am sure in coming events India will win more medals,” he said.

Indonesia looks to host Olympics in 2032

Indonesia looks to host Olympics in 2032

Jakarta, Sep 4: Indonesia will bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics, following its successful organization of the 2018 Asian Games.

The Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs Puan Maharani said the government will officially submit a proposal for hosting the world’s largest sports event, reports Xinhua news agency.

“President Joko Widodo has officially announced that Indonesia will take part in bidding for the 2032 Olympics,” she said.

The reason, Puan asserted, is that Indonesia successfully hosted the 2018 Asian Games which concluded last Sunday.

Will provide financial aid to medal winners, talents: Kejriwal

Will provide financial aid to medal winners, talents: Kejriwal

New Delhi, Sep 4: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said his government will “soon implement” two policies to provide financial aid to sportspersons: those who once win a medal; and for those identified as a young talent for proper training at an early age.

He announced these policies after he felicitated 11 sportspersons from Delhi who won medals at the recent Asian Games at Jakarta.

“All of you have made the country and Delhi proud along with your families. Some of you struggled in difficult circumstances, you faced lack of resources and finances, your effort is remarkable,” Kejriwal said.

“All of you are a source of inspiration for budding sportspersons since children find it almost an impossible feat to win medals at Asian Games. We would like you to visit schools and encourage children to follow your path,” he added.

In a statement, Kejriwal’s office said the first policy will go by the name of “Play and Progress” and will provide financial assistance and sporting facilities to sportspersons who once win a medal at any national or international sporting event.

“For effective implementation of this policy, a committee of experts will be set up which will include eminent sports personalities and other officers. The committee will decide what kinds of facilities and financial assistance will be required in each case,” the CM office said.

The second policy, it said will be called “Mission Excellence” and will focus on identifying talent at a young age so that budding sportspersons can be properly trained to excel at sporting events of the national and international level. “Identified talent will be provided all assistance.”

Kejriwal said the Delhi government has enhanced cash incentives for medal winners at international events.

“Gold medal winners at Asian Games will now be provided Rs 1 crore by the Delhi government in place of Rs 20 lakh which they were getting earlier,” Kejriwal said at a meeting.

Similarly, he said, silver medal winners at the Asian Games will get Rs 75 lakh instead of Rs 14 lakhs and Bronze medal winners will get Rs 50 lakh in place of Rs 10 lakh.

The Delhi government has also doubled cash incentive for trainers of medal winners from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 6 lakh, Kejriwal added.

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