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Asian Games 2018


Inspired by Mary, Swapna targets re-entry into TOPS

Kolkata, Nov 27: Mary Kom’s incredible sixth world championship gold medal win has inspired Asian Games gold medal winning athlete Swapna Barman. She is also hopeful of getting back into the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).

“It’s amazing to see what she’s achieving at the age of 36. I’m just 22 now. I will also want to become like her. I don’t know whether I would become like her, but there’s no harm in trying,” said Swapna who now aims to get into the 6200-plus points barrier at the Asian Championships in Doha next year.

Swapna was excluded from the revised TOPS as her show at the Asiad (6026 points) was well below the Olympic standards.

“I’ve nothing to comment on it (omission from TOPS). It’s the decision by the sports ministry. I will just have to keep performing. I was in TOPS because of my performance. I’m sure to be back again if I start performing again,” she said.

Swapna also added that she’s waiting for her customised shoes to be delivered so she resumes training.

“We have given the measurements in Germany. I’ve heard it’s already arrived in New Delhi. I’m just waiting for the shoes to get delivered here so we start practicing.”

Kejriwal felicitates Asian Games medallists

Kejriwal felicitates Asian Games medallists

New Delhi, Sep 21: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday felicitated Asian Games 2018 Silver medal winners Pinky Balhara and Tanvi Khanna with a Rs 75 lakh cheque and Bronze medal winners with Rs 50 lakh cheque.

Accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Kejriwal visited Pinky at Neb Sarai and Tanvi at New Friends Colony and greeted the players in the presence of area MLAs.

The bronze medal winners who were felicitated by Kejriwal include Bridge players Bachiraju Satyanarayana, Kiran Nadar, and Rajeshwar, a Delhi government statement said.

“Respective coaches of all the players were also felicitated and handed over cheques worth Rs 6 lakh each,” the statement said.

The Kejriwal government had recently enhanced the prize money for the players who win medals at Asian Games.

The prize money was enhanced from Rs 20 lakhs to Rs 1 crore for Gold medal winners, Rs 14 lakh to Rs 75 lakhs for Silver medal and Rs 10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for Bronze medallists.

The award money of coaches has also been increased from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 6 lakh.

10 run scorers in One Day Internationals
Top 10 run scorers in One Day Internationals

Sachin Tendulkar has been Extremely Helpful – Sardar Singh

Former India hockey skipper, Sardar Singh spoke highly of Sachin Tendulkar recently. Singh called time on his career after the forgettable Asian Games 2018.

Sardar Singh
Sardar Singh called time on his international career after Asian Games 2018. Image Courtesy: Getty

He thanked the former Indian cricket great for mentoring him during the most robust phase of his career. Tendulkar has been a mentor to numerous sports figures and is known for helping them out from time to time.

Sardar credits Tendulkar for talks

“I spoke to Sachin paaji after missing the Commonwealth Games. He spoke to me for two hours. Last 4-5 months particularly, which have been difficult times for me, he has been extremely helpful. He is my mentor. I want to thank him for his help and patience.” he said.

Sardar Singh went on to say Tendulkar shared his own stories of making comebacks when his back was to the wall. That inspired the hockey-star immensely.

Sachin Tendulkar, Sardar Singh
Sardar Singh says Sachin Tendulkar helped him to face the tough time in life. Image Courtesy: Getty

“I would ask him [Sachin] how did you get back after scoring a zero? What was your mindset the next day? He explained that he would watch videos of the times when he scored very well to see what he did right, but that alone was not enough. He said one cannot go into the next match just like that—one has to prepare and visualise. No one can make you mentally strong. You have to work towards it yourself,” Sardar said.

The midfielder said failure is not managing to win gold at the Asian Games impacted him. He said he didn’t want to go through the pressure of waiting in the cold while his selection is not apparent.

“The plan was to play till Tokyo 2020, but the mood changed post the loss to Malaysia in the semifinals of the Asian Games. I spoke to my family and coach Harendra Singh. I am very strong, have faced many things in my career, but I was getting affected by the pressure. To keep thinking at night what’s going to happen tomorrow… those things affect performance.” the legend of the game said.

Haryana sportspersons won 25 per cent of medals for country in Asiad

Haryana sportspersons won 25 per cent of medals for country in Asiad

Chandigarh, Sep 6: Keeping Haryana’s flag flying high in the medals tally for the country in the Jakarta Asian Games, sportspersons from Haryana have bagged nearly 25 percent of the total medals.

Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anil Vij said on Thursday that sportspersons from the state won 17 medals in these games.

Of the total 69 medals won by India, 15 are gold medals, 24 silver, and 30 bronze medals.

Athletes from Haryana won five gold, five silver, and seven bronze medals.

“In these games, as a solo player, Manjit Singh of Jind won a gold medal in 800 meters and Neeraj Chopra of Panipat won a gold medal in the javelin throw. Amit from Rohtak in boxing and Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat won gold medals in wrestling,” the Minister said.

Among other players, Lakshay Sheoran and Sanjeev Rajput won silver medals in shooting.

“Fifteen men and 11 women players have won medals in Asian Games, including solo and team competitions. All these players will be provided prize money and jobs as per sports policy of the state,” Vij added.

Saurabh tops junior 10m air rifle, bronze for Arjun at Shooting Worlds

Saurabh tops junior 10m air rifle, bronze for Arjun at Shooting Worlds

Changwon (South Korea), Sep 6: A couple of weeks after his triumph at the Asian Games, Indias Saurabh Chaudhary hunted down yet another gold medal as he won the men’s junior 10m air pistol title, even as teammate Arjun Singh Cheema took a bronze medal at the 52nd ISSF World Championships here on Thursday.

Saurabh, 16, produced a world record score of 245.5 as he shattered the previous world record of 243.7 points, a record he had set at the ISSF Junior World Cup on June 26 to finish ahead of South Korean Lim Honjin (243.1) and Arjun (218.0).

Hojin had won a silver medal also at this year’s ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, finishing behind Saurabh and his record scores. And on Thursday, the result didn’t change as the Indian gained the lead after a superb 10.9 on his eighth shot in the first competition stage.

From there on, he kept on piling up tenths of an advantage over his opponents who missed some crucial shots, failing to catch up with him. At the end of the first competition stage, Saurabh had 103.0, while Hojin had 102.1 and Arjun had 101.0.

In the second competition stage — elimination round — Saurabh continued to widen the gap against Hojin and Arjun. With more than a four-point lead after the seventh series, it was easy for Saurabh even though Hojin tried his best to erase the deficit.

Arjun exited the competition after the eighth series with a total of 218.0. At this juncture, Saurabh had 225.0, while Hojin had 222.4 as the two shooters went into the ninth and final round.

In the final round, the Meerut talent shot 10.6 and 9.9, while Hojin came up with 10.0 and 10.7. However, the South Korean finished 2.4 points behind the Indian, who claimed the title.

Dionysios Korakakis finished in fourth with 197.4, beating Italy’s Paolo Monna (5th with 178.3 points), the second South Korea finalist Sung Yunho (6th with 156.9 points), China’s Xie Yu (7th with 135.4 points) and Germany’s Robin Walter (8th with 114.8 points).

In the team event in this category, South Korea clinched the gold with a new junior world record of 1732 points, scored by Hojin, Sung Yunho and Shin Okcheol.

India, comprising Saurabh, Arjun, and Anmol, finished in second place with 1730 points. Russia’s team of Alexander Petrov, Aleksandr Kondrashin and Anton Aristarkhov came third with 1711 points.

Meanwhile, in the men’s 10m air pistol competition, Abhishek Verma finished eighth and last with 118.0 points.

In the men’s junior trap event, Aman Ali Elahi was sixth and last with 10 points.

Hand of friendship only if Pakistan stops terror: Gen Rawat

Hand of friendship only if Pakistan stops terror: Gen Rawat

New Delhi, Sep 5: Army chief General Bipin Rawat said on Wednesday that if Pakistan stops cross-border terrorism, India will have no hesitation in extending its hand of friendship to it.

Responding to a question on how Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra displayed sportsman spirit when he bowed his head and shook hands with Pakistan’s bronze medallist Arshad Nadeem during the medal distribution ceremony at the recently-concluded Asian Games in Indonesia, Rawat reiterated India’s position by asking Pakistan to stop sponsoring terror from across the border.

“Let Pakistan take the initiative first by stopping cross-border terror. If they manage to stop terrorism from their side, we will act like Neeraj Chopra,” Rawat told reporters on the sidelines of a felicitation ceremony for the Army athletes here.

The 20-year-old Chopra, who clinched the gold in the men’s javelin throw event at the Asiad, won millions of hearts when he bowed his head and shook hands with Arshad, to which the bronze medallist Pakistani reciprocated promptly in kind.

On being asked about the current situation in the Kashmir valley, since the implementation of President’s rule in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir, Rawat was optimistic that the situation will improve.

“I can say this with the conviction that their families have realized that terrorism isn’t the best way forward. The mothers want their sons to return to the right track and if the trend continues, I am sure we can find a way for peace to return in the valley,” he said.

Asiad just a trailer, Olympics next mission: Army chief

Asiad just a trailer, Olympics next mission: Army chief

New Delhi, Sep 5: Chief of Army Staff Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said that the performance of army players at the Asian Games is just a trailer and the next target is to improve the country’s medals tally at the Tokyo Olympics.

Rawat said that although he expected more medals from the army players, he is confident that those who missed the podium at the Asiad will train harder and bring laurels for the country in future.

“I am sure that these athletes will continue to put in more efforts and give us more and more medals. Asian Games is just a trailer, you will get to watch the full movie during the Olympics and I hope it will be a five-star movie. That will be our endeavor for mission Olympics,” Rawat told reporters during an army felicitation event here.

“We had 73 representatives of the Indian Army which included 66 athletes. We won 11 medals including four gold and four silver and three bronze medals. I expected some more medals, but I know that they will train harder, and the medal prospects who could not win medals this time will bring medals,” he added.

Rawat said that the athletes have asked for more international exposure while interacting with him.

“They spoke to me about the need for more international exposure. They want to compete with the world’s best players. This exposure boosts an athlete’s confidence,” he said.

“We have seen our athletes perform well in home conditions, but they fail in international conditions. That’s why international exposure with good foreign coaches will be of great help with only two years left for the Tokyo Olympics,” he added.

Dharun eyes medal at Asian Championships

Dharun eyes medal at Asian Championships

New Delhi, Sep 5: Brimming with confidence after winning a silver at the Asian Games, India’s 400m hurdler Ayyasamy Dharun has set his eyes on winning a medal at the Asian Championships next year.

“My next immediate target is to win a medal at Asian championship. I don’t know what medal it would be but I’m confident of returning with a medal. Also, there is World Championship (also in Qatar) and I want to do well in that also,” said Dharun who had clocked 48.96 seconds in Jakarta.

“I am targeting 48.50 next year. If I can do that and keep improving and produce 48.2 or 48.1 in 2020 Olympics, it will be good enough to get into the final. In track and field, getting to the final is a big achievement. So that is the target now,” said the 21-year-old, who hails from a village called Ravuthampalayam in Tiruppur district in Tamil Nadu.

Dharun lost his father to tuberculosis when he was eight years old. He was in class IV then. It was his mother, a school teacher, who supported him and his sister, once a budding volleyball player, with a meager salary of Rs 14,000.

“I don’t know where I would have been if it was not for my mother. She always gave me the freedom to follow my dreams. I am trying for a job. Now I have a few offers from Army, Navy, and Railways but nothing is confirmed yet,” said Dharun, a TY Human Resources student at Alva’s College of Arts at Moodabidri in Karnataka.

Talking about his Asian Games silver, Dharun said: “After the qualification round, I felt confident. I was in the second position. Before the final, I was targeting the bronze. I knew beating the Qatar runner will be difficult and also there was a Japanese who would run below 49 sec, but during the race, I had a lot of energy and I managed to get silver.” 

Dharun, who represented his state in kho-kho before switching to athletics, burst onto the national scene when he won the 400m hurdles gold at the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati with a time of 50.54 seconds. He was a part of the Rio Olympics 4×400 relay team.

His journey to Asian Games silver has been a tough one.

“After the Olympics, I was injured for a year. It was a shin bone injury and then six months I had to go through rehabilitation. It was difficult to make a comeback,” said Dharun.

Ahead of the Asian Games in May, Dharun was in Poland for a five-week training exposure tour but he injured himself there.

“After reaching Poland, I had a hamstring injury after a week. I took rest for 10 days but there was still pain when I started training. So I told my coach that I need to take 20 days rest and ran straight in competition,” said Dharun, who created a new meet record at the National Inter-State Athletics Championship in June in Guwahati.

Dharun, who had broken Joseph Abraham’s 400m hurdles national record with a timing of 49.45 sec at the Federation Cup in March, also went for a training camp in the Czech Republic.

“Czech Republic was good for me as there were training and competition also. And European countries are suitable. We could work hard and recover also. I ran in 4-5 competition and executed a few things. That experience was good for me. It boosted my confidence as I went from Asian Games,” he said.

The government felicitated the athletes with cash awards Tuesday night and Dharun said he wants to buy a sports bike for himself.

“I want to buy a sports bike and keep a little for myself, rest I will give to my mother,” said Dharun, who is suffering from an infection below his left eye.

PM congratulates Asiad medallists

PM congratulates Asiad medallists

New Delhi, Sep 5: Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the medal winners of the recently concluded 18th Asian Games at his residence here on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister congratulated the medal winners and complimented them for their exemplary performance enabling India to register its best-ever medal tally at the Asian Games, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

He told the medal winners that their sporting feats have raised India’s stature and pride. He expressed the hope that the medal winners will remain grounded and would not lose focus due to fame and accolades.

“During the interaction, Prime minister urged the sportspersons to use technology as an aid to improve their performance. He added that sportspersons should continue their self-improvement by using technology aided critical analysis of their performance as well as those of top players in the world.

“Prime Minister expressed happiness in seeing young talents rise from the small towns, rural areas and from a poor background and win medals for the nation. He said that there is real potential in the rural areas and we should continue nurturing those talents. He added that the outside world is unaware of the day-to-day struggles a sports person has to go through,” the statement said.

“PM Modi urged the sportspersons not to rest based on the laurels achieved and asked them to strive harder for greater glory. He said that the biggest challenge for the medal winners will start now and they should never lose their goal of being in the Olympic Games podium,” it added.

Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore was also present on the occasion.

India had garnered a record medal haul at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia, by bagging 69 medals, beating the previous best of 65 registered at the Guangzhou edition in 2010.

Asian Games: Odisha govt announces Rs 50 lakh each for Birendra, Amit

Asian Games: Odisha govt announces Rs 50 lakh each for Birendra, Amit

Bhubaneswar, Sep 3: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday announced a cash award of Rs 50 lakh each for the two Odia players Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas for winning a bronze medal at 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.

Both were part of the Indian men’s hockey team that won the bronze medal by thrashing Pakistan.

The Chief Minister also congratulated the Indian men’s hockey team for winning the bronze medal.

Earlier, the Chief Minister had announced a cash reward of Rs 1 crore each for four women hockey players from the state for winning the silver medal at Asian Games.

The cash award was announced for Sunita Lakra, Namita Toppo, Nilima Minz and Deep Grace Ekka, who were part of Indian Women’s Hockey team.

The state government had also announced Rs 3 crore for sprinter Dutee Chand, who won double silver medals in 100m and 200m events.

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