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Badminton: China Open: K. Srikanth and P V Sindhu enter quarter finals. Srikanth to face Japan’s Kento Momota and Sindhu to face China’s Yufei Chen.        

Shubhankar Sharma and Anirban Lahiri to represent India at the World Cup of Golf 

New Delhi, September 20, 2018: India will be represented by Shubhankar Sharma and Anirban Lahiri at this year’s World Cup of Golf slated to be held at The Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia, from November 21 to 25.

The ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf will feature two-man teams from the top 28 nations based on the Official World Golf Ranking. The 59th edition of the event will see the 56-player field vie for the US$ 7 million prize money on offer. India had qualified for the event on the basis of the world rankings on September 4.

The 22-year-old Shubhankar Sharma, India’s highest ranked golfer at 107, committed for the event and thus became one of the first 28 players to be named by tournament officials on September 14. Shubhankar, who enjoyed great success on the European Tour this season courtesy two wins, will be making his debut at the prestigious event.

Sharma, also the current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, has picked 31-year-old PGA Tour regular Anirban Lahiri as his partner for the World Cup.

Lahiri, currently the second-highest ranked Indian in the world at 110, will be making his second appearance at the event. Anirban, a two-time European Tour winner and a former Asia No. 1, had last played the World Cup in 2013 when he partnered Gaganjeet Bhullar. Lahiri has enjoyed a decent season on the PGA Tour thanks to four top-10 finishes.

An excited Shubhankar said, “It’s my privilege to represent my country in the forthcoming World Cup of Golf at Melbourne. In Anirban, I will have a great partner and senior to guide us through the grind of the event and hopefully win it for us.

“Since the start of the year, I made this event as one of my goals as it has so much history, tradition and a wonderful list of past champions,” added Shubhankar, who played all four Majors this year and also posted two top-20s on the PGA Tour.

Anirban, who has previously also taken part in other esteemed team events such as the Presidents Cup, the Olympics and the EurAsia Cup, said, “I’m very excited to be pairing up with Shubhankar. He’s a special talent and a dear friend so obviously it’s going to be a lot of fun. We both have the capability to bring back the trophy if we can play to our abilities.

“Representing the country is extremely special and a great honour. It’s the first time for me playing the World Cup as a team event so I’m really looking forward to the team competition. I feel like it brings out the best in me. Hopefully, we can have a good run in Melbourne this year.”

Mr. Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI, said, “Shubhankar and Anirban make a formidable World Cup team for India. While Shubhankar has enjoyed great success on the international stage in 2018, Anirban has held his own on the PGA Tour with some top-notch performances this season. We look forward to seeing the Indian team bring out their best as they compete against an elite field. We wish them all the best.”

At the last edition of the World Cup in 2016, the Indian team comprising of SSP Chawrasia and Chikkarangappa S had finished tied 22nd.

India’s best performance at the World Cup of Golf came in 2005 when the pair of Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa secured a creditable ninth place finish.

 

Karnataka, Haryana and Punjab register their second consecutive victories

Bengaluru, 19 September 2018: Action in the 3rd Hockey India 5-a-side Senior National Championship 2018 (Men) continued here today into its second day which saw hosts Hockey Karnataka, Hockey Haryana and Hockey Punjab secure their second consecutive wins in the competition as Hockey Odisha and Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu played out a 2-2 draw.

In the first Pool B match of the day, Hockey Haryana defeated Hockey Maharashtra 6-4 to register their second consecutive victory in the competition. It was Hockey Maharashtra who took a two-goal lead inside the first four minutes but Hockey Haryana made a great comeback to end the first period with scores level at 3-3. However,  Hockey Haryana produced the goods in the second period and secured a 6-4 win with Jagwant Singh (8′, 9′), Manpreet (11′, 20′), Gagandeep Singh (5′) and Bharat (12′) scoring the goals. Whereas, it was Sayyad Niyaz Rahim (4′, 15′), Taleb Shah (2′) and skipper Tyron Pereira (5′) who scored for Hockey Maharashtra.

In the other Pool B match, Hockey Odisha and Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu played out a 2-2 draw. It was the latter who took the lead in the match as J Joshua Benedict Wesely scored in the 11th minute, but Hockey Odisha responded with two goals in the 13th and 14th minutes through Ashis Topno and Teophil Kujur respectively. But with a minute remaining on the clock, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu equalized through J Joshua Benedict Wesely as the match finished 2-2.

In Pool A, Hockey Punjab defeated Hockey Jharkhand 6-3 to register their second consecutive win of the competition. Hockey Punjab ended the first period with a three-goal advantage but their opponents made it tough for them in the closing stages as six goals were scored in the last four minutes of the match. Goals for Hockey Punjab were scored by Jaskaran Singh (4′, 9′, 20′) and skipper Satbir Singh (9′, 18′, 20′) while Noyel Topno (17′, 18′, 20′) scored a quick-fire hat-trick for the losing team.

In the second Pool A match, hosts Hockey Karnataka came from behind to secure an emphatic 8-4 victory over Uttar Pradesh Hockey. The victory saw Hockey Karnataka retain the top-spot in the Pool standings as they have a tally of six points from two matches, with Hockey Punjab also having a similar record. The match saw Hockey Karnataka score seven goals in the second period to come back from 1-2 down. Goals for Hockey Karnataka were scored by Mohammed Raheel Mouseen (2′, 16′, 18′), Pruthvi Raj (12′, 14′), Abharan Sudev (20′, 20′) and K T Cariappa (18′) while Ajay Yadav (9′, 12′), skipper Pal Raj Kumar (10′) and Sourabh Anand (16′) scored for Uttar Pradesh Hockey.

 

Men’s Hockey Team to focus on Hero Asian Champions Trophy

Chief Coach emphasises on erasing bitter memories at the Asian Games by defending the Hero Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, Oman next month

Bhubaneswar, 19 September 2018: The temperature on Wednesday morning in Bhubaneswar hovered around 32 degrees but the real feel was ten degrees higher, thanks to the humid conditions. The sweltering heat, however, did not hamper the pace or deter the enthusiasm of the Indian Men’s Hockey Team Core Group who went about their morning session with zest. The team began their preparations for the Hero Asian Champions Trophy next month followed by the much-awaited Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 here at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium on Monday.

The team, after reporting for the month-long national camp, was put through the routine Yo-Yo Test that helps analyse the fitness levels of the team members. “The weather conditions here are quite challenging. It’s humid and can be exhausting and a player can tire much faster than usual which is why we are paying more attention to recovery sessions post training,” explained Chief Coach Harendra Singh on the sidelines of the training session. “But working hard in this condition will only help us in Muscat, Oman during the Asian Champions Trophy where the weather will be similar to this,” he added.

Not wanting to delve too much into the disappointment at the Asian Games where the team settled for a Bronze Medal, Harendra said, “It is important for every player to be accountable and also be able to criticise their own mistake. As a team activity, I have asked all players to mention five instances where they thought their own individual performance was poor during the Asian Games.”

Even though the team carries bitterness of the Asian Games, they are aware that only another win can help change the scenario for the team in the road ahead to Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. “With all top teams in Asia who were part of the Asian Games coming to Muscat next month, we need to focus on defending our title because only a win can help us forget about the SemiFinal loss at Asian Games,” he said.

The Chief Coach further emphasised that there is no need for the team to change their whole approach basis the two-and-half minutes of the match against Malaysia at the Asian Games. “We were blanked out those last two-and-a-half minutes, no doubt but there is not need to change our whole approach to the game as the team had done well through out. We paid the prize for underperforming but there were also a lot of positives in the entire tournament and it’s important to revisit India’s performance at the FIH Champions Trophy too where they did well against higher ranked teams. This will reinforce confidence in the team,” he stated.

The Indian Men’s Hockey Team Core Group will continue their training camp until October 14 when they will leave for Muscat, Oman to defend the Asian Champions Trophy title.

of India, has drawn out a Long-Term Development Programme (LTDP) to train players, provide world-class infrastructure and International exposure besides regular international competition. With its vision to popularize the game and constantly promote it, Hockey India is dedicated to getting our team into the top three in the world.

 

5-a-side Senior National Championship 2018 (Men)

Karnataka, Haryana, Odisha and Punjab win their opening matches

Bengaluru, 18 September 2018: Hosts Hockey Karnataka ensured the buoyant local crowds were thoroughly entertained watching this new-age hockey as they scored a fine 8-2 win against Hockey Jharkand at the 3rd Hockey India 5-a-side Senior National Championship 2018 (Men) which began here in Bengaluru on Tuesday. The hosts overcame an initial 1-2 setback after Noyel Topno (9′) and Sunil Xaxa (10′) of Hockey Jharkhand spoiled a good start for the home team who scored the first goal through Pradhan Somanna (4′). Backed by the home crowd, Mohammed Raheel Mouseen scored a back-to-back hat-trick of goals (12′,12′,13′) followed by Purthvi Raj who also scored a hat-trick (14′,15′, 19′) that changed the game. Raheel scored his fourth goal of the match in the 20th minute that seal the winning points for the home team.

Earlier, in a nerve-wrecking first match of the evening session, Hockey Haryana registered a narrow 3-2 win against Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu. After ending the first half of ten minutes in a stalemate 1-1 with RT Raghuram scoring for Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu in the 4th minute and Shivdeep scoring the equaliser for Hockey Haryana in the 5th minute, Hockey Haryana took a 2-1 lead in the 12th minute through Bharat’s goal. Though Anand Khujur of Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu scored an equaliser in the 18th minute, Hockey Haryana came up with a strong finish as Shivdeep struck yet again in the 19th minute that saw his team through.

In the second match of the evening session, Hockey Odisha overpowered Hockey Maharashtra with a 5-3 win. Goals for the winning team were scored by Ashis Topno (5′, 10′), Nitin Mukesh Tigga (9′), Tikei Khujur (14′) and International player Nilam Sanjeep Xess (19′) while Tyron Pereira (6′, 18′), Rahim Sayyad Niyaz (15′) scored for Hockey Maharashtra.

Hockey Punjab featuring star players from the 2016 Junior World Cup winning team entertained the evening audience as they scored a splendid 9-5 win against Uttar Pradesh Hockey. Hockey Punjab were dominating through the match to keep up the lead with hat-trick of goals scored by Jaskaran Singh (1′, 9′, 20′) and Satbir Singh (8′, 12′, 20) while Gurmail Singh (5′, 14′) scored twice and dashing forward from teh 2016 Junior World Cup fame Parvinder Singh, who is making a comeback after a year-long rehab due to knee injury also scored in the 6th minute for Hockey Punjab. For Uttar Pradesh Hockey, Ajay Yadav (5′), Sourabh Anand (7′, 8′), Mohd Talib 15′) and Raj Kumar Pal (20′) scored goals.

 

8th Sultan of Johor Cup 2018 Mandeep Mor to lead Indian junior team

New Delhi, 19 September 2018: Hockey India on Wednesday named an 18-member Indian Junior Men’s Hockey team for the upcoming 8th Sultan of Johor Cup 2018 to be held from 6th – 13th October 2018 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The Indian team is scheduled to play a total of five round-robin matches against Malaysia, New Zealand, Japan, Australia and Great Britain. The top two teams at the end of the round-robin matches will face each other in the Final on 13th October 2018 whereas the remaining four teams will play classification matches.

The 18-member team will be Captained by Mandeep Mor, while Shilanand Lakra will shoulder the duties of Vice-Captain. The team includes goalkeepers Kamalbir Singh and Pankaj Kumar Rajak, defenders Suman Beck, Mohd Faraz, Somjeet, Mandeep Mor, Prince and Varinder Singh; while the midfield will be commanded by Yashdeep Siwach, Harmanjit Singh, Vishnu Kant Singh, Gopi Kumar Sonkar, Vishal Antil and Haspreet Singh. The forward line will feature Gursahabjit Singh, Abhishek, Prabhjot Singh and Shilanand Lakra.

“We have selected the team for the 8th Sultan of Johor Cup 2018 keeping in mind the exposure that these young players will be getting at the tournament. We will be up against some of the best teams in the youth category, and we believe that this set of players can challenge the other teams for the title in Johor Bahru. Coach Jude Felix has tried different combinations during our tour of Belgium earlier this year and during the National Camp in Bengaluru, and these 18 players have shown great ability and desire to succeed. It will be a crucial tournament for some of the athletes as this will be their first major assignment with the Indian Junior team, but I am sure that it will be a learning curve to remember for all the players which shall help in their development,” stated David John, Director, High Performance, Hockey India.

The Indian team will play their opening match against hosts Malaysia on 6th October 2018 at 18.05hrs IST.

Junior Men’s Team:

Goalkeepers: Kamalbir Singh, Pankaj Kumar Rajak
Defenders: Suman Beck, Mohd. Faraz, Somjeet, Mandeep Mor (Captain), Prince, Varinder Singh
Midfielders: Yashdeep Siwach, Harmanjit Singh, Vishnu Kant Singh, Gopi Kumar Sonkar, Vishal Antil, Haspreet Singh
Forwards: Gursahabjit Singh, Abhishek, Prabhjot Singh, Shilanand Lakra (Vice-Captain)

 

Kipchoge breaks Marathon World Record in Berlin

In a stunning display of distance running, Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge broke the world record* at the BMW Berlin Marathon on Sunday (16), winning the IAAF Gold Label road race in 2:01:40.

From the early stages of the race, the 33-year-old Kenyan had just a handful of pacemakers for company as they passed through five kilometres in 14:24 and 10 kilometres in 29:21. But shortly after 15 kilometres, which was reached in 43:38, two of the three pacemakers were unable to continue and withdrew from the race.

The final pacemaker, Josphat Boit, led Kipchoge through the half-way point in 1:01:06 before dropping out at 25 kilometres, covered in 1:12:24.Running alone with 17 kilometres left, Kipchoge then sped up.

He passed the 35-kilometre checkpoint just a shade outside 1:41:00, suggesting a finishing time inside 2:02 was possible. By 40 kilometres, reached in 1:55:32, a world record looked a certainty.

Kipchoge maintained his form well in the closing stages and crossed the finish line in 2:01:40, taking one minute and 17 seconds off the previous world record set four years ago by Dennis Kimetto. It is the largest single improvement on the marathon world record since Derek Clayton improved the mark by two minutes and 23 seconds in 1967.

Profile

Eliud Kipchoge
Born: 5 November 1984. Coach: Patrick Sang.

Since bursting on to the scene as an 18-year-old at the 2003 IAAF World Championships in Paris, Kipchoge has charted his career path with precision, proving to be not only an indomitable spirit but also one of the most versatile distance runners of his generation.

But his successes on the roads may not have happened had it not been for a pivotal moment in his track career in 2012.

Kipchoge finished seventh in the Kenyan trial 10,000m race at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene that year, then finished in the same position three weeks later in the 5000m at the Kenyan Trials. Aged 27 at the time, and having earned bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008, Kipchoge had missed out on a third Olympic appearance.

It influenced his decision to move to the roads, though, and he immediately showed promise. He clocked 59:25 on his half marathon debut in Lille in September 2012 and went on to represent Kenya at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Kavarna later that year, placing sixth.

He moved up in distance again and won the Hamburg Marathon in April 2013 in 2:05:30, the sixth fastest marathon debut in history at that time.

Five months later he improved his marathon PB to 2:04:05 to finish second in Berlin in a race in which Wilson Kipsang broke the world record. It was to be Kipchoge’s last –and, to date, only – defeat in a marathon.

Now a fully-fledged marathon runner, Kipchoge has gone on to record victories in Rotterdam, Chicago, London (three times) and Berlin (also three times). In between his second victories in the British and German capitals, Kipchoge also won the Olympic title in Rio, more than making up for the disappointment of missing the 2012 Games.

Up until September 2018, the one accolade that had so far eluded Kipchoge was the world record. But a faultless 2:01:39 run in Berlin saw Kipchoge smash the mark by one minute and 18 seconds.

But it’s not just his run of victories that sets Kipchoge apart, it’s also his string of fast times. He has run 2:04:00 or faster on four occasions and 2:05:00 or faster on nine occasions – and that’s not including his 2:00:25 clocking in Monza in an experimental and unofficial race.

Now aged 33 and after racing internationally for 16 years, Kipchoge is showing no signs of slowing down for the 26.2-mile distance.

Kipchoge’s career achievements

2002 World Cross Country Championships – U20 race, 5th

2003 World Cross Country Championships – U20 race, 1st

2003 World Championships – 5000m, 1st

2004 World Cross Country Championships – senior race, 4th

2004 Olympic Games – 5000m, 3rd

2005 World Cross Country Championships – senior race, 5th

2005 World Championships – 5000m, 4th

2006 World Indoor Championships – 3000m, 3rd

2007 World Championships – 5000m, 2nd

2008 Olympic Games – 5000m, 2nd

2009 World Championships – 5000m, 5th

2011 World Championships – 5000m, 7th

2012 World Half Marathon Championships – 6th

2016 Olympic Games – marathon, 1st

Kipchoge’s marathon career

1st, 2:05:30 – Hamburg, April 2013

2nd, 2:04:05 – Berlin, September 2013

1st, 2:05:00 – Rotterdam, April 2014

1st, 2:04:11 – Chicago, October 2014

1st, 2:04:42 – London, April 2015

1st, 2:04:00 – Berlin, September 2015

1st, 2:03:05 – London, April 2016

1st, 2:08:44 – Rio (Olympic Games), August 2016

1st, 2:03:32 – Berlin, September 2017

1st, 2:04:17 – London, April 2018

1st, 2:01:39 – Berlin, September 2018

Marathon world record progression

2:12:00 Morio Shigematsu (JPN) Chiswick 1965

2:09:36.4 Derek Clayton (AUS) Fukuoka 1967

2:08:33.6 Derek Clayton (AUS) Antwerpen 1969

2:08:18 Rob de Castella (AUS) Fukuoka 1981

2:08:05 Steve Jones (GBR) Chicago 1984

2:07:12 Carlos Lopes (POR) Rotterdam 1985

2:06:50 Belayneh Densimo (ETH) Rotterdam 1988

2:06:05 Ronaldo da Costa (BRA) Berlin 1998

2:05:42 Khalid Khannouchi (MAR) Chicago 1999

2:05:38 Khalid Khannouchi (USA) London 2002

2:04:55 Paul Tergat (KEN) Berlin 2003

2:04:26 Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) Berlin 2007

2:03:59 Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) Berlin 2008

2:03:38 Patrick Makau (KEN) Berlin 2011

2:03:23 Wilson Kipsang (KEN) Berlin 2013

2:02:57 Dennis Kimetto (KEN) Berlin 2014

2:01:39 Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) Berlin 2018

 

Flash: Mayer breaks Decathlon World Record in Talence

Report

World champion Kevin Mayer broke the decathlon world record* at the Decastar meeting in Talence on Sunday (16), scoring 9126 at the final IAAF Combined Events Challenge fixture of 2018.

Coming just seven hours after Eliud Kipchoge clocked 2:01:39 at the Berlin Marathon, Mayer’s performance was the second world record of the day.

The world indoor champion headed to Talence in pursuit of redemption, having crashed out of last month’s European Championships when recording three fouls in the long jump, the second discipline of the decathlon.

Performing in front of a home crowd, Mayer led from the outset, sprinting to 10.55 in the 100m, leaping 7.80m in the long jump, throwing 16.00m in the shot put, clearing 2.05m in the high jump and covering 400m in 48.42 to end the first day with 4563 points.

His momentum continued on the second day, speeding to 13.75 in the 110m hurdles, throwing 50.54m in the discus, clearing 5.45m in the pole vault, throwing 71.90m in the javelin before running the 1500m just a shade outside 4:36, bringing his winning tally to 9126.

Mayer’s performance adds 81 points to the world record set by USA’s Ashton Eaton at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015.

IAAF

*Subject to the usual ratification procedure

 

India Skates away to glory with medals galore at The Asian Roller-Skating Championship held in South Korea

New Delhi, 15th September 2018: The 18th Asian Roller-Skating Championship held between 05th – 15th September 2018 The Artistic Skating Championship concluded today at South Korea. The Indian contingent of 137 skaters from 15 states participated in this Championship. The Asian Roller-Skating Championship is one of the most reputed annual skating event where participants from 17 countries (India, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macaw, Taipei, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand) compete to win medals at the most prestigious for Roller Skating tournament for Asian Countries. Participants compete across six skating categories namely: Speed, Artistic, Inline Freestyle, Inline Hockey, Rink Hockey and skateboarding.

This year, the World Skate Asia International Judges consisted of 44 judges spread across the 6 disciplines. India had 3 judges (Mr. Pradeepak Malvai, Mr Kiran Desai and Ms. Smita Sheth in the artistic discipline, 1 judge in Rink Hockey (Mr. Anand Rajesh) and 2 judges in speed ( Mr. Pushpendran Kumar Singh, Mr. Bhagirath Kumar Dadhich) respectively.

The Indian skaters who competed in the artistic skating categories, brought glory to the country by beating tough competition in artistic from Chinese Taipei, China and Japan. The total number of artistic skaters who participated were 29 and they received 26 medals ( 3 gold, 13 silver and 10 bronze). Speed skaters won in four relay races ( 1 silver and 3 bronze)– Girls ( Junior and Senior) and Boys ( Junior and senior ). In the Individual category, Vikram in 500m race has won bronze medal and Rea Elizabeth has won a bronze medal in the elimination race. In Roller Hockey the Senior Quad girls won the gold, and in Inline Hockey the Junior girls won a silver and the Junior boys bagged a bronze.

Final Medal Tally Artistic:

Cadet Category (Age: 10 to 13)

Discipline

Medal

Name

State

Figure Skating Boys

Gold

Dweep Anang Shah

Gujarat

Figure Skating Boys

Silver

Priyam Parthiv Desai

Gujarat

Figure Skating Girls

Silver

Yashvi Bimal Chauhan

Gujarat

Free Skating Girls

Gold

Sai Samhitha Akula

Andhra Pradesh

Free Skating Boys

Silver

Vaishnav Vemam

Andhra Pradesh

Junior Category (Age: 12 to 16)

Discipline

Medal

Name

State

Figure skating Girls

Gold

Mishri Utkarsh Parekh

Gujarat

Figure skating Girls

Silver

Bhavita Bhavin Madhu

Gujarat

Figure skating Boys

Silver

Mohan Kiran Kumar

Andhra Pradesh

Figure skating Boys

Bronze

Hari Kamal Naidu

Andhra Pradesh

Free Skating boys

Bronze

Abhijeet Amal Raj

Kerela

Inline Free Skating Girls

Silver

Anmisha Bhupatiraju

Andhra Pradesh

Inline Free Skating Boys

Bronze

Abhijeet Amal Raj

Kerela

Pair Skating

Silver

Arun Rayadu and Farheen Sheikh

Andhra Pradesh

Pair Skating

Bronze

Abhijeet Amal Raj and Riya Saboo

Kerela & A.P

Couple Dance

Silver

Rahul Eluri and Khyati Anupozu

Telengana

Solo Dance Girls

Silver

Pranamya Rao

Tamil Nadu

Solo Dance Girls

Bronze

Vacasya Nagula

Tamil Nadu

Solo Dance Boys

Silver

Arun Sathia Narayanan

Tamil Nadu

Quartet Group Dance

Bronze

Pranamya Rao, Vacasya Nagula, Sujinitha Raghunathan, Kairavi Thakkar

Tamil Nadu & Telengana

Seniors (Age: Above 16 Years)

Discipline

Medal

Name

State

Figure Skating

Silver

Dr. Mahesh Verma

Sudhanshu Mittal – Vice President of the Indian Olympic Association and Tulsi Ram Agarwal President RSFI (Roller Skating Federation of India) on the wins said “ The Indian team which was sent to the 18th Asian Roller Skating Championship had undergone a vigorous training exercise starting six months before the championship. All the disciplines had kept various camps across the cities of India and got these skaters trained from the best Indian coaches. International coaches were also called to train the Indian Skaters. The Official Board members kept a keen watch on each skater’s performance and were in constant contact with the coaches. This has resulted in India performing extremely well in this Asian. The performance shown by the Indian contingent of 137 skaters with over 20 medal won at an Asian level is indeed an inspiring win for the country. We hope that these young skaters make India proud by winning many more championships like this.”

Indian Team is overall 2nd in Asia. Meanwhile Roller Skating was included in the 1992 Olympic Games as a demonstration event and as a medal event in the 42nd National Games held in Andhra Pradesh in 2002 and as a medal event in the 16th Asian Games held from 12th to 27th November 2010 in Guangzhou, in China. Roller Sports event “Skateboarding” is included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games.

 

Language of Experts: Select Dugout returns to Unimoni Asia Cup 2018 to keep fans ahead of the game

Former New Zealand Captain – Stephen Fleming and Sri Lankan batting legend – Mahela Jayawardene make their Select Dugout commentary debuts

Mumbai, 14th September 2018: Star Sports’ Select Dugout commentary panel for the Unimoni Asia Cup 2018 brings together an illustrious line-up of cricket experts with two debutants – Former captain of New Zealand – Stephen Fleming and one of cricket’s modern great’s batsman Mahela Jayawardene. Riding on the wave of popularity that the #SelectDugout received during its debut in VIVO IPL 2018, the experts now are ready to change the way ODI commentary is brought to the fans with audio and visual analysis focused on the key aspects of the matches throughout the tournament.

Speaking about his commentary debut on the #SelectDugout panel for the Unimoni Asia Cup 2018, Mahela Jayawardene said, “I had the opportunity to experience the commentary on Select Dugout during the VIVO IPL 2018 and I was truly amazed by the way it was reimagined to keep the fans ahead of the game. Cricket is evolving and the Select Dugout is at the forefront of changing the way commentary is consumed.

He further added, “I am excited to make my debut on the Select Dugout panel and I am looking forward to team up with some of the legends of the game such as Stephen Fleming, Anil Kumble, Dean Jones, Scott Styris, Zaheer Khan and others to bring the best of action and neighborhood banter.”

Fans will be able to enjoy the Select Dugout with experts like Stephen Fleming, Mahela Jayawardena, Dean Jones, Brett Lee, Scott Styris, Mike Hesson, Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman and Graeme Smith.

In addition to the Select Dugout, World Feed and Hindi Feed will keep fans actively engaged throughout the Unimoni Asia Cup 2018 as fans get the option to choose how they want to enjoy their cricket.

Fans can catch the Select Dugout on Star Sports Select 1 and Star Sports Select 1 HD and Hotstar.

 

Akshay Sharma pulls off career-best seven-under-65

– Achieves breakthrough win with thumping six-shot margin at inaugural QA InfoTech Open
– Sharma credits help from legend Jeev Milkha Singh for a turnaround in career

Noida, September 14, 2018: Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma pulled off a career-best seven-under-65 in the final round of the QA InfoTech Open 2018 to post his breakthrough PGTI win with a thumping six-shot margin at the Noida Golf Course.

The 28-year-old Akshay, who turned professional in 2011, shot scores of 73, 70, 69 and 65, to end the Rs. 50 lakh event with a total score of 11-under-277. His error-free fourth round of 65 was also the best round of the tournament.

Sri Lankan Mithun Perera (69-71-73-70) finished a distant second at five-under-283.

Akshay Sharma began the day in second place, trailing leader Angad Cheema of neighboring city Panchkula by two shots. Akshay soon emerged as the top contender as he made a dream start with birdies on the first three holes even as his nearest rivals Angad Cheema and Mithun Perera stumbled with bogeys.

He sank a 10-footer on the second and followed that up with a terrific tee shot on the par-3 third that landed three feet from the pin.

Sharma, who had four top-10s earlier in the year, continued the fireworks on the front-nine adding birdies on the sixth and seventh by landing his wedge shots within two feet of the flag on both holes. He thus enjoyed a commanding six-shot lead at the turn and seemed well on course for his first PGTI title.

Akshay, a winner on the PGTI Feeder Tour in 2014, played some solid golf on the back-nine by sinking two long birdie putts on the 13th and 17thand making seven pars to come home the champion.

Akshay, who took home the winner’s cheque worth Rs. 8,08,250, has now zoomed from 26th place to fifth position in the PGTI Order of Merit. Sharma’s previous best result on the PGTI was third place at Chandigarh last year.

Akshay said, “I’m overjoyed. I’ve waited for my first PGTI win for almost eight years. All aspects of my game clicked today as I produced my career-best score. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

“The birdies on the first three holes just eased the pressure on me and set me up for a good score. By the time I made the turn I had a huge advantage of six shots and felt in good rhythm. I told myself at that stage that no matter what I will play safe from here on and not miss the green.

“Importantly, I didn’t make any mistakes or drop any bogeys today. I hardly put a foot wrong as there were no bad shots during the round. I also didn’t think too much about what the others were doing. I first felt I had sealed it only after the 16th.

“My game picked up in the last two seasons thanks to two people, Jeev Milkha Singh and my caddy Montu. I started playing rounds with Jeev Sir in Chandigarh about two years back in order to improve my game. He often shared his inputs and experience with me which really helped my game. Jeev Sir also motivated me before my round this morning by asking me to focus on my game and not think too much and get too ahead of myself.

“My caddy Montu also brought in all his experience from caddying for Rashid Khan on the Asian Tour. He taught me a lot about reading greens and helped improve my short-game. Unfortunately, he was not on the bag for me this week as he is caddying for Rashid Khan in an Asian Tour event.

“I have to thank my fellow professionals from Chandigarh, Harendra Gupta and Ranjit Singh. I literally learnt playing golf by watching them.

“I also thank the Chandigarh Golf Club for their support through the years. I would specifically like to thank Mr. B S Gill, President, Chandigarh Golf Club, as well as members Mr. Satish Pardesi and Mrs. Akanksha Gupta, for all their help. The victory will help me set higher goals in the future.”

Mithun Perera had a late surge of four birdies on the last five holes that saw him sign off with a 70 to finish runner-up.

Delhi’s Arjun Prasad (71) claimed third place at four-under-284.

Angad Cheema, the round three leader, carded a last round of 77 to finish tied 11th at one-under-287.

Noida’s Gaurav Pratap Singh performed the best among the local golfers as he secured tied 18th place at one-over-289.

Indian star Jeev Milkha Singh claimed tied 45th place at eight-over-296. He posted a 78 in the final round.

 

Angad Cheema on the rise in round three of QA InfoTech Open 2018

– Cheema shoots 69 to go two ahead; Akshay Sharma in second
– Jeev Milkha Singh in tied 21st

Noida, September 13, 2018: Panchkula’s Angad Cheema hogged the limelight in round three of the QA InfoTech Open 2018 as he shot a three-under-69 that gave him a two-shot lead at six-under-210 at the Noida Golf Course.

Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma was placed second at four-under-212 after he too carded a 69 on day three of the Rs. 50 lakh event.

Indian star Jeev Milkha Singh closed the day in tied 21st with a total of two-over-218. He returned a one-over-73 in round three.

Angad Cheema (71-70-69), one of only two players to shoot under-par scores in all three rounds of the tournament so far, made his way from overnight tied third to the top of the leaderboard on Thursday. With his 69, Cheema put behind the disappointment of an ordinary finish in round two where he dropped two bogeys on the last four holes.

The 28-year-old Angad, who won on the PGTI in his rookie season in 2013 and as a result finished a creditable third on the PGTI Order of Merit that year, mixed five birdies with two bogeys in the third round.

Cheema sank two long birdie putts on the second and seventh before dropping a bogey on the eighth. The tall and lanky golfer, who had an Asian Tour card in 2015, had a comparatively better back-nine leaving himself two four-footers on the 11thand 12th and a tap-in on the 14th, all of which he converted into birdies.

Angad, looking to revive a season where he hasn’t posted any top-10, recovered well for a bogey on the 13th and drained an important 25-feet par putt on the 15th.

Cheema, currently placed 39th in the PGTI Order of Merit, said, “I’ve played well on all three days and kept myself out of trouble. My ball-striking has been great and putting has been consistent in the last two days. That par save from 25 feet on the 15th today really lifted my confidence.

“The greens are rolling better with each passing day and I’ll just look to repeat the same performance on day four. The key will be to keep the ball in play throughout.

“My form has been patchy since suffering an ankle injury in 2015. I’ve had some good finishes since then but have not been able to string together consistent performances on a regular basis.

“I was the halfway leader by four shots in Hyderabad earlier this year but couldn’t take advantage of that and finally finished outside the top-20. I feel I can now turn the tide this week,” added Angad, whose last top-10 finish came at the Pune Open 2017 where he was joint runner-up.

Akshay Sharma (73-70-69) climbed up seven places to second position thanks to his 69 on Thursday. Akshay, the man with four top-10s this year, produced four birdies and a bogey and 15 greens in regulation in the third round to move into contention.

Akshay, placed 26th in the PGTI Order of Merit, said, “I’m carrying the good form from last week’s event in Jaipur where I had a five-under on the final day. I’ve been in good rhythm since the latter half of last year but have not fully capitalized on the opportunities that have come my way. I’d like to change that this week.”

Noida’s Gaurav Pratap Singh fired a third straight 71 to become only the second player other than the leader Cheema to register three under-par scores in the tournament. Gaurav thus moved up two spots into tied third at three-under-213.

Second round leaders Arjun Prasad of Delhi and Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka dropped to tied third as both shot scores of 73 on Thursday.

 

Teenager Arjun Prasad, Mithun Perera enjoy slender lead in round two of QA InfoTech Open 2018

Jeev Milkha Singh in tied 17th

Noida, September 12, 2018: Delhi-based teenager Arjun Prasad and Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera maintained their place atop the leaderboard in round two of the QA InfoTech Open 2018 at the Noida Golf Course on Wednesday.

Both Prasad and Perera, who shot scores of three-under-69 to be part of the five-way lead on day one of the Rs. 50 lakh event, once again came up with matching scores of one-under-71 on day two to stay in the lead with totals of four-under-140.

Panchkula’s Angad Cheema (70) and Sri Lankan Anura Rohana (71) were one shot behind the leaders in tied third.

Indian star Jeev Milkha Singh ended the day in tied 17th with a total of one-over-145 after he shot a score of two-over-74 in round two.

The cut went at five-over-149. Fifty-nine professionals and one amateur made the cut.

Arjun Prasad (69-71), playing only his second season as a professional, had a steady start as he made pars on the first six holes. Prasad, who became the youngest Indian to earn an Asian Tour card at age 17 in early 2017, made a terrific par save with a chip-in on the fourth.

The 19-year-old Arjun currently in 22nd place on the PGTI Order of Merit then followed up his birdie on the seventh with a double-bogey on the next to make the turn at one-over. The man with three top-10s on the PGTI this year went on to add three birdies and a bogey on the back-nine to end up with a 71.

Prasad said, “My ball-striking has been outstanding so far this week. I’ve also converted some crucial putts over the first two days. I played the par-5s particularly well yesterday making birdies on three of them.

“Today it was windier so it was all about keeping it in play which I managed to do well. My best shot was the approach from 235 yards on the par-5 14th which landed 10 feet short of the green and rolled on to the putting surface to set up a 20-feet two-putt for birdie.

“I grew up playing junior and amateur golf along with Karandeep Kochhar and Viraj Madappa. The professional wins achieved by these two good friends of mine have really motivated me to raise my game. Having seen them win events, I believe I too can win at the highest level.”

Mithun Perera (69-71) mixed four birdies with three bogeys during his round of 71. Perera landed it within five feet on three occasions. Mithun’s best shot of the day was his third shot from 75 yards out on the par-5 14th which he almost holed.

Angad Cheema was four-under for the day through 14 holes and was looking good for the sole lead. However, his two bogeys on the last four holes pushed him back to tied third at three-under-141. Anura Rohana was also tied for third.

There was a four-way tie in fifth place at two-under-142 between overnight joint leader Chiragh Kumar (73) of Delhi, C Muniyappa (70) of Bengaluru, Bangladesh’s Md Zamal Hossain Mollah (68) and Noida’s Gaurav Pratap Singh (71).

Chandigarh’s Yuvraj Singh Sandhu, who finished fourth in Jaipur last week, was the only amateur to make the cut. He was placed tied 17th at one-over-145.

Jeev: PGTI’s inclusion in OWGR system excellent news for Indian golf

Jeev Milkha Singh has been enjoying the experience of playing on the PGTI after almost a year.

Jeev said, “It’s great to be back on the PGTI and competing with all the Indian youngsters. The tour has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and there is a lot of depth in talent.

“The Indian youngsters have a lot of avenues to gain knowledge about the game nowadays. They need to take advantage of that.

“PGTI’s inclusion in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) system from next year onwards is excellent news for Indian golf. Our players now have to take advantage of this new development and not get complacent.

“World ranking points will give PGTI professionals opportunities to play abroad. So they should now set their sights on higher tours. They need to keep pushing themselves and get out of their comfort zones if they want to become world-class players.

“The key should be to start by setting small goals which are achievable and then keep moving ahead.”

 

Players eye rankings with ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in mind

– Several leading players in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings to feature in six-nation Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates
– Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan: “We are looking forward to playing in front of the UAE crowds as we prepare for the World Cup. We have a lot of fans here who will be following our fortunes”
– Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza: “The ICC Cricket World Cup is what everyone is looking forward to with enthusiasm and this will help us prepare well with so many from here playing in the mega event next year.”
India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah: “Being at the top of the ICC rankings is a matter of great pride for me. We will be playing against some leading players and I know the conditions can be challenging but I’m hoping to be at my best.”
– Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed: “Half the teams who will feature in the World Cup are participating in the Asia Cup so it is a great chance for us to see where we stand. We have sweet memories of the ICC Champions Trophy last year but we have new challenges ahead.”
– Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews: “There are three higher ranked oppositions in the fray and it is a good chance to move up in the ICC ODI rankings”

Dubai, 13 September 2018: Several leading players go into the upcoming Asia Cup aiming to not only consolidate their positions in theMRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings but also to use the multi-nation tournament in preparation for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

With five of the six teams in the Asia Cup to feature in next year’s mega event, the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Shakib Al Hasan and Babar Azam are excited at the prospect of being pitted against the best of the region in the 15-28 September tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

The Asia Cup commences with a match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Dubai on Saturday. Afghanistan, qualifiers Hong Kong, India and Pakistan get into action later as they try to qualify for the Super Four stage and get more tournament practice with just eight months to go for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July.

India fast bowler Bumrah, who has a lead of 20 points over Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, is looking to maintain his top position while Pakistan batsman Babar is hoping to bridge the big gap with Virat Kohli, who is not playing in this tournament. Similarly, Bangladesh’s Shakib is aiming to be at his best and show everyone why he is top-ranked among all-rounders.

Several openers who figure prominently in the rankings will be seen in action, including the India pair of Rohit Sharma (fourth) and Shikhar Dhawan (ninth), Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal (12th) and Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman (16th).

Among bowlers, Pakistan’s Hasan Ali is looking to claw his way back two spots to number one, while India spinners Kuldeep Yadav (sixth) and Yuzvendra Chahal (joint-ninth) are the others in the top 10.

In the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings, India are the top-ranked side in the tournament. They are presently second with 121 points, six points behind England, while Pakistan are in fifth position and 104 points.

India, Pakistan and Hong Kong are in Group A while Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka form Group B for the preliminary stage. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Super Fours with the top two sides from there making the final.

Aghanistan captain Asghar Afghan: “We are looking forward to playing in front of the UAE crowds as we prepare for the World Cup. We have a lot of fans here who will be following our fortunes.

“It is a chance for the team to gather ranking points on the ODI table and also to improve our individual rankings. We look forward to playing good, competitive cricket against good sides in the Asia Cup.”

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza: “We have some great recent memories of the Asia Cup. We have been finalists in two of the last three events and on rankings we are the third best ODI team in Asia. That will inspire us and give us confidence as we get ready to play against some very tough sides.

“The ICC Cricket World Cup is what everyone is looking forward to with enthusiasm and this will help us prepare well with so many from here playing in the mega event next year.”

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed: “This tournament is a great chance for us to rise up in the ICC ODI team rankings, especially since the ICC Cricket World Cup is not very far away.

“Half the teams who will feature in the World Cup are participating in the Asia Cup so it is a great chance for us to see where we stand. We have sweet memories of the ICC Champions Trophy last year but we have new challenges ahead.”

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews: “This continental tournament gives us a chance to test ourselves against some good sides and also prepare for the ICC Cricket World Cup in the process.

“There are three higher ranked oppositions in the fray and it is a good chance to also move up in the ICC ODI rankings.”

Top-ranked bowler Jasprit Bumrah of India: “The Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates is going to be huge and I’m really looking forward to doing my best here.

“Being at the top of the ICC rankings is a matter of great pride for me. We will be playing against some leading players and I know the conditions can be challenging but I’m hoping to be at my best.”

Top-ranked all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh: “This continental tournament pits some leading players against each other and I’m sure fans would be hoping for some top-class action.

“It’s an honour to be the top-ranked all-rounder in ODIs and I am hoping to be at my best during the tournament.”

Second-ranked batsman Babar Azam of Pakistan: “We as a team are looking forward to the Asia Cup and I have some extra incentive in my individual ranking.

“I know Virat is way ahead in terms of rating points but this is definitely a chance to consolidate my position at number two and gain some valuable ranking points.”

Third-ranked bowler Hasan Ali of Pakistan: “The Asia Cup is going to be a well-fought tournament and an opportunity for a lot of our players.

“I have been top-ranked in the format earlier and will give it my best shot to try and reach the summit once again. This tournament provides me with a chance to work towards that objective.”

The ODI team rankings, unlike the Test rankings, are updated after each match. The predictor function is available here.

MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings (as of 13 September, before the Asia Cup):

RANK  TEAM             POINTS

1.     England            127

2.     India                  121

3.     New Zealand    112

4.     South Africa      110

5.     Pakistan            104

6.     Australia            100

7.     Bangladesh        92

8.     Sri Lanka            80

9.     West Indies        69

10.  Afghanistan        62

11.  Zimbabwe          53

12.  Ireland                39

13.  Scotland             33

14.  UAE                    21

*Nepal and the Netherlands will qualify for a full ranking after playing two more matches each

(Developed by David Kendix)

MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings (as of 13 September, before the Asia Cup):

BATSMEN (top 20)

Rank     Player                 Team       Points   Avge     Highest Rating

   1         Virat Kohli            Ind         911!      58.20     911 v Eng at Headingley 2018

   2         Babar Azam         Pak        825       54.80     846 v NZ at Wellington 2018

   3         Joe Root              Eng        818       51.61     819 v Aus at Brisbane 2018

   4         Rohit Sharma       Ind         806       44.98     825 v SL at Mohali 2017

   5         David Warner       Aus        803       43.43     880 v Pak at Adelaide 2017

   6         Ross Taylor          NZ          785       46.28     789 v Eng at Dunedin 2018

   7         Quinton de Kock  SA          781       45.25     808 v Ban at East London 2017

   8         Kane Williamson  NZ          778       46.87     798 v SA at Centurion 2015

   9         Shikhar Dhawan  Ind         770       45.72     794 v SA at Melbourne 2015

  10        Jonny Bairstow    Eng        769       50.30     777 v Aus at Durham 2018

  11        Faf du Plessis      SA          766       44.40     802 v Ind at Durban 2018

  12        Tamim Iqbal         Ban        737!      36.23     737 v Win at St Kitts 2018

  13        Martin Guptill        NZ          731       42.99     789 v SA at Hamilton 2017

  14        Hashim Amla       SA          729       49.65     901 v Eng at Trent Bridge 2012

  15        MS Dhoni             Ind         714       51.25     836 v Aus at Delhi 2009

  16        Fakhar Zaman     Pak        713*!     76.07     713 v Zim at Bulawayo 2018

  17        Aaron Finch         Aus        706       38.19     744 v Eng at Melbourne 2015

  18        Jos Buttler            Eng        701       40.35     723 v Ban at Mirpur 2016

  19        Steve Smith         Aus        675       41.84     752 v Pak at Sydney 2017

  20=      Travis Head         Aus        670*!     37.00     670 v Eng at Old Trafford 2018

              Jason Roy            Eng        670       39.06     680 v Aus at Durham 2018

BOWLERS (top 20)

Rank      Player                 Team     Points    Avge      Eco.       Highest Rating

   1         Jasprit Bumrah     Ind         775*      22.50     4.64      787 v SA at Centurion 2018

   2         Rashid Khan        Afg         755       14.22     3.92      787 v Zim at Sharjah 2018

   3         Hasan Ali             Pak        742*      20.88     5.21      766 v NZ at Wellington 2018

   4         Trent Boult           NZ          699       24.63     5.09      766 v Ind at Delhi 2016

   5         Josh Hazlewood  Aus        696       24.27     4.72      733 v Eng at Adelaide 2018

   6         Kuldeep Yadav    Ind         684*      19.35     4.82      698 v Eng at Lord’s 2018

   7         Adil Rashid           Eng        681!      30.80     5.52      681 v Ind at Headingley 2018

   8         Kagiso Rabada    SA          676       27.62     5.09      724 v Eng at Lord’s 2017

   9=       Imran Tahir          SA          666       24.81     4.68      786 v SL at Johannesburg 2017

              Y.Chahal              Ind         666*      23.86     4.72      668 v Eng at Lord’s 2018

  11        Chris Woakes      Eng        643       30.77     5.50      673 v NZ at Christchurch 2018

  12        Mitchell Starc       Aus        642       20.95     4.93      783 v NZ at Melbourne 2015

  13        Mitchell Santner   NZ          632       33.91     4.90      663 v Eng at Hamilton 2018

  14        Moeen Ali             Eng        621       45.08     5.09      629 v Aus at Old Trafford 2018

  15        Akshar Patel        Ind         615*      31.31     4.43      663 v Aus at Nagpur 2017

  16        M. Rahman          Ban        609*      20.01     4.71      610 v Win at Guyana 2018

  17        Mohammad Nabi Afg         608       31.16     4.28      653 v Zim at Harare 2017

  18        Pat Cummins       Aus        607       28.45    5.38      626 v Eng at Adelaide 2018

  19=      M. Mortaza           Ban        606       30.87    4.78      653 v Zim at Mirpur 2009

              Matt Henry           NZ          606       24.59    5.57      675 v Aus at Hamilton 2016

ALL-ROUNDERS (top five)

Rank      Player                 Team     Points    Highest Rating

   1         Shakib Al Hasan  Ban        362       453 v Zim at Chittagong 2009

   2         M. Hafeez            Pak        322       438 v Ind at Kolkata 2013

   3         Mitchell Santner   NZ          317!      317 v Eng at Christchurch 2018

   4         M. Nabi                Afg         316       349 v Ire at Greater Noida 2017

   5         A. Mathews          SL          305       427 v Eng at Colombo (RPS) 2014 

 

Sardar Singh calls time on his career

New Delhi, 14 September 2018: As stalwart midfielder Sardar Singh called time on his illustrious International career, Hockey India on Friday congratulated the 32-year-old Khel Ratna awardee on his long-serving career that spanned over 12 years. Calling him a true ambassador of the game, Rajinder Singh, President, Hockey India said, “In the best and worst of times, Sardar Singh has exemplified steely determination. His qualities and dedication as a player makes him a true ambassador of the game. He has inspired an entire generation of youngsters with his performances and as Captain, he led the team to one of the biggest victories at the 2014 Asian Games. He has been part of Indian Hockey’s resurgence and elevation in World Ranking. His contribution to the sport will be cherished and Hockey India would like to congratulate him for his achievements and wish him the very best for his future endeavors.”

BREDA – Rabobank Hockey Champions Trophy
India – Argentina
Photo: Sardar Singh 300th match.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS FRANK UIJLENBROEK

Sardar Singh who made his decision to retire known to Hockey India on Wednesday evening through a formal letter, announced the same on Thursday through a press conference at Chandigarh.

The legendary player has been part of India’s important feats in the past decade, having won Silver medal at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games, two Asia Cup Gold (in 2007 and 2017) and a silver (2013), Gold at the 2014 Asian Games, Bronze at the World League Final in Raipur 2015 and Silver Medal at the 2011 Champions Challenge. In 2018, he was part of the Indian team that won a Silver Medal at the FIH Champions Trophy in Breda 2018, Bronze Medal at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018.

From Sant Nagar in Sirsa, Haryana, Sardar born to a humble farmer’s family played his first international match with the junior national team during India’s 2003-04 tour of Poland. He made his Senior India debut in 2006 against Pakistan at the bilateral series and also led the Indian team at the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
Sardar was awarded player of the tournament in the 2012 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, 2012 London Olympics Qualifiers and 2010 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. In 2010, Sardar was included in the 2010 and 2011 FIH All-Star Team and won the Asian Men Player of the Year 2012. He was conferred with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2017 and was earlier awarded the Padma Shri in 2015. He is currently employed with Haryana Police as Deputy Superintendent.

 

FC Goa defeat Mar Menor FC in Fourth Pre-Season Win

A closely fought encounter saw the Gaurs down Spanish Tercera division side 2-1 at the La Manga Club in Spain. The Goan club is on a winning streak as goals from Spaniard Miguel Palanca and Hugo Boumous secured the Indian Super League (ISL) Club’s fourth straight pre-season victory.

FC Goa started the game in their usual style, controlling the play and moving the ball around sharply. Despite being in control, a lack of concentration gave the Spanish side a 1-0 lead in the 8th minute. The Gaurs’ custodian Laxmikant Kattimani could do nothing about a wonderful strike from Mar Menor’s striker, as the Gaurs were now left to fight back from a goal down if they were to have a chance of winning the game.

The ISL side regained their composure and maintained their discipline. In the 16th minute, the Gaurs managed to equalize through new signing Miguel Palanca. Hugo Boumous made a good run down the flank and put in an exquisite ball to Palanca who placed it in the back of the net to draw his side level.

A few minutes later FC Goa came excruciatingly close to taking the lead when Mandar’s shot cannoned off the crossbar. Hugo was once again the creator-in-chief as he played a great ball to Mandar, but the local boy was unable to give his side the lead.

The Gaurs were able to capitalize on their dominance when, in the 30th minute, Boumous recovered the ball in the attacking third and single-handedly dribbled passed 3 defenders to give his team a 2-1 advantage. It was a fantastic move from the Moroccan midfielder.

The Goan side had a glorious opportunity to take a two-goal advantage when a penalty was awarded to them in the 63rd minute. It was Hugo again who was in the thick of things as he was brought down in the 18-yard box. The midfielder stepped up to take the penalty himself, but his shot was saved by Mar Menor’s goalkeeper.

There was not much action after the penalty as the Gaurs managed to hold on to their slender advantage and claim yet another impressive victory in pre-season.

 

Hockey India names 25-member core group for national camp

The National Campers will report to Chief Coach Harendra Singh at Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneswar for the four-week National Camp ahead of Asian Champions Trophy and the much-awaited Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

New Delhi, 12 September 2018: Hockey India on Wednesday named a 25-member Core Group for the National Camp to begin on September 16 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneswar. The National Campers will report to Chief Coach Harendra Singh for a month-long training that concludes on October 14 ahead of the ten-day Asian Champions Trophy to begin on October 18 in Muscat, Oman where the Indian Team will defend the title.

After the disappointment at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang where the Indian team ended their campaign with a Bronze Medal after beating Pakistan, the squad will be looking at overcoming the setback and regroup with fresh perspective in the lead up to the much-awaited Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. “The Bronze Medal was a consolation and there is no excuse for not making it to the Final of the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang. There is no point looking back at the loss but now it’s critical for us to look ahead with a fresh, positive approach,” expressed Chief Coach Harendra Singh.

BREDA – Rabobank Hockey Champions Trophy
India – Pakistan
Photo: Indian head coach Harendra Singh.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS FRANK UIJLENBROEK

The 25-member Core Group includes three Goalkeepers PR Sreejesh, Suraj Karkera and Krishan Pathak while defenders Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh and the young Pardeep Singh have been called up for the National Camp.

Among midfielders Manpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Sumit, Simranjit Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and  Vivek Sagar Prasad have been selected. The forwards who have made the cut are SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh and Sumit Kumar.

Meanwhile, ace striker Ramandeep Singh who underwent a knee surgery after sustaining an injury during the FIH Champions Trophy along with defender Birendra Lakra who will be under rehab from 16 September 2018.

“The idea of training in Bhubaneswar was to get acclimatized and we are also looking at playing on the newly-laid turf at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium which will host the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. This is a very important phase in the lead up to the season Finale starting on November 28 and we intend to critically analyse our mistakes during the 18th Asian Games not just in our match against Malaysia but the other matches too. Asian Champions Trophy will be one tournament where we will be executing the changes made during this National Camp which is why the tournament in Oman will be very important for us,” emphasized Harendra Singh.

National Campers List:

Goalkeepers: 1. P R Sreejesh 2. Suraj Karkera 3
3. Krishan Bahadur Pathak

Defenders: 4. Harmanpreet Singh 5. Rupinder Pal Singh 6. Gurinder Singh  7. Varun Kumar 8. Kothajit Singh Khadangbam 9. Surender Kumar
10. Jarmanpreet Singh 11. Pardeep Singh

Midfielders: 12. Manpreet Singh 13. Chinglensana Singh Kangujam
14. Sumit 15. Simranjit Singh 16. Nilakanta Sharma 17. Hardik Singh
18. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay 19. Vivek Sagar Prasad

Forwards: 20. S V Sunil 21. Akashdeep Singh 22. Gurjant Singh
23. Mandeep Singh 24. Dilpreet Singh 25. Sumit Kumar

 

I grew up with the saying “Pen is mightier than the sword”

This is a very special moment for me. It is unique to be honoured by journalists, especially sports journalists. It is a real privilege. I am overwhelmed by this very special reception. Credit goes to the Sports Journalists’ Federation of India, Sports Writers Association of Bangalore, my dear friends in the media and some of you whom I have interacted with over the years.

I am delighted to be amongst you because you have more responsibility than all of us have. I grew up with the saying that pen is mightier than the sword and that is exactly what journalists are all about; to be able to put out the facts, to be able to tell a story that when people start reading something, they really want to get to the end of the story rather than leaving it with the headline. You make it possible to generate interest among the public and make sense of what people like us have tried to do over the years in sport.

I have been part of sports for the last five decades. When I go to Wimbledon, hopefully in 2019, it will be my 50th consecutive visit to Wimbledon.

The important aspect of sport, as I have said on numerous occasions, is the fact that it teaches you mostly about yourself. At the end of the day when our careers settle down and the most important aspect of your sporting careers is the video clips or the memories of what you did or what you didn’t do. The important aspect is how you dealt with it over the period of your life in sport.

I always talk about my parents because they were the ones who were able to make me into what I am. And anyone with any visibility, having had the parents I did, I think they would achieve the mountain with parents like mine.

The amazing thing about sport is that failures are a lot more common than victories; we lose most of the time and we lose real close ones. The thing with my sport was that it was me and the other guy. We see constantly at the US Open this week that when it comes down to the final two points of the fifth set tie-breaker between (Dominic) Thiem and (Rafael) Nadal, after five hours, it comes down just to those two points.

I have to talk about (ace rifle shooter) Anjali (Bhagwat – one of the recipients of SJFI’s honorary life membership and present at the function) because as a shooter if you are that good, and if your hand wavers a little bit, and if you are about to pull the trigger, how tight is it? It is almost as tough as making the putt in golf or serving the ace in tennis at a crucial time, but most importantly it is the one little flick of the finger that you falter and that loses you the medal. So I understand the pressure you must have been through and I congratulate you for all that you achieved.

To my dear friend Vishy ( Cricket great G R Viswanath) here, what can I say? We played at the same time, in two different sports. Your brother-in-law (Sunil Gavaskar) always says he is better than you, but that’s not the case. He and I have had a lot of discussions about that and after a glass of wine, he talks more freely about your incredible partnerships and the stuff that you did for the country which I was privileged enough to see on many occasions.

The great thing about playing in the time of Vishy and Sunil and all of them, we hoped that they would do well, so that the pressure was off me at that time. And Sunil always said to me that he hoped I would win more so (that) the pressure would be off them to score hundreds in every Test match.

Nothing inspires you more than the national anthem

The very first tournament I won was as a 13-year-old. I was a school boy and I was allowed to play in a college tournament, that time in Chennai (then Madras). It was the Jain College tennis tournament for all college participants across the country and they allowed me to play. I squeezed myself into the final and I played a 19-year-old, so something like 2000 students watched the five-set final on a May afternoon in Chennai. I lost the first two sets 4-6, 5-7 and then came back to win 11-9, 6-2, 6-4, in a five-set match that I couldn’t believe I was able to pull through.

But most importantly, the next morning in the Hindu newspaper there was a very tiny picture of me in a corner, arguably the ugliest picture I have seen. But I have never felt so good about myself, as a 13-year-old. I think, to a great extent, the journalist who wrote that piece in `The Hindu’ inspired me and encouraged me to ask more of myself. I think in anything we do in life the most important thing is to challenge yourself. The great Billy Jean King (former six-time Wimbledon women’s singles champion) said: “Every challenge is an opportunity and pressure is a privilege,’’ and not many of us get it on the national or international stage. And when we get the opportunity to write for something, to play for something, to be able to go after something that is bigger than yourself, I think that’s when you learn more about yourself.

So, I do believe the one thing that the sport has taught me is the ability to learn more on a daily basis till you have children, and once you have children the ones who really teach you about life are the children.

Today I am very fortunate to have two young men, one who played Davis Cup for India for nine years. One of the greatest feelings I ever had was when I played the Davis Cup for India for nine years. But most importantly there was a wonderful piece in `The Times of India’ when we played Davis Cup in Bangalore against Sweden in 1985 at KSLTA. Before my match against (Mats) Wilander here at the Cubbon Park, my son was around one year and four months, and I was playing on the court with him with a small baby tennis racquet and someone had taken the picture of it and put it in `The Times of India’ and the caption read: ‘Will Prakash ever play Davis Cup for India?’

And 20 years to the month, India played Sweden again in the Davis Cup in Delhi and Prakash led India against Sweden. So that was a very special moment, most importantly that he wanted to play for the tricolour and for India. The greatest feeling that we ever had was to play for the tricolour in different parts of the world. And nothing inspires you more than the national anthem being played and tricolour being flown, when you are playing the match for India.

I have lived in a couple of places around the world, but I have made Los Angeles my home base at this point. But having lived overseas for 40 years, I am still very proud to stay that I still carry my Indian passport. There is a special reason for it, because once you have done that, played so long and so ugly in the toughest of conditions and to have been inspired by the tricolour and to have those goose-bumps come up on you every time you hear the national anthem, is practically impossible to be able to lose it.

Even this day, as I see our athletes play in different parts of the world and our tricolour being flown, like I saw so many times in Indonesia during the Asian Games, I think it is a great feeling to be able to be part of a generation that played sport at the highest level.

 

New look Continental Cup delivers victory to Team Americas and Food for Thought to the IAAF

Press Release

For the first time since 2010, Team Americas has triumphed at the IAAF Continental Cup, held in Ostrava, Czech Republic over the last two days.

The competition was exhilarating and fierce between the four continental teams and particularly between the two front-runners, defending champion Team Europe and eventual winner, Team Americas.

The Americas led by just 12 points after the first day, but pulled away on day two, led by particularly strong performances from their two athlete representatives Olympic triple jump champions Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia and Christian Taylor of the United States.

They joined non-competing captain Mike Powell, the world long jump record-holder, to accept a spectacular trophy, composed of 116 Bohemia crystal relay batons. Each member of the winning team received one of the hand-crafted batons as a memento.

“I’m really proud of all the athletes,” Powell said. “When I looked at the entries, we had a stacked team. Winning the first track race, the 100m hurdles, created a lot of momentum for the team, and for me. At first I was kind of watching it, but then I was counting every point.”

Victory in the final event, the mixed 4x400m relay, sealed the win for the Americas as they tallied 262 points to Europe’s 233. The Asia-Pacific team had their best outing at this competition, finishing third (188) ahead of Africa (142).

Athletes from all teams had their moments over the two days but Taylor and Ibarguen inspired with two victories each. Ibarguen completed the triple jump-long jump double on Sunday with a personal best and Colombian national record of 6.93m, and Taylor soared to 17.59m as he dominated the men’s triple jump and then backed up to lead off the winning 4x400m relay.

Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas provided the third double for the Americas on Sunday, backing up from a brilliant win in the 200m to join Taylor in the 4x400m relay.

This year’s Continental Cup trialled some new competition formats in the distance events, horizontal jumps and throws, which sparked much debate among athletes, coaches and fans as the IAAF strives to create new ways for people to engage with the sport.

Taylor said he had enjoyed the challenge of competing in the elimination format used for the jumps and throws, and he encouraged the IAAF President Sebastian Coe to continue his quest for innovation.

“All the rule changes have been a lot of fun for the viewers,’’ he said. “As athletes we had to adjust a little bit. For the jumps I think there could be some cleaning up. On the last jump it would have been nice to have a minute’s recovery outright to jump further but, you know, it’s trial and error. It’s not going to always go well the first time but… stay patient. I applaud Seb for trying, and I’m excited that we’re trying to be innovative and try new things.”

Coe said it was “an ideal opportunity to road-test some innovative ideas’’.

“Some were very exciting, like the mixed relay and the men’s elimination 3000m. The spectator area which was introduced at the warm up track was always full and that’s all part of getting the spectators closer to the athletes.

“Some of the formats are more of a challenge and we need to reflect but let’s not lose our nerve here. We have to innovate and if we don’t innovate, we die. We will now consider what we have seen here, and consult with the athletics community, including athletics and fans. We have plenty to discuss.’’

For full reports on the IAAF Continental Cup competition, go to our dedicated mini-site on www.iaaf.org.

 

SJAM win twin titles

Sports Journalists’ Association of Mumbai (SJAM) registered a comprehensive win over Sports Journalists Federation of India ‘B’ (SJFI ‘B’) to clinch the football penalty kicks title in the 41st Sports Journalists Federation of India’s National convention at the St Joseph’s Indian High Schoolon Sunday (September 9). The SJAM team, comprising Ashwin Ferro, Sanjeev Samyal and Sudhir Tripathi, notched a 3-0 victory.

In the basketball free-throws event held at the same venue, SJAM held their nerve to defeat Indore Sports Writers Association (ISPORA) 1-0 in the final. The SJAM team comprised of Ferro, Tripathi and Aditya Chaturvedi.

Penaty kicks:

Final: Sports Journalists’ Association of Mumbai (Ashwin Ferro, Sanjeev Samyal, Sudhir Tripathi) bt Sports Journalists Federation of India ‘B’ (Srinivas Das Manthati, Chandra Sekhar Reddy, Aditya Chaturvedi) 3-0.

Semifinals: SJAM bt Odisha Sports Journalists’ Association (OSJA) 5-3; SJFI B bt Sports Journalists’ Association of Nagpur ‘A’ 3-2.

Free throws:

Final: Sports Journalists’ Association of Mumbai (Ashwin Ferro, Sudhir Tripathi, Aditya Chaturvedi) bt Indore Sports Writers Association (Vikas Pandey, Vikas Mishra, Kapish Dubey) 1-0.

Semifinals: Tripura Sports Journalists’ Association (TSJA) lost to ISPORA. Regulation score: 2-2, Tie-break score: 1-1. Indore won by spin of coin.

Tamil Nadu Sports Journalists’ Association A (TNSJA A) lost to SJAM. Regulation score: 1-1, Tie-break score: 2-0.

 

41st SJFI National Convention, Bengaluru

SWAB ‘A’ emerge champions

Bengaluru: Hosts Sports Writers’ Association of Bangalore (SWAB) ‘A’, powered by Roshan Thyagarajan’s splendid score of 175, edged out Sports Journalists’ Association of Mumbai (SJAM) ‘B’ in a thriller (409-407) to win the Tenpin bowling tournament, introduced for the first time, in the 41st Sports Journalists Federation of India’s National convention here on Sunday.

SJAM ‘B’, who scored a narrow 332-321 victory over Tripura (TSJC) in the semifinals, took the fight to the hosts. They did all the front-running and looked set to annex the title. However, Roshan’s consistency and his teammates, Prasad and R Satya, just improved their game by a few notches in the closing stages to fall across the line.

SWAB ‘A’ had no such hiccups in the semifinals, scoring a lopsided 4-6-334 victory over Odisha ‘B’.

Results:

Final: SWAB ‘A’: 409 (Roshan T 175, Prasad 91, R Satya 143) bt SJAM ‘B’ 407 (Harit Joshi 85, Devendra Pandey 155, Aditya Chaturvedi 167). Third place: Odisha ‘B’ bt TSJC 334-321.

Semifinals: SWAB ‘A’: 406 (Roshan T 154, Prasad 70, R Satya 182) bt Odisha ‘B’: 334 (Sambit Mohapatra 81, Jagadishwar Das 130, Sukesh Behra 123; SJAM ‘B’: 332 (H Joshi 102, D Pandey 96, A Chaturvedi 134) bt TSJC: 321 (Saraju Chakraborty 102, Suprabhat Debnath 111, Anirban Deb 108).

 

We have come to win the tournament: Stephen Constantine

Dhaka: Coach Stephen Constantine informed that promising defender Subhasish Bose will don the Captain’s armband in the India’s SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 opener against Sri Lanka at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka on Wednesday, (September 5, 2018).

“Subhasish has been very impressive in the recent camps. In the first few days, he had to work a lot and being a fighter, he has made a strong comeback. I’m very proud of him and obviously, it’s going to be a very special moment for him,” Coach lavished praise on the youngster.

On being asked whether the defending champions will start as the ‘favourites,’ the 55-year-old coach quashed it completely.

“I have always looked to this opportunity to provide some International experience to the youngsters and that’s why we have come with an U-23 squad. Obviously, we have come to win the tournament as we have always done. We have a fair chance of getting the job done but I won’t say that we’re going to start as favourites.”

“The whole squad is eagerly waiting to get the ball rolling and I would like to say that every single member of the team is eagerly waiting. Everyone will be up for the games against us and it’ll be a great experience,” he said.

India  have been clubbed with Sri Lanka and one-time champions Maldives (2008) in Group B, whereas hosts Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan are the teams in Group A.

India have arrived in Dhaka fresh from a preparatory Camp since July 28, 2018 in Delhi and then a 17-day preparatory camp in Sydney where they played three friendly fixtures against APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC, Sydney FC and Rydalmere Lions FC respectively.

On being asked how the camp helped the boys prepare for the championship, Constantine stated: “The three games in Australia have been terrific practice for us. The game against Sydney FC, that too against their first squad has been a great lesson for us. We got a few positive feedbacks from Australia and those are going to be pretty helpful for us in the coming days.”

Subhasish, who caught the imagination, thanks to his swashbuckling show off late, informed that it’s a ‘dream-come-true’ moment for him.

“It’s a dream-come-true situation for me to lead the National Team. I’d like to thank our coach for his trust in me and I’d give my best to make the best of my opportunity,” he stated.

India’s fixtures in the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 is as follows:

September 5: India v Sri Lanka (IST 6.30pm).
September 9: India v Maldives (IST 6.30pm).

By Shoubhik Mukhopadhyay,
AIFF Media Team

 

Mumbai City FC begin their pre-season campaign on a positive note, draw 2-2 with Chiangmai FC

Chiang Mai (Thailand), September 3: Mumbai City FC kicked off their 2018 pre-season campaign for the upcoming Indian Super League on a positive note, eking out a smart 2-2 draw against Chiangmai FC here on Sunday night.

The Islanders’ new recruit Bipin Singh scored both the goals against the tier two team in the Thai League, bringing pace and sharpness to the side’s attack.

Mumbai City’s new Portuguese coach, Jorge Costa, who had promised to make the team much more vibrant and entertaining, gave a display of what is to come in his first outing itself.

He marshalled his resources cleverly, assessing them in the first half by unleashing his brand of aggressive football. He opened up the game further in the second half which saw Chiangmai FC’s Pichai draw first blood in the 61st minute, with a well executed corner.

The Islanders responded swiftly, with young Pranjal presenting a perfect cross from the left for Bipin to capitalise on and make it 1-1 in the 76th minute mark.

Chiangmai were relentless, though, and goalie Amrinder Singh and left back Shouvik Ghosh had to be at their best to thwart the attacks.

Mumbai City, however, got lucky first, with the Chiangmai custodian fumbling in the 84th minute and allowing the ball to trickle into the goal. It was a powerful 30-yard strike from Bipin but it could easily have been stopped.
Bipin created another opportunity a few minutes later but his effort just missed the post, denying him a hat-trick in his first game for his new team.

Sadly for MCFC, Seo Dong Hyeon found the back of the net in stoppage time, to end the contest 2-2.

The Islanders will be happy with the game though, trying out a number of players and experimenting with some of their positions.

Senegalese International Modou Sougou joins the Islanders:
Meanwhile, MCFC bolstered the squad by signing up highly experienced Modou Sougou of Senegal. Sougou began his career with UD Leiria in the Primeira Liga of Portugal before going on to represent Olympique de Marseilles, CFR 1907 Cluj, Moreirense FC and Sheffield Wednesday.

Speaking on the signing, Jorge Costa remarked in Thailand: “He has shown his quality in the best leagues in the world and he has the speed and talent our team needs. He has joined us on our pre-season training and we are sure that he will be one of the key cogs in the Mumbai City FC wheel in the upcoming season.”

 

Jaipur Open 2018 to tee off on September 4

– Prize purse of Rs. 30 lakhs
– Field to feature leading professionals Jyoti Randhawa, Shamim Khan, Chiragh Kumar, Honey Baisoya, Udayan Mane, Mithun Perera, N Thangaraja

Jaipur, September 3, 2018: The Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), Rajasthan Tourism and the Rajasthan State Sports Council will be jointly staging the Jaipur Open 2018 presented by Rajasthan Tourism. The second edition of the tournament, carrying a prize purse of Rs. 30 lakhs, will be played at the Rambagh Golf Club in Jaipur from September 4th – 7th, 2018. The Pro-Am event will be played on September 8th.

Hotel Hilton Jaipur is the hospitality partner for the event while WION is the official news partner and DNA is the print partner.

The tournament will feature some of the top professionals of the South Asian region such as Indians Jyoti Randhawa (a winner of nine international titles and former Asia No. 1), Shamim Khan (2017 PGTI Order of Merit champion), Asian Tour regular Chiragh Kumar, Honey Baisoya (a double winner on the PGTI this year and currently ranked 2nd on the PGTI Order of Merit), Udayan Mane and Syed Saqib Ahmed (both winners on the PGTI this year), as well as Sri Lankans N Thangaraja and Mithun Perera (also winners on the PGTI this year).

The Jaipur-based professionals in the field are Vishal Singh, Hemendra Choudhary, Nikhil Singh, Mahesh Yadav, Yogendra Kumawat and Rishi Raj Singh Rathore. The field also features Jaipur-based amateur Prakhar Asawa.

Mr. Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI, said, “We thank Rajasthan Tourism, Rajasthan State Sports Council and the Rambagh Golf Club for renewing their partnership with us for the staging of the Jaipur Open 2018 presented by Rajasthan Tourism. We also thank Hotel Hilton, Jaipur, for being the hospitality partner this week. Jaipur is fast emerging as an important golfing hub in the country and through the staging of this tournament we seek to further popularize the sport in the city of Jaipur and the state of Rajasthan. The tournament kicks-off the business end of the season and we look forward to the intense competition from here on.”

Mr. Yogendra Singh, Captain, Rambagh Golf Club, said, “We welcome all players and officials of the PGTI for the Jaipur Open 2018 presented by Rajasthan Tourism. Golf fans in Jaipur are in for a visual treat of some high-quality golfing action as India’s top professionals are set to compete in excellent golfing conditions at the Rambagh Golf Club. This tournament will go a long way in promoting golf among youngsters in the city of Jaipur. We wish the players all the best.”

Rambagh Golf Club, the premier golfing venue of Rajasthan, is a challenging Par 70 championship course with a yardage of 6303. The course is strategically designed on sandy loam soil and has a picturesque location with beautiful surroundings. Moving around the course, one is afforded with a view of the Rambagh Palace Hotel, Moti Doongri Fort, Nahargarh Fort and the Birla Planetarium.

PROFESSIONAL GOLF TOUR OF INDIA
PGTI ORDER OF MERIT AS OF TAKE SOLUTIONS MASTERS 2018 (EVENT – 11)
POS GOLFER LOCATION Play Win Cut Top10 TAKE Total Prize
1 VIRAJ MADAPPA KOLKATA 7 1 4 2 4032000 4220597
2 HONEY BAISOYA DELHI 10 2 7 6 644373 2346908
3 OM PRAKASH CHOUHAN MHOW 9 0 7 5 359333 1487413
4 UDAYAN MANE BANGALORE 7 1 6 3 MC 1268977
5 KHALIN H JOSHI BANGALORE 5 0 5 2 644373 1259090
6 N THANGARAJA SRI LANKA 10 1 6 4 MC 1204310
7 SHAMIM KHAN DELHI 11 0 10 5 116480 1119851
8 M DHARMA BANGALORE 10 0 9 4 267120 1026280
9 VEER AHLAWAT DELHI 11 0 8 5 166080 1009825
10 RAHIL GANGJEE BANGALORE 3 1 3 1 DNP 938510
11 SYED SAQIB AHMED BANGALORE 11 1 6 1 90160 816220
12 MD ZAMAL HOSSAIN MOLLAH BANGLADESH 9 0 7 2 MC 803010
13 MITHUN PERERA SRI LANKA 9 1 6 1 116480 795926
14 KARANDEEP KOCHHAR CHANDIGARH 6 0 6 2 267120 781570
15 SHANKAR DAS KOLKATA 11 0 8 3 MC 751863
16 ANURA ROHANA SRI LANKA 10 0 8 3 359333 743116
17 JYOTI RANDHAWA GURGAON 2 0 2 0 267120 731920
18 SSP CHAWRASIA KOLKATA 2 0 1 1 644373 644373
19 KAPIL KUMAR DELHI 10 0 7 2 193760 628805
20 CHIKKARANGAPPA S BANGALORE 5 0 4 1 479360 581145
21 ABHIJIT SINGH CHADHA CHANDIGARH 7 0 5 3 MC 577645
22 AMAN RAJ PATNA 7 0 4 1 230720 569070
23 ARJUN PRASAD DELHI 9 0 7 3 MC 566635
24 HARENDRA GUPTA CHANDIGARH 10 0 8 2 MC 517206
25 SUJJAN SINGH CHANDIGARH 9 0 8 1 MC 487056
26 MUKESH KUMAR MHOW 6 0 3 3 MC 465658
27 AJEETESH SANDHU CHANDIGARH 2 0 2 1 DNP 454150
28 DIGVIJAY SINGH GURGAON 9 0 6 1 MC 442130
29 DIVYANSHU BAJAJ KOLKATA 10 0 9 2 MC 436692
30 AKSHAY SHARMA CHANDIGARH 9 0 7 3 MC 428858
31 ANIRBAN LAHIRI BANGALORE 1 0 1 0 DNP 415333
32 MD ISMAIL BANGLADESH 8 0 6 1 166080 385653
33 HIMMAT SINGH RAI DELHI 6 0 4 0 217280 356727
34 SUNIT CHOWRASIA KOLKATA 7 0 5 1 116480 341380
35 ANKUR CHADHA GURGAON 9 0 6 1 90160 338170
36 SANJEEV KUMAR (L) LUCKNOW 9 0 6 1 90160 296650
37 ANGAD CHEEMA PANCHKULA 7 0 6 0 116480 292632
38 TAPY GHAI GURGAON 10 0 6 0 61600 278825
39 SUDHIR SHARMA MEERUT 7 0 5 0 116480 263795
40 DEEPINDER SINGH KULLAR DELHI 10 0 7 0 MC 258771
41 ABHISHEK JHA BANGALORE 9 0 6 2 MC 252235
42 FEROZ SINGH GAREWAL CHANDIGARH 7 0 5 1 66080 245640
43 SHIVENDRA SINGH SISODIA DELHI 10 0 7 0 MC 236230
44 GAURAV PRATAP SINGH NOIDA 10 0 4 1 MC 228160
45 JAIBIR SINGH BANGALORE 7 0 6 0 116480 220320
46 MANU GANDAS GURGAON 9 0 5 0 MC 211380
47 MD DULAL HOSSAIN BANGLADESH 7 0 5 0 DNP 205817
48 C MUNIYAPPA BANGALORE 8 0 4 1 MC 189133
49 K PRABAGARAN SRI LANKA 7 0 5 1 MC 180710
50 MOHAMMAD SANJU KOLKATA 9 0 5 0 MC 177627
51 NAMAN DAWAR DELHI 7 0 5 0 MC 166165
52 VIKRANT CHOPRA DELHI 9 0 4 1 MC 166117
53 MANIRAM MADHUBAN 7 0 3 1 MC 163950
54 PAWAN KUMAR DELHI 7 0 4 0 MC 152005
55 SHIVNAREN SRINIVASAN CHENNAI 6 0 4 0 MC 148085
56 RAMESH KUMAR FARIDABAD 7 0 3 1 MC 145730
57 FEROZ ALI MOLLAH KOLKATA 11 0 5 0 MC 145083
58 TRISHUL CHINNAPPA BANGALORE 9 0 4 0 MC 141890
59 SHUBHAM NARAIN DELHI 8 0 2 1 DNP 133040
60 SAMARTH DWIVEDI ALLAHABAD 7 0 3 1 MC 131500
61 R MURTHY BANGALORE 7 0 4 0 MC 130997
62 RANJIT SINGH CHANDIGARH 7 0 2 1 MC 128230
63 BADAL HOSSAIN BANGLADESH 7 0 4 0 DNP 126660
64 AMARDIP SINH MALIK MEERUT 7 0 3 0 MC 125230
65 ANIL BAJRANG MANE MUMBAI 7 0 3 0 71680 111580
66 RAHUL BAJAJ NOIDA 8 0 3 0 DNP 111093
67 C G SOMIAH BANGAOLRE 5 0 4 0 DNP 98610
68 MARI MUTHU R BANGALORE 7 0 3 0 MC 94050
69 KARAN TAUNK JAMSHEDPUR 6 0 2 0 DNP 92600
70 KUNAL BHASIN AUSTRALIA 5 0 3 0 DNP 89620
71 SIDDHARTH SEMWAL DELHI 4 0 3 0 DNP 83010
72 ASHOK KUMAR DELHI 3 0 2 0 56000 82700
73 MANISH GOYAL DELHI 8 0 3 0 MC 82060
74 RAJU ALI MOLLAH KOLKATA 6 0 3 0 DNP 81710
75 PRANAV KAUL DELHI 8 0 3 0 MC 74510
76 SACHIN BAISOYA DELHI 5 0 2 0 MC 70980
77 ABHINAV LOHAN FARIDABAD 7 0 2 0 MC 67720
78 ADITYA RAJ KUMAR CHAUHAN DELHI 7 0 2 0 DNP 67280
79 RAVI KUMAR CHANDIGARH 4 0 3 0 DNP 66285
80 VIKRAM RANA DELHI 6 0 2 0 MC 62640
81 SAHIL KULKARNI MHOW 7 0 2 0 MC 62230
82 RAJA B R BANGALORE 6 0 3 0 DNP 59590
83 SANJAY KUMAR LUCKNOW 9 0 2 0 MC 59093
84 ALBIE HANEKOM SOUTH AFRICA 5 0 2 0 MC 57790
85 ARJUN SINGH CHAUDHRI NOIDA 6 0 2 0 DNP 57180
86 ARJUN SHARMA GREATER NOIDA 8 0 2 0 MC 55550
87 DAMIAN NAICKER SOUTH AFRICA 3 0 3 0 DNP 53000
88 DIGRAJ SINGH GILL USA 8 0 2 0 MC 48060
89 KUSHAL SINGH GURGAON 10 0 3 0 MC 47250
90 PRADEEP KUMAR NOIDA 1 0 1 0 DNP 43500
91 CHIRAGH KUMAR DELHI 3 0 1 0 MC 42750
92 ARJUN SINGH DELHI 4 0 2 0 MC 41550
93 MD NAWAB PATNA 3 0 1 0 DNP 38850
94 MD SAYUM BANGLADESH 5 0 2 0 DNP 38600
95 RAJ RANDHAWA USA 5 0 1 0 DNP 36750
95 RAJIV KUMAR JATIWAL PANCHKULA 5 0 2 0 DNP 36750
97 SAMEER M SHAIKH PUNE 6 0 1 0 MC 35180
98 AMRITINDER SINGH CHANDIGARH 6 0 2 0 MC 33960
99 PAWAN VERMA DELHI 5 0 2 0 DNP 33600
100 VINOD KUMAR DELHI 5 0 1 0 MC 33080
101 SANDEEP SINGH SRI GANGANAGAR 7 0 1 0 MC 32100
102 AKASH MODI MUMBAI 3 0 1 0 DNP 31480
103 DHRUV SHEORAN DELHI 2 0 1 0 MC 27250
104 VENKKAT GAUTHAM HYDERABAD 2 0 1 0 DNP 24900
105 HEMENDRA CHOUDHARY JAIPUR 4 0 1 0 MC 24250
106 AKSHAY DAMALE PUNE 2 0 1 0 DNP 22650
107 VIJAY KUMAR LUCKNOW 5 0 2 0 DNP 21750
108 AMARDEEP RAWAT LUCKNOW 5 0 1 0 DNP 20000
109 INDRAJIT BHALOTIA KOLKATA 4 0 1 0 DNP 18200
110 LAKSHYA DEV MUDGIL DELHI 8 0 1 0 MC 17800
111 ARSHPREET SINGH THIND AHMEDABAD 2 0 1 0 DNP 15000
112 RAJU SINGH NOIDA 4 0 1 0 DNP 13650
113 DIPANKAR KAUSHAL NOIDA 6 0 1 0 DNP 9000
113 KHUSHMANRAJ SINGH SANDHU PANCHKULA 6 0 1 0 DNP 9000
113 MANAV JAINI DELHI 7 0 1 0 MC 9000
113 MOINUDDIN MALAK NAGPUR 2 0 1 0 DNP 9000
113 TORAN BIKRAM SHAHI NEPAL 1 0 1 0 DNP 9000
113 WASIM KHAN DELHI 7 0 1 0 DNP 9000

 

Patriots blast past Tallawahs to secure playoff spot

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 118/3 (van der Russen 45*, Gayle 41, Mahmudullah 28*, Zampa 1/18) beat Jamaica Tallawahs 206/6 (Powell 84, Phillips 40, Miller 32, Cutting /29) by seven wickets with five balls remaining (DLS method, Target: 118 from 11 overs)

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots secured a Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) play-off spot with a thrilling rain-affected Duckworth-Lewis-Stern victory over Jamaica Tallawahs at Warner Park.

Victory for the Patriots means they can no longer be caught in the Hero CPL table by Barbados Tridents or St Lucia Stars, yet it looked unlikely when Rovman Powell was propelling the Tallawahs to 206/6 at the halfway stage.

BASSETERRE, SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS – SEPTEMBER 02: In this handout image provided by CPL T20, Rassie van der Dussen (L) and Mahmudullah (R) of St Kitts & Nevis Patriots celebrate winning match 25 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League between St Kitts & Nevis Patriots and Jamaica Tallawahs at the Warner Park Sporting Complex on September 2, 2018 in Basseterre, St Kitts, Saint Kitts And Nevis. (Photo by Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Rassie van der Dussen; Mahmudullah

But the Patriots, crucially, made an explosive start to their run-chase with Chris Gayle setting the tone with four fours in the first over.

Despite losing Evin Lewis to his first ball in the next over, bowled off the inside edge by Oshane Thomas, the run-rate didn’t slip with Gayle joined by Rassie van der Dussen to take the score to 65/1 from 6.3 overs when the rain came.

That strong position meant that the DLS calculation gave the Patriots a fighting chance when the innings was reduced to 11 overs after the rain cleared. The equation came back as 118 from 11 overs; 53 more runs from another 27 balls.

Gayle launched a six down the ground but was then caught at deep square-leg. When Ben Cutting was bowled first ball by Adam Zampa it looked like the revised target was beyond the Patriots.

But van der Dussen (45* from 24) was joined by Mahmudullah (28* from 11) for an astonishing partnership that raced the Patriots to their revised target with five balls to spare.

Thomas had bowled two fine overs before the rain, conceding just five runs to go with the wicket of Lewis, but his one remaining over after the rain proved decisive.

Van der Russen smashed the first two balls for sixes and, after he collected a single, Mahmudullah took over. Two fours were steered to third-man before the over finished with another huge six over the leg-side.

Suddenly that target was down to 16 runs from 12. Mahmudullah launched Zampa for six in the next over, with runs off every ball taking the target down to two from the final over. Mahmudullah duly got those runs from the first ball of the final over.

The Tallawahs were already sure of their place in the final four, but their chances of a top-two spot have taken a serious dent on a frustrating night. The Tallawahs, Trinbago Knight Riders and Guyana Amazon Warriors all have 10 points, but the Tallawahs now have only one group-stage game remaining. The Warriors and Knight Riders both have three.

The Tallawahs’ innings had been a beautifully paced Twenty20 effort, with steady acceleration throughout taking them beyond the 200 mark.

Powell was the star with his highest T20 score of 84 from 40 balls before he was bowled behind his legs by Ben Cutting in the penultimate over.

The innings had been given a fast start by Glenn Phillips, who made 40 from 29 balls, while Powell was ably supported by David Miller’s 32 from 20 in a partnership of 79 in seven overs.

Colin de Grandhomme and Steven Taylor then took the total beyond 200 in the final over, but when the rain, the calculators and the Patriots batsmen had done their bit, it was not enough.

Upcoming Fixtures: Tuesday 4 September – St Kitts & Nevis Patriots v Barbados Tridents (6pm), Warner Park, Wednesday 5 September – Trinbago Knight Riders v Guyana Amazon Warriors (8pm), Queen’s Park Oval.

 

All-Rounder Hardik Pandya changing the trend with Sin Denim

#GameChanger to hit your television screen on September 01, 2018

National, August 2018: With a new generation, comes a new set of ideals. Today’s youth is dynamic, aggressive and unconventional. Today’s youth is not scared to follow their dreams; they are strong, passionate and fearless.

Featuring Hardik Pandya, the all new TVC ‘Game Changer’ by Sin denim is all set to launch on September 1, 2018. The campaign brings out the new, eccentric and confident youth which are set to change the game and make a variance in the society. Apart from being a potential all-rounder in the game of cricket, Hardik Pandya is a flamboyant figure full of confidence that the youth look up to as a progressive icon. From his style quotient to his fitness regime, his flair and personality is what makes him the best match for the TVC initiated by Sin Denim. From chasing their dreams to breaking the rules, the campaign emphases on how the youth have evolved to a point where nothing can stop them from being the game changers.

Catering to the essentials and customs of the youth, Sin denim is a young, fun, quirky and vibrant brand, which is ready to break the shackles and pre-determined norms of the world. Sin Denim also pushes its boundaries on creativity and quality, ensuring that every product is unique and caters to the youth. Through this distinct campaign, Sin denim is conveying a whole new phase of contemporary and youth thinking.

“The season is going be a #GameChanger for us as we move ahead with the gen next. The youth are the most important section of a society, as they are the future. Only they can make a difference and emerge as the #GameChangers. With this campaign, we are creating the vision and validation of Sin denim as a brand that appeals to the new generation. On behalf of Sin Denim, we welcome Hardik Pandya as the face to our brand. As an upcoming youth icon, his commitment and drive is akin to the ideals of our brand. We are excited and looking forward to this association.” Mrs. Vijaylaxmi Poddar, Director, Clothing Culture Ltd, which owns the brand SIN Denim.

Various television channels such as MTV, VH1, India TV and 9XM to name a few will preview the TVC reaching out to million households. With the forward thinking and a fresh approach, the TVC will also be featured in more than 1000 theatre screens across pan India including some of the most popular multiplexes like PVR and Inox. Along with the print campaign in the leading newspapers, the campaign will flash on key multi-city hoardings, covering about 100 cities.

Sin Denim’s product range encompasses fashion denims, casual shirts, cotton trousers, t-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets. Apart from being present in 1300 multi brand outlets, the brand is available in premium chains like Central, Reliance Trends, Unlimited, Brand Factory, Lulu, amongst the others. The brand is aggressively pursuing the expansion of its own exclusive stores.  Sin Denim is well entrenched in the market of South, East and North India and has extensive overseas presence in Sri Lanka and Middle East through shop-in-shops and premium chain Lulu.

Go beyond the usual, chase the trend, wear Sin Denim and be the game changer.

About Sin Denim:

SIN Denim is the flagship brand of Clothing Culture Ltd. The brand gives utmost importance to understand the thought process and the requirement of the youth of today while designing the garments. Despite, being five years young, the brilliant perspective of SIN Denim towards future trends makes it even more popular with the youth, creating a niche for itself.

 

Star Sports Listings Update for the week

Time

Activity

Channel

1st September, Saturday

1830 – 0030

BWF Spain

Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD

00:00

Bundesliga – HAN  DOR

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

0500 – 0905

Caribbean Premier League – St Kitts and Nevis Patriots vs Trinbago Knight Riders

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

1400 – 1715

Karnataka Premier League – Bijapur Bulls vs Mysuru Warriors

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

1830 – 2145

Karnataka Premier League – Hubli Tigers vs Belagavi Panthers

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

1630 – 1700

Premier League Pre Show

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

1700

Premier League – LEI v LIV

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

1930

Premier League – CHE v BOU

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

2200

Premier League – MNC v NEW

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

2130 – 0830

US Open 2018

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

1525 – 1630

F1 Italy – P3

Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD

1825 – 1930

F1 Italy – Qualifier

Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD

1930

Premier League – EVE v HUD

Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD

2200

Bundesliga – STU v BMU

Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD

2030 – 0830

US Open 2018

Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD

2nd SeptemberSunday

1530 – 2030

BWF Spain

Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD

0300 – 0705

Caribbean Premier League – Barbados Tridents vs St Lucia Stars

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

1400 – 1715

Karnataka Premier League – Shivamogga Lions vs Bijapur Bulls

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

1830 – 2145

Karnataka Premier League – Bengaluru Blasters vs Mysuru Warriors

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

2300 – 0305

Caribbean Premier League – St Kitts and Nevis Patriots vs Jamaica Tallawahs

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

1700 – 1800

Premier League Pre Show

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

1800

Premier League – CAR v ARS

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

2030

Premier League – BUR v MNU

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

2130 – 0830

US Open 2018

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

1835-2045

F1 Italy – Race

Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD

2030

Premier League  – WAT v TOT

Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD

2030 – 0430

US Open 2018

Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD

3rd SeptemberMonday

1830 – 2145

Karnataka Premier League – Bellary Tuskers vs Shivamogga Lions

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

2130 – 0830

US Open 2018

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

2030 – 0430

US Open 2019

Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD

4th SeptemberTuesday

0300 – 0705

Caribbean Premier League – St Kitts and Nevis Patriots vs Barbados Tridents

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

1320 – 2030

Duleep Trophy Final

Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD

1830 – 2145

Karnataka Premier League – 1st Semi-Final

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

2130 – 0830

US Open 2018

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

2030 – 0430

US Open 2019

Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD

5th SeptemberWednesday

1320 – 2030

Duleep Trophy Final

Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD

0300 – 0705

Caribbean Premier League – Trinbago Knight Riders vs Guyana Amazon Warriors

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

1830 – 2145

Karnataka Premier League – 2nd Semi-Final

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

2130 – 0830

US Open 2018

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

6th SeptemberThursday

1320 – 2030

Duleep Trophy Final

Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD

0655 – 1445

Asia Cup Qualifier FINAL

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

1830 – 2145

Karnataka Premier League – FINAL

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

7th SeptemberFriday

0500 – 0905

Caribbean Premier League – Trinbago Knight Riders vs Barbados Tridents

Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD

1320 – 2030

Duleep Trophy Final

Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD

0430 – 0830

US Open 2018

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

2130 – 0330

US Open 2019

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

8th SeptemberSaturday

1320 – 2030

Duleep Trophy Final

Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD

0500 – 0905

Caribbean Premier League – Guyana Amazon Warriors vs Jamaica Tallawahs

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

2130 – 0330

US Open 2018

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

1740 – 2145

IAAF Continental Cup

Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD

9th SeptemberSunday

0500 – 0905

Caribbean Premier League – Guyana Amazon Warriors vs Trinbago Knight Riders

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

2130 – 0330

US Open 2018

Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD

1740 – 2145

IAAF Continental Cup

Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 2 HD

10th SeptemberMonday

0300 – 0705

Caribbean Premier League

Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

 

More than 70,000 school students expected to participate in Schools India Cup-Season 3

– SSPF’s all-digital grass root sports program to roll out September 1
– 5,000 schools register for the third edition of Schools India Cup for five sports
– Sports icons Chetan Sharma, Charles Borromeo, Bhaichung Bhutia, Om Parkash and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi laud Schools India Cup

New Delhi, Aug. 31, 2018: In a major fillip to grass root sports in India, the School Sports Promotion Foundation (SSPF) announced here today, that around 5,000 schools are expected to participate in the Schools India Cup-Season 3, starting September 1.

The Schools India Cup, a joint initiative of the SSPF with Sports Authority of India (SAI) in 2015, is held under the National Talent Search & Nurture program and supported by the Ministry of HRD. A nation-wide hunt is conducted through a three-tier championship at the district, state and National level respectively to scout young talents in the under-16 age category. This year, the Schools India Cup competition will be held for five sports disciplines, namely athletics, football, volleyball, basketball and cricket.

The 2018-19 edition opener will kick-off with the district championships in football in Noida, Gautam Budh Nagar district (UP) on September 1, cricket in Dindigul (Tamil Nadu) on September 4, and athletics in Saharanpur district (UP) from September 7 onwards. Around 70,000 student-athletes from 20 states, including remote places like Kargil and Leh in Jammu and Kashmir, are expected to participate in the three-tier championship. The top talent emerging from the Schools India Cup will be invited for the National camp for specialized training and mentoring under experts.

On this occasion, the Chairman of School Sports Promotion Foundation and a Member of the PM’s Olympic Task Force, Mr Om Pathak, said, “Under the National Talent Search and Nurture program we seek to provide holistic development to our young generation and create social and economic safety nets for the students who are talented and passionate about pursuing a career in sports. This is a National movement to create a strong sports culture in India and I am thankful to all the stakeholders for supporting our endeavor.”

On this occasion, Olympian and Chairman of SSPF’s National School Athletics Council, Charles Borromeo, said, “The ongoing Asian Games in Jakarta showed ample evidence of the prowess of our youth. There is abundant talent in the country, but we need to nurture and take care of the youngsters at the grass root level. I am confident that the Schools India Cup-athletics championships will lend a big boost to promote athletics in the schools.”

Ex-international cricketer and Chairman of SSPF’s National Schools Cricket Council, Mr Chetan Sharma, said, “Our future champions are in the schools and I am thrilled to play a role in supporting and sharing my knowledge and skills to the next generation of cricketers for India. From 1,200 schools in the first year to 5,000 for season 3, the popularity of the Schools India Cup is soaring high and I am thankful to the school managements across India for their overwhelming support to the program.”

Football legend and Chairman of SSPF’s National School Football Council, Bhaichung Bhutia, said, “Indian football needs a strong edifice for it to grow and match up to world standards. I convey my best wishes to all the youngsters in the schools across the length and breadth of India for a successful outing in the Schools India Cup-Season 3.”

Former India volleyball captain and Chairman of SSPF’s National School Volleyball Council, Om Parkash said, “The Schools India Cup for volleyball is finding new talent for the country each year, and I hope that at the end of Season3, we spot some special talent to launch the Centre of Excellence exclusively for volleyball.”

Indian basketball star and Chairman of SSPF’s National School Basketball Council, Vishesh Bhrighuvanshi, said, “Basketball is catching up the imagination of the young generation in India and the Schools India Cup is an ideal platform to perform and get nurtured for the future. I wish all the best to all the participants for Schools India Cup- Season 3.”

Schools India Cup Calendar Inter-School District Championship Sept 1-Oct 30 State Championship Nov 1- Nov 30 National Championship Dec 8- Dec 22

About SSPF

School Sports Promotion Foundation (SSPF), is a non-profit philanthropic trust committed to promote a National movement in sports at schools, colleges and universities across India. In collaboration with Sports Authority of India, SSPF launched the National Talent Search and Nurture programme in 2015 to identify sporting talent across sports and nurture them for national and international competitions. The SSPF model for school sports is to encourage maximum participation in sports to all, serve high-performance sports and create a model for providing social and economic safety net to the youth investing their time and energy in sports.

For talent search, SSPF conducts its marquee Schools India Cup for school students in the age category of under-16 in athletics, volleyball, basketball, cricket and under-15 in football in a three- tier structure – district, state and National. The top performers in each of these five disciplines are then selected by experts for national camps, and further up, only the finest talent will be selected for Centre of Excellence which will be created in reputed schools, where the young talent will be provided specialised sports training, along with quality education and boarding and lodging, free of cost, up to Class XII. For more details: Contact Ms Varad Grover, Media officer. Tele no: +9910 4248 69. E-mail: varad.grover@sspf.in

 

Indian women lose 1-2 to Japan in Asian Games final

Neha Goyal (25’) was the lone goal-scorer for India as they secured their first Silver Medal in 20 years

Jakarta (Indonesia), 31 August 2018: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team’s glorious campaign at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018 came to a heart-breaking end today which saw them lose 1-2 to Japan in a well-contested Final held here at the Gelora Bung Karno Hockey Field. The Japanese team secured their victory with two goals from Penalty Corners which were scored by Minami Shimizu (11’) and Motomi Kawamura (44’) while India’s only goal was scored by Neha Goyal (25’). The loss meant that the Indian team secured a Silver Medal at the Asian Games for the first time since 1998, when they had lost to Republic of Korea by the same margin.

Riding high on confidence, the Indian team started the first quarter well as they created a few opportunities which saw forwards Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur and skipper Rani come close to scoring, but were denied by a rigid Japanese defense. The Japanese got into the game and had their first real chance in the 8th minute as they forced Indian Goalkeeper Savita to make a save off Aki Yamada’s shot. The 10th minute saw India win their first PC of the match as Navneet Kaur pushed the ball onto a Japanese defender’s foot. It was Gurjit Kaur who executed the drag-flick, forcing Japan’s Megumi Kageyama to make a save on her left side to deny the Indians. However, Japan also won their first PC in the next minute and struck the first blow as Minami Shimizu converted the chance to give Japan the lead.

LONDON – Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup
India – USA
Photo: Savita.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS RODRIGO JARAMILLO

The World No. 14 Japanese team looked comfortable on the ball towards the start of the second quarter and made several interceptions to deny India the opportunity to stitch passes together. However, the Indian team was finally successful in finding an equalizer in the 25th minute as Navneet Kaur and Neha Goyal combined in a brilliant counter-attacking move to score India’s first goal. It was Navneet Kaur who struck a reverse shot across goal from inside the striking circle to find Neha Goyal, who deflected the ball into the back of the net. The remaining five minutes in the second period saw a good midfield battle between the two teams but neither team could take the lead, meaning the scores remained 1-1 at the half-time interval.

The World No. 9 Indian team started the third quarter better as they minimized unforced errors, building pressure on their opponents by keeping the ball better. India had the first chance of the period in the 36th minute as Vandana Katariya and Navjot Kaur combined to attack on the counter, but the Japanese defense held firm to clear the ball away. Vandana Katariya took another shot in the next minute but her strike was saved by the Japanese Goalkeeper Kageyama. The Indian team improved their performance in the third period as they pressed their lower-ranked opponents higher up the field and made key interceptions to deny the Japanese for most part of the duration. However, with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter, Japan were awarded their second PC which was well converted by Motomi Kawamura through a variation to end the third quarter with a 2-1 lead.

It was desperate times for the Indian team as they went into the fourth quarter looking to create opportunities in the first few minutes but were unable to find a way past the Japanese defense. Whereas, Japan, on the other hand, tried to stay in front and manage the match well as they kept possession inside India’s half to utilize vital seconds. The Indian team found it difficult to tackle Japan’s defensive tactics but looked to attack inside the final few minutes, creating an opportunity in the last minute when Rani and Vandana Katariya found themselves in possession inside Japan’s striking circle, but the latter’s shot went just wide of the goalpost as Japan saw out the match to register a 2-1 win.

 

India Under-23 wrap up Australia tour with a 4-0 win

New Delhi: India U23s wrapped up their exposure trip Down Under in some style, registering an emphatic 4-0 victory over Rydalmere Lions FC, at the Valentine Sports Park in Sydney today (August 31, 2018).

Farukh Choudhary (6′, 38′) bagged a first-half brace before super-sub Manvir Singh (74′, 77′) added two more in three minutes to hand India a comfortable victory.

India, during their preparatory camp in Sydney, won two of the three friendly games against APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC (August 25) and Rydalmere Lions FC (August 31), whereas they went down fighting against reigning A-League premiers champions Sydney FC (August 28).

Farukh did not take more than six minutes to find the back of the net when he converted a long cross from Sajid Dhot from the heart of defense.

Four minutes later,  Farukh created an opportunity for Ashique but the Lions defense intercepted to thwart the danger. Having enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, India came very close to doubling the lead quite a few times but the Rydalmere defense was up to the task each time.

Farukh delivered once again when he chased down a long ball from Chhangte to fire it from close range, leaving the hosts two down.

In the second half, the Indian coach opted to assess some fresh pair of legs and introduced Manvir, Nikhil and Vignesh while withdrawing Sumeet, Chhangte and Ashique respectively.

At the stroke of the hour-mark, Anirudh  Thapa got a chance to get his name on the scoresheet as well, but his long free-kick sailed over the crossbar. It was the youngster’s last contribution to the game as Hitesh Sharma replaced him immediately.

Farukh then earned a spot-kick in the 73rd minute and Manvir made no mistake to place it calmly in the net, having outfoxed the goalkeeper completely. Then Vinit, who came on as another substitute two minutes later, got hold of the ball in mid-field and crossed it over the defender’s reach for the Punjab-born striker. He slammed his second to send the Indian dugout into delirium.

After registering the authoritative victory, the Indian contingent will now head to Bangladesh to compete in the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 where they face neighbours Sri Lanka in their opening fixture on September 5, 2018.

AIFF Media Team

 

Malaysia wins shoot out against India to enter Asian Games men’s hockey final

– Defending Champions beaten in Shootout after ending the regulation time in 2-2 draw; India will next play for Bronze Medal on Saturday, 1st September 2018

Jakarta (Indonesia), 30 August 2018: An inspired Malaysia put the Reigning Champions the Indian Men’s Hockey Team out of contention for the Gold Medal after scoring a 7-6 win in the pressure-packed sudden death shootout here at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang on Thursday. The Indian team fumbled twice to lose the lead in regulation time to end the 60 minutes play with a 2-2 draw. It was youngsters Harmanpreet Singh (33′) and Varun Kumar (40′) who had scored in regulation time for India while  Faizal Saari (39′) and Rahim Muhammad Razie (59′) equalised for Malaysia and took the match into the shootout.

A tenacious Malaysian side kept the Defending Champions in the hunt right from the start. Though India’s attack was successful in earning the match’s first PC within two minutes of the match, Malaysian Goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam was a fortress — difficult to breach. He made a brilliant save off Harmanpreet Singh’s flick to keep India from taking an early lead. The following minutes saw both teams trade PCs thoroughly tested the two experienced goalkeepers Subramiam of Malaysia and PR Sreejesh of India. In the 6th minute, Malaysia tricked the Indian defence to beautifully execute a PC variation after an infringement by Indian defender Amit Rohidas saw India concede their first PC. The goal however, was disallowed after a smart call for video referral by India. The ball on being injected had brushed past the Malaysian drag-flicker Muhammad Shahril on the top of the circle before the variation was executed.

BREDA – Rabobank Hockey Champions Trophy
The Netherlands – India
Photo: Sreejesh Parattu/
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS FRANK UIJLENBROEK

The match was evenly played out in the second quarter with both teams being on par with each other. An inspired Malaysia though proved to be a tough juggernaut to crack as they matched India’s high-speed game, rarely gave Indian attackers space in the circle while their defence held strong. India by the end of second quarter had taken six unsuccessful shots on goal, with one field goal attempt and five PCs while Malaysia had registered five shots on goal, four of which coming off PCs.

With scoreboard reading 0-0 at the start of the third quarter, the game was tense and continued to be a game of penalty corners with India earning a PC within two minutes of the third quarter. This time, 22-year-old Harmanpreet Singh was excellent, using great pace from a perfect injection by Akashdeep Singh to powerfully flick the ball past Malaysian Goalkeeper Subramiam. In the 38th minute, India was awarded a PC after good stick work by Mandeep Singh in the circle but the opportunity was not only wasted by India but lost the ball to Malaysia who launched a high-pace counter attack that eventually ended with Faizal Saari scoring the equaliser for Malaysia in the 39th minute.

India however regained the lead after a smart PC variation saw Harmanpreet Singh assist Varun Kumar who took a successful shot on the goal to take India’s score to 2-1 in the 40th minute. The match continued to remain tense as India fought for another goal and in the melee ended up with 10 players on the field with experienced Sardar Singh being yellow carded.

The fourth quarter saw India start with ten player, Malaysia looked to take advantage as they won a PC in the opening minute. However, Sreejesh was up to the task as he saved Faizal Saari’s dragflick. Malaysia continued to rattle India’s defence and were even successful as the pressure got to the Indians with Surender Kumar too being yellow carded in the 46th minute. Down to nine players on the field, India had to thread carefully and cautiously. Malaysia had yet another chance at PC in the 50th minute but was unsuccessful. With time ticking away, Malaysia continued to put pressure on India as they upped the ante for an elusive equaliser. With a little over two minutes for the final hooter, Malaysia pulled out their goalkeeper to add an extra man in their attack. The effort helped them win a PC in the 59th minute and even converted it with Rahim Muhammad Razie beating PR Sreejesh with a low hard-flick ending the match in 2-2 draw, taking the game into a shootout.

On Saturday, 1st September 2018, Indian Men’s Hockey Team will take on the losing team of second semifinal between Pakistan and Japan in the Bronze Medal Match at 16.00 hours.

 

India in Asian Games women’s Hockey final after 20 years-Defeat China 1-0 in Semi-Final

Drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur (52’) scored the lone goal

Jakarta (Indonesia), 29 August 2018: A resilient Indian Women’s Hockey Team advanced to the Final of the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018 as they defeated World No. 11 China 1-0 in their Semi-Final match of the competition played here today at the Gelora Bung Karno Hockey Field. The win which was inspired by Gurjit Kaur’s goal in the 52nd minute, meant that the Indian team qualified for the Final of the Asian Games for the first time since 1998.

The Indian team had the opening chance of the match as Vandana Katariya and Navneet Kaur combined inside the striking circle but could not create a goal as China defended well. In the 8th minute, Navneet Kaur won India their first Penalty Corner which was taken by Gurjit Kaur but her shot was deflected away by the first Chinese rusher. India looked to have the upper hand in the first quarter and had another chance in the 13th minute as Monika’s pass from the right flank was converted into a shot by Navjot Kaur, but the Chinese Goalkeeper Jiao Ye managed to clear the ball away as the scores remained 0-0 after the first period.

LONDON – Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup
India – Ireland
Photo:
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS RODRIGO JARAMILLO

The start of the second quarter saw China produce some slick passing in the Indian striking circle which won them their first PC in the 18th minute but the resulting drag-flick was hit wide of the post. China tried to create chances in the next few minutes but the Indian defence made sure that they eliminated the threat. The Chinese team tried to keep more possession as they grew into the match, but the World No. 9 Indian team made sure that they pressed their opponents to win back possession. The second quarter was a period of few chances for both the teams which meant that the scores remained level at 0-0 as the hooter signaled for the half-time break.

India started the third quarter by winning their second PC in the 31st minute. The resulting drag-flick was taken by Gurjit Kaur which saw her strike a fierce low shot towards the right side of goal which was saved by a Chinese defender. India tried to strive forward to create more opportunities in the next few minutes but found it difficult to get inside the Chinese striking circle. The 39th minute saw India win their third PC of the match which was struck by Gurjit Kaur through a variation but went wide of the goalpost to keep the scores goalless. India won themselves another PC in the 41st minute, however, Gurjit Kaur’s shot was stopped by the Chinese Goalkeeper Jiao Ye. India continued to dominate the match and Reena Khokhar came close to scoring in the last minute of the quarter as she wriggled past three Chinese defenders to enter the striking circle and get a reverse shot away, which went just wide of the goalpost.

The Indian team attacked the Chinese from the start of the fourth quarter as they looked for a goal. Captain Rani came close to scoring but her shot was deflected away by a Chinese stick. With just nine minutes remaining on the clock, India had a chance again as Rani played a ball across the Chinese goal but the World No. 9 could not score. The 52nd minute finally saw India get the breakthrough as they won three consecutive PCs. China defended the first two executions well, but it was drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur who was successful on the third attempt as she struck the ball in the top right corner of the goal to give India a crucial lead. The Indian team kept possession of the ball in the final few minutes of the match and made sure that they did not allow the Chinese any opportunities to equalize.

The win means that the Indian Women’s Hockey Team will face Japan in the Final of the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018 on Friday, 31st August 2018 at 18.30hrs IST.

 

Biswaranjan Sarangi, Baljit Hira Singh, Tarun Yadav and Shweta Kishore Patil in FIH International Panel

Biswarajan Sarangi and Baljit Hira Singh have been promoted as FIH International Technical Official while Tarun Yadav and Shweta Kishore Patil have been promoted as International Umpires for Outdoor Hockey

New Delhi, 29 August 2018: Hockey India on Wednesday congratulated Biswaranjan Sarangi of Cuttack, Odisha on being promoted as FIH International Technical Official by the FIH Officials Committee. The World Governing Body for Hockey, announced its decision on Tuesday. Earlier this year, Sarangi was also appointed as Judge for the Men’s Youth Olympic Games Qualifiers in Bangkok, Thailand. He was also appointed as technical official at the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Ipoh Malaysia in March this year.

Sarangi became the first official from Odisha to be promoted as an FIH International Technical Official. “Exposure at the Hockey India League 2015 has been crucial for my growth as a Technical Official and ever since then I have been officiating at various domestic and International events. My growth as a technical official could not have been possible without the support of my family and for Hockey India Umpiring, Technical and Competitions Committee, who has trusted my abilities as a Technical Official, given me opportunities and the right direction to achieve in this profession.”

It was good news for 29-year-old Baljit Hira Singh too, who is currently officiating at the ongoing 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang. He has been promoted as FIH International Technical Official. “I had the opportunity of officiating at the India Tour of New Zealand earlier this year and now I’m getting good exposure at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang too where I am learning from experienced officials from other countries. I thank Hockey India for giving me this kind of opportunity,” stated Baljit Hira Singh of Punjab.

Tarun Yadav of Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, too found his name in the FIH International Panel as he been promoted as FIH International Umpire for Outdoor Hockey and became the first Umpire from Chhattisgarh to get the FIH promotion. The 26-year-old former player for Chhattisgarh took to umpiring in 2014 and since has officiated at various domestic tournaments in the country and was also assigned umpiring job at the U-18 Asia Cup and the Youth Olympic Games Qualifiers in Bangkok, Thailand. He also attended the Umpire’s Clinic in Ipoh, Malaysia in 2017. “One of the biggest challenges for a young umpire is to remain calm and composed when two big teams are playing. There is a lot of pressure from the crowds and language too can be a problem sometimes but Hockey India Umpiring, Technical and Competitions Committee was always there to support and encourage us. They have played a big part in my promotion to FIH International Umpire,” stated Tarun Yadav.

Meanwhile, 25-year-old Shweta Kishore Patil from Kolhapur district, Maharashtra too has been elevated to the position of FIH International Umpire for Outdoor Hockey. Shweta, after representing her state in domestic hockey for 13 years, chose umpiring at the age of 21. “I was very young when I started umpiring but thanks to Hockey India Umpiring, Technical and Competitions Committee constant support and guidance I was able to make a good start and through exposure at various domestic events I got to learn and improve. I feel over the past two years, a lot of women have been looking at technical jobs in hockey and umpiring as an alternate career and it’s all thanks to Hockey India for promoting women in this field,” stated Shweta who is currently pursuing her Post Graduation Degree in sociology.

Congratulating all the four representatives from India – Biswaranjan Sarangi, Baljit Hira Singh, Tarun Yadav and Shweta Kishore Patil, on their promotion accorded by the FIH, Hockey India’s Secretary General, Md. Mushtaque Ahmad said, “I would like to wish Biswaranjan Sarangi, Baljit Singh – both highly qualified technical officials and also young umpires Tarun Yadav and Shweta Kishore Patil the very best for their new roles in FIH. It has been Hockey India Umpiring, Technical and Competitions Committee’s endeavour to engage and promote youngsters in different technical roles. While the federation is working tirelessly towards achieving best results in hockey at the international arena, promoting officials in different capacities has also been a major goal. I am happy to note that today in India we can boast of several technical officials and umpires who have made their name through hard-work and determination in the International stage.”

 

 

Kusti Champions League set for October launch

– Organized by MWCL Sports LLP in association with Maharashtra State Wrestling Association
– First of its kind league to have exclusive telecast of all matches on COLORS Marathi from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm starting October 7, 2018. The same to be available on Viacom18’s video-on-demand platform, VOOT

Mumbai, August 28, 2018: MWCL Sports LLP and Maharashtra State Wrestling Association along with COLORS Marathi, Viacom18’s Marathi General Entertainment channel together announced the launch of Kusti Champions League – Apla Banda, Khel Zinda. A pioneering initiative, Kusti Champions Leagues (KCL) will serve as a mega platform for the sport by inspiring and creating opportunities for local Maharashtrian players in the field. With a purpose of bringing out the true spirit of Kusti, Kusti Champions League is sure to garner attention and create awareness on professional Kusti thus appealing to viewers and audiences like other sporting events. Organized by MWCL Sports LLP in association with Maharashtra State Wrestling Association, the live telecast of Kusti Champions League will be aired exclusively on COLORS Marathi and VOOT. The League will premiere on October 7, 2018and conclude its inaugural season with a grand finale on October 28, 2018.

“To uplift the sport further with an international approach towards mat wrestling, Kusti Champions League collectively aims to bring contenders from 6 regions of Maharashtra on one platform and establish them as strong contenders for Olympic 2020,” said Pushkaraj Kelkar, Founder of Kusti Champions League. “We want to take wrestling to every nook and corner of Maharashtra, give it the deserved fame and subsequently, create an international platform for the sport,” he added.

Balasaheb Langde, General Secretary, of Maharashtra State Wrestling Association & Maharashtra Olympic association said, “Kusti, the most ancient sport of Maharashtra will now be presented to the audience through COLORS Marathi. Prior to this, Kabaddi has been viewed in league format which was a commercial success for both the players and organizers. Similarly, to ensure that this Kusti League is a successful initiative, we would require the support of the people of India. This league will play a vital role in the player’s morale for the 2020 Olympics. Through this league we invite all the positive suggestions that can be incorporated. We give our best regards to all the players and teams participating in this league.”

“Wrestling has been one historical sport that has always contributed to India’s sporting prowess, and we are proud to be associated at the state level to take it into the next phase of upliftment and are keenly looking at least 5 medals from state at the 2020 Olympics. Kusti Champion League is committed to bringing out the best from the state’s best ….” Said Pradeep Iyengar, COO of Kusti Champions League.

Speaking on the launch of Kusti Champions League, Ravish Kumar, Head – Regional Entertainment, Viacom18, said, “Kusti or wrestling as it is popularly known today, happens to be one of India’s oldest sports and is a sport which requires skill, strength, strategy and determination. Even today, Kusti continues to be played with great zest and passion and is a popular source of entertainment for people in towns and villages. While Indian wrestlers have been doing us proud in international arenas, we believe it is about time that Kusti gets its due recognition and popularity. With this endeavour in mind we have collaborated with the Kusti Champions League to air these matches on COLORS Marathi, thereby bringing the excitement of kusti into millions of homes across Maharashtra. Moreover COLORS Marathi, with its strong equity, deep cultural roots and history of innovative programming, is the perfect platform for this sport to find the audience it truly deserves.”

KCL will be played by 6 teams consisting of 72 players in total. KCL has selected over 300 players from across Maharashtra for an auction process for the 6 teams.  Each team will consist of 8 men and 4 women who are professionally trained in Kusti. The cities participating in KCL are Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Kolhapur. The league is structured with 6 weight categories – 4 categories for men and 2 for women. A total of 90 matches across 21 days will be played on mat and soil at Balevadi Stadium, Pune in Maharashtra. The exclusive telecast of all matches will be available on COLORS Marathi from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm starting October 7, 2018.

The official Radio Partner for Kusti Champion League Season 1 is Radio City.

About KCL

A sport with glamour, appropriate promotion & awareness can change the perception of 1.2 billion Indians, leading them to peruse it as a career instead of hobby. In near future sport in India will go through and biggest revolution and face change.Post patriotism, sport is an another medium that defines being Indian in us. Several times its being proved that sport is best possible medium to engage the dynamic youth of our country which is currently more than 70% of our population. As it has been the only sport to win India medals on international platform for 3 consecutive Olympics as well as years, and Maharashtra being ranked between 3th & 4th ranking. KCL is taking it forward to progress this game by adding a commercial, glamour & professional approach to it.

About COLORS Marathi

COLORS Marathi is a family entertainment channel that mirrors the cultural ethos and spirit of Maharashtra through a range of unique differentiated content created to redefine the family viewing experience. Pioneers of the Marathi General Entertainment Genre, COLORS Marathi has many firsts to its credit. The channel was the first to experiment with new homegrown non-fiction formats like Gaurav Maharashtracha, Bigg Boss, Sur Nava Dhyas Nava and Crime Diary that has revolutionized the Marathi Television space. On the fiction front COLORS Marathi has had a glorious run with landmark shows like Ghadge & Suun, Balumama Chya Navan Chang Bhala, Tu Majha Saangati and Majhe Mann Tujhe Jhale and many more thus establishing new standards of scale and grandeur in Marathi Television history.

About Viacom18

Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd. is one of India’s fastest growing entertainment networks and a house of iconic brands that offers multi-platform, multi-generational and multicultural brand experiences. A joint venture of TV18, which owns 51%, and Viacom Inc., with a 49% stake, Viacom18 defines entertainment in India by touching the lives of people through its properties on air, online, on ground, in shop and through cinema.

Photo Caption 1: From L to R – Amol Buchade, Pushkaraj Kelkar- Founder & Promoter- Kusti Champions League; Balasaheb Langde, General Secretary of Maharashtra State Wrestling Association & Maharashtra Olympic association; Ravish Kumar, Head – Regional Entertainment, Viacom18; Sarjerao Shinde Vice President, Maharashtra State Wrestling Association;  Pradeep Iyengar, COO, Kusti Champions League.
Photo Caption 2: From L to R: Mayuri Shirsat, Devaki Rajput, Priyanka Sanas, Smita Patil, Kiran Bhagat, Kautuk Daphale, Utkarsh Kale, Hrishikesh Joshi, Ranjeet Nalawade, Rahul Aware, Abhishek Turkewadkar, Vishnu Khose, Kaushalya Wagh, Prajakta Panasare, Pragati Thombare.

Participating Teams:

Jigarbaaz Nashik
Kolhapur Shahu
Jaabaaz Aurangabad
Narveer Nagpur
Zunzaar Pune
Ranayoddha Mumbai

 

IAAF, ITRA and WMRA forge new partnership to host combined Trial and Mountain Running World Championships

© Damiano Benedetto

As the athletics family continues to grow with an expansion into new territories, 2021 will be a major milestone year for the sports of trail and mountain running with the inauguration of the IAAF World Trail and Mountain Running Championships, a result of a unique partnership between the IAAF, ITRA and WMRA.

At a joint press conference today ahead of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) in Chamonix, France, the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) and World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) announced that they would join athletics global governing body, marking the beginning of a new era for two of the largest running communities in the world.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe said: “Running is the most natural thing in the world and we want to encourage people around the world to run in whatever environment they most enjoy.

“As the global federation, it is our ambition to bring all runners together under one umbrella and this process will reach a significant milestone in 2021 when we will host the first combined IAAF Trail and Mountain Running World Championships. It is new and exciting territory for us, and we look forward to offering new opportunities for distance runners to compete in the spectacular settings and on the challenging courses that traditional mountain and trail events offer.”

Under the new agreement, the two organisations are officially becoming technical partners of the IAAF, and will work alongside the International Association of Ultrarunning (IAU), a consultancy partner, with the goal to develop, expand, promote and take trail and mountain running to another level across the world.

This is a unique partnership, bringing all the forms of running, one of the key elements of the sport of athletics, under one umbrella. The pinnacle of this partnership will be the new biennial IAAF World Trail and Mountain Running Championships which will be introduced in 2021. Currently both World Championships in trail and mountain running are held on an annual basis and organised by ITRA and WMRA.

Speaking on behalf of the mountain running community, WMRA President Jonathan Wyatt said: “We are excited to be part of a great initiative where we are able to bring the world’s top mountain and trail runners together at one event.

ITRA President Michel Poletti said: “Trail running is a booming discipline around the world that deserves international recognition for the elites who represent it. That’s why the partnership project with the IAAF is a great step forward for our sport. It is a way to combine the expertise and skills of each and to share our own experience.

“The organisation of the IAAF World Trail and Mountain Running Championships with the WMRA also promises a bright future, where each discipline can assert its identity and raise the values we share: authenticity, respect and fair-play.”

New Zealand’s Ruth Croft, an elite trail runner, said: “(The new partnership) is a good thing because we want to be part of a race which will bring together all the top athletes once every two years. The new concept of the world championships was necessary to build the sport.”

“It intrigues me to bring the best athletes together for the same race,” Jim Walmsley, an elite trail from the US, added.

In the coming months, ITRA, WMRA and IAU will work closely with the IAAF on the details of the new combined biennial World Championships and the creation of biennial area championships which are also part of this new strategy to expand and bring the sports of trail and mountain running to new territories.

About the IAAF

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the world governing and rule making body for the sports of athletics, which encompasses track and field, race walking, road, cross country, mountain, trail and ultra-running.

In 2012, the IAAF celebrated its centenary. Today boasting 214 national Member Federations, it has a global reach greater than that of the United Nations.

The IAAF World Athletics Series (WAS) is a global series of athletics competitions. It is topped by the biennial IAAF World Championships which was created in 1983, whose ten days of competition involve 2000 athletes from more than 200 countries, 3000 members of the media and are broadcast to over 200 territories worldwide to an accumulated global audience of 6 billion.

About the ITRA

The International Trail Running Association (ITRA) is an organisation representing more than 1.3 million trail runners worldwide.

With the first World Trail Running Championships organised by the International Association of Ultrarunning (IAU) in 2007, the ITRA later emerged from the first International Trail Running Conference in 2012 and officially formed in 2013 to develop and promote trail-running as a discipline in its own right.

In 2015 trail running was included in the IAAF constitution as an official discipline.

About the WMRA

The World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) organises mountain running races, contests held on marked trails over mountain terrain.

Founded in 1984 as the International Committee for Mountain Running, the organisation staged its first annual World Mountain Running Trophy the following year. In 1998 it was renamed the World Mountain Running Association and in 2009, the Trophy event was renamed the World Mountain Running Championships.

The WMRA also stages an annual World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships and a World Cup series of races.

 

Star Sports announces KBD Juniors Season 2 – India’s largest televised school outreach programme

Season 2 will witness the participation of 3500 youngsters from 288 schools across 12 cities

Mumbai 27th August 2018: India’s sport of Kabaddi has grown leaps and bounds with the growth of India’s flagship kabaddi league, VIVO Pro Kabaddi. Encouraging the growth of the sport amongst the younger generation, Star Sports announces the second season of KBD Juniors. Season 2 will be hosted across the 12 Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season VI cities. The tournament will have 24 schools per city, and 3,500 students between the age group of 11 to 12 years battle it out to make it to the grand finale.

Kabaddi requires nimble footwork of a boxer, the strength of a wrestler, tactical acuity of a chess player, agility and reflexes of a gymnast and endurance of a runner. Keeping this spirit of Kabaddi alive amongst the younger generation, KBD Juniors Season 2, will be bigger and better as the invitation to participate in the tournament was shared with multiple schools and 288 schools will participate this season, an advancement from the 96 schools that participated in season 1.

Building on the success of Season 1, that registered an impressive cumulative reach of 156.4 million viewers over the season, and had South Point World School from Sonipat win the title, Season 2 is now back to crown new glory. To ensure maximum participation from schools across the 12 cities, the invitational tournament has been designed as city qualifiers, city finals and national finals.

The city qualifiers, scheduled to be hosted between end of August and early September, as the run up to Season VI of VIVO Pro Kabaddi. 24 schools are divided into 8 groups of 3 teams who will play against each other. From each group, the team finishing first will then make it to the round of city finals, which will take place during the home leg of each city as part of Season VI of VIVO Pro Kabaddi and then the National finals.

The city qualifiers began today in Hyderabad, where the new participating schools include, Scholars International School, Oxford Grammar School, Nampally Vyayamshala High School, Lotus School, Manikonda, among others. Hyderabad Public School, Gitanjali Senior School and VV Govt school had participated in KBD Juniors Season 1 and P. Obul Reddy Public School won the city finals.

KBD Juniors targeted at young students will offer the benefits of an incredible sport to youngsters across these cities and will help grow the popularity for India’s indigenous sport. To prepare the schools for the tournament, Star Sports along with Mashal Sports Pvt. Ltd., the league organisers also provide initial training to the PE teachers in each school via an introductory kit along with coach meet and greets.

The season 2 of KBD Juniors will be broadcast on Star Sports and Hotstar during Season VI of VIVO Pro Kabaddi. The broadcast schedule for the matches will be released at a later date.

 

Defending Champions India beat South Korea 5-3

– The Reigning Champions register their fourth consecutive win to remain on top of Pool A at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta & Palembang 2018
– Rupinder Pal Singh (1′), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (5′), Lalit Upadhyay (16′), Manpreet Singh (49′), Akashdeep Singh (56′) score in India’s win; Young Defender Varun Kumar completes 50 International Caps for India

Jakarta (Indonesia), 26 August 2018: Reigning Champions Indian Men’s Hockey Team continued their stunning performance at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta & Palembang as they notched up a 5-3 victory against a tough Republic Of Korea team in their fourth Pool A match here on Sunday. This was table topper India’s fourth successive victory in Pool A after winning 17-0 against Indonesia, 26-0 against Hong-Kong China and 8-0 win against Japan in their first three matches respectively.

It was drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh (1′), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (5′), Lalit Upadhyay (16′), Manpreet Singh (49′) and Akashdeep Singh (56′) who contributed to India’s scoreline. For Republic Of Korea, Skipper Manjae Jung (33′, 35′) and Jhongyun Jang (60′) scored.

The winning team’s first goal came from a penalty stroke scored by Rupinder Pal Singh. It was a goal bound ball stopped by body of the last Republic Of Korea defender that resulted in them conceding the penalty stroke. The team further won two PCs in the final minute of the first quarter. While Rupinder’s first flick had to be taken again as it was blocked by the first rusher, his second attempt was well-saved by the Republic Of Korea goalkeeper. However, only minutes earlier, Rupinder set-up India’s second goal superbly converted by Vice Captain Chinglensana Singh Kangujam. It was a brilliant showcase of one-touch hockey where Rupinder’s long-pass from the centre of the midfield found an impressive deflection off Chinglensana’s stick.

India continued to play with superb speed, with impressive counter attacks that put the  Republic Of Korea defence on immense pressure. India’s third goal came in the 16th Minute through a smart scoop pass from Simranjeet Singh that was well controlled by Lalit Upadhyay who had positioned well to take a successful deflection that landed the ball over the  Republic Of Korea goalkeeper into the net.

Republic Of Korea however made brave attempts to overcome the initial setback as they created chances to score. In the 24th minute, Republic Of Korea won two back-to-back PCs but couldn’t make much of the opportunity as India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and first rusher Manpreet Singh’s efforts respectively ensured India kept a clean sheet.

In the following minute, Amit Rohidas helped win India’s fourth PC of the match but could not convert. Republic Of Korea immediately launched a quick-fire counter attack, where in just three touches, Republic Of Korea landed in their striking circle. But the shot taken was way off the mark.

Republic Of Korea made a strong start to the third quarter when a long-pass into the circle trying to fetch a perfect deflection unfortunately hit the cross-bar. But a smart referral saw  Republic Of Korea win a PC. Sreejesh’s block in an attempt to clear the ball was deemed dangerous as it hit the Republic Of Korea striker in the circle. This time Republic Of Korea used a smart variation which was successfully converted by the team’s skipper Manjae Jung.

Republic Of Korea tricked India’s defence to score yet another goal through Manjae that narrowed the team’s lead to 2-3. India missed some potential chances to score in the following minutes as forwards Akashdeep Singh and SV Sunil narrowly missed scoring goals in two separate attempts.

The final quarter was tense as Republic Of Korea defence upped their ante while India pushed for goals. Manpreet Singh struck India’s fourth goal setup by a good interception by Akashdeep. Manpreet was excellent in receiving the ball from Akashdeep and made a quick dribble into the striking circle and took a powerful back-hand shot to beat Republic Of Korea goalkeeper that helped take India’s lead to 4-2.

A clever pass by Mandeep Singh to Akashdeep saw him convert yet another splendid back-hand shot taking India’s score to a comfortable 5-2.

Meanwhile, India won a PC with a little over four minutes left for the final hooter. A good flick by Rupinder was pushed away by the Republic Of Korea goalkeeper denying India’s fifth attempt at PC. A defensive error saw India concede a PC in the last minute of the match. Republic Of Korea retook the PC after the ball struck the foot of India’s first rusher. They were awarded yet another PC after it again struck the foot of defender Amit Rohidas. This time Jhongyun Jang was successful in beating Sreejesh to fetch third goal for Republic Of Korea.

On 28 August 2018, the Indian Men’s Hockey Team will take on Sri Lanka at 14.30 hours in their last Pool A match.

 

Team Draw announced for T10 League

– Defending champions Kerala Kings will have Karachians, Pakhtoons and Rajput in Group A
– Runners-up Punjabi Legends drawn with Bengal Tigers, Maratha Arabians and Northern Warriors in Group B

Dubai, Monday, August 27, 2018: T10 League – the world’s first 10-over cricket league recognised by the International Cricket Council, starts Season 2 with the Team Draw led by Kerala Kings and Punjabi Legends – the Champions and Runners-up teams of the first T10 League.

Eight teams – Kerala Kings, Punjab Legends, Maratha Arabians, Bengal Tigers, The Karachians, Rajputs, Northern Warriors and Pakhtoons – have been drawn in to two groups to fight it out in the 2nd Season of T10 League from November 23 to December 2 – the UAE National Day.

T10 League was launched last year by T10 Sports Management to popularise the game of cricket in its shortest format – that concludes within less than 90 minutes in which two teams bat it out in ten overs – or just 60 balls – thrilling the crowd.

Preparation for the Second Season of the T10 League starts following the runaway success with sold-out stadium during all the four days of the first Season that drew full-gallery crowd at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and watched by cheering fans across the GCC, South Asia and parts of the African continent where cricket is a popular sport.

A number of Bollywood and Lollywood celebrities from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will add festive flavour to the ten-day tournament to be watched live in more than 20 countries across the world.

The event takes place at the backdrop of the recent recognition by the International Cricket Council (ICC) the global governing body of cricket – that makes it the world’s first ten-over format league.

This year, two teams – The Karachians and Northern Warriors – have been added to the list of the earlier six teams. This will expand the support and fan base of the T10 League.

“The T10 League is gaining ground with the formal recognition of the International Cricket Council and the interest shown by the stakeholders that encouraged us to add two new teams to the league,” Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman of T10 League and T10 Sports Management, said.

“Today’s Team Draw is a testimony to the growing popularity of not only the T10 League – but also the game of cricket – which could now be played and in less than 90 minutes. I am pleased to announce the Team Draw led by last year’s Champions Kerala Kings and Runners-Up Punjabi Legends.

“This year’s T10 League will help expand and popularise the game of cricket further. We see this as a growing movement and I urge all to join this and help take the game further.”

The Team Grouping – an important part of the tournament – will decide which team will play against which ones in the league and then develop their winning strategies. The Team Draw will be followed by a Player’s Draw taking place a few weeks’ later that will see the world’s top cricketers being selected by the eight teams – from a pool of cricketing legends.

Salman Iqbal, President of the T10 League, said, “Team Grouping is very crucial for each team in their journey to the top. Today’s Team Draw will help the teams to plan their team formation and strategy, going forward.

“Cricket is being re-invented in the UAE and the T10 League is at the forefront of this journey. We are getting a large crowd joining us in this great journey where we hope to break new grounds with many more surprises to come.”

The T10 League is live telecast in the GCC, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom and the United States – followed by millions of fans – watching the actions of some of the most popular cricket stars, such as Shane Watson, Shahid Afridi, Eoin Morgan, Rashid Khan, Shoaib Malik, Sunil Narine, Darren Sammy, among many others.

Team Grouping

Group A Group B
Kerala Kings Punjabi Legends
Karachians Bengal Tigers
Pakhtoon Maratha Arabians
Rajputs Northern Warriors

 

ICC appeals for information on suspected match-fixer

Dubai, 28 August 2018: The International Cricket Council (ICC) today launched an appeal to find the one remaining suspected match-fixer from a recent documentary.

The appeal is part of an extensive investigation by the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), and the alleged fixer, known as Aneel Munawar, remains unidentified. The programme makers have indicated that this man will now be central to a second documentary.

Alex Marshall, General Manager ICC ACU, said: “We have identified every other person in the original documentary and have spoken to a number of them in connection with match fixing, including those who are not deemed to be participants under our Anti-Corruption Code.

“However the true identity of Aneel Munawar remains a mystery. He plays a significant role in the programme, yet enquiries with law enforcement and immigration sources have not identified or located him.

“As such we are appealing to the public or anyone from within the cricket family to contact us with any information that will lead us to identify and locate him. Police investigations often use such an appeal to locate people of interest and we are exercising the same approach.

“The absence of any cooperation from the broadcaster has slowed the investigation, but to date we have made good progress in identifying people of significant interest including people already of interest to the ACU. We have been able to discount a number of claims made in the programme and continue to pursue other aspects. We will provide a full update at the conclusion of the investigation.

“We are aware that there is a second documentary in the offing, this time based on historical recordings between a fixer, suspected to be Munawar and bookies in India. As with the first programme, we will investigate any claims made in a full and thorough manner and we take any allegations of corruption, historical or contemporary, extremely seriously. Based on what we already know, we have engaged the services of an independent betting analysis company to examine the claims made about particular matches.

“As with the first programme we have, and will continue to ask for the cooperation of the broadcaster. Access to the raw, unedited footage enables us to build a complete picture around the claims in the documentary and ensure our investigation is as fair and thorough as possible.”

About The ICC

The ICC is the global governing body for cricket. Representing 104 members, the ICC governs and administrates the game and is responsible for the staging of major international tournaments including the ICC World Cup and Women’s World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and the ICC Men’s and Women’s World T20.

The ICC presides over the ICC Code of Conduct which sets the professional standards of discipline for international cricket, playing conditions, bowling reviews and other ICC regulations. The Laws of the game remain under the auspices of the MCC.

The ICC also appoints the umpires and referees that officiate at all sanctioned Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals. Through the Anti-Corruption Unit it coordinates action against corruption and match fixing.

The ICC Development department works with associate members to improve the quality of international cricket, build better cricket systems, get more people playing cricket and grow the game.

 

Stars keep hopes alive with victory over league leaders

St Lucia Stars 141/4 (Fletcher 45*, Pollard 41* Permaul 2/20) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 140/9 (Delport 25, Williams 2/23, McCoy 2/23) by six wickets with 11 balls remaining

St Lucia Stars skipper Kieron Pollard kept his team’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season alive with a six-wicket victory over table-toppers Guyana Amazon Warriors at the Daren Sammy Stadium.

Pollard ultimately proved the difference in a cagey, low-scoring game. The Stars had bowled superbly to restrict the Warriors to 140/9 but had found run-scoring just as tough themselves; the game was firmly in the balance when Devendra Bishoo stepped up to bowl the 18th over of the run-chase with the Stars still needing 31 to record their second victory of the season.

GROS ISLET, SAINT LUCIA – AUGUST 24: In this handout image provided by CPL T20, Kieron Pollard (L) of St Lucia Stars congratulated by Shoaib Malik (R) of Guyana Amazon Warriors during match 15 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League between St Lucia Stars and Guyana Amazon Warriors at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground on August 24, 2018 in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia. (Photo by Randy Brooks – CPL T20/Getty Images)

Six balls later, the scores were level after an astonishing assault from Pollard, who launched the first two balls for six before crunching the third for four. The fourth ball produced another six, by far the biggest of the lot as Pollard sent the ball into orbit and out of the ground. Two more fours were smashed back past the hapless Bishoo – struggling to grip a damp ball after an earlier rain delay – and the game was all but done. Andre Fletcher, who had anchored the run-chase with a mature unbeaten 45 – completed the formalities at the start of the 19th over. Pollard, meanwhile, had catapulted from 11* from 12 balls to end on 41* from 18.

The Stars moved David Warner down to number four in the run-chase, but he was still at the crease pretty swiftly as early wickets left the Stars in a bit of early trouble. Warner walked to the middle after Lendl Simmons and pinch-hitter Rahkeem Cornwall had fallen in identical fashion to Veerasammy Permaul attempting big slog-sweeps and getting their stumps rearranged.

With Fletcher struggling for rhythm at the other end, the Stars needed to regain the momentum. Warner did so with a couple of early boundaries and some scampering between the wickets to turn singles into twos.

Warner’s busyness at the crease rubbed off on Fletcher, who began to find his range as the score moved on to 71/2 after 11 overs when a heavy downpour forced the players from the field.

The delay came at a bad time for the Stars, who were just beginning to take a firm grip on the chase. And when play resumed Warner was soon on his way for 23 from 16 after he got a healthy edge on an Imran Tahir googly and was smartly caught by keeper Luke Ronchi.

Responsibility for the chase now fell on the shoulders of Fletcher who put Rayad Emrit over the ropes at square-leg for just the third Hero Maximum of the night.

Qais Ahmad couldn’t help him, bowled by Bishoo for just 6, but in walked the Stars skipper to take charge.

It had looked like being another difficult night for the Stars when Ronchi (24 from nine) got the Warriors off to a flying start, hitting four fours and a six as the visitors raced to 30/0 from two overs.

The Stars hit back impressively, though, to turn things round and leave the Warriors 41/3 after five overs with Ronchi, Chadwick Walton and key man Shimron Hetmyer all dismissed.

From there the Stars squeezed the innings impressively, with spinners Cornwall and Ahmad rattling through their four overs for 1/19 and 1/23 respectively. The pressure brought wickets with it, and after smashing 30 from the first two overs the Warriors made just 67 – at a cost of six wickets – from the next 14.

Sohail Tanvir injected much-needed life into the innings with four fours off Kesrick Williams – who picked up the big wickets of Hetmyer and Cameron Delport – before being bowled off the inside edge by an Obed McCoy slower ball.

Emrit managed to find a six off McCoy but tellingly it was the first Hero Maximum since Ronchi departed in the third over of the innings.

McCoy did an outstanding job at the death, bowling his four overs off the reel for 2/23 and while a final total of 140/9 represented a recovery of sorts for the Warriors from 95/6 it wasn’t enough once Pollard entered the fray.

Upcoming Fixtures: Saturday 25 August – Barbados Tridents v St Kitts & Nevis Patriots (4pm), Kensington Oval;
St Lucia Stars v Jamaica Tallawahs (8pm), Daren Sammy National Cricket Ground, Sunday 26 August – Barbados Tridents v Trinbago Knight Riders (6pm), Kensington Oval

 

Soundarya Pradhan wins the silver medal

Soundarya Pradhan made India proud today by clinching the Silver Medal in the World Junior Individual Chess championship for the blind and visually impaired that concluded here at  Solec-Zdroj Poland from 13th August to 23rd August 2018. Czajkowski Adam (7.5) narrowly clinched the gold medal and Eichstaedt Mirko (6.5) got the bronze medal.

Soundarya Pradhan had a slow start in the tournament when he was stunned by a defeat in the second round by a fellow Indian Aryan Joshi. However soundarya kept his School during the tournament and required win in the last three rounds to a win the medal. Soundarya pulled up his game to the next level and won the last three rounds which included defeating the leader and the second seed Eichstaedt Mirko (ELO Rating 2190) which is about 400 ELO points more than Soundarya.

Soundarya Pradhan is a totally blind chess player who is currently established his name even in the field of academics by being the ranker and taking the admission in the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Jamshedpur.

The other Indian player Aryan Joshi started the tournament on a high note; however he could not maintain the tempo and ended up at 6th position at the end of the tournament. The performance by the Indian players is brilliant in its own right which makes the country proud. However this performance by soundarya and Aryan is even greater in the backdrop that All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB) official body for chess for visually Impaired and Blind did not have Government aid or financial support for the tournament. All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB) was struggling to find sponsorship for this talented player due to which this team was not going to be in Poland for tournament to represent India.

Amidst this uncertainty All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB) with the help of the coach and International Master (IM) Sagar Shah unrelentingly conducted several camps for the training of the players. The players were sent to participate for two grandmaster tournaments to sharpen their skills and to prepare for the World Junior Championship.

However due the consolidated efforts of players, Individuals, AICFB and some members of AICFB the fund was raised a day prior to their departure and the team was sent to Poland. It is a sad state of affair that talented players are not supported and there are brinks of missing the opportunity to win medals and bring laurels to the country. India has been performing consistently both at the organizational level as well as at the players level through AICFB in the world of chess for visually impaired and Blind not only at India level but globally for several years now. Currently an Indian Dr. charudatta Jadhav the President of AICFB hold be honour of being the first non European president of International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) the world body for conducting chess for visually impaired and blind.

This is the most important achievement for blind chess and for our country as the world recognized the ability of AICFB to promote the game of chess amongst visually Impaired and Blind.

 

Spirited India beat Japan 8-0

– The Reigning Champions register their third consecutive win in the Pool Stage of the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018
– Rupinder Pal Singh (17′, 38′) and Mandeep Singh (32′, 57′) score twice in India’s win

Jakarta (Indonesia), 24 August 2018: Reigning Champions Indian Men’s Hockey Team continued their winning streak at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang as they notched up a spirited 8-0 victory against a fighting Japanese squad in their third Pool A match here on Friday. With yet another high-scoring victory margin, India have taken their total goals scored in the tournament to a record 51 goals after winning 17-0 against Indonesia followed by 26-0 against Hong-Kong China in their first-two matches.  

SV Sunil (7′), Dilpreet Singh (12′), Rupinder Pal Singh (17′, 38′), Mandeep Singh (32′, 57′), Akashdeep Singh (46′) and Vivek Sagar Prasad (47′) scored in India’s fine win.
India converted 8 of the 23 shots on goal while with six of them being field goals including one PC and one penalty stroke.

BREDA – Rabobank Hockey Champions Trophy
India – Argentina
Photo: Mandeep Singh celebrates.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS FRANK UIJLENBROEK

Though Japan put up a fighting front with their defence, Indian attack was top class right from the word go. India’s first goal came through a brilliant pass by Harmanpreet Singh to Akashdeep Singh who further assisted SV Sunil make a perfect deflection into the goal. In the 12th minute Dilpreet Singh converted India’s second goal which was an excellent display of one-touch hockey with Manpreet Singh’s fierce pass into the striking circle which was picked up well by Dilpreet who took a successful perfect reverse shot on goal. Only minutes prior, Lalit Upadhyay’s assist to Akashdeep Singh who took a shot on goal was padded away by Japanese goalkeeper. Another great goal came in the 32nd minute when a fine dribble by Amit Rohidas into the striking circle made a cross-pass to Mandeep Singh who took a quick-fire shot on goal.

Even as Indian forwardline led the attack with aplomb, the team’s defence stood firm not allowing Japan to make any successful forays into the striking. The only real attempt on goal came when Kenta Tanaka took a strong shot in the 8th minute but was brilliantly blocked India’s ace goalkeeper PR Sreejesh who is yet to be tested in this tournament. Kentaro Fukuda too took a shot on goal in the 36th minute but was saved by the Indian goalkeeper.

Meanwhile, Japanese goalkeeper Yusuke Takano made brave saves that kept Indian scoreline from racing ahead. “This was an important win for us to keep up the momentum in the tournament. I am happy with the way the team is taking this tournament one-match-at-a-time. Japan is a good team withexcellent defensive abilities and we wanted to keep them from making counter attacks as it is one of their strong points. Our aim is to keep win all our matches in the Pool Stage and make the Semi Final. That is our first hurdle and we will need to rest well and pay attention to recovery now ahead of our next matchtomorrow against Korea,” stated Chief Coach Harendra Singh.

The Indian Men’s Hockey Team will take on 26 August against Korea on 18.30 hours in their fourth Pool A match.

 

Kohli reclaims top ranking after match-winning effort

– India captain’s 937 rating points are the 11th best in the all-time list for batsmen
– Career-best rankings for Bumrah and Pandya; Dhawan and Rahane move up
– Buttler, Rashid and Woakes also gain following latest rankings update

India captain Virat Kohli has reached a personal best of 937 rating points while reclaiming the top position for batsmen in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings after the Trent Bridge Test.

The 29-year-old’s player of the match effort of 97 and 103 not only helped his team reduce the deficit in the five-match series to 2-1 after winning the third Test by 203 runs but has also lifted him to the 11th best ever in terms of rating points.

Kohli, who claimed the top spot for the first time after the opening Test in Birmingham but dropped to second after the Lord’s Test, is now only one point behind a group of four in the all-time list and with a good chance of going past them on current form that has seen him score 440 runs in the series.

The top 10 in the list are Don Bradman (961 points), Steven Smith (947), Len Hutton (945), Jack Hobbs (942), Ricky Ponting (942), Peter May (941), Gary Sobers, Clyde Walcott, Vivian Richards and Sangakkara (all 938 points).

Cheteshwar Pujara remains the second highest ranked India batsman in the list, in sixth position, while Ajinkya Rahane (up four places to 19th), Shikhar Dhawan (up four places to 22nd) and all-rounder Hardik Pandya (up eight places to 51st) have moved up after useful contributions at Trent Bridge.

Pandya has also reached the 51st spot in the bowlers’ rankings, gaining 23 slots to reach his career-best position after a crucial five-wicket haul in the first innings. His fellow fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah’s five-wicket haul in England’s second innings has also lifted him to a career-best 37th position after a gain of eight places.

For England, Jos Buttler’s valiant 106 in the second innings has lifted him 22 places to 47th position. Another significant gainer for England in the batsmen’s rankings is Adil Rashid, whose unbeaten 33 in the second innings has seen him gain eight slots to reach 116th position.

Rashid has also gained four slots to reach 47th position among bowlers after grabbing four wickets in the match, while Chris Woakes has inched up one place to 31st position after also finishing with four wickets in the third Test.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 23 August, following the Trent Bridge Test):

BATSMEN (top 20)

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team    Points  Avge    Highest Rating

   1          (+1)         Virat Kohli             Ind          937!       54.49     937 v Eng at Trent Bridge 2018

   2          (-1)          Steve Smith          Aus         929         61.37     947 v SA at Durban 2018

   3          (+1)         Kane Williamson NZ           847         50.35     893 v Aus at Perth 2015

   4          (+1)         David Warner       Aus         820         48.20     880 v NZ at Perth 2015

   5          (-2)          Joe Root                Eng         818         51.27     917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015

   6          ( – )          C. Pujara               Ind          763         49.30     888 v SL at Nagpur 2017

   7          ( – )          D. Karunaratne    SL           754!       37.28     754 v SA at Colombo (SSC) 2018

   8          ( – )          D. Chandimal       SL           733        44.96     755 v Win at St Lucia 2018

   9          (+1)         Dean Elgar            SA           724        41.05     784 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

  10         (+1)         Aiden Markram    SA           703*      47.27     759 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

  11=       (+1)         Ross Taylor          NZ           697         47.22     871 v Win at Hamilton 2013

               (-2)          Jonny Bairstow     Eng         697         38.55     772 v SA at Old Trafford 2017

  13         ( – )          Kraigg Brathwaite Win         695         37.94     701 v Eng at Headingley 2017

  14         ( – )          Hashim Amla       SA           673         47.23     907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013

  15         ( – )          Azhar Ali                Pak         672         44.84     787 v Aus at Melbourne 2016

  16         ( – )          Faf du Plessis       SA           665         42.33     734 v Ind at Centurion 2018

  17=       ( – )          Alastair Cook        Eng         641         45.11     874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012

               (+1)         Kusal Mendis        SL           641         36.78     693 v Win at St Lucia 2018

  19         (+4)         Ajinkya Rahane    Ind          636         41.79     825 v NZ at Indore 2016

  20         (-1)          Usman Khawaja  Aus         633         42.00     747 v Pak at Sydney 2017

BOWLERS (top 20)

Rank      (+/-)         Player                    Team     Points    Avge      Highest Rating

   1          ( – )          James Anderson Eng         899        26.85      903 v Ind at Lord’s 2018

   2          ( – )          Kagiso Rabada    SA           882        21.71      902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018

   3          ( – )          Ravindra Jadeja   Ind          840        23.11      899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017

   4          ( – )          Vernon Philander SA           826        21.54      912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013

   5          (+1)         Pat Cummins       Aus         800*!     23.81      800 v SA at Johannesburg 2018

   6          (+1)         Trent Boult            NZ           795        27.84      825 v Eng at Lord’s 2015

   7          (-2)          R. Ashwin              Ind          792        25.45      904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016

   8          ( – )          Rangana Herath  SL           791        27.95      867 v Zim at Harare 2016

   9          ( – )          Neil Wagner          NZ           765        28.26      785 v Win at Wellington 2017

  10         ( – )          Josh Hazlewood  Aus         759        26.84      863 v Ind at Bengaluru 2017

  11         ( – )          Shannon Gabriel Win         757!       29.57      757 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

  12         ( – )          Stuart Broad         Eng         734        28.91      880 v SA at Johannesburg 2016

  13         ( – )          Jason Holder        Win         731*!     29.35      731 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

  14=       ( – )          Tim Southee         NZ           720        30.82      799 v Win at Jamaica 2014

               ( – )          Mitchell Starc        Aus         720        28.17      805 v SA at Durban 2018

  16         ( – )          Nathan Lyon         Aus         710        32.21      774 v Eng at Adelaide 2017

  17         ( – )          Keshav Maharaj   SA           692*      27.65      695 v Zim at Port Elizabeth 2017

  18         ( – )          Yasir Shah            Pak         683        29.44      878 v Eng at Lord’s 2016

  19         (+1)         Kemar Roach       Win         667        28.31      774 v SA at Centurion 2014

  20         (+1)         Shakib Al Hasan  Ban         665        31.87      705 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

ALL-ROUNDERS (top five)

Rank      (+/-)         Player                    Team     Points    Highest Rating

   1          ( – )          Shakib Al Hasan  Ban         420        489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

   2=        (+2)         Vernon Philander SA           370        379 v SL at Galle 2018

               ( – )          Ravindra Jadeja   Ind          370        438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017

   4          (-1)          R. Ashwin              Ind          367        493 v Eng at Mohali 2016

   5          ( – )          Jason Holder        Win         354/*     355 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.

!indicates career-highest rating

 

BREDA – Rabobank Hockey Champions Trophy
India – Pakistan
Photo: Vivek Prasad.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS FRANK UIJLENBROEK
Hockey International 6 Nations U23 Men in Antwerp Belgium Match India- The Netherlands

India U18 men and women teams for  Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

Vivek Sagar Prasad will lead the Junior Men’s team while Salima Tete will be the Captain of the Junior Women’s team

New Delhi, 23 August 2018: Hockey India today announced the Indian U18 Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams for the Hockey 5’s competition to be held at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games from 6th – 18th October, 2018. Both the teams will have a total of 9 members in the squad, which consists of two Goalkeepers, two Defenders, two Midfielders and three Forwards.

The Men’s team will be led by their Midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad, while Goalkeeper Prashant Kumar Chauhan will act as his deputy. Whereas, the Captaincy of the Women’s team has been given to Defender Salima Tete, with Forward Lalremsiami being the Vice-Captain.

Both the teams have been chosen keeping in mind the requirements of the fast-paced 5-a-side competition and consist of players who have recently gained international exposure as they participated in the Junior Invitational Tournament in Belgium last month.

The Junior Men’s team consists of Goalkeepers Prashant Kumar Chauhan and Pawan, Defenders Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem and Sanjay, Midfielders Vivek Sagar Prasad and Maninder Singh, and Forwards Shivam Anand, Rahul Kumar Rajbhar and Sudeep Chirmako.

Goalkeepers Bichu Devi Kharibam and Khushboo will be guarding the Junior Women’s team’s goal while IshikaChaudhary and Salima Tete will support in defense. The midfield will be commanded by Reet and Chetna while Sangita Kumari, Mumtaz Khan and Lalremsiami will lead the attack.

A total of 12 women’s and 12 men’s teams will be participating in the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Hockey 5’s events taking place between 7th and 14th October at Youth Olympic Park. In the Men’s category, the Indian team will face stiff competition from 2014 Youth Olympic Gold Medallists Australia and Silver Medallists Canada along with hosts Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Poland, Mexico, Malaysia, Kenya, Zambia and Vanuatu. Whereas the Women’s team will have their task cut-out as 2014 Youth Olympic Gold Medallists China, hosts Argentina, Austria, Poland, Uruguay, Mexico, Australia, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Vanuatu will be the other 11 teams giving them competition.

Wishing the athletes, Mr. Rajinder Singh, President, Hockey India said, “We are proud of our U18 Men’s and Women’s teams for having qualified for the Youth Olympic Games for the first time after not having participated in the first two editions in 2010 and 2014. All athletes have been preparing well for the showcase event that will take place in Buenos Aires in October and I believe that both teams very well equipped in all departments to be able to finish on the podium for the country. I would like to congratulate the team for earning this opportunity and would like to wish them the very best for a highly anticipated Hockey 5’s competition at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.”

Indian U18 Men’s Team:

Goalkeepers: 1. Prashant Kumar Chauhan (Vice Captain) 2. Pawan
Defenders: 3. Rabichandra Singh Moirangthem 4. Sanjay
Midfielders 5. Vivek Sagar Prasad (Captain) 6. Maninder Singh
Forwards: 7. Shivam Anand 8. Rahul Kumar Rajbhar 9. Sudeep Chirmako

Indian U18 Women’s Team:

Goalkeepers: 1. Bichu Devi Kharibam 2. Khushboo
Defenders: 3. Ishika Chaudhary 4. Salima Tete (Captain)
Midfielders: 5. Reet 6. Chetna  
Forwards: 7. Sangita Kumari 8. Mumtaz Khan 9. Lalremsiami (Vice Captain)

 

Tridents pinch two-run victory thanks to Steve Smith all-round show

Pic Credit: CPL via Getty Images.

Steve Smith scored 63 and took 2/19 as Barbados Tridents stole a remarkable two-run Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) victory against Jamaica Tallawahs in Florida.

The Tallawahs’ failure to chase down 157 having powered to 80/0 in the first nine overs of their run-chase means it’s now three defeats from three at Central Broward Regional Park for a team that started their Hero CPL campaign with three straight victories.

Even when a few wickets fell around the midway point of the innings and the required rate began to climb the Tallawahs always appeared to have things under control. Even when tight bowling from Mohammad Irfan and Wahab Riaz left Raymon Reifer with nine runs to defend in the final over the game appeared to be the Tallawahs’ to lose.

But Ross Taylor and David Miller were only able to take five runs from the first four balls of the over and suddenly the pressure was all on the batsmen. When Reifer delivered the perfect yorker with the fifth ball, the Tallawahs had somehow needed four from the final ball of a run-chase that had looked so straightforward.

Miller could only heave the final delivery down the ground for a single, prompting celebrations from the Tridents players while Andre Russell was left unused on the Tallawahs bench.

Reifer took the congratulations for a fine closing over – making amends for a poor initial spell and two dropped catches in the deep – but there was no doubt about the hero of the hour for the Tridents.

Before his two wickets to stop the Tallawahs running away with it, Steve Smith had been the chief architect of the Tridents’ recovery from 39/3, sharing an intelligent and increasingly assured 103-run partnership with Shai Hope. The Tridents’ 156/6 looked a few runs below par at the halfway stage, but it gave them something to bowl at which would prove so critical later in the night.

It didn’t look that way when Johnson Charles and Glenn Phillips got the run-chase off to a flier for the Tallawahs. Charles smacked Jason Holder for five successive fours in the third over, while Phillips smashed two fours and a six from Raymon Reifer’s first over – the fifth of the innings. Those two overs alone brought 36 runs as the Tallawahs openers took the target down to double-figures inside the Power Play with 61/0 on the board after six overs.

The Tridents fought back, though, with a double breakthrough from an unlikely source. Steve Smith hadn’t taken a T20 wicket since 2014, but the Australian picked up two in five balls as both openers were sent packing in the 10th over. Charles was the first to go, caught by Martin Guptill on the deep mid-wicket boundary, before Phillips was caught behind trying to work the ball to leg.

And Smith could have had a third wicket when Kennar Lewis was dropped by Reifer at long-on. To add to Smith’s frustration, the ball bounced out of Reifer’s hands and over the ropes for six.

Lewis was dropped twice more on his way to a streaky 17 before edging to Nicholas Pooran to hand Mohammad Irfan his first wicket of the 2018 Hero CPL.

The Tridents were suddenly able to squeeze the Tallawahs, and what had looked for most of the night to be a routine run-chase was suddenly in doubt when 37 were needed from the last four overs of the innings with Taylor and Miller struggling to find the boundary.

Both men did find fours in the next couple of overs, but the game was now firmly in the balance with 20 needed from the last two overs.

The first ball of the penultimate over was heaved for four by Miller, who was then dropped by Shai Hope at deep midwicket. It left the Tallawahs needing nine from the final over, a target that proved beyond them as the Tridents pinched an unlikely victory.

The Tallawahs had looked the likelier winners almost all night from the moment they reduced the Tridents from 36/0 to 39/3.

A careless run out for Dwayne Smith at the non-striker’s end when Hashim Amla drove the ball to Rovman Powell at mid-on triggered that collapse.

After the run out of Dwayne Smith, Samuel Badree struck to remove Amla before the pace of Oshane Thomas did for Guptill, who had his stumps rearranged by a full and rapid delivery.

But Steve Smith and Hope slowly and surely rebuilt the innings.

Smith injected the momentum with back-to-back sixes off fellow Australian Adam Zampa, and later brought up the hundred partnership with an outrageous Hero Maximum carved over backward point off Russell.

Hope took longer to get going but also smashed three sixes in his 43 before being deceived by a Russell slower ball and getting bowled off the inside edge.

Smith fell in slightly bizarre fashion, dismissed twice in one ball looking for the boundary in the final over. Having miscued Russell to be caught at long-on, Smith also contrived to hit his stumps with his bat in the follow-through of his swing. Under the game’s laws, the catch takes precedence.

A run out from the final ball of the innings left the Tridents with 156/6 and, while it represented a fine recovery from 39/3, it looked no more than a working total. But it would prove just enough to leave the Tallawahs scratching their heads and wondering just how this game had slipped out of their reach.

Upcoming Fixtures: Friday 24 August – St Lucia Stars v Guyana Amazon Warriors (9pm), Daren Sammy National Cricket Ground, Saturday 25 August – Barbados Tridents v St Kitts & Nevis Patriots (4pm), Kensington Oval; St Lucia Stars v Jamaica Tallawahs (8pm), Daren Sammy National Cricket Ground.

 

Spanish midfielder Jonathan Vila joins FC Pune City

Pune, August 23 2018: The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood star Arjun Kapoor co-owned Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City today announced the signing of the Spanish defensive midfielder Jonathan Vila to add variety to their midfield for the 2018-19 season.

After signing Jonathan, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Jonathan is a midfielder who likes to sit in front of the back four. His proficiency in performing defensive duties in midfield and his ability to build attacks from the back will be ideal for us.”

Jonathan began his youth career with Celta de Vigo and made his La Liga debut in 2006 including playing the UEFA Cup 2006-07. After a decade long run with Celta, the midfielder was traded to Beitar Jerusalem FC in 2014 and played the Israeli Premier League. In 2017, the Spanish midfielder moved back to Spain to join Recreativo de Huelva.

Head coach Miguel Angel Portugal said, “Vila’s work ethic is tremendous and his vast experience in midfield will be vital for our squad. To my mind, he is a right fit for our plans for the coming season and the team will look up to him to shoulder responsibilities on and off the field.”

Excited after joining the ISL with FC Pune City, Jonathan said, “I am turning a new page in my career and this will be my first season in India. Adapting a new culture and lifestyle is a part of this new challenge and I will make sure that I create a positive impact with my game on fans and the club.”

 

Indian Men’s Hockey Team beat Hong-Kong China 26-0

The Defending Champions register their highest ever victory margin at the Asian Games; Dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh scores maximum of five goals

Jakarta (Indonesia), 22 August 2018: Reigning Champions Indian Men’s Hockey Team continued their rampaging performance at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang as they notched up a 26-0 victory against a hapless Hong-Kong China in their second Pool A match here on Wednesday. With this victory, India registered their highest ever victory margin in the history of the Asian Games.

Hong-Kong China had little chance against a strong Indian defence that kept them from entering the striking circle, and yet again the Indian goalkeeper was rarely tested with no potential shots on goal taken by Hong-Kong China. The Indian attackers, meanwhile, ran riot scoring insatiable goals at heady pace.

India’s dragflick expert Rupinder Pal Singh scored maximum of five goals (3’, 5’, 30’, 45’, 60’) while his young compatriot Harmanpreet Singh scored four goals (29’, 52’, 53’, 55’). A Hat-trick of goals were scored by striker Akashdeep Singh (2’, 32’, 35’) and Manpreet Singh (3’, 17’), Lalit Upadhyay (17’, 19’), Varun Kumar (23’, 30+) scored twice while SV Sunil (7’), Vivek Sagar Prasad (14’), Mandeep Singh (21’), Amit Rohidas (27’), Dilpreet Singh (48’), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (51’), Simranjeet Singh (53’) and Surender Kumar (55’) too contributed to India’s scoreline. This performance took India’s total score in the tournament thus far to a marvellous 43 goals.

India remained consistent with their goal-conversion rate with 42 per cent as they scored 26 goals from 59 shots on goal. They made 38 field goal attempts to score 17 of them while they won 21 PCs and scored 9 from it. “Though the victory margin is overwhelming, I feel we dropped the pace of our attack a little bit after the half-time. If we had continued the same way we played in the first half, our score line would have been bigger. I don’t think they were complacent but missed scoring from different variations they were attempting,” expressed Chief Coach Harendra Singh post match.

While scoring big wins against minnows like Indonesia and Hong-Kong China was a given, up next India face potentially strong teams Japan on Friday 24th  August 2018, followed by Korea on 26th August 2018. “We need to keep up this momentum going into the next two matches where both teams will challenge the Indian attack and they are good with their counter attacks, so we must be very cautious with our defence too and not allow chances for counter attacks. We must play to our strength and be focused on getting past our first hurdle of making the Semi Final as Pool A topper,” asserted Singh.

India play their next match on 24 August 2018 against Japan at 18.30hrs IST.

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team will also be in action on 25 August 2018 against Korea in their third Pool B match.

 

Tamil Thalaivas & Telugu Titans to clash in Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season VI opener

The VIVO ProKabaddi season VI opens in Chennai

Mumbai, 22nd August 2018: Mashal Sports Pvt Ltd., the organizer and right holder of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League, announced the fixtures for Season VI, beginning October 5th, 2018. The sixth season of VIVO Pro Kabaddi will begin in Chennai, and will travel across 13 cities, with the final showdown in Mumbai on January 5th, 2019. Fans can catch the action at the stadiums as well as on the Star Sports Network and Hotstar.

The opening day will witness the clash of kabaddi giants, Telugu Titans and Tamil Thalaivas. The competition will intensify, as the neighbours renew their rivalry in the latest season. In the second match Anup Kumar, the ‘Captain Cool’ of U Mumba for the last 5 seasons, who moves to Jaipur Pink Panthers this season, will lock horns with his former team.

The other highly anticipated matches through the week include, Tamil Thalaivas vs Patna Pirates, as the Dubki King Pradeep Narwal will dodge his way through defenders to break his previous seasons’ record of 369 raid points. VIVO Pro Kabaddi League’s highest paid player, Monu Goyat will begin his raid for glory as Haryana Steelers takes on Puneri Paltans in the fifth match of the season.

Anupam Goswami, League Commissioner, VIVO Pro Kabaddi said, “We have had to adjust the Season VI window to October onwards, in lieu of the ongoing Asian Games that have nearly all the world’s  top Kabaddi athletes playing for their respective national teams.  We will return to a July start for VIVO PKL Season VII.  Meanwhile, I look forward to VIVO PKL Season VI being an intensely competitive affair, as well as a great celebration of Kabaddi”

The 12 participating teams have been divided into two zones of six teams each, where each team will be playing a set of 15 intra-zone and 7 inter-zone matches, prior to the anticipated play-offs. The play-offs stage will comprise of 3 adrenaline filled eliminators, 2 qualifiers and the finals scheduled to take place in Mumbai.

 

Brave Bengaluru take the fight to Turkmenistan

Cuadrat’s Blues Show Resolve In 3-2 First Leg Loss To Altyn Asyr FK In AFC Cup Inter-Zone Semifinal

Bengaluru: What seemed like a tie that was done and dusted sprang back to life after Bengaluru produced an inspired second-half comeback against Turkmenistan side Altyn Asyr in the first leg of the AFC Cup Inter-Zone semifinal at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Wednesday. The Blues conceded three goals, before scoring two of their own to take a 2-3 result to Ashgabat for the second leg, set to be played in seven days’ time.

With an ill Harmanjot Khabra having to sit out of the game, Cuadrat started with Rino Anto at the right-back position while Xisco Hernandez made his Bengaluru debut, playing in the middle.

The visitors couldn’t have asked for a better start away from home when Vahyt beat the last line of defence and rose to nod home Nurmyradov Selim’s cross from the right in the 11th minute.

The Blues looked almost certain of squaring things up in the 15th minute when Chhetri   was picked with a precise cross from Miku. The skipper measured the flight and picked his spot with a calm header only for ’Orazmuhamedov Mamed to clear the ball with an outstretched left foot.

Just when Bengaluru looked like getting back into the game, Altyn Asyr got a second through Altymyrat in the 24th minute. The leading scorer of the Turkmenistan side’s AFC Cup campaign, Altymyrat managed to sneak in a low but powerful hit past Sandhu at the near post.

Not allowing the deficit to kill their resolve of a fightback, Bengaluru gave the Altyn Asyr defence an edgy last ten minutes in the first half where Miku, Chhetri and Nishu had chances stuffed out by desperate blue shirts in the box.

Things slipped further for Bengaluru soon after the second half began when Vahyt got his second and Altyn Asyr’s third goal of the night. Sandhu had an uncharacteristically weak moment allowing Vahyt’s to roll past from under him.

With little to lose, Bengaluru kept plugging away as Udanta Sigh made life difficult for Altyn Asyr’s men on the left. The visitors seemed happy to sit back and defend in numbers as Bengaluru moved the ball all around, prodding for an opening. The Blues finally got one back in the 63rd minute when Bheke smashed home from in the box. Chhetri’s header from Udanta’s cross smashed the post only to bounce back to Bheke who wouldn’t miss.

The goal breathed fresh life into Bengaluru’s charge as they got into a rhythm that Altyn Asyr found tough to handle. The defending was frenetic at best but just enough to keep Miku, Udanta and a host of white shirts at bay.

Bengaluru were left feeling hard done when they thought they had two shouts for what looked like legitimate penalties, turned down by referee Iida Jumpei. But the Blues piled on the pressure, finding a second through Erik Paartalu. With Xisco’s initial cross headed out of the Altyn box, Udanta picked up the pieces and swung in a second that was nodded home by the Aussie.

The Blues fly to Ashgabat, where they will take on the Turkmenistan champions on August 29th, at the Kopetdag Stadium.

 

India rout Indonesia 17-0 in men’s hockey league match

– The Defending Champions ride on hattrick of goals Dilpreet Singh (7′, 30′, 32′), Simranjeet Singh (13′, 38′, 53′), Mandeep Singh (30′, 45′, 49′)
– Rupinder Pal Singh (1′, 3′),  Akashdeep Singh (10′), SV Sunil (25′), Vivek Sagar Prasad (27′), Harmanpreet Singh (31′), Lalit Upadhyay (45′), Amit Rohidas (54′) too score in India’s winning start at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018

Jakarta (Indonesia), 20 August 2018: The Reigning Champions Indian Men’s Hockey Team began their title defence at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018 with a stunning 17-0 victory in their first Pool A match here on Monday. While India rode on hattrick of goals by youngsters Dilpreet Singh (7′, 30′, 32′), Simranjeet Singh (13′, 38′, 53′), Mandeep Singh (30′, 45′, 49′), the other goals came from Rupinder Pal Singh
(1′, 3′),  Akashdeep Singh (10′), SV Sunil (25′), Vivek Sagar Prasad (27′), Harmanpreet Singh (31′), Lalit Upadhyay (45′), Amit Rohidas (54′) that ensured India made a stupendous start to their campaign.

With the Indian forwards showcasing top form, puncturing Indonesian defence hooter-to-hooter, the match eventually turned out to be one-sided as PR Sreejesh-led squad demonstrated different variations to score goals. The team recorded 43 per cent conversion rate as they scored 10 of the 28 field goal attempts while they converted 6 of the 11 PCs earned with one goal coming off a penalty stroke. “This was exactly the kind of start we were looking for. We were not chasing any record of winning by maximum goals but a 17-0 margin in the first match instills confidence especially for the youngsters. The idea was to use different scoring combinations which we had worked on during the National Camp and I am happy with the way the team executed,” stated Chief Coach Harendra Singh after the win.

A lethal charge in their attack right from the start saw India win two PCs in the first three minutes of the match. India’s first goal came within 46 seconds of the start with ace dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh, making a comeback into the team after the Commonwealth Games in April, scored off a PC. He converted a penalty stroke in the 3rd minute after a deliberate foul by Indonesian defender to obstruct Harmanpreet Singh’s dragflick.

BREDA – Rabobank Hockey Champions Trophy
India – Argentina
Photo: Mandeep Singh celebrates.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS FRANK UIJLENBROEK

India’s third goal came off a calm and composed Dilpreet Singh who picked up a rebound after Harmanpreet Singh’s dragflick was padded away by the Indonesian goalkeeper. This 7th minute goal took India’s score to 3-0 putting the hosts under serious pressure early in the match.

India built on their strong start with impeccable team work, playing to structure and showing immense discipline in their passing and execution backed by good speed and technique.

One of the finest goals of the match came through a splendid combination work between experienced players Sardar Singh and SV Sunil in the 25th minute. A swift pass after fiercely charging into the top of the striking circle by ball carrier Sunil, saw Sardar infuse magic with his dribble past Indonesian defenders to pass it back to Sunil who simply deflected it into the goal had the Jakarta. It was hand-eye-coordination between the two stalwarts that was awe-inspiring.  

The calmness and composure shown by young guns Simranjeet Singh, Mandeep Singh (both 2016 Junior World Cup winners) and Dilpreet Singh was heartening as they led the attack with brilliance. Though in few instances Indonesian defence looked good, it was barely enough to stop the Indians from scoring. As Vivek Sagar Prasad, Akashdeep Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and Amit Rohidas added to the scoreline, India’s defence was rarely tested with goalkeeper Krishan Pathak holding fort in India’s goalpost.

The 17-0 win is India’s best record at the Asian Games with their previous best being 12-0 win against Bangladesh in 1982.

On 22 August, the Indian Men’s Hockey Team will play their second Pool A match against Hong Kong China at 12.30hrs IST.

Meanwhile, The Indian Women’s Hockey Team who beat Indonesia in their first match will take on Kazakhstan at 18.30hrs IST in their second Pool B match.

Matches will be shown live on Sony ESPN, Sony ESPN HD, Sony TEN 1, Sony TEN 1 HD, Sony TEN 3 and Sony TEN 3 HD while the live streaming will be available on SonyLIV.com

 

La Pegasus Polo announces All Indian Polo Teams for 2018-19

Ace Polo Player Dhruv Pal Godara to lead the teams under the guidance of Coach and Mentor Thakur Lokendra Singh Rathore

New Delhi, August 20, 2018: As the much-awaited Indian Polo Season for 2018-2019 is about to kick-start, La Pegasus Polo, one of India’s upcoming premier polo establishments founded by renowned businessman and horse-lover, Sanjay Jindal, has announced a new crop and squad. Highly acclaimed polo-player Dhruv Pal Godara will be leading the teams as the Captain under the able guidance of Indian Polo veteran, Thakur Lokendra Singh Rathore, who has been appointed as the Coach and Mentor. With these two legends at the helm and a group of highly-talented and motivated polo players, La Pegasus Polo Teams should emerge as a strong contender for the top trophies in the upcoming season.

La Pegasus Polo takes pride in fielding All-Indian Polo Teams bringing together professional polo players with over 200 years of combined polo experience. The teams will start practicing in Gurgaon, Haryana, from 20thAugust, before the start of the polo season from 24th September in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

“It is with great pride and satisfaction, we, at La Pegasus Polo will have the opportunity to participate in the Indian polo season 2018-2019 with an All-Indian Polo Team of distinguished and highly accomplished polo players. It will be our combined privilege to represent La Pegasus Polo with the leadership of Dhruv Pal Godara, the guidance and mentorship of Thakur Lokendra Singh Rathore and each and every team member that will make up our teams, La Pegasus Polo and Haryana, during the various tournaments in the Indian Calendar… Viva La Pegasus Polo and Viva Haryana!”, said Sanjay Jindal, Founder of La Pegasus Polo.

Team captain Godara hails from a family of distinguished horsemen and has played the sport for over 20 years now. He has represented India at 4 Polo World Cups and has won all major polo tournaments across the country, including the prestigious IPA Indian Open, 10 times and The Northern Indian Polo Championship. His versatility to play in any position and aggressive stick work will make the La Pegasus Teams a force to reckon with.

Speaking as the team captain, Dhruv Pal Godara said, “It is an honour for me to lead this distinguished group of polo players who are extremely passionate about the sport. Now, with Thakur Lokendra Sir as our guide, I believe the teams are destined for significant achievements, this season.”

Thakur Lokendra Singh Rathore, fondly known as ‘Loku Da’ is India’s first professional polo player and has captained India in 2 Polo World Cups. He has played the sport across four continents and has also served as the National Coach. Under his guidance, La Pegasus Polo Teams aspire to take great strides this season.

On being appointed as the coach and mentor of the team, Rathore said, “La Pegasus Polo is one of the finest professional initiatives in the country today and it gives me immense pleasure to join the squad as the coach and mentor of the team. Dhruv is the perfect captain for the teams and his versatility will add a lot of depth to the squad. I am looking forward to commence pre-season drills with the squad.”

La Pegasus Polo Teams commence their season on the 24th of September at the Cavalry Polo Club in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

The Polo calendar for the team is given below:

Pool Calendar (2018-2019)
Centre Date
Jaipur (61CAV) 24th Sept – 9th Oct
Delhi 16th Oct – 9th Dec
Jodhpur 9th Dec – 31st Dec
Jaipur 31st Dec – 3rd Feb 2019
Delhi 5th Feb – 10th Mar
Gurgaon 26th Feb Mar – 17th Mar
Argentina Post 17th March

 

100 Days to go for  Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

As host nation India prepares for the mega event to begin on 28th November 2018, the anticipation and excitement doubles in the sub-continent

New Delhi, 20 August 2018: The anticipation and excitement is palpable among hockey buffs in the country and around the world with just 100 Days to go for the much-awaited season Finale Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 scheduled to begin on 28 November at the iconic Kalinga Stadium.

While all eyes are on the Indian Men’s Team as they defend their title at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018, with their opening match against hosts Indonesia today, the team will be looking to use the momentum gained at the Asian Games to back their campaign at the Mega quadrennial event on home soil. “A Gold at the Asian Games will give the team tremendous boost for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. Our countdown starts from here in Jakarta and every single player and support staff is excited,” expressed Indian Men’s Team Chief Coach Harendra Singh.

Even as the host team is leaving no stone unturned in their preparations to put up their best performance in front of home audience, the host nation Hockey India along with relentless support from the Odisha State Government are working tirelessly to ensure spectators and teams from around the globe have the best experience of the event.

With 16 team in the fray, World No. 1 Australia as defending champions, the event will witness 36 matches between 28 November and 16 December. Each of the participating teams will play three matches during the league stage over a span of 12 days before four cross-over matches that will decide the fate of the teams to book their place in the top eight stage.

The general tickets for the event are already on sale and are reasonably priced at Rs200 (East Stand), Rs 100 (North Stand) and Rs 100 (South Stand) for the Pool and Crossover matches.  “With just 100 days to go for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, everyone involved in hosting the event have been working round-the-clock to ensure every single person who arrives to be part of the event returns with best memories. There is tremendous excitement around the event and with Indian Hockey Teams doing well at the recent International events, hockey is garnering a lot of support in the country and we are expecting large number of spectators to travel for the event in November,” stated Md. Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India.

Vishal Dev, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary to Government, Sports & Youth Services Department, Government of Odisha said, “One of the biggest tournament in Hockey’s history is about to take place here in the beautiful city of Bhubaneswar. Staging the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 is an important part of our plan to grow the sports of hockey in India. Everyone is working tirelessly to make this event a huge success. We are confident of delivering a grand tournament.”

Please find attached images of the members of Indian Men and Women’s Hockey Teams showcasing their excitement ahead of the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018.

 

India girls are SAFF U-15 Champions

Thimphu (Bhutan): India U-15 girls were crowned Champions of the SAFF U-15 Championship after defeating defending champions Bangladesh U-15 by a solitary goal in the final played at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan today (August 18, 2018).

Sunita Munda’s strike in the 67th minute made all the difference between the two teams. It was a hard-fought victory with both teams having hit the woodwork once.

The Indian girls started in an attacking fashion and as early as the 2nd minute, Avika Singh’s free-kick rattled the bar and off the rebound, Shilky Devi’s header went inches wide.

Three minutes later, Sunita Munda with a solo run burst into the rival box but only with the opposition goalkeeper to beat, she fumbled.

Spurred, the Indian girls dominated possession and created chances almost at will. Kritina Devi’s speed down the flanks proved to be a constant threat for the opposition defence. The opposition custodian saved her shot in the 27th minute as India pressed for that inevitable goal.

However, much against the run of play, the Indian defence fumbled in the 43rd minute when defender Ritu failed to clear her ball, allowing Bangladesh a clear shot at goal. But striker Anuching Mogini failed to find the net from close range as both teams headed to the interval locked goalless.

In the second half, the trend stayed the same with the Indian girls dominating possession and they were finally rewarded in the 67th minute.

In the 66th minute, Avika Singh found Sunita Munda in the box but the rival defence managed to clear it for a corner. Form the resultant corner, Sunita found the back of the net after she connected from Lynda Kom’s cross.

Having not many options, Bangladesh went all out in the attack. In the 76th minute, Bangladesh hit the bar. However, the Indian defence stood stern and goalkeeper Manish made agile saves in the dying minutes.

The Indian U-15 Women scored sixteen goals in four matches including the final and semi-final and conceded just one all throughout the Championship.

AIFF Media Team

 

Had a dream of winning as coach: Bembemn Devi

Thimphu (Bhutan): The legendary Bembem Devi who was in her first Coaching assignment in the SAFF U-15 Women’s Championship says she’s extremely happy to be playing an active role to redefine the youth setup of women’s football in our Country. After India’s triumph in the final against Bangladesh, Bembem spoke at length about her journey as a Coach, her dream, assessment of the present batch, the youth structure and much more.

EXCERPTS:

How satisfying is it to win as a Coach?

It’s immensely satisfying. I always cherished a dream of winning a tournament as a Coach. But let this be just the beginning. The feeling of winning as a Coach is a bit different from that of winning as a player.

How different is winning as a Coach as compared to a Player?

I was sure about my abilities as a player but unless AIFF hadn’t spotted me as a Coach, I would have taken more time to come out as a Coach. Winning as a Coach is living around the emotion but winning as a Player is like living in the emotion. Both are different feelings and I am fortunate to have experienced both.

So have you settled down as a Coach?

I am still settling down. There’s so much still to learn and achieve. I reiterate, maybe I wasn’t much sure about my coaching instincts till AIFF persuaded me to take it up. I was still a player at that time.

Any regrets for taking it up?

Looking back, there are absolutely no regrets. Today I know I made the right decision. But I was kind of brought into Coaching – it wasn’t completely my decision. AIFF’s trust means a lot to me. I am very happy to be playing an active role in the effort to redefine the youth setup of women’s football in our Country. The youth set-up, after all, is the bedrock of all footballing success.

What was your assessment of the final which India won?

Bangladesh was always going to be a tough team to play against. But we stayed united and that saw us through. We had devised a plan to counter their forwards and it worked. We wanted to score an early goal but even though we came close, we scored it eventually. This batch is really talented and I am happy to nurture them into better players.

All the players look up to you and want to follow your path.

I am just fortunate to have such a career. But right now I want to implement whatever I have learnt as a player into my career and help in youth development. Women’s Football on India is on the rise and I am doing my part.

By Joseph Solomon,
AIFF Media Team

 

Indian Women’s Hockey Team start their 18th Asian Games campaign with 8-0 victory over Indonesia

Gurjit Kaur (17’, 22’, 57’) scored a hat-trick of goals while Vandana Katariya (14’, 28’), Navneet Kaur (25′, 50’) and Udita (9′) also scored in India’s emphatic victory

Jakarta (Indonesia), 19 August 2018: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team began their 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018 campaign with an emphatic 8-0 victory against the hosts Indonesia in their first Pool B match which took place here at the Gelora Bung Karno Hockey Field today. The Indian team produced a strong performance against the hosts, who were making their debut in Women’s hockey at the Asian Games. It was drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur who scored a hat-trick for India as she converted in the 17th, 22nd and 57th minutes, while striker Vandana Katariya (14’, 28’), Navneet Kaur (25′, 50’) and Udita (9′) also registered their names on the score-sheet.

The Indian team started the first quarter by winning three consecutive Penalty Corners in the first six minutes, but the Indonesian defence did well to block the first two attempts and the third attempt saw Gurjit Kaur force a save by the Indonesian Goalkeeper Selly Amalia Florentina. In the 9th minute though, Namita Toppo’s shot from the edge of the circle was stopped by the Indonesian Goalkeeper Florentina but India’s Udita put the rebound into the back of the net to give India the lead. India continued to dominate the possession in the latter stages of the first period and extended their lead to two goals in the 14th minute as Vandana Katariya played a one-two with Navjot Kaur inside the striking circle. It was the former who produced a fine finish to help India end the first quarter with a two goal advantage.

LONDON – Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup
India – Ireland
Photo: KAUR Gurjit.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS RODRIGO JARAMILLO

The World No. 9 Indian team started the second quarter by extending their lead to three goals as Gurjit Kaur converted a Penalty Corner with a well-taken drag-flick towards the right of the Indonesian Goalkeeper to get on the score-sheet in the 17th minute. India continued to threaten the hosts and won another Penalty Corner in the 21st minute, but Gurjit Kaur’s shot was saved by the Goalkeeper, but the Indian drag-flicker scored her second goal of the match in the next minute when she converted another Penalty Corner to take India’s lead to four goals. The Indian team kept thriving forward as they dominated the match against the host nation. India’s fifth goal came in the 25th minute when Forward Navneet Kaur wriggled past two Indonesian defenders and got a reverse shot away, which made its way into the back of net. The Indian team did not hold back as they won themselves a seventh PC in the 28th minute and the resulting execution saw Vandana Katariya find herself at the right spot to score her second goal of the match which saw India take a six-goal lead into the half-time interval.

The Indian team earned two more PCs in the early stages of the third quarter, but the Indonesian defence held firm to keep out the Indians. In the 37th minute, Captain Rani forced the Indonesian Goalkeeper to make a double save, and then earn her team another PC. However, Rani’s resulting shot was well saved by Goalkeeper Florentina again. A minute later, India won another PC which was taken by Gurjit Kaur but hit the first rusher’s body and was deemed dangerous by the umpire. The Indonesian team could not stitch passes together throughout the match, which meant that the World No. 9 team dominated the match. The latter had several chances in the third quarter but could not be efficient enough as the period ended goal-less with India leading 6-0.

The start of the fourth quarter saw India win four consecutive PCs in the 49th minute as they kept the pressure on their opponents, but the visitors could not make the most of their opportunities as Indonesia defended well. However, it was Navneet Kaur who scored her second goal in the 50th minute as she deflected Monika’s pass from the right flank into the back of the net to make the scores 7-0 in India’s favour. The Indian team scored their eighth goal of the match in the 57th minute as drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur completed her hat-trick to put India 8-0 ahead and help her team start their Asian Games campaign on a high.

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team will play their second Pool B match against Kazakhstan on Tuesday, 21st August 2018 at 18.30hrs IST.

The Indian Men’s Hockey Team will also look to start their 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018 campaign on a positive note tomorrow as they face the hosts Indonesia at 18.30hrs IST in their first Pool A match.

 

Stars fall again as Tallawahs make it two wins from two!

2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League – Match Report 7: Jamaica Tallawahs 176/4 (Phillips 58, Powell 43*, Charles 31, Pollard 1/22) beat St Lucia Stars 175 all out (Fletcher 43, Sammy 36, Zampa 3/27, Thomas 3/39) by six wickets with two balls to spare

CPL via Getty Images

After Andre Russell’s miraculous one-man show to see off the Trinbago Knight Riders it was far more of a team effort as Jamaica Tallawahs secured a second Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) victory of the season with a six-wicket success over St Lucia Stars, whose long wait for a win goes on.

The Stars gave themselves a chance of snapping what is now a 14-match winless streak with a solid batting display. Contributions throughout the order, headed by a 33-ball 43 from opener Andre Fletcher, lifted them to 175 all out – well above the 158 average first-innings Hero CPL score on this ground despite three-wicket hauls for man-of-the-match Adam Zampa and Oshane Thomas.

But it wasn’t quite enough. Tallawahs keeper-batsman Glenn Phillips smashed six Hero Maximums in his 58 off 40, with an opening stand worth 81 inside eight overs with Johnson Charles (31 off 20) to break the back of the chase. Despite some stumbles, Jamaica always looked favourites to get home from there on.

Phillips had already hit two sixes when he really injected some pace into the Tallawahs’ run-chase in the final over of the Power Play, launching successive deliveries from leg-spinner Qais Ahmad over the leg-side ropes before crunching the very next ball through square-leg for four more.

A fifth Phillips six followed in the next over, a length ball from Mitchell McClenaghan given the treatment, before the big New Zealander got through to a 34-ball half-century with a chip over the infield for two.

Obed McCoy applied some pressure, conceding just a single from his first over, but normal service appeared to have resumed when Phillips again cleared the ropes off Hodge. But McCoy struck in his second over, ably assisted by a smart low catch from Kesrick Williams at third-man as Phillips looked to uppercut a short ball into the stands.

Andre McCarthy and Rovman Powell continued the charge, though, with both men clearing the ropes within the first eight balls of their partnership. Every time it looked like the Stars might be able to get back in the game, the Tallawahs had the answer.

McCarthy lost all momentum to his innings, and the Stars were dreaming of victory once more when the required rate crept up to 10 an over from the last five when McCarthy fell for 20 to a superb catch from Pollard in the deep. The grateful bowler McClenaghan roared in delight, but within four balls all the momentum was back with the Tallawahs as Powell dispatched McCoy for a six and two fours.

With 19 runs altogether coming from what would prove a pivotal 16th over, the target was suddenly a far more comfortable 32 from 24. Powell hit four sixes in all in his unbeaten 43 from 23, but there was still one more nervy moment to survive after Russell holed out early.

A target of 13 from 15 balls became eight from the final over as Ross Taylor struggled to get bat on ball. With just one run coming from the first two balls of Pollard’s final over, the Stars again had a sniff. Again it proved illusory as Taylor smeared a six over square-leg to bring the scores level before scrambling a single to complete the victory.

Earlier, David Warner’s lean run for the Stars continued when he dragged a full, wide one from Thomas into his stumps from way outside off for just 7, but Fletcher and Lendl Simmons picked up the baton.

Fletcher clipped Santokie effortlessly off his pads for six over square-leg before taking Thomas for back-to-back fours. Fletcher was handed a life when McCarthy put down the simplest of chances at square-leg.

Simmons was a spectator through that drama but then struck a six and a four from Imad Wasim’s first over of the night.

Russell brought himself on but couldn’t halt the charge. Simmons picked up six over long-off before Fletcher found the square-leg boundary as the score raced to 54/1 after the Power Play.

The boundaries continued to flow, with Fletcher levering Imad over wide long-on for another Hero Maximum as the 50 partnership came up in 32 balls, but Simmons perished soon after as he carved Russell to Johnson Charles at deep point.

Australia leg-spinner Zampa turned things the Tallawahs’ way with two wickets in his second over. Fletcher fell short of a half-century on 43, holing out to Russell at long-off, before Mark Chapman was completely bamboozled and bowled by a pitch-perfect googly first ball.

With the score now 89/4 and over half the innings gone, a promising start was in danger of being squandered as seasoned all-rounders Pollard and Sammy took on the task of getting the Stars to a decent total.

Both made starts but both fell in similar circumstances after miscuing attempted big hits to Ross Taylor on the edge of the ring on the off-side. Pollard was the first to go for 26 from 22 to hand Zampa his third wicket of the night, while Sammy did clear the ropes three times in his 24-ball 36 before becoming Thomas’ second victim.

McClenaghan fell in bizarre circumstances to the very next ball, bowled attempting to ramp a high full-toss that cannoned into the top of off stump. Kavem Hodge hit his first two balls for four and Ahmad launched a huge six onto the roof before becoming Krishmar Santokie’s first victim.

Hodge’s late cameo continued as he top-edged a pull over Phillips for four to end the 19th over before smearing a flat six over midwicket in the final over. His eight-ball blast brought 21 runs to boost the final total.

Still, though, the Stars came up short. They will have home advantage when they next aim for that elusive victory against the Knight Riders in two days’ time.

Upcoming Fixtures: Wednesday 15 August – Jamaica Tallawahs v St Kitts & Nevis Patriots (6pm), Sabina Park, Thursday 16 August – St Lucia Stars v Trinbago Knight Riders (8pm), Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium.

 

FC Porto’s Champions League winning captain Jorge Costa appointed as Mumbai City FC head coach

August 14, Mumbai: Mumbai City FC are delighted to announce former Portuguese international Jorge Costa as the club’s new head coach.

The 46-year old Portuguese who has excelled both, as a player and manager, will bring with him a surfeit of experience, having been at the helm of clubs in Europe such as Portuguese clubs SC Braga Paços Ferreira, Romania’s CFR Cluj, Greek sides AEL Limassol and Anorthosis Famagusta and the Gabon National Team among others.

Costa will join the Islanders following his latest stint with French Ligue 2 side FC Tours. He will become the fourth head coach in the history of the Islanders after Peter Reid, Nicolas Anelka and Alexandre Guimaraes.

The former Portuguese centre-back played at the highest level of international and club football for more than a decade and a half with his most decorated moment coming in 2004, when he captained FC Porto to UEFA Champions League glory under current Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

Jorge Costa has had considerable success during his previous managerial stints and has proven his winning capabilities in the past when he won the Portuguese Second Division with SC Olhanense and as well the Romanian League title with CFR Cluj.

Club CEO Indranil Das Blah was delighted with the appointment and said, “We are thrilled to appoint Jorge Costa as the coach of Mumbai City FC for 2018-19 season of the Indian Super League. We’ve had several meetings with potential candidates but Jorge’s professionalism, hunger and philosophy stood out and convinced us that he is the perfect candidate to take this club forward to bigger success. We welcome Jorge to the Mumbai City family and look forward to exciting times ahead.”

Jorge Costa, who has signed a one-year contract with th eclub, said, “I am very excited to be here, at Mumbai City FC. To be trusted with the responsibility of taking Mumbai City to newer heights is a huge honour for me. The management and the owners have great ambitions and are committed to bringing success to the club.

“I cannot wait to start, meet the players and have a fruitful pre-season. I believe that we have some of the finest Indian talents in our side and I’m excited at the prospect of working with them. I hope to bring entertaining football to the Arena and to the people of Mumbai, and challenge for trophies, giving this city the success it deserves,” added Costa.

Jorge Costa has also turned-up for the Portugal senior national team on 50 occasions, scoring two goals. During his playing days with A Seleção das Quinas, he formed a solid defensive partnership with his then skipper Fernando Couto and were largely considered as the best defensive duo of the UEFA Euro 2000. Apart from his success at the senior level, he has also won the FIFA U-20 World Cup with the Seleçãos in 1991.

About Mumbai City Football Club:

Mumbai City FC is Mumbai’s franchise in the Hero Indian Super League. Bollywood actor and football enthusiast Ranbir Kapoor and chartered accountant Bimal Parekh together own the team. The team’s logo is a reflection of a resilient fortress that stands proudly, surrounding the logo that signifies the unrelenting, determined spirit of the city. The seven stars symbolise the islands that form Mumbai. Trains that are the very lifeline of the city ply millions of Mumbaikars across its vast expanse and connect these islands. Each passenger, each citizen of the city, is bound together by their love for the place they call home. 20 million citizens, 20 million hearts pulse to a single beat – the heartbeat of Mumbai. Mumbai City Football Club has displayed consistent performances over the first four seasons and has been recognized as a distinguished attacking contingent.

 

Miguel Palanca signs for FC Goa

Panjim, Goa, 14th August 2018: FC Goa have announced the signing of Spanish left-winger Miguel Palanca. The 30-year old will help solidify FC Goa’s lethal attacking style of play. Palanca adds plenty of experience to the Gaurs, having made over 250 appearances in La Liga (Spain), A-League (Australia), Ekstraklasa (Poland) and Cypriot First Division.

Palanca was a product of RCD Espanyol’s youth ranks, playing for the first team & B-side in the 2006–07 season. He made his La Liga debut in 2007 against Sevilla FC. He then spent one season at Real Madrid where he made his debut for Real Madrid in the El Classico against FC Barcelona, before moving on to CD Castellon for the 2009-10 season in the second division. Palanca then signed a two-year contract with Elche CF and subsequently moved on to CD Numancia where he had a successful stint for one-and-a-half seasons in the second tier. He has also gone on to represent Australian club Adelaide United FC in the A-league, Gimnàstic de Tarragona in Spain and spells in Poland and Cyprus, before being roped in by the Gaurs.

Miguel Palanca expressed his delight after putting pen to paper on a new contract. “I am extremely delighted to be signing for FC Goa. The club’s past record in the league and the players who are already there along with the overall project are what attracted me the most and I can’t wait to get started in the ISL.”

Sergio Lobera was equally delighted with his new foreign acquisition. “Palanca is a very experienced player. He can play in many positions, and not only has great dribbling skills but also knows how to finish. He can play in any position at the front, and I think that he will greatly augment the team’s efforts, since only 5 foreigners are allowed on the pitch, it’s good to have a player with these characteristics. He has played alongside Coro in the past, and I think he’ll be a key player in order to achieve our goals.”

 

Duplantis and Asher-Smith cement status as stars of European Championships

On the final day of what had already been an exciting European Championships, it seemed only fitting that two of the stand-out moments came from a Scandinavian teenager and a rising British sprint star.

Just 24 hours after 17-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen made history by completing a distance double, Sweden’s Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis quite literally reached heights that no other teenager had ever done before.

The fact it was one of the deepest pole vault competitions in history was merely a sub-plot; all that mattered were the feats of the eventual winner. A first-time failure at 5.80m was the only blemish on what was otherwise a perfect scorecard for Duplantis. He cleared 5.85m and 5.90m before taking the lead with 5.95m, breaking his own world U20 record.

He was just getting started, though.

Three other men remained in the competition as the bar moved to 6.00m. Duplantis once again got over it on his first try, as did Timur Morgunov, both equalling the championship record. Renaud Lavillenie and Piotr Lisek were unable to go any higher, eventually settling for third and fourth place.

Duplantis, however, was on a roll and scaled 6.05m to add another five centimetres to his world U20 record and the championship record. It moved him to equal second on the world outdoor all-time list; the last time anyone vaulted higher was when Sergey Bubka set a world record of 6.14m in 1994, five years before Duplantis was born.

“There aren’t many words in this world to describe how I feel,” said Duplantis, who opted not to attempt any higher heights after his 6.05m clearance. “I’m on top of the world. I had to switch poles at the higher heights for ones I’ve never used before in competition.”

Less than 15 minutes after the pole vault reached its conclusion in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, the continent’s best sprinters were out on the track ready for the 4x100m finals. And while there are never any certainties in relays, the outcome of the women’s race seemed somewhat inevitable given the events of earlier in the week.

Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith had already secured the 100m and 200m titles, clocking world-leading times of 10.85 and 21.89 to break her own national records. Fittingly, she was given the responsibility of anchoring the British 4x100m team – assuming the baton would make it to the 22-year-old.

Thankfully it did, but she had some work to do as the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland were slightly ahead going into the final exchange. Asher-Smith, as she had done all week, kept her cool and moved into the lead half way down the home straight before going on to win by a three-metre margin in 41.88.

It was her third gold medal and world-leading mark of the championships and she became just the third woman in history to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m sprint triple at the European Championships.

“I’m so happy, it has been a crazy championships,” said Asher-Smith. “I know this isn’t the Olympic Games or World Championships, but I’m still very proud. I still have a lot left to give.”

Reports from European Championships

– Armand Duplantis feature
– Olympic Channel video interview with Armand Duplantis
– Michael Johnson: why Dina Asher-Smith could win Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020

Profiles

Armand Duplantis
Born: 10 November 1999. Coaches: Greg and Helena Duplantis

The third son of former pole vaulter Greg Duplantis and former heptathlete Helena (née Hedlund), Armand Duplantis was born into an athletic family. His older brothers Andreas and Antoine were introduced to pole vault at an early age; Andreas went on to represent Sweden, their mother’s country of birth, at various age-group championships, while Antoine dropped pole vault in favour of baseball.

Armand, however, showed the most promise and set numerous age-group records from as young as the age of seven. He scaled four metres for the first time at age 13 and had progressed to five metres just two years later.

During that same year, he made his international championships debut at the IAAF World U18 Championships Cali 2015 and came away with the gold medal. He followed it with a bronze medal at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016, where he was the youngest in the field, and came back even stronger in 2017.

He scaled a world U20 record of 5.75m during the indoor season and improved the mark to 5.90m outdoors, also breaking the senior Swedish record in the process. He went on to win the European U20 title before reaching the final at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, placing ninth.

His momentum has continued in 2018. He finished seventh at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018, then went over heights of 5.92m and 5.93m in his first few competitions of the outdoor season. Now a regular on the IAAF Diamond League circuit, Duplantis won in front of a home crowd in Stockholm and has beaten the likes of world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie and world champion Sam Kendricks.

And while he went into the European Championships as one of the medal favourites, having won the world U20 title in Tampere, few would have predicted he would win so convincingly and a height as big as 6.05m.

Progression

2006 (age 6): 1.67m
2007 (age 7): 2.33m
2008 (age 8): 2.89m
2009 (age 9): 3.20m
2010 (age 10): 3.86m
2011 (age 11): 3.91m
2012 (age 12): 3.97m(i)
2013 (age 13): 4.15m
2014 (age 14): 4.75m(i)
2015 (age 15): 5.30m
2016 (age 16): 5.51m
2017 (age 17): 5.90m
2018 (age 18): 6.05m

World outdoor all-time list, pole vault

6.14 Sergey Bubka (URS) Sestriere 1994
6.05 Maxim Tarasov (RUS) Athens 1999
6.05 Dmitri Markov (AUS) Edmonton 2001
6.05 Renaud Lavillenie (FRA) Eugene 2015
6.05 Armand Duplantis (SWE) Berlin 2018
6.04 Brad Walker (USA) Eugene 2008
6.03 Okkert Brits (RSA) Cologne 1995
6.03 Jeff Hartwig (USA) Jonesboro 2000
6.03 Thiago Braz (BRA) Rio de Janeiro 2016
6.01 Igor Trandenkov (RUS) St Petersburg 1996
6.01 Timothy Mack (USA) Monaco 2004
6.01 Yevgeniy Lukyanenko (RUS) Bydgoszcz 2008
6.01 Bjorn Otto (GER) Aachen 2012

Dina Asher-Smith
Born: 4 December 1995. Coach: John Blackie.

Born and raised in London, Dina Asher-Smith showed promise from an early age. In 2009, after just two years of training, she clocked a world age-13 best of 39.16 for 300m and then landed her first national title just four days later, winning the 100m at the England U15 Championships.

Numerous national titles followed and in 2011 she made her international debut at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Trabzon, Turkey, but it ended in disqualification for a false start. She rebounded six weeks later to end her season on a high by winning the Commonwealth youth title.

In 2012 she competed at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Barcelona, finishing seventh in the 200m final. But just a few weeks later she enjoyed a championship experience of a different kind when working as a kit carrier at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Just 12 months later, Asher-Smith was named on the British team – alongside many of the Olympians from one year prior – for the IAAF World Championships Moscow 2013. She ran the lead-off leg for Britain’s bronze medal-winning 4x100m squad, becoming the youngest ever medallist in a women’s relay event at the World Championships at just 17 years and 247 days.

Having won the European U20 200m title in 2013, Asher-Smith stepped down to the 100m for the following year’s IAAF World U20 Championships in Eugene, winning in 11.23 (-1.0m/s).

In 2015, her first year as a senior, Asher-Smith became the first British woman to run 100m within 11 seconds, clocking 10.99. Still aged 19, she went on to finish fifth in the 200m at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 in a national record of 22.07, making her the fastest teenager in history at that distance.

She replicated that finish at the following year’s Olympic Games, having won the European 200m title earlier in the year. She also picked up an Olympic bronze medal in the 4x100m.

A broken foot at the start of 2017 threatened to keep her out of action from that year’s World Championships on home soil. But Asher-Smith returned to form and went on to finish fourth in the 200m in London and picked up silver in the 4x100m.

Back to full fitness and having graduated from university with a BA (Hons) degree in history, Asher-Smith has gone from strength to strength in 2018. Following a 200m bronze medal and 4x100m gold at the Commonwealth Games earlier in the year, she reduced her national 100m record to 10.92 in Oslo and went to the European Championships as the marginal favourite in both sprints. She duly delivered, recording lifetime bests of 10.85 and 21.89 to win the 100m and 200m before capping a memorable sprint triple with gold in the 4x100m.

Progression
(60m, 100m, 200m)

2007 (age 11): -, 14.4, 28.28
2008 (age 12): -, 13.02, 26.45
2009 (age 13): 8.08, 12.10, 24.83
2010 (age 14): 7.68, 12.00, 24.50
2011 (age 15): 7.61, 11.96, 24.16
2012 (age 16): 7.47, 11.54, 23.49
2013 (age 17): 7.32, 11.38, 23.14
2014 (age 18): 7.22, 11.14, 22.61
2015 (age 19): 7.08, 10.99, 22.07
2016 (age 20): 7.11, 11.07, 22.31
2017 (age 21): 7.13, 11.13, 22.22
2018 (age 22): 7.08, 10.85, 21.89

Triple gold medallists at a single European Championships

2018 – Dina Asher-Smith (GBR) 100m, 200m, 4x100m
2010 – Christophe Lemaitre (FRA) 100m, 200m, 4x100m
1990 – Katrin Krabbe (GDR) 100m, 200m, 4x100m
1969 – Petra Vogt (GDR) 100m, 200m, 4x100m
1966 – Irena Szewinska (POL) 200m, long jump, 4x100m
1950 – Fanny Blankers-Koen (NED) 100m, 200m, 80m hurdles

 

Indian U-15 Women beat Bhutan to secure a semi-final spot 

Thimphu (Bhutan): The Indian U-15 Women’s National Team progressed to the semi-finals of the SAFF U-15 Championship after defeating hosts Bhutan 1-0 at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan today (August 13, 2018).

Shilky Devi’s 58th minute strike proved to be the difference between the two teams in a match tightly contested where India rattled the bar twice. With this win, the Indian Women top Group A, winning both of their matches. The semi-finals of the SAFF U-15 Championship are slated to kick-off on August 16, 2018 and the Indian Women will face either Nepal or Bangladesh in the clash

Although Bhutan started the game on an attacking note and dominated possession in the early minutes of the match, the Indian Women had an excellent opportunity to go ahead in the 13th minute when Kiran failed to make the most of her chance from inside the box.

In the 31st minute, the Indian Women rattled the woodwork after Sunita Munda found Kritina Devi on the flanks with some crafty work. Kritina’s first time effort from long range hit the bar and came back into play, only for her to shoot wide off the resulting ball. Five minutes later, Bhutan caught the Indian defence napping and hit the sidenetting from inside the box to give the Indian Women a scare.

Shiky Devi’s volley from inside the box in the 41st minute went inches over the bar as India continued to press the opponents. A stalemate ensued at half-time as both teams went into the tunnel on level pegging.

In the 55th minute, Avika Singh’s effort from distance rattled the crossbar but India had to wait little for the breakthrough that came three minutes later. Shilky Devi found the back of the opponent’s net with ease from inside the box with sheer composure in the 58th minute to give India the lead as the scoreline read 1-0.

The Indian Women pressed to double their advantage and came close when Shilky Devi’s shot missed the target. On the other end, the Indian defence had a busy day and mopped up Bhutan’s counter-attacks that came quiet frequently.

Bhutan committed bodies in attack to search for an equalizing goal but the Indian defence, compact, shut the gates tight and held on to edge out a 1-0 win over the hosts.

AIFF Media Team

 

Indian Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams leave for 18th Asian Games Jakarta 2018

Both teams will vie for Gold to secure a berth for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

New Delhi, 14 August 2018: With their vision set on securing qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games by winning Gold, confident Indian Men and Women’s Hockey Teams left for the 18th Asian Games Jakarta 2018 from the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Tuesday morning.

While the 18-member Women’s team will begin their campaign against hosts Indonesia in their opening match in Pool B clash on 19 August 2018, the Indian Men will begin their title defence against Indonesia on 20August 2018. Speaking about improving their previous performance of Bronze Medal in 2014, Women’s Team Captain Rani said, “We are going into the Asian Games after a strong performance in the FIH Women’s World Cup 2018 which has given us a lot of confidence. Though we were disappointed that we did not make the Semi Final, winning a Gold in the Asian Games will help fade the bitter memories of the World Cup. The team is upbeat, confident and we are eager to further improve our career best World Ranking of No.9 by winning the Asian Games.”

The Women’s team will face Korea, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Indonesia in Pool B and will have to finish in the top two in the Pool Stage to make the Semi Final of the Asian Games.

Meanwhile the Indian Men’s Hockey Team grouped with Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong China will be aiming to defend their title and ensure good momentum as they approach the season Finale in November at the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. “We had good lead-up to the Asian Games with high intensity training camp in Bengaluru. We also did well in the practice matches against Bangladesh, Korea and New Zealand where we wanted to implement certain changes in goal-scoring positions within the striking circle because that was one of the areas we fell behind in the FIH Champions Trophy 2018. We have also worked a lot on our PC conversion, PC defending and shootouts. Now we just need to execute perfectly in every single match and return home with the Gold,” stated Indian Men’s Team Goalkeeper-Captain PR Sreejesh. In the 2014 Asian Games, India had beaten nemesis Pakistan in a Shootout to win the Gold and earn qualification for the Rio Olympic Games.

On asked who would be India’s toughest opponent this time around, Sreejesh said, “No team can be taken lightly because every single team would come with the mind set of winning the tournament and get direct qualification for Tokyo Olympics. However, I feel that with the potential we have in the current team we will be fighting to better our own performance and ensure we play like a champion squad,” asserted Sreejesh.

Please find attached schedule and photos of the Indian Men and Women’s Hockey Teams ahead of their departure at the IGI Airport early Tuesday morning.

For more pictures of the Indian Hockey teams, click on  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1bDB03H2nf6CtduE8HHEMTCYYll2-ufiC

 

Top-Ranked Anderson breaches coveted 900-point mark

– Player of the match Chris Woakes moves up in all three men’s lists after Lord’s Test
– Kohli loses top spot; Ashwin advances in rankings for batsmen and all-rounders

James Anderson has become only the seventh England bowler and the first in 38 years from his country to breach the 900-point mark in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings after an excellent performance in the second Test against India at Lord’s, which his side won by an innings and 159 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Anderson’s outstanding match figures of nine for 43 have enabled him to reach 903 points and join a select group comprising Sydney Barnes (932), George Lohmann (931), Tony Lock (912), Ian Botham (911), Derek Underwood (907) and Alec Bedser (903), all of whom peaked at over 900 points during their careers.

Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Tests with 553 scalps and the only one to claim 100 Test wickets at Lord’s, is the first England bowler to breach the coveted mark since Botham touched 900 points in August 1980. Anderson now leads second-placed South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada by 21 points in the bowlers’ list.

Another one to make a mark in the Lord’s Test and whose performances reflect strongly in the latest rankings update is player of the match Chris Woakes, whose splendid century and useful bowling efforts see him move up all three charts – for batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders.

Woakes, who slammed an unbeaten 137 in England’s only innings and chipped in with four wickets in the match, has gained 34 places to reach a career-best 50th position among batsmen while also moving up three places to 32nd among bowlers and by five places to seventh among all-rounders.

Another England player to catch the eye in the latest rankings is wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow, whose 93-run knock has lifted him back to the top 10, in ninth place. Stuart Broad (up one place to 12th) among bowlers, and batsmen Jos Buttler (up one place to 69th) and Ollie Pope (125th), have also done well with regard to rankings.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli has conceded the top spot for batsmen just over a week after overtaking Steve Smith, failing to lift his team out of difficult situations in the Lord’s Test. The India captain played knocks of 23 and 17 even as his side succumbed for 107 and 130.

The low scores and one-sided loss have led to a fall in rankings for most India players with Ravichandran Ashwin the notable exception, moving up in the list for batsmen from 67th to 57th, with defiant innings of 29 and 33 not out. Ashwin has also leap-frogged South Africa’s Vernon Philander to grab the third position among all-rounders.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya has moved up 25 places to take 74th spot among bowlers.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 13 August, following the Lord’s Test):

BATSMEN (top 20)

Rank    (+/-)      Player              Team   Points  Avge    Highest Rating

   1         (+1)        Steve Smith         Aus        929       61.37     947 v SA at Durban 2018

   2         (-1)         Virat Kohli            Ind         919       53.64     934 v Eng at Edgbaston 2018

   3         ( – )         Joe Root              Eng        851       51.90     917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015

   4         ( – )         Kane Williamson  NZ          847       50.35     893 v Aus at Perth 2015

   5         ( – )         David Warner       Aus        820       48.20     880 v NZ at Perth 2015

   6         ( – )         C. Pujara              Ind         759       49.44     888 v SL at Nagpur 2017

   7         ( – )         D. Karunaratne    SL          754!      37.28     754 v SA at Colombo (SSC) 2018

   8         ( – )         D. Chandimal       SL          733       44.96     755 v Win at St Lucia 2018

   9         (+3)        Jonny Bairstow    Eng        729       39.24     772 v SA at Old Trafford 2017

  10        (-1)         Dean Elgar           SA          724       41.05     784 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

  11        (-1)         Aiden Markram    SA          703*      47.27     759 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

  12        (-1)         Ross Taylor          NZ          697       47.22     871 v Win at Hamilton 2013

  13        (-1)         Kraigg Brathwaite Win        695       37.94     701 v Eng at Headingley 2017

  14        ( – )         Hashim Amla       SA          673       47.23     907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013

  15        ( – )         Azhar Ali              Pak        672       44.84     787 v Aus at Melbourne 2016

  16        ( – )         Faf du Plessis      SA          665       42.33     734 v Ind at Centurion 2018

  17        ( – )         Alastair Cook       Eng        651       45.27     874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012

  18        ( – )         Kusal Mendis       SL          641       36.78     693 v Win at St Lucia 2018

  19        (+1)        Usman Khawaja   Aus        633       42.00     747 v Pak at Sydney 2017

  20        (+1)        Shakib Al Hasan  Ban        632       39.69     694 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

BOWLERS (top 20)

Rank      (+/-)        Player                  Team     Points   Avge      Highest Rating

   1         ( – )         James Anderson  Eng        903!      26.83     903 v Ind at Lord’s 2018

   2         ( – )         Kagiso Rabada    SA          882       21.71     902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018

   3         ( – )         Ravindra Jadeja   Ind         849       23.11     899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017

   4         ( – )         Vernon Philander SA          826       21.54     912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013

   5         ( – )         R. Ashwin             Ind         802       25.38     904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016

   6         ( – )         Pat Cummins       Aus        800*!     23.81     800 v SA at Johannesburg 2018

   7         ( – )         Trent Boult           NZ          795       27.84     825 v Eng at Lord’s 2015

   8         ( – )         Rangana Herath  SL          791       27.95     867 v Zim at Harare 2016

   9         ( – )         Neil Wagner         NZ          765       28.26     785 v Win at Wellington 2017

  10        ( – )         Josh Hazlewood  Aus        759       26.84     863 v Ind at Bengaluru 2017

  11        ( – )         Shannon Gabriel  Win        757!      29.57     757 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

  12        (+1)        Stuart Broad         Eng        750       28.80     880 v SA at Johannesburg 2016

  13        (-1)         Jason Holder        Win        731*!     29.35     731 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

  14=      ( – )         Tim Southee        NZ          720       30.82     799 v Win at Jamaica 2014

              ( – )         Mitchell Starc       Aus        720       28.17     805 v SA at Durban 2018

  16        ( – )         Nathan Lyon        Aus        710       32.21     774 v Eng at Adelaide 2017

  17        ( – )         Keshav Maharaj   SA          692*      27.65     695 v Zim at Port Elizabeth 2017

  18        ( – )         Yasir Shah           Pak        683       29.44     878 v Eng at Lord’s 2016

  19        ( – )         M. Shami              Ind         679       29.12     703 v SA at Johannesburg 2018

  20        ( – )         Kemar Roach       Win        667       28.31     774 v SA at Centurion 2014

ALL-ROUNDERS (top five)

Rank      (+/-)        Player                  Team     Points   Highest Rating

   1         ( – )         Shakib Al Hasan  Ban        420       489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

   2         ( – )         Ravindra Jadeja   Ind         378       438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017

   3         (+1)        R. Ashwin             Ind         374       493 v Eng at Mohali 2016

   4         (-1)         V. Philander         SA          370       379 v SL at Galle 2018

   5         ( – )         Jason Holder        Win        354/*     355 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

*indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.

!indicates career-highest rating

 

Media Alert: Teen prodigy Ingebrigtsen’s tale comes of age in Berlin

© Getty Images

It was the golden double that rippled around the world, a feat of athletic mastery most could only dream of at any stage of their careers, never mind at the tender age of 17.

But sit Jakob Ingebrigtsen down and ask him just how he became this good, this early, and the Norwegian is happy to elaborate and explain why his is an otherworldly talent that has not just been born, but also made.

“I’ve been a professional runner since I was eight, nine, 10 years old,” he says. “I’ve been training, dedicated and following a good structure – the same as my brothers – from an early age.

“Not too much,” he adds, “but a lot compared to runners in Norway. That’s the main reason.”

For years he has been on the radar of anyone with a finger to the pulse of underage athletics, but when Jakob completed the 1500m/5000m double this week at the European Championships in Berlin, his star truly went supernova.

Full feature

– Report on Ingebrigtsen’s 1500m win
– Report on Ingebrigtsen’s 5000m win
– NRK’s documentary series Team Ingebrigtsen

Profile

Jakob Ingebrigtsen
Born: 19 September 2000. Coach: Gjert Ingebrigtsen.

Keen followers of the sport had been aware of Jakob Ingebrigtsen before he even made his international debut in 2016. When older brothers Henrik and Filip started winning international medals from as far back as 2012, they had spoken of their up-and-coming younger brother.

But few fans – and not even Jakob himself – had expected him to rise to such lofty heights so sudden.

One of the first displays of his impressive range came at the Norwegian Junior and Youth Championships in 2015. In the space of three days, he won the U16 titles at 800m, 2000m, 1500m steeplechase and 300m hurdles.

At just 15 years of age, he competed at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016. It was his first international championships and he was up against athletes three years his senior, but he finished a respectable ninth in the 1500m final.

Later that year, he landed his first major title by winning the U20 men’s race at the European Cross Country Championships in Chia, finishing eight seconds clear of his nearest rival. Of the 87 athletes in the field, just one was younger than Ingebrigtsen.

But it was in 2017 when Ingebrigtsen, still an U18 athlete, really came to prominence. At the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene, he became the youngest man in history to run a sub-four-minute mile, clocking 3:58.07. He improved on that three weeks later in front of a home crowd in Oslo, running 3:56.29 to win a special junior edition of the Dream Mile.

He went on to win the 5000m and 3000m steeplechase at the European U20 Championships. He may have earned another gold medal at the championships had it not been for a fall in the 1500m final.

After representing Norway in the steeplechase at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, Ingebrigtsen ended his track season with another trio of domestic titles – this time at the senior Norwegian Championships. Within the space of three days, he won the 1500m, 5000m and 3000m steeplechase and finished third in the 800m.

His rapid ascent continued in 2018. He returned to Eugene and reduced his mile PB to 3:52.28, breaking the European U20 record. The 17-year-old then doubled up at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018, taking silver in the 1500m and bronze in the 5000m in what were arguably two of the strongest fields of the championships.

Less than a week later, Ingebrigtsen finished fourth in a high-quality 1500m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco, smashing the European U20 record with 3:31.18.

Off the back of those performances, he had been touted as a medal contender in both the 1500m and 5000m at the European Championships in Berlin. But taking gold in both events once again surpassed the expectations of everyone – Jakob included.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s progression
(800m, 1500m, mile, 5000m, steeplechase)
2012 (age 11): 2:14.03, 4:21.98, -, -, –
2013 (age 12): 2:04.48, 4:15.87, -, -, –
2014 (age 13): 2:05.02, 4:05.49, -, -, –
2015 (age 14): 1:52.60, 3:48.37, -, -, –
2016 (age 15): 1:51.07, 3:42.44, -, 14:38.67, –
2017 (age 16): 1:49.40, 3:39.92, 3:56.29, 13:35.84, 8:26.81
2018 (age 17): 1:52.01i, 3:31.18, 3:52.28, 13:17.06, –

Youngest European champions in individual events

16 years, 306 days – Mari Cruz Diaz (ESP) 10km race walk, 1986
17 years, 324 days – Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR) 1500m, 2018
17 years, 325 days – Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR) 5000m, 2018
17 years, 346 days – Vera Nikolic (YUG) 800m, 1966
18 years, 39 days – Irmgard Praetz (GER) long jump, 1938
18 years, 165 days – Thelma Hopkins (GBR) high jump, 1954
18 years, 194 days – Grit Breuer (GDR) 400m, 1990
19 years, 28 days – Petra Kandarr (GDR) 100m, 1969
19 years, 30 days – Petra Kandarr (GDR) 200m, 1969
19 years, 80 days – David Jenkins (GBR) 400m, 1971
19 years, 172 days – Dragutin Topic (YUG) high jump, 1990
19 years, 189 days – Carolina Kluft (SWE) heptathlon, 2002
19 years, 208 days – Yasemin Can (TUR) 10,000m, 2016
19 years, 211 days – Yasemin Can (TUR) 5000m, 2016
19 years, 332 days – Valery Borzov (URS) 100m, 1969
19 years, 343 days – Snezana Pajkic (YUG) 1500m, 1990
19 years, 362 days – Max Hess (GER) triple jump, 2016

 

Viraj Madappa becomes youngest Indian to win an international event with TAKE Solutions Masters triumph

Third Indian rookie to win on Asian Tour

Bengaluru, August 12, 2018: Twenty-year-old Viraj Madappa, playing his rookie season on the Asian Tour, became the newest star to emerge on the Indian golfing horizon as he scripted a historic win at the US$ 350,000 TAKE Solutions Masters 2018, an event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGTI, at the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) course on Sunday.

Madappa (70-65-66-67), who was tied fourth and two off the lead after round three, came up with a determined four-under-67 in the final round to prevail by two shots as his tournament tally added up to 16-under-268.

In the process, the six foot two inch tall Kolkata lad with an athletic built, became the youngest Indian to win an international event. The previous record was held by Gaganjeet Bhullar who had won the Asian Tour’s 2009 Indonesia President Invitational at the age of 21 years and three months.

Viraj, who scored five birdies at the expense of a lone bogey on Sunday, also emerged as only the third Indian rookie to win on the Asian Tour after Shiv Kapur (2005) and Rashid Khan (2014).

The quartet comprising of Thai duo Danthai Boonma (70) and Suradit Yongcharoenchai (66), Zimbabwean Scott Vincent (68) and overnight leader Miguel Carballo (71) of Argentina, took tied second place at 14-under-270.

While India’s Khalin Joshi (72) slipped from overnight tied second to tied sixth at 12-under-272, two other Indians Honey Baisoya (70) and SSP Chawrasia (70) held on to their overnight tied sixth place.

Madappa’s family hails from the Coorg region of Karnataka but he grew up in Kolkata and learnt his golf at the Tollygunge Club. However, the understated youngster, one of India’s top ranked amateurs in 2015 and 2016, has spent most of his time in Bengaluru over the last one year to be with coach Tarun Sardesai.

Viraj was a plump kid and was thus introduced to swimming by his parents at a very young age. However, he soon took a liking for golf after watching the members play at the Tollygunge Club and began pursuing the sport under the tutelage of renowned coach Indrajit Bhalotia by the time he was eight years old.

The rest was history as 20 titles at the junior level and six titles at the amateur level followed.

Madappa turned professional in 2017 and became the PGTI Emerging Player of the Year during the season with a creditable ninth place finish on the PGTI Order of Merit.

This is Viraj’s first win as a professional and is also the third international win for India in two weeks following Gaganjeet Bhullar’s triumph at the Fiji International last week and Rahil Gangjee’s win at the Louis Philippe Cup which also came last week.

Madappa was slow off the blocks in round four as he made pars on the first six holes followed by a bogey on the seventh to be one-over for the day. However, the back-nine came to his rescue for the fourth straight day as he rallied with five birdies over the next nine holes to come through in style.

Viraj, who only two weeks back posted his previous best of tied 14th on the Asian Tour during the Royal Cup, got the momentum going with his birdie on the 15th in round four.

As Madappa added another birdie on 16th, leader Scott Vincent playing in the same second last group, bogeyed the same hole for a two-shot swing. From one behind, the Indian was now one ahead at the top. Vincent dropped another bogey on 17th. So Madappa had a two-shot lead when he arrived at the 18th tee and he played safely for a par on the Par-5 closing hole. Vincent needing an eagle on the 18th managed only a par.

This week Madappa’s scoring on the back nine was his strength. He was 15-under for the back nine and was just 1-under for the front half of the course.

Madappa, the first in his family to play golf, said, “Last night I thought about a win, the winning putt and so much else, so I was kind of nervous. Then, to get my first pro win on the Asian Tour is a dream come true. It is yet to sink in.

“It’s incredible really. My family has been very supportive. My mum is here with me today. I want to thank all the kids who came out to support me today as well as my parents and my coach Tarun Sardesai, with whom I have been working for some time now.

“Winning the tournament did cross my mind when I birdied the 16th hole but I was just trying to stay in the present and hit every shot I could the right way. I think I did a good job there. I didn’t back off from the situation, even though I had the opportunity to lay up on 18th hole. I decided to go for the green and I’m proud that I made that decision.”

As for what he does next, he said, “I am going back home to Kolkata to celebrate with my family tonight and spend some time at home. I wasn’t looking at the leaderboard on the 18th. I only looked at it before I chipped. I was aggressive with that chip. I knew I had a two-shot lead then but I felt relieved after chipping it back to the green.”

The bespectacled Viraj, who admires golfers such as Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Anirban Lahiri, now has a full exemption on the Asian Tour till the end of 2019.

Chawrasia, who briefly captured the lead on Sunday, said, “Too many of my birdie putts lipped out and I could never get the momentum going.”

Joshi, who had a troublesome front nine, with two bogeys and a double bogey, admitted, “Nothing worked for me today. I was 4-over after 10 and I tried hard, but it was not to be.

Chikkarangappa (72), like Joshi, dropped four shots early and was then trying to play catch up with three birdies on the back nine. He finished ninth at 11-under-273.

Defending champion, Thailand’s Poom Saksansin (66) finished tied 10th at 10-under-274 alongside five others, one of whom was India’s Om Prakash Chouhan (70).

 

Hetmyer on fire for Guyana Amazon Warriors 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League – Match Report 2

Guyana Amazon Warriors 148/4 (Hetmyer 79*, Green 25*, Lamichhane 2/12, Cottrell 2/21) beat St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 146/5 (Gayle 86, Cutting 15, Cooper 15, Paul 2/16, Tanvir 1/24) by six wickets with 21 balls remaining.

Shimron Hetmyer’s stunning unbeaten 79 from 45 balls steered Guyana Amazon Warriors from 24/3 to an ultimately comfortable six-wicket victory over St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in their 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) opener at Providence Stadium.

For Hetmyer it was a first Hero CPL half-century in only his second appearance, and he ensured there would be no late drama as he continued to pepper the boundaries after reaching that landmark to see his side home. Fittingly, he was the man to provide the finishing touch as he drilled Alzarri Joseph back down the ground for the winning boundary with three-and-a-half overs remaining.

The Amazon Warriors did well to restrict the Patriots to 146/5 despite a well-crafted 86 from Chris Gayle, but it looked an imposing total when three of Guyana’s key men came and went inside the first three overs of the chase. Luke Ronchi and Shoaib Malik – after three boundaries in four balls – both fell to Sheldon Cottrell, while Chadwick Walton was caught at cover from the hugely impressive Nepal teenager Sandeep Lamichhane’s first Hero CPL delivery.

However, Gayle’s decision to throw the ball to Tom Cooper for the fourth over handed the initiative back to the Amazon Warriors. Cooper started his spell with three full-tosses; Hetmyer sent the first to the boundary and the next two beyond it. The over cost 17 in all, and things were about to get worse still for the Patriots.

Joseph, whose 1.3 overs cost a whopping 28, started the next over with a no-ball that Hetmyer carved through the off-side for four, before the subsequent free-hit was deposited over wide long-on for six.

Two overs later, it was back to the full-toss problem as an Anton Devcich no-ball was smeared over the square-leg boundary for six by Jason Mohammed, with the free-hit again producing another boundary.

In a flash, the 50 partnership was raised from just 22 balls and the Amazon Warriors were well on course for victory.

Amidst the carnage, though, Lamichhane was producing a gem of a spell in his first Hero CPL appearance. He had Mohammed caught on the cover boundary by a juggling Cooper and ended with remarkable figures of 2/12 from four overs of accurate, teasing leg-spin.

But with the required rate now below a run a ball thanks to the earlier fireworks, time was on the Amazon Warriors’ side. Hetmyer found a willing ally in Australian all-rounder Chris Green (25* off 23) as Guyana romped home with 21 balls to spare.

The first half of the night was all about Gayle. Despite clipping the first ball of the innings from Sohail Tanvir for four, it was a watchful start from the Universe Boss. He was happy to take singles and it wasn’t until the ninth over of the innings that he cleared the ropes for his first Hero Maximum.

Four more followed, though, as he accelerated towards what looked like being another T20 century until he was caught in the deep 14 short off leg-spinner Imran Tahir by Sherfane Rutherford, who then held on to a steepler in the final over to remove Devcich to hand Keemo Paul a deserved second wicket as the U19 World Cup winner ended his night’s work with 2/16.

Both sides are back in action on Saturday, with the Amazon Warriors hosting the St Lucia Stars here at Providence Stadium while the Patriots head to Trinidad to take on the defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders.

 

There is no room for complacency, warns Firmin

Thimphu(Bhutan), 10th August 2018: After starting their SAFF U-15 Championship with a fashionable 12-0 win over Sri Lanka, Head Coach Firmin D’Souza cautioned against complacency ahead of India’s clash against hosts Bhutan in their second group match onAugust 13, 2018. Speaking to www.the-aiff.com, D’Souza spoke at length about the performance in the first match, going back to the drawing board, not being complacent, the altitude factor and much more. EXCERPTS:

What is your assessment of India’s dominant performance against Sri Lanka?

We had worked hard in the National Team Camp and the results were there to see. The coordination between our midfield and attack was superb. We had a lot of possession and kept the ball well, switching sides when we wanted. It was a superb performance by the team and the score line speaks for itself but we have to be wary of complacency and not sit back and relax.

In our next practice session, we will start afresh while keeping in mind that we are here to win this SAFF Championship and the result over Sri Lanka was just one match of many.

The team scored six goals in the first half.

We wanted to take an early lead and we did. But the rest was unexpected and a pleasant surprise. Leading 6-0 at half-time is a secure score line for any coach and because of that I was able to experiment some permutations and combinations in the match.

Shilky Devi seems to be in quite some form.

You want your forwards to score goals and Shilky scoring goals is a delight for any coach. Her talent and passion for the game is unparalleled and I hope she continues her stellar form in the next match against Bhutan as well.

How much challenging will it be to play the hosts?

It is always challenging to play the hosts. Bhutan are a tough team and we will have to be at our very best to beat them. It will not be an easy match. We will get back to the drawing board, correct our wrongs and focus on the opponents.

Will altitude be a factor?

It will be a minor factor but we are confident that we will be able to edge out a win against Bhutan.

 

DHL Express welcomes Rugby World Cup 2019™  Trophy to India

– Webb Ellis Cup unveiled at DHL Express’ office in Mumbai
– India a part of the Trophy’s worldwide tour across 18 countries

Mumbai, August 09, 2018: As the Official Logistics Partner of Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2019™, DHL Express, the world’s leading international express services provider, welcomed the prestigious Webb Ellis Cup to Mumbai.

The Trophy’s arrival in India is part of its 18-month tour across 18 established and developing rugby nations. India is the eighth pit stop for the Trophy, following its departure from the Philippines.

The Trophy was unveiled at DHL Express’ office in Mumbai by Rahul Bose, Bollywood celebrity and former Indian rugby player, and RS Subramanian, Country Manager of DHL Express India. Also present at the unveiling event were Neha Pardeshi, Captain of Indian Women’s Rugby 7s, Vabhiz Bharucha, Captain of Indian Women’s Rugby XVs and Gautam Dagar, Captain of Indian Men’s Rugby.

RS Subramanian, Country Manager, DHL Express India, said, “With rugby emerging as one of the fastest growing sports in the world, we are honored to extend our support to RWC 2019™ as the Official Logistics Partner. Our longstanding commitment to the game stems from our shared synergies of teamwork, speed, precision, passion and the spirit to strive for excellence, with the sport. We are proud to provide a platform to the sport in India through the Trophy Tour. With India transitioning from being a pure play cricket-loving nation to exploring other sports as well, the time to promote rugby is perfect.”

According to Brett Gosper, CEO, World Rugby, India has the third largest rugby fan base in the world. This is the first time that the tournament will be hosted in Asia, with Japan being the host country for RWC 2019™.

Speaking at the occasion, Rahul Bose, said, “As a rugby enthusiast, I am thrilled to see India being chosen as one of the nations for the RWC 2019™ Trophy Tour. Today in India, the sport is played in one third of the country, across 210 districts, However, we still have a long way to go and with partners like DHL who have had a longstanding association with the game across the globe, will only assist to  promote the growth of rugby in India.” As the Official Logistics Partner, DHL Express will help to deliver the year’s biggest international sporting event to millions of fans around the world. The competition in 2019 follows on from DHL’s role as Official Logistics Partner for Rugby World Cup 2015™ in England, where it handled freight and logistics for all participating teams. The company’s support also included stadium infrastructure and fit-out, fulfillment of international ticket distribution and delivery of doping samples to testing laboratories, among many other requirements.

DHL Express has maintained its leadership position in India since 1979, providing customers with access to 598 cities and over 33,000 locations within the country. The company has over 60,000 customers in India, including importers, exporters, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and small and medium sized businesses. With a robust nationwide network of over 400 vehicles on road, 19 weekly inter-continental flights, 67 daily international and 80 domestic commercial flights, DHL Express customers in India have access to an international network of over 220 countries and territories.

 

India’s Junior Men and Women’s Hockey teams qualify for Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

FIH confirms both the teams will be participating in the Youth Olympic Games for the first time

New Delhi, 09 August 2018: The Indian Junior Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams have qualified for the Hockey 5’s competition at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games to be held from 6th – 18th October, 2018 as announced by International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Thursday.

The teams had earlier attained qualification to the event after participating in the Men’s and Women’s Asian Youth Olympic Games Qualifiers 2018 respectively in Bangkok, Thailand in April 2018 where the Men’s team defeated Malaysia in the Final match in shootout 2-1, while the Women’s team finished Runners Up after losing 1-4 to China in their Final match.

The FIH has confirmed the 12 women’s and 12 men’s teams that will participate in the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Hockey5s events taking place between 7 and 14 October at Youth Olympic Park.

In the Men’s category, the Indian team will face stiff competition from 2014 Youth Olympic Gold Medalists Australia and Silver Medalists Canada along with hosts Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Poland, Mexico, Malaysia, Kenya, Zambia and Vanuatu. Whereas the Women’s team will have their task cut-out as 2014 Youth Olympic Gold Medalists China, hosts Argentina, Austria, Poland, Uruguay, Mexico, Australia, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Vanuatu will be the other 11 teams giving them competition.

The confirmation of these teams follows the conclusion of all continental qualifying events, the last being the African Youth Games, which concluded on 28 July.

The Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games will be the first instance for both the Junior Men’s and Women’s hockey teams where they will be taking part in the quadrennial competition after not having participated in the first two editions in 2010 and 2014. The hockey tournament at the 2018 Games will follow the Hockey 5s format where a total of 12 teams will vie for the title.

Earlier in the Qualifiers which took place in Bangkok, Thailand, the Junior Men’s team had attained qualification by remaining undefeated throughout their campaign. The team played a total of four Pool matches which saw them win 25-0 against Thailand, 6-2 against Japan, 21-0 against Hong Kong and 12-5 against South Korea, qualify for the Semi-finals where they overcame Bangladesh 9-2. The Final match was played against a strong Malaysian team where India came out on top in the Shootout (2-1) after the scores had remained 4-4 after regulation time.

The Junior Women’s also had a successful outing in Thailand as they finished second behind China. The young team won all three of their Pool matches, beating Singapore 14-0, South Korea 10-0 and hosts Thailand 9-0 to progress to the Semi-final where they defeated Malaysia 4-2. However, in the Final match, the Indian team could not overcome China’s challenge as they lost 1-4.

Md. Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India congratulated the teams for attaining qualification. He said, “Both the Junior Men’s and Women’s teams have worked really hard to qualify for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games. I would like to congratulate the teams for showing great determination and securing their place in the quadrennial event for the first time. The Hockey 5s format is very fast-paced and I feel that both our teams are very well equipped to be able to perform exceptionally at the Games in Argentina come October.”

The schedule of the competition is yet to be announced by the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee.

 

East Bengal FC strengthens the team by signing Costa Rican World Cup defender Johnny Acosta

Bengaluru, India, August 8, 2018: Quess East Bengal FC (QEBFC) announced that it has signed Costa Rica defender Johnny Acosta from Colombian side, Rionegro Aguilas.

The center-back recently featured at the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia as part of the Costa Rica squad and he has more than 70 caps for his country. He was also part of the Costa Rica team that made it to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Acosta has immense international footballing experience, and the willingness to undertake a new challenge in the I-League. He joins a list of famous international players – like Nicolas Anelka, Roberto Carlos, Diego Forlan and more – who have featured at the World Cup and then chosen to play in an Indian league in search of a new challenge to overcome.

Confirming the new signing, QEBFC CEO, Sanjit Sen, said, “We are delighted to get Johnny on board for our season. He is the perfect signing for QEBFC and his recent experiences at the World Cup, where he played against Neymar’s Brazil, will help us improve the backline of the team with proven experience at the highest level. Johnny’s international experience can be a great motivator for our younger players too, and he can help mentor them thanks to his varied playing stints in Latin America. He is a winner of league titles as well, so his winning mentality will rub off on fellow players. We look forward to seeing Johnny excel for the first team in the near future and welcome him to our great club.

Excited with the new opportunity, Johnny Acosta said, “I am thrilled and look forward to serving the club in all possible ways. I had my regular exercise sessions after the world-cup and feel fully fit to begin this journey soon.”

 

Forca Goa Foundation Sign MOU with Special Olympics Bharat

Panjim, August, 2018: Forca Goa Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Special Olympics Bharat at Don Bosco Conference Hall on 3rd August 2018. Under the terms of the MOU, Special Olympics Bharat will provide sensitization training to all the coaches from The Foundation and in turn the coaches will provide coaching assistance and support for activities and trainings conducted by Special Olympics Bharat.

The MOU signing was preceded by an orientation for all the Foundation’s coaches by Victor Vaz, National Director, Special Olympics Bharat. At the orientation, the coaches were taken through the history and achievements of the Special Olympics Bharat team. The coaches from the Foundations were also briefed on the challenges faced while coaching a team of special athletes and how to overcome them. Following the orientation, the coaches were taken to the Don Bosco Indoor ground and were given the opportunity to deliver a short training session for a group of special athletes from Goa.

Jill Ferguson, Managing Director, Forca Goa Foundation – “This MOU signing reaffirms our commitment towards inclusive football and giving all children the opportunity to play this game. With this partnership, we hope we can develop more talented athletes and bring awareness to the abilities of these special children.”

As part of the MOU and also to raise awareness about special athletes, players from FC Goa participated in an exhibition futsal match played by unified teams recently. The match saw FC Goa first team stars Laxmikant Kattimani, Pratesh Shirodkar, Lenny Rodrigues and Jonathan Cardozo play with special athletes in a thrilling game of futsal. The players later gave away the medals to the winners of the Special Olympics Unified Futsal Championship 2018.

Forca Goa Foundation firmly believes in inclusive football and has undertaken various initiatives under its #Football4All campaign to make football accessible to everybody. From helping organise the state’s first Blind Football game to this landmark MOU signing, the Foundation hopes that more children from Goa get the opportunity to showcase their talent regardless of their gender or ability.

About Special Olympics Bharat

Special Olympics Bharat which is a National Sports Federation having over 14 lakh Special Athletes registered from all the States and Union Territories. SO Bharat is accredited by Special Olympics Inc, Washington, to conduct Special Olympics Programs all over India. Special Olympics, an international organization, organizes Olympic-type sports for persons with intellectual disabilities, unleashing the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day around the world.

Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to 5.5 million athletes in 172 countries. The Mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. Special Olympics Bharat is recognized by the Government of India as a National Sports Federation in the Priority Category for the development of Sports for Persons with Intellectual Disability and has been designated as the Nodal Agency by the Government for all disabilities on account of its national presence, outreach and experience.

About Forum for Sports and Freedom of Expression (Branded as Forca Goa Foundation):

Forca Goa Foundation is an NGO based in Goa, India that aims to use football to mobilize, empower, and connect communities for the positive development of individuals and our State. The Foundation believes that football has a huge potential as a tool for social development due to the large number of people from diverse backgrounds that it appeals to. We currently conduct free football coaching for 1200 children and youth across Goa. We also work with an additional 3827 students through our festivals and 2937 students through our statewide leagues.

 

FC Pune City bring in Miguel Angel Portugal as Head Coach

Pune, August 9 2018: The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood star Arjun Kapoor co-owned club FC Pune City today signed Miguel Angel Portugal as the head coach of the club for the 2018-19 season. Portugal will be joined by his assistant Gonzalo Yarza in preparations to lead the Stallions to glory in the upcoming season.

After getting the Spanish manager to sign the dotted lines, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “In Miguel Angel, I believe we have a Head Coach who, with his philosophy and preference to play an attacking brand of football, will embrace the style and quality of players we have at our Club. He has a proven ability to develop young players and is known to foster a culture of team spirit amongst his players.”

Commenting on his appointment, Miguel Angel said, “I had a very good experience of India and the ISL last season and I was very impressed with the organisation, facilities, stadiums, fan support and therefore coming back to ISL was a very easy decision for me. I watched FC Pune City last season and I can say that the training facilities that they have are surely one of the best in the country.”

The 62-year-old Spaniard took over reins of Spanish second-division club Granada CF in May 2018 after spending 2017-18 season with Delhi Dynamos FC.

Speaking on the players at his disposal, he said, “There is an abundance of top-class talent at the Club and I look forward to joining the squad soon. The Club has retained the core players from last season that qualified for the playoffs and has made very capable additions to the squad. I believe we have a strong team that can challenge for the title this season.”

“The discussions that I had with the Club were extremely insightful, exciting and the plans the club has, especially with regards to development of young Indian players are very refreshing. I am sure that while we gear up for being serious contenders this season of ISL, we will lay down equal emphasis to continue and build on the work of developing and promoting young players from the Club’s reserves and youth teams,” he added.

About FC Pune City:

FC Pune City is an Indian Super League football team based out of Pune, Maharashtra. The club is co-owned by The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor. The club was founded in 2014 and its home ground is the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune. The club is committed to making a difference not just at the senior level but also at the grassroots level of football in India.

 

Bollywood star, Sidharth Malhotra, welcomes the Webb Ellis Cup to Mumbai as the Rugby World Cup 2019 trophy tour continues in India

– Rugby fans and former players Sidharth Malhotra, Bollywood Actor and Rahul Bose, Actor and Director, welcome the Webb Ellis Cup to Mumbai
– The Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour visited Bombay Gymkhana, one of India’s oldest rugby clubs
– This is the Webb Ellis Cup’s first visit to India – one of 18 nations that will host the Trophy Tour in the lead up to Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan
– World Rugby aims to attract and retain 1 million new players in Asia through Impact Beyond and Get Into Rugby programmes

Rugby’s greatest prize, the Webb Ellis Cup, visited one of India’s oldest rugby clubs – Bombay Gymkhana – today as part of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour aiming to engage and excite new and existing rugby fans and players.

Bringing some Bollywood sparkle to the event, Sidharth Malhotra, joined former Rugby India International player, actor and director Rahul Bose; World Rugby CEO, Brett Gosper; Asia Rugby President, Aga Hussain and Rugby India General Secretary, Mahesh Mathai to celebrate the game ahead of Japan 2019.

Bollywood superstar Sidharth Malhotra, a former Delhi Hurricanes rugby player and fan of the game said (speaking to World rugby TV), “It feels amazing for the Rugby World Cup to be here and I’m very excited to have it on Indian soil for the first time. I played rugby when I was younger and think it is one of the best sports that teaches you discipline, fitness and controlled aggression.

“It’s a great initiative to bring the Webb Ellis Cup to a country where rugby is quite new and needs a little push. I’m looking forward to seeing all the children get inspired and pick up the sport and hopefully play for India in future. It is my dream is to see India play at the Rugby World Cup one day.”

Also joining the event was Rugby India 7s captain, Gautam Dagar; Rugby India Women’s 7s captain Neha Pardeshi and Rugby India Women’s 15s captain, Vahbiz Bharucha. The players joined in the festivities at Bombay Gymkhana, delivering a rugby training session for local players with Sidharth Malhotra and Rahul Bose also taking part.

Speaking at the event World Rugby CEO, Brett Gosper, said, “It has been fantastic to witness the huge levels of excitement, enthusiasm and curiosity that have accompanied the Webb Ellis Cup on every stop of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour in India over the past week and especially today at the Bombay Gymkhana club which has such a famous rugby history.

“With the support of the Indian Sports Minister, the well-executed programme of activities by our colleagues at Asia Rugby and Rugby India, together with a sprinkling of Bollywood stardust from famous actors passionate about the game, it has been a very productive visit to Delhi and Mumbai and a real sense of momentum is building towards the first Rugby World Cup to be held in Asia next year. I am certain there is a very bright future ahead for Indian rugby.”

Following a formal welcome by the honourable Sports Minister of India, Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in Delhi on Monday, the Trophy Tour has spent the week in India and reached another of the seven wonders of the world; the Taj Mahal. Visited by some of the world’s most influential leaders and high-profile figures, the Webb Ellis Cup is one of few sports trophies to be pictured at the iconic location in India.

The Trophy Tour also visited one of the best-preserved architectural sites in Delhi, the Red Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage listed site which traces its roots back to the middle of the 17th century, as well as the famous memorial, India Gate.

With just over one year to go until Rugby World Cup 2019 takes place in Japan, the first time the tournament will be hosted in Asia, the Webb Ellis Cup will also visit Bhubaneswar after Mumbai.

Hosted once every four years, the Rugby World Cup is the game’s centrepiece event and the third largest sports event in the world after the summer Olympics and the Football World Cup.  Rugby World Cup 2019 takes place in Japan from 20 September – 2 November 2019 and will see the best 20 teams in the world compete for rugby’s greatest prize. Rugby World Cup 2019 is also supported by six worldwide partners: DHL, Emirates, Heineken, Land Rover, Master Card and Société Générale.

Ahead of Japan 2019, the two-year Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour is underway visiting 18 countries aiming to inspire and engage new and existing rugby players and fans.  The Trophy Tour supports World Rugby’s Impact Beyond Programme which aims to use World Rugby tournaments as a catalyst for the growth of the game. Project Asia 1 Million, part of Impact Beyond, which aims to attract one million new rugby participants by 2020, has already reached over 500,000 people across Asia.

India is the eighth leg of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour and follows a recent visit to the Philippines. Since the Tour launched in 2017, the Rugby World Cup has visited both established and emerging rugby nations including: England, Uruguay, Spain, Fiji, Hong Kong and China. The Rugby World Cup is in India for the first time and will also visit countries including Nepal, Malaysia, Pakistan, Brazil and Chile in the lead up to the tournament.

Rugby has a rich history in India, dating back to 1924 when the inaugural All India and South East Asia Rugby Championship was first played on Indian soil. The last two years has seen the biggest growth and development of rugby across the country with India ranked first in Asia and third in the world in terms of participation numbers through World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby programme by reaching over 160,000 participants in 2017. In addition, rugby is now a core sport in the SGFI’s National School Games Calendar for the U14, U17 & U19 Boys and Girls categories as well as part of AIU’s National University Games calendar – yet another major milestone for Rugby India and World Rugby’s ambitions to grow the game globally.

On the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour Mahesh Mathai, Rugby India General Secretary, said: “We are extremely proud and honoured that India has been chosen as one of the 18 nations that will host the coveted Rugby World Cup as part of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour.  It is encouraging that World Rugby has recognized and acknowledged Rugby India’s efforts to grow and develop this beautiful game across India.

“I would like to call upon the wider rugby fraternity from across the country to join hands and welcome this magnificent trophy to India. We also sincerely thank all those who have supported and invested in the game in India, particularly Rugby India partner Société Générale for the commitment and cooperation they have extended to grow and develop rugby across the country – also one of the six Rugby World Cup 2019 worldwide partners. Japan 2019 is the first time that the tournament will be played on Asian soil and we are glad to be a part of this rugby celebration in the lead up to this exciting tournament.”

 

Champion Knight Riders lay down marker with emphatic opening win over Stars

2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League – Match Report 1: Trinbago Knight Riders 195/6 (Munro 68, Ramdin 50*, Pollard 2/22, Williams 2/28, McClenaghan 2/30) beat St Lucia Stars 95 (Fletcher 19, DJ Bravo 3/11, Fawad 3/16) by 100 runs

Colin Munro and Denesh Ramdin powered the Trinbago Knight Riders to a record-breaking total before Dwayne Bravo and spin twins Sunil Narine and Fawad Ahmed sealed a thumping 100-run victory over the St Lucia Stars and a winning start to the defence of their Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title.

Munro, who started last season with an unbeaten 66 against the same opponents, this time smashed 68 from 48 balls in what was for much of the innings something of a lone hand for the Knight Riders. The champions had slipped to 89/4 before Ramdin (50* off 27) joined the New Zealander in a 50 partnership that helped the Knight Riders post a record-breaking Hero CPL total at the Queen’s Park Oval of 195/6. It was one that proved well beyond the Stars as soon as the spinners got to work.

The Stars failed to win a single match in the 2017 Hero CPL and any hope that they might pull off a record chase here were ended within the first eight overs of their reply amid a collapse from 35/0 to 53/6.

A fast start was crucial for the Stars, and initially they got it as back-to-back sixes for Andre Fletcher off Shannon Gabriel propelled them to 32/0 after the first two overs. But when Fletcher was undone by an Ali Khan knuckle-ball on 19, the Stars’ chase soon fizzled out.

Australia superstar David Warner was bowled by Javon Searles for 9 before Rahkeem Cornwall picked out Brendon McCullum at mid-wicket off Dwayne Bravo. Then the spinners took over.

Fawad Ahmed’s first Hero CPL over brought two wickets, a googly completely deceiving Lendl Simmons to bowl him through the gate before Mark Chapman slapped a low catch to Sunil Narine at cover.

Narine himself then got in on the act, pinning Darren Sammy plumb in front to leave the Stars reeling at 53/6. Fawad removed Qais Ahmad for 14 to finish his match-sealing four-over spell with 3/16.

There weren’t any fireworks from new Stars captain Kieron Pollard, who slapped a full-toss from opposite number Dwayne Bravo to Searles at long-off to be eighth man out for just 12 with the score on 81.

Bravo added the wicket of Mitchell McClenaghan with a delicious slower ball before Gabriel took the final wicket, hauling his figures back to 3.3-0-34-1 having conceded 26 runs from his first over. While the batting collapse was certainly dramatic, the seeds of the Stars’ defeat were sown in a sloppy fielding display.

The 2018 Hero CPL got off to a rollicking start with two dropped catches, a six and a wicket in the first seven balls of the season.

New Zealander McClenaghan bowled the first over of the season after the Stars won the toss and elected to field, and almost immediately had Trinbago Knight Riders new boy Chris Lynn dropped at slip by Sammy from the second ball. Lynn blasted the very next ball over the ropes at square-leg, but fell two balls later when he could only fend a clever slower ball to Qais at cover.

Moments later, Kesrick Williams dropped Narine at midwicket from Mohammad Sami’s first delivery. Narine gave the Knight Riders early impetus with a huge six down the ground but was bowled by Williams, who made amends for his early drop with remarkable figures of 2/4 from an initial two-over spell in which he also removed Darren Bravo for a duck.

With Brendon McCullum also failing to get going before being bowled by Stars captain Pollard on 13, it was left to Munro to keep the Knight Riders on track.

He was watchful at first, before kickstarting his own innings and the team’s when taking 18 runs in four balls from the Stars’ teenaged legspinner Qais. Three successive cut shots for four were followed by a huge slog-sweep for six as Munro moved from 23 off 24 balls to 41 from 28.

Munro duly went through to a 33-ball half century including eight fours and that huge six. By now he had been joined by Ramdin, who initially looked to put the Stars fielders under pressure with hard running before starting to clear the boundary himself.

When Munro fell in the 16th over, Ramdin took over in a devastating final four overs that brought the Knight Riders 54 runs.

He hit four sixes in all, the first an astonishing pick-up over square-leg off the expensive Mohammad Sami and the last a carve over cover-point to take him within a single of 50 from the penultimate ball of the innings.

He duly got the run he needed to reach a classy 27-ball half-century that had put the game well beyond the Stars, who must now aim to end a 12-match winless run in the Hero CPL on Saturday afternoon in Guyana, while Trinbago Knight Riders are back in action on Friday against Jamaica Tallawahs.

Upcoming Fixtures:

Thursday 9 August – Guyana Amazon Warriors v St Kitts & Nevis Patriots (6pm), Providence Stadium.
Friday 10 August – Trinbago Knight Riders v Jamaica Tallawahs (8pm), Queen’s Park Oval.

 

Indian Women’s Hockey Team achieve best ever ranking

The improvement in ranking comes on the back of a Quarter-Final finish at the recently concluded Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018

LONDON – Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup
India – Ireland
Photo: Indian line up.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS RODRIGO JARAMILLO

New Delhi, 07 August 2018: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team achieved their best-ever world ranking as they climbed up a spot to ninth place in the latest FIH Hero World Rankings published today by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). The improvement in ranking comes as added motivation for the Indian team as they also report for a brief 4-day National Camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Bengaluru Campus starting today.

The Indian team produced its best finish in four decades at a Women’s World Cup as they made their way to the Quarter-Finals of the recently concluded Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018. Previously ranked No. 10 in the FIH Hero World Rankings, the Indian team displayed some solid performances throughout the tournament in London, conceding only three goals in the five matches that they played, losing out to eventual Silver-medalists Ireland 3-1 in the Penalty Shootout after a goal-less Quarter-Final tie at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

The new ranking means that the Indian eves will go into the upcoming 18th Asian Games as the top-ranked Asian team in the world, but Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne believes that this is just a start for this young bunch of girls. “The new ranking comes as added motivation to our team for the upcoming Asian Games, but what is even better to see is that the players are not satisfied. There is more hunger in the squad to improve the ranking further by performing consistently at the highest level. We do have plenty of positives from the World Cup as the girls produced very good hockey, showing their grit and character to get through to the last eight,” stated the Dutchman.
Marijne said that the improvement in ranking was down to the team keeping their defensive structure intact consistently even when they were under pressure, “One must note that we only conceded three goals in the whole tournament in London. The defence was very solid and that starts with our forward-line as your entire team contributes to a strong defensive structure. We have placed special focus on our structure during matches and now we can see that the girls have come a long way in the past two years. They are now fully aware of their capabilities on the turf and I’m sure the new ranking will surely motivate them to excel at the Asian Games.”

The rise to 9th spot also coincides with the Indian team starting their preparatory camp which will have a total of 25 Core Group members, including the 18-member squad which was picked last month for the 18th Asian Games to be held in Jakarta-Palembang.

The new World No. 9 team is placed in Pool B along with South Korea, who have swapped places with the Indian team, to be now ranked World No. 10. Thailand, Kazakhstan and hosts Indonesia are also grouped with the top-2 Asian teams, and Chief Coach Marijne knows that there is room for improvement. “We only have a few days in camp to prepare ourselves, but we will be looking to ensure that our passing is 100% accurate in our build-up play, and we must also improve our Penalty Corner conversion rate and take more shots on goal,” Marijne said.

 

India score against Japan after 36 years: Bibiano Fernandes

New Delhi: A day after the Indian U-16 National Team lost lead and match to Japan U-16 in their first-ever meeting at the U-16 level, Head Coach Bibiano Fernandes felt the “encouraging” performance will go a long way among the fans to make all believe the future of Indian Football can play Football in the true sense.

“Today’s performance would go a long way in instilling the belief not just within the team but among a lot of supporters and well-wishers and among all stakeholders that we can play,” he said.

India had taken the lead in the 26th minute through Vikram Pratap Singh when he converted from the spot, a moment which Bibiano admitted: “sent the bench berserk.” That was India’s first goal against Japan in 36 years, the last being scored by Shabbir Ali and Manoranjan Bhattacharyya on September 3,1981 at the Merdeka Trophy in Kuala Lumpur.

Bibiano smiled when told about it. “That’s quite some time. I wasn’t aware of that,” he uttered.

“The goal was a special moment for all of us,” Bibiano said, only to repeat: “A very special moment indeed. Of course, we were not much aware of the history but scoring against Japan to take the lead is so much satisfying as a Head Coach,” he added.

“We were upbeat and confident from the start and understandably there was a lot of excitement on the bench when we took the lead. It was a historic moment,” he stated.

“Undoubtedly Japan has been the best Asian team we have played so far. Their confidence on the ball, awareness and passing ability is exceptional. Taking the lead against such an opposition midway into the first-half is a huge motivation for us for the future,” he added.

“But this isn’t where the team would stop. We know there are miles to go and these boys have the capability to march on,” he stressed on the performance not just being restricted to the day.

India have qualified for the AFC U-16 Championship Malaysia 2018 and are presently on an exposure tour to Jordan, all organised by AIFF in coordination with SAI.

What was the half-time talk about?

“The best part was that the lead didn’t get to the head of the boys. That pleases me. We matched them and as he headed to the locker room after 45 minutes with a 1-0 lead, we were aware of the task we had at hand in the 2nd half,” he stated.

“We knew we would have to do a lot in the second half to maintain it because of the quality they have in their team. Japan had an upper hand in the second half. We tried our best to defend as well as double the lead,” he maintained. But goals from Kuraba Kondo (57th) and Shoji Toyama (64th) seized it for the Samurais.

Bibiano admitted the “quality was a bit too good for us.”

“I knew it would be a difficult task and the boys played their hearts out. But the quality of Japan was just a bit too good for us. We might have lost today but the performance the boys put in today against a team that is rated the best in Asia is really encouraging.”

AIFF Media Team

 

Netherlands storm to gold and records get re-written at Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018

– Netherlands win eighth title with stunning final performance
– Ireland take silver and move into top 10 of FIH Hero World Rankings
– Spain make their own history by winning bronze

London, 5th August 2018: Relentless and magnificent. The Netherlands have absolutely owned the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup since their opening 7-0 scoreline against Korea.

The women in orange might have been slightly stunned by the reception their opponents received as they walked out for the final but then it was business as usual – except in this case, the word ‘usual’ is a synonym for unparalleled excellence.

If ever a World Cup title was warranted, it was this one and the question every other coach has to be asking is “How do we beat the Dutch?”

London turned green for the afternoon as Ireland women played out the final chapter of their fascinating World Cup journey. The crowd sang the Irish national anthem with a pride and a passion that moved even the most neutral of spectators and the Netherlands were, for just a moment, a sideshow to the main event.

Then the action started on the pitch. Every Irish pass was greeted with a roar of approval. A heavy tackle by Caia van Maasakker was booed, albeit with an undercurrent of humour. But this is the Dutch and it was going to take a lot more than a noisy crowd to put them off course.

For Chloe Watkins and Eva de Goede, this final was a particularly special occasion as both players were representing their respective nations for the 200th time.

Ireland started brightly, with the excellent Nikki Evans showing the confidence to take the Dutch on and create opportunities for her team mates. Gradually though, the Dutch felt their way into the game and, as is their style, a sweeping team move allowed Vitality Best PLayer Lidewij Welten to give them a lead in the seventh minute.

After the quarter break it was again a team move that doubled that lead. Frederique Matla took the ball down the Dutch right-hand side of the pitch, before slipping to Xan de Waard. Her shot was weak and dealt with easily by Goalkeeper of the Tournament Ayeisha McFerran but the rebound fell to Kelly Jonker who made no mistake as she shot home with a clipped backhand shot.

Netherlands began to turn the pressure up, winning two penalty corners in quick succession. Unusually for the world number one team, the shots failed to produce goals, but this was rectified a few minutes later as the tournament’s Top Scorer Kitty van Male pounced on a rebounded effort from van Maasakker and shot home for her eighth goal of the tournament.

With just 30 seconds left on the clock, Malou Pheninckx unleashed a shot from the edge of the circle that flew into the top corner of the Ireland goal. McFerran, who has been so excellent all tournament could do nothing about the rocket of a shot – Pheninckx’s third goal for her nation and her third of this tournament.

The half time break gave Graham Shaw a chance to regroup his shattered troops but it also gave Alyson Annan an opportunity to put her foot down even more firmly on the pedal.

The Netherlands came out with every intention of making each attack count and just two minutes into the half, Marloes Keetels was on hand to knock the ball into the goal after another defence splitting run by Welten.

Caia van Maasakker finally found her groove as she scored from the penalty corner – her third of the tournament. The shot was perfectly placed just out of McFerran’s reach.

Irish hopes were lifted for a moment when a Netherlands penalty corner broke down and a quick move saw the Deirdrie Duke alone with just one Dutch defender. A lot is said about the Netherland’s attack but on this occasion it was the defence that showed its class. Irene van Assem made the tackle and the danger was averted with composure.

And so to the last 15 minutes of this compelling story. The Netherlands were within touching distance of the trophy for an amazing eighth time, and for the second consecutive edition. But Ireland had played their own part in this story too.

As one highly ranked team after another had fallen by the wayside, the story just got more amazing and that is why millions were tuning in across the world and the stadium was full of people determined to see how the final chapter panned out.

With their total domination of the sport since 2016, harking back to a single loss in July 2017, the Netherlands are one of the best sports team in the world at the moment, but for sheer exhilaration, this World Cup also belongs to the teams that overturned the rankings and entertained the crowds for 15 glorious days of hockey.

The final score of 6-0 is an all-time record for World Cup finals, and it is a signal to the hockey world that the Netherlands have set the bar very high indeed.

Ireland’s inspirational captain Kathryn Mullan reflected back: “It was a tough, tough game. We prepared as we did for all the other games. The turn around time was tight and we knew it was going to be a real physical effort from us and we weren’t perhaps as fresh as we would have liked. But credit where credit is due, the Dutch are phenomenal.

“We may be disappointed when we look back at the game as to how they got in, but the better team on the day won. The effort my teammates put in was brilliant.

“It’s tough right now, but in a few weeks or month we will look back with pride. We came in ranked 16th and we wanted to cause an upset. I’m wearing a silver medal, so we have definitely caused an upset.”

Netherlands’ Frederique Matla, said: “This is my first world cup so I am really excited. We set out to attack. We knew they had nothing to lose but we knew we just had to play our game.”

Netherlands Head Coach Alyson Annan said: “We deservedly won, we played the best hockey throughout the tournament and this was shown today.

“There are things we have taken from this tournament that are not good enough and we need to improve on those. Some attacking things and our finsihing also needs to be improved on.”

“There are also some defensive things that need to be improved.”

Asked how she would beat the Netherlands if she were head coach to another nation, the World Cup winning coach said: “That is a question I have set myself – that is my homework.”

Bronze Medal Match

Spain’s incredible journey at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup came to a bronze-tinted end as they defeated Australia with a consummate display of creative, attacking hockey.

The bronze medal match was a clash between Australia, the world number five team and 2014 silver medallists, and Spain who, with a FIH Hero World Ranking of 11, have played way beyond initial expectations.

The Australian team had lost in shoot-out to the Netherlands less than 24 hours earlier, while Spain had lost to Ireland in similar fashion in the first semi-final.

Australia certainly looked the more battered of the two teams contesting the bronze medal. Jodie Kenny was sporting heavy strapping on her shoulder and Renee Taylor was unable to play, so Lily Brazel had come into the squad as a replacement.

Spain in contrast looked lively as they chased their best finish in a World Cup – their best previous result was fourth in 2006. Certainly it was Spain who came flying out of the blocks and were rewarded with a goal just ten minutes into the game. Maria Lopez was the scorer after yet another innovative penalty corner routine saw Lynch unable to react to the quick switch of play.

It was the strength of the defence that led to the second goal. Australia attacked but lost possession. The ball up the pitch found Beatriz Perez, who in turn found Berta Bonastre. The player, who had been so devastated after her team’s loss to Ireland the previous day, was on hand to fire home.

As the team’s re-emerged into the sweltering hot Arena after the half-time break, Bonastre said: “We know it is not how we start the game but how we finish it. We are here to win a medal, we really deserve it.”

The third quarter saw Spain look to increase their lead; again their defence were solid as the Australia midfield and attack tried to unpick them. The breakthrough eventually came as Emily Hurtz found Emily Smith. The Hockeyroo’s captain’s shot was goal bound but Kathryn Slattery just made sure and got a nick on the ball to halve the deficit.

As the fourth quarter counted down, both teams began to look as if they were suffering from the heat and the previous day’s exertion. A crucial moment in the match however saw Alicia Magaz strike the ball home to extend the lead to 3-1.

Australia’s Head Coach Paul Gaudoin removed Rachael Lynch and the Australia side ramped up the pressure. Slattery and Maddy Fitzpatrick both ran at the Red Sticks defence but found the wall impenetrable.

The last chance for Australia came with just over two minutes left. A penalty corner was taken by Georgina Morgan but her shot was not strong enough to give Smith the chance of a deflection. As Australia’s most recent recruit Lily Brazel thumped the ball forwards, the excellent Rocio Gutierrez swept the ball forward and Spain were able to celebrate their first medal at a World Cup.

“We didn’t put in a performance yesterday, the girls were gutted and they wanted to put it right today,” said Spain’s Head Coach Adrian Lock.

“We took it to Australia. the goals went in and once they went in we weren’t going to let that go.

“We talked about the opportunity to do something that no-one has ever done before. We wanted to make our own history. We have played them five times this year, we hadn’t beaten them but we drew four times. We knew we could win today,” he added.

Australia’s Head Coach Paul Gaudoin said: “Spain were very good today and we weren’t quite there today. We will learn a lot from today’s performance. We can’t use yesterday’s match as an excuse for today.”

A jubilant Cristina Guinea said: “It’s like a dream come true and we are so grateful that our hard work has paid off. We have a great team attitude and everyone takes responsibility for defence and attack. There are more medals to come.”

Results:

Gold medal match

Netherland v Ireland 6-0

Bronze medal match

Australia v Spain 1-3

Individiual Awards:

Vitality Best Player: Lidewij Welten (NED)
Best Goalkeeper: Ayeisha McFerran (IRL)
Young Player: Lucina von der Hyde (ARG)
Hero Top Scorer: Kitty van Male (NED) (8)

Final placings:

1st Netherlands
2nd Ireland
3rd Spain
4th Australia
5th Germany
6th England
7th Argentina
8th India
9th Italy
10th Belgium
11th New Zealand
12th Korea
13th Japan
14th USA
15th South Africa
16th China

 

Virat Kholi on top of the world

Player of the match Sam Curran on the charge in batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders’ rankings

Dubai, 5 August 2018: Virat Kohli has achieved another personal milestone by becoming the seventh India batsman and first since Sachin Tendulkar in June 2011, to top the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, which were released on Sunday morning following the conclusion of the Edgbaston Test.

Kohli scored 149 and 51 in India’s 31-run defeat and has gone up by 31 points, which have helped him to end Steve Smith’s 32-month reign as the top-ranked batsman and reach the top of the summit for the first time in his 67-Test career.

Kohli now leads Smith (who had held the top spot since December 2015) by five points, but will have to maintain the form in the remaining four Tests to finish the series as the world’s highest-ranked batsman.

Tendulkar had joined South Africa’s Jacques Kallis in number-one position in January 2011, but had dropped to second spot following the Jamaica Test in June 2011 after he had missed the three-Test series against the West Indies.

Apart from Kohli and Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag and DilipVengsarkar are the other India batsmen to have achieved number-one rankings during their careers.

However, at 934 points, Kohli has become India’s highest-ranked batsman, 14th overall, on the all-time tally of points. Kohli had entered the Edgbaston Test on 903 points, 13 points behind Gavaskar, and is now ahead of the ICC Cricket Hall of Famer by 18 points.

If Kohli can deliver another strong performance in the second Test at Lord’s, then he can break into the top-10 by leapfrogging Matthew Hayden, Kallis and AB de Villiers, whose highest points tally was 935 each. Donald Bradman (961) and Steve Smith (947) are the two batsmen sitting on top of this exclusive list.

Kohli, who powered India to the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup title in 2008 and then won the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2017, is the 76th player to top the Test batting rankings. He is also the number-one ranked ODI batsman, but is ranked 12th in T20Is, 220 points behind number-one ranked Aaron Finch of Australia.

England’s 20-year-old Sam Curran is another fascinating story from what was a nerve-wracking 1000thEngland men’s Test.

The left-handed all-rounder scored 24 and 63 with the bat, and claimed match figures of five for 92 with the ball, which not only earned him the player of the match award but significant gains in the latest rankings.

In the batting table, Curran has jumped from 152nd to 72nd, the bowling table has seen him rise 49 places to 62nd, while in the all-rounders’ category, he now sits in 37th position after jumping 58 places.

England’s wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow is the other England player to improve his ranking. The Yorkshireman now shares 12th position with the West Indies’ Kraigg Brathwaite after moving up four places.

The batsmen to lose ground after the Edgbaston Test include Alistair Cook 17th (down by four places), Lokesh Rahul 19th (down by one place), Ajinkya Rahane 22nd (down by three places), Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dawan, who now share 25th position after slipping two and one spots, respectively, and Ben Stokes 33rd(down by five places).

In the bowlers’ table, Stuart Broad and Mohammed Shami are the two bowlers inside the top-20 who have headed in the opposite direction, while James Anderson has retained his top position but his lead over Kagiso Rabada has been reduced to two points.

Broad is now ranked 13th after falling one place, while Shami is in 19th spot after sliding two places.

Stokes has compensated for his double failure with the bat by taking six wickets in the Test, including three of India’s last four wickets. For this performance, he has been rewarded with a rise of four places, which has put him in 27th position.

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has gained 14 points following his four for 62 and three for 59, which means he now trails South Africa’s fourth-ranked Vernon Philander by just one point, while Ishant Sharma has collected 19 points to move within 13 points of 25th-ranked team-mate Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The Test player rankings will now be updated following the Lord’s Test, which begins on Thursday, 9 August.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings (as on 5 August, following Edgbaston Test)

BATSMEN (top 20)

Rank   (+/-)     Player             Team  Points Avg   Highest Rating

   1          (+1)         Virat Kohli             Ind          934!       54.28     934 v Eng at Edgbaston 2018

   2          (-1)          Steve Smith          Aus         929         61.37     947 v SA at Durban 2018

   3          ( – )          Joe Root                Eng         865         52.18     917 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2015

   4          ( – )          Kane Williamson NZ           847         50.35     893 v Aus at Perth 2015

   5          ( – )          David Warner       Aus         820         48.20     880 v NZ at Perth 2015

   6          ( – )          C. Pujara               Ind          791         50.34     888 v SL at Nagpur 2017

   7          ( – )          D. Karunaratne    SL           754!       37.28     754 v SA at Colombo (SSC) 2018

   8          ( – )          D. Chandimal       SL           733         44.96     755 v Win at St Lucia 2018

   9          ( – )          Dean Elgar            SA           724         41.05     784 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

  10         ( – )          Aiden Markram    SA           703*      47.27     759 v Aus at Johannesburg 2018

  11         ( – )          Ross Taylor          NZ           697         47.22     871 v Win at Hamilton 2013

  12=       ( – )          Kraigg Brathwaite Win         695         37.94     701 v Eng at Headingley 2017

               (+4)         Jonny Bairstow     Eng         695         38.64     772 v SA at Old Trafford 2017

  14         ( – )          Hashim Amla       SA           673         47.23     907 v Pak at Abu Dhabi 2013

  15         ( – )          Azhar Ali                Pak         672         44.84     787 v Aus at Melbourne 2016

  16         (+1)         Faf du Plessis       SA           665         42.33     734 v Ind at Centurion 2018

  17         (-4)          Alastair Cook        Eng         658         45.36     874 v Ind at Kolkata 2012

  18         (+2)         Kusal Mendis        SL           641         36.78     693 v Win at St Lucia 2018

  19         (-1)          Lokesh Rahul       Ind          634         39.20     761 v SL at Pallekele 2017

  20         (+1)         Usman Khawaja  Aus         633         42.00     747 v Pak at Sydney 2017

BOWLERS (top 20)

Rank      (+/-)         Player                    Team     Points    Avge      Highest Rating

   1          ( – )          James Anderson Eng         884         27.19     896 v Win at Lord’s 2017

   2          ( – )          Kagiso Rabada    SA           882         21.71     902 v Aus at Port Elizabeth 2018

   3          ( – )          Ravindra Jadeja   Ind          857         23.11     899 v Aus at Ranchi 2017

   4          ( – )          Vernon Philander SA           826         21.54     912 v Ind at Johannesburg 2013

   5          ( – )          R. Ashwin              Ind          825         25.17     904 v Eng at Mumbai 2016

   6          ( – )          Pat Cummins       Aus         800*!     23.81     800 v SA at Johannesburg 2018

   7          ( – )          Trent Boult            NZ           795         27.84     825 v Eng at Lord’s 2015

   8          ( – )          Rangana Herath  SL           791         27.95     867 v Zim at Harare 2016

   9          ( – )          Neil Wagner          NZ           765         28.26     785 v Win at Wellington 2017

  10         ( – )          Josh Hazlewood  Aus         759         26.84     863 v Ind at Bengaluru 2017

  11         ( – )          Shannon Gabriel Win         757!       29.57     757 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

  12         (+1)         Jason Holder        Win         731*!     29.35     731 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

  13         (-1)          Stuart Broad         Eng         730         28.95     880 v SA at Johannesburg 2016

  14=       ( – )          Tim Southee         NZ           720         30.82     799 v Win at Jamaica 2014

               ( – )          Mitchell Starc        Aus         720         28.17     805 v SA at Durban 2018

  16         ( – )          Nathan Lyon         Aus         710         32.21     774 v Eng at Adelaide 2017

  17         (+1)         Keshav Maharaj   SA           692*      27.65     695 v Zim at Port Elizabeth 2017

  18         (+1)         Yasir Shah            Pak         683         29.44     878 v Eng at Lord’s 2016

  19         (-2)          M. Shami              Ind          680         29.04     703 v SA at Johannesburg 2018

  20         ( – )          Kemar Roach       Win         667         28.31     774 v SA at Centurion 2014

ALL-ROUNDERS (top five)

Rank      (+/-)         Player                    Team     Points    Highest Rating

   1          ( – )          Shakib Al Hasan  Ban         420        489 v Aus at Mirpur 2017

   2          ( – )          Ravindra Jadeja   Ind          385        438 v SL at Colombo (SSC) 2017
3          ( – )          Vernon Philander SA           370        379 v SL at Galle 2018
4          ( – )          R. Ashwin              Ind          359        493 v Eng at Mohali 2016
5          ( – )          Jason Holder        Win         354/*     355 v Ban at Jamaica 2018

* indicates provisional rating; a batsman qualifies for a full rating after playing 40 Test innings; a bowler qualifies for a full rating when he reaches 100 Test wickets.

! indicates career-highest rating.

 

Gaganjeet Bhullar claims maiden European Tour title at Fiji International, Also becomes first Indian to win nine Asian Tour titles

Bhullar moves into fourth place on Asian Tour money list, earns winner’s exemption on European Tour, Asian Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia

Indian star Gaganjeet Bhullar had been constantly knocking on the door of victory this year with five top-10s including two runner-up finishes on the Asian Tour. His persistence finally paid off at the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways, a US$ 970,000 event, tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia.

The 30-year-old Bhullar (70-69-69-66), the overnight leader by one, produced a classic final round of six-under-66 at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course on Sunday to garner a one-shot victory at 14-under-274 and as a result take home his first European Tour trophy. Australia’s Anthony Quayle finished second at 13-under-275.

The well-built Kapurthala lad’s achievement on Sunday ensured that he also became the first Indian to win nine Asian Tour titles going past Jeev Milkha Singh and Arjun Atwal both of whom have eight wins each on the tour.

Gaganjeet, who led the Australian quartet of Jarryd Felton, Andrew Dodt, Jake McLeod and Terry Pilkadaris, by one shot after round three, produced early breakthroughs on Sunday with birdies on the first, third and fourth, to take a two-shot lead.

Bhullar then stumbled with a bogey on the seventh but rallied to get back into the match with birdies on the ninth and 13th, sinking it from the fringe on the latter.

In the meantime, Anthony Quayle, who started the day two shots back of Bhullar, surmounted a late challenge when he stormed home with three birdies and two eagles on his back-nine for a course record score of nine-under-63. Quayle set the bar at a challenging 13-under in the clubhouse.

Gaganjeet, who found himself trailing Quayle late in the day, withstood the intense pressure by producing one of the best shots of the week on the 17th hole which would eventually seal his European Tour card after a four-year gap.

Staring at yet another bridesmaid finish this season, the Indian showed he would not be cowed under pressure as he holed a monstrous chip from outside the 17th green for an eagle-three.

That eagle provided him with some relief as he would head into the last hole with a one-shot advantage over Quayle.

Bhullar hit his approach shot straight onto the green on the 18th and left his birdie putt just short of the hole. He went on to convert an easy tap-in for par on the last hole to become the first Indian to win an event co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia.

Gaganjeet’s spectacular triumph lifted him from 10th to fourth place in the Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity Standings. Bhullar, currently ranked 163 in the world, is also likely to make major gains in the latest world rankings list which will be released on Monday.

Major winner Ernie Els of South Africa also staged a late comeback by closing with a 65 to share third place with New Zealand’s Ben Campbell (66) at 12-under-276.

The big-hitting Gaganjeet, who showed great composure and mental courage in round four, said, “It was a tough day. It was windy, flags were tough, but I played really well.  I gave myself many, many opportunities today. The key was I got on to a really good start, I was three under after four holes and I think that kept me going.

“Just around the turn things were actually getting a little tough for me, but I think I managed to make a really good par save on number 10. That gave me a lot of boost, a lot of confidence.

“After that, it was just one shot at a time and I was just able to execute. I was mentally prepared for that. I knew somebody or another had to go low today. Even Ernie Els, he’s a legend, he was playing really well. Anthony, I know his game, he played really well. Nine-under out there in these conditions, that’s a great round of golf.

“Even though after number 16, I still had hopes, I still had kind of a feeling that I can win the tournament, but I think that chip-in on 17 pretty much closed the deal. I had a little bit of an idea that this chip is going to run a lot, but it wasn’t an easy chip, I could have easily missed up and down and settled for second or third.

“This kind of good form was definitely building up from last, I would say, two months, I had two good finishes. In fact, more than two, but two runner up finishes on the Asian Tour. I’ve been playing really well. It was just a matter of time and I’m glad it happened on this stage,” added the man who suffered a serious wrist injury in 2014 that brought him back from the European Tour to the Asian Tour.

Bhullar had also won a European Challenge Tour event in 2011 so his overall tally of international titles now stands at 10. He is now only the third Indian besides Jeev Milkha Singh (13) and Arjun Atwal (10) to have 10 or more international wins to his credit.

Bhullar’s latest feat saw him regain his European Tour card for the first time since 2014. He will now enjoy the winner’s exemption on the European Tour till the end of next season. Gaganjeet has also earned his card on the Asian Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia for the current as well as next two seasons.

India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu took a share of 43rd place at two-over-290 after a final round of one-under-71.

Gaganjeet Bhullar – 10 international wins

European Tour

Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways 2018 (co-sanctioned with Asian Tour & PGA Tour of Australasia)

Asian Tour

– Indonesia President Invitational 2009
– Asian Tour International 2010
– Yeangder Tournament Players Championship 2012
– Venetian Macao Open 2012
– Indonesia Open 2013
– Shinhan Donghae Open 2016
– Bank BRI-JCB Indonesia Open 2016
– Macao Open 2017

European Challenge Tour

Gujarat Kensville Challenge 2011

 

Gaurav Gill wins MRF Rally of Coimbatore

Coimbatore, August 5: Team Mahindra Adventure scored a grand 1-2 in the MRF Rally of Coimbatore, Round 2 of the MRF FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2018, with Gaurav Gill and Amittrajit Ghosh proving to be a cut above the rest here on Sunday evening.

India’s ace rallyist Gill, along with his trusted co-driver Musa Sherif, romped home to victories in each of the stages over the weekend to outclass the field. He needed 1:14:30.1 to complete the five Special Stages, winning the round with a handsome margin of 1 min 1.1 sec.

His teammate Amittrajit (with co-driver Ashwin Naik) was equally sharp all through the rally, not yielding the second position even once. He kept pace with Gill too, finishing just 10-15 seconds off him in almost all the stages.

“I am happy that we made it 2 out of 2. It is a great show by the team that allowed us to be on the attack all through the weekend,” Gill said.

“I am very pleased with my performance. I was quick all through,”Gill added.

FMSCI President Akbar Ebrahim claimed the third position in the INRC 1 category, proving that he hasn’t lost his touch even after nearly 25 years.

The 2016 INRC champion, Karna Kadur (with Nikhil V Pai), had to settle for the overall third position as all his efforts to upstage the leaders proved to be futile. He managed to claim the INRC 2 category though, making it a 1-2 for Team Arka Motorsports too in this bunch.

His teammate Rahul Kanthraj (with Vivek Y Bhatt) took the second place while Phalghuna Urs (with Srikanth Gowda; Snap Racing) claimed the third place.

The INRC 3 category too didn’t see any change on the leaderboard, with Aroor Vikram Rao (with Anand Somayya; Falkon Motorsports) completing an easy win.

Suhem Kabeer (Jeevarathinam; Team Champions) and Chetan Shivram (with Rupesh Koley) clung on to the second and third positions on the podium with their smart driving.

Defending INRC 3 champion Dean Mascarenhas, who failed to finish the second stage on Day 1 and slid to the bottom of the table, made a valiant fightback on Day 2. He even won SS5 and SS6 in his category, but that was only good enough to take him to the sixth place.

Results:

INRC: 1) Gaurav Gill/Musa Sherif (Team Mahindra Adventure; 01:14:30.1); 2) Amittrajit Ghosh/Ashwin Naik (Team Mahindra Adventure; 01:15:31.2); 3) Karna Kadur/Nikhil V Pai (Arka Motorsports; 01:16:24.8).

INRC 2: 1) Karna Kadur/Nikhil V Pai; 2) Rahul Kanthraj/Vivek Y Bhatt (Arka Motorsports; 01:17:36.9); 3. Phalghuna Urs/Srikanth Gowda; Snap Racing; 01:17:40.7).

INRC 3: 1) Aroor Vikram Rao/Anand Somayya (Falkon Motorsports; 01:17:11.8); 2) Suhem Kabeer/Jeevarathinam (Team Champions; 01:17:48.8); 3. Chetan Shivram/Rupesh Koley (01:17:58.4)

FMSCI 2WD: 1) Adith KC/Suraj K; 2) Suraj Thomas/Sob George; 3) Lokesh Gowda V | Venu Ramesh Kumar

 

Carlos Peña signs for FC Goa

Panjim, Goa, 5th August 2018: FC Goa have announced the signing of Spanish full back Carlos Peña. The 35-year old will add plenty of experience to the Gaurs’ backline having made over 500 appearances in Spanish league football.

Peña came through the ranks at Barcelona, representing their C and B teams before moving to play for Albacete in the Spanish second division. After spending 4 years at the club, the left back spent one season at Recreativo de Huelva before moving to Real Vallodolid in 2010. Peña spent five years at the club helping them return to La Liga during his second season at the club. He has also gone on to represent Oviedo, Getafe, and finally Lorca FC before being roped in by the Gaurs.

Carlos Peña expressed his delight after putting pen to paper on a new contract. “I am very glad to be joining this exciting project that Sergio (Lobera) is building. I can’t wait to finally meet my new teammates and to begin working with them. I am very ambitious about this coming season and am confident we can improve on what the club did last year.”

Sergio Lobera was equally delighted with his new foreign acquisition. “Peña is a very experienced footballer who has played at the top level in Spain. He is a player that can play different positions and is very suited to our style of play. He is defensively very good and goes forward whenever he has the chance. His experience will be vital in helping us achieve our targets this season”.

 

FC Pune City sign Iain Hume

Pune, August 2 2018: The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood star Arjun Kapoor co-owned club FC Pune City and Iain Hume today reached an understanding as the Canadian striker signed with the Pune based team for the 2018-19 season. As a part of the agreement, the club will have an option to retain the prolific forward for one more year at the end of the coming season.

Hume, who is the highest goal scorer in the history of Indian Super League, has plied his trade in ISL with Kerala Blasters FC and ATK scoring 28 goals in four seasons. Besides his 59 appearances till date is the highest number of games played by any player in ISL.

In February, Hume suffered a knee injury that ruled him out of action for the rest of season. Thereafter he has undergone a surgery on his right knee and has been doing his rehabilitation in India and the UK.

Commenting on the signing, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Iain Hume got injured during last season and he has now undergone almost 6 months of rehabilitation post his surgery. He will continue his rehab under the supervision of our medical team and train with the team during preseason. If everything goes as planned, we estimate him to be back in 12- 14 weeks’ time. Iain is a highly motivated athlete and we are sure that he will get back to his previous best and play an important role for us this season.”

After signing the dotted lines for FC Pune City, Hume said, “It wasn’t a very tough decision to make, to return to the ISL and join FC Pune City if I’m honest. From the other side, I’ve always admired the top-class facilities at the training ground and the stadium and the way the club is professionally run. I’ve had long chats with the club and it’s medical team, and I’m sure together we can make my recovery as quick as possible and back doing what I do best (playing football, fighting for the shirt & scoring goals) as soon as possible.”

“I’ve had a very good past 4 seasons in the ISL at both Kerala Blasters & ATK and still have a very good relationship with both clubs and sets of fans. The relationship I have (that I’m sure most know) with Manjappada is one that’s special and I’m sure will continue. But like every footballer, now that things are confirmed, I will give my whole-hearted efforts to make sure I’m back 100% as soon as I can and give my blood, sweat & tears for FC Pune City and prove that their trust in me won’t go unrewarded. Look forward to meeting all the Coaches, Medical Staff, all my new teammates and of course, all the fans over the next few weeks,” he added.

About FC Pune City:

FC Pune City is an Indian Super League football team based out of Pune, Maharashtra. The club is co-owned by The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor. The club was founded in 2014 and its home ground is the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune. The club is committed to making a difference not just at the senior level but also at the grassroots level of football in India.

 

Mane and Rashid set to clash for Louis Philippe Cup title

– Duo pull 4 strokes ahead of the field
– Moving Day Three sees pre-tournament favourites spring back into contention
– Udayan Mane and Rahil Gangjee only two golfers with sub-par rounds on all three days
– Tournament wide open as six strokes separate the top 10
– Experienced finishers and proven winners in leading groups promise exciting final day

Bengaluru, August 2, 2018: Ahmedabad based Udayan Mane, a six-time winner on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and currently ranked 85thon the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Rankings, regained top spot on the leaderboard, this time with two-time Asian Tour winner Rashid Khan for company, after he shot a 1-under 69 for a total of 9-under 201, at the end of day three of the Louis Philippe Cup. Bengaluru’s Prestige Golfshire Club is hosting the USD 75,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) and PGTI co-sanctioned event. The duo of Udayan and Rashid are currently 4-shots clear of the field.

Udayan who had set a course record 63 on day one along with Miguel Carballo to jointly lead the field, had yielded the advantage to the Argentine, when he finished a stroke behind in second position at the end of day two. On Thursday however, with strong winds from every possible direction continuing to frustrate and test the golfers to the hilt, Udayan registered his third sub-par round on the trot to regain the lead. The Argentine managed a 4-over 74 on the day to climb down two notches to lie in tied third position.

Speaking after his round Udayan said, “It was a very frustrating day for me. I hit well off the tee but my short game today tested me a lot. I had really good putts but most of them lipped out and that for sure frustrated me a lot.  Luckily I have had such experiences and that helped me to a large extent. The round today has at least given me an idea about my game tomorrow and I hope to stick to my plan.”

Also finding the going tough was Delhi Golf Club’s Asian Tour regular and two-time winner of the PGTI Order of Merit, Rashid Khan. “The round was really good but the conditions were tough. The wind was the most difficult part today because it was really tough to control on the greens. I hit four consecutive birdies on the 14, 15, 16 and 17th holes and one bogey on the 9th. Hole 16 was the most challenging, as it required a longer shot to save par. Tomorrows game will be my own game and no strategy,” said the talented Rashid, who after beginning slowly has bounced right back into contention with a fluent 64 (6-under) on day two, followed up by a 3-under 67 on day three. Players like Rashid know how to close out tournaments and he will be one of the golfers to follow closely on the final day.

Local hope Khalin Joshi also joined Carballo in third position with a 1-over 71 on day three, tying with the Argentine on a score of 205, four behind from the leaders.

Five golfers are tied for fifth spot on a score of 4-under 204. Prominent among them are pre-tournament favourites Rahil Gangjee of India and Australian Marcus Both. Also giving them company was seasoned veteran Mukesh Kumar.

Rahil, Marcus and Mukesh have a total of six Asian Tour titles between them and given the conditions, a slight slip up above and any of these three can use their experience and go for the kill. Rahil and Marcus both shot rounds of 68 (2-under) on Thursday while Mukesh returned an even par card.

In fact, Rahil joined Udayan to be the only two golfers to have registered sub-par rounds on all three days at the Prestige.

It was also heartening to see another Indian Asian Tour winner Digvijay Singh among the top 10 and in with a chance at what would be his 13thvictory in India, after a while. He carded a creditable 2-under on the day for a total of 207 and needs a super finish on the final day. Aadil Bedi, the 17-year old Asian Games bound young amateur from India, has also held his own, registering a 73 (1-over) on the day, his score of 210 (even par) putting him nine shots behind the leaders and in tied 17thposition.

Top Scores after Day Two:

1. Udayan Mane (IND)/Rashid Khan (IND)- 201 (-9)
3. Miguel Carballo (ARG)/Khalin Joshi (IND) – 205 (-5)
5. Rahil Gangjee (IND)/Marcus Both (AUS)/Om Prakash Chouhan (IND)/Mukesh Kumar (IND)/Sanjeev Kumar (IND)-206 (-4)

 

Ireland scores 3-1 win against India

– Netherlands defeat host nation England to secure place in semi-final
– Ireland continue to make their own history as they face first ever World Cup semi-final
– Either Spain or Ireland will make World Cup final debut

LONDON – Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup
QF3 Ireland – India
Photo: Zoe Wilson and Lilima Minz
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS FRANK UIJLENBROEK

London: On a remarkable day of action, Ireland and Netherlands completed the line-up for the semi-finals of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, booking their tickets to the final four with victories over India and host nation England respectively.

Ireland yet again defied their 16th position in the FIH Hero World Rankings to claim a shoot-out victory over India, ensuring that the Green Army’s fairy-tale story would continue into the final weekend. Goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran was again a star for Ireland, conceding just once in the shoot-out to set up a semi-final meeting against Spain on Saturday 4th August at 1400 (UTC/GMT+1).

The Netherlands broke the hearts of the host nation with a deserved 2-0 triumph over England in front of 10,500 fans, with Vitality Player of the Match Lidewij Welten and Laurien Leurink both on target as Oranje maintained their impressive title charge in London. The Dutch will now face Australia in this Saturday’s semi-final, which will take place at 16:30 local time.

Ireland (WR:16) had already created history simply by reaching the quarter-final phase, eclipsing anything that the Green Army had achieved in previous editions of the Hockey Women’s World Cup. However, the team coached by Graham Shaw were determined to ensure that their staggering run in London was not about to end when they faced India (WR:10). Ireland’s 1-0 win over the Eves in Pool B was certainly reason to believe that they could secure a dream place in the semi-finals, although India’s excellent 3-0 cross-over play-off victory against Italy on Tuesday ensured that the Asian continental champions were justifiably confident about their own chances.

The two teams cancelled each out for much of the match, with India putting in place an excellent defensive strategy to reduce the effectiveness of Ireland’s potent counter-attacking style on another hot evening in London. Irish attacker Anna O’Flanagan had two chances in quick succession in the second quarter but failed to test India’s ever impressive shot-stopper Savita, while Ireland goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran was a spectator for much of the half.

India’s biggest chance to score arrived in the final quarter when India captain Rani drilled a penalty corner shot into the pads of McFerran before Elena Tice cleared the danger. It was the only penalty corner of a game, which always seemed destined to end in a shoot-out, and what a shoot-out it proved to be.

McFerran, who has been one of the standout players at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, was sensational in the one-on-ones, denying India captain Rani and Navjot Kaur with wonderful saves while forcing Monika to shoot wide. McFerran’s goalkeeping heroics were capitalised on by Roisin Upton and Alison Meeke who both scored to make it advantage Ireland. Reena Khokhar kept India in the contest when she made the score 2-1, but Chloe Watkins made no mistake with a cool finish to trigger scenes of unrestrained joy from the Irish players, coaching staff and fans packed into the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

“We just tried to go out and impose our style on India”, said elated Ireland international Elena Tice at the end of the match. “At times it wasn’t pretty and we could have taken a few more chances but we kept going. We wanted to put them under pressure from the start and go forward the entire game. At times it went okay and at times we were turned over but our defence is really tough. The defence is prepared to take the hits.”

Referring to the atmosphere generated by the capacity crowd watching the action, Tice said: “It was absolutely unbelievable out there. It felt like it was all Ireland and when our legs began to ache, the crowd really got us going. We try to go into every game without fear. We are the underdog every time we play but we want to push on, become a top 10 team and expect to win.”

Whilst it was not the outcome that India had desired, Head Coach Sjoerd Marijne felt that the experience gained in London will prove vital to their title challenge at the upcoming Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia.

“I think the girls will be proud of what they achieved so they will have lots of confidence [for the Asian Games]”, said Dutchman Marijne. “Now they don’t feel that, but they soon will. This has given them the experience of playing on the big stage, doing shoot-outs under high pressure. They will take all of that to the Asian Games.”

The atmosphere in the stadium throughout the match between Pool A winners Netherlands and England, who had reached the quarter-finals after beating Korea in the cross-over play-offs on Tuesday, was absolutely electric. The home fans turned up in their thousands in the hope of witnessing England record what would be a famous victory over the reigning world champions, a team that had scored an incredible 26 goals in the three matches they had played ahead of this fixture.

The Dutch were on fire in the opening period, putting the England defence under huge pressure. Caia van Maasakker issued a warning when she rattled England’s crossbar with a fierce penalty corner flick before 2015 Hockey Stars Player of the Year Lidewij Welten opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Xan de Waard was the creator, sending a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Welten who made no mistake with a first-time shot between the legs of Hinch.

The relentless Dutch pressure continued in the second period, with Hinch again called into action before Susie Petty cleared a goal-bound shot off the line to keep the score at 1-0 going into half time. However, that all changed one minute after the break when the quality of the Dutch attacking line shone through again. This time Welten – later named Vitality Player of the Match – was the creator, splitting the English defence with a pass to find Frederique Matla, who in turn eliminated Hinch with a square pass for Laurien Leurink to tap into an open goal.

Much to the appreciation of the home crowd, England gave an excellent showing in the final quarter but could not find a breakthrough. While it was a heart-breaking defeat for the hosts, the Netherlands were worthy winners of the contest and will take some stopping here in London.

After the game, Caia van Maasakker said: “It starts with us being hungry and working hard for each other. Our passing and keeping the pace up are the heart of our game.

“We have some great skills and we try to always keep the pace as high as possible.”

England’s experienced defender Hollie Pearne-Webb was pragmatic: “Looking back, we have had a fairly good tournament, although we should have got better outcomes from the first two games. We need to learn to turn up for the pool games. We only conceded one penalty corner and for us that is the best defensive perforamnce we have had against them.

“Now we must look at when we win the ball and making more of our chances. I am full of optimism going forwards.

“We are missing some experience in the squad and the new girls are still finding their feet. they will grow in confidence. The hurt and disappointment of this loss will put and extra fire in all our bellies.”

 

Van Der Dussen and Walsh join Patriots

Bassterre, St Kitts. 2 August 2018: The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots have made two additions to their squad ahead of the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League which gets underway on 8 August. The tournament will run until 16 September and will feature matches played in St Kitts, Trinidad, Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica, St Lucia and the USA.

The Patriots will be joined by Rassie van der Dussen for the second half of the season as Sandeep Lamicchane is leaving for national duty with Nepal on 26 August. Van der Dussen is an explosive batsman that has three T20 hundreds in 65 matches.

Graeme Cremer is now unavailable due to injury. He is being replaced by Antiguan cricketer, Hayden Walsh Jr. Walsh is a leg-spinner and middle order batsman who has represented the Leeward Islands in first-class and List A cricket.

Speaking about the new additions to the squad Patriots Head Coach Donovan Miller said: “It is always sad to lose players that we drafted but in Hayden Walsh Jr and Rassie van der Dussen we have two players that we are very confident will succeed at this year’s Hero CPL as we look to go one game better than last year and win the tournament in 2018.”

ABOUT THE HERO CARIBBEAN PREMIER LEAGUE:

First started in 2013, the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is a franchise-based T20 format cricket tournament that combines two of the most compelling aspects of Caribbean life – dramatic cricket and a vibrant Carnival atmosphere. Combining broadcast and digital viewership over 197 million fans watched the 2017 season to make it one of the fastest growing leagues in world cricket. Trinbago Knight Riders are the current Hero CPL champions and the other competing teams are Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, St. Lucia Stars and Jamaica Tallawahs. This year’s tournament takes place 8 August to 16 September 2018. For further information visit www.cplt20.com

 

India U-16 register a comfortable 4-0 victory against host Jordan in their first match of the 5th WAFF U-16 Championship

New Delhi: Riding on Vikram Pratap Singh’s hat-trick a superior India U-16 scored four times against hosts Jordan to register a comfortable 4-0 victory in their first match of the 5th WAFF U-16 Championship at the King Abdullah II Stadium in Jordan today (August 1, 2018).

Vikram opened the scoring in the 43rd minute and then added two more in the 61st and the 73rd minutes to complete the trick before Bekey Oram completed the rout in the 84th minute.

A strong Japan U-16 awaits the Indian colts in the next match on August 3, 2018 (Friday) evening, the live telecast of which will be available on https://mycujoo.tv This is the 4th exposure tour since June 30 for the boys after trips to China, Thailand and Malaysia.

The match started at a slow pace with both the teams hooked on to a ‘safety-first’ approach and no one could garner a clear chance. Givson, who generally operates as the distributor in the middle, floated a looping ball from the left wing for Vikram in the 13th minute but the Jordanian goalkeeper came out to clear it away.

It was, however, Vikram who broke the deadlock two minutes to the half-time from inside the 6-yard box.

India earned a free-kick at an acute angle following a harsh challenge on Bekey Oram. As Givson ran a dummy, Vikram opted to take a short free-kick to Ridge who passed it onto Rohit Danu. The forward outfoxed the Jordanian defender to unleash a low delivery for Vikram who tapped it in.

Changing over, the game sprang into life when Indian Goalkeeper Niraj Kumar made two valiant efforts to deny the hosts from scoring the equaliser.

Just as the clock crossed the hour-mark, Vikram doubled the lead from another brilliantly-crafted work by Bekey. The stocky midfielder outpaced the defender down the left flank and put it forward for Danu in the clear. The resultant pass from Danu was calmly tapped home by Vikram to make it 2-0.

Having seated firmly at the top, India opted to press more to secure a handsome victory. In the 73rd minute, Rohit pressed the Jordan goalkeeper hard who ended up passing the ball to Givson at the edge of the box. He delivered a looping ball to an unmarked Vikram who blasted it in.

Head Coach Bibiano Fernandes introduced Ravi Bahadur Rana and Sailo in the 75th minute in place of Vikram and Givson respectively. The duo played a crucial role in building up the fourth goal of the night which was converted exquisitely by Bekey Oram in the 84th minute.

India U16 Team: Niraj Kumar (GK), Thoiba Singh, Harpreet Singh, Shabas Ahammed, Manish Chaudhary, Bekey Oram 84′, Ridge Melvin (Harpreet 86′), Givson Singh (Sailo 75′), Ricky John, Vikram Singh (C) (43′, 61′, 73′) (Ravi Bahadur Rana 75′), Rohit Danu.

 

Upbeat Indian women’s team set to challenge Ireland in quarter finals

Skipper Rani says India has a realistic opportunity to make the Semi Final of Vitality Hockey Women’s Hockey Team London 2018

LONDON – Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup
India – Ireland
Photo: Rani.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS RODRIGO JARAMILLO

London (England), 01 August 2018: History beckons the Indian Women’s Hockey Team as they take on Ireland in the Quarter Final match of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 here at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Thursday.

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team last played in a Quarter Final encounter 40 years ago in the 1978 Madrid Women’s World Cup. The team’s Semi Final appearance in the inaugural edition of the World Cup in 1974 remains the best Indian performance in the history of the prestigious event. However, these stats would not play on the team’s mind when they take on the Irish on Thursday according to team Skipper Rani. “All I know is, we are not done yet. Our best hockey is yet to come,” she asserted adding that the only thing on their minds would be to avenge their narrow 0-1 loss in the Pool Stage to Ireland and book a place in the Semi Final against the winners of Spain Vs Germany Quarter Final match.

Rani said, “Though we lost against Ireland in the Pool Stage, we know we played really well that day but we did not put the ball in the goal. Now we have a golden opportunity to beat them in the Quarter Final.”

In the Crossover Match against Italy, it was Lalremsiami (9’), Neha Goyal (45’) and Vandana Katariya (55’) who scored in India’s significant win. It was a dominant overall performance that saw them make the next round and in the hindsight, Rani believes the team has improved match-by-match in this prestigious tournament where they have drawn 1-1 to World No.2 England, lost 0-1 to Ireland, drew 1-1 with USA in the Pool Stage followed by a triumphant 3-0 score-line against the Italians. “Against Italy, we wanted to ensure we score in the first two quarters and put pressure on them. In the previous three matches in the Pool Stage, we were doing everything except scoring. But on Tuesday, we ticked that box right and we have realised that it all boils down to the self-belief we have,” stated the 23-year-old striker.

Beating Ireland, who are high on confidence after 3-1 win against USA and India 1-0 to top Pool B and earn a direct qualification for the Quarter Final, would be a tough task especially if the Irish can pull off a good start to put pressure on India’s structure.

Rani though was categorical in her stance that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her team to create history. “For us, it is a once-in-a-lifetime moment to be playing the Quarter Final of the biggest event in hockey. We will do everything we can to win this match and make the Semi Final and the team believes we stand a realistic chance,” asserted an optimistic Rani.  

The Indian Women’s Hockey team will play Ireland in their Quarter-Final match on Thursday, 2nd August 2018 at 22.30hrs IST.

 

Tata Motors to support Wrestling Federation of India

– 3-year strategic partnership  will support top performing 50 wrestlers
– Players launch the official Indian Wrestling team Tata Yodha Jersey

Mumbai, August 1, 2018: Tata Motors in line with its Group heritage has constantly looked at encouraging sports and promoting sporting talent across India and overseas. Continuing this tradition, the Commercial Vehicles Business Unit (CVBU) of Tata Motors today announced an all-encompassing three-year strategic partnership with Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) as ‘Principal Sponsor’ to encourage and promote the sport of wrestling and leverage the strong connect with the brands of its CV range. Beginning with the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, this partnership will continue till 2021 that will include the World Championship and World Cup, 2020 Olympic Games, besides other national and international wrestling events.

This will be one of the biggest non-cricket association in the country, where the world’s 6th largest CV player like Tata Motors is going beyond mere sponsorship. The company will act as a catalyst to promote the sport, encourage and develop young and rising sporting talent enabling them to achieve their aspirations. As a part of the historic mega partnership, Tata Motors will support top performing 50 wrestlers (both men and women), across categories, on both domestic and international circuit.

Celebrating this initiative, the new official Tata Yodha jersey for the Indian Wrestling Team was unveiled by the stars of Indian wrestling including Olympic Medallists Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Sakshi Malik along with Geeta Phogat – India’s first women wrestler to qualify for Olympic in 2012 and Bajrang Punia, Sandeep Tomar, Pooja Dhanda andSatyawart Kadian in the presence of senior management from Tata Motors CVBU and official of WFI.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Girish Wagh, President – Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors said, “Today, sports with the energy and dynamism is seen as a major platform for brands to connect with people across India – both masses as well as classes. Commercial Vehicles are the backbone of our economy and for Tata Motors, as India’s leading commercial vehicles manufacturer, we see sport as a significant bridge to reach out to various stakeholders – drivers, fleet owners, dealers and distributors, media and the public at large. In line with our brand philosophy of ‘Connecting Aspirations’, we believe in supporting sports and sportspeople who can take our country ahead with their potential, zeal and passion.”

“Wrestling and Kabaddi are homegrown sports that reflect machismo, aggression and endurance that tests speed, agility and power, and are gaining popularity in India and overseas. These attributes blend perfectly with the rich heritage, longevity, durability and robust performance of our Commercial Vehicles that are accepted by our customers in India and global markets. We are truly delighted to associate with Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and wish our Indian team the very best in the forthcoming Asian Games at Jakarta.” Added Mr. Wagh.

Commenting on the partnership, Shri Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, President – Wrestling Federation of India said, “We are delighted to have a ‘bharosemand partner’ like Tata Motors as our principal sponsor for all our national and international events until year 2021. It is a first of its kind association for Indian Sports where a reputed brand like Tata Motors is associating with the entire sport for 3 long years. Wrestling is a game of strength and endurance and these values are perfectly resonated by Tata Yodha vehicle. This is an ideal association as both represent dynamism, being reliable, robust, and rugged with the potential, zeal and exemplary performance to overcome all obstacles and succeed at the highest level consistently. Together, we hope to scale new heights and create more visibility for wrestling as a sport and help young individuals achieve their sporting ambitions.”

The Beijing and London Olympics medallist, Sushil Kumar, attributed the constant success of wrestlers as the reason for this ‘wonderful, long-standing’ alliance. “WFI and Tata Motors joining hands to promote the sport in the best way possible should be an eye-opener for all of us. Why I am saying this is because if you perform consistently and win medals sponsorships will automatically follow. WFI has set a very good example and I am happy for fellow wrestlers,” said Sushil.

On her part, Sakshi Malik, the London Olympic Games bronze medallist, echoed her views. “I am happy with the adulation the sport has received ever since 2008 Beijing Olympics; as we have been successfully winning medals in three consecutive Olympics. Women wrestlers, too, are doing a fine job and proving their worth. Sponsors like Tata Motors supporting wrestling is the best thing that can happen to WFI. I am immensely pleased,” she said.

The Tata Yodha  will be present at all the WFI events – National Championships, Indian Open, Junior Nationals, World Championships, Commonwealth Games, World Cup, Grand Prix, Asian Games, and Asian Championships, for the next 3 years. Additionally, Tata Motors will have licensing rights to support the players for Asian Games, Commonwealth and Olympics and felicitate the team upon its return.

Tata Motors is extensively dedicated to the ‘Sportification of India’. The company’s philosophy and commitment is to act as a catalyst to promote sports, encourage and develop young and rising sporting talent enabling them to achieve their aspirations. The company has constantly been associated with various sports such as cricket (IPL), Kabaddi (UP Yodha) and Football (Jamshedpur FC).

 

Qualification system published for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Press Release

With exactly two years to go until the athletics action gets underway in the Japanese capital, the IAAF has published the qualification system for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The qualification system was approved at the IAAF Council meeting in Buenos Aires last week and includes details of the entry numbers for each discipline and the qualification timeline.

For the 10,000m, marathon, race walks, combined events and relays, the qualification period runs from 1 January 2019 to 29 June 2020. For all other events, the qualification period runs from 1 July 2019 to 29 June 2020.

Athletes can qualify in one of two ways:

– By virtue of their IAAF world ranking position at the end of the qualification period.
– Achieving the entry standard within the qualification period.

Entry standards will be approved and published later this year, but will be set for the sole purpose of qualifying athletes with exceptional performances unable to qualify through the IAAF world rankings pathway.

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will open on 24 July with the athletics programme starting on 31 July.

Earlier this month, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board approved the competition schedule for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, outlining the start and finish times of each session. The more detailed competition schedule, identifying the individual times of specific events, will be announced by the spring of 2019.

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) also recently announced an outline of ticket prices for the Games. There are a wide range of prices aimed at allowing as many people as possible to enjoy Olympic events, including millions of tickets at affordable prices, with half of all tickets priced at JPY 8,000 or less. Fans will be able to apply for tickets from the spring of 2019.

IAAF

 

India beat Italy 3-0 to enter quarter-finals of Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018

– Lalremsiami (9’), Neha Goyal (45’) and Vandana Katariya (55’) scored in India’s 3-0 victory over Italy in their cross-over match
– India will face Ireland in the Quarter-Final on Thursday

LONDON – Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup
Italy – India (cross-over match)
Photo: India celebrate the 0-2.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS FRANK UIJLENBROEK

London (England), 31 July 2018: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team registered an emphatic 3-0 victory over Italy in their cross-over match to progress to the Quarter-Finals of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 here at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Tuesday. The Indian team produced a good all-round display and were helped by goals from Lalremsiami (9’), Neha Goyal (45’) and Vandana Katariya (55’).

The match started with Italy seeing possession for the first couple of minutes, but India slowly got into their rhythm and kept the ball for the next few minutes. Both the teams looked to play with a slow tempo during the first period but the Asian Champions created a glorious opportunity in the 9th minute as Navjot Kaur won the first Penalty Corner of the match. The resulting flick was taken by Gurjit Kaur and her fierce strike was deflected away by the first rusher. India took their long corner quickly, managing to exploit the space in the Italian striking circle, and young striker Lalremsiami benefitted from it as she produced a calm finish from the left side of the goal to give India the lead after 9 minutes. India looked fairly comfortable in the remaining few minutes and ended the first quarter with a one goal lead as Italy failed to stitch together passes.

The early stages of the second quarter saw India’s Captain Rani create an early chance in the 17th minute as she ran by the left baseline, passing the ball inside which was eventually cleared by Italian Goalkeeper Martina Chirico. The Italian Goalkeeper was called into action againtwo minutes later as Udita found herself in the striking circle, clear of all Italian defenders, but Chirico got to the ball first to clear away the danger. The World No. 10 Indian team seemed content to invite the Italians inside their half, and looked to attack them on the counter, hoping to catch their opponents off guard. On the other hand, Italy also had chances to go forward, but failed to deliver inside the striking circle, giving away free hits too often as India took their lead into the half-time break.

India looked to extend their lead in the third quarter and had a great chance in the 34th minute when Navneet Kaur found herself in possession with her back towards the goal. The young forward turned and deceived the Italian Goalkeeper but just missed the target as she placed the ball wide of the goal-post. India won their second PC in the 35th minute as Rani’s pass hit an Italian foot, but the experienced Deepika flicked the ball wide of the Italian goal. India dominated possession for the next few minutes, and won themselves their third PC in the 42nd minute through clever play from Monika, but Rani’s flick was stopped by the first rusher. India continued to dominate the match, and won themselves a fourth PC at the stroke of the hooter. The resulting flick was struck by Reena Khokhar, the shot deflecting off an Italian defender and clumsily getting trapped under the Goalkeeper. The Indian attackers looked to put the ball into the back of net and it was Neha Goyal who got the final touch to extend India’s advantage.

Italy had a chance to make a comeback into the match in the 48th minute as they were awarded their first PC of the match, but Agata Wybieralska’s shot was well saved by Savita. On the other hand, India looked to secure the victory with a third goal but failed to get their shots away even though they made a host of circle entries. Italy also tried to create chances for themselves, but India’s resolute defence made sure that the World No. 17 team did not have a way back into the match. India won back-to-back PCs in the 54th and 55th minutes which saw them score their third goal at the second instance as Gurjit Kaur’s fierce low flick towards the right side of goalkeeper was cleverly deflected the other way by Vandana Katariya to make the scores 3-0 in India’s favour. India turned on the heat in the closing stages of the match and Navjot Kaur had the chance to score the fourth goal in the 56th minute as she found herself clear in the circle, but her shot was saved by Chirico. India managed the final few minutes well and paved their way through to the Quarter-Finals with a 3-0 win over Italy.

The Indian Women’s Hockey team will play Ireland in their Quarter-Final match on Thursday, 2nd August 2018 at 20.15hrs local time [00.45hrs IST on 3rd August 2018].

 

Indian Women’s Hockey Team to take on Italy in ‘Crucial’ Crossover Match

Captain Rani insists Team needs to take into count Italy’s good show in the Pool Stage and ensure they play their ‘A’ Game to book a place in the Quarter Final

LONDON – Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup
India – USA
Photo: Rani.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS RODRIGO JARAMILLO

London (England), 30 July 2018: Ahead of a ‘Crucial’ Crossover Match against Italy on Tuesday at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, the Indian Women’s Team Captain Rani has insisted her team needs to focus on bringing their ‘A’ Game if they want to see themselves play the Quarter Final. “We need to just focus on ourselves, build on our strength and ensure we use our positive points in the match against Italy. There is no doubt we need to go all-out in this crucial crossover match if we want to see ourselves in the Quarter Final,” stated the ace striker whose goal against USA helped the team draw the match 1-1 and split the points that ensured the team reached the Crossovers Stage by finishing third in Pool B.

Speaking about the Team’s performance against USA on Sunday, Rani said, “Ahead of the match against USA, when we had the team meeting, we discussed how this is our do-or-die match and though we all knew a draw would be enough, we wanted to go for the win. I think that ‘hunger to win’ attitude helped us on Sunday. During our training sessions we play a lot of games, or involve in match-situations where we are under pressure and work on how we can play without taking outside pressure of a packed stadium. We enter a match with the attitude that if we play a good match then the crowds will support us and that we must fight for the ball. I am proud of how the team played against USA and now we need to once again do everything we can to win against Italy.”

With Italy’s good show in the Pool Stage where they beat China 3-0 in the first match and ensured 1-0 win against Asian Champions Trophy winners Korea in their second match but lost 1-12 to the Netherlands in the third match, Rani feels her team must take Italy as a serious contender and draw inspiration from their victory at the 2015 Hockey World League Semi-final Tournament where they had beaten the Italian Team in a shootout. “Italy is a good team and they have enjoyed good wins in this tournament too. But we need to go into the match with the self-belief that we can beat them and we must draw inspiration from the 2015 Hockey World League Semi-final Tournament where we beat them in a thrilling shootout,” Rani asserted.

On 31 July 2018, India will take on Italy in the Crossovers Match at 22.30 IST.

Please find attached the tournament schedule and photos from the match.

All matches will be shown live on Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD 2 and Hotstar and DD Sports (Only India matches).

 

Keenan Almeida signs with FC Pune City

Pune, 30th July 2018: The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood star Arjun Kapoor co-owned Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City today announced signing of Keenan Almeida to solidify their squad’s defensive line-up for the 2018-19 season.

Speaking on signing Almeida, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Keenan is a very good player and will bring much needed versatility to our back line. He has a title-winning run under his belt with his previous club, which means he comes with the right mentality which matters a lot too.”

Almeida began his professional career in Goa playing for Salgaocar, Sporting Clube De Goa playing before joining FC Goa in 2015 for Indian Super League. After spending two seasons with the Gaurs, Almeida was picked by Chennaiyin FC in the 2017-18 ISL draft.

Excited to join FC Pune City, Almeida said, “The club approached with a definite plan for me, something that I could immediately connect with. Getting good playing time is crucial for any player and that’s what I will be looking forward to with FC Pune City.”

About FC Pune City:

FC Pune City is an Indian Super League football team based out of Pune, Maharashtra. The club is co-owned by The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor. The club was founded in 2014 and its home ground is the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune. The club is committed to making a difference not just at the senior level but also at the grassroots level of football in India.

 

India qualifies for knockout stages of Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018

Captain Rani’s 31st minute goal secured India a 1-1 draw against USA after Margaux Paolino (11’) had given her team the lead

LONDON – Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup
India – USA
Photo: Rani.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS RODRIGO JARAMILLO

London (England), 29 July 2018: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team qualified for the next stage of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 as they played out a hard fought 1-1 draw against World No.7 USA in their third Pool B match here at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Sunday. The Indian team displayed great character and a solid defensive structure throughout the match to earn the draw as Captain Rani (31’) cancelled out Margaux Paolino’s 11th minute goal.

India started the match on the front foot as they showed some quick passing, but had a scare in the 4th minute when their Captain Rani was forced off with a twisted ankle. The World No. 10 team won their first PC of the match in the 7th minute, but Gurjit Kaur’s flick was saved by USA’s Goalkeeper Jackie Briggs. India dominated possession and pressed the Americans but the 11th minute saw USA take the lead as Indian Goalkeeper Savita was called into action when Erin Matson’s shot was saved by the shotstopper, however the rebound was put into the back of the net through Savita’s legs by Margaux Paolino. India looked for an equaliser and were threatening the USA defence with some good build-up play; winning their 2nd PC in the 14th minute, however the resulting drag-flick taken by Gurjit was saved by Briggs. India won another PC through striker Navneet Kaur with 32 seconds to go in the first quarter, but Gurjit Kaur’s flick went just wide of the target as USA ended the period with a 1-0 lead.

The second quarter saw India have a chance in the early stages but Rani’s shot was intercepted by an American defender. In the 18th minute, USA won their first PC of the match but the flick was well saved by Savita. India won their fourth PC in the 19th minute, but Rani’s fierce flick down the middle was deflected away by Briggs. India maintained their attacking flair throughout the second quarter and made sure that they defended their lines well, making well-timed tackles. In the 28th minute, USA were dubiously awarded a PC which saw India lose their referral. The resulting dragflick was hit wide and with 44 seconds to the half-time break, USA won another PC which was saved by Savita with her legs as USA maintained their one goal advantage.

The beginning of the third quarter saw India win a PC in the 31st minute as Rani flicked the ball onto Michelle Vittese’s foot inside the striking circle. It was the Captain herself who struck the resulting flick and brought India back into the match as her crisp strike flying into the back of the net even though Briggs got her right hand to it. India displayed a great defensive structure throughout the third quarter as they denied the USA any opportunity to create chances. In the 43rd minute, India’s Sunita Lakra made a crunching tackle in her own striking circle to deny Michelle Vittese a shot as Savita cleared the ball.

India started the fourth quarter on the front foot and had the opportunity to take the lead as they won their sixth PC in the 47th minute, but the resulting flick by Gurjit Kaur was saved by Briggs on her right side. The 50th minute saw Udita create a good opportunity for herself as she took a shot on the reverse, but the shot was deflected off a USA stick for a long corner. India created constant pressure on the World No. 7 USA team and the next few minutes saw India produce a good defensive performance as their opponents tried to create chances. With just a couple of minutes left on the clock, the Indian team looked determined to keep the draw intact as it would be enough to take them through to the crossover match. USA took a shot in the striking circle with just four seconds to go, which was defended well by the Indian team to make sure that the match ended as a draw.

India’s Captain Rani spoke after the match, “I think both the teams fought well throughout the match, USA had their chances, and I am proud of our team that we defended well throughout the match. We knew we had to take our chances against this strong USA team, and we made sure that we earned this draw which keeps us in the competition.”

The Indian Women’s Hockey team will play a Crossover match depending on the result of the match between Ireland and England.

 

Rani Rampal led Indian Hockey squad takes inspiration from 5 Decades 50 Pictures, photo exhibition at London

Exhibits to be donated to The Hockey Museum, London

29th July 2018, London: Ahead of Hockey World Cup’s India Vs U.S.A. crucial match, Indian Hockey Captain, Rani Rampal, visits 5 Decades 50 Pictures, a unique photo exhibition at the Fan Central, Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre, and takes inspiration from the past 50 years of Indian Hockey legends donning the Indian jersey.

While gazing at the Indian Hockey Women’s achievements, Indian skipper Rani Rampal added, “Legacy of former great players inspires & educate at the same time. Winning exploits of  former legends donning the Indian jersey encourages us to perform at par.”

5 Decades 50 Pictures is a unique photographic journey of Indian Hockey Women’s past 50 years curated by Sunil Yash Kalra and organized in association with the Hockey Museum and Kuldeep Ahlawat. The exhibition was inaugurated by India’s first woman World Cup captain Ajinder Kaur. Acclaimed boxer and CWG Gold Medalist, Manoj Kumar was also present on the occasion.

Overwhelmed on the historic initiative, Ajinder Kaur, India’s first woman World Cup Captain (1974) echoed, ‘. The exhibition has beautifully capitulated glimpses of 5 decades. I am thankful to the organizer, The Hockey Museum &  Kuldeep Ahlawat and the curator Sunil Yash Kalra for inviting me at this historic moment. With this, I wish the Indian team all the very best for their matches.”

While CWG Gold Medalist, boxer Manoj Kumar added, “This is a great initiative to bring forth the achievements of Women’s Hockey. I wish all the best to the current squad”.

5 Decades, 50 Pictures is the brainchild of sports historian and curator Sunil Yash Kalra. The exhibition is weaved with the motive to sprinkle lights on the golden period of Indian Womens’ Hockey and to boost confidence for the Rani Rampal led Indian squad for their upcoming matches at the World Cup ground.

Delighted to receive the collection on the chronicle of Indian Women’s Hockey, Mike Smith from the Hockey Museum said, “It’s an honor for us to represent the Indian history that has a very rich past on the occasion of Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup and I am very thankful to the curator Sunil Yash Kalra for the collection. It will enrich our hockey collection further”. While the organizer Kuldeep Ahlawat added, “this is a unique step that we have taken forth to keep up the spirit of Indian sports. We will keep doing more such events on international grounds”.

The Exhibition begins with elaborative glimpses from the 1974 World Cup under the captaincy of legendary player Ajinder Kaur and then continuing to yester years of victory, sorrow, sound and glory focusing on the 1978 World Cup, 1982 Asian Games and brilliantly cocooned glimpses of 1985, 1987, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2005. The exhibition has very closely weaved  perfect memento for the former Champions of Hockey  with captures of legendary players Eliza Nelson, Rajbir Kaur, Surajlata Devi, Mamata Kharab along with many other players who left no stone unturned. The Exhibition has also saluted the Coaches and Captains of past 50 years with dedicated columns mounted on the photographic journey. In its first, the exhibition has also displayed the family tree of Hokey Wizard Major Dhyan Chand.

 

FC Goa Launch Women’s Team

Panjim, Goa, 28th July 2018: FC Goa today announced the launch of their official Women’s team. The Gaurs become only the second ISL club, after FC Pune City, to field a women’s team. The club will take part in the 2nd edition of the Vedanta Goa Women’s Football League and were part of the draft that took place at the Goa Football Association office in Panjim on 25th July.

“I am extremely happy that the club is focused towards developing football for men and women in Goa”, said Technical Director, Derrick Pereira. “The women’s team will be built in the same image and with the same principles as the men’s team. The club will work extremely hard towards developing and producing talented women footballers and hope to emulate the successful women that represented the national team from Goa in the 1970’s.”

The club has been focused towards promoting the sport for women, and men along with their sister ogranisation, the Forca Goa Foundation conducted an under 12 junior girls league last season in which 19 schools participated. The winners of the league were felicitated by club co-owner, Virat Kohli during half time at one of FC Goa’s matches.

The tournament is slated to begin on 14th August with eight teams expected to participate.  Grassroots coach, Naresh Virnodkar has been handed the role as coach of the team as training for the league has begun at the Chowgule Sports Centre in Margao.

The Squad:

Goalkeepers: Josline Dsouza, Crisma Javaji
Defenders: Rhea Pires, Sneha Fernandes, Cifa Lima, Laveena Pires, Samartha Shirodkar, Seema Fernandes, Dezmina D’Costa
Midfielders: Velanie Ferandes, Jeroine Colaco, Chetna Tirodker, Joyvi Fernandes, Jolinda Ferrao, Jesma Baptista, Alisha Tavares, Chelsea Fernandes, Alicia Fernandes
Forwards: Namita Govekar, Ashriya Rodrigues

 

IAAF council makes key decisions in Buenos Aires

Press Release

Following the endorsement of Nairobi as the host of the 2020 IAAF World U20 Championships at its meeting in Buenos Aires yesterday, the IAAF Council has made a number of other key decisions on subjects including the new host city bidding rules, Transfer of Allegiance, the anti-doping obligations of member federations and the Russian Taskforce.

These are detailed below.

2023 IAAF World Championships bidding process

Under the new bidding rules, the Council was informed of the discussions with European Cities and approved the recommendation that Budapest be declared the preferred European city to host the IAAF World Championships in 2023.

The process now is for a full technical, financial and risk evaluation to be undertaken with the results presented to the Council in December. At that stage a final decision will be made.

Transfer of Allegiance

The IAAF Council agreed to reinstate Transfer of Allegiance under new rules, with immediate effect.

In February last year, the Council froze the Transfer of Allegiance rule so it had time to develop a solution to the growing problem of athlete trafficking.

The new rules, which will be sent to Member Federations in the next few days and posted on the IAAF website, enshrine the following key principles that were approved by Council in March.

– a minimum three-year waiting period before an athlete may transfer to represent another Member;
– establishment of a review panel to make determinations on the credibility of applications;
– the provision of evidence that countries are offering full citizenship and associated rights;
– the provision that an athlete can transfer only once; and
– that no transfers take place before the age of 20.

As there are Area Championships approaching in the next few weeks, the Transfer of Allegiance Review Panel will endeavour to process those that have been held in the system as quickly as possible.

Athletes and Member Federations will be required to complete new paperwork and sign a declaration before their case is reviewed by the panel. No athlete is able to confirm they have transferred to another territory or country until the review panel has made a final decision.

Anti-Doping

The IAAF Council has approved new regulations which will spell out the obligations of its member federations in the fight against doping.

Previously, the obligations under the anti-doping code were focused primarily on individuals rather than member federations. The Athletics Integrity Unit recommended the new regulations to the IAAF as a crucial step in protecting the integrity of the sport.

The IAAF will divide member federations into three different categories which will have different obligations based on their level of success in athletics and the risk of doping.

The current watch list of four member federations (Kenya, Ethiopia, Belarus, Ukraine) will be folded into Category A, which will include those member federations most at risk of doping. The national team athletes from these federations will have to undergo at least three out-of-competition doping tests in the ten months before a world championships or Olympic Games.

Category B will include the other federations who are competitive at international level.

Category C will include federations with very few international-level athletes.

Category A and B federations will be required to ensure athlete drug-testing plans are submitted to the IAAF before each world championships or Olympic Games.

Under this system, the AIU will have responsibility for monitoring and reporting breaches, but the IAAF Council will determine any sanctions.

Russian Taskforce

The Council noted significant progress by the Russian Federation in meeting the outstanding requirements, and in some cases going above and beyond what was required, but has decided that the Russian federation’s suspension will remain in force until its next meeting in December.

Chair of the Russia Taskforce, Rune Andersen, outlined in his report [link] to Council the three main requirements still outstanding:

– Payment of the costs incurred by the IAAF as a result of the Russian crisis, including the costs of the Taskforce and the costs of the various CAS cases. RusAF has made a written commitment to pay all of those costs once they are finalised.

– Reinstatement of RUSADA by WADA, which depends upon:

– The Russian authorities acknowledging the findings of the McLaren and Schmid Commissions that officials from the Russian Ministry of Sport orchestrated the doping conspiracy and cover-up described in their reports; and

– The Russian authorities providing access to the data from testing of samples at the Moscow lab from 2011 to 2015, so that the IAAF and other sports concerned can determine whether the suspicious findings reported in the Moscow lab’s LIMS database should or should not be pursued as adverse analytical findings.

The Taskforce explained that it understood WADA was communicating with the Russian authorities to try to resolve these points before the meeting of the WADA ExCo in September 2018, where it hopes there will be a breakthrough.

If these points are resolved before the Council’s next meeting, in Monaco in December 2018, then the Taskforce would hope and expect to be able to recommend that RusAF be provisionally reinstated at that time. If not, if those points remain unresolved, then the Taskforce will not be able to make that recommendation but instead would have to consider other options.

Diamond League, Calendar, Kit and Athlete Representatives

The Council also received progress reports on the new world ranking system, which it intends to introduce next year; the re-structuring of the global calendar to allow clear periods for our road racing and indoor and outdoor seasons, ending with the world championships; and plans to revamp the Diamond League which the Council agreed was vital to the sport remaining relevant to athletes and fans.

Commenting on the 214th IAAF Council Meeting, President Sebastian Coe said: “This has been a busy two days with a number of important decisions taken. However as always on these occasions we were also able to discuss some of the issues that cause concerns with athletes and fans.

“We discussed the need to address the issue of large numbers of athletes at the Diamond League wearing identical kit, which causes confusion for spectators and broadcasters. This has to change and a group has been set up to drive this change.

“We also discussed the need to amend and improve governance and control of Athlete Representatives to better protect and support athletes. We must hold Athlete Representatives to the same rigor and governance that we hold athletes and ourselves. The current regulations will be reviewed with new more centrally controlled regulations presented to the next Council meeting in December.”

The Council also agreed that Authorised Neutral Athletes may be selected by European Athletics to be part of their team for the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava in September given performances at the European Championships in Berlin will be used to select the team.

IAAF

 

IAAF approves the application of two Russian athletes to compete internationally as neutral athletes

The IAAF Doping Review Board has agreed that the applications of two Russian athletes have met the exceptional eligibility criteria to compete in international competition as neutral athletes in 2018 under competition Rule 22.1A(b) while the Russian national federation (RusAF) remains suspended.

In December 2017, the IAAF issued a simplified application process for 2017 Authorised Neutral Athletes to reapply for continued eligibility to compete in international competitions in 2018.

Since publication of the simplified application and updated guidelines under Rule 22.1A(b) in December, the IAAF has received more than 200 applications from Russian athletes.

A total of 74 Russian athletes have so far been declared eligible to compete as Authorised Neutral Athletes in 2018. 68 applications have been denied and 5 athletes have had their ANA status revoked. A number of further applications have been withdrawn or were submitted out of time.

The Doping Review Board is composed of Robert Hersh (chair), Sylvia Barlag and Antti Pihlakoski.

As this is an ongoing process, the IAAF will only make announcements as and when decisions are made by the Doping Review Board concerning successful applications and those athletes have been informed.

2018 Authorised Neutral Athletes

Date of announcement and athlete/event:

27 July 2018: Yegor Nikolayev (1,500m), Aleksandr Skorobogatko (400m)

13 July 2018: Rinas Akhmadeev (10,000m/half marathon), Artem Alekseev (marathon), Artem Denmukhametov (400m), Denis Lukyanov (hammer throw), Elizaveta Tsareva (hammer throw)

3 July 2018: Mariya Aglitskaya (100m hurdles), Timofey Chalyy (400m hurdles), Georgiy Gorokhov (pole vault), Ilya Ivanyuk (high jump), Timur Morgunov (pole vault), Vera Rudakova (400m hurdles), Yevgeniy Rybakov (distances), Fyodor Shutov (distances)

22 June 2018: IAAF World U20 Championships and European U18 Championships: Oleg Braiko (jumps), Viktoriya Gorlova (long jump), Maria Kochanova (high jump), Elena Kulichenko (high jump)

22 June 2018: IAAF World U20 Championships: Diana Adasko (triple jump), Elizaveta Bondarenko (pole vault), Ilya Dolbin (pole vault), Aleksei Fadeev (high jump), Aksana Gatauillina (pole vault), Elizaveta Kamenets (combined events), Stepan Kekin (combined events), Aleksei Kislitsa (discus), Polina Knoroz (pole vault), Polina Miller (sprints), Nikolay Orlov (javelin), Alina Sharkova (400m hurdles), Anastasiia Shkuratova (hammer), Olga Viktorova (400m hurdles), Valentina Ulianova (high jump)

22 June 2018: European U18 Championships: Dzhennifer Akiniimika (sprints), Irina Boldyreva (sprint hurdles), Valeria Chehovich (400m hurdles), Arseniy Elfimov (combined events), Violetta Ignateva (throws), Dmitriy Kachanov (pole vault), Adelina Khalikova (high jump), Alexander Komarov (combined events), Vilena Komarova (combined events), Sergey Kozlov (discus), Iana Melnikova (discus), Maria Privalova (jumps), Olesia Soldatova (400m), Anastasiia Zui (400m hurdles), Sergey Zverev (hammer), Valeria Yakimenko (hammer)

12 April 2018: Kseniya Aksyonova (sprints), Vasiliy Mizinov (race walks), Sergey Shubenkov (sprint hurdles), Yana Smerdova (race walks)

21 February 2018: Maksim Afonin (shot put), Anna Krylova (triple jump)

2 February 2018: Ilya Shkurenev (combined events)

25 January 2018: Viktor Butenko (discus), Danila Danilov (hammer), Alexsey Fedorov (triple jump), Irina Gumenyuk (triple jump), Vyacheslav Kolesnichenko (sprints), Mariya Lasitskene (high jump), Aleksandr Lesnoy (shot put), Alyona Lutkovskaya (pole vault), Danil Lysenko (high jump), Alaina Mamina (sprints), Yuliya Maltseva (discus), Polina Miller (sprints), Ilya Mudrov (pole vault), Olga Mullina (pole vault), Sofiya Palkina (hammer), Viktoriya Prokopenko (triple jump), Anzhelika Sidorova (pole vault), Aleksei Sokyrskii (hammer)

 

Girona FC beat Melbourne City FC 6-0 in second match of Toyota Yaris LaLiga World

Cristian Manzanera scores a brace for the LaLiga side

Kochi, 27th July 2018: LaLiga side Girona FC kick started their campaign with a landslide 6-0 victory over A-League club Melbourne City FC in the second match of the Toyota Yaris LaLiga World at Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi here on Friday.

The Spanish side made their intentions clear from the word go as they went for maximum possession on the ball. The pair of Juan Lopez and Bernardo Zuniga made it tough for Melbourne City FC forwards cancelling out all threats posed by the A-League side forwards.

This led to a poor pass intercepted by Girona as Christian Portugues found some space in the right to deftly put it into the bottom right corner in 11th minute helping his club score their first goal of the match. Six minutes later, Portugues’ deft touch beat the experienced Eugene Galekovic again as Girona doubled their lead.

Girona FC’s pressing play put pressure on Melbourne club as the 24th minute saw striker Antony Lozano tap in a missed cross by goalkeeper to put Girona in a comfortable 3-0 lead. Melbourne City FC had no answers to the constant forays of Girona in the 18 yard box.

The first real chance for Melbourne came in the 43rd minute of the match as forward Bruno Fornaroli was one on one with the Girona goalkeeper but failed to convert the goal scoring opportunity as he hit the ball wide off the goal. The first half ended with a scoreline of 3-0 to the Spanish outfit.

The second half was no different, as Girona continued with their strategy of high pressing. Melbourne City FC looked a little rusty on the ball as their strategy of high balls was comfortably kept at bay by the Girona defenders.

It was business as usual again as Girona scored their fourth goal in the 51st minute through a set piece, Aleix Serrano curled in the perfect ball as Juan Pedro Lopez placed in a thumping header, typical of a centre-back. The one aspect of Girona’s game that was truly spectacular was their ability to switch wings.

Girona FC winger Yhoan Many who was magical in the flanks through the evening, finally scored a goal in the 69th minute of the match. His run collided with the goalkeeper but he managed to put the ball past the Galekovic as the scoreboard read 5-0. The lightning pace of Yhoan kept posing a constant threat to Australian side as he hit the post on the 74thminute, making it five shots on target for him in the match.

To add to Melbourne City FC’s woes forward Pedro Porro he headed the sixth goal of the match for Girona in added time as the final scoreline read 6-0 in favour of the Spanish outfit.

Eusebio Sacritsan, manager Girona Fc who was ecstatic after the team victory said “I think Aleix played brilliantly today, he is a core member of the squad and he will definitely feature a lot more in the upcoming season. We are really happy to play in this tournament and the support for our game today was fantastic to see, We shall have added pressure from the crowd tomorrow as we play against the home crowd. I don’t think we will make many changes for tomorrow, we want to give as much opportunity to all our players and form the right combination to our squad before the season starts.”

“Our players had injuries, the Centre backs had niggles and four inexperienced players had to start the game. We gave  a few easy goals and made a lot of mistakes, but its pre-season and we know what areas we have to work on” signed off Warren Joyce, the Melbourne City FC Coach before taking his flight back to Australia .

 Toyota Yaris LaLiga World match schedule

July 24, 2018 – Kerala Blasters FC vs Melbourne City FC
July 27, 2018 – Girona FC vs Melbourne City FC
July 28, 2018 – Kerala Blasters FC vs Girona FC

About Toyota Yaris LaLiga World

The Toyota Yaris LaLiga World is India’s first international pre-season football tournament with A League team Melbourne City FC, LaLiga club Girona FC and Indian Super League team Kerala Blasters FC participating in this edition. With an aim to create a calendar event, the tournament will celebrate the growing love and passion for the game in the country and provide top-notch football action to Indian fans. Toyota Yaris LaLiga World will be held in Kochi from July 24-28, 2018 and matches will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi.

 

Nairobi to host World U20 Championships in 2020

Buenos Aires (26 July): The IAAF is delighted to announced that Nairobi in Kenya has been selected as the host city of the 2020 IAAF World Athletics U20 Championships.

Nairobi’s candidacy was formally endorsed by the IAAF Council in Buenos Aires today.

By hosting an outstanding final edition of the IAAF World U18 Championships last year, Nairobi demonstrated its readiness to take the next step as a championship host.

Crowds of up to 60,000 attended the U18 Championships at Nairobi’s Moi International Sports Centre, creating an exciting atmosphere for the young athletes who had gathered from around the globe, and those attending the 2020 event can expect the same experience.

During a recent visit to the IAAF headquarters in Monaco, the Principal Secretary for Sports in Kenya, Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia, noted that 42 percent of Kenya’s population was under 15 (only 17 percent over 50) and sport was a vital component in the country’s development.

“Athletics is a very important part of our life. Everyone loves athletics in Kenya. You saw it during the world under 18 and you will see it again in 2020,” he said.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe noted the Kenyan Government’s strong support for the Nairobi bid and said it would be an ideal host for the championships.

“The U20 Championships showcases the future of our sport so Kenya, with a young and enthusiastic population and such a rich history in athletics, is a perfect fit for us,” Coe said.

“We hope that awarding these championships will further encourage the development of athletics in Kenya and all over Africa, which is such a vibrant part of our international federation.”

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Heritage, the Honourable Rashid Echesa said:

“On behalf of the Kenyan Government, I would like to say that we welcome the decision that has been reached by the IAAF top brass to settle on the Republic of Kenya to host the prestigious IAAF World U20 Championships in the year 2020. It is indeed a great honour to be considered and selected to host the event. On behalf of Kenyan Government, I assure you that we will ensure that we put our best foot forward and put the necessary plans, systems and structures in place to ensure that the event runs smoothly and successfully. We welcome the world to Kenya.”

The president of Athletics Kenya, Lt Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei said:

“The Executive Committee of AK, athletes and entire athletics fraternity are very excited to receive the good news from the IAAF that Kenya has been selected to host the WU20 in 2020. It is indeed a great honour to us all, particularly the great athletes who have significantly contributed to the development of world athletics over the years. All are welcomed back to Kenya, the home of heroes.”

The IAAF World U20 Championships Nairobi 2020 have been scheduled for July 7-12, 2020.

IAAF

 

IAAF and QNB announce new partnership

The four-year deal will see the leading financial institution in the Middle East and Africa involved in all IAAF World Athletic Series events including the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 in Doha next year

Buenos Aires (27 July): Qatar National Bank (QNB) and the IAAF are delighted to announce a new multiple-year partnership. The largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa has become the latest addition to the governing body’s esteemed roster of official partners.

As an official IAAF partner, QNB will be present and involved in all IAAF World Athletics Series events including the much anticipated IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 in Doha next year, as well as the annual Doha Diamond League meeting.

The agreement will also see QNB roll out a country-wide school engagement programme, focused on inspiring the next generation of Qataris to take up athletics and lead active healthy lifestyles. For QNB the important partnership will allow a strategic expansion of a company initiative to use sport and physical exercise as a vehicle for positive social change in the country and oversees.

Speaking on the launch of the new partnership, IAAF president Sebastian Coe said:

“As the number one global sport, bringing the emotion and excitement of athletics to new communities has always been the guiding principle of the IAAF and that’s why this announcement is so exciting. With the addition of QNB to the athletics family we now have a partner that shares our vision for the sport and has the reach to help inspire more people by sharing the stories of our talented athletes. The partnership will help us explore creative ways to make this ambition a reality, enhancing our sport at a local, regional and global level.”

For its part, QNB has expressed pride to establish a relationship with the IAAF and to support athletics. As a sport it transcends boundaries and borders, it pushes human endeavour and inspires the next generation to realize their ambitions through hard work. Next year’s championships will be a game-changing moment for the sport in Qatar and will help embed a healthy active culture within the country, both at an elite and grassroots level. Through this partnership, the Bank aims to support the IAAF to deliver an innovative, creative and exciting event that engages new fans, new athletes and new audiences and unlocks this region’s potential to host global mega events.

Qatar has been hosting international athletics events for more than 21 years, starting from the first-ever IAAF Grand Prix in 1997 (which later became the Doha Diamond League in 2010 and this year celebrated its ninth edition) and including the IAAF World Indoor Championships 2010.

About QNB

QNB Group’s presence through its subsidiaries and associate companies extends to more than 31 countries across three continents, providing a comprehensive range of advanced products and services. The total number of of employees exceeds 28,000 operating through more than 1200 locations, with an ATM network of over 4300 machines.

About the IAAF

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is the world governing and rule making body for the sports of athletics, which encompasses track and field, race walking, road, cross country, mountain, trail and ultra-running.

In 2012, the IAAF celebrated its centenary. Today boasting 214 national Member Federations, it has a global reach greater than that of the United Nations.

The IAAF World Athletics Series (WAS) is a global series of Athletics competitions. It is topped by the biennial IAAF World Championships which was created in 1983, whose ten days of competition involve 2000 athletes from more than 200 countries, 3000 media and are broadcast to over 200 territories worldwide to an accumulated global audience of 6 billion.

IAAF

 

India lose 0-1 to Ireland, Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018

Anna O’Flanagan scored the only goal of the match in the 13th minute

LONDON – Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup
India – Ireland
Photo: O’FLANAGAN Anna and Gurjit Kaur.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS RODRIGO JARAMILLO

London (England), 26 July 2018: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team were left disappointed as they lost 0-1 to Ireland in their second Pool B match of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 campaign here at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Thursday. It was a tough defeat for the Indian team as they created more chances and had more shots on goal, but the Irish showed grit and efficiency as Anna O’Flanagan scored the only goal of the match in the 13th minute.

The Indian team started the match well as they attacked the Irish team through the right flank, creating a couple of chances. The World No. 10 team won their first Penalty Corner of the competition in 4th minute through skipper Rani as she was stopped in her path by an Irish defender. However, the resulting drag-flick by Gurjit Kaur was deflected away by the first Irish rusher. Ireland started to maintain possession towards the latter stages of the first quarter and won themselves their first PC in the 12th miute as India’s Deep Grace Ekka blocked an Irish forward in her tracks. The resulting drag-flick by Deirdre Duke was deflected towards the left of Indian Goalkeeper Savita by Anna O’Flanagan to give the Irish the lead. Moments later, India were awarded their second PC in the 14th minute; but Gurjit’s drag-flick was again stopped by the first Irish rusher as the World No. 16 team took their lead into the break.

The second quarter saw the Ireland side attack their opponents again, winning back-to-back PCs in the 19th minute. Indian Goalkeeper Savita made a fine save on the second occasion after the first of the two drag-flicks was blocked by an Indian defender. It was a difficult period for the Indian team as the Irish defenders seemed happy to sit back with possession and wait to play long-balls towards their attackers. However, in the 25th minute, the Indian team were awarded their third PC after Captain Rani created space for herself in the striking circle, getting her shot away which came off an Irish foot. Gurjit Kaur’s drag-flick was deflected away for a long corner by Irish defender Hannah Matthews on the line. India had another opportunity in the next minute, but Namita Toppo’s shot from the left flank was parried away by Irish Goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran. The Indian team started to create more opportunities, but could not find an equaliser as Ireland took their one-goal advantage into the half-time break.

In the 34th minute, Vandana Katariya had a glorious opportunity to shoot off the reverse, but Ireland’s Watkins made an important tackle to clear the threat away. The next minute saw Ireland’s O’Flanagan make a darting run from the right flank but Savita’s interception made sure that the Irish did not have a shot. India won their fourth PC in the 38th minute, but Ireland’s McFerran made a diving save on her right to deny the Indian defender Gurjit. India’s constant attacking saw them win another PC in the next minute as the Irish Goalkeeper kicked the ball too high, but Gurjit’s dragflick was adjudged to be dangerous as it hit the thigh of the first rusher. In the 44th minute, the Indian team were awarded their sixth PC of the match, but to Captain Rani’s disappointment, her drag-flick was kept out by the Irish defence.

It was a crucial fourth and last quarter from India’s perspectice as they desperately required to convert their chances to stay in the competition. The starting few minutes saw India try to create opportunities, but the Irish defence led by Shirley McCay held firm to deny the Indians. In the 54th minute, Ireland had a chance to extend their lead through Nicola Evans, who found herself clear of the Indian defenders but failed to get her shot on target. On the other end of the pitch, India won their seventh PC in the 55th minute, but Ireland’s defence made sure that their opponents could not trouble their Goalkeeper. The 57th minute saw Indian Captain Rani wriggle away from the Irish defender to find herself free in the striking circle, but her shot was saved by Irish Goalkeeper McFerran to keep Ireland’s lead intact. The final few minutes of the match were managed well by the Irish team as they registered their place into the Knockout stages of the competition while India will have their task cut-out in their last Pool B match against USA.

On July 29, the Indian Women’s Hockey team will take on USA at 21.30 hours (IST).

 

Melbourne City FC to face Spanish club Girona FC in the second match of the Toyota Yaris LaLiga World

The Australian club comes into the match at the back of a clinical win against Kerala Blasters FC

Kochi, 26th July 2018: After putting up a clinical performance against the home side Kerala Blasters FC, A- League’s Melbourne City FC will be high on confidence as they take on LaLiga club Girona FC in the second match of the Toyota Yaris LaLiga World at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium here on July 27.

Melbourne City FC exhibited an attacking brand of football right from the word go and hit the back of the net almost at will registering a 6-0 win. On being asked about the team’s approach, Melbourne City head coach Warren Joyce said, “I wouldn’t say we played with any real aggression against Kerala Blasters but we certainly asked the players to put in a shift and help build their match fitness. We are focused on making sure we put the things we have worked on at training into the pitch.”

The Englishman gave playing minutes to almost every player of his squad against Kerala Blasters and felt it was the right way to prepare ahead of the upcoming A-league season.

But Melbourne City FC know Girona FC will be a different challenge altogether. After making debut in top-flight football in Spain last season, Girona FC finished a respectable 10th in the 2017-18 LaLiga season. The highlight of their season was beating European champions and LaLiga giants Real Madrid 2-1. “Girona are a strong side. LaLiga is very competitive and for them to finish 10th last year shows they have some real quality,” added the Melbourne City FC manager.

Girona FC will be looking at these next two matches in Kochi to test their side’s readiness for yet another LaLiga season. Girona FC’s skipper Aleix Garcia Serrano said, “Both Melbourne City  and Kerala Blasters FC are good teams, Melbourne had a great first game and will be high on confidence. It will be an interesting match and we have to be at our best to beat them.”

Toyota Yaris LaLiga World match schedule

July 24, 2018 – Kerala Blasters FC 0 – Melbourne City FC 6

July 27, 2018 – Girona FC vs Melbourne City FC

July 28, 2018 – Kerala Blasters FC vs Girona FC

About Toyota Yaris LaLiga World

The Toyota Yaris LaLiga World is India’s first international pre-season football tournament with A League team Melbourne City FC, LaLiga club Girona FC and Indian Super League team Kerala Blasters FC participating in this edition. With an aim to create a calendar event, the tournament will celebrate the growing love and passion for the game in the country and provide top-notch football action to Indian fans. Toyota Yaris LaLiga World will be held in Kochi from July 24-28, 2018 and matches will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi.

For tickets, visit https://insider.in/toyota-yaris-laliga-world/

 

 

Inaugural Jr. NBA World Championship, around 300 youth players from 35 countries to be seen in action  on Aug 7-12 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney

Dwyane Wade, Andre Drummond, Vince Carter, Brook Lopez, Grant Hill, Tamika Catchings Among NBA and WNBA Stars to Participate in Weeklong Schedule of On- and Off-Court Activities

New York, July 26, 2018: The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced the rosters of the 32 teams that will compete at the Jr. NBA World Championship, a first-of-its kind global youth basketball tournament for the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world.  The competition will take place Aug. 7-12 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.

Three-time NBA Champion and Jr. NBA World Championship Global Ambassador Dwyane Wade, 2018 NBA All-Star Andre Drummond, eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter, Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez, 2018 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Grant Hill and WNBA Legends Tamika Catchings, Swin Cash and Jennifer Azzi will join the 317 boys and girls from 35 countries at the first Jr. NBA World Championship.

FOX Sports will air 16 games throughout the week, totaling 20 hours of programming across FS1 and FOX.

The inaugural event will bring together the top 32 boys and girls teams (16 U.S. and 16 international) that advanced from regional competitions earlier this year.  The 16 international teams (eight boys and eight girls teams) represent Africa & Middle East, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe, India, Mexico and South America. The following 16 U.S. teams won newly created regional tournaments to advance to Orlando:

“After several months of highly competitive regional competitions around the world, we are excited to bring together a field of 32 teams that not only excel on the court, but also represent the Jr. NBA’s core values of teamwork, respect, determination and community,” said Kathy Behrens, NBA President, Social Responsibility and Player Programs.  “We are looking forward to an exciting week of on- and off-court activities that will provide these young players with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

“The Jr. NBA World Championship is more than a basketball competition; it’s a global stage for some of the top youth players from around the world to showcase their talent, have fun and learn from one another,” said Wade.  “I am excited to watch these young stars leave it all on the court and compete for the first Jr. NBA World Championship title.”

Five of the teams have ties to NBA and WNBA players: three-time WNBA Champion and WNBA all-time leading scorer Diana Taurasi (West; Girls), four-time WNBA All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith (Midwest; Girls), three-time NBA Champion Draymond Green (Midwest; Boys), 2017-18 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons (Asia Pacific; Girls) and NBA guard Shelvin Mack (Southeast; Boys).

The Jr. NBA World Championship will feature boys and girls divisions, separated into U.S. and international brackets that begin with round-robin play and continue with single-eliminations competition. The winners of the U.S. and international brackets will play in the World Championship games on Aug. 12.

All games will be officiated by representatives from the NBA’s Referee Development Program, which provides rising professionals and former players with the skills necessary to pursue a career as a referee in the NBA, WNBA or NBA G League.

During the weeklong event, all 32 teams will participate in activities designed to reinforce the Jr. NBA’s core values and provide the players with development opportunities and memorable experiences off the court.  Drummond and Azzi will welcome the teams in an opening ceremony on Aug. 5, followed by a celebratory parade at Magic Kingdom Park.

From Aug. 6-8, each player will participate in three life skills sessions as part of the event’s Developing the Total Athlete Series led by NBA and Kaiser Permanente Total Health medical professionals and supported by NBA and WNBA talent, covering the total health spectrum of mind, body and spirit in a culturally inclusive environment.  In partnership with KaBOOM!, the Jr. NBA World Championship Day of Service on Aug. 9 will feature all 32 teams giving back to the local community by collectively building a new playground for community youth at the nearby Oak Street Park.  Additionally, Gatorade will host a health and wellness session through the Gatorade Sports Science Institute which will educate participants on hydration measures and provide custom fueling recommendations for each athlete.

Click here for full rosters of all 32 teams.  More information about the Jr. NBA World Championship can be found at jrnba.com/worldchampionship.

About the Jr. NBA

The Jr. NBA presented by Under Armour is the league’s youth basketball participation program that provides a fun environment for kids to learn the fundamentals and values of the game.  The Jr. NBA is focused on helping grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents, and offers a free curriculum covering all levels of the game that includes 48 practice plans and more than 250 instructional videos featuring NBA and WNBA players.  The Jr. NBA World Championship, a first-of-its kind global youth basketball tournament for the top 14U boys and girls teams from around the world, will take place in August 2018.

In partnership with USA Basketball, the NBA developed two sets of youth basketball guidelines which promote player health and wellness and age-appropriate rules and standards.  Through a network of affiliated youth basketball organizations and programs such as the Jr. NBA Skills Challenge presented by Verizon and 3v3 Leagues presented by Shock Doctor, the Jr. NBA program has reached more than five million youth ages 6-14 in the U.S. and Canada since launching its expanded efforts in October 2015.  The Jr. NBA partnership network is comprised of youth basketball programs of all NBA, WNBA and NBA G League teams as well as elementary and middle schools, military bases and longstanding community partners.  For more information and to register for the Jr. NBA, visit www.JrNBA.comor download the Jr. NBA app.

Contact:

Mark Pozin, NBA Communications, (212) 407-8828, mpozin@nba.com

India Girls Roster                                              India Boys Roster

1

Vedaa Anand

2

Shreya Ashok

3

Nuha Asif Masood

4

Shreya Bose

5

Sunishka Karnik

6

Diya Kothari

7

Meghana Manjunatha

8

Moumita Mishra

9

Hamsa Nanjudaiah

10

Smriti Vemula

Coach

Prasanna Venkatesh

Asst. Coach

Sonal Nambiar

1

Sehajbir Singh Bedi

2

Bhavik Garg

3

Jeevanshu Khatri

4

Nikhil Kumar

5

Dinesh Pal

6

Yatish Sakhuja

7

Abhishek Singh

8

Arpit Singla

9

Laivish Vats

10

Sachin Yadav

Coach

Siddharth Dalal

Asst.Coach

Devojyoti Karmarkar





Top contenders close gap

The top contenders breathing fire down each other’s neck at the ISUZU RFC India 2018, Day 5 of the week-long event saw the points-gap getting even narrower. At the time of the announcement of provisional results for Special Stages (SS) 18 to 21, veteran rallyist Jagat Nanjappa (co-driver Chetan Changappa) of Coorg retained his position at the top of the leaderboard with 1614 points out of 2100. This feat included being the top performer in two of the four stages for the day, thereby securing a straight 100 points in both the stages.

Defending RFC India Champion Gurmeet Virdi (co-driver Kirpal Singh Tung) from Chandigarh, who secured the second spot in the competition for the first time yesterday, also held on to his position in the points table with 1490 points. Malaysian driver Mervyn Lim (co-driver Alex Tan), who is driving for Team G.O.A. Fairmont, climbed one spot up to claim the third position with 1411 points. Chandigarh’s Sanbir Singh Dhaliwal (co-driver Gurpartap Singh Sandhu) and RFC India debutant Chow Ujjal Namshum (co-driver Inpeng Mein) from Arunachal Pradesh ended Day 5 of India’s toughest international off-road motorsport competition at the fourth and fifth positions with 1366 and 1324 points respectively.

 

Autograph signing session with GoPro Athlete, Dale Steyn

The atrium full of enthusiastic cricket fans demonstrated their bowling speed at the GoPro cricket net for a chance to meet with their hero and to win the new GoPro HERO

Mumbai, 27th July 2018: Infiniti Mall Malad, one of the leading destinations for shopping, entertainment and food, hosted a special autograph signing event with GoPro Athlete and the World’s Number 1 fast bowler, Dale Steyn, last evening. The atrium full of enthusiastic cricket fans gathered at the venue to catch a glimpse of their cricket hero and for an opportunity to prove their bowling mettle and win a brand new GoPro HERO from no other than Dale himself!

At the main atrium of the mall, fans were seen participating at the GoPro cricket net to demonstrate their bowling skills. With each participant getting one chance to bowl, their bowling speed was recorded as they vied against one another as the fastest bowler that evening. The winner took home a brand new GoPro HERO presented by Dale Steyn himself. The GoPro HERO camera is the latest addition in the GoPro family and features a touch screen and durable, waterproof design that allows one to capture and share their adventures with all in a fun and easy manner.

Dale Willem Steyn is a South African cricketer who is known for his prowess as a fast bowler and plays in test matches, T20 internationals and one day international cricket for South Africa. He is a right-arm fast bowler and can bowl at speeds of around 145–156 km/h – his fastest being recorded at 156.2 km/h during the 2010 IPL, Bangalore Royal Challengers against Kolkata Knight Riders. Steyn is widely regarded as the best fast bowler of his generation and also as one of the greatest test bowlers of all time. Steyn has achieved a tally of 78 wickets at an average of 16.24 in Season 2007/08 and was subsequently awarded with the prestigious ICC 2008 Test Cricketer of the Year Award.

 

Best FIFA Football Awards

AIPSMEDIA.COM

Zurich, July 25, 2018: FIFA has today revealed the shortlisted candidates for four of the individual trophies, which will be presented at The Best FIFA Football Awards™ ceremony in London on 24 September 2018.

The announcement comes after a spectacular 2018 FIFA World Cup™, where football’s finest showcased their immense passion and unrivalled skill across Russia in the race to be crowned The Best.

Ten candidates in each of the following four categories have been named:

The Best FIFA Men’s Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid CF/Juventus FC); Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City FC); Antoine Griezmann (France/ Atlético Madrid); Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea FC); Harry Kane (England/Tottenham Hotspur FC); Kylian Mbappé (France/Paris Saint-Germain FC); Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona); Luka Modrić (Croatia/Real Madrid CF); Mohammed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool FC); Raphaël Varane (France/Real Madrid CF).

The Best FIFA Women’s Player: Lucy Bronze (England/Olympique Lyonnais); Pernille Harder (Denmark/VfL Wolfsburg); Ada Hegerberg (Norway/Olympique Lyonnais); Amandine Henry (France/Olympique Lyonnais); Samantha Kerr (Australia/Sky Blue FC/Perth Glory FC/Chicago Red Stars); Saki Kumagai (Japan/Olympique Lyonnais); Dzsenifer Marozsán (Germany/ Olympique Lyonnais); Marta (Brazil/Orlando Pride); Megan Rapinoe (USA/Seattle Reign FC); Wendie Renard (France/Olympique Lyonnais).

The Best FIFA Men’s Coach: Massimiliano Allegri (Italy/Juventus FC); Stanislav Cherchesov (Russia/Russia national team); Zlatko Dalić (Croatia/Croatia national team); Didier Deschamps (France/France national team); Pep Guardiola (Spain/Manchester City FC); Jürgen Klopp (Germany/Liverpool FC); Roberto Martínez (Spain/Belgium national team); Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atlético Madrid); Gareth Southgate (England/England national team); Ernesto Valverde (Spain/FC Barcelona); Zinédine Zidane (France/Real Madrid CF).

The Best FIFA Women’s Coach: Emma Hayes (England/Chelsea Ladies FC); Stephan Lerch (Germany/VfL Wolfsburg); Mark Parsons (England/Portland Thorns FC); Reynald Pedros (France/Olympique Lyonnais); Alen Stajcic (Australia/Australia national team); Asako Takakura (Japan/Japan national team); Vadão (Brazil/Brazil national team); Jorge Vilda (Spain/Spain national team); Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (Germany/Switzerland national team); Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands/The Netherlands national team).

FIFA will announce the final lists of the three nominees for each of the four categories listed above in early September. Returning to London for the second successive year, the THE BEST FIFA Football Awards will honour the sport’s top players and coaching talent from around the world, recognising their extraordinary achievements over the past season.

Two panels of renowned experts, revealed earlier this month, have decided upon the shortlisted candidates based on their performances across the full 2017/18 season.

Voting Now Open

Once again, the fans at the heart of the game will play a key role in deciding the men’s and women’s players and coaches of the year, reflecting FIFA’s commitment to connect the awards with the broader football world and especially the fans – enabling them to have a voice in the selection of their footballing heroes as award winners.

Winners of the above four categories will be chosen by a process involving stakeholders from across the world of football, including players, coaches, fans and media.

The captains of all national teams decide on 25% of the results

The head coaches of all national teams decide on 25% of the results

A public fan ballot on FIFA.com decides on 25% of the results

A group of around 200 members of the international media decides on 25% of the results

Public voting opens today on FIFA.com and closes on 10 August 2018.

FIFA will announce the final lists of the three nominees for each of the four categories listed above – as well as for the FIFA Puskás Award, the FIFA Fan Award and the Best FIFA Goalkeeper award – at the start of September.

 

Danson celebrates double century with a goal: Germany beat Argentina in 3-2 thriller

– Germany make it two wins as they beat Argentina
– USA and England in 1-1 draw
– Alex Danson scores in her 200th game for England

25 July 2018, London, England: Fireworks, flame throwers, if this summer wasn’t hot enough, then things at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup has just gone into inferno mode.

First up was a sizzling encounter between two of the teams that must consider themselves contenders for medals at this event, Germany (FIH Hero World Ranking: 6) and Argentina (WR:3). this was followed by a tense and nervy affair between two teams who made stuttering starts to their world cup campaign, host nation England (WR:2) and USA (WR:7).

While the largely English crowd were here to cheer on their team, and in particular captain Alex Danson who received her 200th England cap, they could not fail to be dazzled by the quality of the preceding match, in which Germany registered a 3-2 win to cement their place at the top of Pool C, with Argentina in second place on three points, ahead of Spain and South Africa, who both lost their first matches.

A 1-1 draw between USA and England means that Pool B remains wide open, with Ireland leading the way on three points, with England on two points and India and USA on a point apiece.

The first match of the evening saw two well-matched but completely contrasting teams take to the pitch for the second round of matches in Pool C.

Germany had beaten South Africa by a convincing 4-1 scoreline in the opening match of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup, while Argentina had completed an even more comprehensive demolition of Spain when they racked up six goals and conceded just two.

Despite the Argentina team’s reputation for starting quickly, it was Germany who took the lead in the fifth minute when Hannah Gablac slotted home for her first goal of the World Cup. She picked up the ball with her back to goal, twirled and slotted home past Belen Succi in the Argentina goal.

For the next few minutes it was all Germany as they won a series of penalty corners. To their collective disappointment they failed to capitalise on these and were made to pay in the 14th minute when Florenica Habif turned some intense Argentine pressure into an equalising goal.

Germany re-took the lead four minutes into the second quarter when Charlotte Stapenhorst was on hand to slap home the ball after some tricky stick skills from Elisa Grave. The 21 year-old showed great composure to hold possession as she manoeuvred past the Argentina sticks and Stapenhorst’s shot was enough to change the direction of attack and flummox Succi.

The third goal was a belter of a shot from Stapenhorst. The striker, who has clearly hit form at just the right time, took the ball wide into the Argentina circle and then, ignoring the Argentina defender who was shadowing her, unleashed a shot that flew into the goal at head height.

Argentina nearly pulled one back as Noel Barrionuevo sent a shot past Julia Ciupka’s goal but the speed of the German counter was astounding and the 2014 bronze medallists came perilously close to conceding a fourth.

The ebb and flow nature of the game meant that no sooner had Argentina withstood that attack than they were creating their own chances. Maria Ortiz was in the perfect position to reduce the deficit to one goal as she slipped the ball past Ciupka.

If Ciupka was annoyed at letting that goal in, she more than redeemed herself with the point blank range save she made at the start of the second half. The ball was struck with ferocity by Julieta Jankunas but Ciupka reacted quickly to palm the ball to safety.

The remainder of the game may have remained scoreless but it was full of excitement and drama as Argentina sought a third goal and Germany used every ounce of their experience to hold onto the narrow lead.

“I think that was a great game of hockey tonight,” was German captain Janne Muller-Wieland’s verdict on the game.

“It was so exciting to play in front of that crowd and I think the British really appreciate a good sporting spectacle.”

Talking about her own team’s performance, she said that the team had worked hard to control the tempo of the game and one of the things that was adding to the German team’s performance was the well balanced composition of the squad, where some speedy young players are lending well with the experienced core of Die Danas.

A capacity crowd, a pyrotechnics display and the knowledge that a win was crucial was enough to set nerves jangling for both England and USA.

There was visible tension in the faces of both squads as they lined up for the national anthems. Alex Danson was able to muster a smile as the crowd and players acknowledged her 200th cap for England – a figure that catapults her into a rarefied group of players who have represented England 200 times (this does not include Great Britain caps).

The opening half was a cagey affair with both sides probing for breaks in their opponent’s defence but staunch defending meant the teams entered the half-time break at 0-0.

This did not mean there was any lack of action. Hannah Martin used her speed to create space but missed her shot. Michelle Vitesse sparked an attack that saw Maddie Hinch pull off a tremendous save in the England goal and then Jackie Briggs was called on to make a save as Susannah Townsend’s shot sent the ball high in the air and off the cross bar. Briggs was quickest to the ball and thwarted the incoming England attackers.

Possibly the moment of the World Cup, from a host nation perspective, took place in the 34th minute when Alex Danson weaved her way through the USA defence and slotted the ball home to give England the lead.

The roar of the crowd was ear-splitting and for a few minutes England looked in the ascendency.

But USA are not a team to ever give up and, in the shape of teenager Erin Matson, they have a fearless striker. Matson picked the ball up on the wide left and drove towards the circle. Her position seemed innocuous but the shot that rasped off her reverse stick left Hinch stranded and the scores even.

As the game counted down, the tempo rose in both camps and the work rate of the athletes reached even higher levels.

Sophie Bray was in a race to the ball with Briggs, which left the England player in a heap. There was no quarter given by either team as they both searched for the elusive breakthrough. A tremendous save by Hinch in the closing seconds of the game was met with a sigh and as the teams trooped off the pitch it was clear both sets of players could not have given more.

“That was tough,” was Laura Unsworth’s reaction as she reflected on the game. “I think we limited USA to just a few chances, in fact I only really remember the shot that led to the goal. Two very fit teams were going at each other which will always result in a tight game.”

Unsworth also reflected on the moment Danson scored her goal. “It was a very special moment, on the occasion of her 200th cap. Everyone gets goosebumps when the crowds get behind us and when Alex scored that was just another level.”

Erin Matson, who scored USA’s goal said: “We have played in front of big crowds but nothing like that. Our team is good at embracing that and running with the energy and I personally love a loud crowd. It did go a bit silent after I scored.

“Our way to think about things is to move on and take it one game at a time. We didn’t play to our strengths in the first game so tonight it was about playing for us and not worrying about what we need to do about the other team.

“Without the pass from Gonz (Melissa Gonzalez) I wouldn’t have scored. She held the ball and fed it at the perfect moment. It happens quite a bit in practice and I am confident on my reverse.”

Day 4: Results

Germany v Argentina 3-2
USA v England 1-1

The action resumes on Thursday 26 July at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre when Spain (WR:11) take on South Africa (WR:14) at 12:00 (CEST+1) – another must-win game to avoid bottom place in Pool C. This is followed by India (WR:10) against Ireland (WR:16) at 14:00 (CEST+1).

A full schedule as well as broadcasting and official competition information can be found on FIH.CH, with extended coverage coming via the FIH social media channels.

 

Ahmed Jahouh extends stay with FC Goa

Panjim, Goa, 25th July 2018: FC Goa have announced that Moroccan midfielder Ahmed Jahouh has extended his stay with the club. Jahouh joined the Gaurs at the beginning of the fourth season and was part of a successful season under Sergio Lobera. The Moroccan was a hugely influential member of the team dovetailing well in midfield with Edu Bedia.

The 29-year old is known for his imposing physicality and was a key cog in Lobera’s system last season. He was used as an anchorman and was integral in breaking up the play and starting to build attacks. Jahouh dominated the league statistics; finishing as the top passer with 1,625 passes and tackles with 105 tackles through the season.  “I am delighted to have signed a contract extension with FC Goa”, he said. “We played some amazing football last season and the entire country took note of it. But more than this, it was the amazing love and support I’ve received from the fans that made my decision to sign for this great club easier. I am very excited for the new season to begin and am really looking forward to being back in Goa”.

FC Goa Head Coach, Sergio Lobera was full of praise after retaining the the services of the Moroccan midfielder. “Everybody that has seen Jahouh play already knows his great performances from last season. He was one of the best midfielders in the league and plays a key role in our system. I am very happy that he has decided to continue with us despite having many offers from other clubs.”

 

Chhetri signs on with Bengaluru FC until 2021

Blues Skipper Extends Current Deal By A Year, Says There Are Many More Memories To Make With A Club That’s Close To His Heart

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri put pen to paper on a fresh one-year deal at the club, the Blues announced on Tuesday. The deal, which adds to his current contract at the club, will see the AIFF Player of the Year be a part of the JSW Group-owned side until the end of the 2020-2021 season.

Thirty-three-year old Chhetri had earlier signed a three-year deal with the Blues ahead of their move to the Indian Super League last season. Chhetri, who is the longest serving player at the club, spoke of his delight at the extension.

“I have always said that this club and these fans have been the most fantastic experience of my life and signing a new deal here is only a way of giving back to a club that has given so much to me. I’ve made some fantastic memories here and I believe there are many more to make,” he said.

Having won the club’s Top Scorer of the Year award for five consecutive seasons, Chhetri is Bengaluru’s highest goal scorer, with 71 goals in 144 appearances.

“It’s special to have Sunil Chhetri play for us. He is, by far, the fittest player around and he has proven so many times that age is just a number. We are excited to have Sunil the player, more excited to have Sunil the leader and most excited to have Sunil the enigma. His hunger, desire and passion is immense and he is the torchbearer of Indian football. For us, the club was built around Sunil and continues to do so. We hope he stays for as long as possible at BFC in the capacity of a player and beyond,” said Parth Jindal, CEO of Bengaluru FC.

Bengaluru FC are currently in pre-season training at their residential facilities in Bellary, following which they will fly out to Spain for a preseason camp. The Blues’ first competitive match of the season kicks off in less than a month, when they take on Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr FK in a two-legged Inter-Zone semifinal of the AFC Cup, on August 22 and 29.

 

Sanbir Singh Dhaliwal top of the leaderboard

After a tough start to the competition amidst heavy rainfall as well as a night stage on the inaugural day of ISUZU RFC India 2018, followed by a rest day to allow the contestants to recover, a clear weather and four more Special Stages (SS) greeted the competitors on the third day of India’s toughest international off-road motorsport event. At the time of the announcement of the provisional results for SS 6-9, Sanbir Singh Dhaliwal (co-driver Gurpartap Singh Sandhu) of Chandigarh remained at the top of the leaderboard with 687 points out of 900.

Veteran rallyist Jagat Nanjappa (co-driver Chetan Changappa) from Coorg also held on to the second position with 669 points while Malaysian driver Mervyn Lim (co-driver Alex Tan), representing Team G.O.A. Fairmont, jumped up eleven spots to claim the third position with 567 points. He was closely followed by the defending RFC India Champion Gurmeet Virdi (co-driver Kirpal Singh Tung) from Chandigarh with 565 points while Hyderabad’s Dr Chaitanya Challa (co-driver Shabarish Jagarapu) was at the fifth position with 526 points at the end of Day 3 of the competition.

 

India to take on Ireland on Thursday

Rani-led India will look to register their first victory in Pool B of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018

LONDON – Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup
England – India
Photo: Lily Owsley.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS ADY KERRY

London (England), 25 July 2018: After a valiant start to their campaign at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 where the Indian Women’s Hockey Team drew 1-1 with hosts and World No.2 England, the Rani-led squad will take on Ireland in their second Pool B match on Thursday here at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Stadium.

Though a surprise win was possible for the Indian side on Saturday when they took on the Olympic Champions with all their might and continued to lead 1-0 after Neha Goyal had struck in the 25th minute for India, a defensive lapse in countering PC saw India concede a late goal in the 54th minute through Lily Owsley. Though India settled for a draw, the team skipper Rani is happy with her team’s performance that held their own in front of a packed stadium cheering for the home team. “I think it was a great match, a good start for us. There are so many positives that we can draw from that match which will help us in the upcoming matches in the tournament. I don’t think we surprised with our performance because we have done well against England in the past and this time we went for a win,” stated an assertive Rani.

She further added that the team watched the videos from their opening match and are better-prepared for the next challenge against Ireland. “The entire team including support staff sat down for a meeting after the match to discuss our performance. We also discussed the goal we conceded and how we could have averted it. Our team feels we can do better than what we played against England and the aim is to improve match-by-match,” added the striker.

World No.16 Ireland, on the other hand, will be coming into their second match after a brace 3-1 win against a much higher-ranked USA who are placed No.7 in the World Ranking. Ireland are currently leading Pool B and would want to carry on that momentum into the game against India. “Yes, we have watched videos from Ireland’s match against USA and credit goes to them for a good start and good defending to hold their lead till the end. In the three days rest that we have had, we played few practice matches among ourselves to try out different methods in goal scoring and keep up the momentum. We need to make a good start against Ireland and keep up the pressure on them. We are confident and ready for the next challenge,” she concluded.

 

Steve Smith to join Barbados Tridents for 2018 Hero CPL

Bridgetown, Barbados, 25 July 2018: The Barbados Tridents have announced that Australian batsman Steve Smith will join their squad for the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League which will run from 8 August to 16 September. Smith will replace Shakib al Hasan who is no longer available for the tournament.

Smith has played 64 Tests, 108 ODIs and 30 T20 Internationals for Australia and is currently the number one ranked Test batsman in the world. With more than 3000 T20 runs, including a century and 11 fifties, Smith brings a huge amount of experience to the Tridents squad.

The Tridents get their season underway with an away trip to the Guyana Amazon Warriors on 12 August before a match against St Lucia Stars on 17 August. The Tridents will then play Jamaica Tallawahs in Lauderhill, USA before playing five matches at Kensington Oval, Barbados between 25 August and 2 September.

Speaking of the signing of Smith, Tridents coach Robin Singh said: “It is a huge blow to lose Shakib for the tournament but in Steve Smith we have a truly world-class replacement who can help to bring power to our batting lineup. As a man who has played cricket at the highest level all over the world we are very confident that Smith will be a big success with the Tridents.”

About the Hero Caribbean Premier League:

First started in 2013, the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is a franchise-based T20 format cricket tournament that combines two of the most compelling aspects of Caribbean life – dramatic cricket and a vibrant Carnival atmosphere. Combining broadcast and digital viewership over 197 million fans watched the 2017 season to make it one of the fastest growing leagues in world cricket. Trinbago Knight Riders are the current Hero CPL champions and the other competing teams are Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, St. Lucia Stars and Jamaica Tallawahs. This year’s tournament takes place 8 August to 16 September 2018. For further information visit www.cplt20.com.

 

“Eager to win Gold at 18th Asian Games”: Rupinder Pal Singh

After a strong comeback against New Zealand, the ace drag-flicker vies to continue top form in the Indian Team’s title defence at Jakarta Asian Games

New Delhi, 24 July 2018: After scoring maximum of four goals for India in the three-match Series against New Zealand over the weekend in Bengaluru, ace drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh is eager to continue top form in the forthcoming 18th Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang where the defending champions will gun for glory again. “Personally for me, playing against a quality team like New Zealand who won the Silver Medal at the Commonwealth Games was very important. Since I had missed out all the action during the FIH Champions Trophy, I had to find my rhythm ahead of the Asian Games in Jakarta,” expressed Rupinder Pal Singh about his comeback.

The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April was Rupinder Pal Singh’s last appearance for the Indian Team at a major International event. A hamstring injury during the quadrennial event meant that he had to be rested for the FIH Champions Trophy in Breda where the team won a Silver Medal. While the team was vying against top teams in the world, Rupinder had to remain in the National Camp and work on his fitness. “It is frustrating for any player to be watching the team play on TV but it was critical for me to undergo rehab in order to be match-fit and available for the Asian Games selections,” expressed Rupinder Pal Singh after the 3-0 Series win.

In order to gain his momentum again, Rupinder appeared in four practice matches against Bangladesh early this month where he scored 10 goals through PCs and played two practice matches against South Korea where he scored one goal from PCs. “I think having Bangladesh, South Korea and New Zealand visit us for matches ahead of major tournaments this season was a blessing in disguise. During these matches, the team tried out different combinations and tested different variations in converting PC. We also tried new methods of creating PCs where I think the team did well. Our main criteria was to improve goal scoring,” stated the six-footer from Punjab.

After the successful Series against New Zealand, the Asian Games-bound Indian Team have returned home for a week-long break and will re-join the National Camp on August 1. At the Asian Games, Indian Men’s Team are grouped in Pool A with Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Hong Kong China.

In the camp before the team leaves for Jakarta, Rupinder said the team will further work on the specific areas to ensure they have left no stone unturned in their preparations for the Asian Games. “The one-week break will help us rejuvenate as some of us have been in the National Camp continuously since April 28. When we return to camp, the team will sit together, watch videos from our matches against New Zealand and try and find out ways to improve further. We are eager to defend the Gold Medal at Asian Games in Jakarta,” he concluded.

 

Melbourne City FC to take on Kerala Blasters FC in the opening match of the Toyota Yaris LaLiga World

India’s first international pre-season football tournament kicks off with A-League team taking on home side on Tuesday

Kochi, 23rd  July 2018: The highly-anticipated Toyota Yaris LaLiga World kicks-off on Tuesday as A- League’s Melbourne City FC take on home-side Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium here on July 24. The three-team pre-season tournament also features LaLiga side Girona FC who will play their first game on July 27 against Melbourne City FC.

After training in the football loving city of Kochi for past four days, Melbourne City FC head coach Warren Joyce sounded upbeat. “We will be facing a side that will be playing in front of their home crowd, I am expecting them to come hard at us. The team has had a good couple of days of training and I would like to applaud the facilities here in Kochi which are truly up to the international standards,” said Joyce.

With 43 points, Melbourne City FC finished third in the last A-League season with a run to the semi-finals of the Finals Series. “We are coming here on the back of a fantastic last season and all the players want to have a good start to the current season without any injuries. All players from our present squad are expected to take the ground and have some playing minutes under their belt. The tournament will be a good learning curve for all the young players who have joined the squad this season,” added Joyce.

After finishing sixth in 2017-18 season of Indian Super League, home side Kerala Blasters FC would use this opportunity to regroup their team ahead of their fifth season. “We have a squad that is hungry and determined to perform at their best against two very high-quality oppositions. The Toyota Yaris LaLiga World gives us an exposure to analyze ourselves against international opponents who have been seasoned performers in their respective leagues, said David James, Head Coach Kerala Blasters FC. The Englishman added that these matches will be a perfect platform for new additions to the squad. “This tournament will be a perfect platform for the boys to regroup and have some playing time before the ISL season starts. Our squad is looking forward to a good match tomorrow against Melbourne City FC,” stated James.

Despite heavy rains lashing the city, the Melbourne City FC head coach applauded the efforts of ground staff and organisers in keeping the pitch in excellent condition. “I don’t think the rains are going to have any impact on the tournament courtesy the working staff who have managed to keep the ground in perfect state,” signed off Joyce, who has previously managed the Manchester United Reserves team.

Toyota Yaris LaLiga World match schedule:

July 24, 2018 – Kerala Blasters FC vs Melbourne City FC
July 27, 2018 – Girona FC vs Melbourne City FC
July 28, 2018 – Kerala Blasters FC vs Girona FC

About Toyota Yaris LaLiga World

The Toyota Yaris LaLiga World is India’s first international pre-season football tournament with A League team Melbourne City FC, LaLiga club Girona FC and Indian Super League team Kerala Blasters FC participating in this edition. With an aim to create a calendar event, the tournament will celebrate the growing love and passion for the game in the country and provide top-notch football action to Indian fans. Toyota Yaris LaLiga World will be held in Kochi from July 24-28, 2018 and matches will be played at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi.

 

Squads for upcoming four-day game against SA ‘A’ & Quadrangular series announced

The All-India Senior Selection Committee met in Kolkata on the 23rd of July to pick the squads for the upcoming four-day games against South Africa ‘A’ & the Quadrangular series.

India ‘A’ squad for two four-day games against South Africa ‘A’: Shreyas Iyer (Captain), Prithvi Shaw, R Samarth, Mayank Agarwal, A.R. Easwaran, Hanuma Vihari, Ankit Bawne, K.S. Bharat (WK), Axar Patel (1st four-day game)/S. Nadeem (2nd four-day game), Y. Chahal, Jayant Yadav, R Gurbani, Navdeep Saini, Ankit Rajpoot, Md. Siraj

Squad for quadrangular series vs SA ‘A’ & Aus ‘A’

India ‘A’: Shreyas Iyer (Captain), Prithvi Shaw, R Samarth, Suryakumar Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Nitish Rana, Siddhesh Lad, Sanju Samson (WK), Mayank Markande, K. Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar, Md. Siraj, Shivam Mavi, Khaleel Ahmed.

India ‘B’: Manish Pandey (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, A.R. Easwaran, Shubhman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Ricky Bhui, Vijay Shankar, Ishan Kishan (WK), Shreyas Gopal, Jayant Yadav, D.A. Jadeja, Siddarth Kaul, Prasidh Krishna, Kulwant Khejroliya, Navdeep Saini.

Duleep Trophy Teams

India Blue: Faiz Fazal (Captain), Abhishek Raman, Anmolpreet Singh, Ganesh Satish, N. Gangta, Dhruv Shorey, K.S. Bharat (WK), Akshay Wakhare, Saurav Kumar, Swapnil Singh, Basil Thampi, B Ayappa, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni.

India Red: Abhinav Mukund (Captain), R.R. Sanjay, Ashutosh Singh, Baba Aparajith, Writtick Chatterjee, B. Sandeep, Akshay Wadkar (WK), S Nadeem, Mihir Hirwani, Parvez Rasool, R Gurbani, A Mithun, Ishan Porel, Y. Prithvi Raj.

India Green: Parthiv Patel (Captain & WK), Prashant Chopra, Priyank Panchal, Sudeep Chatterjee, Gurkeerat Mann, Baba Indrajit, V.P. Solanki, Jajal Saxena, Karn Sharma, Vikas Mishra, K. Vignesh, Ankit Rajpoot, Ashok Dinda, Atith Sheth.

 

Rashid Khan to spin a web for Maratha Arabians

– Alex Hales, Dwayne Bravo and Kamran Akmal retained
– Australian all-rounder James Faulkner confirmed as the final pick; Wasim Akram continues to be the Head Coach of the franchise #AalaReAala

23 July, Dubai: Afghanistan’s star leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who has spun his way into the hearts and minds of cricket fans all over the world, is all set to don a new role later this year in the United Arab Emirates (UAE),

Rashid joins forces with Maratha Arabians in the second edition of the T10 Cricket League, to be played over 10-overs-a-side, alongside some of the world’s best known cricketers. The 19-year-old was one of the key picks for Maratha Arabians at the mini-draft held as a precursor to the second season in Dubai on Monday.

The other new pick of the day for Maratha Arabians was Australia’s left-handed all-rounder James Faulkner. The franchise was able to retain from the previous season England limited-overs star Alex Hales, West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and Kamran Akmal, Pakistan wicket-keeper.

Maratha Arabians is co-owned by Parvez Khan of Pacific Ventures, Bollywood Actor/Producer/Director Sohail Khan and Ali Tumbi of Aqua Properties. Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram continues to be the head coach of the franchise. The entire operations of the Maratha Arabians franchise is being managed by Dubai-based Petromann Events, much like in the first season.

The tournament is being staged under the aegis of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), with official approval of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Speaking about his inclusion, Rashid said: “I am extremely excited to be playing for Maratha Arabians in the second season of the T10 League.  After having played Twenty20 cricket all over the world, I was looking forward to a challenge. Playing the T10 format is the perfect step up for me. I am looking forward to playing the world’s shortest format alongside some iconic players.”

Maratha Arabians Co-owner Parvez Khan said: “It is with great joy that we welcome Rashid Khan and James Faulkner to Maratha Arabians. Rashid is the youngest player to top the ICC Player Rankings for Bowlers in ODIs. I believe that Rashid will be a great asset to the team and we will have an extremely strong bowling attack.”

Maratha Arabians Co-owner Sohail Khan said: “The new season promises a lot for us. We are taking a fresh guard and have gone about picking the squad after a lot of deliberations. We are extremely thrilled to bring on board Rashid and James Faulkner.”

Maratha Arabians Co-owner Ali Tumbi said: “Maratha Arabians is an excellent marriage of two different regions and cultures. The franchise represents the warriors of two historic regions and will fight for every inch on the cricket field during the tournament.”

About Pacific Sports Limited:

Pacific Sports Club (PSC) is a complete platform for both current and upcoming sports leaders and enthusiasts. PSC offers an array of sports activities which are mandatory to shape and prepare athletes in their respective sport. Keeping up with international and local standards of cricket, football, swimming and other sports; PSC offers you premium professional coaching that identifies each individual’s potential using both physical and mental activities. Focusing on upcoming talent, PSC thoroughly prepare students and other young potential athletes for both national and international tours so they can first hand experience the varying conditions of different countries in terms of sports. PSC offers nothing but utmost premium facilities, hence having turf, matted and cemented pitches to suite the different playing condition, entirely different areas for field training and physical fitness, trained and certified Level 2 coaches, modern coaching equipment, swing bowling machine, video analysis, field training spin and a complete 360 holistic training and development program for every student.

About Emirates Cricket Board (ECB)

Cricket in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is governed by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), overseeing all cricket activities in the Emirates including the 4 major councils; Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai and Sharjah. In 1990 Emirates Cricket became an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC). An emerging One Day International (ODI) country, UAE Senior Men’s team won the ACC Trophy on four consecutive occasions between 2000 and 2006, they were runners-up in the other three times the tournament was played; 1996, 1998 and 2008. UAE Men’s won the ICC Trophy in 1994, playing their first ODIs that year, they qualified for the 1996 and 2014 Cricket World Cups. Other ODI matches were played in the 2004 and 2008 Asia Cup tournaments. In 2014 the UAE gained ODI status through to 2018. UAE’s U19s played their first ICC World Cup in 2014, when the UAE hosted the international tournament. UAE’s U19s recently competed in 2015’s ACC Premier Tournament. UAE’s women’s team competed in the 2007 ACC Women’s Tournament and has subsequently continued to promote women’s participation in the game. The Women’s team is currently champion of the recently introduced GCC T20 Women’s Championship. Over a million Emiratis live in UAE, and the Emirati Development Programme forms an important part of Emirates Cricket’s strategic plan in growing the game. The UAE National squad currently comprises of three Emirati Nationals and it’s the aim of the Emirati Development Programme to ensure that there will be a steady integration of National players available for selection, in all forms of the game, in the future. The ECB now has the resources to take professional coaching into local schools and provide playing opportunities that have been limited before. A resource book of cricket in Arabic has been created and playing equipment provided to encourage and support this learning and development. In addition, the Programme has been bolstered by the employment of a dedicated Arabic speaking Development Officer who will be able to take the game forward.

 

FC Pune City sign forward Robin Singh

23rd July 2018: The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood star Arjun Kapoor co-owned Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City today signed experienced forward Robin Singh to strengthen their front line for the 2018-19 season.

The 28-year-old striker who plied his trade for ATK in the last season will now don the FC Pune City kit reuniting with his former Delhi Dynamos teammate Marcelinho.Speaking on signing the forward, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Robin is a proven performer with a wealth of experience in top flight football. His dominating aerial prowess and robust presence upfront will add more power to our frontline.”

Robin, a Tata Football Academy product made his senior team debut with Kolkata giants East Bengal in 2010. Making consistent progress, the striker plied his trade for clubs like Bengaluru FC (2013-15), Delhi Dynamos (2015-16), FC Goa (2016-17) and ATK (2017-18). Since making his India debut in 2012, Robin has made 30 appearances for the national team.

Excited to join the Stallions, Robin expressed, “The squad is very talented with a great balance of both youth and experience with the whole club having a winning mentality wanting to achieve more everyday on and off the pitch.”

About FC Pune City:

FC Pune City is an Indian Super League football team based out of Pune, Maharashtra. The club is co-owned by The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor. The club was founded in 2014 and its home ground is the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune. The club is committed to making a difference not just at the senior level but also at the grassroots level of football in India.

 

Records tumble on second day of Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup, London 2018

– Italy defy FIH Hero World Rankings to seal first World Cup win
– Netherland’s score one of fastest ever World Cup goals
– Argentina and New Zealand get off to winning ways

London, England: History was made on Day 2 of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup as Italy (FIH Hero World Ranking 17) recorded their first ever win at the World Cup. Italy last featured in a World Cup in 1976, but the way they took to the top tier of international hockey in their opening game against China (WR:8) was nothing short of brilliant.

Equally brilliant was the speed of attack demonstrated by the Netherlands, as Frederique Matla scored one of the fastest goals in World Cup history.  

And so to the action as eight more teams opened their Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup campaigns at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

While China impressed in the opening moments of their Pool A match with their expansive style of play, creating heaps of space as they moved the ball from side to side, it was the attacking intent of their much lower ranked rivals that caught the eye. While China showed their ability and willingness to cover every inch of the field, it was the midfield dynamos of the Azzurri, Elisabetta Pacella and Maria Socino who were creating the opportunities that proved the difference between the two teams.

“We were told prior to the match to go out and play attacking hockey in the China half of the pitch,” said Itay’s Jasbeer Singh. “We just grew in confidence as the match went on. This is our first World Cup for 42 years and we want to go as far as we can.”

China were alerted to the danger posed by their opponents when Giuliana Ruggerieri was able to shoot at will after a sequence of passes picked a hole in the Chinese defence and left the striker free. Her shot buzzed harmlessly wide of the goal but the spectators began to sense a ranking upset might be on the cards.

The goal, when it came, was a piece of magic from Valentina Braconi. She latched onto a rebounded shot and slammed the ball past Ye Jiao in the China goal.

Just as the Italian forwards were doing their part in pressurising the China defence, so their defence was standing firm in the face of any attack. Goalkeeper Martina Chirico pulled off an amazing double save, diving first to her right and then bouncing up to dive to her left and deny China the equaliser.

The second half started in much the same vein. China played with composure when they had the ball and there were some pitch-splitting passes from left to right and back again, but when it came to direct activity towards goal, it was the Italians who seized the initiative. The second goal for Italy came when Vitality Player of the Match Lara Oviedo slid in to deflect a penalty corner strike. The well-rehearsed move left the Chinese defence wrong-footed.

China started to get their own creative moves going as the third quarter counted down. Guo Qiu picked up the ball and weaved her way through the Italian defence before releasing Zhong Jiaqi. Her shot struck the side of the goal but the signs were there that China were responding. Jamilon Mulders, China’s Head Coach removed the ‘keeper for the last two minutes of the quarter, coinciding with a green card for an Italian player, so the Asia team had a two-player pitch advantage.

It was a brave move but the plan back-fired as the experienced Italian side stole possession mid-field and released Ruggieri who made no mistake as she shot home into the empty goal, taking the score to 3-0, and moved Italy briefly to the top of Pool A.

An upset looked to be on the cards in Pool C when Spain (WR:11) took an early lead against the 2014 World Cup bronze medallists Argentina (WR:3). Carola Salvatella was on hand to bat the ball from mid-air past Belen Succi in the Argentina goal and for a few minutes there was an eerie hush among the Argentina fans in the hockey arena.

Argentina’s response however was swift as, five minutes later, Noel Barriounuevo swept in a penalty corner for Julieta Jankunas to deflect past Maria Ruiz.

If the equaliser was timely, the next Las Leonas goal was nothing short of brilliant. Maria Ortiz picked up the ball on the left-hand side of the Spanish circle and unleashed a shot that was perfectly placed just under the crossbar. Six games in and the Day 2 hockey spectators might have witnessed the goal of the tournament.

The third goal was a measure of Argentina’s tenacity when they are at their attacking best. The initial shot was blocked by Ruiz but Delfina Merino, who had first played the ball into the circle had continued her run and slipped the rebound to Agustina Albertarrio who had an empty goal to fill.

Spain huddled and attempted to re-group but this was Las Leonas at their consummate best. Merino ran the ball into the circle and her pass to Ortiz was perfect. The striker hit the ball first time and squeezed it through the gap between post and ‘keeper to take the score going into half-time 4-1.

It was captain Merino herself who benefited from the next attack. A goalmouth scramble saw the ball partially covered by Ruiz and, as the ‘keeper desperately tried to clear, Merino prodded the ball over the line.

The final quarter saw Argentina hit their sixth as Noel Barriounuevo stepped up to fire home a penalty stroke after an infringement in the circle. With the game effectively wrapped up, Argentina let their concentration slip momentarily and Spain were able to force a penalty corner. An innovative routine allowed Beatriz Perez to sweep the ball home and restore some pride for the Red Sticks.

For Spain’s Head Coach Adrian Lock this was an outcome that will not impact Spain’s game plan. “We always knew this would be tough,” he said. “Argentina are number three in the world and we haven’t played them for ten years. In so many ways it was a good game to play first because now we can reflect on today, learn from the things that didn’t work and be ready for the other two pool games. We competed today, it was just a few mistakes that let us down.”

Agustina Albertarrio of Argentina said that Spain’s opening goal in the third minute spurred her team on. “We came into a huddle and we said, ‘Come on guys, look there are 57 minutes left, let’s get out and play our game’.”

If Argentina were responsible for the most impressive goal of the day, then the reigning world champions scored the fastest. The opening goal in the Netherlands versus Korea game came within 20 seconds of the start, one of the speediest goals in world cup history. And, as the goals rattled in over the course of the first half, this had all the makings of a record-breaking win too – currently something held by the former West Germany who beat Nigeria 10-1 in 1978.

The opener was scored by Frederique Matla, who was able to capitalise on some neat interchanges between her team mates to slot the ball past Bae Sora in the Korea goal.

The lead was doubled three minutes later as Lidewij Welten found her way through the Korea defence to open her World Cup account.

Goals followed in quick succession, with Kitty van Male scoring twice, Matla adding a second and Laurien Leurink and Kelly Jonker all scoring before half-time. The Korea goalkeeper was removed after the fourth goal went in, but this was the Dutch team in unstoppable form and Bae’s replacement, Hwang Hyeon was also unable to stem the flow of goals.

It says something about the Netherlands approach to this game that they were back on the pitch after the half-time break long before the match was due to re-start. There was an air of simply wanting to get the job done.

Despite the Netherland’s eagerness to get going in the second half, the third quarter was a quieter affair, as Korea adjusted to the pace and ferocity of the attack and marshalled their defence. The Netherlands were still creating chances but these were either hit wide, struck the post or were blocked on route to goal.

The final quarter was much the same. The Netherlands held possession and created chances but the high tempo and urgent nature of their earlier attack had dissipated. This was a case of job done for the reigning champions with plenty left in reserve.

“We wanted to push for a goal in each quarter,” said goal scorer Matla, “It didn’t quite work out that way but I am so pleased to have scored one of the fastest goals ever – I didn’t know.”

In the final match of the day, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games champions New Zealand (WR:4) faced Belgium, who won silver medal at the Rabobank EuroHockey Championships 2017. Despite a disparity in rankings, this was yet another close contest.

Both teams created plenty of chances in the opening exchanges but it was actually the lower ranked team that put early pressure on the Black Sticks goal. The half ebbed back and forth but it was New Zealand who got the breakthrough. Kelsey Smith was the scorer after her team secured a penalty corner.

Belgium were straight back at the Black Sticks defence and a ball that bobbled around the circle was finally slammed home by Louise Versavel to equal the scores.

The Red Panthers went one better a few minutes later as a visionary cross from the left side of the field found Jill Boon unmarked in the circle. The striker had no hesitation in shooting home to give her side the lead.

The half-time break proved more advantageous to the New Zealand team as they came out firing on all cylinders. Just two minutes into the half and Shiloh Gloyn equalled things up from a penalty corner and seconds later Vitality Player of the Match Olivia Merry put her side ahead as she strode into the Red Panther’s circle and struck home.

For a few minutes this knocked the Belgium team back but this team under Niels Thijssen is made of stern stuff and so the game went back and forth as two hard-working teams strove to get a result. The game was finely poised as it entered the final quarter, with Belgium creating much pressure but always looking susceptible to an attack from the supremely fit New Zealand side.

Boon had the chance to equalise when she was again found in space in the circle – her clever movement a constant thorn in the Black Sticks’s side – but her shot flew visciously wide.

Belgium’s push for a point from the game was thwarted when Olivia Merry converted a penalty stroke just six minutes from time.

Speaking after the game, Olivia Merry said: “The nerves were getting a bit frayed because we were the last match of the first round but we have got that out of our system now. Belgium definitely put us under pressure but we followed our plan and now we will get ready for the game against Japan.”

Belgium’s Jill Boon said that one of the biggest changes in the Belgium team of late is their higher fitness levels and the impact this has had on their ability to be competitive with the higher ranked teams.

Day 2: Results

China v Italy 0-3
Argentina v Spain 6-2
Netherlands v Korea 7-0
New Zealand v Belgium 4-2

With Monday 23 July a rest day from competition, the action at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre continues on Tuesday 24 July, when Japan (WR:11) face New Zealand (WR:4) at 12:30 (CEST +1) and Australia (WR:5) take on Belgium (WR:13) at 14:30.

A full schedule as well as broadcasting and official competition information can be found on FIH.CH, with extended coverage coming via the FIH social media channels.

 

RFC India in Goa

The ISUZU RFC India 2018, the fifth edition of India’s most prestigious international off-road motorsport event, is back in Goa. With competitive stages starting from tomorrow, ISUZU RFC India 2018 will be held at various locations across the State over the next seven days before the announcement of the winner on 28th July.

This year, 39 teams, each consisting of a driver and a co-driver, will compete against each other, with the top Indian driver of the competition getting monetary benefits worth USD 10,000, including a free automatic entry worth USD 3,900 to the Rainforest Challenge (RFC) Global Series Finale to be held in Malaysia at the end of the year.

The Press Conference to announce the event was held today, followed by the ceremonial flag-off. Please find enclosed herewith the Press Release for your kind perusal.

 

Namita Toppo’s 150 International Caps

The 23-year-old midfielder from Odisha achieved the milestone in India’s opening match against hosts England

MADRID – India Test Matches
03 Spain v India (w)
Foto: Namita Toppo
WORLDSPORTPICS COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK

London (England), 21 July 2018: The Indian Women’s Hockey team’s opening match of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 against hosts England saw Indian midfielder Namita Toppo reach the milestone of completing 150 International Caps for the country. The 23-year-old from Odisha made her International debut for the Senior team in the FIH Champions Challenge I in Dublin in the year 2012 aged just 17.

The 23-year-old is a product of the Sports Hostel, Panposh, Rourkela which is located in her native state of Odisha. The young midfielder first represented her state team in 2007 and her performances in the domestic competitions saw her getting selected for the Girls U-18 Hockey Asia Cup in Bangkok, Thailand held in 2011 where the Indian team won the Bronze Medal. Toppo’s hard work and dedication in the National Camps and consistent performances in the domestic circuit saw her getting selected to represent the Senior team in 2012 when she participated in the FIH Champions Challenge I in Dublin.

The next year saw the youngster being a part of the Indian Junior Women’s Hockey team which won the Bronze Medal at the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup Women 2013 held in Mönchengladbach, Germany. The 23-year-old has since participated in major tournaments like FIH Women’s World League Round 2 held in New Delhi in 2013 where India won the Gold Medal, 3rd Women’s Asian Champions Trophy in 2013 where India won the Silver Medal, 8th Women’s Asia Cup 2013, 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, 17th Asian Games 2014 where India won the Bronze Medal, 2016 Rio Olympics and the most recent being the team’s Silver medal victory at the 9th Women’s Asia Cup 2017 held in South Korea.

The 2014 Hockey India Annual Awards winner of the Asunta Lakra Award for the Upcoming Player of the Year expressed her delight at completing 150 International Caps for the National team. She said, “I feel extremely proud to have represented the nation for 150 International matches. For me, it is just a start as I am quite young and I look forward to playing many more games for the country. It is a promising phase for Women’s hockey in India and it is important for us to perform well and keep winning trophies to make the fans proud of our team.”

Congratulating Namita on her feat, Md. Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India said, “I would like to congratulate Namita Toppo on completing 150 International Caps for India. She is a player who brings stability to India’s midfield and helps the team in transitioning from defence to attack quickly. Her contribution during the six years since making her debut has been immense and has seen her win many medals. I would like to wish Namita the very best for the future and hope that she keeps contributing to the team’s victories.”

 

India beat New Zealand 3-1 in a thriller

Rupinder Pal Singh (18’), SV Sunil (27’) and Mandeep Singh (56’) score in India’s second consecutive victory

Bengaluru, 21 July 2018: The Indian Men’s Hockey Team registered their second successive victory against New Zealand in the ongoing three-match Series here at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru Campus.

India began the opening quarter with a structured attack. It was striker SV Sunil who took the team’s first potential shot on goal in the opening minute but was well defended by New Zealand goalkeeper Richard Joyce. India dominated the quarter as the team’s attack won two PC opportunities, however, the home team could not convert and the two teams ended the first quarter in a stalemate.

The second quarter saw India showcase an improvised attack. They won three back-to-back PCs in the 18th minute and Rupinder Pal Singh was third-time lucky after two of his previous flicks were blocked by New Zealand’s first rusher. It was Manpreet Singh who made a perfect injection that was powerfully picked up with Rupinder to fire it past Joyce fetching India their first breakthrough. Almost a minute later, the experienced forward Sunil fetched India another PC, however, this time the variation did not work.

In the 24th minute though, Stephen Jenness caught Indian defence off guard when he pierced through the striking circle, beat PR Sreejesh who had run up to block him and found an open goal to put the ball into the post winning New Zealand a much-needed equaliser.

India retorted back with a splendid field goal in the 27th minute scored by striker Sunil who worked in tandem with Simranjeet Singh. This brilliant goal won back India their lead and ended the second quarter with the scoreboard reading 2-1.

New Zealand stitched together an improvised defence in the third quarter but their attack remained jaded. Both teams didn’t score from this quarter.

India upped the ante in the final quarter as they made enthralling forays into the striking circle. One such attempt, Sunil made a brilliant pass from the right flank to Mandeep Singh who swiftly deflected into the post taking India’s lead to 3-1 in the 56th minute. The defence held strong to keep up the lead and eventually the home team won.

 

Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, India 1 England 1

Neha Goyal (25′) took the lead for India but Lily Owsley (54′) equalised for the hosts to earn a draw

LONDON – Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup
England – India
Photo: Lily Owsley.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS ADY KERRY

London (England), 21 July 2018: The Indian Women’s Hockey Team started off their Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 campaign with a 1-1 draw against World No. 2 England in their opening match of Pool B here at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. The match saw the Indian team take the lead in the 25th minute through Neha Goyal, but England’s constant pressure towards the end of the match saw them earn an equaliser in the 54th minute through Lily Owsley.It was a difficult start to the match for the Indian team as the hosts looked to attack them in front of a packed stadium, winning a Penalty Corner in the opening minute. However, the resulting drag-flick was brilliantly saved by the Indian Goalkeeper Savita, and cleared away by India’s defenders. The next few minutes saw India dominate possession and create a couple of circle entries, but could not take a shot at goal. In the 8th minute, Hannah Martin won England’s second Penalty Corner off the foot of an Indian defender, but the resulting drag-flick was scuffed. World No. 10 India also tried to create pressure in the next couple of minutes with the English defenders misplacing their passes and losing possession, but neither team could take the lead in the opening quarter.

The second quarter saw a similar story for both the teams as England dominated the first few minutes, winning themselves three Penalty Corners in the first ten minutes. But Indian Goalkeeper Savita made brilliant reflex saves on all three occasions to deny the hosts any chance of taking the lead. The Indian team looked content on absorbing the pressure, and were looking to attack the English on the counter. India’s strategy worked for them in the 25th minute when India’s pressing in the attacking half helped them regain possession and convert it into a goal as Nikki Pradhan’s ball into the striking circle was deflected off an English foot, and onto Navjot Kaur, whose injection towards the goal was deflected into the back of the net by Neha Goyal to give India an important lead. Hosts England tried to create chances towards the end of the second quarter, but India’s defence made sure that they took their one-goal lead into the half-time break.

The third quarter was dominated by the hosts as they looked to find the equaliser. The World No. 2 side made 11 circle entries in the third period, but could only take three shots, which were well kept out by a resolute Indian defence. It was the last quarter where England dominated possession and tested India’s nerves through some strong forward play. The 48th minute saw India’s Sunita Lakra deny England again from their sixth PC as she made a save on the line. However, the hosts were awarded another PC but India’s defence managed to win a free-hit after Savita had made another save off Grace Balsdon’s shot.

In the 52nd minute, India had a chance to extend their lead as their Forward Lalremsiami was found inside the striking circle by Neha Goyal’s pass but the young striker failed to deflect the ball onto the target as England continued to attack. In the 54th minute, England won back-to-back PCs and the second one was put into the back of the net by Lily Owsley to bring the scores level at 1-1. The final few moments of the match saw both the teams look for a winner, but a good performance from the defenders saw both teams settle for a draw.

On July 26, the Indian Women’s Hockey team will take on Ireland at 18.30 hours (IST).

Please find attached the tournament schedule and photos from the match.

All matches will be shown live on Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD 2 and Hotstar and DD Sports (Only India matches).

 

Shoaib Malik appointed the captain of Guyana Amazon Warriors

The Guyana Amazon Warriors have appointed Shoaib Malik as their captain for the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League which runs from 8 August to 16 September 2018.

Malik, a veteran of 103 T20 internationals and 264 ODIs, has had previous captaincy experience as leader of his national team, Pakistan, and at the Pakistan Super League with Multan Sultans.

Speaking of his appointment, Shoaib expressed his excitement about the challenge ahead. “Over the last few seasons I really enjoyed my time with the Hero CPL as a player with the Barbados Tridents and now I look forward with great pride to captain the Guyana Amazon Warriors in this year’s tournament. The Amazon Warriors have really done well over the years and I hope that being part of a really impressive team means we will challenging for the title at the end of the season.”

Head Coach of the Guyana Amazon Warriors, Johan Botha said he is excited about the opportunity to work with Shoaib. Botha added: “It’s great to have the experience of Shoaib leading us this year. He is a very calm leader which will be great in pressure situations on the field. I worked with him earlier this year in the Pakistan Super League so we come into the CPL and the Guyana Amazon Warriors team with a good working relationship and understanding of each other.”

ABOUT THE HERO CARIBBEAN PREMIER LEAGUE:

First started in 2013, the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is a franchise-based T20 format cricket tournament that combines two of the most compelling aspects of Caribbean life – dramatic cricket and a vibrant Carnival atmosphere. Combining broadcast and digital viewership over 197 million fans watched the 2017 season to make it one of the fastest growing leagues in world cricket. Trinbago Knight Riders are the current Hero CPL champions and the other competing teams are Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, St. Lucia Stars and Jamaica Tallawahs. This year’s tournament takes place 8 August to 16 September 2018. For further information visit www.cplt20.com.

 

Chepkoech breaks steeplechase world record in Monaco – IAAF Diamond League

Beatrice Chepkoech broke the world record* to win the 3000m steeplechase at the Herculis meeting on Friday (20), clocking 8:44.32 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco.

The Kenyan won by more than 16 seconds, having gone through the 2000-metre point in 5:49.81, following an opening kilometre of 2:55.23.

Chepkoech, who finished fourth at the 2016 Olympic Games and at the 2017 World Championships, held the previous world-leading mark with her 8:59.36 clocking at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris.

World silver medallist Courtney Frerichs finished second in a North American record of 9:00.85.

*Subject to the usual ratification procedures.

 

India’s visually challenged chess players all set for Bulgaria World Championship

Indian Chess players Kishan Gangolli of Karnataka, Ashvin Makwana of Gujarat, Soundarya Kumar Pradhan of Orissa, Aryan Joshi of Maharashtra and Subhendu Kumar Patra of Orissa are all set to represent India at the ‘8th IBCA World Team Chess Championship’ for the visually challenged to be held in Bulgaria from 20th to 31st July, 2018.

The event organized by International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) will see the participation of the top 15 teams of the 15th IBCA Olympiad (as per final ranking/standing) which was held in Ohrid, Macedonia (2017) which includes India, Germany, Spain, Ukraine, Russia, Serbia, Poland among others.

IBCA is the apex body of chess for the blind and visually impaired and is affiliated to FIDE (Federation Internationale Des Echecs, the world body of chess for the sighted).and Dr Charudatta Jadhav is the President. (http://www.ibca-info.org/index.php)

These 5 Indian players were the champions of the 13th edition of the National ‘A’ Chess Championship organized by All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB) earlier in February, 2018. These players have received support from the Sports Authority of India and All India Chess Federation.

This year has been a great start for the visually challenged chess players in India owing to their association with International Master, Sagar Shah as a Coach and India ranked three Vidit Gujrathi as the brand ambassador of All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB).

 

India juniors hold the Netherlands 2-2

Mandeep Mor (27′, 48′) scored twice for India in their fourth round robin match

Hockey International 6 Nations U23 Men in Antwerp Belgium Match India-The Netherlands

Antwerp (Belgium), 20 July 2018: The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team overcame an early 0-2 setback to hold the Netherlands 2-2 in a hard-fought encounter here at the U-23 Five Nations Tournament (Men) on Friday.

The Netherlands caught the Indian team’s defence off-guard early in the match with Marlon scoring the first goal in the 1st minute of the match. The Dutch team’s early 1-0 lead put India on the back foot and recovering from this deficit was further affected when Jip Jansen scored in the 11th minute doubling their lead to 2-0 by the end of the first quarter.

But India clawed back into the game in the second quarter as they made amends to the early setback. While the team’s defence held strong in the following minutes, the Indian attackers worked on determined performance to create scoring opportunities. The team’s first breakthrough came in the 27th minute when Mandeep Mor scored a splendid goal to narrow the goal-difference to 1-2.

After a goalless third quarter, the Indian team pushed for goals in the final quarter and their efforts paved way for Mandeep Mor to score another goal in the 48th minute. Though India stretched the Dutch defence as their vied for a winner, the team could not convert and were forced to settle for a draw.

 

Official World Golf Ranking Board approves inclusion of PGTI into OWGR system

PGTI events to have world ranking points from 2019 season onward

In what can be described as a landmark moment for Indian golf, the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), the official sanctioning body for men’s professional golf in India, has been approved for inclusion in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) system.

At its recent meeting during the 147th Open Championship, the Governing Board of the OWGR approved the inclusion of the PGTI into the OWGR system.

PGTI’s elevation to OWGR status means that all its events will carry world ranking points from the 2019 season onward. This moves PGTI into the elite list of tours that are eligible for world ranking points. The list currently includes 20 established tours from across the globe such as the PGA Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Asian Tour, PGA Tour Australasia and Sunshine Tour, to name a few.

The PGTI will be introduced to the OWGR at a minimum level of 5 first place points for their tournaments that are played over 72 holes.

Mr. Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI, said, “The inclusion of PGTI in the OWGR system is a game-changer for Indian golf. We see it as the international golfing fraternity’s recognition of PGTI’s sustained growth since its inception 12 years ago and its emergence as the premier tour of the South Asian region. The several accomplishments of our professionals on the global stage have been a key factor in raising India’s stature to a major power-centre of Asian golf that has in turn drawn the attention of international bodies such as the OWGR.

“The PGTI, under the astute leadership of its President, Mr. Gautam Thapar, had made focused efforts towards aligning itself with the OWGR system over the last few years which included the all-important decision of making the PGTI an ‘Open Tour’ from the 2018 season onward. Our persistence towards the cause has borne fruit as the decision to transform into an ‘Open Tour’ has paved the way for approval of world ranking points for the tour.

“The tour is now set to become more competitive than ever before as world ranking points will ensure better fields at all events and also attract quality international talent. We thank the Asian Tour for their support and guidance through the application process. The timing of the OWGR approval couldn’t have been better, as the Olympics, that also have a world ranking criteria for qualification, are not too far away in 2020.”

This major development is one of the most important milestones achieved by the PGTI in its 12-year long journey so far.

The PGTI came into existence in 2006 and staged 10 events in its inaugural 2006-07 season with a combined prize purse of Rs. 4.6 crore. Over the next decade, the PGTI embarked on a path of positive growth as it emerged as the biggest tour in South Asia. In 2017, the prize money on offer had risen to Rs. 10.5 crore and the average number of events had gone up to 20.

PGTI has expanded its geographical footprint with each passing year as tournaments have been staged across 17 States and one Union Territory in India as well as in neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

This year the PGTI is slated to co-sanction five international tournaments in India, two in partnership with the Asian Tour and three in conjunction with the Asian Development Tour.

The intense competition on the PGTI has contributed in churning out champions for India at the international level. A large number of Indian golfing stars such as Anirban Lahiri, Shubhankar Sharma, SSP Chawrasia, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Rahil Gangjee, Rashid Khan, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Mukesh Kumar, Chiragh Kumar, Digvijay Singh, Himmat Singh Rai, C Muniyappa, Chikkarangappa and Sujjan Singh, have honed their skills on the PGTI before going onto achieve international victories. All these names today have a combined total 37 international titles and 18 Major appearances and are members of most of the major tours across the world.  

Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia went on to represent India at the 2016 Olympics while the former also appeared at two editions of the Presidents Cup. Lahiri became Asia No. 1 in 2015 whereas Shubhankar Sharma currently leads the money list in Asia.

Interestingly, Bangladesh’s top golfer Md Siddikur Rahman also came through the ranks of the PGTI before making it big on the Asian Tour thanks to his two wins.

In order to build on the gains achieved over the last 11 years, the PGTI announced it would become an ‘Open Tour’ from the 2018 season onward. This lifting of restriction on the number of foreign players on the tour, set the ball rolling for the final push required in the pursuit of OWGR status.

The move towards an ‘Open Tour’ resulted in an increased foreign participation at the PGTI’s 2018 Qualifying School. The 262 participants in the First Stage of Qualifying included golfers from South Africa, Bangladesh, Australia and South Korea, in what is seen as an encouraging trend for the future.

 

Gurtej, Chhuantea and Kamaljit to continue with FC Pune City

Pune, 19th July 2018: The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood star Arjun Kapoor co-owned Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City retained defenders Gurtej Singh, Lalchhuanmawia Fanai and goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh for the 2018-19 season.

On retaining the three Indian players, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Gurtej has reveled in the role of defender last season with consistent ball clearing skills and coordination with midfield and we believe he has the potential to become one of our top defenders. Lalchhuanmawia is a seasoned defender with many years of experience in top flight football and we are counting on him to bring in a lot of solidarity to our defense.”

On Kamaljit, Gaurav said,”Kamaljit did a great job when he got his chances in the beginning of the season. His control and communication on the field and attitude off it contributed a lot to the team’s overall growth. With him and Vishal in our ranks, we have two of the best young goalkeepers in the country.”

Gurtej who began his football career with JCT, played for Pailan Arrows, Churchill Brothers, Bengaluru FC and Fateh Hyderabad. Last season, he made 18 appearances and scored his first ever professional career goal for FC Pune City.

Kamaljit started with AIFF Academy before joining Sporting Club de Goa in 2014. The custodian played the first three games of 2017-18 season.

Lalchhuanmawia better known as Chhuantea started his career with Shillong Lajong in 2014 and thereafter moved to Bengaluru FC in 2015. The Mizoram-born player made his Indian National Team debut in 2015 and also turned up for Mumbai City FC. He played nine games in the last season with the club.

On continuing his association with FC Pune City, Gurtej said, “It was a great learning curve for me last season and to play 18 games with experienced pros made a world of difference to my confidence. My energies are focused to improve on my game further and help the team’s cause.”

Kamaljit, on his extension, said, “It was my first ISL and to start early on in the season and then train with some of the best in business was a great experience for me. We want to better what we did last season and make it count. ” 

Chhuantea, expressed his desire to play more often in the coming season. “In the coming season I wish to contribute more than what I did last season. The fact that I am staying back is because I am committed to the team’s cause and eagerly looking forward to the coming season.”

 

India beat New Zealand 4-2

Rupinder Pal Singh (2′, 34′) stars for India with a brace; Mandeep Singh (15′) and Harmanpreet Singh (38′) too score in India’s win

Bengaluru, 19 July 2018: The Indian Men’s Hockey Team began their three-match Test Series against New Zealand with a sensational 4-2 win here at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru Campus on Thursday. Rupinder Pal Singh (2′, 34′), Mandeep Singh (15′) and Harmanpreet Singh (38′) scored in India’s win while Stephen Jenness (26′, 55′) scored a brace for the visitors.

The home team began well as the forwards won India their first Penalty Corner of the match in the opening minute. Rupinder Pal Singh, making a comeback into the squad after the Gold Coast 2018 XXI Commonwealth Games, was splendid as he fired the ball low to beat New Zealand Goalkeeper Richard Joyce in the 2nd minute. Though the visitors had an opportunity to equalise in the 7th minute, Indian Goalkeeper Krishan Pathak was attentive at the goalpost to keep them from equalising.

In the 15th minute, India doubled their lead to 2-0 when Manpreet Singh’s cross was brilliantly picked up by forward Mandeep Singh who swiftly deflected it into the goal.

The second quarter saw New Zealand shake off the starting jitters and showed a tighter defence. Though India won the second PC of the match in the 22nd minute, a poor execution dented India’s chance of taking the score to 3-0. In the 26th minute, New Zealand finally made a breakthrough with Stephen Jenness scoring a perfect field goal that narrowed the lead to 1-2.

After the half time break, India came back with a stronger attack. Forward SV Sunil, created India’s third PC. Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh was brilliant yet again as he flicked towards top right of the net taking India’s lead to a comfortable 3-1 in the 34th minute. In the 38th minute, SV Sunil created yet another opportunity for India to score as he won another PC. Harmanpreet Singh was spot-on as he improvised the injection to powerfully convert India’s fourth goal.

The final quarter saw New Zealand test Indian defenders as they made strong forays into the striking circle. Their efforts paid off with Stephen Jenness converting his second goal of the match as his shot bounced off Indian goalkeeper Suraj Karkera’s pad into the back of the net. With score-line reading 4-2, New Zealand won a crucial PC with four minutes remaining on the clock. But Nic Woods’ drag-flick was way off the target. The visitors earned yet another PC with a little over a minute remaining for the final hooter. And this time, Woods’ powerful flick was well defended by Karkera. New Zealand won two more back-to-back PCs with 50 seconds on the clock but Karkera was brilliant in his efforts to save and help India win the first match 4-2.

On 21 July 2018, Indian Men’s Hockey Team will take on New Zealand at 1600 hours IST.

Please find attached the Test Series schedule and action photos from the match.

 

Joe Root vaults to a career-high second ranking

– Top-ranked Virat Kohli sixth-best on all-time points; Kuldeep Yadav breaks into the top-10 for the first time
– No.1 ranked England opens up six points lead over second-ranked India

England batsman Joe Root’s back-to-back centuries have helped him vault into second place in the latestMRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings that have also seen India’s spinner Kuldeep Yadav break into the top-10 for the first time in his career.

In the three-match ODI series, which England clinched by a 2-1 margin with a win at Headingley on Wednesday, Root has leapfrogged Babar Azam (Pakistan), Rohit Sharma (India), David Warner (Australia) and Ross Taylor (New Zealand) to a career-high second position.Root had scores of three, 113 not out and 100 not out, which have earned him 34 points and have now put him 93 points behind India captain Virat Kohli. Root had previously reached fourth in the batting rankings in August 2016 and is now just one point below his career-best points tally of 819, which he had achieved against Australia earlier this year in Brisbane. Kohli has also strengthened his position at the top of the tree following scores of 75, 45 and 71. Although he has earned just two points, these are enough to lift him to a career-high 911 points, which is sixth best in the list of all-time points and the highest since Australia’s Dean Jones tally of 918 points in March 1991.

Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan are the other batsmen to improve their rankings in the latest table. Roy has moved up one place to 19th, while Morgan is now in 22nd spot after rising two places.

In the bowlers’ list, the biggest news is the movement of India’s Kuldeep Yadav. The left-arm wrist-spinner took nine wickets in the series, including six for 25 at Trent Bridge, which have been rewarded with a rise of eight places to a career-high sixth position.

Yadav is the second India bowler to feature in the top-10 after number-one ranked Jasprit Bumrah and the fifth spinner to find a place in the 10 highest-ranked bowlers. The other four are Rashid Khan (second), Imran Tahir (seventh), Adil Rashid (eighth) and Yuzvendra Chahal (10th).

The good news for England is the movement of their pace trio, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood and David Willey. Plunkett has gained one place and is now 20th, Wood is on a career-high 26th ranking after rising two places and Willey has jumped 11 places to claim 31st position.

There is no change in the top five all-rounders, with Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan leading the field.

Meanwhile, in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings, number-one ranked England has moved to 127 points after gaining one point, while India have dropped one point to finish on 121 points. This means the four-point pre-series gap has now extended to six points.

The player rankings will next be updated on 29 July following the conclusion of Zimbabwe v Pakistan and West Indies v Bangladesh series.

The ODI team rankings, unlike the Test rankings, are updated after each match. The ICC ODI predictor function is available here.

MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings (as on 18 July, after the conclusion of England v India series, and before the start of third ODI between Zimbabwe and Pakistan):

RANK  TEAM              POINTS

1.      England            127 (+1)

2.      India                 121 (-1)

3.      South Africa      113

4.      New Zealand     112

5.      Pakistan           103 (+1)

6.      Australia           100

7.      Bangladesh      93

8.      Sri Lanka          77

9.      West Indies      69

10.   Afghanistan      63

11.   Zimbabwe         54 (-1)

12.   Ireland              38

13.   Scotland           33

14.   UAE                 18

*Nepal and the Netherlands will qualify for a full ranking after playing four more matches each

(Developed by David Kendix)

MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings (as on 18 July, after the conclusion of England v India series, and before the start of third ODI between Zimbabwe and Pakistan):

BATSMEN (top 20)

Rank      (+/-)        Player                   Team     Points    Avge      Highest Rating

   1          ( – )         Virat Kohli             Ind          911!       58.20     911 v Eng at Headingley 2018

   2          (+4)        Joe Root               Eng         818         51.61     819 v Aus at Brisbane 2018

   3          (-1)         Babar Azam          Pak         808         51.33     846 v NZ at Wellington 2018

   4          ( – )         Rohit Sharma       Ind          806         44.98     825 v SL at Mohali 2017

   5          (-2)         David Warner       Aus         803         43.43     880 v Pak at Adelaide 2017

   6          (-1)         Ross Taylor          NZ          785         46.28     789 v Eng at Dunedin 2018

   7          ( – )         Quinton de Kock  SA          783         45.41     808 v Ban at East London 2017

   8          ( – )         Faf du Plessis       SA          782         44.68     802 v Ind at Durban 2018

   9          ( – )         Kane Williamson   NZ          778         46.87     798 v SA at Centurion 2015

  10         ( – )         Shikhar Dhawan   Ind          770         45.72     794 v SA at Melbourne 2015

  11         ( – )         Jonny Bairstow     Eng         769         50.30     777 v Aus at Durham 2018

  12         ( – )         Hashim Amla        SA          746         50.23     901 v Eng at Trent Bridge 2012

  13         ( – )         Martin Guptill        NZ          731         42.99     789 v SA at Hamilton 2017

  14         ( – )         MS Dhoni              Ind          714         51.25     836 v Aus at Delhi 2009

  15         ( – )         Aaron Finch          Aus         706         38.19     744 v Eng at Melbourne 2015

  16         ( – )         Jos Buttler             Eng         701         40.35     723 v Ban at Mirpur 2016

  17         ( – )         Tamim Iqbal          Ban         698         34.98     721 v Zim at Mirpur 2018

  18         ( – )         Steve Smith          Aus         675         41.84     752 v Pak at Sydney 2017

  19=       ( – )         Travis Head          Aus         670*!      37.00     670 v Eng at Old Trafford 2018

               (+1)        Jason Roy            Eng         670         39.06     680 v Aus at Durham 2018

BOWLERS (top 20)

Rank      (+/-)        Player                   Team     Points    Avge      Highest Rating

   1          ( – )         Jasprit Bumrah     Ind          775*       22.50     4.64       787 v SA at Centurion 2018

   2          ( – )         Rashid Khan         Afg         763*       14.40     3.96       787 v Zim at Sharjah 2018

   3          ( – )         Hasan Ali              Pak         750*       20.68     5.18       766 v NZ at Wellington 2018

   4          ( – )         Trent Boult            NZ          699         24.63     5.09       766 v Ind at Delhi 2016

   5          ( – )         Josh Hazlewood   Aus         696         24.27     4.72       733 v Eng at Adelaide 2018

   6          (+8)        Kuldeep Yadav     Ind          684*       19.35     4.82       698 v Eng at Lord’s 2018

   7          (-1)         Imran Tahir           SA          683         24.81     4.68       786 v SL at Johannesburg 2017

   8          ( – )         Adil Rashid            Eng         681!       30.80     5.52       681 v Ind at Headingley 2018

   9          (-2)         Kagiso Rabada     SA          679         27.57     5.11       724 v Eng at Lord’s 2017

  10         (-2)         Y. Chahal              Ind          666*       23.86     4.72       668 v Eng at Lord’s 2018

  11         (-1)         Chris Woakes       Eng         643         30.77     5.50       673 v NZ at Christchurch 2018

  12         (-1)         Mitchell Starc        Aus         642         20.95     4.93       783 v NZ at Melbourne 2015

  13         (-1)         Mitchell Santner    NZ          632         33.91     4.90       663 v Eng at Hamilton 2018

  14         (-1)         Moeen Ali              Eng         621         45.08     5.09       629 v Aus at Old Trafford 2018

  15         ( – )         Akshar Patel         Ind          615*       31.31     4.43       663 v Aus at Nagpur 2017

  16         ( – )         Mohammad Nabi  Afg         611         31.95     4.29       653 v Zim at Harare 2017

  17         ( – )         Pat Cummins        Aus         607         28.45     5.38       626 v Eng at Adelaide 2018

  18         ( – )         Matt Henry            NZ          606         24.59     5.57       675 v Aus at Hamilton 2016

  19         ( – )         M. Rahman           Ban         601*       19.19     4.63       602 v Zim at Mirpur 2018

  20         (+1)        Liam Plunkett        Eng         599         29.64     5.86       646 v Win at Southampton 2017

ALL-ROUNDERS (top five)

Rank      (+/-)        Player                   Team     Points    Highest Rating

   1          ( – )         Shakib Al Hasan   Ban         359        453 v Zim at Chittagong 2009

   2          ( – )         M. Hafeez             Pak         332        438 v Ind at Kolkata 2013

   3          ( – )         Mohammad Nabi  Afg         323        349 v Ire at Greater Noida 2017

   4          ( – )         Mitchell Santner    NZ          317!       317 v Eng at Christchurch 2018

   5          ( – )         Angelo Mathews   SL           306        427 v Eng at Colombo (RPS) 2014

The ICC is the global governing body for cricket. Representing 104 members, the ICC governs and administrates the game and is responsible for the staging of major international tournaments including the ICC World Cup and Women’s World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and the ICC Men’s and Women’s World T20.

The ICC presides over the ICC Code of Conduct which sets the professional standards of discipline for international cricket, playing conditions, bowling reviews and other ICC regulations. The Laws of the game remain under the auspices of the MCC.

The ICC also appoints the umpires and referees that officiate at all sanctioned Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals. Through the Anti-Corruption Unit it coordinates action against corruption and match fixing.

The ICC Development department works with associate members to improve the quality of international cricket, build better cricket systems, get more people playing cricket and grow the game.

 

Sachin Tendulkar and Middlesex Cricket join hands to launch “Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy”

July 18, 2018, Mumbai: Sachin Tendulkar, the legendary cricketer, today announced an association with Middlesex Cricket to launch “Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy” (TMGA). The academy will provide young girls and boys between the age of 9 and 14 an opportunity to learn from the two major institutions of cricket – Sachin Tendulkar and Middlesex Cricket in England. TMGA, a joint venture between SRT Sports Management Ltd and Middlesex Cricket will begin by launching its first cricket camp at Merchant Taylor’s School in Northwood from 6-9 August 2018 followed by other locations in Mumbai and London.

Middlesex Cricket has played an instrumental role in world cricket, having produced great cricket talent such as Andrew Strauss, Mike Gatting, Denis Compton, John Emburey and Mike Brearley etc. The comprehensive training curriculum, developed by the professional coaches at MCCC and the Master himself, will help young and budding cricketers with various aspects of cricket including insights into athletic development, sport psychology, tactical development and technical modifications, etc. With talent identification at the core of the academy, TMGA will also provide 100% scholarship to talented underprivileged children.

Commenting on the launch of this initiative, Sachin Tendulkar said, “I am delighted to be partnering with Middlesex Cricket on this new venture. The objective is not only to produce good cricketers but also good global citizens of the future. Through this association, Middlesex and I are focused on providing the very best in cricket education, as much as possible, for our students.’

Richard Goatley, CEO, Middlesex Cricket said, “It has been a great privilege over the past six months to work with Sachin Tendulkar and his team in developing what we believe will be the market leading coaching programme in the world. Our established academy programme, twinned with the unique insight, knowledge and ability of the most successful cricketer of all time will provide kids with a unique experience that they will never forget.”

For more information about TMGA please visit http://www.camptendulkarmga.com or contact enquiries@tendulkarmga.com

About SRT Sport Management Pvt. Ltd (http://www.srt10.in/)

SRT Sports Management Pvt. Ltd. (SRTSM) is a premier sports management organization that represents one of India’s most-reputed cricketers, Sachin Tendulkar. Founded by Dr. Anjali Tendulkar and the Master Blaster himself, Sachin Tendulkar, the organization manages all commercial engagements and social initiatives involving the Cricket icon. SRTSM exclusively represents Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. No other entity or individual (globally) has the authority or license to represent Sachin Tendulkar in any capacity. 100MB Pvt. Ltd. is authorized to represent Sachin Tendulkar in the digital world.

 

Odisha Mining Corporation is Official Partner of the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

Support from Odisha Mining Corporation Limited (OMC) will help in organising a successful tournament

Bhubaneswar, 18th July 2018: Odisha Mining Corporation Limited (OMC), the public sector mining behemoth of the Odisha Government, was today announced as an Official Partner for the prestigious Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 which is to be held from November 28 – December 16, 2018 at the iconic Kalinga Hockey Stadium in the host city.

Odisha Mining Corporation Limited signed the agreement to come on board for the quadrennial event to continue their efforts of promoting development throughout the state of Odisha and to help promote the sport which is synonymous to Odisha.

The host federation, Hockey India, are delighted to welcome OMC as an Official Partner for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. CEO, Hockey India, Ms. Elena Norman said, “We are delighted to have Odisha Mining Corporation Limited as an Official Partner for the prestigious Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. The biggest gainers from their support is the sport of hockey itself, the hockey fans and more importantly the players who will be taking part in the tournament. I would like to thank the Government of Odisha and the Odisha Mining Corporation Limited for coming forward to support the sport of hockey in the best way possible.”

OMC, being a ‘Gold” Category State PSU, intends to support Hockey India in the successful conduct of the major tournament in their capital city of Bhubaneswar. Managing Director, OMC, Shri R. Vineel Krishna, spoke about the partnership, “It is a matter of great pride for Odisha Mining Corporation Limited and the Government of Odisha, to be able to support the sport of hockey, and the biggest tournament in the sport. This partnership further highlights the unparalleled dedication of OMC towards encouraging sports, and helping in developing the state of Odisha. I would like to thank Hockey India for providing us with the opportunity to partner for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 and we hope it will be a successful tournament for our country.”

The Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 will be the 14th edition of the biggest tournament in Men’s Hockey and the third time that India will be hosting it after having organised it in 1982 in Bombay and in 2010 in New Delhi. A total of sixteen nations will take part in the tournament which will see each team play three matches during the league stage over the span of twelve days before four cross-over matches take place on 10th and 11th December, 2018. The knockout matches will take place on 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th as the teams will look to become the Champions of the prestigious quadrennial event which was won by Australia in 2014.

The general tickets for the event are already on sale and are reasonably priced at Rs 200 (East Stand), Rs 100 (North Stand) and Rs 100 (South Stand) for the Pool and Crossover matches while tickets for the knockout matches are priced at Rs 250 (East Stand), Rs 150 (North Stand) and Rs 150 (South Stand).  All general tickets for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 are now available online at http://in.ticketgenie.in/buytickets/hockey-world-cup-2018

 

Indian Juniors win 2-0 against Belgium

Sangita Kumari (36′) and Salima Tete (42′) scored to help India win their third consecutive match at the U-23 Six Nations Tournament (Women)

Hockey International 6 Nations U23 Women in Antwerp Belgium Match Belgium v India

Antwerp (Belgium), 18 July 2018: The Indian Junior Women’s Hockey Team defeated Belgium 2-0, making it their third consecutive victory at the U-23 Six Nations Tournament (Women) here on Tuesday.

In their first match, the Indian Junior Women’s team had a convincing win against Ireland 4-1, followed by a 1-0 win against Great Britain.On Tuesday, the Indian Junior Women’s Team led by Preeti Dubey put up a resilient performance to ensure they remained unbeaten in the tournament.

After a goalless first and second quarter, India were finally able to break the Belgian defence in the third quarter with Sangita Kumari’s goal in the 36th minute. The 1-0 lead was further doubled when Salima Tete scored through a PC in the 42nd minute.

India’s defence held strong in the last quarter and ensured they maintained the lead and eventually won the match 2 – 0.

On 18 July 2018, Indian Junior Women’s Hockey Team will take on Canada at 18.30 hours IST.

 

Bengaluru boy Achintya Krishna top scores with 14 points in NBA Academy India’s loss to BA ‘C’ team

The NBA Academy India reviews game tape as part of pre-game walkthrough

Wednesday, July 18: After a break from five-on-five competition yesterday, the NBA Academy teams returned to AIS on Wednesday with a slate of games scheduled against BA Prospects in the afternoon. The teams participated in morning pre-game walkthroughs before The NBA Global Academy, The NBA Academy Africa and The NBA Academy Latin America participated in a time management life skills session led by Adonal Foyle. The NBA Academy India and China teams then convened for an interactive session on communication.

Basketball Australia prospects arrived to AIS in the afternoon and took the court for team practices ahead of the evening games. Prior to the start of the exhibition games, the event opened up to dozens of NCAA coaches and personnel who flew into Canberra to scout the prospects participating in the camp. The first of five exhibition games then tipped off at 5 p.m.

The NBA Academy India vs. BA Prospects C

The BA Prospects C defeated The NBA Academy India 97-40. The BA Prospects C opened the first quarter with a 31-11 lead and didn’t look back, ending the game with four players in double figures, including Josh Stanwix (11 points), Joshua Gatbel-Kunen (19 points), Jarryd Hoppo (15 points) and Archie Woodhill (13 points). The NBA Academy India team was led by Riyanshu Negi who scored 10 points and Achintya Krishna who recorded a team-high 14 points. The NBA Academy India will return to the court tomorrow morning for a game against BA Prospects D.  Box Score.

The NBA Academy China vs. BA Prospects D

BA Prospects D defeated The NBA Academy China 77-58. The NBA Academy China was down just six points after the first quarter before BA Prospects D scored 33 second quarter points to extend their lead to 26 by halftime. The NBA Academy China outscored BA Prospects D by seven in the second half, but it was not enough to climb back from the first half deficit. Kyle Bowen (Australia) led the way for BA Prospects D, recording a team-high 13 points and seven rebounds to go along with four assists and three blocks. The NBA Academy China received major contributions from their bench, which scored 45 points, including Lin Qi’s team-high 18 points.  The NBA Academy China moved to 1-1 on the week. Box Score.

The NBA Global Academy vs. BA Prospects E

The NBA Global Academy defeated BA Prospects E 65-50. The teams traded buckets throughout the first two quarters and headed into halftime knotted at 31. The NBA Global Academy held the BA Prospects E to just five third quarter points to draw a 10-point lead heading into the final quarter. The NBA Global Academy scored a game-high 19 fourth quarter points to extend their lead to 15 points by the end of the game. A key advantage for the Global Academy came on the glass, where they outrebounded their opponent by 16.  Alex Ducas (Australia) led the BA Prospects E with 13 points and 7 rebounds and Ryan Rapp (Australia) contributed 11 points off the bench. NBA Global Academy center Aly Khalifa (Egypt) and guard Biwali Bayles (Australia) each scored 15 points on a combined 14-20 from the field. The NBA Global Academy improved to 2-0 on the week. Box Score.

The NBA Academy Latin America vs. BA Prospects A

The NBA Academy Latin America defeated the BA Prospects A 72-51. After The NBA Academy Latin America jumped out to a 16-8 lead in the first quarter, the BA Prospects A rallied with a 20-point second quarter to go into halftime down just three. The NBA Academy Latin America exploded for a 21-point third quarter and outscored the BA Prospects A by 16 in the second half, finishing with 54 points in the paint and 24 points off turnovers. Kobe Williamson and Malek Malual scored 11 points each off the bench for the BA Prospects A. Juan Fernandez (Brazil) scored a game-high 17 points, while Jermaine Perez (Puerto Rico) and Jean Montero (Dominican Republic) chipped in 14 points and 13 points, respectively. The NBA Academy Latin America improved to 1-1 on the week. Box Score.

The NBA Academy Africa vs. BA Prospects B

The NBA Academy Africa defeated BA Prospects B 82-70. After a highly-competitive first two quarters filled with lead changes, The NBA Africa Academy entered the half up 36-34. The NBA Africa Academy extended their lead to nine points with one quarter remaining after scoring 21 points in the third quarter, including a three-pointer from Kurt-Curry Wegscheider (Central African Republic) as the shot clock expired with less than a minute to go. The BA Prospects B cut the deficit to one with five minutes remaining before The NBA Academy Africa pulled away to win by 12. Mojavee King scored a game-high 20 points for the BA Prospects B and Hunter Goodrick recorded an 18 point/15 rebound double-double. Ibou Badji (Senegal) turned in an impressive 17 point/11 rebound double-double to go along with four blocks and three steals. Three more players scored in double-figures for The NBA Academy Africa, including Wegscheider, Samuel Ariyibi (Nigeria) and Abdou Halil Barre (Benin). The NBA Academy Africa improved to 1-1 on the week. Box Score.

All 10 teams will return tomorrow for the start of tournament play. The first game will feature The NBA Academy China against BA Prospects E at 8:30 a.m.  Photos from throughout the week will continue to be uploaded here.

 

The Hero Caribbean Premier League welcomes Repsol as a partner for the 2018 tournament

Georgetown, Guyana. 18 July 2018: The Hero Caribbean Premier League are delighted to welcome Repsol as a partner for the 2018 tournament, with a special focus being on the seven games to be played in Guyana. Repsol will not only be partnering with CPL for the Guyana Amazon Warriors’ five home matches, but also for CPL’s two play-off games, which will be played in Guyana for the first time. All matches will be played at the Providence Stadium across August and September.

Repsol will also have a presence at the other 27 league matches which will be played across the tournament’s six other locations.

Repsol is one of the top companies in the oil and gas industry. They are present across the entire value chain: exploration and production, transformation, development, and marketing of energy that is efficient, sustainable, and competitive for millions of people.

As a global brand with a Caribbean presence they are a perfect fit for Hero CPL who play games in six different Caribbean countries.

Speaking about the partnership Pete Russell, Hero CPL Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are delighted to welcome back Repsol this year and to expand our partnership across the entire league. Repsol are a fantastic company and are superb at what they do. As with last year, the principal focus of our partnership will be in Guyana, where the fan support for CPL is second to none. Repsol are an important part of the Guyanese economy and through our partnership we will ensure local fans get to see plenty of high quality cricket, whilst the investment in staging the games ensures the local economy gets a significant boost.”

“Repsol is pleased to sponsor the Caribbean Premier League, and we are proud to support Hero CPL in bringing world-class cricket to Guyana,” Repsol Guyana Country Manager, Ryan Ramjit, said. “As a West Indian, I am proud that Repsol made the investment to bring this exciting cricket format to the people of Guyana and the wider Caribbean.”

ABOUT THE HERO CARIBBEAN PREMIER LEAGUE:

First started in 2013, the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is a franchise-based T20 format cricket tournament that combines two of the most compelling aspects of Caribbean life – dramatic cricket and a vibrant Carnival atmosphere. Combining broadcast and digital viewership over 197 million fans watched the 2017 season to make it one of the fastest growing leagues in world cricket. Trinbago Knight Riders are the current Hero CPL champions and the other competing teams are Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, St. Lucia Stars and Jamaica Tallawahs. This year’s tournament takes place 8 August to 16 September 2018. For further information visit www.cplt20.com

 

IAAF response to an open letter from the Women’s Sports Foundation and Athlete Ally

Press Release

The IAAF has today responded to an open letter from the Women’s Sports Foundation and Athlete Ally, which requested that the IAAF rescind the new eligibility regulations for the female classification, due to come into effect on November 1, 2018.

IAAF Response to Open Letter

The IAAF has not and will never try to prevent women from participating in athletics.

In fact, the IAAF has been one of the foremost advocates for women’s sport for almost a century. It has long championed equal access to competition and equal prize money at a time when many other sports still discriminate in this area.

Contrary to claims made in an open letter written by the US-based Women’s Sports Foundation, the IAAF’s new female classification rule does not seek to prevent any woman from competing in athletics.

Under the Regulations, women with Differences of Sexual Development (DSD/intersex) will be eligible to compete in any event at domestic level. They will be eligible to compete in all but distances from 400m up to 1 mile on the international championship programme.  They will also be eligible to compete in those distances if they take measures to ensure their testosterone levels are under 5nmol/L (which puts them on an even playing field with the rest of the female population).  They will be eligible to compete in male and intersex competition. The choice is theirs.

The IAAF seeks only to maintain a fair and meaningful category for women to compete in athletics. It makes no judgment about gender or sexual identity.  It has only acted upon the scientific evidence established by esteemed scientists around the world, which shows that i) there is correlation between testosterone and performance in at least certain specific athletic events, ii) women who produce testosterone in the normal male range, and are androgen-sensitive, thereby enjoy a substantial physical advantage over women who produce testosterone in the normal female range.

The women’s category of sport is by nature a restricted category. Without limits, it would cease to exist and it is the responsibility of the sport’s governing body to establish those limits.

In the same way, under 20 competition is restricted to those athletes who are under 20, because those who are over 20 have a natural biological advantage over younger athletes who are still developing into adults.

Sports that have weight divisions to establish fair competition also impose limits that require some athletes, male and female, to change their body composition in order to abide by the rules of that event.

This rule has been established under the same principles that have governed fair competition in sport throughout its history.

The IAAF has been a leading supporter of women in sport for most of its long history and will continue to be.

IAAF

 

Louis Philippe Cup 2018 to Tee-off in Bengaluru from July 31

New look event returns as PGTI & Asian Development Tour (ADT) Co-Sanctioned event
– USD 75000 as prize money to be played at Prestige Golf Shire Club, Bengaluru
– Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) points up for grabs

Bengaluru, India, 17th July 2018: The Louis Philippe Cup will be embarking upon a new journey, with the Louis Philippe Cup 2018 to debut as a co-sanctioned professional golf tournament by the Asian Development Tour (ADT) and the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI). The new event will be played at the picturesque Prestige Golf Shire Club, Bengaluru from July 31st – August 4th, 2018.

The USD 75000 event would see participation of approximately 130 golfers that would include the top 60 ranked golfers from the Indian pro circuit as well as around 50 golfers representing some 15 nationalities from the ADT who would be vying for the winner’s cheque worth USD 13, 125 (INR 9,00,000 approx.). Some top names to look forward at the Louis Philippe Cup 2018 would include the likes of current PGTI Order of Merit (OOM) leader Honey Baisoya of Delhi and second ranked Sri Lankan R N Thangaraja. Other leading Indians and current Asian Tour regulars like Udayan Mane, Shamim Khan, Rashid Khan & Chikkarangappa, would also be seen in action at the Prestige Golf Shire Club. Some prominent foreign ADT golfers who are expected to be participating in the Louis Philippe Cup 2018, include current rankings leader Nitithorn Thippong of Thailand and Johnson Poh of Singapore, who is ranked second on the ADT this season.

Farida Kaliyadan, Chief Marketing Officer, Lifestyle Brands, ABFRL, the holding company for Louis Philippe said, “Louis Philippe is proud to continue our rich golfing tradition that has been existing over the last seven years. It’s a special moment for all of us to launch the Louis Philippe Cup this season as a con-sanctioned event by PGTI & ADT, taking the stature of this event to an international level. We hope golfers from across nations get to enjoy good competitive rounds of Golf and may the best golfer walk away with the winners cheque.”

She further adds, “Golf as a sport connotes poise, panache and style and these qualities blend perfectly with brand Louis Philippe. The Louis Philippe “Crest” is known for its craftsmanship and attention to detail, some values that are reflected in the game of golf. This season we look forward to witness some of our best golfers in competition to Rise Above The Rest.”

The last five editions of the Louis Philippe Cup have been staged as a special event on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) restricted to only 24 players but in 2018 it will for the first time be played as a full field co-sanctioned event with international flavor enabling the prize money to count towards the season end PGTI and ADT rankings as well as earn the top players Official World Ranking Points for the first time. The addition of the Louis Philippe Cup will raise the total number of tournaments to 21 on the 2018 ADT schedule, offering more than US$1.3 million in total prize money on the tour this season.

Asian Tour Chief Operating Officer Cho Min Thant, hailed the addition of the Louis Philippe Cup onto the schedule, praising the strong support from PGTI and Louis Philippe which according to him, would go a long way in further developing the game in the country and across the region.

“The Asian Development Tour is looking forward to the acceptance of Louis Philippe Cup onto their schedule. The PGTI has always been a strong supporter of the Asian Tour and the ADT,” said Cho Min Thant, CEO, Asian Tour.

Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO of PGTI, also expressed his delight, saying: “The PGTI is very happy to work with the ADT in improving & providing the playing opportunities for the striving golfers within the country and across the region.

“Golf in India has been on a rapid rise in recent years, with the likes of Shubhankar Sharma, Anirban Lahiri, Rahil Gangjee, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Shiv Kapur and S.S.P. Chawrasia making waves on the world stage. We hope to inspire other young talent to follow in their footsteps through events such as these.”

Measuring roughly 7,000 yards, the award-winning Prestige Golfshire Club offers an 18-hole championship golf course, which will provide a true test of golf to the ADT hopefuls vying for top honor’s next month. The PGTI hasn’t staged an event at this world-class venue since 2012 and for the ADT it is a brand new venue. Said event promoter, Rishi Narain, MD of RN Sports Marketing “ We are delighted to be able to bring a full field event to both the tours and expose the international field to one of India’s top courses which is rarely used for pro competition. The course is windy and demands exact ball placement and will prove to be a fair but stern test for the players.”  All ADT events are afforded with OWGR points. The winner receives a minimum of six points and the leading six players and ties earn points based on a sliding scale.

The leading five players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the main Asian Tour in 2019 which boasted 30 events with a total of USD 72,083,000 prize money in 2017.

 

Ten memorable moments from Tampere

General News

© Getty Images

The IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018 drew to a close little more than 48 hours ago, but memories of the event will linger for many years to come.

Eight championship records, 11 area U20 records and 90 national U20 records were set in Tampere. The medals table featured 43 nations, 25 of which won gold.

Some of the more memorable performances from the past week are listed below, alphabetically by athlete. Let us know what your favourite moments from Tampere were by joining the conversation on Twitter.

Kyle Blignaut, men’s shot put
Report | Video

Hima Das, women’s 400m
Report | Video

Armand Duplantis, men’s pole vault
Report | Video

Niamh Emerson, women’s heptathlon
Report | Video

George Manangoi, men’s 1500m
Report | Video

Jonathan Sacoor, men’s 400m
Report | Video

Alina Shukh, women’s javelin
Report | Video

Nozomi Tanaka, women’s 3000m
Report | Video

Briana Williams, women’s 100m and 200m
Reports: 100m, 200m | Videos: 100m, 200m

Lalu Muhammad Zohri, men’s 100m
Report | Video

 

WADA and ICSS strengthen Intelligence and Investigation capacities through cooperation agreement

Montreal, 17 July 2018: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announces that the Agency has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), which is aimed at coordinating efforts to better fight doping activities, trafficking of doping substances and match-fixing. The ICSS is an independent, non-profit organization, which partners with multiple sectors to address some of the most prominent challenges facing the world of sport today such as safety, security, integrity and governance.

The purpose of the co-operation between the ICSS and WADA is to support enforcement of national and international anti-doping measures referred to in the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, as well as match-fixing with each organization focusing on their respective mandates, authority and expertise. The support shall be limited to anti-doping measures and match-fixing that are directed towards the prevention and suppression of doping activities and trafficking of doping substances, when the latter constitute ordinary law crimes.

WADA Director, Intelligence and Investigations, Gunter Younger said: “As is the case with WADA’s other international cooperation agreements, this MOU strengthens WADA’s network and therefore the Agency’s capability for more robust intelligence and investigations. The MOU will also involve both parties encouraging the implementation of relevant legislation in all countries to enable partners to fight efficiently against the trafficking of doping substances, match-fixing and other forms of sports corruption.

ICSS Director, Capacity Building and Education and Director of the Sport Integrity Unit, Dale Sheehan said: “The ICSS mission to help safeguard sport and to work for integrity and fair play across all sport is greatly advanced through international cooperation with those who work to combat corruption in sport. Our Sport Integrity Unit will use this working agreement with WADA to expand our intelligence network and strengthen our capacity to investigate.

This MOU with WADA brings joint expertise together and is a significant step forward for the ongoing success of our Sport Integrity Hotline which has been set up to provide an independent, international platform for those wanting to report wrongdoing in sport.

We welcome this cooperation and the ICSS is proud to be of support and service to the excellent work of WADA.”

WADA also encourages informants and whistleblowers to come forward and report suspected doping violations via the Agency’s Speak Up! platform. Launched in March 2017, the platform has already generated over 300 reports.

 

India U-16s come from two goals down to play out a draw against Bangkok Glass FC U-17

New Delhi, July 17, 2018: The Indian U-16 National Team currently on an exposure tour in Thailand came from two goals down to play out a 2-2 draw against U-17 Bangkok Glass FC today (July 17, 2018). Trailing much of the match, the Colts put in a superb attacking performance in the last ten minutes of the match and scored twice, courtesy of strikes by Ricky (83’) and Ravi (86’), to finish the match on level pegging.

Coming on the back of a 0-2 win over Buriram United U-17, the Indian Colts were slow off the blocks and the opponents capitalized on that. As early as the 3rd minute, the opponents tested the Indian custodian and once again hovered around the Indian box in the 11th minute when a free-kick was thwarted by the Indian wall.

In the 21st minute, Bangkok Glass FC took the lead and doubled it shortly after in the 24th minute to make the scoreline read 2-0. Stunned, the Indian colts looked to minimize the deficit and in the 30thminute Harpreet’s rasping header missed the goal by inches.

Four minutes later, Bhuvnesh failed to make the most out of a Ridge D’Mello cross. The half-time scoreline read 2-0 in the opponents’ favour.

Changing over, the Indian U-16s pressed and in the 54th minute, the opposition custodian saved Vikram Pratap Singh’s shot as the colts kept the attacking momentum.

In the 64th minute, Shabas found Ridge D’Mello in the box but the latter’s shot was saved by the opposition goalkeeper. A minute later, Givson’s shot earned the same treatment.

The young colts had the best opportunity of the match in the 74th minute when Vikram Pratap Singh’s shot hit the woodwork from close range after Rohit Danu’s attempt was thwarted by the opposition custodian.

In the 83rd minute, Ricky found the net for the Indian U-16s and reduced the deficit as the scoreline read 2-1. Three minutes later, Ravi found the net for India and equalized the deficit as the scoreline read 2-2.

Although with attacking momentum on their side, the Indian Colts pressed for the decisive goal, but with time running out could not foster it. The full-time scoreline read 2-2.

The Indian U-16 National Team clashes swords against Thailand U-16 National Team next on July 20, 2018.

 

Improved World Ranking is big motivation, says Indian Men’s Hockey Team Skipper PR Sreejesh

The Indian team believes moving up to World No.5 is big boost to do well at the upcoming 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta and the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

BREDA – Rabobank Hockey Champions Trophy
India – Belgium
Photo: Sreejesh Parattu.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS FRANK UIJLENBROEK

Bengaluru, 18 July 2018: Following their stupendous Silver-Medal performance at the recently-held FIH Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2018 in Breda, the Netherlands, the Indian Men’s Hockey Team have have surged ahead in Men’s FIH Hero World Ranking from World No.6 to fifth place. The PR Sreejesh-led Indian team’s recent exploits has pushed Germany to sixth place.

According to the FIH Release on Tuesday, Australia (1906 points) sit 23 points ahead of second ranked Argentina (1883), with Belgium (1709) and Netherlands (1654) occupying the respective third and fourth positions.

“We are really happy and elated to see ourselves jump one step ahead in the World Rankings. The higher we go there is a lot more responsibility on our shoulders to do well and come up with consistent performance. The elevation in World Ranking gives us a big boost to do well in the upcoming 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta and the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 where we want to finish on the podium in front of our home crowd,” expressed Sreejesh on the sidelines of the ongoing National Camp at Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru.

The ace goalkeeper further added that the team needs to work hard to achieve their desirable goal of moving up to Top 3 in the World. “When you are going higher up the World Ranking, everyone (other teams) will take a close look at us and we will be in their radar constantly. We need to work really hard to maintain and improve our World Ranking. I believe we have the potential to go higher up to World No.3 but for that we need to do significantly well at the upcoming events and World Ranking has certainly added positive energy to our preparations,” stated Sreejesh, who was awarded the Goalkeeper of The Tournament title at the FIH Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2018.

Meanwhile, the team’s Chief Coach Harendra Singh congratulated his players for their efforts but was quick to add that they must remain persistent to climb further up. “My heartiest congratulations to all the players, support staff and Hockey India for their constant support. It is the hard work of the players that has paid dividends. I believe this team has the potential to do better and moving up to Top 3 is realistic if we finish on the podium at the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. We must work harder now and take this as a big motivation to excel in forthcoming tournaments,” stated Chief Coach Harendra Singh.

Governing body having an exclusive mandate to direct and conduct all activities for both men and women hockey in India. It is recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt. of India as the sole body responsible towards promoting Hockey in India.

Headquartered in New Delhi, Hockey India was established on 20th May, 2009 and is affiliated to the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).
Committed to the development of Hockey in the country, Hockey India with the assistance of Sports Authority of India and Department of Sports, Government of India, has drawn out a Long-Term Development Programme (LTDP) to train players, provide world-class infrastructure and International exposure besides regular international competition. With its vision to popularize the game and constantly promote it, Hockey India is dedicated to getting our team into the top three in the world.

Follow us on: www.hockeyindia.org

 

India Hockey hold South Korea 2-2

Gurjant Singh (9′) and Harmanpreet Singh (50′) score for India ‘A’

Bengaluru, 15 July 2018: After falling back twice in the match, the Indian Men’s Hockey ‘A’ Team overcame the setback to draw 2-2 with South Korea in the fifth and final practice match played here at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru Campus on Monday.

South Korea began well with an early 3rd minute goal converted by drag-flicker Jang Jonghyun. The 1-0 lead but the home team on the back-foot right at the start of the match. India ‘A’ forward Gurjant Singh helped the home team equalise in the 9th minute through a splendid field goal to end the first quarter in a 1-1 stalemate.

The visitors continued their good form into the second quarter creating potential opportunities to score. In the 23rd minute, an infringement by Indian defender saw South Korea win a PC which was well-converted by Jang Jonghyun to take a 2-1 lead.

A structured defence saw South Korea hold on to the lead all through the second and third quarter. However, a PC in the 50th minute saw India ‘A’ equalise the score-line to 2-2 through drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh’s goal.

 

Blues regroup for pre-season as AFC Cup challenge continues

Bengaluru: Super Cup champions Bengaluru FC kicked off the first leg of their 2018-19 pre-season with an open training session at the Bangalore Football Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Saturday. All seven new signings – Kean Lewis, Rino Anto, Sairuat Kima, Gursimrat Gill, Soram Poirei, Chencho Gyeltshen and Xisco Hernandez – along with retained players put in a shift under the watchful eyes of newly appointed Head Coach Carles Cuadrat.

The Blues begin their competitive season with a two-legged AFC Cup Inter-Zone semifinal clash against Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr FK and Cuadrat says the challenge ahead is one he is looking forward to.

“I’m very happy to be back. When you see the kind of supporters we have and the hard work that goes into the club, you feel proud to be part of it. We have a long preseason now and we will do our best to prepare ourselves for the Asian challenge. We’re aware about the quality of the opponents at this stage of the competition and that we need to be at our best going into the start of the campaign.”

While Cuadrat took to the field as Head Coach for the first time ever, skipper Sunil Chhetri became the first player to enter a sixth season as part of the club.

“It’s a great feeling to be back on the pitch. We’ve had some time away from the game to refresh ourselves and everyone is now very enthusiastic for the new season. There are a few new signings in the squad and with more time at our hand this time around, we want to be better prepared for the knockout stage of the AFC Cup,” said Chhetri on the sidelines of the first session.

The supporters turned up in numbers to create an atmosphere as the Blues introduced Assistant Coach Gerard Zaragoza, who has experience at Lekhwiya SC, Torpedo Kutaisi, Locomotive Tblisi and RCD Espanyol. Zaragoza’s most recent stint came as assistant to Michael Laudrup at Al-Rayyan SC in Qatar. Joining Zaragoza as part of the newly appointed backroom staff was Goalkeeping Coach Cristian Patru, formerly of FC Dynamo Brest in the Belarusian Premier League.

The Blues head to the BFC Residential Training facilities in Bellary on Monday, before travelling to Spain for the second leg of their pre-season.

 

TAMPERE, FINLAND – JULY 14: Brianna Williams of Jamaica celebrates setting a new championship record in the final of the women’s 200m on day five of The IAAF World U20 Championships on July 10, 2018.Getty Images for IAAF)

 

IAAF releases largest ever Athletics Biomechanics study

Almost everything that moved in the stadium at last year’s IAAF World Championships in London was recorded by 49 high speed cameras and has now been measured and analysed as part of the largest biomechanical study in the sport’s history.

Today, the IAAF, in partnership with Leeds Beckett University, has released the results of this unique project at the IAAF Coaches Conference in Tampere.

After 12 months of intensive work, Leeds Beckett has produced 38 in-depth reports on the specific events that make up the track and field program, revealing fascinating details about the performances of the world’s best athletes.

The IAAF has been carrying out biomechanical research for 30 years. The first study was conducted at the World Championship in Rome in 1987 and the reports from that study, together with the research reports from World Championships in Athens in 1997 and in Osaka in 2007 are also available in the research section of the IAAF website. The reports from the intervening championships will be uploaded over the coming month.

“The reports over the three decades show how far technology and technics have come over these 30 years and give a rare insight into the evolution of biomechanical data in our sport over this time,” said IAAF President, Sebastian Coe.

“Biomechanics are crucial to the development of athletes where milli-seconds and millimetres can make the difference between qualifying for a final, or not, and winning a medal, or not. They enable athletes and coaches to perfect performances, tweak technique and more importantly understand, manage and mitigate injury,” added Coe.

Last year’s biomechanical study recorded data from 76 individual events, filming over 730 athletes with 49 high speed and HD cameras. Leeds Beckett University clocked up over six and a half thousand hours in planning, data collection and data analysis resulting in the 38 individual reports launched today.

“Partnering the IAAF in this project was a very exciting chapter for the Biomechanics department within the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University,” said Head of Department, Dr Athanassios Bissas. “It was both exciting and carried significant responsibility because of the scope of the project and capturing live data from athletes such as Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and over 700 other top athletes,” added Bissas.

“Central to our data collection protocols was the deployment of three-dimensional motion techniques to analyse all the events. The plan was to deploy as many cameras as possible per event so all key aspects are captured. For instance, we deployed 23 high-speed cameras to capture the 100m race, something unprecedented in the world of athletics, and definitely a first in terms of biomechanical sprinting analysis” said Bissas.

“We are proud of this project and feel it will be an important milestone in the development of biomechanics in athletics. We are confident that the reports will provide everyone in the sport of athletics with useful material for many years to come,” added Bissas.

Some of the highlights from this research include:

– The steeplechase, recorded in detail for the first time. We all know that clearing the barriers and landing cleanly in the water are critical in the steeplechase. But the outstanding technique of USA athletes Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs in the women’s 3000m steeplechase clearly showed that medals were won and lost in the water. The research showed in detail that the USA team’s effective water jump clearance techniques were key to their performances.

– The 4x100m men’s relay shows that the difference between gold and silver was the exact same difference between the time the athletes spent in the changeover zone. The GB men’s team spent the least total time in the changeover zone – 0.05 seconds less than the USA team which was the winning margin.

– The data captured on 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana shows a difference up of up to 20cm between the length of her strides from right to left (her right to left is longer than left of right), which is not easy to spot with the naked eye. Eliminating this asymmetry may not just make her faster but may help to overcome injury. The health and wellbeing of athletes is as important as their performances.

Whilst the reports will provide useful insight for coaches and athletes, it will also help the sport of innovate within the sport by providing new data and graphics that can be shared with the media and fans around the world. For example:

– We recorded the longest 110m hurdle clearance at the championships from Bronze medallist Balazs Baji – over 2 metres before the hurdle and just under 2 metres after the hurdle so a 4m hurdle, just under half the length of a world class long jump.

– And the longest measured stride during speed development in the women’s 100m final was recorded by Dafne Schippers at a pretty impressive 2.3 metres.

“These are distances that our fans understand and can marvel at.   Together with take off speeds in jumps and the speed of release in throws we can use this data to tell the stories of the enormous feats that our athletes achieve, bringing to life their extraordinary talents and enhancing our fans’ understanding, enjoyment and appreciation of our sport. We are working on some innovative ideas around graphics for our next World Championships in Doha, using biomechanical data to bring our fans closer to the action and our athletes. These are exciting times for our sport,” said Coe.

“I would like to end by saying a huge thank you to our Development Team, to Leeds Beckett University and to all the coaches that have contributed to the reports by analysing the data and providing expert opinions in each of the reports,” added Coe.

IAAF

 

Rishi Narain Wins All India Seniors Golf Championship 2018

New Delhi, July 14, 2018: Former Asian Games Gold medalist Rishi Narain, won the Indian Golf Union’s 48th annual All India Seniors Golf Championship, in a sudden death shootout against 3 time Senior winner Gangesh Khaitan and by 4 strokes over cricket legend Kapil Dev who finished in 3rd place at the Jaypee Greens Golf Resort in Greater Noida.

Said Kapil “ I have always enjoyed competing in sport and golf is a great test of skill, patience, clear thinking and selecting and judging the correct stroke to play. In Seniors golf the US Professional Tour stages around 30 tournaments every year with Rs 10 crore prize money every tournament and then there are tours in Europe, Japan and Asia. Golf is a sport for a lifetime as if you are in good physical condition, you can be competitive even in your 60’s. I intend to enjoy competitive golf for many more years”  said the veteran.

“It feels nice to win this prestigious event and put my name on the trophy alongside several Indian golf legends like Arjuna Awardees 6 time winner Ashok Malik, 2 time winner Vikramjit Singh, 5 time winner and double Asian Games golf medallist Lakshman Singh. Senior Amateur Golf is a major sport all over the world and its good to see this growing in India now. The top 6 finishers in this event now will represent India at the annual Asia Pacific Senior Championship in Japan and the top four will play the Test match against South Africa, ”said Rishi Narain, after the win.

A record entry of 120 Senior Golfers ( ages 50 years and above) from all over India competed in the event. Playing a three-day stroke play format, Rishi carded rounds of 75,74 and 74 over two days, for an overall score of 7-over par 223 to emerge triumphant. Gangesh Khaitan scored 73, 75, 75 also on 223 and Kapil Dev scored 73, 77, 77 to be at 227 total after being joint first day leader with Khaitan.

The All India Mid Amateur Championship ( for players aged between 35 and 50 years) was played simultaneously with the Seniors and many time international Simarjeet Singh from Noida GC emerged winner at a total of even par 288 ( Rounds of 70,76,71,71) after a closely held battle over four days with Chandigarh’s H.S. Kang who finished at 290 ( Rounds of 69,76, 73, 72) . 2017 Mid-Amateur winner Gagan Varma finished on 3rd at 302.

 

India beat Ireland 5-0

Mohd Raheel stars with a double goal in India’s opening match win at the U-23 Five Nations Tournament (Men)

Hockey International tournament U23 Men in Antwerp Belgium Match India-Ireland

Antwerp (Belgium), 14 July 2018: The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team marched to a comfortable 5-0 win against Ireland in their opening match at the U-23 Five Nations Tournament (Men) that began here on Saturday.

After a goal-less first quarter, the Indian Junior Men’s led by Dipsan Tirkey found their momentum as they struck a splendid field goal in the 20th minute through Rajkumar Pal. Mohd Umar doubled the team’s lead in the 25th minute with an impressive field goal and three minute later Mohd Raheel converted a PC to take India’s lead to a comfortable 3-0.

While the team’s defence remained unbreakable with Irish forwards finding little space in the striking circle to convert. Meanwhile, the team’s attack worked its way to fetch two more goals in the 32nd and 60th minutes through Shilanand Lakra and Mohd Raheel respectively.  

On 15 July 2018, Indian Junior Men’s team will take on Great Britain at 18.30 hours IST.

Please find attached action photos from the match between Indian Junior Men’s team Vs Ireland. Also attached is the schedule of the tournament.

 

TAMPERE, FINLAND – JULY 13: Jake Norris of Great Britain celebrates winning gold in the final of the men’s hammer throw on day four of The IAAF World U20 Championships. Getty Images for IAAF

 

IAAF approves the application of five Russian Athletes to compete internationally as neutral athletes

The IAAF Doping Review Board has agreed that the applications of five Russian athletes have met the exceptional eligibility criteria to compete in international competition as neutral athletes in 2018 under competition Rule 22.1A(b) while the Russian national federation (RusAF) remains suspended.

In December 2017, the IAAF issued a simplified application process for 2017 Authorised Neutral Athletes to reapply for continued eligibility to compete in international competitions in 2018.

Since publication of the simplified application and updated guidelines under Rule 22.1A(b) in December, the IAAF has received more than 200 applications from Russian athletes.

A total of 72 Russian athletes have so far been declared eligible to compete as Authorised Neutral Athletes in 2018. 68 applications have been denied and 5 athletes have had their ANA status revoked. A number of further applications have been withdrawn or were submitted out of time.

The Doping Review Board is composed of Robert Hersh (chair), Sylvia Barlag and Antti Pihlakoski.

As this is an ongoing process, the IAAF will only make announcements as and when decisions are made by the Doping Review Board concerning successful applications and those athletes have been informed.

2018 Authorised Neutral Athletes

Date of announcement and athlete/event:

13 July 2018 – Rinas Akhmadeyev (10,000m/half marathon), Artyom Alekseyev (marathon), Artyom Denmukhametov (400m), Denis Lukyanov (hammer throw), Yelizaveta Tsareva (hammer throw)

3 July 2018 – Mariya Aglitskaya (100m hurdles), Timofey Chalyy (400m hurdles), Georgiy Gorokhov (pole vault), Ilya Ivanyuk (high jump), Timur Morgunov (pole vault), Vera Rudakova (400m hurdles), Yevgeniy Rybakov (distances), Fyodor Shutov (distances)

22 June 2018 – IAAF World U20 Championships and European U18 Championships: Oleg Braiko (jumps), Viktoriya Gorlova (long jump), Maria Kochanova (high jump), Elena Kulichenko (high jump)

22 June 2018 – IAAF World U20 Championships: Diana Adasko (triple jump), Elizaveta Bondarenko (pole vault), Ilya Dolbin (pole vault), Aleksei Fadeev (high jump), Aksana Gatauillina (pole vault), Elizaveta Kamenets (combined events), Stepan Kekin (combined events), Aleksei Kislitsa (discus), Polina Knoroz (pole vault), Polina Miller (sprints), Nikolay Orlov (javelin), Alina Sharkova (400m hurdles), Anastasiia Shkuratova (hammer), Olga Viktorova (400m hurdles), Valentina Ulianova (high jump)

22 June 2018 – European U18 Championships: Dzhennifer Akiniimika (sprints), Irina Boldyreva (sprint hurdles), Valeria Chehovich (400m hurdles), Arseniy Elfimov (combined events), Violetta Ignateva (throws), Dmitriy Kachanov (pole vault), Adelina Khalikova (high jump), Alexander Komarov (combined events), Vilena Komarova (combined events), Sergey Kozlov (discus), Iana Melnikova (discus), Maria Privalova (jumps), Olesia Soldatova (400m), Anastasiia Zui (400m hurdles), Sergey Zverev (hammer), Valeria Yakimenko (hammer)

12 April 2018 – Kseniya Aksyonova (sprints), Vasiliy Mizinov (race walks), Sergey Shubenkov (sprint hurdles), Yana Smerdova (race walks)

21 February 2018: Maksim Afonin (shot put), Anna Krylova (triple jump)

2 February 2018: Ilya Shkurenev (combined events)

25 January 2018: Viktor Butenko (discus), Danila Danilov (hammer), Alexsey Fedorov (triple jump), Irina Gumenyuk (triple jump), Vyacheslav Kolesnichenko (sprints), Mariya Lasitskene (high jump), Aleksandr Lesnoy (shot put), Alyona Lutkovskaya (pole vault), Danil Lysenko (high jump), Alaina Mamina (sprints), Yuliya Maltseva (discus), Polina Miller (sprints), Ilya Mudrov (pole vault), Olga Mullina (pole vault), Sofiya Palkina (hammer), Viktoriya Prokopenko (triple jump), Anzhelika Sidorova (pole vault), Aleksei Sokyrskii (hammer)

IAAF

 

Lalu Muhammad Zohri’s golden run puts Indonesia on the Athletics map

© Getty Images for the IAAF

It was 10 seconds that shook up the world of sprinting – 10.18 seconds, to be precise, the amount of time it took Lalu Muhammad Zohri to stun the superpowers and grab 100m gold at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018.

In the 32-year history of this event, Indonesia’s best ever result was an eighth-place finish in a quarter-final back in 1986, but things have changed since then, changed utterly.

In recent days the nation’s president, Joko Widodo, offered his congratulations to Zohri and ordered cabinet ministers to arrange that their sporting hero’s house be renovated, while for Zohri himself, the hours since the final have passed in a haze of beautiful bewilderment.

“I didn’t realise the reaction, but this is amazing,” he said. “Now I am crafting history and I’m very proud.”

For a kid from a poor background, one who grew up in a small house made of wood and woven bamboo, who a couple of years ago had to ask his older sister for a loan to buy running shoes, this was an extraordinary achievement.

But it was far from a fluke, because for quite a while Zohri’s talent has been blossoming under the guidance of two high-calibre Indonesian coaches and one international consultant who, it’s fair to say, knows a thing or two about creating champions.

• Full feature on Lalu Muhammad Zohri
• Footage of the 100m final at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018
• 100m report
• Image of Lalu Muhammad Zohri, free to use for editorial coverage
(Please credit ‘Getty Images for the IAAF’)

Winners of 100m at IAAF World U20 Championships
1986 Derrick Florence (USA) 10.17
1988 Andre Cason (USA) 10.22
1990 Davidson Ezinwa (NGR) 10.17
1992 Ato Boldon (TTO) 10.30
1994 Deji Aliu (NGR) 10.21
1996 Francis Obikwelu (NGR) 10.21
1998 Christian Malcolm (GBR) 10.12
2000 Mark Lewis-Francis (GBR) 10.12
2002 Darrel Brown (TTO) 10.09
2004 Ivory Williams (USA) 10.29
2006 Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (GBR) 10.37
2008 Dexter Lee (JAM) 10.40
2010 Dexter Lee (JAM) 10.21
2012 Adam Gemili (GBR) 10.05
2014 Kendal Williams (USA) 10.21
2016 Noah Lyles (USA) 10.17
2018 Lalu Muhammad Zohri (INA) 10.18

 

Predictions on the World Cup Finals 2018 by FC Goa Coach, Technical Director and Players

Question: Tell us your prediction on who will win the World Cup 2018 and Why?
 
Responses below:

Sergio Lobera, Head Coach, FC Goa

Croatia – France are a great team with great players, but in a final the team is more important than individuals and I think Croatia can win as a team.

Derrick Pereira, Technical Director, FC Goa

France – they have a balanced side with plenty of talent and a great blend of youth and experience. Croatia has shown grit and determination right from the start and may have the upper hand as the trend of a new country lifting the trophy every 20 years is in their favour. However, I feel that the French will break that trend and lift the title on Sunday.

FC Goa Players:

Laxmikant Kattimani

Croatia – as they are full of confidence and considering it is their first appearance in a World Cup final, I think they will not let this opportunity pass.
 
Nirmal Chhetri

France – because of the way the team has been playing right from the group stages. They have been particularly convincing in the knockout rounds with teenage sensation (Kylian) Mbappe putting in some very strong performances.

Jackichand Singh

France – because they have an extremely strong XI. Even their bench is extremely strong and they have many players who can come on and make a difference.

Brandon Fernandes

Croatia – France are favourites, but it’s a World Cup Final and anything can happen. It’s hard to say who will win as both teams have played outstanding football in the knock out stages so I can’t really say, but if I had to chose, I will pick Croatia to lift the World cup. I don’t have any reason it is just my gut feeling.

Mandar Rao Dessai

Croatia – They have been playing really good football with midfielders (Luka) Modric and (Ivan) Rakitic really shining. They have a never-say-die attitude after needing extra time and penalties in all of their knockout matches to reach the final. I think those experiences will eventually push them to be crowned champions.

Chinglensana Singh

France – because they play as a team and stick to the gameplan laid out by Didier Deschamps. Having said that, Croatia is an underdog and have come a long way to get to the final. They have an equally good chance of winning as in football anything can happen on the day, but my gut says France.

Ferran Corominas

Croatia – as they have played a very good tournament so far and it is the first time they will be in the final of a World Cup. (Luka) Modric has been exceptional throughout the tournament and I feel they deserve to win it.

Lalthuammawia Ralte

France – because I think they have a better squad than Croatia, but it’s football and anything can happen. It is going be a tightly contested affair. The French squad have young, energetic and very talented players and that is why I’m going for France for the win.

 

Indian ‘A’ beat South Korea 7-2

Varun Kumar scores twice in India ‘A’ victory

Bengaluru, 13 July 2018: The Indian Men’s Hockey ‘A’ Team beat South Korea 7-2 in their third practice match here at the Sports Authority of India on Friday.

India ‘A’ dominated the game right from the start without letting South Korea’s impressive defence structure dent the home team’s attack.

Though it took India ‘A’ 15 minutes to score their first goal through Amon Mirash Tirkey, India ‘A’ extended the lead in the 21st minute through a PC scored by Varun Kumar.

Though South Korea fought back with a goal in 22nd minute by Yang Jihun that narrowed lead to 2-1, goals by Varun and Dilpreet Singh in the 30th and 31st minute took the home team’s score to 4-1.

Lee Jungjun scored for the visitors in the 37th minute, but goals by Nilakanta Sharma (40′), Sumit Kumar (49′) and Gurjinder Singh (60′) helped India ‘A’ seal the match.

 

Hima Das, India’s golden girl wins 400m at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018

TAMPERE, FINLAND – JULY 12: Hima Das of India celebrates winning gold in the final of the women’s 400m on day three of The IAAF World U20 Championships on July 12, 2018, in Tampere, Finland. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images for IAAF)

12 July 2018, Tampere, Finland: With a power-packed finish, India’s Hima Das sealed her nation’s first ever medal in the 400m at the IAAF World U20 Championships, sling-shotting to the lead down the home straight and coming home a clear winner in 51.46.
It made her the first Indian woman to win a global title of any kind and the first Indian, male or female, to win a global track title.

Das had looked an overwhelming favourite for gold throughout the rounds, but on an evening of surprises it looked like another one was on the cards midway through the 400m final. Das went off in conservative fashion, and was no better than fourth as she entered the final turn. But, as she said afterwards, “my biggest strength is the last 100m.”

Australia’s Ella Connolly, Romania’s Andrea Miklos and USA’s Taylor Manson all appeared in better shape for victory, but Das finishes like few others in the world of one-lap running.

She torched up the home straight and was drawing away at the finish, coming home well clear of Miklos, who grabbed silver with a PB of 52.07.

Manson claimed bronze for USA with a strong run of 52.28, while Connolly was run out of the medals in fourth with 52.82.

“I’m very proud to hold the Indian flag on my shoulders,” said Das. “I’d like to thank India and my team leader and my coach.”

Back in second, silver was as good as gold for Miklos.

“I can’t believe it!” she said. “It was very hard for me; my leg is all taped up so it was very hard to get second place. I just kept pushing because I wanted a medal very badly. I’m very confident that I can run with the seniors so I’m very happy.”

CATHAL DENNEHY FOR THE IAAF

 

Toyota Yaris LaLiga World Football Clinic with Kerala Blasters FC

Kochi, 12 July 2018: In our endeavour to touch as many communities in the city of Kochi as possible through football before the first ever Toyota Yaris LaLiga World pre-season tournament, Kerala Blasters FC player C.K. Vineeth led a football clinic in the city’s Maharaja College. The football team of the college learned picked up the finer nuances of the sport from the club’s players through a master class session.

In a bid to get maximum spectators for the triangular pre-season event, the college will have a Paytm box office where students can buy tickets till 27th July. The first match will be played on 24th July between Kerala Blasters FC and Melbourne City FC.

 

Rabada leads way as Proteas keep Sri Lanka in check

Thursday, 12 July 2018: KAGISO RABADA led a strong bowling performance that saw the Standard Bank Proteas overcome the disadvantage of losing the toss to take all 10 Sri Lanka first innings wickets inside 80 overs on the opening day of the two-match Test Series at Galle on Thursday.

At one stage it looked as though were holding an overwhelmingly strong position when they had the home side 176/8 shortly after the tea interval but opening batsman Dalmuth Karunaratne rallied tail-end support to see the last two wickets add 111 to the total and give Sri Lanka a much more competitive 287 all out. Karunaratne became the fourth Sri Lankan to carry his bat in a magnificent innings of 158 not out (222 balls, 13 fours and a six). It was his eighth Test century and the fourth time he has made more than 150.

Sri Lanka then completed an excellent session by taking the wicket of Aiden Markram in the four overs the Proteas had to face before the close.

Spin bowling is going to be a factor throughout the match but the pitch nevertheless looks a good one for batting at this stage.

Rabada moved smoothly back into Test match mode after an extended break to recover from his back strain and was always a threat as he took 4/50 in 14 overs. That included the initial breakthrough in his opening spell and a sensational start to his second spell when he took two wickets off the first three balls he sent down.

The Proteas included Tabraiz Shamsi as a fifth specialist bowler as they continued the attacking approach that has been the hallmark of Ottis Gibson’s reign as head coach and the move paid off. The wrist spinner had an excellent day with a career best return of 3/91 in 25.4 overs. The first 20 of those overs came in a single spell and for a long time, in addition to the wickets he took, he conceded little more than two runs to the over.

He came on to bowl at 67/1 after 18 overs and, when he was rested, Sri Lanka had slumped to 211/8 in 57 which was a clear indication of his value.

His control was most impressive and Karunaratne was the only Sri Lanka batsman to pick his varieties with confidence. By blocking one end he enabled Faf du Plessis to launch a short-pitch attack from the other end by Rabada and the returning Dale Steyn.

It worked for the first 60 overs before the Proteas attack started to tire.

The five-man attack has given the Proteas a good position that the specialist batsmen will need to consolidate on day two.

 

Rajesh Kumar Rawat’s final round of 64 wins him The Palms

Pawan Verma emerges Feeder Tour Order of Merit champion with fifth place finish at season finale

Lucknow, July 12, 2018: Lucknow’s Rajesh Kumar Rawat delivered a sublime final round of six-under-64 to snatch victory with an impressive five-shot margin at the PGTI Feeder Tour event staged at The Palms Golf Club & Resort, Sushant Golf City, Ansal API in Lucknow.

The 44-year-old Rawat (64-69-64), who was two off the lead in second place at the start of the last round, totalled 13-under-197 at the season-ending event to secure his second career title.

Victor Hans (70-66-66) of Jalandhar produced a second straight 66 to gain five spots and finish tied second. Noida’s Dipankar Kaushal (62-69-71), the round two leader by two shots, also took a share of second at eight-under-202 as a result of his third round of 71.

Delhi’s Pawan Verma (68) claimed fifth place at six-under-204 at The Palms to emerge Feeder Tour Order of Merit champion at the sixth and last event of the season. Verma recorded the highest earnings for the season which stood at Rs. 2,78,987.

Pawan, who posted four top-10s in the season including two runner-up finishes, has now earned an exemption for the 2019 PGTI season (Main Tour).

Rajesh Kumar Rawat, who had earlier won on the Feeder Tour back in 2011, enjoyed a terrific start on day three as he sank three birdies on the first four holes with conversions from a range of six to 20 feet.

Rawat carried on the good work in the middle stages of his round by adding three more birdies on the ninth, 12th and 14th that put him in the driver’s seat even as his nearest rivals struggled to keep pace with him. Rajesh’s tap-in birdie on the 14th was followed by four steady pars that saw him end up with the day’s best score of 64.

The win lifted Rawat from 10th to fifth position in the Feeder Tour Order of Merit that in turn earned him a direct entry into the Final Stage of Qualifying for the 2019 PGTI season.

Rawat said, “I brought all my experience into play today. I knew that a score of five to six under in the final round would be good enough for me to win.

“I had an unbelievable start and then as soon as I got my fifth birdie on the 12th, I knew I was in control. I then decided to play regulation golf over the last six holes as it was evident that others would find it tough to catch up with me.

“The clear advantage I had was that my nearest rivals Dipankar Kaushal and Amardeep Rawat were not as experienced as me. They started well but I knew they will hit some stumbling blocks along the way and that’s the reason I didn’t look to do anything spectacular after the initial flourish.

“My ball-striking was excellent through the week and helped me post two rounds of 64. I made 16 greens in regulation in the final round which also contributed to my success.

“I can now carry the confidence from this win onto the main tour. I would like to thank the Lucknow Golf Club for supporting me over all these years.”

Victor Hans mixed six birdies with two bogeys during his last round of 66 that gave him his second top-10 finish of the season.

Dipankar Kaushal, the leader in the first two rounds, seemed to be coasting to his maiden title after he drained four birdies over the first six holes. However, Dipankar’s six bogeys from the ninth to the 17th put paid to his title hopes.

Brothers Ajay Baisoya (seven-under-203) and Pawan Verma (six-under-204) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Verma, even-par for the day till the 17th, signed off with a 40-feet eagle conversion on the par-5 18th before emerging as the Order of Merit champion.

Verma said, “I was very consistent through the season and quite often in contention even though I didn’t win this year. The Feeder Tour experience has once again instilled self-belief in me. I’m confident of carrying the positives from here onto the main tour.”

Kapurthala’s Ashbeer Saini, who finished tied 22nd at even-par-210 at The Palms, secured second place on the Order of Merit with season’s earnings of Rs. 2,46,624. He claimed five top-10s in the season including one victory.

Gurugram’s Dhruv Sheoran, a winner of two titles this season, came in third in the money list with earnings of Rs. 2,43,427.

 

Jan Zelezny donates world record Javelin to IAAF Heritage Exhibition

The Czech Republic’s three-time Olympic and World javelin throw champion Jan Zelezny visited the IAAF Heritage World / Continental Cup – 1977 To 2018 – Exhibition earlier today to make a major donation to the displays.

The exhibition, which is located on the first floor of the Forum Nova Karolina Shopping Centre in the heart of the Czech city of Ostrava, is running for three months until the final day of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 on 9 September.

Zelezny, who travelled from Prague this morning, brought with him a very special gift which he officially presented to Valter Bocek, Chief Executive Officer of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018

On the 25 May 1996 in the third round of the Zeiss Meeting in Jena, Germany, Zelezny threw a world record of 98.48 metres (323 ft 1 in) which, 22 years later, remains the best javelin throw of all-time.

Thanks to Zelezny’s tremendous generosity, the javelin which he hurled on that day to set the fifth world record of his career is now on public display in Ostrava, along with 200 other items from the history of athletics.

“I’m really pleased to contribute my world record javelin to the IAAF Heritage Collection knowing that it will be on public show here in Ostrava and next year in Doha,” commented Zelezny, who was victorious in the 6th IAAF World Cup in Havana, Cuba in 1992 with 88.26m. “I hope the donation of this javelin will help motivate sports fans to discover the beauty and excitement of athletics for many generations to come.”

Spanning the period from the ancient Olympic Games right up to the present day, the exhibition brings together video, text and photographic displays covering 260m2 of shop space in the ultra-modern shopping centre and entertainment complex.

The IAAF Heritage World / Continental Cup – 1977 To 2018 – Exhibition is kindly supported by the International Athletics Foundation, ASICS, Seiko, TDK and Mondo and is delivered by IAAF Heritage along with the Czech Athletics Federation and the LOC of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018. We thank the Forum Nova Karolina Shopping Centre for their support and assistance in hosting the exhibition.

IAAF

 

Tokyo Coordination Commission hears how the power of the Olympic Games will help bring communities together in Japan

International Olympic Committee Press Release

July 12, 2018: The power of sport to unite was on display during the visit of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission to Tokyo. Organisers announced that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay will begin in Fukushima, before travelling across the country. Fukushima was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and Games organisers have worked to make sure the local population can benefit directly from the Games, with the Torch Relay and some sports events taking place in the region. The IOC was also impressed by the significant advances that the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has made towards hosting the Olympic Games in 2020.

“Tokyo 2020 comes a significant step closer to delivering Olympic Games that will bring Japan and the world together. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has presented considerable progress since our previous Coordination Commission visit last year, especially as it relates to venue and operational readiness,” said IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates. “As we near the two-years-to-go mark, the Games are really coming to life, with the Olympic Torch Relay showing the power of sport, as it will begin in Fukushima, which was affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Tokyo 2020 will also welcome media and National Olympic Committees later this year and host its first Test Event in September, while fans can also expect announcements around mascots, tickets, the session schedule and volunteering all in the next few months.”

“Following on from the last IOC Coordination Commission meeting, we were able to share details with the IOC about how hard the local governments are working on their preparations for the Games,” said Tokyo 2020 President Mori. “It is very meaningful that the Olympic Torch Relay will traverse the whole country, given our hope that the Olympic Games will leave their mark on future generations and provide legacies for the children of Japan. I believe these Olympic Games will help lift the spirits of all of the people in Japan, and provide a particular boost to the feelings of people in the affected areas.”

Venue preparation was a core topic throughout the three-day visit, with the Coordination Commission kicking off the first day with a tour of Tokyo Stadium, Musashino Forest Sport Plaza and Equestrian Park.

Tokyo Stadium, which will host football, rugby and modern pentathlon, is one of the 22 existing venues that will be used for the Olympic Games. Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, the first new permanent venue to be completed, has already begun hosting multipurpose events, representing the first tangible venue legacy of the Olympic Games 2020.

The multisport venue will host badminton, wheelchair basketball and parts of the modern pentathlon competition, and includes a swimming pool, a gym, a multi-use sports arena and two fitness studios, all of which will also be available for use by the general public before and after the Games.

The Coordination Commission capped off the venue tour with a stop at the Equestrian Park, also known as Baji Koen. A legacy of the Olympic Games 1964, the Equestrian Park, which is being revitalised with the assistance of the Japan Racing Association (JRA), will continue to benefit Tokyo citizens for decades to come, as it is will be reopened to the public following the 2020 Games. Just as the Tokyo 1964 Games served as a catalyst to transform Japan, so, too, does Tokyo 2020 aim to harness the power of sport to pass on a legacy for the future.

This combination of new, renovated and existing venues demonstrates how Tokyo 2020 has embraced Olympic Agenda 2020 to create a sustainable legacy for the city of Tokyo and Japan, while optimising construction costs.

On the final day of the Coordination Commission visit, Tokyo 2020 announced the order of prefectures for the Olympic Torch Relay, which reinforced the Organising Committee’s commitment to ensure that these Games are for all of Japan, with the Relay travelling to 47 Japanese prefectures.

Just as the Olympic Torch Relay will travel across Japan, the design of the Olympic and Paralympic mascots was also a national affair, with school children from 80% of all Japanese schools having voted on their favourite design. Those mascots will be named during Tokyo’s two-years-to-go countdown celebrations later this month.

Tokyo 2020 will also welcome broadcasters from around the world to the World Broadcaster Meeting in two weeks’ time, which is an essential event in the preparation for the Olympic Games, as provides details on the services and operations available to broadcasters as they transmit the Games around the world. This will be followed by the World Press Briefing in September.

Several members of the Olympic Movement joined the Coordination Commission for this visit, including several National Olympic Committees – Brazil, France, Qatar, Sweden and USA – and TOP partner representatives – Intel, Panasonic and Toyota. This participation originates in the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020’s the New Norm and reinforces the IOC’s and organisers’ commitment to enhancing the experience of athletes, stakeholders and fans.

The Paris 2024 Organising Committee was on-site to observe the meeting and learn from Tokyo 2020. The two Organising Committees further cemented their commitment to working together by signing an MOU underlining their cooperation with the aim of ensuring the successful delivery of their respective Games.

The Coordination Commission also analysed important operational elements during its visit such as the competition schedule and ticket prices, which will be discussed next week at the IOC’s Executive Board meeting in Lausanne.

The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.4 million US dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.

 

FC Goa ropes in Nirmal Chhetri

Panjim, Goa, 12th July 2018: FC Goa have announced the signing of full back Nirmal Chhetri. The Sikkimese defender has been a veteran in the Indian Super League since its inception, playing for two clubs before joining the Gaurs ahead of the 2018-2019 season.

The full back started his senior career with Air India back in 2006 before playing for both Bengal giants, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan respectively. Chhetri scored three goals for Mohun Bagan, including one on his debut. He was loaned out to Mohammedan SC in 2013. In 2014, ISL side Kerala Blasters FC sought the services of the defender who joined them and helped the team to the finals where they lost against ATK. Chhetri then moved to NorthEast United FC where he played in the 2016 and 2017 seasons before now moving to Goa to join the Gaurs.

Chhetri expressed his delight at signing for the club, saying, “The entire country noticed the brand of exciting football that FC Goa played last season and now I have the chance to be a part of it. Coach Sergio (Lobera) did wonders last season and I’m happy to be under his tutelage going forward.” He also had a word of praise for the vociferous support that the club receives in and out of Goa. “The supporters are also one of the major reasons for wanting to move to Goa. They back the team and the thunder that is at Fatorda is mind blowing. Their passion at away games is no less and there are always people cheering for this club at any stadium in India.  I am looking forward to being a part of this great family,” he quipped.

Head Coach Sergio Lobera was also all praise for his new recruit, and said, “Nirmal is a player who will bring experience to this squad. He can play in any position across the back four and can assist in attack as well. Defensively, he’s a player with a lot of personality. He’s good with the ball and good in one on one situations. Additionally, his aerial prowess adds to his quality. Our defence needs to improve and a player like him is always an asset to any team,” he explained.

 

Dipankar Kaushal maintains two-shot lead in round two

Lucknow’s Rajesh Kumar Rawat is second

Lucknow, July 11, 2018: Noida’s Dipankar Kaushal followed up his fiery first round of eight-under-62 with a steady one-under-69 in round two to maintain his two-shot lead at the PGTI Feeder Tour event being staged at the Palms Golf Club & Resort, Sushant Golf City, Ansal API in Lucknow.

The 32-year-old Kaushal (62-69) totalled nine-under-131 at the end of day two of the 2018 Feeder Tour season’s sixth and last event.

Lucknow golfers Rajesh Kumar Rawat (64-69) and Amardeep Rawat (65-69) continued in second and third place respectively for the second day in succession. Rajesh’s total stood at seven-under-133 while Amardeep had a tally of six-under-134.

The cut fell at two-over-142. Forty-four golfers made the cut out of a total of 82.

Dipankar, currently 15th on the Feeder Tour Order of Merit thanks to two top-10s in the season, now goes into the final round of an event as the leader for the first time in his career.

Kaushal, searching for his maiden title, began the second round with a birdie on the first. However, he lost some momentum by dropping strokes on the sixth and 10th courtesy a three-putt and a poor drive.

Dipankar then made a comeback on the back-nine with some brilliant iron-play. He almost made a hole-in-one on the 12th where his tee shot stopped two inches from the hole to set up an easy birdie. Kaushal then drove the green on the par-4 17th with his three-iron before making a two-putt for birdie there.

Kaushal said, “I didn’t hit it as well today as I had done in round one. The putts also didn’t roll in for me. However, a couple of exceptional tee shots on the back-nine helped me maintain my lead.

“In the final round, I’ll just look to repeat what I’ve done over the first two days.”

Local lad Rajesh Kumar Rawat built on his first round effort of 64 with a solid 69 on Wednesday that featured three birdies and two bogeys. The highlight of his second round was a spectacular chip on the 16th that led to a tap-in birdie.

Rawat, a former winner on the Feeder Tour, said, “The third place finish at the Lucknow Golf Club last week really helped my confidence. I’ve been quite consistent since then. I’m two off the lead now, so it’s all about creating those opportunities early during the final round.”

Amardeep Rawat, another Lucknow-based golfer who was runner-up at last week’s event, had an eventful second round as he produced an astounding two eagles along with two birdies at the cost of three bogeys and a double-bogey.

Feeder Tour Order of Merit leader Pawan Verma of Delhi returned an even-par-70 on day two to be placed tied seventh at four-under-136.

Kapurthala’s Ashbeer Saini, currently second in the Order of Merit, made the cut by one shot as he totalled two-over-142 to be tied 35th.

Gurugram-based Dhruv Sheoran, presently ranked third in the Order of Merit, posted the second day’s best score of 64 to be placed tied 17that one-under-139.

 

TAMPERE, FINLAND – JULY 11: Lalu Muhammad Zohri of Indonesia (C), Anthony Schwartz of The USA (R) and Eric Harrison of The USA (L) celebrate after placing in the medals in the final of the men’s 100m on day two of The IAAF World U20 Championships on July 11, 2018.Finland. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images for IAAF)
TAMPERE, FINLAND – JULY 11: Ashley Moloney of Australia celebrates breaking a championship record in the men’s decathlon on day two of The IAAF World U20 Championships on July 11, 2018.(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images for IAAF)
 

 

India have a chance to overtake England and grab top ODI spot

– South Africa, Pakistan need comprehensive wins in upcoming series to maintain respective positions; Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, West Indies vie for mid-table points
– Seven of 10 sides to play in ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 will be seen in action over the next one month
– Nepal, Netherlands players will hope to make impressive entries in MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings

England and India play the first match of their upcoming series in Nottingham on Tuesday, in what will kick off a month-long extravaganza of One Day Internationals featuring 10 sides, spread across four continents.

Coming on the back of a well-contested Twenty20 International series, which India won 2-1, the top two sides in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Men’s Team Rankings present some interesting prospects in the three-match series a year ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to be hosted by England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July.

India, who had conceded the top ranking to England at the annual update on 2 May, get a chance of claiming back the spot, but for that, they will have to blank their adversaries 3-0. England on the other hand will run up a lead of 10 points at the top of the table if they win by the same margin.

The possibility of a change at the top though is not the only matter of interest in upcoming matches since seven of the 10 teams playing in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 will be on view during this period until 12 August.

Apart from the England-India series ending on 17 July, Zimbabwe will host Pakistan for five matches from 13 to 22 July, the West Indies will play three at home versus Bangladesh from 22 to 28 July, Sri Lanka will host South Africa for five matches from 29 July to 12 August and the Netherlands play two at home against Nepal.

Fifth-placed Pakistan will have to win the series against Zimbabwe by a margin of 4-1 in order to ensure they do not slip behind sixth-placed Australia, while 10th-ranked Zimbabwe will have to pull off a 4-1 win over Pakistan in order to leapfrog Afghanistan and move up one spot in the rankings table.

Similarly, third-ranked South Africa face the challenge of blanking Sri Lanka 5-0 in an away series to ensure they do not slip behind New Zealand even as mid-table sides Bangladesh (seventh), Sri Lanka (eighth) and the West Indies (ninth) will be vying for important points during this period.

Nepal will debut in ODIs when they play two matches against the Netherlands on 1 and 3 August while the Netherlands will be turning out in ODIs for the first time since losing ODI status in 2014 at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand. Nepal gained ODI status at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe earlier this year while the Netherlands regained it had earlier by winning the ICC World Cricket League Championship.

The players of these two nations will be hoping to make impressive entries in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings, which could see a number of changes when the rankings are next updated on 13 August after 18 matches featuring many of the top players around the world.

India captain Virat Kohli leads the rankings for batsmen with a career-high rating of 909 points, a good 96 points ahead of Pakistan’s Babar Azam, who will be hoping to get back into the groove after missing the recent tri-series in Zimbabwe due to injury.

Fourth-ranked Rohit Sharma of India will be looking to continue his T20I form in the ODIs, sixth-ranked Joe Root of England has a good chance of overtaking Ross Taylor, while the South Africa pair of Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis, as well as India’s left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan, are the other players likely to be seen in action.

In the bowlers’ list, top-ranked Jasprit Bumrah’s finger injury, due to which he will miss the series, gives others a chance to close the gap, and third-ranked Hasan Ali of Pakistan would be eyeing a return to the top spot. Leg-spinners Adil Rashid of England and Yuzvendra Chahal of India are other top 10 players who will be seen in upcoming matches.

Upcoming series:

England v India

12 July – 1st ODI , Trent Bridge, Nottingham
14 July – 2nd ODI, Lord’s, London
17 July – 3rd ODI, Headingley, Leeds

Zimbabwe v Pakistan

13 July – 1st ODI, Bulawayo
16 July – 2nd ODI, Bulawayo
18 July, 3rd ODI, Bulawayo
20 July, 4th ODI, Bulawayo
22 July, 5th ODI, Bulawayo

West Indies v Bangladesh

22 July – 1st ODI, Guyana
25 July – 2nd ODI, Guyana
28 July – 3rd ODI, St Kitts

Sri Lanka v South Africa

29 July – 1st ODI, Dambulla
1 Aug – 2nd ODI, Dambulla
5 Aug – 3rd ODI, Kandy
8 Aug – 4th ODI, Kandy
12 Aug – 5th ODI, Colombo

Netherlands v Nepal

1 Aug – 1st ODI, VRA, Amsterdam
3 Aug – 2nd ODI, VRA, Amsterdam

The ODI team rankings, unlike the Test rankings, are updated after each match. The ICC ODI predictor function is available here.

MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings (as of 10 July):

Rank    Team               Points

1          England            126
2          India                 122
3          South Africa      113
4          New Zealand     112
5          Pakistan            102
6          Australia           100
7          Bangladesh        93
8          Sri Lanka          77
9          Windies             69
10        Afghanistan       63
11        Zimbabwe         55
12        Ireland               38
13         Scotland             28
14         UAE                   18

*Nepal and the Netherlands will qualify for a full ranking after playing four more matches each

(Developed by David Kendix)

MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings (as of 10 July):

Batsmen (top 20)

Rank      Player                  Team     Pts        Avge      Highest Rating

   1         Virat Kohli            Ind         909!      58.10     909 v SA at Centurion 2018
   2         Babar Azam         Pak        813       51.11     846 v NZ at Wellington 2018
   3         David Warner       Aus        803       43.43     880 v Pak at Adelaide 2017
   4         Rohit Sharma       Ind         799       44.55     825 v SL at Mohali 2017
   5         Ross Taylor          NZ          785       46.28     789 v Eng at Dunedin 2018
   6         Joe Root              Eng        784       49.82     819 v Aus at Brisbane 2018
   7         Quinton de Kock  SA          783       45.41     808 v Ban at East London 2017
   8         Faf du Plessis      SA          782       44.68     802 v Ind at Durban 2018
   9         Kane Williamson  NZ          778       46.87     798 v SA at Centurion 2015
  10        Shikhar Dhawan  Ind         769       45.90     794 v SA at Melbourne 2015
  11        Jonny Bairstow    Eng        760       51.55     777 v Aus at Durham 2018
  12        Hashim Amla       SA          746       50.23     901 v Eng at Trent Bridge 2012
  13        Martin Guptill        NZ          731       42.99     789 v SA at Hamilton 2017
  14        MS Dhoni             Ind         717       51.37     836 v Aus at Delhi 2009
  15        Aaron Finch         Aus        706       38.19     744 v Eng at Melbourne 2015
  16        Jos Buttler            Eng        705       40.67     723 v Ban at Mirpur 2016
  17        Tamim Iqbal         Ban        698       34.98     721 v Zim at Mirpur 2018
  18        Steve Smith         Aus        675       41.84     752 v Pak at Sydney 2017
  19        Travis Head         Aus        670*!     37.00     670 v Eng at Old Trafford 2018
  20        Jason Roy            Eng        666       39.06     680 v Aus at Durham 2018

Bowlers (top 20)

Rank      Player                  Team     Pts        Avge      Eco       Highest Rating

   1         Jasprit Bumrah     Ind         787*!     22.50     4.64      787 v SA at Centurion 2018
   2         Rashid Khan        Afg         763*      14.40     3.96      787 v Zim at Sharjah 2018
   3         Hasan Ali             Pak        711*      21.40     5.29      766 v NZ at Wellington 2018
   4         Trent Boult           NZ          699       24.63     5.09      766 v Ind at Delhi 2016
   5         Josh Hazlewood  Aus        696       24.27     4.72      733 v Eng at Adelaide 2018
   6         Imran Tahir          SA          683       24.81     4.68      786 v SL at Johannesburg 2017
   7         Kagiso Rabada    SA          679       27.57     5.11      724 v Eng at Lord’s 2017
   8=       Adil Rashid           Eng        667       31.14     5.55      677 v Aus at Trent Bridge 2018
              Y. Chahal             Ind         667*!     21.83     4.76      667 v SA at Centurion 2018
  10        Chris Woakes      Eng        653       30.77     5.50      673 v NZ at Christchurch 2018
  11        Mitchell Starc       Aus        642       20.95     4.93      783 v NZ at Melbourne 2015
  12        Mitchell Santner   NZ          632       33.91     4.90      663 v Eng at Hamilton 2018
  13        Moeen Ali             Eng        629!      44.26     5.08      629 v Aus at Old Trafford 2018
  14        Kuldeep Yadav    Ind         628*      20.02     4.80      637 v SA at Port Elizabeth 2018
  15        Akshar Patel        Ind         624*      31.31     4.43      663 v Aus at Nagpur 2017
  16        Mohammad Nabi Afg         611       31.95     4.29      653 v Zim at Harare 2017
  17        Pat Cummins       Aus        607       28.45     5.38      626 v Eng at Adelaide 2018
  18        Matt Henry           NZ          606       24.59     5.57      675 v Aus at Hamilton 2016
  19        M. Rahman          Ban        601*      19.19     4.63      602 v Zim at Mirpur 2018
  20        Tim Murtagh         Ire          597       33.16     4.53      613 v Zim at Harare 2018

All-rounders (top five)

Rank      Player                  Team     Pts        Highest Rating

   1         S. Al Hasan          Ban        359       453 v Zim at Chittagong 2009
   2         M. Hafeez            Pak        339       438 v Ind at Kolkata 2013
   3         M. Nabi                Afg         323       349 v Ire at Greater Noida 2017
   4         Mitchell Santner   NZ          317!      317 v Eng at Christchurch 2018
   5=       Angelo Mathews  SL          306       427 v Eng at Colombo (RPS) 2014
              Moeen Ali             Eng        306!      306 v Aus at Old Trafford 2018

 

India ‘A’ drubs South Korea 7-3

Striker Armaan Qureshi scores a double for the home team

Bengaluru, 11 July 2018: The Indian Men’s Hockey ‘A’ Team beat South Korea 7-3 in a high scoring match here at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru Campus on Wednesday.

After the two teams drew 1-1 in the first practice match yesterday, the visitors continued their momentum into the second practice today as they scored through a PC in the 2nd minute of the match. Jang Jonghyun’s goal put India ‘A’ on the backfoot and it was not until the 15th minute that the home team could equalise to take control of the proceedings.

It was Akashdeep Singh who scored the India ‘A’ team’s first goal which was followed by drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh’s well-struck PC in the 16th minute that gave the team a 2-1 lead. Gagandeep Singh Sr’s goal in the 18th minute doubled India’s lead to 3-1 while Armaan Qureshi (20′ and 54′), Amon Mirash Tirkey (27′), Sumit Kumar (30′) added to India’s scoreline.

For South Korea, Seo Inwoo and Jang Jonghyun scored in the 48th and 52nd minutes respectively but could not match the home team.

Please find attached action pictures from the practice match.

 

IAAF World Under 20 – TampereSouth Africa’s Kyle Blignaut won the men’s shot put Gold Medal. © Getty Images for IAAF
IAAF World Under 20 – Tampere Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet won the women’s 5000m Gold Medal © Getty Images for IAAF
 

 

India ‘A’ hold South Korea 1-1

The home team overcame an early set back with Armaan Qureshi’s goal

Bengaluru, 10 July 2018: Indian Men’s Hockey ‘A’ Team drew 1-1 with South Korean National Team in the first practice match here at the Sports Authority of India, Campus here in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

The South Korean Team, who are here to gain practice ahead of the Asian Games in Jakarta next month, began the match with a good defensive structure. Playing full press, Korea ensured they kept India from making potential forays into the striking circle. Though India won a PC in the first quarter, Rupinder Pal Singh’s flick rebounded off the post.

After a goalless first two quarters, South Korea made the first breakthrough with a field goal by Seo Inwoo in the 31st minute.

India made some good attempts for a field goal in the following minutes however, could not convert. In the 48th minute, India scored a field goal through Armaan Qureshi.

Though South Korea created a PC too in the second quarter, good defending kept them from scoring and taking a lead.

 

Dipankar Kaushal fires red-hot 62 for first-round lead at final PGTI Feeder Tour event at The Palms

Local golfer Rajesh Kumar Rawat two behind in second

Lucknow, July 10, 2018: Noida’s Dipankar Kaushal fired a red-hot eight-under-62 to storm into the first round lead at the PGTI Feeder Tour event being staged at the Palms Golf Club & Resort, Sushant Golf City, Ansal API in Lucknow.

The 32-year-old Kaushal sank an amazing nine birdies at the cost of a lone bogey on a windy day to establish a two-shot lead at The Palms in the final event of the Feeder Tour season.

The Lucknow duo of Rajesh Kumar Rawat (64) and Amardeep Rawat (65) occupied the second and third positions respectively.

Dipankar, currently 15th on the Feeder Tour Order of Merit thanks to two top-10s in the season, produced one of the best rounds of his career to set the bar for the rest of the field.

Kaushal, in pursuit of his maiden title, began the tournament with a bogey on the 10th where he found the bushes. However, he soon made up for that with a couple of good wedge shots that set up birdies on the 13th and 16th.

What followed was a golden stretch for Dipankar as he conjured five straight birdies from the 18th to the fourth to work his way to the top of the pack. The well-built Kaushal’s excellent ball-striking ensured all his birdie putts on this stretch were within a range of seven feet.

Dipankar added two more birdies to his card, a 20-feet conversion on the sixth, followed by a great recovery from the fairway bunker on the ninth, to end up with a scintillating 62.

Kaushal said, “I’m delighted with my opening round effort, even more so because it was a windy day and scoring wasn’t that easy. I scored on all four par-5s and that was another heartening aspect of my game today.

“I had earlier shot a seven-under-63 at the Feeder Tour event in Karnal last month. So I would like to believe that my game is on the upswing but I just need more consistency.

“The Feeder Tour has given me the opportunity to work on my swing and also try out different things before getting back onto the main tour.

“My good friend and room partner Bikramjit Singh Sandhu and me have been helping and motivating each other to raise our games. The results are showing as both of us have played well in the current Feeder Tour season.

“I made birdie on just one of the six par-3s today. So going ahead my focus over the next two days will be to hit solid tee shots on the par-3s in order to create even more opportunities for myself.”

Local lad Rajesh Kumar Rawat began the day with a bogey but then rallied with seven birdies to close the round two shots behind the leader.

Amardeep Rawat, another Lucknow-based golfer who was runner-up at last week’s event, mixed seven birdies with two bogeys to be placed third.

Feeder Tour Order of Merit leader Pawan Verma of Delhi carded a four-under-66 to be placed joint fourth along with Gurugram’s Aditya Raj Kumar Chauhan. Both enjoyed a run of four consecutive birdies on the front-nine.

 

Lalthuammawia Ralte signs for FC Goa

Panjim, Goa, 9th July 2018: FC Goa have announced the signing of 25-year-old Mizoram goalkeeper, Lalthuammawia Ralte from Bengaluru FC. Ralte is a young, agile goalkeeper who started his senior career with Shillong Lajong in 2011 and debuted against Churchill Brothers the same year. He contributed to Shillong Lajong’s success, taking them to the semi-finals of the Federation Cup the same year.

He joined defending I-league champions Bengaluru FC thereafter in the summer of 2014 and made his debut a few months later. He helped Bengaluru FC to the I-league title once again in his debut season.

The Mizo goalkeeper is highly rated in and is known to be great with his feet. His distribution skill and ability to react quickly to save shots makes him a prized prospect.

On singing, Ralte said, “I am honoured to have signed for FC Goa and am really looking forward to playing and learning from coach Sergio Lobera. The team performed very well last year in the Indian Super League and Super Cup and I hope I can help the team achieve its target of winning the league.”

Head Coach, Sergio Lobera had a specific, attacking brand of football that saw his team top the scoring charts in the last season of the ISL. Ralte’s style of play perfectly embodies the philosophy that the Spaniards uses.  Said Lobera, “After Naveen left we did a market research in order to find the best possible option to improve last season’s numbers. Despite the fact that he hasn’t played much during the last few seasons, we know of Ralte’s abilities and strengths. He is a goalkeeper who is comfortable with the ball at his feet. He has a great personality too and the skills we need for a goalkeeper to fit our style.”

This is FC Goa’s third signing after Lenny Rodrigues and Jackichand Singh.

 

Bengaluru FC re-sign former goalkeeper Soram Poirei

Experienced Custodian Returns To The Blues’ Fold After Three Years

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC have completed the signing of former goalkeeper Soram Anganba Poirei who was part of the squad during 2013-15 seasons, the club announced on Monday. Despite being just 25-years-old, Poirei brings in vast experience having being part of the domestic circuit for nine years now.

“It feels great to be back at the club where I made some amazing memories; winning my first I-League title and the Federation Cup. The atmosphere at this club is amazing and everybody is professional in their approach. We have some top players in the squad and it should be a great learning experience once again. It’s going to be a challenging season but I’m looking forward to it,” said Poirei after penning a one-year-deal.

The Imphal-born custodian began his youth career with Pune FC in 2009 and was promoted to the first team as a reserve goalkeeper the same year as a 17-year-old. After a two-year spell with the Maharashtra side, Poirei moved to the north-east to join Shillong Lajong FC. A string of impressive performances with Lajong saw him being drafted by the national federation into the Indian Arrows side for the 2012-13 season.

A first choice ’keeper for Arrows, Poirei made 18 appearances helping the young team finish 12th, above Air India FC and United Sikkim FC in the I-League. Poirei’s performances under the bar impressed Bengaluru FC who brought him in for their inaugural season in the I-League. In fact, he featured four times in the league for the Blues who romped to the historic I-League title in the 2013-14 season. After being part of the Bengaluru side that won the Federation Cup title and finished runners-up in the league in the 2014-15 season, Poirei moved back to the north-east, this time with Aizawl FC for their first-ever season in the Indian top-flight.

Poirei then joined Delhi Dynamos for the 2016 season of the Indian Super League, making five appearances for the Lions who finished as semifinalists in the competition. He then moved back to Pune, where he began the season as first-choice goalkeeper for DSK Shivajians making a total of seven appearances in the season. At the start of the 2017-18 season, Poirei was signed up by Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan for whom he featured regularly in the Calcutta Football League Premier Division, finishing runners-up in the competition. He was signed by fellow Kolkata side ATK for the latter half of their season where he featured in the final few games of the ISL and the Super Cup.

#RAIDFORGOLD, a first-of-its-kind nationwide mission to pledge support for the Indian Kabaddi Team

– #RaidForGold, an initiative by Mashal Sports Pvt. Ltd., aims to reach out to people across the country to support the Indian Kabaddi team at the 18th Asian Games
– The campaign will reach out to children from 2000+ schools across 19 cities in India
– Ajay Thakur, Rishank Devadiga, Rahul Chaudhari, Deepak Hooda and Rohit Kumar will meet students across schools to instill the pride of India’s own sport into their young hearts and minds
– Fans can pledge their support for the Indian Kabaddi team at https://www.raidforgold.in/

Mumbai 09 June 2018: In the recently concluded Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018, Team India asserted their supremacy and now with the 18th Asian Games around the corner, they are gearing up for their 8th consecutive Gold in the Men’s Kabaddi tournament and 3rd consecutive Gold in the Women’s Kabaddi tournament. In keeping with the ever-growing popularity of the sport, Mashal Sports Pvt. Ltd., rights owner and organizer of the VIVO Pro Kabaddi League, with the support of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), has announced #RaidForGold, a unique initiative that reaches out across the country to give Indians the opportunity to rally behind and express their support for the National Kabaddi team.

‘Raid for Gold’ commencing on 9th July 2018, will represent the “Voice of a Million Fans” for the Indian National Kabaddi team to achieve the highest glory yet again for India’s own sport. This initiative will witness participation from children over 2,000+ schools in 19 cities across India. Alongside signing up digitally to pledge their support, students will also get an opportunity to interact with renowned Kabaddi stars like Ajay Thakur, Rishank Devadiga, Rahul Chaudhari, Deepak Hooda and Rohit Kumar as they visit schools across the country as a part of the initiative.

Where and how can one participate:

The campaign gives fans an opportunity to pledge their support to the team by signing up on https://www.raidforgold.in/. To express solidarity to the Indian Kabaddi team, the pledges will work as a reminder that when they step on the mat, it’s not just a team of 7 players, but the whole of India vying for victory.

Kabaddi was included as a discipline in the 11th Asian Games Beijing 1990, where India’s only gold medal was through Kabaddi. Since then, the Kabaddi team has been the pride of India in all editions of the Asian Games.

India put up a spectacular performance at the recently concluded Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018 tournament where they beat Iran in the finals. In keeping with the success and sentiment,#RaidForGold aims to unite Indian hearts for Kabaddi. The 18th Asian Games will begin on the 18th of August 2018 and will showcase the clash between countries like Bangladesh, Iran, Japan, India, Pakistan, South Korea and many more as they battle for a chance at the gold.

About Raid for Gold

‘Raid for Gold’, an initiative of Mashal Sports, is a first-of-its-kind pan India mission with an objective to rally support for the Indian Kabaddi team in international competitions. It also extols Kabaddi as our country’s gift to the world of sport, and deserving of being included in the Olympics movement. In its first stage, Raid for Gold is launching a digital support campaign aimed at unifying sports lovers to motivate and celebrate the Indian Kabaddi Team fthe upcoming Asian Games being held in Jakarta in August 2018.

About Mashal Sports

Mashal Sports is the rights owner and organizer of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League. VIVO Pro Kabaddi was launched in 2014 and is already among the foremost sports leagues in the country; for participant teams, tenure of tournament, television viewership, and passionate fans among men, women, and children from all parts of our country. Through VIVO Pro Kabaddi, as well as other significant initiatives, Mashal has achieved path-breaking success in reinvigorating Kabaddi to a modern world class sport from India.

 

 

FC Pune City sign Gabriel and Shankar

Pune, 9th July 2018: The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood star Arjun Kapoor co-owned Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City today signed winger Gabriel Fernandes and defensive midfielder Shankar Sampingiraj to strengthen their squad for the 2018-19 season.

Gabriel who last played for East Bengal in the I-League enters Indian Super League with FC Pune City after a gap of two years. Speaking on signing the Goan winger, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Gabriel’s speed and agility on the wings gives the team good options. We know with his sharpness and direct play, he has potential to be one of the standout players for us this season.”

Fernandes started his youth career with Dempo and Sporting Goa. In 2012, he joined Mumbai FC. The 30-year old made his ISL debut with FC Goa in 2014 and joined Mumbai City FC in the next season. Since then, the winger has played in I-League for Salgaocar, Churchill Bros and East Bengal.

Sampingiraj comes in to the FC Pune City fold after having an impressive outing for Bengaluru FC leading upto a national call for the U-23 side. The Karnataka born began his professional career with HAL and later signed with Pailan Arrows followed by a stint at DSK Shivajians (on loan). After getting the young midfielder’s signature, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Shankar is a hard-working player, who is good on the ball and is technically sound, which adds a lot of quality in the way that we want to play our football. He comes with a lot of experience and I wish he has a great season in our colours.”

Sampingiraj made his India U23 debut against Uzbekistan in a 2016 AFC U23 qualifier in Bangladesh. The young midfielder appeared for Kerala Blasters FC in 2015 ISL season.

After signing the dotted line, Gabriel said, “It’s exciting times for me ahead as I join FC Pune City to play in the Indian Super League. What they achieved last season has been pretty impressive and part of my responsibility will be to help the team better what they did last year.

Excited to join the squad Shankar expressed, “I am thrilled to take up this new challenge along with FC Pune City. The club’s run last season was pretty good and I couldn’t resist joining their setup that has given many youth players like me a stage to excel. I look forward to meeting my new teammates to begin a new chapter in my career with the club.”

 

Afridi backs Pakistan to push for World T20 title

Shahid Afridi is returning to the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) to play for the Jamaica Tallawahs. He has played at the Hero CPL before, with the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in 2015. This year he will join the likes of Andre Russell, Ross Taylor and Rovman Powell with the Jamaican Franchise.

Looking back at that first appearance at the Hero CPL, Afridi says he thinks he underperformed in 2015.

“I think my first experience was not that good, because I didn’t perform well. But still, I think it’s an honour for me to be part of CPL. I think that atmosphere is very good and whenever I was there with the Pakistan team, I enjoyed. I think the islands are very beautiful. St. Lucia where I played a few times for the Pakistan side, is one of my favourite places. So that’s why I love to play there. The atmosphere is very good, the people they want to see us there as well.”

Afridi says that Twenty20 cricket is vital to spreading cricket around the world. He sees it as the future.

“I think with T20 you can introduce cricket anywhere in the world, it’s a short format and I think the people who don’t have enough time to sit in front of the TV or come to the ground to see a whole day. I think this is a great entertainment to people who don’t know about cricket – you can show them, you can bring the people for two or three hours and they can learn a lot from this cricket.”

CPL/Getty Images.

The Tallawahs will be playing three matches in Florida this year, taking on Guyana Amazon Warriors, Trinbago Knight Riders and Barbados Tridents at the Central Broward Regional Stadium in Lauderhill on 18, 19 and 22 August. Afridi is looking forward to playing in the USA for the first time.

“Yeah, I heard that we are playing three games in America and I have never played any game in America, but let’s see. I don’t know how is the ground or how the pitch will behave, but I’m very excited to play in America.”

Afridi has done some amazing things with the bat, but he says the Tallawahs have signed a bowler who can do some batting.

“I always consider myself as a bowling all-rounder. I think in batting, I’m not that consistent but in bowling I am very consistent and when I started my cricket, I started as a bowler. So I think, I feel good and if you look in to my performance I’m always very consistent with my bowling.”

It came after Afridi had called time on his international career, but the Windies recently visited Pakistan to play T20 Internationals. This was something Afridi was delighted to see and he was full of praise for Cricket West Indies for making it happen.

“I must thank the cricket board, I think they really support us, they really support our cricket. I think they really done a great job especially all the players. Really, it’s a big thing for us because we want to see cricket back in Pakistan and I’m always thankful to them – the way they supported us.”

The next big global T20 tournament will be the World T20, and Afridi thinks Pakistan are moving in the right direction. They have made it to the number one ranking in the format, have won nine successive T20I series and have experience of success in ICC events having won the Champions Trophy in England last summer.

“I think it’s still a long way to go and I think the way our boys are playing is very good. All the youngsters, they’re doing a great job and Inshallah we’re hoping they’re going to do well for Pakistan.”

Asked if he fancied having a go at playing in that tournament, he was unequivocal in his response.

“No, not at all. I’m done, I enjoyed my cricket for Pakistan, I’m playing just my league cricket and I’m enjoying myself.”

ABOUT THE HERO CARIBBEAN PREMIER LEAGUE:

First started in 2013, the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is a franchise-based T20 format cricket tournament that combines two of the most compelling aspects of Caribbean life – dramatic cricket and a vibrant Carnival atmosphere. Combining broadcast and digital viewership over 197 million fans watched the 2017 season to make it one of the fastest growing leagues in world cricket. Trinbago Knight Riders are the current Hero CPL champions and the other competing teams are Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, St. Lucia Stars and Jamaica Tallawahs. This year’s tournament takes place 8 August to 16 September 2018. For further information visit www.cplt20.com.

 

Sreejesh to lead India at the 18th Asian Games

BREDA – Rabobank Hockey Champions Trophy
India – Belgium
Photo: Sreejesh Parattu.
COPYRIGHT WORLDSPORTPICS FRANK UIJLENBROEK

New Delhi, 09 July 2018: Hockey India on Monday named the 18-member Indian Men’s Hockey Team for the 18th Asian Games to begin in Jakarta and Palembang on 18 August 2018.

 

The Defending Champions, who had beaten Pakistan in the Final at the 2014 edition in Incheon Korea to win the Gold, will be Captained by PR Sreejesh. He was recently awarded the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the FIH Hockey Men’s Champions Trophy in Breda where India returned home with their second consecutive Silver Medal.

Midfielder Chinglensana Singh Kangujam has been named as the Vice Captain for the tournament and he will be joined by the experienced Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, Simranjeet Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad in the midfield.

India’s forwardline will see Akashdeep Singh return to the squad. Experienced SV Sunil, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Dilpreet Singh have been named in the squad. The team’s defence will be strengthened with the return of experienced dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh who was rested for the Champions Trophy. The backline will also see three other dragflickers Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas apart from the experienced Surender Kumar and Birendra Lakra.

Speaking about the team composition, Chief Coach Harendra Singh said, “We have a great mix of players who have shown their abilities in the recent tournaments. Though it is unfortunate we will be missing out on Ramandeep Singh’s experience as he is ruled out of the Asian Games due to a recent knee surgery he underwent. But it is good to have Akashdeep Singh back in the mix. Both Rupinder and Akashdeep have remained in camp when the team was away in Breda and have had good match practice against Bangladesh over the past week and are raring to go.”

The 18-members who returned from Breda, the Netherlands have joined the rest of the core group at ongoing National Camp in Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru after a short five-day break. The next three weeks in camp will see a mix of players take on the Korean National Team in five practice matches and the New Zealand national team in three matches ahead of the all-important Asian Games. “While the practice matches against Korea will have a mix of players from the core group, the matches against New Zealand will be played by the 18 members who are selected for the Asian Games. I believe this will be good for the team in their preparation for the Asian Games where we will certainly go for the Gold to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” stated an assertive Harendra Singh.

Goalkeepers: 1. PR Sreejesh (Captain), 2 Krishan B Pathak
Defenders: 3. Harmanpreet Singh, 4. Varun Kumar, 5. Birendra Lakra, ,6. Surender Kumar, 7. Rupinder Pal Singh, 8. Amit Rohidas
Midfielders: 9. Manpreet Singh, 10. Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Vice-Captain), 11. Simranjeet Singh, 12. Sardar Singh, 13. Vivek Sagar Prasad
Forwards: 14. S V Sunil, 15. Mandeep Singh, 16. Akashdeep Singh, 17. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, 18. Dilpreet Singh

Matches from the 18th Asian Games will be shown live on Sony Pictures Networks.

 

Lanka’s Perera, Chennai’s Tharani grab honours in JK Tyre FMSCI National Racing Championship

Coimbatore, July 8: Sri Lanka’s Bryan Perera made the most of slightly wet conditions to emerge the star of the day, winning two Euro JK 18 races in the 21st JK Tyre FMSCI National Racing Championship here on Sunday.

Karthik Tharani, who won the laurels in this category on Saturday, however, made a valiant comeback in the fourth and final race to catch up with Perera as Round 1 came to a thrilling finish.

Mumbai’s Nayan Chatterjee stayed right behind the leaders by making the podium thrice on Sunday, grabbing the second place twice and the third place once. Another Chennai racer Ashwin Datta enjoyed a good run, finishing second in Race 4 and third in Race 2 and 3.

In fact, Ashwin Datta has taken top position on the leader-board with 24 points, upstaging Perera and Tharani who have accumulated 23 points. Nayan has 20 points.

The LGB 4 too proved to be a tantalising affair, with Delhi’s Rohit Khanna and Chennai’s Raghul Rangsamy winning one race each. Chennai’s Vishnu Prasad had won Race 1 on Saturday, to produce three different winners in the three races in this category.

Vishnu and Kolhapur’s Chittesh Mandody took the second and third places in both the races to pick up valuable points. Vishnu, however, is ahead on points after Round 1 with 22 in his kitty. Raghul and Rohit have 21 and 17 points.

In the Suzuki Gixxer Cup, Joseph Matthew continued his imperious run, remaining unbeaten over this weekend too. He finished the 10 laps in 14:16.799 minutes, recording his quickest time of 1:23.411 minutes in Lap 6 for his second straight victory.

Syed Muzamil Ali (Bengaluru) and Malsawmdawngliana  (Aizawl), who had finished third and second last evening, swapped places in Race 2 to finish on the same number of points.

A carnival-like atmosphere reigned at the Kari Motor Speedway, with a big holiday crowd turning up to enjoy the Race Day. Music, stunts and close races marked the day, as the competitors gunned for glory.

The Ahura Racing team once again were greeted with the loudest cheers, with the five girls in red tackling the wet conditions with elan.

The slippery track didn’t deter them, leading to a series of photo-finishes in all the categories. Bryan Perera recorded the day’s fastest lap in Race 3, taking just 1:00.279 minutes in his Euro JK 18 car.

Results:

Euro JK 18, Race 2: 1. Bryan Perera (Sri Lanka, 15:22.568); 2. Nayan Chatterjee (Mumbai, 15:26.377); 3. Ashwin Datta (Chennai, 15:29.942)

Euro JK 18, Race 3: 1. Bryan Perera (Sri Lanka, 14:15.491); 2. Nayan Chatterjee (Mumbai, 14:17.269); 3. Ashwin Datta (Chennai, 14:23.294)

Euro JK 18, Race 4: 1. Karthik Tharani (Chennai, 15:33.789); 2. Ashwin Datta (Chennai, 15:34.334); Nayan Chatterjee (Mumbai, 15:34.403)

LGB 4, Race 2: 1. Rohit Khanna (Dark Don, 16:56.965); 2. Chittesh Mandody (Kolhapur, 16:59.249); 3. Vishnu Prasad (MSport; 17:02.297)

LGB 4, Race 3: 1. Raghul Rangasamy (MSport; 21:56.544); Chittesh Mandody (Kolhapur, 21:57.698); 3. Vishnu Prasad (MSport; 21:59.430)

Suzuki Gixxer Cup, Race 2: 1. Joseph Matthew (Chennai; 14:16.799), 2. Syed Muzamil Ali (Bengaluru; 14:18.749); 3. Malsawmdawngliana (Aizawl; 14:19.951)

Red Bull Rookie, Race 2: 1. Zothanmawia (Aizawl; 14:36.129), 2. Jerome Vanlalrengpuia (Mizoram; 15:04.514); 3. Andy Lalhmangaihsang (Aizawl; 15:13.476)

About JK Tyre Motorsport:

JK Tyre has always been closely associated with the world of sports. Almost three decades back the company laid down a long term and sustained approach to promote Motorsport. Participating in this form of the sport has helped the company in continuously updating its products to meet the challenges of gruelling Indian conditions. The sport at that time in India was perceived for elite but JK Tyre took upon itself to package and redesign the sport to suit the masses. The company not only made the sport affordable but also equivalent to International operating standards. JK Tyre’s foray into Motorsport was a well thought out strategic decision to not only use and develop this virgin branding platform but also to realize the dreams of making India a force in the field of motor sport.

In 2011, the company acquired the Formula BMW Series and rechristened it as the JK Racing Asia Series (JKRAS). With this acquisition, JK Tyre created history in Indian Motorsport by becoming the first Indian company to acquire an FIA accredited series. By taking over the series, JK Tyre promises to utilize it as a platform to encourage and support the world’s best racing drivers and promote India as one of Asia’s motorsport capitals.

Thus, JK Tyre has conquered two steps in the motorsport program where the new racing aspirants first establish themselves in India, then graduate to Asian level i.e. to Formula BMW, which is now JKRAS and then they move to higher levels of racing. JK Tyre now stands closer to achieving its mission of bringing world-class motorsport to the Indian masses. The Racing and Karting programme by JK Tyre has been the breeding ground for the country ’s motorsport talents like Narain Karthikeyan, Armaan Ebrahim, Karun Chandhok, Aditya Patel and other emerging talents.

Another pioneering initiative was the launch of the Truck Racing Championship in India in partnership with Tata Motors. The company developed & designed “JetRacing”-the new generation truck racing tyres especially for this application. With this, JK Tyre became the first tyre company to produce truck racing tyres in India. The combination of the Prima trucks fitted with Jet Racing received an overwhelming response from participants and has definitely brought in a revolution in the Indian racing scenario.

 

Stefanidi donated Olympic and World Title-winning kit to the IAAF Heritage Collection

© Gladys Chai von der Laage

In Lausanne this week Greece’s pole vault ace Katerina Stefanidi became the latest global champion to donate competition clothing to the IAAF Heritage Collection.

The IAAF Heritage Collection, which aims to preserve and savour artefacts from the best athletics moments to help promote the sport and help engage fans, was launched by IAAF President Sebastian Coe in Birmingham on Sunday 4 March on the last day of the IAAF World Indoor Championships.

The level of support received from the current stars of our sport since that memorable beginning has been incredible. Yet perhaps the most selfless act of generosity so far seen took place on Wednesday(4) on the eve of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne. On that occasion, Stefanidi, the world and Olympic pole vault champion, donated the two-piece uniform in which she vaulted to gold at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the spikes which she wore last year when winning at the IAAF World Championships London 2017.

“I wanted to be a part of this special project which is about the legacy of athletics,” said Stefanidi. “There is nothing more important than the World Championships and Olympic Games which is why only my kit from those victories seemed appropriate if I was going to be represented in the Heritage collection.”

Stefanidi’s marvellous contribution to the collection will be on public display next year in Doha as part of an IAAF Heritage Exhibition in the lead-in to the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019.

There is already an IAAF Heritage Exhibition currently underway in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The ‘IAAF Heritage World / Continental Cup – 1977 to 2018 – Exhibition’ which opened on 5 June, as its name implies, celebrates the performances of the first competition which the IAAF created, the forerunner of the IAAF World Championships which began in 1983.

The IAAF World Cup in Athletics, which was renamed the IAAF Continental Cup in 2010, celebrates its next edition in Ostrava on the weekend of 8-9 September. The exhibition, at the Forum Nova Karolina Shopping Centre in the centre of the city, will be open until the last day of the championships.

IAAF Heritage World / Continental Cup – 1977 to 2018 – Exhibition is kindly supported by the International Athletics Foundation, Asics, Seiko, TDK and Mondo and is delivered by IAAF Heritage along with the Czech Athletics Federation and the LOC of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018.

IAAF

 

India U-16s play out a 1-1 draw against DPR Korea

New Delhi, 7th July, 2018: The Indian National team currently on an exposure trip in China played out a 1-1 draw against DPR Korea U-16s in their last match of the Four-Nation Hua Shan Cup CFA International Youth Football Tournament in Wei Nan City, China today (July 07, 2018).

In a drab first half, the Indian Colts had an opportunity to go ahead as early as the 13th minute but Givson’s shot missed the goal by a whisker as DPR Korea survived an early scare.

With DPR Korea dominating possession, the Indian Colts relied on counter-attacks and in the 39th minute, Givson, once again found himself in the mix, this time however, his shot was saved by the opposition custodian.

The Indian Colts survived a scare in the 44th minute when DPR Korea rattled the woodwork as the half-time scoreline read 0-0 as both teams went into the tunnel on level pegging.

Changing over, in the 60th minute, Bekey’s shot was saved by the Korean defence line. However, in the 75th minute, the opponents took the lead and found the net to make the scoreline read 1-0.

It wasn’t long before the Indian Colts came up with their response and were awarded a penalty in the 77thminute, which Vikram Pratap Singh slotted with ease to make the scoreline read 1-1.

The full-time scoreline read 1-1 as both teams shared the spoils of battle. In the Tournament, the Indian U-16s had earlier faced hosts China U-17s, and Thailand U-16s, losing 0-1 and 1-3 respectively.

 

Rani to lead India at the 18th Asian Games

Striker Rani to lead the squad with ace Goalkeeper Savita as her deputy

MADRID – India Test Matches – Spain v India (w)
Foto: Rani (C) WORLDSPORTPICS COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK

New Delhi, 06 July 2018: Hockey India on Friday named the 18-member Indian Women’s Hockey Team for the 18th Asian Games 2018 to begin in Jakarta/Palembang on 18 August 2018.

The team will be led by striker Rani who had successfully Captained the Indian Women’s Hockey Team that won the 9th Women’s Asia Cup last year. Ace goalkeeper Savita has been named as the Vice Captain and she will be joined by Rajani Etimarpu at the goalpost for the prestigious event where India will vie for the Gold to earn a direct qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

India’s defence will feature the experienced Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Deepika, Reena Khokhar and dragflicker Gurjit Kaur while the team’s midfield will include Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Monika, Udita, Nikki Pradhan and Neha Goyal.

The forward-line will be led by the skipper Rani who has over 200 International Caps for India. She will be ably-supported by Vandana Katariya who also completed 200 International Caps for India at the recently held Spain Tour. Youngster Lalremsiami has also been rewarded with a place in the squad for her recent exploits and she will be joined by Navneet Kaur and Navjot Kaur who have had a good showing in the recent tournaments for India.

“We have a good mixture of experienced and young players. I’m happy to note that each one of them have experienced what it is like to play high level matches,” expressed Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.

He further added that the team’s performance at the forthcoming Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 starting 21 July 2018 will have an impact ahead of the 18th Asian Games. “Playing well in London will be good for the confidence of the team ahead of the 18th Asian Games. I can tell the team that they are good and that they are capable of winning against any team but when you experience it yourself it is always better for the confidence,” added Marijne.

While India have etched their place as a dominant team at the Asian level with their winning performances at the 9th Women’s Asia Cup (winners in 2017) and the Asian Champions Trophy (winners in 2016; runners up in 2018), China ranked No.8 in the world and Korea ranked at No.9 will be a threat to India’s campaign for Gold at the Asian Games. On asked if the Team is working on specific areas to excel against China and Korea, Sjoerd said, “The team’s focus at the moment is on the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018. A good show there will certainly give us the right momentum for the 18th Asian Games and who our opponents are won’t matter if our performance is good in all areas.”

Indian Women’s Team:

Goalkeepers: 1. Savita (Vice-Captain) 2. Rajani Etimarpu
Defenders: 3. Deep Grace Ekka, 4. Sunita Lakra, 5. Deepika, 6. Gurjit Kaur, 7. Reena Khokhar.
Midfielders: 8. Namita Toppo, 9. Lilima Minz, 10. Monika, 11. Udita, 12. Nikki Pradhan, 13. Neha Goyal.
Forwards: 14. Rani (Captain), 15. Vandana Katariya, 16. Lalremsiami, 17. Navneet Kaur, 18. Navjot Kaur.

 

10 to watch at the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018

General News

Hundreds of promising athletes will be in Finland for the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018 from 10-15 July.

Our event-by-event previews cover all the main medal contenders, but here are 10 particularly exciting talents to follow next week.

Christopher Taylor (JAM) 400m

1 Oct 1999

The diminutive Jamaican sprinter was one of the star performers at the IAAF World U18 Championships Cali 2015, where he sped to a world age-15 best of 45.27 to win the 400m.

A brief injury spell meant that Taylor was not at his best at the last World U20 Championships, but this season he has set national U20 records at 100m (10.11) and 400m (44.88). His 200m PB of 20.35, meanwhile, puts him second on the Jamaican U20 all-time list behind Usain Bolt.

Achievements
2015 Carifta Games: 400m 1st, 4x400m 1st
2015 World U18 Championships: 400m 1st
2016 Carifta Games: 400m 1st, 4x100m 1st, 4x400m 1st
2016 World U20 Championships: 4x400m 3rd
2017 Carifta Games: 400m 1st, 4x100m 1st, 4x400m 2nd
2017 Pan-American Junior Championships: 200m 1st, 4x100m 2nd, 4x400m 2nd
2018 Carifta Games: 400m 1st, 4x100m 1st, 4x400m 1st

Progression (100m, 200m, 400m)
2014: -, -, 48.80
2015: -, 20.78, 45.27
2016: 10.44, 20.80, 45.66
2017: -, 20.38, 45.41
2018: 10.11, 20.35, 44.88

Selemon Barega (ETH) 5000m

20 Jan 2000

He still has another full season left as an U20 athlete, but the Ethiopian teenager has already established himself as one of the best distance runners in the world.

Barega was a relative unknown when he won the world U20 5000m title in 2016. Now a regular on the international circuit, he heads to Tampere with the aim of becoming the first man in history to win back-to-back world U20 titles in the 5000m.

Achievements
2016 East African U20 Championships: 5000m 3rd
2016 World U20 Championships: 5000m 1st
2017 World Cross Country Championships: U20 race 5th
2017 African U20 Championships: 5000m 1st
2017 World U18 Championships: 3000m 1st
2017 World Championships: 5000m 5th
2018 World Indoor Championships: 3000m 2nd

Progression (3000m, 5000m)
2015: -, 13:58.8
2016: -, 13:21.21
2017: 7:38.90, 12:55.58
2018: 7:36.64i, 13:02.67

Sokwakhana Zazini (RSA) 400m hurdles

23 Sep 2000

The South African 400m hurdler set a world U18 best of 48.84 in 2017 and went on to win the world U18 title in Nairobi, finishing almost three seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

Now in his first year as an U20 athlete, Zazini continues to impress in both one-lap events. Earlier this year he reduced his PBs to 45.86 for the 400m flat and 49.32 over the senior height 400m hurdles.

Achievements
2017 World U18 Championships: 400m hurdles 1st, 4x400m 3rd

Progression (pole vault)
2014: -, 52.76 (U18)
2015: -, 53.05 (U18)
2016: 47.23, 50.85 (U18)
2017: 46.20, 48.84 (U18)
2018: 45.86, 49.32

Armand Duplantis (SWE) pole vault

10 Nov 1999

Few athletes in history have achieved as much while an U20 athlete as Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis.

Born into a pole vaulting family, the USA-based Swede has set countless age-group records on his rapid rise to the top. He now owns the eight best vaults in history at the U20 level, indoors and out, topped by his lifetime best of 5.93m.

Achievements
2015 World U18 Championships: pole vault 1st
2016 World U20 Championships: pole vault 3rd
2017 European U20 Championships: pole vault 1st
2017 World Championships: pole vault 9th
2018 World Indoor Championships: pole vault 7th

Progression (pole vault)
2013: 4.15
2014: 4.75i
2015: 5.30
2016: 5.51
2017: 5.90
2018: 5.93

Jordan Diaz (CUB) triple jump

23 Feb 2001

The Cuban production line of horizontal jumpers shows no signs of slowing down; in fact, Jordan Diaz could well be one of the brightest talents the country has ever produced.

He bounded out to a world U18 best of 17.30m to win the world U18 title in Nairobi last year and extended that mark to 17.41m in Havana last month. The 17-year-old sits at third on the world U20 all-time list and still has another two years in the age group.

Achievements
2017 World U18 Championships: triple jump 1st

Progression (triple jump)
2015: 15.02
2016: 15.65
2017: 17.30
2018: 17.41

Samantha Watson (USA) 800m

10 Nov 1999

An impressive range and a smart tactical racing brain makes Samantha Watson one of the most exciting middle-distance prospects to come from the USA.

She showed no fear when winning the 800m titles at the 2015 World U18 Championships and 2016 World U20 Championships, despite being the youngest in the field on both occasions.

Achievements
2015 World U18 Championships: 800m 1st, 4x400m 1st
2016 World U20 Championships: 800m 1st, 4x400m 1st
2018 NCAA Indoor Championships: 800m 3rd
2018 NCAA Championships: 800m 1st

Progression (400m, 800m)
2014: 54.93, 2:15.99
2015: 52.69, 2:03.54
2016: 53.21, 2:02.91
2017: 55.76i, 2:00.65
2018: 54.77, 2:01.46

Celliphine Chespol (KEN) 3000m steeplechase

23 Mar 1999

Although she was already the world U18 and U20 champion, the Kenyan steeplechaser produced one of the biggest surprises of the 2017 season when she set a world U20 record of 8:58.78 in Eugene, making her the second-fastest woman in history.

Now a regular competitor on the international circuit, Chespol owns the six fastest times in history at the U20 level.

Achievements
2015 World U18 Championships: 2000m steeplechase 1st
2016 World U20 Championships: 3000m steeplechase 1st
2017 World Cross Country Championships: U20 race 3rd
2017 World Championships: 3000m steeplechase 6th
2018 African Cross Country Championships: senior race 1st
2018 Commonwealth Games: 3000m steeplechase 2nd

Progression (3000m steeplechase)
2015: 10:18.3
2016: 9:24.73
2017: 8:58.78
2018: 9:01.82

Lisa Gunnarsson (SWE) pole vault

20 Aug 1999

She has jumped higher than any U18 pole vaulter in history, and now the 18-year-old is aiming to cap her U20 career by taking her first global title.

The globe-trotting Swede has spent time living in Sweden, Argentina, Luxemburg, France and is now based in the USA. Having set a world U18 best of 4.50m in 2016, her PB now stands at 4.60m – the highest vault in the world this year by a U20 athlete.

Achievements
2015 European U20 Championships: pole vault 5th
2016 World U20 Championships: pole vault 7th
2017 European Indoor Championships: pole vault 6th
2017 European U20 Championships: pole vault 1st

Progression (pole vault)
2014: 3.91
2015: 4.25
2016: 4.50
2017: 4.55
2018: 4.60

Tara Davis (USA) long jump

20 May 1999

USA has never won a medal of any colour in the women’s long jump at the World U20 Championships, but Tara Davis looks poised to end that drought.

Davis is a talented hurdler and triple jumper but truly excels in the long jump, an event in which she won the 2015 world U18 title and has a best of 6.73m.

Achievements
2015 World U18 Championships: long jump 1st, triple jump 9th
2017 Pan-American U20 Championships: long jump 1st, 100m hurdles 2nd, 4x100m 1st
2018 NCAA Indoor Championships: long jump 3rd, 60m hurdles 6th
2018 NCAA Championships: long jump 5th

Progression (100m hurdles, long jump, triple jump)
2014: 14.50 (14.26w), 6.03, 12.12 (12.14w)
2015: 13.48, 6.41, 13.01
2016: 13.62 (13.38w), 6.37i, 13.16
2017: 12.95 (12.83w), 6.73 (6.80w), 13.20
2018: 13.09 (13.04w), 6.71, 12.89i

Alexandra Emilianov (MDA) discus

19 Sep 1999

Since winning the world U18 title in Cali three years ago, Moldova’s Alexandra Emilianov has been one of the most prolific athletes in international age-group championships.

Having also won U18 and U20 titles at the Balkan and European level, the only major gold medal left for Emilianov to win as a teenager is the world U20 title.

Achievements
2015 World U18 Championships: discus 1st
2016 Balkan U18 Championships: shot put 1st, discus 1st
2016 European U18 Championships: shot put 1st, discus 1st
2016 World U20 Championships: discus 3rd
2017 Balkan U20 Championships: shot put 1st, discus 1st
2017 European U20 Championships: discus 1st
2018 NCAA Championships: discus 12th
2018 Balkan U20 Championships: shot put 1st, discus 1st

Progression (shot put, discus)
2014: 11.90, 47.05
2015: 14.12 (15.37 U18), 52.78
2016: 14.76i (18.50 U18), 58.09
2017: 15.86i, 57.10
2018: 15.63i, 60.24