Indian golfer Aditi Ashok misses cut on LPGA
Grand Rapids (US), Jun 19 Indian golfer Aditi Ashok missed the cut on her return to the LPGA tour at the Meijer LPGA Classic after turning in a 4-over 76.
After a 77 in the opening day, the Indian needed a very low round to make the halfway cut at Blythefield Country Club but could only manage a marginally better 76.
Irish rookie Leona Maguire shot an 8-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead.
The 26-year-old is trying to become the first Irish winner in LPGA Tour history. Last week in California, she tied for ninth in the LPGA Mediheal Championship after leading after the first round.
Su Oh of Australia was second after a bogey-free 65. Linda Duncan was 11 under after a 65.
Nelly Korda shot a 66 to get to 10 under, matching Anna Nordqvist (67), Mina Harigae (66), Brittany Altomare (66) and Lizette Salas (66). Lexi Thompson, the 2015 winner, had her second 68 to reach 8 under.
Brooke Henderson, the winner in 2017 and 2019 in the event that was cancelled last year, missed the cut by a stroke after rounds of 75 and 67. News source PTI
Sports Authority of India allows wrestlers Neeraj Chopra and Vinesh Phogat to continue training in Europe ahead of Olympics
New Delhi, Jun 18 Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and star wrestler Vinesh Phogat will continue to train in their respective locations in Europe till July 25 before leaving for the Tokyo Olympics, Sports Authority of India (SAI) said on Friday.
Chopra, 23, had recently made a winning return to the international circuit after more than a year when he threw a decent 83.16m in a Lisbon event, which was part of his training-cum-competition stint in Europe.
The 26-year-old Phogat, on the other hand, claimed the 53kg gold at Poland Open earlier this month to keep her Olympic preparation on track.
The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC), a review committee of SAI, on Friday allowed the duo to continue training overseas till the Tokyo Games by sanctioning their respective proposals.
"Neeraj Chopra's proposal to begin training in Uppsala, Sweden, from June 21 in continuation of his stay along with his coach Dr. Klaus Bartonietz and physiotherapist, in Portugal since June 6 has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 34.87 lakh," the governing body said in a release.
"Vinesh Phogat, who has been based in Europe since late April, got approval to continue training there till she leaves for the Olympic Games.
"This now includes a 10-day training camp in Talinn, Estonia, and 16-day camp in Budapest, Hungary. She will be assisted by her coach Woller Akos and physiotherapist Poornima Raman Ngomdir. The proposal has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 9.01 lakh." The apex body also said that "the Government has supported Neeraj to the tune of Rs 1.61 crore in this Olympic cycle through the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition and the Target Olympic Podium Scheme", while spending "Rs 1.81 crores on Vinesh in this Olympic cycle." India's other Olympic-bound wrestler Bajrang Punia, who is training in Russia, too was allowed to avail the services of U-23 World Champion Mirza Skhulukhia as a sparring partner.
"The MOC also sanctioned the men's 65kg freestyle wrestler Bajrang Punia’s proposal to engage men’s U-23 World Champion Mirza Skhulukhia in the 70 kg class as an additional sparring partner in Vladikavkaz, Russia," SAI said.
"He is already sparring with 2019 70kg world champion David Baev. The proposal has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 2.53 lakh. The government has so far spent Rs 2.06 crores on Bajrang in this Olympic cycle." Punia had recently opted to skip a Ranking Series event in Poland to training in Russia. News source PTI
Indian golfer Aditi Ashok gets off to a tough start at Meijer LPGA Classic
Grand Rapids (US), Jun 18 Indian golfer Aditi Ashok endured a disastrous start, carding a triple bogey on the first hole to end 5-over 77 in the opening round of the Meijer LPGA Classic here.
The 23-year-old, who hasn't practiced for six weeks while in India due to the COVID-19 lockdown, now needs a very low round to make the halfway cut at Blythefield Country Club.
Meanwhile, Nasa Hataoka, Leona Maguire, Charley Hull and Lauren Stephenson carded 7-under 65 to share the lead.
It was Nasa's first start since she lost a playoff in the U.S. Women's Open. The 22-year-old, birdied three of the last five holes.
Aditi, who is hoping some competitive play will rekindle her form, was happy to be back on the Tour and see action.
"I am feeling happy to be back in the US. Looking forward to restarting my season here in Grand Rapids," the golfer said before the start.
"I haven’t practiced in the last 6 weeks due to lockdown in India but I feel I’ve gotten some reps in the last few days. Hopefully will pick up where I left off and take it one week at a time," she added.
Ariya Jutanugarn and Min Lee shot 66. Anna Nordqvist was another stroke back with Alison Lee, Sarah Schmelzel, Amy Olson, Sophia Popov, Gabriela Ruffels, Chella Choi, Marina Alex, Su Oh, Xiyu Lin and Pajaree Anannarukarn.
Lexi Thompson, the 2015 winner, was in the large group at 68 that included Inbee Park, sisters Nelly and Jessica Korda and Jennifer Kupcho. Top-ranked Young Ko shot 69.
The major KPMG Women's PGA Championship is next week at Atlanta Athletic Club. News Source PTI
Getting the opportunity to play for India in 2016 was the happiest and proudest moment for me - Rugby player Sumitra Nayak
Indian women's Rugby team has been enjoying a fair amount of success since the last couple of years thanks to their promising rising stars.
Sumitra Nayak, the 21 year old rugby player from Jajpur is one of the rising stars in the Indian team and has frequently made headlines in rugby news. She has bagged medals for India and played an important role in scripting the country's bronze medal victory in the 2019 Asian Women Championship by scoring a penalty kick in a thrilling game against Singapore.
In an exclusive interview with SPOGO, Sumitra shared her incredible story which is marked by courage, sheer hard work and her mother's fortitude - all that went into making her whatever she is today.
Q 1) You were introduced to rugby when you moved to Bhubaneshwar, what did you love about the game and when did you feel it's a sport you should pursue professionally?
I started playing Rugby in 2008 in the Kalinga Institute of Social Science - KISS where both education and sports were provided for free of cost. I had only heard of Rugby before and didn't know anything about it before I had joined KISS in 2008. I remember seeing players running, taking an egg shaped ball in hand, rolling and tackling it which I found quite weird because I had never seen such a sport before. I did find it interesting but never thought I would play it professionally. However, in 2009 when I went to the playground with my friends after our class was over, there were many coaches present at the ground who were training. They called us and asked us to run for a hundred metres with a ball in our hand. I didn't understand much but it was quite fun and interesting. I was fascinated by the ball and played the sport out of sheer liking for it. I had never thought I would pursue this sport in my life.
Q 2) How big of a role has your mother played in the rugby player that you are today?
I come from a very small Duburi village of Jajpur district in Orissa. Girls in my village aren't given many opportunities to stand on their feet or take up sports. They mostly marry their daughters at the age 13-14. My mom however had other dreams. My father didn't provide us with any support in terms of finances or even our education. He would drink and was selfish while my mother would work as a domestic helper at people's houses and get us some money and food. My mother thought we didn't have a future there and wanted to move out of our village at any cost. The owner of the place where she would work encouraged and helped her to move into Bhubaneswar. Hence, my mother brought me and my 9 month old sister to Bhubaneswar where I didn't get an opportunity to study for the initial 2 to 3 years as there was no one to take care of my little sister. My mother felt that her decision of moving into a big study would make no sense if she is unable to provide us with education. However, she needed a hostel facility where I could stay without her needing to come to drop and pick me up from school and could focus on her work without worrying for me. She got to know about an institute where tribal children are educated along with being provided with food, accommodation, sports coaching for free and thus enrolled me in KISS in 2008.
Q 3) How did your coach Mr. Rudrakesh Jena help you develop into a better rugby player?
I had to give him multiple tests when I first entered Rugby. Rugby being a contact sport requires you to be physically fit so he gave me correct physical training by which I got selected in the rugby team. Sir helped me a lot since it's a very complicated sport, sharply contrasting to the way it looks. He guided me on various technicalities of the game including how to move forward and tackle. Sir also educated me on how to coordinate the team while leading the side.
Q 3) What is your proudest achievement in the sport of rugby so far?
I was nominated for an international Peace Prize in 2017. I was very happy since the nomination was centred around my life story and the background I came from. Although I didn't win, it was great to be nominated for such an honour. Also, getting the opportunity to play for India in 2016 was my happiest and proudest moment. Gradually the team kept growing and our performance too started getting better. Even bagging a bronze for India in 2019 in the Philippines was quite special and memorable.
Q 4) You came from a small village where girls were not allowed to play rugby. How challenging was it to pursue your passion and what obstacles did you have to overcome?
The people of my village didn't even know about the sport and the fact that even girls play it. The girls are barely educated since they believe we are only meant for marriages, but my mother didn't think like this at all and that was the reason we moved out of that place. People said a lot of mean things to us, discouraged our decision to move in the city and told us our lives wouldn't change there.
Q 5) What are the skill sets required to become a champion?
Firstly, you have to be very honest to be able to achieve your dreams. You have to put in a lot of hard work and effort. If you pursue something with an honest heart you will definitely get it one day. As a sportsperson, I would say hard work, team work, team coordination and sound communication is very important for success.
Q 6) How valuable was the experience and exposure of playing in England as India’s captain? What are the different things that you learnt?
When our bhaiyas and didis (seniors) went to England, we also had an intense wish to go there someday but never knew if that opportunity would ever come where we would get to fly in a plane, meet new people and play rugby in England. When we finally got the opportunity through KISS, it felt great, the experience was completely new as we were quite young. We had difficulty in terms of language and food but we somehow managed as we were trained a bit for all this too. The match was great as well and I learnt a lot, especially their time management and discipline.Their behaviour was also good and they were very down to Earth. Apart from that, the cleanliness there also had a great impact on me and when I came back I started educating and telling people about the importance of it wherever I went.
Q 7) You are an inspiration for so many girls out there who fulfilled their dream through hard work, dedication and passion. What is your message for girls out there who want to make a career in sports?
I strongly believe and tell other people that nothing is impossible to achieve. Your goals might be difficult but never impossible to accomplish. When we ourselves don't try, no amount of motivation or pushing from people will help us. You will face many obstacles in your journey and you should always overcome them courageously and move forward in the direction of your goals. I would like to say this especially to girls that when you feel down and hopeless, you will need to find and kinder your inner courage because no one from outside will give it to you. We have it all inside us and we only need to recognise it in order to realise our dreams. Unless we ourselves don't take a step forward people will keep pulling our legs backward.
EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships medalists to receive $320,000 USD prize money
In the latest boxing news, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has set $320,000 as a prize fund for the medalists at the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships.
AIBA will award a sum of $8000 to the winners, $4000 to silver medalists and $2000 to the bronze medalists. The winnings are equal in all 10 weight categories amongst men and women. In a press release by AIBA, their president Umar Kremlev said, “We are taking care of our athletes’ well-being, therefore, it is crucial that we provide prize money for the medalists.”
“Boxers’ achievements should be recognized and valued. Personally for me, as a President, it is important to give opportunities to our athletes. Their hard work and dedication are outstanding and very respectable. I want to encourage them for further progress,” he concluded.
The EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships began on 17th June at Villaggio Lido d'Abruzzo, Italy with the finals being played on June 24th.
Grand opening ceremony begins the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships
In the latest boxing news, the opening ceremony of the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships was held in Roseto degli Abruzzi with Roseto Major Mr. Sabatino Di Girolamo and FPI Vice President Mr. Fabrizio Baldantoni greeting the participants and officials. The first fights are scheduled to begin on June 17th.
EUBC President Mr. Franco Falcinelli declared the tournament’s opening by saying, “'The EUBC U22 European Boxing Championship is a further testimony that our continent has shown great courage and a strong commitment that we will defeat the Covid-19 pandemic. There are 41 countries that have registered their boxers and we can expect a high number of participants: 211 men and 96 women,’ Mr. Falcinelli said.
‘From the 17th to 22nd of June boxing fans can follow the event on live streaming from the preliminary contests until the semi-finals while the finals will be broadcasted by the Italian National TV, RAI at the Palazzo dello Sport, Pala Maggetti of June 24,’ he mentioned.
‘In addition, the AIBA R&J 2 Star Course will take place during the Championship with many European candidates. They will be evaluated based on their performance during the Championship where they will act as Referees & Judges. I am sure that the European boxers, men and women, will be able to demonstrate their technical skills to ensure a bright future of the European boxing,’ Mr. Falcinelli concluded.
AIBA President Umar Kremlev greeted all the participants by saying, “I am confident that the participants will show their outstanding skills at the tournament in Italy. They are young but already elite fighters. I am glad to see them motivated to do their best. The fact that we have 41 countries participating makes me proud. This is a good sign that boxing is developed on the continent.”
The first fights of the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships are scheduled to begin on June 17th.
Olympic-bound Table Tennis players get a 19-day camp boost
New Delhi, Jun 15 Olympic-bound Indian table tennis players, including Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra, received a much needed boost as they will have a 19-day camp at Sonepat beginning on Thursday.
Sharath Kamal, Manika and Sutirtha Mukherjee will finally get a chance to train together, while G Sathiyan will continue to train in Chennai under his coach S Raman.
"The camp at DPS (Sonepat) will start on June 17 and end on July 5. The SAI-approved camp is the result of some last-ditch efforts from the TTFI and the players," Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) said in a release.
The Indian players were confined to their homes since qualifying for the Olympics at the Asian Qualification events in March in Doha with the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the country.
While Sharath and Sathiyan were in Chennai, Manika was in Pune and Sutirtha was doing practice in a limited way in Kolkata.
"For one, it will change our mood. All of us have been training individually because of the pandemic. Now we can focus on the job at hand. We will also be able to push our limits with different sparring partners," Sharath said.
Sharath said he and Manika will need to put in long hours of practice ahead of the Tokyo Games.
"We did a three-day session in Chennai, but that was too short for our satisfaction. Then the pandemic prevented us from any further sessions. The fortnight-long camp should help us," he said.
Sathiyan, on the other hand, said that he preferred training in Chennai because he would get to practice on the Sanei table he was procuring.
"I am expecting it (the table) before the end of this month. At the Games, this brand will be in use. My coach and I have chalked out our programme," he said.
Somyadeep Roy, most likely to be named as the team coach for Tokyo Olympics, and Arun Basak will have nine other paddlers to train with the three players.
SAI has also approved a sparring partner in Aakash Pal for Sutirtha, besides a personal coach (Sanmay Paranjape) and physio (Dhanjay Dubey) for Manika.
There will be other support staff, making the Sonepat camp a 20-member strong squad.
Lists of campers: Men: A Sharath Kamal, Manav Thakkar, Sanil Shetty, Ronit Bhanja, Manush Shah and Payas Jain.
Women: Manika Batra, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Reeth Rishya, Diya Chitale, Prapti Sen and Kaushani Nath.
Coches: Soumyadeep Roy and Arup Basak.
Support staff: Amarjit Singh. News source PTI
I did not take any stimulant but was on painkillers: Suspended wrestler Sumit Malik
New Delhi, Jun 15 Suspended Indian wrestler Sumit Malik on Tuesday said he has no idea how a banned stimulant entered his body but admitted that he was on painkillers during the recent Olympic Qualifiers and had informed the world body about that before taking the mat.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist was handed a provisional suspension by the United World Wrestling (UWW) after a specified banned substance -- 5-methylhexan-2amine (1,4 dimethylpentylamine) -- was found in his sample.
Malik had secured the 125kg category quota for the Tokyo Olympic during the Olympic Qualifiers, held in Sofia, Bulgaria, last month but was handed suspension for failing his dope test during the same tournament.
"There was severe pain in my knee and I had taken painkillers Mobizox and Voveran. I had informed the UWW officials about it. I have taken the same painkillers before also, I don't know how I tested positive," Malik told PTI.
"UWW people have also informed me that the quantity of the substance is less than one per cent. It's merely 0.5 per cent. They have told me that a clear picture will be given to me in 3-4 days," he added.
While Malik asserted that he has taken only these twopain killers, AIIMS senior resident doctor Uditi Gupta said that none of them contains any stimulant.
"Neither Mobizox nor Voveran contains any stimulant. It might be there in some other protein supplements he was taking.
"Voveran is a single drug that contains only diclofenac, which is a painkiller while Mobizox is a combination drug which is a painkiller and a muscle relaxant but there is no stimulant in it," Gupta said.
"Methylhexanamine (found in Malik's sample) is a stimulant. It is sometimes used for nasal decongestion but never for pain relief," she added.
Asked if he consulted a doctor before taking the medicines, Malik conceded that he did not.
"No, I did not ask anyone. I took it on my own. I have taken these painkillers before also but never tested positive.
"Now they tell me that they have found something in my pre-workout sample also but did not tell me what it is," Malik, who gave consent for testing his B sample on June 9, said.
Malik, who has to pay Rs 1.5 lakh for testing of the B sample, is hoping to come out clean.
"People who are handling it, tell me that it's not a drug, it's not something heavy. I am hopeful I will be cleared and I will be able to compete in the Olympics," the 28-year-old from Rohtak said.
Sports Lawyer Parth Goswami said if Malik wants any relief in this case, he must establish the source of the substance found in his body.
"The athlete can get benefit of exoneration, reprimand or reduced sanction only if he can establish the source of the substance which was found in his sample and further establish that such consumption was not intentional," he explained.
"The athlete will have to prove that there was no fault or negligence on his part while consuming such prohibited substance.
"In order to participate in Tokyo, Sumit will have to move fast and try to expedite the hearing process," he said. News source PTI
We want to identify the best sporting talent and provide opportunities and financial support - Moonmoon Mukherjee, Founder at P3 Sports Management Company
From representing India in Table Tennis to giving back to the sport that started it all as a International Table Tennis Association (ITTF) certified level 3 coach, Moonmoon Mukherjee’s contributions cannot be understated. Winner of the Women Achiever award in 2014, Moonmoon is helping develop a sporting culture, sport properties and promoting grassroot development and is aspiring to reach newer heights.
In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Moonmoon Mukherjee, Founder at P3 Sports Management Company speaks about the challenges she faced as a professional table tennis player, using that experience in a coaching career, importance of sports management, grassroot development, impact of COVID-19 and future goals.
Q 1) As a woman who has represented India in Table Tennis, what are the challenges that you faced in your journey? How did you overcome them?
I started playing Table Tennis at the age of 8 years, I’m from a small town called Chandannagar, Hooghly. It was difficult to travel for my training everyday to Kolkata and manage both academics and Table Tennis but somehow I balanced both. Availability of proper infrastructure was a big problem. During those days, there was not much knowledge about proper equipment (Rubbers, professional racquets and balls) and access to those products was rare.
Q 2) As a former table tennis player, how much of an advantage was it when you transitioned to coaching? How did you use your experience as a table tennis player in your coaching career?
When I did my first coaching qualifications (ITTF level 1, evell 2 and level 3), I was just starting out as a player. This meant I wasn’t actually coaching that much. The lessons I learnt during the qualifications – technique, tactics, mindset – were of great benefit to me as a coach. I thought about table tennis in a different way and began to understand the sport comprehensively. My technique improved and my range of shots increased. The tips I gave to other players about footwork, stance, spin generation, ball placement and shot selection were also implemented in my own game. Here are some things that I have got better at since I am coaching
Watching my opponent – During coaching sessions, I have to play and watch the other player, so I can give feedback on the player’s technique, timing, footwork and shot selection. This has been very beneficial for me when I play matches. By watching my opponent more, I see what shot is coming next that little bit sooner, which means I can react quicker.
Speed control – When coaching, I have to control the pace of the drills. This sometimes means slowing the ball down or speeding up, depending on the level of the player. This is a very useful skill when playing matches. Sometimes I need to inject more pace into the rallies, but other times, taking the pace out of the rally can really disrupt the other player. Some fast attackers just don’t know how to respond to this!
Ball placement – When coaching, I need to be accurate in my ball placement, both in regular and irregular drills. This has been very useful when playing matches as my ability to hit different areas of the table (from anywhere) has improved a lot.
Backhand technique – A lot of coaching requires feeding the ball using my backhand. The sheer volume of balls I have hit using my backhand means my backhand technique is now far more consistent. This has made me a stronger allround player. My backhand is pretty solid now.
Pushes and blocks – I am becoming a master of pushing and blocking – especially blocking! So much of my coaching is about developing the attacking skills of the other player. So they top spin, I block. Topspin. Block. Topspin. Block. When you block 14 hours a week, you get very good at it!
The lead instructor of my level 1 qualification told me that some players sign up to the course, not to get into coaching but to get better at table tennis too. My belief is that if you only do a little bit of coaching, but still have plenty of time to practice for your own game, then coaching can definitely help you improve.
Q 3) What led you to start the P 3 Sports Management Company? How important of a role does sports management play in today’s day and age?
P3 Sports Management was born out of passion. It is a pioneering sports organization founded by a set of like-minded individuals aiming to bring mainstream sport to public consciousness, with a specific focus on Olympic and non-Olympic games like Table Tennis, Badminton, Squash, Volleyball, Basketball, Carrom, Tennis, Football and Cricket. P3 Sports conducts a series of championships & coaching programs to get people to truly enjoy their athletic spirit. The founders of P3 Sports have been conducting sports championships and coaching for the last several years in and around Mumbai and California, US. P3 has conducted more than 30 sporting tournaments and handled 1000-plus players. It has a combination of reputed sports experts and industry professionals on our Board of Directors and advisors. Conducting corporate, inter-schools and state level championships along with providing grass-root training and mentoring to sports enthusiasts and under-privileged children. We organised Doctors Indoor Games in collaboration with WOCKHARDT In 2019. Our aim is to be India’s topmost change-maker in the field of sports by introducing Sports Tourism Packages for Indian School’s with the collaboration with CSS (Complete Sports Solution). Mr Dhrmil Dixit, Marketing head of P3 & Mr Ankit Garg, Business development head are very hopeful about this development and believes that this would be a game changer in the Indian sporting industry. I think Sports Management plays a vital role in today’s sports scenario. Management in sport organizations provide sports development, general planning activities in the field of sports, organize all relevant resources, processes and functions, exercises a policy of human resources development, organized sports and business functions, provide communication and coordination.
Q 4) According to you, what needs to be done to promote a sporting culture in India with a strong grass root development program?
Indians at large, have never been the 'sporty type'. Sports are not ingrained in our psyche. Neither is it an integral part of our everyday life. The passion for sports has only resided in a small percentage of the population. Statistics indicate that while 42% of our population participates in Cricket, the average participation for all other sports (Badminton, Cycling, Running, Football, Volleyball, Tennis, Table Tennis ,Swimming, etc) is below 13%. Research suggests that the sports industry is poised to grow at about 20% over the next decade and contribute between 1 - 5% of India's GDP. In addition, national sports programs such as Khelo India, the efforts of the various sports leagues and most importantly, the focus on health & fitness are all contributing to growing awareness and improving participation. Girls and women are today equally participating in sports and winning laurels for India which is a wonderful sign from a nation development context. The ladies constituted about 45% of the CWG 2018 team and won 42% of the medals. However, this is not enough.
Unless India makes a structured effort to broad-base sports and increase participation at the grassroots level, we will continue to lag behind, not just on social development and youth inclusion parameters but also deliver limited success at world sport events. We must remember that the goal (health & fitness) is sequential and definitely more important than the outcome (Olympic medal). While the sports ministry has to lead the charge, other stakeholders i.e. corporates, entrepreneurs, national federation, state level associations, equipment manufacturers, media & service providers have to come together to develop & promote the cause of sport.
My visual thoughts on the same are captured below:
The journey of an athlete, begins with school and community participation, progresses through the zonal & district levels onward to representing India at the national & international level. However this journey from interest in sports to participation to potential and then to excellence is a long and tough road and success rates are as low as 2 - 3%.
This journey has two distinct phases - (1) Participation and (2) Performance Excellence, and is important because it equips the youth with life skills that help shape core elements of his personality. All the athlete expects from the ecosystem around him is support, best wishes, encouragement and inspiration. We should be large-hearted enough to give it. The journey of a nation, towards emerging as a sporting superpower needs focused investing in a structured program focused on grassroots sports development. This will deliver numerous benefits, one of which is the National Sports Talent Repository, which, when nurtured, delivers international sporting success, youth icons, Olympic glory and national pride. We have to demonstrate the passion & the will to participate in this journey and hold others accountable who are not aligned to this nation's purpose.
Build awareness and launch propaganda
Grassroots participation and local community connect: Unless schools and communities are seamlessly integrated into focus, this plan will not bear fruit. For this to happen, local community influencers, key personalities, participant families, the local sports community and the local governance machinery has to come together as one. Today, there are grass root development agencies that have built a deep understanding and strong connections that have to be leveraged to make this happen. The second step is to understand the local community in terms of its historical association with sports. For example, if a region in Punjab (say Amritsar, Gurdaspur & Kapurthala) is historically known to produce hockey players, focus on hockey in that region. Don't create an archery program in this community because it will defeat the purpose. At the same time, if another region in Punjab (say Moga, Muktsar & Faridkot) has strengths in weightlifting & athletics, then focus on the same.
Back end execution support: Grassroots sports development needs an exceptional program manager & event orchestrator to coordinate across multiple parties such as state associations, local media, sports facility owners, participants and the community to bring this to life. Quality has a price and therefore higher expectations on event quality, one needs to have a proportionate budget.
Q 5) How much of an impact has COVID-19 had on sports tourism and corporate sports events?
The pandemic has brought events to a near standstill, and the industry feels it but as challenging as the situation has been for the sport and tourism businesses with reduced live attendance or cancelled events, we are seeing some light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel and I’m optimistic sports and tourism will return. The experience will look different soon, but humans crave interaction and need social network, I am optimistic that the next six months will show significant indicators of tourism recovery in all verticals, including sports tourism and event leaders plan to come back stronger, with higher standards of cleaning, enhanced technology and operations, better organizational communications, and an overall improved organization culture derived from experiencing the pandemic together.
For now, sport and tourism organizations will continue to navigate the murky, ever-changing situation of the pandemic and hope to open their doors to full capacity again soon. Corporate Sporting events are also at a standstill but I am very optimistic about the return that corporate sporting events will return with a bang soon, as corporate professionals are also looking forward to participating as soon as the pandemic situation improves. COVID-19 has brought in a wave of challenges and opportunities for the sports sector. While several events have been cancelled or postponed, the technological advancements have helped generate viewership and engagement through Esports.
On occasions traditional sports and Esports have worked together to organise events with real-world players participating in online competitions representing their teams, which were streamed live and well-received. This speaks for the tremendous growth potential should the sports and gaming industries work in tandem. This is also indicative of the immense potential of sports which has found ways to continue to entertain even during such difficult times.
The show will go on … eventually.
Q 6) What is your vision for the future of sports management in India? What are your goals and aspirations for P 3 Sports Management Company?
Sports management companies are coming up every day in India and cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad now have some world-class companies in this sector. ... Marketing and branding have also a great scope in the field of sports. Sports marketing managers and sponsorship managers are much in demand. With very few professionals being available (most seek employment abroad) there is constant demand for qualified professionals in the field of sports management, like Business Development Managers, Store Manager Sports Station, Area Sales Manager Sports Textiles, Category Manager - Retail Sports, Sports Director and Sports Coordinator, Digital marketing Manager, Players Management etc. Various sports leagues and thus the field of sports management have a great scope now. Sports leagues like IPL, ISL, UTTA, PBL, Pro Kabaddi League have created significant impact on the Indian sports scenario. These leagues will surely increase the requirements for industry professionals.
The passion for sports is at the core of our Mission. Our primary motive is setting and achieving targets and moving beyond our limits in life. Enabling people to achieve their highest goals in sports and improve their well-being. Development of grass root level sporting ecosystem in India. Launching Professional Coaches Training Programs and helping sports enthusiasts to learn and master the game of their choice to represent, participate and compete in sporting events. To identify, coach and train young talent of India, providing them access to best facilities, coaches, mentors and sponsors. Creating a platform that brings together the amateurs & masters playing, learning, competing and winning on the same grounds. Our motto is to identify sporting talents from B Town cities and provide them the best opportunities and financial support. Also support Para-Athletes through our NGO (C.A.R.E FOUNDATION) which we will be launching at the end of July - 2021.
Tokyo Olympic bound Austrian Martin Strempfl wins online shooting championship
New Delhi, Jun 14 Olympic-bound Martin Strempfl of Austria once again stamped his class by winning the gold medal at the seventh International Online Shooting Championship (IOSC).
Martin, who had bettered the world mark by 0.2 point in the qualification, raised his performance by several notches to win gold on Sunday night with a brilliant score of 255.8, which was 3 points more than the final world mark.
His success in both events is proof of the form Martin is in before a critical phase. At the recently held 'TOPGUN' tournament, he beat Serbia's Milenko Sebic, another Olympic bound shooter for gold.
On Sunday, he got the better of world No.3 and Olympic-bound Lucas Kozeniesky (251.5) of USA.
The championship was organised by former India shooter Shimon Sharif.
The bronze went to India's Rudrankksh Patil, who staged a fine recovery towards the end to surge ahead of William Shaner (208.8) of USA with a score of 230.1. Had William maintained his position, the tournament's three Olympic-bound shooters would have made it 1-2-3.
With five perfect 10.9s, there was little Martin could do wrong in the final.
"I showed my best ever shooting, everything was perfect, and I have no words to describe the performance," he said, adding taking the lead at the beginning calmed him down.
For Rudrankksh, the 10.6 on the 20th shot showed how critical mental strength can be in crunch situations.
The young Indian, a winner of a previous edition of IOSC, was in danger of being eliminated on the fourth place, but that was not to be.
"I thought of focussing on each shot and give my optimum performance. That made the difference between finishing fourth and bronze." The experience of competing with Olympic-bound athletes left him richer in experience.
The other three Indians in the final, junior world champion Hriday Hazarika finished fifth while junior Asian champion Yash Vardhan and Youth Olympic Games silver medallist Shahu Mane took the sixth and seventh place, respectively. News source PTI
AIBA to organise training camps for athletes from three continents in Russia
In latest boxing news, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) today announced that it will organise training camps for athletes in Khabarovsk, Russia in the light of several requests being received from various National Federations from Africa, the Americas and Asia pleading to arrange a training camp for their athletes to prepare for competitions given the impossibility of arranging such an event in their nations due to various restrictions caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.
The 'Konstantin Korotkov Memorial' international boxing tournament took place in Khabarovsk and hence all the required facilities are in place to arrange the training camp. Also, the entry requirements to Russia are relatively unrestricted for now and teams can visit the country without being quarantined.
‘We would like to support all federations, and first of all our athletes and coaches to be fully prepared for every competition. Our main task is to help them to compete at the highest level. Because of that, we are going to organize the training camps and to provide full support for our boxers’, AIBA President Umar Kremlev said.
The camp will be organized from July 3 to July 23, 2021 and All National Federations can apply for participation with requests need to be sent before Tuesday, June 15.
Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri finishes encouraging 25th at Palmetto
Ridgeland (US), Jun 14 Ace Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri carded a fine four-under 67 in the final round to finish a creditable tied 25th at the Palmetto Championship here.
Lahiri gave himself a fast start with four birdies in the first five holes, but then cooled off for a four-under 67.
Lahiri ended with a total of five-under 279 with rounds of 69-73-70-67 and on each day he left a few shots out on the course.
The Indian must have been relieved as he ended his run of three missed cuts and also moved up somewhat on the FedExCup rankings to 115th, up by seven spots.
The top-125 at the end of the Regular Season qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs and retain cards for next season.
Lahiri had five birdies in his first seven holes and then dropped two bogeys on eighth and 14th. He picked up one more birdie in between on the 12th.
Meanwhile, 22-year-old South African, Garrick Higgo, who won twice in three weeks on the European Tour and went on to make his first PGA Tour appearance at the PGA Championship, won the Palmetto Championship by one stroke on what was only his second career start on the PGA Tour.
Higgo, starting the final day six shots behind the winner, carded three-under 68 and set a clubhouse target of 11-under, which he held on as some of the better-known names fell by the wayside.
There were as many six players, Hudson Swafford, Doc Reedman, Jhonattan Vegas, Tyrrell Hatton, Bo Van Pelt and overnight leader Chesson Hadley, who let go off his four-shot lead.
Lahiri, who did not quite have all the parts of his game working in unison, had his iron play and putter combine well as he rose up the leaderboard. Despite some fine birdies, he still missed a few inside 10-feet as was the case throughout the week.
Left hander Higgo, who won all his three European Tour titles during the pandemic -- Open De Portugal in September, 2020 and then Gran Canaria Lopeson Open in April, 2021 and the Canary Islands Championships in May, 2021, is immediately eligible for PGA TOUR membership through the 2022-23 season and the 2021 FedExCup Playoffs.
Overnight leader Hadley bogeyed the final three holes and finished in a tie for second. New source PTI
Taking small steps key to fulfilling Olympics gold ambition - Table Tennis prodigy Diya Chitale
In every sport, there are talented players and then there are those that can get you off your seat with their sheer prodigious skill, passion, hard work and will to win. Diya Chitale is one of those players that you cannot help but root for. Her aggressive style of play, executing strokes with perfection and precision are all the signs that there is a world class table tennis player in the making who will continue making headlines for years to come.
In an exclusive interview with SPOGO, 18 year old Diya Chitale speaks about falling in love with table tennis at an early age, strengths and weaknesses, mental conditioning, coaches, learning from experiences, balancing studies, proudest achievements and ultimate goals.
Q 1) When did you first play table tennis and what made you fall in love with the sport?
I’ve always been into sports, ever since I was very young. We used to go on trips and there was always a T.T table where I used to play. I was introduced to the sport at Khar Gymkhana and it started off as a hobby. I won a bronze medal in the first table tennis tournament I participated in which was at the district level. This motivated me to play more and I won my first national championship medal (silver) at the Under 12 category. After that there was no looking back and that’s where my hobby became a passion.
Q 2) What do you consider as your strengths and weaknesses to your game? How do you work on them?
I would say that my strength is the forehand as well as my fitness. I believe that whether you have strengths or weaknesses, it’s important to continuously keep working on it. Just because a certain aspect of the game is a ‘strength’ does not mean it doesn’t have to be worked on. Nobody is perfect and it’s very important to keep improving ourselves everyday.
Q 3) Apart from the physical exercises, what are the various mental conditioning sessions that you practice to keep your temperament and focus under control?
There are many aspects of the game, it’s not just about strokes and technique even though that’s very important. Along with physical fitness, it’s very important to be strong mentally. I have a trainer Dr. Mugdha Bavare who guides me with various techniques to remain focused during the matches, building my confidence when I’m in a low phase or when things are going well, she helps me maintain that phase. Visualization is very important along with self talk before, during and after matches as well as during practice so that it can be implemented during the game. Confidence, self belief and motivating yourself is very important.
Q 4) How much have you learnt from your coach Mr. Peter Engel? What is the difference in playing league matches in Germany compared to India?
Peter is a very experienced coach who was also a former player. I have learnt a lot from him and it has drastically made an impact on my game. All the finer aspects, minute details, different strategies and the way he explains things is amazing and very helpful. It’s not only Peter but Sachin Shetty, my Indian coach travels with me to Germany so that whatever I’m doing there can be continued in India with no interruptions. He has been travelling with me since I was very young. Another name I would like to mention is Mr. Sandeep Gupta who has also helped me a lot. There are many people who have been involved. In India, we don’t have league matches like in Europe where there are games played every weekend. That gives a lot of experience, exposure, match practice and the quality of players participating in the league matches is very high. I have played against ex Olympians, European champions and facing them gives a lot of experience and confidence.
Q 5) How has your experience trained you to strategize games and play with controlled aggression?
There have been many occasions where I’ve lost a match from a winning situation and vice-versa. These experiences and situations have helped me learn about myself and what I can do from a leading position or how to fight back. Learning from these experiences helps me handle myself better in future situations.
Q 6) How do you balance studies with table tennis? What are the various challenges that you have had to overcome?
It’s very hard to balance studies and table tennis. Everyone in my family comes from a very strong educational background but they have never put that pressure on me to choose one between studies and table tennis. They have always given me the freedom to do what I like and I was lucky enough to make the decision to pursue sports. Till my 10th standard, I was studying in Arya Vidya Mandir and the school supported me in my tennis career which was very helpful. They would reschedule exams for me if I was participating in a tournament. After that, I opted for open schooling for the 11th and 12th because it was not possible for me to attend college everyday and I needed longer hours to practice to focus on table tennis.
Q 7) Which is your proudest achievement to date? What is your ultimate goal for the future and how do you plan to achieve it?
There is no single proudest moment but winning the National Championship Singles Title double crown in the Under 18 and Under 21 category after playing from the qualification round as I was not ranked is very special. I also defeated Odo Satsuki of Japan who was ranked 3rd in the world at that time in the Under 15 girls category, Madhurika Patkar, a Commonwealth Games Gold medal winner as well as being selected for the Asia team for the World Cadet Challenge. Recently I won the Under 21 National Championship for the second time in a row so all these achievements are very special for me. My ultimate goal is to win a medal for India at the Olympics and that can only be achieved with small steps. Improving my Indian ranking in the women’s level and my ranking in the seniors category at the world level as well as playing more international senior tournaments are small steps that will eventually lead me to my goal. The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) have been very supportive in sending us for more tournaments, Sports Authority of India, Khelo India have also motivated us to work hard. I’ve been lucky to be supported by Olympic Gold Quest and Indian Oil and support from such agencies gives us the confidence to achieve our goals.
International Weightlifting Federation confirms Mirabai Chanu's Tokyo Olympics qualification
New Delhi, Jun 12 The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) on Saturday conformed that star Indian lifter Mirabai Chanu has qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in the women's 49kg category.
Chanu, the 2017 world champion in weightlifting, had secured her place in Tokyo by winning a bronze medal in the Asian Championship in Tashkent in April with a world record in clean and jerk.
The 26-year-old from Manipur has qualified on the basis of her standings on IWF's Absolute Ranking list. The Indian lifter is ranked second in the 49kg category with 4133,6172 points in her kitty.
"Many congratulations to #TOPSAthlete weightlifter @mirabai_chanu who has qualified for #Tokyo2020 after @iwfnet published its Absolute Ranking list where she is placed 2nd in the women’s 49 kg," Sports Authority of India (SAI) tweeted.
Chanu was earlier ranked fourth but North Korea's withdrawal from the Olympics lifted the Indian to the second place.
This will be Chanu's second appearance in the Olympics, five years after a disappointing outing in Rio, where she failed to lift any of the weights in clean and jerk to bow out of the showpiece.
In the men's 67 kg category, India's Jeremy Lalrinnunga is ranked 12th and lost the continental quota to Korea's Hak Myeongmok, but the 18-year-old still has a chance to qualify.
The final list will be released on June 25.
China's Hou Zhihui is top-ranked in 49kg with 4926,4422 points.
As per IWF rules, the top eight lifters in each of the 14 weight categories, including seven in the women's group, are eligible to compete in the Games. New source PTI
Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri makes cut despite string of bogeys at Palmetto
Ridgeland (US), Jun 12 Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri managed to make the cut despite carding a disappointing 2-over 73 in the second round of the Palmetto Championship here.
Lahiri, who shot 69 in the opening round, had three bogeys in the last four holes on day two to total an even par 142 and make the cut, which fell at 1-over.
The Indian, who was tied-31st after the first round, dropped to tied-44th.
Lahiri despite his erratic form has missed more cuts than he deserves to, but this time around, he would heaved a sigh of relief after being inside Top-20 at one point.
He had a roller-coaster day with four birdies against six bogeys. Starting from the 10th tee, Lahiri bogeyed 13th and 14th but recovered from that with three birdies in a row immediately after that from 15th to 17th.
Taking the turn at 1-under, he again dropped a shot on 10th but made up on third. Then came a string of bogeys on sixth, eighth and ninth. He did have a fine run of three birdies, but otherwise his iron play and approaches left him with a lot of work to do to make pars and he often missed them from between 10-15 feet.
Chesson Hadley shot 5-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead over World No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Hadley was at 11-under 131, his lowest total through 36 holes since 2016.
Brooks Koepka struggled for a second straight round and missed the cut after a 73 left him at 3 over.
Johnson, five shots behind Hadley, was tied for the lead through 17 holes, but then drove the ball into a thick, deeply rooted patch of tall grass and after taking an unplayable lie he ended with a double-bogey for a 68 and is 9-under 133.
American Tain Lee, in just his third career PGA TOUR event, was third at 7 under after a 68.
A group of six that included Harris English and South Africa's Erik van Rooyen were five shots behind at 6 under. First-round leader Wes Roach followed his opening 64 with a 77 to fall 10 shots behind Hadley. New source PTI