Author: India Footy

World’s greatest diver Greg Louganis the International event ambassador of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K graces the city of joy

13th December 2018, Kolkata: Four-time Olympic Games gold medallist and diving legend Greg Louganis, International Event Ambassador of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K this year has graced the City of Joy today.

“It’s very exciting. I admire the people who are here and going to be a part of the 25K race. Fitness is a part of life. Whether it’s diet or exercising you need to take up,” Greg said about the spirit of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K.

Greg will flag off India’s only international 25K on 16 December which also celebrates Vijay Diwas as well.

Greg can boast a total of 17 global gold medals to his name; including four from the Olympics, five world championships, six Pan American titles and two from the World University Games.

The 1988, Seoul Olympic is famous for Greg’s commitment to the game and fighting spirit. During the qualifying, he hit the back of his head on the diving board requiring several stitches, an accident that should have been competition ending. However, he came back to sweep gold in the 10m platform and also in the 3m springboard, leaving global audiences dumbstruck.

About the Seoul Olympic incident and what motivated him to for the next dive Greg said: “My inspirations were Ryan White and my coach who just been there and been supportive. When I hit my head on the springboard there was so much going on. I was diagnosed with HIV positive, my coach’s mother was in coma and he didn’t know whether to stay or go home. He decided to stay with us. Both of us were rather distracted and I was the favourite but in split second after hitting the board I suddenly became underdog. I was focused and tried to do my absolute best.”

With gold medals at the 1984 (Los Angeles) and 1988 (Seoul) Summer Olympics, on the springboard and platform, he is also the only male diver to sweep both diving events in successive Olympics.

Being a diver how Greg feels about distance running which is an event based on timing he said: “In a road race where you have the camaraderie of the people around you, you have the similar goals and aspirations, so that can be inspiring. But if you are way ahead then that shouldn’t limit you as to how successful can you be. Rather than looking at the clock feel within your body, your heart, your soul so I think that there are many elements of competition, a performance however you want to look at it. Because maybe a competitor that’s right next to you that you will never beat in your life but you are there as companions to help each other through. So it really does become a community effort and it can be such an incredibly special moment to share that with someone because not everybody can run like that.”

“You have to train for it, you work and all of a sudden your work pays off and you gotta feel good about what you are doing. That’s why when I mentor USA diving, swimming and many different sports it’s not so much about the end result. It’s about am I better today than I was yesterday? And if you can honestly say that then everyday is different. We all have bad days. Those bad days are the days where you learn a lesson. Don’t be so close that you don’t use that lesson. Not my every competition was stellar but what happened was there’s always something I could take away from that whether successful or not. That enables me to do better and move forward to the next time,” he added.

After his retirement from competition in 1989, the 58-year-old American has donned many hats and always continued his commitment to excellence. He has become a mentor and coach to many top divers including members of the 2012 and 2016 US Olympic teams, a motivational speaker, author, actor, LGBT rights activist, humanitarian and an HIV/AIDS awareness advocate and designer.

Amateur World Chess-Boxing Championship begins in Kolkata tomorrow

KOLKATA: The second edition of Amateur World Chess Boxing Championship will take place in Kolkata from 26th July to 29th July, 2018.

This is the second time in the history of the young  sport a three days tournament will be held open to everyone with both good chess and boxing skills.

Fighters from all over the world are expected, hailing from the member countries of the World Chess Boxing Organisation (such as Russia, Germany, India, USA and Italy) to fighters from countries where there is not yet a chessboxing organization in place (such as France and South Africa). The experience of the fighters varies from 3 to more than 80 amateur boxing bouts as well as chess ELO ratings between 1200 and 2200.

A chessboxing fight consists of up to 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing. A bout begins with a three-minute chess round, followed by three minutes of boxing. Competitors each have a maximum total of nine minutes to complete all their chess moves.

A fight can be won in one of four ways: by knocking an opponent out in the ring, via a checkmate in chess, by a judge’s decision, or if a competitor exceeds their chess time limit.

“By combining the number one fighting sport with the number one thinking sport, there is no other sport that challenges the full scale of human capacity as radically as chessboxing does!” says lepe Rubingh, inventor of chessboxing.

After creating and founding the sport in 2003, Rubingh started the first Chess Boxing Club in Berlin in 2004 from which all other organisations worldwide emerged. In 2013 The World Chess Boxing Organisation was founded as a non profit to foster the sport of chessboxing on a global amateur level.

Today there are 11 national organizations with more than 3500 fighters and over 1,500 fights take place annually.

The Chess Boxing Organisation of India (CBOI) is the organiser of the second amateur world championships. Under guidance of it’s founding father Montu Das, the CBOI has established itself as one of the leading organizations in the chessboxing community as it is by far the biggest with more than a 1,000 members.

General Facts:
What: Chessboxing Amateur World Championships
Date: 26th-29th of July, 2018.
City, Country: Kolkata, India
Stadium: Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra and Boxing Hall
Governing body: World Chess Boxing Organisation
Organising body: Chess Boxing Organisation of India

Bekele, Degitu win first international edition of TSK 25K

Kolkata: Multiple times world champion Kenenisa Bekele kept his reputation intact cantering past the finish line in the maiden appearance of TSK 25K in its international avatar with a timing of 1.13.48 , even as over 13700 participants took to the streets on a nippy winter morning.

In the Elite national section winner Avinash Sable set a course record of 1.15.17 breaking the previous course record set by G Lakshmanan who came third with a timing of 1.17.13 which is also better than his mark set last year. Kalidas Hirave came second with 1.16.18. Thus all three bettered last year’s record of 1.17.23.

The Ethiopian world champion earlier paced his race brilliantly staying in the mix till the 21st kilometer when he broke loose and by the time he was across the finish line his closest competitor was nowhere in sight.

The leading group went through the 7.5km checkpoint in a sluggish 24:24. Just before halfway, Bekele briefly went through a bad patch and drifted off the back of the leaders, with his compatriot Asefa Diro leading at 12km in 39:09 and Bekele seven seconds adrift in fifth place.

However, the multiple world champion and world record holder soon got back up with the group containing Diro, Eritrea’s Tsegay Tuemay, Tanzania’s Augustino Sulle and India’s Avinash Sable before surging away with just under seven kilometres to go. His move almost immediately splintered the leading group with nobody able to stay with him once he moved into a higher gear. Tuemay eventually crossed the finish line on Kolkata’s historic Red Road in second place in 1:14:21 with Sulle third in 1:14:41.

Later Kenenisa said: “The race was very nice. The course is nice and flat all through. I have been training hard and the results showed. This was my first 25 K and it feels good to have won it. It was a tactical race and I paced myself depending on the kind of competition I faced.”

“The weather was good, though a little smokey in certain parts. But it was not difficult to manage. I had a great race and would like to come back here next year. Kolkata has been very warm and hospitable and I would like to laud Procam for organizing such a well managed race,” he continued.

The Ethiopian however wished he had a pacemaker to push down his time. “In a race like this you need a pacemaker, who sets you up for a fast finish. I was pushing myself, but that was not enough. I would have pushed my timing by 90 seconds at least had I a pacemaker,” Bekele rued.

Avinash Sable said: “I am concentrating for steeplechase. That is my event. The only reason I am running in the 25K is to increase my endurance. The fact that I have come first here goes to say that I am on the right track. My aim is the Commonwealth Games and a podium finish there in my pet event.”

In the elite women group the first place was taken by Ethiopian Degitu  Azimeraw with a timing of 1.26.01, followed by Kenyan Helah Kiprop with a timing of 1.26.04 and Tanzanian Failuna Matanga with 1.26.11.

In the Indian women’s L Surya won with 1.26.53 timing beating Sudha Singh’s course record of 1.27.31 . Manju Yadav came second at 1.32.51, while Jhuma Khatun came third with 1.32.58. All three ladies were from Railways.

The race was flagged off by Hon’ble Gobvernor of West Bengal Kesari Nath Tripathi, H H Shri Shri Ravishankar, General Abhay Krishna, GOC&C Eastern Command, Arup Biswas, Minister PWD and Sports, T V Narendran, MD Tata Steel.

Event Ambassador Sourav Ganguly and International Ambassador Mike Powell were at the starting line to encourage the runners. Later Ganguly said: “This is amazing to see the number of people come out and run in the morning. The world Champion running here and a world record holder long jumper watching the race makes TSK 25K really special.”

He exchanged a few words with Bekele once he crossed the finishing line breasting the tape held by the Prince of Calcutta and the man with a record that stands over quarter century Mike Powell.

Powell said: “I am thrilled to see so many people come out and run. And the standard of the elite field is also great. The race is competitive and fun to watch.”

Photos: Ajay/SportsIndiaLive

Suthirta-Pooja pair wins bronze in Seamaster 2017 Australian Open

New Delhi, July 5: Indian paddlers, continuing their good run and form, created a flutter when Sutirtha Mukherjee and Pooja Sahasrabudhe defeated crowd favourites Miao Miao and Jian Fang Lay from Australia 3-1 (11-9, 12-14, 8-11, 9-11) to enter the semifinals women doubles in the Seamaster 2017 Australian Open at Gold Coast this morning.

The Australian pairing was the more experienced on the court, yet the Suthirtha and Pooja didn’t back down. They had answers for the unique style of play by Lay. “Jian Fang Lay is very tricky and has an odd game. We discussed a strategy with our coach Massimo Costantani before the match. We were prepared and the strategy worked,” added Pooja

“We were very excited. I feel beating Australia in Australia was something special,” said Pooja Sahasrabudhe. But the pair did admit that the clash with the top-seeded Chinese was more than a formidable test.

Before the semifinals this afternoon, the Indians said that they would try their best. But that was not good enough as it was another match for the experienced Chinese pair which went about its job methodically.

The pair’s luck ran out and the Indians had to satisfy themselves with the bronze medal when they lost to the Chinese duo of Chen Meng and Zhu Ling, who are also the top seed. The Chinese disposed of the Indians quickly with an easy 11-4, 11-6, 11-2 victory. Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling were imperious in their match against Sutirtha and Pooja as the no.1 seeds were in complete control on the court, booking a place in the final.

Earlier,  in men singles Harmeet Desai lost to Japan’s Maharu Yoshimura, the No.12 seed (11-7, 11-6, 16-14, 11-8), but Sanil Shetty upset Korea’s Jang Woojin, the No.13 seed, (11-9, 3-11, 12-10, 11-3, 6-11, 11-8) and G. Sathiyan accounted for Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An, the No.14 seed (11-6, 4-11, 1-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9), two biggest achievements for the Indians in the round of 32.

In the pre-quarterfinals to be played later this evening, Sathiyan will take on Frenchman Simon Gauzy while Sanil will clash with Cho Seungmin of South Korea in tough outings.

The City Of Joy hosts the 1st leg of The Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros

 Kolkata, March 23rd, 2017: The ‘Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines’ returns to India for its third edition which will be played across three cities. The tournament gets underway with the first qualifier in Kolkata followed by the second in Pune. The final culmination of the tournament will take place in New Delhi. Kolkata is hosting a Roland Garros event for the first time, and the selected players from the city shall get a chance to try their luck in the finals to be hosted in Delhi on the 18th and 19thof April, 2017.

The tournament confirms Roland Garros’ and AITA’S collaborative effort to organize grassroots championships of international repute in India and foster the development of clay court tennis to find future stars. Kolkata’s historic Dakshin Kalikata Sansad shall witness the qualifiers under the supervision of experienced French coach Bernard Pestre who is the Deputy Technical Director of FFT and heads their “Formation and Enseignement” (Training and Education) Department. Kolkata have been instrumental in producing many young talents who have represented the nation in the junior levels. The qualifiers will give an opportunity to U 18 players to have a MasterClass under the guidance of Pestre, who has been associated with the French Tennis Federation (FFT) since 1984.

A clinic was conducted for the media with the aim of promoting clay court tennis. ‘Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines’ has served as a perfect platform for budding tennis talents from India as they get the opportunity to compete against the best  from USA, Japan, China, Brazil and South Korea. Further, the winners of the competition will get a chance to participate in the Junior French Open as wild-card entrants.

“Over the years, India has consistently produced good talent. The ‘Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines’ aims to propel the upcoming talent in a way which would put the country on the world map. It also gives the youngsters a great chance of learning about clay courts, and potentially going on to excel at the French Open in future,” said President of FFT Bernard Giudicelli.

“We are extremely proud to be hosting the 1st qualifiers of the Rendez-Vous a Roland Garros in partnership with Longines, An event of such stature and global presence shall do wonders for growth of tennis in the city. It has been our aim to have a strong grass-root development program for the city kids and with initiatives like these, I think we are on the right track towards escalating the popularity of the sport in the city.” said Mr. Hironmoy Chatterjee, Secy Gen AITA & President BTA.

Unwavering support from AITA and The Bengal Tennis has successfully ensued the commencement of Rendez-vous a Roland Garros in partnership with Longines becomes an event to remember.

The city qualifiers will see top talent vying for a spot in the Masters’ event which will be played in New Delhi on 18th and 19th April 2017.

Two Golds for Aryan at South African Junior Nationals

Durban, South Africa: Swimmer Aryan Makhija claimed his third medal at the South African Junior Nationals with a win in the 1500 m freestyle event at the King’s Park Swimming Pool, in Durban, South Africa, on Monday. Makhija’s time of 16:05.64 beats the qualification standard set by the Swimming Federation of India for the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, to be held in Bahamas, in July.

“Aryan has been working really hard as it was his main aim to beat the qualification time since it was announced by the Swimming Federation of India. I’m very proud of what he’s achieved and I’m sure he will continue to improve and go on to even higher levels of performance,” said JSW Sports’ Swimming Head Coach, Graham Hill, who also serves as coach for Swimming South Africa.

South Africa’s James Freeman (16:05.85) finished second while Andrew Ritchie (16:25.73) claimed third in a race that was tightly contested right from the start between the 17-year-old Makhija and Freeman, who represented the University of Pretoria.

A two-horse race for most parts, at the 500 meter mark, Freeman clocked in at 5:22.22 while Makhija was close behind at 5:22.44. Mumbai-born Aryan made his move in the second 500 meter stretch, clocking in at 1000 meters with a 1.72 second lead over Freeman. The final stretch saw Freeman move within 1.36 seconds of Makhija with 50 meters to cover, but it wasn’t to be for the South African.

Aryan’s finish beats the Swimming Federation of India’s qualification time of 16:06.06 (based on the third place finish at the previous Commonwealth Youth Games) by 0.42 seconds and the youngster expressed his happiness at having recorded the feat.

“I’m really happy to have claimed three medals, but more so to have beaten the qualification time for the Commonwealth Youth Games. Graham sir has been pushing me to work harder every day and I have to thank him and the JSW Sports family for all their support,” Makhija said.

Earlier, Aryan had claimed Silver in the 200 metre freestyle event with a time of 1:56.51 and Gold in the 400m freestyle clocking in at 4:05.15.

India gears up for a grander Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines

Kolkata, March 16, 2017: The ‘Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines’ returns to India for its third edition which will be played across three cities. The tournament gets underway with the first qualifier in Kolkata followed by the second in Pune. The final culmination of the tournament will take place in New Delhi. The City of Joy will be hosting the first leg of the qualifiers from 20th to 25th March 2017, followed by the 2nd leg in Pune from 29th March to 1st April 2017.

The tournament confirms Roland Garros’ and AITA’S collaborative effort to organize grassroots championships of international repute in India and foster the development of clay court tennis to find future stars. Kolkata’s historic Dakshin Kalikata Sansad and Pune’s PYC Gymkhana shall witness the qualifiers under the supervision of experienced French coach Bernard Pestrewho is the Deputy Technical Director of FFT and heads their “Formation and Enseignement” (Training and Education) Department. The two cities have been instrumental in producing many young talents who have represented the nation in the junior levels. The qualifiers will give an opportunity to U 18 players to have a MasterClass under the guidance of Pestre, who has been associated with the French Tennis Federation (FFT) since 1984.

A clinic will also be conducted for the media with the aim of promoting clay court tennis. ‘Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines’ has served as a perfect platform for budding tennis talents from India as they get the opportunity to compete against the best  from USA, Japan, China, Brazil and South Korea. Further, the winners of the competition will get a chance to participate in the Junior French Open as wild-card entrants.

“Over the years, India has consistently produced good talent. The ‘Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines’ aims to propel the upcoming talent in a way which would put the country on the world map. It also gives the youngsters a great chance of learning about clay courts, and potentially going on to excel at the French Open in future,” said President of FFT Bernard Giudicelli.

Unwavering support from AITA, Bengal Tennis Association and The Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association has successfully ensued the commencement of Rendez-vous a Roland Garros in partnership with Longines becomes an event to remember.

The city qualifiers will see top talent vying for a spot in the Masters’ event which will be played in New Delhi on 18th and 19th April 2017.

Senior Doubles Ranking Badminton Tournament begins in Kolkata

KOLKATA: West Bengal Badminton Association (WBBA) in it’s endeavour to promote Badminton in West Bengal conducting various Age Group Tournaments in the state throughout the year such as U-9/11, U-13/15, U-17/19 and Men and Women.

WBBA is also organising a National Level Tournament every year so that the players of the State can see top players of the Country in action.

This year Bishnupriya Kundu Memorial All India Senior Doubles Ranking Badminton Tournament being Organised at the Indoor Hall of Sports Authority of India, Salt Lake, Kolkata from 15th to 18th March, 2017. Prize Money is Rs. 2 Lakhs.

Yonex AS-10 Shuttlecocks will be used. Yonex is equipment Sponsor of West Bengal Badminton Association.

Top Players from lmost all states of the country such as KERALA, KARNATAKA, GUJARAT, BIHAR, ASSAM, DELHI, UTTAR PRADESH, ORISSA, MAHARASHTRA, HARYANA, PUNJAB, JHARKHAND, CHATTISGARH, CHANDIGARH, TAMIL NADU, TELENGANA, RAILWAYS, ANDHRA PRADESH and WEST BENGAL are participating.

Semi-finals will start around 10 AM on Saturday the 18th March and the Finals will start around 3 PM, followed by prize distribution ceremony. Arup Biswas, Minister-in-Charge – Sports to be present as “CHIEF GUEST” during the finals. Sourav Ganguly, President CAB will be present as “GUEST OF HONOUR”.

Dignitaries such as Surojit Kar Purkayastha, DG & IGP, Sri S.A. Baba, Principal Secretary Sports Department, M. S. Goindi, Director SAI, Ajit Banerjee, President Bengal Olympic Association, Swapan Banerjee,General Secretary, Bengal Hockey Association will also present during the finals.

Jhulan Goswami, Former Indian Women’s Cricket Captain, Former Test Cricketer Pranab Roy and many other dignitaries were present during the inauguration ceremony.

 

Stage set for the first ever Pro Boxing India Championship

New Delhi, March 15, 2017: The boxing fever is soon to grip India with its first ever Pro Boxing India Championship (PBIC) being organized by Royal Sports Promotions in association with Asian Boxing Council, the Asian federation affiliated with World Boxing Council (WBC).

The first edition of the championship would begin by the third quarter of the year. The event will bring together boxers from across the globe to participate and vie for the title. At present, Royal Sports Promotions manages 20 boxers and work closely with 25 other boxers for various associations. They have successfully conducted Pro Boxing matches for men and women in India. The company also organized the first ever AIBA Pro Boxing Night in India in 2016 where Indian pugilist Vikas Krishnan earned himself an extra shot at Olympic qualification.

Royal Sports Promotions have set out the blueprint for popularizing boxing as a spectator sport and are looking at the Pro Boxing India Championship as the perfect roadmap to revolutionize the sport of boxing in India and globally. The league format championship will see 8 teams, battling for the title in five weeks of high octane action. The championship will offer a total of 6 winning titles for 6 weight categories.

Speaking about the conceptualization of PBIC, Jai Singh Shekhawat Director Royal Sports Promotions said, We are here to bring back that anticipation and anxiety among the young boxers with the Pro Boxing India Championship. PBIC is going to be a game changer for professional boxing in India. It will be our endeavor to focus on the essence of the sport without any compromise and keep the culture and heritage of the sport alive.”

A total of 48 boxers will be seen participating in the inaugural edition of PBIC wherein there would be a total of 32 male pugilists and 16 female pugilists. Each team will have a mix of Indian Origin and International Boxers. A whopping prize money of 6 crores in its inaugural edition will further add to the high voltage competition in the ring.

The championship will be run under the norms of World Boxing Council and the winners of all six categories would be entitled to fight Asian titles.

India has had a long history with boxing. The country has produced many world champions and Olympic medalists in the sport of boxing. We see a great potential in PBIC to bring talent from across the world in the ring and give professional boxing community a stage to showcase their prowess,” added Kiate Sirigul ,Executive Secretary Asian Boxing Council.

India beat Bangladesh to clinch fourth consecutive SAFF Women’s Championship title

SILIGURI: India won their fourth consecutive SAFF Women’s Championship title when they beat Bangladesh 3-1 in the final of the 4th SAFF Women’s Championship at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri on Wednesday (January 4, 2016). In the process, the golden girls now stay unbeaten in 19 matches having won 18 and drawn one.

The first goal came early, as early as the 12th minute. Though it wasn’t a dream goal for any striker, scorer Dangmei Grace didn’t really mind when it touched her leg and slowly rolled into the empty net with rival Goalkeeper Sabina Akhtar caught in a dilemma.

It set the tone for the match. The match being a final meant that Bangladesh had to shrug off their defensive aspirations and that allowed India the width and space.

In the first 20 minutes, India had earned 4 corners and every time Bala Devi touched the ball, she created something out of nothing. In fact, Kamala Devi should have doubled the lead in the 17th minute when Bala set her a free-header, but it narrowly sailed out.

However, Bangladesh withstood the storm, regrouped, and eventually equalise in the40th minutethroughShopna as both Teams headed to the interval locked 1-1.

Changing over, India were again faster off the blocks. They pressed high and hard even as Bangladesh depended mostly on counter-attacks.

The break came in the 60th minute when the irrepressible Bala was pushed inside the box as the referee pointed to the spot. 2016 AIFF Player of the Year Sasmita Malik gleefully converted it.

With just 30 minutes remaining, it was quite a task for Bangladesh to come back. And it went worse for them seven minutes later when Goalkeeper Sabina, who was having a decent game till then, misjudged the bounce of a harmless Indumathi shot from long and it rolled in.

As India’s golden girls celebrated, Sabina hid her face in her gloves, quite understanding her mistake may rob her Country of the steam to fight back. Life at times can be so cruel.

Spurred, India did go all out as they smelt more. But this time, their perseverance didn’t yield any more goals.

It hardly mattered. It was fourth in a row for India, unbeaten in 19 matches and counting.

Credits: AIFF Media