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Early advantage for Indian women as they land in Myanmar

NEW DELHI: Riding on the success of their fifth consecutive SAFF Championship triumph, the Indian Senior Women’s National Team landed in Maldalay, Myanmar today (March 26, 2019) for the forthcoming AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 which kicks-off from April 3, 2019.

The Indian women have been clubbed with hosts Myanmar, Nepal and Indonesia in Group B.

“Arriving 8 days in advance for the Olympic Qualifiers will help us to acclimatize faster. It’s an early advantage which we need to cash upon, Head Coach Maymol Rocky stressed. “If you look at bigger tournaments, teams always arrive early.”

“It usually takes two to three days for a player to fully acclimatize to a new set-up. We are confident that we shall be cent percent ready for the first match, despite the hot, and humid weather,” Maymol maintained.

Maymol added: “The temperatures in Biratnagar during the SAFF Championship served as a warm-up in this regard as well. The girls responded well to the conditions, and I am sure they will adapt in Myanmar too.”

The Indian women are currently unbeaten in the last 23 matches at the SAFF Championship, and have headed to the AFC Qualifiers with an experience of 14 International matches since January 2019.

“In fact, International Football is not just about the weather,” Maymol stated. “Arriving early will help us to get a feel of the training pitches, and also the venues. Along with the physical part, it is important getready mentally. After all, switching to new surroundings can sometimes take time.”

India kick-off their campaign against Indonesia on April 3. The last time the two teams played in Jakarta in January, India had won both the matches.

“Important to do our home-work and produce a strong performance,” says Delhi Capitals’ skipper Shreyas Iyer

New Delhi, 25 March 2019: After starting their IPL 2019 season with an exhilarating victory against the Mumbai Indians, JSW and GMR co-owned franchise, Delhi Capitals will look to start their home leg of fixtures with an another win when they take on defending champions Chennai Super Kings at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Tuesday, 26th March 2019.

Delhi Capitals’ middle-order batsman, Colin Ingram, who scored a blistering 47 off 32 balls against the Mumbai side, believes that the victory in their opening match will only further help in boosting the confidence levels of his team. He said, “It was a fantastic game for us. I feel we were up to the mark in all the three departments. There are obviously areas where we will need to work on and losing early wickets is definitely one of them. However, we did have good partnerships also and I am glad that the boys down the order could also join the party after Shikhar (Dhawan) and I set up the innings.”

Speaking about Rishabh Pant’s unbeaten innings of 78 off just 27 balls, Ingram said that it is great sign for the Delhi Capitals that the young Indian wicketkeeper-batsman is in good form. “It was a special knock by him against the Mumbai Indians. Last year I watched him from back home and he was in good form then as well. It’s a great sign for us that he is in good form, he is a match-winner on his day and it’s going to help in the coming matches,” said the South African.

Captain Shreyas Iyer could only manage 16 runs off 10 balls but looked in good nick during his short innings. However, the 24-year-old is pleased with the way his team performed and wants to repeat the performance on Tuesday against CSK. “I feel it was a great match against Mumbai but we are looking forward to Tuesday where we will have another chance to build some confidence as we play the defending champions. It will obviously be a competitive match, but we need to make sure that we rest well, and prepare in the best way possible. CSK has a lot of experienced players in their side, and we saw how they beat RCB in their first match, so we will be doing our home-work and looking to produce a great performance in front of our fans at the Kotla,” said Iyer.

Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings have previously faced each-other 18 times in the IPL and it is CSK who lead with 12 wins, while the Capitals have only won 6 matches. With CSK having won their opening match convincingly against RCB by 7 wickets, Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium is expected to host a fierce battle between the two teams on Tuesday.

Spirited Indian Women’s Hockey Team beat 2018 Women’s World Cup Bronze Medalist Spain 5-2

Murcia (Spain), 29 January 2019: An improved attack and tactical defending saw the Indian Women’s Hockey Team convincingly beat World Cup Bronze Medalists Spain 5-2 in their third match of the tour here today. Young striker from Mizoram Lalremsiami (17′, 58′) starred in the match by scoring twice while Neha Goyal (21′), Navneet Kaur (32′), Rani (51′) ensure India remained in the lead after an initial setback in the first quarter.

It was Spain who scored the first goal in the seventh minute of the match through Berta Bonastre putting India on the back foot right at the start. But a determined India made a quick recovery with striker Lalremsiami’s fine goal in the 17th minute and then further improvised their attack to score in the 21st minute via Neha Goyal to take a strong 2-1 lead.

Navneet Kaur struck a splendid third goal for the team in the 32nd minute that took India’s lead to 3-1. Though Berta Bonastre scored her second goal of the match in the 35th minute that narrowed India’s lead to 3-2, India worked on a powerful finish in the fourth quarter with Skipper Rani scoring in the 51st minute followed by young striker Lalremsiami scoring again for India in the 58th minute which helped India seal the match 5-2.

Having lost the opening match 2-3 and drawn the second match 1-1, India showed a zealous performance with fewer unforced errors to dominate the match. “I am pleased with today’s performance. We are working to be more steady in our performance and we are improving match-by-match. This is a process and we need to keep repeating such performances to grow further. I am giving constant feedback on individual performance and behaviour and some are learn fast while some need a little bit more time. But overall, we are progressing well and beating World Cup Medal winners in their home ground is a big confidence boost for this young team,” expressed Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.

On 31 January, India will play their fourth match against Spain at 17.30 hours IST.

Indian Women’s Hockey Team lose 2-3 to Spain

Murcia (Spain), 27 January 2019: Indian Women’s Hockey Team put up a spirited fightback yet lost to Spain 2-3 in their opening match against hosts Spain here on Saturday.

India used strong attacking strategy to begin the first quarter on a positive note. The team made the first breakthrough when they managed to earn a penalty corner in the 8th minute but could not convert the shot, however, in the following minutes the forwardline worked together to support experienced Vandana who created a splendid opportunity for compatriot Udita to score in the 12th minute. A reverse pass by Vandana was picked up well by Udita who made no mistake in sending it past the Spanish goalkeeper Maria Ruiz to take a 1-0 lead.

In the second quarter, hosts Spain stepped up their game after the initial setback to score an equaliser in the 23rd minute through Maria Tost. While the second half saw both teams defend well to contain eachother from taking a lead, the third quarter completely belonged to Spain as they struck two goals in the 39th and 40th minute through Lola Reira and Begona Garcia respectively.

The fourth quarter remained tense for India as they fought back to make amends to their defensive lapses in the previous quarter. A tactical approach to their attack saw them win a crucial PC which was brilliantly converted by dragflicker Gurjit Kaur in the 48th minute. The following minutes was evenly fought battle by both teams but Spain ensured they upped their defence to deny India an equaliser.

I-League 2018/19: Big Game at the Tilak Maidan as Churchill Take on Neroca FC

New Delhi, January 18, 2019: By the time Churchill Brothers and Neroca FC take the field at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco Da Gama, Goa, on Saturday, January 19, 2019, both teams will know whether it is only Chennai ahead of them or even Real Kashmir.

Be that as it may, arguably the biggest game of the day, scheduled for a 7.30 PM IST start, promises to be one, not for the faint-hearted with two in-form attack-minded teams battling it out with realistic title aspirations foremost in their minds.

Churchill Brothers have been the more impressive of the two sides, however of their two losses so far, one was to their Saturday opponents in the first-leg fixture.

Neroca, in that game, rode on a Katsumi Yusa brace to stun the high-flying Goans in that instance. Churchill have regrouped since then and now lie second in the table with a five-point gap separating them from league leaders Chennai.

With the form that their striker Willis Deon Plaza has demonstrated so far, a joint highest scorer with Chennai’s Pedro Manzi with 11 goals each, the hosts will be backing themselves to take three points at home.

Churchill’s Romanian coach Petra Gigiu said in the pre-game presser, “It is a difficult game. Neroca is a strong stone and they have many good players. They play well and have an organised team. Defence and attack both are good. We will try our best and try and not make the mistakes we have made earlier. The three points are very important for us and we will be playing to win.”

Neroca go into Saturday’s game on the back of a narrow defeat, their third of the 12th Hero I-League season, in their previous game against Mohun Bagan and will be desperate to get back to winning backs to remain hot contenders for a shot at the title.

Their Spanish coach Manuel Fraile had this to say on match day eve, “We will be fighting for three points but the pressure is on Churchill. Rest we should give our best and win the game. It will be a difficult game tomorrow. We will try to be the Champions. We will stick to our game plan and my team is ready.”

The fluent style of both teams and the quality in attack with the likes of Singham Subash Singh, Felix Chidi for Neroca and Dawda Cessay, Anthony Wolfe for Churchill, the game promises to be a cracker under the lights in Goa.

Star Sports launches India’s First Kannada Sports Channel

Mumbai, January 02, 2019: Star Sports – India’s leading sports broadcaster – has launched Star Sports 1 Kannada, the country’s first dedicated Kannada sports channel. Star Sports aims to provide quality viewing experience in local languages for its fans across India. Earlier this year, Star Sports introduced India’s first Telugu sports channel – Star Sports 1 Telugu – paving the way formoreregional sports channels after the successful launch ofStar Sports 1 Tamil in 2017.

Celebrating the spirit of the Kannadiga culture is at the heart of the launch of Star Sports 1 Kannada. Karnataka as a region, has shown very distinctive viewing habits and an affinity to differentiated language content. This has enabled Star Sports to create a unique, engaging and most importantly, viewer centric offering for the southern state.

Star Sports 1 Kannada, with its rich line-up of sports properties, will help bring Kannadiga sports fans closer to their favourite sports. Now on-air, the broadcast calendar includes live events such as Bengaluru Bulls’ panga in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6 finals as they eye their first ever VIVO PKL trophy. The fans can also enjoy Karnataka’s domestic cricket matches, Hero Indian Super League, Premier Badminton League, upcoming AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, Khelo India Youth Games, VIVO IPL and a host of other sporting events being broadcast in Kannada throughout the year. Star Sports 1 Kannada aims to provide fans with region specific quality sports content allowing them to connect with their heroes.

Star India spokesperson said, “Sports is more engaging, enjoyable and thrilling, when it is watched in a language one speaks. Our strong presence in Karnataka has helped us understand how Kannadiga sports fans like to consume sports content. Kannadigas possess an inherent sporting quality of resilience and an undying desire to always win. Star Sports 1 Kannada, with its extensive line-up of popular sports content, is a resolute step towards bringing these Kannadiga fans closer to their favourite games and heroes.”

A promo campaign was launched to support the launch of Star Sports 1 Kannada. Keeping true to essence of the Kannadiga culture, the promo focuses on watching our sport in our language, and the determination and never say die attitude of a kannadiga.

Star Sports 1 Kannada will be available on leading DTH/cable operators across Karnataka as well as rest of India soon.

Fans of Bengaluru Bulls can cheer for their favourite team in their favourite language as they raid for glory in the final panga of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6. The game will be live on Star Sports 1 Kannada on Saturday, January 05, 2019, 8 pm onwards.

Upcoming marquee LIVE sporting action

SportEventDates
KabaddiVIVO Pro Kabaddi – Playoffs and finalsJanuary 03 & 05, 2019
National sportsKhelo India Youth Games 2019January 2019
FootballAFC Asian Cup UAE 2019January – February 2019
BadmintonPremier Badminton LeagueJanuary 2019
CricketIndia’s Tour of New ZealandJanuary – February 2019
CricketAustralia’s Tour of IndiaFebruary – March 2019
CricketVIVO IPL 2019TBC
CricketICC Cricket World Cup 2019May – July 2019
FootballHero Indian Super LeagueFebruary 2019 onwards
KabaddiVIVO Pro Kabaddi 2019 (Season 7)July 2019


Manika is the Breakthrough Star and Massimo the Star Coach!

New Delhi, December 12: It had turned out to be a breakthrough year for India’s most celebrated woman paddler, Manika Batra, as she bagged the 2018 Breakthrough Star award at a glittering function at Incheon tonight.

Thus, the Delhi girl became the only Indian athlete to be honoured at the ITTF Star Awards and also the first player from outside of Japan to be named the Breakthrough Star.

Manika, who enjoyed a sensational outing at the Commonwealth Games, earning India its first-ever gold medal in the women singles category and helping the squad win its first ever gold along with medals in women doubles and mixed doubles events, was bestowed with the honour for being the best paddler find of the year in the category.

Her glittering journey which began at Gold Coast continued in the Asian Games at Jakarta where the Delhi girl played her part to perfection in guiding India to its second table tennis bronze medal at the 2018 Games, partnering A. Sharath Kamal in the mixed doubles.

“I couldn’t have imagined at the beginning of the year. The way it has culminated has made me feel happy and more responsible. I have to thank many for such a wonderful opportunity,” said Manika, speaking from Incheon.

“I really want to thank the International Table Tennis Federation for acknowledging my efforts throughout the year.  For me personally, it has been one of the most eventful years of my sporting career so far and this is a just reward for my hard work and training. I would like to thank the Table Tennis Federation of India, Sports Authority of India and the Sports Ministry and, above all, my coach Sandeep Sir and my physio Subodh Sir without whom this wouldn’t have been possible. My thanks are due to my department Indian Oil Corporation Limited for their continuous support. 
I would like to thank my family who supported me and been there as my pillar of strength,” said Manika, recalling the efforts each one of them had put in to shape her career.

MASSIMO THE STAR COACH

In fact, it was double celebration for Indian table tennis as chief coach of the national team, Massimo Costantini, received the Star Coach award after leading the country to record-breaking performances at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 Asian Games.

India won an astounding eight medals at the CWG in Gold Coast including three gold medals. Besids, India also won their first Asian Games medals in the Men’s Team and mixed doubles at Jakarta.

The Italian, thus, became only the fourth coach to take home the Star Coach award. Earlier, Pedro Rufino, Liu Guoliang and Jörg Rosskopf were bestowed with the honour.

“I can’t thank enough ITTF for the award. But I wouldn’t have been here without the fantastic bunch of players in both sections which TTFI provided me. They were really wonderful and responded well. I must thank all those concerned in India, including SAI, for the wonderful opportunity to serve the cause of Indian table tennis,” said Massimo.

Dushyant Chautala, president of TTFI, in a congratulatory message to Manika Batra said, “she richly deserved the award,” adding, “Manika proved herself in both the Games that a star was born.”

Secretary General M.P. Singh, in his congratulatory message to both Manika and Massimo Costantini, said: “It was a wonderful year for Indian table tennis and Manika epitomized it with her performances. She was the star performer and deserves all the accolades. And Massimo was a worthy coach who made it all possible and I wish him all the success.”

The ITTF Star Awards is the official awards ceremony organised by the international body since 2013. It is the most prestigious award given to recognize, honour and celebrate the stars of table tennis, the athletes who have made table tennis their passion, career and life.

Fan Village a big draw at the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

Bhubaneswar, 29 November 2018: Hockey buffs attending the biggest sporting extravaganza in the country Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 are being treated to games and fun activities installed in the Fan Village spanning about 18,000 sq meters inside the iconic Kalinga Stadium.

 

The activities range from anti-gravity photo booth which lets people click gravity-defying photos in a hockey stadium ambiance while those who wish to take a 360 degree photo can do so at the 360 degree photo booth. The massive fan village spread across two grounds between Gate No.3 and Gate No.4 of the Kalinga Stadium opens at 1.00 PM on match days and features several eatery stalls including those of local specialties like the Odisha Millet Missions for those who prefer to eat healthy.

 

There is also live screening of the matches on a giant screen, accompanied by an Emcee who keeps the mood upbeat and also engages the fans in quizzes related to the sport at half-time. Trampoline for kids, cycles installed to create a video-game feel of a race are also some of the highlights. The organisers have also created a three-a-side hockey turf for those who feel inspired by their favourite stars playing the prestigious event and wish to emulate the action on a mini-turf. There is also a India Post stamp stall where you can buy the newly-launched stamp for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 apart from old stamps for collection. You can also get a personalized postage stamp which can be used as a valid postage for domestic mail purpose. It can also be used as gift for loved ones.

 

Jugglers, Magicians among other artists are present to ensure there is a lot more to do other than watch top-level International matches. Shopaholics can also buy Odisha Handlooms and sports wear too.  “The Fan Village was curated keeping in mind all age-groups of hockey lovers coming to watch the matches. It is the first time something like this is happening in India and the response has been quite overwhelming,” stated Ms Elena Norman, CEO, Hockey India.

 

Mr Vishal Dev, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Sports & Youth Services Department, Odisha Government said, “We hope the Fan Village will give spectators a different experience of the tournament. The idea was to engage fans and not just have them come watch top-level international matches but we also wanted them to get a sports carnival feel.”

India’s Abhay Singh, has reached the final of a PSA challenger event in England

Sutton Coldfield (England): India’s Abhay Singh stormed into the final of the Sutton Coldfield International 2018, a PSA challenger event after a spectacular win over the top seed Jan vd Hereweggen of Belgium in the semi-final late on Friday.

Always a fighter, the fourth seeded Indian, a trainee at the Chennai’s Indian Squash Academy, needed little over an hour to script his 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 3-11, 11-6 win and make it his fourth PSA final in his career. What stood out in favour of Abhay was his court coverage and quality drop shots.Towards the end stages, the Indian also showed effectiveness in countering long rallies. Abhay now faces the second seed Victor Cruin of France in th title match.

Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team beat New Zealand 7-1

Johor Bahru (Malaysia), 07 October 2018: The Indian Junior Men’s Hockeyteam continued to impress at the 8th Sultan of Johor Cup 2018 as they notched up their second successive win here on Sunday as they beat New Zealand 7-1.
On the opening day of the tournament, the India Colts had registered a hard fought 2-1 victory against hosts Malaysia. In their second match, it was Prabhjot Singh (6′), Shilanand Lakra (15′, 43′), Harmanjit Singh (21′), Mohd Faraz (23′), Abhishek (50′) and Skipper Mandeep Mor (60′) who scored in India’s scintillating win. For New Zealand, Sam Hiha (53′) scored the lone goal.
Last year’s Bronze Medallists’ India got off to an attacking start as Prabhjot’s fine goal in the 6th minute put New Zealand on the back foot. The Junior India side displayed disciplined hockey, played to structure and ensured swift accurate passes that helped them make potential forays into the striking circle.
Shilanand Lakra, who had made his Senior debut earlier this year at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia, was in good nick as he capitalized on a good assist to put the ball past the New Zealand goalkeeper winning India a strong 2-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Though New Zealand tried to overcome the initial setback, India Colts’ defence held strong not allowing any easy circle entries. India goalkeeper Pankaj Rajak too was in good stead to avert New Zealand from converting by making good saves. Building on their attack from a fine start, the Indian forwards kept up the pressure as they scored back-to-back goals in the 21st and 23rd minute through Harmanjit’s field goal and Mohd Faraz’s fabulously struck PC.
While the third quarter saw both teams drop the pace a tad bit, with India managing a single goal in the 43rd minute through Lakra.
It was Abhishek’s 50th minute goal that put India ahead by 6-0, even as New Zealand’s Sam Hiha scored a goal three minute later, it was just a consolation as India Colts’ Skipper Mandeep Mor ensured his team wrapped up the three winning points as he converted a smart variation in PC to finish with a splendid 7-1 scoreline.
The Indian Junior Men’s Team will next take on Japan in their third match on 9 October 2018 at 15.35hrs IST.