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Hege Riise named GB women’s head coach for Tokyo Olympics

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London [UK], March 10 (ANI): The Football Association (FA) on Wednesday announced that interim head coach Hege Riise will take charge of Great Britain’s women’s football team at the summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“Hege Riise is to have the honour of being the GB Football head coach who will lead the Team GB squad into this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo,” FA said in a statement.
FA said Riise, a gold medal winner as a player with Norway at the 2000 Games, will combine the “prestigious” role with her ongoing duties as interim head coach of England Women before the home nations unite as a GB football squad to begin their preparations in June.
Following the Olympic Games, Riise will continue in her role with England until Sarina Weigman’s arrival in September, FA said.
Riise will be assisted by Rhian Wilkinson with whom she formed an immediate successful partnership during England Senior Women’s February international camp at St. George’s Park, with a further coach “to be announced in due course.”
Team GB will be one of 12 international teams taking part in the football tournament at the rearranged Tokyo Olympic Games, with matches taking place between July 21 and August 6.
It will be the first time Great Britain and Northern Ireland will be represented at the Olympics since London 2012, with the squad qualifying via England’s run to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-finals. “The FA is the nominated country from the home nations to deliver the GB football programme, and the final squad of 18 will be based on consideration of players from across the home nations,” the statement read.
“I know first-hand as a former player just how huge the Olympics are as a tournament and I’m enormously proud to have this opportunity to lead the GB squad into the Games. We’ll go there to give everything we have to be successful and I hope we can also use the power of the Games to help women’s football continue to grow in popularity,” Riise said. (ANI)

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MIRABAI CHANU’S WIN WILL INSPIRE OTHER ATHLETES FROM INDIAN CONTINGENT

Karnam Malleswari

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When Mirabai Chanu’s event was going on, I was eagerly waiting for her medal-winning moment because I was sure of her winning the medal. I had also ordered sweets but did not reveal it to anyone. I am glad that after 21 years, India got a medal through Mirabai Chanu. This medal will inspire other players in Tokyo too. I am doubly happy that Mirabai not only repeated the work which I had done 21 years ago but also changed the color of the medal. I am sure that this feat will happen again in the next Olympics and once again the color of the medal will change.

Well, records are meant to be broken as soon as they are made. Records will be broken, only then new talent will emerge. It has been proved that there is no dearth of talent in India. In the last Olympics, there was a long wait for the first medal. Now this medal will prove to be a tonic for the rest of the athletes as well. All I would like to say to the entire team including the Indian weightlifters is to have faith in your mind. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Think about doing your best with a free mind. Thinking too much about the medal, sometimes the pressure increases too much, which also affects the performance.

Winning a medal in the Olympics is not only important for a player, but it is also a matter of pride for the entire sports community. All the schemes of the Sports Ministry should be given credit for this success.

Along with the hard work of the coaches, all the schemes of the Sports Authority of India, TOPS scheme have also played an important role in preparing the players from India at this level. By the way, this time I predict that India will get medals up to the number of ten, and I hope our players will not let me down.

Writer is the India’s first woman Olympic medalist

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Day 3: Rough day for India, women hockey team loses

After a hard day for the country, in the evening, all eyes were on the Indian women’s hockey team and the side in blue couldn’t find a way to get on board, before going down 0-2 against the Germans.

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The start of Day 3 at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics brought happiness to the face of fans as India’s lone representative in fencing, Chadalavada Anandha Sundhararaman Bhavani Devi got off to a winning start in the women’s individual sabre here on Monday.

However, the Indian fencer went down against France’s Manon Brunet in women’s individual sabre 15-7 in the round of 32 at Makuhari Messe B Hall Yellow Piste. Bhavani Devi has now set her eyes on Paris 2024. “Big Day. It was Excitement & Emotional. I won the First Match 15/3 against Nadia Azizi and become the First INDIAN Fencing Player to win a Match at Olympic but 2nd Match I lost 7/15 against world top 3 player Manon Brunet. I did my level best but couldn’t win. I am sorry,” tweeted CA Bhavani Devi.

A similar thing happened with the archery team, who won the game in the morning but ended up losing the quarter-final match on Monday.

The Indian trio of Pravin Jadhav, Atanu Das, and Tarundeep Rai overcame team Kazakhstan in the men’s team event to reach the quarters.

In the next round, the trio failed to rise to the tough challenge against South Korea in the quarter-final of the men’s archery team event here.

India suffered another setback when paddlers Sutirtha Mukherjee and Manika Batra bowed out of the women’s singles event after losing their Round 2 matches.

However, table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal progressed to Round 3 of the men’s singles event after defeating Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia here at Tokyo Metropolitan Gym — Table 1 in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.

Moreover, the men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy also faced a defeat in the Group A Play Stage here at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 1.

Also, Angad Bajwa finished 18th in the qualifiers with a score of 120 and Mairaj Ahmad Khan ended 25th with 117, to bow out of the Men’s Skeet event.

Tennis star Sumit Nagal bowed out of the Tokyo Olympics after losing the second-round match against Daniil Medvedev here at the Ariake Tennis Court 1.

Boxer Ashish Kumar (75kg), who was playing the first match of the Tokyo Olympics, bowed out of the men’s middleweight (69-75kg) category event.

The string of defeats continued and in the afternoon as swimmer Sajan Prakash failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the men’s 200m butterfly event.

In the evening, all eyes were on the Indian women’s Hockey team and the side in Blue couldn’t find a way to get on board, before going down 0-2 against the Germans.

The women’s team played their hearts out in their second Tokyo Olympics encounter against the World Number 3 Germany side at the Oi Hockey Stadium here on Monday.

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LET THE GAMES BE FOR THE HONOUR OF COUNTRY AND GLORY OF SPORT

Sheetal Kharka

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Have we substituted the Olympic oath—“For the honour of my country and the glory of sport’’—with a new personal oath: For glamour and money in sports!

Today sports have become more of a business rather than obeying to the oath we used to take during the Olympics. What has changed in the sporting pitch in today’s modern era?

One certainly cannot disregard the three most central elements involved while chasing a career in sports; luck, money and hard-work. While you cannot substitute hard work, luck and money are something that have taken precedence in becoming an ace player! When we talk about India, we are by tradition rich as far as our own national and rural games, namely hockey due to its historic connection, kabaddi, kho-kho, wrestling and few others but we as a nation have glorified ourselves as ‘one sport country’ which is cricket!

With Wimbledon and Euro cup concluding their 2020 games, it was overwhelming to see that the entire world was glued to the TV and online stream. Fans cheering for their favourite team seemed like such a grand affair between humans, society and sports. Another interesting facet of sports is its direct influence on economy. It is definitely considered a major contributor in any country’s GDP. However, sadly very few can make it to the top, so the real issue remains: Is it by luck or by simply capitalising money in the sportsman the only way or is the hard work enough to bring that talent to the top league?

India being the hub of sporting talent, somehow doesn’t feature in key international leagues. Why is India not in the list of any of these international leagues other than cricket? Ask any Indian about wanting a career in sports—he would immediately say cricket. For that matter, parents too are keen on supporting their children for a career in cricket.

With a populace of 1.39 billion, more than 30% of them subscribe to the live streaming OTT platforms for entertainment and sports; it is thus clear that sports are huge in India. The Indian sports industry values at an estimated revenue of $796 million. All major international OTT platforms capture close to 50% of the markets in India. That makes India the second biggest market for OTT consumption for foreign content.

So, in spite of having a large part of the population watching international league, why is India not capitalising by having its presence in world games. Why are we not able to produce more Sania Mirza, Mahesh Bhupathi, Bhaichug Bhuita to represent India in such leagues? Why are our talents largely confined to cricket alone?

Are we lacking behind in recognising great talents and providing them with equal opportunities, perhaps the answer is yes. What are the grave issues sports enthusiasts face in making a grand career? I decided to talk to a few sports men turned coaches who may know reasons behind why India is not able to pull up and promote young talent internationally.

The most predominant reason is the financial support to the most deserving talents—middle class parents cannot support the sports career of their child, the insecurity if he/she makes it to the top and having a stable career is also a big concern. Many parents give up halfway, when they realise the road ahead is tough, the private training cost is way above their nose, leave alone participating in international league. Brands mostly sponsor glorified names, and seldom they want to take up players at a junior level—perhaps spotting such talents is one area we lack too. Few coaches also shared that right sportsmanship attitude is lacking in some junior players due to the huge glamour value added by the cricket world—therefore picking the right players with the right attitude is sometimes a challenge. There is a lack of support from the government.

We have few Indians who truly brought honour to India by representing in Wimbledon and Olympics—Ramanathan Krishnan, Vijay Amritraj, Ramesh Krishnan representing Wimbledon, where Ramanathan Krishnan in 1960 and 1962 and Vijay reached quarter finals in 1974 and 1981. Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes winning in mixed doubles in Australian open, Wimbledon and Davis cup, of course a must mention to Sania Mirza for being the no. 1 women tennis player in India and Mary Kom to bring glory.

A special mention to our very own flying Sikh Milkha Singh and P.T. Usha, our Indian athletes known for true sportsmanship. And this week a new name has been added: Mirabai Chanu. I am sure there are many more names, perhaps we need to start glorifying them once again to bring true honour and glory to sports in India.

The author is a writer, content creator, media consultant & sports yoga coach.

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SANIA, ANKITA SUFFER SHOCKING DEFEAT IN FIRST ROUND OF WOMEN’S DOUBLES

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India’s women’s tennis duo of Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina suffered a very disappointing defeat in the first round of the Tokyo Olympics in the doubles event here at Ariake Tennis Court 11 on Sunday.

The Ukrainian team of Lyudmyla Viktorivna Kichenok and Nadiia Viktorivna Kichenok knocked out the Indian pair 6-0, 7-6, 10-8 in one hour and 33 minutes. The Indian duo had dominated the match at the start as they handed the Ukrainians a bagel inside just 21 minutes and took the first set with ease in Tokyo’s heat.

In the second set the Ukrainian team was able to hold the serve for the very first time in the match but not for long as Indians struck back soon.

With their back against the wall, the Kichenok duo broke the match serve of the Indian pair and extended the match to the tie-break in the third set.

In the final set, nerves got better of Ankita-Sania as they lost the set 10-8.

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MI TO PLAY CSK ON 19 SEPT, FINAL ON 15 OCTOBER IN DUBAI

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday announced the schedule for the remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 which will be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A total of 31 matches will be played in the duration of 27 days.

The 14th season, which was postponed in May this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume on September 19 in Dubai with a blockbuster clash between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. The action will then shift to Abu Dhabi where the Kolkata Knight Riders will square off against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Sharjah will host its first game on September 24 when Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Chennai Super Kings.

In all, 13 matches will be held in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah, and 8 in Abu Dhabi.There will be 7 doubleheaders (5 matches already played in India – total of 12 matches) with the first match starting at 3:30 PM IST (2:00 PM Gulf Standard Time). All evening matches will start at 7:30 PM IST (6:00 PM Gulf Standard Time).

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BHUVNESHWAR, SURYAKUMAR STAR AS INDIA DEFEAT LANKA IN FIRST T20I

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Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked four while Deepak Chahar scalped two wickets as India defeated Sri Lanka by 38 runs in the first T20I on Sunday. Indian bowlers got the job done without any trouble as the visitors took a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series. India bundled out Sri Lanka for 126 in the 19th over. Chasing 165, Sri Lanka got off to a decent start scoring 20 in the first two overs. However, Krunal Pandya dismissed opening batsman Minod Bhanuka in the third over to put the hosts on backfoot.

Sri Lanka were 46/1 after six overs and were going good in the chase before they suffered another jolt. Yuzvendra Chahal cleaned up Dhananjaya de Silva to give India a breakthrough. In the next over, Bhuvneshwar struck to help India bounce back in the game as he dismissed Avishka Fernando.

Charith Asalenka kept Sri Lanka’s hopes alive as he hit regular boundaries and sixes. He stitched a vital stand with Ashen Bandara before Hardik Pandya dismissed the latter. Sri Lanka needed 61 in 6 overs and Deepak Chahar picked two wickets in his over to dent hosts’ all hopes. With wickets falling at regular intervals, Sri Lanka fell 39 runs short of the target.

Earlier, Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga picked two wickets each as Sri Lanka restricted India to 164/5. Put in to bat first, India got off to a bad start as debutant Prithvi Shaw departed for a golden duck. Skipper Shikhar Dhawan and Sanju Samson revived visitors’ inning as they brought 50 runs inside the powerplay.

However, Sri Lanka again pulled things back as they dismissed Samson in the seventh over. Dhawan then along with Suryakumar Yadav took India’s score to the 100-run mark in 12 overs and brought up the fifty-run partnership.Just when things started looking easy, India lost both Dhawan and Suryakumar in consecutive overs. In the end, Ishan Kishan smashed 20 runs off 14 balls to help India reach 164 in the allotted 20 overs.

Brief Scores: India 164/5 (Suryakumar Yadav 50, Shikhar Dhawan 46; Dushmantha Chameera 2-24 ); Sri Lanka 126 (Charith Asalanka 44, Avishka Fernando 26; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-22).

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