I AM HAPPY WITH MY PERFORMANCE IN DIAMOND LEAGUE: NEERAJ CHOPRA - The Daily Guardian
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I AM HAPPY WITH MY PERFORMANCE IN DIAMOND LEAGUE: NEERAJ CHOPRA

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Olympic champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra broke his own national record enroute to a personal best timing to finish second at the prestigious Diamond League Meet here.

Neeraj came tantalisingly close to achieving the coveted 90m mark in the meet on Thursday night, which was won by reigning world champions Anderson Peters of Grenada with a throw of 90.31m. Neeraj hit the 89.94 mts mark, to miss out on the gold by a narrow margin.

Peters recorded the 90.31m mark in this third throw out of six attempts. Neeraj’s best throw came in his first attempt and after that he could manage only 84.37m, 87.46m, 84.77m, 86.67 and 86.84m. Neeraj, however, bettered his own national record of 89.30m recorded last month at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland.

Germany’s Julian Weber came third with a throw of 89.08m recorded in his fifth attempt. In an exclusive conversation with The Daily Guardian, Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra gave insights on achieving silver medal at Diamond League event and upcoming World Championships. Excerpts

Q. How do you feel about your performance today? Did you expect to start off with 89.94m and how does it feel to get a new personal best and national record?

A. Feels great. There was nothing like I have to win in the first throw. But the mindset was to play well. And you have to put all your efforts. The first throw was very good, it was quite close to 90 meters and looked like it would probably do. But still gave my best so feeling very good.

Q. What was going through your mind when Anderson Peters threw over 90m in the third attempt? Did it push you to try to go beyond him in your remaining attempts?

A. Yes, of course, when Anderson Peterson crossed 90 meters, I also felt that everything has to be done and if the whole technique with a javelin falls in one line, then everything will be perfect. When we put the effort into throwing everything, the body also gets tired. I am happy today, all the throws were good enough. I am happy with this performance. Played Diamond League after a long time and it was good. Now I will put my emphasis on the next competition that will happen.

Q. This was your first Diamond League event after the Zurich finals in 2018. How important are the Diamond League events for you? And how does it feel to do well in such a big event?

A. Yes, it was my first Diamond League after Zurich in 2018. And I like it very much. I like it very much right from the start because world-class athletes come and play with us like in Olympics or World Championships. And it’s a very good competition. It happens in big cities and people come to see it. In India also, people are getting to know what is Diamond League and what the different competitions are. So it feels great.

Q. You have started your season with 3 events. You will to now go Oregon for the World Championships in a few weeks. How do you feel about your form going into Oregon? What will you be focusing on now over the next 18-19 days?

A. I don’t know, it will be known only in Oregon. For every competition, every day is different. And one more thing is that people think that when I start playing in the competition, there will be pressure on me as an Olympic champion, but it is not like that at all. I play with ease and free-mindedness. And I perform well there, and there is no pressure in my mind about anything. I train well and give my 100% in every competition.

Q. This year, there have been some very close javelin events with many athletes doing well. What do you think of your chances of going into Oregon? Are you feeling any pressure as a reigning Olympic Gold Medalist?

A. Yes, for next Oregon, there are not many days left, nothing much will change. Whatever training is going on, I try to improve on that.

Q. Only one Indian has ever won a World Championship medal in Athletics; is there any added pressure on you because of that?

A. No, there is no such pressure that we have won only one medal at the World Championship. I will put my full effort and that is my work and will do just that. There is nothing like pressure in the World Championship. But after going there I will know how the mindset is in Oregon.

Q. There were many people in India trying to follow your performance online and on streams. How does it feel to have had such an impact in a country where athletics is not traditionally followed a lot?

A. Very nice, very happy that people in India are seeing athletes online also. And the biggest thing is that many Indians had come to Stockholm, and Indian Ambassadors also came to meet. It feels great that the love for athletes in the country is growing so much, and people are knowing about it.

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Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen gifts PM Modi boxing gloves

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Indian Commonwealth Games contingent expressed their delight at being honored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their excellent performance at Birmingham 2022.

PM Modi felicitated the Indian contingent for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022 in New Delhi on Saturday. The felicitation was attended by both athletes and their coaches. Union Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports Anurag Singh Thakur and Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Nisith Pramanik were among those present. Prime Minister congratulated the players and coaches for their stupendous performance at the Commonwealth Games 2022 held in Birmingham, where India bagged 22 Gold, 16 Silver, and 23 Bronze medals in various disciplines.

During the event, sprinter Hima Das gave the traditional Assamese gamocha, and Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen gifted PM Modi her boxing gloves.

“Honoured to gift the boxing gloves signed by all the pugilists to our honorable Prime Minister @narendramodi sir. Thank you for this amazing opportunity. A great day spent with my fellow athletes who have made the country proud,” Nikhat tweeted.

Hima Das took to her Twitter handle and wrote, “Elated to receive blessings from our honorable Prime Minister – Shri @narendramodi Ji, by virtue of Commonwealth Games 2022. Fortunate to have presented him with our traditional gamcha, wrapped with immense gratitude from all of Assam.”

Commonwealth Games 2022 champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, who won the gold medal in the Women’s 49kg final, thanked the PM for his words of motivation.

“Honoured to meet & interact with our Honourable Prime Minister @narendramodi Sir. Thank you so much sir for all your support & encouragement. Jai Hind,” Chanu said.

“Thank You Sir for sparing your valuable time and inviting us over to your residence. It was like always a delight to speak with you,” wrote shuttler Chirag Shetty.

CWG 2022 gold medallist Lakshya Sen also expressed his appreciation for being honored by the PM.

“What a great day for all the Athletes #gratitude. Thank you so much Sir for appreciating our hard work and for your words of encouragement. We are all very grateful for your support. Will continue to make our nation proud. Jai Hind!” Indian shuttler Sen tweeted.

“Meeting Hon. PM @narendramodi once again, interacting with him and seeking a blessing was motivating and inspiring as always. His keen interest in our performances and detailed conversations are very gratifying!” said Bhavina Patel, who won the gold medal in Para table tennis at the Birmingham 2022.

Addressing the Indian CWG contingent on Saturday, PM said that the golden period of Indian sports has just begun and hailed the fine show of the athletes.

India finished 4th in the medal tally winning a total of 61 medals at the CWG 2022, including 22 gold, 16 Silver, and 23 Bronze medals.

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Four games win hearts, disappointment in weightlifting and squash

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This time, a total of 16 medals, including seven gold were lost due to the non-availability of shooting events in the CWG. It was largely compensated by wrestling, badminton, table tennis, Para Powerlifting, lawn ball, cricket, hockey, athletics, and judo. India’s number of gold medals increased in the first four games compared to the last CWG held at Gold Coast. India won gold and a bar of silver in the lawn bowl in which not a single medal was won before. In hockey, both the teams returned empty-handed last time but this time the men’s team won a silver, and the women’s team won a medal after 16 years. In cricket, the Indian women’s team could not win gold after defeating Australia as they lost the last eight wickets for 34 runs but beating England in the SF was an achievement. Judo was not their last time, India won three medals including two gold in Judo. The personal best performance of many players in athletics proved that India’s preparations are on the right track because of the Paris Olympics.

Despite all this, weightlifters and squash players disappointed. The boxers equalled last time’s three gold medals but they got only one silver means two silvers less than last time. Mirabai Chanu, Jeremy Lalrinnunga, and Achinta Sheuli, did win gold medals in weightlifting, and they broke snatch games record but the rest of the weightlifters could neither break the national record nor give personal best. Most of these weightlifters could not even repeat their performance in the National Championship. Poonam Yadav, who won gold last time in 69 kg, failed in all three clean and jerk attempts, it is a matter of mystery. In TT, Achanta Sharath Kamal proved that age is just a number. The player was once weak in the backhand, but he made it his strength, winning a total of seven golds in 16 years. His biggest quality is to play his strategy according to the opposition player.

In athletics, however, the situation was quite the opposite. In a ten km walk, Priyanka Goswami and Sandeep won medals in their respective categories with PB performances. In the 3000m steeplechase, Avinash Sawale clocked a PB performance to outdo a Kenyan in medals and very near to the other Kenyan who won the gold medal by a fraction of a second. Gold medalist Eldhose Paul and silver-winner Abdulla Aboobacker won the triple jump gold and silver & broke the 17-meter barrier. For all the athletes including Murali Sreeshankar in the long jump, the World Championships held recently formed the base of their medals. Murli, who was performing lighter than the qualifying competition in the final, corrected his mistake and got the silver, but Seema Poonia and Navjeet Dhillon, who won silver and bronze at Gold Coast were almost four to five meters lesser this time. Both have shown that their preparations are going in the opposite direction. Two silvers in squash narrowed us down to two bronzesthis time.

In wrestling, only Canadian and Nigerian wrestlers were challenged as usual and Indian wrestlers managed to bag all the medals like the last time, which includes six golds i.e., one more gold than last time. Vinesh Phogat continued to create history in women’s wrestling by winning her third gold while emerging Naveen proved to be a new sensation in 74kg. Some players gave a befitting reply to their federations with their excellent performance. Judoka Tulika Maan was not considered for selection in the judo team. Even the federation said that there is no hope of a medal in the highest weight category of women, but Tulika won the silver.

Similarly, Tejaswin Shankar had to take refuge in the court to participate in these games. His name was rejected saying that he had not participated in the National Championship, arguing that he was participating in a competition in the US at the same time. Eventually, this player made 2.22 m in the high jump. He won the bronze medal. In lawn ball, women from other sports showed that if there is scope, there is nothing wrong with changing the game. When Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won the Olympic medal, he emphasized this the most because he too was once among the cricket potential players of Madhya Pradesh.

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What Sports Are The Most Frequently Bet On?

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Betting on sports is a vast industry making up over 30% of the entire gambling industry. If we take a look at what this might look like in numbers, around 500 billion dollars is used for gambling around the world each year. This means that approximately 150 billion dollars are spent on sports betting annually, which shows just how big a market it is.You are probably wondering what sports are most frequently bet on throughout the year. Here is a list of some of the most popular sports that people tend to bet on the most. We will take a look at whether it is because people just enjoy watching and betting on their favorite sport or whether a specific sport gives you an advantage while betting. 

American Football

In the USA, American Football is without a doubt the number one sport that people both love to play and watch. The NFL has some of the most diehard fans of any sport, and people follow the game like a religion. With huge tournaments such as the super bowl, which attract attention from all around the world, it is no surprise that American Football is one of the most popular sports when it comes to betting.Another reason that people love to bet on American Football is the variety of leagues that are available to bet on. People can bet on college football all the way up to the NFL, which means there isn’t a shortage of teams to rally behind and place bets on. They can also choose to bet on live games or make predictions before they start. More options mean more opportunities to place all kinds of bets on different teams, which adds to the popularity of this sport in the gambling scene.  

Soccer

Soccer is the biggest sport in the world with the largest number of people playing it globally. It is then no surprise that it is also a huge sport when it comes to placing bets. With the advancement of technology, the types of bets that people can place on soccer matches have progressed over the years. The most noticeable type of bet that has caused sports betting within soccer to skyrocket is the ability to cash out early. This type of betting has made watching soccer a lot more exciting as people have to be paying extra attention to the screen to decide whether they want to get out of the bet or stay in for the maximum gain.In the UK alone, it is estimated that a mind-blowing 1 billion pounds are spent on soccer bets each year. Soccer as a sport has also only gone up in popularity over the last few years with the American soccer league, MLS, gaining a lot of attention. Although it is a long way from being as popular as American football, soccer in the US appears to be gaining a lot more traction and fans from around the world. For this reason, it is easy to see that soccer is going nowhere anytime soon, and the interest in betting on the sport will likely only increase. 

Horse Racing

For those that are unaware, horse racing was the number one sport for betting for the longest time. This may not still be the case however, horse racing still plays a massive part in the sports gambling world, with an estimated 100 billion dollars being spent betting on the sport each year. In addition to this, horse racing is the only sport where you can actually bet on it at all times of the day.Horse racing is a huge day out for many people who save part of their earnings to spend betting on horses in the hopes of winning big. This may come as a big surprise, but Japan actually has the biggest horse racing market, with the United Kingdom following behind and then Australia behind them. 

Tennis

The number three spot when it comes to sports most frequently bet on is tennis. You might not have expected this but there are some reasons why this is the case. The first being that placing bets on tennis is considered relatively safe due to the odds being fairly low. For example, if one of the top players, such as Rafael Nadal, is scheduled to play against a player who is not considered very strong, it is a relatively safe bet to place on Nadal winning.   

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HUMPY, SACHDEV, KULKARNI GIVE INDIA LEAD IN WOMEN’S SECTION AT 44TH CHESS OLYMPIAD

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Koneru Humpy, Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni scored victories as India A pulled off a 3.5-0.5 win against Kazakhstan to emerge as sole leader in the women’s section after ninth round of 44th Chess Olympiad in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu on Monday.

Top-seed India A were given a winning start in the penultimate round by Humpy when she outperformed Zhansaya Abdumalik. R Vaishali, on the other hand, had to share points against Bibisara Assaubayeva before Sachdev and Kulkarni tilted the result of the match in India’s favour after securing wins over Xeniya Balabayeva and Guliskhan Nakhbayeva in their respective games.

With just one more round remaining, India A have grabbed the leading spot with 17 points while Poland, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine are jointly holding the second position with 16 points each.

India B and India C also notched up identical 3-1 wins in their respective Round 9 matches. While India B defeated the Netherlands with Padmini Rout, Mary Ann Gomes and Divya Deshmukh scoring victories, India C thrashed Sweden. PV Nandhidhaa and Pratyusha Bodda scored victories for India C whereas Eesha Karavade and M Varshini Sahiti settled for draws.

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THE GREAT INDIA RUN ENTERS PUNJAB, RUNNERS REACH DINANAGAR

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The Kashmir leg of the Great India Run culminated today with 11 runners entering Punjab on Tuesday evening. The runners have started their run from Mansar Lake and reached Dinanagar covering a distance of 89kms. The runners reached Dinanagar via Samba, Keediyan Gandiyal Bridge and Aman Bhalla College.

After a night halt, they will start their journey tomorrow to DAV College, Hoshiarpur via Mukerian. The Kashmir leg saw the runners complete a total distance of 255kms running through iconic locations including Bahihal, Patnitop and Mansar Lake.

The relay-run will cover 829 kilometers across 4 states from Srinagar to New Delhi from August 5 to August 15. The run is being organize to celebrate the 75th Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign. An initiative of iTV & iTV Foundation, the run builds on the success of the first chapter of the Great India Run held in 2016.

The Flag-off in Srinagar was done by Shri Manoj Sinha, L-G J&K and Shri Kartik Sharma, Rajya Sabha MP from Lal Chowk, Srinagar. In support of the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign, the L-G handed the lead runner a national flag after unfurling it at the venue. The first leg of the run is being led by Arun Bhardwaj, an Ultra-marathon runner.

The run venue was decorated with 75 Indian tricolours to mark 75 years of Independence. The route covers Banihal, Patnitop, Mansar Lake, Dinanagar, Hoshiarpur, Rupnagar, Ambala Cantt. finally culminating in Delhi on August 15. Full details of the route are available at the twitter handle @TGIR2022. Daily coverage of the run will also be visible on national TV and the national press. The culmination ceremony will be held in New Delhi on August 15th with Union Minister Jitendra Singh as Chief Guest.

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India announce squad for Asia Cup 2022; Bumrah ruled out

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The All-India Senior Selection Committee on Monday announced the 14-members squad for the upcoming Asia Cup. The much-anticipated Asia Cup cricket tournament will take place from August 27 this year. The 15th edition of the tournament will be played in the UAE between six teams (main event). Defending champions India are also the most successful team, having won the trophy seven times. While the last edition of the tournament was held in an ODI format, this edition will feature the T20 format.

The six teams are divided into two groups with India, Pakistan and a qualifying team in Group A; and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan forming Group B. Each team plays the other once in the group stage with the top two teams from each group advancing to the Super 4 round. The top 2 teams from Super 4 will qualify for the final.

India’s squad for Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan.

The star pacer of India Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel were not available for selection owing to injuries. They are currently undergoing rehab at the NCA in Bengaluru.

Three players – Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar have been named as standbys.

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