Chief national coach of Indian badminton team, Gopichand gives his perspective on the historic win in the Thomas Cup and steps to be taken for betterment of badminton in India. Excerpts:
Q: Do you think that the Thomas Cup win has now set a base for a long lasting, successful ecosystem to be put in place?
A: I think in the last few years there’s been sustained effort from the government, especially to ensure that a systematic program project model for sport is developed in the country and badminton is also striving to be that. I think as an ecosystem, we are diverse we at large as a country before have grown tremendously in the sport, and it makes it very tough for us also to make a system with which all the stakeholders are coming on board.
So, we are in that process and I do hope that with the support of Badminton Association of India president Himanta Biswa Sarma, the government and the ministry under the leadership of Mr Anurag Thakur and our honourable Prime Minister we will be able to streamline and bring the process, which actually makes this win more sustainable and more consistent in the future.
Q: Do you believe that this could be the game changer in uber cup prospects?
A: I think in some sense, the Uber cup with Sindhu and Saina there, I’m sure it would probably have been a much quicker place to be reaching. But I think when you work together as a team and when you have some strength in your women’s doubles, I think even that is possible. And I’m hoping that that’s something that will happen sooner than later.
Q: Did you manage to speak to Prakash sir and recall the efforts both of you have taken after Thomas Cup triumph?
A: Yes, I did speak to him and it was really nice. Because, I think for us, I and the seniors who played sport, this could have been in some sense the pinnacle of a team win or a connection of badminton in some sense. Because I remember even in pre-casters time they qualified once to the finals, in my time they qualified for the finals. And when you talk about the finals we are trying to be one of the 16 team in the world that itself is an achievement and today. The boys actually going out there to bring out the best results and be the number one in the world was something which we never imagined could happen and I think for that to happen today with this young team players.
Q: How has the presence of Matthias changed the double scenario in the country, he has been phenomenal and has turned Indian double team of Chirag and Satwik. What according to you has he done differently than others?
A: I think it’s been great. He was there for a week before this event. So, it was not that, there was anything suddenly he was doing, but also the fact that he’s worked with the players prior to the Olympics. So, he was with them all earlier as well.
And luckily when he came on join again, I think it was almost like, a gap has been filled and it was great to have him straight away flowing. And have the ease and jumped into the team. And, also the support staff has been amazing. And it’s great because Satwik and Chirag have a great relationship.
And also, they believe in Matthias’s ability to contribute. And it’s also great because Matthias also has a great belief in the players that they want to contribute. So, it’s a very mutual thing, which actually helps us to actually produce better results. So not only is it good for the two players Satwik and Chirag, but also his presence I’m sure will create motivation, not only for the men’s doubles, but also for the other doubles events as well.
Q: Where do you see India badminton in terms of depth in coaches and what do you think that needs to be done to bring more bring more Gopi Chand to the fourth who can take Indian badminton to even greater heights.
A: As far as coaches are concerned, I think we should be able to give them the kind of respect and the recognition which is needed and also need to give them the financial stability or the motivation, which is needed. I think, there are a lot of good players who actually retired or who will be retiring in the next few years.
And I think if you’re able to convert some of them into coaches, I think the first step would be to ensure that the coaching fraternity or the coaches are respected and we give them an opportunity to work independently. Of course, I’m all for accountability, but, it’s important that we are able to motivate them and also give them the right atmosphere to keep working so that they’re able to produce themselves.
Q: How difficult is it to manage the egos of the players and strike the right balance within the national camp.
A: Well, its overtime been, when we started off, there were hardly any superstars in the team, but today you have a lot more of that happening. We have people managing them, people sponsoring them. We have people who certainly have a particular interest in players. So, there’s a lot of things which have actually changed in the sport for also the society in some sense. So, I think, there’s not, it’s not going to be easy. But this men’s team actually has shown that, top players can come together in front of you together as a team, they can keep competing, but also their competition amongst themselves, and need not be to pull each other down, but to actually make each other better as well.
So, I think this Thomas cup team is like that you can still have people competing against each other, but also, they can come together and compete together and excel together and bring results together. So, I think this has been a revelation in some sense, but yes, there are challenges which we find with multiple people getting involved and its basic system which works in the world is a coach led athlete centric system. Sometimes if you don’t really follow that and become either athlete led where he is deciding what he wants rather than what he needs, I think becomes a problem. So, we also have many issues relating to this because their resources are a lot more for top peoples today than they’ve ever been. But I think these are issues which are there so we can brush them off, but I think we need to address them in the right manner.
Q: What does Gopi Chand have that makes him such a wonderful coach as well as a talent spotter?
A: I think to, to have spent every day of my life, at least for the last 35 years, thinking about badminton makes it easier for me. Because, I am actually looking at that on that, but also the fact, is that there’s been a lot of God’s grace and support from many, which is actually in this journey, which is actually you get this.
Q: Even though there is no dearth of talent in India, we somehow are not that consistent. What do you think needs to be done differently to make India more consistent?
A: I think at the moment our struggle is because there are multiple people involved in sport, there is government, there is state associations their schools that is universities that sponsors academies individually. So, everybody is pulling the player in some different direction. The ideal way, explain show that the player by sports science, this is the glare is quoted by somebody who has the knowledge of sport. And that is what should be at the moment. There are too many people in the sport who are involved in influencing the athlete, and that becomes a challenge.
So, I think one of the biggest things which is needed is to streamline the system where various stakeholders in the support actually have been taken care off from the sport science perspective.
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Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen gifts PM Modi boxing gloves
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.
Four games win hearts, disappointment in weightlifting and squash
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.
What Sports Are The Most Frequently Bet On?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
HUMPY, SACHDEV, KULKARNI GIVE INDIA LEAD IN WOMEN’S SECTION AT 44TH CHESS OLYMPIAD
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.
THE GREAT INDIA RUN ENTERS PUNJAB, RUNNERS REACH DINANAGAR
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.
India announce squad for Asia Cup 2022; Bumrah ruled out
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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