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Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik has gone through a tough time in the last two years but the national trials helped in getting her confidence back and the wrestler is determined to win the medal at the Commonwealth Games, scheduled to begin from July 28 in Birmingham. In an exclusive conversation with The Daily Guardian she gave insights about her preparations for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Excerpts

Q. We can see Sakshi glowing with confidence and determination, what’s the reason behind your victory in trials or your gold medal in UWW Ranking Series in Kazakhstan?

A. First of all I am very happy because for 2 years I was struggling to win, it has been 2 years since I got a place in the team. When there were trials of the Commonwealth Games, it was just that whatever may happen, I have to win and I won. That trial boosted my confidence a lot. Then I won gold in the ranking series. So yes, the confidence seemed to be low for the last 2 years or it was over, after getting back-to-back defeats has now improved. Absolutely both the tournaments helped me to boost my confidence.

Q. After two years of heartbreak, what hopes do you have for CWG 2022. How is the preparation going on?

A. My preparation is going very well and this time I have full hope that I will come out winning the gold as this will be my third Commonwealth Games. Earlier I have bronze, and silver too, so this time I will try my best to win gold.

Q. You represented ‘Colors Delhi Sultans’ in the second edition of the Pro Wrestling League held in January 2017. What’s your view on these sports leagues. Do they fill in as a catalyst for a new dawn in sports?

A. The league that used to be there was very good because world champions and Olympic medalists used to come from many countries and we used to compete with them. Fighting with them on our ground and our country and having our own audience, felt great. Many young and upcoming wrestlers were also encouraged and said, “We too can get a chance to participate in the league and we will do well”.

Q. Adeline Grey great American wrestler was in your team. And you learnt a lot watching her. What was your experience. Also, your husband plays in the league too. You guys practised together. Was it all good?

A. It was a great experience, Adeline Gray was the captain of my team and our team became the champion. I learnt a lot from Adeline, and still, she is a very good friend of mine.

Q. What inspiration would you give to upcoming wrestlers who want to be like you?

A. I would like to tell them that whatever you want to achieve, you can absolutely get it. But you have to work hard and have the discipline for it. If you give 100% effort then you can absolutely achieve the goal.

Q. We recently met Kuldeep Malik your coach, and he described the moment when he took you on his shoulders after you won the medal. Please cherish the memory.

A. Absolutely, that was the best moment of my life till now, after winning the Olympic medal, Kuldeep sir made circles after lifting me on his shoulder. I had a dream that I would win an Olympic medal, I would wave my tricolour on the podium and it did happen. It was a great experience, the best ever.

Q. In the Pro Wrestling league, both of you Satyawarat- Sakshi were together. How was the comradeship there and otherwise too?

A. Sakshi: It was great that we have been in the same team twice and in the opposite team also. It was quite a fun game, we gained a lot of experience, because many world champions, and Olympic medalists used to come with whom we used to compete. We both used to compete with each other, I wanted my team to win, and he wanted his team to win.

Q. How is the feeling when you get an opportunity to run with the flag in the stadium after the triumph?

A. We will never be able to describe that feeling in words. I have tried a lot of things in the world, but when we win medals and walk with the tricolour flag, then the feeling is on a different level.

Q. One is Arjuna awardee and the other is Padma Shree, the capped couple, what teachings or lessons would you like to give to a jr. Sakshi or a jr. Satyawrat

A. Sakshi: I would like to say that you also can achieve what you want. Whatever field you are in, definitely try to achieve something big.

Q. You have been selected in the 62 kg weight category, and you have left the 57 category. Where does the motivation to break these limits and move forward come from?

A. As I said earlier, the motivation to win medals and hoisting our country’s flag is the inspiration.

Q. Satyawrat what are your expectations from Commonwealth 2022, how many medals do you think are going to come this time?

A. All I want is that the whole country should pray that the 12 wrestlers of ours, all of them bring gold.

Q. You come from a humble background, you have a struggle story of yours as you mentioned once that it was your dream to fly in an aeroplane once. And then you took wrestling as your passion and profession. What will you suggest to the current generation who gets impatient so easily?

A. It doesn’t happen overnight. This is a very long journey. There are many struggles, there are no shortcuts, there is much hard work, and it takes years and years. It took me 14 years to win the medal. I just wanted to say that nothing is ever achieved in a hurry, if you keep training for loads of time, then you can achieve everything.

Q. Over the years, you have found yourself somewhere in a zone where you felt that you were missing something, you were losing something, how did you overcome it? And today we are seeing you so much fit, what is the reason behind it.

A. I have simply maintained an optimistic frame of mind. And I used to assume that the outcome cannot be so much worse because I’ve done well in wrestling in the past and I want to do even better in the future. Even though I had been losing for the past two years, I had the idea that something positive would definitely happen. The support, my family and coaches gave, kept me motivated to have a positive approach.

Q. It is far more stressful to represent the country, and in your case, it will be expected that you will win the gold medal for India at the CWG. How do you manage these demands and expectations, then?

A. I’ve wrestled for over 18 years, and I’ve participated in several competitions. Although there is pressure now that it has been ingrained, it still feels nice to win the game. So, putting the pressure aside, I believe that whatever efforts I have put during practice, to demonstrate it throughout the game.

Q. Your route to the CWG was not very easy and it took you five bouts to beat Sonam Malik and ensure your spot at the Games. Tell us about the trials and how did you overcome them?

A. Of course, there was a lot of pressure when the trials were revealed. I didn’t want to repeat the mistakes that led to my recent losses, whatever I was doing. I’ve made a lot of amends to rectify my mistakes. And there was a positive attitude in me.

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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.

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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. 

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 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. 


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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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 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



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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Tennis legend Serena Williams announces retirement



American legend Serena Williams, winner of 23 Grand Slam titles, announced her retirement from tennis on Tuesday, saying she is “evolving away” from the sport. The 40-year-old tennis star said that the best word to describe what she is up to is “evolution” and that she wants to grow her family. “I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people,” Serena said in an article for Vogue magazine. Earlier this year, she was knocked out at Wimbledon in her first singles match. However, she has now set her eyes on the US Open in what could prove her farewell tournament.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year. And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun,” she said in the Vogue interview. She has been ranked singles world number one by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for 319 weeks, including a joint-record 186 consecutive weeks.

She also finished as the year-end number one five times. Serena has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the open era, and the second-most of all time, only behind Margaret Court’s 24.

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