New Delhi [India], February 22 (ANI): After their tour of Argentina where the Indian women’s hockey team played a total of 7 matches, the Rani Rampal-led squad is all set to travel to Dusseldorf, Germany to play four matches against their national squad as part of their preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The team consisting of 18 players and 7 support staff personnel will leave on Tuesday from Bengaluru where they are currently housed in SAI, the centre for the national coaching camp.
The first match against Germany is scheduled for February 27 followed by the second match on February 28. After a day’s break, the team will play again on March 2 followed by the last match on March 4, 2021.
“We feel privileged to travel in a short span to play yet another top team in the world. Germany will be one of the favourites at the Tokyo Olympics and to test our level against them will really help in our preparations. Hockey India and SAI worked swiftly to ensure this tour was sanctioned and I thank them for making this happen,” stated Indian women’s coach Sjoerd Marijne.
Following their experience against the Argentinian side, the Indian women’s team had returned to SAI, after a brief break, for the national coaching camp where they planned to focus on the areas that needed improvement basis their performance analysis. Marijne believes playing against a team like Germany who plays with a different style will only challenge the team further to improvise.
“We have to make the most of every opportunity we get to play against these higher-ranked teams. Germany plays with a very unique and different style compared to Argentina and this will help us prepare for the Olympic Games. Also, since these are back-to-back matches, our level of fitness will also be tested,” Marijne opined.
Goalkeeper Savita added: “Back to back tours, playing the top-ranked teams will be beneficial in our preparations towards the Tokyo Olympics 2021. This will be another opportunity for our team to try out various players in different formations. We look forward to playing these matches against a top team like Germany and I believe this will not just be an enriching experience for the team in terms of experience but this will also test our fitness levels as we are coming from a long tour of Argentina.”
Much like their trip to Argentina where the team followed strict bio-bubble, the Indian side will be staying in a hotel in Dusseldorf where a provision to have separate rooms/halls for the team for all the meals, team meetings, sessions etc have been made. The accommodation will be on twin sharing basis, where the room sharing partners will remain the same throughout the tour who will also be the same even in case of the seating arrangement in the team coach/bus, this has been planned carefully keeping in mind all necessary requirements.
“The facilities in Argentina were fantastic. In these circumstances, we can’t be too demanding either. The priority will be the safety of players and we will be following all rules in Germany and SOPs provided by Hockey India,” Marijne added.
The team members will not be moving out of the bubble and meeting any third-party source as even while travelling to the match/training venue the team will be travelling in a dedicated transport. The local resources along with the team eg. Team bus/coach, drivers, the support staff will all remain the same throughout the tour to avoid any lapses in any way possible. There will be no movement for members to move out of the hotel except for training and match days.
The entire Indian contingent has undergone a Covid-19 RT-PCR Test 48 hours prior to their entry in Germany. The team will be following all safety and health measures as advised by the respective governments of India and Germany. Further, the teams will also be following the Hockey India SOPs as available on the Hockey India website. (ANI)
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World No. 2 Naomi Osaka knocked out of Olympics
World No. 2 Naomi Osaka was knocked out of the women’s singles event in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday. Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova defeated Osaka in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.
In the first set, Osaka seemed completely out of touch and Marketa was able to win the set 6-1. The Czech maintained her charge in the second set, and she did not allow the home favourite Osaka to come back. In the end, Osaka ended up losing the match in straight sets.
Earlier on Sunday, Wimbledon 2021 champion Ashleigh Barty was knocked out of the women’s singles.
Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo defeated Barty 6-4, 6-3 in straight sets to enter the next round. The entire match lasted for one hour and 34 minutes.
STARC, WADE SHINE AS AUSTRALIA DEFEAT WEST INDIES IN THIRD ONE-DAYER, TAKE SERIES 2-1
Mitchell Starc’s three-wicket haul and Matthew Wade’s unbeaten 51-run knock helped Australia defeat West Indies by six wickets in the third and final ODI at the Kensington Oval. With this win, Australia won the three-match series 2-1.
Chasing 153, Australia got off to a bad start as the visitors lost two wickets with just 27 runs on the board. Josh Philippe (10) and Moises Henriques (1) failed to leave a mark with the bat. Alex Carey and Mitchell Marsh then put on 38 runs for the third wicket, but this stand came to an end in the 14th over as Sheldon Cottrell sent Marsh (29) back to the pavilion, reducing Australia to 65/3.
Matthew Wade then joined Carey in the middle and the duo scored runs at a brisk pace, and West Indies seemingly had no answers. The duo put on 34 runs, but as soon as Australia started to look firm favourites, West Indies came back as Hayden Walsh dismissed Carey (35).
In the end, Ashton Agar (19*) along with Wade (51*) took Australia over the line by six wickets and 117 balls to spare.
Earlier, a spirited bowling performance helped Australia bundle out West Indies for just 152 inside 46 overs. Mitchell Starc scalped three wickets while Josh Hazlewood, Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa took two wickets each.
No West Indies batter was able to stay at the crease for a long time and it was just Evin Lewis who showed some fight with the bat as he registered a knock of 55 runs with the help of five 4s and three 6s.
Brief Scores: West Indies 152 all out (Evin Lewis 55, Darren Bravo 18, Mitchell Starc 3-43); Australia 153/4 (Matthew Wade 51*, Alex Carey 35, Alzarri Joseph 1-14).
TOKYO OLYMPICS: SIMRANJEET, RUPINDER STAR AS INDIA BEAT SPAIN TWO DAYS AFTER AUSSIE THRASHING
The India men’s hockey team defeated Spain 3-0 in their third Group A game in the Tokyo Olympics at the Oi Hockey Stadium South Pitch, in Tokyo on Tuesday.
This result comes two days after the team was subjected to a 1-7 thrashing at the hands of Australia on Sunday. In the first quarter, India took the lead as Simranjeet Singh scored the goal and the early nerves for the Manpreet Singh-led side eased a bit. Soon after Rupinder Pal Singh scored as well, giving India a 2-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.
No goals were scored in the second and third quarters, and India held on to the 2-0 lead. However, Spain was looking good while making attacking moves, and India had a tough task in holding them off.
In the fourth quarter, Rupinder scored one more goal as he successfully converted from a penalty corner, and hence India gained a 3-0 lead. In the end, India managed to hold on and walked away with a victory.
Before the match against Spain, India had defeated New Zealand but lost to Australia.
KRUNAL TESTS COVID POSITIVE, SECOND T20I POSTPONED BY A DAY
The second T20I between India and Sri Lanka will be played on 28 July, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed on Tuesday.
All-rounder Krunal Pandya has tested positive following the Rapid Antigen Tests conducted ahead of the match on Tuesday morning. “The second T20I between Sri Lanka and India originally scheduled to be played on July 27 has been pushed forward by a day and will now take place on Wednesday, July 28,” BCCI said in a statement.
“Following the Rapid Antigen Tests conducted ahead of the match on Tuesday morning, Team India all-rounder Krunal Pandya was found to be positive. The Medical Teams have identified eight members as close contacts. The entire contingent is undergoing RT-PCR tests today to ascertain any further outbreak in the squad,” it added.
The third T20I between both sides will go ahead as scheduled on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, ANI had reported that Krunal has tested Covid-19 positive and that forced the two teams to go into isolation till reports come in of the rest of the players.
“Krunal has tested positive and the T20I on Tuesday has been postponed and will happen on Wednesday if all the others test negative. The players are currently isolating,” the source said.
This puts a question mark on opener Prithvi Shaw as well as Suryakumar Yadav as they were set to travel to England as a replacement for the Test series against England.
The BCCI on Monday informed that the All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav as replacements for the upcoming Test series against England as all-rounder Washington Sundar, batsman Shubman Gill and pacer Avesh Khan have been ruled out of the tour due to injuries.
As per the release, Sundar had taken an injection on his right-hand bowling finger during the three-day practice game against County Select XI. However, his recovery will take longer than expected and he is not bowling-fit. As a result, the spinner has been ruled out of the remainder of the England tour.
Fast bowler Avesh Khan suffered a blow to his left thumb on Day 1 of the warm-up game. He was taken for an X-Ray and the result confirmed a fracture. A specialist was consulted for further management of his injury. He is ruled out of India’s Tour of England.
Mirabai dedicates Olympic medal to India, thanks PM Modi for encouragement
Dedicating her victory to the prayers and love of Indians, Olympic silver medallist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu said that her hard work, along with encouragement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, helped her win in Tokyo.
“I was able to win this medal because of the prayers and love of the people of India. I wish all young people especially girls who have entered sports to make the country proud. I dedicate my medal to the people of the country. I thank the prime minister and sports minister for encouraging me,” said Chanu after returning to India on Monday.
Recalling her journey after Rio Olympics, Chanu said, “All my hopes and dreams were shattered after failing to win a medal in Rio Olympics. I had to make a comeback in weightlifting again. But later I realised that I can still do something for India. I worked hard, dealt with injuries and other difficulties and focused on my training. Because of all the hard work, today I reached this point.”
When asked what she would like to do for youth, especially young girls from northeast India, the Olympics medallist said she would help in training the upcoming athletes.
“People of Northeast India know very little about sports right now. I will work to give recognition to the small state of Manipur by training youth, especially young girls,” she added.
Chanu’s Silver Medal could get upgraded. According to sources, China’s gold medal winner Hou Zhihui is being tested by the anti-doping authorities. If Zhihui fails, Chanu could become the first Indian woman to win a Gold medal in weightlifting at Olympics.
After winning the Silver medal, Chanu returned to India on Monday, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw felicitated her. He also announced a reward of Rs 2 crore and promotion in her job in the Railways. Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur also felicitated Chanu.
Union Minister for Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju and Union Minister for Tourism, Culture and Development of North-Eastern region Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Minister for AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal and Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Nisith Pramanik were also present.
Overhaul of coaching staff on cards after poor display by shooters
Indian shooters fail to enter qualification stage 2 in 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team.
National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh Sodhi on Tuesday said he is deliberating on overhauling the coaching staff as shooters have not been able to perform on expected lines at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
“Yes, definitely the performances have not been on expected lines and I have spoken of an overhaul of the coaching staff as I feel something is lacking in getting our shooters prepared for these big occasions because clearly the talent is there and we have seen it here as well,” Raninder told ANI. “Let’s continue to back the team and I am sure we’ll get results. Post-mortems can wait till after the Games,” he added.
Heading into the Olympics, it was the shooting contingent that was favourite to bring back medals for India. However, the going has been disappointing, to say the least. Pair of Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker failed to qualify for the medal match in the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team event after finishing the Qualification stage 2 at the seventh spot here at the Asaka Shooting—10m Range on Tuesday. Chaudhary and Bhaker shot a total of 380 in Qualification stage 2 and hence they bowed out of the Olympics in the mixed event.
Saurabh and Manu Bhaker had progressed to Qualification stage 2 of the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team event after registering a total score of 582 in Qualification stage 1. Earlier, ace shooters Deepak Kumar and Divyansh Singh Panwar failed to qualify for the medal round in the men’s 10m Air Rifle Qualification. Both Elavenil Valarivan and Apurvi Chandela failed to qualify for the medal round after finishing 16th and 36th respectively in the women’s 10m Air Rifle Qualification. Saurabh had failed to rise to the challenge in the finals of the men’s 10m Air Rifle event as he finished seventh. Both Manu Bhaker and Yashaswini Singh Deswal had failed to qualify for the medal round after finishing 12th and 13th respectively in the women’s 10m Air Pistol Qualification.
India’s teams of Elavenil Valarivan/Divyansh Singh Panwar and Deepak Kumar/Anjum Moudgil failed to make the Qualification stage 2 in the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event here at the Asaka Shooting—10m Range on Tuesday.
While Elavenil/Divyansh registered a total score of 626.5, finishing in the 12th spot in the Qualification stage 1, Deepak/Anjum had the same fate as they also failed to qualify after finishing at the 18th spot with a total score of 623.8. In series 1, Elavenil shot 105 while Divyansh registered a score of 103.6, but it was not enough to hand them a place within the top eight. Elavenil and Divyansh shot 104 and 104.1 in the second series, but they were trailing by the time the third series came, and in the end, they missed out on qualification.
Deepak and Anjum also had an underwhelming performance in series 1 and they were also trailing and their qualification for stage 2 looked difficult. In the end, Deepak and Anjum also failed to qualify for the next stage, and India’s disappointing show in the shooting event continued.
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