Time stood still as Jeakson Singh Thounaojam leaped higher than all in the sultry Delhi air to head the ball into the back of the Colombian net — becoming India’s first-ever goal-scorer at a FIFA World Cup in 2017.
As he ran to celebrate much to the joy of the delirious home fans, joining the celebrations was the man with the armband — Amarjit Singh Kiyam — Jeakson’s fellow midfield general as well as cousin — with the two having made the journey from Thoubal to the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 together.
The unforgettable goal has inspired a new generation of players across the length and breadth of the country to dream big and soar high.
Among those is another member of the Manipuri duo’s family itself — Kritina Devi Thounaojam — two years younger to her elder cousins, and currently a probable member of the Indian team for the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
“I remember watching Jeakson’s goal in the World Cup live on television. It was a unique feeling. It was such a powerful moment for the country, and also our family,” 17-year-old Devi said.
“I was inspired to play football seeing my brothers. Amarjit and Jeakson taught me so much. We trained together whenever they would come back to our village. Practising with them always made me very happy. It was amazing when I saw them playing in the World Cup.”
Amarjit, who made to the senior team last year at the age of 18, took a walk down memory lane and mentioned how all of them took their first lessons from the same coach where Kritina would sometimes be the only girl.
“All of us used to train together under Jeakson’s father (Deben Singh). He was our first coach. There were other players with us but the first girl to have joined was Kritina,” Amarjit mentioned.
Jeakson, who made 13 appearances for Kerala Blasters in the Hero ISL last season, shared an interesting anecdote, recalling how Kritina’s speed made her stand out from the rest, and even outpace boys older than her.
“I distinctly remember that she would run very fast as a kid. My father convinced her family to put her into football. He would coach her, and whenever we would come home, we would teach her new drills and exercises,” Jeakson said.
“Once when we had come home, we organised a small tournament where Kritina played and was up against boys her age, and some even older than her. She was brilliant and played very well. She was faster than the boys — that is a special memory,” he added.
Kritina was 13 years old when she took up the game and in 2016-17 she was selected to represent Manipur at the National Championships. She broke through into the national team ranks quickly, representing the country at age-group level SAFF competition.
In 2018, she was a member of the Indian outfit at the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship 2019 qualifiers in Mongolia. Recently, she joined the U-17 National team that performed in Sweden and Thailand in the U-17 Women’s Football Tournament last year. She scored the only goal in India’s solitary goal victory against Thailand.
The three, with their houses at walking distance from each other, have been training together while in lockdown and the eldest of them — Amarjit spoke about how “proud” it makes him see his cousin in the Indian colours.
“We (Jeakson and myself) know the feeling of playing for our country. Seeing Kritina do the same makes us so proud. She has already played at U-16 level and has even scored. I am very happy to see the effort and hard work put in by her every day — and how motivated she is. She is an example to follow for so many girls and I hope she keeps growing and moving forward,” he quipped.
“The World Cup is the most important tournament in football. You are representing your country in front of the whole world. It’s an incredible experience that is different from anything else,” Jeakson opined.
“We have all seen the impact that the first World Cup had on Indian football and I am sure the upcoming one will provide a massive boost, especially for the women’s game,” he added.
“Should Kritina be selected for the final squad next year, it would be a truly unbelievable feat for the whole family, especially my father,” Jeakson concluded.
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Magnus leads Arjun in finals of Julius Baer Cup
World champion Magnus Carlsen stayed on course to win the Julius Baer Generation Cup rapid online chess tournament after winning two and drawing one against India’s Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi in the first set of four games here. The World No.1 from Norway now holds a 2.5-0.5 advantage over the teen Indian grandmaster and would need to secure a tie in the next set to be played late today to win the prestigious event. While it is a steep climb for Arjun from here it is not impossible for him as he needs to win the next four-set game to force a tie-breaker.
Carlsen began on a dominating note and won the first match in 40 moves followed by picking up a 29-move victory. Carlsen did not take much risk and settled for a draw to go into the final day of the tournament with the momentum on his side.
“I’m a bit disappointed with my play and with the result but it’s going to help me for sure so I take it as a positive thing. I have been telling myself not to think too much about the fact that I am playing against Magnus and just try to play as if it’s any other opponent,” Arjun was quoted. Earlier, the Indian had beaten Vietnam’s Liem Quang Le to qualify for the finals of the USD 150,000 tournament.
Eliud Kipchoge wins Berlin Marathon, sets new world record
Star Kenya marathoner Eliud Kipchoge won the Berlin Marathon with an astonishing time of 2:01.09 hours to set up a new world record here on Sunday.
Kipchoge bettered his own world record by 30 seconds that he set at the same event in 2018.
This was the 37-year-old celebrated long distance runners’ 15th career wins. In a two-decade-old career, the Kenyan is a two-time Olympic champion (2016& 2020). He has won 10 major marathons across the world as well as capturing the world championship in 2003.
On an overcast day, Kipchoge was in his elements from the word go and only few on the grid could match his intensity.
Ethiopia’s Andamlak Belihu stayed hot on his heels for a considerable amount of time but later buckled and fell behind as the Kenyan cruised his way to yet another sensational victory. Kipchoge had come agonisingly close in setting a new record at the Tokyo Marathon in March as well only to miss out on the mark by just a minute.
His compatriot Mark Korir finished second to register a one-two finish for Kenya, while Ethiopian Tadu Abate ended third.
Umar Kremlev to continue as chief of International Boxing Association Umar Kremlev to continue as chief of International Boxing Association
Russia’s Umar Kremlev will continue as the chief of the International Boxing Association after the delegates at its extraordinary meeting in Armenia decided against holding new elections.
Kremlev will hold on to his position for a four-year term.
Boris van der Vorst of Netherlands who was harbouring dreams of replacing Kremlev was in for a rude shock as 106 National Federations rejected the proposal election regarding fresh voting. Only 36 National Federations voted in favour of the move while four remained absent.
A total of 74.65% voted in the Russian’s favour while 25.35% aligned with the Dutch. Earlier Vorst had successfully challenged a decision of the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit to prevent him from running at the previous extraordinary congress in Istanbul at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
While the situation seems to be normal as of yet, it remains to be seen what would be the fate of boxing in Los Angeles Olympics 2028 as International Olympic Committee has warned IBA quite a few times in the past over the governance of the current regime including the integrity of the judges and financial sustainability of the organisation.
Kuldeep’s hatrick, Shaw’s knock help India A beat New Zealand A
Kuldeep Yadav’s valiant efforts of a four-wicket haul with hattrick followed by Prithvi Shaw’s knock of 77 helped the Indian A team win the ODI series 2-0 with one game remaining here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.
Prithvi Shaw’s 77 runs off 48 deliveries and Ruturaj Gaikwad’s 30 runs helped India A, chasing 220, put up an opening stand of 82 runs for the Indian team. For Kiwis Logan van Beek scalped three conceding 46 runs while Jacob Duffy bagged two wickets. India A led the three-match series 2-0. Rishi Dhawan (22) and Shardul Thakur (25) also contributed to India’s four-wicket victory despite India losing wickets in the middle.
Earlier, spinner Kuldeep Yadav bagged a hattrick against New Zealand A on Sunday and all thanks to his amazing game, India-A bundled out the Kiwis for just 219 runs.
Yadav bagged the wickets of Logan van Beek, Joe Walker and Jacob Duffy in the 47th over of the innings. In the match, Yadav picked a four-wicket haul while taking a hat trick. Kuldeep took a hat-trick in the 47th over of the innings.
First, he got Logan van Beek out caught by Prithvi Shaw on the fourth ball. Then on the next ball, Kuldeep also walked Joe Walker. Walker’s catch was caught by captain Sanju Samson. On the last ball, Kuldeep completed a hat-trick by lbw to Jacob Duffy. Kuldeep took four wickets for 51 runs in 10 overs.
For New Zealand A, Rachin Ravindra smashed 61 runs in 65 balls while Joe Carter slammed 72 runs in 80 balls. For India, Rahul Chahar bagged two wickets while Raj Bawa and Umran Malik took one wicket each.
Deepti was well within her rights to dismiss Dean: Saba Karim
Indian pace spearhead Jhulan Goswami’s last international match at the Lord’s will remain etched into the memories of cricket fans for a long time. It was a perfect send-off for the stalwart who shone with the ball and took two important wickets to help India Women eke out a thrilling 16-run victory over England and complete a 3-0 series sweep.
However, Jhulan’s fairy-tale swansong took an unexpected turn due to the manner in which India won the match. Chasing a target of 170, England were reeling at 118/9. With 52 still required, the pair of Charlie Dean and Freya Davies got their act together and launched a stunning comeback to turn the tables on India. The duo added 35 runs for the final wicket and were in cruise control.
It was then Deepti Sharma bowling her eighth over did the unthinkable and displayed great awareness to knock over the bails at the non-striker end after she noticed Dean leaving the crease even before the delivery was bowled to run her out.
In contrasting scenes post the run out, Indian players rushed towards Jhulan to congratulate her on a stellar career while Dean was distraught and broke into tears.
The dismissal commonly known as mankading has always been a matter of argument with certain stigma attached to it.
However, governing body of world cricket ICC, in its latest reforms in playing conditions has legalised it and even Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), official guardian of the law of cricket last month moved the dismissal from ‘Unfair Play’ to ‘Run out’ section.
While Deepti was in her right to do so, as expected the dismissal divided the cricket fraternity with current players and experts joining in the debate as to whether the dismissal was ethical or not.
Speaking on the same, former Indian player and ex-BCCI selector Saba Karim threw his weight behind the Indian spinner and said that if ICC has legalised it then there should be no hue and cry over the incident.
“I think Deepti Sharma was absolutely right in taking this call. It is for her to figure out what the batter was trying to do. And if she felt that the batter was trying to steal some more mileage by backing up so far ahead of the popping crease, then she is well within her rights to go for this kind of dismissal,” Saba told in an exclusive chat during the World Cup build-up show presented by Dafanews on NewsX.
“And since now it is incorporated by the ICC, there is nothing illegal in it as it is a legally accepted dismissal. I am perfectly fine with Deepti’s choice this time around,” he further added.
Kohli, Suryakumar strike fifties as India register 6-wicket win over Australia
Blistering knocks by Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav and a late cameo of 25* run off 16 balls by Hardik Pandya took India to a six-wicket win against Australia in the third and final game to seal the three-match T20I series 2-1 here at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Sunday. Suryakumar smashed 69 off 66 balls while Kohli scored 63 off 48 balls to guide Men in Blue to a thrilling run chase victory. Chasing 187, India got off to the worst start as they lost their opener KL Rahul on Daniel Sams’ delivery. Virat Kohli then came out to bat and handled the charge of the Indian team with skipper Rohit Sharma.
Rohit then tried to ease some pressure and smashed one four and six in the Josh Hazlewood’s over. In the fourth over of the innings, Pat Cummins gave India a big blow as he dismissed skipper Rohit who smashed 17 runs in 14 balls. Rohit tried to play the pull shot but handed an easy catch to Daniel Sams on the straight down deep backward square leg. With the skipper’s wicket, both India openers went back to the pavilion in under four overs. Suryakumar Yadav then came out to bat. Cameron Green was then brought into the attack but the pacer could not do much as Virat Kohli smashed a classy four on the very first ball of the spell.
In the 6th over of the innings, Kohli slammed one six and four in Hazlewood’s spell. Suryakumar then joined hands with Kohli to smash Australian bowlers all around the ground while stealing singles.
With a massive back-to-back two sixes in Adam Zampa’s spell, Suryakumar brought up his half-century. The duo of Kohli and Suryakumar brought up their 100-run partnership stand in 59 deliveries as they continued their carnage on Australian bowlers.
Suryakumar looked in great touch smashing Hazlewood for one six and four, however, his stint was cut short as he tried to play a shot on straight to long-off but handed an easy catch to Aaron Finch for 69 runs in 36 deliveries in the 14th over of the match.
Hardik Pandya then came to bat on the crease. In the 16th over of the innings, Kohli also brought up his half-century in 37 deliveries. This was Kohli’s 33rd T20I fifty.
India needed 32 runs in 18 balls and Pandya and Kohli’s duo smashed Cummins for 11 runs in the 18th over. In the second last over Pandya showed his great skills he slammed a six on the very first delivery of Hazlewood’s spell.
With 11 runs left to win in the last over, Kohli sent the very first delivery of Sams for a six but was sent back to the pavilion after scoring 63 runs in 48 balls. With 5 runs left to win in 4 balls, Dinesh Karthik came out to bat. Sams delivered a wide yorker but Hardik cleverly opened the face of the bat and sliced this fine with one hand to get it to the boundary. With a clever boundary, Hardik guided his team home to clinch the three-match T20I series against Australia.
Earlier, Cameron Green smashed 52 off 21 and a late blitz of 54 runs by Tim David guided Australia to post a competitive total of 186/7
For Australia, Cameron Green smash 52 off 21 while a blistering knock of 54 runs by Tim David powered Men in Yellow to a decent total. For India Axar Patel scalped three-wicket while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel bagged one wicket each.
Put to bat first, Australia got off to a flying start as opener Cameron Green smashed Indian bowlers all around the ground, Green smashed Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a massive six on the second delivery of the game, but it was not enough for the Australia opener as he slammed a stunning four and gathered 12 runs in the first over of the innings.
Green in red-hot form continued his carnage in the second over to smashing two fours piling 11 runs in an over. The third over of the innings saw Green hammer a four before slamming two huge sixes on the delivery of Jasprit Bumrah.
Axar Patel was brought into the attack he gave his team a big breakthrough, dismissing Aaron Finch for 7 runs. However, the skipper’s wicket did not stop Green’s carnage as he slammed back-to-back three fours and brought up his 19-ball half-century in the fifth over of the game. Bhuvneshwar was brought back into the attack and the pacers gave his team a huge breakthrough as he dismissed Green.
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