Q. Tokyo Olympics has now been postponed to 2021. How do you look at that?
A. Yes, it will be 3 long years since qualifying for the Olympics. But, I am happy that I was the first one to qualify. I am preparing well and feeling no signs of anxiety. My physical, mental and technical training is running as per my wish. I am taking the postponement as the blessing in disguise.
Q. This will be your maiden appearance in the Olympics. How are you preparing for that?
A. The pressure is there. I am still waiting for the official final list of the selected team. This lockdown has given me some extra time to relax.
Q. You belong to the family which has a sporting background. Tell us more about it?
A. My mother did a bit of shooting in her college years through NCC. She took me to the shooting range. That is how I got introduced to the game. Later, I joined NCC in class 8. Shooting camps, competitions, and the medals followed.
Q. What gave you the impetus to build up your career in shooting?
A. I liked shooting because it’s an individual sport. I wanted to shoulder all the responsibilities myself. It augmented the confidence in my life and I am quite happy in pursuing my journey.
Q. Did you take part in other sports in childhood?
A. Yes. When I was in my seventh grade, I played nationals in throw ball in class. But later, I began taking shooting seriously.
Q. You compete in 10m and 50m air rifle. Which one do you prefer more?
A. I love both of them equally. It depends on how much I have to focus on relative competitions.
Q. What was the tensest moment in your sports career?
A. I felt it when I was competing in my first senior World Cup in 2015 in the US.
Q. Along with sports, what do you indulge yourself in?
A. I have liked art and craft since my schooling days. I am more inclined to painting. I started with painting T-shirts. Now, I always carry a paintbrush with me. Whenever I get time, I pursue it.
Q. Tell us about your recordbreaking qualification for the Commonwealth Games (CWG), and how was it different from the way it ended for you?
A. I am happy that I managed to break the record. However, I did not win the gold in the competition. To be honest, the colour of the medal matters little. However, I am satisfied with my CWG position.
Q. You are World No. 2 in 10m air rifle and No. 1 in India in 50m. How does it feel to achieve the feat?
A. I don’t feel it is so exemplary. Some shooters are in their teens and doing exceptionally well. Nevertheless, with each passing day, I am trying to be a better shooter and a better person overall.
Q: What do you do to remain focused and mentally tough amidst the pandemic?
A. Painting helps me with relaxation and concentration. Deep breathing, meditation, and proper routine help tremendously.
Q. Do you feel the shooting scene of India is improving?
A. Changes are happening for good. More youngsters are picking guns for medals. The federation, the government aid, coaches, sponsors, and media are vitally helpful.
Q. How are you spending your lockdown days?
A. I am happy to be at home. I am learning dance, spending time with my family, making bigger artworks, attending online courses on sports nutrition, sports psychology, etc.
Q. What message would you like to give to youngsters to keep themselves charged up against negativity, especially in this scenario?
A. I don’t understand why people are taking it negatively. This phase has given us ample time for introspection. One has to look at what he is good at. We have got to be always positive.
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Olympics: Deepika Kumari bows out after losing to top-seed An San
Star Indian archer Deepika Kumari bowed out of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics after losing to South Korea’s An San in the women’s individual quarter-finals here at Yumenoshima Park on Friday.
Top seed San defeated world number one Deepika in an absolutely dominating fashion 6-0 to march into the semi-finals of the individual event. 20-year-old San is aiming for her third gold medal at Tokyo after finishing top of the podium in the mixed team event and the women’s recurve team event. Korean An San had a brilliant start to the first round as she aimed at three 10s while Deepika shot 7-10-10. San carried that momentum in the second round and clinically shot 9-10-7 to which Indian responded with 10-7-7.
The dominance of the South Korean continued in the third set as she gathered 26 as opposed to 24 of Deepika. Match ended in less than six minutes. With this San will either face USA’s Mackenzie Brown or Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia in the last four.
Earlier in the day, Deepika defeated Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) Ksenia Perova to progress into the quarter-finals (6-5) in the 1/8 Eliminations round in the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
YUZVENDRA CHAHAL AND GOWTHAM TEST POSITIVE IN SRI LANKA
Three days after Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID-19, it has come to light that spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and K. Gowtham have also tested positive for the virus in Sri Lanka.
Sources in the know of developments confirmed that the duo have tested positive for COVID-19. “Unfortunately, they have tested positive. They were close contacts of Krunal and were already away from the rest of the squad in the team hotel,” the source said. Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and eight Indian players — Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Manish Pandey, Ishan Kishan, and K Gowtham were identified as close contacts.
Being close contacts of Krunal, they were staying away from the rest of the team and didn’t participate in the last two T20Is after Krunal’s test came positive.
Meanwhile, Wanindu Hasaranga’s four-wicket haul and Dhananjaya de Silva’s unbeaten 23-run knock helped Sri Lanka defeat India by seven wickets in the third and final T20I. With this win, Sri Lanka won the series 2-1.Sri Lanka won the T20I series while India had earlier won the ODI series.
TOKYO OLYMPICS: NUMBER ONE SEED DJOKOVIC BOWS OUT, LOSES TO ZVEREV
Number one seed Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic on Friday was knocked out of the men’s singles event in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics after losing the semi-final clash. Germany’s Alexander Zverev defeated Djokovic 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the men’s singles event.
As a result of this loss, Djokovic would not be able to achieve the Golden Slam (all four Grand Slams and Olympic gold) in the same year. Djokovic had brought out his A-game to the court in the first set, and he ended up winning it 6-1. However, disappointment followed for the Serbian as he lost two back-to-back sets and as a result, he bowed out of the tournament.
Djokovic had won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this year and now he would look to win the US Open, beginning August this year. Earlier, top seeds Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka were also knocked out of the Olympics.
INDIA WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM BEAT IRELAND 1-0, KEEP QF HOPES ALIVE
The Indian women’s hockey team defeated Ireland 1-0 here at the Oi Hockey Stadium North Pitch on Friday. As a result, India’s hopes of making it to the quarter-finals of the women’s hockey event remain intact.
Earlier, the Rani Rampal-led side had suffered defeats in its first three group-stage games. The first quarter between India and Ireland saw no goals and after the end of the first 15 minutes, the scoreline remained 0-0.
A similar story was on the offer in the second quarter and at the halftime mark, the scoreline remained the same and it was Rani Rampal’s side that was feeling the pressure going into the third quarter. The third quarter also saw no goals, however, Navneet Kaur finally broke the deadlock in the fourth quarter and she gave India a lead with three minutes left to play. In the end, India managed to hang on to the advantage to score a 1-0 victory.
INDIA MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM FIRE ALL CYLINDERS, DEFEAT JAPAN 5-3
A resilient Indian hockey team came firing on all cylinders to thrash Japan 5-3 in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on Friday. This was India’s fourth win of the ongoing quadrennial event. The Men In Blue will next be in action in the quarter-finals of the mega event. Japan might have scored three goals but the Indian boys made sure the Men in Blue were in the lead throughout the game and dominated proceedings.
Just two minutes before the end of the third quarter, India earned their second Penalty Corner only to miss the net. But the Indians were in the lead (3-2) with one quarter to go. Both teams got off to a cautious start but the Manpreet Singh-led side broke the shackles and netted the first goal in the 13th minute.
Gurjant Singh then scored early in the second quarter as India doubled the lead over Japan. However, Japan came back with a goal as Tanaka opened the team’s account.
In the third quarter, Kota Watanabe scored an equaliser but Shamsher Singh again put India on top as he scored a goal in the 34th minute. At the end of the third essay, India led 3-2 with a thrilling final quarter on cards. In the final quarter, Nilakanta Sharma doubled India’s lead after a desperate attempt from both sides to find the net.
TOKYO OLYMPICS: SINDHU DEFEATS YAMAGUCHI, GETS INTO SEMIS
India shuttler P.V. Sindhu stormed into the semi-finals of the women’s singles event after defeating Japan’s number four seed Akane Yamaguchi in the quarterfinals here at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 1 on Friday. Sindhu defeated Yamaguchi 21-13, 22-20. The quarterfinal clash between Sindhu and Yamaguchi lasted for 56 minutes.
The first game was more close than the scoreline suggested and Sindhu had to bring out the best in her to win it 21-13. The scoreline in the first game might not indicate how closely it was fought, but Yamaguchi made her fight for every point. The star Indian shuttler was just one more game away from progressing to the semi-finals.
Yamaguchi made Sindhu toil hard in the second game, and for every point, the Indian shuttler had to be at her best. In the end, the number six seed Sindhu ended up winning the match in straight games.
In the second game of the quarter-final, there was a 54-shot rally between Sindhu and Yamaguchi and it lasted for one minute and two seconds. On Thursday, Sindhu had defeated Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in the Round of 16 match of women’s individual event in the Tokyo Olympics here at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 3. Sindhu defeated Blichfeldt 21-15, 21-13 in just 41 minutes to cruise into the quarter-finals.
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