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Our athletes reflect ‘New India’, they symbolise nation’s future: PM Modi

A total of 126 athletes across 18 sports disciplines from India will be heading to Tokyo.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the country’s athletes reflect ‘New India’ and they also symbolise the country’s future. PM Modi on Tuesday interacted with the Olympic-bound contingent who would be looking to make the country proud at the upcoming Tokyo Games, beginning 23 July.

During the session, PM Modi noted common traits among the athletes i.e. bold, confident and positive. He said that all the athletes have common factors of discipline, dedication and determination. The Prime Minister noted both the commitment and competitiveness in the sportspersons.

“The same qualities are found in New India. Athletes reflect the New India and symbolises the nation’s future,” said PM Modi.

While addressing the Indian athletes, the Prime Minister regretted the fact that he could not host the athletes due to the pandemic. He remarked that the pandemic has changed their practice and even the year of the Olympics.

He recalled his ‘Mann ki Baat’ address when he exhorted the citizens to cheer for their sportspersons in the Olympics. He also noted the popularity of the #Cheer4India. He said that the whole country is behind them and the blessings of all the countrymen are with them.

PM Modi also informed that people can log in to the NaMo app and cheer for their sportspersons where special provisions have been made for the purpose. “These wishes of 135 crore Indians are the blessings of the country for all of you before entering the field of sports,” said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said that seeing the confidence and energy of young India, he is optimistic that the day is not far when only victory will become New India’s habit. He advised players to give their best and asked the countrymen to “Cheer4India”.

Modi said that efforts were made for the players to have better training camps and better equipment. Today, more international exposure is also being provided to the players. He said that so many changes have happened in such a short time since sports-related institutions have given priority to suggestions by the sportspersons.

He also expressed happiness that for the first time, such a large number of players have qualified for the Olympics. He said that campaigns like ‘Fit India’ and ‘Khelo India’ contributed to this. He said for the first time, players from India are participating in so many sports. There are many sports in which India has qualified for the first time.

A total of 126 athletes across 18 sports disciplines from India will be heading to Tokyo. This is the biggest-ever contingent India is sending to any Olympics. The 69 cumulative events across the 18 sport disciplines that India will participate in are also the highest ever for the country.

IT WAS AN ABSOLUTE HONOUR SPEAKING TO PM MODI: SINDHU

Ace shuttler P.V. Sindhu has said it was an honour speaking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday as the athletes prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. “It was an honour and an absolute pleasure speaking to our PM Narendra Modi with the rest of the Indian contingent.

I would like to thank him and the entire nation for the continuous support and we hope to make you proud at the Olympics,” she told ANI.

The virtual video conferencing session was started by Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anurag Thakur wherein he introduced PM Modi and he thanked him for taking out the time to boost the morale of the athletes. MoS Nisith Pramanik and Law Minister Kiren Rijiju were also present along with Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra.

MUHAMMAD ALI IS MY FAVOURITE BOXER: MARY KOM

Pugilist Mary Kom on Tuesday revealed that boxing legend Muhammad Ali is her favourite and she continues to take inspiration from him. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted with the Olympic-bound contingent who would be looking to make the country proud at the upcoming Tokyo Games, beginning July 23. “Mary Kom Ji, you are an athlete from whom the entire country takes inspiration. In these Olympics, many athletes would be looking up to you. I just wanted to ask you who is your favourite sportsperson? Mary Ji, you have won almost every competition in the world, you had said that winning the Olympic gold is your dream. This is not just your dream, but it is the country’s dream. Everyone is confident that you will fulfill that dream,” said PM Modi during the session. Replying to the Prime Minister, Mary Kom said: “When I talk about boxers, my favourite has to be Muhammad Ali. I take inspiration from him.”

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Olympics: Deepika Kumari bows out after losing to top-seed An San

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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.

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YUZVENDRA CHAHAL AND GOWTHAM TEST POSITIVE IN SRI LANKA

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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.

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TOKYO OLYMPICS: NUMBER ONE SEED DJOKOVIC BOWS OUT, LOSES TO ZVEREV

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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.

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INDIA WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM BEAT IRELAND 1-0, KEEP QF HOPES ALIVE

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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.

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INDIA MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM FIRE ALL CYLINDERS, DEFEAT JAPAN 5-3

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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.

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TOKYO OLYMPICS: SINDHU DEFEATS YAMAGUCHI, GETS INTO SEMIS

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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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