New Delhi [India], March 20 (ANI): Ace Indian paddler Manika Batra on Saturday said that she is elated to withstand the Korean pair attack and secure the Tokyo Olympics berth in the mixed doubles category with her partner Achanta Sharath Kamal.
The World No.19 Indian pair came from behind to stun Korean pair Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee 4-2 in the final clash at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers.
Indian table tennis duo had made their way into the mixed doubles final at the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament after defeating Singapore’s Koen Pang Yew En and Lin Ye 4-2 in the last-4 clash in Doha on Friday.
“I was really happy with myself to be able to withstand the attack and services of players like Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee. Sharath capitalised well with his attack to keep the pressure on them. I am very happy that along with singles we could even make it by beating the Korean and Singapore pair in the mixed doubles,” Batra told ANI.
“I had worked really hard in Pune. All this could be brought to the table and helped me keep calm when we were down and elevate my game levels for the occasion. I am also very happy to see two women as I had already qualified with the ranking. Somethings are important for the country,” she added.
Sharath and Manika faced a tough challenge in the initial part of the semi-final match as the scores were level at 2-2 after the fourth game. However, the 2018 Asian Games bronze medalist pair managed to hold an edge over the opponent and bagged two successive games to complete a 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 13-11 victory in 50 minutes.
Earlier on Thursday, all the four Indian paddlers Sharath, Manika, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, and Sutirtha Mukherjee earned themselves singles qualification at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Tokyo Olympics is scheduled from July 23-August 8 this year. The Games were scheduled to be held last year but got postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Whereas, the Paralympics will take place from August 24 to September 5. (ANI)
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INDIA OPEN 2021 POSTPONED DUE TO SURGE IN COVID CASES
Badminton Association of India (BAI) General Secretary Ajay Singhania on Monday announced that the upcoming India Open 2021 has been postponed due to the upsurge in coronavirus cases here in the national capital.
“After consulting BWF we have decided to postpone the India Open 2021 due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in Delhi and a new week-long lockdown which will be in effect from 10 pm today. The situation is not suitable to organise the tournament. It is sad that this tournament is getting cancelled for the second time. We are sure that we will host this tournament whenever the situation gets better,” Singhania said at the virtual press conference.
“Considering the current challenges, BAI is left with no option but to announce the postponement of the tournament for the time being. We had an entry of 228 players and close to 300 people gathering including coaches, support staff and officials and the circumstances are such that the 2021 edition of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open seems, for now, a very risky affair,” he said.
“Several rounds of discussions were held with BWF as well as the Delhi Government and other stakeholders and accessing the safety of players and officials, BAI needed to take this decision,” he added.
Roger Federer confirms his participation in French Open
Swiss tennis maestro Roger Federer has confirmed that he would be participating in this year’s French Open.
Taking to Twitter, Federer wrote: “Hi everyone! Happy to let you know that I will play Geneva and Paris. Until then I will use the time to train. Can’t wait to play in Switzerland again.” Earlier this month, the French Open organisers had informed that in agreement with the French public authorities and the governing bodies of international tennis, the French Tennis Federation made the responsible decision to postpone the 2021 Roland-Garros tournament by one week, which will now be held from May 24 to June 13.
In his latest speech on March 31, the French President announced that a schedule to progressively get cultural and sporting events back up and running would be set up from mid-May onwards, subject to the improvement of the health situation.
“Using this as their starting point, the FFT worked in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the relevant government services on potential scenarios for organising Roland-Garros, while taking the international sporting calendar into account,” read a statement from organisers. ANI INPUTS
RESURGENT MUMBAI GEARING UP TO TAKE ON IN-FORM DELHI
Defending champion Mumbai Indians (MI) are all set for the big battle as they take on in-form Delhi Capitals (DC) at the Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday.
MI will need to address their middle-order woes if they are to go for a third consecutive win. Delhi, fresh after beating Punjab Kings by six wickets at the Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, have recorded back-to-back victories by defending low totals.
MI skipper Rohit Sharma has got starts and he would be keen to convert it into a big one and so would be Quinton de Kock. The team has a stellar lineup with the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and his brother Krunal—each of them can decimate the opponents on their day. Sadly, for MI, they are yet to fire on all cylinders. No wonder, after the last game, Rohit had conceded that his team “can bat a little better in the middle overs”.
The MI bowlers, led by pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, have been splendid in the last two games when they successfully defended low scores of 150 and 152 respectively. Strike bowlers Bumrah (3 wickets) and New Zealander Trent Boult (6 wickets) have been exceptional at the death. As for leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, he has grabbed seven wickets in last two games.
Meanwhile, for Delhi Capitals, the biggest positive has been the form of Shikhar Dhawan, who is the leading scorer so far in the tournament with 186 runs. Dhawan and young Prithvi Shaw form a strong opening combination, but the Mumbaikar needs to convert his starts into big scores.
Delhi opted for Australian Steve Smith on Sunday but, as they are next playing on the slow Chepauk track, they might go back to Ajinkya Rahane, who is looking better suited for such tracks.
Skipper Rishabh Pant has the ability to take any attack to the cleaners. The Delhi team also possesses a quality all-rounder in Marcus Stoinis. Their pace attack is led by South African Kagiso Rabada and Chris Woakes—the two have been impressive so far. They also have strong spin options, from R. Ashwin to Amit Mishra.
Delhi Capitals opener Shikha Dhawan feels that his team will face a mental challenge when the two teams lock horns at the Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday.TEAM ANALYSIS
• Shikhar Dhawan & Prithvi Shaw in good touch
• Stoinis & Lalit Yadav good in a cameo role
• In Iast match R. Ashwin was economical
• Avesh Khan is a new sensation
• Main strike bowler Kagiso Rabada is expensive
• Chris Woakes and Lukman Meriwala were expensive in the last match
• Trent Boult & Jasprit Bumrah are effective
• Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, a good wicket taking bowler
• Third seamer not performing well
• Overall batting is not performing up to their potential
Premier League’s top six clubs confirm launch of European Super League
A group of 12 European clubs on Monday confirmed their plans to launch a new European Super League. Among these 12, six belong to Premier League—Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.
This European Super League has been met with severe backlash ever since reports started doing rounds in the media. Despite this, the 12 clubs have now confirmed the formation and format for the new competition.
A joint statement released by the 12 clubs said: “Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its founding clubs. AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as founding clubs. It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.”
“Going forward, the founding clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole. The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model. Further, for a number of years, the founding clubs have had the objective of improving the quality and intensity of existing European competitions throughout each season, and of creating a format for top clubs and players to compete on a regular basis.”
In a statement, all these 12 clubs also confirmed the format for this new league. “20 participating clubs with 15 founding clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season. Midweek fixtures with all participating clubs continuing to compete in their respective national leagues, preserving the traditional domestic match calendar which remains at the heart of the club game,” the 12 clubs said in an official statement.
“An August start with clubs participating in two groups of ten, playing home and away fixtures, with the top three in each group automatically qualifying for the quarter-finals. Teams finishing fourth and fifth will then compete in a two-legged play-off for the remaining quarter-final positions. A two-leg knockout format will be used to reach the final at the end of May, which will be staged as a single fixture at a neutral venue,” it added.
Moeen and Jadeja spin a web around Royals
Spirited batting and bowling performances lead Chennai Super Kings to a 45-run victory over Rajasthan Royals at Wankhede Stadium.Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja shared five wickets between them to dismantle Rajasthan Royals as Chennai Super Kings registered a 45-run victory here at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday.
Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja shared five wickets between them to dismantle Rajasthan Royals as Chennai Super Kings registered a 45-run victory here at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday.
Happy with performance at Asian Championships: Mirabai Chanu
Mirabai Chanu said she is happy with her performance in the Asian Weighlifting Championships after she set a new world record in Clean and Jerk as she lifted 119 kg in the competition to cross the old mark of 118 kg.
She also created a new national record as she lifted a total of 205 kg (86 kg snatch + 119 kg Clean and Jerk) which also won her the bronze medal at the showpiece event.
The wrestler said in a tweet, “I am happy with my performance at the Asian Championship 2021. Thank you everyone for your love and support. I will continue to work hard and improve myself.”
Earlier in the day, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju congratulated her for the achievement. “In her first international competition in more than a year, @mirabai_chanu makes a new national record of 205 kgs at the Asian Championships and won bronze medal. Her perfect clean and jerk lift of 119 kg is a new world record! Target Olympic Podium Mirabai!” he tweeted.
The weightlifter replied to the minister and thanked him for providing the best facilities and support. “Thank you so much @KirenRijiju for providing us best facilities and all kind of support,” Mirabai replied on Rijiju’s tweet.
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