The year was 1996 and no Indian had won an individual medal at the Olympics 44 years prior to the Atlanta Games. However, that year proved to be decisive for the country as Leander Paes defeated Fernando Meligeni to win a bronze medal in the men’s singles category at the prestigious quadrennial tournament.
Paes was first drawn against a not so easy opponent in Pete Sampras, but the latter pulled out of the tournament due to an injury and the Indian was pitted against Richey Reneberg in the first round. He managed to put across a string of victories to set up a dream semi-final against Andre Agassi.
“I knew I could not beat Agassi on power, I could not beat him on baseline stroke to groundstroke rally,” the 18-time Grand Slam champion said while speaking during the fifth episode of ‘The Finish Line’ hosted by Saurav Ghosal.
“I knew that his ability to move side to side on a baseline was cat-like hence I just had to play to my strengths to get any better of him, but during the course of the match I ended up injuring myself as the tendons of my wrist were ruptured. I insisted to my doctor that I wanted to continue playing hence I just wrapped my wrist and went back into the match, but that wasn’t going to help as the pain was too excruciating,” he added. Paes had a day off before his bronze medal playoff match against Meligeni and his doctor cautioned him to not strain his wrist too much as he could end up jeopardising his career, but he persisted to follow his Olympic dream and take on Meligeni.
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WAS TRYING TO GET INTO POSITIVE FRAME OF MIND WITH EVERY BALL: VIRAT KOHLI
After his match winning half-century against Gujarat Titans, Royal Challengers Bangalore star batter Virat Kohli said that he batted for 90 minutes in the nets and was trying to get into a positive frame of mind with every ball he played.
A knock of 73 off 54 not only brought a struggling batting great back to his form, but also helped RCB clinch an important win over GT by eight wickets as they chased down the target of 169 set by GT to keep their playoffs hopes alive, with captain Du Plessis (44) and Glenn Maxwell (40*) putting other valuable contributions for Bangalore.
“The standout was my preparation for yesterday. I batted for 90 minutes in the nets. I was trying to get into a positive frame of mind with every ball I played. I was just watching the ball and reacting to it, instead of thinking that it seams, swings or turns. I was telling myself to take the most positive option I could. I extended that into my game today. There are moments when you feel doubtful, but when the bowler runs to deliver a ball, you have to watch it and hit it,” said Kohli during a post-match discussion.
Kohli admitted that this season was a challenging time for him and that he had experienced everything that he could not control on the field to the fullest. Du Plessis remarked that it was great the way Kohli handled himself during these challenging times, adding that his intensity on-field during the match was GT was special.
On opening the batting, Du Plessis said, “I think first few overs are extremely important. We have seen this during this season more than any other season. If you escape first 2-3 overs unscathed without any wicket, you can transfer the pressure back. The most important thing is partnership, what you do, what I do and how we do it together.”
Kohli also admitted that he had fun batting with Du Plessis. “We were not discussing too much and not complicating things. Situation was dictating what to do. Had we over complicated things, we could have given dot balls to people that we attacked,” he added. The star batter also said that its great for the team that he and Du Plessis have been in sync in such a great way during their first season together.
With Mumbai Indians set to take on Delhi Capitals on Saturday in a highly important match for RCB’s playoff chances, Kohli quipped, “I think Mumbai has two new supporters. (him and Faf). Not just two, I think 25 more supporters.”
M.S. DHONI CONFIRMS HE WILL PLAY FOR CSK IN IPL 2023
Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday confirmed he will be playing for CSK in the next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The 40-year-old star batter of CSK announced this during the toss against Rajasthan Royals on Friday. The game against Rajasthan Royals is the last fixture for CSK in this edition of IPL. The CSK, which has won IPL four times with Dhoni has captain, has not made it to playoffs this time. Asked if the fans will see him in the yellow jersey again after this IPL season, Dhoni said “it will it be unfair to not play in Chennai and say thank you”.
“Definitely. It’s a simple reason.. it will be unfair to not play in Chennai and say thank you. Mumbai is one place, whereas as a team and as an individual, I have got a lot of love and affection. But it wouldn’t be nice to the CSK fans,” MS Dhoni said. He hoped that the teams will be travelling to different venues during next year’s IPL.
“And also, hopefully, next year there will be an opportunity where the teams will be travelling so it will be alike thank you to all the different places where we will be playing games at different venues. Whether it will be my last year or not that’s a big question, because you know we can’t really predict something two years down the line, but definitely, I’ll be working hard to come back strong next year,” he added.
In the ongoing IPL 2022, MS Dhoni had stepped down as the skipper of CSK, passing the reins to all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. This led to speculations of this being the final IPL season for Dhoni. However, Dhoni was reappointed as the skipper after Jadeja stepped down mid-way through the tournament.
PM Modi’s words motivate you to do better: World boxing champion Nikhat Zareen
India’s Nikhat Zareen expressed happiness after Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated her on winning the Women’s World Boxing Championships in Turkey on Thursday. Zareen has become only the fifth Indian woman to achieve this coveted feat. Zareen defeated Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas 5-0 in the flyweight division of the championship. On this occasion, PM Modi congratulated the newly-crowned IBA Women’s World Boxing Champion and wrote motivating words for her on reaching such a feat.
“I was very happy when I got to know that PM Modi congratulated me. PM Modi tweeted for me and wrote motivational words, and these words push you to do better,” Nikhat Zareen told ANI. Speaking about the upcoming Commonwealth Games Zareen said, “I have started preparing for Commonwealth Games. Now my focus will be on winning in CWG and I will have to work hard.”
“I still can’t believe that I won the gold medal in World Championship. I am excited to go back to India and meet my friend and my family. I’m really happy to win this gold medal for my country,” she added. Speaking about the match, Zareen said, “In the second round three judges were in my opponent’s favour and then I thought I should not take it easy in the third round. Let’s go all out so that was my strategy. And I applied it in the third round and was successful in it.”
On whether she expected a win by a huge margin, she said that it was unexpected but she wanted to give her best and win unanimously.
“You never know that about can go either way. I did not want to take any chance. So the plan was to win unanimously in the first two rounds and play the third round in a relaxed way,” she added. Indian boxer Nikhat registered a dominating 5-0 victory in the final. Living up to the expectations, Nikhat thrashed Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas without breaking a sweat in the 52kg final with judges scoring the bout 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28 in the Indian’s favour.
The Nizamabad (Telangana)-born boxer became the only fifth Indian woman to secure a gold medal at the World Boxing Championships after record six-time champion Mary Kom (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2018), Sarita Devi (2006), Jenny RL (2006) and Lekha KC (2006). It was also India’s first gold medal since boxing great Mary Kom won it in 2018. With Manisha (57kg) and Parveen (63kg) signing off with bronze medals after their semi-finals finish, the Indian contingent concluded its campaign with three medals at the world’s biggest boxing event, which witnessed exciting competition in presence of record 310 boxers from 73 countries and also marked the 20th anniversary of the Women’s World Championships.
Out of 12 participating Indian boxers, eight made it to the quarter-finals in this year’s tournament–the joint highest alongside Turkey. With the addition of three medals in Istanbul, India’s overall medal tally has gone up to 39, including 10 gold, eight silver and 21 bronze, in the 12 editions of the prestigious event–third highest after Russia (60) and China (50).
Rajasthan in playoffs as Jaiswal, Ashwin pack a punch to defeat Chennai
A blistering half-century by youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal and a quickfire 40 by R Ashwin guided Rajasthan Royals to a 5-wicket win against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2022 match at the Brabourne Stadium here on Friday.
With this victory, Rajasthan Royals pushed Lucknow Super Giants to the third spot in the playoffs. The Rajasthan team has 18 points like LSG but has a better run rate. Jaiswal smashed 59 runs off 44 balls while Ashwin made 40* of 23 balls. For CSK, Prashant Solanki scalped two wickets while Mitchell Santner settled for one.
Chasing 151 runs, Rajasthan Royals did not get the best start losing the star batter Jos Buttler for 2 as Simarjeet Singh dismissed him in the second over of the innings. RR skipper Sanju Samson and Yashasvi Jaiswal joined hands as RR made their way to the 50-run mark in the sixth over. Both the batters carried on as Rajasthan looked on course for chasing the target.
Sanju Samson was dismissed by Mitchell Santner for 15 in the eighth over with RR score at 67/2. Samson’s wicket brought Devdutt Padikkal to the crease to join Jaiswal. Rajasthan Royal’s score read 73/2 at the end of 10 overs. They now needed 78 runs in 60 balls to chase the modest target. Moeen Ali struck in the 11th over for Chennai dismissing Padikkal for 3 as Rajasthan were left struggling at 78/3. Ravichandran Ashwin then came out to bat and started thrashing the CSK bowlers. He gathered 10 runs in the 13th over. Jaiswal brought up his half-century in 39 balls.
However, he got out in the next over to Prashant Solanki with RR now four wickets down at 104 in the 14.5 over. In the next over, Solanki struck again as he dismissed Shimron Hetmyer for 6 runs. Ashwin and Riyan Parag then smoked 13 runs in the 18th over and the equation came down to 19 runs from 12 balls. Ashwin stuck a much-needed six in the 19th over. In the end, one run was needed from two balls. Matheesha Pathirana delivered a wide ball bringing the match to an end.
It was a crucial game for RRs in terms of their playoff prospects.
Earlier, two-wicket hauls by Yuzvendra Chahal and Obed McCoy helped Rajasthan Royals in restricting Chennai Super Kings at 150/6 in the first innings. For CSK, Moeen Ali scored 97 runs off 57 balls and provided his team with a decent total, despite initial setbacks. Opting to bat first, CSK made a terrible start as their opening batter Ruturaj Gaikwad was caught by Sanju Samson on Trent Boult’s delivery in the first over, with only 2 runs on the board. Moeen Ali joined Devon Conway at the crease and the duo then anchored the innings for their side.
Moeen smashed 26 runs in the 6th over, which was bowled by Boult and brought up his half-century in just 19 balls. He along with Conway stitched an 80-run partnership in 7 overs. RR then got a sigh of relief when Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Conway (16) in the 8th over, leaving CSK’s total at 87/2. It was followed by N Jagadeesan’s dismissal by Obed McCoy, who departed after scoring 1 run, in the 9th over. Ambati Rayudu came to the crease but could not do much for his team as he became prey to Yuzvendra Chahal’s spell and was caught by Devdutt Padikkal in the 11th over. CSK skipper MS Dhoni joined hands with Moeen and kept the scoreboard moving for his team.
The duo anchored the innings and provided CSK with the lost momentum. It was then Chahal, who struck again and dismissed Dhoni in the 19th over and left CSK’s total at 146/5. Later, McCoy also gave RR another breakthrough and sent Moeen back to the pavilion after he scored 93 runs off 57 balls.
Mitchell Santner and Simarjeet Singh came to the crease and ended CSK’s innings at 150/6 in 20 overs. RR now need a total of 151 runs in 120 balls, to secure their position in the top 2.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 150/6 (Moeen Ali 93, MS Dhoni 26; Obed McCoy 2/20) vs Rajasthan Royals 151/5 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 59, Ravichandran Ashwin 40*; Prashant Solanki 2-20).
Virat Kohli takes RCB to fourth place after win against GT
Royal Challengers still need Delhi Capitals, who have a superior net run rate than them, to lose their final league fixture to Mumbai Indians, to enter into playoffs.
A blistering half-century by chase master Virat Kohli guided Royal Challengers Bangalore to a convincing 8 wickets win against table-toppers in their IPL 2022 match at Wankhede Stadium here on Thursday. With this victory in the must-win encounter, RCB leapfrogged Delhi Capitals for the fourth spot on the Indian Premier League 2022 table with 16 points against their name. Royal Challengers still need Delhi Capitals, who have a superior net run rate than them, to lose their final league fixture to Mumbai Indians, to enter into playoffs. Virat Kohli finally broke out of the funk, with 73 off 54 balls, his highest score this IPL.
Skipper Faf Du Plessis scored 44 off 38 balls while Glenn Maxwell finished with a quick 40 off 18 balls.
Batting first, a blistering half-century by Hardik Pandya and quick 34 by David Miller steered Gujarat Titans to a challenging 168/5 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Pandya smashed 62 runs off 47 balls while Miller played a brilliant quick knock of 34 runs off 25 balls.
For RCB, Josh Hazlewood scalped two wickets while Wanindu Hasaranga settled for one. Chasing 169, RCB openers Virat Kohli and Faf Du Plessis enjoyed a good start as their score read 55/0 after the powerplay in the match.
The RCB duo continued with their carnage as their score read 93/0 at halfway mark in the chase. The 100-run partnership was up between Virat and Faf in the 12th over. Faf du Plessis simply rode in Kohli’s slipstream during a 115-run opening stand before holing out for 44 off 38 balls in the 15th over. Rashid also got rid of Kohli, in his next over, but the game was all but over by then.
Glenn Maxwell then came out all guns blazing and put up a show of his own as finished with 40 off 18 balls.
Earlier, opting to bat first, Gujarat Titans got off to a great start as openers Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill trashed Siddarth Kaul for 14 runs in the first over of the innings. In the third over, Josh Hazlewood gave a big blow to GT as he dismissed star batter Shubman Gill when he had barely scored a run.
Glenn Maxwell gave another blow as he removed Matthew Wade with GT at 38. GT lost the third wicket at 62 as Wriddhiman Saha was sent to the pavilion.
David Miller then came to the crease and tried to anchor Gujarat’s innings with skipper Hardik Pandya.
Gujarat Titans were at 72/3 after ten overs as the Banglore bowlers kept a check on the flow of runs through tight bowling. Miller and Pandya took their team’s total beyond the 100-run mark in the 14th over as they trashed Maxwell for 18 runs.
As they hammered RCB bowlers, Siddarth Kaul came up with a tight 16th over which conceded only four runs.
The partnership between Miller and Pandya took GT to 118-3 after the 15th over. RCB heaved a sigh of relief as Wanindu Hasaranga removed Miller after he had scored 34 leaving GT at 123/4.
Rahul Tewatia then joined GT skipper to post a respectable total against RCB in the last three overs. But Tewatia could not do much as he was sent back to the pavilion by Hazlewood after scoring two runs.
Rashid Khan came to bat with the skipper. In the 19th over of the innings, Pandya brought up his half-century which came of 42 balls. In the last over, the batters thrashed Hazlewood for 17 runs to take GT’s total to 168/5 in 20 overs.
Brief scores: Gujarat Titans 168/5 (Hardik Pandya 62*, David Miller 34; Josh Hazlewood 2-39) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 170/2 (Virat Kohli 73, Faf Du Plessis 44; Rashid Khan 2-32)
ARCHERY WC: INDIAN MEN’S COMPOUND TEAM ENTER FINAL
The Indian men’s compound team stunned the team from South Korea to reach the final at the Archery World Cup 2022 stage 2 in Gwangju on Wednesday.
The South Korean team looked on track for the top spot during early matchplay but their hopes were denied by the Indian trio of Abhishek Verma, Aman Saini and Rajat Chauhan in a tight semifinal decided by a tiebreak. They had already let India overcome a two-point deficit in the fourth end of regulation and then put down a 26 in the shoot-off, easily bested by India’s 29.
South Korea then returned to form for the bronze medal match, where the local heroes soundly ousted Denmark, 238-229. The Indian women’s compound team comprising Avneet Kaur, Muskan Kirar and Priya Gurjar, meanwhile, secured a bronze. Up against Turkey in the bronze medal playoff, the Indian trio overturned a late deficit to win a thriller 232-231 to claim a podium spot.
Indian men’s team will face France in Saturday’s final in what will be a replay of the gold medal match from the Stage 1 World Cup from last month. India won the contest 232-230 at the Turkey meet.
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