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    Chennai :

    International squash player Joshna Chinnappa was on Tuesday appointed senior sports officer of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco).

    Chinnappa met chief minister Edappadi K Palanisamy at the secretariat and received the order in the presence of power minister P Thangamani, energy secretary Vikram Kapur and Tangedco chairman M Saikumar.

    The decision to make a direct appointment under the sports quota was made after the squash player made a request. Chinnappa won the women’s title in the Asian Individual Squash Championship in April this year.

    Earlier this year, she reached the quarterfinals of the World Championship in Egypt. She also won the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in the women’s doubles with Dipika Pallikal-Karthik. She has won seven titles so far.

    Though many national and international sport persons are employed in public sector undertaking like railways, oil companies, banks etc, this is probably the first time an international sports person has approached the Tamil Nadu government for a job.

    “Squash is not very famous in the country and therefore I did not approach PSUs. I approached the Tamil Nadu government for employment as the government has allocated money for several sports persons,” Chinnappa told TOI.

    “In the next 5 or 6 years if I decide to retire from the sport I want job security and so I approached the state government. I will be joining the job in a few days and only after that I will come to know of the type of work I need to perform,” said Chinnappa.

    Tangedco has in the past appointed sports persons, but this is the first time a sports person of international repute has been appointed in the discom. “It is the first time an international sport person has applied for an employment with us. She stands number 1 in squash in India and 14th in the world,” Saikumar told TOI.

    Chinappa’s appointment in Tangedco comes a day after the chief minister announced cash rewards for Tamil Nadu athletes who won medals in the Asian Athletic Championship which concluded in Bhubaneshwar on Sunday.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> Sports> More Sports> Others / by Sivakumar B / TNN / July 11th, 2017

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    Current head Parameshwara not to contest

    Ashwini Nachappa

    Ashwini Nachappa

    Former India international Ashwini Nachappa will contest for the post of president and secretary of the Karnataka Athletics Association (KAA) in the elections to be held here on July 1.

    Dr G Parameshwara, the current president, who had put his name for the top post again, withdrew on Thursday, the last day to file the nominations. Parameshwara, president of KAA since 2004, was not eligible to contest as he had already completed 12 years in the post.

    The KAA in 2015 had amended its constitution, in line with the Sports Code, and according to the changed rule, a president could hold office for a maximum period of 12 years with or without a break.

    Also contesting for the president’s post against Ashwini, who currently heads the Bangalore Urban District Athletics Association (BUDAA), will be HT Mahadev, secretary, Hassan District Athletics Association.

    For the secretary’s post, Rajavelu, from the Shimoga District Athletics Association, will be Ashwini’s opponent. Sources said that the incumbent KAA secretary, Chandrashekar Rai, eligible for another term, had not filed his nomination for the post.

    The KAA used to have a three-year term for its office-bearers but as per the amended constitution of the body, they will have a four-year term from now on.

    The secretary and treasurer may serve a maximum of two successive terms of four years each. After which, they need to serve a cooling off period of four years before they can seek fresh election to either post.

    As per the Sports Code, the office-bearers will cease to hold the post on attaining 70 years of age.

    The elections will be at the Annual General Body Meeting (AGM) on July 1.
    The KAA had come under fire from the district units for not holding the AGM and elections on time last month. After the notification for election was issued on June 8, the list of eligible candidates was published on June 19. The scrutiny of the candidates will be done on Saturday and the last date for withdrawal of names is next Monday.

    Unhappy members

    It was learnt that some of the members who had thrown in their names for the elections were not happy with some of the contestents.

    As per the tradition, the clubs across the states will not be allowed to vote and only the 28 district associations will participate in the elections. Udupi, due to the in-fighting in its faction, has been disqualified from voting.

    Apart from president and secretary, the elections will be held for the posts of senior vice-president, four vice-presidents, senior joint secretary, joint secretary (3 posts) and treasurer.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Sports / DH News Service / Bengaluru – June 23rd, 2017

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    French Open return champion Rohan Bopanna, who won the mixed doubles title with Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski, said on Thursday that to create champions in singles, the country needs to build a system in place at the grassroot level.

    Bengaluru : French Open Mixed Doubles Winner Rohan Bopanna poses with a cake at a felicitation ceremony at Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) in Bengaluru on Saturday. PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak   (PTI6_10_2017_000123B)

    Bengaluru : French Open Mixed Doubles Winner Rohan Bopanna poses with a cake at a felicitation ceremony at Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) in Bengaluru on Saturday. PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak (PTI6_10_2017_000123B)

    French Open return champion Rohan Bopanna, who won the mixed doubles title with Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski, said on Thursday that to create champions in singles, the country needs to build a system in place at the grassroot level.

    In an interview to PTI, Bopanna said that players need support from junior level to create champions. He said, “Never give up on your dreams. That is something which stands out (in this win).” “To get singles champions we need to have a system in place at the grassroots level. We have a very limited support from the Federation (AITA), or Corporates. We need that system to compete with European standards. We still have a long way to go,” he said.

    “It’s not about complaining. We should look at it in a positive way. Everyone from outside plays a part, whether it is Federation, parents, coaches. These guys need support from junior level and that is when you create champions.”

    This is Bopanna’s first Grand Slam in 14 years. Bopanna gave credit to his team behind his success. “Age is only a number. You can’t set a timeline (for achievements). As long as you believe in yourself and keep working hard, nothing can stop you. I worked towards my goal, every single day and I am feeling grateful that my team also put in efforts. Although tennis is an individual sport, everyone has contributed in it,” he said.

    The 37-year-old, who has an academy in Bangalore, said, “I am also bringing a couple of coaches to my academy in Bangalore from outside. They will be here for a year and help these kids. I tell the players if they go outside, go for a year not for a month or so.

    “In a month it does not really help improve much. That’s why I am bringing these coaches, let’s hope the kids make good use of this opportunity, coming this month,” he said.

    source: http://www.indianexpress.com / The Indian Express / Home> Sports> Tennis / by Express Web Desk / June 14th, 2017

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    Bopanna on Thursday won his maiden Grand Slam title by winning the mixed doubled trophy at the French Open with Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski.

    Rohan Bopanna won his first ever Major title with Gabriela Dabrowski, who became the first Canadian woman to win a Grand Slam trophy.(Photo: AP)

    Rohan Bopanna won his first ever Major title with Gabriela Dabrowski, who became the first Canadian woman to win a Grand Slam trophy.(Photo: AP)

    New Delhi:

    Acknowledging the Grand Slam feat of Rohan Bopanna, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) has decided to send his name to the government for this year’s Arjuna award.

    Bopanna on Thursday won his maiden Grand Slam title by winning the mixed doubled trophy at the French Open with Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski.

    “We will recommend Rohan’s name for Arjuna today. We have recommended his name several times in the past but the previous committees did not give him the award. Now he deserves this honour. He should be given the award this time,” AITA Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee said.

    “We have also recommended the name of Rushmi Chakaravarthy for the Arjuna,” he added. When reminded that the deadline to send application has already expired, Chatterjee said, “We will still try to do it today. It can be done.”

    In a release, the AITA said: “This is a well-deserved victory. We wish him more success in the years to come. His victory will be a morale booster for young tennis players.

    source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com / Deccan Chronicle / Home> Sports, Tennis / PTI / June 10th, 2017

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    Good times : CM awards Rs 10 lakh to Bopanna

    honoured: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (left) felicitates Rohan Bopanna in Bengaluru on Tuesday. dh photo

    honoured: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (left) felicitates Rohan Bopanna in Bengaluru on Tuesday. dh photo

    t partner this season, especially in the men’s doubles. Fortunately, I have played alongside good partners so far and managed to win tournaments. I started with Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan to win the Chennai Open and then reached the semifinals with Martin Matkowski at the Dubai Open. In April, I won the Monte Carlo Masters with Pablo Cuevas. Now I am continuing with Cuevas. It’s ideal to have one fixed partner. I have managed to adapt well with different partners and that is the main reason behind my good run this season,” Bopanna told DH on Tuesday.

    The state government felicitated Bopanna for his maiden Grand Slam here on Tuesday and announced a prize money of Rs 10 lakh.

    “I thank the support and encouragement from the government. The response post my win at the French Open has been overwhelming. I received congratulatory calls from our Davis Cup captain Mahesh (Bhupathi), Sania (Mirza) and many other athletes of the country and I am humbled by their support,” he expressed. It’s been a year since he started the Rohan Bopanna Tennis Academy and the Indian ace has chalked out big plans for the coming years.

    “We have around 65 players at the academy and we will be bringing two foreign coaches very soon. One of the coaches will be from Serbia and both of them will stay in Bengaluru to train the kids. This is just a start and we are hoping to build on this and offer training facilities of international standards,” he explained.

    The Kodava is confident of repeating his French Open performance at the Wimbledon with Dabrowski. “She is an aggressive player and that works in the doubles format. We started off with the US Open and her style worked well in the Australian Open as well. Our camaraderie was good going into French Open,” he noted.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Sports / DH News Service / Bengaluru – June 14th, 2017

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    The 27-year-old says she has left the decision making about her partners to the coach and that has helped her performance in doubles and mixed

    Photo: Red Bull

    Photo: Red Bull

    2016 was a milestone year for Ashwini Ponnappa. But it wasn’t memorable.

    After recovering from a bout of dengue, she went to the Rio Olympics with longtime doubles partner Jwala Gutta hoping to better their performance from London 2012. Unfortunately, they ended up losing all their matches in the group stage. It was the last time India’s most successful doubles pairing played together.

    A partnership lasted for nearly seven years and saw them win a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championship, a gold and a silver medal in the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games respectively.

    Ponnappa, in her own words, is a fiercely loyal person who did not like changing partners. She had struggled to find her mojo when Gutta had taken a break after the 2012 London Olympics and played with Pradnya Gadre for a while.

    Now, physically and mentally, she was facing a challenge. Fast forward to June 2017, physically and mentally, she is at a good space.

    “Life has changed a lot,” says a relaxed Ponnappa, in an interaction with Scroll.in at the Red Bull office in Mumbai. Her words carry an air of unmistakable satisfaction – the tone of an athlete who has endured a tough time and managed to break out of it. There is no hint of exaggeration and she speaks uninterrupted for a good few minutes, articulating the ups and downs of the past few months.

    Photo courtesy: Red Bull

    Photo courtesy: Red Bull

    s, “Now the coaches decide and if there is a need to switch partners, we switch. It’s about how we are playing together, how the partnership is developing and if there is scope to develop. Now I am open to a lot of things that in the past I was closed to. I am open to suggestions that have helped me grow even more than I have grown in the last couple of years.”

    “I have accepted that if things don’t work out in a particular partnership, it’s time to change. I am open to a lot of things now, not really narrow-minded in my approach towards the game,” she adds.

    While Ponnappa’s current doubles partner, N Sikki Reddy, has been a constant, she has played with three different mixed doubles partners – K Nandagopal, B Sumeeth Reddy and Satwiksairaj.

    Her partnership with Sikki has been constantly improving. The pair started playing in November last year and began 2017, ranked 110th in the world. Halfway through the season, the duo had breached the top 30 and are currently ranked 28th. A title has proved elusive, but they came close at Syed Modi GPG with a runner-up performance. Ponnappa’s excitement about her new partnership is evident.

    “From having a set combination with Jwala, where I understood exactly what my role was, to playing with Sikki where I was not exactly sure about where I move, what I need to do, [it was a bit difficult initially],” says Ponnappa. “Sikki is an excellent mover. I came to realise she is essentially a back-court player too, like me. And both of us being good at the back helps us rotate, we can move in, we can mix it up. That’s helped a lot. We are finding out areas which are our strong points. With every tournament we are getting more confident with the rotation. That’s been important for me, it tells me we are in the right direction.”

    Ponnappa, over the years, had developed the reputation of being the quieter one with Gutta known to be more vocal. Even their on-court chemistry gave the impression that Gutta was the dominant half of the pair, and Ponnappa was, for want of a better word, a follower. Mention that to her and she chuckles and says ‘Jwala used to listen to me as well!’ with a sheepish smile. But now, Ponnappa is the senior-most doubles player in the country and that comes with the responsibility of being a mentor – a role she is enjoying. And without any senior-junior segregation.

    “It’s just a lot of fun,” she says. “I just like figuring out things – like how to play an opponent, watch videos. That helps me guide my partners. It doesn’t mean I am the senior partner and I should be the only one making calls. If they tell me, ‘Ashwini, you could move to the net here’, I am all ears. There is no such thing as I am the senior partner and the other is a junior partner. Once we are on court, we are one unit. My experience does help a bit, I can help them relax and calm their nerves in certain situations.”

    While women’s doubles was always Ponnappa’s focus, she has found a new-found vigour to succeed in mixed doubles. While she has played mixed doubles often, she admits, until now, she never gave it her complete attention. If it was 100% focus on women’s doubles and about half of that for mixed earlier, now both are equal in her eyes.

    She says venturing into mixed doubles seriously has added new facets to her game. Her agility has increased, she moves with ease and is starting to hold her own at the net as well.

    So how difficult was it for her to adopt to this new system?

    “It wasn’t easy,” she says. “That three-month break [after Olympics] was important, because physically I was not fit at all. I had dengue just before Olympics and that shattered my body. Even when I started training again, my body was not responding. In my head I knew I had no injury but my body did not listen. I kept asking ‘Why am I struggling to play? Why am I struggling to smash?’”

    What followed was introspection as Ponnappa spent time on regaining, and more-importantly, redefining her physical fitness along with opening her mind to learning new things about her game. After a tough period in Indian doubles badminton, Ponnappa is excited about finding out where this new phase is headed.

    “With this sort of mindset, I am enjoying doubles, enjoying mixed doubles, enjoying playing with Sikki, enjoying the rotation, enjoying the communication, enjoying moving to the net. It’s just been a whole lot of fun. There is never an end to learning, never an end to growing, if you are really excited about the game.”

    We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.

    source: http://www.thefield.scroll.in / Scroll.in / Home> The Field> Badminton / by Vinayak Mohanarangan / June 14th, 2017

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    Ace Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna, who recently became the fourth Indian to win a grand slam after clinching the mixed doubles title at the French Open, on Wednesday, met Union Minister of Sports Vijay Goel to discuss the promotion of tennis among youth in the country.

    Bopanna, playing alongside Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski, clinched his maiden Grand Slam title at the Roland Garros last Thursday.

    The seventh-seeded Indo-Canadian pair staged a comeback after losing the opening set and defeated Lena Groenefeld and Farah 6-2, 2-6, 12-10 in a summit clash that lasted for one hour and six minutes at Court Philippe Chatrier.

    The Sports Minister shared the pictures of him meeting the 37-year-old tennis star on his official Twitter handle.

    ?Delighted to meet #FrenchOpen Mixed Doubles ’17 winner @rohanbopanna; discussed promotion of #tennis among #youth. Keep inspiring all Rohan!? wrote Goel.

    Speaking to reporters after the meet, Goel said, ?I discussed about the promotion of tennis with Bopanna. He told me about his academy and I am happy that already there are around 70 students there? The government always encourages such private academies.?

    ?I wish he open his academies in the other parts of the country as well,? he added.

    Meanwhile, Bopanna thanked Goel for taking out his time and said, ?It was really nice that he took out some time to meet me?I am really happy that he is encouraging sports a lot.?

    ?I think this is what is required in India for every aspect in our field, no matter what sport it is,? he added.

    Bopanna became only the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam title after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza.

    The All India Tennis Association has also declared that they will recommend the tennis player from Bangalore for this year?s Arjuna Award.

    Speaking about the same, Bopanna told ANI, ?We will know in a few months if I receive the award or not, if I do, I would be very grateful and very honoured.?

    (This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

    source: http://www.dnaindia.com / DNA / Home> India> News> Sports News / ANI / Wednesday – June 14th, 2017

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    Rohan Bopanna clinched his maiden Grand Slam title when he won the French Open mixed doubles final with Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski in Paris on Thursday.

    Canada's Gabriela Dabrowski and India's Rohan Bopanna hold aloft the trophy after winning the French Open mixed doubles title in Paris on Thursday. The pair defeated Germany’s Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Colombian Robert Farah 2-6, 6-2 (12-10). (AP)

    Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski and India’s Rohan Bopanna hold aloft the trophy after winning the French Open mixed doubles title in Paris on Thursday. The pair defeated Germany’s Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Colombian Robert Farah 2-6, 6-2 (12-10). (AP)

    Indian tennis ace Rohan Bopanna and Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski produced a fighting performance to beat their German-Colombian opponents Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah in the final to clinch their maiden French Open mixed doubles title in Paris on Thursday.

    Seeded seventh, Bopanna and Dabrowski took an hour and six minutes to win, saving two match points, as they overcame the unseeded Groenefeld and Farah 2-6, 6-2, 12-10 on Philippe-Chatrier Court.

    Bopanna has become only the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam crown, after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza. Indians have accounted for 20 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. Two of those victories belong solely to India with Sania Mirza partnering Mahesh Bhupathi.

    Bopanna entered the final of a Grand Slam tournament after a gap of seven years. He had also qualified for a Major final in 2010 when he and Pakistan partner Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi entered the title clash of the US Open.

    The 16th seeds had then lost to American twins Bob and Mike Bryan in the final.

    Bopanna is the also the fourth Indian to win a mixed doubles crown at the world’s premier clay court tournament. Bhupathi won India’s first Grand Slam title in 1997 when he partnered Japan’s Rika Hiraki to claim the French Open.

    Bhupathi again won in 2012, this time with compatriot Sania Mirza.

    Paes too had savoured glory on the red clay when he won in 2016 with Martina Hingis.

    Bopanna and Dabrowski did not start well, losing the first set 2-6. The seventh seeds gave away as many as four breakpoint chances and Groenefeld and Farah converted two to take the lead in the match.

    However, the Indian-Canadian combine fought back well to clinch the second set with the same scoreline.

    Though they were broken once, Bopanna and Dabrowski converted three of the five breakpoint opportunities they got to push the match into a match tie-break (earlier known as Super Tie-Break).

    The German-Colombian pair led throughout the tie-break, and held two match points at 9-7. However, Bopanna and Dabrowski somehow managed to save both.

    Bopanna and Dabrowski had their first chance when they took the lead at 10-9. They lost the opportunity as scores were levelled at 10-all but the pair grabbed the next two points to seal victory at Roland Garros.

    source: http://www.hindustantimes.com / Hindustan Times / Home> Tennis / HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times / June 08th, 2017

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    For putting India on the squash map and winning multiple tournaments to secure the world number 10 rank in 2016.

    At eight, when most girls are busy playing hopscotch on school playgrounds, Joshna Chinappa was busy making frequent trips to the Madras Cricket Club and debating which sport — badminton or tennis — she would like to pursue professionally. While good at both, her family background (her father Anjan Chinappa and grandfather Field Marshall KM Cariappa were both squash players) saw her gravitate towards the lesser-known sport of squash. Her standout moment came in the 2014 Commonwealth Games doubles event, when she along with partner Dipika Pallikal Karthik became the first Indian players to win a gold medal; and her stellar performances saw her seize her career-highest World No. 10 rank in 2016.

    The initial challenges
    Squash wasn’t well known when I started playing, and getting financial assistance and sponsorships were tough. My parents could only afford to send me for a couple of tournaments a year and I had no choice but to travel alone from the age of 10, as it was expensive to have someone accompany me on each trip.

    Training routine
    I play about 15 tournaments a year. I love training, so preparing for an event really charges me up. Training each day lasts for about five hours. I work with my fitness trainer on my strength and conditioning and with my squash coach on court. I also do a lot of weight training, and agility and sprint sessions.

    On injuries
    They are always hard for athletes to deal with because sport is our livelihood and passion and to not be able to do something you love is heart-breaking. On the bright side, an injury can help put things into perspective…it can make you much stronger, both mentally and physically.

    On women in sports
    I feel it’s the women today who are really putting sports on the radar. We have so many achievers — strong, powerful women who have come from such diverse fields and backgrounds showing us how, with a little support, wonders can be achieved. It’s so great to see them work hard and win despite the tough circumstances they face. I’m sure that if they receive the support they truly deserve, the sky is the limit!

    source: http://www.vervemagazine.in / Verve / Home> Verve People / text by Tina Dastur / June 08th, 2017

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    Till now MP Ganesh was serving as the CEO of Karnataka State Cricket Association (Agency Photo)

    Till now MP Ganesh was serving as the CEO of Karnataka State Cricket Association (Agency Photo)

    _________________________________________________

    Highlights

    The National Hockey Academy is a joint venture of the Sports Authority of India and the sports ministry

    The academy will be a residential project for 40 boys and an equal number of girls below the age of 18

    Ganesh last played for India in 1974 before his career was cut short by a knee injury.

    ___________________________________________________

    New Delhi :

    Former captain and coach of the national team MP Ganesh on Thursday took charge as the High Performance Director and CEO of the National Hockey Academy to be based at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.

    “Hockey Olympian MP Ganesh takes over as the High Performance Director & CEO of National Hockey Academy in New Delhi,” Hockey India confirmed the news on its official twitter handle.

    Till now Ganesh was serving as the CEO of Karnataka State Cricket Association.

    The National Hockey Academy in New Delhi is a joint venture of the Sports Authority of India and the sports ministry aimed at identifying junior hockey talent and facilitating their holistic development.

    The National Hockey Academy, which took two years to be set up, will be a residential project for 40 boys and an equal number of girls below the age of 18.

    About 70 players from each category have been shortlisted by Hockey India selectors from the sub-junior Nationals held recently. After a few weeks of trials, the numbers will be brought down to 40. There will be three coaches each for the boys and girls.

    The 70-year-old Ganesh hails from the famous hockey belt of Kodagu, earlier known as Coorg, district of Karnataka.

    An Arjuna awardee, Ganesh played for India at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, finishing third. He was one of the coaches of the Indian team that won a gold medal at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

    He represented India in the Asian Games twice, first in 1970 in Bangkok and then in 1974 in Tehran. Both the times India returned home with a silver medal. He was also a part of the Indian team that won bronze at the first World Cup at Barcelona in 1971 and captained the team that won silver at the next World Cup in Amsterdam.

    An Arjuna awardee, Ganesh played for India at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, finishing third. He was one of the coaches of the Indian team that won a gold medal at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

    He represented India in the Asian Games twice, first in 1970 in Bangkok and then in 1974 in Tehran. Both the times India returned home with a silver medal. He was also a part of the Indian team that won bronze at the first World Cup at Barcelona in 1971 and captained the team that won silver at the next World Cup in Amsterdam.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> Sports> Hockey / PTI / June 01st, 2017

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