September 14th, 2014Sports
She may be a Commonwealth gold medalist, but Ashwini Ponnappa is a humble girl, who attributes her success to parental support and good coaching, observes Hema Anand
Looking very pretty in a casual, blue, sleeveless dress, she warmly welcomed me into her apartment, with an even prettier smile. The moment I entered, the first thing that caught my attention was the hoard of trophies and medals displayed in the shelves of her living room.
Ashwini Ponnappa, the 25-year-old Bangalore girl has once again done the country proud by winning the silver medal, along with her partner Jwala Gutta, in the women’s doubles badminton event in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games at Glasgow; it is just another feather in her cap.
She has already won several medals for the country at international events, including the gold medal at the 2010 Common Wealth Games held in Delhi. She also holds the record for the hardest hitter of the shuttle in the world in women’s badminton; her overhead smash touched the speed of 260 kmph at the Paris World Championship in 2010!
Ask her how it all began and she reminisces, “As a three-year-old, I was a very restless and hyperactive kid. Once my mom gave me an old badminton racquet, made small paper balls, and flung them at me. I contacted them really well.”
Of course, at that time her mother had not thought that her little girl would grow up to become an ace badminton player and win laurels for the country.
Ashwini says, “As I grew a little older, I started playing badminton outside my house with family and friends. Seeing my love and passion for the sport, my parents sent me to summer camps at YMCA, at the tender age of eight and then to coaching classes at the State Youth Centre. There, I trained under a wonderful coach, Umapathi, who helped me get the basics of the game right. Unfortunately, he passed away, and so, I joined the Prakash Padukone Academy, where I continued my coaching for six-seven years under three coaches – Prakash Padukone, U Vimal Kumar and VR Beedu.’’ Ashwini is a born athlete and has sports in her genes.
Both her parents have a sporting background. Her father, MA Ponnappa has been a state-level hockey player for 15 years and her mother, Kaveri Ponnappa, is passionate about mountaineering and trekking.
When in school, Ashwini won several awards and medals in athletic events like long jump and running. In fact, spotting this talent in her, athletics coach VR Beedu told her parents, “If Ashwini leaves badminton, I will make her a national-level athlete.’’ But as destiny would have it, Ashwini remained loyal to badminton, and today, her parents and all her coaches are more than happy for that. Her family then shifted to Hyderabad, where she continued her training.
And now that she is back in Bangalore, she is training under Tom John. Talking about the most cherished moment in her career so far, Ashwini comments, “Winning the gold medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games was a really proud moment for me. Playing in my own country, with a packed stadium cheering me, and then going on to win the gold was an exhilarating experience!’’
As for the success, she attributes it to the specialised training she and her partner, Jwala, received under Indonesian coaches (who specialise in the badminton doubles game).
“We attended the special coaching camp prior to the 2010 Commonwealth Game. I truly believe that such kinds of camps need to be carried out on a regular basis, rather than just before a major event. Our country has a lot of potential; it only needs tapping, for us to make a better mark in the international arena,” she says.
It was not easy for Ashwini to strike a balance between academics and badminton coaching. But thanks to her very supportive parents, teachers and principals, who always stood by her, she managed to achieve everything she has aspired for.
Ashwini loves animals, and reckons that if she weren’t a badminton player, she may have considered becoming a veterinary doctor! But for now, her aim is to ace the Rio De Janeiro Olympics, and also become the number one player in women’s badminton in the near future.
Ashwini feels that her parents have had a big hand in her career – not simply because they, too, are sportspersons – because they let her choose her own path.
She maintains, “There is always the need for parental support when it comes to making a champion out of a good sportsperson. Indian parents should be more open to the idea of their kids opting for sports as a career, rather than pushing their kids to do well in academics alone.”
source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> She / by Hema Anand / September 12th, 2014
Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna will be presented the Davis Cup Commitment Award during the World Group play-off tie against Serbia which begins here tomorrow. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) will present the Awards through its national associations during the Davis Cup World Group and Zone Group matches on Saturday.
Former Grand Slam champions Lleyton Hewitt of Australia and Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil will also be awarded after their respective games. ”The Davis Cup Commitment Award reflects the dedication by players for more than a century to represent their country in this prestigious competition. These players have continued to rise to the unique challenge of competing in a team environment in front of their home fans, and we believe that it is fitting to recognise their efforts,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.
List of players to be awarded: Australia: Lleyton Hewitt, Brazil: Carlos Kirmayr, Gustavo Kuerten, Luiz Mattar, Cassio Motta, Jaime Oncins, Canada: Frank Dancevic, Chinese Taipei: Ti Chen, France: Pierre Darmon, India: Rohan Bopanna Romania: Victor Hanescu, Russia: Andrei Chesnokov, Andrei Olhovskiy, Thailand: Sanchai Ratiwatana, Sonchat Ratiwatana, Danai Udomchoke, Ukraine: Sergiy Stakhovsky.
source:http://www.india.com / India.com / Home> Sports / by Press Trust of India / September 11th, 2014
Apart from concentrating on her game, Ashwini Ponappa is busy supporting various causes. Currently, she is lending her voice to the Voice of Stray Dogs, and also advocates the importance of teachers with Aksara Foundation with the same commitment and affection that she cares for stray dogs. “I have gained popularity and that helps me give some mileage to such organisations. I’m doing nothing, all the credit goes to them for their special work. I only throw my weight behind them,” says Ashwini, former world class shutler.
Ashwini says she cannot be more grateful to teachers, as she refers to Aksara Foundation’s social campaign for teachers. “Throughout my life, whoever has been my teacher in various aspects of my life has played a vast role in shaping the person I am today. Teachers are very underappreciated in the society and more needs to be done to recognise their importance.” An animal lover herself, Ashwini’s admits that her hectic schedule had her miss out on adopting a pet.
“But a couple of dogs made my parents’ house their home. So for all intents and purposes, they’re our dogs,” she says. A friend was following the Voice of Stray Dogs page on Facebook and she appreciated their work, so she too ‘liked’ the page. “They (Voice of Stray Dogs — VoSD) do amazing work here in Bengaluru and I want to do my bit to support them. They take care of the dogs until they’re completely healthy. I would love to go visit them in Bengaluru but I haven’t had the time yet.”
source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com / Deccan Chronicle / Home> Sports> Other Sports / DC / Vijay Anand / September 08th, 2014
Indian doubles ace Rohan Bopanna, who last played Davis Cup tennis with veteran star Leander Paes two years ago, said it would be a pleasure to compete alongside the veteran again.
“It gives me great pride to play for India at the Davis Cup, as always. It would be my pleasure to play with Leander. We have been in discussion for the past few months and were looking for the opportunity to play together for the country,” said Bopanna.
The duo, which defeated Uzbekistan’s Murad Inoyatov and Denis Istomin in the Asia-Oceania group semifinal in Namangan the last time they were a pairing in April 2012, will be expected to down the Serbian combine of Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac next weekend.
“Leander brings a tremendous amount of experience to any partnership,” he said.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Sports> Tennis / TNN / September 08th, 2014
Madras Cricket Club (MCC) on Saturday honoured two of its “own children” — Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal — for having won the squash doubles gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
MCC president Ajit Kumbhat, hailed Joshna and Dipika as “role models for future generations.”
Tamil Nadu Squash Rackets Association founder member Dr. Ravi Santosham described the duo as “world champions”. Also, Joshna’s comeback from a grave knee surgery a few years ago was the stuff of legends, he said.
Former men’s National squash champion Ali Ispahani urged Joshna and Dipika “to stay out of the country for eight months (in a year)” if they wished to succeed. “If they stay out of India (and practice abroad) they can reach the top 5 (in the world),” he said. The day is not far off when the “girls from our club” will become world champions, he added.
The Hindu Sports Editor Nirmal Shekar said the growth of squash had a lot do with “N. Ramachandran (World Squash Federation president) and clubs like MCC.” He added: “they (Joshna & Dipika) will be right on top (in world rankings) in the next few years.”
Former World women’s champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald, now coach of Dipika, said both the players had “the ability to go higher.”
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sport> Other Sports / by Special Correspondent / Chennai – August 31st, 2014
Curtains down on Kodagu Golf Club 2014: Chandra Brothers emerge Winner and Runner in Field Marshal Cariappa Memorial Tournament0September 1st, 2014Sports
Kodagu Golf Open Championship-2014 sponsored by Association of Kodagu Golfers of J.W. Golf Club, Mysore in memory of Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa and Gen. K.S. Thimmaiah was held at Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Golf Club, in city on Aug. 23 and Aug. 24. The following are the winners:
Strokeplay Gross (Field Marshal Cariappa Memorial Trophy): Winner: Yashas Chandra (70-Gross), Runner: Shreyas Chandra (75 Gross).
Strokeplay Net (H/C 0=9) (Gen. K.S. Thimmaiah Memorial Trophy): Winner: Ganesh Babu (67-net), Runner: Sonam Chugh (69-net).
Strokeplay Net (H/C 10=18) (Sqd Ldr. M.B. Chittiappa Memorial Trophy): Winner: R.N. Sudarshan (67-Net), Runner: Deepak Kumar Jain 70-net).
Stableford Net (H/C0<=18) (Kodagu Challenge Trophy): Winner: C.K. Subramani (37-pts) (Better back 9 over Col. Somanna), Runner: Col. Sommana (37-pt) (Better Back 9 over M.S. Dinesh Kumar).
Stableford Net (H/C 0 to 24) for seniors (65 years and above): Winner: Col. Vijaykumar (37 pts), Runner: Brig. R.V. Seetharamaiah (36 pts).
Stableford Net (H/C 0 to 24) for super seniors (70 years and above): Winner: K.M. Achaiah (32-pts)
Best Kodagu Golfer: Lt. Col. M.K. Poovaiah
Best Lady Golfer: T.H. Shivani
Nearest to Pin: B.P. Mahesh.
Maximum Birdies: I.L. Aaplaap - 2 Birdies (won by lucky draw over Kulwanth Singh and Ashok Poovanna winner).
Longest Drive: Winner: M.S. Dinesh Kumar
Straighest Drive: Winner: C.K. Sridhar
source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> Sports News / August 26th, 2014
Athletics: Tamil Nadu and Kerala win the overall men’s and women’s team championships
Siddhant Thingalaya equalled his National record of 13.65 as he won the men’s 110 metres hurdles in the 18th Federation Cup athletics championships at the NIS Complex here on Tuesday.
Siddhant Thingalaya and M.R. Poovamma were adjudged the ‘best athletes’ of the championships. Tamil Nadu won the overall team championships ahead of Kerala. The teams won the men’s and women’s titles respectively.
In men’s triple jump, national record holder and Commonwealth Games medallist Arpinder Singh had no difficulty winning with his third jump of 16.70 in the final. Renjith Maheshwary could not fight, as he had a best of 16.43 on the last attempt, after efforts of 16.40 and 16.41.
Krishna Poonia risked an injured left knee to clinch the women’s discus gold with her last throw of 56.84 metres, more than three and a half metres ahead of World junior bronze medallist Navjeet Kaur Dhillon. After throws of 54.83, 55.38 and 55.49, the Delhi Commonwealth Games gold medallist stepped it up in the last throw.
In women’s 400m, M.R. Poovamma clocked 52.42, beating Priyanka Panwar for the gold.
In men’s hammer throw, Chandrodaya Narayan Singh of Uttar Pradesh won with his second throw of 67.84, to better his own mark of 67.78. Kamalpreet Singh, who holds the national record of 70.37, settled for the silver with his third throw of 66.78.
Sushmita Singha Roy won the heptathlon two points ahead of Bengal teammate Swapna Barman, with a score of 5402 points.
In the morning, Rahul Kumar Pal of Maharashtra sprinted past Laxmanan of Tamil Nadu for the gold in the 10,000 metres. He had focused on the event and thus enjoyed an advantage over the exhausted 5000m runners, including gold medallist Kheta Ram, who grabbed the bronze after having led for the most part.
In the women’s 10,000 metres, Asian Games gold medallist Preeja Sreedharan was a class apart, finishing at 34:27.94 beating Swati Gadhave by more than two minutes. Meanwhile, the jury reinstated the original results in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, after having disqualified Naveen of Haryana and Ashish of Assam for “pacing”.
The IAAF rules clearly state that any athlete “giving or receiving assistance” from within the area during an event should be warned by the referee and advised that he would be disqualified from that event if it was repeated. It further clarifies about “assistance” being from a “lapped” or “about to be lapped” athlete.
Arguing that that they were from different States, and that one would not assist the other, Naveen was conveniently reinstated champion, and Ashish labelled “DNF” (did not finish), having finished a lap short.
Men: 200m: 1. Manikanda Arumugam 21.21; 2. Velayutham 21.83; 3. M.G. Joseph 21.87. 400m: 1. Kunhu Muhammed 46.40; 2. Arokia Rajiv 46.41; 3. Jibin Sebastian 47.28. 1500m: 1. Jinson Johnson 3:52.60; 2. Ravindra Rautela 3:53.09; 3. Sajeesh Joseph 3:53.38. 10000m: 1. Rahul Kumar Pal 30:04.77; 2. Laxmanan 30:05.20; 3. Kheta Ram 30:08.98. 3000m steeplechase: 1. Naveen 8:46.18; 2. Jaiveer 8:53.36; 3. Manju 8:54.43. 110m hurdles: 1. Siddhant Thingalaya 13.65 (ENR); 2. K. Prem Kumar 13.96; 3. Surrender 14.24. Triple jump: 1. Arpinder Singh 16.70; 2. Renjith Maheshwary 16.43; 3. Rakesh Babu 16.15. Hammer: 1. Chandrodaya Narayan Singh 67.84 (NMR, old 67.78); 2. Kamalpreet Singh 66.78; 3. Neeraj Kumar 66.71. 4x100m relay: 1. Tamil Nadu 40.96; 2. Kerala 41.08; 3. Maharashtra 41.18. 4x400m relay: 1. Navy 3:11.44; 2. Kerala 3:11.62; 3. Punjab 3:13.07.
Women: 200m: 1. Asha Roy 23.89; 2. Srabani Nanda 24.02; 3. Archana 24.94. 400m: 1. M.R. Poovamma 52.42; 2. Priyanka Panwar 53.40; 3. Debashree Majumdar 53.79. 1500m: 1. O.P. Jaisha 4:09.14; 2. Sini Markose 4:18.18; 3. Sushma Devi 4:20.43. 10000m: 1. Preeja Sreedharan 34:27.94; 2. Swati Gadhave 36:28.46; 3. Monika Athare 36:44.15. 100m hurdles: 1. M.M. Anchu 13.80; 2. Deepika 13.81; 3. K.V. Sajitha 13.86. Discus: 1. Krishna Poonia 56.84; 2. Navjeet Kaur Dhillon 53.26; 3. Praveen Kumari 46.65. Heptathlon: 1. Sushmita Singha Roy 5402; 2. Swapna Barman 5400; 3. Liksy Joseph 5351. 4x100m relay: 1. Kerala 46.47; 2. West Bengal 46.56; 3. Punjab 47.27. 4x400m relay: 1. ONGC 3:42.26 (NMR, old 3:42.70); 2. Kerala 3:45.96; 3. Haryana 3:48.50.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sport> Other Sports / Kamesh Srinivasan / Patiala – August 19th, 2014
What is the similarity between Bill Gates, Usain Bolt, Justin Timerblake and Ashwini Ponnappa?
They have all embraced the ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge willingly.
Ashwini completed the challenge on Tuesday afternoon. She in turn issued a challenge to her doubles partner Jwala Gutta and former swimmer Rehan Poncha.
After players and support staff of Bengaluru FC doused themselves in an icy-cold shower on Monday, they issued a 24-hour challenge to Sania Mirza, Ponnappa and Yuvraj Singh.
After Sania completed the challenge on Tuesday morning, Ponnappa followed suit pretty soon. Both of them have uploaded the video on YouTube.
Sania had already done the ice-bucket once before but since people complained that there was a lack of water, she did it again on Tuesday.
She, in turn, challenged Cara Black, Mahesh Bhupathi, Yuvraj and actor Ritesh Deshmukh.
What is the challenge exactly for? It raises money for charity — especially ALS — a neurodegenerative disorder.
source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Sports / DHNS – Bangalore , August 19th, 2014
After Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Cristiano Ronaldo and Oprah Winfrey, I-League champions Bengaluru FC and doubles ace Rohan Bopanna have taken up the Ice Bucket Challenge, which has gone viral on social media.
The challenge involves participants dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads to raise awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Once completed, the individual posts the video on social networking sites and nominates three people to take up the challenge within 24 hours or donate $100 to any charity working to fight the neurodegenerative disorder.
Bopanna, who was nominated by Indian-American tennis player Amrit Narsimhan, took to Twitter on Sunday to post his icy video. A shivering Bopanna nominated Bengaluru FC and actor Rahul Bose for the challenge.
Bose chose to opt out, tweeting, “Been chosen by Rohan Bopanna for #IceBucketChallenge to raise money/awareness for ALS. Hv decided not to waste clean water, but will donate!” However, Bengaluru FC were happy to oblige.
“We accept Rohan’s challenge and nominate Ashwini Ponnappa, Sania Mirza and Yuvraj Singh. Good luck guys, let’s end ALS,” Club COO Mustafa Ghouse said.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Sports / by Maxin Mathew, TNN / August 19th, 2014
To mark the 68th Independence Day of India, under the patronage of Indian Embassy in Oman and Oman Hockey Association (OHA), the Friends of Naqvi Group and Team Coorg organised an exciting hockey festivity at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on August 8.
Two festival matches, one for the Ambassadors Cup and the other for the seventh edition of Independence Day of India 2014 Cup, were played under the flood light at the lush green hockey astro turf. JS Mukul, Indian Ambassador to the Sultanate, was the chief guest and Shaikh Mahfood Ali Juma al Juma was the guest of honour.
The other sports dignitaries present were the OHA- secretary-general Redha Taqi Lawati, the Secretary-General of Oman Cricket Madhu Jesrani and the former Indian hockey player Sultan Abbas Naqvi.
The Indian Embassy XI lifted the Ambassadors Cup defeating Indian School Al Seeb 2-1 and the Oman Veterans XI lifted the Independence Day Of India 2014 Cup defeating Team Coorg Muscat 6-3 in the presence of hockey lovers of all ages.
“We got ample chance to score but could not capitalise it in the absence of our star forward Zaman,” said Team Coorg manager Belu Kuttappa.
The prizes and other citations were given away by JS Mukul, Madhu Jesrani and Redha Taqi Lawati.
The excitement of evening for the children below 10 years of age was the Indian national anthem recitation competition which was judged by Kanchan Bijlani and Farheen Khan.
This patriotic activity will now be a regular feature in years to come.
“I am quite pleased and charged to see such a massive attendance of the hockey lovers of Oman from all communities at the stadium, who have turned in such a large number to mark the independence celebration of India through this hockey festivity,” said veteran hockey ace SAS Naqvi who has indeed pledged his entire life for the promotion hockey in India and Oman.
The event was supported by Khimji Ramdas, Raha Poly products and Pokari (Muscat Pharmacy) and BG.
The vote of Thanks was given by Mohammad Osama Rawat.
source: http://www.main.omanobserver.om / Oman Daily Observer / Home> Sports / by Oman Observer / Sunday – August 10th, 2014
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