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    Bengaluru :

    Specialist doubles shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa, who moved on from long-time playing partner Jwala Gutta last year to pair up with Sikki Reddy, suggested that her game was a lot more dynamic now.

    “It’s good although it’s just been a few months,” said Ashwini, who reached the final of the Syed Modi international champion ship with the Hyderabadi early this year, after the pair finished runners-up in the Welsh Open late last year.

    “It’s different because the two of us have similar games and like playing from the back. Neither of us like rushing to the net because we had partners who played well there. But with the realization that one of us had to take charge, we decided that if I move in, she moves back and vice versa,” the 27-year-old said on the sidelines of the 38th Petroleum Sports Promotion Board championship.

    Ashwini, who also reached the mixed doubles final of the Lucknow event, said that partnering Sumeeth Reddy had sharpened her skills. “Playing mixed doubles was a confidence booster. I have been training for it in the past couple of months and I can see the difference it’s made to my net game. I have a better idea of where the shuttle is going to come from and where it has to be played. In the past, I never got into that area of thinking because Jwala was so good. It’s been a learning process combining with these players,” she said.

    Ashwini said she was targeting improved performances in the Sudirman Cup (May 2128) and Super Series events in Indonesia (June 12-18) and Australia (June 20-25) before setting her sights on next year’s Commonwealth Games and world championships. She said the efforts of doubles coach Tan Kim Her – which included pushing her out of her comfort zone by switching her partners – had made her more determined.

    “It’s important to have a doubles coach who knows his craft. I trust in him,” she said.

    source: http://www.timeofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> Sports> Badminton / May 10th, 2017

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    M.R. Poovamma.

    M.R. Poovamma.

    Rajiv and Neeraj also strike it rich

    M.R. Poovamma clocked 52.66 seconds as she beat Jisna Mathew by one hundredth of a second for the women’s 400 metres gold in the second Indian Grand Prix athletics at the Nehru Stadium here on Thursday.

    Arokia Rajiv won the men’s 400m, which was run in three different parts, with a time of 46.94. He was nowhere near the 45.50 mark to meet the qualification standard for the World Championships in August.

    World junior champion and record holder Neeraj Kumar threw the javelin to 80.49m for the gold, comfortably ahead of Abhishek Singh (74.65). The first throw was his best as Neeraj followed up with 75.84, 77.81, 79.29, 79.93 and 79.01.

    Devender Singh, who had clinched the World Championship berth at Patiala with 84.57m, did not compete.

    The results:

    Men: 100m: 1. Amiya Kumar Mallick 10.62s, 2. Safikul Mondal 10.72, 3. Shalin 10.81. 400m: 1. Arokia Rajiv 46.94, 2. Amoj Jacob 47.07, 3. Sachin Roby 47.32. 3000m: 1. G. Lakshmanan 8:11.49, 2. Md. Yunus 8:12.36, 3. Naveen Kumar 8:14.57. 400m hurdles: 1. T. Santhosh Kumar 50.54, 2. M.P. Jabir 51.16, 3. Jithin Paul 51.30.

    Long jump: 1. Ankit Sharma 7.71m, 2. S.E. Samsheer 7.63, 3. Baljidner Singh 7.33. Triple jump: 1. Arpinder Singh 16.19, 2. Praveen 14.96. Discus: 1. Baljinder Singh 53.47, 2. Mithra Varun 49.18, 3. Praveen Kumar Nehra 47.30. Shot put: 1. Saurabh Vij 18.83, 2. Kulwinder Singh 17.38, 3. Jaspal singh 16.48. Javelin: 1. Neeraj Chopra 80.49, 2. Abhishek Singh 74.65, 3. Samarjeet Singh 72.95.

    Women: 100m: 1. Merlin Joseph 11.72s, 2. Reena George 11.85, 3. Himashree Roy 11.92. 400m: 1. M.R. Poovamma 52.66, 2. Jisna Mathew 52.67, 3. Debashree Mazumdar 54.00. 1500m: 1. Chinta Yadav 4:29.95. Long jump: 1. LIksy Joseph 6.24, 2. G. Karthika 6.07, 3. Purnima Hembram 6.01. Discus: 1. Parbati Sethi 43.94. Javelin: 1. Annu Rani 59.75, 2. K. Rashmi 47.38, 3. Runjun Pegu 44.14.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sport> Athletics / by Special Correspondent / New Delhi – May 11th, 2017

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    Around 4,800 players will participate in Kodava community’s event

    The Kodava community’s craze for hockey is as legendary as their participation in the Indian army.

    This love for the sport is celebrated by the people of Kodagu with an annual hockey festival, where family teams from the community get together to test each other’s dribbling skills.

    This year’s festival will have a special resonance as the organisers are making a bid to enter the Guinness World Records for the most number of participants at a hockey event.

    The festival which started in 1996 with 60 teams will see the participation of 306 hockey family teams this year.

    Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, Ramesh, the organizer of the festival, said, “This year, we have more than 300 teams, which means that 4800 players will be articipating. Theirs is a Guinness Record for 4000 players taking part in a tournament. This event will break that record.”

    Ramesh also said that they have already entered the Limca Book of Records in 2004 for participation of more than 281 teams in the festival.

    Speaking about the significance of the event, Ramesh said that it has become a cultural festival for the Kodavas.

    “We never call it a hockey tournament, but we call it a hockey festival. It is the 21st year of the celebrations and it has become a cultural milestone for the Kodavas,” he said.

    About the festival

    * The hockey festival in Kodagu was started by Pandanda Kuttappa and Kashi Brothers at Karada in 1996.

    * Kuttappa and Kashi Brothers also founded the Kodava Hockey Academy in 1997 and continuing to be the founder president for the academy till now.

    * The festival follows the international rules for hockey.

    * It also encourages the participation of women and senior members in the hockey team.

    source: http://www.bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com / Bangalore Mirror / Home> News> States / by Bangalore Mirror Bureau / May 12th, 2017

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    Thalooru side recorded a 16-run win against Parlakoti XI in the finals of Paikera Cup cricket tournament, organised by Kodagu Gowda Yuva Vedike at Gen K S Thimayya Stadium on Sunday.

    Opting to bat first, Thalooru scored 89/7 in 10 overs. In reply, Parlakoti could manage to score only 73 runs in their stipulated overs. The champion Thalooru won cash prize of Rs 50,000 along with a trophy. The runner up Parlakoti won Rs 35,000 along with a trophy. Uluvarana and Dambekodi teams managed to finish third and fourt respectively. They were given a cash prize of Rs 15,000 for featuring in semifinals. Sajan of Parlakoti was adjudged Man of the Series. Vikki of Thalooru won Best Batsman award while Mokshith of Uluvarana team won Best Bowler award. Jithu of Thalooru bagged Best All-rounder award. Gagan of Paikera was given a special award for hitting maximum sixes. A total of 210 family teams had taken part in the tournament.

    Arebhashe Sahitya Academy had organised a variety of cultural programmes during the concluding ceremony. Mysuru Anand and team performed “Hasya lahari” and Mysuru Savan team performed rock music programme.

    DPI, joint director (retd), Kompulira Anand, Devajan Mohan (education), Katrathana Belliappa and Pattada Prabhakar (literature), Cheriyamane Megha Prabhakar, Kuymudi Hani, Chondira Tavan, Merkaje Girish (sports), Bailera Pron-iksha (karate), Kangeera Sathish (cooperation), Pudiyaneravana Rishith Madaiah and Karnayyana Anoopa Cariappa (for designing logo) were felicitated.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / DH News Service / Madikeri – May 08th, 2017

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    Nagaland Badminton Association President and Minister for Road and Bridges Y. Vikheho Swu presenting a memento to shuttle star Ashwini Ponnappa at the closing ceremony of Victor 1st North-East Masters (Veteran) Badminton Championship 2017.

    Nagaland Badminton Association President and Minister for Road and Bridges Y. Vikheho Swu presenting a memento to shuttle star Ashwini Ponnappa at the closing ceremony of Victor 1st North-East Masters (Veteran) Badminton Championship 2017.

    Dimapur (EMN):

    Indian badminton star Ashwini Ponnappa says she wants to return to Nagaland and the northeast to impart lessons in the game.

    ‘I will definitely come back to Nagaland to conduct two to three days badminton course for the sport enthusiast and share my experience with badminton,’ assured Ashwini Ponnappa to the cheering crowd at the closing ceremony of Victor 1st North East Masters (Veteran) Badminton Championship at the Dimapur District Badminton Association Indoor Stadium in Dimapur on Saturday.

    Ashwini Ponnappa, Indian Badminton player sign an autograph for her fans at the closing ceremony of the 1st Victor North East (Veteran) Badminton Championship 2017 at Dimapur, Nagaland on Saturday, May 06, 2017. Photo by Caisii Mao

    Ashwini Ponnappa, Indian Badminton player sign an autograph for her fans at the closing ceremony of the 1st Victor North East (Veteran) Badminton Championship 2017 at Dimapur, Nagaland on Saturday, May 06, 2017. Photo by Caisii Mao

    Ponnappa is also the brand ambassador for Victor. She is a recipient of the Arjuna Award. The star called badminton a wonderful sport. “It is great to see badminton being played in every corner of the country and Victor Company will do anything to support badminton in Nagaland and will do the best the make this game popular,” said Ponnappa who attended the closing ceremony as a special guest.

    The Nagaland Badminton Association’s president, also Minister for Road and Bridges Y Vikheho Swu, was the guest of honour for the event. He suggested to the north-eastern representatives to form a common badminton association for the region. He said such an association would be ‘feasible’ and the initiative will not only expand the prospect of the players but strengthen the bonds of the entire northeast region too.

    Lauding the DDBA for associating with Victor Company and organising a successful event in Dimapur to ‘develop friendship through badminton,’ Swu remarked that the affiliation with Victor will promote badminton in the region.

    Swu conveyed gratitude to Victor for their vision in delivering high quality sports equipments. He maintained that the NBA has been doing well so far in promoting the game. There are more badminton tournaments in the state compared to other sports, he said.


    source: http://www.easternmirrornagaland.com / Eastern Mirror / Home> Sports> Nagaland Sports> Current Article / by Abhijit Mirror / May 07th, 2017

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    India's Joshna Chinappa and Hong Kong's Max Lee (L) pose with their trophies after the 19th Asian Squash Championships in Chennai on Sunday.(PTI)

    India’s Joshna Chinappa and Hong Kong’s Max Lee (L) pose with their trophies after the 19th Asian Squash Championships in Chennai on Sunday.(PTI)

    Joshna Chinappa held off a fighting Dipika Pallikal 13-15, 12-10, 11-13, 11-4, 11-4 in 78 minutes to win probably her biggest title.

    Joshna Chinappa on Sunday scripted history by becoming the first Indian to clinch the Asian Squash title with a thrilling win over compatriot Dipika Pallikal Karthik in the women’s final in Chennai.

    In the men’s final, however, Saurav Ghosal went down fighting against No.1 seed Max Lee to finish second best.

    In a clash between two players who train together at the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai, Chinappa held off a fighting Pallikal 13-15, 12-10, 11-13, 11-4, 11-4 in 78 minutes to win probably her biggest title.

    The first game saw the two Indians go toe-to-toe as they mixed aggression with strong defence. Pallikal squeezed out the opener as her rival faltered at the end.

    The second game was another long one and went to the extra points again as neither gave away an inch. However, in a reversal of fortunes, Chinappa saved a game point to level the match.

    The third game was another close affair as the Indians sought to forge ahead. It was even-steven as both the players had to work hard to win every point. Pallikal saved two game points to take a crucial lead.

    Chinappa, however, wasn’t shaken after falling behind and came out all guns blazing to run away with the fourth game as Pallikal made too many errors for her own comfort.

    At the start of the decider, Pallikal suffered a mild injury scare as she slipped and fell on the court. But Chinappa kept her cool and stormed to a big lead.

    Pallikal fought back, but only briefly as the world No.14 Chinappa sealed a memorable triumph in front of a cheering crowd.

    Earlier, Ghosal faded after a bright start, which saw him win the opening game, dropping just five points, to go down 11-5, 4- 11, 8-11, 7-11 in 61 minutes against Lee, ranked 17 in the world.

    The Indian, cheered by a holiday crowd at the Express Avenue mall, was quickly off the blocks and hit some delectable shots to take the opening game.

    Undeterred by the loss of the first game, Lee roared back and ran away to win the second to level the match.

    The third game was a long one as both gave nothing away. Ghosal played well but his rival always had the answers to whatever was thrown at him. He hit some superb winners of his own to take the third game and gain an edge.

    The fourth game appeared to be heading to a rout as Lee surged to a 8-2 lead before Ghosal fought back. He saved two championship points before handing the no.1 seed his maiden Asian title.

    source: http://www.hindustantimes.com / Hindustan Times / Home> Sports> Other Sports / by Press Trust of India / Chennai – April 30th, 2017

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    Dipika Pallikal Karthik upset the top-seeded Anni Au while Joshna Chinappa made light work of the sixth-seeded Tong Tsz Wing.

    It will be an all-India final for the first time ever in the Asian Squash championship when Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal Karthik clash in the women’s singles event.

    The two Indian women made the final of the tournament with contrasting wins.

    While Pallikal, seeded fourth, upset top seed Annie Au of Hong Kong 11-9 7-11 11-7 11-9, the second seeded Chinappa made short work of Hong Kong’s sixth-seed Tong Tsz Wing 11-6 11-4 11-8 to storm into the final.

    In the first semifinal, Pallikal stunned Au in 50 minutes.

    Starting brilliantly against the pre-tournament favourite, Pallikal took the opening game to lay down the marker. However, Au came back strongly to claim the second game with a series of impressive stroke-making.

    Pallikal seized the initiative from thereon and kept Au off balance by staying aggressive.

    The Chennai-based Pallikal closed out the match for a memorable win.
    With this victory, Pallikal has posted only her third win over the Hong Kong player, ranked 11th in the world, in 10 meetings.

    Chinappa, meanwhile, completely dominated her rival as she took the first two games easily before Wing posed a challenge in the third.
    But the Indian shut her rival out to win in front of a cheering crowd at the Express Avenue mall here.

    Earlier, men’s top-seed Max Lee of Hong Kong ousted third seeded Malaysian Nafiizwan Adnan 12-10 11-6 11-5 in 51 minutes to book his spot in the final.

    source: http://www.indianexpress.com / Indian Express / Home> IE Sports / by PTI / Chennai – April 29th, 2017

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    While Gautam Gambhir and Darren Bravo were punishing the Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers at will during the team’s pre-match training on Tuesday, Robin Uthappa didn’t even pick up the bat at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium. Instead, with his headphones plugged onto his ears with a nonchalant look, he preferred to do his sprints.

    Come Wednesday, however, the Bangalorean blasted the Rising Pune Supergiant bowlers to hog the limelight. No doubt he was fortunate to have been dropped on the boundary line early on in his innings. But the manner in which he exploded thereafter — scoring a 47-ball 87 — to help Knight Riders overhaul a target of 183 with no trouble was an exhibition of Uthappa at his best.

    Such was Uthappa’s onslaught, especially against the Supergiant spinners — he fetched 57 runs off 25 balls, that the wicketkeeper-batsman stole the thunder from Gambhir, who was featuring in his 100th game for Knight Riders.

    The belligerent knock turned out to be a perfect icing on the cake for Uthappa, who had earlier did his glovework to perfection. His three stumpings were instrumental in Supergiant being unable to run away with the game in the first innings.

    No doubt that young chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who combined with Uthappa to see the back of M.S. Dhoni and Manoj Tiwary in the same over, lavished praise on his senior teammate.

    “85-plus is a very good score in T20. As compared to Test level, it would be around 150. In T20 if someone scores around 85, you have almost won the match,” said Kuldeep. “He batted very well and was good in wicketkeeping. He has been working very hard on it. Hopefully, he continues to do the wicketkeeping like this.”

    Under-rated performer

    Uthappa may have had a quiet season of domestic cricket, losing his place in the Karnataka Ranji Trophy squad for the first time in a decade. But when it comes to the IPL, the 31-year-old is one of the most reliable batsmen. However, despite having entered the list of top-5 run-getters in the IPL, Uthappa is often not given his due as the backbone of the squad.

    During his 10-edition stint in the IPL — spanned across four different teams — he has put in impressive performances on a consistent basis. Still, he is not often considered in the league of top IPL batsmen. No wonder then that Matthew Hayden, the former Australian opener, called him an “under-rated” batsman in T20.

    Over the last couple of years, having tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend Sheetal, Uthappa has tempered down. If he continues to remain at his nonchalant best, as was evident on Tuesday, he would do a world of good for himself and Knight Riders.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sport> Cricket / by Amol Karhadkar / Pune – April 27th, 2017

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    April 28th, 2017adminSports

    Hockey Coorg made it three out of three with a 9-0 thrashing of Telangana Hockey in a Pool C encounter of the Hockey India sub-junior men’s Nationals here on Thursday.

    Hat-tricks by N.T. Tarun and Ashik Uthappa ensured that Coorg is yet to drop a point while all the other teams in the pool have.

    Elswhere, Namdhari XI followed up its 20-0 win on Tuesday against Goa with another huge win — 15-0 over Hockey Puducherry.

    The results: Pool B: Namdhari XI 15 (Hanspal Singh 4, 22, 29, 35, 44, 45, 59; Hardeep Singh 41, 49, 58; Princepal Singh 34, 69; Jaskaran Singh 63, 65; Surpreet Singh 8) bt Hockey Puducherry 0.

    SAG, Gujarat 5 (Nikhil Jamboktkar 33, 52; Sahil Katiyar 46, 51; Sunny Ubre 34) bt Mumbai Hockey Association 1 (Mohd. Tauseef Qureshi 4).

    Hockey Madhya Bharat 5 (Abhishek Yadav 9, 68; Mohit Tatawat 6; Irbaz Khan 65; Mudassar Qureshi 69) bt Goans Hockey 2 (Sunil Chari 32, 63).

    Pool C: Bengal HA 1 (Lorik Pal 15) drew with Citizen XI 1 (Zainul Samar 58).

    Hockey Coorg 9 (N.T. Tarun 23, 25, 33; Ashik Uthappa 47, 66, 70; K.M. Yaswan 53, 59; Rakshi Kariappa 62) bt Telangana Hockey 0.

    Hockey Himachal 5 (Pankaj 28, 66, 68; Suraj Singh 24; Charanjit Singh 51) bt Vidarbha HA 2 (Rehan Khan 54; Shiv Borkar 62).

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sport> Hockey / by Principal Correspondent / Bengaluru – April 27th, 2017

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    Monte Carlo:

    India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Uruguayan partner Pablo Cuevas lifted their first ATP World Tour title together when they downed seventh-seeds Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez in a three-set battle in the final of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Sunday.

    The unseeded Indo-Uruguayan pair outwitted the Spanish team in the Match tie breaker for a 6-3 3-6 10-4 win in 74 minutes.

    Rohan Bopanna and his partner Pablo Cuevas with the men's doubles trophy. Getty

    Rohan Bopanna and his partner Pablo Cuevas with the men’s doubles trophy. Getty

    It was the second title of the season for Bopanna having won the the season-opening Chennai Open crown with compatriot Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan.

    “I’m really happy to win our first title together. I have come to Monte-Carlo so many years, it’s such a historic tournament. We had a tough start to the season, but it s great to have won. We came through some close Match tie-breaks this week and it s a good start to the clay season. I m looking forward to the rest of the tournaments,” said Bopanna.

    Cuevas said, “I am really happy, as I didn t started the season well. I’m happy to win with my partner in the first tournament on European clay and I hope for a good run through to Paris.”

    Bopanna is now 16-24 in doubles finals and 4-4 in Masters’ summit clashes. It was Cuves’ second Masters trophy, adding to the 2015 Rome Masters triumph with David Marrero.

    Marc Lopez, one-half of the Rio Olympic champion team, came under pressure in his first service game at 1-2, 30-40, when Bopanna feinted a switch at the net off a long rally to strike a forehand volley winner into space.

    Bopanna and Cuevas held onto the break and wrapped up a 28-minute set when Feliciano Lopez mistimed a forehand wide on Bopanna’s serve at 40-15.

    In the first game of the second set, Feliciano did well to hold as he recovered from 30-40, including two break points. At 1-2, 30-40, Cuevas over-hit a lob long to gift the Spaniards their first service break and it proved to be enough for Feliciano, serving at 5-3, to strike two straight aces for a hold to 30.

    The greater weight of groundstroke by Bopanna and Cuevas was felt in the Match tie-break as the pair took a 6-0 lead, largely targeting the volleys of Marc.

    Although Team Lopez recovered to 4-8, Cuevas sealed the first match point opportunity with a forehand down the line that Feliciano could not return cleanly.

    They were trying to become the third Spanish team to win the Monte-Carlo title in the Open Era (since April 1968), joining Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez in 1988 and Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo in 2008.

    source: http://www.firstpost.com / Firstpost.com / Home> Latest News> Sports News / by PTI / April 24th, 2017

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