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    April 27th, 2014adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Sports

    Women’s match ends in a draw, Kodagu XI defeats Virajpet XI

    Kodava Hockey Academy President Pandanda Kuttappa is seen hitting a silver hockey ball with silver hockey stick to mark the inauguration of Thathanda Hockey Namme-2014 at Virajpet in Kodagu yesterday. ( Picture right ) shows women in action.

    Kodava Hockey Academy President Pandanda Kuttappa is seen hitting a silver hockey ball with silver hockey stick to mark the inauguration of Thathanda Hockey Namme-2014 at Virajpet in Kodagu yesterday. ( Picture right ) shows women in action.

    Virajpet :

    The exhibition hockey match organised as part of the inauguration of Thathanda Hockey Namme-2014 between SAI Mysore and SAI Kodagu women’s teams ended in a draw with both teams scoring two goals each.

    In the other match played between Virajpet XI and Kodagu XI, Kodagu XI team defeated their opponents convincingly by 4-2 goals. The specialty of the tournament is that the organisers have introduced the new rules and regulations which the Hockey India will be introducing from Sept. 2014. Accordingly, Own Goal and Golden Goal have been removed.

    source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> Sports News / April 21st, 2014

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    April 26th, 2014adminRecords, All, Sports

    Chinappa dominated the second game before Grinham fought back in the third. (TOI Photo)

    Chinappa dominated the second game before Grinham fought back in the third. (TOI Photo)


    Richmond :

    Joshna Chinappa of India ended a career-long losing run to Australia’s former world champion Rachael Grinham when she upset the top seed in straight games to win the inaugural $10,000 Richmond Open.

    World No.21 Chinappa beat her 16th-ranked opponent 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 for the first time in six meetings to bag her ninth Women’s Squash Association (WSA) tour title at the Country Club of Virginia on Saturday.

    With the victory, Chinappa also avenged her defeat of the Texas Open last week when she lost to the 37-year-old Australian in just 24 minutes.

    For Grinham, it was the 65th final appearance since making her first tour final back in March 1998 while it was the 16th final for the Indian.

    Tournament spokesman Kristen Lange narrated the final. “Starting the first game, Grinham came out swinging, firing her way to a 6-2 lead – however Chinappa surged back through consistent play to level the game off at 6-6,” Lange said.

    “From here it was a battle to 11, with the lead oscillating between the two players until a couple unfortunate mistakes gave Chinappa the first game,” he said.

    Chinappa dominated the second game before Grinham fought back in the third.

    “The start of the third game was once again all Chinappa as she quickly sailed to an 8-2 lead. Never one to be counted out Grinham fought her way back to 8-8, however it was a case of too little too late as Grinham made three critical errors to give Joshana her first win over the courageous Australian,” Lange added.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Sports> More Sports / PTI / April 20th, 2014

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    Former India player has undergone an amazing transformation

    Robin Uthappa (second left) practises with the Kolkata Knight Riders’ team at the Shaikh Zayed International Cricket Stadium. — KT photo

    Robin Uthappa (second left) practises with the Kolkata Knight Riders’ team at the Shaikh Zayed International Cricket Stadium. — KT photo

    Robin Uthappa is not just looking leaner and fitter, he is also in a good mental space. Ever since the dashing opener, who went on a 10-day break to Belgium last July, before returning to India and hiring former India batsman Pravin Amre as his personal coach, there has been an amazing transformation in the Karnataka batsman. Yes, the ruthlessness in still there in his batting, just that there is more discipline and a price on his wicket.

    Uthappa went through a whole make-over in his bid to make a comeback into the Indian team. And the road towards that began with a trophy-laden domestic cricket campaign with Karnataka and continues with the seventh edition of the IPL which begins on Wednesday.

    Uthappa, who began with Mumbai Indians before moving to Royal Challengers Bangalore and the now defunct Pune Warriors, will be parading his wares for the Shahrukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) this season.

    Uthappa, who made his ODI debut against England in April 2006, and had scored 86 in India’s win, last played an ODI against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final in Karachi, in July 2008. He made his T20 debut against Scotland in the T20 World Cup in Durban in September 2007 but that match was abandoned. His last T20 was against South Africa in Johannesburg in March 2012.

    Uthappa felt that his time out of the Indian team has helped him learn a lot. “It has been challenging for sure. But I have been able to embrace difficult times and learnt from it because it has brought me where I am today and helped me grow not just as a cricketer but also as a human being. Trials and tribulations helps one grow and I have used it in a very positive way. I think I have grown and matured a lot,” Uthappa said.

    There might be a massive waiting list for a slot in the Indian team but Uthappa said he still had age on his side. “I’m not that old. I’m only 28. Thing is I started at the Under-19 level and you guys have seen me for so long that you think I’m old. I’m only 28 and it would be good to be back in the team and be part of the set up. It is about putting runs at the right time and if you can contribute to the team. I’m very happy that I have been able to contribute to the teams that I have played with because that becomes meaningful and that’s when you are valued and you value your performances. And people begin to trust you and put that faith in you,” he said.

    Uthappa was pleased with the domestic showing. “As a team, Karnataka created history. We won the Ranji Trophy. We won the Irani Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy. No team has done that in domestic cricket in India. We all feel a lot of pride. It has been good and satisfying to be a meaningful contributor to those victories. So, very satisfied with the way things are going,” said Uthappa.

    Karnataka won a seventh Ranji Trophy title before lapping up a fifth Irani Cup against the Rest of India. They also won the Vijay Hazare Trophy where Uthappa accumulated 536 runs, including three centuries. Uthappa repeatedly mentioned discipline which has helped him transform into a better cricketer.

    “It has been a journey over the last couple of years. I have just got more disciplined with my food. I have become more disciplined towards the sport. I got a bit distracted because of some personal issues. But then, common sense prevailed. I got in line with my goals. It took a bit of time,” he said.

    Uthappa felt that the strong showing has put him back in the reckoning for a return to the Indian team. “It is pretty clear for me. I played for India ‘A’ last year. I scored a 100 and I was in the reckoning. Unfortunately, I had an injury and it took me 10 weeks to be back. I played six games of the Ranji Trophy. But I came back and was able to contribute to the team.” Uthappa said. “I have changed a lot on my technique. I value my wicket a lot more right now,” he added.

    source: http://www.khaleejtimes.com / Khaleej Times / Home> Sport Home> IPL 2014 / by James Jose (james@khaleejtimes.com) / April 13th, 2014

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    Rohan Bopanna, at 34, is the most experienced member of the Indian Davis Cup team. He’s also back on the pro circuit with his most successful doubles partner Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi. Off the court, his marriage to Supriya Annaiah is just over a year old.

    (Rohan Bopanna, at 34,…)

    (Rohan Bopanna, at 34,…)

    He chats with Shamya Dasgupta about the calm after a stormy few years for the tennis player.

    You’ve had 11 years in the pro circuit now. Do you think you have achieved what you set out to do?

    Looking back, if someone told me that I would one day be the most senior representative on the Indian Davis Cup team and reach a career high of World No 3 (in men’s doubles), I would have found it hard to believe. It has been a journey of sacrifices and determination, which have, fortunately, paid off. I would say I have achieved most of what I set out to when I decided to take up the game, though I would still like to lead India to laurels on the global stage (in the Davis Cup) and also win a Grand Slam title, or many.

    A question you would have fielded before—why do Indians make better players in the doubles game as compared with the singles game?

    I don’t think there’s a tennis player in the world, who when he picks up the racquet for the first time and decides to be a professional, wants to be a doubles specialist. It is only later on in your career that you decide, based on your skills and your game, and choose to be a doubles specialist. I guess, in India, it is also due to the lack of sponsors that you choose the doubles route, an option that is financially viable.

    You’re back with Aisam—what makes the two of you such a strong doubles team? Indeed, what makes any two individuals play well together?

    There are a lot of factors that account for a great doubles pairing. Most important, I believe, is great chemistry on and off the court. Aisam and I have been close friends, having spent so many years on the circuit in proximity. I think that is a significant contribution to our success, apart from our understanding of each other’s game and each other’s strengths and weaknesses, again on court and off court. Drawing parallels to a marriage, which is my other significant partnership these days, I would say that all partnerships need work, effort and commitment.

    Do you think you, and Aisam of course, became sacrificial lambs, so to say, in the 2011-12 period because of ‘issues’ between other people (Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi)?

    I can only speak for myself here and not for Aisam—well, it was I who decided to play with Mahesh and not Aisam in 2012 keeping the focus on representing the country and the London Olympics. And looking back at the on-court success, 2012 was definitely one of the best so far in my career. Off-court controversies are in the in the past and as players, you live, learn and move on as mature individuals. My focus is now on the year ahead and I am looking forward to it.

    Would you say, because of the way things panned out, no one really benefited in that period, not Leander or Mahesh, nor you or Aisam, or even Sania Mirza?

    I do not think anyone who genuinely cared about the sport benefited from the issues at that point of time. But, we have moved on. But, there’s a chance a similar issue might crop up before the 2016 Olympics. I am focused on the current year and not looking that far ahead.

    Moving on, the International Tennis Premier League is also around the corner. What do you think the ITPL will do for you, and for tennis as a whole?

    I’m really looking forward to being part of the ITPL. It will be a great opportunity to play along with and against some of the biggest names in the sport. I hope that it propels the interest for the game and boosts the viewership across Asia.

    You are the most experienced player in the Indian Davis Cup team at the moment. What does that mean to you?

    It is a fairly young team that we have currently representing the country at the Davis Cup. All of the guys are enthusiastic about making the country proud and, for me, it is a great opportunity to try and help them and pass on what my experiences in the game have taught me.

    The reunion with Aisam has already brought you a title in Dubai. You and Aisam are the same age, so how far do you think the two of you can go?

    The win in Dubai was gratifying and we hope to continue with the success from that win. We would like to play together for a couple of years at the very least, with a Grand Slam victory a priority.

    (The author is Senior Editor at Wisden India)

    source: http://www.articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com / The Economic Times / Home> News> Sports / ET Bureau / by Shyama Dasgupta / April 05th, 2014

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    Cubbon Park was charged with enthusiasm as more than 150 cyclists participated in the Child Rights and You’s (CRY) Vote for Child Rights Cycle Rally. Flagging off the rally alongside Regional Director of CRY recently, (South) Suma Ravi, were eminent personalities, including ace Badminton player Ashwini Ponnappa, Paralympic high jumper silver medalist Girisha Hosanagara Rajegowda, Kannada actor Srimurali and Guinness Record holder, young actor-director Kishan Srikanth. The 6-km rally which started off at Cubbon Park, and traversed around M G Road, culminated at Cubbon Park.

    Suma Ravi said, “The Bangalore Cycle rally concludes our events for CRY’s Vote for Child Rights campaign, and yet again we are thrilled to witness the enthusiasm of all our participants in helping us spread the word.”

    Ashwini Ponnappa said, “I’m glad that I am associated with a campaign that calls for everyone to become active advocates for Child Rights. I would like to see all girls getting equal opportunities everywhere in life.”

    Mirroring the same sentiments, Girish Hosanagara said, “The Vote for Child Rights campaign stands for the rights for our children and is aimed at the people who will finally be in power. Every child, irrespective of any disability, must have the right to a happy, healthy childhood.”

    Srimurali said, “CRY has always worked towards ensuring lasting change for children, and as an actor if I can do anything to help, I will.”

    Supported by Unibic Foods India Pvt Ltd (Refreshment partner), Kerberon Automations, Bangalore Cyclists Club, Eden Suites and Target Imprints, the rally is part of CRY’s nationwide Vote for Child Rights campaign that started on November 13, 2013. It included activities ranging from signing pledges from the general public to getting prominent personalities from across India to support the campaign, to the organising events like wall paintings and flash mobs to showcase the current state of Child Rights in India.

    The campaign believes that India’s children, who account for one third of the population, deserve the collective demonstration of commitment towards child rights. It also calls for action to express zero tolerance towards violation of child rights so that every child can be assured of a happy, healthy and creative childhood. That can happen only if children are recognised as rights holders and people in power remain committed towards providing care, protection, essential services and opportunities to each and every child.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Bangalore / by Express News Service – Bangalore / March 24th, 2014

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    New Delhi :

    Leading Indian doubles badminton player Ashwini Ponnappa said on Sunday that she is happy to see more and more people take up the sport.

    “I am happy to see more and more people take up badminton. It is great to see that many people are getting interested in the sport and are following India’s progress at the world stage,” the 2010 Commonwealth Games women’s doubles gold medallist said after giving away PNB MetLife RWA Badminton Championship prizes at the Thyagaraj Stadium here.

    “I hope to see more support for badminton in the future as this will spread the popularity of the sport in India.”

    The 2011 World Championship bronze medallist starts her campaign at the $250,000 India Open Super Series at the Siri Fort Sports Complex Wednesday.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Sports> Badminton / IANS / March 30th, 2014

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    Between defence and aggression./  Photo: Bhagya Prakash K. / The Hindu

    Between defence and aggression./ Photo: Bhagya Prakash K. / The Hindu


    Robin Uthappa has found the midpoint between aggression and composure and the rewards in terms of runs, has been phenomenal.

    The metamorphosis of Robin Uthappa has perhaps been the most riveting tale in Karnataka cricket in the recent past. Just like the many languages he speaks, Uthappa the cricketer has embraced multiple roles over the last decade and aptly his whatsapp status is: “I’m different, get over it.”

    Uthappa has donned many avatars in his evolution as an aggressive opener: a slightly over-weight kid who donned the wicket-keeping gloves and biffed with his bat; a brash teenager who smote the ball hard and drew the appreciation of former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar; the youngster who turned out for India, sparkled briefly and then was resigned to be on the sidelines; the man who asked for the Karnataka captaincy because he believed he could deliver; and now an elder statesman though he is just 28, scoring runs by the ton, lending whole-hearted support to captain Vinay Kumar and also dreaming about wresting back the India cap.

    It is an exhaustive list but the varied experiences have shaped Uthappa well. There is a sense of calm and a whole lot of perspective in the way he approaches the game and his life and all that has helped him individually besides lending stability to Karnataka’s batting. It is a point that has caught his State coach J. Arunkumar’s eye. “Robin is very composed now. Even when he talks, he thinks a lot before he says anything. Earlier, he wasn’t like that, he could snap. Now he is in a good space personally and that shows in his batting. To be honest, he is batting the best in the State and he is ready to play for India again, especially in the shorter formats,” Arunkumar says. During Karnataka’s recent Vijay Hazare Trophy triumph, Uthappa’s tons (133 vs Jharkhand and 132 n.o., vs Gujarat) helped Vinay Kumar’s men to extend their good form that has already yielded the Ranji Trophy and the Irani Cup. Uthappa’s merger of aggression with remarkable consistency, has been a work in progress.

    Last season, he roped in former India batsman Pravin Amre as his personal coach. And in a lovely tandem that tided past egos and focussed on the larger goal of good cricket, Amre and Arunkumar, worked out an easy understanding between themselves which helped the player improve rapidly. “Pravin has led me when I played for India ‘A’ and I have a lot of respect for him. There are no egos here and it is all about helping a player become better as well as help his team,” Arunkumar says.

    To Uthappa’s credit, he found a mid-point between his innate aggression, while also adapting to Amre’s Bombay school of batsmanship that paid its traditional respects to defensive batting. Arunkumar, who was an aggressive opener in his heydays, says: “I believe that if a ball is short and wide, you should cut it, no point in leaving it. I tell that to Robin and the others, the situation might be 30 for three but you should be alert to scoring runs. Yes, he did get a bit too defensive when the last season began and then I had a chat with both Robin and Pravin. Now the good thing is that he is neither too aggressive nor too defensive. He has found his balance.”

    Many years ago, when asked about the defining influences in his life, Uthappa spoke about Him. The Him was none other than Jesus Christ and Uthappa’s spiritual leanings, which continues to this day, his strong sense of self-esteem that has not lapsed into arrogance.

    The easy camaraderie he shares with his team-mates and his constant instrospection about his game, have helped him find his feet. Having played for India in the past, Uthappa has reiterated his credentials again. May be it is a matter of time before he joins the ‘Men in Blue.’

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus / by K.C. Vijaya Kumari / Bangalore – March 23rd, 2014

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    In India, the Wings for Life World Run will kick off from Rai Sports Complex, Sonipat and is expected to end at Karnal. The run is being organized under the aegis of the Haryana Olympics Association.

    New Delhi:

    Seoul Olympics silver-medallist hurdler Colin Jackson, cricketer Gautam Gambhir and ace shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa on Wednesday came together to launch the India edition of the ‘Wings For Life World Run’ aimed at raising funds for spinal cord research.

    Former 110m hurdles world record holder Jackson is the global race director for the event set to take place on May 4 in Sonipat, Haryana simultaneously along with across 34 countries, starting at 1530 IST or 1000 UTC.

    Along with the two-time world champion Jackson, were the Indian ambassadors of the race, Gambhir and Ponnappa. Also present at the event to support the cause were some of Haryana Olympic Association’s top athletes Vijender Singh, Sandeep Singh, Yogeshwar Dutt, Jai Bhagwan Singh, Dinesh Kumar and Raju Godara.

    “The Wings for Life World Run is not just an exceptional sports event, but also a completely new endurance format for everybody, everywhere. Moreover, 100 per cent of the funds gathered from the race will go towards the Wings for Life – a foundation that funds research into finding a cure for spinal cord injury,” Jackson said.

    Starting at 11 am in London, 2 am in Los Angeles, 6 pm in Australia, and 3:30 pm in India – this one-of-its-kind race will take place simultaneously across 40 different locations worldwide. Over 150,000 runners will race at exactly the same time – regardless of whether it’s day or night.

    With no finish line to end the run, the runners will be chased by a catcher car, which marks the end of the race for a runner as it passes him/her. The catcher car takes off 30 min after the run begins and once it goes past a runner, his/her race is over and he/she is given the final world rank.

    As the race progresses, the cars will eliminate competitors as they pass them, until there’s a single man and woman left running – who are then crowned the Global Champions of the Wings for Life World Run.

    Additionally, there will be country winners; as well as recognition for the last man and woman left on the track in each country.

    In India, the Wings for Life World Run will kick off from Rai Sports Complex, Sonipat and is expected to end at Karnal. The run is being organized under the aegis of the Haryana Olympics Association.

    Competing in the Wings for Life World Run will be professional athletes, passionate amateurs, medal-winning Olympians, charity ambassadors, and everyone who chooses to participate. Expected to last for six hours, this is a race for runners of all levels.

    Gambhir, however, would not be running at the event due to his participation in the Indian Premier League as the skipper of Kolkata Knight Riders.

    source: http://www.sports.ndtv.com / NDTV Sports / Sports Home> Cricket> News / Press Trust of India / Wednesday – March 19th, 2014

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    Bangalore :

    After battling crippling cramps during the early part of the season, during which he missed six Ranji Trophy matches, opening batsman Robin Uthappa roared back to form during the national one-dayers for the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

    Following the Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup triumphs, Robin Uthappa slammed a run-a-ball 104 against Kerala in the Subbaiah Pillai Trophy, the South Zone qualifiers for the national one-dayers. The opener was at his boisterous best during the national meet in Kolkata last week, slamming back-to-back tons (132 not out against Gujarat and 133 against Jharkhand) to help Karnataka complete a historic treble. Uthappa, who occasionally bowls mediumpace, returned with two wickets as Karnataka eked out a four-wicket win over Railways in the final at the Eden Gardens.

    “It’s a special feeling to be able to win all the three domestic tournaments,” said Uthappa, who top scored the tournament with 536 runs at an average of 76.57. “We are a unique bunch of cricketers as each player cares for the team. And to be part of history is more than pleasing,” he added.

    Uthappa is not letting himself get carried away following his success. Hours after winning the Vijay Hazare, Uthappa flew to his training base Mumabi to consult personal coach Praveen Amre as part of his preparation for the Deodhar Trophy, the zonal limited overs tournament which will kick off on March 23 at Vishakapatnam.

    “We have good players in the South Zone team and stand a good chance of winning the Deodhar Trophy,” Uthappa pointed out.

    In the run-up to the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Karnataka’s unbeaten run came to an end when the defending champions were defeated by Tamil Nadu in the South Zone title decider. However Robin said the team’s focus was on the national title. “There is no guilt feeling of losing against Tamil Nadu. But we knew Vijay Hazare Trophy was very important,” said Uthappa terming the season as one of his best. His best season was 2006-07 Ranji Trophy in which he was top scorer with 854 runs.

    With a string of impressive performances, the stylish Bangalorean is now dreaming about another stint with the Indian team. “I believe I have performed well. I believe I should be playing the next level of cricket and I am confident that I will succeed at the highest level. Given a chance I will be able to add value to the team,” said Uthappa, who last played an ODI in 2008 against Sri Lanka in Karachi.

    His last international appearance was in the rain-affected T20 game in South Africa in March 2012.

    ROBIN’s SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

    Vijay Hazare Trophy 8 vs Railways 133 vs Jharkhand 132 not out vs Gujarat Subbaiah Pillai Trophy 33 vs Tamil Nadu 27 vs Goa 104 vs Kerala 45 vsHyderabad 54 vs Andhra Ranji Trophy 86 vs Vidharba 33 vs Odisha 100 vs Uttar Pradesh 47 vs Punjab 72 & 36 vs Maharashtra.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Sports> Cricket> Domestic Cricket> Vijay Hazare Trophy / Sunil Subbaiah, TNN / March 17th, 2014

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    March 22nd, 2014adminRecords, All, Sports

    The latest edition of the Kodava Hockey Festival, scheduled to begin at Virajpet on April 20, is vying to enter the Guiness Book of World Records, according to its organisers.

    The competition, a hugely popular event among Kodava families since 1997, is aiming to field 325 families in the tournament this year – thus breaking the record for the largest field hockey tournament in the world, irrespective of age and gender. Each team is eligible to enter 16 family members into the event and it is scheduled to end on May 19. The event this year wil be organised by the Thathanda family.

    At a press conference here to announce the 2014 edition of the festival of hockey, the head of the Thathanda Family, Nanaiah, spoke with gusto about the tradition and the deep seated roots that hockey has with the country. He pointed out that the current Indian men’s national team has a good number of players from Kodagu.

    The winners of the tournament will take home Rs 1 lakh, while the runners-up will receive Rs 50,000.

    There was also an official pre-launch exhibition match between two teams representing various Kodava families at the KSHA Stadium on Saturday night.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Sports / DHNS / Bangalore – March 16th, 2014

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