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    January 30th, 2014adminSports

    Mysore :

    The Kodava Samaja Cultural and Sports Club, Vijayanagar, will be conducting annual sports meet for various Kodava Sanghas located in the city and the schedule is as follows:

    Adenganda Seethamma Memorial Throwball Tournament for ladies will be held on Feb. 2 at Sree Cauvery Educational Institution, Adichunchanagiri Road, Kuvempunagar.

    On the same day, tug-of-war and shot put events will also be held. The shot put event will be held both for men and women in the following categories: For women- below 20 years and above 20 years and for men- below 20 years, between 20 & 50 years and above 50 years. Interested may send in their entries to the Club before Jan. 30.

    For details, contact Club Secretary Kuttimada D. Muthappa on Mob: 94498-15155, according to a press release.

    source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> Sports News / January 24th, 2014

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    Former India sprinter Ashwini Nachappa today expressed happiness over ace long jumper Anju Bobby George’s upgraded gold medal in an event that she took part in eight years ago and said the nation is proud of her feat though it has come after so long.

    “Whether it is eight years, a gold medal is a gold medal. She was at the peak of her performance at that point of time. We cherish those moments when she won the silver and we are happy that she got the gold, of course for other reasons,” Nachappa said during a promotional event here today.

    “She is extremely happy and we are very proud that she got a clean chit and the one who cheated got caught,” the 46-year-old former athlete told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of a Puma running relay event for school children in three cities – Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.

    Anju’s second place finish at the 2005 Monaco World Athletics final was upgraded to a gold medal yesterday, following a confirmed dope violation by Russian competitor Tatyana Kotova who had stood first but has now been stripped of her place after her sample was found to contain traces of a banned substance when it was tested again.

    Nachappa, who is president of ‘Clean Sport India’, also warned that doping is rampant in India – even at the grassroot level.

    “I believe that the performance enhancing drugs have become rampant even in our country. Among young children, it is such a dangerous trend. I am connected with athletics and when I see the junior meets that takes place, it is actually quite frightening. You go to any national championship, you see syringes on the ground, in the toilets.”

    She wanted young athletes as well as the coaches to be educated about the dangers of dope.

    “I think we need to have a broader education, not just within the classrooms but on the field also, not just with the children but also with our trainers, because after all kids will not know what they are taking till a certain age. They are not educated enough and believe in coaches. You have got to be sensitive on these issues.

    source: http://www.business-standard.com / Business Standard / Home> PTI Stories> National> News / by Press Trust of India / Mumbai – January 15th, 2014

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    January 27th, 2014adminSports

    Circa 2002. India, still part of the World Group, were playing Australia in the first round of Davis Cup at Adelaide. Having lost the first three ties, captain Ramesh Krishnan decided to send a 22-year-old for the reverse singles match. A certain Bangalorean by the name of Rohan Bopanna, who was the youngest in the team, could not make his Davis Cup debut a memorable one as he lost to Scott Draper in straight sets and the Indians lost 0-5.

    It’s been over a decade since Bopanna first played for the country, and this time, he is back in the squad as the senior-most player when India take on the Chinese Taipei in the Asia/Oceania Group I encounter starting in Indore on January 31.
    Making a comeback after a two-year hiatus, the 33-year-old couldn’t have asked for a better start to the new year. “It’s obviously a great feeling to be selected again. I’m honoured to represent my country and this time, as the senior most player. I have been playing well and that has accounted for my selection. Looking forward to the year ahead,” he told TNIE.

    In the absence of seasoned players Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, the onus is on Bopanna to lead the young brigade.

    “I am happy to be part of this team with the youngsters and share all the experiences that I have learnt from Mahesh and Leander over the past decade. I shall do my best to motivate them and also use all my experience in the doubles event to help ease the pressures on Saketh (Myneni), who is making his debut,” he added.

    What about the opponents? “Chinese Taipei have strong players. Lu (Yen-hsun), who is the number one player, has been in the top 100 for a few years now; (Jimmy) Wang just qualified to the main draw of the Australian Open. So it will definitely be interesting and hoping for some home support and great performance by us, which will aid us in pulling this through,” he further added.
    The selection came as a blessing in disguise as it did wonders to Bopanna’s confidence ahead of the Australian Open. After finishing runners-up in Sydney, in only his second tournament with Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi post their renewed partnership, Bopanna hopes to taste success at Melbourne Park too. “It’s great to go into a Grand Slam feeling confident. We had a great tournament in Sydney. Even though we lost in the final, neither of us had lost a serve in the entire tournament, which is a big confidence booster. In the final, we had numerous chances. It was just that (Daniel) Nestor and (Nenad) Zimonjic played the crucial points better than us and we were slightly unlucky,” he said.
    Of their blooming partnership, Bopanna said, “Me and Aisam have always had a great understanding and have had a reasonable amount of success. Since then, we have gained a lot of experience on the circuit, which should help us this year. We are enjoying playing with each other and are confident of our abilities as a team,” he added.

    The Indo-Pak Express, seeded seventh, will play the Australian-French pair of Rameez Junaid and Adrian Mannarino in their opening round on Thursday.

    Bopanna has joined hands with Slovenia’s Katrina Srebotnik and the second seeds will take on Raquel Kops-Jones and Treat Huey in the first round of the mixed doubles.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Sport / by Kristhika Gopalkrishnan / Express News Service – Chennai / January 16th, 2014

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    January 26th, 2014adminSports

    Ashwini Nachappa takes part in the PUMA ``School of Speed’’ event. / Photo: Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    Ashwini Nachappa takes part in the PUMA “School of Speed’’ event. / Photo: Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    Former sprinter Ashwini Nachappa, who has taken initiatives to uplift lives of around 1800 slum children and orphans in Bangalore, reiterated a view that it is important to integrate academics and sports for the healthy development of school children. She has introduced the slum children to athletics and a handful of them have become state champions.

    Taking part in the PUMA “School of Speed’’ debate, the 46 year old who is also vice-president of Clean Sports India (CSI) said: “I’m a product of the school games. It was mandatory to take part in school games. Our PT instructor took pride in showcasing talent outside the academics and class room. Today an average child has no place to go; be it sports, music and dance, all aspects of arts should be part of the school curriculum. Learning motor skill works wonders. And no child can excel without parental support.’’

    The sports footwear and apparel company has decided to organise a unique relay running event “ school for speed’’ for boys and girls in the age group of 13-16 in Mumbai (MMRDA ground, Feb.9), Delhi (JNU campus, Feb. 15) and Bangalore (venue and date to be decided). Cricketer Yuvraj Singh who is the brand ambassador of the event said there were opportunities for him growing up in school and college in Chandigarh. “Sports helps in the development of a healthy mind in children.’’

    The top winners of the pioneering event will get a chance to meet the world’s legendary athlete, Usain Bolt.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sports> Athletics / by G. Vishwanath / Mumbai – January 15th, 2014

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    Bangalore :

    Uttar Pradesh’s despondent body language was a dead giveaway on a day when their hopes evaporated as swiftly as the moisture on the KSCA pitch. At 15 for three within 40 minutes of play hosts Karnataka looked dead and buried. Yet by the end of the first day’s play in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal, it was UP that looked broken and disjointed.

    Ranji Trophy Tracker

    ("The plan was to just hang…)

    (“The plan was to just hang…)

    Karnataka, powered by two brilliant centuries by Robin Uthappa and Karun Nair and a rollicking unbeaten 89 by CM Gautham, dramatically turned the tables in one of the finest fightbacks seen on this venue. At close, the hosts were 297/5.

    UP, who opted to bowl first on a green top laden with moisture were over the moon when they plucked out Karnataka’s three heavy run-getters, KL Rahul, R Samarth and Manish Pandey, all without opening their account. That brought the in-form Karun Nair, who had opened the batting against Delhi and made a century in challenging circumstances, to join forces with an unusually circumspect Uthappa.

    Amit Mishra, the pick of the three-pronged medium-pace attack, was getting the ball to move disconcertingly. The alternate strips of grass and bald pitch challenged the batsmen. Deliveries that hit the turf seamed and skidded through while the rest went at a different velocity.

    “The plan was to just hang in there. We were not concerned with the scoring but sought to see off the new ball and the moisture on the pitch,” explained Uthappa as Karnataka took all of 23 overs to crawl to 50.

    Uthappa, though, was the more assertive partner. He eschewed risks, but still came up with some spanking drives and leg glances while Karun got his eye in and made it count. The pair added 120 runs for the fourth wicket.

    Brief scores: Karnataka 297-5 (Robin Uthappa 100, Karun Nair 100, Gautham 89*, Amit Mishra 2-70, Ali Murtuza 2-87)

    source: http://www.articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Sports> Domestic Cricket> Amit Mishra / by Vedam Jaishankar, TNN / January 09th, 2014

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    There is a positive change in the sports scene in India and this is just the beginning…S.R. Suryanarayan in conversation with squash player Joshna Chinnappa.

    Indian squash player Joshna Chinnappa / Photo : R. Ravindran. / The Hindu

    Indian squash player Joshna Chinnappa / Photo : R. Ravindran. / The Hindu

    Having watched her father play since she was a toddler, Joshna says she had taken to squash like fish to water. “I also had a choice of playing tennis or badminton, but I stuck to squash because I began loving the sport,” said the national women’s champion and currently a top 20 player in the world. Like those who have nothing to do with cricket, Joshna too is envious of the way cricket and cricketers garner so much space in the media and other activities of public interest. But she says that it has not affected the growth of other sports in the country nor the progress of such sportspersons. “Look at Saina Nehwal, wrestler Yogeshwar and other achievers in various sports. They are getting recognition even in the Olympics,” Joshna says. But yes, the champion player would be happy if there was proportionate rise in the coverage of such achievements in the newspapers.

    Changing scene
    Joshna talks of a talent in her own sport, Mahesh Mangaonkar, a youngster from Mumbai who recently won a PSA tour event (akin to winning a professional tournament in say tennis or badminton) but which got very little publicity. “It was a significant win and deserved more,” she said. But then, Joshna admits that unlike 10 or 15 years ago, when squash hardly found mention, things have changed vastly. “We have three players (Dipika Pallikal, Saurav Ghosal and myself) in India who are in the top 20 in the world rankings and our players have been regularly making an impact in various international tournaments,” she says, adding that it has ensured a certain visibility for squash now. Recognition too has been coming, stating that she received the Arjuna award last year.

    What has heartened her is the increasing number of juniors taking to the sport and for this, she acknowledges the presence of the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai as one prime reason. “For two years now, there has been an overwhelming response for the junior national championship. This is a good sign,” she says. “There is much more accessibility to the courts now and this helps in maintaining consistency in performances.”

    Looking back, Joshna does not regret one bit choosing squash for a career. “I like the sport. I enjoy playing it and my hard work is also paying me well. I am sure this must be true of every sport and sportsperson,” she says. Like many other squash players in the world, Joshna too keenly looks forward to seeing the sport in the Olympics!

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus> Nxg> Think Tank / by S.R. Suryanarayan / Chennai – January 08th, 2014

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    Opening batsman Robin Uthappa is all set to return for Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy quarterfinal tie against Uttar Pradesh from January 8.

    The right-hander, who featured in a couple of matches for Karnataka in the league phase before suffering a hamstring injury, will replace Mayank Agarwal at the top of the order.

    Agarwal, who has been relatively successful in his first season with 380 runs from seven matches, has been selected to feature in Karnataka’s Col CK Nayudu (under-25) Trophy quarterfinal match against Himachal Pradesh at Dharamsala on January 5 instead.

    “The under-25 quarterfinal is important too so we decided that it would be better to have Mayank playing at Dharamsala instead of making him sit on the reserve bench here,” said chief selector Sudhakar Rao.

    Karnataka squad: R Vinay Kumar (captain), CM Gautam (vice-captain/ wicketkeeper), Robin Uthappa, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, R Samarth, Shreyas Gopal, Ronit More, Abhimanyu Mithun, HS Sharath, Abrar Kazi, Ganesh Satish, Amit Verma, KP Appanna. Batting coach: J Arun Kumar. Bowling coach: Mansur Ali Khan. Manager: B Siddaramu. Physio: M Vasanth. Video analyst: Santhosh. Logistic manager: A Ramesh Rao.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Sports / Bangalore – DHNS, January 02nd, 2014

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    January 10th, 2014adminSports

    Rohan Bopanna should consider himself a lucky man. Not only is the tennis star still head-over-heels in love with his wife Supriya Annaiah, he says that she doesn’t get mad with all the female attention that comes his way. Unfortunately, being a famous, tall and handsome tennis player send a lot of adoring female fans his way.

    Well, I’m married, so I think the fans know by now to leave me alone,” Rohan jokes. “But jokes aside, Supriya’s cool with it. She says its a great thing to have so many fans come out and recognise you. They have every right to come and speak to you, no matter what they want to speak to you about,” he says seriously.

    The doubles player, who is currently ranked no 13, visibly grins when this reporter asks about his lady love, ahead of his match against the pair of Benoît Paire and Wawrinka. “Marriage is super,” he tells us a year after he tied the knot. “It’s always nice to have family on the road with you, and with Supriya, it’s great to have her with me during tournaments!” he says with a grin. Ask Rohan his wishlist for 2014 and pat comes the answer – win a grand slam title. Prod some more and out comes the second one. “I want to show my wife the rest of the cities (on the Tour), the parts she’s not seen. She’s seen the cities from June to December. I want to show her the ones from January to June,” he says with an even bigger grin. Aside from tennis, marriage has also brought about another change in Rohan’s travel itinerary. He finally gets to look around the cities he travels to.

    And it’s all because of the wife. “I’ve been to so many places, but I usually never go out,” he says and admits that when it comes to doing touristy things in a city, it is Supriya who does all the work. “Usually, I’d just be sitting in my hotel room after practise, ordering room service, not doing anything. Now that my wife is there, she makes an effort to read up on what to do in the city we’re in and makes me go with her,” he says. “Also, now there’s somebody to go see these places with,” he adds with a wry smile.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Janane Venkatraman – Chennai / January 01st, 2014

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    January 4th, 2014adminSports, World Opinion

    It was a pairing made for the headlines, a young Indian and a young Pakistani playing together and, quite apart from the novelty value, doing well. ‘Stop War, Start Tennis’ – their campaign – even earned them the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award for 2011, but that same year, the duo- Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi – split up.

    It was a pity. More so because they had no problem with each other; other people had problems with other. The issue was the 2012 London Olympics and at its core, the problem was between Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.

    Bopanna joined hands with Bhupathi in his preparations for the Olympics. Qureshi stepped back; what choice did he have anyway? But now Bopanna is back with Qureshi. And that’s awesome news. For how long though, and to what end?

    Both men are 33 now. Bopanna is ranked No. 13 in the doubles world, and Qureshi is at No. 15in the last update. They were both late bloomers and came into their own only in each other’s company -in 2007.

    And just before they separated, they had reached the 2010 US Open final, and in 2011, won the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Paris and made the ATP World Tour finals in London. They were, clearly, at their best, or getting there.

    Seeing that they haven’t slipped much in the rankings, it would only be fair to assume that they can still do some good things together. But the question is whether the 2011 split might repeat itself come 2015.

    Bhupathi is still there and thereabouts , but not the force he once was. But Paes is still up there, ranked No. 10 in the world, and has confirmed that he is aiming sharp for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

    Keeping that in mind, and keeping in mind the fact that a pair should play together for at least a year before taking part in a major competition, the life of the New Indo-Pak Express looks set to be just a year and a half, destined to last only till the middle of 2015.

    That would be terrible, both for the pairing and for ‘Stop War, Start Tennis.’ But then again, considering the value of an Olympic Games medal, forget Paes, can Bopanna chuck up the opportunity either if it comes calling, at Qureshi’s expense if necessary?

    Shamya Dasgupta is Senior Editor, Wisden India

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Sports> Tennis> Top Stories / by Shamya Dasgupta / December 27th, 2013

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    January 3rd, 2014adminSports

    The Indo-Pak pair, who took the world by storm by reaching the US Open final in 2010, will be coming together for the new season, commencing with ATP Tour in Chennai.
    Bangalore :

    Happy to be reunited with doubles partner Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan, Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna on Tuesday exuded confidence of doing “extremely well” in the upcoming season, starting in January next year.

    “It is great for me to get reunited with Qureshi and I am really looking forward to continue (the partnership). It is (also) a very positive sign and we can do extremely well (in next season, beginning January),” he told reporters here on the sidelines of “Unshaven is Unbathed” movement launched by Gillette.

    The Indo-Pak pair, who took the world by storm by reaching the US Open final in 2010, will be coming together for the new season, commencing with ATP Tour in Chennai.

    Bopanna parted ways with Qureshi in 2011 to partner compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi, keeping an eye on 2012 London Olympics. The Pakistani united with Jean-Julien Rojer.

    A haywire and not-too-impressive last season for both Bopanna and Qureshi prompted them to announce their reunification for the next season.

    Even though Bopanna reached a career-high individual doubles ranking of world number three, playing with a string of partners, the Bangalore-lad failed to qualify for London’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

    Bopanna changed five doubles partners in 2013. Early on in the same season, he split with Bhupathi and partnered Rajeev Ram, Marcelo Melo, Colin Fleming and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

    source: http://www.sports.ndtv.com / NDTV Sports / Sports Home> Tennis> News / Press Trust of India / Tuesday – December 17th, 2013

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