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    JoshnaKF05jul2016

    New Delhi :

    Top squash player Joshna Chinappa on Friday rose to a career high 10th position in the latest PSA world rankings, becoming the second Indian to break the top-10 barrier after longtime India teammate Dipika Pallikal.

    Chinappa, who has been in fine form in the last six months, moved a place to be 10th in the standings. Pallikal, who broke the top-10 barrier in December 2012, is ranked 19th in the latest rankings.

    Chinappa had reached her biggest ever final at the HKFC International in Hong Kong in May.

    She is now getting ready to defend her title in the National Championship, to be held in Mumbai from July 12.

    Pallikal, who was 18th last month, dropped a place in the rankings. She was a quarterfinalist at the HKFC International.

    The only other Indian in the top 20, Saurav Ghosal, remained on 17. Ghosal had been off action for a while nursing an ankle injury and is due to return to active squash at the Nationals in Mumbai.

    source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> Sports News / July 04th, 2016

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    Joshna Chinappa is now the second Indian squash player after Dipika Pallikal to enter the top-10 ranking. Dipika is currently ranked 19th.

    Joshna Chinappa entered final at the HKFC International in Hong Kong in May. /  @ AFP

    Joshna Chinappa entered final at the HKFC International in Hong Kong in May.
    / @ AFP

    New Delhi:

    Joshna Chinappa, top squash player, on Friday rose to a career high 10th position in the latest PSA world rankings, becoming the second Indian to break the top-10 barrier after Dipika Pallikal.

    Chinappa, who has been in fine form in the last six months, moved a place to be 10th in the standings. Pallikal, who broke the top-10 barrier in December 2012, is ranked 19th in the latest rankings.

    Chinappa had reached her biggest ever final at the HKFC International in Hong Kong in May.

    She is now getting ready to defend her title in the National Championship, to be held in Mumbai from July 12.

    Pallikal, who was 18th last month, dropped a place in the rankings. She was a quarterfinalist at the HKFC International.

    The only other Indian in the top 20, Saurav Ghosal, remained on 17. Ghosal had been off action for a while nursing an ankle injury and is due to return to active squash at the Nationals in Mumbai.

    source: http://www.sports.ndtv.com / NDTV Sports / Home> News / by Press Trust of India / July 01st, 2016

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    Seven underprivileged children will be mentored by former athlete and Arjuna award winner Ashwini Nachappa to help realise their dreams of becoming good sportspersons.

    The initiative, launched by Dabur, received nearly 8,000 entries from all over India. Trials were conducted across Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal to identify talented athletes. An independent sports panel then screened potential athletes and shortlisted 350 of them. These candidates then participated in a national camp held in Delhi. A team of experts headed by Ms. Nachappa picked the top seven athletes from the group.

    Besides Sayali Mhaishune, who ran barefoot and won the under 17 district sports office inter-school athletic championships, the other winners are Avnee Rawat, Ujala, Shabnam, Vikas, Mohammed Meraj and Jainabaj.

    ( The writer is an intern with The Hindu )

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Delhi / Girbani Dutta / New Delhi – June 27th, 2016

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    M R Poovamma will spearhead Karnataka’s challenge at the 56th National Inter-State athletics championships in Hyderabad from June 28.

    Other notable names include sprinter H M Jyothi, quartermiler Ashwini Akkunji and high jumper Sahana Kumari.

    Sprinters Ashwin MK (200M, 400M, 4x400M relay), Sanjay V (100M, 200M, 4x100M relay) and Ganesh S (100M, 200M, 4x100M) will compete in three events.

    Squad: Men: Radesh MG (100M, 4x100M relay), Sanjay V (100M, 200M, 4x100M relay), Ganesh S (100M, 200M, 4x100M relay), Aiyappa KM (4x100M relay), Nagarj Kudubhavi (400M, 800M, 4x400M relay), Ashwin M J (200M, 400M, 4x400M relay), Tharun (400M, 4x400M relay), Bharath KA (800M, 4x400M relay), Jagadeesh Chandra (400M hurdles, 4x400M relay), Amaranath MD (110M hurdles, 4x100Mts relay), Nagabhushan CP (400M hurdles), Shamsheer SE (long jump), Karthik (triple jump), Jesse Sandesh (high jump), Sandeep Kumar (high jump), P Balakrishna (pole vault), Alfin (shot put).

    Women: HM Jyothi (100M, 4x100M relay), Reena George (100M, 200M, 4x100M relay), Prajna S Prakash (100M, 4x100M relay), Apsana Begam (4x100M relay), Vijaya Kumari GK (200M, 4x400M relay), MR Poovamma (400M, 4x400M relay), Ashwini Akkunji (400M, 400M hurdles, 4x400M relay), Nithya Shree A (400M, 4x400M relay), Arpitha M (400M hurdles, 4x400M relay), Shruthi KC (800M, 1500M), Thippavva Sannakki (5000M, 10000M), Joyline M Lobo (triple jump), Sahana Kumari (high jump), Khyathi S Vakharia (pole vault), Uma PS (shot put), Shahejahani (javelin), Rashmi K (javelin), Harshitha WR (hammer throw).

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Sports / DHNS / June 16th, 2016

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    Badminton champs Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa are excited about making the Olympics cut the second time in a row.

     Badminton champs Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa

    Badminton champs Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa

    Qualifying for the Olympics for your country is a big deal, and doing that twice in a row is on a different level — one that’s been achieved by Hyderabad’s own badminton stars Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa. The duo will be representing the country in the women’s doubles category for badminton in Rio in August. The two believe that their past experience at the Olympics-level will help them this time around. Jwala says, “The journey was pretty tough, with not too much of support and you’re mostly on your own with your own belief. And you need to motivate yourself every day. But it’s also been fruitful. I’m very happy that we’ve qualified for the Olympics again. It’s a huge achievement for us.”

    “It’s such a huge stage and it’ll be in a different venue in a different country… but I’m happy that we got the experience of the previous Olympics and this time, we’ll be going into each match with confidence,” adds Ashwini. The two have been training for seven hours daily under Malaysian coach Tan Kim Her. “The training is more organised, so there’s a lot more unity among the players. We’re all helping each other to do better, it’s a good atmosphere to play in right now,” adds Jwala.

    Jwala’s experience on court only helps Ashwini, with the latter saying that her confidence helps her play a calmer game. “She’s very gutsy, brave, bold, confident and very sure of herself. And that comes out on court as well. It’s good to have someone like that to play with, as then you don’t have to worry about your partner because they’re confident enough to play,” says Ashwini.

    Jwala adds that bonding with Ashwini while travelling has helped them understand each other better: “Even if I’m down, she’ll know how to cheer me up and get me back on track and I do the same with her. We need to understand that, because the game goes by so fast and we need to support each other.” The rise in the number of Indians taking to badminton, the two say, has helped the sport become popular in the country. But they also add that India has a long way to go before it’s even close to “sporting countries” like China and Korea. “Indians have been doing well, which motivates the juniors and gives them a lot of confidence to play well and beat the best when they go out for tournaments,” Ashwini says.

    Jwala adds, “Most of our population are from the lower (income) and lower-middle classes. We need to bring in talent from there and the only way we can do that is with the help of the government. We need to have a proper system in place, give them the incentives, make education free… so that even if they’re not able to do too well in sports, the education will allow them to lead a better life.”

    source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com / Deccan Chronicle / Home> Sports> Badminton / Deccan Chronicle, Christopher Isaac / June 21st, 2016

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    Ashwini Ponnappa talks about her doubles partner, a favourable draw at Rio and much more in an exclusive interview.

    Ashwini Ponnappa with her doubles partner Jwala Gutta

    Ashwini Ponnappa with her doubles partner Jwala Gutta

    India’s ace women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa are slogging it out in Hyderabad under the watchful eyes of their Malaysian coach Tan Kim. The pair – ranked 15th in the world – have one goal in mind, to bag an Olympic medal. Ashwini Ponnappa talks about the pair’s prospects in Rio and much more in an exclusive interview.

    Excerpts:

    Q How are your preparations going on for the Rio Olympics?

    We (me and Jwala Gutta) are training hard in Hyderabad under doubles coach Tan Kim. We are focused on doing well at the Rio Olympics. Keeping our fingers crossed.

    Q What’s your take on striking a balance between taking adequate rest and playing tournaments in the run-up to a marquee event like the Olympics?

    It is imperative to have a proper balance – we will play in the Canadian Open later this month and US Open in early July before we have a month or so of rest and training before we head to Rio. I think we will be recharged for the Olympics.

    Q Both of you had played at the 2012 London Olympics – how much do you think will it help to already have gained the experience of playing on a stage as big as the Olympics?

    Of course, the experience of playing in the Olympics will help. We have to be ready for any challenge in Rio as it will be a new environment and another Olympics for both of us.

    Q What is the importance for a favourable draw at the Olympics?

    A favourable draw at the Rio Olympics is something every player looks forward to and if you get it is an ideal scenario. But such things are not under your control and one has to be prepared for anything that comes your way.

    Q As a pair, what according to you is your biggest strength?

    We are a unique pair and also our left-right combination also helps.

    Q Indian badminton is struggling to produce quality women’s doubles pairs after you guys – your thoughts?

    I think a lot of encouragement and big push is needed to produce good women’s doubles players.

    Q Realistically speaking, how do you assess your Olympic medal-winning chances?

    Me and Jwala are putting in a lot of hard work with the single-minded goal of bagging an Olympic medal. We are straining our every nerve towards that.

    Q You turned out for Bengaluru Topguns in the 2016 Premier Badminton League. Your thoughts.

    The PBL was conducted very professionally and I hope it happens every year in the same manner.

    source: http://www.sportskeeda.com / SportsKeeda / Homepage> Badminton> Rio Olympics 2016> Interview / by Suhrid Barua @suhridbarua / June 14th, 2016

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    Bopanna and Paes can either aim darts at each other or play tennis to win.

    Leander Paes (L) and Rohan Bopanna do not enjoy a coordial relationship. (Source: File)

    Leander Paes (L) and Rohan Bopanna do not enjoy a coordial relationship. (Source: File)

    Rohan Bopanna is a big Manchester United fan. He would know how Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham detested each other for 15 years, but got the job of scoring goals done. There were delicious slights that went back and forth and all the offence of the world taken, but there was also the silverware — a Champions League trophy, three league titles and an FA Cup — when all the mutual sniping was done. In tennis, there were Boris Becker and Michael Stich who haven’t quite come around to maturely sitting down over a bottle of wine and talking about just where things went wrong between them. But they have the shared doubles gold from the Barcelona Olympics, should they need an ice-breaker.

    Hatchets need to be buried, and not always in each other’s backs, and Rohan Bopanna who finally graciously accepted the selectors’ pairing of him with Paes, can look back at those two precedents to realise that deep personal mistrust needn’t meddle with medals. Neither Paes’ 18 Grand Slams nor Bopanna’s 0 (though he has a final at the US Open) have added up to an Olympic doubles medal. Come to think of it, neither did Mahesh Bhupathi’s 15 and Sania Mirza’s 10 have any bearing on the quadrennial doubles podium. But since both Paes and Bopanna would like that medal very much, they could do each other the favour of playing excellent tennis, never mind the personal animus. A medal should be the highest motivation, and if it takes clearing the air with an incompatible partner, then Bopanna’s task is cut out, and clear.

    There’s a lifetime ahead to snipe at each other — just ask Stich and Becker. But should they win an Olympic medal, people will at least be interested in watching the two greats throw darts at each other. Otherwise, in the Olympic scheme of things, doubles tennis will remain irrelevant.

    source: http://www.indianexpress.com / The Indian Express / Home> Opinion> Editorial / by Express News Service / June 14th, 2016

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    Madikeri:

    Trekking to Thadiayandamol, the highest peak in Kodagu and the second highest in Karnataka, has been banned temporarily due to the movement of wild elephants in the vicinity.

    A herd of 10-12 elephants has been camping near the hill after escaping from nearby forest and have wrecked havoc by destroying banana, arecanut and coffee plantations in Yavakapadi, Marandoda and Chelavara villages.

    Forest officials said they are making efforts to drive these elephants back into the woods and till then, entry to trekkers and tourists will be restricted. They said it may take some time due to heavy rains in the region.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News Home> City> Bangalore / TNN / June 12th, 2016

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    NikkiKF09jun2016

    She was a corporate professional before she realised what her true calling was.
    Today, she is one of the topmost golf players in the country and continues to share her knowledge with youngsters who want to become golfers like her.

    Nikki Ponappa is young, energetic and talented and always has a smile on her face even after spending a really tiring day.

    She recently took part in the Louis Philippe Cup as one of the women pro golfers at the Karnataka Golf Association.

    She shared a few light moments with Anila Kurian, where she spoke about her life off the golf course.

    Where do you drawinspiration from?
    From anything under the sun! Even my dog, who is so full of love and affection, gives me inspiration. I’m inspired by every story that I am introduced to.

    What kind of music do you listen to?
    It depends on my mood actually. If I’m on the golf course early in the morning, I listen to a lot of trance music. In the afternoons, it moves to Beth Orton’s music. I also like listening to Major Lazer a lot.

    Your favourite genre of books.
    I like reading books that are thought-provoking and inspirational. I follow a lot of Dalai Lama’s teachings; ‘The Dalai Lama’s Cat’ is one of my favourites.

    Which one are you reading now?
    ‘This Unquiet Land:Stories from India’s Fault Lines’ by Barkha Dutt.

    Your favourite cuisine and dish.
    Without a doubt, it is Coorg food and it has to be ‘Pandi curry’ made by my mother. I also like a lot of fruits.

    What do you do on your weekends? 
    I am, by default, busy with a lot of things. Coaching students to play golf is one of them. I am also busy working with a few foundations that I am a part of and taking care of our homestay back home in Coorg. I am happy busy because I get to do everything I love doing.

    Five things you love doing.
    Playing golf, travelling, reading, listening to music and spending time with animals.

    Your alternate career. 
    I’ve tried my hand at a corporate job and that didn’t interest me. But if not golf, I would be a full-time coffee planter.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> MetroLife / DHNS – Bengaluru , June 09th, 2016

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    Paris, June 3:

    Rohan Bopanna has been India’s top ranked doubles players over the last few years and had a very successful 2015 where he won four titles and reached the final of the year ending ATP Tour Finals tournament at London.

    He has also done well at the majors, reaching the quarter-finals of two Grand Slams, including the French Open this week and semi-finals of Wimbledon where they beat the legendary pair of Mike and Bob Bryan.

    File photo. Indian Aces' Rafael Nadal and Rohan Bopanna during a game against UAE Royals Roger Federer and Cilic during the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) men's double match at IG Stadium in New Delhi.

    File photo. Indian Aces’ Rafael Nadal and Rohan Bopanna during a game against UAE Royals Roger Federer and Cilic during the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) men’s double match at IG Stadium in New Delhi.

    How would he explain his consistency over the past few years and the impact of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi?

    “It’s really special that I am playing a high level of tennis. I am at the peak of my career. I have seen how much Leander and Mahesh have done for India and they still keep fighting out there. It’s not easy.”

    “I am very happy that I am No.1 in the country and keeping the Indian flag flying every single tournament and working hard to winning the title every time you step on court. It’s been a tough journey but I am really happy the way I have been playing.”

    So what are the travails of a professional tennis player? Bopanna felt it was the sacrifices they make to be away from home, family and friends and travel about 30-35 weeks every year.

    “But this is the choice I have made and know this is how it’s going to be. But thankfully my family and friends understand this and it makes it easier.”

    Bopanna also shared some of his career goals. “Winning a Grand Slam and reaching No.1 in the rankings would be the ultimate goal. I had reached a high of No.3 in 2013 after reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon and would like to better that.”

    He added that he is highly motivated by competition and doesn’t think about the awards. “I don’t think you have to worry about the awards. If you keep playing well, the country will recognise how you are doing and grant you that award.”

    Bopanna is a man on a mission. Looking to give back to tennis what the sport has given him, he has launched the Rohan Bopanna Tennis Academy at Bengaluru. “The main reason is because of the passion I have for the sport. The Indian players have a lot of skills but it is the fitness aspect that we are lacking. So I will be focussing on that.”

    Bopanna also shared his favourite memories on court. “My most special moment was representing India for the first time in Davis Cup in 2002. Also my singles win in final rubber of 2010 Davis Cup against Brazil in Chennai to take India to the World Group as we made a comeback from 0-2 down to win 3-2. In Grand Slams, it was reaching the final of the US Open with Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi. It’s rare that India and Pakistan come together in sports.”

    So does Paris hold special memories? “The city is so beautiful. It is such a romantic city. It was the first place my wife accompanied me. There’s so much to do, there’s great culture, great food and the best clay courts in the world,” answered Bopanna.

    The Indian star from Bengaluru loves watching other sports and follows Manchester United and the ‘Bangalore teams’ — be it Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Bangaluru FC in the I-League and Bengaluru Bulls in the Premier Kabaddi League. He was a big fan of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and loves to watch Virat Kohli now and also the Indian badminton stars.

    Bopanna is also amazed at the skills of star South African batsman AB de Villiers, “Every time I speak to South African players, they say he’s great in Tennis, great in Golf, great in Cricket. He’s just an all-round sportsman.”

    In fact, Rohan’s love for tennis and sports is so great that his wife jokes that his tennis bag is his first love!

    IANS

    source: http://www.oneindia.com / OneIndia / Home> News> Sports / Friday – June 03rd, 2016

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