Arjun Halappa did not think twice before taking up the national selector’s job offered by Hockey India secretary Narinder Batra in June.
The former India midfielder thought his association with Air India, who he continues to play for, and his previous experience with the national team will help him judge the players’ performances better . Picking the squad for the Asia Cup was Halappa’s first assignment as part of the nine-member selection panel.
According to Halappa, the Indian players shouldn’t get carried away with the recent success as world-class teams like Germany, Australia, Korea, Holland, New Zealand and England await them in next year’s World Cup.
“I was surprised at the euphoria after India qualified for the London Olympics. It shows that the common people didn’t expect India, who ruled hockey for decades , to make it to the Games. We have to improve our standard. I know we don’t have infrastructure like Holland or Germany but we can do well if we utilize the existing facilities. We need to channelize talent properly,” he said.
source: http://www.articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Sports> Hockey> Air India / by Krishna Kanta Chakraborty, TNN / September 19th, 2013
The revised edition of Robin Uthappa is out in the cricket market. In his first outing of the season, against New Zealand ‘A’, he clobbered the bowlers at will and scored a century. Moreover, there was a marked difference between the Uthappa of old and now.
The stance, the head and the feet are in a better position to meet the ball which now goes in intended directions.
How did this change take place? Uthappa says: “Well, I felt the need to work with Pravin Amre sir as I wanted to exploit my full potential as a batsman. I always believed sir is second to none when it comes to technical knowledge and application. Also, I have known him for 10 years and share a very comfortable working relationship with him as he is also my coach in the Air India
Pravin Amre, who has made a lot of difference in the approach to batting of Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Abhishek Nayar, Sahil Kukreja, among others, was pleasantly surprised when Uthappa asked him to be his professional coach because such a concept doesn’t exist in Indian cricket though players earn in lakhs and crores.
“I have been watching Robin for a long time because he plays for Air India. Perhaps he felt the need to monitor his progress. I applied Achrekar Sir’s formula: Don’t get too much into technicalities, only make fine adjustments and make the batsman comfortable. Never touch the natural instinct of a batsman, as sir used to say. To Robin’s credit, he trusted my methods and worked very hard. I watch him play and from time to time advice him,” Amre says.
As a teenager, Uthappa was an attacking middle-order batsman. The brute strength the boy from Shauntikoppa in Coorg possessed terrified the bowlers in age group tournaments. It was only in May 2003 when coaches at the CCI academy — Nari Contractor, Hanumant Singh and Vasu Paranjape — converted him into an opener that his strike rate began to soar. Later, his game evolved even more to suit T20. It’s a mystery how a performing and talented boy was dropped from ODIs.
How have Amre’s methods helped him? Uthappa says, “It has made a tremendous difference to my game. Technically, today I feel as adept as anyone out there and it has given me a lot of self confidence. I am able to read the swing of the ball much better. It has changed my perspective towards the game too.
“Thanks to Amre sir, I have become a keen student of the game and try to go deeper into its skill. I have developed patience too. Patience for me is a by-product of playing with the right technique and the right shot selection. I focused on these two aspects and the patience developed subconsciously.”
Is Amre happy with his student? “Definitely. What I like about him is he is sincere and hard working. He is totally focused on my methods. He has overcome mind-management issues too. Now on, all that matters is consistency.”
source: http://www.articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Sports> Cricket / by Makarand Waingankar, TNN / September 19th, 2013
September 24th, 2013Sports
Bangalore’s star international golfers S Chikkarangappa and Khalin Joshi, who turned professional at the beginning of this year, is expected to hog the limelight as special invitees when they tee off in the 5th edition of Toyota Karnataka Golf Festival here tomorrow.
The festival at the Karnataka Golf Association will also see top amateurs like junior champion Syed Saqib Ahmed and Anisha Padukonein the field of around 450 golfers from Bangalore, Pune, Mysore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi at the KGA course.
Legendary cricketers G R Vishwanath, Erapalli Prasanna, Syed Kirmani alongside former hockey international star Ashish Ballal and tennis star Rohan Bopanna will take a swing during the four-day tournament.
Over 450 other golfers will be fighting to get one of the five spots in five categories (0-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-24) to represent India at the annual World Golfers’ Championships to be held in Durban from October 26 to November 3.
The tournament will be played in the Stableford format.
Looking forward to this week’s TKGF, Chikka said, “It will be my third year at this festival and I’m really happy to be invited by Toyota.
“It’s an exciting concept where both a scratch handicap youngster my age or a 40 or 50 year old club level player get a chance to play at an international tournament like WGC as part of a team. It’s good to see the Karnataka State tourism department getting involved in a tournament like this.”
Extending a challenge to all the participants, will be Chandigarh-based pro golfer and Arjuna Awardee Harmeet Kahlon, who will be playing at Hole No.1 on Day Three of the Festival, with each group in the ‘Beat the Pro Camry Hybrid Straightest Drive Challenge’, which is an added attraction to the event.
Over the last five years, there have been some noteworthy performances including Sumit Rathore, former KGA captain who won his handicap category in 2009 at the WGC in Spain and Utpal Dutt in 2010 when he finished 2nd in his category.
source: http://www.business-standard.com / Business Standard / Home> PTI Stories> International> News / by Press Trust of India / Bangalore – September 11th, 2013
The Karnataka Badminton Association on Monday handed out cash awards to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakh to top performers in the sub-junior, junior and senior National championships in the past year. KBA also handed Ashwini Ponnappa honorary membership to the association.
Later, the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy too celebrated the successes of its trainees, including national champion Sayali Gokhale, in a separate function with the legendary Padukone giving the young shuttlers valuable words of advice. Padukone added that the academy planned to rope in Indonesian coach Yusuf Jauhari, the brother of noted coach Atik, for a month-long stint in the beginning of February. “This will be of great benefit for the kids and it will help the coaches here upgrade their skills too,” he said.
Senior Nationals (Srinagar): Varsha V Belawadi Rs 10,000; Nischitha GM Rs 10,000; Guruprasad D Rs 5,000; Vineeth Manuel Rs 5,000; Ashwini Ponnappa Rs 10,000.
Junior Nationals (Imphal): Reshma Karthik Rs 25,000; Poorvisha S Ram Rs 25,000; Sankeerth BR Rs 5,000; Sindhu Bharadwaj Rs 5,000; Devika Ravindra Rs 10,000.
Sub-junior Nationals (Patna): Ashwini Bhat Rs 22,500; Mithula UK Rs 7,500; Mithun M Rs 2,500; Raghu M Rs 2,500; Mahima Aggarwal Rs 2,500; Shikha Gautam Rs 2,500.
source: http://www.articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Sports> More Sports> Badminton / by Shrivathsa Sridhar, TNN / January 09th, 2013
Indo-French grouping of Rohan Bopnanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin have got the top billing for this week’s ATP 250 tournament – Moselle Open in Metz, France.
Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin will kick-start their campaign against tricky opponents in American’s Sam Querrey and Eric Butorac.
Second seeds Julian Knowle and Marcelo Melo meet French pair of Jeremy Chardy and Marc Giquel in the opening round of the hard-court tournament.
British-Aussie combo of Jamie Murray and John Peers has an easy first round outing, as the third seeded match up fight out with Johan Brunstrom and Raven Klaasen.
The victor of this event takes home € 22,500 as the cash prize, besides accumulating 250 ATP ranking points.
source: http://www.tennisworldusa.org / Tennis World / Home> DS Network
September 18th, 2013Sports
So many known names clashing in a single event occurs rarely in Indian athletics. One such rarity is the 400m race in the Open Nationals, where the country’s top quarter-milers MR Poovamma, Nirmala, Anu Mariam Jose and Tintu Luka will vie for glory alongside seasoned campaigners Ashwini Akkunji and Jauna Murmu.
Of late, Poovamma has been monopolising the event. Having claimed a hat-trick of Grand Prix gold, the Mangalorean would be confident. However, she can’t expect a free ride with the likes of Jauna, Ashwini, Priyanka Panwar, Sini and Mandeep returning from the dope-induced sabbatical.
She can’t discount Anu or Tintu either. Anu, only 23, has made rapid strides but lacked the killer instinct to better her. Tintu, meanwhile, is gradually progressing in her new stream.
The sheer numbers could bolster the 400m scene in the country, expects chief national coach Bahadur Singh. Though he reckons it is premature to predict the chances of the country excelling at the global stage, he thinks they are already a force to be reckoned with in Asia. “We will have a proper assessment of our athletes’ capabilities after CWG and the Asian Games next year. But the increase in bench strength, undoubtedly, will help raise the standard of running in the country,” he said.
National coach N Ramesh feels some athletes have the talent to blossom at the international level. “We are focussing more on 400m. Almost nine quality runners will compete in this event, and some have the quality and talent to make an impact at the international level,” he said.
source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Sport / by Shan A S / ENS – Ranchi / September 08th, 2013
September 17th, 2013Sports
State-of-the-art stadiums and facilities are essential for the sports personnel to hone their skills. To support the sports talent in the district, the department of youth services and sports had constructed an indoor stadium at General Thimmaiah Stadium in Madikeri.
Youth have been showing interest in shuttle badminton and body building in the recent years. Keeping this in mind, the authorities had developed shuttle badminton court and a gym. The gym will be open for not only the sports personnel but also for the public and students. The decision was taken by the District Stadium Development Committee.
The indoor stadium which was developed using lakh of rupees was not utilised by many. Hence, the Committee had decided to allow the public to use it.
Those who would like to gain admission to the gym can collect application forms from the department of youth services and sports in General Thimmaiah Stadium on September 16.
The registration fee for shuttle badminton is Rs 500 for students, Rs 1000 for public and the monthly fee will be Rs 200. The fee for using the gym is Rs 400 for students, Rs 750 for public and the monthly fee is Rs 300, said department assistant director Jayalakshmi Bai.
For details contact: 08272-228985.
source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / by Srikanth Kallammanevar, Madikeri / DHNS – September 15th, 2013
Vimal Kumar has had a long innings as player, coach and organiser for over three decades, but even he appeared surprised by the changes heralded by the Indian Badminton League.
The launch function for the Bangalore team’s logo had spruced up the staid venue and offered a glimpse of what the IBL could offer. It was a world of difference from events called to announce state or national ranking tournaments.
“I have been involved with badminton for a long time, but this is a totally different thing,” said Vimal, who shared the dais with Indian doubles star Ashwini Ponnappa, Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar, Bangalore team CEO Vijay Lancy, team promoters and officials of the Karnataka Badminton Association.
He continued, “I’m looking forward to it. The IBL will bring put the limelight on badminton. We know the problems badminton face regarding sponsorship, but even then Indian badminton has improved. The gap between Indian and international players has closed… more corporate support is a good sign, and I’m very happy.
“But just the league is not going to improve badminton. A lot of work needs to be done by state and district associations at the grassroots level. Good performances from our players have made the difference.”
The Bangalore team – named Banga Beats – was bought by the BOP Group, which has interests in real estate. Karan Chaudhri, GM Marketing of BOP Group, said it had decided to invest in badminton because the sport was the right fit for its business. “Badminton is very close to the business we do,” he said. “Because every family plays badminton, and it’s our first step into sports. We have engagements planned, such as school tournaments, camps, and so on. We’ll also be looking at setting up infrastructure at our projects.”
The stars of the evening were Bangalore girl and doubles international Ashwini Ponnappa and Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar, who apparently plays badminton regularly. “It’s very exciting,” said Ashwini. “We’ve seen how well the IPL has been doing. We definitely know it’s going to get badminton more mileage. With matches in six cities, more people will get a chance to see top badminton matches.”
A note from the team owners said they had chosen the name ‘Banga Beats’ as “we wanted to give badminton the fun it deserves… Banga means party hard. And Beats is the beat of music.”
Former India international and team CEO Vijay Lancy said the IBL would usher in hope for Indian badminton. “It is heartening that companies like BOP have used badminton as a branding platform,” Lancy said, adding that he hoped Ashwini would be part of the Bangalore team.
source: http://www.sportskeeda.com / SportsKeeda / Home> Badminton – Indian Badminton League / by / Dev Sukumar / July 13th, 2013
September 11th, 2013Sports
India discard Robin Uthappa slammed a sparkling century as India ‘A’ recorded a comprehensive six-wicket victory over New Zealand ‘A’ in the first of the three-match unofficial ODI series here today.
Uthappa (103) shared a 178-run rollicking opening wicket stand with captain Unmukt Chand (94) from 30 overs to shut the game on New Zealand who were all out for 257 in 49.4 overs after electing to bat.
India ‘A’ chased down the target of 258 with 5.5 overs to spare as Uthappa and Chand produced a scintillating exhibition of strokeplay at Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium.
Uthappa, who was dropped on 93, struck eight fours and five sixes from 114 balls, while Chand’s 88-ball innings was studded with nine fours and six sixes. Aditya Tare was the other notable contributor with a 42-ball unbeaten 37.
Chand and Uthappa scored at a decent pace, reaching 48 for no loss by the end of the 10th over before they stepped up the gas and picked the India-born leg-spinner Inderbir Singh Sodhi for special treatment.
The duo took 15 and 16 runs in the 21st and 23rd overs bowled by Sodhi as India were 141 for no loss at halfway mark.
Chand was out in the last ball of the 30th over before he sent left-arm spinner Anton Paul Devcich’s first delivery to the fine-leg fence, the second one for a huge six over mid-wicket and another boundary from the fifth. But Chand perished the next ball, his pull-shot failed to beat Tom Latham at mid wicket.
Uthappa continued in the same punishing mood after Chand’s dismissal, as he plundered 17 runs the next over bowled by Matt Henry with the help of two sixes and a four. He reached to his century in style with a six off Adam Milne in the 37th over.
Milne though had the last laugh as he dismissed Uthappa in the 39th over with the Karnataka batsman holed out to Colin Munro at deep fine leg. Mandeep Singh (1) and Ashok Menaria (0) fell in quick succession in the 41st over but wicketkeeper Tare ensured that there were no further damage for India as they reached 261 for four in 44.1 overs.
source: http://www.business-standard.com / Business Standard / Home> PTI Stories> National> News / by Press Trust of India / Visakhapatnam – September 08th, 2013
September 10th, 2013Sports
Come Sunday and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) vote will decide the fate of three sports awaiting the Olympic nod.
While wrestling with it’s stronghold at the Games comes across as the most obvious choice, especially after the IOC crossed it out of the Olympic roster in February this year.
Hanging on tenterhooks will be the joint bid for baseball and softball and the third time bidders squash.
Joshna Chinappa, the first Indian girl to win the British squash championship back in 2003, understands the magnitude of the IOC meeting this weekend. Though confident of squash making the cut, she is wary of wrestling bagging the spot.
“Squash has a really good chance to make it in to the Olympics,” she said. “We are competing with wrestling which is a tough battle of course. But the whole squash fraternity has worked tirelessly for the last few years presenting squash bid for the Olympics to the IOC. We have gotten tremendous support from people and world celebrities from sport and different fields .So really hoping for the best.”
“I think the only real tough part is that wrestling is one of the original sports of the Olympics and should never have been taken out. So it definitely has a very good chance of going back in,” she added.
source: http://www.articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Sports> More Sports> Squash / by Maria Bilkis, TNN / September 06th, 2013
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