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Monthly Archives: JULY 2016


Neeraj Chopra creates world record, first Indian to win gold in athletics
24.07.16 - By Jonathan Selvaraj*
Neeraj Chopra creates world record, first Indian to win gold in athletics



Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra created history by becoming the first Indian athlete to become a world champion at any level when he won a gold medal at the U-20 World Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on Saturday evening.
 
Chopra created a new U-20 world record by throwing the javelin a distance of 86.48m. The 18-year-old from Khandra village in Haryana’s Panipat district broke the old mark of 84.69 metres held by Latvian Zigismunds Sirmais by nearly two metres.
 
Chopra’s mark is also a new national record. Chopra, who also became the first Indian athlete to set a world record at any level, bettered his previous personal best of 82.23 set at the South Asian Games earlier this year, which incidentally was the old national record.
 
"When the spear left my hand on that second throw, I had a feeling that this was a special throw. I don’t think I expected it to go over 86 meters but since the last couple of months, I have worked hard on my fitness, my technique and it all paid off today,” Chopra said after his world record performance.
 
Chopra who had qualified for the final of the U-20 world championships in first position, threw the javelin to a mark of 79.66 in his first attempt. This was good enough for second place behind South Africa’s Johan Grobler who flung the javelin 80.59m in his first attempt. However, Neeraj then hurled the javelin a massive 86.48m in his very next throw which none of his competitors would come close to matching. Chopra threw a modest 78.36m in his third and final legitimate attempt.
 
To put the magnitude of his achievement in perspective, Chopra’s throw put’s him eighth amongst all throwers this year. It also puts him ahead of defending Olympic gold medalist Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago, whose best this year is 86.35m. Indeed Chopra’s effort is better than Walcott’s Olympic winning mark of 84.58 back at the 2012 London Games.
 
The satisfaction of a world level gold might be tempered by the fact that Chopra missed out on the chance of qualifying for the Rio Olympics. While his throw was far greater than the Olympic qualification standard of 83m, the last date to meet that standard was July 11.
 
Indeed, Chopra had been attempting to qualify for the Rio Games since the South Asian Games but had been held back by a back injury which he suffered at the Federation Cup in New Delhi in April. His performances seemingly dipped as he made his recovery. He was even pipped to silver at the Asian Junior Championships last month.
 
(Courtesy : *The Indian Express)




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Viraaat is the first Indian captain to score overseas double ton
22.07.16 - by Vishaal Loganathan*
Viraaat is the first Indian captain to score overseas double ton



Off the final ball of the 102nd over of the Indian innings, Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, then batting on 163, creamed a cover drive wide of the fielder for four. The shot was class, much like his innings had been. Marlon Samuels was the fielder at cover, Jason Holder at mid-off, but both the fielders just turned their backs to the ball and walked away. No one wanted to go pick the ball up from the fence.

It was Darren Bravo who finally picked up the ball. It told you all you needed to know about how the day unfolded. India, Kohli in particular, were supreme with the bat, while the hosts were lacklustre at best with the ball.

The India captain etched his name in the record books with a finely-crafted maiden double hundred that left the West Indies battered. He became the first Indian captain to score a double century away from home. At the other end, R Ashwin, who was promoted to number five, slammed his third Test hundred, all against the West Indies, as India racked up a mammoth 566 for 8 before declaring. Amit Mishra, too, showed he can be a handy batsman lower down by cracking an attacking half-century towards the end of the innings.
A few overs before that sumptuous boundary and West Indies' lackadaisical approach to bringing the ball back, Shane Dowrich had put down a regulation catch behind the stumps. The catch would have sent back Ashwin on 43, and given the home side a break. Gabriel had managed to induce an edge off the batter, and the ball went straight to the keeper. He grassed the chance and Ashwin punished the side.

The drop was one of the four on Day 2, there were several misfields, too, as West Indies looked a side already beaten. The other three drops did not do much damage to the home team as it came just a little before the declaration, but it made apparent the kind of mental state the side was perhaps in.

If the day was miserable for Jason Holder's side, it was the exact opposite for the Indians, who saw their captain smack a scintillating double hundred.

The day started off with West Indies opting for the new ball and hoping to get back into the game with some early wickets. Kohli, who resumed at 143, quickly got to his 150 and continued to assert himself on the opposition. When Gabriel tried to bowl short, two men back for the lofted shot, Kohli went back and played the pull along the ground. When they pitched it up and bowled a tad wide, he hit the ball back straight or slammed it past the cover fielder.

Ashwin, at the other end, helped himself to a couple of sweetly-timed boundaries off Holder as the pair brought up its 100-run stand. His scoring slowed down considerably after the drop, scoring his next two runs off 34 deliveries, but his partner continued to score freely. Kohli went past his previous highest Test score of 169 (against Australia) with a four off Bishoo and closed in on his double hundred. A couple more delightful drives took him to 190.

Ashwin brought up his fifty with a fine back foot punch off Brathwaite. Kohli brought up his double ton in the last over of the morning session as he picked off Chase to the leg side. He went down on his knees and kissed the pitch after getting to the landmark.

Although West Indies enjoyed a slightly more successful session post-Lunch, India continued their dominance over the hosts in the first Test. West Indies managed to get the wickets of Kohli and Saha, but Ashwin proved that his move to No. 6 was a sound one by cracking his third Test hundred. He got to his hundred with a stylish clip for four in the 151st over.

It wasn't the perfect start to India's second session, having completely dominated the first. Kohli fell two balls into the session. A wide ball that kept slightly low took the inside edge and crashed into the off-stump, and Kohli walked back without adding anything to his 200.

West Indies did well to pull India back in the second session. After a phase when runs came freely for the Indians, the Ashwin-Saha pairing found it hard to score at a decent clip. Saha tried to break the shackles on a couple of occasions by stepping out to the spinners and trying to hit them over the top, but they resulted in just a couple of runs. Ashwin tried to exploit the vacant third man region, but some sharp fielding by the fielders ensured he did not always succeed. He moved into the nineties with one such shot, guiding Kraigg Brathwaite wide of point for four.

Saha, too, started getting a move on soon after. He hit Chase over the top for only the second six of the match thus far. The India wicketkeeper fell in an attempt to increase the scoring rate, and was out stumped to Kraigg for 40, bringing to an end a 71-run stand.

Amit Mishra came in and immediately went on the attack. He slammed Chase down the ground, before lifting Bishoo over mid-on for another boundary.

Ashwin brought up his hundred soon after, clipping Bishoo to mid-wicket for four. He fell going for a big shot soon after, but had already done his job with aplomb.

Amit Mishra's fifty and Mohammad Shami's big hits gave India some a late boost, one that was helped by Holder, Chase and Carlos Brathwaite dropping catches in quick succession. India declared at 566 for 8, immediately after Mishra fell to Kraigg.

With a little over an hour to play, India hoped to pick up some quick wickets late in the day, and the got their prize in the 15th over when Mohammad Shami got Rajendra Chandrika to edge behind.

West Indies ended the day at 31 for 1, trailing India by 535 runs.
 
Courtesy : *www.cricbuzz.com




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Saina seeded fifth at Olympics
21.07.16 -
Saina seeded fifth at Olympics



Star India shuttler Saina Nehwal has been seeded fifth while her compatriot P V Sindhu is seeded ninth in the women's singles at the upcoming Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro. 

Kidambi Srikanth, meanwhile, has received a ninth seeding in the men's draw.

Saina is world no. 5 and Sindhu is ranked 10th in women's singles, Srikanth's ranking is 11th in the world in men's singles. 

The seedings are based on today's (July 21, 2016) World Rankings for the final confirmed Olympic qualifiers, and will be used for the draw on July 26. 

Each singles category has 13 seeds. Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei and Spain's Carolina Marin are the top seeds in men's and women's singles, respectively. 

Lee, runner-up at the last two Olympics and winner of two BWF World Superseries titles this season, is followed in the seedings by two-time World champion Chen Long (2; China) and two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan (3; China). 

In women's singles, two-time World champion Marin heads a competitive field ahead of two Chinese -- Wang Yihan (2) and defending Olympic champion Li Xuerui (3). 

Thailand's in-form Ratchanok Intanon (4), winner of three World Superseries titles this year, is also seeded ahead of the London Olympic bronze medallist Saina. 

There are only four seeds in each of the three doubles categories and none of the Indian pairs figure in the seeding list. 

The men's singles draw will consist of 41 players in 13 groups, while 40 competitors will be divided into 13 groups in women's singles. Each group will have one seed. 

The draw in doubles will have four groups of four pairs. Each group will include a seeded pair.




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Indian Cricket team meets Sir Vivian Richards at Antigua ahead of 1st Test against West Indies
19.07.16 - TEAM PT
Indian Cricket team meets Sir Vivian Richards at Antigua ahead of 1st Test against West Indies



It turned out to be a memorable evening for Team India in Antigua on Monday evening. As the players were settling in to have a quiet dinner, Antigua's favourite son and West Indian legend Sir Vivian Richards dropped in to meet skipper Virat Kohli and his men.

Indian cricketers such as Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay and K.L. Rahul got themselves clicked with the former West Indies captain, who seemed to be giving them some useful tips.

What followed next was the most obvious. Members of the Indian team got into a huddle to hear words of wisdom from the legend. Batting, aggression, past and present, Sir Viv's short but prized class had it all.

Skipper Virat Kohli says he received "words of gold” from West Indies batting legend Vivian Richards who visited the Indian team hotel ahead of the first cricket Test in Antigua.

"What a memorable moment. With the greatest ever, Sir @vivrichards56. Words of gold from him. #Grateful #Memorable,” Kohli, who has often been praised by Richards for his attacking batting, wrote on his twitter handle.

India play their first Test against the host West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua from July 21 and this small meeting with one of the biggest heroes from the Caribbean will certainly pump up the team morale for the rest of the tour.




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After BCCI's criticism, KL Rahul deletes controversial photo from Twitter
18.07.16 - TEAM PT
After BCCI's criticism, KL Rahul deletes controversial photo from Twitter



Team India players, who are touring West Indies, seem to be having a gala time in the Caribbean, but while sharing their images with fans on social media network, batsman KL Rahul crossed the line a bit posting an image with a beer bottle, inviting a lot of criticism.

In an image on his Twitter account, Rahul was seen alongside team-mates Umesh Yadav and Stuart Binny enjoying a day out with a beer bottle in hand. The image went viral and became a source of embarrassment for the BCCI.
The board then came down heavily on the issue.

As per a report in The Hindu, some BCCI officials weren't happy with players posting such images on social media. A clear message has been sent to the team manager to ensure that nothing that could set a bad example to kids should be uploaded.

As quoted by the Hindu, BCCI offical said, "Many kids blindly follow the star cricketers’ actions on and off the field, so our boys have got to always keep that in mind. They should always consider the sense and sensitivities of Indian cricket fans.”

The first Test of the series begins July 21 in Antigua, and the team has already arrived at the venue.
It is Kumble's first assignment as the chief coach of the team and Virat Kohli's first tour of the Caribbean as Test captain.

After landing himself into the controversy, Rahul has now deleted the pic from his Twitter account.
The first Test between India and West Indies is scheduled to begin from July 21.




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