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Monthly Archives: AUGUST 2016


Nanhi Jalpari attempts 570 km swim in raging Ganga in 10 days
30.08.16 - TEAM PT
Nanhi Jalpari attempts 570 km swim in raging Ganga in 10 days



A spirited Shraddha Shukla, all of 11 years old, has taken up the challenge to swim 570 km in the swollen Ganga river from Kanpur to Varanasi in 10 days.

Even as the river continues to rage and devastate many parts of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bihar, Shraddha took the plunge on Sunday at the Massacre Ghat in Kanpur for the swimming feat as locals cheered on.

The endurance swimmer has, made it the mission of her life to represent India at the Olympics. As a brave step towards her goal, she is currently swimming from Kanpur to the holy city of Varanasi, setting a new national record. She is also spreading the ‘Clean Ganga’ message along the way.

"I am not nervous. I am excited and confident of completing the challenge… I am eyeing the national record… After this, I will focus on achieving my dream of going to the Olympics and swimming through the English Channel,” Shraddha told reporters.

She covered a major stretch of 100 km on Day-1, reaching Chandrika Devi temple ghat in Unnao. On Day-2, the little swimming wonder covered another 70 km to arrive at Dalmau in Raebareli on Monday , amidst a rousing welcome from locals, fans and friends.

Shraddha started swimming at the age of two when her grandfather, Munnu Shukla, a diver, took her to the Ganga.

She soon developed "fins of her own”, her father Lalit Shukla said on Monday, and said the family encouraged the girl as she wanted to swim long distances.
Eight divers are accompanying her to Varanasi. A doctor is also on board for any emergencies. "The current is very strong and the river is in spate, so we cannot take any chances” her father added.
 
Asked about the threat of crocodiles, he said: "It is true that there are large crocodiles in the Ganga but so far we have encountered none. Our team of divers has kept Sharddha alert all through the journey."

Expressing pride at Shraddha's feat, Munnu Lal Shukla, her grandfather, who is also her coach, said: "Crossing 550 km is the toughest of assignments for a swimmer. The level of water is quite high in the Ganga. One needs to have extreme perseverance and tenacity to succeed."

Shraddha’s expedition assumes significance as she has no formal training and comes from a poor financial background. (Courtesy : TOI)
 
 






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Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt's Olympics Bronze is now Silver
30.08.16 - team pt
Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt's Olympics Bronze is now Silver



After a disappointing first-round exit at Rio Olympics, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt has something to cheer about.
 
Yogeshwar Dutt, who failed to win a match at 2016 Rio Olympics, has some very good news. His London 2012 Olympics bronze has been upgraded to silver after the second-place finisher's, the late Besik Kudukhov (60kg) of Russia, sample tested positive for a banned substance.
 
In a tweet, Yogeshwar said his medal has been upgraded from bronze to silver. "Today morning I came to know that my Olympics medal has been upgraded to silver. I dedicate my medal to all my countrymen," he tweeted.
 
As per Russian agency, flowrestling.org, the four-time world champion and two-time Olympic medallist Kudukhov's, who had died in a car crash in 2013 in southern Russia, sample tested positive for a banned substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
 
As a result, Yogeshwar, who had bagged a bronze medal in men's 60kg freestyle category in London Games, will move up from bronze to silver and join Sushil Kumar as another silver medallist from the 2012 Olympics.
 
"If a medallist has tested positive for a banned substance, then it is a standard procedure to give his medal to the next best athlete. However, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has to inform the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), International Olympic Committee (IOC) and United World Wrestling about the development. It might take some time for Yogeshwar to get the silver medal," Jagdish Kaliraman, former Indian wrestler, told NDTV.
 
When Yogeshwar, who had bowed out in the first round of men's 65kg freestyle at the recently concluded Rio Olympic Games, would be handed a silver medal will be confirmed only when the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) gets it in writing from the World body (UWW).
 
Before the Rio Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) re-tested Kudukhov's sample, which was collected during the 2012 London Games. Samples are now stored for up to 10 years to use advanced testing methods to catch dope-tainted athletes.
 
In 2012 Games, Yogeshwar lost his pre-quarterfinal to Kudukhov. The Russian wrestler reached the final, and Yogeshwar got another opportunity to win a medal in the repechage round. In repechage he beat Franklin Gomez of Puerto Rico, Masoud Esmaeilpour of Iran and Ri Jong-myong of North Korea to clinch bronze. (NDTV Sports)




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Brazilian coffee
24.08.16 - F.S. AIJAZUDDIN
Brazilian coffee



HOW do you take your Olympic coffee — white, or black? In Rio, coffee is prepared from beans imported from countries across the world — Bolivia, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Kenya, Australia, even Thailand. Its percolating machines filter them, a metaphor for the transient internationalism of the Olympic Games themselves.

Never before, though, in the history of the Olympic Games has the subject of colour and race been given such inordinate exposure by sports commentators. Until Rio 2016, certain categories of sport were reserved, like the poorer seats at the back of a segregated bus, for people of colour. It has been a given that any sport requiring equipment or facilities could be pursued only by those who could afford it.
Sports such as "archery, canoe/kayak, cycling, equestrian, rowing, modern pentathlon, sailing, shooting and triathlon squads” were, as one commentator put it, "blindingly white”. Black people were good for running and boxing.

Nothing proved this point more than the statistic that out of all the gold medals won by runners, over half have been by ‘African’ athletes, and in boxing ‘Africans’ alone have won 40 medals. Or that, in the 1960 Rome Olympics, the winner of the showpiece marathon Abebe Bikila, an Ethiopian, ran his race barefoot.

Rio 2016 has changed that, irreversibly. Black is the new gold. The Western media crew of voluble sports commentators have yet to adapt to the new paradigm. A young American girl wins a gold medal in the 100 metres freestyle swimming, and she is touted as the first black/Afro-American girl ever to win such an event. Her compatriot, Simone Biles, wins four gold medals in gymnastics and the media marvels at how a black girl can break the colour bars, horse and rings. Daryl Hanes gains a silver medal in the men’s sabre fencing, and his achievement carries the addendum that it is the first time in 112 years that a black/Afro-American has won in this category.

Never before in Olympic history has the subject of race been given such exposure as was done in Rio 2016.

Almaz Ayana secures the gold for 10,000 metres long distance run, but then, she is from Ethiopia. And when a young woman, Ibtihaj Muhammad, appears — in a hijab — to compete in a fencing match, the attention of the viewers is drawn not to her skill with an épée but her decision to hide her hair.

No hijab will ever be large enough or thick enough to hide the bias of some of the more raucous elements of the reporting media. Their remarks about black/Afro-American female sportspersons remind one of Dr Samuel Johnson’s famous observation about female preachers. Told by James Boswell that he had heard a woman preach, Dr Johnson’s retorted: "Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.”

For one particular contestant — Yulia Refomiva, from cold-shouldered Russia — the Rio Olympics were another battlefield. "Rio was awful,” she lamented, "it was war.” To be booed after four years of preparation, effort, training and high-pressure performance was more than a waste of adrenalin. It was a negation, a perversion of the Olympic spirit. The spectators became judges, and the judges spectators.

If the Russians are to be believed, the United States has conspired to hamstring Russia. Whether Russia could have posed a serious challenge to the US, or for that matter Great Britain, in the medals table is now a matter of Monday morning conjecture. It would appear, though, that both Russia and China have lost interest in the Olympics. They no longer see it as an arena in which they need to prove themselves. In Beijing 2008, China could not afford to lose.
In Rio, China did not care if it did not win. That is not to say its Olympic team did not give their best. They did. But the embers of Beijing had been banked, its fire tempered. The colour of the medal no longer drove the Chinese.

India had sent the largest Olympic contingent in its history to Rio. Over a billion Indians hoped for a richer trawl of medals than one silver and a single bronze — the first for badminton and the second for wrestling. The silver came as a hard-won surprise. The latter was to be expected.

After all, India has had enough practice. It has wrestled with Pakistan for 69 years over everything — Sir Creek, Rann of Kutch, a seat in the UN Security Council, a place in the ECO, and perennially Jammu & Kashmir.

If only the statue of Christ the Redeemer above Rio could be transposed to Wagah border. With one arm outstretched into Pakistan and the other into India, who knows? He might perform the miracle for them he did for the Brazilians. They are still celebrating their soccer gold by crying into their coffee.
 
The writer is an art historian.
Courtesy : www.fsaijazuddin.pk






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Indian Marathon Runner not provided water at Rio
22.08.16 - TEAM PT
Indian Marathon Runner not provided water at Rio



Indian distance runner OP Jaisha hit out at the national athletics federation on Monday for not providing her refreshments during the Rio Olympics marathon. She fainted at the finish line.

Jaisha, who didn’t want to run in the marathon at the Olympics in the first place and was allegedly forced to race by India’s Belarusian coach Nikolai Snesarev, hit out against the officials on her return from Brazil.

The runner from Kerala blamed the system for her poor show, after wilting in the heat and becoming unconscious. She was hospitalized and was administered drip before regaining consciousness after a couple of hours.

 "I could have died there", said a distraught OP Jaisha as she recalled the women's marathon event at Rio Olympics.

"It was very hot there. The competition was at 9am, I ran in scorching heat. There was no water for us, neither recovery drinks nor food. Only once in 8kms did we get water (from the Rio organisers) which did not help at all. All the countries had their stalls at every 2kms but our country's stall was empty," said Jaisha who finished 89th in Rio Olympics women's marathon event with a below-par timing of 2:47:19.

"We are supposed to be given drinks by our technical officials, it’s the rule. We cannot take water from any other team. I saw the India board there but there was nothing. I had a lot of problem, I fainted after the race. I was administered glucose, I thought I would die.”

"My coach was very angry and he ended up arguing with the doctors. The coach thought I was dead. He pushed the doctor to enter my room because he knew he would be held responsible if anything happened to me," she added trying to clear the air on Snesarev's actions.

However, it may not be merely a case of negligence by the officials. Athletics Federation of India secretary CK Valson told HT it was the coach’s call not to give additional refreshments to the runner. "We had collected passes and made arrangements, but Nikolai refused. How could be go ahead then?” he asked.

At world level marathons, there are ‘water stations’ after a certain distance along the route. Here, normal water and sponges are kept. There are also separate aid stations where the support staff of individual athletes waits to provide them supplement drinks. However, athletes must be used to such drinks during training or else it may not be effective in a race.

On her return to Bengaluru, doctors were shocked by her condition. "We wanted to admit her to hospital and arranged the ambulance," said Dr SR Sarala of the Sports Authority of India. "But she insisted that she wanted to go home (to Kerala) for treatment."

Jaisha said she is a middle distance runner whose pet event is the 1500m, but that she was coerced by her coach to run the marathon.

When asked about the incident, Sports Minister Vijay Goel said it was the Athletics Federation of India's (AFI) responsibility.

"Every time any small incident happens, we take note. It was AFI's job, it is the federation which should have taken care of this," he said.




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Khel Ratna for PV Sindhu, Dipa Karmakar, Sakshi Malik and Jitu Rai
22.08.16 - TEAM PT
Khel Ratna for PV Sindhu, Dipa Karmakar, Sakshi Malik and Jitu Rai



After winning accolades for their performances in the Rio Olympics 2016, Sakshi Malik, P V Sindhu, Jitu Rai and Dipa Karmakar are to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. The Khel Ratna is the highest honour bestowed upon a sportsperson in the country. Meanwhile, Dipa Karmakar’s coach Bisheswar Nandi will also be awarded the Dronacharya award for his excellence in the coaching of Dipa despite poor support from the government.

Virat Kohli's coach Raj Kumar Sharma will also got the Dronacharya Award.

PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik were the only medallists in Rio Olympics. While Sindhu became the first Indian woman ever to win a silver medal at the Olympics, Sakshi was the first Indian woman ever to win a wrestling medal (bronze) at the Summer Games.

Woman gymnast Karmakar, who created history by entering the vault final at the Rio Olympics before finishing fourth, and ace shooter Rai were earlier recommended for Khel Ratna Award by the selection panel appointed by the Sports Ministry.

Others to receive the Dronacharya Award are: Nagapuri Ramesh (athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (boxing), Pradeep Kumar (swimming - lifetime) and Mahabir Singh (wrestling - lifetime).

Besides, the Ministry also selected 15 athletes for this year's Arjuna Award. The notable names in the list are boxer Shiva Thapa, long distance runner Lalita Babar, cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, hockey players VR Raghunath and Rani Rampal among others.

The Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Satti Geetha (athletics), Sylvanus Dung Dung (hockey) and Rajendra Pralhad Shelke (rowing).

Besides, the Punjabi University of Patiala will be awarded the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2015-16.
The National Sports Awards are given every year to recognise and reward excellence in sports.

The Khel Ratna Award is given for spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years. Apart from a medal and a citation, the Khel Ratna Awardee will receive a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh.




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