Beijing Olympics guest list heavy on strongmen and autocrats: Report


Beijing [China], (ANI): Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the Beijing Olympics on Friday flanked by leaders who are described by Democracy Index 2020, as authoritarian countries.

Some 20 high-level dignitaries including Presidents, Prime Ministers and heads of state are attending the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, around half of those dignitaries hail from authoritarian countries with several others listed as “hybrid regimes,” American news broadcaster CNN reported.
The 2022 Beijing Games officially launched today against a backdrop of Chinese government crimes against humanity targeting Uyghur Muslims and other Turkic communities.

Several governments have announced they would withhold sending high-level diplomatic representation to the Games in response to Beijing’s ongoing abuses.

Democracies including Britain, Australia, and Canada are among those to join a US-led diplomatic boycott of the Games, citing the human rights record of China. Other countries including New Zealand, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Austria have declined invitations, citing the pandemic or Beijing’s stringent Covid-19 controls.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said these Games–by which Beijing hopes to “sportswash” its abysmal rights record–reflect Xi Jinping’s assault on human rights since coming to power: devastating independent civil society, erasing press freedom, expanding high-tech surveillance.

Several rights groups said that the International Olympic Committee and The Olympic Partners (TOP) corporate sponsors of these Games have not addressed questions whether their involvement would contribute to human rights violations, including concerns around forced labor.

“It’s not possible for the Olympic Games to be a ‘force for good,’ as the International Olympic Committee claims, while the host government is committing grave crimes in violation of international law,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at HRW, said in a statement. Image(instagram)

China worried about COVID-19 marring Winter Olympics 2022

Beijing [China]: China is struggling with fulfilling its claim of making the country COVID free for the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, scheduled to be held in February next year.
The Chinese authorities are willing and doing, everything that is required to keep the caseload to remain at zero. Despite strict protocols, some regions in China are reporting fresh cases daily. China has implemented zero local transmissions, an official policy, at the cost of people’s freedom and violation of rights.
Citing a CNN report, Hong Kong Post reported that despite the strict monitoring, “cases have been detected over the past week in the country’s largest cities, from Beijing and Shanghai to Guangzhou”.
However, China claims that Beijing is isolated from the rest of the country during the period of the Winter Games to ensure that the virus does not enter the capital city.
At the beginning of the week, at least 61 new cases of COVID-19 were reported from the Chinese mainland, as per local media.
The Winter Games are already controversial because several countries led by the United States announced a diplomatic boycott.
Canada is the latest country to join the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, first initiated by the United States. The two other countries are Australia and the United Kingdom.
Human rights activists have raised their voices against China’s detention of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province and crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
In March, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union imposed sanctions on four Chinese officials and one entity for alleged human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to Sputnik.

China will successfully hold 2022 Beijing Olympics despite Omicron concerns

Beijing [China] : China will successfully hold the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games on schedule, despite the worldwide spread of the new Omicron coronavirus strain, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday.
“Regarding the impact of the Omicron strain on the Winter Olympics, I think it will definitely bring some prevention and control challenges, but thanks to China’s experience in preventing the spread of and combating COVID-19, I am fully confident that the Winter Olympics the games will be successfully held in accordance with the schedule,” Sputnik quoted Zhao as saying. The Games are scheduled for February 4-20, 2022.
The WHO, on November 27, named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’.
The World Health Organization has warned the Omicron variant, which has already been confirmed in Europe, Canada, Israel and Hong Kong, maybe more transmissible or evade immunity from previous infections and vaccines.
“Given mutations that may confer immune escape potential and possibly transmissibility advantage, the likelihood of potential further spread of Omicron at the global level is high,” the WHO said in its risk assessment on Monday within a technical brief to its 194 member states.
The WHO urged member states to enhance surveillance and sequencing efforts to better understand variants, including omicron, and to increase community testing to detect if omicron is circulating.

Biden ‘considering’ diplomatic boycott of 2022 Beijing Olympics

Washington [US]: US President Joe Biden has said that his administration was considering a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, reported NBC News.
Asked about the possibility of the boycott during an Oval Office meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, Biden responded that it was “something we are considering”, according to NBC News. The White House usually sends a delegation to the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics but under a diplomatic boycott would not send the delegation.
The diplomatic boycott call has been advocated by top US lawmakers in the US. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had called for such a boycott, a move to protest against China’s abuses of human rights, said CNN.
Human rights activists have raised their voices against China’s detention of Uyghur people in Xinjiang province and crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Winter Olympics flame on its way from Rome to Beijing

Athens [Greece]: The Olympic flame for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 is on its way to Beijing.
During a ceremony in the historic Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on Tuesday, it was handed over by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) to the organisers of the next Games. The ceremony, which took place 24 hours after the lighting of the flame in Ancient Olympia near the Temple of Hera, was attended by International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice-Presidents Ser Miang Ng and Nicole Hoevertsz; the IOC’s Beijing 2022 Coordination Commission Chair, Juan Antonio Samaranch; and IOC Honorary Member Sam Ramsamy.
The Chinese delegation was led by IOC Vice-President, Special Representative and Vice-President of Beijing 2022 and Vice-President of the Chinese Olympic Committee Zaiqing Yu. The ceremony was hosted by Hellenic Olympic Committee President and IOC member Spyros Capralos.
Due to the COVID-19 countermeasures, the ceremony was held under strict conditions, with only a limited delegation and no spectators present. In addition, the traditional torch relay through Greece could not take place.
The Greek priestesses entered the arena and watched on as Greece’s Evi Moraitidou, a silver medallist at the Athens Olympics in 2004 in water polo, brought the flame into the stadium.
Li Nina, Olympic silver medallist in freestyle skiing in both 2006 and 2010, from China, then continued the lap of the historic track, before handing the torch to Paraskevi Ladopoulou, a cross-country and biathlon athlete from Greece, who will compete in Beijing 2022 in cross-country, to light a cauldron.
Beijing will write history as the first city to hold both editions of the Olympic Games, winter and summer. The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 aim to connect the Chinese people with the world, bringing to life China’s vision to engage 300 million people with sport on snow and ice.
“This unique flame will convey a message of peace and friendship. But it will also carry with it the respect and goodwill of the Greeks towards the Chinese people. Two nations that count thousands of years of history and close relations” said Spyros Capralos in an official IOC release.
“Yesterday, the Olympic flame spent the night on the Acropolis, the ultimate symbol of Greece, but also of culture and democracy worldwide. From here, it sent its powerful radiance to the 206 NOCs – members of the International Olympic Committee,” he added.
A welcome ceremony for the flame will be held in Beijing on Wednesday, with the flame initially going on display to the public at the Beijing Olympic Tower before setting off on a flame exhibition tour.
Closer to the Games, a traditional Olympic Torch Relay will be held. More information will be announced by the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee after the arrival ceremony.
Around 2,900 athletes, representing approximately 85 National Olympic Committees, will compete in what will be the most gender-balanced Olympic Winter Games in history, between 4 and 20 February 2022.

IOC Executive Board make decisions relating to Beijing 2022 in Greece

Athens [Greece]: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) on Saturday met in Athens, Greece, ahead of the flame-lighting ceremony for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Monday, October 18.
The IOC EB made decisions relating to the Beijing 2022 Games and received updates on the preparations. The IOC Executive Board decided to approve the change of nationality for one athlete in view of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Jack Gower – Alpine Skiing – has changed his nationality from Great Britain to Ireland. The IOC EB granted the requested exemption to the three-year waiting period, with the prior agreement from the International Federation (IF) and National Olympic Committees concerned, in accordance with Bye-law 2 to Rule 41 of the Olympic Charter.
With the lighting of the Olympic flame for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 to take place on Monday, a brief update was provided to the IOC EB on the progress of preparations for these Games. This focused on the positive feedback from IFs and athletes about the ongoing test events involving international athletes that are taking place in the Beijing 2022 competition venues.
So far this autumn, the venues for 2022 have hosted a Bobsleigh and Skeleton International Training Period, the Speed Skating China Open, the 2021 Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy and a national test of the Ice Cube curling venue. These events form part of the 10 international competitions, three international training weeks and two domestic test activities that will be organised in eight competition venues across all three Beijing 2022 competition zones – Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou – before the end of the year.
Speaking after the EB meeting, IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell said about the IBSF training period that is happening in Beijing: “It’s really pleasing to see the feedback we’ve had from the international athletes. A lot of these athletes are Olympians; many of them are obviously competing on the international circuit; and the feedback that we’ve had is unanimously positive regarding the venue itself, the sliding centre, but also the organisation around the Games and their excitement as they build up to participating in Beijing 2022.”

PM Modi urges people to participate

New Delhi [India], September 19 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday invited citizens to participate in the e-Auction of gifts and mementos received by him.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi wrote, “Over time, I have received several gifts and mementos which are being auctioned. This includes the special mementos given by our Olympics heroes. Do take part in the auction. The proceeds would go to the Namami Gange initiative.” PM Modi also shared the link to the portal set for the e-auction.
The gifts presented to PM Modi for the third edition of the e-auction include sports gear and equipment presented by winners of the Tokyo Paralympics and the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The third edition of the e-auction of gifts presented to PM Modi is being held from September 17 to October 7 through the web portal https://pmmementos.gov.in. Other interesting artefacts include replicas of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir, Chardham, Rudraksh Convention Centre, models, sculptures, paintings, angavastras among others. In this round of e-auctions, around 1330 mementoes are being e-auctioned.
Javelin used by gold medalist Sumit Antil in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and the javelin used by Neeraj Chopra in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is the items with the highest base price at Rs one crore each.

Future of Indian sports is in hands of coaches, says Anurag Thakur

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: The future of India’s sports lies in the hands of coaches, said Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, and Information and broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur on Sunday.
As per an official release, the Minister visited the Netaji Subhas Southern Centre, Sports Authority of India in Bengaluru and participated in the Teachers’ Day Celebration of the 58th Batch of NIS Diploma in sports coaching. Reiterating the Central government’s renewed focus on sports, the Union Sports Minister addressed the coaches and athletes at the event and said, “Future of India’s Sports lies in the hands of Coaches; On the occasion of teachers’ day, let’s resolve to nurture and polish athletes with best of training and ensure they bring forth star athletes of Olympian standards.”
According to the release, there are currently over 160 athletes undergoing high-performance training at the Bangalore Centre of the SAI under the National Centres of Excellence (NCOE) scheme in five disciplines; besides, 168 trainee coaches are undergoing diploma courses in Sports Coaching in 9 disciplines and shall soon be passing out as young coaches.
“SAI is also emphasising on the sports sciences support in the high-performance training wherein a battery of young sports scientists has recently been inducted to support the training processes with modern scientific approach and the latest research,’ said the release.
DG, SAI, Sandip Pradhan and Ritu Pathik, Regional Director, SAI, Bengaluru Centre, were also present at the event.

Will decide on participation in Wrestling World C’ships after Friday: Ravi Dahiya

New Delhi [India]: Tokyo Olympic silver-medallist Ravi Dahiya on Wednesday said that he will decide on his participation in the upcoming Wrestling World Championships after Friday, August 27. “I have not decided on the participation yet, this decision will be taken by me after the August 27 meeting,” Dahiya told ANI.
World Wrestling Championships are set to be held in Oslo, Norway from October 2-10.
Ravi Dahiya had won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics after losing to Russia’s Zavur Uguev in the finals of Men’s freestyle wrestling 57 kg category on August 5.
Dahiya cruised into the 57kg final with a series of magnificent wins, but lost 4-7 to Russian Olympic Committee’s Zavur Uguev in the summit clash.
On August 5, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Ravi Dahiya and his coach Anil Maan after the Indian wrestler won the silver medal in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. While congratulating him, PM Modi had said that India is proud of him and his success inspires the entire nation.

Urge everyone to support girls who want to enter field of sports, says Mirabai Chanu

Patiala (Punjab) [India]: Tokyo Olympics silver-medallist weightlifter Mirabai Chanu on Wednesday said that everyone should support girls who want to enter the field of sports.
“When I started, I was just 14 years old, I had to go through many problems. Earlier, were not many facilities and my family had to go through a lot. I had to deal with hardships but my family fully supported me during my training days. My parents always encouraged me to follow my dream. I am happy that I could fulfil their dream. I received a lot of support from the government. I request everyone to support girls who want to enter the field of sports,” Chanu told ANI. “I have been lucky that my family loves sports, the support of family is really important. The government always supports us now, I hope they keep supporting us in the same manner. Players from India really work hard, if the young generation gets the desired support, they will do us proud,” she added.
Chanu had opened India’s medals tally at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics after she bagged a silver in the Women’s 49kg category.
The Indian weightlifter then received a rousing reception in Imphal as she arrived in her native state Manipur, after a sensational show at the Tokyo Games.
Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur had also felicitated India’s first medal winner Mirabai Chanu after she landed from Tokyo.

Players will be trained at 18 academies for Olympics: MP CM

Bhopal, Aug 20: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Friday that the state dispensation has decided to search for fresh talent and train them at 18 sports academies.

“Our objective is to churn out contestants who will bring laurels to the country and the state in the Olympics or at various other world-level or national competitions. I appeal to interested youth to register themselves through the campaign. Our eyes are on the 2024 Paris and 2028 Los Angeles Olympics,” Mr Chouhan said in a message.

Till date, in excess of 50,000 aspirants have applied for online registration.

Family, friends await Neeraj Chopra’s arrival in hometown, grand celebrations planned

Panipat (Haryana)[India], August 17 I): With Olympic Gold medallist Neeraj Chopra heading home to Samalkha in Panipat on Tuesday, a grand feast is being organised by the family for around 30,000 people. This will be Neeraj’s first visit to his hometown after he won the coveted medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
The whole village and distant relatives have been invited for the grand celebration. “He will be receiving a grand welcome, I have prepared ‘churma’ for him. We will keep his gold medal in the temple, as it is after the blessings of God that he has reached these heights. I am looking forward to his arrival,” says Neeraj’s mother Saroj Devi.

Another distant relative of Neeraj said: “We have made all the preparations. The welcome will be grand and all the relatives and the whole village is invited. The gold medal will be kept in the temple and some rituals will be performed. Food preparations for around 25 to 30 thousand people have been done which needed manpower of about 150 people. The whole village is in a festive mood since the day he has won the medal.”
Neeraj created history at the Tokyo Olympics as he became the first athlete from the country to win a medal in track and field in the showpiece event. He threw the javelin to a distance of 87.58m to pick the yellow metal at the Games.
Neeraj’s historic golden throw in the Olympics has been listed as one of the 10 magical moments of athletics (track and field) in the Tokyo Olympics by World Athletics.
He has been felicitated by the Indian Government, the Sports Ministry, the Athletic Federation of India as well as the Indian Army post his return.

Indian Men’s Olympics Hockey team presents autographed hockey to PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: The Indian Men’s Hockey team, that went to the Olympics, on Monday presented an autographed hockey to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he hosted the Indian athletes at his residence today.

The men’s hockey team had won a medal after 41 years at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics.

The Indian Tokyo Olympics contingent on Monday went to 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, the official residence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to have breakfast with him.

Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, India’s first-ever Gold Medallist in track and field, badminton player PV Sindhu were also present. PM Modi fulfilled his promise and had ice cream with Sindhu.

The Prime Minister also interacted with the Indian wrestling team that went to the Olympics.

PM Modi in his Independence Day speech on Sunday applauded the Indian Olympic athletes and said the country was proud of them for bringing glory to the nation and that their feat has inspired future generations.

India recorded its best-ever medal haul at the recently concluded Olympics by bagging a total of seven medals – one Gold, two silver, and four bronze.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be interacting with the Indian para-athlete contingent for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on Tuesday at 11 am through video conferencing. (ANI)

President lauds Olympic team

New Delhi, Aug 14: President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday lauded the performance of Indian players at Olympic, specially the women players.

Addressing the nation on the eve of 75th Independence Day, the President said: “In the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, our sportspersons have brought laurels to the nation with their stellar performances. India has won the highest number of medals in the 121 years of its participation in the Olympics”.

India won 35 medals in the Tokyo Olympics this year, its highest tally so far.

“Our daughters have achieved world class excellence in playgrounds overcoming many adversities,” he said.

The President said along with sports, epoch-making changes are taking place in the participation and success of women in all walks of life.

“From higher educational institutions to armed forces, from laboratories to playgrounds, our daughters are making their mark. In this success of our daughters, I see a glimpse of a developed India of the future,” he said.

“I urge every parent to learn from the families of such promising daughters and provide opportunities to their daughters also to explore avenues of growth,” the President added.

Hockey skipper Manpreet Singh loves to binge on butter chicken, Neeraj Chopra says fruits are his ‘comfort food’

New Delhi [India], August 13 : While fitness is of utmost importance for athletes, the Indian men’s hockey skipper Manpreet Singh loves to have butter chicken when it comes to picking his favourite comfort food.
However, Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra is pretty strict on his diet as he sticks to fruits when it comes to comfort food. Neeraj, boxer Lovlina Borgohain and Manpreet gave some interesting answers in a candid rapid-fire round shared by Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on his Twitter on Friday.
“A Candid Rapid Fire Round with Olympic Medalists @Neeraj_chopra1 @LovlinaBorgohai @manpreetpawar07 Check this out,” Anurag Thakur tweeted.

The Indian men’s hockey team ended a 41-year medal drought by clinching the bronze medal in Tokyo Olympics and the skipper said he called his mother right after the win to inform her.
“I called my mom as my father’s dream was to see me win a medal at Olympics but when the dream got achieved he was not with us,” said Manpreet in the video.
While Lovlina also called home after she won a medal, Olympic gold medallist Neeraj called former Indian javelin thrower Jai Choudhary.
“I talked to Jai Choudhary who is my senior,” said Neeraj.
Manpreet jokingly said he would have been a truck driver in Dubai if he wasn’t playing hockey for India.
Answering what scares them the most, Manpreet said when he doesn’t tell truth to his mother. Boxer Lovlina said she is scared of heights while Neeraj admitted he doesn’t fear anything.
This year the Games were held with COVID-19 induced restrictions and all events were held behind closed doors. About 11,000 athletes from over 200 countries competed at the Tokyo Olympics. India recorded its best-ever haul at the Olympics with seven medals (one gold, two silver, and four bronze)

Was shattered after losing bronze medal match, but team performed well at Olympics: Vandana Katariya

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], August 11 : India women’s hockey player Vandana Katariya on Wednesday said that her side was shattered after losing the bronze medal game against Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics, but nonetheless, they performed really well at the Games.
“We were shattered after losing the bronze medal match, didn’t win a medal but have won hearts. The team performed well at the Olympics,” Katariya told reporters on Wednesday upon arriving in Dehradun. Katariya was welcomed to a thunderous response as she arrived in her hometown of Dehradun on Wednesday morning.
The Indian women’s hockey team moved up to the 8th position according to the latest FIH world rankings.
The Indian eves, who faced three losses in the initial matches, went on to pull off arguably the biggest upset as they beat World No.3 Australian side in what was their first-ever quarter-final of the Olympics.
During the Olympics, the team pulled off a major upset as it defeated Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals

On this day in 2008: Abhinav Bindra became first Indian to win individual Olympic gold

New Delhi [India]: It was on this day, 13 years ago, when Abhinav Bindra became the first Indian to win an individual Olympic gold medal.
Bindra had achieved the feat during the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 10-metre air rifle shooter was seen at the top of his craft. The shooter had shot a 10.8 on his last shot and this sealed the gold medal for the Indian. Before this shot, he was tied with Finland’s Henri Hakkinen and if he had shot anything less than 10.8, he would not have won the gold medal.
Having started his Olympic journey in Sydney back in 2000, the 37-year-old shooter qualified in three Olympic finals including his golden journey of Beijing in 2008 (Athens being the other one) in his pet 10m air rifle, while he missed out in Sydney and London.
Bindra, in 2017 had officially announced his retirement from shooting, saying ‘it is time to move on and hand over the baton to the younger generation.’
The shooter had missed a near second Olympic medal in the Rio Olympics 2016.
In the recently-concluded Tokyo Olympics, Neeraj Chopra became the second Indian to win individual Olympic gold for India.
Javelin thrower Neeraj had on Saturday won a gold medal and this was the first medal won by an Indian athlete in track and field in the Games.

ICC to push for cricket’s inclusion in Olympics, Los Angeles 2028 ‘primary target’

Dubai [UAE], August 10 : The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday confirmed its intention to push for cricket’s inclusion in the Olympic Games going forward, starting preparations for a bid on behalf of the sport with the primary target being its addition to the Los Angeles 2028 itinerary.
According to the apex body, a working group to lead the bid has been assembled by the ICC. ICC said thirty-million cricket fans live in the USA, making LA 2028 the ideal Games for cricket to make its return to the Olympic competition.
Cricket, till now, has made just one appearance in the Olympics, way back in 1900 in Paris when only two teams competed at the event – Great Britain and hosts France – meaning the sport’s inclusion in 2028 would mark the end of a 128-year absence.
ICC Chair Greg Barclay said the addition of cricket to the Olympic Games would be beneficial to both the sport and the Games themselves.
“Firstly on behalf of everyone at the ICC, I would like to congratulate the IOC, Tokyo 2020, and the people of Japan for staging such an incredible Games in such difficult circumstances. It truly was fantastic to watch and captured the imagination of the world and we would love for cricket to be a part of future Games,” Barclay said in a ICC release.
“Our sport is united behind this bid, and we see the Olympics as a part of cricket’s long-term future. We have more than a billion fans globally and almost 90 percent of them want to see cricket at the Olympics.
“Clearly cricket has a strong and passionate fanbase, particularly in South Asia where 92% of our fans come from whilst there are also 30 million cricket fans in the USA. The opportunity for those fans to see their heroes competing for an Olympic medal is tantalising,” he added.
“We believe cricket would be a great addition to the Olympic Games, but we know it won’t be easy to secure our inclusion as there are so many other great sports out there wanting to do the same. But we feel now is the time to put our best foot forward and show what a great partnership cricket and the Olympics are,” Barclay opined.
The sport will feature in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games next year, which shapes as a perfect showcase for what the sport can bring to the Olympics, as well as being a momentous occasion on its own.
The ICC Olympic Working Group will be chaired by England and Wales Cricket Board Chair Ian Watmore.
He will be joined by ICC Independent Director Indra Nooyi, Chair of Zimbabwe Cricket Tavengwa Mukuhlani, ICC Associate Member Director and Vice President of the Asian Cricket Council Mahinda Vallipuram and Chair of USA Cricket Parag Marathe.
Marathe believes the time is now for cricket to make its long-awaited return to the Olympics, confident the sport’s inclusion at the showpiece event would accelerate the growth of the game in the USA.
“USA Cricket is thrilled to be able to support cricket’s bid for inclusion in the Olympics, the timing of which aligns perfectly with our continuing plans to develop the sport in the USA,” he said.
“With so many passionate cricket fans and players already in the USA, and a huge global audience and following for the sport around the world, we believe that cricket’s inclusion will add great value to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games and help us to achieve our own vision for establishing cricket as a mainstream sport in this country.”

Tokyo Games: We fulfilled responsibility as Olympics host, says Japan PM

Nagasaki [Japan]: Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Monday said the country has fulfilled its “responsibility” as host nation of the Tokyo Games.

The Japanese Prime Minister also thanked the citizens and expressed his “sincere appreciation” for the people of the country.
“Although the Olympics were postponed for a year and held under various restrictions, I believe we were able to fulfill our responsibility as host country,” Kyodo News quoted Suga as saying.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Japanese people for their understanding and cooperation,” he added.

Suga was presented with the Olympic Order in Gold by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 closing ceremony on Sunday.

This year the Games were held with COVID-19 induced restrictions and all sports were played behind closed doors. (ANI)

Olympics Organising Committee reports 26 new COVID-19 cases over past 24 hrs

Tokyo, Aug 8: Tokyo has logged 26 new COVID-19 cases related to the Olympic Games over the past 24 hours, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee said on Sunday.
Among those who tested positive were personnel, volunteers, contractors, as well as media representatives. No athletes got infected over the given period.
The update brings the total tally of COVID-19 cases confirmed at the Games since the beginning of July to 436, including 286 Japanese citizens and 150 foreigners.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, initially scheduled to take place in 2020, was postponed for one year due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The sporting event kicked off on July 23 and will end on August 8.

Subedar Neeraj Chopra created history by winning gold : ARMY

New Delhi [India], August 7 : Indian Army top brass on Saturday congratulated Subedar Neeraj Chopra on winning the country’s first-ever gold medal in athletics at the ongoing Olympics.
The “Entire Army was proud of his achievement,” Army Chief Gen MM Naravane said. The Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, said that the 23-year-old athlete did the armed forces, and the nation proud. Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal is the second for India in the individual category after Abhinav Bindra, who bagged the top prize in the 19m Air Rifle shooting event in China
General Rawat, said, “Neeraj Chopra has proven that when there is the WILL there is a way. He has done the Armed Forces and the Nation proud like many other Olympians who have created history in TOKYO 2020.”
He added, “We are confident you will continue to reach greater heights in the years to follow. Your achievement will inspire and motivate other sportspersons to aspire and succeed to bring bigger laurels and greater honour to our Nation.
“Subedar Neeraj Chopra, VSM created history by winning the nations’ first gold medal in Javelin Throw at the Olympics with a gigantic throw of 87.58 metre at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. This was the first Olympics medal in track and field events at Tokyo and ended India’s 121 year wait for an Olympic medal in athletics. He has joined the ranks of Abhinav Bindra and is only the second Indian to win individual gold at the Olympics,” reads the Indian Army statement.
According to the Indian Army, Neeraj Chopra was enrolled in 4 Rajputana Rifles as a Direct Entry Naib Subedar on May 15, 2016. After joining the Indian Army, he was selected for training at Mission Olympics Wing and Army Sports Institute, Pune.
Mission Olympics Wing, a premier initiative by the Indian Army to identify and train elite sportsmen in eleven selected disciplines at five Mission Olympics Nodes to excel in various national and international competitions. Mission Olympics Wing has given two Olympic Silver medals in Shooting to the nation and is committed to many more.
Neeraj Chopra’s medal highlights the hard work and efforts of Mission Olympics Wing. Sub Neeraj was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2018 and VSM in 2020 for his excellence in sports.
Neeraj Chopra came into prominence with his performance at the World U-20 Championship, Poland where he set a new Junior World Record with a throw of 86.48m. He won Asian Championship 2017 in Bhubaneswar with a throw of 85.23 metre. Neeraj started training under Uwe Hohn of Germany and won the Gold medal in Commonwealth Games 2018 with a throw of 86.47m and threw his personal best of 87.43m in the Doha leg of Diamond League 2018. He won the Asian Games with a throw of 88.06m, said the Indian Army statement.
The javelin thrower created history on Saturday as he became the first athlete from the country to win a gold in a track and field event in the Olympics. He threw a distance of 87.58m to pick the gold at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
Neeraj began his quest for the medal with a massive throw of 87.03 meters and was leading the pack after the end of first attempt. He bettered it with the second throw of 87.58m. While he wasn’t able to improve any further, it was enough to get him the coveted medal. He is now the second Indian after Abhinav Bindra to win a gold medal in individual events.
India has now won seven medals in the multi-sporting event, its best-ever performance at the Olympics. Bajrang Punia (Bronze), Mirabai Chanu (silver), PV Sindhu (bronze), Lovlina Borgohain (bronze), men’s hockey team ( bronze), and Ravi Kumar Dahiya (silver) have also won medals.

Golden Boy : Life story of Neeraj Chopra, Years old dream fulfilled

By News Desk with inputs from agencies.

Tokyo: Life story of Neeraj Chopra; Neeraj Chopra has become the first Indian player to win a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. He put India’s first gold medal in the bag with an 87.58m javelin throw. Neeraj threw 87.03 meters in his first attempt, 87.58 in the second and 76.79 meters in the third attempt.

Earlier, India had won six medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Also, Neeraj has become only the second player to win gold for India in the individual event of the Olympics. Abhinav Bindra won the gold medal for India in the 10m rifle shooting at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Life of Neeraj Chopra

Chopra won the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, where she set a new Indian national record of 88.06m and served as the flag bearer of the opening ceremony. Neeraj Chopra broke his personal record by throwing 88.07m in early March at the Indian Grand Prix 3 in Patiala this year.

Neeraj Chopra, playing in the Olympics for the first time, topped both the groups in the qualification round. Then the 23-year-old athlete had thrown 86.65 meters. Neeraj missed out on playing in the Rio Olympics as the qualifying deadline had passed by the time he threw the qualification mark.

It was a heartbreaking experience for Neeraj. But in Tokyo, Neeraj did not let this happen. Javelin is Neeraj’s passion, but Neeraj is also very fond of riding a bike as well as Haryanvi Ragini. Punjabi songs and Babbu Maan remain in his playlist.

Neeraj as a teenager

Neeraj, once a vegetarian, has now started eating non-veg because of his sport. When it comes to food, the player has to follow the diet, but he considers golgappas as his favorite junk food. Because of his long hair, people also know him as Mowgli on social media. Maybe because of the long hair and agility.

This agility has brought Neeraj to the Olympics. Neeraj is now 23 years old and he is eyeing the 2024 Paris Olympics.

By News Desk with inputs from agencies.

What Neeraj Chopra has achieved today will be remembered forever: PM Modi

New Delhi [India], August 7 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday congratulated javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra for scripting history with his gold medal-winning feat at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
“History has been scripted at Tokyo! What @Neeraj_chopra1 has achieved today will be remembered forever. The young Neeraj has done exceptionally well. He played with remarkable passion and showed unparalleled grit. Congratulations to him for winning the Gold. #Tokyo2020,” tweeted PM Modi. Chopra created history on Saturday as he became the first from the country to win a gold in track and field in the Olympics. He threw a distance of 87.58m to pick the gold in Tokyo.

Neeraj began his quest for a medal with a massive throw of 87.03 meters and was leading the pack after the end of the first attempt.
He bettered it with the second throw of 87.58m. While he wasn’t able to improve any further, it was enough to get him the coveted medal. He is now the second Indian after Abhinav Bindra to win a gold medal in individual events.

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur also showered praise on Chopra. “NEERAJ CHOPRA. India’s Golden Boy. India’s Olympic History has been scripted! Your superbly soaring throw deserves a Billion Cheers! Your name will be etched in the history books with golden letters,” he wrote. With this, the country surpassed the previous best haul of six medal achieved in the 2012 London Games. Czech Republic throwers Jakub Vadlejch (86.67m) and Vitezslav Vesely (85.44m) took the silver and bronze respectively.

Typhoon expected to approach Tokyo on the last day of Olympics

Tokyo [Japan], August 7 : A typhoon is expected to approach Tokyo and its neighboring areas from the Pacific on Sunday, the final day of the Tokyo Olympics, reported Kyodo News.
Typhoon Mirinae was moving over the sea south of the Japanese archipelago at 30 kilometers per hour as of noon, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on Saturday as it warned of strong winds and high waves. The closing ceremony is scheduled to take place on Sunday at 8:00 p.m. local time in Japan. The final day will also feature competitions including track and field, volleyball, water polo, boxing, handball, and basketball.
After 19 days of competition, where emotions of sport have triumphed, the official handover between Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 will be one of the highlights of the Closing Ceremony at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium. The Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, will hand the Olympic flag to the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.
Speaking about this, Hidalgo said: “It is with great emotion that I will bring home the flag from Tokyo in the company of the victorious French athletes and the Olympic values of openness, excellence, effort, and fair play. The prospect of gathering in 2024 for Games that are respectful of invited nations and which carry the ambition of a more sustainable city will motivate all our efforts.”

Wildfire threatens hometown of Olympic Games in Greece : Civil Protection

Athens, Aug 6: A resurgent wildfire spreads near the ancient Greek site of Archaia Olympia, threatening to consume a site famed as the birthplace of Olympic Games, Nikos Hardalias, the deputy minister for civil protection and crisis management, said on Friday.
“We have a new fire front today in Ancient Olympia. There are 310 firefighters deployed there,” Hardalias said at a briefing.
The site of the Olympics birthplace saw one of the worst wildfires over the past few days. Residents from 32 nearby settlements were evacuated. The fire approached the Archaeological Museum of Olympia and the International Olympic Academy.
The Greek authorities are evacuating people from Lake Marathon in eastern Attica, which is a major source of water for Athens.
The wildfire situation in Attica and Euboea is getting worse due to strong winds.
Greece and other countries in the southeast Mediterranean region are experiencing the worst heatwave since 1987. Temperatures are rising to 44 degrees Celsius (111.2 degrees Fahrenheit), which, in combination with the dry climate and strong winds, have fueled intense wildfires throughout the area in recent weeks.
On Thursday, a total of 60 villages and settlements were evacuated in southern Greece, with 57 out of 99 fires detected on Thursday still burning into the evening.

Tokyo 2020: Bajrang loses to Aliyev in semis, to fight for bronze

Tokyo, Aug 6: India’s Bajrang Punia lost 12-5 to Azerbaijan’s Haji Aliyev in the men’s freestyle 65kg wrestling semifinal match at the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Olympics, here on Friday.

The loss means Bajrang will be competing for the bronze medal on Saturday. He will face the winner of the repechage round bout between Senegal’s Adama Diatta and Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov.

If he manages to win, it would be India’s second medal in wrestling in Tokyo, with Ravi Kumar Dahiya winning a silver medal in the 57kg category on Thursday.

Up against Haji Aliyev, Bajrang looked to go on the offence early and earned the first point of the bout through a passivity penalty on Aliyev.

However, the Azerbaijan wrestler made a comeback, scoring back-to-back takedowns and took a 4-1 lead into the second period. Thereafter, Aliyev scored another four points by getting hold of the Indian wrestler’s ankles and twirling him around a couple of times.

Punia tried to claw his way back in the bout but he was no match to the technical finesse and power of Aliyev, who kept picking up points of his own to win the bout 12-5.

The Rio 2016 bronze-medallist Aliyev will face Japan’s Takuto Otoguro, the 2018 world champion, in the gold medal match.

Earlier, Bajrang entered the semi-final of by beating Iran’s Morteza Ghiasi by fall in the quarter-finals.

He also survived a close shave and defeated Ernazar Akmataliev of Kyrgyzstan in the round of 16 to enter the quarter-finals.

The 27-year old Bajrang is a three-time world championships medallist. He won a bronze in the 2019 World Championships and had won a silver in 2018, both in the 65kg category. The grappler won a bronze at the world championships in 2013 in the 60 kg category.

He is a disciple of former Indian wrestling great and 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist, Yogeshwar Dutt.

Naveen congratulates Indian Women’s hockey team for putting a brave fight against Britain in Tokyo Olympics

Bhubaneswar, Aug 06: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today spoke to the Indian

Women’s hockey team through video conferencing and congratulated them for putting up a

brave fight against Britain in Tokyo Olympics.

India women Hockey team lost to Britain 3-4 in a tough fight for the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Great Britain were the Gold medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics and number 4 in world ranking.

After the Match the Chief Minister while talking to the team members said, “Girls, you have

worked very hard and played very well. You lost a game, but won our hearts. Congratulations to

all of you because of the hard work you have put in and playing so well,” he said.

“You will be coming over here (Odisha) on August 17. We will all meet then,” Mr Patnaik said.

In return a team member thanked the Chief Minister and Odisha government for supporting and helping them. “You have played a big role in our journey and therefore credit also goes to you,”

she told Mr Patnaik.

The Chief Minister said, “all of you have a long road ahead, keep working hard. Be happy and

keep well.’’

Give Rs 3 cr and DSP job to Hockey Olympic bronze medalists : Sukhbir

Chandigarh, Aug 6: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday asked Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to give a cash reward of Rs 3 crore to all hockey players of Punjab who were part of the bronze medal winning men’s team at the Tokyo Olympics.

In a statement here, the SAD chief also asked the Congress government to offer a job of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in the Punjab Police to all hockey players of Punjab who represented the country at the Tokyo Olympics. Simultaneously Rs one crore should be given to all representatives from the State who had part of the Indian contingent at the Olympics, he said.

Mr Badal said it was a great honour that as many as ten players from Punjab were part of the men’s hockey team. He said the boys had not only brought glory to the State and the country but their victory would also serve the purpose of reviving the sport in the country. “The interest of the youth in Hockey is set to revive after the historic podium finish after 41 years”.

He said the SAD was committed to prioritizing hockey and had during its ten year tenure in government created a large number of astro turf grounds besides establishing a world class hockey stadium at Mohali.

“We will continue in our effort to take hockey forward once we form the government in 2022”, Mr Badal said adding “in case the Congress government does not give enhanced compensation and a government job to the hockey bronze medal winners, the next SAD-BSP alliance would do the needful”.

Bajrang Punia loses in the semi-final, to play for bronze

Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia faced a crushing defeat in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics at the hands of Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan in the men’s freestyle 65kg event on Friday.

Tokyo [Japan], August 6 Aliyev defeated Bajrang 12-5 as the former dominated proceedings from the word go. The Indian grappler will now play the bronze medal match on Saturday.
The Indian grappler might have started the game on a high, but Aliyev’s two-point move gave him a 2-1 lead against Bajrang. He further extended his lead as he took the scoreline to 4-1 with the same set of moves over Bajrang. After the first period, Bajrang trailed 1-4 against Aliyev. In the second essay, Aliyev came all guns blazing as he went on a point-scoring spree taking the lead of 8-1. Bajrang came back strong and hard registering four points but the Azerbaijani wrestler kept on extending the lead as he went from 9-5 to 12-5 within seconds.
Earlier in the day, Bajrang won both games comprehensively. Begining his Tokyo 2020 campaign, Bajrang first defeated Ernazar Akmataliev of Kyrgyzstan in the 1/8 Final and then beat Iran’s Morteza Ghiasi Cheka by pinning him down to the mat (victory by fall) in the 1/4 Final.

Tokyo Olympics: Punjab minister announces Rs 1 cr cash reward for each men’s hockey team players from state

New Delhi [India], August 5 : As the Indian men’s hockey team clinched bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, Minister of Sports & Youth Services in Punjab, Rana Gurmit S Sodhi on Thursday announced a cash award of Rs 1 crore each for players from state.
“On this historic day for #IndianHockey I am delighted to announce a cash award of Rs 1crore each to players 4m #Punjab. We await ur return to celebrate the much deserving medal in #Olympics. #Cheer4India #Tokyo2020 #IndvsGer #Hockey #IndianHockeyTeam @capt_amarinder @Media_SAI,” read a tweet by Rana Gurmit. The Minister praised the team on the historic victory against Germany and tweeted, “An absolutely Gripping Match! Our boys have done it in #Tokyo2020 Bringing an #Olympic medal home after 41 years #BronzeMedal #India #Punjab is proud of this Brilliant Team Play #HockeyIndiaTeam All 5 scorers #Punjab. Simranjeet Singh @rupinderbob3 @13harmanpreet Hardik Singh”.
It took 41 years, but the dream of every Indian was finally realised on Thursday as the men’s hockey team beat Germany 5-4 to win the bronze medal here at the Oi Hockey Stadium — North Pitch.
The Men in Blue showed absolute resilience, strength, and winning spirit to register a remarkable comeback win against a strong German team.

TT board issues show-cause notice

New Delhi [India]: The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) will be issuing a show-cause notice to paddler Manika Batra for refusing to take guidance from the national coach Soumyadeep Roy during the Tokyo Olympics, confirmed federation secretary Arun Banerjee on Wednesday.

“We have today in our meeting decided that the show cause notice will be issued, Manika Batra has 10 days to reply, accordingly will take action, mostly will issue the notice by tomorrow but the decision has been taken,” TTFI secretary Banerjee told. Earlier, Banerjee had made it clear that Manika Batra’s refusal to have national coach Soumyadeep Roy by her side during matches at the Tokyo Olympics will be taken up for discussion once the contingent returns to India.

Banerjee said the executive committee will decide on the course of action that needs to be taken since it was unprofessional for Manika to call Soumyadeep the personal coach of Sutirtha Mukherjee.
“Personal coach is a wrong statement. Sutirtha plays in Soumyadeep’s academy, but he is the national coach. To say her coach was not allowed with her is wrong on Manika’s part. She knew before leaving from India what is the access of the coaches. All the players and coaches know the extent of access each has. Manika had applied for a personal coach, which we had recommended as well. When you know his access, to come to Tokyo and demand that her coach be there in place of Soumyadeep is wrong. To call him the personal coach of Sutirtha is wrong as he had taken national camp even before coming to Tokyo. The criteria is fixed and I asked Soumyadeep to speak to manager MP Singh and report it as he is there. I strongly oppose this,” he told.

Asked if this was unwanted from Manika, he said: “What is on her mind I can’t say. Surprised she brought this up here after knowing the criteria. I will discuss this with the executive committee and decide what action needs to be taken. We have to bring this up when we are back.”

Manika had earlier requested to allow the field of play (FOP) access for her personal coach Sanmay Paranjape. The paddler bowed out of the Tokyo Olympics after losing her Round 3 match.

Tokyo reports over 3,700 cases amid Olympic 2020

Tokyo [Japan]: Tokyo on Tuesday reported 3,709 new cases of coronavirus amid Olympic 2020 in the city while eighteen more people associated with the Tokyo Olympics have been tested positive.
New cases had topped 3,000 for five consecutive days in Tokyo and doctors have also criticised the government’s response to the increasing cases, Kyodo News reported. Overall 12,017 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country which is the second-highest single-day record.
A day earlier, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga decided that only patients with severe cases of COVID-19 can be admitted to hospitals, making a policy U-turn.
Meanwhile, Japan on July 31 declared a state of emergency to Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Osaka, and Okinawa Prefectures and applied priority measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to Hokkaido, Ishikawa, Kyoto, Hyogo, and Fukuoka Prefectures till August 31.
“We ask people to refrain from going out or travelling for non-essential, non-urgent reasons, and to be as careful and restrained as possible regarding returning to their hometowns during the summer and other travel,” PM’s Office of Japan tweeted a few days back.
“We will continue to do everything in our capacity to implement measures to prevent infections and administer vaccines,” added the tweet.

Mission Tokyo: Women in the Olympics are Owning the Podium

By Subhro Majumder

This year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo will undoubtedly be remembered for the unusual conditions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic – the year-long delay, the disrupted training regimes, the missing audience. However, it should also be remembered for some of the remarkable displays of women’s autonomy. Women athletes have been making headlines for taking control of how they – and we – experience the event looked forward to by the entire world.

The women in Tokyo are participating in a significant shift in sports, one that celebrates not only women’s physical strength but also their political power and personal liberty – qualities that, in the past, have often been sharply limited for women almost everywhere, but particularly in the sports world. From strict regulations requiring feminine clothing – with an emphasis on modesty in the past and on skin-baring in the present – to restrictions on what events women were allowed to compete in, the scope of women’s sports has been shaped, historically and now, by the notion that they must be shielded and swayed.

In the Tokyo Olympics, more women than ever before are swimming, running, flipping, jumping, shooting and pedalling their way to glory. Of the approximately 11,500 athletes, roughly 49 per cent are women. But 120 years ago, there might as well have been a sign saying ‘No Girls Allowed’ painted on the entrance to the first modern Olympics, when 241 athletes, all men, from 14 countries gathered in Athens, Greece.

To well understand the difference between that world and the one in which we live now, let us have a look at some women who have been a source of inspiration for all sportspersons around the world, irrespective of their gender.

Latisha Chan

Latisha Chan, the Taiwanese tennis player is known for her triumphs in doubles competitions, having won a total of 33, including one in the 2017 US Open for women’s doubles, three mixed-couples in 2018 and 2019 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

She set off to be the second Taiwanese world number one doubles player in 2017 when she reached a career-high ranking of 50. At this year’s Tokyo Games, she teamed up with her sister Angel Chan for women’s doubles in tennis.

Hend Zaza

At just 12 years of age, Hend Zaza from Syria became the youngest athlete to compete in the Tokyo Olympics and one of the youngest to ever quality in the history of the Games. The table tennis prodigy is the youngest Olympian in 52 years since 11-year-old Beatrice Hustiu, who competed in the 1986 Olympics for figure skating.

Zaza is also the first Syrian to compete in table tennis via qualifications instead of an invitation. She had a rank of 155 in the entire world when she won the women’s singles title at the Western Asia Olympic Qualification Tournament in Jordan. The tournament earned her a spot at the Games.

PV Sindhu

PV Sindhu has metamorphosised as one of the most beloved sportspersons in India. The badminton star became the first Indian woman to win two Olympics medals, with her latest one being a follow-up to the silver at the previous Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. In the third-place play-off, the 26-year-old defeated He Bingjiao of China 21-13, 21-15.

Sindhu’s Olympic display has ensured that she would be considered one of the greatest ever Indian sportspersons.

As per the words of the founder of the Olympic movement, French aristocrat Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the Games were created for “the solemn and periodic exaltation of male athleticism” with ‘female applause as reward.’ Implying that the reason for women not participating in the Games was self-explanatory, Coubertin said “as no women participated in the Ancient Games, there obviously was to be no place for them in the modern ones.”

Since then, we have come a long way. In an Olympic first, in 2012, every participating country sent at least one woman contestant to the Games in London. And the Tokyo Olympics is becoming a testimony of women’s autonomy. As a large segment of the event still awaits to be witnessed and as we edge closer to the one in Paris in 2024, the future beckons while making the Olympic flame look bright.

About the author

Subhro Majumder is a Content Writer who is a sports and technology enthusiast. His other varied interests often sway him into reading about history, politics and international relations.

Assam Assembly to be adjourned for 30 min on Wednesday for Lovlina Borgohain bout in Tokyo Olympics

Guwahati, Aug 3: Assam Assembly would be adjourned for thirty minutes on Wednesday during

the semi-final bout of Lovlina Borgohain in Tokyo Olympics.

Lovlina Borgohain will be taking on world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey in the welterweight women’s boxing semi-final at the Tokyo Olympics.

Lovlina Borgohain has already assured India of another Olympics medal after defeating Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen in the quarter final of the women’s welterweight category.

Lovlina Borgohain, a two-time world championship bronze-medallist, is also the first female boxer

from Assam to qualify for the Olympics.

Olympic medallist PV Sindhu arrives in India

New Delhi [India], August 3 : Ace shuttler PV Sindhu on Tuesday arrived in India after a spectacular show at Tokyo Olympics.
Sindhu on Sunday became the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals. She defeated China’s He Bing Jiao in the bronze medal match. She received a warm welcome at Delhi Airport on her arrival. Sindhu and her coach Park Tae-Sang were welcomed by the general secretary of the Badminton Association of India (BAI), Ajay Singhania at Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Officials of BAI and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) were also present.
“BAI would like to thank the Government, Sports Ministry, and SAI for their efforts and support,” the association said in an official statement.
“I am very happy and excited. I am thankful to everyone including the Badminton Association for supporting and encouraging me. This is a happy moment,” Sindhu said in a video by BAI after returning to India.
Sindhu defeated Bing Jiao 21-13, 21-15 in the bronze medal match that lasted 52 minutes. Sindhu had earlier returned with a silver medal at the Rio Olympics 2016. The 26-year-old is now the second Indian athlete to win two individual Olympic medals.

Tokyo Olympics an experience I will not forget, journey doesn’t stop here: Sindhu

Tokyo [Japan]: After winning a bronze medal in the women’s singles of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, India shuttler PV Sindhu on Monday said she would not be able to forget her experience at the Games and her journey does not stop here.

Sindhu on Sunday became the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals. She defeated China’s He Bing Jiao in the bronze medal match at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 1.
“I appreciate all the well wishes and words of support from the bottom of my heart. I carried it all the way through and it means the world to me, just as this medal means everything for me to represent our nation. The Tokyo Olympics has been an experience that I will not forget, from preparing for 5 years to stepping in the medal podium — each moment is forever etched with me,” Sindhu said in a statement posted on her Twitter account.

“It has been a day and I still have no words to describe the feeling of holding an Olympic medal. It is always a dream come true each time. It has never just been a solo journey for me to get where I am. I am incredibly thankful to the people in my life who have continuously been with me through it all.

“I cannot thank everyone, but please know that I am so incredibly thankful and grateful for each and every person who has been there with me and the journey does not stop here,” she added.

Sindhu defeated Bing Jiao 21-13, 21-15 in the bronze medal match that lasted 52 minutes. Sindhu had earlier returned with a silver medal at the Rio Olympics 2016.

The 26-year-old is now the second Indian athlete to win two individual Olympic medals. Wrestler Sushil Kumar also has two medals as he returned with a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics 2008 and a silver at the London Olympics 2012.

PV Sindhu : Her life is a journey of success & failures inspiring millions of Indian Girls

By Puneet Tripathi

Puneet Tripathi is a sports journalist based at Delhi. He has been associated with NewsX and other reputed Media Houses since last more than 7 years.

There are talents who do not have the drive. There are players who have the drive but are low on talent. And then there’s PV Sindhu, who is part of the rare bracket with both talent and relentless drive. The Indian shuttler broke several records when she defeated China’s He Bingjiao 21-13, 21-15 to win a bronze at Tokyo Olympics. This was her second Olympic medal, after winning the silver at Rio Olympics in 2016.

En route to the bronze medal, she has become the only Indian woman ever to have two Olympic medals. She did not just eclipse every other Indian – she also joined a coveted group of badminton players in the history of the game. She is also only the 4th athlete globally to win multiple medals in the women’s singles badminton category at the Olympics.

With former South Korean player Park Tae-sang coaching her since 2019, the 26-year-old has added several dimensions to her game. For instance, she has worked very hard on her defensive skills and her netplay attributes that have helped her gain more control against any opposition.

The journey

She started early and went to the All England Open Championships as a qualifier at the tender age of 16. In 2012, she won the Asian Junior Championships, defeating Nozomi Okuhara 18-21, 21-17, 22-20. She won the bronze at the World Championships in 2013 in China, winning India’s only medal at the event.

The love for the World Championships didn’t stop there. She replicated her feat in 2014 in Copenhagen. Both displays were full of raw power and clearly showed signs of tremendous talent and perseverance. The same year, she lifted the bronze at Asian Games and Uber Cup. The world was getting to know her, gradually.

She prepared for the Rio Olympics in style, winning the gold at the South Asian Games in the women’s team event and the silver at the women’s singles event. In August, she made her debut at the quadrennial event, reached the final and even won the first set against Spaniard Carolina Marin, only to go down fighting and settle for silver. Her game still had some minute ironing, and she kept working on it. She won another silver medal at the 2017 World Championships, held in Glasgow.

2018 for Sindhu was a year of silver, literally. After coming second best at Gold Coast, she replicated the same at the Asian Games in Jakarta. Another silver medal made entry into her cabinet at the World Championships in Nanjing. She was not just knocking on the door; she was almost forcing it open. The moniker ‘Silver Sandhu’ was hanging on her and she was desperately tried to get rid of her.

She did, and she did it in style! The girl from Hyderabad became the first Indian in history to win the BWF World Championships. She defeated Nozomi Okuhara yet again and joined Zhang Ning as the only other player with five BWF medals. “I wanted to win that final at any cost. I did not know how I would do it, but I knew that I had to achieve it,” PV Sindhu had stated later.

At Tokyo, she made it to the semi-finals but faced an inspired Tai Tzu-Ying. After the defeat, she won the bronze by defeating Bingjiao in straight sets to register her name into the legends of not just badminton, but sports globally.

Sindhu, for several experts including former Indian hockey player Viren Rasquinha, has become India’s greatest ever Individual athlete with her heroics. Her temperament, her willingness to get better and her drive to win at major tournaments make her one of the country’s elite. With the Paris Olympics in 2024, can Sindhu make it three in three? We’ll have to wait and watch.

About the Author

Puneet Tripathi is a sports journalist based at Delhi. He has been associated with NewsX and other reputed Media Houses since last more than 7 years.

Tokyo Olympics: Indian equestrian Fouaad Mirza finishes 23rd in final

Tokyo [Japan], August 2: Indian equestrian Fouaad Mirza and his horse Seigneur Medicott finished 23rd in the individual eventing jumping and missed out on a medal in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on Monday.
Mirza came 23rd out of 25 with a final score of 59.60. “The #Equestrian Individual Eventing Jumping final comes to an end @FouaadMirza and #SeigneurMedicott finish 23rd. No medal here, but an inspirational performance from the duo this #Olympics. Great future ahead for them!” SAIMedia tweeted.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Julia Krajewski became the first individual female athlete to win Olympic gold in individual eventing with a near-flawless final jump with her Amande de B’Neville.
While individual eventing became a mixed event in Tokyo 1964, no woman had ever won gold in this event – until now, reported Olympics.com
After competing in the dressage and cross country over the past three days, it all came down to the jumping section of the eventing competition.
Great Britain’s Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser won silver while Australia’s Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos had a flawless jump in the final to clinch bronze in his eighth Olympic Games.

Dutee Chand bows out of Tokyo Olympics after finishing last in her heat

Tokyo, Aug 2: Ace Indian sprinter Dutee Chand crashed out of the Tokyo Olympics after her early exit in the women’s 200m event at the Olympic Stadium on Monday.

Competing in the heats, Dutee clocked 23.85 seconds to finish seventh and last in what was her first run over the distance for the season.

The 25-year-old Chand’s personal best in the 200m is 23.00s, set at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.

Namibia’s Christine Mboma won the heats with a timing of 22.11 seconds, a new national record, while Gabrielle Thomas of the US was second in 22.20 seconds.

Niger’s Aminatou Seyni came in third with a timing of 22.72 seconds to secure the three automatic qualifying slots for the semi-finals.

The top three finishers from each heat along with the three fastest timings across the seven races make the semi-finals.

Earlier, Dutee bowed out of the 100m competition at the Tokyo Olympics too.

Sonu Sood Becomes Brand Ambassador Of India At The Special Olympics

Indian actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood has always been a step forward to aid those in need, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ‘Dabangg’ star has added another feather to his cap by becoming the brand ambassador of India at the Special Olympics to be held in Russia.

Sonu announced the news on his Instagram account with a picture of him wearing the jersey and posing with the Special Olympics Red Ball. He wrote, “Feeling proud today as I’m chosen to be the Brand Ambassador for India at the #SpecialOlympics to be held in Russia! I’m sure our champions will make us proud and I wish them all the best! Jai Hind.”

The virtual event of the inaugural session was viewed by over 500 athletes, coaches, families, officials and volunteers.

Opening up about becoming the brand ambassador for India at the Special Olympics, Sonu said, “Today is a very special day for me and I am delighted to join this journey of Inclusion with Special Olympics Bharat. Through their sporting achievements, each and every Special Olympics Athlete redefines the human spirit that stands tall in the face of every challenge.”

Promoting the inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities, he further said, “I wish luck to all of them to do their best and showcase their abilities with confidence which in itself would send a strong message to the world that they deserve to be mainstreamed.”

Expressing his gratitude for being a part of SO Bharat, the actor added, “I feel privileged to join the Special Olympics Bharat family and vouch to make this platform even bigger and resonate with people all over the country. I support SO Bharat. I support the Inclusion Revolution.”

In his role as the brand ambassador for Special Olympics Bharat, Sonu will lead the team of Special Olympics Bharat Athletes who will travel to Kazan to participate in the Special Olympics World Winter Games in January 2022.

Olympics: Need courage and mindset to come back after losing opening matches, says Rani Rampal

Tokyo [Japan]: India women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal was proud of the Women in Blue as the team executed their plans well against Australia and booked a historic berth in the final four of the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Gurjit Kaur scored the lone goal in the match during the first half through a penalty corner in a very tightly contested match.
“I am super proud of the team especially each individual player. Before the game, we just said one thing to each other, give it all that you have then we will see what will happen, just don’t focus on the semi-final or final. We just concentrated on sixty minutes and we put all our energy and focus on our jobs,” Rani Rampal told reporters after the match.

“By scoring the goal in the first half and then defending it especially against a team like Australia is not easy. We played as a team and according to the plan of our coaches.”

“When we entered the tournament, everyone thought our pool was tough and it was tough. After losing opening matches with such margins it’s not easy to come back in the tournament and it needs a lot of courage and mindset.

“The first half against the Netherlands gave us a lot of confidence and after the Great Britain match, we all were crying because of not that we lost the match but because that we didn’t follow the plan. We are in semis now and it’s an open game now. We will celebrate for a little today and will focus on the next game.”

Earlier on Sunday, the men’s hockey team also reached the semi-finals after Manpreet Singh’s side defeated Great Britain 3-1.

Talking about both men’s and women’s hockey teams reaching semis, Rani said, “There can’t be any bigger moment to be proud of in Indian Hockey because if team sports does anything it unites the nation.”

Reflecting on the moment of victory, the Indian skipper pointed, “I couldn’t believe it for a second and it feels like I was dreaming.”

IOC says no positive doping tests among Russian athletes at Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo, Aug 2: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not registered any positive doping tests among Russian athletes at the Tokyo Games, IOC Spokesman Mark Adams told reporters on Monday.

According to Adams, Russia has fulfilled 85 percent of all recommendations.

On Saturday, Travis Tygart, the chief executive officer of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), called for making the results of doping testing of all Russian athletes participating in the Tokyo Games public and criticized the IOC as he considered the punishment of the Russians not harsh enough.

Last year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Russian athletes cannot compete in major international competitions under the national flag until December 16, 2022, over alleged violations of the anti-doping code.

T20 format enough to take cricket into Olympics, didn’t need ‘The Hundred’: Ian Chappell

Melbourne [Australia]: Former Australia captain Ian Chappell reckons that the T20 format is enough to take the sport into the Olympics and the newest addition ‘The Hundred’ was not really needed.
The Hundred is an England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) brainchild, and it is featuring eight teams taking on each other. The first match in the competition was played between the women’s teams of Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals on July 21. The Hundred is a 100-ball cricket competition that is seeing (both men and women) featuring in the tournament.
“Apart from reducing the number of balls to obtain a terrestrial television deal, the reasoning behind the Hundred could well be that it improves the chances of cricket fulfilling the Olympic dream. This is often cited as a way to spread the game’s popularity to a wider audience. Surely the T20 format could achieve that same outcome without yet another reduction,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
“Cricket is a team game ideally played by 11 members a side. Performance satisfaction is a big reason why youngsters fall in love with the game. Administrators would do well to remember that before they rush into devising shorter forms of the game. The more the length of an innings is reduced, the greater chance that there will be players “just making up the numbers”. Even those players crave occasional performance satisfaction,” he added.
Further talking about the new format, Chappell said: “Throughout my playing career I believed there were two possible solutions to a problem: a simple one and a complicated one. I also believed that to the benefit of Australia, England would regularly choose the complicated solution. They’ve done it again.”
“To overcome the perceived problem of public not fully conversant with cricket, they’ve concocted another form of the game – The Hundred. That’s right, they’ve reduced by a mere 20 balls a format that was extremely popular with players and the public,” he added.

Olympics : Lahiri finishes at T-42 rank

Tokyo [Japan]: Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri on Sunday ended his Tokyo Olympics journey as he finished at Tied 42nd in the men’s competition.

The PGA Tour star was left frustrated on Saturday as he was not able to keep his foot on the pedal at Kasumigaseki Country Club’s East course after an opening 67 on Thursday was followed up with an uneventful 72.

Golfer Udayan Mane’s journey also came to an end as he finished at rank 56.

“#Golf update Golfer Anirban Lahiri ends his #Tokyo2020 journey, finishing at T42 rank. We wish him best of luck for his future competitions!” SAIMedia tweeted.

PV Sindhu wins bronze, becomes first Indian woman to win two medals at Games

Tokyo [Japan]: Shuttler PV Sindhu on Sunday became the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals. Sindhu defeated China’s He Bing Jiao in the bronze medal match of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics here at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 1.

Sindhu defeated Bing Jiao 21-13, 21-15 in the bronze medal match that lasted for 52 minutes. Sindhu had earlier returned with a silver medal at the Rio Olympics 2016.
The 26-year-old Sindhu is now just the second Indian athlete to win two individual Olympic medals. Wrestler Sushil Kumar also has two medals as he returned with a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics 2008 and a silver at the London Olympics 2012.

In the match between Sindhu and Bing Jiao, the former was dominant in the first game and she did not give her opponent any chance, winning it 21-13.

Continuing from where she left off, Sindhu did not relent, and in the end, she wrapped up the match in straight games.

Sindhu missed out on a chance to win gold or silver as she lost her semifinal match on Saturday against Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu-Ying.

Tzu-Ying defeated Sindhu 21-18, 21-12 in the semifinals. On Friday, Sindhu had stormed into the semi-finals of the women’s singles event after defeating Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in the quarter-finals.

Tokyo Olympics: Emma McKeon becomes first female swimmer to win 7 medals at single Games


Tokyo [Japan], August: Emma McKeon created Olympic history on Sunday after Australia upset two-time defending champions, the United States, to secure the women’s 4x100m relay gold medal here at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

In a close race, the Australian team of Kaylee McKeown, Chelsea Hodges, Emma McKeon, Cate Campbell won the race with a new Olympic record time of 3:51.60, pushing the USA into second. The USA quartet finished at a time of 3:51.73 while Canada claimed the bronze in 3:52.60.
This was McKeon’s seventh medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, a feat that no other female swimmer has ever achieved at a single Games.

27-year-old McKeon has now won four gold in Tokyo along with three bronze, overtaking East German Kristin Otto’s six medal-haul in 1952 which was later matched by American Natalie Coughlin in 2008.

Earlier on Saturday, United States’ swimming great Katie Ledecky won her record sixth individual gold and 10th Olympic medal of her career after topping the podium in the women’s 800m freestyle. Katie Ledecky still remains undefeated in every 800-meter freestyle race she’s competed in for 11 years. Ledecky touched the wall in 8:12.57. Ariarne Titmus of Australia won the silver and Simona Quadarella of Italy took the bronze.

Roger Federer pulls out of Tokyo Olympics after knee ‘setback’

Roger Federer will not participate in the Tokyo Olympics, writing on social media Tuesday that he “experienced a setback” with his knee during the grass-court season.

Federer had said before Wimbledon that he would make a decision about going to the Summer Games after the Grand Slam tournament ended.

The 39-year-old from Switzerland lost in the quarterfinals at the All England Club last week to Hubert Hurkacz.

Federer had two operations on his right knee in 2020 and went more than a full year between matches. He returned to Grand Slam action at the French Open and then pulled out of that tournament after three victories, saying he wanted to be rested and ready for the grass circuit — especially Wimbledon.

On Tuesday, he said in a post on Twitter that because of the setback, he has “accepted that I must withdraw from the Tokyo Olympic Games. I am greatly disappointed, as it has been an honor and highlight of my career each time I have represented Switzerland.”

Federer won a gold medal alongside Stan Wawrinka in doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a silver in singles at the 2012 London Olympics, losing to Britain’s Andy Murray in the final at the All England Club.

Federer sat out the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games because of problems with his left knee.

“I have already begun rehabilitation in the hopes of returning to the tour later this summer,” wrote Federer, who turns 40 on Aug. 8.

The U.S. Open, the year’s last Grand Slam tournament, is scheduled to begin on Aug. 30 in New York.

Federer joins a growing list of tennis stars who are not going to Tokyo, where COVID-19 cases have been rising as the July 23 opening ceremony approaches.

Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Simona Halep, Dominic Thiem and Nick Kyrgios are among the players who will not be competing for medals.

Novak Djokovic, who tied Federer and Nadal for the men’s record by winning his 20th major championship at Wimbledon on Sunday, said after the final that he was 50-50 on whether to go to the Games.

On the eve of Wimbledon’s start, Federer was asked where things stood for him in Tokyo.

“My feeling is I would like to go to the Olympics. I would like to play as many tournaments as possible. But I think we decided now, let’s just get through Wimbledon, sit down as a team, and then decide where we go from there,” he said then. 

“I wish I could tell you more. In previous years, it was definitely easier. At the moment, things are not as simple as in the past. With age, you have to be more selective. You can’t play it all.”

‘Voice of table tennis’ Adam Bobrow lists 10 paddlers to watch at Tokyo Olympics

New Delhi: Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Adam Bobrow, who is known as ‘The Voice of Table Tennis’ has listed the Top-10 paddlers to watch out for at the much-awaited Games, beginning July 23.

Tokyo Games will feature 339 events in 33 different sports and a total of 50 disciplines including table tennis, which has been a part of the Olympics since 1988.

Adam, who will be one of the official commentators at the Tokyo Games, also runs a YouTube channel and has featured many top TT players on his channel which enabled TT enthusiasts to know more about their favourite players and the sport.

China has been the most dominant country when it comes to TT, however, the upcoming Tokyo Olympics could bring surprise for the fans with paddlers from other parts of the world making notable performances.

Adam’s top-10 paddlers to watch at the Olympics are:

Mima Ito (Japan): At only 20, Mima is not only the youngest in the Japanese Olympic team but by far the greatest threat to Chinese dominance. She has the most dominant serves in the game.

Her unique serves often don’t come back and there is a reason the crowd loves the coined phrases ‘Mima punch’ and ‘Mima smash’. Known as ‘Mima-chan’ the World No 2 is just 4 feet 9 inches but powerful and is one of the main reasons why women’s game has been increasingly fascinating to watch over the last 5 years.

Tomokazu Harimoto (Japan): Japanese sensation Harimoto has already been considered to be GOAT and has defeated Olympic champion and TT great Ma Long even before turning 15.

The fight in Harimoto has been taking down notable names since he was only 11 years old and he has shattered almost every age-related record this sport has to offer. The 18-years-old paddler’s battle cries will make it very clear from the start of the match, that he came to conquer and not to rest for a single point.

Adriana Diaz (Puerto Rico): ‘The Pride of Puerto Rico’ Adriana is not quite an unknown name to TT enthusiasts in India with her impressive performances in the country’s premier TT league, Ultimate Table Tennis.

Adriana was also the first-ever Puerto Rican paddler to be invited to play in the Chinese Super League.

With the entry into the Top-20 in the world, she shattered all the records in Puerto Rico TT history and her personality, swag and super creative style of play make her spectacular to watch. Interestingly Adriana is one of four TT playing sisters in the Diaz family and her elder sister Melanie has also qualified to compete in Tokyo.

Liam Pitchford (England): As England’s top player, Pitchford has beaten two of the top three Chinese national team players in recent years. The World No. 15 has been producing some remarkable performances recently.

His bold and risky style combined with his scarily versatile backhand makes him a danger for any opponent. No one is safe with Pitchford on their half of the draw.

Missed natural feeling of being in world-class event but staying positive for Tokyo: Neeraj Chopra

Starved for competitive exposure in the build-up to the Olympics, star India javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has found a unique way to ensure that his mind feels ready for his maiden appearance in the Games.

“I listen to slow music and imagine that I am in a competition, taking part and throwing in the Olympics, so that I don’t feel completely new in my first competition,” Chopra revealed in an online interaction from his training base in Upsala, Sweden.

Touted as one of India’s strongest bets for a medal in Tokyo, Chopra said his build-up to the Games has been quite challenging given the lack of competitive exposure but he is trying to stay positive for the big event.

The 23-year-old Chopra said he has missed the ‘natural feeling’ of being in a world-class field, except for one occasion, in the run-up to the Games which open on July 23. He meditates to keep himself focussed when not training.

That one time was the Kuortane Games event in Finland on June 26 where he won a bronze with a performance of 86.79m in a star-studded field comprising, among others, Olympics gold favourite German Johannes Vetter, who won the event with a massive throw of 93.59m.

“I had a new experience in Finland. During the run-up, I felt the real experience of a top-level competition, the kind of natural feeling which gives you the best performance comes after you take part a lot of world class events,” Chopra said from his training base.

“For me, that was the only time,” he added.

Talking about the challenges that came with the restrictions that came into force because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chopra said he has tried to stay positive nonetheless.

“I did not get good international competitions when I wanted and there had to be several changes in training and competition schedule.

“But, I am in positive frame of mind because a lot depends on the performance of the day. I am just hoping to give my best and realise my dream of winning a gold for the country.”

Chopra, who has pulled out of the June 13 Diamond League at Gateshead due to visa issues, has taken part in only three international events since June 10.

He won’t participate in competitions anymore before travelling to Tokyo on July 26.

“Getting the UK visa (to take part at Gateshead) was difficult for Indians due to COVID-19 situation in India. So, I decided to miss the Diamond League. There is no time for competition now.

“I can have some intensity training for another week. After that I will have light training.”

He said he was focusing on improving his technique.

“The performance in Finland was also not my best, there were technical issues, the height of the javelin was an issue. My javelin could not reach the venue that day and I could not use it. I had to use another javelin.

“At the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, the height of the javelin was an issue though I won gold in both. I am working on reducing the height of the javelin so that it can cover more distance.”

Dwelling on his technique further, he said, “Sometimes, my javelin went out of the sector. I have made improvements in these technical things.”

He said he was working on throwing the javelin “on the line” and not on a high projectile path.

Asked about the pressure of expectations on him, he said, “I could handle pressure well during the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. But the Olympics is altogether another level. I am trying not to take any pressure.

He said the Khel Ratna nomination will inspire him to better his performance in the Olympics.

“It’s the fourth time (nomination). I could not get the award for three times, that means my performance was not good enough. So, I will have to better my performance in the Olympics to get the award.”

The qualification round of the javelin event is scheduled for August 4 and the final on August 7.

“The qualification will not be easy, the qualifying mark will be 84m or 85m. Every competitor will get three attempts. Those who qualify for final will get two days for rest, it is good time for recovery.”

Chopra rewrote his own national record during the Indian Grand Prix 3 with a throw of 88.07m in March at the NIS Patiala. A few days later, he threw 87.80m during the Federation Cup at the same venue.

His 86.79m effort at Kuortane Games was his third-best performance this season.

In his previous two competitions in Europe, Chopra had come up with the best effort of 83.18m to win an event in Lisbon, Portugal on June 10 before a below-par performance of 80.96m at the Karlstad Grand Prix in Sweden on June 22.

Tokyo Olympics: PM to interact with Indian athletes’ contingent on July 13

New Delhi, Jul 11: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with the Indian athletes’ contingent bound for Tokyo Olympics on July 13 at 1700 hrs via video conferencing.

The interaction by the Prime Minister is an endeavour to motivate the athletes ahead of their participation at the games, an official said.

PM Modi had recently reviewed the preparations for facilitation of India’s contingent at Tokyo-2020 and also discussed the inspirational journeys of some of the athletes on Mann Ki Baat, besides urging the nation to come forward and wholeheartedly support them.

The Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur, Minister of State Nisith Pramanik and Law Minister Kiren Rijiju will also be participating in this interaction.

Before the reshuffle of the Council of Ministers on July 7, Mr Rijiju was the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports.

The Tokyo Olympics to begin on July 23.

A total of 126 athletes across 18 sports disciplines from India will be heading to Tokyo. This is the biggest-ever contingent India is sending to any Olympics.

The 69 cumulative events across the 18 sport disciplines that India will participate in.

For the first time in its history, a Fencer from India Ms Bhavani Devi has qualified for the Olympic Games while Nethra Kumanan is the first-ever female Sailor from India to qualify for an Olympic Games.

Sajan Prakash and Srihari Nataraj are the first Swimmers from India to qualify for an Olympic Games by achieving the ‘A’ Qualification Standard in Swimming.

Olympics – PM Modi reviews India’s preparation

PM reviews India's preparation for Tokyo Olympics

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reviewed preparations for facilitation of India’s contingent at Tokyo Olympics and discussed the logistical details, their vaccination status, the multi-disciplinary support being given to them.

He will also interact with the Tokyo-bound athletes on July 13 to motivate them for their participation in forthcoming Games.

In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister said, “Reviewed preparations for facilitation of India’s contingent at @Tokyo2020. Discussed the logistical details, their vaccination status, the multi-disciplinary support being given”.

In his other message he said, “On behalf of 130 crore Indians, I would be interacting with the Olympics bound athletes on 13th July to wish them luck. Let us all #Cheer4India.”

The interaction will be held virtually, the Government officials said.

The Tokyo Olympic will be held from July 23 to August 8 this year.

The first batch of 120 athletes of India’s Olympic squad is to depart for Tokyo on July 17 by a charter Air India flight, the officials added.

In view of the raging Covid-19 cases, the Tokyo Olympics will be held under a state of emergency in Japan without spectators and the Indian Government has also decided not to send any officials with the contingent owing to the restrictions.

The Indian Embassy at Tokya has been assigned the responsibility to take care of the Indian squad during their stay there.

Mary Kom, Bajrang Punia, and Manpreet Singh to be India’s flag bearers at Olympics

Celebrated boxer M C Mary Kom and men’s hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh will be be flag bearers at opening ceremony of Tokyo Olympics.

Also, wrestler Bajrang Punia will be flag bearer at the closing ceremony on August 8.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has communicated the decision in this regard to the Organising Committee of the Games.

In a first, India is having two flag-bearers — one male and one female — at the upcoming Tokyo Games to ensure “gender parity”.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has communicated the decision in this regard to the Organising Committee of the Games.

In a first, India is having two flag-bearers — one male and one female — at the upcoming Tokyo Games to ensure “gender parity”.

This was recently informed by IOA chief chief Narinder Batra.

The country’s lone individual Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra was the flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The Tokyo Games are scheduled to open on July 23 and over 100 Indian athletes would be gunning for podium finishes at the showpiece, which was postponed by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At its executive board meeting last year, the International Olympic Committee had made provisions for flag-bearers from both genders at the opening ceremony.

“…the IOC Executive Board also decided that there should be – for the first time ever – at least one female and one male athlete in every one of the 206 teams and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team participating at the Games of the Olympiad,” IOC chief Thomas Bach had said

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