On National Sports Day Modi pays tribute to Dhyan Chand

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday paid tribute to hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand on his 110th birth anniversary and extended best wishes to all sports enthusiasts across the country on the occasion of the National Sports Day.

“Best wishes to sports enthusiasts and tributes to Major Dhyan Chand on National Sports Day. May sports and sportsman spirit shine in India,” he said in a tweet.

The legendary player is known as “The Wizard” for his superb ball control.

“Congrats to sportspersons and coaches who will be honoured with various sports awards. We are proud of their efforts and contribution to sports,” he added.

A few sportspersons and coaches will be honoured with the National Sports Awards at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday. National Sports Day is celebrated on August 29.

Dhyan Chand, born on August 29, 1905 was an Indian field hockey player, who is widely considered the greatest hockey player of all time

The legendary hockey player won gold medals for India at the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympics.

Known as “The Wizard” for his superb ball control, Dhyan Chand played his final international match in 1948. He scored over 400 goals during his international career.

Dhyan Chand died on December 3, 1979.

Source: The Hindu

#2015, #august, #hindu

Usain Bolt sweeps third gold at Worlds as Jamica wins relay

He ran the anchor leg as the Jamaicans took gold in 37.36 seconds at the Bird’s Nest Stadium.

Nickel Ashmeade, Asafa Powell, Usain Bolt and Nesta Carter of Jamaica react after winning the men's 4x100m relay during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China on Saturday. Reuters.

Usain Bolt secured a sweep of the sprint gold at World championships for the third time when he helped Jamaica’s relay team to a fourth successive 4×100 metres title on Saturday.

The 29-year-old, who had already won the 100 and 200 metres events, ran the anchor leg as the Jamaicans took gold in 37.36 seconds at the Bird’s Nest Stadium.

Behind him, the United States was far back in second place. But Justin Gatlin, who had been unbeaten in two seasons of sprinting, lost the chance for a third silver when the American team was disqualified for a bad exchange on the anchor leg.

“I saw the mess after 300 meters and was happy we were not in it,” Bolt said.

To the delight of the tens of thousands of fans in the Bird’s Nest, China moved up to silver and Canada took bronze.

It was Bolt’s third sprint triple in a row, starting at the London Olympics and continuing through the 2013 worlds in Moscow, and fifth overall. It was a record-extending 11th world gold for Bolt, who also won three sprint titles at the 2009 and 2013 world championships.

His team mates Nesta Carter, Asafa Powell and Nickel Ashmeade helped extend Jamaica’s dominance of the sprint relay to a sixth straight major global championships, including the last two Olympics.

Dispelling two years of injury doubts, the Jamaican won three sprint gold medals this week for an overall world championship record of 11. The last of them came Saturday when he anchored the 4×100—meter relay team with free—flowing, giant strides that have made him an icon for the sport.

The Americans got solace from Ashton Eaton’s world record performance in the decathlon. The Olympic champion beat his own mark with a stirring run in the closing 1,500 meters.

Eaton was around world—record pace throughout the 10 events over two days and, with exhaustion hanging heavy in the Bird’s Nest, he pushed through pain to total 9,045 points, six better than his previous best.

Source: The Hindu

#2015, #august

Kumar Sangakkara — A statistical marvel

Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara ticked all the boxes for greatness, as his numbers show.

Source: The Hindu

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Sania receives Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

Arjuna awards was also handed out to many sportspersons, including cricketer Rohit Sharma.

In the backdrop of two legal cases, 16 sportspersons and five coaches were among those who were honoured at the National Sports and Adventure Awards ceremony in the Durbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan here on Saturday.

Tennis ace Sania Mirza was conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award even as the Karnataka High Court sought clarifications from the Union Sports Ministry following a petition from Paralympian H.N. Girisha challenging the Ministry’s decision.

Sania, a multiple Grand Slam champion, is the second tennis player to get the honour and the first to receive the award from President Pranab Mukherjee.

The awardees:

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Sania Mirza.

Arjuna Award: P.R. Sreejesh (hockey), Dipa Karmakar (gymnastics), Jitu Rai (shooting), Sandeep Kumar (archery), Mandeep Jangra (boxing), Babita Kumari and Bajrang (wrestling), Rohit Sharma (cricket), K. Srikanth (badminton), Swarn Singh (rowing), S. Satish Kumar (weightlifting), Sanothoi Devi (wushu), Sharath Gayakwad (para-swimming), M.R. Poovamma (athletics), Manjeet Chillar, Abhilasha Mhatre (kabaddi), Anup Kumar Yama (rollerskating).

Dronacharya Award: Naval Singh (para-athletics), Anoop Singh (wrestling), Harbans Singh (athletics-lifetime), Swatantar Raj Singh (boxing-lifetime), Nihar Ameen (swimming-lifetime).

Dhyan Chand Award: Romeo James (hockey), Shiv Prakash Misra (tennis), T.P.P. Nair (volleyball).

Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards 2014: Arunima Sinha (land), Jot Singh (land), Paramvir Singh (water), Satyendra Verma (air), Satish Chander Sharma (lifetime).

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy: Punjabi University, Patiala.

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar: Directorate-General of Military Training (identification and nurturing of budding/young talent), Coal India Limited (encouragement of sports through corporate social responsibility), Haryana Police (employment of sportspersons and sports welfare measures), Sports Coaching Foundation, Hyderabad (sports for development)

Source: The Hindu

#2015, #30, #august

Transcending cricket

Rare is the cricketer who meets the exacting demands of unconditional greatness; rarer still the one who transcends the game. It says everything aboutKumar Sangakkara’s life in cricket that he appeared to accomplish both with masterful ease. There isn’t the smallest doubt that the Sri Lankan is among the very best the game has seen. Only four batsmen have exceeded his tally of 12,400 Test runs, and no one with more than 8,500 runs has averaged as much as his 57.40. But what truly sets him apart from even the elite is the fact that as a pure batsman — without the responsibility of keeping wicket — he averages a staggering 66.78. Only Don Bradman (99.94), among those with at least 1,000 runs, has done better. And only the peerless Bradman has more scores of over 200 — 12, to Sangakkara’s 11, although in far fewer innings. It’s important that these numbers are not glossed over, for while Sangakkara’s greatness has long been abundantly clear, not many have appreciated how close he has been, at least statistically, to Bradman. Not that Sangakkara would have minded — neither universal acclaim nor the trappings of stardom drove him. His motivation came from within; the only approval that he sought, from a cricketing perspective, was his team’s and his country’s.

Indeed it was his concern for Sri Lanka, his desire to help his strife-torn land, and his courage to speak truth to power that saw him emerge as a transcendental, unifying figure. Mahela Jayawardene — a close friend who saw Sri Lankan cricket and life similarly, but also challenged Sangakkara’s thinking, holding it to higher scrutiny — played an invaluable role. Together they strengthened Arjuna Ranatunga’s legacy of inclusiveness, which had enabled the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan and Sanath Jayasuriya to thrive. While there was plenty of work behind the scenes to harness the game’s transformative power, it was the MCC Spirit of Cricket lecture, at Lord’s in 2011, that trapped lightning in a bottle. Never were Sangakkara’s ideas more forceful; never was his articulation as lucid. His evocative discourse centered on Sri Lankan cricket, but wasn’t confined to it. One of the speech’s successes was that through the example of Sri Lankan cricket it addressed the larger problems the world game faced: narrow-mindedness, corruption, political manipulation. He challenged those in charge to set themselves higher standards, indeed to “adopt the values enshrined by the [Sri Lankan] team over the years: integrity, transparency, commitment and discipline”. The lecture was a tour de force that shook administrators everywhere. It was also proof, if any were needed, that Sri Lankan and world cricket’s interests are best served if Sangakkara’s association with the game doesn’t end with retirement.

Source: The Hindu

#2015, #august

Sachin Tendulkar plays cricket again, calls it ‘special’

Sachin Tendulkar was back to playing cricket on the eve of India’s 69th Independence Day.

Tendulkar is seen with a youngster from Make-A-Wish Foundation, while playing cricket

This time the batting legend wielded the willow for a different cause. On Friday (August 14), Tendulkar had announced that he will “pick the bat” for a special session. And today, he posted pictures of the same, on his Twitter page. Tendulkar is seen with a youngster from Make-A-Wish Foundation, while playing cricket Tendulkar spent time with young citizens from Make-A-Wish Foundation. The former India captain said he enjoyed the evening chatting and playing cricket. “#HappyIndependenceDay to all of us! Spent the eve with young citizens from @MakeAWishIndia,” the 42-year-old wrote on Saturday.

Source: OI

#15, #2015, #august

Abhishek Verma earns gold for India in Archery World Cup

bhishek Verma gave India a perfect Independence Day gift by clinching the gold medal in the compound men’s individual section to open their account in the Archery World Cup Stage 3 on Saturday.

Having failed as a team in the bronze play-off earlier in the day, the world number 18 was at his best in the individual final as he held on to his lead to wrap up the issue 148-145 against Esmaeil Ebadi of Iran.File photo of Abhishek Verma. AFP

The Asian Games silver medallist thus avenged his defeat to Ebadi at the Incheon 2014 in style.

India’s recurve mixed pair of Deepika Kumari and Mangal Singh Champia will look to earn the country a second gold when they face their opponents from Mexico on Sunday.

Verma had 13 perfect 10s, including five arrows closest to the centre from 15 arrows, in an extraordinary exhibition of shooting in the summit clash. The Delhi lad had a perfect start to the grudge match when he shot maximum (30) that included one closest to the centre in reply to Ebadi’s 28 in the first end.

Continuing his fine form, the 26-year-old had two 10s and one nine to extend his lead by three points after the second end.

Ebadi did not give up as he shot 30 in the third end, but it did not matter to Verman who matched his rival and had two closest to the centre en route to a 89-86 lead. Verma had another perfect round of 30 in the fourth end against Ebadi’s 29 for a commanding four-point lead and it was just a formality for him to settle the issue in the fifth and final end.

Ebadi shot maximum in the final end and Verma responded with one point less but that was enough to win the gold.

At Incheon Asiad, the first continental Games to include compound archery as a competition discipline, Verma went down to the top seed Iranian 141-145.

Earlier India narrowly lost the bronze medal play-off against a higher-ranked Italy who put up a consistent show to win the compound men’s team event 233-230.

The trio of Verma, Kawal Preet Singh and Rajat Chuhan trailed 57-58 after the first end of six arrows, which included a poor eight. The fourth seeded Indian team recovered in the second end, shooting on par against the Italians 59-59. But that was not enough as the trio of Federico Pagnoni, Michele Nencioni and Sergio Pagni held on to their one-point lead.

India faltered once again with three 9s in the third end to total 57 while the third seeded Italians shot 59 for a three-point lead with six arrows to go.

Required to score big, India crumbled under pressure with another round of 57 that gave Italy an easy victory.

Source: FP