Squash declared a priority sport by govt

The Ministry for Youth Affairs and Sports revised its categorization of sports disciplines in the country and has made squash one of the priority sports in the country. This comes in a wake of India achieving its first medal in the 2006, Asian Games held in Doha and Indian players like Saurav Ghosal and Ritwik Bhattacharya reigning the top 50 list of best players in the world.

Says N.Ramachandran, Secretary General, Squash Rackets Federation of India, “Its truly fabulous that Indian Squash is getting its much deserved recognition. This means a better funding from the government and increased opportunities for the federation to improve the infrastructural facilities of the state associations. The federation is keen to harness the talent of these junior players by giving them exposure to all international tournaments”

Cyrus Poncha National Coach, SRFI “This means motivation for all the aspirant squash players and a better scope of sincere participation to bring the sport to the forefront of Indian sports”.

Other than the men, the sport has also witnessed a steep rise in the participation figures in the women’s category. Apart from Joshna Chinnappa there are junior players like Dipika Pallikal, Anwesha Reddy, Aparajitha Balamurukan, Saumya Karki, Anaka Alankamony, Harita Omprakash etc.  Anaka and Saumya were the semi finalists at the British Open held last year.

Coach of the Gold Medal Women’s Team at the SAF Games, 2004 and Gold Medal Asian Junior Women’s Team in Pakistan 2003, Cyrus explains the situation “There used to be days when matches were cancelled for no participation of women. But the situation is definitely improving now with new possibilities in the current women’s junior team.” The boys who are turning out to be safer bets include Harinderpal Singh, A. Parthiban, Naresh Kumar and Parth Sharma climbing higher in the recent world rankings.

Articles in the newspapers

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McLaren CEO’s secrets for success

McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh explains criteria he believed separated the elite from the simply good or average:

Firstly, you obviously need the natural skill

Secondly, you require a considerable degree of natural toughness.

Thirdly, some technical empathy is a major benefit because it helps a driver to integrate better with his engineers, which in turn speeds up the car development progress.

Finally there is fitness, determination and application. Even over their cornflakes the top guys are always thinking what they can do to improve their own performances. It is almost as if they have some special genetic capability. Lesser drivers don’t do this, possibly because they aren’t smart enough, aren’t committed enough or simply don’t care.

Sport in April

15-18 GOLF TBC: TCL Classic
15-18 GOLF Florida: Arnold Palmer Invitational
17 MOTORCYCLING Doha: MotoGP
18 RUGBY UNION RBS 6 Nations Championship: France v Scotland; Italy v Ireland; Wales v England
18 FORMULA 1 Melbourne: Australian Grand Prix
18 ATHLETICS Turkey: Antalya Marathon
18 ATHLETICS Rome Marathon
18-Apr 1 SWIMMING Melbourne: World Championships
19-1 Apr TENNIS Miami: NASDAQ-100 Open
19-23 SQUASH London: ISS Canary Wharf Read more of this post

British Junior Squash Open Playoffs

Saumya Karka and Anaka A. with CyrusIt is truly a great performance for the Indian girls at the British Open to attain the 3rd and 4th positions in the under 13 age group. This is the first time we have had two players in the semi finals, we all used to think the Egyptians girls are much better than us, but our young bunch is knocking on the door. Anaka Alankamony bt  Saumya Karki 9-4, 9-2, 9-3 in 21 min.

TN govt awards Krishnan Sasikiran, Anju Bobby George, Santi Soundararajan and Saurav Ghosal

An official release said Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M Karunanidhi would give cash awards to four sportspersons at the state secretariat on December 18. The awardees are Rs 20 lakh for chess Grand Master Sasikiran (gold – chess team),  Rs 15 lakh for Santi Soundararajan (silver – women’s 800 metres),  Rs 15 lakhs for Anju Bobby George (silver – long jump), Rs 10 lakh for Saurav Ghosal (bronze – squash)

Doha Diary 2

A memorable day for Indian squash as both Saurav Ghosal and RitwikBhattacharya won their round 2 matches emphatically to enter the Men’s quarterfinal stage at the 15th Asian Games, Doha. Saurav defeated Kim Dong Woo (Korea) 9-0, 9-3, 9-1 while Ritwik defeated Eranga Alwis (Sri Lanka) 9-1, 9-2, 9-1.

Both boys played with great accuracy to the front of the court and with good depth to the back. Unfortunately only one of them will be able to enter the semi final as they play each other tomorrow. It will surely be a close battle as both boys have been playing excellent squash over the past few months. Saurav is the current national champion and ranked 49 in the world, while Ritwik a 4 time national champion is currently ranked 45. 

Joshana  Chinappa too moved into the quarters with a hard win over Ahn Eun Tschan (Korea) 10-8, 4-9, 9-7, 9-4. Ahn was quick and hit some brilliant winners from all parts of the court. Joshana made a few unforced errors however clicnhed the fourth game easily. Joshana will be up against Rebecca Chui (Hong Kong) in her quarter final match. All 3 are geared up for their quarterfinal matches and the men are assured of a medal by virtue of both being in the quarters

Indian medal winners at Asian Games, Doha

Squash:
Men’s Singles GHOSAL Saurav – Bronze 

Shooting:
Men’s 25m Centre Fire Pistol  RANA Jaspal – Gold
Men’s 25m Centre Fire Pistol Team JUNG Samresh, KUMAR Vijay, RANA Jaspal – Gold
Shooting Men’s 25m Standard Pistol  RANA Jaspal – Gold
Men’s 25m Standard Pistol Team  JUNG Samresh, PANDIT Ronak, RANA Jaspal – Silver
Men’s Trap  SANDHU Manavjit Singh –Silver
Men’s Trap Team SANDHU Manavjit Singh, SINGH Mansher, SULTAN Anwer –Silver
Women’s 10m Air Pistol Team  CHAUDHRY Shweta, RAI Sonia, SRAO Harven –Silver
Men’s Double Trap Team BHATNAGAR Vikram, RATHORE Rajyavardhan Si, SODHI Ronjan – Silver
Men’s 10m Air Rifle Team  FARATADE Navanath Bhanud , NARANG Gagan, PADINCHARE THERMAD Raghunath – Bronze
Women’s 10m Air Rifle Team  SAWANT Tejaswini, SHIRUR Suma, SIDHU Avneet Kaur – Bronze
Men’s Double Trap RATHORE Rajyavardhan – Bronze
Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol KUMAR Vijay – Bronze
Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions  NARANG Gagan – Bronze
Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions Team  KHAN Imran Hasan, NARANG Gagan, RAJPUT Sanjeev – Bronze
Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol  KUMAR Vijay – Bronze

Chess:
Women’s Rapid  KONERU Humpy – Gold
Mixed Team’s Classical  KONERU Humpy, KRISHNAN Sasikiran, PENTALA Harikrishna  – Gold

Kabaddi:
Men – Gold

Tennis:
Men’s Doubles PAES Leander, BHUPATHI Mahesh – Gold
Mixed Doubles PAES Leander, MIRZA Sania – Gold
Women’s Singles MIRZA Sania – Silver
Women’s Team MIRZA Sania, UBEROI Shikha, BHAMBRI Ankita, LAKHANI Isha – Silver  

Athletics:
Women’s 4×400 Relay GEETHA Sati, KAUR Manjeet, KULATHUMMURIYIL Chitra, PARAMANIK Pinki – Gold
Women’s 800m  SOUNDARAJAN Santhi – Silver
Women’s Heptathlon  BISWAS Soma – Silver
Women’s 400m KAUR Manjeet – Silver
Women’s Long Jump GEORGE Anju Bobby – Silver
Men’s 4×400 Relay ABRAHAM Joseph, MATHEW Binu K., SINGH Bhupinder, THANIKKAL Aboo Backer – Silver
Women’s 1500m PUAULOSE Sinimole – Bronze
Women’s Heptathlon SHOBHA J J – Bronze
Women’s 5000m  ORCHATTERI P. Jaisha – Bronze
Women’s Discus Throw  PUNIA Krishna – Bronze

Rowing:
Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls SINGH Bijender, YALAMANCHI Kiran – Bronze
Men’s Four  JOSHI Satish, KRISHNAN Jenil, SANGWAN Dharmesh, SINGH Sukhjeet – Silver
Men’s Single Sculls TAKHAR Bajranglal – Silver

Cue Sports:
Men English Billiard Singles ADVANI Pankaj Arjan – Gold 
Men English Billiard Singles SHANDILYA Ashok Harishankar – Silver
Men Snooker Teams MEHTA Aditya Snehal, SHAH Rupesh Ashwinbhai, MERCHANT Yasin Reza  – Bronze
Men English Billiard Doubles SETHI Geet Siriram, SHANDILYA Ashok Harishankar – Bronze

Equestrian:
Eventing Team  AHLAWAT Deep Kumar, PATTU Rajesh, SINGH Bhagirath, SINGH Palvinder – Bronze 

Boxing:
Men’s Middle -75Kg VIJENDER Vijender – Bronze
Men’s Super Heavy +91Kg  VARGHESE Johnson – Bronze

Wrestling:
Men’s Freestyle 60kg DUTT Yogeshwar – Bronze
Greco-Roman 55kg DALVI Vinayak Dalvi – Bronze
Women’s Freestyle 55kg  TOMAR Alka – Bronze
Women’s Freestyle 63kg  JAKHAR Geetika – Silver
Men’s Freestyle 120kg   IND – India CHEEMA Palwinder Singh – Bronze
Men’s Freestyle 66kg   IND – India KUMAR Sushil  – Bronze

Golf:
Men’s Team  BHULLAR Gaganjeet, KUMAR Chiragh, LAHIRI Anirban Lahiri, CHAKOLA Joseph – Silver

Sailing:
Beneteau 7.5 – Open CHAUHAN Sanjeev, MONGIA Nitin, RAMCHANDRAN Mahesh, YADAV Girdhari – Silver
Laser Radial – Open CHOUDHARY Rajesh  – Bronze

Hockey:
Women – Bronze

Archery:
Men’s Team CHAMPIA Mangal Singh, RAI Tarundeep, TALUKDAR Jayanta, VISHWAS  – Bronze

Wushu:
Men’s -60kg MAYANGLABAM M Bimoljit Singh – Bronze

Women’s World Boxing Championship, New Delhi

M.C. Mary Kom (46kg), Jenny R. Lalaranliani (63kg), Lekha K.C. (75kg) and Laishram Sarita Devi (52kg) won gold. N. Usha won the only silver (57kg) and bronze medals went to Chotu Loura (50kg) and Aruna Mishra (66kg) and Renu (80kg).

Hindu: Ministry dilutes selection criteria for Asian Games

“In a major departure from the past, the Union Sports Ministry has diluted the selection criteria for the Asian Games from the `third-place norm’ to the sixth-place performance in individual events.  The criteria were finalised only recently though the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was given to understand earlier that the fourth-place standard would apply.

No explanation has been given about the watering down of the criteria, but the Ministry’s decision should bring cheer to the IOA and the National federations. The Ministry is learnt to have already agreed to India’s participation in 24 disciplines in the Doha Games while keeping eight more, including football, in suspense.”

The SRFI has been following the government norms while selecting the teams for various international meets, basing it on our medal prospects and the level of competition we will face.

Sports Illustrated: Highest earning sportsmen

Tiger Woods Golf $97,628,024
Michael Schumacher Ferrari Formula 1 $80,000,000
Phil Mickelson Golf $45,971,710
Shaquille O’Neal Miami Heat (NBA) $34,000,000
Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) $33,656,932
Carson Palmer Cincinnati Bengals (NFL) $31,550,000
Valentino Rossi Yamaha MotoGP $30,000,000 Read more of this post