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Maharashtra dominate National Masters TT with 46 medals

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Mumbai, April 9 (IANS) Maharashtra dominated the 30th National Masters Table Tennis Championships claiming 46 medals in the event held in Telangana. Maharashtra not only dominated the medals tally but also had 202 participants which was the largest contingent in the tournament. They topped the tournament with 46 medals which included 11 gold, 10 silver and 25 bronze.

The tournament consisted of seven men’s categories starting from 40-plus while women’s consisted of four categories. Apart from that there were doubles and mixed doubles categories also. Maharashtra saw athletes from 13 districts entering the nationals.

In the men’s 50-plus category, Manish Rawat secured gold, while Malaykumar Thakkar secured silver and the bronze also went to Prasad Naik from Maharashtra. Maharashtra’s Sunil Babras also retained gold in the men’s 60-plus category, while Prakash Kelkar secured silver in the men’s singles 65-plus category. Ulhas Shirke secured gold in the men’s singles 70-plus category.

In the women’s category, Moonmoon Mukherjee secured gold in the 50-plus category and Sushama Mogare secured bronze in the same category. Suhasini Bakre secured silver in the 65-plus category.

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In the teams’ event, Satish Kulkarni, Shivanana Kundaje, Suhas Dandekar and Balkrishan Katdare won the gold in the men’s 70-plus event, in the men’s 75-plus team event Maharashtra won silver, while in the 65-plus team event the team won silver. In the women’s 65-plus team event, Maharashtra’s Rajeshwari Mhetre, Ujjwala Bhanudas Sutar and Rohini Sahasrabuddhe stuck gold, while the 40-plus women won bronze and 50-plus women had to settle for bronze in the team events.

–IANS

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FIH Pro League: Indian women’s hockey team goes down 0-3 against Argentina

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Antwerp, May 26 (IANS) The Indian women’s hockey team went down 0-3 to Argentina in the final match of the Belgium leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24, here on Sunday. Celina Di Santo (1’), Maria Campoy (39’), and Maria Granatto (47′) etched their names on the scoresheet for Argentina.

Argentina took the game by storm in the very first minute, dissecting the Indian high press and penetrating to the shooting circle, where Celina Di Santo deflected Maria Granatto’s shot on goal to score their first goal. As India struggled to play out of their half, a period of Argentinian dominance followed, resulting in a penalty corner eight minutes into the game, but they failed to extend their lead.

Following this, India began stringing a few passes together and grew into the game. They forced Argentine goalkeeper Clara Barberi into action after a low drive into the circle from Udita found Lalremsiami, who dove to direct it towards goal but failed to score.

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Argentina regained control of proceedings in the second quarter, earning a slurry of penalty corners but an alert duo of Bichu Devi Kharibam and Salima Tete helped keep the ball out of the nets. A rare Indian foray into the shooting circle resulted in a penalty corner but Deepika’s drag flick was comfortably swatted away. Argentina pegged India back for the rest of the quarter but the Indian defence held firm to keep the scoreline 0-1 heading into the second half.

India earned a penalty corner early in the third quarter but failed to create a goalscoring opportunity. As the quarter progressed India attempted to push up the pitch but were unable to create any significant chances. Argentina made a breakthrough in the 39th minute, as Maria Campoy picked up the ball on the left wing and bulldozed into the circle, dodging a few challenges and slotting it past Savita to double their lead. India had a chance to score in the last minute of the quarter but Navneet Kaur’s tomahawk was saved by Clara Barberi.

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Argentina earned a penalty corner as soon as the final quarter began and Maria Granatto directed Agustina Gorzelany’s flick over Savita in goal to further solidify their lead. Argentina stepped up the intensity after the goal and pegged India back, creating multiple chances through Maria Granatto but a resilient Indian backline managed to thwart any further advances and the match ended 3-0 in Argentina’s favour.

The Indian women’s team will next take on Germany on June 1.

–IANS

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'Not injured': Neeraj Chopra on pulling out of Ostrava meet

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Olympic gold medallist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has clarified that he is ‘not injured’ and pulled out of the Ostrava Golden Spike 2024 athletics meet as a precautionary measure to keep himself risk-free in the Olympic year.

The 26-year-old athlete has to issue an update on his health after the organisers said in the official statement that Neeraj has sustained an injury during the training which will restrict his participation in the event that is scheduled to commence on May 28.

“Hello everyone! Following a recent throwing session, I decided not to compete in Ostrava as I felt something in my adductor. I have had problems with it in the past and pushing it at this stage can lead to injury,” Neeraj clarified via Instagram story.

“Just to clarify I am not injured but I don’t want to take any risk during the Olympic year so had to take this decision. Once I feel it’s fully recovered, I will get back to competitions. Thank you for your support,” he added.

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Earlier, the organisers said Neeraj picked up an injury in adductor muscle while training two weeks ago. He will only attend the athlete meet as a guest.

“Due to an injury that he sustained in training two weeks ago (adductor muscle), he will not be able to throw in Ostrava,” the organisers had earlier said in a statement.

“He will arrive at the event as a guest,” it added.

Neeraj started his season with a second-place finish at the Doha Diamond League earlier this month. He also returned to domestic competition after almost three years to win gold in the Federation Cup with a throw of 82.27m, pushing DP Manu to the second spot in Bhubaneswar.

–IANS

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Afridi reflects on Pak’s win over India in 2021 WC, says “That is one opportunity I missed”

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) With the 2024 T20 World Cup just around the corner and cricketing fans getting ready to watch one of the biggest rivalry in India-Pakistan reignited on the big stage. ICC on Sunday released a clip of Shahid Afridi reflecting on the match between the two juggernauts at the 2021 T20 World Cup.

“I achieved a lot, played a lot of cricket and experienced a lot but we hadn’t beaten India in a World Cup before, that was an unfulfilled wish,” Afridi said to ICC.

The match in Dubai (2021 T20 World Cup) where Pakistan won against India, that was one of the moments I felt I should have been there on that occasion. That is one opportunity I missed,” said the former Pakistan skipper to ICC.

Pakistan’s 10-wicket victory over India at the 2021 T20 World Cup is one of the fondest memories for Pakistan cricket fans in what was a rampant performance by the men in green.

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Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi was recently announced on the star-studded roster of ambassadors for the T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and West Indies which begins on June 2.

India will face Pakistan on June 9 at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York in both side’s second group A encounter.

–IANS

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Garnacho's bicycle kick against Everton wins Premier League Goal of the Season

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Less than 24-hours after Alejandro Garnacho scored an all important goal in Manchester United’s FA Cup final victory over town-rivals Manchester City, his goal against Everton has been named the Premier League Goal of the Season.

Garnacho scored a beautiful bicycle goal against Everton in a 0-3 victory at Merseyside Stadium on November 26, 2023. It led fans to draw comparisons with Wayne Rooney’s iconic goal against Manchester City.

Kaoru Mitoma (vs Brighton), Bruno Fernandes (vs Burnley), Saman Ghoddos (vs Burnley), Alexis Mac Allister (vs Fulham), Oscar Bobb (vs Newcastle), Kobbie Mainoo (vs Wolves), Marcus Rashford (vs Man City), Cole Palmer (vs Everton) and Moises Caicedo (vs AFC Bournemouth) were the other nine nominees for the personal honor.

Manchester United won the FA Cup final against City (2-1) on Saturday in a surprising result. Garnacho and Kobe Mainoo became the first teenagers to score in an FA Cup final since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2004 (vs Millwall).

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–IANS

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Looking forward to competing in the WR Chess Masters Cup: Viswanathan Anand

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New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Former five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand is all set to compete in the WR Chess Masters Cup, scheduled to take place in London from October 14 to 18.

The tournament features the best 16 players across four intense rounds.

“I am looking forward to competing in the WR Chess Masters Cup, taking place from October 14th to 18th. Looking forward to see some great games,” Vishy Anand wrote on X.

The WR Chess Masters Cup have recently been officially included in the FIDE Circuit.

It will be an intense elimination tournament with a K.O. System of best-of-two games with the time control of 60 minutes for the first 30 moves, 30 minutes for the next 20 moves and 30 minutes for the rest of the game.

In case of tiebreaks, there will be a bidding rapid armageddon game.

–IANS

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