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Sr Women's hockey nationals: Haryana, Odisha seal quarterfinal berths with emphatic wins

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Sr Women's hockey nationals: Haryana, Odisha seal quarterfinal berths with emphatic wins

Pune, March 17 (IANS) Goals came down as monsoon rain for favourites Hockey Haryana as they slammed Le Puducherry Hockey 22-0 in a Pool D match to qualify for the quarterfinals of the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024 at the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium Nehrunager, Pimpri here on Sunday.

Drag-flicker Deepika fired six goals including a hat-trick, getting on the board in the 4th, 11th, 14th, 15th, 42nd, and 49th minutes. India international Navneet Kaur (2nd, 33rd, 45th), Neelam (15th, 25th, 30), Monika (17th, 19th, 53rd), Jyoti (32nd, 33rd), Sharmila Devi (35th, 41st, 45th), Neha Goyal (40th) and Udita (42th) also pumped in goals to register the emphatic win for Hockey Haryana. Hockey Haryana is currently on top of Pool D with two wins from as many games.

Hockey Association of Odisha also made it to the quarterfinals with an easy 6-1 win over Hockey Chandigarh in their second and final Pool E match. Dipti Lakra (19th, 23rd) scored a brace, while Ajmina Kujur (15th), Jiwan Kishori Toppo (30th), Mariana Kujur (50th), Lilima Minz (51st) were the goal scorers for Hockey Association of Odisha. Hockey Chandigarh’s lone strike came from the stick of Priyanka in the 26th minute.

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Hockey Association of Odisha topped Pool E with two wins from as many games and qualified for the knockout stages ahead of Hockey Chandigarh and Goans Hockey.

In a Pool F match, Hockey Mizoram thrashed Hockey Rajasthan 20-2 in a lop-sided affair to register their second consecutive win. India striker Lalremsiami (6th, 29th, 34th, 36th, 56th, 60th) slammed six goals, while Lalrinpuii (13th, 15th, 26th, 51st, 57th), Lalneihpuii (14th, 22nd, 49th), Vanlalhriatpuii (27th, 39th), H Lalruatfeli (11th), Lalthantluangi (17th), F. Lalbiaksiami (18th) and Marina Lalramnghaki (33th) also fired home for Hockey Mizoram.

Hockey Rajasthan’s two consolation goals were scored by Usha Kumari (33rd) and Manisha Sharma (46th). Hockey Mizoram are still in the race for a last-eight berth.

Hockey Haryana and Hockey Association of Odisha, thus, joined Hockey Madhya Pradesh (Pool A), Hockey Maharashtra (Pool B), Hockey Jharkhand (Pool C) and Hockey Bengal (Pool H) in the quarterfinals, with two more knock berths still to be decided.

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Late on Saturday evening, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu defeated Hockey Gujarat 3-0 in a Pool H match, while Hockey Uttarakhand beat Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu 5-0 in Pool G.

RESULTS:

Pool-D: Hockey Haryana 22 (Navneet Kaur 2nd, 33rd, 45th; Deepika 4th – p.c, 11th, 14th, 15th – p.c, 42nd – p.c, 49th – p.c; Neelam 15th, 25th – p.c, 30 – p.c; Monika 17th, 19th – p.c, 53rd; Jyoti 32th, 33rd; Sharmila Devi 35th, 41st, 45th; Goyal Neha 40th; Udita 42nd) bt Le Puducherry Hockey 0. HT: 10-0

Pool-E: Hockey Association of Odisha 6 (Dipti Lakra 19th; 23rd; Ajmina Kujur 15th; Jiwan Kishori Toppo 30th – p.c; Mariana Kujur – 50th p.c; Lilima Minz 51st – p.c) bt Hockey Chandigarh 1 (Priyanka 26th – p.c). HT: 4-1

Pool-F: Hockey Mizoram 20 (Lalremsiami 6th, 29th, 34th – p.s, 36th, 56th, 60th; H Lalruatfeli 11th – p.c; Lalrinpuii 13th – p.c, 15th, 26, 51 – p.s, 57th; Lalneihpuii 14th, 22nd – p.c, 49th; Lalthantluangi 17th – p.c; F.Lalbiaksiami 18th; Vanlalhriatpuii 27th – p.c, 39th; Marina Lalramnghaki 33th) bt Hockey Rajasthan 2 (Manisha Sharma 46th – p.c; Usha Kumari 33rd).

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Saturday results:

Pool-H: Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu 6 (Nandhini 14th – p.c, 15th, 34th, 41st; Krishnapriya 24th – p.c; Sabarimanidevi 59th) bt Hockey Gujarat 0. HT: 3-0.

Pool-G: Hockey Uttarakhand: 5 (Komal Dhami 7th; Beena Pandey 12th – p.c; Mamta Bhatt 17th – p.c, 29th – p.c; Hema Singh 57th – p.c) bt Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.: 0. HT: 3-0.

–IANS

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Nayar, ten Doeschate to join Indian team for SL tour; T Dilip to continue as fielding coach: Report

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Nayar, ten Doeschate to join Indian team for SL tour; T Dilip to continue as fielding coach: Report

Nayar, ten Doeschate to join Indian team for SL tour; T Dilip to continue as fielding coach: Report

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) In Gautam Gambhir’s first assignment as new India head coach through the upcoming white-ball tour of Sri Lanka, Abhishek Nayar and Ryan ten Doeschate are set to link up with him, while T Dilip will continue to be the fielding coach in the side.

According to a report in Cricbuzz, Nayar, who played three ODIs for India, and Ten Doeschate have been appointed as assistant coaches in the Indian team. The duo were with Gambhir, then serving a mentorship role, in the Kolkata Knight Riders coaching staff when the side won IPL 2024.

In his time with KKR since 2018, where he was the coach-cum-academy head, Nayar has been credited for guiding various players like Shreyas Iyer, Rinku Singh, Varun Chakaravarthy and Venkatesh Iyer through his coaching methods, as well as for the resurgence of Dinesh Karthik.

Regarding Dilip, the report said he retains his place as he has carved a reputation of not only as an effective fielding coach but also a good positive influence in the dressing room. “He is believed to be very good at team bonding exercises, considered a major requirement for players in a highly-competitive environment,” added the report.

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With Dilip and Nayar set to travel with the Indian team to Sri Lanka on a charter flight from Mumbai on Monday afternoon, it is unclear about ten Doeschate’s travel plans. The former Netherlands cricketer is currently in the USA as part of the coaching staff for the LA Knight Riders in the ongoing Major League Cricket (MLC) and may directly join the Indian team in Sri Lanka.

The report further said there is some suspense over who is the new bowling coach, but Morne Morkel remains to be a strong candidate. Morkel worked with Gambhir at Lucknow Super Giants in IPL 2022 and 2023, where the latter was a mentor. Before Indian team’s departure for Sri Lanka, a press conference is planned for July 22 in Mumbai, with Gambhir and T20I captain Suryakumar Yadav to be in attendance.

–IANS

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Junior men, women west zone hockey to begin in Chhattisgarh

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Junior men, women west zone hockey to begin in Chhattisgarh

Junior men, women west zone hockey to begin in Chhattisgarh

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The 2nd Hockey India junior men & women west zone championship 2024 is all set to take place in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh from July 21 to 28.

The participating teams are divided into two pools in the women’s category. Pool A consists of Hockey Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Hockey, and Hockey Gujarat. Pool B includes Hockey Maharashtra, Hockey Rajasthan, Goans Hockey, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu Hockey. The competition format will be a round-robin within each pool, with the top two teams from each pool advancing to the semi-finals.

The men’s category features six teams in a single pool: Hockey Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Hockey, Hockey Gujarat, Hockey Maharashtra, Hockey Rajasthan, and Goans Hockey. The top two teams from the round-robin will advance to the final, while the third and fourth-placed teams will compete for third place in a knockout fixture.

“We are looking forward to the 2nd Hockey India Junior Men & Women West Zone Championship which will bring together promising young talent from the region,” said Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey. “This championship is about learning and developing as players. It offers a good platform for young players to showcase their abilities and gain significant experience,” he added.

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“Our aim is to nurture the junior players and give them the best possible exposure,” said secretary general Hockey India, Bhola Nath Singh. “Competitions like these are instrumental in building their confidence and preparing them for the higher levels of the sport.”

The opening day of the competition will feature Hockey Madhya Pradesh clashing with Goans Hockey, and Hockey Rajasthan taking on Dadra & Nagar Haveli And Daman & Diu Hockey in the women’s category. In the men’s category, Hockey Madhya Pradesh will play Goans Hockey, Hockey Rajasthan faces Hockey Gujarat and Hockey Maharashtra squares off against Chhattisgarh Hockey.

–IANS

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Mindset was always there to be ready for any challenge coming my way, says Deepti Sharma

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Mindset was always there to be ready for any challenge coming my way, says Deepti Sharma

Mindset was always there to be ready for any challenge coming my way, says Deepti Sharma

Dambulla, July 20 (IANS) Off-spin all-rounder Deepti Sharma, who picked 3-20 in India’s comfortable seven-wicket win over Pakistan to begin their 2024 Women’s Asia Cup on a high, said her mindset during the game was to be ready for any challenge coming her way.

Deepti was the pick of the bowlers in a top-notch performance as India bowled out Pakistan for just 108 at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium. “It felt really good as we have been working on it as a bowling unit for a long time. Personally, it feels very great as I bowled as per the planning done.”

“Mindset was always there to be ready for any challenge coming my way. When you are already ready for anything, then some things begin to look easy for you while bowling. For execution, I had it in my mind to bowl as per the conditions and how the wicket behaves. I bowled in right areas, so it felt really good,” said Deepti in a video posted on ‘BCCI Women’ X handle.

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Deepti, who also took Player of the Match award, said it was a moment of double happiness for her to be awarded in playing a leading hand in India’s win. “When I bowl in the warm-up before the match, it helps a lot in keeping the mind ready and getting the confidence before bowling the first ball of the game.”

“Getting the Player of the Match award was an amazing feeling as you are always to look for ways to make the team win. I am always seeking to make contributions for helping the side be victorious and getting the award for it leads to double happiness.”

With over ten years of playing international cricket, Deepti said the only change for her has been her ability to be quick in decision-making. “I came in as a 19-year-old and now I feel like I have got the experience of playing a lot of matches – like what kind of deliveries you have to bowl in the match and how to react in face of challenges in a game.”

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“The mindset has changed a lot too, like thinking about the game and things around it. I haven’t changed much; I am just the same – just that quick decision making is the only change.”

India will next face Nepal in their second Group A game of the Asia Cup on Sunday. After the game ended, pacer Renuka Singh Thakur talked about how conditions were in her favour to pick 2-14. “Everyone was hoping for a good start for us in the tournament against Pakistan, and it happened. My approach was very simple. The weather was very favourable, along with the winds blowing around. I was able to execute my preparation well.”

She also stressed on how important it was for India to make Asia Cup count, considering Women’s T20 World Cup happens in Bangladesh in October. “This Asia Cup is definitely important, as we have only this series before the T20 World Cup. We don’t have any other series after this, and then focus on only preparation.”

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“We will learn a lot from here, as we will have similar conditions and wickets from here in Bangladesh. It will be good for us to prepare as much as possible for the World Cup via Asia Cup,” concluded Renuka.

–IANS

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140 Paris Olympics support staff not luxury, but preparedness: Report

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140 Paris Olympics support staff not luxury, but preparedness: Report

140 Paris Olympics support staff not luxury, but preparedness: Report

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) As the Paris 2024 Olympics approach, India are sending a robust contingent of athletes and support staff, focused on maximising performance rather than indulging in past practices of sending excessive officials.

This year, India’s Olympic team includes 117 athletes and 140 support staff, a ratio that has raised eyebrows and sparked controversy. However, a closer look reveals a significant shift in approach aimed at enhancing athlete support and performance.

According to RevzSportz, in previous Olympics, criticism often centered on the number of officials and non-essential personnel accompanying the Indian contingent. This led to accusations of government expenses being misused for personal luxury trips. However, the scenario is markedly different for Paris 2024. An extensive review of the support staff list shows that over 85 per cent are essential personnel, including coaches, sports scientists, medical teams, and physiotherapists. This change signifies a commitment to providing athletes with the comprehensive support they need to excel.

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One notable example of this new approach is the inclusion of coaches like Jaspal Rana, who has been instrumental in Manu Bhaker’s training. Ensuring that Bhaker has her trusted coach in Paris means she can perform at her best, in a familiar and comfortable environment.

Similarly, in badminton, having coaches Prakash Padukone and Vimal Kumar alongside head coach Pullela Gopichand ensures that athletes like PV Sindhu receive tailored support. Sindhu has publicly acknowledged Padukone’s influence on her performance, highlighting the value of such specialized coaching.

The painful memory of Rio 2016, where wrestler Vinesh Phogat was left without adequate medical support after an injury, underscores the importance of having a well-prepared support team. This time, India’s contingent includes a robust medical team to avoid such ordeals and ensure that athletes have immediate access to necessary medical care.

Another critical area of improvement is the quality of equipment and apparel. In the past, Indian athletes faced issues with substandard jerseys that didn’t last through the competition. This year, with JSW as the clothing partner and PUMA providing footwear, these problems have been addressed. Athletes will now have high-quality gear, contributing to their comfort and performance.

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Sports scientists play a crucial role in preparing athletes for competition, providing insights into training, recovery, and performance optimization. Although the integration of sports scientists has been relatively recent, their presence is expected to have a positive impact. The focus is on long-term athlete development, with an understanding that even late interventions can make a difference.

Despite the controversy, the reality is that this year’s Olympic support staff is not a group of bureaucrats enjoying a trip to Paris. Instead, nearly 120 members of the support team are directly involved in the athletes’ preparation and performance. This shift deserves recognition and should be highlighted as a positive step by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

–IANS

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'It was unforgettable experience': Arshdeep labels T20 WC final as favourite match

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'It was unforgettable experience': Arshdeep labels T20 WC final as favourite match

'It was unforgettable experience': Arshdeep labels T20 WC final as favourite match

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) India pacer Arshdeep Singh labelled the recent T20 World Cup title triumph as his favourite match of his career. The fast bowler played his first ICC final against South Africa in Barbados and returned with the figures of 2-20 in his four overs as India won the match by six runs in a thrilling clash.

Arshdeep was not part of India’s team that played the ODI World Cup final against Australia at Narendra Modi Stadium last year. The 25-year-old had not played in the IPL final also but the youngster showed no sign of pressure during the crunch situations and delivered for the team.

He was the highest wicket-taker for India in the tournament with 17 wickets.

“For cricketers, every match is important, but my most favourite has to be the recent World Cup final. Winning the trophy was an unforgettable experience. The atmosphere, the intensity, and the sheer joy of lifting the cup with my teammates made it incredibly special. It is a moment I’ll cherish forever, knowing we made our country proud on such a grand stage,” the Punjab pacer told IANS.

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In 52 T20Is, Arshdeep holds 79 wickets at an average of 18.40 including the best figures of 5/37. He will travel with the Indian team to Sri Lanka to play three T20Is and three ODIs, starting on July 27.

–IANS

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