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An eventful 2016 ahead for Indian Sports

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New Delhi: With a host of big-ticket events coming up, Indian sports is looking forward to an eventful and hopefully a successful year in 2016.

First lined up is the World Twenty20 which starts in March. Since the tournament will be held in India, the men in blue will enjoy the home advantage. Keeping the World T20 in mind, the selectors named several youngsters in the squad for this month’s Australian tour.

The Supreme Court-appointed three-member committee led by Justice Rajendra Mohan Lodha has come up with a host of far-reaching suggestions intended to clean up cricket administration in the country. If the apex court decides to implement those proposals, it could lead to a drastic change in Indian cricket as far as administration is concerned.

Tennis fans will also follow with keen interest the exploits of the star women’s doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis. Sania won a total of 10 doubles titles in 2015, of which nine were with the Swiss superstar. Their list of conquests included a couple of Grand Slam tournaments in the Wimbledon and US Open.

It will be interesting to see how the celebrated duo’s fortunes shape up this year.

Since 2016 is an Olympic year, the focus will also be on the Indian men’s doubles and mixed doubles combinations at Rio. Sania is expected to partner the evergreen Leander Paes in the mixed doubles event.

The men’s doubles combination saw a lot of controversy in 2012, with estranged partners Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi bickering over their preferred choice of partners. Paes had wanted the big serving Rohan Bopanna as a partner, but the latter decided to team up with Bhupathi.

The ominous rumblings of a possible showdown are being felt this time as well, with Paes declaring that he would like to have Bopanna as a partner in Rio. But Bopanna does not seem to be too keen this time as well. Paes wants to play a few tournaments with Bopanna to get into the groove ahead of the Olympics, but the Bangalore lad does not seem too keen.

The Indian football team’s fortunes, meanwhile, gradually downslided to the point that it had reached its nadir, ranked 173rd in the world, its lowest ever, but somehow partially ended on a smiling note when they claimed a come-from-behind 2-1 victory against defending champions Afghanistan in the SAFF Cup to stretch their dominance in the regional tournament to seven triumphs.

It was particularly gladdening for under-fire coach Stephen Constantine whose job was on the line following the country’s worst ever World Cup record in qualifiers, losing five of the six matches, to be the bottom of its group.

The triumph gave some much required breathing space to the Englishman, in his second stint in charge, but it was the only short change for his team’s disgraceful 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

He kept hogging the limelight not so much for the team’s performance, but more for his controversial comments on the country needing Players of Indian Origin (PIO) to even compete with minuscule states like Guam and ruing the absence of any “football culture”.

He also stoked a major fire demanding less importance be given to the glamorous Indian Super League (ISL) for lengthy national preparatory camps only to be shot down by the AIFF president Praful Patel, who is reportedly not much impressed with his loud mouthiness and excuse-ready habit even though the status of ISL and the I-League is still unclear with rumours of a potential merger doing the rounds.

But the biggest event of the year, which a majority of sports fans around the world look forward to, is the Olympics – the greatest show on earth.

India bagged a total of six medals at the London Olympics in 2012 and there are fervent hopes that the tally rises this time round.

The shooters have consistently brought glory to India over the years and are expected to be on target at Rio as well. Apurvi Chandela – one of seven Indians to have already qualified for the Games – has already sounded a warning to her opponents by setting a new world record on her way to the gold medal in the women’s 10-metre air rifle event at the Swedish Cup Grand Prix last Tuesday.

Among the men, former Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra (10m air rifle), the experienced Gagan Narang (50m rifle prone) and the very talented army shooter Jitu Rai (50m pistol) will be the prime contenders.

Apart from shooting and tennis, one of the biggest medal hopes for the country will be the wrestlers. Indian grapplers created history at the London Olympics in 2012 by bagging two medals – silver and a bronze – thanks to Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt respectively. Recurrence of form and injury permitting both could result in these medals being their last.

Narsingh Yadav bagged a quota place for the 74kg category at the World Championships last year. He will take on Sushil in the national trials later in the year to decide India’s representative in the category.

Like Sushil, Yogeshwar has limited his competition schedule due to a chronic knee injury. The 33-year-old has been unstoppable in almost every bout he has played recently. If he is fit for the Olympics, Yogeshwar can prove to be a definite candidate for a medal. (photo courtesy: http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/)(IANS)

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Landmark Event: Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand becomes the First Indian Woman to qualify in 100m race for 2016 Rio Olympics

Dutee Chand becomes the first Indian woman to qualify for women's 100m race in Olympics.

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Dutee Chand. Image Source : www.mid-day.com
  • Dutee ran 11:30 seconds in the women’s heats and ran 11:24 seconds in the Kazaksthan Meet
  • Resident of a small village in Odisha, Dutee had to face a lot of shortcomings on her way to success
  •  In 2014, she had been dropped and banned from the Commonwealth Games because her testosterone levels were higher than the permissible level in women athletes

Dutee Chand created history on the women’s 100m racing track, when she qualified for the Rio Olympics, in Almaty. She became the first woman athlete of India to qualify for this event of the Olympics.  The 20 year old athlete ran 11:30 seconds in the women’s heats and further bettered it when she ran 11:24 seconds in the Kazaksthan Meet. Last April, she had missed the Federation Cup in New Delhi, by one-hundredth of a second. Since then she has toiled day and night to reach where she is today.

Resident of a small village in Odisha, Dutee had to face a lot of shortcomings on her way to success. She not only overcame financial problems but she shattered the social construct that dares to ignore the women that want to pursue sports. She is an inspiration for all young athletes and women, all over India.  In 2014, she had been dropped and banned from the Commonwealth Games because her testosterone levels were higher than the permissible level in women athletes. Last year, in 2015, she fought and won this case which served as her return ticket to her international career.

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P.T. Ush.ina. Image Source : www.speedstar
P.T. Ush.ina. Image Source : www.speedstar

After qualifying for the Olympics, her elder sister was the first one to get a text message from her. She was so surprised that she could not believe it for a good few minutes. Finally, when she did, she was overjoyed and immediately informed her relatives, who in turn, would inform their parents. Her entire family celebrated her achievement.

Dutee had told DNA, she was glad that she had been able to live up to the expectations of her folks. They had prayed and prayed for her to qualify. She was grateful of her coach, N. Ramesh, who had spent tireless hours trying to improve her skills.

“I could qualify for the Olympics due to blessings of a lot of people. I want to thank Sports Authority of India, Sports Ministry, and Athletics Federation of India for their support. I will continue to work hard and hope to bring a medal for the country,” she had said to the dnaindia.com.

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An image of 2012 Olympic Games. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons.
An image of 2012 Olympic Games. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons.

After P.T. Usha, Dutee Chand is the second woman of Indian origin to take part in the women’s 100m race in Olympics. First woman to qualify in doing so because during Usha’s time there were no qualifying rounds held for the Olympic Games. Over all, till this day, 4 women athletes have taken part in the 100 m race of the Olympic sport, namely Nilima Ghosh, Mary D’Souza , P.T. Usha and Mary Leela Rao. Now, Dutee Chand will follow in their footsteps.

We are extremely proud of her efforts and her achievement and hope that she is successful in attaining her dream and bringing back an Olympic medal.

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2 responses to “Landmark Event: Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand becomes the First Indian Woman to qualify in 100m race for 2016 Rio Olympics”

  1. Its good to see that despite all the obstacles in her path, she moved forward to where she is today. There are more challenges ahead, and hope she overcomes them with ease and rises to the top.

  2. Dutee Chand would make us proud! Good that women from small villages have reached at such heights

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10 amazing sportswomen who made India proud in 2015

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In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call of “Beti Bachao”, Indian sports have come out of it and witnessed a sea change with more and more sportswomen making the country proud with their achievements.

Here is a list of female sportsperson who had brought immense glory to the country.

  1. MITHALI RAJ (CRICKET)

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Indian skipper Mithali Raj created history when she became the first woman to cross the 5000 runs milestone in One-Day Internationals. Mithali also became the second highest run getter of all time in women’s cricket.

She was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri award in January 2015 for her contribution in the cricket.

  1. HEENA SINDHU (AIR PISTOL)

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The former world number one lived up to the billing when she bagged the gold medal in women’s 10m air pistol event in 2015 Asian Air Gun Championships in New Delhi.

  1. DEEPIKA KUMARI (ARCHERY)

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In 2015, Deepika’s first medal came at the second stage of the Archery World Cup, where she won a bronze in the individual event. The latter half of the year saw her winning the Silver Medal in 2015 Archery World Cup final.

She was bestowed with the Arjuna Award, India’s second highest sporting award in the year 2012 by President of India Pranab Mukherjee.

  1. SAINA NEHWAL (BADMINTON)

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The Ace champion won the 2015 India Open Grand Prix Gold by defeating Spain’s Carolina Marin in the final. She became the first Indian woman shuttler to reach the finals of All England Open Badminton Championship but lost to Carolina in the final. She became World number 1 after she won her maiden women’s singles title at the India OpenBWF Super Series and was finally declared the first Indian women’s player to be World No.1 in badminton.

  1. JOSHNA CHINAPPA (SQUASH)

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Veteran Joshna Chinappa made a record after she became the highest ranked Indian in the world professional squash circuit in 2015.

She won the 2015 Women’s Victorian Open Melbourne after upstaging the second seed Line Hansen to win the title.

  1. SANIA MIRZA (TENNIS)

Sania Mirza

Currently ranked number 1 in women’s doubles, India’s tennis sensation Sania Mirza won a plethora of trophies in 2015. Sania Mirza partnered with Martina Hingis and became the first Indian player to win women’s doubles Grand Slam title in Wimbledon 2015. She also became the second tennis player to receive the country’s highest sporting honour – Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. She also won Sydney International (Sydney) with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. With Swiss Martina Hingis she also won Indian Wells Masters (Indian Wells), Miami open, Family Circle Cup (Charleston), US Open (New York), Guangzhou International Women’s Open (Guangzhou), Wuhan Open (Wuhan), China Open (Beijing) and WTA Finals (Singapore) in 2015.

Throughout her career, Mirza has established herself as the most successful female Indian tennis player ever and one of the highest-paid and high-profile athletes in the country.

  1. DIPA KARMAKAR: THE GOLDEN GIRL (GYMNASTICS)

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This golden girl of Tripura became the first Indian to participate in the finals of World Gymnastics Championship and scored 14.900 points in the women’s vault qualification in the World Gymnastics Championships 2015 in Glasgow followed by a women’s vault bronze medal which she clinched at the Asian Championships 2015 held in Hiroshima, Japan. She received the prestigious Arjuna award for her achievements.

  1. LALITA BABAR (ATHLETICS)  

12th Edition Of The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2015

Lalita Babar, the Maharashtra athlete, bagged a gold medal in the women’s 3000m
steeplechase in the National Open Championship and created a new record by clocking in 9 hours, 39 minutes breaking the previous record of 10 hours, 8 minutes set by Sudha Singh. Lalita is the first Indian who smashed her own national record and qualified for the women’s 3000m steeplechase final in the World Athletics Championships.

  1. DEBORAH HEROLD (CYCLING)

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Deborah made history in 2015 when she became the first cyclist from India to attain world ranking as high as four, achieving it in the 500m Time Trial event. This fast rising name in the world cycling charts further added to her growing accolades by winning three medals (one gold and two silver) at the Track Asia Cup in the Capital last month.

10. ARUNIMA SINHA (MOUNTAINEER)

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Arunima Sinha is the first female amputee to climb Mount Everest. Losing her leg in a train accident did not deter this mountaineer who is also the first Indian amputee to climb Mount Everest.

This former national volleyball player has written a book “Born again on the mountain”, launched by Prime minister of India Narendra Modi in December 2014.

She was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015.

(Image courtesy: scoopwhoop.com)