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IAAF World U-20 Athletics Championship: Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra becomes first Indian to set world record

With the feat, Chopra has also snapped the old world record of 84.69 metres held by Latvian Zigismunds Sirmais

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Rio Olympics. Image source: www.nbcnews.com

Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has created history by becoming the first Indian athlete to set a world record on his way, to win a gold medal at the IAAF World U-20 Athletics Championship at Bydgoszcz in Poland on Saturday, July 23.

Neeraj, who hails from Khandra village of Panipat, logged a throw of 86.48m to become the first Indian athlete to win gold at any world athletics championship.

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The 18-year-old Indian athlete kicked off his first round with a throw of 79.66m that put him in second place before he bounced back strongly to post the world record in his second attempt.

South Africa’s Johan Grobler finished second with a throw of 80.59m ahead of Grenada’s Anderson Peters, who logged 79.69m.

Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra. Photo: Twitter
Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra. Photo: Twitter

With the feat, Chopra has also snapped the old world record of 84.69 metres held by Latvian Zigismunds Sirmais.

He also bettered his previous personal best of 82.23 set at the South Asian Games earlier this year, which was incidentally a national record.

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Neeraj’s throw also put him ahead of reigning defending Olympic gold medalist Keshorn Walcott, who recorded his best at 86.35m in 2016. (IANS)

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‘World’s Most Dangerous City’ Mogadishu in Somalia Holds Nighttime Soccer Match for the first time in 30 Years

Since the collapse of Somalia's central military government in 1991, Somalia sports have lacked an infrastructure, and athletes have been threatened by radical militants

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People gather for the soccer match between Hodan and Waberi districts, Mogadishu's first night game in 30 years, at Konis Stadium in Modadishu, Somalia (VOA)

Somalia, September 12, 2017 : For the first time in more than 30 years, thousands of residents and fans watched a nighttime soccer match in Mogadishu, often described as the world’s most dangerous capital.

Thousands of fans enjoyed the event at Konis Stadium, which the international soccer organization FIFA recently renovated.

Although the match, the final of a citywide club tournament for 16- to 18-year-olds, took place under tight security, it was historic for the city, which has dealt with terrorist suicide bombings and anarchy.

After the match, in which Waberi beat Hodan 3-0, Mogadishu Mayor Tabit Abdi Mohamed said the city’s residents deserve security — and more than a nighttime soccer game.

“Tonight is clearly a historic night that our people, the people of this city, waited for for more than 30 years. I reaffirm that Mogadishu is secure and people deserve more than this,” Mohamed said. “You deserve every kind of entertainment and sports that people in other world capital cities get.”

Hassan Wish, the chairman of Mogadishu’s sports activities who organized the tournament, said they decided to hold the nighttime game to send a message that Mogadishu is on the road to betterment.

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Football players from Hodan district (orange) and Waberi district (yellow) play in the first nighttime game in 30 years in Modadishu, Somalia (VOA)

“To publicize and make it a significant signal to the city’s returning security, the match was held at a nighttime. It was broadcast live on several local television channels,” Wish said. “The city is back on its way to good old days.”

Stadium now a military base

The Somali Football Federation said the Friday night game in Mogadishu took the country back to 1988, when night games were played at the city’s main Mogadishu stadium. The stadium has been and remains a military base for African Union peacekeepers, which drove al-Shabab militants out of the city in 2011.

“We hope this will be the first of similar peaceful matches in our city. It is not the first for Mogadishu, but for me, I have never seen in my life a soccer game being played at night in Mogadishu,” said Dahir Osman, a 20-year-old resident. “I was born in a lawless capital and grew up all these years without witnessing such a hope-reviving event.”

The seaside capital is working to lose the label of “the world’s most dangerous city.”

The name was attached to the city after the collapse of the former central government in 1992, when a famine struck Somalia and political jockeying began. That led to a civil war and deadly armed violence spearheaded by clan warlords who entered the city.

Last month, popular Somali referee Osman Jama Dirah was shot to death near his home in the city.

“The city is enjoying a reviving peace, except for the infrequent al-Shabab terrorist attacks. Now, playing a soccer game at night means the city is rearing its beautiful head again,” said Aden Osman, a 58-year-old resident who has never left Mogadishu.

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Somali security forces patrol during the soccer match between the Hodan and Waberi districts at Konis Stadium, renovated by FIFA, in Modadishu, Somalia, Sept. 8, 2017. It was the city’s first night game in 30 years. (VOA)

“I was born in this city and still live here. I have witnessed the best and the worst times of the city. But now, I see a reviving hope on the horizon,” Osman said.

Residents return

Thousands of Somalis from the diaspora have been returning to Mogadishu over the past three years, opening new, Western-style restaurants along the beach. The buildings that have been destroyed by the bullets and mortars are now being rebuilt.

Many U.N. workers, who had been operating from Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya, are moving back to the city, and some foreign embassies have reopened.

Since the collapse of Somalia’s central military government in 1991, Somalia sports have lacked an infrastructure, and athletes have been threatened by radical militants.

ALSO READ In Somalia, Rape is a Common Sight: Labeled as Worst Country for Women

In 2006, the Islamic Courts Union, which controlled large swaths of the country’s south and central regions, which include Mogadishu, prohibited women from playing sports, especially basketball, labeling it as a “satanic act” against the principles of Islam.

The group also put restrictions on men and banned watching international soccer matches from televisions and designated cinemas, saying the men should spend their time on their religious responsibilities. (VOA)

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Village in Rajasthan Bans ‘Fashion Clothes’ and Mobiles for Women

Reportedly, a village in Rajasthan has banned fashionable clothing and mobile phones for women in an "effort to prevent sexual assaults"

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Ban on Fashion Clothes
Parents have been told by the village council to forcefully implement the ban on fashionable clothes and mobiles. Wikimedia
  • A village in Rajasthan has banned all types of “fashion clothes” and use of mobile phone for women
  • The heads of the village, who have also banned the consumption and distribution of alcohol, believe these things to be a “cultural threat”
  • It is also a decision that is taken to “prevent sexual assaults”

July 16, 2017: The administrators of Baldiyapura, a village in Rajasthan, took the decision to ban ‘fashion clothes’ to be worn by the women such as jeans and tops to prevent sexual assaults.

Parents were directed by the village council to supervise that their daughters do not use mobile phones and wear western clothes. The council said that these things are ruining the local culture.

The council also threatened that these decisions are to be compulsorily implemented.

The distribution and consumption of alcohol are also banned by the council, violation of which will result in a penalty of Rs. 1000. Further, there is a reward for the informers who report the violators.

Kanasil Hariom Singh, the leader of the village council, called these things “social evils” and praised the decision of the Panchayat. He also linked the rise of sexual molestation and rape cases to the fact that women wear such clothes.

Also Read: Women Turn into Well Diggers in Drought Hit Kerala Villages

The village elders are to supervise younger one’s clothing and behaviour. The council also plans to meet on the first day of every month to see the progress after implementation.

The surrounding villages in Dholpur have raised protests, particularly the women’s groups. Dholpur’s official Vinod Kumar Meena criticised the restrictions on women but praised the ban on alcohol.

Many Indians try and correlate women’s clothing to their molestation chances. At This time when women safety is the biggest social issue domestically, such policies are an insult to the efforts of awareness by activists and feminists.

Prepared  by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter @Saksham2394

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The race is on: Tiger vs Man in the forests of India

Locals being axed of their ancestral lands to safeguard a tiger habitat

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Tiger vs Man in the forests of India, credits-pixabay

Bhubaneshwar, Feb 27, 2017: In the Similipal forests, man and tiger co-exist in huge numbers. The race is now on to see which animal will win supremacy on their ‘home’.

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The indigenous villages are ripped off their rights fighting against the tigers with more clout.

Sanghamitra Dubey, an activist with an informal Indian advocacy group for forestry rights asked, “Why are indigenous people being asked outright to leave without even attempting to explore reasonable options of coexistence with wildlife?”, mentioned a report on Similipal forests by Thompson Reuters Foundation.

Dubey further highlighted the stripping of the ancestral lands of the people to protect the shrinking number of tigers and how it led to the extinction of the traditional ways of life, like the old rope plaiting technique.

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Nearly half the estimated 3200 tigers of the world are found in India, in dozens of different reserves built since the 1970s.

The tiger has more cloat than the human, Source: Pixabay

Wildlife tourism serves as a growing money maker for the country. However, conservationists continue to debate if the tourists encroach their habitat or help protect the species.

The relocation process:-

Notice: last November, to protect the Tiger habitat in the forests, hundreds of families from about 44 different villages were asked to relocate.

Anup Kumar Nayak, a senior forest officer in Bhubaneswar said, “relocations are voluntary but a number of villages around Similipal were in the ‘core’ habitat zone or so close they were “as good as inside it” and would need to move. Only the Buffer zone is for human-animal coexistence.”

Only months ago had the villagers acquired rights to the 25000 hectares of woodland area.

The Forest Rights Act of 2006 permits Tribal Households to harvest and utilize the forest resources for maintenance of their ancestral lands.

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One-off Settlement: A visit by the Park Officials was reported by the villagers in November, offering them a one-off payment to evacuate their homes and lands to clear the forest lands under human activity.

Tribandha Barja, a villager reported that most of the people refused the offer. “(They told us) take one million rupees keep it in the bank and live better with the bank interest,” Barja said.

Dubey also commented that 50 families from a neighboring village were also targeted though it was nowhere near the core zone.

As per official figures, about 2750 square kilometers of dense forests are covered by tigers reserves including bio-diverse land and adjoining forest which is used as a corridor by other animals.

According to the report by Thompson Reuters Foundation, 10,000 people are estimated to live within the park including the buffer zone by the Authorities. Also, half a million people are estimated to live in 1,200 villages within a 10km radius around the park.

The 10 year tiger conservation plan of Odisha highlights that 800 to 1000 square kilometer area is required by 80 to 100 tigers.

As pointed out by Nayak, this serves as the reason behind the relocation.

However, only 26 Royal Bengal Tigers were found by the official Odisha government in the Similipal reserve last year.

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The End of the rope plaiting : In the core of the park, in the Jamuna Garh Village, only 3 out of approximately 35 families have stayed back and decided to continue to use their land. The others chose to relocate, accepting the compensation.

One of the holdouts, Telanga Hasa said, “neighboring families had been paid one million rupees via bank deposit in September 2015 – of which 30,000 rupees was paid in cash.”

“All are still waiting to be allocated the two acres of farmland they were promised.”
“Now they have no forests, no farm land and no livelihood …how can they live with dignity?” Hasa also said that 25 families in the hillside village in Bakua had also stayed back.

The villagers are unable to access the sacred creeper ‘siali’ from which the rope os plaited. This rope, very strong, is highly demanded by farmers.

Presently, the locals have been forced to purchase plastic potato sacks for rupees three per sack for the purpose of plaiting ropes out of them. These ropes are then sold for a petty gain.

 

-By Nikita Saraf of NewsGram, Twitter: @niki_saraf