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Indian walker finishes 37th at World Championships

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Walker Khushbir Kaur from India finished 37th in the women’s 20 km walk race at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing.

Failing to beat her best personal time of 1 hour, 31 minutes and 40 seconds, Kaur finished the race in one hour, 38 minutes and 53 seconds. Khushbir crossed the five km mark in 23 minutes and 36 seconds and 10 km mark in 47 minutes and 42. She took an hour, 12 minutes and 38 seconds to go past the 15 km mark.

Liu Chang of China grabbed the gold medal, which is the first gold for the country in the championships. Lyu Xiuzhi also from China bagged the silver medal with the time of 1:27:45. While the bronze medal went to Ukrainian Lvudmvla.

 

 

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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.

Somalia
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.

Somalia
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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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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