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Leander might retire after Rio Olympics, says father

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New Delhi:Leander Paes, one of the greatest tennis players India has produced, might retire after the 2016 Rio Olympics if he does not perform well.

credit: www.dailymail.co.uk
credit: www.dailymail.co.uk

Leander’s father Vece Paes said that the tennis star is quite focussed on qualifying and playing the Olympics next year and his future will depend on his performance at the mega sporting event.

“If he does well at the Olympics then there would be reason for him to play longer. If he does not do too well at the Olympics, then the chances are that he would probably retire,” the elder Paes told in an interview.

“But that is his choice! We have not really discussed it. He is working on his game this year and then we go to next year and then we will see what happens.”

Vece, who was a hockey player and was also part of the bronze medal winning Indian team at the 1972 Munich Olympics, said that his son wants to play in both men’s and mixed doubles in the Brazilian metropolis in 2016.

“He hopes to play in the 2016 Rio Olympics with Rohan Bopanna in men’s doubles and with Sania Mirza in mixed doubles. That’s the plan so far,” said Vece.

If Leander plays in Rio de Janeiro, it would be his seventh Olympics since playing for the first time at the 1992 Barcelona Games. The 42-year-old is the only Indian to win an Olympic medal in tennis — a men’s singles bronze from the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Last time at the 2012 London Olympics, Leander partnered Vishnu Vardhan in men’s doubles and Sania in mixed.

“Basically he has got to see out this year and then he has got another four or five tournaments because he is short of ranking points in men’s doubles. So that will take him to the end of the year,” said Vece.

“Then he has got the IPTL (International Premier Tennis League) at the end of the year. From January to August he will be focussing on picking up points to qualify for the Olympics.”

2015 has been a great year for the Indian tennis legend. He won three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles — Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open — all with Swiss great Martina Hingis.

(Sandip Sikdar, IANS)

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Gymnast Dipa Karmakar aims to knock off World Champion Simone Biles off her pedestal in Vault

Dipa's coach Nandi is plotting a half-turn vault with an eye on Tokyo 2020

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Dipa Karmakar. Image source: Wikimedia
  • Gymnast Dipa Karmakar who finished fourth aims to beat US sensation Biles next time
  • Actor Prosenjit Chatterjee gave Dipa a gold crown as promised by the organisers earlier this week
  • Dipa said Indian coaches are better than foreign counterparts citing the example of Pullela Gopichand who coached P.V. Sindhu

Sept 18, 2016: Gymnast Dipa Karmakar who has been the talk of the nation since she finished fourth in the Rio Olympics this year has now announced that her next aim is to knock off world champion Simone Biles off her pedestal.

“Simone Biles is the best. My aim is to beat her. I am preparing in such a way that even if I cannot get the better of her, I end up with a silver,” said Dipa. Biles claimed the gold medal in the women’s vault — the event which saw Dipa miss out on the bronze medal at Rio.

“The response she has been getting from across the country has floored us. I have vowed to myself that I won’t rest until she wins a medal in Tokyo (Olympics in 2020),” coach Bishweshwar Nandi said in his speech.

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Actor Prosenjit Chatterjee gave Dipa a gold crown as promised by the organisers earlier this week. Among others present were former East Bengal coach Biswajit Bhattacharya and Bengal’s Ranji Trophy winning captain Sambaran Banerjee.

“I was happy with my finish until I came to my room. When I got to know the reaction of the entire country, the feeling of disappointment set in. If only I could win a medal, I could have gifted the country and all my fellow Bengalis something,” added the 23-year old Tripura girl.

At a press gathering later, Dipa said Indian coaches are better than foreign counterparts citing the example of Pullela Gopichand who coached P.V. Sindhu to a silver medal in badminton at Rio.”I have an Indian coach who I owe everything whatever I am today. Sindhu was also under an Indian coach and so was Sakshi. Both have won medals for the country. I think an Indian coach is always better,” she reckoned.

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According to reports, coach Nandi is plotting a half-turn vault with an eye on Tokyo 2020. Quizzed about that, he preferred to beat around the bush: “Everyone wants a vault that he or she can master and is his or her identity. I have been working on something similar. Let’s see what happens.”

Dipa will be in the city on Monday as well where she will first visit Bhowanipore Football Club followed by a programme at the Bengal Chamber of Commerce. (IANS)