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Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain Costliest at Premier Badminton League (PBL) Auction in New Delhi

India's Rio Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu went to Chennai Smashers for Rs.39 lakh

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Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain. Flickr

New Delhi, November 9, 2016: Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain was bagged by Hyderabad Hunters for Rs.61.5 lakh, becoming the costliest buy in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) auction for players held here on Wednesday.

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The second highest bid went for South Korean woman shuttler Sung Ji Hyun, with Mumbai Rockets paying Rs.60 lakh for her.

Denmark shuttler Jan ‘O’ Jorgensen proved to be the third costliest after he was bought for Rs.59 lakh in the auction held here at a city hotel. The Dane went to Delhi Acers.

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However, India’s Rio Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu went to Chennai Smashers for Rs.39 lakh – way below expectations. Her illustrious compatriot, Saina Nehwal went to Awadhe Warriors for Rs.33 lakh.

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Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen too got a price of Rs.39 lakh landing up with Bengaluru Blasters, as did Wan Ho Son who was clinched by Delhi.

None of the men’s singles badminton “Big Three” players – Chinese duo of Chen Long and Lin Dan and Malaysian superstar Lee Chong Wei — will play in the PBL. (IANS)

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With back to back Victories in a Year, Right now Srikanth is Best Badminton Player

Srikanth, the fourth player in the world to have won four Super Series titles in a year, has said that the days of Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan are coming to an end.

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Srikanth is Best Badminton Player
According to ace Badminton player and coach Gopichand, Srikanth "is the best player in the world!" Wikimedia

New Delhi, November 4: Two remarkable statements since Kidambi Nammalwar Srikanth won back-to-back Badminton World Federation (BWF) Super Series titles at Copenhagen and Paris should be taken note of.

Srikanth, the fourth player in the world to have won four Super Series titles in a year, said that the days of Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan, if not Chen Long, are coming to an end.

Incidentally, the three stalwarts are the only others to have won four Super Series singles titles before Srikanth. With China and Hong Kong Opens still to be played, Srikanth can improve his career record of six big ticket titles, but will take Lee Chong Wei’s record of seven in a year.

Srikanth with six titles is fourth behind Lee Chong Wei with 45, Lin Dan with 21 and Chen Long 17 in all-time winners.

Srikanth is world's best badminton player
Kidambi Nammalwar Srikanth is Best Badminton Player with World No.2 Rankings . Wikimedia.

That showed the confidence of the Indian who is now World No.2, a ranking only three other Indians share with him, starting with the great Prakash Padukone and Saina Nehwal, who went on to become the only World No.1 from the country, and Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, who is right now World No.2 in the women’s singles.

The other statement, from his highly acclaimed coach Pullela Gopichand, is more startling. Gopi says that the achievements of his ward Srikanth are only the tip of the iceberg. Imagine what else could be in store from Srikanth if this only the tip of the iceberg.

We only talk of bench strength when it comes to cricket and at times the strength of the country’s Davis Cup squad. Now you can see an all-round growth the Indian badminton. Not only, his friends and roomies at the Gopichand Academy, Bhamidipati Sai Praneeth and Haseena Sunil Prannoy are also moving ahead.

It was Praneeth who beat Srikanth at the Singapore Open for his own maiden Super Series title and thereafternot only he but the world’s best were at the receving end against him. Praneeth has nothing but admiration for his teammate. He feels that 2017 is Srikanth’s and he is unstoppable.

It has not been an easy ride for the Hyderabad-based young man from Guntur. He had to fight hard in the opening rounds in seven of the 12 tournaments h played this year he had to rally to win in three games, but curiously he looked comfortable towards the tournament weekends as only final went to three games.

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His one major comeback win at the Denmark Open was against World champion and No.1 Viktor Axelsen. He also had to fight it out over three games against Chinese Shi Yuqi and Prannoy in France.

Both the finals turned out to be one-sided, in the Denmark Open against 37-yeard-old Korean Lee Hyun Il and at the French Open, against qualifier Kenta Nishimoto of Japan.

Srikanth’s turning point was Jakarta and from then he has been a completely different player, though the signs were there at Singapore itself in July. His next title came at the Australian Open and then the two European titles from Denmark and France.

The best thing that could have happened to Srikanth was Mulyo Handoyo joining Gopichand Academy as the second in command. The Indonesian knew his ward’s caliber as world class.

Seven months ago Handoyo had said the Indian would be going places as he sees in him his own protégé Taufiq Hidayanto. His job was to take him to the next level and how well he did, bringing him back from a low ranking of 31. He honestly believed Srikanth has an all-round game like Taufiq even if he doesn’t impart the same power in hi strokes.

It is all soeasy to compare Srikanth with Prakash and Gopichand. What the two veterans did was to win the All-England titles which none of the Indian, men or women, have done after that. The sport has changed a lot and the tour is getting tougher these days and considering that what Srikanth has achieved is stupendous.

Gopichand has the last word on Srikanth: Right now he is the best player in the world! (IANS)

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

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Over 5,000 Plant Varieties in Last 3 Years sent in by Tribal Farmers to protect the species : Minister

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Tribal Farmers
tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years (representational Image). Wikimedia

New Delhi, June 8, 2017: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Wednesday said tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years through Krishi Vigyan Kendras for registration at the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Rights Authority.

It will play an important role in the development of climate resilient and sustainable varieties in future, he said at the National Workshop on Empowerment of Farmers of Tribal Areas here.

“New technological innovations in agriculture must reach to the fields of tribal areas but before taking such steps we must keep in mind the unique conditions of these areas, which are the gift of nature and therefore, we should promote natural farming in those areas,” he said, as per an official release. (IANS)

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