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Wrestling icon Sushil selfless ahead of Rio Olympics

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photo credit: www.gg2.net

New Delhi: The only Indian to win two individual Olympic medals, Sushil Kumar says it does not matter whether he or Narsingh Pancham Yadav represents the country in the freestyle 74 kg wrestling competition at the 2016 Rio Olympics as long as either comes back with a medal.

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A sabbatical and a couple of injuries kept the 32-year-old out of action following the 2012 London Games, leading to youngster Narsingh to take up his spot and becoming a regular in the 74 kg category.

A mouth-watering clash was expected between the two at the July trials for the World Championships, but a shoulder injury forced Sushil out, allowing Narsingh an easy passage for the September 7-15 meet which will take place in Las Vegas.

“We were supposed to have a trial in 2014 also but it did not happen. My trial will be very difficult because I give a trial only when I am fit. The way I wrestle is known to everyone as we all train together, irrespective of the weight category,” Sushil told IANS in an interview.

“It will be great if Narsingh qualifies instead of me as over here, the country matters more than the individual. The one who does better will participate at the Olympics and earn the right to win a medal. If I say ‘no, only I will play’ and I am not fit, then there is no point.”

The only Indian to be crowned a World Champion, Sushil said that his shoulder has healed and he will soon leave for the United States where he will train for 2-3 months.

“The shoulder is fine now and I have joined full training. If possible, I might leave to train in the US in the middle of next month. I also may go to see the World Championships. After that I will stay there for 2-3 months for training,” said Sushil, who recently launched a foundation ‘Sushil4Sports’ to help injured athletes via BIG FM’s radio programme BIG Rakshak.

Even though he is not participating in the Worlds, the Delhi-born wished the others and also expects 2013 World Championships silver medallist Amit Kumar, Narsingh and Olympic bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt to do well.

“I expect the entire team to do well. They have prepared really well. Amit, Narsingh, Bajrang and Yogeshwar can all do well. Earlier we used to go to the Olympics or World Championships to participate; now we go to win medals. This has become a mindset now,” said Sushil, who won the freestyle 66 kg silver and bronze medals at the 2012 and 2008 Olympics respectively.

Following the footsteps of several other sports, the Pro Wrestling League (PWL) was also launched in July and will be held across various Indian cities. The two-time Commonwealth Games champion said that PWL will be beneficial for Indian amateur grapplers.

“When it comes to tournaments, the more you get, the better. And just before the Olympics, you are getting huge international exposure that too at home, which is great!” said the five-time Commonwealth Championships gold medalist.

“It will be very good. Top foreign wrestlers will come here so there will be a lot of exposure and good competition for our boys. The results of these things, you won’t get to know now but in the future when our boys perform well at the international level.”

Asked what keeps him going, Sushil replied: “Till the time you are fit and the desire is still burning, you should continue.”

He concluded by joking: “Aur kuch aata bhi to nahi hai (I hardly know anything else)”.

(IANS)

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Popular Social Networking Site Twitter Releases 2016 Trending Topics: Here is a List of Top 5!

One of the most popular topic was the virtual reality game Pokemon Go, Twitter said

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FILE - The Twitter logo appears on a screen in Ventura, California. VOA

December 7, 2016: Give the Rio Olympics a gold medal. The Summer Games hosted in Brazil generated the year’s most tweets for a single topic, according to Twitter.

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The microblogging site shared its list of 2016’s top five trending topics on Tuesday.

Next on the list was the hotly contested U.S. presidential election, which saw Republican Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The third most popular topic was the virtual reality game Pokemon Go, Twitter said.

At number four on the list was the Euro2016 soccer tournament, which saw Portugal take the title.

Rounding out the top five was the Oscars, which saw the movie “Spotlight” named best picture.

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Twitter also released the most popular tweets from around the world, including the simple “Limonada” (lemonade) tweet from a Spanish gamer known as elrubius. A post election tweet from Hillary Clinton was third on that list. In the tweet, she called on little girls to pursue their dreams.

While popular among some, Twitter has been facing headwinds, forcing layoffs and seeing the stock price tumble.

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In response, the company has has rolled out some changes to its service, including tweaking the 140-character limit.

Still, the company has seen its user base shrink as it struggles against social media giants Facebook and Snapchat. (VOA)

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Challenging the Stereotype: Malawi’s Female Football Referee Shines on Male-dominated Field

In 2013, Kwimbiri-Mzika scooped up the best referee accolade for the Confederation of African Football Elite ‘A' Referees course for males and females, held in Egypt

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Kwimbira-Mzika says that being in a male dominated profession she endures insults from soccer fans very time she goes on field. Image Courtsey:VOA
  • Kwimbira-Mzika’s became the first Malawian female referee to officiate at the Olympics in the Rio 2016 Olympics
  • She was voted the best assistant referee for Malawi’s top-level Super League last year
  • She says in a country where soccer officiating is dominated by men, she endures insults from soccer fans every time she steps on the field

In Malawi, a female football referee has been blazing new ground by officiating at major international contests, such as the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Bernadette Kwimbira-Mzika’s passion for refereeing started when she first attended football matches after joining the Malawian Army as a soldier 16 years ago.

“At that time, the only thing I knew about football was the offside thing,” she said, “when the assistant referee raises a flag and another referee blows a whistle and puts his arm up pointing other direction of the field. I was much interested in what the referees were doing.”

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A mother of two, Kwimbira-Mzika had to attend a refereeing course for beginners, where she earned a Grade 3 refereeing certificate.Now 35 years old and a secretary at the University of Malawi, Kwimbira-Mzika has been officiating matches for 14 years and has risen to the top of her field at both the local and international levels.

This year, Kwimbiri-Mzika became the first Malawian female referee to officiate at the Olympics. Last year, she became the first Malawian to referee at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, held in Canada.

Also last year, she was voted the best assistant referee for Malawi’s top-level Super League.

In 2013, Kwimbiri-Mzika scooped up a best referee accolade for the Confederation of African Football Elite ‘A’ Referees course for males and females, held in Egypt.

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“Of course I wanted to get far with football officiation,” she said. “But to be honest with you, there was not a single day I imagined myself officiating at the world’s biggest football events like the World Cup and the Olympics.”

She owes her success to her adherence to the rules of the game.

“As a good referee, you do not have to pretend as if you have not seen something when you have clearly seen it or [you do not have to] make your own rules,” Kwimbiri-Mzika said. “Where it requires a yellow card, you have to caution that player. Where it requires a send-off, you have to show that player a red card.”

She says that, as a female football referee in a country where soccer officiating is dominated by men, she endures insults from soccer fans every time she steps on the field.”I do not give it a damn,” she says in response.

Madalitso Phiri, a sports editor at privately-owned Capital radio, says he has long followed Kwimbira-Mzika’s officiating.

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“I cannot remember any games that have ended in any kind of controversy,” he said, “so this speaks volumes that this lady knows what she does.”

Kwimbira-Mzika says it is her wish to maintain her reputation as a good referee until she retires, probably in about five years. (VOA)