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An eventful 2016 ahead for Indian Sports

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New Delhi: With a host of big-ticket events coming up, Indian sports is looking forward to an eventful and hopefully a successful year in 2016.

First lined up is the World Twenty20 which starts in March. Since the tournament will be held in India, the men in blue will enjoy the home advantage. Keeping the World T20 in mind, the selectors named several youngsters in the squad for this month’s Australian tour.

The Supreme Court-appointed three-member committee led by Justice Rajendra Mohan Lodha has come up with a host of far-reaching suggestions intended to clean up cricket administration in the country. If the apex court decides to implement those proposals, it could lead to a drastic change in Indian cricket as far as administration is concerned.

Tennis fans will also follow with keen interest the exploits of the star women’s doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis. Sania won a total of 10 doubles titles in 2015, of which nine were with the Swiss superstar. Their list of conquests included a couple of Grand Slam tournaments in the Wimbledon and US Open.

It will be interesting to see how the celebrated duo’s fortunes shape up this year.

Since 2016 is an Olympic year, the focus will also be on the Indian men’s doubles and mixed doubles combinations at Rio. Sania is expected to partner the evergreen Leander Paes in the mixed doubles event.

The men’s doubles combination saw a lot of controversy in 2012, with estranged partners Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi bickering over their preferred choice of partners. Paes had wanted the big serving Rohan Bopanna as a partner, but the latter decided to team up with Bhupathi.

The ominous rumblings of a possible showdown are being felt this time as well, with Paes declaring that he would like to have Bopanna as a partner in Rio. But Bopanna does not seem to be too keen this time as well. Paes wants to play a few tournaments with Bopanna to get into the groove ahead of the Olympics, but the Bangalore lad does not seem too keen.

The Indian football team’s fortunes, meanwhile, gradually downslided to the point that it had reached its nadir, ranked 173rd in the world, its lowest ever, but somehow partially ended on a smiling note when they claimed a come-from-behind 2-1 victory against defending champions Afghanistan in the SAFF Cup to stretch their dominance in the regional tournament to seven triumphs.

It was particularly gladdening for under-fire coach Stephen Constantine whose job was on the line following the country’s worst ever World Cup record in qualifiers, losing five of the six matches, to be the bottom of its group.

The triumph gave some much required breathing space to the Englishman, in his second stint in charge, but it was the only short change for his team’s disgraceful 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

He kept hogging the limelight not so much for the team’s performance, but more for his controversial comments on the country needing Players of Indian Origin (PIO) to even compete with minuscule states like Guam and ruing the absence of any “football culture”.

He also stoked a major fire demanding less importance be given to the glamorous Indian Super League (ISL) for lengthy national preparatory camps only to be shot down by the AIFF president Praful Patel, who is reportedly not much impressed with his loud mouthiness and excuse-ready habit even though the status of ISL and the I-League is still unclear with rumours of a potential merger doing the rounds.

But the biggest event of the year, which a majority of sports fans around the world look forward to, is the Olympics – the greatest show on earth.

India bagged a total of six medals at the London Olympics in 2012 and there are fervent hopes that the tally rises this time round.

The shooters have consistently brought glory to India over the years and are expected to be on target at Rio as well. Apurvi Chandela – one of seven Indians to have already qualified for the Games – has already sounded a warning to her opponents by setting a new world record on her way to the gold medal in the women’s 10-metre air rifle event at the Swedish Cup Grand Prix last Tuesday.

Among the men, former Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra (10m air rifle), the experienced Gagan Narang (50m rifle prone) and the very talented army shooter Jitu Rai (50m pistol) will be the prime contenders.

Apart from shooting and tennis, one of the biggest medal hopes for the country will be the wrestlers. Indian grapplers created history at the London Olympics in 2012 by bagging two medals – silver and a bronze – thanks to Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt respectively. Recurrence of form and injury permitting both could result in these medals being their last.

Narsingh Yadav bagged a quota place for the 74kg category at the World Championships last year. He will take on Sushil in the national trials later in the year to decide India’s representative in the category.

Like Sushil, Yogeshwar has limited his competition schedule due to a chronic knee injury. The 33-year-old has been unstoppable in almost every bout he has played recently. If he is fit for the Olympics, Yogeshwar can prove to be a definite candidate for a medal. (photo courtesy: http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/)(IANS)

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Landmark Event: Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand becomes the First Indian Woman to qualify in 100m race for 2016 Rio Olympics

Dutee Chand becomes the first Indian woman to qualify for women's 100m race in Olympics.

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Dutee Chand. Image Source : www.mid-day.com
  • Dutee ran 11:30 seconds in the women’s heats and ran 11:24 seconds in the Kazaksthan Meet
  • Resident of a small village in Odisha, Dutee had to face a lot of shortcomings on her way to success
  •  In 2014, she had been dropped and banned from the Commonwealth Games because her testosterone levels were higher than the permissible level in women athletes

Dutee Chand created history on the women’s 100m racing track, when she qualified for the Rio Olympics, in Almaty. She became the first woman athlete of India to qualify for this event of the Olympics.  The 20 year old athlete ran 11:30 seconds in the women’s heats and further bettered it when she ran 11:24 seconds in the Kazaksthan Meet. Last April, she had missed the Federation Cup in New Delhi, by one-hundredth of a second. Since then she has toiled day and night to reach where she is today.

Resident of a small village in Odisha, Dutee had to face a lot of shortcomings on her way to success. She not only overcame financial problems but she shattered the social construct that dares to ignore the women that want to pursue sports. She is an inspiration for all young athletes and women, all over India.  In 2014, she had been dropped and banned from the Commonwealth Games because her testosterone levels were higher than the permissible level in women athletes. Last year, in 2015, she fought and won this case which served as her return ticket to her international career.

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P.T. Ush.ina. Image Source : www.speedstar
P.T. Ush.ina. Image Source : www.speedstar

After qualifying for the Olympics, her elder sister was the first one to get a text message from her. She was so surprised that she could not believe it for a good few minutes. Finally, when she did, she was overjoyed and immediately informed her relatives, who in turn, would inform their parents. Her entire family celebrated her achievement.

Dutee had told DNA, she was glad that she had been able to live up to the expectations of her folks. They had prayed and prayed for her to qualify. She was grateful of her coach, N. Ramesh, who had spent tireless hours trying to improve her skills.

“I could qualify for the Olympics due to blessings of a lot of people. I want to thank Sports Authority of India, Sports Ministry, and Athletics Federation of India for their support. I will continue to work hard and hope to bring a medal for the country,” she had said to the dnaindia.com.

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An image of 2012 Olympic Games. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons.
An image of 2012 Olympic Games. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons.

After P.T. Usha, Dutee Chand is the second woman of Indian origin to take part in the women’s 100m race in Olympics. First woman to qualify in doing so because during Usha’s time there were no qualifying rounds held for the Olympic Games. Over all, till this day, 4 women athletes have taken part in the 100 m race of the Olympic sport, namely Nilima Ghosh, Mary D’Souza , P.T. Usha and Mary Leela Rao. Now, Dutee Chand will follow in their footsteps.

We are extremely proud of her efforts and her achievement and hope that she is successful in attaining her dream and bringing back an Olympic medal.

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2 responses to “Landmark Event: Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand becomes the First Indian Woman to qualify in 100m race for 2016 Rio Olympics”

  1. Its good to see that despite all the obstacles in her path, she moved forward to where she is today. There are more challenges ahead, and hope she overcomes them with ease and rises to the top.

  2. Dutee Chand would make us proud! Good that women from small villages have reached at such heights