Indian sports fan have a lot to cheer about. While on one hand the Men in blue are mercilessly routing opponents in the cricket World Cup, Saina Nehwal has entered the women’s singles final of the All England Open Badminton Championships.
Saina became the first Indian in 14 years to reach the final of the All England Open Badminton Championships after defeating China’s Sun Yu in straight sets 21-13, 21-13.
Sania, who defeated her archenemy and former world champion, Wang Yihan of China on Friday, piled a straight set victory on China’s Sun Yu in 50 minutes at the Barclaycard Arena.
The third seed became the first Indian woman to enter the summit clash of the prestigious $500,000 tournament. Before her, only Pullela Gopichand and Prakash Padukone have won the tournament till date.
New Delhi, Dec 22: A day after being forced to leave the Rajya Sabha without making his debut speech, batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar on Friday took to social media to speak on the overall environment of sports in India.
In a video posted on his social media accounts, Tendulkar praised the northeast in particular for having a ‘vibrant sporting culture’, saying India must move on from being a ‘sport-loving’ nation to ‘sport-playing’ nation.
“It is my endeavour to transform India from being a sport loving nation to a sport playing nation. I urge you all to participate in this effort and help make my dream, our dream. Always remember, dreams do come true! Jai Hind,” the cricket icon said.
“Sport has a unique way of building the nation, it builds character for individuals which means character for India.”
“From being the naughty child to chasing the dream to win the World Cup for India, I became more disciplined and more focussed. I had a goal and I started planning for it.
“But the most important aspect was the execution of those plans, not always did I succeed. There were occasions where I failed but sports taught me to get back on my feet again and compete in the fiercest possible manner,” he said.
The Bharat Ratna awardee highlighted the likes of Dipa Karmakar, Bhaichung Bhutia, M.C. Mary Kom, L.Sarita Devi, and Mirabai Chanu as examples of the north east’s excellence in sports.
It is my endeavour to transform India from being a sport loving nation to a sport playing nation. I urge you all to participate in this effort and help make my dream, our dream. Always remember, dreams do come true! Jai Hind🇮🇳 https://t.co/h6l3Iq5lHT
“The north east of India, which has only four percent of the total population has a vibrant sporting culture. It has produced many sporting heroes including our boxing icon Mary Kom. Sports promote social harmony,” he said.
The master blaster also hailed the parents and coaches of Rio Olympics medallists duo of shuttler P.V. Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik and other women sporting stars like shuttler Saina Nehwal and cricketer Mithali Raj for encouraging them to take up sports.
“Daughters of India have shown what they are capable of with champions like Sindhu, Sakshi, Saina, Sania (Mirza), Mithali and the list goes on and on. When dreams don’t discriminate then why do we?
“I want to appreciate their parents, family members, their coaches, their friends for helping and encouraging them and that is the only reason they have reached here.
“My message to parents is to give equal support and encouragement to their daughters and sons and they will make them proud,” the little master said.
“Before the Olympics or a major sporting event, our expectations go sky-rocketing. I realise that things are changing for the good and that we have adopted long-term approach on preparation,” he added.
Earlier, on Thursday, Tendulkar was supposed to speak on ‘Right to Play and the Future of Sports in India’ in the Upper House but he wasn’t able to as the house was adjourned after Congress members disrupted proceedings over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark against his predecessor Manmohan Singh and the 2G scam.
Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu Naidu urged the Congress members to allow the legendary batsman to speak but to no avail. IANS