Aussies rule the pool as SA join the party too

first_imgThe swimming quartet of Virdhawal Khade, Anshul Kothari, Arjun Jayaprakash and Aaron D’Souza made history on Monday by becoming the first Indian men’s team to qualify for the 4x100m relay final at the Commonwealth Games.But the team failed to improve on its performance in the final and finished in sixth- place while the Australian swimmers stamped their authority to grab three of the five gold medals at stake.The Indian quartet clocked 3.27.14 seconds in the 4x100m final, which was won by the Australian team with a Commonwealth Games record.Khade, who will shoulder the burden of a majority of India’s hopes, said he was satisfied with the performance but pointed out that he did not exert himself entirely. ” It was good to be become the first Indian team to qualify for the finals and we qualified sixth which is reasonably well,” said the Kolhapur swimmer after the final.”I didn’t give my 100 per cent because our aim was to qualify and we did that,” he added.A reasonable decision considering Khade will be in action again on Tuesday in the 50m butterfly and will compete in four other categories in the following days.But the Olympian expects to come up with better performances in the 100m freestyle and the 100m butterfly which he believes would be his best opportunities for glory.”I am feeling better although I have five more events left in the competition. I will do all that I can but I believe the 100m butterfly and the 100m freestyle are the two events in which I can do better.” Most of the other Indians in the fray found the going really tough against a star- studded field. Badrinath Melkote (27.26 sec) and Subha Chittranjan ( 30.00 sec) managed to reach the semi- finals of the men’s 50m backstroke and the women’s 50m butterfly respectively, but lacked the experience and the expertise to push ahead.advertisementAustralian Olympic champion Kylie Palmer started the flurry of medals as she eclipsed both the Games record and her personal best to tough home in 1.57.50 sec in the 200m freestyle to grab the first gold medal for her team.Palmer finished ahead of Wales’ Jazz Carlin ( 1.58.29 sec) and England’s Rebecca Adlington whose late surge helped her clock in at 1.58.47 sec.In the men’s 400m freestyle, it turned out to be a thrilling finish with Australian Ryan Napolean just falling short of the pole position as Canadian Ryan Cochrane’s late charge saw him move ahead – a lead he maintained to finish first with a timing of 3.48.48 sec.Napolean ( 3.48.59 sec), who was slapped with a three- month ban for testing positive for a banned substance earlier this year, had to remain content with a secondplace finish ahead of Scotland’s Darry Carry ( 3.50.06sec).Alicia Couts brought home the second gold for Australia in the record time of 2.09.7 sec in the women’s 200m individual medley.Emily Seebohm, 18, of Australia grabbed the silver medal while Canadian Julia Wilkinson ( 2.12.09sec) came in third.South African Chad Guy Detrand Le Clos made the most of the absence of Australian Nick D’Arcy, who failed to qualify for the 200m butterfly final, and broke the Games record clocking in at 1.56.48sec to win the gold, while Englishman Michael Rock ( 1.57.15sec) and Canadian Stefan Hirniak ( 1.57.26sec) followed him in the second and third place respectively. In the 4x100m final for men’s relay, Australia clinched the gold, while England came in second.last_img read more

What makes a Player great?

first_imgIn the highly competitive sports environment, microscopic differences can separate winners from losers. Our very own P.T. Usha is a classic example. But at the very top there are champions who set new standards and raise sports to new levels. What makes Bob Beamon, Robert Hayes or Nadia Comaneci with,In the highly competitive sports environment, microscopic differences can separate winners from losers. Our very own P.T. Usha is a classic example. But at the very top there are champions who set new standards and raise sports to new levels. What makes Bob Beamon, Robert Hayes or Nadia Comaneci with a perfect 10, great?Athletes train at the Games Village.What is the difference between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant? Or is there a difference? The criteria for greatness may differ from person to person. Some may find greatness in defining moments, while others judge it on pure athletic ability. But the fact remains that they are all great athletes. They all have several traits common in them and they define greatness. An athlete can truly be considered “great” if they have the ability and the rare combination of athletic and statistical dominance, the ability to transcend the game and a set of mental tangibles that not only creates success on the field but off it as well.It is through dominance in the field that one enters this arena of “great athletes”. Great athletes need to have the winning psyche, the ability to win.The ability to become bigger than the sport itself and move into the realm of popular culture makes a great athlete. Look at Sachin Tendulkar. Jordan was not just a great player but also a great endorser for different products and the amount of publicity these athletes derive correlates with their skills, which allow the athlete to be known to the masses.advertisementWhat makes an athlete great comes with more than just success on the field. There is much more to a great athlete than just putting up good numbers. The great players are the ones who come through in the clutch, the ones who find ways to beat the “better team”, the ones who find ways to win the big games. The ones who don’t cheat and are sensible off the field. Other tangibles are equally significant: desire, determination, perseverance, focus, work ethic, vision, poise and character. Great athletes exude confidence with a dash of humility even when they are just warming up.(The author is an Olympian athlete)last_img read more

Saina reclaims career-high 2nd spot in world rankings

first_imgAce Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal, who had a disappointing Asian Games campaign ending up without a medal, rose a rung to reclaim her career-high second spot after 13 weeks in the latest Badminton World Federation rankings.Saina, who crashed out of the Asian Games in the quarterfinals, has 63211.2637 points in the recent list released by BWF.China’s Xin Wang held on to the top spot with 66152.4017 points.Another Chinese, Yihan Wang, occupied the third spot with 62488.9106 points.Denmark’s Tine Baun (60400.0982) is fourth with Chinese Shixian Wang (60400.0982) completing the top-five.last_img read more

Sachin Tendulkar’s ODI 200 find place in Times magazine

first_imgIconic Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s record-breaking one-day International double century has found a place in the Times magazine’s top 10 sports moments of the year.”Certain sports milestones seem simply unreachable: In cricket, it’s the one-day double-hundred: no man had ever produced 200 runs for his team during a one-day international match,” ‘The Times’ said.”In February, however, India’s Sachin Tendulkar, the greatest run scorer of all-time, hit the magic milestone against a powerful South African squad.”Tendulkar smacked three “sixes” the cricket equivalent of a home run during his epic performance, and the build up to 200 was exhilarating.”When he reached 199, the home crowd in Gwalior waved Indian flags, and roared, knowing they were about to witness history. The diminutive Tendulkar, dubbed “The Little Master,” slapped a single past the South African fielders. The world’s 1.5 billion cricket fans had a moment they’d never forget,” it said.last_img read more

The Lawn And Short Of It

first_imgRamesh Krishnan, 49 It has been 45 years since I first picked up a tennis racquet and a lot has changed since then. The game now carries a new name. It used to be called Lawn Tennis but ‘lawn’ has fallen by the wayside. Though the premier tennis tournament, Wimbledon,,Ramesh Krishnan, 49It has been 45 years since I first picked up a tennis racquet and a lot has changed since then. The game now carries a new name. It used to be called Lawn Tennis but ‘lawn’ has fallen by the wayside. Though the premier tennis tournament, Wimbledon, is still played on lawn (grass), there are very few grass courts left in the world. Wimbledon is holding on to this tradition very dearly.One of the proudest moments in my life was when I won the Wimbledon’s junior title in 1979, a feat achieved by my father Ramanathan Krishnan in 1954. I also won the French Open junior title the same year and was ranked the No. 1 junior player in the world. At the senior level, I reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon once (1986) and the US Open twice (1981 and 1987). In 1985, I became World No. 23, my career-high singles ranking.I was also fortunate to be part of the Indian team which reached the Davis Cup final in 1987. In the semi-finals against Australia, I beat John Fitzgerald in four sets in the opening singles match and then defeated Wally Masur in straight sets in the decisive fifth rubber to give India a 3-2 victory. Sadly, I could not repeat my semi-finals performance in the final and we lost to Sweden 5-0. I represented India in the Davis Cup from 1977 to 1993 compiling a 29-21 winning record. In 2007, I captained India in the Davis Cup.The last time we had a meaningful national championship was in 1976. It is imperative that the best players in the nation support our tournament.advertisement- Ramesh KrishnanIn the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, I teamed up with Leander Paes and reached the men’s doubles quarter-finals. Paes fulfilled our dream of winning an Olympic medal for the country by winning a bronze in the men’s singles in the next Olympics at Atlanta in 1996.Coming back to Indian tennis, India had one of its high points in tennis in 1966, reaching the challenge round (final round) of Davis Cup at a time when Australia and the usa dominated the scene. Three of the four major tennis tournaments were on grass. Naturally the playing technique and styles revolved around grass court tennis-short points, a net rushing style and a premium on the serve and volley game. India was also comfortably placed on the tennis map. Our male players were well recognised around the world and we were the top tennis nation in Asia. The colonial connection stood us in good stead. India had plenty of grass courts and we had a thriving tournament circuit starting from November till April. Not only did all the top Indian players participate but we were also able to attract a lot of excellent foreign talent. And the costs were not very high.Tennis was very much a northern hemisphere sport and the main season was from April to August. Come September, a lot of players put away their racquet till next April. Those who were keen to play during that period had to follow the sun. South Africa, because of its apartheid policy was not universally accepted in the tennis fraternity and tennis was not yet popular in South America. So the main destination was Australia, and for those not interested in travelling all that distance, India was a perfect alternative.For an Indian kid coming through the ranks, things could not have been more ideal. There was plenty of good competition right at our doorstep. It did not cost a lot to travel. Once you got to your destination, all expenses were taken care of. You did not need your parents to accompany you. Life was a whole lot simpler. And if you showed good enough results in the Indian tournaments, you were given a summer trip to continental Europe by the All India Tennis Association. Typically, this meant a quick stop at London to have a look at the Mecca of tennis. And it was off to Belgium or Holland for eight weeks of competitions. This was a very important step in our development as tennis players. The slow clay courts in Europe meant that the ball stayed in to play a lot longer. The European players were fit and you were in for a battle. We got ourselves much fitter. Added to this, the long summer days in Europe ensured we all came back as much better players. The next step was to find a spot in the Davis Cup Team.But nothing ever stays the same; 1968 was a watershed year in international tennis. Tennis became ‘open’ meaning amateurs and professionals were allowed to participate together in grand slam tournaments (till 1968, professionals were barred from the grand slam tournaments). By 1973, the Davis Cup was also open to professional players and the change was complete. Australia, which was a leading nation, lost out overnight when all their stalwarts migrated to the us. Since tennis had become a business, the northern hemisphere tennis season began to be extended and when it became too cold to play outdoors, indoor arenas came into existence. This was a death knell for a country like India. All this while, we had capitalised on good weather conditions and all of a sudden this became irrelevant. The overseas players stopped coming to India and pretty soon, the top Indian players also stopped playing in India. All of a sudden, it was costing you a lot more to spend more time playing in major tennis centres. You did not have the luxury of finding out right in your backyard how good or how not-good you were. In 1975, the us Open Championships dug up their grass courts and the Australian Open followed suit in 1988. The move from lawn tennis to tennis was complete.advertisementFast forward to 2010 and things here have been allowed to drift for too long. The last time we had a meaningful national championship was way back in 1976. It is imperative that the best players in the nation support our tournament. Maybe we could start with one event and build forward. As far as the women are concerned, I thought we were all set for a boom a few years ago. This was the time Sania Mirza had all those good results. I could see a lot of positive energy amongst the girls and their parents. But sadly, this has not translated into any player coming through.Ramesh Krishnan is a former Indian tennis player with a career-high singles ranking of World No. 23Leander PaesI was a privileged child. After all, how many people can boast of parents who are both Olympians? My father Vece Paes represented India in hockey in the 1972 Munich Olympics, while my mother Jennifer Paes was part of the basketball team at the same. The bronze medal my father won at Munich has been a constant source of inspiration for me. For me, my dream was to take part in the Olympics and tennis provided me that opportunity.Strange as it may sound, but I wanted to be a footballer initially. I don’t know why, but when I was around five, I changed my mind and decided to embrace the game of tennis. The first major victory for me came when I beat my father for the first time. I was only nine then. What a feeling to beat your idol.Initially I faced a lot of obstacles. Many advised me to change my sport. There were issues with infrastructure, but I never complained. I believe in looking for solutions rather than cribbing about problems, For instance, if I don’t have access to a gymnasium, I would use a suitcase for weight training. If there is no hard court, I will practice on clay.advertisementBut things have changed. Today, the infrastructure is much better and there are a lot of opportunities for youngsters. But then that’s the way of life. I did not face financial hardships while pursuing my game; that part was taken care of by my father. I signed my first sponsorship deal after winning the Wimbledon Junior title. I was 12 and Prince Racquet became my first sponsor.I believe in looking for solutions rather than complaining, If I don’t have access to gymnasium, I would use a suitcase for weight training.- Leander PaesI had a great beginning as I won both Wimbledon and the US Open as a junior and went on to become World No. 1 in the junior rankings. The game has changed a lot since then. It has become sedate. The surfaces are now slower. I had to make changes. I’m a serve-and-volley player. Look at today’s top 100 players. There are 15 Spaniards among them and they are all baseliners. That’s not my game at all.I have rarely played for personal achievements. I play for sheer enjoyment. And my performance improves by leaps and bounds when I play for the country. Look at my Davis Cup record. I have been a member of the squad since 1990 and have an 84-31 career record in 45 ties (48-22 in singles). Along with Mahesh Bhupathi, I won 22 straight doubles Davis Cup matches. And then the bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, undoubtedly my most memorable victory. My wrist was badly injured, but the simple fact that I was vying for my country kept me motivated.There are many other sweet achievements. I have never lost to Pete Sampras; in fact, I beat him four times. After winning the Wimbledon Mixed Doubles title with Cara Black in 2010, I became the first male tennis player since Rod Laver to win any Wimbledon title in three different decades. It’s a rare honour to be in Laver’s league.I switched to competing more in doubles as it suited my game. I have enjoyed playing with all of my doubles partner and they all have their unique strengths and weaknesses. Although I don’t play professional tennis any more with Bhupathi, we still team up for the country, the last instance being the cwg in Delhi. Whether we play together or not, Bhupathi has always been a great friend. We would be the happiest when two other Indians break our records.The future of Indian tennis looks very promising with several youngsters doing so well. They have access to world-class infrastructure, good coaching institutes and a very positive environment. There is no dearth of talent, what we need now is an action plan to create a World No. 1 at the senior level. Among today’s players I think Somdev Devvarman, Rohan Bopanna, Yuki Bhambri and Sanam Singh have the potential to succeed at the highest level. Among the women players, Sania Mirza stands out. She has not only inspired many others to take up the racquet, but has also increased corporate involvement in the game.Who is my favourite tennis player? I admire Ramesh Krishnan a lot. I was fortunate to partner with him in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Among current players, I think, Roger Federer is the best. He is the best role model for youngsters. It’s very important for youngsters not to get carried away. One must not lose focus on the game. They can learn from our cricketing superstars how to maintain balance between glamour and the game. I believe our youngsters are mature enough to cope with the external influences or distractions, as some may like to call it.Leander Paes has won 12 Grand Slam titles in doubles events, the highest by an Indian playerlast_img read more

Australia raises unpaid CWG bills with Krishna

first_imgThe Australian government on Thursday raised with India the non-payment of bills to its companies by the Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee (OC).Australia’s Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd took up the issue with his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna in Melbourne. Krishna assured Rudd that the matter would be taken up soon.According to reports, some Australian companies have been preparing a lawsuit against the CWG OC over millions of dollars that were allegedly not paid.”It has been brought to my notice and I would go back to India and take it up with the sports ministry,” Krishna said after his meeting with Rudd. He did not give any timeframe for resolving the matter, but the Australian minister expressed satisfaction over the assurance.”We are comfortable about the Indian government’s response… These matters are well in hand,” Rudd said.Referring to the Australian companies, Rudd said the private contractual arrangement made by these companies was a responsibility of the CWG authority. He said the government would work with the companies to ensure that they got their payments.Earlier, the Australian media had reported that events organiser and Sydney Olympics maestro Ric Birch had commissioned a law firm to draw up a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Delhi Games organisers. The lawsuit would involve at least four of Australia’s biggest major event firms, including his company.According to reports, Australian Commonwealth Games Association CEO Perry Crosswhite said the association was one of the 30 or 40 Games bodies from around the world that had dues pending with the CWG OC.advertisement- With agency inputslast_img read more

London Olympics: Bigger test ahead for Men’s hockey team

first_imgIndia coach Michael Nobbs piloted the hockey team’s return to Olympics in February this year and he now embarks upon another challenge to gauge the level of preparation of his wards for the London Games.The Indian men’s team leaves for London on Friday to participate in the four-nation Olympic test event which has three of the world’s top outfits, including Australia.With Australia, Great Britain and Germany in the fray, India’s chances do look bleak but the eight- time Olympic champions could not have asked for a better opportunity to test their strength ahead of the Olympics.The matches will be played on bluecoloured pitches at the Riverbank Arena in London from May 2 to 6 and although India would have done better to get accustomed to the nature of the new turfs, Nobbs believes there’s still time for the team to make adjustments.”Preparations have been as expected and as planned. The Olympic test event will be an opportunity for us to play on the blue pitches although the other participating teams have been practising on them for the last six months,” Nobbs told Mail Today on Thursday.The Indian team was to practice on the blue- coloured pitches in Jalandhar but the Sports Authority of India (SAI) couldn’t get it ready in time.However, playing against some of the best teams in the world and in the same venue which will host the hockey matches in Olympics would serve as an ideal opportunity.”David John (team physio) and I have been planning everything for the last eight months and the results have been very positive. The fitness of the players has been improving. Now the question is how good we are and the test event will tell us that,” said Nobbs.advertisement”We have got nothing to lose as compared to the other teams who would be expected to do better. But of course, that doesn’t mean we will take it easy and allow us to be driven by those teams.”The level of competition would be high with Australia, which probably will win the gold at the Olympics, and then the other two teams will fight it out for the next two spots.”Over the past few months, Nobbs has been rotating and experimenting players at various positions and has not shied away from taking some hard decisions which saw the ageing Rajpal Singh and Arjun Halappa being kept out of the Olympic qualifiers.However, he justified his decision after the Indian team qualified for the Olympics.The test event will again see India rotating the players and Nobbs hopes to iron out the deficiencies. India have rested Ignace Tirkey, who played a pivotal role in the midfield during the qualifiers, for the tournament and Nobbs does not want to put too much pressure on the 30- year- old’s body.”Ignace is not getting younger and we didn’t want him to be overworked. He will be back for the Azlan Shah tournament which will be another important tournament for us.”last_img read more

Making Delhi the cleanest city on top of CM’s wishlist

first_imgWith the Capital set to go for the assembly polls late next year, people can look forward to several bigticket projects in the coming months.In her Independence Day address at Chhatrasal stadium, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday said, she was particularly optimistic that the monorail project in East Delhi will roll out within next few months.”One of our main targets is to make Delhi one of the greenest and cleanest metro cities in the world,” Dikshit said. She also hoped that her government would be able to “further improve” the city’s infrastructure, education sector and the sports infrastructure.She also added that the people of Delhi can look forward to regularisation of at-least 900 unauthorised colonies.In her speech, Dikshit also praised the state government and the improvements in the state’s infrastructure in the last few years.last_img read more

TNEA Results 2014: Rank List available at

first_imgTNEA (Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions) merit list has been declared by Anna University, Chennai. In order to view the TNEA ranks, the candidates are required to insert their application number and date of birth at the following link: 2014 witnessed around 1.74 lakh candidates this year, out of which 92,731 students (59,427 male; 33,304 female) are first graduates and will be eligible for tuition fee waiver.The candidates are ranked based on the aggregate mark or cut-off mark. The ranked candidates will be grouped into counseling sessions ordered by rank and in turn each counseling session will be ordered rank wise. The candidates might get a tie due to similar aggregate marks. In such cases, the tie would be broken in following manner:If two candidates have the same aggregate marks, the candidate with higher Maths mark will be ranked above;If the Maths Mark is same, then a higher Physics mark would break the tie;If the Maths and Physics mark are same, then the Chemistry mark would be eventually same. The fourth optional subject mark would break the tie;If the fourth optional subject marks are also same then the candidate’s date of birth will be considered. Elder candidate gets the benefit of being ranked above;If the date of birth is also same, then a 10-digit random number assigned to each candidate decides the ranking. A candidate with the highest random number will be ranked above the other.Based on the ranks, the candidates will be called for counseling. A call letter containing the date of counseling for the particular candidate for allotment of seats will be sent to the communication address. Sports rank for the same is scheduled to be released tomorrow i.e. June 17. The academic general counseling is to begin on June 27 and will come to an end on July 28.Important Dates (Counseling):advertisementFor eminent sports persons: June 23 and June 24For differently-abled persons: June 25Commencement of academic general counseling: June 27For vocational candidates: July 9 to July 20End of academic general counseling: July 28last_img read more