Guwahati: The 12th South Asian Games on Tuesday suffered a jolt with the organisers deciding to cancel the basketball event following the world governing body FIBA’s decision to de-recognise the event on the ground of interference from the government and Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
Games Chief Executive Officer and Sports Authority of India Director General Injeti Srinivas told reporters that a solution could not be reached to end the impasse and it was decided to scrap the discipline.
“We tried to sort the issues out and suggested different options like going ahead with the event and give away medals without the results going into record books. But there was no response from some quarter. So we have decided not to go ahead with basketball. It will not be held now,” he said at the media briefing.
The event was to start on February 11.
He said the issue arose due to different stands taken by different quarters.
Left red-faced after FIBA de-recognised the sport from the 12th South Asian Games due to government interference, the organising committee was on a damage control mode, trying to find a feasible solution before the start of the event. (PTI)
By Nabarun Goswami
SHILLONG: The first Indian shuttler to win a Super Series Premier Men’s title, Kidambi Srikanth, is a name synonymous to badminton in India. It is his desire to win consistently that keeps India’s top-ranked shuttler among the men calm and composed during the on-court encounters.
Talking to The Shillong Times on the sidelines of the 12th South Asian Games here on Tuesday, the former world No. 3, who is arguably the most well-known name in Indian badminton after Saina Nehwal, revealed that he did not take badminton seriously during his early days.
“I took to it as a fun game, a time pass of sorts; but things took a dramatic turn when I joined the Gopichand Academy,” a candid Srikanth said.
As is known by now, there was no looking back for the lad from Andhra Pradesh who has risen from one level of excellence to another since then.
Srikanth felt that the China Open Super Series Premier win was the turning point of his career. Srikanth had beaten Lin Dan, his idol during his growing up years, 21-19, 21-17 in the 2014 China Open Super Series to announce his advent in the world badminton scene.
Having achieved that fame and much more since then, the young shuttler has now his eyes set on an Olympic medal which he terms as the biggest honour for any player.
“There are two months to go for the cut off (for Olympics) and though I am almost in, my aim would be to perform consistently in the next 6-7 tournaments to secure myself a good draw,” said Srikanth.
After a flawless performance in the men’s team event, Srikanth made it to the semis of the men’s singles on Tuesday. For him, playing in Shillong was a completely different experience thanks to the high altitude of the city.
Moreover, while many see the South Asian Games as a lesser event for Indian shuttlers in terms of competition and quality of play, Srikanth feels that it’s an honour and a matter of pride to be a part of the event in which the medals won are added to the country’s tally.
Guwahati/ SHILLONG: India plundered most of the gold on offer for a fourth successive day with swimmers, archers and track-and-field athletes ensuring that the host country’s top position on the medals tally remained unchallenged in the 12th South Asian Games here on Tuesday.
Continuing their terrific show, Indians took their overall medal count to 124 (78 gold, 36 silver and 10 bronze).
Holding on to the distant second spot were Sri Lanka with 84 medals, including 17 gold, 36 silver and 31 bronze medals.
The most stunning performance on Tuesday was by the swimmers, who swept 7 gold medals followed by track-and-field athletes and archers. The archers won all five golds of the day, while the athletes also won similar number of gold along with six silver and three bronze.
India also won both the men’s and women’s gold in volleyball after defeating Sri Lanka in both the finals.
In the last three days, Sri Lanka had been giving competition to the home country in swimming but on Tuesday it was the local favourites who ruled the roost at the Dr Zakir Hussain Aquatics Complex here.
Saurabh Sangvekar started the gold-winning streak for India, setting a new Games record of 3:58.84 seconds to win the 400m freestyle for men. V Malvika secured the gold in 400m freestyle for women, setting a new meet record of 4:30.08 minutes.
Sajan Prakash then bagged India’s third gold of the day and his fourth of the Games, by winning the 200m butterfly for men with a new record time of 2:03.02.
This was followed by Damini Gowda winning the gold in 200m butterfly in yet another Games record time of 2:21.12. PS Madhu, in 50m backstroke for men, also set a new record of 26.86 seconds.
The gold in 50m backstroke for women was clinched by Kimiko Raheem of Sri Lanka, setting a new record of 29.75 seconds.
Indians also won the gold in 4x200m freestyle for both men and women.
Before the swimmers, the archers had set the tone in the morning session in Shillong winning all the five gold medals up for grabs to take their overall count to 10 gold and 4 silver.
Indian women’s trio of Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Majhi and Bombayala Devi won the recurve Gold at Polo Grounds in the morning. The men’s team of Tarundeep Rai, Gurucharan Besra and Jayanta Talukdar followed suit soon.
India’s mixed pair of Rai and Deepika then added a second gold medal to their kitty, India’s third overall in recurve, while in the afternoon session, the recurve archers bagged two gold and as many silver in the all-Indian individual finals to sign off in style with grabbing all possible 10 gold medals and four silver.
The story was no different in the track-and-field arena on Tuesday.
Rio Olympics bound shot-putter Manpreet Kaur stole the limelight as Indians pocketed five gold medals on the opening day of the event.
India won five gold, six silver and three bronze in the nine events held at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium. Sri Lanka gave a tough fight to the home athletes by winning four gold, one silver and five bronze.
Kaur bagged the first gold of the day for India in the women’s shot put event. Neeraj Kumar bagged the second gold for India in men’s hammer throw with an effort of 66.14m. Mayookha Johny took the gold in women’s long jump by clearing 6.43m. Another Indian, G Shradha bagged the silver with an effort of 6.19m.
In both men’s and women’s 5000m races, Indians finished one- two.
But the Indians disappointed in the 100m dash of both men and women with the Sri Lankas running away with the honours.
Elsewhere, Indian lifters bagged one gold and a silver on the concluding day of weightlifting event to end their campaign with 12 golds and one silver.
Out of the 15 events in the weightlifting competition, Indians won gold in 13 and a silver in another to complete an overwhelmingly dominant performance.
The Indian men weightlifters bagged six gold and one silver out of eight events while their women counterparts won six gold out of seven on offer.
Sushila Panwar secured the lone gold medal for India today in women’s +75 kg category as she lifted a total of 198kg. In men’s +105 kg category, Gurdeep Singh finished in second place with a total lift of 345 kg.
The cyclists, on the other hand, notched up one gold, two silver and a bronze on the final day of competition. They grabbed six gold out of the overall eight, besides winning five silver and two bronze medals as well in the total count. In the women’s 80km individual road race, T Bidyaluxmi won the gold in 2 hours 30 minutes and 55.350 seconds.
Chirag Sharma added to India’s gold medal tally in Wushu competition by emerging champion in his event. (PTI)
Mirpur: Three-time champions India marched into their fifth ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup final with an emphatic 97-run win over Sri Lanka in the semifinals here on Tuesday.
India did well to reach 267/9 after a shaky start before putting up an impressive effort with the ball to dismiss Sri Lanka for 170 in 42.4 overs.
The batting stars were Anmolpreet Singh (72 off 92) and Sarfaraz Khan (59 off 71), who amassed his fourth fifty plus scores in five innings player in the tournament.
The three time champions now await either West Indies or hosts Bangladesh in the final to played on February 14.
Indians, put in to bat on an overcast morning, were put under pressure right away with its formidable opening pair of Rishabh Pant and Kishan falling cheaply to leave their team at 27/2 in the 10th over.
Batting was not easy but Anmolpreet and the in form Sarfaraz steadied the ship with a 96-run stand off 126 balls for the third wicket.
While Anmolpreet’s was a gritty 92-ball knock, power- hitter Sarfaraz too played a measured innings considering the circumstances.
Anmolpreet, who struck half a dozen fours and a six during his stay at the crease, stitched another handy 70-run partnership with Washington Sundar (43 off 45) after Sarfaraz’s departure.
India needed a move on in the last 10 overs and the late burst came courtesy Sundar and Armaan Jaffer, who smashed 29 off 16 balls before Mayank Dagar’s 17-run cameo off 10 balls took his team to a competitive total in a crunch match.
Defending the target, the Indian bowlers did not allow the Lankan chase to take off at all. (PTI)
SHILLONG: The Indian eves asserted their supremacy on the football field thereby justifying their tag of defending champions at the 12th South Asian Games on Tuesday when they beat Sri Lanka 5-0 at the JN Sports Complex, here.
The Indians were held to a goalless draw by Maldives in their last encounter but thanks to a stellar performance by Grace Dangmei on Tuesday, the host nation’s campaign has come back on track.
An own goal by Sri Lanka’s Hasara Dilrangi gave India the lead in the 23rd minute.
Dangmei proved to be instrumental throughout the 90 minutes, scoring two goals and providing a 60th minute assist to Kamala Devi who scored India’s fourth goal of the match.
The forward’s first goal came in added time of the first half after a scramble inside the box.
India, thus, took the break with a two-goal lead.
Crossing over, India continued to dominate proceedings putting the Lankan midfield and back line to the test.
A minute into the second half, Kamala Devi sent a cracker of a shot that smashed into the crossbar. Grace came back for her second goal in the 58th minute after finding an opening and slamming home a long range shot.
Two minutes later, she was once again in action, providing an assist to Kamala Devi who finished a comfortable tap in for India’s fourth goal.
In the 74th minute, Sri Lanka’s Hasara Dilrangi was handed a yellow card after bringing down Kamala inside the area.
Sasmita Malik took the penalty and placed the ball past Sri Lanka’s custodian A. Wijerathna for the fifth and final goal.
Meanwhile, in the first match of the day, Bangladesh beat Maldives 2-0 to make it two wins on the trot.
SHILLONG: A country ravaged by decades of internal war, poverty and mismanagement, Afghanistan has not had much to cheer about for years now.
However, the situation does not retain the right to deny the youngsters of that country their share of dreams and aspirations.
Participation is sometimes more important than winning. This is exactly true for war-torn Afghanistan which has sent a small 30-member contingent to India for the 12th South Asian Games.
Three male and two female members comprise the Afghan badminton squad, which also has a coach and an official.
Afghan shuttler Said Md Kabir Mirzad, who spoke on behalf of his coach who speaks only Pashtun, said that for the Afghan contingent, being able to participate in an event of the magnitude of South Asian Games meant a lot.
It was also a dream come true for the young Afghan shuttlers to rub shoulders with their famed Indian counterparts.
“We don’t have proper facilities back home, not even a proper place to play. Without expert trainers, we learn or take up skills from Youtube,” said Mirzad underlining the importance of this trip to India for the athletes.
In a country which has taboo over women taking up sports, Afghanistan boasts of two female shuttlers in their ranks. Zaiwab Yari and Lidaa Saraj represent the aspirations of the modern Afghan youngster who hopes against hope that the strife-torn society will someday make way for peace to prevail.
“It’s difficult for females to take to sports in our country, but luckily there are certain pockets where things are a bit better, and that’s where we thrive,” said the young Afghan shuttler.
Kings XI Punjab appoint Miller as skipper
Chandigarh: Kings XI Punjab, one of the eight competing franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL), on Tuesday appointed South African David Miller as their captain for Season 9 of the Twenty20 extravaganza. Miller has been associated with Kings XI since Season 4. “David Miller is one of the most talented and explosive players in contemporary cricket and we are so pleased that he has been an integral part of the team. We have complete faith in his capabilities and leadership skills and look forward to a successful season,” a Kings XI statement said. The 26-year-old middle-order batsman said: “I am honoured to lead the Kings XI Punjab squad this year. I would like to thank the franchise, promoters, management and all the team members for the confidence they have in me. Kings XI have assembled an exciting squad with a good mixture of youth and experience and I am really looking forward to the opportunity that lies ahead.” (IANS)
Smith replaces Finch as captain in Australia’s World T20 squad
Melbourne: Aaron Finch was replaced with Steve Smith as captain, while Test wicket-keeper Peter Nevill was included in place of Matthew Wade as Cricket Australia (CA) effected critical changes in its 15-member World T20 squad on Tuesday. National selector Rod Marsh said it was the right time for Smith to captain Australia in all three formats. Among other big changes, Australian Test wicket-keeper Nevill, who played for the Melbourne Renegades in the KFC Big Bash League will make his T20I debut. In line for their T20 International debuts are Perth Scorchers’ left-arm spinner Ashton Agar and Melbourne Stars’ leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who complement the right-arm off-spin of Glenn Maxwell. Finch (hamstring), Nathan Coulter-Nile (shoulder), and James Faulkner (hamstring) have all been named in the squad subject to fitness. Australia have never won the World T20 title, which is the only world title missing in their illustrious history. (Agencies)
English Premier League to have new logo from next season
London: The English Premier League will have a new logo which will be used from the 2016-17 season, the league’s managing director Richard Masters announced on Tuesday. Working in partnership with global agency DesignStudio and Robin Brand Consultants, the league has created a bold and vibrant identity that includes a modern take on the lion icon – a symbol that is part of the competition’s heritage – which is flexible in digital and broadcast formats. “From next season we will move away from title sponsorship and the competition will be known simply as the Premier League, a decision which provided the opportunity to consider how we wanted to present ourselves as an organisation and competition,” Masters was quoted as saying by the EPL website. (IANS)
Mumbai thrash Delhi 8-3 to stay alive in HIL semis race
New Delhi: Dabang Mumbai scored four field goals in the final quarter to register a stunning 8-3 victory as Delhi Waveriders suffered their fourth consecutive defeat in the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) at the Shivaji Hockey Stadium here on Tuesday. After Delhi took a 3-0 lead, thanks to Steven Edwards’ (22nd minute) field goal, counted as two in this edition of the HIL, and Rupinder Pal Singh’s ninth set-piece goal of the campaign in the 39th minute, Mumbai turned it around through Danish Mujtaba (49th), Nilakanta Sharma (52nd) and a brace from unheralded Manpreet (57th and 58th). With their third straight win, Australian legend Jay Stacy-coached Mumbai jumped to the fourth spot with 19 points from seven matches, pushing down Uttar Pradesh Wizards (18 points from seven matches) and Delhi Waveriders (17 points from eight matche) to the fifth and sixth spots respectively. (IANS)
SHILLONG, Feb 09: The State wing of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday said that the Ministry of Development of North East Region (DoNER) will not sanction any new projects for Meghalaya until and unless the state produces utilization certificates for previously sanctioned projects.
SHILLONG, Feb 09: The National People’s Party (NPP) on Tuesday alleged that Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma is delaying the matter of the nominated member of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) because the latter is insecure.
Claiming that the NPP is growing from strength to strength, its West Garo Hills District Committee president Dr Jimmy Momin said that this has resulted in Dr. Sangma feeling a sense of insecurity.
SHILLONG, Feb 09: The implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) will soon begin in the state as per what was informed by the Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Minister, Clement Marak on Tuesday.
“We are ready to implement the NFSA in the state from this month onwards,” Marak said during a press conference at the Main Secretariat in the city.
SHILLONG, Feb 09: The proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council on Tuesday has welcomed the initiative of the Meghalaya Government to bring about lasting peace with the outfit through the recommendation of names of interlocutors for peace talks.
“We welcome the step of the state government and we also assure that we shall leave no stone unturned to make the peace process a success,” HNLC publicity secretary, Sainkupar Nongtraw said in a press communiqué issued here on Tuesday.
SHILLONG, Feb 09: The city is experiencing efficient management of road traffic, parking, lane driving besides an overhaul attire of the traffic cops who manages them since Friday last, thanks to the 12th South Asian Federation Games underway in Shillong along with neighbouring Guwahati. The roads in the city, which many say, have gone worse than the Shillong – Guwahati National Highway 40 in recent times has got a facelift but restricted only to potholes filling and re-carpeting only those that are leading to Polo and other venues where the games are being held.
SHILLONG, Feb 09: The Congress led PDF in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has decided to organize the ‘2nd Monolith Festival’ at the Khasi Heritage Village located at Mawphlang, from March 31 to April 2.
The monolith festival, which is being organized by a committee constituted by the KHADC, the Khasi Heritage Conservation Forum (KHCF), will be held for second time, with an aim to preserve and showcase the rich tradition and culture of the Khasi indigenous community.
SHILLONG, Feb 09: There are times when participating is more important than winning. This is exactly true for war-torn Afghanistan which has sent a small 30 - member contingent to India for the 12th South Asian Games.
Three male and two female members comprise the Afghan badminton squad, which also has a coach and an official.