Kidambi Srikanth – The new HERO of Badminton

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Day- SUNDAY
DATE- 18th JUNE 2017.

Occassion-  1- Champions Trophy final – India vs Pakistan

2- Hockey world league semi-final- India vs Pakistan

3- Indonesia Open Super Series Premier title – K Srikanth vs Kazumasa Sakai

Focus: Perhaps in the order that I have mentioned the matches above. India Vs Pakistan is a match which is never just a match.. All eyes are glued to cricket only, specially if it is the final of the Champions Trophy.

But my focus was what was happening almost 12,000 km away , In Jakarta .

It was the Indonesian open Super Series final where Indian Kidambi Srikanth, defying all odds reached the finals . He was up against Japanese qualifier Kazumasa Sakai and after just 37 minutes, history was made.

Srikanth won the title in a comprehensive manner in straight games 21-11 21-19.  It was his second  super series tittle of the year. He earlier won the Singapore Open

Srikanth started off cautiously and played with patience. His timing and selection of shots gave him an upper hand in the match right from word go. Once he captured the first game, there was no looking back for the world number 22.  ( He will now rise to his career high ranking of world no.2 when the next BWF Rankings are released. )

Smash after smash , net after net, the variation of his shots never gave his opponent a chance to raise his game , despite being ahead in the second game.

Road to the finals-

Srikanth beat some top notch players to reach the grand finale, including world number one – Son Wan Ho in the last 4.

Highlight of the Tournament-

First Indian shuttler to win the prestigious Indonesia Open.

 

A LIFE LESS ORDINARY 

Born in 1993 in Andhra  Pradesh, he made his international debut in 2008. he however, first came into light at the  2011 Commonwealth Youth Games when he fetched a Silver Medal. From there , he has gone from strength to strength, becoming only the third Indian male player to enter the top 5 in the world badminton ranking after legendary Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand. Not only this, he achieved the feat in grand style when he handed two-time Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan a defeat in China Open that he went on to win in 2014.

His Achievements so far

– Won the China Open Super Series Premier in 2014, beating champion Lin Dan for the title

– Won the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold in 2013

– Won the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold, in 2015

– Won two gold medals at the 2016 South Asian Games, in men’s team and men’s singles

  • Won a silver and bronze medals at the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2011

This win has surely given him a major boast for his future tournament.

P.S-

India lost to Pakistan in the final of the Champions trophy

India Beat Pakistan 7-1 in the Hockey world league semi-finals to reach the last 8

 

 

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The story of Phiona Mutesi- Chess Queen of Africa

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Her favourite piece in Chess is the “queen” because she says it moves many many lines which give her a sense of power.

Phiona Mutesi’s story is nothing short of an Inspiration. From living in streets in the slums of Katwe and selling a bowl of boiled maize for daily survival to becoming Uganda’s most successful chess champion, Mutesi has come a long way.

She never in her wildest dream thought of doing well in her life let alone becoming one of the most respectful women in her country.

Born in an extremely humble family in Ugandan neighbourhood of Katwe, life was not as bad when Mutesi’s father was alive. They were not devoid of basic facilities like food, cloths, water and a house. Everything however changed for worse when her father died of AIDS. Phiona was just 3 year old then. This is perhaps the only memory she has of her father.  Soon after, her older sister too succumbed to unknown causes. Phiona too had two close encounters with death in her early days.

Her mother had never been to school hence making it almost impossible for her to work anywhere and soon, Phiona and her family were living on streets.  At the age of 6, she dropped out of school and began selling Maize in the Katwe Street for day to day living.  But her earnings were just not enough to support to her family. Phiona spent many nights without been eaten anything whole day.

Having been hungry for almost three days, She one afternoon followed her brother in hope of getting some food and found something else… an afterschool chess Program run by Robert Katende where people used to get a bowl of Porridge for playing chess. Phiona began playing the game. Taking inspirations from her struggles and finding ways to survive, Phiona learnt chess in just one day.  In a land of no money, fortune or future, Phiona Mutesi found hope and a chance to make things right for herself and her family.

Chess made her happy and injected interest into her. Soon, she realized that this is what she wants to do on daily basis. So she was doing it and as they say –REST IS HISTORY. While attending the class, very soon she beat a boy…Something that was not common in Katwe as women were always seen as second sex and their job was to produce kids and nothing else. Phiona was different from other girls in her slum. She was full of courage and determination. She walked almost 6 km daily to play chess and learned very quickly that that this 64 squares game was not always about playing aggressive. One should learn how to survive and be defensive, much like Phiona’s own life.

Beginning of a new era-

She participated in her first tournament in 2006 and won. Wondering what she got for prize – MONEY…That brought a huge smile to her and her mother’s face who was a reckoning force behind Mutesi all though her life.

In 2010, she competed in Chess Olympiad, where she earned 1.5 points from seven games she played. She is also a proud three time winner of the junior Girl’s Championship of Uganda.

In 2012, Phiona was accorded Woman Candidate Masters title after competing in the 40th chess Olympiad in Turkey. Since then, she has won many awards and travelled all across the world, a dream she never thought would become a reality.

Phiona Mutesi’s next aim is to be a grandmaster for which her journey continues.

Taylor Fritz – New sensation in Tennis world

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New tennis kid is on the block… Every year we hear a story of an upcoming tennis star who we think can be a future legend. One such name that is doing rounds in the tennis circuit is American Taylor Fritz. Just a year into turning professional, Fritz has been awarded the ATP star of tomorrow. It is a feat that he calls surreal and an assurance that he is headed towards the right direction.

This year has been remarkable for this 19 year old in many other ways. He finishes off the 2016 season with being the youngest tennis player in the top 100. Fritz began the year at number 177 in the world and is currently ranked world number 70. However, he has already edged close to the top 50, his highest being 53 in August.

At the beginning of 2015, Fritz was already showing his special skills while playing junior tennis. He reached at least the quarterfinals of all 4 junior Grand Slams including the final of French open and winning the US open.

His achievements in the Grand Slams helped him reach the Numero Uno spot in boy’s junior tennis player. Fritz also became the first American since Donald Young (2005) and Andy Roddick (2000) to be named the 2015 ITF Junior World Champion.

2016 was like a beginning of a new era for Taylor Fritz. He became the youngest American to reach the ATP final since Michel Chang in 1988, when he made it to the finals of the Memphis.  In February, Fritz cracked the Top 100 for the first time by reaching the quarter-finals in Acapulco, his first career ATP 500 event. Since then, there has not been looking back for Fritz.

Tennis pundits have already started comparing him with Tennis Legend Pete Sampras who happens to be his idol as well because of big serves and heavy ground strokes. Fritz has also had practice sessions with the likes of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic and both of them believe that Taylor has a talent and the caliber to be a future champion. So, everything seems to be going on Taylor’s way.

Well, personally also Taylor Fritz has everything fallen in place of him. You don’t generally see players who are trying to make mark professionally getting married sooo young. But Fritz did and for him it indeed was the right thing to do. Fritz got married to Raquel Pedraza in California in July this year after two years of dating, breaking so many hearts. Now that everything is settled in his personal life, we hope he begins the new season with many wins on court.

 

 

Tennis Players and Coaches

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What makes a great tennis player? Hard work, determination and years of practice…Yes, true, but the importance of a coach cannot be ruled out either. The experience of your coach, his way of teaching some small little secrets can make a hell lot of difference between a great player and an ordinary player.

What caught my attention in recent past is the fact there have been so many yesterday’s stars that have either coached or are still coaching today’s stars. Looks like it is extremely difficult to give up something so dear to you and you look ways to be attached to it in one form or the other.

Since couple of years, it kind of became a trend to rope in former greats as coaches. And the trend is seen more in men’s tennis than in Women’s. Swiss Great Roger Federer was once coached by Former Great Stefan Edberg , and now another former player Ivan Ljubicic, Ivan Lendl coaches Andy Murray ,World number one Novak Djokovic’s is being coached by Former German champion Boris Becker and former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic coached country man Marin Cilic . All these players have given some very very good results in their career under their respective coaches.  Not only that, Richard Gasquet has joined forces with former two time  French Open winner Sergi Bruguera, and the Japanese star Kei Nishikori has been coached by another former French Open champion Michael Chang since 2014. Under his guidance only, Nishikori achieved his highest singles ranking of world number 4 last year. Players who have parted ways with former champions have joined hands with new Coaches who too have been either a former player, former Grand Slam Champion or a doubles specialist.

Former great John McEnroe was no exception to that.. He coached Canadian Milos Raonic for an extremely short period but even that resulted in Raonic reaching the Wimbledon final this year. It is  a clear indication that players who have hung their racquets are keen in picking it up too .. So what if it is on a different level!.

The women tennis however is yet to follow the men’s lead but we certainly have witnessed great players occasionally giving tips to some young guns or working as a part timers.

Martina Navratilova was as a part time coach to Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland  before parting ways and Occasionally, we have also witnessed 5 time Grand Slam Champion Martina Hingis being part of the coaching squad to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Former Wimbledon and Australian open champion Amelie Mauresmo broke the stereotype when she accepted the invitation of being Andy Murray’s coach. The Partnership did not last long though with Mauresmo citing Murray’s on court behavior towards his team as the reason for her to quit.

Mauresmo though had a successful run with Marion Bartoli whom she helped coaching enroute to Bartoli’s Wimbledon win.

If we look at how these coaches have shaped up some of the male tennis players’ career, we will find some astonishing results.

Djokovic and Boris Becker

World number one Novak Djokovic has had no less than 8 coaches till date. But his most stable partnership has come with Boris Becker who has been coaching the Serb since 2013. Djoker has won 7 of his 12 Grand Slams under him. Not only this, Under Becker Djokoivc has reached other heights as well. He has held the world number one spot for 124 weeks and became only the 8th player in the history to achieve the Career Grand Slam (After winning the 2016 French Open title.). The best team result came in 2015 when Novak  made 15 straight finals and won 11 titles – including three Grand Slams and a record six Masters 1000 trophies – en route to an 82-6 mark.

Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg

The Partnership lasted for two wonderful years.. Although, the Swiss Maestro failed to add any Grand Slam to his kitty under Edberg, but the former world number one added 11 ATP trophies in his trophy cabinet.Edberg has been Federer’s childhood idol and the two brought up fighting spirit back in Federer’s mind. They ended their partnership last year and now Ivan Ljubicic has entered the lavishing team of Federer, another former player.

Ivan Lendl and Andy Murray

Andy Murray has won all three of his Major under Ivan Lendl. The 2012 US open, the 2013 Wimbledon (Putting a full stop on endless wait of a Briton winning the Wimbledon.) and 2016 Wimbledon and Olympic Gold. The Briton however,  for a brief period of time hired another Grand Slam champion and appeared to have started a new trend.. a Woman coaching a Man. AmelieMauresmo was roped in  but failed to give desired results. And once again, Murray went back to Lendl… this time too, Lendl did what other’s fail.. Win another Grand Slam…The 2016 Wimbledon, his second.

Marin Cilic’s only Grand Slam victory came under Former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic. He is currently being coached by another former tennis player and doubles specialist Jonas Lars Björkman.

So, why did we see such a huge influx of former tennis players into coaching in the recent past? The biggest advantage for the players to be coached by former players is perhaps the experience they have. They have been on the biggest stage, understand the pressure and have tricks to cope with it and they know what works and what does not.

For years we have seen former tennis players who were still hungry to achieve the goals they did not in their time made the most of the list. Brad Gilbret is a perfect example of this… He reached as high as world number 4 in his career but failed to cross the Quarterfinal hurdle in any Major. But what he did with Andre Agassi was simply extraordinary. He is one of the best coaches in the tennis world. He used Andre Agassi’s strength to the core and helped him win 6 of his 8 Grand Slams.But it is not about what you did.. It’s about what your player does and how your player does. Also, one of the best coaches a perhaps those had less and made the best of it. Apart from Agassi, Gilbret also coached players like Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Andy Murray but none yielded the desired results. That’s also leads to another point that what works for one player will not necessarily work for others.

Who can forget the efforts of Larry Stefanki who himself who never really had successful tennis career but coached tennis greats like  John McEnroe , Tim Henman , Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova and Yevgeny Kafelnikov.Money off course is another reason why coaches enter into the coaching world. Coaches these Days get paid extremely well.

Another name in the fray is of Ivan Ljubicic. The former player from Croatia reached a career high ranking of world number 3 but was never really successful when it came to big tournaments. He won men’s doubles bronze medal in 2004 Olympics. He hung his racket in 2012 and three years later has been named coach of Roger Federer..

Interesting fact here is that Roger Federer is 35 years old and Ljubicic is 37. So it is not that age is the main criteria for players when it comes to choosing their coaches. its is a personal choice and what a player works best for him.

Others include the likes of Magnus Norman and 1996 wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek who are busy shaping Stanislas Wawrinka’s bright future.

Also, being a successful tennis player does not guarantee you to be a successful coach and vice-versa. It also does not mean that one particular coach will be as effective to other player as former.. It absolutely depends upon an individual player and its rapport with the team. But looking at the successive rates, you may expect the trend to continue for quite some time.

Devendra Jhajharia- The Golden Man of India

 

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Throwing Javelin day after day, year after year despite knowing that the sport was not included in the previous two Paralympics.. Still trying to achieve accuracy and honing the skills. Sounds difficult right? Not everyone can do it. Well, then not everyone can be Devendra Jhajharia either. Such was the determination and will power of this 35 year old that he practiced and practiced hard for 12 consecutive years..And such was his dedication and focus that he hardly visited his home. So much so, his two year toddler (Son) does not recognize him.. All his hard work and painful days away from home finally paid off this year when he won his second Gold Medal at the Rio Paralympics. He won his first Gold Medal at the 2005 Athens Paralympics. Devendra bettered his own mark of 62.15m with a record throw of 63.97m in his third attempt in the men’s F46 javelin throw. This was also India’s second gold medal in this Paralympics.

One day that changed his life

As an eight year old, he made a mistake and touched a live electric cable. In order to save his life, Doctors were forced to amputate his left hand. In Devendra’s own words, his world came crashing down after that incident. His friends laughed at him and termed him weak. During this tough period, his mother was his strength and encouraged him to be focused in life and ignore what other said about him. Devendra was to create history and one day he was spotted by Dronacharya Awardee coach R.D. Singh in 1997 when he was competing at a school day. From that point, Jhajharia got a new lease of life and from there on began his second innings.

New Beginning for Devendra

The Gold run began for Devendra when in 2002 he won Gold Medal in 8th FESPIC Games in South Korea. In 2004 Athens Paralympics he eclipsed his previous best record of 59.77m to throw 62.15,m to win Gold Medal and became only the second gold medalist Paralympics for India.( Murlikant Petkar was the first to win Gold Medal ) . Further athletic success came in 2013 at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France when he took the gold medal in the F46 javelin throw. He followed this with a silver medal at the 2014 Asian Para Games at Incheon in South Korea.

Awards and Recognitions

His numerous good results were not unnoticed and he was conferred with prestigious Arjuna Award in 2005. The same year, Rajasthan government also felicitated him with Maharana Pratap Puraskar Award.

Apart from that, he also received the fourth-highest civilian honour Padma Shri in 2012 and became the first Paralympian to have received the award. In 2014, FICCI named him the Para-sportsperson of the year.

So as we were mourning our poor performance in the Rio Olympics, I hope we celebrate our Paralympics win with much fanfare and enthusiasm. The cash have also started to come in Jhajharia’s lap as the state government has announced a cash award of Rs 75 lakh, a residential plot and agricultural land for him. The prize money and accolades surely boasts our Paralympics athletes confidence by many folds but what we need even more is the change in our own attitude towards them and many other like them in day to day life.

STAN THE MAN- “WOW”RINKA

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Enough with the talks of Big 4 and their dominance in the world of men’s tennis..It’s now time to talk about Number 5. Like in the women’s section, the Flushing Meadows found its new champion in men’s singles- Wawrinka. The Swiss third seed lit up the stadium with some glorious tennis for almost 4 hours to capture his first US OPEN and second Major. Wawrinka now needs a Wimbledon trophy to complete his slams collection. The Swiss player found his lost confidence just in time to beat world number one Novak Djokovic in 4 sets 6-7 6-4 7-5 6-3. En route to his final, Wawrinka played twice the amount of tennis as the Serb and it seemed to have worked for a man who almost crashed out of the tournament in the third round. Wawrinka faced a match point against Briton Dan Evans in the 4th set tie-breaker. Wawrinka kept his cool to win the 4th set and then went onto win the match in 5 sets.

At 31, Wawrinka is the oldest male US Open champion since 35-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1970. He is also only the fifth man in the Open era to win more than one major tournament after turning 30, following Rosewall, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi and Jimmy Connors.  It was an 11th consecutive win in a championship match for Wawrinka, dating to 2014.

His 3-0 record at the Grand Slams finals clearly shows his revival and Iron will. For long, he played under the shadow of his compatriot tennis great Roger Federer and his emergence as a credible tennis player has taken some time to come.. He was known to be one of the most unpredictable players on circuit. He used to hit some of the best tennis shots in a game and than making one of the most stupid mistakes on the next. But in recent past, if you would notice a change in his attitude on court, he has a trademark -Pointing his index figure to his temple. Perhaps, telling us that he is a changed man. The results too indicate the same. He is courageous and aggressive yet less reckless and calmer.

An interesting thing that I noticed was that he has “Stan the man”- with two Majors trophies he won earlier (Australian Open and French Open) engraved on his kit. Well, that’s typical of Stanislas Wawrinka’s personality. I am sure he will now have the third one engraved too.  At 31, he has pocketed three Grand Slams and is still looking strong and capable of adding more under his belt. Stanislas does not think he fits in the big 4 category considering the amount of years the Quartet have played and his own record against them. But we all know, he is a man to stay to watch out for in future.

SIX Machine- I don’t like cricket.. I love it”

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He is the king of Sixes…. World class bowlers are scared to face him when he is batting…On his best day at the crease, he is invincible and unbeatable, he is Chris Gayle… And if the West Indian giant has to have an autobiography- “SIX Machine- I don’t like cricket.. I love it” is an apt name for it.

So, when I was invited for the launch of his book in the national capital, I was thrilled and ecstatic and Why would not I? Dressed in all black, the Jamaican star looked every bit of a star with whom everybody wanted a selfie. When Gayle walked on the stage, he looked Charismatic and as if he owns the world. He was accompanied by BCCI President Anurag Thakur who was the chief guest of the event and former cricket great Virender Sehwag.

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Christopher Henry Gayle indeed loves cricket… from hitting a century in 30 odd balls, simply standing at one end to save a test match to having a strip pole at his house, Gayle has done it all.. He for sure is a complicated character and that’s what his  book tells you about.

But the most heart whelming thing that he told was the fact that he had a hole in his heart and during the West Indies tour to Australia in 2005, Gayle underwent an operation to repair it. He himself said that this changed his outlook towards life.

He said– “Nobody knows that I was diagnosed with a hole in my heart in Australia, not even my parents. I was forced to undergo a surgery and I only informed my parents after the procedure. Back then, I realised the importance of life. It was a life changing moment for me. Thereafter I decided to enjoy my life to the fullest and I am still doing so”.

 

Gayle has reached many milestones in his professional life. But the one thing that he cherishes the most is being a father in real life. In his own words-

It’s definitely a new challenge to be a family man but I now can proudly say that I am a father of a beautiful daughter. It’s a different feeling altogether”

He was naturally the centre of attraction at the function and former Indian opener Virendra Sehwag too had a lot to say about him. He termed Gayle as the “True ambassador of cricket. BCCI President and ever dashing Anurag Thakur too called him a true entertainer of the cricket and said-

Chris Gayle is more popular in Kanpur than Kingston, he is more popular in Jalandhnar than Jamaica. He has made the game popular and attracted youth to take up the bat”.

Chris Gayle’s book for sure will inspire the world, the cricket fraternity and give insights of his life.. A part that is unknown by his fans till now.

 

THE QUEEN OF TENNIS- ANGELIQUE KERBER

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Three Grand Slams Finals…Two wins…An Olympic Silver Medal and world number one ranking…Well it will not be an exaggeration to term the year 2016 as a “Kerber Year” in the world of tennis. What a spectacular season the German has had… Angleique Kerber won the last major of the year US OPEN after beating a resilient Czech player Karoline Plikosva in three sets 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in 2 hours and 8 minutes. With this win, Kerber also became the first German in 20 years after Steffi Graf (1996) to win the US OPEN.

Under severe humid conditions at the centre court, both the players played a tight and intense match much to the delight of a vociferous crowd. It all began with Kerber playing an aggressive tennis in the first set. She broke Pliskova’s serve in the first set and did not face much challenge thereafter either. German won the first set 6-3. Plikosvoa, playing her first Major final, used her power weapon- her big first Serve, picked up the pace and upped the ante in the second.  It was a tense third set in which both showed their netal toughness and refused to surrender. Kerber battled back from a 1-3 deficit to break Pliskova’s serve the final game and fall to the ground in triumph.  It took Kerber 12 years to make an impact on the tour and now that she has done it; it’s no looking back for her. The last time Kerber reached a semifinal of any major was in 2011and it was not until 2012 that she managed to win her first WTA title. But she never gave up.

She always thrived on her childhood dream of being a Grand Slam Champion and World Number one. So, she Practiced harder, increased her physical fitness to play longer on the court and slowly but steadily began to show what truly she is capable of. (Her quick movements in the decider set gave a clear edge over Pliksova who was visibly tired and fatigued.)

We all know the 28 year old does not have a particularly powerful serve or forehand. But her speed on the court is to die for. You hit a ball wherever you want; she will be present there to return it. She hardly missed any returns throughout the tournament and has one of the best two- handed Backhands in the circuit. Speed, steadiness and patience have been key factors to Kerber’s recent success. She waits for a loose ball from her opponent and returns it with precision and accuracy. The third set of the final was a clear example of that. Age is no bar for Angelique Kerber as at 28, she is the oldest world number one women tennis player and dethroned Serena Williams from her Numero Uno position, ending her remarkable streak of 186 weeks at the top. She has also proved that now she is the one to beat in women’s tennis. She is certainly not stopping here and her prime has just begun and we hope it continues. The win of Angelique Kerber and the emergence of players like Karoline Pliksova, Simona Halep and Muguruza Garbine clearly show the Renaissance of tennis.

India’s “Disabled” athletes makes nation proud

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It was a proud moment for India at the Rio Paralympics after a dismal show of our athletes at the recently concluded Rio Olympics. Indian Paralympics athlete Mariyappa Thangavelu created history by winning the GOLD at the Rio Paralympics 2016 in Men’s high Jump T-42 events. Not only this, Varun Singh Bhati fetched the Bronze medal in the same event. The 20-year-old Thangavelu who became the first Indian high jumper to win a gold medal at the Paralympics made a leap of 1.89m. Bhati meanwhile, jumped his personal best of 1.86m to finish third. USA’s Sam Grewe bagged the silver medal.

What is T-42 event?

The T42 category includes athletes who have had above-the-knee amputations in a single leg or a disability that is comparable.

 

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                                                                   The Pride of nation

Who is Mariyappan Thangavelu?

Every champion has stories of struggles, obstacles and Impairments that makes him different from others.  Mariyappan Thangavelu’s life was no exception. Born in Periavadamgatti village, 50 km away from Salem to Vegetable seller mother, Mariyappan has faced problems since his birth.  When he was 5, his right knee was crushed by a on his way to school that left him with a permanent disability. But as they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Maryippan was tough and thus did not make his disability come in between his determination and perseverance. His mother had to take Rs 3lakh for his treatment which she is still repaying. Thangavelu started playing volleyball in school but was advised by his physical education teacher to try high jump and he made a mark. Coach by a selfless man Satyanarayana first spotted him at the National Para-Athletics Championship when he was just 18. After rigorous training in Bengaluru, all the hard work paid off and he became the World Number 1 in 2015.

Who is Varun Singh Bhati?

Varun too has never been a stranger to struggles and problems. At a very tender age, he was afflicted by Polio. The nature of his handicap is called Poliomyelitis which is a Deformity in one leg.  But the love for sport did not deter him and began training at Greater Noida and never looked back. Wins have not been new to him. Varun won the gold at the 2014 China Open Athletics Championship, and finished fifth at the 2014 Para Asian Games in Incheon (South Korea) and 2015 Para World Championships in Doha (Qatar). He had also achieved the ‘A’ qualification mark for the 2012 London Paralympics but failed to make a cut there.

India’s Previous Medal history at the Paralympics

India so far has won three Gold Medals in the history of Paralympics. First Gold Medal fetched by India was in 1972 when Murlikant Petkar won the Gold Medal in the 50m freestyle3 event at Heidelberg. The second gold medal came when Devendra Jhajharia finished first at the javelin throw F44/46 12 years ago at the 2004 Athens.

India has also won three Silver and three Bronze Medals as well.

Silver Medalists –

  1. Name-. Bhimrao Kesarkar

Sport- Javelin throw, L6,

Year-  1984 Stoke Mandeville/New York

2- Name- Joginder Singh Bedi

Sport- Shot put L6

Year- 1984 Stoke Mandeville/New York
3-Name- Girisha Nagarajegowda

Sport- High jump F42

Year- 2012 London
BRONZE MEDALISTS
1- Name- Joginder Singh Bedi

Sport- Discus throw L6

Year- 1984 Stoke Mandeville/New York

2- Name- Joginder Singh Bedi

Sport-Jjavelin throw L6

Year- 1984 Stoke Mandeville/New York

3- Name- Rajinder Singh Rahelu

Sport- Powerlifting 56 kg

Year- 2004 Athens

 

HISTORY OF INDIA AT PARALYMPICS

India first participated at the Paralympics in 1968 Games. The nation again participated in 1972 then however, India missed the games until the 1984 games. Since then, India has participated in every Paralympics.

We were all so happy and elated with the performances of Sakshi Mallik and PV Sindhu who fetched two medals (One Silver and a Bronze) for at the Rio Olympics.. So much accolades and money was showered on them for their historic performances…It will now interesting to know what and how much accolades and money will be showered on our  “DISAABLED” athletes Mariyappa Thangavelu and Varun Singh Bhati as compared to our “NORMAL” athletes. Or they will once again be played as a second fiddle to them?  The Sports Ministry had earlier announced that Indian Gold Medalists from the Paralympics will be awarded Rs 75 lakh, the silver medalists will get Rs 50 lakh while Rs 30 lakh will be given to the bronze medalists. So, is it enough when we compare such rewards given to our Paralympics athlete to the Crores given by different governments to our normal athletes?
 

Who will be the New Queen of the US OPEN

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The final Grand Slam of the year – US OPEN is nearing its end and once again we will witness a new champion in the ladies singles section. Serena Williams was stunned by Karolína Plíšková of Czech Republic in a match that was mired by Williams’ injury. But we cannot take away the credit from the 24 year old who displayed a nearly flawless 85 minutes of tennis to reach her first major Final. The best part of the match for me was the way Pliskova judged Serena Williams’ serve, a trick that the American has always applied to defeat her opponent. After this loss, Serena is now tied with German Great Steffi Graf for the record of Open era Slams at 22. She also lost her world No. 1 ranking, for the first time in 186 weeks — another record she now must share with Graf. Serena’s left knee was surely troubling her throughout the match as she was visibly slow on court and limping towards the end. She perhaps did not get much time to recover after her marathon Quarterfinals against Simona Halep.

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Pliskova on the other hand is playing perhaps the best tennis of her life and her fearless attitude on court has made her reach where she has. Her quick movement and correct judgment on court is impeccable and she is one step from what could be her best moment ever. The Czech Player is also only the third woman to beat both the Williams’ sisters at the US Open. (Pliskova earlier outclassed Venus Williams.).  Karoline Pliskova has lost just one set en route to her final and has defeated players like kenn, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and also ended Ana Konjuh’s dream run in the tournament.

Career Highlights of Pliskova

  • Plíšková has won six singles and five doubles titles on theWTA tour
  • She also won ten singles and six doubles titles on theITF circuit in her career.
  • She reached her best singles ranking of world number 7 in August 2016.
  • On 26 June 2016, she peaked at world number 19 in the doubles rankings.
  • As a junior, Plíšková won thegirls’ singles event at the 2010 Australian Open,
  • Plíšková and her sister Kristýna became the first twin sisters to win a doubles title in WTA history in 2013.

 

Pliskova will face Angelique Kerber in the finals.  Angelique Kerber is the new world number one and has reached her third major final this year… She is having the best time on tour and is a red hot favorutie to win the title. She was world number 10 at the beginning of the season trailing Serena by 6,355 points and by the end of the season she now leads the American with 980 points. She defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the semis to make it to the final. Kerber did not have much trouble in beating her Danish Opponent. Kerber won in straight sets.

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The experience surely is on the German’s side, with Kerber having already won Australian open this year. She has not been really tested throughout the tournament (She has not dropped a set yet) and is looking fit and ferocious with each progressing match. En route to her finals, Kerber has beaten some top notch players like last year’s runner up Vinci and Two times Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova. Her toughness and determination will be a key to the way she plays in the final. The 28 year old however needs to focus on her game and not get lost in the glory of being the World number one. She by no means can take Pliskova lightly and need to attack her serve from the word go. History is in the offering for Kerber as she is eyeing to be the first German after Steffi Graf to win the US OPEN.  (Graf won her last US Open in 1996) The final will be the match of big serves and baseline play. All in all, we can expect a mouthwatering clash to end the Grand Slam season this year.

Interesting fact- Karoline Ploskvoa beat Angelique Kerber in the Cincinati open to snatch the world number one ranking from her…and she is the one who handed it over to her by beating Serena Williams at the US Open