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

 

 

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.

 

 

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

wawrinka

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.

mr-chris-gayle-mr-virender-sehwag-mr-anuraj-thakur

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.

pliskova

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

Little too FaT…little too SkinnY

Marion-Bartoli old pic
“I am too fat for you.?”

 

bartoli slim photo
“I am too skinny for you?”

When in 2013, defying all odds, French woman Marion Bartoli won Wimbledon, she was termed as Fat, Pig and Ugly winner of the Venus Rosewater Dish. She was criticized for her serve run up as well as her mobility on court… So much so, we all remember BBC commentator John Inverdale’s sexist comments that cost him his job.

Cut to 2016, we saw an extremely thin Bartoli. Apparently she has reduced a lot of kilos  and is looking sick. So naturally, a section of social media users especially people on Twitter began to scan her, began to understand her problem and believe it or not, they understood her problem as well.. That she is Anorexic, about to die, suddenly people were worried about her health .is she sick!, OMG what is wrong with her ? , what has she done to herself? She looks pathetic and so on. So basically, when you have muscles, you are fat…And when not…you are Anorexic and sick. The breakneck speed in which we judge someone and body shame them just blows my mind. I am being honest here it is not that her appearance did not surprise me. I myself believe that there is a stark difference in her appearance from 2013 but does that give me the right to shame her? that too without knowing the reason behind it? The way social media reacted and comments that some wrote, surprised me the most. There are so many male players from different walks of sport, are they shamed like that? It is absolutely not Men vs Women issue; because I know there are so many women itself that body shames other women. It’s about understanding somebody and definitely not judging. Aren’t we told to respect everyone’s body type. Isn’t there are so many ads, and campaigns that are breaking the old shackles and teaching us to not to judge or have preconceived notions about anybody? Isn’t the beauty of human race is that everyone’s body is different and it is not the right way to measure the credentials of anyone?   By just terming some one’s body shape as “fat” or “skinny” aren’t we unnecessarily perpetuating beauty  standards? Haven’t we learnt anything?

Bartoli claimed that a virus that infected her in India is the main reason behind her weight loss and that she has been undergoing blood transfusion to survive. Whatever may be the reason, body shaming in any case is not acceptable. I am surprised that so many players from different sport have been subjected to it. Tennis legend Serena Williams has faced it all. Her built has been a topic of cheap laughter among audiences. The most surprising part was the fact that “her eyebrows are so bushy” was inevitably  trending on twitter when she won her 21st Grand Slam. The unfortunate fact is there is a  stark difference of how women players should be like is not limited to spectators or commentators. The shaming is seen even in higher officials and so called intellectual people.

I remember a Tennis great  calling Daniela Hantchova too skinny to play a power pact game for longer duration and cited it the main reason for her losses in the matches that are stretched to three sets. Perhaps he did not know, calling someone skinny is as insulting as calling someone a nigro.

Bethanie Mattek Sands’ colorful attire too raised many eyebrows and was also termed overweight to be a tennis player.

Bethanie+Mattek+Sands
“My socks are too high for you?”

Oh yes, “Anna Kournikova is extremely beautiful and hence could not win matches”. I remember a well known cricket commentator  who was commentating on some match (don’t remember who was playing) but it was June and Wimbledon was about to begin. He said to his fellow commentators that if you want to see the beautiful Russian Ana, than you better hurry, otherwise she will be out of the tournament and then there was a humongous laughter in the commentary box.! In the recently concluded Rio Olympics, Mexican gymnast Alexa Moreno too suffered abuse for her size after she faltered at the bar. One of her bully wrote: “Alexa Moreno has the body of two gymnasts together; a diet before going to the Olympics would have been nice.”

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“My eyebrows are too busy for you ?”
alex moreno
“I faltered at the bar because i am fat?”

It is not that everybody is the same and for sure there are so many people who always come forward to give support to players  but there is a small section of people who think just because they have registered their names on different social media with a password, they can say whatever they like. This certainly is not a sign of a progressive world. We are no doubt entitled to our view but as the Spider Man says – With power comes great responsibility and one should always keep that in mind.