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Tuesday,20-October-2020

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News of Olympics postponement came as a shock: Mary Kom

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Ace Indian boxer MC Mary Kom has revealed she was shocked when she first heard about the postponement of Tokyo Olympics due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Originally scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9 this year, the Tokyo Olympics was in March postponed to 2021 due to the outbreak of coronavirus. It is now set to be held from July 23 to August 8 next year.

“I was so surprised. This news came as a shock to all of us. It’s challenged our life and routines and it’s no different for me. I have been fighting for almost 20 years,” said Mary Kom while speaking to Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli during an Instagram live session.

“I have been trying to do my training and all the activities at home. Only thing I was not able to do was sparring. Boxing requires sparring, so you can easily perform in competition. I do my running, skipping and strength training at home. I am preparing. I am trying to get more strength to improve myself in this situation,” she added.

The six-time world champion was further asked by Kohli about the challenges she faces outside the ring and the stereotypes which are there in the society. To which Mary Kom replied that she does get distracted by naysayers but she remains focussed on her goals.

“The stereotypes are here to stay and you will always have naysayers. There are so many people who talk negative. We have done so many positives for our country and society,” said Mary Kom.

“The naysayers do distract me but one’s resilience can prove them wrong. We need to drive the youth to do the unthinkable, the formula doesn’t see gender. It’s hard work and preparation. Always go for goals, motivate, never give up and keep fighting. That’s what I always tell young boxers, kids and parents,” she added.

The London Olympic-bronze medallist further stated that her husband has been a pillar of strength following her marriage.

“After marriage my husband has been a pillar of my strength for me. The support he gives me and my children are second to none. He takes care of everything. He’s the ideal husband and father,” said the 37-year-old.

“I am so happy that I have an ideal father for my sons. I gave birth to twins and if he wouldn’t have supported me it would have been difficult. As I speak people might think it’s easy. But in reality it’s really difficult,” she added.

National

Replacing Karthik with Morgan as KKR captain not a right move: Ajit Agarkar

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Ajit-Agarkar

Former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar feels replacing Dinesh Karthik with Eoin Morgan as captain of Kolkata Knight Riders was a very strange and wrong move.

Ahead of their match against Mumbai Indians on October 16 in the ongoing IPL, Karthik stepped down as KKR skipper and handed over the reigns to World Cup-winning England captain Morgan. Karthik had taken the decision with a “view to focus on his batting and contributing more to the team’s cause”.

“I don’t think replacing Dinesh Karthik after seven games when you’re sitting fourth in the table is the right move in my opinion. It does add to the disruption of the team and you could see the way they performed against Mumbai Indians, even though it was a tough game,” said Agarkar while speaking on Star Sports’ show ‘Fanweek’.

KKR lost the match against the defending champions as the Rohit Sharma-led side rode on an unbeaten 78 from Quinton de Kock to chase down 149 with eight wickets in hand.

“I don’t think it was a right move. You make plans with a certain captain through the course of the year and in spite of sitting fourth on the table, it was a very strange move for me,” Agarkar added.

However, KKR came back with an improved performance in their next match against SunRisers Hyderabad, winning the nail-biting encounter in the Super Over last Sunday.

The team is currently sitting at the fourth spot with 10 points from nine matches and is slated to take on Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday.

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Judo is a priority sport, will enhance capacity: Kiren Rijiju

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Kiren-Rijiju

Indian Judo team will be participating in the Budapest Grand Slam — which contributes to the Olympic qualification — between October 23 and October 25. This will be the first tournament that the Indian judokas will be playing since the nationwide lockdown was imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ahead of the departure for Hungary, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday met the contingent which comprises five judokas — Tulika Mann, Avtar Singh, Vijay Yadav, Jasleen Singh Saini and Sushila Devi — and coach Jiwan Sharma.

The Sports Minister wished the contingent luck for the tournament and said preparations are in place to ensure that a strong talent pool emerges for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.

“The team is leaving for Hungary today and I am hopeful that some of the athletes will qualify. Judo is a priority sport for us and we will enhance capacity both in terms of training facilities and coaches,” said Rijiju.

“The idea is to extend full support to the elite athletes while building up a talent pool of young athletes who can compete in the Olympics of 2024 and 2028. We will discuss a more exhaustive roadmap with the federation and plan ahead,” he added.

Jasleen, world number 56 and a good prospect to qualify for next year’s Olympics, said, “This will be the first tournament we will be played after the Covid-19 lockdown.”

“We used to play every month earlier, so it is really good to be playing again. From the entire Judo fraternity, would like to thank the Sports Ministry, Sports Authority of India and the Judo Federation of India for organising this for us,” he added.

Around 645 competitors from around 81 countries will be participating in this tournament and the contingent is enthusiastic to be back in action in competitive sport after such a long break.

Sushila, the highest ranked women’s judoka in the contingent — ranked 41 in the world and an Olympic hopeful — said, “This is the first time we have met the Sports Minister and he is really doing a lot for sports in India so with his encouragement, we are feeling very motivated. It is good to play once again after the lockdown and would like to thank SAI for the support in getting this international exposure organised for us. We will try to give our best.”

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What spark did you see in Jadhav, Chawla: Kris Srikkanth asks Dhoni

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Kris-Srikkanth

Former Indian cricketer Kris Srikkanth slammed ace skipper MS Dhoni’s mantra on selection following Chennai Super Kings’ seventh defeat in 10 matches in the ongoing IPL and termed the latter’s selections throughout the season as “ridiculous”.

“What is Dhoni’s deal? He says N. Jagadeesan doesn’t have spark, but does ‘scooter’ (Kedar) Jadhav have that spark? This is ridiculous. I will not accept this answer today. All this talk of process and Chennai’s tournament itself is over,” Srikkanth told Star Sports Tamil.

“I will never accept what Dhoni is saying about this process,” said Srikkanth. “This process he keeps talking about is meaningless. You keep talking about process, process… but the process of selection itself is wrong.”

Srikkanth’s outburst came after CSK suffered a seven-wicket loss against Rajasthan Royals on Monday evening. After the game, Dhoni told official broadcaster Star Sports that the youngsters in the team had not showed him the kind of “spark” that would have warranted their inclusion in the side.

Jagadeesan’s case was singled out as he featured in just one game in the CSK XI against RCB when he scored 33.

“Dhoni now says that since the pressure is off, he’ll give the youngsters a chance. Come on yaar. I don’t understand this rubbish about the process at all. What spark didn’t he see in Jagadeesan? What spark did he see in Jadhav and Piyush Chawla?

“Karn Sharma at least took wickets. Chawla simply goes through the motions of bowling, coming on when the game is already lost. Dhoni may be a pistha (big shot) and there is no doubt he is great, but I cannot agree with him or accept this,” said the former Indian opener.

The three-time champions have six points from 10 games and are currently placed at the bottom of the points table. They next play Mumbai Indians on Friday.

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