In what is a landmark moment for the country, Nita Ambani, founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, has been named among the top-10 iSportconnect’s Influential Women In Sport 2020.
A pioneer in driving sports to new heights in India, Ambani has not only masterminded Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians to becoming the most successful team in the cash rich league’s history, she has set her eyes on India hosting the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in the future.
The premise of hosting an Olympics on home soil was set when the formal bid submission to host the 2023 IOC session was completed by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra and IOC member Ambani to IOC chief Thomas Bach on the sidelines of the governing body’s 134th session in Lausanne, Switzerland in June last year.
“We have never had an Olympic Games presence in India. We are No. 5 in GDP. We have seen Games going to Tokyo, Australia, Japan but never come to India. My dream is to start little by little and we realise this dream for the generations to come,” Ambani had said in an interview.
“It’s wonderful to see us now doing well, especially our girls doing well at the Olympics. But what about bringing the Games to India? The first step is to bid for the Olympics session in 2023. After that, I would love to bid for the Youth Olympics. That would be a game-changer.
“If we get the Youth Olympics to India, we can change the lives of many children. That will be our gateway to the Summer Olympics. It’s win-win for both, for the Olympics and for India,” she had said.
The IOC Session Evaluation Committee travelled to India in October last year and saw the Jio World Center as a venue with the potential to host the 2023 meeting.
Meanwhile, among others in the list, ace gymnast Simone Biles, US women’s football World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe, tennis legend Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka are also there.
Ellie Norman, Director of Marketing and Communications, Formula 1; Cathy Engelbert, Commissioner, WNBA; Fatma Samoura, Secretary General, FIFA; Mary Davis, CEO, Special Olympics and Clare Connor, Managing Director – Women’s Cricket, ECB complete the illustrious list.
PKL 8: Patna Pirates beat Puneri Paltan 38-26
Raider Sachin scored 10 points as three-time champions Patna Pirates defeated Puneri Paltan 38-26 in Match 17 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, on Tuesday. Sachin scored a Super 10 (10 points) and was ably supported by Patna’s defensive trio of Sunil (4 points), Mohammadreza Chiyaneh (3 points), and Sajin C (3 points). The lack of a quality raider despite promising performances from youngsters will be a cause of concern for the Puneri Paltan who succumbed to their second loss in three matches.
All eyes were once again on Pune’s Rahul Chaudhari but the showman, despite starting the match, was substituted for young Mohit Goyat by coach Anup Kumar in the first half. The trio of raiders including Aslam Inamdar and Pankaj Mohite caused problems for the Patna defence while at the other end Prashant Kumar Rai and Sachin were equally effective.
Patna were facing the risk of an all-out with six minutes left to half-time, but their defender Sajin C completed a Super Tackle to turn the momentum. The three-time champions got lucky later when Monu Goyat entered the lobby without contact, in a do-or-die raid only to be followed by three Pune defenders who had been deceived by his actions. The first half ended 14-14 with Pune having just two men on the mat.
Pune coach Anup Kumar clearly expected from his set of raiders and brought in Shubham Shelke for Pankaj Mohite in the second half. But Patna kept fighting back, thanks to the largely confident tackles from the likes of Mohammadreza Chiyaneh and Sajin. With 10 minutes remaining, Patna had a four-point lead and that was extended a’ Pune’s plan to play on the Do-or-Die raid backfired. Sachin scored two points in the crucial raid for Patna to inspire another ALL OUT in the 13th minute and open a 10-point lead.
Patna maintained the momentum and though Sunil and Vishal Bharadwaj picked up yellow cards in the final minutes as the match became intense the three-time champions ensured there was no late comeback by Pune and clinched an important win.
PKL 8: Bengal Warriors beat Gujarat Giants
Bengal Warriors defeated Gujarat Giants 31-28 on Day 3 of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 held at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here on Friday. This was Bengal Warriors’ second win in as many matches while Gujarat Gaints have one win and one loss. The Warriors have 10 points the same as Dabang Delhi but are placed second on a lower points-difference while Gujarat have six points.
Bengal Warriors started well and established a slender lead (16-11) against Gujarat Giants at half-time. They maintained their advantage despite the valiant efforts of the Gujarat Giants, managed to register a narrow victory.
Maninder Singh was the top scorer for Bengal Warriors with eight points while Esmaeil Nabibakhsh contributed four points.
Bengal Warriors won 18 raid points as against 19 by Gujarat Giants. But it was in defence that they scored, claiming 10 points as against eight by their rivals. They bagged two all-outs as against none by the Giants.
Rakesh Narwal was the top scorer for Gujarat Giants with 12 points while Rakesh Sungroya contributed four points.
Rishabh Pant appointed as Uttarakhand’s brand ambassador
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday announced that Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the state.
Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister said that Pant will encourage the youngsters to take up sports.
“One of the best cricket players of India, the idol of youth and son of Uttarakhand, Rishabh Pant has been appointed as “State Brand Ambassador” by our government with the aim of encouraging the youth of the state towards sports and public health,” tweeted Dhami in Hindi, along with the video.
In the video, CM Dhami can be seen interacting with Rishabh and asking about his well-being.
The attacking batter also thanked the Chief Minister for the opportunity, saying that he will try his best to motivate people towards fitness.
“Thank you @pushkardhami sir for giving me the opportunity to be the Brand Ambassador of promoting Sports and General Health among the people of Uttarakhand. I’ll do my best to spread this message and feeling happy that you are taking these steps towards a fitter India,” tweeted Pant.
“Coming from a small town of Roorkee, I am confident that the people here have the ability to make the country proud in various fields of life,” he added.
The 24-year Pant, who was rested for the New Zealand Tests, is currently in Johannesburg, South Africa as the Indian Team is all set to face Proteas in the three-match Test series, starting December 26.
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