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Found 26 results

  1. The 2019 Asian Championships have been the true testament of pure grit and the will to do anything to bring home the greatest honour any athlete can give to their country while sticking to their game, the gold medal. The inflow of medals through the tournament have also made these athletes finally get an opportunity to share and discuss their struggles and inspirational stories to motivate their fellow countrymen to do great things. We have had people like Gomathi Marimuthu, who, under extreme poverty and with absolutely no aid from the government, was able to bag the Asian championship gold medal in the 800-m race, only on the basis of her father's unconditional support and her own conviction. And now, there's the story of Arti Arun, a power-lifter who continues to work as a dental surgeon through the day in order to support her career as an athlete. Representing India on the biggest platforms all over the world, bringing home the gold and even spending more than a lakh of rupees from her own pocket for the same, has brought no support to her from the government. On Monday, according to an ANI tweet, Arun slammed the governing authorities for letting her down because of the lack of support she got from her political representatives even after she did something so honourable and prestigious for her nation. Arti Arun, Dental Surgeon&Power-lifter: After winning gold medal in Asian Power-lifting Championship in Hong Kong. I felt let down, I represented India, haven't been appreciated for it. Spent around Rs 1,50,000* from my earnings. Haven't got any support from govt. #TamilNadu https://t.co/GrLkw2v3tf — ANI (@ANI) May 6, 2019 Arun also raised some very important and heartbreaking concerns about the future of athletes like power-lifters in India. Arti Arun, Dental Surgeon & Power-lifter from Chennai: How long can I continue to spend so much? So many power-lifters go unrecognised. #TamilNadu pic.twitter.com/lX6a1ARjgo — ANI (@ANI) May 6, 2019 Why is it that only after a sportsperson has accomplished something that they finally get the opportunity to ask for support, financially or otherwise? Imagine how humiliating and demotivating it must feel to be celebrated for achieving brilliance in a sport in one country and being treated as a useless tool in your own. How can you expect more and more medals in every Asian Championships, every Commonwealth games and every Olympics when the initial commitment is not made to the athletes, to promote their desire to win, to support their dreams and turn them into reality?
  2. We talk about things like the athletes' determination that takes them places. And if we are feeling really generous, we might touch upon the contributions of their coaches and the equal amount of work their have put in behind the success of their apprentice. Having said that, ever since I covered the stories of Special Olympians like Dinal Jain and Ankush Saha for a dedicated docu-series: 'Beyond Victory' , I realised exactly how important it is to let the world know about the contributions of the parents of the sportspersons who made the nation proud by excelling in their sport of choice. It is imperative that their role, their sacrifices for the betterment of their talented children, are highlighted. Why? Because of stories like this: When the 30-year-old, 800-m Asian Athletics Championships gold medal winner, Gomathi Marimuthu stepped onto the podium to embrace her win and the recognition to go with it, the only thing that was probably going through her mind was gratitude. Congrats #GomathiMarimuthu You make us proud pic.twitter.com/TaCGAR5wRh — Naveen.M (@NaveenFilmmaker) April 23, 2019 Gratitude for her late father, who did everything within his capabilities and then some, to watch his daughter realise her dreams but could not be around to experience the joy and excitement when she finally did. After winning the Asian gold, Marimuthu went down the memory lane, remembering all the hardships her family had to go through on a daily basis just to make her better at what she wanted to do, by a tiny margin than how she was the previous day. "When I used to do sports, my father had a leg ailment and he was unable to walk. He had a two-wheeler and that was a big deal for us back then. We did not have good bus facility to go to the city, there was no electricity in my town and the roads weren't good either," said the athlete in a press conference after the win. "If I woke up at 4 a.m., I could catch the 4.30 bus. So my father would wake me up at 4, sharp, putting an alarm. If my mother was not feeling well, my father only would give me water, boil milk... all these things he would only do." "I miss my father. Since I was into sports, and we didn't have much food, he kept aside some for me and ate cattle feed for himself. I can never forget that one day,” she said as tears rolled down her cheeks. "If only my father was around today, I consider him to be like God." Look at this incredible run! Gomathi Marimuthu of India won 800m Gold at Asian Championships in Doha. Sadly no one to even hug/congratulate this 30-yr-old daughter of farmer from a village near Tiruchi. She picks & waves the Indian Flag herself. That is patriotism! Jai Hind!! pic.twitter.com/VqTkJJ3dLQ — Lt Gen Satish Duað®ð³ (@TheSatishDua) April 25, 2019 Very little to no food, bad transportation facilities, health and financial issues at home, no electricity but sheer determination to become better every single day and a Gold medal to prove it. That's Gomathi Marimuthu's story and her father's legacy and it could not have been any better.
  3. “It ain't over until the fat lady sings,” is probably the weirdest proverb to describe the latest feat achieved by the 25-year-old Indian Wrestler, Bajrang Punia who switched gears in the last few moments of his match against Kazakhstan's Sayatbek Okassov in the finals of Asian Championships in the 65kg category in Xi'an, China. Ever since the world champion Takuto Otoguro decided not to participate for the championships, all eyes were fixed on him, with a nation backing his journey, hoping to see him return to the land with a gold. His confidence and athleticism during the championships too dictated his form and with the way he was negating his competition on his journey to the final, the gold looked to be quite within his grasp, until he went through a real battle against the Kazakh. Struggling on the mat against Okassov initially, Punia was trailing his opponent 7-2. His agility and a solid defense were proving to be overwhelming for the Indian warrior but it was also making his exhaust a lot more quickly. It was only in the final few seconds that the Haryana-fame decided to turn things around in his favour when he launched a quick attack on the Kazakh's legs followed by a three-move combo, collating a total of 10 points in the final minute, winning the gold in the process. à¤à¤ª सबà¤à¥ पà¥à¤¯à¤¾à¤° à¤à¤° à¤à¤¶à¥à¤°à¥à¤µà¤¾à¤¦ सॠà¤à¤² #AsianChampionship2019 मà¥à¤ सà¥à¤µà¤°à¥à¤£ पदठà¤à¥à¤¤ पाया... à¤à¤ª सबसॠवादा हॠà¤à¤¿ à¤à¤à¥ भॠà¤à¤ª सबà¤à¥ निराश न à¤à¤°à¥à¤à¤à¤¾ à¤à¤° "à¤à¤²à¤à¤ªà¤¿à¤" मà¥à¤ भॠ"सà¥à¤µà¤°à¥à¤£ पदà¤" लानॠà¤à¥ लिठà¤à¤¡à¤¼à¥ मà¥à¤¹à¤¨à¤¤ à¤à¤°à¥à¤à¤à¤¾à¥¤ à¤à¤ªà¤¨à¤¾ पà¥à¤¯à¤¾à¤° à¤à¤° à¤à¤¶à¥à¤°à¥à¤µà¤¾à¤¦ यà¥à¤¹à¥ बनायॠरà¤à¥à¥¤ à¤à¤¯ हिà¤à¤¦ð®ð³ pic.twitter.com/tSmoEDlQG3 — Bajrang Punia (@BajrangPunia) April 24, 2019 Bajrang's greatest assets leading to this moment were probably his endurance and strength. According to his coach, Shako Bentinidis, while other athletes get tired and become slow as a match progresses, Punia evaluates his opponents and gets better with time. “The longer a bout goes on, the better are his chances to win it,” Bentinidis has said before the team had left for the tournament. Such a heroic comeback deserved recognition and his Indian fans were more than generous with the appreciations on Twitter: WHAT AN INCREDIBLE COMEBACK. FROM TRAILING 7-2, @BajrangPunia WIN ð¥IN 65KG AFTER BEATING OKASSOV 12-7!! ð®ð³'s first gold medal at #WrestleXian pic.twitter.com/dskFwhAkyj — Amit Kamath (@jestalt) April 23, 2019 ð®ð³What an incredible comeback from trailing 2-7 Bajrang Punia won gold by defeating Sayatbek Okasov12-7 Congratulations ððð¿ð¸ð®ð³ð®ð³ð pic.twitter.com/ioFBK2RUNd — Sks (@saroj7006) April 24, 2019 Once trailing 2 -7 with just 2 minutes remaining, turning into 12-7 and winning Gold in #AsianWrestlingChampionships . Thats @BajrangPunia for u. Hats off champion. pic.twitter.com/nOVwwjGMZe — Rajaguru (@rajaguru) April 23, 2019 Congratulations to @BajrangPunia on making India proud by clinching the country's first gold medal at the #AsianWrestlingChampionships 2019 in Xi'an, China.. ðð ð®ð³ pic.twitter.com/1qMDB4eLEj — ashish sehgal (@sehgalashish1) April 24, 2019
  4. Way back in early 1953, when racism was what was 'trending' and brown and black kids had to go that extra mile to earn an average living which the whites enjoyed as a 'birthright', the younger of two sons to a Sikh carpenter who went by the name of Amar Singh Virdee, was born in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. The boy was named Rajinder Singh Virdee. After fleeing to the United Kingdom following the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in 1960, Rajinder developed a great level of affection for the game of football in the Queen's land. It was his name, however, that made him feel out of place in the first instance. Hence the seven-year-old boy decided to go ahead with Roger Jones before changing it to Roger Jones Verdi and finally being satisfied with Roger Verdi. "Times were hard for me to fulfil my dreams, and I had to make some adjustments from my culture to fit in the English environment to try and achieve my goals," Verdi told BBC. Growing up, he became thick-skinned, unshaken by the racial slurs thrown at him by the kids of his age, playing around the block. "I had people call me names when I played, especially London boys. But I just laughed and shook their hand after the game. A Sikh is never sensitive to adversity. To beat racism one has to ignore it and I did because I accepted it, but I was bigger than it." Having played for the Wolves at the age of 14 every Friday, Verdi used to earn £5 but that came as a bonus to him for his main income came in the form of the ability to play the game he loved so dearly. However, not being able to receive better training in England, Verdi moved to Canada to follow his dream to play football on a professional level and the advice of his friend who offered him a spot with the Vancouver Spartans. "I needed to get out of England and, even though I didn't know much about Canada, with one bag and my boots, I was at Heathrow airport that evening to fly out there," he said. According to Verdi, the highlight of his career came in 1977 when St. Louis Stars played against an all-star New York Cosmos during which he was asked to defend the best player of football back then, Pele. Even at 34, football came naturally to the legend but Verdi stuck to the man like white on rice which made Pele a bit agitated and led him to ask out loud: 'Are we married?'. Chuckling, Verdi replied, “Yes, but we're getting divorced at full-time!” © Roger Verdi The Sikh athlete was so good that former Bayern Munich coach Dettmar Cramer told him that he would have been a Bundesliga-level player had he been playing in Germany. He was also recommended to play for Tottenham Hotspur by his former teammate, Graeme Souness, back in the day. However, our hero did not get the opportunity to make it big in England. "I made it as far as I did with no guidance because I had the hunger, the drive and work ethic. Yes, it was not what I wanted, but I made a good life out of it and it's been a great journey." h/t: BBC
  5. While India is on a roll from one scientific invention to the other, we have some kids from IIT Madras stealing the show! Elon Musk's Hyperloop Technology concept took an amazing spin when a team from IIT Madras competed in the Hyperloop Pod competition held every year and reached the finals, making them the only Asian team to do so! © YourStory If you're wondering what Hyperloop Technology actually is, it's an advanced technique that could revolutionise travel in the future. The concept was developed by Elon Musk back in 2013 through his space exploration firm called 'SpaceX' and since then, many companies and firms have been working on strengthening this technology. When the competition was held this year, a student team from IIT Madras made it to the finals after they developed a prototype Hyperloop pod called 'Avishkar Hyperloop' that would take 25 minutes to travel from Chennai to Bengaluru. © YouTube The competition had 1500 teams from all over the world who were trying to create the fastest 'pod' or a travelling vessel for the entire concept. Their aim was quite specific to build the pod though. All they had to keep in mind was that their pod attained the maximum speed and correspondingly it had comparative deceleration. Other than that, the participants were allowed to go as crazy creatively as they pleased. As 'Avishakar Hyperloop' are amongst the top 21 finalists, they'd be visiting the 'SpaceX' facility in California in July 2019 to test their prototype in a more relatable environment aka the hyperloop tunnel. © YourStory The IIT team from Madras has managed to develop an achievable prototype that will in all probability be a success as well. Suyash Singh, the founder and the head of the project claims that the pod will be able to achieve 400 to 450 KMPH during the finals and we're super ecstatic about it. The team consisting of graduates and PhD scholars has decided to use a linear induction motor, while the system will be backed by a high-power battery pack. As for the deceleration part, the team is planning on using pneumatic brakes. The pod also runs on four wheels in a single race track and at the final demonstration, the team will have to make the pod run within a one-mile-long vacuumed Hyperloop tunnel. But before the finals, the team will be allowed to test run it to make any final refinements a week prior to the actual event. "Laying the foundation for an indigenously developed hyperloop system for India will take a few years; only after that, will it be tested on the tracks. We believe the team has a long way to go and we expect the student team to be involved till the hyperloop competition is held." Ankit, the co-head of the project told a popular publication. © Facebook Team Avishkar Hyperloop Interestingly enough, all the other teams shortlisted for the finals are returning finalists, while India has made it in for the first time, without any other Asian country to compete with. The total budget for the Avishkar Hyperloop was Rs. 1 crore, which was mostly raised through crowdfunding, in-house funding and via tech companies. © Twitter Well, while we wonder if the world is really shrinking, we're really proud of team 'Avishkar Hyperloop' and we hope they do an astounding job in sunny California in July 2019.
  6. Going into the 2019 Asian Cup, the Japanese football team was looked upon as one of the top contenders for the coveted title. They began their campaign with convincing wins over Turkmenistan, Oman and Uzbekistan in the Group Stage before overcoming a resilient Saudi Arabia side in the Round of 16. A 1-0 victory over Vietnam in the quarters saw them setting a date a semifinals date with Iran who were eventually steamrolled 0-3 by the 'Samurai Blue'. A prolific run in the tournament finally placed them in the all-important final where they found dark horse Qatar standing in their way of the Asian Cup title. AP But, it was Qatar whose spirited run found a fairy-tale ending. Thanks to goals from Almoez Ali, Abdulaziz Hatem and Akram Afif, Qatar lifted their maiden Asian Cup trophy and made their intentions clear ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup which will be hosted by them. Japan's Takumi Minamino scored a goal for his side, but couldn't save the four-time Asian Cup champions from defeat in the final. For a team that had come agonisingly close to winning the title, Japanese football team and their fans surely suffered a heartbreak following their loss. Japan leave the #AsianCup2019 dressing room spotless with thank you message in English, Arabic and Japanese! ð pic.twitter.com/RfiVyoMumd — #AsianCup2019 (@afcasiancup) February 2, 2019 While they endured defeat on the football field, the Japanese football team was surely a winner for their heartfelt gesture off it. After their loss, the Japanese squad showed their class by cleaning up their dressing room. The 2019 Asian Cup runners-up left the floor spotless and wrote a 'Thank You' note in English, Arabic and Japanese language as they expressed their gratitude to the organisers of the tournament. Japan left their changing room spotless after they lost 3-2 to Belgium last night. They then left a note in Russian saying 'Thank you' Pure class. pic.twitter.com/7baTFgDfRO — FootballFunnys (@FootballFunnnys) July 3, 2018 This isn't the first time when Japan has floored everyone with their touching gesture. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Japanese brigade had also cleaned up their dressing room and left a 'Thank You' note following their Round of 16 exit at the hands of Belgium - proving why they are football's classiest nation. Owing to their latest antics, there was no surprise to see football fans across the globe showering praise on the Maya Yoshida-led side for setting an example in the sport. I love these Japanese players! ðð¼ Even the u16 players when they played here in Malaysia , they applaud us Malaysian fans and bow at us after the match. Top class manners. Respect ð¯ð¯ — Abu Colgate (@Harizzu) February 2, 2019 Japanese players and fans are well behaved and respected all around the world for their good gesture — rakeshrussell (@rakeshrussell52) February 2, 2019 That is very nice of Japanð They have really shown they are a great nation ðâ½ð Better luck next time in their tournamentð#AsianCup2019 — Jafarnumbers (@jafarnumbers) February 2, 2019 Respect and love Japanese Players so muchðð¯ðµð¯ðµð¯ðµ — Jolie Nguyen (@JolieNg10519393) February 2, 2019 Great sportsmanship, class and respect. Japan leading by example despite losing the final. ðð¼ — TheUnitedPage (@TheUnitedPage) February 2, 2019 Every country needs to learn from them. Similar gesture during WC tooððð¤ð¤ — sudha HJ (@shjug) February 2, 2019 Thank you, Japan, for your respectful attitude and good manners! You are also winners in that respect. — Magda (@almarzoukstore) February 2, 2019 #Japan is one of the few countries who always inspire me with their tidiness and punctuality — Ù. Ø­ÙÙد حس٠اÙشح٠(@HumaidHasan) February 2, 2019
  7. The seventeenth edition of the Asian Cup has been full of surprises. There were thrilling goals, exciting contests and shocking results. Favourites South Korea were handed an early exit after losing 1-0 to dark horses in the last eight. Australia lost their chance to defend their crown when they were eliminated from the quarterfinals at the hands of underdogs United Arab Emirates (UAE). But, while scintillating plays and unexpected results surely enticed the fans, the tournament, sadly, also witnessed a disgraceful episode which is now being touted as a new low in Asian football. The spirits of the home side - UAE - were high as they went past one opponent after another to eventually set up a date with their bitter Gulf rivals Qatar in the semifinals. But, this was more than just a game. It was the 'Blockade Derby' as dubbed by many ahead of the fixture. © AP A regional political dispute in 2017 saw Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cutting all political, diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar. The quartet continues to accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and destabilising the region - the charges Doha has consistently denied. A land, air and sea blockade on Qatar also meant that the private jet carrying the 25-player Qatari squad took a longer route and had to fly to the UAE via Kuwait. On the other hand, Qatari fans were also unable to attend the games and support their national team from the stands in the UAE, where showing sympathy for Qatar remains punishable with up to 15 years in jail. However, despite all the political drama and hindrances, the Qatari travelled to the UAE to participate in a tournament - that holds a rich legacy in Asia - and play a sport - which unites people across the globe. And, it was probably the political problems in the Middle East that saw a charged-up Qatari side stealing UAE's thunder in their own backyard and securing a spot in the final. Fans throwing shoes at the Qatari players after they score their 2nd goal ð² pic.twitter.com/zCxyhZeWOc — Jordan Gardner (@mrjordangardner) January 29, 2019 The home fans at the Mohammed Bin Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi had made their feelings clear when they booed the Qatar players and their national anthem before the game began. But, Boualem Khoukhi's strike in the 22nd minute didn't just shut the home fans, but probably got them agitated. And, as soon as Almoez Ali scored the second goal for Qatar 15 minutes later, the UAE fans began throwing shoes from the stands to interrupt the Qatari forward's celebration. They don't deserve to host the asian cup if that's how they behave !! No manners and no sport spirit — M (@Mazaaaj) January 29, 2019 From there on, every player that went to take corners for Qatar had to regularly deal with projectiles of shoes and bottles being thrown from the stands. And, things got worse for the hosts in the 80th minute when Hassan al-Haydos added a third in the 80th minute with a chip over the UAE goalkeeper. © AP Insult was added to indignity in stoppage time when UAE defender Ismail Ahmed was sent off following a VAR intervention for an elbow to the face of Salem Al-Hajri before Hamid Ismail's goal sealed the game for his side. This is bullsh*t, if this was fifa, they'd place a ban..and Fifa is trash! This is unacceptable, I can't count the number of times I have cursed at Messi #Russia2018 but I'll never throw shoes, it only ruins the game for everyone — Celeste/Celeste™ï¸ (@CelesteIsAnArmy) January 29, 2019 Following the fourth goal and a certain defeat of their team, the UAE fans erupted in anger, throwing more shoes and water bottles at the Qatari players who were celebrating their progress to the tournament's final where they'll take on four-time champions Japan on 1st February. Bad attitude reflects their behavior ,no wonder this is UAE — Fatima Al-Abdulla (@fmalabdulla) January 30, 2019 The demeanor of the UAE fans was not only unacceptable, but also disrespectful for the sport. Even if there are allegations against Qatar for supporting terrorism, the footballers playing on the pitch should be treated with respect. The Qatari players were just representing their country like the UAE side. And, most importantly, the political drama should not devour the spirit of the game.
  8. Despite Sunil Chhetri climbing the Indian Football's Hall of Fame ladder by equalling former captain Bhaichung Bhutia's record of most appearances for the national team with his 107th cap, all was not good for the entire team including the head coach, Stephen Constantine, as India exited from the 2019 AFC Asian Cup after a 0-1 defeat to Bahrain on 14th January 2019. View this post on Instagram The Blue Tigers are out of #AFCAsianCup after a narrow defeat to Bahrain #INDvBHR #INDBAH #AsianCup2019 #BackTheBlue #IndianFootball A post shared by Goal India (@goal_india) on Jan 14, 2019 at 11:48am PST The loss hurts a little more due to the fact that the Indian team was on a roll during the tournament and despite the loss to UAE a couple of days ago, they were looking to qualify for the knockouts for the first time since the format was introduced. After an almost uneventful match between the two Group-A teams, an extremely unfortunate penalty in the 89th minute booked the win for Bahrain and fated India's elimination from the Asian Cup. To make things worse for the team on an emotional level, they heard the news that Stephen Constantine had given in his papers and resigned from the position of India's head coach after the match. Apparently, not a single member of the team was aware of Constantine's decision before the match and only got to know about it through the media. View this post on Instagram Credit where it's due. #INDvBHR #INDBAH #BackTheBlue #IndianFootball #AsianCup2019 A post shared by Goal India (@goal_india) on Jan 14, 2019 at 1:35pm PST “He did really well for the country. If you see the records, the number of boys he has given chances. I just want to thank him from me and the... boys for doing a great job and just hope wherever he goes, wish him all the luck,” Chhetri said, as reported by goal.com. However, Chhetri said a lot more than that. Criticising his team's way of playing the captain said: “Although we did defend well, we defended too much. We should have kept the ball more. Sometimes when you just need a draw, this is what happens.” Chhetri then also complained about the defence letting “every cross to come in” which led to desperation and the frustration led to them giving away the penalty in the worst time possible. View this post on Instagram What next? Get into the big league... #INDvBHR #INDBAH #BackTheBlue #IndianFootball #AsianCup2019 A post shared by Goal India (@goal_india) on Jan 14, 2019 at 1:42pm PST But is Chhetri's argument really justified? Let the stats do the talking. Team India has never been one to keep the possession for long. While in the match against Bahrain, India's possession calculated for 39%, and it was far less during the two of the better games the squad had played previously (vs Thailand - 34%, vs UAE - 34%). While the number passes and pass accuracy remained more or less the same. What was substantially different in this game was the lack of attack on the opposition's net as Chhetri and his boys were only able to take 3 shots (all of which were off target) as compared to Thailand when India shot 15 times and UAE, 9 times. While all said and done, Chhetri's argument seems to be accurate only when put under a scope of loss and defeat. What remains true is that yesterday, there lacked the motivation and energy which the team commanded during the first two games. We can put the blame on fatigue or even the players' mental inability to manage the pressure of the game, but in reality, the Indian football team will have to wait for another year for history to be made.
  9. Football is a game, where good won't do it for you, you have to be great in every aspect of the game to come out on top. And, when it comes to the ongoing AFC Asian Cup, the margin for error, needless to say, is pretty thin. Following their first ever win in the Asian Cup history that came on the back of an emphatic 4-1 triumph over Thailand, the Indian football team found their next big challenge against hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) – a side that is currently ranked 18 places higher than the 'Blue Tigers' in the FIFA charts. Raising the expectations of the fans back home, the upbeat Sunil Chhetri brigade was once again expected to put a strong performance if they intended to edge past the more proven and experienced UAE side in their own backyard. But, sadly for the Indian fans, Stephen Constantine's men succumbed to a 0-2 defeat in their second group game, but not without a fight. The first chance of the match arrived early in the 13th minute where Ashique Kuruniyan found himself in a one-on-one position with the opposition goalkeeper, only to be denied by him in the end. Chhetri almost got a breakthrough with a crucial header, but, once again, the UAE shot-stopper stood tall to deny the 'Blue Tigers'. In the first half, UAE, despite having the majority of the possession, couldn't dictate play because of India's strong midfield performance. Thus, there was no surprise to see India boasting more shots on target (3) against their opponents who could only manage one. But, the fact that the hosts converted their lone shot on target into a goal saw them taking the lead in the first half. © AP The opening goal came in the 41st minute by Khaflan Mubarak, where UAE took advantage of India's fragile defence. Pouncing on a long pass, Mubarak left the Indian defenders in disarray before unveiling a powerful shot that went straight into the top-right corner. UAE's joy would have been short-lived had Chhetri not missed a golden chance by inches in the 43rd minute. Despite getting splitting UAE's backline, Chhetri just couldn't get the direction he would have ideally wanted to put it past the goalkeeper – one of the rare chances that India would come to rue later. Despite trailing 0-1 in the first half, India's strong performance had their fans believe that was still a chance for their side to make a comeback in the second half. And their intent was further personified by Constantine's second-half change Jeje Lalpekhlua who immediately made India's intentions clear by coming really close to scoring an equaliser in the 53rd minute. © AP The likes of Udanta Singh and Sandesh Jhingan, too, came close to level the proceedings for India. But, rather than finding the back of the net, the duo, following in the footsteps of their teammates earlier, could only manage to improve India's shots tally. And, in the end, it was Ali Makhout's cool finish in the 88th minute that sealed the game and crucial three points for 'The Abyads'. Reflecting on the pulsating clash, the Indian captain said: “It was a tight game. UAE are a good side, and they converted their chances. When you get your chances, you got to convert them. If we could have taken ours, it could have been different. We are still in the running. As a team, we are united and we are ready to fight. And that's what we are going to do against Bahrain. While India would surely rue the missed opportunities in the match, their performance was still worthy of praise and adulation. For the better part of the match, they had the hosts by the scruff of their neck but just couldn't improve the 2-0 scoreline for their showing. Following their triumph over India, the UAE team currently leads Group A with four points to their name. On the other hand, India find themselves in the second spot with just a point separating them from the group leaders. With one game left in the group stage, while UAE, seeking only a draw to progress ahead, will be seen locking horns with Thailand on 14th January, Chhetri-led India, on the same day, will face Bahrain in a bid to secure all three points to stay in contention of making the cut for the knockout stage.
  10. Footballer and model Prathamesh Maulingkar became the first Indian (and Asian) man to win the prestigious title of Mr Supranational, that was held in Krynica-Zdrój, Poland. 39 finalists from around the world participated in the pageant, representing their respective countries. © Instagram/prathamesh_maulingkar © Instagram/prathamesh_maulingkar © Instagram/prathamesh_maulingkar Prathamesh was also crowned as the winner of 'The Best Body' category in the competition. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Mr India (@officialmrindia) on Dec 1, 2018 at 9:47pm PST Prathamesh hails from Tivim, a village near the Northern Goan town of Mapusa. Despite wanting to be a cricketer, he ended up qualifying for the Dempo U-16 team, and continued playing football. He also represented Goa U-19 in Junior Nationals. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Prathamesh Maulingkar (@prathamesh_maulingkar) on Aug 6, 2018 at 10:33pm PDT View this post on Instagram A post shared by Prathamesh Maulingkar (@prathamesh_maulingkar) on Oct 24, 2018 at 1:32am PDT Prathamesh became the first Indian and Asian man to win the coveted title, while Mister Supranational Poland was adjudged first runner up, Mister Supranational Brazil was adjudged second runner up, Mister Supranational Thailand was announced as the third runner up, and Mister Supranational Brazil was announced fourth runner up. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Mr India (@officialmrindia) on Dec 8, 2018 at 2:13pm PST Congratulations, and thank you for making India proud, Prathamesh! Kudos.
  11. Ahead of their much-anticipated tour of Australia, the Indian cricket team knew they had a potential chance of creating history Down Under. While they were heavily favoured in the limited-overs series, the biggest test for the visiting side was undoubtedly the Tests where the hostile conditions posed a major threat for the Indian cricketers. But, contrary to popular perception, the Indian team put their best foot forward in the first Test and showed everyone why they are the No. 1 side in the longest version of the game. Showcasing great temperament and maturity, the visitors checked all the boxes in what eventually turned into a brilliant 31-run win at the Adelaide Oval. If the batsmen appeared responsible against the Aussies, the bowlers showcased versatility as the game progressed through the days. It's needless to say that the Indian side looked convincing in almost every session over a span of five days to eventually script a memorable win. And, as India took a 1-0 lead in the four-match series, skipper Virat Kohli, too, etched his name in the history books. © AP For a man who has witnessed a marauding run this year, Kohli couldn't do much with the willow as he managed to score just 3 & 34 across two innings. But, even if his bat couldn't breathe fire, Kohli, with his impeccable leadership skills, still clinched the unique feat of becoming the first-ever Asian captain to win a Test match in at least South Africa, England and Australia. Kohli-led India, that also became the first Indian side to win an opening Test in a series on the Australian soil, started the year on a promising note when they toured the Proteas. Despite losing the first two Tests in Centurion and Cape Town, the out-of-sorts Kohli brigade made a noticeable comeback and went on to win the third game at Johannesburg. Their next big stop was then in England where Kohli had witnessed a dismal outing back in 2014. As many would have anticipated, India began the Test series poorly, losing the first two games. But, as witnessed in South Africa, the Indian team bounced back in the third Test at Nottingham where an emphatic 203-run win once again proved what this side was capable of. Though Kohli's men lost the Test series 4-1, their outing in English conditions was still far better than those of their predecessors. © Reuters Apart from his team, Kohli himself had a brilliant run in both South Africa and England. Proving his class against the Proteas, Kohli emerged as the highest run-getter amongst the two sides in the Test series, scoring 286 runs in 6 innings at an average of 47.67. In England, Kohli silenced his naysayers by scoring 593 runs in 10 innings at a brilliant average of 59.30, showing how far he has come since his forgettable outing last time around. Though there are still three more Tests to go Down Under and Australia, despite the absence of their stalwarts Steve Smith and David Warner, still pose threat to India, the Kohli brigade, for now, can bask in the glory of a brilliant team effort that has allowed them to take a crucial 1-0 lead in what promises to be an exciting series.
  12. For a country that will host the men's Hockey World Cup later this year, India couldn't have begun their preparations any better. Plying their trade in the ongoing Asian Champions Trophy - a pivotal tournament ahead of the mega event, the Indian men's hockey team has been in rampant form. Making their intentions clear early in the tournament, the Indian side has been seen demolishing their opponents with relative ease. The Harendra Singh-led side opened their campaign with a stellar 11-0 triumph over hosts Oman. Despite goals galore, many expected them to get a tough fight from their next opponents Pakistan. But, it wasn't meant to be as India maintained their unbeaten record against their arch-rivals in the last 10 encounters. Building on their opening win, the Indian team pulled off a brilliant 3-1 win over Pakistan, despite trailing 0-1 early on. If their triumph against Pakistan allowed them to establish themselves as serious contenders for the Asiad trophy, India's spectacular show against Japan further enhanced their reputation in the tournament. Locking horns with the Asiad gold medallists, India were expected to be at their prolific best to negate their Japanese counterparts. But, by the time they were done with Japan, India looked like a champion side that is currently busy steamrolling one opponent after another. © Twitter/@TheHockeyIndia Making a mockery of Japan's defensive frailties, the Indian side thumped in as many as nine goals to eventually secure a 9-0 win. A total of six Indian players got their names registered on the scoresheet, as Japan lacked the skill to contain the persistent raids by the Asian Games bronze medallists. Striker Lalit Upadhyay opened the scoring for India in the fourth minute of the match. Gurjant Singh, then, doubled the lead for his side in the eighth minute after capitalising on a rebound from Japan's goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa, who got injured while blocking an Indian effort. In the 17th minute, Harmanpreet Singh converted a penalty stroke and then scored another with a low penalty corner shot (21st minute). The half-time hooter saved Japan from more strikes, but India's domination could be ascertained from the fact that they had scored two goals in each of the first two quarters to lead 4-0. © Twitter/@TheHockeyIndia The third quarter saw the world no. 5 team increasing their tally to seven goals, while two more came in the last 15 minutes of the match. Akashdeep Singh, who had a brilliant day while leading the attack with aplomb, got himself on the scoresheet in the 35th minute. Then, in the 42nd minute, Kothajit Singh added another to India's ever-increasing goal tally. With Japan's defence cracking wide open through the Indian raids, Mandeep Singh capitalised on the two openings in the last quarter, scoring a brace (49th and 57th minute) to cap off a sensational 9-0 win for his side. Here's a look at the team standings following the fourth day of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2018 on 21st October. #IndiaKaGame #HeroACT2018 pic.twitter.com/ID5knIYDoM — Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 22, 2018 The victory allowed the Indian men's hockey team to reaffirm their supremacy in Asia. They had beaten Japan 8-0 in the pool stage of the Asian Games in Indonesia earlier this year. But, while Japan went on to win the coveted Asiad gold, the Indian team had to console themselves with a bronze. With their third consecutive win, India now lead the standings of the six-team event with a maximum nine points. They are followed by Malaysia who've secured six points from the two games they've played so far in the tournament. Building on their fine form, India will be eager to produce yet another convincing performance when they take on Malaysia in their next encounter on 23rd October.
  13. People take 'inspiration' from Hollywood movies, but who do Hollywood directors look up to for ideas? Don't look far, the answer is Asian cinema. Here is a list of 8 Hollywood movies that we didn't know were a copy of some of the most iconic Asian films: 1. Oldboy (2013) Directed by Spike Lee, this American movie is a not-so-successful remake of Park Chan-wook's iconic 2003 release 'Oldboy'. 'Oldboy' is a neo-noir action thriller about a man, who sets out to find out why he was kidnapped and kept inside a cell for 15 years, unravelling some disturbing secrets in his journey. The South Korean version is considered to be one of the finest movies ever made, but the American one starring Josh Brolin sadly failed to recreate the same magic. Show East / Vertigo Entertainment 2. Possession (2009) 'Possession' is a copy of the 2003 South Korean movie 'Addicted'. The movie is about a woman, whose life takes a shocking turn when both her husband and brother-in-law meet with an accident; and her brother-in-law claims that he's her husband after waking up from a coma. Although the ending of 'Possession' is different, the makers have created an alternate ending as well, that is similar to the original one. Cine-2000 Film Production / Vertigo Entertainment 3. The Uninvited (2009) It is a remake of the South Korean psychological horror movie, 'A Tale Of Two Sisters'. The movie is about a patient, recently released from a mental asylum, who returns home with her sister. They soon start to experience disturbing events involving their stepmother and the ghosts haunting their house. B.O.M. Film Productions Co. / DreamWorks Pictures 4. Mirrors (2008) This supernatural horror film is a remake of the 2003 South Korean film 'Into The Mirror'. The movie revolves around a former detective, who comes across a mysterious mirror, which forces people to do horrible things to themselves. CJ Entertainment / 20th Century Fox 5. The Lake House (2006) Starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, 'The Lake House' is an American remake of 2000 movie 'Il Mare'. The movie revolves around an architect living in 2004 and a doctor living in 2006, who communicate with each other with the help of a mailbox of the house they both lived in at separate time zones. Dream Venture / Village Roadshow Pictures 6. The Grudge (2004) This American supernatural horror film is a remake of the 2002 film 'Jun-On: The Grudge'. It talks about an evil curse that is 'born when someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage or extreme sorrow.' This curse is repeatedly passed from one victim to another, leading to a growing chain of deaths and endless horror. Nikkatsu / Ghost House Pictures 7. The Ring (2002) Starring Naomi Watts and David Dorfman, 'The Ring' is the American remake of hit 1998 Japanese horror film 'Ring' or 'Ringu'. It talks about a reporter who is on the run to investigate the mystery behind a cursed videotape that kills the viewer 7 days after watching it. Ringu/Rasen Production Committee / DreamWorks Pictures 8. Shutter (2008) 'Shutter' is the remake of 2004 Thai supernatural horror movie of the same name. This movie revolves around a photographer, who discovers mysterious shadows in his photographs. Phenomena Motion Pictures / Vertigo Entertainment
  14. Ahead of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, there was a lot of speculation over the abilities of Indian athletes to come good against more-proven nations like China and Japan. While India couldn't really match the heroics of the two countries, who eventually topped the medals tally, the athletes did produce some majestic performances to ensure their country recorded its best-ever performance at the Games with 69 medals- 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze. It's needless to say that the Indian athletes exceeded expectations and made their country proud. From cash rewards to never-ending praises, the Indian sportspersons undeniably deserved it all. But, 21 days after the Games came to an end, India's miracle workers were left embarrassed in a ceremony where they were supposed to be felicitated. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) became the butt of all jokes during their felicitation ceremony that was organised to award the cash rewards to the Asian Games athletes on 23rd September. In an event that was supposed to celebrate the genius of Indian athletes, the IOA got multiple names wrong on the cheques that were to be handed to the athletes. They even missed out on mentioning the name of bronze-medal winning wrestler Divya Kakran. At the felicitation of our #AsianGames2018 champions by IOA. Compliments to IOA for felicitating Asian Games medalists for the first time in its history. Was my pleasure to have another opportunity to meet our #AsianGames medalists. pic.twitter.com/pe6hsrt7RN — Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) September 23, 2018 Around 15 medallists including compound archers Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Abhishek Verma were given just bouquets, as the IOA somehow managed to misprint their names on the cheques meant as rewards for their efforts at this year's Asian Games. The IOA awarded Rs 3 lakh, Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively for the gold, silver and bronze medal winners in the team events. The individual medallists received Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh respectively. But, in the end, it didn't even matter as they couldn't even get their names right. "I would like to apologise in advance for our mistake. The names of around 14-15 players have been printed incorrectly so we will give them a bouquet. But don't worry, you will get your cash prizes. I didn't want to give cheques with misspelt names," IOA President Narinder Batra was quoted as saying by PTI. © Twitter/@Ra_THORe Surprisingly, the major goof-up was only realised after Kakran's parents raised the issue with the IOA President after the ceremony had ended. Realising their mistake, Batra called Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore to announce the prize for poor Kakran. Several players were missing from the felicitation ceremony including gold medallists - javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and tennis players Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan, wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat along with badminton medallists PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. But, it seems that they were probably lucky to evade such an embarrassment. In a country like India, where cricket and cricketers continue to hog the limelight, other sports and sportspersons have to make amends by playing the second fiddle. They work just as hard and their achievements are just as important as the popular cricketers. While they still have to wait to come out of the shadows of the cricketers, these athletes should not be robbed off the praise and rewards they truly deserve.
  15. In 2015, when Son Heung-min signed a deal with Tottenham Hotspur for 22 million pounds, the South Korean footballer etched his name in the history books as the most expensive Asian player in history. For someone who honed his skills at Germany's Hamburger SV and then played for Bayer Leverkusen, Son eventually found his calling at the North London club, where he also became the top Asian goalscorer in Premier League history. If his club career scaled new heights, Son also proved his mettle on the international stage, representing South Korea. He was a vital cog of the South Korean football team at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups. And, more recently, he became the joint top-scorer for his country alongside Park Ji-sung and Ahn Jung-hwan at the World Cup. At the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, Son proved crucial for his side as South Korea finished the tournament as runners-up. © Reuters But, all of his records and achievements would mean nothing if Son loses the men's football final at the 2018 Asian Games on 1st September. South Korea will be looking to clinch the gold medal when they lock horns with Japan in the coveted final, but for Son, the match will probably be the last opportunity for him to save what has been a prolific football career. According to the South Korean government's policy, all able-bodied males in the country are subjected to complete at least 21 months of military service before turning 28. However, there is an exception to it. Those who have secured gold medals at the Olympics or Asian Games are automatically exempted from completing the mandatory military service for the said duration. © Reuters With Son now 26, the ongoing Games in Indonesia is probably his last chance to get out of military duty and fulfil his new five-year contract at Tottenham. But, it definitely is not going to be easy for Son and his teammates to contain fierce rivals Japan in the final. South Korea lost to Malaysia in the group stage and needed extra-time to battle past Uzbekistan in the quarterfinal. The South Koreans, then, defeated Vietnam 3-1 to storm into the final. On Saturday, when Son takes the field with his teammates against Japan in the final, apart from the South Koreans, the Tottenham team and their fans, too, will keep close tabs on the fixture in a desperate hope that their star goes on to secure the all-important gold medal.
  16. India has been super proud of star wrestler Vinesh Phogat's performance at this year's Asian Games and her claim to gold has only added to the charm. However, there was another winning memory awaiting her back home and this was to be her engagement to long time beau Somveer Rathi. © Instagram However, what has struck the audience in attendance as pretty intriguing is their engagement venue. Engaged 'Where' You Least Expected It Upon her arrival, the paparazzi went into a frenzy when they spotted Vinesh and Somveer exchanging rings right outside the arrival gates of IGI airport! The happy couple went on to cut a big cake amidst all the media hullabaloo and happily posed for pictures that she later uploaded on her personal Instagram account. Thank you everyone for making me feel special with your warm and beautiful birthday wishes.âºï¸ I am really touched and humbled with all the blessings showered on us. ðð½ This birthday will always be a memorable one ð®ð³ð¥â¤ï¸ð¤ A post shared by Vinesh Phogat (@vineshphogat) on Aug 26, 2018 at 9:57am PDT Vinesh recently created history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold in wrestling at the Asian Games by defeating Japan's Yuki Irie by a margin of 6-2 in the final bout. However, rumour mills have been churning that the sudden engagement has come in the light of the controversy the star girl found herself in. She was recently romantically linked to star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra which upset the Golden girl and she took to Twitter to slam the link-up and express her annoyance over the matter. However, all the rumours have been put to rest after her engagement to Somveer yesterday, who is also a Greco Roman wrestler himself. The best decision I ever made! Glad you pinned me for life ðâ¤ï¸ A post shared by Vinesh Phogat (@vineshphogat) on Aug 22, 2018 at 12:12am PDT We're totally thrilled for the girl who has managed to take on the high ride and not only struck gold professionally but also personally. The caption Vinesh put on her engagement pictures was lovely as she thanked all for the good wishes everyone sent her way. © Instagram “Thank you everyone for making me feel special with your warm and beautiful birthday wishes.âºï¸ I am really touched and humbled with all the blessings showered on us. ðð½ This birthday will always be a memorable one”. We wish the girl many more golden moments in life and here's hoping she continues to do what she does best.
  17. They say anger increases anxiety and high blood pressure, often leading to adverse effects on a person's health. In the world of sports, it often spells doom for an athlete and blurs their vision for success. But, despite all that, anger is still a positive and useful emotion (if it is expressed appropriately). Ask Virat Kohli. The Indian cricketer is already one of the most feared batsmen in the world, but when he's angry or being sledged, Kohli is an absolute nightmare for his opponents. The Delhi lad thrives on anger and seems to have mastered the art of using it for his own good. That's probably why not many would advise poking Kohli with insults on the field. A similar incident came to the fore at the 2018 Asian Games when India's Tajinderpal Singh Toor came out to represent India in the men's shot put event in Jakarta. The 23-year-old from Moga was realising his dream of representing the country on the world stage, but at the back of his mind, there was a picture of his ailing father who was battling cancer back home. © Reuters Angry with himself that he had to leave his father behind to carry the baton for India at the Asian Games, Tajinderpal almost ensured the gold medal on his first throw during the men's shot put final. But, his target was not to win the gold medal, rather it was to break the elusive 21-metre mark in the competition. But, despite beginning the round with a brilliant effort, the youngster struggled consistently to cross the 20m threshold, let alone come anywhere close to the 21-metre target he had initially set for himself. Lacking motivation and struggling to find his rhythm, Tajinderpal was getting ready for his fifth throw when his coach MS Dhillon shouted: "You die of shame". © Reuters And, the result was a 20.75m throw - a new Asian Games records and a gold-medal finish for an emotional Tajinderpal. "I wanted him to get angry. I told him 'I have left my family for you and your father is fighting cancer. Think of us'. I think it worked," Tajinderpal's coach said of his ward. After breaking the six-year old Games record set by Om Prakash Karhana (20.69m), Tajinderpal said: "I was trying hard to break the national record for the last 2-3 years and it happened today, that too with a Meet record". "This is my biggest achievement because a lot of sacrifices have been made. For the last two years, my father (Karam Singh) has been battling with cancer. My family though never let me get distracted. They allowed me to chase my dream. A lot of sacrifices have been made by my family and friends and all those have paid today," Tajinderpal, overwhelmed with emotions, told TOI. © Reuters "My family never pressurized to attend my father in hospital and it was always my friends who took care of all the hospital formalities in my absence. I have not gone home much in this period since I was training in Dharamsala. Now I will meet my dad but I will be there for only two days. I have to get ready for the next challenge. My coach MS Dhillon also needs to be credited for the hard work put in by him," the Indian athlete added. While a lot of athletes have won medals for India in the ongoing Asian Games, Tajinderpal's tryst with gold is undeniably the one that stands out among the rest. Though he stood alone on the podium as the national anthem was played in the backdrop, Tajinderpal's gold-medal finish was a collective victory for his family, coach and all those who aided him in these troubled times.
  18. It's pouring silver and gold for Indian athletes at Jakarta. There is no dearth of talent in India and the world is getting a taste of it at the Asian Games, with certain back to back victories in fields like shooting, wrestling, swimming and now badminton. In another historic victory, 23-year-old PV Sindhu has scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman shuttler to reach the women's singles final by defeating World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi from Japan. © Twitter Reportedly, Sindhu clinched victory with a score of 21-17, 15-21, 21-10. She won the semi-finals by a margin of 11 points and finished the game in 66 minutes. Earlier, in 2016 Sindhu became the first Indian to reach the finals and win a silver medal at the Olympics and first from the country to reach two World Championship finals. © Twitter Sindhu will now fight for gold with World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying, who defeated Saina Nehwal by 17-21, 14-21. Saina will take home a bronze medal at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia. Milestone achieved!@Pvsindhu1 becomes the first ð®ð³woman to secure a ð¥at the Asiad. A confident and boisterous display to seal the SF tie 21-17, 15-21, 21-10 against ð¯ðµ' s Yamaguchi in a thriller of a fixture. #GoForGold #IndiaontheRise #AsianGames2018 pic.twitter.com/rVFjJT7NMi — BAI Media (@BAI_Media) August 27, 2018 It is also the 1st time after 1982 Asiad that India will win singles medals in Badminton. Before the 18th Asian Games, India had won eight badminton medals and six of them are in team events and one in men's doubles and one in men's singles. With this, India's medal tally has now reached 37 - 7 gold, 10 silver and 20 bronze. Source: Hindustan Times
  19. The 2018 edition of the Asian Games has already witnessed some scintillating individual performances. The Indian men's hockey team recently recorded their biggest win on the international circuit after they blanked Hong Kong 26-0. Then, there was 16-year-old Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary who bagged a Gold on his Asian Games debut with a total score of 240.7 - a new tournament record. In football, China's Wang Shanshan left everyone stunned after scoring nine goals in a mere 29 minutes in the 16-0 demolition of Tajikistan. It's needless to say that there has been no shortage of excitement for the fans who have been treated with astronomical feats. But, while everyone has been busy making a mark with their respective skills, one particular athlete has become an overnight hero, owing to his humility and sportsmanship. Iran's Erfan Ahangarian is not a name you'd recognise. He is one of the best Wushu players from his country, but he didn't win Gold or break any record. In fact, he just won a Bronze for his country (which is also a huge accomplishment for his efforts). But, that's not what made him popular. It was rather his heartfelt gesture towards India's Surya Bhanu Pratap Singh that earned him plaudits across the globe. The most beautiful moment of the #AsianGames2018 A class show of sportsmanship from Ahangarian Erfan to help injured Surya Singh after the match.@wushuindia @wushuindia_in pic.twitter.com/GeFlDHN2ZP — FISTO (@FISTOSPORTS) August 22, 2018 After a dominating 2-0 win against Philippines' Jean Claude Saclag, the Indian Wushu player was eager to secure a medal ahead of his semis' clash with Ahangarian. But, in the Iranian, Bhanu Pratap found a tough opponent who dominated throughout their clash in the men's Sanda 60kg category. If his opponent's prowess wasn't enough, Surya Pratap got himself in all sorts of trouble after aggravating his ankle injury from the previous bout where he fell awkwardly on the mat. After getting some rest and medical attention, Surya Pratap continued to battle both his Iranian counterpart and his injury. However, the Indian athlete couldn't overcome either one of them as Ahangarian romped to a comfortable win. Super display of sportsmanship by the Asian champion Erfan Ahangarian of Iran... Carrying his injured Indian opponent after his win... #Wushu #AsianGames2018 #RESPECT PC: @SPNSportsIndia pic.twitter.com/3yCZ7XqaPa — TheSportsBuffs (@TheSportsBuffs) August 22, 2018 Such was the state of Surya Pratap's injury that he couldn't even stand properly after their bout as the umpire announced the Iranian's win by raising his hands in front of the crowd. Limping with injury and bruised with defeat, Surya Pratap found support in his opponent who didn't just lift his spirits but literally carried him off the mat to the Indian bench. Ahangarian's touching move left the commentators speechless, while the crowd inside the auditorium couldn't stop clapping and cheering for the Iranian. It was a great show of sportsmanship - one that is generally talked about, but rarely implemented by sportspersons in the ever-competitive age.
  20. Irrespective of the sport, the journey of an athlete is usually governed by hard work, dedication and the sheer will to succeed. But, while many helplessly chase success, only a handful manage to reach their true potential and make a mark in their respective fields. So, what really separates the ones trying to be successful than those who actually are? The answer is pretty simple: they dream. Big, boisterous dreams. No matter how ludicrous they may seem at first, having dreams is an irreplaceable gift and a rare luxury every human being is born with, but not many are able to make full use of it. It doesn't matter how small or big they are, dreams can act as sheer motivation to push one to their limits. And, they are addictive too. Once you've realised a dream, you just can't stop yourself from being obsessed with another. It's a chain reaction you see, one feeds the other. And, the cycle never stops. It shouldn't stop. You will get frustrated, lose hope and even contemplate the idea of making amends with what you have, but such is the addiction of dreaming that, no matter how hard you run away from it, once you've dreamt of attaining something or reaching somewhere in life, it will keep running at the back of your mind till it's taken care of. The story of India's rising shooting star - Saurabh Chaudhary - is quite similar. Hailing from the unheard village of Kalina where farming is the main occupation on the banks of the Hindon river in UP's Meerut tehsil, Saurabh never really dreamt of making a career in professional shooting, let alone win a gold medal for India at the 2018 Asian Games in the 10m air pistol category. GOLD!!! 16 year old Saurabh Chaudhary in men's 10m AP. He is not even an adult and beat a pool of olympic and world championship medal winners. So proud to support u for well over a year now young man ?@OGQ_India? congrats ?@OfficialNRAI? ?@Media_SAI? pic.twitter.com/bRSjXOrFqM — Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) August 21, 2018 From a young age, he began helping his father in the farming chores on their ancestral land. It didn't matter whether he liked it or not, farming was the reason his family could afford the basic amenities. But, deep down, Saurabh knew that farming - which allowed his family to sustain themselves all this while - was not something he wanted to do for life. And, he found his calling in professional shooting. At the age of 13, Saurabh began honing his skills in shooting after embracing it as a hobby. But he knew, if his dreams of making it big in the sport were to come true, he had to seek professional help. This was the time when he turned to Amit Sheoran's famed academy at Benoli near Baghpat, 53 km away from Meerut. It's one heck of an achievement to compete at the Asian Games when you are a teenager.But to win a Gold @asiangames2018 is what dreams are made of .. congratulations to Saurabh Chaudhary .. Proud!! ?????? — Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) August 21, 2018 Hard training and practise for countless hours forced him to stay away from his home and family, but whenever he got some spare time, Saurabh would rush back to his residence and help his father in the daily chores on their farmlands. "I like farming. We don't get much time off from training but whenever I do, I go back to my village and help my father," the youngster told PTI. Despite picking the sport just three years back, Saurabh's shooting skills, including his consistency to hit the mark, soon saw him representing India at the world stage. And, Saurabh didn't disappoint there either. In December 2017, the youngster stunned everyone with a brilliant showing at the Asian Youth Olympics Games qualification. He notched up a sensational shooting total of 243.1 - a then-junior world record - and secured a gold medal finish at the tournament. Thanks to his prolific performance, Saurabh also secured qualification for the 2018 Youth Olympics, slated to be held in Buenos Aires in October this year. 16-year old Saurabh Chaudhary illustrates the potential and prowess our youth is blessed with. This exceptional youngster brings home a Gold in the Men's 10m Air Pistol event at the @asiangames2018. Congratulations to him! #AsianGames2018 pic.twitter.com/FHmF6TM8tK — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 21, 2018 The year 2017 saw him being a part of the Indian shooting team that grabbed the bronze at the 2017 World Juniors, where he finished fourth in the individual event. It was also the same year where a 15-year-old Saurabh was seen beating the celebrated Jitu Rai in the 10m air pistol, after bagging silver medals in both the Junior and Youth events on that very day. A year later, Saurabh set the hearts of Indian fans racing with another record-breaking performance at the world stage. The Indian wunderkind set a new junior world record on the way to winning a gold medal at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany earlier in June. He shot a total of 243.7 in the eight-man final of the 10m air pistol event. His consistent performances were the prime reason why he was considered a big medal prospect for India at the 2018 Asian Games by his coaching staff, if not by fans. Ahead of the Games, no one had any doubt over Saurabh's capabilities, but there were some questions over his temperament since he was making his debut on the senior shooting circuit. A great achievement by Saurabh Chaudhary to win the Gold medal at the Asian Games at just 16 years of age. Wishing all the athletes competing at thd games a very fruitful games #AsianGame2018 — VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) August 21, 2018 But, when the competition began, the 16-year-old turned into a man and delivered arguably the best performance of his short, yet already illustrious, career. Unfazed by the star status or experience of his opponents, Saurabh remained amongst the top two from almost the beginning of his event till it finished. The youngster made his intentions pretty clear in the qualification round where, in six sets, he shot 99 thrice and 98 twice to ensure his total of 586 propelled him to the top spot ahead of seasoned campaigners like 38-year-old Jin Jong-oh (famed South Korean who has won three gold medals at the Asian Games) and 42-year-old Tomoyuki Matsuda (Japanese sharp-shooter decorated with two World Championships gold). In Stage I of the finals, Matsuda managed to assert a two-shot lead over Saurabh as eight finalists finished the round after taking 10 shots apiece. The Stage II, elimination round of the final, proved to be a nail-biter where Saurabh - despite trailing Matsuda for the most part - did exceptionally well to emerge as the winner. 16 years. Very first Asian Games. AND A ?? MEDAL. The INCREDIBLY talented #SaurabhChaudhary has truly arrived! WELL DONE, young man! Proud of you! #AsianGames2018 #IndiaAtAsianGames pic.twitter.com/JTyBz1QgiG — Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) August 21, 2018 The final set, where the two remaining shooters were subjected to take two shots, saw Saurabh shooting a 10.2 against Matsuda's mediocre 8.9 - his worst shot of the day. The rare error allowed the Indian to take lead for the first time in the final round. Showing no signs of nerves and maintaining perfect composure, Saurabh scored a brilliant 10.4 in his final shot to edge past Matsuda (who scored 10.3) to run away with the Asian Games gold on debut. Young Saurabh ended the final round with a total score of 240.7 - a new Asian Games record, while Matsuda had to make merry with the silver with the second-best score of 239.7. If his shooting prowess elated the Indian fans, Saurabh's comments after his gold-medal finish earned him the respect of the shooting fraternity. "I did not feel any pressure. I just came to compete and do my best. I have been in good form and given good results and trained hard," the 16-year-old said. For a young boy who took the sport just three years ago, Saurabh - standing tall at the podium with a gold medal around his neck - didn't just emulate the golden feat achieved by the likes of famed Jaspal Rana, Randhir Singh, Jitu Rai and Ronjan Sodhi, he appeared as the perfect embodiment of a sportsperson who dreamt big and won bigger.
  21. One of the highly popular and most decorated wrestlers in the country, Sushil Kumar became the face of Indian wrestling when he bagged a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Two years later, he became the first Indian to win a world title in wrestling after his triumphant campaign at the World Wrestling Championships. It was arguably the 2012 London Olympics that truly established Sushil as the undisputed champion in Indian wrestling. Improving on his Olympic stint in 2008, Sushil clinched a silver medal after losing the final bout to Japan's Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu. In the process, Sushil became the first individual to win two Olympic medals for independent India. But, just when his fans and India's wrestling fraternity expected him to scale new heights, the Delhi wrestler faltered and, since then, has struggled to replicate the success he attained early in his career. From being accused of spiking the drinks of his fellow countryman Narsingh Yadav to instigating a brawl with his disciple-turned-rival Parveen Rana, Sushil's reputation as India's famed wrestler has taken a major hit in the past few years. © BCCL However, despite all the controversies surrounding him, Sushil has rarely let it affect his mindset or performance on the mat - something that was thoroughly highlighted in his gold-medal finish at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Locking horns with South Africa's Johannes Botha, Sushil took just 80 seconds to win the men's 74kg final bout 10-0 on the back of technical superiority. Thus, when the Indian contingent was announced for this year's Asian Games in Palembang and Jakarta, Sushil was undoubtedly labelled as one of the country's biggest medal hopes. A shrewd tactician and an experienced campaigner, Sushil was once again expected to shine for his country in the 74kg category of freestyle wrestling. But, contrary to popular perception and to the sheer disappointment of Indian fans, Sushil suffered a shocking loss after failing to get past Bahrain's Adam Batirov in the qualification round of the event. The Indian wrestler's chances of securing a bronze medal through the repechage were also dashed after Batirov lost his quarterfinal bout to Japan's Yuhi Fujinami. © Reuters Locking horns with Batirov, the two-time Olympic medallist initially found himself leading the bout 2-1 after the first period. However, the Bahrain wrestler made a sensational comeback to put Sushil on the backfoot. The Indian star did create a couple of opportunities to score in the second period but his failure to convert those into valuable points eventually saw him losing 3-5 and, thereon, getting knocked out from the Games. Talking about the match, Sushil said, "It (the defeat) was not expected. The 57kg world champion was sitting beside me and 'he said he lost. I told him don't worry, I have lost. It's part of sport'. I will come back again. We can't be overwhelmed by defeats or victories. It won't lead you anywhere." Defending his tactics, he said: "It was not a slow start. If I am leading, I can't attack much. I made a mistake by attacking him later on when I just needed to defend. I am playing a big event after four years, that is why there were small mistakes. I did not play many big events in four years. There was not much time between CWG and Asian Games, so I could not play better tournaments to prepare. This is the only reason for today's defeat". For a man who was expected to secure a medal for India at the Games, Sushil's first-round exit sent shockwaves across the country with his fans expressing their disappointment on the social media. All good things come to an end and Sushil Kumar may just be experiencing it — Dhananjay Roy (@toi_DhananjayR) August 19, 2018 Bad luck sushil kumar try next time — Ruchi Srivastava (@Ruchi804Ruchi) August 19, 2018 Sushil Kumar loses in Wrestling - what a big upset at Asian Games — Aman Sharma (@AmanKayamHai_ET) August 19, 2018 Shocker. Sushil Kumar loses in first-round to Batirov Adam of Bahrain. He looked very rusty. #AsianGames2018 — Ferrocious! (@ashwinferro) August 19, 2018 Sushil Kumar lost his qualifying round. #shocker — Rahul Mehra (@TheRahulMehra) August 19, 2018 First round loss for two-time Olympic champion Sushil Kumar. Time he sees the writing on the wall. #wrestling #AsianGames2018 — Mihir Vasavda (@mihirsv) August 19, 2018 Sushil Kumar no words for u ...go to hell just..!! — vishal pathak (@PathakVishal3) August 19, 2018 Bajrang Poonia replaces Sushil Kumar as poster boy of Indian wrestling — A.K. Arora (@akarora1959) August 19, 2018 Wrestling was expected to be India's biggest medal hail & Sushil was the biggest soldier. Sadly, he walks slowly into the sunset of his career. #asiangames2018 #BackTheBlue #AsianGames #SushilKumar #IndiaAtAsianGames pic.twitter.com/VM8zmax1pE — Indian Sports Fan (@IndianSportFan) August 19, 2018
  22. Remember 'Djarum Black'? The black-coloured clove cigarettes that initially looked cool to smoke and made you stand out, until you realised your folks could smell its strong stench from a mile away. Often labelled as a rich man's Gudang Garam, they are almost available at every roadside shop in India today. But, have you wondered where it came from? I was almost under the impression that it was being manufactured at some shady factory in Andhra Pradesh. However, it's not. 'Djarum Black' - also known as 'kreteks' - are imported from Indonesia - one of the biggest exporters of clove cigarettes, cigars and hand-rolled bidis in the world. It is manufactured by Indonesia's famous Djarum Group which was founded by an ethnic Chinese businessman in Kudus (Central Java) in 1951. Oei Wie Gwan bought a nearly defunct cigarette company known as NV Murup and gave birth to the brand Djarum we all know today. But, the company also went extinct in 1963 when a huge fire destroyed its factory which was followed by Gwan's death. © Twitter The death of Djarum Group's owner paved way for his children Robert Budi Hartono and Michael Bambang Hartono who took over the reins and re-established their brand. Today, Djarum Group has around 50 blends of clove cigarettes internationally and is the world's third-largest manufacturer of clove cigarettes. The company has an estimated net worth of over $11 billion, while Hartono family's net worth is estimated to be around $16.7 billion (according to Forbes). But, the Hartono family isn't in news for their commercial interests in tobacco, banking and communications amongst others, rather it is Gwan's son Michael whose much-anticipated participation in the 2018 Asian Games, slated to begin from 18th August in Jakarta & co-hosted in Palembang, that has got the media attention. Michael, the 78-year-old billionaire tobacco tycoon and the richest man in Indonesia, is set to represent his country on its bridge team at the world's second-biggest multi-sport event. Classified as a 'mind game', contract bridge is a card game that is played with a standard 52-card deck. In its basic format, it is played by four players in two competing partnerships, with partners sitting opposite each other around a table. © Twitter The game consists of several deals - each progressing through four phases. The cards are dealt to the players, and then the players auction or bid to take the contract, specifying how many tricks the partnership receiving the contract (the declaring side) needs to take to receive points for the deal. During the auction, partners communicate information about their hand, including its overall strength and the length of its suits, although conventions for use during play also exist. The cards are then played, the declaring side trying to fulfil the contract, and the defenders trying to stop the declaring side from achieving its goal. The deal is scored based on the number of tricks taken, the contract, and various other factors which depend to some extent on the variation of the game being played. Well, it's more of a mystery to me who has never been able to get a hold of any card game (including childish Uno). But, what's interesting here is the fact that contract bridge has been included to the Games by Indonesia as hosts. And, it appears that Michael Hartono played a crucial role in convincing a sceptical Olympic Council of Asia to gove the card game its maiden run at the Asian Games. I guess, when you are the richest man in the country, it doesn't really take much convincing, does it. © Twitter Hartono's association to bridge reportedly dates back to the tender age of six. He has also competed several times in the World Bridge Championships and now aims to strike gold for his country at the Asian Games. But, the tobacco king, claims he isn't doing it for money, but for the passion he has for bridge. In fact, Hartono has announced that he'll forego the 1.5 billion rupiah ($102,000) cash prize that the Indonesian government has promised to award to its top medallists at the Games. "If I managed to win gold, I would donate the government's cash prize to the athletes training program," he was quoted as saying by domestic news agency Antara. Apart from his rich background and passion for bridge, Hartono narrowly missed out on being the oldest player to compete at this year's Asian Games. Malaysia's Lee Hung Fong - the 81-year-old who'll compete against Hartono in contract bridge - has claimed the unique feat with his participation. Fong is seven decades older than the youngest athlete - nine-year-old Indonesian skateboarder Aliqqa Novvery Kayyisa - at this year's edition of the Games.
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  25. Representational image. Photo: FileEnergy firms led a sell-off in most Asian equity markets on Tuesday a day after supply fears sent oil prices plunging, while confidence remains fragile owing to ongoing fears of a global trade war.After hitting...
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