Phelps Readies For Pan Pacific

first_imgGOLD COAST, Australia — Michael Phelps got a confronting reminder of just how challenging his return to international competition may be when he was asked whether he was good enough to even reach a final at the Pan Pacific Championships this week.“Wow, you’re really setting the bar high for me!” the most decorated swimmer of all time joked in reply.Sitting beside him at a news conference, Phelps’ long-time coach Bob Bowman chipped in: “Reality check there.”The Pan Pacs start Aug. 21 and run through the weekend. It’s stage two of Phelps’ comeback from retirement — the first was qualifying for the U.S. team.Now Bowman is predicting Phelps will lower his best times in his butterfly, medley and freestyle, saying the challenge of going faster was the only reason the 18-time Olympic champion came back to the sport.Phelps qualified by finishing second in the 200-meter medley and the 100 butterfly at the U.S. nationals, and will be swimming in his first international meet since coming out of retirement four months ago with the aim of competing again at the world titles and Olympics.Only the top two swimmers from each country qualify for the finals, so Phelps is going to be under pressure from his American teammates in the morning preliminaries, and from the best swimmers from Australia, Japan, Canada, Brazil and other Pacific countries in the evening finals.He’ll start with the 100 freestyle on Aug. 22, which will feature seven Americans in the heats. He’ll also contest the 100 butterfly, the 200 medley and potentially some relays.Phelps didn’t win any of his four events at the U.S. nationals, although his times in the 200 IM and the butterfly were both among the fastest three in the world this year.He was unhappy with his freestyle, where his finish let him down. He said it was the kind of mistake an 11-year-old would make.Phelps, who won eight of his 18 Olympic gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, said he was “kind of rusty on judging the speed going into my walls,” and described his turns as “awful.”“Those were the big things that I guess I forgot how to do,” he said. “Not winning, it is what it is — I hate to lose — but I always do understand it’s not going to come back instantly.“I would rather have those instances now than farther down the road. World championships is next year … Olympics the year after that. Hopefully I’ll be able to fix the things now.”The U.S. team had a setback ahead of the competition, with Olympic and world champion Missy Franklin in doubt after hurting her back in training.Team USA spokesman Scott Leightman said Franklin had back spasms during practice Aug. 19. The 19-year-old Franklin was resting at the team hotel after medical staff controlled the spasms and issued a statement later saying she was feeling better with every hour and still hopeful of competing.Leightman said Franklin, who won both the 100- and 200-meter backstroke at the 2012 Olympics and claimed six golds at the world championships last year, would be re-evaluated before the preliminaries of the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle on Aug. 22.The Australian team is primed for a big performance at home after a winning the swimming competition at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.The competition will be held outdoors at the Gold Coast Aquatic Center, site of the 2018 Commonwealth Games swimming, and rain forecast for later in the week is giving swimmers something extra to think about.Phelps said it would be a novel experience for him. His friend and long-time rival, Ryan Lochte, said he grew up in Florida and was used to competing in rain.“You have to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. The coaches told us about the weather conditions — we’re all prepared for it,” he said.Lochte and Phelps have long dominated the 200 IM, but aren’t even seeded No. 1 at the Pan Pacs. Japan’s Kosuke Hagino has the fastest time of the year and his teammate Diaya Seto is also a contender.“It’s no longer just me and Michael. It’s definitely become a bigger event, and bigger race,” Lochte said.If Franklin is ruled out, more attention on the U.S. women’s team will center on 17-year-old Katie Ledecky, who broke the 400 freestyle world record at the nationals and now holds world marks in the 400, 800 and 1,500.“I can improve. I got some good work in after nationals. I’m really excited to see what I can do here,” Ledecky said.(JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Mets Top Rangers 5-0 as Spring Training Training Draws to a Close

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares ARLINGTON, TX — Jacob deGrom pitched four sharp innings in his final spring tuneup, David Wright had a perfect night at the plate and the New York Mets shut down the Texas Rangers for a 5-0 victory Friday.Last season’s NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom was joined by Rafael Montero, Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia and Jerry Blevins in completing a three-hitter.Wright went 3 for 3 with a walk, and Juan Lagares had three hits.Mets pitchers extended their scoreless streak to 20 1-3 innings and have given up only nine runs over the past seven games. New York ace Matt Harvey tossed four shutout innings Thursday.“Our pitching’s really good,” manager Terry Collins said, “and I think in the last week we showed it, even though it’s spring training.”The Rangers have lost eight in a row.Wright doubled home Lagares in the first inning against starter Logan Verrett, a former Mets minor leaguer who was making his Rangers debut after being acquired Thursday on a waiver claim from Baltimore.Prince Fielder’s double in the third inning was the Rangers’ only extra-base hit. No Texas runner made it beyond second.“Our hitters were down in the count all but two or three hitters,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “On the pitching side, we were underneath the hitters quite a bit tonight. You’ve got to be able to throw strikes.”The Mets added a run in the fourth and three in the seventh, including an RBI double by Curtis Granderson.Verrett spent his first three seasons in the Mets’ system before the Orioles selected him in the winter meeting draft this past offseason.STARTING TIMEMets: Scheduled to start the second game of the season Wednesday night at Washington, deGrom allowed one hit and struck out four against the Rangers. He permitted two runs or fewer in each of his six spring outings.Rangers: GM Jon Daniels said he expects Verrett, who lasted 2 1-3 innings against his former club, to make the opening-day roster barring something “extreme.” The Rangers intend to use Verrett as a long reliever.TRAINER’S ROOMMets: Collins spoke to 2B Daniel Murphy, who was not with the team in Arlington while recovering from a strained right hamstring. Murphy went 3 for 4 with a double and a walk in a minor league game in Florida. Asked if Murphy will be with the team for the season opener Monday in Washington, Collins said: “Looks like it’s possibly going to happen.”Rangers: Right-handed reliever Lisalverto Bonilla will start the season on the disabled list because of elbow discomfort. Daniels said Bonilla had an injection and will take a few days off from throwing. … Top prospect Joey Gallo had surgery to remove a troublesome unneeded bone from his left ankle. The slugger is expected back at Double-A Frisco in about three weeks. It is the same injury that former Texas catcher Geovany Soto had last year, and he was back 16 days after surgery.TUNING UPWhile the Rangers replaced seven of their nine hitters before the end of the fifth inning, the Mets used Friday as a more extensive tuneup for Monday’s season opener.Collins called Friday a perfect scenario for giving his starters extra work.“You got to play under the bright lights,” Collins said after the game. “I mean, that’s what the game’s about. You get a little bit extra adrenaline and you kind of get ready for what we’re going to expect on Monday.”UP NEXTMets: RHP Dillon Gee pitches in the preseason finale Saturday at Texas.Rangers: LHP Ross Detwiler, a starter again after being in Washington’s bullpen last season, gets his final spring tuneup Saturday against the Mets.TOMMY MAGELSSEN, Associated Presslast_img read more

Giants Say Pierre-Paul Not Ready

first_imgEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is not ready to play for the New York Giants.Coach Tom Coughlin announced the decision Sept. 9 after the team examined the right hand that Pierre-Paul injured in a fireworks accident on the July Fourth holiday.While saying Pierre-Paul was in good shape and in an outstanding frame of mind after reporting Sept. 7, Coughlin said the team did not feel he was ready to come back. Coughlin says there is no timetable for his return.“He’s worked pretty hard,” Coughlin said. “We actually saw a tape that showed him working. He’s done a lot of conditioning-type work. So I don’t think there’s anything to worry about there. Obviously, it’d be great if he was all healed and ready to go, but he’s not.”Coughlin did not describe the injury to Pierre-Paul’s right hand. Pierre-Paul did not let the Giants examine his hand after it was injured, so the Giants had to wait until Sept. 7 to see it for the first time.The coach also felt that Pierre-Paul’s inability to play wouldn’t demoralize the team.“Nothing’s changed,” Coughlin said. “We’ve taken this path and we’re on it, and we’ll stay on it. Hopefully at some point in time, Jason will be ready to play, and we’ll get the green light. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll stay where we are.”Before the doctors examined Pierre-Paul, Coughlin had said he would consider using him in the season opener against the Cowboys in Dallas on Sept. 13. That’s out of the question now.Pierre-Paul returned to Florida to continue working out. He has not signed his franchise tender, worth $14.8 million for the season.Once he does, the Giants will likely put him on the non-football injury list so they don’t have to pay him until he is ready to play.Pierre-Paul has been the Giants’ playmaker on defense in recent years. He had a team-high 12 1/2 sacks last season and he could be counted to make a big play when it counted.Coughlin said the 26-year-old Pierre-Paul was optimistic about his future.Pierre-Paul is entering his sixth NFL season. A first-round pick in 2010, he helped the Giants win the Super Bowl the next season with 16 1/2 sacks.(TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Tough Draw for Olympiacos

first_imgOlympiacos’ hoopsters didn’t get rewarded for winning its group in Euroleague play and were placed in a draw with the toughest opposition.The Reds begin European play on Dec. 29 while Panathinaikos, which finished third in its group, got a far easier set of opponents in its draw of 16.In a meaningless game, a listless Olympiacos, playing without Vassilis Spanoulis and Matt Lojeski, lost handily at home, 81-68, to the Turkish team Anadolu Efes.Olympiakos is now in the same group as Real Madrid, Barcelona, CSKA Moscow, Khimki, Zalgiris Kaunas, Laboral Kutxa and Bamberg.Panathinaikos will be grouped with Malaga, Red Star Belgrade, Lokomotiv Kuban, Cedevita Zagreb, and three Turkish teams: Fenerbahce, Darussafaka and Efes. The top four teams of each group of eight advance to the play-offs.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Papastathopoulos: I’m Working to Get Back as Soon as Possible

first_imgSource: ANA-MPATweetPinShare0 Shares LONDON – Sokratis Papastathopoulos sent a message to Arsenal fans saying, “I’m working to get back as soon as possible” after his injury during the course of Arsenal’s 1-3 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup.The 30-year-old Greek international central defender, uploaded a photograph to Instagram, showing him at home, embracing his child while he was recuperating from his injury.Sokratis was replaced by Mustafi at the Emirates Stadium in the 21′ minute of action. Sokratis appeared to have injured in the ankle. Arsenal F.C. made it publicly known that Sokratis will not be able to train until the end of February, which means he will miss the matches against Cardiff City, Manchester City, Huddersfield, Southampton and Bournemouth.last_img read more

Sports Highlights

first_imgNew Delhi, June 29 (AFP) The following are the top/expected stories at 1730 hours EXPECTED STORIES: * Report of the second T20 International between India and Ireland. * FIFA World Cup * Report of Malaysia Open Badminton STORIES ON THE WIRE: SPO-HOCK-CT-IND India need draw against Netherlands to enter Champions Trophy hockey final Breda (Netherlands), Jun 29 (PTI) India would look to eke out at least a draw against hosts Netherlands in their last round robin match here tomorrow, a result that will be enough for the eight-time Olympic champions to grab a second consecutive final spot at the Champions Trophy hockey tournament. SPO-HOCK-WOM-SQUAD Striker Rani Rampal to lead India in women’s hockey World Cup New Delhi, Jun 29 (PTI) Forward Rani Rampal was today named as the captain of India’s 18-member squad for the women’s hockey World Cup to be played in London next month. SPO-BOX-ASIAD-TEAM Shiva, Sarjubala make Asiad squad after winning trials New Delhi, June 29 (PTI) Shiva Thapa (60kg) claimed a place in the Indian boxing team for the Asian Games after winning the trials, where Sarjubala Devi clinched the 51kg spot in the women’s squad — a category that had been thrown open after M C Mary Kom pulled out of the equation due to a shoulder problem. SPO-ASIAD-SHOOT-SQUAD Narang, Jitu, Mehuli fail to make cut for Asian Games squad New Delhi, June 29 (PTI) The seasoned Gagan Narang, Jitu Rai and young Mehuli Ghosh failed to make the Indian shooting squad for the upcoming Asian Games, even as a few unheralded faces were picked for the quadrennial extravaganza, starting August 18 in Indonesia.advertisement SPO-SHOOT-CWG Fabulous beginning, says NRAI chief after British lawmaker offers support for shooting’s inclusion in 2022 CWG By Abhishek Hore New Delhi, June 29 (PTI) The Indian shooting fraternity was provided a flicker of hope by England’s Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, who said they were “exploring ways” to include the sport in the 2022 Commonwealth Games program, during a speech that combined pragmatism with optimism. SPO-BAD-IND Srikanth enters semifinals of Malaysia Open Kuala Lumpur, June 29 (PTI) Kidambi Srikanth continued his impressive run at the Malaysia Open, progressing to the semifinals of the men’s singles competition with a straight-game win over France’s Brice Leverdez in the USD 700,000 world tour super 750 tournament here today. SPO-ICC-APP To tackle corruption, ICC launches integrity app Dubai, Jun 29 (PTI) The International Cricket Council (ICC) today launched an integrity app, which will help the players deal with corrupt approaches. PTI AHAHlast_img read more

Redmi Y2, Redmi Note 5 Pro, Redmi 5: Best Xiaomi phones you can buy right now

first_imgIt’s no secret that Xiaomi has seemingly taken India’s budget and lower mid-range smartphone segment by storm. Although the company is yet to replicate the success of its budget and lower mid-range smartphones in the more premium price segment — Xiaomi’s last flagship phone in India, the Mi Mix 2 although it was straight out of the future, failed to set cash counters ticking — the contribution of Xiaomi to the price sensitive market like India has been nothing short of phenomenal. This is because the price segment — under Rs 20,000 — that Xiaomi has been able to crack, drives the volumes game.Every list and feature that talks about the best phones to buy under Rs 20,000 off-late starts with a Xiaomi phone and ends with a Xiaomi phone. That’s saying a lot about Xiaomi, a company that’s still fairly new in India. But growing phenomenally. On the back of value for money phones at rock bottom prices. The following phones are a classic example.Best entry-level option: Xiaomi Redmi 5AXiaomi’s ‘Desh ka Smartphone’ aka the Redmi 5A is the best entry-level phone that you can buy in the Indian market right now. The Redmi 5A starts at Rs 5,999 for the base 2GB RAM/16GB storage version while the top-end version with 3GB RAM/32GB storage costs Rs 6,999.The Redmi 5A is an entry-level phone designed for feature phone users looking to make a switch to a smartphone. But just because it is an entry-level phone, it doesn’t mean that it makes a lot of compromises in terms of hardware specs. In fact, at its price point, the Redmi 5A is the most powerful phone that money can buy, and a build quality to match.advertisement It comes with an all-plastic body with a smooth metallic finish on the back and is available in as many as three colours:Dark Grey, Gold and Rose Gold.In terms of hardware specs, the Redmi 5A comes with a 5-inch HD IPS display with a 720p resolution. It is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor coupled with Adreno 308 GPU, up to 3GB RAM and up to 32GB of internal memory which is further expandable by up to 128GB via a dedicated micro-SD card slot. The dual-SIM phones runs Android Nougat-based MIUI 9 out-of-the-box and supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready) connectivity.On the camera front the Redmi 5A comes with a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.2 aperture along with Phase Detection Autofocus and an LED flash. On the front you get a 5-megapixel snapper. The phone is backed by a 3,000mAh battery which is non-removable and is claimed to offer up to a whopping 8-days of battery life on stand-by on a single charge.Best budget option: Xiaomi Redmi 5The Redmi 5 is the best phone to buy around Rs 10,000. Even more so than the Redmi Note 5. Because it offers much of the same deal in a slightly more affordable package. The Redmi 5 is available for buying at a starting price of Rs 7,999 for the 2GB RAM and 16GB storage version going all the way to Rs 10,999 for the top end 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version. The Redmi 5 is also available in 3GB RAM and 32GB storage version for Rs 8,999.The most striking aspect of the Redmi 5 is the fact that it’s the most affordable bezel-less phone with an 18:9 aspect ratio in the Indian market right now. Also, it’s the cheapest phone in the Indian market, right now, to come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor. The Redmi 5 comes with a metal body with reinforced corners and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. There’s 2.5D curved glass on the front and on-screen keys for navigation. It is available in as many as four colours: black, gold, rose gold and blue.In terms of hardware specs, the Redmi 5 comes with a 5.7-inch ‘full-screen’ HD+ IPS LCD display. It is powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor clubbed with up to 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage which is further expandable by up to 128GB via a hybrid micro-SD card slot. The dual-SIM phone runs Android 7.1.2 Nougat-based MIUI 9, and supports 4G LTE (and VoLTE) connectivity.The Redmi 5 ships with the same camera credentials as the more expensive Redmi Note 5. While on the rear, the Redmi 5 comes with a 12-megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture, phase detection autofocus and a dual-LED (dual-tone) flash, on the front it comes with a 5-megapixel sensor with LED flash. Both the cameras are capable of recording 1080p videos.The phone is backed by a 3,300mAh battery which is claimed to offer up to 17 days of battery life on stand-by on single charge.advertisementBest lower mid-range options: Xiaomi Redmi Y2, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 ProThe Redmi Y2 and The Redmi Note 5 Pro are the best lower mid-range phones to buy in the Indian market right now. The Redmi Note 5 Pro starts at Rs 14,999 for the base 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version, while the top-end version with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage is available for buying for Rs 16,999. The Redmi Y2, on the other hand, starts at Rs Rs 9,999 for the base 3GB RAM and 32GB storage version going all the way to Rs 12,999 for the top-end 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version.The Redmi Note 5 Pro which spiritually succeeds the Redmi Note 3 was globally launched in India in February. Not only that, the Redmi Note 5 Pro also marked the global debut of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 processor. The Redmi Note 5 Pro, more specifically, is powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor clubbed with up to 6GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage which is further expandable by up to 128GB via a hybrid micro-SD card slot. The dual-SIM phone runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat-based MIUI 9, and supports 4G LTE (and VoLTE). It comes with a dual camera system on the rear consisting of one 12-megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture and another 5-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture. While the primary sensor has a 1.25um size to capture more light, the secondary sensor assists in portrait shots or photos with shallow depth of field. The dual camera system, in the Redmi Note 5 Pro, further comes with phase detection autofocus and a dual-LED (dual-tone) flash.On the front, the Redmi Note 5 Pro, sports a 20-megapixel camera with LED flash.Elsewhere, the Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with a 5.99-inch ‘full-screen’ FHD+ display with a 2160x1080p resolution and a 4,000mAh battery under the hood.The Redmi Y2, on the other hand, is the successor to last year’s Redmi Y1. Just like the Redmi Y1, the Redmi Y2 is also a phone that is chiefly targeted towards the youth looking for a big screen and what is supposedly the best selfie experience, on a budget. It’s the best all-rounded camera phone that you can buy in the Indian market right now.In terms of hardware, the Redmi Y2 comes with a 5.99-inch ‘full-screen’ HD+ display with a 1440x720p resolution. It is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor clubbed with Adreno 506 GPU, up to 4GB RAM and up to 64GB storage which is further expandable by up to 256GB via a dedicated micro-SD card slot. The dual SIM phone runs Android 8.0 Oreo-based MIUI 9.Also Read: Carl Pei says OnePlus phones are getting expensive because component price is increasingThe Redmi Y2 has a dual camera system on the rear — 12MP+5MP — with the secondary camera especially meant for taking portrait shots or photos with shallow depth of field. This setup uses AI to apparently help your portrait shots look better. On the front, the Redmi Y2 comes with a 16-megapixel camera with ‘soft’ LED flashadvertisementElsewhere, the Redmi Y2 is backed by a 3,080mAh battery.last_img read more

Paris Saint-Germain win French Super Cup at Neymar return and Tuchel debut

first_imgNeymar made a winning return to Paris Saint-Germain as they registered a solid 4-0 win over Ligue 1 2017-18 runners-up AS Monaco to claim the French Super Cup at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre on Saturday.Thomas Tuchel got a winning start to his innings as the PSG coach as Angel Di Maria scored a brace to hand The Parisians a record-equalling eighth Super Cup victory.Neymar came to the party only in the 76th minute of the match when PSG were already 3-0 up. He replace Marco Verratti on the field and received a rapturous applause from the crowd.Neymar was not handed a start in the match as he has returned to PSG training only this week following the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Neymar’s strike partners Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani did not travel to China with the rest of the squad. Neymar was introduced into the French Super Cup encounter in the 76th minute. (Getty Images)Italy’s legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who has joined PSG from Juventus only this season, started between the posts but did not have much to do in a game that was absolutely dominated by France’s domestic treble winners.Di Maria had been a lively presence throughout the first half and the Argentine opened the scoring 12 minutes before the break when he capitalised on a foul on Adrien Rabiot to strike a curling free kick over the wall and beyond Diego Benaglio. Angel Di Maria scored a brace to help PSG win the French Super Cup. (AP Photo)Seven minutes later, Christopher Nkunku slotted home PSG’s second from close range as his side took a two-goal cushion into halftime.advertisementMidway through the second half, Timothy Weah put the result beyond doubt when he slipped the ball through Benaglio’s legs from eight yards to make the most of Stanley N’Soki’s darting run and cutback from the touchline.Di Maria, who had begun the assault on Monaco, put the seal on the win in stoppage time when he slotted into the bottom corner.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

Hooda, Saurabh take 5 wickets each as India Blue thrash India Red to win Duleep Trophy

first_imgDeepak Hooda produced match-winning performace with the ball, picking up seven wickets – including a five-wicket haul as India Blue thrashed defending champion India Red by an innings and 187 runs to win the Duleep Trophy at NPR College ground in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu on Friday.Deepak picked up 5 wickets for 56 runs and Saurabh Kumar picked up the rest (5/51) as India Blue needed just 10.5 overs on the fourth day to bundle out India Red for 172 in the second innings.Overnight not-out batsmen Ishan Kishan and Writtick Chatterjee fell in the space of 10 runs to left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar and Hooda respectively.India Blue are Duleep Trophy champions, 2018 as they win by an innings and 187 runs. Congratulations to India Blue! Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) September 7, 2018The talented, young Kishan could only add five runs to his score of 25, while Chatterjee moved from 13 to 15 before being caught by Ricky Bhui off Hooda.Off-spinner Hooda picked up the wickets of M Prasidh (7) and Ishan Porel (6) to finish things off for India Blue.Earlier, Saurabh had Mihir Hirwani (5) caught behind by Smit Patel.Left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh, who took 5 for 58 in India Red’s first innings, bowled only three overs and went wicketless in the second.Swapnil had a pretty good match as he scored 69 in India Blue’s only innings apart from the five-wicket haul.Himachal Pradesh batsman Nikhil Gangta was named man of the match for his superb knock of 130.Brief scores: India Blue 541 all out in 167.3 overs (N R Gangta 136, Anmolpreet Singh 96, Swapnil Singh 69, Parvez Rasool 4 for 150, Mihir Hirwani 3 for 190) beat India Red 182 all out in 69.1 overs (B Sandeep 57, Swapnil Singh 5 for 58) and 172 all out in 38.5 overs (Abhinav Mukund 46, Saurabh Kumar 5 for 51, Deepak Hooda 5 for 56) by an innings and 187 runs.advertisement(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

From pain and penury to pinnacle of success: The winning tale of gritty Swapna Barman (IANS Special Series)

first_imgBy Debayan MukherjeeKolkata, Oct 14 (IANS) Until that evening in Jakarta when the country celebrated her success with much fanfare, everything about heptathlete Swapna Barman spelt hardship. From extreme poverty to physical deformity of the kind that threatened to time and again derail her ambition, Swapna pushed every odd to its limits on course to become the first Indian heptathlete to win an Asian Games gold.But by the 21-year old’s own admission, getting a government job, and certainly not a gold medal, was her priority when she set sail.”When I started with high jump in my locality and used to take part in local competitions back home, my target was to somehow get a government job. That was my dream then,” Swapna told IANS here.Swapna is the youngest among four children of her parents, who even now struggle to make ends meet. Belonging to the Rajbongshi tribe in North Bengal, Swapna’s mother worked as a maid and doubled up as a plucker in the tea gardens.Her father, Panchanan Barman, pulled a van rickshaw until he became bedridden following a stroke seven years ago.”My other three brothers and sisters struggled to make a living. I am the youngest. So my father thought if I eke out something from sports, that would be helpful for the family.”All I wanted was a small-time job,” said Swapna, who besides financial hurdles had to overcome the hurdle of having six toes in both her feet to produce her career-best performance by logging 6,026 aggregate points from the gruelling seven events spread across two days in August.”My dream now is to take my country further ahead and make all of you proud,” added Swapna, while continuously stressing that she should not be treated differently now as the journey has just begun.In Jakarta, she competed with a tape on her right cheek to lessen pain arising out of a tooth infection. “I could not eat anything before my event. I was so ill I cannot tell you. I only knew I had to do this. All these years of struggle rested on this.”Her story began in a narrow lane between paddy fields that leads to Ghoshpara village where Swapna ran for the first time in her life.”I got a glimpse of Swapna Barman for the first time in 2011 in Jalpaiguri, which is also my native place. I have a few students there and they told me, ‘Sir take her along with you to Kolkata, she is very good’,” recalled her long-time coach Subhas Sarkar who, among others, has also trained track and field athlete Hari Shankar Roy.A Sports Authority of India (SAI) trainer since 1992, Sarkar said Swapna’s diminutive stature and stocky built did not impress him initially. It was Raikot Para Sporting Association secretary Samir Das who pushed Sarkar to take her along with him. Swapna used to train here before moving to the SAI Eastern Centre in 2012.According to Sarkar, Samir — who passed away in June this year — had warned that she would soon start working in the tea garden with her mother if she did not get proper exposure. In a 2011 school meet in Ludhiana, Swapna bagged gold in high jump. Coach Sarkar was still not impressed, but Swapna started to show meteoric growth in the next few years.”I was surprised to see her talent. In 2012, she scored 57, 61, 63, 67, 71 in high jump. Within two years, she made 2-3 junior national records in high jump. One extraordinary quality she had was her adaptation and following the technique part. She was above average,” Sarkar said.Sarkar then made the shift for Swapna from high jump to heptathlon.”Her height was a worry in high jump and, seeing her potential, I was sure she had it in her to win an Asian Games medal. So I decided to shift her to heptathlon.”In her first event, after the shift, Swapna racked up 4,431 points and got silver at Guntur in 2013.From then on, Sarkar said, Swapna took off and never looked back.At the age of 17, Swapna took part in the 17th Federation Cup Senior Athletics Championships and qualified for the Icheon Asian Games in South Korea, scoring 5,400 points in heptathlon.In the 2014 Asiad, Swapna finished in fifth place with 5,178 points and coach Sarkar felt she was on track to achieve a podium finish in the future.But as fate would have it, social problems and a career-threatening back injury stretching from 2015 to 2016 forced her to return home and contemplate never taking the field again.Brought back into the fold by coach Sarkar, Swapna clinched gold in the Asian Athletics championships in 2017 with 5,942 points but performed poorly while aggravating her injury at the World Athletics Championships the same year in London.Before the Asiad, when all was going according to plan and Swapna was confident of hitting the 6,200-point mark, a spate of injuries ranging from ankle, hamstring, lower abdomen and a Grade 3 meniscus tear during the national camp in Patiala threatened to derail her campaign once again.But this time, as coach Sarkar said, both of them were determined to not let it go. So Swapna skipped going under the knife, travelled to Indonesia even as Athletics Federation officials were not sure of her fitness, and achieved what she had not set out for in her initial years..Swapna will have to do it all over again as she targets hitting the 6,300 plus point zone ahead of 2020 Olympics. In 2019, she is unlikely to participate in any major competition as she needs to recuperate fast.”If I can win gold despite an excruciating tooth ache, I am sure I would do better in future when fully fit,” Swapna declared.(Debayan Mukherjee can be contacted at–IANSdm/ssp/vv/tbadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Veteran sports journalist Roshan Lal Sethi passes away

first_imgNew Delhi, Nov 11 (PTI) Veteran sports journalist Roshan Lal Sethi has passed away after a prolonged illness. Sethi, who breathed his last at his East Delhi residence on Saturday, was 81. He is survived by his wife, a married son and two married daughters. Sethi started his sports journalism career in 1964 with ‘Motherland’ newspaper and remained associated with it till 1975 as sports editor. He also worked with the Indian Express, Hindustan Times, National Herald and Navbharat Times. For the last few years, he was associated with Sandhya Times. Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran and its managing committee members mourned the demise of Sethi. PTI PDS ATATlast_img read more

Kapil Sharma, Ginni Chatrath tie the knot again in Sikh ceremony, inside pics and video

first_imgKapil Sharma and Ginni Chatrath got married in a Sikh ceremony at the bride’s residence today after arriving from The Grand Cabbana resort at around 4-4:30 pm in Jalandhar. The couple were beautifully colour-coordinated in pink. While Kapil wore a white and pink bandhgala, Ginni sported a beautifully embroidered pink lehenga.Their Sikh ceremony was streamed live on Kapil Sharma’s official youtube channel:Kapil and Ginni’s saat pheras wrapped up in the wee hours of the morning today. The much-in-love couple also spoke to media right before their wedding ceremony started.Next up, the comedy king will host a wedding reception in Amritsar, his hometown, followed by a Mumbai reception for his industry friends. Both his nuptials were intimate and only close friends and family were invited. Kapil and Ginni’s pre-wedding festivities kicked off last week with Akhand Parth and Bangle ceremony respectively. Both the bride and the groom kept their look simple in all their ceremonies.A day before the wedding, a Jaago ceremony was organised by Kapil’s family and also a cocktail and dinner party hosted by Kapil’s friends like Krushna Abhishek, Bharti Singh, Haarsh Limbachiyaa, Sumona Chakravarti, Rajiv Thakur among others.See pics | Kapil Sharma and Ginni Chatrath wedding: 11 memorable pics from the intimate nuptialsAlso read | Kapil Sharma and Ginni Chatrath wedding: The couple take saat pheras. See picsAlso read | 15 unmissable moments from Kapil Sharma’s big fat Punjabi wedding. Inside pics and videoslast_img read more

IPL 2019: Royal Challengers Bangalore lose Dale Steyn to shoulder injury

first_imgRoyal Challengers Bangalore fast bowler Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the remainder of Indian Premier League 2019 due to an inflammation on his shoulder, the IPL franchise confirmed on Thursday.Steyn had missed Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 17-run win over Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium due to the shoulder injury.”Dale Steyn has been prescribed with ample rest due to inflammation in his shoulder. On account of state of his health, Dale will not be available to take part further in the ongoing season of IPL,” RCB said in a statement.”His presence has helped the team immensely and we are very thankful for the inspiration and passion that he brought to the squad. The team will deeply miss his energy and presence around. We wish him a speedy recovery and all the luck for all future endeavours.”Dale Steyn joined Royal Challengers Bangalore midway during the ongoing season of IPL as a replacement to injured Australian pace bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile. Steyn played only two matches for RCB but made an immediate impact by leading the bowling unit that had looked ordinary until his arrival.Steyn picked 2 for 40 on his return to IPL after a three-year absence in RCB’s thrilling win over Kolkata Knight Riders on Apirl 19. He led RCB to a famous win over Chennai Super Kings at home on April 21.Steyn played a massive role in RCB’s thrilling one-run win over Chennai Super Kings on April 21. With figures of 2 for 29, Steyn rattled CSK top-order, removing Shane Watson and Suresh Raina in successive deliveries as early as the first over in their succesfull defence of 161.advertisementAlso Read | Watch: Royal Challengers Bangalore euphoric after 3rd straight win in IPL 2019Also Read | Virat Kohli elated after RCB win again: Losing six in a row really hurt usAlso Read | Virat Kohli mocks R Ashwin over Mankading in explosive send-offAlso See:last_img read more

Controversy in IPL 2019 Final: Rohit Sharma upset after Shardul Thakur’s rude send-off act

first_imgThere were some heated moments early in the IPL 2019 final between Mumbai Indians and defending champions Chennai Super Kings in Hyderabad. Shardul Thakur gave Quinton de Kock a send-off after removing him for a 17-ball 29 on Sunday.Mumbai Indians had won the toss and decided to bat against Chennai Super Kings. Quinton de Kock led a rapid charge for MI who were playing their 5th IPL final. He hit Shardul Thakur for a six in his first over before smashing 3 sixes off Deepak Chahar. Thakur returned to bowl his 2nd over and had de Kock caught behind.Shardul Thakur, who had bowled just 1 over in the Eliminator against Delhi Capitals, gave Quinton de Kock a send-off and waived him off with a finger. Rohit Sharma, at the non-striker’s end, was far from impressed and could be seen walking over to the umpire to have a word.Ian Gould came and chatted with Shardul Thakur who appeared to smile and it looked like all was good.Tempers have already been high in the 2019 Indian Premier League. In Jaipur earlier in the season, MS Dhoni had stormed on to the pitch to argue with the umpires after confusion over a no-ball in a tense game between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings. MS Dhoni was fined 50 percent of his match fee and many including Virender Sehwag felt it was a light punishment.Kings XI Punjab captain R Ashwin had also stirred up a controversy when he Mankaded Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler. Several cricketers from around the world had slammed R Ashwin for his action even as the KXIP captain explained why he did it.advertisementVirat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, during matches this season, also appeared to mock R Ashwin over the Mankading act.Also Read | IPL Final: MI vs CSK in 2015 to MI vs CSK 2019: What has changed in 4 yearsAlso Read | IPL 2019 Final: Pollard looks to spend a happy birthday evening as MI eye glorylast_img read more

French Open 2019: Djokovic, Serena smoothly sail into third round

first_imgNovak Djokovic wasted little time beating Henri Laaksonen 6-1 6-4 6-3 on Thursday to breeze into the third round of the French Open and stay on course to hold all four Grand Slam titles.The 32-year-old Serbian top seed, bidding to win his second French Open, was at his clinical best in the opening set against the Swiss lucky loser, dropping only three points on serve.There was a brief loss of focus when Djokovic was broken to love midway though the second set but he was quickly back in the groove to move two sets ahead.Laaksonen, ranked 104th in the world, had only reached the second round once in a Grand Slam, and there was no way back as Djokovic broke twice in the third to wrap up victory.As with holder Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, Djokovic has enjoyed a friendly first-week draw and he will face Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso for a place in the fourth round.Serena Williams breezed into the third round of the French Open on Thursday with a routine 6-3 6-2 win against Japanese Kurumi Nara, wasting no energy in her quest for a record-equalling Grand Slam singles title.The 10th seed, chasing a first major since the 2017 Australian Open, survived a first-set fright in her opening match, but there was no hiccup this time.She will take on fellow American Sofia Kenin in the next round, with world number one Naomi Osaka a potential opponent in the quarter-finals.As often with Williams, both the clothes and the arm did the talking on Court Philippe Chatrier.She stepped into the stadium wearing her Virgil Abloh-designed dress printed with the words “Reine, Mere, Championne, Deesse” (Queen, Mother, Champion, Goddess).advertisementOn court, the 37-year-old was given a decent workout by world number 238 Nara, who was playing her only second match in the main draw of a tour-level tournament this year.Nara stood her ground in the first seven games but derailed in the eighth as Williams broke for 5-3 with a booming forehand winner down the line.The Japanese cracked earlier in the second set, dropping serve in the third game, and never recovered as Williams snatched her 801st victory on the tour.Also Read | French Open: Osaka survives early exit, Thiem battles through to 3rd roundAlso Read | French Open 2019: Federer eases into 3rd round, Cilic crashes outAlso Seelast_img read more

Monsoon likely to reach Delhi on July 3, says IMD

first_imgThe monsoon is likely to make an onset in Delhi on July 3, after a delay of four days, officials said on Friday.Normally, the wind system reaches the city around June 29, they added.”A low pressure area is likely to develop in the Bay of Bengal on June 30 which will cause easterly winds to move towards north India and help the monsoon advance,” senior scientist at India Meteorological Department, Kuldeep Srivastava said.”Monsoon is likely to make an onset in the national capital on 3 July. Initially, the city will witness only light rain activity,” he said.On Friday, hot and dry conditions prevailed in the national capital, with the mercury crossing the 43-degree Celsius mark in some parts of the city.The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides official figures for the city, recorded a maximum of 41.5 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 27.2 degrees Celsius.Humidity levels oscillated between 26 and 69 per cent.The weather stations at Palam, Ayanagar and Sports Complex recorded the mercury at 43.8, 42.9 and 43.4 degrees Celsius respectively.The weatherman has predicted a partly cloudy sky, thundery development and strong surface winds on Saturday. The maximum and minimum temperatures will hover around 41 and 28 degrees Celsius.Also Read | Monsoon takes toll on incomplete residential projects in Delhi-NCRAlso Read | Waiting for rain? Here is where monsoon clouds are hidingAlso Watch | Heavy rains in Mumbai, traffic hit, roads waterloggedlast_img read more

Rishi Kapoor: Sara Ali Khan sets example of how celebrities should behave at airport

first_imgVeteran actor Rishi Kapoor heaped praises on Sara Ali Khan for setting an example of how celebrities should behave at the airport. While celebrities seem larger than life, sporting airport looks and surrounded by bodyguards, Sara was seen lugging her suitcases without any help.The 23-year-old actor was returning to Mumbai from her trip to Lucknow on Tuesday when she was spotted handling her own luggage, unlike many other celebrities. Among many others who hailed Sara for handling her own luggage was Kapoor, who lauded her on social media.”Wonderful Sara. You set examples how celebrities should behave at the airport. No harm at all tugging your own baggage, no chamchas to receive and the icing on the cake! No dark glasses or an airport look. You show confidence with no insecurities. Atta girl!” he tweeted, quoting a news article.The Kedarnath actor was busy filming for Imtiaz Ali’s upcoming yet-untitled flick in Himachal Pradesh alongside Kartik Aaryan and Randeep Hooda.Rishi, on the other hand, is counting his days to return to India post treatment for an unknown health condition. The veteran actor has been visited by a slew of Bollywood celebrities including Karan Johar, Vicky Kaushal, Boman Irani, Deepika Padukone, Aamir Khan, Alia Bhatt, Priyanka Chopra, Sonali Bendre, and Javed Akhtar.His wife Neetu Kapoor, who is quite active on Instagram, keeps sharing pictures from their huddles.advertisementThe Mulk actor, who went to the US in September last year, was last seen in Jhootha Kahin Ka, which released on July 19.Watch Rishi Kapoor in Jhootha Kahin Ka:ALSO READ | Netizens hail Sara Ali Khan for carrying her own luggage: She doesn’t behave like a star kidALSO READ | Rishi Kapoor on cancer: I had lost 26kg as I had no appetite for the first four monthsALSO READ | Kartik Aaryan is missing someone in new sad picture. Is it Sara Ali Khan, ask fansALSO READ | Sara Ali Khan and Kartik Aaryan take a stroll in Shimla with their faces covered. Watch videoALSO WATCH | Sara Ali Khan’s first look from Kedarnath outlast_img read more




first_imgIowa’s population growth was the lowest in the tri-state area from July 2016 through July 2017.Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show the state’s population grew by a half per cent over that time, slightly below the national average of 0.7 per cent.South Dakota’s population increased by 0.9 percent and Nebraska’s population growth matched the national average of 0.7 percent.last_img

A recap of Week 3 in the Big 12

first_imgIf you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! USATSI_8083651_154512258_lowresIt was an interesting weekend for the Big 12, to say the least.Clint Trickett is going to win the Heisman, and maybe Texas isn’t so bad after all. The top teams in the league took care of business, while some of the hybrid (good or bad, we aren’t sure yet) teams suffered a setback.Let’s take a quick look around the Big 12, and examine how teams performed. Oh yeah, Big 12 play starts next week.Oklahoma State vs UTSAIn Daxx Garman’s first start since Apollo 13, the Cowboys were victorious over the Roadrunners in a game that was never really in question.Garman went 16-30 with 315 yards on the day while also throwing for two TD’s, including this gem to Brandon Sheperd.The Cowboy offense looked great on a few drives, but that seemed to be the exception. Between Daxx’s constant bombs and Tyreek never really making his presence felt, the offense never established any sort of rhythm of identity.The Cowboy defense, however, looked very stout. UTSA was held to only 206 total yards and 11 first downs the entire evening. Gundy and the gang will have a bye week to figure things out before Texas Tech comes to town next Thursday.Final ResultOklahoma State – 43UTSA – 13This WeekByeOklahoma vs TennesseeIn what was billed as another edition of Bob Stoops against the SEC, the Sooners looked like the favorite to win the Big 12in their first real challenge of the young season.Trevor Knight and the Oklahoma offense looked solid, racking up 454 total yards on the evening. Knight went 20-33 with 308 yards and one TD, while also adding one TD on the ground. The three-headed Sooner rushing attack (Ford, Perine, Ross) had another respectable night on the ground, rushing for a combined 129 yards and one TD.Mike Stoops’ defense held Justin Worley and the Tennessee offense to only 313 total yards, while also forcing three turnovers. The Sooners look like a complete team poised to snag one of the four playoff spots come December.This type of performance, especially against his favorite conference, has Coach Stoops doing some type of jig.Final ResultOklahoma – 34Tennessee – 10This Week@ West VirginiaBaylor at BuffaloNot a whole lot to say about this one, other than Baylor did what they should have done. Bryce Petty looked healthy, as he racked up 416 yards and 4 TDs through the air in only three quarters. Shock Linwood added 97 yards and 2 TDs on the ground for the Bears.KD Cannon continued to look electrifying, as he hauled in 6 receptions for 189 yards and 1 TD.Baylor wasn’t really tested in their three non-conference games, but they were impressive nonetheless. I don’t see the Bears having any trouble until their matchup with Oklahoma in Norman on November 8th.Final ResultBaylor – 63Buffalo – 21This WeekByeWest Virginia at MarylandDana and the Mountaineers redeemed themselves after last year’s beat down at the hands of the Terps. In a game that saw West Virginia blow a 28-6 lead in a way that only a Dana-coached team would do, a late field goal by Josh Lambert allowed them to escape College Park with a victory.Clint Trickett had himself a day, going 37-49 with 511 yards and 4 TD’s. 216 of those yards went to Kevin White, who is quickly emerging as one of the Big 12’s top targets.The West Virginia defense did look susceptible at times, giving up several big plays that allowed the Terps to climb back into the game late. The Mountaineers look like they could have a say in the outcome of the Big 12 this year, and we could find out just how much this week against Oklahoma.Final ResultWest Virginia – 40Maryland – 37This WeekOklahoma @ homeKansas at DukeIs this matchup some sort of sick joke in regard to college basketball season? If so, I hope the basketball version doesn’t disappoint quite as much.Duke racked up 511 total yards, including 245 on the ground from freshman running back Shaun Wilson. Jayhawk QB, Montell Cozart, went 11-27 and only 89 yards as the offense never got rolling. This was the 25th straight road loss for Kansas, and things don’t seem to be getting any better.Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 11.04.48 AMFinal ResultDuke – 41Kansas – 3This WeekCentral Michigan @ homeIowa State at IowaOnce again, why does Iowa State do this to their fans? Are they good, or are they not?One week after taking K-State to the brink, the Cyclones got a last-second victory this week over Iowa to secure the Cy-Hawk Trophy.Cyclone QB, Sam Richardson, had another impressive day, going 25-37 with 255 yards and 2 TD’s. In what was a defensive struggle most of the day, the Iowa State defense held Iowa to 275 total yards while also forcing two turnovers. It was a Cole Netten field goal with two seconds left that finished off the Cyclone rally.Iowa State is going to give several teams in the Big 12 trouble, especially when those teams travel to Ames (what a great name for a city, by the way).USATSI_8083617_154512258_lowres Final ResultIowa State – 20Iowa – 17This WeekByeTexas Tech vs ArkansasI think Jonathan Williams and Co. are still scoring touchdowns. The Tech defense was horrid, allowing 438 rushing yards and 7 TD’s to the Razorback offense.Is it bad when the opposing QB throws for 61 yards and you still get beat by 21 points?The Tech offense also sputtered at times, with Davis Webb only throwing for 252 yards. I said it last week, but I just don’t see the same swagger in this year’s Red Raiders.Davis Webb looks apprehensive, which obviously isn’t a plus in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. Like Oklahoma State, Tech has a bye week to get things figured out on both sides of the ball.Final ResultArkansas – 49Texas Tech – 28This WeekByeTCU vs MinnesotaTCU took care of business Saturday as the Golden Gophers made the trek to Fort Worth. The Horned Frog defense look solid, holding Minnesota to only 268 total yards.They also held Minnesota to only 99 rushing yards, which is well below the Gophers’ season average of 233 yards per game.The TCU offense also looked sharp for most of the game, with Trevone Boykin throwing for 258 yards and 2 TD’s while adding 92 yards on the ground.The up-tempo TCU offense only had one scoring drive last over two minutes, and only had the ball for just over 25 minutes the entire contest. Boykin will need to take full control of this newly installed offense if the Horned Frogs are to have a special season.Final ResultTCU – 30Minnesota – 7This WeekByeTexas at UCLA (in Arlington)In what was probably the most exciting Big 12 game of the week, the Longhorns came up just short against the UCLA Bruins at Jerry World.I was thoroughly impressed in how the Longhorns rebounded after last week’s dismantling at the hands of Taysom Hill.Tyrone Swoopes threw for 196 yards and 2 TD’s, but looked much more comfortable in the pocket than last week. The opening coin toss might have led Longhorn fans to believe that it was going to be another rough night.UCLA won the toss and deferred to the second half, then Texas said it wanted to go on defense. When a team defers, you take the ball because the team that deferred will get the ball to start the second half.Long story short, UCLA got the ball to start both halves.UCLA QB, Brett Hundley, got hurt on the Bruins’ second possession, which led to Jerry Neuheisel (son of Rick) taking over. Neuheisel threw for 178 yards and 2 TDs, the last of which proved to be the game-winner.Despite the loss, Texas showed plenty of promise heading into Big XII play.Final ResultUCLA – 20Texas – 17This WeekByeTotally Tickets is your source for Oklahoma State football tickets.last_img read more