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Asian Games, Archery: Jyothi Surekha Takes Pole, Powers India To Top-Spot In Women’s Compound, Mixed Qualifiers

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Seasoned Jyothi Surekha Vennam led the charge as Indian compound archers lived up to their reputation, topping the qualification and also grabbed No. 1 seeding in women’s and mixed pair team events at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Sunday. World champion Ojas Deotale and 2014 Asian Games silver medalist Abhishek Verma secured third-fourth place finish as India took the second seedings in men’s team compound qualifiers. The 27-year-old Jyothi set the tone in the first-half of the session when she edged her South Korean rivals to top the qualification with 704 points, five clear of So Chaewon.

(Asian Games 2023 Medals Tally | Asian Games 2023 Full Schedule)

Reigning world champion Aditi Swami (696) secured the fourth spot and became the second Indian to make the cut for the elimination round.

Jyothi, Aditi along with Parneet Kaur (12th place) had an aggregate team score of 2087, which was a two-way tie with South Korea, but the Indians sealed the top-spot with more number of ’10+X’ scores (150-146) than their rivals.

By virtue of their top seeding, the Indian women’s team have got a bye into the quarterfinals where they will face the winners of the match between Hong Kong and Bangladesh.

But it was a bit of disappointment for the 21-year-old Deotale who finished just three points behind the veteran Joo Jaehoon (712). South Korea had top-two spots with Chang Cheng-Wei finishing second (711).

At 2117 points each, the men’s compound team were also locked for the top-spot with the Koreans who claimed the top-seed with better 10+X scores (176-174).

Indian compound mixed team also grabbed the top billing with 1413 points, two ahead of Korea.

The mixed team event — in both recurve and compound disciplines — is a new category added to this edition of the Asian Games which will offer 10 gold medals, up from eight in 2018.

Jyothi and Deotale, who have the two best finishes among the Indians, will be India’s contestants and will face bottom-ranked UAE in the round of 16.

In pursuit of her first-ever Asian Games individual medal, the 27-year-old Jyothi, who is the most accomplished Indian compound archer, grabbed all the attention in the morning session at the Fuyang Yinhu Sports Centre.

Jyothi, who boasts of eight medals at the World Championships, dropped just five points to total 355 at the midway mark of 36 arrows. She shot 16 perfect 10s, and 15 more Xs (closer to the centre).

Jyothi slipped a bit in the back-end of 36 arrows, aggregating 349 points behind the South Korean So Chaewon by one point.

But it did not matter much as the Indian edged out the South Korean in aggregate to take the top spot.

All the four Indians in the compound sections — Deotale, Abhishek, Jyothi and Aditi — have got byes into the round of 32 in the individual elimination round.

As per the new rule in this Games, only top two archers from a country qualify for the draw of 64 elimination round.

Recurve archers impress 
Chasing their first Asian Games medal in recurve section in 13 years, India also had an inspiring show in the Olympic-discipline event.

Two-time Olympian Atanu Das finished fourth, while promising youngster Dhiraj Bommadevara was the next best Indian at sixth spot to make the cut in the men’s recurve section.

As a result, the Indian men’s recurve team qualified as the third seeds with 2022 points.

Recurve heavyweights South Korea topped the qualifiers with 2048 points, while Chinese Taipei (2030) took the second spot in the standings.

In men’s recurve section, comeback man Das finished as the top-ranked Indian at overall fourth spot (678).

Rising youngster from the Army, Dhiraj was not too far behind at the seventh spot with a score of 675.

The duo made the cut for the elimination round. Tushar Shelke was the next best Indian at 15th place to qualify for the team event where they aggregated 2022 to take the third seedings, just eight points behind Chinese Taipei.

South Korea occupied the first spot (2048).

At No 10, Ankita Bhakat was India’s best finisher in recurve women’s event, while Bhajan Kaur (14th) was the second to qualify.

Ankita totalled 649, way behind top seed Lim Sihyeon (678) of South Korea.

India ranked No. 5 in the women’s team event with 1929 points. Korea (2022) and hosts China (2005) and Chinese Taipei (1941) took the top-three seedings.

India took the fifth spot in recurve mixed team which will see Ankita partnering Das as they will begin their campaign against the 12th seeded Malaysian rivals.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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KKR Star Snaps At Saina Nehwal Over ‘Cricket Gets So Much Attention’ Remark, Then Apologises

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Young Kolkata Knight Riders batter Angkrish Raghuvanshi faced severe criticism from fans on social media after he tried to mock India’s badminton sensation Saina Nehwal. Raghuvanshi made his IPL debut in 2024 and had a memorable outing with the bat. In 10 innings, he scored 163 runs at a strike rate of 155.24. Raghuvanshi’s statement came after Nehwal claimed that sports like badminton, tennis, basketball are physically tougher than cricketers She also criticised the Indian fans for always prioritising cricket over the other sports.

“Everyone wants to know what Saina is doing, what wrestlers and boxers are doing, what Neeraj Chopra is doing. Everyone knows these sportspersons, because we have consistently performed and we have been on the newspapers. I did that, I feel it’s like a dream that I did it in India, where there isn’t even a sporting culture,” Saina said on the Nikhil Simha podcast.

“Sometimes, I feel bad that cricket gets all the attention. The thing about cricket is… if you see badminton, basketball, tennis, and other sports are so tough physically. You don’t even have time to pick up the shuttle and serve, you are like… you are breathing so hard. A game like cricket gets so much attention where I personally believe skill is more important.”

These words by Nehwal did not go well with Angkrish Raghuvanshi, who took to X (former Twitter) and wrote, “Let’s see how she goes when Bumrah bowls 150k’s bumper at her head.”

The KKR star later on deleted the tweet and went on to post an apology to Nehwal. He then wrote, “I’m sorry everyone, I meant my remarks as a joke, looking back I think it was a really immature joke. I realize my mistake and I sincerely apologize.”

However, this was not the first time when a sportsperson voiced his/her opinion regarding the ignorance towards other sports.

Earlier, India badminton star Chirag Shetty also slammed the Maharashtra government for felicitating the T20 World Cup winners and not him after India’s triumph at Thomas Cup in 2022.

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Paris Olympics: PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy Get Easy Groups; Tough Task For Lakshya Sen, Tanisha Crasto-Ashwini Ponnappa

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Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy were on Friday handed easy groups for the Paris Games beginning on July 26. Sindhu, who won the silver medal at the Rio Games and followed that with a bronze in Tokyo Olympics, has been seeded 10th. The World number 13 has been drawn in Group M of the women’s singles alongside Kristin Kuuba of Estonia (WR 75) and Maldives’ Fathimath Nabaaha Abdul Razzaq. (WR 111). While Sindhu, who is vying for a third Olympic medal, has a relatively easy group, she could face China’s sixth seed He Bing Jiao in the round of 16.

If she gets past Jiao, Sindhu will likely face Olympic champion Chen Yu Fei of China in the quarterfinals.

The 29-year-old has not had the smoothest of runs in the lead up to the Olympics and it will take a special effort from her to a complete a hat-trick of medals at the Summer Games.

Meanwhile, Prannoy, who will be making his Olympic debut, has been seeded 13th and will have to go past Vietnam’s Le Duc Phat (WR 70) and Fabian Roth (WR 82) of Germany in Group K of the men’s singles event.

The second Indian in the men’s singles, Lakshya Sen, ranked 19, has been drawn in Group L.

The unseeded Lakshya has third seed and world number three Jonatan Christie of Indonesia in his group. They both are joined by Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon (WR 41) and Belgium’s Julien Carragi (WR 52).

Lakshya has an inferior 1-4 head-to-head record against Christie with the Indonesian getting the better of the 22-year-old twice this year already.

If both Prannoy and Lakshya can top their group, they will meet each other in the round of 16.

World number 19 pairing of Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa has been drawn in a difficult Group C in the women’s doubles event.

The Indians have been clubbed alongside world number 4 Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida of Japan, Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist South Korea’s Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong (WR 7) and Australians Setyana Mapasa and Angela Yu (WR 27).

The star Indian men’s pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty is probably India’s best bet for a medal. The duo has been seeded third in men’s doubles event.

However, the men’s doubles draw for the Paris Olympics was postponed due to a Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) hearing over the number of pairs in the draw.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is yet to confirm the date of the draw.

The badminton events at the Olympics will begin on July 27. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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“In Team Meetings, He Would…”: Avesh Khan’s Big Revelation On ‘Coach’ Gautam Gambhir

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Gautam Gambhir’s single-minded objective of winning at all costs and striving to extract cent percent out of his players make him a ‘team coach’, reckons fast bowler Avesh Khan, who is aiming for a longer and consistent run in the national set-up under the newly-appointed gaffer. Gambhir, who was officially unveiled as India’s next head coach earlier this week, will start with an away white-ball series comprising three T20Is and as many ODIs in Sri Lanka from June 26. Avesh, who has played under Gambhir’s mentorship at IPL side Lucknow Super Giants, shared a few insights on his style on Friday.

“Whatever I have learned from him, it is about the mindset that you should always look to get the better of your opponent and give your 100 per cent,” Avesh told BCCI ahead of India’s fourth T20I here on Saturday against Zimbabwe.

“In team meetings, as well as one-on-ones, he would speak less but would convey his point as to what is to be done. He would assign tasks and roles to players and he has always been a ‘team coach’, he always wants to win and everyone to give their 100 per cent,” Avesh said.

With six wickets in three outings, Avesh said he has enjoyed bowling at the Harare Sports Club.

“We have played on different wickets here. We played the first two matches on the same deck, there was good bounce in the first match but in the second it had flattened out. The conditions are good, since it is an open ground the ball also swings a bit,” he said.

“But since these matches are played in daytime, sometimes the wicket dries up but as a bowler you should be prepared to bowl in all situations.” “I always try to take wickets for my team and with bigger boundaries here, as a bowler that is enjoyable,” Avesh added.

Talking about his evolution, Avesh said his focus has been on making his captain’s job easier.

“I try to give a freehand to the captain, in terms of using me whenever he wants to. If a captain has a bowler who can be used in all three stages — powerplay, middle overs and in the death — his number of options increases,” he said.

“As a bowler, I always think of providing that as an option, bring in new elements such as developing a slow bouncer or a leg-cutter from outside off-stump or near the wide line,” Avesh added.

Avesh said Jasprit Bumrah’s clarity of thoughts in execution as a bowler sets him apart, which is something he wants to emulate as well.

“Like Virat bhai said, he is once in a generation bowler, it is true and we all believe so. His style of bowling and his mindset are different, but main (thing) is his execution, for which we all practice,” he said.

“Whenever I speak with him, he tells me to focus on the execution. If you are thinking of sending down a yorker, then it has to be a yorker; it cannot be a full toss or a half volley, a bouncer has to be on the shoulders; a length ball has to be (aimed at) the top of off (stump),” Avesh added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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