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Asian Games, Athletics: Tajinderpal Singh Toor Defends Shot Put Gold

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Shot-putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor defended his title with an amazing final throw to beat back the challenge from his Saudi Arabian rival in Hangzhou on Sunday while Avinash Sable became the first Indian man to win the gold medal in 3000m steeplechase at the Asian Games. Toor, the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games gold medallist, came up with a mighty throw of 20.36 metres on his sixth and last attempt to overhaul his Saudi rival Mohamed Daouda Tolo’s distance of 20.18 metres.

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

Toor, however, could not break his own Asian Games record of 20.75m set in 2018 Jakarta. But the 28-year-old’s final throw was way too good for his Saudi rival to overhaul in his final attempt.

Sable, the 29-year-old national record holder, earned India its first gold medal in athletics, completing the race in 8:19.50 seconds.

Sable rewrote the previous Asian Games record of 8:22.79 held in the name of Iran’s Hossein Keyhani set at the 2018 Jakarta Games.

Sudha Singh had won a gold in women’s 3000m steeplechase in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.

In the 1500m for women, India’s Harmilan Bains won a silver while Ajay Kumar Saroj and Jinson Johnson won silver and bronze respectively in the men’s 1500m.

Earlier, the toast of the nation in the last edition, Indian heptathlete Swapna Barman’s one “last shot” at glory at the Asian Games turned into a nightmare as she struggled with injuries to virtually go out of medal reckoning after the javelin throw event.

The defending champion, who boasts of a personal best of 52.55m in javelin throw, managed a throw of just 45.13 in the penultimate event of the gruelling two-day competition.

Javelin throw was one of the two events Swapna had won in 2018 en route to becoming the first Indian heptathlete to win an Asian Games gold.

Overall, Swapna was ranked fourth with 4840 points, 11 points behind her nearest rival Jingyi Liu of China ahead of the 800m race, which is the last segment of the seven-event competition.

The other Indian in the fray, Nandini Agasara notched a personal best of 39.88m in javelin throw that took her overall ranking to fifth place.

Earlier in the day, Swapna Barman leapt 5.71m in the long jump, while Nandini Agasara had a season-best 5.94m jump.

With her career ravaged by a spinal injury, the six-toed Indian athlete had contemplated retirement last year. But she took one last shot at glory and came to Hanghzou in her title defence bid.

This year she won the Inter-State meet and also bagged a silver medal in the build-up to the Asian Games. She also avoided surgery so as to ensure that she does not miss her training despite a bad back.

“But her body condition could not cope up and she failed to get a good start,” her coach Subhash Sarkar told PTI.

“She was expecting a good result in high jump but a fourth place finish shattered her and she couldn’t recover from there,” he added.

Swapna had a jump of 1.70m, which was nowhere close to her personal best of 1.87.

“The poor start has affected her morale and it showed in today’s javelin throw event. It’s as good as over,” Sarkar said of Swapna’s prospects this time.

Earlier, India’s Amlan Borgohain finished at the third position after clocking 21.08 seconds in the men’s 200m heats and advanced to the semifinal.

The first three athletes in each heat make the cut for the semi-finals. The top four times from all the heats who have not made the cut will also advance to the semifinals.

The sprinter from Assam, currently the country’s fastest, holds both the men’s 100m and 200m national records.

However, Jyothi Yarraji failed to make the cut for the women’s 200m final. The Indian had a timing of 23.78s.

Yarraji, however, is in contention for a medal in women’s 100m hurdles.

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

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‘Athletes Should Be In Best Shape For Olympics’: India Sports Minister To Stakeholders

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Sports Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday asked all stakeholders involved in the preparation of Indian athletes for the Paris Olympic to ensure the elite players are in the best possible mental and physical shape to excel on the grand stage. A total of 118 athletes, including 48 women, across 16 sports disciplines will compete at the Paris Games. While 72 athletes have qualified for Games for the first time, 26 have come through the government’s ambitious programme, Khelo India.

“As our athletes enter this critical phase of preparation and competition, it’s essential that we ensure they are in the best physical and mental condition to excel,” said Mandaviya, while chairing a high-level meeting to review India’s preparation for the Olympics.

The ministry has also established a coordination group to ensure holistic support for athletes and to address any issues that arise in the lead-up to and throughout the Paris Games.

The minister also expressed satisfaction that over 80 per cent of the qualified athletes were already training at various locations in Europe, ensuring they would not encounter acclimatisation issues.

“The government is committed to providing comprehensive support to Indian athletes through the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), ensuring they have the best possible preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympics,” said a sports ministry statement.

“This includes the engagement of world-class coaches and experts to enhance training programs, organising competitive exposures to give athletes vital experience, and taking initiatives focused on rehabilitation and injury management.

“For the first time, a recovery centre with sports science equipment will be available for Indian athletes at the Games Village. Additionally, India House has been set up at the Park of Nations in Paris, joining 14 other countries, including France, with similar houses. Importantly, all decisions are made with a focus on the athletes’ needs and perspectives,” the statement added.

“These efforts underscore the dedication to optimizing athletes’ performance and well-being, demonstrating a strong commitment to their success and achievement,” said the statement. 

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

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Olympic Esports Games Will Elevate Status Of The Sport: ESFI Chief

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File image of ESFI director Lokesh Suji© X (Twitter)




The Esports Federation of India (ESFI) director Lokesh Suji on Friday welcomed the International Olympic Committee’s decision to host the Olympic Esports Games next year, saying that it will elevate the status of the rapidly-growing game and bring “greater opportunity” to the players. The IOC has announced a partnership with the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Saudi Arabia to organise the inaugural Olympic Esports Games in 2025. The IOC has followed up on its previous announcement that its Executive Board had laid the groundwork for a standalone multi-national event in the form of the Olympic Esports Games.

A proposal will be floated in the upcoming IOC session on the eve of the Paris Olympics, where the venue, timings, titles to be included and the qualification process will be revealed for the Olympic Esports Games.

“This decision marks a significant milestone in the global recognition and growth of esports, providing a prestigious platform for athletes from around the world to showcase their skills on an unparalleled stage,” said Suji, who is also the vice-president of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF).

“Finally, esports at the Olympics — this is the news we have all been waiting for. We thank the leadership and the entire IOC for transforming our dreams into reality,” he added.

Suji said the Olympic Esports Games will bring more opportunities to the players. “This development not only elevates the status of esports but also paves the way for greater opportunities and support for players and enthusiasts in India and beyond,” he 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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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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