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Chess At Asian Games 2023: Indian Men Held To 2-2 Draw; Women Rout Mongolia In Round Five

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File photo of R Praggnanandhaa.© AFP

The top-seeded Indian men’s team was held to a 2-2 draw by Iran in the fifth round of chess in the Asian Games 2023 on Tuesday. In women’s team event, second-seed India crushed Mongolia 4-0 in round five with Koneru Humpy and R Vaishali leading the way. Both the men’s and women’s teams are in second spot with eight Match Points each. The men’s team came up against leaders Iran and saw its top player D Gukesh go down to Parham Maghsoudloo, while R Praggnanandhaa beat Seyedmohammedamin Tabatabaei.

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and P Harikrishna drew their chess game against Pouya Idani and Bardiya Daneshvar respectively as the match ended with honours even.

Iran is on top of the table with 9 match points.

In women’s team, Vantika Agarwal on board three and the 16-year old B Savitha Shri on board four, beat Enkthuul Altan-Ulzile and Bayarama Bayarjargal respectively as India swept to victory.

Top-seeded China beat Kazakhstan 2.5-1.5 to remain on top of the points table with 9 match points (two points for a match win and 1 for a draw).

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published 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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