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Bridge At Asian Games 2023: Indian Men Go Down Against Hong Kong; Conclude Campaign With Silver

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The Indian men’s team stumbled on the final hurdle against Hong Kong, and settled for a silver medal in the bridge competition at the Asian Games on Friday. India, a gold and two bronze-medal winner at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, lost to Hong Kong 152-238.1 in the gold-medal match at Hangzhou. The Indian team consisting of Sandeep Thakral, Jaggy Shivdasni, Raju Tolani and Ajay Prabhkar Khare could not challenge the Hong Kong outfit at any point during the six sessions, spread over two days. Indian men were trailing 1-2 after the first two sessions, and they made a woeful start, losing the day’s first session 32-42 to Hong Kong.

Trailing 1-3, India needed to win the second session on the day, but Hong Kong emerged a clear 38-17 winner to all but seal the gold with a 4-1 lead.

Hong Kong asserted their dominance in the sixth and final session with a 17-12 win.

Shivdasani said the team was quite satisfied with the silver medal-winning effort.

“You can’t be too disappointed. We got a bronze last time (at Jakarta), and at the start if you’d told me we’d get a silver medal, I would have taken it.

“We were not the favourites. China were the favourites along with Hong Kong, and to beat China in a well-fought semifinal was great,” he said.

The veteran player said Hong Kong outplayed them in the final.

“We were outplayed at the end by a team that played better than us in the final. They’re tough. They’re professionals. You have to up your game,” he added.

On whether bridge should become an Olympic sport, he said, “It has been approved as an Olympic sport, but there isn’t a slot for it, apparently. I hope it does become an Olympic sport. That would be great.”

Chess: India Men, Women Teams Remain in second spot

Indian men and women’s teams put up a strong show, posting convincing wins in the eighth round of the chess team competition at the Asian Games on Friday.

The men outplayed South Korea 3.5-0.5 while the women thrashed Hong Kong 4-0.

After eight rounds, both the teams are in second spot with a round to play.

In the India-South Korea match, D Gukesh went past Junhyeok Lee on the top board, while Praggnanandhaa got the better of Se Hyun Kwan.

Arjun Erigaisi’s win over In-Jung Gu came after a stiff fight with the Korean having gained an advantage before slipping up.

The experienced P Harikrishna salvaged a draw against Ahn Hongjin on the fourth board from what seemed a lost position.

The top-seeded men’s team meets the Philippines on Saturday in the final round while Iran comes up against South Korea.

In the women’s match, India did not have any trouble with the quartet of D Harika, R Vaishali, Vantika Agarwal and B Savitha Shri winning easily.

With none of the Hong Kong players rated above 2000 (Elo), the powerful Indian line-up outplayed their opponents.

In the men’s section, Iran continue to lead the standings with 14 match points (two MPs for a win and 1 for a draw) with India close on their heels with 13 MPs, followed by China (12) and Uzbekistan (11).

Among women, China continue to lead with 15 MPs, two clear of second-placed India with Kazakhstan further behind on 11.

India take on South Korea in the 9th and final round on Saturday while China face UAE.

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

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Carlos Alcaraz Storms Into Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final, Beats Daniil Medvedev In 4-Setter

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Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz outlasted Daniil Medvedev 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the men’s singles semifinal of the Wimbledon 2024 to enter the title-decider on Friday. Alcaraz had a nervy beginning, losing the first set to the Russian Medvedev by a narrow margin before truly getting into his game to win the next three sets. The Spaniard, who is the World No. 3 at the moment, would look to retain the Wimbledon title he won last year.

With his progression to the final, Alcaraz registered a giant feat to his name. Since the ATP rankings were first published in 1973, the Spanish ace has become the youngest player to achieve ATP top five wins on all three courts — grass, clay and hard — in consecutive seasons (2023-24). 

In the final, Alcaraz will face either seven-time champion Novak Djokovic or Lorenzo Musetti for the title on Sunday.

In the semi-final, twice Medvedev led with breaks in the first set only to be pinned back by Alcaraz.

Such was his frustration that he was handed a warning for unsportsmanlike conduct by umpire Eva Asderaki for an apparent foul-mouthed reaction to a ball called for bouncing twice as he was broken in the ninth game.

The tournament referee was even summoned to Centre Court by Asderaki, but Medvedev shrugged off the incident to sweep through the tie-break and take the opening set in which he committed only eight unforced errors to the Spaniard’s 15.

It was the third time at this year’s Wimbledon that Alcaraz had dropped the first set.

Alcaraz recovered impressively, breaking Medvedev for a 3-1 lead in the second having come out on top in the previous game on the back of a 27-shot rally.

The 21-year-old then hit 14 winners in the third set, pocketing the only break in the third game.

Medvedev, who had knocked out world number one Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals, retrieved a break early in the fourth set.

But Alcaraz kept up his assault, edging ahead again for 4-3 on his way to victory.

With AFP Inputs

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Kolkata Derby In Durand Cup To Be Played On August 18

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Teams Mohun Bagan nd East Bengal© X (Twitter)




Reigning champions Mohun Bagan Super Giant will take on Downtown Heroes FC of Kashmir in the inaugural match of the Durand Cup in Kolkata on July 27, while the much-anticipated Kolkata Derby between MBSG and East Bengal, which will also be the last group game, will take place on August 18. The 133rd edition of Asia’s oldest and world’s fifth oldest tournament will be played in four cities — Kolkata, Kokrajhar in Assam, Shillong in Meghalaya and Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. While matches in Group A, B and C will take place in Kolkata, the first match in Jamshedpur, a first-time host where Group D matches will be played, will see Jamshedpur FC take on Bangladesh Army Football team — one of the two foreign sides in the tournament.

The Group E games will begin in Kokrajhar on July 30 with local side Bodoland FC taking on ISL side NorthEast United FC.

Shillong, which will also host the Durand Cup for the first time, will see the Shillong Lajong FC take on Nepal’s Tribhuvan Army Football Team on August 2, in the first fixture of Group F.

President Droupadi Murmu had recently flagged off the trophy tour of the century-old tournament in New Delhi.

The Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan and Kishore Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur, SAI Stadium in Kokrajhar and the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong, will host a total of 43 matches.

A total of 24 teams have been divided into six groups with the six group toppers and two best second-placed teams slated to qualify for the knockouts. 

(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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