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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Blazer-trouser to replace saree for Indian women at CWG

Sports Shorts: Blazer-trouser to replace saree for Indian women at CWG

Last updated on: February 20, 2018 20:53 IST

A summary of sports events and persons who made news on Tuesday

Indian athletes parade at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park, Glasgow

IMAGE: Indian athletes parade at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Photograph: PTI

Breaking away from tradition, the women athletes of the Indian contingent will wear blazers and trousers instead of sarees at the opening ceremony of the upcoming Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia.

The Indian Olympic Association took the decision after consulting stakeholders and athlete representatives.

"In the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the female athletes would be wearing blazers and trousers," read a statement from the IOA secretariat.

The IOA Athletes Commission, headed by Malav Shroff, endorsed and welcomed the move.

"This change of ceremonial dress is more practical and comfortable for the athletes," said Shroff in a mail to IOA president Narinder Batra.

Former India hockey coach Oltmans to assist Pakistan again?

Roelant Oltmans

IMAGE: Roelant Oltmans speaks with India's players during the match against Great Britain in the 2015 Hero Hockey League World Final in Raipur, India. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty images

The Pakistan Hockey Federation is seeking the services of celebrated Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans once again to take charge of the national team for the Commonwealth Games.

A reliable source in the federation said Oltmans, who coached the team before in 2003-2004, was in Oman where Pakistan is playing a triangular tournament with Japan and the hosts.

"Oltmans is in Oman to have talks with the PHF president and secretary and if he agrees to take up the new assignment, he will be leading the Pakistan team in the Commonwealth Games in April," the source said.

"He has apparently asked for a few days to make a final decision as he has been heavily involved with Indian hockey at every level since 2013," the source added.

Oltmans was initially appointed High-Performance Director by Hockey India in 2013 but took over as head coach after the ouster of another Dutchman, Paul Van Ass, in controversial circumstances in 2015.

His tenure as India head coach ended last September.

The PHF was upset after a series of poor results by the national team last year, during which it barely managed to qualify for the World Cup finals, due to be held in India later this year.

"This is an important year for Pakistan Hockey as they will appear in a number of high-profile tournaments, including the Commonwealth Games, Champions Trophy, Asian Games and World Cup. If they win the Asian Games it will put them directly into the next Olympic Games," a PHF official said.

Pakistan failed to qualify for the last Olympics in Rio and it sparked off a big debate over the decline of hockey in the country.

Yuki Bhambri rises in ATP rankings

Yuki Bhambri 

IMAGE: India's Yuki Bhambri moved up to 99 in the rankings. Photograph: PTI

India's Yuki Bhambri climbed up 11 spots to stand just a place outside the top 100 in the ATP men's singles rankings, updated on Monday.

The improvement in ranking comes after his runner-up finish at the Chennai Open Challenger tournament.

The 25-year-old's career-best ranking so far is 88, which he attained in November 2015.

Ramkumar Ramanathan, another Indian, rose a spot to No. 140.

In doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan were unchanged at 20 and 42 respectively, while Leander Paes dropped to 49.

He was followed by his doubles partner Purav Raja at 57.

In the WTA rankings, India's number one women's player, Ankita Raina lost two places to occupy No. 255.

Meanwhile, Karman Kaur Thandi dropped three places to 281.

In the women's doubles, star player Sania Mirza was unchanged at No. 14.

Saweety, Meena in semifinals of Strandja Memorial Boxing

Former world silver-medallist Saweety Boora (75kg) and Meena Kumar Devi (54kg) assured themselves of medals by entering the semi-finals on a second successive day of mixed results for Indian boxers at the 69th Strandja Memorial Tournament.

Meena defeated Italian Giulia Lamagna to make the last-four stage, along with Saweety, who outpunched American Leah Cooper in her quarter-final bout.

Advancing to the quarterfinals was Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), who got the better of another American Oshae Jones in her last-16 stage fight. 

However, there were a couple of setbacks as well for the country as world championships silver-medallist Sonia Lather (57kg) bowed out with an opening-round loss along with Pwilao Basumatary (64kg).

In the men's competition, world youth bronze-medallist Naman Tanwar (91kg) became the first one to bow out. The youngster lost to Russia's Ivan Sagaidak in a round of 16 clash.

F1: Williams hire former McLaren head of aerodynamics

Former McLaren head of aerodynamics Doug McKiernan has joined the Williams Formula One team as chief engineer in a move that will see him working with technical head Paddy Lowe again.

McKiernan left McLaren in 2015, after a period of 'gardening leave', before that team began a failed partnership with Honda and two years after Lowe departed for current champions Mercedes.

"Having worked with Doug closely between 2007 and 2012, I am sure that his talent and experience will significantly strengthen our team and we are delighted that he is joining us," said Lowe.

"Since returning to Williams last year, it has become clear that in order to help move the team forward we need greater engineering resources."

Williams finished fifth of 10 teams last year. The new season starts in Australia on March 25.

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