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CWG Chit Chat: Indian flag shown upside down; Farah pulls out

Last updated on: July 24, 2014 19:37 IST

CWG Chit Chat: Indian flag shown upside down; Farah pulls out

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India hit the headlines for reasons other than sporting in the just-begun Commonwealth Games after it came to light that the country's flag was shown upside down in the official song for the 11-day event.

The official song, titled Let the Games Begin, is also the Glasgow Children's 2014 Anthem for UNICEF.

The song features the flags of all the participating countries but the makers have blundered while showcasing the tri-colour.

India, which finished second in the medals tally in the previous edition of the event in Delhi, has sent a 215-strong contingent this time.

Next: Olympic champion Farah pulls out


Image: The Commonwealth Games' official song, 'Let the Games Begin' shows India's flag upside down


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Olympic champion Farah pulls out of Commonwealth Games

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Olympic and World middle distance champion Mo Farah withdrew from England's Commonwealth Games team on Thursday, saying he is not fully fit following a recent illness.

The 31-year-old Farah, who won the 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles at the London Olympics and the World Championships in Moscow last year, was preparing to run both distances in Glasgow.

But he said he had decided to remain at his training camp in Font Romeu in Switzerland to concentrate on being fit for next month's European Championships in Zurich.

"I have taken the tough decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games," Farah said in an England team statement.

"The sickness I had two weeks ago was a big setback for me.

"Training is getting better but I need another few weeks to get back to the level I was at in 2012 and 2013.

"I really wanted to add the Commonwealth titles to my Olympic and World Championships, but the event is coming a few weeks too soon for me as my body is telling me it's not ready to race yet."

England's Chef de Mission Jan Paterson added: "It is a real blow for any athlete to miss out on a major championships through injury, but to have fought so hard to regain full fitness and to have to take such a difficult decision at this stage is particularly hard.

"We wish Mo all the very best and hope to see him back to his peak very soon."

Next: Easy for Indian shuttlers; para-powerlifter tests positive


Image: Mo Farah of Great Britain
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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Easy for Indian shuttlers; para-powerlifter tests positive

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The Indian badminton team launched its Commonwealth Games campaign with a dominating 5-0 win over minnows Ghana in a Group B match of the mixed team event.

India hardly broke any sweat as Parupalli Kashyap started the proceedings, spanking Daniel Sam 21-6, 21-16 in a men’s singles match in 27 minutes.

World Championship bronze medallist P V Sindhu then taught Stella Amasah a lesson or two in badminton in a 21-7, 21-5 victory in a women’s singles tie to give India a 2-0 lead.

The men's doubles pair of Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Chopra thrashed Emmanuel Donkor and Abraham Ayittey 21-7, 21-11 in just 22 minutes to make it 3-0.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa needed 17 minutes to brush aside Evelyn Botwe and Diana Archer before P C Thulasi and Kidambi Srikanth -- both singles players -- paired and trounced another makeshift combination of Sam and Amasah 21-5, 21-9 in a mixed doubles match.

India next take on Uganda.

Meanwhile, the Indian contingent at the Games was left red-faced on Thursday after para-powerlifter Sachin Choudhary tested positive for a banned substance in an out-of-competition test conducted by the National Anti-Doping Agency last month.

Choudhary, who was a late inclusion in the Indian team for the Games, left Glasgow on the pretext of his father's ill-health but it is now learnt that he returned a positive sample in a test conducted by the NADA before leaving the country.

"It is true that Sachin tested positive for a banned substance. The test was conducted by the NADA around a month back. It is an unfortunate incident," a member of the para-sports contingent told PTI.

"He will not return to Glasgow and his name will be removed from the starting list in the team managers' meeting," he added.

"Sachin is an experienced para-athlete and medal prospect. He took part in 2012 London Paralympics and also World Championships."

The Para-powerlifting competition at the Games is to be held on August 2.

It is also learnt that Choudhary's name was removed from the list of those recommended for the Games after the Sports Ministry asked the Paralympics Committee of India (PCI) to recommend medal prospects only.

"I think the PCI recommended 16 names first but the sports ministry wanted to know who were the medal prospects. Then Choudhary's name was not there in the list sent again to the IOA. But somehow his name was included later on," the official said.

Paralympics Committee of India president Rajesh Tomar, however, feigned ignorance about the issue, saying that he has no knowledge of it.

"I don't have any such information. If at all there is any such communication about an athlete found positive then it must be sent to secretary's office in Bangalore. I have not got any such information," he said.

NEXT: Boxers' grit set to be tested


Image: Parupalli Kashyap


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Boxers' grit set to be tested

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Left isolated internationally due to the administrative mess at home, Indian boxers' proven track record of excelling in extreme adversity will be put through a severe test when they start their campaign in the

20th Commonwealth Games here tomorrow.

With seven medals, three of them gold and four bronze, Indian boxers had scaled an unprecedented high in the 2010 edition of the Games in front of adoring and vociferous home fans.

Cut to now, the boxers could not have hoped for worst circumstances going into a major sporting event. The federation has been terminated and there seems no end in sight to the administrative mess.

In fact, the Indians were initially barred from having their coaches as ringside seconds here due to the federation's termination. But the International Boxing Association (AIBA) relented after some time, much to their relief.

The Indian team this time comprises seven men and three women after pugilists from the fairer sex were handed a CWG debut this time.

Of the seven men, only Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Olympic bronze-medallist Vijender Singh (75kg) were a part of the super-successful team of the previous edition.

Manoj was among the three gold-medallists, while the more fancied and more famous Vijender had settled for a rather controversial bronze in Delhi.

Next: India look to salvage pride after World Cup hockey debacle


Image: India's Vijender, left
Photographs: Murad Sezer/Reuters

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India look to salvage pride after World Cup hockey debacle

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Hoping to salvage some pride after a disappointing World Cup outing and also end its title drought in the process, a talented but unpredictable Indian men's hockey team will open its Commonwealth Games campaign against a lowly Wales, here tomorrow.

Clubbed in Pool A along side Wales, Scotland, South Africa besides world champions and reigning gold medalist Australia, the Sardar Singh-led India were handed relatively easy opening two matches before taking on the heavyweights of the game.

In Pool B, England, New Zealand, Malaysia, Canada and Trinidad and Tobago will fight it out for two places in the knockout phase.

After playing Wales, India take on hosts Scotland on July 26 before taking on mighty Australia on July 29, followed by last pool encounter against South Africa slated for July 31.

And undoubtedly, the Indians will be determined to register big wins against Wales and Scotland to boost their confidence ahead of the encounter against the Aussies.

India come into the Glasgow Games as reigning silver medallists, having been humiliated 0-8 by Australia in the final of the 2010 edition of the quadrennial event in New Delhi.

Next: Malaysian gets Commonwealth reprieve after jacket found


Image: Indian hockey team members
Photographs: Facebook

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Malaysian gets Commonwealth reprieve after jacket found

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Commonwealth Games shooting gold medallist Nur Ayuni Farhana Abdul Halim has been given a late reprieve to compete in Glasgow after her missing competition jacket was found and sent to her in Scotland.

Malaysian Ayuni, who won gold with Nur Suryani Taibi in the 10 metre air rifle pairs in New Delhi four years ago, had been scratched from the 10 metre air rifle and 50m rifle prone events after the garment was lost en route and failed to arrive before Monday's registration for competition.

A borrowed jacket did not fit and Ayuni said a new one would take two months to get used to.

The luggage containing her tailored jacket was thought to be in London but was finally located in Kuala Lumpur airport's Lost and Found and flown to Scotland on Wednesday ahead of Friday's start of the shooting competition.

Malaysian team manager Musa Omar said an appeal to Games organisers had failed but they discovered a loophole where changes to the line-up could be lodged before Thursday's pre-tournament technical meeting.


Image: Bronze medalist Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi (L) and Silver medalist Nur Ayuni Halim (R) pose after the Womens 10m air rifle singles event at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range
Photographs: Feng Li/Getty Images

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