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Sports Shorts: Ankita crashes out of US Open Qualifying event

Last updated on: August 22, 2019 19:55 IST

Ankita Raina

IMAGE: Ankita Raina failed to keep her momentum. Photograph: Ankita Raina/Twitter

India's top women's singles player Ankita Raina crashed out of the women's singles US Open qualifying event after a hard fought three-set loss to Czech Republic's Denisa Allertova.

The world No 194 went down 7-6(5), 4-6, 2-6 to her Czech rival in a match that lasted two hours and 17 minutes, on Wednesday night.

 

Ankita won the first set in a tie-breaker but failed to keep her momentum as Allertova broke the Indian to take the second set comfortably.

 

In the decider, Ankita was broken again as she conceded the match.

Sumit Nagal is the only Indian left in the qualifiers. He is scheduled to play Peter Polansky of Canada in the second round of the qualifiers. 

Punjab CM bats for Bharat Ratna to hockey legend Balbir Sr, writes to Modi

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking the country's highest civillian honour -- the Bharat Ratna -- for hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr.

Amarinder, in his letter to Modi on Wednesday, called the 95-year-old legend, an outstanding sportsperson of his era.

"I wish to draw your attention to the subject cited (award of Bharat Ratna to Balbir Sr) and request to award Bharat Ratna to Shri Balbir Singh Sr, one of the most respectful and outstanding sportspersons of India since Independence," wrote Amarinder.

"Shri Balbir Singh has been an outstanding sportsperson in the field of hockey and was part of the Indian team that won gold medals in Olympic games of 1948, 1952 and 1956. He was also the captain of the Indian team in 1956 Olympics.

"As a recognition to his contribution, Shri Balbir Singh (Sr) has already been awarded the Padma Shri in 1957. I strongly recommend and request you to consider awarding Bharat Ratna to Shri Balbir Singh (Sr)," he further wrote.

One of the country's tallest sportspersons, Balbir Sr was the only Indian in a list of 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) across the modern Olympic history.

His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men's hockey final in an Olympic Games still remains unbeaten.

He had scored five goals in India's 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Games.

He was also the manager of India's World Cup-winning team in 1975. He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1957. 

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking the country's highest civillian honour -- the Bharat Ratna -- for hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr.

Amarinder, in his letter to Modi on Wednesday, called the 95-year-old legend, an outstanding sportsperson of his era.

"I wish to draw your attention to the subject cited (award of Bharat Ratna to Balbir Sr) and request to award Bharat Ratna to Shri Balbir Singh Sr, one of the most respectful and outstanding sportspersons of India since Independence," wrote Amarinder.

"Shri Balbir Singh has been an outstanding sportsperson in the field of hockey and was part of the Indian team that won gold medals in Olympic games of 1948, 1952 and 1956. He was also the captain of the Indian team in 1956 Olympics.

"As a recognition to his contribution, Shri Balbir Singh (Sr) has already been awarded the Padma Shri in 1957. I strongly recommend and request you to consider awarding Bharat Ratna to Shri Balbir Singh (Sr)," he further wrote.

Reacting to Amarinder's letter to the Prime Minister, Balbir Sr. thanked the chief minister and said he felt humbled.

"Due recognition acts like elixir to sportspersons. Awards and recognition are in the hands of the almighty and the government of the day. I would like to thank Capt Amarinder Singh for the recommendation based on a lifetime dedicated to sports as a player, coach, manager and administrator. I am humbled," the legendary centre-forward told PTI.

Amarinder later tweeted: "Wrote to PM@NarendraModi ji, requesting to award Bharat Ratna to Shri Balbir Singh (Sr) for his outstanding performance in Hockey. He was a 3 time Olympic gold champion having played an imp role in 1948,1952 & Captain of 1956 win. He is the greatest ever centre-forward."

One of the country's tallest sportspersons, Balbir Sr was the only Indian in a list of 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) across the modern Olympic history.

His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men's hockey final in an Olympic Games still remains unbeaten.

He had scored five goals in India's 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Games.

He was also the manager of India's World Cup-winning team in 1975. He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1957.

Amarinder Singh had last month presented the Maharaja Ranjit Singh award to Balbir Sr at the PGIMER here. At that time, the chief minister had said he intended to recommend Balbir Sr.'s name for the Bharat Ratna.

In October last year, Balbir Sr. was admitted to PGIMER following bronchial pneumonia and last month too he had been admitted to the hospital. He was later discharged and his grandson Kabir said on Thursday that the legend's health has shown signs of improvement.

Maharashtra's Jadhav wins 3 medals at World Police Games

Constable Monali Jadhav from Maharashtra won three medals, including two golds, at the recently concluded World Police and Fire Games International Championship held in China.

Jadhav is attached to the Jalamb police station in Buldhana district of Maharashtra.

Representing the Indian police force, Jadhav secured 716 out of 720 points (a new record) and won the gold in target and field archery, while she won a bronze medal in the '3D Archery' case.

Jadhav, who trains under coaches Chandrakant Elag and Suresh Shinde, was recruited in the police force in 2013.

She had finished ninth at the World Championships in Shanghai in May.

India's biggest walkathon to kick-off in December

Registrations for India's biggest walkathon, Oxfam Trailwalker India 2019-2020 have opened.

The Mumbai edition of the event will be held in December, while the Bengaluru edition will be held early next year.

Walkers can register their teams of four for the Mumbai and Bengaluru edition of Trailwalker on the website https://trailwalker.oxfamindia.org.

This year will mark the 7th edition of the Mumbai event and the 9th edition of the Bengaluru Trailwalker. Last year, actress and fitness enthusiast Mandira Bedi flagged off Mumbai Trailwalker while yoga guru Natasha Noel, actor and writer Harman Singha walked to inspire participants. In previous years, actor Milind Soman, actor and Oxfam Global Ambassador Rahul Bose have also flagged off Oxfam Trailwalker and walked for the cause.

This year, 100km and 50km trails will pass through the majestic Western Ghats, that happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Bhor Ghat in the quaint town of Karjat in Maharashtra. The town lies on the banks of River Ulhas. In Bengaluru, the trail will start from the edge of a beautiful valley in the Nandi Hills. It passes through more than 30 villages, from Sultanpet to Olde Bangalore Resort. Plantations of grapes, vegetables and flowers dot the picturesque landscape.

In 2018-2019, around 1600 people from all across India walked 100km (or 50km) for an equal world.

The participating teams this year will have an ambitious target of breaking last year's fastest team Columbia HK's record of completing the 100km trail in 16 hours and 35 minutes.

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