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Pune

FTII announces course in Film Criticism and the Art of Review

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Breaking yet another new ground, Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune has announced, for the first time, a course in Film Criticism and the Art of Review.
 
The 20-day course will be conducted from May 28 to June 19 in Delhi in association with Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Delhi.
 
Talking about the course, Bhupendra Kainthola, Director, FTII, said it meets a long-standing demand of cinema critics, film reviewers, film bloggers, research scholars, film academics and just about anyone who has more than ordinary interest in cinema. He added that one needs to know how to ‘read’ a film in order to review it, the tools for which will be provided through this course.
 
The course would be helmed by Bhopal-based filmmaker Rajula Shah, an FTII alumnus. She studied film direction at FTII from 1997 to 2000. Her film practice emerges from an intense dialogue with the various arts, schools of thought and philosophies through close collaboration with people, their work and contexts. Her special interest of study and work is in the expanding scope of the film practice & the digital arts.
 
Talking about the course, she said it has been designed to provide a basic grounding in the discipline of Film Criticism and to train the participants into becoming serious viewers of cinema. The course includes the study of significant films in the history of cinema through the prism of critical thinking.
 
The course is being conducted under FTII's countrywide film education outreach initiative SKIFT (Skilling India in Film and Television) under which over 135 short-term courses have been held in 37 cities across the country covering over 5800 learners.
 
The course is open to all, with no age bar. The last date for applying is 22nd April 2019. Accommodation will be made available on request for selected participants coming from outside Delhi. Course details are available on www.ftii.ac.in
 
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Inaugural edition of AFINDEX-19 culminates with impressive closing ceremony

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The inaugural edition of the Africa-India Field Training Exercise-2019 (AFINDEX-19) culminated on Wednesday after a validation exercise and an impressive closing ceremony at Foreign Training Node, Aundh Military Station here.
 
General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff witnessed the closing ceremony along with senior military officers of the Indian Army and representatives of  17 African nations, namely, Benin, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
 
The Indian contingent was represented by Maratha Light Infantry (Jangi Paltan). The validation exercise showcased various tactical drills which included protection of civilians, the establishment of standing combat deployment, convoy protection, patrolling aspects and neutralisation of improvised explosive devices which were practised as part of the joint exercise for the past 10 days.
 
AFINDEX-19 demonstrated the commitment and capabilities of the participating nations in working closely with each other in Humanitarian Mine Assistance and Peace Keeping Operations under the United Nations mandate. The exercise was also attended by observers from three African nations--Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Mozambique.
 
The validation exercise was followed by equipment display organised under the aegis of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) at Aundh Military Station.
 
General Rawat and other senior army officers witnessed more than 11 categories of indigenously developed defence related equipment displayed by various agencies to include Ordnance Factories, Defence and Research Development Organisation (DRDO), leading private sector companies and startups to showcase some of the latest weapon systems and vehicles produced indigenously.
 
During the closing address, General Rawat said the exercise has been a grand success with the troops of all participating nations showing impeccable training standards and mutual cooperation.
 
He congratulated the participating nations for showing great enthusiasm and zeal during the entire duration of AFINDEX-19. He also interacted with the contingents and Defence Attaches of the participating nations after the closing ceremony.
 
The social interactions between the contingents have also contributed towards developing better interpersonal relations and bonds of friendship across geographical boundaries and the exercise has been a landmark event to promote values of peace, prosperity, international brotherhood and trust amongst participating nations, he added.
 
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Infosys Foundation signs MoU with Pune's Bhandarkar Institute to foster research in Orientology

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Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic and CSR arm of IT services major Infosys, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune, for five years to strengthen research activities in Orientology, the study of ancient cultures of the Asian sub-continent. 
 
The proposed grant of Rs. 9.13 crore will be utilized to train scholars in Orientology and prepare a bibliography of relevant academic texts in the field, a press release from the foundation said.
 
The grant will also help to create a centralized information cell through descriptive cataloguing of manuscripts, collection and publishing of inscriptions and outlining the history of the collected information, enabled by a team of specialists, it said.
 
The release said the foundation would establish two chairs at the institute, The Infosys Foundation Chair of Orientology and the Karnataka Chair of Orientology, for eminent scholars of Orientology. Two visiting scholars renowned in any area of Orientology will also be invited for a term of two to six months, as part of this grant, and will be known as Infosys scholars.
 
Through this grant the Institute will appoint four visiting fellows for visits of one week to one month, who will be referred to as ‘Infosys Fellows’, and also make provisions for two principal investigators, six research assistants, one helper and one design artist for various activities that will be conducted by the Institute.
 
Speaking on the occasion Mrs. Sudha Murty, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation, said, “The study of ancient texts holds great importance in society today as it forms a means to better understand both our past as well as our present. The discovery and preservation of these texts will ensure that Indological research continues to grow and thrive as an academic field in our country. Our partnership with the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute aims to support the field of Orientology through the provision of the necessary tools and resources and we at the Infosys Foundation are proud to be a part of this endeavor to better understand India’s past and its place in the history of the East.”
 
“The Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute focuses on Orientology which is the study of ancient cultures of the Asian sub-continent. We live in a time where social sciences have expanded their horizons to be able to apply their inferences across almost all fields of learning. Orientology, therefore, is not limited to the Orient and the Occident alone; it has numerous applications in areas of social sciences and more. This initiative by Infosys Foundation will definitely boost the vigor and charm of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.” said, Prof. Shrikant Bahulkar, Honorary Secretary, The Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.
 
The Bhandarkar Oriental Institute, Pune was founded on July 6, 1917, and is a public organization registered under Act XXI of 1860 and is administered by a regulating council. The Maharashtra Government nominates five representatives on the regulating council and two on the executive board.
 
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Africa-India Field Training Exercise-2019 opens at Aundh Military Station

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The inaugural Africa-India Field Training Exercise-2019 for India and African nations, AFINDEX-19 scheduled from March 18 to 27 began with a grand opening ceremony at Aundh Military Station here yesterday.
 
Contingents of the 17 African nations -- Benin, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe -- came together for the opening ceremony along with a contingent of Maratha Light Infantry representing India. 
 
Major General Sanjeev Sharma, General Officer Commanding, Golden Katar Division, who was the chief guest for the opening ceremony, reviewed the parade, in the presence of a large number of defence attaches and other officials of participating nations.
 
A flypast by a set of Advanced Light Helicopters and Cheetah helicopters of the Indian Army carrying the flags of United Nations, India and AFINDEX was the highlight of the opening ceremony.
 
The aim of the exercise is to train the participating nations in planning and conduct of Humanitarian Mine Assistance and Peace Keeping Operations under Chapter VII of the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations.
 
The exercise will focus on the exchange of best practices between the participating nations, team building and tactical level operations in the conduct of United Nations-mandated tasks.
 
These include the establishment of a new mission, siting of a United Nations Headquarters for Peace Keeping operations, siting of Military Observer sites during the peacekeeping missions, protection of civilians, nuances of standing combat deployment, convoy protection, patrolling aspects and aspects related to Humanitarian Mine Assistance.
 
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Conference in Pune to work out modalities for India Africa Field Training Exercise

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The final planning conference to work out the modalities for the India Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)-2019 began in Pune today.
 
Delegates from Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Uganda, Niger and Zambia are attending the two-day conference.           
 
The Indian Africa Field Training Exercise (IAFTX)-2019 is scheduled to be conducted at Aundh Military Station and College of Military Engineering, Pune from March 18-27. 
 
The joint training exercise is being conducted with more than a dozen African countries. It aims at bringing synergy between humanitarian mine action and joint peace operations. The initial planning conference for the exercise was held in December 2018.
 
"The IAFTX-2019 is a positive step towards growing political and military ties with the member nations of the African continent and will boost the already strong strategic cooperation between the countries," an official press release added.
 
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Indian CPaaS startup CometChat selected for Techstars Boulder accelerator program

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Mumbai-based CometChat, a Communication-Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) startup, has become the first Indian startup to be selected for the three-month long Techstars Boulder program.
 
A press release from the company said that, as part of the program, Techstars will seed fund CometChat $1,20,000 and incubate the company in its US location.
 
Under the program, CometChat will have access to Techstars resources such as mentors, financial, legal and infra resources for life. This would include access to Techstars network of more than 10,000 entrepreneurs, 2,700 investors and 1200 alumni companies. At the end of the 3-month program, selected companies will be showcasing their progress and refined product to investors as part of demo day, which is likely to result in further growth stage funding and visibility.
 
Anuj Garg, co-founder & CEO, CometChat, said, “This is a big milestone for us as we are the first Indian startup to be accepted into Techstars Boulder. We are very excited to leverage Techstars network and mentoring program; we will be able scale CometChat faster than expected. We will also be significantly expanding on our AI/ML & bots platform allowing our customers to include artificial intelligence in their communication layer with great ease”
 
Natty Zach, Managing Director, Techstars Boulder, said, “We are excited to work with CometChat in the next class of Techstars Boulder. This is the first company from India accepted into the boulder accelerator program. We hope the learnings about building great companies will flow in both directions.”
 
CometChat, which originally began as a licensed model nine years ago, was launched as a pure play Subscription Service in 2018 by twin brothers Anuj Garg and Anant Garg, who take pride in the fact that they built the company, generated revenues and expanded their team and portfolio, while being bootstrapped. 
 
The company has also announced the launch of CometChat Pro, an SDK for expert developers, who are looking to build bespoke in app/web chat solutions in their final offering to the end user. 
 
It has also launched CometChat Go, a ready to use plug and play solution for beginner developers and business owners looking to add a communication layer in their product.
 
As the decision making power has gradually shifted from CIOs of companies to developers there is a booming market of B2D (Business to Developer) startups emerging looking to empower developers and catch a pie of the growing developer mind space.
 
Anant Garg, founder & CTO, CometChat, says, “We believe we are at the cusp of a big milestone in the journey of CometChat. While on one hand, Techstars program will help us enter the US market and establish corporate channels and expand our presence in a big way, on the other hand, rolling CometChat Pro will ensure we are ready for highly evolved and quality obsessed customers, which are developers in this case."
 
CometChat, a B2D (business to developer) company, has plans to expand aggressively in the US and EU markets with their Developer-First marketing approach. To capture a share of the mind space of developers as well as for key talent acquisition they will be raising funds in 2019 – transitioning from their bootstrap roots to a growth focused enterprise.
 
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KIYG once again puts focus on footballing gems from North East

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There is no denying the fact that the North-East is on its way to becoming a major talent pool for Indian football. The team for the 2017 Under-17 World Cup hosted in India had as many as 10 players from Manipur and Mizoram in the ranks. These states continued their glorious run at the just-concluded Khelo India Youth Games where they shared four of the eight medals handed out.
 
While Mizoram’s boys won the Under-21 gold, Manipur bagged the U-21 girls’ tournament in dramatic yet identical penalty shoot-outs.
 
The North-East is extremely football-centric and that shows in their grassroot level programmes. Mizoram has its own football league where young talents are scouted from every nook and corner of the state and trained. According to Hmingsanga, coach of the U-21 Mizoram football team, having the state’s own football league has improved the tactics and styles of the players.
 
“My boys may have not played for the big leagues but they are regulars in the Mizoram Premier League which started in 2012. Football is highly popular in the state and having a televised league gives the players more motivation since they get more recognition,” he says.
 
About the team’s performance through the tournament, Hmingsanga adds, “We began training from November and were confident that we would perform well. Khelo India was a big deal for my boys and they showed it till the end. All of them are from small villages and did not expect luxurious treatment from the organisers. That came as a nice surprise.”
 
“They were well rested and content before the matches which helped. And before every fixture we prayed for a good match. I guess all our prayers were answered.”
 
Manipur, on the other hand, has a long history of football champions. The U-17 World Cup team featured eight footballers from the state. The extreme level of passion for football in Manipur has impressed one and all including the Sports Ministry, which is planning to build a world class football academy in the state. 
 
Players from the state were expected to perform well in Khelo India Youth Games and they did not disappoint.
 
Their success story was credited to the players’ families. Says coach, Shanta Singh, “Manipur is not an economically strong state. But people wish to see at least one national level player in their family. To fulfil this dream they work really hard and support their kids as much as they can.” 
 
He adds that even though sports like boxing were getting medals and recognition for the state, kids choose football at a very young age which helps to secure a big pool of talent right from very early on.
 
With Khelo India Youth Games being a national-level platform to showcase young talent, these two states have managed to steal the limelight and will hope to continue this with their passion for football.
 
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Hockey veterans blown away by KIYG performances

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The hockey competition at the just-concluded Khelo India Youth Games 2019 here demonstrated that the dynamics of the sport in India have changed, and it no longer remains confined to a few States. 
 
Haryana teams, both girls and boys, and sides like Jharkhand, Odisha and Mizoram proved that with exposure, training and proper coaching they found results.
 
“Events like KIYG can be a windfall for the sport and its talented players,” said former India hockey coach Baldev Singh. The veteran was happy with the showing of Haryana girls, many of whom he has trained at Shahbad. He also praised the manner in which the Jharkhand and Odisha teams had performed here.
 
“These youngsters are hungry, they want to prove themselves. You just see their body language, their joy and sorrow when they win or lose. It tells you a lot. I have represented India and coached teams, but these youngsters amaze me. They just don’t want to play to get certificates. They want to excel. It is time for the concerned to take advantage of this pool of talent,” he said.
 
“I am happy with the girls, they come from conservative societies and backward areas and they want to do something bigger on their own. My experience with the Haryana girls has been an eye-opener,” he said. The girls from the North-Eastern States are no longer awe-struck on the big stage, and that itself us a big achievement, he felt.
 
“KIYG provides the players a good platform. They are being treated like stars, they are being looked after well, they have been provided great kits and transport by the authorities and though these things on the face of it, these things look small, they play an important role in boosting the self-esteem of a player,” Baldev said.
 
Former India captain and Olympian Zafar Iqbal, who was here as a Government observer, also lavished praise on the girls’ teams.
 
“I am very optimistic about the future of the game, provided the talent is spotted and given exposure like here. Players are treated the way they should be. I am impressed with Jharkhand and, Odisha girls.
 
"Haryana, Punjab are developed States, so they were expected to do well. KIYG is laying the foundation of a bright and sporting India at the grass-root level. I am returning very impressed,” Zafar Iqbal said.
 
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Sachin, Paras's golden touch lifts Haryana to top of archery table

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Sachin Gupta, a comfortable winner over favourite and fellow Army Sports Institute-trainee B Dhiraj (Andhra Pradesh), and Paras Hooda won the boys Under-21 and Under-17 recurve golds to lift Haryana to the top of the medals charts in the archery competition in the Khelo India Youth Games 2019 at the Army Sports Institute here today.
 
Haryana finished with a total of seven medals, including two silver and three bronze. The 13-year-old Paras Hooda, who got to pick up a bow only a year and a half ago, showed mental toughness to come back from 2-4 down to beat team-mate Rahul by winning the last two sets. Son of a Rohtak school principal, he is drawn and driven by archery.
 
Sachin Gupta took to the sport when in a Gurugram school because he thought archery was unique. He moved into paying guest accommodation near Delhi’s Yamuna Vihar Sports Complex to train with coaches Lokesh and Ravinder. He was picked by ASI scouts a year and a half ago and hopes to draw from his seniors in the Indian side to help recurve archery regain lost ground.
 
Maharashtra’s Sakshi Shitole and Isha Ketan Pawar, both trainees of coach Ranjit Chamle at the Archers Academy in Pune, won the girls Under-21 recurve and girls Under-17 compound gold medals to help the home state take the second spot with four medals, including a silver and a bronze.
 
Daughter of a farmer who also has a furniture shop, 18-year-old Sakshi has trained her sights on the Olympic Games. “I was confident that I would win gold here, having beaten each girl in the competition sometime or the other. I did not shoot the qualification round as well as I wanted to but I know I could put that behind me,” she said.
 
Jharkhand’s Anita Kumari scored a thrilling one-point victory over Asian Games silver medallist Muskan Kirar (Madhya Pradesh) in the girls Under-21 compound final. Muskan was still dealing with shoulder muscle spasms and showed stomach for a battle. With Komolika Bari taking gold ahead of team-mate Shaniya Sharma, Jharkhand finished with two gold and a silver.
 
Another Asian Games athlete, Punjab’s Sangampreet Singh (boys under-21 compound) and Delhi’s Ritik Chahal (boys under-17 compound) were the other gold medal winners today as the curtains came down on the archery competition at KIYG 2019.
 
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Bengal’s Surabhi, Gujarat’s Manush emerge singles champions in U-21 Table Tennis

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Surabhi Patwari of West Bengal and Manush Shah of Gujarat emerged individual champions in the Under-21 section in Table Tennis at the Khelo India Youth Games, which came to an end on Sunday.
 
In an all-West Bengal starrer, the U-21 girls’ singles final went down to the wire as Surbhi Patwari and Kaushani Nath showing exceptional skills.  The match was interestingly poised at three sets all, and the decider turned out to be a cracker. Surabhi and Kaushani were locked in a neck-and-neck battle with Surabhi finally overpowering Kaushani 16-14 in the decider to take the gold by a 4-3 margin.
 
Prapti Sen (WB) and Shrushti Helengadi (MH) were awarded the bronze.
 
Gujarat’s Manush Shah faced stiff competition from Anirban Ghosh (WB) in the U-21 boys singles final. The battle between the left-handed Shah and the right-handed Ghosh reached its zenith in the third game where Anirban had the last laugh winning 12-10.
 
Here too the match went down to the decider after six games, but Anirban was left stranded in the final set and lost 4-11.
 
Ronit Bhanja (WB) and Parth Virmani (Del) took the bronze.
 
West Bengal and Maharashtra emerged overall winners for the U-21 and U-17 categories in Table Tennis. Gujarat and Maharashtra finished second and third in the U-21 category, while Madhya Pradesh were second and Delhi and Bengal shared third place in the U 17 category in the overall race.
 
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Mizoram Boys, Manipur Girls win U-21 football titles in penalty shootouts

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Northeastern neighbours Mizoram Boys and Manipur Girls annexed Under-21 football gold medals recording dramatic identical 4-3 penalty shootout victories in the Khelo India Youth Games here.
 
Mizoram Boys beat Kerala and Manipur Girls beat Tamil Nadu to claim the gold in their respective categories at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex on Saturday.
 
The Mizo boys had the better of exchanges, but were unable to convert that into goals. They did exhibit a lot of aggression but were made to wait for the penalty shootouts to beat their rivals after the matches ended goalless in the regulation period.
 
But their penalty takers served them well. In the shootout, Mizoram’s scorers were Lalmawizuala, Lalmuanawma, Vanlalnghenga and Lalnunzama, while Fahad Aliyar, Arjun Kaladharan and Gokul scored for Kerala.
 
In the Girls U-21 final, Th. Babysana Devi, Sultana, W. Rajnibala Devi, and H. Daya Devi  converted their kicks for Manipur, while Kowsalya Siva Samy, Karthika and Pavithra found the target for Tamil Nadu.
 
Earlier, in the Boys Under-17 final, Karnataka, despite dominating the proceedings most of the time, had to wait for the penalty shootout to put it across Punjab 4-2 after the teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time.
 
In the match for the third place, Aman Khanna’s brace enabled Maharashtra to beat a spirited Kerala 2-1 to claim the Under-17 bronze medal.
 
In the Girls Under-17 final,Jharkhand outpaced Odisha 2-1 to win the Girls U-17 Football title while Manipur ousted Kerala 2-0 to bag the bronze.
 
The Karnataka Boys Under-17 team played a dominating game against Punjab in the final but their strikers could not convert the chances that came their way. Karnataka surged ahead through Uzen Chhojzang who capitalised on the defensive lapses and shot home a fine goal (1-0) in the 13th minute.
 
After taking the lead, Karnataka piled up more pressure on Punjab but could not increase the lead due to the poor finishing.
 
However, 19 minutes into the second session, Punjab launched a counter offensive against the run of play. That earned them a penalty and S. Lotjem made no mistake in converting the spot kick to draw parity (1-1). There were no more goals.
 
After that the teams failed to break the deadlock leading to the penalty shootout in which Karnataka emerged triumphant.
 
For Karnataka, C S Khwairakpam, Chanambam R.Singh, Sumit Kumar Puran and Alfred Lal Routsang converted their spot kicks.
 
For Punjab, only Mangal Ram and S.Lotjem could find the target while M. Singhson and Akash M  failed to beat the goalkeeper.
 
For the third place, Aman Khanna scored in the 30th and 76th minutes to help Maharashtra beat Kerala 2-1. Anandhu N reduced the margin for the losers in the 81st minute.
 
In Girls (U-17) final, Jharkhand were put ahead by Sunita in the 12th minute and then Salina made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute. Sarita reduced the gap for the losers, Odisha.
 
Manipur beat Kerala 2-0 for the third place. Usham (37th) and N. Priyangka Devi (44th) were the goal getters for the winners.
 
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KIYG: Maharashtra amass 228 medals including 85 gold to take overall trophy

Hosts Maharashtra walked away with the Overall Trophy for the Khelo India Youth Games, which came to a close here today, as they amassed a mammoth 85 gold, along with 62 silver and 81 bronze for a total of 228 medals.
 
Their sportspersons and officials received the glittering trophy from Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, and Mr. Vinod Tawde, Minister of Sports and Youth Welfare, Maharashtra, amidst loud cheers at the closing ceremony held at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex.
 
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Javadekar said the performances of the athletes at the Games had underlined the Prime Minister’s idea of “5 minute aur” for sports and also added that the government was determined to bring in a compulsory one-hour daily period for sports in every school across the country. The idea was greeted with huge cheers and applause.
 
Mr. Tawde said that he wanted not just five minutes, but 50 minutes and encouraged all the sportspersons.
 
Maharashtra finished ahead of Khelo India School Games 2018 champions, Haryana, who were second with 62 gold, 56 silver and 60 bronze for a total of 178 medals, while Delhi were third with 48 gold, 37 silver and 51 bronze for a total of 136 medals.
 
With sportspersons gathered around at the jam-packed Badminton Hall at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Ms. Neelam Kapur, Director General of the Sports Authority, welcomed the dignitaries.
 
Ms Kapur pointed out in her vote of thanks that it was the tremendous efforts of the Maharashtra Government and the hundreds of volunteers that had made the Games so successful. “KIYG 2019 had an approximate participation of 10,000 which comprised more than 5,925 athletes, 1,096 support staff, 893 technical officials, 36 chef-de-missions, 1010 volunteers and 1,500 officials.”
 
“This was almost double in comparison to the approximate 5.500 at the KISG 2018,” she added.
 
On the final day, 15 gold medals were at stake and of them eight were in archery, where hosts Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana picked two each while Delhi and Punjab got one each.
 
Haryana asserted themselves in hockey, winning the girls Under-21 final to take their third gold in hockey from four finals, while Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala won gold each in volleyball. Manush Shah of Gujarat emerged the singles champion in Under-21 table tennis, while Saubhi Patwari of West Bengal won the Girls Under-21 singles.
 
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Punjab, Tamil Nadu hoopsters grab two gold each

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Punjab and Tamil Nadu shared honours, winning two gold medals each on the final day of the basketball event at the Khelo India Youth Games 2019 here on Saturday.
 
The Under-17 section had Punjab stamp their mark, while Tamil Nadu did well to top in the Under-21 section, which included dashing the hopes of Punjab winning a treble.
 
In logging the highest score of the day, Punjab eased past Rajasthan 91-78 for the Under-17 title. Punjab’s march was led by Navkaman Singh (28 points), before Rishab Mathur (30 points) pushed the scoring to cut the huge 29-point half time lead to a 13-point final margin.
 
In the girls U-17 final, Harsimran Dhami led Punjab from the front to down Tamil Nadu 76-71 in a close contest. Harsimran with 45 points in her kitty was the highest scorer among all finalist teams.
 
The encounter was close with Punjab keeping marginally ahead. At the end of the first quarter, Punjab led 18-15, then doubled their lead to 33-27 at the half way stage. All through the encounter, Tamil Nadu despite the efforts of Sathiya (23 points) and Nikita (10 points) fell short in catching up. At the turn of the third quarter Punjab led 52-42, which later was cut at the final hooter.
 
The Under-21 section saw Tamil Nadu turn the tables on Punjab to win 70-59. Trailing 12-20 at the end of the first quarter, Tamil Nadu kept scoring every time they attacked and capitalised on Punjab’s inability to score.
 
At half-time, Tamil Nadu caught up with Punjab and steered seven points (35-28) clear which turned out to the turning point of the match.
 
Thereafter, Tamil Nadu with Hairam (19 points) and Arvind Kumar (18 points) leading from the front finished off the game with ease.
 
In a battle of southern states in the girls section, Tamil Nadu added their second goal of the day downing Karnataka 82-68. Pushpa Senthilkumar (27 points) was a stand-out performer for the winners, while Bahdavyam (21 points) was the top scorer for the Karnataka team. 
 
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Riya turns the tables on Himani to win recurve archery bronze at KIYG

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Riya Tewatia turned the tables on fancied Haryana team-mate Himani Kumari to win the girls Under-21 recurve bronze medal play-off in the Khelo India Youth Games 2019 archery competition at the Army Sports Institute here on Saturday.
 
The chubby Riya made the most of Himani’s need to recalibrate her mindset when a change in set scores saw them locked 3-3 after three sets. Himani and all onlookers were under the impression that after the tie in the third set, she was leading 4-1 but the scorers pointed out that the previous set had erroneously been awarded to her when, in fact, it was Riya who had won that set.
 
Himani was unable to find her rhythm even if she managed to tie the fourth set. She was off the mark in the shoot-off.
 
Maharashtra’s Shukmani Gajanan Babrekar rallied from the loss of the first set to defeat Rajasthan’s Jagdish Choudhary 6-2 for the boys Under-21 recurve bronze medal. Karni Singh Chauhan (Rajasthan) and Punjab’s Amanpreet Kaur earned the boys and girls under-17 bronze medals, respectively.
 
Sumit Kumar (Haryana), Swarna Jhawar (Rajasthan), Rishabh Yadav (Haryana) and Priya Gurjar (Rajasthan) won the compound archery bronze medal play-offs in the four categories on a day when Youth Olympic Games recurve silver medallist Akash lost in the quarter-finals while Ankita Bhakat, who competed in the Asian Games, lost in the first round to Bhagyashri Namdev Kolte.
 
Recurve archers B. Dhiraj (boys Under-21) and Komolika Bari (girls Under-17) were the only ones who topped the ranking rounds in their respective sections and went on to secure berths in the final. The highlight of the day was a brave effort by Asian Games silver medallist Muskan Kirar (Madhya Pradesh), who ignored shoulder muscle spasms to make it to girls under-21 compound final.
 
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Madhya Pradesh's golden paddler shines at KIYG

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A composed Anusha Kutumbale shook hands quietly with the referees and her opponent and good friend Diya Chitale, greeting well-wishers after winning gold in the U-17 girls table tennis singles category at the Khelo India Youth Games here in Pune. Animated gestures or punching the air were not a part of her victory celebrations.
 
“Today I got my shots and timing right from the beginning and I knew it was important to continue with the same pace to win. So I did not try anything extra and change too much in my game,” the Madhya Pradesh girl said.
 
Anusha and Diya had come face to face in 2016 in the sub-junior nationals at Rajkot where Diya beat Anusha for the title, but the latter avenged her defeat the same year at the Indore junior nationals.
 
Come the KIYG 2019 gold medal match, and both were again face to face, “I knew that I had the edge over her in our last encounter, so there was a bit of psychological advantage for me,” said Anusha, and admitted that it would not have been enough to ensure a win.
 
“I knew that if I took off really well and took care that complacency did not creep in, I would be able to keep my focus. Later I even stopped looking at the scoreboard trying to remain in the zone and finish the job,” said Anusha who beat Diya 11-3, 11-6, 11-1, 11-3.
 
Born in Indore, Anusha started playing table tennis at age nine. Anusha’s father Shreesh Trimbak Kutumbale, a state level table tennis player himself, used to take Anusha and her brother to the Sayaji Club in Indore. “He used to encourage us to try every sport. My brother found badminton interesting while I discovered a liking in table tennis,” she recalls.
 
Thereafter Anusha started learning the tricks of the game from her father who till date is her coach.
 
Before coming to KIYG, Anusha did well at the Cuttack senior nationals where she bagged bronze. “That was a huge morale booster as I had participated in the open category for the first time’ Anusha said.
 
Talking about her preparations for KIYG 2019, Anusha had just a break of two days between Cuttack and travelling to Pune. “I just relaxed at home for those two days, as the senior nationals helped me to remain in a good nick.”
 
On her road to the final, Anusha recalled, “The win in the quarter-final against Nikita Sarkar gave me a lot of confidence. Nikita is an attacking player and I had to be cautious while playing her. In the final, frankly I never thought it would be so easy, Diya is an excellent player, but today was my day I guess” she said smilingly.
 
Changing gears from sports to studies and having passed the KIYG examination with flying colours, Anusha now has a task on hand to repeat the feat in academics.
 
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Thrill-a-minute final gives Chandigarh gold in Kabaddi

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The kabaddi competition at the Khelo India Youth Games came to an end with a thrill-a-minute final encounter in the Boys Under-21 category. The only final not to feature Kabaddi powerhouse Haryana, saw Chandigarh edge out Tamil Nadu with a ‘Golden Raid’ which is used to break ties after extra time.
 
The match went late into the night, but not a single spectator was willing to leave as the match had them on the edge of their seats with neither Chandigarh nor Tamil Nadu refusing to take their foot off the pedal for a second and kept ticking away at each other.
 
It was easily the most keenly-fought contest of the fortnight at the Khelo India Youth Games in Pune.
 
Chandigarh got off to a good start and even inflicted an all-out on their opponents in just the eighth minute of the game. Tamil Nadu then fought back, inspired by a brilliant super raid by Radha Krishnan, as the first half ended at 17-17. Tamil Nadu led for most of the second half but it was Chandigarh’s turn to fight back who hung in as nothing could separate the teams at 36-36 at the end of the second half.
 
The match then had to be decided by two extra halves. At 40-39 in the second half of extra time, Tamil Nadu finally thought they had come through, but there was one final twist as Chandigarh were awarded a technical point after Tamil Nadu’s substitutes jumped onto the court before the final whistle. 
 
Chandigarh finally prevailed 41-40 through a Golden Raid to prevail in one of the most enthralling games of kabaddi in recent times that matched the excitement level of the Pro Kabaddi league. Ankush Narwal, brother of India’s kabaddi star Deepak Narwal, was the star for Chandigarh, while Radha Krishnan fought valiantly for Tamil Nadu.
 
Uttar Pradesh and Kerala took bronze in the under-21 Boys’ category. 
 
Despite being surprisingly knocked out before the semi-finals in the Boys Under-21 section, Haryana reached the other three finals and won two of them for two gold and one silver as the curtain came down on the Kabaddi competition.  
 
Earlier, Haryana’s first gold medal came in Girls’ under-17 category as they beat Chhattisgarh 40-29 in the final. While Chhattisgarh won silver, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh ended their campaigns on a high with bronze medals.
 
The Girls’ under-21 category saw favourites Haryana being stunned by Himachal Pradesh in the final who had previously also knocked out hosts Maharashtra in the semi-final. They overcame Haryana in a tight 30-27 finish to win gold. Haryana had beaten Uttar Pradesh in the semi-final, who took bronze along with Maharashtra.
 
Haryana won their second gold medal through their Boys’ under-17 team, who were a class apart from the rest of the teams throughout the competition. Rajasthan lost to them in the final and finished with silver, while Chhattisgarh and Delhi took bronze. Rajasthan’s Rahul Choudhary and Haryana’s Mohit Goyat were players who stood out through the course of the competition.
 
The two gold medals helped Haryana move to second place, behind Maharashtra, in the overall medals tally.
 
Uttar Pradesh won multiple medals in kabaddi as they earned bronze medals in both the Girls’ under-17 and under-21 sections, along with the Boys under-21 team.
 
Chhattisgarh’s position on the overall medals tally received a push, as their kabaddi squad earned them a silver and bronze medal.
 
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Manish wins Boys U-21 singles; Prerna and Dev complete golden double in KIYG tennis

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Sureshkumar Manish of Tamil Nadu used his all-round ability to negate the aggressive Dhruv Sunish of Maharashtra 6-3, 6-3 in the boys U-21 final, while Prerna Vichare of Maharashtra outlasted Priyanshi Bhandari of Gujarat 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 in the girls U-17 final of the Khelo India Youth Games here on Saturday.
 
A day earlier, Prerna had won the Girls’ Doubles and thus completed a double. Emulating her, Dev Javia, winner of Under-17 singles, partnered Krish Patel to win the Boys Under-17 double and grabbed a second gold.
 
Dhruv, who won the boys' U-21 doubles along with Armaan Bhatia on Friday, was eyeing a second gold in the U-21 singles final. But he was up against a top-600 ranker on the ATP list and a player who has an ITF Pro Circuit title to his name. Manish had lost only seven games en route to the final and had hardly been tested.
 
Dhruv played aggressively from the first set and surprisingly broke Manish for the first time in the tournament for a 3-1 lead.  But that was the only high point for Dhruv as everything went downhill for him thereafter.
 
Manish produced almost flawless tennis in the next five games and broke his rival thrice to clinch the first set 6-3. In the second set, it was the same story as Dhruv simply didn't have the answers to Manish who reeled off superb returns and down the line forehands to seal the issue 6-3, 6-3.
 
Afterwards, Manish said, "Before the tournament, I knew I was one of the contenders, but I played freely throughout because I didn't have any expectations. You don't get to represent the State often and winning two medals here, I think, it has been a terrific week for me."
 
The unseeded Prerna was back on Centre Court for the singles final less than 16 hours after winning the doubles gold on Friday. Her opponent had pulled off a few upsets en route to the final, but the lanky Prerna gave Priyanshi no chance, firing in seven aces enroute to taking the first set 6-2 in less than 30 minutes. 
 
Prerna led 4-2 in the second before Priyanshi started attacking the net and using drop shots to put Prerna off balance. The Maharashtra girl lost momentum and dropped serve thrice as Priyanshi took the set 7-5. 
 
In the decider, games went with serve till five-all when Prerna pumped herself up with two aces in the 11th game for a 6-5 lead. The pressure was on Priyanshi as she served to stay in the match but she crumbled as Prerna won the next four points to clinch her second gold of the games.
 
A smiling Prerna said later, "I can't believe I have won two gold medals here. I had beaten Priyanshi recently in an AITA tournament at Ahmedabad, so I had the edge. This gold medal means a lot to me because I was not in good form before the tournament. My coaches Rohan Gajjar and Rama Rao have played a big role in my victory"
 
Two doubles gold for Gujarat
 
Gujarat's Zeel Desai and Vaidehi Chaudhary outplayed Telangana’s Rashmika Bhamidipaty and Humera Shaik 6-3, 6-2 in the girls U-21 doubles final. In the boy's U-17 doubles gold medal match, Gujarat’s Dev Javia and Krish Patel beat Haryana's Sushant Dabas and Divesh Gahlot 6-3, 2-6, 13-11 (super tiebreak) in a thrilling encounter. It was Javia’s second gold of the games after his U-17 singles title on Friday.
 
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KIYG: Haryana girls down Jharkhand 2-1 to win U-17 gold

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Riding on striker Deepika’s brace, Haryana survived a last-quarter scare before beating Jharkhand 2-1 to win the U-17 Girls hockey competition and the Gold in the Khelo India Youth Games at NDA Complex here on Saturday.
 
Jharkhand put up a determined show and though they were beaten they won the hearts of the fans and the silver
 
In the morning, for the third place match, Odisha warded off a determined Punjab challenge to emerge 3-2 winner to claim the bronze.
 
In a well-contested final, Jharkhand muffed chances and paid the penalty. They dominated the first quarter and had a fair share of the ball in the second quarter but they failed to make use of the advantage.
 
The Haryana girls defended well and made incisive counter moves which rattled the Jharkhand defence. Four minutes into the second half, Deepika gave Haryana the lead with a superb field goal and three minutes later she made it 2-0 with another opportunistic goal.
 
Jharkhand tried hard to score but time and again their strikers let go the chance. However, just before the final whistle, Prini Kandir made no mistake of converting a chance that came her way to score (1-2). But it was a case of too little and too late.
 
The battle for third place was bitterly fought and the 60-minute match turned out to be a thriller.
 
For Odisha who led 3-1 at half time, the goal scorers were Sunita Xaxa, Jyoti Chhatri and Nimabati Singh (one each). Chewang Tamang, Simranjeet Kaur scored a goal each for Punjab. 
 
Odisha started with flourish, pounding the Punjab goal thrice in a space of nine minutes. Sunita Xaxa put her team in the lead with a superb goal in the 4th minute and two minutes later the lead went up as Jyoti Chhatri scored off a penalty corner (2-0).
 
Odisha further consolidated the lead in the 13th minute with Sonia Topno intercepting a cross and sending the ball home leaving goalkeeper Simran Chopra stranded (3-0) and Punjab looked heading for a big defeat but that was not to be.
 
Just at the end of the first quarter, Punjab was awarded a penalty corner and Chewang Tamang converted it to reduce the gap (1-3).
 
After that, Punjab went on the offensive and put tremendous pressure on Odisha who crowded their defence to protect their two goal lead. 
 
Punjab took over the mid-field and launched a flurry of attacks but found it hard to breach the populated defence. Their strikers also failed to capitalise on the chances that came their way.
 
Seven minutes before the final whistle, Simranjeet Kaur cut through a couple of defenders to send the ball home (2-3) and that was all they could do as Odisha managed to hold on to the slender lead till the end.
 
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Using meditation, archer Verma aims for a repeat at KIYG

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Vinayak Verma of Punjab, recurve gold medallist in the boys Under-17 event at the Delhi Khelo India School Games, is determined to turn in a repeat performance in Pune.
 
The 15-year-old, a 10th standard student of Narain Public School in Patiala, was also the team silver medallist at the 3rd Asian Championship in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He will again compete in the U-17 recurve event, which is one of eight gold medals on the line in the KIYG archery competition, that will be hosted at the Army Sports Institute here.
 
In all, 128 archers will compete in the boys and girls Under-17 and Under-21 individual recurve and compound event. 
 
"Archery is a concentration sport, we have to forget the score of every arrow we have hit and get ready for the next one. On a daily basis, I do meditation that helps in focusing during the game,” said Verma.
 
“It's great to be back in Pune where last year I was the youngest archer during Senior Nationals and finished in the top 16," he added.
 
Haryana’s Akash Malik, who represented India at the Youth Olympics and also won a bronze medal at the Delhi KISG is likely to be his toughest competitor. Paras Hooda, another archer from Haryana who won silver along with Vinayak in Dhaka will be another medal prospect. 
 
For Soumitro Ghosh, a commerce student of the Shri Shahu College in Pune, it feels like the Olympics have come to his city. Ghosh, who will be competing in the boys U-21 compound event, said, “The KIYG is a great platform. It feels just like the Olympics with several sports happening across the city.”
 
“I took to archery four years ago and am happy to represent Maharashtra here. I won two bronze medals at the all-India University Games in Bhubaneshwar last year and will try to bring glory to my state."
 

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National coach Sridharan feels KIYG is the big boost volleyball needed

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Indian volleyball legend and now coach of the national team, G.E. Sridharan is thrilled to be among the youngsters at the ongoing Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2019. A member of the Indian team that won a bronze medal at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, he has been much sought after by youngsters at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex.
 
Players have been approaching him to seek advice and blessings and Sridharan has responded well by interacting with the players giving them guidance, motivation and sharing his experiences. “I never miss an opportunity to interact with youngsters” said Sridharan.
 
Extremely impressed with the enthusiasm and positivity at KIYG, the Arjun and Dronacharya awardee said, “Without doubt KIYG is a good initiative but what’s important is that it can prove to be a very good grooming ground for the U-17 guys to prepare for the big stage.”
 
Sridharan was full of praise for the Games, saying that players would be benefitted to a great extent. “Not only their own game, KIYG offers players an opportunity to meet the best talent from other sports, too, and add value to their experience. You see players and coaches from different disciplines, try to understand and interact with them which helps in shaping personal improvement too.”
 
According to Sridharan, the other big advantage is that by virtue of KYIG, players were getting a feel of the terra-flex courts. “At the international level matches are played on these courts and providing an international standard environment to these players will definitely enrich their experience.”
 
Many national level events are often played on open grounds which offer different playing conditions than what players get while competing at the international level.
 
Excited about the future of volleyball after watching the talent on show here, Sridharan feels the process of achieving a medal in the 2024 Olympics is on track. “We will be selecting players from KIYG 2019 to train them at the new academies coming up at Nadiad in Gujarat and Pathanamthitta at Kerala. The academies would offer state-of-the-art infrastructure, facilities and coaching with an objective of grooming them for the international level.”
 
Sridharan, however, feels that, in the coming years, the KIYG should try to increase the number of teams. “It would be great to see teams from the east also becoming part of these Games.” Barring Chattisgarh currently no other team from eastern India featured at KIYG 2019.
 
“In Europe youth teams travel across the length and breadth of the continent to play. This not only helps them excel in the game but also contributes to a great extent in increasing their confidence levels too.”
 
Sridharan also dwelt on introducing a mirror reflection of this format so that players get more exposure and matches to develop their games.
 
Applauding the Union Sports Ministry and the Prime Minister for their efforts, Sridharan signed off with his motto. “DTP.” he said. “Discipline, Training and Performance is the mantra that I share with the younger generation. Be disciplined, train hard and perform to your best capabilities. Success is bound to follow”.
 
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Inspired by sister, budding boxing star Kattimani lauds KIYG

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To shape budding talent in the country, World Youth Boxing bronze medallist boxer Bhavesh Kattimani is convinced that government should conduct more such events like the ongoing Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG 2019) here to shape budding talent.
 
“Along with proper training and hard work, a player is required to evaluate his or her progress and learn from mistakes. Therefore, competing in more tournaments is necessary. You can try out new things, new strategies and then polish is further for the next event. That’s the mantra for success,” says the Maharashtra boxer, who earned a bronze at the 2018 World Youth Championships in Budapest.
 
Kattimani, who was inspired to take up the sport after seeing his sister, at the age of 11, has been training at Army Sports Institute here in Pune for the last three years and gives credit to the institute for his success.
 
“I was nothing when I entered ASI. But the coaches and support staff worked on me relentlessly. It was all-round development including technique, fitness and mental strength. Whatever I am today is only because of ASI,” adds Kattimani.
 
After joining ASI in 2016, Bhavesh won a junior national gold medal the very next year. The same year, he appeared in his first international – the Asian Junior Boxing in the Philippines and returned with a 52kg bronze medal. He was also part of the India team at the Invitational Boxing tournament in Germany where he won a gold medal and the best boxer award.
 
The 18-year-old was considered among the top favourites to qualify for the Youth Olympics last year in Buenos Aires, but missed out the opportunity.
 
“I was under the impression that winning a medal in the Asian and World Youths will get me through. But, later I learned that I was also required to win a medal in continental competition. Sadly, only one boxer from India participated in the Youth Olympics,” he said.
 
Failure a step to success
 
He was 11 when he was first attracted to boxing. “I wasn’t much into the sport, but one day I saw everybody praising my elder sister (Bhavana) for getting selected in the district team. So, to grab attention, I decided to take up boxing and next day I went to our physical teacher in school and told him that I also want to become a boxer.”
 
“After training for few months, I participated in a local tournament and lost my first-ever bout. I was not able to forget that humiliating defeat and my mind got occupied with just one thing – that I have to train more and become a better boxer. I feel that loss was the turning point as it ignited the hunger for success,” he said.
 
The effort and determination has paid and Kattimani now seeks more.
 
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KIYG: Muskan Karir overcomes pain to take top four slot in compound archery

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Asian Games silver medallist Muskan Karir (Madhya Pradesh) overcame a nagging shoulder pain to shoot a reasonable score of 675 points in the girls under-21 compound archery ranking round in the Khelo India Youth Games 2019 in the Army Sports Institute here today. She finished a creditable fourth after 72 arrows, getting her mind to focus on the target and not be distracted.
 
The 18-year-old Madhya Pradesh Archery Academy-trainee from Jabalpur was determined to complete the ranking round with a top four finish, her coach Richpal Singh Salaria said.  “She will not have to shoot 72 arrows tomorrow in the Olympic round and will be ready for the challenge,” he said, pointing out that his ward was mentally tough and faced no pressure as favourite.
 
Jharkhand’s Anita Kumari, who hails from Silli, 60km from Ranchi, topped the girls under-21 compound ranking round with an imposing total of 694 points. 
 
In the boys under-21 ranking round, Punjab’s Sangampreet Singh Bisla was just as good. The Patiala lad’s 695 was two points better than Madhya Pradesh rival Saurabh Pandey’s total. In fact, the top six had scores of 690 and more.
 
Youth Olympic Games silver-medallist Akash Malik (Haryana) shot with consistency on what has been his home turf for a while now, the Army Sports Institute, but took only the third place in the ranking round in the boys under-17 recurve contest. Shooting at the target 60m away, the 16-year-old Akash Malik shot 665 points, eight behind the leader Amit Kumar (Madhya Pradesh).
 
Amit Kumar, who won the team gold for Madhya Pradesh in National Championships here last year, will be ready to stop the Haryana trio of Paras Hooda, Akash Malik and Rahul in the Olympic rounds tomorrow. “He is a good Olympic round shooter,” coach Richpal Singh Salaria said of the 15-year-old who picked up a bow for the first time two years ago.
 
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Tennis: Dev, Mahak win singles; Maharashtra win both doubles at KIYG

Dev Javia of Gujarat powered past Aryaan Bhatia of Maharashtra 7-5, 6-3 to win the boys U-17 singles gold medal in a riveting final here at Khelo India Youth Games on Friday, while top seed Mahak Jain of Madhya Pradesh outplayed Maharashtra’s Mihika Yadav 6-4, 6-1 in the Under-21 girls singles final. 
 
While Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh shared the spoils in singles, Maharashtra won the gold in both the doubles matches contested on Friday. The host state’s Armaan Bhatia and Dhruv Sunish won the Boys-Under 21 doubles beating Ishaque Eqbal and Nitin Sinha of West Bengal. The win gave Dhruv a chance to do a double as he plays the U-21 singles final on Saturday.
 
Similarly, Maharashtra’s Prerna Vichare will have a chance for a golden double after winning the U-17 doubles final, teaming with Gargi Pawar. They beat another Maharashtra pair, Sai Bhoyar and Hrudaya Shah.
 
In the Boys Under-17 final, Mumbai's Bhatia arrived on Centre Court with the favourite’s tag after he beat top seed Sushant Dabas in the semis but the unseeded Javia, a former U-12 and U-14 India No.1, had other plans. 
 
The first set was a roller coaster ride. Bhatia was sluggish at the start and was broken to hand Javia a 3-1 lead. The gutsy Bhatia stuck to his baseline game and broke Javia's serve twice to win the next four games in a row to lead 5-3.
 
Bhatia was serving for the set but couldn't handle the pressure in front of his home crowd and committed several unforced errors to lose the next four games to hand Javia the first set 7-5 in 47 minutes. 
 
A frustrated Bhatia lost momentum and trailed 2-5 in the second set before the left-handed Javia closed out the match with a beautiful backhand in 36 minutes to emerge as the Games first tennis gold medallist.
 
After the victory, Javia an 11th standard student of Urmi, Baroda, said, “Unlike Bhatia who was the crowd favourite, I didn't have any pressure before the final. I've upset top seeds en route to the final, so was confident of a positive result today.
 
“I've played Bhatia six years back which really didn't matter here and my strategy was to take the match like any other one. Although I was trailing in the first set, I just stayed focused on every point which worked well.
 
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"I've who won titles in Indore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon 2016 campaign. But the KIYG is a really big platform and winning gold for the state is a proud moment. I would like to thank my coach Shrimal Bhatt of the Elteval Academy of Ahmedabad who played a huge part in my success here," Javia added.
 
In the girl's U-21 final, top seed and two-time national champion Mahak Jain of Madhya Pradesh produced a dominant performance to beat local girl Mihika Yadav 6-4, 6-1.
 
Mahak was troubled in the initial stage of the first set as Mihika broke her twice to lead 3-0, but used all her experience to win the next six of seven games for the first set.
 
Mahak outplayed her opponent in the second set in less than 30 minutes and said, "I didn't start well but then I found my rhythm. I've played Mihika before and she has defeated me a couple of times but I was confident today. Winning the gold is a big thing as KIYG is really prestigious."
 
Two doubles gold for Maharashtra
 
In the boy's U-21 doubles gold medal match, Maharashtra’s Armaan Bhatia and Dhruv Sunish defeated Ishaque Eqbal and Nitin Sinha of West Bengal 2-6, 6-3, 10-6 (super tiebreak) in a thrilling encounter. 
 
In an all-Maharashtra girls' U-17 doubles final, Prerna Vichare and Gargi Pawar got past Sai Bhoyar and Hrudaya Shah 6-1, 6-1
 
Four finals slated for Saturday
 
On the final day of tennis, four gold medals will be decided with Maharashtra featuring in two singles finals, as Prerna Vichare takes on Priyanshi Bhandari of Gujarat in Girls U-17 finals while local lad Dhruv Suyansh will take on S Manish of Tamil Nadu in Boys U-21 singles final.
 
Gujarat's Zeel Desai and Vaidehi Chaudhary will face the challenge of a Telangana duo of Rashmika Bhamidipaty and Humera Shaik in Girls U-21 doubles final and the last final will be in Boys U-17 doubles between the Haryana duo of Sushant Debs and Dives Gahlot and Krish Patel and Dev Javia of Gujarat.
 
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KIYG: Haryana pip Odisha 2-0 to set up summit clash with Jharkhand in U-21 Girls hockey

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Haryana overpowered Odisha 2-0 to set up a title clash with Jharkhand in the Girls U-21 Hockey competition of the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG 2019) at the NDA Campus here on Friday.
 
In the first semi-final, Jharkhand overwhelmed Punjab 3-0 .
 
Interestingly, in U-17 Girls section also Haryana will face Jharkhand in the final while Punjab will clash with Odisha for the third place on Saturday.
 
Haryana started on an aggressive note and slammed two goals in a space of four minutes before Odisha players could find their rhythm. 
 
Anu put Haryana ahead in the 7th minute when her rasping shot from the top of the circle beat Odisha goal keeper Asima Minz all ends up (1-0).
 
The sudden goal rattled the Odisha defence which conceded their first penalty corner in the 11th minute and skipper Ritu, with a powerful drive, sounded the goal (2-0).
 
Odisha regrouped themselves and launched a fierce counter attack but Binita Kujur fumbled inside the circle and shot wide.
 
Haryana had the major share of the ball but they could not convert that advantage into goals while Odisha, after conceding an early lead, fought back well and did not allow their fancied rivals to score more.
 
Odisha also had their chances but their striker turned out be the poor finishers.
 
Earlier, Jharkhand outplayed Punjab 3-0 in a lopsided encounter. The victory margin is not the true indication of the superiority the winners enjoyed over their rivals.
 
But for the missed chances, Jharkhand should have won by at least six goals.
 
For the winners who led 1-0 at half time, the goal scorers were Alka DungDung, Pramila Soreng and Roshni DungDung.
 
Jharkhand surged ahead in the second minute when Alka scored off the first penalty corner. The winners totally dominated the first half but could not increase their lead due to poor finishing.
 
Punjab girls hardly made any incisive attack into the rival citadel in the first quarter. They forced two penalty corners in the second quarter but failed to make use of them.
 
Two minutes into the second half, Jharkhand forced their fourth penalty corner and this time Pramila Soreng was bang on target to take the tally to 2-0.
 
Punjab tried hard to counter but their forwards were not able to create opening or even half chance.
 
Jharkhand sealed the match in their favour in the 44th minute when Roshni capitalized on a defensive lapse and pushed the ball home (3-0)
 
 The U-21 final is slated for Sunday morning.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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Maharashtra sweep all four golds in Kho-Kho; Haryana in three Kabaddi finals

On a day when there were only gold medals at stake, hosts Maharashtra made a clean sweep of all four gold medals in the Kho-Kho competition here in Balewadi Complex in Pune. They won the gold medals in Boys and Girls Under-17 and Under-21.
 
With all four gold medals of the day going Maharashtra’s way, they moved to 68 gold, 51 silver and 62 bronze. Delhi are still waiting to get past the 50-gold mark as they have 47 gold, 32 silver and 44 bronze. Haryana had 38 gold, 36 silver and 38 bronze. The Top-10 on the tally stayed unchanged from the previous day.
 
Kerala, showing that they have adapted to the tactics of the sport, picked two silver medals, both in Under-21 section. Delhi (Girls Under-17) and Andhra Pradesh (Boys Under-17) won the other silver medals.
 
Barring the Boys Under-17 final against Andhra Pradesh, hosts Maharashtra were made to fight in all the other finals, though they came through with the gold in all with the crowd cheering them hard.
 
The most entertaining match was in Under-17 Girls’ final where Maharashtra beat Delhi 19-17 as the match was decided through an extra innings which Maharashtra won 7-5, after both teams were level at the end of the second innings.
 
Haryana in three Kabaddi finals
 
As the focus shifted to team events, Haryana reached three of the four semi-finals of the Kabaddi competition. The only exception was in Boys Under-21 section, where Haryana was surprisingly knocked out in the League stage.
 
In Girls U-17 section, Haryana beat surprise semi-finalists West Bengal by a massive 36-point margin to reach the final, where they meet Chhattisgarh who edged past beat Uttar Pradesh by three points to reach the final showdown.
 
The Haryana girls continued their performance in the U-21 category as well as they beat Uttar Pradesh by a handy margin of 32-26. They will meet Himachal Pradesh for the gold. Himachal fought a close match with hosts Maharashtra before winning 22-19.
 
The boys category, U-17 semi-finals were close. Chattisgarh had to sweat it out before earning a 29-27 win, while Delhi took on Kabaddi powerhouse
 
In the second semi-final, Haryana were strained a little. After an initial fight from Delhi, Haryana went on to win 44-37.
 
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TN's Manish meets Maharashtra’s Dhruv in Boys U-21 Tennis final
 
Third seed S. Manish of Tamil Nadu stayed on course for the gold medal by reaching the final of boys U-21 singles. He beat Nitin Sinha of West Bengal 6-3, 6-2. Manish will now take on unseeded Dhruv Sunish of Maharashtra, who upset fourth seed Paramveer Bajwa of Chandigarh in the other semi-final 6-4, 6-2.
 
In the U-17 girls singles semi-finals, Prerna Vichare of Maharashtra who trains at Khar Gymkhana in Mumbai overcame Lakshmi Reddy of Andhra Pradesh 7-5, 6-4 and will play Priyanshi Bhandari of Gujarat for the gold medal. The Gujarat girl beat top seed Gargi Pawar of Maharashtra 6-2, 6-2.
 
In the girls U-21 doubles semi-finals, Telangana’s Rashmika Bhamdipaty and Humera Shaik reached final without conceding a game 6-0, 6-0 against Tamil Nadu’s K. Balasubramanian and Sai Avanti Revevanur. They face Gujarat’s Zeel Desai and Vaidehi Chaudhari who defeated Sai Dedeepya and Aditi Aree of Telangana 6-0, 6-2 in the other semi-final.
 
Jharkhand came back from a huge 0-3 deficit to turn the tables on Odisha and emerge 4-3 winners to set up a title clash with Haryana in the girls U-17 hockey competition on Thursday. In contrast, Haryana turned the second semi-final into a one-sided affair, hammering neighbours Punjab 4-0.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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