India (Junior) Women’s Hockey Team beat Canada  2-0

Harpal Singh Bedi 

 New Delhi: India over powered  Canada  2-0 in their final Junior Women  hockey  warm up game prior to the Cantor Fitzgerald U21 International 4-Nations tournament in Dublin (Ireland) Thursday,.

In a closely  contested  match  a  lack of clear-cut chances and some smart defending  saw   the first quarter ending  goaless.

Canada were quicker out of the blocks in the second quarter and earned the first penalty corner . Bichu Devi, in India’s goal  foiled that attempt. The visitors  pressed forward from there but with little result. The two teams went into half time with the score still a 0-0 stalemate.

The third quarter proved to be the turning point of the game, as both teams threw caution to the wind and went forward in search of goals. India had the first of the opportunities with a PC that was well  saved by the Canadian goalkeeper.

Bichu Devi was called into action soon after, saving from a Canada PC. Within minutes of that save, India had the lead, Sharmila Devi capping off a fine move with the opener. India went into the break with the 1-0 advantage.

The opening period of the last  quarter saw the two teams exchange PCs but with little effect — both goalkeepers on top of their game to deny the chances. With Canada forced into action, India had more opportunities to avail on the counter, and duly earned their second PC of the game soon. Mariana Kujur slotted home from the ensuing drag flick to double India’s lead and guarantee a comfortable victory.

Coach Stimac further prunes list of probables from preparatory camp

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi: National Team Head Coach Igor Stimac on Thursday further pruned the probables as he released six more players from the ongoing preparatory camp in New Delhi.

The second batch of the six released players include Narayan Das, Salam Ranjan Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Rowllin Borges, Komal Thatal. In addition, central defender Anwar Ali (Jr) has also been released owing to an injury.

The Camp which kicked-off with 37 players on May 21, currently has a strength of 25 players. Stimac had earlier released a first batch of 6 players earlier. (

The final list of 23 players for India’s campaign in the King’s Cup will be announced prior to departure to Buriram.

Stimac, who as a coach had guided Croatia to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 stated that it is “always difficult for the coach to take hard decisions, and release players.”

“We are more than happy with the commitment of the players so far, and have really enjoyed working with them every day,” Stimac said. “They are passionate, excited, and are making obvious progress on a daily basis,” he added.

“The hardest part of the job comes when decisions are to be done about releasing some of them after hard work they put in for the past ten days,” he explained.

“After yesterday’s game which we played as part of our evening training session, we decided to release another 6 players. All of them have been handed their individual working programme which is to be followed, and monitored. I wish them good luck, and expect them to be working hard,” the Coach maintained.

The Blue Tigers will be leaving for Buriram en route Bangkok on June 2 from New Delhi. The King’s Cup is a FIFA-sanctioned International ‘A’ tournament being organised by the Football Association of Thailand since 1968. India’s previous participation in the King’s Cup were in 1977, and 1981.

India play their first match against Curacao on June 5, with hosts Thailand taking on Vietnam in the other match on the same day. The winners of both the matches qualify for the final, while the two others teams would be playing the play-off for the 3rd spot on June 8.

Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary lead Indian Sweep in Mixed Team Titles at ISSF World Cup

Harpal Singh Bedi



New Delhi: Teenage duo of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary clinched the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team title as India, claimed both the Mixed Team titles to records its most comprehensive ISSF World Cup stage performance in Munich, Germany, on Thursday.


India finished with five- gold and a silver medal in this third world cup stage event. They won golds through Apurvi Chandela (10m Air Rifle Women), Rahi Sarnobat (25m Pistol Women) and Saurabh Chaudhary (10m Air Pistol Men) besides the Mixed Team titles won on the last day.


Second placed China bagged nine medals with two gold, two silver and five bronze medals.


In the Mixed Air Rifle, it was an all India gold medal match as Apurvi Chandela and Deepak Kumar landed India its lone silver, going down to the winners by a score of 16-2.


The pair of Anjum Moudgil and Divyansh Singh Panwar first won the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team gold even as the teenage pair of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary backed them up with the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team title,


Manu and Saurabh in the Air Pistol finals had it a bit tougher against the experienced Ukranian pair of Olena Kostevych and Oleh Omelchuk, closing it down professionally in the end by a 17-9 margin.


Manu and Saurabh made their intentions clear from round one itself topping the 76-team field with a score of 586 and then doing an encore in round two with an even better 591. World record holder Saurabh shot a 100 in his last series.


In the gold medal match, against a team, which had a former Olympic champion in Olena, Manu and Saurabh kept ahead of the game from the onset, maintaining a four-point gap throughout. There was a moment when the Ukranians picked up three out six points for a semblance of a fight back, but solid shooting by the young Indian pair, meant they had no chance


The event format consisted of a first qualification round of three series of 20-shots each with each team member allocated 10-shots per series. The top eight teams would then move to a second qualification round and have another round in the same format.


The top two teams would then qualify for the gold medal match while the third and fourth best teams would compete for the bronze medal.


In the match-ups, each member would get a single shot and the higher aggregate score was allotted two points. This series would continue and the first to 16-points was declared the winner.


In the gold medal match Anjum and Divyansh were dominant with Apurvi and Deepak winning just the first two-shot series.


Anjum and Divyansh shot 629.1 in round one of their relay to qualify as the fourth team, 0.1 points ahead of Apurvi and Deepak, who made it through in fifth having stood second in their individual relay earlier.


The gold medalists again bettered their countrymen in round two, shooting a combined 631.9 to top the eight-team standings. Apurvi and Deepak followed them with an effort of 630.2, setting up an all India gold medal match-up.


The Belarussian pair of Maria Martynova and Ilia Charheika won a thrilling bronze medal match against the Austrian pair of Olivia Hofmann and Alexander Schmirl 16-14. The Belarussians were down 0-10 at one stage before staging a remarkable comeback.

Indian OMCs to continue to be affected by soft margins, Capex

Newsroom24x7 Network

Singapore/Mumbai: The financial profiles of India’s three oil-marketing companies (OMCs) – Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL; BBB-/Stable), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC; BBB-/Stable) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL; BBB-/Stable) – may weaken modestly as gross refining margins are likely to remain soft in the financial year ending March 2020 (FY20) amid increasing refining capacities in the region, and as they continue to spend on expansion, Fitch Ratings says.

The ratings of these entities, which are driven by support from their respective parents, are unlikely to be affected.

The gross refining margins of the three OMCs declined by between USD2.3 per barrel and USD3.1 per barrel from FY18 to FY19 as the contribution from new refineries was lower than our expectations and product spreads narrowed. The cumulative FY19 capex of the three state-owned OMCs also exceeded Fitch expectations by around 24%. The capex was largely geared towards downstream capacity expansion, refinery upgrades to meet the government’s BS-VI emission standards, and petrochemical expansion. IOC and BPCL also increased shareholder returns during FY19 (see Fitch Rtgs: Risks to Indian Oil Marketing Cos as Govt Seeks More Returns), likely driven by pressure from the Indian government (BBB-/Stable) to shore up its weak fiscal position.

These factors resulted in a modest weakening of the OMCs’ financial profiles during FY19. The FY19 net leverage (defined by adjusted net debt/operating EBITDAR) of IOC weakened to 3.0x (FY18: 2.0x), while we estimate BPCL’s (including joint venture Bharat Oman Refineries Limited on a proportionately consolidated basis) rose to over 2.5x (FY18: 2.2x) and that of HPCL (including joint venture HPCL-Mittal Energy Limited on a proportionately consolidated basis) increased to 2.4x (FY18: 2.1x). HPCL benefitted from higher marketing margins and volumes, which drove its relatively better performance during FY19.

We expect marketing margins to remain resilient in FY20 given Fitch’s crude oil price assumptions. We also believe potential policy risks relating to fuel price controls will ease in the near term following the completion of national elections in May 2019.

We expect refining margins to stay soft during FY20 due to increasing supply from rising refining capacity, primarily led by China, affecting product spreads. A new marine-fuel regulation from January 2020 by the International Maritime Organization is likely to lead to a shift in the product slate of refiners towards more low-sulphur fuel oil or diesel, increasing the crack spreads of such products. However, this could be counterbalanced by the narrower spreads of other fuels, and the discontinuation of crude oil imports from Iran, which offered attractive price options for Indian refiners. The narrowing price differential between light and heavy crude is also leading to the highly complex refineries of IOC at Paradip and BPCL at Kochi processing a sub-optimal crude slate, which could affect their margins to a limited extent in the near term.

However, OMCs, particularly IOC and BPCL, continue to face risks from higher shareholder returns, which together with our expectations of lower margins and their ongoing high capex, may result in further modest weakening of their credit metrics. IOC and BPCL will continue to have adequate headroom in their ‘bb+’ standalone credit profiles. On the other hand, HPCL has comparatively limited headroom in its current standalone credit profile of ‘bb’, which may be lowered if net leverage exceeds 4.0x though it does not have shareholder return pressure. Unlike its peers IOC and BPCL, which are directly owned by the state, HPCL’s largest shareholder is the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited.