Table Tennis: Haryana start favourites in revived team events

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi: Table tennis Federation of India’s (TTFI) decision to reintroduce team championships in zonal events from this season, has been welcomed by all states from the five zones and they are as much excited about its revival as their teams’ prospects.

The eight men and six women teams, competing in the UTT National Ranking (North Zone) Table Tennis Championships, starting at the DPS School , Sonepat (Haryana) from Sunday , also feel that the opportunity would provide a fillip to their aspirations and help assess their ability in northern India.

In a scenario in which the supremacy of PSPB squads in senior nationals is impossible to implode. In such a situation, the resumption of team events in zonals is the best chance for teams to show their mettle and strike a balance, at least in their respective zones.

However, the asymmetry is inevitable and cannot be overcome as the battle for titles in northern India would be fought between hosts Haryana and Delhi. But Haryana, with a definite edge over Delhi, are the favourites to win both crowns.

A cursory look at their line-ups in the two sections would reveal why they are the strong contenders in the Swathylin Cup format. However, the burden of taking Haryana to team titles lies on Jubin Kumar, Sourav Saha, Jeet Chandra, Soumyajit Ghosh and Gourang Shakreja. Ghosh, who returned to the mainstream after a period of suspension, may not have regained his form and full fitness but his presence will boost Haryana’s confidence.

Even otherwise, the left-handed Jubin and Saha along with young Jeet are good enough to crush any possible threat from Delhi, who will largely look up to Utkarsh Gupta, Payas Jain, Parth Virmani and Aadarsh Om Chetri, with their fifth paddler in either Yashansh Malik or Sameer Sahni.

Coming to women’s crown, Haryana has former national champion Suthirta Mukherjee to lead their campaign with support coming from Suhana Saini, Anjali Rohilla, Riti Shankar and Oishwarya Deb. The hosts would expect Suthirta to win two of her singles while one of the other three paddlers giving necessary the third rubber.

On the other hand, senior pro Garima Goyal will have to shoulder a huge burden while youngsters Vanshika Bhargava, Ishita Gupta, Kritika Malik and Tamanna Saini chipping in with their contribution.

All these possibilities effectively rule out any potential challenge from the rest of the teams in fray. Yet, even if a few paddlers from among them put their hands up and rise to the occasion, the purpose of reviving team championships would be served well.

Women’s Hockey : India secure berth in FIH Olympic Qualifiers

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Indian team celebrates scoring goal
Indian team celebrates scoring goal

Hiroshima (Japan): Gurjit Kaur led the charge as India defeated Chile 4-2 to storm into the Final of the FIH Women’s Series Finals and kin the process secured their place in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers here on Saturday.

India came from a goal down to secure the win as Gurjit Kaur (22′, 37′) scored a brace, while Navneet Kaur (31′) and Captain Rani (57′) scored fantastic individual goals to give their side an emphatic victory. .

A well contested match between the two sides saw the World No. 9 Indian team start the match on the front foot as they made a total of six circle entries inside the first 15 minutes, creating opportunities to take five shots at the Chilean goal.

However, the World No. 16 side also managed to get into the Indian striking circle four times, but failed to find a shot on target. Both the teams failed to open the scoring in the initial quarter, which was dominated by the Indian team as they had the better chances.

The start of the second quarter was not a good one for India as they conceded the opening goal in the 18th minute when Chile played on the counter attack. While India were trying to create an opportunity in the Chilean half, their defense cleared the ball into India’s half, which was then picked up by Consuelo de las Heras.

The Midfielder drove into the Indian striking circle and passed the ball across goal, and it was Carolina Garcia who scored an easy tap-in as the Indian defense failed to clear the ball. With the pressure now on the higher ranked team, India finally utilized their chance in the 22nd minute when Gurjit Kaur scored from a well-struck drag-flick which beat the Chilean Goalkeeper on her left side. The ball flew into the top right corner of goal, giving India their equalizer. The two teams went into the half-time break level at a goal apiece.

India resumed play in the third quarter smartly as they won back possession from the push-back, and it was Forward Navneet Kaur who picked up the ball just outside the 25-yard circle, and made a darting run into the striking circle, taking a shot at shot, which was deflected off a Chilean player into the back of the net.

The goal in the 31st minute gave the Indian team a lift which saw them trouble the World No. 16 side on several occasions. It was in the 37th minute that India were awarded another Penalty Corner as the ball hit a Chilean defender inside their striking circle.

Drag-flicker, Gurjit Kaur, stepped up yet again to put the ball into the top-right corner to extend India’s lead to 3-1. However, the victory for India was not as comfortable as Chile won themselves two PCs towards the latter stages of the third quarter, however could not utilize the chances. In the 43rd minute though, a poor clearance from the Indian defense saw Chile regain possession and it was Denise Krimerman who made a great run from outside the 25-yard line, and played a ball across goal from near the left base-line, which was deflected into the back of the net by Manuela Urroz to cut the deficit to 3-2.

However, India rotated the ball well in the last quarter, not giving the Chilean attack many sniffs at their goal. The World No. 16 team did have a few opportunities in the last quarter but could not create any clear-cut chances. India, on the other hand, created some great opportunities to extend their lead with a total of seven circle entries in the last 15 minutes.

With just three minutes remaining on the clock, the Indian team went for the kill when Lilima Minz found Rani inside the striking circle, and the Indian Captain made a great turn and hit a shot off the reverse stick to beat the Chilean Goalkeeper and give India a well-deserved 4-2 win in the Semi-Final.

Fire breaks out on under construction warship INS Visakhapatnam, 1 worker killed

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Mumbai: One worker was killed when fire broke out on INS Visakhapatnam, the warship being built at Mazgaon Dock on Friday evening.

The first call to inform about the fire was received by the fire department at 5.44 p.m. Friday.

According to available reports, the fire had spread to the 2nd and 3rd deck of ship.
An MDL statement said that a minor fire broke out in “Yard 12704, the first of the class of Project 15 (B) during grinding operations in tank at MDL around 4 pm. The fire was brought under control by 7 pm… One contract worker unfortunately succumbed possibly due to asphyxia and burn injuries and another suffered minor burns.”

INS Visakhapatnam is the lead ship of the Visakhapatnam-class stealth guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy. The consruction of the warship at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) was launched on 20 April 2015.


Kamal Nath goes through minor surgery at Hamidia Hospital

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath at Hamidia Hospital. With him are former Union Minister Suresh Pachouri and State Health Minister Vijay Laxmi Sadho
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath at Hamidia Hospital. With him are former Union Minister Suresh Pachouri and State Medical Education Minister Vijay Laxmi Sadho

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath was operated on his little finger at Hamidia hospital, the main referral hospital in the State capital today,  22 June 2019.

According to the Dean of Gandhi Medical College, Dr Ms Aruna Kumar, the surgery was conducted in the operation theater on the fourth floor of the OPD by the head of Orthopedics Department Dr Sanjeev Gaur and head of the Anesthesia department Dr Aditya Agrawal.

The Chief Minister on Friday had gone to the Hamidia Hospital for a check up and on doctor’s advice did not attend the Yoga Day programme.