Junior Hockey World Cup : Indian Players Are Deserving Winners, Says Oltmans
- LUCKNOW : Favourites India had a narrow escape against Spain in the quarterfinals of Junior Hockey World Cup but Roelant Oltmans and Harendra Singh feel that the hosts were deserving winners. "If you can win matches on luck then I feel we would have won in 2005. I compliment my players. Despite trailing they kept calm and composed heads. They did not do hara-kiri which is generally associated with Indian hockey," Harendra said at the post-match press conference. "I don't believe in luck, it is their (players) hard work which is producing results." Oltmans, who is the chief coach of the senior side and is currently with the junior side as the manager, agreed with Harendra's views. "After every game, there is room for improvement. But in this phase of the tournament it's all about winning. It is very simple. We did many things good today and there are couple of things we could have done better," the Dutchman said.
- Oltmans said they made some changes in their strategy in the second half and the players executed their plans perfectly after the change of ends. "We changed the structure little bit at half-time. We tried to intercept the ball early and tried to put pressure on their defence and in the process earned penalty corners and made circle penetrations," he said. "The players executed the plans very well in the second half. They (Spain) played a defensive game and tried to come out with counter attacks. They have very skilful players. But we did a good job in our defence today," he added.
- Harendra too said they expected a tough fight from Spain, whom they have defeated twice in the recent past. "Spain's performance was on expected lines. They are very nippy and skilful. If you look at the shots on goal there weren't many but after taking the lead they defended in numbers. But at the end of the day, results matter," he said. India earned as many as nine penalty corners in the game and utilised just two. Asked Harendra about the conversion rate, he agreed it is a matter of concern. "Penalty corner conversion is a concern but it just not the drag-flicker who is at fault. There are three main elements which come into play during a penalty corner, injector, stopped and drag-flicker who come at the last. The turf is also a little bumpy here. It sometimes can favour you and also act against you. "But at the end of the day, we won the match by a dragflick," Harendra said.
- "We shouldn't forget that we were playing in the quarterfinals where top eight teams of the world qualified. We should also need to respect our opponent." India's second goal from their eighth penalty corner created a bit of a controversy after the onfield umpire awarded the set piece, accusing the Spanish goalkeeper for deliberately kicking out the ball. "Umpires take a decision and we have no opportunity here for referrals. If you look at the game, there is only one team which deserved to win," Oltmans said. "One of the Spanish player told me after the match that umpire felt that the goalkeeper kicked the ball deliberately over the backline but they said it was not deliberate," he added. Spain coach Roger Pallarols, however, feels the decision was little unfair.
Sindhu Loses Second Match At BWF World Super Series Final
- DUBAI : Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu lost her second Group B match at the prestigious BWF World Super Series Final going down to Sun Yu of China in straight games on Thursday. Sindhu, who recently clinched the China Super Series Premier and reached the finals at Hong Kong Open, lost 15-21, 17-21 to World No 6 Chinese in a contest that lasted 49 minutes. Sindhu, who had defeated higher-ranked Akane Yamaguchi of Japan during her opening match on Wednesday, found the going tough against her Chinese opponent. World No 2 Carolina Marin of Spain also figures in her same group and Sindhu will have task cut out when she faces the Spaniard on Friday.
- In the opening round, Sindhu was always playing a catch-up game and never looked in contention, even as the Chinese girl kept on marching ahead to clinch the first game rather comfortably. World No 10 Sindhu, however, put up some fight in the second game as took a lead and maintained a slight edge till 15-13 but the Chinese came from behind and made it 15-15 before bagging two more points to go ahead 17-15. Although Sindhu won the next two points to make it 17-17, the Chinese won three consecutive points thereafter to shut the door on the Indian girl.
Award-Winning Cadet: NCC Not Just About March-Past
- BENGALURU : He had to struggle a bit to find his way into Bengaluru's National Cadet Corps (NCC) group, but it was worth a try. From winning the Prime Minister's coveted baton to represent India at the youth exchange programme in Kazakhstan, Cadet Adithya SP proved wrong the assumption that NCC is "just about march-past". For Adithya from Shivamogga, taking part in the Republic Day Camp (RDC) held in Delhi has been a long cherished dream and emerging as the All India Best Cadet was icing on the cake. Currently pursuing Bachelor of Science at Christ University, Adithya said: "There were some issues because of which I couldn't join the NCC group at Christ University. But that didn't stop them from supporting me while I was getting training at the Jalahalli camp."
- After joining the No. 2 Karnataka Air Squadron camp in 2014, he pursued his passion to be in the Indian Armed Forces. The selection camp for the RDC was in 2015 September. With this year's contingent all set to travel to Delhi for the camp, Adithya recalled that the last year's camp---being the commander for the All India Air Force contingent at the guard of honour (parade) and mastering skills in dancing and extempore--- was not a cakewalk. Competing with equally tough cadets from six other groups in the Karnataka-Goa NCC directorate and winning the gold medal at his very first step was a thrilling experience, he said. The title got the Air Wing contingent a gold medal and Adithya was awarded a trophy by the Air Chief Marshal.
- Cadets from Karnataka had won the title previously in 1997 and in 2006. "My mother was very proud of me though she couldn't come to Delhi. It was the collective effort of all training officers. My seniors and officers who train us inspired me to join the defence. Not everyone can be forced into joining the armed forces. If everything goes well, I will soon be training with the Air Force," said Adithya who is also a cycling enthusiast. In May, this year, Adithya and 11 others represented India at the Youth Exchange Programme in Kazakhstan. "Every boy there has to serve in their Army for at least a year. They are all nurtured in that way. Most people of my age think that NCC is all about march-past and drills. But actually it is preparing us for a respectable future," Adithya said.
Bangalore Literature Festival From Tomorrow
- BENGALURU : It's been five years since Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF) launched itself onto the city's culturescape. Barring a few hiccups along the way, it's well-entrenched in every book-loving Bengalurean's mind. BLF will celebrate its fifth edition this weekend. The lineup of 100+ participants features writers, scholars, journalists and newsmakers of 2016. They include Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor, whose talk with Sanjeev Sanyal will be during the first session on Saturday, to actor Shatrughan Sinha, Amish Tripathi, Aishwarya Rajinikanth Dhanush, Kanhaiya Kumar, Anita Raghavan, Kanishk Tharoor, Ramachandra Guha, Bezwada Wilson, Jerry Rao, Gurcharan Das, Vivek Shanbhag and Vasudhendra.
- The two-day fest has a lot for children too. An event called Children|Literature|Fun (C|L|F) will host workshops, storytelling sessions, creative games and more for young readers. Cultural programmes include a Bob Dylan tribute concert by Guru Rewben Mashangva, a ballet performance by The Lewis Foundation of Classical Ballet and a concert by actor, writer and poet Piyush Mishra. The festival will be inaugurated by Shashi Deshpande, Sudha Murty and KV Tirumalesh on Saturday (December 17) at 9.30am. Entry is free.