Saina Loses On Comeback, PV Sindhu Wins In China
- Saina Nehwal's comeback ended with a gruelling opening round loss but Olympic silver-medallist P V Sindhu crossed the first hurdle at the $700,000 China Super Series Premier in Fuzhou on Wednesday. Three months after limping out of the Rio Olympics due to a severe knee injury, fourth seed Saina was back on the court but her fight against Thailand"s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk ended with a 16-21 21-19 14-21 loss in a women's singles match that lasted for almost an hour.
- London Olympics bronze-medallist Saina, who had won the China Open title in 2014 and reached the finals last year, will next play at the Hong Kong Super Series next week. Seventh seed Sindhu, however, had no problems in disposing off the challenge from Chinese Taipei's Chia Hsin Lee 21-12 21-16 in just 34 minutes. The two-time bronze medallist at World Championship will next take on USA"s Beiwen Zhang. In men's singles, Ajay Jayaram and H S Prannoy also reached the second round after notching up contrasting wins over their respective opponents in the opening round.
- World No. 23 Jayaram dished out a gritty performance as he staved off the challenge from China's Zhu Siyuan and prevailed 21-19 20-22 21-17 in a match that lasted for an hour and two minutes. He will next take on the winner of the match between Hong Kong's Wei Nan and sixth seeded Korean Son Wan Ho. World No. 28 Prannoy got rid of Hong Kong's NG Ka Long Angus 21-13 21-13 in another match. The Swiss Open champion will face the winner of the match between Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien Chen, seeded seventh, and China"s Qiao Bin.IANS Saina Nehwal PV Sindhu
Telangana Govt Starts Digital Classrooms Plan In 3,352 Schools
- The Telangana Government today launched its digital classrooms programme in 3,352 high schools in the state. Deputy Chief Minister K Srihari, who holds education portfolio, and IT Minister K T Rama Rao formally started the programme here. On the first day, the scheme covered 3,352 out of the total 5,400 Government-run high schools. Under it, students would get to watch teaching of various subjects via Mana TV, an educational channel started by the Government.
- The digital class initiative is not to remove teachers from the education system but to help them, Srihari said. The initiative would be extended to all schools by the beginning of 2017 academic year, he said. The initiative has been started in accordance with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's emphasis on human resource development for realising the dream of making Telangana a "golden" State, Srihari said.
Gurbaj, Ruhr Emerge Top Buys In HIL Auction
- Seasoned midfielder Gurbaj Singh and German forward Christopher Ruhr on Wednesday emerged as the most expensive players in the closed bid process for the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL), with Ranchi Rays spending $99,000 and $75,000 on them respectively. Among other notable foreign recruits, the Netherlands skipper and current World Player of the Year Robert van der Horst was bought by Jaypee Punjab Warriors for $43,000, Dutch forward Seve Van Ass went to Uttar Pradesh Wizards for $39,000 while Australian midfielder Tom Craig was secured by Kalinga Lancers for $67,000. Dutch midfield pair of Billy Bakker and Sander Baart went to Lancers and Wizards for $31,000 and $35,000 respectively.
- Many of the franchises chose to invest in the youth with 18-year-old defender Hardik Singh emerging the most expensive of the signings amongst the youngsters, picked by Warriors for $39,000. Promising midfielder Shamsher Singh and forward Ajay Yadav went to Wizards for $2,600 each while India's Under-17 Asia Cup winning captain Nilam Sanjeep Xess was secured by Kalinga Lancers for $3,000. According to the rules, all teams operated with a $725,000 cap on the purse. Having retained their squad for a significantly lesser amount, Ranchi Rays and Jaypee Punjab Warriors had a larger purse available for the bidding process.
- Most teams had largely fixed on their 20-member squads, although UP Wizards went into the auction with 15 members of their squad fixed, leaving space for five new players (three domestic, two foreign) to be added from the closed bid. Among the players available in the closed bid were Indian goalkeeper Sushant Tirkey, Netherlands internationals Jaap Stockmann, Mink van der Weerden and Olympic gold medallist Lucas Rossi. Talking about the auction process, newly-elected FIH President and HIL chairman Narinder Dhruv Batra said: "I would first like to emphasise the importance of the HIL in contributing to Indian hockey's rise in the rankings.
- The professionalism of the league is commendable and all credit for this must go to the franchises themselves, who have conducted their work in a manner that is a source of inspiration for world hockey." "In regard to the closed bid, I"m happy to see that keeping with the trend, even this year, the process has been more rewarding to the players, and the teams have consistently looked to bid way higher than their base prices. It goes to show how valuable and talented each of the players are, and subsequently how tightly contested and closely knit the league is now." IANS Seasoned midfielder Gurbaj Singh who emerged as the most expensive players in HIL auction.
India Overtakes China In Air Pollution Deaths
- India has overtaken China in terms of the number of deaths due to ambient (outdoor) air pollution with the country witnessing 50 deaths more than China reported per day in 2015, according to Global Burden of Disease project. Recent data show that in 2015, India witnessed 3,280 Premature Deaths (fatalities due to Ozone concentration and particulate matter concentration) per day, whereas China had recorded 3,230. In 2010, number of Premature Deaths in India were at 2,863, whereas in China it was at 3,190.
- Similarly, in 2005 India was at 2,654 and China at 3,332. So, while Premature Deaths have increased by 23 per cent in India over the last decade, China has reversed the trend and recorded a decline of three per cent. Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project has been compiled by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle. As per the study, the rate of Premature Deaths in India has been increasing at an alarming rate, and from 2,140 deaths per day in 1990, it has reached to 3,280 in 2015. This is nearly 53% increase in premature deaths in the last 25 years, a much sharper increase than in China, which has seen 16 per cent increase over the corresponding period as it managed to reverse the trend 2005 onwards.