Saina Nehwal, Ajay Jayaram Win In Malaysia Masters
- SARAWAK : Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Ajay Jayaram reached the prequarterfinals of the season-opening Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold after notching up contrasting wins in women's and men's singles competition respectively here on Wednesday. Top seed Saina, who is desperatley looking for a win to boost her confidence after recovering from a knee surgery which derailed her Rio Olympics campaign lat year, spanked Thailand's Chasinee Korepap 21-9 21-8 in a lop-sided contest. The 26-year-old Indian, who clinched the Australian Open last year before injuring her knee just ahead of the Olympics, will face Indonesia's Hanna Ramadini next.
- Sixth seed Jayaram, who has been in good form at the Premier badminton League, eked out a 21-10 17-21 21-14 win over Malaysia's Jun Hao Leong in the opening round before mauling Indonesia's Saputra Vicky Angga 21-9 21-12 in the second match. The World No. 19 Indian will next meet Chinese Taipei's Hsueh Hsuan Yi. Unheraleded Hemanth M Gowda, meanwhile, suffered a 5-21 19-21 loss against Chun-Wei Chen of Chinese Taipei in another men's singles competition.
- In mixed doubles, newly-formed pair of Manu Attri and Jwala Gutta defeated Indonesian combo of Lukhi Apri Nugroho and Ririn Amelia 21-19 21-18, while women's doubles pair of Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant saw off Indonesian combo of Aghisna Fathkul Laili and Aprilsasi Putri Lejarsar Variella 21-10 21-11. Prajakta along with her Malaysian partner Yogendran Khrishnan also reached the next round of mixed doubles after defeating Hong Kong's Hee Chun Mak and Yeung Nga Ting 21-14 22-20.
- However, B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa suffered a 17-21 17-21 loss against sixth seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja of Indonesia. KP Sruthi and Haritha Manazhiyil Harinarayanan also lost 9-21 13-21 to Malaysian pair of Mei Kuan Chow and Vivian Hoo, while Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Maneesha K also suffered a 10-21 14-21 loss to Hong Kong combo of Tam Chun Hei and Ng Tsz Yau.
Patanjali Power : Baba Ramdev Beats Olympic Medalist In Promotional PWL Bout
- NEW DELHI : Yoga guru Baba Ramdev displayed his wrestling skills as he went head-to-head with 2008 Olympic silver medalist Andriy Stadnik in a promotional bout of the Patanjali Powervita Pro Wrestling League (PWL) on Wednesday. Sporting his typical saffron langot, Ramdev came out on top 12-0 over Stadnik, who is well remembered by Indian wrestling enthusiasts as he had defeated Indian star wrestler Sushil Kumar in the Beijing Olympics. As the Ukrainian reached the final, it gave Sushil an opportunity to play in repechage and win a bronze medal.
- Ramdev walked onto the mat and, before the bout began, exhibited his firebrand yoga moves before proceeding to his friendly battle with Stadnik, 34, a former European champion. Ramdev showed wrestling acumen as he pulled out the best of technical moves such as take-down, one-leg hold and pinning down. Since it was a promotional bout, Stadnik responded by allowing Ramdev to have his way, as did the referees. After nearly two minutes, Standnik surrendered. The bout took place during the second semi-final between Punjab Royals and Mumbai Maharathi.
- PWL is sponsored by Patanjali Ayurved Limited, owned by Ramdev. Ramdev noted that people should do wrestling as it can help in stamina building. He also felt that wrestling has the credentials to become world's most popular sport. This was not the first time that Baba Ramdev has shown interest in friendly wrestling bouts. Last year, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of their Ashram in Haridwar, Baba had challenged India's only individual two-time Olympic wrestling medallist and former world champion Sushil.
President Xi Jinping Portrays China As Global Leader As Trump Era Looms
- GENEVA : China will build a "new model" of relations with the United States, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday in a speech that portrayed China as the leader of a globalised world where only international cooperation could solve the big problems. Two days before the inauguration of Donald Trump who has promised to be a US president putting "America first", Xi urged countries to resist isolationism. "Trade protectionism and self-isolation will benefit no one," Xi told an invited audience at the United Nations in Geneva. "Big countries should treat smaller countries as equals instead of acting as a hegemon imposing their will on others." Xi called for the world to unite on everything from environmental protection to terrorism and nuclear disarmament, in contrast to Trump who has said he has an "open mind" on climate change and that the United States would win any nuclear arms race.
- "We will build a circle of friends across the whole world," Xi said. "We will strive to build new model of major country relations with the United States, a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination with Russia, a partnership for peace, growth, reform and among different civilizations and a partnership of unity and cooperation with BRICS countries." While UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Xi it was "very reassuring to see China assuming such a clear leadership in multilateralism in today's world", rights campaigners expressed concerns about China's record.
- "It is unfortunate that Chinese President Xi was given an obsequious red carpet treatment at the UN today while NGOs with concerns about his dismal rights record were kept out," said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. Western governments have accused China of widespread rights abuses and its smaller neighbours say it has expansionist ambitions in the South China Sea, things Beijing denies. "We always put people's rights and interests above everything else and we have worked hard to develop and uphold human rights," Xi said. "China will never seek expansion, hegemony or sphere of influence."
- Xi's speech was the finale of a trip that included topping the bill at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The United Nations - at risk of budget cuts from Trump - ensured the grandest possible welcome for Xi, and many UN staff went home early to clear the way for the red carpet. Trump tweeted on December 26 that the United Nations "has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!"
The Back Story Of BCCI’s Self Destruction
- As the Supreme Court gets ready to appoint administrators to run the BCCI, I believe there is no one but the Board itself to blame for its overflowing cup of woes. The back story that I want to share with cricket lovers today is truly one of self-destruction. Cricket lovers need to understand how the greed and arrogance of some senior officials have brought the BCCI to this sorry state of affairs. During my career in cricket administration I was privileged to work with stalwarts like NKP Salve, M Chinnaswamy and Raj Singh Dungarpur. These doyens built the board brick by brick and stood for good governance. They served cricket and understood its true stars were the players and not board representatives. The people of India trusted us. They had faith in the institution. Sadly all this was destroyed, when Indian cricket was engulfed by the IPL match fixing controversy in 2013.
- At that point, I felt BCCI President Narayanswami Srinivasan (Srini) should have been persuaded to or forced to resign immediately. This would not only have allowed a fair investigation into the affairs of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, but restored public faith in the game. I actually told Srini that he should step aside completely, fine both the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals 20 crores each and ban his son-in-law from cricket-related activities. But Srini was so drunk on power that he laughed at me. He thought he was even bigger than the courts and was accountable to no one. From my vantage point, I believe Srini's failure to resign was a missed opportunity to clean up our own mess. Good governance, public trust and ethics are values that need to permeate our politics and public discourse. This is what we need to pass on to our youth. This is what really builds institutions and nations.
- But Srini thought otherwise and treated the Board like his very own jagir. I'd also like to share what happened at the emergency working committee meeting in Chennai in June 2013 because I believe this was an even bigger missed opportunity. At that meeting, I categorically asked for Srini's resignation, but no one supported me. There were whispers from others, but no one had the guts to speak out. Yet again, Indian cricket failed to win over the media and the Indian public. These were huge errors of judgment that ultimately opened the doors for the Supreme Court of India to get involved in cricket and order Srini to quit as BCCI President in March, 2014. Last year Srini was re-elected President of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.
- It seems we haven't learnt from our past mistakes. Going forward, I feel we have to make greater efforts to have men of integrity governing the game. If I had the choice, I would like to suggest a few names for the panel of administrators. From the judiciary, I'd go for Justice Mukul Mudgal or even a former Chief Justice of India, Visheshwar Nath Khare, who played first class cricket. From the civil service, I would pick Mr. Nikhil Kumar, an ardent cricket fan and former Governor of Kerala and Nagaland. My next choice would be Sumedh Saini, former DGP Punjab, who has been associated with the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) for three years and managed the 2011 World Cup semi final between India and Pakistan. Mohinder Pratap Pandove, who served under me in the PCA for 30 years would be my first pick as a former cricketer. I would also have considered Sourav Ganguly, but since he is President of the Cricket Association of Bengal that rules him out. Rahul Dravid's name enters the fray as well, but his drawback is he has no experience as an administrator.
'Ra.One' Animator Charu Khandal Passes Away At 32
- Shah Rukh Khan-starrer 'Ra.One' might have been criticized as a film overall, but saw some excellent animation in it and won a National Award for 'Best Special Effects,' in 2012. Charu Khandal, the animator behind the big win, breathed her last on January 17, at the age of 32, after battling for five long years. Reportedly, Charu was paralysed, after a speeding car hit her auto-rickshaw, in 2012. She suffered serious injuries in head and spine. Red Chillies VFX took to their Facebook handle to post a message on the same, "In memory of Charu Khandal: Charu Khandal, a former team member of our studio, passed away on Tuesday morning, 17th January, 2017.
- Charu will always be remembered for being a happy go lucky, spirited girl and a true fighter! A few Red Chillies VFX team members who remember working with her said, "She was always passionate towards her work, and believed that she could make a difference with her contributions." We all pray to the lord almighty for her soul to rest in peace and hope that her story continues to inspire young aspirants wanting to make a difference! RIP Dear Charu, you will always be remembered...