Grassroots Hunt For Olympic Winners Begins
- AHMEDABAD : The Olympic Task Force (OTF), constituted recently to identify young talent and aid their training and transition to elite sportspersons, had an auspicious beginning on Thursday. Almost the entire sports fraternity of Gujarat, including government representatives, sports associations, sports journalists, sports medicine experts, school principals and coaches came together and interacted at a workshop. "The task force will have the collective wisdom of all stakeholders at this first-of-its-kind workshop,'' said Om Pathak, an OTF member. The passion to make India a major sporting nation, especially in Olympics, was apparent in all those who attended the workshop.
- Those given a chance to express their views gave suggestions on how to improve India's Olympics performance. "I'm indeed very pleased to see the level of enthusiasm among all those present here today," said Sandip Pradhan, director-general, Sports Authority of Gujarat and also the convener member of the OTF. "I'm especially happy that it's once again Gujarat which has taken the initiative to hold such a programme in Ahmedabad. It's a great moment that this first national dialogue after formation of the OTF has taken place in our state," Pradhan said. Other topics discussed at the workshop ranged from the current state of Olympic sports in India to the obstacles that prevent Indian athletes from being competitive and winning more medals.
- A long-term strategy for 2028 Olympics and short-term plans for 2020 and 2024 Games to improve India's performance were proposed. Former Indian hockey captain Viren Rasquinha, who is also member of the OTF, also felt that this meeting was indeed a step in the right direction. India have the potential to reach 2020 Olympic hockey semifinals Rasquinha felt that India's performance in international hockey has improved in the last few years. "Hockey India has been doing a wonderful job in the last five years. I feel that our country has full potential to at least reach the 2020 Olympic hockey semifinals," said Rasquinha, who is also the CEO of the Olympics Gold Quest.
- When asked as to who he felt were the greatest Indian hockey players, Rasquinha said Danraj Pillay and Dilip Tirkey were the best. "We are on the right track. The Hockey India League is also doing very good," said Rasquinha, who retired at an early age when at the peak of his career. On the question of the best coach, Rasquinha was all praise for the present Indian coach Roelant Oltmans. "Still I think Rajendra Singh Senior was the best Indian coach, although I am a big fan of Cedric D'Souza as well," said Rasquinha, who played 180 matches for India in a span of eight years.
Shooting World Cup : Ghatkar Wins India Bronze, Deepak Finishes Fifth In Air Rifle
- NEW DELHI : Pooja Ghatkar overcame technical issues to clinch the women's 10m air rifle bronze medal as hosts India opened their account on a positive note in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup here on Friday. Deepak Kumar, competing in his maiden World Cup, gave a good account of himself and finished fifth in men's 10m air rifle final with a score of 185.4, while Ravi Kumar was placed eighth with 122.0 after having made the cut for the eight-man final. They were fourth and sixth in the qualification. In the women's trap event, Rajeshwari Kumari (17th), Seema Tomar (22nd) and Manisha Kheer (29th) failed to clear the qualification hurdle.. From India's perspective, the day belonged to the 27-year-old Ghatkar, who, despite a "torn" blinder, displayed exemplary composure to secure a podium finish.
- Ghatkar lost her father at a very young age and her mother, having acknowledged her daughter's penchant for the sport, encouraged her all along. It would be wise to say that her mother's belief in Ghatkar's ability to shoot is paying dividends now. The former Asian champion shot 228.8 in the final of 10m air rifle to finish third on the podium and win her maiden World Cup medal, at the Karni Singh Shooting Range, after two final appearance in the past. China's Mengyao Shi won the gold medal with 252.1 while setting a new world record in the event. Mengyao's compatriot Dong Lijie bagged the silver with a score of 248.9 on day one of competitions. Ghatkar, who had missed out on a Rio Olympics quota place by a whisker last year, said she was looking ahead having buried that chapter.
- Ghatkar, who started the final with a 10.4, was consistent with her scores baring a couple of blips and was placed second with 104.6 at the end of first competition stage. Even as the Indian kept producing good high scores, Lijie proved to be a tough competitor, while Mengayo extended her lead at the top. Mentored by Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang, Ghatkar managed a fine 10.8 and 10.7 in her 19th and 21st shots to assure herself of a medal. In the course of her campaign, Ghatkar faced an obstacle as the blinder of her gun fell and she had to shoot her final few shots with an eye closed, a remarkable achievement. Helping her overcoming the obstacle was the tips from Narang on the eve of the event.
- In the qualification, Ghatkar finished in second position with 418.0 behind eventual champion Mengayo (418.6) and ahead of the Lijie (417.7). In Ghatkar's event, Vinita Bhardwaj and Megha Sajjanar failed to qualify for the final and finished 16th and 20th respectively. The men's 10m air rifle was won by Chinese Wong Buhan (249.5) with a world record, while Peter Sidi of Hungary (249.1) and Atsushi Shimada (227.4) bagged the silver and bronze medals respectively. Penny Smith of Australia won the gold medal in women's trap with a world record score of 40, Italy's Jessica Rossi (38) bagged silver, while Mopsi Veromaa (27) of Finland had to be contend with the bronze.
- At the end of men's 25m rapid-fire pistol precision stage, Neeraj Kumar was placed fifth, Gurpreet Singh was 12th and Harpreet Singh was 17th. At the end of day one, China led the standings with two gold and one silver medals, while India was fifth overall. The other gold of the day went to Australia.
Eco-Industrial Plan For Green Jeedimetla
- HYDERABAD : About 1,200 industrial units located in the Jeedimetla Industrial Park have now been taken up by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Godrej Business centre for bringing in resource conservation and improvement of environment condition. The `Eco-industrial parks' project is being taken up at Jeedimetla in Telangana and at the Vizag Pharma city in Andhra Pradesh to begin with. They will later be replicated and scaled up in other states. Simple measures like automated moving sensors to switch off electrical appliances like lights, fans, air conditioners etc to reusing waste material can bring in substantial changes.
- The change of the existing park into an eco-industrial park is expected to bring in atleast 15 percent improvement in performance and in turn revenues. "We are currently mapping the resource consumption in the industrial units, conducting sample assessment to find out what type of energy improvement can be done. Once the possibilities are identified, we will bring technology providers who can be of help and connect the industries with finan cial institutions for funding," said KS Venkatagiri, executive director, CII Godrej GBC.
- Adding that almost all the units stand a chance of improvement by 10-15 percent by introducing very simple and cost effective interventions, he said he said that the teams are also looking at bringing in industrial symbiosis by churning out businesses to use waste products of one industry as raw material for another. The Jeedimetla industrial park meanwhile houses a gamut of industrial units like engineering units, food processing, chemical, plastic, pharma units apart from others and has an estimated turnover of around `20,000 to 24,000 crore.
- Meanwhile, such methods are extensively used by many other countries like China, Japan and Korea, the entire Indian sector has remained devoid of any such measures till date. The project is the first of its kind in India by the industrial sector and the team hopes to scale it up to other areas. "If 10 units start implementing these measures, peer learning and competition will force others to follow suit.Moreover, we are hoping to create some businesses from the waste generated from the units as well as is done internationally," added Venkatagiri.
Sindhu Prefers Andhra Over Telangana For Government Job
- VIJAYAWADA : Olympic 2016 silver medallist PV Sindhu has preferred Andhra Pradesh over Telangana to accept a government job offer. The star shuttler, who was born in Hyderabad, has accepted the job offer of Andhra Pradesh, the state her parents come from. Sindhu will soon be appointed as deputy collector in Andhra Pradesh. She has conveyed her willingness to accept the post which was offered by the state government soon after she bagged silver in women's singles at the Rio Olympics last year. Sindu's mother Vijayalakshmi said they were soon expecting appointment order.
- While felicitating Sindu at a function here on her return from Olympics, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had announced that the state will give a group-I officer's job to the shuttler. Sindu, who is working in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) as deputy manager (sports) since 2013, had not responded to the offer. According to sources, the 21-year-old may get promotion as Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer in five years, as a special case. Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had also offered a job to Sindhu.
- Following her Olympic medal, both the Telugu states had claimed her as their own. While Telangana politicians described her as 'Telangana bidda' (daughter of Telangana), their counterparts in Andhra Pradesh hailed her as 'Andhra Ammayi' (Andhra girl). The two states had also vied with each other in showering rewards on Sindhu. Telangana presented her cash reward of Rs 5 crore and a residential plot in Hyderabad while Andhra presented Rs 3 crore cash prize and 1,000 square yard house site in Amaravati, the upcoming state capital near Vijayawada.