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Sardar Singh Returns, Named as Skipper for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup



Indian team announced for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament beginning in Malaysia on the 3rd of March; Sardar Singh returns to the side to take on the mantle of skipper and lead the team to glory.

Veteran Sardar Singh has got one more chance to prolong his international career after he was on Tuesday named the captain of the Indian men’s hockey team for the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, a tournament where three players will make their debut for the country.

Sardar, who is in the twilight of his career, has been in and out of the team in recent times and was ignored from India’s last two international assignments. Sardar last played for India at the Asia Cup but was dropped from the squad for the Hockey World League (HWL) Final last December and then for the tour to New Zealand.

But new chief coach Sjoerd Marijne handed another lifeline to the midfield ace when he was appointed to lead India at next month’s Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia after regular skipper Manpreet Singh was rested.

Sardar wants to continue till 2020 Olympics but with three big events — Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Cup — lined up this year, the Azlan Shah Cup probably is his last chance to impress upon the national selectors with the team think-tank setting their sights on a younger lot.

Coach Marijne too hinted that it is a big opportunity for Sardar to impress the team management and stay in the reckoning for future tournaments.

Sardar is one of the leaders in the core group and in Manpreet Singh s absence, he has been chosen for the job. He is an experienced player and having missed two tournaments previously, this is an opportunity for him to show his skills,” he said.

While Sardar will lead, striker Ramandeep Singh has been named vice-captain of the side.

The tournament will also witness three rookie players in Mandeep Mor, Sumit Kumar (Jr) and Shilanand Lakra, who are set to make their debut. While Sumit Kumar (Jr) is part of the ongoing senior men’s national camp, Mandeep Mor and Shilanand Lakra have been called-up from the junior men’s core group. The two were also part of the India colts team that won the bronze medal at the Sultan of Johor Cup last year.

By introducing new players to the senior fold, Marijne is looking at long-term gains for the team that includes the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Just like the New Zealand tour where four players made their international debut, the Azlan Shah Cup is a great opportunity for these new players to get international exposure against top teams, said Marijne.

It will only help us create a bigger group. Playing top teams in their first tournament will be challenging but this is also an opportunity for the seniors to help the youngsters adjust to this level, added the 43-year-old Dutchman.

Sardar will be in charge of the midfield alongside SK Uthappa, Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma and Simranjeet Singh.

The defence will be guarded by Varun Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Surender Kumar and newcomers Mandeep Mor and Nilam Sanjeep Xess while Suraj Karkera and Krishan Pathak are the two goalkeepers.

The forward line will feature Gurjant Singh, Ramandeep, Talwinder Singh and debutants Sumit Kumar (Jr) and Shilanand Lakra.

This tournament is extremely important for the players who are going because it is another opportunity for them to experience high-level competition especially from teams like Australia and Argentina,” Marijne said.

“This is a chance for them to show their capability in the international level and ensure their place in the squad for future tournaments.

The Azlan Shah Cup is a prestigious invitational tournament that will be played from March 3 to 11 at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh.

Besides hosts Malaysia and India, the tournament will also feature world no. 1 Australia, world no.2 Argentina, England and Ireland.


Goalkeepers: Suraj Karkera, Krishan B Pathak

Defenders: Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, Surender Kumar, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Mandeep Mor

Midfielders: S K Uthappa, Sardar Singh (Captain), Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma, Simranjeet Singh

Forwards: Gurjant Singh, Ramandeep Singh (Vice-captain), Talwinder Singh, Sumit Kumar (Junior), Shilanand Lakra.

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SENSATIONAL: India’s 16-Year-Old Manu Bhaker Wins Another Gold at Shooting World Cup

The sensational Manu Bhaker shot her way to a second successive gold medal in a mixed team event in the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico.



The sensational Manu Bhaker, all of 16, shot her way to a second successive gold medal in a mixed team event as India consolidated their position at the top in the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Partnering Om Prakash Mitharval, the Indian teenager clinched the 10m air pistol mixed team title, a day after she won the women’s 10m air pistol individual gold on what is turning out to be a memorable senior World Cup debut.

The 11th standard student could be the youngest ever to win senior World Cup gold medals for India, though the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) could not confirm.

Also, the duo of Deepak Kumar and Mehuli Ghosh won the country its sixth medal of the competition – a bronze in the 10m air rifle mixed team event.

Deepak and Mehuli, competing as India 2, shot 435.1 in the five-team final, finishing behind the Romanian pair of Alin Moldoveanu and Laura-Georgeta Coman who shot 498.4 for silver. China’s Xu Hong and Chen Keduo won Gold with a world record score of 502.0.

But it was Bhaker, the girl from Jhajjar, Haryana, who stunned the shooting world with a second successive gold in as many days.

For someone who took to shooting just a little over two years ago, winning two gold medals in a global event of this magnitude would easily qualify as some achievement.

Shooting happened to her by chance after a brush with contact sports (boxing, martial arts) and Bhaker has already stamped her class in the tournaments she competed in.

Asked about her penchant for winning medals with record-breaking feats, the unassuming pistol shooter said, “It just happens. I don’t think about them. At times I don’t even know what the records are.” “I am grateful to all my coaches for their advice and the hours they have put in to hone my technique,” Manu added.

Last December, she won the 10m air pistol event, outclassing the highly-experienced Heena Sidhu at the 61st National Shooting Championship in Thiruvananthapuram where she broke Heena’s long-standing national record. She won a staggering 15 medals, including nine gold, during the tournament.

Bhaker’s tryst with shooting began when her father took her to the range and asked her to try her hand at the sport. She fired a few shots that found the centre of the target and the rest is history.

On the third day of competitions in the Mexican city, once again both Indian entries in the 10m air pistol mixed team event made it through to the medal rounds. Bhaker and Om Prakash, representing India 1, shot 770 in qualification to be placed second behind the German husband and wife pair of Christian and Sandra Reitz who shot 777 for a qualifications world record score.

Mahima Agrawal and Shahzar Rizvi, representing India 2, shot 763 to be positioned fourth and made it to the five-team final round from among the 16 competing teams. In the final, there were three pairs in contention from the very beginning – India 1 represented by Bhaker and Om Prakash, team Reitz of Germany and the French pair of Celine Goberville and Florian Fouquet.

After a see-saw battle between the three, the Indian and the German pair pulled ahead of the French duo decisively after 38 shots, with the Germans ahead of the Indians. With the final six shots remaining the Germans were ahead of the Indians by 0.1, but Bhaker and Om Prakash finished strong to clinch the battle after 48 shots, almost a point ahead of the Germans.

The final scores in favour of the Indians read 476.1 to 475.2.  Mahima Agrawal and Shahzar Rizvi finished fourth with a score of 372.4 in the finals. In the women’s trap, India’s Seema Tomar was the best finisher, shooting 111 in qualifying to end in 15th spot.

Shreyasi Singh shot 106 to finish 22nd while Shagun Chowdhary shot 101 to be placed 26th. Also at the end of the first day of the qualification round in men’s trap, India’s Kynan Chenai shot 49 out of 50 to lie in sixth place. Zoravar Singh Sandhu shot 46 to lie 28th while Manavjit Singh Sandhu shot 42 to be in 47th place.

India’s medal count stood at three gold and four bronze medals for a total of seven podium finishes.

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Finally, India’s Own Clothing Size Chart by 2021



Under the aegis of the ministry of textiles, the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) is undertaking a National Sizing Survey of India to develop an India size chart for ready-to-wear clothes based on the body measurements and specifications of Indians.

The approximate cost of the project is Rs 30 crore.

For the first time a scientific exercise is being undertaken and anthropometric data from a sample in the age group of 15-65 years is being used to create a database of measurements.

These measurements will create a standardised size chart that will be representative of the Indian population and could be adopted by the apparel industry.

The project will measure 25,000 men and women across six cities and regions – Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Shillong  – using 3D whole-body scanners. This will especially help business… it will reduce instances of exchanges and will be extremely beneficial for online retail.

More than 14 countries across the world have successfully completed national sizing surveys.

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Sameer Verma Wins Swiss Open Men’s Singles Title

Indian shuttler Sameer Verma dished out a clinical performance to outwit former world no 2 Jan O Jorgensen and clinch the men’s singles title.



The world number 46 needed just 36 minutes to win 21-15, 21-13.

Indian shuttler Sameer Verma dished out a clinical performance to outwit former world no 2 Jan O Jorgensen and clinch the men’s singles title at the $150,000 Swiss Open Super 300 tournament, here on Sunday.

The 23-year-old from Madhya Pradesh showed great anticipation and technique and added power in his smashes to bamboozle Jorgensen 21-15, 21-13 in a lop-sided contest.

Sameer beat two former World No. 2 shuttlers — Kento Momota and Jorgensen — on his way to glory at this event.

This was the seventh international title of Verma’s career and his first since claiming the Syed Modi International more than a year back in January last year. Since then he was on and off and could not manage to build on that form.

Sameer, who had clinched the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold last year and reached the finals at 2016 Hong Kong Super Series, thus lifted his first title of the season and joined fellow Indians Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy, who had won the title in 2015 and 2016.

“I am very happy to win the title. I was confident of doing well but I didn’t expect an easy final.”

“I had beaten him narrowly in Hong Kong, so I knew he is a difficult player to beat but he is not 100 percent fit yet as he is coming back from an injury. I had a word with him after the match and he told me he is not 100%, so it is a good result for him as well to reach the final,” Sameer told media persons after his victory.

Up against Jorgensen, who made a comeback this season after missing in action for more than seven months following a heel injury, Sameer showed great touch and control to emerge victories in the 36-minute contest.

Sameer opened up a 3-0 lead early and capitalised on it to enter the break with an 11-7 advantage. He never gave an inch to his rival to make a comeback.

Jorgensen won a video referral after the interval and narrowed the gap to 10-12 but Sameer jumped to 17-10 with five straight points before pocketing the opening game comfortably when the Danish shuttler hit the net. The first game lasted 17 minutes.

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