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Hima Das the new poster girl of Indian athletics

It’s remarkable of her to have gone on to win a world gold.

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Hima Das

What a week it has been for sport! Assams Hima Das created history becoming the first Indian to win a track gold at a world meet and shared headline space with tiny Croatia entering the World Cup final, Roger Federer getting knocked out of Wimbledon and the Indian cricket team starting their tour of Ireland-England on a high note.

It was not an unexpected gold for Hima, the first by Indian woman athlete at the World Under-20 Track and Field Championships, though Delhi discus thrower Neeraj Chopra is the first athlete to win gold at the championships in 2016, but in a field event at Bydgoszcz in Poland.

She went to Tampere, Finland, as afavourite, having clocked her best 51.13 seconds at the Inter-State Championships, her timing being better than that of her nearest competitor, Symone Mason of the US, whose personal best was 51.53 seconds.

The other two Indians to win medals at the World Juniors were women athletes, both discus throwers and bronze medallists — Seema Punia at the Kingston World Junior Chamionships in 2002 and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon at the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, US, in 2014.

Parents of Hima Das

Parents of Hima Das

Hima, the last of five children of a rice-growing farmer in Kandhulimari village, about five kilometers from Dhing town of Nowgaon district in central Assam, has a story to narrate like all poor children coming from rural India. What’s more important about her is that she took to serious running two years ago when she also had the feel of running spikes.

She spent her childhood playing football and cricket with boys in the neighbourhood. Seeing her running on the paddy and dusty football fields, two years ago, she saw the athlete’s spikes when she came under the wings of Nipon Das, the athletics coach with the Directorate of Sports and Youth Welfare. In the last year or so she has had a roller-coaster ride, but she has been on the move, each race taking her to newer heights.

Once she got serious about track running, she journeyed by a passenger train daily from her native village to Guwahati to train using the facilities in the state capital. Nipon prevailed upon her to shift to the state capital and once she made the move, was no looking back.

Come to think of it, she started with 100 and 200 metres and has taken to running 400 metres less than a year ago. It’s remarkable of her to have gone on to win a world gold.

She need not worry about her future as an athlete as the Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is a former Union Sports Minister.

Hima is sure to go places if she takes the advice of that great quarter-miler Milkha Singh, who wants someone to push her hard. P.T. Usha is another who can do her bit in seeing Hima on the right track.

India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli is one of the many to hail Hima’s gold-winning run. His own team is on a song on its tour of Ireland-England.

After their 2-0 Twenty20 triumph in Ireland, India wrapped the three-match series 2-1 in England and literally hammered them by eight wickets in the first of the three-match One-Day series, prompting former England captain Michael Vaughan to quip: “Can we have Australia back, please?”

Vaughan was recalling how England, who toyed with Australia, posting the highest ODI toal 481 for three at Trent Bridge last month, seeing the same team struggle against the Indian spinners.

The England batsmen just can’t read Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav. Their top-order batsmen tried everything but still had no clue. Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, their best batsmen along with Jos Buttler, who are better players of spin, fell not one but tice to Kuldeep, who had a five-for in the first T20 and a six-for in the first ODI.

In the T20s, they tried to negotiate Yadav’s spin playing forward and were stumped and in the ODI the played back and were leg before at their favourite Trent Bridge, Nottingham, pitch. Kuldeep picked all the top-order batsmen, Jason Roy, Bairstow, Root, Ben Stokes and Buttler, as also Moeen Ali, who has five hundreds in Tests and three in ODIs.

Rohit Sharma is the batsman who continues his liking for the shorter formats. He has hit his third hundred in T20s and the 18th in the ODIs to fight for his Test place in the process.

Coming to the biggest global sport football, most Indians might have thought or fervently hoped that Argentina and Brazil would be in the final, failing which one of them playing Germany or France to see different styles of play. Only France survived and few would have expected them to be taking on Croatia, one of the youngest footballing nations.

Unlike other top teams, which solely depended on their super stars, Croatia did not tax their stars Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic too much as everyone contributed their mite, running hard. They gave a lesson not only to England in the semi-finals but also to their media who condescendingly wrote the Croats off.

In the final, Croatia will have to deal with France, who have a big star in Kylian Mbappé. At 19, he is so exciting with his speed running, controlling the ball.

Now everyone sees Croatia as underdogs and want them to win the final. The Croats can do it, too.

Finally, Roger Federer has lost not for the first time at a Grand Slam a match he had won when he had a match point in the third set against South African Kevin Anderson.

Anderson fought back to take it in five sets, the decider at 13-11. He was back for another marathon match, this time the big-serving American John Isner, who like him was a US collegiate champion, winning it after battling it out for six hours 35 minutes, the second longest match at Wimbledon. The scores say it all — 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24, the final set alone lasting two hours and 50 minutes.

Some tennis and some physical fitness!

(Veturi Srivatsa is a senior journalist. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached at [email protected])

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It was all about being ruthless: MI skipper Rohit Sharma

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Rohit Sharma

Abu Dhabi, Sep 24 : Rohit Sharma, on Wednesday, returned to his usual, elegant self with a masterful innings to lead Mumbai Indians to a 49-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Rohit scored 80 off 54 as MI scored 195/5. In reply, KKR managed to score 146/9.

Interestingly, this marked MI’s first ever victory in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), having lost all of their matches in 2014 when a part of the group stage was played in the UAE.

“It was only two players from the 2014 squad. It was all about how we executed our plans today, we never let it go. We were in good position throughout the game but it was all about being ruthless, getting as many (runs) as possible. We knew the wicket was good and dew was coming down,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation ceremony in which he was declared Player of the Match.

As the KKR bowlers fumbled with their line and length and gave Rohit short deliveries, the MI captain replied with his trade mark pull shots to deposit the ball over the boundary.

“I back myself to play (the pull shots), love playing it and practiced it quite a bit. Pretty glad it came out well, they were all good (laughs), can’t pick one. I haven’t played a lot of cricket in the last six months time and was looking to spend some time in the middle; it didn’t come out well in the first innings but glad to have done it tonight,” he said.

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IPL 2020: Mumbai Indians beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 49 runs

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Rohit Sharma

Mumbai Indians (MI) cruised to a 49-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Wednesday (September 23).

Earlier in the day, KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik won the toss and invited Rohit Sharma’s MI to bat first at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

The Mumbai side got off to a poor start after they lost Quinton de Kock (1) in the second over of the game.

However, things changed massively after that with Rohit Sharma and Suriyakumar Yadav forming a formidable partnership.

The duo knitted together a 90-run stand before Yadav was dismissed for 47. Saurabh Tiwary (21) and Saurabh Tiwary (18) constructed short innings with the Mumbai skipper who completed his half-century.

It was thanks to Rohit’s captain’s knock of 80 rubs which propelled MI to 195/6. Pat Cummins had a horror show with the ball for KKR on his debut as he ended up giving away 49 runs from his three overs.

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IPL2020: Rajasthan Royals beat Chennai Super Kings by 16 runs

Rajasthan Royals got off to fantastic start in IPL 2020 by registering a comfortable 16-run win over the mighty Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah on Tuesday. Follow live score and updates of CSK vs RR IPL 2020 match no.5…

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MS Dhoni CSK

Rajasthan Royals got off to fantastic start in IPL 2020 by registering a comfortable 16-run win over the mighty Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah on Tuesday. Faf du Plessis hit a fifty but CSK’s required rate kept on climbing. Rahul Tewatia struck twice in one over to RR on top.

This happened after Chennai Super Kings lost openers Shane Watson and Murali Vijay in quick succession to RR spinners – Rahul Tetwatia and Shreyas Gopal – after getting off to a good start . Jofra Archer hit four sixes in the last over as RR ended up with 216 for 7.

Sam Curran got three quick wickets including that of Steve Smith holds as CSK came storming back against after Sanju Samson hit nine sixes but finally fell for 74 as Lungi Ngidi provided the breakthrough for CSK.

MS Dhoni speaks after CSK’s loss

MS Dhoni: “With 217 on the board, we needed a very good start which was not the case. Steve and Samson batted very well. Need to give credit to their bowlers. Once you’ve seen the first innings, you know the length to bowl. Their spinners did well to bowl away from the batsman.”

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