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Neeraj gets Army job, starts supporting farmer father

Despite being a junior athlete, that stunning throw in Poland put Chopra at No.11 in the senior rankings of last season.

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Neeraj Chopra

New Delhi, Mar 12 : India’s lone world record holder athlete — javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra — has joined the Army and feels the satisfaction of being able to financially support his farmer father will enhance his performance.

Chopra, who holds the junior world record in javelin throw, has been appointed a Junior Commissioned Officer by the Indian Army but will be on leave for the time being to train at the national camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre in Bangalore.

“I have left my regular college studies at DAV College, Chandigarh. Now I will complete my graduation through a correspondence course. I have joined Indian Army as a Junior Commissioned Officer. I completed the formalities in December last year and reported at the headquarters in New Delhi. I am training at SAI Bangalore on leave,” Chopra told PTI in an interview.

“My father is a farmer, mother a housewife and I live in a joint family. Nobody in my family has a government job, so everybody is happy. For me, it is a sort of a relief because now I am able to help my family financially besides continuing with my training,” said the 19-year-old, who hails from Khandra village near Panipat in Haryana.

Chopra hurled the spear to 86.48m to set a new junior world record en route the gold medal at the 2016 IAAF World U-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

His effort was better than the bronze-winning throw at the Rio Olympics (85.38m by Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago).

Despite being a junior athlete, that stunning throw in Poland put Chopra at No.11 in the senior rankings of last season.

Chopra, who now trains under Australian coach Garry Calvert, wants to take part in some top level competitions like the Diamond League Meetings before the (Senior) World Championships in August.

“My main target this year is to win a medal in World Championships in London. I want to take part in competitions outside India, in Europe, in Diamond League series. But till now, I have no knowledge whether I am going to take part in the Diamond League before the World Championships.

“Of course, a medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is the target. An Olympic medal is the ultimate aim of any athlete.

But before that, I want to win a gold in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games next year also. There is also the Asian Championships in June this year,” Chopra said.

Asked if feels under pressure since creating the world record last year, he said, “I am still young and there is a long way to go. I believe I can be the best in my event as my career progresses.

“I know there are a lot of expectations from me to do well and win medals for the country in international events.

But there is no pressure on me. I want to focus on my job only and results will come.” .

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Our style of play is non-negotiable: Mumbai City boss Lobera

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

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Sergio Lobera

Panaji: After Sergio Lobera’s reign at Mumbai City got off on the wrong foot on Saturday with a 1-0 loss to NorthEast United, the Spaniard said that his attack oriented possession-based game was non-negotiable.

“Our style of play is non-negotiable. I used some players in different positions from what they are used, for example Adam in right wing but I believe he has the experience to adjust. We have to improve a lot of course,” Lobera told media after the match.

Mumbai went in with two strikers up front with Adam Le Fondre playing as a make shift right winger along with Bartholomew Ogbeche. The Englishman created some good chances in the first half but a red card to midfield mainstay Ahmed Jahouh and Rowllin Borges conceding a penalty in the second meant at Mumbai ended up losing the match 1-0.

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

“Today (the red card) was a big problem for us. It changed the game, we were playing with 10 men and missing a very important player. But for the next game, I have 28 players, I am very happy with my squad. Just one player is not an excuse for losing the next game,” said Lobera.

“We need to improve, we had a short pre-season and have a short time between games. But it is my job to improve the level of the team and I am very positive that it is possible for the next game.”

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ATP Finals: Thiem beats Djokovic to reach 2nd successive final

He will now face either Daniil Medvedev or Nadal in the final which is scheduled to be played on Sunday.

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Dominic Thiem

London: Dominic Thiem outlasted world no.1 Novak Djokovic in a gripping last-four clash to reach his second successive final at the ATP Finals in the O2 Arena in London. Thiem, ranked third behind Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, won the match 7-5, 6-7(10), 7-6(5).

Thiem broke serve at 5-5 in the first set and sealed it with an ace. Djokovic, however, grinded his way to victory in the second set, denying Thiem the win despite the Austrian getting four chances to seal the game.

The third game was also pushed to a tiebreaker, which was started by Thiem but he went on to lose the next three points. He however roared back to win the next six points and while Djokovic saved a fifth match point, Thiem got the job done at the next opportunity.

He will now face either Daniil Medvedev or Nadal in the final which is scheduled to be played on Sunday.

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Even our reserves are quick, you don’t see this kind of attack: Shami

The biggest advantage is that I can now prepare for the upcoming series without any pressure. There is no burden on me. I am very comfortable at the moment.

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mohammed-shami

New Delhi, Nov 21: The depth in the fast bowling department and the camaraderie that the players share between them are among the biggest reasons why India’s pace battery is rated as one of the best in the world, according to leading pacer Mohammed Shami.

Shami and Jasprit Bumrah are considered the core of a plethora of fast bowlers who have been integral to India’s success in Test cricket in recent years.

“Our fast bowling group can bowl at 140 kmph plus and you need that kind of pace in Australia,” Shami said in an interview on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) official website.

“Even our reserves are quick, you don’t get to see that kind of an attack. We thrive on challenges. We have the experience. We have variety in our spin bowling attack too. We can bowl fast but we are all different, our skills are different. India have quality batsmen and we bowl at them in the nets. We don’t look at names, we focus on our skills. You can be a world-class batsman, but one good ball will still get you out,” Shami said.

India will be banking on Shami and Co. during their upcoming tour of Australia. The 30-year-old pacer comes into the series after a successfull Indian Premier League in which he took 20 wickets in 14 matches.

“My performances for Kings XI Punjab in IPL has given me a lot of confidence and put me in the right zone. The biggest advantage is that I can now prepare for the upcoming series without any pressure. There is no burden on me. I am very comfortable at the moment. I had worked hard on my bowling and my fitness in the lockdown. I knew that IPL would take place sooner or later and I was preparing myself for it,” he said.

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