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Sreejesh becomes first Indian man to win World Games Athlete Award

Sreejesh becomes the second hockey player to win the award, following in the footsteps of compatriot and India women’s captain Rani, who took the 2019 prize, the FIH said in a release on Monday…reports Asian Lite News

Seasoned goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who played a crucial role as India men’s team claimed a first Olympic medal in over four decades when it won bronze at last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, has been named as The World Games Athlete of the Year for 2021.

In a global fan vote conducted on, Sreejesh finished well clear at the top of the 24-strong nomination list, with his tally of 1,27,647 votes being almost twice as many as the second-placed athlete, Spa’n’s Sport Climbing ace Albert Ginés Lopez, who garnered 67,428 votes.

Sreejesh becomes the second hockey player to win the award, following in the footsteps of compatriot and India women’s captain Rani, who took the 2019 prize, the FIH said in a release on Monday.

Speaking about the Award, the shot-stopper — who was also voted as FIH Goalkeeper of the Year for 2021 — said: “I’m very honoured to win this award. First of all, a big thank you to FIH for nominating me for this award, and secondly thanks to all the Indian hockey lovers around the world, who voted for me.

“By getting nominated I did my part, but the rest was done by the fans and hockey lovers. So, this award goes to them, and I think they deserve this award more than me. It’s a big moment for Indian Hockey as well because everyone in the hockey community, all the hockey federations around the world voted for me, so it’s great to see that support from the hockey family,” Sreejesh, a veteran of 244 senior international matches, was quoted as saying by the FIH.

The three-time Olympian further added, “Also, I am a person who doesn’t believe in ndividual awards, especially when you are part of a team. It’s not only the team of 33 players, but you have a lot of people involved behind as well, there’s coaching staff, there’s support staff, there’s a great association like Hockey India who is supporting you a lot, there’s Sports Authority of India (SAI), who are providing you with all the world-class facilities to train, there’s Odisha Government whose unwavering support helps the sport grow and flourish and there’s India Olympic Association (IOA) as well, who’re taking care of you really well. So, it’s a collective effort of a nation to get this kind of recognition.”

FIH Chief Executive Officer Thierry Weil said: “On behalf of the global hockey community, I’d like to wholeheartedly congratulate PR Sreejesh for this magnificent achievement. This is a great recognition for him, for his team and for hockey as a whole. We also extend our sincerest thanks to all fans who voted for him. Athletes are the best ambassadors of our sport and India’s goalkeeper certainly is a leader in this field too. We look forward to seeing him in action again in just a few days for the third edition of the FIH Hockey Pro League!”

Congratulating Sreejesh, Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam said, “On behalf of Hockey India, I congratulate Sreejesh for winning the prestigious World Games Athlete of the Year 2021 Award. This is a very proud and special moment for India as he became the only second Indian athlete to win this honour. I would like to thank FIH, the hockey community around the world, and of course, all his fans for supporting him and voting him to win this award. It’s a big achievement for him as well as to Indian hockey.”

The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The World Games are staged over a period of 11 days, with more than 30 sports in the programme.

Indoor Hockey was featured as an invitational sport at The World Games in 2005, which took place in Duisburg, Germany. Hockey will have a presence with sports demonstrations during The World Games 2022, which takes place in Birmingham, the USA between July 7-17, 2022.

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Adidas creates a new chapter for its brand

This series serves as a reminder of the power of sports to change lives…reports Asian Lite News

Adidas launches the second chapter of its long-standing brand attitude Impossible Is Nothing. SEEING POSSIBILITIES IN SPORT – is about seeing possibilities on and off the field of play, perceiving the world not as it is, but as it can be – and inspiring others to do the same. Together, adidas and athletes around the world show how sport is a place of acceptance, new connections, and opportunity.


In a landmark year for sport, Impossible Is Nothing continues adidas’ vision to inspire all to see possibilities in a better future for all, this time through the lens of sport and its potential to drive change, inspiration, and possibilities, on and off the field of play.

Through empowering photo series from the Kingdom’s inspirational athletes, adidas dimensionalises and humanises its Impossible Is Nothing brand attitude, highlighting what sport enables us to do, on and off the pitch, the court, the track, and the field.

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Featuring adidas’ brand ambassadors, the series celebrates the changemakers that have made and are making history on a regional stage. More importantly, it aims to inspire others, empowering them by this collection of very human shots as a powerful demonstration of what optimism can achieve. 

Farah Jefry

Farah Jefry, Adidas ambassador, and the first Saudi sportswoman to represent the brand in the Middle East and who was recently called up to Saudi Arabia’s first women’s national team, saw the possibilities of inspiring the next generation of youth to see endless possibilities; to use her platform as a stage to show how the sport is a place of acceptance. 

FARAH JEFRY: “It’s an indescribable feeling to be called up to represent your home nation. This has always been a dream of mine. I want to inspire others to achieve their impossible; to inspire younger girls to see the possibilities in their own lives and their country.”

Sami Aljaber

Saudi legend and former football player Sami Al-Jaber- who recently joined the growing adidas family- has demonstrated through his stellar career that achieving the impossible takes skill, passion, and dedication.  He has become a role model with the trademark humility and respect which have inspired people of all ages in the region.

SAMI AL-JABER: “adidas’ brand attitude Impossible is Nothing is key to achieving our purpose of changing lives through the power of sport. It’s a moment of pride to see the Kingdom embracing more and more opportunities in sports. Moments like these and the athletes that make them are incredibly important and inspire many more to take up sport.”

Omar Al Somah

Commenting on the growing female participation in sport across the Kingdom, Al-Jaber said: “It is important that we are celebrating our female athletes. With the support of adidas and the nation’s continuous efforts, we are together creating possibilities for the next generation of athletes; the girls who will soon take on the sport from their local pitch to the biggest tournaments like the World Cup.”

To adidas, Impossible Is Nothing is a way of seeing the world for what it can be, not as it is. It is an attitude shared by its community and its partners. With its continuous efforts across the sporting landscape, adidas aims to take a front row seat as Saudi Arabia continues to break barriers in sports with the brand continuing its pledge to cultivate local talent in the Kingdom across the sports realm.

-Top News India News Sport

Remembering The Flying Sikh

Milkha Singh, also known as Flying Sikh, died at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research in Chandigarh, where he was being treated for Covid-related complications, a special report by Qaiser Mohammad Ali

A glimpse into the stupendous athletics career of legendary Milkha Singh, who passed away on Friday aged 91, can be had from this mind boggling fact: his 400 metres Indian national record stood for 38 years and the 400m Asian record for 26 years. In 1960 in Rome, he came closest to winning an individual Olympic Games medal as an Indian, in 400m, eventually finishing fourth in a photo finish.

Milkha was one of the favourites to win the 400m gold in Rome. It was probably natural, too, as going into the Olympics, he is said to have won 77 out of 80 races, including the 1958 Commonwealth Games gold in 440 yards.

But one shortcoming probably cost Milkha an Olympic medal. He had a habit of looking at his opponents over his shoulder while running races, and when he did the same in Rome it was decisive, though he had led the race until 200m. Later he admitted that he had paid a heavy price for his habit.

Flying Sikh

Interestingly, Milkha broke the existing world record of 45.9 sec in Rome, and so the three who finished ahead of him. He finished fourth with a time of 45.6 seconds, as per a hand-held device, while an unofficial electronic timer at the games clocked him at 45.73 sec. This has been a point of contention, though.

Whatever the reality, Milkha emerged from Rome as the ‘Flying Sikh’. A legend was born.

In 1998, Paramjeet Singh broke Milkha’s Indian record at a national competition in Kolkata. But Milkha was not satisfied with the procedure of recording athletes’ timings in Kolkata. Paramjeet clocked 45.70 secs on a synthetic track while Singh had run on a cinder track in Rome.

Much before Paramjeet broke Milkha’s record, the legend had offered to give a Rs 2 lakh prize to anyone who broke his 400m record. But when Paramjeet did that, Milkha gave only Rs 1 lakh to him. Milkha later explained that the Rs 2 lakh prize was for breaking the record overseas while Paramjeet said that the legend hadn’t clarified that beforehand. That created some friction between the two.

Currently, Muhammed Anas of Kerala holds the 400m national record with a time of 45.24 seconds.

Until Rome 1960, no Indian had come so close to winning an individual Olympic medal; in hockey, though, India had been a dominant force.

Later, in 1984, P.T. Usha missed a bronze by a whisker in 400m hurdles at the Los Angeles Olympic Games. She clocked 55.42 seconds, and missed the bronze by a mere 0.01 sec.

Milkha’s 400m Asian record of 45.63 seconds stood for 26 years, before being broken by Susumu Takona of Japan.

That prize money episode aside, no one can take anything away from Milkha’s achievements in track and field — and the example he set for athletes that followed him. He won four gold medals at the Asian Games — two in 400m (1958 and 1962), one in 200m (1958), and one in 4x100m relay (1962).

Milkha was born in Layalpur, in the undivided India, and now in Pakistan. His love for athletics began after he enrolled himself with the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) of the Indian Army in Delhi.

His talent blossomed while being with the Army. Fortunately for him, his officers encouraged him, and that would have played a role in him winning the 200m and 400m races at a Services Athletics Meet in 1955.

Milkha practiced on his own while with the Army and clinched gold medals in both 200m and 400m at the 1956 National Games in Patiala, and two years later at the Cuttack Nationals, setting national records in both races.

His sporting achievements won him kudos from the Army, and the Indian government awarded him the Padma Shri in 1959. The same year, he was awarded the prestigious Helms Award.

Milkha took premature retirement from the Army and took up the post of Deputy Director of Sports with the Punjab government.

Decades later, a Bollywood film was made on Milkha Singh, starring Farhan Akhtar.

Milkha died at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research in Chandigarh, where he was being treated for Covid-related complications. Six days before he passed away, his wife, Nirmal, had died on June 13. A former India volleyball captain, she was 85, and she too succumbed to Covid and related complications.

The couple is survived by a son, ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, and three daughters. Jeev was the first Indian to break into the top 50 of the official world golf rankings in 2007.