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Bye Bye Birmingham

The Games were declared closed by Earl of Wessex on behalf of Her Majesty, the Queen…reports Asian Lite News

With music that represents the cultural amalgamation that is the lifeblood of the second largest city of the United Kingdom (UK), colour, lights and fireworks, the city of Birmingham bid farewell to the thousands of sportspersons and support staff that had gathered here for the 22nd Commonwealth Games.

So, there was pop music, British Jamaican reggae, Punjabi Bhangra, Asian crossover music, Apache Indian, and local bands presenting their hit numbers producing sounds that are part of a multi-cultural society like Birmingham, at the closing ceremony on Monday evening.

The athletes walked in a random parade to music. The Indian contingent, comprising mostly of officials and some athletes like members of the TT squad, was led by flagbearers boxer Nikhat Zareen and top shuttler Sharad Kamal.

The ceremony, which celebrates the success of 11 days of sporting action that encouraged sportspersons to compete in the spirit of sportsmanship to test their strength, stamina and endurance, had the athletes grooving to the music, letting their hair down to end a two-week journey which they completed with all seriousness.

The Games were declared closed by Earl of Wessex on behalf of Her Majesty, the Queen.

“You have once again brought the spirit and value of the Commonwealth to life,” he delivered her message with these words.

British Jamaican reggae band Musical Youth was formed in Birmingham in 1979 and it presented its biggest hit- ever ‘Pass the Dutchie’.

There were performances by Punjabi MC, which presented ‘Mundian to Bach Ke Rahi’, the first-ever Bhangra song to reach the UK Top 10 in 2002. It was the song of a generation across Birmingham in the 1990s amid a cultural phenomenon known as the Day Timers — when young British Asians went to daytime nightclubs.

A tribute to one of Birmingham’s major global exports of the past decade… The Peaky Blinders, the epic TV show about the city’s most notorious gang. Walsall-born superstar Goldie and Birmingham’s Beverley Knight come together to perform ‘Inner City Life’.

Ballet Dance company Rambert paid tribute to the most famous gangsters of Small Heath and one of Birmingham’s most recent success stories, to the song that encompasses the opening credits, ‘Red Right Hand’.

The Commonwealth Games flag was lowered and handed to Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games. The Commonwealth is one of the world’s oldest associations of countries, and the Games have a century-long tradition of celebrating friendship through sport and youth. The flag, a proud symbol of that friendship, was raised at Alexander Stadium during the opening ceremony.

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India wins historic gold and silver in men’s triple long jump

With this, the 25-year-old Paul won India’s first gold medal in the triple jump at the Commonwealth Games…reports B Shrikant

India’s Eldhose Paul and Abdulla Aboobacker Sunday scripted history by winning gold and silver medals respectively and securing a double podium finish for the country in the men’s triple jump event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, here.

Eldhose, who last month became the first Indian triple jumper to make the world athletics championships final, recorded a new personal best of 17.03m to finish top in a 14-man field at Birmingham 2022. His previous best was 16.99m logged at the Federation Cup earlier this year.

With this, the 25-year-old Paul won India’s first gold medal in the triple jump at the Commonwealth Games.

On the other hand, Abdulla’s silver-winning leap measured 17.02m – just 0.17m off his personal best. Bermuda’s Jah-Nhai Perinchief clinched the bronze medal with 16.92m, denying the Indians a clean sweep.

Meanwhile, Praveen Chithravel, the third Indian in the fray, finished a commendable fourth, with a best of 16.89m.

With Perinchief setting the benchmark with his 16.92m attempt in his first jump, Praveen Chithravel and Abdulla Aboobacker stayed on the Bermuda athlete’s coat-tails in second and third right from the beginning.

However, it was 26-year-old Eldhose Paul who leapt into the lead after the third attempt with a massive 17.03m attempt. Interestingly, Paul had made a slow start compared to his peers, with jumps of 14.62m and 16.30m in the first two rounds, respectively.

After the fourth round, Eldhose, Perinchief and Praveen occupied the top three positions with Abdulla Aboobacker in fourth. However, Abdulla produced an impressive 17.02m with his fifth attempt to climb to second place and pushed compatriot Praveen out of the top three.

Before Birmingham, India had won only four medals in the triple jump at the Commonwealth Games. Mohinder Singh Gill won a bronze (1970) and silver (1974), national record holder Renjith Maheswary won a bronze (2010) and Arpinder Singh won a bronze (2014).

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Nitu, Asian champion Amit Panghal stormed into the finals at CWG

Nikhat got a perfect score of 30 from each of the five judges for three rounds as she mixed aggression with good defence against her 21-year-old opponent…reports Asian Lite News

Boxer Jaismine Lamboria added a bronze medal to India’s medal tally on Saturday even as three of her teammates — reigning world champion Nikhat Zareen, Nitu and Asian champion Amit Panghal stormed into the finals in their respective categories, setting up the country for another rich haul from the rings at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Three more boxers — Rohit Tokas, Sagar and Mohd Hssamuddin are scheduled to participate in their respective semifinal bouts later on Saturday.

While all eyes were on Nikhat, Nitu and Amit, Jaismine was unlucky as she went down to England’s Gemma Paige Richardson in a closely-fought Lightweight (over 63.5-67kg) division bout on Saturday.

Nitu started the good day for India by thrashing Canada’s Priyanka Dhillon in the Minimumweight (over 45-58kg) division, forcing the referee to stop the contest as she was pummelling her clearly outclassed opponent.

Panghal was also impressive as he defeated Patrick Chinyemba of Zambia 5-0 on points in the Men’s Flyweight (over 48-51 kg) division semifinals, though his opponent led at the end of the first round. But Panghal dominated the next two rounds and won the bout on the cards of all five judges to win on points.

Nikhat continued her dream run that started with her triumph in the World Championships as she stormed into the final of the Women’s Light Flyweight (over 48-50kg) division, winning on points 5-0 against England’s Savannah Alfia Stubley.

Nikhat got a perfect score of 30 from each of the five judges for three rounds as she mixed aggression with good defence against her 21-year-old opponent.

Playing from the blue corner against England’s Gemma Paige Richardson, Jaismine, the fourth Indian to take to the rings on Saturday, went down narrowly losing 2-3 in the semifinal.

Three of the judges scored in favour of the English girl — 30-27, 30-27, and 30-27 while two judges gave it to Jaismine at 29-27, 29-27. In the close bout, the English girl did just enough to impress the judges, Jaismine did put up a good fight but in the end it did not prove enough.

Meanwhile, Nikhat Zareen was happy to have made it to her first final in the Commonwealth Games, setting herself up for her maiden gold medal. In the final she will meet Carly McNaul of Northern Island, the silver medallist from the 2018 Commonwealth Games and a European stalwart.

“It was a very good fight. She’s young and talented and I congratulate her on her bronze medal. I’m really happy to win this match for my country and I’m looking forward to the final bout against Northern Ireland (Carly McNaul) and to win the gold medal,” said Nikhat after her bout.

“Although I sparred with her in a training camp before the Games I’ve never fought her in the ring.

“I’m grateful for the people who came to support me and to hear my name being called from the audience,” said Nikhat, who was cheered into the ring by the Indian supporters. She did not disappoint them by scoring an impressive win.

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Smriti shines as India beat Pakistan in CWG 2022

While his captain R B Ramesh was more pragmatic. He said, “In any professional sport, one has to be ready for any type of position and situations.”…reports Asian Lite News

All the six Indian Teams in fray in both sections of the 44th Chess Olympiad being played here won their matches to maintain a clean slate.

The India A Team ranked second beat Greece with a 3-1 score, Team B trounced Switzerland 4-0 and Team C beat Iceland 3-1. The Indian women won their third-round matches to keep up perfect scores. India A defeated England 3-1, India B scored over Indonesia 3-1 and India C beat Austria 2.5-1.5.

The highlight of Sunday’s round was Ramesh Babu Praggnanandhaa playing for Team B and wriggling out of an inferior position, which appeared totally lost at one point against Swiss grandmaster Yannick Pelletier.

The teenager, without giving up, continued to pose problems, making it difficult for his opponent to find the winning way. Pelletier fell short on time, missed his way and ended on the losing side on the 67th turn.

Pragg wasn’t satisfied despite winning a point as he said, “I have played badly and this point doesn’t give me any joy and I struggled throughout this game in a bad position”.

While his captain R B Ramesh was more pragmatic. He said, “In any professional sport, one has to be ready for any type of position and situations.”

Last minute entrant Indian women c team defeated Austria by a narrow 2.5-1.5 score to win their third-round match.

The women’s A Team also looked poised to win their match against England.

In the Open section, all the three Indian teams clinched their third-round matches against Greece, Switzerland and Iceland respectively even though one game in each team was still in progress.

Koneru Humpy was rested today and Harika took over on the top board for her first game at this Olympiad which incidentally is her 9th one along with two virtual ones.

The 31-year-old Harika is in the advanced stages of her first pregnancy and was playing Jovanka Houska of England on the top board for India A team. Harika opted for the Queen’s gambit and declined variation against Jovanka as fortunes fluctuated throughout this game.

The players indulged in a spate of exchanges at regular intervals to enter a rook and three pawn each ending and with no progress possible, decided to split the point on the 40th turn.

A disappointed Harika quipped, “The game was balanced with the position fluctuating only slightly and I never had enough advantage to press.”

WGM Nandhidhaa P V representing team c was the first player to gain a point, courtesy a walkover by Chiara Polterauer who is unwell.

Nadhidhaa who has notched 3 points in 3 outings said, “This is my first Olympiad and I am playing in my home town Chennai and this is enough to give me extra energy. In my opinion ratings and seedings don’t matter. Even our team has a chance to be amongst the medals and we are ready to give our best.”

Eesha Karavade enhanced her space advantage in a Sicilian Defence game against Katharina Newrkla with the latter playing passively.

A centralised knight and well posted pieces indicated winning possibilities for Eesha but the game abruptly ended in a draw after 27 moves with most pieces still gracing the board.

Representing Team A, Harikrishna played an exciting game in a Catalan Opening against Dimitri Mastrovasilis, one which was replete with fireworks. Harikrishna was at his tactical best and launched an attack with a bishop sacrifice on the 24th turn. Black’s castle was ripped open and a well posted knight in enemy territory started creating problems for the black King, especially with the queen also joining the action.

Harikrishna then offered the sacrifice of his second bishop on the 28th turn which was promptly rejected.

However, with Harikrishna’s pieces swarming around the Black King, Dimitri decided to resign on the 29th turn.

Harikrishna was happy with the proceedings and summed up, “I gave a lot of thought before sacrificing the double bishops as I wanted to ensure my calculations were right and reckoned that if it didn’t work out in a checkmating position, I held sufficient advantage to walk towards victory.”

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Boxer Lovlina alleges mental harassment at CWG Village

The BFI said that the federation is closely working with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) so that Sandhya Gurung, coach of Lovlina Lovlina Borgohain, could be a part of the team in Birmingham…reports Asian Lite News

With just three days left for the Commonwealth Games to kick-start, Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist boxer Lovlina Borgohain on Monday took to social media to share her ordeal where she alleged that she had been going through ‘mental harassment’ due to her coaches being frequently changed.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has issued a statement on Monday, saying that the federation is trying to give her all kinds of support.

Reacting to the post of Lovlina Borgohain, the Sports Ministry tweeted, “We have urged the Indian Olympic Association to immediately arrange for the accreditation of the coach of Lovlina Borgohain.”

The BFI said that the federation is closely working with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) so that Sandhya Gurung, coach of Lovlina Lovlina Borgohain, could be a part of the team in Birmingham.

“Only 33 per cent of the playing contingent is allowed as ‘Support Staff’ which in BFI’s case for the 12 boxers (8 men and 4 women) stands to be 4 support staff, (including coaches) who were to travel with the Team to Burmingham,” BFI said.

“Boxing Federation of India ensured that Sandhya Gurung was at the training camp in Ireland. BFI is closely working with IOA so that Sandhya Gurung could be a part of the team in Birmingham. In the meanwhile, delegate transport and accommodation at ETO’s hotel has been already provided to her,” BFI said in a release.

“The requirements of boxing with respect to coaches and support staff is a little different as there are multiple bouts, which could be one after another. The IOA understood BFI’s point of view and therefore, extended help with maximum possible additional support staff. With IOA’s help the number of support staff went up from 4 to 8 for the entire contingent of 12 boxers,” the BFI said.

The star boxer said that her preparations for the major events have been constantly impacted because of her coaches, who helped her to a historic medal in Tokyo, being removed without explanations.

In a tweet, the 24-year-old boxer from Assam said that she has been facing problems in training after authorities denied entry to her coaches in the Commonwealth Games Village.

Lovlina said that one of her coaches has been sent home and another has been denied entry to the Commonwealth Games Village.

“Today with great sorrow I want to reveal that harassment is going on with me. The coaches who helped me win the Olympic medal were removed which hindered my training process. One of the coaches is Sandhya Gurungji, who is a Dronacharya awardee. Both of my coaches have to plead to be included in the training camp and they are added quite late,” Lovlina said in a tweet.

“Right now my coach Sandhya Gurungji is outside Commonwealth Village. With all this, my training process has stopped exactly 8 days before the games. My second coach has also been sent back to India. This happened even after I made many requests, due to which I have suffered a lot of mental harassment. I don’t know how to focus in the game. Due to this my last world championship was also spoiled. And because of this politics I do not want to spoil my CWG. I hope that I could break this politics and win a medal for my country. Jai Hind,” she wrote.

The boxer sealed the berth in the Indian team for the CWG in the 70 kg event with a dominating 7-0 win against Railways Pooja in the selection trials held in Delhi.

Lovlina scripted history when she won the women’s 69 kg bronze medal at Tokyo 2020, becoming the third Indian boxer to win a medal at the Olympics after Vijender Singh (bronze at Beijing 2008) and Mary Kom (bronze at London 2012).

IOA, Sports ministry take note of Lovlina’s tweet

The Sports Ministry and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) were quick to take note of the allegations made by Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist boxer Lovlina Borgohain against the authorities for derailing her preparations for the Commonwealth Games.

Responding to Lovlina’s tweet, the IOA said in a statement that it has taken cognizance of the concern raised by team India boxer Lovlina on social media regarding her coach Sandhya Gurung’s accreditation at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“The matter of Ms. Gurung’s accreditation was a late request received following the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee’s Delegation Registration Meeting with the national delegations. However, given the 1OA places the convenience of the Indian athletes at the highest level, a special request has been made to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee on a priority basis to provide Ms. Gurung with the requisite accreditation,” the IOA said in a release.

Earlier, the sports ministry had directed the IOA to arrange the accreditation for Lovlina’s coach Sandhya Gurung.

“We have urged the Indian Olympic Association to immediately arrange for the accreditation of the coach of Lovlina Borgohain,” the tweet read.

The Indian boxing squad arrived at the Games Village in Birmingham on Sunday night, following a 15-day training camp in Ireland.

However, Lovlina’s personal coach Sandhya Gurung was not allowed entry after she failed to produce an accreditation. Lovlina then took to Twitter and shared her plight in a long post.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has also issued a statement on Monday, saying that the federation is trying to give her all kinds of support.

The BFI said that the federation is closely working with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) so that Sandhya Gurung, coach of Lovlina Lovlina Borgohain, could be a part of the team in Birmingham.

“Only 33 per cent of the playing contingent is allowed as ‘Support Staff’ which in BFI’s case for the 12 boxers (8 men and 4 women) stands to be 4 support staff, (including coaches) who were to travel with the Team to Burmingham,” BFI said in a release.

“The Boxing Federation of India ensured that Sandhya Gurung was at the training camp in Ireland. BFI is closely working with IOA so that Sandhya Gurung could be a part of the team in Birmingham. In the meanwhile, delegate transport and accommodation at ETO’s hotel has been already provided to her.”

“The requirements of boxing with respect to coaches and support staff is a little different as there are multiple bouts, which could be one after another. The IOA understood BFI’s point of view and therefore, extended help with maximum possible additional support staff. With IOA’s help the number of support staff went up from 4 to 8 for the entire contingent of 12 boxers,” BFI said.

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Sakshi determined to win medal at CWG

Further talking about her preparations for CWG, she said that the training is “going great guns”…reports Asian Lite News

Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik on Saturday revealed that she has gone through a tough time in the last two years but the national trials helped in getting her ‘confidence’ and ‘mojo’ back and the wrestler is determined to win the medal at the Commonwealth Games, scheduled to begin from July 28 in Birmingham.


Sakshi had grabbed a place in the 62kg weight category in the national squad in May. It had taken the 29-year-old Sakshi five bouts to finally beat her nemesis — 20-year-old Sonam Malik — in the selection trials to earn that place.

The 2014 Olympics wrestling bronze medallist recently won the gold medal at the UWW Ranking Series in Kazakhstan. However, the grappler believes that it was the national trial that gave her more confidence than the Ranking Series triumph.

“I have been struggling for the last two years. And when I won the trials (for CWG) I was so relieved at that time. Yes, I bagged gold in Ranking. It was also important but the win in the trials was something I felt great about.

“I can’t tell how tough time was for me, losing bouts made me feel bad and I used to speak about my problems with my husband only and he would support me. I never believed in aggressive fighting, my style is simple to attack and defence but I faced rough fights too. Hair pulling and breaking fingers is what I am talking about. One of my opponents used to do it. But I believe that when you love a sport you must follow what is right. And it helped me,” an emotional Sakshi told IANS.

Further talking about her preparations for CWG, she said that the training is “going great guns”.

“I am working hard for the CWG and currently, I am in Lucknow. I want to win a medal in CWG and make my country proud. I have always got support from the people of my nation and I want to give it back with my good performance in Birmingham,” she said.

The Indian women’s team: Pooja Gehlot (50 kg), Vinesh Phogat (53 kg), Anshu Malik (57 kg), Sakshi Malik (62 kg), Divya Kakran (68 kg), Pooja Sihag (76 kg)

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