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Prospective Picture Of Contact Sports In Post Coronavirus World

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Future Of Contact Sports Post COVID-19

Experts across various sports disciplines believe that Coronavirus’s long-term impact will be different for each sport, ranging from individual sports like shooting or golf to team sports like football and cricket, to contact sports like kabaddi or wrestling.

On Tuesday, the Sports Ministers of 18 states and union territories briefed Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju about their plans of figuring out a way forward to resume sporting activities amid the second phase of unlocking. In the two-day virtual meeting, the state ministers appreciated the center’s measures to promote grass-root level sports and Olympic-level trainings in every state.

Since mid-March, national camps which had been called off due to nationwide lockdown have restarted for athletes and weightlifters. Those for boxers will resume during the coming weeks following strict health safety measures.

The Khelo India State Center of Excellence (KISCE) in each state and the ‘One State One Sport’ initiative have been accepted in stride by the state ministers who are keen to adopt one sport in which the respective state is traditionally strong, to acquire assistance and funds for the upliftment of that particular sport and grooming of the players with world-class facilities.

Global Scenario:

According to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the Coronavirus outbreak has much affected the arena of contact sports, leading to their cancelation or postponing. The world boxing heavyweight title contenders Briton Anthony Joshua and Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev, have their scheduled fight postponed till the end of the year.

Tokyo Olympics boxing qualifiers for Asia and Oceania have been moved to Jordan from China, while Europe and America have been suspended.

In the case of basketball, the 2019-20 Euro League And Euro Cup got canceled. The National Basketball Association (NBA), American men’s professional basketball league, had previously suspended its season after a Utah Jazz player contracted the virus. However, recently an announcement was made to begin from July 30, but the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) draft will be a virtual event this year following social distancing norms.

Major rugby tournaments like World Rugby, Six Nations matches got postponed. Asian Olympic qualifiers for wrestling were moved to Kyrgyzstan from China, but later Kyrgyzstan withdrew as host. The Japan Sumo Association had also postponed and rescheduled major sumo tournaments like Ryogoku Kokugikan in the wake of the pandemic.

However, certain football tournaments like the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Bundesliga have resumed behind closed doors, major events like Copa America, Euro 2020 have been postponed till 2021.

Experts’ Take on Contact Sports:

The health and fitness industries are thriving on digital platforms, but the scenario is more complicated and challenging for contact sports.

Olympics Bronze mproblemYogeshwar Dutt argues, “Kushti is a game where you just cannot do without a training partner. The problem wrestlers face now is not having access to training on the mat. What is the use of washing hands after every few minutes in sports like wrestling when a competition is on? We have to touch the opponent, also try to pin him or her down.”

Nevertheless, Chhote Lal Yadav, the Coach of 6-time World Champion Mary Kom, holds a positive outlook. He shares that the Boxing Federation of India has guided them to train and monitor athletes online regularly. “The effort is to maintain the physical and mental fitness of the sportsperson… its now every player’s own decision.” Mary Kom prefers family time during the lockdown, but her training is carried out through online regularly.

Senior Sports Physiotherapist Munesh Kumar differs from this idea. He points out that video consultation does not always work for contact sports, as physiotherapy cannot be performed online. Contact sports can be exhausting, and the players require proper exercises, relaxing, and training schedules with their trainers.

Secretary-General of Boxing Federation of India, Jay Kowli, said that in a conference with the sports minister, the administration has decided to resume camp training in a controlled manner while adhering to strict rules, keeping in mind the safety requirements of the players. They have managed to train 483 boxers online.

He believes, “At this moment, the future of contact sports is worrisome, but we need to put the right plans in place for their reopening.”

CDC Guidelines:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has laid down a detailed set of procedures to be adopted by sports organizations to ensure a secure environment for the players, coaches, families, and communities. It stresses assessing the risk factors of physical closeness and the amount of exposure time when physical exertion would project droplets, thereby spreading the virus.

CDC urges players and coaches to focus on individual skill building instead of competition, limiting the time spent close with other players, minimizing equipment sharing like protective gear, bats, balls, racquets, mats, etc., and restricting the participation of more vulnerable players like young children.

Nevertheless, Olympics wrestler Bajrang Punia sees the situation in a positive light as it has provided the scope for addressing individual weaknesses, rectify flaws, with upon personal strengths, and combat worse situations with patience and hard work. As the world gradually heads towards normalcy, contact sports could be resumed once the opportunity is favorable.

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Why Are Underprivileged Players Performing Better At Olympics?

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Olympics II News Aur Chai

India is competing at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. The Tokyo Olympics 2020 started from July 23, 2021, to Aug. 8, 2021. On day twelve of the Tokyo Olympics 2020, all the teams had been doing very well. India has secured sixty-fourth place out of the eighty by achieving one silver and one bronze medal in the Women’s forty-nine-kilogram Weightlifting & Women’s Singles Badminton Olympics 2020.

This year’s Tokyo Olympics has given India some historic moments. Both Indian Men and Women Hockey teams have qualified for the quarter-finals and made their place in the semi-finals this year. It was a landmark moment for India after 49 years, and India made it so far in the Olympics. 

When we look at the Olympics more, we know that several players around the globe who have been representing their nations are from underprivileged backgrounds. Since we started growing up as individuals, we have seen the struggle of disadvantaged people in society. It is not always necessary to be successful with all the amenities and availability of the best resources. Often, help, hard work, dedication, perseverance, and persistence are essential to achieving goals. One of the most important qualities is to stay grounded. It’s not always a good thing to expect such kind of behaviour in a real-life. 

At times, few people in the same society cannot even afford the necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter. Yet, with the minimalist things, big dreams and complete dedication, they become some of the most incredible gems of this world by representing their nation globally. In the same way, in the Olympics, many such underprivileged players. These players’ performance in the Olympics is impressive as compared to any other privileged players.

It may be the situation because their goal is not to succeed in the Olympics and bring medals for their nation. Their goals may be to take the Olympics as a chance to improve their lifestyle and give assurance to their family. Many Olympians have secured this opportunity to represent their country in the Olympics after an incredible amount of hard work. Their families have supported them to meet their needs and make all the required games accessories available.

It doesn’t mean that privileged players don’t understand the importance of what they have in their life. We must remember that the person who looks privileged right now might have been less privileged at some moment. The dedication towards their field of career has made them what they are today. 

So we must understand that being privileged and underprivileged is one of the prisms when we look at the performance of the athletes in the Olympics.

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Indian Hockey Teams Break The Olympics Jinx

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Indian Hockey II News Aur Chai

Indian Women’s hockey team qualified for the Olympics semi-final after defeating the Australian team 1-0 in the quarterfinals.  The Indian women’s hockey team registered a historic victory at the Tokyo Olympics. Indian women’s hockey team scored the victory goal in the 22nd minute of the game. The goal was scored by Gurjit Kaur scored from a short corner.

After losses against Netherlands, Germany and Great Britain, India staged a great comeback to secure its place in the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics. The women’s hockey team created history by becoming the first-ever Indian women’s team to reach the semi-finals at the Olympics. Indian women’s hockey team qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after defeating the United States by 6-5 in the qualifiers.  Australian team gained back-to-back three penalty corners, but the Indian defence, led by Savita and Deep Grace Ekka, stood strong in front of the goal. The Australian team was surprised by India’s pace and determination and therefore they panicked while defending.

In the last eight minutes of the game, the Indian team was under tremendous pressure. The Australian team had secured four more penalty corners, but they failed to breach the Indian defence.

Gurjit said they are very happy. Qualifying for the semi-finals is the result of the hard work that they had put in for several days. In 1980, they were qualified for the Games but this time, they made the semi-finals. It is a proud moment for them. Their team is just like their family, they always support each other and found support from the country as well.  she further added.

Meanwhile, on August 1, 2021, the Indian men’s hockey team, defeated Britain by 3-1 in the quarter-final to secure its spot in the semi-finals at Tokyo Olympics. Indian hockey team led by Manpreet Singh has created history at the Tokyo Olympics. The team qualified for the semi-finals for the first time since the 1972 Olympics. Goals from Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh and Hardik Singh made sure that India reached their first Olympic semi-final since the 1972 Games. It became challenging for India when skipper Manpreet Singh was suspended for six minutes, and he had to sit out.

Britain got the advantage of Manpreet’s suspension. But they did not make it count as Hardik Singh scored the third goal in the 57th minute. In the final three minutes despite pushing continuously, Britain was unable to score another goal and was eliminated. Indian players became emotional on the turf after they made it to the semi-finals.

Manpreet Singh said they are very happy because they reached the semi-final after a long time. The tournament is still remaining and they need to keep their feet on the ground and focus on the next match. said Manpreet.

This is a very big day for India, both the hockey teams have reached the semi-finals and it is a really big accomplishment. They used to meet them when both men’s and women’s teams were in Bengaluru. Their confidence was always high, they knew that they would reach the semi-finals, only two steps are remaining to win but reaching the semi-finals is a very big accomplishment, said former Sports Minister Rijiju. Indian Men’s hockey team has reached the semi-finals after 49 years. It is a very big thing and as a nation, everyone should celebrate, he added.

The gold medal matches of both the men’s and women’s teams will take place on August 6 and 7 respectively.

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P.V. Sindhu Creates History At The Tokyo Olympics

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PV Sindhu II News Aur Chai

Olympian shuttler PV Sindhu wins bronze in the shuttle race against Chinese shuttler Hebing Jiao. The PV Sindhu legacy has made India proud. Exceptional achievement as the first Indian woman and the only Indian athlete to win two consecutive medals at the Olympics, the Silver at Rio Olympics 2016 and the Bronze at Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Sindhu dominated Bing Jiao 21-13, 21-15 to bounce back from her semi-final loss to Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei. Despite the heartbreaking loss, her confident demeanour in the bronze medal match was evident right from the start. Sindhu’s exemplary smashes caused problems for He Bing Jiao, but also her excellent ability to retrieve made sure that the He Bing Jiao had to work twice as hard to win points.

In game one, Sindhu excelled because of her speed, power, and guile, defeating Bing Jiao 21-13. After gaining an early lead in the first, she landed on her feet in the second to take a 4-1 advantage, which she extended to 11-8 at the half. Even though He Bing Jiao came close to making it 11-11, Sindhu once again came out strong and started to pull ahead. Despite He Bing Jiao’s best efforts, Sindhu remained unmoved as she won two more consecutive points to finish it off at 19-15.

The defence has always been Sindhu’s weakness, but in this game, it was much stronger. Pusarla’s Coach Park Tae-Sang Told PTI “For Sindhu defence has been a weakness, there is no problem with her attack. Every player, every coach knows that and today her defence was 200%. It was superb. The entire tournament, barring yesterday, she has been very good in defence,” “We have been working every day on her net play and defence and I am happy it worked”.

Coach Park Tae-Sang’s international career as a player ended in 2002 with him earning a gold medal at the Asian Games. After turning professional coach in 2013. In late 2019, after the abrupt departure of women’s coach Kim Ji Hyun, he took over the duty of training Sindhu after serving as a national coach for the Korean badminton team for five years from 2013 to 2018.

Speaking after winning the bronze medal match against He Bing Jao, Badminton World Federation (BWF) quoted Sindhu as saying, “It makes me feel really happy because I`ve worked hard for so many years. I had a lot of emotions going through me should I be happy that I won bronze or sad that I lost the opportunity to play in the final? But overall, I had to close off my emotions for this one match and give it my best, my all, and think about the emotions. I`m really happy and I think I`ve done really well. It`s a proud moment getting a medal for my country.”

In addition, Sindhu said that the focus will now be on the Paris 2024 Olympics.

On an emotional Instagram note, Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu-Ying revealed how PV Sindhu encouraged her after the match. China’s Chen Yufei defeated Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-Ying in the women’s singles final. After finishing second at the Tokyo Games, Tai had to settle for the silver medal. After the medal ceremony, she revealed how PV Sindhu offered her words of encouragement after the final loss.

She hugged Tai and told her she did a wonderful job in the final, Tai wrote on Instagram. Sindhu’s encouragement after the final made her cry, the Chinese Taipei shuttler added. “PV Sindhu hugged me and told me I know you are sick but you did very well, but today was not your day,” “She held me in her arms and said she knew it all. That sincere encouragement made me cry,” she added.

From being the first Indian to become Badminton World Champion to winning medals for India in two consecutive Olympics, she has indeed built a legacy.

 

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