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  • Pune-based Indian long-distance swimmer Rohan More swam across the Cook Strait between North and South Islands of New Zealand in 8 hours and 37 minutes, becoming the first Asian and the youngest to complete it.
  • After waiting for a long time due to bad weather conditions, Rohan finally got a chance to swim on February 9.Rohan had completed his first marathon swim at the age of 11.With this, More becomes only the ninth person in the world to complete it.
  • He began swimming at about 9:30 a.m. from the North Island. For the first five hours, the water was calm and the temperature was around 19 degrees Celsius. However, as he progressed towards the South Island, the water temperature dropped by about four degrees Celsius, due to currents from the Antarctic water.
  • He fought bravely against the cold water and strong Antarctic currents to complete the swim in 8 hours 37 minutes.
  • Talking about his achievement, More said, "It is the greatest moment of my life as I swam across Cook Strait in New Zealand which was the seven and last in the Ocean Seven. I really feel very proud and emotional about this thing because after swimming this challenge I became the first Indian ever in the history to complete this challenge and only ninth person in the world who has swam all the seven challenges in the Ocean Seven," he added.

  • North and South Korea competed together for the first time at an Olympics on 10 feb as the first five of 102 gold medals were decided against a fast-moving backdrop of diplomatic manoeuvring.
  • Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was among a high-level delegation in the stands as the joint Korean women's ice hockey team took on Switzerland in their opening match only to lose 8-0.
  • The Games have triggered a rare moment of reconciliation between the two Koreas, who are still technically at war. In talks on Saturday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in was invited to a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
  • There was joy for South Korea when short-track speed skater Lim Hyo-jun won the first gold for the hosts on day one, claiming the men's 1500m in front of a near-capacity crowd.
  • Earlier, Sweden's Charlotte Kalla won the first title of the Games in the women's skiathlon, followed by Germany's Laura Dahlmeier who triumphed in the women's 7.5km sprint biathlon.
  • Carlijn Achtereekte stunned her teammates as she led a Dutch sweep in the women's 3,000m speed skating, while Andreas Wellinger handled high winds and bitter cold for a surprise win in the men's normal hill ski jumping. But most South Korean fans were fixated on the ice hockey, where the combined North and South women's team appeared at a packed Kwandong Hockey Centre.
  • The two Koreas marched together at 9 feb’s opening ceremony but they have never before competed side-by-side at an Olympics.

  • Elia Viviani of Quick Step Floors bagged his second stage win and emerged as the winner of the 2018 Dubai Tour. With about 50 meters to go for the finish line, Viviani made the most of a crash right when the peloton, moving at over 80 kmph, took a sharp turn and stranded the likes of Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel.
  • Holding a two seconds advantage to be placed atop the overall classification, Viviani, gold medallist at the Rio Olympics, needed at least a second place finish with good timing but went one better to cross the line before Marco Haller and Adam Blythe, who secured the second and third positions.
  • "It's amazing. This morning I was very stressed but I tried to look relaxed. Two seconds lead meant all or nothing. But we rode well as a team," Viviani said after the win.
  • "The ideal situation for us was a breakaway without anyone involved in the top of the overall ranking. I had six teammates leading me out in the last corner.
  • We missed the crash by very little. [Fabio] Sabatini closed the gap on the four guys ahead after the crash. With 50 meters to go I understood I could win the stage. With the headwind, it would have been dangerous to launch from too far out.
  • "To win GC here is an important step up. I want to be one of the best sprinters in the world. This is a good start towards this goal with the great team I have now."

  • India's Shubhankar Sharma roared back from a four-stroke deficit to claim a remarkable two-shot win at the Maybank Championship in Malaysia for his second European Tour title on 4 feb
  • The 21-year-old shot 10 birdies in a sizzling closing round of 10-under-par 62 to aggregate 21-under for the tournament, finishing ahead of joint overnight leader Jorge Campillo who carded a 68.
  • Spain's Campillo, who missed the opportunity to capture his maiden title on the European Tour in his 196th event, was a shot ahead of New Zealand's Ryan Fox who was tied third alongside Pablo Larrazabal at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.
  • "I played pretty solid and it wasn't easy because it was windy," Sharma, who jumped to the top of the Race to Dubai Rankings, said after the win."I kept pushing the whole day. I knew I had to make a lot birdies to catch the leaders. I made a lot of birdies on the front nine and just continued on the back."
  • Campillo went two clear at the top with an eagle in the first hole but Sharma got within touching distance of the Spaniard with four straight birdies from the fourth.
  • The relentless Indian, who captured his maiden title at the Joburg Open in December, shot five birdies on the back nine to edge ahead of Campillo and hung on for the victory.

  • Defending champion PV Sindhu failed to retain the title as she went down fighting against world No. 11 Beiwen Zhang of USA in the summit clash of India Open Super 500 at Siri Fort Complex in Delhi on 4 feb.
  • Sindhu lost the final in three games 18-21, 21-11, 20-22 in one hour and nine minutes. It is the first major title for the fifth seed American.
  • The contest started on even terms with both the players exchanging points regularly to be at 5-5 early in the first game. Sindhu raced ahead for a while to take a 11-9 lead at the mid-game break. The top seed maintained the lead till 15-14 before fifth seed Zhang took advantage of the Indian's unforced errors to put herself in the lead.
  • Zhang continued the good work and gave little chance to Sindhu to bounce back as she wrapped up the first game 21-18 in 22 minutes.
  • The second game too started similarly with the duo fighting hard for each point, before Sindhu surged ahead after 2-2 scoreline. With six consecutive points, Sindhu shifted the momentum to take 8-2 lead and went into break at 11-4.
  • After the break, Zhang reduced the gap to four points and made it 8-12, before Sindhu came up with back-to-back body smashes to stop the trend. But Sindhu gave away an easy point soon by misjudging the line as the score read 13-10.
  • Another acute-angled smash strectched Sindhu's lead to five points, 15-10, giving the world No. 4 Indian some much needed room. Soon it became 18-10 in favour of Sindhu as she won the second game 21-11 and forced the contest to third.

  • Earlier, it was a terrific start for Ishant Porel, who struck hard to send Australia's opening stand of Max Bryant and Jack Edwards back to the pavilion. Following which Kamlesh Nagarkoti removed captain Sangha for mere 13 runs.
  • Both teams come into the all-important contest on the back of comprehensive wins in the last-4. Australia beat Afghanistan by six wickets but India went a step further against arch-rivals Pakistan to inflict a 203 run spanking. Prithvi Shaw-captained India had faced Australia at the start of the tournament and had emerged triumphant by 100 runs.
  • The Indian side has put in some impressive performance to win all their five matches - one of which also includes an emphatic 203-run win against arch-rivals Pakistan in the semifinal. Australia, on the other hand, have not had a smooth sailing all the way.
  • They lost their tournament opener against India, before winning four games in a row to make it to the final. However, Jason Sangha-led Australian side's last two performances signal that they have upped their game when it mattered.
  • Shubman Gill has been the most consistent batsman of the tournament. He scored a scintillating hundred in the semis and helped India in posting a winning total against Pakistan.
  • India have lifted the Under-19 World Cup trophy thrice and Prithvi Shaw has joined the likes of Mohammad Kaif (2002), Virat Kohli (2008) and Unmukt Chand (2012) to become fourth Indian captain to lift the U-19 World Cup title.
  • They have a calm head in Rahul Dravid as their head coach, and he will ensure that the team doesn't get complacent, keeping the focus on the job at hand.

  • The mission aims to develop a sporting culture in the country, identify talents from grassroots and groom them for international success.
  • 'Kheloge kudoge toh banoge lajawab' the motto of the Khelo India programme rang true as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Khelo India School Games.
  • A special laser torch lit the virtual light of the games. Prime Minister stressed that India does not lack sporting talent. India is a youthfulnation and can do even better in sports. His emphasis was on overall development and making sports a priority.
  • Khelo India is not only about winning medals. It is an effort to give strength to a mass movement for playing more. The focus is on every aspect that would make sports more popular across the nation. Prime Minister said that it is gladdening to see youngsters from rural India and smaller cities excelling as sportspersons. He said that Khelo India would provide support to players and coaches alike.
  • The legendary Indian tradition of 'teacher-and-student', referred to as the 'Guru-Shishya Parampara' was also celebrated in grand style at the opening ceremony. The likes of PT Usha, Pullela Gopichand, Baichung Bhutia and many more Gurus participated with their pupils.
  • This government initiative focuses on reviving the sports culture at the grassroots and establishing the country as a sporting nation. A performance on the history and heritage of sports in India showcased indigenous games as well as Martial arts. In keeping with Prime Minister's vision, Khelo India is expected to help find young talent from the schools in various disciplines and groom them as future sports champions.

  • Roger Federer powered home to beat Marin Cilic in five sets to win his sixth Australian Open and 20th Grand Slam title in a riveting final on 28 jan.
  • The Swiss defending champion dropped his only sets of the tournament before completing a 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over the sixth seeded Croatian in 3hr 3min.
  • Federer, playing in his 30th Grand Slam final, joined Novak Djokovic and Australian great Roy Emerson as joint top for the most Australian Open men's titles.
  • He added to his already imposing win-loss record in Melbourne and is now 94-13. His overall his Grand Slam mark stands at 332-52.
  • The roof was closed over Rod Laver Arena as the tournament's heat policy was implemented amid evening temperatures of 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit).
  • Cilic's serve came under immediate pressure with a whipping backhand return winner for break point which the Croatian followed with a smash into the net for a break in the opening game
  • The Croat was finding it difficult to settle and changed racquets in his second service game, but it had no obvious benefit as he dropped serve again after three break points to trail 0-3.
  • He finally held serve to get on to the board and trail 4-1 with Federer hitting the ball cleanly.The Swiss star served out the first set in just 24 minutes after a double break and a shaky Cilic opening.

  • Rohan Bopanna and his Hungarian partner Timea Babos frittered away a one set advantage, going down to Mate Pavic and Gabriela Dabrowski in the Australian Open mixed doubles final here on 28 Jan.
  • The fifth-seeded Bopanna and Babos lost 6-2 4-6 9-11 to the Croat-Canadian pair of Pavic and Dabrowski, seeded eighth, in a match which lasted one hour and eight minutes.
  • Bopanna and Babos dominated the opening set, helped to a great extent, by their erratic opponents, who conceded seven break points.The Indo-Hungarian combine converted two of those chances to claim the early advantage.
  • However, Pavic and Dabrowski roared back into the match in the second set. Their serve was flawless and pair did not concede a single break point.
  • It was Bopanna and Babos' turn to become erratic now and they were broken once by Pavic and Dabrowski before drawing level.
  • The two teams headed to a tie-breaker from here and after a gruelling contest, Pavic and Dabrowski emerged triumphant.Interestingly, Bopanna had won his maiden Grand Slam crown at the 2017 French Open with Dabrowski.

  • Saina Nehwal suffered her seventh straight defeat to world no.1 and old nemesis Tai Tzu Ying, going down in the summit clash of the $350,000 Indonesia Masters here on 28 Jan.
  • Playing the final of an international tournament after a year, Saina, who is coming back from an ankle injury, failed to lift the veil of deception put by Tai Tzu and went down 9- 21 13-21 in 27 minutes in a completely lop-sided final.
  • Tai Tzu has now defeated the former world No.1 Indian nine times in their last 10 meetings. Saina had enjoyed early success against the Taiwanese till 2011 but the Indian has beaten her only once at the 2013 Swiss Open ever since.
  • The World No.12 was no match for Tai Tzu, who toyed with Saina with her supreme agility and deceptive returns. The Indian also committed too many unforced errors.
  • Tai Tzu looked very sharp from the word go and jumped to a 10-2 lead early on. Saina grabbed a point after dominating a rally but the Taiwan player entered the break with a comfortable 11-3 lead.
  • Saina tried to make a comeback and gathered a few points after the break but couldn't keep Tai Tzu away.At 7-12, the duo engaged in an epic 43-shot rally which ended with Saina hitting out. She then lost a video referral to concede another point as Tai Tzu reached 14-7.Both of them erred with their returns and went wide as the score read 16-8.
  • Saina again erred with her smash and then a magical return from the back of the court by Tai Tzu took her to 18-9. She then produced a tight net return to move to game point and unleashed a backhand return which Saina couldn't negotiate to seal the opening game.

  • Kavita Devi has already made history as the first Indian woman to sign a WWE developmental contract, but the former Mae Young Classic competitor added a new accolade to her resume this past weekend: Presidential honouree.
  • In a ceremony held Saturday in the Indian capital of New Delhi, Devi was one of 112 women honoured as the country's "First Ladies" by President Ram Nath Kovind. The First Lady designation pays homage to high-achieving female pioneers. The ceremony was promoted by India's Ministry of Women & Child Development.
  • Honourees came from a variety of fields, such as sports, business and defense. Other honourees included Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and Radhika Menon, the first female Merchant Navy Captain.
  • Devi is not only the first Indian woman to sign with WWE, but she was also the first Indian woman to ever compete in a WWE ring, as part of last summer's Mae Young Classic. A student of former World Heavyweight Champion The Great Khali, Devi is expected to report for training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., in the coming weeks.

  • Sunil Ramesh rose to the occasion as he played a great knock of 93 to help India retain Blind Cricket World Cup title after beating arch-rivals Pakistan by two wickets in a thrilling final played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in UAE on 20 jan.
  • Chasing a huge 308-run target in 40 overs, India romped home in the penultimate over of the match. India started off their chase in a cracking manner racing to 111/1 after 15 overs but soon lost two quick wickets in the form of run-outs to be at 116/3 after 16th over.
  • Sunil and skipper Ajay Tiwari, who scored a fine 62, then took the responsibility and took India's total to 190/3 after 25 overs. India, who lost Ramesh, were 271/4 after 35 overs. Ramesh was cleaned up by Amir Ishfaq.
  • India stuttered towards the closing stages of the game after they lost Ajay followed by two hasty dismissals but in the end held their nerves to win the final.

  • This is the second time when Kohli has won the best cricketer of the year award. Kohli was first awarded best ODI cricketer by ICC five years ago.
  • ICC 18 jan named Indian captain Virat Kohli ICC Cricketer of the Year 2017, ODI cricketer of the year and winner of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for his exceptional performances across all formats.Kohli is also the captain for ICC's ODI and Test team of the year.
  • This is the second time when Kohli has won the best cricketer of the year award. Kohli was first awarded best ODI cricketer by ICC five years ago.
  • Kohli scored six tons ODIs last year, averaging a mammoth 76.84 in the year. His ODI career average now stands at 55.74, the highest ever by a batsman among test playing nations.
  • Apart from Indian captain, Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has also been awarded ICC T20I performance of the year for his incredible haul of 6/25 against England in Bengaluru in February. Australian captain Steven Smith is declared Test cricketer of the year.
  • Pakistan's Hasan Ali is adjudged ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year. Afghanistan's Rashid Khan is named ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year.Pakistan's Champions Trophy Triumph has got the inaugural ICC Fans' Moment of the Year award.

  • Former world silver-medallist Sarjubala Devi (48kg), representing Manipur, claimed the gold as well as the best boxer trophy even as the Railways Sports Promotion Board emerged overall champions in the National Women's Boxing Championships on 13 jan.
  • Sarjubala edged past Haryana's Ritu 3-2 to clinch Manipur's lone gold medal and her second successive national title.
  • Former world and Asian champion L Sarita Devi (60kg), representing the All India Police (AIP), also picked up a gold medal after beating RSPB's Pavitra in her summit clash.
  • The marquee clash of the day was between world silver- medallist Sonia Lather, representing RSPB, and world youth champion Shashi Chopra, turning up for Haryana, in the 57kg category.
  • Sonia dug from her experience to outwit the younger boxer and walk away with the top honours.Meena Kumari (All India Police) took the 54kg gold after going past Manisha (Haryana).Rajesh Narwal from RSPB won the flyweight (48kg) crown defeating Monika (UP).
  • Traditional powerhouse Haryana managed to claim just one gold medal this time, through Pooja Rani (75kg). Pooja got the better of Assam's Alari Boro in her summit clash.RSPB finished with five gold and two bronze medals overall.

  • Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was named December's Premier League manager of the month for a record fourth consecutive time, while Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane equalled Steven Gerrard's tally with his sixth player of the month award.
  • Guardiola's team remains unbeaten and 15 points clear at the top of the league standings.
  • Chelsea boss Antonio Conte had been the only previous coach to win the award three times in a row during Chelsea's title winning campaign last season.
  • To win the December prize, Guardiola topped a six-man shortlist that also included Conte, Everton's Sam Allardyce, Roy Hodgson of Crystal Palace, Liverpool's Juergen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino.
  • Kane scored eight goals in six matches last month, including back-to-back hat-tricks against Burnley and Southampton, to finish 2017 with a record tally of 39 Premier League goals.
  • The 24-year-old is now level with former Liverpool and England midfielder Gerrard with six player of the month awards, the most for any player in the competition's history.

  • Aanchal Thakur made history on 9 jan as she won India's first ever international medal in skiing.
  • The 21-year-old Manali resident clinched bronze in the coveted Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup organised by the Federation Internationale de Ski skiing's international governing body at the Palandoken Ski Centre in Erzurum, Turkey. She won the medal in the slalom race category
  • Roshan Thakur, Aanchal's father and the secretary general of Winter Games Federation of India (WGFI), was elated. "This is a breakthrough for the sport in India and the entire skiing fraternity is proud of her achievement," he said.
  • Sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore took to Twitter to congratulate Aanchal: "Congrats Aanchal Thakur for the Slalom Skiing Bronze in the FIS International Skiing Competition in Turkey. India opens account by a first ever medal in skiing. Well done!"

  • Sports stadiums in Saudi Arabia will open their doors to women to attend football matches for the first time ever on 5 Jan, the government has announced.
  • "The first match that women will be allowed to watch will be Al-Ahli versus Al-Batin on Friday January 12," the ministry of information said in a statement on 8 jan .
  • It said women would also be able to attend a second match on the following day and a third one on January 18.
  • Women from across the vast Gulf kingdom may be able to take advantage of this new freedom as the first match will be held in the capital Riyadh, the second in Jeddah on the Red Sea and the third in the eastern city of Dammam.
  • The kingdom, which has some of the world's tightest restrictions on women, has long barred women from sports arenas by strict rules on segregation of the sexes in public.
  • Under Saudi Arabia's existing guardianship system, a male family member - normally the father, husband or brother - must grant permission for a woman's study, travel and a host of other activities.But the conservative kingdom has in recent months eased some of its most notorious restrictions on women, including the lifting of a driving ban - set to go into effect in June.
  • In September, hundreds of women were allowed to enter a sports stadium in Riyadh, used mostly for football matches, for the first time to mark Saudi Arabia's national day.

  • With the catch of South Africa's Morne Morkel off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second innings at Cape Town, Wriddhiman Saha broke the record of the most dismissals in a Test by an Indian wicketkeeper.
  • It was Saha's 10th catch of the Test as he went past the record of nine dismissals set by former captain MS Dhoni against Australia in Melbourne in December 2014.
  • While Saha's dismissals were all catches, Dhoni's included one stumping. It was also the first time the 33-year-old took five catches each in a Test.
  • The best of his 10 dismissals was a sharp catch he took to get rid of Kagiso Rabada in the first innings off the bowling of spinner R Ashwin.
  • Overall, Saha's effort is the joint-second best in the history. He joins England's Bob Taylor (vs India, Mumbai 1980) and Australian Adam Gilchrist (vs New Zealand, Hamilton 2000) who each took 10 catches. Jack Russell of England (vs South Africa, Johannesburg 1995) and South African AB de Villiers (vs Pakistan, Johannesburg 2013) occupy the top spot with 11 dismissals, all catches, to their name in a match.

  • “We are rapidly moving towards the actualization of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of New India,” Rathore said. “As the national programme for development of sports, Khelo India, will go a long way in achieving the twin objectives of mass participation and promotion of excellence in sports.
  • Prime Minister sees the future of India aligning with the youth of the nation, adopting sport as part of its culture.”
  • The three-stroke Khelo India logo, designed by Ogilvy India, has in-built modularity, allowing plenty of adaptability and flexibility into endless pictorial forms.
  • The colour of the Indian flag evoke a sense of National pride and team-work. “We crowd-sourced the logo design and we were delighted that many of them chose the colours of the National Flag,” Rathore said.
  • “We are also excited that there has been wonderful response from across the country for the flagship event, the inaugural Khelo India School Games that will begin on January 31,” Rathore said. “These competitions will act as avenues for identification of budding sporting talents in specific sports disciplines. We are proud that everyone is coming together in the movement.”
  • The Khelo India School Games, to be broadcast by Star Sports, is being held in collaboration with the School Games Federation of India and National Sports Federations by setting up an Organizing Committee as per procedure of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports.
  • SGFI and NSFs will draw up and conduct an annual calendar of competitions leading up to the Khelo India School Games.

  • Third-seeded Svitolina beat Belarusian qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-1 in a lopsided night final to win her 10th title on the women's elite tour.
  • Kyrgios hit 19 aces in a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over top-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, who was playing his first tournament since winning the season-ending ATP Finals and rising to a career-high No. 3 ranking.
  • Dimitrov dictated terms in the opening set but had few answers when Kyrgios went on the offensive in the second and third sets.
  • Third-seeded Kyrgios, who won all three of his ATP titles in 2016, will face American Ryan Harrison in Sunday's championship match.After his first win in three head-to-heads with Dimitrov, Krygios is confident.
  • "He's definitely one of the best players in the world at the moment. He had a great last year beat me two times," Krygios said. "I knew I'd have to do something a bit differently today I couldn't give him too much rhythm. And my serve came through again."
  • Kyrgios had two double-faults against six from Dimitrov was broken only once and won more than 80 percent of points when he got his first serve into play.
  • As for the final, Kyrgios said he'd worked himself into the tournament and was ready to win a title with little more than a week to go before the Australian Open, the first major of the season

  • Wasim Jaffer swivelled on his ageing toes to hook Delhi's left-arm pacer Kulwant Khejroliya to the backward square-leg fence for the fourth time in the over. With the evening sun slowly setting behind the stands at the Holkar stadium, Jaffer nonchalantly raised his bat as he ushered in the New Year and marked a new dawn in Vidarbha cricket.
  • Mumbai man Jaffer has now won nine Ranji Trophy titles. This time his efforts will see the coveted Trophy travel to the shelves at the Vidarbha Cricket Association in Nagpur, for the very first time in the team's six-decade long history.
  • The nine-wicket win over a reckless Delhi side on 1 Jan. is a realisation of years of brainstorming in the corridors of VCA towards changing their image as mere pushovers in the first-class arena.
  • Once Delhi managed to get past their first innings lead and set a target of 29 runs in the last hour of the day's play, the first-time finalists clearly couldn't wait for the next morning to knock off the runs.
  • Openers R Sanjay and Faiz Fazal hurried to the middle to take guard. The excitement probably got to skipper Fazal and the second-highest run-scorer in the season missed a straight delivery from Khejroliya and was trapped in front of the stumps.

  • The tin shack with plastic sheets and a few sparse bricks is an unlikely metaphor for the teenager who calls it home. Sitting by the railway tracks in the Bada Bagh slums in the Capital's Azadpur area, it trembles each time a train passes by but refuses to collapse.
  • From a life beside these tracks, Nisar Ahmad will soon embark for the hallowed one at the Racers Track Club in Kingston, Jamaica, home of athletics superstar Usain Bolt and his venerable coach, Glen Mills.
  • Ahmad, the son of a rickshaw puller and a house maid, is among 14 budding athletes chosen to undergo a month's training at the world's most famous track and field club.
  • In a first partnership of this nature, athletes in the 15-18 years age group from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Odisha and Delhi were selected under the initiative undertaken by the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and sports management company, Anglian Medal Hunt.
  • The Kingston club assessed the applicants' capabilities and potential and agreed to a four-week training programme.
  • For the 16-year-old Ahmad, running laps at Bolt's club has been backed by some impressive runs on his home turf. It is staggering given that with a combined monthly income of a mere Rs 5000, the family finds it being difficult to put food on the table, let alone provide a diet rich in protein for a budding runner.

  • Ace Indian marksman Jitu Rai won the men's 50m pistol national title with a new national record score of 233 at the 61st National Shooting Championship on 29 Dec.
  • Rai got the better of Navy man Omkar Singh who shot 222.4 in the finals while Jitu's army teammate Jai Singh secured bronze with an effort of 198.4. Rai's score of 233 was a new record in the finals of the event.
  • Rai also won the team gold in the event combining with Jai and Omprakash Mitherwal for a total of 1658, besting Team Air Force, who managed a total of 1626. Punjab with 1624 won bronze.
  • Arjun Singh Cheema of Punjab won the junior men's 50m pistol event, shooting 226.5 in the final.
  • Surinder Singh, his state-mate shot 221.9 for silver while Anmol Jain of Haryana won bronze with 205.1. Arjun and Surinder along with Mankaran Preet Singh also won the junior men's team gold in the event, where Haryana won silver and Delhi the bronze.
  • A total of 4800 men and women shooters from across the country are participating in the 61st Shooting Nationals including 200 wild card entries.

  • Former multiple World Champion Viswanathan Anand of India defeated reigning champion Magnus Carlsen from the black side of Botvinnik system in the Nimzo Indian defence in the ninth round of World Rapid Championship (WRC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 27 Dec.
  • Anand won in 34 moves, thanks to a delectable endgame in which his queen and bishop that controlled the long diagonal proved too powerful.
  • Anand, Vladimir Kramnik and Wang Hao were among the leaders. Pune's Eesha Karavade defeated higher-rated Valentina Gunina in the ninth round.

  • All-rounder Washington Sundar, who made his T20I debut against Sri Lanka in the third and final Twenty20 International at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on 24 Dec, became the youngest to represent India in the shortest format of the game.
  • At 18 years and 80 days, Sundar broke the record set by current Delhi Ranji captain Rishabh Pant early this year in February. Sundar finished his quota of four overs with an impressive figures of 1 for 22 and conceded just three boundaries. He also bowled 11 dot balls.
  • Sundar dismissed in-from Kusal Perera for his maiden wicket in third over on 24 Dec. Perera, who scored 77 in the second T20I in Indore, miscued the ball and was out caught and bowled as Sri Lanka struggled early in Mumbai.
  • Wicketkeeper-batsman Pant made his debut against England in Bengaluru at the age of 19 years and 120 days. Pant remained unbeaten at 5 in the match, which India won by 75 runs.
  • The youngster did not wear the keeping gloves in the match, which was donned by MS Dhoni, but took a catch in the field.

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