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Sharath led Chennai Lions lifts UTT trophy 2019

Ashish Mani Tiwari

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Chennai Lions with the UTT 2019 trophy

New Delhi: An authoritative display from Sharath Kamal helped Chennai Lions thump Dabang Delhi in the final to win the Ultimate Table Tennis Season 3 title here today.

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran led Dabang Delhi was off the mark since from the inception of the final. Sharath Kamal along with Germany’s Petrissa Solja in the Mixed Doubles thrashed Delhi 8-1. Chennai cantered to the required 8 tie points in the first three matches itself, consigning the final two to the dustbin.

The Lions’ foreign imports, Germany’s Petrissa Solja and Portugal’s Tiago Apolonia, proved to be the stars of the grand finale, taming Bernadatte Szocs 2-1 and Sathiyan G 3-0 to take a formidable, and clearly unbeatable, lead.

Sharath and Petrissa then put up a master class in the Mixed Doubles, collating the last 3 needed points with utmost ease to clinch the title.

“This is an amazing win,” an exultant Sharath said after the victory. “We played near flawless table tennis and came up with the perfect plan for the final,” he added.

Rio Olympics silver medallist Petrissa Solja gave Chennai a flying start, decimating Bernadatte in the opening Women’s Singles. Taking advantage of an off-colour opponent, Petrissa raced away to a 5-2 lead in the opening set, and then bagged six straight points to pocket it 11-5.

A similar script followed in the second set too, with Solja wrapping it up 11-4 to the dismay of Bernadatte.

The Romanian, however, recovered in the final set, fetching a crucial point for Delhi. Down 0-2, she clawed her way back to take a handy 8-5 lead before sealing it 11-9.

In the opening Men’s Singles, Tiago came up with an inspired performance, walloping the higher-ranked Delhi captain Sathiyan 11-6, 11-7, 11-9.

World No. 71 Tiago showcased an array of shots to leave Sathiyan scampering around the table. Sathiyan struggled to find his rhythm, allowing Tiago to open up a 4-1 lead in the first set. The Portuguese made it 8-3 and then 11-6, to give Chennai the first whiff of a big victory.

The second set saw some amazing exchanges, with Sathiyan relying on his quickness near the table to extract points. Tiago was, however, quick on his feet and had answers to almost everything thrown at him. He won the second set 11-7 and the last one 11-9.

An ecstatic Tiago did a Sharath, jumping over the side boards to celebrate his tie-winning effort.

Sharath and Petrissa were in a different league in the Mixed Doubles, picking up points almost at will. Sharath played calmly, cutting down on unforced errors to make it easier for the pair.

Sathiyan and Bernadatte simply had no weapons left to fight back into the contest, perhaps still recovering from the thriller two days back. They lost 7-11, 2-11, 3-11 to allow Chennai Lions to roar in delight.

Results

Chennai Lions beat Dabang Delhi TTC 8-1

 

Women’s Singles: Petrissa Solja beat Bernadette Szocs 2-1 (11-5, 11-4, 9-11)

Men’s Singles: Tiago Apolonia beat Sathiyan G. 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-9)

Mixed Doubles: Sharath Kamal / Petrissa Solja bt Sathiyan G. / Bernadette Szocs 3-0 (11-7, 11-2, 11-3)

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Deepa Malik and Bajrang Punia nominated for Khel Ratna

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Deepa Malik is set to be awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2019

New Delhi: Ace wrestler Bajrang Punia and para-athlete Deepa Malik have been nominated for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna on Saturday. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is the country’s highest sporting honour.

Punia recently defended his title at the Tbilisi Grand Prix as he won the gold medal and Deepa Malik had won bronze medals in discus throw and javelin throw at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta. Punia and Vinesh Phogat were recommended by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for the Khel Ratna award.

Deepa is the first Indian woman to get a medal at the Paralympic Games and has won 58 national and 23 international medals. Earlier, she has received Padma Shri and Arjuna award. Also, she has entered the Limca Book of World Records four times.

In 2018, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu were awarded with the Khel Ratna Award.

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Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja among 19 sportspersons nominated for Arjuna Award

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Jadeja has played 156 ODIs, 42 T20Is and 41 Tests for India

New Delhi: Indian cricketer Ravindra Jadeja has been nominated for the prestigious Arjuna Award by the award selection committee on Saturday. The list includes 19 other sportspersons like Poonam Yadav, track and field stars Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, Mohammed Anas and Swapna Barman, footballer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, hockey player Chinglensana Singh Kangujam and shooter Anjum Moudgil.

Earlier, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had recommended fast bowlers Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and women’s team leg-spinner Poonam Yadav for the Arjuna Award. Ravindra Jadeja showcased a spectacular show with a 59-ball 79 innings against New Zealand in the semi-final during World Cup 2019.

The Arjuna Awards are given to honour excellence in sports by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India. In 2018, Indian woman cricketer Smriti Mandhana was the only cricketer to receive the prestigious award.

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Russel Domingo appointed Bangladesh cricket team head coach

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Russel Domingo has coached South Africa national team from 2013 to 2017.

New Delhi: Russell Domingo has been appointed Bangladesh cricket team head coach on Saturday.

The 44-year-old South African has agreed on a two-year term with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and is expected to arrive in Dhaka on 21 August to take charge of the national team.

Announcing the appointment  BCB president Nazmul Hassan, said, Domingo’s vision for Bangladesh made him the ideal candidate for the role, “He has a wealth of experience and we have been very impressed with his passion and coaching philosophy. He has a clear idea of what is required to take the team forward.”

Domingo said he was eagerly looking ahead to his new challenge, “It is a massive honour to be appointed the Head Coach of the Bangladesh National Cricket Team. I have followed Bangladesh’s progress with keen interest and I am extremely excited to assist the team in reaching the goals that they are capable of.

“I look forward to continuing the ongoing development of current players whilst also looking towards the future and developing some new bright stars from within the talent pool of Bangladesh cricket,” he added.

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