Category Archives: Sports

Nine Lucknow cyclists take Paris endurance test today

TOUGH NUT The 1,230-km route includes cold, windy and tough terrain that poses health and mechanical challenges.

Cyclist Manish Mishra (Sourced)

On Sunday evening 335 Indian endurance cyclists, including nine from Lucknow and one from Prayagraj, will participate in the Randonnée Paris-Brest-Paris-2019, an International endurance cycling event, where around 7,000 cyclists from all over the world will ride on a 1,230 km route in cold, windy, tough terrain that poses health and mechanical challenges.

The event, considered as one of the toughest endurance cycling events in the world, is being conducted since 1891. It is not a race.

Held every four years, Indians began participating in it in 2011 and this is the first time cyclists from Lucknow are in participating in it.

The event will begin on August 18 (Sunday) at 5.30 pm (Paris, France time) and end on August 22, 2019. The starting point is the majestic park of Rambouillet’s castle, near Paris, where cyclists will get a flag-off in batches of 300. Those who complete the route within the stipulated time will get a medal.

There are three different time categories — 80 hours, 84 hours and 90 hours.

Seven Lucknow riders have opted for the 90-hour category while the other two decided for the tougher 84-hour one. One Prayagraj rider too chose the 90-hour category.

Rajesh Kumar Verma, 54, a teacher and Dhairya Ahuja, 25, are in the 84-hour slot while Vivek Ranjan, 32, a manager at a private firm, Rakesh Kumar Pawan, 46, a businessman, Prabhat Ranjan, 40, a manager at a private firm, his wife Amrita Ranjan, 35, an assistant professor at a college, Yashesh Vyas, 51, an architect, Vaibhav Rastogi, 44, a businessman, and Abhinav Kumar Singh, 36, a businessman and mountaineer are doing the 90-hour category.

The Prayagraj rider Manish Mishra, 42, a senior auditor at the office of the Accountant General, UP, Prayagraj is also doing in the 90-hour Category. There are about 50 riders from the National Capital Region (NCR).

The event is held under the guidance of Adaux Club Parisien (ACP), France. “To participate in the event an aspirant must finish 200 km (13.30 hours), 300 km (20 hours), 400 km (27 hours), and 600 km (40 hour) BRM (endurance cycling event against time) in one calendar year under Audax India,” said Abhinav Kumar over the phone, in between his practice sessions, from Paris.

Amrita Ranjan, after her last practice and acclimatisation ride ahead of the event, said: “I know it’s tough, I am practising. The terrain is not like Uttar Pradesh routes. It’s a rolling path (that is a route with steep climbs and descents). And unlike India, where we ride on the left of the roads, we have to get used to riding on the right side.”

Yashesh Vyas said: “No ride is easy. Even a 100 km ride is not easy. Ultimately, it’s a mind game.”

In cycling parlance, it is called self-sustained ride, that is, there is no backup support from the organisers and all breakdowns and emergencies are to be handled solely by the participants. “Even relatives or friends are not allowed to help the participants during the ride,” said Prabhat Ranjan, the husband of Amrita. Amrita and Prabhat are the first couple ever from India that is attempting the PBP.

“If you like going fast, there usually is a group who try to see how quickly they can complete the course. But the results are listed alphabetically, and everybody gets the same medal, so it is not a race. The long rides are challenging for anybody, but every finisher is a winner,” said Manish Mishra.

Most riders have bought new ‘road category’ bikes for the event and most of these bikes cost over Rs 1 lakh. One ends up spending a minimum Rs 2.5 lakh for the event, which includes the cost of the bike, air tickets, food and lodging.

*Brevets De Randonneur Mondiaux (BRMs) are rides of fixed distances that are to be completed within specified time limits, having successfully passed through pre-determined time controls.

*BRMs worldwide are approved and governed by Audax Club Parisien (ACP).

*A randonneuring event is called a randonée or brevet (pronounced breh-VAY), and a rider who has completed a 200 km event is called a randonneur. The most common type of event is a brevet, referring to the certificate or card (called brevet in French) the participant receives, signifying completion of a particular distance.

*Randonneur events are 200 km, 300 km, 400 km, 600 km, 1000 km, and 1200 km. During longer events, sleep breaks are planned at intermediate points. In the end, you get officially homologated and have an option to request a medal if you complete the course within the time limit.

source: / Hindustan Times / Home> India> Cities> Lucknow / by Pankaj Jaiswal & K Sandeep Kumar, Hindustan Times, Lucknow/Prayagraj / August 18th, 2019

Asian Games silver-medallist Sudha Singh ‘finally’ gets job from Uttar Pradesh government, says better late than never

CM Yogi Adityanath yesterday announced Rs 30 lakh and gazetted officer’s job to Sudha, who hails from Rae Bareli district, about 80 km from the state capital, Lucknow.

Asian Games silver-medallist Sudha Singh (Photo | AP)

Lucknow :

Asian Games silver-medallist Sudha Singh has been offered a job by the Uttar Pradesh government and the veteran long distance runner has termed it as a case of “better late than never”.

“I am neither happy nor unhappy with the decision. I should have got the job earlier. My file for the job through sports quota has been there since 2014. It’s better late than never,” Sudha said while talking to PTI over phone from Indonesia.

The 32-year-old Sudha, who won a silver in women’s 3000m steeplechase in the Asian Games yesterday, was reacting to the recent announcement of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath offering her a job of gazetted officer.

“I have won gold and silver in Asian Games (in 2010). I participated in Olympics, have won medals in Asian Championships and World Championships. I have got Arjun Award also. I want to work in the Sports Department and I am eligible for becoming a Deputy Director in the sports department,” she said.

“I want to thank the CM but he might not be aware that my file was pending in the government for past four years. I will only work in Sports Department and not in any other department,” she said.

The CM yesterday announced Rs 30 lakh and gazetted officer’s job to Sudha, who hails from Rae Bareli district, about 80 km from the state capital.

Sudha’s brother Pravesh Narain Singh said, “Despite the eligibility, she had to face humilation by the government as she was not given a job. She was hurt and is presently working with Central Railways since 2005.”

In a government order of 2015, those winning medals at Olympics and Asian Games are eligible for government jobs, but it was not followed in Sudha’s case.

“She tried to meet the then CM Akhilesh Yadav in 2016 thrice but could not succeed. Due to this, she could not perform well in 2016 Olympics,” Pravesh said.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Sport> Asian Games> News / by PTI / August 28th, 2018

Horse power: Inside the Meerut centre where India’s Asian Games medallists trained

At the Army Equestrian Node, riders and horses are forging strong bonds and training hard, because their mission is medals.

It’s 7 am at the Army Equestrian Node in Meerut Cantonment and instructors are calling out to Jai, Jeet and Tarzan — “Kadam, kadam (Step by step)!” “Aagey badh (Move forward)!”

Their trainees are all Army horses, each paired with a rider also from the Army. By the time they’re done, man and horse will be able to canter together in form, clear hurdles with grace and execute a set of skilled movements from memory.

Those are precisely the events that won three young Army riders from here a first-of-its-kind silver medal in the team equestrian event at the Asian Games in Jakarta two weeks ago. The win — by Rakesh Kumar, Captain Ashish Malik and Jitender Singh along with civilian Fouaad Mirza — is still all anyone here can talk about.

“I was watching it on TV at the cantt,” says Risaldar Dinesh Kumar, 44, a rider at the Node. “I jumped up with happiness when they won. We drove down to Delhi to pick them up at the airport, and gave them a grand welcome with garlands and an Army band playing. They have done us proud.”

They weren’t the first — a total of 15 Army men have won bronze before this, in the 1986 Seoul, 1998 Bangkok, 2002 Busan and 2006 Doha Asian Games, all in the team equestrian events. There were individual wins too, a gold and a silver in 1982.

The recent wins have been a particular thrill for the Equestrian Node, because their mission is medals.


There are Army horse training centres across the country, including in Karnataka, Haryana, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. But the Equestrian Node at Meerut is the only one that trains show horses.

It was set up in 2001, and later came under the Army’s Olympic Mission wing, which prepares young talent from within the force for the Olympics. Army riders and horses that show exceptional talent are deputed to the Node to train.

The Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) eventually selects the best for international competitions. The EFI also helps with sponsorships. This year, for instance, Jitu Verwani, chairman and managing director of the Embassy Group and VP for finance at EFI, sponsored the Indian equestrian team, including their six months of training in France with the two-time French Olympian-turned-coach Rodolphe Scherer.

Trainers at the Node also include international experts, as well as experienced Army riders.

The logic of this node is that there are few other places where Indians can afford to train in this field. Unless you’re in a posh riding club, or in the Army, winning an equestrian medal is out of bounds.

This formula seems to be working. Aside from the medal winners, several Army riders from previous batches have also qualified for the Asian Games.


There are currently 14 riders and 28 sporting horses training at the Node. Daily drills start at 4.30 am and cover cantering (a controlled, 3-beat gait), show jumping (clearing fences and hurdles elegantly), and dressage (in which horse and rider perform skilled movements from memory). The facility has blocks of fences with mirrors affixed on them so riders can see their posture and correct it.

We take care of our horses, they are like our babies,” says Lt Col Amit Sinsinwar, 36, an Army rider currently training here. “My first walk in the morning is always to the stables to check on my horse, followed by yoga and meditation.”

Each horse gets a cubicle lined with grass and fresh hay so they can sleep comfortably. There are fans for when it gets hot, and vets on call round the clock. The horses even get radio-therapy to increase circulation.

“In bad weather, we have special treadmills the horses can use for exercise,” says training officer Lt Col Bharat Singh. There’s also an underwater treadmill with jet sprays, for hydrotherapy.

“A horse is just like a young child. You need to be careful in dealing with them,” says Lt Col Singh. “If they are being naughty, you reprimand them by using a slightly harsher tone. But you also need to show them affection; hug them, talk to them and shout encouraging words like ‘Shabash ghoda!’.

One of the few civilians who’s a regular on the campus is Ramesh Chand, 52, from Meerut city, who has tended the stables for 17 years.

“I can just take one look at a horse and know if it is tired, sick or hungry,” he says. “I felt so proud when the men won medals for the country. My favourite horse here is Wonderboy, age 24. He’s old, just like me.”

source: / Hindustan Times / Home> Other Sports / by Jayati Bholan, Hindustan Times / September 09th, 2018

Despite facilities, academies, UP short of TT champions

The Uttar Pradesh Table Tennis Association’s own academy at the UPTTA Complex has a poor record in terms of achievements as officials and coaches are not aware of the actual reason behind their failure.

Among all the academics in the state, JKG Academy in Ghaziabad being run by former UP player Vibhore khare has been producing some good talent in the game.(HT Photo)

For former UP player Vibhore Khare, the day starts at as early as 5 am and ends at 8 pm daily. Vibhore and his team of coaches meet 80-odd trainees and discuss their success and failures in detail.

The process continues since 2006 at the JKG Table Tennis Academy at Indirapuram in Ghaziabad. The mission of the academy is to create TT champions. The academy has produced talented players, including international player Sarthak Seth.

“Training table tennis players is my bread and butter so I put my best foot forward to let every player feel that he or she can be the champion of tomorrow,” Vibhore said on the sidelines of the UP Ranking Tournament here on Friday.

Like Vibhore’s academy, other former UP paddlers Saurabh Poddar, Ibadur Rehman, Anil Sen, Shyam Kumar, Yogendra Agarwal, Parag Agarwal, Amit Singh, Sudarshan Prabhakar, and Hemendra Srivastava are running academies in places like Moradabad, Allahabad, Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Agra.

However, only a few have succeeded in producing stars for the state.

The Uttar Pradesh Table Tennis Association’s own academy at the UPTTA Complex has a poor record in terms of achievements as officials and coaches are not aware of the actual reason behind their failure.

“We have good coaches, top class facilities and we even charge a small token amount for coaching but still we lack players at the UPTTA Academy,” UPTTA secretary Arun Banerjee said.

“It’s really difficult to understand why the game is getting such a poor response here,” he added.

Secretary of the Lucknow District TT Association NK Lahiry, while accepting a low turnout for the game at the academy, said that players found it difficult to come and play at the academy on regular basis.

“Parents as well as players want training facilities close to their respective areas. Most of them don’t want to travel to the academy daily,” said Lahiry, adding, “We charge only Rs 10 per day for coaching and provide all facilities like tables, balls and uninterrupted power supply.”

He said LDTTA as well as UPTTA conducted regular events at school and district level so that players in Lucknow get the opportunity to sharpen their skills in the game.

So far as Lucknow’s rich history in table tennis is concerned, a number of former ranked paddlers like Bishwajeet Gon, Tapan Bose, Vinod Mehta, SK Dey, Sanjeev Kapoor, Sujeet Gon, Gambhir Kapoor, and Rajeev Kapoor hail from this place.

Ever since the establishment of UPTTA Academy in 1993, it has managed to produce only top international officials, including the only Blue Badge umpire Amit Singh.

“We have produced 20-odd international technical officials, including myself, and I find that establishment of a training centre of the Sports Authority of India at the Colvin College from 1988 to 1999 robbed UPTTA Academy’s success. Most of the top players had joined the centre then,” said Banerjee, who claimed that establishing residential academies for the game would be a better option for the uplift of game’s standard in Lucknow.

“If someone comes with the idea of setting up of residential academies, UPTTA would support it fully,” said Banerjee.

source: / Hindustan Times / Home> Cities> Lucknow / by Sharad Deep,Hindustan Times,Lucknow / June 30th, 2018

Hand amputated, this table tennis champ is now a super coach

Having started off as a school level champ when she was five, Nikita was named the best coach at the first UP State Ranking Table Tennis Tournament in Lucknow.

Nikita Kumar(center).(HT Photo)

Hockey player Mir Ranjan Negi went on to become a great coach after he was humiliated for missing a goal. His turnaround was such an inspiration that his story was made into a blockbuster ‘Chak De’.

Those who know paddler Nikita Kumar, insist her story is no less inspiring.

Having started off as a school level champ when she was five, Nikita was on Sunday named the best coach at the first UP State Ranking Table Tennis Tournament in Lucknow.

This, despite the fact, that her left hand had to be amputated after a road accident in 2012.

While the tragedy could have torn apart anybody’s spirit, in less than two years Nikita went on to play for India at the Asian Para Games at Incheon in TT9-10 category in 2014.

“Table tennis is my life. No tragedy could have stopped me from playing it,” she said on the sidelines of the event where she was honoured on Sunday.

Grooming the batch of 40-odd kids at Ramprastha TT Academy in Ghaziabad, she never lost her spirit.

“See, life goes on and it was my body wisdom which inspired me to come out of the shadow of sorrow and pain and make a fresh start,” says Nikita, while adding, “I always wanted to play at the Asian Games but ended up playing Asian Para Games. But then such is life.”

“It all started off with a win at Manav Sthali School Silver Jubilee Table Tennis Tournament in New Delhi when I was a kid. It was opium for me. It ensured that I pursued table tennis even when my hands were amputated,” says the girl who has played skates, cager and a few other sports in schools.

“But, table tennis still remains my first love. I find myself most happy when I teach the finer points of the game to my 40-odd trainees,” she says.

“It is true that eight hours of training of my kids keep me busy, but even in the remaining 16 hours I keep thinking only about the game and the players. So it’s a full time engagement for me,” said Nikita, who won her first title at an international Para TT tourney at Bangkok in 2013.

“I always wanted to give back something to the game so along with my sister chose to start an academy in 2014,” she said.

“There is a big boom to the sport after India’s success at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, and I am very sure of Indians doing well at the upcoming Asian Games too,” she said.

source: / Hindustan Times / Home> Cities> Lucknow / by Sharad Deep,Hindustan Times,Lucknow / July 03rd, 2018

Muzaffarnagar’s ‘Ronaldo bhai’, Nishu Kumar makes it to Indian football team

Nishu Kumar defied all odds and poverty to carve out notable career for himself and is currently inspiring local boys to do the same.

Youth and children also admire and respect Nishu, who is popularly known as ‘Ronaldo Bhai’ in the Muzaffarnagar. (Photo: Twitter | ANI)


Defying all odds and poverty, son of a college peon at Mangal Bahadur Janata Inter College in Muzaffarnagar’s Bhopa area has made it to the Indian national football team.

Over the years, Nishu Kumar has carved out a notable career for himself and is currently inspiring local boys to consider a career in football.

Youth and children also admire and respect Nishu, who is popularly known as ‘Ronaldo Bhai’ in the town.

Talking to news agency ANI, Nishu recalled how he started playing the game when he was just five years old.

“I started playing the game when I was five years old. We used to play it in our school ground under the guidance of our school sports teacher. I have been learning a lot from India’s chief coach Stephen Constantine. He is an awesome coach,” he added.

(Photo: Twitter | ANI)

Meanwhile, Nishu’s coach Kuldeep said, “He is training a dozen of children from the village. I am also hopeful that other children in the region take up football as a career.”

Nishu started his football career from Chandigarh Football Academy and made his first overseas visit through the Chandigarh Academy in 2010. He represented as the captain of the Academy team.

Having been a member of India’s under-15 and under-16 teams, Nishu has also played internationally in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Europe, the Gulf and Russian countries.

Nishu was initially selected in the national football team in 2017 but because of the influence of cricket in the area, his family and relatives did not acknowledge him.

source: / Deccan Chronicle / Home> Nation> Current Affairs / ANI / July 06th, 2018

UP win powerlifting championship

Kanpur :

Hosts Uttar Pradesh emerged as overall champion in the national subjunior powerlifting championship, which concluded here at Gaurav Memorial International School, Kalyanpur, on Thursday. The winners finished with 219 points.

Delhi and Haryana got the second and third spots with 154 and 65 points respectively.

In boy’s group UP collected 111 points, while Delhi and Haryana garnered 98 and 65 points respectively. Similarly in girls’ group the hoem side emerged on top with 108 points. Maharashtra and Delhi got second and third places with 64 and 58 points respectively.

Divya Khatri of Maharashtra (291kg) and Abhishek Kumar of UP (401.5 kg) were adjudged the best lifterers in girls’ and boy’s group respectively.

The prizes were given away jointly by Sanjeev Pathak table tennis player and vice-president UPTTA, Dr Ashok Tiwari (director PSIT) and RP Katiyar (vice-president UPTTA).

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Kanpur News / TNN / June 01st, 2018

Disabled in 26/11, ex-Navy commando Teotia finishes Ironman Triathlon Championship in S Africa


Former Marine commando Praveen Teotia, 34, finished one of the toughest races in the world — Ironman Triathlon Championship 2018 — held in South Africa, a few days ago.

This Shaurya Chakra winner took four bullets during the operation to neutralize terrorists at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai in November 2008. Hit in the lung and in an ear, he became partially hearing impaired. After being given a non-active duty job by the Navy, Teotia set about trying to prove that he was still fit for service, and began participating in marathons.

“I wanted to prove myself and the Navy that I am still a commando not only in spirit but physically as well. No Navy man from India has ever finished the Triathlon so far,” said a beaming Teotia, who landed in Mumbai on Thursday. He hails from Bulandshahr.

Last year on September 9, despite a damaged lung, he participated in the grueling 72-km-long Khardung La marathon in Ladakh, finishing well within the stipulated time and earning a medal.

TOI had carried a story on his achievement in the September 14, 2017 issue. The consequent limelight helped Teotia receive help. He got a special bicycle and he began training for Ironman Triathlon in Goa.

Achieving this feat was not an easy task. The championship requires back to back three events to be finished in 16.45 hours that include 3.8-km of swimming in the sea followed by 180.2-km of cycling followed 42.2-km of run. Despite losing precious 35 minutes due to an accident on the bicycle, Teotia still managed to finish all three events within 14 hours 19 minutes and that too with an injured knee.

Teotia had taken voluntary retirement from the Navy a month before his Khardung La marathon achievement, and now wishes to run for Ultraman event to be held in Florida in the US in February next year.

“That’s the toughest championship on Earth and involves 10 km of swimming, 421 km of cycling followed by 84.4 km of running all in a span of three days,” says Teotia who will begin training soon.

source: / The Times of India / Home> News> City News> Meerut News / by Sandeep Rai / TNN / April 20th, 2018

Commonwealth Games 2018: Two gold, two bronze and a silver in UP’s kitty

In all, 12 athletes from UP had participated in the Games out of whom shooter Jitu Rai and weightlifter Punam Yadav could win gold.

Meerut’s Ravi Kumar had a bronze medal in shooting at Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.(HT Photo)

As India celebrates its third richest medal haul (66) at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, athletes from the country’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh could contribute only five medals – two gold, one silver and two bronze.

In all, 12 athletes from UP had participated in the Games out of whom shooter Jitu Rai and weightlifter Punam Yadav could win gold. Other medal winners included Seema Punia (silver in discus), Divya Kakran (bronze in wrestling) and Ravi Kumar (bronze in shooting).

Saraswati Raut (weightlifting), Vandana Kataria (women’s hockey), Ashish Kumar (gymnastics), Mohd Asab, Anuraj Singh and Seema Tomar (all shooting), and Lalit Upadhya (men’s hockey) returned home empty handed.

“The achievement for the state is remarkable in terms of medals. The number could have been higher had there been a professional setup for sports in the state. There is no dearth of talent but we need adequate facility and job security for sportspersons in UP,” former director, sports, Vijay Singh Chauhan said on Monday.

“There is no short cut for success in sports. We need to make sports compulsory in school curriculum. Promotion of sports should also be a priority for the state government if we really want more athletes win medals at events like Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympics,” said Chauhan, who is also known as ‘Iron Man of Asia’ for setting up a record in athletics.

He said special talent hunt in rural areas of the state should be carried out. “Sports and sportspersons should be encouraged in rural areas. Most of the games are based on strength and power. Even a small ground in every gram panchayat is sufficient for the development of sports in villages,” he said.

Former deputy director, sports, Neeru Kapoor hailed the achievements of UP athletes at Gold Coast Games and said more athletes from the state should have participated in the event.

“Being the biggest state of the country, we have a big sea of talent in sports but to motivate them we need to have more encouragement,” he said.

“The overall performance of UP athletes is encouraging but in terms of population, our contribution of medals is quite small. We should find ways to raise the medals tally at Commonwealth Games after four years in 2022,” he said.

A total of Rs 1.80 crore will be distributed by the state government among all 11 athletes. Both Punam and Jitu will be given Rs 50 lakh each as per the government policy while Seema will be given Rs 30 lakh. The two bronze medallists will get Rs 15 lakh each while all seven other participants will receive Rs 5 lakh each as participation allowance.

Meerut’s Ravi Kumar, who had won bronze at the 2014 Asian Games in 10m air rifle before winning a bronze at the Gold Coast Games, said he would try to change the colour of his medal in the Asian Games.

source: / Hindustan Times / Home> Sports / by Sharad Deep, Hindustan Times,Lucknow / April 17th, 2018

Agra Taj Car Rally flagged off

The prestigious Agra Taj Car Rally was flagged off on Friday evening from Hotel Clark Shiraz here.

Covering its first “night” leg — 60 km, the rallyists reached the army’s Jeet stadium.

The president of the Motor Sports Club of Agra, Rajiv Gupta, told IANS 74 teams, with 200 members joined the event on Friday, including six teams from the army, five from Indian Oil, and six all-women teams.

Teams have come from Dubai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Indore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Harvijay Bahia, patron of the club, and a formula car racer in the extreme category told IANS.

Bahia said with support from the Uttar Pradesh Tourism, district authorities, this popular event had firmly established Taj city as the most important motor sports hub in the country.

“No other rally offered such a challenging and picturesque terrain, including, desert, the dreaded Chambal ravines, the river bed, lush green wilderness, plus of course hospitality,” Bahia added.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

source: / Business-Standard / Home> News-IANS> Sports / IANS – Agra / April 14th, 2018