Photo by Sherwin Vardeleon/INQUIRERReturning volleyball icon Mary Jean Balse vowed to give a better showing in Creamline’s next game in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.Balse returned to volleyball action after missing the sport for almost two years due to her pregnancy, but in her first game, she only played sparingly in the second period of the Cool Smashers’ four-set win over Adamson University, 25-17, 18-25, 25-15, 25-22.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Chief Justice Peralta vows to lead by example, bares 10-point program PLAY LIST 02:02Chief Justice Peralta vows to lead by example, bares 10-point program00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong LATEST STORIES MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments “I promise to play better in our next game,” said the 34-year-old Balse-Pabayo. “I think my muscles were kind of shocked because it’s been so long since I’ve played.”Balse-Pabayo said she tried to force her body to get into volleyball shape in a span of two months but she accidentally hurt her back during weight training on Friday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“I’m still adjusting, and I’m trying to put myself into proper condition,” said Balse-Pabayo. “And yesterday, my back gave up on me so I couldn’t move properly during the game and that must be why coach Tai [Bundit] gave me limited minutes today.”And though she’s now the elder stateswoman in her team, Balse-Pabayo said she’s fine with the label. What ‘missteps’? Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena PVL: Air Force subdues Perlas She added that playing with 20-somethings actually gives her a breath of energy after being away from the sport for a time.“We’re getting older and you just can’t back to your younger self in one game,” said Balse-Pabayo. “And it’s great playing with younger players and it’s fun because I get to take some rest during games.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games
It isn’t cheap to grow champions. They need years of nurturing and care to deliver on the promise they show in their formative years. In a country like India, where a large number of parents don’t have the resources to fulfil the latent potential in their children, it is necessary for others to step in. Corporate academies have played a great role in identifying talent at the grass-root level.In sports such as archery and hockey, the scouts may have to go to remote areas for this purpose. The Tata Archery Academy in Jamshedpur is one such initiative whose contribution is not lost on its products.”The academy’s role in the development of Indian archery is exemplary. The coaches there are fully dedicated and pursue their passion with single-minded dedication,” Rahul Banerjee, who won the gold medal in the men’s individual recurve at the Commonwealth Games, told MAIL TODAY. Rahul, the brother of another acclaimed archer, Dola Banerjee, also won the bronze in the team recurve event.Besides the two siblings, women’s individual recurve gold medallist Deepika Kumari and Jayanta Talukdar, the men’s individual recurve bronze medallist, have also honed their skills at the Tata Archery Academy. “I joined the academy when I was in class X and stayed there for six years. They take care of the educational needs as well as boarding and lodging. The cadets also get scholarships,” Rahul said.”Coaches such as Dharmendra Tiwary and Purnima Mahato have rendered great service to the sport. In addition, foreign coaches also visit the academy regularly. I also go there whenever required.” Archery being a traditional sport, its practitioners are less likely to be found in big cities. “The scouts go to remote areas in Jharkhand, Orissa, Punjab and North-East to select their cadets,” the archer said.advertisementSteel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) is another corporation doing its bit for sports. At present, it runs fully functional academies in hockey, football, athletics and archery. “There are organisations who are promoting other sports. We are concentrating on games that are popular at the grass-root level in these areas,” SAIL’s assistant general manager (sports) Surinder Khanna, in charge of all the academies run by the conglomerate, told MAIL TODAY.The steel giant operates an academy for hockey in Rourkela, two for football in Bokaro and Burnpur, for athletics at Bhilai (boys) and Durgapur (girls) and one for archery at Kiriburu in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. In fact, former India captain Dilip Tirkey is known to visit the hockey academy and has also been present at selection trials.”The academies take in cadets in different age groups and depending on the promise they show, can remain there for three to five years,” Khanna said. “All their educational, boarding, food and medical expenses are taken care of and they are also paid a stipend.” But the lack of employment opportunities presents a hindrance to the development of these players.”Unfortunately, we cannot recruit them at SAIL. We cannot stop them from earning a livelihood as sometimes they are the sole breadwinners in their families. Most of them move on to the railways or police who provide them employment,” the official said. Players like Birendra Lakra and Sushil Xalco have already represented the country in hockey at various levels.
Indian batsman Virat Kohli, who came good against Bangladesh scoring 100 not out, reminded one of his words he spoke a few days ago in New Delhi. On February 6, Kohli had said the biggest challenge India would face during the forthcoming Cricket World Cup will be to ensure that external pressure did not affect their game.”Playing World Cup in itself is a huge pressure. There will be people who would expect us to do well. The biggest challenge will therefore be not to get distracted by that and concentrate at the job on hand,” Kohli had said at a media interaction in New Delhi.On Saturday, Kohli played the knock that put him in the elite club of batsmen, who have scored a ton in their first WC match. Obviously, pressure was the last thing that seemed to be on his mind. Kohli and Sehwag (175) helped India post a mammoth 370 runs in the Mirpur WC opener on Saturday. Kohli got to his 100 off the penultimate ball of the innings securing his spot for the rest of the tournament, one would think.While Indian prays that he continues his good form in the World Cup, his family is also elated at his masterful knock in particular and India’s spectacular show against Bangadesh, against whom India are playing what they call a revenge game.Vikas Kohli, brother of Virat Kohli, told Headlines Today: “I’m feeling proud. It’s a dream come true for him and us. We don’t expect much. Our wishes are with him. He has his goals and he is working on that. Virat has strict instructions about not calling on the day of match. I spoke to him yesterday and wished him luck. We expected he should do well in the first match, and 100 was a bonus.”advertisement
Chennai thrashed hosts Rajasthan a massive 63-run margin during their IPL match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday. Score | PhotosBatting first Chennai put on board a mammoth 196 runs on board with all their batsmen performing in the middle. Opener Murali Vijay was the most impressive with 53 runs on board.A 197-run target was never going to be an easy one for the hosts and that’s what happened. The Rajasthan batsmen were already under pressure and it got multiplied when they lost their opener Rahul Dravid in the fourth over of the innings when the total was 27.Shane Watson too didn’t last long and fell in the sixth over after scoring a scanty 11. While Doug Bollinger drew first blood for Chennai, R Ashwin claimed the second wicket to reduce Rajasthan to 48/2.Rajasthan’s hopes were shattered when their Kiwi import Ross Taylor too walked back with a scanty total on board. And it was South African Albie Morkel who sent him back to reduce Rajasthan to 63/3 in the 8th over.Ashok Menaria was the next to take a walk back to the Rajasthan dugout, with Ashwin sending him back on two in the 10th over and the Rajasthan scoreboard read 70/4.Finally, Ajinkya Rahane and Johan Botha tired to do the unthinkable – bat against a charged up Chennai attack. They even helped Rajasthan cross 100-run mark at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.Rahane batted and scored a dogged 52, but the target was too steep and Chennai bowlers were bowling a good line. Chennai’s West Indian recruit Dwayne Bravo scalped him on the first ball of the 15th over with Suresh Raina performing the final honours in the deep. Rajasthan were reduced to 105/5.advertisementThe rest of the Rajasthan batsmen merely paid quick visits to the crease as Chennai bowled the hosts out for 133 with nine ball to spare.Chennai inningsChennai batsmen smashed Rajasthan bowlers all across the park as they posted a mammoth 196/3 against the hosts during the 52nd IPL match on Monday.Opener Murali Vijay was especially impressive scoring a quick-fire 53.Earlier, Rajasthan captain Shane Warne won the toss and elected to bowl against Chennai in the 52nd IPL match of the season and 11th for both teams. The match was also one of the last few games for Rajasthan captain Shane Warne, who will stop playing pro cricket post IPL-4.Chennai openers Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay got off to a good start against Rajasthan scoring more than eight runs an over. Both scored at decent pace and would have carried on further had a Johan Botha ball not broken their stand in the 10th over.The offie tried variation and bowled a yorker that took away Hussey’s leg stump when he was batting on 46 and the Chennai total was 77.But that hardly made a difference to Chennai’s tempo as soon Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina got on with a fine partnership putting 58 runs on board. It was only in the 15th over that Rajasthan were able to break their partnership.A mix-up in Shane Warne’s over saw Vijay get run on 53 when the team total was 135. His 40-ball innings was decorated with two fours and three sixes.Post Vijay’s fall Suresh Raina and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni further increased the run rate even as the Rajasthan bowlers struggled on home surface.The reason could have been that Rajasthan were playing on a different track in this match, adjacent to the one that was used in the last 10 games. Whatever be the reason, Chennai clearly benefited off it as their batsmen were enjoying batting on the surface.Raina and Dhoni had added 44 runs for the third wicket before Rajasthan pacer Amit Singh struck to despatch him in the 19th over on 43. Chennai were 179/3 at the stage.Finally, Dhoni, who scored an unbeaten 41, and Albie Morkel batted on for the remaining overs to help Chennai to an impressive 196/3.
The Indian men’s hockey team is in Australian hands for the next five years with Michael Nobbs appointed coach till the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.Michael Nobbs comes out of the SAI office after his appointment on Wednesday. K. AsifDutchman Roelant Oltmans was considered by many to be the frontrunner for the job, but the authorities chose Nobbs based on the argument that the Australian style of hockey was similar to India’s and hence will not involve much change at this crucial juncture.”It was a unanimous decision from Hockey India, Sports Authority of India ( SAI), government observers and a few eminent former players,” SAI director general Desh Deepak Verma said on Wednesday.The Australian will be paid 10,000 Australian dollars per month. For the first time, there will be a performance-based incentive for the coach. If India qualify for next year’s London Olympics, Nobbs’s salary will be hiked by 10 per cent.”If we do well at the Olympics, the contract will be revised after further discussion and negotiations,” Verma said.Nobbs’s only previous international coaching assignment has been with the Japanese women’s team a few years ago. He has a business back home and is the coaching director for Western Australia, besides being at the helm of Rockingham Redbacks in the national league.”We hired him on the basis of his experience and organisational capabilities. His bio- data and the presentation he made were also impressive,” the SAI director general said.Oltmans, who has guided the Netherlands to World Cup and Olympic glory in both men’s and women’s hockey, is said to have set ideas about structure, set-pieces and efficiency. He may have asked for drastic changes which the authorities were not keen on.advertisement”The most important factor in his appointment was that the Australian style is similar to ours and suits us. If Australia can be on top playing this style, why can’t India,” Verma said.The national camp starts in Bangalore on Friday, and Nobbs will join it on Sunday. After attending it for a week, he will go back home to wind things up and return at month- end, Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra said.”Accommodation will also be provided to the coach and if he wants he can bring his family here also,” he said, adding that money was not a factor at all in the choice of coach.”With the Olympic qualifiers approaching, we did not want to make drastic changes to the style with players having to take up unfamiliar positions. Money was not a consideration.” Verma said Nobbs will stay even if India did not manage to seal an Olympic berth.”Qualifying for London is our goal, but even if we don’t manage that, our past experience has shown that we need to have a long- term engagement with a coach,” he said.Nobbs will bring with him exercise physiologist David John, who will be paid 5,000 Australian dollars per month, with Hockey India contributing towards that amount. “Some others may also join later as per requirement,’ Verma added.In another significant announcement, the new coach will also be part of the selection committee and will have a major say.Nobbs, who was part of the Aussie side that finished fourth at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, admitted that it would be his most high- profile assignment yet but denied there was any pressure on him. “There are no reservations. I have been promised a free hand,” he said.”It is not only about me. The administration, players, system and public support need to pull together to make India successful in both the long and the short term. I would need inputs from everyone.”About his roadmap, Nobbs said: “I first need to know where we are starting from. I have seen India play but need to know the individual personalities.A lot of processes need to be followed and detailed analysis done. “Technique is not a difficult matter as the Indian and Australian styles are similar.”Nobbs added that even if India fails in their short- term goal of Olympic qualification, it will be his endeavour that the team keeps improving.He said he had personal reasons to take up the job as well. “My first hockey coaches were Indians and Australia has been influenced by Indian hockey a lot.”There are a lot of Anglo- Indians in the Australian coaching system and I have many Indian friends. I love Indian culture and this is my way of giving something back,” Nobbs added.advertisementErstwhile coach Harendra Singh may be back as the assistant or may be put in charge of the development, junior or sub-junior squad. Australia and India’s similar styles of play sealed deal.The fine printWas selected over Dutchmen Roelant Oltmans and Jacques BrinkmanWill be in charge till 2016 Rio de Janeiro OlympicsWill take over from the national camp in Bangalore on the weekendTo
The biggest spots extravaganza — Olympic Games — is not just about celebrating what the human body can achieve, but it also provides a big platform for sex, sleaze and boozing. Just days before the London Games begins, an unnamed American athlete has blown the lid off the partying and sex that are usual at the Olympic Games Village. In the lurid revelation, the athlete exposes dark dirty secrets of the grandest and most prestigious sporting event. The athlete reveals that wild parties are held at the high security village with the athletes indulging in sexual relations with each other. The athlete says that with so many young athletes under the same roof it is no surprise that the athletes indulge in sexual relations. For every athlete it is a dream to participate in the Olympics, but it seems that after the competitions there is something else on the minds of the superstars. The female athlete revealed shocking details of the open sexual relations within the Olympic Games Village. It is not just athletes indulging in sex within the village, but the athlete also brings to light the wild drunken parties that happen at the village. These shocking revelations are bound to take some sheen of the oldest games and cast the elite athletes in rather poor light.
Indian walker Irfan Kolothum Thodi put on an impressive performance to finish 10th in the Olympic men’s 20 km race walk with a national record in London at The Mall on Saturday.The 22-year-old army man clocked 1:20.21, finishing one minute 35 seconds behind winner and gold medallist Ding Chen of China. Erick Barrondo clinched silver with 1:18.57 while Chinese Zhen Wang took bronze with a time of 1:19.25.Other Indians who participated in the race were 27-year-old Gurmeet Singh, who finished 33rd in 1:23.34 while Baljinder Singh reached the finishing line in 1:25.39 in 43rd position.Thodi started the race well and was in touching distance of the race leader more than halfway into the race. The 22-year-old was only 17 seconds behind after 16 kms.The leaders increased their speed towards the end which the Indian could not match, but finished in a respectable position.
Bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt had to take time off from his celebrations on Sunday and sit in the stands to cheer Sushil.Had it been any other day, Yogeshwar, a Haryana Police officer who trains at the Chhatrasal Stadium in New Delhi, would have been celebrating.But on Sunday it was time to be a spectator and a supporter to watch the legendary Sushi.In between, Yogeshwar did spare some time for an interview and spoke of having realised his lifetime ambition.His eyes were moist when he was asked about how his father, a guru for him. “Wherever he is above and looking at me, he will feel happy and shower blessings. He has been a huge inspiration for me,” said Yogeshwar, who almost had to quit the sport in 2009 because of injuries.So, did the Beijing loss play on the mind of Yogeshwar?”If I had won a medal in the Beijing Games, I would probably have called it a day, given the career threatening injury to my leg after that,” said Yogeshwar.Explaining the challenge he faced in London, Yogeshwar said it was a do-or-die battle for him as this could be his last Olympics.He had competed in Athens and Beijing as well but the repechage rounds on Saturday brought the best out of him.”I was a little worried because I had to fight with Olympic champions and the world champions. The other group was easier in comparison. And I had a good two rounds against the Russian but lost to him, I was wondering whether I will actually get a chance. But God had other ideas, and here I am with the bronze medal,” said the relaxed Yogeshwar.advertisementSo was Yogeshwar happy or tense after going into the repechage?”I didn’t want to lose on this occasion. I was very down after I lost in the morning, but when I got the chance to compete in the repechage the whole country wanted a medal from me. It is a dream come true to win an Olympic medal. I can’t describe how I am feeling now. It is a very special moment for me,” said the humble cop.Talking about his Olympic dream, Yogeshwar went into deep thought and then answered.”Since my childhood, I always wanted to win an Olympic medal. Now that I have achieved that dream let me tell you no one recognises you if you fail here. The victory is what gives you the recognition after all,” he said.Did the swollen right eye worry him during the three successive bouts in repechage?”I got hurt in the earlier round while playing against the Russian. But in the Olympics we can’t worry about injuries. We have to get out and fight,” he said.The bronze medallist says he dedicates this medal to his country. “I dedicate this medal to my countrymen and my coaches who have worked equally hard with me,” he said.Yogeshwar later said Sushil’s medal was a tribute to the effort he puts daily in training. “Sushil is a role model for us,” he said.