Badminton

Asian Games medal-winner Sukant Kadam playing without 9 months salary

Posted on 31 Jul 2020 01:55:10 GMT - badminton

INDIA'S World No. 5 para badminton champion Sukant Kadam is a Sports Authority of India Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) athlete. However, Kadam, 27, a Taluka Sports Officer (TSO) for the last two years in Maharashtra's Sangli district, has been struggling financially. He is awaiting his salary for a period of nine months during which he attended National camps and was playing international tournaments (between April and December last year).

Knee problem Kadam, who suffered a serious left knee injury, restricting his movement while playing tennis-ball cricket at the age of 10, studied to become a Mechanical Engineer. He developed an interest in badminton under the guidance of Pune-based coach and Olympian Nikhil Kanetkar.

Also Read: Ace para-badminton Ramesh Tikaram player dies of COVID-19

Kadam is classified in the SL4 injury category of para badminton, began last year winning gold at IWAS (International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports) World Games in Sharjah in February. He then won bronze at the Turkish Para-Badminton International in Antalya in March. In April, he won a bronze at the Dubai International followed by a silver in Uganda. The following month he clinched a bronze at the Canada International and then another third place medal in June at the Irish International. However, while he was winning medals abroad, back home he was not receiving his salary. "In 2019, I got my salary for the first three months till March but thereafter, while I was away, I was not paid from April to December. During that period, I was also at the National camp preparing for my Tokyo Paralympics qualification. I met then state Sports Minister Vinod Tawde to help get my dues," Kadam told mid-day from Sangli.

Sukant Kadam (left) with state sports minister Sunil Kedar at his Mantralaya office in January
Sukant Kadam (left) with state sports minister Sunil Kedar at his Mantralaya office in January 

Interestingly, being a bronze medalist at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Indonesia, Kadam is eligible for a Class One officer [in the rank of Deputy Collector] post, but despite approaching the state authorities, he continues to hold a Class Two TSO position which was given to him after his bronze medal win at the 2016 Asian Para Badminton Championship in China.

"As per the state government's regulations, a bronze medalist in the Asian Para Games or Paralympics is eligible for a Class One job. So, when I won the bronze in Indonesia in 2018, I applied for the Class One post of Deputy Collector. However, for the last two years, I've been following up with the authorities, but without success. A few months ago, I met Maharashtra's Sports Minister Sunil Kedar and his deputy, Aditi Tatkare and told them my problems," explained Kadam, who is currently practising with former National player Dhiraj Kumar in Sangli.

Minister clueless

Sports minister Kedar however, feigned ignorance when asked about Kadam's case. "He has not written anything to me… nothing at all. He has not even met me. I always prefer to sort out such problems immediately and never keep any issues pending. If he is a Taluka Sports Officer, his issue of [pending] salary should be solved at the District Sports Officer or Deputy Director of Sports level," Kedar said.

Kadam, though, showed us photographs with Kedar and also a signed letter by the minister.

Sukant can win an Olympic medal, says coach Nikhil Kanetkar

Sukant Kadam's coach Nikhil Kanetkar believes his ward is good enough to win an Olympic medal at the Tokyo Paralympics next year. Kadam was training hard earlier this year, preparing for the 2020 Games's qualification tournament that was to be held in Spain from March 9, before the Coronavirus-caused lockdown halted sports worldwide. "Sukant is World No. 5 and must enter the Olympic qualifying tournaments with the mindset of winning it. He definitely stands a good chance of winning a medal in Tokyo because he has achieved so much international success," said Kanetkar, who represented the country at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

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Rio Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin's father Gonzalo passes away

Posted on 28 Jul 2020 05:56:26 GMT - badminton

Rio Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin has lost her father Gonzalo Marin Perez, who had met with an accident in February. According to the Spanish Badminton Federation (FESBA), Marin's father passed away in the early hours of Sunday.

"The Spanish Badminton Federation wishes to express its regret at the death of Gonzalo Marin Perez, father of Carolina Marin. After a long period of struggle since he suffered an accident in February, Gonzalo has not been able to overcome the consequences of it, dying at dawn on Sunday, July 26," FESBA wrote on its website in Spanish.

"The Spanish badminton extends its support to Carolina Marin and all her family in these difficult moments," it added.

Last month, the 27-year-old Olympic gold medallist had resumed training and her eyes are set on defending her gold medal at the Tokyo Games which have been postponed by an year due to COVID-19 pandemic.

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Turning point for me was when I beat Li Xuerui in 2012: PV Sindhu

Posted on 27 Jul 2020 07:53:07 GMT - badminton

World champion shuttler PV Sindhu has been making most of the time away from the game by developing new skills at home.

During a freewheeling chat with paddler Mudit Dani on his live online chat show 'In the Sportlight', the Olympic silver medallist said she has been picking up new skills as she continues to train at home and is having a relaxed time with her family amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I have been learning a few things, like I paint nowadays. I am also cooking and baking. It's really interesting because earlier it was always badminton, but now you are learning different stuff which are creative," said Sindhu.

This was the 16th episode of the Instagram chat series 'In The Sportlight' started by 21-year-old fast-rising Indian paddler Dani, who has already hosted Abhinav Bindra, Leander Paes, Vijender Singh, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, among others. The next guest would be champion wrestler Bajrang Punia.

Persistence is the second name for Sindhu, which is perhaps most evident in the way she never gave up her dream of becoming a world champion since winning her first bronze medal at the prestigious event in 2013. However, Sindhu feels her win against 2012 Olympic champion Li Xuerui was a turning point in her career.

"The turning point for me was when I beat Li Xuerui in 2012. She was the Olympic champion at that point of time and I beat her at the quarterfinals (of China Masters)," reminisced the star shuttler, adding that it boosted her confidence by miles and made her work harder than ever.

A big fan of 2004 Olympic gold medallist Taufik Hidayat's backhand and two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan's style of play, Sindhu still fondly remembers a surprise gift she received from one of her devoted fans upon her arrival from the Rio Olympics, which was his one-month salary.

"It was so touching that I remember it even today. I wrote him a letter and sent him some money," said the World No. 7.

The 25-year-old also spoke of the importance of support for rising stars to excel. Support from the ecosystem like Khelo India is as much essential as support from the parents was her parting message in the show.

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Shuttler PV Sindhu finds painting 'interesting' amid lockdown

Posted on 27 Jul 2020 01:51:46 GMT - badminton

India badminton star PV Sindhu is making the most of the forced break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by learning new skills like painting, cooking and baking.

Speaking to table tennis player Mudit Dani on his chat show, In The SportLight, Sindhu said she finds it interesting to learn creative things which have kept her busy amid the lockdown.

Watch the video below.

"I have been learning a few things; like I paint nowadays. I am also cooking and baking. It's really interesting because earlier, it was always badminton, but now you are learning different stuff which, is creative," said the World No. 7, who is a big fan of 2004 Olympic gold medallist Taufik Hidayat's backhand and two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan's style of play.

Sindhu recalled how a fan on her arrival in Hyderabad from Rio Olympics presented her with a month's salary for her exploits at the mega event. "It was so touching that I remember it even today. I wrote him a letter and sent him some money," added Sindhu.

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Saina Nehwal serves 'perfect' love mantra with hubby Parupalli Kashyap

Posted on 23 Jul 2020 01:49:53 GMT - badminton

India badminton star Saina Nehwal dished out the perfect love advice for her 1.4 million Instagram followers. She recently posted this picture (right) with hubby Parupalli Kashyap and wrote: "You don't love someone because they're perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not." The post received 45,811 'likes'.

Saina got married to fellow shuttler Kashyap at Hyderabad in December 2018.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by NEHWAL SAINA (@nehwalsaina) onJul 20, 2020 at 6:12am PDT

In an Instagram post last year, Saina had said why she kept her relationship with Kashyap under wraps for long. "I'm from Haryana and he is from Hyderabad, and inter-community marriages are still quite rare in our country, which is why we had to hide our relationship for the longest time. It's sad that societal barriers like community, religion, gender and age still become a reason for people to give up on their relationships," said Saina.

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Jwala Gutta surprises boyfriend Vishnu Vishal on his birthday

Posted on 18 Jul 2020 06:16:14 GMT - badminton

India badminton star Jwala Gutta travelled from Hyderabad to Chennai to be with actor boyfriend Vishnu Vishal on his 36th birthday. The shuttler reportedly followed all safety procedures in the midst of COVID-19-caused lockdown.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

Happiest birthday baby ❤ï¸Â Keep shining ☀ï¸Â

A post shared by Jwala Gutta (@jwalagutta1) onJul 17, 2020 at 12:09am PDT

On Friday, she Instagrammed the picture for her 361,000 followers and captioned it: "Happiest birthday baby. Keep shining." Meanwhile, Vishnu shared a candid picture for his 657,000 Instagram followers and wrote: "My bday surprise...@gutta_jwala." The couple have been dating since last year.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

My bday suprise...😁 @gutta_jwala

A post shared by vishnu vishal (@iamvishnuuvishal) onJul 16, 2020 at 12:59pm PDT

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Ace para-badminton Ramesh Tikaram player dies of COVID-19

Posted on 17 Jul 2020 07:35:52 GMT - badminton

Arjuna awardee and ace para-badminton player Ramesh Tikaram died of coronavirus in a hospital here on Thursday, Para-Badminton India president N C Sudhir said. "We are sorry to inform you that Ramesh Tikaram passed away this afternoon..." Sudhir said in a statement. 

Talking to PTI, he said the 51-year-old player, who had fever and cough, was admitted to a private hospital on June 29. The player is survived by wife and two children, said Sudhir.

One of the sportsman's friend K Y Venkatesh said Tikaram was instrumental in bringing the international para- badminton tournament to the country in 2001. 

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See Photo: Here's what Jwala Gutta loves to do when she's dressed up during lockdown!

Posted on 8 Jul 2020 07:10:04 GMT - badminton

India badminton star Jwala Gutta is one of the most active sports stars on social media sites, mainly Instagram. During the nationwide lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, 

The 36-year-old Indian badminton player recently took to photo sharing website Instagram to post this picture and she caption it: "When dressed...take a selfie #lockdownlife."

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

When dressed...take a selfie 🤳🏼😛 #lockdown #lockdownlife

A post shared by Jwala Gutta (@jwalagutta1) onJul 6, 2020 at 6:12am PDT

Last month, Jwala Gutta's mother celebrated her birthday on June 4, and Jwala took to Instagram to share a photo of her family - mother, father and sister - also wishing her mom on her bid day. She lovingly captioned it, "Happy birthdayyyyy to the head of our family...my mom...the strongest woman I know!! We love you!!"

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

Happy birthdayyyyy to the head of our family...my mom...the strongest woman I know!! 🥳 We love you!! ❤ï¸ÂðŸ˜˜

A post shared by Jwala Gutta (@jwalagutta1) onJun 3, 2020 at 9:05pm PDT

Jwala Gutta is a bronze medallist at the world championships. She has also won a gold, 2 silver and a bronze at the Commonwealth Games, 5 gold medals at the South Asian Games and 1 bronze medal at the Asian championships. Jwala is famously known for her doubles tournament career and mainly for her partnership with Ashwini Ponnappa.

Two-time Oly badminton champ Lin Dan retires

Posted on 5 Jul 2020 03:10:53 GMT - badminton

Legendary Chinese shuttler Lin Dan, the first men's singles player to retain the Olympic title, on Saturday announced his retirement, bringing down curtains on a two-decade long illustrious career. Considered as one of the greatest players in history, the two-time Olympic champion, popularly known as 'Super Dan', announced his retirement on China's twitter-like social media Weibo. "From 2000 to 2020, after 20 years, I have to say goodbye to the national team. It is very difficult to say it out loud," the 36-year-old, who had claimed gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, wrote.

"Being 37 years old, my physical condition and injuries no longer allow me to fight alongside my teammates. There is gratitude, reluctance and frustration. In the days to come, I hope to spend more time with my family, and I will also look for a new 'competition'," he said, according to Xinhua. He said he dedicated everything to the sport he loved.

"After going through four Olympic cycles, I have never thought about leaving, nor would I want to think about it. 'Persistence' is the word I told myself in every suffering moment in order to keep my career longer. "Rather than simply pursuing rankings as a young shuttler, I'm challenging my physical limits as an 'old' athlete under the sports spirit of never giving up." During his glorious career, Lin Dan has also won five World Championship title and six All England champion crowns. He ended with 666 singles titles, besides numerous medals for his country.

"My thanks also go to my excellent 'opponents' who inspired me," he said. Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei, who had retired just over a year ago, paid glowing tribute to Lin Dan, against whom he had raged many epic battles with the two dominating the international stage for more than a decade. "We knew this day would arrive, Heavy moment of our lives; You pulled down the curtain gracefully, You were king where we fought so proudly; Your final wave all four disappear, Within the hush of silent tear. #lindan," Chong Wei wrote on his twitter handle.

Lin Dan had struggled in the last phase of his career, with his world ranking plummeting to 19 and it would have been difficult for him to qualify for Tokyo Olympics ahead of compatriots Shi Yuqi and Chen Long.

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PV Sindhu salutes teachers for their hard work amid lockdown

Posted on 26 Jun 2020 01:45:36 GMT - badminton

Badminton world champion PV Sindhu has thanked school and college teachers for their untiring work in providing education to students through online mediums during these tough COVID-19 times to ensure that the children of India do not lag behind.

Online classes are part of the new normal amid the pandemic which has claimed close to 15,000 lives in the country so far.

Sindhu said she salutes their work and stressed that their efforts should be appreciated by all. "My teachers also inspired me. I am thankful to school and college teachers. We all should salute all the teachers who have been working really hard and tirelessly to make sure children's learning should go on. The teachers of India have been working really hard. We all should be very thankful," Sindhu said in a video message on Twitter.

"Today, I was talking to my cousin and asked him how he is studying during this lockdown. He told me that they were doing these online classes and were also up to date with their syllabus, which is a very good thing," she added.

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HS Prannoy apologises for outburst against BAI

Posted on 24 Jun 2020 01:30:24 GMT - badminton

Indian Badminton player HS Prannoy has submitted an "unconditional apology" to the Badminton Association of India (BAI) after he lashed out at the national federation for not recommending his name for Arjuna Award. "In response to the show cause letter, the Indian elite shuttler apologised for the remarks he made about the country, the federation and any other person he may have hurt with his statement in the media and on social media platforms. BAI President Himanta Biswa Sarma has accepted the letter of apology," BAI said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Prannoy had hit out at the BAI and had questioned the selection criteria for the Arjuna Award. The shuttler had said that the players who have won nothing have been recommended, while the players who have medals to their credit have been snubbed. His remarks came after BAI recommended the doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and men's singles player Sameer Verma for the Arjuna Award.

"Same old story. Guy who has Medals in CWG and Asian Championships not even recommended by Association. And guy who was not there on any of these major events recommended #waah #thiscountryisajoke," Prannoy had tweeted. With BAI implementing strict policies of disciplinary actions going forward, Pronnoy, on June 19, was asked to respond in 15 days' time on his misconduct.

BAI General Secretary Ajay Singhania said that BAI is in receipt of the letter from the shuttler.

"It was unfortunate to witness something like this but Prannoy had reached out to us and based on his submission, we hope going forward players will reach out to the federation if they have any concern," Singhania said in a statement.

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Physical activity important to beat COVID-19, says shuttler PV Sindhu

Posted on 23 Jun 2020 01:41:34 GMT - badminton

Asserting that sports can help win the battle against coronavirus pandemic in the absence of a vaccine, Olympic and World Championships silver medallist shuttler PV Sindhu on Monday urged everyone to make physical activity an integral part of their lives. The virus has infected over 8.5 million people globally with more than 450,000 people losing their lives.

"Sports and other physical activities are very important to maintain a strong immune system and since there are yet no vaccine or treatment, sports can help win this battle," Sindhu said during the inauguration of 'Virtual Healthcare and Hygiene Expo 2020', a virtual exhibition and conference organised by FICCI from June 22-26. In India, the count of infected has crossed 4.25 lakh and nearly 13,700 people have died. Sindhu, a front-runner to qualify for the now-postponed Tokyo Olympics, said it is important to follow the recommendations of the World health Organisation (WHO) and spend some time for physical activity.

"The WHO recommends adult should do at least 300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week to combat threat of heart disease, diabetics, high blood pressure, cancer and depression and it is more relevant during this pandemic," she said. "It is the ideal time to try a new activity. I would recommend everybody to do some sort of exercise. Being a sports person, I can say just 45 mins of exercise is important for everyone." Top Indian shuttlers, including Sindhu, have been confined to their homes for more than three months due to the lockdown, enforced to contain the spread of the disease. While a few sports persons have resumed training in some parts of the country, Hyderabad-based shuttlers are waiting for the Talengana government to lift the lockdown in the state.

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