Category Archives: Sports

Giving a new direction to rugby in State

Nasser Hussain, general manager of Rugby India, Gerald Prabhu, president of South India Rugby Football Association, and D. Ramu, general secretary of Telangana Rugby Association, promoting rugby in the city on Thursday.

Sub-junior national championship to be held at Gymkhana Ground today

The sprawling Gymkhana Ground would come alive, thanks to an unfamiliar sporting action – rugby – for two days on January 12 and 13 with the conduct of the sub-junior national championship.

According to D. Ramu, general secretary of Telangana Rugby Association, this is part of the efforts to give a new direction to the sport across the State. “The major initiative is essentially aimed at luring as many youngsters as possible to the Olympic sport, which unfortunately is not too popular owing to certain misconceptions,” Mr. Ramu explained.

“We are determined to popularise the sport in a big way and that is the reason we have ensured that 19 affiliated District Rugby Associations will initially scout for those interested in the sport in schools, and colleges and then plan the events accordingly,” the TRA secretary pointed out.

“It’s not that we are ambitious without any planning. The trial event held in the city a few weeks ago saw more than 200 players of different age groups play the sport. We are encouraged by this, and will chalk out a long-term promotional programme while conduct competitions at the same time,” he said. “We definitely hope the sub-junior nationals in the city should ensure a perfect start to our ultimate goal of making rugby a popular sport in the State,” Mr. Ramu said.

“The best part is that the School Games Federation of India Nationals (under-17 and 19 years) will also be held in the State this year which should also see the nationals and south zone for men and women here,” he said.

For his part, Gerald Prabhu of South India Rugby Football Association felt that Telangana would soon become the hub of rugby for the entire south India given the kind of passion for the sport, if Telangana teams doing well in the trial event is any indication.

The flurry of rugby activity at Gymkhana Ground for the next two days featuring 18 States should give a fair idea where the sport might head in the days to come.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by V.V. Subrahmanyam / Hyderabad – January 11th, 2018

Striking the right balance between academics, sports

Twin sisters Laasya and Sasya to compete in both singles and doubles in the national-level events to be held in January.

Table tennis duo Laasya and Sasya have their Inter exams when they have to compete in three major events in January.

When most of their friends would be in a holiday mood, the twin sisters, Laasya and Sasya, would have an enviable task at hand – to balance their studies and play as they have to write Intermediate exams and also compete in three major national events in January.

The most-familiar table tennis duo from the city, with a twin objective of making it to B.Tech programme and also excel in the sport, are having extended training sessions under the tutelage of coach K. Sreedhar at AWASA Academy in Khairtabad.

These sisters did not have a great year not for want of performance, but because they opted for sciences which meant spending more time studying.

“Thanks to our dad who booked flight tickets so that we will be back in Hyderabad on our exam days and also don’t miss out competing in the three major events – the SGFI Nationals, the Junior Nationals and the Senior Nationals,” says the 16-year-old Laasya.

For the record, Sasya (State no. 2) and Laasya (State no. 3) would be competing in both singles and doubles (partnering with each other). Is it too taxing? “Not really, they enjoy the game so much that they never complain,” insists the coach.

What are the strong points of their game? “Laasya is attacking on both flanks while Sasya is technically more correct. But I must tell you, once they make it to the engineering course, they will be totally different players for they can focus more on their game,” says Sreedhar, who traverses a long distance from ECIL to Khairtabad for extended training sessions to both the sisters every day.

Interestingly, Laasya was a south zone champion in swimming and pursued both swimming and table tennis till class VII when her mother Sathya Lakshmi, herself a table tennis player, felt it would be too much to focus both on academics and the two disciplines and made them stick to only table tennis.

The sister duo has won 18 national-level titles in 2015 and 2016, and look ahead with a lot of hope.

“We know it’s going to be a difficult journey from now onwards. But we are preparing in right earnest to make a mark at the highest level,” sign off the sisters.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by V. V. Subrahmanyam / Hyderabad – December 23rd, 2017

The Hyderabad connection to U.S. water polo team

Naresh C. Rao, U.S.-based sports medicine expert (centre), and his parents with his book Step Up Your Game .V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Naresh is a sports medicine doctor whose clients included Olympic and professional athletes
Not many might be aware of a Hyderabadi connection to the U.S. water polo women’s team winning gold medal at the Olympics. Well, Naresh C. Rao, born to Govind Rao and Jyothi Rao from the city, was the head physician of the U.S. team in the 2016 Rio edition.

For someone based in New York and having been a water polo player, Dr. Naresh qualified for the job by the virtue of being a sports medicine doctor, whose clients included Olympic and professional athletes over the years.

“It was a huge honour. I always longed to be at the Olympics as a player. But I am glad that at least I made it as a support staff member of a gold-medal winning team. It was a complete team effort which I cherish forever,” said Dr. Naresh, whose father was a renowned paediatrician in the city’s Niloufer Hospital and was also involved in many philanthropic activities, especially on the medical front here, before moving to the U.S.

“The U.S. players’ eyes turned red and there were rashes when they were training in the green water in the pool in Rio. I immediately took up the issue with the IOC and the Rio Olympics Organising Committee. And the response was amazing. They drained out the pool completely and ensured fresh and clean water. I made it clear that it was not a case affecting just the U.S. squad, but all those taking part in water polo,” he reminded.

“The biggest challenge for me in Rio was to ensure that the players did not take any medicine, even for normal cough and cold, which would have merited a ban for drug abuse under different guidelines. So my job meant a lot of lecturing and motivational classes too,” said the sports science expert willing to give back to his home State – Telangana.

Dr. Naresh interacted with the students of Telangana State Sports School at Hakimpet on Sunday morning and stressed on how one could be a champion through natural performance-enhancing techniques without resorting to drug abuse.

“My book Step Up Your Game deals with this subject in detail and it has been acknowledged by many for emphasising the ‘entourage’ approach to training. It helps athletes get ready for the starting line,” he said. “The book has all the practical tools for all levels, from a beginner to the Olympian,” he added.

What next? Dr. Naresh has been asked to be with the U.S. teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as well. “I am honoured with the offer, but will take a call soon in this regard,” he signed off.

source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Telangana / by V.V. Subrahmanyam / Hyderabad – December 25th, 2017

Tirelessly tutoring TT talent

Gujarati Seva Mandal coach Maduri Venugopal (centre, background) with his wards (from left to right): Vidhi Jain, Ch. Saitejesh, Dr. Chandrachud, Palak Ghia, Nikhat Banu, Varuni Jaiswal and N. Bhaavitha.

Gujarati Seva Mandal has for years trained champions

Coaching children can be a thankless job, with the kids easily distracted or simply not interested. So just as writing for tiny tots requires special communication skills, teaching them a game can be quite taxing.

Maduri Venugopal at the Gujarati Seva Mandal (GSM) in Secunderabad has been churning out champions for years, if not over a decade. While most ‘academies’ charge hefty fees or poach talented players from others and ‘shine’ in their success, GSM’s president Ghanshyambhai B. Patel and secretary Janakbhai Brahmbhatt have ensured their scheme is affordable and within reach of the common man.

Good show

Almost at every table tennis championship, its players, especially the younger ones excel, if not take the honours. The recent Stag and late Sri Ananta Narayan Reddy and late Smt Rameshwaramma Memorial Telangana State Inter District cum State table tennis championship at the Lal Bahadur Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad was no different.

Four wards of the Gujarati Seva Mandal clinched titles while two finished runners-up. Palak Shah in the cadet girls category has remained unbeaten in five State ranking and the inter district championships. Although Nikhat Banu now represents Reserve Bank of India at State and national tournaments, she’s the first big name to emerge from GSM.

Training ground

While Nikhat won the women’s crown, Chandrachud claimed the men’s section honours. A psychiatrist at a corporate hospital with not much time to spare for the game, Dr. Chandrachud trains regularly at the GSM for about a week before each championship. Varuni Jaiswal was supreme in the junior girls section and completed the winning quartet.

N. Bhaavitha in sub-junior girls and Ch. Saitejesh in the junior boys were the runners-up. Varuni will represent Telangana at the senior National championships in three categories — junior, youth girls and women. Others selected to play for Telangana are Vidhi Jain (sub-junior girls), Monica Manohar (women), Saitejesh (men).

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by A. Joseph Anthony / Hyderabad – December 02nd, 2017

Living life, freestyle

Undeterred by disabilities, Madhavi Latha knows how to fight back. A champion swimmer, she now heads the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India

Polio at the age of seven months paralysed Madhavi Latha from the waist down. It left her with minimal movement in her hands and robbed her of her voice even. But with time and perseverance she managed to regain some control over her hands and her voice. The daughter of a school teacher father and a homemaker mother, Latha, was the youngest of four siblings in a remote village in Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana). The polio attack and her limited motor skills didn’t deter her from completing school and pursuing a college degree privately. After she completed her MSc in Math, she eventually got a job with a bank in Hyderabad, before moving on to Standard Chartered in Chennai.

And life seemed set for her, until 10 years ago when her limited movements led to a compression of her spinal cord and in turn compression of her lungs, leading doctors to give her not more than a year to live. Determined to fight back, as she always has since she was a baby, Latha turned to hydrotherapy to strengthen her muscles and ease the pressure on her spine. And that’s when she discovered her new love — swimming. Through sheer grit and determination, she began to swim competitively and went on to become the National Paralympic swimming champion when she won three gold medals in her category in 2011. No mean feat for someone with a disability as severe as hers and at the age of 40.

Her win, silenced all the nay-sayers. “The first time I wanted to swim competitively at the corporate Olympiad, the organisers were not convinced. So, I had four people swimming around me for my security. In fact, when I first tried my hand at swimming, I didn’t have a coach. I self-learnt freestyle, which then convinced the coach to teach me the remaining styles. I wanted to set an example for other people with disabilities and so pushed myself further,” she says. Her tryst with swimming was a turning point in her life. “Moreover, being in water made my body light and the buoyancy helped me do all the things that I couldn’t outside of it,” she adds.

Swimming, was only the beginning for this determined woman. She is now heading the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India that she set up in conjunction with others in 2014. “This came about when a UK-based NGO introduced me to the sport and encouraged me to promote it. It intrigued me as it is rather energetic and inculcates a great sense of team spirit in those involved in the sport. In the last three years we’ve managed to enrol 600 players from 14 states in the country — from Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari,” she says, adding that this venture is not without its fair share of challenges either. “One of the biggest challenges is convincing people to encourage this sport; often it is concerns over players’ safety that comes to fore, since people aren’t convinced about just how much people with disabilities are capable of. Also, sports wheelchairs are not manufactured in India and are often imported, thereby raising costs. We’re also working towards making sports arenas more accessible for those with disabilities. When tournaments take place there are concerns about accessibility in terms of transport and accommodation. And since we know that a lot of these aren’t inclusive in nature yet, we go prepared, so there are no rude shocks upon our arrival.”

For the Asian Para Games

While the WBFI has received an invitation from the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation — Asia Oceania Zone, Madhavi Latha and the teams are working towards raising support to help them participate in the qualifiers in Thailand.

To arrange a training camp in Chennai for the national team (for men and women) to prepare for the qualifiers and to select 12 players in each team.

A coach from abroad to run this camp.

To send both the men’s and women’s teams to Thailand and pay their registration fees which amounts to ₹ 3.7 lakhs.

Madhavi Latha can be contacted on 9841609601

But this struggle is not new to Latha. “My parents always wanted me to be financially independent. So after completing my MSc in Mathematics, I even trained as a typist so I could get a typing job. That is when a cousin told me about jobs in banks that I could apply for. In 1991 I managed to land my first job with State Bank in Hyderabad; expectedly there was a lot of convincing to do. Having had to move to Hyderabad from my small town, I even learnt how to ride a scooter so I could commute and gradually moved on to driving a car. I eventually got an opportunity to join Standard Chartered and moved to Chennai for the new role in 2006,” she says.

In the meantime, the lack of physical activity began taking a toll on her. “The exercises I’d been asked to do were rather painful and involved callipers being put from shoulder down. It felt like being in a cage and I neglected to follow up on them, not realising the seriousness of the consequences.”

Even while she was pursuing her college degree privately, Latha began giving tuitions at home to students a couple of years younger than her. “I wanted to surround myself with people closer to my age so I didn’t miss college life as much,” she smiles.

Today, she leads a busy life with her hands full with professional responsibilities at Standard Chartered and her role at the WBFI. “I want people to realise that people with disabilities can do a range of things as well. It’s important to sensitise people around them to lend adequate support. Currently our basketball team is gearing up for the qualifiers of the Asian Para Games that will be held in March 2018 in Bangkok. While our players have great potential, there’s a lot more we need in terms of support. And we are working towards ensuring that our teams qualify,” she says.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Society / by Ranjani Rajendra / November 27th, 2017

Triple for Hyderabad

Hyderabad bagged a triple crown, winning the men’s, women’s and the junior boys’ team titles in the fourth Stag-Anant Narayan Reddy and Rameshwaramma memorial Telangana inter-district table tennis championship at Lal Bahadur Stadium here on Friday.

The results:

Inter-district championship finals: Men: Hyderabad bt Ranga Reddy 3-0 (G. Harish bt Deepesh Singh 5-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 12-10; Mohd. Ali bt Shashwat Samath 11-6, 11-4, 6-11, 8-11, 11-5; Amaan bt T. Arundhar 11-5, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6).

Junior boys: Hyderabad bt Ranga Reddy 3-0 (Sai Tejas bt B. Vathin 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 11-9; B. Varun Shanker bt Sai Venkata Dhanush 7-11, 11- 9, 11-4, 11-9; A. Advait bt S.S.K. Karthik 11-3, 11-4, 11-9).

Women: Hyderabad bt Ranga Reddy 3-2 (Vinichitra bt Anjali 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9; Palak Shah lost to Ragha Nivedita 5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9,4-11; Hanifa Khatoon lost to Bhaavitha 11-13, 5-11, 7-11; Vinichitra bt Ragha Nivedita 11-6, 11-9, 11-8; Palak Shah bt Anjali 11-4, 11-9, 19-17) .

SCR struggles

South Central Railway warded off a spirited challenge from Victory Playground to score a 66-61 win after leading 33-31 at the break in the super league of the Hyderabad District Basketball Association A division league championship here.

The scores:

SCR 66 (David Boon 17, Mallaiah 25, Vicky 10) bt VPG 61 (Naveen Yadav 27, Jaswanth 21).

All-star basketball meet

All-Star Basketball championship will be organised by Amazing Telangana Sports Development Club and the Hyderabad District Basketball Association from December 12 to 14.

Players from all schools, clubs and departmental teams are to attend selection trials on November 29 and 30 at the YMCA of Greater Hyderabad, Narayanguda Branch, here to be eligible for selections for the above championship.

For details, call R. Sridhar Reddy on 99855 75757 or Prem Kumar Solomon on 77025 87717 or Anthony Issac on 94900 53290.

Karteek, Rishab win

G. Sai Karteek Reddy and Rishab Sharda won the boys’ doubles title in the Junior ITF tennis championship in Rajshahi (Bangladesh) defeating Kevin Patel and Aryan Zaveri 6-3, 6-4 in the final.

Secunderabad Blues post win

Secunderabad Blues Seniors scored a 2-0 win over Golden Soccer in the B-division Shivkumar Lal memorial football league championship at the Gymkhana Ground here.

The result:

Sec’bad Blues 2 (Aditya Teja, Saad) bt Golden Soccer 0.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Sport / Hyderabad – November 25th, 2017

A memorable Sunday for two Hyderabadis

Paddler Fidel R. Snehit and shuttler Pullela Gayathri win nationals

Paddler Fidel R. Snehit and shuttler Pullela Gayathri, both Hyderabadis, had a memorable Sunday setting a record of sorts—the former by winning the national ranking junior boys title (the first from Telangana) and the latter winning her maiden under-19 title in her very first appearance in Chandigarh.

Fourteen-year-old Gayathri, daughter of Gopi Chand and two-time national champion P. Lakshmi, seems to have stepped into a different league.

Fresh from her recent pre-quarterfinal appearance in the Junior World Championship (under-19), unseeded Gayathri, playing her maiden under-19 domestic event, clinched it in style defeating top-seed Poorav Barve of Maharashtra in the final on Sunday.

“Clearly, her range of strokes packed with a lot of deception, and her ability to stay cool under pressure will take her a long way,” feels coach N. Anil Kumar, who has been travelling with the young champion who has already won three national-ranking under-17 titles, besides many titles in the under-13 category.

“We have been preparing really well for the under-19 group though we don’t want to push things too far. Fortunately, she is blessed with natural talent and her next big target is the junior national in Guwahati next month,” says the proud coach.

On the other hand, 17-year-old Snehit is no stranger when it comes to scripting some of the most impressive wins. Coming from a two-table Global Table Tennis Academy at Anandnagar Colony, he is one young talent clearly making waves in the table tennis circuit.

Snehit, representing Airports Authority of India, was, in a way, third time lucky when he got the better of his nemesis Manav Thakkar in the National Ranking Championship (West) in Thane on Sunday.

“Snehit did extremely well. Full marks to him for implementing the game plan with precision. It was Snehit’s day,” said former national champion S. Raman, who is training the young Hyderabadi at his High Performance Table Tennis Academy in Chennai now.

For his part, Snehit was elated and said beating Manav was special. Some of Snehit’s big feats include a gold and two silver in Jordan Open, a gold and silver in Slovenia Open and a silver in the Indian Open. Telangana State Table Tennis Association President Narasimha Reddy and Secretary Prakash Raju hailed Snehit for scripting a success story.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderababd / by V.V.Subrahmanyam / Hyderabad – November 19th, 2017

City boxer ready to pack a punch

Niharika Gonella says she is determined to translate her immense potential into a career-defining performance.

The only girl from Telangana to represent India in the World Youth Women’s Boxing Championship

She believes that her long-range punches will help her achieve big in the world of boxing. The 17-year-old Niharika Gonella, who will be the lone entry in the World Youth Women’s Boxing Championship starting this Sunday in Guwahati, will be gunning for glory in the 69-kg category.

Fresh from her silver medal in the recent International Ahmet Cormet Championship in Istanbul, Niharika happens to be the only girl from Telangana to represent India in the world championship.

In a chat with The Hindu after a long-grinding training schedule in Guwahati, Niharika says she is fully prepared for the biggest challenge of her life though gently reminding that she won a silver in the Junior World Championship last year. “Yes, Anastasia Shamonava will be a major threat for me again to whom I lost in the Istanbul meet,” she says. With Jindal sponsoring her pursuit having joined the Jindal Inspire Institute of Sports in Ballari as part of their programme Target-2020 Olympics Gold, Niharika is confidence personified. “Yes, the very fact that I have been sparring with many foreign boxers has given me a lot of confidence to be a much better boxer, improving on my defence. I hope to deliver the knock-out punches too,” says the gifted boxer.

The 2017 youth national bronze medallist, who is a big fan of Olympics champion Claressa Maria Shields of the U.S., says the atmosphere is really electric in Guwahati. On her chances in the world youth meet, Niharika says they are pretty good and is clearly determined to translate her immense potential into a career-defining performance.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by V.V.Subrahmanyam / Hyderabad – November 18th, 2017

Telangana cyclists bag 3 medals in Natls


Telangana State bagged three medals, including two silver medals, in the recently concluded 22nd National Road Cycling Championship held at Jamakandi in Karnataka recently.

B Mugesh clinched a silver medal in the 120km men’s road mass start event while Aman Punjari cycled away to glory in the 40km individual time trial (under-23 event). Parshuram Chenji bagged bronze in the 50km criterium event.

The cyclists were honoured by Sports Authority of Telangana State.

source: / Telangana Today / Home> Sports> Other Sports / by Telangana Today – Sports Bureau / November 08th, 2017

A prolific batsman’s innings cut short

Former India cricketer V.V.S. Laxman with M.V. Sridhar. | Photo Credit: V_V_SUBRAHMANYAM

Contemporaries remember Sridhar’s 366-run Ranji innings

The cricketing fraternity was in for a shock on Monday with the demise of former Hyderabad Ranji captain M.V. Sridhar. He was a role model for any budding cricketer playing in the HCA leagues as he evolved into one of the best batsmen in Ranji Trophy having started playing in the B-Division League.

A prolific run-getter in his playing days and a wonderful communicator because of his fluency in English and Hindi.

One of the high-points of Sridhar’s illustrious Ranji career was his 366 against Andhra when Hyderabad scored then record-breaking score of 944 for six declared at Gymkhana in January, 1994. The same innings also saw Vivek Jaisimha and Noel David score double centuries!.

And, one of the most visibly shaken cricketers was Noel David, who was Sridhar’s partner when history was scripted at Gymkhana.

“I can never forget that match and I am eternally grateful to Doc (as Sridhar is affectionately called in the cricketing circles). The few times I went for the strokes, he shouted at me – teherke khelna, lamba bari khelna (stay there and play a long innings). It was just because of him I could score a double century,” said Noel struggling to control his emotions in a chat with The Hindu. “I miss him more than anyone else,” he said.

Interestingly, former HCA Secretary D.S. Chalapathi, who was a witness to that historic batting display, recalls that Sridhar was actually a selfless cricketer who never cared for records. “If he wanted to bat on, he could have easily been cautious and scored 400 and more on that day. But, he decided to score quick runs and declared the innings to try for an improbable win,” he said.

Ironically, for someone who always believed in playing a long innings out there in the middle, destiny deemed otherwise and cut short what has been a truly brilliant cricketing career – as a first-class player and also dotted with his impeccable behaviour in handling some of the most demanding jobs at the highest level in the BCCI as General Manager (Operations) and with the Indian team too as manager.

By all means, HCA will miss a gentleman cricketer, a sober voice for sure.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by V.V.Subrahmanyam / Hyderabad – October 31st, 2017