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Target is to go to Tokyo 2020 Olympics with biggest team: Gopichand

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Kolkata: Buoyed by PV Sindhu’s recent triumph, Indian chief national coach Pullela Gopichand said the world number two Olympic silver medallist is primed to win the prestigious All England Open.

Gopichand was the last Indian to win the All England Championship, in 2001, achieving the coveted feat after 21 years of Prakash Padukone’s 1980 title.

Sindhu ended 2018 on a high winning the BWF World Tour Finals in Guangzhou, after losing seven straight summit clashes.

 

“I think this year Sindhu has done well in all big tournaments. The World Tour Finals win has been even better. It’s a great start to come in to this year,” Gopichand told reporters here, citing the upcoming All England Open in March.

With this being the penultimate year before the Olympics, Gopichand’s main aim is to keep the Indian shuttlers’ ranking high to ensure a bigger contingent for Tokyo 2020.

“We have two major tournaments this year, the All England Open Championship and World Championships, also we have the Olympics qualifiers.

“The main target will be to ensure that we have high ranking and go to the Olympics with the biggest team.”

“Other sports are doing well and badminton is among them. This year, CWG and Asian Games we have done well. We hope to do well in future.”

The men’s team have not done well in 2018 but Gopichand pointed out that three of their players — Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy and B Sai Praneeth — are among the top 20.

“At the end of the year, we have three athletes in top 20. I am happy with the men’s singles performance.

“Of course 2017 has been phenomenal. This was much tougher than 2017. We had the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games that also took away two months of preparation time.

“And also the new BWF calendar asked top players to play lot more so players became prone to injuries.”


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Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup

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Mumbai: Father of recently retired former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, Yograj has struck again, and all the signs point toward former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

While the cricketer is busy preparing for India’s next clash against Pakistan on Sunday after rain played spoilsport on the much-hyped India-New Zealand clash, a recent video of Yograj has surfaced where he speaks about an ‘un-named’ player who is responsible for the ‘dirty politics’ in the Indian cricket team.

Yograj further goes on to state that this player is the reason that many players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and his own son Yuvraj Singh were not included in the Indian team at crucial points in time.

 

While Yograj didn’t reveal much about the player he talks about, he did mention that he’d make the complete revelations after the currently ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Based on earlier allegations by Yograj, who was also a former pace bowler, towards then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, It seems pretty evident that he is speaking of ‘Captain Cool’.

“I don’t want to take his name but he has been playing these dirty politics from the last 15 years. He has made lives difficult for Indian cricketers. I will make this revelation after the World Cup gets over. He will remember this for life that someone said something about him,” said Yograj.

“I don’t want to speak about him at this point in time because I don’t want the team to get affected during the World Cup,” he added.

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FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101

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London: The Indian national team remain unmoved in the June 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings released.

Following India’s exit from the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, India have had a change in coach with Igor Stimac replacing Stephen Constantine.

Under Stimac, India recently participated in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand where a 3-1 defeat against Curacao (79) was backed by a 1-0 win over hosts Thailand (116) in the third-place play-off.

 

GFX India FIFA Rankings June 2019

The Blue Tigers are set to face Tajikistan (120), DPR Korea (122) and Syria (85) in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2019 next. India enter the tournament as defending champions.

Meanwhile, in the global standings, Belgium continue to lead at the top having bettered their advantage over second-placed France who also stay put in their position, the same as Brazil and England at third and fourth spots respectively.

2019 UEFA Nations League champions Portugal have displaced Croatia to stand fifth while Spain (7) has gained two places. Germany (11 – tied with Argentina), Italy and Netherlands (both at 14) have also moved two places up.

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Coutinho brace helps Brazil forget Neymar in winning Copa start

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Sao Paulo: A brace from Philippe Coutinho handed hosts Brazil a winning start to the Copa America in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia as the absence of superstar Neymar was quickly forgotten.

Barcelona’s Coutinho scored from the penalty spot early in the second half and added a close-range header three minutes later.

Substitute Everton netted a sensational third five minutes from time to clinch a Group A victory for coach Tite’s tournament favorites in Sao Paul.

 

The build-up to the competition had been dominated by Neymar’s woes, firstly when he was accused of rape by a Brazilian model, and then when he damaged ankle ligaments in a friendly last week, forcing him out of the Copa.

If Brazil’s first-half performance was anything to go by, the Paris Saint-Germain star was sorely missed, but Coutinho’s brace at least silenced the jeers that met the team at half-time.

“Whistles are part of the game, the fans want us to win and play well, so that’s why they jeer,” said the match-winner, whose goals papered over the cracks of an at times disjointed performance.

“We always want their support but we’re focused on the objective, which is the match,” Coutinho told Brazil’s SportTV.

“Whistles or cheers, the important thing is to stay focused and get the win.” Brazil made a bright start and predictably dominated the early possession and chances
But surprisingly their greatest threat came from set-pieces with Coutinho’s corner delivery causing panic in the Bolivian backline.

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