Covid formally enters Tokyo Olympic Village

News Network
July 17, 2021

A person has tested positive for Covid-19 at the Tokyo Olympics athletes' village, organisers said on Saturday, in the first such case that adds to concerns about infections at the Games which begin next week.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto confirmed that a visitor from abroad who is involved in organising the Games had tested positive. He would not reveal the person's nationality, citing privacy concerns.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, postponed for a year due to the global pandemic, is being held mostly without spectators and under tight quarantine rules.

Athletes are just starting to arrive for the Games which run July 23 through Aug. 8.

Japan's public has been lukewarm about the Games amid a resurgence in new coronavirus infections and worries that an influx of foreign visitors may help turn the Tokyo Olympics into a super-spreader event, which in turn could put further strain on Japan's already stretched medical system.

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News Network
August 1,2021

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Tokyo, Aug 1: A determined Indian men's hockey team advanced to the Olympic semifinals for the first time in 49 years, beating Great Britain 3-1 in the quarterfinals on Sunday, a triumph which leaves the side within touching distance of a medal that has proved elusive for over four decades.

The eight-time former Olympic champions scored three field goals through Dilpreet Singh (7th minute), Gurjant Singh (16th) and Hardik Singh (57th) to seal the win.

Great Britain's lone goal was scored by Sam Ward from a penalty corner in the 45th minute.

India will take on world champions Belgium in the semifinal on Tuesday.

India's last of the eight Olympic gold medals came way back in the 1980 Moscow Games but there were no semifinals in that edition as only six teams participated in the event.

For a country that gave the world stalwarts like Major Dhyan Chand and Balbir Singh Senior among others, it has been especially painful to watch the hockey teams' Olympic debacles before this edition.

The last time India featured in the semifinals of the Olympics was in 1972 Munich Games where they lost 0-2 to arch-rivals Pakistan.

It was the edition in which American swimming legend Mark Spitz won seven gold medals, a feat which was overshadowed by the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by Palestinian terrorists at the Olympic Village.

Belgium defeated Spain 3-1 in another quarterfinal to seal their place in the last four round.

The other semifinal of the men's hockey competition will be played between Australia and Germany.

By virtue of this win, India now have a 5-4 win-loss record over Great Britain in the Olympic Games.

In Sunday's tie, Great Britain enjoyed the early share of exchanges, earning their first penalty corner as early as in the third minute but India defended well to keep the danger away.

The Indians got their footing into the match as time went by and took the lead in the seventh minute through Dilpreet, who pushed the ball past Great Britain goalkeeper after being fed by Simranjeet Singh.

It was Simranjeet who created the chance after he stole the ball from a Great Britain defender just outside the latter's circle.

Two minutes from the first quarter, India custodian PR Sreejesh made fine reflex saves to deny Great Britain.

The Indians didn't let their rivals settle down and doubled their lead seconds into the second quarter through Gurjant.

It was Hardik who created the opportunity by intercepting a pass just outside the Great Britain 'D' and then sent the ball to an unmarked Gurjant, who kept a calm head to put the ball into the net through the legs of opposition goalkeeper Oliver Payne.

In the 35th minute, Gurjant had another chance to extend the lead but his reverse hit from a tight angle was easily saved by Payne.

Thereafter, it was all Great Britain as they pressed numbers in front in search of goals.

Leading by two goals, the Indians dropped back and tried to defend the lead but the move proved costly as minutes from the end of the third quarter Great Britain secured four back-to-back penalty corners the last of which was put into the back of the net by Ward.

With 15 more minutes remaining and just a goal behind, Great Britain went on the offensive in the final quarter, throwing numbers into their attacks as the Indians struggled to control the onslaught.

Great Britain succeeded in their efforts as they earned three more penalty corners in the match but their doubtable Sreejesh rose to the occasion and pulled off saves after saves to keep his side ahead.

India extended their lead against the run of play in the 57th minute when Hardik scored with a rebound from a counter-attack after his initial shot was saved by Great Britain goalkeeper Payne.

That goal sealed the tie in India's favour as down by two goals and with just three minutes remaining, Great Britain players' shoulders dropped down.

Once the hooter went off to declare the match's end, Indian players had tears of joy as they hugged and congratulated each other.

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News Network
July 30,2021

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Tokyo, July 30: Debutant Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) assured India of their first boxing medal at the ongoing Olympic Games when she upstaged former world champion Nien-Chin Chen of Chinese Taipei to enter the semifinals here on Friday.

The 23-year-old Assam boxer prevailed 4-1 to make the last-four where she will square off against reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey, who hammered Ukraine's Anna Lysenko in her quarterfinal bout.

Borgohain, a two-time world championship bronze-medallist, displayed tremendous calm in the face of a plucky opponent, who had beaten her in the past.

She was aggressive to start with, followed it up with a tremendous counter-attacking game and kept her defence tight in the final three minutes to emerge triumphant.

The youngster, who was laid low by Covid-19 last year and missed a training trip to Europe because of it, let out a huge scream after the referee raised her hand, pent up emotions finally getting the better of her.

Borgohain started out as a kickboxer before Sports Authority of India's Padum Boro, while scouting for talent in Assam's Golaghat district, noticed her.

He introduced her to boxing and she took to it like fish to water, winning a bronze medal in her debut world championship in 2018, following it up with another bronze the next year.

She is also a two-time Asian Championships bronze-winner.

India's previous boxing medals have come through Vijender Singh (2008) and M C Mary Kom (2012). Both of them had won bronze medals and Borgohain would look to better that.

Earlier, Simranjit Kaur (60kg) lost to Thailand's Sudaporn Seesondee in the pre-quarterfinals to make an early exit from the Games here.

The 26-year-old Indian, seeded fourth, went down 0-5 despite a gritty performance.

She was impressive in the opening round and seemed to have caught Seesondee on the back-foot with her measured approach, sticking to a counter-attacking strategy.

However, the judges ruled unanimously in favour of the Thai, causing Simranjit to be a tad reckless in the second round.

The Indian paid for the hyper-aggressive approach in the first few seconds itself when Seesondee managed to connect some eye-catching left hooks.

The defensive errors in the second put paid to Simranjit's chances and even though she gave it her all in the third round, it needed nothing short of a demolition job to get over the line.

However, that was not to be as she bowed out following a unanimous verdict.

The 29-year-old Thai is a two-time world championships medallist and also won a silver in the 2018 Asian Games.

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News Network
July 25,2021

New Delhi, July 25: The remaining matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was suspended in May due to Covid-19, will resume from September 19 in the UAE, the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) said on Sunday.

Qualifier 1 will be played on October 10 while the Eliminator will be played on October 11 and Qualifier 2 on October 13. The final is set to be played on October 15.

Speaking to ANI, sources in the know of developments confirmed the dates.

“Yes, we are kicking off with the MI-CSK clash on September 19. Qualifier 1 and 2 will be played on October 10 and 13 while the Eliminator will be played on October 11. The full schedule of the remaining games will be handed to the teams soon,” the source said.

Last week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah had officially informed that the board is taking the Indian Premier League’s remarkable journey to the UAE again.

The IPL's 14th edition will be completed in the UAE.

The BCCI is confident that maximum foreign players will be available for the tournament even though it is being played just before the start of the T20 World Cup. Following discussions between the BCCI, Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and Cricket West Indies (CWI), the dates of this year’s CPL T20 tournament have been amended.

The CPL will now start on August 26 and will conclude on September 15.

“This year’s tournament will be played in St Kitts and Nevis with all 33 matches taking place at Warner Park,” stated an official release.

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