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January 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.    Wishing You All a Happy New Year.       January 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:January' 2018

HITS & MISSES

Mary was magnificent in 2018 !

K DATTA

MC Mary Kom While wishing Indian sportspersons all the best in the year that just begun, it would also be quite in order to reflect on how they fared in the year left behind.
First to come to mind is that amazing little woman from Manipur, MC Mary Kom, who created history by winning the world 48kg category boxing title for the sixth time in front of a cheering home crowd at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi stadium and an admiring nationwide audience watching her in action on a late November evening countless other admiring viewers watching her achieving the feat. .
Such was the joy of the 35-year-old mother of three that she couldn’t control the tears streaming down her cheeks and her choking voice struggling for words, as all India saw that late November evening. Emotion got the better of her outside the ring if no other opponent could inside the ropes. Honoured with a seat in the Rajya Sabha, “Magnificent Mary”, as the lady has come to be known, dedicated her historic sixth gold at the World Championships to the nation.
Having wound up 2018 to an in unforgettable style, she now dreams of taking herself and Indian women’s boxing to a golden end in the 2020 Olympics at Tokyo before finally hanging her gloves.
In addition to Mary Kom’s gold medal at the 2018 World Championships, three more Indian women boxers figured on the podium at New Delhi. They were 58kg category silver medalist Sonal Chahal and bronze medalists Simranjeet Kaur (64kg) and Lovelina Borgohain (69kg). All in all, the New Delhi world championships showed Indian women’s boxers in good light, though they could have done better.

Special Gold medal for Bhubaneshwar

Indian team celebrates the goal India’s 1-2 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands in men’s hockey world cup quarter-final left many a player as well as supporter in tears in Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium on the evening of Thursday, December 13. But it goes to the credit of the Bhubaneswar’s hockey lovers that they crowded the stadium for the remaining matches even if India were no longer in the tournament.
It would be quite in order if a special gold medal were minted to be presented to them as well as those who organized the grand show. Hockey was the winner in the end.

Breakthrough star

Manika Batra Emerging talent Manika Batra, having showcased her talent in the recent Commonwealth and Asian Games, was awarded the “Breakthrough Table Tennis Star” award by the ITTF at its Star Awards ceremony last week in Incheon, South Korea. The 23-year-old Delhi girl, who helped India win its first ever gold medal in the CWG Games women’s singles in addition to medals in the women’s team, women’s doubles and mixed doubles events, has worked c o n s i s t e n t l y hard to propel herself to a world ranking of 52.

Double delight

PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal For Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu it turned out to be a memorable week, though for different reasons. For Saina it was for reasons off the court, while for Sindhu the reason was her triumphant form in the BWF World Tour Finals at Guangzhou, China.
Saina married leading national star Parupalli Kashyap in Hyderabad, the best match of her life, as she is reported to have described the occasion. She toppled world number one Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan, defeated former world champion Ratnachok Intanon of Thailand and Japan’s world No. 7 Nozomi Okuhara on her way to becoming the first Indian to win the BWF World Tour title.

Medal euphoria

With a haul of 66 medals India were third in the medal table behind host nation Australia and England in the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast. Shooters made the largest contribution to India’s medal tally with seven gold medals, four silver and five bronze. At Glasgow in 2014 India had won 64 medals.
A few months after Gold Coast games the Indian track and field athletes had the satisfaction winning 19 of the 69 medals the country’s contingent bagged at the Jakarta/Palembang Asian Games, bettering the 57 won at the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2014. The 19 track and field medals included seven gold, 10 silvers and two bronzes. At Gold Coast, India had only one gold medal to show, that in the name of none other than former world junior champion Neeraj Chopr.
Without in any way running down the new-found euphoria arising from the Indian contingent’s 69 medals at Jakarta/Palembang, it has to be observed that the country was a rather unflattering 8th in the medal list. For a country dreaming of becoming a sporting super power, India has to do much better.

New vision

Neeraj Chopra and Adille Sumarivalla Athletics Federation of India chief Adille Sumarivalla has gone on record that his sport has acquired a new vision after the promising haul of medals won by Indian track and field athletes at Jakarta. All eyes were on Neeraj Chopra, and the rising javelin thrower from Haryana, now an army man, lived up to expectations by winning the gold medal in the Indonesian capital.
For Sumarivalla’s new vision to become a reality the country needs many more young athletes like Neeraj and the Hima Das, the girl from an Assam village. Neeraj, with throws nearing 90 metres, is a world class medal prospect. So is Hima, now famous as “Dhing Express,” who has clocked timings promisingly close to 50 seconds in the 400 metres. .
Sumarivalla is not alone in his vision for the future. Eleven of India’s 69 medals at Jakarta were won by men from the Army, a fact to which its chief Gen. Bipin Rawat proudly drew the country’s notice on receiving the Jakarta medalists in his office. “The Asian Games was a trailer, the full picture later,” the chief said.

Packet of dynamite

Among the Army medalists whom the General met was Amit Panghal who brought India its only boxing gold medal at Jakarta. The speed with which the 48kg packet of dynamite moved and landed his punches, he created a sensation by getting the better of Olympic champion and world championships silvermedallist Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan.
The 22-year-old from Haryana, who had won a silver medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games earlier in the year, had lost a close quarter-final contest to Dusmatov in the Hamburg world championships in 2017. Amit won the gold medal at the prestigious Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria earlier last year

Feud hits women’s cricket

Making a clean sweep of the series against the visiting West Indies cricketers, described as the “Battle of Sixes” because of the profusion of strokes over the boundary, the Indian cricket team made amends for the defeats they suffered when they toured England earlier in the year.
Picking up the sixes mood, Harmanpreet Kaur, leading the women’s team in the women’s T20 world cup, stormed to a century in 51 balls in the opening match against New Zealand Also in the news was Mithali Raj, who was adjudged “player of the match” in two successive matches. But Mithali was controversially dropped when India took the field for the final which India lost to Australia. When the Women World T20 team was declared at the end of the tournament one found the names of three Indians in the list – Harmanpreet, her vice-captain Smirti Mandhana and off-spinner Poonam Yadav. Some consolation this.
Proceeding on the tour of Australia soon after the sweeping success against the West Indies, Virat Kohli’s Indian team have made an auspicious start by defeating the host country in the first Test. The Australians drew level in the series, winning the second Test by 146 runs. Hopefully, India will resume the winning trend in the year that has just started.

Young guns

This doesn’t purport to be a catalogue of performances by Indian sportsperson in the year has just ended. But the list of promising successes merits inclusion of names of up and coming shooters Manu Bhaker, Saurav Chaudhari and Angad Veer Singh.
After Saurav won 10 metres air pistol gold medal at the 2018 Youth Olympics and followed it up by sensationally picking up the gold medal in the world championships he was.asked by the International Shooting Federation to donate his pistol to the world body’s museum, Realizing the significance of honour done to him, the Meerut boy agreed to part with his weapon.
Doing India proud on the badminton court was Lakshya Sen, 16, the Uttarakhand lad who was awarded Rs 10 lakh by the Badminton Association of India for winning the Asian junior crown. A bright future awaits Lakshya.