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

HITS & MISSES

Auspicious note

K DATTA Amit Panghal Shines at Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament

Winning three gold medals in the Strandja Memorial tournament in Sofia in February, Indian boxers started the year on an auspicious note. The European amateur boxing calendar starts with that continent’s oldest tournament, first held in 1950 in the Bulgarian capital.

In all, the Indian squad returned with a bag of eight medals – 3 golds, 1 silver and 3 bronzes. After the Strandza Memorial one hopes our boxers will stay the ascendant curve in the rest of the year.

Leading India’s three gold medalists in the Sofia ring was Amit Panghal, that bundle of dynamite from Haryana, now an enristed soldier. Panghal outclassed Temirtas Zhussupov of Kazakhstan, 5-0, in the 49kg category final. The remaining two were both women – Nikhat Zareen and Meena Kumari Devi They became the first two female boxers from India to win gold medals in the Strandja Memorial.

While Nikhat punched her to a convincing 5-0 victory over in the 51kg category gold medal bout against Irish Magno of the Philippines, Devi was made to fight harder for her 3-2 verdict over Aira Villegas, also of the Philippines.

Hard efforts

Manu Bhaker and Vijayweer Sidhu preparing hard to make their mark in the Asian Airgun

It’s exam time. While the majority of school-going students are focussing on their studies to earn themselves a good grade, there are talented youth like Manu Bhaker and Vijayweer Sidhu who are also preparing hard to make their mark in the Asian Airgun Championships in Taiwan late March.

The SAI, which had requested the CBSE to reschedule the board exams for shooter Anish Bhanwala last year, has again urged the examination board to do the same for the talented duo of Bhaker and Sidhu during the championship days.

Even then, the duo has to balance both their priorities and appear for the remaining exams that fall before or after the contest, along with the rest of the students. If that’s not enough, Bhaker is also preparing to participate in the ISSF World Cup in February. Tough life, but then these are tough people.

Well done, ladies!

Indonesia Masters champion Saina Nehwal got the better of Olympic and World Championship silver medallist PV Sindhu for the second straight year at the Nationals, this time under challenging conditions in Guwahati as both players faced unique conditions of uneven courts and dim lighting but managed to avoid any mishaps with the All England Championships looming on the horizon.

PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwa

While Sindhu performed better than Saina in the year gone by, given the titles and appearances in the finals of leading tournaments, Saina got to score over her rival in the Commonwealth Games and now in Guwahati. Both ladies have their tasks cut out as they face tough rivals in 2019. Sindhu recently fell to a world ranking of 6, while Saina is placed at number 9.

Meanwhile, both Saina and Sindhu have come in for some wholesome praise by Morten Frost, the all time great from Denmark, who is visiting India as consultant coach at Prakash Padukone’s badminton academy at Bangalore. Frost, a world No. 1 in the 1980s when he won the All England title four times, admired Saina, 28, for her fighting spirit and longevity, he described Sindhu as a “marvellous” competitor.