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  1. #1
    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    Thumbs up India Open SS 2012 - News, Views and Pics

    Saina has potential to win Olympic medal: Lee Chong Wei
    PTI | Apr 13, 2012, 07.17PM IST

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/s...w/12652904.cms

    Excerpts:

    "...She's (Saina) young and has a strong skill, she has every potential to win if she continues her good work," Lee said.

    ...Asked if he feels the pressure of expectations, Lee said: "Yes, it does. Representing my country on world-class competition, the London 2012 Olympics, to get the gold medal is not solely about personal glory, I need to reach everyone's expectation.

    "Transform the pressure into a source of motivation, it is a powerful impetus to help me move on. Whether it is a heavy burden or a powerful motivation, it all depends on your thought and point of view," he added.

    Former World and Olympic champion, Taufik Hidayat will also participate in the Yonex Sunrise India Open and the Indonesian said he was excited to be back in India.

    "It's always been fun playing in India, the crowd is very supportive and always gives me a warm welcome. Yonex has made such a huge contribution to badminton in India. I love seeing how badminton is now becoming one of the most popular sports in India," said Taufik, who won the Indonesian Open six times.

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    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    Some history on the Siri Fort itself.

    The 'Slave' dynasty of Qutubuddin (AD 1192-1290) was followed by the line of Khilji rulers . Among the six rulers of the Khilji dynasty, Allauddin Khilji isthe most well-known, who extended his dominion down to southern India, and created the third city of Delhi, Siri.The Saljuqian influences are the most remarkable feature in the buildings from this period.This came about as craftsmen from the Saljuqian dynasty in west Asia reeling under Mongol invasions took refuge in the Delhi court and contributed to its architecture.

    A large reservoir called Hauz Khas was another accomplishment of city of Siri. A madrasa (college) was also created here by later rulers. Hauz Khas today is a complex of chic boutiques against the backdrop of the ruins of an ancient fort while Siri is now represented only by stretches of thick stone walls.

    According to the legend of Ala-ud-din’s war exploits, the name Siri given to the Fort was because the foundation of the fort was built on the severed heads (‘Siri’ in Hindi means “head”) of about 8,000 Mongol soldiers killed in the war.

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    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    When in India, spice things up

    Just a short drive from the Siri Fort Sports Complex is the Kashmiri Kitchen, one of the more well-known restaurants in the vicinity. The menu is pretty much representative of the rich and irresistable food you can have all over Delhi, at affordable rates.

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    So even if your favourite player loses in the early rounds, you can go drown your sorrows at the nearest bar, and then stumble to a restaurant like Kashmiri Kitchen, where the aromas and blend of spices and the richness of the fare will make you forget all about loss, and looking forward eagerly to the matches of the next day.

    After a looong night's deep and happy sleep, that is.

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    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    So what's in the Siri Fort Sports Complex?

    According to the Delhi Development Authority, the organisation that manages the complex and the facilities, this is what the Siri Fort sports complex offers the local citizens and guests.

    Total 12 tennis courtss including 8 synthetic courts, Tennis practice wall, Indoor Multipurpose Stadium, Badminton, glass back wall Squash Courts, Table Tennis, Billiards/Snooker, Basket Ball, Hockey, Cricket, Cricket Practice pitches, Football, Jogging Track, Children Park, Skating, Golf Driving Range, Pitch & Putt Course, Olympic Size Swimming Pool, Toddlers Pool, Air Rifle/Pistol Shooting Range, Aerobics, Yoga, Taekwondo, Fitness Centre, Naturopathy Centre, Health & Nutrition Centre, Reiki, Sports Shop, Snack Bars. A Multipurpose Indoor Stadium has been recently added.

    You can apply for membership. However, regular membership is now closed (over-subscribed! ) and only membership for "senior citizens" is still available. How much would it cost you as an elder of society to enjoy all these facilities?

    Senior citizens :- Senior citizens above 60 years of age can get special concession for obtaining membership. They pay only Rs 2000/- entry fee and Rs 90/- monthly subscription.

    If you need to convert that, USD $1 = Rs. 50 approx. So a senior's monthly subscription would be $1.80 approx.

    If you want to be coached in badminton by one of India's most respected players and past champion for many years, Dinesh Khanna, you can have the privilege for Rs. 1200 for a 5-day camp, Tuesday through Saturday, afternoons, 2 hours a day.

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    Excerpt from Times of India

    "In the run-up to the Games, I plan to play against a lot of Chinese players. It would be like one against seven Chinese and I want to put pressure on them by beating them so that they can also be under some tension before the Olympics," she added. She will play four tournaments before heading for London in August.
    Wang Yihan, Li Xuerui and Jiang Yanjiao are the ones who Saina finds 'tricky' competing against. "I would like to gain some psychological advantage beating these girls if I can before London. The pressure in Olympics will be huge and any slight edge will do me good," said Saina.

    Sometimes I find this girl for her age and experience has quite a lot of hot air and should wait until she produced the results which put her in a favourable position to make such statements...i guess she never learns..
    Last edited by Miqilin7; 04-14-2012 at 02:42 PM.

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    Saina will play in 4 tournaments before London, that means it will be Asia championship, India SS and possibly Singapore SS and Indonesia PSS.

    She was considered one of the strong contender for at least a bronze medal last Olympic but she lost to Maria Kristin, even though her ranking was higher, I think.

    If she can't get a medal this Olympic, then it will be harder 4 years later.

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    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    German graffiti artist Jens Tasso Muller spray painting on an auto rickshaw outside the German Embassy to celebrate 60 years of Indo-German diplomatic relations, in New Delhi on Thursday...

    Source: http://www.india-forums.com/wallpape...ng-on-an-a.htm

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    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    So how would the common man, the local citizen of Delhi travel to the Siri Fort sports complex? Most likely on a two-wheeler. They come in all shapes and sizes. Battered bicycles; scooters that threaten to blow up in your face; mopeds; old "two-stroke" motorbikes that fart, seize and choke, sputter and shoot away from you.

    But it gets better! Honda 700cc bikes, Kawasakis, Suzukis; brand new bikes imported from China; the Royal Enfield, universally-loved, proudly-owned even after 60 years; and some Harleys, too.

    You could drive your car, too; or have your "driver" or your daddy's chauffeur drive you, instead; you and your friends, that is. Or, you could do what everyone does when they just want to get away quickly from point A to point B. Flag an auto-rickshaw; also known in many countries as a tuk-tuk. These mean machines own the streets of Delhi.

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    Auto-rickshaws: "Ready-to-go! And don't mess with me!"

  9. #9
    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    Last chance for London hopefuls

    By Shrikant Shankar
    Monday 23rd April 2012

    http://www.espnstar.com/other-sports...ndon-hopefuls/

    Excerpts:

    The importance of the Indian Open badminton championship starting in New Delhi from Tuesday can be gauged by the fact that a Chinese world No. 5 is still not assured of a berth in the London Games. Many a London hopeful, including a powerful Chinese contingent, will be seen in action in the last tournament of the Badminton World Federation Super Series ahead of the Olympics.

    ...Ever since the Indian Open started in 2008 and became a Super Series three years later, the tournament never saw the reputed Chinese players in action. It is different this time. Olympic rules stipulate that the top four in the world rankings get an automatic Olympic berth. The Chinese have two in the world top four. That is why 2010 world champion and current world No. 5 Chen Jin will be in Delhi.

    In the women's singles, India's Saina Nehwal will have to battle it out against China's world No. 3 Wang Shixian and No. 4 Li Xuerui. The Chinese have dominated this sport for long and they already have two shuttlers set for London. One from among Wang and Li will grab the third berth.

    “The world's top-10 players will be present at the Indian Open,” says Saina. “This is the last chance for anyone who wants to qualify for the Olympics. So in many ways this is equal to the Olympics in terms of competitiveness."

    Saina will have to lift her game, especially after a second-round defeat in the Asian Championship in China last week.

    For the likes of world No. 27 Ajay Jayaram and No. 31 Parupalli Kashyap, the Indian Open will be once in a lifetime opportunity. If Jayaram wins his first round, he will meet world No. 1 Wei. The other men's singles hopefuls are Verma and RMV Gurusaidutt. All the Indians only have a mathematical chance to qualify.

    “This could be my last chance to play an Olympics, says Jayaram. “I will take my chances against Wei and can’t afford to be defensive.”

    Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta are India's best hopes from women's doubles.. Jwala will also be playing with V. Diju in the mixed doubles category. In men's double, India's best chances lie with Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Jimmy_Goh's Avatar
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    Default Time in New Delhi (GMT +5:30 hrs)

    Time in New Delhi is 2:30 hours behind Singapore (GMT +5:30 hours).
    Qualifying rounds starts at 9am (New Delhi time), in about 30 minutes time

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    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    Teething troubles

    Anamika Nandedkar, Hindustan Times
    New Delhi, April 23, 2012

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/sports...e1-845150.aspx

    Even as the organisers scurried to restore order at the Siri Fort Sports Complex on Monday, the eve of the India Open Super Series, it was business as usual for the shuttlers, who are here to make the most of the last Olympic qualifying event. The chaos came to the fore when the players went to collect their accreditation cards. They were told that the cards were not ready. The accreditation cards of media persons and other officials too were not done.

    While players like Peter Gade and world No.1 Lee Chong Wei had to stay back after practice to get the cards, the organising committee was busy shifting the blame.

    Fairplay?
    Saina Nehwal, back after losing in the second round of the Asian Championship in China, hinted at her Chinese opponents getting favoured treatment in home tournaments.

    "There are some line calls…it has been happening for so many years," she said.

    The Chinese are known to ask players to forfeit a match or lose to a compatriot to manipulate rankings. Chen Jin's title victory in that tournament has been questioned since he was given a walkover by world champion Lin Dan in the semifinal due to "injury". Jin pocketed valuable points, which might help him qualify for the London Olympics.

    Denmark's former world No 1 Peter Gade also shrugged off the incident as an "everyday occurrence".
    "I know it, you know it, there is no need to cry about it. It's part of their culture." he said.

  12. #12
    Regular Member undeadshot's Avatar
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    Maybe BCers need to learn to do what Peter Gade does. Shrug it off as it is already an everyday incident.

    I think Saina is putting too much unnecessary pressure on herself by talking big before tournaments. She hasn't even reached a semi-final of a major tournament ever just yet.

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    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    Midnight that turned into a nightmare for Gade

    Anamika Nandedkar, Hindustan Times
    New Delhi, April 25, 2012

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/sports...e1-845734.aspx

    It doesn't happen everyday that one plays an international match past midnight. And, Peter Gade definitely didn't want this to happen that day in March at the All-England Championship in Birmingham. The Danish veteran, who was the India Open Super Series 2011 finalist, took to the court past midnight to play his first-round match at the 'Wimbledon of badminton'. And he lost. It was 2.30 am.

    Ask him about that bizarre incident, and his helpless shrug says a million words. The 35-year-old, who has decided to retire this year, feels the scheduling of that tournament was at fault and his persistent ankle and knee injuries did not make things any better. But a first-round exit in an empty stadium was surely not how the Dane expected his last All-England to be like.

    "There were four courts there and only 30 mins allotted to each match (in the schedule),” Gade, who is in New Delhi for the India Open, said.

    His Facebook update --- with which he is very meticulous --- also reflected the same. “Not the way I dreamed of saying goodbye to this tournament, but before leaving home on Sunday evening, I knew there was a risk of this happening,” Gade, the 1999 All-England champion, had written on March 8.

    Dull patch
    The last few months have not been the greatest for him and the Dane's injury woes have multiplied. “I know it's not easy for me, being 35- year-old. My body is telling me in many ways that I have to be careful. But I am trying my best to push myself in every area."

    But falling short at crucial moments now is very frustrating, especially when it happened in the European Championships last week. He was leading 18-12 in the decider in the quarters but couldn't keep up with Sweden's Henri Hurskainen and lost. "In the third game I led, I had the match under control but I still lost. I have lost matches in the past few months which I would never lose," the four-time European champion said.

    And maybe that is why, he has come to the India Open with very little expectations. "I don't expect to play my best here, but I will still give it my best.”

    He wants to peak at the right time for the Olympics, take care of his ankle surgery thereafter, and play a few more tournaments with a free mind. But what he wants the most is to be back home with his two daughters.

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    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    Indian shuttlers need to improve, feels Taufik Hidayat

    Press Trust of India
    Last updated on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 17:41

    http://sports.ndtv.com/othersports/b...ponent&print=1

    Former World and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat feels that barring Saina Nehwal, who is a medal hopeful at London Olympics, there is a lot of room for improvement as far as other Indian shuttlers are concerned.

    "There are so many players from India but standard is not of highest level. Sourabh (Verma) and all will take time. It is only Saina. I don't know what medal but I hope she wins a medal at the Olympics," the legendary Indonesian said at the sidelines of the India Open Super Series that got underway on Tuesday.

    Hidayat feels that post Olympics, interesting possibilities might emerge in the badminton circuit.

    "I think Chinese shuttlers will be dominant force. Post Olympics, Peter Gade will retire and it would be more interesting," he stated.

    The gold medallist at the Athens Olympics is not impressed with the pool of talent available in men's section.

    "There are so many Chinese players. From Malaysia, there is only Lee Chong Wei, from Denmark after Peter Gade it is Jan O Jorgensen. Not enough players," he lamented.

    The 31-year-old is yet to take a call on his retirement and would decide after the London Games.

    "We will see, I don't know. Let's see, how Olympics goes."

    Hidayat admits that it is increasingly becoming tougher to compete against the younger crop of players. With eyes set on a good performance at the Olympics, the Indonesian is looking to test his game at the Indian Open.

    "I'm just preparing for the Olympics. I have been lucky in India. I don't know what works for me here but I have won the Syed Modi Grand Prix and hopefully, I will win the Super Series as well," a confident Hidayat added. He will start his campaign against Yun Hu of Hong Kong on Wednesday and is likely to meet world No 1 Lee Chong Wei in the quarters.

    "I think, my game is better than last year but my ranking has gone down and I am at No 12 now. I'll do my best but I don't have any target. Actually, I want to test my game here."

    Hidayat feels that it won't be easy to win the tournament although Lin Dan is not playing in this edition.

    "Even though Lin Dan and Chen Long are not coming but there are so many players. I think all the players right from the first round, everybody can beat you. It is not easy for me. I was talking to Peter (Gade) that it is not easy for us anymore," he said.

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    Regular Member extremenanopowe's Avatar
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    She's feeling the heat too from match fixing huh?

    Time to make a big huha out of it. Including PG.

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    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    India Open: The world’s eyes are on Delhi
    Dev Sukumar
    Apr 24, 2012

    http://www.sportskeeda.com/2012/04/2...-are-on-delhi/

    Excerpts:

    As the Superseries gets under underway at the Siri Fort Complex here on Tuesday, players, coaches, federations and fans across the world will be tracking the games, for the results will transcend the immediate future.

    ...The India Open this time boasts of a top-line draw. With the exceptions of singles world champions Lin Dan and Wang YIhan, the event sees nearly every other top player, and that will be a feast for any sports fan. What will make it even more special is that this is the last time three contemporary titans will be seen at an event in India, for Peter Gade, Lee Chong Wei and Taufik Hidayat are expected to retire after the Olympics.

    But let not the singles stars steal the limelight. There are some great doubles players in action, and they deserve equal attention – like the All England champions Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung of Korea – and audiences must consider a privilege to watch them up close. That a Superseries is being held in India is much cause to rejoice, along with the fact that a few Indians are expected to qualify for the Olympics.

  17. #17
    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    Jwala Gutta game for India Open challenge
    TNN | Apr 25, 2012, 02.46AM IST

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/s...w/12859613.cms

    Excerpts:

    NEW DELHI: Jwala Gutta, India's premier doubles badminton player does little to shake away the look of lethargy from her face. If she did, then it would be defeating the entire purpose.

    'I'm so sleepy," she mock-lamented as she settled down for a largely scattered press conference and in the same vein, reasoned that it was the early morning practice that had led to the lethargy.

    ..."The draw is tough, but the number of withdrawals and walkovers is puzzling. They could have done with a re-draw," she said.

    ..."The Chinese are in everything today. You just can't keep them out. What do you do?" laughed Jwala at first, but continued on a more serious note, "sure it's not good for the game, but they are the Chinese, they are the dominant power and will do things their way. They make it very clear that they want gold, silver, bronze. Sports is top priority in their country. They make no bones about it."

    While the talk of the Chinese did well to bring her awake, the caffeine in the proceedings was talk about the support that the doubles players need in India. Jwala said the focus of the federation should be to develop more doubles teams.

    "If you look back in our sporting history, the focus has always been on singles. Whatever little that we have managed to achieve is on our effort. Doubles in badminton is a totally different sport to that in tennis," Jwala was at pains to explain.

    "It's a far more technical sport... Till we won the Commonwealth Games gold, no one knew what we were capable of. No one really knew about the intricacies of the doubles event in badminton. The CWG title helped, but there is still a long way to go."

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