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December 2019 - Sports

  • Indian weightlifter Rakhi Halder with creating two new national records clinched a bronze medal in the women's 64kg weight category at the Qatar International Cup in Doha. The Commonwealth Championship gold medallist, superseded the senior national record in both snatch and total lift with her personal best effort of 218kg 95kg in the snatch with 123 kg in clean and jerk last night.

    At the Commonwealth Championship in June, Halder had clinched the gold with a combined effort of 214kg including 94kg and 120kg in clean and jerk. India ended the Olympic qualifying silver level event with three medals. Former world champion Mirabai Chanu had won the gold on the opening day while teenager Jeremy Lalrinnunga had claimed silver in a power-packed performance.

  • Nadal and Barty named 2019 ITF World Champions. Ash Barty and Rafael Nadal were named International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) World Champions for 2019. Barty became the first Australian to win the French Open since Margaret Court in 1973 when she beat Czech Marketa Vondrousova in June 2019. Nadal claimed the ITF world title for the fourth time after sealing a historic 12th French Open and a fourth U.S. Open.

  • Leander Paes to retire from Tennis in 2020. Indian tennis ace Leander Paes has announced that 2020 will be his last year as a professional tennis player. The 46-year old will bid adieu to the sport after next season. Leander announced that he will be picking and choosing tournaments next year to meet his fans all around the world.

    Leander, who made his Olympic debut in 1992, will look for one final flourish at Tokyo Olympics next year. The Indian has made 7 appearances in a row at the Olympics making him the only tennis player ever to do so.

  • India may host Commonwealth Shooting Championships in 2022. Chances of India hosting a Commonwealth Shooting Championship in 2022 have brightened after the Commonwealth Games Federation asked Indian Olympic Association to submit a formal proposal for its consideration. This is being seen as an idea mooted to compensate for the sport's exclusion from the Birmingham Commonwealth games. Shooting has been axed from the 2022 edition by Birmingham Organising Committee, citing logistical issues.

    The move triggered angry reactions from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the national shooting federation (NRAI). For the first time since 1974, the sport has been excluded from the Games roster. Shooting has always been one of India's top medal contributors in the CWG. The discipline yielded 16 medals, including seven gold, at the last edition in Gold Coast.

  • MS Dhoni has been named captain of Cricket Australia’s (CA) ODI team of the decade and the line-up features three Indian players. Apart from Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have made the cut in CA’s team. CA’s ODI team of the decade: Rohit Sharma, Hashim Amla, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Shakib Al Hasan, Jos Buttler, MS Dhoni, Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult, Lasith Malinga, Rashid Khan.

  • India opener Smriti Mandhana was named in both the International Cricket Council's ODI and T20 teams of the year, capping off a memorable season on 17th December, 2019. Mandhana has Jhulan Goswami, Poonam Yadav and Shikha Pandey for company in the ODI team of the year and all-rounder Deepti Sharma in the T20 side. Mandhana has played 51 ODIs and 66 T20Is for India, besides a couple of Test matches. She has a combined tally of 3476 runs in T20Is and ODIs.

  • The Indian men's football team remained static at 108th spot in the year-ending FIFA rankings issued on 19 December, 2019. With 1187 total points, India is placed at 19th spot among Asian countries headed by Japan 28th.

  • Pat Cummins becomes most expensive overseas IPL player. Pat Cummins, with a base price of two crore rupees, became the most expensive overseas buy as he was sold to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a whopping 15.50 crore rupees. Glenn Maxwell was sold to Kings XI Punjab for 10.75 crore rupees while Aaron Finch was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for 4.4 crore rupees in the Indian Premier League auction at Kolkata.

    Yusuf Pathan remained unsold while India's Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara also failed to find any bidders in Kolkata. England captain Eoin Morgan will be playing for KKR in the upcoming IPL season as he was bought by KKR for 5.25 crore rupees. Robin Uthappa, who was released by KKR, has been bought by Rajasthan Royals for 3 crore rupees. Dale Steyn, Adam Zampa and Colin De Grandhomme failed to attract any bidders at the auction while Piyush Chawla signed for 6.75 crore rupees by Chennai Super Kings.

  • Saikhom Mirabai Chanu bags Gold in 6th Qatar International Cup in Doha. Former world champion, weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu won the women's 49kg category gold medal to open India's account at the 6th Qatar International Cup in Doha. Chanu bagged gold with an effort of 194kg in the Olympic qualifying event, with the points which will come in handy when the final rankings for Tokyo 2020 cut are done. The 24-year-old Manipuri lifted 83kg in snatch and 111kg in clean and jerk to finish on top of the podium. It was a performance way below her personal best of 201 kg.

  • All India Sports Competition of Eklavya Model Residential School will start at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) scheme is one of the flagship interventions of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs introduced in 1997-98 to ensure tribal students get access to quality education in the remote tribal areas. Tribal Folk artists from Madhya Pradesh and other states will perform cultural programmes during the event.

  • 2nd National Level Sports Meet for students of EMRS inaugurated in Bhopal. In Madhya Pradesh, the second National Level Sports Meet for the students of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) was inaugurated by Chief Minister Kamal Nath at TT Nagar Stadium, Bhopal. The inaugural ceremony saw a scintillating march past by the participants from all the participating states followed by a cultural performance by the students of various tribal welfare residential schools of the state. The event has a participation of around 4,500 students of 284 Eklavya Schools representing 24 states of the country. The five-day event will have competitions in 15 different disciplines of track and field. As many as 555 students of 26 residential schools of Madhya Pradesh will also exhibit their skills in various sports disciplines during the competition.

  • FIH unveils new world ranking system for 2020. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) unveiled a new world ranking system for 2020 in Lausanne, Switzerland. It will come into effect from the first of next month. For a better reflection of current performances, the new ranking will be match-based instead of tournament-based calculation.

    The new world ranking system has been launched after 12 months of painstaking research, analysis and testing. It cited numerous restrictions of the tournament-based system for the change. The new model removes much of the subjectivity surrounding continental weighing by creating a system which is fair to all.

  • Gurpreet Singh, Sunil Kumar clinch gold medals in Senior National Championships. In wrestling, Asian Championships silver medalists Gurpreet Singh and Sunil Kumar clinched gold medals on the final day of the senior national championships in Jalandhar on 01 December, 2019. Gurpreet defeated two-time world junior championships medallist Sajan Bhanwal, who was representing the Railways, by a 3-1 margin, in the 77 kilogram category. This was Punjab grappler's fourth senior national title.

  • Priyam Garg to lead India at ICC U-19 World Cup 2020. Uttar Pradesh batsman Priyam Garg will lead defending champions India in next year's Under-19 ICC Cricket World Cup to be held in South Africa. The tournament will be held from 17th January to 9th February, 2020. The 19-year-old Garg, a right handed top-order batsman, has a first-class double hundred and a List 'A' century to his name.

    The 13th edition of the U-19 World Cup will be played among 16 teams, split into four groups. India is placed in Group 'A' with first-time qualifier Japan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super League stage.

  • Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik clinch gold at National Wrestling Championships. Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik registered convincing wins in the finals to claim gold medals at the Senior Wrestling National Championships in Jalandhar. While Phogat beat 20-year-old Haryana’s Anju 7-3 in the 55kg category, Olympic bronze medallist Malik defeated Radhika of Haryana 4-2 in the 62kg category.

    In the 68kg category, 35-year-old Haryana wrestler Anita Sheoran stunned Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Divya Kakran. Punjab’s 35-year-old Gursharan Kaur, a single mother of a five-year-old girl, claimed the title in the 76kg category, with a 4-2 win over Pooja of Haryana. In the 50kg category, Meerut's Sheetal Tomar dominated Nirmala to post a 7-3 win.

  • Lewis Hamilton won the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix title. British racing driver Lewis Hamilton won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019. He clocked 1:34:05 to clinch the title. He defeated Belgian-Dutch racing driver Max Verstappen. This victory is 84th in his career and 11th in 2019.

  • India concluded its campaign at the 13th edition of South Asian Games (SAG) with the highest-ever medal tally comprising 312 medals including 174 gold, 93 silver and 45 bronze medals. The host nation Nepal stands second with 206 medals and Sri Lanka at third position with 251 medals. 

    The 13th edition of the South Asian Games 2019, held from December 1-10, 2019, was hosted by three different cities of Nepal- Kathmandu, Pokhara and Janakpur. The South Asian Games 2019 official mascot was a pair of blackbucks. Blackbucks are an endangered species, found mostly in the southern region of Nepal. The 13th South Asian Games witnessed participation from seven South Asians including India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Maldives. Overall, a total of 2,715 athletes competed in the event, which includes a total of 27 sports. Cricket returned to the games after a gap of eight years. 

    The South Asian Games is a biennial multi-sporting event of South Asia. It is governed by the South Asia Olympic Council (SAOC), which was formed in 1983. The first-ever South Asian Games was hosted by Nepal in 1984. The games were held annually between 1984 and 1987 except in 1986 when the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games were held. Since 1987, the Games have been held once in every two years except for some cases. 

  • Former South African captain Graeme Smith has been appointed as the nation’s first acting director of cricket. He has been appointed to the post by Cricket South Africa. Graeme Smith will be holding the position temporarily for a period of three months, as he has already committed to serve as a commentator for the 2020 IPL season. In the new role, the veteran cricketer will be required to preside over men’s and women’s cricket as well as junior cricket in the country. He will also be required to select the head coach and team directors for the sides.

  • Indian spinner Kuldeep Yadav has become the first Indian bowler to take two ODI hat-tricks. He achieved the feat during India’s second ODI against West Indies at VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on December 18, 2019. Kuldeep Yadav took three successive wickets of Shai Hope, Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph in the 33rd over to mark his second international hat-trick. The 25-year-old took his first international hat-trick in 2017 against Australia.

    With this, the bowler joins the elite list of bowlers- Wasim Akram, Saqlain Mushtaq, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga and Trent Boult- who have picked up more than one hat-trick in One Day Internationals. Malinga is the only bowler among them to have picked up three 3 ODI hat-tricks, the rest have picked up 2 ODI hat-tricks each.

  • Indian skipper Virat Kohli has found a place in the list of five cricketers of the decade by the Wisden Cricketers' Almanac. Virat Kohli was named in the Wisden cricketers of the decade list along with four other cricketers – Australia’s Steve Smith and women’s all-rounder Ellyse Perry, South Africa’s Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers.

    Virat Kohli was also named as the captain of the Wisden Test team of the decade. The only other Indian to feature in the list includes Ravichandran Ashwin. Virat Kohli is one of the most consistent players in the longest format of cricket, having scored a total of 7202 runs in 84 tests, which includes 27 centuries and 22 half-centuries. Ashwin has picked up 362 wickets from a total of 70 tests, which includes 27 five-wicket hauls.

    Wisden's Test team of the decade: Alastair Cook (Eng), David Warner (Aus), Kumar Sangakkara (SL), Steve Smith (Aus), Virat Kohli (Ind), Ben Stokes (Eng), AB de Villiers (SA), R Ashwin (Ind), Dale Steyn (SA), Kagiso Rabada (SA), James Anderson (Eng).

    Wisden's ODI team of the decade: Rohit Sharma (Ind), Virat Kohli (Ind), David Warner (Aus), AB de Villiers (SA), Jos Buttler (Eng), Shakib Al Hasan (Ban), M.S. Dhoni (Ind), Lasith Malinga (SL), Mitchell Starc (Aus), Trent Boult (NZ), Dale Steyn (SA).

  • Koneru Humpy, India's young woman Grandmaster, has won the World Rapid Championship 2019 title. She defeated Lei Tingjie of China in the Women's World Rapid Chess Championship in the tiebreaker series (Armageddon game) and won the title.

    Magnus Carlsen of Norway won this title for the third time among men’s championship. India's youngest woman Grandmaster Hampy decided to retire from chess in 2016. But, later she rejoined the game and won many titles.

  • Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle has retired from international cricket. Siddle took 221 wickets in 67 Tests for Australia.



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