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January 2020 - Sports



  • Rani Rampal, captain of Indian women’s hockey team, became the first hockey player in the world to win the prestigious ‘World Games Athlete of the Year’ Award. The World Games announced the winner on January 31, 2020, after a 20-day voting process by sports lovers around the world. This award is given for outstanding performance, social concern, and good behavior.


  • Olympian Ayonika Paul has won the women's 10m Air Rifle T1 event while Vijayveer Sidhu won the men's 25m Pistol T2 event in the National Shooting trials at Thiruvananthapuram. Zeena also won the junior women's trials in the same event and also had the best qualifying score on the day with a 630.0 to show after 60 shots. Chandigarh's Vijayveer won the junior men's 25m Pistol with an aggregate score of 585. He had three inner 10s, more than second-placed Rajkanwar Singh Sandhu of Punjab.



  • In wrestling, India has returned with 7 medals from the Rome Ranking Series. Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar Dahiya claimed gold medals in the tournament. The 25-year-old Bajrang staged a comeback to secure a 4-3 win against USA's Jordan Michael Oliver in the summit showdown of the 65kg freestyle category. The 23-year-old Ravi bagged the gold after defeating Kazakhstan's Nurbolat Abdualiyev 12-2 in his final 61 kg category bout.


  • Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon lifted the Indonesia Badminton Masters 2020 women's singles title after defeating Carolina Marin in the summit clash on 19th January, 2020. Intanon defeated Marin 21-19, 11-21, 21-18 in one hour and twenty minutes long match. The clash went into three-games and both the shuttlers tried their 100 per cent to turn things in their favour.


  • Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat won her first gold medal of the 2020 season at the Rome Ranking Series event after teen sensation Anshu Malik settled for silver in 57kg competition, in Rome on 17th January, 2020.


  • Celebrated wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and Paralympian Deepa Malik are among the new inductees in the government's All India Council of Sports (AICS). It is an advisory body to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports which was formed in 2015 by the then Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Its term has also been extended by three years and it will continue to be led by veteran sports administrator V K Malhotra as President. Some other renowned new entrants in the Council are former shooter Anjali Bhagwat, footballer Renedy Singh, and mountaineer Bachendri Pal. Senior India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has also been inducted in the council.


  • Indian shooters Divyansh Singh Pawar and Apurvi Chandela have clinched a gold medal each in Meyton Cup in Innsbruck, Austria. The Meyton Cup is a private tournament where shooters go on their own to participate to gain experience before international events. While Divyansh won the gold in the men's 10m air rifle event with an effort of 249.7, Auprvi bagged the yellow metal in the 10m air rifle women's category with a 251.4. Deepak Kumar and Anjum Moudgil also a bagged bronze medal each in men's and women's 10m air rifle events respectively. Deepak shot 228 en route the bronze, while Anjum's effort of 229 also fetched her a podium finish.


  • Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) unanimously nominated Anil Khanna as life President and also as the Chairman of its Finance Committee.


  • Young Indian Grand Master R. Praggnanandhaa beats former world champion Veselin Topalov in the sixth round of the 18th Gibraltar Chess Festival to record his fifth straight win.


  • In Cycling, India's Esow Alben has bagged a gold in the men's Keirin individual event of the Six Day Berlin Tournament. The 18-year-old finished on top of the podium, earning 20 classification points.


  • Two times champion Mizoram defeated Sikkim by a solitary goal to emerge as the champion of the Northeast Dr. T Ao Football Trophy 2020 at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Kohima.


  • Star Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with a throw of 87.86 metres at the Athletics Central North East meeting in South Africa. The 22-year-old Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medallist breached the Olympic qualification mark of 85 metres in his fourth attempt at Potchefstroom.



  • Irfan Pathan announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on January 4, 2020. The all-rounder last played for the Indian national cricket team in October 2012. The 35-year-old had made his debut in Team India in 2003, at the age of 19 years. He has played 29 tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is. He was a part of the T20 World Cup-winning Indian Team in 2007 and was adjudged man-of-the-match in the final against Pakistan.


  • Indian weightlifter Sarbjeet Kaur has been banned from the sport for four years by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) after being found guilty of a doping violation.


  • Young Indian paddler Manav Thakkar became world no.1 in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings in the Under-21 men's singles category.


  • Cristiano Ronaldo was named the year’s best men’s player at the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards. Ronaldo has now earned the title for the sixth time of its nine years of existence. The ‘best agent’ award was won by Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes. England International Lucy Bronze was crowned the year’s best female player.


  • The third edition of Khelo India Youth Games-2020, to be held in Guwahati from 10th of January, will be advocating for the elimination of single-use plastics this time. The Games will continue till 22nd Jnauary, 2020. The event will be held in 20 disciplines at 11 venues.


  • In Leh-Ladakh, the home teams won the 5th Ice Hockey Association of India (IHAI) National Ice Hockey Championship -2020 in both Boys and Girls categories.


  • Indian equestrian Fouaad Mirza became the first Indian to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics officially. He ended a wait spanning two decades.


  • Djokovic beats Nadal at ATP Cup in Sydney. Novak Djokovic over powered long-time rival Rafael Nadal and led Serbia to victory in the inaugural ATP Cup at Sydeny.


  • Anshu Malik won silver in 2020 Rome Ranking Series. Indian teenage wrestler Anshu Malik won in the women's 57kg freestyle event of the season 's first major competition, the Ranking Series in Rome. She lost to Nigeria's Odunayo Adekuoroye for the score 10-0. Rome Ranking Series 2020 was announced by the United World Wrestling. The event is being held from 15-18 January 2020. The event included all three wrestling styles: freestyle, women's wrestling, and Greco-Roman and will influence seeding for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Series will influence the top four seeds at the Tokyo Olympic Games.


  • Former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was picked as captain of ESPN Cricinfo's ODI and Twenty20 teams of the decade, while Virat Kohli was named the leader in Tests. Former skipper Mithali Raj and fast bowler Jhulan Goswami were named in the same women's team picked for both the ODIs and T20s. Australia's inspirational cricketer, Meg Lanning was named the captain of the side.


  • Indian Blind Sports Association (IBSA) is organizing week-long sports events for the blind from 6 to 11 January, 2020 in the premises of The BlindRelief Association, Delhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, near the Oberoi Hotel, NewDelhi. Over 400 participants, including 85 female blind sports persons from 7 states, namely, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra,Rajasthan, Tamilnadu and Telangana will be taking part in these events.


  • Ace shooter Saurabh Chaudhary has won the men's 10 metres air pistol gold at the 63rd National Shooting Championship in Bhopal. The 17-year-old from Uttar Pradesh shot a classy 246.4 to finish on top. Second-placed Sarabjot Singh of Haryana was well behind with a score of 243.9, while world number two Abhishek Verma settled for bronze in a high-quality final. Abhishek and Sarabjot together won the team gold for Haryana. Sarabjot also won the junior men's gold for a profitable day. Haryana and Uttar Pradesh picked up a clutch of golds as well.


  • India's P Magesh Chandran lifted the title in the 95th edition of the prestigious Hastings International Chess Congress at Hastings in England.


  • The first edition of Khelo India University Games is scheduled to be held at the KIIT University in Bhubaneswar from February 22nd to March 1st.


  • India finished the year 2019 as the top shooting nation in the world, leaving behind Olympic heavyweights China and the USA. In terms of overall medals, the tally stood at 21 gold, six silver and three bronze as India topped all the Rifle-Pistol World Cups and Finals in a unforgettable year. While India leads the standings with 30 medals overall, China is second with 11 gold, 15 silver and 18 bronze for a total of 44 podium finishes. The USA is placed third with 15 medals including six gold six silver and three bronze.


  • Ladakh is going to witness a unique game event termed as 'The Last Game' of Ice Hockey on 15th January 2020. This game is to raise the awareness on the impact of climate change on fragile environment of the region. In collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Randstad, the event is hosted by the Hockey Foundation and Ladakh Winter Sports Club. United Nations Climate Change has chosen a unique way to create awareness on Climate Change impact on the world through the Last Game of Ice Hockey. The Himalayas, also known as third pole of the world, are susceptible to the adverse effects of Climate Change.


  • The closing cermony of 3rd Khelo India Youth Games held at Nabin Chandra Bordoloi indoor stadium in Guwahati on January 22, 2020. Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and MoS Food and processing industries Rameshwar Teli were present on this occasion. They handed over the champions trophy to Maharashtra, first runner up trophy to Haryana and second runner up trophy to Delhi. Mr Rijiu said, the moto of the games is to promote sports culture in country.


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