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Cheering them on

Anaka Alankamony. Photo: V. Ganesan   | Photo Credit: V_Ganesan

Team India will definitely long to capitalise on its winning streak at the Commonwealth Games, as it gears up for the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. Pressure will be high as they strive to bring back laurels. Here are some of the Chennai champs who will look to make it big.

Chess

Krishnan Sasikiran, part of the team that struck Gold in 2006 at Doha, gained the GM title in 2000. In January 2007 he became the second player from India to reach a FIDE rating of 2700, and by January 2009 he was in the world top 20 List. Experience on his side, he will lead the Indian chess team. B. Adhiban, who recently gained the GM title, is ranked 14th worldwide in the Under 18 category. He was India's 23rd Grandmaster. This 18-year-old is one of the most prominent players in the domestic circuit. His latest FIDE Ranking is 2515. Meenakshi S, comes from a family of chess prodigies, is also one of Tamil Nadu's three women GMs. This 1981 born star will look to keep the country's flag flying high.

Table Tennis

Sharath Kamal, a right handed paddler, worked his way up the Indian rankings and is now India's best player. An Arjuna awardee, he won the gold in the individual event at the Commonwealth table tennis championship in 2004. He followed that up with gold in 2006 Commonwealth Games and at Delhi this year he won the doubles gold. Amalraj, who won three Gold medals at the South Asian Games in Dhaka, was part of the team that won silver in the Commonwealth championship in Glasgow. This 24- year-old will spearhead the Indian paddlers attack along with Sharath Kamal.

Tennis

In the tennis scenario, two of our brightest medal hopes have a personal attachment to Chennai . Mahesh Bhupathi, was born in Chennai while Somdev Devvarman learnt his tennis here.

Basketball

Anitha Pauldurai, who also plays for Southern Railways, is part of India's Basketball team. She is 5'6”. She stood 8th in points (12.6) and 1st in assists (5.6) at the 2006 Commonwealth Games Basketball Tournament.

Squash

Joshna Chinappa was the first Indian girl to win the British Squash Championship title in 2003 in the under-19 category and was also the youngest Indian women's national champion. This 24- year-old is ranked 37 in the world. Dipika Pallikal, ranked 36 in the world, won the Asian Junior Under-19 Squash championships this year. Dipika has also won the German Open, Dutch Open, French Open, Australian Open, Scottish Open on the European Junior Squash Circuit. Anaka Alankamony, a student of Church Park, created a world record by being the youngest ever in world to get WISPA title at the age of 15. She is currently ranked 95th in the world. Anwesha Reddy, who is ranked 130th in the world, completes the all-Chennai Women's Squash team at Guangzhou.

Sailing

K. C. Ganapathy, a budding 14-year-old optimist sailor, is the current national champion. This youngster is sure to make heads turn at the International level. Zephra Currimbhoy, in the Girls Optimist category, performed exceedingly well at the recently concluded nine-nation India International Regatta at Chennai, in which she picked up a silver medal. Shruti Kamat rowed stroke for the Indian coxless fours crew, which won gold at the Asian Junior Championships in Guangzhou, China. This std. XII student has now made it to the senior team after attending the training camp at Hyderabad.

Athletics

Gayathri Govindaraj, India's best prospect for a podium finish in athletics, is a specialist in 100m hurdles and triple jump. She also anchored the gold-winning 4x100m team at the CWG this year.

Here's wishing the Indian Contingent “Good Luck” at Guangzhou.

Little known facts

The First Asian Games was hosted by India in New Delhi in 1951.

The sports making their debut in this year's edition are – Twenty20 Cricket, dance sport, dragon boat, weiqi, roller sport and Xianqqi. Bodybuilding has been dropped after making just two appearances.

This games edition will also be co-hosted by three neighbouring cities Dongguan, Foshan and Shanwei.

Incheon (South Korea) is hosting the next edition in 2014 – after defeating its only other competitor, India's New Delhi.

The Mascots, collectively known as Le Yangyang, are five cute and playful friends - A Xiang, A He, A Ru”, A Yi and Le Yangyang. When their names are spoken together - Xiang He Ru Yi Le Yangyang – it literally means “auspiciousness and joy”, in Chinese. These were inspired by the story – “Legend of Five Goats” – and Guangzhou is nicknamed the “City of Five Goats”.


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Printable version | Jul 19, 2021 12:06:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/Cheering-them-on/article15681601.ece

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