Firstpost Spodcast Episode 82: Kosovo's participation at the World Boxing Championships, AITA administrative changes and more
Donjeta Sadiku's participation at the Women's World Boxing Championships, AITA administrative changes — we discuss these stories and more on Episode 82 of Spodcast.
Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.
The Women’s World Boxing Championships begin in New Delhi on Thursday. On Wednesday, it was reported that Kosovo’s Donjeta Sadiku was facing issues with her visa because India does not formally recognize the disputed territory of Kosovo.
Last evening, the list for the main draw was released and it did not include Sadiku. The IOA tried to have the Kosov boxer included in the competition, even approaching the Sports Ministry, but it looks Sadiku is out of luck.
The executive committee of the All India Tennis Association, or AITA, has replaced chairman SP Misra and Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali with Ankita Bhambri and Vishal Uppal in the senior national selection committee. Former Davis Cup player Rohit Rajpal has been made chairman.
AITA Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee said, “SP Misra was there for a long time. We thought of giving opportunity to others as well. Zeeshan has also been there for long, so we have brought in Vishal Uppal. We also felt that since the committee picks the Fed Cup team, there should be woman representation, that's why Ankita has been included.”
International Boxing Association chief Gafur Rakhimov insisted yesterday that boxing will remain a part of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. He said this in response to growing talk of boxing being in risk of ejection after Rakhimov was elected AIBA president earlier this month.
The problem for Rakhimov, and the AIBA, is that the 67-year-old Uzbek businessman has been linked to organised crime by the US Treasury Department. Rakhimov has denied the allegations. Boxing’s future at the 2020 Olympics will be decided at an executive commission meeting of the IOC in Tokyo next month. The AIBA had submitted a report to the IOC towards this meeting.
Indian chess legend Viswanathan Anand, who was forced to a draw by 14-year-old Nihal Sarin, said he sees signs of future greatness in the teenager. The two had met in the eighth round of the Tata Steel Chess Rapid tournament. Anand said, “Going by the evidence so far, I would not rule...out (Nihal becoming a world champion in future). It's a long journey forward.”
Anand also observed that there seems to be something of a chess movement in India, saying, “I think what we have already is a movement. It's steadily producing lots and lots of players, and slowly the movement is taking the game of chess forward in India. I'm very happy with the steady growth that we have had.”
Former Indian bowler Ashish Nehra said the upcoming Australia tour will be a challenging one for India’s bowlers. Nehra believes the bowlers have been something of a revelation during recent tours and said the current attack "has the ability" to succeed but conditions will be different from what they experienced in England and South Africa.
He also praised Jasprit Bumrah’s skills, hinting that he is expecting something special from the young fast bowler.
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