BAI inaugurates ‘dream’ National Centre of Excellence in Guwahati
In a major boost for the development of Indian badminton, Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Friday inaugurated the state-of-the-art National Centre of Excellence in Guwahati, Assam.
The MoU was signed between BAI and the Government of Assam, unfolding a historic chapter for India sports during the launch event.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by various dignitaries including Assam CM and BAI President Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Olympics champion badminton legend Taufik Hidayat, chief coach of Indian team Pullela Gopichand, and members of the historic Thomas Cup-winning team.
“This National Centre of Excellence was a dream. It has been a journey of seven long years and I am delighted that today we not only have the finest excellence centre in India but one of the best in the world too. What is even more heartening is that this will be part of Assam’s legacy and will revolutionise sports history of the region,” BAI President commented.
The NCE boasts of an array of world-class facilities, including 16 courts designed to meet training needs of 60 athletes in phase 1. In addition, the centre features a 4,000 sq ft gymnasium with modern fitness equipment, 60-bed hostel for players, a dedicated 2,000 sq ft physiotherapy centre to ensure the athletes receive utmost care and support to maintain their peak performance.
Renowned international badminton coaches Indonesia’s Mulyo Handoyo, who will be looking into the development of singles players, former All England champion Russia’s Ivan Sozonov and Korea’s Park Tae-Sang will be spearheading a strong coaching panel along with a string of Indian coaches, who will also be trained and developed to meet the global standards.
Indonesian legend Hidayat praised BAI’s step to bolster the badminton movement in the country, “This National Centre of Excellence has good facilities and is bigger. I hope more junior players from India will become big players like Gopichand, Sindhu, Saina. I hope I can come again in the near future. Good luck to Indians and also players from Assam.”
Spread across an area of 40,000 square feet, the centre comes as a significant milestone for Indian badminton.
Sanjay Mishra, General Secretary of BAI, said: “The modern day facilities in this centre will provide a comprehensive ecosystem that nurtures athletes, coaches and sports professionals to reach their full potential. It will contribute significantly to the growth of sports by creating an environment that promotes excellence and innovation. We also plan to expand this centre further to help train more players in future.”
“This centre comes as testament to BAI’s vision of taking Indian badminton to the next level. I am confident that this will play a catalyst to many successes that will be seen in the time to come,” India’s ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth commented.
The jam-packed stadium also witnessed top Indian badminton stars Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala, Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila playing an exciting exhibition match for the people present.
- Team sportstar
National series juniors: Panshul to play second seed Shaurya Bhardwaj in final
Top seed Panshul Uboveja bounced back from a slow start to beat Aaditya Sansanval 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the under-16 boys semifinals of the AITA National series junior tennis tournament at the Joygaon Academy on Friday. In the final, Panshul will play second seed Shaurya Bhardwaj.
The girls final will be between Manshi Singh and Aditi Tyagi. Both had to endure three-setters in the semifinals against Anandita Upadhyay and Havisha Choudhary respectively.
THE RESULTS (SEMIFINALS)
- Kamesh Srinivasan
Bopanna and Ebden in quarterfinals
Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden cruised past Jamie Murray and Michael Venus 6-3, 6-3 in the doubles pre-quarterfinals of the $7,622,925 ATP tennis tournament in Toronto, Canada.
The fourth-seeded Indo-Aussie pair, which had a bye in the first round, was scheduled to play seventh seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos in the quarterfinals.
$7,622,925 ATP, Toronto, Canada
$115,000 WTA, Kozerki, Poland
$80,000 Challenger, Cary, USA
$25,000 ITF men, Jakarta, Indonesia
$25,000 ITF women, Roehampton, Britain
$15,000 ITF women, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan
- Kamesh Srinivasan
Aditi T-33, Diksha T-81 after first round
India’s Aditi Ashok shot an even-par 72 to be placed tied 33rd while compatriot Diksha Dagar carded 74 to find herself in tied 81st spot after the opening round of the Women’s Open golf tournament.
Aditi shot even par 72 in the first round and was well inside the cut line, but Diksha carded 74 and was two-over with the cut likely at one-over on a sun-soaked day.
It was tight at the top of the leaderboard as the players got to grips with the testing course at the final Major of the year.
Aditi will look to play a steady round to make the weekend action, while Diksha will need an under par second round to make the cut, which will fall at the end of two rounds.
While Aditi is seeking to better her best finish in a Major, which is T-22 in 2018 Women’s Open, Diksha is looking at making her first cut in her second attempt at the tournament, which is the last of the five Majors for women
Nishtha Madan lies tied-30th on Epson Tour in US
India’s Nishtha Madan was tied-30th after the first round as Sweden’s Michaela Finn led the way, at the Four Winds Invitational, here on the Epson Tour.
Nishtha shot 1-under 71 in the round with three birdies and two bogeys — all of them coming on the front nine — after which she parred the entire back nine.
The other Indian player in the field, Nikita Arjun, struggled in the opening round at 3-over 75 and she had three birdies, two bogeys and two double bogeys.
Finn finished birdie-birdie to cap off her five-under round, with 12 players sitting just one stroke behind her.
Finn made six birdies on the day, with the only mistake coming on her 16th hole at the South Bend Country Club.
One of the players in the group of 12 is LPGA Tour veteran Alena Sharp.
Sharp has already secured a win earlier this year at the Champions Fore Change Invitational and is looking to add another trophy to her trophy case this week.
The four-under 68 was the best round from Sharp in her past three tournaments. Miranda Wang is at the four-under number with Sharp.
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