India’s week in sports: wrestling dummies and customised comics

The grapplers are undergoing a peculiar training method while an online shooting league takes shape. Recap the top stories this week.

While Indian wrestlers like two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and youngster Ravi Dahiya are uncertain of when they will grapple competitively, they are still hard at work in training at the Chhatrasal Stadium in New Delhi.

And they have a new companion to help them get back to full fitness. “We are practising with dummies right now,” the Tokyo Olympics-bound Ravi Dahiya told The New Indian Express.

“Our training is quite intense, and we should be ready to grapple in a couple of weeks,” the youngster added.

His mentor Sushil Kumar was also giving it his all alongside Ravi Dahiya and the senior pro is more excited about a new state-of-the-art gym that is being built at their training centre.

Online Shooting League on the mark

Shooting, which triggered its online version during the lockdown, is set to load another new experience as the first Online Shooting League has been conceptualised and is set to kick off this weekend.

The league will have six teams – Indian Tigers, Austrian Rocks, Italian Style, French Frogs, Spanish Chanos and Israel Maarabot – locking horns in a slightly modified round-robin format.

Former Indian shooter Shimon Sharif, the brains behind the operation, has also come up with an innovative scoring system called ‘Race to Ten’.

“The shooters will shoot a shot each and a point will be awarded to the team which has a higher total of three shots. Whichever team reaches ten points first will win the match,” he explained to the Press Trust of India news agency.

And what is more special is that all three members of the Indian Tigers are Paralympians – Krishan Kumar, Jyoti Sannakki, both national-level silver medallists, and Ishank Ahuja.

Vijender Singh back in the ring soon

For someone as active as Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Vijender Singh, the lockdown has been tough with no live events, with the pro boxer eager to get back.

He can soon get rid of that itch as his promoter in the USA restarted bouts, even though it was without spectators.

“From what I gather, in the next two-three months, I will probably be able to fight. It will likely be outside India,” Vijender Singh told PTI.

Olympics social watch from India

An ode to an inspiration

Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, who opened up on her same-sex relationship last year, now has a comic strip inspired by the sprinter's story.

Illustrators Rhea Dease and Parmarth Rai decided to pay ode to the courageous Dutee Chand by sketching out a comic strip detailing her life for Pride Month in June.

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What's a pride list without Dutee Chand? Now a household name, Chand hailed from a BPL (Below Poverty Line) family of weavers in the tiny and relatively nondescript village of Gopalpur, Odisha. She didn't start running recreationally, but rather as a means to an end -- to secure a sports quota that would grant her a decent education. But her exceptional skills on the track set her apart, earning her the moniker of 'fastest woman in India'. She took home medals for the country in the 100m and 200m sprint in events like the Asian Athletics Championships, Summer University Games in Naples, and the National Senior Athletics Championships in Ranchi. She held her head up high even as her family and village, adoring and welcoming as they were about her accomplishments on field, voiced their disapproval about her choice of partner off it. @eyolouss and I are in awe of her spirit and sportsmanship, in how she gave back to her family and village despite their reactions to her coming out, and how she continues to empower young athletes from disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as closeted lgbt youth to be able to speak their truth. #pride2020🏳️‍🌈 #pridemonth #comic #duteechand #lgbt #queer

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‘Major Missing’

The month of July is generally associated with the green courts of the Wimbledon championships, with zipping serves and caressed forehands the order of the day.

And Indian tennis players and former Wimbledon champions, Sania Mirza and the retired Mahesh Bhupathi were very vocal with their thoughts.

Boxers, take note

Vikas Krishan is bursting with energy and confidence in and out of the ring.

The Indian boxer made a return from pro boxing to have a shot at an Olympic medal in what will be his third appearance.

Best of the week from the Olympic Channel

As always, the Olympic Channel strives to bring the readers the best stories from India and we have handpicked these from the last week for you to peruse once again.

With a father as legendary as Milkha Singh, it would have been a monumental task for Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh to be his own man in the sporting world. Read how he managed to carve his own name.

Karate is set to make its Olympics debut next year, fittingly at its spiritual home of Japan but how does one become a good karateka? We have some expert tips.

The Olympic Channel has also worked on a very special video series called Taking Refuge, where three-time Olympic gold-medallist Niccolo Campriani trains three refugee shooters to help them achieve their dream of going to the Olympics.

You can catch all five episodes here.

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