Indian athletes look to start Rio campaign on a positive note

Women first. The courteous remark will be put into action on Saturday when Apurvi Chandela and Ayonika Paul open India’s campaign in shooting at the Deodoro Range, a military base.

The 10m women’s air rifle traditionally offers the first medals in the Olympics and the final is scheduled at 7 p.m. IST.wo

Both Apurvi and Ayonika, who have done very well in their young shooting career, are poised to strike their best.

Apurvi, a World Cup Final silver medallist and one of the four Indian shooters to win gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, has been trained by the seasoned Stanislas Lapidus. Ayonika has benefited from the expertise of the Olympic finalist and former World record holder Suma Shirur.

On Saturday afternoon, it will be Jitu Rai and Gurpreet Singh in air pistol. Jitu, a man with the golden arm, has insisted that he was aiming for the gold in the Olympics. He is simple and shoots straight. More…

Paes & Bopanna to open against Polish pair

The Indian doubles stars will begin their campaigns on Saturday at the Olympic Park’s tennis centre.

Leander Paes, the only player to represent his country in seven Olympic Games, and Rohan Bopanna, playing his second, open against Lukasz Kubot and Marcin Matkowski of Poland in the first round.

Interestingly, Paes had played both Roland Garros and Wimbledon this season with the 35-year-old Matkowski, making the quarterfinals in Paris and the second round at the AELTC.

Also, Matkowski, playing with Max Mirnyi of Belarus, had gone up against Lukasz Kubot at the recent Canadian Open in Toronto.

Professional tennis may throw up interesting combinations, but when it comes to representing nations in the Olympics, no quarter will be given or asked for.

The winner of the match will play the pre-quarterfinals against either Czechs Lukas Rosol and Radek Stepanek or the eighth seeded Spaniards Roberto Bautista Agut and David Ferrer.

Paes and Bopanna figure in the top quarter with No.1 seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France. More…

Hockey team eyes a bright future

Much has changed in Indian hockey, invariably for the better, from the depths of London in 2012. However, world hockey is stagnant at the top since Beijing, when India failed to make the cut for the first time in history.

In the world of Olympics, Germany and the Netherlands have stayed at the top among the men and women respectively over the last two editions.

Even as the two champion sides attempt to stay in line for a hat-trick, India eyes a bright future.

While others are trying to emulate its unmatched record — an eight gold six of them successive from 1928 to 1956 — India is on a rebuilding process, trying to rediscover its game at the highest level.

The Champions Trophy silver and the overall positive results in the last two years and the determined attitude of the in the team has sparked a lot of hopes. More…

India’s schedule on Saturday:

Men’s hockey:

  1. 30 p.m.: India vs. Ireland


5.00 p.m.: Men’s Single Sculls (Dattu Bhokanal Single)


5.00 p.m.: 10m Air Pistol: (Jitu Rai, Gurpreet Singh)

5.00 p.m.: 10m Air Rifle: (Apurvi Chandela, Ayonika Paul)

Table Tennis:

5.30 p.m.: Men’s Singles (Achantha Sharath Kamal, Soumyajit Ghosh) Women: (Manika Batra, Mouma Das)


11.00 p.m.: Men’s Doubles: Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna

Women’s Doubles: Sania Mirza, Prarthana Thombare


3.30 a.m. (Aug.7) Weightlifting: Women: Saikhom Mirabi Chanu 48kg