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Olympics hockey: Indian women make historic entry into semifinals

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Tokyo, Aug 2. Taking inspiration from the men’s team that got into the medal rounds after a gap of four decades, Indian women’s hockey scripted a historic moment of their own by making their maiden entry into the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Monday.

India defeated world No. 2 Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals to storm into the last-four stage, marking their maiden entry into the medal round with a brilliant performance against a team that had dominated the tournament so far and was one of the favourites to win the gold medal.

Drag flicker Gurjit Kaur scored the all-important goal in the 22nd minute with a powerful flick that deflected off a defender’s stick into the goal.

The Indians then defended superbly and did not allow Australia, three-time gold medallists in the Olympics, to score in the entire second half with defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Udita and Gurjit Kaur and midfielder Monika, standing like a wall to guard the goal. And whenever the Aussies got past them, goalkeeper Savita was there to save India as she pulled off at least seven brilliant saves to thwart the Hockeyroos.

The Indians attacked aggressively, defended stoutly and controlled the midfield that allowed them to enjoy possession in the first half. Australia could not get into their rhythm early on and kept chasing the ball in the entire match.

India dominated the first half; they enjoyed more possession and also created better chances against an Australian team that had dominated Pool B with an all-win record in five matches.

They were not cowed down by the reputation of the world No. 2 team and stood toe-to-toe with the mighty Hockeyroos.

Australia earned the first chance when Ambrosia Malone struck the post off their first penalty corner.

The Indians too were unlucky not to take the lead in the first quarter as Sharmila’s shot at the far post came off the upright. Vandana Katariya made a superb run to the left backline and sent in a pullback to Lalremsiami who had positioned herself near the far post. However, her deflection came off the post as the two teams went into the first-quarter break goalless.

The Indians started aggressively and did not allow the Aussie forwards, who have been rampant in the group stage, many chances. They defended well and in numbers, especially Deep Grace Ekka and Monika were solid and brilliant as they cut down many Australian moves.

Goalkeeper Savita was rock solid and pulled off a number of good saves.

The second quarter changed the complexion of the match as the Indians went into the lead, leaving Australia frustrated.

India earned a penalty corner in the 21st minute of the match and went ahead, increasing the pressure on the Hockeyroos. Drag flicker Gurjit Kaur, who had failed to score a single direct goal despite a bag full of chances, struck for India, her drag-flick getting deflected from a defender’s stick and looping over goalkeeper Rachael Ann Lynch’s outstretched leg into the goal.

Australia attacked in numbers but found the Indian defence, especially goalkeeper Savita, impregnable. The Australians earned three penalty corners but could not capitalise on any. They had seven shots at the goal.

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Air India goes to Tata Sons, Ratan Tata tweets, Welcome Back!

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New Delhi: Finally, Air India has gone to Tata Group which emerged the highest bidder. This was a much-awaited deal for the Government of India which wanted to sell this national career from a very long time. Welcome back, Air India, tweets Ratan Tata on Tata Sons winning the bid for Air India.
An SPV of Tata Sons – the holding company of conglomerate – has emerged as successful bidder, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary to the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) — the government department responsible for privatisation, said.

The international service was among the first public-private partnerships in India, with the government holding 49 per cent, the Tatas keeping 25 per cent and the public owning the rest. In 1953, Air India was nationalised. The government is selling 100 per cent of its stake in the state-owned national airline, including Air India’s 100 per cent shareholding in AI Express Ltd and 50 per cent in Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd.

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Powerful earthquake in Japan injures 32, disrupts train services

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Tokyo, Oct 8: Authorities in Japan said on Friday that a powerful earthquake which jolted the country the previous day left 32 people injured, while also disrupting train services in the Tokyo area, affecting around 368,000 passengers in total.

The earthquake that struck the capital region at 10.41 p.m. on Thursday night reached upper 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in parts of Tokyo and Saitama prefecture, reports Xinhua news agency.

The last time that people in central Tokyo faced such an intense jolt was during the massive quake of March 11, 2011, which devastated northeastern Japan and triggered a tsunami and nuclear disaster.

According to East Japan Railway Co. (JR East), the strongest earthquake for the Japanese capital in a decade caused services on the Shinkansen bullet train and 16 local train lines cancelled or delayed from late night Thursday to about 3 p.m. (local time) on Friday, resulting in many late-night train passengers stranded and a commuter disruption in the morning.

JR East have resumed train services, but many passengers were forced to wait at stations due to delays.

After a train derailed in Tokyo’s Adachi Ward, one of the areas hit hardest by the temblor, the operation of the Nippori Toneri Liner, a driverless guideway transit system in Tokyo, might remain suspended for several days, according to its operator.

The Japan Transport Safety Board has sent officials to investigate the derailment.

According to a tally by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, two in Saitama Prefecture and one in Chiba Prefecture sustained severe injuries among the 32.

Around 250 houses in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward briefly experienced power outages due to the earthquake, and water stoppages and leaks were reported in central Tokyo.

The earthquake also caused 28 cases of people being trapped in elevators in Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures, but all cases have been cleared according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.

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India to showcase its art, culture, tradition and business prospect in Dubai

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Dubai: India is out to showcase to the world its arts and culture, rich history and tradition and opportunities that exist for individuals and corporates with its biggest pavilion of the 192 participating countries in the Expo 2020 Dubai.

The six-month-long Expo kicked off on October 1 with Dubai expecting a large number of visitors despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With the number of daily infections now well below 200 for the past week, the city has opened itself to the world. Most of the visitors are allowed to travel with a valid negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours.

However, India is still in the category that requires a valid negative PCR test certificate (with a QR code) for a test conducted within 48 hours, and a rapid PCR test report with a QR code for a test conducted at the departure airport within six hours of departure. The pavilion features a kinetic facade of 600 individual colourful blocks. The panels rotate and the facade presents a different look with each rotation, a unique representation of the country’s theme at the Expo, ‘India on the Move’.

The Indian pavilion was officially inaugurated by Piyush Goyal, Minister for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Textiles who said the Pavilion “shows an India on the move, it describes a new India rejuvenated, reinvented and revitalised, which can convert any adversity into an opportunity”.

As the country comes out a deadly second wave of the pandemic, India is eager to make an impression on the world and the Expo is a great platform. Aman Puri, Consul-General of India in Dubai, said: “India at Expo 2020 Dubai will present a new and dynamic India with its never-ending opportunities.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given us a clarion call for action to all stakeholders to give a renewed push to boosting exports and Expo 2020 will provide an important platform in driving forward this national agenda.”

While art and culture has always been a staple of India’s exhibitions in foreign countries, there is a big push for innovation and industries in Dubai. The India Innovation Hub, a specially designed mobile platform, was recently launched. It showcases innovations by Indian startups and corporates across various cutting edge fields like artificial intelligence, machine learning, mobility, robotics and space. As many as 15 states and eight Union Territories are taking part in the Expo, most of them displaying food, art & culture and business opportunities. Also, present and various ministries, like textile, space and energy, as well as some of the leading business houses like Tata, Reliance, L&T and Adani.

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