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The PBL3 auction has raised a lot of questions about the importance, or the lack of it, given to Indian doubles shuttlers.

The Indian singles shuttlers may have hogged all the limelight at the Premier Badminton League (PBL) 2018 auction with HS Prannoy becoming the costliest player but it is a very different scene in doubles. Once more the Indian doubles shuttlers have been pushed into the shadows with most teams splurging on foreign recruits, which the World No. 33 men’s doubles player, B Sumeeth Reddy has raised his voice against on social media.

He has asked for the teams to have at least one Indian in doubles and mixed, thus giving the home players a prized opportunity to learn from the foreigners.



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KUALA LUMPUR: Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin (pic) is desperate to revive his flagging badminton career.

And what better place to get it right than at his most memorable tournament – the upgraded Perodua Malaysia Masters from Jan 16-21 at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur Sports City.

His career went downhill within 20 months since winning last year’s Masters in Penang.

He was touted as a player for the future but failed to live up to expectations with early exits in lower ranked European tournaments.

 His world ranking has also seen a drastic drop from No. 23 to No. 63.



CHENNAI: Kidambi Srikanth has scaled another peak. Not World No 1 in rankings yet, the player from Andhra’s Guntur is topping the list of prize money-earners for the year.

A list released by the Badminton World Federation shows him with earnings of $149,797.50 (Rs 98.2 lakh approx) in 2017 so far. The 24-year-old leads the way in men’s and women’s singles.

PV Sindhu is third on the women’s list, with $93,212.50 (Rs 61.1 lakh). Saina Nehwal is 14th, her prize money amounting to $25,427.50 (Rs 16.67 lakh). Curiously, Srikanth said he is not aware of this.

“It’s not about the prize money. It’s more about performing well,” he said. He is busy training, aiming to add to his tally of two Superseries titles this year. He won these in Australia and Indonesia, with respective prize purses of $ 56,250 and $ 75,000. Although he lost in the World Championship quarterfinals, these results propelled him to the top of the money list.



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A new badminton club has been established in Castlepark.

AFTER the success of a breakfast badminton club at Castlepark Primary School, arranged by Irvine Junior Badminton Club and North Ayrshire Active Schools coordinator Stephen Fraser, IJBC committee have established a new junior club at Castlepark Community Centre.

The first session was delivered on Saturday, with 20 kids registered for their first session.

The session consisted of introduction to badminton, warm-up games, back hand serves, shuttle runs and around the world. The session was delivered by Andrew Tremble Jnr and sister Eva.

The local badminton club have had success in funding from The Lottery Fund and North Ayrshire Venture Trust. This funding is aimed at badminton in the community.

IJBC now have four sessions per week.



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BENGALURU: On Monday September 17, badmintor player Kritharth Singh, 25, woke up with a mild headache and noticed weakness and numbness on left side of his body. He fell on the floor from his bed.  The left side of his face went cold and he was unable to speak. The resident of  Sahakhar nagar was rushed to Aster CMI Hospital. He was immediately examined and in 90 minutes, a diagnosis and treatment was instituted, informs Dr Ravi  Gopal Varma, chief of neurosciences, Aster CMI Hospital.



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The Yonex Dutch Open is one of the streaming highlights for Badminton Europe as the annual Grand Prix event in Almere tends to draw a high quality field ahead of the Denmark Open the following week. This year is no different with many top stars stopping off in Almere before the trip to Odense.

The men’s singles is particularly interesting as Japan’s Kento Momota continues his whirlwind trip around Europe soaking up every available world ranking point and Denmark’s Hans Kristian Solberg Vittinghus bids to try something different in his bid for some home success in Denmark the following week.

“I decided to play Dutch Open this year to try something new in my preparations for Denmark Open. I haven’t exactly performed well in Denmark that last year’s so thought it might be good to try and prepare a bit differently this time and see how it works”

Vittinghus also has world ranking points on his mind this coming week ahead of a tour shake up in 2018

“I also need to consolidate my spot inside the world’s top 30 ahead of the new world tour next year as there will be no qualifying at the two top tiers so of course I am also going to Dutch in search of some much needed world ranking points.”

Vittinghus travels to the Netherlands as third seed and all things considered should be value for the seeding. However, the Dane finds himself in the same side of the draw as Momota with both due to meet as early as the quarter final.


CHENNAI: The status of the Indian economy has been under the scanner in the last few months with the falling GDP being the talk of the town. The situation notwithstanding, teams went all out with their moolah for the shuttlers at the Premier Badminton League (PBL) 3 auctions that were held here on Monday.

India’s top guns PV Sindhu (Rs 48.75 lakh, Chennai Smashers), Saina Nehwal (Rs 41.25 lakh, Awadhe Warriors) and Kidambi Srikanth (Rs 56.1 lakh, Awadhe Warriors) were retained by their respective teams, while there were a few surprises.

One of the two new teams, Ahmedabad Smash Masters, began the auction by grabbing the world’s number one women’s singles player Tai Tzu Ying for Rs 52 lakh, who will be making a debut in the tournament. The Smash Masters also netted India’s fast-improving men’s singles player HS Prannoy, making him this auctions’ most expensive player (Rs 62 lakh).

Express contacted the Smash Masters’ owner Ashish Shah to learn if their recruitment targets had been achieved.

“From the start we knew that we wanted Prannoy. That strategy was to get him. Same with Ying,” Shah said.



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KUALA LUMPUR: Youngster Chen Tang Jie is relishing the chance to make headway with seasoned campaigner Goh Liu Ying.

Tang Jie reported for duty and went through a training session in the afternoon with Liu Ying at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (BAM) in Bukit Kiara yesterday.

National mixed doubles head coach Chin Eei Hui has paired up Tang Jie, a Petaling Badminton Club (PBC) product, with Liu Ying to add depth in the squad.

The duo will make their debut in two tournaments – the India International Challenge in Mumbai (Nov 29-Dec 3) and the Maldives International Challenge in Male (Dec 5-10).

 Liu Ying-Peng Soon won the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and reached the All-England final in March. They had to break up due to Liu Ying’s shoulder injury in April.


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New York Giants strong safety Landon Collins answers a question during a postgame press conference after an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo)

The New York Giants’ 27-22 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday dropped their record to 0-5 for the NFL’s 2017 season. History says the Giants will spend the rest of the season playing out the string. All-Pro strong safety Landon Collins says otherwise.

“We’re still playing for the Super Bowl,” Collins said after the loss. “We still have a chance. It’s not over yet. We still have division games. We still can win. I remember a 9-7 team winning it all, so we’ve still got a chance.”

Only one team in NFL history has opened a season with an 0-4 record and gone to the playoffs that year — the 1992 San Diego Chargers. No team that started a season with five straight losses has reached the postseason.

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Intro: What were the main takeaways from Sunday’s 2017 Week 5 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers? Here are Five Things Learned, presented by McDonald’s.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts moved to 2-3 on the season Sunday afternoon with their 26-23 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The game was a back-and-forth trade of field goals until the third quarter, when the Colts would finally find the end zone — thanks to a spectacular Marlon Mack 22-yard touchdown run — and by the 9:56 mark of the fourth quarter, after another 49ers field goal, Indianapolis appeared to be well in control after a three-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jacoby Brissett, putting his team up 23-9.

But as they had done in their three games prior to Sunday’s battle, the 49ers continued to scratch and claw, and at the 20-second mark of the fourth quarter, they capped their game-tying 14-0 run with a six-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer to fullback Kyle Juszczyk to force overtime.

In that extra period, after a 49ers interception on the Colts’ initial drive, and then a punt on San Francisco’s ensuing possession, the home fans were sent home happy when Adam Vinatieri hit his fourth field goal of the day, this time from 51 yards out, to earn a 26-23 overtime victory.

“Obviously great to get the win,” Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said. “We make it harder sometimes than it has to be. Credit the Niners, they played their tails off. It was a heck of a ball game; it was a slugfest. They made plays, we made plays and we found a way just to make a few more at the end.”

Here are the FIVE THINGS LEARNED from Sunday’s victory over the 49ers:

• RETURN OF THE MACK: The Colts selected Marlon Mack in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft to add a completely different gear to their crop of running backs; a speedster capable of breaking big plays any time he has the ball in his hands. Unfortunately for Mack and the Colts, a shoulder injury suffered Week 2 had kept Mack off the field the last two weeks heading into Sunday’s game against the 49ers. Mack was able to make up for lost time, however, turning in a career day against the San Francisco defense, as he logged nine carries for 91 yards (10.1 avg.) with a touchdown, oftentimes kicking things outside and using his quickness to break tackles and gain yards in big chunks. Mack also nearly had a second rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter, when he bounced another run to the right end, evaded would-be tacklers, lost his balance along the sidelines but still managed to stay in-bounds and dive into the end zone, but a replay showed his knee was down just short of the goal line.

• THE GOAT: On a day in which the Colts would honor the greatest quarterback of all-time, Peyton Manning, the man who will likely soon own every major kicking record there is in the NFL shined in the actual game. Adam Vinatieri on Sunday hit all four of his field goal attempts, two of which — including the game-winner in overtime — came from 50-plus yards. Just about every kick he hits ties or breaks a record, which was certainly the case on Sunday: he moved into second place all-time in NFL history in field goals made (539); he became the third player in NFL history to accumulate 2,400-plus points; and he now has 10 career game-winning field goals in overtime, the most in NFL history. Vinatieri, the league’s oldest player at 44 years old, just keeps, well, kicking.

• SAME STORY: One of the major storylines now for the past four games for the Colts has been the team’s second-half struggles. On Sunday, for the second time in three weeks, the Colts had at least a two-score fourth-quarter lead, at home, yet their opponent would be afforded the opportunity to get back into the game. Against the Cleveland Browns two weeks ago, Indianapolis was able to close it out in regulation, but on Sunday against the 49ers, the Colts would need an overtime period — and an interesting, up-and-down overtime period at that — to escape with the win. “It’s good to get the win. We’ll take it right now any way we can. But you’re exactly right, you’re up 14 (points) in the fourth, you’ve got to find a way,” Pagano said. “They made plays, they got hot, they found the tight end, they got something going and the guy made some plays. We made a few more than they made in overtime.”

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