Current Affairs March 2018 - Sports

1 - India's Shahzar Rizvi sets world record in 10 meter air pistol event

Shahzar Rizvi

India won three medals which include a gold and two bronze at ISSF World Cup held in Mexico. Shahzar Rizvi clinched the gold medal with a world record score in his maiden ISSF World Cup appearance. The Meerut-based Rizvi shot a world record 242.3 in the 10 metre air pistol event's final to beat reigning Olympic champion Christian Reitz of Germany to win the top prize.

Pistol ace Jitu Rai won the bronze in the event with a score of 219, as three Indians made it to the finals of the season's first World Cup.

2 - India beat Pakistan to win Snooker Team World Cup

World Cup

India have won the inaugural IBSF Snooker Team World Cup title. The Indian combine of Pankaj Advani and Manan Chandra defeated Pakistan -2 (Muhammad Asif, Babar Masih), 3-2 in the best-of-five final played in Doha. Advani and Chandra defeated the Iran in the semi-finals. Winners received USD15,000 prize money. It has been for the first time that Indian Snooker team has lifted the first edition of IBSF Snooker Team World Cup.

The IBSF is the snooker division of the World Confederation of Billiard Sports, which promotes cue sports in the form of carom, pool and snooker.

3 - Tokyo unveiled 2020 Olympics and Paralympics mascot

Tokyo 2020

The winning designs were officially unveiled by the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020). One of such mascot is a futuristic blue-checked, doe-eyed athletic character with pointy ears and second one is cherry blossom-inspired superhero with “special powers”. His characters – dark blue for the Olympic Games and cherry blossom pink for the Paralympic Games – strove to combine traditional values with “innovation from peace” concept which is at the heart of the branding vision for Tokyo 2020.

The winning designs, declared as mascots were designed by a graphic designer from Fukuoka.

4 - IOC restored Russia's Olympic membership

International Olympic Committee

International Olympic Committee lifted ban on Russia and restored its organization's membership from Pyeongchang 2018 due to no violations found in doping tests. Russia was banned from February's Games by the IOC due to doping violations in December 2017.

The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as PyeongChang 2018, is a major international winter multi-sport event held in Pyeongchang County. It involved various events such as ice hockey, long track speed skating, alpine skiing, snowboarding etc.

5 - Navjot Kaur created history in Asian Wrestling Championship

Navjot Kaur

India’s Navjot Kaur created history by becoming the first Indian woman to win gold at the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She defeated Japan's Miya Imai by 9-1 in the final in 65 kgs category whereas Sakshi Malik won bronze medal in the women's 62kg category by 10-7 defeating Ayaulym Kassymova of Kazhakstan.

Overall, India scored itself at 2nd position in the medals tally. The medals tally was topped by China, followed by India at 2nd place and Japan at 3rd place.

6 - Eoin Morgan to captain ICC World XI against Windies

Eoin Morgan

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that England ODI captain Eoin Morgan will lead an ICC World XI in a T20I against the West Indies at Lord’s on 31 May 2018. The game will raise funds for two stadia in the Caribbean that were damaged following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

The West Indies are the defending World T20 champions. The World XI squad is yet to be named while Windies will have the services of their T20 specialists like Sunil Narine, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard etc.

7 - Viswanathan Anand bagged Tal Memorial Rapid Chess title

Viswanathan Anand

Veteran chess player Viswanathan Anand won Tal Memorial rapid chess title in Moscow, Russia defeating Israel’s Boris Gelfand. Viswanathan Anand defeated Ian Nepomniachtchi, Alexander Grischuk and Daniil Dubov to reach finals.

The Tal Memorial is a chess championship played every year in Moscow, Russia in the memory of former World Champion Mikhail Tal. 2018 Tal Memorial rapid chess title was 11th tournament. The tournament consist of Blitz chess title and Rapid Chess title. The Blitz chess title was bagged by Sergey Karjakin of Russia.

8 - Rashid Khan became youngest captain in International cricket history

Youngest Captain

Afghanistan’s 19 years and 165 days old Rashid Khan became the youngest captain in International cricket history. He became the youngest player to score first position in ICC bowlers ranking of ODIs and T20Is. Prior to him, the record was held by Bangladesh's Rajin Saleh (20 years and 197 days old). In such a small span of cricket journey, he has won four ‘One Day International five-wicket hauls’, once ‘Twenty20 International five-wicket hauls’ and thrice ‘Man of the Match’ award.

Rashid Khan played in the 2017 Indian Premier League for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

9 - India finished with 3 Gold and 2 bronze in Asian Archery

Asian Archery

Indian junior archers bagged three gold and two bronze medals in the Asia Cup Archery Stage 1 campaign in Bangkok. India had bagged Gold in the women's compound individual section after Muskan Kirar beat Nadhirah Zakaria Sazatul of Malaysia 139-136.

Promila Daimary won second individual gold medal for India on the final day as she defeated Natalia Erdynieva of Russia 7-3 in the women's recurve individual. Indian trio of Akash, Gora Ho and Gaurav Lambe defeated Mongolian rivals 27-26 in the tie-breaker to clinch the third gold.

10 - Tejaswin Shankar broke his own National Record in High Jump

Tejaswin Shankar

Indian High-jumper Tejaswin Shankar broke his own national record to claim the high jump gold on the third and penultimate day of the 22nd Federation Cup Senior National Athletics Championships.

Shankar jumped over the bar at 2.28m. Previously he had created a national record of 2.26m which he achieved in Coimbatore in 2016 during the Junior National Championships. Siddharth Yadav of Haryana delivered the performance of his career to also clear 2.25m and finish with silver.

11 - Australia beat England 2-1 to win 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

Australia defeated England 2-1 in the final to win the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia and regain the title. Blake Govers and Lachlan Sharp scored for Australia while Samuel Ward scored for England.

Argentina claimed the bronze medal with a 3-2 win over hosts Malaysia. India finished a disappointing fifth after beating Ireland 4-1. Gonzalo Peillat of Argentina was the top scorer of the tournament with 8 goals while Daniel Beale was adjudged the Best Player Award.

12 - Kagiso Rabada top-ranked bowler in ICC Test Rankings

Kagiso Rabada

South Africa's Kagiso Rabada has regained his top spot among bowlers in the International Cricket Council (ICC) latest Test Player rankings. Rabada crossed the coveted 900-point mark in ratings. He is the 23rd bowler to cross 900 points and the only fourth South African player to do so after Vernon Philander, Shaun Pollock and Dale Steyn.

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is ranked fourth while Ravindra Jadeja is at the third place. In the batsmen's list, Australian skipper Steve Smith is at the top while Indian captain Virat Kohli is in the second position.

13 - Juan Martin del Potro won the Indian Wells Masters title

Del Potro

Juan Martin del Potro ended world number one Roger Federer's 17-match unbeaten run and bagged the Indian Wells Masters title in California. The eighth-seeded Argentine beat the veteran Swiss, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 in the final.

It was Del Potro's maiden ATP Masters 1000 trophy. Del Potro also became the first player to beat Federer in 2018. Jack Sock and John Isner of the United States won the doubles finals of the tournament against the US pair of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan.

14 - IIFCL contributes Rs. 10 crores to NSDF


India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) has made contribution of Rs 10.00 Crore to the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF). This is the third installment of contribution made by the IIFCL making the total contribution Rs 30.00 Crore.

The IIFCL contribution is being utilized for promotion of sports in the disciplines Badminton, Archery and Para Sports by way of support to sportspersons in these disciplines for their customized training and other services and setting up of Academies/Support to Academies in these disciplines.

15 - Nepal Cricket Team gains ODI Status

Nepal Cricket Team

Nepal marked its biggest accomplishment in cricket history after it secured the One-Day International status with a six-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea in the seventh place playoff semi-final under the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Nepal will retain the ODI and the Twenty20 International status for the next four years. Nepali national team can now include on its calendar the InterContinental Cup, a four-day tournament between non-Test playing nations, and the World Cricket League Championship.

16 - Purva Barve won Israel Junior 2018 badminton tournament

Purva Barve

India's Purva Barve won the women's singles (Under-19) title at the Israel Junior 2018 held in Rishon LeZion. She was the defending champion of the tournament. She defeated Russian Anastasiia Pustinskaia 21-19, 19-21, 21-13 in the final match.

This was Purva's first title in 2018 and third overall. Earlier she won the Israel Junior 2017, Italian Junior International 2017 apart from a bronze at the Russian Junior White Nights 2017. She is currently ranked No. 20 on BWF Junior Rankings charts.

17 - HS Prannoy regains world no 12 in latest badminton rankings

HS Prannoy

According to the latest badminton rankings released by BWF, Indian shuttler HS Prannoy jumped four places to regain the world number 12 spot. Second-ranked Kidambi Srikanth narrowed his gap with world no 1 Viktor Axelsen. P V Sindhu was static at the third sport.

Saina Nehwal, who was ousted on the opening day of All England, remains static at the 12th spot. Sai Praneeth slips to 15th spot.

18 - Mohammed Shami cleared of match-fixing allegations by BCCI

Mohammed Shami

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) cleared India fast bowler Mohammed Shami of corruption charges levelled by his wife Hasin Jahan. The inquiry was led by Mr Neeraj Kumar, former Police Commissioner of Delhi and Head of BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit.

Shami was also given a Grade 'B' annual contract and he can also play in the Indian Premier League for his franchise the Delhi Daredevils. Shami has taken 110 wickets in the 30 Tests he played so far while accounted 91 scalps in 50 ODIs.

19 - Pankaj Advani retained Asian billiards title

Pankaj Advani

Pankaj Advani has defended his Asian Billiards Championships title. In the summit clash at Yangon in Myanmar, Advani defeated his practice partner B Bhaskar 6-1. With this win, Advani remains the reigning Indian, Asian and world champion in billiards for 2017-18.

This is Advani's 11th gold medal at the Asian level of cue sports. His continental billiards title tally has gone up to seven, in addition to the back-to-back Asian Games gold medals in 2006 and 2010, one 6-red snooker title and a snooker team gold.

20 - Afghanistan won ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier

ICC Cricket World Cup

Afghanistan defeated West Indies by seven-wickets to win the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier held in Harare, Zimbabwe. Mohammad Shahzad of Afghanistan was declared the Man of the Match for his innings of 84 runs in the final. Sikandar Raza of Zimbabwe won the Player of the tournament award.

The 2018 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier decided the final qualification for the 2019 World Cup, to be played in England and Wales. The top two teams, Afghanistan and the West Indies, qualified for the World Cup.

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