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Home >> BMTimes >> Sports Personalities
Sunday, October 23, 2016  Don't Miss Next BM Times Article! Subscribe

Pankaj Advani - On the right cue

Considered a game for the retired until recently, Cue sports has been quite radically transformed in the last few years. It is true that billiards and snooker did come with certain limitations that were a hindrance to popularity in our country. Women's participation has been extremely limited so far and the expensive equipment used in the sport and the money needed to maintain has rendered it a recreation for the elite in pubs, discos and clubs. India's presence on the World scene was noted for the first time when Wilson Jones won his first world title in 1958, 50 years ago. International recognition came with victories at world level by Michael Ferreira, O.B. Agarwal, Manoj Kothari and Geet Sethi. Pankaj Advani happens to be the newest star on the rise with many of India's total of world titles already to his credit. He is also the only Indian and the only Asian to win world titles in both billiards and snooker.

After winning the IBSF World Billiards Championship in 2005 at Qawra, Malta, he became only the second cueist after Malta's Paul Mifsud to have won both the billiards and snooker world titles.

[November 7, 2009] Click here to view details

Saina Nehwal - A new hope

In spite of being a regular choice for youngsters as a fitness regime, Badminton has never achieved the same level of popularity in India as Cricket or even football. It is true that, a game that involves team participation has its natural fan following but in recent years, an individual's game like tennis has been quite in the limelight owing to the achievements of the likes of Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza. However, apart from the legendary Prakash Padukone and Gopichand, Indian badminton players have not been able to sustain the sports lover's attention on them despite occasional flashes of brilliance. Not that is, until the arrival of Saina Nehwal.

Beginning early

Born into a badminton family in Haryana on March 17th, 1990, Saina has the initial advantage of having the game implanted in her genes. Both her father, Dr. Harvir Singh and mother Usha Rani were former State Badminton Champions in Haryana. The family being settled in Hyderabad, Saina started training for the game under Nani Prasad, the Badminton Coach at the Lal Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad at the tender age of eight. Later in her career, Saina has trained under S.M.


arrow.gif (61 bytes)Click here to view details [August 20, 2009]


Oliver 'The Titan' Kahn : A living legend


Oliver Rolf Kahn, one of the best goalkeepers of Germany, was born in Karlsruhe on June 15, 1969. He is one of the greatest goalkeepers Germany has ever had, having played over 535 matches at the German league (Bundesliga) with 190 'clean-sheet' matches among them. He has taken the field in 86 International matches, gracing the name of his country as a brave, skillful shot-stopper.

Kahn's soccer career started in 1975-76 season, when Karlsruher SC signed him up as a goalie for their youth team, later promoting him to their senior team in 1987-88. Till 1990, Kahn had no option but to take the reserve bench. In 1990, KSC coach Winfried Schäfer decided to use Kahn in place of Alexander Famulla, the active goalkeeper. In the years that followed, Kahn gradually established himself as a quality goalkeeper, assisting his team in bagging several victories in lower level leagues and also the Bundesliga. His stellar performance helped KSC make a name for itself in UEFA cup in the 1993-94 season, marked by the historic 7-0 win over Valencia CF. Kahn established his name in the tournament as one of the key goalkeepers, with multiple 'clean-sheet' matches to his name.

[May 19, 2008] arrow.gif (58 bytes)Click here to view details