first_imgNew Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) Veteran Skeet shooter Mairaj Ahmad Khan celebrated the biggest day of his 12 year-long shooting career, when he clinched a Rio Olympic Games quota place for India at the ISSF Shotgun World Championship, being held at Lonato, Italy. The 40-year-old Mairaj, who started the second day of Mens Skeet competitions in 9th position with a score of 74 after the first three rounds of Qualification, entered the Skeet finals in sixth position with a total score of 122 out of a maximum possible 125, after five rounds of qualification. Given that all the first five shooters in qualification had already booked their Rio berths, Mairaj secured one of the two available quota places. The other quota went to Germanys Ralf Buchheim who ended his qualification round in eighth position with an identical score of 122. This is Indias first Rio quota place in the Shotgun disciplines. Delighted at the turn of events, Raninder Singh, President, National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), said,”This performance and quota place gives me the most satisfaction as being a Shotgun shooter myself, it is very close to my heart. “What gives us all even more happiness is that the first quota in Shotgun came in Skeet, which has been traditionally one of our weaker disciplines. I am also immensely happy and proud of Mairaj, as all the hardships he has had to undergo all these years and the dedication and hard work that he has put in into his sport despite, is finally bearing fruit.” Noida-based Mairaj, who hails from the Ceramic City of Khurja in the Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh, had previously won a Team Skeet Gold at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games. The other quota winners from Indias shooting squad thus far are former Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, Olympic Bronze medalist Gagan Narang, Pistol aces Jitu Rai and Gurpreet Singh, Prakash Nanjappa, Chain Singh and Apurvi Chandela. Indias next and last chance to secure Olympic quota places will come up at the Asian Shooting Championships in November, which are slated to be held in Kuwait city. PTI KHS KHSlast_img read more

first_img(Eds: Recasting intro, adding information, editing throughout) Mumbai, Dec 20 (PTI) The world’s most popular professional basketball league, the NBA, Thursday announced it will bring two pre-season games to India next year, making it the first North American sports league to foray into the country. The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings will play in two pre-season games in Mumbai on October 4 and 5 next year. The games will take place at the NSCI Dome in Worli, announced NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum and NBA India Managing Director Yannick Colaco here. “Our inaugural NBA India Games will help further untap the enormous basketball potential in a country with a thriving sports culture and a growing, young and engaged population,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a media release. “We thank the Kings and Pacers organisations for participating in this historic event,” he added. In addition to the games, the league and its partners would conduct interactive fan activities, junior NBA youth basketball programming and NBA Cares community outreachevents. The Kings, under the leadership of the NBA’s first Indian-born majority owner and Mumbai native Vivek Ranadive, currently features 2018 No. 2 overall draft pick Marvin Bagley III, 2017 No. 5 overall draft pick DeAaron Fox and 2016 No. 6 overall draft pick Buddy Hield (Bahamas). Draft picks are players who are eligible to compete in the NBA, selected by the competing teams. The Pacers roster currently features 2018 NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo, 2016 NBA All-Rookie second team member Myles Turner and 2016 No. 11 overall draft pick Domantas Sabonis (Lithuania).advertisement”We are proud to be the first global sports league to bring games of this scale to India. The NBA and basketball have never been more popular in India, and fans will get to enjoy world-class showcases for our sport between two exciting teams in the Sacramento Kings and the Indiana Pacers,” said Colaco.Ranadive said his team is looking forward to playing in the first NBA games in India.”The Sacramento Kings are proud to be playing in the first NBA games ever held in India. As an Indian-American, it is an honour to help bring this historic moment to the country where I was raised,” said Ranadive.”We are thrilled to be one of the first two teams to play the first-ever game in India and proud to be part of the expanding NBA worldwide footprint of our game of basketball,” said Simon. The NBA matches are telecast live in India. The 2018-19 season includes five consecutive Sunday games from March 10 to April 7 that will air in primetime in the country. Since 2006, more than 35 current and former NBA and Women’s NBA players have visited India. The NBA office in Mumbai opened in 2011. The NBA Academy India, a training center in Delhi, officially opened in May last year. PTI SSR RSY PM PMlast_img read more