sports world

The sports wrap: PV Sindhu breaks into the top-5 of badminton world rankings, and other top stories

Manchester United beat Saint-Etienne after Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s hat-trick, top seed Angelique Keber crashed out of the Qatar Open.

The big news: Sindhu on the rise

Shuttler PV Sindhu became the second Indian woman to break into the top-five of the badminton singles world rankings. The Olympic silver medalist, who broke into the top-10 in 2013, achieved her career-best ranking of No. 5 on Thursday. Former world No. 1 Saina Nehwal is only other Indian woman to achieve such a feat. Sindhu, who started 2016 at No. 12, finished the year at No. 6 owing to her stellar show at the Rio Olympics and for clinching the China Open Super Series Premier in November.

Sindhu was delighted and said the No. 1 rank remains her goal. “I’m really very happy for achieving a career high rank of No. 5,” Sindhu said. “When I started playing in 2016 I never thought I would break into top-five within a year. This is quite unexpected,” she added. Her next target is to be world No. 3 by the end of 2017.

“I want to do well and win tournaments. I want to be No. 3 by the end of the year. But to achieve that I need to work really hard. Hopefully, I will give my best,” said Sindhu, who started 2017 by winning the Premier Badminton League title and the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold. Meanwhile, Nehwal remained static at No. 9, while Ajay Jayaram is the top-ranked Indian in men’s singles at No. 18.

Football:

  • Edin Dzeko smashed a hat-trick for Roma as they beat Villareal 4-0 in their first-leg encounter in the round-of-32 of the Europa League. The former Manchester City striker scored three in the last 25 minutes to take his European total to eight goals.
  • Southampton have signed former Juventus and Barcelona defender Martin Caceres until the end of the season. Caceres, who is a free agent and has 68 caps for Uruguay, left Serie A giants Juventus in the summer.       
  • According to Mesut Ozil’s agent, the forward is being made the scapegoat for Arsenal’s problems. Ozil was criticised again after Arsenal suffered a 5-1 defeat at Bayern Munich in Wednesday’s Champions League clash.
  • Tottenham were handed a surprise 1-0 loss by Belgian side Gent in their Europa league encounter. French striker Perbet scored the only goal of the match in the 59th minute. The second leg of the encounter will take place at Wembley on February 23.  
  • Mark Clattenburg is quitting his job as a Premier League match official to become Saudi Arabia’s new head of referees. Clattenburg is widely regarded as one of the best referees in football and took charge of the Euro 2016 final, the Champions League final and the FA Cup final last season.
  • Manchester United continued their amazing run as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick in their 3-0 win against Saint-Etienne in the first leg of the round-of-32 clash in the Europa league. The two sides meet for the second leg in St Etienne on February 22.
  • India coach Stephen Constantine has been asked to take temporary charge of the Under-17 squad and help them prepare for the World Cup, reported Hindustan Times

Tennis:

  • Top seed Angelique Kerber crashed out of the Qatar Open after she was beaten by Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 0-6, 6-4. Kasatkina will face Monica Puig in the quarter-finals.
  • Top seed Marin Cilic reached his first quarter-final of 2017 after he beat compatriot Borna Coric 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 at the Rotterdam Open.
  • Netherlands’ Jean-Julien Rojer recorded his 300th doubles career win by partnering Horia Tecau to a 6-4, 6-4 victory at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament over second-seeded Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez.      
  • Top seed Ivo Karlovic was stunned by Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6(2), 6-3 of the Memphis Open. With the win, Basilashvili reached the quarter-finals of the tournament. 
  • Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov put up a solid performance at the Argentina Open after he beat second seed Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 7-6(4) to reach the quarters.
  • Sania Mirza and her doubles partner Barbora Strycova beat USA’s Raquel Atawo and China’s Yifan Xu to enter the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open. The Mirza-Strycova duo beat their opponents 6-2, 6-4.

Cricket:

  • India U-19 managed to earn a hard-fought draw against England U-19 in the first Youth Test in Nagpur on Thursday.
  • Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif has been appointed the assistant coach of Indian Premier League side Gujarat Lions for the upcoming Indian Premier League season. 

Boxing:

  • India’s Vijender Singh will be gunning for a second title when he faces WBO Oriental middleweight champion Zulpikar Maimaitiali of China in Mumbai on April 1. 
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Changing the conversation around mental health in rural India

Insights that emerged from discussions around mental health at a village this World Mental Health Day.

Questioning is the art of learning. For an illness as debilitating as depression, asking the right questions is an important step in social acceptance and understanding. How do I open-up about my depression to my parents? Can meditation be counted as a treatment for depression? Should heartbreak be considered as a trigger for deep depression? These were some of the questions addressed by a panel consisting of the trustees and the founder of The Live Love Lough Foundation (TLLLF), a platform that seeks to champion the cause of mental health. The panel discussion was a part of an event organised by TLLLF to commemorate World Mental Health Day.

According to a National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), common mental disorders including depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders affect nearly 10% of the population, with 1 in 20 people in India suffering from depression. The survey reported a huge treatment gap, a problem that is spread far and wide across urban and rural parts of the country.

On 10th of October, trustees of the foundation, Anna Chandy, Dr. Shyam Bhat and Nina Nair, along with its founder, Deepika Padukone, made a visit to a community health project centre in Devangere, Karnataka. The project, started by The Association of People with Disability (APD) in 2010, got a much-needed boost after partnering with TLLLF 2 years ago, helping them reach 819 people suffering from mental illnesses and spreading its program to 6 Taluks, making a difference at a larger scale.

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During the visit, the TLLLF team met patients and their families to gain insights into the program’s effectiveness and impact. Basavaraja, a beneficiary of the program, spoke about the issues he faced because of his illness. He shared how people used to call him mad and would threaten to beat him up. Other patients expressed their difficulty in getting access to medical aid for which they had to travel to the next biggest city, Shivmoga which is about 2 hours away from Davangere. A marked difference from when TLLLF joined the project two years ago was the level of openness and awareness present amongst the villagers. Individuals and families were more expressive about their issues and challenges leading to a more evolved and helpful conversation.

The process of de-stigmatizing mental illnesses in a community and providing treatment to those who are suffering requires a strong nexus of partners to make progress in a holistic manner. Initially, getting different stakeholders together was difficult because of the lack of awareness and resources in the field of mental healthcare. But the project found its footing once it established a network of support from NIMHANS doctors who treated the patients at health camps, Primary Healthcare Centre doctors and the ASHA workers. On their visit, the TLLLF team along with APD and the project partners discussed the impact that was made by the program. Were beneficiaries able to access the free psychiatric drugs? Did the program help in reducing the distance patients had to travel to get treatment? During these discussions, the TLLLF team observed that even amongst the partners, there was an increased sense of support and responsiveness towards mental health aid.

The next leg of the visit took the TLLLF team to the village of Bilichodu where they met a support group that included 15 patients and caregivers. Ujjala Padukone, Deepika Padukone’s mother, being a caregiver herself, was also present in the discussion to share her experiences with the group and encouraged others to share their stories and concerns about their family members. While the discussion revolved around the importance of opening up and seeking help, the team brought about a forward-looking attitude within the group by discussing future possibilities in employment and livelihood options available for the patients.

As the TLLLF team honoured World Mental Health day, 2017 by visiting families, engaging with support groups and reviewing the successes and the challenges in rural mental healthcare, they noticed how the conversation, that was once difficult to start, now had characteristics of support, openness and a positive outlook towards the future. To continue this momentum, the organisation charted out the next steps that will further enrich the dialogue surrounding mental health, in both urban and rural areas. The steps include increasing research on mental health, enhancing the role of social media to drive awareness and decrease stigma and expanding their current programs. To know more, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of The Live Love Laugh Foundation and not by the Scroll editorial team.