Azarenka beats error-prone Williams to win BNP Paribas Open

first_imgINDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP): Victoria Azarenka defeated error-prone Serena Williams 6-4, 6-4 to win the BNP Paribas Open yesterday, returning Azarenka to the world’s top 10 for the first time since August 2014. Clearly the crowd favourite, Williams gave fans little to cheer about on a 918 (328C) day in the California desert, while making 33 unforced errors. After getting broken to trail 3-0 in the second set, Williams returned to her seat and smashed her racket. Trailing 5-1, Williams won three straight games and held two break points on Azarenka’s serve in the last game. But Williams ended the match with three straight errors. It was Azarenka’s first victory over the top-ranked Williams since the Cincinnati final in August 2013. She will move up seven spots to No. 8 in the WTA Tour rankings today. Azarenka, who won here in 2012, hit just 10 winners and had 20 unforced errors in the two-hour match. She connected on 60 per cent of her first serves and broke Williams’ serve three times. Williams converted just one of 12 break chances. Williams was back at Indian Wells after ending her 14-year boycott last year, and the crowd, including Queen Latifah, was eager to support her. One fan held up a sign reading, “Go Serena. We straight outta Compton,” in a nod to the gang-infested Los Angeles suburb where the Williams sisters learnt to play tennis. But there was none of Williams’ trademark fist-pumping and screams of “Come on!” She hit just 22 winners. Azarenka and Williams met for the 21st time in their careers, with Williams now owning a 17-4 edge. The only player she has faced more in her career is older sister Venus, who watched grim-faced from a box after losing early in her return to Indian Wells for the first time since 2001. Williams was warmly welcomed back last year only to withdraw with a knee injury before her semi-final. She got emotional while accepting the runner-up trophy, tears welling in her eyes, after tournament officials thanked her and Venus for ending their boycotts. “Thank you so much for the cheers,” Williams said. “I can’t tell you how much it means to me.” Azarenka was gracious in victory, thanking Williams for her hard work that motivated the Belarussian to raise her game. Williams playfully stuck out her tongue as she walked past Azarenka posing with the winner’s crystal trophy on her way off the court.last_img read more

NFL owner: Hang safety rules, players paid big money to incur high-risk behavior

first_imgShow of hands: Who is enjoying the NFL’s new player-safety rules?Hello? Anyone? I know you’re out there — I can hear you cracking your knuckles.Truth: No one likes the new rules of engagement, designed to reduce collisions on kickoffs, on helmet-to-helmet contact and on hits to the quarterback. Not the fans, though the fans don’t have much of a stake in player safety beyond the gladiator-on-gladiator mayhem that goes so well with pizza rolls and chip and dip. The players don’t seem to like …last_img read more

Astrobiology Survives on Passionate Hope

first_imgWithout the words ‘might’ and ‘could,’ astrobiologists would have nothing to say.Two decades since astrobiology became a ‘science,’ there is still no evidence for life beyond earth. That doesn’t discourage the true believers. With olympic fervor, they reach a perfect score—zero—for actual evidence supporting their belief.Oceans on Jupiter? Gas Giants Might Start Out As ‘Steam Worlds’ (Space.com). Jupiter might have been a steamy water world before it became a gas giant. It might have lasted long enough to be habitable. And if it were habitable, life could have evolved there. That’s a summary of this article by Jesse Emspak, contributing author to Space.com. Imagine anyone else proposing such face-free ideas and calling it science. But since John Chambers has a job as a scientist at the Carnegie Institution, he gets permission from Emspak to speculate freely and propagate his myths on this popular science news site.Water worlds could support life: Analysis challenges idea that life requires ‘Earth clone’ (Phys.org). Because Earth’s many life-friendly features form such an improbable combination, astrobiologists are motivated to expand the boundaries of habitability. This article does not rely on actual evidence. It relies on computer models, programmed by believers in astrobiology. Such models can be considered as reliable as those programmed by believers in astrology.The conditions for life surviving on planets entirely covered in water are more fluid than previously thought, opening up the possibility that water worlds could be habitable, according to a new paper from the University of Chicago and Pennsylvania State University.The scientific community has largely assumed that planets covered in a deep ocean would not support the cycling of minerals and gases that keeps the climate stable on Earth, and thus wouldn’t be friendly to life. But the study, published Aug. 30 in The Astrophysical Journal, found that ocean planets could stay in the “sweet spot” for habitability much longer than previously assumed. The authors based their findings on more than a thousand simulations.Did you previously think that? Did you previously assume that? Beware lest the bio-astrologers snare you in their tontological net.Carl Sagan standing by Viking model.Life on Mars? 40 Years Later, Viking Lander Scientist Still Says ‘Yes’ (Space.com). Background: in 1976, two NASA craft landed on Mars in two different places and ran 3 carefully-designed experiments to specifically search for life. Two of the three experiments gave negative results, but one, the ‘labeled-release experiment’ (LRE) was inconclusive. Most scientists concluded that abiological chemistry could explain the ‘fizzy’ results. The subsequent discovery of ubiquitous perchlorates supported the abiological interpretation. This highly optimistic article, though, squeezes the ambiguous result for all it’s worth, using the principal investigator of the LRE, Gilbert Levin, as principal cheerleader. He makes it seem that subsequent evidence for water under the ice caps of the red planet justifies his belief that Viking found life in the Martian soil. Like a modern-day P.T. Barnum, he touts his greatest show on Mars, with fingers drumming for NASA funds.Go to Sea with Astrobiologists Visiting Hawaii to Learn How to Look for Alien Life (Space.com). Astrobiologists are setting out to search for extraterrestrial life—in Hawaii! NASA is paying their way to use techniques that might come in handy some day for evaluating claims of life on other planets. Sounds like a fun job if you can get it. Amy Smith gets to study a seamount in the Pacific.She’s particularly interested in finding out whether any critters can use hydrogen as a source of energy, since that molecule can be found below the ice of Enceladus. In addition to studying microbes at the site, she’ll also take samples for genetic testing and gather specimens to try to grow in her lab. “Since this environment is similar to what we might find, we predict, on other ocean worlds, we’re hoping to get some answers as to what kinds of life might be there,” Smith said.Other scientists get to participate remotely with ‘telepresence’ to watch the fun. Your tax dollars at work, making it seem like astrobiology is real science, even if there is no evidence for it.Small Doses of RealityOmega Centauri Is a Terrible Place to Look for Habitable Planets (Space.com). Cross off globular clusters as pleasant nurseries for life, Nola Taylor Redd says. A big one, Omega Centauri, “probably doesn’t contain many habitable worlds, a new study suggests.” The problem? Neighboring stars would steal the water. This letdown applies to other similar clusters.Previous studies had suggested that a globular cluster might be the first place where intelligent life is identified in the galaxy. That’s because the roughly 150 clusters around the Milky Way are about 10 billion years old, with stars roughly the same age, giving life plenty of time to emerge and evolve.Unfortunately, the large but cozy environment of Omega Centauri works against hopes for habitability. Even compact planetary systems would struggle to exist in the core of the cluster, where stars lie an average of 0.16 light-years apart, the new study suggests.When the world is not enough: how to find another planet to live on  (The Conversation). Eamonn Kerins at the University of Manchester, an astrophysicist, tries to remain optimistic about space travel by humans to other planets, but he knows better than to upset facts. After relating the history of discovering exoplanets, and the prospects for better detection, he hits the brakes a little:There are of course many other factors beyond bulk planet characteristics that contribute critically to the success of evolved life here on Earth. The truth is that our descendents [sic] won’t know for sure that they’ve found Earth-2 until they try living on it. So, while we would not hand an empty map to our brave space explorers of the future, we are a long way from being able to guarantee them habitable accommodation.And, lets [sic] be clear, the long journey time even to our nearest exoplanet neighbour, Proxima b, means that it is definitely a one-way ticket. Indeed, with current technology, this journey would take tens of thousands of years.Then he remembers some other challenges for the poor wayfaring earthlings:During their voyage the astronauts also have to shield themselves from potentially fatal doses of cosmic rays. They must also avoid muscular and skeletal wasting, and cope with the psychological demands of being locked up for years in a large tin can. At their destination, they will also have to adjust to life as an alien without the advantages of evolutionary adaption [sic] that we enjoy on Earth. This is probably the greatest challenge of all.Oh well, it was fun to be optimistic for a few paragraphs. Should humans expect to colonize space? “All things considered,” he ends, “it’s one long journey for a man, one giant roll of the dice for mankind.”If Darwin skeptics ever presented theories this fact-free, their words would be mocked, trashed, and rejected. Oh wait; they are anyway, facts notwithstanding.(Visited 316 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Panama Canal expansion boosting opportunity for U.S. ag

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A violent lightening streak tore across the sky on a recent trip for a group of U.S. farmers to visit the Panama Canal.“When we were at one of the locks it was just clouding up and a crack of lighting came from nowhere. It is a much more intense lightening than we have here in Ohio and it startled a lot of people. The tour guide said that the lightening is a blessing because without that lightening there is no rain, and if there is no rain water, there is no canal,” said Jeff Magyar, a northeast Ohio soybean grower who was on the trip. “The canal is a giant freshwater lake. They lift you up 40 feet and they drop you down 40 feet on the coasts and you go through a giant lake in the middle. When they open the gates at either end, all of that freshwater runs out into the ocean. They cannot bring saltwater in because that would impact the environment. With the new lock they have big cement basins to catch a higher percentage of that water they get to re-use for the lake because they may not have enough rainwater in a dry year. The weather down there is like Florida where they get violent thunderstorms almost every day, but with much more magnitude in the storms. That is what keeps the environment going down there and that is what feeds water to the canal.”Magyar sits on the board of the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) through his involvement with the Ohio Soybean Council. Because of the importance of the project to U.S. agriculture, the STC held its annual meeting in early December in Panama where around 100 U.S. soybean farmers (including Magyar) and staff members of soybean associations from around the country got a tour and received an update on the canal’s expansion from officials with the Panama Canal Authority. Along with the abundant rain, the U.S travelers definitely took note of the high temperatures and humidity.“I like the sun, but by noon or 1 in the afternoon there were not many people outside. It was like the hottest part of our warmest day in the summer at dawn down there and then it warms up for the rest of the day,” Magyar said. “It is all tropical rainforest around the canal. I never realized that they have such biodiversity there. It is amazing.”The Panama Canal recently celebrated a century in operation as a monumental achievement of mankind to add efficiency to world travel in a path cut through the wilderness.“The most impressive thing to me was that last year was 100 years in operation. The coast of that country is flatland and the middle of the country is mountains. They had to remove the mountain range 120 or so years ago. The magnitude of doing that 100 years ago was impressive. It is one thing to dig a ditch on the flatland. It is another to dig up a mountain range. Thousands of people died working on that project from malaria and yellow fever from the mosquitos,” Magyar said. “Today half of the money from the canal goes to keeping up the canal and the other half goes to the government. It is definitely a plus for American agriculture. It will also help South American agriculture but the U.S. is the No. 1 beneficiary. We were treated like royalty on the trip because American agriculture is still their top source of revenue for the canal.“I was shocked by the rates in the canal. I have read that the average fare through there is $80,000 to $100,000 but they were saying the average big, dry bulk shipment is more like $400,000. It takes 14 days to go around though.”The Panama Canal has proven to be a valuable shortcut for U.S. grain and soybean exports, connecting vessels loaded in the U.S. Gulf and at East Coast ports for destinations in Central America and Asia. The Panama Canal is wrapping up a $5.25 billion effort to expand its locks to meet current transit volumes, expand vessel transits supporting global trade growth, and to accommodate larger vessel sizes.Three out of every 10 bushels of grain and soybean exports from the U.S. go through the canal, accounting for more than half the exports through the Center Gulf, one-tenth of the Texas Gulf exports and nearly 30% of the Atlantic Coast exports. For soybeans specifically, the Panama Canal handles 44% of total U.S. exports — approximately 600 million bushels of U.S. soybeans annually.With the expansion, the canal will offer the potential for increased loading per vessel, larger vessel sizes to be used, decreased canal transit time, and lower transport costs overall. While in Panama, the group with the STC toured the current canal locks on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the country. In addition, participants were able to view the new expanded canal locks that are scheduled to be open for use in April.“It is incumbent upon farmers to not only be knowledgeable of and passionate about the supply and demand side of their industry. Farmers must also be knowledgeable of and passionate about the transportation system that allows supply to connect with demand,” said Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition. “The Panama Canal — both the current and future expanded canal — is an important artery that allows the U.S. soybean industry to be so competitive in the international marketplace. Farmers need to understand this key link in our logistics chain, which will hopefully serve to increase our resolve and motivation to demand that our nation appropriately invests in our own transportation system. If we fail to make these investments in our ports, inland waterways, railroads, and roads and bridges, the expanded Panama Canal will truly be a missed opportunity.”There particularly importance with the canal expansion for Magyar specifically, who grows food grade soybeans for export from his farm in Ashtabula County.“I grow all food grade beans, but we also have a storage facility where we take commercial beans. I work with Western Reserve and we have 750,000 bushels of storage. I use our old facility to keep the food grade beans segregated,” Magyar said. “This will potentially lower shipping costs, particularly on container shipments to the Asian markets and also possibly the Eastern European markets where they are very interested in non-GMO beans. The U.S is still the most reliable supply of soybeans and this will help us get our soybeans to the end user at a lower cost.”The Panama Canal is even more valuable to eastern U.S. agriculture due to the West Coast shipping slowdowns resulting from ongoing labor disputes between the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents companies that own West Coast ports, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents dock workers.“Ohio food grade soybeans are preferred in Asian markets, but our shipping costs have typically been the highest because they had to go by rail to the West Coast. But now, neither the customers nor the sellers want to deal with shipping through the West Coast because of all the issues they are having with labor out there. They are having so many problems shipping from the Pacific Northwest on the West Coast to Asia that more of our soybeans are going to be leaving from the Mississippi or the East Coast. They are saying that maybe the problems on the West Coast cannot be fixed,” Magyar said. “Now they are expanding the ports of Savannah and others and dredging them out to accommodate the new big ships that can go through the new Panama Canal. It is on the drawing board to get some of these ships that can utilize the new expanded canal into more American ports. There are half a dozen or so of these projects if the funding from Congress comes through. With the new canal for these big ships, we’ve got to be able to get them in our ports and nobody can rely on the West Coast ports right now because of the volatility there. Railroads have also been unreliable with the oil coming out of the Dakotas and that has been another issue with sending beans west.”In the end, the Panama Canal expansion will simply provide one more much-needed transportation advantage in the increasingly competitive world of agriculture, Steenhoek said.“With the expansion in the Panama Canal, we will be able to load ocean vessels that hold easily 500,000 more bushels of soybean per vessel. A typical ocean vessel today is loaded with 2.1 or 2.2 million bushels, so adding 500,000 bushels is substantial,” he said. “This is just shaving cents off the eventual delivered price at a time when agriculture is facing some headwinds from a strengthening U.S. dollar, a devaluation of the Brazilian Real, and a softening economy in China. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide benefits to U.S. agriculture by making our transportation system more efficient and making ourselves more competitive in the international marketplace.”For more on transportation and the Panama Canal, visit: soytransportation.org/issues.last_img read more

HP’s New ElitePad Business Tablet Is All About The Accessories

first_img There’s a docking station, for example, with connections for an external monitor and other ports to turn it into a desktop. (Other options include a simple external Bluetooth keyboard, an optical drive and a Tablet Pen.)But by far the most interesting accessory is HP’s “smart jacket,” designed to add capabilities for specific roles. Slipping on the productivity smart jacket adds a hard-connected keyboard, a second battery, better speakers, more ports and more slots. Presto, you’ve got a fully functional laptop. Will the idea of using a tablet as a primary computing device take off in corporate America? That depends on pricing, of course, and HP is not saying how much any of this will cost when it hits the market early next year.But the bigger question is how well a Swiss Army knife of a computer can perform each task it attempts. If it fails significantly on any one of them, the whole value propostion crumbles.Either way, though, I give HP — and ultimately Microsoft, too — credit for at least trying to expand the category and to address computing problems. Since the introduction of the iPad, we haven’t seen that much innovation in form factor, but Windows 8 seems to be starting that process. Not all of the results will be pretty or successful but it’s still a good thing. Tags:#enterprise#Microsoft#mobile fredric paul Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… If nothing else, Windows 8 is spurring some creativity in tablet design, even for business users. Hewlett-Packard’s new ElitePad 900, for example, offers an innovative expansion strategy and other accessories to try to position it as a primary business computer. One big question: How much will it all cost?I got a chance to play with the new ElitePad at a recent HP launch event in San Francisco, and I was intrigued by the sleek device and accessories designed to turn the tablet into a primary computing device. I instinctively support any attempt to expand computer and mobile-device options, and my initial impression is that this felt like a truly new approach that could add real value.But many questions remain as to whether professionals, who HP is aiming at with the ElitePad, will embrace the new model.First The BasicsThe ElitePad’s machined aluminum case holds Intel’s new Clover Trail processors,  a 10.1-inch Gorilla Glass screen with 1280 x 800 resolution with a 16:10 aspect ratio. The screen looked great in a dimly lit hotel room.There are twin cameras, a dual-array microphone and stereo speakers. There are 2GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage. A service door opens to reveal slots for a SIM card (the ElitePad supports 3G, 4G and NFC wireless connections) as well as a MicroSD slot. (In a very un-Apple approach, many parts of the ElitePad are consumer-servicable, a perk that corporate IT shops will no doubt appreciate.)The whole thing weighs 1.5 pounds and is 9.2mm thick. But those numbers are misleading because the ElitePad doesn’t really get going until you start adding accessories.One Tablet For All Tasks?Because the ElitePad is fully compatible with Windows 8, HP wants to position it as a professional’s primary computer, but computing horsepower aside, clearly a tablet lacks all of the required connectivity and interface options. So HP has surrounded the tablet with a collection of options designed to configure it for whatever purpose is required at the time. IT + Project Management: A Love Affairlast_img read more

Six Technologies Poised to Change the Future of Film

first_imgWhat does the future hold for filmmaking? These six new technologies may change things in ways you haven’t imagined.Top image via LytroIn 1885 two French brothers invented the first moving picture machine and filmed a train arriving at a station and everyone lost their minds. Since then, the medium has evolved; film has added color and sound and become digital and three-dimensional. We’ve seen the likes of D. W. Griffith, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Keanu Reeves, and Steven Spielberg all work to redefine what we consider to be movies, film, cinema and good.Now it’s 2016 and we’re over a hundred years removed from The Great Train Robbery. Screens are getting smaller and smarter, while films are getting bigger and more diverse and easier to consume than ever before. At the current rate, what we perceive as films will change much more drastically in the next hundred years than the last. Here are six emerging filmmaking technologies that just might be the instruments of that change.1. Light Field TechnologyImage via LytroCameras are progressing at a rate that can only be described as “whoa” and are even beginning to break the rules of image capture. A new camera by Lytro, the ILLUM, is the world’s first commercially available “light field camera.” What does it do?Well, basically when you take a picture with the ILLUM, you capture all of the image with all of the available information. Not just the parts in focus. Not just the light you see. All of it. Everything. Which essentially lets you decide in post what you want your aperture and focus to be.You can read more about the science here and explore the company’s other high-tech endeavors here.2. Flat LensesImage via Harvard SEASA team of Harvard researchers are working to patent a new type of optical lens that is flat rather than curved. Why you ask? Because a flat, ultra-thin lens can theoretically offer complete accuracy over a wider range of wavelengths and reduce chromatic aberrations usually associated with curved-lens capture. The new technology would certainly re-image how we create and package cameras — possibly resulting in doing away with any connotations of what a “camera” does and looks like.3. iPhone 7 Dual-Lens CameraWhile, the iPhone 7 won’t be the first phone camera to use dual lenses — it’ll probably be the best. Apple’s purchase of LinX Imaging gives the company the technology to give their phones SLR-quality image capturing capabilities, along with the always included fun gimmicks and features. There have already been some celebrated feature films shot on iPhones in the past, so it may not be too long before it becomes less of a gimmick and more of a trend.4. Canon PatentsImage via CanonAs we posted about earlier this month, there have been some hints and patent leaks that point to some major Canon announcements by the end of the summer. Highlights include a new Canon 5D, a camera which has routinely shaken up the world of digital video and photography over the last decade. And a possible Canon C700 to compete with the ARRI AMIRA. Regardless of your feelings about the brand, the breakthroughs seem to be speeding up as pixel counts sky rocket and the high-end bottoms out toward better cameras in the hands of more and more people.5. Computerized Sound DesignImage via MIT CSAILFrom this Washington Post article, MIT researchers have developed a computer system that can analyze silent video and add in realistic sound. While this is a work in progress based on the findings in the report, the notion of computerized algorithms sound designing an entire film could open up a whole world of possibilities for other elements of production.6. AI-written ScreenplaysWhich leads into this eerie and odd look into how a computer’s “mind” works.  New York University AI researcher Ross Goodwin teamed up with director Oscar Sharp to create Benjamin: a self-named recurrent neural network that penned its own screenplay after being fed dozens of science fiction movies as source material.You can watch the finished product (starring Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch) awkwardly unfold above. (Thankfully, it doesn’t appear Benjamin is on the fast-track to taking over Hollywood anytime soon.)There’s no real way to tell what the future holds in store. If the last century has served as any indication (the jump from Buster Keaton silent comedies to fully rendered interspecies adventures), there really aren’t any good ways to predict what will ever be next. As long as artists keep creating stories and audiences keep watching, it’s really just up to us to enjoy the ride. Have any other imaginations on the future of film? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Stop Avoiding the One Thing Standing Between You and Success

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now The biggest obstacle between you and what you want isn’t outside of you. It never was, is not now, and never will be.It’s Out There. Somewhere.You can easily spot people who believe their problems lie somewhere outside themselves. They focus in on things over which they have no control, and never on the one thing over which they have the most control.There is no end to the challenges the world faces right now. It is easier to focus on what’s wrong with the world today as a means of avoiding the areas where you need to, and can, make improvements. When you improve yourself, you also improve your little corner of the world, and you build your capacity to make a greater difference.Politics is an easy place to go to avoid dealing with your real problems. In fact, many of the people who spend their time worrying about partisan politics do so as a way to avoid addressing what really needs to change in their life. The changes you need to make are not going to be addressed by any politician or government agency. While elections are important, they aren’t nearly as important as what you can do for yourself.Some folks spend all of their time looking for what is wrong with other people, and recounting the sins of others to anyone who will listen. They can tell you what’s wrong with everyone they know, and they can tell you what’s wrong with a lot of people they’ve never met. They can identify the flaws in everyone except themselves. By looking outward for what’s wrong with other folks, they don’t have to look inward to see what’s really wrong.Problems don’t age well. Tiny monsters grow up to be bigger monsters. By avoiding the areas you need to improve, you not only limit your success, you sabotage it.It’s Inside of You Right NowYou are the single biggest obstacle to your own success. The difference between where you are now and where you want to be is made up of what you believe, what you are doing now, and what you are not doing now. It isn’t something outside of you.Because this is true, everything you need to go from where you are to where you want to be is also inside you right now. Right now you have potential. This means you have the capacity to be more, to do more, to have more, and to contribute more.There is nothing outside of you that deserves so much of your attention that it prevents you from focusing on what you really need to change.last_img read more

Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014: Games begin today, Sachin to play special role

first_imgVijender Kumar and Mandeep Jangra during a training session in Glasgow.The unprecedented success achieved in the last edition would be hard to replicate this time but a 215-member Indian contingent would nonetheless seek a top-five finish at the 20th Commonwealth Games which begin in Glasgow on Wednesday.India finished second behind Australia with a record 101 medal haul in New Delhi.The Games will have superstar sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica and middle and long distance king Mo Farah of England as highlights of the sporting extravaganza.India will be hit hard by the scrapping of archery and tennis and the reduction in the number of medal events in shooting and wrestling.India’s medal tally is expected to reduce drastically from the 101 (38 gold, 27 silver, 36 bronze) in 2010 and anything above 60 can be considered an achievement.India and Canada, who have sent a 265-member team to Glasgow, are expected to fight for third place behind Australia and England.India has returned with nearly 30 medallists from the last Games with the likes of Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Vijender Singh, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Krishna Poonia, Ashish Kumar and Achanta Sharath Kamal set to prove their mettle once again.Shooting is still expected to contribute a major chunk of medals for India despite 18 events being dropped since the last edition. Wrestling could get win at least 10 medals.The men’s and women’s hockey teams are also expected to finish on the podium.India is also set to lose out in athletics, which yielded 12 medals, including two gold, in Delhi. With lack of preparation ahead of the Games and most athletes struggling for form, not much is expected. The country may expect four or five medals with Krishna Poonia and Vikas Gowda (discus throw) and Arpinder Singh (triple jump) among contenders. The women’s 4x400m relay quartet has an outside chance for a medal.advertisementIn badminton, despite the absence of Saina Nehwal, India is expected to do well with PV Sindhu top seeded shuttler in women’s singles.The Games will officially be opened by Queen Elizabeth II at Celtic Park. Sachin at openingSachin Tendulkar is all set to play a special part in Wednesday’s opening ceremony of the 20th Commonwealth Games.Tendulkar will make his presence felt during the ceremony as the Global Goodwill Ambassador of the UNICEF, which has partnered with the GlasgowCWG organisers and the Commonwealth Games Federation in a first-of-its-kind initiative to spread awareness about the childrens’ problems.Organisers are however tightlipped about the details of Tendulkar’s role during the ceremony.”There will be something special from Tendulkar, wait and watch tomorrow, Lord David Puttnam,” UNICEF UK Ambassador, said after a programme on the partnership. Indian coaches now allowed at ringsideIndian boxers at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games will now be assisted by their coaches at ringside during their bouts.Kishen Narsi, India’s representative at the International Boxing Association (AIBA), informed that the world body has reversed its earlier decision byallowing Indian coaches to assist pugilists.”The Indian boxers are relieved and excited that Indian coaches will be allowed to second our boxers and be at ringside as per the information communicated by AIBA secretary,” read the mail.AIBA had earlier banned India coaches from ringside without giving any specific reason, but it was learnt that it resulted from confusion after the Indian federation’s exclusion from AIBA’s member list.But the world body seems to have realised that though the Indian federation is not a full member, it has provisional membership and has the right to take coaches to a tournament.The AIBA had already allowed Indian boxers to wear the national jersey, use the Tri-colour and play the national anthem in case one of them wins a gold medal during the CWG. Till then, the boxers were fighting under the AIBA banner ever since the Indian federation was suspended in December 2012. But AIBA had stated that coaches can’t be at ringside, a decision they reversed on Tuesday.The relaxation is only for the CWG as the AIBA has recently directed Boxing India, the provisional group to run the sport, to conduct an election byAugust 15 otherwise the boxers and coaches will face a ban from all AIBA-sanctioned tournaments.Eight men and three women Indian boxers are participating in Glasgow. The boxing competition starts on Friday but the pugilists have reached well inadvance to acclimatise. The men’s team has two practice sessions a day. Women boxers are excited since the discipline is making its debut at the CWG. However, their participation is limited to only – 51kg, 60kg and 75kg. At 2010 CWG, Indian boxers won three gold and four bronze medals.advertisementlast_img read more