PH jiu-jitsu team. Apryl Jessica Eppinger (extreme left), Margarita Ochoa (third from left) and Annie Ramirez (fourth from left).ASHGABAT—Annie Ramirez pocketed a second gold medal for the Philippines in an-all Filipino final in the jiu-jitsu competitions of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games at the Martial Arts Arena here.Ramirez ruled the women’s Ne-waza -55kg category at the expense of Jenna Kaila Napolis, 5-0, that pushed the country’s medal production to two gold, three silver and one bronze medals.ADVERTISEMENT Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LATEST STORIES Jiu-jitsu expert Ochoa delivers PH’s 1st gold in Aimag PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Gian Taylor Dee aimed to make it three in a row but Omar Alfadhli of UAE derailed him in the finals of the men’s -56kg and settled for a silver medal following a similar performance of Marc Alexandar Lim (-69kg) earlier.Overall, Filipino jiu-jitsu fighters ended their campaign with two gold and two silver medals, surpassing the Philippine medal tally of one gold and two bronzes in the 2013 Incheon edition of the AIMAG.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next MOST READ
“I already have two sure candidates in mind,” said Cojuangco during the thanksgiving mass and dinner party for the Philippine Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games delegation Friday night at V Corporate building in Makati City.Cojuangco, however, declined to name the athletes and the national sports associations who can make history by delivering the first-ever gold medal for the Philippines in the Olympics.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I have a strong feeling they can win it. But I don’t want to mention the sport; I don’t want to pressure them,” said the POC chief. “We just have to fuel them up with high-octane gasoline and their performances can translate into gold medals.”Cojuangco said the athletes are homegrown but hinted that other potential gold medals could also come from swimmers and tracksters based in the United States. “We need a training center to achieve this. Without a training center, getting those medals will be difficult,” he pointed out.According to Cojuangco, there’s already a masterplan for the construction of a new sports facility in Clark Green City while the POC is also looking at another site in Iba, Zambales, to put up a training center.The Philippines could only settle for another silver medal courtesy of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games, 20 years after boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco delivered the last medal for the country with a silver performance in the 1996 Atlanta Games.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ateneo bags sixth win, hands NU third straight loss BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president POC President Peping Cojuangco. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe Philippines won’t simply end the country’s gold medal drought in the Olympics in the 2020 Tokyo Games. But it’s going to do so in style.Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco Jr. believes Filipino athletes are capable of winning five gold medals in Tokyo, but only if the country puts up the proper training facilities needed for these athletes to succeed.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next
MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC AFP official booed out of forum Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City “It was hard work, but in the end the boys enjoyed it,” Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp said after the club’s first appearance in the knockout stage of the Champions League for almost nine years.“I saw a lot of fantastic performances tonight and a result like this is only possible if everyone is really at the top of their game,” Klopp said. “They did it well and that’s the only way to be successful.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLiverpool is the top-scoring side in the competition with 28 goals.“We knew we were facing a great team but we weren’t expecting this,” said Porto defender Alex Telles, whose team was without injured midfielders Danilo Pereira and Andre Andre. Striker Vincent Aboubakar was also out with a muscle problem. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Read Next Ronaldo scores 2 as PSG learns Champions League lesson At the other end, Virgil van Dijk marshaled Liverpool’s defense on his Champions League debut for the club following his winter switch from Southampton.Firmino got the goal his performance deserved with a simple finish inside the left post from Milner’s cross with 20 minutes remaining, and Mane took advantage of some lax defending to seal the win with a fine strike from distance late on.“We needed to play as a team and that’s what we did,” Mane said after his first hat trick for Liverpool. “We played great football, created great chances and scored five goals. I enjoyed the fifth goal the most.”Casillas’ former side, Real Madrid, came from behind to beat visiting Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 in the other Champions League game on Wednesday. A mistake from Porto goalkeeper Jose Sa allowed Mane’s shot to squirm under his body after a slow start from the visitors, and Salah displayed all his class to make it 2-0 four minutes later inside the first half-hour.James Milner hit the post but Salah was well-placed to take the rebound, lift it with his left foot and then head it past Sa before slotting into the empty net without letting it touch the ground.It was the African player of the year’s sixth goal in the competition, and his ninth in eight games across all competitions.The home side showed promise after the break but was caught on a counterattack when Sa saved Firmino’s effort, only to push the ball toward Mane’s feet. The Senegal striker needed no second invitation for his second goal.Sa was playing in place of Iker Casillas, dropped earlier this season after falling out of favor with Porto coach Sergio Conceicao, who must have been reconsidering his decision after a shaky performance from the 24-year-old Sa.ADVERTISEMENT Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Liverpool’s Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring his side’s fifth goal during the Champions League round of sixteen first leg soccer match between FC Porto and Liverpool FC at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Luis Vieira)PORTO, Portugal — Liverpool put one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals with a 5-0 away rout of Porto in the first leg of their last-16 match on Wednesday.Sadio Mane scored a hat trick and Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino provided the other two goals to give the Premier League side a huge advantage ahead of the second leg at Anfield on March 6.ADVERTISEMENT 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting LATEST STORIES
MOST READ Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Gamboa Coffee Mix-St. Clare clawed its way back from a 12-point hole in the fourth quarter to overcome Perpetual, 78-73, on Monday in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at JCSGO Gym in Cubao, Quezon City.The Coffee Lovers overhauled a 61-49 deficit early in the payoff period with a 17-4 run to take a 66-65 lead before silencing the Altas in the clutch.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City “We adjusted our defense and played our match-ups well,” said coach Jinino Manansala, as Gamboa-St. Clare raised its mark to 3-2.Aris Dionisio poured in 21 points for Gamboa.In the second game, Wangs Basketball-Letran capitalized on its 18-day rest and pounded Jose Rizal University, 73-55, to halt its two-game losing skid and tie Gamboa. —RANDOLPH B. LEONGSON, INQUIRER.NETGAMBOA-ST. CLARE 78—Dionisio 21, Pare 16, Jackson 11, Bitoon 10, Ambuludto 7, Rebugio 6, Hallare 5, Acuno 2, Alcober 0, Fontanilla 0, Rubio 0.PERPETUAL 73—Peralta 17, Villanueva 13, Charcos 12, Aurin 11, Eze 11, Coronel 6, Pido 3, Mangalino 0, Precillas 0, Tiburcio 0.Quarters: 12-21, 31-41, 49-57, 78-73FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout View comments AFP official booed out of forum Lewton to defend PH Open crown Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
MOST READ The 14-time major winner has blamed the DUI arrest near his home in Jupiter, Florida, on an adverse reaction to prescription medication.READ: Golfer Tiger Woods sorry for arrest, says no alcohol involvedFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingHis police report, obtained and published by several media outlets, said Woods was “co-operative” and “confused” when found by police, with “extremely slow and slurred speech.”He initially told officers he had been driving back to Florida from Los Angeles but later stated “he did not know where he was.” Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games NBA Finals coverage still hangs Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Tiger Woods apologized on Monday, May 30, 2017, after he was arrested for driving under the influence. He denied alcohol was involved saying he was taking medication. The Palm Beach County (Florida) police released the mugshot of Woods. PALM BEACH COUNTY PHOTOMIAMI, United States — Tiger Woods was found asleep at the wheel of his car when he was arrested, police records showed Tuesday as golf legend Jack Nicklaus pledged support for the troubled former world number one.Woods, who issued a statement on Monday saying alcohol was not involved in the incident, needed to be woken by a police officer, his arrest report showed.ADVERTISEMENT BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds “It offers visual proof of the news, of another public embarrassment,” Sobel wrote.“There is no positive way to spin this story. No silver lining, no beneficial after-effects that might spring from it — the main takeaway here is sadness. Just pure sadness.” CBBSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “Tiger’s a friend,” Nicklaus told the Golf Channel. “He’s been great for the game of golf. He needs our help.“I feel bad for him. He’s struggling … He needs support from a lot of people. I’ll be one of them.”A police mugshot of Woods looking bleary-eyed and unshaven rapidly went viral after its release on Monday, underscoring the fall from grace of the superstar athlete once renowned as a clean-living, corporate pitchman.“I would like to apologize with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself too,” Woods said in a statement issued late Monday.‘He needs our help’The arrest is the latest gloomy episode to hit the athlete, who once towered over his sport before being engulfed by turmoil in his private life and a series of debilitating injuries.His return from a year-long injury layoff was cut short in February when he pulled out of the Dubai Desert Classic after the first round because of back pain.News of Woods’ arrest was pored over in detail by US media on Tuesday, with many commentators unable to resist comparing the golfer’s disheveled mugshot with images of the fresh-faced superstar in his heyday.“What happened to the young man we all thought we knew…Where has he gone?” asked USA Today columnist Christine Brennan, contrasting the mugshot with an image of Woods from one of his most famous victories, winning the Masters in 1997 at the age of 21.“What a stunning contrast these two photos are, taken 20 years and seven weeks apart,” Brennan added. “They chart the rise and fall of a man who had it all, then watched it crumble away, all of it self-induced.”ESPN writer Jason Sobel commented that the mugshot “offers tangible representation” of Woods’ decline in fortunes. Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games The golfer was unable to complete various roadside sobriety tests which included standing on one leg and the “walk and turn” test.However contrary to reports on Monday which said Woods refused a breathalyzer test, the golfer agreed and “blew zeroes” indicating there was no alcohol in his system.Woods also told police he had been using four prescription medications including the powerful painkiller Vicodin, which is commonly prescribed following surgery.Woods has undergone four separate surgeries on his back since 2014, with the most recent procedure taking place in late April.News of the 41-year-old’s arrest has triggered alarm throughout the golfing world. On Tuesday, Nicklaus offered words of support for Woods.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR LATEST STORIES Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide With no movement as the deadline for player changes elapsed, TNT KaTropa will stick it out with the mammoth import that took the Texters this deep in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, as they try to turn the tables on the rock-solid, fancied San Miguel Beermen.TNT will come in as the underdog in the best-of-seven title series starting with the 7 p.m. opening contest at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, and the Texters have embraced that tag even more so with Joshua Smith functioning on only one good foot and the Beermen looking as sharp as ever.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Defense sorely lacking in Horn’s fight blueprint Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Jason Castro is the biggest local weapon of the Texters, and the fleet-footed guard showed that much by pumping in 38 points in Game 4 of the Ginebra series.But Castro was quick to downplay the role he will play in this series, insisting that individuality has no place in their team.“When we play together as a team, good things always happen,” Castro said. “It will not be Jason Castro against anyone in the San Miguel lineup, we will need total team effort to beat San Miguel.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH View comments June Mar Fajardo and import Charles Rhodes will be the main concerns of the TNT defense, and once this duo dominates the inside, TNT could be in for a heap of trouble when they clog the lanes with Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot and a whole lot of others there to make the outside shot.If Smith comes out healthier than he did in the last two games of the Ginebra series, the Texters stand a good chance to upset the Beermen as he could more or less make life difficult for Fajardo because of his size and leave the locals to try and handle Rhodes.San Miguel has the hunger factor despite this being the Beermen’s fifth trip in the title series in the last eight conferences. The winningest team in the league has not won this tournament since 2000, a 17-year thirst the Beermen would want to quench.After winning the Philippine Cup in all of the last three seasons, the Beermen have been unlucky in this conference owing to import problems.They have none of that here, with Rhodes displaying utmost professionalism and jiving with the star-studded local roster.ADVERTISEMENT 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Team sources told the Inquirer on Tuesday afternoon that the local players had asked coaches, led by Nash Racela, to play Smith in the series opener, knowing that the entire team owes the 6-foot-9, 330-pound banger something for taking them past No. 1 ranked Barangay Ginebra in the Final Four.No one in authority confirmed this news, though, but it seems logical since TNT has opted not to tap standby import Mike Myers—at least for Game 1.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSan Miguel will be shooting for the second jewel of a coveted Triple Crown sweep and the Beermen have the roster that can pull it off.In their Final Four with sister team Star, the Beermen won the last three games with contributions coming from everywhere. What ‘missteps’?
The Australian players are being urged to refuse to sign Cricket Australia (CA) contracts next year as a row brews over an attempt to cut 10 per cent of their pay from the Indian Premier League (IPL). If the threat is followed through, it could cause a bitter stand-off between the players and the administrators. The Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) is fuming over what it sees as a backroom deal between CA and other boards with the Indian administrators to garnish millions of dollars from players’ contracts. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which runs the IPL, has ruled that 10 per cent of foreign players’ wages will now go to their respective boards. In talks with player representatives last year, the association pushed for a similar cut, but this was rejected by the players. Players’ association chief executive Paul Marsh has been outraged at the latest decision. “The Australian Cricketers Association has made it known to Cricket Australia that any attempt to take 10 per cent, or any other amount for that matter, from the IPL salaries of Australian players is completely unacceptable and will be opposed in the strongest possible way by us,” Australian media quoted Marsh. “CA simply has no right to effectively charge a commission on income earned by players from outside their employment to CA. Should they seek to do so, we would expect players to give serious consideration to either not signing an IPL contract that contains this deduction, or not signing future CA contracts,” Marsh added.advertisement
It’s not for nothing the world is in awe of China for whatever new it does virtually every day. As this huge port city braces for the challenge of hosting the high profile Asian Games, the signs of progress and prosperity can be seen all around.Participants perform during a rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the Asian Games to be held in Guangzhou on Friday.From the bustling Baiyun International Airport to the brand new Asian Games complex is almost an hour-long drive. It criss-crosses through heavy traffic which moves at a fast pace and reflects how the host city has prepared to handle the big event starting on November 12.The flowing highways leading to the Asian Games complex is one journey which actually captures how China has meticulously prepared for an event of this stature.It would seem as a smaller one in comparison to the Olympics held in Beijing in 2008 but in reality, the Asian Games has grown up to be a big event.If one were to compare Guangzhou with how New Delhi hosted the Commonwealth Games, every facet is different.The word corruption cannot be heard here nor do you hear of bickering between agencies involved in the various works, with close to 40 new venues made for a plethora of sporting events.It’s a task which has been completed so well that no where one finds post-construction debris piled up or last-minute coats of paint being applied.For a country where there is virtually no scope for organisational glitches, more than big personalities involved in the work, the faces of volunteers are so different.advertisementBack in 2008, much as volunteers in Beijing tried hard to speak in English, it was a struggle for the non-Chinese to deal with them. From something as simple as asking for a subway route or giving instructions to a cab driver, unless you had addresses written in Chinese, it was a struggle.Now, in a matter of two years, the change is huge and stark. Cheerful volunteers in Guangzhou are not the only ones who are conscious they have to speak English to be understood and be helpful.Even those who have been hardcore ‘Chinese’ realise that the importance of English, and are making an effort to converse in one of the most widely spoken languages around the globe.The signage around the Asian Games sub-city is mostly in English and for people who have been coming to this country repeatedly, this is a big change. Old timers recall how in 1990, when Beijing hosted the Asian Games, it reflected the old China.People then were actually hesitant to interact with people from outside the country. Today, there is no such hesitancy in Guangzhou as from the young college kid — who has taken it as a challenge to be a volunteer – to a waiter in a hotel, the desire to speak English is pronounced.For those who have watched sport for decades and seen China grow, they swear this country is dead serious about not just producing champions but also how it wants to be seen as a nation which can host any big event.Undoubtedly, after the success of the Olympics in 2008, holding an Asian Games is being seen as something simple.But the bigger picture is how China could again emerge as one of the strong contenders for hosting yet another edition of an Olympics in the future.At a time when India doesn’t know whether or not to bid for the 2019 Asian Games, China’s message to the world is loud and clear.If it comes to the 2024 Olympics or the ones in 2028, they may well again throw their hats in the ring.And this is why the world sees China with admiration and awe. It’s a big achievement for a nation to hold Olympics and Asian Games within a gap of two years. China sure is a superpower today.
The world’s premier sports magazine, Sports Illustrated, and news channel Headlines Today, gave away sports awards in Bangalore on Thursday. Among the fourteen awards that were given away, Ramakant Achrekar, the coach of Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli, got the Lifetime Achievement Award. Somdev Devvarman bagged the Athlete of the Year Award. Besides his stellar performances in the Commonwealth Games and the Asiad, his consistent climb up the ATP charts definitely makes 2010 his year of reckoning. The Sportskid of the Year Award went to Wasim Jaffer’s nephew Arman Jaffer, who scored 498 in 490 balls in the Giles Shield in December last year. The Asiad Gold winning 4×400 meter relay quartet bagged the award for the Best Sporting Moment of the Year. Karnataka’s Ashwini Akunji received the award on behalf of her teammates. While Indian cricket coach Gary Kirsten got the Coach of the Year Award, Indian Test Team bagged the Team of the Year award, a fitting tribute to the team, which had climbed to the top of ICC Test ratings and stayed there despite all odds. The Sportsperson of the Year Award went to master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.
Katrina Kaif captured a nation’s imagination with her tantalising performance in the wildly popular item song Sheila ki Jawani in December last year. The film, Tees Mar Khan, quickly faded into obscurity but Katrina’s sexy display of flat abs for five minutes might well have started, or at the very least cemented, a new fashion trend. For long, a voluptuous body and revealed cleavage defined what was sexy for the Indian woman. Now, thin is in. The navel is the new cleavage.Bollywood, always a quick assimilator of new fashion trends, was on to it. In March, early promotional posters of Rohan Sippy’s Dum Maaro Dum featured only the exposed midriff of Deepika Padukone. The film didn’t make a splash but Padukone’s navel baring performance in a remixed version of the iconic Dum Maaro Dum song drew millions of fans. Padukone soon emerged as the leader of the flat abs brigade, twirling her bare waist in Nescafe’s Rs 30 crore “Shake it, Baby” advertisement campaign. Padukone readily agreed to do a photo shoot for this issue of INDIA TODAY showing off her perfect midriff.Away from the big screen, the rise of the navel has led to the re-emergence of the sari. Clearly, stories about the death of the sari-pushed into oblivion by the ubiquitous salwar kameez, jeans, and trouser suits-were greatly exaggerated. And it is the younger crop of Indian fashion designers who have pushed the sari back into the mainstream. The 36-year-old Kolkata-based Sabyasachi Mukherjee is perhaps the best known of the lot. Along with saris, the midriff-revealing ghaghra-cholis have made a comeback. Designer Manish Malhotra’s Fashion Week collections regularly highlight low waisted ghaghras accompanied by short cholis. The creations of Sabyasachi, Malhotra and their fellow designers have found a market. At evening parties in Mumbai and Delhi, the very women you might have expected to sport a skirt and top two years ago now sport the old sari in a new avatar. It’s the new style statement.Our cover story written by managing editor Kaveree Bamzai traces the emergence of this new fashion trend. It is also a social trend. Indians have become more health and fitness conscious. Says fitness specialist Leena Mogre, “No one has a full figure any more. Everyone is on a diet and fitness regime.” In 2009, when Rujuta Diwekar, a celebrity nutritionist from Mumbai, who advised Kareena Kapoor on how to get a size-zero figure, published a book titled Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight, the first 20,000 copies sold out in less than a month. At least some people might have anticipated the rise of the navel well before Katrina and Deepika danced their item numbers.Curiously, the south Indian film industry has been navel gazing for a long while now. But there is a difference in aesthetics. In the south, they prefer some flesh around the abs. Says actor Priyamani who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada movies, “The size-zero phenomenon would not be appreciated down south.”To each their own. Variety is the spice of life and fashion.