On the right track: Squash in India

Overall, in the past few months Indian squash players have been playing quite well. After securing a fifth-place finish — their best ever — at the World Team Championships in France, and Joshna Chinappa was in top form at the Bombay Gymkhana Maharashtra State Open which followed. After a knee injury which set her back in the world rankings, Joshna aims to break into the Top 20 world rankings soon.

World No.32, Joshna Chinappa

Mahesh Mangaonkar has also been faring well, and his performance at the PSA Prague Open was noteworthy. He beat France’s Lucas Serme to make his first maiden win. In the final Mahesh defeated Frenchman Lucas Serme 5-11,11-5,9-11, 11-9, 11-9. Both of the finalists reached the end of their strength reserves – the cramps got them during the third game. Nonetheless, they endured and provided the audience with a spectacle they are not like to forget, and Mahesh emerged victorious after a grueling match.

More recently, Indian squash players have made a considerable mark at the Hong Kong Open. It is one of the biggest Squash tournaments and is rated as a Grand Prix event in the international squash calendar. The popular competition stars dozens of world-ranked players battling it out in front of enthusiastic fans.

Dipika Pallikal managed to win the match against local challenges Liu Tsz Ling. This got her a spot in the second round of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open. Pallikal, seeded 12th, showed great skill and determination to beat Ling 7-11 11-6 11-1 11-5 in the first round of the PSA World Series squash event at the Hong Kong Squash Centre. Joshna Chinappa also played an impressive match against Hong Kong’s Annie Auu. Joshna won the match against the Top ten player to progress to the next stage of the competition.

World No.13, Dipika Pallikal

In the men’s section, Siddarth Suchde had defeated Hong Kong’s Alex Lau 11-6 11-2 11-5 in 30 minutes in the first qualifying round. Unfortunately, he lost to Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly 6-11 4-11 4-11 in the qualifying final.

Saurav Ghosal India’s No.1 squash player feels that the current talent that the country has in terms of squash players is the best he has seen since he started playing 18 years ago. Although people might disagree with Saurav Ghosal’s opinion, it is only fair to say that the rankings speak for themselves. Pallikal is ranked 13th in the world, Chinappa 32nd, Suchde 50th, Sandhu 73rd and 18-year-old Mangaonkar 118th. Saurav too has the ambition and drive to break in to the Top Ten World Rankings by the end of next year.

World No. 22 ,Saurav Ghoshal

Despite the reservoir of immense talent in India, it looks like enough recognition is still not given where sponsorships and funding for tournaments like PSA (Professional Squash Association) and WSA (Women’s Squash Association) are concerned.

World rankings of the Top 4 India squash players:

Dipika Pallikal World No.13
Saurav Ghosal World No.22
Joshna Chinappa World No.32
Siddharth Suchde World No.50

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Fitness at your desk: Finger stretches

Sitting at your desk for prolonged durations can take a toll on your back and other muscles in your body. By doing a variety of stretches you can prevent any injuries that are likely to occur. So, taking short breaks during the course of your work day are necessary. You can do these stretches as when you feel uncomfortable and stiff.

Since most people spend a substantial amount of time typing, it is imperative that fingers stretches are done regularly to keep the joints fluid. In this blog article we will tell you about some simple yet effective finger stretches.

Exercise 1:

Separate and straighten your fingers until the tension of a stretch is felt. Hold this position for about ten seconds. Then relax and bend your fingers at the knuckles and hold for ten seconds. To complete the exercise just separate and straighten your fingers once more.

     Finger stretches

Exercise 2:

Place your hand on your desk and stretch your fingers while separating them. Gently bend the middle and end knuckles of your fingers. Hold your finger in this bending position for 10 seconds. Slowly return to your original position. This exercise can be repeated five times.

Exercise 3:

Take an old tennis ball if you have one, place it in your palm and squeeze it inwards. You can either squeeze it inward and outward repeatedly or hold the tension of the squeezed position for about ten seconds. A slight variation of this exercise is to do it without a tennis ball, by squeezing your hand into a tight fist and holding it firmly clenched for ten seconds. After this open your palms and stretch your fingers outwards.


Fist clenches.

Exercise 4:

This exercise is quite common and most of you might already be doing it without knowing that it helps fluid joint movement. Put your palms together such that your finger are pointing upwards. Stretch your fingers and press your palms together as much as you can. Then keep the base of your palms together and slowly lower your arms till they are horizontal. From this position lower your arms a little further and you will be able to feel a stretch on your fingers and wrists.

These exercises take only a few minutes each so take a break from your computer at regular intervals. To read about simple exercises you can do while in the office, have a look at our blog article- Exercise at your desk. Sports365 has a vast collection of sports and fitness goods, so if you are looking for something more advanced than desk side exercises do have a look at our website.

Wake your walk with Newfeel shoes.

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Many shoes come in cool colours!

In order to make the best walking shoes, the Newfeel brand develops their footwear in close collaboration with chiropodists, test customers and R&D engineers. Many makes walking shoes for men and women. They are ideal for everyday use as they are lightweight walking shoes.  The shoes comprise of an upper mesh and rubber outsole. Owing to the flexibility of the sole these are the most comfortable walking shoes. The upper mesh also ensures good ventilation for your feet.

Since these shoes are primarily designed for walking they come with a thin sole that facilitates the natural roll-through of your foot. The comfort level of these shoes cannot be stressed enough, and what’s more, they are very reasonably priced! Another advantage is that Many shoes are machine washable and they also dry quickly.  So, if your shoes tread everywhere and are likely to get dirty soon, you will not have to think twice about tossing them in the washing machine.

The Newfeel Many shoes are back in some snazzy new colours. Sports365 is having an offer on them. So, don’t miss your chance to get 25% off on a pair of the best walking shoes!

25% discount on Many shoes.

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Sports365 is the one stop shop for all your sports and fitness merchandise needs. To buy walking and running shoes online do have a look at our website. We have a number of attractive discounts on other sports shoes as well, so be sure to shop for footwear online from us.

Will Vettel prove his mettle?

Brazil is preparing for the climax of the F1 season. With only one race left, the tension and excitement are growing, and this race is not to be missed! With Vettel and Alonso, in the race to win the championship title, the last race for the season is going to be a nail-biting event. This season has promised to be such a nail biter right from the beginning with seven different drivers winning the first seven races.

Although Vettel set the lap record, Hamilton destroyed Vettel’s title win at the United States Grand Prix. Vettel could not shake off Hamilton’s pursuits and after a thrilling 42nd lap Lewis Hamilton finally overtook Vettel.  Although this was a personal disappointment for Vettel, the Red Bull team still won the constructor’s title for the third consecutive time, and this gave the team a reason to celebrate.

Lewis Hamilton after winning the US Grand Prix

Alonso too drove a good race. After starting seventh on the grid he managed to finish the race in 3rd place. This win ensures that a Ferrari driver still has a chance to clinch the 2012 Championship Title. Currently, Fernando Alonso is 13 points behind Vettel. If Sebastian Vettel wins the championship title this year he will be one of few to have accomplished the feat of winning three consecutive titles. The 25 year old German would join Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel and become the youngest winner of three crowns.  Alonso has won two consecutive titles in 2005 and 2006.

For Vettel to take the championship, he just has to finish higher than fifth position.

There are three scenarios in which Alonso can emerge victorious.

  • Scenario 1: Alonso will have to finish first and with Vettel finishing fifth or lower.
  • Scenario 2: If Alonso finishes second, and Vettel completes the race in the 8th position or lower
  • Scenario 3: If Alonso finishes third, and Vettel finishes 10th or lower

One more thing that might keep Alonso interested is the fact the Vettel’s Red Bull hasn’t been the most reliable car this season and has witnessed mechanical/engine failure in a few races already. Alonso’s Ferrari on the other hand has not had any such in-race issues so far. The only time Alonso did not finish the race was when his car was involved in an accident, in most cases being clipped/knocked by other cars.

Vettel and Alonso both have chances of clinching the Championship title this year.

For Schumacher fans it looks like the end of the road here as he hasn’t had a great season and has looked pale in comparison to his own team mate Nico Rosberg in many races. On the other hand, Kimi Raikkonen has been able to do what Schumacher was not able to. Kimi had an excellent comeback to F1 with team Lotus and is currently at third position in the drivers standing with 206 points.

What do you think the outcome of the much looked forward to Brazilian Grand Prix will be?

Don’t miss the action:

 Fri 23 November 2012
Practice 1 10:00 – 11:30
Practice 2 14:00 – 15:30
Sat 24 November 2012
Practice 3 11:00 – 12:00
Qualifying  14:00
Sun 25 November 2012
Race 14:00

(Calendar in Race Local Time)

Exercise at your desk.

Sitting and working at your desk for long hours can take a toll on your muscles. It can make you feel stiff and uncomfortable.  Luckily there are some simple ways in which you can avoid this and relieve your body’s tension. Take a few minutes every day to do these desk side stretches and you will feel a world of difference.

Stretch your neck

You can do this even while sitting down. Make sure you are sitting up straight, tilt your head towards your right shoulder such that you feel a slight stretch on the left side of your neck. Do the same thing for the left side. Mundane tasks like typing for long hours can also take its toll on you, so ensure that you stretch once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once after work.

Stretch your neck
Image courtesy:www.realsimple.com

Tuck your chin in to your chest

Drop your head and tuck your chin in and slowly turn your chin towards the right shoulder and likewise in the other direction. Keep in mind that making complete circles by tilting your head back can put stress on your spine. Repeat this exercise ten times.

Tuck your chin.
Image courtesy:www.realsimple.com

Stretch your shoulders

This can be done by standing up or sitting straight in your chair. Keep your neck and head stable and slowly roll your shoulders forward, up and then back to complete a full circle. Try to make a complete circle without scrunching up your shoulders towards your ears.

Stretch your shoulders.
Image courtesy:www.realsimple.com

Stretch your feet

When sitting at your desk, place your right leg on your left and slowly rotate your foot clockwise 20 times. Do the same thing in an anti clockwise motion also. Once you finish with the right foot, rotate your left foot too.

Stretch your feet.
Image courtesy:www.realsimple.com

Stretch your forearm and hand

When a lot of time is spent using laptops and computers it can put a strain on your wrists and hands. This is a simple exercise to relax your hands. Stretch your right arm in front you of you with your palm facing outward and fingers pointed towards the ceiling. Use your left hand to stretch your right hand’s fingers and palm back toward you as far as they will comfortably go. Remain in this position for 30 seconds, and repeat the same thing for your left hand.

Stretch your forearm.
Image courtesy:www.realsimple.com

These simple stretches will not take more than a minute each. So take the time everyday and don’t neglect your muscles. If you are looking for something a little more advanced you can try yoga at your desk. This might take more time though. Sports365 has a great collection of fitness equipment. Do have a look at our online sports shop for a variety of products like yoga mats, gym accessories and more.