I hope some sort of training plan comes up: Vinesh Phogat

first_imgNEW DELHI: Opening of stadiums and sports complexes for athletes was among the latest guidelines issued by the government on Sunday while announcing an extension of the nationwide lockdown that is in place to stem the spread of coronavirus. And ace wrestler Vinesh Phogat believes that stadiums had to be opened up for training sooner than later as sportspersons would otherwise start getting frustrated at home.However, there is still uncertainty over a number of topics — it is yet to be made clear as to whether the complexes are open for competitions or training and the fate of contact sports like wrestling is yet to be ascertained. Vinesh feels that regardless of all, there hopefully is a decision soon enough for resumption of training at some level. “At the moment it really is not possible to know till what time this pandemic is going to go on and we can’t stop our lives for it,” Vinesh told IANS on Monday. “Yes, we have to be careful but something has to be done, till when can athletes just sit in one place. “The situation is now getting a little desperate because there is no training. We can think about competitions later but there is even no training and that is very frustrating.” Vinesh has been training at home with her sister for a sparring partner. “But without a mat it is not the same. At the same time, I can’t really do anything else. I can go to the place where I usually go to train, no one comes there but that is a risk, so I am avoiding that. Plus there are no competitions and so I am not pushing myself too much either. I am just using the time to keep myself fit,” said the 2018 Asian Games gold medallist. Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju had said that the resumption of training will begin in a phased manner with those who have qualified for the postponed Tokyo Olympics and those who are close to qualification being given preference. Vinesh is one of the most prominent athletes in this category, having qualified for the Games at the 2019 wrestling World Championships and is seen as a medal contender. She was in the home run of her preparations for Tokyo 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm and the Games itself got postponed by a year. Like most people, the 25-year-old initially thought that the lockdown, which was first imposed in March, will be over in just over a fortnight. “No one knows how long this is going to take so we can’t continue to sit at home and train. What if it all comes to an end by the end of the year and it becomes absolutely sure that the Olympics will take place in July next year. You can’t prepare for an Olympics in such a short time period, so I hope some sort of a training plan comes up. For now, my coach keeps sending me training plans for the entire week and I follow it.” The risk of the virus, however, has hardly gone away from the country — over 96,000 cases of infections have been reported and more than 3000 have died. “The complexes may be opened but obviously, entry should be restricted,” said Vinesh. “It’s not like the virus has dissappeared so now anybody and everybody can enter the stadium. Yes, spectators can’t come but even among athletes, only those who truly need to train for big competitions, should be given priority,” she said. “Plus those that come with us, the coaches and others, all of them need to be taken into consideration. A lot of planning needs to be done.” Vinesh said that the training routines at home is as much a help for her mental health as it is for her body. “The thing about athletes who are at this level is that, if we are kept away from training for a prolonged period then that mindset and mentality that is needed to perform goes away,” said Vinesh. “I am not used to staying at one place like this at all. That’s why I am continuing to train as much as possible or else I’ll be punching the wall in frustration. That is one of the main reasons why I am training at home, to keep myself calm and focussed.” IANSlast_img read more

When No. 6 Syracuse needed stops, Evan Molloy stymied St. John’s comeback attempts

first_imgNEW YORK — As Syracuse’s offense fell into its worst state of the season and SU’s early lead dissipated with every St. John’s possession in frigid temperatures, the Orange’s staple in net provided much-needed relief. Only two SU goals in the second and third quarters placed an extra reliance on Evan Molloy in goal.When St. John’s won back-to-back faceoffs, fired back-to-back shots or set a series of screens, Molloy was there. When SJU reeled off a few long possessions or recovered a rebound in front of the goal, Molloy was there to make big stops. On Saturday, in a 9-8 victory over St. John’s, Molloy rescued a fledgling SU defense that’s struggled to stop even impotent offenses.Molloy entered Saturday with a 50 percent save percentage, right in the middle of the NCAA leaderboard. But the saves he does have this season — those down the stretch against then-No. 9 Virginia last Saturday and a handful this week — have enabled the Orange to stick around and either stage a comeback or avoid a near upset. The 2016 ACC Tournament MVP spearheaded the Syracuse defense Saturday afternoon in the No. 6 Orange’s (4-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) win over SJU (1-5) at DaSilva Memorial Field in Queens.“In the fourth quarter I stepped up a little bit,” Molloy said, “and made the saves I had to.”The Red Storm entered Saturday 63rd among 69 NCAA teams in scoring offense (7.4 goals per game). Though SJU fell down 5-0 early and committed 15 turnovers, the Red Storm hung around with Syracuse from quarters two through four, outscoring SU 7-4 over that stretch.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTemperatures hovered in the 20s, with 19 mile-per-hour winds and a real-feel of about 12 degrees. Nick Mariano, Brendan Bomberry and Brad Voigt scored two goals apiece to lead Syracuse to victory one week before its annual showdown at No. 7 Johns Hopkins, a game during which SU will likely need a third straight valiant effort from Molloy.The redshirt senior is 11-3 as starting goalie since he earned the starting job only midway through last season. On Saturday, he picked up a ground ball, caused a turnover and saved nine shots. St. John’s tallied 37 total shots, none better than its last score.With 53 seconds on the clock, SJU pulled the game within one score. A pair of players shielded Molloy’s vision and the shot came low and away on the right-handed Molloy, who had to twist his stick to his left. The ball sizzled to the low pipe. For the fourth consecutive game, SU and its opponent traded goals and stayed near-even up until the buzzer sounded.“There’s not a lot you can do with a shot like that,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said.Molloy’s nine total saves is two fewer than St. John’s and three off his season high (Virginia, 12), but nearly each of his saves Saturday came on an open shot from fewer than 12 yards out. SJU’s screens in front of the goal, fast style of play and attack-centered offense did not relent.In the first half, Molloy made a save but gave up the rebound. An SJU player recovered before a swooping Marcus Cunningham and Scott Firman took the ball. One ran into the other amid a scrum. As the ball popped out, Molloy already headed out of the goal to start the clear. An SJU attack picked up the loose ball and let off a quick shot. Molloy laid out to make the save.“He’s a good quarterback, barking out the defense,” Desko said. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence. He sees the ball well. He’s been playing well all year long.”In Syracuse’s only loss of 2017, a 14-13 stunner against Army two weeks ago, Molloy allowed all 14 goals. One of which came as the game-winner from a right-hander going to his weak side. The same happened on Saturday. To get on the board and end SU’s 5-0 streak, a righty darted left and fired a ball past Molloy’s stick.In the second quarter, during which St. John’s tallied 17 shots and three goals, Molloy turned the ball over. Later, he threw a weak outlet pass that led to a turnover and score.“There are times when we have lapses,” Molloy said. “I’m definitely guilty as well.”But when No. 6 Syracuse needed stops, Evan Molloy blocked St. John’s comeback attempts. SU avoided an upset against a team it hasn’t lost to in 11 tries since the series began in 1990, and that’s largely credit to Molloy’s play in the cage. He saved three shots in the final minutes to stymie St. John’s last-second rally.“The goalie’s the hardest position in what the weather can issue,” said senior attack Jordan Evans, who had one goal and one assist. “Standing there in the cold and trying to make quick movements and quick saves? It’s a difficult task. He made some great saves when we needed it.” Comments Published on March 11, 2017 at 5:18 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more