This Day in History (23-Feb-1980) – Prakash Padukone becomes the first Indian to win All-England Badminton Championship

Prakash Padukone,  dominated the national badminton scene for almost a decade (1971–80) and put India on the sport’s international map. Padukone participated in the Karnataka State Junior Championship, his first official Badminton tournament in 1962, wherein he lost right in the first round. Improving his performance, Padukone was able to win the State Junior Championship 2 years later in 1964. Later, he won the National Junior Badminton Championship in the year 1970. In the same year, he occurred to witness the legendry Badminton player, Rudi Hartono of Indonesia playing a power packed game, full of aggressiveness and power, at Jabalpur, India. Getting inspired by him, Padukone decided to change his style of game from mild to aggressive. There was no looking back for him. He won the national senior championship in 1971 at age 16, thereby becoming the youngest player to have achieved the feat. He won each successive national championship until 1979, setting a record of nine national titles in a row. In 1978 he won the singles badminton gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

The following year he completely dominated the top European players of his era and won both the Danish Open and the Swedish Open. His greatest accomplishment came in 1980 when he became the first Indian to win the All England Championships, the world’s most prestigious annual badminton competition. The All England win catapulted Padukone to the number one world badminton ranking, making him the first Indian to achieve that status.

Padukone won the first Alba World Cup in October 1981 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the first Indian open prize-money tournament, the Indian Masters (now the India Open), at Pune in November. In 1982 he won the Dutch Open and the Hong Kong Open, and at the 1983 world championships, Padukone won the bronze medal in men’s badminton. Padukone was conferred upon the Arjuna Award in 1972 and was awarded the Padmashri in 1982. He was known as the ‘Gentle Tiger’ on the court. In 1994, he launched The Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy at Bengaluru to nurture Badminton talents.
Reference:

http://www.indianage.com/search.php

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1913047/Prakash-Padukone

http://www.iloveindia.com/sports/badminton/players/prakash-padukone.html

http://www.ppba.in/about-us/our-centers/

Advertisements

This Day in History (10-Feb-1996) – The IBM supercomputer Deep Blue defeats chess champion Garry Kasparov for the first time

Feng-hsiung Hsu & Murray Campbell, graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University initiated a chess playing machine called Chiptest. IBM hired them in 1989  and the first version of such computer named Deep Thought was released in 1994 to play against Kosporov. In a two game match Kosporov easily defeated the computer. Scientist further upgraded the computer as Deep Blue which  was an IBM RISC System/6000 Scalable Power Parallel System. It had 32 processors dedicated to calculation, each processor connected to 6 chess specific processors. It could calculate 100 million chess positions per second.

In February 1996, Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue met for the first time in a best of six-games match. The match was organized by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) to mark the 50th birthday of the first computer. The hardware was installed at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, New York, with a connection to Philadelphia via the Internet. After only the first game played on 10 February 1996, Deep Blue made history by defeating Kasparov. Deep Blue’s victory marked the first time that a current world champion had ever been beaten by a computer opponent under regular tournament conditions. But Kasparov would not go down so easily. The world champion, known for his tenacity and his ferocious will to win, took the game two. Games three and four, although tightly contested, ended up in draws. Then, in game five, Kasparov again changed tactics mid-game to defeat Deep Blue. Kasparov won the final game totally outplaying the computer and took the match by a score of 4 – 2.

Deep Blue was further upgraded to 8 chess specific processors and capacity to calculate 2 million moves per second. In 1997 the rematch was organized at Equitable Center in New York.  The chess grandmaster won the first game, Deep Blue took the next one, and the two players drew the three following games. Game 6 ended the match with a crushing defeat of the champion by Deep Blue. The match’s outcome made headlines worldwide, and helped a broad audience better understand high-powered computing. In the second game which Deep Blue won, it seems a software bug led to a move which Kosparov could not interpret and lost the game.

 

Reference:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/on-this-day/february-10-1258-the-mongols-conquer-the-abbasid-caliphate-and-seize-baghdad

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Blue_versus_Garry_Kasparov

http://www.top-5000.nl/matches/1996.htm

https://www.research.ibm.com/deepblue/meet/html/d.3.1.html

http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/ibm100/us/en/icons/deepblue/

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-10/01/deep-blue-bug

This Day in History (9-Feb-1895) – The sport of volleyball is created in Massachusetts

William G. Morgan, joined as director of Physical Education at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA. In this role he had the opportunity to establish, develop and direct a vast programme of exercises and sport classes for male adults. He came to realise that he needed a certain type of competitive recreational game in order to vary his programme. Basketball, a sport that was beginning to develop, seemed to suit young people, but it was necessary to find a less violent and less intense alternative for the older members. He decided to blend elements of basketball, baseball, tennis, handball and German game of Faustball  to create a game for his classes of businessmen which would demand less physical contact than basketball. He created the game of mintonette. Morgan borrowed the net from tennis, and raised it 6 feet 6 inches above the floor, just above the average man’s head.

Early in 1896 a conference was organized at the YMCA College in Springfield, bringing together all the YMCA Directors of Physical Education where Morgan was invited to make a demonstration of his game in the new college stadium. Morgan explained that the new game was designed for gymnasia or exercise halls, but could also be played in open air. An unlimited number of players could participate, the object of the game being to keep the ball in movement over a high net, from one side to the other. The name Volleyball came when a spectator commented that the game involved much “volleying” the ball back and forth over the net and game was renamed Volleyball.

In 1964, Volleyball was introduced to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The beach volleyball was introduced in 1996 Atlanta Olympics. As per the data was provided by each of the International Sports Federations; on the estimates of participants in the sport worldwide (based on 2002 figures) ; volleyball ranks no. 1 with almost 1 billion  players. Volleyball is one of the big five international sports, and the FIVB (Federation Internationale De Volleyball), with its 220 affiliated national federations, is the largest international sporting federation in the world.

 

Reference:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/on-this-day/february-9-1959-the-first-intercontinental-ballistic-missile-becomes-operational

http://inventors.about.com/od/uvstartinventions/a/Vollyball.htm

http://www.volleyball.org/history.html

http://www.topendsports.com/world/lists/popular-sport/final.htm

http://www.fivb.org/en/volleyball/History.asp

This Day in History (18-Jan-1886) – Modern field hockey is born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England

A game called hockey was played in English public schools in the early 19th century.  A version of the game played in south-east London was rougher than the modern version, played on a very large field (247m by 64m), and used a cube of black rubber and rough sticks. The modern game was developed on the other side of London by Middlesex cricket clubs. In 1870, members of the Teddington cricket club, experimented with a ‘stick’ game, on the smooth outfield of their cricket pitch and used a cricket ball, so allowing smooth and predictable motion. By 1874 they had begun to draw up rules for their game, including banning the raising of the stick above shoulder height and stipulating that a shot at goal must take place within the circle in front of it. An association was formed in 1875, which dissolved after seven years, but in 1886 the Hockey Association was formed by seven London clubs and representatives from Trinity College, Cambridge.

In the late 19th century, largely due to the British Army, the game spread throughout the British Empire. The International Rules Board was founded in 1895, and hockey first appeared at the Olympic Games at 1908 Olympic Games in London, with only three teams: England, Ireland and Scotland. The first step towards an international structuring occurred in 1909, when England and Belgium agreed to recognize each other for international competitions. In 1924, the International Hockey Federation (FIH, Fédération Internationale de Hockey) was founded in Paris, under the initiative of the French man, Paul Léautey, as a response to hockey’s omission from the 1924 Paris Game.

Hockey became a permanent fixture at the Olympics at the 1928 Olympic Games, at Amsterdam, where India made its Olympic debut. Indian hockey team cruised home to its first Olympic gold, without conceding a single goal. The hallmark of this ruthless domination was the wizardry of Indian hockey legend – Dhyan Chand. From 1928 to 1956, the Indian hockey juggernaut won six straight Olympic gold medals, while winning 24 consecutive matches. During this time, India scored 178 goals conceding only 7 in the process. The record created by India is likely to stand strong through ages.
Reference:

http://www.historyorb.com/day/january/18

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_field_hockey

http://www.iloveindia.com/sports/hockey/history.html

This Day in History (5-Jan-1996) – Muralitharan no-balled for throwing in ODI v WI at the Gabba

During the second Test between Sri Lanka and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Boxing Day 1995, Australian umpire Darrell Hair called Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing in front of a crowd of 55000. The off-spinner was no-balled seven times in three overs by Hair, who believed the then 23 year old was bending his arm and straightening it in the process of delivery; an illegal action in cricket.

Ross Emerson, an Australian cricket umpire, made his ODI debut in a match between Sri Lanka and the West Indies in Brisbane on 5th January, 1996. He immediately became controversial, no-balling Muralitharan several times, and continuing to do so even when he switched to bowling legbreaks, which are regarded as being impossible to throw. This led to Muralitharan being dropped by Sri Lanka for the rest of the tour, as he was unable to bowl without being called.

Just before the 98/99 tour, Muralitharan’s action was tested in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The tests had concluded that Muralitharan could not straighten the elbow due to congenital deformity. The end result of the Test was that the throwing appeared as an optical illusion. The tests in Hong Kong and the green signal by the ICC allowed Muralitharan to play.

On 23 January 1999 in Adelaide, standing at square leg, Emerson once again called Muralitharan, leading to Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga to lead his team off the field in protest and consult team management and the match referee. The match later continued after Emerson threatened to award the match to England, with Muralitharan confined to bowling legbreaks; Emerson claimed that cricket was controlled by Asian countries. The match turned out to be the last international match for Emerson as an umpire.

Ross Emerson admitted in 2010 that his decision to call the bowler was not entirely his own. Emerson told the The Daily Telegraph in Australia that he no-balled Muralitharan due to orders from an unnamed Cricket Australia official.

 

Reference:

http://www.historyorb.com/day/january/5?p=2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Emerson

http://www.gocricket.com/news/Chucking-in-cricket-Muttiah-Muralitharan-no-balled-due-to-orders-from-the-top-Ross-Emerson/articleshow/42607777.cms

This Day in History (14-Dec-1901) – 1st table tennis tournament is held (London Royal Aquarium)

Like many other sports, Table Tennis began as a mild social diversion. Though Table Tennis evolved, along with Badminton and Lawn Tennis, from the ancient game of Tennis (also known as Jeu de Paume, Real tennis, Court Tennis or Royal Tennis), the game was developed after Lawn Tennis became popular in the 1880s. Game manufacturers tried many experiments to market an indoor version of Lawn Tennis, including board and dice games, card games, racket and balloon games and others. The 1887 catalog of George S. Parker (USA) includes an entry for “Table Tennis: This game is laid out like a Lawn Tennis court, played and counted just the same, all the rules being observed.” However, this was a board and dice game by J.H. Singer (NY), whose name also appears on the catalog.

The earliest surviving action game of Tennis on a table is a set made by David Foster, patented in England in 1890: Parlour Table Games, which included table versions of Lawn Tennis, Cricket and Football. This game featured strung rackets, a 30mm cloth covered rubber ball, a wooden fence set up around the perimeter of the table, and large side nets extending along both sides. One year later famous game makers Jaques of London released their GOSSIMA game. This game borrowed the drum style battledores from the Shuttlecock game, and used a 50mm webbed wrapped cork ball, with an amazing 30cm high net that was secured by a belt-like strap under the table.

Neither of these action games were successful, due to the ineffective ball: the rubber ball had too wild a bounce, while the cork ball had too poor a bounce. Jaques continued to advertise Gossima throughout the 1890s, but it was not until 1900, when the celluloid ball was introduced to the game, that the concept of tennis on a table became successful. The name Ping Pong is traced to an 1884 song by Harry Dacre. The distinct sound of the celluloid ball bouncing off the drum rackets quickly led to the use of the same name. Gradually the two most popular names prevailed: Ping Pong, and Table Tennis. The game gained popularity after establishment of International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) in Berlin.

Reference:

http://www.historyorb.com/day/december/14

http://www.ittf.com/museum/history.html

This Day in History (19-Nov-1969) – Pele scores 1,000th goal

Edson Arantes do Nascimento or Pelé, grew up in poverty. The origin of the “Pelé” nickname is unclear, though he recalled despising it when his friends first referred to him. Pelé signed with Santos professional soccer club when he was 15. He scored the first professional goal of his career before he turned 16, led the league in goals in his first full season and was recruited in the Brazilian national team.

The world was officially introduced to Pelé in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. Displaying remarkable speed, athleticism and field vision, the 17-year-old erupted to score three goals in a 5-2 semifinal win over France, then netted two more in the finals, a 5-2 win over the host country. The young superstar received hefty offers to play for European clubs, and Brazilian President Jânio Quadros eventually had Pelé declared a national treasure, making it legally difficult for him to play in another country.

Pelé aggravated a groin injury two games into the 1962 World Cup in Chile, sitting out the final rounds while Brazil went on to claim its second straight title. Four years later, in England, a series of brutal attacks by opposing defenders again forced him to the sidelines with leg injuries, and Brazil was bounced from the World Cup after one round. Despite the disappointment on the world stage, the legend of Pelé continued to grow. In the late 1960s, the two factions in the Nigerian Civil War reportedly agreed to a 48-hour ceasefire so they could watch Pelé play in an exhibition game in Lagos.

The 1970 World Cup in Mexico marked a triumphant return to glory for Pelé and Brazil. Headlining a formidable squad, Pelé scored four goals in the tournament, including one in the final to give Brazil a 4-1 victory over Italy. Pelé announced his retirement from soccer in 1974, but he was lured back to the field the following year to play for the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League, and temporarily helped make the NASL a big attraction. He played his final game in an exhibition between New York and Santos in October 1977, competing for both sides, and retired with a total of 1,281 goals in 1,363 games, holding ‘most career goals (football)’ record in Guiness World Records. Pelé was named FIFA’s “Co-Player of the Century” in 1999, along with Argentine Diego Maradona.

Reference:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pele-scores-1000th-goal

http://www.biography.com/people/pel%C3%A9-39221#synopsis

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-3000/most-career-goals-(football)/