Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ottawa eighth-grader Ram Koganti is Grand Final Bee champion


After 31 rounds of intense competition, eighth-grader Ram Koganti was crowned the winner or the Peoria Journal Star Grand Final Bee, punching a ticket for the Scripps National competition.

When the winner addressed the crowd of parents and competitors at WEEK-TV, Channel 25 studios, he first asked for a glass of water.

Ram, a student at Wallace Elementary School in Ottawa, got thirsty during the back-and-forth spelling competition with runner-up John Offutt of Mossville Elementary School.

"You know you're going up against the best of the best, so it's anyone's game," Ram said. "(The competition) was really, really good, especially him."

The top two competitors were locked in from Round 13 to Round 30 alternating words: maelstrom, ocelot, echt and Bolshevik.

After the last word, Ram received a thumbs up from his mother, Ushasri Koganti.

While her son acted calm on the stage, with hands resting neatly at his sides and a cool smile after a correct spelling, Koganti was nervous from her seat among a silent group of onlooking parents.
"I'm relieved," she said after the competition.

Both contestants outlasted the competitive field of 14 spellers from across central Illinois.
Ram won the 53rd LaSalle County Spelling Bee, while John took the top spot in the Journal Star Peoria County Spelling Bee.

Kuben Naidoo Named Deputy Governor of South African Reserve Bank


South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has appointed Kuben Naidoo as a central bank deputy governor.

Naidoo will be under the leadership of the South African Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago together with fellow deputy Daniel Mminele. 

The position became vacant when Kganyago was appointed as governor in November last year.

“He served as the acting head of the secretariat for the National Planning Commission in the fourth administration. Before that, Naidoo worked as deputy director-general responsible for the Budget Office at the National Treasury,” Zuma said.

He also spent two years at the Treasury of the United Kingdom (UK) where he worked on capital budgets and biannual spending reviews. 

“We wish the new deputy governor-designate all the best in the execution of this critical responsibility in our country’s socio-economic dispensation,” said Zuma.

World Chess: 2 Kamma girls Harika in Semi Final, Humpy Forced Into Tiebreaker


Harika moves a step closer to the championship

Donavalli Harika locked horns with Georgia’s Meri Arabidze in the quarter finals. The first game saw some to and fro action but Harika remained composed throughout the game. After a lengthy battle, both players decided to end the game in a draw and share a point.

The second game started off from where the first ended. It was a balanced affair throughout and it was almost destined to be another draw. However, Harika managed to steal one from the clutches of a draw in the 95th move. This is Harika’s second straight semi – final in the tournament and she will face the winner of Koneru Humpy vs. Mariya Muzychuk match next.

Koneru Humpy pushed to tiebreaker
Top seed Koneru Humpy was forced into a tiebreaker in the quarter finals by Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine. Mariya broke the unbeaten run of Humpy in the first game of the quarter finals when she snatched a victory.

Humpy was under some immense pressure in the second game but lived up to expectations by wining it comfortably. It took her 62 moves to finish the game, which has now been pushed into a tiebreaker. Both players will now play two rapid games with 25 minutes each and will be forced to play an Armageddon game if the match is still in a dead lock after the rapid games.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Three-Year-Old Miracle Kid Dolly Cherukuri Sets National Record In Archery

Dolly Shivani Cherukuri, an archer from Andhra Pradesh set a national record as she became the youngest Indian to score 200 points over five and seven-metre distances and made an entry into the India Book of Records on Tuesday, March 24.

Dolly is only 35 months old.

While toddlers her age are mostly occupied with potty training, Dolly is busy mastering the art of archery. She was conceived through surrogacy after the death of her siblings. Three years ago, on April 2, she was born in a world of bows and arrows.

"It's a record which will be difficult to break," said Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury of the India Book of Records, according to a Hindustan Times report.

Her intense expression just before shooting an arrow is enough to bring a smile on anyone's face.

The talent however seems to be in the genes. Dolly's brother Cherukuri Lenin who died in a road accident soon after the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, was an Indian coach and an international archer. Dolly's father, Cherukuri Satyanarayana runs the Volgra Archery Academy in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.

Dolly's eldest sister's untimely death in 2004 and her brother's demise made Satyanarayana and his wife to think about a surrogate baby. The child was destined to be an archer before she was born.

"When we came to know that the baby was on her way we decided to mould her as an archer," says Satyanarayana.


Dolly, the professional
Young Dolly behaves in a manner which is no less than a mature archer. She  sports her uniform, slingers, finger tap, arm and chest guards even while practicing at home. The extremely committed toddler understands her responsibilities and manages her  accessories without any one else's help.

Dolly's father,  who has trained several Indian compound archers like Vennam Jyothi Surekha (Asian Games medallist), Chittibomma Jignas, Ritul Chatterjee (CWG medallist) and Mangal Singh Champia (Olympian), has bigger for her.

“Every two months, we want to increase the distance by two metres. In 2020, Shivani will be nine years old and I wish her to be in the Indian team,” the proud father said.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Vennam Jyothi Surekha wins two Gold Medals at the Asia Cup Archery


Bangkok: Vijayawada archer Jyothi Surekha, an Asian Games bronze medalist, who won the individual women's compound gold, bagging her second gold of the tournament. at the Asia Cup Stage II archery tournament in Bangkok. She edged past A. Cojuangco of Philippines 142-140 to win the title.

Koneru Lakshmaiah University student Jyothi Surekha is one of the sports persons who is benefited by the ACA’s scheme of helping talented sports persons in sports and games other than cricket.