July 12, Indian sports news wrap

SQUASH

HCL and Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) on Tuesday announced a series of initiatives to improve the ecosystem of Indian squash.

Speaking at the press conference here, Rajat Chandolia, Head of Brand, HCL said his company’s objective was to multiply the potential of squash. “It (our initiative) is not just for pro players, it is also for coaches, referees, amateur players so that the sport flourishes,” he said.

The HCL Squash Podium Program started in 2016, Rajat said has benefited Indian squash and has made an impact on senior and junior Indian players.

“We have got PSA (International) tournaments to India for players who are unable to travel abroad. “Moreover, we’ve had High Performance Camps for junior players, coaches – Level-I and Level-II Clinics and Referees Clinics.”

Rajat said HCL might have 3-4 multi-city PSA events in India in the near-future. “It will be like what we did in 2019-20. We are also planning to do a few grassroots programs. We will also do Senior Nationals and the Indian junior Open,” he said.

SRFI’s Secretary Cyrus Poncha said squash has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to the efforts of the Sports Authority of India and the Union Sports Ministry. “Now with HCL’s fabulous support, the sport is growing further. In the last six years (with HCL). Indian squash has benefited by touching the lives of lots of squash players,” he said.

– Keerthivasan K

TENNIS

Ramkumar Ramanathan in partnership with John-Patrick Smith beat the second seeds Hanss Hach Verdugo and Hunter Reese 6-3, 6-4 in the doubles pre-quarterfinals of the $665,330 ATP tennis tournament in Newport.

Ramkumar, however, was beaten in the first qualifying round of singles by William Blumberg of the US 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

The results:

$665,330 ATP, Newport, US Qualifying singles (first round): William Blumberg (US) bt Ramkumar Ramanathan 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): John-Patrick Smith (Aus) & Ramkuma Ramanathan bt Hans Hach Verdugo (Mex) & Hunter Reese (US) 6-3, 6-4.

$25,000 ITF men, Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal Singles (first round): Jaime Farie (Por) bt Adil Kalyanpur 6-2, 6-2.

$15,000 ITF men, Monastir, Tunisia Singles (first round): Niki Poonacha bt Ilia Simakin 6-2, 7-6(4).

$25,000 ITF women, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhsta nDoubles (pre-quarterfinals): Momoko Kobori (Jpn) & Ankita Raina bt Anastasia Sukhotina & Ilay Yoruk (Tur) 7-5, 6-1.

$15,000 ITF women, Monastir, Tunisia Singles (first round): Dayeon Back (Kor) bt Jennifer Luikham 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-1

-Kamesh Srinivasan

FOOTBALL

First Delhi Premier League to kick off July 15

The inaugural Delhi Premier League will begin at the Ambedkar Stadium on Friday.

The league will be played in a double round-robin format with all 11 teams playing 20 matches each.

A total of 110 matches will be played over the duration of more than two months. The tournament will carry a prize money of Rs 7 lakh.

All the matches will be held at two venues — Ambedkar Stadium and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

The participating clubs are Delhi FC, Hindustan FC, Royal Rangers FC, Friends United FC, Garhwal FC, Tarun Sangha FC, Rangers SC, Sudeva Delhi FC, Uttarakhand FC, Indian Air Force and Vatika FC.

Football Delhi President Shaji Prabhakaran said, “Clubs participating in the Delhi Premier League will be playing a vital role in taking Delhi’s football forward and more of our clubs from Delhi will be seen competing in the top leagues of India in the coming seasons.”

– PTI

GOLF

Sneha makes pro debut in 9th leg of WPGT

Sneha Singh, a past amateur winner on the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour, will make her pro debut this week in the ninth leg of the Tour at the Bangalore Golf Club.

The Hyderabad golfer, who turned 18 last month, will be among the leading stars at the ninth leg, which carries a purse of Rs. 11 lakh and as many as 32 players.

Sneha has won once each in the last four years, including 2022. She last emerged winner in Visakhapatnam this year in the second leg of this season and will now be looking for another shot at the top prize, this time with a handsome cheque.

Sneha was also runner-up in the third leg.

Looking to continue her dominance of the ongoing season, Pranavi Urs will be chasing her fourth title of the year, during which she has also finished runner-up on two occasions.

The absence of many of the leading players, who are busy with the Ladies European Tour, will also give the younger players a chance to bid for their maiden title.

Pranavi leads the Order of Merit with Jahanvi Bakshi and Ridhima Dilawari way behind. Jahanvi and Ridhima are not in the field for the ninth leg, which will give Pranavi a chance to extend her lead.

Tvesa Malik, Diksha Dagar, Amandeep Drall, Vani Kapoor, Neha Tripathi, Ridhima Dilawari and Suchitra Ramesh are all playing in Europe currently.

– PTI

CHESS

Ganguly wins Fischer Random event at Biel Chess Festival

Indian Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly on Tuesday emerged the winner in the Fischer Random event at the Biel Chess Festival here with compatriot SP Sethuraman finishing in second place.

The 39-year-old Kolkata GM scored 6.5 points from 7 rounds to take the top prize ahead of Sethuraman (5.5 points) and French Woman Grandmaster Vera Nebolsina (5.5 points).

Ganguly remained unbeaten through the seven rounds, securing six wins and drawing one game with Alexandra Kosteniuk.

His wins came against Arashavir Musaelyan (Switzerland), Sai Kalluri Hari Charan (India), Robin Angst (Switzerland), Jose Antonio Herrera Reyes (Spain), Sethuraman and Konstantinos Ragios (Greece).

Sethuraman had to settle for second place as a defeat to Ganguly hurt his chances.

Meanwhile, teenage Indian GM D Gukesh will be in action in the Rapid event as part of the Grandmaster Triathlon and the eight-player classical event for GMs. He finished sixth with 3.5 points in the ACCENTUS Chess 960 event on Sunday.

The eight-player GM field includes Vincent Keymer (Germany), UAE’s Salem Saleh, American veteran Gata Kamsky and China’s Yu Yang among others.

– PTI

BOXING

Youth Men’s and Women’s National Boxing Championships: SSCB, Haryana crowned champions

Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) and Haryana pugilists once again stamped their authority by clinching the team championship titles of the men’s and women’s categories respectively at the 5th Youth Men’s and Women’s National Boxing Championships in Chennai.

SSCB boxers pulled off a stunning show on the final day of the competition as nine of their 11 finalists emerged victorious and took home the gold medals as well as the team championship trophy with 81 points, finishing at the top of the table with 11 medals, including 2 silver medals.

Reigning Asian Youth Champion Vishwanath Suresh (48kg) started the day’s proceedings for Services with a 4-1 win over Haryana’s Vishesh in a close bout where both boxers played fiercely from close range.

The other eight gold medal winners for SSCB were Jadumani Mandengbam (51kg), Ashish (54kg), Nikhil Kumar (57kg), Harsh (60kg), Preet Malik (63.5kg), Ankush Panghal (67kg), Deepak (75kg), Mohit (86kg).

Anjani Kumar (71kg) and Rytham (92+kg) were the two silver medalists for SSCB.

Haryana and Madhya Pradesh claimed second and third position respectively in the men’s section with 44 and 28 points. While Haryana won two gold, four silver and two bronze medals, Madhya Pradesh concluded their campaign with one gold, two silver and three bronze medals.

Haryana’s Sahil Chauhan (71kg), who defeated SSCB’s Anjani Kumar 3-2 in the final, was adjudged the Best Boxer while Haryana’s Akshat received the Most Promising Boxer award for his brilliant display throughout the tournament. Bharat Joon (92kg) was the other gold medalist from Haryana.

In the women’s section, led by Bhawna’s (48kg) 4-1 win over Delhi’s Sanjana and Asian Youth champion Tamanna’s (50kg) 5-0 win against Himachal Pradesh’s Kashish, nine Haryana boxers won the finals and helped the team finish at the top of position with 72 points by winning 11 medals, including two silver medals.

Neeru Khatri (54kg), Ravina (63kg), Priyanka (66kg), Lashu Yadav (70kg), Muskan (75kg) Pranjal Yadav (81kg) and Kirti (81+kg) were the other seven gold medalists. Anjali (52kg) and Prachi (60kg) were the two silver medalists for Haryana.

Maharashtra and Delhi finished in the second and third position respectively in the women’s category with 34 and 18 points. Maharashtra won two gold medals and three silver medals whereas Delhi finished with two silver and three bronze medals.

Devika Ghorpade of Maharashtra got the better of Haryana’s Anjali 5-0 in the 52kg final and was awarded with the Best Boxer trophy. Meanwhile, Haryana’s Prachi (60kg) was adjudged the Most Promising Boxer.

Aarya Bartakke (57kg) was Maharashtra’s second gold medalist as she defeated Naom Chingsanuami of Mizoram in the final.

Kunjarani Devi (60kg) handed Manipur its only gold medal at the tournament after defeating Haryana’s Prachi 5-0 convincingly.

Madhya Pradesh’s Aman Singh (92+kg) defeated Rytham of SSCB 5-0 to bag the gold medal.

Rockey Chaudhary (80kg) was the lone gold medal winner for Uttar Pradesh as he got the better of Haryana’s Ishan Kataria 3-2 in a close contest.

– TEAM SPORTSTAR

BASKETBALL

NBA academy selections to begin on July 14

The final selection for the NBA Academy will feature 30 players from across the country in a camp to be staged at the Jaypee Greens, Greater Noida, from July 14 to 16.

After the start at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in the Capital in May, the selection process visited other cities like Kottayam, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, gaining an overwhelming response from about 1600 players.

The selected players will get a full scholarship to attend the NBA Academy, with the program providing the players an opportunity to develop their skills under the guidance of NBA-certified coaches.

The ACB-NBA Jump initiative was first launched in the country in 2015 and the NBA Academy was subsequently set up in 2017.

SHOOTING

Mehuli Ghosh and Shahu Tushar Mane ensure second medal for India
PTI
(Eds: Updates with more results) Changwon, Jul 12 (PTI) The mixed team pair of Mehuli Ghosh and Shahu Tushar Mane sealed India’s second medal at the ISSF Shooting World Cup, here on Tuesday, by setting up the gold medal match against Hungary .

In-form Mehuli and Shahu topped the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team qualifiers with a score of 634.4 after 60 shots to finish well ahead of the strong Hungarian pair of Istvan Peni and Eszter Meszaros, who finished second with 630.3.

India and Hungary will lock horns on Wednesday to decide the winner.

Meanwhile, in the 10m Air Pistol mixed team event, Shiva and Palak shot 574 and qualified for the bronze medal match.

Shiva and Palak finished behind the Greek pairing of Anna Korakaki and Dionysios Korakakis, who scored 579.

The top spot was claimed by Olympic champion Zorana Arunovic and Damir Mikec of Serbia, who shot 584.

India will take on Kazakhstan’s in the bronze play-off.

Two other Indian pairs — Naveen and Rhythm Sangwan in 10m air pistol mixed team and Arjun Babuta and Elavenil Valarivan in the corresponding rifle competition — could not make the grade after both the teams scored 570 and 627.8 respectively to finish in the eighth position.

Earlier in the day, India missed out on about five medals as none of the top qualifiers in men’s and women’s 10m air pistol, as well as in the men’s trap, failed to make their opportunities count.

In the men’s 10m air pistol discipline, India had three qualifiers in the top eight ranking round but Naveen came closest to a medal, finishing fourth with an effort of 250.7. Shiva Narwal was fifth with 199.7 while Sagar Dangi was sixth with 199.2.

In the women’s 10m air pistol event, India’s lone ranking round qualifier Yuvika Tomar finished seventh with 147.1.

In the men’s trap event, young Vivaan Kapoor shot a brilliant 122 out of 125 to qualify third among eight qualifiers for the ranking rounds but ended fourth in his match to miss out on the medals.

India has won one gold so far in the tournament and is currently placed fourth on the medal tally.

– PTI

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