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Indian sports news wrap, December 17


Deswal-Rishi enter mixed doubles final of the Inter-ministry badminton tournament

Gaurav Deswal and Bhavya Rishi of Delhi Audit beat Abhinav Prakash of Ministry of Communication and Swati Sharma of Delhi Audit 21-13, 21-17 in the mixed doubles final of the Inter-ministry badminton tournament at the AIIMS Gymkhana on Saturday.

Himanshu Saroha and Bhavya Rishi of Delhi Audit were declared as the ‘Player of the Tournament’ in the men’s and women’s sections respectively.

At the conclusion of the championship, Rohan Kapoor of Delhi Audit was felicitated for being part of the silver-winning Indian team in the Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Rajeev Sharma of Delhi was also felicitated for winning the gold in the over-55 section in the World Seniors Championship in Jeonju, Korea.

The results:

Men’s doubles (final): Tushar Sharma & Himanshu Saroha bt Gaurav Deswal & Abhinav Prakash 21-14, 16-21, 21-17; Third place: Arvind Kumar & KP Biju Kumar bt Rajender & Kulvinder 21-16, 21-14.

Women’s doubles (final): Namita Pathania & Bhavya Rishi bt Lalita Dahiya & Megha Morcha Bora 21-14, 21-17; Third place: Swati Sharma & Ruchika Patwal bt Nisha & AP Kaur 21-8, 21-9.

Mixed doubles (final): Gaurav Deswal & Bhavya Rishi bt Abhinav Prakash & Swati Sharma 21-13, 21-17; Third place: Tushar Sharma & Namita Pathania bt Jagbeer & Nisha 21-15, 21-12.

Veteran men (final): Vijay Sharma bt Gajender 21-16, 21-17; Third place: Sunil Yadav bt Amit Tyagi 21-9, 21-12.

– Team Sportstar


Bhullar finishes tied 10th in Riyadh

Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar played his best round of the week with a bogey-free 6-under 65 and finished tied-10th at the USD 1 million Saudi Open in Jeddah on Sunday.

Bhullar, who was T-25 after three rounds, improved by 15 spots and was the best among the Indian finishers at Riyadh Golf Club.

Bhullar totalled 11-under for the week and was seven shots behind Denwit Boriboonsub of Thailand, who shot 64 in the final round for a total of 18-under 266.

Boriboonsub won USD 180,000, while Henrik Stenson (67) was second at 15-under and won USD 110,000.

India’s Veer Ahlawat, who was lying T-3 after three rounds, slipped in the final round with a card of 2-over 73 and ended T-16 at 8-under.

Among other Indians, Yuvraj Sandhu (70) finished T-23 and S Chikkarangappa (74) dropped to T-32. Ajeetesh Sandhu (69) was T-65, Bhullar impressed with four birdies on the front nine and added two more on the back nine.

Boriboonsub completed a rare hat-trick of titles as he recorded a brilliant three-shot win. The 19-year-old Thai shot a final round seven-under-par 64 for a four-round-aggregate of 18-under 266.

Stenson raced through with a 65 to secure second place while Travis Smyth from Australia was third after a 67 in an event that brought to a conclusion the Asian Tour’s 23-event, USD 35 million season.

Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand, the overnight leader, signed off with a 70 and tied for fourth, five behind the brilliant young amateur Ratchanon ‘TK’ Chantananuwant, in with a 66, and Japan’s Jinichiro Kozuma, who closed with a 67.


Subhash Tamang beats Rohit to become first golfer from Nepal to win All India amateur c’ships

Subhash Tamang, who comes from a humble background, became the first golfer from Nepal to win the prestigious All India Amateur Championships run by the Indian Golf Union.

Tamang, who was almost 10 when he first held a golf club, beat Rohit of India 9&7 to win the 122nd edition of the tournament at the iconic Royal Calcutta Golf Club.

The 21-year-old Tamang, who was neck-and-neck with Rohit for the first 15 holes, pulled away to 3-up after 18 holes. In the afternoon session he was unstoppable, and the match ended when he was nine ahead with seven holes left.

“It is the happiest moment of my life,” said Tamang, who came over to India in 2022 to hone his skills under an India pro, Tarun Sardesai at his academy near Bengaluru.

Tamang’s performances earned him starts at the prestigious Asia Pacific Amateur Championships and other internationals, but this is his biggest win.

Tamang was first spotted by Tashi Ghale, a Nepalese businessman and the President of Nepal Golf Association. Ghale took him to Deepak Acharya, the Director of Operations, and a teaching professional at Gokarna Golf Club, where Tamang trained and played.

Then around the start of 2022, Ghale and Acharya helped Tamang to get to India and train with Sardesai, who now trains the Nepal team.

Tamang, who was 54th at Asia-Pacific Amateur Championships in 2022 in Thailand, missed the cut at the AAC this year in Melbourne. His best world rank has been 105th but was ranked 153rd at the start of the week. Now this latest win could once again bring him closer to career-best rank.

The flagship event of the IGU, the All-India Amateur Championships began with a 36-hole stroke play event to narrow the field down to 32 for the Matchplay section.

Tamang was fourth in the 36-hole stroke play at the start of the week, he made his way through numerous rivals to reach the final. His toughest match came in the first round, when he was taken to extra holes and won on the 19th hole against Kanav Chauhan.

Then he beat Vishesh Sharma in the pre-quarter finals and Dhruv Suri in the quarter finals by similar margins of 4&3. In the semi-finals, he again got good in crucial stages and beat the top seed Altin Van der Merwe of South Africa 3&1.

Earlier in the stroke play team event, South Africa emerged winners with Altin Van Der Merwe and Jordan Clay Burnand leading the charge. The two South Africans lost out in the semi-finals, as Tamang beat Van der Merwe and Rohit eliminated Burnand.

India A with Sandeep Yadav and Rohit were second at 294 and India B comprising Vinamra Anand and Shaurya Bhattacharya were third at 295.

The All-India Amateur Championships is India’s oldest golf tournament having started in 1892. The Championships were not held during the two World Wars and was cancelled once in 2020 due to Covid.



Sandeep Kumar, Chetan Surineni win MRF Formula titles

On a day over-run with emotions, Chennai’s Sandeep Kumar and Bengaluru youngster Chetan Surnineni won the titles in the showpiece MRF Formula 2000 and 1600 categories, respectively, as the curtains came down on the fourth and final round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship 2023 at the Madras International Circuit on Sunday.

Also picking up the National titles in their respective categories were Gurunath Meiyappan (Race Concepts, Indian Touring Cars), Deepak Ravikumar (Performance Racing, Indian Junior Touring Cars) and Diljith TS (DTS Racing, Super Stock and Formula LGB 1300).

The Championship battle in the MRF Formula 2000 went right down to the wire. Sandeep Kumar did just enough to pick up crucial points and pip Kolkata’s Arya Singh by just three points to claim the championship. Incidentally, both the MRF F2000 races were won by Bengaluru’s Aditya Swaminathan.

“I am totally exhausted but very satisfied to win my first-ever National championship. I missed the qualifying session yesterday as I was racing in Dubai (Porsche Cup) and returned home early this morning. After a two-hour sleep, I was at the track for the races. The feeling is still to sink in as I am just too tired mentally,” said Meiyappan.

Another Chennai driver, Deepak Ravikumar edged out his Performance Racing team-mate Akkineni Anand Prasad for the title in the IJTC class by winning both the races today for a double while 30-year-old Diljith, who had effectively sealed the championship with a round to spare, only confirmed the title in the Super Stock category.

However, Diljith had to fight hard for the Formula LGB 1300 crown that was decided only on conclusion of the final race in this class. He finished second in Race-1 behind team-mate Viswas Vijayaraj (Nellore) and third in Race-2 to annex the title. The Race-2 was won by 16-year-old Bengaluru schoolboy Dhruvh Goswami (MSport) from pole position in the reverse grid.

-Team Sportstar

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