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Indian sports news wrap, February 1


Avani opens Women’s Asia Pacific with 4-under 68, on tied 4th

India’s Avani Prashanth made a smart recovery from a bogey start to finish the opening day of the Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific with a strong 4-under 68 card that placed her on a creditable tied fourth in Pattaya on Thursday.

Avani, winner of the Queen Sirikit Cup individuals last year, and fourth at the World Amateur Team Championships in 2023, had six birdies against two bogeys on a satisfying day.

Three players including Eila Galitsky, bidding to become the first player to win the WAAP twice, her Thai teammate Novaporn Soontreeyapas, who registered a hole-in-one and Chinese Taipei’s Chen-Wei Wu were in shared lead at 5-under 67.

One shot behind, Avani was tied with Thailand’s Pimpisa Rubrong, Amy Im of New Zealand and China’s Yahui Xhang, returning scores of 68 each.

Among other Indians, Vidhatri Urs (73) and debutant Saanvi Somu (73) were tied 39th, while things did not go well for debutants Keerthana Rajeev Nair (81) and Heena Kang (81) at tied 84 and Mannat Brar (82) was 86th.

“I am definitely pleased. The way I started, I was quite confused about how the day was going to go. But then, I took control of my full round by the time I was on the 13th, and that really put things in place,” said Avani.

“I started on the tenth, which is a par-5. I was really happy last night thinking I’m going to tee off on a par-5, you know, a big advantage. But then I proceeded to duck hook my drive and then didn’t get any contact on the ball because I was down in the rough.

Then I duck-hooked my 3-wood into the left — the fairway bunker and I chunked that. Finally, I made an up and down from like 35 yards for bogey. Not how you want to start,” she added.

Avani hoped for an even better second round.

“I put myself in good positions from there on and I set myself up for a birdie on nearly every hole from there. The ones that dropped, dropped, and the ones that didn’t, I’ll probably get them tomorrow.” Avani had a good run from the 13th to the 16th as she birdied three times. She dropped a shot on Par-4 first but picked birdies on the second, fifth and ninth for a good day’s work.

On her mindset after the bogey start, she said, “The first thing I told myself after hitting the first three shots was that the tournament isn’t won on the first hole. You have 71 more to go. So that’s what I did, and then, thankfully, I started making some putts.” Avani played with World No. 4 Minsol Kim and Mikhaela Rianne Malixi, who won the Australian Masters of The Amateurs last month, edging the Indian into second place.

Rianne and Minsol carded 2-under 70 each.

Leaderboard: 67: Navaporn Soontreeyapas (Tha), Chun-Wei Wu (CTP), Elia Galitsky (Tha) 68: Avani Prashanth (Ind), Pimpisa Rubrong (Tha), Amy Im (NZL), Zhang Yahui (Chn).

Indian scores: Avani Prashanth (68, Tied 4th); Vidhatri Urs (73, Tied 39th), Saanvi Somu (73, Tied 39th), Keerthana Rajeev Nair (81, Tied 84th), Heena Kang (81st, Tied 84th), Mannat Brar (82, 86th).


Hitaashee takes three shot lead over Ananya in third leg of Hero WPGT

Hitaashee Bakshi fired four birdies in a five-hole stretch in the middle of the round to grab a handy three-shot lead over Ananya Garg after the second round of the third leg of the 2024 Hero Womens Pro Golf Tour in Kolkata on Thursday.

Hitaashee, starting in the final group, had a bogey-bogey start but a series of birdies saw her roar into contention at the Tollygunge Club.

She dropped a shot on the Par-4 12th but got that back with her fifth birdie of the day on the Par-4 15th. Her round of 68 put her at 1-under 139 and three clear of Ananya (68).

Ananya, looking for her maiden win on the Hero WPGT, made up for her opening round of 74 as she had four birdies against two bogeys.

Ananya is now 2-over for 36 holes at 142.

Seher Atwal (71-71), tied second, could have been better but for a bogey finish. She also had a double bogey on Par-4 12th. She had three birdies during the day.

Three players, Ridhima Dilawari (69), amateur Anaahat Bindra (71) and Gauri Karhade (73) were in tie for the fifth place at 4-over 144, while Amandeep Drall, who actually went into the lead after a birdie on the second hole, slipped later.

Amandeep, playing in the lead group, birdied the second, while her playing partners, Hitaashee and Khushi started bogey-bogey.

Amandeep suffered three bogeys in a row from third to fifth and then had two more bogeys and a double bogey against just one birdie for a round of 76 that saw her drop down to eighth.

Karishma Govind (75) and Khushi Khanijau (80) were tied for ninth place, while Sneha Singh (72), winner of the last event, was tied-11th with Kriti Chowhan (72).

Overnight leader Khushi had a rough day with a round of 80 that included a two double bogeys on the last two holes as she slipped to tied ninth at 149.

The cut fell at 157 and 20 players made it to the final round.



Indian boxers, preparing for Paris Olympics, participate in multi-nation camp in Patiala

The country’s elite boxers, including those who are preparing for the Olympic qualifying event and the Paris Olympics, are taking part in an ongoing multi-nation camp at NIS Patiala.

The 13-day camp, which will go on till February 10, has been designed to provide much-needed international exposure to the boxers ahead of the crucial Olympics qualifiers.

Asian Games bronze medallist and Olympic quota place winner Parveen Hooda (57kg), Worlds bronze medallists Deepak Bhoria (51kg), Mohammad Hussamuddin (57kg) and Nishant Dev (71kg) are among 30 Indian boxers, including 13 female, who are part of the camp.

Other prominent boxers include reigning National champions Anamika (50kg), former Worlds medallist Sonia Lather (57kg), Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jasmine Lamboria (60kg), Olympian Pooja Rani (75kg), Asian Games bronze medallist Narender Berwal (+92kg), multiple Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (63.5kg) and National champions Lakshya Chahar (80kg) and Sanjeet (92kg).

The camp also features seven male and five female boxers from England. Four male boxers from Russia will also join the camp.

The next Olympic qualifying event will be held in Busto Arsizio, Italy, from February 29 to March 12. 

– Team Sportstar


ATP 250 Montpellier: Anirudh-Vijay pair loses in pre-quarterfinals

Anirudh Chandrasekar and Vijay Sundar Prashanth were beaten 6-2, 3-6, [10-7] by the third seeds Lloyd Glasspool and Henry Patten in the doubles pre-quarterfinals of the €651,865 ATP tennis tournament in Montpellier, France.


€651,865 ATP, Montpellier, France

Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Lloyd Glasspool & Henry Patten (GBR) bt Anirudh Chandraskear & Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-2, 3-6, [10-7].

$40,000 ITF women, Porto, Portugal

Doubles (quarterfinals): Veronika Erjavec (Slo) & Dominika Salkova (Cze) bt Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers (Esp) & Vasanti Shinde 6-4, 6-3.

– Team Sportstar

ITF Indore: Imamura beats top seed Semenistaja to reach quarterfinals

Saki Imamura of Japan knocked out the top seed Darja Semenistaja of Latvia 6-3, 6-4 in the pre-quarterfinals of the $40,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Indore Tennis Club on Thursday.

It has been a successful season so far for Darja, especially in India. She won the title in a similar tournament in Bengaluru before the Australian Open. She returned to India from Melbourne where she beat former world No.25 Timea Babos of Hungary in the first qualifying round to make the semifinals last week in Pune when she lost to the eventual champion Moyuka Uchijima in three sets.

In the quarterfinals, Saki will play fifth seed Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia.

The Indian hopes were sustained by Shrivalli Bhamidipaty and Vaidehi Chaudhari as they beat the third seeds Carole Monnet and Ekaterina Yashina 6-2, 6-1 in the doubles quarterfinals.

In the semifinals, Shrivalli and Vaidehi will play the Japanese duo of Saki Imamura and Mana Kawamura who ousted the second seeds Darja Semenistaja and Fanni Stollar.

The results:

Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Saki Imamura (Jpn) bt Darja Semenistaja (Lat) 6-3, 6-4; Dalila Jakupovic (Slo) bt Mei Yamaguchi (Jpn) 6-0, 6-3; Carole Monnet (Fra) bt Naiktha Bains (GBR) 6-1, 1-6, 7-5; Dejana Radanovic (Srb) bt Naho Sato (Jpn) 6-2, 6-1; Anca Alexia Tdoni (Rou) bt Rina Ssaigo (Jpn) 6-4, 6-2; Alexandra Eala (Phi) bt Ekaterina Yashina 7-6(1), 6-7(4), 6-0; Eri Shimizu (Jpn) bt Diana Marcinkevica (Lat) 7-6(5), 6-1; Polina Kudermetova bt Michika Ozeki (Jpn) 7-5, 6-2.

Doubles (quarterfinals): Zhibek Kulambayeva (Kaz) & Sapfo Sakellaridi (Gre) bt Sharmada Ballu & Diana Marcinkevica (Lat) 6-1, 7-5; Jessie Aney (USA) & Lena Papadakis (Ger) bt Yu-Yun Li (Tpe) & Eri Shimizu (Jpn) 6-2, 6-7(3), [10-5]; Shrivalli Bhamidipaty & Vaidehi Chaudhari bt Carole Monnet (Fra) & Ekaterina Yashina 6-2, 6-1; Saki Imamura & Mana Kawamura (Jpn) bt Darja Semenistaja (Lat) & Fanni Stollar (Hun) 1-6, 6-3, [10-5].

– Team Sportstar


Services pips Army in rowing nationals

Rowers from the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) overcame stiff competition from Army Sports Control Board (ASCB) to win top honours in the men’s section of the 41th Senior National Rowing Championship in Pune on Thursday.

Services ended with 4 gold and 3 silver as against 3 gold and 4 silver by Army. Chandigarh claimed the lone title among state associations.

In the women’s section, Madhya Pradesh (4 gold, 1 silver) claimed the top spot while Kerala (2 gold), Manipur (1 gold, 1 silver) finished behind in the seven-race schedule.

The men’s section was exciting, with the first two finals going the Services and Army’s way respectively.

In the double sculls event Services’ Kulwinder Singh and Karamjit Singh — 6 minutes 48.9 seconds — pushed aside the Army duo of Gurtap Singh and Ravi (6:55.2).

Army struck back, with Babulal Yadav and Lekh Ram edging out Services’ Sanee Kumar and Iqbal Singh.

The next two races belonged to Services. The coxless fours had Jaswinder Singh, Bheem Singh, Punit Kumar, Ashish (06:27.3) getting the better of Army’s Lakhveer Singh Harinder Singh, Ghurde Patil, Jasmail Singh (06:29.5).

The next race also went the Services way and took its tally to three as against one by Army. Services claimed its third when the lightweight double sculls duo of Nitin Deol and Ujjwal Kumar Singh (06:48.7) finished ahead of Army’s Arwinder Singh and Rohit (06:51.2).

Army claimed its second title of the day by bagging the quadruple sculls. Ravi, Jaspinder Singh, Gurpartap Singh, Manjeet Kumar combined to clock 06:19.3, which was better than the 06:21.2 clocked by the Services quartet of Ashish Phugat, Jakar Khan, Karamjit Singh and Kulwinder Singh.

The women’s section saw Madhya Pradesh dominating and Maharashtra failing to make an impact with single sculler Khushpreet Kaur of MP (08:42.4) emerging stronger than Mrunmayee Salgaonkar (08:48.7).

Madhya Pradesh also claimed the quadruple sculls, coxless pairs, the double sculls apart from the single sculls.


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