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Indian sports news wrap: March 9

Here are all the major updates, scores and results of Indians from the world of sports on Saturday, March 9.


Pranavi shoots 67 to occupy T-5 spot, Diksha cards 69 at Aramco Series

Indian golfers Pranavi Urs and Diksha Dagar shot fine rounds of 5-under and 3-under to be placed Tied-5th and Tied-16th, respectively, on the first day of the Aramco Team Series at the Feather Sound Country Club in Tampa, US.

Coming off solid Top-10 finishes in Morocco in their previous outing, both the Indians were within striking distance of the leaders.

Pranavi, playing her rookie season, recorded a 5-under 67 but just one short of the foursome pack of leaders at six-under.

Diksha, who began the day with a double bogey, picked up five birdies to finish at 3-under and was only three behind the leaders.

Pranavi, playing with Bronte Law, the former AIG Women’s Open winner, Sophia Popov and amateur Jim Boddy, also put herself in line for a team win.

Along with their amateur, they shared the lead in team standings with Team Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, the defending team champions, who had Celine Hebron, Meghan MacLaren and amateur LuJain Omar Khalil, as teammates.

The team event will finish on the second day and if Pranavi and her team win, she will emulate Diksha, who had won in the Aramco Series London two seasons ago.

Pranavi, winner of the Order of Merit on her home Tour in 2022 with five wins, starting on the 10th, parred her first three holes before stringing five birdies in a row and turned in 5-under 31. A sixth birdie on the first and yet another one on the fourth saw her rise to 7-under and into sole lead.

Then came the disappointment with a double bogey on the sixth, her 15th hole of the day. She ended at 5-under and one behind the leaders.

Pranavi, who fired an opening round of 67 (-5), said, “It definitely feels great to get off to a hot start and I feel like I’ve been doing that quite often for the past four rounds now, but I just couldn’t quite finish it. Five-under was not bad and I will take it. I was really good off the tee today and that put me in good position to get good approaches, except for one which caused a double, but apart from that I have been hitting it good and putting has been good too.”

She was rather consistent throughout the day, missing the fairway only three times, but on two of those occasions she managed to par.

Also she missed the greens in regulation only twice and only once, on the fifth, it cost her dearly with double bogey. She needed 29 putts.

Diksha found every fairway but missed the greens in regulation on her last three holes, though she scrambled for pars each time. The start for a double was her only blemish.

“I started with a double bogey and then I had a bad bounce and went into the bunker. I couldn’t come on to the green. Then I four-putted. I didn’t think about that too much. I stayed calm and focused on every shot. I then gained very good momentum, and I had to fight for it. It was a good recovery and it turned out very well,” Diksha said.

“I’m going to focus on one shot at a time because it’s going to be a different game due to the weather change. I’m going to ensure that I’m playing a good game.”


Anirban Lahiri drops to Tied 31 in Hong Kong

Anirban Lahiri shot an underwhelming 1-over 71 and dropped to tied 31 in the Liv Golf Hong Kong tournament here on Saturday.

Lahiri, the only Indian in the League, shot 4-under 66 on the first day and was tied 11, but after his 71, he dropped down the leaderboard.

Lahiri had four bogeys against three birdies at the Hong Kong Golf Club. His team, Crushers, also dropped to tied fourth.

First-round co-leader Abraham Ancer birdied five of his final eight holes for an eight-under 62 and took a five-stroke lead after two rounds. He shot 63 in the first round and now sits at 15-under 125 after the second round.

American Harold Varner III (64-66) and Spain’s Eugenio Chacarra (64-66), who shot second-round 66s, were tied for second.



Urwashi storms into Bristol Open semis

India’s Urwashi Joshi is one step away from her maiden Professional Squash Association final, as she booked a semifinal spot in style at the University of the West of England the Bristol Open.

The 28-year-old rallied to beat higher-ranked Australian fifth seed Erin Classen 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 in the quarterfinals of the USD 3000 PSA Challenger event late on Friday.

World No. 153 Urwashi, semifinalist at the 2023 National Championships, will meet higher-ranked Breanne Flynn of Ireland in the last-four stage.

Meanwhile, Breanne, ranked 139 in the world, eased past fourth seed Colette Sultana (Malta) 3-0 in her quarterfinal outing.

– Team Sportstar


Ace gymnast Dipa finishes 4th in Baku Apparatus World Cup

Star Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar finished a creditable fourth in the women’s vault event at the ongoing Baku Apparatus World Cup in the capital city of Azerbaijan. Dipa, who finished fourth in the vault event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, scored 13.716 points in the event which concludes on Sunday.

Bulgaria’s Valentina Georgieva won the gold with a score of points ahead of Korea’s Ok An Chang, who scored 13.783 points.

Panama’s Karla Navas finished third with 13.733 points.

Dipa was left out of the Indian squad for the last Asian Games as she didn’t fulfil Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) criteria of a top-eight finish in the last 12 months preceding to the Hangzhou continental event despite topping the trials.

Dipa, that time, was serving a two-year ban due to an anti-doping violation.

The ace Indian gymnast next will be seen in action in the final leg of the World Cup in Doha, which is set to be held from April 17-20. Earlier, another Indian Pranati Nayak had won a bronze medal in the vault event at the FIG Apparatus World Cup in Cairo last month.



SD Prajwal Dev loses doubles final

SD Prajwal Dev in partnership with David Pichler of Austria was beaten 6-1, 7-5 in the doubles final by Thomas Fancutt and Hunter Reese in the $41,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Kigali, Rwanda, on Saturday.

The champion team collected 50 ATP points and $2,140. The runners-up got 30 points and $1,250.

The results:

$41,000 Challenger, Kigali, Rwanda

Doubles (final): Thomas Fancutt (Aus) & Hunter Reese (USA) bt SD Prajwal Dev & David Pichler (Aut) 6-1, 7-5.

$15,000 ITF men, Kish Island, Iran

Doubles (final): Matyas Fuele & Gergely Madarasz (Hun) bt Ishaque Eqbal & Adil Kalyanpur 6-4, 3-6, [10-6].

-Kamesh Srinivasan


Rajnigandha Achievers defeats Jindal Panther

Chris Mackenzie scored six goals to power Rajnigandha Achievers to a 8-3 victory over Jindal Panther in the Sawai Man Singh Gold Vase polo tournament at the Jaipur Polo ground here on Saturday.

In the final on Sunday, Ranigandha Achievers will play Delta Polo.

Meanwhile, in the DG RVS Cup final, 61st Cavalry beat Salvo 10-4.

The results: Rajnigandha Achievers 8 (Chriis Mackenzie 6, Dhruvpal Godara 2) bt Jindal Panther 3 (Siddhant Sharma 2, Simran Shergill).

-Kamesh Srinivasan


World heavyweight boxing series in Kochi in August

The World Heavyweight DJMC Series Boxing Championship will be held in Kochi in August and some big names are expected.

“We will have a total of 10 bouts, seven professional and three amateur, and the event is likely to be held towards the end of August. All the amateur bouts will feature Indians,” said Dunstan Paul Rozairo the chairman of DJMC which will organise the championship, at the event’s launch here on Friday night.

“We may have a couple of title bouts too. Once we finalise the boxers, we can announce the dates.”

Costa Rica’s Hanna Gabriels, the World women’s heavyweight champion, was the big star at the championship’s launch function here.

The event, which will be jointly organised by the World Boxing Council and the National Sports Mission, is expected to have boxers from 12 countries.

-Stan Rayan


Walker Aarti breaks junior national record

Haryana race walker Aarti broke the women’s 10,000m race walk national record while Odisha’s Bapi Hansda rewrote the men’s 400m meet record in the 22 nd National Federation Cup junior (under-20) athletics championships here on Saturday.

The results (winners only): Men: 100m: Dondapati Mrutyam Jaya (Odi) 10.67s. 400M: Bapi Hansda (Odi) 46.90s MR, OR 46.93. 1500m: Rahul Sarnaliya (Utd) 3:49.00s. 110m hurdles: Hariharan Kathiravan (TN) 14.09s. Discus throw: Ritik (Chd) 56.32m. Long jump: Mohd Atta Sazid (Har) 7.53m. Hammer throw: Prateek (Har) 68.16m. Decathlon: Piyush Raj (Bihar) 6187. 10,000m race walk: Himanshu Kumar (Ukd) 41:55.00s.

Women: 100m: Sakshi Champlal (Gujarat) 12.09s. 400M: Dodla Sai Sangeetha (Tel) 55.13 secs. 1500M: Laxita Vinod Sandilea (Guj) 4:25.77s. 100m hurdles: Unnathi Aiyappa (Kar) 14.05 secs. Pole vault: V. Karthika (TN) 3.70m. Discus throw: Nitika Kumari (Raj) 50.17m. 10,000m race walk: Aarti (Har) 47:21.04s NR, OR 47:30.94.

Friday’s results: Men: Pole vault: Kuldeep Kumar (UP) 5.10m MR, OR 5.00. Shot put: Siddharth Choudhary (Raj) 19.08m.

Women: Long jump: Pavana Nagaraj (Kar) 6.01m.

-Stan Rayan

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