Indian sports wrap, April 13: Gaurav Gill finishes Day 1 of Otago Rally in top-three

Here are all the major updates, scores, and results of Indians in the world of sports on Saturday, April 13. 

Published : Apr 13, 2024 16:21 IST , CHENNAI - 6 MINS READ

Gaurav Gill.
Gaurav Gill. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Gaurav Gill. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement


Gaurav Gill finishes Day 1 of Otago Rally in top-three

India’s fastest rally driver Gaurav Gill of JK Tyre put himself in contention for a podium finish after grabbing a top-three place at the end of the opening day of the Otago Rally in New Zealand.

Gill and his New-Zealand-based co-driver Jared Hudson were third on the timesheets, a little over 30 seconds behind overall leader Jack Hawkeswood and 11 seconds adrift of second-placed Robbie Stokes.

Gill and Hudson were piloting 2022 APRC champion and 10-time Otago Rally winner Haydon Paddon’s Hyundai i20 N Rally2 machine.

On day one, the drivers navigated through eight special stages. Gill lost fifteen seconds on stage 5 due to an error, but the triple-APRC champion offered proof of his outright speed by winning stages 4, 7 and 8.

“It has been a very unique experience; the super-fast stages are so distinct and varied from one another that I would describe them as extremely fast. I have never driven this fast before,” said Gill, an Arjuna awardee.

“We had a pretty good start in the morning stages, and now we’re trying to become better at maintaining our rhythm on the trickier parts. We are up against cars more powerful than ours. That makes a difference, and the settings are ideal for them.

“We are happy with our performance today and will try to replicate the same tomorrow, ensuring a podium finish,” he added.

The Otago Rally is amongst the most historic racing events in the world and has been held every year since 1976.

This year, the rally has drawn a field of 117 cars, the largest in four years. A customary mix of challenging sections in the rally comprise 16 special stages.

Over 144 km of competitive stages, the contestants demonstrated their driving prowess on Saturday. On Sunday, another 130 kilometres will be driven.

Gill is competing at the Otago Rally for the first time. He is a three-time winner of the Rally of Whangarei, which also takes place in New Zealand.



Arjun and Jeevan in Challenger final

Arjun Kadhe and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan beat the top seeds Luke Johnson and Skander Mansouri 4-6, 7-6(5), [10-8] to set up a title clash against second seeds Piotr Matuszewski and Matthew Romios in the $82,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

The results
$82,000 Challenger, Cuernavaca, Mexico Doubles (semifinals): Arjun Kadhe & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Luke Johnson (GBR) & Skander Mansouri (Tun) 4-6, 7-6(5), [10-8]; Piotr Matuszewski (Pol) & Matthew Romios (Aus) bt Rithvik Bollipalli & Niki Poonacha 6-4, 3-6, [10-7].

-Team Sportstar

AITA National series juniors: Mahika beats Danica in girls final

Qualifier Mahika Khanna beat Danica Fernando 6-2, 7-5 in the girls final of the AITA National series junior tennis tournament at the CLTA Complex on Sunday.

Top seed Rian Sharma won the boys title, beating Parth Deorukhakar in straight sets.

The results (finals)
Under-18 boys: Rian Sharma bt Parth Deorukhakar 7-6(8), 6-1.
Under-18 girls: Mahika Khanna bt Danica Fernando 6-2, 7-5.

-Team Sportstar


Indian women bag three medals at Asian Wrestling Championships 2024

Indian women won a silver and a bronze medal in the Asian Wrestling Championships at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Saturday.

Radhika Jaglan, a 2022 silver medallist in 65kg, bagged another silver in 68kg, while Shivanee Pawar secured a bronze in 50kg.

Fighting the final against Japan’s Nonoka Ozaki – a 65kg World champion who went up in weight class to beat Asian champion compatriot Ami Ishi in a playoff to take Japan’s 68kg slot in the Paris Olympics – Radhika was convincingly beaten 15-2 with 1:31 minutes left in the clock.

Shivanee defeated Mongolian Otgonjargal Dolgorjav 9-7 to win the bronze.

Pushpa Yadav (59kg) and Priya (76kg), who got pinned while leading 4-2, lost their respective bronze medal matches. Tamanna (55kg) exited in the repechage round.


Bhawanipore FC tie up with LaLiga Academy for grassroot development

The LaLiga Academy on Saturday tied up with city-based Premier Division Club Bhawanipore FC that promises to bring in Spanish flair and technique to grassroot football in West Bengal.

Designed by the Global Technical Director of LaLiga along with a team of experts across several countries, the partnership will also introduce analytics at the grassroot level to help the coaches and scouts.

The team of experts includes Miguel Casa who is the technical director of the LaLiga Academy Football Schools India.

“Bhawanipore FC ProIndia will have several player development centres across West Bengal, in various schools from several districts,” Srinjoy Bose of Bhawanipore FC said.

“The AIFF scouts can handpick talents from these centres and take them to the Centre of Excellence. They will benefit from the LaLiga Academy curriculum as they are being nurtured for AIFF and IFA age-category tournament in the age group of Under-13 to 17,” he added.

Co-founder of Bengaluru-based Step Out Analytics said: “No one in India has ever thought of introducing analytics at grassroots level. This will serve as a powerful catalyst for the growth of football.”


I-League 2023-24: Runner-up Sreenidi finishes campaign with win against Shillong Lajong

Sreenidi Deccan FC finished its campaign in style with a 3-2 win over Shillong Lajong FC in the I-League championship at Deccan Arena here on Saturday.

Goals from William Alves and Rosenberg Gabriel had put the Deccan Warriors 2-0 up at halftime before Phrangki Buam reduced the deficit for the visitors. However, David Castaneda’s late spot-kick ensured three points for the hosts.

Young goalkeeper Aryan Lamba made his first appearance of the season as Lalromawia, William and Rilwan Hassan also returned to the line-up.

Sreenidi made a fast start as William turned in Lalromawia’s cross from the right in the fourth minute to give his side the lead. The Brazilian then turned provider in the 16th minute as he held off the Lajong defender to tee up Rosenberg to power home a second goal.

Lajong came out firing on all cylinders in the second half as winger Buam broke through the Sreenidi defence in the 46th minute to pull one back for his side.

The visitor kept pressed for an equaliser, but the Deccan Warriors held firm and threatened to score on the counter-attack.

That came to fruition in the 84th minute as Lalbiakliana went down inside the box, and Castaneda converted the resulting penalty to confirm the points. Buam scored again in the 87th minute to ensure a nervy ending, but the game ended 3-2 in favour of Sreenidi Deccan FC.

The Deccan Warriors finished as runner-up for the second successive season, with 48 points from 24 matches.



Palak, Sainyam keep India on course for 20th Paris quota

Reigning Asian Games champion Palak and Sainyam kept the Indian shooting squad on course for a 20th Paris Games quota place, reaching the final of the women’s 10m air pistol event of ISSF’s last Olympic qualification in Rio De Janiero on Saturday.

The final will be held on Sunday.

Both Palak, in the first qualification relay, and Sainyam in the second, shot identical scores of 578 to take the sixth and seventh qualification spots, giving India a boost in its endeavour to grab one of the two available quota places.

India’s third entrant Surbhi Rao also shot 578 but missed out on making the top eight on lesser hits in the inner 10 ring, finishing ninth.

Azerbaijan’s Nigar Nasirova took the eighth and final qualifying spot.

Mariami Profiashvili topped the field with a 582, while Hungarian ace Veronika Major also made the cut with shooters from France, Armenia and Thailand also in the mix.


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