PSPB lifts 75th Inter State-Inter Zonal badminton Championship title
Petroleum Sports Promotion Board rallied from being 0-2 down to get the better of Manipur 3-2 in the final to claim the team championship title of the 75th Inter State-Inter Zonal badminton Championship here on Thursday.
Dingku Singh Konthoujam and Priya Devi Konjengbam stunned Manu Attri and Ashwini Ponnappa 20-22, 21-18, 21-15 in the mixed doubles match to give Manipur a perfect start.
Maisnam Meiraba then dished out a gritty show to outwit national champion Sourabh Varma 26-24, 21-14 to put Manipur 2-0 ahead.
However, Assam’s Ashmita Chaliha saw off Maheshwari Devi Kshetrimayum 21-10, 25-23 to reduce the deficit to 1-2, while Manu and Chirag Shetty combined to bring PSPB back in contention with a 21-16, 21-17 win over Manjit Singh Khwairakpam and Dingku Singh Konthoujam in men’s doubles.
In the decider, 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallists N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa beat Priya Devi Konjengbam and Maheshwari Devi Kshetrimayum 21-19, 21-10 to crush Manipur’s dream.
Manipur, who had claimed bronze in 2018 edition, had produced a spirited show in the tournament as they beat Haryana 3-2 on Wednesday and also prevailed 3-1 over Airport Authority of India to make it to the final.
Second seed PSPB, on the other hand, blanked Uttarakhand 3-0 before beating Karnataka 3-2 to make it to the summit clash.
In the quarter-finals, Karnataka had defeated Maharashra 3-2, while Airport Authority of India had received a bye in the opening round.
The 84th Senior National Badminton Championships will begin on Friday with the likes of HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth vying for honours against the young crop including Kiran George and Priyanshu Rajawat.
BFI President takes stock of preparations for IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships
The President of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) Mr. Ajay Singh visited the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi on Thursday ahead of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, scheduled to happen in three weeks.
The president inspected the entire venue along with the functional heads of the local organising committee (LOC) and the stadium officials.
“We hosted a World Championships here in 2018 and believe that the upcoming tournament will be even bigger. We are trying to ensure that every spectator is happy and the players are comfortable during the tournament and go back from our country thinking about the wonderful work we have done here. India is one of the leading nations in boxing and we will show it during the upcoming competition,” said the BFI president.
A total of 350 plus boxers, including seven Olympic medalists, from 74 countries have registered so far for this biennial event, which will be held from 15 to 26 March.
Queen Sirikit Cup: Avani leads individual standings, India lying second in team contest
Avani Prashanth returned a 2-under 70 card to maintain her pole position on the third day at the Queen Sirikit Open Golf Championship.
The Indian, who now aggregates 12-under 204, has a five-shot lead over local woman Rianne Mikhaela Malixi (209).
At one point Indian also led the Koreans in the team standings. Heading into Friday’s final round over the Jack Nicklaus-designed Masters Course, Korea have a team aggregate of seven-under 425 in the event in which the two best daily scores in each three-strong team are counted.
Inspired by Avani, India remain very much in contention for their maiden Queen Sirikit Cup crown, just two shots off the pace. Japan were third at 433.
Playing in the last flight, Avani had her first bogey of the day at 16. At 18, a sharp dog-leg right, the Indian hooked her drive onto the 16th fairway. With 195 yards remaining, she opted to go for the green with her six-iron, despite an obscured view of the putting surface.
It was gamble that did not pay off, her ball ricocheting off a tree and flying into the lake guarding the right side of the 18th hole. From there she could only manage a six.
“It was my first bad drive of the day and I then should have hit a lay-up,” said Avani, who was well supported by Vidhatri Urs who posted an even-par 72. Although her 74 did not count, Nishna Patel’s best round of the week to date will have boosted her confidence.
Despite her late wobble, Avani, 97th in the WAGR, vowed to continue to adopt an aggressive approach as India aim to pull of an historic victory at Manila Southwoods.
She said: “I am more excited than nervous. It would mean a lot to win both the team and individual, but especially the team. It would really help to put India on the golfing map. I will be staying aggressive, but will be trying not to do anything stupid, like I did on 18 today.” Korean Kim Min-sol soared with two eagles in the final four holes to keep Korea in pole position.
The 16-year-old Kim’s late heroics summed up a day of wildly fluctuating fortunes at the sun-baked Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club, during which the lead alternated between Korea and India on numerous occasions.
Thanks to Kim’s 73 and a 71 from Yoo Hyun-jo it was Korea who ended the third round on top of the leaderboard as they chase an eighth Asia-Pacific Amateur Ladies Golf Team Championship title in the last nine years.
Bopanna-Ebden beat Evans-O’Mara to enter finals
Rohan Bopana and Matthew Ebden beat Daniel Evans and JOnny O’Mara of Britain 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals of the $1,485,775 ATP tennis tournament in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday.
In the final, the third seeded Bopanna and Ebden will play Constant Lestienne of France and Botic van de Zandschulp of Netherlands.
In the €784,830 ATP event in Marseille, France, Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan scored a thrilling 3-6, 7-6(4), [13-11] victory over Dustin Brown and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi in the doubles quarterfinals.
Lalchhanhimi, Vansita and Komal champions Khelo India women’s National Ranking Weightlifting Tournament
Lalchhanhimi (76kg), Vansita Verma (81kg) and Komal Wakale (87kg) emerged as the champions in their respective categories at the Khelo India women’s National Ranking Weightlifting Tournament in Patna on Thursday.
Rajasthan United ekes out 1-0 win against NEROCA
Rajasthan United defeated NEROCA FC 1-0 in their I-League match here on Thursday, with Uzbek striker Otabek Zokirov scoring the all-important goal in the 30th minute.
Thanks to the goal, Pushpender Kundu’s 10th-placed side moved ahead of NEROCA on the points table (22 points from 19 matches) to take the eighth spot. The victory could also help Rajasthan escape relegation.
For NEROCA, it was a demoralising result, as despite dominating the proceedings, it ended up losing the contest.
Wangkhem Khogen Singh’s men have themselves to blame for the defeat. They created several chances but could not convert even the easiest of them.
Zokirov might not have expected to score from that half-hearted right-footer from the edge of the box at the half-hour mark. NEROCA goalkeeper Soram Porei was in the right place to grab the ball. It’s just that the ball after hitting Paogoumang Singson on the way changed direction.
But NEROCA got so many opportunities that Zokirov’s lucky goal should not have mattered. Jamaican forward Jourdain Fletcher created a lot of opportunities but he was let down by his teammates.
His strike partner Bayi Kamo had a poor day in the office. The only time Kamo looked his best was four minutes after Zokirov’s goal. He was surrounded by four Rajasthan United defenders on the edge of the box, yet unleashed a right-footer at the goal.
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