Catch all Indians in action in the world of sports on February 8.
I-League: Gokulam, RoundGlass face off in fascinating battle
RoundGlass Punjab will look to go level with table-topper Sreenidi Deccan when it goes face to face with third-placed Gokulam Kerala, in Kozhikode on Friday.
Gokulam, the champion in the last two editions, is 10 points adrift of the leader, Sreenidi Deccan. So the host should be desperate for a win – more so, after its disappointing defeat in the last match to Neroca FC, which is placed 10th among the 12 teams.
The 1-2 loss at Imphal on Sunday was a setback to a team that was hoping to narrow the gap with the league’s leaders. Gokulam is on 24 points, RoundGlass on 31 and Sreenidi on 34. Significantly, Gokulam has played two games less than Sreenidi and one less than RoundGlass.
But at this stage of the tournament, it cannot afford to be complacent, especially against a side as strong as RoundGlass, which should be keen to bounce back after drawing with lesser weights, Kenkre and Sudeva in its last two matches. RoundGlass had beaten Gokulam 1-0 at home earlier this season.
-P.K. Ajith Kumar
I-League: Real Kashmir returns to winning ways, down Sudeva Delhi 4-2
Real Kashmir FC ended its eight-game winless streak in the I-League with a thumping 4-2 win over Sudeva Delhi FC at the TRC Stadium here on Wednesday.
A brace by Richard Osei Agyemang (20th and 71st) and a goal each by Lalnuntluanga Bawitlung (17th) and Jestin George (83rd) gave the Snow Leopards full three points.
Sudeva Delhi’s new forwards Alexis Gomez (22nd) and Shavkati Khotam (55th-penalty) helped it claw back to 2-2, but the host had enough left in the tank in the second half to regain its two-goal advantage and cruise to a much-needed win.
Midfielder Yakubu Wadudu picked out an unmarked Lalnuntluanga Bawitlung with a fine cross from the left wing. The Indian carefully headed it past Sudeva captain and custodian Priyant Singh to put the hosts ahead.
Three minutes later, Samuel Kynshi sent a tricky free-kick delivery into the six-yard box. Richard Agyemang tried to flick the ball into the path of one of his teammates, but his rather unusual touch deceived everyone including goalkeeper Priyant, who failed to keep the ball from going into the back of his goal.
Delhi was quick to pull one back, and it did it with a moment of individual brilliance by its Argentine recruit Gomez’s stunning free-kick into the top corner from more than 25 yards.
R Lalbiakliana continued to trouble Real Kashmir full-backs and in the 53rd minute, the 18-year-old proved too quick for defender Rupert Nongrum who brought him down inside the box.
Tajik striker Khotam stepped up to take the penalty and beat Subhasish Roy Chowdhury with a precise shot into the corner.
But Real Kashmir kept pushing, and its persistence paid off when Kynshi and Agyemang combined again from a set piece to score the hosts’ third goal.
George sealed it for the home side from yet another set piece. This time, Sankarlal Chakraborty’s side failed to clear Loken Meitei’s corner, and George reacted the quickest inside the six-yard box to poke home the fourth for the Snow Leopards.
10-man NEROCA pips Kenkre FC
At Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal, NEROCA FC rode Jourdaine Fletcher’s 60th-minute strike to down Kenkre FC 1-0.
Eighteen minutes after taking the lead, NEROCA were reduced to 10 players when Thokchom Johnson Singh was sent off.
But the home outfit put up a cohesive display to keep their slender intact.
Services stuns defending champion Haryana
Last year’s bronze medallist Services overcame a strong challenge from defending champion Haryana to record a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-21) victory in the semifinals and enter the men’s title clash in the National volleyball championships here on Wednesday.
Services will meet Rajasthan, which got past Tamil Nadu 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-23) in the other last-four contest.
In a repeat of last year’s women’s final, title holder Kerala will meet Railways for the top honour.
Kerala trounced Rajasthan, while Railways beat West Bengal in the last-four matches.
- Y. B. Sarangi
India’s Farhat Aleen Qamar advances to second round in ITF Tournament in Jhajjar
Farhat Aleen Qamar played well at crunch time to beat Elena Giessler of Germany 7-5, 7-5 in the first round of the $15,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Joygaon Academy on Wednesday.
Stroking well and playing with confidence despite the fluctuating flow of the contest, Aleen got to a 5-2 lead in the first set, only to see her opponent come back on par. To her credit, Aleen closed out the set by winning the next two games, dropping only two points.
She did the same in the second set, while trailing 4-5, by winning the last three games for the loss of only two points, accelerating to a smart finish.
In the pre-quarterfinals, Aleen will challenge the second seed Tamara Curovic of Serbia who eased past a fighting Soha Sadiq for the loss of four games.
Wild card Kundali Majgaine had a morale boosting victory over the national championship finalist Sai Samhitha, in three sets. Kundali will run into top seed Vaidehi Chaudhari in the second round.
Anjali Rathi was tied 6-6 against Saumya Vig when the latter retired owing to ill health. Saumya was battling a viral fever right through the qualifying event, and thus could not muster strength to fight Anjali.
Anjali will play sixth seed Humera Baharmus in the pre-quarterfinals. Zeel Desai beat Kashish Bhatia for the loss of four games to set up a meeting with Celine Simunyu of Ireland.
Mihika Yadav beat Priyanshi Bhandari in an entertaining three-setter of free flowing strokes to set up a second round against seventh seed Marie Mettraux of Switzerland, who proved too strong for Nidhitra Rajmohan.
Paavanii Pathak put up a strong fight against Shachf Lieberman of Israel, before going down in three sets.
Yuki and Saketh enter quarterfinals
Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni beat Christopher Eubanks and Marcos Giron 5-7, 7-6(3), [10-3] in the doubles pre-quarterfinals of the $822,585 ATP tennis tournament in Dallas, USA.
In the quarterfinals, the Indian pair was scheduled to face third seeds Julian Cash and Henry Patten of Britain.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Junior Knights Championship underway
The Junior Knights Championship, an under-15 Inter-school championship jointly organized by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), began in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Altogether, 52 school teams, divided into 13 groups, will play 93 matches across 21 grounds in and around Kolkata in their bid to win the Mayor’s Cup. A total of 11 players, selected by the CAB, will get a chance to train with the KKR coaching staff at the franchise’s academy.
Rural Electrification Corporation sponsors Boxing Federation of India
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has roped in a public sector company, Rural Electrification Corporation (REC), as one of its sponsors.
The REC will spend Rs 30 crore, as part of its CSR initiative, over a period of three years to develop the sport.
As a part of the agreement, the BFI will utilise the funds to conduct an international training camp in New Delhi from March 3 to 12 ahead of the women’s world championships.
Through this partnership, the REC will also provide support in conducting international camps for boxers across all age categories and will also contribute in grassroots development by empowering state-level training academies and coaches.
The support agreement also includes escalating grassroots progress by nurturing young boxers and offering scholarships to individual talents across all age groups, identified through the national championships.
Sachin in joint lead at TATA Steel PGTI Players’ Championship
Overnight leader Sachin Baisoya scored a four-under 66 to be in joint lead with Harsh Gangwar at 10-under 130 after the second round of the TATA Steel PGTI Players’ Championship at the Tollygunge Club golf course here on Wednesday.
The cut was declared at one-under 139. Fifty-two professionals and one amateur made the cut.
City-based Sandeep Yadav (70), the lone amateur to make the cut, was placed tied-42nd along with Raju Ali Mollah (68), the only Kolkata professional to make it to the last two rounds, at 139.
-Y. B. Sarangi
Indian amateur Shaurya in Top-10 at halfway stage in South Africa
India’s Shaurya Bhattacharya shot a fine 72 and 71 in the opening two rounds to be placed tied ninth at the halfway stage of the African Amateur Championship golf tournament at Leopard Creek Country Club.
The leader is Aldrich Potgieter, who is also the reigning British Amateur champion. Following a second round of 69 that featured six birdies, one bogey and a double bogey at the tricky par three seventh hole, Potgieter tops the leader board at eight-under par going into moving day.
Manu Gandas all set to tee off in Singapore Classic
Indian golfer Manu Gandas will be hoping to make amends for his missed cut in Ras Al Khaimah when he tees up at the Singapore Classic this week. Gandas is the first beneficiary of the new alliance between the PGTI and the DP World Tour, which granted the Indian Order of Merit topper a card on the DP World Tour.
National sub-junior TT in Alappuzha from February 19
ALAPPUZHA: The UTT 84 th National sub-junior and cadet table tennis championships, organised by the Table Tennis Association of Kerala, will be held at the Alappuzha YMCA from February 19 to 27. It will be Alappuzha’s fourth national championship in table tennis.
Competition for boys and girls in the under-11, 13 and under-15 age groups will be conducted. Inter-State team championships will be conducted only in the under-15 category and the under-15 and under-13 age groups will have singles and doubles events. The under-11 category will have only singles.
The girls (Feb. 19-22) and boys events (Feb. 24-27) will be held separately with a break on February 23.
- Stan Rayan
The Indian teams got off to winning starts in the HCL 21st Asian Junior Team Squash Championship 2023, which got underway here on Wednesday with the men beating Singapore and Chinese Taipei by 3-0 margins and the women blanking Sri Lanka.
In the men’s event where the Indians are seeded second, Paarth Ambani, Shaurya Bawa and Krishna Mishra recorded facile victories to set up a 3-0 win over Singapore. Later, the trio had no trouble breezing past Chinese Taipei by a similar margin.
In the girls’ section, India seeded third, and began its campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Sri Lanka with the highly-rated Anahat Singh outclassing Chanithma Sinaly 11-6 11-3 11-2.
Pakistan men’s team, the No.1 seed, started with two victories by 3-0 margin against Sri Lanka and Kuwait.