Indian sports news wrap, January 29

Here are all the major developments in Indian sports from January 29, 2023.

Published : Jan 29, 2023 18:53 IST

Indian National Car Racing Championship winners (L-R): Viswas Vijayraj (Formula LGB 1300), Pratik Sonawane (VW Polo Cup) and Sai Sanjay (MRF F2000).
Indian National Car Racing Championship winners (L-R): Viswas Vijayraj (Formula LGB 1300), Pratik Sonawane (VW Polo Cup) and Sai Sanjay (MRF F2000). | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Indian National Car Racing Championship winners (L-R): Viswas Vijayraj (Formula LGB 1300), Pratik Sonawane (VW Polo Cup) and Sai Sanjay (MRF F2000). | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement


Indian National Car Racing Championship: Sai Sanjay clinches MRF F2000 crown

Salem’s Sai Sanjay pocketed the title in the premier MRF Formula 2000 category as the Indian National Car Racing Championship 2022 concluded at the Madras International Circuit on Sunday.

While Sai Sanjay gathered enough points this weekend in the three races to seal the championship, Bengaluru’s Sohil Shah, winner of Race-1 on Saturday, won both races on Sunday to complete a triple crown. The 21-year-old Sohil, who missed two of the four rounds, finished fourth in the championship behind Sai Sanjay, Ryan Mohamed (Chennai), and Divy Nandan (Gurugram).

Also sealing the titles in their respective categories were: Viswas Vijayraj (Nellore, DTS Racing) in the Formula LGB 1300; Ritesh Rai (Chennai, Performance Racing) in Super Stock; Akkineni Anand Prasad (Chennai, Performance Racing) in Indian Junior Touring Cars; Justin Singh (Gurugram) in the MRF Saloon Cars (Toyota Etios) and Pratik Sonawane (Mumbai) in the Volkswagen Polo Cup.

Meanwhile, the popular Indian Touring Cars category witnessed as many as three disqualifications for technical infringements. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) and Arjun Narendran (Arka Motorsports), both from Coimbatore, were disqualified from yesterday’s Race-1. Narendran suffered the same fate in Race-2 on Sunday, but later won Race-3. However, the revised results fetched Balu the national title ahead of Narendran in the provisional championship standings.

Viswas Vijayraj sealed the title in the Formula LGB 1300 category though finishing second behind Bengaluru’s Tijil Rao (Momentum Motorsports) in the final race. The other championship leader Raghul Rangasamy (MSport) dropped out of contention after he was disqualified for ignoring a black flag.

“I don’t know what to say. It is such an emotional moment for me. After missing the championship a few times in the past, it is great to finally win it in my fifth season. I owe everything to my parents who I know are watching the live streaming, and MRF Tyres for their support,” said Viswas.

Mumbai’s Zahan Commissariat, hailing from a family of racers, scored an impressive win starting from P10 in the MRF Saloons (Toyota Etios) category, and the victory helped him to finish fifth in the championship. Gurugram’s Justin Singh failed to finish following an incident, but had sufficient cushion to annex the title ahead of Angad Mathroo (Chandigarh) by five points. Mathroo came in second behind Commissariat and ahead of Pune’s Diana Pundole, who ended up third in the championship.

The results (Provisional – all 10 laps unless mentioned):
MRF F2000 (Race-2): 1. Sohil Shah (Bengaluru) (15min, 36.462sec); 2. Mohamed Ryan (Chennai) (15:40.983); 3. Dillon Thomas Zachariah (Chennai) (15:42.064). Race-3 (8 laps): 1. Sohil Shah (Bengaluru) (12:28.545); 2. Sai Sanjay T (Salem) (12:33.894); 3. Chetan Korada (Chennai) (12:52.777).
Indian Touring Cars (Race-2, 12 laps): 1. Arjun Balu (Coimbatore, Race Concepts) (25:00.290); 2. Sandeep Kumar (Chennai, Rayo Racing) (25:08.270); 3. Jeet Jabakh (Hyderabad, Rayo Racing) (25:11.802). Race-3: 1. Arjun Narendran (Coimbatore, Arka Motorsports) (18:58.937); 2. Arjun Balu (Coimbatore, Race Concepts) (19:12.399); 3. Sandeep Kumar (Chennai, Rayo Racing) (19:14.297).
Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race-1, 12 laps): 1. Raja Rajan (Chennai, Performance Racing) ( 25:27.541); 2. Akkineni Anand Prasad (Chennai, Performance Racing) (25:27.700); 3. Deepak Ravikumar (Chennai, Performance Racing) (25:27.997). Race-3: 1. Raja Rajan (Chennai, Performance Racing) (19:36.876); 2. Gurunath Meiyappan (Chennai, Race Concepts) (19.38.441); 3. Akkineni Anand Prasad (Chennai, Performance Racing) (19:40.541).
Super Stock (Race-2, 12 laps): 1. Narendran S (Chennai, Redline Racing) (26:19.871); 2. Ritesh Rai (Chennai, Performance Racing) (26:23.033); 3. Jason Deepak Saldanha (Mangaluru, DB Motorsports) (26: 28.874). Race-3: (9 Laps): 1. Ritesh Rai (Chennai, Performance Racing) (19:01.675); 2. Narendran S (Chennai, Redline Racing) (19:07.807); 3. Dilijith TS (Thrissur, DTS Racing) (19:12.675).
Formula LGB 1300 (Race-2, 10 laps): 1. Tijil Rao (Bengaluru, Momentum Motorsports) (20:10.154); 2. Viswas Vijayraj (Nellore, DTS Racing) (20:10.291); 3. Dhruvh A Goswami (Bengaluru, MSport) (20:10.865).
Volkswagen Polo Cup (Race-3, 8 laps): 1. Ritesh Rai (Chennai) (15:50.470); 2. Pratik Sonawane (Mumbai) (15:54.571); 3. Raaj Bakhru (Mumbai) (15:57.079). Race-4: 1. Ojas Surve (Mumbai) (19:42.853); 2. Avik Anwar (Dhaka) (19:49.034); 3. Pratik Sonawane (Mumbai) (19:52.460).
MRF Saloons (Toyota Etios – Race-2): 1. Zahan Commissariat (Mumbai) 20:49.191; 2. Angad Mathroo (Chandigarh) 20:53.991; 3. Diana Pundole (Pune) 20:54.112.

- Team Sportstar


Sandeep Ramachandran gets past Yusuf Elsherif in HCL PSA Challenger

Third seed Sandeep Ramachandran played the key points better to get past Yusuf Elsherif of Egypt 13-11, 12-10, 13-11 in the men’s pre-quarterfinals of the HCL PSA Challenger squash tournament at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on Sunday.

In the quarterfinals, Sandeep will play Tomotaka Endo of Japan. Top seed Abhay Singh and the experienced Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu were the other Indian players to make the quarterfinals.

In the women’s section, seventh seed Tanvi Khanna beat Amira Elrefaey of Egypt 11-6, 11-9, 11-4 to set up a quarterfinal against second seed Nadeen Kotb of Egypt.

The Egypt squad was able to assert its ability to fight it out through Nour Ramy who prevailed over Yuvna Gupta 5-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4. Rathika Suthanthira Seelan battled well against Nadeen before losing in four games.

The 17-year-old Malak Fathy was another tough Egyptian who overcame the loss of first two games to beat Dong Ju Song of Korea 11-2 in the fifth game.

The results (pre-quarterfinals):
Men: Abhay Singh bt Rahul Baitha 11-6, 11-5, 11-8; Hoony Lee (Kor) bt Yousif Thani (Brn) 11-5, 11-7, 4-11, 11-4; Matthew Lai (Hkg) bt Seif Ashraf (Egy) 11-2, 11-7, 11-4; Toufik Mekhalfi (Fra) bt Ravi Dixit 11-9, 11-3, 8-11, 11-3; Sandeep Ramachandran bt Yusuf Elsherif (Egy) 13-11, 12-10, 13-11; Tomotaka Endo (Jpn) bt Tavneet Singh Mundra 11-5, 11-9, 11-4; Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu bt Ravindu Laksiri (Sri) 11-9, 11-4, 13-11; Yassin Elshafei (Egy) bt Mohamed Gohar (Egy) 11-9, 10-12, 11-3, 11-3.
Women: Amina Orfi (Egy) bt Sanika Choudhari 11-0, 11-1, 11-3; Malak Fathy (Egy) bt Dong Ju Song (Kor) 4-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-2; Menna Wallid (Egy) bt Janet Vidhi 11-8, 11-2, 11-9; Jelena Dutina (Srb) bt Khushi Puranik 11-5, 11-5, 11-5; Nour Ramy (Egy) bt Yuvna Gupta 5-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4; Salma El Alfy (Egy) bt Mingyeong Heo (Kor) 11-6, 11-8, 11-9; Tanvi Khanna bt Amira Elrefaey (Egy) 11-6, 11-9, 11-4; Nadeen Kotb (Egy) bt Rathika Suthanthira Seelan 11-4, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4.

- Kamesh Srinivasan


Gokulam Kerala beats Kenkre

Gokulam Kerala expectedly got the full points against Kenkre FC in the I-League on Sunday alright in a performance not quite worthy of a defending champion. Sergio Mendigutxia scored the game’s only goal in the 21st minute.

The Mumbai side, which is still languishing in second place from the bottom, with some luck and better finishing skills could easily have drawn the match. Kenkre, in fact, created more chances than the host in the second half. 

For much of the second half, Gokulam had to play with 10 men though, after Rahul Raju was sent off.

Gokulam’s goal was set up by Vikas Singh Saini, who sent in a superb cross from near the right corner flag. It was met with a brilliant header by Mendigutxia, not too far from the goal line.

Mendigutxia’s addition – thanks to the transfer window – has added a much-needed sharpness up front for Gokulam, but a lot still needs to be done if the two-time champion has to score goals in the remaining matches. From 13 games, Gokulam has just scored 12 goals.

The win, however, has taken Gokulam to the third spot on the table, with 24 points. RoundGlass Punjab is on top with 29 points, while Sreenidi Deccan has 28. Kenkre (13 points) is placed 11th.

The result:

Gokulam Kerala (Sergio Mendigutxia 21) 1 bt Kenkre FC 0.

-PK Ajith Kumar


Anirudh-Arjun loses in Challenger Final

Unseeded duo of Anirudh Chandrasekar and Arjun Kadhe were beaten 6-2, 6-4 by the top seeds Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul of France in the doubles final of the €145,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Quimper, France, on Sunday.

The champion team collected 125 ATP points and €8,444, and the runner-up team fetched 75 points and €4,903.

In the $15,000 ITF men’s event final in Jakarta, Sidharth Rawat went down fighting in the third set tie-beak against Nicholas David Lonel of Romania, missing four match points.

The results:

€145,000 Challenger, Quimper, France

Doubles (final): Sadio Doumbia & Fabien Reboul (Fra) bt Anirudh Chandrasekar & Arjun Kadhe 6-2, 6-4.

$15,000 ITF men, Jakarta, Indonesia

Singles (final): Nicholas David Ionel (Rou) bt Sidharth Rawat 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(9).

- Kamesh Srinivasan

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