Diksha, Aditi begin with modest even par rounds
India’s Diksha Dagar and Aditi Ashok opened with a modest round of even par 71 each on the first day of The Amundi Evian Championship here.
The Indian duo, who are due to play four straight big events over the next four weeks, were tied for the 50th place, but well in line to make the cut post which the top 65 and ties will play the final two rounds.
South African Paula Reto fired an opening round of 64 (-7) to hold a two-shot advantage over four players Kiwi Lydia Ko, Thai Wichanee Meechai, Frenchwoman Celine Boutier and American Alison Lee, who all shot 5-under 66 each at the Evian Resort Golf Club at the event, which is a Major for women.
Of the two Indians, both of whom are in the top-5 of the Race to Costa Del Sol, the Order of Merit for the Ladies European Tour, Diksha was the first to start from the tenth tee along with Lauren Hartlage and Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg.
Diksha, winner of two LET events in South Africa and Czech Ladies in 2019 and 2023, alternated between bogey and birdies as she bogeyed 11th, birdied 12th and then bogeyed 16th only to get back the shot on 18th.
She again dropped a shot on first but birdied second and third and for the first time moved to under par. But on the fifth she again gave back the gains and ended even par.
Aditi, who has four wins on the LET since her opening one at home in the Women’s Indian Open in 2016, birdied third, 14th and 15th and dropped shots on second, sixth and 17th for a similar 71.
Reto, 33, began her day from the 10th tee and made a bogey on hole 11 but immediately bounced back with a birdie on 12. She rolled in a birdie on 15 before she really got into a rhythm with birdies on 18 and the first before three on the trot on holes five through seven.
The LPGA Tour winner finished with a flourish rolling in a birdie on her last hole for a back nine of 30 (-5) and to lead with a total of seven-under-par.
Nine players are one further shot back in a tie for sixth place on four-under-par, including Germany’s Esther Henseleit and Norway’s Celine Borge.
Olympian Rupinder Pal Singh leads special drag flick camp in Odisha
Olympian and Indian hockey player Rupinder Pal Singh led a special training camp on drag flicks, which began at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday and will end on August 3.
The camp aims to benefit the hockey cadets from Panposh Sports Hostel, Hockey High Performance Centre and SAI Sundargarh.
Speaking on the camp, Rupinder said, “This camp is a great initiative. It is an opportunity for me to pass on my knowledge, skill and experience to young players in Odisha. The camp will focus on drag flicking but also on technical, physical and mental aspects of the game.”
With 31 athletes split into eight groups, the camp will feature Odisha’s most promising boys and girls in the Senior, Junior and Sub Junior categories as well. The camp will entail video analysis of the various techniques and physical testing and preparation in the gym to enhance their fitness levels. The program will also comprise psychological testing and preparation to help players stay focused and confident during high-pressure situations.
The month of August will also see a camp for strikers, led by Rani Rampal.
- Team Sportstar
Massive personal best for Kishore Jena in Colombo
Kishore Kumar Jena threw a personal best 84.38m as he won the men’s javelin throw title at the Sri Lankan National athletics championships in Colombo on Friday.
That places him in the 10 th spot in the javelin throw’s world list this year and on the second rung in Asia, behind Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra (88.67).
Jena, who took the silver at the recent Inter-State Nationals in Bhubaneswar with 82.87m, has improved his personal best by more than six metres in about nine months. His best till last year was 78.05m. The big throw could improve his chances of making the cut for next month’s World Championships in Budapest through the world rankings route.
Meanwhile, former Asian silver medallist Shivpal Singh was second with 77.36m in Colombo. In other events, Seema won the women’s 10,000m while S. Siva finished second in the men’s pole vault.
Jisna Mathew (54.89s), Soniya Baishya (54.10) and M.R. Poovamma (55.84) entered the women’s final after the heats.
- Stan Rayan
Ankita Raina reached doubles semifinals at Poland Open
Ankita Raina, in partnership with Yue Yuan of China, beat the third seeds - Viktoria Hruncakova and Tereza Mihalikova - 3-6, 7-6(7), [10-6] in the doubles quarterfinals of the WTA 250 tennis tournament in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday.
The Indo-Chinese pair will play Heather Watson and Yanina Wickmayer in the semifinals.
In the ATP event in Atlanta, Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni were beaten in the doubles quarterfinals by Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow 10-8 in the super tie-break. The Indian pair collected 45 ATP points and 6,830 USD.
- Team Sportstar
AITA Wheelchair Tournament: Mariappa reaches semifinals
Mariappan Durai beat Indra Pandey 9-6 in the quarterfinals of the Rs.200,000 AITA wheelchair tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex on Friday.
In the semifinals, Mariappan will play Shekar Veeraswamy. The other semifinal will be between top seed Karthik Karunakaran and Balachandar Subramanian.
In the women’s section, KP Shilpa set up a title clash against Prathima Rao.
- Team Sportstar
AITA Women’s Tournament: Paavanii becomes champion
Paavanii Paathak beat Sejal Bhutada 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 in the final of the Rs.100,000 AITA women’s tennis tournament at The Dream House Academy in Vaishali Nagar on Friday.
Paavanii also made the doubles final in partnership with Renee Singh. The duo led 6-5 in the first set against Tanushree Pandey and Rituparna Choudhury when rain intervened.
- Team Sportstar
AITA Juniors Super Series: Shanker, Sherry win singles titles
Shanker Heisnam beat second seed Arjun Rathi 6-3, 6-3 in the under-18 boys final of the AITA Super series junior tennis tournament at the CLTA Complex on Friday.
- Team Sportstar
Arjun and Rajagopal aim top spot in INRC 4W Rally
A. Arjun Rao and his co-driver Rajagopal Satish of Mandovi Racing aim to finish on top yet again in the Rally of Coimbatore, the third round of the Blueband FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship for four wheelers, which was flagged off from the Jenneys Club here on Friday.
With a record 76 cars in the fray, a first in Indian rallying, the stages are expected to turn rough, as the participants drive through, on Sunday. It does not matter as the experienced stars have had a feel of these stages before and are eager to attack it from the word go.
- Rayan Rozario
Aman Suresh, Andrea Kurien lift under-19 Kerala State titles
She may be struggling and anxious but Andrea Sarah Kurien does not show that on her face. There is a certain calm about the 17-year-old from Ernakulam, the State women’s champion.
The top seed was down 3-9 in the opening game of the Kerala State senior badminton championships’ under-19 final against Farza Nazrin at the CSN Trust stadium in Ottapalam on Friday but she did not appear jittery.
She was cool, composed and trying to find answers to everything Farza threw at her. She did find them a few minutes later and won the girls title.
“For some time, I couldn’t understand what she was trying to do,” said Andrea after her victory.
Later, Thiruvananthapuram’s second-seeded S.M. Aman Suresh upset Ernakulam’s top-seeded S. Abhishek 21-18, 21-19 with a fighting display and took the under-19 boys title.
Andrea, coached by Antony Jacob at Kochi’s Bright Sports Centre, had plenty of starting problems. Farza’s net play frequently had her in trouble in the opener. But as the game progressed, Andrea realised that her opponent, from Thiruvananthapuram, was a bit uncomfortable playing from the backcourt. She then pushed Farza to the left corner with high clears and pulled her in with smart drops and soon bounced back.
Andrea levelled at 11 and then raced to a 19-15 lead. The rest was easy.
- Stan Rayan
The 2023 Asian Youth (Boys & Girls), and Junior (Men & Women) Weightlifting Championships started with women’s 40 Kg Youth category. Sabar Jyoshna won the first medal for India by bagging a bronze medal in 40 Kg Women Youth Category.
In the men’s 49 Kg youth category, Delos Santos and Borres Eron of the Philippines won gold and silver Respectively.
Medals are being awarded for the first three winners in Snatch, Clean & Jerk and total weight category.
- Team Sportstar
Odisha FC set for Thailand pre-season camp
Super Cup champion Odisha FC, set for an AFC Cup debut this season, will have its pre-season tour in Thailand, the club announced on Friday.
The team is scheduled to travel to Thailand on August 1 and the coastal city of Hua Hin has been selected as its base for the pre-season training camp.
During its stay in Thailand, Odisha FC is set to play a series of friendlies against prominent Thai football clubs.
The details of the friendly matches will be announced accordingly.
“Thailand will act as a perfect destination for the squad to train ahead of its debut in the AFC Cup for the first time and the upcoming edition of the Indian Super League,” Club President Raj Athwal said.
“The pre-season period will be crucial for the coaching staff and the players to adapt and acclimatize to the challenges that lie ahead,” he added.
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