The major developments from the world of sports on July 31 where Indians took part are as follows:
Ankita makes it to main draw of WTA event in Prague
Ankita Raina was blanked by Dayana Yastrenska of Ukraine in the second and final qualifying round of the $259,303 WTA tennis tournament in Prague, Czech Republic. However, she made the main draw as a lucky loser and will play former world No. 16 Barbora Strycova.
$2,178,980 ATP, Washington DC, USA
$259,303 WTA, Prague, Czech Republic
Rusi Cooper, oldest First-Class cricketer in the world, passes away at 100
Rusi Cooper, who celebrated his 100th birthday in December last year, passed away at his South Mumbai residence on Monday.
The Mumbai-based Cooper featured in 22 first-class matches, including the Ranji Trophy final in 1944–45. He hammered a century for the then-Bombay team against Holkar, ending the game with scores of 52 and 104.
On December 15, 2022, Cooper became the second Mumbai Ranji Trophy cricketer to live for 100 years after the late Vasant Raiji. An alumnus of Elphinston School and St. Xavier’s High School, Cooper completed his higher education at the London School of Economics. While in the UK, he had stints with club cricket and even played for Middlesex between 1949 and 1951.
According to the Middlesex website, Dennis Compton spotted Cooper and brought him to the attention of Middlesex Cricket. In the 1944–45 Ranji Trophy final, Compton, playing for the Holkar team, was impressed by Cooper’s batting and recommended his name to the Middlesex management.
He made his first-class debut for the club against Cambridge University at Fenners in May 1949 and contributed 36 in Middlesex’s first innings total of 402-4 declared. Though he maintained an average of 19.63 in the eight matches for Middlesex, Cooper went on to pile up runs in club cricket in the UK.
A few years ago, when Cooper turned 97 years and 183 days, Middlesex announced him as the club’s oldest first-class cricketer—a record previously held by James Gilman, who passed away on September 14, 1976, at 97 years and 182 days.
After moving on from competitive cricket, Cooper played regularly for the Cricket Club of India and featured in the Pentangulars, the league that hosted teams formed on community lines in the pre-independence era. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law.
Aditi shoots 68 for best round of week at Evian Champs, finishes T-42
Indian golfer Aditi Ashok shot her best round of the week with a three-under 68 to finish Tied-42nd at the 2023 Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian Les Bains.
The Indian, playing her 26th Major, had rounds of 71-72-74-68 for a total of 1-over 285.
Fellow Indian Diksha Dagar had missed the cut.
For Aditi, the final round was a confidence booster ahead of the next three weeks, which will see another major, the AIG Women’s Open and the Scottish Open and ISPS Handa Invitational.
All the three events will also witness Diksha and they are all co-sanctioned by the LPGA.
Aditi birdied the first and second and added a third on ninth to turn in 3-under. She dropped her only shot of the day on 10th but got a birdie on 17th to finish the day a 68. The conditions once again were not easy, but this time Aditi handled them better than previous days.
Jeev battles wind and rain to finish 14th at Senior Open
Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh suffered his worst round of the week at 8-over 79 but still managed to notch the best result of his Seniors career as he finished Tied-14th at the Senior Open.
Jeev, who slipped from Tied 11th to 14th, had just two birdies on the eighth and the tenth and gave away 10 bogeys as treacherous conditions troubled every player on the course.
With scoring being difficult, not a single golfer could manage an even par round on the final day.
Alex Čejka of Germany battled the elements and a play-off going into the second extra hole to beat Pádraig Harrington to win the title.
Jeev had six bogeys on the front against just one birdie and four more bogeys on the back nine against one more birdie.
“This was the most difficult conditions I have ever played in. To finish a round and then be in Top-15 was good, but I felt I could have been a bit better,” said Jeev, who will divide his time between the Seniors Tour in Europe and Japan and also play some events on the regular Asian Tour.
“I am feeling good because I have been playing well and this performance in such conditions gives me even more confidence,” he added.
Gokulam signs Spanish striker Alex Sanchez
Gokulam Kerala has signed Spanish striker Alex Sanchez for the season. Born without a right hand, he has earned the distinction of playing in La Liga.
The 34-year-old has appeared for clubs like CD Tudelano, CD Teruel, CA Osasuna Promesas, Utebo FC and Real Zaragoza. He has joined Gokulam from SD Ejea.
Gokulam’s president V.C. Praveen said he was delighted with the club’s latest signing. “We are overjoyed to welcome Sanchez into our ranks. Not only is he an incredibly talented player, but he is also an inspiration to all with his embodiment of perseverance and determination.”
In the pre-season camp for the Durand Cup, Sanchez will join the other foreign recruits, Spanish midfielder Nili Perdormo, and Cameroonian defender Aminou Bouba. Gokulam also has a new Spanish coach in Domingo Oramas.
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