Jagruti Penkar, Sarvesh Balappa win maiden crowns at Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2022
On a day of drama and suspense, veteran Rajini Krishnan, Mathana Kumar, Jagruti Penkar and Sarvesh Balappa clinched the titles in their respective categories as the fifth and final round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2022 concluded at the Madras International Circuit here on Sunday.
Rajini (RACR Castrol Power1), needing just one more point for the title, cruised to fourth place to seal the championship, his 11 th National career crown, in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open category, while Mathana Kumar (Pacer Yamaha) from Trichy topped the Pro-Stock 165cc Open class, by also finishing fourth for his third title in 11 years.
Earlier, Jagruti (Axor Sparks Racing), the 21-year old Science graduate from Mumbai was kept guessing before confirmation came that she indeed was the winner of the Girls (Stock 165cc) championship, her maiden title, following disqualification of race winner, Lani Zena Fernandez (RACR Castrol Power1). Jagruti finished on 81 points to Ann Jennifer’s (Alpha Racing) 80.
Sarvesh Balappa (Axor Sparks Racing), who had taken unassailable lead coming into the final round, kept it clean and avoided close battles for a fourth place. His team-mates Kayan Zubin Patel and Rohan Ramesh came in first and second ahead of Chiranth Vishwanath (Rookies Racing).
Meanwhile, Rajini did likewise in the concluding Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open race as he was content to follow the Petronas TVS Racing’s trio of KY Ahamed, Jagan Kumar and Deepak Ravikumar. Incidentally, Ahamed completed a double.
Jagan also had a brilliant outing in the Pro-Stock 165cc Open race that he won in style ahead of Idemitsu Honda India SK69 Racing’s Rajiv Sethu and Senthil Kumar, for a grand double.
Two youngsters, Chiranth Vishwanath (Bengaluru), competing in the Rookie category of the Petronas TVS One-Make Championship, and Raheesh Mudassar Khatri (Mumbai) in the Novice (CBR 150) class of the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup, created a buzz by winning all 10 races this season.
Rashid loses play-off, finishes 2nd as Ahlawat and Kapur finish in top-10
Indian golfer Rashid Khan gave his all but came up short in the second play-off hole to end runner-up at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters as home favourite Chan Shih-chang grabbed the title, here Sunday.
Chan, who was three behind with five holes to go, caught up superbly with a birdie on 18th and then carried on his momentum on that hole with birdies in the first and second play-offs.
Rashid, who shared the 54-hole lead with Chan, seemed to be going fine with five birdies in first 13 holes as against his playing partner’s two birdies in first 13 holes. That gave Rashid a three-shot lead with five holes to play.
As both parred the 14th, it was a three-shot lead with four to go.
Chan birdied the Par-5 15th while Rashid dropped a shot on 17th. Then Chan birdied a tense nine-footer on 18th for a birdie as Rashid missed a six-footer that would have won him the title.
In the first play-off hole, Chan faced a 21-footer to extend the play-off and he did as Rashid holed a tap-in from two feet after a stunning second shot. Into the second play-off Rashid had a 20-footer for birdie, which he missed while Chan holed his nine-footer for the title.
Despite the disappointment of Rashid being unable to end his nine-year long title drought, Indians had a good day at the event.
Veer Ahlawat despite three bogeys on the final day carded 72 and was T-8, at 6-under. Shiv Kapur had a roller-coaster of a round with four birdies on the front nine and three bogeys on the back nine for a 71 and was T-10 at 5-under for the week.
SSP Chawrasia (70) and Aman Raj (73) also had a tougher time on the more difficult back nine and were T-15 with 3-under totals.
Ajeetesh Sandhu ran into a double bogey on the back in his 74 and was T-21, while four players Honey Baisoya (73), Viraj Madappa (71), Khalin Joshi (73) and S Chikkarangappa (73) were all T-29. Rahil Gangjee (73) was T-39 and M Dharma (74) was T-49 and Udayan Mane (75) was T-55.
Two-time Asian Tour winner Rashid was in search of his first Asian Tour title in eight years, with both of his previous successes coming in 2014, at the SAIL-SBI Open in India, and the Chiangmai Golf Classic, in Thailand.
He had a one-shot lead at the turn and after a birdie on 10 and 13 he looked a safe bet for the title as he was three clear.
Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman and Sarit Suwannarut from Thailand tied for third, six shots back after both carding 71s.
The Asian Tour heads to the International Series Morocco next from Royal Golf Dar Es Salam from November 3-6.
RP DAV Public School registers win in U17 Nehru Hockey Tournament Group fixture
Akia Rani scored a hat-trick as RP DAV Public School, Shahabad, beat Sri Guru Nanak Senior Secondary School, Rajnandgaon 4-0 in a group-H league match of the Charanjit Rai 28th Nehru under-17 girls hockey tournament at the Shivaji Stadium on Sunday.
- Kamesh Srinivasan