Indian sports wrap, February 23

Here are all the updates, results and developments from the world of Indian sports on February 23.

Published : Feb 23, 2024 13:34 IST , CHENNAI - 8 MINS READ

Abhay Singh is in line for a second PSA Challenger Tour title in as many months as the 25-year-old advanced to the semifinals of the Goodfellow Classic squash in Toronto
Abhay Singh is in line for a second PSA Challenger Tour title in as many months as the 25-year-old advanced to the semifinals of the Goodfellow Classic squash in Toronto | Photo Credit: PTI

Abhay Singh is in line for a second PSA Challenger Tour title in as many months as the 25-year-old advanced to the semifinals of the Goodfellow Classic squash in Toronto | Photo Credit: PTI


Services beats Arunachal Pradesh to pick up its second successive win

Services came up with a strong showing to overwhelm host Arunachal Pradesh 4-0 in a Group A league match of the final round of 77th National football championship for the Santosh Trophy at Golden Jubilee Stadium in Yupia, Arunachal Pradesh on Friday.

Bikash Thapa struck the target twice after Samir Murmu and J. Vijay had found the net once each, to help Services pick up its second consecutive win and reach the top of the current standings with six points.

In another match of the same group played later in the day, a 10-man Assam picked up its first win by downing last year’s runner-up Meghalaya 2-1. Milan Basumatary and Joydeep Gogoi found the target for Assam while Sheen Shoktung produced the only reply for Meghalaya.

Assam went down to 10 men in the 55th minute, when its goalkeeper Birkhang Daimary was marched off with a direct red card, but managed to hold on to the slender lead till end to secure the win.

Necio Fernandes struck once in each half to help Goa overcome Kerala 2-0 in the concluding Group A match of the day and keep itself in the hunt for a quarterfinal berth.

Having drawn its opening match against Arunachal Pradesh (3-3), Goa looked for its first win of the final round and secured it by prevailing over Kerala, which is one of the best sides in the tournament. The win took Goa to four points while

Kerala, which won its first match comfortably against Assam (3-1), remained on three points.

The results:
Services 4 (Samir Murmu 11, J. Vijay 23, Bikash Thapa 52, 56) bt Arunachal Pradesh 0.
Assam 2 (Milan Basumatary 8, Joydeep Gogoi 45) bt Meghalaya 1 (Sheen Shoktung 32).
Goa 2 (Necio Fernandes 45, 59) bt Kerala 0.

-Team Sportstar


Kapur, Sandhu top Indians after first round in Oman

Indian golfers Shiv Kapur and Yuvraj Sandhu shot identical scores of 2-under 70 to be placed Tied-26th on the first day of the USD 2 million International Series Oman at Al Mouj Golf Club here.

Spaniard David Puig, who won the IRS Prima Malaysian Open, enjoys the lead in the first International Series event of 2024 after shooting a seven-under-par 65, which matched the course record.

Other Indians in fray, S Chikkarangappa (71) was T-37, while Karandeep Kochhar, SSP Chawrasia and Rashid Khan carded 72 each to be T-59. Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Ajeetesh Sandhu were all 1-over and occupy T-71st spot.

Honey Baisoya (74) at T-91 and Jeev Milkha Singh (75) at T-108 were in danger of missing the cut.

Kapur, playing his first event of 2024, was going great guns at 4-under with four birdies in first 16 holes before a double bogey on the 17th meant a two-shot drop to 70. Sandhu, who was in Top-20 in Malaysia, had five birdies against three bogeys.


Om Prakash Chouhan makes year’‘s first cut on World Tour

India’s Om Prakash Chouhan made his first cut on the World Tour this year, adding even par 71 to his first-round 70 to be 1-under and in tied-45th place at the Kenya Open.

However, Shubhankar Sharma, who had two double bogeys in his second-round 74, missed the cut as he was 3-over and the cut fell at even par.

This was the first cut that Chouhan made after missing out in Ras Al Khaimah, Bahrain and Qatar.

Chouhan earned a World Tour Card after topping the PGTI order of merit in 2023 and as a result of a partnership between the Indian Tour with the World Tour and the PGA Tour.

Last year, Chouhan won a European Challenge Tour event, and it helped him stay on top of the merit list in India, where he won record earnings.

Darius van Driel (66-69) of the Netherlands, making his seventh appearance in Kenya’s national open, Connor Syme (67-68) of Scotland and Tapio Pulkkanen (67-68) of Finland shared the lead after two rounds. They were at 7-under, while four other players were tied fourth at 6-under.


Tvesa Malik clinches maiden international title in South Africa

Indian golfer Tvesa Malik, who has time and again come close to clinching her first international title, finally got the monkey off her back with a three-shot win in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, the opening event of the Sunshine Ladies Golf Tour in South Africa, here on Friday.

Tvesa became the second Indian after Diksha Dagar to win in South Africa. Diksha Dagar won the Women’s South African Open in 2019.

Tvesa is the third Indian woman golfer to win in Africa, after Diksha Dagar and Aditi Ashok, who won the Kenya Ladies Open in 2023.

The 29-year-old Tvesa, who has been a pro for seven years and won multiple times in India on her home tour, the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour, finally broke through with a final round of 1-under 71 after 71-65 in the first two rounds.

Tvesa, lying way down in T-10 after the first round, rose to tied first after her bogey-free 65 on the second day. She closed with a 71 that included two birdies and one bogey in a steady round.

South Africans Gabriel Venter (71) and Paula Reto, with 75, were second and third respectively.

Another South African women’s star Lee Ann Pace (71), and Amy Taylor of England (68) were tied fourth.

Tvesa was tied with Paula Reto after the second round, but the Indian golfer moved ahead early as Reto had two doubles and two other bogeys against two birdies on the front nine for a 4-over 40. In contrast, Tvesa had a birdie and a bogey.

On the second nine, Tvesa had two birdies and a bogey, while Reto had two birdies and a bogey and signed for 75 and fell to third place. Gabriele Venter, with five birdies and four bogeys for 71, was sole second.

Tvesa said, “I have worked hard and was focused on getting back to the Tours that I have been on. Sunshine Ladies Tour is a place I have enjoyed, and South Africa has some great golf courses.

“The last three days have been superb, particularly the second round when I could do nothing wrong.” She added, “I will hopefully carry on this form, and this gives me greater room to plan my calendar, and I will get into more events, some also on LET.” Tvesa has also entered in the second event, the Sunshine Ladies Invitational, from March 6-8.

This was the first of the seven events in the Sunshine Ladies Tour, which includes Joburg Ladies and Women’s South African Open in April. Tvesa, with this win, will be eligible for all events.

Tvesa, who lost her playing rights on the Ladies European Tour, decided to play the Sunshine Ladies Tour and in limited events on LET to get back her card. The latest win opens all doors in South Africa, and she can find her way back into LET through them.



Abhay Singh in Goodfellow Classic squash semis

Abhay Singh is in line for a second PSA Challenger Tour title in as many months as the 25-year-old advanced to the semifinals of the Goodfellow Classic squash in Toronto on Thursday.

Top-seeded Abhay beat Frenchman Maceo Levy 13-11, 11-7, 11-3 in 33 minutes in the quarterfinals, and will take on Abdelrahman Abdelkhalek of Egypt in the last-four stage.

World No 66 Abhay won the JSW Willingdon PSA event in Mumbai last month, following a memorable 2023 that saw him play the decider in the final against Pakistan and save two match points for India to clinch the men’s team gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Ramit Tandon went down to Egyptian eighth seed Tarek Momen 5-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 in 34 minutes in the second round of the Windy City Open, a PSA World Tour Platinum event.



Sarita Kumari bags bronze in Asian Track Cycling

Sarita Kumari showcased her talent in the junior women’s category, securing a bronze medal in the final race while clocking 36.966 seconds in the Asian Track Cycling Championships here on Friday.

India also bagged two golds and a silver medal in the para category but Sarita’s bronze-medal performance was the highlight of the day.

Displaying a lot of determination in the qualifying round, Sarita clocked 36.912 seconds to secure a spot in the final and went on to win the medal.

“It’s an incredible feeling to clinch the bronze medal in the junior women’s category. The journey has been filled with hard work, dedication, and the unwavering support of my coaches and teammates,” said Sarita.

“This medal belongs to everyone who has believed in me and supported me along the way,” she added.

Meenakshi set a national record in women’s senior Individual Pursuit with a time of 3:42.515 seconds, but still ended up finishing fourth in the qualifying round.

In the para track cycling events, Arshad Shaikh clinched his second gold medal by winning the 1km Time Trial C2 category, clocking 1:25.753 sec.

Aryavardhan Cheelampalli bagged the silver medal, clocking 1:41.071 sec. Para women cyclist Jyoti Gaderiya won gold in 500m Time Trial (C2 category) with a time of 52.450 seconds.



ITF men’s tennis tounrnaments: Chirag-Jacopo duo beaten in doubles quarterfinals

Chirag Duhan in partnership with Jacopo Bilardo of Italy was beaten 1-6, 6-1, [10-6] in the doubles quarterfinals by Milos Karol of Sweden and Jakub Paul of Switzerland in the doubles quarterfinals of the $15,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament in Monastir, Tunisia.

The results
$15,000 ITF men, Monastir, Tunisia Doubles (quarterfinals): Milos Karol (Svk) & Jakub Paul (Sui) bt Jacopo Bilardo (Ita) & Chirag Duhan 1-6, 6-1, [10-6].

-Kamesh Srinivasan

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