Indian sports news wrap, March 31

Here are all the major updates in Indian sports on March 31.

Published : Mar 31, 2023 17:12 IST - 9 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Varun Tomar and Rhythm Sangwan have been selected for Baku Shooting World Cup.
FILE PHOTO: Varun Tomar and Rhythm Sangwan have been selected for Baku Shooting World Cup. | Photo Credit: FARUQUI AM

FILE PHOTO: Varun Tomar and Rhythm Sangwan have been selected for Baku Shooting World Cup. | Photo Credit: FARUQUI AM

Here are all the major updates in Indian sports on March 31.


Indian team for Baku World Cup

Esha Singh and Rhythm Sangwan have gained entry in both the air pistol and sports pistol events in the Indian team for the World Cup to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from May 8 to 15.

In the team announced by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) on Friday, Divya TS is the other shooter in the women’s air pistol squad, while, it is Manu Bhaker in sports pistol.

The NRAI slightly shuffled the team after gauging the performances in the recent World Cup in Bhopal.

Unlike in the past, the World Cups do not offer any Olympic quota

places this year, and it would be the World Championships and Continental Championships that would help the shooters gain entry for the Paris Olympics.

The team:
Rifle: Rudnrankksh Patil, Hriday Hazarika, Shahu Tushar Mane; Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar, Akhil Sheoran, Swapnil Kusale.
Pistol: Sarabjot Singh, Varun Tomar, Shiva Narwal; Anish Bhanwala, Vijayveer Sidhu, Ankur Goel.
Rifle: Ramita Jindal, Tilottama Sen, Nancy; Sift Kaur Samra, Manini Kaushik, Anjum Moudgil.
Pistol: Divya TS, Esha Singh, Rhythm Sangwan; Manu Bhaker.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

Shotgun World Cup: Sabeera Haris in 27th place after three rounds

Sabeera Haris shot 64 to be in the 27th place after three rounds in women’s trap, in the shotgun World Cup in Larnaca, Cyprus, on Friday.

Manisha Keer and Shagun Chowdhary shot 63 each and were in the 34th and 35th spot, in a field of 63.

National champion Kiran, shooting in the RPO section, had a score of 64, while Kirti Gupta shot 61.

In the men’s section, Asian Games silver medallist Lakshay Sheoran shot 68 to be in 53rd place among 131 shooters. Bakhtyaruddin Malek and Arya Vansh Tyagi shot 61 each and figured in the 112th and 115th spot, with two more rounds to go on the morrow.

Bronze medallist in the last World Cup, Prithviraj Tondaiman, competing in the RPO section, shot 66, following rounds of 21, 24 and 21.

The lead score was 71 in the women’s section, and 74 in the men’s event.

-Kamesh Srinivasan


SAI forms internal committee to inquire into alleged incident at Bangalore Girls Hostel

Representative Image
Representative Image | Photo Credit: Twitter @Media_SAI

Representative Image | Photo Credit: Twitter @Media_SAI

Sports Authority of India in a statement told that a diploma trainee was allegedly filmed by another student at the common girls’ washroom of the SAI Diploma Girls Hostel in Mallathahalli, Bengaluru on March 28.

Having brought to the notice of officials at the Sports Authority of India centre in Bengaluru, an internal committee has been formed to inquire further into the matter that has taken place at the SAI Diploma Girls Hostel in Mallathahalli.

The Committee has been directed to submit its report at the earliest. SAI has also facilitated the alleged victim in helping her lodge a police complaint. Considering the sensitivity of the issue, the matter was reported to the police and on March 29, the FIR was lodged.

Further, SAI officials have also brought out a suspension letter against the alleged miscreant and asked her to vacate the hostel. She has been allowed to vacate the hostel on March 30th after clearance from police.

-Team Sportstar


Ankita Raina in semifinals

Ankita Raina fought for three hours and eight minutes to beat Gao Xinyu of China 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Friday.

It was the third victory in four meetings for the 30-year-old Ankita over the Chinese. Ankita converted five of 11 breakpoints, as against four of 10 by the Chinese.

Ankita bounced back from being down 3-6, 1-3, by winning five games in a row and forcing the third set. She did lead 3-1 and 5-3 in the decider, but the Chinese managed to stretch the contest further before Ankita served it out in the 12th game.

In the semifinals, Ankita will play another Chinese, qualifier Guo Hanyu.

The results
$25,000 ITF women, Jakarta, Indonesia Singles (quarterfinals): Ankita Raina bt Gao Xinyu (Chn) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Doubles (quarterfinals): Guo Hanyu (Chn) & Hong Yi Cody Wong (Hkg) bt Rutuja Bhosale & Peangtarn Plipuech (Tha) 6-3, 6-4.

Kamesh Srinivasan


Prajwal Dev upsets 4th seed Mukund Sasikumar to enter singles semifinals

S D Prajwal Dev of India showed immense tenacity in carving out a 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) win over compatriot Mukund Sasikumar to waltz into the singles semifinals of the ITF Mysuru Open here on Friday.

Mysuru-based Prajwal, a world No 1027, came as the underdog against fourth-seeded and 401-ranked Mukund but dished out a performance that masked the difference in ranking.

The USD 25,000 event is being hosted by the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA).

Cutting back to the match, once Mukund won the first set 6-1, a canter for him seemed the most possible outcome. But Prajwal showed massive dollops of fighting spirit despite being down by a break in the second set to win it 7-5 eventually.

Both the players battled neck to neck in the decider as it stretched to the tie-break. Prajwal played the crucial points a lot better in the tie-break to come out as the winner after a battle that lasted precisely 3 hours.

In the semis, Prajwal will face George Loffhagen. Earlier, unseeded Loffhagen of Britain continued his winning spree in the tournament, beating India’s Karan Singh 7-6 (4), 6-3.

In the doubles, top-seeded Indian pair of B Rithvik Choudary and Niki Poonacha strolled past fourth seeds and compatriots Parikshit Somani and Manish Sureshkumar 6-3, 6-3 to enter the final.

Later, Mukund Sasikumar made up for his defeat in singles when he along with Vishnu Vardhan reached the doubles semifinals, defeating Indian duo Faisal Qamar and Fardeen Quamar 7-6 (7), 3-6, 10-7. The match was carried over from Thursday.

(Singles, QF) S D Prajwal Dev (IND) beat (4) Mukund Sasikumar (IND) 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) (2) Oliver Crawford (USA) beat Florent Bax (FRA) 6-4, 6-0 George Loffhagen (GBR) beat Karan Singh (IND) 7-6 (4), 6-3 (8) Ellis Blake (AUS) beat (3) Orlov Vladyslav (UKR) 7-6 (4), 6-4 Results: Doubles (Quarterfinals, Carried over from Thursday) Mukund Sasikumar (IND) / Vishnu Vardhan (IND) beat Faisal Qamar (IND)/ Fardeen Quamar (IND) 7-6 (7), 3-6, 10-7 Results: Doubles (Semifinals) (1) B Rithvik Choudary / Niki Poonacha (IND) beat (4) Parikshit Somani / Manish Sureshkumar 6-3, 6-3.


Asia Oceania world juniors: India beats Kyrgyzstan

The Indian boys beat Kyrgyzstan 2-0 in the match for minor placings in the Asia-Oceania World Junior under-14 tennis tournament in Kuching, Malaysia, on Friday.

In the match for 13th place, India will play Uzbekistan.

In the semifinals, Japan beat Korea 2-1, and Pakistan beat Hong Kong by the same margin. With the top four teams qualifying for the world group stage from the region, there was no worry for the four semifinalists.

The results:
Play-off (13-16th place): India bt Kyrgyzstan 2-0 (Rudra Batham bt Ridvan Loianov 6-2, 6-1; Shivtej Shirfule bt Roman Kim 6-3, 6-1).

-Kamesh Srinivasan


FIDE Women’s Grand Prix: Vaishali holds joint top seed Goryachkina

R. Vaishali earned a creditable draw against joint top seed Aleksandra Goryachkina in the sixth round of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix chess tournament here on Friday.

On a day when K. Humpy and D. Harika enjoyed a bye, Vaishali gave nothing away to her rival, rated 143 points higher at 2576. Vaishali forced a draw in 35 moves after perpetual checks.

In the day’s only decisive game, Kazakhstan’s Bibisara Assaubayeva defeated Polina Shuvalova for her fourth victory.

China’s Zhu Jiner also reached four points, by playing a game more than Bibisara, after drawing with Georgia’s Nana Dzagnidze. 

RESULTS (Indians unless stated):
Sixth round: Aleksandra Goryachkina (FIDE, 2.5) drew with R. Vaishali (1); Zhu Jiner (Chn, 4) drew with Nana Dzagnidze (Geo, 2); Polina Shuvalova (FIDE, 2.5) lost to Bibisara Assaubayeva (Kaz, 4); Kateryna Lagno (FIDE, 3) drew with Nino Batsiashvili (Geo, 1.5); K. Humpy (2.5) and D. Harika (1.5) bye.

-Rakesh Rao


The Challenge Golf: Ugo Coussaud of France wins title

Ugo Coussaud of France plays a shot during day four of The Challenge presented by KGA 2023 at Karnataka Golf Association.
Ugo Coussaud of France plays a shot during day four of The Challenge presented by KGA 2023 at Karnataka Golf Association. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Ugo Coussaud of France plays a shot during day four of The Challenge presented by KGA 2023 at Karnataka Golf Association. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

France’s Ugo Coussaud (18-under 270) won The Challenge 2023 presented by KGA with a fine five-under 67 final round here on Friday.

Coussaud birdied two of the last three holes to collect his maiden win on European Challenge Tour. Spain’s Manuel Elvira finished as joint runner-up alongside Switzerland’s Joel Girrbach at 17-under par each.

Aman Raj (15-under 273) took a tied sixth, and emerged as the best Indian performer. This is Aman’s second straight top-10 finish.

Veer Ahlawat and southpaw Kartik Sharma finished tied-11th.

Coussaud, tied sixth overnight, won $48,000. Aman earned just over $10,000.

On his first win on the European Challenge Tour, Coussaud said, “I didn’t know when it was coming, but I knew it was coming. After five years on the Challenge Tour, it’s not that quick but I’m very happy indeed. It means a lot. My golf has just taken time to come together but now it’s good.”

The scores (top four):
270: Ugo Coussaud (Fra) (68, 67, 68, 67) ;271: Manuel Elvira (Esp) (70, 67, 68, 66), Joel Girrbach (Sui) (69, 64, 68, 70); 272: Frederic Lacroix (67, 66, 69, 70), Lars van Meijel (Net) (66, 66, 67, 73).

-Ashwin Achal

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