Here are all the major updates and developments in Indian sport on Thursday, March 9.
Pranavi Urs Tied-23rd after first round at South Africa Women’s Open
Indian golfer Pranavi Urs carded a creditable 2-under 70 to lie Tied-23rd after the first round of Investec South African Women’s Open.
Pranavi, who was dominant on the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour last year, has opened her season in South Africa.
Ridhima Dilawari, who had also been playing in South Africa the last few weeks, shot 1-under 71 to be Tied-40th. Vani Kapoor and Amandeep Drall were Tied-54th with rounds of even par 72 and Diksha Dagar was way down in Tied-109 with a 75.
Pranavi, who is also going to play the Epson Tour in the US, was three-under through 14 holes with birdies on seventh, 11th and 12th holes. A dropped shot on 15th pulled her back but she closed with three pars.
Ridhima had three birdies against two bogeys.
Sneha shoots 68 to open 2-shot lead in 5th leg of Women’s Pro Golf Tour
Sneha Singh fired a solid four-under 68 to grab a two-shot lead after the first day of the fifth leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Golden Greens Golf Club on Thursday.
The Hyderabad golfer, who has won more times on the Tour as an amateur than as a pro, had five birdies and an eagle against three bogeys.
Rhea Jha and Gaurika Bishnoi, both of whom eagled the Par-5 11th hole, were tied in second place with cards of two-under 70 each.
Jasmine Shekar, who has time and again shown her talent, had two bogeys and two birdies for an even par 72 and was in fourth place, while Agrima Manral and Khushi Khanijau were tied for fifth place with rounds of 73.
Tvesa Malik, playing her first competitive round in a long time, shot 74 that included a double bogey and four straight bogeys in a space of six holes. She also had five birdies. Tvesa was lying seventh.
Sneha had her first birdie on the second and added an eagle on the Par-5 fifth but dropped back-to-back bogeys on sixth and seventh.
Birdies on eighth and ninth meant she was still 3-under for the front nine. On the back nine, she birdied the 12th and the 14th but dropped a shot on the Par-5 18th, a hole that was birdied by most of the leading players.
Rhea was 3-over for the front nine, but her back nine was stunning with four birdies, an eagle and one bogey. Gaurika had five birdies and an eagle against three bogeys and a double bogey.
Oviya Reddi (75) was eighth, while six players, Shagun Narain, Riya Yadav, Neha Tripathi and Saaniya Sharma alongside two amateurs, Anvvi Dahhiya and Keerthana Rajeev, were tied at ninth place with 76 each.
Nisha best Indian at 11th, Avani 21st in Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific
Nishna Patel carded a one-under 71 to emerge as the best-placed Indian at tied 11th place but Avani Prashanth walked off with a one-over 73 to lie tied 21st after the opening day of the fifth Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) Championship on Thursday.
Nishna, playing her third WAAP Championship, showed that she is steadily learning as she controlled herself despite a bunch of lip-outs. She was four shots behind the leader Korean Kim Minsol, whose 67 included an eagle and a double bogey besides five birdies.
Avani, the lanky 16-year-old, who had to go straight into a school examination after returning victorious from the Queen Sirikit Cup in Manila, had barely touched a club in more than a week.
Though she did practise a little, the rust showed as her usual touch on the putting green was missing at the Singapore Island Country Club course.
Avani’s playing partner Kim, the World No. 14, took the first round lead, while the third player in the group, Japan’s Rin Yoshida, the highest-ranked player at No. 4, struggled to 3-over-par 75.
Three players, Ni Zixin of China, Thailand’s little-known Navaporn Soontreeyapas and Hong Kong’s Sophie Han were tied second with cards of 4-under 68 each.
Among the Indians, behind the 11th placed Nishna and 21st placed Avani, was the US-based Anika Varma (74), who after being one-under through 12 holes, dropped three shots in last six holes. Anika was tied 28th.
The other three Indians were Mannat Brar (76) at T-53rd, Vidhatri Urs (77) at T-60 and Lavanya Jadon (78) at T-64.
Chinese Taipei’s Ting-Hsuan Huang, the defending champion, also shot a two-under-par 70.
China’s Yujie Liu, the youngest player in the championship at 12-years old, was the only player to play a bogey free 70 to be tied eighth.
Vihaan Reddy fought his way past fifth seed Samarth Sahita 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 to set up a semifinal against top seed Tejas Ahuja in the ITF junior tennis tournament at the Tennis Project, Baliawas, on Thursday.
In the other semifinal, Aarjun Pandit will play Smit Patel.
In the girls’ section, Maaya Rajeshwaran beat third seed Anastasiya Krymkova of Kazakhstan 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. She will play another Kazakh, Ariana Gogulina in the semifinal. The other semifinal will be between Nainika Reddy and Snigdha Kanta.
The results (quarterfinals):
Boys: Tejas Ahuja bt Sacha Lefebure (Fra) 6-2, 6-3; Vihaan Reddy bt Samarth Sahita 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-1; Smit Patel bt Deepam Malik 4-6, 7-5, 6-2; Aarjun Pandit bt Fateh Singh 6-4, 7-6(4).
Girls: Ariana Gogulina (Kaz) bt Amodini Naik 6-3, 7-5; Maaya Rajeshwaran bt Anastasiya Krymkova (Kaz) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; Nainika Reddy bt Samaira Pahwa 6-2, 6-2; Snigdha Kanta bt Jaya Kapoor 6-2, 6-2.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
MSLTA rewards players, coaches and officials
The Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) rewarded its players, coaches and officials, with a total purse of Rs.17.5 lakh at its annual day.
Arjun Kadhe, Rutuja Bhosale, Vaishnavi Adkar, Manas Dhamne, Asmi Adkar, Arnav Paparkar and Aishwarya Jadhav were some of the leading players from the State to win the awards. Players who won the national championships or finished runner-up in the year 2022, like Madhurima Sawant, Samarth Sahita, Vaishnavi Adkar, Asmi Adkar, Aishwarya Jadhav, Arnav Paparkar, Ruma Gaikaiwari, Aakruti Sonkusare, Vedant Bhasin, Akanksha NItture apart from top-5 national ranked players were given scholarships worth over Rs.7,00,000.
Coaches Nandan Bal, Hemant Bendrey, Kedar Shah, Prosonjit Paul, Arshad Desai, Mahesh Shinde were given special awards for their wards emerging national champions. Gold badge referee Sheetal Iyer and other officials Riya Chaphekar, Sejal Kenia, Tejal Kulkarni were also awarded.
The teams that did well in the Khelo India Youth Games in Haryana and the National Games in Gujarat, along with the coaches, were felicitated and rewarded.
Arnav Paparkar was presented with the Madhav Annigeri memorial scholarship for being the most outstanding junior player from the State. In terms of the organisation of national and international events, MSLTA conducted 65 tournaments in the year, including 12 international tournaments. Of this, Pune region hosted 30 events including seven international tournaments.
The awards were presented by the MSLTA president Bharat Oza, and other officials, Rajeev Deshpande, Sunder Iyer, Sudhir Bhawapurkar, Rajiv Desai and Sheetal Bhosale.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
Ishaque Eqbal in quarterfinals
Ishaque Eqbal beat fifth seed Marco Miceli of Italy 6-3, 6-4 in the pre-quarterfinals of the $15,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament in Kish Island, Iran, on Thursday.
In the quarterfinals, Eqbal will play Maxence Broville of France.
The results: $15,000 ITF men, Kish Island, Iran Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Ishaque Eqbal bt Marco Miceli (Ita) 6-3, 6-4; Leonardo Catani (Ita) bt Kabir Hans 6-3, 6-2.
Doubles (quarterfinals): SD Prajwal Dev & Sai Karteek Reddy bt Samyar Elyasi & Hamid Reza Nadaf (Iri) 6-3, 6-1; Egor Agafonov & Vladislav Ivanov bt Dominik Kellovsky (Cze) & Jagmeet Singh 6-2, 6-1.
$25,000 ITF women, Pretoria, South Africa Doubles (quarterfianls): Berfu Cengiz & Ipek Oz (Tur) bt Ashmitha Easwaramurthi & Kira Pavlova 6-2, 6-1.
$15,000 ITF women, Monastir, Tunisia Doubles (quarterfinals): Anouk Koevermans & Marente Sijibesma (Ned) bt Jennifer Luikham & Wang Jiaqi (Chn) 6-2, 6-3.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
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