Indian sports news wrap, January 14

Here are all the major developments in Indian sport on January 14, 2023.

Bibiano Fernandes, a former member of the Indian football team, is currently the coach of the India U-17 boys football team. 

Bibiano Fernandes, a former member of the Indian football team, is currently the coach of the India U-17 boys football team.  | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

Here are all the major developments in Indian sport on January 14, 2023.

Football

India U-17 team for friendly against UAE U-20 national side announced

Bibiano Fernandes, the head coach of the India U-17 men’s football team, has announced a 22-member squad for a friendly against UAE U-20 national team in Dubai on January 16, 2023.

The team will also play two friendlies against Uzbekistan on January 22 and 24 in Goa.

The Indian U-17 team qualified for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup earlier this year, and after a brief break, has been in camp over the course of the last month.

In addition to the players that were with the team during the AFC U-17 Asian Cup Qualifiers in Saudi Arabia, the team management had also called up a number of players to their camp at the AIFF Elite Academy in Goa for trials.

The squad:
Goalkeepers: Sahil, Julfikar Gazi and Tajamul Islam.
Defenders: Ricky Meetei Haobam, Surajkumar Singh Ngangbam, Malemngamba Singh Thokchom, Balkaran Singh, Manjot Singh Dhami and Mukul Panwar.
Midfielders: Vanlalpeka Guite, Danny Meitei Laishram, Korou Singh Thingujam, Huzafah Ahmad Dar, Faizan Waheed, Gurnjal Singh Grewal, Phoenix Oinam, Paikhomba Meitei Khumanthem, Lalpekhlua, and Ashish.
Forwards: Aman, Thanglalsoun Gangte and Shashwat Panwar.
Head coach: Bibiano Fernandes.

-TEAM SPORTSTAR

Tennis

ITF Juniors: Kim, Mincheva wins boys’ and girls’ titles respectively

Jangjun Kim of Korea and Vlada Mincheva of Russia won the boys’ and girls’ titles respectively in the ITF junior tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex on Saturday.

The 16-year-old Kim showed an all-round ability and endless energy as he battled past the strongly-built Timofei Derepasko of Russia 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-5 in a battle of wits that lasted more than three hours.

It was Derepasko who was serving for the match at 5-3 in the decider, but Kim played near flawless in the climax to pull through, much to the admiration of the small gathering.

Jangjun Kim of Korea and Vlada Mincheva of Russia, the champions of the ITF junior tennis tournament in Delhi.

Jangjun Kim of Korea and Vlada Mincheva of Russia, the champions of the ITF junior tennis tournament in Delhi. | Photo Credit: Kamesh Srinivasan

The Korean, set to break into the top 100 of the world junior rank, has already been given a taste of the men’s circuit, including the Challengers to possibly prepare him for the big league.

The quality of tennis that Kim played and the energy he showed in covering the court, sprinting all the time into position and whipping his strokes with uncanny craft were clear indications that he would be seen on the big stage soon.

In the girls’ final, the fleet-footed Vlada, the left-hander who could muster tremendous intensity in every point, outplayed the top seed, Ashton Bowers of the USA for the loss of five games, in quick time.

Quite remarkably, the 15-year-old Vlada who has also got a lot of exposure in the women’s circuit already did not drop more than five games to any of her five opponents in the tournament.

It may be recalled that Emma Raducanu of Britain won this tournament in 2018 before skyrocketing to the US Open women’s title in 2021.

For talented juniors across the world, it was an excellent platform to get ready for the junior Grand Slams, and the two champions Kim and Vlada stole everyone’s heart with their energy, elegance and efficiency on the court.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

Yuki and Saketh win a thriller for title

Top seeds Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni came through a cracker of a doubles final, with their reputation enhanced, as they recorded a 2-6, 7-6(7), [14-12] victory over Christopher Rungkat and Akira Santillan in the $80,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Bangkok on Saturday.

The champion team collected 75 ATP points and $4,645. The runners-up won 50 points and $2,700.

It was the sixth Challenger title as a pair for Yuki and Saketh who had won five last year. Saketh also won another Challenger with Ramkumar Ramanathan last year in Bengaluru.

Photo of Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni, the doubles champions of the
Bangkok Challenger tennis tournament.

Photo of Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni, the doubles champions of the Bangkok Challenger tennis tournament. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Before being downed by injuries, Yuki had won six Challenger doubles titles till 2016, including one with Mahesh Bhupathi in Delhi.

Saketh had also won eight Challenger doubles titles earlier, with a bunch of partners like Sanam Singh, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, Divij Sharan, Arjun Kadhe and Vijay Sundar Prashanth.

With both of them in the top-100 of the world doubles rank, Yuki and Saketh would aim to break into the ATP tournaments and Grand Slam events this season.

The results
$80,000 Challenger, Nonthaburi, Thailand Doubles (final): Yuki Bhambri & Saketh Myneni bt Christopher Rungkat (Ina) & Akira Santillan (Aus) 2-6, 7-6(7), [14-12].

-Kamesh Srinivasan

Shooting

National selection trials: Gulia beats Sangwan to top women’s air pistol

Palak Gulia beat Rhythm Sangwan 16-12 to top women’s air pistol in the second National shooting selection trials at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Saturday.

The 17-year-old Palak was consistent right through and on par with 19-year-old Rhythm before pulling through in the climax.

Quite remarkably, the 49-year-old Padma Devaram competed hard with the youngsters and placed third ahead of qualification topper and the reigning national champion Divya TS (586).

Anuradha Devi, Manu Bhaker, Aakanksha Bansal and Ruchita Vinerkar were the others to make it to the second stage.

Rhythm Sangwan, champion Palak Gulia, Padma Devaram, the toppers of women’s air pistol in the National shooting trials in Delhi.

Rhythm Sangwan, champion Palak Gulia, Padma Devaram, the toppers of women’s air pistol in the National shooting trials in Delhi. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In men’s air pistol, Arjun Singh Cheema overwhelmed Dharmendra Singh Gaharwar 16-6 for the top spot, after qualifying with 583.

Qualification topper Sumit Raman (586) placed fifth behind Ujjawal Malik and Gursewak Singh.

Sharvan Kumar, Varun Tomar and Kethavath Ganesh were the others to make the second stage.

With India opting to skip the World Cup for rifle and pistol in Jakarta, Indonesia, this month, the team for the World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, to be staged from February 17, should be finalised soon.

Meanwhile, the shotgun trials are being held at the Moti Bagh Club in Patiala.

The results
Air pistol
Men: 1. Arjun Singh Cheema 16 (252.7) 583; 2. Dharmendra Singh Gaharwar 6 (250.9) 579; 3. Ujjawal Malik 250.5 (579); 4. Gursewak Singh 250.2 (579).
Junior men: 1. Abhinav Choudhary 17 (252.5) 589; 2. Sahil 5 (254.2) 582; 3. Mohit Singh 251.3 (581); 4. Amit Sharma 250.9 (582).
Women: 1. Palak Gulia 16 (252.7) 575; 2. Rhythm Sangwan 12 (252.8) 576; 3. Padma Devaram 251.2 (578); 4. Divya TS 248.6 (586).
Junior women: 1. Saina Bharwani 16 (250.9) 568; 2. Kanishka Dagar 14 (250.0) 567; 3. Sainyam 247.1 (575); 4. Suruchi 247.0 (571).

-Kamesh Srinivasan

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