ITF $25k women’s tennis tournament: Ankita Raine reaches semifinals in Solapur
Top seed Ankita Raina beat sixth seed Ekaterina Yashina of Russia 7-6(0), 6-3 to reach the semifinals of the Balaji Amines $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the District Sports Complex in Solapur on Friday.
In the semifinals, Ankita will play third seed Anastasia Kulikova of Finland, who beat qualifier Mananchaya Sawangkaew of Thailand in three sets.
Qualifier Shrivalli Bhamidipaty’s fine run was stopped by eighth seed Priska Nugroho, as the Indonesian won 6-2, 6-2.
In doubles, Ankita and Prarthana Thombare set up a title clash against second seeds Nugroho and Yashina.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
SSP Chawrasia Invitational: Lahiri, Manu share lead after third round
The man with seven international titles to his name and one of the pre-tournament favourites, Anirban Lahiri joined in-form Manu Gandas in the lead at nine-under 207 in the inaugural S.S.P. Chawrasia Invitational, at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club on Friday.
With gusty winds challenging the players’ ability, Anirban and Manu managed sedate rounds of one-under 71 and even-par 72 respectively and kept themselves in the joint lead. Gaganjeet Bhullar, another Indian star with 11 international wins, struck the day’s joint best score of 67, which featured birdies on the last four holes, and closed the penultimate round in tied-third place along with Veer Ahlawat (70), at eight-under 208.
Another fine performance came from Delhi’s Kapil Kumar, who also fired a 67 to end the day in fifth place at seven-under 209.
Tournament host S.S.P. Chawrasia did not find his form and shot a 73 while Shankar Das matched the day’s best 67 as the duo ended the day at 13th at two-under 214 to be the highest-placed among the Kolkata-based professionals. The PGTI Rankings leader Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (75) of Chandigarh continued to struggle with his form and was placed tied 18th at one-under 215.
- Amitabha Das Sharma
$15k ITF men’s tennis tournament: Sasikumar Mukund reaches semis in Egypt
Top seed Sasikumar Mukund beat Grigoriy Lomakin of Kazakhstan 6-2, 7-6 (2) in the quarterfinals of the $15,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on Friday.
In the semifinals, Mukund will play qualifier Seydina Andre of Senegal.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
Northern India squash championship: Tanvi Khanna, Prithviraj Singh win titles
Tanvi Khanna and Prithviraj Singh won the women’s and men’s titles in the IndusInd Bank Northern India squash championship at the Delhi Gymkhana Club courts in New Delhi on Friday.
Tanvi beat the top seed Sanika Choudhari 11-5, 11-3, 11-3. Prithviraj recovered after a slow start to beat Ranjit Singh 5-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-2.
In the only final that went the full distance, Aryan Pratap Singh beat the top seed Aarav Gill 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 6-11, 11-9.
- Kamesh Srinivasan
I-League: Churchill Brothers, RoundGlass Punjab play goalless draw; Mohammedan Sporting Club defeat Real Kashmir FC
Mohammedan Sporting Club defeated Real Kashmir FC by a solitary goal while Churchill Brothers FC Goa were held to a 0-0 draw by RoundGlass Punjab FC in the Hero I-League on Friday.
A powerful volley from captain Marcus Joseph in the 57th minute proved enough for the hosts in the match where Mohammedan’s Safiul Rahaman and Real Kashmir’s Yakubu Wadudu were shown the red card late in the second half in Kolkata.
At the start of the game, both teams were found trying to find their rhythm and contesting for ball possession.
Near the half-hour mark, the game started to open up. Jerry Pulamte passed the ball to Issahak Nuhu Seidu, who charged past the Mohammedan defence. The striker did cut in to take a shot but it was saved by the home team custodian Mithun Samanta.
On the other end, Real Kashmir defender Jestin George almost scored an own goal. In his attempt to clear a cross from the left, George headed the ball towards his own goal. However, to his relief, Real Kashmir goalkeeper and captain Subhasish Roy Chowdhury was alert enough to avert the danger.
In the 57th minute, Joseph shot Mohammedan into the lead after playing wall passes with Abiola Dauda, who flicked it back for his skipper to find the back of the net with a thumping volley.
The visitors launched a series of attacks after conceding the goal. The Snow Leopards received multiple set-pieces but couldn’t create a goalscoring chance.
Ten minutes from the full-time whistle, a physical battle broke down between Joseph and Yakubu Wadudu.
As some players from both the teams got involved in a scuffle, the referee, after peace was restored, gave the marching orders to Safiul Rahaman and Wadudu.
The game between Churchill Brothers and Punjab FC began at a slow pace as both teams approached each other cautiously.
The home team dominated the play using the overlapping runs on the wings to attack, while RoundGlass Punjab defended well and preferred to build from the back.
At the half-hour mark, Tana won a free kick for the hosts in the attacking third after being brought down by Pranjal Bhumij.
Midfielder Sharif Mukhammad took the free-kick but applied too much power as the Afghan’s effort went off target.
With just three minutes of regulation time left, the visitors had the best chance of the night. Substitute Juan Mera took a free-kick in the attacking third, sending the ball deep into the six-yard box.
From Mera’s delivery, his fellow substitute Samuel Lalmuanpuia headed the ball towards the penalty spot for Freddy Lallawmawma, who took a first-time shot at goal but it was cleared away by Ponif Vaz at the goalline.
The result took Churchill Brothers’ tally to nine points from eight matches as they remained in ninth place. RoundGlass Punjab now have 14 points, two less than leaders Sreenidi Deccan but with a game in hand.
Santosh Trophy’s Group 2 matches in Kozhikode from Dec. 26
The Santosh Trophy National football championship’s Group 2 league matches will be held in Kozhikode from December 26 to January 8.
The host Kerala, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir are the teams in the group.
The Kerala team for the Santosh Trophy will be announced on December 22.
- Stan Rayan
Fazza Para Powerlifting World Cup: Manpreet, Khatun and Basha win medals on day two
Indian para powerlifters claimed eight medals, including four silvers, on the second day of the competitions at the 12th Fazza Para Powerlifting World Cup in Dubai on Friday.
Manpreet Kaur opened the proceedings for India with a silver and bronze medal with a best lift of 80kg and total of 152 kg in the women’s up to 45kg before Zainab Khatoon lifted 70kg in her first attempt to take the bronze in the women’s up to 61kg category.
It was Zainab’s first international competition in Dubai.
In the women’s 55kg, Raj Kumari also added to India’s tally with one silver and one bronze medal on the day. She lifted 79 kg to win the bronze medal and a total of 223kg for the silver in total lift.
Later, Shakina Khatun took the bronze medal in the women’s up to 50 kg after her only successful lift of 90kg.
Basha joined the women lifters with his best lift of 135kg to take two silver medals in the Legend category.
“It’s always nice to compete in Dubai. I have fond memories of this place and it continues to grow. It was a good competition,” said Basha, who is spending more time coaching powerlifters.
“I would like to compete in the Worlds and Asian Para Games. But let’s see.” The medals came after promising junior Honey Dabas’ two gold medal show in the Next Gen category of men’s up to 72 kg event on the opening day.
Dabas managed 120kg in his final lift for the commendable feat in his first international competition.
Paramjeet Kumar and Shakina Khatun also claimed a silver and a bronze on day one.