Indian sports news wrap, January 18

Here are all the updates, results and developments from the world of Indian sports on January 18.

Published : Jan 18, 2024 17:13 IST , Chennai - 9 MINS READ

Sneha, with 68-73-63 totalled 6-under 204 and Hitaashee, who finished runner-up for the second time in as many weeks, finished at 5-under 205.
Sneha, with 68-73-63 totalled 6-under 204 and Hitaashee, who finished runner-up for the second time in as many weeks, finished at 5-under 205. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Sneha, with 68-73-63 totalled 6-under 204 and Hitaashee, who finished runner-up for the second time in as many weeks, finished at 5-under 205. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement


Sneha flies on twin eagles to win, Hitaashee falters in 2nd leg of Hero WPGT

Sneha Singh played a superb closing round to grab her first win of the season in the second Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour on Thursday.

Sneha, winner of the Hero Order of Merit in 2023, opened and closed the final round with eagles on way to a card of 7-under 63. She rallied from four shots behind overnight leader Hitaashee Bakshi (68) to win by one.

Sneha, with 68-73-63 totalled 6-under 204 and Hitaashee, who finished runner-up for the second time in as many weeks, finished at 5-under 205.

Ridhima Dilawari had a solid 2-under 68 and was third, while last week’s winner, amateur Nishna Patel shot a 71. She was tied fourth with Khushi Khanijau (71) at 2-over 212.

Amandeep Drall (68-71-74) finished sixth, and Vani Kapoor (76-69-70) was seventh.

Amateurs Mannat Brar (72) and Vidhatri Urs (73) emphasised the amateur strength in Indian women’s golf by finishing tied eighth at 216. Rhea Jha (76) was 10th, Neha Tripathi (74) was 11th, and Ananya Datar (70) ended 12th.

Sneha and Hitaashee played in different groups but were engaged in a close tussle.

Sneha, who was four behind Hitaashee, got off to a super start with an eagle and added a birdie on the third. Hitaashee, playing in the lead group, also birdied the second and third and added a third birdie on the sixth.

Sneha eagled the final hole and joined Hitaashee at 6-under for the tournament.

Hitaashee needed a birdie on the Par-5 18th, and a par would mean a play-off. She ended up dropping a shot to hand Sneha the win. Sneha and Hitaashee were tied for second last week behind amateur Nishna who won.

Sneha now takes the lead on the Hero Order of Merit after the first two legs of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour.


Avani rallies on back nine to be placed seventh at Australian amateurs

India’s Avani Prashanth recovered from two double bogeys on the front nine with five birdies on the back nine before closing with a bogey in the third round of the Australian Amateur Championships here on Thursday.

Avani carded a second straight 2-over 75 at the Par-73 courses. Avani, ranked 50th in the world and the top ranked star from the Indian Golf Union, shot 72-75 on the first two days and is now 3-over 222 and in tied seventh place.

The leader in the women’s section is Amelia Harris, who had two eagles in her round of 5-under 68 and she is 9-under for three rounds. She is way ahead of second placed Mamika Shinchi of Japan who carded 71 in the third round and has a total of 3-under.

Only four players are under par after three rounds at the challenging course, where the conditions became tougher after rain on the second day.

The other Indian in the women’s section, Heena Kang, missed the cut on the weather-hit second day. She shot 80-80.

In the men’s section the lone Indian to make the cut was Varun Muthappa (74-73-77) who was 12-over and T-74, while Sandeep Yadav and Rohit Narwal missed the cut.

Avani opened with three pars and then ran into a disastrous stretch with a bogey and two double bogeys in a span of four holes between the fourth and the sixth.

She fought back on the second nine at Yarra Yarra Golf Club with birdies on the 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th and 17th with just one bogey till then on 11th.

Avani, who was runner-up last week at the Australian Masters of Amateurs, will be looking to a lower round and move up ahead of next month’s Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific (WAAP) in Thailand.


Shubankar cards even par 72; four golfers share lead in Desert Classic

Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma on Thursday carded an impressive even par 72 but still was below the leader board atop of which four players built a substantial lead with five-under in the 2024 Hero Dubai Desert Classic here.

Sharma, the lone Indian at this event each year since 2018, had a brilliant start from the tenth.

He landed an eagle that was set up with a 284-yard drive followed up with a 265-yard approach and he duly sank the 9-footer for eagle.

But after that he had just one more birdie on the first and three bogeys for a day’s work of even par 72.

“I played well but it was not easy with the wind and I missed a couple of putts (including a two-footer), but there is more golf to come,” said Sharma.



$25,000 ITF men’s tennis: Wild card entrant Manish beats fifth seed Van Wyk in pre-quarters

Wild card entrant Manish Sureshkumar beat fifth seed Kris van Wyk of South Africa 6-1, 7-6(4) in the pre-quarterfinals of the $25,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament at the Arera Club courts on Thursday.

In the quarterfinals, Manish will challenge fourth seed Bogdan Bobrov.

National champion Siddharth Vishwakarma sailed past Matt Hulme of Australia for the loss of six games and will face third seed Eric Vanshelboim of Ukraine in the quarterfinals.

The young Aryan Shah also made the quarterfinals, as his opponent, qualifier Thijmen Loof of the Netherlands, retired while trailing 0-5 in the first set. Aryan will meet top seed Oliver Crawford of Britain.

In doubles quarterfinals, Manish in partnership with Parikshit Somani missed a match point and got beaten 2-6, 6-3, [13-11] by Sai Karteek Reddy and Vishnu Vardhan.

The results:
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Oliver Crawford (GBR) bt Mitsuki Leong (Mas) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1; Aryan Shah bt Thijmen Loof (Ned) 5-0 (retired); Eric Vanshelboim (Ukr) bt Nam Hoang Ly (Vie) 2-6, 6-3, 6-0; Siddharth Vishwakarma bt Matt Hulme (Aus) 6-4, 6-2; Manish Sureshkumar bt Kris van Wyk (RSA) 6-1, 7-6(4); Bogdan Bobrov bt Raghav Jaisinghani 6-2, 6-1; David Pichler (Aut) bt Tsung-Hao Huang (Tpe) 7-6(1), 6-3; Dominik Palan (Cze) bt Luca Castelnuovo (Sui) 6-4, 7-6(3).
Doubles (quarterfinals): Ishaque Eqbal & Faisal Qamar bt Rishab Agarwal & Tsung-Hao Huang (Tpe) 6-2, 6-4; Sai Karteek Reddy & Vishnu Vardhan bt Parikshit Somani & Manish Sureshkumar 2-6, 6-3, [13-11]; Nicholas Bybel (USA) & Eric Vanshelboim (Ukr) bt Woobin Shin (Kor) & Kris van Wyk (RSA) 6-1, 6-4; Bogdan Bobrov & Luca Castelnuovo (Sui) bt Kabir Hans & Aryan Shah 7-5, 6-3.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

ITF Junior tennis: Rethin, Cahir make it to the semis

Fourth seeded Rethin Senthil Pranav and eighth seeded Cahir Warik kept the Indian flag flying as two produced emphatic wins in their respective quarterfinal outings in the Central Excise and CGST ITF Junior (J200) tennis at the synthetic courts of the BTA Complex on Thursday.

Rethin had to dig deep into his resources to overcome seventh seeded Duje Markovina of Croatia in a contest lasting more than three hours. Rethin, who won his quarterfinal match 6-4, 7-6(1), will be facing top seeded Nikita Bilozertsev of Ukraine in the semifinal on Friday. Bilozertsev got the better of Japan’s Hikaru Takahashi 6-4, 6-1. Cahir Warik also produced a strong game to breeze past second seeded Vojtech Vales of Czech Republic 6-1, 7-6(8). Fourth seeded Cahir will be meeting third seeded Ognjen Milic of Serbia in the other semifinal match.

The results:
Boys’ singles (quarterfinals): Nikita Bilozertsev (Ukr) bt Hikaru Takahashi (Jpn) 6-4, 6-1, Rethin Pranav Senthil Kumar (Ind) bt Duje Markovina(Cro) 6-4, 7-6(1), Ognjen Milic (Srb) bt Iliyas Maratuly (Kaz) 6-1, 6-0, Cahir Warik (Ind) bt Vojtech Vales (Cze) 6-1, 7-6(8).
Girls’ singles (quarterfinals): Maayan Laron (Isr) bt Shihomi Li Xuan Leong (Mas) 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-1, Christasha McNeil (USA) bt Anastasiya Krymkova (Kaz) 6-0, 6-1, Daria Shadchneva (Rus) bt Sara Borkop (Den) 6-3, 6-2, Maria Golovina (Rus) bt Maya Iyengar (USA) 7-5, 6-4.

- Team Sportstar

Rithvik and Niki in Challenger semifinals

Rithvik Bollipalli and Niki Poonacha beat Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan and Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia 6-3, 6-7(4), [10-5] in the doubles quarterfinals of the $82,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Nonthaburi, Thailand, on Thursday.

The Indian pair had earlier knocked out the second seeds Manuel Guinard and Gregoire Jacq of France in straight sets.

The results:
€120,950 Challenger, Abama, Spain Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Karol Drzewiecki & Piotr Matuszewski (Pol) bt Sathi Chirala & Fabio Fognini (Ita) 7-5, 6-3; Arjun Kadhe & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt David Marrero (Esp) & Dhruva Mulye (USA) 6-2, 6-1.
$82,000 Challenger, Nonthaburi, Thailand Doubles (quarterfinals): Rithvik Bollipalli & Niki Poonacha bt Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Pak) & Christopher Rungkat (Ina) 6-3, 6-7(4), [10-5]; Pre-quarterfinals: Ray Ho (Tpe) & Kaichi Uchida (Jpn) bt Saketh Myneni & Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-7(5), 7-5, [10-7]; Rithvik & Niki bt Manuel Guinard & Gregoire Jacq (Fra) 6-3, 6-4.
$40,000 ITF women, Antalya, Turkey Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Cristina Dinu (Rou) & Nika Radisic (Slo) bt Sebastianna Scilipoti (Sui) & Vasanti Shinde 6-2, 6-2.
$25,000 ITF women, Petit-Bourg, France Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Jaeda Daniel (USA) & Katarina Kozarov (Srb) bt Brianna Baldi (USA) & Priyanka Rodricks 6-0, 6-3.
$15,000 ITF men, Monastir, Tunisia Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Miljan Zekic (Srb) bt Chirag Duhan 7-6(5), 7-6(7); First round: Chirag bt Alexander Donski (Bul) 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-4.
$15,000 ITF men, Manacor, Spain Singles (first round): Manas Dhamne bt Stefan Hampe (Ger) 6-4, 6-0.

- Team Sportstar

Sasikumar Mukund highest ranked Indian in ITF Men’s 25k Futures

Sasikumar Mukund was on Thursday revealed as the highest ranked Indian for the third edition of the ITF Men’s 25K Futures to be held here from January 22-28.

The organisers have increased the total prize money to USD 25,000 along with additional ATP points for both singles and doubles.

Six Indians have been granted direct entry into the main draw, with Mukund (ATP ranking 556) leading the pack which also has SD Prajwal Dev (616), Manish Sureshkumar (924), Karan Singh (ITF ranking 795) and Aryan Shah (ITF ranking 1,242).

Great Britain’s Oliver Crawford (215) is the top seed while the former world No 17 Bernard Tomic from Australia will be the highlight ot the tournament, seeded third.

“It’s an opportunity for Indian players to get points. We are planning to conduct more such tournaments, as it serves as the stepping stone. And, unless you collect more points, you can’t participate in the larger tournaments,” AITA Joint Secretary Premkumar Karra told PTI during the event launch on Thursday.

The competition will be organised at the Gandhinagar Club.

The singles winner will receive a prize money of USD 3,600 and the runner-up will get USD 2,120. The doubles winners receive USD 1,550, while the runners-up get USD 900.

The ATP points offered to the winner will be 25 whereas the runner-up will get 16.



Around 220 archers, including several top names, will be seen in action in the Indian Open Indoor Archery Tournament to be held at the Biswa Bangla Exhibition Centre in Kolkata from Friday.

The three-day event, being organised for the second time after six years by the Dola and Rahul Banerjee Sports Foundation, will have competitions in under-18 and elite categories in recurve and compound divisions.

“Young archers get to interact with big names as the number of entries is so huge. Indoor shooting requires consistency as weather conditions are not a factor here. With smaller targets, shooting has to be perfect and a little error can prove costly,” said ace archer Deepika Kumari at a press conference here on Thursday.

The organisers are planning to turn the event into a circuit with three legs.

- Team Sportstar


Beighton Cup: Kolkata Port Trust beats West Bengal Police

A. Suresh Sharma scored four goals as Kolkata Port Trust thrashed West Bengal Police 9-1 in a qualifying round match of the 125 th Coal India Beighton Cup hockey tournament here on Thursday.

The results (qualifying round)
Kolkata Port Trust 9 (A.Suresh Sharma-4, Anand Ekka-2, Bidyananda Singh-2, A. Bada) bt West Bengal Police 1 (Santosh Rajbhar); Police Athletic Club 2 (Dipak, Karambir Singh) bt Vivid Youth Hockey Club 0.


Advani, Chadha qualify for All India Snooker final

Pankaj Advani recorded an authoritative 8-2 win over Varun Kumar in the semifinal to set up summit clash against Ishpreet Chadha in the All India Snooker Open here on Thursday.

Advani compiled a sequence of significant breaks against Tamil Nadu’s Kumar, including two centuries, and dominated the first session racing to a 5-0 lead at the break.

Kumar played some poor safety shots and provided Advani with ideal opportunities.

Advani recorded an 84-break as he knocked in a timely 74 to snatch the frame from Kumar, who was leading 49-0.

Later, Advani was fortunate to get easy openings and fired in breaks of 105 and 104 to swell the lead before winning the fifth with a 53 break.

After the break, Kumar did well to halt Advani’s charge as he constructed a break of 72 to pocket the sixth frame.

Advani regained his touch and rolled in a 76 to take the seventh, before Kumar with steady play and small runs claimed the eighth to delay the opponent’s run to the finish line.

However, Advani was not prepared to wait any longer as he clinched the ninth and 10th frames to wrap up the contest, with the frames scores reading 105-23, 74-49, 105-0, 104-4, 75-31, 0-81, 97-20, 0-80, 78-0, 67-43.

In the second semifinal, Chadha defeated last year’s runner-up Aditya Mehta 8-4 (111-5, 26-81, 130-0, 137-0, 91-51, 0-86, 0-129, 93-25, 68-58, 24-63, 113-18, 80-0).


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