Indian sports news wrap, January 25

Here are all the updates, results and developments from the world of Indian sports on January 25.

Published : Jan 25, 2024 15:18 IST , Chennai - 13 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Jyoti Randhawa of India.
FILE PHOTO: Jyoti Randhawa of India. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

FILE PHOTO: Jyoti Randhawa of India. | Photo Credit: Getty Images


Randhawa becomes first Indian to win Senior Euro Q-School, qualifies for Legends Tour

Veteran golfer Jyoti Randhawa became the first Indian to finish on top in the Senior European Tour’s Qualifying School and claim full playing rights in the Legends Tour this season.

Randhawa finished with a 12-under 276 total and four shots ahead of his nearest rivals. Randhawa, who turned 50 in 2022 and played his first few events on the Senior Tour in Europe in 2023, shot rounds of 71-67-68-70 for 276 at the Gloria Golf Club in Antalya.

Three players France’s Lionel Alexandre (72), Simon Griffiths (72) of England and Spaniard Carlos Balmaseda (72) were tied for second at 280, while Andrew Marshall of England with 75 claimed the fifth and final card on offer.

The final stage of Legends School is often considered tougher than the main event as only five cards are available from the field. The field had 55 players this year and many were past European Tour champions.

“It feels really good,” said Randhawa, a three-time (2000, 2006, 2007) Hero Indian Open winner.


Avani to lead Indian team at Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific golf

Avani Prashanth, the only Indian ranked inside the top 50 amateurs in the world, will lead a six-member contingent from the country at the prestigious Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) championship in Thailand, starting February 1.

The other Indian players are Mannat Brar, Heena Kang, Vidhatri Urs, Keerthana Rajeev Nair and Saanvi Somu.

The WAAP champions receive exemptions into three major championships in 2024 - the AIG Women’s Open at St Andrews, the Amundi Evian Championship in France and the Chevron Championship in the United States of America.

The winner will also receive invitations to a few other elite championships such as the Hana Financial Group Championship, ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, The 121st Women’s Amateur Championship and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

Avani, ranked 42 in the world, is the winner of the Queen Sirikit Cup individual honours in 2023, and was also fourth at the individuals in the 2023 World Amateur Team Championships.

Her main teen rivals will include Japan’s Mamika Shinchi, Filipina Rianne Mikhaela Malixi and New Zealander Eunseo Choi.

Shinchi (33), Prashanth (42) and Malixi (43) are among the top-ranked players in the field.



Hockey India names 40-member core probable group for Junior Men’s National Coaching Camp 

Hockey India on Thursday announced a 40-player core probable group for the upcoming Junior Men’s National Coaching Camp set to commence on 29th January 2024, at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) facility in Bengaluru. 

The selection of this new core group was based on their notable performances during the domestic championships held in 2023. 

Under the guidance of Coach Janardhana C B, the players from the core probable group are scheduled to assemble on 29th January for a 20-day training camp, concluding on 17th February. 

Among the notable selections are five goalkeepers, including Prince Deep Singh from Hockey Punjab, Bikramjit Singh from Hockey Chandigarh, Adarsh G from Kerala Hockey, and Ashwani Yadav and Ali Khan from Uttar Pradesh Hockey. 

List of players in the 40-member core-probable group:  

Prince Deep Singh, Bikramjit Singh, Ashwani Yadav, Adarsh G, Ali Khan
Sharda Nand Tiwari, Sukhvinder, Amir Ali, Rohit, Yogember Rawat, Manoj Yadav, Anmol Ekka, Prashant Barla, Akash Sorong, Sundaram Rajawat, Anand . Y, Talem Priyo Barta
Ankit Pal, Rosan Kujur, Thounaojam Ingalemba Luwang, Mukesh Toppo, Thokchom Kingson Singh, Ritik Kujur, Ankush, Jeetpal, Chandan Yadav, Manmeet Singh, Vachan H A, Govind Nag, Bipin Billavara Ravi,
Mohit Karma, Sourabh Anand Kushwaha, Araijeet Singh Hundal, Gurjot Singh, Mohd. Konain Dad, Prabhdeep Singh, Dilraj Singh, Arshdeep Singh, Mohd. Zaid Khan, Gursewak Singh,

-Team Sportstar

Sumeet, Harman excel as Army XI beat Comptroller in Beighton Cup

KOLKATA: Sumeet Pal Singh and Harman Singh found the target twice each to help Army XI post a narrow 4-3 victory over Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in the Coal India 125 th Beighton Cup hockey tournament at the SAI astro-turf ground here on Thursday.

The results: Indian Oil 6 (Affan Yusuf-2, Talwinder Singh-2, Gurjinder Singh-2) bt Canara Bank 1 (Prithviraj G.N.); Indian Air Force 2 (Manip Kerketta, Jaggat Nachappa) bt Oil and Natural Gas Corporation 1 (Ajeet Yadav); Army XI 4 (Sumeet Pal Singh-2, Harman Singh-2) bt CAG 3 (Faraz Mohd., Abharan Sudev, Manish Yadav).

-Y.B. Sarangi


 ITF women’s tournament: Rutuja Bhosale-Ankita Raina beat Shrivalli Bhamidipaty-Vaidehi Chaudhari

Rutuja Bhosale and Ankita Raina bounced back from a slow start to beat Shrivalli Bhamidipaty and Vaidehi Chaudhari 3-6, 6-4, [10-7] in the doubles quarterfinals of the NECC $40,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Deccan Gymkhana on Thursday.

In the semifinals, the third seeded Rutuja and Ankita will challenge the top seeds Naiktha Bains and Fanni Stollar.

It was the only Indian challenge left in the tournament, as Prarthana Thombare, seeded second with Sapfo Sakellaridi of Greece, was beaten by the Japanese duo of Saki Imamura and Naho Sato in straight sets.

In singles, lucky-loser Zeel Desai was beaten 6-1, 6-2 by fifth seed Alexandra Eala of Philippines. National champion Shrivalli Bhamidipaty was unable to match second seed Anastasia Tikhonova and managed to eke out three games.

The results:

Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Darja Semenistaja (Lat) bt Naho Sato (Jpn) 6-1, 6-7(2), 6-2; Alexandra Eala (Phi) bt Zeel Desai 6-1, 6-2; Moyuka Uchijima (Jpn) bt Viktoria Morvayova (Svk) 6-3, 6-3; Anouk Koevermans (Ned) bt Anastasia Kulikova (Fin) 5-7, 6-0, 7-5; Anca Alexia Todoni (Rou) bt Sapfo Sakellaridi (Gre) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; Dalila Jakupovic (Slo) bt HimenoSakatsume (Jpn) 6-4 (retired); Tina Nadine Smith (Aus) bt Tatiana Prozorova 6-3, 7-5; Anastasia Tikhonova bt Shrivalli Bhamidipaty 6-1, 6-2.

Doubles (quarterfinals): Naiktha Bains (GBR) & Fanni Stollar (Hun) bt Anastasia Kulikova (Fin) & Diana Marcinkevica (Lat) 1-6, 7-6(2), [10-6]; Rutuja Bhosale & Ankita Raina bt Shrivalli Bhamidipaty & Vaidehi Chaudhari 3-6, 6-4, [10-7]; Alexandra Eala (Phi) & Darja Semenistaja (Lat) bt Jessie Aney (USA) & Lena Papadakis (Ger) 6-4, 2-6, [10-4]; Saki Imamura & Naho Sato (Jpn) bt Sapfo Sakellaridi (Gre) & Prarthana Thombare 6-4, 6-2.  

-Kamesh Srinivasan

Arjun Kadhe and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan in quarterfinals

Fourth seeds Arjun Kadhe and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan reached the doubles quarterfinals with a 7-6(5), 6-4 victory over Viktor Durasovic and Otto Virtanen in the €145,625 Challenger tennis tournament in Quimper, France.

The results:

€148,625 Challenger, Quimper, France

Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Arjun Kadhe & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Viktor Durasovic (Nor) & Otto Virtanen (Fin) 7-6(5), 6-4.

$25,000 ITF women, Le Gosier, France

Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Brandy Mina & Aminata Sall (Fra) w.o. Nifemi Akinbiyi (Can) & Priyanka Rodricks.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

ITF Futures 25K International Championship: Sasikumar stuns second seed Palan

Mukund Sasikumar is the sole Indian to move into the quarterfinals of the USD 25,000 ITF Futures men’s International Tennis Championship here, upsetting second-seeded Czech Republican Dominic Palan in an evenly-contested thriller here on Thursday.

Both the players served and played strokes with brilliant ease and Palan appeared to be the favourite to walk away with a victory, having wrapped the opening set 7-5 in the contest that lasted for three hours and 10 minutes.

However, Mukumd had other plans and upped his ante in the second set, taking it into the tie-breaker. He used his first serve to great advantage and was successful in levelling the contest.

Both the players served well in the deciding set and managed to hold serve till 5-5 before Mukund broke Palan’s serve with two forehand winners, followed by two unforced errors by the latter.

Mukund led 40-0 in the 12th game, thanks to two strong well-placed first serves, while he inexplicably served two double faults.

On his next advantage, Mukund closed out the encounter to score a well-deserved success.

Bernard Tomic of Australia had a relatively comfortable straight-set triumph over local lad Abinav Sanjeev 6-1 6-4.

In the second set, the Indian did manage to lift his game, but Tomic was too good for him.

Ukarine’s Eric Vanshelboim scored an easy victory over Ranjit, whereas Alexey Zakharoie of Russia beat eighth-seeded Israeli Orel Kemhi in straight sets.

In the doubles, Adil Kalayanpur and Bogdan Bodraov outsmarted the younger pair of Kabir Hans and Aryan Shah in a well-fought contest.



National selection trials to begin on February 24

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has revised the dates for the third and fourth selection trials for rifle and pistol events to February 24 to March 1. It will be hosted at the Madhya Pradesh Academy in Bhopal.

The third selection trials for shotgun will be held at the New Moti Bagh Gun Club, Patiala, from February 25 to March 2.

Unlike rifle and pistol, which will have separate Olympic selection trials later, the shotgun shooters have already shot two trials that also double up as Olympic trials. The third would be similar in nature, serving both as national and Olympic selection trial.

-Kamesh Srinivasan


After a 100-day follow-up, Kerala’s new stadium projects to start within a year

With assurances of investments worth Rs 5,000 crore coming in through the ongoing International Sports Summit Kerala here, the State Government has fixed a 100-day target to follow up things.

“There will be a 100-day follow-up and within one year we are going to start all the projects. That is our goal,” said V. Abdurahiman, the Kerala Sports Minister, at the Sports Hub in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.

He also said the Kerala Cricket Association will get all the support for its new cricket stadium which it plans to build near the Kochi airport.

“If any permission is needed or if any delay is there, we will rectify that and we will help the KCA. And we will complete the FIFA-standard football stadium in Malappuram by May next year. Already, the design has been completed,” said the Sports Minister.

“When the Kochi stadium comes up and with the Greenfield Stadium – the preferred venue for international cricket in the State now – Kerala can host a lot of cricket. That will also improve the sports economy in a big way in the State with restaurants and hotels coming up around the stadiums.”

The minister revealed that the ISSK had attracted investments worth Rs 10,000 crore.

“But we have signed MoU only for projects worth Rs 5000 crore because we were convinced about them, we didn’t want projects just for name’s sake. That is why we have rejected projects worth Rs 5000 crore, we wanted to bring projects that will happen.”


There will also be plenty of action at the panchayat level. Each panchayat has been asked to come up with a proposal to build sports infrastructure and the State Government will fund these projects through the local self government department.

The minister also said the Dubai-based Regency Group will start a sports apparel manufacturing firm in Thiruvananthapuram and 25 acres has been allocated for it in the Kinfra Park. The group will invest nearly Rs 250 crore over a four-year period into the project.

- Stan Rayan


Deepika breaks meet record in girls javelin throw

Deepika of Haryana wins the girls’ javelin throw gold with a new meet record in the Khelo India Youth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Chennai on Thursday.
Deepika of Haryana wins the girls’ javelin throw gold with a new meet record in the Khelo India Youth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Chennai on Thursday. | Photo Credit: VEDHAN M

Deepika of Haryana wins the girls’ javelin throw gold with a new meet record in the Khelo India Youth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Chennai on Thursday. | Photo Credit: VEDHAN M

Deepika has been the undisputed queen of girls’ javelin throw in the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG). The 18-year-old from Fatehabad, Haryana, clinched her third straight javelin gold medal in KIYG, with a new meet record, throwing the spear to a distance of 56.79m. She erased her own record set in 2022-23 in Bhopal, which was again a meet record. She had won gold in Panchkula 2021-22 as well, creating a new meet record then.

Later in the day, Paras Singhal of Haryana won the gold in the boys’ 2000m steeplechase in a new meet record time of 5:53.74.

In Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu bagged the boys’ and girls’ basketball titles. In the boys’ final, TN edged out Rajasthan by a solitary point (86-85) and in the girls’ summit clash, the host defeated Punjab 70-66.

The results:

Athletics: Boys: 200m: 1 J. Gokul Pandiyan (TN) 21.90; 2. Gowtham Alluri (TS) 22.16; 3. Shivam (UP) 22.18; 2000m steeplechase: 1. Paras Singhal (Har) 5:53.74 (NMR) (OR: Ajit Kumar, Bhopal, 6:01.11); 2. Mohit Yadav (Raj) 5:54.14; 3. Sahil Yadav (Guj) 5:57.40; 1000m sprint medley: 1. TN (Anton Sanjay, J. Gokul Pandiyan, Nithya Prakash & Sharan) 1:55.49; 2 Odisha (Rajendra Sidhu, Pratik Maharana, Astik Pradhan, M. Reyan Basha) 1:56.12; 3. Karnataka (Chaitanya Karekar, Ayush Devadiga, K. Yaswanth, N. Dhruva Ballal) 1:56.52; triple jump: 1. Ravi Prakash (TN) 14.76m; 2. K. Yuvaraj (TN) 14.34; 3. Bhushan Shinde (Mah) 14.08; javelin throw: Dipanshu Sharma (UP) 65.08m; 2. Gaurav Patel (MP) 63.85; 3. Aditya (Har) 62.85.

Girls: 2000m steeplechase: 1. Anjali Madavi (Mah) 7:16.51; 2. Chaitali Borekar (Mah) 7:16.96; Sunita Santa (Odi) 7:21.16; 1000m medley relay: 1. TN (V. Dhesika, Abinaya Rajarajan, Akslin, Anslin) 2:13.96391; 2. Kar (Sthuthi Shetty, Vaibhavi Budruk, Priyanka Olekar, R. Shree) 2:15.81; 3. Mah (Aliza Mulla, Rujula Bhosale, Madhura Birje, Shravani Sangle) 2:16.39; javelin throw: 1. Deepika (Har) 56.79m (NMR) (OR: Deepika, Bhopal, 55.19); 2. Versha (Pun) 47.27; 3. Navreet Kaur (Pun) 46.52; high jump: 1. S. Alice Deva Prasanna (TN) 1.66m; 2. Brinda (TN) 1.63; 3. Amandeep Kaur (Jhr) 1.63.

Basketball (finals): Boys: TN bt Raj 86-85; Girls: TN bt Pun 70-66.

Shooting: Boys: 50m rifle 3 position: 1. Adriyan Karmakar (WB) 450.1 pts; 2. S. Hitesh (TN) 444.2; 3. Rana Ggaarry (Har) 432.8; Girls: 50m rifle 3 position: 1. Anushkah Thokur (Kar) 460.8 pts; 2. J. Melvina Angeline (TN) 439.8; 3. Prachi Shashikant (Mah) 439.6; 10m air pistol: 1. Suruchi (Har) 239.8; 2. Lakshita (Har) 239.3; 3. Saina Bharwani (Del) 219.1.

Volleyball: Boys: Har bt Raj 23-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-16; TN bt J&K 26-24, 22-25, 25-15, 25-16; Girls: WB bt Har 25-10, 25-15, 25-17; Raj bt Ker 23-25, 25-17, 25-15.



Kerala Super League to begin on August 24

The long wait is over. The Kerala Super League will finally begin on August 24 and run till October 18. And Thiruvananthapuram, which was not part of the plans earlier, will also be in the State’s glamorous new six-team football league which will include foreign players.

Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannur will be the six teams in KSL. Two more teams will be added in a couple of years. The franchise launch is likely to happen by the end of February or early March.

Scoreline Sports, the Kerala Football Association’s commercial partner which will run the league, will also be roping in international stars as ambassadors for the clubs.

“We have spoken to eight players, and most of them are willing to come to Kerala for very reasonable fees. I’m supposed to travel to Argentina, Brazil and Spain soon,” Mathew Joseph, the CEO of Scoreline Sports, told The Hindu on Thursday.

He also that revealed that a major sports channel will telecast the event and a deal will be signed next week.

And 25% of the franchises will be owned by fans or fan clubs.

“There are NRIs from Saudi Arabia and Qatarwho will be backing the clubs,” said Joseph.

The six clubs, which will be backed by some of Kerala’s biggest corporate houses, are likely to have a technical tie-up with sister clubs from Europe or from the MiddleEast.

The Kochi team’s matches will be held at the Nehru Stadium, which is also the home ground of the Kerala Blasters and the KSL organisers have ensured that there is no clash with the Indian Super League.

“That’s the reason why we chose these days. I’ve had many discussions with the Kerala Blasters, they are have been extremely supportive, the Blasters are willing to co-exist with us so that we are also able to do the matches,” said Joseph.

- Stan Rayan

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