Indian sports news wrap: March 20

Here are all the major updates, scores and results of Indians from the world of sports on Wednesday, March 20.

Published : Mar 20, 2024 11:15 IST , Chennai - 7 MINS READ

REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO: India’s Zara Anand is in joint-lead after first round of the 44th Queen Sirikit Cup in Christchurch, New Zealand.
REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO: India’s Zara Anand is in joint-lead after first round of the 44th Queen Sirikit Cup in Christchurch, New Zealand. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO: India’s Zara Anand is in joint-lead after first round of the 44th Queen Sirikit Cup in Christchurch, New Zealand. | Photo Credit: Getty Images


Indian teen golfer Zara in shared lead at Queen Sirikit Cup

Indian teen star Zara Anand braved icy and frosty conditions on the opening morning of the 44th Queen Sirikit Cup golf tournament to card 1-over 73 and take a share of the lead in Christchurch, New Zealand on Wednesday.

The 15-year-old Zara, who was added to the team by the Indian Golf Union following the withdrawal of 2023 winner Avani Prashanth, shot at the Par-72 Clearwater Golf Club.

She shared the lead with Chinese Taipei’s Chun-Wei Wu, the reigning Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific champion, and Japan’s Aina Fujimoto.

A year ago, Avani stunned the field by becoming the first Indian to win individual honours at the Queen Sirikit Cup in Manila. This year, however, Avani is playing in the US at the same time as Queen Sirikit Cup.

The leading trio is one shot ahead of four others, Shihyun Kim of Korea, Chinese Taipei’s Ping-Hua Hsieh, Kiwi Eunseo Choi and Australian Sarah Hammett, who all carded 74 each.

Even as Zara zoomed to the top with two birdies against three bogeys, Vidhatri Urs (79) was T-20th and Heena Kang (85) was T-32, as the icy conditions delayed beginning of the play by half an hour.

Scoring was tough and no player carded an even-par round or better.

In the team standings, India was sixth on six-over. Chinese Taipei led with a three-over-total for two best scores from team of three. They were three shots clear of the host nation, New Zealand, and the pre-tournament favourites, Korea.

Australia and Japan sit a further shot behind.

Zara, a runner-up at the All India Ladies Amateur, and a third place finisher at the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour event, dropped a shot on the Par-3 fourth, but recovered that shot with a birdie on the Par-3 ninth.

On the back nine, back-to-back bogeys pushed her back but she made up one shot with a birdie on the Par-4 closing 18th for a 73.

Chun-Wei had three birdies and four bogeys in the middle of the round between the eighth and the 13th holes, while Fujimoto also had three birdies against four bogeys.



Sub Junior National Boxing Championship: Boxers from Haryana, Punjab off to flying starts

Boxers in action at the 3rd Sub Junior National Championship in Greater Noida.
Boxers in action at the 3rd Sub Junior National Championship in Greater Noida. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Boxers in action at the 3rd Sub Junior National Championship in Greater Noida. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Six boys from Haryana and four girls from Punjab moved to the next round with wins on day one at the 3rd Sub Junior National Boxing Championship at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida.

For Haryana, Uday Singh (37kg) started the day on a winning note with a convincing 5-0 win over Jharkhand’s Youraj. Continuing the domination, Dev (43kg) and Sanchit Jayani (46kg) also grabbed identical 5-0 wins against Mizoram’s V L Rohluzuala and Maharashtra’s Sunny Yadav respectively.

Ravi Sihag (49kg), Lakshay (52kg), Naman (58kg) were the other pugilists from Haryana to enter the next round with victories in their respective matches.

Four pugilists each from Punjab, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu also entered the second round in the boys’ section.

Meanwhile in the junior girls’ matches, boxers from Punjab dominated the proceedings with three out of four claiming RSC victories.

Ek Ampreet (35kg) won her bout with a unanimous 5-0 decision over Spoorthi Wali of Karnataka to give Punjab its first win of the day.

Anamika (43kg) put up an attacking show against Dolcy Emilia of Meghalaya in a bout that ended with the referee stopping the contest in the final round of the match. Later, Affsa (46kg) and Kulpreet (49kg) notched up comfortable RSC victories in the first and second round respectively.

For Uttar Pradesh, Avantika (55kg) and Mehul Malik (64kg) also progressed into the next round.

The finals of the ongoing tournament will be played on March 25.

- Team Sportstar


ITF Men’s Tennis: Karan Singh loses to Mitsuki Leong

Mitsuki Leong of Malaysia beat the finalist of the last tournament, eighth seed Karan Singh 7-6(7), 6-2 in the first round of the HPCL-Mittal $15,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament at the CLTA Complex on Wednesday.

In the pre-quarterfinals, the Malaysian will play qualifier Chirag Duhan who beat Wishaya Troncharoenchaikul of Thailand in three sets.

Champion of the last tournament, second seed Ramkumar Ramanathan warmed up with a 6-3, 6-2 win over qualifier Manish Ganesh. He will next meet Woobin Shin of Korea.

Hitesh Chauhan, Siddharth Vishwakarma, S Mukund, Madhwin Kamath, Dhruv Hirpara and Nitin Kumar Sinha joined Yuvan Nandal and Sidharth Rawat as the Indians in the pre-quarterfinals.

The results:
Singles (first round): Khumoyun Sultanov (Uzb) bt Manish Sureshkumar 6-2, 6-3; Hitesh Chauhan bt Shanker Heisnam 6-2, 3-6, 7-5; Siddharth Vishwakarma bt Shivank Bhatnagar 6-2, 6-0; S Mukund bt Kabir Hans 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-2; Madhwin Kamath bt Yunseon Jang (Kor) 5-2 (retired); Dhruv Hirpara bt SD Prajwal Dev 7-5 (retired); Thanapet Chanta (Tha) bt Rohan Mehra 6-2, 6-4; Nitin Kumar Sinha bt Siddhant Banthia 6-4, 6-3; Nam Hoang Ly (Vie) bt Raghav Jaisinghani 6-0, 6-2; Mitsuki Leong (Mas) bt Karan Singh 7-6(7), 6-2; Chirag Duhan bt Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul (Tha) 7-5, 3-6, 6-3; Ramkumar Ramanathan bt Manish Ganesh 6-3, 6-2.
Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Yunseok Jang & Woobin Shin (Kor) bt Shanker Heisnam & Ajay Kundu 6-1, 6-1; Chirag Duhan & Yuichiro Inui (Jpn) bt Oges Theyjo & Neeraj Yashpaul 3-6, 6-3, [10-7].

-Kamesh Srinivasan

ITF Juniors: Praneel Sharma beats top seed Aarjun Pandit

Praneel Sharma beat top seed Aarjun Pandit 6-3, 6-1 to set up a semifinal clash against third seed Oswaldo Tirdado of Mexico in the Indian Tree ITF junior tennis tournament at the Shanti Academy on Wednesday.

The other semifinal in the boys section will feature Samarthi Sahita against second seed Hyu Kawanishi of Japan.

In the girls section, Dinara De Silva of Sri Lanka overcame a tough start to beat Yi-Ching Huang of Chinese Taipei 0-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The results (quarterfinals):
Boys: Praneel Sharma bt Aarjun Pandit 6-3, 6-1; Oswaldo Tirado (Mex) bt Rian Sharma 6-3, 6-4; Samarth Sahita bt Pratyaksh 6-2, 6-3; Hyu Kawanishi (Jpn) bt Sriniketh Kannan 7-5, 6-3.
Girls: Rioko Umekuni (Jpn) bt Diya Chaudhary 6-2, 6-2; Viktoriia Sedova bt Eva Korysheva (Kaz) 3-6, 6-1, 6-1; Dinara De Silva (Sri) bt Yi-Ching Huang (Tpe) 0-6, 6-3, 6-2; Polina Nikitina bt Adiya Omarbek (Kaz) 6-3, 6-0.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

Challenger Tennis: Balaji-Begemann duo beat Goransson and Pelligrino in doubles pre-quarterfinals

Sriram Balaji in partnership with Andre Begemann beat Andre Goransson and Andrea Pelligrino 6-3, 6-2 in the doubles pre-quarterfinals of the €74,825 Challenger tennis tournament in Murcia, Spain, on Wednesday.

The all-India pairs of Anirudh Chandrasekar and Vijay Sundar Prashanth, Arjun Kadhe and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan also made the doubles quarterfinals.

The results
€74,825 Challenger, Murcia, Spain Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Anirudh Chandrasekar & Vijay Sundar Prashanth bt Rithvik Bollipalli & Niki Poonacha 6-3, 6-3; Sriram Balaji & Andre Begemann (Ger) bt Andre Goransson (Swe) & Andrea Pellegrino (Ita) 6-3, 6-2; Arjun Kadhe & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Ivan Liutarevich & Vladyslav Manafov (Ukr) 6-4, 6-4.
$60,000 ITF women, Maribor, Slovenia Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Maia Lumsden (GBR) & Jessika Ponchet (Fra) bt Ali Collins (GBR) & Prarthana Thombare 7-6(0), 6-4.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

OP Jindal Unviersity to build padel courts

The OP Jindal Global University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy to build four padel tennis courts at the University campus. The collaboration aims to promote padel tennis in India and provide world-class facilities for students.

The MoU was signed by Majid AlNekhailawi, Deputy Chief of Mission, on behalf of the UAE Embassy and Prof. Dr. Mohan Kumar, on behalf of the University.

“Padel tennis is the fastest growing sport in the UAE, reflecting our nation’s deep commitment to fitness and an active lifestyle. These world-class padel courts will energise India’s already vibrant sports culture by introducing an exciting new offering that combines elements of tennis, squash and badminton”, said the UAE Ambassador in India, Abdulnasser Alshaali.

The University will host tournaments and training camps once the padel courts are ready.

“We are honoured to collaborate with the UAE Embassy Padel tennis aligns with our mission of promoting an active, healthy lifestyle among students”, said Professor C Raj Kumar, the Vice Chancellor of OP Jindal University.

-Kamesh Srinivasan


MP, Haryana, Jharkhand enter semifinals of Senior Women’s National hockey

Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Jharkhand qualified for the semifinals of the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024 in Pune on Wednesday.

In the first quarterfinal of the day, Madhya Pradesh beat Bengal 4-3 in a shoot-out after both the teams were locked 1-1 at the end of regulation of 60 minutes.

In regulation time, Bengal took the lead in the 30th minute through a penalty corner conversion by Maxima Toppo, which was neutralised by Aishwarya Chavan (45th) from a field goal.

In the shoot-out, Chavan, Preeti Dubey and skipper Ishika Chaudhary found the net once each for Madhya Pradesh, while Anisha Dungdung, Sanjna Horo and Sushmita Panna found the target for Bengal, forcing the contest into sudden death, where Chavan was successful but Bengal’s Lily Oram failed.

In the second quarterfinal, Deepika (5th, 14th minutes) struck a brace -- first from a penalty corner and then from field play -- to hand favourites Haryana a 4-1 win over Odisha.

Besides Deepika, Indian internationals Neha Goyal (39th) and Navneet Kaur (54th) also registered their names in the scoresheet for Haryana.

Odisha’s lone strike came from the stick of Neha Lakra in the 42nd minute.

In the penultimate quarterfinal, Jharkhand edged past Mizoram 2-1 to enter the semifinals.

Deepika Soreng (27th) and Sangita Kumari (33rd) scored two field goals for Jharkhand, while India striker Lalremsiami (35th) found the net once for Mizoram.

Later in the evening, Maharashtra will take on Manipur in another final quarter final match to complete the semifinal line-up.

In the semifinals to be played on Friday, Haryana will take on Jharkhand, while Madhya Pradesh will play the winner of the final quarterfinal between Maharashtra and Manipur.



Indian Open Polo championship: Sahara Warriors beat Sujan Indian Tigers in opening match

Christ Mackenzie and Hurr Ali scored seven goals between them in guiding Sahara Warriors to an 8-4 victory over Sujan Indian Tigers in the opening league match of the Indian Open Polo championship at the Jaipur polo ground in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The results (league):
Sahara Warriors 8 (Chris Mackenzie 4, Hurr Ali 3, Vishwarupe Bajaj) bt Sujan Indian Tigers 4 (Salvador Jauretche 2, Juan Greguoli, Angad Kalaan).

- Kamesh Srinivasan

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