Seasoned archer Jayanta Talukdar caused two upsets in a row before crashing out of the recurve men’s individual competition in the Archery World Cup Stage-4 in Medellin, Colombia, on Friday.
Talukdar, who was placed 25th in the ranking round, saw off Olympics bronze medallist Mexico’s Luis Alvarez 6-0 (28-27, 30-28, 29-28) in the first round and American superstar and multiple World and Olympic medallist Brady Ellison 6-4 (29-27, 28-28, 30-29, 28-29, 29-29) in the second.
However, Talukdar lost to another American Matthew Requa 6-4 (26-29, 26-25, 29-28, 28-30, 30-26) in the third round. A ‘7’ in the second set spoiled Talukdar’s campaign.
Kapil and Aditya Choudhary exited in the first round.
Dipti Kumari, who got the better of compatriot Aditi Jaiswal 6-0 in the opening round, was beaten by Italian Tatiana Andreoli 6-5 (10-8) in the second round of the recurve women’s individual competition. Ishita made it to the second round, while Komalika Bari’s campaign ended in the first.
The 12th-ranked Indian recurve mixed team, consisting of Talukdar and Dipti, beat Argentina 6-0 before losing to fifth-placed Mexico 6-0.
The compound mixed side, ranked fifth, defeated Brazil 155-139. It was edged out by USA 153-153 (20-19) in the following round.
India finished the fourth stage without any medal.
- Y. B. Sarangi
Sharan-Raja pair reaches Indianapolis Challenger final
Divij Sharan and Purav Raja won 3-6, 6-3, [10-8] against the third-seeded all-American pair of Robert Galloway and Alex Lawson to reach the final of the $53,120 Challenger event in Indianapolis on Friday.
Vaidehi Chaudhari reached the third singles final of her career on the ITF circuit with a 6-3, 7-6 (11) win over Korean Dayeon Back in the $15k event in Monastir, Tunisia.
The 22-year-old Indian has previously lost to compatriot Rutuja Bhosale and Thailand’s Punnin Kovapitukted in the finals of $15k events in Solapur and Gurugram, respectively.
Second-seeded Vaidehi will take on unseeded Indonesian Prisca Madelyn Nugroho in the summit clash on Sunday.
On the men’s side, Manish Sureshkumar made it to the $15k final in Colombo after beating second-seeded Ukrainian Eric Vanshelboim 4-6, 6-0, 6-3. The Indian will meet top seed Quentin Folliot of France in the final.
However, Manish and Parikshit Somani lost the all-Indian doubles final 5-7, 3-6 to S D Prajwal Dev and Rishi Reddy.
- Team Sportstar
Birbal Wadhera gauges best Indian juniors in Europe
It has been an eye-opener for two of India’s best under-14 tennis players, Aishwarya Jadhav and Arnav Paparkar, in Europe, as part of the Asian team.
In three weeks of tournaments in France, the Indian players have struggled to win matches in the main draw. With the two players set to compete in the World Junior Tennis finals in Prostejov, Czech Repulic, after another week of tournament in Germany, coach Birbal Wadhera, felt that the players were getting better in terms of finding ways to match the Europeans.
‘’I am happy that the Grand Slam Development Fund is being used to give European exposure to the best Asian players. Arnav and Aishwarya have been quite positive in facing the challenge and trying to adapt to the conditions. They are practising with different players and going through physical fitness sessions, as they are keen to capitalise on the opportunity.
The mindset is changing. Tactically, there are no issues. But handling the pace of the Europeans who are hitting so hard at the age of 14 and with consistency, is what our players are trying to cope with’’, observed Birbal Wadhera who is part of the Asian team with two other coaches from Thailand and Kazakhstan.
The coach felt that both Arnav and Aishwarya needed to work on their speed, agility and other fitness aspects. ‘’It will help, if our players can get regular exposure to such high quality competition. As a coach, I have been able to learn a lot by working with our Asian players and observing the Europeans. I am able to tell them the importance of yoga and meditation’’, said Birbal.
With most of the Indian players learning their basics on the hard courts, Birbal felt that having a lot of tournaments on clay till the age of 16 could help strengthen the basics for Indian players and help them grow stronger.’
- Kamesh Srinivasan
AITA National series juniors
Aryan Arora and Asmi Adkar won the boys and girls titles respectively in the AITA National series junior tennis tournament at the Joygaon Academy on Saturday.
Aryan beat Jason David 9-4, while Asmi beat Laxmi Sri Dandu 9-5 in the finals. Referee Himanshu Malik was happy to complete the tournament despite heavy rain intervention, even though it meant reducing the match format from best of three sets to best of 17 games
- Kamesh Srinivasan