July 8, Indian sports news wrap

July 8 sports wrap: Here are all the major developments in Indian sports today.

Shubhankar Sharma of India in action.

Shubhankar Sharma of India in action. | Photo Credit: Getty Images


Sharma in top 30, Lahiri hit by wind at Scottish Open

A closing bogey pulled India’s Shubhankar Sharma down from a promising two-under to one-under in the first round of the Genesis Scottish Open here. Yet, by the time the day ended after a windy second session, Sharma found himself in top 30. He was tied 29th.

Treated to a ringside view of a stunning nine-under 61 from American Cameron Tringale, the Indian did mention that his own 69 may not be all that bad considering the conditions expected later in the day at the Renaissance Golf Club.

In the afternoon, Anirban Lahiri, searching for the form and rhythm that took him to a runner-up finish at the Players Championships, and get into next week’s Open, started from the 10th and had three birdies in a row from 12th to 14th. He had a superb three-under after five holes. However, Lahiri bogeyed the Par-5 16th and dropped a double on the difficult Par-4 18th and suffered even more with a double on the first.

A birdie on fourth was a balm of sorts, but that gain was taken away at the tough ninth in blowing wind. He ended two-over and left hoping for a better second round to stay on in the tournament.

Earlier, South Africa’s Justin Harding, who was added to the field following a stay on the ban on some of the European Tour players who played on the Liv Series Golf events, got off to a superb bogey-free 65. He was third, as Gary Woodland, a former US Open champion, opened with 6-under 64 to be second. Tringale had a 3-shot lead after 18 holes.

Lahiri said, “The conditions were not easy, but with those two doubles, I lost at least three shots. That was disappointing. Then on the second nine, the front side of the (Renaissance) course, the wind was blowing and it did not help as I backed off also once and finally ended with a bogey.” “The couple of three-putts also added to the things,” added Lahiri, who was returning to Links golf for the first time in three years.” Lahiri opened with two pars, birdied three in a row from 12th to 14th and then dropped a shot on 16th, double-bogeyed 18th and dropped a final bogey on ninth. His other birdie was on fourth.

Sharma had birdies on first, third, fifth and 11th and dropped shots on fourth, sixth and 18th.

“I played well, though the score was not as such. I started well but a couple of three-putts. I was still 2-under when I came to 18th and hit a great tee shot. But a disappointing shot from the rough ahead of the green led to a bogey on the tough 18th.” “I think I am coming back fine after some hiccups. I had a slight back problem, then changed some clubs and then after a good finish at Dutch Open, I had COVID. So the focus is also on getting my health better as I play along,” said Sharma.


Atwal shoots 2-under 70 at Barbasol Championship

Arjun Atwal produced three birdies after being 1-over through the first 12 holes in the first round of the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship.

Atwal, who turns 50 next March and then hopes to play in the Champions Tour (for over 50), is the only Indian to have won on the PGA Tour with his Wyndham success in 2010.

Atwal started on the 10th and birdied the 11th but gave back that gain on the 12th hole. Another bogey on second meant he was 1-over, but birdies on the third, fourth and eighth on what was his second nine saw him finish at 2-under 70 and T-71.

Atwal’s round would have been far better had it not been for three misses from inside eighth feet.

Canada’s Adam Svensson had two eagles in a 10-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead. He eagled the par-5 15th and eighth holes. The first eagle came after his lone bogey on No. 14, and the second — on a 31-foot putt — gave him the lead. Svenson’s best finish this season was a tie for seventh at the Sony Open in Hawaii.


Amandeep top Indian, Neha stays in hunt

Amandeep Drall, hoping to reverse the trend of missed cuts on the Ladies European Tour, opened with a steady even par 72 and was tied 38th at the end of the Estrella Damm Ladies Open golf.

Her round included a double bogey and two birdies on the back nine.

Neha Tripathi bounced back twice after a bogey-bogey start. She had five bogeys but rallied with four birdies for a more respectable 1-over 73 to be tied 51st alongside Vani Kapoor.

Vani had an eventful round which had five bogeys, but she also had an eagle on Par-5 12th besides birdies on 8th and 14th in her 73.

Tvesa Malik’s struggles continued as she shot 5-over 77 that included a triple bogey and just one birdie. She will now need a solid second round to stay in the tournament for the weekend rounds.

Diksha Dagar finished late at 2-over 74, while Ridhima Dilawari struggled to 78.

Local favourite Carlota Ciganda fired a brilliant 7-under 65 as did the in-form Jessica Karlssson of Sweden. Ciganda won this event in 2019 and lost a playoff for the title in 2017.

Ciganda and Karlsson shared the lead and were three shots ahead of the four-players pack that included Swedes Moa Folke and Elin Arvidsson, Alice Hewson and Frenchwoman Anne Lise Caudal. They shot 4-under each.

Later they were joined by England’s Georgina Blackman and Scottish golfer Michelle Thompson.



Youth National Boxing C’ships: Tamanna among four Haryana women to enter quarters

Asian champion Tamanna progressed to the women’s quarterfinals alongside three other Haryana boxers, while Vanshaj and Vishwanath Suresh shone in men’s section on the second day of the Youth National Championships in Chennai.

Living up to the expectations, Tamanna registered a resounding unanimous decision win over Manipur’s Bandana Kayenpaibam in the 50kg last-16 bout.

Neeru Khatri handed Haryana its second win in the women’s category when she blanked Andhra Pradesh’s Sravana Sandhya Kampara by 5-0 margin in the 54kg.

Prachi (60kg) and Ravina (63kg) were the other two boxers from Haryana to advance to the last eight as they secured Referee Stopping Contest (RSC) wins over Delhi’s Chanchal Neem and Gujarat’s Yashvi Patel respectively.

From Goa, Rudha Rathod (50kg) and Daniella D’Souza (57kg) entered the last 8 stage after beating Theja VP of Kerala and Megha Jani of Gujarat respectively.

West Bengal’s Tejyosini also advanced to the quarterfinals in the women’s 48kg with a win over Assam’s Sujuma Boro.

In the men’s opening round, Asian champions Vanshaj and Vishwanath led the domination of Haryana and Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) respectively.

Vanshaj put up a powerful performance to secure a RSC win against Rajasthan’s Sankalap Lavaniya in the 63.5kg category, while Ganga (51kg), Akshat (54kg), Sumit (57kg), Sahil Chauhan (71kg) and Ishan Kataria (80kg) were the other Haryana pugilists who also made winning starts.

SSCB’s all five boxers in action on the second day registered convincing victories. Vishwanath set the tone with a win against Gujarat’s Dhaval Raval in the 48kg.

Later Ashish (54kg), Nikhil Kumar (57kg), Harsh (60kg) and Ankush Panghal (67kg) maintained SSCB’s unbeaten run with dominating wins in their respective opening round contests.


Sports Minister announces digital application for cash awards, NSDF

The Union Sports Ministry has cut the red tape further in its bid to enhance transparency, accountability and speed of process, by launching web portals for cash awards to sports persons, pension scheme and also for accessing the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) or making contributions to it.

The Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur announced that the revised schemes and digital access were meant to help ‘’ease of living’’ for the sports persons, and cut the processing time to a great extent, moving towards the ideology of ‘’minimum government and maximum governance’’.

‘’The sportspersons can directly apply for welfare schemes. Earlier the proposals were received through sports federations, Sports Authority of India (SAI), which used to take considerable time for submission of the proposals. Sometimes, it used to take more than one or two years to approve the proposal. Now the applicant needs to apply online for cash award within six months from the last date of the particular event’’, said the sports minister, addressing the media on Friday.

The verification process for the cash awards have also been modified to reduce the processing time and the pension benefits have now been extended to the athletes of Deaflympics also.

The Department of Sports in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has developed web portals specifically for this purpose, and the status of application can be tracked real time through one time password (OTP) authentication on the registered mobile number.

The minister made it categorical that physical submission of applications would no longer be required and the applicants need not make rounds of the government offices to seek their rightful benefits.

The funds would also be transferred to the bank account of the applicants.

As far as the NSDF is concerned, the minister said that individuals, institutions and corporate organisations can now ‘’directly contribute for players, sports facilities and sports events through the portal’’.

‘’The website will provide easy and transparent access not only to the sportspersons but also to the CSR contributors. It will make NSDF a great success for the development of sports in the country’’, the minister said.

- Kamesh Srinivasan


Yuki, Saketh in final

Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni beat Marek Gengel and Patrik Niklas-Salminen 6-4, 7-6(4) to make the doubles final of the EUR 45,730 Challenger tennis tournament in Portugal on Friday.

In the Challenger in Colombia, top seeds Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan were beaten 6-7(2), 6-3, [10-6] by Nicolas Mejia and Andres Urrea in the doubles quarterfinals.

The results

  • USD 53,120 Challenger, Bogota, Colombia
  • Doubles (quarterfinals): Nicolas Mejia & Andres Urrea (Col) bt Sriram Balaji & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-7(2), 6-3, [10-6].
  • EUR 45,730 Challenger, Porto, Portugal
  • Doubles (semifinals): Yuki Bhambri & Saketh Myneni bt Marek Gengel (Cze) & Patrik Niklas-Salminen (Fin) 6-4, 7-6(4).
  • USD 15,000 ITF men, Monastir, Tunisia
  • Doubles (quarterfinals): Sai Karteek Reddy Ganta & Manish Sureshkumar bt Ken Cavrak & Alexander Crnokrak (Aus) 6-4, 6-4; Guy Orly Iradukunda (Bdi) & Karan Singh bt Robin Bertrand & Mathieu Scagila (Fra) 6-3, 3-6, [11-9].

Asian under-14 tournament

Tavish Pahwa played a fine all round game to beat Prakaash Sarran 6-4, 6-2 in the boys final of the Asian under-14 tennis tournament at the Tennis Project, Baliawas, on Friday.

In an entertaining contest, Tavish recovered from being down 1-4 in the opening set to get a firm grip over the proceedings, against a strong opponent.

The hero of India’s triumph in the South Asian under-12 championship in Kathmandu, when he won both his singles and doubles matches against Pakistan in the final, Tavish was light on his feet right through the match and was quite crafty in constructing his points. He came up with forceful shots into vacant space, whenever required.

Prakaash, son of former national women’s champion Archana Venkataraman, had the game and strength but not the physical fitness to match his opponent who was quick on court.

Tavish went on to clinch a double crown, by winning the doubles title in partnership with Om Verma.

In the girls final, second seed Aleena Farid overcame a late surge by wild card Vennela Gaarugupati for a 6-2, 6-4 victory. Aleena, coached by her father Farid Alam in Kolkata, did not drop a set in the whole tournament.

Aleena also won the doubles title in partnership with Hirwa Rangani, making the event doubly memorable for herself.

The results (finals):

Boys: Tavish Pahwa bt Prakaash Sarran 6-4, 6-2.

Doubles: Tavish Pahwa & Om Verma bt Aarav Chawla & Mohd. Shees 5-7, 6-2, [10-5].

Girls: Aleena Farid bt Vennela Gaarugupati 6-2, 6-4

Doubles: Aleena Farid & Hirwa Rangani bt Snigdha Ruhil & Ridhima Singh 6-1, 6-2.

- Kamesh Srinivasan

AITA Women’s tournament

Qualifier Sonal Patil beat fourth seed Hitakamya Singh Narwal 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 in the final of the Rs.100,000 AITA women’s tennis tournament at the Joygaon Academy on Friday.

It was the second singles title on the trot over a fortnight for Sonal at the same venue. Both times she came through the qualifying event to
emerge champion.

The results (final): Sonal Patil bt Hitakamya Singh Narwal 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

- Kamesh Srinivasan

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