$25,000 ITF women’s tournament: Thandi beats Chaudhari to reach semis; Costoulas knocks out top-seed Marcinkevica

Karman Kaur Thandi sustained the Indian hopes as she put together a strong game to beat Vaidehi Chaudhari 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Tennis Project in Baliawas, on Friday.

The wiry Karman hit the big serves and unleashed her lethal forehand, but more than that, had the patience and maturity to stay composed when the flow of the game was against her.

Vaidehi had played solid to beat Ankita Raina and Humera Baharmus in the earlier rounds. She put up a fight by bouncing back from 1-5 in the first set, but Karman stepped it up when required.

In the second set, Karman pulled ahead and stayed sharp in setting up a semifinal against Punnin Kovapitukted.

The Thai, Punnin played only three games, as Shrivalli Bhamidipaty conceded the match owing to illness. The long match under the heat had perhaps got to Shrivalli and she felt sick on waking up. She mustered courage to step on court and stroked nicely as well, but could not stand for long.

In the top half, world No.3 junior, Sofia Costoulas of Belgium knocked out the top seed Diana Marcinkevica of Latvia 6-4, 6-4. In the semifinals, the 17-year-old Sofia will play Saki Imamura of Japan.


Photo of Sofia Costoulas who knocked out top seed Diana Marcinkevica in the $25,000 ITF women's tennis in Gurugram on Friday.

The Indian challenge in doubles ended when Zeel Desai in partnership with Gozal Ainitdinova of Kazakhstan was beaten 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals by the Japanese duo of Momoko Kobori and Misaki Matsuda.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

Thombare, Kulambayeva duo reach final of the $25,000 ITF Prokuplje Doubles in Serbia

Prarthana Thombare in partnership with Zhibek Kulambayeva of Kazakhstan made the doubles final of the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament in Serbia.

The Indo-Kazakh pair beat Ilona Georgiana Ghioroaie and Angelica Moratelli 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals on Friday.

In the $15,000 men’s event in Thailand, Rishi Reddy and Parikshit Somani beat the second seeds Taisei Ichikawa and Naoki Tajima of Japan 4-6, 6-3, [12-10] in the doubles semifinals.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

SHOOTING - Kumar Surendra Singh championship

Olympian Manu Bhaker was at her competitive best as she won the women’s and junior air pistol gold medals in the 20th Kumar Surendra Singh shooting championship at the Madhya Pradesh Academy in Bhopal on Friday.


Women's air pistol medallists (from left) Arshdeep Kaur, champion ManuBhaker, and Radhika Talwar. - SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


Manu, a third year student of Lady Shriram College in the Capital, did have her competition. She beat Arshdeep Kaur 16-14 for the women’s gold, when the contest went to the wire.

In the junior section, Manu beat Yuvika Tomar 16-12, sealing the issue before it could become a test of nerve once again.

Yuvika had shown her class by topping the qualification with 584, as against 573 by Manu, but the latter prevailed with her experience of competing at the highest level on a regular basis.

Shikha Narwal won the youth gold, beating Lakshita 17-13. Lakshita bagged the sub-youth gold with her qualification score of 572, as the event does not feature a final.

- Kamesh Srinivasan


Jyothi secures another medal for India in the Archery World Cup Stage-3

V. Jyothi Surekha and Abhishek Verma assured India of another medal by making it to the compound mixed team final in the Archery World Cup Stage-3 in Paris on Friday.

The seasoned duo shot consistently well as the third-ranked India, which got a first round bye, beat Puerto Rico 158-150, El Salvador 155-155 (19*-19) and last leg's silver medallist Estonia, comprising Lisell Jaatma and Robin Jaatma, 156-151 to reach the final.

India will take on fifth-ranked France in the title clash.

However, the 13th-placed Indian recurve mixed team of Ankita Bhakat and Tarundeep Rai suffered a 5-4 (20-18) loss to Kazakhstan to crash out in the first round.

In recurve men’s individual competition, Jayanta Talukdar gave a fighting performance against double Olympic and multiple World champion Woojin Kim of Korea before bowing out in the third round.

Talukdar, who beat Great Britain’s Keith Harding 7-1 and France’s Thomas Chirault 6-2, went down 6-5 to Woojin after losing the shoot-off 10-9.

Talukdar had lost to the Korean via shoot-off in the Stage-2 in Gwangju.

Neeraj Chauhan exited in the first round. Pravin Jadhav and Tarundeep Rai lost in the second.

Simranjeet Kaur was beaten in the second round, while Deepika Kumari , Ridhi Phor and Ankita Bhakat lost in the first round in recurve women’s individual competition.

-Y. B. Sarangi

Another feather in the cap for Jyothi Surekha

Andhra Pradesh State Cabinet under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy which met in Amaravati (Vijayawada) on Friday decided to recommend the post of Deputy Collector to archer V. Jyothi Surekha.

The 25-year-old Surekha is an Arjuna Awardee besides winning four silver, two bronze in World championships, one silver and five bronze in World Cups and four-times gold medallist in Asian Championship.

Currently, the Vijayawada-based archer is ranked World No.3 in compound bow category.

It may be mentioned here that champion shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth were also given similar postings for their “oustanding achievements”. And, today, the Chief Minister also felicitated Srikanth alongwith 2022 Defalympics bronze medallist Sheikh Jafreen.

The Chief Minister also directed the officials to give a suitable posting to Jafreen in the State Government. Andhra Pradesh Sports Minister R.K. Roja was also present among others.

-V V Subhrahmanyan


Diksha, Neha open with solid cards in first round in Prague

India's Diksha Dagar produced a superb finish with three birdies in a span of five holes to card a solid three-under 69 that placed her in the Top-10 after the first round of the Tipsport Ladies Czech Ladies Open.

Among other Indians, Neha Tripathi (71) was at T-29, Vani Kapoor (72) and Ridhima Dilawari (72) were at T48th and Amandeep Drall (73) at T-61.

The Spanish challenge began strongly as Teresa Diez Moliner (67) at five-under led the field all alone.

She was followed by three other Spaniards Ella Folch, Paz Marfa Sans and Luna Sobron Galmes, all of whom shot four-under 68 each to be tied second. Two other players, Johanna Gustavsson and Nicole Broch were also at four-under but were yet to complete their round.

The Deaf Olympics gold medallist Diksha, who has missed the cuts in her last two starts in the Scandinavian Mixed and then ATS London, had one birdie on the front nine to turn in one-under 35.

On the back nine, she gave away that shot with a bogey on 12th. However, three birdies on 14th, 15th and 17th ensured a fine opening day as she was lying at Tied-sixth with some golfers from the afternoon wave yet to complete.

Dagar was in the first group of the second session.

Tripathi turned in one of her best rounds ever on the Ladies European Tour as she carded one-under 71 in the first round with four birdies, two of them on Par-5s on seventh and 15th, and three bogeys.

Kapoor began the day with two sixes. She had a double on par-4 first and then a bogey on Par-5 second to go three-over after two holes.

She then fought back well with three birdies against one more bogey on the next five holes. Her action-packed front nine ended at one-over 37. She birdied 15th, bogeyed the 16th and closed with a birdie on 18th for a day’s card of 72.

Dilawari, starting on 10th, bogeyed the 12th and 13th and turned in two-over and was still two-over after 12 holes.

A birdie on par-3 13th was offset by a bogey on Par-5 fifth. She rallied with two birdies on seventh and ninth, her closing hole for a 72.

Drall turned in one-under after the front nine with a bogey on second and birdies on seventh and ninth. On the second nine, she dropped shots on 14th and 16th and carded one-over 73.



Srihari, Aneesh continue to sparkle at Singapore National Swimming C'ships

Srihari Nataraj and Aneesh Gowda continued to dazzle at the Singapore National Swimming Championships, grabbing gold medals in their respective events on the second day of the meet here on Friday.

Srihari, who is preparing for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games next month, clocked 25.69 to bag the top honours in the 50m backstroke event.

Aneesh, on the other hand, added two more medals in his kitty.

The 18-year-old won the gold in the 200m freestyle event with a time of 1:52.47 and the silver in the individual medley event, where he stopped the clock at 4:37.18.

Both Srihari and Aneesh had won gold on the opening day of the competition as well.

Suvana C Bhaskar was the third Indian swimmer who finished on top of the podium, winning a silver medal in the women's backstroke with a timing of 29.82.

The quartet of Srihari, AS Anand D. Adithya and Rama Rao Sambhavv also picked up a silver medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay with a timing of 3:26.82.