ATHLETICS

Qosanov International: Abha shocks national record holder Manpreet

Abha Khatua shocked National record holder Manpreet Kaur as she won the women’s shot put gold in the Qosanov international athletics meet, a World Athletics Continental Tour (Bronze) event, at Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Khatua had a best effort of 16.71m while Manpreet, who improved her national record to 18.06m at the recent inter-State Nationals in Chennai which got her a place in the Commonwealth Games team, had a foul-ridden series and could only manage a poor 14.24m with her lone legal throw.

Meanwhile, R. Vithya Ramraj clocked a personal best of 56.87s for the women’s 400m hurdles gold while T. Santhosh Kumar (men’s 400m hurdles) and Muhammed Anas, the 400m national record holder with 45.21s, also clocked season-best times.

Kiran Pahal took the women’s 400m title in 52.54s, a time which was close to her best in national meets this season, while Summy, a 4x400m mixed relay bronze medallist at last year’s under-20 Worlds in Nairobi, clocked a season-best 53.70s.

Meanwhile, Muhammed Anees (men’s long jump), Kirpal Singh (men’s discus throw), Navjeet Kaur (women’s discus) and K.M. Chanda (women’s 1500m) were among the seven Indian gold winners on the opening day of the two-day meet. And that was mainly because the rest of the field was mediocre.

- Stan Rayan

FOOTBALL

India U-17 women's team suffers 1-3 loss against Chile

The Indian U-17 women's team suffered a 1-3 loss against Chile in its second match in the four-nation tournament despite an improved performance.

The women's side came into this match after haplessly going down to the Italian side 0-7 in the opening fixture. Despite a slow start by both the teams in the initial stages, it was India that got a chance to snatch an early lead through defender Naketa, whose long-ranger free-kick failed to put the Chileans in a spot of bother.

In the 11th minute, Chile found a breakthrough in the 11th minute through Katerine Ramos, who inflicted a blow to the Indians.

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While the Indians tried to bounce back quickly and were in search of an equaliser, Chile doubled their lead in the 19th minute, through a clinical header from Maitte.

With the first half ending 2-0 in favour of Chile, India came out after the break and looked desperate to restore parity.

With an uphill task in hand, the Indians reduced the deficit and made it 1-2 when a ball from Neha landed at the feet of Kajol, and the latter skillfully headed the ball into the back of the goal in a flash.

However, despite a much-needed goal, the Indian side's aspirations were soon dashed when, in the 67th minute, Chile's Ambar Rolino made it 3-1, putting a final nail in the coffin.

The remainder of the game saw the Indians maintaining their attack but it was the Chileans who walked out of the field as victors.

-PTI

GOLF

Aditi Ashok rallies to make cut at Women’s PGA

Indian golfer Aditi Ashok bounced back in time for two birdies in the last three holes for a round of 1-under 71 and sneaked inside the cut line at the Women's PGA Championship.

Aditi, who is trying to improve her results at the Majors, shot 76 in the first round and seemed in danger of missing the cut as she was 1-over after 15 holes. But, two birdies in the last three holes kept her alive in the tournament at the Congressional Country Club. At 3-over, she was T-54 as 72 players made the cut.

Aditi had two sets of back-to-back birdies on seventh and eighth and 16th and 17th against bogeys on second and third and the 15th. Her disastrous first round had two birdies, two bogeys and back to back double bogeys on second and third in a card of 76.

She now has two more rounds to repair the damage and try to complete a good finish.

In Gee Chun recovered from a couple of bogeys on the front nine and shot a 3-under 69 in the second round to increase her lead to six strokes at the tournament's halfway point. Chun led by five after the first round, equalling the biggest 18-hole advantage in the history of women's major championships.

Bogeys at Nos. 7 and 8 in the second round prevented her from pulling even further ahead, but she was still very impressive.

Lydia Ko (67) and Jennifer Kupcho (68) were second. Kupcho took the first major of the season in early April at the Chevron Championship and won a playoff on Sunday in Michigan for her second LPGA Tour title.

Caroline Inglis (68) was another stroke back at 4-under, along with Brooke Henderson (69), Hannah Green (69), Sei Young Kim (69) and Jennifer Chang (70).

If the first day was wet and put the course's length into focus, the second day was a clear, warm day.

U S Women's Open champion Minjee Lee (68) was with Lexi Thompson at 3 under. Defending women's PGA champion Nelly Korda.

- PTI

Travelers Championship: Third straight missed cut for Lahiri, Schauffele in lead

 Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri’s challenge at the Travelers Championship ended at the halfway stage as he double bogeyed twice on the back nine to miss the cut in Cromwell.

Lahiri had four birdies, three bogeys and two doubles during his round of 3-over 73. Putt alongside his first round of even par, he ended 3-over for 36 holes and missed the cut by five shots.

The cut was applied at 2 under, with 2017 winner Jordan Spieth (1-over) also missing out along with Sam Burns (even par), Zach Johnson (4 over) and Jason Day (6 over).

It was the third straight missed cut for Lahiri, who previously exited from the US PGA Championship and the Memorial soon after a run of four Top-15 finishes in five starts.

Olympic champion Xander Schauffele shot his second straight 7-under 63 to take a five-stroke lead. He shot a 31 on the front nine at TPC River Highlands with four birdies, then had a 32 on the back, making birdies on 11, 14 and 17.

Schauffele has hit 33 of 36 greens in regulation and is the only player bogey free for two rounds.

Kevin Kisner (64), Nick Hardy (64), defending champion Harris English (65), Cam Davis (66) and Patrick Cantlay (67) were tied for second at 9-under. First-round leaders Rory McIlroy and J T Poston followed opening 62s with 70s to drop six strokes back.

Leader Schauffele played one group ahead of McIlroy, who was still leading by a stroke at 13 under before getting into a mess on the 12th hole.

McIlroy hit his tee shot left and out of bounds into the woods, then found the deep rough to the right on his next shot. He put the ball into a green-side bunker from there, then chipped out short of the green and into the rough again, before finishing with a quadruple bogey.

By the end of the hole, he was trailing by three strokes and then found more trouble on the 15th, where he had a double.

A birdie on 16 was some consolation and his birdie putt lipped out on 18. Despite losing six shots, he was still T-7.

- PTI

Diksha assured of cut at Czech Ladies Open, 4 Indians yet to finish

India's Diksha Dagar overcame a double bogey on the back nine to make the cut at the Tipsport Czech Ladies Open golf tournament here.

The left-handed Olympian, who also won the Deaf Olympic gold medal recently, shot two-over 74 on top of her fine first round of three-under 69 to be at one-under for 36 holes.

She was lying T-36 though almost half the field was yet to complete the second round.

The cut was likely at even par.

Two of the four Indian golfers had just begun their second round.

Neha Tripathi, who was one-under in the first round, began with a par, while Vani Kapoor, who shot even par on the first day began with a birdie on the second.

Ridhima Dilawari, even par in the first round, also began with a par. Amandeep Drall, who was one-over on the first day had also begun with a par.

Diksha had a bogey on fourth, a double on 11th and a birdie on 16th in her card of 74.

Danish star Nicole Broch (65-67) stayed in the lead and was joined by amateur Emma Spitz (66-66) and they were both 12-under.

Local Czech amateur Jana Melichova (68-65) and Czech pro Klara Spilkova (68-65) were tied for third at 11-under. Spain's Luna Sobron Galmes (68-69) was fifth at seven-under.

Half the field was yet to finish their second round.

-PTI

TENNIS

ITF Women's Tennis

Karman Kaur Thandi unleashed a high percentage of her best game to outwit the gutsy Punnin Kovapitukted 6-2, 6-3 in the semifinals of the USD 25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament at the Tennis Project, Baliawas, Gurugram, on Saturday.

Karman-Kaur-Thandi

Karman Kaur Thandi made the final of the USD 25,000 ITF women's tennis tournament in Gurugram on Saturday with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Punnin Kovapitukted. - KAMESH SRINIVASAN

 

Serving strong and stroking with intensity into the corners, the 24-year-old Karman exasperated her diminutive opponent who tried her best to make a better fight of it.

In the final, the eighth-seeded Karman will face the 17-year-old world No. 3 junior, Sofia Costoulas of Belgium who played an energetic game to beat Saki Imamura of Japan 6-2, 6-4.

Saki did have the consolation of winning the doubles title later in the evening, in partnership with Priska Madelyn Nugroho of Indonesia.

The wiry Karman, playing in her third tournament on return from an injury layoff, was able to put together a game that had seen her climb to World No. 196 in the world in 2018. Incidentally, Karman’s only singles title in the professional circuit was won that year in Hong Kong, when she had blasted the top seed - Jia JIng Lu of China - 6-1, 6-2 in the final.

Karman had two aces and seven double faults in the match. She was not too pleased with her first serve percentage, and made it a point to hit a few serves after the match before leaving the court. She converted five of 11 break points while the Thai succeeded in converting two of seven break points.

After a competitive first round against Sahaja Yamalapalli whom she beat in three sets, Karman has kept improving with each round, sharpening her game, despite the energy sapping conditions. "I am happy to be in the final. I am looking for more consistency with the quality of my game," said Karman who trains with long-time coach Aditya Sachdeva at the RoundGlass Academy in Chandigarh.

It should be a cracker of a contest when Karman takes on Sofia as both have an explosive game.

- Kamesh Srinivasan

Riya Sachdeva wins AITA tennis tournament

Qualifier Riya Sachdeva beat Bhakti Shah 7-5, 6-2 in the final of the Rs.100,000 AITA women’s tennis tournament at the Haryana Sports Complex, Sector-12.

It was a commendable run by the 15-year-old Riya, a student of Modern School, Barakhamba Road, and a trainee of the National Tennis Centre. The youngest participant, Riya did not drop a set  in the whole tournament.

In fact, Riya dropped only 22 games in all in negotiating seven matches in all, including two in the qualifying event.

- Kamesh Srinivasan

Rishi, Parikshit lose ITF final in Thailand

Rishi Reddy and Parikshit Somani were beaten 6-4, 6-4 by Pruchya Isarro and Thantub Suksumrarn in the doubles final of the $15,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament in Thailand on Saturday.

- Kamesh Srinivasan

SHOOTING

Omkar shines on final day of Kumar Surendra Singh Shooting Championship

Omkar Singh won the centre fire pistol gold with a score of 583 in the 20th Kumar Surendra Singh shooting championship which concluded at the Madhya Pradesh Academy, Bhopal, on Friday.

The Navy marksman beat Olympian Gurpreet Singh by three points for the gold. Pradhyuman Singh won the bronze one point ahead of Rajkanwar Singh Sandhu and Anish Bhanwala. Olympic silver medallist in rapid fire pistol and Asian Games medalist in centre fire pistol, Vijay Kumar placed eighth with 576.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

SWIMMING

Aneesh Sunilkumar Gowda, Mihir Ambre and Siva Sridhar won golds in the Singapore National swimming championships on Saturday.

-Stan Rayan