September 3, Indian sports wrap

Here are all the major developments from Indian sports on September 3, 2022.

Representative Image

Representative Image | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Here are all the major developments from Indian sports on September 3, 2022.

SHOOTING

ISSF Worlds: Varun Tomar replaces Sarabjot Singh in junior team

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) was compelled to replace the entry of Sarabjot Singh in junior air pistol team for the World Championship, with Varun Tomar, owing to age constraints.

As per the rules, a shooter has to be under-21 on the opening day of the championship, to be eligible to compete in the junior section. Sarabjot will be 21 on September 20. The World Championship is scheduled from October 12 to 28 in Cairo, Egypt.

Quite interestingly, even for the men’s team, it is three juniors, Shiva Narwal, Naveen and Vijayveer Sidhu who will represent the country in the World Championship.

Sarabjot has already won a string of gold medals in the junior World Championship, World Cups and Asian Championships.

The seventh placed shooter in the junior ranking list, Varun Tomar will be making his international debut in the junior section of the World Championship.

The NRAI will be sending the entries for the World Championship by September 12 deadline.

-Kamesh Srinivasan

GOLF

Aditi Ashok misses cut at Dana Open on LPGA

India's Aditi Ashok had another disappointing day as she crashed out of the Dana Open after carding two-over 73 in the second round here.

Aditi, who shot five-over on the first day, needed a low score on the second, but she found the going tough once again and exited early with a total of seven-over.

The cut fell at one-under.

Aditi, who is currently 89th on the Race to CME Globe, the Order of Merit on LPGA, was missing her fifth cut in the last six starts on the LPGA.

Two-time Epson Tour winner Lucy Li took the lead after a sensational seven-under 64, which tied a career-low she first set earlier this season.

Li jumped into the top spot on the Dana Open with a score of 10-under overall and leads the field by two. Li needed 25 putts to get around Highland Meadows Golf Club.

Li earned her way into this week's field with her tie for a ninth finish at the CP Women's Open and is the only one in the field to be bogey-free through 36 holes.

The 19-year-old, who clinched her 2023 LPGA Tour card via the Epson Tour with her wins at the Carolina Golf Classic and Twin Bridges Championship along with four additional top-10 finishes could become an LPGA Member immediately with a win on Sunday.

Chasing her at 8-under and in a tie for second are 2022 Tour rookie Ruoning Yin and two-time LPGA Tour winner Carlota Ciganda. Both shot 2-under 69s.

Yin's two-day total of 134 surpassed her previous 36-hole record by six shots. Ciganda's only bogey of the event came on No. 5, but her third birdie of the day on No. 9 helped even out the over-par hole.

Five players sit in a tie for fourth at 7-under, including defending champion Nasa Hataoka, who carded a five-under 66 in the second round. Major champion Hannah Green is among seven players tied for ninth.

-PTI

Shubhankar, Aman Gupta make cut in Denmark

Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma endured a torrid back nine, that included a double bogey on the 18th hole, but still made the cut at the Made in HimmerLand tournament on the European Tour, here.

Looking for a good finish over the weekend, he is currently T-61 with rounds of 68-70 and a total of 4-under after the second round.

Sharma had a great start to the event on the first nine of the first round but has slipped since then. He had four birdies in the first 10 holes and then dropped a shot on the 12th and gave away a double bogey on the 18th, Also making the cut at 4-under was Indian American Aman Gupta (70-68) at T-61. Gupta had five birdies, four bogeys and an eagle, his second in as many days.

Ross McGowan will take a one-stroke lead into the weekend after the Englishman holed a 12-foot birdie putt at the final hole to edge ahead of the pack in Denmark.

The two-time DP World Tour winner had also birdied his final hole on day one to hold the first-round lead, and he opened with a birdie at the first in round two - the first of six in a five-under front nine - before a one-under back nine of 34 earned him a six-under round of 65.

That moved him to a 15 under total, one clear of his compatriot Richard Mansell and Italy's Francesco Laporta, both of whom have carded back-to-back 64s for 14 under totals.

Marcus Helligkilde and Soren Kjeldsen lead the home charge as the Danes share fourth place with England's Tom Lewis and in-form Scot Ewen Ferguson on 12 under, three shots off the pace.

-PTI

Four Indian women golfers make the cut in Finland

The Indian quartet of Diksha Dagar, Vani Kapoor, Amandeep Drall and Tvesa Malik made the cut at the Aland 100 Ladies Open here.

Diksha (72-73) was the best-placed Indian at T-10.

The Indians missing out on the cut were Ridhima Dilawari (74-79) and Neha Tripathi (80-76).

Rookies Lisa Pettersson (73-66) and Ana Pelaez Trivino (71-68) sit tied atop the leaderboard with a one-shot lead heading into the final round.

Vani (72-76) and Diksha had contrasting fortunes in the second round.

Diksha rolled in 17 pars and had one bogey, while Vani had two double bogeys, three bogeys and three birdies in a roller-coaster round to be T-30.

Amandeep (74-75) was lying T-36 as Tvesa (75-77) squeezed inside the cut line at T-59.

Pettersson fired a six-under 66 in the second round on Friday, while Pelaez Trivino, the highest ranked player in the field at eighth on the Race to Costa del Sol, shot a 68.

The pair stand at five-under-par after 36 holes ahead of Anne-Charlotte Mora, Sofie Bringner and Emma Spitz, who carded rounds of 70, 71 and 72 respectively.

A win by Pettersson would mark the third LET Rookie to win this season, following Pelaez Trivino, who won her first title at the Comunidad de Madrid Ladies Open in May and Linn Grant, who has won four times this year.

Mora, Bringner and Spitz are also looking for their first wins on tour, as are Anais Maggetti and Isabella Deilert, who are tied for sixth on 2-under-par.

Spitz, who made her professional debut last week at the Skafto Open in Sweden, would have the option to take up LET membership if she were to win tomorrow.

The eighth player on the leaderboard is Finland’s own Ursula Wikstrom, who has three runner-up finishes in this tournament and is four strokes off the lead on one-under-par. She is also looking for her maiden win in her 296th start and 19th year on tour.

-PTI

TENNIS

Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni won the €45,730 Rafa Nadal Open Challenger tennis tournament in Spain on Saturday.

The third-seeded Indian pair cruised past Marek Gengel and Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-2 in the final.

Yuki and Saketh had beaten the top seeds in the semifinals after dropping the first set, the only set they dropped on way to the title.

It was the fifth Challenger title for the season for Yuki and Saketh as a pair. They had also won the ITF titles in Bhopal and Delhi. Saketh had won another Challenger with Ramkumar Ramanathan at the start of the season in Bengaluru. He is set to break into the top 100 in doubles ranking.

In the $15,000 ITF women’s event in Tunisia, Jennifer Luikham won her maiden professional title, in partnership with Honoka Kobayashi of Japan.

The results
$45,730 Challenger, Manacor, Spain Doubles (final): Yuki Bhambri & Saketh Myneni bt Marek Gengel & Lukas Rosol (Cze) 6-2, 6-2; Semifinals: Yuki & Saketh bt Marco Bortolotti (Ita) & SErgio Martos Gornes (Esp) 2-6, 7-6(5), [10-5].
$25,000 ITF men, Setubal, Portugal Doubles (semifinals): Fabio Coelho & Jaime Faria (Por) w.o. Elliot Benchetrit (Mar) & Sasikumar Mukund.
$15,000 ITF men, Monastir, Tunisia Singles (semifinals): Constantin Bittoun Kouzmine (Fra) bt Rishab Agarwal 6-3, 6-1.
Doubles (semifinals): Anis Ghorbel & Aziz Ouakaa (Tun) bt Bharath Kumaran & Karan Singh 6-3, 6-3.
$15,000 ITF men, Daegu, Korea Doubles (final): Cheong-Eui Kim & Jea Moon Lee (Kor) bt Palaphoom Kovapitukted (Tha) & Adil Kalyanpur 6-7(7), 6-4, [10-8].
$15,000 ITF women, Monastir, Tunisia Doubles (final): Honoka Kobayashi (Jpn) & Jennifer Luikham bt Anastasia Iamachkine (Per) & Teja Tirunelveli (US) 6-3, 0-6, [10-5].

-Kamesh Srinivasan

Volleyball

HC directs KOA to send KSSC’s volleyball team for National Games

Some of the country’s top volleyball stars could be back in the Kerala team for the National Games which begin in Gujarat later this month.

The Kerala High Court has passed an interim order, issued by Judge V.G. Arun, directing the Kerala Olympic Association (KOA) to withdraw the list of players selected by the Kerala State Volleyball Association (KSVA) for the National Games and to send the team picked by the State Volleyball Technical Committee formed by the Kerala State Sports Council (KSSC).

The KSVA had picked its team mainly based on performances in the senior Nationals and the Federation Cup held earlier this year. But since the Volleyball Federation of India’s recognition was suspended by the Union Sports Ministry during that period, these championships were not recognised events.

That was also the time when the country’s and Kerala’s finest volleyball players were in action in the Prime Volleyball League, organised by a private body.

Kerala’s leading players were forced to move court when the KOA decided to send the team picked by the KSVA for the National Games. The KSSC also suspended KSVA’s recognition in October 2021.

But now, the High Court’s order offers fresh hope for the State’s stars.

-Stan Rayan

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