Indian sports News- September 23rdSeptember 23, 2019
Bytes: Rahul Aware wins Bronze in WCs, Gaurav Gill booked for homicide, Shubhankar Gill-Aditi Ashok in Golf, Tennis- Divij Sharan, South Africa defeats India, Apte dies, Squash Final, Sebastian Vettel wins Singapore GP for 5th time, Laxman Rawat defeats Muhammad Aif of Pakistan in Snooker, Pro Kabaddi League
YoGems makes sure that you won’t miss a thing in the field of sports, so here is a quick recap to all the happenings from the last 24 hours:
World Championships- Rahul Aware (61kg) added to India’s record medal tally at the 2019 Senior Wrestling World Championships in Nursultan, Kazakhstan on Sunday by clinching bronze. Aware beat Tyler Lee Graff (USA) 11-4 in the bronze medal bout of the non-Olympic category to earn India’s fifth medal at the event this year. The American started the bout by racing off the blocks and picking up two points in the first few seconds. But Aware steadied himself and showed good defence, before bouncing with a couple of two-point moves to take a lead 4-2 into the second period. Graff looked to start on the offensive in the second period as well but Aware’s defence came to the fore again and he launched a stunning counter attack with a series of two-pointers to take a 10-2 lead. A lost challenge from Graff’s team helped Aware take a massive nine-point lead with less than a minute to go. On Saturday, Aware had to overcome a Kazakh wrestler en route the semifinals. He lost a pacy semifinal 6-10 to Beka Lomtadze of Georgia, the European championship silver medallist. The Indian fell behind 1-8 after Lomtadze dominated the first period with his quick moves and solid defence.
St Petersburg Open- India’s Divij Sharan on Sunday claimed his fifth ATP career title after winning the St Petersburg Open doubles crown, partnering Igor Zelenay of Slovakia here. The Indo-Slovakian got past Italian pair of Matteo Berrettini and Simone Bolelli 6-3 3-6 10-8 in tie-breaker in the hard-fought summit clash that lasted for one hour and 17 minutes. This is Divij’s second title of the season after winning the Maharashtra Open in Pune earlier this year (partnering Rohan Bopanna). An ecstatic Divij dedicated the title to his mother on her birthday. “It took a while to realise we actually won the match,” he said. “It was so sudden. I would like to dedicate this win to my mother as it is her birthday today.” Divij said strong bonding between him and his partner did the trick for them in the marathon title clash.
Metz ATP Title- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the ATP tournament in Metz for the fourth time Sunday following a 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 victory over Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene. The 34-year-old Frenchman added to his wins in 2011, 2012 and 2015 in Metz by claiming the 18th title of his career. Tsonga finished 2018 ranked outside the top 200 after a year lost to injuries but will climb back into the world’s top 50 on Monday. Tsonga smacked 19 aces against Bedene and saved the only break point he faced to claim his second title of the season. He also won at Montpellier in February.
Indian Golfers- In line for his best-ever result on the European Tour, Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma had a disappointing final round as he slid from overnight tied third to finish tied 17th at the BMW PGA Championships in Wentworth, United Kingdom, on Sunday. Shubhankar had a forgettable four-over 76 in the final round to slip down the ladder. Meanwhile, Danny Willett, who had a major slump after his 2016 win at Masters, continued his superb comeback as he added the BMW PGA title to the DP World Championship he won in November last year.
Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri rounded off the week with a three-under 69 to end Tied-45th at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, USA. In the final round, Lahiri had a fine start with four birdies in the first seven holes including birdies from 22 feet, 18 feet and 11 feet. But he then bogeyed the ninth. He had another birdie on the 14th and yet another putt dropped from over 16 feet to get to five-under. Then a missed chance from 11 feet and another inside five feet.
India’s Aditi Ashok was the best Indian at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France as she shot an even par 71 in the final round to finish Tied-26th in Paris. While Aditi ended with a total of 289, Diksha Dagar (72) was Tied-43rd and Tvesa Malik (74) was Tied-63rd. American Nelly Korda shot a four-under 67 to win her first Ladies European Tour title. Korda has won two titles on the LPGA Tour and one on the Symetra Tour. Heading into the final round with a one-shot lead, Korda carded six birdies and two bogeys on a blustery final day for a total of 15-under-par to win by eight at Golf du Medoc near Bordeaux. Cline Boutier finished second while her European Solheim Cup teammate and last year’s winner Caroline Hedwall was tied for third with Joanna Klatten.
IndvsSA- India captain Virat Kohli’s bold move to bat first boomeranged on his team as Quinton de Kock (79*) spearheaded South Africa’s chase for a series-levelling nine-wicket win in the third T20 International in Bengaluru on Sunday. Kohli opted to bat after the coin landed in his favour on one of the smallest grounds, always known to favour teams chasing in the shortest format. India raced to 54 /1 in six overs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. The departure of Shikhar Dhawan gave the South Africans an opening, they dismissed eight Indian wickets for 71 runs. In their chase, South African captain de Kock looked in complete control and struck six fours and five sixes in his unbeaten 52-ball unbeaten 79. South Africa staged a strong comeback to level the three-match series 1-1 after the first game was washed out.
Brief Scores: India 134/9 (Shikhar Dhawan 36, Kagiso Rabada 3/39, Beuran Hendricks 2/14). SA 140/1 in 16.5 overs(Quinton de Kock 79 no off 52 balls).
Madhav Apte- Former India cricketer and president of Cricket Club of India Madhav Apte passed away at the Breach Candy hospital on Monday morning. He was 86. Apte, who would have turned 87 on October 5, played seven Test matches for India in the early 1950s and scored a total of 542 runs. A middle-order batsman who was converted to become an opener by Vinoo Mankad, Apte played 46 Ranji Trophy matches for Mumbai and three for Bengal.
TNCA- At least three state associations affiliated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India will keep the power in legacy families. Former BCCI president N Srinivasan will maintain his stronghold over Tamil Nadu Cricket Association with his daughter Rupa Gurunath all set to become the first woman president of a BCCI affiliated unit during its Annual General Meeting on September 26. It is highly unlikely that Srinivasan’s daughter will face any opposition with the last date for filing nomination being September 24. With Rupa taking over the reins, TNCA looks set to remain under control of the Srinivasan family, as it has been the case for the better part of the last two decades. The Committee of Administrators had set October 22 as the date for the BCCI AGM and elections and set September 28 as the deadline for the state units to conduct their elections.
Canada Challenger Final- India’s Vikram Malhotra, the top seed went down in a nerve-wracking final against the second seed Auguste Dussourd of France in the Nash Cup 2019 PSA challenger event in London, Canada on Saturday. The scoreline 6-11, 11-5, 11-4, 5-11, 11-9 is a reflection of how close the title match went. Vikram showed the enterprise early when he bounced back from a game down to go 2-1 up but the Indian could not sustain the tempo. The long duel (the match eventually went 68 minutes) also told on Vikram as he slowly began losing the grip. The French player thus made his first match with the Indian a winning one in the end. Earlier, Vikram defeated the fourth seed Leonel Cardenas of Mexico in four games 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 in a well contested semi-final. The quarter-final saw him win 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 9-11,11-3 win over Reiko Peter of Switzerland in a hard-fought encounter.
National Rally Championship- Arjuna awardee Gaurav Gill and another driver were booked on Sunday in connection with an accident during a National Rally Championship race in Barmer, Rajasthan, in which a couple and their young son were killed, police said. A police official said companies involved in the event – Maxperienace, Mahindra, JK Tyres, MRF Tyres and the Federation of Motor Sports Club of India – have also been named in the FIR. Additional Superintendent of Police Khinv Singh said the FIR was lodged at Samdari police station at 2 am on Sunday on a complaint by the deceased’s elder son Rahul. Rahul claimed that his parents were standing along the road with the motorcycle, talking to his younger brother, when Gill’s car hit them and two other cars coming from behind also crushed them. Gill and driver M Sharif were booked under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), the ASP said, adding that their names were written on the vehicle that hit the motorcycle of the deceased. Rahul alleged that there were no proper safety and security arrangements in place during the race, but Barmer Superintendent of Police Shivraj Meena said that adequate measures were adopted for the rally. Internal roads of various villages in Barmer were used as the track for the rally.
Singapore GP- Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel ended his year-long drought without a win at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday, mastering a hazy circuit to claim a record fifth triumph in the city-state. The German was chased home by teammate Charles Leclerc, who started on pole but lost the lead to the four-time world champion after making his pit stop, and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who finished third. “It was a very late call on the pit stop and I just gave it everything on the out lap. I was surprised to come out ahead and it was difficult to manage the tyres but we controlled it to the end,” Vettel told reporters.
IBSF World 6Reds: Laxman Rawat survived a spirited fightback from Pakistan’s Muhammad Asif to win 6-5 and clinch the IBSF World 6Reds title in Mandalay, Myanmar. But it was heartbreak for compatriot Amee Kamani as she lost her final against Nutcharat on Saturday. Rawat, who had defeated Pankaj Advani in the semi-final, got off to a flying start when he took a 5-1 lead in the Best of 11 frame final. But Asif wasn’t giving up and clinched the next four to level the frame scores. In the deciding frame, it was Asif who had things under control till he missed the long blue pot which would have given him an unassailable lead. Rawat then kept his nerves to pot the blue, pink and the black balls to clinch the frame and the champions’ crown. In the women’s final, Kamani put up a spirited fight against three time junior world champion Nutcharat but a mistake in potting the red ball in the sixth frame allowed her opponent to run away with the title.
AFC U-16- India played out a 1-1 draw against hosts Uzbekistan in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Sunday to finish on top of Group B and qualify for the AFC U-16 Championship to be held in Bahrain next year. India, coached by Bibiano Fernandes, finished on seven points from three matches – the same as Uzbekistan but qualified as group winners by virtue of better goal difference (+10) in comparison to the home team’s +3. India, coached by Bibiano Fernandes, finished on seven points from three matches – the same as Uzbekistan but qualified as group winners by virtue of better goal difference (+10) in comparison to the home team’s +3. Needing just a draw to top the group, India took the lead in the 68th minute when Sridarth tapped the ball home off a rebound.
Skolkovo Fide GP- Koneru Humpy held her closest competitor Wenjun Ju to a quick draw in the final round to clinch the Fide World Grand Prix title in Skolkovo with 8 points from 11 rounds. The other India in the day, D Harika finished sixth. Humpy had won four games in a row before the final round and that run meant that she only needed a draw to clinch the title. In the last round, she had the advantage of playing white against Wenjun, who is the reigning World Champion. A few players still need to finish their final games but no one can catch up to Humpy. The Grand Prix is a series of four tournaments. The top two finishers from the series will qualify for the Candidates match, which will determine the challenger for the World champion, to be held in 2021. The Top 6 were as follows- 1. Koneru Humpy (Ind) 8/11; 2. Ju Wenjun (Chn) 7.5/11; 3. Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus) 6.5/10; 4. Kateryna Lagno (Rus) 6.5/11; 5. Valentina Gunina (Rus) 5.5/10 6. D. Harika 5/11
PKL- Bengal Warriors qualified for the Pro Kabaddi Season 7 playoffs after a 41-40 win over Jaipur Pink Panthers at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Sunday. Captain Maninder Singh was the star of the show for Bengal Warriors and scored a career-best 19 raid points. The closing stages of the match saw Maninder play intelligently to ensure Jaipur Pink Panthers’ late surge went in vain as Bengal Warriors picked up the win to secure playoff qualification along with Dabang Delhi K.C. In the earlier match, U Mumba produced an all-round show to beat Gujarat Fortune giants 31-25 and moved to fourth spot. Abhishek Singh secured a Super 10 (11 raid points) for U Mumba, who were also miserly in their defence, with Surinder Singh and Harendra Kumar picking up vital points. The victory meant the Mumbai side jumped to the fourth place in the points table to consolidate their chances of making to the play-off stages.
World Championships- Simone Biles won the all-around competition at the US selection camp Sunday to confirm her spot on a fifth straight Gymnastics World Championships team. Biles, undefeated in official all-around competition for six years, will tie Kerri Strug as the only US women to compete at the worlds in five different years when she takes part in the 2019 championships in Stuttgart, Germany, next month. Biles tallied 58.55 points to prevail by .35 over Sunisa Lee. The 22-year-old had the top score on floor exercise and vault among 15 gymnasts competing in Sarasota, Florida. She opened on floor with the “triple-double” tumbling pass, the never-before-seen move featuring two flips and three twists which she debuted at the national championships in August. Biles claimed the lone automatic world championships team spot by winning the all-around. The rest of the US team will be chosen by the selection committee.