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Good showing by Junior Archers at the Asia Cup Stage-1

Harpal Singh Bedi

 

New Delhi: Indian Junior archers  gave a heartwarming display of their talent as they  bagged 7 medals including 3 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals  at the  Asia Cup World Ranking Archery Stage-1 which concluded  in Bangkok on Monday. 

18 years old – Muskan Kirar performed exceedingly well , winning  four medals- two Golds, one silver and one bronze medal. She emerged “Individual Champion” in Compound women category by registering victory over Malaysian Archer by 147 Vs 142. After defeating Thailand Archer in pre-quarter final in a tie-breaker (143 -143). She gained incredible confidence and defeated archer from  Bangladeshi (144-141) in quarter final and Iran (146-144) in semi-final.

 

The  promising trio  – Siddhant Gupta, Vedant Anil Wankhade and Vikas  snatched  Gold from Iran with a margin of 3 points (233 Vs 230) in Compound Men division. Before this, they eliminated Malaysia (230 Vs229) in Semi-final and Indonesia (231 Vs 216) in quarter final.

 

Recurve Duo- Yashdeep Bhoge and Ankita Bhagat  first on top  by winning another Gold in mixed team defeating Myanmar (6-2). They defeated China (5-4) and Mangolia (5-3) in semi and quarter finals respectively.

 

However Compound Women Team of Muskan Kirar, Sanchita Tiwary and Priya Gurjar lost to Malaysian team (226 Vs 230)  in the final and took Silver.. They crossed the barricades of semi and quarter final upsetting the challenge of Bangladesh (233 Vs 216) and Vietnam (225 Vs 208) in one sided matches.

 

Recurve Women Team of Ankita Bhakat, Himani and Premilaben Baria lost the final against a strong Chinese Team in a set format (0-6) and settled with Silver. To reach final, they crushed Russian (6-0) and Kazakhstan (5-4) teams.

Compound Mixed Tam – Muskan Kirar and Siddhant Gupta bagged bronze medals.

Archery Association of India (AAI) president  BVP Rao, hailed the performance of the junior  for their spectacular performance in the Asia Cup Stage-1 in Bangkok.

this is a very good sign for Indian Archery and an excellent morale booster for the teams too as they are working very hard for the Youth World Championship slated in 2019” he said

The archery team was ably supported by NTPC Limited ensuring a shining result at the archery meet which concluded today.

The support of NTPC to promote the ancient game of India was well appreciated Rao, who thanked NTPC Limited for coming forward to support the association.

 Speaking on the stupendous success of the junior team, the NTPC spokesperson said, “NTPC Limited and Archery Association of India (AAI) have come together for a three years partnership with a common vision of supporting the sports persons in winning medals at the Olympic Games, Asian Games and other top-level international events of Archery.”

 India retain ICC test Championship  Mace

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Virat Kohli

Dubai: India have retained the ICC Test Championship Mace and won the purse of $ 1 million for a third year running after finishing at the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings on the cut-off date of 1 April, while New Zealand have ensured second place.

 

A top place finish was never in doubt for India, captained by Virat Kohli, the number one Test batsman in the world while New Zealand’s consistent performances over the past year saw them climb from third position, needing them to only avoid losing the home series against Bangladesh last month to finish at the same position.

 

The Kane Williamson-led side, who also had the satisfaction of seeing their captain get the ICC Spirit of Cricket award for 2018, earnt $ 500,000 after finishing with 108 points, eight behind India.

 

South Africa, who had finished second the previous two times, will now get a prize money of $200,000 for finishing third with 105 points while Australia who edged out England on decimal points at 104 points bag $100,000.

 

International Cricket Council chief executive Manu Sawhney congratulated the Indian team while reiterating the importance of Test cricket and looking forward to the start of the ICC World Test Championship later this year.

 

ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney: “I congratulate India on retaining the ICC Test Championship Mace and appreciate the passion Virat Kohli’s team has shown across formats over the past few years. It takes so much dedication and determination to consistently perform at the highest level in Test cricket.

 

“Test cricket has been enjoying a purple patch over the last couple of years with more positive results than ever and a genuine competitive balance between nations. The World Test Championship gets underway in August and will give fans greater context for all Test cricket providing an undisputed conclusion to some of the most renowned cricket rivalries in the international game.

 

“Nine Test nations will compete across 27 series and 71 Test matches to reach the ICC World Test Championship Final in 2021 where the World Test Champions will be crowned.”

 

India captain Virat Kohli said: “Retaining the ICC Test Championship Mace once again is something we are all really proud of. Our team has been doing well across formats but it gives us extra pleasure to come out on top of the Test rankings. We all know of the importance of Test cricket and of how only the best can prosper in the format.

 

“Our team has a lot of depth and I am sure this will stand us in good stead once the ICC World Test Championship commences later this year. That is again something we are really looking forward to as it adds more context to Test match cricket.”

 

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said: “It’s an awesome achievement for our side to finish second in the ICC Test Team Rankings and as a team we should be very proud. It’s come off the back of a lot of hard work and perseverance; not just by the eleven guys on the field, but the entire squad and support staff.

 

“It’s been especially pleasing to see the consistency we’ve shown in the longest form of the game over a decent period of time. We’re now all really looking forward to the ICC World Test Championship getting underway and the added context the competition will bring.”

MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings (as of 1 April 2019):

 

  RANK  TEAM              POINTS

1.      India                 116

2.      New Zealand    108

3.      South Africa      105

4.      Australia           104

5.      England            104

6.      Sri Lanka           93

7.      Pakistan            88

8.      Windies             77

9.      Bangladesh       69

10.   Zimbabwe         13

 

Also played: Afghanistan (two matches, one win, one loss, 25 points) and Ireland (two matches, two losses, no points), who will qualify for a full ranking after playing six more matches each.

 

Manu Sawhney  is  the  new Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council

 

Manu Sawhney

Manu Sawhney on Monday took over as the  Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council.

Sawhney has been working alongside the outgoing Chief Executive David Richardson for the last six weeks to ensure a smooth transition for the organization.

Richardson will remain with the ICC until July as originally planned to oversee the delivery of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

Commenting on his appointment Sawhney said: “I am absolutely delighted to be taking over the reins from David, who has steered the sport so capably over the last seven years. I am pleased to say he will continue to lead the delivery of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 and there is no better person to ensure the event is the greatest celebration of cricket ever.

“I am excited by the opportunities ahead and I am looking forward to working in partnership with our Members, partners and staff to ambitiously accelerate the global growth of the game. Technology, engagement, women’s cricket and driving greater value are key focus areas for us as we consider how we can innovate to transform the sport’s long-term future and create a vibrant and sustainable sport globally.

Richardson added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the ICC and I am pleased with what we have achieved in recent times particularly in creating greater context for all formats of the game.

“The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup is the perfect point at which to move on and I am privileged to be able to lead the delivery of this event and I know it will do our sport proud.

“I’d like to wish Manu and the team all the very best of luck for the future.” he added

Axelsen dashes Srikanth’s hopes wins Yonex Indian Open Badminton, Ratchanok Intanon is Women’s champion

Harpal Singh Bedi

Viktor Axelsen at the presentation ceremony of Yonex Sunrise India Open 2019

New Delhi: Kidambi Srikanth’s hopes of regaining the title went up in smoke as Viktor Axelsen outpaced the Indian 7-21,20- 22 to win the Yonex-Sunrise India Open Badminton here on Sunday.

Kidambi Srikanth is runners up at the Yonex Sunrise India Open 2019.

In a rematch of the 2015 final, the Dane saved a couple of game points in the second game to get his second title after his 2017 win.

On the other hand Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon created history by becoming the first women’s singles shuttler to win the title three times when she beat the third seed He Bingjiao 21-15, 21-14.

With this, she also emulated the Lee Chong Wei’s record to become second singles player to taste glory thrice at India’s premier badminton event, with her earlier victories coming in 2013 and 2016.

World No. 4 Viktor Axelsen, who reached the All England Open final this month, was too strong and too powerful for the home hope in the first game as Srikanth struggled to find his rhythm.

The precision and firepower from Axelsen thoroughly overwhelmed the 2015 champion, allowing the Dane to build a huge 10-point advantage at 17-7 before pocketing the first game.

Amid vociferous cheers from the crowd, the Indian finally settled in in a very tight second game. By attacking from the front court and using his body smashes to perfection, the World No. 7 made the score equal at 12-12. With the two deadlocked in the second game, the Indian even carved out a couple of game points to go up to 20-18.

However, a dropshot from the Indian went wide after that and the second seeded Axelsen made no mistake in saving the other to get his first match point which he duly converted after 36 minutes of play.

“I think I gave him too many chances in the first set to attack and tried avoiding that in the second. I did fairly well at the 20th point, maybe if tif there would have been a decider, I would have had much better chances,” said Srikanth after the match.

Ratchanok Intanon created history by becoming the first women’s singles shuttler to win the title three times at the Yonex Sunrise India Open 2019

In women section Ratchanok started slow against the seventh ranked Chinese, whom she had never beaten in four previous meetings. With Bingjiao cruising at 9-6, the Thai banked on her experience to turn the tables on her rival.

Using her speed and aggression, she drew level at 14-14 and then started targeting the corners to make life difficult for the Chinese. Bingjiao, who had accounted for PV Sindhu in the semi-finals, looked pretty subdued since then and struggled to keep up with the Thai’s pace and accuracy.

After taking the first game, the former world champion continued her momentum throughout the second game as unforced errors from Bingjiao’s acquet piled up. With Bingjiao hitting in haste, a calm and poised Intanon sailed through the second game to go up to 14-9 before closing out the match in 46 minutes.

“I learnt from the past when I lost to her and also from her match against Sindhu yesterday,” said Intanon after the win. “People say I play really well here in India Open. Before I came to the main hall, I saw my record against her and it was 0-4 and I thought I need to break this record today.

“Today I tried to play calmly and point-by-point and I played well,” added the former World No. 1.

Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu

In women’s doubles and mixed doubles, the top seeded pairs of Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu and Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping successfully defended their titles.

While Polii-Rahayu emerged 21-11, 25-23 winners over third seeds Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean, Yilyu and Dongping prevailed over fifth seeds Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti 21-13, 21-11.

In men’s doubles, Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin triumphed over Ricky Karandasuwardi and Angga Pratama 21-14, 21-14 for their first title at this marquee event.

Gallacher wins Hero Indian open Gold, Rashid. Chikka finish tied 10th

Harpal Singh Bedi

Stephen Gallacher, Hero Indian Open 2019 Champion with Dr Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp

Gurugram: First round joint leader Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher survived a quadruple-bogey disaster and staged a stunning comeback carding three birdies in last four holes for one under 71 fourth round to pip Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura by a shot to claim the $1.75 million Hero Indian Open Golf at DLF Golf and Country Club here on Sunday

Gallacher’s aggregate of nine-under-par 279 give him a one-shot lead over Kawamura. The 44-year-old scot held his nerves round where he recovered from a horrible quadruple-bogey on hole seven to take home a winner’s prize purse of US$291,660.

Kawamura had a chance to force a play-off with Gallacher at the last but could not take it into extra time as he could only make par. The Japanese settled for second place on his own following a 73.

“ I was chasing the lead and was three behind to start the day. I got off to a slow start and then made a quadruple bogey but I was very calm, saw that I was only 5 behind. I told myself just stick in there. You never know on this golf course, it can turn around very quickly given how tough its playing and then I went three under in the last three holes.” The scot said after the win.

About the quad bogey, he said “ I actually forgot all about it. It was a tough pin and I was trying to get my drive as long as possible as it was down wind and it ended up left against the fence on the left. Changed club to a three wood and the next shot I lost the ball as well so I went back to start again. Got on the green and two-putted that.

Local favourites Rashid Khan (70) and S. Chikkarangappa (74) finished as the highest-placed Indians in tied-10th position .

Finland’s Kalle Samooja aced the 12th hole from 127 metres with his pitching wedge, marking the first time in the history of the Indian Open that three hole-in-ones were made in the same year.

S.Chikkarangappa (74-70-66-74), who had raised hopes of the home fans by finishing tied 6th after the third round failed to produce the same form and returned a poor 2 over 74 last round to slip to four place down the rung.

Chikka had double bogeys on the 5th and 10th and he also drop a stroke on14th. He hit three birdies and with an aggregate of 4 under 214 shared the tied place with 7 others including compatriot Rashid Khan and overnight joint leader Sihwan Kim.

Young Rashid Khan (72,70,72,70) who was tied 21st after a 72 on Saturday came up with much improved showing firing two under last round which propelled him to tied 10th with a total of 4 under 284.

Playing steady golf Rashid hit birdies on the 2nd and 9th but dropped strokes on 5th and 8th to go out at par 36. Coming back he started with a bogey but recovered his ground by hitting two successive birdies on the 11th and 12th to complete his round at 70.

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Two-time European Tour winner Shubhankar Sharma, who was overnight tied 15th had poor last round day as he carded three over par 75 to tumbled 12 places to end tied 27 at par 288.

Shubhankar Sharma (69-73-71-75) unlike yesterday when recovered well after an early double-bogey, could not do the encore on the last. He had two double bogeys on the 8th and 14 and he also missed shots on the11th and 12th. His three birdies on 2nd, 15 and 18th reduced the gap to some extend in this round.

Gaganjeet Bhullar had a one under 71 round and that took him up 24 place to end at tied 39 with three over 291

Former champion SSP Chawrasia tied 47 overnight returned three over 75 round and with a tournament total of four over 292 ended two places above at tied 45.

Ajeetesh Sandhu (74,71,73,75) with three over par last round stayed put at tied 54 with five over 293 total .Gaurav Pratap Singh and Rahil Gangjee were tied 69 at 13 over 301.