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09-12-2019

Paddler Manav scripts history, clinches title in Markham
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Markham, : Young Indian paddler Manav Thakkar on Sunday scripted history as he became the first Indian since 2017 to clinch U-21 men’s singles title with a comfortable 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 win over Argentina’s Martin Bentancor in the ITTF Challenge Plus Benemax-Virgo North American Open in Markham, Canada.

It was India’s first U-21 men’s singles title since the ITTF Challenge Series became an entity in January 2017, as opposed to being an integral part of the ITTF World Tour.

Manav has now joined Harmeet Desai, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Soumyajit Ghosh in the list of Indians to win ITTF World Tour U-21 men’s singles titles. In 2012, Harmeet and Sathiyan won the title in Brazil and Egypt respectively while, Soumyajit clinched title in Chile in 2011.

It was also the first ever ITTF Challenge Series or ITTF World Tour tournament held in Canada. The 19-year-old Manav, who was part of the Indian men’s team which won the bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, dominated the proceedings in the one-sided final match. Second-seeded Manav maintained his dominance throughout the final as he hardly gave Bentancor any chance to score.

Earlier in the quarter-final and semi-final, Manav beat Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes 11-5, 11-9, 11-5 and Lorenzo Santiago 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6 respectively. 

07-12-2019

UFC Fight Night – Alistair Overeem vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Fight fans are in for a treat this Sunday as the UFC invades Capital One Arena, Washington for an electrifying main event which showcases Alistair Overeem versus Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the Heavyweight Bout category. Adding to the excitement, the co-main event will feature the strongest female wrestlers in UFC as Marina Rodriguez and Cynthia Calvillo are all set to punch and grapple to rise in the Women Strawweight category.  

Heavyweight Bout (Main Event) - Alistair Overeem and Jairzinho Rozenstruik

This week, UFC has made inroads all the way to Washington where Alistair “The Demolition man” Overeem will be facing off Jairzinho “Bigi Boy” Rozenstruik. The main event this time was initially supposed to see Walt Harris take on Alistair Overeem, but due to Harris’s unavailability, the card had to look out for a replacement and Jairzinho Rozenstruik stepped in to face the veteran, giving all the UFC fans an intriguing Heavyweight clash this weekend.

The former SLAMM Soema Na Basi World Champion, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, currently holds an unbeatable UFC record of 9 wins and 0 losses. At 246lbs, ‘Bigi Boy’ is surprisingly quick and agile but most notably, hits incredibly hard. Meanwhile, Alistair “The Demolition man” Overeem may be closing in on 40, but he’s clearly still a force to reckon with due to his experience in the Octagon. After suffering back-to-back losses to Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes, the Dutch superstar rebounded with consecutive first-round finishes over Sergei Pavlovich and Aleksei Oleinik to re-affirm his standing as one of the top talents in the division. However he has been wobbling from strikes in his recent fights but that solid legwork on the ground along with a record of 74% grappling accuracy will surely prove an advantage to the Demolition Man.

It would be interesting to see whether the “proven veteran” proves himself again or will the “rising star” continue his unbeaten form in UFC.

Women Strawweight Bout (Main Event) - Marina Rodriguez and Cynthia Calvillo

The co-main event this week is a reminder of the abode of talent that exists in the Women Strawweight division as Marina Rodriguez is all set to face Cynthia Calvillo. Similar to the main event, former title challenger Claudia Gadelha was scheduled to fight Cynthia Calvillo, but due to the Brazilian’s hand injury, Marina Rodriguez takes her place in the Octagon.

A venomous boxer with power-packed punches, Cynthia Calvillo, is equally dangerous on the ground as she is with her hands. UFC still remembers her wins against Poliana Botelho and Cortney Casey to solidify her place in the Top 10. Apart from her only loss against former champ Carla Esparza, Cynthia Calvillo, always fights her strengths and calculates her moves depending on her opponent and is desperately looking to take the next step forward in her title chase. Her opponent, Marina Rodriguez, the fighter with a long reach, is yet another unbeaten fighter who has always maintained the standard of her performances by never leaving her fans or critics disappointed with her time in the octagon. The fans still remember her last fight with Tecia Torres where the Brazilian used her range to avoid Torres’ boxing combinations and strategically work her over with kicks to come out victorious in the Octagon.

This one is a tricky one to pick as both women are highly skilled in all areas along with an abode of knowledge of their competitor’s strength. The fans can expect nothing less than fireworks as the best fight their way to glory inside the Octagon this weekend.

 

07-12-2019

Manish Kaushik, Vikas Krishan storm into semi-finals

Ankit Khatana, Sonia Lather, Kalaivani also made winning start

Kathmandu, : World Championships bronze medallist Manish Kaushik (64kg) got India’s medal quest off to a glorious start as Vikas Krishan (69kg) made a winning comeback to enter the semi-finals on the first day of boxing action at the 13th South Asian Games here in Nepal today.

While Ankit Khatana (75kg) was the third Indian to progress into the last-four; the National Champion was at his menacing best as he knocked out the local boy Deepak Shrestha in the first round of his bout.

Continuing from where he left at the World Championships, Manish Kaushik thoroughly dominated his quarter-final bout against Pakistan’s Suleman Baloch to register a commanding 5-0 victory. In the 69 kg quarter-final, Vikas Krishan marked his comeback with superb performance and defeated Bhutan’s Dorji Tshering in a unanimous verdict.

In the women’s category, Sonia Lather (57 kg) had an easy outing against Bangladesh’s Shamima Akter as she won via RSC in the 3rd round while young and aspiring boxer, S. Kalaivani displayed her attacking prowess right from the word go as she landed a series of attacking punches on Pakistan’s Rabia Batool, forcing the referee to stop the contest in the first round itself.

Seven men boxers- Vinod (49kg), Sparsh (52kg), Sachin (57kg), Varinder (60kg), Sachin (81kg), Gaurav Chauhan (91kg) and Narender (+91kg) and four women boxers- Pinki Rani (51kg), Shiksha (54kg), Parveen (60kg) and Manju Bamboriya (64kg) are already in the semi-finals thus ensuring India of 16 medals.

The semi-final bouts will be played on December 7 and 8th followed by finals on 9th.

SPORTS FIELD

10-12-2019

Bombay Bullets climb to fourth spot with 5-2 win against Bengaluru Brawlers

New Delhi, : Bombay Bullets claimed an important 5-2 victory over Bengaluru Brawlers in a high-voltage clash in Big Bout Indian Boxing League at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium Complex here tonight. It was the first win in two matches for the Bombay Bullets while the Brawlers faced their third successive defeat in the Boxing Federation of India-approved league.

Bombay Bullets lifted themselves to the fourth place on the league table with seven points from two matches behind Punjab Panthers (10 points from two matches), Odisha Warriors (10 from two) and Gujarat Giants (9 from two) and ahead of NE Rhinos (seven from two) Bengaluru Brawlers (six from three).

Needing a win to lift themselves from the fifth spot on the table, Bombay Bullets were relieved that skipper Ingrit Lorena Valencia, a 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist, and National champion Naveen Boora came up trumps against the hard-working Anamika and Dinesh Dagar in the women’s 51kg and men’s 69kg bouts.

After Bengaluru Brawlers’ skipper Simranjit Singh extended her record to three wins in as many starts, this time with a conquest over Spain’s Melisa Neomi Gonzalez, Bombay Bullets increased their lead through Kavinder Singh Bisht who inflicted a second successive defeat on Gaurav Bidhuri with a split verdict in a very close fight.

Though Meenakshi clawed back with a win for the Brawlers against Priya Kushwaha in the youth women’s 57kg battle, Bombay Bullets southpaw Prayag Chauhan defeated Pawan Kumar to secure the match for his side after a split verdict in a 75kg slugfest that may not have pleased the purists. Like Naveen Boora, Prayag Chauhan has been a reliable player with 100 per cent win record.

To her credit, the 2018 World Youth Championships finalist Anamika was fearless when squaring up with the Colombian and seemed to hold the edge in the first two rounds. However, the southpaw PanAmerican Games champion used her experience to find gaps in Anamika’s defence and turn the tables on the young Indian for a unanimous verdict.

Given that Railways’ Dinesh Dagar was looking to settle scores after he had been outfoxed by Naveen Boora in the quarterfinals of the National championships recently their bout was easily the most looked forward to on Monday night. The 20-year-old Armyman from Hissar held sway as he was well prepared to answer any tactic that his desperate rival came up with.

The contest between 2017 World Championship bronze medallist Gaurav Bidhuri and Kavinder Singh Bisht was so balanced that little separated them. Yet, the younger boxer ran home a 3-2 winner after having done a lot more than Gaurav Bidhuri to impress the judges. The 26-year-old Brawlers’ star strove hard to stage a rally but could only narrow the gap rather than secure a win.

Spaniard Emmanuel Reyas secured the fifth win of the night for Bombay Bullets with superior ring-craft against Harshpreet Singh. It was important for the team since it helped the team climb to the fourth spot in the race for the semifinals. Had the Brawlers managed to win any of the last three bouts, Bombay Bullets would still have been placed fifth in the league.

The Bombay Bullets captain, Ingrit Lorena Valencia won the toss and blocked the men’s 52kg class bout which pit her team’s Ananta Chopade against National Championship finalist Ashish Insah. It turned out to the team’s advantage. The system of a toss-winning skipper blocking one category is an attempt to bring in team strategy in what is primarily an individual sport.


Ankit Khatana, Kalaivani lead India to six boxing gold medals at 13th South Asian Games

World Championships bronze medallist Manish Kaushik settles for silver

Vikas Krishan will be among 7 boxers aiming for gold on Tuesday

Kathmandu, : National champion Ankit Khatana (75kg) and rising star Kalaivani Srinivasan (48kg) led India to six boxing gold medals as World Championships bronze medallist Manish Kaushik settled for the silver medal on the first day of the finals at the 13th South Asian Games here in Nepal today. From the men, Vinod Tanwar (49kg), Sachin (56kg) and Gaurav Chauhan (91kg) were the others who finished on the top podium while Parveen (60kg) was the other woman pugilist to take the gold for India.

In the men’s 49kg final, Bhutan’s Tashi Wangdi proved no match for Tanwar, who easily cruised to a 5-0 win. Sachin was equally impressive and hardly broke a sweat against Bangladesh’s Mia Md Robin in 56kg, soaring to a win by the same scoreline.

Khatana was unstoppable and stamped his authority over Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Maduranga Don Pathirage in the middleweight summit clash on his way to a commanding 5-0 victory.

Gaurav Chauhan faced some stiff resistance from Pakistan’s Sanaullah early on in their 91kg face-off but was soon able to find his punches that helped him notch up a 4-1 win.

While his compatriots performed upto the expectations, it was Manish Kaushik’s 64kg final loss that was the biggest surprise for the entire contingent. Fresh from his World Championships bronze medal win, Kaushik was at his menacing best throughout the tournament but was outdone by Nepal’s Bhupendra Thapa, who recorded a huge 5-0 upset win.

“Today man of the match goes to Vinod Tanwar in my view, opponent was a rough puncher. He took him very easy by step back punch and side step punch and won the match by 5:0. Manish’s opponent was very rough and he received 1 or 3 clear punches. It was unfortunate but this tournament was definitely a good experience for him,” said India’s men’s boxing chief coach, CA Kuttappa.

The women, in contrast, had to fight hard for the gold. One of the most promising talents, Kalaivani showed her resilience in her 3-2 victory over Nepal’s Maharjan Lalita in 48kg. Parveen too showed her guts and gumption in a brave 3-2 triumph over Nepal’s Sunar Sangita in 60kg but 2017 Asian Championship bronze medallist Shiksha bowed out 0-5 to Minu Gurung of Nepal in 54kg.

On Tuesday, Vikas Krishan (69kg), Narender (+91kg), Sparsh (52kg), Varinder (60kg) will be aiming for the gold from the men while Pinki Rani (51kg), Sonia Lather (57kg), and Manju Bamboriya (64kg) will be hoping for a top-podium finish from the women.