Sunday, November 23, 2014

Shamim Khan eases to five-shot win at IndianOil Servo Masters Golf 2014

Digboi, Assam, November 22, 2014: Delhi’s Shamim Khan wrapped up his 10th title in style after easing to a five-shot victory in the final round of the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf 2014 at the Digboi Golf Links. Shamim signed off with a rock-solid one-under-71 in round four of the Rs. 30 lakh PGTI event to finish with a tournament total of 13-under-275. Kolkata’s Shankar Das, who finished runner-up at eight-under-280 after returning an ordinary four-over-76 on Saturday, went past Rashid Khan to emerge leader in the Rolex Rankings.

Shamim Khan (69-69-66-71), the overnight joint leader along with Shankar Das, had a slow start to the day as he bogeyed the first after pulling his tee shot into the rough. However, the 36-year-old from the Delhi Golf Club soon found himself three shots ahead as his nearest challenger Shankar dropped four shots on the first three holes on a windy and overcast day.

Shamim then produced an exceptional chip to help himself to a tap-in birdie on the seventh. Khan’s bogey on the ninth didn’t derail his efforts as he came back with a chip-in, his second of the week, for birdie on the 10th. He all but sealed the title with another brilliant chip on the 14th that led to a birdie.   

As a result of his win, Shamim has now climbed from 22nd place to 15th position in the Rolex Rankings.

Shamim said, “The conditions were totally different today with the wind being a major factor. After Shankar and Karan dropped shots early, I looked to play steady and maintain my lead. I played some immaculate chip shots to set up birdies in round four. I would like to dedicate this win to my caddie Satya Prakash who got me my old putter from Delhi especially for this week’s event. The putter made a big difference at the end as I converted most putts on the last two days.”

“It’s a tremendous comeback for me after having missed the cut at last week’s event in Shillong. I hadn’t enjoyed much success in the season till last week. This performance has helped me regain my form. I’ve won after a gap of 20 months and now feel I can finish the season on a high. The fact that I finally won at Digboi after finishing runner-up on more than one occasion, is also very heartening,” added Shamim, who pocketed his eighth title on the PGTI.

Shankar Das (65-69-70-76), the overnight joint leader along with Shamim, had a disastrous start to the day with two bogeys and a double-bogey on the first three holes thanks to some erratic tee shots. His woes off the tee continued as he found the trees on the eighth to drop another shot and slip further.

Das displayed a lot of grit on the back-nine as he came back with chip-putt birdies on the 11th and 14th to regain some lost ground. He bogeyed the 17th but still ensured runner-up place to move up from second to first place in the Rolex Rankings.

The 31-year-old Shankar now leads the PGTI’s money list with earnings of Rs. 26,87,800 for the year so far. Rashid Khan is second on the list with earnings of Rs. 25,31,700.

Shankar said, “Once I lost my way on the first few holes, it was always going to be an uphill task to overhaul Shamim, who rarely lets the lead slip away. Nevertheless, I’m happy with the way I hung in there and managed a runner-up finish to take the lead in the Rolex Rankings.”

Bangalorean C Muniyappa’s final round 71 helped him claim third place at seven-under-281.

Sri Lankan N Thangaraja bagged fourth place at six-under-282 while Mohammad Sanju of Kolkata was a further shot back in fifth position.

Rookie Karan Taunk of Jamshedpur, who was overnight third, slipped to tied seventh after a round of 79 on Saturday. Taunk, however, is the clear favourite to win the Emerging Player of the Year race with a lead of Rs. 3 lakh over his nearest rival Rahul Bakshi.

Vikrant Chopra of the Noida Golf Course produced the day’s best score of 68 to secure tied 10th position at two-under-286.

Australian Kunal Bhasin, the 2013 IndianOil Servo Masters Golf champion, ended up in tied 30th at five-over-293.

Press release

Indian men and women sprint to gold

New Delhi, November 22, 2014: India’s men and women elite teams brought cheers to the hosts’ camp as well as a sizeable crowd that comprised school children when the cyclists added two more gold medals to their tally on the second day of the Track Asia Cup 2014 at the IG Stadium Complex Velodrome here today.

The Indian riders also claimed their second silver medal besides winning three bronze medals today for an overall tally of three gold, two silver and six bronze medals in both Elite and Junior sections.

It was a very good morning for the Indians in the real sense as Deborah combined well with Kezia Varghese in team sprint final to get gold in the two-lap event in 34.290 seconds. Both Debora and Kezia did their first lap in a time of 18.36 but clipped off more than two seconds in the second to finish ahead of the Bangladeshi duo of Farhana Sultana and Parul Akhtar who took 42.390 for silver. With no competitor for the bronze the medal was scratched.

However, it was the turn of men’s elite team, consisting of Amarjeet Singh, Amrit Singh and Alan Baby, to prove its point in the three-lap team sprit event. They had a very tough competition with Hong Kong and Kazakhstan cyclists breathing down their neck but the Indians overcame the challenge in style to win gold in 48.570 seconds with an average speed of 55.59 kilometres per hour.

In contrast, the Hong Kong team took a little more than a second for silver at 49.490 while the Services team, which is here for participation sake, bagged the bronze at 51.870, thus pushing the Kazakh team members out of the medal bracket. The Services Sports Control Board’s team comprised RL Manoj, Faris Sala and S. Renjit.

In women’s elite 3-km Individual Pursuit, there was no match to Hong Kong’s Wan Yiu Jamie Wong who grabbed her second gold after beating India’s Rutuja Satpute in a great finish after 1000 metres, having overtaken the Indian in the 2000-metre event. The race was stopped after the Hong Kong rider overtook her rival with several laps to go. With no fourth competitor for the bronze medal contest, Bangladesh Farhana Sultana got the benefit to help her add another bronze to team’s tally.  

However, men’s elite 4-km Individual Pursuit saw a good fight between eventual gold winner Siu Wai Ko from Hong Kong and Kazakh Roman Vassilenkov with the former took 4:44.040 minutes while Roman took just a fraction of a second more for silver in the 4000m event. In the bronze medal duel, India’s Manjeet Singh (3.36.460) overtook Thailand’s Boonratanathanakorn (3:43.540) just after the 3000m mark when the race was suspended.

In women junior section, gold went to Hong Kong’s Wing Yee Leung while Thai Suthima claimed silver. But the Indian Raj VP Sona proved too good for Bangladesh’s Sampti Biswas to win bronze, by overlapping her rival in the 2-km event. Though Hong Kong’s Maximillian Gil claimed gold in men’s junior Individual Pursuit, pushing Thai Yuttana Mano behind, India’s Manohar Lal was awarded the bronze without a contest.

In the qualification events held this evening, India assured themselves of a few more medals, including a couple of gold, on the concluding day tomorrow.

The Results (All Finals):
Men Elite (Team Sprint 3 laps): India (Amarjeet Singh/Amrit Singh/Alan Baby) 55.59, Hong Kong (Kwun Wa Law/Ching Yin Mow, Ka Yu Leung) 54.556, SSCB (RL Manoj/Faris Salam/S. Renjit 52.053.
Men Elite (Individual Pursuit 4km): Siu Wai Ko (HKG) 4:44.040, Roman Vassilenkov (KAZ) 4:45.390, Manjeet Singh (IND) 3:36.460, Boonratana Thanakoran (THA) 3:43.540.
Men Juniors (Individual Pursuit 3km): Maximillian Gil (HKG) 3:38.960, Yuttana Mano (THAI) 3:44.870, Manohar Lal (IND).
Women Elite (Team Sprint 2 laps): India (Debroah/Kezia Verghese)34.290, Bangladesh (Farhana Sultana/Parul Akhtar) 42.390.
Women Elite (Individual Pursuit 3km): Wong Wan Yiu Jamie (HKG) 1:19,800, Rutuja Satpute (IND) 1:27.580, Farhana Sultana (BAN).
Women Juniors (Individual Pursuit 2km): Wing Yee Leung (HKG) 1:21.790, Suthima Phonchaisaeng (THA) 1:25.620, Raj VP Sona (IND) 1:26.800, Sampti Biswas (BAN) 1:26.340.

Press release

Deborah lifts sagging Indian spirit with gold

New Delhi, November 21, 2014: Deborah yet again proved to be the saviour for the hosts as the girl from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands won the 500-metre time trial gold in Women’s Elite section on the opening day of the Track Asia Cup 2014 at the IG Stadium Complex Velodrome here today.

The Indian, who clocked 37.250 seconds for the distance, finished way ahead of the silver medallist from Kazakhstan, Tatyana Zadenepryanova and bronze medal winner Parul Akhtar of Bangladesh. The Kazakh girl timed 40 seconds while the Bangladesh 45.600 seconds.

It was Debora’s gold that uplifted the mood of the Indian camp after the hosts had grabbed one silver and four bronze medals during the evening session. Debroah’s race was the fourth in the order and the Indian, knowing full well that she had to beat Tatyana, was at the start gate. But she had picked a good speed, measuring up to 48.322 km per hour, peddled her way to finish the first 250 metres in 20.788 seconds.

That was a good indication as she, at that point of time, was No. 1 on the time chart. But she had another 250 metres to go and she upped the ante with a perfect sprint to the finish point clocking 48.322, clipping off a few milliseconds in the latter half as the sizeable crowd raised the din with a standing ovation.

But for this gold, India had to really struggle for a top podium finish as riders from Hong Kong, Thailand and Kazakhstan were heads and shoulders above the Indian competitors. Of the five other finals on the day, Hong Kong riders grabbed three gold medals in Men Elite 1-km time trial, Women Elite Points Race and in men junior’s 1-km time trial, leaving the crumbs for the rest of the field.

However, Kazakhstan’s Magomed Mamedov took home gold in Men’s Elite Points Race while Thailand’s Sarintip Diow-Archakun had a top-of-the-podium finish in junior women’s 500-m time trial.

India’s Rutuja Satpute and Parvathy V.G. also finished 2-3 for silver and bronze in the Women’s Elite Points Race in which Hong Kong’s Wong Wan Yiu Jaime won gold. The race saw just three competitions, besides the bronze by Amrit Singh in Men’s Elite 1-km Time Trial to add to the booty. Similarly, India bagged a bronze in men’s junior 1-km time trial by Krishna Naikodi and 500-m time trial bronze by Raj V.P. Sona in the women’s junior section.

In women’s points race, Parvathy could have finished ahead of eventual silver medalist Rutuja but she was docked points for being a lap behind. The winner from Hong Kong benefited from this Indian largesse as she had won 100 points for five gain laps besides the Indian’s docked points going to her.

Amrit Singh, on whom India’s hope was pinned, could not match up with neither Hong Kong’s Kwan Wa Law, who won gold in 1-km time trial, or silver medallist Satjakul Sianglam of Thailand as the Indian had to be satisfied with the bronze with a time of 1:08.460. The gold winner had clocked 1:08.350 while the Thai had clocked 1:08.460.

The points race, which is an endurance event, the Indians showed they had a long way to go as riders from Hong Kong and Kazakhstan proved in the elite sections.

The Results (All Finals):
Men Elite (1km Time Trial: Kwun Wa La (HKG) 1:08.350, Satjakul Sianglam (THA) 1:08.460, Amrit Singh (IND) 1:08.880.
Men Elite (Points Race): Magomed Mamedov (KAZ) 81 points, Boonratana Thanakoran (THA) 69, Ching Yin Mow (HKG) 52.
Men Juniors (1-km Time Trial): Maximillan Gil (HKG) 1:08.860, Chakhree Khruthangkha (THA) 1:10.630, Krishna Naikodi (IND) 1:12.870.
Women Elite (500m Time Trial): Debroah (IND) 37.250, Tatyana Zadepryanova (AZ) 40.000, Parul Akhtar (BAN) 45.600.
Women Elite (Points Race): Wong Wan Yiu Jamie (HKG) 128 points, Rutuja Satpute (IND) 27, Parvathy V.G. (IND) 5.
Women Juniors (500km Time Trial): Sarinthip Diow-Archakun (THA) 40.690, Wing Yee Leung (HKG) 40.990, Raj VP Sona (JND) 41.420.

Press release