Monday, August 17, 2015

Ravi Kumar wins silver in Junior World Wrestling

Ravi Kumar displays his silver medal of Junior World Wrestling Championships

New Delhi, August 17, 2015: Indian Wrestler Ravi Kumar bagged the silver medal in the 55 kg free style class at the Junior World Wrestling Championship concluded at Salvador de Bahia, Brazil yesterday.

Congratulating Ravi Kumar on winning silver medal Mr. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, President Wrestling Federation of India and Member Parliament (Lok Sabha) said “I would like to congratulate Ravi Kumar on his well-deserved win. All the hard work and efforts put in prior the tournament helped Ravi perform his best in the Junior World Championship and bring laurels to the country”.

“The entire nation is proud of Ravi and I wish him all the very best for his all future endeavors” added Mr. Bhushan.

On winning silver medal in the Junior World Championship, Ravi Kumar said “It feels good to win a silver medal at the end, but that was not the goal of this tournament for me- the goal was to come out with a gold medal. I am happy to win silver medal, but overall I am a little disappointed to lose the finals.  But this is not the end, I just need to fine tune everything – more contact on my feet, pushing and pulling at my pace”.

Asian Junior Championship 2015 Gold medalist Ravi Kumar opened his tournament on a winning note, defeating Stevan Micic (USA) in a tough contest with a margin of 12-8. Ravi who was trailing 2-8 against Micic at the break made a brilliant comeback and rallied with 10 second-period points to take the match. Following this win, Ravi qualified for the quarters. In the quarterfinal, he overcame Canadian Samuel Jagas 9-5 and qualified for the semifinals.

In the semifinal round, 2013 Asian Cadet Championship silver medalist Ravi who was trailing 0-8 at the break, again made an excellent comeback routing Mongolian Zanabazar Zandanbud 9-8 and made it to the final.

Unfortunately, in the final, he lost bout to Azerbaijan’s Mahir Amiraslanov 0-10 points and missed out on the gold in 55 kg of free style. He had to be content with a silver medal.

The silver medalist Ravi Kumar will arrive at New Delhi on 19 August 2015 at 0710hrs.

Press release

Anirban Lahiri rewrites history with top-5 at PGA Championship

New Delhi, August 17, 2015: Anirban Lahiri’s final round of four-under-68 at the PGA Championship 2015 capped a memorable day for Indian golf. The 28-year-old rewrote the record books with his performance at Whistling Straits on Sunday as he claimed tied fifth place to register the best finish by an Indian at the Majors so far. The previous record was established by Jeev Milkha Singh when he secured tied ninth at the PGA Championship in 2008.

Lahiri (70-67-70-68) kept up the intensity through the week with his four sub-par rounds and signed off with a tournament total of 13-under-275 to finish seven strokes behind eventual champion Jason Day of Australia.

It’s been a meteoric rise for Anirban on the international stage since he won his first Asian Tour event on home soil back in 2011. He continued to enjoy success in Asian Tour events staged in India, adding two more titles to his kitty in the following two years. The year 2014 finally saw him triumph overseas with victories in Indonesia and Macau.

However, it is 2015 that has been the watershed season for the Bangalore lad so far. Playing his rookie season on the European Tour, Lahiri notched up two titles, the Malaysian Open and Indian Open, early in 2015, to rise up to his career-best world ranking of 33. On Sunday, he made a statement at the highest level of the sport, by finishing inside the top-5 at the year’s final Major.

Anirban’s breathtaking performance at his seventh Major has not only brought him the international limelight but also significantly raised the stature of Indian golf. Lahiri is now likely to make big gains in the world rankings where he currently stands at 53 and in the European Tour Race to Dubai where he’s ranked eighth. He will also seal his spot in the International Team for the Presidents Cup, another first for India. Anirban, already in a commanding position in the Asian Tour Order of Merit, is likely to build an unassailable lead there.  

Lahiri, who was overnight tied eighth and six off the lead at Whistling Straits, came out all guns blazing in round four with four birdies on the front-nine. He sank three birdies from a range of 17 to 23 feet and narrowly missed an eagle on the par-4 sixth where he drove the green. The 3-putt from 5 feet on the 10th which led to a bogey and came against the run of play was probably the only dampener in his round.

Anirban capitalized on both par-5s on the back-nine, the 11th and 16th, by picking up birdies. He had reached as high as tied third after the 16th. The Indian star also made some important par saves on the fourth, 12th and 17th to keep the momentum going. Finally, the bogey on the closing 18th couldn’t stop him from finishing in the top-5.

Lahiri thus improved upon his previous best of tied 30th at the Majors which he only achieved at last month’s British Open. This was his sixth Major in a row. Anirban’s performance this week will further raise his hopes of representing India at next year’s Olympics. Importantly, a PGA Tour card could also be within sight.

Press release

MRF dominate as Tidemand triumphs

Johor Baru, Malaysia, August 16, 2015:   Pontus Tidemand and co-driver Emil Axelsson led a 1-2 finish for Team MRF as the Swedes swept to their third win of the season by claiming the title in the Malaysian Rally, the fourth round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, here on Sunday.

The 24-year old Tidemand, driving the Skoda Fabia S2000, finished one minute, 56.5 seconds ahead of team-mate, India’s Gaurav Gill (co-driver Glenn Macneall).

Gill comfortably won the first round of Asia Cup, sparing over 19 minutes to Fan Fan (Junwei Fang) from China who drove the Mitsubishi Evo EX for South-East Motor team.

Tidemand, making his APRC debut, had triumphed in Australia and New Zealand, and the win on Sunday took his tally to 147 points while 33-year old Delhi-based Gill, winner of the first round in New Caledonia, moved to 104.

With just two more rounds of APRC to be run in Japan (Sept 18-20) and China (Oct 30-Nov 1) and a maximum of 78 points on offer, Tidemand has taken a stranglehold on the championship leaving Gill a mathematical chance of claiming the title he had won in 2013. 

Leading by 01:19.9 overnight, Tidemand kept the throttle down on Sunday when six more Stages were run over much shorter distance than on Saturday as the Swede was quickest in five loops while Gill, driving in heavy rains, took the last Stage of the day.

“I had a good day today and absolutely no problems with the car. I was new to these conditions and it was very challenging. But I am happy that I survived and brought the car home safely.
“We have two more rounds in Japan and China, and I looking forward to it. Like I said, all this is new to me, but I want to do well,” said Tidemand.

Press release

An obviously disappointed Gill, winner here last year, had problems with the rear differential of his Skoda Fabia S2000 besides overheating and loss of grip.

“The rear differential stopped working during the first loop and there was no grip. So, I couldn’t drive normally. Then we had heavy rains during the second loop, but we were quicker in the last Stage.

“Overall, it was the worst weekend of my life with all the problems we had due to grass getting into the radiator grill and all that. I now look forward to the remaining two rounds,” said Gill who did not participate in the conventional champagne ceremony as a mark of respect for Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India president Bharath Raj who passed away in Bengaluru on Saturday.

MRF team boss Lane Heenan said: “It was very tough on the cars, but we are happy that both Tidemand and Gill finished. I think it was after very long time that both MRF cars finished here in Malaysia.”

Asia-Pacific Rally Championship: Pontus Tidemand / Emil Axelsson (Team MRF, Skoda Fabia S2000) 1 (03hrs, 05mins, 11.5secs); Gaurav Gill / Glenn Macneall (Team MRF, Skoda Fabia S2000) 2 (03:07:08.0).
Asia Cup (Round-1): Gaurav Gill / Glenn Macneall (Team MRF, Skoda Fabia S2000) 1 (03:07:08.0); Fan Fan / Junwei Fang (South-East Motor, Evo EX) 2 (03:26:58.8); Genki Takeuchi / Naoki Kase (Cusco Racing, Subaru Impreza) 3 (03:32:28.1).

Press release