March 2, 2021

Manisha Keer, in practically her first full year as senior, recorded a best ever finish at an International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Shotgun stage, finishing seventh in the Women’s Trap competition on Tuesday in Cairo, Egypt.

Manisha was hard done by a final round 21, to finish with a score of 113 in qualifying, which got her into a three-way shoot-off for the last two finals spots. She had scores of 23 out of 25 in each of the four preceding rounds and was in second place going into that fifth round.

She missed her first shoot-off shot, ensuring her Spanish and Polish rivals were then just fighting for bib numbers.

Top six shooters qualify for the 60-shots final round.

Kirti Gupta and Rajeshwari Kumari finished 17thand 18thin Women’s Trap respectively and the trio can still make amends in the Team competition where they are presently ranked third with a combined score of 314.

In the Men’s Trap, Prithviraj Tondaiman finished 26thwith a score of 112. Lakshay Sheoran shot 110 for a 34thplace finish while Kynan Chenai was two behind in 36thplace. He shot 109.

Manika Batra in action.

Young India paddler Sreeja Akula outshone a higher ranked opponent to progress into the last round of the women’s singles qualifiers alongside Manika Batra at the WTT Contender Doha on Tuesday. Manika and Sreeja are now just a win away from making their way into the main draw.

The World No. 150 from Hyderabad, Sreeja prevailed over World No. 74 Vega Paulina of Chile in the previous round and sent Thailand’s 87th-ranked Orawan Paranang packing 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 in the third round. She will now take on Russia’s Mariia Tailakova in the final round. Tailakova entered the last round with a 14-12, 11-8, 11-8 win over India’s Archana Kamath.

Living up to her reputation, Commonwealth Games gold medalist and star Indian paddler Batra got the better of Romania’s Irina Ciobanu 11-7, 15-13, 11-8 comfortably in the third round of women’s singles qualifiers and will face Ganna Gaponova of Ukraine in the last round.

Earlier in the final round matches of mixed doubles qualifiers, Indian pair of Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Sutirtha Mukherjee grabbed a spot in the main draw after a straight-sets 11-5, 11-7, 11-5 victory against Puerto Rico’s Daniel Gonzalez and Melanie Diaz. However, the country’s other pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Batra failed to take advantage of an early game lead and lost out to Russia’s Alexander Shibaev and Polina Mikhailova by a 11-9, 11-13, 11-13, 3-11 scoreline.

Harmeet Desai also suffered a 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 2-11 defeat against Russia’s Alexander Shibaev in the third-round match of the men’s singles qualifiers. Despite dominating the first two games, Desai couldn’t hold his nerves and conceded an unexpected loss.

At the invitation of the Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, AIBA President Umar Kremlev visited the Emirate of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. The development of boxing in the Middle East and in the Emirate of Fujairah was discussed during the meeting.

Boxing is actively developing in the region based on the full support of the local leadership. During the recent time, there has been built a modern sports infrastructure thanks to the personal involvement of the Crown Prince. All represented conditions allow hosting big boxing tournaments and championships at the highest level.

Two leaders agreed to organize the annual international tournament for the AIBA member countries in Fujairah. It was set that the first test boxing tournament will already take place in May 2021.

‘I am grateful for a productive meeting and new perspectives for boxing in the Middle East. Sports events will provide a stream of tourism. It will be convenient for athletes to fly here due to good visa conditions. With the personal support of Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, we will popularize our sport among young people, more champions will appear,’ Kremlev claimed.

‘We want to raise our champions here in our Emirate. We are going to make a big boxing center, a boxing academy, to include boxing in school and university programs. Boxing is a discipline that teaches to be a patriot of the country. Together with the AIBA leadership, we are going to organize big boxing tournaments here to popularize boxing, attract investments and give everyone the opportunity to become a star,’ the Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi said.

During the visit was also agreed to hold boxing camps in the Emirates of Fujairah.

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team once again impressed in defence but couldn’t stop Germany from winning their third consecutive game in the four-match series in Dusseldorf on Monday. World No 3 Germany won by a 2-0 margin through goals from Sonja Zimmermann (26’) and Franzisca Hauke (42’).

Encouraged by their robust defensive display in the second game of the series, the Indian side continued to frustrate the German attackers. The hosts were unable to create any early momentum and had a penalty corner saved in the first quarter. While Germany pushed forward to break the deadlock, the Indian backline stood firm yet again. Germany were awarded a PC early into the second quarter but still couldn’t find a way past Indian Women’s Hockey Team’s defence. The team managed to keep out three PCs in the previous game too.

Germany ended India’s resistance in form of a goal from the third PC. This time, defender Zimmermann made no mistake as the Word No 3 side started the third quarter with a lead. Germany doubled their advantage shortly before the end of the third quarter with seasoned midfielder Hauke getting on the scoresheet. The German side held on to complete their third successive win.

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team will take on Germany in their fourth match on Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 1630 hrs IST.