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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: 16-year-old Lakshya wins Bulgaria Open badminton title

Sports Shorts: 16-year-old Lakshya wins Bulgaria Open badminton title

Last updated on: August 17, 2017 17:02 IST

A summary of sports events and sports persons, who made news on Thursday.

Lakshya SenYoung Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen on Thursday clinched the Bulgaria Open International Series title after notching up a hard-fought win over Croatia's Zvonimir Durkinjak in the men's singles final in Sofia.

The Uttarakhand shuttler, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Wednesday, beat second seed Zvonimir 18-21, 21-12, 21-17 in a 57-minute match.

He had beaten Sri Lanka's Dinuka Karunaratna 21-19, 21-14 in the semi-finals.

 

World Junior No 1 Lakshya was recently sent to train under former All England champion Peter Gade, who is currently the head coach of French national team.

Lakshya had reached the finals of Senior National Championship in February.

"It is a creditable achievement for Lakshya. He is still a junior but he has been able to win tournaments and that is a good sign.

"We had sent five players on a 10-day training trip with the French national team. He trained under the great Peter Gade and it has benefitted him," coach Vimal Kumar said.

"He had a good tournament. He beat the top seed Sam Parsons in the first round. He won the junior National and also was finalist at Senior Nationals this year and it gave him a lot of confidence to beat top players like HS Prannoy. So I feel if groomed properly, he does have a great future," Kumar said.

Asked what are the upcoming tourneys that Lakshya would be playing, Vimal said: "He is concentrating on his strength. We have former national champion Sayali Gokhale attached to him and she travels with him.

"In two months time, he will be playing Vietnam Grand Prix and then it would be junior World championship," he added.

Last year, the Indian had won the India International Series and clinched a bronze at the CPB Badminton and Sports Science Training Center in Thailand.

Image: Laskhya Sen

India beat Austria 4-3

India players celebrate a goal

IMAGE: India players celebrate a goal. Photograph: Hockey India/Twitter

Ramandeep Singh and Chinglensana Singh Kangujam struck twice to guide the Indian men's hockey team to a sensational 4-3 win over Austria in their final encounter of the Europe Tour in Amstelveen, Netherlands.

Double goals from Ramandeep (25th minute, 32nd) and Chinglensana (37th, 60th) helped India end the tour with three wins and two loses.

For Austria, Oliver Binder (14th), Michael Korper (53rd) and Patrick Schmidt (55th) sounded the board.

After two successive wins against World No.4 The Netherlands, India made a steady start against Austria. While they kept most of the ball possession, penetrating into the striking circle was hard to come by.

In fact, it was Austria who took an early lead through Oliver Binder's goal in the 14th minute to end the first quarter 1-0.

India, however, made amends in the second quarter when they won a PC in the 25th minute. A clever variation saw comeback-man Amit Rohidas pass the ball to Ramandeep Singh who deflected the ball into the circle to equalise the scores.

The 10-minute halftime break saw India comeback into the game as a stronger team with better attack. They made better circle penetrations and a brilliant breakthrough came in when Ramandeep scored a rollicking field goal in the 32nd minute.

It was a reverse hit from the top of circle which flew past the Austrian goalkeeper to give India a 2-1 lead. India found another chance to score when Mandeep Singh helped win a PC through a stick check.

But the opportunity went amiss with the ball hitting the cross bar. However, another opportunity created by Mandeep was successfully converted by Vice Captain Chinglensana in the 37th minute through a superb variation by drag-flicker Varun Kumar.

Going into the final 15 minutes, India had a comfortable 3-1 lead. But a determined Austria put one past the India goalkeeper when they won a PC and Michael Korper converted it successfully in the 53rd minute to set up a close finish.

Though India had won a PC only minutes before, thanks to forward Gurjant Singh, injector Manpreet Singh sent the ball slightly wide.

With a little over eight minutes left, forward Lalit Upadhyay found a great opportunity to score but his strike was brilliantly saved by the Austrian goalkeeper.

Austria then pushed India on the back foot when they scored in the 55th minute via Patrick Schmidt to equalise 3-3.

It was a tense final few minutes with India pushing hard for a goal. With just 10 seconds left for the final hooter, Chinglensana scored a sensational goal when Ramandeep made a brilliant circle penetration to find Gurjant Singh.

A cross hit by Gurjant saw Chinglensana deflect the ball into the goal and seal the match with winning points.

India will return from the Europe Tour on Friday.

Van Persie set for Dutch team recall

Robin van Persie of the Netherlands

IMAGE: Robin van Persie of the Netherlands. Photograph: Michael Dalder/Reuters

Robin van Persie is in line for a recall to the Netherlands national team after an absence of almost two years.

The Fenerbahce forward was named on Wednesday in a preliminary squad for two key World Cup qualifiers in the next fortnight.

Ryan Babel and Eljero Elia have also been recalled as coach Dick Advocaat named 32 players for the important qualifier against Group A leaders France in Paris on Aug. 31 and then at home to Bulgaria in Amsterdam on Sept. 3.

There is a first call-up for Ajax Amsterdam’s 20-year-old midfielder Donny van de Beek, who scored two in the early rounds of the Champions League over the last month.

The 34-year-old van Persie, whose 50 goals in 101 internationals makes him the the Netherlands' top scorer, last played in a 3-2 loss to the Czech Republic in the European Championship qualifier in October 2015. He scored an own goal and was later dropped by Advocaat’s predecessor Danny Blind.

"I worked with him last season at Fenerbahce where he showed what he could do. Robin is a player we might still need but we’ll see in the next weeks how fit he is and if he is playing," Advocaat said in a statement released by the Dutch football association.

"This is a preliminary squad so players can fall out or be included later."

Besiktas striker Babel, 30, was last in the team in late 2011, while Elia, who also plays in Turkey, for Basaksehir, has not been in the team since 2012.

Advocaat was named in May to try and resurrect the Dutch’s hopes of qualifying for the next World Cup in Russia as they sit third in their group with 10 points from six games, three behind joint leaders France and Sweden.

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