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Sports Shorts: Gunasekaran opens India's account at Military Games

Source: PTI
Last updated on: October 22, 2019 18:44 IST
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Anandan Gunasekaran

IMAGE: Gunasekaran clocked 12.00 seconds to win the 100m event. Photograph: Twitter

Para-athlete Anandan Gunasekaran scooped two gold medals in the disabled men's 100m and 400m IT1 events to open India's medal account at the 7th CISM World Military Games, in Wuhan (China) on Tuesday.

Gunasekaran clocked 12.00 seconds to win the 100m event, India's first medal in the ongoing Games. Peru's Casas Jose was second with a timing of 12.65 while of Fajardo Pardo Teodicelo of Colombia took the bronze with 12.72 seconds.


Later, the 32-year-old Indian clinched his second gold by clocking 53.35 seconds in the disabled men's 400m IT1 event. Colombia's Teodicelo (58.95) and Ranchin Mickael (1:00.31) took the silver and bronze respectively.

The IT1 event is competed among ambulant athletes who have single or double below the knee amputation or substantial foot to knee damage.

The IT4 event is competed among wheelchair participants who have spinal cord injuries or similar impairment but with full trunk function.

Gunasekaran is a 2018 National Para Athletics champion in 200m and 400m. He had also won a silver in 400m in the 2017 World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai.

National record holder shot putter Tajinder Singh Toor finished sixth in a world class field with a best throw of 20.36m. Toor was in search for Tokyo Olympics mark of 21.10m but he failed to touch it.

Romani Darlan of Brazil won the gold with a best throw of 22.36m while Poland's Bukowiecki Konrad (21.84m) and Bob Bertemes (20.66m) of Luxembourg were second and third respectively.

In the men's 400m, national record holder Muhammed Anas missed a medal as he finished fourth with a time of 46.86 seconds. He had clocked the national record timing of 45.21 in July.

In the men's boxing Satish Kumar (+91kg) and Duryodhan Singh Negi (69kg) entered the quarterfinals by winning their respective bouts.

Satish beat O'Griofa Antoine of Ireland 5-0 while Negi defeated Miliusha Dzmitry of Belarus 3-2.

Sindhu begins with easy win, Subhankar upsets Sugiarto in French Open

World champion P V Sindhu began her French Open campaign with an easy win over Michelle Li in the women's singles first round in Paris.

The world number six Sindhu, who has been struggling of late, beat Li 21-15, 21-13 in a match that last 44 minutes.

The Olympic silver medallist Indian had a 5-2 head-to-head record over the world number eight Canadian before Tuesday's match. Sindhu had beaten Li during the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia in their previous meeting.

Sindhu will play against world number 26 Yeo Jia Min of Singapore in the second round of the BWF Super 750 tournament. 

Since claiming her maiden World Championships title in August, Sindhu has looked awfully out-of-form as she had failed to cross the second round in three tournaments.

She faltered in the second and first rounds at the China Open and Korea Open respectively last month. Sindhu again exited in the second round in straight games against Korea's An Se Young in Denmark Open last week.

In the men's singles, Subhankar Dey notched up an upset win over Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia to advance to the second round.

The world number 42 Indian rallied to beat his world number 17 opponent 15-21,  21-14, 21-17 in a one hour 18 minutes first-round match.

This was Subhankar's second win over the Indonesian, a former world number three, this year as the Indian had won 14-21, 22-20, 21-11 in the India Open in March. Shubhankar had lost to Sugiarto in the New Zealand Open last year. 

Sai Praneeth reaches career-best 11, Sindhu unchanged at 6th in BWF rankings

Top Indian shuttler B Sai Praneeth jumped one place to reach career-best 11th spot while world champion P V Sindhu remained unchanged at sixth in the BWF world rankings released on Tuesday.

Praneeth, who won a bronze in the World Championships in August, had a best men's singles career rank of 12th before Tuesday. He had beaten Olympic champion Lin Dan in the Denmark Open last week in the round of 32 before losing to Kento Momota of Japan in the pre-quarterfinals.

Kidambi Srikanth dropped one place to 10th while Sameer Verma also slipped one spot to be 18th in the list headed by Momota.  

In the women's singles, Sindhu remained static at sixth while another Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal moved down one place to be ninth in the list headed by Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei. 

Bertens, Sabalenka off the mark in WTA Elite Trophy

Dutch top seed Kiki Bertens beat Croatia’s Donna Vekic for the third consecutive time this year with a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory in their round robin match at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai on Tuesday.

Bertens, playing in her seventh tournament since her U.S. Open third round exit, was pushed to the limit in an absorbing opening set that lasted an hour and 20 minutes, with a number of games going to deuce and plenty of break points available.

There were 15 break points in the match, with Bertens converting four and Vekic winning two.

“The first set was really tight, so it was just a few points here and there,” Bertens told reporters. “I was just trying to push myself all the time."

“It was tough... mentally but also physically. We were both struggling a little bit. But from 5-4 down I played two really good points.”

While the first set went to a tiebreak, Bertens shifted gears in the second to take a 5-0 lead after Vekic dropped three consecutive service games. Despite dropping serve late in the second, Bertens wrapped up the match.

In the other group, fourth seed Aryna Sabalenka overcame Greek ninth seed Maria Sakkari with a straight sets victory, winning 6-3, 6-4 in a match where both players won a high percentage of first service points.

Belarusian Sabalenka won 86% of her first service points despite making eight double faults and needed only one break of serve in each set to clinch the contest.

American third seed Madison Keys was no match for China’s Zheng Saisai, falling to a 6-4, 6-2 defeat.

Local favourite Zheng’s superior court coverage proved to be a weapon whenever Keys attempted to lure her to the net, and the American was broken six times in the match.

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