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Sports Shorts: Easy day for Bajrang, Ravi excels in Worlds trials

July 26, 2019 14:30 IST

Bajrang Punia

IMAGE: Star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia. Photograph: Bajrang Punia/Twitter

Star wrestler Bajrang Punia needed less than four minutes to book a berth in India's World Championship squad while Ravi Kumar Dahiya earned his chance by winning the most competitive category during the trials, in New Delhi, on Friday.

Presence of proven performer Bajrang in the 65kg trials meant that most of the wrestlers in this category preferred to stay away.

 

Only Harphul Singh, the reigning national champion, took on the world number one but he could not compete with Bajrang for two full rounds. Harphul suffered a knee injury when the Asian Games gold-medallist got hold of his right leg in the second three-minute period.

Bajrang was leading 7-0 when the bout had to be stopped.

"If the bout had lasted for full six minutes, it would have been good for me as well as the fans who came to watch us wrestle. It feels bad when the bout has to end like that. When a wrestler suffers an injury,it really pegs him back. All of us work hard, I feel bad for him," said Bajrang.

The 57kg category featured seven wresters, including the very talented Sandeep Tomar and Utkarsh Kale. However, it was Ravi, the last year's U-23 World Championship silver-medallist, booked a flight to Kazakhstan.

Ravi, who trains at Chhatrasal stadium under his coach Virender, outplayed Rahul 12-2 in the final bout.

The final was expected to be a stiff battle but Rahul, who knocked out 2016 Asian Champion Sandeep Tomar, and Kale, were no match to a wily Ravi.

"There will be stiff competition at the Worlds. Asia is a powerhouse of wrestling. You have tough wrestlers from Japan, Iran, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. I am training hard and hopefully I will have good result," said the 22-year old from Haryana.

The 86kg category also featured just two grapplers with Deepak Punia winning 5-0 against Pawan. The 20-year-old Deepak has considerable international exposure but it will be his first senior World Championship. He also trains at Chattrasal with Virender.

A few exciting bouts were witnessed in the 97kg category in which Mausam Khatri emerged winner by beating Satyawart Kadiyan 8-1 in the final.

Satyawart, husband of Rio Olympics bronze-medallist Sakshi Malik, opted for an attacking approach but Khatri not only defended well but also outsmarted his rival with his counter-attacks.

Also booking a berth in the World Championship, slated to be held in Kazakshtan from Septmber 14-22, was Sumit Malik in the 125kg category. He beat Satender 3-0 in the final.

The trials for the 74kg category, in which two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar competes, have been pushed to next month since both Jitender Kumar and Praveen Kumar are injured.

They sought more time to recover and the WFI obliged. 

Second boxer in two days dies from head injuries after fight

Argentine boxer Hugo Santillan died, on Thursday, from injuries suffered in a fight on Saturday, the second such death in just two days after that of Russian Maxim Dadashev in the United States.

Santillan, who was 23, collapsed while the result was announced of his 10-round draw with Uruguayan Eduardo Abreu in San Nicolas.

He was taken to hospital where he underwent an operation to relieve pressure due to swelling on the brain caused by a head trauma, hospital sources said. He died of a heart attack.

Dadashev died on Tuesday from brain injuries suffered in his fight with Puerto Rican Subriel Matias on Friday night in Maryland. He was 28.

Nothing appeared wrong with Santillan as he fought to a draw with Abreu but while waiting to hear the result announced, he collapsed and lost consciousness.

Santillan had a record of 19 victories, eight by knock-out, six defeats, two by stoppage, and two draws.

A professional since 2015, he won the South American super featherweight title in September 2016 but lost it four months later in his first defense. 

Hockey India names 18-member team for Tokyo Olympics test event

Hockey India named a 18-member Indian women's team for the Tokyo Olympics test event to be held from August 17-21.

The team is almost similar to the one which participated at the FIH Women's Series Finals in Hiroshima, Japan with chief coach Sjoerd Marijnethe having opted for just two changes.

Youngsters Sharmila Devi and Reena Khokhar were named in the team in place of Sunita Lakra and Jyoti. Khokhar had been sidelined due to an injury but makes a comeback into the side after recovering successfully, while Sharmila will be expecting to make her debut for the national side.

Striker Rani Rampal remained the captain while goalkeeper Savita will be her deputy.

The Indian team, currently no. 10 in the FIH Rankings, will face tough challenges as it will be up against the likes of world no. 2 Australia, China (11th) and hosts Japan (14th).

The team consists of experienced goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu while Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Gurjit Kaur, Salima Tete and Nisha will shoulder the defensive duties.

Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Lilima Minz and Neha Goyal will look to command the midfield. Rani, Navneet Kaur, Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur and Sharmila Devi are the forwards who have been picked in the team.

"We are looking forward to playing three top countries at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Test Event as I rate them all highly. We have selected a squad of 18 players where only 16 players will be allowed to play in accordance to the Olympic standards," said Marijne.

"I will be very interested to see how we fare against these countries, and what we need to improve for the FIH Olympic Qualifiers because everything that we do, will be focused on that. We will be learning good lessons in this tour regardless of whatever happens."

The Team: Goalkeepers: Savita (vice captain); Rajani Etimarpu

Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Gurjit Kaur, Salima Tete, Nisha

Midfielders: Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal

Forwards: Rani (captain), Navneet Kaur, Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur, Sharmila Devi.

Lochte to make competitive return next week after 14-month ban

Six-time Olympic gold medallist Ryan Lochte will return to competition following a 14-month doping ban at next week's Phillips 66 National Championships in Palo Alto, California, USA Swimming said on Thursday.

Lochte, who was banned for taking an intravenous infusion, has been entered in six events at the July 31-Aug. 4 meet.

The 34-year-old American's comeback will begin with a 100-metre freestyle on Wednesday and a news conference will be held following the completion of the morning preliminaries.

Lochte posted an image on social media last year showing himself receiving an infusion of permitted substances and was later banned after a subsequent investigation revealed it exceeded permissible levels.

The ban was announced by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency last July but Lochte's period of ineligibility began on May 24 on 2018, the date of the infusion.

In its ruling, USADA said intravenous infusions or injections in excess of 100mL within a 12-hour period and without a therapeutic use exemption certificate are prohibited, unless legitimately received in the course of hospital treatment.

WBC seeks information on Whyte dope test reports

The World Boxing Council (WBC) said on Thursday it had asked Britain's governing body for information after media reported that heavyweight Dillian Whyte failed a dope test before fighting Colombian Oscar Rivas in London last weekend.

Whyte won the fight on a unanimous points decision at the O2 Arena, making him a mandatory challenger for WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.

The world body said it had yet to receive "any notification from anyone about a positive anti-doping test allegedly yielded by Dillian Whyte in connection with last Saturday’s fight. 

The British Boxing Board of Control has made no comment other than saying all anti-doping procedures were carried out for them by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD).

UKAD also had no comment.

Whyte's promoter Eddie Hearn said on Twitter that Whyte and Rivas "were subject to extensive VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) and UKAD testing for their bout.

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