Ritwick, Saurav make final
There were no surprises in the men’s semi-finals of the national squash championships. Top seed Ritwick Bhattacharya of Delhi booked his berth after outplaying Maharashtra’s Sahil Vora 9-3, 9-0, 9-2 at the Calcutta Racket Club on Saturday. Second seed Saurav Ghosal was not as authoritative against third seed Gaurav Nandrajog (Delhi), but still won 9-7, 9-4, 9-3.
Women’s top seed Joshna Chinappa, the under-19 national champion, cruised into the title round with a 9-0, 9-1, 9-0 rout of local girl Neha Rathi. In the other semi-final, Tamil Nadu’s Sonali Philip rallied to oust Surbhi Misra of Rajasthan 8-10, 9-4, 9-2, 9-6.
Nostalgia ruled at the East Bengal ground on Saturday afternoon when stars of yesteryears paraded their skills in front of a galaxy of Olympians ranging from Ahmed Khan and Sahu Mewalal to P.K. Banerjee, Chuni Goswami and Leslie Claudius. The occasion was the golden jubilee celebrations of Veterans’ Club, which made the afternoon a reality with IFA’s association.
Even as the Surajit Senguptas pitted their ageing limbs against the Victor Amalrajs, Ahmed Khan — whose last match during a long association with East Bengal was in 1963 — was the cynosure beyond the sidelines.
The double-Olympian saw no hope of India’s soccer standards going up, with or without a foreign coach. “Players of this age don’t take pride representing their country… it was different in our time,” he observed.
For the record, Mohammedan Sporting won the ‘championship’ beating East Bengal 3-2 via penalties. In earlier games, East Bengal got the better of Veterans’ Club 4-3 and Mohammedan Sporting beat Mohun Bagan 5-4 — also via tie-breakers.
Bagan’s David dilemma
Zimbabwean defender David is free to don Mohun Bagan jerseys in the National Football League, but there’s a catch: Brazilian striker Marcos Parreira will have to be released as otherwise Aloke Mukherjee’s team will end up with five foreigners — including new Brazilian duo Eduardo and Leonardo, who are expected to get their ITCs on Monday and sign the same day.
“We can’t release Marcos just like that as we have a contract with him. We sat with him today and made an offer... he’ll let us know either way on Monday. We’ll take a decision on signing David only after that,” ,” said assistant secretary Balaram Chowdhury.
Saturday Club tennis meet
Prashant Ravi beat Rishav Tandon 8-7 (7-3) in a boys’ under-12 match of the Saturday Club floodlit tennis meet today.
Boys’ U-12: Jacky Ahuja bt Vedant Tyagi 8-0; B. Pradhan bt Arijit Mullick 8-5; Rohan Shroff bt Ayush Poddar 8-1; Mohammed Sarfaraz bt Avik D’Souza 8-3. Girls’ U-14: Urmila Mandapaka 8-2.
Seven teams will be in fray at the East Zone regional final of McDowell’s Signature Club Golf Championship at the Tollygunge Club course on Sunday. Beldih Golf Club, Golmuri Golf Club, Shillong Golf Club, Digboi Golf Club, Bhubaneswar Club, Royal Calcutta Golf Club and Tollygunge Club will to battle amongst each other to decide who will represent the zone at the all-India finals on December 20.
TODAY IN SPORT
SQUASH: National championships: Finals at CRC from 5 pm.
GOLF: Signature club championships at Tollygunge Club.
TENNIS: Floodlit hardcourt meet: Matches at Saturday Club from 10 am.