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TVS Racing to sponsor India's Formula 1 aspirant Kush Maini

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Bengaluru, March 29 (IANS) India’s young driver Kush Maini has received support for his aspiration to get into the Formula 1 circuit with TVS Racing coming on board as a sponsor. TVS Racing – India’s first factory racing team owned by TVS Racing TVS Motor Company (TVSM) on Friday made the significant move signaling its commitment to the broader motorsports landscape by proudly announcing its sponsorship deal with Kush Maini, the talented Formula 2 (F2) racer.

Renowned for its dominance in two-wheeler motorsport, TVS Racing’s support for Kush Maini marks a pivotal step towards fostering motorsports excellence across diverse platforms by the company, TVS Racing informed in a release on Friday.

TVS Racing has trained and given the opportunity to over 5,000 budding racers to sharpen and showcase their skills as part of their TVS OMC program that consists of four categories in India – Rookie, Women’s, Media, and Expert, and TVS Asia One Make Championship that made its foray in 2022 on international tracks. From nurturing talent to achieving international acclaim, the brand’s unwavering dedication to motorsports has been a cornerstone of its identity.

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Expressing his enthusiasm for the partnership, Maini said, “It’s an honour to be supported by TVS, a company that’s very prestigious in India. It has been a driving force in pushing young talent from India to the world stage. It makes me proud to see the TVS colours on my car and suit in an elite championship like Formula 2. I am grateful for their support.”

Maini, hailing from Bengaluru, is an accomplished racing prodigy with an impressive track record. He currently races in FIA Formula 2 and is currently fifth in the championship standings after 3 rounds. He is also part of the Alpine Academy as a junior driver and Mahindra Racing as a reserve driver for Season 10 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

Maini is mentored by two-time Formula 1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen. Having demonstrated exceptional skill and determination throughout his career, Maini has earned accolades and admiration on both national and international circuits. His pursuit of excellence aligns seamlessly with TVS Racing’s ethos of relentless performance and continuous innovation.

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By sponsoring Maini, TVS Racing aims to contribute to the growth and development of motorsports while showcasing the country’s talent on an international platform.

Speaking on the collaboration, Vimal Sumbly, Head Business – Premium, TVS Motor Company said, “TVS Racing has consistently strived to push boundaries and redefine standards in motorsports for over four decades now. It’s been instrumental in fostering motorsports in India, with a commitment to nurture talent globally.

“Our efforts with honing the talents of racers like Harith Noah, Aishwarya Pissay, and more, on a global stage is a testament to our commitment to democratising motorsports. And our decision to sponsor Kush Maini underscores the same commitment to nurturing talent and promoting the culture of racing in India, with a keen focus on celebrating international formats including the likes of F1 and F2. As a company deeply rooted in motorsports, we are thrilled to embark on this journey with Kush and extend our support in his endeavours,” he said.

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–IANS

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IPL 2024: KKR outplay SRH to win final by eight wickets, clinch third title (ld)

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Chennai, May 26 (IANS) Kolkata Knight Riders outplayed Sunrisers Hyderabad in all departments to clinch their third IPL championship with a comprehensive eight-wicket win in a relatively one-sided IPL 2024 title clash at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.

KKR’s bowlers, led by stellar spells from Andre Russell (3-19), Mitchell Starc (2-14) & Harshit Rana (2-24), bowled out SRH for just 113, the lowest total in an IPL final. In reply, the batters, led by Venkatesh Iyer’s 52 not out off 26 balls, chased down the total in just 10.3 overs to make it the second time the side won an IPL title in Chennai.

On a red-soil pitch, only winning the toss was the lone right thing for SRH as they never got any partnership or momentum to post the lowest total in an IPL final. Starc and Vaibhav Arora bowled consistently in the good length area, and had the ball swinging continuously, followed by others getting grip to leave SRH in tatters.

Such was the fantastic bowling show that every KKR bowler had at least one wicket against their names. Starc gave KKR a bright start from the word go when he hit Abhishek Sharma’s top of off-stump with a delivery which began from leg-stump and then nipped away sharply, reminding everyone of how he began 2015 Men’s ODI World Cup final.

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In the next over, Arora’s seaming across delivery resulted in Travis Head nicking behind for a golden duck. After early movement, Starc bowled a short cross-seam delivery on which Rahul Tripathi tried to flick, but gave a massive top edge to mid-wicket fielder. Aiden Markram and Nitish Kumar Reddy looked to counter-attack with four quick boundaries.

But there was no stopping KKR as Harshit Rana bowled three slower balls, before bowling a nipping away seam-up delivery which took Reddy’s edge on the drive behind to keeper. Markram was next to fall, pulling to long-on off a short ball with extra bounce from Russell.

Wickets continued to crumble for SRH as Shahbaz Ahmed top-edged a sweep to short fine leg off Varun Chakaravarthy, followed by impact player Abdul Samad edging away from his body to keeper off Russell and Heinrich Klaasen played on to his stumps off a slower ball from Harshit.

A few boundaries from captain Pat Cummins, who top-scored with 24, took SRH past 100. But he and Jaydev Unadkat fell in quick succession as one of the most attacking batting line-ups of the tournament folded for 113.

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Chasing 114, KKR lost Sunil Narine cheaply when he went too early in his flick off Pat Cummins and thick leading edge was caught by deep mid-wicket, after hitting a pulled six. Venkatesh launched a counter-attack by dancing down the pitch to smack Bhuvneshwar Kumar for two successive sixes, after glancing him for a four to take 20 runs off the third over.

From the other end, Rahmanullah Gurbaz brought out his cut and loft to take two fours, followed by outside edges giving him two more boundaries. Venkatesh cut and pulled fiercely off T Natrajan for consecutive fours, before flicking and swiping handsomely to take six and four respectively off the left-arm pacer, as KKR reached 72/1 at the end of power-play, also the highest total in a six-over phase of the IPL finals.

Gurbaz took over by sweeping Shahbaz Ahmed for six and lofting the left-arm spinner for another maximum, happening on the either side of pulling Jaydev Unadkat for four. But Shahbaz had the last laugh by trapping a sweeping Gurbaz lbw.

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Shreyas Iyer opened his account by reverse-sweeping Shahbaz for four, followed by Venkatesh getting his fifty in 24 balls and he fittingly finished off the chase with a single to clinch third IPL title for KKR, undoubtedly the most consistent side in the competition.

It also the first time Shreyas becomes an IPL winning captain on his second attempt, something which will be a very sweet triumph for him after being excluded from the Indian Test team and BCCI central contracts earlier this year.

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 113 in 18.3 overs (Pat Cummins 24, Aiden Markram 20; Andre Russell 3-19, Mitchell Starc 2-14) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 114/2 in 10.3 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 52 not out, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 39; Pat Cummins 1-18, Shahbaz Ahmed 1-22) by eight wickets.

–IANS

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IPL 2024: KKR outplay SRH to win final by eight wickets, clinch third title

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Chennai, May 26 (IANS) Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) outplayed Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in all departments to clinch their third IPL championship with a comprehensive eight-wicket win in a relatively one-sided IPL 2024 title clash at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.

KKR’s bowlers, led by stellar spells from Andre Russell (3-19), Mitchell Starc (2-14) & Harshit Rana (2-24), bowled out SRH for just 113, the lowest total in an IPL final. In reply, the batters, led by Venkatesh Iyer’s 52 not out off 26 balls, chased down the total in just 10.3 overs to make it the second time the side won an IPL title in Chennai.

Chasing 114, KKR lost Sunil Narine cheaply when he went too early in his flick off Pat Cummins and thick leading edge was caught by deep mid-wicket, after hitting a pulled six. Venkatesh launched a counter-attack by dancing down the pitch to smack Bhuvneshwar Kumar for two successive sixes, after glancing him for a four to take 20 runs off the third over.

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From the other end, Rahmanullah Gurbaz brought out his cut and loft to take two fours, followed by outside edges giving him two more boundaries. Venkatesh cut and pulled fiercely off T Natrajan for consecutive fours, before flicking and swiping handsomely to take six and four respectively off the left-arm pacer, as KKR reached 72/1 at the end of power-play, also the highest total in a six-over phase of the IPL finals.

Gurbaz took over by sweeping Shahbaz Ahmed for six and lofting the left-arm spinner for another maximum, happening on the either side of pulling Jaydev Unadkat for four. But Shahbaz had the last laugh by trapping a sweeping Gurbaz lbw.

Shreyas Iyer opened his account by reverse-sweeping Shahbaz for four, followed by Venkatesh getting his fifty in 24 balls and he fittingly finished off the chase with a single to clinch third IPL title for KKR. It also the first time Shreyas becomes an IPL winning captain on his second attempt, after being excluded from the Test team and BCCI central contracts earlier this year.

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Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 113 in 18.3 overs (Pat Cummins 24, Aiden Markram 20; Andre Russell 3-19, Mitchell Starc 2-14) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 114/2 in 10.3 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 52 not out, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 39; Pat Cummins 1-18, Shahbaz Ahmed 1-22) by eight wickets.

–IANS

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French Open: Naomi Osaka secures hard-fought victory over Lucia Bronzetti

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Paris, May 26 (IANS) Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka fought off a fierce comeback from Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti to secure her first victory at Roland Garros in three years. Japan’s Osaka, who recently returned from maternity leave, clinched the win 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, overcoming late resistance from the world number 67.

Osaka’s return to the clay courts of Paris was met with anticipation, as the former world number one aimed to improve her record at the French Open, where she has never advanced past the last 32. The match began on a gusty Court Philippe-Chatrier, where Osaka swiftly took control, winning five consecutive games to wrap up the first set in just 27 minutes.

However, Bronzetti was not to be dismissed easily. After initially struggling against Osaka’s powerful serve, the Italian found her rhythm in the second set. With tenacity, Bronzetti converted a critical break point at 5-4, forcing a decider and bringing the match to an unexpected climax.

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The final set saw Osaka in a commanding position, leading 4-0, but Bronzetti mounted a remarkable comeback, leveling the score. Yet, Osaka’s resilience shone through as she broke Bronzetti’s serve once more, regaining her lead and finally serving out the match to complete the two-hour battle.

Looking ahead, Osaka faces a daunting challenge in the second round, where she is set to meet defending champion and heavy title favorite Iga Swiatek. Swiatek, who will take on France’s Leolia Jeanjean in her opener, represents a significant hurdle for Osaka, but the match promises to be a highlight of the tournament.

Elsewhere in the tournament, Latvian ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko advanced with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Romanian Jaqueline Cristian. The 2017 champion will next face either Tatjana Maria of Germany or Dane Clara Tauson. Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska, seeded 30th, overcame a set deficit to defeat Australian wildcard Ajla Tomljanovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

–IANS

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Diksha lies ninth in LET Order of Merit

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Evian-Les-Bains (France), May 26 (IANS) Diksha Dagar was lying ninth on the Ladies European Tour’s Order of Merit after a creditable T-20 finish at the Jabra Ladies Open.

Diksha, who had rounds of 72-72 in the first two rounds, shot even par 71 on the final day for a total of 2-over 215. Diksha had two birdies and two bogeys at Evian Resort Golf Club in France.

Diksha, who was third last year on the Order of Merit, is ninth with a good part of the season and some big events still to come.

It was Diksha’s fifth Top-20 finish, three of which have been Top-20. She has also had two other Top-25 finishes. Overall in nine starts, she has been Top-25 seven times and missed the cut only once.

Diksha, who plays next week in Sweden for the Dormy Open Helsingborg, was the only Indian of the six to make the cut this week.

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Morgane Metraux of Switzerland overcame a shaky start to the final round on Saturday to claim her second Ladies European Tour title.

After completing a second round of seven-under-par 64 on Saturday morning, Metraux bogeyed three of her first four holes in the final round and her six-stroke lead was down to just one stroke after 12.

However, her closest challenger, Agathe Sauzon of France, missed the green and dropped a shot on the 13th.

Metraux took her opportunity and birdied the next three holes, starting with a near hole-out on the tough par-3 14th. The round of one-over 72 gave Metraux a winning total of 10-under-par and a three-shot victory over Sauzon and Swiss compatriot Chiara Tamburlini. Ireland’s Lauren Walsh ended three strokes further back in solo fourth.

In the Order of Merit, Metraux jumps to 11th on 525.94 points. Her compatriot, Tamburlini, moves to third on 1,109.10 points. England’s Bronte Law still leads the way on 1,222.15.

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–IANS

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Monaco GP: Leclerc topples Piastri to win first home soil title

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Monte Carlo, May 26 (IANS) Scuderia Ferrari Charles Leclerc won his first Monaco Grand Prix on home soil beating McLaren Oscar Piastri in the second position after a huge crash on the opening lap which saw the race stopped, here at the Circuit de Monaco on Sunday.

Oscar Piastri of McLaren put up an early fight, but Leclerc overcame it to win for the first time since July 2022. Carlos Sainz, his Ferrari teammate, finished third, while Lando Norris finished fourth.

Max Verstappen’s championship lead over Leclerc is now down to 31 points as a result of having to settle for sixth place, between George Russell’s Mercedes in fifth and Lewis Hamilton’s in seventh. Due to a significant crash involving Kevin Magnussen, Sergio Perez, and Nico Hulkenberg exiting Turn One, the race was red-flagged on the first lap. Despite the high-speed collision, none of the three drivers were injured.

Yuki Tsunoda scored points for a third consecutive race with eighth place, ahead of Alex Albon, who gave Williams their first points of the season, and Alpine’s Pierre Gasly finishing in 10th.

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After a huge crash on the first lap, all three drivers—Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen, and Nico Hulkenberg—were forced to watch the majority of the Monaco Grand Prix from the sidelines.

After an unexpected Q1 exit, Perez began Sunday’s race out of position. Magnussen and Hulkenberg, on the other hand, had lined up at the back of the grid after being disqualified from qualifying due to a rear wing breach, thus they started the race together at Sainte Devote.

Top 10:

1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

2. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

4. Lando Norris (McLaren)

5. George Russell (Mercedes)

6. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

7. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

8. Yuki Tsunoda (RB)

9. Alex Albon (Williams)

10. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

–IANS

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