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Nagal attains 77th place; set to represent India in Paris
NEW DELHI, June 10: India’s Sumit Nagal climbed 18 places to a career-best 77th in the latest ATP rankings issued on Monday, all but sealing a spot in the Paris Olympics men’s singles draw.Nagal has 713 ATP points. The improvement in his rankings was due to Nagal bagging the men’s singles crown at the Heilbronn Neckarcup 2024 Challenger event in Germany on Sunday, beating Switzerland’s Alexander Ritschard in a three-set thriller.The Indian won 6-1 6(5)-7 6-3 in the final that lasted two hours and 22 minutes. Rankings, as on Monday, will be the basis for deciding entries for the Games.As per the established criteria, the top 56 players, both in men’s and women’s rankings, will attain automatic qualification for the Olympics but no more than four per country can make the cut for the Games, a rule which allows lower ranked players to sneak into the draw.Nagal looks good to secure the last available ranking-enabled spot in the draw. The last time India had a player in the Olympics main draw was the 2012 Games when Somdev Devvarman made it thanks to a wildcard. “Elated to win the title in Heilbronn this week. It was an important week for me, and I’m proud to have produced my best tennis when it mattered the most,” Nagal posted on X after his final win.“If I win a match like this, I can be proud because the fight was insane. Ranking is secondary, first goal is to play good tennis,” he said at the end of his match. (PTI)

IOA, WFI to provide support to Olympic-bound wrestlers
NEW DELHI, June 10: Indian Olympic Association will provide “extensive support” to the six Olympics-bound wrestlers, with the national Olympic committee and WFI also accepting ace grappler Vinesh Phogat’s request for more aid for training.Six Indian grapplers — Vinesh Phogat (50kg), Antim Panghal (53kg), Anshu Malik (57kg), Nisha Dahiya (68kg) and Reetika Hooda (76kg) in women’s section and Aman Sehrawat (57kg) in men’s — have qualified for Paris Games.IOA president PT Usha said in a statement on Monday that the aim of the exercise is to ensure peak performance of the wrestlers.“By providing on extensive support team, we aim to ensure that our wrestlers have access to the best resources, enabling their peak performance. This decision aligns with our commitment to foster an environment where athletes can thrive,” said Usha.IOA and WFI are planning a support team for wrestlers that will include coaches, physiotherapists, nutritionists, mental-conditioning coaches, and other essential staff in the days leading up to the Olympics.Wrestling Federation of India president Sanjay Singh said more support staff will be provided to Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh for her training.“We will ensure that Vinesh and all our wrestlers receive the necessary support to excel and keep India’s flag flying,” he said. The ITF will notify national federations about qualified athletes by June 12, following which National Olympic Committees will confirm their entries by June 19. (PTI)

Valencia fans convicted for racist abuse against Vinicius
MADRID, June10 : Three Valencia fans have been handed eight-month prison sentences after pleading guilty to racially insulting Real Madrid forward Vinícius Júnior in the first conviction for racism-related cases in professional soccer in Spain.The fans won’t be allowed to enter soccer stadiums for two years and will have to pay for all the court proceedings.The fans were detained after a La Liga match between Real Madrid and Valencia at Mestalla Stadium in May 2023. The match was briefly stopped after Vinícius was insulted.Valencia had already banned the fans from Mestalla. (PTI)

Lahiri finishes sixth in Liv Houston Golf Series
HUMBLE, (USA) June 10: India’s Anirban Lahiri played a solid third and final round to card four-under 68 for a total of 10-under to finish tied sixth at the Liv Houston Golf series here.This was the second top-10 for Lahiri, who had earlier finished a similar sixth in Jeddah in March.Starting with a birdie from the third, Lahiri had five birdies, an eagle and three bogeys in his 68. His earlier rounds were 69-69.In the team competition Cleeks GC led by Martin Kaymer won their first trophy.The team totalled 33-under to win at Golf Club of Houston by two strokes over Smash GC and Fireballs GC. This was LIV Golf’s 30th tournament since its inception.The Houston individual title went to Torque GC’s Carlos Ortiz, who has celebrated four team victories but never an individual win.Ortiz shot a final-round of five-under 67 to finish at 15-under, one stroke ahead of the Cleeks’ Adrian Meronk. (PTI)

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