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Asian Games 2022: 15-year-old amateur Avani Prashanth makes Indian golf team

Anirban Lahiri and Shubhankar Sharma in the men’s and Aditi Ashok and Tvesa Malik among the women were handed direct entries on the basis of their rankings.

Fifteen-year-old amateur golfer Avani Prashanth made her way to the Indian team for the Asian Games 2022 by topping the women’s trials which concluded at the Karnataka Golf Association in Bengaluru on Saturday.

In the men’s trials for the Asian Games, Viraj Madappa was followed by Rashid Khan, a silver medallist from the 2010 Asian Games, on the leaderboard. The two booked their places in the Indian golf team for the continental showpiece event in Hangzhou.

Overall, 16 men were competing for two available spots while 11 women competed for one place. The trial lasted for five days but only the best four rounds of each player were considered for the final scores.

India’s top two men and women golfers as per world rankings were awarded direct entries into the Indian team for the Asian Games 2022. Anirban Lahiri (world No. 85) and Shubhankar Sharma (172) along with Aditi Ashok (112) and Tvesa Malik (323) made the cut directly. They did not participate in the trials.

Tokyo Olympian Diksha Dagar, Rayhan Thomas and Arjun Gupta, meanwhile, were some of the highly-rated Indian golfers who did not join the trials due to scheduling.

The men’s contenders included Olympian Udayan Mane and Karandeep Singh Kochhar, nephew of Indian Olympic champion shooter Abhinav Bindra.

In the women’s trials, leader Avani Prashanth’s total of four best rounds was 14-under 274. She upstaged Jahanvi Bakshi, whose four best rounds added up to 12-under 276.

In the trials, Viraj Madappa finished 18-under 270 (66-68-71-69-67). The 26-year-old beat Rashid Khan, who carded a 16-under 272 (68-73-67-66-71).

The Asian Games are scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to 25.

India have won a total of six medals, three gold and three silver across individual and team events, since golf made its debut at the 1982 Asian Games. All medals have been won by men.

Indian golfing team for Asian Games 2022

Men: Anirban Lahiri, Shubhankar Sharma, Rashid Khan and Viraj Madappa

Women: Aditi Ashok, Tvesa Malik and Avani Prashanth

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