|S P O R T||
Sunday, September 20, 1998
KUALA LUMPUR : Iwan Thomas of Wales (1781) wins the Men's 400m in record time at the 16th Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. Thomas set a new Commonwealth Games record with a time of 44:52. Also shown are Jamie Baulch (1769) of Wales and Sugath Thilakaratne (1714) of Sri Lanka. Thilakaratne took the bronze, the first medal for Sri Lanka in 50 years. AP/PTI
victory for Vivek Sharma
to bid for Federation Cup
invited to field team
Jaspal Rana shoots second gold
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 (UNI) True to his form, Indias ace marksman Jaspal Rana struck his second gold in the centre fire pistol event today, putting forth the countrys finest ever display in shooting events at the Commonwealth Games.
The 23-year-old shooting hero tied with Allan McDonald of South Africa but won on the shootout 149 to 145.
This is the seventh gold for India at the 16th Commonwealth Games, one more than the 1994 Victoria meet.
In precision, Rana topped the competition with 293, his series score being 48, 50, 50, 47, 48, 50. He finished seventh in rapid fire at 288 with a series score of 47, 49, 49, 47, 48, 48.
He won on the shootout having targetted 98 in the sixth series to the South Africans 97. The bronze went to Canadian John Rochon who was far behind with 576.
But today there was some disappointment as Oxford student Roopa Unnikrishnan was eliminated in the qualifying of the sport rifle pistol. However, that was overshadowed by the joy brought by Rana.
Ashok Pandit shot 285 in precision and 289 to claim the sixth place behind Canadian Irogov Metodi and Pakistans Rustam Khan.
While Rana was concentrating on his gold, his younger sister Sushma also raised her performance to finish fifth in air pistol with a 374 in the preliminaries and 96.9 in the final round for a total of 470.9. Shilpi Singh finished one spot behind her with 468.7. Shilpi had the same score as Sushma in the qualifications but in the final round recorded only 94.7.
The event was won by Australian Annemarie Forder with 480.6, the silver went to her team-mate Christine Tafery with 476.9 and New Zealander Tanya Corrigan claimed the bronze with 476.3.
Roopas score of 554 and Anjali Vedpathaks 549 was just not enough to see them through to the final eight in the womens sports rifle three position event today. While Roopa was ranked 11th along with other three shooters, Anjali was 17th.
The event was won by Australian Susan McCready who tallied 667.3, her qualifying score being 571. Canadian Sharon Bowles took the silver with 666.4 and the local shooter Roslina Bakar got the bronze with 666.3.
Rana had looked good for gold when along with Pandit he won the gold in the centre fire pairs event on September 15. His 581 that day was the best performance. But this morning Allan McDonald virtually matched the Indian.
Todays gold is Indias fourth from the shooting competitions, a high never reached before. The centre fire pistol competition is Ranas favourite event.
Mansher Singh and Manavjit Singh began the gold haul firing away in the trap pair event on the opening day of the shooting competitions on September 13.
Two days later Rana and Ashok Pandit bagged the second gold. On September 17, Roopa was bang on target for the sports rifle prone gold.
Rana had, in fact, been doing extremely well in the badge matches at the games which preceded the championships. In these warm-up competitions the ace shooter won the centre fire pistol and individual air pistol events.
KAULA LUMPUR, Sept 19 (PTI) Middleweight pugilist Jitender Kumar will aim to give India a special status when he goes for gold against his seasoned English Rival John Pearce in the final of the Commonwealth boxing at the Shah Alam Stadium here tomorrow.
The 23-year-old who has thus far been simply brilliant to storm into the final will hope to provide India their first boxing gold in the 68-year history of the games and go one up on flyweight G. Narayanan, who won the last silver medal for his country by reaching the final at the 1974 Christchurch Games.
The 1995 Asian youth champion who could not make it to the World Cup qualifiers as he was down with jaundice has the best chance to lift the stocks of Indian boxing as the last medal hope after his three countrymen crashed out before reaching the medal rounds.
Endowed with a deadly right first, Kumar has so far punched his opponents to submission with combination punches and effective jabs even while showing smooth footwork, but the seasoned Pearce who has weathered a tough draw to make it to the summit stage could be a tough nut to crack.
Kumar took apart two Africans in the early rounds by pummelling Francis Partsoh of Samoa 13-3 and then outboxing Kenyan national champion George Adipo 29-15 to enter the medal round.
The Railways pugilist wiped out Indian fears of returning empty-handed from the ring and ensured they bettered their lone bronze medal gained in Victoria four years ago by storming into the final.
The Indian used his superior reach to telling effect as he surprised Canadian national champion Trevor Stewardson 21-10, delivering early blows through powerful right straights and jabs before dancing out of harms way in the later rounds.
A win over Pearce, though very tough, should give a big boost to the boxer who has been suffering from cold and give India their first ever Commonwealth Games gold.
Popat in line for gold, Gopichand in semis
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 (PTI) Aparna Popat stunned second seed Julia Mann of England in three energy-sapping Games to barge into the women's final and Pullela Gopichand eased into the men's semifinal to assure India of medals from both singles at the Commonwealth badminton here today.
The 20-year-old national champion Aparna fought a superb battle against her superior rival to register a 11-8, 12-13, 13-11 verdict in a high-voltage semifinal lasting around one hour to set up a final showdown tomorrow with top seed and world number 10 Kelly Morgan of Wales.
Favourite Morgan thrashed Tracey Hallam (England) 11-6, 11-4 but the Indian world junior runner-up, who took a game of her during the team event, can look forward to toppling her.
Aparna's show is the best-ever by an Indian woman in the Games' history, surpassing the semifinal entry by former junior national champion Deepti Thanekar in the 1990 Auckland Games.
Gopichand also kept himself in line to emulate his illustrious predecessors Prakash Padukone and the late Syed Modi, who won the men's singles gold at the 1978 Edmonton and 1982 Brisbane Games, respectively.
The 24-year-old India number one was in crushing form as he drubbed John Leung of Wales 15-1, 15-6 and will take on formidable Malaysian Wong Choon, 15-3, 15-1 winner over Mark Constable (England), in tomorrow's semifinal.
KUALA LUMPUR, Sep19 (PTI) Hosts Malaysia bravely warded off persistent attacks to script a stunning, solitary-goal victory over India to romp into the final of the mens hockey championship in the Commonwealth Games here today.
Captain Mirnawan Nawawi struck the "sudden death" goal early in the seventh minute of extra time to send the capacity home crowd into a frenzy after both teams were locked goalless at the end of regular time.
The Indians, who dominated the game for most part of the contest, were left shell-shocked as the hosts capitalised on a penalty-corner deflection by Mirnawan to shatter the Indian gold medal hopes.
Malaysia will lock horns with strong favourites Australia in tomorrows final while India would clash with England, who too went down 2-3 in "sudden death" extra time goal to the Aussies in the other semifinal. In the bronze medal play-off which is also scheduled for the morrow.
After having done all the hard work it was a huge disappointment for the Indians who had themselves to blame for the debacle as they missed chances galore in both the sessions against the home team.
The Indian forwardline, which was showing signs of perking up in the last couple of matches, failed miserably in the all-important clash as they muffed chances with exasperating regularity right through the encounter.
Their positioning also left much to be desired.
The Indians should have forged ahead in the first half as they fluffed a number of easy scoring opportunities with Baljit Singh Dhillon being the main culprit.
The Indians got as many as eight penalty corners but could not capitalise on any of them with most of the hits going out or being directed straight to the Malaysian custodian.
The Malaysians, in contrast, were awarded only four penalty corners and scored the decisive goal of the clash off the last one.
Indian coach Maharaj Kishen Kaushik hit out at the Indians inability to score even once despite getting a plethora of chances.
"Good teams who dominate in such a fashion would have scored 10 goals. We couldnt get even one", was his scathing comment after his dream of guiding India into the final of a major tournament on his first assignment since taking over from Vasudevan Baskaran was blown apart.
Malaysias German coach Paul Lissek was understandably thrilled with his teams entry into the title-contest against Australia.
"We were waiting for
the knock-out blow to come, but India never took its
chances. My boys fought well till the final second and
deserved to win", he said and termed the day as a
great one for Malaysian hockey.
Maria Mutola does Mozambique proud
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 (Reuters) Mozambiques Maria Mutola captured her countrys first-ever Commonwealth Games gold medal today when she beat her cousin into second place in a gripping womens 800-metre final.
The 25-year-old former world champion led from the gun and managed to hold off cousin Argentina Paulino in the final straight to finish in a time of 1:57.60 seconds, beating the games record she set in qualifying.
"I have to run my kind of race, I have to make it my race thats why I went so fast," Mutola said. "I dedicate this to Mozambique."
Paulino finished strongly for a time of 1:58.39, ahead of Englands Diane Modahl in 1:58.81 to help Mozambique complete a 1-2 in the event.
Modahl, 32, won the event at the 1990 Commonwealth Games but was not allowed to defend her title in 1994 after being told she had failed a dope test at an earlier meeting. She fought a long legal battle to clear her name.
That made competing in Kuala Lumpur a special pleasure.
"Its not quite a fairy-tale ending, but I feel its the end of the chapter of the last four years," Modahl said.
"Its my fastest time in six years I cant grumble with that."
Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony, has no ties with Britain but was accepted into the Commonwealth club of nations in 1995 as a special case because it is surrounded by Commonwealth members.
Yesterday Welshman Iwan Thomas beat English arch-rival Mark Richardson for the second time in a major final as he took the Commonwealth Games 400 metres title.
The 24-year-old Thomas won in 44.52 seconds breaking Australian Darren Clarke's eight-year-old Games record. Asian champion Sugath Thilakaratne was third in 44.64 to win his country's first games track medal in 50 years.
It was the second track Games record held by an Australian to fall on the night as Jamaican Sandie Richards broke her best friend Cathy Freeman's 400m mark.
There was also a games record for Barbados 400m hurdler Andreas Blackett and 40-year-old English shot putter Judy Oakes set a track and field Games record when she won the title. Her sixth consecutive medal and her third gold.
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 (PTI) A four-wicket haul by skipper Shaun Pollock helped unfancied South Africa beat favourites Australia by four wickets to win the first Commonwealth Games cricket gold here today.
Australia received the silver while New Zealand bagged the bronze.
Set a modest target of 184 in 50 overs for a win, South Africans coasted to victory in 46 overs with four wickets to spare. Pollock claimed four wickets for just 19 runs in his nine-over spell.
A steady 67 runs off 106 balls, including seven hits to the fence by opener Mike Rindel, sewed up the gold for South Africa.
The result came as a rude shock to cricket pundits who, from day one, had predicted that Australia, with a full-strength squad, would triumph in the event making its debut here.
"We are better placed but cricket is always a game of chance," Aussie skipper Steve Waugh had remarked after his sides win over New Zealand in the second semifinals.
Pollock won the toss and put Australia in to bat on a pitch which aided spin and seam but lacked the viciousness it had displayed on previous occasions.
South Africa received a blessing in disguise in the form of opener Andrew Hudson, who hit a brisk 36 off 39 balls to make up in no small measure for his miserable showing in the previous matches here.
Hudson pulled a rising delivery from off-spinner Gavin Robertson into the hands of Michael Bevan, who covered considerable ground to take the catch.
After Hudson departed at 73, Robertson struck in his second over, dismissing derek Crookes (3), caught brilliantly at short leg by Tom Moody.
The proteas reached 100 in the 20th over with Jacques Kallis and Rindel at the crease. The duo added 72 runs for the third wicket before Rindel departed in the 37th over, edging a flipper from Darren Lehmann straight into the hands of Mark Waugh at forward short leg.
But for Australia, the damage had already been done.
Herschelle Gibbs, who replaced Rindel at the crease, opened his account slamming Lehmann for a four. Damien Fleming bowled him for nine in the 42nd over when South Africa were 172 for four.
Ben Johnson still dreams of comeback
TORONTO, Sept 19 (AP) Even after 10 years, he still would have held the title of fastest man in the world.
And now Ben Johnson is trying to reclaim what he says he never should have lost. The muscle-bound blur busted for using steroids at the Seoul Olympics is ready to return to the track at age 36.
"It kind of feels sad to think how fast I could have gone," he said.
He did go fast, anyway, amazingly fast, blowing past Carl Lewis in the 100 meters for a gold medal and world record of 9.79 at the 1988 games. Stripped of the medal and the record, he was suspended for two years, and banned for life in 1993 when he again tested positive for steroids.
His second comeback bid rests on a legal battle to overturn that ban by the International Amateur Athletics Federation. He is to appear in Ontario court on Monday.
Based on assessments from his agent and lawyers, Johnson is optimistic about the outcome, and talks of returning to world-class competition by December or January, perhaps at meets in Australia or South Africa.
He has been training regularly throughout his long exile from track, and estimates hed need eight weeks of intense work to reach peak form. He says he recently ran 80 meters in 8.14, and believes he could start his comeback with a 100-meter time of around 10.10.
"My dream is to come back again and compete against the best in the world," he said.
Since his lifetime ban hes dabbled in real estate and made several public appearances to raise cash and draw attention to his case. Hes travelled to Europe and Japan several times, where the media remains fascinated by him, and last year resorted to such antics as racing against a Toronto radio sportscaster.
Johnsons agent and manager, Morris Chrobotek, is engaged in a two-pronged offensive to get his client back on the track. Hes collecting documents that he says cast doubt on the 1993 drug test, while focusing the court case on the issue of restraint of trade.
"Lets say Ben was driving, and maybe he was speeding," Chrobotek said. "Okay, you take his license away but not for the rest of his life. Enough is enough."
Johnsons campaign has received little support from anyone at the higher levels of Canadian track and field, whether officials or athletes.
But there seems to be a shift in Canadian media coverage of him, treating him less like a villain and more like someone who became a scapegoat for a widespread problem.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation aired a lengthy TV documentary this month that raised the question of whether Johnson was treated fairly. Among those interviewed was Mark Mckoy, who came back to win a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 after a two-year suspension.
"Ive always thought Ben was shafted," Mckoy said. "You get caught, you do your time, you come back."
Johnsons quest is followed with interest at the Canadian centre for ethics in sport, which helps administer drug testing on behalf of Canadas sports federations.
The centres chief executive, Victor Lachance, said Johnson is entitled to his day in court, but suggested the sprinter might have been better off persevering with an appeal to the IAAF.
Lachance said the spate of drug scandals in sports this year underscored the scope of the problem, but disputed the notion that this should generate sympathy for Johnson.
"There is no question there is doping going on, and no question more needs to be done to ensure we have a level playing field," Lachance said. "But the fact that other people were not caught doesnt mean anything unjust was done to Johnson."
Canadian sports officials
are growing weary of Johnsons long-running
reinstatement campaign and believe the lifetime ban was
proper, said Hugh Wilson, director of athlete and coach
Development for Athletics Canada, the national governing
body of the sport.
Matches deliberately lost : ex-Pak coach
LAHORE, Sept 19 (Reuters) Former Pakistan coach Haroon Rasheed today told a Judge investigating charges of betting and match-fixing in Pakistan cricket he was convinced that some matches had been deliberately lost.
"During my (July 1997-August 1998) tenure as coach there were some matches which I, as a cricketer, felt should have been won by Pakistan but were lost," Rasheed told Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum at a hearing.
Rasheed told a government-appointed inquiry into allegations of foul play in the national sport that there were three one-day internationals which he felt Pakistan should have won but lost.
An interim report by the Pakistan Cricket Board recommended that Salim Malik, Wasim Akram and Ijaz Ahmad should not be selected in the team until the investigations were over.
Malik and Ahmad are at presently in Canada for the Sahara Cup against India while Wasim Akram has announced his retirement.
"During an Asia Cup match in Colombo in 1997, Pakistan were chasing 239 and the target looked well within reach when Inzamam-ul-Haq and Salim Malik were batting. But first Inzamam was run out while taking a risky single and then Salim Malik threw away his wicket," Rasheed said.
"In the dressing room, Inzamam told me he and Malik had decided not to take risky singles but he (Salim Malik) made a call to which he had to respond," Rasheed, who was replaced by Javed Miandad last month, said.
"In one of the 1997 Sahara Cup matches, Pakistan were chasing 208 for victory and Salim Malik and Saqlain Mushtaq were at the crease. Once again there was a mix-up which resulted in Saqlains run-out. Shortly, Salim Malik again threw away his wicket as Pakistan lost by 20 runs."
Rasheed said in the second one-day international against India at Karachi the visitors needed 16 or 17 runs in the last over which was bowled by Saqlain Mushtaq.
"He gave away those runs. Such kind of bowling could not have been expected of a bowler of Saqlain Mushtaqs calibre," Rasheed said.
Rasheed said during last years Asia Cup, Rashid Latif gave an interview in which he accused both Pakistani and India cricketers of match-fixing.
"The interviewer stated that Rashid Latif was in possession of the material to substantiate these allegations, which he was not bringing out as his childhood friends were also involved."
Upset victory for Vivek Sharma
CHANDIGARH, Sept 19 Vivek Sharma of DAV College created a flutter today when he upset top seed Rajnikant Prajapat of Panjab University in the quarterfinals of the men singles on the penultimate day of the Chandigarh State Badminton Championships being held here at the Sector 42 Indoor badminton Hall.
Vivek defeated Rajnikant in three games 5-15, 15-4, 15-9. Others semifinalists in the men category include Amit Sachdeva who struggled against Gurdev Singh. Ashish Sharma and Vikas Mahajan also recorded win.
Yesterday the matches started late in the evening due to a major power shutdown. The organisers had a tough time as the whole schedule was upset.
Meanwhile, in the under-16 girls singles quarterfinals Mala Gaba defeated Bhauna in two straight games 11-9, 11-4, while Parneeta got the better of Isha 12-11, 11-2. Mala reached the finals in the (under-19) event when she outclassed Isha 11-3, 11-2. Pallavi Jain downed Pasneeta 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 in a thrilling encounter.
In another interesting match of the day in under-16 boys singles, Gurjeet with his fine courtcraft and deft placements defeated second seed and favourite Dhanjay 15-7, 4-15, 15-10. The top seed in this event Akash Singh joined Gurjeet when he bounced Ishan 15-2, 15-2.
eves record win
CHANDIGARH, Sept 19 The results of the Panjab University Inter-College Inter Zonal kho-kho (men) and football (women) tournament played on league at the University here are as under:
Kho-kho (men): GGDSD College, Chandigarh, b GGS DAV College Centenary College, Jalalabad, by one turn & 4 points; SD College, Hoshiarpur, GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sadhar, by one turn & 11 points; S.D. College, Hoshiarpur, b GGS DAV Centenary College, Jalalabad, by one turn & 7 points; GGDSD College, Chandigarh, b GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sadhar, by one turn & 6 points.
BHIWANI, Sept 19 The secretary of the much talked Haryana Cricket Association, Mr Ranbir Singh Mahendra, while asserting complete transparency in the working and accounts of the association, proposed that any general member or office-bearer related to the association could look into the records on prior information at any time. It is deserving mention that the former Indian captain Kapil Dev and his supporters have been alleging not transparency in the working of the association.
Refuting the charges during a press conference here today, Mr Ranbir Singh stated they were baseless and that the general body of the association at a meeting held here on Wednesday had confirmed it. Replying to the allegations levelled by the secretary of the Chandigarh Cricket Association (affiliated to HCA), Mr Surinder Singh, he said the responsibility of accounts lay with the association and the treasurer and secretary signed the balance sheet after it was passed by the general body.
He maintained that despite this, if any of the members had doubts, they could clear it by checking the accounts.
Responding to the charge of not spending from the players benevolent fund and promotion fund he stated that since no rule had yet been defined for these funds it was not proper to spend money from it.
Referring to the charge of signing the attendance sheet much before the commencement of the meeting the secretary said Mr Surinder Singh himself was present at the meeting and had signed during the meeting.
He said since the Panchkula Cricket Association was not affiliated to the HCA the question did not arise to let Chetna Sharma, representative of the Panchkula association, participate in the meeting. He added the selection committee for the Ranji team was for entire Haryana and it did not belong to only one or two districts.
HFA to bid for Federation Cup
CHANDIGARH, Sept 19 The executive committee meeting of the Haryana Football Association held here yesterday under the chairmanship of Mr L.M. Jain, president, resolved to bid for the North Zone Kalyani Black Label Federation Cup to be held in June-July next year. The meeting also decided to hold the state Super Club League Championship at Faridabad in November, 1998, while the State Senior Football Championship was allotted to DFA, Yamunanagar. It will be held in the last week of November, 1998.
The state (U-16) subjunior and (U-19) junior championships will be organised by DFA Hisar and DFA Fatehabad, respectively, in December, 1998.
The state Schools Girls Football Championship will be played at Bahadurgarh at the end of October this year and state Womens Football Championship will be organised at Sonepat in December, 1998.
The state Rural Football
Tournament will be conducted by DFA Sirsa in January
1999. The meeting decided that state teams in all age
groups (boys and girls) will participate in the national
championships held under the aegis of AIFF, according to
Mr M.P. Singh, secretary, HFA.
SGFI invited to field team
CHANDIGARH, Sept 19 The School Games Federation of India has received an invitation to take part in the 16th International School Sports federation International Football Tournament being held at Cagliari(Italy) from May 13 to 20 next year, according to Mr B.D. Gandhi, secretary-general of the School Games Federation of India.
Only school teams are allowed to participate. Each country can field one team for boys and one team for girls. The participants have to furnish proof of being members of the same school. All competitors must be born between 1981 and 1984. Each school team is not allowed to have more than 20 persons, including 17 players, two teachers and one referee.
The SGFI has accepted the
invitation and has approached the Ministry of Sports,
Government of India, for allowing the SGFI to sponsor the
team. For selection of the school team, a special
tournament will be organised at the time of the National
School Games in the discipline of football (under-19)
being organised at Jabalpur or under-17 being organised
in Bihar., Mr Gandhi added.
CHANDIGARH, Sept 19 -- Top amateur golfer and Arjuna Award winner Harmeet Kahlon of Chandigarh was felicitated jointly by the Chandigarh Golf Association and the Punjab Golf Association here last evening.
Chandigarh Olympic Association president Rajan Kashyap honoured the golfer by presenting him a shawl and a memento at a function.
Besides being the top amateur of the country, Harmeet has won a number of titles while playing abroad. Currently he is training for the Asian Games, scheduled to be held later this year. Kahlon is the first Indian to win the Asian Pacific Golf Championship in Hong Kong in 1997.
Twenty other golfers of Chandigarh, including Parnita Grewal were also honoured on the occasion.
Olympian Milkha Singh presented a memento to Mr Kashyap.
chief of AAFI
JALANDHAR, Sept 19 The fraction-ridden Amateur Athletic Federation of India has finally resolved its differences and elected Mr Umrao Singh, former MP as its president.
As there were two factions for the past 14 years, the world Veterans' Athletic Association (WVAA) and the Asian Veterans Athletic Association (AVAA) requested the Amateur Athletic Federation of India to intervene and unify both the groups. The following office-bearers have been elected for four years.
President Mr Umrao Singh, working president Mr P.V. Parthasarathy; secretary-general Mr A.K. Banerjee, senior joint secretary Mr Harish Ohri; treasurer Mr V.N. Pathak.
JALANDHAR, Sept 19 (PTI) Over 120 wrestlers from 14 teams will participate in the 13th All-India Postal Wrestling Tournament which will begin here next Monday, Punjab Postal Services Director Kulbir Singh said here today.
The six-day tournament being hosted by the Punjab circle of the Postal Department will feature free style and Greco-roman style wrestling contests with teams from across the country participating in the annual tournament, he told reporters here.
The tournament to be organised at the local Hans Raj Stadium, would be inaugurated by Mr P. Bhagawan Dass, members (development) of the All-India Postal Services Board.
Mr Kulbir Singh said the
Postal Department had been constantly striving to give
due importance to sports and during 1997-98, the
department's teams participated in the disciplines of
table tennis, athletics, weight lifting, body building,
cycling, kabaddi and basketball.
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