|Monday, January 31, 2000,
Agassi dethrones Kafelnikov
needs to lift fitness level
|Churchill rally to hold JCT
LUDHIANA, Jan 30 Goa league champions Churchill Brothers rallied to hold a fighting JCT Phagwara to a 1-1 draw which propelled them to the top spot with 23 points on the conclusion of the first phase of the National Football League at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.
maintains lead, Anand held
win for England
Rana settles for bronze
Punjab hold nationals on time?
Agassi dethrones Kafelnikov
MELBOURNE, Jan 30 (AP) Better and better as time goes on, Andre Agassi claimed his second Australian Open tennis crown and sixth Grand Slam title today in an artistic and bruising victory over defending champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia.
Five of Agassis most exquisite, feathery drop shots and dozens of powerful groundstrokes sapped the strength and spirit from the Russian in a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 triumph.
At 29, Agassi left no doubt that he rules mens tennis. In less than a year, he has won the French, US Open and Australian Open and finished runner-up at Wimbledon.
Agassi became the first player to reach four straight Grand Slam finals since Australian legend Rod Laver in 1969.
Kafelnikov raced to a 4-0 lead in the opening set as Agassi struggled to find his range and inflict any damage on serve. But when Agassi broke back twice to make it 3-4 a sense of his ultimate triumph engulfed the match, even though he wound up losing the set.
But the American came back quickly yielding only four points through his next four service games.
Its been crazy, Agassi said of his run to the top last year after sinking as low as No. 141 near the end of 1997.
It does take a lot out of you, but it also gives you a lot. This is what we play for. I was out there training on Christmas eve. When you give yourself the best shot and you do it, thats what makers all your hard work worth it. Theres no feeling like it, Agassi said after the match.
I think hes hitting his stride right now, Agassis coach, Brad Gilbert, said. Ultimately he wants to keep improving. There are a lot more titles for him to win. He has three or four more good years left in him.
Agassi thanked Gilbert and his trainer, Gil Reyes, for telling him over and over that his best would be good enough all the time as long as he stayed in peak shape. And though Agassi didnt mention girlfriend Steffi Graf, who sat between them in the stands, he saluted her as they exchanged smiles.
This final proved, as everyone thought, anticlimactic to Agassis brilliant and dramatic victory over Pete Sampras in the semifinals. There were too many errors, too many mis-hits by both players this time, and little tension.
Agassis path to this title was strewn with danger, from the brutal serves of Mark Philippoussis and Sampras to the all-around game of Kafelnikov.
Though the match was even on the scoreboard, there was little doubt in Agassis mind or in the thoughts of spectators that he was on his way to victory.
He breezed to a 4-0 lead, again slipping in the occasional drop shot among powerful groundstrokes, and won the third set with ease.
My legs started feeling heavy at the end of the third set, Kafelnikov said.
The only nervous moment from then on came as Kafelnikov was about to serve the fourth set when a man wearing a red mask and holding a video camera leaped to the court and took aim at the players. But guards rushed to grab him and pulled him away.
Agassi simply outlasted Kafelnikov in key rallies and didnt let him back in the match.
I felt like somewhere in there, he got his second wind, but I felt like I had another gear to shift into, Agassi said.
Agassis victory was his fourth straight over Kafelnikov and similar to the comeback he mounted from a 1-6 first-set loss in the US Open semifinals last September.
Kafelnikov said before this match that he was surprised by Agassis resilience in the Open, the way he fought back from a set down. Kafelnikov promised he would have to adjust to that this time if in the same position, but Agassi never gave him a chance.
Its amazing how he can recover from losing the first set.
Rennae Stubbs clinched her second doubles title of the 2000 Australian Open tennis championship when she teamed with Jared Palmer to win the mixed doubles final against Todd Woodbridge and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario.
The 28-year-old Australian, who had never won a Grand Slam championship leading into the Melbourne Park tournament, won her second in three days with the 7-5, 7-6 (3) win over 1993 Australian Open mixed doubles champions Woodbridge and Sanchez-Vicario.
She combined with Americans both times, teaming with Lisa Raymond to defeat Martina Hingis and Mary Pierce in the womens double final on Friday.
Palmer, who won the 1995 Australian Open mens doubles title with Richey Reneberg, closed out on the first match point when Woodbridge put a forehand into the net.
The 28-year-old American joked that he followed Stubbs orders Sunday.
The opening set went with serve until 5-5 when Palmer hit a return winner at 30-40 to break Sanchez-Vicario and take a 6-5 lead.
Woodbridge of Australia
and Sanchez-Vicario of Spain had combined to win Grand
Slam mixed doubles titles at Roland Garros in 1992 and at
Melbourne Park in 93.
Agassi stays silent on Graf
MELBOURNE, Jan 30 (AFP) Top seed Andre Agassi surprised a 15,000 crowd by avoiding mentioning his biggest fan after he beat Yevgeny Kafelnikov to win his second Australian Open mens title today.
Instead, the American talked of his coach, his trainer and loved ones back home. But no word for former womens great Steffi Graf, who watched all his matches for the last five months, and who was sitting in the stands.
At the beginning of the tournament he had to deny the pair had married in secret. Asked again on television why he did not say anything about Steffi, he went on the defensive.
Kafelnikov needs to lift fitness level
MELBOURNE, Jan 30 (AFP) Yevgeny Kafelnikov, one of the most enduring players on tour, says he must lift his fitness levels and cut out the errors if hes going to go the distance with the worlds best.
The world No 2 let a one set to love lead slip against Andre Agassi in the Australian Open final today and blamed the 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 4-6 loss on a lack of stamina and failing to convert the crucial points.
The Russian second seed had reached his third Grand Slam final with little fanfare, dismissing lowlier opponents with ease, but struggled to match the Americans endurance.
I felt like Agassi was starting to pick up his game (after the first set) and started to play a lot more consistently, he said.
He said Agassis stamina in a game of brutal baseline tennis was unbelievable.
Its amazing how he can recover from losing the first set and continue to raise his game in the second, third and towards the end of matches, he said.
Thats the aspect of the game hes improved a lot. Even when he loses the first set hes still able to come back to the match and win.
The 25-year-old defending champion, who has played more matches on the ATP tour than anyone else in the past five years, said he was happy with his tournament but had learnt lessons.
Im disappointed of course that I lost the final but I didnt come here expecting to play in the final. Losing it is the only disappointing aspect of my two weeks here, he said.
Im not disappointed at the way I played. I fought hard, tried hard but unfortunately came up a little short.
But I have to improve on my physical ability.
It is the second time where Im in winning the first set, basically controlling the match and unable to play up to my standard as the match progresses. Im going to have to do a lot of work for the next tournament.
He said Agassis improved fitness was a signal that all other players, including himself, had to raise their own levels to compete.
Kafelnikov admits he must also iron out the errors that crept into his game.
He made 61 errors to Agassis 35, several on key points.
Im going to definitely try and and work on that aspect, he said. Thats really necessary for me to beat him. Those three or four points make a huge difference.
India end disastrous tour with defeat
PERTH, Jan 30 (PTI) India ended their disastrous tour of Australia with yet another defeat, a four-wicket loss to the hosts in the last league tie of the trination one-day cricket series here today.
The Indians posted a challenging total of 226 for six after winning the toss, but that and a late fightback by the visitors meant nothing for the strong Australians, who notched up 230 runs for the loss of six wickets in 49.3 overs. The beleaguered Indian team, which lost the Test series 0-3 to Australia, managed to win only one of its eight one-day ties to leave Australia and Pakistan to battle it out in the best-of-three finals.
After yet another batting collapse in which skipper Sachin Tendulkar and V.V.S. Laxman departed for three runs each, Rahul Dravid came up with a knock of 65 from 109 balls to steady the innings in partnership with Hrishikesh Kanitkar, who chipped in with 30 off 50 balls.
Then Robin Singh and Samir Dighe got together a fifth-wicket partnership of 73 runs to help India reach a reasonable score of 226.
A rain interruption did not disturb the Australians and a characteristic knock of 75 from 92 balls by one-day specialist Michael Bevan set them up for victory.
India came back strongly in the later stages, when Robin Singh dismissed Bevan to a brilliant catch by Tendulkar in the 43rd over and then bowled Steve Waugh (19) in his next over.
When Shane Lee was run out in the 47th over the Australians were down to 205 for six and the match was headed for a close finish.
But Damien Martyn (19 20 balls) and Shane Warne (16 10b) came up with some big hitting. Warne, returning to the side after a 20-day injury layoff, cracked a boundary off the third ball of the last over by Venkatesh Prasad to safely see them home. Earlier, India had a disastrous start to their innings when Laxman and Tendulkar were back in the pavilion by the ninth over with just 11 on the board.
Laxman was caught in the slips off the first ball of pace sensation Brett Lee, ending his terrible run of scores in the one-day series that reads 9, 2, 2, 7, 1, 3 - a total of 24 from six innings.
Tendulkar, who took 21 balls to make three runs and also survived a run-out attempt, was bowled by a Damien Fleming delivery which pitched on the middle stump and left him a shade to hit his off-stump.
Dravid, rediscovering his form in the very last match of the tour, steadied the innings with 65 (109b, 6x4s) and was the pivot of an 81-run third-wicket stand with Kanitkar (30), which, along with a 73-run sixth-wicket stand between Robin Singh (45) and Dighe (36 not out), helped the Indians post a fighting total.
Dravid and his partner looked at ease against the multi-pronged Australian attack, Dravid playing some fluent ondrives against Shane Lee and the left-handed Kanitkar regularly finding the gaps for singles.
After Kanitkar fell to a brilliant catch by Ricky Ponting at extra cover, Devang Gandhi (13) played soundly most of the balls he faced before hitting a Warne delivery straight to Martyn at mid-on.
Dravid was the fifth man out in the 40th over when he slashed at Shane Lee and Mark Waugh at point made no mistake. The score read 145 for five.
Robin Singh and Samir Dighe then pushed the score along at a brisk pace with some good running between the wickets before Robin Singh hit Glenn McGrath straight to Mark Waugh at long off in the 49th over. Dighe remained not out on 36 from 38 balls, including three fours.
Australias victory chase was built around Man of the Match Bevans 71 after Mark Waugh (40) and Ponting (33) had taken them to 136 for three.
The Indians struggled to contain the Australians with a limited attack which was missing leg-spinner Anil Kumble, being rested because of a thigh strain, and in the end the fightback by Robin Singh, Sunil Joshi and Ajit Agarkar could not stop the Australians.
Kumbles substitute Sunil Joshi, however, bowled superbly. Joshi struck with his very second ball when he had Mark Waugh caught behind, and then had Ponting holing out in the deep, at which point rains stopped the play.
Singh, who bowled a tight line throughout, was rewarded when Tendulkar brought off a fine diving catch at short midwicket to send back dangerman Bevan. In his very next over, the 45th of the innings, Robin Singh clean bowled Steve Waugh.
Agarkar had given the Indians their first success when Adam Gilchrist (6) hit him straight to point.
Laxman c Warne b B. Lee 3
Tendulkar b Fleming 3
Dravid c M. Waugh b S. Lee 65
Kanitkar c Ponting b Martyn 30
Gandhi c Martyn b Warne 13
Robin c M. Waugh b McGrath 45
Dighe not out 36
Joshi not out 2
Extras: (lb-14, w-7, nb-8) 29
Total: (for six wkts in 50 overs) 226
Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-11, 3-92, 4-113, 5-145, 6-218.
Bowling: McGrath 9-3-22-1, Fleming 8-2-37-1, B. Lee 7-0-22-1, S. Lee 8-0-38-1, Martyn 5-0-19-1, Warne 9-0-57-1, S. Waugh 4-0-17-0.
M. Waugh c Dighe b Joshi 40
Gilchrist c Robin b Agarkar 6
Ponting c Agarkar b Joshi 33
Bevan c Tendulakar b
Robin Singh 71
S. Waugh b Robin Singh 19
Martyn not out 19
S. Lee run out 2
Warne not out 16
Extras: (lb7, w9, nb8) 24
Total: (for six wkts, 49.3 overs) 230
Fall of wickets: 1-39, 2-78, 3-136, 4-190, 5-201, 6-205.
Churchill rally to hold JCT
LUDHIANA, Jan 30 Goa league champions Churchill Brothers rallied to hold a fighting JCT Phagwara to a 1-1 draw which propelled them to the top spot with 23 points on the conclusion of the first phase of the National Football League at Guru Nanak Stadium here today. With todays draw, JCT have accumulated 17 points from four victories and five draws which puts them at par with Goas Salgaocar SC. The second phase is due to commence on February 1.
Trailing by an 18th minute Hardip Sangha goal at half time, Churchill Brothers came back strongly in the second session to score the equaliser through star striker Marcus Carvalho thereby denying the mill men, who were cruising along confidently, a chance to garner full points in concluding tie of the first phase here.
JCT, who had beaten ITI by a convincing 3-1 margin at Bangalore a few days back, gave a pleasing display of attacking football. The mill men hardly showed signs of nervousness against their opponents, who had in their ranks an assortment of foreigners, including Ukrainian medio Andrey Malchevsky, defender Osumanu Husseni and Mykola Shevchenko, and goalie Edward Ansah. However, Churchill sorely missed the services of top striker Francis Silveira.
Right from the kick-off, JCT made their intentions clear as they swarmed all over the rival territory and attacked in waves. In the eighth minute medio Harjinder tested Ansah with a booming volley from the top of the box but the ball sailed over.
In the 18th minute, star midfielder Hardip Sangha of the JCT put his side ahead in a unique display of opportunism. Having pounced on the ball after rival defender Mykila chested it near danger zone, Sangha unleashed a booming left footer which gave Churchill custodian Edward Ansah absolutely no chance. Hardip Sanghas goal sent JCTs spirits soaring and defender Deepak Mondal made a brave attempt to consolidate the lead in a melee but failed.
Churchill Brothers counter-attacked through medio Rocky Barreto whose header, though well directed, was saved by an alert Baljit Singh under the JCT bar. Andrey Malchevskys subsequent left footer also sailed over.
JCT suffered a setback in the 35th minute when Hardip Sangha suffered a leg injury and had to be replaced by Jasbir, who failed to make an impact. In Sanghas absence, Hardip Saini and Hardip Gill made some brave attempts.
A few minutes before lemon time, Marcus Carvalho netted the ball off a counter attack but was ruled off-side.
In the second half, Churchill Brothers played a more cohesive game with the roving Somatai Shaiza floating the ball menacingly inside the box.
Midway through the second half, Shaizas flag kick saw the ball curving in dangerously but Baljit displayed fine anticipation to ward off the danger.
After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, Churchill struck the equaliser through Marcus Carvalho, who headed the ball home off a gentle flick by Mykola.
Following the equaliser, JCT effected a couple of substitutions with Harinder replacing Harjinder and Jaswant coming in place of Hardip Gill. In the dying minutes, Jaswant made an excellent attempt from a difficult angle but saw the ball over the bar. Later Jaswinder also had a good chance but Ansah made a timely collection to thwart JCTs designs.
Kasparov maintains lead, Anand held
WIJK AAN ZEE (Holland), Jan 30 (PTI) Indias Viswanathan Anand played out another draw with Jeroen Piket of the Netherlands while top-ranked Russian Gary Kasparov assured himself of the title by keeping a one-point lead with a draw in the 12th and penultimate round of the Corus Super Grandmasters chess tournament here.
Anand employed the piece sacrifice variation of the Slav defence with black pieces which give white some advantage.
But Piket, coming from a drubbing at the hands of Judit Polgar of Hungary in the last round, was in no mood to contest Anands improvement on the system and settled for a draw after just 17 moves. Anand is now placed fourth on seven points.
The much awaited clash between Kasparov and his compatriot Vladimir Kramnik, who was sharing the second spot with Peter Leko of Hungary at 7.5 points, ended in a draw after 37 moves.
This placed Kasparov (8.5), the worlds highest ranked player, with a full one point advantage going into the final round.
Opening with the king pawn, Kramnik faced the Grunfeld Indian defence of Kasparov, who produced a novelty on the ninth move in a rarely played variation.
Kramnik gained a slight advantage in the middle game with his centre control but Kasparov came up with a pawn sacrifice to neutralise it. Striving hard Kramnik penetrated the seventh rank with his rook but the same side pawn structure offered little hope.
In the ensuing endgame Kasparov defended the pawn down position to virtually assure himself of the title since he now needs only a draw with white pieces in the final round.
On another day of drawn games yesterday, Dutchman Jan Timman (6) and Bosnian Predrag Nikolic (6) defeated Alexander Morozevich (6.5) and Michal Adams (6.5), respectively.
Nikolic dashed the hopes of Adams to finish higher in the standings by outplaying him in a queens Indian defence game with white pieces. Adams wriggled out of the opening with a slightly inferior position thanks to the bishop pair advantage held by Nikolic.
In the middle game Adams went for complications by opening up in the centre but weakened his own pawn structure in the process. Nikolic coordinated his pieces well to exert pressure on queen bishop pawn and won easily. Soon the queens got traded and any further attempts to create chances by Adams were thwarted with ease by Nikolic who won in 45 moves.
Crushing win for England
KIMBERLEY (South Africa), Jan 30 (AFP) Medium-pace bowler Mark Ealham set a world record with five leg before wicket dismissals as England gained a crushing revenge victory over Zimbabwe in the limited overs series match at the De Beers Diamond Oval today.
Ealham took five for 15 as Zimbabwe struggled to 161 for nine in their 50 overs after winning the toss.
England captain Nasser Hussain and Nick Knight then shared their second century opening partnership of the series as England raced to an eight-wicket win with 17.5 overs to spare.
Ealhams performance was the best by an England bowler in a one-day internationals just as Henry Olongas six for 19 two days earlier had been an all-time best for Zimbabwe when they thrashed England by 104 runs in Cape Town on Friday.
No bowler in limited overs history had previously had more than four lbw verdicts in their favour but there could be little argument with any of the five positive decisions made by South African umpire Dave Orchard.
Johnson c Hussain b Caddick 11
G. Flower lbw b Ealham 28
Campbell c Solanki b Alleyne 28
Goodwin lbw b Ealham 15
A. Flower lbw b Ealham 8
Carlisle lbw b Ealham 2
Whittall lbw b Ealham 0
Streak not out 35
Rennie c Hussain b Gough 23
Olonga b Gough 0
Extras: (lb4, w6, nb1) 11
Total: (9 wkts. 50 overs) 161
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-71, 3-73, 4-92, 5-96, 6-97, 7-98, 8-160, 9-161.
Bowling: Gough 10-2-31-2, Caddick 10-2-21-1, White 10-1-44-0, Alleyne 10-0-46-1, Ealham 10-3-15-5.
Hussain c Rennie b Olonga 64
Knight not out 72
Hick b Streak 2
Solanki not out 16
Extras: (b-4, lb-1, w-2, nb-1) 8
Total: (for 2 wkts. 32.1 overs) 162
Fall of wickets: 1-128, 2-140.
Tyson demolishes Francis
MANCHESTER, (England) Jan 30 (Reuters) Mike Tyson demolished Julius Francis in a heavyweight mismatch yesterday, ending the weeks of hype by flooring him five times in just over four minutes.
Referee Roy Francis stopped Tysons first fight in Europe after one minute and three seconds of the second round.
By that time his bulky British namesake had been knocked to the floor for the final time by the former undisputed world champion, who had entered the Manchester arena flanked by bodyguards to the sound of an air raid siren.
Tysons black cape carried the words Be real.
Francis, who had been escorted in by the British army, forgot to take cover as reality hit.
The Briton, a 100-1 outsider hoping to emulate James Buster Douglas and score a shock defeat over Tyson outside the USA, managed to get a few shots in but was mostly reduced to hugging and pushing Tyson on the ropes.
Tyson, fighting at his heaviest weight ever, threw the first blow and had Francis on the canvas with some 30 seconds remaining of the first round.
His first count of nine, after an uppercut to the body, was followed by another seven count on the bell.
Two more counts of eight followed in quick succession at the start of the second round and the 21,000 crowd including soccer star David Beckham and Spice girl wife Victoria began to make plans for the rest of the evening.
They cannot have been surprised by the outcome.
Yesterdays fight, made possible only after the government allowed Tyson into the country despite his 1992 rape conviction, was more about seeing the once-awesome Tyson in the flesh for the first time rather than a genuine contest.
Seven rounds in three years
I was surprised he kept getting up. I hit him with some good body shots, said Tyson, who has now completed just seven rounds since 1997 when he was banned for biting Evander Holyfields ear in a Las Vegas title fight.
His last fight in October 1999, against Orlin Norris, was a no-contest and the one before that lasted five rounds before Tyson knocked out South African Frans Botha.
Tyson, whose performance allowed little scope for searching analysis but who had needed a quick win to maintain his bankability, thanked Home Secretary Jack Straw for allowing the fight to go ahead and offered Francis some comfort.
I knew he (Francis) would show a lot of heart in his hometown, he declared. I wanted to come in and bang the body. I think I have a long way to go before I fight for the title but Im still trying.
I wish I felt as good as everyone said I looked.
Tysons record is now 47 wins, three defeats.
The American said he would like to fight his next couple of fights in Europe but was not fussed about opponents.
Im an American. I will continue my European tour but I am from Brownsville, Brooklyn, he said.
Referee Francis formally cautioned both men before the first bell but there was no time for foul play yesterday.
Julius had milked the moments before the hour of reckoning for all they were worth, jogging out onto the pitch at old Trafford during Manchester Uniteds home game against Middlesbrough to take the applause of the crowd.
He was warmly welcomed on his entry to the arena a few hours later but the ripple of soccer crowd-style cheers of England, England, England soon turned to boos.
Hes very powerful. What surprised me was the short punches inside, said Francis.
All those punches hurt me.
I went in thinking I had it right to fight Tyson but you dont always get it right. Few boxers will stand up to Mike Tyson, said the 35-year-old after his eighth career defeat.
Jeev finishes joint 38th
NEW DELHI, Jan 30 (UNI) Michael Campbell of New Zealand continued his impressive form and won his second successive European tour title with a six-under 66 final round while Indias Jeev Milkha Singh ended joint 38th on the final day of the $ 1.1 million Heinieken Classic, an event on the European PGA tour, at the 7,101-yard, par-72 Vines Resort course in Perth, today.
According to information reaching here, the Chandigarh-based player could not get his name going after making four bogies, finally managed his first birdie on the 18th hole. Jeev, who began the day at three-under and tied at 22nd spot, finally finished at the 38th place at level-par 288 for the tournament.
Campbell aggregated 20-under 268 to win by a margin of six strokes over runner-up Thomas Bjorn of Denmark .
Scores (after 36 holes):
136 -Thomas Bjorn (Den) 68+68+68+70; 275-Michael campbell
(NZ) 68+69+65+66; 274- Alex Cjeka (Ger) 72+66, Johan
Skold (Swe) 71+67 139- Markus Brier (Aut) 72+67, Stephen
Leaney (Aus) 70+69+69+71; 280 Michael Clayton (Aus)
69+70, Peter OMalley (Aus) 68+71; 140- Wayne Smith
(Aus) 67+73; Patrik Sjoland (Swe) 69+71; Paul Gow (Aus)
71+69+70+71; David Smail (Nzl) 70+70+69+72; 288 Alastair
Forsyth (Sco) 72+68+68+67; 276 t-25th: 142-Jeev Milkha
Singh (Ind)70+72+71+75; Ernie Els (Rsa) 72+69+68+67 279.
Rana settles for bronze
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 (AP) Pistol ace Jaspal Rana of India had to settle for a bronze medal in his favourite 25 metre centre fire pistol event which was won by Korean Park Byung-taek in the ninth Asian Shooting Championship in Langkawi here today.
Rana was pushed to the third spot by Japans Tomonori Nakazato who took the silver.
Kazakhstan won three golds and set one new shooting record on the final day today. China won the competition overall, taking 23 gold, 19 silver and eight bronze, pushing South Korea, with 7-6-9, in to second place.
The first gold for Kazakhstan came from Natalya Kovalenko with a new record in the womens 10-metre running target mixed individual, upsetting favourite China.
She earned 382 points against the previous 376 garnered in 1998.
Chinas Zhang Yanli took the silver with 379 points while Park Jun-yun of South Korea the bronze with 372 points. Kazakhstan grabbed their second gold through Alekcey Ponomarev, Sergey Kolos and Sergey Ikshiv in the mens skeet team final with a combined 348 points.
Chinas Jin Di, Zhang Xindong and Li Xu with 345 points romped home the silver and South Koreans Kim Chang-Nyun, Jeon Chan-sik and Oh Myoung-jin took the bronze with four points less.
hold nationals on time?
CHANDIGARH, Jan 30 Who will lose face in case the 2000 National Games are not held on time? Obviously, the first casualty will be the Punjab Olympic Association (POA) which has been allotted the games. But more than the POA it will be the Punjab Government which had wholeheartedly backed the POA bid and had promised all necessary help to make the games a success. Besides, the others to be affected are the sports persons of Punjab, who are training hard for the event, scheduled to be held from November 5 to 16 this year.
The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had convened a meeting on January 3 where, besides functionaries of the POA, top bureaucrats of the Punjab Government were also present. All facets of the National Games, including the renovation/improvement of infrastructure and equipment, were discussed and the Punjab Olympic Association was promised that no stone would be left unturned to conduct the games on time and in a befitting manner.
At the meeting the Punjab Government promised that a sum of Rs 5 crore would be released by the State Finance Department to the Department of Sports and Youth Welfare to commence repair/renovation work. But so far, the money has not been released. This delay might prove very costly because civil works take a lot of time to be completed. And the Punjab Government has decided that all infrastructure must be completed by September 5.
The events of the 2000 National Games are scheduled to be held at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala as also Chandigarh. However, at that meeting it was proposed that some of the events could be conducted at Anandpur Sahib where an indoor stadium was under construction and is expected to be completed by April. If this was done, the meeting was informed, then the state government would save some money. The matter will be discussed with the President of the Punjab Olympic Association, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, before a decision is taken.
The meeting also decided that the expenditure on a number of infrastructure facilities to be created/repaired/upgraded at Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala should be borne by the respective municipal corporations. However, for other infrastructure the State Sports Department would make arrangements for the finances.
The meeting was informed that the shooting events should be conducted at Chandigarh while the golf tournament could be held either at Jalandhar or Chandigarh.
According to reports available here, so far no work has been undertaken by any of the municipal corporations. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has to spend a lot of money to update the Guru Nanak Stadium, where besides various events, the opening and closing ceremonies will be held. Renovation and expansion of the stadium would cost Rs 1.5 crore, while Rs 1.8 crore would be needed for laying a synthetic surface and another Rs 2 crore for floodlighting the stadium. Additional Rs 40 lakh is needed for the basketball complex in the stadium.
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation will also have to spend Rs 1crore for a multi-purpose indoor hall, Rs 25 lakh for a swimming pool and a similar amount for an administrative complex.
The State Sports Department on its part has to spend Rs 30 lakh for a pavilion at the hockey stadium at the Punjab Agricultural University complex, Rs 50 lakh for the lawn tennis stadium at the same complex and Rs 35 lakh for a cycling velodrome. But the moot questions remain: from where will the money come and will the works be completed in time for the games?
Gurmukh-Saleem duo wins final
JALANDHAR, Jan 30 In a big upset unseeded pair of Gurmukh Singh (Ldh) and Mohd Saleem (Sang) defeated top seed pair of Manish Arora and Navdeep Singh of Patiala in the final fight in the mens doubles of the third Punjab State Badminton Ranking Tournament that concluded at Raizada Hans Raj Stadium here. Ram Lakhan of Jalandhar and Saloni Kundra of Amritsar lifted the mens and womens singles titles, respectively.
Mens singles (quarterfinals): Rohan Kapoor (Jal) b Ranjit Singh (Jal) 15-7, 15-2; Ram Lakhan (Jal) b Dilpreet Singh (Ldh) 15-8, 15-9; Jaideep Kohli (Jal) b Gagandeep Ratti (Jal) 6-15, 15-5, 15-5; Neeraj Bansal (Jal) b Mohammad Saleem (Sgr) 8-15, 15-12, 15-7.
Semifinals: Ram Lakhan (Jal) b Rohan Kapoor 17-15, 5-2; Jaideep Kohli (Jal) b Neeraj Bansal (Jal) 17-15, 15-7.
Mens doubles (final): Gurmukh Singh (Ldh) and Mohammad Saleem (Sgr) by Manish Arora and Navdeep Singh (Patiala) 15-8, 15-8.
Womens singles (semifinals): Saloni Kundra (Asr) b Kamaljit (Hsp) 11-7, 13-12; Kashmir Kaur (Hsp) b Navneet Kaur (Jal) 13-12, 11-3.
Final Saloni (Asr) b Kashmir Kaur (Hsp) 11-3, 11-9.
Womens doubles (semifinal): Sapna (Jal) and Nazma (Ldh) b Navneet and Indermeet (Jal) 15-7, 15-0; Saloni (Asr) and Shehnaz (Sgr) b Kamaljit and Kashmir (Hsp) 15-13, 10-15, 15-5.
Chhatwinder, Jaco qualify
CHANDIGARH, Jan 30 Three Indian players qualified for the main draw of the ITF Junior Tennis Tournament being played here at CLTA courts, Sector 10, today.
In the final round of the qualifying matches played here today, Chhatwinder Singh, a Britannia Amritraj Academy trainee, and spirited Jaco T Mathew, also of BAT, won their respective matches against 14-year-old Varun Walia at 6-1, 6-3 and Nikho Vijal Murali at 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Gursharan Singh of Jalandhar upset Mahanandan Tyagi of Sweden at 6-4, 6-2. Nikesh Kumar of Malaysia qualified when he sidelined Dhananjay Kawde in straight sets at 6-4, 6-2.
Though the main draws
fixture for both boys and girls will be taken out
tomorrow but Omar Behroozian of the UAE has been given
top billing in boys section while Radhika Tulpule of
India has got the pride of place among girls. She has
just come back after playing in the Junior Australian
Open Tennis Tournament.
Punjab cops, Signals for hockey
CHANDIGARH, Jan 30 Dancing horses and camels from Rajasthan will be the new attractions of the Kila Raipur Rural Sports Festival to be held at Grewal Stadium at Kila Raipur from February 2 to 6.
Talking to newsmen here, the President of the Grewal Sports Association, Mr Surjit Singh Grewal, said that all arrangements for the conduct of the countrys biggest Rural Sports Festival, also known as Rural Olympics, have been completed.
Besides competitions would be held in traditional events like bullock cart races and rehra races. Equestrian teams from Punjab Police as well as of Nihang Sikhs will enliven the proceedings. Besides races for dogs, kabaddi event featuring teams from England, the USA, Canada and Punjab will be organised
In hockey for seniors, Punjab Police, Punjab and Sind Bank, Corps of Signals, Wonderland XI (Jalandhar), ASC, DHA (Amritsar), Mata Sahib Kaur Club (Jharkhar), SSB (Delhi) will participate. Sports School, Surjit Academy both (Jalandhar), Mehta Academy and Shivalik Academy (Chandigarh), the SPDA (Patiala), Junior Academy (Ropar) and Grewal Academy (Kila Raipur) will participate among juniors.
Mr Grewal further said that eminent sports personalities, including Olympian Harmik Singh, Kuldip Singh, Paramdeep Singh Teja, Lehember Singh, Kartar Singh and Baljit Singh Dhillon will be felicitated during the festival. The Grewal Sports Association has also decided to felicitate Kuldeep Manak, Dev Thrikewala and journalists, Mr Barjinder Singh Hamdard and Mr Shamsher Singh Sandhu.
After each days events, evening cultural extravaganza will be enlivened by folk singers like Harbhajan Mann, Surjit Bindrakhiya, Kuldip Manak, Karamjit Dhuri, Parminder Sandhu, Fakir Chand Patanga, Sunita Bhatti, Suchet Bala, Kuldip Paras, Jaswant Sandila, Nirmal Nur and Angrez Ali on all days.
The festival will be formally inaugurated on February 4 by the Union Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa. Punjab Ministers, Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Mr Nusrat Ali Khan, Mr Tota Singh, Mr Natha Singh Dalam, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Ch Swarna Ram besides Additional Director-General of Police, Mr Mahil Singh Bhullar, will also visit on February 4,5 and 6.On the final day, the Excise and Taxation Minister, Mr Adesh Pratap Singh, will accompany the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.
Davis Cup draw
LUCKNOW, Jan 30 (PTI) The draw for the India-Labanon Davis Cup tennis tie in Asia-Oceania Group-I will be held on February 3.
The Lebanese team has arrived here for the February 4 to 6 tie to be played at the Oudh Gymkhana Club under the auspices of the Uttar Pradesh Tennis Association, while the Indian team is expected to reach here tonight, according to P. Kochar, organising secretary.
Sports School, MHA record wins
LUDHIANA, Jan 30 (FOSR) Sports School, Jalandhar, defeated Sports Authority of India, Patiala, 2-0 to register their first win on the sixth day of the first All India Jagtar Singh Memorial Hockey Tournament for junior boys being organised by Aryan Hockey Club at the astro-turf stadium of the Punjab Agricultural University here today.
In a pool B match, Mumbai Hockey Association XI scored an easy 5-0 victory over Dasmesh Academy, Ropar.
The pool A match between Sports School, Jalandhar, and SAI, Patiala, began on a brisk note with the former dominating the proceedings. Jalandhars Karambir Singh put his team one up in the 14th minute and four minutes later penalty corner goal by full back Surjit Singh set up Jalandhar boys triumph. In the second session, Jalandhar lads continued to display speed and skill but failed to increase the lead.
SAI, Patiala, posed threats in the closing stages of the encounter but could not take advantage of chances which came their way. Jalandhar lads maintained their lead till the final whistle.
In a pool B match Sports Academy, Jalandhar, lost to Grewal Sports Academy, Kila Raipur 2-3 in order to oust Mumbai Hockey Association XI from the race for the semifinal.
PAP win senior vball crown
JALANDHAR, Jan 30 (FOSR) Punjab Armed Police won the mens title in the 43rd Punjab State Senior Volleyball Championship, which concluded here at the BSF campus, defeating hosts Border Security Force, Jalandhar, in a thrilling match while Jalandhar team proved their supremacy in the womens section.
Punjab Armed Police defeated BSF in three games 25-20, 27-25, 25-12. PAP attackers played a pivotal role for the winning side, displaying brilliant shooting ability. In the third game the BSF team was totally off colour while PAP displayed brilliant ball control.
In the womens section Jalandhar proved their supremacy by winning the final 3-0. Hoshiarpur beat Amritsar in a close encounter and were declared third in the championship.
Ranji ties at Rohtak, Gurgaon
ROHTAK, Jan 30 (FOSR)
Rohtak and Gurgaon will be the venues of three
Ranji Trophy Super League matches to be hosted by Haryana
this year. The matches against Uttar Pradesh and
Saurasthra have been allotted to Rohtak and both will be
held at Vishav Jakarma stadium here on February 5 to 8
and Feb 16 to 19, respectively. Gurgaon will host the
Haryana versus Tamil Nadu tie schedule to be held on from
February 24 to 27. Haryana is scheduled to play its
fourth and final Super Leage match against Orissa at
Cuttack in March.
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