SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S



Olympics leave their home, head for Beijing
Athens, August 29
Singing and dancing in a golden wheat field, symbolising marriage between the earth and the sun, marked the ceremony that brought the curtain down on the Olympic Games here tonight.

Athens Diary
Athens hosted the games well
No one expected the 28th Olympic Games to go so well. All who had forecast that the games would be a general disaster had to take back their words.

Cuban boxers dominate, win 5 gold medals

Athens, August 29
Cuban master Mario Kindelan met the future of boxing and survived the experience when he outpointed British teenager Amir Khan in the highlight of final action at the Olympic tournament on Sunday.




Cuba's Yan Bhartelemy Varela celebrates victory against Turkey's Atagun Yalcinkaya in the light flyweight (48kg) finals bout at Olympic Games on Sunday. — Reuters photo

Cuba's Yan Bhartelemy Varela celebrates victory against Turkey's Atagun Yalcinkaya in the light flyweight finals bout

Master Kindelan gives kid Khan a lesson

Athens, August 29
Defending champion Mario Kindelan of Cuba gave 17-year-old Amir Khan of Britain a boxing lesson in today's Olympic lightweight (60kg) final.




Cuba's Mario Cesar Kindelan Mesa (left) embraces Britain's Amir Khan after the men's lightweight (60 kg) final bout at the Olympic Games on Sunday. Kindelan Mesa beat Khan and won gold medal. — Reuters photo

Cuba's Mario Cesar Kindelan Mesa embraces Britain's Amir Khan after the men's lightweight


 

 

South Africa's Hestrie Cloete celebrates after winning the high jump at the 2004 Olympic Games Saturday in Athens
South Africa's Hestrie Cloete celebrates after winning the high jump at the 2004 Olympic Games Saturday in Athens, Greece, on Saturday. — AP/PTI

EARLIER STORIES
 


Dutt justifies sacking of weightlifting coaches.

(28k, 56k)

Rathore's medal only silver lining for India
Athens, August 29
Disappointments and disqualifications marked the games for India as the 28th Olympic Games finally came to an end. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore's silver medal was the only bright spot for the country of more than one billion people. There were other consolations, as Anju Bobby George, KM Binu and the 4x400m relay quartet rewrote the national records, giving their best in the competitions. Anju cleared 6.83m in her first attempt in the final but finished sixth. Her earlier personal best was 6.74m.

Editorial: Wishes are not medals
Chatterati: A major triumph

Wrestlers grapple off the mat
Athens, August 29
A mass brawl erupted between spectators, officials, police and competitors at the Olympic wrestling on Sunday after ructions from a bitterly fought bout between a Russian and a Belarussian continued outside the mat.


Russia's Buvaysa Saytiev (top) grapples with Kazakhstan's Gennadiy Laliyev on the way to win a gold medal in the men's freestyle 74kg wrestling match at the Olympic Games on Sunday. — Reuters
photo
Russia's Buvaysa Saytiev grapples with Kazakhstan's Gennadiy Laliyev on the way to win a gold medal in the men's freestyle 74kg wrestling match

Britain's Kelly Holmes displays her two gold medals following victory in both the women's 800 metres and 1,500 metres Olympic finals Double delight for Holmes







Britain's Kelly Holmes displays her two gold medals following victory in both the women's 800 metres and 1,500 metres Olympic finals on Sunday. — Reuters photo

Hammer throw champion stripped of gold
Athens, August 29
Hungarian hammer throw champion Adrian Annus was stripped of his gold medal today for failing to take a follow-up drug test, an International Olympic Committee executive board member said.

Denmark win handball gold after shoot-out
Athens, August 29
Denmark claimed their third successive gold medal in Olympic women’s handball, beating South Korea 4-2 on in a dramatic penalty shoot-out today.


Denmark's Olympic champions Line Daugaard (C) and Rikke Hoerlykke Joergensen (R) celebrate their gold medal win after they defeated South Korea in the women's handball finals match at the Olympic Games on Sunday. Denmark defeated South Korea 38-36 on penalties. — Reuters photo
Denmark's Olympic champions Line Daugaard  and Rikke Hoerlykke Joergensen (R) celebrate their gold medal win after they defeated South Korea in the women's handball finals match

Intruder mars Baldini’s marathon win
Athens, August 29
Italian Stefano Baldini won the Olympic men’s marathon today after an intruder dashed on to the course late in the race and bundled the then leader Vanderlei de Lima into the crowd. De Lima, who surged to the front before the halfway stage of the 42.195 km race from Marathon to the Panathinaiko Stadium, managed to extricate himself from the spectators but was clearly shaken by the incident.




Italy’s Stefano Baldini crosses the finish line to win the men’s marathon in Athens on Sunday. Baldini clocked 2 hours 10 minutes and 55 seconds to win the gold medal. Mebrahtom Keflezighi of the USA got the silver and Vanderlei de Lima of Brazil took the bronze. — Reuters photo
Italy’s Stefano Baldini crosses the finish line to win the men’s marathon in Athens

Hungary win water polo gold
Athens, August 29
Hungary extended its dominance of Olympic water polo today, winning an eighth gold medal after coming from behind to edge Serbia and Montenegro 8-7 in the final. Russia, silver medalist at Sydney in 2000, beat Greece 6-5 for the bronze medal.

 
Brazil spikers clinch gold

Gagan Ajit India’s leading scorer
Athens, August 29
Gagan Ajit Singh emerged India's leading goal scorer with seven strikes in the Olympic hockey competition, in which the country finished seventh. Pakistan's Sohail Abbas showed his class to finish as the highest scorer in the tournament, slamming home 11 times even though his side finished fifth in the event.

What they said at the Olympics
Calls for boycott of 2008 Olympics


Aussies showed why they are champs

Australia revealed their true character when they romped home in the final stretch in the tri-series title match against Pakistan yesterday. The world champions played their cards rights at every stage of the game on a seemingly unpredictable wicket.


Australia's captain Ricky Ponting, holding the trophy, celebrates with team-mates Shane Watson (right) after beating Pakistan by 17 runs in the final of the tri-nation one-day tournament in Amsterdam on Saturday. — AP/PTI photo

Australia's captain Ricky Ponting, holding the trophy, celebrates with team-mates

Sachin out of NatWest series
Sachin Tendulkar Nottinghamshire, August 29
Much before the first ball of the NatWest Challenge has been bowled, India suffered a massive blow to its chances with Sachin Tendulkar being ruled out of the three-match series against England. The Indians, who had a practice session at the Trent Bridge ground here this morning, had a fitness test done on Tendulkar and found the ace batsman unfit for the series beginning on September 1.

Bindra, Randhir shortlisted for award
New Delhi, August 29
Former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) I.S. Bindra and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary-general Randhir Singh are among the seven prominent sports administrators chosen by the Scindia Club to be honoured with the “Madhavrao Scindia Khel Ratna Award” for their contribution to the development of Indian sports.

Record entries for Raid de Himalaya
Shimla, August 29
With a record number of 90 entries, the Maruti Suzuki Raid de Himalaya will be flagged off from Shimla on October 7 and culminate at Manali on October 12. Mr Ashok Thakur, principal Secretary, Tourism, said that the rally being organized by the Indian Oil, Department of Youth Services and Sports and Himalayan Motor Sports Association will have 90 cars and bikes participating as compared to 45 last year.

Delhi cricketers excel
New Delhi, August 29
The Delhi and District Cricket Association President’s XI, which toured United Kingdom from July to August, returned home after a successful outing, winning six of the seven matches they played.

Surinder Kaur elected secretary of sports panel

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Olympics leave their home, head for Beijing
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Athens, August 29
Singing and dancing in a golden wheat field, symbolising marriage between the earth and the sun, marked the ceremony that brought the curtain down on the Olympic Games here tonight.

The 16-day mega event, featuring more than 10,000 athletes of the world, climaxed today with the holding of the prestigious marathon, in which 100-odd endurance runners from about 50 of the 202 participating nations took part.

The closing ceremony reminded one of Baisakhi, the Indian harvesting season. For Greeks, Syngomidi (harvesting) marks the beginning of celebrations featuring their immensely diverse music and dances.

The golden wheat field chosen for the ceremony was a mosaic made of festive images from all parts of Greece, linking the past with the present, besides being a blend of tradition and modernity.

The ceremony got off to thunderous start with a pyrotechnics burst. At the end it left many in the stadium with moist eyes as time had come to say goodbye. All departed to meet again, four years from now, in Beijing.

“May the dances last for ever”, the theme of the evening, was reflected through a series of key scenes on weddings, the night, dances of fire and festivity.

Five top Greek singers, Hans Alexiou, Dimitra Galani, Mannella, George Dalaras and Yannis Parios, welcomed the viewers as hundreds of revellers, waving scarves, entered the arena. The audience responded by waving white scarves.

The golden wheat field was swarmed by harvesters carrying scythes. Soon they were joined by a large number of koudounatoi, men from village of Sohos, wearing sheep and goat skins and carrying heavy bells (koudounias). Some of the bells were as heavy as 40 kg each.

Testos, a traditional dance from Thrace (East-Northern Greece), saw the dancers holding onto each others’ belts. Harvesting started as young men and women with bacchic wreaths on their heads ran onto and around the stage. A sheet laid at the end of the stage became a winepress as grapes were spread on it. Thus, wine was born.

Then came 12 allegoric figures representing the months. As the music and dance went on, a group of Tsamikos, traditional dancers from Epirus, West-Northern Greece, wearing Foustanelles (short kit similar to the Greek National Guards’ uniform) entered and enthralled the audience with their leaps and manoeuvres.

The climax of the dance came when the harvesters holding the wheat bundles towards the sky formed the five Olympic rings. It was at this stage that the medal ceremony of the marathon took place.

Then started the athletes’ parade as team flag bearers entered the arena with percussionists on a moving stage carrying instruments recycled from sporting equipment. A pyrotechnic burst heralded the arrival of athletes without any distinction of nationality.

Sporting highlights of the games were shown on video screens. Speeches by the President of the Athens Olympic Games Organising Committee, Gianna Angelopoulos, and the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, followed the introduction of new members of the Athletes Commission.

Now came the time for Athens to hand over the flag to Beijing, the city that will hold the games in 2008. Greek and Chinese flags were hoisted as the Mayor of Athens presented the flag to the IOC chief who in turn presented it to the Mayor of Beijing. The games were closed, declared the IOC chief.

As the Greek part ended, it was time for the Chinese to display their readiness for the 2008 games. Twentyeight stilt walkers, carrying lanterns, entered and spread themselves around the track. Fourteen Chinese women, carrying traditional musical instruments, danced.

The leader of the dancers performed a classical Chinese dance to the beat of traditional music. Then came the Beijing opera, performed by a group of Chinese children.

A young Chinese girl was revealed close to the lantern-shaped stage, carrying a red lantern. A touching farewell to the Olympic flame followed as children lit their lanterns with the fire taken from the cauldron flame. The light was then passed onto athletes who lit their own pedant lights worn over their hearts.

The light continued to flow outward as the cauldron turned vertical with the flame diminishing gradually. The child turned back and blew off the remaining flame.

Then came the climax, the concert. Seventy kites featuring images produced by famous Greek artists were introduced before 1,50,000 balloons were released in the air.

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Athens Diary
Athens hosted the games well
Prabhjot Singh

No one expected the 28th Olympic Games to go so well. All who had forecast that the games would be a general disaster had to take back their words.

The games, according to the last edition of Around the Rings, an illustrated daily here, may be one of the best ever.

The Athens Olympics Organising Committee (ATHOC) and the Greek Government spent more than a billion euros on security. The security cover of the seven-nation conglomerate was enough to keep the bad guys off the games.

Many were surprised at the way the Athenians obeyed the special traffic rules, including leaving Olympic lanes for the Olympic family for a month. There were no traffic jams and no snarls.

A week before the games started, hotel workers and others went on strike, demanding better wages. But the games were free of labour problems and strikes.

Greece was one of the economically weaker nations to host the games. Many had thought that increased power demand would lead to blackouts and power cuts in the Olympic village. But the fears were unfounded.

The winds though, which wreak havoc here year after year, returned but only for a few days leading to slight readjustment of sailing events at Schinias.

Barring minor delays, the transport system for media, athletes, officials and volunteers worked well.

Before the games started, all arrivals were cautioned against menace of stray dogs. But not many were seen on streets during the games.

Athens is situated in the quake prone zone and a mild tremor reminded one of the fact.

Athens games would also be remembered as drug cheats hit headlines with an almost constant frequency. The number of athletes caught and expelled from the games after failing dope tests hit a new high.

Throughout the games, squares and plazas in the city were centres of celebrations. Bands entertained the crowds as big screens were put up for the people.

Anyway, Athens hosted the securest of all games.

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Cuban boxers dominate, win 5 gold medals

Athens, August 29
Cuban master Mario Kindelan met the future of boxing and survived the experience when he outpointed British teenager Amir Khan in the highlight of final action at the Olympic tournament on Sunday.

The lightweight clash between the 33-year-old Kindelan and Khan, who is nearly half his age at 17, provided a fitting highlight to end two weeks of boxing at the Peristeri hall.

Kindelan helped the mighty Cuban squad prove the decline predicted by their rivals was wishful thinking by winning five golds, one more than their tally from each of the last two games.

Khan, the revelation of the tournament with dazzling displays on his way to the final, bravely took the battle to the Cuban but the defending champion counter-punched methodically to win a 30-22 decision.

Kindelan will now retire with his reputation as the world's best pound-for-pound amateur boxer intact. Khan is ready to take over.

"I'm only 17 and I've got so many years in amateur boxing ahead of me," said Khan, immediately setting his sights on the 2008 games in Beijing.

"Just getting to the final was brilliant. I've learned so much from these Olympics."

Kindelan, a triple world champion, summed up the general feeling with warm praise for the Briton.

Tremendous fighter

"The English boxer is a tremendous fighter and if he does not turn professional, I think he will reign over this weight category for a long time," he said.

While Cuba underlined their dominance, the Americans at least restored pride, winning a title after leaving Sydney without any for the first time at Olympics in over 50 years.

Their only boxer in the finals, light-heavyweight Andre Ward produced a spirited display to outpoint Magomed Aripgadjiev of Belarus in a fierce contest which the American ended with a badly bruised right eye.

"My eye is hurting a little bit but it's worth it," said Ward, who is relatively short and light for his weight class but has plenty of talent.

"I'm fighting bigger, stronger men but somehow, some way I'm coming out victorious," he added.

"I'm just chopping down trees."

Not only Khan emerged in Athens as a bright prospect.

Turkey's Atagun Yalcinkaya, six days younger than Khan, was also trying to become the youngest boxer to win an Olympic boxing title in over 50 years.

Yalcinkaya failed as well, losing on points to Cuba's Yan Bhartelemy in the light-flyweight final, but he will also be one to watch in the years to come.

Kazakhstan's Bakhtiyar Artayev provided evidence that the Cubans are only human when he outpointed Cuba's Lorenzo Aragon in the welterweight final before being named best boxer of the tournament.

Russian Alexander Povetkin faced the easiest task, winning the super-heavyweight title without throwing a punch after his scheduled opponent, Egypt's Mohamed Aly, pulled out because of a shoulder injury.

Russia leave with three gold medals after confirming they are Cuba's main rivals on the amateur stage. — Reuters

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Master Kindelan gives kid Khan a lesson

Athens, August 29
Defending champion Mario Kindelan of Cuba gave 17-year-old Amir Khan of Britain a boxing lesson in today's Olympic lightweight (60kg) final.
The 17-year-old Khan, bidding to become the youngest gold medal winner since Floyd Patterson won the middleweight title in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, gave everything but came up short against the best lightweight in the world, amateur or professional.

Khan showed no fear, tracking the 33-year-old three-time world champion from the bell to win the first rounnd 4-3.

The composed Cuban kept dancing out of distance and his sharp counter-punching gave him a crucial 14-9 lead after two rounds. Khan was still unable to get close and left himself a huge eight-point deficit, 14-22, to make up in the fourth.

He chased the Cuban around the ring in the fourth, trying to land his big right but was relentlessly picked off by a man who has been fighting for 19 years.

It was Cuba's fourth gold medal in this tournament and they had another finalist still to fight.

Kindelan has won every tournament he has entered since the Pan American Games of 1999, including Olympic gold in Sydney and three world titles.

If he had accepted the $ 1 million from America he could be living in a Miami penthouse now instead of dusty Havana.

The money is beckoning Khan.

British promoter Frank Warren has told British newspapers Khan might quit the amateur scene after the 2005 world championships in Beijing and 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

But Khan said on Friday, he wanted to go to Beijing for the Olympics in 2008.

"Reaching the final there is my dream. I've got a good family and personal coach backing me up, and they know the best for me," he said. He would be just 21 in 2008 and ready to assume Kindelan's mantle. — AFP

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Rathore's medal only silver lining for India
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Athens, August 29
Disappointments and disqualifications marked the games for India as the 28th Olympic Games finally came to an end.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore's silver medal was the only bright spot for the country of more than one billion people.

There were other consolations, as Anju Bobby George, KM Binu and the 4x400m relay quartet rewrote the national records, giving their best in the competitions. Anju cleared 6.83m in her first attempt in the final but finished sixth. Her earlier personal best was 6.74m.

Relay quartet of Rajwinder Kaur, Beenamol K. Mathews, Chitra Soman and Manjeet Kaur rewrote the national record and qualified for the final, where they finished seventh.

Binu K. Mathews also broke the national record to qualify for the semifinals of the 400m, were he was finally ousted.

Others, including the tennis duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi and shooters Abhinav Bindra and Soma Shirur did perform well but they were not at their best.

Hopes of an Olympic medal in archery, hockey and tennis, had evaporated before the competitions entered the second and final week.

"We had come prepared to win a tennis gold. We are going back empty handed. It is mind boggling as to how all this happened. Now, words look so empty.

We are extremely disappointed and dejected," remarked Paes after the duo went down fighting to big serving Croatian pair of Mario Ancic and Ivan Ljubicic in the bronze medal match, which lasted almost four hours.

"We fought as best as we could," said Mahesh and "Athens was top on our agenda for 2004."

There was more disappointment for Leander as the Indian hockey team lost the classification match against Pakistan with Paes cheering from the stands.

In fact, hockey was a major disappointment. They lost to Holland 1-3 in the opening game, recovered to beat South Africa 4-2, lost to Australia 2-3 and went down to New Zealand 1-2 in a controversial match.

They only managed to retain the seventh position they had in Sydney. the last time India were in medal round in Olympic hockey was in Moscow in 1980 where they won the gold.

It was again disappointing games for Dhanraj Pillay. "I wanted an Olympic medal before saying good-bye to the sport. I am disappointed as we lost the race."

Also dejected were captain of Indian hockey team, Dilip Tirkey, and forward Baljit Dhillon, playing in their last Olympic Games.

The only saving grace was that India beat Asian champions South Korea 5-2 in their last engagement to take the seventh spot.

Young Abhinav Bindra, who had come here as a medal hopeful, failed to keep his nerve after becoming the first Indian male shooter to qualify for the final. He finished seventh in the 10m air pistol.

These were other disappointments too. Wrestlers performed disastrously as only one of them could win a bout. Judoka Akram Shah took less than 45 seconds to exit from the competition.

In women's weightlifting, Kunjarani finished fourth, but the expulsion of Pratima Kumari and Shanamacha Chanu due to failed dope tests, shamed the country.

In water sports, Shikha Tandon failed to qualify in both 50m as well as 100m while the sailing team of Malav Shroff and Sumeet Patel finished 18th in a field of 19 in 49er event.

Shot putter Bahadur Singh fouled all his three throws to bow out at the first stage of the competition at the historic Olympia. In discus throw event, too, Anil Kumar was disqualified after making two foul throws.

Archers performed creditably. In women's team event they lost by a whisker to France. In individual events, Reena Kumari and Satyadev Prasad made the last eight rounds.

In boxing, only Diwakar Prasad made it to the pre-quarterfinal while others were eliminated early.

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Wrestlers grapple off the mat

Athens, August 29
A mass brawl erupted between spectators, officials, police and competitors at the Olympic wrestling on Sunday after ructions from a bitterly fought bout between a Russian and a Belarussian continued outside the mat.

Gold medallist Buvaysa Saytiev and Murat Gaidarov of Belarus faced possible disciplinary action and their federations a minimum $10,000 fine after they were involved in the free-for-all following their quarterfinal freestyle bout.

After the pair left the mat they appeared to exchange heated words and punches, triggering a melee that delayed the competition for several minutes.

"I have issued both delegations warnings and both athletes and federations face the possibility of sanctions and a minimum fine of $10,000 depending on the findings of the disciplinary committee," said FILA President Raphael Martinette.

Saytiev captured his second Olympic title, easily beating Gennadiy Laliyev of Kazakhstan in the 74kg final.

In the two other freestyle categories, Khadjimourat Gatsalov of Russia won gold in the 96kg division by beating Magomed Ibragimov of Uzbekistan, and Yandro Miguel Quintana of Cuba won the 60kg gold after beating Masuod Jokar of Iran.

Brawl overshadows bouts

But the three gold medal bouts were overshadowed by the brawl between the two wrestlers who have a long history of bad blood. Gaidarov walked off after their quarterfinal bout without waiting for the traditional raising of the winner's hand.

The bout had ended controversially after six seconds of added time when Saytiev secured the decisive point after Gaidarov received a warning for unsporting behaviour.

Gaidarov later had to be restrained from approaching the judges' bench.

Resembling a scene from professional wrestling, the officials appeared uncertain what to do as spectators quickly joined the scuffle and members of both teams swung wildly at each other.

"If something like this had happened inside the competition area they would have both been disqualified," said Martinette.

"I am very disappointed with the comportment of the people. What happens outside the arena is not our problem."

Saytiev later put the incident behind him, expressing his delight in adding a second gold to the one he won in Atlanta in 1996.

"To survive at the highest level for four long years is a tough challenge, especially in my sport which I think is one of the most difficult, but I worked hard and that is why I am so pleased today," he said. — Reuters 

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Double delight for Holmes

Athens, August 29
Hicham El Guerrouj and Kelly Holmes doubled their Olympic delight here yesterday, each capturing a second gold of the Athens games as athletics competition concluded in the Olympic stadium. Morocco's El Guerrouj became the first man since Paavo Nurmi in 1924 to win both the 1500m and 5,000m at one games with his triumph in the 5000m.

There will be no such place in history for Denmark's Wilson Kipketer.

The 33-year-old is probably the finest 800m runner of the past decade but for the second successive games had to settle for a minor medal, this time the bronze as Yuriy Borzakovskiy became the first Russian to win the title.

Britain's Holmes added the women's 1500m title to the 800m gold she won on Monday, repeating the feat of Russia's Svetlana Masterkova who clinched the double in 1996 in Atlanta.

After relegating Russian Tatyana Tomashova to silver, Holmes sank to the track and burst into tears as she took in the enormity of her achievement.

There was more joy for Britain as they stunned the USA in the men's 4x100m relay — only the second Olympic victory in the event for Britain and the first since 1912.

The British quartet anchored by Mark Lewis-Francis clocked 38.07 to edge a US team anchored by 2000 Olympic champion Maurice Greene by one-hundredth of a second, while Nigeria took the bronze.

The US rallied with victories in the men's and women's 4x400m relays, but Americans were having their problems in the various venues around Athens where 34 gold medals were handed out on the penultimate day. No Americans had even made it to the night's five boxing finals, from which Cuba and Russia each emerged with two titles.

Two-time world champion Odlanier Solis captured the heavyweight (91kg) crown for Cuba with a victory over Viktar Zuyev of Belarus, and Yuriorkis Gamboa triumphed over Frenchman Jerome Thomas in the flyweight (51kg) final.

Russia's Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov (75kg) and Alexei Tichtchenko (57kg) also came away with gold, while Thailand's Manus Boonjumnong triumphed in the 64kg class.

China, USA’s closest rivals in the gold medal standings, were meanwhile celebrating their best performance ever at an Olympics. They passed their previous top gold medal total of 28 when Luo Wei won the women's taekwondo under-67kg class. — AFP

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Hammer throw champion stripped of gold

Athens, August 29
Hungarian hammer throw champion Adrian Annus was stripped of his gold medal today for failing to take a follow-up drug test, an International Olympic Committee executive board member said.

Annus passed his drug test after winning the gold on August 22, but failed to show up for another test on Friday in Hungary, jeopardising his medal. Refusing to take a drug test is considered the same as testing positive.

The IOC took the medal away following a disciplinary hearing today, the member said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Annus did not attend the hearing. It was the sixth medal, and third gold, revoked during the games because of doping. Japan's Koji Murofushi will get the gold for hammer throw, Ivan Tikhon of Belarus moves up to silver, and Turkey's Esref Apak gets the bronze.

Three Hungarians have forfeited medals because of doping — Annus, discus gold medallist Robert Fazekas and weightlifter Ferenc Gyurkovics, who won a silver.

At least one more medal finish could be overturned because of doping.

Colombian cyclist Maria Luisa Calle Williams has tested positive for a stimulant and could lose her bronze medal, Olympic officials said today.

American Erin Mirabella would get the bronze if the IOC takes it from Calle, who finished third on Wednesday in the points race. — AP

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Denmark win handball gold after shoot-out

Athens, August 29
Denmark claimed their third successive gold medal in Olympic women’s handball, beating South Korea 4-2 on in a dramatic penalty shoot-out today. After the two sides finished 25-25 in normal time the match went through two periods of extra-time of 10 minutes each.

After the first period they were still locked at 29-29 but as the seconds ticked away in the second half the Koreans thought they had it won.

However, a goal seven seconds from the end of the match by Katrine Fruelund, her 14th of the game, drew the Danes level at 34-34 and meant a shoot-out.

Danish goalkeeper Karin Mortensen produced a good save to deny one of the penalties and then Pil Hee-moon fired her effort straight at the Dane. When Henriette Mikkelsen buried Denmark’s fourth, the celebrations began. — Reuters

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Intruder mars Baldini’s marathon win

Athens, August 29
Italian Stefano Baldini won the Olympic men’s marathon today after an intruder dashed on to the course late in the race and bundled the then leader Vanderlei de Lima into the crowd. De Lima, who surged to the front before the halfway stage of the 42.195 km race from Marathon to the Panathinaiko Stadium, managed to extricate himself from the spectators but was clearly shaken by the incident.

The man was arrested and taken to a police station. He resembled an Irish priest, Cornelius Horan, who interrupted the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone last year.

“The man says he is Irish. He is also drunk. He had been to a tavern earlier,” a police source said. He was wearing a kilt and green beret and on a white shirt he had the words “The Grand Prix Priest. Israel Fulfillment of Prophecy Says The Bible. The Second Coming is Near.” He had a Star of David attached to his kilt.

After being pushed into the crowd, a grimacing De Lima got away from the spectator and rejoined the race, holding his leg, with around 15 minutes to run.

He soon lost the lead to Italian Stefano Baldini. Baldini won the race and De Lima took bronze. — Reuters

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Hungary win water polo gold

Athens, August 29
Hungary extended its dominance of Olympic water polo today, winning an eighth gold medal after coming from behind to edge Serbia and Montenegro 8-7 in the final. Russia, silver medalist at Sydney in 2000, beat Greece 6-5 for the bronze medal.

The USA upset Italy 9-8 with three goals apiece from Tony Azevedo and Jesse Smith to finish in seventh place.

In the title game, left-handed shooter Gergely Kiss scored four goals and Tamas Kasas had two for the defending world and Olympic champions.

Aleksandar Sapic, the tournament’s leading scorer with 18 goals, got the ball with a chance to tie it in the closing seconds, but did not get a shot off in time. — AP

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Brazil spikers clinch gold

Athens: World champions Brazil won the Olympic gold medal in the men’s volleyball on Sunday after beating Italy 3-1 in the final. Brazil’s wall of blockers and fast attacks led the world’s top ranked side to a 25-15, 24-26, 25-20, 25-22 victory. Gilberto Godoy Filho top scored for Brazil with 20 points. Russia beat the USA earlier in straight sets to take the bronze medal. — Reuters

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Gagan Ajit India’s leading scorer

Athens, August 29
Gagan Ajit Singh emerged India's leading goal scorer with seven strikes in the Olympic hockey competition, in which the country finished seventh. Pakistan's Sohail Abbas showed his class to finish as the highest scorer in the tournament, slamming home 11 times even though his side finished fifth in the event.

India, who had a far-from-impressive outing here, scored 17 goals in the meet with five of them coming in their last match against Korea.

Dhanraj Pillay was their second most successful scorer.

The veteran forward, who played in his fourth and final Olympics, sounded the board twice — both of which were penalty corner conversions.

The event exposed the chinks in the Indian forward-line which was evident from the performance of the strikers — Prabhjot Singh, Adam Sinclair, Baljit Singh Dhillon and Deepak Thakur — all of whom scored just a goal each.

Dilip Tirkey's penalty corner conversion against Australia gave the captain his lone goal in the competition which saw as many as 213 goals being scored. — PTI

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What they said at the Olympics

"I'm thankful I live in an era when I have got to compete with clothes on. I am sure the fans are grateful as well. There are not a lot of shot putt fetishists around."

— American shot putter John Godina at 130 kg, grateful he did not have to emulate the Ancient Greeks by competing nude in the event at Olympia.

"It's a heavy blow. We brought the games to Greece to purify them and now the press is full of doping scandals of our athletes."

— Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, a popular 1970s Greek sprinter who is now the Mayor of Salonika, Greece's second-biggest city.

"What accident are they talking about? It's just an alibi. He fell into a trap all by himself but he took down all of Greece with him."

— Greek sports fan Lukia Eutixia angry at Olympic 200m champion Kostadinos Kenteris who missed a drugs test and then ended up in hospital after a motorcyle accident.

"All the world knows that we are not strong like other athletes. But I tried my best."

— Judoka Friba Razayee on her 45-second defeat as Afghan women make their debut in Olympics.

"When I ask something from the girls or I give them an aim, they accept everything. But if one of them faces a problem during the match, then all of them go down. This does not happen with men. This is my last tournament as coach of a women's team. It's very difficult coaching women."

— Kim Sang-Ryul, coach of the South Korean women's hockey team after their 2-3 defeat to Germany.

"We have been carrying the dreams of a whole nation. That puts us in an extremely difficult position. But everyone in Iraq is happy now. Our achievements can make them forget a little about their problems."

— Iraq football coach Adnan Hamd as his side headed into a semifinal clash with Paraguay. — AFP

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Calls for boycott of 2008 Olympics

London: As the Athens Olympics comes to a glittering finale tonight, the 2008 Beijing Games are already mired in controversy with protests and calls of a boycott over China’s poor human rights record as that country begins preparations in earnest to host the world’s most prestigious sporting gathering. — UNI

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Aussies showed why they are champs
Javagal Srinath

Australia revealed their true character when they romped home in the final stretch in the tri-series title match against Pakistan yesterday. The world champions played their cards rights at every stage of the game on a seemingly unpredictable wicket. To be able to adapt to prevailing conditions is the sign of a champion side.

The tournament got completely marred by rain and it gave little time to the organisers to prepare the wickets. One could see the dust popping up on almost every delivery right from the first over. But despite such unfavourable conditions, the Australians carried on with their job in an absolutely professional manner.

The wicket was at its worst in the first half of the game. Matthew Hayden took the responsibility and soon realised that staying at the wicket would be the key strategy. The first half of the Australian innings saw the world champions struggling at little over two runs per over. This is where the think-tank contributes to the team’s cause. Understanding the nature of the wicket and trying to set up a realistic target is called the game plan. Any error in judging the situation would have cost the team dear at this stage.

While Hayden rallied the innings at one end, others tried to chance their arms and take away as much as possible off the Pakistan attack. Every batsman looked scratchy as the wicket offered very little for stroke making. But survival at the wicket was the need of the hour.

Andrew Symonds is a wonderful player of spin bowling. Yesterday, he changed gears with his improvised shots. After Hayden’s dismissal, it was the turn of Darren Lehman and Symonds to really turn the heat on Pakistan.

Symonds, who played a blinder of an innings against Pakistan in the World Cup opener, has developed a habit of being a consistent performer against Pakistan. He not only played his part with his bat, but also came up with some superb athletic fielding to dismiss Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi.

The run out of in-form Malik was one of the high points of the match as Youhana and he were engaged in building up the innings. Malik played a shot to point and tried to steal a single but Symond’s throw to bowler Lehmann was too good and perfect.

As if this was not enough, Symonds displayed his utility when he was brought back to bowl his offies. He chipped in with two important wickets of opener Imran Farhat and skipper Inzamam-ul Haq to complete his heroic all-round performance.

The Pakistani bowlers failed to make the most of it when the wicket was really soft in the early part of the innings.

Shoaib Akthar seemed to have lost his sting somehow. Considering the nature of the wicket and his threatening pace, even the Aussies should have shuddered to face Akthar on such a track. But to my surprise, Akthar appeared to be the most innocuous among the Pakistani bowlers.

The speedster is having an ordinary run for a long time. He is no doubt a fiery bowler and an asset to any side he is playing for. But the potential threat he possesses now seems to be a thing on paper only. On the field, Akthar is not doing any justice to his reputation for a long time now.

I am afraid to say that Akthar’s excessive dependence on his ability to generate pace could prove costly to his own career. And since none of us get any younger with the progress of time, pace will be the first casualty in Akthar’s case too. As a fast bowler, he now has to make use of the skills he has developed over the years. But these days, all we see from the Pakistani is his pace, not the skills he possesses.

The game got tighter at the end as Pakistan batsmen showed some character. Yousuf Youhana, who was doing well, was unfortunate to have been judged caught behind off Brad Hogg. — PTI

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Sachin out of NatWest series

Nottinghamshire, August 29
Much before the first ball of the NatWest Challenge has been bowled, India suffered a massive blow to its chances with Sachin Tendulkar being ruled out of the three-match series against England.

The Indians, who had a practice session at the Trent Bridge ground here this morning, had a fitness test done on Tendulkar and found the ace batsman unfit for the series beginning on September 1.

Tendulkar did not play a single match in the tri-series in Holland because of a tennis elbow on the left arm.

The little master did bowl his leg breaks at the nets, though.

Tendulkar, however, has not been ruled out of the ICC Champions Trophy which starts on September 10.

A fresh test on the batting maestro will be carried out after the NatWest Series is over on September 5.

India play England in the first one-dayer here on Wednesday, followed by the second match at The Oval on September 3 and the decider at Lord’s on September 5. — PTI

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Bindra, Randhir shortlisted for award
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, August 29
Former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) I.S. Bindra and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary-general Randhir Singh are among the seven prominent sports administrators chosen by the Scindia Club to be honoured with the “Madhavrao Scindia Khel Ratna Award” for their contribution to the development of Indian sports.

Scindia Club president Dr S.S. Sareen announced here today that the other sports administrators shortlisted for the award by the Scindia Club are BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmia, IOA president Suresh Kalmadi, former Indian Hockey Federation president Ashwani Kumar, president of the Archery Association of India Vijay Kumar Malhotra and All-India Football Federation president P.R. Das Munshi. 

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Record entries for Raid de Himalaya
Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 29
With a record number of 90 entries, the Maruti Suzuki Raid de Himalaya will be flagged off from Shimla on October 7 and culminate at Manali on October 12.
Mr Ashok Thakur, principal Secretary, Tourism, said that the rally being organized by the Indian Oil, Department of Youth Services and Sports and Himalayan Motor Sports Association will have 90 cars and bikes participating as compared to 45 last year.

He informed that it is for the first time in the history of Raid that an army truck will participate. Members from the Indian army will also be fielding its members in the four-wheel drive and motorcycle category. Only Indian participants are allowed to take part in the event.

This time the rally will run in five legs. The first leg will be from Shimla to Manali, second from Manali to Keylong, third from Kaza to Pang, fourth from Pang to Ladakh and last leg from Pang to Manali. Participants from Meghalaya, Assam, Coimbatore, Chennai, Mumbai and Baroda will take part in the event.

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Delhi cricketers excel
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, August 29
The Delhi and District Cricket Association President’s XI, which toured United Kingdom from July to August, returned home after a successful outing, winning six of the seven matches they played.

Coach of the team Sunil Khanna said the DDCA team played competitive matches, adapting very well to the conditions in the UK.

Sunil Khanna said batsman P.P. Singh, left-arm spinner Karan Harit, all-rounder Tejashwi Yadav, middle order batsman Vartik Tihara and opening batsman Onant Jaisingh came out with consistently brilliant performances. 

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Surinder Kaur elected secretary of sports panel
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, August 29
Ms Surinder Kaur Verma, Principal of Senior Secondary School, Kalyan, has been elected secretary of the District Schools Tournament Committee under the presidentship of the District Education Officer (Secondary).

Ms Verma polled 121 votes to defeat Mr Baldev Singh, Principal Multipurpose Secondary School, who managed 69 votes in an election here yesterday.

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COUNTRY GOLD SILVER BRONZE TOTAL
United States 35 39 29 103
China 32 17 14 63
Russia 27 27 38 92
Australia 17 16 16 49
Japan 16 9 12 37
Germany 14 16 18 48
France 11 9 13 33
Italy 10 11 11 32
Korea 9 12 9 30
Great Britain 9 9 12 30
Cuba 9 7 11 27
Ukraine 9 5 9 23
Hungary 8 6 3 17
Romania 8 5 6 19
Greece 6 6 4 16
Norway 5 0 1 6
Netherlands 4 9 9 22
Brazil 4 3 3 10
Sweden 4 1 2 7
Spain 3 11 5 19
Canada 3 6 3 12
Turkey 3 3 4 10
Poland 3 2 5 10
New Zealand 3 2 0 5
Thailand 3 1 4 8
Belarus 2 6 7 15
Austria 2 4 1 7
Ethiopia 2 3 2 7
I. R. Iran 2 2 2 6
Slovakia 2 2 2 6
Chinese Taipei 2 2 1 5
Georgia 2 2 0 4
Bulgaria 2 1 9 12
Jamaica 2 1 2 5
Uzbekistan 2 1 2 5
Morocco 2 1 0 3
Denmark 2 0 6 8
Argentina 2 0 4 6
Chile 2 0 1 3
Kazakhstan 1 4 3 8
Kenya 1 4 2 7
Czech Republic 1 3 4 8
South Africa 1 3 2 6
Croatia 1 2 2 5
Lithuania 1 2 0 3
Egypt 1 1 3 5
Switzerland 1 1 3 5
Indonesia 1 1 2 4
Zimbabwe 1 1 1 3
Azerbaijan 1 0 4 5
Belgium 1 0 2 3
Bahamas 1 0 1 2
Israel 1 0 1 2
Cameroon 1 0 0 1
Dominican Rep 1 0 0 1
Ireland 1 0 0 1
U Arab Emirates 1 0 0 1
DPR Korea 0 4 1 5
Latvia 0 4 0 4
Mexico 0 3 1 4
Portugal 0 2 1 3
Finland 0 2 0 2
Serbia/Monteneg 0 2 0 2
Slovenia 0 1 3 4
Estonia 0 1 2 3
Hong Kong 0 1 0 1
India 0 1 0 1
Paraguay 0 1 0 1
Nigeria 0 0 2 2
Venezuela 0 0 2 2
Colombia 0 0 1 1
Eritrea 0 0 1 1
Mongolia 0 0 1 1
Syrian Arab Rep 0 0 1 1
Trinidad/Tobago 0 0 1 1

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