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CHANDIGARH

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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

India suffer choking defeat
Monchengladbach, September 11
India’s agonising sequence of conc- eding late goals continued to haunt the team as they suffered a stunning 1-2 defeat against Korea in a pool B encounter of the men’s hockey World Cup here today. Prabodh Tirkey fights for the ball with South Korea’s Nam Yong Lee during their hockey World Cup match at the Warsteiner Hockey Park stadium in Moenchengladbach on Monday.
Prabodh Tirkey (L) fights for the ball with South Korea’s Nam Yong Lee during their hockey World Cup match at the Warsteiner Hockey Park stadium in Moenchengladbach on Monday. — Reuters photo

Spain overrun Kiwis
Monchengladbach, September 11
Playing with clinical precision, European champions Spain overran New Zealand 3-1 to brighten their semifinals chances in the hockey World Cup here today.

Obituary
‘Bau Ji’ of Punjab hockey
He was a police officer, a sportsman, a sports administrator, a good friend and above all a dedicated father. He was none other than Mr Raj Kumar, “Bau Ji” of Punjab hockey, who retired as Superintendent of Police. He died yesterday after a prolonged illness.



EARLIER STORIES


Jyoti to lead eves in hockey World Cup
New Delhi, September 11
Jyoti Kullu will lead an 18-member Indian team which will compete in the 11th Women’s World Cup Hockey Tournament to be held at Madrid, Spain, from September 27 to October 8.

Federer does it again
New York, September 11
This US Open was all about the greats of the game, from Andre Agassi’s tearful farewell, to the renaming of the site to honor Billie Jean King, to Martina Navratilova’s this-time-she-means-it retirement.

Switzerland’s Roger Federer lifts the trophy after beating Andy Rodick of the USA in the final of the US Open in New York on Sunday. — Reuters photo
Switzerland’s Roger Federer lifts the trophy after beating Andy Rodick of the USA in the final of the US Open in New York on Sunday.

Yuvraj to miss first ODI
Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina and Virender Sehwag relax after a practice session at the Royal Selanger Club sports complex in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. India play their first match of the tri-series against the West Indies on Thursday. Kuala Lumpur, September 11
India were dealt a big blow ahead of the cricket tri-series with key ODI player Yuvraj Singh being ruled out of the first match against the West Indies on Thursday.

Irfan Pathan (left), Suresh Raina (centre) and Virender Sehwag relax after a practice session at the Royal Selanger Club sports complex in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. India play their first match of the tri-series against the West Indies on Thursday. — PTI photo

Ponting buoyed by McGrath’s return
Kuala Lumpur, September 11
Australia captain Ricky Ponting expects experienced fast bowler Glenn McGrath to deliver the goods in the tri-series beginning tomorrow.

Russia’s Vera Zvonareva (left) and France’s Nathalie Dechy hold the US Open women’s doubles trophy after defeating Russia’s Dinara Safina and Slovenia’s Katarina Srebotnik in the final on Sunday. Zvonareva and Dechy won 7-6, 7-5.
Russia’s Vera Zvonareva (left) and France’s Nathalie Dechy hold the US Open women’s doubles trophy after defeating Russia’s Dinara Safina and Slovenia’s Katarina Srebotnik in the final on Sunday. Zvonareva and Dechy won 7-6, 7-5. — Reuters

Italian GP was rigged: Alonso
Monza, September 11
Defending champion Fernando Alonso has said he remained confident that the honesty of his Renault team would pay off in the end in what he alleged was a rigged Formula One title battle against Ferrari and Michael Schumacher.

Sania down to No. 70; Paes back in top 10
New Delhi, September 11
The US Open has brought lots of bad news and some cheers to the Indian fans, with Sania Mirza’s world ranking taking a steep dive to 70 on the women’s tour and Leander Paes returning to the top 10 in the ATP Doubles individual rankings.

 


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India suffer choking defeat
Anand Philar

Monchengladbach, September 11
India’s agonising sequence of conceding late goals continued to haunt the team as they suffered a stunning 1-2 defeat against Korea in a pool B encounter of the men’s hockey World Cup here today.

India vs Holland
Live on Ten Sports at 11.30 pm

The Indians, seeking to record their first win in the high-profile tournament, frittered away a second half lead as their opponents struck twice in the last seven minutes to clinch the match at the Warsteiner Hockey Park.

A last-minute penalty corner conversion by Jong Hyn Jang ensured that Vasudevan Baskaran’s men remained winless after four matches, having managed only a draw against South Africa.

After a barren opening session, India shot into the lead through Shivendra Singh (46th) who took his tally to four goals in as many matches in the World Cup.

But, the euphoria was short-lived as the Koreans, who themselves were far from impressive, found the equaliser through Jang (63rd) in the dying minutes.

The defeat means that India would now have to contend for a position between 9th and 12th spots.

India yielded ground under tremendous pressure that saw the Koreans force seven penalty corners in the second half as against two in the first and Jang’s two conversions provided Korea their third win in four matches for a tally of 10 points.

Having lost to Germany and England and drawn with South Africa, India put in a determined performance, but on the day, their best was not enough. India have just one point and are scheduled to play the Netherlands on the morrow in their concluding league fixture.

Dominating the proceedings in the first half, the Indians had the Koreans under pressure, but yet again, failure to cash in on scoring opportunities undid their efforts.

The first of the chances came in the 11th minute with Shivendra Singh having two attempts, the first coming off goalkeeper D Ko, whose clearance went straight to Prabhodh Tirkey who in turn relayed it back to Shivendra. But the forward hit wide from close.

India had another opportunity in the 21st minute when Gagan Ajit Singh, coming off the bench, sent a cross-field pass from left to right for Shivendra who relayed it to Hari Prasad. The forward had a good look at the goal, but shot wide.

At the other end, the Koreans showing a lot of patience in countering Indian tactics, forced a couple of good moves to receive two penalty corners in the 23rd and 25th minutes. — PTI

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Spain overrun Kiwis

Monchengladbach, September 11
Playing with clinical precision, European champions Spain overran New Zealand 3-1 to brighten their semifinals chances in the hockey World Cup here today.

This was Spain’s second win in four matches and they now have eight points in their kitty. They take on lowly and winless Japan in their last group assignment.

Meanwhile, for the Kiwis, it was their first defeat in four matches and they now have seven points. They take on formidable Australia in their last league match.

Spain dominated the proceedings and should have won by at least a six-goal margin but their forwards fumbled at least three sitters.

For the winners, who led 2-0 at half time, the goal scorers were David Alegre (9th) Santago Freixa (18th) and Eduard Tubau (36th) while, Hayden Shaw (40th) reduced the margin for the Kiwis.

SA salvage draw

Unfancied South Africa came from behind to hold Asian Games gold medallists South Korea 2-2 yesterday.

For Korea, who led 1-0 at half time, Jong Hyun Jang (21st) and Hyo Sik You (51st) scored a goal each, while for South Africa Lungile Tsolekile (49th) and Wayne Madsen (59th) scored a goal apiece.

Aussies win 3-1

Olympic champions Australia overpowered Japan 3-1 to record their second win in the tournament last night.

For the winners, who led 2-1 at the breather, the goal scorers were Michael McCann (sixth), Troy Elder (eighth) and Russel Ford (55th). For Japan, Toshiaki Fukuda earned the distinction of scoring the first goal for his side in the World Cup so far.

Australia had lost to Spain in the opener but crushed Argentina 4-0 in their second match. — UNI

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Obituary
‘Bau Ji’ of Punjab hockey

He was a police officer, a sportsman, a sports administrator, a good friend and above all a dedicated father. He was none other than Mr Raj Kumar, “Bau Ji” of Punjab hockey, who retired as Superintendent of Police. He died yesterday after a prolonged illness. Both his sons, Charanjit Kumar and Gundeep Kumar, are Olympians.

My association with Mr Raj Kumar started in mid 1970s. At that time he was an office-bearer of the Punjab Hockey Association and Sports Secretary of the Punjab Armed Police, Jalandhar. His dedication and commitment to hockey earned him a place on the national selection committee of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) besides getting him the honour of accompanying the national team on several trips abroad as its Manager.

“Bau” Raj Kumar started his career as a goalkeeper in early 1950s. He joined Punjab Police in 1952 and continued to represent both Punjab Police and Punjab in various national-level tournaments.

Though he was unlucky not to represent the country either in Asian Games or the Olympic Games, he did defend Indian goal in various international matches, including Test matches against England, East Germany, West Germany, Malaysia, and France besides undertaking tours of Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan as a member of the national team.

He played a stellar in Punjab’s three title triumphs in National Hockey Championship between 1954 and 1965. Between 1981 and 1985, he remained a member of the national selection committee of the IHF.

A simple and God fearing man, “Bau Ji” was known for his politeness and persuasive nature. Even when the Punjab Hockey Association was on verge of a split after some district units revolted against the police dominance, “Bau” Raj Kumar played the peacemaker. It may not be an exaggeration to say that hockey was lifeline for him. He is also credited with raising some new teams of the Punjab Police, including those of kabaddi and football.

His cremation in Jalandhar last evening was largely attended by hockey players and officials, both present and past.

Mr Rajdeep Singh Gill, President, Basketball Federation of India (BFI), Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal, Secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, Mr Pargat Singh, Director Sports, Punjab, and several former Olympians and internationals, including Sukhvir Singh Grewal, Jagdip Singh Gill, Hardeep Singh Grewal, Harpreet Singh, Gurmail Singh, Surinder Singh Sodhi, Col Balbir Singh (retd), Baldev Singh and others have condoled his death.

They all described him as a “gentleman sportsman and sports administrator, who always worked for promotion of hockey in the state”. — Prabhjot Singh

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Jyoti to lead eves in hockey World Cup

New Delhi, September 11
Jyoti Kullu will lead an 18-member Indian team which will compete in the 11th Women’s World Cup Hockey Tournament to be held at Madrid, Spain, from September 27 to October 8.

India, coached by M.K. Kaushik, has been clubbed in Pool A with China, England, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.

Pool B consists of Argentina, Australia, Japan, Korea, South Africa and the USA.

India meet the Netherlands in their first match on September 27, followed by games against Germany (Sep 29), England (Oct 1), Spain (Oct 3) and China (Oct 4), President of the Indian Women Hockey Federation Vidya Stokes said in a release today.

The team: Helen Mary, Dipika Murty, Pushpa Pradhan, Binita Toppo, Rajwinder Kaur, Suman Bela, Subhdra Pradhan, Gagandeep Kaur, Joydeep Kaur, Asunta Lakra, Sanggai Ibemhal Chanu, Deepika, Saba Anjum, Surinder Kaur, Jasjeet Kaur, Mamta Kharab, Jyoti Sunita Kullu (captain) and Ritu Rani. — UNI

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Federer does it again

New York, September 11
This US Open was all about the greats of the game, from Andre Agassi’s tearful farewell, to the renaming of the site to honor Billie Jean King, to Martina Navratilova’s this-time-she-means-it retirement.

It was only fitting, then, that the tournament’s final point was won by Roger Federer.

After all, by beating Andy Roddick 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 yesterday for a third consecutive championship at Flushing Meadows, Federer took another step toward being regarded as the best tennis player in history.

With his new pal Tiger Woods sitting in the front row, Federer won his third Grand Slam title of the year and the ninth of his career, moving closer to Pete Sampras’ record of 14. After the match, Federer and Woods cracked open two bottles of Dom Perignon in the locker room.

“I’m shocked myself how well it’s been going the past three, four years,” Federer said, “being not only compared to former great tennis players, but now especially also other great athletes all over sports. It’s just really nice.”

If there’s any athlete in the world who knows exactly how Federer feels as he dominates his peers and gobbles up Grand Slam titles, it’s Woods. They met for the first time before the match, and Federer then set out to impress his counterpart. Federer out-aced the big-serving Roddick 17-7, compiled a 69-33 edge in winners, and made only 19 unforced errors.

“When I go out there and I see Tiger sitting there, it’s like, I try to play well, you know? I try to kind of get my act together and focus and get off to a good start,” Federer said.

And he did precisely that, racing to a 5-0 lead in 17 minutes. He finished strong, too, winning eight of the last nine games against Roddick, who won the 2003 US Open but now is 1-11 against the man he once was supposed to rival for supremacy in this sport.

“Roger is at the top, and he’s the only person at the top, regardless of how much people want to make rivalry comparisons and this, that and the other,” Roddick said.

“He’s the best player in the game. There’s no question in my mind.”

The No. 1-ranked Federer went 27-1 at this year’s Grand Slam tournaments, the only setback coming against Rafael Nadal in the French Open final. Federer became the first man since Ivan Lendl in 1985-87 to win three consecutive US Open titles — and the only man in tennis history to win Wimbledon and the US Open back to back three years in a row.

He’s won nine of the last 14 Grand Slam tournaments, dating to Wimbledon in 2004.

“I’ve been on a roll since 2004, and of course I am surprised how well it went, but at the same time I know I’ve

given myself the best possible chance,” Federer said. “In the end, maybe I’m not that surprised, because the hard work is paying off.”

Federer spoke last week about wanting to get to know Woods. It finally happened yesterday, thanks to their shared management agency.

Woods and his wife sat between Federer’s girlfriend and his agent. It’s interesting to note who wasn’t in that section: Federer’s coach, Tony Roche, who prepares his pupil for this event but doesn’t travel to it. — AP

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Yuvraj to miss first ODI
Jaishree Balasubramaniam

Kuala Lumpur, September 11
India were dealt a big blow ahead of the cricket tri-series with key ODI player Yuvraj Singh being ruled out of the first match against the West Indies on Thursday.

Yuvraj is down with fever but the team management is optimistic that the aggressive middle-order batsman would be fit in time for the remaining matches of the tri-series, beginning tomorrow with a match between the West Indies and Australia.

Schedule

September 12 Australia vs West Indies

September 14 India vs West Indies

September 16 India vs Australia

September 18 Australia vs West Indies

September 20 India vs West Indies

September 22 India vs Australia

September 24 Final

All matches live on Zee Sports at 12.30 p.m.

“Yuvraj is sick. He may play later in the series,” said a team official.

The Indians, who could not play a single match on the recent tour of Sri Lanka due to rain, were also worried on the count of the weather. Sudden downpours in the afternoons are quite common at this time of the year in this tropical country and could affect the day-night matches.

The series would provide Rahul Dravid’s men some serious competition ahead of the Champions Trophy in October-November.

Coach Greg Chappell admitted as much, saying his team would treat the tournament as a “warm-up” for the Champions Trophy.

“We will treat this tournament as a practice for us ahead of the Champions Trophy,” Chappell said after the team’s net session this morning at the Selangor Club ground.

Chappell said although the team could not play any matches in Sri Lanka, it had kept itself occupied with a rolling camp and practice matches within themselves prior to departing for Malaysia.

“The players have such a hectic schedule that we don't get such time off from the field often. So we utilised the break (in Colombo) to focus on other aspects of the game,” Chappell said.

The former Australian captain also said weather would not pose any problem for his team which is used to playing in hot conditions.

“Weather is not a worry for us. We are used to hot conditions,” he said.

The weather also did not seem to dampen the enthusiasm among the locals, hundreds of whom braved the scorching sun to catch a glimpse of the Indian stars at this off-shore venue.

The female fans were spotted drooling over Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s new batting sensation. Shouts of “Dhoni! Dhoni” pierced an otherwise quiet atmosphere at the club ground.

But it was Sachin Tendulkar who was the most-sought-after player, his blue India jersey standing out in the midst of his team-mates who were all clad in white, the official dress with sponsors’ logo. — PTI

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Ponting buoyed by McGrath’s return

Kuala Lumpur, September 11
Australia captain Ricky Ponting expects experienced fast bowler Glenn McGrath to deliver the goods in the tri-series beginning tomorrow.

McGrath, who took time off from cricket in January to care for his ill wife, returns to Australia’s line-up for their first match against the West Indies tomorrow at the new Kinrara Oval.

“I’m looking forward to Glenn playing again,” Ponting told reporters today.

“He’s really keen to get involved and has been working very hard in the off-season to get himself right for this series, and sort of a build-up for the Champions Trophy.

“I’ve got the highest expectations of Glenn coming back. He’s a been such a great bowler for such a long period of time, he’ll just slot right back in and do the job for us.”

McGrath, 36, has played 221 one-day internationals, taking 331 wickets at an average of 22.43.

Australia, who have not played international cricket for more than four months, have brought a squad of 18 to Malaysia, hoping to give all the players a chance to stake their claims for next year’s World Cup.

“We hope to have a lot of positives by bringing a large squad,” Ponting said. “Hopefully, we can use guys in situations in games to be able to experiment within themselves.”

The West Indies are hoping to build on their 4-1 victory over India in the one-day series in the Caribbean in May.

Vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan said the performances against India prove that the West Indies can be a strong force in one-day internationals.

“We will be the first to admit that we have been inconsistent but we are starting to play some good cricket in the one-day form and we need to build on the series victory against India,” said Sarwan.

“We have been trying to stick to a core group of players and not do too much chopping and changing.” This is the first time the newly built Kinrara Oval is hosting a top-level international match. Organisers hurriedly put up floodlights in four weeks so that the ground would be ready to accommodate day-night matches. — Reuters

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Italian GP was rigged: Alonso

 Fernando Alonso Monza, September 11
Defending champion Fernando Alonso has said he remained confident that the honesty of his Renault team would pay off in the end in what he alleged was a rigged Formula One title battle against Ferrari and Michael Schumacher.

Alonso hit out at the race stewards and Formula One, which, he said, he no longer regarded as a sport after his non-finish at the Italian Grand Prix yesterday.

He said he felt the sport’s ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA) was trying to help Schumacher win an eighth title.

“And not only me,” said Alonso when he was asked by Spanish television if he felt the FIA was helping Schumacher.

“Everybody here thinks the same, and the only thing that encourages me is the support I’m getting from everybody.

“Seeing the track marshals cheering and applauding me, telling me to beat the Ferraris, the Italian press saying it’s a robbery, that motivates me, but it’s no consolation.

“I feel shame. I’m embarrassed by this sport. This is probably the most embarrassing moment in modern sporting history, what’s happening this year.”

Alonso started the race from fifth to 10th on the grid, following a penalty imposed by the stewards for an alleged blocking move on Brazilian Felipe Massa of Ferrari during Saturday’s closely-contested qualifying session.

Alonso battled through to run third with 10 laps remaining when he suffered his first Renault engine failure in three years. Schumacher, who announced his intention to retire at the end of the season, won the race.

In his Renault team’s official statement after the race, Alonso was quoted as saying: “We have three rounds to go and we will get stronger and stronger with new developments for the car, the tyres and the engine.

“But the verdict this weekend is simple. The race was decided off the track on Saturday.” — AFP

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Sania down to No. 70; Paes back in top 10

New Delhi, September 11
The US Open has brought lots of bad news and some cheers to the Indian fans, with Sania Mirza’s world ranking taking a steep dive to 70 on the women’s tour and Leander Paes returning to the top 10 in the ATP Doubles individual rankings.

It was a loss of 16 places for the 19-year old Hyderabadi lass from her previous ranking and it came after the second round loss at the year’s final Grand Slam.

Paes gained three places and was ranked ninth, thanks to his doubles triumph with Martin Damm of Czech Republic who was one rung below the Indian ace.

It was Paes’ fourth crown, besides three mixed doubles titles, and his first without partnering Mahesh Bhupathi with whom he had won the French Open in 1999 and 2001, and the Wimbledon in 1999. — PTI

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 BRIEFLY


Golf champion Tiger Woods applauds during the US Open tennis final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick in New York on Sunday.
Golf champion Tiger Woods applauds during the US Open tennis final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick in New York on Sunday. — Reuters

Tarundeep, Dola to lead at World Cup
Jamshedpur:
Arjuna Awardees Tarundeep Rai and Dola Banerjee will lead India’s campaign at the upcoming World Cup and Doha Asian Games. Jayanta Talukdar and Chekrovolu Swuro were also in the squad announced by the Archery Association of India on Monday. The World Cup would begin at Shanghai from September 26 and Asian Games from December 1. — PTI

Jung on target
Indore:
After a string of poor shows, ace marksman Samresh Jung finally seems to have got his form back and India’s goldfinger shot more than the existing Olympic record in 10m air rifle at the selection trials for the Asian Games here on Monday. Jung shot a score of 691.6 (591+100.6) to win the event by more than a 10-point margin and this is the highest score by an Indian so far in the 10m air pistol event. — UNI

Badminton meet
Nahan:
Yogesh Chauhan of Solan clinched the title by defeating Datul Chauhan of Mandi in the inter-district badminton tournament organised at SFDA Hall here, which concluded on Sunday. In the women’s category, Kamini Shandil of Shimla defeated Malvika Sharma of Mandi to lift the title. In the boys category, Ishan of Solan edged Virender Modgil of Mandi while in doubles Virender Modgil and Sourabh of Mandi defeated Anam and Matul of Shimla to clinch the title. — OC

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