SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

United we stand, says Younis Khan
New Delhi, October 9
After last week’s unsavoury incidents, Pakistan captain Younis Khan insisted he had full support of the team and the players were focused on playing good cricket in the Champions Trophy.
Pakistan cricket captain Younis Khan and team coach Bob Woolmer are watched by team manager Talat Ali Malik as they address an open media session in New Delhi BUT DIVIDED WE SPEAK: Pakistan cricket captain Younis Khan (right) and team coach Bob Woolmer (left) are watched by team manager Talat Ali Malik as they address an open media session in New Delhi on Monday.
— AFP photo

Lanka keen to oust Zimbabwe
Ahmedabad, October 9
An in-form Sri Lanka would look to keep up their winning momentum and dump out a lowly Zimbabwe to ease their way into the main draw of the ICC Champions Trophy here tomorrow.
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EARLIER STORIES


New Zealand not glamorous enough: Fleming
New Delhi, October 9
The New Zealand cricket team has a less hectic calendar than others and one reason could be that the side is not considered “glamorous” enough to bring in the crowd and money, captain Stephen Fleming said today.

New Zealand cricket captain Stephen Fleming smiles during an open media session in New Delhi on Monday. — AFP photo

New Zealand cricket captain Stephen Fleming smiles during an open media session in New Delhi

Champions Trophy
Biochemical terror puts security on high alert
Mumbai, October 9
Reports in the international media that terrorists planned to spray toxic gases into the dressing rooms of English and Australian cricket players during last year’s Ashes series in England has caused security to be beefed up for the ongoing Champions’ Trophy series in India.

Zaheer, Balaji wreck UP
Rest of India too in dire straits at 131 for 7
Nagpur, October 9
Zaheer Khan and Laxmipathy Balaji claimed four wickets each to bundle out Uttar Pradesh for a meagre 148 runs before the Rest of India (RoI) themselves collapsed to 131 for seven on an eventful opening day of the Irani Trophy match here today.

 

Zaheer Khan of RoI celebrates after dismissing UP captain Jyoti Yadav during the first day of the Irani Trophy match at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on Monday. — PTI photo

Zaheer Khan of RoI celebrates after dismissing UP captain Jyoti Yadav during the first day of the Irani Trophy match at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur

I have lot of hockey left in me: Pillay
Hisar, October 9
Former Indian hockey team captain and Olympian Dhanraj Pillay has stated that he still had enough hockey left in him and wanted to play for the country. He said there was no dearth of potential, but fair selection was key to success.

Dhanraj Pillay addresses mediapersons in Hisar on Monday.

Dhanraj Pillay addresses mediapersons in Hisar

PHA forms panels for hockey nationals
Chandigarh, October 9
The Punjab Hockey Association, at its meeting held in Jalandhar today, decided to set up sub-organising committees at Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana for the smooth conduct of the National Hockey Championship from October 20 this year.

Dutch players celebrate after winning the women’s hockey World Cup in Madrid
Dutch players celebrate after winning the women’s hockey World Cup in Madrid on Sunday. The Netherlands beat Australia 3-1 in the final.
— AP/PTI

US Open tennis champion Maria Sharapova of Russia signs a poster during a public relations event in Moscow
US Open tennis champion Maria Sharapova of Russia signs a poster during a public relations event in Moscow on Saturday. — Reuters

Indo-Pak Punjab Games jinxed?
Chandigarh, October 9
The second edition of the Indo-Pak Punjab Games appears to be jinxed. Postponed more than once, these friendly games were re-scheduled for the second week of October this year.

Hungarian biker maintains lead
Shimla, October 9
Defending champion Norbert Szenthinlosi of Hungary was leading the pack midway through the 656-km Hercules MTB Himachal mountain biking rally. He was followed by Dileep Singh and Ramesh Chandra, both of the Army Adventure team.

Madura upsets Asha
New Delhi, October 9
Madura Ranganathan provided some unexpected thrills when she ousted fifth-seeded Asha Nandakumar 6-2, 6-2 in the women’s singles first-round match of the DSCL Open National Hardcourt Tennis Championship at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association synthetic court here today.

Kunjarani breaks national record
Jalandhar, October 9
N Kunjarani Devi of CRPF lifted 73 kg in the snatch section and 93 kg in the jerk section to break the national record in the 48 kg category on the opening day of the 55th All-India Police Games at the indoor PAP Complex, Jalandhar Cantonment, here today.

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JK Tyres National Motor Racing Championship held in Chennai.
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United we stand, says Younis Khan

New Delhi, October 9
After last week’s unsavoury incidents, Pakistan captain Younis Khan insisted he had full support of the team and the players were focused on playing good cricket in the Champions Trophy.

Younis claimed that the flip-flop over the captaincy issue hours before the team’s departure for the prestigious tournament was behind them and would not hamper their performance.

“Let bygones be bygones. I have already forgotten the incident because you cannot change what has happened. The issue has died down and I foresee no problems,” said Younis, who was reinstated after he initially refused to captain the side saying he did not want to be a “dummy captain”.

He also said the whole episode would not affect the morale of the team ahead of such a crucial tournament.

“It (Pakistan) is not a club team. We are playing international cricket. It should not be such a problem to rise above all these and perform,” he said.

The middle-order batsman said he had the support of the whole team and was eager to prove himself as a captain.

“I am here to enjoy my cricket. I am supporting all the other players and they are also supporting me. I hope I do well. Playing under pressure is a challenge. but it is also fun to play under pressure,” he said.

Younis, who will captain the team for the first time for a whole series, did not think it would be a problem managing the star-studded team because everyone was playing for the country.

“I don’t think it would be difficult to manage the big players. We are all playing for the country.

“I like when Shahid Afridi or Shoaib Akhtar play well. I am not jealous but I am happy about it. That’s why I was offered the captaincy,” he said.

Younis, who has already planned how he would go about the leader’s job, said he followed legendary cricketers Imran Khan and Steve Waugh.

“I usually give stress on nurturing the youngsters. But they are keeping their distance after I was appointed captain. They say they were giving me respect,” he said agreeing to Waugh’s observation it was lonely at the top.

He, however, said he was not overly worried about the results because only two teams could reach the finals.

Asked if he felt an added pressure and responsibility in the absence of Inzamam-ul Haq, he said, “The responsibility is always there but yes you can say there will be some extra responsibility in his absence as no one can fill the gap.”

Yousuf also rated Inzamam as the best captain he had played under in his career.

“I have played under Rashid Latif, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis but Inzamam is the best because it is different to captain a team of good players. But he brought results with new team and lead it to the stage, where it is today,” he said.

Inzamam can’t play in CT

A technicality has dented Inzamam-ul-Haq’s chances of playing in the Champions Trophy even if Pakistan make it to the final of the elite tournament.

As per the Participating Nations Agreement (PNA), a player who is replaced in a squad cannot be reinstated during the tournament. That effectively means that Inzamam, who is serving a four-match ban and was replaced by youngster Faisal Iqbal, cannot take part in the 10-nation meet. All participating nations have signed the PNA and Clause 6.9 of the agreement, dealing with the issue of replacements, clearly debars a replaced player from taking part in the tournament. — PTI

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Lanka keen to oust Zimbabwe
Sirshendu Panth

Ahmedabad, October 9
An in-form Sri Lanka would look to keep up their winning momentum and dump out a lowly Zimbabwe to ease their way into the main draw of the ICC Champions Trophy here tomorrow.

The match at the Motera Stadium is crucial for both teams. A victory would bring the Sri Lankans to the threshold of the tournament proper, while Zimbabwe are in a must-win situation to survive in the competition.

The two sides have had dynamically opposite build-ups to the match, leaving little scope for doubt in deciding the favourites for the tie.

Former world champions Sri Lanka have been on song in the recent past with a 5-0 decimation of England a few months ago, giving ample indication of their prowess.

The island nation’s batsmen have led their side’s resurgence after a 1-6 mauling at the hands of Rahul Dravid’s men in India last year.

The ageing Sanath Jayasuriya, who returned from retirement responding to a chorus of demands from his fans, seems to have regained his aggression and the voracious appetite for runs.

Skipper and prolific scorer Mahela Jayawardene, effortless strokemaker Kumar Sangakkara, veteran classicist Marvan Atapattu and emerging talent Upul Tharanga have combined to make the Sri Lankan batting a dreadful proposition for the opposition bowlers.

On the other hand, spin magician Muttiah Muralitharan would spearhead the Lankan attack that is capable of rattling any top-class batting line-up.

Their convincing win over Bangladesh in their opening qualifying fixture on Saturday in Mohali is sure to have sent the Lankans’ self-conviction soaring.

While the Sri Lankans, with a 7-3 win-loss record in the tournament, were adjudged joint winners along with India at the Champions Trophy four years ago, Zimbabweans have never made it past the first hurdle and are still on the lookout for their maiden win after playing seven matches.

Face to face, the two teams have played 36 matches with Sri Lanka winning 29. Zimbabwe have won six, four of which came at neutral venues.

The two sides have met only once on Indian soil at the Hero Cup in 1993-94 where Sri Lanka emerged victors.

Teams: Sri Lanka (from): Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Kumar Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Marvan Atapattu, Upul Tharanga, Tilakratne Dilshan, Chamara Kapugedara, Ferveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ruchira Perera, Dilhara Fernando, Lasith Malinga and Malinga Bandara.

Zimbabwe (from): Prosper Utseya (capt), Justice Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Terry Duffin, Anthony Ireland, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Tawanda Mupariwa, Ed Rainsford, Piet Rinke, Tafadzwa Mufambisi, Gregory Strydom and Brendan Taylor. — PTI

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New Zealand not glamorous enough: Fleming
Tushar Bhaduri

New Delhi, October 9
The New Zealand cricket team has a less hectic calendar than others and one reason could be that the side is not considered “glamorous” enough to bring in the crowd and money, captain Stephen Fleming said today.

“I don’t think we are a glamorous side, but we are certainly a good one,” Fleming said.

This has resulted in the Black Caps playing just eight one-day internationals this year and they are scheduled to play only two Tests in the next 12 months, against Sri Lanka.

Coach John Bracewell conceded that the fault probably lay in the side’s lack of consistency abroad.

“We have to be more consistent in winning outside New Zealand to be a more attractive proposition,” Bracewell said, adding that the team had started making progress in that direction.

“We have won two tri-series outside New Zealand over the last two years,” he said, referring to the ones in Zimbabwe where they defeated India in the final, and in England, getting the better of the West Indies in the title clash.

But Fleming said the scheduling had turned out to be a blessing in disguise for New Zealand Cricket and ensured that the players were fresh for the important season ahead, beginning with the Champions Trophy.

“We have had ample rest and are raring to go to the battles ahead. Eight of the players, mostly batsmen, played county cricket, while the bowlers took it easy,” the left-handed Fleming said.

“We had a sort of re-union feeling among the players when they assembled after a long break,” the coach said.

His opinion was seconded by all-rounder Scott Styris, who also said the team fell short in the glamour stakes.

“We cannot compare ourselves in this regard with Australia, India, Pakistan and England, and do not play in such frequent series,” he said.

The break has also ensured New Zealand a full-strength side for the mini World Cup.

“Shane Bond is back to full fitness and that is a big plus for us. He has to be taken good care of because of the huge workload that his role demands of him,” Fleming said.

“Any bowler who can swing the ball at his pace will be a massive boost to any side,” Bracewell said.

Prolific batsman Nathan Astle rued that they would be playing only two practice games ahead of the Champions Trophy.

“We have two practice games before our first match against Pakistan, but we could have done with a few more matches to adapt to the heat and other conditions prevalent in India at this time of the year,” the right-hander said. — PTI

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Champions Trophy
Biochemical terror puts security on high alert
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, October 9
Reports in the international media that terrorists planned to spray toxic gases into the dressing rooms of English and Australian cricket players during last year’s Ashes series in England has caused security to be beefed up for the ongoing Champions’ Trophy series in India.

Apart from screening suspects at venues where the matches are to be played, investigating agencies will also now look out for possible chemical and bacterial attacks on the cricket teams.

Senior officials from security agencies have met with representatives of the BCCI, according to sources. Though such meetings are routine, reports in London’s Sunday Times about the threat of biological or chemical attacks on British and Australian cricketers has caused local anti-terror operatives to go into a fresh huddle.

The Champions Trophy is attracting scores of youth of Indian origin from the UK, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. Investigators will be keeping an eye on them apart from local suspects.

According to the Sunday Times quoting British police, a friend of the 7/11 London bombers confessed to the bombers speaking of plans to spray sarin gas into the dressing rooms after gaining access to the stadium by finding jobs as stewards. The terrorists went on to carry out suicide bomb attacks in London’s underground stations which claimed 52 lives.

Teams from Australia and England are already in India for the Champions Trophy. With five matches, including the final to be played at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium, security officials in the city have gone into overdrive.

Sources say cricket fans from Pakistan are being denied visas for the series as a precautionary measure. However intelligence agencies are worried about British-born youths with training in terror from Pakistan arriving here during the series.

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Zaheer, Balaji wreck UP
Rest of India too in dire straits at 131 for 7

Nagpur, October 9
Zaheer Khan and Laxmipathy Balaji claimed four wickets each to bundle out Uttar Pradesh for a meagre 148 runs before the Rest of India (RoI) themselves collapsed to 131 for seven on an eventful opening day of the Irani Trophy match here today.

As many as 17 wickets perished on the day one of the five-day match, as batsman on both sides had a tough time trying to negotiate the slight seam movement that the pitch at the VCA Stadium was offering Batting first, a depleted Uttar Pradesh, missing Suresh Raina, Mohd Kaif, R P Singh and Piyush Chawla, comfortably reached 102 for 2 fifteen minutes before lunch. But then the tragedy struck. Zaheer (4/46) and Balaji (4/29), trying to make a come back on the national team, struck regularly to reduce the Ranji champions to 115 for 5 at lunch.

Openers Shivkant Shukla (52) and Praveen Kumar (42) showed some early resilience but batsmen down the order failed to make much impact on a fairly seaming wicket.

The post-lunch session saw the combination of Zaheer and Balaji play havoc against some irresponsible batting display from the Ranji champions. M Karthik chipped in with 2 for 23.

Rest of India made a confident start putting 64 for the opening wicket through skipper Wasim Jaffer (45) and Gautam Gambhir (20). The exit of Gambhir, bowled by lanky paceman Praveen Kumar, signalled the collapse of the Rest of India.

Robin Uttappa (8), Venugopal Rao (0), Dinesh Karthik (11), paid for some rash strokes. Praveen (3 for 27) and pacer S Srivastava (3 for 47) did the damage. S Badrinath (35 not out) is holding one end with his side still requiring 18 runs to overhaul UP’s first innings total. — PTI

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I have lot of hockey left in me: Pillay
Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Hisar, October 9
Former Indian hockey team captain and Olympian Dhanraj Pillay has stated that he still had enough hockey left in him and wanted to play for the country. He said there was no dearth of potential, but fair selection was key to success.

Pillay, who was here in connection with a rural sports tournament being organised at Bhaini Amirpur village near Narnaund in the district, was talking to mediapersons today.

Expressing concern over the decline in Indian hockey, the star player said ignoring talent, lack of a professional attitude, switching over to European style and frequent change of coaches were to be blamed for the downward trend.

“The government should do away with the quota system and ensure fair selection to check the downfall,” he maintained.

Pillay, who has been honoured with the prestigious Arjuna Award and Padamshree, demanded that the match fees given to the hockey players be increased to $100 per day. He said he had been trying to get the match fees raised for a long time, but to no avail.

“Big companies should also come forward and adopt the sports other than cricket,” he said, adding that a change in government approach and media focus could also bolster the sagging spirits of hockey players. He further stated that the hockey officials should be made answerable to improve the standards of the game.

The former Olympian praised Haryana for encouraging players by providing them substantial facilities, financial support and other incentives.

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PHA forms panels for hockey nationals

Chandigarh, October 9
The Punjab Hockey Association (PHA), at its meeting held in Jalandhar today, decided to set up sub-organising committees at Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana for the smooth conduct of the National Hockey Championship from October 20 this year.

The sub-committees would be headed by the Deputy Commissioners of the districts concerned, with the Senior Superintendent of Police as its organising secretary.

The meeting, which was presided over by the Director-General of Police, Mr SS Virk, who is also the president of the PHA, also decided to associate several former international players and Olympians, including Pargat Singh, Jagdeep Singh Gill, Hardeep Singh Grewal, Ramandeep Singh Grewal, and Surinder Singh Sodhi, with the organising committee.

Also co-opted in the organising committee were Mr Surinder Singh of Surjit Hockey Society and Mr Rachpal Singh of Namdhari Jatha. It was also decided to name Thakur Ude Singh of Namdhari Jatha as the senior vice-president of the PHA.

Bhaini Sahib, which recently organised the Punjab State Under-13 and Under-17 State Hockey Championships on its newly laid synthetic surface, will be one of the four venues for the National Hockey Championship. Other venues will be Guru Nanak University (Amritsar), Surjit Hockey Stadium (Jalandhar) and Prithipal Singh Hockey Stadium (Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana). — TNS

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Indo-Pak Punjab Games jinxed?
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 9
The second edition of the Indo-Pak Punjab Games appears to be jinxed.

Postponed more than once, these friendly games were re-scheduled for the second week of October this year. Pakistan Punjab, which was to host the games after the inaugural event in Patiala in December, 2004, had initially sought a postponement because of a devastating earthquake that had rocked a major part of North-West Pakistan.

While there is no indication of the games being held in the immediate future, the money set aside for the second edition is gradually diminishing.

Of the Rs 1 crore earmarked for the games, which were to take place in Lahore, nearly one-tenth has reportedly been spent already.

A new car, a lap top and a sophisticated hand set has been purchased from the funds meant for the games. Besides, a few lakh have also been taken out from the games funds for providing a furnished office at the residence of one of senior functionary of the Department of Sports and Youth Welfare.

Interestingly, two delegations have visited Pakistan since the holding of the first games in Patiala to work out modalities and finalise plans for holding the second event in Pakistan. In the first delegation, besides the Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Sports and Youth Welfare, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, the Principal Secretary, Sports and Youth Services, Mr RPS Pawar, also went to Pakistan.

Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi went alone the second time.

Though the holding of the first games had generated lot of interest, some preliminary coaching camps were organised to train the Punjab teams. But once the games were postponed, no subsequent camps were held.

Reports from across the border also indicate that little has been done to create new infrastructure or renovate the existing one for holding the games. The only indoor hall available in Pakistan Punjab is in Islamabad where only a limited number of events can be held.

Any further delay in holding the games may lead to their cancellation as all top athletes will be busy in preparation for the Asian Games to be held in Doha, Qatar, in December this year.

When the first games were held, it was decided that the two Punjabs would hold them alternately every two years as an extension of the confidence-building measures, besides improving people-to-people contact.

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Hungarian biker maintains lead

Shimla, October 9
Defending champion Norbert Szenthinlosi of Hungary was leading the pack midway through the 656-km Hercules MTB Himachal mountain biking rally. He was followed by Dileep Singh and Ramesh Chandra, both of the Army Adventure team.

The rally, which took off from here on October 5, had completed 320 km and moved into the difficult high altitude leg of Kulu district today after passing through the interior of Shimla district. It will pass through the Jalori pass -Jhanjheli stretch, during which it will reach the highest elevation of 3,600 metres tomorrow.

Norbert, Dileep Singh and Ramesh Chandra were also leading in the same order in the men (open) category, while Karen Ruth Matias of Manali, Kulbir Kaur of Chandigarh and Chen Ling Lee of Singapore were holding on to the first three positions, respectively.

In the team event, the first two places were being held by the Army Adventure team comprising Dileep Singh and Ramesh Chandra (Army-2) and Satish Chandra and Naresh Dev (Army-1). The Firefox Team consisting of Balwant Singh and Sanjeev Singh was at the third position.

In the Indian category, it has been an all-Army affair so far with Dileep Singh, Ramesh Chandra and Dibeen Metei occupying the first three positions. The overall performance of Indian bikers has improved considerably compared to last year, thanks to the participants from the Army. — TNS

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Madura upsets Asha
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, October 9
Madura Ranganathan provided some unexpected thrills when she ousted fifth-seeded Asha Nandakumar 6-2, 6-2 in the women’s singles first-round match of the DSCL Open National Hardcourt Tennis Championship at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association synthetic court here today.

Barring this early fall of a seed, other matches went along expected lines. Top seed Isha Lakhani thrashed Sanjana Kapur 6-2, 6-1, while Ragini Vimal, another fancied player, was business-like in her ruthless 6-1, 6-0 demolition of Apurvika Shukla.

In the men’s section, seeded player Vivek Shokeen was given a hard time by Yannick Nelord before he won 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Results (first round): Men’s singles: Divij Sharan b Faiz Mohammad 6-4, 6-3; Purav Raja b PC Vignesh 6-1, 6-2; Sanam Singh b Divyanshu Singh 6-3, 6-1; Vivek Shokeen b Yannick Nelord 3-6, 6-4, 6-1; Sandeep

Choudhary b Dhruv Kumar 6-2, 6-1.

Women’s singles: Isha Lakhani b Sanjana Kapur 6-2, 6-1; Vishika Chettri b Deepanwita Chakrabarty 6-2, 6-3; Kesiak Jaipalan b Naina Karsolia 6-2,7-5; Parija Maloo b Rohini Das 6-0, 6-0; Kyra Shroff b Chirashanta Rajur 6-1, 6-3; Parul Goswami b Raadhae Swarupa 6-2, 6-2; Shalini Sahoo b Neha Rana 6-0, 6-4; Vishaka Sheoran b Nupur Kaul 6-1, 7-5; Sandhaya Nagaraj b V Poojashree 6-1, 6-2; Ragini Vimal b Apurvika Shukla 6-1, 6-0; Madura Ranganathan b Asha Nandakumar 6-2, 6-2.

Boys under-18: Sumit Prakash b Pushpendra 6-1, 6-1; Sriram Balaji b Daniel Raj 6-2, 6-2; Suresh Krishna b Rahul 6-0, 6-2; Faiz Mohammad b Vedant Kapoor 6-2, 6-2; Akash Gujarathi b Varun Sinha 6-0, 6-0; Palash Tiwari b Navneetha Kannan 6-3, 6-2; Nikunj Siwach b Keshav Patidar 6-0, 6-0; S Harika b Ankit Sachdeva 6-4,6-4; Abhijeet Tiwari b Ujwal Khanna 6-1, 6-0; Akshay Bajoria b Vikas Chauhan 6-4, 6-1;

Ashwin Vijayaraghavan b Keshav 6-1, 6-0.

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Kunjarani breaks national record

Jalandhar, October 9
N Kunjarani Devi of CRPF lifted 73 kg in the snatch section and 93 kg in the jerk section to break the national record in the 48 kg category on the opening day of the 55th All-India Police Games at the indoor PAP Complex, Jalandhar Cantonment, here today. Kunjarani lifted a total of 166 kg for the gold medal. The previous national best was 72 kg (snatch) and 92 kg (jerk).

In weightlifting, 27 teams are participating, including eight in the women’s section. Results: Weightlifting: Women: 48 kg: 1. N. Kunjarani Devi (CRPF), 2. A Sandhya Rani (CRPF), 3. Sharda Siddi (Karnataka).

Men: 56 kg: 1. Vicky Batta (Punjab Police), 2. Basanta Meitei (CRPF), 3. Gurpal Singh (Punjab Police).

Judo: 90 kg: 1. Vinod Solanki (BSF), 2. Narendra Singh (CISF), 3. Brij Lal (Punjab Police).

100 kg: 1. Jatinder Pal (Punjab Police), 2. Yashpal Solanki (Punjab Police), 3. Samunder Tokas (BSF). — TNS

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 BRIEFLY


The original cricket ‘Ashes Urn’ is pictured at the Lords cricket ground in London
The original cricket ‘Ashes Urn’ is pictured at the Lords cricket ground in London on Monday. The urn will form a part of an ‘Ashes exhibition’ that will visit six cities in Australia between October 2006 and January 2007. The tour marks only the third time in history that the Ashes Urn has left the MCC Museum at Lord’s and the first time it has ever toured around Australia. England will challenge Australia in the Ashes series starting in November in Australia. — AFP photo

Punjab under-16 school games
Sangrur:
Pargat Singh, Director, Sports Punjab, announced that the Punjab Sports Department is organising a district-level competition for school boys and girls in 10 sporting disciplines in all district headquarters from October 12 to 14. Competition in athletics, wrestling, football, hockey, table tennis, volleyball, Badminton, weightlifting, archery and Basketball will be conducted. The winning school team will take part in the state-level competition which is being held at Faridkot (boys) from October 17-19, while competition for girls will be held at Patiala from October 27-29. District Sports Officer, Sangrur, Gursharan Singh said Sangrur district-level competitions will be held at War Heroes Stadium on October 13-14 here. — OSR

Rowing team
Chandigarh:
The following Punjab rowers have been selected by Punjab Amateur Rowing Association to participate in the 27th Junior National Rowing Championship at Orissa from October 10-15. Team: Junior men: Shakinder Tomar (JMIX and JM2X), Mohan Bhardwaj, Vijay Kumar, Samare Pal and Sukhjinder Singh (RESE), Gurjant Singh, Dayanand Tekole, Jarman Jeet Singh (JM4) and Harbans Lal. Junior women: Sukhpreet Kaur (JMIX and JW2X), Raman Kaur, Inderjeet Kaur, Sukhpreet Kaur and Balwinder Kaur (RESE), Gurpreet Kaur (JW2, JW4), Ravinder Kaur, Paramjit Kaur and Paramjit Kaur (Jr) (JW4). Jarnail Singh will accompany the team as coach. — TNS

Nehru hockey
NEW DELHI:
Vidya Devi Jindal School, Hisar, will take on Bir Bahadur Singh Sports College, Gorakhpur, in the opening match of the 13th Nehru Hockey Tournament to be held at the Shivaji Stadium from Tuesday. In all, 18 teams will compete for the title. The final will be played on October 18. — OSR

Eves ranked 13th
New Delhi:
The Indian women’s hockey team, which finished 11th in the World Cup, maintained its 13th spot in the latest world rankings issued by the International Hockey Federation. The Netherlands consolidated their position atop the ladder by winning the World Cup. Australia, who were the runners-up in the World Cup, were the big gainers among the top-ranked sides as they jumped from the fourth spot to the second. — PTI
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