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Wednesday, December 16, 1998
'Agents are villains, not bidding cities'
LAUSANNE, Dec 15 Leading Olympic official Marc Hodler has said he had gone public with his allegations that agents tried to rig votes on the hosting of games because he did not want Salt Lake City to be seen as "villains".
Windies A clinch series
MUMBAI, Dec 15 A fine all-round display by Chris Gayle (3/46 and 70 n.o. off 86 balls) helped West Indies "A" clinch the three-match one-day series with a thumping six-wicket victory in the third and final tie against India "A" at the Wankhede Stadium here today.
Australia retain Ashes
ADELAIDE, Dec 15 Australia blasted England out soon after lunch on the fifth day of the third Ashes cricket Test today, winning by 205 runs and securing the Ashes for the sixth consecutive time.
Dravid, Ganguly steer India to victory
WELLINGTON, Dec 15 Rahul Dravid and stylish left hander Saurav Ganguly cracked their second successive half centuries and also featured in an unbroken 136-run stand for the third wicket to steer India to a morale-boosting eight-wicket win just past lunch on the last day of their four-day match today.
Pitch tampering: Reuben barred
CHENNAI, Dec 15 Tamil Nadu wicket keeper-batsman Reuben Paul has been barred from participating in Ranji Trophy matches for one year by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association following his alleged involvement in the "pitch tampering" incident in a match against Delhi here on February 16.
Indian eves 4th in sprint relay
BANGKOK, Dec 15 (PTI) Veteran P T Ushas lack of explosive pace in the anchor leg and a less than sharp baton exchange pushed India to the fourth spot in the womens 4 x 100 metres relay as they went medalless on the third day of the Asian Games athletics competition today.
India, after their scintillating display in the past two days which saw them reap a rich harvest of one gold, one silver and seven bronze medals, went empty-handed from the only final they contested today out of the five scheduled.
But last evenings heroine Jyotirmoyee Sikdar, who fetched India their first and only gold by winning the 1,500m title, looked well set to complete a grand middle distance double as she coasted to victory in her 800m semi-final heat in two minutes 07.41 seconds.
Compatriot K Rosa Kutty had also made the grade from the first heat by finishing a comfortable third in 2:05.77.
But the missed story of the day for India was the womens sprint relay. Running in lane four, V Jayalakshmi ran a decent first leg before 100m bronze medalist Rachita Mistry exploded down the back straight to keep India in medal contention.
But E B Shyla, who ran the third leg, completed a less than perfect baton exchange with Usha when India were placed second behind leaders China.
The 34-year-old Usha could not find her usual speed as Uzbek anchor Prepalova caught her 20 metres into the straight on the sixth lane and Thailands anchor Wongtiprat Natthaporn inched ahead to Ushas right to push India out of the medal bracket close to the finish.
The Indian quartet finished fourth in 44.77 seconds which was just off the 44.43 they had clocked to finish second in the Asian championship at Fukuoka in July before winners China were disqualified and India were awarded the gold.
"Both the first and third exchanges did not click, said a disappointed Rachita Mistry after the missed opportunity.
The Chinese quartet of Yi Liang, Yan Jiankui, Li Yali and 100m champion Li Xuemei, who ran the anchor leg in lane two, proved too good for the rest of the field as they broke their own games mark of 43.65 by stopping the clock in 43.36 to secure the gold.
They ensured that they did not make the same mistake, a faulty baton exchange, which cost them the gold at Fukuoka which India got by default.
The Uzbekistan foursome of Kvetkovskaya, Hubbieva, Dmitriadi and Perepelova took the silver in 44.38 while hosts Thailand, represented by Srichire Savitree, Kwapeag Supavadee, Reawadee Watanasin and Wongtiprat Nattjaporn, collected the bronze just 0.05 seconds ahead of India in 44.68.
Sri Lanka, in the absence of controversial star Susanthika Jayasinghe who left for home last night after pulling out of the 100m final, faded to sixth and last in 44.94 just behind Japan (44.80).
Jyoti Sikdar, the metric mile champion, had much to spare in winning the slower 800m heat in 2n 07.41. Japans 18-year-old Royoko Takezawa and Chinas Wang Yuangping announced themselves as strong contenders by taking the top two spots in the second heat clocking 2:04.35 and 2:05.21. The final is to be run on December 17.
Asian champion Igor Potapovich fought the strong cross wind and cold conditions well and won the mens polevault clearing 5.55 metres in a jumpoff after he and Koreas eventual silver medallist Kim Chul-Kyun both failed to clear 5.55 metres.
The Kazakh vaulter cleared the height in his fourth try while Chul-Kyun, who passed the third attempt in the height and then failed at 5.60, was placed second at 5.40m. Furniaki Kobayashi (5.20) was third.
Chinas Xu Gang fell outside the landing mattress attempting 5.40 to suffer a leg injury and was put out of medal contention, credited with 5.20m.
Asian champion Li Meisu of China also reasserted her supremacy in the continent in claiming the womens shot put with a final heave of 18.96 metres, her teammate Cheng Xiaoyan taking silver (18.55m) and Krasaeyan Juthaporn of Thailand winning bronze (18.24m).
Yasunori Uchitomi of Japan claimed the gruelling 3000m steeplechase gold in the absence of any challengers from Saudi Arabia, the traditional strong power in the event. He clocked eight minutes 41.00 seconds to come ahead of Irans Sajdjadi Hazaveh (8:42.53) with compatriot Jafar Babakhani taking the bronze.
Morinaga Masaki of Japan claimed the mens long jump gold with a fifth leap of 8.10 metres, missing the games mark by just 20 centimetres. Liu Hongning of China won silver (8.05) with a Faraj of Qatar taking bronze (7.99).
India clinch gold in kabaddi
BANGKOK, Dec 15 Raiding superbly and defending well, reigning champions India outclassed Japan 59-25 to retain the Asian Games kabaddi gold for the third successive time, here today.
This was Indias second gold at the 13th Asian Games in as many days, after Jyotirmoyee Sikdar won the 1500 metres race yesterday.
India won the inaugural kabaddi gold in 1990 at Beijing and then in 1994 at Hiroshima, and repeated the performance for the third time.
The kabaddi team, which won all its six matches here with convincing margins, was hit by a controversy that was cleared by the Delhi High Court at the eleventh hour.
"We did not have any worthwhile challenge," a beaming coach S.P. Singh after his team won the gold.
Earlier in the morning, India decimated Sri Lanka 76-13.
The silver and bronze will be decided tomorrow after Pakistan play Japan and Bangladesh face Sri Lanka.
Pakistan and Bangladesh are tied up as they involved in a drawn match. The medal ceremony will be held tomorrow and Indias gold will also be shown in the medal tally after the competition is over.
India led 34-8 at half time against Japan.
Japan were expected to give a tough fight to India but their defence let them down.
The Indian raiders went deep into the Japanese territory and scored points at will.
The Indian attack was led by Ram Mehar Singh, Sanjeev Kumar, B.C. Ramesh and Honappa while in the defence Kirpal and Muruganan were outstanding and earned some good catches.
After establishing a formidable 26 point lead (34-8) in the first half, the Indians became a bit complacent and conceded 17 points to their rivals while earning 25.
Ram Mehar Singh (10), Sanjeev Kumar (7), B.C. Ramesh and Honappa (4 each) were the leading scorers for the winners.
S.P. Singh was full of praise for his boys saying: "They played for the country putting behind the unsavoury episode prior to the Games which led to a court in New Delhi."
"We had promised gold to the nation and we got it for the country," S.P. Singh said.
"Our raiders were just excellent and defence too strong the opposition," he said adding that the team had only one player from the Hiroshima Asiad gold winning squad-skipper Viswajit Palit.
Three others Muruganan, B.C. Ramesh and Honappa had represented the country in the 1995 SAF Games at Chennai. The rest are new players.
Impressed by the ability and technique displayed by the Japanese, he said: "It was an impressive showing by Japan and if they continue to practice like this they can be a serious threat to India in the next Asian Game."
Skipper Vishwajit Palit said, "It is a proud moment for me as in the second successive Asian Games, I will be receiving the gold, the only difference being that this time I will be on the podium."
Thrilled by the way the Indians played for the team and country, Palit said. "We just forgot the past, our aim was to hear the national anthem and see the hoisting of the tricolour and we have achieved it."
The gold medal-winning kabaddi team players will also receive one lakh baht from a local NRI Sushil Saraf. UNI
Asia threatens World Cup boycott
BANGKOK, Dec 15 (Reuters) Asian soccer chiefs today gave FIFA until March to avert a regional boycott of the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea by giving Asia the chance of an extra place in the finals.
After emergency talks in Bangkok, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said it was willing to sacrifice one qualifying spot because of FIFAs decision to choose two co-hosts.
But it said there would be a boycott with Japan and South Korea exempted if FIFA refused to give the third-placed Asian qualifier the chance to play off against the top team from Oceania.
"All spoke out in favour of a boycott," Mr Peter Velappan, AFC general secretary, told a news conference.
If Asias team won a play-off, Asia would have five places in the finals instead of the four, including two for the co-hosts, that FIFA proposed earlier this month.
"You must understand that this is a very reasonable request," Mr Velappan said.
"Let us maintain the status quo", which is three and a half, and from this we are willing to sacrifice one for the hosts, which is two and a half.
"So therefore what we are now asking is to please restore the half seat that has been taken away from us."
But he said the 2002 finals would go ahead, no matter what the outcome of the dispute between an outraged AFC and FIFA over the world bodys decision on December 4 to effectively reduce 44 Asian Nations to competing for just two places in the finals.
"We will honour the responsibility of hosting the World Cup in 2002 in Japan and Korea," Mr Velappan said. "Japan and South Korea will play. That is definite."
The two hosts qualify automatically for the finals, so when FIFA decided Asia should have four places, including the host slots, Asia blew up in rage.
At this years World Cup in France, Asia had three guaranteed places, and earned another when Iran beat Australia in a play-off.
Velappan and other delegates said the 16 nations who met today were unanimous, including Japan, about the boycott threat. The South Korean delegate was not present, but Japanese delegate Tadao Okada confirmed he had backed it.
"Yes, we are members of the AFC and we will cooperate with AFC decisions and actions. The AFC has to keep its rights," he said.
The delegates said they all agreed the decision by FIFA, the world governing body of the sport, was unfair.
"Asia has one third
of the worlds population. We have 46 members in
FIFA, one quarter of the total. If you want a world cup
without one third of the worlds population properly
represented, its unfair," said Mr Manilal
Fernando of Sri Lanka.
Youngest competitor only 11 years old
BANGKOK, Dec 15 (AP) An 11-year-old Qatar table tennis player is the Asian Games youngest athlete, the organising committee has said.
While some sports federations would consider him underage, the table tennis and swimming governing bodies have no restrictions, it added.
Aside from 11-year-old A-Rahman Al-Hammadi, the Qatar table tennis team also includes 12-year-olds Nasser Al-Muhannadi and Jassim Al-Sullaiti, the committee said yesterday.
Other 12-year-olds include Qatars Ammar Al-Ejji, a 100- and 200-metre freestyle swimmer, Kuwait table tennis player Ibrahem Al Hasan and Macau Swimmer Cheong Weng-Lom, who competed in the 100-and 200-metre womens breaststroke.
The gymnastics federation sets a minimum age of 16. Organizers checked the passports of North Koreas women gymnasts after some rival coaches, as well as doctors, suggested they looked younger than that.
For judo, the minimum age is 18.
Indian eves thrash Kazakhstan
BANGKOK, Dec 15 (PTI) India took one more confident step towards a place in the Asian Games womens hockey final by recording a facile 6-1 win over Kazakhstan today in their penultimate league match at the Kasetsart University stadium.
Skipper and spearhead Pritam Rani Thakran was again in fine fettle scoring twice and Kamla Dalal, Sita Gussain, Suraj Lata and Sandeep Kaur accounted for one each while the consolation goal for the Kazakh women was notched by Mutallyapova.
For the Indians, who led 4-0 at the break, the challenge for the final berth is likely to come from China or Japan who are to clash with each other later today. India have already beaten China 2-1 and will meet Japan in the last league match tomorrow.
The Indians dominated the proceedings right from the beginning and struck in the sixth minute through a move initiated by Nidhi Khullar which resulted in Kamla Dalal finding the target off Pritam Thakran.
The team from the erstwhile Soviet Republic hit back with within two minutes through Mutallyapova who capitalised on a fine pass from Yelena Lind.
After that it became a one-sided affair with the Indians getting into the rival area as and when they pleased. Off the teams second penalty corner, Sandeep Kaur passed the ball to Sita Gussain who did the rest.
Later, Manjinder Kaur essayed a fine shot but custodian Sumkina blocked it and Pritam Thakran was lying in handy to find the net with the rebound.
The Kazakhs panicked and substituted Sumkina with Tussubzhanova under the bar. But that made no difference to their fortunes as just before the break, Pritam Rani was bang on target once more.
Suraj Lata converted Indias tenth penalty corner for the fifth goal while Sandeep Kaur hammered the last nail by scoring the sixth goal for India.
Indian challenge in badminton ends
BANGKOK, Dec 15 (UNI) The skeleton Indian challenge in the badminton event of the 13th Asian Games ended today with ace shuttler Pullela Gopichand going down fighting to second-seed Yong Hock-in of Malaysia in the mens singles quarterfinal.
Gopichand put up a brave fight before losing 7-15, 4-15.
Yong had to struggle for every point against the world number 50 Indian shuttler.
Though not well equipped technically or strategically to outclass the fancied player, Gopichand did put up a valiant battle with the serve changing hand a number of times in the nearly 40-minute match.
The other Indian in the fray here, Aparna Popat, lost in the opening round yesterday.
In the first set, Gopichand lost many points either in the netgame or because his service landed outside.
He could not force rallies as the Malaysian was swift enough to go for the kill.
Gopichand, who has earlier lost to the left-handed Yong in the pre-quarterfinals of the All-England Open, was at the receiving end most of the time.
Though he managed a couple of smashes and net drops, Gopichand was outsmarted by his tough opponent who, after racing to a 4-1 lead, earned six points in a row to make it 10-1.
Gopichand then fought for every point and managed to reduce the margin to 13-6 and later 14-7, before the Malaysian prevailed and took the set.
The second set saw a couple of rallies but Yong finished almost all of them in his favour.
But, the service changed hands frequently as Yong failed to get on top of Gopichand and finish the match quickly.
Gopichand committed many unforced errors to eventually lose the set 15-4 and the match.
Gurcharan bows out, wins bronze
BANGKOK, Dec 15 (PTI) After dominating the first two rounds, gritty Gurcharan Singh bowed out against the reigning Asian champion and world number eight, Sergey Mihaylov, of Uzbekistan on points to settle for the bronze in the light heavy (81 kg) class of the Asian Games boxing tonight.
The elimination of Gurcharan, who lost 5-13 in the semi-finals to Mihaylov, left only bantamweight N.G. Dingko Singh to try and get a gold for India in the 54 kg final on December 17.
The points verdict against Gurcharan hardly did justice to the fight put up by the lanky Army pugilist.
The 22-year-old Gurcharan started off in an aggressive manner, notching up quite a few points in the first two rounds. But the Uzbek, with his greater speed, caught up in the third despite suffering a cut under his right eye and needing constant attention to it.
The fourth and fifth rounds saw the Indian, who not only won a gold in a tournament in Cuba but was also named the best boxer there this year, slow down further and the result did not exactly come as a surprise to the Indian supporters.
One reason for Gurcharan falling off, according to coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu, was that the Indians right was missing connections and he slowed down because of a recent nose surgery he underwent and a minor, and persistent, problem of breathlessness.
Gurcharan will be officially handed over his bronze medal after the final in that weight category.
Iran appear on track for gold
BANGKOK, Dec 15 (Reuters) Favourites Iran appear on track for the gold medal as the Asian Games soccer tournament goes into the semifinal stage tomorrow unless hosts Thailand can pull off new miracles or China play above themselves.
Iran, who brought their World Cup squad to Bangkok, play China in one semifinal with the comfort of a 2-1 second round group victory over their rivals behind them.
The final will be played on Saturday
Thailand, who pulled off the impossible in the quarterfinals on Monday by beating 2002 World Cup finals co-host South Korea in sudden death overtime despite being down to nine men, play gulf champions Kuwait in the other semifinal
The Iranians, who recovered from a second round 4-2 defeat at the hands of tiny Oman to emerge the most impressive side left in the competition, seem to have all the cards in their hands.
China will be without main striker Hao Haidong, sent off in a comfortable 3-0 quarterfinal defeat of Turkmenistan for spitting at an assistant referee as he was being substituted.
More crucially, they will be without English coach Bob Houghton who will on the sidelines after he was also shown the red card which means an automatic ban of at least one match.
Houghton had wanted to bring off number 15 but the North Korean official held up a board showing number five Fan Zhiyi was to be substituted.
Srinath books berth in semis
BANGKOK, Dec 15 (PTI) Prahlad Srinath stunned second seed Vadim Kutsenko of Uzbekistan to storm into the mens singles semifinal to keep India well in the hunt for more medals from the Asian Games tennis competition at the Muang Thong Thani complex today.
The 24-year-old eighth seeded Indian shed his usual baseline game by going for his shots from the word go to topple his 249-ranked opponent 6-4 6-2 on court three to set up a tough last four meeting with fifth seeded Korean Yoon Yong-Il as India looked confident of adding more medals to their lone mens team bronze claimed so far.
The Bangalore-based Srinath, ranked a modest 393 in the ATP computer and 144 rungs below his opponent, played with unusual aggression and effected a crucial break in the tenth game. He reeled off two successive breaks in the sixth and eighth games against a demoralised opponent to claim victory to the cheers of the Indian supporters at the outside court.
Srinath, who was hardly convincing during Indias title win in the New Delhi Asia Cup last month, was totally transformed when he despatched Chen Wei-Ju of Chinese Taipei in the second round and maintained the same approach against his 21-year-old Uzbek rival today.
The wiry Indian raced to a 4-1 lead in the first set against the error-prone lad from Tashkent after clinching a break in the marathon fourth game.
Srinath lost that advantage when Kutsenko bounced back with a break in the seventh game to close in 3-4. He netted a backhand and then trying to save two breakpoints at 15-40, Kutsenko came on top of a prolonged rally and put away a lob.
But the Indian, whose problem has been sudden loss of confidence when faced with a crunch situation, today proved tough as he held serve in the ninth with a couple of big serves and then broke Kutsenko in the 10th to snatch the set.
Kutsenko doublefaulted to be 15-30 when Srinath playing delectable shots opened up the court and rushed to the net to whip a forehand deep to give his opponent no chance.
Kutsenko saved one breakpoint but Srinath converted the second with a backhand volley. The Uzbek disputed the point saying the ball was out but was overruled by the chair umpire.
The second game went on serve till Srinath found the vital break in the sixth game to move up 4-2. Kutsenko not helping his cause by dishing out two double faults to face two breakpoints, netted a drop volley.
Indian hopes of a medal in the mens tennis ended when both of their doubles pairs, strong favourites Mahesh Bhupathi and Syed Fazaluddin and Nitin Kirtane-Vijay Kannan, tumbled out of the quarter-finals.
Bhupathi-Fazaluddin, seeded sixth here, went down fighting to fourth ranked Korean pair Lee Hyung-Taik/Yoon Yong-Il in straight sets.
Bhupathi-Fazaluddin, who beat Indonesian duo Bomet Wiryawan and Suhistyo Wibowo in pre-quarter finals yesterday, gave a tough fight in the first set but faded out tamely in the second to go down 5-7 4-6.
The left-right tandem of Kirtane and Kannan, who made it to the last eight with a fine win over Ramin Raziam and Sayed Akbar of Iran, lost to Chen Chihjung-Lin Bingchao of Chinese Taipei, 4-6, 5-7.
Sethi favourite for gold
BANGKOK, Dec 15 (UNI) India's Geet Sethi the current world champion, is certainly the favourite for the gold in the singles and doubles events of the billiards competition starting at the 13th Asian Games here tomorrow.
There are two Indian entries in the doubles event which starts tomorrow. Geet Sethi will partner Ashok Shandilya while Devender Joshi will play alongside B. Bhaskar.
In the singles, the main opposition to Geet will come from either compatriot Ashok Shandilya or Thailand's Praprut who was the finalist in the recently-concluded IBSF World Walter Lendram billiards in Australia.
In the doubles, both Indian pairs look formidable and one expects the two to feature in the final.
World number 3 Peter Gilchrist of England has been coaching the Thai team and has done a good job on them.
The Thai players showed good form in Australia and currently in the practice sessions they are striking the ball well.
Though quite new in this game and lacking experience in the three-ball game, they will try their best to redeem country's reputation which was dented in snooker in which they lost despite being billed as the hot favourites.
Gilchrist said the Thai players are capable of staging an upset as they have nothing to lose. "Their rivals will be under pressure to perform well," he added.
Geet, however, looks confident of doing well. "I am in good nick, but I don't take my rivals lightly."
He expects that India will get a good number of medals, including gold in billiards, "Let us see what happens but on the paper we have better players."
"We should do well. This is one discipline in which India expect medals unless some thing unexpected happens," former world champion Michael Ferriera said.
China fencers on top
BANGKOK, Dec 15 (AP) China stayed at the top of the Asian Games fencing medal charts today, defeating Japan and chief rival South Korea in mens team foil.
Wang Haibin, Dong Zhaozhe, Lin Liang and Liu Yuntao completed Chinas near-sweep of the foil events. The only gold that eluded them was the womens team event yesterday, which went to the Koreans.
The Chinese men beat Japan, 45 touches to 35, in Mondays final. South Korea defeated Kuwait, 45-34, for the bronze.
The victory brought Chinas fencing medal tally to four golds, two silvers and four bronzes, edging Koreas three golds, four silvers and two bronzes.
Between them, China and Korea won all the individual event medals.
Japan netted the mens team foil silver and womens team foil bronze.
Tamarine advances to semifinals
BANGKOK, Dec 15 (AP) Top seed Tamarine Tanasugarn, host Thailands hope for a tennis gold medal, advanced to the Asian Games womens semifinals today with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Japans Yuka Yoshida.
Tamarine, ranked No. 37 by the WTA, lost her serve three times in the second set, but cashed in seven of 10 break points in the baseline battle. Her ground strokes produced 14 winners to four for Yoshida.
Chinas Yi Jingqian also advanced, beating Irina Selyutina of Kazakstan 6-1, 6-0.
Second seed Li Fang of China, No. 40 in the WTA rankings, and third seed Yayuk Basuki of Indonesia, No. 56, won their quarterfinal matches yesterday.
Kim strongest man of Asia
BANGKOK, Dec 15 (Reuters) Asias strongest man just keeps getting stronger.
South Koreas Kim Tae-Hyun smashed the Asian record in the snatch by 15 kg on his way to winning his third straight gold medal in the Asian Games 105 kg plus weightlifting division yesterday.
Igor Hallinov of Uzbekistan won the silver and Irans Hossein Reza Zadeh took the bronze.
Kim, nicknamed the "Teddy Bear" by the press for his potbelly and cherubic face, now owns the snatch, clean and jerk and combined total records in Asia, making him the continents undisputed strongest man. He won the division in 1990 at Beijing, 1994 in Hiroshima and with ease in Bangkok.
And the 29-year-old Kim said he may not be done yet. He may return when the next Asiad Comes to his homeland in 2002.
"I might try for a fourth medal, if I can keep my body in good condition," he said after the medals ceremony.
Kim already held the Asian clean and jerk and combined total records. The only thing left to do was take the snatch record of 180 kg, previously held by Chinas Wei Tiehan.
But his opponents let it be known that he wouldnt take the record with a only a few kilograms over 180.
Hallinov broke the record first with a 182.5 kg snatch.
On his first attempt, Kim lifted 185 kg with ease, but Reza followed with 187.5 kg. Allinov equalled the 187.5 kg, forcing Kim to lift 190 kg.
With one attempt left, Kim put an end to the record-setting with a 195 kg snatch, 15 kg over the previous mark Wei set in April in Tel Aviv.
Baboor bows out
BANGKOK, Dec 15 (UNI) Indias national champion Chetan Baboor today ended his run in the mens singles event in table tennis at the 13th Asian Games here losing by three straight games to Yen Shu Chang of Chinese Taipei.
Chetan put up a strong fight before going down 14-21, 14-21, 17-21 in a pre-quarterfinal encounter.
'Agents are villains, not bidding cities'
LAUSANNE, Dec 15 (Reuters, PTI) Leading Olympic official Marc Hodler has said he had gone public with his allegations that agents tried to rig votes on the hosting of games because he did not want Salt Lake City to be seen as "villains".
Hodler said yesterday he had suffered the worst three day of his career but was pleased the scandal had come out into the open.
He claimed at the weekend that agents had been trying for a decade to run cash-for-votes deals to influence International Olympic Committee votes on the venues of Olympic Games.
The Olympic movement should be grateful that alleged irregularities concerning Salt Lake Citys successful bid for the 2002 Winter Games had come out, he said.
But agents, accused of offering votes to bidding cities en bloc for up to five million dollars, were the ones who should be vilified, he said.
"It was the first time that a piece of true evidence was before us that financial advantages had been offered for votes," Hodler said.
"We should be grateful that the evidence is found. I want to prevent the blame being put on Salt Lake City ... The real villains in the past were the agents."
SYDNEY: President of IOC Juan Antonio Samaranch said on Tuesday the inquiry into allegations of bribery involving the Salt Lake City (US) bid for the Winter Games will not include Sydney Summer Olympics.
An IOC committee has begun investigating into alleged payments made in Salt Lake Citys successful bid to stage the 2002 Winter Games.
"Were investigating into Salt Lake City bid as we have facts only regarding Salt Lake City," Samaranch told ABC Radio today.
"We will act forcefully should it be proved some of our members have overstepped the mark," the IOC President said.
The investigations centres around the allegations that Salt Lake officials during the bidding process organised scholarship worth $ 500,000 for university studies for 13 people - six of whom were relatives of IOC members.
An IOC member, Marc Hodler of Switzerland, alleged on Friday that cities bidding to stage the games, including Sydney, were offered block of votes for millions of dollars.
Hodler said he would be surprised if the Sydney 2000 bid was clean.
It was after Australian IOC member Phil Coless strong reaction, Hodler said he meant that he did not know how Sydney could have avoided bribery in winning the games.
Meanwhile, members of the Melbourne 1996 Olympic bid committee admitted that cash payments were made to IOC members during the bid process, but denied they were in exchange for votes.
The Australian newspaper today quoted a committee member, who refused to be named, as admitting that he was present when cash payments of between $ 5,000 and $ 10,000 were being organised for IOC members.
ATLANTA: Billy Payne, who headed up Atlantas bid for the 1996 Olympics and became chief of its organising committee, rejected any suggestion that Atlanta paid for votes in its campaign to stage the games.
Senior IOC official Marc Hodler rocked the Olympic movement last weekend with claims that agents had been trying for a decade to make cash-for-bloc vote deals with cities bidding to host the games.
"We bid under the rules that were in force," Payne, now a businessmen in Atlanta, told Reuters in a telephone interview from his office yesterday.
"We are certainly totally unaware of these agents that tried to cut deals with cities that upon agreements to pay millions of dollars they would influence votes. We know nothing about that."
Added Payne: "We dont know what he is talking about with agents. We didnt pay them, we didnt pay IOC members to influence their votes (or) family members of IOC members. We did not do it."
Payne said the IOC was doing some soul searching since revelations made last week by Salt Lake City officials who won the right to host the 2002 Winter Games.
"We had their (Salt Lake City's) admission that in fact they had wrong. It was an opportunity for the IOC to be introspective about their own procedures, to see perhaps if reform would be in order," speculated Payne.
"Why Mr Holder chose to put some cities on a list of wrongdoers and say what he did about us... I just have no idea.
Windies A clinch series
MUMBAI, Dec 15 (PTI) A fine all-round display by Chris Gayle (3/46 and 70 n.o. off 86 balls) helped West Indies "A" clinch the three-match one-day series with a thumping six-wicket victory in the third and final tie against India "A" at the Wankhede Stadium here today.
The off-spinner, with a three-wicket haul, first restricted the home team to 142 for eight off their stipulated 50 overs after his skipper Ian Bishop put India "A" into bat, and then with an unbroken 91 runs stand for the fifth wicket along with Keith Semple (69 n.o. 80 balls) steered his team to victory.
Earlier, opening batsman Sherwin Campbell, struck at the right time to give the visitors a new lease of life with a patient 60 runs off 93 balls, including three fours after his team was reduced to 43 for three off 9.2 overs.
However, some unimaginative captaincy by India "A" skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar and poor bowling by his boys let the visitors off the hook.
Full credit should go to the visitors, who had won the Test series 2-0 earlier. They first restricted their rivals to a modest total on a easy paced wicket and then played a waiting game to tame the spinners who had tormented them at Ahmedabad in the previous match which India "A" won by six wickets. The first one day was won by the visitors by 119 runs.
India "A" were tottering at 66 for three in 16.1 overs before Reetinder Singh Sodhi along with Kanitkar stemmed the rot after West Indies "A" paceman Reon King sent back in-form opening batsman Devang Gandhi and left handed S Ramesh cheaply in quick succession.
Sodhi was dropped thrice before he scored 62 off 91 balls with six fours and Kanitkar (80 not out off 99 balls with six fours) retrieved the situation with a fourth-wicket stand of 96 runs in 21.5 overs.
Kanitkar and wicketkeeper Saba Karim (22 off 21 balls) put on 50 runs off 6.3 overs after left-hander Rohan Gavaskar had failed yet again lasting just two balls.
Australia retain Ashes
ADELAIDE, Dec 15 (Reuters) Australia blasted England out soon after lunch on the fifth day of the third Ashes cricket Test today, winning by 205 runs and securing the Ashes for the sixth consecutive time.
Jubilant Australian players rushed together and jumped into a group hug after the last wicket fell, later pulling out the stumps to keep as a mementoes.
Australias pace and spin attack ripped apart the English batting line-up in their second innings for 237, with only captain Alec Stewart on 63 not out, and Mark Ramprakash, 57, showing any grit in what was a dismal batting display.
Australias win puts them two-nil up in the five-Test series, ensuring a drawn series at worst and dashing Englands hopes of winning back the Ashes Trophy that Australia have held since 1989.
Pace bowler Glen Mcgrath was the chief destroyer around lunch after England resumed on their overnight score of 122 for four in pursuit of an improbable victory target of 443.
McGrath took four wickets for 11 runs in the space of four overs on a crumbling Adelaide Oval pitch, ending with four for 50.
Englands middle and lower orders again collapsed as the visitors lost five wickets for 16 runs over just 29 minutes in a depressingly familiar repeat of their first innings collapse when they lost seven for 40 in an hour.
In the first Test in Brisbane, England lost their last six wickets for 60 runs in the first innings and then their last five wickets for 65 in the second innings.
Leg-spinner Stuart MacGill tormented England in that second innings and only a tropical thunderstorm that flooded the ground on the last day saved England from defeat.
MacGill also bamboozled the visitors in the first innings in Adelaide, taking four for 53.
A second innings collapse of five wickets for 33 runs sealed their fate in Perth, where they lost by seven wickets inside three days.
It was in Perth where Englands worst was revealed as they lost their last seven first innings wickets for 50 runs.
Australia, (1st innings) 391
England, (1st innings) 227
Australia, (2nd innings) 278-5 decl
England, (2nd innings) overnight 122 for four:
Butcher c Healy b Fleming 19
Atherton c Mark Waugh b Miller 5
Hussain lbw b Miller 41
Ramprakash b Fleming 57
Headley c Mark Waugh b Miller 2
Stewart not out 63
Crawley c Mark Waugh b McGrath 13
Hick c Ponting b McGrath 0
Gough c Healy b McGrath 3
Mullally c Healy b Fleming 4
Peter Such lbw b McGrath 0
Extras (7b, 9lb, 14nb) 30
Total: 237 all out
Fall of wickets: 1/27, 2/31, 3/120, 4/122, 5/163, 6/221, 7/221, 8/231, 9/236.
Bowling: Glenn McGrath 17-0-50-4 (11nb), Damien Fleming 21-3-56-3 (3nb), Colin Miller 24-1-57-3, Stuart MacGill 25-8-55-0, Steve Waugh 2-1-3-0.
Dravid, Ganguly steer India to victory
WELLINGTON, Dec 15 (PTI) Rahul Dravid and stylish left hander Saurav Ganguly cracked their second successive half centuries and also featured in an unbroken 136-run stand for the third wicket to steer India to a morale-boosting eight-wicket win just past lunch on the last day of their four-day match today.
Dravid followed up his first innings score of 50 with an unbeaten 66 while Ganguly stroked his way in elegant style to 79 not out, after his knock of 93 in the first essay, as India raced to 175 for two to wrap up the match in the second over after lunch.
Dravid struck 10 fours in his 98-ball knock while Ganguly had nine boundaries and a six and faced 77 balls. The latter had completed his second half century of the match off only 63 balls - striking three fours and a six, over long on, off successive balls during this purple patch.
India had begun the morning well-poised to win their last tour match before the first Test at Dunedin, commencing on December 18, at 30 for one and needing another 144 to reach the target of 174. They had trailed the home team by 49 runs on the first innings.
The tourists lost the wicket of overnight not out batsman VVS Laxman in the fourth over of the morning when he hooked a short ball from paceman Carl Bulfin into the hands of long leg fielder Robert Kennedy. He made 14 and India were 39 for two.
From then on Dravid and Ganguly took control of the proceedings.
It was Ganguly who opened out first to take the fight to the rival camp. The Bengal batsman, who had made his Test debut with Dravid in the same Test in 1996 in England, took the rival bowling by the scruff.
Ganguly, who weathered a stomach bug as well as the rival bowlers before missing his century by seven runs in the first innings, was in splendid touch from the first ball and scattered the field with immaculately placed shots.
Bulfin, who was encouraged to bowl short deliveries by the responses of a few Indian batsmen, was quickly put in place by the audacious strokeplay of Ganguly whose steers and offside drives were a treat to watch.
Bulfin even mouthed a few invectives at the left-hander who said later that the bowler overdid the short stuff, "unlike his partner Kennedy who looked good to me".
Ganguly went into an overdrive when left-arm spinner Mark Jefferson was introduced into the attack. The two batsmen helped themselves to at least a four in the first four overs of the tweaker before the left hander exploded in the fifth.
Ganguly smashed one past mid-off for a four, smote another over long on for his only six and then pulled another ball for four to post his second half century of the match with six fours and a six.
The remaining runs were easily scored on resumption after the break to provide India with their first win of the tour following the reverse in the opening four-day game against Central Districts at Napier.
Coach Anshuman Gaekwad was understandably pleased with the victory and felt the team was getting better and better every day.
"If you look at our knock in the first innings of the tour and now you would realise we have made a huge improvement. We are getting better and better", he said.
"In Napier, (Sachin) Tendulkar had a good outing and here both Dravid and Ganguly have run into form", he added.
Asked about skipper Mohammed Azharuddin, the Indian coach said. "He doesnt need an extensive session in the middle. Batsmen like Azhar just need to have a feel of the ball. That is the difference between a good and a great player".
Ajay Jadeja too got a nod of approval from Gaekwad who said, "till he got out, Jadeja did not look in any discomfort that is good news for us too".
Jadeja was pleased with the win and his own form. Looking forward to the Dunedin Test he said he had been, waiting for a Test opening for close to a year now.
"It would mark a big breakthrough at Dunedin since my last experience of that venue was awful. During the 1992 World Cup, I pulled my hamstring".
Wellington 317 and 124.
India 1st innings 268
India 2nd innings (overnight 30-1).
A. Jadeja lbw b Bulfin 11
V.V.S. Laxman c Kennedy b Bulfin 14
R. Dravid not out 66
S. Ganguly not out 79
Extras (b-1, lb-3, nb-1) 5
Total (for two wickets) 175
Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-39.
Bowling: C. Bulfin 11-2-36-2, R. Kennedy 13-3-36-0, G. Larsen 1-1-0-0, R. Petrie 7-1-21-0, M. Jefferson 5-0-37-0, J. Wells 2-0-17-0, R. Twose 1-0-16-0, T. Boyer 1-0-8-0.
Pitch tampering: Reuben barred
CHENNAI, Dec 15 (PTI) Tamil Nadu wicket keeper-batsman Reuben Paul has been barred from participating in Ranji Trophy matches for one year by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association following his alleged involvement in the "pitch tampering" incident in a match against Delhi here on February 16.
A three-member committee of the TNCA, which probed the issue, had found Paul guilty in the incident, according to TNCA Secretary Ashok Kumbhat.
However, some members of TNCAs executive committee which took the decision to ban the player, said the report of the inquiry committee was not discussed at the recent executive committee meeting here and that they were only informed by Kumbhat about the probe panels final recommendation.
Three other players who deposed before the panel - Hemang Badani, S. Sriram and Tanveer Jabbar - have been let off with a warning.
Kumbhat said the letter regarding the action taken would be issued to these players today. The Indian Board (BCCI) had been informed of the developments and it was not necessary to get the decisions ratified by the TNCAs general body, he said.
Kumbhat clarified that Paul would be allowed to play in the citys first division league.
Asked about the warning issued to the other three players, Kumbhat said "perhaps the committee has not satisfied with what these players said while deposing before it and felt that they were concealing some facts".
RCF, NR set up title clash
KAPURTHALA, Dec 15 Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, will play against Northern Railway, Delhi, in the final of the 59th All-India Railway (Mens) Hockey Championship here tomorrow.
In the first semifinal played today. Rail Coach Factory (RCF) beat Western Railway, Mumbai (WR) by 3-1. There was a ding-dong battle from the very beginning and forward Mukhtiar Singh scored a field goal. RCF swung into the attack and a rough tackle by WR earned RCF a penalty stroke in the 16th minute, but S. Barlas push struck the goal post. RCF did not lose confidence and fought a pitched battle to restore parity. In the 30th minute inside-left Sabal Barla after receiving a good cross from the centre hit the ball into the goal (1-1). After breather Sabal Barla scored the second field goal for RCF in the 45th minute (2-1). RCF did not stop the trend and outside-left Walter Lakra made it to 3-1 with another field goal in the very next minute. Thereafter, WR worked hard to reduce the margin but the RCF defenders did not allow them much freedom.
In the second semifinal Northern Railway, Delhi defeated South Central Railway, Secunderabad (SCR) by 1-0. This game started on a hot pace and both the teams played evenly. The match winner came in the 20th minutes when right-half Sukhdev converted the first penalty corner earned. SCR tried their best to get the equaliser but could got score in the first half. In the second half, NR played a speedy game and earned a penalty stroke in the 50th minute but outside-left Ajinder missed the target narrowly. NR forwards were in fine fettle and kept the SCR defence constantly busy till the final whistle.
Khalsa College win
CHANDIGARH, Dec 15 (BOSR) Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, defeated Government College for Girls, Sector 11, by 2-0 on the opening day of the Panjab University Inter College Zonal Hockey Tournament for Women at the Panjab University Campus here today. Sunaina of winning team scored both the goals in 36th and 44th minutes of the match.
Bhiwani beat Kurukshetra
CHANDIGARH, Dec 15 (BOSR) The Haryana State Senior Secondary School Cricket Tournament for boys and girls began today at Panchkula. Twentysix teams from all over the state are participating in this four-day tournament being organised by the Education Department, Haryana.
Out of total 26 teams, 21 teams are of boys in the age group of under 14 and 16 while five teams are of girls in the age group of under 19. Each team will get 20 overs.
In the inaugural match today Bhiwani beat Kurukshetra by 10 wickets.
Earlier the tournament was inaugurated by the Ms Saroj Siwatch, Deputy Commissioner, Panchkula.
RSB, Chd in final
CHANDIGARH, Dec 15 (BOSR) RSB Chandigarh will take on RSB Ranchi in the final of the All India Civil Services Hockey Tournament at Sector 42 hockey stadium, here tomorrow.
In the first semifinal, RSB Chandigarh, pipped Central Secretariat, Delhi, by 5-1. Munish Sharma, Daljit Singh, Kulwant Singh, Attar Singh and Gurdip Singh each scored for the winners while J.S. Negi scored the lone goal for the losers.
In the second semifinal, RSB Ranchi upset the defending champions RSB Chennai by a solitary goal scored by Navin in the 43rd minute of the match.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 15 (BOSR) The Punjab Cricket Association will organise an off-season cricket camp for under 14 boys of the state. The trials to select 30 probables in this group for this camp will be conducted on December 19 and 20 at PCA Stadium, SAS Nagar.
According to Mr MP Pandove, hony. secretary of the association, all the district secretaries have been advised to send the outstanding players (minimum five but not more than seven) between the age group of under 12 to 14 for the trials. The players must report at the venue on December 19 at 10 am.
SDP Coaching Centre triumph
LUDHIANA, Dec 15 (FOSR) Ravi Kanojia (53 n.o.) Asim Jindal (50 n.o.) and Hemant (3 for 18) excelled in SDP Coaching Centre's emphatic 10-wicket victory over FTI Club in the sixth Veera Devi Memorial Cricket Tournament at the Chandigarh road focal point ground here today.
SDP Coaching Centre first restrict FTI Club to 120 runs after 21.4 overs and then made the required runs in 17 overs without losing any wicket.
Brief scores: FTI Club 120 all out (Kimti Lal 20, Yogesh 28, Navneet Thapar 16, Mohit 16, Hemant 3 for 18, Vikas Sethi 3 for 21, Gurdeep 1 for 5). SDP Coaching Centre 122 for no loss (Ravi Kanojia 53 n.o. Asim Jindal 50 n.o.).
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