|S P O R T||
Sunday, September 6, 1998
Jadeja refuses to represent
(Left) Monica Seles returns theball to Annie Miller at the US Open tennis tournament in New York on Friday. Seles beat Miller 6-3, 6-3. (Right) Tim Henman signs autographs after defeating Felix Mantilla AP/PTI
nervous Lucic; Chang out
Bengal sail into final
sprint kids ready to take over
Malik vows to silence critics
Jones shares $ 1 m jackpot
offer Walsh new contract
Graf routs nervous Lucic; Chang out
NEW YORK, Sept 5 (Reuters) Five-time US Open champion Steffi Graf is not ready to make way for the ambitious younger generation just yet.
Graf turned what figured to be the first marquee matchup of the womens tournament into a light workout, humiliating 16-year-old Croatian rising star Mirjana Lucic 6-1, 6-1 to race into the round of 16 in a 43-minute romp.
It likely took longer to get a hamburger at the national tennis centers food court than it took Graf to dispose of Lucic, who acted like a nervous groupie in the presence of the legend she idolised growing up.
"It was very shocking. I thought I wouldnt be that nervous", said Lucic, who made 33 unforced errors and often looked like a big deer frozen in oncoming headlights as Graf bombarded with her devastating forehand.
The former world number one was near perfect in the second set. She made just two unforced errors in the set and needed only two second serves, putting 92 per cent of her first serves in play.
It took top seed and defending champion Martina Hingis longer than that just to get through yesterdays third-round encounter with little-known Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo before prevailing 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Mauresmo had also taken a set from Hingis in their only previous meeting in a Fed Cup match.
The Swiss world number one was kept on court for 91 minute but righted herself and seized control of the match after allowing Mauresmo to hold her first service game at love in the second set.
Irina Spirlea, profane and defamed after her last US Open centre court match against one of the Williams sisters, exacted a measure of good-natured revenge yesterday when she beat Serena Williams in three sets under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The ninth-seeded Spirlea, who lost to Venus Williams in a third-set tiebreaker in a contentious semifinal at last years Open, prevailed over younger sister Serena 6-3, 0-6, 7-5 to reach the round of 16.
The prize for winning was a fourth-round date against Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna.
Those expecting fireworks between Spirlea and Williams following last years cross-over collision and harsh words in the aftermath were disappointed, although the tennis was often exciting in the one hour, 39-minute match.
Last year, Spirlea and Williams collided sharply during a cross-over in the second set of their tense semifinal.
Afterwards, the Romanian said she was tired of Williams barging straight ahead each time they changed sides as if to say: "Hey Im the (expletive) Venus Williams", Spirlea explained later, and was hit with a hefty fine by tournament officials.
Richard Williams, father of the tennis-playing sisters, reacted angrily after the match, calling Spirlea a "big, tall white Turkey". He added that the Romanian was lucky she didnt bang into Serena because she would have knocked her out.
Serena had the chance to
knock the Romanian out of this years open but came
up short, despite exhibiting the power and athleticism
that has seen the 16-year-old American rise from 99 last
year to 20th in the world.
There was finally an upset after days in which the seeds had been sailing along in calm seas.
American Kimberly Po, ranked 65th in the world, was the beneficiary of 40 unforced errors by 14th seed Dominique Van Roost, posting a 6-4, 6-2 win after the Belgian had taken her second-round match without dropping a game.
For her trouble, Po earned a fourth-round meeting with sentimental favourite and twice champion Monica Seles, who breezed past American Anne Miller 6-3, 6-3.
Confident third-seeded Wimb-ledon champion Jana Novotna needed less than an hour to bounce Sandrine Testud of France 6-2, 6-3.
Several mens seeds moved safely into the third round, although some were happier with their performances than others.
Second seed Marcelo Rios beat Italian Giorgio Galimberti but has yet to show the form that took him to the Australian Open final and five titles earlier this year.
Former French Open champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov, the 11th seed, felt the same way about his error-filled victory over German Tommy Haas.
But fifth-seeded former Wimbledon winner Richard Krajicek and Briton Tim Henman, seeded 13th, were quite pleased with their form in Fridays victories.
Krajicek trounced American Alex OBrien 6-1, 7-6, 6-2, while Henman turned back 18th-ranked Spaniard Felix Mantilla 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.
French Open champion Carlos Moya climbed back from the brink of elimination, overcoming three third-set match points to beat former French Open champion Michael Chang in a marathon five-setter that finally put a close to the fifth day of the US Open championships.
Moya, the 10th seed, avoided becoming the only mens seed to fall Thursday by fighting off three match points when trailing 4-5 in the 10th game of the third set and battling on to defeat Chang 3-6, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-3 in the final second-round match of the mens draw.
The Spaniard, who had never before come back from a two-set deficit, cashed in the only break point he had in the fifth set, to go ahead 5-3, and then closed out the three hour, 49 minute match the tournaments longest so far in the next game when Chang sent a backhand service return long.
"It was one of the most dramatic matches I ever played", said Moya, who finished his nights work at 1:35 a.m. (1105 IST).
"It was a long match, long rallies. I feel very happy now."
On Changs three match points, Moya went on the offensive and charged the net forcing Chang to pass him to end the contest.
"At that moment you
think everything is lost. But at that moment I knew I had
to take risks", he said from the locker room after
doing some stretching.
But it was Moya who proved the strongest at the most critical points. The 22-year-old Spaniard was down a break in the fourth set but pushed on. In the fifth set, he eluded nine break points held by Chang before cashing in at his own first and only opportunity.
The final points tally from the epic told the story of how closely contested the match was. Chang won a total of 187 points and Moya 186.
"I cant really explain why I couldnt grab one of the key points", said Chang, standing during the post-match news conference to keep from cramping. Only once before had the 26-year-old ever squandered a two-set lead at the 1991 Wimbledon championship, when he lost to Tim Mayotte in the first round.
"I just wasnt able to close the match out. I just think I was a little unfortunate", he said, recalling several near-misses on shots that would have given him a critical edge. "Its tough to explain. Technically, it shouldve been mine."
Jadeja refuses to represent Haryana
NEW DELHI, Sept 5 (PTI) Former India skipper Kapil Dev today charged the Haryana Cricket Association (HCA) Secretary Ranbir Singh Mahendra with severely damaging cricket in the state with his undemocratic functioning and called all quarters to rally together to set the house in order.
The situation was so bad that Indian star Ajay Jadeja today wrote to the secretary that he may be excused from representing Haryana in the future unless things improved, Kapil Dev told a press conference here.
Reacting strongly to a recent statement by BCCI President Raj Singh Dungarpur that former stars like himself and Sunil Gavaskar had little time for the game, Kapil Dev said he had all the time to serve the game, but it was simply not possible when things were in such a "pathetic condition".
The HCA constitution was drawn in such a way that district units were only associate members while Ranbir Singh and president S.K. Mishra had roped in 62 persons with no record of having played the game as "life members".
"I have played 20 years for Haryana and 16 years for the country and I have not been made a life member. Can you believe that Jadeja was almost thrown out of the Ranji team last season for no apparent reason. If this is the fate of someone of Jadejas calibre, one can imagine the sufferings on other players," he said.
Kapil Dev said the HCA organisation was in a shambles and was run as Ranbir Singhs "jagirdari" (fiefdom) for the last 23 years. "There is absolutely no transparency. I cant pick out a single life member who has played the game and the constitution has been drawn up in such a way that it cannot be even legally challenged," he said.
Kapil Dev, who has taken up cudgels with Ranbir Singh to ensure that district units received adequate support to develop the game at the grassroots levels, demanded that the BCCI enact a rule to bring about uniformity in the statute of all its member-units.
The association had funds to the tune of Rs 10 to 12 crore, but unlike the Punjab association which has built a "Taj Mahal-like" stadium in Mohali, Haryana players do not have even a toilet they can call their own, he said.
"The money is locked away. Only the banker will be happy. Nothing is being spent to hold camps or develop infrastructure for the game."
Despite Haryana players doing very well year after year, there was none to speak for them and pointed out to consistent performers like off-spinner Pankaj Thakur who have not been considered even for the India A team.
Releasing the list of life members, Kapil Dev said it was full of advocates or friends and relatives of the HCA secretary. "I am still gathering information about the shoddy way in which the HCA is being run. But neither Ranbir Singh or Mishra is willing to work transparently," he added.
"We (past cricketers) have the time and are ready to work in coaching, selection committees and in administration. But in such a set up how is it possible for a former player to come in ?" Kapil Dev who recently took over as secretary of the Gurgaon district unit asked.
Chandigarh's Rao national champ
CHENNAI, Sept 5 (PTI) Top seeded Akshay Vishal Rao of Chandigarh and Shruti Dhawan (Delhi) won in contrasting styles to claim the boys and girls under-16 titles, respectively, in the Nutrine National Sub-Junior Hardcourt Tennis Championship here today.
While Shruti Dhawan quelled the challenge of third seed Sonal Phadke in a thrilling three-setter at 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, Akshay contained a rampaging Kamala Kannan 7-5 6-3 in a match in which both struggled to hold serve.
Earlier, Parantap Chaturvedi of Delhi and Megha Vakaria (Mah) claimed the boys and girls titles in the under-14 section.
Both Akshay Vishal Rao and Kamala Kannan slugged it out from the baseline early on, but Akshay changed tactics midway, and began coming to the net more often. This paid him rich dividends. The change in strategy frustrated Kamala Kannan, and once the Chandigarh boy got the service breaks at the right time, his Tamil Nadu rival stood no chance.
The match of the day was the Shruti-Sonal encounter which lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours with the first two sets going into tie-breaks.
Sonals frail body belied her steely resolve to return almost everything that Shruti hurled at her. She returned well displaying good groundstrokes and if she had been a bit fitter she could have won. In the decider, Sonal ran out of steam.
It was Shruti who spoiled the Mumbai girls' plans of going back with two trophies in the girls (U-14) and U-16. But Sonal, who hails from Mumbai, fought well.
In fact, the sparse crowd of tennis aficionados expected a massacre, and the ways things went initially, it looked like it. But the hardworking Sonal rallied from a 1-3 deficit, and broke the top seed in the fifth before holding serve to draw level 3-3.
In the seventh, Shruti saved two breakpoints before she faltered to let Sonal go ahead at 4-3. But Shruti quickly broke back and games went on serve till tie-break was applied. The Delhi girl prevailed in the tie-break (7-2).
In the second, Shrutis serve was found wanting, and she was down 3-5. But a crucial miss at the net by Sonal on serve at set point gave Shruti the break. She broke to go up 6-5, before Sonal returned the compliment to take the set into the tie-break. Sonal won it 7-3. In the final set, it was Shruti all the way.
Badminton calendar announced
CHANDIGARH, Sept 5 (PTI) The Badminton Association of India has chalked out an ambitious plan of activities from September this year till February next year for the promotion of badminton in this country.
The Commonwealth Games are due to start from September 9 at Kuala Lumpur and the Indian team is already undergoing a practice camp. From the first week of October, all the inter-state zonals will start North Zone at Jaipur, Central Zone at Delhi, South Zone at Pondicherry, West Zone at Ahmedabad and East and North-East Zone at Jalpaiguri and Ita Nagar, respectively.
The Indian junior team (under 19) will play in the junior world championship at Malbourne (Australia) from October 5 to 11. Indian Grand Prix circuit will start from a Rs 4 lakh prize money tournament at Bhiwani (Harnaya) from October 13 to 16 followed by a Rs 3 lakh prize money meet at Indore from October 27 to 30, a Rs 4 lakh prize money at Patna from November 3 to 6, and Rs 4 lakh meet at Bhopal from December 4 to 11. The junior nationals (under 19) have been preponed to November 18 to 23 at Chennai.
The mini nationals (under 13) will be held at Kurnool (AP) from December 13 to 17. Indian team will participate in the Asian Games scheduled for at Bangkok (Thailand) from December 13 to 17. An all-Indian Open prize money tournament will be conducted at Bereilly (UP) from December 21 to 23.
The finals of Indian Grand Prix to be held at Mumbai from December 28 to January 1, 1999, will be to the tune of Rs 6 lakh. Between December 20 and January 10. The coaching camp for under 13 and under 16 will be organised (venue to be decided later). V.V. Natu Memorial Badminton Tournament is scheduled to be held at Pune from January 3 to 7.
The annual (under 22)
double nationals will be organised by the Tripura
Badminton Association at Agartala from January 11 to 13.
The veterans nationals will he held at Mumbai from
January 25 to 28. These will be followed by senior
nationals at Delhi in the second week of February.
SILIGURI, Sept 5 (UNI) A goal by medio Rennedy Singh during the second-half propelled favourites East Bengal into the final of the KBL Federation Cup, their fifth final appearance in-a-row, defeating Churchill Brothers of Goa (1-0) at the Kanchenjunga Stadium here today.
In a mediocre game hampered by heavy ground conditions, the winners failed to impress but still managed the victory via the 70th minute opportunistic move by East Bengal main-stay Bhaichung Bhutia-Rennedy Singh which foxed the Goan defenders.
East Bengal, last years runners-up, would now face the winners of the Mohun Bagan-Mohammedan sporting tie on September 13.
The Calcutta club also set a record entry into the final of the Federation Cup.
A capacity crowd predominantly of East Bengal supporters were disappointed to see a lacklustre match thanks to the "soggy" ground conditions following week-long incessant rains.
The Calcutta outfit squandered a few chances before the lemon break much to Churchill Brothers Ghanan recruit and main block of the Goan defence, Husseni Osumanu. who proved too much for the East Bengal trio of Rennedy, Bhaichung and Dependu. Much has to be blamed for the slushy under footing, which at places, were ankle deep.
Mid-fielder Basudev Mondals solo essay in the 44th minutes went to waste as he failed to find the target. The Goan challenge looked weak from the start. They failed to convert four succesive flag kicks in the dying minutes before the lemon break.
With the infusion of skipper Tushar Rakshit and striker Raman Vijayan the East Bengal attack took a more decisive edge. The Calcutta gaints managed to score the winner in a goal mouth melee, where a taller Vijayan drew more attention towards himself to let dimunitive Rennedy wreck the damage.
The Goan outfit almost brought about the equiliser in the dying minutes of the game when Mario Soares was foiled by East Bengal custodian Bivash Ghosh. The Goan only earned their eighth flag kick before the long whistle. In the process, East Bengal had to substitute injured Bivash Ghosh with reserve goliee Arpan Dey. Dey managed to take the team to an all-Bengal final.
The Calcutta gaint earns the distinction of entering the most prestigious tourney for the fifth successive time having won it once in 1996 (June-August). The glamorous outfit had lost to Goas Salgaonkar in last years edition.
The barren first half saw some listless play as both teams were finding it hard to get afooting in the slush. Although the rain gods had answered both prayers - of the organiser and supporters - the ground conditions were far from satisfactory for any standard tourney to take place.
Churchill Brothers: Edward Ansah; Anthony Pereira, Anthony Mathews, Husseni Osumanu, Roque Carneiro, Alvito Pereira (Xavier Fernandes), Mario Soares, Mahesh Singh, Philip Mensah, Somatai Shaiza (Bitan Singh), Cyril Barreto (Adrian Dias).
East Bengal: Bivash Ghosh
(Arpan Dey); Falguni Dutta, Franky Barreto, Kanti Ghosh,
Ratan Singh, Carlton Chapman (Tushar Rakshit), Ranjan
Dey, Basudeb Mondal, Rennedy Singh, Baichung Bhutia,
Dipendu Biswas (Raman Vijayan).
New sprint kids ready to take over
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 (AFP) Britains new breed of sprinters have been laying waste all championship challenges this season and they are ready to do the same in the 16th Commonwealth Games which start next week.
Darren Campbells win in the European championships 100m and Christian Malcolms stunning double in the world junior 100 and 200 metres may not add up to much when they faced the Americans on the Grand Prix circuit but in the opinion of two former Olympic champions they are the coming men in world athletics.
Linford Christie, who coaches Campbell and manages Malcolm, is convinced that the European champion, who ran an eyecatching 10.04 seconds in the final, is the man to watch out for provided the 24-year-old improves in three areas.
"His start, the pick-up and his arm movement. Apart from that he is excellent," the 38-year-old former Olympics and world champion said.
Campbell, who was picked out by Christie before the 1992 Olympics and was allowed to accompany him round Barcelona, readily admits that the tag of being the next "Linford" has taken time for him to use to a positive degree.
Campbell, who like Malcolm flirted with a career in professional football although he would have had to settle for Playmouth Argyle while Malcolm had an offer from Nottingham Forest, may not have to take on the injured world record holder Donovan Bailey of Canada in the 100 metres but he will still have Frankie Fredericks to contend with.
The 30-year-old Namibian, who is a dual Olympic silver medallist in the 100 metres, is forsaking his defence of the Commonwealth 200 metres title to concentrate on the 100, which he dominated in the Grand Prix earlier in the season.
If Fredericks and perhaps Trinidadian world 200 metres champion Ato Boldon take to the line for the 100m, it will give Campbell a further insight into his progress, particularly in the humid conditions he will not have encountered before.
Malcolm, the 19-year-old Welshman, who has been hailed by American legend Carl Lewis as the brightest prospect to come from Britain in years, is likely just to do the 200m, despite breaking the world junior championships recods in both the 100 and 200 at Annecy in July.
However, Malcolm, who has achieved everything he has done so far without doing any weight training, will be mindful that against the seniors he will not be allowed to lose concentration as he did in the 200m final in Annecy.
Also benefitted from some advice from Bailey after they competed against each other in Zurich, he said he had been flattered by the praise heaped on him by former Olympic gold medallists Lewis and Alan Wells.
In Lewis' mind Malcolm has all the potential and natural class to make it at the very highest level, having raced against him last year.
"I said to myself that boy has class," Lewis said.
Away from the sprints there should be a superb clash between Welshman Iwan Thomas and England's Mark Richardson in the 400 metres, with the latter determined not to lose out on the title that eluded him in the European's in Budapest.
The 26-year-old, who won 4x400 relay world gold back in 1991, was furious with the race he ran in Budapest which he believed set Thomas up for the title.
However, Richardson unlike Thomas has given up the chance of running in the 4x400 relay in the World Cup to concentrate on the 400 in Kuala Lumpur.
"I want the Commonwealth title. It's the perfect place to avenge Budapest and I want to wipe it from my memory," Richardson said.
The middle distance races look set for the usual Kenyan dominance, and despite fears to the contrary the management are claiming that all the stars will turn up.
Among those slated to arrive are world 5,000 metres champion Daniel Komen, who is below his best at the moment, the past and present world record holders in the 3000 metres steeplechase, Wilson Boit Kipketer and Bernard Barmasai, and probably their star of the future Japtheth Kimutai in the 800 metres.
The 19-year-old, who is
the world junior record holder, is the world leader this
year having posted the best two times and handed out
world record holder Wilson Kipketers first defeat
in almost two years in Zurich in August.
Salim Malik vows to silence critics
KARACHI, Sept 5 (AFP) Recalled Pakistani batsman Salim Malik has said he will pile up runs and silence his accusers who kept him out of the game after seeking to implicate him in match-fixing and betting cases.
The 34-year-old was named in the Pakistan squad for the Sahara Cup in Toronto, Canada, starting from September 12. He was kept in limbo for a year by the Pakistan Cricket Board citing his "attitude problem" as the reason.
"I want to forget the Shane Warne saga and other demons that haunted my career. Now I am a happy man and me and my friends will have a party time", Malik told AFP in an interview.
The Australian spinning duo of Shane Warne and Tim May alleged that he offered them $ 50,000 to bowl badly in the Karachi Test of 1994-95 series.
Pakistan beat Australia by one wicket after a close finish in that match. Later Malik was absolved of the charges by a former Supreme Court judge appointed by the cricket board.
Malik last played for Pakistan in the Sahara Cup in 1997.
He scored 89 and 62 and took four wickets in the trial matches for the Sahara Cup to force his recall and looked in good shape.
"I think I have enough cricket left in me. Now I will let my bat to do the talking for me and this will be a sweet revenge for me" he declared.
Malik has scored most runs, after Javed Miandad, in Tests and one-day internationals for Pakistan. His tally in 268 limited over games is 6,882, only the sixth in the all time list of one-day run-getters. He has scored 5,528 runs in 96 Tests.
"I was under tremendous pressure because I was accused of things I didnt do. I was desperate to comeback in the game I love so much", Malik said.
"I always have a bad day when someone talks about Shane Warne and his accusation. I wish he would have come to Pakistan with the Australians", Malik said of the Australian leg-spinner who will miss the Pakistan tour this month due to a shoulder operation.
Pakistans image was stained after the bribery allegations. Former captain Wasim Akram was also implicated in the issue last year.
"I have always said that the matter should be buried once and for all. I am ready to face any inquiry, enough is enough", he said, adding, "they are baseless allegations".
Malik asked Pakistani cricket fans to learn to accept defeat.
Three different bodies are inquiring into the match-fixing and betting allegations.
Malik missed 23 one-day internationals since he was dropped from the team in September last year.
Marion Jones shares $ 1 m jackpot
MOSCOW, Sept 5 (AFP) World champions Marion Jones, Haile Gebrselassie and Hicham el Guerrouj shared out a $ 1 million jackpot here today as they dominated their events in tthe Golden League Grand Prix final.
But American 400 metre hurdler Bryan Bronson saw his hopes of sharing the bonus vanish as he lost his event.
Jones won the women's 100m, and Gebrselassie and El Guerrouj the 3,000 and 1,500m, to remain unbeaten over the seven legs of the International Amatueur Athletic Federation's Golden league.
Their massive winnings must have left the Moscow crowd in total awe.
With Russia in the grip of a financial crisis, only 10,000 of the 80,000 seats at the Luzhniki Stadium were sold, forcing organisers to give tickets away to schoolchildren in an attempt to boost the crowd.
Jones, however, was not put off by the empty seats as she claimed both the 100 m and the long jump.
The 22-year-old American took the sprint in 10.82 sec, storming almost 10m clear of her rivals before slowing up ahead of the line to begin her celebrations. Sevatheda Fynes of Bahamas was second and Inger Miller of the USA third.
The only sprinter who has got close to matching her times this season, France's European champion Christine Arron, was absent after cutting short her season.
The $ 1 million jackpot is shared by those who win their respective discipline at all seven golden league stops Oslo, Rome, Monte Carlo, Zurich, Brussels, Berlin and Moscow.
Neither Moroccos EL Guerrouj or Ethiopian Gebrselassie were unduly bothered by their rivals either.
EL Guerrouj won in 3 minutes 32.02 seconds, despite a scare in the final metres in the final straight. Laban Rotich of Kenya was second in 3:33.04.
Gebrselassie, meanwhile, looking as if he was out for a stroll in the park, pulled away from the pack with a lap to go, all the time monitoring the stadiums huge electronic screen to check on his progress.
He Barely looked out of breath as he finished well clear in 7:50.00 and began blowing kisses to the crowd.
Bronson cut the saddest figure of the evening.
Mohun Bagan fancied
CALCUTTA, Sept 5 (UNI) All the glitter about the recent performance of the one-time-giants Mohammedan Sporting will be put to test when they meet fancied Mohun Bagan in the second semifinal of the KBL Federation Cup at the Salt Lake Stadium here tomorrow.
Though one would be tempted to equate the two teams in view of the stunning victory that Sporting pulled off against Bagan in a recent match of the Calcutta super league and their creditable show so far in the KBL Cup, it would be too early to conclude that Sporting had outlived their dark days.
On the other hand, the loss to Sporting had shaken Bagan out of complacency and alerted them to the need for refocussing on their defence lapses. The club also remembers its loss in the semifinal of the tourney last year. "We cannot afford to take any chances. We do not want a repeat of last years misfortunes," Bagan coach Amal Dutta said.
However, he is unwilling to give any special attention to Sporting. "We are not planning anything special. We will try to attack but will keep our defences strong unlike the last time. Moreover, in that match there was no stake. I had asked the boys to go for all out attack only".
But rather than facing problems of form or injury, the favourites seem to have embroiled themselves in a controversy over Nigerian import Friday Elaiho who is reportedly having a soured relation with the coach. Dutta feels that as already he has a set team, Friday would have to sit out for at least this tourney. Friday has gone public with his resentment against the coachs decision.
Bagans attack will
mainly depend on Chima Okerie and I.M. Vijayan while
their defence would be guarded by Samuel Omollo which
Sporting forwards Kiran Khongsai and Ali Reja would try
and crack. Sportings fortunes would also depend
much on play-maker Gunbir Singh and Kenyans Owino and
CHENNAI, Sept 5 (PTI) It was a virtual slaughter, but with a difference, as fancied Cuba bulldozed past a helpless Korea 15-5, 15-2, 15-5 to earn their second straight win in the fifth edition of the third leg of the 1998 Servo-Indianoil World Grand Prix Volleyball Championship for Women at the Nehru Indoor Stadium here.
The Cuban Troika of Captain Bell Mackenzie, Taimaris Aguero and Ana Fernandes rocked the Korean defence with thunderbolts to earn points at will. They were well served by the all-round play of Costa Blanco and the swinging serves of Ruiz Luaces adding to the Korean woes, even as the sprinkling of Koreans in the stands were egging on their team to fight.
The minus point for the losers were a poor defence, leaving big gaps in the backcourt and sending many serves into the net.
As if to save the Koreans from a quick disaster, the power supply at the stadium failed for about 15 minutes.
BANGALORE, Sept 5 (PTI) Thirteen-year-old Shikha Tandon and Nisha Millet began Karnatakas quest for retaining the overall title when they broke national records in the 400m freestyle and 50m backstroke respectively, in the 53rd National Aquatic Championship here today.
Shikha Tandon, an eighth standard student, broke the 400m freestyle mark in the womens section timing 4:38.04. The old record was set by Karnatakas Meghana Narayan in 1995 (4:39:00). Shikha, in lane five, surged ahead from the start with Delhis Richa Misra in pursuit.
Richa timed 4:50.63 to grab second spot, while K. Chitra (Karnataka) was third at 4:56.97.
Shikha had clocked 4:39.04 just three weeks back in the state meet to bag first place. "It is a tremendous improvement in three weeks and I am happy with the way things are going," she said.
The womens 50 m went on expected lines with Nisha Millet (Kar) timing 31.51 seconds, bettering her own record of 32.38 set last year. She built up a commanding lead right from the beginning and won by over eight metres from second placed Mayura Kumar of Tamil Nadu, medallist at the recent Asia-Pacific meet in Bangkok, who timed 32.95 secs. The rest of the field were left far behind.
Gloucester offer Walsh new contract
LONDON, Sept 5 (AFP) West Indies veteran Courtney Walsh has been offered a new two-year contract with English county Gloucestershire.
The 35-year-old strike bowler, however, will only be able to accept the deal if he is not selected for next years World Cup.
CHANDIGARH, Sept 5 Harmeet Kahlon of Punjab is to represent India in the Singapore Amateur Golf Championship to be held at Laguna National Golf & Country Club in Singapore from September 8 to 11.
In the team event to be played over the first 3 rounds, Harmeet will partner Amit Luthra of Delhi making it a combination team of Arjuna awardees.
Harmeet had won the Singapore Amateur Golf Championship in 1996 and Amit Luthra had won it in 1994.
The captain and manager of
the team is Vikramjit Singh of Delhi and the other
players being sent as probables for the Asiad team are
Digvijay Singh, Amit Dube, Amish Jatha, Simarjeet Singh,
Sheeraz Kalra, Arjun Singh. Participation in this
tournament is a preparation for the Bangkok Asian Games
in Dec 98.
LUDHIANA, Sept 5 Dashmesh Institute of Research and Dental sciences, Faridkot, recorded victory in the men's as well as women's section of Nozitt-98, the second North Zone Inter-Medical Table Tennis Tournament which began at the Dumra Auditorium of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here today.
In the men's team event DIRDS, Faridkot, overpowered CMC, Ludhiana, 3-2 while in the women's section, Faridkot players got the better of Government Dental College, Amritsar 2-1 and outplayed DMC, Ludhiana 2-0.
Shiv Prakash pips Basad for title
BANGALORE, Sept 5 (PTI) Shiv Prakash of Kanpur today won the Wills Southern India Open Golf Tournament at the Karnataka Golf Course here, after winning the first hole in the play-off against Calcutta veteran Basad Ali.
After 62 holes, both were locked with an aggregate of five-under 239. Shiv Prakash shot a birdie on the first hole of playoff to take the winners cheque of Rs 99,960. Basad Ali had to be content with second spot and a cheque of Rs 66,660.
"I am very happy and Bangalore is very lucky for me. Last season, I was placed sixth in the top official ranking. After the tie and in the playoff, I kept my cool and things came my way," said a delighted Shiv Prakash.
The winner, who picked up
the SRF Open title in April this year at the Delhi Golf
Course with a record aggregate of 17-under, could have
sealed things up on the 18th. But his second shot went
straight into the right green-side bunker and was plugged
in a footmark. The chip went almost 20 feet over the cup,
from where he putted for a bogie, while Basad hit a par
to force the playoff.
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