|S P O R T||
Thursday, August 26, 1999
|Lacklustre India lose by 7 wickets
COLOMBO, Aug 25 Poor running between the wickets atop an ordinary overall display sent India crashing to their second straight defeat by seven wickets against a determined Sri Lanka, that left their hopes for making the final of the AIWA triseries cricket tournament in jeopardy tonight.
Indian batsman Ajay Jadeja (left) watches as batsman Khurasiya survives a possible runout chance during Aiwa Cup limited overs cricket match between India and Sri Lanka. AP/PTI
SYDNEY : American Lenny Krayzelburg celebrates his world record swim in the final of the men's 100-meter backstroke at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Sydney. Krayzelburg set the new mark of 53.60 seconds. AP/PTI
Johnson sets sights on 400 m
fails to qualify
Thorpe fails to reach 100 m final
shoots back into contention
University wins trophy
clinch 11 gold
AGM at Jaipur
struggles to enter 2nd round
Lacklustre India lose by 7 wickets
COLOMBO, Aug 25 (PTI) Poor running between the wickets atop an ordinary overall display sent India crashing to their second straight defeat by seven wickets against a determined Sri Lanka, that left their hopes for making the final of the AIWA triseries cricket tournament in jeopardy tonight.
India messed up the advantage of winning a good toss with four run outs to be restricted to 205 for eight wickets in 50 overs and the beleaguered Sri Lanka clinched victory without much ado by reaching the target with 3.2 overs to spare at the Premadasa Stadium here.
Stylish Marvan Atapattu struck an unbeaten 71 in a superb anchoring job after skipper Sanath Jayasuriya led the way with an aggressive 61 off just 62 balls (8 x 4) by making light of a bad right hand injury he carried into the match.
Man of the match Atapattu (71 n.o - 126 b, 7 x 4), promoted to open, kept his explosive skippers company in a commanding 83-run stand and then denied the stingless Indian bowling any quick success in the company of youngsters Mahela Jayawardene (27) and Indika De Saram (27 not out).
The second reverse after the embarrassing eight-wicket loss against Australia left India on the verge of elimination and they have to bounce back and win the next two matches to keep any hopes alive.
Skipper Sachin Tendulkar (37) gave a solid start and added 49 runs with Saurav Ganguly before he was run out and 34 runs with Dravid.
The Indian skipper, desperate to make a winning start to his second stint, was dropped by Jayasuriya at slips off paceman Suresh Parera and then escaped being run out thanks to keeper Romesh Kaluwitharna disturbing the bails before collecting the ball.
But he was unlucky the third time as Muttiah Muralitharan highlighted the brilliant fielding by the hosts with a direct run out and though vice-captain Ajay Jadeja top-scored with 49 (85 b, 2x4, 1x6) and revived the innings in a 62-run fourth wicket stand with left-hander Amay Khurasia, a stunning three wicket fall in the space of four balls left the innings in disarray.
Sri Lanka, struggling to recover from their World Cup blues, fielded brilliantly to cut out several boundaries and made Indian batsmen look like novices running between the wickets. Leg spinner Upul Chandana took two for 35 and also stood out with his fielding.
Johnson sets sights on 400 m record
SEVILLE (Spain), Aug 25 (AP) There was a serious question about Michael Johnsons health early this year. There isnt now, and the powerful American 400-metre runner thinks he can break the world record in the world championships.
I know Im in shape to run faster than 43.29, Johnson said last night after blistering over the first 300 metres of his semifinal heat and advancing to tomorrow nights final.
American Butch Reynolds set the record in 1988, and Johnson has been chasing it in frustration in recent years. He has come close three times, with clockings of 43.39, 43.44 and 43.49 seconds.
I just have to make sure I dont make any major mistakes, Johnson said. The pace should be no problem on Thursday.
It wasnt last night. Johnson blazed through the first 300 metres before shutting down three different times during the final 100.
I shut down one gear on the end of the curve because I saw that I had a little lead, but I was still afraid of losing the lead, he said. Then when I got to the straight, I shut down a little more because I knew I had a safe lead. I shut down a whole lot with 60 to 70 metres left.
Still, he finished in 43.95 seconds, only 0.03 seconds off his world-leading time this year.
This year, Johnson has been bothered by an imbalance in his hip and pelvic areas and was forced to reduce his schedule. He also pulled out of the USA championships in June and stopped in mid-race during a meet in Stockholm, Sweden, on July 30.
The world 200 metres record-holder and double Olympic gold medallist in 1996 has not shown any sign of injuries during the championships.
American Antonio Pettigrew, the 1991 world champion, is wondering how hes going to cope with Johnson in the final.
You have to stay
with him and stay in contention when he comes off the
turn or youre going to be in trouble,
Pettigrew said. You cant let him get away or
theres no way youre going to catch him.
Gebrselassie defends title
SEVILLE (Spain), Aug 25 (AFP) It was north African night at the world championships here yesterday as Haile Gebrselassie and Hicham El Guerrouj confirmed themselves as two of the greatest athletes ever to run.
Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco won his second consecutive 1500 metres world championship title here yesterday with the fastest time this season of 3 minutes 27.65 seconds - a championship record.
The 24-year-old, who is also the world record holder, beat arch-rival Noah Ngeny (3:28.73) of Kenya while Spains European champion Reyes Estevez (3:30.57) took the bronze.
He paid for his great win later in the dressing area when severely dehydrated he collapsed and had to be given bottle after bottle of water.
El Guerrouj, who is also the mile world record holder, had spurted away on the final lap as first Estevez and then Ngeny tried to come at him.
However, the Moroccan, who had only recently returned to the track after suffering from haemorrhoids, was so in command that he eased up before the line when in sight of breaking his own world mark - he celebrated with unusual emotion wringing his hands and a little jump for joy.
I can run faster than that! he declared. Noah said all along he could beat me here and there but I knew I was still the best and tonight I made my point, he added.
Ngeny, only 20 and a pacemaker just a year ago, was not in the least bit disappointed by taking the silver although he wasnt pleased by the tactics employed by he Spanish duo of Estevez and Fermin Cacho, who continually barged him.
The young Kenyan also had no time for suggestions that El Guerrouj was unbeatable. Hes not going to beat me in one race next year, he said.
Gebrselassie ran through the pain barrier to win his fourth successive 10,000 metres world championship title in a time of 27minutes 57.27 seconds.
The 26-year-old, who had badly blistered feet because of the boiling track, beat home Kenyas Paul Tergat (27:58.56) with another Ethiopian Assefa Mezgebu (27:59.15), who had typhus just three months ago, taking the bronze.
Gebrselassie, who is also the reigning Olympic Champion at the distance, stormed home after his Ethiopian team-mates had set the pace and only Tergat was capable of staying with them on the final lap.
Gebrselassie, 10,000 metres and 5,000 metres world record holder, admitted that he had had to wait until the last lap to make his customary surge because of his painful feet.
The ever smiling Ethiopian, who hugged El Guerrouj on his way out to line-up for the 10,000 metres, said he would not be back for a fifth successive title challenge. Next time it will be the marathon, he said.
Ludmila Formanova landed the biggest surprise win of the championships in the womens 800 metres final, when she took the lead less than 10 metres from the line to snatch victory from two of the sports biggest star names, Svetlana Masterkova and Maria Mutola.
Formanova, from the Czech Republic, clocked 1 minute 56.68 seconds, four-hundredths ahead of 1993 world champ Mutola, with Masterkova, the Olympic gold medallist from Russia, this time having to content herself with the bronze in 1:56.93.
In taking the gold, Formanova matched the achievement of her coach, Jarmila Kratochvilova, who won the same title at the first world championships in Helsenki in 1983.
I wanted to win a medal, Formanova said, but I did not know what to expect against other great athletes.
World record holder Mihaela Melinte of Romania won the hammer with a throw of 75.20 metres.
Russias Olga Kuzenkova (72.56) won the silver and American Samoas Lisa Misipeks (66.06) the bronze.
In the womens triple jump the title went to Paraskevi Tsiamita of Greece with a leap of 14.88 metres.
Cubas Yamile Aldama (14.61) won the silver and Greeces Olga-Anastasia Vasdeki (14.61) the bronze.
For Tsiamita it was a childhood dream come true. This is something I have been dreaming of since I was eight years-old. It is unbelievable, she said.
Anthony Washington of the USA pulled of a shock win in the discus with a throw of 69.08 metres.
Fighting disease, eying glory
SEVILLE (Spain), Aug (AP) 25 Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France three years after being diagnosed with cancer. Ludmila Engquist isnt that patient.
In the midst of debilitating chemotherapy sessions, Engquist is seeking to retain her 100-metre hurdles title at the world championships.
On April 21, Engquists 35th birthday, she had surgery to remove her right breast. Since then, she has made a stunning and inspiring comeback.
Engquist tried to shunt aside questions about her cancer, wanting to be treated like a normal athlete out to beat an opponent instead of one running for her life.
I dont want to speak a lot about this, the 1996 Olympic champion said. Im came here to compete, I just dont want to tell about my sickness.
A victory in Saturdays final would rival Armstrongs astounding triumph over cancer. The American cyclist learned in 1996 that he had testicular cancer, which spread to his bones and brain. He underwent aggressive chemotherapy and three operations.
But the situation is not the same because he was competing two years after his cancer, Engquist said. Im having my competitions between the chemotherapy.
Engquists long-term goal and maybe a better possibility is to defend her Olympic title in Sydney next year.
She has said shes already planning the celebration, said her Swedish husband, Johan. She is a very determined woman with enormous willpower, and we have all been amazed.
Engquist looks like the picture of health tall, robust, blonde and usually smiling. As she strolled across a lawn in a white tennis dress, she was introduced for her interview yesterday as looking like a model coming down the runway.
The Russian-born Swede has had a challenging life. She was a mother at 18, won the world title in 1991, but in February 1993, was banned from the sport for four years after testing positive for steroids.
Citing exceptional circumstances, the sports world governing body reinstated her in December 1995 after her estranged first husband, Nikotai Narozhilenko, admitted in a Russian court that unknown to her he had slipped steroids into a powder food supplement.
After discovering a small lump in her right breast, she was diagnosed with cancer in late March. The day after the breast was removed, her doctors said it could be about six weeks before she could start exercising.
I cant wait like that, she said, and then began doing squats beside her hospital bed just 24 hours after surgery. She was using small weights after five days to build arm strength, and in 10 or 12 days he was back to pretty normal training, her husband said.
Engquist continued to train through four chemotherapy sessions she has two more remaining beginning September 2 giving herself two days off after each session before resuming her workouts. Her husband said she trains about 50 per cent as much as she did before.
Engquist has managed to keep most of her hair, using what she calls the ice hat during chemotherapy.
They actually freeze the outer levels of your scalp by wearing a very old cold hat, her husband said. Its a terrible treatment. Its like putting your head for three hours into a deep freeze.
On July 30, before an adoring public in Stockholm, Engquist returned to the track for the first time in a year and after breaking into tears before the race pulled off an amazing victory, clocking 12.68 seconds.
American hurdler Gail Devers can relate to Engquists challenge: To have gone through chemotherapy, to come back as quick as she came back is tremendous, Devers said. Shes gained strength from coming back. But its also draining. And its draining every time she has to think of that situation because its not a long time ago.
Thank you Gail, said Engquist, touched by Devers words but wearing wrap-around sunglasses to hide any tears and block out Sevilles blistering sun.
Dr Arne Ljungqvist, a vice president of the International Amateur Athletic Federation and head of the cancer foundation in Sweden, has been astounded by Engquists recovery.
Ian Thorpe fails to reach 100 m final
SYDNEY, Aug 25 (AFP) After three world records in three days, Australian swimming sensation Ian Thorpe finally ran out of steam today when he failed to reach the 100 metres freestyle final at the Pan Pacific championships.
Thorpe lost out to the other rising stars of the Australian swimming team in the battle, while Australias Susie O Neill won the womens 200 metres freestyle title and American Tom Malchow won the mens 200 metres backstroke.
Defending champion Michael Klim won the 100 metres freestyle semifinal in a Commonwealth record time of 48.81 seconds. Teammate Chris Fydler was second (49.62) and Thorpe third in 49.71.
American Neil Walker was the winner of the other semifinal in 49.70 seconds, one-hundredth of a second faster than Thorpe.
Thorpe has set three world records, twice in 200 metres and in 400 metres, in the last three days and has won three gold medals.
Thats twice now Ive been under 49 seconds, said 22-year-old Klim, who will start as favourite in the 100 metres final tomorrow.
O Neill won her first freestyle title at the championships in the womens 200 metres final.
The Olympic 200 metres butterfly champion beat Americans Lindsay Benko and Ellen Stonebraker to win the final in a commonwealth record time of one minute 58.17 seconds.
Malchow swam the second fastest time in history to claim the 200 metres butterfly gold medal. He clocked 1min 55.41seconds just 0.19seconds outside Russian Denis Pankratovs 1995 world record.
Japans Takahashi Yamamoto (1:57.33) was second and defending champion Uger Taner (1:57.82) was third. Malchow was runner-up to taner at the last Pan pacific championship in Fukuoka two years ago.
It was close, but its something to keep shooting for and will keep me focussed for next years Olympics, 23-year-old Malchow said.
I was definitely a little nervous, I didnt expect to be that close to a world record, but Ive done the three best times of my life so I was coming into the final just trying to relax as much as possible.
Six world records have already been set at these championships.
On top of Thorpes
performances, American Lenny Krayzelburg set a new 100
metres backstroke mark, Jenny Thompson lowered an
18-year-old 100 metres butterfly record and South African
Penny Heyns bettered her 100 metres breaststroke record
in the heats.
Akopian shoots back into contention
LAS VEGAS, Aug 25 (PTI) Three-time junior world champion Vladimir Akopian of Armenia shot back into contention when he outsmarted Russian grandmaster Alexander Khalifman in a marathon third match of the six-game final in the World Chess Championship here last night.
The 31st seed Akopian, who lost the first game with white, played confidently at Caesars Palace and gained advantage from the start and brought life into the world title fight with both players tied at 1.5 points each.
The 33-year-old Russian, who surged ahead with the first-round win over Akopian and then drew the second game in just 18 moves had no answer to Akopians intelligent moves.
Khalifman, seeded 36th, put all his experience to use as the game extended over 80 moves.
Akopian, who has held world championship titles in Under-16, U-18 and U-20 categories, knew it was his only chance to get back into the match. He kept penetrating into the enemy area and got the revenge of first-round loss by beating the Russian in 84 moves.
The first player to reach 3.5 points will be declared world champion and will succeed the current title holder Anatoly Karpov of Russia.
Prayer sends Voronin soaring
SEVILIE, Aug 25 (Reuters) Russian Vyacheslav Voronin employed divine assistance to help him travel higher than ever before to win the mens world high jump title yesterday.Voronins first time clearance at 2.37 metres was both a personal best and the best mark in the world this year. I was praying between rounds, I am quite religious in this way. This way I dont have to look at the bar, I just mentally picture how high I am going to jump, he said.Whether or not he was really flying blind, Voronins success will bring a welcome spot of relief to his family and friends in his beleaguered home town of Vladikavkaz.
Secessionists from the breakaway Republic of Inguthetia have recently committed a series of bombings and shootings in the border town.
But I am not afraid. It has not disrupted my training and the local population are usually quite friendly to ethnic Russians like myself, Voronin added.
However Voronin put his domestic distractions behind him, other than having his wife and four-year-old daughter in the stands cheering him to victory, to become the dominating presence in what many predicted was going to be a wide open contest.
He was faultless up to and including his winning height, including a massive clearance at 2.35.
Secure in the knowledge that he was the gold medallist after his successful jump at 2.37, Voronin had the bar raised to 2.40 for a Russian record and a height only eight other men in history have cleared.
However for the first time all night he fell short. At 2.40 I was so excited that my technique deserted me, the new world champion said.
The competition was without the 1997 gold medallist Javier Sotomayor who pulled out because of a back injury. The Cuban is also being investigated by the world governing body after testing positive for cocaine at the Pan-American games this year.
Sotomayor has pleaded his innocence, claiming that the opiate would not help high jump exponents, but Voronin took an opposite view after succeeding the Cuban as world champion.
I am not saying Sotomayor took cocaine but it is a strong drug that can help high jumpers. It can make an attempt at a height like 2.30 seem like one at 2.20. Anyway I have believed since Maebashi (the venue for the world indoor championships in March) that I would win the world title whether or not Sotomayor was here, Voronin said.
At the World Indoor Championships this year, Sotomayor beat Voronin into second place although it was where the Russian set his previous best of 2.36.
Voronins Seville triumph broke a sequence of silver medals at big events, which also included the 1998 European Indoor Championships and stretched all the way back to when he was a teenager at the 1993 European Junior Championships.
Last night the silver medal went to Canadas Mark Boswell, who set a new national record with a successful third effort at 2.35.
Germanys Martin Buss took the bronze medal with a jump of 2.32 due to his flawless performance up to that point, finishing ahead of Yugoslavias Dragutin Topic, who cleared the same height but on his third attempt.
Britains Steve Smith, who prior to Voronins performance had lead this years world rankings, gambled everything on trying to get a medal after injuring himself in qualifying.
He came in at 2.35, the highest opening height ever attempted in a major competition, but sadly ended up with three successive failures.
I knew I only had
two or three jumps in me and I gave it my best shot. It
was a choice between that and going straight home after
qualifying and that was not going to
happen, the 1996 Olympic bronze medallist
Sunita fails to qualify
SEVILLE (Spain), Aug 25 (PTI) Indias Sunita Rani ran a brave race to match her personal best under energy-sapping humidity, but could finish only 10th and failed to qualify from the first heat of the womens 5000 metres at the seventh IAAF World Athletics Championships here last night.
The 19-year-old Asian Games silver medallist clocked a splendid 15 minutes 41.31 seconds, but could not produce the final spurt in a race won by Romanias reigning champion and world record holder Gabriela Szabo, who returned 15:32.50.
The Punjab runner, who was entered in both the 1500 m and the 5000 m but, had arrived at the world meet hoping to go much under her national mark (15:41.4 hand timed) clocked at the Federation Cup meet in Bangalore on August 9.
She vastly improved upon her previous best effort at the international level, the 15:54.47 she ran to claim silver at the Bangkok Asian Games last December, in coming home with the second bunch in a field of 21 runners.
India, who entered nine members, had made a disappointing start when discus throwers Shakti Singh and Neelam J. Singh failed to make it to the final from their qualifying rounds.
The 38-year-old Shakti Singh had ended up a lowly 25th with a modest 18.58 m, far below his national mark of 19.85 m set at Thiruvananthapuram on August 3.
Asian Games bronze medallist Neelam J.Singh finished 14th in a field of 16, touching 57.05 m in the qualifiers. She had achieved 55.09 m at Bangkok, but her national mark set at Thiruvananthapuram on August 2 stands at 60.28 m.
GND University wins trophy
AMRITSAR, Aug 25 Guru Nanak Dev University once again reigned supreme by clinching the prestigious Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy for the 14th time this year. This is the highest inter-versity sports award of the country.
Dr H.S. Soch, Vice-Chancellor, will receive the trophy from the President, Mr K.R. Narayanan, at the investiture ceremony being held in September at Rashtrapati Bhawan. The President will also present a cash award of Rs 1 lakh for the development of sports besides a replica of the trophy.
The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy instituted in 1956-57 is a running trophy awarded for best all-round performance in sports by a university.
Earlier, this university had won this trophy for the years 1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1984-1985, 1986-87, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94 and 1996-97. It secured the runners up position in the years 1974-75, 1975-76, 1985-86, 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90 and 1990-91.
Guru Nanak Dev University during the year 1997-98 won 14 all-India (men and women) championship, six runners-up positions, three third and two fourth positions.
This years performance is a record achievement. The university was declared champion in all-India inter-varsities weightlifting (men and women), football (women), cross country (men), gymnastics (men and women), handball (men), athletics (women), cricket (men), powerlifting (men), hockey (women), volleyball (women) and softball (men and women). It was runners-up in cricket (women) and tennis (men) while third in athletics (men), volleyball (men) and badminton (women).
Dr H.S. Soch said the prize money of Rs 1 lakh was a very meagre amount and the Union Government should make sufficient increase in this amount so that the winning university could provide financial incentives to its sportspersons in the form of scholarships and died money. He also said the Punjab Government should also release a special grant to this university keeping in view of its sports achievements.
Haryana clinch 11 gold
HISAR, Aug 25 Haryana clinched 11 gold, 12 silver and 11 bronze in the North Zone Junior Athletic Championship which concluded at Allahabad recently.
Giving this information here yesterday, Mr Abhey Singh Chautala, president of the Haryana State Amateur Athletics Association, said Praveen of Bhiwani and Surinder of Hisar were declared the best athletes in the boys under-18 and under-14 sections, respectively. Five new meet records were also established by Haryana juniors in this championship.
Gold medal: 800m: Anand (Bhiwani), high jump: Dalbir (Hisar), high jump: Rajinder (Bhiwani), javelin: Manoj (Bhiwani), 100m hurdles: Mukesh (Hisar), 110m hurdles: Jai Singh (Bhiwani), 1500m: Vinod (Hisar), 400m: Rajpal (Bhiwani), Polevault: Praveen (Bhiwani), discus: Suresh (Hisar), pentathlon: Surender (Hisar).
Silver medal: 10 km walk: Manbir (Bhiwani), 10 km walk: Rajesh (Rohtak), 800m: Sunil (Bhiwani), high jump: Sunil (Bhiwani), 800m: Anne (Bhiwani), javelin: Om Narain (Bhiwani), 110m hurdles: Rohtas (Hisar), 3 km walk: Manju (Bhiwani), 400m hurdles: Gobind (Bhiwani), 800m: Sunil (Rohtak), pentathlon: Ramesh (Hisar) and Anila (Bhiwani).
Bronze medal: 200m:
Bajrang (Bhiwani), shot put and discus: Sandeep
(Bhiwani), 800m: Vinod (Hisar), 800m and 400m: Sunil
(Bhiwani), discus: Rajesh (Hisar), long jump: Rohit
(Karnal), long jump: Mamta (Sirsa), 400m: Saranjit
BCCI AGM at Jaipur
MUMBAI, Aug 25 (PTI) The 70th annual general meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been shifted from Mumbai to Jaipur and would be held on September 21 and 22.
The executive secretary of the board, Sharad Diwadkar, disclosed that the meetings venue has been shifted from here to the Pink City as the conference hall at the Taj Mahal Hotel was not available on these days.
The working committee of the board, at its meeting here on August 20, had decided that Mumbai would be the venue for the AGM.
Among the important things on the agenda is the election of a new board president, this being the last year of current incumbent Raj Singh Dungarpurs term.
According to the boards convention it is the turn of the South Zone to provide the man to lead the countrys richest sports bodys affairs into the new millennium.
Tamil Nadu Cricket Associations president Dr A.C. Muttiah seems to be the front-runner to become the next BCCI president, board sources have indicated.
Amanjot struggles to enter 2nd round
CHENNAI, Aug 25 (PTI) Fourth seed Rohan Gajjar of Maharashtra was taken to the distance by unseeded Avinash Reddy (Tamil Nadu) before prevailing 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 in a boys singles (U-16) first round match of the Mini/Sub-Junior Open Tennis Championship here today.
Indian challenge in boxing ends
NEW DELHI, Aug 25 (PTI) The Indian challenge in the World Amateur Boxing Championships at Houstan, USA, ended last night when Asian Games bronze medallist Gurcharan Singh bowed out in the light heavyweight quarterfinals.
PCA Colts triumph
CHANDIGARH, Aug 25 (TNS) A century partnership (104 runs) between Dinesh Mongia (58) and Kailash Chander 44 enabled PCA Colts to rout Punjab State Electricity Board XI by 6 wickets and the final of the Major Sandeep Sagar Memorial Cricket Tournament here today.
PSEB team was given a rollicking start by Mohd Shahid, who struck two consecutive sixes off the bowling of Arun Bedi as his knock of 50 came off 32 balls and included 5 boundaries besides 3 sixes. PSEB managed a modes total of 176 runs sin the allotted 40 overs.
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