|S P O R T||
Monday, June 28, 1999
|Mary Pierce thrives on grass
LONDON, June 27 French ninth seed Mary Pierce is thriving on the grass at Wimbledon - and shes doing it having stopped taking controversial growth hormone creatine.
Brits already sweating: McEnroe
LONDON, June 27 Tennis rogue John McEnroe has thrown down the gauntlet to British tennis he thinks Tim Henman wont have a chance against American street-fighter Jim Courier when they meet in tomorrows fourth round at the Wimbledon championships.
WIMBLEDON : France's Mary Pierce waits to return to Germany's Elena Wagner, during their Women's Singles, third round match at Wimbledon on Saturday. Pierce won the match 6-3, 6-0 AP/PTI
Greene, Jones win easily
Sweden in last eight
Varsities' international hockey
meet in January
Bhat lifts chess crown
Bengal storm into semis
3000 take part in Olympic Day Run
Day Run boycotted
retains 4th position
succumb to Philippines
Mary Pierce thrives without creatine
LONDON, June 27 (AFP) French ninth seed Mary Pierce is thriving on the grass at Wimbledon - and shes doing it having stopped taking controversial growth hormone creatine.
Pierce, whose best
Wimbledon showing came in 1996, when she reached the
quarters, ousted Germanys Elena Wagner 6-3 6-0 in
the third round and now teenage prodigy Jelena Dokic
stands in her way before she can once again take a place
in the last eight.
Although the product is not illegal and is freely on sale in many countries, arguments have raged as to whether its use should be banned in professional sport - although its use is not banned.
"I used it twice in my career - last year," said Pierce. "The first time I used it for about a week its not something that anybody takes every day."
"Its like any other supplement that you would take. It hasnt made a big difference - but its definitely helped me.
"Would I use it again? Id have to talk about that with my trainer," said Pierce.
"A lot of athletes are using it. It helps recovery," said Canadian-born Pierce, who has reached Grand Slam finals at both the French and Australian Opens.
Pierces admission that she uses the product was greeted with consternation in France, where athletes are encouraged not to use it - but some 50 tennis players recently admitted to using the muscle-building compound.
Pierce said creatine or no creatine she was happy to have finally come to terms with playing on grass.
"I didnt really enjoy grass very much in the beginning when I first started playing on it. I felt very awkward. Now Im getting more used to it," said Pierce.
She added that with Dokic having built up a reputation with her first-round defeat of world number one Martina Hingis, she would be taking nothing for granted.
Brits already sweating: McEnroe
LONDON, June 27 (DPA) Tennis rogue John McEnroe has thrown down the gauntlet to British tennis he thinks Tim Henman wont have a chance against American street-fighter Jim Courier when they meet in tomorrows fourth round at the Wimbledon championships.
"The Brits are sweating already, said the 40-year-old legend, competing in his first mixed doubles event in 20 years at the tournament and partnering Steffi Graf.
McEnroe may have greying hair, but the television commentator and regular on the ATP tour senior circuit has lost none of the sharp bite which turned him into "Mac the mouth during his heyday on court.
The grind-em-down Courier had to go to hospital for dehydration after winning his second five-set match in a row at the All-England club to advance. But McEnroe says his compatriot will be ready on the day when he plays Britains sixth seed.
"Courier has never lost to Henman, youd better believe thats going on in Tims mind," said McEnroe, a past master of psychological warfare on court.
"Jim struggled and hes not 100 per cent, but he played an unbelievable five-set match. The good news is that he has a couple of days off.
"This is a great opportunity for Tim to erase some demons, get over that Davis Cup debacle where the Brits choked their little fannies off. Henman should be happy that he has a chance on his best surface.
Davis Cup devotee Courier was the spear-carrier in the US upset of Britain in the Davis Cup first-round in Birmingham in April. The Americans were playing without Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, winning through with Courier and Todd Martin.
Sampras has since undergone a change of heart and will hope to play doubles in the quarterfinal in Boston against Australia. As a distinguished retiree, McEnroe last year volunteered to play Davis Cup doubles, an offer which was declined by American coach Tom Gullikson.
Since then, McEnroe has revised his hopes - but just slightly.
"I dont think the mixed doubles has relevance to the (Davis Cup) doubles. But Ive made my feelings clear. Ive always loved to play in Davis Cup.
McEnroe is glad to be using the Wimbledon stage to remind the punters that hes still out there and able to play. Hes using his appearance as an advert for the senior tour, where he stars along with other over-35s, including circuit founder Jimmy Connors, Henri Leconte, Guillermo Vilas and Bjorn Borg. "Some guys can still play, he said.
"I dont see why theres not some senior doubles (here). People dont know most of the current (tour) players, theres very few people that sell any tickets.
"In the meantime, this is my only opportunity to be out there. Ive always felt the crowds at Wimbledon have been good to me, never did I feel the crowds were bad.
Pak players "drank and gambled"
LONDON, June 27 (PTI) Pakistans accountability commission probing alleged misconduct by national cricketers has received intelligence reports that players partied, drank and gambled late into the night before their capitulation against Australia in the World Cup final, a British paper said today.
The Sunday Observer reported today that the entire World Cup squad was under surveillance by Pakistan intelligence bureau agents during the tournament.
The official investigation into repeated late night visits to casinos and nightclubs was launched after the agents reported that players gambled, drank and flouted team curfew, the paper said.
Senator Saifur Rehman, chief of the Anti-Corruption Commission, told the paper that his office had received a number of complaints that the cricketers did not follow the rules laid down by the team management.
"They were having late nights and engaging in a number of extra curricular activities. The players were in nightclubs and in different places in the evening. We have intelligence reports that they were going to nightclubs regularly", the paper quoted Rehman as saying.
The team curfew fixed between 10 pm to 10-30 pm was regularly flouted with players returning to their hotel rooms in the wee hours.
The Pakistan World Cup team members returned home to an angry reception by fans amidst widespread charges of betting and match-fixing against them.
The Observer said key batsman Ijaz Ahmed was sighted in Central Londons Barracuda Casino at 3.50 am on Saturday, less that 36 hours before Sundays final which Australia won by eight wickets.
The team members also enjoyed nights out at Palm Beach Casino in Mayfair, the paper said.
Rehman said the teams gambling expeditions and alcohol consumption were also being investigated and added that a senior officer has been appointed to probe these allegations.
The officer told the paper that the match-fixing charges might have substance as the players were allegedly found unfit during the nets.
An angry crowd pelted the players on arrival at Karachi airport with rotten eggs, and chanted slogans "gamblers and traitors go back". Houses of the players were also targets of mob fury as the cricket-crazy fans vented their spleen after Pakistan had gone into the final as favourites.
Varsities' international hockey
KURUKSHETRA, June 27 An international hockey tournament for men of universities will be held between January 25-31 next year at Delhi. Letters in this regard have already been despatched to universities of various countries jointly by the President of Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), Mr KPS Gill and the secretary-general of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) Dr K.B. Pawar.
The decision to hold this international meet was taken by delegates of the sports standing committee of the AIU, which visited Kurukshetra University to finalise the annual sports calendar for the various Indian universities during the year 1999-2000. Kurukshetra University hosted the annual general meeting of the Inter University Sports Board of India for the first time.
Another major decision taken by the members unanimously was to introduce three events in athletics for women, including triple jump, hammer throw and power lifting. The AIU executive members will write to the respective state governments to provide funds and other related infrastructure to enable the universities to organise these events.
While taking up the long pending demand of university coaches to treat them at par with the Assistant Director of Physical Education, the AIU meeting requested the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the respective state government to accept this demand of the university coaches.
Earlier, the president of the AIU and chairman of the Inter University Sports Board, Prof Allauddin Ahmad, gave away trophies to women of inter-varsity tournaments for the year 1997-98. Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, bagged the first three positions.
Dr M.L. Ranga, Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University, gave away cash prizes of Rs 2.05 lakh and Rs 1.60 lakh to GND University, Amritsar, and Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, respectively. Another cash prize of Rs 30,000 was received by the Assistant Director of Sports of Kurukshetra University and Arjuna Awardee, Dalel Singh.
While expressing his displeasure over the indifferent attitude of the government agencies towards promoting the sports activities at the university level the AIU president lamented that out of 240 Indian universities, only 40 were doing well on the sports front. Prof, Ahmad, however, complimented the universities in Haryana and Punjab for taking a lead in the various inter-varsity tournaments.
In his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor of Kurukshetra University, Dr M.L. Ranga, stated that sportspersons from Kurukshetra University had brought laurels to the university.
The AIU secretary-general, Dr K.B Pawar, appealed to the corporate sector to come to the help of the deserving sports-persons of the universities.
The inter-varsity sports calendar for the year 1999-2000 approved by the general body is as follows:
Athletics, half marathon and walking (M&W): Gwalior University; Ball Badminton (M): University of Agriculture Sciences, Bangalore; Ball Badminton (W): Bharathiar University, Calicut; Boxing (M): Allahabad University; Cricket (W): Jiwaji University, Gwalior; Cross country races (M&W): Shivaji University, Kolhapur; Cycling (M&W): Punjabi University Patiala; Football (W): Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam; Gymnastics & Malkhamb (M&W): GND University, Amritsar; Hockey (W): Kurukshetra University; Judo (M&W): Gwalior University; Power lifting (M), weight lifting (M&W), best physique (M): Annamalai University; Rawing (M&W): Roorkee University; Softball (M&W): MDU, Rohtak; Squash rackets (M): Mumbai University; Tennis (W): Ajmer University; Wrestling (M): PU Chandigarh; Yogasanas (M&W): G.B. Pant Agriculture and Tech University, Pant Nagar Archery (M&W): Kerala Agriculture University.
Inter-varsity games on two-zone basis
Basketball (W): North-East Zone and Inter Zone, Punjabi University, Patiala; South-West Zone, Krishnadevaraya University: Handball (M&W) North-East Zone, Jammu University, South West Zone and Inter Zone, Shivaji University, Kolhapur, Kabaddi (W): North-East Zone: S.S.M.V. South-West Zone and Inter-Zone, Pune University; Kho-Kho (M): North-East Zone, Ranchi University; South West Zone and Inter Zone, Kakatia University; Kho-Kho (W): North East Zone, Punjabi University, Patiala; South West Zone, Calicut University; Tennis (M): North East Zone and Inter-Zone, Guru Kul Kangri University. Hardwar; South West Zone, Mysore University; Volley Ball (W): North East Zone and Inter Zone, HPU Shimla; South West Zone, Marathwada Argiculture University, Parbhani.
Inter-varsity games on four zone basis:
East Zone, Kalyani University, South Zone, Mangalore
University, West Zone and Inter Zone DAV Devi Ahilya
Vishwavidayalaya. Indore; Basketball (M): North Zone and
Inter Zone: GND University, Amritsar; South Zone,
Vishwariah Univ. Belgaum; West Zone: J.N. Vyas
University, Jodhpur; Cricket (M): North Zone: Dr B.R.
Ambedkar University, Agra; East Zone: Bhagalpur
University; South Zone: Madras University, Chennai; West
Zone and Inter Zone: Barkatullah University, Bhopal;
Football (M): North Zone Allahabad University, East Zone:
Calcutta University; South Zone: M.G.U., Kottayam, West
and Inter Zone: Goa Univ., Panji; Hockey (M): North Zone
and Inter Zone: PAU Ludhiana; East Zone: Guru Ghasi Das
Univ. Bilaspur; West Zone: J.N. Vyas Univ. Jodhpur;
Kabaddi (M): North Zone, Kurukshetra University; East
Zone : Bhubaneshwar University; South Zone and Inter
Zone: Krishnadevarya University; West Zone and Inter
Zone: MPKV, Rahuri, Table Tennis (M&W): North Zone:
P.U. Chandigarh; East Zone: Burdwan University; West and
Inter Zone: Rajasthan Agril. University, Udaipur,
Volleyball (M): North Zone: KUK; East and Inter zone:
R.S. Shukla, Raipur: South Zone: Bangalore University.
Teenage stars get shoulders to cry on
LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) For teenage tennis stars grappling with pushy parents and tyrannical coaches, the womens tour has come up with the ideal solution an impartial shoulder to cry on.
The champions of old have come to the aid of tomorrows stars as young players, barely out of childhood, grapple with instant fame and untold riches under the media spotlight.
Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Pam Shriver and a host of other veterans have stepped forward to act as mother confessors to the teenage brigade.
The Womens Tennis Association (WTA), boasting that its initiative is unique in sports, has set up "partners for success" with proteges matched up with mentors in its ground-breaking player development programme.
The game is littered with sorry tales of teenage burnout. Tabloid headlines tell of "parents from hell" as yet another tennis prodigy wilts under the white-hot ambition of an overeager mother and father.
For both proteges and mentors, the scheme has been a resounding success, a safety valve for letting off steam when the pressure gets too much.
American Venus Williams, famed for her trademark beaded braids and elegant power game, picked pam shriver as her mentor. The relationship is flourishing.
Williams, speaking to reporters at Wimbledon where she is very much missing her flu-ridden sister Serena, said: "When the programme began, I was asked who I would like to work with and I said Pam.
"Its been a good relationship as I have known her for so long and we are similar players.
"She has a lot of height like I do and we are both U.S. Finalists on our first try so we have a few things in common and it is great."
Shriver, one of the prime movers behind the player development programme, first bonded with the Williams sisters when they played a charity event for her in Baltimore.
"We are not paid like a coach or an agent and parents often cannot see what is happening because they are too close to it all," said Shriver, who like Evert is at Wimbledon as a television commentator.
"We can just sit back and offer advice and if a player doesnt like what she hears, she can just stop calling," she added.
Martina Hingis was scuttled out of Wimbledon in the first round after a disastrous French Open final where she stormed off court in a petulant rage.
Her mentor has been Chris Evert, who in her playing days was dubbed the "ICE Queen" for her steely composure and unflappable demeanour.
The three-times Wimbledon champion could prove a steadying influence for the 18-year-old Hingis at a turbulent time of teenage rebellion and angst.
"Partners for success is the first of its kind in professional sports and enhances all those involved," boasts the WTA tour.
WTA spokeswoman Reven Oliver said: "It has been very successful. You will see Pam and Chris in the locker room helping the players not just with their tennis but on how to face the media after a difficult match.
"We want these kids not to feel lonely out there," she added.
For the veterans have both objectivity and perspective: "They have been there before. They dont have any hidden agenda. It is not like a coach or parent constantly pushing."
Greene, Jones win easily
EUGENE (U.S.A., June 27 (Reuters) Maurice Greene and Marion Jones cruised to easy 200-meter semifinal wins and world silver medallist Regina Jacobs ran the fastest womens 1,500-meter time of the year on a windy day at the U.S.A. Athletics Championships.
Jacobs clocked 4:02.41 in a stirring wire-to-wire victory despite gusty winds that aided Greene and Jones in their races yesterday.
Greene dominated his 200-meter semifinal in 20.11 seconds behind an assisting wind of 4.2 meters per second and said he was not concerned about world record-holder Michael Johnson, who pulled out of the championships on Friday because of an injury.
"Im not worried about Michael Johnson," the newly crowned mens 100-meter world record-holder said. "If I wasnt 100 per cent I wouldnt have come out here either."
Greenes time was the second fastest of the day with Rohssan Griffin winning the first semifinal in a wind-assisted 19.96 seconds.
Jones, meanwhile, took out the frustrations of her loss in the womens long jump final on Friday by winning her womens 200-meter semifinal in 22.31 seconds, also wind-assisted.
"Its not the best time in the world, but I made it through," said Jones, who injured her right knee two weeks ago and is still receiving treatment.
The top three finishers in the championships qualify for Augusts World Championships in Seville provided they have met the qualifying standard.
Jerome Young beat his former coach, Antonio Pettigrew, to win the mens 400 meters in the second-fastest time of the year, 44.24 seconds. Pettigrew clocked 44.59.
Both now train under Trevor Graham, Marion Joness coach.
Comebacking Gail Devers, the two-time Olympic womens 100-meter champion who made the American team in that event on Friday, looked especially sharp in leading qualifying for the womens 100-meter hurdles in a wind-assisted 12.75 seconds.
Larry Wade was the mens 110-meter hurdles qualifying leader in 13.17 seconds with Olympic champion Allen Johnson a heat winner in 13.21.
Anthony Washington hurled the discus 67.95 meters and U.S. Record-holder Tom Pukstys claimed the mens javelin with a throw of 78.02 meters.
The 41-year-old Tom Petranoff, who has represented both the USA and South Africa in international competition, finished second at 75.21 meters.
Stacy Dragila won the womens pole vault at 4.45 meters then narrowly missed a world record 4.61 meters on her third attempt.
Womens 400-metre hurdles record-holder Kim Batten, who has been experiencing foot problems, did not finish her final, which Sandra Glover won in 54.95 seconds.
Russia, Sweden in last eight
EAST RUTHERFORD (USA), June 27 (Reuters) Russia have qualified for the quarterfinals in their first womens World Cup by scoring four second-half goals in a 4-1 Group C victory over Canada.
Also securing a quarterfinal berth were Sweden, 2-0 winners over Ghana in Chicago yesterday.
Midfielder Elena Fomina came off the bench to score two goals for the Russians (2-1-0), who will meet China in the round of eight in San Jose, California on Wednesday.
China (3-0), one of the tournament favourites, defeated Australia 3-1 in the second game of the Giants Stadium doubleheader before a crowd of 29,401.
"This was our debut in world championship play," Russian coach Yurii Bystritzkii said. "We would have to be naive to set the ultimate goal of winning the World Cup. We wanted to produce a good impression and gain experience. The task was to qualify for the quarterfinals."
Canada (0-1-2) finished last in the group.
In the second game of the doubleheader, China secured the Group D crown with a 3-1 victory over Australia (0-1-2). Sun Wen scored twice to tie Brazils Sissi for the tournament scoring lead with five goals apiece.
Australia, who qualified automatically for the 2000 Olympic womens soccer tournament as hosts, did not reach the second round.
In Chicago, Sweden (2-0-1) secured a quarterfinal berth with a 2-0 Group D victory over Ghana (0-1-2).
Victoria Svensson scored two goals in the second half at Soldier Field.
Group C champions Norway rolled to a 4-0 triumph over Japan (0-1-2).
Vilesh Bhat lifts chess crown
MUMBAI, June 27 (PTI) Top seed and defending champion Vilesh Bhat of Maharashrta annexed the crown in the Bank of Baroda National Chess Championship for the blind which concluded here today.
Bhat drew his last round match against statemate Swapnil Shah to finish with 7.5 points, the same as Madan Bagayatkar and Charudatta Jadhav. However, chief arbiter ruled Bhat as the champion due to higher progressive score.
Madan finished in the second position with Jadhav coming third. Shirish Patil, who defeated his father Vasant Patil in the final round, finished fourth. All the four will represent India in future international tournaments.
As compared to last year, Madan displaces Sanjay Karandikar whereas the other members hold their places in the team.
The ninth and final round had everybody in suspense as Bhat was playing against the formidable opponent. Swapnil who had a chance of finishing amongst the top four had he won the match. In fact Jadhav and Madan wasted some opportunities to lift the title.
Swapnil playing with white pieces launched a strong attack on Bhat's pieces, but the latter defended resolutely. Finally with an equal position, Swapnil agreed to split points thereby giving Bhat the title.
Results of top ten boards: 1 Swapnil Shah (Mah) 6.5 pts drew with Vilesh Bhat (Mah) 7.5 pts, 2 Charudatta Jadhav (Mah) 7.5 pts beat S. Seethavasan (TN) 6 pts, 3 Sanjay Karandikar (Mah) 6 pts lost to Madhan Bagayatkar (Mah) 7.5 pts, 4 Shirish Patil (Mah) 7 pts beat Vasant Patil (Mah) 5.5 pts, 5 Mahipal Singh (Haryana) 6.5 pts beat K.Satyasheelan (Kerala) 5.5 pts, 6 Rajesh Rajput (Guj) 5 pts lost to Sunil Sasane (Mah) 6 pts, 7 S.S. Pandiyaranjan (TN) 6 pts beat Dinesh Bhura (Guj) 5 pts, 8 N. Siddaiah (AP) 6 pts beat Rajesh Oza (Mah) 5 pts, 9 Sarita Karde (Mah) 5 pts lost to Suryakant Raut (Mah) 5.5 pts, 10 Vijay Gauli (Mah) 4.5 pts lost to Gaurav Gadodia (Mah) 5.5 pts.
Final position of 14
prize winner with points and progressive scores in
brackets: 1 Vilesh Bhatt 7.5 pts (42.5), 2 Madan
Bagayatkar 7.5 pts (36.5), 3 Charudatta Jadhav
7.5 pts (32.5), 4 Shirish Patil 7 pts, 5
Swapnil Shah 6.5 pts (35), 6 Mahipal Singh
6.5 pts (27.5), 7 Sanjay Karandikar 6 pts (35), 8
S. Seethavasan 6 pts (33), 9 N. Siddaiah 6
pts (32), 10 Sunil Sasane 6 pts (31), 11 S.S.
Pandiyaranjan 6 (30.5), 12 Gaurav Gadodia
5.5 pts (31.5), 13 K. Satyasheelan 5.5 pts (30),
14 Suryakant Raut 5.5 pts (29).
Vijayalakshmi pips Safira
KOZHIKODE, June 27 (PTI) International womens master norm holder Safira Shahnaz, the undisputed leader till the fifth round, was trounced today by reigning champion S. Vijayalakshmi in the sixth round of the 25th National Women A Chess Championship here.
Safira is still in the lead along with Bhagyasree Thipsay and Maharashtras Swati Mohota with 4.5 points each.
Vijayalakshmi is just behind the leaders with four points. She employed the queens Indian defence against Safiras queen pawn opening and sacrificed her bishop at G4 on the 37th move to seize the key posts at H1and G3 by her queen and rook, respectively.
Though Safira could halt an immediate mater by a pawn push to G4 in the 38th move, she found herself in a deadlock and resigned on Vijayalakshmis 40th move, trapping the queen following a mere rook check at F1 square.
Pallavi Shah adopted benko gambit against FIDE women master Bindu K. Saritha. Exchanges occurred within the first 22 moves. The resultant ending with rooks and pawns slightly favoured Pallavi following manoeuvres over the rivals seventh Bank.
Bhagyasree Thipsay inflicted a bitter defeat on under-12 world champion Koneru Humpy when the latter made a tactical miscalculation on the ninth move, castling the king to the queens side, which is deemed as a gross violation in the French defence advanced variation.
Thipsays intrusion with her rook to B7 square was enough to make Humpy resign in the 38th move. Dolon Champa Bose, left without a score till the end of the fifth round, opened her account by holding Swati Mohota to a draw in slav defence. Making eight moves closely following the theory, both players left the table agreeing to split points.
Results: (sixth round).
Safira Shahnaz (4.5) lost to S. Vijayalakshmi (4),
Bhagyasree Thipsay (4.5) bt K. Humpy (2.5),
Swati Mohota (2.5) drew with D.C. Bose (0.5)
S. Meenakshmi (1) drew with Swati Ghate (4.5)
Anupama Gokhale (3.5) bt Aartie (2.5)
East Bengal storm into semis
CALCUTTA, June 27 (UNI) Displaying vastly improved performance, the East Bengal stormed into the semifinal of the McDowell Cup soccer tournament humiliating Eastern Railway 5-0 in their last league match from group "B" at Salt Lake Stadium here today.
After striker Raman Vijayan struck twice in the first half, Dipankar Roy, Amit Das and Sanjay Majhi scored in succession after the breather to complete the tally for East Bengal.
East Bengal, who drew their first match with Tollygunge Agragami (1-1), combined well while their deep defence and mid field stood well to fed their forwards. Their strikers also capitalised on the chances they got.
Eastern Railway, who came as a qualifier in this meet after winning the Celebration Cup, were totally off colour and could hardly make any goal move throughout the match.
However, they still have a chance to make it to the east four stage if they can beat Tollygunge Agragami in the concluding league match to be held tomorrow.
3000 take part in Olympic Day Run
Anandpur Sahib, June 27 Nearly 3,000 young, the not-so-young, as also men and women took part in the Olympic Day Run held here this morning. Wearing T-shirts provided by the organisers the runners made, in their own small way, an effort to spread the message of the Olympic Movement.
For the first time the Indian Olympic Association allotted the Olympic Day Run to the Punjab Olympic Association (POA). The POA in turn conducted the run in this holy city to commemorate the tercentenary of the birth of the Khalsa.
The Olympic Day Run is held on the same day in all member-countries of the International Olympic Committee to spread the message of Olympic Movement all over the world. The idea behind the run is not to win laurels but to take part in sport and physical activity to keep fit and healthy. The run is held in June as the founding of the International Olympic Committee by Baron Pierre de Coubertin took place on June 23, 105 year ago.
Ignoring the humidity, which was nearly 100 per cent, the runners , whose age group spread from five to over 70 had lined up at the Panj Pyara Chowk here early morning awaiting the arrival of the chief guest, the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. And it goes to the credit of the Punjab Chief Minister that he reached the venue of the event on time .
In his brief speech the Chief Minister talked about sports in general and the need to do physical activities to keep fit. But what should have gladdened the hearts of the office-bearers of the Punjab Olympic Association, who together with the Punjab Sports Department, the Anandpur Sahib Foundation as well as the district authorities had made fool-proof arrangements for the run, was the Chief Minister's assurance that no stone would be left unturned to make the National Games, scheduled to be held next year in Punjab, a grand success.
The one person who was missed today was the President of the Punjab Olympic Association, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, who had to go to Bangalore suddenly on business. In his place the Senior Vice-president of the Punjab Olympic Association, Mr Umrao Singh, deputised.
Once the Chief Minister flagged off the run by waving a specially made flag, the runners that made their way towards Gurdwara Sri Kesgarh Sahib. So enthusiastic were the runners that the organisers had a tough time in the initial stages of the run to keep the runners from falling on top of each. But soon the runners had formed small groups according to their capability. But it goes to the credit of the runners that not a single one dropped out of the run .
Olympic Day Run boycotted
ANANDPUR SAHIB, June 27 The 'Olympic Day Run' organised by the Punjab Olympic Association in collaboration with other organisations here this morning was boycotted by a large number of youths who came to participate in the run as members of youth clubs of the district.
As soon as Mr Parkash Singh Badal left the venue after flagging off the run, the youths started raising slogans against the District Olympic Association and held the authorities concerned responsible for the boycott. They alleged that they were called by the Nehru Yuva Kendra, Ropar, and Youth Services Department, Ropar, for participating in the run.
Talking to mediapersons, Mr Didar Singh Dehar, president of Youth Clubs Coordination Committee, alleged that despite assurances, the youths were not given 'Olympic Day Run' T-shirts for participating in the 'Run'. Even their presence was ignored by the authorities which forced them to boycott the 'Run', he added.
The youths, led by their leaders, planned to stage a dharna on the main Ropar-Nangal road near Panj Pyara Park to express their resentment. They gathered on the road, but the police prevented them from doing so. The police also took five youth leaders, Didar Singh Dehar, Ranjit Singh, Jai Singh Chhibber, Ravinder Singh Ravi and Kulwinder Singh, in custody. They were taken away in a police vehicle.
Mr Yashwant Bassi, general secretary, District Youth Clubs Coordination Committee, said they were invited here by the Nehru Yuva Kendra and Youth Services authorities. He claimed that about 500 youths from different youth clubs had come here to take part, but they were not given T-shirts for the purpose. He alleged that members of the youth clubs, who came here from far away places of the district, were ignored, while the children of officers were supplied T-shirts.
Mr R.D. Singh, District Sports Officer, said he had not invited the members of youth clubs. He invited sportspersons and all were given T-shirts. Earlier, an agitating youth leader had alleged that the District Sports Officer had refused to oblige them in the case of supply of T-shirts.
Chiranjeev retains 4th position
NEW DELHI, June 27 Chiranjeev Milkha Singh looked all set for his third top-ten finish in the European PGA Tour when he managed to retain his overnight fourth position despite a level-par 72 round on the third day of the 1.4 million euro (£1 million) Compaq European Grand Prix tournament at De Vere Slaley Hall in Hexham, England, on Friday.
According to information reaching here, Jeev shot as many as five birdies, but his efforts were undone by an equal number of bogies. Still, it was a superb effort by the ace Indian golfer as the conditions were extremely windy when he played in the evening. The level-par 72 card took him to seven under 209 for the tournament and tied for the fourth place along with Englands world No 9 Lee Westwood and South African Retief Goosen, currently second in the European Tour Order of Merit.
At the par-72,7088-yard course, the 27 year-old Chandigarh pro began with successive bogies on his first two holes (both 429-yard, par-4s), but then recovered with birdies on the par-5 4th, par-3 6th and the 8th hole to be one under at the turn. On his back nine, he made three bogies as against two birdies to finish the day at 72.
The effects of wind could be seen in Jeevs performance as he could find only eight fairways off the tee and just 11 greens in regulation.
If Jeev manages a top-five finish here, it will go a long way in getting him into the year-end top-20 of the European Tour Order of Merit. That would give him direct entry into all the major championships of the world in year 2000.
The tournament, however, became a two-man race between Davids, Carter of England and Park of Wales. Carter made a miraculous birdie on the final hole when he sank a 40-footer putt with at least six feet break to finish the day at four-under, while Park three-putted the 18th for a bogey and was two-under. Both were joint leaders miles ahead of the rest of the field at 14-under 202. Australias Peter OMalley was third at eight-under 208.
Westwood, playing early in the morning before the winds picked up, returned the days best card of five-under 67, while Goosen had a third-round 71.
Scrores (after 54
holes): T-Ist:202 - David Park (Wal) 67,65,70, David
Carter (Eng) 65,69,68: 3rd: 208 - Peter OMalley
(Aus) 66,71,71: T-4th: 209 - Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind)
68,67,72, Lee Westwood (Eng) 72,70,67, Retief Goosen
(SAF) 70,68,71: T-7th: 210 - Sven Struver (Ger) 69,67,74:
Jose Coceres (Arg) 69,68,73, Miles Tunnicliff (Eng)
69,68,73, Emanuele Canoinca (Esp) 72,69,69, Jamie Spence
(Eng) 68,71,71, David Gilford (Eng) 74,65,71.
Medical facilities sub-par: Courier
LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) American Jim Courier attacked the medical facilities at Wimbledon yesterday after suffering serious cramp and dehydration following a five-set match.
Courier said he was "angry" that he had been forced to leave the All-England Club to receive an intravenous injection in hospital after Fridays third-round match against Dutchman Sjeng Schalken that took four hours 25 minutes to complete.
He realised he was badly dehydrated in the dressing room and "I knew I was in trouble", Courier said. It took 10 minutes to reach the hospital but Courier was concerned his body would become rigid with cramp during the ride.
Wimbledon was the only Grand Slam tournament where such medical help was not available on site, he said.
"You run into a brick wall of conservatism, its the only place where i/v is not available," Courier said. "Im angry about it, its too bad that the biggest tournament in the world has sub-par medical facilities."
India succumb to Philippines
CHANDIGARH, June 27 After winning for two consecutive days against Iran and Malaysia in the league matches, India today succumbed to the Philippines by 2-16 in their last league match of the 3rd Asian Cup Baseball Championship at the Panjab University grounds here today.
In other league match of the day, Malaysia edged past Iran by 21-8 in a seven innings match. Iran has not won any match in this tournament so far whereas the Philippines remain unbeaten so far.
Rs 1 lakh donation by AITA for soldiers
NEW DELHI, June 27 (PTI) The All-India Tennis Association (AITA) yesterday contributed Rs 1 lakh to the Prime Ministers Relief Fund for the welfare of the armed forces fighting intruders in the Kargil sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
AITA president R.K Khanna expressed concern about the war-like situation in Kargil where the armed forces were fighting an intense battle with intruders on the Indian side of the LoC and said the tennis bodys executive committee felt that it was its duty to contribute towards the cause of the nation.
"As a token of our
affection and concern about the valiant soldiers fighting
under very difficult conditions AITA has decided to
contribute towards the welfare of the officers and jawans
of armed forces," an AITA press note said here.
Surin wins title in 100 metres
WINNIPEG (Canada), June 27 (Reuters) Bruny Surin proved hes the man to beat among Canadian sprinters this season as he claimed his second national 100 metres title in a wind-assisted time of 9.88 seconds yesterday.
Olympic 100 metres champion Donovan Bailey, 31 whose sluggish run in the afternoon heats (10.38) nearly kept him out of the final. Rebounded to finish third in a time of 1o.19.
Nawanshahr, Ludhiana clinch titles
CHANDIGARH, June 27 (BOSR) Nawanshahr and Ludhiana today clinched the women's and men's titles in the Punjab Circle Kabaddi Championship today.
In the women's final, Nawanshahr struggled hard to overcome the challenge of Patiala by 50-32 while in the men's final, Ludhiana prevailed over Sangrur 44-38.
The women's final was a keen affair with captain of the winning team Kulwinder scoring 13 points and she was the star of the day's match. The crowd too joined in by clapping at every point taken by any of the team. Paramjit of Nawanshahr scored 10 points. The best raider Narinder scored 8 points while Inderjit seven points.
In the men's final, Khushwinder Singh scored maximum of 10 points for Ludhiana team followed by Upkar with seven points.
Earlier in the semifinal of the men's section, Ludhiana defeated Patiala by 46-41 while Sangrur had a tough time with Fatehgarh Sahib before winning at 36-31 .
Mr P.S. Aujla, President Punjab Amateur Circle Kabaddi Aassociation gave the prizes.
KULU, June 27 (FOSR)
The state-level hockey cup is being organised here
from June 28 at the Dhalpur ground. As many as six teams
will participate. Mr Praveen Sharma, Minister of State
for Sports and Youth Services, will inaugurate the
tournament while Mr Karan Singh, Minister of State for
Primary Education, will preside over the veledictory
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