|Friday, February 4, 2000,
Paes, Fazal to lead challenge
JCT, FC Kochin split points
Paes, Fazal to lead challenge
LUCKNOW, Feb 3 (UNI) Leander Paes and Syed Fazaluddin will lead the Indian challenge against a little-known Lebanon in the Asia-Oceania Group I Davis Cup tie which begins here tomorrow.
The tie, being played on the grass courts of the Oudh Gymkhana Club here, comes to the city after a gap of 25 years. The last Davis Cup tie was played here in 1975 where New Zealand beat the hosts 3-2.
Promising youngster Sunil Kumar and the experienced Prahlad Srinath, other members of the Indian team, were, however, not considered for the tie.
Lebanon, who will be playing their first competitive match on grass, has Raymond Kattoura as the non-playing captain. Their challenge is led by national champion Hicham Zaatani and number two player Ali Hamedeh. Other members of the touring team include Seen Karim and Ibrahim Kahil.
The tie, to be decided on a best-of-five basis, has Paes opening the challenge for the hosts as he plays Hamedeh. Fazal plays Zaatani in the other singles encounter on the opening day.
The doubles match on Saturday will see Paes and Fazal fight it out with the pair of Zaatani and Hamedeh and the reverse singles on the concluding day (Sunday) will sees Paes clash with Zaatani and Fazal run into Hamedeh.
Indian number two Mahesh Bhupathi had to pull out of the tie due to an injury and is expected to return to professional tennis only by May.
Asked why Sunil, the national hardcourt champion, and Srinath were not considered for the tie, Indian non-playing captain Ramesh Krishnan said Fazal was given the go-ahead because of his fluency on grass courts.
Fazal has a good hand on grass and has shown good results during the practice here. Thus we thought he was the best person, in the given circumstances, to play, said Ramesh, for whom this is the first task as the captain.
Fazal had played singles for the Indian Davis Cup team last year. He also paired with Paes in doubles on earlier occasions, recently in the Asia Cup last year.
Both India and Lebanon had lost their first round encounters last year, going down to South Korea and Japan, respectively. However, they managed to remain in group I after winning their respective play-off ties against China and Pakistan, respectively.
If India wins the current tie, they meet the winner of the South Korea-Japan tie in the second round. A win in the second round enables them to qualify for the world group qualifying round, where they play one of the eight losers of the world group of sixteen.
India made their Davis Cup debut in 1921 while Lebanon joined the cup fraternity in 1957.
India begin favourites having the advantage of playing on the home and fluent grass courts.
Ramesh, when asked if the hosts considered the tie to be a cakewalk, replied with a note of caution: No we are not going to take it lightly. We are going to take every match with utmost sincerity and seriousness.
Asked if the absence of Bhupathi had any impact on the team, he said Bhupathi was definitely being missed, particularly in doubles.
About his team being considered to be an easy one, Lebanese captain Kattoura sounded an optimistic note, saying they would not succumb to any pressure and would give India a tough fight.
Though I admit that my players are not as experienced as the Indians, we still hold a chance, at least 30 per cent, he said.
Yuvraj, Sodhi, Ajay for Challenger
MUMBAI, Feb 3 (PTI) Former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin and ace wicket-keeper Nayan Mongia were back in contention for the forthcoming series against South Africa after being selected for the Challenger Trophy tournament to be held in Ahmedabad next week.
Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and Ajay Jadeja will lead the India, India A and India B teams, respectively, in the day/night tournament to be held from February 10 to 13.
The national selectors met here and decided not to include Ajit Agarkar, Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Devang Gandhi, who were all members of the squad which fared dismally in Australia, along with three other members M.S.K. Prasad, Harbhajan Singh and Vijay Bharadwaj who had returned earlier after the Test series in any of the three outfits.
S. Ramesh, who came back with a fractured thumb after the second Test, was the only player omitted fitness grounds, cricket board secretary Jaywant Lele told reporters.
Among those selected were Azharuddin and Mongia who will play under Ganguly, besides Vinod Kambli who will play under Tendulkar.
Also included in the India A and B teams were some members of the under 19 national squad which won the junior World Cup in Sri Lanka recently, including the triumphant teams skipper Mohammed Kaif.
Lele said it was mandatory for all the players selected to play in the tournament except on grounds of fitness and the board was awaiting the report of national team physio Andrew Leipus about the fitness of the players who returned from Australia on Tuesday.
India: Sachin Tendulkar (capt), V.V.S. Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Jacob Martin, Robin Singh, Anil Kumble, Nikhil Chopra, Sunil Joshi, Sameer Dighe (wk), Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad and Vinod Kambli.
India A: Saurav Ganguly (capt), Mohd Azharuddin, Nayan Mongia (wk), J. Arun Kumar, Sridharan Sharath, Virender Sehwag, Murali Karthik, Amit Bhandari, Sanjay Bangar, T. Kumaran, Ashish Kapoor and Neeraj Patel.
India B: Ajay Jadeja (capt), Nikhil Haldipur, Yuvraj Singh, Mohd Kaif, Jai Prakash Yadav, Devendra Bundela, Reetinder Singh Sodhi, Ajay Ratra (wk), Rashmi Ranjan Parida, Debashish Mohanty, Anup Dave and Doda Ganesh.
Kapil Dev will be the coach of the India team and junior national coach Roger Binny would be in charge of the other two teams, Lele announced.
Selection committee chairman Chandu Borde did not meet the press after the marathon meeting, which lasted nearly three-and-a-half-hours, as he was in a hurry to catch the evening train to Pune.
Akram confident of victory
SYDNEY, Feb 3 (PTI) Pakistan go into the second final of the triangular limited overs cricket series with Australia here tomorrow with the odds heavily loaded against them and a victory absolutely necessary, to stay in contention.
They were totally outclassed by the hosts in the first final at Melbourne yesterday and will again be fighting with their backs to the wall against the hosts, favourites to clinch the title after winning eight matches in a row. This time Pakistan will also have the record books against them.
South Africa is the only team since 1989-90 to take the tri-series into the third final after losing the first.
But Pakistan captain Wasim Akram is confident his team would not only be able to do that, but also claim the title. It is a do-or-die situation for us and Pakistan always seem to do well in such situations, he said.
His teams current form may, however, prove his confidence misplaced.
The Pakistan top-order, like their counterparts from India who were the third team in the series, have failed against the Australian pacemen especially Glenn McGrath, who fired three batsmen for just four runs in the six-wicket victory in the first final.
And after the lanky Australian pace spearhead had done the initial damage, neither of the two teams had enough resources left to tackle bowlers like Brett Lee, Shane Lee and Shane Warne and post big scores to put pressure on the hosts.
Prolific scorer Saeed Anwar has been a failure while his opening partner Shahid Afridi has had only one decent outing against the Indians. Middle order batsman Inzamam-ul-Haqs poor form has also been a major worry for Akram.
Though Ijaz Ahmed had shown signs of returning to top form in the league match against India on January 25, the inconsistent performances of Yousuf Youhana, Abdur Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood invariably put a lot of pressure on the lower order, brilliantly spearheaded by wicket-keeper Moin Khan.
With Pakistan having necessary fire power to bowl out the Australians, the outcome of tomorrows match will again depend on the start they get.
Coach Intikhab Alam advised his batsmen to survive the overs bowled by McGrath and Brett Lee and then go for runs against the others.
Once they can get through opening overs of McGrath and Lee, the middle and lower order can push the run rate up, he said today. We must make 250 to give the bowlers a chance.
But apart from the top order blues, Pakistan will face an Australia side raring to knock in the final needle ahead of an important tour against New Zealand.
Skipper Steve Waugh has already said he wants his team to settle the series tomorrow and give him team two extra days rest before leaving for the Kiwiland.
With his team in superb form after winning six Tests and eight one-dayers in a row, the Australian skipper was confident his team would be able to avoid the third final.
The Australians have looked nearly invincible throughout this summer after handing out a 3-0 Test drubbing to both teams from the subcontinent.
Zimbabwe scramble to 2-wkt win
DURBAN, Feb 3 (AFP) Zimbabwe scrambled to a two-wicket win off the last ball in the Standard Bank International triangular series limited overs cricket match against South Africa at Kingsmead last night.
The win put all three sides level on points with two matches each to play, with Zimbabwe leading on run rate ahead of England and South Africa.
Both sides suffered top order collapses before being rescued by big partnerships for the seventh wicket.
Jacques Kallis and Lance Klusener put on 82 for South Africa but their effort was topped by Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower and allrounder Guy Whittall, who added 91 to set a Zimbabwe record for the seventh wicket.
Flower (59) slashed a catch to backward point off Henry Williams, with Jonty Rhodes clutching the catch at the second attempt. At that stage Zimbabwe needed 25 off 24 balls with three wickets left.
Gibbs c A. Flower b Olonga 20
Koen c Goodwin b Olonga 19
Kallis c Wishart b Brent 52
Mckenzie c Carlisle b Streak 7
Cronje c A. Flower b Johnson 10
Rhodes c Brent b Johnson 13
Boucher c Johnson b Brent 8
Klusener not out 65
Pollock not out 14
Extras: (b-1, lb-1, w-11, nb-1) 14
Total: (7 wkts, 50 overs) 222
Fall of wickets: 1-40, 2-41, 3-49, 4-69, 5-92, 6-112, 7-194.
Bowling: Olonga 8-0-34-2, Johnson 10-0-53-2, Streak 10-0-53-1, Brent 10-0-32-2, G. Flower 10-0-37-0, G.J. Whittall 2-0-11-0.
Johnson c McKenzie b Kallis 35
G. Flower lbw b Hayward 0
Wishart c Kallis b Williams 18
Campbell c Boucher b Williams 11
Goodwin lbw Klusener 16
A. Flower c Rhodes b Williams 59
Carlisle lbw b Hayward 6
G. Whittall run out 39
Streak not out 19
Brent not out 1
Extras: (lb-1, lb-2, w-5, nb-11) 19
Total: (8 wkts, 50 overs) 223
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-57, 3-65, 4-85, 5-90, 6-107, 7-198, 8-213.
JCT, FC Kochin split points
LUDHIANA, Feb 3 JCT Phagwara held FC Kochin to a goal-less draw to split points in a 12th round tie of the National Football League at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.
After keeping the south Indian outfit under pressure initially, JCT escaped a flurry of attacks by the rivals in the second half to emerge unscathed in the encounter, played on a fast pace throughout the regulation period.
With todays draw, JCTs tally has gone up to 18 points from four victories and six draws, while FC Kochin are trailing with 15 points.
Handicapped by the absence of key players, including Hardip Sangha and Hardip Gill, who incidentally have done the bulk of the scoring for the mill men, JCT fought for an honourable draw and with little more luck could have even carried the day but that was not to be.
FC Kochin, with a couple of internationals in their ranks, including the evergreen IM Vijayan, Joe Paul Ancheri and medio Tajinder Kumar, completely dominated the proceedings in the second half, keeping the Phagwara outfit under sustained pressure for long spells. Liberian recruits Eugene Grey and Issac Tondo also played their hearts out but failed to score. Eventually, in an unprecedented move, coach T.K. Chathunny pull out goalkeeper Sunday Seah only to put him back as a striker but this strategy also failed to yield the desired results and the professional outfit had to remain content with one point at the end of the gruelling tie.
The two teams incidentally, had also drawn their earlier match at Kochin, scoring two goals each.
FC Kochi made a couple of good attempts before lemon time and star striker IM Vijayans rising shot from the corner saw Noel Wilson, formerly of Tata Football Academy, taking a header, which, however, was off the mark. Later a pileddriver by Wilson also went abegging.
JCTs attacks were spearheaded by the hard-working Jaswinder, Jaswant and Sukhjit, who has just recovered from an injury. Midway through the first half, Jaswinder lifted the ball for Sukhjit but the latter failed to trap it.
A few minutes before lemon time, FC Kochin had a narrow escape when defender Ranjit Singhs header almost sailed in but stopped back Mohammed Shafeeq standing on the goal-line managed to head the ball into the safe hands of goalkeeper Sunday Seah.
The second half witnessed a complete FC Kochin domination with JCT shining only in patches. A piledriver by Noushad saw Liberian recruit Issac Tondo making an attempt to connect but he failed.
JCT midfielder Ram Pal and wing back Daljit Singh hit back with a couple of long-rangers but in vain. Substitute Surjit, who replaced Sukhjit, also could not achieve much upfront. With time running out, FC Kochin coach T.K. Chathunni substituted Sunday Seah with Saji Joy under the bar while introducing the former in the attack.
Sundays inclusion upfront had an immediate impact and on one occasion, his diving header missed the target narrowly.
In the dying minutes, a
booming volley by JCTs star midfielder Hardip Saini
also sailed over and the two sides eventually settled for
a draw, gaining one point each in the second phase of the
Haryana boys claim 3 more gold medals
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Feb 3 (PTI) Five records were bettered and Haryana claimed three more gold medals in the boys field events in the morning session on the third day of the 45th National School Games here today.
The new marks were set by Dinesh Kumar of Haryana in shot put (boys u-17), Rajesh Kumar (Haryana) in triple jump (boys u-19), Harpal Singh of Punjab in hammer throw (boys u-19), Jagbir Singh (Gujarat) in pole vault (boys u-19) and Sunil Kumar of Delhi in discus throw (boys u-14).
In pole vault, Jagbir Singh, Kadila HSS, Ahmedabad,attached to SAI, cleared 4.30 m in his first attempt, breaking the existing mark of 4.07 set by Haresh Kumar of Haryana 10 years ago. Jagbir Singh is participating in the National School games for the first time.
Sunil Kumar claimed the first gold for Delhi with a record heave of 49.61 m in discus throw (boys u-14), erasing the existing mark of 48.20 m set by Bandhnu Ram Basuntary of Assam in 1990.
In hammer throw (boys u-19), Harpal Singh of Khalsa HSS, Amritsar, with a distance of 55.60 m, bettered the 52.86 m record of Ramesh Tanwar (Har) set in 1995.
Haryanas Dinesh Kumar,who set a new mark in shot put (boys (u-17) flung the iron ball to 16.43 m, 0.37 m better than the existing record of Rajesh Kumar of Haryana, set in 1996.
The fifth record came in triple jump (boys u-19) when Rajesh Kumar of Haryana leaped to 14.73 m, bettering the 15-year old record of 14.62 m set by Mohammed Nizamudeen (TN).
The other gold winners in the morning were Gupta Shriniwas of Maharashtra in 80 m hurdles (u-14), Surender Singh (Har) in 100 m hurdles (u-17), Parmeshwar Nath (Guj) in 110 m hurdles (u-19) and R Rajesh (Kerala) in triple jump (u-17).
In the girls section, Sangani Bindu Sree (Andhra) in 100 m hurdles (u-19), Aravinda Ratwa (Guj) in 100 m hurdles (u-17), Kavitha Mani Sreedhara (Kerala) in 80 m hurdles (u-14) and Dharamvir Kaur (Punjab) in the 5,000 m walk.
In badminton, Kerala and Tamil Nadu boys and Andhra girls entered the semifinals.
In girls volleyball, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi moved into the last eight.
Boys: under-19: triple jump: Rajesh Kumar (Har) 14.73 m (NR) ex: 14.62 m; 2 Hargobind Singh (Pun) 14.57 m; 3 Maxwell Lopez (Ker) 14.49 m.
Hammer throw: Harpal Singh (Pun) 55.70 m (NR) ex: 52.86 m; 2 Vikas (Raj) 52.86 m; 3 Laikh Ahmed (UP) 52.38 m.
110 m hurdles: Parmeshwar Nath (Guj) 15.28 s, 2 Kunal Roy Choudhary (Mah) 15.34 m, 3 CM Manoj (Ker) 15.54 m;
Pole vault: Jagbir Singh (Guj) 4.30 m (NR) ex: 4.07 m; 2 Pawan Kumar (Har) and Praveen Kumar (Har) 4.20 m (bt).
Under-17: triple jump: R Rajesh (Ker) 14.28 m; 2 Sushanth R Bangera (Mah) 14.24 m; 3. Adarsh Kumar (UP).
100 m hurdles: Surender Singh (Har) 14.35 s; 2 Parmar Sandeep Shivkumar (Mah) 14.69s; Mukesh Kumar (Har) 14.72 s;
Shot put: 1 Dinesh Kumar (Har) 16.37 m (NR) ex: 16.06 m; 2 Sukhdev Singh (Pun) 14.09 m; 3 Satish Kumar (Har) 13.31 m.
Under-14: 80 m hurdles: Gupta Shriniwas (Mah) 11.50s; 2. Omkar Singh (Guj) 11.57 s; 3 Jagman (MP) 11.60 s.
Discus throw: Sunil Kumar (Del) 49.61 m (nr) ex: 48.20 m; 2 Satyawan (Raj) 44.60 m; 3 Jagman (MP) 44.52 m.
Girls-under 19: 100 m hurdles: 1 Sangani Bindu Sree (AP) 15.33 s; 2 Shanas Sukumaran (Ker) 15.58 s; 3 Renni Raveendra (Ker) 15.59 m.
5000 m walk: Dharamvir Kaur (Pun) 27:43.5 s; 2 Anumol Sasi (Ker) 27:49.8 s; 3 Baljinder Kaur (Pun) 28:18.6 s.
Under 17: 100 m hurdles: Arvinda Rathwa (Guj) 15.74 s; 2 Ponny George (Ker) 15.82 s; 3 Gouramma (Kar) 16.37 s.
Under 14: 80 m hurdles: Kavitha Mani Sreedharan (Ker) 13.30 s; 2 Pushpa Das (WB); 3 Lillima Pradhan (Ori) 13.45 s.
Football (league): Assam b Haryana 10-0; Goa b Pondicherry 6-0; Meghalaya b Maharashtra 3-2; Uttar Pradesh drew with Daman & Diu 2-2; Punjab w/o Tamil Nadu.
Badminton: Boys (quarterfinals): Kerala b Maharashtra 29-18, 29-12; Tamil Nadu b Andhra Pradesh 29-23, 29-18; Madhya Pradesh b Chandigarh 29-23, 29-14.
Girls: Tamil Nadu b Maharashtra 29-14, 29-7.
Volleyball: boys: Punjab b Mahdya Pradesh 25-11, 25-15. Uttar Pradesh bt Himachal Pradesh 17-25, 25-11, 25-20.
Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana clinch judo
ANANDPUR SAHIB, Feb 3 Hoshiarpur with 26 points and Ludhiana with 24 points clinched the titles in the men and women (senior) sections, respectively at the Punjab Judo Championship for men and women (junior and senior sectoins) which concluded at the Dashmesh Martial Arts Academy here today.
In the mens (senior) section Jalandhar with 15 points were runners up while Gurdaspur finished third with 12 points. In the womens (senior) section Hoshiarpur and Amritsar with 14 points each were joint runners up.
In the junior boys section, Patiala, securing 22 points, clinched the title. Gurdaspur with 16 points were runners up while Ludhiana with 14 points finished third.
In the junior girls section Amritsar topped with 23 points while Ludhiana, securing 15 points, were runners up. Hoshiarpur with 13 points finished third.
About 350 jodokas in all sections drawn from 15 districts of the state participated in the championship. Mr Avtar Singh Grewal, Secretary of Punjab Jodo Association, said National Jodo Championship for senior men and women would be held at Chandigarh from February 13 to February 16.
Mr Rajan Kashyap, Principal Secretary, Science and Technology, Punjab, gave away the prizes.
The following are the results:
Mens section (seniors): Open weight category: 1. Gaganjit Singh, Patiala, 2. Mohinder Singh (Ludh). Below 100 kg: 1. Ashwani Kumar (Gurd). 2. Devinder Yadav (Jal). Below 90 kg: 1. Pawan Kumar (Asr), 2. Jagmohan (Hpr). Below 81 kg: Jaswant Singh (Jal.), 1. Vishal (Jal.) 2. Below 73 kg 1 Jaspal (Hpr), 2 Kuljinder Singh (Bath) 1. Below 66 kg: 1 Bhupinder (Bath) 2. Shiv Kumar (Hpr). Below 60 kg: Litesh Rai, (Jal), 2 Balwinder Singh (Asr). Below 56 Kg: Ajay Dhir (Hpr) 2, Vipin Kumar (Gpur).
Womens section (Seniors): Open weight category 1 Daljit Kaur (Ldh), Brinda (Asr) 2 Below 78 kg: Anupam Thakur (Hpr) 1, 2 Sangeeta (Ropar). Below 70 kg: 1 Jagjit Kaur (Ldh), 2 Sukhjit Kaur (Jal). Below 63 kg: 1 Parvinder (Jal), 2 Neelam (Ropar). Below 57 kg: 1 Manpreet (Hpr), 2 Jatinder (Ldh). 2 Below 52 kg: 1 Sarbjit (Asr), 2 Sukhdev (San). Below 48 kg: Namrata, (Ldh), 2 Rajneesh (Hpr). Below: 44 kg: 1 Narinder Kaur (Ldh), 2 Pooja (Asr).
Boys section (juniors): Above 73 kg: 1 Vinay Sharma (Hpr), 2 Surinder Singh (Ldh), Below 73 kg: 1 Rakesh Kumar (Pta), 2 Raman Kumar (Asr). Below 66 kg: 1 Malkiat Singh (Pta), 2 Harjit Singh, (Asr). Below 60 kg: 1 Kanwaljit Singh (Gds), 2 Vikas Sharma, (Ldh) Below 55 kg: Kuldip, (Gpr) 2 Rajdeep (Ldh). Below 50 kg: 1 Navjot Chana (Ldh),
Surinder Kumar (Pta). Below 45 kg: 1 Satish (Pta) 2 Ganesh Chaudhary (Pta). Below 40 kg: 1 Nitin Kalotra (Gpr) 2 Vikas (Pta).
Girls section (juniors):
Above 63 kg: 1 Pawandeep (Asr), 2 Amanpreet (Pta). Below
63 kg: 1 Ramanpreet (Asr), 2 Jasmeet Kaur (Fkt). Below 57
kg: 1 Arti Sharma (Ldh) 2 Sazida Shane, (Har). Below 52
kg 1 Sandeep Kaur (Hsr), 2 Amita Rani (Hpr). Below 48 kg
1 Sukhjeet Kaur (Ldh), 2 Asha Kiran (Hpr). Below 44 kg: 1
Sukhjeet Kaur (Ldh) Below 40 kg: 1 Priyanka, (Jal), 2
Rajni Walia (Pta). Below 36 kg: 1 Gagandeep (Asr), 2
Poonam Bala (Gds) 2.
Tollygunge beat Dempo
MARGAO, Feb 3 (UNI) Calcuttas Tollygunge Agragami hung on to the first-half lead to register their fourth win to edge out Dempo (Goa) 1-0 in the second phase of the National Football League match played at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, here today.
The all-important goal for Tollygunge came in the 28th minute through Chandan Das.
With todays win Tollygunge boosted their tally to 16 points and moved to seventh place from ninth from 12 outings. They have four wins, four draws and four defeats.
The match started with Dempo missing a golden opportunity in the very first minute. Striker Mohammad Reza had only to beat the rival goalkeeper when he got a cross from medio Behzad Amri, but he kicked the ball straight into the keepers hand.
After the first good move by Dempo the play was restricted to mid-field with both the teams exchanging the ball evenly. Tollygunge mid-fielders Chandan Das, Abayomi Felix and Sasthi Duley controlled the mid-field play well, with the defence also putting up a confident show.
Tollygunge Agragami fired the first salvo in the 28th minute through Das, when they were awarded a free kick for bringing down Moses Oira out side the box by Dempos Soltanbadi.
The curling freekick shot found the net to make it 1-0. Stung by the reverse Dempo attacked vigorously and could have restored the parity but their striker Mohammad Reza, Kanan Priolkar were not quick in grasping the advantages.
After change of ends
Dempo played with renewed vigour and could have restored
the equaliser in the 61st minute but Tollygunges
Felix brought a brilliant save off a Dempos Vico
DSouzas header off defender Samir Naik throw
in. Agragami too had a good chance to consolidate their
lead six minutes before the long whistle but Dempos
defender Standly Colco came for their rescue.
Radhika-Liza duo wins title
CHANDIGARH, Feb 3 Both the Indian pairs, Radhika Tulpule and Liza Pereira in girls and Kamala Kannan and P. Ravishankar in boys emerged winners in doubles event on the penultimate day of the ITF Junior Tennis Tournament played here at CLTA Courts, Sector 10 today.
Radhika and Liza brushed aside the challenge of winners of ITF Delhi meet, Chinese pair of Shuai Peng and Yian Ze Xie in straight sets while Kamala Kannan and P. Ravishankar had to sweat on the plexi-cushion courts for more than one and half hours before beating Omar Behroozian (UAE) and Hyat Ali( Kuwait) in three thrilling sets.
In singles top seed Radhika Tulpule, who in the quarterfinal was extended to three sets by Anna Schupak of Uzbekistan, had to make extra efforts in overcoming the spirited challenge of Yian Ze Xie of China, the runner-up at Delhi ITF in three sets in the match which went to 93 minutes. In the first set, Tulpule who had just returned from Junior Australian Open at Melbourne last month, maintained lead till 2-1, when thin- looking Xie equalised at 2-2. After this junior national champion did not let her opponent to make any comeback and won 6-2. In the second set, Tulpule was completely outclassed by the young Chinese player who won 6-3. In the third set, Xie could not match Radhika, who had been continuously playing in a number of tournaments.
In second semifinal, sixth seed Geeta Manohar was pitted against second seed Shuai Peng, the winner of Delhi ITF and went down fighting in the one-hour encounter in straight sets to Shuai, who won the first set 6-3. In the initial games, Geeta played a versatile blend of volleys and placings and led 3-1, but succumbed to agile Shuai. In the second set, Peng completely dominated the game and allowed Geeta only two games to wrap up the set in 29 minutes, thus heading for a title clash with top seed Radhika tomorrow.
In the boys section unseeded Kamala Kannan who had yesterday ousted seventh seed Amanjot Singh, played a heroic game against Harut Sophyan of Armenia but lost in a two-hour gruelling battle. Harut lost the first set at 2-6, but in the second set, Kannan , a trainee of Krishnan centre, surged to equalise till 2-2, but experienced Harut proved to be too good for Kannan and won 6-3. In third set, Harut was in total command of the game, though long rallies were witnessed at times and won 6-2.
Boys: (semifinals): Harut Sophyan (Arm) b K. Kannan (Ind) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2; R. Luchic (Rom) b P. Chaturvedi (Ind) 6-1, 6-0.
Kila Raipur games from today
KILA RAIPUR, Feb 3 The 66th Coca-Cola Kila Raipur Sports Festival commences at its traditional venue, the Grewal Sports Stadium, here tomorrow.
This sports festival is billed as the worlds biggest rural sports extravaganza as thousands of ruralites consign, to the backburner, their farming chores and other related activities for the next three days.
A visit to the venue reflected the rural ambience which seems to be all pervasive, even as one can reach out and feel the thick air of excitement generated by the magic of the mega event.
Having earned the sobriquet of Rural Olympics the participants from various countries are all geared up to take part in the festivities where the spotlight will be on sports activities-some ordinary, some extraordinary, some incredible and some bordering on the bazairre.
Among the TV channels expected to make an appearance tomorrow are Star Sports, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting Company, ANI, BBC, Zee TV and Doordarshan.
The games, whose history is replete with the human body breaking barriers of physical endurance, could not be held for the last two years.
The games were not held in 1998 and 1999 due to a tug of war between two political heavyweights, which ensured that the axe fall on the sports meet, which started in 1933.
The Grewal Sports Organisation, led by their Chairman, Mr S.S. Saini, President, Mr S.S. Grewal, and the organising secretary, Mr Sukhbir Grewal, are leaving no stone unturned in an effort to get this years edition of the games off a lively start.
At the venue, even as one could see colourful banners of various sponsors fluttering, this year the organisers have come up with a new nine feet tall and 12 feet wide screen which has been installed inside the stadium to show re-plays.
In a rare gesture, this year, the Department of Tourism of the Union Government has featured these Rural Olympics in its calendar as a place of tourist interest.
Among those to be honoured this year, are hockey Olympians Harmik Singh, Kuldeep Singh and Bangkok Asiad star Baljit Singh Dhillon. Others to be honoured include Paramveer Teja (basketball) Arjuna Awardee Lehma Singh (athletics), Kuldip Manak (culture), Kartar Singh (wrestling) and Barjinder Singh, Editor of a leading Punjabi daily.
As the organisers have
planned high profile cultural shows on all three
evenings, they have roped in top Punjabi folk singers,
prominent among them being Harbhajan Mann, Surjit
Bhidrakhia, Angrez Ali, Nirmal Noor, Parminder Sandhu and
Rathore to lead
CHANDIGARH, Feb 3 Vikram Rathore will lead Punjab in the Super League Ranji Trophy match against Hyderabad to be played from February 5 to 8 at the PCA Cricket Stadium, Mohali. The other members are: Reetinder Sodhi, Yuvraj Singh, Pankaj Dharmani, Dinesh Mongia, Sanjay Kumar, Ravneet Rickey, Harminder Jugnu, Sandeep Sharma, Gagandeep Singh, Navdeep Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Sharandeep Singh, and R.P. Singh.
Stand byes: Ankur Kakkar, Munish Sharma, Sandeep Sawal, Bharat Bhushan.
Mr Bhupinder Singh Sr will be the manager and Mr Manjit Singh, SAI coach, will be the coach of the team.
This was officially announced by Mr M.P. Pandove, hony secretary, PCA, here.
HISAR, Feb 3 (FOSR)
The trials for the selection of Haryana mens
and womens team for the Senior National Judo
Championship to be held at Chandigarh from February 13 to
16, will be held here at Mahabir Stadium on February 6,
according to Dr Sumer Singh Nandal, honorary secretary of
the Haryana State Judo Association here yesterday.
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