|Friday, April 7, 2000,
Paes opens campaign, plays Korean
Padukone takes blame for ban on
campaign, plays Korean No 2
NEW DELHI, April 6 India could not have asked for a better deal. For this they owe it to Indias Finance Minister, Yashwant Sinha, who picked draw of lots this morning which pitted South Korean No 2 Yong-II Yoon against Leander Paes, Indias top player in the first singles of the second round Asia Oceania Davis Cup tie which begins at the R.K. Khanna stadium here tomorrow.
Davis Cup competition charges up Leander no end. It is in this type of competition that he has had notable victories against some of the top players of the world. Leander had demolished Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia here in Delhi when the Croat was ranked seventh on the ATP list. Similarly, Wayne Ferreira of South Africa too had licked the dust against Leander in a Davis Cup tie at Jaipur.
In modern day tennis or for that matter in any game, a draw can make or mar your chances. A draw can help you to have a rousing start which might help you in the end, particularly when the two sides are balanced. One must remember that India is forced to play the tie without the services of its second best player Mahesh Bhupathi, who is still recovering from a shoulder injury. Agreed, Syed Fazaluddin is Indias national grass court champion but he is still not in the same class as Leander or Mahesh. International competition is altogether a different cup of tea and Fazaluddin will soon taste it too. So under the circumstances, India were left with no choice except to field Fazaluddin in the second singles.
Leander is a very formidable player on grass, especially at home. The home advantage also charges him up. Therefore, Leander can get the better of Korean No 2 Yong-II Yoon to give India a flying start in the tie. That the Indian meant business was clear from the fact that after the ceremony when the lots were drawn, the Indians immediately swung into action and had rigorous practice sessions in the sweltering heat of Delhi at the R.K. Khanna Stadium under the watchful eyes of non-playing captain Ramesh Krishnan.
True, Leander is playing in the opening singles does not at all mean Indias worries are over. If everything goes according to plan, India can and should take the 1-0 lead. But then Fazaluddin has to pull up his socks since he will be facing South Koreas top player Hyung-Taik Lee. Fazaluddin must remember that South Korea are not Lebanon, for South Koreans are very tough customers. Ask the Chinese or the Swedes who have to contend with them in international table tennis competitions. They can throw form-book out of the window. So, Fazaluddin has to dig in and has to capitalise on the lead that Leander might have after the opening singles. But if India and South Korea share the opening days honours, it could be anybodys game. Both countries are not prepared to take any chance, so both have fielded the best two players, both in the singles as well as in the doubles. On April 8, Leander and Fazaluddin will be taking on Yong and Lee. This match can tilt the scales, thus much depends on this conflict. However, it is certain that Fazaluddin being the weak link, South Koreans Yong and Lee will be directing to target him.
If things do not go according to a plan, and India trail, say 1-2 after the doubles, Leander can still restore parity for, he plays Hung-Taik in the first reverse singles on the third day. And such eventuality will bring Fazaluddin face to face with Yong-II Yoon in the last singles match where the fate of both India and South Korea will hang in balance. It will be a bleak scenario for India since Fazaluddin can crack under pressure. Thus, the better option for India is not to allow South Korea draw near the victory post.
Though in record books, South Korea lead 4-2 in their engagements so far, yet nothing can be said of the present tie. When Indians had left for their hotel in the afternoon, South Korean were seen sweating it out in the evening. India had beaten Korea at Coimbatore in 1978 and again in 1991 with the present non-playing Ramesh Krishnan playing a major role. However, the present tie between the two countries promises great fury and fire.
When contacted former non-playing captain Jaideep Mukherjee at the R.K. Khanna Stadium felt happy at the draw. Jaideep said Leander being the top grass court player should have no problem and should give India a sound start. He was confident that Indians were better on grass.
Similarly, when The Tribune reporter cornered present non-playing captain Ramesh Krishnan, he also felt satisfied that Leander had been drawn to play Yong in the first singles. However, no one was prepared to forecast the outcome, of the tie. Both camps seem to be treading cautiously.
BANGKOK, April 6 (PTI) Bantamweight star N.G. Dingko Singh, who clinched a berth for the Sydney Olympics by reaching the final of the Asian zone qualifying boxing tournament here, is unlikely to figure in the summit showdown after suffering a left-hand injury.
The 23-year-old Bangkok Asian Games champion, who landed India their fourth berth in the September games by winning his semifinal yesterday, is nursing a swollen wrist due to a hairline crack and the coaches are against risking him against Chotipat Wongprates of Thailand tomorrow.
India still have the chance of claiming a fifth Olympic berth as flyweight H. Srinivas Rao, who lost to Iranian Rahim Mohammad on points in the semifinal yesterday, will meet an Indonesian rival in a box-off but he is also nursing an injury.
Srinivas Rao will make the grade if he wins and will join Dingko Singh besides lightfly Suresh Singh, middleweight Jitender Kumar and lightheavy Gurcharan Singh who made it to Sydney after making it from the second qualifier at Taejeon City, South Korea in January.
But the Indian camp is beset with injury worries in the final build up to the Olympics as Rao is also nursing a cut on his eyebrow suffered here while Jitender Kumars training has been hit as he has also suffered a crack on the back of his palm.
Raos left eyebrow region is swollen and his participation in the box-off is subject to medical clearance.
Lightwelter K. Sanjit Singh, whose qualification hopes were dashed when he lost his semifinal bout yesterday, was also undermined by a hand injury suffered in the first round.
He gave a lion-hearted display against Naurian of Iran despite being forced to punch only with his left hand before losing 4-7.
Sanjit, who showed a big heart to progress till the last four stage, fought bravely after being administered a pain- killer injection before his semifinal bout and refused to retire as advised by his corner despite the pain shooting up after the first round.
Despite the injury, he scored points with left jabs and hooks and the fact that the final scoreline read 4-7, Sanjeet showed he could have won if not for the injury handicap.
The overall performance of the Indian team has been good in this prestigious championship and the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) has reasons to feel happy as four out of five boxers reached the medal round here.
Sanjit Singh, Srinivas Rao and lightweight Narendra Rana reached the last four with only featherweight hopeful Ramanand making a first round exit.
But the series of injuries which can undermine Indian preparations for the Olympics has come as a major worry for IABF.
Raos injury is understandable as cuts, bruises and sprain on the wrist are common in boxing, but what should worry the officials is the bone injuries.
Except Gurcharan Singh and Suresh Singh, Jitender and Dingko have received hairline cracks on the back of their palms and the Sports Ministry as well as the federation will have to organise prompt medical treatment if the Indian pugilists are to be in fine trim for Sydney.
The qualifiers will lose valuable training time if they are not medically fit and action will have to be expedited to treat the injuries.
lacked exposure: Bhangu
PATIALA, April 6 The absence of four top players was one of the main reasons for the Indian team coming last in the Milton Keynes Olympic qualifying tournament, according to G.S. Bhangu, chief coach of the Indian squad during an exclusive interview here yesterday. Bhangu arrived from Milton Keynes yesterday afternoon. The national squad prior to its departure for the all important tournament, had a two months training stint at the NIS astro turf here.
The Indians are now out of contention for a berth for the Sydney Olympics, as only five teams could make it to the Olympics through the Milton Keynes tournament.
I accept that it was a dismal show put up by my team for which I take full responsibility. There are no excuses, said a visibly dejected coach.
However, the chief coach underlined the fact that his team was short on both experience and exposure.
Regarding the lack of exposure, he said China, in the run-up to the Milton Keynes tourney, played nine matches against South Korea and four against the Netherlands, both of whom are among the best teams in the world. This is one big reason as to why the Chinese qualified for the Olympics by virtue of being the fifth team. Out of the 10 teams New Zealand, England, Germany, Spain and China made it to Sydney.
Regarding the lack of exposure he said: After the Asia Cup in December we have had no international exposure. This, he said, was in stark contrast to the preparation of other teams, as each and every team had played numerous tournaments against strong oufits to gain exposure.
Apart from lack of exposure, the coach said the team was also inexperienced as four key players, Pritam Siwach, Manjinder Kaur, Sandeep Kaur and Sita Gossain had failed to join the camp assigning no reasons. He wondered how could a team be considered experienced enough to take on top outfits of the world when they had seven under-21 players in their ranks. The coach said the teams oldest member Manorma Goswami was 26 years old but she had not played even a single international match and made her debut against strong Spain in the inaugural match of the tournament, which the Indians lost 1-3. On the other hand the Spainiards had two 26 year olds in the squad Sonia Berrie and Maider Tellaire while Sonia Berrie had 136 caps to her credit, Maider Tellaire had played 101 international matches. For the Indians, only goalkeeper Tingoliema Chanu had played 73 matches.
He declined to comment
on the reasons as to why, after playing in the Asia Cup,
all the four top players decided to stay away from the
camp which commenced at the NIS from January 26. The
coach said the absence of the four players demoralised
the other players. This, he said, should serve as a
lesson for others federations about how to deal with
players and ensure their availability at the right time.
ST. JOHNS, April 6 (AFP) Pakistan got their two-month tour of the Caribbean off to a winning start when they completed a five-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the third match of the triangular trophy limited-overs cricket series.
A third-wicket stand of 68 off 87 balls between Shahid Afridi and Inzamam-ul-Haq paved the way for Pakistans win in their opening match yesterday, after Zimbabwe were restricted to 199 for nine in 50 overs.
Choosing to bat under overcast skies, Zimbabwes batsmen threw their wickets away against Pakistans tight and varied attack helped by the prevailing conditions.
The mad batting disease seemed like it would spread to Pakistans batsmen, but they gradually got their side to the magic number of 200 for loss of five wickets in 47.1 overs.
Afridis run-a-ball 69 which included five fours and three sixes gave the innings early momentum, though Pakistan had slipped to 41 for two in the seventh over.
Teenaged opening batsman Imran Nazir was caught at slip in the second over off Neil Johnson, and Younis Khan was adjudged lbw to Heath Streak before Shahid and Inzamam repaired the damage over next 15 overs. Introduction of Dirk Viljoen after 18 overs brought their wickets for Zimbabwe.
Both Afridi and Haq were caught at long-off playing identical lofted straight hits against the left-arm spin bowler.
When Yousuf Youhana slowly responded to captain Moin Khans call for a single off left-arm spin bowler Grant Flower and was run out by Johnsons throw, Pakistan needed 48 in 14 overs with five wickets standing.
Moin Khan and all-rounder Abdur Razzaq ensured the result in an untroubled, unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 47 off 67 balls to kill any hopes of Zimbabwe reaching the three-match finals in Bridgetown (April 19) and Port-of-Spain (April 22 and 23).
Zimbabwe were given a reasonable foundation by Johnson and Grant Flower. The opening batsmen shared 59 off 14.3 overs, but they started the mad batting disease which afflicted the African side throughout.
For the second straight match, flower was deceived by a slower ball, this time it was Razzaq in the 15th over, and gave a gentle catch to mid-wicket. His 36 off 52 balls, including one four and one six, was top score in the innings.
Six balls later, Johnson swung off-spin bowler Arshad Khan to mid-wicket where he was caught by Nazir for 20 to leave Zimbabwe 61 for two in the 16th over.
Stuart Carlisle and Murray Goodwin breathed some life into the innings, but leg-spin bowlers Mushtaq Ahmed and Afridi soon snuffed them out in the space of seven balls to leave the score 108 for four.
When Viljoen was run out by Younis Khans throw to keeper Moin in the 32nd over, Zimbabwe were 118 for five.
The rest of the batting tried very hard to get them back into the match. Pakistans bowlers however, were unwavering in line, length and commitment, and the Zimbabwean batting struggled through to the end.
Johnson c Nazir b Arshad 20
G Flower c Younis Khan b Razzaq 36
Carlisle c Youhana b Mushtaq 30
Goodwin c Nazir b Afridi 17
A Flower c Nazir b Afridi 16
Viljoen run out (Younis Khan) 5
G Whittall b Akram 31
Streak c Moin Khan b Akram 15
Nkala c Youhana b Younis 1
Murphy not out 1
Brent not out 4
Extras (b-9, lb-2, w-9, nb-3) 23
Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 199
Fall of wickets: 1-59, 2-61, 3-100, 4-108, 5-118, 6-151, 7-188, 8-191, 9-195.
Bowling: Younis 7-0-26-1, M. Akram 8-0-31-2, Razzaq 9-0-40-1, Arshad Khan 10-3-26-1, Mushtaq Ahmed 10-1-30-1, Afridi 6-0-35-2.
Imran Nazir c Carlisle b Johnson 6
Afridi c Johnson b Viljoen 69
Y Khan lbw b Streak 6
Haq c Nkala b Viljoen 32
Youhana run out (Johnson) 21
M Khan not out 25
Razzaq not out 28
Extras (lb1, w10, nb2) 13
Total (for 5 wkts, 47.1 overs) 200
Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-41, 3-109, 4-136, 5-153.
SYDNEY, April 6 (AFP) Veteran Jay Stacy converted two penalty corners as Australia beat India 3-2 in an action-packed match on the opening day of the four nations mens hockey tournament here tonight.
Dilip Tirkey responded for India but it was youngster Ben Taylors goal after just 90 seconds into the match that proved the difference in a free-flowing encounter at the Olympic venue.
Taylor (24) slammed in a rebound at close to shoulder height with a hit that could just as easily have been ruled dangerous play. It was his third goal in 18 matches for Australia.
In the opening match, Germany crushed South Africa 5-1 with some clinical finishing.
India came back in the game when experienced Australian halfback Daniel Sproule swung at a ball above his head in his own circle and gave away a penalty corner.
Tirkeys shot squeezed between goalkeeper Lachlan Drehers legs to level the scores in the 40th minute.
Stacy, playing his 297th international, banged in two in the space of five minutes to take his career tally to 154 before Tirkey grabbed his second with four minutes left.
That made for some tense play, with fullback Murray Richards and Gagan Ajit Singh sent out with yellow cards.
Germany rarely needed to get out of second gear as Christoph Bechmann and Bjorn Michel both scored twice against the outclassed South Africans.
Michels penalty corner flicks in each half left veteran goalkeeper Brian Myburgh with no chance and Bechmanns deflection on the hour was his 100th international goal.
The South Africans need good results here this week and in Perth next week to try to convince their national Olympic committee to reinstate the team for the Sydney games.
South Africa qualified
as African champions but were withdrawn because the
countrys national Olympic committee felt the team
wouldnt finish higher than eighth, and also over
the quota of black players required by the government.
BANGALORE, April 6 (PTI) Indian badminton ace Prakash Padukone yesterday said he would take a major share of the blame for the three-month ban imposed by the International Badminton Federation (IBF) on the countrys top woman player Aparna Popat for taking a banned substance, though inadvertently.
I would personally take a major share of the blame on behalf of BAI for not educating our players sufficiently regarding the list of banned substances, Padukone, who is the executive president of Badminton Association of India (BAI), said in a statement here.
There are more than 200 such banned items on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) list and it is very difficult for the players in India to know which medicine can be taken and which medicines are banned, he said.
Moreover, most of these medicines were available across the counter in India and did not need prescription, he said.
Expressing his disappointment with the ban, he said, Popat, in fact, had taken the medication inadvertently not knowing that the medicine contained a banned substance.
BAI, Padukone said, expected the IBF to let her off with a warning keeping in mind that she had taken the medication inadvertently and out of ignorance.
He said the other factors for such a line of thinking were that this was first-time offence for Popat and she had declared in writing that she was taking the medicine. Besides, BAI had not taken enough steps to circulate the list of banned substances to players.
BAI is satisfied that the presence of the substance was due to Popat taking the medication prior to the commencement of the tournament to treat a medical condition, he said.
Aparna Popat has been banned by the IBF from participating in international tournaments for three months for taking a banned substance, albeit inadvertently, according to an IBF statement.
At a hearing in Birmingham, an IBF disciplinary committee found 22-year-old Popat guilty of contravening the IBF anti-doping statutes, the statement dated April 3, obtained here by PTI, said.
The statement said Popat, who was a member of Indias Uber Cup team, had been randomly selected for a routine dope test during the Thomas and Uber Cup Asian Zone qualifiers in New Delhi in February.
An analysis of the a sample at an IOC laboratory in Penang found the presence of the stimulant phenylpropanolamine at a concentration level above the stipulated IOC limit, the disciplinary committee, which met on March 11, said.
Popat, the statement said, handed over at the hearing a packet of dcold total, a medicine used for the treatment of colds and flu, which she had taken inadvertently at the time of sampling.
The statement did not make it clear if the sample was taken from urine or otherwise.
According to the statement, a three-month ban will be effective from March 13 to June 12, 2000.
Popat will forfeit the world ranking points she acquired during her Uber Cup matches in New Delhi. Points earned in subsequent competitions remain unaffected, it said.
Reacting to the ban, Popat said she was determined not to allow the ban to affect her performance, form or fitness.
She said she was continuing her training for forthcoming tournaments with greater dedication and sense of purpose.
Popat said a few days prior to the commencement of Uber Cup preliminaries in New Delhi, she had taken dcold total as she was suffering from severe cold. These facts had been declared to all concerned, including the medical panel, prior to her participation in the tournament, she said in a statement.
I do not take this or any other medication on a regular basis, she said.
This medicine, as I realised later, has an ingredient, phenylpropanolamine commonly used to treat upper respiratory infections and a sore throat, and its presence, if it is over the stipulated limits, may invite sanctions.
According to the statement, Popat has explained to the IBF that the presence of this substance in the sample could only be due to that medication.
Popat said she had pointed out to the IBF that her use of the medicine was inadvertent and without knowledge that it contained any substance, the use of which has been disapproved of by the IBF.
According to the IBF statement, the disciplinary committee had stated that although Popat was guilty of a doping offence, it had decided she had inadvertently taken the banned substance.
IBF reaffirms its tough stance on doping in the sport, even in cases where banned substances are taken inadvertently. This is only the fourth time in the last 10 years that the IBF has had a positive case (Popats) to deal with, it said.
CHANDIGARH, April 6 Indians second-ranked lady golfer, 19-year-old Parnita Garewal of Chandigarh, has been dropped from the national team. Third-ranked Vandana Aggarwal of Calcutta. also does not find a place in the team.
The two, who got the rankings on their performance in the national circuit, have been axed to make way for fifth and sixth ranked Delhi players, Anjali Chopra and Shalini Malik.
How did this happen. Never in the history of Indian ladies golf have fifth and sixth ranked players comprised a team. The rankings are given to the golfers on the basis of their performance in different tournaments of the national circuit.
The selection process carried out this year smacks of favouritism, says a senior golfer. In the previous years the top-three-ranked players automatically got selected on the basis of their national circuit performance. Had that procedure been followed the team would have been Irina Brar, Parnita Garewal (both from Chandigarh) and Vandana Aggarwal (Calcutta). The players ranked fourth, fifth and sixth belonged to Delhi.
In a sudden development the organisers decided to have trials to select the national ladies golf team. Exempting the rop-ranked Irina Brar (350 points with a stroke average of 19.00), the organisers gave barely a days notice to Parnita and Vandana to appear for four rounds of trials at the Delhi Golf Club, the home course for the Delhi golfers.
The trials for obvious reasons were at such short notice that only the three girls from Delhi participated. Even if trials were to be held a neutral course would have been the ideal choice, said one of the veteran golfers.
Thus the national team was selected.
The rankings and points of the girls selected are as follows: Irina Brar (ranked first, 350 points and stroke average 19.00), Anjali Chopra (ranked fifth, 280 points and stroke average of 27.25), Shalini Malik (ranked sixth, 230 points and stroke average of 37.25).
Parnita Garewal, who
clinched the Chandigarh Ladies Open Amateur Golf title
barely a week back and has emerged winner in the East
India and West India events, has 340 points and a stroke
average of 19.75. Third-ranked Vandana Aggarwal has 320
points and a stroke average of 24.75 and Shruti Khanna of
Delhi is ranked fourth and has 290 points and a stroke
average of 26.00.
hold U-14 meet from April 27
CHANDIGARH, April 6 The Chandigarh Cricket Association (CCA) affiliated to the Punjab Cricket Association is holding an inter-district cricket tournament (under-14) in Chandigarh from April 27 to May 1, according to the secretary of the association. The matches will be of 40 overs each. Seven teams from Punjab and Chandigarh have confirmed their participation. Teams from Haryana, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh have also been invited.
The association plans to spot talent and then motivate talented youngsters to remain fit, encouraging them to join other sport such as swimming etc in their home town. The association also plan to hold a tournament in the under-16 category in the second half of the year in consultation with Punjab Cricket Association.
The CCA will organise
regular coaching clinics and camps for young boys for
atleast 100 days in a year which will be of 30 days at a
stretch. The clinic will be held at DAV Senior Secondary
School, Sector 8. The first coaching camp involving 25
boys will start on May 10 for which the trials and the
camp will he announced on April 15. Prominent cricketers
will also be invited for such clinics and trainees will
be taught with modern aids tools such as video filming.
ISTANBUL, April 6 (Reuters) Two British soccer fans were killed in street clashes with Turkish supporters in Istanbul overnight, officials said today.
The death of the second fan was announced by the British foreign office in London. Both were said to have died from stab wounds.
The clashes erupted when British fans travelled to Istanbul for a first leg UEFA Cup semifinal match today between Leeds United and Turkish side Galatasaray.
Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale said details of how the confrontation began were sketchy.
There was some suggestion Leeds fans were getting boisterous but there was also a very clear indication that Turkish supporters came to confront them already equipped with knives, he said.
CHALAKUDY (Kerala), April 6 (PTI) Rain played spoilsport yet another day in the Santosh Trophy senior national football championship, forcing organisers to abandon the cluster-viii match between Maharashtra and Haryana here today.
Maharashtra were leading 3-1 when the play was stopped five minutes into the second session.
The match started under bright sunshine but the sky became overcast as the game progressed and began to drizzle midway through the first session.
Heavy rain accompanied by lightening and thunder made the ground unfit for play forcing the organisers to abandon the match.
PERTH, April 6 (AFP) Steve Waughs record-breaking Australian cricket side will crush the West Indies in the five-Test series Down Under next summer, former Australian captain Kim Hughes forecast here today.
Australia will win 5-nil Ill put my house on it, said Hughes. Our third team would beat them. The top eleven will murder them.
Hughes said the West Indies were short of batting talent and their bowlers were past their best.
Waughs side have won 10 Tests in a row a record for Australia and need only one more victory to equal the West Indies world record of 11 consecutive Test wins between 1983 and 1985
CHANDIGARH, April 6 The Sports Authority of India, northern region, Chandigarh will hold selection trials on April 24 and 25 at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8. This was necessitated due to the poor response of the trials held on Tuesday at DAV School for boys and also at the girls trials held in February.
According to Dr P.C.
Kashyap, Regional Director, SAI, for boys ideal height
for various age groups will be above 165 cm for U-14,
above 175 cms (U-16) and above 182 cm (above-16).
Similarly for girls, above 160 cm for U-14, above 165 cms
(U-16) and above 170 cms (above 16 yrs).
Rural football meet
CHANDIGARH, April 6 (BOSR) The Sports Welfare Club, Chanalon (Ropar) will hold the 10th rural football tournament from April 7 to 9 at Chanalon.
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