|Saturday, April 15, 2000,
Sachin puts Mumbai on victory path
Moya impresses at Estoril Open
MUMBAI, April 14 (UNI) Mumbai showed the stuff that champions are made of, ending the fourth and penultimate day at 104 for one in their second innings needing a further 63 runs on the last day to enter the final of the Ranji Trophy, in their semifinal match against Tamil Nadu at the Wankhede Stadium here today.
In a day of twists and turns, Mumbai, who started the day, still not sure of gaining the first innings lead which looked at that stage would decide the fate of match, ended the day just 63 runs short of scoring an outright victory with nine wickets in hand and still one full day to play.
It was the little master Sachin Tendulkar, whom Mumbai have to thank for the position they are in. Sachin single handedly took Mumbai past Tamil Nadus first innings score with a career-best first class knock of 233 not out.
Mumbai started the day still needing 16 runs to take the first innings lead and just two wickets left to fall. However, the advantage Mumbai had was that the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar was still at the crease.
In the very second over, Abey Kuruvilla was run out as Sachin played the ball to long-on and tried for two runs to keep the strike. However, Madanagopal from long-on hit the stumps directly to find Kuruvilla struggling to make his ground. Mumbai were at that stage 472 for nine with still 14 runs needed to take the lead.
Tamil Nadu (Ist innings): 485.
Mumbai (Ist innings) (overnight 470 for 8):, Dighe c Paul b Mahesh 55, Jaffer c Ramesh b Kapoor 12, Paranjpe c Kapoor b Kumaran 15, Tendulkar not out 233, Pawar c Madanagopal b Kapoor 1, Kambli c and b Mahesh 75, Muzumdar c Robin Singh b Sriram 47, Powar c Sriram b Mahesh 13, Agarkar c Madanagopal b Kapoor 13, Kuruvilla run out 0, Saxena c Badani b Kumaran 0.
Extras: (b 9, lb 7, nb 10) 26.
Total (all out in 152 overs, 733 mins) 490.
Fall of wickets: 1-41, 2-77, 3-120, 4-127, 5-266, 6-391, 7-412, 8-449, 9-472.
Bowling: Kumaran 26-7-88-2, Mahesh 27-3-105-3, Gokulakrishnan 21-7-72-0, Kapoor 29-6-93-3, Robin Singh 27-9-48-0, Sriram 22-2-68-1.
Tamil Nadu (IInd innings): Sriram c Paranjpe b Agarkar 10, Ramesh c and b Saxena 13, Badani run out 63, Madanagopal b Agarkar 6, Sharath lbw Kuruvilla 1, Robin Singh c and b Kuruvilla 4, Paul c Kambli b Powar 46, Mahesh c Dighe b Saxena 0, Gokulakrishnan c Kambli b Pawar 5, Kapoor not out 19, Kumaran lbw Powar 2.
Extras: (lb 2) 2.
Total (all out in 54.1 overs, 258 mins) 171.
Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-28, 3-36, 4-39, 5-43, 6-125, 7-125, 8-138, 9-158
Bowling: Agarkar 16-1-37-2, Saxena 8-1-35-2, Kuruvilla 7-2-16-2, Powar 9.1-2-19-2, Pawar 14-0-62-1.
Mumbai (IInd innings): Dighe batting 51, Jaffer c Ramesh b Kapoor 15, Pranjpe batting 27.
Extras: (b 5, lb 2, nb 4) 11.
Total (for one wkt, in 27 overs) 104.
Fall of wicket: 1-39.
BANGALORE, April 14 (PTI) Defending champions Karnatakas hopes of making it to the Ranji Trophy final almost evaporated today as the hosts finished at 523 for nine in their first innings in reply to Hyderabads mammoth total of 711 for eight declared on the penultimate day of the semifinal here.
Karnataka added 254 runs to their overnight 269 for two at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium and their chance to have a shot at the title for the third time running with only one wicket in hand appears to be bleak.
Karnatakas middle-order did not quite get their act together and in the absence of big partnerships, Hyderabad consolidated their position.
The visitors skipper Azharuddin rotated his bowlers well. Bowling in tandem, Kanwaljit Singh and Venkatapathy Raju made the hosts task of crossing Hyderabads total difficult.
Roland Barrington, who made 65 (179m, 157b, 8x4), was first to go in the morning, getting a thick edge to a Riaz Ahmed delivery, with Azharuddin taking a good catch at second slip.
The third wicket partnership between Barrington and Vijay Bharadwaj yielded 112 runs.
Bharadwaj missed his century by 10 runs, after compiling a remarkable innings. He misjudged a Raju delivery and offered a catch to the bowler in his follow through.
Sunil Joshi exhibited superb strokeplay and entertained the spectators with four sixes and six fours in a quickfire 72 runs off 93 balls. Playing his 46th match, Joshi completed 2,000 runs in Ranji Trophy. He batted with the assistance of a runner, Beerala, as he had hurt his leg.
Later, three wickets fell for 34 runs, which completely demoralised the hosts. Soon after the departure of Barrington, wicket-keeper Tilak Naidu and a Vijay failed to live up to expectations, and fell cheaply.
Both Naidu (3) and A Vijay (4) were caught behind, with left arm seamer Faiz Ahmed and Raju picking the wickets.
Dodda Ganeshs grit was put to test and he emerged with aplomb. He middled the ball brilliantly and remained unbeaten on 51. With Joshi, he added 70 runs for the eighth wicket.
Avoiding the follow-on was the only consolation for the hosts, who surpassed the mark of 511 when Ganesh glanced a ball to the fence.
Hyderabad: (Ist innings): 711 for eight decl.
Karnataka: (Ist innings): (269/2 overnight).
A Kumar c Nand Kishore b Kanwaljit 71. M Beerala c Azharuddin b Kanwaljit 74. R Barrington c Azharuddin b Faiz Ahmed 65. V Bharadwaj c & b Raju 90. T Naidu c Raiz Sheikh b Faiz Ahmed 3. A Vijay c Raiz Sheikh b Raju 4. B Akhil c Nand Kishore b Raju 32. S Joshi lbw b Faiz Ahmed 72. D Ganesh batting 51. V Prasad c Azharuddin b Kanwaljit 7. M A Khan batting 0.
Extras (b-5, lb-12, nb-34, w-3) 54.
Total (for 9 wkts in 153.1 overs) 523.
Fall of wickets: 1-163, 2-190, 3-302, 4-311, 5-336, 6-370, 7-421, 8-491, 9-508.
MILAN, April 14 (AFP) Ronaldos knee operation in Paris was a complete success and the Brazilian striker will be able to play football again next year, his club Inter Milan said.
A statement issued yesterday said: Ronaldo was operated on at the Pitie Salpetriere hospital by Prof Gerard Saillant for a traumatic break of the right rotula tendon.
The operation, which was a perfect success, lasted two hours and consisted in the repair of the tear. A programme of seven to eight months is expected for rehabilitation and the return to sporting activity.
The return to competition is therefore not scheduled before the end of the current year, the club said.
Ronaldo, who was injured for the second time on the same knee in Wednesday nights Italian Cup final first leg with Lazio in Rome, should therefore be back in action for the Serie A club midway through next season.
Saillant was operating for a second time on the knee since November 30 after the Brazilian had suffered an initial injury during a league match against Lecce here at San Siro.
Wednesdays final was Ronaldos comeback match after a four and a half month absence, but it lasted barely seven minutes when his knee gave way as he tried a body feint. Saillant had given him the all-clear to play last week.
The upbeat tone of the Inter statement contrasted with Italian press speculation earlier yesterday that Ronaldos career could already be over.
Rio De Janeiro: The TV images repeat endlessly like a recurring nightmare: Ronaldo feints, crumples and writhes on the field, his kneecap an obscene lump on his thigh, a brilliant career suddenly in doubt.
As the Inter Milan striker underwent surgery in Paris yesterday for a ruptured tendon, a shocked nation grieved and prayed for the most talented striker in a generation.
Its one of those things that make us doubt even whether God exists, soccer legend Pele said in a radio interview.
The picture of Ronaldo contorted in pain was stamped on the front page of every major Brazilian newspaper yesterday. The headlines expressed the countrys fear.
A career at risk, Ronaldo battles retirement, May it not be the last applause, and Fright Night part 2, read a sampling of headlines in Rio and Sao Paulo dailies.
Just two years ago, the future seemed unlimited for Ronaldo Nazario de Lima. From an unlikely start on the third-division Rio club Sao Cristovao, it was a rocked ride to glory on Cruzeiro, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona and Inter.It only began to look serious after Brazil lost the 1998 World Cup to hosts France. Ronaldo, who had convulsions hours before the final and played poorly, revealed that his knees had been hurting for some time and he never had treated them properly.
PERTH, April 14 (UNI) Indian hockey coach Baskaran isnt too worried that India is in the tougher of the two pools of the Olympic hockey draw announced by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
India is placed in pool B together with Australia, Poland, South Africa, South Korea and Spain.
The other group, considered to be an easier group, comprises Canada, Germany, Britain, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Pakistan.
At the Olympic Games, every match is important and there is no such thing like an easy match, Baskaran said reacting to the Olympic draw, after his team had beaten South Africa 3-0 in the four nation tournament here yesterday.
All 12 teams in the competition have come through some sort of tough tournament to qualify for the Olympics, so every opponent is tough.
The FIH has said the pools were determined taking into account the results of the qualifying tournaments for the Olympic Games, the 1998 World Cup, the 1998 and 1999 champions trophies, and the most recent Continental Cup.
However, Baskaran said it was still very unclear as to what method the FIH used to decide on the pools.
They should make it absolutely clear what the method is rather than merely name tournaments, he said. It should be an open thing. Now it seems to be very much like Wimbledon, where the previous years champion might be drawn such that he is out in the very first round, he said.
South Africas participation in the Olympic tournament is still undecided with the countrys national Olympic committee stating that it did not intend to include a mens hockey team in their Olympic contingent.
However, negotiations are still underway regarding the possible reversal of this decision.
But with the national Olympic Committee adamant to stand by its decision not to send the hockey team, the South African Hockey Federation has asked the International Olympic Committee to intervene and plead its case for Olympic participation.
South African coach Giles Bonnet said after his team was defeated by India, that the IOC and the SA Hockey Federation would have discussions on April 18 and 19 to decide what steps should be taken. The FIH said it was waiting until all negotiations were completed before officially announcing a replacement team, if necessary. This would be Argentina, which is the first reserve for the Olympic competition.
to look into match-fixing charge
NEW DELHI, April 14 Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa has taken a serious view of the betting and match-fixing allegations levelled against certain Indian and foreign cricketers.
The minister said allegations had been made (on match-fixing) and it must be probed thoroughly. Mr Dhindsa has convened a meeting of three immediate past presidents and secretaries of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), along with the incumbents, A C Muthiah and J Y Lele, three former captains and the present one, and a few others connected with the game, including Bishan Singh Bedi and Sunil Gavaskar, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, on April 27 at 11 a m.
He said his ministry was still finalising the list of names to be called for the meeting, and he was not aware at this stage whether Manoj Prabhakars name has also been included among the invitees.
The minister disclosed that when BCCI secretary Jayawant Lele called on him a couple of days back, he had asked the Board official to submit a detailed report about the match-fixing controversy. Mr Lele has promised to give the report in a weeks time, the Minister explained.
Mr Dhindsa said the government was very concerned with the match-fixing and betting scandal, and the purpose of calling the meeting was to get at the root of the problem.
serious matter that our cricket team has not been doing
well, and we should find out why the team is not doing
well, and whether it was due to betting and
match-fixing.We would discuss the matter thoroughly with
the experts before initiating action, added the
DURBAN, April 14 (PTI) The South African cricket team has rallied behind sacked skipper Hansie Cronje with his successor Shaun Pollock declaring that the entire team was with him.
Pollock, who took over after Cronje was fired following his admission to being dishonest about the betting and match-fixing allegations, dedicated the victory against Australia in the first one-day tie here on Wednesday to his disgraced predecessor.
We are totally behind Hansie because we believe anyone can make a mistake. After all Hansie is a human being. We cannot reject him because he has made a mistake, Pollock said after the impressive six-wicket victory in the first of the three games.
Cronje, who has admitted to receiving money from a bookie but denied involvement in match-fixing, apologised to his family, fans and country for letting them down.
The South African cabinet has expressed full support for the institution of a commission of inquiry probe allegations of match-fixing against Cronje and other players.
The commission which should be headed by a judge will have to look at all aspects of what is happening, Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad told a Press conference yesterday.
Pahad said the South African government would extend full cooperation to their Indian counterparts in the investigations into the betting and match-fixing scandal during South Africas one-day series in India last month.
South African President Thabo Mbeki has directed the ministries concerned to ensure no stone is left unturned to get to the bottom of it, the minister said.
A Foreign Affairs department spokesman said the final decision on any request by the Indian Government on Cronjes extradition in the Delhi police case would be taken by Mr Mbeki in accordance with the Extradition Act of 1995.
He said since there was no extradition treaty between the two countries, Mbeki would ask the Justice Ministry to set up a magisterial inquiry to determine whether the offence is extraditable.
Once the court pronounces its decision, the Justice Ministry shall implement it. If the magisterial inquiry finds the offence extraditable, then a warrant of arrest will be issued. The whole process has appeal mechanisms, he added.
probing Cronje issue to visit Calcutta
CALCUTTA, April 14 The probe by the Delhi Police into match-fixing allegations against South African cricketers is likely to bring investigators to Calcutta, which is emerging as one of the leading dens of bookies with connections with accused punters Sanjeev Chawla and Rajesh Kalra.
Howrah, adjoining Calcutta, has been known to be a leading bookmaking centre where the police has conducted frequent raids and arrested bookies red-handed. According to sources here, investigations have revealed that some of the Calcutta-based bookies are Chawlas and Kalras contacts.
The Delhi Police has asked for reports from the Howrah district police on betting activities in the town to get a better understanding of the two accused punters network and find out if other cricketers have been approached by them.
Kalra has been arrested in connection with betting and match-fixing while the prime accused, London-based Chawla who is said to have given now sacked South African captain Hansie Cronje money for throwing away matches in a recently-concluded one-day series against India, has gone into hiding.
Cronje, who has admitted to taking money for providing information to punters but has denied throwing away matches, has been dropped from his team and is the subject of a South African probe.
The police believes the plot could thicken as investigations into bookies of Calcutta and Howrah are carried out. So far, raids on several apartments in Howrah used as betting dens apparently revealed that one bookie and his network were in constant touch with Chawla during the Australian tour of India in 1998 and even during the recent South African tour.
Six other bookies who were in close touch with Chawla in March have also been identified, according to the sources. Calls made from their cellular phones have been traced to Delhi and Mumbai and their contact diaries have revealed their connection with the absconding bookmaker, the sources said. Newspaper reports have also alleged that calls made from the mobile phones of these betters have been traced to some Indian cricketers and politicians.
The seriousness of these allegations is likely to bring Delhi Police officers to this city and sources here do not dismiss the possibility of surprise names this time of the local variety being thrown up in the cricket betting scandal.
The Delhi Police is also in search of evidence to prepare a watertight case against Cronje and four of his teammates. Bookies of Calcutta and Howrah could be of help in that, the sources said.
The Howrah Police had in the past not paid much attention to the names in the diaries of the six identified bookies, but after the Cronje episode the diaries are being studied afresh.
According to Howrah Police Superintendent Surajit Kar Purakayastha, Chawlas name figured prominently in the contact lists of these punters, of whom Om Prakash Dhanuka was the linchpin. Documents and phone numbers seized from the house of Dhanuka in Howrah have been sent to the Delhi Police.
Local reports quoted the Delhi Police as saying that the Eden Gardens here was a meeting point for four very powerful Delhi-based bookies during the second cricket Test between India and Australia in March, 1998. Arrested bookie Kalra is said to have revealed that the four, including Hans Raj, had met to fix a match.
Purakayastha said the
Calcutta and Howrah bookies also had connections with
Hans Raj, compared to whom Chawla was a small
player. Hans Rajs contact in Howrah, Amar
Chand, is also being watched. India Abroad News
LONDON, April, 14 (ANI) Disgraced former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje, who was recently sacked on charges of match-fixing, faced yet another problem when his former girl friend today called him a love cheat and accused him of ditching her after making love.
Ms Debbie Coleman (33) of Derbyshire in central England, who claimed to have had a 18-month long love affair with Cronje, told a British newspaper that she met Cronje in 1993 at the South African gym where she worked as a keep-fit instructor.
Ms Coleman said that once when they lay in bed after making love Hansie ended the affair by saying its over.
She said, she suspected him of flirting when she found 10 cards sent by the same girl in his suitcase. But, he said, his team-mates had purposely kept them in his case to play a joke, she told the tabloid.
OEIRAS (Portugal), April 14 (AP) Former world No 1 Carlos Moya, battling back to form after a lingering back injury, gave a dazzling performance to beat No 2 seed Magnus Norman 6-1, 6-3 last evening and advance to the quarterfinals of the Estoril Open Tennis Tournament.
Moya broke the Swedes serve in the first game of each set as he powered to victory in cool, blustery conditions.
Moya, unseeded at Estoril and ranked 46th in the world, has gone out in early rounds in recent tournaments. He pulled out of Australian Open in January with a recurrence of back injury which forced him to retire from last years US Open.
Britains Tim Henman also booked his place in the last eight with a 6-4 6-4 win over Argentinian Gaston Gaudio. The fourth seed, will meet Ukranian Andrei Medvedev, who advanced with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Austrias Markus Hipfl. Earlier Medvedev ousted defending champion Albert Costa of Spain.
Czech Bohdan Ulihrach upset seventh-seed Felix Mantilla of Spain 6-4, 6-3. Unseeded Spaniard Francisco Clavet, who ousted top seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov, also made it to the final eight beating Argentinian Juan Iqnacio Chela 6-4 7-5.
Clavet will play against No 8 seed Frenchman Nicolas Escude who bested Costa Rican Juan Antonio Marin 6-1, 6-2.
In the womens event, top seed Anke Huber of Germany beat Spaniard Maria Antonio Sanchez Lorenzo 6-2, 6-3 but No 3 seed Anne-Gaelle Sidot of France exit the tournament after a 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 loss to Italys Tathiana Garbin. No 8 seed Angeles Montolio of Spain won 6-1, 6-4 against Seda Noorlander of the Netherlands.
track cycling in Delhi
NEW DELHI, April 14The Cycling Federation of India (CFI), having sorted out its factional fight, will now focus on putting the game back on a pedestal, and with a bang at that, when three national championships will be organised simultaneously at the Yamuna Velodrome in Delhi from April 17 to 21.
Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, and president of the CFI, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, announced that more than 350 cyclists from all over the country representing 23 affiliated units of the federation will be participating in the 53rd Senior National Track Cycling Championships (men and women), the 30th Junior National Track Cycling Championships and the 16th Sub-Junior National Track Cycling Championships to be conducted by the Delhi Cycling Federation.
Mr Dhindsa said prominent riders like Ch.Rameshwori Devi of Manipur, gold medallist of SAARC Championships, Premalata V Sureban of Karnataka, silver medallist of SAARC, and Rajinder Kumar Soni of the Railways, bronze medallist of SAARC, will be seen in action in the championships.
Mr Dhindsa said in all 32 events (12 for seniors, 10 for juniors and 10 for sub-juniors) will be held. The participants and officials will be provided free board and lodging.
THRISSUR, April 14 (PTI) Hosts Kerala and Maharashtra entered the semifinals from their respective groups with six points apiece from as many matches in the Santosh Trophy National Football Championship here tonight.
Kerala survived a late surge by Karnataka before beating them 2-1 in a lively group X quaterfinal league.
Earlier in a group Y match, fancied Maharashtra defeated Punjab 2-0. Punjab who completed their engagements with just two points are virtually out of the tourney.
Striker Noushad drew first blood for Kerala in the fifth minute after he was fed a brilliant pass by I.M. Vijayan. The hosts increased their lead in the 41st minute through a penalty conversion by I.M. Vijayan.
Karnataka reduced the margin through R.C.Prakash in the 67th minute. Karnataka, who had drawn with Bengal earlier, has one match against services.
The match was evenly contested though Kerala enjoyed an upperhand in midfield exchanges. Kerala defence, which did not impress in their opener against Services, was strengthened today with Joe Paul Anchery donning the role of a defender.
NEW YORK, April 14 (Reuters) A US Federal Judge has stripped heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis of his World Boxing Association (WBA) title for agreeing to fight Michael Grant instead of the higher-ranked John Ruiz.z Judge Lewis Kaplans ruling in New York is not likely to affect the April 29 Lewis-Grant fight at New Yorks Madison Square Garden.
Lewis, who won the undisputed heavyweight titles from Evander Holyfield last November, still holds the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation titles.
ruling means that the June 10 fight between Holyfield and
Ruiz will be for the vacant WBA title. It also means that
promoter Don King is back in the heavyweight picture
because he promotes both Holyfield and Ruiz. Lewiss
camp said it planed on appealing the Judges ruling.
ATLANTA (Georgia), April 14 (Reuters) World No 1 Andre Agassi injured his right hamstring last night and retired in a match against Jiri Vanke of the Czech Republic.
Agassi was leading 2-0 when he felt a tightness in the right hamstring but suffered the pull in the ninth game as he served at 4-4, 15-40. Agassi ran down a lob by Vanek and returned it with a shot between his legs. Agassi said he felt a sharp pain as he chased down the following shot into his backhand corner.
It was very familiar, Agassi said. It happened last year in Scottsdale. It was tough conditions out there. It lends itself for that risk.
In cool temperature, Agassi played in sweat pants with the permission of the chair umpire. Players are otherwise required to wear shorts.
Agassi speculated that a right ankle injury suffered during the Ericsson Open two weeks ago mightve contributed to the injury.
You dont trust your ankle as much, Agassi said. You use more of the rest of your leg than you normally do. What can you do?
The injury makes Agassi doubtful for the first tennis masters series in Europe next week in Monte Carlo.
Ill be on it quickly, and in a few weeks time Ill get over it, Agassi said.
No 4 Michael Chang, No. 5 Chris Woodruff and No. 7 Jeff Tarango advanced to the quarterfinals.
Chang, the champion here in 1994 and 95, beat Julian Alonso 7-5, 6-7, 6-3. Chang served for the match at 5-3 in the second and had two match points but was extended to a tiebreaker, which Alonso won 7-3.
Then Alonso couldnt hold a 40-love lead to open the third set. He got the break back at 1-2 but lost it immediately and never recovered.
Obviously you can see hes very talented, Chang said. Sometimes hes able to come out with some unbelievable shots, and sometimes he doesnt try the best shot at the (right) time.
Chang next plays Woodruff, a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 winner over Todd Woodbridge.
Vaneks next opponent is Tarango, who beat Michal Tabara 5-7, 6-2, 7-6, then blasted the lines judges and ATP Tour supervisor Mark Darby.
How can they allow a person to wear sunglasses when the conditions are (overcast) like that, Tarango said. Theres no way they can see the ball. (One lines judge) happens to be 70-years-old, hes got sunglasses on, and hes absolutely guessing whether the balls in or out.
During a rain delay at 4-4 in the third, Tarango asked Darby to order the sunglasses off the officials. Tarango later held the match up for 10 minutes with Tabara serving at 5-6, 30-15 while he called Darby out on the court.
He told me he was
going to tell all the linesmen to take off their
sunglasses and he didnt even do that, Tarango
said. The supervisor doesnt do anything all
week. He could at least take some requests. He replaced
the guy with another guy who wears thicker ... Glasses.
NEW DELHI, April 14 (PTI) India were handed a tough draw in the Sydney Olympic games mens hockey tournament with strong Australia and Atlanta games silver medallist Spain also in their group.
India, which qualified for the Olympics by virtue of being the Asian Games champions, were placed in pool B which also include Asia Cup winners South Korea, Poland and South Africa.
With South African Olympic Association yet maintaining a stance of not fielding their team in Sydney, Indias nemesis Argentina might get a chance to sneak in.
The draw for the Olympic hockey tournament was made in Brussels yesterday and it pitched defending champions the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Britain, Malaysia and Pakistan in pool A for the September games.
The pools were announced by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
The world hockey
governing body has ruled that if South African Olympic
Committee stand by its decision not to include a
mens team in the Olympic contingent, Argentina,
which finished seventh in the Olympic hockey qualifying
tournament in Osaka last month, will get a chance to play
NEW DELHI, April 14 (PTI) Ace woman swimmer Nisha Millet has become the first Indian in the sport to qualify for the Olympic Games when she made the grade in the 200 metres freestyle event on Tuesday.
The Bangalore-based 18-year-old who has remained the most versatile woman swimmer in India, claimed the spot when she powered her way to better the qualifying mark of two minutes 07.27 seconds set by the world swimming body, FINA, at the Australian junior championships on Tuesday.
Nisha in fact improved upon the timing twice, clocking 2:06.80 in the heats followed by 2:06.62 in the final, information received by national coach K. V. Sharma here said yesterday.
She is the first to qualify for the games as Khazan Singh, who took part in the 200 metres butterfly event in the 1988 Seoul games as well as freestyle ace Sebastian Xavier and his woman counterpart Sangeeta Rani Puri - both took part in the 50 metres freestyle in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics - were wildcard entrants.
VIJAYAWADA, April 14 (UNI) Muruganandam of Tamil Nadu will lead India in the third Asian Kabaddi Championship to be held at Colombo from April 28 to 30.
The team will leave for Colombo on April 26 from Chennai after a nine-day coaching camp at the Indira Gandhi municipal stadium here from April 17, K.P. Rao, a spokesman of Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India, told reporters today.
Muruganandam, A. Naskar (West Bengal), Hardeep Singh (Punjab), Lokendra Singh (Uttar Pradesh), Upendra Kumar (Delhi), Saji P. Anthony (Kerala), V. Srinivasa Rao (AP), Ahmed (Hyderabad), Palaniswamy (Tamil Nadu), Rajit Dhar (Bihar), Milind Rout (Vidharbha), Sanjay Singh (Haryana), V. Venkateswararao (AP).
Softball talent Amandeep Kaur
PATIALA April 14 She is an introvert and speaks only when spoken to. However, exponents opine that she is the best thing to have happened to Indian softball, at least in the junior category.
She is Amandeep Kaur, a student of Class XII in the local Pheel Khanna School which is known for churning out top-quality sportspersons every now and then.
The problem is that talent exists in isolation and in a team game like softball, talent works only in harmony with the others. She says that her coaches, Inderjit Sohal, an NIS qualified coach, and J.S. Pannu helped her channelise her talent.
Both Sohal and Pannu work in tandem to see to it that Amandeep breaks into the senior team soon. They way the girl trains, putting in more than 6 hours of grind everyday, her hard work will pay dividends soon.
Amandeep knows that in modern sport, half the battle is won in the mind and the other half on the field. She is mentally as tough as a granite rock. This mental toughness will take her forward towards the ultimate success. Mental toughness in softball is all about not chocking at a particular point. A point lost may mean that you have let your team down.
Since the 1996 school nationals, Amandeep has been making waves on the junior circuit, winning a lot of medals on the way.
She has the full support of her parents, both of whom are doctors. Her only regret is that the Punjab Sports Department has not given gradation to softball so far, while many other states have.
Modern sport has its own demands. She may succumb to that greatest sporting disease of all times pressure. Moreover, destiny follows no predictable pattern, but, for this, Amandeep is ready. Although softball is her first love, who knows what future has in store for her.
For now, it is just
practise, practise and practise under the trained
eyes of her coaches. In our country there are many
talents that have been buried under the headstone which
read she had talent. However, the gritty
Amandeep is all set to add another line and she
made use of it to it. In a nation where offerings
are made to God for a medal, this 18-year-old lass is an
investment worth protecting.
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