|Friday, September 1, 2000,
Hingis, Sampras, Norman advance
Anil, relay team strike gold
Aparna Popat determined to redeem
India meet Kenya in ICC meet
may be blue ribbon event at Sydney
Tyson-Golota bout on October 20
Agassis mother, sister have
England 159 for 1 at tea
Hingis, Sampras, Norman advance
NEW YORK, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Third seed Magnus Norman of Sweden, one of the rising stars of mens tennis, swept into the second round, of the US Open here yesterday.
Norman dispatched American Paul Goldstein 7-5 6-4 6-4 and revelled in his time in the spotlight at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
It was a little windy and very noisy but Im getting used to it, said Norman, a winner of four tournaments this year who is seeded for the first time at the Open.
I feel very honoured to play on centre court today.... Its great to be appreciated, added the soft-spoken, 24-year-old Swede, who is romantically linked to womens world number one Martina Hingis.
The top-seeded Hingis very nearly carved out a love-victory in her time upon the main stage last night, routing American Kristina Brandi 6-1 6-1 in just 44 minutes.
Four-time open champion Pete Sampras also took care of business swiftly, closing out the night programme with a 6-3 6-1 6-3 thumping of fellow-American Justin Gimelstob to run his record to 14-0 under the lights at the Open.
Hingiss primary nemesis, American superstar Venus Williams, preceded Norman on the centre court but stuck around for just 48 minutes in beating Czech Kveta Hrdlickova 6-1, 6-1 to extend her current match winning streak to 21.
Its nice, its been a long time since Ive experienced a loss, said the third seed whose streak began with her Wimbledon win and includes three summer hardcourt titles.
Sixth-seeded two-time champion Monica Seles opened the day 3 programme with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Anne Kremer of Luxembourg and faces a tough third-round Test against 17th-ranked American Chanda Rubin, who overcame Austrian Barbara Schett 2-6, 6-1 6-1.
Joining Williams and Seles in the third round were eighth seed Nathalie Tauziat, ninth-seeded former champion Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, 11th seed Sandrine Testud and 15th seed Jennifer Capriati, all straight-set winners.
While not yet a household name among tennis fans, Norman has earned his place in the spotlight with a breakout year in which he has won more matches than anyone on the ATP tour (56), reached the French Open final, and won four titles, including last weeks final open tune-up, the Hamlet Cup.
Forced to leave last years US Open in the fourth round with a back injury, Norman could walk away this year atop the ATP champions race if he lives up to his seeding and reaches the semifinals.
His ability to raise his game when under pressure was on display in the first set as Norman faced nine break points and saved them all. He allowed Goldstein just one more break point the rest of the way and saved that too, while unleashing 56 winners to just 19 for American.
Im very confident. Im very happy to get through the first round, said Norman.
Sixth-seeded Russian up-and-comer Marat Safin, who like Norman is seeded for the first time at the Open, had a tougher time but advanced with a 7-5 6-7 6-4 6-4 victory over Frenchman Thierry Guardiola.
A trio of former US Open finalists Greg Rusedski, Cedric Pioline and Mark Philippoussis also easily cleared the first hurdle yesterday.
Unseeded Briton Rusedski, the 1997 runner-up, had no problems with Swedens Magnus Gustafsson, posting a 6-1 6-2 6-4 win to improve on his showing at Wimbledon, where he shockingly fell in the first round to Vince Spadea, who had lost a record 21 successive first-round matches.
Tenth-seeded Frenchman Pioline, runner-up in 1993 and a surprise semifinalist last year, cruised to a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Sargis Sargsian of Armenia.
Australian Philippoussis, the 15th seed, made a successful return to Flushing Meadows with a dominating 6-3 6-2 6-3 victory over Spanish clay court specialist Albert Portas.
Philippoussis, who missed last years Open with a knee injury after reaching the final in 1998, could scarcely have asked for a better opponent to ease his way into the tournament as Portas had played only one match on hardcourt this summer in preparation for the years final Grand Slam event.
Known as scud for his explosive serves, the 23-year-old Philippoussis appears to have a personal mine sweeper in front of him.
In a pair of first-round shockers on Tuesday, two-time champion Patrick Rafter, who beat him in the 1998 final, and second- seeded French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten were removed from his immediate path, leaving Philippoussis a golden opportunity to go far here.
Not all of the hottest action at Flushing Meadows took place on court yesterday.
Dokics often drunk and out of control father,
Damir, was thrown out of the tennis centre and told not
to return after he delivered a profanity-laced tirade set
off by the high price of a slender piece of Salmon served
up at the players dining room.
Anil, relay team strike gold
JAKARTA, Aug 31 (PTI) Asian Games silver medallist Anil Kumar struck a discus gold though the field was shorn of star throwers, after the womens relay quartet blazed away to glory in one of Indias best showings at the 13th Asian Track and Field Athletic Championships here today.
Anil Kumar heaved the discus to 58.47 metres, well short of Shakti Singhs national record of 61.72, to grab the sixth gold medal for his country as India claimed second overall position behind the athletic powerhouse China.
Quartermiler K.M, Beenamol, who yesterday settled for a silver in the womens one-lap race, anchored the Indian 4x400 metres relay team to a golden finish in 3 minutes 31.54 seconds. Paramjeet Kaur started the race, Jincy Philips added to Paramjeets fine run before handing the baton to seasoned Rosa Kutty who virtually gave Beenamol the edge to run for gold.
India earned two gold, three silver and three bronze medals on the final day the championships to end up with an impressive haul of of six gold, 10 silver and five bronze.
China with nine gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze medals emerged as the top Asian country while Gulf nation Qatar made exemplary improvement grabbing third position with five gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
Japan (4-8-5) were lying at fourth position, though that should not worry them as their top athletes stayed away from the competition.
Indias other medals came from long jumper Sanjay Kumar Ray (silver), discus thrower Hridayanand Singh (bronze), mens 4x400 relay team (silver), sprinter Vineeta Tripathi (bronze), Rosa Kutty (bronze) and womens sprint relay team (silver).
A late gold by Anil Kumar provided cheer to the Indian camp and it capped a fine day for the athletic team. His performance, though modest, should get him place in the Indian athletic team for the Sydney Olympic Games.
Anils gold was an expected one considering the field lacked star performers. Nevertheless, he kept his focus and his mark of 58.47 metres was a good .20m ahead of Irans Abbas Samimi.
Hridayanand earned a small bonus in the form of bronze by throwing the discus to a distance of 56.96 metres.
In the mens 4x400 relay, India team of P. Ramachandran, Manoj Lal, Lijo David and Paramjit Singh, missed the gold by a whisker and settled for silver.
Anchorman Paramjit Singh failed to keep a good five-yard lead after the final bend and was pipped at the post by the Lankan Rohan Pradeep Kumar in an exciting finish.
Ramachandran had set the tone for India with Manoj and David maintaining the lead throughout before Paramjit was overwhelmed.
The mens sprint relay team earlier failed to finish in the medals bracket coming a poor fourth.
Long-jumper Sanjay Kumar
Ray leapt to a distance of 8.03 metres in the mens
event which saw Saudi Arabias Husain Alsabea
setting a new meet record with 8.33 metre effort. A
Rahman Nubi of Qatar (8.01) took bronze medal.
Aparna Popat determined to
NEW DELHI, Aug 31 Aparna Popat now detests one word from the core of her heartdrug. She had to suffer the ignominy of a three-month ban for testing positive for a banned drug following the Thomas and Uber Cup Asian Zone qualifying championships in Delhi early this year.
She had unwittingly taken a drug named dCold to contain a severe cold during the Uber Cup, which almost became an unerasable blot on her spotless career, as the drug turned out to be a banned item, and she was slapped a three-month ban by the International Badminton Federation (IBF), which almost killed her Olympic hopes. But luckily, the IBF saw reason as it realised that it was not an intentional act by the Indian badminton champion to boost her performance, and revoked her ban and eventually granted her an Olympic berth too, about three weeks ago, but the incident shattered the normally unflappable Aparna, who took ill, and was out of practice for more than two months, till she took part in the Malaysian Open recently.
But the sprightly Bangalore girl is determined to redeem her image, though she doesnt nurse any illusions about her Olympic medal aspirations. She was here today to accept the felicitation from her employers, Indian Oil Corporation, alongwith Pullela Gopichand, and sounded confident of putting up her best show in the Olympic Games in Sydney.
The Olympic competition will help me know where I really stand at the international level, she said. Its going to be a very tough competition, and is very difficult to say how well I would do, but I will certainly put my best foot forward, observed the unassuming national champion.
She has been trying to make up for the lost time for the last three weeks, and has been practising very hard at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bangalore, and feels that the opportunity to play in the Olympics is an opportunity to bring glory to the country. But the 22-year-old A-Grade officer with IOC said she would take one match at a time in Sydney.
After the two-month lay-off, her ranking fell from an impressive 24 to 54, but she hopes to recover the lost ground in the coming months. She expects tough competition from China, Denmark, Korea and Indonesia and each match is going to be tough. But the Commonwealth Games silver medallist said she would spare no effort to reach her full potential at Sydney.
Pullela Gopichand echoed the opinion that if he played to his potential, a medal would be very much within his reach. Though he wouldnt predict the hue of the medal, he said confidently that I am aiming for the gold.
Table Tennis stars Chetan Baboor and S Raman expect tough fights from China and Sweden, but hope to do well in the Olympics. Baboor will be playing in both the singles and doubles, while Raman will be playing only in the doubles. We have some chance in the doubles, the duo said.
Baboor and Raman had finished as the eighth best pair out of nine from the tough Asian Zone, and which itself was a commendable effort. We shall do our best, they said in unison, after a felicitation function got together by the IOC to honour their sports stars, particularly their Olympic probables. Besides the above-mentioned four, hockey players Devesh Chauhan, Deepak Thakur and Prabjot Singh, who are all part of the Olympic hockey team, are also from the IOC.
The IOC also announced the formation of a hockey team to give a big boost to the game in the country. With the IOC stepping into form a hockey team, we have taken hockey from the dhaba to the five-star hotel, observed Indian Hockey Federation President KPS Gill.
Mr Gill said the 17-member IOC team would be the core group of the Indian Olympic team for the year 2004. Composed mostly by India junior players, the IHF President has pinned great hopes on the team.
I have great hope on the team because of the involvement of the Indian Oil Corporation. Its a big, revolutionary step for Indian hockey, Mr Gill summed up.
The hockey players were selected by a panel comprising former Indian World Cup stars Ajit Pal Singh and Aslam Sher Khan, and Mr M M Khan, general manager, in-charge of sports, IOC. Ajit Pal said the IOC would take a decision where to locate the team, taking into consideration of the full development of the players in all respect.
The players are: Devesh Chauhan, Baljit Singh, Tarcius Kullu, Bikramjit Singh, Inder Singh Salaria, Sunil Yadav, Yugraj Singh, Shamsuz Zoha, Jaswinder Singh, Kamlesh Kumar Singh Parihar, Inderjeet Singh, Nawal Khan, Tejveer Singh, Hamza Mozataba, Deepak Thakur and Prabjot Singh. Deepak Thakur is the captain and Shamsuz Zoha the vice-captain.
There are 69 outstanding
sports persons already on the IOC rolls, including eight
Arjuna awardees - Dinesh Khanna (badminton), D V Prasad
(chess), Niyati Shah (table tennis), Chetan Baboor (TT),
S Raman (TT), Asif Ismail (tennis), Manavjit Singh
(shooting) and P. Gopichand (badminton).
countdown — 59
IT is traditionally recognised that track and field is the blue ribbon event at the Olympic Games. But it seems this time athletics may be given a close run by the swimming events. The host team has its greatest talent in the pool and are ready to challenge American dominance. So much so, Australian head coach Don Talbot has cautioned his swimmers against being sucked into a growing rivalry with the top ranked American team at the Olympic Games. The hype is building up in the USA as well.
The US versus Australia, thats bigger than any sprinter versus another sprinter - its going to be a knockdown fight, breaststroker Ed Moses told the Washington Post. T-shirts appeared at the US trials sporting the slogan Kangaroo - its whats for dinner and they seem certain to be brought to Sydney. They are reminiscent of the All that glitters is not Gould shirts worn by the American women in 1972 to intimidate Shane Gould, to no avail. She won three gold medals.
In a team meeting in Melbourne this week, Talbot has warned that the Americans intended to use the rising threat from Australia as a rallying point to lift themselves for the Games after a relatively unimpressive display at their US swim trials earlier this month. The Americans are going to push hard on this, they are trying to motivate themselves and they are using us as a focus, Talbot said. The harder they push the more worried, I believe, they are about their own performance. But they are great at getting themselves up. There is no nation better at rallying together. Americans cant conceive of being beaten or being second best. Weve just got to show them thats a possibility. At the last Pan American Games earlier this year, it was left to the final event - the mens 100m freestyle - to break the tie between Australia and the USA in the team points tally-though the teams were tied on 13 gold medals each. Talbot also said that Australia and the USA dismissed the rest of the world at their peril. The Americans are not the only team we are racing at the Olympic Games. The Americans better watch out for the European women. Some of the performances of the Europeans can benefit us and some can hurt us in the total medal count, and in the way were trying to get up in the top group in the world. The Americans have even tried to claim underdog status, not that Talbot is buying that for a moment.
He believes that a good Pan Pac result in 1995 lulled the Australian team into a false sense of security for the Atlanta Olympics, where the Americans rose to exploit their home pool advantage and had their most successful Games for a decade.
With a fierce team competition in the offing, Talbot predicted that every world relay record would be broken at the Games. All the relay records are soft because the national teams dont get a shot at those too often, he said. Some of those will be blown to pieces and we had better be ready for that to get down there.
Thorpe now weighs 98 kg, having added 6 kg to the already impressive, 6 ft 5inch frame that began demolishing world marks at the Pan Pacific Championships this time last year. At 17, Frost said, Thorpe was transforming from an extraordinarily talented boy into a faster, stronger young man. This, combined with an intensive weights regime over the past year and a better preparation than ever, should translate into faster times in Sydney, Frost said. Despite the extra weight, Thorpes skin folds remain the same, which means he has bulked up on muscle.
Frost has been reminding Thorpe of his stunning times over the past two years in an effort to keep him calm. But his Australian team-mates, particularly his room-mate at the teams Melbourne training camp, Michael Klim, have been helping to keep his success in perspective. Although Thorpe is a well-grounded and relaxed teenager, Frost and head swimming coach Talbot each acknowledged the need to guard against too much excitement in the lead-up to the Olympics. I know that on the outside he does seem very calm but inside theres some emotions stirring within him, Frost said.
Talbot warned one of the
biggest dangers was getting too hyped too quick ...
getting caught up in the euphoria of the games, living it
every night, not sleeping because of it, and then after a
while you just wear yourself out. In particular,
Australias 11 coaches will endeavour to keep the
swimmers from going crazy when they entered
the Olympic village along with about 15,000 other
India meet Kenya in ICC meet opener
MUMBAI, Aug 31 (UNI) India will kick off the ICC knockout tourney in Nairobi by taking on hosts Kenya in the inaugural encounter on October 3. The tournaments second edition will be held from October 3 to 15.
The ICC introduced this event last year in Dhaka. However, this year the format has been changed slightly, with the four World Cup semifinalists getting a bye into the second round. Zimbabwe also have obtained a bye into the second round.
As per the itinerary released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India here today, if India win against Kenya, a not-too-difficult prospect, they would run into world champions Australia in the second round.
The second match of the tournament will see Sri Lanka take on the West Indies on October 4, with England taking on Bangladesh the next day. The second round will start from October 7 after a rest day, while the semis will be held on October 11 and 13 and the final on October 15.
The itinerary: October
3: India vs Kenya; October 4: Sri Lanka vs West Indies;
October 5: England vs Bangladesh; October 7: Australia vs
winner of match 1; October 8: Pakistan vs winner of match
2; October 9: New Zealand vs Zimbabwe; October 10: South
Africa vs winner of match 3; October 11: first semifinal;
October 13: second semifinal; October 15: final.
Tyson-Golota bout on October 20
NEW YORK, Aug 31 (AFP) Mike Tyson and Polands Andrew Golota, heavyweights with reputations for dirty tactics in the ring, will fight on October 20 at the suburban home arena of the National Basketball Association Detroit Pistons.
The bout at the Palace of Auburn Hills will be Tysons first in the USA since his controversial no-contest against Orlin Norris on October 23.
In that fight Norris was unable to continue after injuring a knee following a post-bell punch and his promoters were told in no uncertain terms by Nevada officials that Tysons act had worn thin in Las Vegas.
Tyson, the former heavyweight champion who is 48-3 with 42 knockouts, will be returning after winning two fights in Britain.
On June 24, he knocked out fellow American Lou Savarese just 38 seconds into the first round in Glasgow, Scotland. It was the second-fastest knockout of Tysons career eight seconds shy of his bout with Marvis Frazier in 1986.
But Tyson drew the ire of Scottish boxing officials after the bout when he knocked referee John Coyle to the floor with an elbow and threw punches at Savarese. The British Boxing Board of Control fined him $187,500.
Nearly five months earlier, Tyson made his European debut with a second-round knockout over Julius Francis before a capacity crowd of 22,000 at Manchester, England.
This will be Tysons first pay-per-view match-up since he knocked out South Africas Francois Botha in January of 1999. That was Tysons first fight since he regained his boxing license after serving jail time in Maryland for assaulting two motorists.
Tyson and Golota both were disqualified for dirty tactics in previous bouts. Tyson was disqualified for biting both of Evander Holyfields ears in a title bout in 1997. It led to the revocation of Tysons license and a fine of three million dollars by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Golota, 36-4 with 29 knockouts, was twice disqualified for repeated low blows against Riddick Bowe in fights four years ago. On both occasions Golota was ahead on points.
Agassis mother, sister have breast cancer
NEW YORK, Aug 31 (Reuters) World number one Andre Agassi, whose game has slipped since January, has revealed in an interview that he has been preoccupied because both his mother and a sister are battling breast cancer.
After his first-round US Open victory over Alex Kim on Monday night, Agassi told CBS television about his younger sister, Tammee, and his mother, Elizabeth.
It has been a
difficult year in many respects with my sister having
breast cancer and my mom was diagnosed with it just a
month ago, Agassi told CBS. It hasnt
been easy, but in many ways it has gotten the family
stronger and close.
England 159 for 1 at tea
LONDON, Aug 31 (Reuters) England openers Michael Atherton and Marcus Trescothick countered the pace and menace of Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh today to give the home side an ideal start in the fifth Test against the West Indies at The Oval. At tea England were 159 for one.
At lunch on the first day England, who had been put in to bat by West Indies captain Jimmy Adams, were 66 for no wicket with both batsmen on 30.
With the West Indies trailing 1-2 in the series, Adams decided he had no option but to ask England to take first strike in the final Test.
Ambrose, playing his last Test, hit his length immediately but it was quickly clear there was little assistance for the faster bowlers, a point the tall Antiguan made with uncharacteristic animation to Brian Lara after his opening over.
He still managed to beat Atherton twice outside the off-stump, cutting his long fingers across the seam to make the ball jag awkwardly both ways.
England (1st innings):
Atherton not out 71
Trescothick c Campbell
b Nagamootoo 78
Extras (lb-5, nb-5) 10
Total (for one wicket at tea) 159
Fall of wickets: 1-159
73 shooters in Punjab team
CHANDIGARH, Aug 31 The Punjab Rifle Shooting Association has selected 73 shooters in various sections to represent Punjab in the 10th GV Mavlankar National Shooting Championship (national rules) in rifle and pistol events to be held at Chennai from September 1 to 12, according to Raja K.S. Sidhu, secretary-general of the association.
The prominent shooters selected are: Sukhmanpreet Sidhu, mandeep Kansal, Jatinder Singh, Davinderjit Singh, Kulwinder Padda, Haneetinder Singh, Baljinder Brar, Inderjit Jawanda, Gurjap Singh, Manjeev Bhogal, Santokh Singh and Avtar Singh in the mens section.
Indian referee for Sydney
MUMBAI, Aug 31 (UNI) Gaive Nagpurwala of Maharashtra has been invited by the International Boxing Federation as a referee-judge for the Sydney Olympic next month.
Sunil Kumar beaten
CALCUTTA, Aug 31 (PTI)
Promising Indian youngster Sunil Kumar managed to
move into the pre-quarter finals of the Junior
International Hard Court Championship in New Jersey
before losing to USAs Laster Cook in straight sets.
Life term for Mohammedan Sporting secy
CALCUTTA, Aug 31 (PTI) Mohammedan Sporting club secretary Mir Mohammed Omar and five others have been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court on the charge of murdering a city-businessman. A Division Bench of the apex court comprising Justice K.T. Thomas and Justice R.P. Sethi gave the judgement on Tuesday on an appeal filed by the West Bengal Government against a verdict of the Calcutta High Court.
The Supreme Court also convicted the accused for the abduction with the intention to murder the businessman Mahesh Kumar Agarwal on November 4, 1986 and sentenced them to 10 years rigorous imprisonment. Agarwals body was found in the metropolis the next day.
The apex court directed the Sessions Judge, Calcutta, to take immediate steps for putting the convicted persons back in jail for undergoing the remaining portions of the sentence imposed by this judgement.
Omar and the others Khurshed Alam, Mohammed Zahur alias Tenia, Aftab Alam, Nur Alam and Mohammad Imtiaz alias Bhulu had been acquitted of the murder charge in 1990 by city Sessions Judge S.N. Dutta, who, however, sentenced them to 10 years RI for abducting Mr Agarwal.
A Division Bench of the high court subsequently rejected the state appeal against the acquittal for murder and reduced the sentence to a short term imprisonment restricting it to the period which the convicted persons had already spent in jail.
Punjab junior badminton from Sept
SANGRUR, Aug 31 The Punjab State Junior Badminton Championships for juniors will be held at Ranbir Club here, from September 7 to 9, according to the Deputy Commissioner.
More than 150 boys and girls from all over Punjab are expected to take part in the championships. The last date of receiving entries is September 1 which can be sent to the Secretary, Punjab Badminton Association through the District Secretary. The draws will be held on September 2. The qualifying rounds will be played on September 6. Kartar Singh of Jalandhar will be the chief referee.
The Punjab team for the North Zone Inter-State and Junior Nationals will be selected on the basis of the performance in this championships.
SANGRUR, Aug 31 Trials to select the Punjab senior teams for the North Zone Inter-State Badminton Championships being held at Delhi from September 15 to 17, will be held at Jalandhar on September 2 and 3, according to Mr Rajinder Kalsi, Secretary, Punjab Badminton Association.
Haryana men win
RAMPURA PHUL (Bathinda), Aug 31 Punjab men defeated the kabaddi team of Vidarba (Maharashtra) 44-9 on the second day of the Second Circle-Style National Kabaddi Championship for men and women being played here.
Haryana defeated Chandigarh 55-34 and Madhya Pradesh won against Manipur 51-36. The fourth match in the mens section was played between Delhi and Vidarba and Delhi won 57-39.
In the womens section Chandigarh defeated Haryana 45-5 and Uttar Pradesh won the match against Rajasthan 39-12. In the third match played between Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, the host team swamped their opponents 48-7. The fourth match in the womens section Himachal Pradesh defeated Bihar 53-16.
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