Sunday, November 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India






National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S
XXXI National Games, Punjab-2001

Gurpreet completes a double
Ludhiana, November 24
As hurdler Gurpreet Singh and thrower Harwant Kaur completed a “double” each, Punjab took its gold haul to eight to make certain of overall trophy in track and field events of the 31st National Games here.


Gurpreet Kaur of Chandigarh celebrates after winning gold
Gurpreet Kaur of Chandigarh celebrates after winning gold in the single scull 2000m event in the National Games at Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh, on Saturday. — Tribune photo Manoj Mahajan


GAMES DIARY
Prabhjot Singh

Harwant Kaur of Punjab won the gold
Harwant Kaur of Punjab won the gold in Shotput event on Saturday in the 31st National Games. 
— Photo Rajesh Bhambi


Prime Minister Atal Behari VajpayeePrime Minister to stay away
Ludhiana, November 24
The 31st National Games suffered a major reverse today with the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee also expressing his inability to attend the closing ceremony on December 1.



Cricket

Vajpayee rules out intervention

Umpires ‘didn’t report’ Sachin


EARLIER STORIES

 

‘Administer dope in scientific manner’
Patiala, November 24
Far from fighting shy of use of dope in weightlifting, top Indian Weightlifting Federation officials and coaches feel the country cannot win medals without use of dope.

Raja Randhir SinghRandhir admits lapses in conduct of Games
SAS Nagar, November 24
The Secretary-General of the Indian Olympic Association, Raja Randhir Singh, has admitted lapses in the conduct of the ongoing 31st National Games. 

Punjab win, Bengal book semis berth
Jalandhar, November 24
Bengal booked the second semifinal berth from group ‘A’ on better goal average in men’s hockey while Punjab topped the table accumulating nine points after their third consecutive victory over Tamil Nadu at Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium here today.


Punjab's coxless fours team of (Front to Back) Jarmanjeet Singh, Kulwinder Singh, Jagtar Singh and Gurnam Singh after winning gold in the 2000m in the National Games at Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh, on Saturday. Services took silver while Chandigarh won bronze. 
— Tribune photo Manoj Mahajan



Sushma Rana of Delhi aims during the 25m sports pistol event on Saturday. Sushma shot 679.5 to win gold. — Tribune photo Pradeep Tewari


Sanjay Kumar Rai of West Bengal who won gold in long jump (men) in the 31st National Games at Ludhiana on Saturday. — Photo Rajesh Bhambi


Jaswinder Singh of Punjab and Vinu Jose of Kerala engaged in a tussle to gain control of the ball in the National Games at Jalandhar on Saturday. 
— Photo Pandit


Aman Saini of Himachal Pradesh leaving behind his competitors in the 10,000m race at Ludhiana on Saturday.

Punjab pay for missed chances
Jalandhar, November 24
Having been pushed into a difficult situation after the defeat against Goa, Santosh Trophy winners Kerala roared back into contention, stunning hosts Punjab by a solitary goal in a pool ‘B’ match of men’s football.

Sushma Rana sets new meet record
Chandigarh, November 24
The trap men team from Punjab led by Manavjit Sandhu, Zorawar Singh and Birendeep Sodhi clinched the team championship gold for their state with a score of 316 while Sushma Rana and Anwar Sultan broke old National Games record.

Punjab, Haryana wrestlers shine
Jalandhar
Hosts Punjab dominated the wrestling events of the 31st National Games winning five of the 11 gold medals decided in the finals at the Punjab Armed Police campus. 

Punjab spikers win bronze
Ludhiana, November 24
Punjab boys bagged volleyball bronze in the 31st National Games here. 

Punjab protest referee’s decision
Anandpur Sahib, November 24
A state of pandemonium was created in the Guru Gobind Singh Marshal Arts Academy, on the first day of the taekwondo events. 

Tumpa annexes gymnastics gold
Patiala, November 24
Tumpa Debnath of West Bengal performed with a fine spell of artistry to annex the all-round individual women gymnastics gold in the National Games at Polo Ground here today.

Services boxers have mixed fortunes
Patiala, November 24
Holders Services had mixed fortunes with three of their pugilists — B.Ramanand, Dullar Singh and Satish Ghangas — advancing in their respective weight categories, while the best of them — Narender Rana — bid an ignonimous exit in the light welterweight category in the boxing events.

Rich haul by Kerala, Services rowers
Chandigarh, November 24
Services and Kerala took three gold each while Chandigarh and Punjab had to be content with a gold apiece on the last day of the rowing competition.

Andhra eves beat Kerala
Ludhiana, November 24
Andhra Pradesh pipped Kerala in a well-contested match to top their pool in the basketball (women) event on the fifth day of the 31st National Games.

Soumyadeep, Indu win
Jalandhar, November 24
Soumyadeep Roy of Rajasthan showed little respect for reputation as he stunned defending champion S. Raman to claim the title in men’s table tennis singles section.

Haryana take gold in tent pegging
Jalandhar, November 24
Hosts Punjab bagged their first gold in the equestarian competitions of the National Games here today. 

AP shuttlers shine
Jalandhar, November 24
Andhra Pradesh dominated in badminton winning four gold in the National Games, here today.

Pandey star performer
Patiala, November 24
Uttar Pradesh bagged three of the seven gold medals on offer with Vikas Pandey being the star performer with three individiual gold in the gymnastic events.

AIFF for exposure to youth
Jalandhar, November 24

“Football competitions in the National Games should be confined to under-21 players to give them more exposure. 



German Anni Friesinger on her way to win the women's 5000 metre World Cup race in The Hague on Saturday. Friesinger won the race in a time of 7:15.30 minutes ahead of German Claudia Pechstein who finished second and Japanesae Maki Tabata who finished third. 
— Reuters

Vajpayee rules out intervention
New Delhi, November 24
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today ruled out government intervention in the cricket controversy involving Indian cricket team in South Africa. 

Umpires ‘didn’t report’ Sachin
London, November 24
The International Cricket Council has admitted that the umpires on the ground had not reported anything against Sachin Tendulkar or Sourav Ganguly, both of whom were penalised by the controversial match-referee Mike Denness in the second India-South Africa Test.

Kirsten misses ton
Centurion Park, November 24
South Africa were on course of a huge first innings lead as they reached 261 for four on the second day of the third and final cricket ‘Test’ match against India here today. 

Rain washes out third day’s play
Hobart, November 24
A thunderstorm washed out play midway through the third day of the second cricket Test between Australia and New Zealand at Bellerive Oval here today. 

5-wicket haul by Bangar
Hyderabad, November 24
Board President’s XI medium pacer Sanjay Bangar took a five wicket haul to expose the chinks in the English batting even as the three-day match ended in a tame draw here today.
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Gurpreet completes a double
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
As hurdler Gurpreet Singh and thrower Harwant Kaur completed a “double” each, Punjab took its gold haul to eight to make certain of overall trophy in track and field events of the 31st National Games here. Besides a silver won by Sapinder Kaur in 400 m hurdles for women, Surinder Kumar (400m hurdles), Amrit Paul Singh (long jump) and Beant Kaur (10,000 metres for women) gave Punjab bronze medals while in cycling, the home team added two more silver medals to its tally to make sure of finishing behind national leaders Manipur in the overall team championship.

In the last National Games, Punjab had won seven gold, seven silver and four bronze medals while here they have already won eight gold, eight silver and 11 bronze medals.

Gurpreet Singh, who rewrote the meet record in 110 metres hurdles yesterday, entered his name in the records book again, with a new meet record in 400 metre hurdles. Gurpreet took 51.66 seconds against the existing meet record of 52.15 seconds. But his performance was nowhere near the national record of 50.43 seconds.

His team-mate Surinder Kumar got a bronze as he finished behind Joseph Abraham of Kerala with a timing of 53 seconds. Harminder Singh (Chandigarh) and Gobind (Haryana) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Though Harwant also completed a double in throws after winning the gold in discus on the first day, she led a field of mediocres to win the shot put event with a heave of 15.25 metres. Her serious rival was N. Latha of Tamil Nadu, who cleared 154.05 metres with her second throw. Harwant, with a first throw of 14.87 metres, appeared to be cool and comfortable as she made sure of her top spot with a second throw of 15.25 metres.

Neither N. Latha nor Harwant could improve upon their second throws. Former national champion and international Amandeep Kaur, who raised the banner of revolt against the Punjab Amateur Athletic Association during the aborted state championship at Guru Ram Dass Academy here early this morning, finished third with a throw of 13.73 metres, incidentally her first throw. Interestingly, a Deputy Superintendent of Police here in the host city, she is representing Chandigarh.

“We have no objection to her representing Chandigarh though we could get her scratched from the competition,” remarked Mr Umrao Singh, President, PAAA, who, in spite of his physical handicaps, have been supervising the conduct of the track and field events on regular basis.

“Our performance here has shown that athletes are with us. We have decided to honour all medallists from Punjab suitably at a function to be held shortly,” added Mr Umrao Singh. Uday Laxmi of Andhra Pradesh won the 400 metres hurdles for women by returning a timing of 57.75 seconds to finish ahead of Sapinder Kaur (Punjab) and V. Jayalakshmi of Tamil Nadu.

Aman Saini of Shimla did Himachal proud by outclassing national star K. Shankar of Tamil Nadu in the grueling 10,000 metre run. It was in the last lap that Aman not only fled past K. Shankar but also sprinted to the finish line well 50 metres ahead of his more experienced and senior rival. Jagan nath Ladhe of Services finished third while Chandigarh’s Bahadur Singh was fourth.

In the long jump for men Sanjay Kumar Rai of West Bengal romped home with a gold with a leap of 7.74 metres while Santosh George of Services finished behind him with a best jump of 7.43 metres.

In the last event of the day, 10,000 metres for women, national champion Madhuri Gurnale was a comfortable winner with a timing of 34 minutes50.89 seconds while Pushpa of Delhi finished second to repeat the 5,000 metres story. The third place, however, went to Punjab’s Beant Kaur.

Since three jumpers – Amrit Pal Singh and Maha Singh (both from Punjab) and K.J. Clinton (Kerala) – would have been tied for number three position with a jump of 7.31 metres, Amrit Paul Singh clinched the issue in his own favour with a last jump of 7.32 metres to take the bronze.

In cycling, Punjab’s trio of Hitraj, Inderjit Singh and Jefferson Singh, finished three minutes behind Sandeep Malik, Jorawar Singh and Dharmendar of Services in the 70 km time trial to take the silver. While Services cyclists clocked 1 hr 34 minutes 54.65 seconds, Punjab finished in 1 hr 37 minutes 02.55 sec. Rajasthan were placed third.

Punjab W. Bemchadevi shared a silver with Gangu G. Birdar in the 50 km massed start for women. The event was won by Rameshwori Devi of Manipur. 
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GAMES DIARY
Spectator response overwhelming
Prabhjot Singh

After initial hesitancy, Ludhianvis have been turning up in impressive numbers at almost all venues to watch various competitions of the ongoing 31st National Games. The Indoor Basketball Stadium has been a hit with the spectators. By the time the last game , irrespective of the teams playing, starts at about 6.30 p.m., it gets jampacked.

“We are so overwhelmed at the crowd response that we have started thinking on the lines of expanding its seating capacity. At present, it can accommodate about 1500 people. We do not know how we will handle the crowd for the semi-finals and the finals,” remarks Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal, Secretary, Punjab Basketball Association.

The PBA has taken a number of steps to ensure that event is conducted without any hitches and glitches after the OCNG had to take the unpleasant decision of not allowing Rajasthan men’s team to compete here.

The only disappointment for the PBA has been the failure of its women’s team to make the last four grade. The men’s team was to play Jharkhand, comprising most of former Bihar players, in the last game tonight.

While Indoor Basketball Stadium overflows with people, the massive Guru Nanak Stadium next door, gets smaller crowd. Though the crowd response has been improving everyday but still it is far from enough to watch country’s top track and field stars here.

“The response has been overwhelming,” says Mr Umrao Singh, President, Punjab Amateur Athletic Association. “Against an initial expectation of 300 participants, we have as many as 500 entries. And a number of national and meet records have been erased. This reveals the high quality of competitions here. In fact, all national level athletes have been directed to participate here.

In track and field, besides Punjab, other states who have done well are Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Services. Interestingly Suman Rawat, a former national marathoner, and currently Secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Amateur Athletic Association, is here as Chef-de-Mission of her state’s contingent. Only few states have honoured their sports stars of yesteryears with this position.

While Punjab ministers, politicians and bureaucrats continue to be conspicuous by their absence, the Secretary-General of the Indian Olympic Association, Mr Randhir Singh, has been here since November 18. He has been to most of the venues. “Patiala is my home town and there I am going last. By the way I am also an Arjuna awardee from Punjab,” he remarked in a lighter vein.

Even Mr Lalit Bhanot, Secretary, AAFI, has been here from the day one.

Mr Joginder Singh Saini, a former national coach in athletics, has been making up for the absence of a scoreboard at Guru Nanak Stadium with his announcements about results of various events and even making running commentary of some of the events.

A large number of trainees from the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala, are here to help the organisers in the technical conduct of the Games. These trainees are seen at each venue providing statistical inputs.

The first phase of the Games will end tomorrow when competitions in cycling, track and field and volleyball conclude here.
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Prime Minister to stay away
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
The 31st National Games suffered a major reverse today with the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee also expressing his inability to attend the closing ceremony on December 1. Earlier, the President K.R. Narayanan had cited health reasons for not attending the opening ceremony of the Games. Traditionally, the President and the Prime Minister preside over the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games. Unfortunately for Punjab, both the dignitaries could not make it to this industrial town.

Though no reasons were given for the last-minute cancellation of the Prime Minister’s visit, yet political circles here feel that the continuous hospitalization of the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who unfortunately suffered a hip injury in an accidental fall a few hours before Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee’s last visit to Amritsar on November 18, was the immediate reason for the cancellation of the visit, thus depriving the National Games of their last chance of glory and glamour.

The Prime Minister’s Office reportedly conveyed its decision to the Organising Committee of National Games yesterday. Now the OCNG has started a hunt to get a suitable substitute for the Prime Minister for the closing ceremony. The indications were in favour of the Union Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha.

Though the injury to the Chief Minister may be the immediate reason, a number of other factors may have also contributed to this change of mind of the Prime Minister. He has been to this state thrice since September 25. He visited Amritsar twice between November 2 and 18. There has been a strong feeling in the security and intelligence agencies that Punjab Police had been under tremendous pressure due to frequent visits of the Prime Minister to the State.

Too many visits to the State in a short span of two months may not fit into the security drill and it would be taxing for the Punjab police too much.

Though this may have some justification, but politically it may send wrong signals, believe the Shiromani Akali dal and Bhartiya Janta Party leadership of the state.

“We had been looking forward to this visit as he would have consolidated the gains made by the alliance in the state following his September 25 (Killianwalli), November 2 and 3 and November 18 (Amritsar) visits to the state. We were also looking forward to his visit to the heartland of Punjab. It may give our Opposition parties a lot to talk about,” remarked a senior Akali Dal leader hoping that the Prime Minister would return to Punjab soon after the Chief Minister gets well.

The cancellation of the visit has demoralised the BJP workers more than the Akali workers. “We are at a crucial juncture facing assembly elections in a couple of months time. And it is not only a political set back but also a tradition is being broken,” remarked a BJP worker.
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Administer dope in scientific manner’
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 24
Far from fighting shy of use of dope in weightlifting, top Indian Weightlifting Federation officials and coaches feel the country cannot win medals without use of dope.

The officials and coaches feel the state could help in this exercise by giving dope to the lifters in a “planned manner” so that it does not affect their health. However, for the record most of the coaches claim the game is becoming clean due to random checking methods introduced recently.

Interacting with a number of officials and coaches assembled here to participate in the weightlifting fixture of the National Games, it was revealed that the lifters had no option but to take dope to get result. Federation ad hoc committee member Balbir Singh said use of dope was a common phenomenon and lifters all over the world were using it.

Balbir Singh said everyone knew that lifters across the world were on dope and that they “cleaned” themselves up before major competitions. He said in such a scenario Indian lifters were helpless and tended to follow the trend which had been set in the sport. He said it was his personal view that an unnecessary dope scare had been created in the country saying it was not true that the banned substances seriously affected, the health of players.

The ad hoc committee member said most of the lifters knew about the drugs which could improve their performances and the federation or their coaches could not stop them when they delivered real results. He, however, said the federation could give support to the lifters by recruiting sports medicines scientists who could help in speedy recovery of lifters afflicted with training related injuries. He said more massagers were needed besides nutrition experts who could teach lifters other means to get ahead in the game.

Though Balbir Singh was candid in his views it was difficult to get coaches to speak their mind on the topic on record. A top coach said there was a need to administer dope in a planned and scientific manner to the lifters saying indiscriminate use of dope by lifters on their own initiative or hearsay could have a detriment affect on their health and could also not give the optimum results. The coach said there was no doubt about the fact that scientific use of dope could boost performances as had been experimented by the erstwhile East Germany. He said now the athletes from the same region after its merger with West Germany were no longer the same force in international competitions.

Even though one can see girls participating in the National Games who have freshly shaved themselves, which sources say is a necessity for those on dope because development of facial hair is a side effect of doping. Athletes deny the very existence of doping in Indian sport. Sydney bronze medallist Malleshwari, who was here yesterday, also denied knowledge of any doping going on in Indian weightlifting even though her friend and veteran lifter Kunjarani was caught on dope during an international meet in Korea in July this year and is undergoing a ban on participation in the sport. Malleshwari says it is not true that only doping could improve result of Indian lifters saying if this was so she would not have been able to get a bronze at Sydney.Top

 

Randhir admits lapses in conduct of Games
Arvind Katyal

SAS Nagar, November 24
The Secretary-General of the Indian Olympic Association, Raja Randhir Singh, has admitted lapses in the conduct of the ongoing 31st National Games. Randhir Singh, himself an Olympian in shooting, was on a round of the various competition venues and was spotted by this reporter last evening at the new shooting range in SAS Nagar.

In a brief interaction, he said: “Look at the seriousness of the Andhra Pradesh Government where the 2002 National Games are to be held. They have sent one observer for each venue of the current games, so that the Hyderabad games are a big success”.

He said he was unable to ascertain as to why Punjab, once the torch-bearer of sports in the country, was now lacking in its duty of a good host. On the question of usefulness of these games, Randhir Singh, who is also the executive committee member of the International Olympic Committee, said: “It helps in building the infrastructure in that very state along with providing more exposure to the players”.

On the Afro-Asian Games, he said the final date of March 24 had been agreed upon by the various countries and India was fully equipped to host this extravaganza of sports.

Randhir who reached SAS Nagar after visiting Anandpur Sahib — the venue for fencing, taekwondo, judo, and netball — was all praise for the huge indoor hall at the Academy of Martial Arts. He said considering the facilities existing there, he advocated its regular use by converting it into a sports academy. He was also of the view that its administration could be entrusted to the Sports Authority of India who could bear its recurring expenditure.

Randhir, who represented the country in the Olympics in the clay pigeon event, was happy to see the new shooting range coming up at SAS Nagar where the shooting events were in progress. He admitted some weaknesses, like delay in installing trap machines and its working, but said the best possible resources had been made available. He hoped that in times to come, with the flow of money and after adding more facilities, this range could hold events of national and even international level. He was happy that facilities for trap and skeet had been created for the first time in the region.

On the acute scarcity of ammunition for shooters, which had been continuing for the past three years, Randhir said only a few days back, the new Executive Director (teams), MP Ganesh of SAI, had approved the import of ammunition. This would help solve the crux problem faced by the shooters.

He said the IOA had suggested to the Government of India to identify the budgetary grants to various sports — vis-a-vis their contributions and costs incurred on its equipment — so that the right decisions could be made. Randhir also disclosed that there was a plan to ask each IOA affiliated unit to identify its sport and then look for avenues to devote its wholehearted attention towards that very sport. He lamented that despite the 100 per cent income tax deduction allowed to the corporate sector, their participation was negligible. He appealed to the corporate houses to come forward to invest in sports.
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Punjab win, Bengal book semis berth
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 24
Bengal booked the second semifinal berth from group ‘A’ on better goal average in men’s hockey while Punjab topped the table accumulating nine points after their third consecutive victory over Tamil Nadu at Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium here today. Tomorrow, the concluding league matches will be played which will decide the second semifinalists from group ‘B’ after Services assured themselves of a last-four berth yesterday.

Having already qualified for the semis, Punjab took the field rather confidently today. It was as early as in the eighth minute that Punjab took the lead when Rajinder Singh successfully converted a penalty stroke. Tamil Nadu also attacked with vigour and their efforts were rewarded in the 23rd minute when full back Padmanabhan scored the equaliser off a penalty corner. Five minutes from the lemon break, Gurmeet Singh sounded the boards through a field goal to shatter the hopes of Tamil Nadu.

Earlier, in an inconsequential match, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh played a 1-1 draw. Both the goals came in the first half. Maharashtra took the lead in the 12th minute off a penalty corner conversion by Chander Pal Singh. However, a penalty stroke converted by L.Ramesh brought Andhra Pradesh on even terms four minutes from the breather.
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Punjab pay for missed chances
Amardeep Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 24
Having been pushed into a difficult situation after the defeat against Goa, Santosh Trophy winners Kerala roared back into contention, stunning hosts Punjab by a solitary goal in a pool ‘B’ match of men’s football in the 31st National Games at Guru Gobind Singh Stadium here today. In the second match, Goa survived a late Tamil Nadu resurgence, snatching a 5-4 victory to assure themselves of a spot in the semifinals. They now have six points from two victories and the second berth from this group will be filled either by Punjab or Kerala who have a match each in hand.

In the women’s section, Manipur and Bihar were locked goal-less while Kerala edged out Maharashtra by a solitary goal. Manipur head the table in pool ‘B’ on better goal average with four points from one victory and one draw although Bihar too have four points.

After Punjab defender Dalip Kumar managed to ward off danger through a goal-line save in the opening minutes, Kerala’s star striker Abdul Hakim posed another serious challenge. First his power-packed shot narrowly missed the target and then his header in the 25th minute almost sailed in, but for the goal-line save by Punjab’s Hardip Saini. Punjab also had a good chance towards the end of the first half following a flag kick by medio Hardip Saini but Manjinder, standing at hand-shaking distance only managed to despatch a feeble shot.

In the second half, substitute Jaswinder, who plays for JCT, initiated an excellent move. After cutting past a lone defender, he sent a cross into the box from the right corner but striker Hardip Gill and Manjinder failed to rise to the occasion. In the 63rd minute, it was another missed opportunity for Punjab after Gurjit Atwal’s back pass to Gill saw the latter shooting straight at the goalie. In the 70th minute, another opportunity went abegging as Hardip Gill, in a bid to beat the goalie, widened the angle off a Gurjit pass and the ball rolled past the far post.

And then followed the all-important goal for Kerala. A slight loss of concentration by Punjab defenders Ranjit Singh and Harsharanjit Singh saw Kerala’s Biju Kumar making most of a through pass and goalkeeper Arvind, who failed to punch the ball, stared in disbelief as the ball sailed into the net (1-0).

Despite trailing 1-5 at one stage, Tamil Nadu reduced the margin to 4-5 and with a little more luck could have even snatched a point from their rivals. Goa opened the account through Lazarus Fernandes in the sixth minute and a powerful long ranger by Bibiano Fernandes from the right touch-line made the score 2-0 in the 20th minute. Tamil Nadu hit back with a goal through P. Muthu on a pass from the left, but shortly before half-time, Goa’s Menino Fernandes added another goal with a left footer from top of the box(3-1).

In the second half,a pass by Sebastiao Endro saw Sukhdev Arwade extending his right foot for a neat deflection (4-1) and Johnny D’Cruz converted a spot kick after Endro was brought down making it 5-1.Top

 

Chandigarh eves enter last four
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
The semifinal line-up was drawn in the women’s hockey on expected lines with last time winners Maharashtra and runners-up Haryana, besides Punjab and Chandigarh making it to the final four. The semifinals to be played on Monday. Punjab will meet Haryana, while Maharashtra will take on Chandigarh. In the first match today, Punjab handed out a 5-1 drubbing to Manipur in a one-sided match, while Maharshtra trounced Orissa 4-0.

Despite conceding a goal to Manipur, Punjab dominated the show claiming 13 penalty corners. n the fifth minute Rajinder Kaur of Punjab gave her team the lead, converting a penalty corner. In the 35th minute Preetinder scored a brilliant field goal. In the 43rd minute, Punjab captain Majinder Kaur scored another field goal taking the lead to 3-0. However, in the 60th minute Sunibala Devi of Manipur scored a consolatory field goal 3-1. In the 65th minute Jyoti Kulu struck, scoring a field goal. In the 69th minute she again scored.

In the second match Maharshtra beat Orissa 4-0. The first goal was scored in the 15th minute by Mamta Kharab through a penalty corner, followed by Shangai Chanu in the 17th minute, who scored a field goal. Top

 

Sushma Rana sets new meet record
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The trap men team from Punjab led by Manavjit Sandhu, Zorawar Singh and Birendeep Sodhi clinched the team championship gold for their state with a score of 316 while Sushma Rana and Anwar Sultan broke old National Games record in 25 metre air pistol and trap events, respectively, in the National Games at SAS Nagar here today. Sushma, younger sister of ace shooter and Olympian Jaspal Rana shot 579/600 in semi-final rounds and 679.5 in final shootout while Saroja Kumari of the SSCB shot 660.3 to take silver. Shilpi Singh of Haryana was, however, happy with her bronze medal when she shot 658.1 and in semifinal round. She shot 565/600. The old record was held by Sonia Rana at 578 in Manipur National Games.

In trap events, international Anwar Sultan of Uttar Pradesh shot impressive 139 to bag gold for his state while Mansher Singh of Delhi shot 136 to capture silver. Bronze medal was grabbed by Manavjit Sandhu of Punjab when he scored 135. Anwar broke the old record held by Anirudh in 1997 National Games at Bangalore. In trap event team championship, UP men took silver medal with S.M. Faisal, G.R. Khan and Anwar Sultan scoring 310 points while bronze medal was bagged by Delhi’s team of Mansher Singh, Irshad Khan and Karan Kumar with 300 points.

In the 25 metre air pistol women team championship, Delhi won gold medal with 1650 points. The team comprised Sushma Rana, Sonika Mannon and Bharti Singh. The silver medal in this section went to HP shooters Sonia Rana, Shivani Rana and Reena Rana who collected 1604 points. The bronze medal went in favour of Haryana team of Shilpi Singh, Shweta Chowdhry and Seema Gaur whose total score was 1596 points.

The SSCB men team won gold medal in 50 metre. The team comprised of TC Palangappa, A.P. Subbiah and Charan Singh who scored 3387 points. Silver medal went to MP team of Raj Kumar, Shamsher Singh and Akhilesh Rai with total score of 3301 points while Rajasthan shooters claimed bronze medal.
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Punjab, Haryana wrestlers shine

Jalandhar
Hosts punjab emerged as winners in Greco-Roman and free style men’s wrestling while Haryana topped the women’s section in the wrestling event of the 31st National Games here today. 

Punjab finished Greco-Roman section with a tally of 77 points followed by Haryana and Services who totalled 64 and 53 points, respectively. In the free style competition, the hosts headed the table with 69 points while Uttar Pradesh and Haryana were narrowly behind by five and six points, respectively. 

In the women’s section, Haryana finished at the top with 51 points and were followed by Punjab and Delhi with 48 and 46 points, respectively. The hosts dominated the day winning five of the 11 bouts decided today. Haryana won four while Delhi and Uttar Pradesh won two and one bout, respectively. PTITop

 

Punjab spikers win bronze
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Punjab boys bagged volleyball bronze in the 31st National Games here. In the women’s event, the bronze went to Andhra Pradesh.

In an exciting match Punjab beat Andhra in four sets while the Andhra girls overcame Karnataka’s challenge in the championship.

Much to the delight of the crowd the Punjab boys finally struck form, a little too late, and overcame a strong challenge put up by the Andhra Pradesh boys. The match was keenly contested and each set had a nailbiting finish. Blocking the smashes, proved to be Punjab’s weakness in yesterday’s semifinal was their strongest point today as most of the key points were scored through the blocks. Punjab won in four sets 25-21, 23-25, 25-23 and 26-24.
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Punjab protest referee’s decision
Lalit Mohan

Anandpur Sahib, November 24
A state of pandemonium was created in the Guru Gobind Singh Marshal Arts Academy, on the first day of the taekwondo events, when players from Punjab moved into the ring and sat on a dharna against the decision of the referee in the favour of Haryana player. The incident occurred during the quarterfinals of the bantam weight men’s taekwondo events.

Santosh of Punjab and Ashish of Haryana were tied at three points. Near the end, the Haryana player allegedly fouled for which, according to the Punjab players, one point should have been deducted. However, the referee gave the verdict in favour of the Haryana player and the game ended with both the players having three point but the Haryana player was declared the winner.

The impasse was resolved when the administrators decided to hold one round of the disputed match again to decide the winner. But the Haryana player failed to turn up in the ring even after three calls by the organisers.

In the bout Manipur and Karnataka dominated the second day’s proceedings, winning two gold medals each out of the five decided.

The fifth gold medal went to Maharashtra in the below-54 kg women’s category, which was won by Krupali Borse.

Shanti Bala Devi got the gold in the bantom weight (51 to 55 kg) category while Soma Rani got the gold medal in the middle weight category (67 to 72 kg) to bag the two gold for Manipur in the women’s section.

Karnataka on the other hand got the two gold medals in the men’s section with Manju Nayak winning in below 54 kg category while M. Parkash won in middle weight (78 to 84 kg) category.
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Tumpa annexes gymnastics gold
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 24
Tumpa Debnath of West Bengal performed with a fine spell of artistry to annex the all-round individual women gymnastics gold in the National Games at Polo Ground here today.

Tumpa who had been the spirit behind Bengal’s victory in the team championship earlier totted up a total of 31.4 points. She was followed by Rohika of Punjab, who bagged the silver medal with 29.875 points and Sundari Mondal, again of West Bengal, who scored 29.7 points.

The women’s individual event was a West Bangal versus Punjab show, with no gymnast from any other state figuring in the first six positions. Rakhi Debnath of West Bengal bagged the fourth position with a score of 29.675 and Meenakshi and Sunita Sharan of Punjab came in fifth and sixth with a score of 29.25 and 28.375 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, in the rhythmic gymnastics category, Rajani of Punjab bagged the gold medal with a score of 15.199 points. She was followed by Sonia of Jammu and Kashmir, with a score of 14.4 points and Pallavi of Maharashtra, who came in third with a score of 14.199 points. Maharashtra, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir girls bagged the fourth, fifth and sixth positions, respectively. 
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Services boxers have mixed fortunes
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, November 24
Holders Services had mixed fortunes with three of their pugilists — B.Ramanand, Dullar Singh and Satish Ghangas — advancing in their respective weight categories, while the best of them — Narender Rana — bid an ignonimous exit in the light welterweight category in the boxing events of the National Games at the Polo Grounds here today.

In the bout between the highly acclaimed international boxer Narender Rana and the relatively unknown Manoj Pawar of Delhi the later turned the tables on the experienced rival in a near-dramatic manner. The final scoreline read 12-9 in favour of Manoj making it the second major upset of the tournament after Sydney olympian Suresh Singh of Manipur was beaten by hosts boxer Bhim Singh yesterday.

The two other Services boxers who had a smooth sailing into the quarterfinal round were Satish Ghangas in the light middleweight category and Dullar Singh in the welterweight category. Both the boxers, tipped to win the title in their respective weight categories, never had to strain a muscle and won on RSC verdicts.

The hosts, too, had something to cheer about, when Naresh Dalal and Pawan Kumar made the quarterfinal stage in the light welterweight and light weight categories, in that order. Pawan Kumar did a thorough demolition job of his rival Satinder Sonkar of Madhya Pradesh.

The domination of the Punjab pugilist in the matter of exchanges was transparent and it was in the third round when Pawan formally completed the ritual of finishing off the fight by landing a barrage of punches that earned him a knockout verdict.

Results: All pre-quarter finals- (Lt weight) : H.Raju (AP) beat K.R. Kumar (Del)- RSC. Jospinder Singh (Har) beat Shivshankar (Ori)- RSC. ( Lt welterweight) V.Harikishen (AP) beat D.Tamang (Meg)- RSC. Puran Lal (Utr) beat S.Tabrez (WB) 13-10.(welterweight): S.K.S Alam (WB) beat Duni Chand (HP) 21-8. Dilbagh (Har) beat R.D Arya (UP)-RSC. 
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Rich haul by Kerala, Services rowers
Rubinder Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
Services and Kerala took three gold each while Chandigarh and Punjab had to be content with a gold apiece on the last day of the rowing competition in the 31st National Games at the Sukhna Lake here today.

Gurpreet Kaur of Chandigarh finally won gold in her pet event 2000 m single scull after her silver in the 500 m. Jincymol Varghese of Kerala, who had won gold in the shorter event, was second.

In the men’s coxless fours Punjab’s Gurnam Singh, Jagtar Singh, Kulwinder Singh and Jarmanjeet Singh rowed superbly to touch home for the gold in 6:55:96. Services’ team of Ajad Singh, Binu Kurian, Harjeet Singh and M. Rehman were second while Chandigarh’s Daleep Kumar, Tejinder Singh, Sukhbir Singh and Bhupinder Singh were third.

Barring the single scull, Kerala women won the other events. Chandigarh’s Rajeshwari Devi and Kumari Ranjana took the silver in the coxless pairs while Orissa were third. Jincymol Varghese, along with Malini MS took gold in the doubles sculls.

Services men’s coxless pair Ram Pal and Surender Singh took gold in 7:31:20. Andhra Pradesh’s Saji Thomas and Jenil K. bagged silver in 7:37:77.

In a close race in the double scull, Services claimed gold ahead of Punjab while Chandigarh took the bronze. Punjab’s Jarnail Singh and Nardev Singh gave a close fight to Narender Singh and Rajneesh P. of Services, who finished in 7:37:55. The Punjab duo touched home in 7:38:28 while Chandigarh had a time of 7:38:81.

Results: Single Scull (men): Services 1,AP 2, Karnataka 3; women: Chandigarh 1, Kerala 2, Manipur 3; double scull (men): Services 1, Punjab 2, Chandigarh 3; women: Kerala 1; Orissa 2, A & N 3; coxless pair (men): Services 1, AP 2, Karnataka 3; women: Kerala 1, Chandigarh 2, Orissa 3; coxless fours (men): Punjab 1, Services 2, Chandigarh 3; women: Kerala 1, A & N 2, Orissa 3.Top

 

Andhra eves beat Kerala
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, November 24
Andhra Pradesh pipped Kerala in a well-contested match to top their pool in the basketball (women) event on the fifth day of the 31st National Games at the indoor hall of Guru Nanak Stadium here today. In a group ‘A’ encounter, Andhra Pradesh eves fought a pitched battle against Kerala to win the verdict in their favour 67-60. They were leading by a thin margin of one point (30-29) at half-time.

With this win, Andhra Pradesh eves completed their engagements in league phase to top the pool. In the knock-out stage, they will take on to the losers of match to be played tomorrow between Tamil Nadu and the current champions Maharashtra.

The bulk of scoring for the winners was done by Sofi Sam (21), Laiji U.P. (15) and Yamuna (15). For Kerala, Liji G. and Lajitha P. scored 14 points each while Ambili Thomas contributed 8 points.

In a group ‘B’ match of men’s section, Karnataka outclassed Kerala 97-77 to register their first victory. The match was only of mere academic interest as Karnataka are already out of contention. The winners led 51-32 at half time.

In the men’s section in a group ‘A’ match played late last evening, reigning champions Tamil Nadu prevailed over Services 90-76.Robinson (23), R. Siva Shankar (15), Sabbir Ahmed (17) and Siva Kumar (15) excelled for Tamil Nadu. Peter John ( 18) was the top scorer for the losers. Dilip and Phool Singh contributed 10 points each.
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Soumyadeep, Indu win

Jalandhar, November 24
Soumyadeep Roy of Rajasthan showed little respect for reputation as he stunned defending champion S. Raman to claim the title in men’s table tennis singles section while the experienced N.R. Indu of Tamil Nadu made up for the defeat of her team-mate, winning the women’s crown in the 31st National Games here today.

Soumyadeep never really allowed his fancied opponent to settle down as he carved out a 11-9, 11-9, 11-5, 12-10 victory over Raman to give Rajasthan their lone gold in the event.

Seasoned Indu, however, kept her reputation intact taking the gold in the women’s singles event with a facile 11-9, 11-4, 14-12, 11-6 win against giant-killer Vishaka Bijoy of Rajasthan in a match which lasted nearly 45 minutes.
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Haryana take gold in tent pegging

Jalandhar, November 24
Hosts Punjab bagged their first gold in the equestarian competitions of the National Games here today.

Punjab’s J.P.Masih astride Mat Maula bagged gold in the individual show jumping competitions edging out favourite Maj Sandeep Dewan of services who had to be content with the silver. Arun Maribashetti of Karnataka and Capt N.S. Sandhu of Rajasthan both remained tied to claim the third spot and the bronze medal. It was an out-standing performance by the Punjab rider and his horse who did not get a single penalty point.

Services with two golds and two bronze lead the equestarian events followed by Punjab with one gold, one silver and two bronze. Rajasthan are third with one gold and a bronze. Haryana too have a gold in the team events of the tent pegging event. UNI
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AP shuttlers shine
Nimrata

Jalandhar, November 24
Andhra Pradesh dominated in badminton winning four gold in the National Games, here today.

In the women’s singles, P.V.V. Laksmi defeated compatriot K. Neelima Choudhary 8-6, 7-0, 7-1 while P. Gopi Chand outclassed Chetan Anand 7-1, 7-4, 7-4 in the men’s singles. G. Jwala and Shruti Kurien defeated D. Shweta and K. Neelima Choudhary 7-1, 7-0, 7-1, in the women’s doubles, and in the men’s doubles, P. Gopichand and Chetan Anand won against Jaseel P. Ismail and Jaison Xavier of Kerala 3-7, 7-5, 4-7, 8-6, 8-6.

In the men’s doubles, Kerala duo of Jaseel P. Ismail and Jaison Xavier won the first game easily 7-3. Gopichand and Chetan Anand fought back in the second game. Inspite of leading by 3-0, the Kerala duo lost their nerve and went down 5-7. In the third game some good smashes from Jaseel Ismail took them to the lead again as they won quickly 7-4. The next game was a neck-and-neck fight. Gopichand and Chetan took the game 8-6.Top

 

Pandey star performer

Patiala, November 24
Uttar Pradesh bagged three of the seven gold medals on offer with Vikas Pandey being the star performer with three individiual gold in the gymnastic events of the 31st National Games here today.

While Uttar Pradesh predictably ruled the roost in the gymnasium, Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir were the other gold winners.

Vikas Pandey was the pick of the Uttar Pradesh gymnasts as he claimed the honour in the men’s pommel horse, floor exercises and roman rings events to help his team consolidate their position on the medals table.

West Bengal’s Rakhi won the gold in the women’s uneven bars while Punjab’s Rajani took the glory in the women’s rhythmic rope.

P Swapna of Andhra Pradesh brought cheer for her team by clinching the gold in the women’s vaulting horse while Sonia of Jammu and Kashmir took the honour in the women’s rythhmic ball event. PTITop

 

AIFF for exposure to youth

Jalandhar, November 24
“Football competitions in the National Games should be confined to under-21 players to give them more exposure. This will help in popularising the youth development programme.” Expressing these views at Guru Gobind Singh Stadium here, venue for the ongoing football competitions of the National Games, Mr Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, president of the All-India Football Federation, said he would take up the matter with the Indian Olympic Association shortly. “Football should be broad based and this is possible only through proper exposure of youth in competitions like the National Games,” he said.

Referring to the forthcoming National Football League scheduled to kick off on December 12,Mr Dasmunshi announced that a special award would be instituted in the memory of the legendary Jarnail Singh. TNS
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Vajpayee rules out intervention
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 24
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today ruled out government intervention in the cricket controversy involving Indian cricket team in South Africa. “The BCCI is handling it and the government will not interfere in it,” Mr Vajpayee said when asked whether government proposed to take any steps in the matter.

He said this in an informal chat with newspersons during a lunch organised by BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra at his residence here.

The action of match referree Mike Denness’ against six Indian cricketers, including Sachin Tendulkar during the second cricket Test match between India and South Africa has created a raging controversy.

The issue had led to an uproar among Indian cricket fans as also in Parliament with members demanding immediate recall of the team from its tour of South Africa.
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Umpires ‘didn’t report’ Sachin

London, November 24
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has admitted that the umpires on the ground had not reported anything against Sachin Tendulkar or Sourav Ganguly, both of whom were penalised by the controversial match-referee Mike Denness in the second India-South Africa Test.

This admission by the cricket’s governing body substantiates the criticism of Denness’ action as many commentators have pointed out that he should not have initiated against Indian players without complaints from the two umpires on the ground or from the South African team management.

In a statement issued here late last night, ICC still defended Denness saying that Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Shiv Sunder Das and Deep Dasgupta, the other four Indians penalised, had been reported by the umpires, one of whom was from South Africa and the other a Zimbabwean.

The ICC said that it was determined to resolve the current issue in the best interests of cricket around the world, emphasising that cricket “could descend into anarchy” if the ICC did not have the right to appoint referees and umpires.

While affirming that the disciplinary actions against Indian players will stand, the statement said that suggestions for potential changes to the disciplinary process will be discussed at the next ICC Executive Board meeting.

In an apparent reaction to Indian cricket board President Jagmohan Dalmiya’s assertion that ICC President did not have any right to withdraw the Test status of the ongoing match, the statement emphasised that such a right did exist. PTITop

 

Kirsten misses ton

Centurion Park, November 24
South Africa were on course of a huge first innings lead as they reached 261 for four on the second day of the third and final cricket ‘Test’ match against India here today. The hosts had already gone 29 runs ahead of Indian total of 232 and were in a commanding position with six wickets in hand.

Gary Kirsten missed century while Herschelle Gibbs scored 59 as they once again provided a sound foundation to the South African innings. But they were not the only problems for India. Each of the other batsmen today contributed handsomely while the Indian bowlers had hardly anything to show.

Javagal Srinath, who did not come out to bat today after his injury on the left hand was found to be a fracture, claimed the wicket of Gibbs while Ashish Nehra dismissed Kirsten but they failed to pressurise South African batsmen who dominated the day’s proceedings.

Scoreboard

India (Ist innings): 232

South Africa (Ist innings):

Gibbs c Harbhajan b Srinath 59

Kirsten c Dravid b Nehra 90

Rudolph run out 21

Kallis not out 41

Mckenzie c Laxman b Tendulkar 33

Extras: (b-2 lb-1 nb-12 w-2) 17

Total: (for four wickets, 80.4 overs) 261

FOW: 1-135, 2-171, 3-195, 4-261

Bowling: Srinath 16-3-54-1 (nb-4 w-1), Nehra 17-3-66-1 (nb-5 w-1), Prasad 11-2-42-0 (nb-3), Harbhajan 20-9-45-0, Kumble 15-3-40-0, Tendulkar 1.4-0-11-1. Reuters

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Rain washes out third day’s play

Hobart, November 24
A thunderstorm washed out play midway through the third day of the second cricket Test between Australia and New Zealand at Bellerive Oval here today.

Lightning and heavy rain hit the ground at 2:53 pm forcing the players from the field until scheduled tea.

The field was saturated with pools of water in the outfield and follow-up rain prevented ground staff from preparing the pitch for a resumption of play. The match was officially abandoned at 5:05 pm.

Scoreboard

Australia (1st innings): 558 for 8 decl.

New Zealand (1st innings):

Bell c Gilchrist b Warne 4

Richardson batting 25

Sinclair b Gillespie 23

Fleming batting 16

Extras: (nb-3) 3

Total: (2 wkts, 35 overs) 71

Fall of wkts: 1-11, 2-53.

Bowling: McGrath 11-6-11-0, Gillespie 11-5-18-1, Warne 7-1-25-1, Lee 6-1-17-0. AFPTop

 

5-wicket haul by Bangar

Hyderabad, November 24
Board President’s XI medium pacer Sanjay Bangar took a five wicket haul to expose the chinks in the English batting even as the three-day match ended in a tame draw here today.

English (Ist innings): 320

Board President’s XI (1st innings):

Sriram c Foster b White 149

Jaffer c Foster b Hoggard 0

Mongia c Thrope b Ball 44

Martin b Hoggard 89

Gavaskar c and b Ball 24

Dharmani lbw b White 5

Bangar lbw b Ball 2

Kartik not out 7

Sarandeep not out 10

Extras: (b-2, lb-3, w-1, nb-3) 9

Total: (7 wkts decl, 112 overs) 339

Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-66, 3-268, 4-315, 5-315, 6-318, 7-322.

Bowling: Hoggard 23-4-51-2, Ormand 15-2-46-0, Ball 27-4-89-3, White 20-5-44-2, Dawson 25-2-97-0, Vaughan 2-0-7-0.

English (2nd innings):

Butcher c Dharmani b Surender 12

Vaughan b Yohanan 18

Hussain c Kartik b Bangar 38

Thrope b Bangar 13

Ramprakash c Dharmani b Kartik 32

White c Dharmani b Bangar 4

Foster b Bangar 0

Ball not out 25

Ormand run out 6

Dawson lbw b Bangar 1

Hoggard not out 0

Extras: (b-3, lb-6, nb-5) 14

Total: (for 9 wkts, 52 overs) 163

FOW: 1-29, 2-48, 3-80, 4-116, 5-120, 6-122 7-144, 8-157, 9-162.

Bowling: S. Singh 10-4-22-1, Yohanan 7-1-38-1, Kartik 15-5-29-1, Bangar 14-6-32-5, Sarandeep Singh 6-0-33-0. PTITop

 
 SPORTS BRIEFS

PRATIMA LIFTS GOLD
PATIALA:
Pratima Kumari of Haryana had a total lift of 207.5 kg to win the gold medal in the 56 kg weight category of the weightlifting event in the National Games held at the rink hall here on Saturday. P. Haritha of Andhra Pradesh won the silver with a lift of 205 kg and the bronze medal went to Punjab lifter Loveleen Kaur, who lifted 189.5 kg. Two times Commonwealth Games silver medalist Satish Rai of Karnataka created a new National Games record with a total lift of 310 kg in the 77 kg weight category in the men’s section. Burly Satish lifted a total of 305 kg in the previous edition of the National Games at Imphal in 1999. The national record of 331.5 kg also stands in his name. The silver medal went to Inderpal of Chandigarh, who had a lift of 287.5 kg to his name while the bronze was won by Nanda of Tamil Nadu, who lifted 285 kg for his effort. OSR

NANDINI WINS
PATIALA:
One-sided bouts were the order of the day in the women’s boxing event, introduced for the first time in the National Games, as out of the 30 bouts held at Polo Grounds on Saturday 23 were stopped by the referee. In the light weight category bout involving M. Nandini of Tamil Nadu and S. Biswal of Orissa, won it 8-6. The results: (bouts decided on points) bantamweight: Mupil Pardhan (WB) b S. Pednekar (Goa) 10-4; R. N. Thangi (Miz) b B. Ambika (TN) 13-5; fly weight: Lakshamaya (AP) b N. Thombi Chanu (WB) 19-7; lt weight: M. Nandini (TN) b S. Biswal (Orissa) 8-7; lt welterweight: L. Malsawni (Meg) b Komali Singh (Chd) 22-14, L.D. Rebecca (Man) b N. Usha (AP) 12-5; lt heavyweight: Gurpreet Kaur (Pun) b Jayotsana (Har) 21-5. OSR

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