Thursday, November 29, 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

Punjab, Goa in title clash
Hardip Saini’s golden goal saves the hosts
Ludhiana, November 28
Hosts Punjab and Goa stormed into the final of the men’s football competition of the 31st National Games, beating Services and Maharashtra, respectively, in the semifinals at Guru Nanak Stadium here tonight.

Rashpal’s strike puts Punjab in final
Jalandhar, November 28
Title holders Manipur will clash with hosts Punjab in the final of the women’s football event in the 31st National Games at Guru Gobind Singh Stadium here today.

Manipur substitute S. Keilyani Chanu’s shot is saved by custodian Ranjita Khan
Manipur substitute S. Keilyani Chanu’s shot is saved by custodian Ranjita Khan of West Bengal in the semifinal match in the National Games at Jalandhar on Wednesday. Manipur won 3-1 to enter the final. — Photo Pandit



Cricket

Saurav Ganguly writes
We were simply not consistent


EARLIER STORIES

 

Services goalkeeper tries to stop the rival Punjab players attempt in a pool match of the handball event in the National Games at Ludhiana on Wednesday. — Photo Rajesh Bhambi


Golfer Saurabh Bahuguna of Delhi discusses a point with his caddy at the Chandigarh Golf Club in the National Games on Wednesday. 
— Tribune photo Pankaj Sharma


Nitin Kirtane (R) and Sandeep Kirtane of Maharashtra in action against Vishal Uppal and Vishal Gupta of Delhi during the team event in the 31st National Games in Chandigarh on Wednesday. 
— Tribune photo Manoj Mahajan 


Ajit Kumar and Dalip Baniwal of Services on their way to win gold medal in C-2 event in the 31st National Games at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Wednesday. 
— Tribune photo Pradeep Tewari


Scene of rehearsal of concluding day of National Gmes at Guru Nanak Stadium this morning . 
— Photo RB 

Five Punjab boxers in finals
Patiala, November 28
Boxing action in the men’s section shifted from Polo grounds to the newly-equipped indoor gymnasium where the semifinals of all weight categories were held today under floodlights.

Haryana claim 3 judo medals
Anandpur Sahib, November 28

Hosts Punjab, who have ruled the roost by bagging the bulk of the gold medals so far, added one more gold to their kitty in the judo event of the 31st National Games here today.

Chandigarh eves succumb to Haryana
Ludhiana, November 28
Hosts Punjab scored an upset victory over the current champions (men) Services to top their pool and secured a place in the semifinal of the handball event in the 31st National Games here today. 

Services a new force in men’s hockey
Jalandhar, November 28

The gold winning effort of Services, which maintained a high level of consistency right through the championship, has marked the emergence of a new force in the men’s hockey scenario.

Harjinder leads, Saurabh shines
Chandigarh, November 28
Harjinder Kang from Punjab shot a one-under again today and with a cumulative two-day score of 142 (71,71) was leading the field on the second day of the National Games golf competition here today.

Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu annex team gold
Chandigarh, November 28
Maharashtra continued their excellent run defeating Delhi 2-1 to annex men's gold, while Tamil Nadu women proved their superiority getting past Maharashtra by identical margin in team events in the National Games at the CLTA here today.

Manipur archers rule the roost winning two gold
Patiala, November 28
Manipur archers ruled the roost by picking up two of the four gold medals on offer in the archery event of the 31st National Games here today.

India goes back to wooden bows, arrows
Patiala, November 28
The country is really going back to bows and arrows with the association of archery holding an Indian round, which entails use of wooden bows and bamboo arrows, for the first time in the National Games.

GAMES DIARY
Will Punjab have sports clubs like PCA?
W
ho will manage the newly created infrastructure after the curtain is rung down on the 31st National Games on December 1? 

Spirit of sports overtakes faith
Ludhiana, November 28
The spirit of sports seems to have overtaken the religious spirit of players from various states taking part in the National Games here. 


Saurav Ganguly writes
We were simply not consistent
T
his tour of South Africa was marked by some very disappointing performances from the Indian team, both with bat as well as the ball. We were simply not consistent enough with the bat, and all our bowlers, with the exception of Javagal Srinath, bowled badly. 

England bundled out for 170
Jaipur, November 28

India ‘A’ spoiled the English team’s preparations for the first Test when they bundled out the visitors for 170 in their first innings on the second day of their three-day match here today.


Karandip Singh and Jaidas Menon of MRF team who won the Coffee Day Action Rally
Karandip Singh and Jaidas Menon of MRF team who won the Coffee Day Action Rally 2001 on Sunday. 

City boy shines in car rally                  
Mangalore, November 28

Speed and control have always been Karandip Singh’s forte and the driver from MRF team proved this once again when taking podium position in the Coffee Day Action Rally 2001, the last round of the Motorsports Association of India’s National Rally Championships which concluded at the Taj Manjuran Hotel, here, on Sunday.

Holder Anand stunned by qualifier
Viswanathan AnandMoscow, November 28
The opening day of the World Chess Championships in Moscow turned out to a near disaster for India when defending champion Viswanathan Anand was stunned by an Internet qualifier, Olivier Touzane, and Dibyendu Barua was outplayed by a former world junior champion, Joel Lautier.

Former partner stole cash: Pele
London, November 28

Pele, the most famous football player in history, denied any involvement yesterday in the disappearance of a $ 700,000 cash advance to his marketing company that was to have helped fund a benefit game for the UN Children’s Fund.
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Punjab, Goa in title clash
Hardip Saini’s golden goal saves the hosts
Amardeep Bhattal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
Hosts Punjab and Goa stormed into the final of the men’s football competition of the 31st National Games, beating Services and Maharashtra, respectively, in the semifinals at Guru Nanak Stadium here tonight.

Both the matches stretched into extra time after the stipulated period failed to break the deadlock. While Goa edged out Maharashtra 7-6 in sudden death, Punjab subdued a fighting Services 2-1 through the golden goal which came in the 13th minute of extra time. In the stipulated period, the two teams were level 1-1 although Punjab had taken the lead initially.

Both the matches played under floodlights, in fact, ushered in a new era in Punjab football. The unprecedented crowd response and the electrifying atmosphere was an entirely new experience for many. The jam-packed grand stand was witness to one of the best matches ever played in the stadium with Punjab dominating over Services for long spells.

Punjab attacked with ferocity from the start and an acrobatic volley by left out Gurjit Atwal went waste.

It was in the 17th minute that Punjab took the lead. A lob from the left by Manjinder was followed by a defender’s weak header and Gurjit Atwal, a player of BSF, aimed a powerful volley which sailed into the net(1-0).

Leading by one goal, Punjab seemed to be coasting along confidently. However, in the 58th minute Services snatched the equaliser in dramatic fashion. A foul on the left by a Punjab defender prompted referee Rizwan to award Services a free kick. Surung Gurung, instead of attempting a direct kick, gave a gentle pass to Amar Thapa whose weak shot sailed into the net. In fact Punjab custodian Arvind Kumar could have easily saved it but he perhaps thought that it would be cleared by a defender (1-1).

Punjab missed a couple of chances and on many an occasion as Services goalkeeper Abun Gobi Singh was just unbeatable.

With the match stretching into extra time, the battle of nerves resumed again.

Finally two minutes before the end of the first half, a brilliant move by Balwinder on the left saw Kuldip putting promising medio Hardip Saini in possession whose powerful grounder sailed past the Services goalie sending a wave of joy all over. The mood was something to be experienced as the players were mobbed by the spectators. However, the Services coach contested the second goal saying that it was an off-side.

Earlier, in another thriller, Goa edged out favourites Maharashtra through sudden death. The stipulated 90 minutes failed to yield any result as also 30 minutes of extra time. In the tie-breaker that followed, both the teams were again level, converting four spot kicks each. In sudden death, Maharashtra’s Narendra Meetei , who plays for Air-India, missed the crucial penalty and the team crashed out of contention despite putting up a valiant fight.

The final will be played on November 30. Tomorrow, Maharashtra and Services will battle it out for the third position at 4 p. m. Top

 

Rashpal’s strike puts Punjab in final
Nimrata

Jalandhar, November 28
Title holders Manipur will clash with hosts Punjab in the final of the women’s football event in the 31st National Games at Guru Gobind Singh Stadium here today.

Hosts Punjab in spite of playing a slow game still came out the better by a solitary goal in extra time. Punjab pressurised rivals Bihar at regular attempts. In the 34th minute, trying to take advantage of a free kick, Anjana Rani, the Bihar captain hit towards the goal but Punjab’s strong defence, particularly goalkeeper Amandeep Kaur stood firm. Both the teams could not score till half time.

After the lemon break, in the 54th minute, Bihar made a wonderful effort as Alka headed the ball, but Amandeep gathered the ball cleanly. Both the teams failed to score in the regular time.

In the opening minutes of the extra time, substitute Rashpal Kaur proved lucky as she scored in the ninth minute, beating the Bihar goalkeeper and taking her team to the finals.

Manipur outplayed West Bengal 3-1 in the second semifinal. The match was played at a fast pace, with wonderful display of coordination and team work by Manipur girls.

Manipur mounted pressure on their rivals from the first whistle. In the 23rd minute, K. Lokeshori passed the ball to captain Langam Chaoba, who made no mistake to put Manipur into lead. Langam Choba contributed for the second goal as she passed the ball to N. Geetarani, who netted without any difficulty to take the score to 2-0.

After changing ends, Manipur gave West Bengal custodian Ranjita Khan several anxious moments. In the 66th minute, S. Manitombi scored a beautiful goal from the left flank to take the score to 3-0.

West Bengal’s hardworking Rinku Ghosh’s effort finally bore fruit as she charged from the mid field, dodged the goalkeeper to score the face-saving goal for her team.

Hosts Punjab would need a much improved performance, better coordination and understanding between the players if they want to fancy their chances defending champions Manipur.
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Five Punjab boxers in finals
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, November 28
Boxing action in the men’s section shifted from Polo grounds to the newly-equipped indoor gymnasium where the semifinals of all weight categories were held today under floodlights.

The Services winning streak came to a halt as just five of their pugilists, out of an expected eight, managed to make the finals. Services, in the finals, will be firing on all cylinders, as they have a reputation to defend. They emerged overall champions in the previous edition of the Games held at Imphal in 1999, where they garnered seven golds out of a maximum of 12 at stake.

On the other hand, the hosts also boast of five pugilists making the grade and the battle lines are clearly drawn with Punjab versus Services being the central theme of the finals. Both squads have some tenacious performers in their ranks and some high voltage duels will be on the cards on the morrow.

In today’s semifinals, Services were in for a big shock when two of their star performers - Rozima Colney and Bipin Pyngrope - fell, losing to unfancied rivals. While Rozima was a bit unlucky to go down to Manoj Saha of Uttranchal on points in a light flyweight category bout, the battle hardened Bipin Pyngrope buckled under the sustained pressure built up by his rival H.Srinivasa Rao of Andhra Pradesh, before bowing out on a RSC verdict in the bantamweight category.

The hosts tasted some heady success today when Balkar Singh set up a title clash with Sydney Olympian Jitendera Kumar of Haryana in the heavyweight category. Balkar fought like a man possessed and built his attack around determination in his bout against Subash of Himachal Pradesh. The string in his stride was quite discernable and a near perfect hook towards the fag end of the last round saw his opponent spread eagled on the mat. The contest was stopped on a RSC verdict.

In the super heavyweight category, it was a long wait for favourite Harpal Singh of Punjab in his semifinal bout against Dharmveer Singh of Jharkhand. A less determined man would have given up and left, but Harpal was a patient man today as he went about dismantling his opponent in a workman-like manner. He deliberately slackened the pace of his fight. But that was until a power-packed right hook floored a flabbergasted Dharmveer in the third round.

Results: lt fly weight: Anurag (HP) b Sandeep Kumar (AP) 21-15; fly weight: Bhim Singh (Pb) b Opinder Negi (HP) 15-3; Bantamweight: D.Parsad (Jha) b M.U Kamble (Mah) 15-6; welterweight: Dilbagh Singh (Har) b A.Dullar Singh (Ser) 15-6; heavy weight: Jitendera Kumar (Har) b Ramachandran (Ser)-RSC.

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Haryana claim 3 judo medals

Anandpur Sahib, November 28
Hosts Punjab, who have ruled the roost by bagging the bulk of the gold medals so far, added one more gold to their kitty in the judo event of the 31st National Games here today.

The second day of the event saw the honours being shared by Punjab, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana as they picked up a gold each of the four on offer.

Punjab’s Pankaj Sharma bagged the coveted gold medal in the men’s under 73 kg category by defeating Delhi’s Jangvir Tokas. The bronze medals went to Prakash Muthanki (Maharashtra) and Sandip (Haryana).

In the men’s under 81 kg category, Jaspal of Haryana claimed the honour while the silver was taken by Delhi’s Vinod Solanki.

Bittu of Madhya Padesh brought cheer for her contingent when she won the gold medal in the women’s open category by getting the better of Daljit Kaur of Punjab. Poonam of Haryana and Nutan Devi of Himachal Pradesh were the bronze winners. PTI
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Chandigarh eves succumb to Haryana
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, November 28
Hosts Punjab scored an upset victory over the current champions (men) Services to top their pool and secured a place in the semifinal of the handball event in the 31st National Games here today. In their last league encounter of pool ‘B’, inspired Punjab who had finished runner -up in the last Games at Imphal, relying on the attacking game, pulled off a thrilling win (18-17). Services with two victories from three matches also qualified for the last four stage.

The home team went on the offensive from the word go and raced into the lead 3-0 but a gallant fight back by Services’ players saw them level the score at 14 all and then at 16-16 but Punjab won the final verdict with a slender margin of just one goal.

Kulwinder sr. and Raja Rao starred in Punjab’s win with 6 and 4 goals, respectively, while Prasad Kumar and Rashid Khan chipped in with 4 goals each.

In the women section, holders Kerala quelled a strong challenge from Maharashtra before emerging victorious 16-13 to strom into the semifinal. The two teams were separated by just one goal (8-7) at half time.

Usha Nandini was the top scorer for Kerala while Mini M.R. and Sheeba contributed two goals each. For the losers, Chitra, Jayshree and Seema scored 3 goals each while Kalyani accounted for two goals.

Earlier in the day, in a pool ‘B’ encounter in the women section, Chandigarh suffered their third defeat in a row to make an exit from the competition. In their last league match, Chandigarh fought well but had to bow to a superior team, Haryana after trailing 13-15 at half time.

Urmila played a brilliant game for the winners scoring seven goals. She was ably assisted by Chandresh (6), Kavita and Neha who fetched 5 goals each. For Chandigarh, Sonia (5) was their main scorer followed by Ritika, Asha and Kiranjit (3 goals each).

In the men section (pool ‘A) , Karnataka men outplayed Uttar Pradesh in a one-sided match 34-16 to register their second win and keep hopes alive to qualify for the knock-out stage. The winners led 18-7 at the breather.

Gabriel and Jose P. John excelled for Karnataka striking 9 and 7 goals, respectively. Vivek Singh (5) and Jatinder Singh (4) fought the losing battle for Uttar Pradesh.

In the third match of the day (women), Chhatisgarh scored a facile victory ( 24-7) over Delhi to assure themselves of a berth in the semifinals. The winners had established a handsome lead of 12 goals at the lemon break.

Meenakshi (5), Anamika (5), Anita Kumari (4) and Matti (3) contributed in Chhatisgarh’s comfortable win. Suman and Sunita with 4 and 2 goals each reduced the margin for the losers.
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Services a new force in men’s hockey

Jalandhar, November 28
The gold winning effort of Services, which maintained a high level of consistency right through the championship, has marked the emergence of a new force in the men’s hockey scenario.

The Services team, despite being in the circuit for a fairly long time, could not make much of an impact in major tournaments till annexing the men’s hockey title in the 31st National Games yesterday.

The solitary goal victory over Karnataka in the final, which gave them the gold for the first time in their history, will not only serve as a morale-booster for Services but will also help them to find their bearing in future tournaments.

The shocking exit of defending champions Punjab in the semi-finals, who fell victim to the giant-killing Services men, came as a big disappointment for the hosts who also had the misfortune of seeing their women’s team bite the dust in the semi-final stage.

Despite being a much superior team on paper, the defending champions paid the price for playing some erratic hockey and failed to handle the pressure when the chips were down.

The poor ratio in converting penalty corners, which has plagued Indian hockey for a long time in international meets, again came to the fore as most of the teams seen in action could not manage a decent conversion rate.

Hosts Punjab were billed as the favourites before the championship and were expected to capitalise on home conditions to retain the title which they had won in the last edition in Imphal two years ago.

But despite maintaining an unbeaten track record in the group league matches, the hosts stumbled in the semi-final which saw Services lift their game by several notches to carve out a 3-2 victory.

The meet also saw Bengal, which does not have the best of hockey facilities, make their way into the last four stage before Punjab shattered their hopes of securing a bronze medal with an emphatic 3-0 verdict.

For a state which does not even have a full-fledged hockey stadium and has a brief season because of the prolonged monsoons, Bengal’s progress to the semi-final stage was all the more creditable and proved that there was no dearth of talent.

The women’s section, which was held in Ludhiana, also saw its share of upsets but the biggest of them was Haryana’s fluent 2-0 victory over defending champions Maharashtra in the final.

Desperate to avenge their defeat in the last National Games in Imphal, Haryana put up an inspired show when it mattered most and never allowed their rivals to bounce back in a fast paced encounter. The Punjab eves, like their male counterparts, had to be content with the bronze medal by prevailing over Chandigarh 4-2 in the play-off match. PTI

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Harjinder leads, Saurabh shines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 28
Harjinder Kang from Punjab shot a one-under again today and with a cumulative two-day score of 142 (71,71) was leading the field on the second day of the National Games golf competition here today. He was followed by Saurabh Bahuguna of Delhi with a score of 143 (74,69). In the third position was Pritam Saikia of West Bengal with a score of 145 (73, 72).

On the completion of the second day’s play the cumulative scores of the leading players are: H.S. Kang (Pb) 142, Saurabh Bahuguna (Dlh) 143, Pritam Saikia (WB) 145, Girish Virk (Chd) 146, A.S. Lehal (Pb) 146, Harinder Gupta (Chd) 147, Simarjeet Singh (UP) 147, Jaskeerat Dullet (Pb) 148.

On the team front Punjab were leading with a cumulative two-day score of 429 (today 217) followed by Chandigarh 446 (today 219) and Delhi 448 (today 221).

Saurabh Bahuguna of Delhi playing good golf started his round with a birdie on the very first hole followed by back-to-back birdies on the third and fourth hole and another birdie on the eighth hole in the front nine and on the 16th and 18th holes in the back nine. Harjinder Kang had a total of three birdies and he played a level par round in the back nine.

Players found the par-5 seventh hole to be the toughest and this hole had the maximum number of bogies and double bogies. The 613-yard seventh hole is the longest hole on the course and indeed a very difficult par-five hole.

The highlight of the day’s play was a superb 3-under score by Saurabh Bahuguna of New Delhi and a hole-in-one on the difficult par-3 11th hole by Ravi Singh of Madhya Pradesh.

Mr Gurbir Singh Sandhu, Vice-Chairman, National Games Technical Conduct Committee, did the customary honoury tee off for the day and thereafter the second day’s play commenced.

Players were impressed by the condition of the course and facilities provided in the club. The par-72 course is considered to be one of the best and the longest courses in the country. The players were indeed appreciative of the day and night Driving Range and lit up practice putting green, which allowed them to practice late after sunset.

After a hard day’s game and practice round players were seen relaxing in the Golf Club’s newly renovated Salon Bar.

The third day’s play will commence at the Chandigarh Golf Club at 7.30 a.m. and the competition is expected to get tough. Some very competitive golf is expected on the next two days. Players vying for top places for themselves and for their teams are expected to play some superb competition.

Individual scores: H.S. Kang (Pb) 142, Saurabh Bahuguna (Dlh) 143, Pritam Saikia (WB) 145, Girish Virk (Chd) 146, A.S. Lehal (Pb) 146, Harinder Gupta (Chd) 147, Simarjeet Singh (UP) 147, Jaskirat S. Dullet (Pb) 148, Gurbaaz Man (Pb) 149, Vikrant Chopra (Dlh) 150.

Team scores: Punjab 429, Chandigarh 226, Delhi 448, Maharashtra 456, Up 461, SSCB 470, WB 476, Haryana 484, AP 493, Karnataka 494, HP 550, MP 550, Meghalay 560, Assam 562, Manipur 616.
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Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu annex team gold
Gopal Sharma
Tribune News service

Chandigarh, November 28
Maharashtra continued their excellent run defeating Delhi 2-1 to annex men's gold, while Tamil Nadu women proved their superiority getting past Maharashtra by identical margin in team events in the National Games at the CLTA here today.

Among men, veteran Sandeep Kirtane had Maharashtra off to an impressive start sailing past Shivang Mishra of Delhi 6-1, 6-2. However, Vishal Uppal revived some hopes in the Delhi camp. Though he struggled to take the first set against Ajay Ramaswamy by 7-5, he had easier time winning the set 6-2. In the deciding doubles tie Sandeep Kirtane and Nitin Kirtane struggle hard before prevailing over by 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 Vishal Uppal and Vishal Gupta.

Andhra Pradesh overcome Tamil Nadu 2-1 to bag bronze in the team events. Tamil Nadu had better luck in the women's section clinching gold surprising formidable Maharashra by 2-1. Tamil Nadu were off to a disastrous start when Sai Jayalakshmi fell to Sonal Phadke by 4-6, 2-6. Rushmi Chakaravarti restored parity getting the better of Radhika Tulpule 6-3, 6-4. The doubles tie turned out to be a see-saw affair in which the former managed to prevail by 6-0, 2-6, 6-4.

Sania Mirza was in sparkling form whipping S K Tara 6-3, 6-1 of Karnataka in the first singles tie to give Andhra Pradesh 1-0 lead. AP suffere a setback as Geeta Manohar could not maintain the tempo going down 5-7, 1-6 to Sheetal Gautam in the second singles. Sania then combined with Geeta to prevail over S K Tara and Sheetal Gautam by 6-0, 7-5 in the crucial doubles.

Team events — (Finals) Men:

Maharashtra b Delhi 2-1 Sandeep Kirtane (Mah) b Shivang Mishra (Dli) 6-1, 6-2, Vishal Uppal (Dli) b Ajay Ramaswami (Mah) 7-5, 6-2. Sandeep K. & Nitin K. (Mah) b Vishal Uppal & Vishal Gupta (Dli) 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

For Bronze: Andhra Pradesh b Tamil Nadu 2-1 Vijay Kanna (TN) b P. Ravi Krishna (AP) 6-2, 6-0. Punna Vishal (AP) b Vinod Sridhar (TN) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. Punna Vishal & Vasudeva R. (AP) b Vijay Kanna & Rishi S. (TN) 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.

Team event — (Finals) Women:

Tamil Nadu b Maharashtra 2-1 Sonal Phadke (Mah) b Sai Jayalakshmi (TN) 6-4, 6-2. Rushmi Chakaravarti (TN) b Radhika Tulpule (Mah) 6-3, 6-4. Sai Jaylakshmi & Rushmi C. (TN) b Radhika T. & Sonal P. (Mah) 6-0, 2-6, 6-4.

For bronze: Andhra Pradesh b Karnatka 2-1 Sania Mirza (AP) b S.K. Tara (Kar) 6-3, 6-1. Sheetal Gautom (Kar) b Geeta Monahar (AP) 7-5, 6-1. Sania Mirza & Geeta Monahar (AP) b S.K. Tara & Sheetal G. (Kar) 6-0, 7-5.

Men’s singles — (quarter-final):

Nitin K. (Mah) b Vinod Sewa (WB) 6-2, 6-4, Ajay Ramaswamy (Mah) b Harshit Sharma (WB) 6-2, 6-2.

Women’s singles — (quarter-final): Ankita B. (Dli) b Geeta M. (AP) 7-6 (5), 6-3, Rushmi C. (TN) b Reedhina Parekh (WB) 6-0, 6-2, S.K. Tara (Kar) b Naina K. (UP) 6-2, 6-2.

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Manipur archers rule the roost winning two gold

Patiala, November 28
Manipur archers ruled the roost by picking up two of the four gold medals on offer in the archery event of the 31st National Games here today.

Manipur bagged gold in the women’s team and individual events while Services (men’s individual) and Delhi (men’s team) claimed a gold each at the polo ground.

L. Suni Devi set the ball rolling for Manipur by taking the coveted gold medal in the women’s individual event (Indian round) with a total of 577 points while Violet Murmu of Jharkhand had to be content with the silver with an identical effort of 577 points.

The Manipur team comprising L. Suni Devi, B. Sophia Devi and B. Geetanjali Devi then added one more gold medal to their kitty by claiming the honour in the women’s team event with a total of 1678 points.

In the men’s team event, the Delhi team comprising Ravinder Sharma, Radhey Shyam and Dinesh Bagged the gold with a total of 1768 points to improve their position on the medals table.

Ran Bahadur Tamang of Services also had his moment of glory when he clinched the gold medal in the men’s individual event (Olympic round) with a total of 614 while the silver medal went to dipul boro of Assam who finished with 602 points. PTITop

 

India goes back to wooden bows, arrows
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 28
The country is really going back to bows and arrows with the association of archery holding an Indian round, which entails use of wooden bows and bamboo arrows, for the first time in the National Games.

The archery association in its wisdom is holding an Indian round in the archery competition which today saw Delhi and Manipur bagging the team events and Havaldar Ran Bahadur Tamang of Services and L. Sunni Devi of Manipur winning the two other gold medals at stake in the individual section.

The association claimed the Indian round was being held here to enable those who did not have access to expensive equipment to participate in the National Games. Correspondingly, the distance events in 90, 70, 50 and 30 metres in the men’s category and 70, 50 and 30 metres in the women’s category besides team events in the distance events as well as individual competitions have been cancelled at the last minute by the federation. This means many of the archers who had come to participate in the distance events have nothing to do except see the sights in Patiala.

Though the association feels the move to introduce the Indian round in the sport is well intentioned, experts feel it would have a retrograde effect on the discipline in the country. They said instead of taking steps to make much-needed equipment available to the various state associations, the national body was allowing players to participate in the Indian round by using wooden bows and bamboo arrows. By doing this they said, the national-level archery body was completely abrogating its responsibility to the game.

Though officials said the transformation from India-made bows to those of international quality could be easily affected, this view was also contested by many others who have an interest in the game. There was a general feeling that if archers did not train with modern equipment at an early stage they would face a psychological barrier when using it for competitions later on. Besides this, all experts hold the view that archers mature at an early stage so it would be useless giving them modern equipment when their best years of training were behind them.

Most of the archers in the game find it difficult to purchase the requisite equipment, which costs upto Rs 1 lakh per bow. Coupled with this, is the problem that most of the archers belong to the economically weaker section, especially those from Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. While the Jharkhand archers have an academy at Jamshedpur to train, which is being run by the Tatas, for others it is difficult to come up with the equipment.

Talking to a number of archers from Jharkhand and other states it was revealed that they were not being advised on how to handle foreign equipment as well as on how to deal with the pressures of the game. Even the Tatas do not have any psychologist on their rolls at Jamshedpur. Lack of a psychologist is badly missed when training archers from tribal areas, who are very superstitious, said a few coaches who were interviewed today.

Meanwhile, in the competition today, in the men’s team championship in the Indian round Assam and West Bengal came second and third respectively, while Jharkhand and Assam were second and third in the women’s team championship. In the individual event, Dipul Boro of Assam and U. Prasad of Andhra Pradesh struck silver and bronze while Violet Murmu of Jharkhand and B. Sophia Devi of Manipur came second and third respectively, in the women’s individual championship in the Indian round.
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GAMES DIARY
Will Punjab have sports clubs like PCA?
Prabhjot Singh

Who will manage the newly created infrastructure after the curtain is rung down on the 31st National Games on December 1 ? The Punjab Government , according to sources, is yet to take a decision.

The Punjab Sports Department has neither money nor men to maintain all the stadia and indoor sports complexes. The possibility of creating an additional body to look after the sports infrastructure is remote as the State Government, like other Central agencies, is facing a serious resource crunch.

The experience of previous hosts of National Games has been none too happy. “We are putting up a proposal before th e state council of ministers to hand over these stadia and indoor sports complexes to the state associations or district Olympic associations to run clubs for promotion of sports at the grassroot level,” says Mr Inderjit Singh Bindra, Principal Secretary, Sports, Punjab.

“In case the proposal is approved, each state association, which offers to adopt a stadium or an indoor complex, would be required to plough all earnings from the proposed sports club into maintenance of stadia or indoor hall and and promotion of the sport concerned. There would be an overall committee comprising the Deputy Commissioner or his nominee, the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation or his nominee, Director of Sports or his nominee and two more official members.

“Besides, the association can have an elected body to run day-to-day affairs of the club but report back to the mandatory official committee. In case., no State association volunteers to adopt a stadia or indoor hall, offer would be extended to the district Olympic association,” said Mr Bindra.

So these sports club-would be generating resources on their own and look after the maintenance and upkeep of the stadia and indoor complexes.

The Punjab Gymnastic Association has already offered to adopt Polo Ground complex. The Punjab Basketball Association may offer to adopt the Indoor Basketball Stadium at Guru Nanak Sports Complex. The Ludhiana District Olympic Association would do well to adopt the Guru Nanak Stadium and start Ludhiana Sports Club there for eminent sportsmen and women and make it economically viable unit by ploughing back all the income in the maintenance and upkeep of the stadia.

The concept, says Mr Bindra, would save the state not only money but also the botheration of employing additional manpower as watch and ward staff for these newly created sports facilities at various places in the state.

It is not only maintenance and upkeep but also the running cost which would be huge. For example, holding a floodlight game of basketball would cost a minimum of Rs 1,000 a night.

Same would be true of the Indoor Sports Complex and also of holding a football match in the floodlit Guru Nanak Stadium. With the sports budget of the state shrinking, the state associations or the DOAs would have to take the lead and volunteer to maintain these complexes.

Otherwise, synthetic surfaces at Indoor Basketball Stadium or indoor complex would gather dust quicker than the outdoor courts and would become a liability. Same would be true of other complexes.

Once the proposal is approved, the associations would do well to draw their plans and work on running fund generating sports clubs at these venues which would not only attract players to these venue but also provide incentive to youngsters to take to sports.

The experiment of the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association and even the Chandigarh Lake Club is there for them to emulate. Even the world famous PCA Stadium at SAS Nagar is being maintained through running of the PCA Club.
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Spirit of sports overtakes faith
Nidhi Mishra Azad

Ludhiana, November 28
The spirit of sports seems to have overtaken the religious spirit of players from various states taking part in the National Games here. Though their Muslims are keeping roza daily in this holy month of Ramzan, the players have chosen to be flexible in their approach in view of the ‘hard’ schedule they have to undergo while keeping fasts and as their games require them to be in good physical condition.

Hamid Khan, the Jammu and Kashmir men’s handball team goalkeeper, who arrived here yesterday, said: “I did keep roza back home, but had to discontinue them here as it is very difficult to have sehri (early morning meal) before 4:30 am. Besides, it was more important for me to make my team win the match against Uttar Pradesh. And my position being a crucial one, I could not afford to take chances with my fitness.” His determination, along with that of his other team-mates, did pay him well as the Jammu & Kashmir team emerged winners in the match.

For others like Zakir Hussain, captain of Uttar Pradesh handball team, the conflict between faith and games proved to be costly. “I was keeping roza till a day before the match. However, I had to skip it when I fell ill due to dehydration. But what’s more painful was that I could not even play the match,” he said. “The problem that Muslim players not keeping rozas face is that they don’t get halal meat. They don’t have any option but to eat vegetarian food only,” he added.

Shabir Ahmed, a basketball player from Tamil Nadu, seemed to be clear about his priorities. “I left keeping roza long ago, when I was in class XII. I always wanted to do well in sports, and I knew that falling in the trap of rituals would pose a problem for me while going for matches,” he said.

Qadir from Karnataka’s handball team said: “I managed to keep roza on all days, except for the days I had to play matches. However, I don’t let myself skip any of the five namaz.”

Sayyed Mustaffa, coach of Chhattisgarh women’s handball team, who belongs to Hyderabad, said: “Religion takes a back seat when it comes to National Games, because winning a medal here is a matter of pride for us. Normally, devout Muslims avoid taking part in games in the month of Ramzan, but no player would like to miss the opportunity of participating in an important event like National Games. But we do suffer from guilt pangs on not being able to keep roza.”

Sheikh Fazal Ahmed, secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council, is among the lucky few for whom the organisers have made special arrangements for keeping roza. “There is no harm if players having faith in their physical strength observe fast,” he said. 
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Saurav Ganguly writes
We were simply not consistent

This tour of South Africa was marked by some very disappointing performances from the Indian team, both with bat as well as the ball. We were simply not consistent enough with the bat, and all our bowlers, with the exception of Javagal Srinath, bowled badly. That Srinath is our strike bowler even at this age is a matter of concern for the team. It’s about time that some of the younger bowlers took a bit of the load off him.

I don’t think the off-field controversies are to blame for our poor showing at Centurion. If that was the case, we should have collapsed on the fifth morning at Port Elizabeth. We simply played poor cricket and were outclassed by a superior team. At Centurion we got many starts, but nobody went on to score a big total. This is what finally cost us the match. The South Africans are a good unit, but I think the team we played against on our last tour was a better one. This team will give the Australians a run for their money, but I think the Aussies will get the better of the exchange. From the Indian point of view. I think the significant gains were Virender Sehwag and Deep Dasgupta. Deep did pretty well on what was his first tour. It was heartening to see that his performance behind the wicket was improving all the time. More importantly, he is a determined bat who tries to make the opposition earn his wicket.

For the South Africans, the blossoming of Shaun Pollock as an all-rounder was crucial. He was their main player and delivered either with the bat or with the ball. All-rounder give the South Africans batting depth and bowling options, which finally make them a very tough unit to beat. We lack all-rounders and often find it tough to balance the team.

Personally, the tour was a mixed one for me. I did well in the one-dayers, but was unable to converts starts into big scores in the Tests. Further, my inability to play at Centurion was also a big blow, I am recovering well after taking some cortisone shots. I should be fit by the Mohali Test, but am not yet sure as to whether. I will have to take a fitness fest, given that the time between the two tours is so short.

Looking ahead to the England tour, we have always been strong at home, but will have to play well if we are to maintain that record. Hopefully, the team will be able to put the disappointments of this series behind them. Gameplan
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England bundled out for 170

Jaipur, November 28
India ‘A’ spoiled the English team’s preparations for the first Test when they bundled out the visitors for 170 in their first innings on the second day of their three-day match here today.

India ‘A’ who earned 63-run first innings lead had further consolidated their position, having reached 75 for three at close of play.

Fast bowler Iqbal Siddiqui wrecked the English middle order with a four-wicket haul while skipper and left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi claimed three as the English batsmen collapsed in a heap before a 42-run last wicket stand between James Foster and Richard Dawson brought them to 170.

Scoreboard

India ‘A’ (Ist innings): 233 (for 9 dec)

England (Ist innings)

Butcher c Kale b Siddique 37

Trescothick c Ratra b Ganesh 7

Vaughan c Mane b Siddique 22

Hussain b Joshi 40

Ramprakash lbw Siddique 0

Flintoff c Ratra b Siddique 0

White b Sodhi 2

Giles c Khoda b Joshi 2

Foster not out 32

Johnson b Joshi 5

Dawson lbw Sodhi 19

Extras (lb 1, nb 3) 4

Total (all out in 62.3 overs) 170

FOW: 1-46, 2-46, 3-82, 4-86, 5-90, 6-97, 7-100, 8-122, 9-128, 10-170.

Bowling: D.Ganesh 20-5-65-1; Iqbal Siddique 21-5-53-4; Sunil Joshi 16-5-39-3; R.S.Sodhi 5.3-2-12-2.

India ‘A’ (2nd innings):

Mane lbw White 15

Gambhir b White 30

Gowd batting 13

Khoda lbw White 0

Kale batting 4

Extras (lb 9, nb 3, w 1) 13

Total (for 3 wickets) 75

FOW: 1-39, 2-64, 3-64.

Bowling: Richard Johnson 7-2-22-0; A Flintoff 11-5-13-0; C White 9-3-19-3; M Butcher 11-7-12-0. PTI
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City boy shines in car rally

Mangalore, November 28
Speed and control have always been Karandip Singh’s forte and the driver from MRF team proved this once again when taking podium position in the Coffee Day Action Rally 2001, the last round of the Motorsports Association of India’s National Rally Championships which concluded at the Taj Manjuran Hotel, here, on Sunday.

Karandip’s victory also stole the thunder from N. Leelakrishnan’s seventh National Championship as the burly veteran could not make much of an impression on the two-leg rally, the second of which was on a circuit, where speed and control were of essence. However, it was a good season for MRF’s Leelakrishnan, who ended a two-year drought and proved that he still has it in him to compete with the best and come up triumphs.

It was the second podium finish for the affable Sardar from Chandigarh, which still was not a true indication of the good season this driver enjoyed. The last year’s Group N champion was not served very well by the more powerful Maruti Baleno, whose wheels did not live up to the grueling tests a rally demands. Last season, driving a Maruti Esteem, Karandip had left the field far behind while claiming the Group N title and this time be could well have emerged the overall champion if his car had stood him in good stead.

“For five of the eight rounds, I was leading the field, before having to pull out due to car problems. On the two occasions that I managed to finish, I emerged winner,” said Karandip after the Mangalore round, while savouring his victory along with co-driver Jaidas Menon.

The first of the two victories was the K-1000 at Bangalore, where Karandip pulled off a creditable victory on the rough dirt terrain. In Mangalore, too, driving a Maruti Esteem, Karandip managed to just about hang in on the first day, completing the last special stage with a broken drive shaft.

“At one stage I never expected to complete the first leg,” he said. However, he had emerged the leader over the field on that day, ahead of the second-placed Vikram Mathais by 14 seconds. On the next day, Karandip was second fastest in the 1400 category, and though the Honda Citys were faster, they were not in contention for the title as they had not completed the first leg.Top

 

Holder Anand stunned by qualifier

Moscow, November 28
The opening day of the World Chess Championships in Moscow turned out to a near disaster for India when defending champion Viswanathan Anand was stunned by an Internet qualifier, Olivier Touzane, and Dibyendu Barua was outplayed by a former world junior champion, Joel Lautier.

Three of the four Indian girls also lost their opening games yesterday, while Nisha Mohota emerged as the only Indian winner on the first day.

However, there is some hope for the Indians as both Anand and Barua come back for the second game today.

Three other Indian campaigners had a fair enough day, as they played out draws. Pentyala Harikrishna, who at 15 and the youngest player here, drew against the highly rated Alexander Beliavsky of Slovenia, and Surya Sekhar Ganguly, also playing his first World Championships, held the 1999 FIDE world champion, Alexander Khalifman to a draw.

In another game, Krishnan Sasikiran failed to make good the advantage of white pieces against Vereslav Einghorn of Ukraine.

While a draw in the second game would mean tie-breaker for Harikrishna, Sasikiran and Ganguly, it is a must-win situation in the second game for Anand and Barua. UNITop

 

Former partner stole cash: Pele

London, November 28
Pele, the most famous football player in history, denied any involvement yesterday in the disappearance of a $ 700,000 cash advance to his marketing company that was to have helped fund a benefit game for the UN Children’s Fund. 

Pele accused his former business partner instead of stealing the money and said he has filed a lawsuit to try to recover the missing cash. The game, scheduled for 1995, was never played. APTop

 

Medal Tally

State

G

S

B

Punjab

51

45

51

Services

27

16

28

Manipur

26

12

12

Delhi

22

23

24

Uttar Pradesh

20

15

15

West Bengal

17

7

23

Haryana

16

17

17

Kerala

14

16

13

Tamil Nadu

13

18

10

Maharashtra

13

17

28

Andhra Pradesh

11

14

18

Karnataka

10

21

16

Madhya Pradesh

7

6

15

Rajasthan

3

8

7

Jharkhand

3

5

2

Jammu & Kashmir

3

3

5

Himachal Pradesh

3

2

4

Andaman Nicobar

2

1

3

Chandigarh

2

5

6

Assam

2

5

4

Orissa

2

3

5

Chhattisgarh

1

1

1

Goa

1

0

2

Mizoram

0

3

2

Uttranchal

0

1

1

Railways

0

1

0

Meghalya

0

1

0

Gujarat

0

0

1


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 SPORTS BRIEFS

RS 1 LAKH AWARD FOR HARYANA EVES
JALANDHAR:
The Haryana Women’s Hockey Association has announced a cash prize of one lakh to the Haryana women’s hockey team, who won the gold for the first time in the 31st National Games on Tuesday at the Punjab Agricultural University hockey grounds. The award was announced by Krishna Sampat Singh, President, Haryana Women’s Hockey Association. OSR

VDS WIN HOCKEY MEET
HISAR:
The local Vidya Devi Jindal School won the CBSE National Hockey Championship which concluded on Tuesday. The VDS which fielded two teams in the under 19 and under 14 categories won both the finals. This is the second major national hockey championship won by the school. Earlier this year, it won the IPSC Hockey Championship. The under-14 team, in fact, scored hat-trick, winning the CBSE cup for the third time in a row. OC

FEROZ ALI LEADS
KOLKATA:
Former Indian Open winner Feroz Ali hit five successive birdies on the closing holes to emerge leader with an eight-under-par 62 on the second day of the Kolkata leg of the HT Pro Golf tournament at the Tollygunge Golf Club here on Wednesday. Ali, who equalled the seven-year old course of Indrajit Bhalotia, who hit an under-par 62, now has a cumulative tally of eight-under 132 and a two-stroke lead over the field. Overnight leader Bhalotia and Mukesh Kumar slipped to the tied second position at six-under par apiece. PTI

PUNJAB MEN LOSE
PATIALA:
Punjab started their campaign on the wrong foot in the men’s section of the kho-kho event being held at Polo Grounds here as they lost to Maharashtra in their opening match by a narrow 12-13 margin and then lost to Andhra Pradesh 10-12. On the distaff side, Punjab fared much better when they thrashed minnows Kerala 16-6. The results (all league matches) men: Andhra Pradesh b Kerala 13-10, Maharashtra b Punjab 13-12, Madhya Pradesh b Gujarat 20-14, Karnataka b Tamil Nadu 14-9, AP b Punjab 12-10, Maharashtra b West Bengal 13-12, Karnataka b Gujarat 15-12, women: Karnataka b UP 11-6, Punjab b Kerala 16-6, Maharashtra b Delhi 13-5, Madhya Pradesh b Andhra Pradesh 10-8. OSR
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