SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Greeks rejoice, look forward to Olympics
Athens, July 5
Greeks woke up hoarse and bleary eyed today after all-night parties celebrating their Euro 2004 victory, with the country’s Prime Minister urging them to continue the mood through to the Olympic Games.

Editorial: Cinderella story
In graphic: Euro 2004 outcome

Greek players celebrate with their fans after Greece beat Portugal 1-0
Greek players celebrate with their fans after beating Portugal 1-0 in the Euro 2004 final at Lisbon's Luz stadium in Lisbon on Sunday.
— AP/PTI photo

Lavish praise for Portugal despite defeat
Lisbon, July 5
Portugal's press had words of praise and comfort for the national squad despite their disappointing 1-0 loss to Greece in the Euro 2004 final yesterday.

Portugal’s veterans miss out on glory
Lisbon, July 5
Goodbye golden generation. Thanks for the thrills. The crop of brilliant players which emerged from the Portugal side which won the 1991 world under-21 title and went on to join Europe’s top clubs were feted as the country’s “golden generation” and dubbed “the Brazilians of Europe” for their flair.

Figo undecided on future
Luis FigoLISBON: Portugal skipper Luis Figo has said he was unsure if his country’s defeat by Greece in the Euro 2004 final would bring down the curtain on his international career. “Now is not the moment to talk about that.



Greece's German coach Otto Rehhagel jumps in celebration at the end of the Euro 2004 final between Portugal and Greece
Greece's German coach Otto Rehhagel jumps in celebration at the end of the Euro 2004 final between Portugal and Greece at Lisbon's Luz stadium on Sunday. Greece won 1-0 to become European champions for the first time. — AP/PTI

EARLIER STORIES
 
Zagorakis player of Euro 2004
Lisbon, July 5
Greece captain Theodoros Zagorakis was named the player of Euro 2004 today, the day after Greece’s shock 1-0 win over Portugal in the final. “Throughout the tournament, as well as in the final against Portugal, he showed leadership quality and skill and technical ability as well as character,’’ said French coach Gerard Houllier, a member of the UEFA panel and a former Liverpool manager. A hard-working midfielder, Zagorakis was also named man of the match for the final which completed a remarkable success for Greece, who had been 80-1 outsiders before the tournament.

Greece captain Theodoros Zagorakis hugs the trophy during the prize distribution ceremony in Lisbon on Sunday. — Reuters photo
Greece captain Theodoros Zagorakis hugs the trophy during the prize distribution ceremony in Lisbon

Potent marksmen came a cropper
Lisbon, July 5
Headers, long-range drives, tap-ins, own goals, deflections — not forgetting a clutch of penalties. Euro 2004 has brought 76 goals (Not inc final) in 30 games (Not inc final) for a per match average of 2.5 — down on the 2.73 of four years ago but still enough to keep the millions of fans in the stadiums and their armchair counterparts happy.

Goan fans dejected
PANAJI:
Goan football lovers were deprived of a gala celebration after hosts Portugal lost in the finals of the Euro Cup 2004 to Greece, leaving many supporters of the state’s former colonial rulers dejected and rueful.
.In video (28k, 56k)

Former cricketer-turned-commentator Geffiry Boycott speaks with Rahul Dravid and Mohammed Kaif Indian bowlers must stay fit: Boycott
Chennai, July 5
Indian bowlers need to remain fit for the cricket team to be number one in the world and the players should look beyond the Asia Cup and try to win all matches.



Former cricketer-turned-commentator Geffiry Boycott (left) speaks with Rahul Dravid (right) and Mohammed Kaif during a training session in Chennai on Monday. — PTI photo

Australia to host ICC Super Series
London, July 5
Australia staged a coup of sorts, bagging the right to host the high-profile $ 1.75 million ICC Super Series next year, upsetting ambitious bidding by India and South Africa.

Mongia’s efforts in vain
London, July5
Despite their stop-gap recruit Dinesh Mongia proving his worth as a utility player, Lancashire conceded an 18-run defeat to Gloucestershire in the National League Division One match at Old Trafford.

Sharapova replaces Kournikova as Russia’s newest sweetheart
Maria Sharapova Moscow, July 5
Move over, Anna Kournikova. Teenage sensation Maria Sharapova has replaced the glamour girl of tennis as Russia’s newest sweetheart following her dream run to the Wimbledon title. The 17-year-old Siberian blonde has become an instant hit back home, hailed as the country’s biggest star, her picture gracing the front page of almost every national newspaper.

Naldehra club win Goodwill Golf
Naldehra, July 5
Taking advantage of the home turf, Naldehra Golf Club defeated Lahore Gymkhana Club to win the Lahore-Shimla Goodwill Golf Tournament here today. The home team outplayed the visitors convincingly in the rain-interrupted match played on the Ryder Cup pattern of scoring.

4 fencers selected
Patiala, July 5
Four Punjab fencers have found a place in the Indian junior squad that will take part in the Asian junior and cadet fencing championship slated to be held in Taiwan from July 10 to 16.

Sub-junior basketball
Ludhiana, July 5
The 31st edition of the Punjab State Sub-Junior Basketball Championship for boys and girls will be held at Bhaini Bhaga, Mansa from July 15 to 18, according to Mr Rajdep Singh Gill, president, Punjab Basketball Association.

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Greeks rejoice, look forward to Olympics

Greek players celebrate with the cup following their memorable victory over Portugal in the Euro 2004 final
Greek players celebrate with the cup following their memorable victory over Portugal in the Euro 2004 final in Lisbon on Sunday.
— Reuters photo

Athens, July 5
Greeks woke up hoarse and bleary eyed today after all-night parties celebrating their Euro 2004 victory, with the country’s Prime Minister urging them to continue the mood through to the Olympic Games.

The Greek squad, coached by German Otto Rehhagel, started the tournament as 80-1 outsiders and fought their way to the final past holders France and the fancied Czech Republic before beating hosts Portugal 1-0 in Lisbon’s Luz stadium.

The 57th-minute goal by Angelos Haristeas was a header, but for Greeks it was also a kick up the backside, a hint from the heavens to stop complaining, unite and prepare for the next big national moment, the Athens Olympics.

The squad’s success will be a much-needed shot in the arm for Greek pride in hosting the August 13-29 Games, an event dogged by negative publicity over construction delays, security worries, budget overruns and profiteering.

“These boys taught us a lesson as to what Greeks can do when we really believe in something, when we are united and have self-confidence, dynamism and method in achieving it,” said Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

“This is the best passport, the best invitation for the Olympics, because this great Greek summer continues in one-and-a half months with the Games,” he said.

Radio stations played traditional syrtaki music this morning, and even political newspapers wore the national colours of blue-and-white around full-page pictures of the squad.

“They lifted Greece to the top of Europe,” ran the headline of Eleftheros Typos.

Ethnos led with “We won, break down the gates, our boys return as champions,” in reference to the ancient Greek custom of tearing down a section of the city walls to welcome returning Olympic winners.

Millions of Greeks around the world celebrated after the final whistle last night, flooding streets and squares, draped in the national colours, whistling, setting off fireworks and chanting the national anthem.

In Athens, an estimated 250,000 people made their way downtown in cars, on mopeds and on foot, beeping car horns, waving flags and hugging total strangers, many wearing T-shirts proclaiming “2004 - the year of Greece”.

Flares turned night to day around central Omonia square, where people climbed statues, lamp posts and trees, raced their motorbikes in impromptu motorcades and joined marching bands in clapping and singing.

Some stragglers were still walking the streets this morning, staggering from fatigue but still mustering enough strength to break into cheers every so often.

“It is like a dream, a dream and we don’t want to wake up,” said a student, Manos Vasilakis, who was lying by the marble entrace of Athens University, draped in the Greek flag. — Reuters




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Lavish praise for Portugal despite defeat

Portugal's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari consoles a tearful Cristiano Ronaldo after their Euro 2004 soccer final loss to Greece in Lisbon
Portugal's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari (right) consoles a tearful Cristiano Ronaldo after their Euro 2004 soccer final loss to Greece in Lisbon on Sunday. Greece won 1-0. — Reuters
photo

Lisbon, July 5
Portugal's press had words of praise and comfort for the national squad despite their disappointing 1-0 loss to Greece in the Euro 2004 final yesterday.
"Portugal is proud of you," said sports daily Record on its front page above a photo of teenage winger Cristiano Ronaldo as he wept alongside striker Pauleta and defender Jorge Andrade at the end of the match.

"How it hurts! But we are proud!" said rival A Bola, adding "it is always frustrating to loose a final at home but history will absolve you." Portugal has reached the semi-finals of a major tournament three times -- at the 1984 and 2000 European championships and the 1966 World Cup -- but had never progressed beyond this stage until Euro 2004.

"There went the dream," said tabloid 24 Horas above a photo of a distraught Ronaldo.

"Don't cry Ronaldo! The Greeks took home the title but we won everything else: we organised a fantastic championship, created a fabulous team and we have the best fans in the world. We're great!" it added on its front page.

"It was worth it," said daily Publico on its front page of the three-week tournament which Portugal, one of western Europe's poorest nations, spent millions to stage.

In addition to having come close to winning the championships, the paper said Portugal was also widely praised for its skills in organising the event, which is expected to attract more tourists and investors to the country.

Inside the paper bitterly labelled the Greeks' victory a "triumph of parasite football".

Daily Correio da Manha was the only major paper to strike a critical tone against the team.

"The dream is over," it said on its front page above a photo of Portugal captain Luis Figo raising his hands to his head as the final whistle confirmed Portugal's loss. "Portugal lost the European title to Greece which showed greater ambition and worthiness," it added.

"It is a shame the team did not play the final match with the will and determination which they showed during the last half hour, when they created some opportunities and forced Greece to backtrack," it said inside. —AFP

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Portugal’s veterans miss out on glory

Lisbon, July 5
Goodbye golden generation. Thanks for the thrills.
The crop of brilliant players which emerged from the Portugal side which won the 1991 world under-21 title and went on to join Europe’s top clubs were feted as the country’s “golden generation” and dubbed “the Brazilians of Europe” for their flair.

But they never won a trophy.

As that group steps aside for emerging young stars, Portugal went further than ever before in reaching the Euro 2004 final.

They lost by a single goal to Greece, but they lost in style and delighted their fans.

And the Portuguese have a new nickname for their new wonderkids: the platinum generation.

The transition is being masterminded by Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who two years ago collected the World Cup title for his country.

Scolari’s team — a blend of the old and the new — kept spirits up despite the crushing defeat.

“The Portuguese team was excellent at Euro 2004. Nobody’s going to keep us down. We’ll bounce back even stronger,” Scolari said, adding that “This is not the end. We’ll win something in the future. We’ll see you at the next World Cup in two years’ time.”

Euro 2004 was a turning point for the national team as the veterans made way for the new blood.

AC Milan midfielder Rui Costa, who was mostly kept on the subs’ bench by FC Porto playmaker Deco, said last week he was retiring from the national side at the end of the championship.

FC Porto’s Ricardo Carvalho pushed out veteran Lazio central defender Fernando Couto.

Even national soccer icon Luis Figo of Real Madrid had to fight for a place in the side with Manchester United teenager Cristiano Ronaldo, the torchbearer for the new generation.

“We have to lift our chins up and look to the future,” said Ronaldo, who wept after the defeat and was comforted by soccer great Eusebio. “This doesn’t end here. We showed we have a great team and we’ll keep going.” — AP

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Figo undecided on future

LISBON: Portugal skipper Luis Figo has said he was unsure if his country’s defeat by Greece in the Euro 2004 final would bring down the curtain on his international career. “Now is not the moment to talk about that. I will make a decision but for now I just want to rest,” said the 31-year-old Real Madrid midfielder who was winning a record 111th cap for Portugal.

It was a bad night all round for Figo as with five minutes remaining of the match and Portugal needing a goal to take the match into extra-time a spectator ran onto the pitch and as he passed Figo threw a Barcelona shirt in his face.

Figo had caused a furore in Spain when he left the Catalan giants for their bitter rivals Real Madrid for a record 65 million euros in 2000. — AFP

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Zagorakis player of Euro 2004

Lisbon, July 5
Greece captain Theodoros Zagorakis was named the player of Euro 2004 today, the day after Greece’s shock 1-0 win over Portugal in the final.
The choice was made by UEFA’s eight-man technical study group plus one vote from fans who had named their preferred player on the organisers’ website.

“Throughout the tournament, as well as in the final against Portugal, he showed leadership quality and skill and technical ability as well as character,’’ said French coach Gerard Houllier, a member of the UEFA panel and a former Liverpool manager.

A hard-working midfielder, Zagorakis was also named man of the match for the final which completed a remarkable success for Greece, who had been 80-1 outsiders before the tournament.

Zagorakis will be presented with his trophy at a gala in Monaco on August 26.

The 32-year-old AEK Athens midfielder was one of five Greek players named in an all-star squad by the panel.

Goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis, who kept three clean sheets in the knock-out stage, was selected along with the Czech Republic’s Petr Cech as one of the two goalkeepers in the squad.

Greek centre-half Traianos Dellas and right-back Georgios Seitaridis featured among the seven defenders while Zagorakis was in midfield and yesterday’s goalscorer Angelos Haristeas was one of the forwards.

Goalkeepers: Petr Cech (Czech Republic), Antonios Nikopolidis (Greece)

Defenders: Sol Campbell (England), Ashley Cole (England), Traianos Dellas (Greece), Olof Mellberg (Sweden), Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal), Georgios Seitaridis (Greece) and Gianluca Zambrotta (Italy)

Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Germany), Luis Figo (Portugal), Frank Lampard (England), Maniche (Portugal), Pavel Nedved (Czech Republic), Theodoros Zagorakis (Greece) and Zinedine Zidane (France)

Forwards: Milan Baros (Czech Republic), Angelos Haristeas (Greece), Henrik Larsson (Sweden), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Wayne Rooney (England), Jon Dahl Tomasson (Denmark) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (Netherlands) — Reuters

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Potent marksmen came a cropper

Lisbon, July 5
Headers, long-range drives, tap-ins, own goals, deflections — not forgetting a clutch of penalties.
Euro 2004 has brought 76 goals (Not inc final) in 30 games (Not inc final) for a per match average of 2.5 — down on the 2.73 of four years ago but still enough to keep the millions of fans in the stadiums and their armchair counterparts happy.

In keeping with a tournament which produced no end of curious twists and turns the most potent marksmen went home empty-handed.

Milan Baros ended the match as top scorer with his five goals, including a spectacular effort which helped to bring his Czech side back from the dead in a group encounter with the Netherlands which proved to be the match of the tournament.

Baros’ sizzling drive left Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar standing for pace and accuracy and Liverpool fans were left to ponder why he had not produced such form in Anfield red over the season.

Also winning top marks for style — albeit in more unorthodox vein — was Zlatan Ibrahmovic who, with five minutes remaining, rescued a vital point for Sweden against Italy by hooking the ball home from close range with his heel.

If that piece of impudence had the commentators gasping Portugal midfielder Maniche had them in even more confusion with his rasping effort against the Dutch in the semifinal.

After a short corner on the left Maniche swept the ball home in the blink of an eye, the trajectory so quick, the strike so unexpected that the television cameras missed it.

Yet the Portuguese were also on the receiving end, left aghast with the tournament only seven minutes old.

Greece were the beneficiaries as Giorgios Karagounis blasted the party poopers into an early lead after Portugal full back and expensive new Chelsea signing Paulo Ferreira made a hash of a pass in the opening game on June 12 in Porto.

Even their best friends would not describe the Greeks as prolific in the dark art of goalscoring, yet two more of their efforts had earth-shattering consequences for France and the Czech Republic in first the quarters and then the semi-finals.

In the first instance, holders France saw their crown crash to the floor after Theodoros Zagorakis’ cross eluded everyone for Angelos Charisteas to head firmly past Fabien Barthez midway through the second half.

The French had no answer — and neither did the equally fancied Czechs a round later when Traianos Dellas headed in off a Vasileios Tsiartas corner at the death.

The Greeks speciality was in evidence again in the final as Charisteas headed home to give them their first ever continental title and consign the hosts Portugal to another tournament disappointment.

A championship which saw the emergence of a clutch of new teenage stars saluted Swiss striker Johan Volanthen after he netted against France in a 3-1 defeat. Volanthen had the consolation of becoming the tournament’s youngest-ever scorer aged just 18 years, four months and 20 days.

Four days earlier the Swiss had been on the receiving end when England’s Wayne Rooney netted twice against them to wear the youngest scorer mantle himself for barely 100 hours.

French star Zinedine Zidane proved the deadliest deadball specialist with a peach of a freekick and then a last-gasp penalty to sink first phase rivals England.

Real Madrid teammate David Beckham showed how not to do it with a miss from the spot in that game and then another in England’s quarter-final shootout against Portugal.

That game proved the most-action packed of the lot — the encounter between the Czechs and the Dutch aside — with Rui Costa scoring a belter of a second Portuguese goal after a swerving run — before missing his shootout spotkick.

In that match the man who had the last say was Portuguese keeper Ricardo, a man supposed to stop, rather than score, goals.

After saving from Darius Vassell he then smote the winner past England counterpart David James. —AFP

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Goan fans dejected

PANAJI: Goan football lovers were deprived of a gala celebration after hosts Portugal lost in the finals of the Euro Cup 2004 to Greece, leaving many supporters of the state’s former colonial rulers dejected and rueful.

The mood in most of the homes was in sharp contrast to the images on television screens which showed a jubiliant Greek team celebrating after their win last night.

The Euro Cup matches over the last two weeks had revived a feeling of nostalgia among old-timers about the Portugese rule in this western coastal state but yesterday’s defeat proved somewhat an anti-climax to all the frenzy that was witnessed over the days.

“Goans are disappointed for sure ... if Portugal had won, there would have been dancing on the streets and celebrations throughout the night. I guess many Goans will go to work with a dejected face today,” said one such fan Sigmund D’souza. — PTI

Soccer hits poll

DENPASAR (INDONESIA): Football fever took its toll as Indonesians voted on Monday in their first direct presidential election, with several polling stations in this holiday island opening late.

“Several polling stations opened late because officials woke up late after watching the Euro final,” said I Gusti Putu Artha, Bali’s election commission chief.

The final, in which Greece defeated Portugal 1-0, kicked off at 3 am Bali time. Millions of Indonesians have been watching the games.

Koran Tempo newspaper carried a cartoon of a bleary-eyed voter wearing a Euro2004 T-shirt.

“It’s OK to be sleepy as long as you don’t choose the wrong candidate,” the caption read. — AFP

Euro 2004 gamblers

BANGKOK: Thai police said they arrested more than 1,000 gamblers and bookies during a three-week blitz aimed at curbing betting on the Euro 2004 Championship tournament in Portugal.

The Bangkok metropolitan police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Thani Somboonsap, said the Football Gambling Suppression Centre, which was set up in Bangkok specifically to fight betting on the June 12-July 4 tournament, had arrested a total of 1,014 gamblers, including some big-time bookies.

Thani said police from the centre had also seized about 500,000 baht (12,500 dollars) in cash and about 350 million baht (8.75 million dollars) in betting slips that record wagers. — DPA

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Indian bowlers must stay fit: Boycott
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Indian fast bowler Lakshmipati Balaji bowls during a practice session at the ongoing Asia Cup probables camp at Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Monday
Indian fast bowler Lakshmipati Balaji bowls during a practice session at the ongoing Asia Cup probables camp at Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Monday. 

Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar runs during a practice session in Chennai
Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar (centre) runs during a practice session in Chennai on Monday. — PTI photos

Chennai, July 5
Indian bowlers need to remain fit for the cricket team to be number one in the world and the players should look beyond the Asia Cup and try to win all matches, the adviser to the Indian cricket team, Geoff Boycott, said here today.

The former England skipper refused to divulge his discussions with the team and individual players despite a volley of questions from the media.

Replying to a question that in which area did the Indian team need to improve to be the best in the world, Boycott said, “The bowlers need to stay fit.”

He said, “The players should not look only for the Asia Cup. After that there is a tournament in Holland followed by the ICC trophy and then Test matches against South Africa and Australia. They should try to win them all though it doesn’t always happen that way in life. They are capable of beating South Africa and Australia in Tests.”

Asked what exactly was his role in the Indian team, the batsman from Yorkshire replied, “That’s one thing you should ask Jagmohan Dalmia. The BCCI invited me to come and I am delighted to be here.”

“I am basically here to talk to the coach and the captain,” he added.

Despite prodding by the reporters, Boycott said, “In no way am I going to discuss with you what I discussed with the players. It’s confidential. That way I can keep their respect. They have confidence in me and talk to me in private, too, as individuals.”

Asked about the mental frame of the Indian cricketers, he said, “They are a good set of players and a good team. If you are ambitious, you perform well. They should strive to be the best team in the world.”

Regarding his criticism of some of the Indian players’ batting techniques, Boycott explained, “When I do commentary for ESPN-Star sports, I do a different job. Now I am doing a job with the team. I am sharing my experience with them.”

Boycott had earlier been critical of Virender Sehwag’s footwork and Indian batsmen getting out too early, since he preferred they should stay on the wicket for long instead of throwing them away.

“When I was a young boy playing cricket in Yorkshire, older cricketers used to share their experience. And that helped me a lot. It’s the same way now. That’s how the world is,” he added.

Asked how long will his present stint with the Indian team continue, the former ace batsman shrugged and said, “I don’t know. I already have cancer. I am not sure whether I will be around next year. I live each day, each week and each month.”

Commenting about his association with the Indian team, Boycott said, “I like being in India. I like the team. I like the players.”

Asked when did his love for India begin, he said, “I do not remember, it’s an amazing country and I like coming back here.”

Today was Boycott’s second day at the camp here for the 20 probables for the Indian team. He watched the players do practice during both sessions.

The Indian team will be announced on July 7 and all selectors are expected to arrive here by tomorrow. The camp will end on July 8 and the team will leave for Colombo for the six-nation tournament on July 13 from here.

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Australia to host ICC Super Series

London, July 5
Australia staged a coup of sorts, bagging the right to host the high-profile $ 1.75 million ICC Super Series next year, upsetting ambitious bidding by India and South Africa.

Sydney will now host a one-off “Test” between the world No. 1 team — which is going to be Australia — and a Rest of the World side from October 13-18, while three one-dayers will take place at Telstra Dome, Melbourne, on October 5, 7 and 9.

ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said “Cricket enjoys a tradition of national teams playing Rest of the World sides and these matches have provided terrific cricket.

“Unfortunately, in recent years, the calendar has made it very difficult to play these types of games and they have drifted off the schedule,” he said.

“However, the creation of the ICC Super Series will now ensure that these matches become a major event on the international cricket calendar,” he said.

Besides batting maestroes Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, Australia’s pet hate Muttiah Muralitharan might also be seen in action during the series.

Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar, South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis and England’s new pace sensation Steve Harmison are also expected to feature in the cricket extravaganza.

“Choosing between Rahul Dravid, Michael Vaughan, Sachin Tendulkar, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Inzamam-ul Haq, Stephen Fleming, Brian Lara, Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly is hard enough, let alone having to then choose the all-rounder, the wicket-keeper and the bowling attack,” said Speed. — UNI

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Mongia’s efforts in vain

London, July5
Despite their stop-gap recruit Dinesh Mongia proving his worth as a utility player, Lancashire conceded an 18-run defeat to Gloucestershire in the National League Division One match at Old Trafford.

Even the presence of former captains and Test players, including Clive Lloyd, Jack Bond, Geoff Pullar, Sonny Ramadhin, Farouk Engineer and Roy Tattersall, failed to inspire the Red Rose county who recorded their eighth defeat in the last 10 matches.

Batting first, Gloucestershire totalled 237 in 45 overs losing nine wickets, riding on two dazzling half centuries by Craig Spearman(89) and Tim Hancock(53 not out).

While most of the Lancashire bowlers were belted by the Gloucestershire batsmen, Dinesh Mongia returned with decent figures of 9-1-46-1, claiming the prized wicket of Spearman. Chasing a target of 238, Lancashire were all out for 219 runs in 43.1 overs.

Besides their prolific opener Mal Loye(65), Mongia (40) provided some resistance but that was clearly not enough as Gloucestershire went on to win the match. — UNI

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Sharapova replaces Kournikova as Russia’s 
newest sweetheart

Moscow, July 5
Move over, Anna Kournikova. Teenage sensation Maria Sharapova has replaced the glamour girl of tennis as Russia’s newest sweetheart following her dream run to the Wimbledon title.

The 17-year-old Siberian blonde has become an instant hit back home, hailed as the country’s biggest star, her picture gracing the front page of almost every national newspaper.

“Maria, Queen of England,” exclaimed leading sports daily Sovietsky Sport on Monday.

“Beautiful Masha. She became the first Russian to win the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament,” echoed the respected Kommersant.

“Russian tennis achieved its biggest success on Saturday,” wrote the business daily in its front-page editorial, describing Sharapova’s 6-1 6-4 demolition of twice-champion and former world number one Serena Williams in the final.

In only her second visit to Wimbledon, Sharapova became the third youngest champion in the event’s 120-year history.

The Russian became the first 13th seed to win the title and only Monica Seles and Tracy Austin had won grand slam titles with less experience of top flight tennis.

“Nobody bet on Maria but she won the super tournament as well as a million dollars,” said popular tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda.

But it was Sharapova’s youthful exuberance, good looks and sex appeal that made her a crowd favourite at the All-England Club and wildly popular back home.

Although she moved to the USA at the age of seven and speaks her native language with a distinct foreign accent, Russians have adopted Sharapova as truly one of their own.

During the fortnight, her fairy tale story has been rewritten and discussed by most newspapers and talk shows.

Sharapova’s Wimbledon triumph has even helped lift the gloom among millions of Russian fans following the country’s disappointing showing at Euro 2004.

“So what if England has Wayne Rooney,” said Nikolai, 31, a kiosk vender in central Moscow, of the 18-year-old England striker, who became a real revelation in Portugal. “We have our Masha to be proud of. Besides, she’s much better looking anyway.”— Reuters

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Naldehra club win Goodwill Golf
Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Naldehra, July 5
Taking advantage of the home turf, Naldehra Golf Club defeated Lahore Gymkhana Club to win the Lahore-Shimla Goodwill Golf Tournament here today.
The home team outplayed the visitors convincingly in the rain-interrupted match played on the Ryder Cup pattern of scoring. The 32 golfers were divided into eight groups, each having two members from rival teams. In each group, the rival golfers faced each other as a team of two and also one to one.

The hosts posted an aggregate of 9 points whereas the visitors could notch up only 4 points. Muneesh Kapoor, Ajay Vij, D.S.Verma and Yatish scored the most points to take their team to a winning position. For the Lahore club, its captain, Lt- Gen Mohammed Tariq (retd), Shafique Bhatti and Mir Maaz played well but their contribution failed to lift the overall performance of the team.

In the ladies putting event, Mrs I.D. Bhandari of the local club emerged victorious, while Mrs Rajala and Mrs Faij Jahid, both of the Lahore club, shared the second position.

Brig B.S.Kanwar, the captain of the home team, said the visiting team had played well. It had some outstanding golfers but they did not have any experience of hilly courses like the one in Naldehra. All golfers did better than yesterday and with a practice of three four days they could have won the championship, he said. The visitors, preoccupied with golf over the past three days, wanted to have a day off tomorrow. Consequently, their scheduled match against the local Army team at the Annandale golf course will not take place.

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4 fencers selected
Our Sports Reporter

Patiala, July 5
Four Punjab fencers have found a place in the Indian junior squad that will take part in the Asian junior and cadet fencing championship slated to be held in Taiwan from July 10 to 16.

The team: Boys: Harpreet Singh, Gauravjit Singh (Punjab), O.Sovaraj Singh, Rajeshwar Singh, S.Jayanta Singh (Manipur), M.Tukaram (Andhra Pradesh) and Sumeeth S Naidu (Karnataka).

Girls: Karamjit Kaur, Ruchi Trikha (Punjab), M.Usharani Devi, Harina Devi, W. Roji Devi, M.Sandhyarani Devi and S. Reorita Devi (Manipur).

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Sub-junior basketball

Ludhiana, July 5
The 31st edition of the Punjab State Sub-Junior Basketball Championship for boys and girls will be held at Bhaini Bhaga, Mansa from July 15 to 18, according to Mr Rajdep Singh Gill, president, Punjab Basketball Association. Players born on or after January 1, 1991 are eligible to take part in this meet. Entries close with Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary, PBA, at Ludhiana on July 12.

The Punjab teams for the Sub-Junior National Basketball Championship to be held at Trivandrum from August 23 to 28 will be slected on the basis of the players’ performance during this four-day meet, he added. — OSR

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