SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Hockey: 3 changes for German meet
New Delhi, July 9
The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) has made three changes in the Indian team, which will play in a four-nation tournament in Dusseldorf (Germany) from July 16 to 18.

Wrestlers look to give their best at Athens
Chandigarh, July 9
Indian wrestlers for the Athens Olympics took time off from their training schedule to give tips to aspiring wrestlers and interact with mediapersons at a workshop held at Shivalik Public School, Sector 41-B, here today.
The wrestlers bound for the Athens Olympics, (from left) Anuj Choudhry, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Ramesh Kumar, Sujeet Maan and Palwinder Cheema
The wrestlers bound for the Athens Olympics, (from left) Anuj Choudhry, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Ramesh Kumar, Sujeet Maan and Palwinder Cheema (standing), read the “good luck” card presented to them at Shivalik Public School, Sector 41-B, Chandigarh, on Friday. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan
In videos:
India clears 74 sportspersons for Athens Olympics. (28k, 56k)
Olympic gold medalist leads a penury-stricken life. (28k, 56k)

Emotional Jenny qualifies for Athens
Long Beach (California), July 9
In three previous Olympic campaigns, US swimming great Jenny Thompson always knew her mother, Margrid, was right there pulling for her.
Brendan Hansen celebrates after winning the 100 m breaststroke final at the US Olympic swimming trials in Long Beach, California
Brendan Hansen celebrates after winning the 100 m breaststroke final at the US Olympic swimming trials in Long Beach, California, on Thursday. Hansen set a world record with a time of 59.30 seconds.
— Reuters photo

Hansen breaks record
Rude welcome

Olympic flame returns to Greece
Iraklion (Greece)
: The Olympic flame headed back to its homeland on Friday after a global relay that included groundbreaking stops in Africa and South America.


Ferrari's world champion German driver Michael Schumacher arrives for a practice session for the British Grand Prix
Ferrari's world champion German driver Michael Schumacher arrives for a practice session for the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone race track in Northamptonshire, central England, on Friday. The British Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES
 

Langer, Hayden flay Lanka attack
Cairns (Australia), July 9
Openers Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden amassed their sixth double-century partnership to build an imposing platform for Australia to bat Sri Lanka out of the second cricket Test here today.

SA in dark about tour itinerary
Durban, July 9
South Africa is still in the dark about the itinerary for the India tour, scheduled for November this year, a cricket board official has said. Brian Basson Manager of Cricket Affairs of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) said the board had not received any communication as yet regarding the itinerary from its Indian counterpart.

Hanif Mohammed to meet ailing fan in Kolkata
Lahore, July 9
Overwhelmed by the letter of a young cancer-stricken boy from Kolkata, Pakistan cricket legend Hanif Mohammed has decided to visit India to meet his ailing fan. Touched by the e-mail from an ailing Arnab Ghosh, a class VII student at a Kolkata school who is suffering from acute leukemia, the legendary cricketer is planning to meet the youngster in India.

Toss the key for Lara, Fleming
London, July 9
Members and fans at the Lord’s tomorrow may want to take their seats a while before the first ball is bowled in the triangular series final between New Zealand and the West Indies. When Brian Lara and Stephen Fleming perform the toss, it could be the most crucial passage of play in the game. In six completed matches in the series also involving England, the team winning the toss have gone on to win each match with reasonable ease.

Brazil win on late goal
Arequipa (Peru), July 9
Brazil and Paraguay scored in the waning moments of their opening Group C matches to each win 1-0 in Copa America. Luis Fabiano headed in an injury-time corner from Alex for Brazil to overcome Chile, while replacement striker Julio dos Santos converted an 86th-minute penalty in Paraguay’s victory against Costa Rica yesterday. Chile had a golden chance to go ahead in the first half when striker Sebastian Gonzalez scored from the penalty spot in the 24th, but his goal was disallowed by Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez because teammates allegedly entered the box before the kick. Gonzalez sent his second shot high over the crossbar.

Brazil's Luis Fabiano (L) celebrates with team-mate Diego after scoring a goal against Chile in the final minutes of their first round Copa America match in Arequipa, Peru, on Thursday. Brazil won 1-0. — Reuters  photo
Brazil's Luis Fabiano celebrates with team-mate Diego after scoring a goal against Chile in the final minutes of their first round Copa America match


Quickstep rider Tom Boonen of Belgium celebrates as he crosses the finishing line to win the sixth 196-km stage of the Tour de France Quickstep rider Tom Boonen (C) of Belgium celebrates as he crosses the finishing line to win the sixth 196-km stage of the Tour de France from Bonneval to Angers on Friday. — Reuters

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Hockey: 3 changes for German meet
M.S. Unnikrishnan

New Delhi, July 9
The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) has made three changes in the Indian team, which will play in a four-nation tournament in Dusseldorf (Germany) from July 16 to 18. Adam Sinclair, Sandeep Michael and Harpal Singh have replaced Hari Prasad, Sunil Yadav and Inderjeet Chadha in the team, who will train at Liverkusen in Germany, which is just half an hour drive from Dusseldorf, after the four-nation tourney.

The 16-member Indian Olympic squad will be named in Germany on July 19 after the four-nation tournament, featuring hosts Germany, India, England and France.

A 21-member Indian hockey team will leave for Germany late Friday night, and they would have the honour of being the first batch to leave for the Athens Olympic Games, to be held from August 13 to 29. After the Dusseldorf tournament, the Indian team will train at Liverkusen, before checking into the Olympic Village at Athens on August 7 — a week ahead of the games.

The 21-member squad for the German tour:

Goalkeepers: Devesh Chauhan and Adrian D’Souza.

Full-backs Sandeep Singh, Dileep Tirkey, Kanwalpreet Singh, William Xalco, Jitender Singh and Harpal Singh.

Midfielders: Vikram Pillay, Vivek Gupta, Bimal Lakhra, Ignace Tirkey and Viren Rasquina.

Forwards: Gagan Ajit Singh, Dhanraj Pillay, Deepak Thakur, Arjun Halappa, Sandeep Michael, Adam Sinclair, Baljeet Singh Dhillon and Prabhjot Singh.

Sources said after the Dusseldorf tournament, five players would be dropped, and the axe was likely to fall on centre-half Vivek Gupta, full-back Jitender Singh and forward Adam Sinclair.

Meanwhile, at a function held here today by sponsors of the Indian Olympic contingent Sahara India, the Indian hockey team were present in full strength, sans Dhanraj Singh. While chief coach Rajinder Singh kept his counsel, refusing to open up without the permission of “my chief” K.P.S. Gill, his newly-appointed deputy Jagbir Singh, was voluble.

Jagbir said he had many aces up his sleeve, which he would implement during the German tour. Meanwhile, former Holland Olympian goalkeeper Frank Leistrean will take care of the Indian team from the German tour onward. Leistrean had played in the Atlanta (1986) and Sydney (2000) Olympic Games for Holland, and his expertise will be utilised to improve India’s goalkeeping.

Meanwhile, sources said the thrust during the German tour would be to iron out the flaws noticed during the 21-day training stint at Ariozna in the USA and later in a four-nation tournament in Holland. India had finished at the bottom in the Amstelveen tournament. The main drawback of the at Amstelveen was lack of match practice.

During the training stint in Germany, the team will travel to Belgium to play matches, besides crossing sticks with top German club teams. Two German experts will also be joining the team.

A top source associated with the preparation of the team said the conversion rate of penalty corners was an area of serious concern. The players also need to be more penetrative in their attacks, with proper cordination between the wingers and the strikers. They need to firm up their technique in crossing passes, clearances and interceptions. The mid-field also should fall back to fortify the crumbling defence, as well as to move up to bolster the scattered attacks. The halfs would also have to ensure proper distribution of the ball, and in precision passing.

Goalkeeping is another area in which India would have to make considerable improvement, and the Dutch coach was expected to pull off a magical feat within the next few days. Both Devesh Chauhan and Adrian D’Souza need to tighten their defence, as often, they had let their guards down, to let goals. They had allowed a lot of “soft balls” to go through, the source noted.

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Wrestlers look to give their best at Athens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9
Indian wrestlers bound for the Athens Olympics took time off from their busy training schedule to give tips to aspiring wrestlers and interact with mediapersons at a workshop held at Shivalik Public School, Sector 41-B, here today.

The workshop was organised jointly by Gujarat Ambuja Cements Limited (GACL), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

Of the seven wrestlers who will represent India at the games, six were present on the occasion. They were Yogeshwar Dutt (55 kg), Sushil Kumar (60 kg), Ramesh Kumar (66 kg), Sujeet Maan (74 kg), Anuj Chaudhry (84 kg) and Palwinder Cheema (120 kg), all competing in the freestyle category. The seventh member of the Olympic squad is Greco-Roman wrestler Mukesh Khatri.

The wrestlers claimed that their medal prospects were bright, even though they admitted that the competition would be very tough. They have excelled in SAF Games, Asian and Commonwealth Wrestling Championships, but an Asian Games medal has eluded them. One of them, Sujeet Maan, stood fourth in the Busan Asiad.

Prior to the Athens games, the squad will attend a training programme in Bulgaria. The programme is also being supported by the GACL.

Chief coach Jagminder Singh said the preparations of the team were on the right track, adding that special emphasis would be given to providing them good Indian diet abroad. He said the wrestlers were looking forward to giving their best in Athens.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr M.S. Malik, DGP, Haryana, and President, WFI, expressed gratitude on behalf of the wrestling fraternity to the GACL and the CII for taking the initiative of supporting the grapplers. He hoped that such efforts would give a much-needed shot in the arm to wrestling in India. Mr Sudhir Dewan, Adviser, GACL, wished good luck to the squad for the Olympics.

The wrestlers were also presented a “good luck” card, signed by Mr Suresh Neotia, Chairman, GACL, Mr Tarun Das, mentor, CII, Dr M.S. Malik, and students of Shivalik Public School. The school Principal, Mr D.S. Bedi, was also present. 

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Emotional Jenny qualifies for Athens

Long Beach (California), July 9
In three previous Olympic campaigns, US swimming great Jenny Thompson always knew her mother, Margrid, was right there pulling for her.
Yesterday, at the US Olympic trials, perhaps it wasn’t so different after all.

“I had a dream about my mom last night,” said Thompson, whose mother died in February after a long battle with cancer.

“She was really beautiful and happy. She was by the ocean... she’s in my dreams sometimes, but this was a rare one. She was glowing and healthy. It was a beautiful dream.”

Thompson, whose 10 Olympic medals over three games include eight relay golds, retired after the 2000 Olympics to pursue her medical career.

But she missed swimming and gradually felt herself drawn back to the sport. As she heads for what she vows will be her absolutely final Olympics in Athens, she says she wants to remember the happiness her success gave her mother.

“In the past months I’ve been doing very well considering everything,” she said on the eve of the trials.

“Swimming has been a safe place for me. I’m really glad I had that in my life.”

But even an eight-time gold medallist isn’t immune to the pressure of the US trials, where only the top two in each event qualify.

While Thompson won the 100m fly at last year’s world championships in Barcelona, coach John Collins admitted yesterday that her fly hadn’t been working quite as well this season.

She emerged from the semifinals with only the fifth-fastest time, but led yesterday’s final at the 50m mark and held on to take second place behind Rachel Komisarz and ahead of Demerae Christianson.

“I’m feeling partly relieved,” she said. “I was having mixed feelings after my morning swim. Something I can never take for granted is making the Olympic team.”

“I think it’s great given all she’s been through that she can make the team again,” said Collins, who watched the race wearing a wool hat knitted by Margrid Thompson.

“I was very touched,” Thompson said of the gesture. “She knit him a hat I just gave him recently. I was very touched that he wore it in memory of my mom.”

While Thompson was clearly moved as she spoke of her mother, the veteran campaigner said she tried to focus on the technical aspects of the race.

“I was trying to make it as unemotional as possible because that’s how I swim best,” she said. “I think right now I’m still caught up in the excitement of what happened. I’ll be able to take a rest tonight and think about what it means.”

Hansen breaks record

Brendan Hansen broke the 100m breaststroke world record here winning the final at the US Olympic trials in a time of 59.30 seconds.

Hansen (22) broke the previous world record of 59.78 set by Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima on July 21 of last year at the world championships in Barcelona.

“I felt good in the semis,” said Hansen, who improved the American record he shared with Ed Moses in the semifinals on Wednesday night. “I knew I had more.

“The pool felt great. Every little thing all clicked right.”

Hansen qualified for his first Olympic team after

heartbreaking third-place finishes in both breaststrokes at the US trials in 2000.

Since then he has won four straight US collegiate

breaststroke titles, and was the 100m silver medallist and 200m bronze medallist at 2003 world championships where he also helped the US team to claim the 400m medley relay in world record time.

Mark Gangloff was second in 1:00.87, while Moses finished a disappointing sixth and failed to qualify to swim the event in Athens. — AFP

Rude welcome

Sacramento (USA): World 100m record-holder Tim Montgomery and five other athletes fighting drug bans are receiving a rude welcome from fellow Americans competing at the United States Olympic trials.

Montgomery, sprinter Chryste Gaines, 400m runners Michelle Collins, Alvin Harrison and Calvin Harrison and middle-distance star Regina Jacobs all will compete while doping cases against them are awaiting appeal hearings. — AFP

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Olympic flame returns to Greece

Iraklion (Greece): The Olympic flame headed back to its homeland on Friday after a global relay that included groundbreaking stops in Africa and South America. An airplane carrying the flame from Cyprus was scheduled to land on the southern island of Crete to begin its final leg around Greece before the August 13 opening ceremony in Athens.

A welcoming celebration and concert was planned in the city of Iraklion, one of four sites outside Athens that will host Olympic soccer matches.

The flame was lit March 25 in a traditional ceremony at Ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Games. Its international voyage began June 4 in Australia and went on to cover 78,000 kilometres (46,800 miles) through 26 countries.

The relay visited Africa and South America for the first time, and provided epic images such as torch bearers on China’s Great Wall and around the base of Egypt’s Giza Pyramids. — AP

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Langer, Hayden flay Lanka attack

Australia's Justin Langer raises his bath reaching 150 in the first innings of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Cairns
Australia's Justin Langer raises his bath reaching 150 in the first innings of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Cairns on Friday.

Australia's Matthew Hayden celebrates his century on the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka
Australia's Matthew Hayden celebrates his century on the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Cairns on Friday. — Reuters photos

Cairns (Australia), July 9
Openers Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden amassed their sixth double-century partnership to build an imposing platform for Australia to bat Sri Lanka out of the second cricket Test here today.

It all went pear-shaped for the Sri Lankans from the time they sent Australia into bat and spent the opening day chasing leather around the Cazaly Stadium as the home side got away to a flying start.

Milestones came and went for the two left-handers with the Sri Lankans incapable of staunching the flow of runs in the second Test match to be played at the picturesque North Queensland ground.

They put on their best stand in Tests of 255 before Hayden fell for 117 — his 19th century in 55 Tests — in the 65th over and moved above the legendary English 1920s opening pair of Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe as the fifth most-prolific scoring opening pair in Tests.

Langer was still there at the close of the first day with his 19th Test hundred in 76 Tests on 159 off 268 balls with 22 fours with Damien Martyn raising his 16th Test half-century to be unbeaten 56 and Australia in full flow at 370 for two off 90 overs.

Australia crushed Sri Lanka by 149 runs inside three days in the first Darwin Test last week in their fourth consecutive Test victory over the Sri Lankans in four months.

In 58 innings since they came together at The Oval against England in August 2001, Langer and Hayden have accumulated 3,490 runs at an average of 60.17 each time they come out to bat in Tests.

Only crack West Indian pair Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes (16) and Hobbs-Sutcliffe (15) have generated more century opening stands in Test cricket than the Australian duo’s eleven.

But Langer and Hayden have more double century stands than any other combination in Test history.

The avalanche of runs only added to the frustration of Sri Lankan skipper Marvan Atapattu, who won the toss, sent the home side in and watched in dismay as his bowlers were spanked.

Atapattu puzzled when he chose not to use the searing pace of young tearaway Lasith Malinga until the 19th over of the innings, even preferring to call on the off-spin of Tilan Samaraweera as first change.

Nuwan Zoysa did not help his skipper’s game plan with a dreadful opening spell of three overs to concede 17 runs and forcing Atapattu to take him out of the attack and introducing Samaraweera on a fast bowlers’ wicket.

Such was the innocuous attack that it came as no surprise when Hayden got himself out to rank long-hop outside leg stump from Samaraweera and found a diving Sanath Jayasuriya at backward square leg.

He batted for 275 minutes, faced 185 balls and hit 14 boundaries and two sixes.

Skipper Ricky Ponting, who missed the Darwin Test through a family bereavement, was all-action in his 33 minutes at the crease smacking three fours before he fell to a catch by Atapattu in the covers off Malinga for 22 leaving the home side at 291 for two.

Langer’s century came off an overthrow when Upul Chandana attempted to throw down the wicket from point only to give the little left-hander an extra run for his century.

Langer can further enhance his reputation as a big-innings player on the second day tomorrow as he has been past 150 five times in Tests.

Scoreboard

Australia (1st innings):

Langer batting 159

Hayden c Jayasuriya b Samaraweera 117

Ponting c Atapattu b Malinga 22

Martyn batting 56

Extras: (b7, lb3, nb5, w1) 16 Total (2 wkts, 90 overs) 370

Fall of wickets: 1-255, 2-291

Bowling: Vaas 21-2-77-0, Zoysa 11-2-53-0, Samaraweera 17-3-55-1, Malinga 20-2-83-1, Chandana 15-1-72-0, Jayasuriya 6-0-20-0. — AFP

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SA in dark about tour itinerary

Durban, July 9
South Africa is still in the dark about the itinerary for the India tour, scheduled for November this year, a cricket board official has said.
Brian Basson Manager of Cricket Affairs of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) said the board had not received any communication as yet regarding the itinerary from its Indian counterpart.

Basson, who has just returned after attending the International Cricket Council meeting in London, said the UCB had no inkling about the venues for the two-Test series.

“Because of lack of official confirmation, South Africa still doesn’t know when and where the two Tests against India would be played,” he was quoted as saying in local media today.

During the last tour of India by South Africa in 2000, which took place under the captaincy of the late Hansie Cronje, two Tests were played in Mumbai and Bangalore. South Africa won both the Tests, and this was the first time in 13 years that India had lost a home series.

Basson said during the ICC meeting, he had held talks with his Australian counterpart, who had also indicated that they had not received either the full details for their tour which takes place in October.

Basson said both his Australian counterpart and he found it strange that they just received details of the scheduled warm-up matches.

Basson said the Australian officials, who attended the meeting, wanted the final programme in order to give their security personnel a chance to visit India before the tour.

South Africa’s tour of India has already received a great deal of negative publicity in the country, especially because of reports which claimed that India was giving preferential treatment to the Australian tour.

Earlier, India and South Africa were set to play only seven one-dayers during the tour but later it was changed to two Tests following a talk between Indian cricket board President Jagmohan Dalmiya and UCB chief Ray Mali. — PTI

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Hanif Mohammed to meet ailing fan in Kolkata

Lahore, July 9
Overwhelmed by the letter of a young cancer-stricken boy from Kolkata, Pakistan cricket legend Hanif Mohammed has decided to visit India to meet his ailing fan.
Touched by the e-mail from an ailing Arnab Ghosh, a class VII student at a Kolkata school who is suffering from acute leukemia, the legendary cricketer is planning to meet the youngster in India.

In the e-mail, the teenager had requested for an autograph from the little champion and regretted that he could not meet the cricket legend because of his illness and other reasons.

Subsequently, an overwhelmed Hanif Mohammed announced it was his social obligation to meet his young fan and boost his morale in the fight against the disease.

He also wished Arnab an early recovery and long life in his reply with his autograph.

According to Arnab’s mail, the doctors had already announced that his days were virtually numbered.

Meanwhile, in his letter, Hanif said, “Your thought-provoking letter was full of love and affection. I have received countless letters from my fans all over the world over but yours is real treasurer.

“Have full faith in God, you will live long,” he added.

“I offer my most devout prayers for your soon recovery. I would like to see you cheery, playing and enjoying with friends when I visit Kolkata. See you in Kolkata,” he concluded. — UNI

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Toss the key for Lara, Fleming

London, July 9
Members and fans at the Lord’s tomorrow may want to take their seats a while before the first ball is bowled in the triangular series final between New Zealand and the West Indies. When Brian Lara and Stephen Fleming perform the toss, it could be the most crucial passage of play in the game. In six completed matches in the series also involving England, the team winning the toss have gone on to win each match with reasonable ease.

The quirk is because the side who have won the toss have always decided to field first, ensuring they know what target they need to chase. New Zealand coach John Bracewell has criticised England’s one-day pitches for favouring seam bowling first up but they have mostly been to the detriment of the hosts, who blindly set targets on unpredictable wickets which were easily overhauled.

But judging by England’s 285 for seven and the West Indies’ 286 for three in the group game at the Lord’s on Tuesday, the wicket at the home of cricket is more suited to an even contest. — Reuters

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Brazil win on late goal

Arequipa (Peru), July 9
Brazil and Paraguay scored in the waning moments of their opening Group C matches to each win 1-0 in Copa America.
Luis Fabiano headed in an injury-time corner from Alex for Brazil to overcome Chile, while replacement striker Julio dos Santos converted an 86th-minute penalty in Paraguay’s victory against Costa Rica yesterday.

Chile had a golden chance to go ahead in the first half when striker Sebastian Gonzalez scored from the penalty spot in the 24th, but his goal was disallowed by Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez because teammates allegedly entered the box before the kick. Gonzalez sent his second shot high over the crossbar.

Midfielder Edu’s sliding tackle against Rodrigo Valenzuela prompted the penalty call. Brazil outshot Chile 14-12 in the thin air at Universidad Nacional San Agustin Stadium, nearly 2,390 metres above sea level.

It was the first time coach Carlos Alberto Parreira put Brazil’s new lineup to test. Without any of the 2002 World Cup champions, Brazil earned a 14th victory in 19 matches against Chile in Copa history. They were two of the four original Copa entrants in 1916.

Parreira rested Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho Gaucho and other tired top players to use Copa America to try out new players ahead of the World Cup qualifiers that resume in September.

Earlier, Paraquav forward Santaos converted a penalty after teammate Fredy Bare iro was taken down inside the box by Costa Rica star defender Mauricio Wright.

Paraguay, fielding most of its Athens Olympics squad, was outplayed in the first half and gained control only after coach Carlos Jara Saguier substituted midfielder Jorge Britez for a more attacking Santos at halftime.

Paraguay outshot Costa Rica 1-0 at Universidad Nacional San Agustin Stadium. Santos had nearly put Paraguay ahead after a neat play inside the box in the 71st, minute, but his shot was saved by Costa Rica goal keeper Ricardo Gonzalez. — AP

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 BRIEFLY


Top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates his victory over Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in the quarterfinal of the Swiss Open
Top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates his victory over Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in the quarterfinal of the Swiss Open in Gstaad on Friday. Federe won 6-1, 5-7, 6-4. — Reuters

Saeed Anwar
LAHORE:
Pakistan’s Former opening batsman Saeed Anwar joined the debate over foreign coaches and said the new coach Bob Woolmer should be given adequate time to deliver.
Talking about the side under Woolmer, Anwar said: “We have lot of talent but it depends on the new coach and the set up he wants. I think the coach should be given the time to settle.” “The foreign coaches need time for their planning. There culture is different but if given time, Woolmer would be able to make a winning team,’’ Anwar told reporters at the Gaddafi Stadium here on Thursday. — UNI

Puri wins
Fatehgarh Sahib
: The state-level under-25 chess championship started at Mata Gujri College here Friday. Top ranked players are taking part. In the three rounds played today, the top seeds registered victories. Varinder Puri from Fatehgarh Sahib registered victory in both the rounds he played.
In the opening game he defeated Varun Vij of Amritsar. In the second round, he overcame Sahil Singla through sicillian defence. Top-seeded Vikas Sharma of Ludhiana beat Pankaj Verma and in the second round he defeated Rohin Kapil. Arvinder Preet Singh of Ludhiana, Amit Sharma of Jalandhar, Neeraj Khera of Jalandhar, all FIDE registered players won their matches. — OC

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