SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

India pip Sri Lanka to move into final
Colombo, July 27
India scripted a stunning last-ball victory against a Sanath Jayasuriya-inspired Sri Lanka to move into the final of the Asia Cup cricket tournament here today.

Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara watches as Virender Sehwag hits a shot during a second round match
Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara watches as Virender Sehwag hits a shot during a second round match at the Asia Cup on Tuesday. — AFP photo

Viswanathan Anand Anand assured of semifinal berth
Dortmund (Germany), July 27
Viswanathan Anand inflicted a crushing defeat over 2004 Aeroflot open winner Sergei Rublevsky of Russia to assure himself of a berth in the semifinals of the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess meet here.

Sasikiran beats Ponomariov
Biel (Switzerland), July 27
Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran was brilliance personified as he put it across former world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine in the seventh round of the Grandmaster section of 37th Biel International Chess Festival here today.

China dumps world badminton champ
Athens, July 27
China, who have their sights set on an Olympics Games gold medal clean-sweep, are so confident of victory that they can afford to leave world champion Xia Xuanze sitting at home. The Sydney Olympic bronze medal winner and 2003 world champion has suffered such a drastic slump in form that he wasn’t considered good enough for the team and has been replaced by Chen Hong.


Real Madrid's Luis Figo of Portugal arrives at Narita International Airport
Real Madrid's Luis Figo of Portugal arrives at Narita International Airport on Tuesday. The Real Madrid team flew in to Japan to play two pre-season friendly matches against Japanese teams this week. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES
 
Real Madrid's star players, David Beckham, and Ronaldo, walk past Japanese fans upon the 29-time Spanish league champion team's arrival at Narita International Airport Europe’s football giants keen to snatch crown
Athens, July 27
Europe’s football superpowers aim to crush Africa’s dream of a third successive football gold medal and restore the balance of power at the Olympics. Cameroon, in 2000, and Nigeria, in 1996, broke a run of European successes stretching back to the 1936 Games in Berlin but both the Indomitable Lions and Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 16-team finals in Athens.

Real Madrid's star players, David Beckham (R), and Ronaldo, walk past Japanese fans upon the 29-time Spanish league champion team's arrival at Narita International Airport, east of Tokyo, on Tuesday. Real Madrid are scheduled to play J-League's JEF United Ichihara on Thursday and Tokyo Verdy on Sunday.
— AP/PTI

Woods not surprised rivals closing gap
London, July 27
World number one Tiger Woods believes it was simply a matter of time before his rivals challenged the supremacy he once enjoyed in the game. While Woods has lost his aura of dominance and has not won a major since the 2002 U.S. Open, the likes of Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen have closed the gap in the global pecking order.

Sports dept announces scholarships
Ludhiana, July 27
The Sports Department, Punjab, has announced scholarship for the sportpersons who have excelled at different level tournaments. According to a press note issued here by the District Sports Officer, scholarship for outstanding sportpersons will be given for their performance during the year 2003-2004 in disciplines of athletics, hockey, basketball, badminton, boxing, cricket, cycling, football, gymnastics, handball, judo, kabaddi, kho-kho, lawn tennis, wrestling, table tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, swimming and shooting.

Aslam, Shweta win badminton titles
Sangrur, July 27
Mohd Aslam of Malerkotla and Shweta of Sangrur won two titles in under-16 categories in the district badminton championships which concluded here today. In the boys singles under-16 final, Aslam had no difficulty in beating Acchardeep Singh from Malerkotla in two straight games. Aslam won 15-11, 15-9.

Japan's football team trains in Chongqing, southwestern China Japan's football team trains in Chongqing, southwestern China, on Tuesday. Japan defeated Thailand in a group D match of the Asian Cup football tournament on Saturday, and will play for the cup against Iran on Wednesday. — Reuters

District badminton championship
Nahan, July 26
Ajay Kumar won men’s singles title defeating Piyush Thakur 15-9 and 11-1 while men’s double title was captured by Nakul and Piyush who defeat Ramesh Thakur and Sanjeev Kalia by 15-8, 15-5 and 15-9 in Sirmaur District Badminton Championship. Nitesh Sharma defeated Vivek Negi to win U-19 title. Vikash Thakur won boys under 16 title. He defeated Ashish Thakur.

Bhiwani chess on August 21
Bhiwani, July 27
A district-level chess competition will be held at local K.M. Public School on August 21 and 22. This was decided at a meeting of the district chess federation held here on Monday.

The silver, the gold and the bronze medals of the August 13 to 29 Olympics The silver (L), the gold (C) and the bronze medals of the August 13 to 29 Olympics are seen in Aspropyrgos, near Athens, on Monday. A group of specialists has started work to mint more than 3,100 Olympic medals and nearly 3,300 Paralympic medals, using 13 kg of gold, a ton of silver and another ton of copper for the bronze medals. — AP/PTI 

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India pip Sri Lanka to move into final

Sachin Tendulkar plays a shot during the second round match against Sri Lanka at the Asia Cup
Sachin Tendulkar plays a shot during the second round match against Sri Lanka at the Asia Cup on Tuesday. — AFP
photo

Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya celebrates the dismissal of Virender Sehwag during a second round match at the Asia Cup
Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya celebrates the dismissal of Virender Sehwag during a second round match at the Asia Cup on Tuesday. — AP/PTI photo

Colombo, July 27
India scripted a stunning last-ball victory against a Sanath Jayasuriya-inspired Sri Lanka to move into the final of the Asia Cup cricket tournament here today.

In a nerve-wracking Super League match, India just about managed to scamper home by four runs in the do-or-die floodlit encounter despite the heroics of Jayasuriya who cracked his second successive century with a 132-ball 130 to almost take his team to victory.

The result meant that Pakistan would now be out of Sunday's summit showdown, which would again see the same opponents brace up for the title.

India stopped Sri Lanka at 267 for nine after they had scored 271 for 6 built around half centuries by Virender Sehwag (81) and Sourav Ganguly (79).

Sehwag also shone with the ball, claiming three important wickets, including that of Jayasuriya, to tilt the balance in his team's favour in the match which was stretched to the wire.

Chasing a competitive target of 272 for victory, the hosts were struggling at 134 for five in the 27th over before the 35-year-old Jayasuriya took control with characteristic flamboyance to steer his team within sniffing distance of a victory.

The veteran batsman displayed his class by not only notching up his 18th one-day century but resurrecting the Lankan run chase with a flurry of strokes to leave the Indians in a daze.

But the visitors bounced back after his dismissal with a couple of quick wickets which put immense pressure on the hosts who needed 11 runs in Zaheer Khan's nail-biting last over.

The Baroda speedster conceded five runs in his first three balls and then bowled Maharoof off his fourth ball to raise hopes of an Indian victory.

And as the last ball went past to the wicketkeeper, the Indians erupted in joy, celebrating their victory snatched from the jaws of defeat.

scoreboard

India:

Tendulkar lbw b Zoysa 18

Sehwag c Sangakkara b Jayasuriya 81

Ganguly c Chandana b Malinga 79

Dravid c Sangakkara b Maharoof 1

Yuvraj c Jayawardene b Malinga 50

Kaif run out 1

Patel not out 13

Pathan not out 8

Extras: (lb-2, w-14, nb-4) 20

Total: (for 6 wkts, 50 overs) 271

Fall of Wickets: 1/34, 2/168, 3/169, 4/240, 5/248, 6/255.

Bowling: Zoysa 8-0-49-1; Malinga 10-0-56-2; Dilshan 10-0-49-0; Maharoof 8-0-37-1; Chandana 7-0-42-0; Sanath Jayasuriya 4-0-17-1; Jayantha 3-0-19-0.

Sri Lanka:

Gunawardene c Pathan b Zaheer 7

Jayasuriya c & b Sehwag 130

Jayantha c Patel b Pathan 5

Atapattu c Yuvraj b Harbhajan 8

Sangakkara c Tendulkar b Sehwag 15

Jayawardene b Tendulkar 18

Dilshan b Sehwag 39

Chandana c Yuvraj b Pathan 11

Maharoof b Zaheer 4

Zoysa not out 3

Malinga not out 1

Extras (lb-14 b-4 w-8) 26

Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) 267

Fall of wickets: 1-20, 2-36, 3-76, 4-103, 5-134, 6-237, 7-254, 8-261, 9-266

Bowling: Pathan 9-0-34-2, Zaheer 9-1-63-2, Harbhajan 10-0-41-1, Sehwag 9-0-37-3, Kumble 10-0-51-0, Tendulkar 3-0-23-1. — PTI

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Anand assured of semifinal berth

Dortmund (Germany), July 27
Viswanathan Anand inflicted a crushing defeat over 2004 Aeroflot open winner Sergei Rublevsky of Russia to assure himself of a berth in the semifinals of the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess meet here.

Russian Champion Peter Svidler too nearly assured himself of a berth in the next stage from ‘A’ group with a fine victory over local hope Arkadij Naiditsch in the fifth round of the preliminaries.

Anand took his tally to an impressive 3.5 points from five games played so far and is half a point adrift of Svidler who has bounced back with successive victories after losing to the Indian stalwart.

A full point behind Svidler is Rublevsky who now has to pray as well as do well against Naiditsch in the last game of the preliminaries to keep himself in reckoning for a spot in the semifinals.

In the last round Svidler plays against Anand and a draw will take them both to the semifinal stage.

The event is being played on a unique system of preliminaries leading to knockout stage wherein eight players have been divided in to two groups. Top two from both groups qualify to the semifinal stage while the rest will battle it out for 5-8 places.

Much to the dismay of spectators, group ‘B’ failed to yield a decisive result for the fifth day in succession and both the games were drawn as none of the player seemed interested in a big risk.

As a result of this continued deadlock, Braingames match winner Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, defending champion Viktor Bologan of Moldova, Hungarian Peter Leko and world’s youngest ever Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine remained in joint lead with 2.5 points apiece after five games.

Anand was in his element as white against Rublevsky who was outclassed in a tactical game arising out of a Sicilian Paulsen. — PTI

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Sasikiran beats Ponomariov

Biel (Switzerland), July 27
Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran was brilliance personified as he put it across former world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine in the seventh round of the Grandmaster section of 37th Biel International Chess Festival here today.

Top seed and defending champion Alkexander Morozevich of Russia kept pace with Sasikiran and defeated GM Etienne Bacrot of France albeit with a little help from his opponent.

As things stand now, both Morozevich and Sasikiran have an identical score of 5 points from 7 seven games and are followed by Ponomariov who is 1.5 points behind.

On fourth spot is local hope Yannick Pelletier on 3 points where he followed by Bacrot on 2.5 and English GM Luke McShane on 2 points.

Just three rounds remain in this category-18 event on FIDE charts being played on a double round robin basis between six players.

Sasikiran’s biggest scalp till date is none other than Viswanathan Anand, who found him hard to handle during the last World Cup at Hyderabad, and now with the smashing victory against Ponomariov the second highest rated Indian added another big gun to his casualty list.

The game was nothing short of a spectacle as Sasikiran crashed through the defences in style with white pieces.

Ponomariov opted for the Semi Slav and showed that he was ready for a full blooded battle by inviting the ultra sharp Botvinnik variation, known for high tactical games. — PTI

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China dumps world badminton champ

Athens, July 27
China, who have their sights set on an Olympics Games gold medal clean-sweep, are so confident of victory that they can afford to leave world champion Xia Xuanze sitting at home.

The Sydney Olympic bronze medal winner and 2003 world champion has suffered such a drastic slump in form that he wasn’t considered good enough for the team and has been replaced by Chen Hong.

China won four of the five gold medals in Sydney in 2000 with Ji Xinpeng taking the men’s title, Gong Zhichao the women’s, Ge Fei and Gu Jun winning the womens’ doubles and Zhang Jun and Gao Ling, the mixed.

It was only in the men’s doubles where the Chinese streak was broken when top seeds Tony Gunawan and Candra Wijaya, of Indonesia, beat Lee Dong-Soo and Yoo Yong-Sung of South Korea.

This year, China have been seeded to win at least three gold medals with 20-year-old Lin Dan and Gong Ruina taking the top places in the men’s and women’s singles draw, respectively, with Malaysian and Korean Open champions Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen top seeds in the women’s doubles.

In the men’s event, Chen Hong is seeded second and Bao Chunlai fourth with only Malaysia’s Wong Choong Hann, in third, tipped to upset the odds.

Europe’s best hope of a medal is Denmark’s Peter Gade who has plenty to prove having missed out on a bronze in Sydney at the hands of Xie.

It is a similar story of Chinese supremacy in the women’s singles where world champion Zhang Ning and Zhou Mi make up the top.

Denmark’s Camilla Martin, the silver medallist in Sydney, is 30-years-old now and is seeded seventh as she seeks an elusive gold before retiring later this year.

If the Danes are frustrated in the singles event, they will be looking for great things from world champions Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen who start as favourites in the men’s doubles.

South Korea’s best hopes are with Kim Dong-Moon and Ra Kyung-Min in the mixed and with Ra Kyung-Min and Lee Kyung-Won hoping to upset the odds in the women’s doubles.

The Chinese have been in awesome form in the build-up to the Games and sent out an ominous warning to their Olympic rivals after clinching a rare Thomas and Uber Cup double in Jakarta in May.

Despite their supremacy, they are never far from controversy.

At the All-England championships earlier this year, Zhang Jiewen and Yang Wei, reprimanded for not trying in the women’s doubles at the world championships in 2003, withdrew from the final through injury. — AFP

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Europe’s football giants keen to snatch crown

Athens, July 27
Europe’s football superpowers aim to crush Africa’s dream of a third successive football gold medal and restore the balance of power at the Olympics.
Cameroon, in 2000, and Nigeria, in 1996, broke a run of European successes stretching back to the 1936 Games in Berlin but both the Indomitable Lions and Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 16-team finals in Athens.

This year, Africa have four representatives in Ghana, Mali, Morocco and Tunisia but it is the likes of Italy, Portugal and hosts Greece, still high on their Euro 2004 triumph, who are expected to be pushing for gold when the final takes place at the Olympic Stadium on August 28.

Former World Cup winning hardman Claudio Gentile coached Italy to the European under-19 title, the qualifying competition for Athens with a 3-0 win against Serbia and Montenegro, and he believes his young team has the makings of a gold medal performance. “This is a great team. I’m really delighted because they played some tremendous stuff in the European championship. I’ve always believed in them, and we deserved the triumph,” said Gentile, part of his country’s 1982 World Cup winning team.

The Portuguese will also be amongst the favourites especially with Cristiano Ronaldo and new Chelsea signing Tiago as well as striker Helder Postiga, who scored the equaliser against England in the Euro 2004 quarter-final which took the match into extra-time, taking part.

While naturally Ronaldo’s club manager Sir Alex Ferguson was not happy the 19-year-old made no bones about him wishing to defy his Manchester United handler’s wishes.

“Playing in the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in the career of a football player,” said the winger known as ‘Mr Twinkle toes’, who starred for Portugal in their run to the Euro 2004 final.

“When you cut up a cake too many times there is nothing left. Next season the boy may be exhausted,” was Ferguson’s response.

Cameroon and Nigeria’s failure to qualify this time around proved once again how hard it is for champions to mount a successful defence of their title.

Only Hungary (Tokyo, 1964 and Mexico, 1968), Uruguay (Paris, 1924 and Amsterdam, 1928) and England (London, 1908 and Stockholm, 1912) have managed to win two successive gold medals in the 20 football tournaments held. Professional players were only allowed to take part from the 1984 Games in Los Angeles; before that the amateur competition was the domain of the Eastern bloc.

But times have changed and the Olympics is attracting more and more pro players. Take the Argentinians. Twice World Cup winners, 14-time Copa America champions, but without an Olympic gold to boast of. Looking at the Argentinian squad, though, it would be hard to count against them filling the vacancy column in that medal haul.

No less than 12 of their 18-man squad hail from clubs abroad and have irked Ferguson even more by picking his new signing from Paris Saint Germain Gabriel Heinze - which led the irascible Scot to threaten that he might find it hard to get a first team place as he is likely to miss six matches - as one of the three players allowed in a squad aged 23 and over.

Talented striker Javier Saviola summed up the mood in the camp among the players, especially those who went down on penalties to Brazil in the Copa America final. “I’m very excited about the possibility of going to the Olympics,” said the 22-year-old Saviola.

“It is something I have thought a lot about and I hope to be part of the team. Along with the World Cup, it is the competition that you dream of being involved in.”

Ghana, like Argentina, have never stood on the medal podium’s top step at the Olympics despite having plenty of big tournament pedigree — they have been African champions on a record four occasions. “To go to the Olympic Games is the ambition of every sportsperson, so this is something I do not want to miss out on,” said Black Meteors’ coach Mariano Barreto.

Ten nations are taking part, with the USA, winners of the inaugural gold in Atlanta in 1996, starting amongst the favourites but expected to face stiff opposition from China and Brazil.

Men’s

Group A: Greece, South Korea, Mali, Mexico

Group B: Paraguay, Japan, Ghana, Italy

Group C: Argentina, Serbia and Montenegro, Tunisia, Australia

Group D: Costa Rica, Morocco, Iraq, Portugal

Women’s

Group E: Japan, Nigeria, Sweden

Group F: China, Mexico, Germany

Group G: Australia, Greece, USA, Brazil. — AFP

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Woods not surprised rivals closing gap

London, July 27
World number one Tiger Woods believes it was simply a matter of time before his rivals challenged the supremacy he once enjoyed in the game.
While Woods has lost his aura of dominance and has not won a major since the 2002 U.S. Open, the likes of Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen have closed the gap in the global pecking order.

‘’I have certainly not played up to the level that I know I can play at,’’ American Woods told a teleconference on Monday before his title defence at the WGC-American Express Championship in Kilkenny, Ireland in September.

‘’But the things that I’m working on will hopefully kick in and will take me to another level.

‘’But also the guys are working harder. The equipment has gotten better. The guys are in better shape now. Their techniques are better. They’re working more hours on the range, as well as in the gym.

‘’It was just a matter of time before those guys were going to take it up another notch, and they have.’’

Woods conceded it was not just the leading players who were now capable of winning majors.

Following the surprise victory by American outsider Todd Hamilton in the British Open at Royal Troon this month, seven of the last eight majors have been clinched by first-time winners.

‘’Golf is becoming so much deeper than it ever used to be,’’ Woods said. ‘’It’s not just about 10 or 15 guys that have a chance to win a major championship anymore.

‘’It’s anyone who enters the field has an opportunity because these guys are so much better.

‘’If you go from number one to 156 in any given field, you’re going to see there isn’t too much disparity between one and 156.

‘’I think that’s just reflective of how the game has changed, become deeper. And I think it’s become more competitive because of that.’’

Woods, who won the 2002 WGC-American Express Championship by a shot from South African Goosen when the tournament was last staged at Mount Juliet in Ireland, is upbeat about his title defence.

‘’The things I’m working on are starting to come together and I’m very excited about it,’’ he said.

‘’I really played well at the (British) Open Championship, I just made no birdies on the back nine. That’s not how you win a championship,’’ he added, referring to his tie for ninth at Troon.

‘’But overall, I’m very pleased with the way my game is progressing and coming together.’’

Woods, who has struggled with his driving and the precision of his approach play over the last two years, said he had been working with Hank Haney, who coaches his good friend Mark O’Meara.

‘’I have worked with Hank a little bit,’’ he said. ‘’I’ve asked him a few questions here and there. Mainly I’m just trying to get my game more consistent.’’ — Reuters

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Sports dept announces scholarships
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 27
The Sports Department, Punjab, has announced scholarship for the sportpersons who have excelled at different level tournaments. According to a press note issued here by the District Sports Officer, scholarship for outstanding sportpersons will be given for their performance during the year 2003-2004 in disciplines of athletics, hockey, basketball, badminton, boxing, cricket, cycling, football, gymnastics, handball, judo, kabaddi, kho-kho, lawn tennis, wrestling, table tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, swimming and shooting.

The sportpersons who are eligible for the scholarship have been asked to apply on the prescribed peforma along with achievement certificates duly attested by the school Principal concerned and the Headmaster/Mistress. The applications should reach local office of the Sports Department by August 6, the note said.

Birth certificate is also required and the players who have won positions in the National Games-sub-junior tournaments, women festivals will not be awarded scholarships, the note further said.

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Aslam, Shweta win badminton titles
Our Sports Reporter

Sangrur, July 27
Mohd Aslam of Malerkotla and Shweta of Sangrur won two titles in under-16 categories in the district badminton championships which concluded here today.
In the boys singles under-16 final, Aslam had no difficulty in beating Acchardeep Singh from Malerkotla in two straight games. Aslam won 15-11, 15-9.

Joined by Gurdeep Singh of Sangrur, they won the boys doubles under-16 titles defeating Acchardeep and Zeeshan of Malerkotla in two well fought games. Aslam and Gurdeep won 15-12, 15-13.

Shweta defeated holder Lubna to won the girls singles title. Shweta faced no resistance from the last year’s champion and won 11-4, 11-5. Shweta and Simran of Sangrur won the girls doubles title defeating Lubna and Ritika of Malerkotla in two straight games 15-9, 15-7.

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District badminton championship
Our Correspondent

Nahan, July 26
Ajay Kumar won men’s singles title defeating Piyush Thakur 15-9 and 11-1 while men’s double title was captured by Nakul and Piyush who defeat Ramesh Thakur and Sanjeev Kalia by 15-8, 15-5 and 15-9 in Sirmaur District Badminton Championship. Nitesh Sharma defeated Vivek Negi to win U-19 title. Vikash Thakur won boys under 16 title. He defeated Ashish Thakur. Ashish won boys under-13 single title by defeating Anuj Kumar in the final.

The prizes were distributed by the Chief Guest of the function, Mr S.R. Sharma, SP, Sirmour, who also heads the district badminton association.

Abir, an 8-year-old player from Dadahu, and 65-year-old Shyam Lal were honoured by the association as the youngest and the eldest players of the tournament.

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Bhiwani chess on August 21
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, July 27
A district-level chess competition will be held at local K.M. Public School on August 21 and 22. This was decided at a meeting of the district chess federation held here on Monday.

Successful players would be selected for the state-level championship to be held in the last week of August in Panchkula.

The competition would be held in four categories in which children from 10 to 14 age group and senior up to 18 years would participate. The winners in each category would be awarded cash prize and mementoes. 

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 BRIEFLY


Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil returns to Robby Ginepri of the USA at the Tennis Masters Canada tournament
Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil returns to Robby Ginepri of the USA at the Tennis Masters Canada tournament in Toronto on Monday. Kuerten defeated Ginepri 6-1, 6-4. — Reuters 

Punjab sub-junior gymnastics
CHANDIGARH:
The Punjab State Sub Junior Gymnastics Championship for boys and girls will be held at Mandi Goniana in Bathinda district on October 9 and 10 said honorary secretary of the Punjab Gymnastic association P.S. Virk here on Tuesday. The junior and senior state championships will be held at Gurdaspur on November 13 and 14 and at Jalandhar on December 13 and 14 respectively he said. The Punjab state teams for participation in the national championship will also be selected during these competitions. The Selection trials to select state teams for participation in senior National Acrobatic and Senior National Trampoline Championship will be held at Polo Ground in Patiala on August 7. —UNI

Thuram retires
PARIS:
France defender Lilian Thuram has announced his retirement from international football. “I have decided to quit ‘Les Bleus’. I’m 32. I know I have already given France the best I could give,’’ the Juventus player told sports daily L’Equipe on Tuesday. Thuram became France’s third most-capped player with 103 appearances during Euro 2004. “In two years time there will be another World Cup. Maybe some players will be performing better than me. It’s time they get ready. It’s the end of Thuram’s cycle,” he added. Thuram was a key player of the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 winning teams. In 10 years on the right flank he scored just two goals, both in the same game to give France a 2-1 win over Croatia in their 1998 World Cup semi-final. —Reuters

Eriksson’s job
LONDON: The revelation that England coach Sven Goran Eriksson had an affair with a secretary working at the London headquarters of the Football Association prompted calls for a full inquiry on Tuesday. The Sun newspaper reported FA chiefs were furious, particularly as they had issued an official denial of reports of the affair, only to discover they were true. “It makes us look like idiots because there was a denial and then we are told that it did happen. We are left looking like mugs and that can’t be right. We have been left high and dry,” FA board member Dave Henson told the tabloid. Henson said Eriksson would be called in to explain himself, and some press reports suggested his $ 8.3 million job could be on the line. — DPA

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