SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Lanka strangle India, lift Asia Cup 
Colombo, August 1
India failed to break a long-standing jinx as Sri Lankan spinners cast a mesmerising spell on their formidable batting line-up to fashion a 25-run victory and regain the Asia Cup after a gap a seven years here today.

Sri Lankan cricketers celebrate after defeating India in the final of the Asia Cup in Colombo Sri Lankan cricketers celebrate after defeating India in the final of the Asia Cup in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Sunday. — AP/PTI photo

Inzamam blames points system for team’s ouster
Inzamam-ul Haq
Islamabad, August 1
Despite being knocked out of the title race, Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul Haq has expressed satisfaction at his team’s performance in the Asia Cup.

Pak to host Asia Cup
Colombo, August 1
Asian Cricket Council today formally announced that Pakistan will host the 2006 edition of the Asia Cup but put on hold the decision to revive the Asian Test Championship.

Giles spins England to commanding win
Birmingham, August 1
Left-arm spinner Ashley Giles produced career-best figures of five for 57 today as England completed a commanding 256-run victory over the West Indies late on the fourth day of the second cricket Test at Edgbaston.

Viv tells Lara to quit captaincy
London:
Former West Indies skipper Viv Richards today said that Brian Lara should step down as captain of the national side. Richards, who recently resigned as West Indies Cricket Board’s chairman of selectors, said Lara could no longer motivate the team which is a shadow of the legendary teams of the past.


 

 

An Indian cricket fan celebrates the dismissal of Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu
An Indian cricket fan celebrates the dismissal of Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu (not in picture) during the final of the Asia Cup in Colombo on Sunday. 
— AP/PTI


EARLIER STORIES
 

Olympic scandals, disasters and tragedies
Paris, August 1
Planning and staging an Olympics has never been an easy task and the chances are that Athens 2004 will have its share of problems before it all ends for another four years. However it will have to go some way to surpass several previous Olympics.

Bekele on the fast track
Paris, August 1
Kenenisa Bekele is definitely not Jesus as his manager Jos Hermens rightfully said but when it comes to the track or cross country courses he is very definitely a celestial being.




Belgium's Kim Gevaert (right) runs with France's Muriel Hurtis during the women's 200-m event at the Flanders International Athletics meet in Heusden-Zolder on Saturday. Gevaert won in a time of 22.69 seconds ahead of Hurtis (second) and Slovenia's Merlene Ottey (third).
— Reuters photo
Belgium's Kim Gevaert runs with France's Muriel Hurtis during the women's 200-m event at the Flanders International Athletics meet in Heusden-Zolder on Saturday

German coaches will make a difference: Gill 
K.P.S. Gill Jaipur, August 1
Indian Hockey Federation President K.P.S. Gill is confident that the induction of two German coaches will certainly bring about a difference in the performance of the Athens-bound hockey team. “Indian team is shaping up well and with German coaches Oliver Kurtz and Gerhard Rach in charge, we can expect more from the lot,” Gill told PTI here.

Viswanathan Anand Anand beats Kramnik, wins Dortmund title
Dortmund, August 1
World No. 2 Vishwanathan Anand beat Russian Vladimir Kramnik in rapid games to add yet another feather to his well adorned cap at the Sparkassen Dortmund chess championships here this evening. The Indian beat Kramnik in the rapid games segment, after the two classical games were drawn in the final.

Federer, Roddick in final
Toronto, August 1
Defending champion Andy Roddick set up a dream final against world number one Roger Federer by beating Germany’s Nicolas Kiefer 7-5 6-3 at the Toronto Masters. Federer rallied to knock out Swede Thomas Johansson 4-6 6-3 6-2 earlier yesterday, the Swiss player’s 22nd victory in a row. Second seed Roddick is also on fire, his only defeat in 22 matches being inflicted by Federer in the final of Wimbledon at the start of this month. “It’s gonna be great,” Roddick told reporters.

Myskina triumphs

Andy Roddick of the USA hits a return through his legs during his semifinal match against Nicolas Kiefer of Germany at the Tennis Masters Canada tournament in Toronto on Saturday. —Reuters photo
Andy Roddick of the USA hits a return through his legs during his semifinal match against Nicolas Kiefer of Germany

Paes-Bhupathi in final
NEW DELHI:
India’s medal hope in the Athens Olympics, Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes advanced to the doubles’ final at the $ 2.5 million ATP Tennis Masters tournament in Toronto, Canada.

FA sex scandal rocks England
London, August 1
A sex scandal involving the CEO of England Football Association Mark Palios and high-profile national coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is rocking the soccer crazy country. For two weeks revelations that Bangladesh-born Faria Alam, PA at the Football Association, had sexual affairs with both FA Chief Executive Palios, a divorced father of five children, and Eriksson has boggled the nation.

Prominent juniors for ranking meet
New Delhi, August 1
Over 400 players have entered for the Nutrine Naturo AITA Ranking Tennis Championship to be held at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association courts here from August 2 to 7 under the auspices of the All-India Tennis Association (AITA).

Six selected to represent Kangra in HP badminton 
Dharamsala, August 1
The second three-day District Badminton Championship held at Government College here concluded yesterday. On the basis of the performance in the championship, six players have been selected to represent Kangra district in the state badminton championship to be held at Mandi.

Hisar athletes shine
Mandi Dabwali, August 1
Hisar athletes, who set three new meet records, shone on the second day the 19th Haryana State Junior Athletic Championship here today. A total of four new records were set by the young athletes.  

Chautala elected IABF president
Hisar, August 1
Haryana Olympic Association chief and Rori MLA Abhey Chautala has been elected president of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF). He was unanimously elected by the federation members at a meeting held here today.

Fireworks illuminate the renovated Olympic stadium in Berlin on Saturday Fireworks illuminate the renovated Olympic stadium in Berlin on Saturday. The new stadium was opened after four years of reconstruction and will host the 2006 World Cup soccer final.
— AP/PTI

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Lanka strangle India, lift Asia Cup 

Sachin Tendulkar bats as Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara looks on
Sachin Tendulkar bats as Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara looks on during the final of the Asia Cup in Colombo on Sunday.

Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya takes a victory lap with the 'Man-of-the-Series' trophy
Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya takes a victory lap with the 'Man-of-the-Series' trophy.

Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu celebrates his half century.
Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu celebrates his half century. 

Indian cricketers celebrate the dismissal of Upul Chandana
Indian cricketers celebrate the dismissal of Upul Chandana. —  AP/PTI photos



Colombo, August 1
India failed to break a long-standing jinx as Sri Lankan spinners cast a mesmerising spell on their formidable batting line-up to fashion a 25-run victory and regain the Asia Cup after a gap a seven years here today.

Chasing a modest target of 229, Sachin Tendulkar's allround display went in vain as the host slow bowlers exploited a turning track to devastating effect to restrict India to 203 for nine in the floodlit summit showdown at the Premadasa Stadium.

Tendulkar struck a valiant 74 off 100 balls but none of the other Indian batsmen could hang around for long in difficult batting conditions to give the hosts their third title in the 20-year history of the tournament.

The jinx of the final continued to haunt the Indians who had themselves to blame for the debacle as they adopted an overcautious approach after the loss of early wickets.

India have now lost 10 finals in tournaments featuring more than two teams since they won NatWest Trophy in England in 2002 and shared the trophy twice in rain-abandoned finals.

Leg spinner Upul Chandana (3-33) played a key role in choking the Indians and take the team to victory which was also built around the efforts of captain Marvan Atapattu (65), who was declared Man of the Match, and Kumar Sangakkara (53).

The Indians raised hopes of recording their fourth Asia Cup title by containing the hosts to 228 for nine, relying mainly on part-time bolwers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.

The Indian innings began on a promising note when Sehwag flicked the first ball from Chaminda Vaas to square leg boundary but there was little else to cheer.

Captain Sourav Ganguly (4) was splendidly caught in the slips off Nuwan Zoysa and VVS Laxman (12), hampered by his recent injury, was not too fluent in footwork before spooning a tame catch to short covers off Sanath Jayasuriya.

Chandana then struck with critical wickets of Rahul Dravid (16) who cut into the hands of slips and Yuvraj Singh (8) who missed on a spinning delivery to be out bowled.

Mohammad Kaif hit out straight into the deep and when Tendulkar didnt connect a wild slog against Thilanga Dilshan, it was curtains for India.

It was such a splendid opportunity gone abegging for the visitors.

Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar bowled 30 of the 50 overs for only 120 runs as Lankans, despite Marvan Atapattu's 65, failed to post a competitive total.

The 35,000-strong crowd in the packed stands of Premadassa Stadium were stunned to silence by the inept display of home batsmen. Two of them were ran out while some others played irresponsible shots.

Tendulkar (2 for 40) and Pathan (2 for 33) shared four wickets between them while Harbhajan (1 for 48) and Sehwag (1 for 32) shared two as India gave an impressive display on the field.

Scoreboard

Sri Lanka:

G'wardene c Ganguly b Nehra 8

Jayasuriya lbw b Pathan 15

Atapattu run out 65

Sangakkara b Sehwag 53

J'wardene c Yuvraj b Tendulkar 0

Dilshan st Dravid b Tendulkar 22

Chandana lbw b Harbhajan 8

Mahroof run out 9

Vaas c Yuvraj b Pathan 6

Zoysa not out 6

Muralitharan not out 4

Extras (b-4, lb-14, w-11, nb-3) 32

Total (9 wkts in 50 overs) 228

Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-31, 3-147, 4-150, 5-174, 6-194, 7-202, 8--213, 9-219.

Bowling: Pathan 7-0-33-2, Nehra 6-0-22-1, Zaheer 7-0-35-0, Harbhajan 10-0-48-1, Sehwag 10-2-32-1, Tendulkar 10-0-40-2.

India:

Sehwag lbw b Vaas 5

Tendulkar b Dilshan 74

Ganguly c Jayawardene b Zoysa 4

Laxman c Dilshan b Jayasuriya 12

Dravid c Dilshan b Chandana 16

Yuvraj b Chandana 8

Kaif c Jayawardene b Chandana 5

Pathan run out 2

Harbhajan st Sangakkara b Jayasuriya 16

Zaheer not out 29

Nehra not out 7

Extras: (b-12, lb-8, w-3, nb-2 25

Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 203

Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-26, 3-62, 4-96, 5-119, 6-135, 7-140, 8-147, 9-193

Bowling: Vaas 7-1-24-1, Zoysa 8-2-18-1, Maharoof 2-0-16-0, Muralitharan 9-0-46-0, Jayasuriya 10-0-34-2, Chandana 10-0-33-3, Dilshan 4-0-12-1. —PTI

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Inzamam blames points system for team’s ouster

Islamabad, August 1
Despite being knocked out of the title race, Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul Haq has expressed satisfaction at his team’s performance in the Asia Cup.
Inzamam, who arrived alongwith eight other members of the team from Sri Lanka in Lahore yesterday, said it was not the team’s performance but the point system which was responsible for Pakistan’s ouster from the one-day cricket championship.

“I could not understand the point system as it allows India to play final despite losing two matches but barred Pakistan which were defeated just once,” he was quoted as saying in local daily ‘The Dawn’.

Pakistan beat India in the league stage by 59 runs but could not deprive the arch-rivals of a bonus point which eventually resulted in Bob Woolmer’s men being thrown out of contention for the summit clash.

Inzamam justified the decision to elevate Shoaib Malik to No. 3 position and added that neither Yousuf Youhana nor he were afraid of playing at that position.

“We have to stabilise the team and all the decisions are aimed at the achievement of this end,” he said.

He was also all praise for paceman Shoaib Akhtar. “Shoaib fought from the core of his heart and I did not see such a fighter in him ever before.”

He admitted that Pakistan should not have lost the first match of the Super League to Sri Lanka. “Except for that match, the team played well.” — PTI

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Pak to host Asia Cup

Colombo, August 1
Asian Cricket Council today formally announced that Pakistan will host the 2006 edition of the Asia Cup but put on hold the decision to revive the Asian Test Championship.

“Pakistan have been formally asked to host the Asia Cup in 2006 and they have accepted the offer,” ACC’s Chief Executive Officer Ashraful Haq told reporters at the conclusion of the body’s Executive Board meeting here.

This will be the first time Pakistan will host the biennial event, the first edition of which was held in 1984 at Sharjah.

“The 2004 event was originally scheduled to be staged in Pakistan but had to be shifted to Sri Lanka last year. Now with the revival of Indo-Pak relations, we deem it fit to stage the event in Pakistan,” Haq said.

Pakistan Cricket Board will decide the exact dates of the event once the dates of the ICC Champions Trophy are known, he said.

Jagmohan Dalmiya, the newly elected President of the ACC, presided over the meeting which was attended by its Test-playing nations — Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka — along with associate members, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore, Nepal and Thailand. — PTI 

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Giles spins England to commanding win

Birmingham, August 1
Left-arm spinner Ashley Giles produced career-best figures of five for 57 today as England completed a commanding 256-run victory over the West Indies late on the fourth day of the second cricket Test at Edgbaston.

West Indies all-rounder Chris Gayle followed a five-wicket haul with a boundary-laced 82 but the visitors, chasing a mammoth 479 to win, were felled for 222.

Giles, man-of-the-match in the first Test victory at Lord's after taking nine wickets, again earned impressive match figures of nine for 122.

Fast bowler Matthew Hoggard took three for 64 to back up Giles.

England leads the four-match series with an unassailable 2-0 advantage meaning it has retained the prestigious Wisden Trophy.

Earlier, England was bowled out for 248 on the stroke of lunch after resuming its second innings on 148 for three.

Off-spinner Gayle's career-best five for 34 led the way while fellow Jamaican Jermaine Lawson finished with four for 94.

Opener Marcus Trescothick completed his second century of the match before England lost its last seven wickets for 64 runs.

Trescothick, following 105 in the first innings, went from 88 overnight to his eighth test hundred 20 minutes into the day.

Graham Thorpe scored 54, his second half century of the match as he stretched his stand with Trescothick to 132.

England (1st Innings): 566 for nine declared

West Indies (1st Innings): 336 England (1st Innings):

Trescothick run out 107

Strauss c Jacobs b Lawson 5

Key c Gayle b Lawson 4

Vaughan c Gayle b Lawson 3

Thorpe st Jacobs b Gayle 54

Flintoff c Bravo b Gayle 20

Jones b Lawson 4

Giles b Gayle 15

Hoggard c Smith b Gayle 6

Harmison lbw b Gayle 1

Anderson not out 8

Extras (b-8, lb-2, w-5, nb-6): 21

Total (all out, 65.1 overs): 248

FoW: 1-24, 2-37, 3-52, 4-184, 5-195, 6-214, 7-226, 8-234, 9-239.

Bowling: Pedro Collins 9-1-29-0, Corey Collymore 9-2-33-0, Jermaine Lawson 21-2-94-4, Dwayne Bravo 6-1-28-0, Omari Banks 5-1-20-0, Chris Gayle 15.1-4-34-5.

West Indies (2nd innings):

Gayle c Strauss b Giles 82

Smith c Trescothick b Hoggard 11

Sarwan c Strauss b Giles 14

Lara c Flintoff b Giles 13

Chanderpaul lbw b Giles 43

Bravo b Giles 0

Jacobs c Anderson b Hoggard 0

Banks not out 25

Collins lbw b Hoggard 0

Collymore b Anderson 10

Lawson b Anderson 2

Extras (b-17 lb-4 nb-1) 22

Total (all out, 55.3 overs) 222

FoW: 1-15 2-54 3-101 4-172 5-172 6-177 7-177 8-182 9-210

Bowling: Hoggard 16-5-64-3, Harmison 5-1-29-0, Flintoff 5-1-19-0 (nb-1), Giles 21-9-57-5, Anderson 5.3-1-23-2, Vaughan 3-0-9-0.—AFP

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Viv tells Lara to quit captaincy

London: Former West Indies skipper Viv Richards today said that Brian Lara should step down as captain of the national side. Richards, who recently resigned as West Indies Cricket Board’s chairman of selectors, said Lara could no longer motivate the team which is a shadow of the legendary teams of the past.

“The side are now in a bad way and if you have a leader who cannot motivate, you have problems,” Richards told the BBC.

“Brian Lara must take a long, hard look at himself.”

Richards said the current West Indies side, who are already 1-0 down in the four Test series, needed to improve in all aspects of their game.

“I believe these guys are not good thinkers. They need to be a little bit more focused,” he said.

“We have all identified the ability factor. But if you don’t think, that ability is null and void.

“These guys are not focused enough. We’ve seen some brilliance here and there but success for an hour or two isn’t going to win you any Test matches.” — AFP

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Olympic scandals, disasters and tragedies

Paris, August 1
Planning and staging an Olympics has never been an easy task and the chances are that Athens 2004 will have its share of problems before it all ends for another four years.
However it will have to go some way to surpass several previous Olympics.

From the humiliating spectacle of Canadian Ben Johnson being stripped of his 100m gold medal in the 1988 games in Seoul after testing positive for anabolic steroids to the tragedy that engulfed the 1972 games in Munich when 18 people were killed following a Palestinian terrorist attack on the Israeli team, the Olympic movement has had to rebuild the image of the games.

On a purely sporting front the Johnson scandal was the biggest public relations disaster - regardless of the fact that the IOC could protest that at least drug cheats couldn’t get away with it - as the winner of the ‘Blue Riband’ event of any games was packed off back home.

The IOC’s protestations that they were fighting hard against drugs was not helped when the then head of athletics was captured on camera asking IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch if there was any way Johnson could be spared — not for the sake of the athlete but for the sport — the answer was a firm no.

It’s image took a further battering later when several scientists came forward and revealed that the 1984 games — the first that saw Samaranch take charge and the birth of the commercial Olympics — in Los Angeles had been littered with positive dope tests, but that the samples had mysteriously disappeared.

However, if Samaranch thought he had it bad he should have consulted his two predecessors American Avery Brundage — a former Olympian himself — and Ireland’s Lord Killanin.

Munich was Brundage’s last games but if he wanted to go out on a high note he was to be sorely disappointed as the Palestinian terror group Black September broke into the Olympic village killing two Israeli athletes and taking nine hostage.

Brundage, whose callous approach to the situation contrasted sharply with that of then German Interior Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher, who offered to swap places with the hostages, issued a typical patrician statement the next morning as 2000 German police officers surrounded the village aiming to make up for the appalling lapse in security that had allowed the outrage to happen in the first place.

“The status quo of the games has been interrupted by an assassination committed by terrorist criminals,” his statement read and the games were subsequently cancelled for the day for the first time in their history.

However, it was to get worse as, allowed to fly to Munich airport, the police became triggerhappy and in the resulting shoot-out five terrorists were killed, one policeman, one of the helicopter pilots and eight more athletes.

Although Brundage declared the next day that ‘the games must go on’ few had the stomach for the fight.

Canadian star high jumper Debbie Brill couldn’t believe Brundage’s cold statement that it was what the dead athletes would have wanted and said to a fellow athlete ‘God we’re talking about people who were killed. Don’t let them down? They’re dead!’.

The very future of the Olympics was called into question.

Killanin managed to keep it going but with an African boycott at Montreal in 1976 over a New Zealand rugby tour of South Africa and the USA boycotting Moscow in 1980 over the Russian invasion of Afghanistan they rapidly started to lose their main function of being a sporting occasion and instead became a political football.

That’s not to say that other host cities could smile contentedly at the misadventures that befell Munich, Montreal and Moscow as they too fell prey to the Olympic disaster syndrome - none more so than Paris in 1900.

Just four years after the Olympics had been reborn in Athens, Paris almost killed them off with a disastrous hosting which reached its nadir with the athletics and the swimming competitions.

The swimmers had to compete in the Seine and doing backstroke was probably the most risky as the swimmers had to contend with swimming under or around the boats in the river as their owners stubbornly refused to hold up their trade while the games were going on.

Furthermore the athletes found that the track they ran on was a mudpatch as several got stuck in the mud while others saw their discus and hammers disappear into the trees that surrounded the track leading to total confusion.

The Paris organisers showed they had learnt little when 24 years later they hosted the games again and prepared a cross country course more suited to an Army training camp than athletes.

Aside from the knee high thistles and weeds pricking the athletes physique as well as conscience they had to cope with poisonous fumes belching from a local energy plant which left several athletes running the opposite direction and others lying writhing in agony barely able to breathe.

As for the athletes, who flirted with triumph and disaster two stand out among a plethora of candidates — a Pakistani swimmer and an Italian marathon runner.

The Pakistani appearing in the 100m backstroke in London in 1948 stripped off his dressing gown to discover to his utter embarrassment that he had forgotten to put on his swimming trunks.

Trying to salvage his honour he jumped into the swimming pool but was promptly disqualified - rather unfairly as he was competing in the one event that required a start in the water.

While he was laid bare Italian Dorando Pietri had his heart broken thanks to some thoughtless English judges at the 1908 games in London.

Having led the marathon for virtually all of the 26 miles he collapsed just 100 metres out from the line and was helped to his feet by the judges - crossing the line eventually.

However, the same English judges — who were roundly criticised following the games for partisan decisions — then disqualified him when the runner-up objected to what had happened.

Although then English Queen Alexandra tried to make up for it with a gold trophy the Italian never forgave this piece of British unfairplay. — AFP

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Bekele on the fast track

Paris, August 1
Kenenisa Bekele is definitely not Jesus as his manager Jos Hermens rightfully said but when it comes to the track or cross country courses he is very definitely a celestial being.

The Olympics should frank the extraordinary rise of another Ethiopian running phenomenon who hasn’t quite managed to wipe off the permanent smile etched on his great predecessor Haile Gebrselassie’s face despite erasing his two world records in the 5,000 metres and 10,000m this season.

Add to those feats his achievement of winning both the short and long races in the last three world cross country championships, and the Olympic 10,000m title appears little more than a formality for the 22-year-old, who took the world title in the distance last year in Paris in only his second run at 10km.

“Kenenisa isn’t Jesus because he can’t walk on water, but on almost any other surface he is unbeatable,” said Hermens, who numbers Gebrselassie among his discoveries.

An injury that forced him out of the Lausanne meeting in early July appears to have healed and now the only dilemma facing him is whether he attempts the double in Athens, something he failed to land last year in the world championship when he finished third in the 5,000m behind Eliud Kipchoge and Hicham El Guerrouj.

While Hermens is keen for his young star not to do the double — he refused to allow Gebrselassie to do so in the 1997 world championships in Athens because officials wouldn’t water the track — the Ethiopian federation are adamant he should try to emulate the last man to do the double, his compatriot Marius Yifter in the Moscow Olypics in 1980.

“To achieve something that not even Haile managed would be quite extraordinary,” said Bekele.

“And to emulate Yifter, well that would be dreamlike, scarcely credible!” added the athlete who has built up an unbeaten streak of 20 over all surfaces. — AFP 

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German coaches will make a difference: Gill 

Jaipur, August 1
Indian Hockey Federation President K.P.S. Gill is confident that the induction of two German coaches will certainly bring about a difference in the performance of the Athens-bound hockey team.

“Indian team is shaping up well and with German coaches Oliver Kurtz and Gerhard Rach in charge, we can expect more from the lot,” Gill told PTI here.

Dispelling fears that the timing of Rajinder Singh’s removal might affect the morale of the team, Gill said “that chapter is closed now”.

He also denied that some of the younger players in the side didn’t like the presence of mercurial striker Dhanraj Pillay and some other senior players. “There is nothing like that. These are things of past and everything has been sorted out now,” he said.

Gill also justified keeping the hockey team away from media glare saying it might affect the focus of the team.

“We have the example of the Greek team which trained at a secluded place away from media glare and returned to emerge champions in the recently concluded Euro 2004 football. The glare of media certainly affects the focus of the team,” he said.

Asked if it is right to keep the players away from the limelight when the cricketers are enjoying it, Gill said “cricketers should not be compared with hockey players and cricket too is basking in limelight for the past few years only”.

Gill admitted that the recent change in rules would have some bearing on the fortunes of the Indian team. — PTI 

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Anand beats Kramnik, wins Dortmund title

Dortmund, August 1
World No. 2 Vishwanathan Anand beat Russian Vladimir Kramnik in rapid games to add yet another feather to his well adorned cap at the Sparkassen Dortmund chess championships here this evening.

The Indian beat Kramnik in the rapid games segment, after the two classical games were drawn in the final. ''It is great to add to win such a prestigious title,'' said Anand soon after the win.

Earlier this year, Anand had won the Corus Grandmasters title in Wijk Aan Zee for the fourth time, and second in succession. With his victory in Dortmund, he has won two of the big three events played this year. He did not play in Linares.

Anand and Kramnik played two very interesting games in the classical clash. But the first one, a Ruy Lopez (closed) ended in a draw in 60 moves of an exciting and complicated battle.

In the second game, a Sicilian, it was again a tough battle with both going great guns. It again ended in a draw in 49 moves, sending the match into rapid games.

The first of the two games in rapid was in the Ruy Lopez, with Kramnik playing white. Anand succeeded in neutralizing early and ensuring a draw in just 19 moves sending the match into the second rapid. In the event of the draw, it would have sent the match into blitz. But Anand ensured there was no such need, when he played brilliantly and had Kramnik on the mat in a Sicilian Najdorf. Anand opted for the Byrne attack with his 6. Be3 and went on to win in 31 moves to win the title. —UNI

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Federer, Roddick in final

Toronto, August 1
Defending champion Andy Roddick set up a dream final against world number one Roger Federer by beating Germany’s Nicolas Kiefer 7-5 6-3 at the Toronto Masters.
Federer rallied to knock out Swede Thomas Johansson 4-6 6-3 6-2 earlier yesterday, the Swiss player’s 22nd victory in a row.

Second seed Roddick is also on fire, his only defeat in 22 matches being inflicted by Federer in the final of Wimbledon at the start of this month. “It’s gonna be great,” Roddick told reporters. “I can’t wait. “We seem to bring out pretty good tennis in each other. I owe him one from Wimbledon.” It was a case of deja vu for Roddick and Kiefer, who also met in the final in Indianapolis last Sunday. That match was no contest as the American romped home 6-2 6-3.

Kiefer gave a better account of himself this time. He had the best chance to break early on but wasted a 40-0 lead with the scores level at 2-2.

Roddick went 6-5 up on the strength of four aces before he wrapped up the first set when the German netted.

The American had an easier time in the second set, which he controlled from the start.

Roddick and Federer were put to the test on Thursday when both competitors had to play twice to make up for a near-washout on Tuesday.

Federer said he felt really tired after his victory over Johansson.

Myskina triumphs

SAN DIEGO, (California): French Open champion Anastasia Myskina outlasted fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-2 6-7 7-6 to reach the final of the $ 1.3 million Acura Classic.

Third seed Myskina now meets American Lindsay Davenport, who earlier in the day stormed into her third successive final by overcoming Russia’s Elena Dementieva 6-2 6-4.

Davenport, the fourth seed, beat Serena Williams last week to win the JP Morgan Chase title and Venus Williams to clinch the Stanford title the previous week.

Davenport hurt her right knee in the second set but believes she will be fit for the final.

‘’I feel lucky because it could have been worse. I’m really optimistic for tomorrow.
— Reuters

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Paes-Bhupathi in final

NEW DELHI: India’s medal hope in the Athens Olympics, Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes advanced to the doubles’ final at the $ 2.5 million ATP Tennis Masters tournament in Toronto, Canada.

The eighth seeds, Paes and Bhupathi, upset fourth seeds Mark Knowles of Bahamas and Daniel Nestor of Canada, 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinal last night, according to information received here.

In the final, the former world number one pair will take on second seeds Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden and Max Mirnyi of Belarus, who beat third-seeded French pair of Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/2). Paes and Bhupathi were teaming up after a gap of more than two years to prepare for the Olympics beginning on August 13. — PTI

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FA sex scandal rocks England

London, August 1
A sex scandal involving the CEO of England Football Association Mark Palios and high-profile national coach Sven-Goran Eriksson is rocking the soccer crazy country. For two weeks revelations that Bangladesh-born Faria Alam, PA at the Football Association, had sexual affairs with both FA Chief Executive Palios, a divorced father of five children, and Eriksson has boggled the nation.

There were reports that 38-year Alam, nicknamed “Fire Alarm”, might reveal the names of her other lovers among the association’s staff. But late on Friday, Alam told a close friend that she would not be selling her story — not yet at least.

“Silence is golden,” she said to the woman with whom she has been staying in south London.

Last week, Alam, who had also reportedly dated a Bollywood star, turned down an offer of £ 250,000 for her version of events. But if the FA had hoped the affair was dying down, it was brutally put right when the ‘News of the World’ hit the stands today, publishing details of a telephone conversation between a reporter and the FA. — PTI

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Prominent juniors for ranking meet
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, August 1
Over 400 players have entered for the Nutrine Naturo AITA Ranking Tennis Championship to be held at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association courts here from August 2 to 7 under the auspices of the All-India Tennis Association (AITA).

The competitions will be held in the under-12 and under-14 age categories in both the boys and girls sections.

The winners will pocket valuable AITA points which will help them progress in the AITA Ranking list for consideration to the Indian junior teams. AITA secretary Anil Khanna said the junior tournament will provide the platform for the federation to scout for talent as the best juniors in these age groups are competing in the championship

Nutrine Company president Gopalakrishnan said promising juniors from Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, besides Delhi, have entered for the championship. Some of the top juniors who have been given direct entry into the championship are Yuki Bhambri, Vinay Kamineni, A Daniel Raj, Abhijit Tiwari, Karunuday Singh and Dhruv Gurwara in the boys section and K.M. Sweta Solani, G. Janaki, Aishwarya Srivastava, Garima Vatwani, Gopikpa Kapoor and Aishwarya in the girls section.

Mr Gopalakrishnan said after the zonal rounds in Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune and Mumbai, the Masters will be held in Bangalore from December 1 to 4. He said the winner of the under-12 title will receive seven points and the runner-up five points, while the winner of the under-14 title will pocket a whopping 20 points, with the runner-up getting 15 points.

Last year, Nutrine had sponsored two Indian players to witness the Australian Open. The tournament carries a total budget of Rs 20 lakh, which includes scholarships for the players.

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Six selected to represent Kangra in HP badminton 
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, August 1
The second three-day District Badminton Championship held at Government College here concluded yesterday. On the basis of the performance in the championship, six players have been selected to represent Kangra district in the state badminton championship to be held at Mandi.

The selected players are: Prem Lal, Baljeet, Atul, Sandeep Rathore, Sandeep Kumar and Aman Sharma. The Principal, Dr Satish Sharma, gave away the prizes to the winners.

The final results:

U-13 boys singles: Nishant Dhiman b Vivek Hans 15-8, 15-11; doubles: Vivek and Nishant b Satyan Sharma and Rohit Sharma 15-9, 15-10; girls singles: Arooshi Sharma b Jyoti Sharma 11-5, 11-6; U-16 boys singles: Aman Sharma b Jeet Kumar 15-0, 15-13; doubles: Jeet and Deepak b Vilash and Ankush 15-7, 7-15, 15-6; U-19 boys singles: Sandeep Kumar b Sandeep Rathore 15-11, 9-15, 15-11; doubles: Sandeep and Sandeep Rathore b Aman and Pankaj 15-5, 15-6; men’s singles: Prem Lal b Sandeep Rathore 15-7, 15-7; doubles: Prem and Atul b Sandeep and Sandeep Rathore 17-15, 14-17, 15-9; veteran’s singles: Rakesh Sharma, b Harish Chander Sharma 15-8, 15-7; doubles: H.C.Sharma and Puneet b Rakesh Sharma and R.S.Rana 15-13, 10-15, 15-13.

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Hisar athletes shine
Tribune News Service

Mandi Dabwali, August 1
Hisar athletes, who set three new meet records, shone on the second day the 19th Haryana State Junior Athletic Championship here today.
A total of four new records were set by the young athletes. In the girls under-18 110m hurdles event, Pooja, a promising athlete from Hisar, set a new record of 15.32 seconds, breaking the earlier record of 16.65 seconds. Umesh, another athlete from Hisar, broke the state-level record in the 5000m under-18 girls event.

In the girls’ triple jump, Poonam Gill marked her performance by a jump of 11.29 metres while Indu Bala, of Bhiwani, set a new record of 11.06m in the under-18 shot put event .

The winners in other events:

Girls: Aplesh (U-20 shot put), Samira (U-16 110m hurdles), Navneet (U-20 110m hurdles), Poonam Gill (U-18 200m), Parmila (U-20 200m), Suman (U-20 triple jump), Rinku (U-16 shot put) and Santosh (U-14 shot put).

Boys: Ashish (U-20 110m hurdles), Manoj (U-18 triple jump), Vikas (U-18 5000m), Ramesh (U-20 5000m), Punit (U-14 shot put), Manoj (U-18 triple jump), Sandeep (U-20) and Sumit (U-18 10km walk). 

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Chautala elected IABF president
Tribune News Service

Hisar, August 1
Haryana Olympic Association chief and Rori MLA Abhey Chautala has been elected president of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF). He was unanimously elected by the federation members at a meeting held here today.

Mr Gurbir Singh was present as Indian Olympic Association observer. The members also empowered Mr Chautala to name other office-bearers of the federation.

Addressing mediapersons after his election, Mr Chautala said the IABF would try to prepare more participants for Olympics, Asiad, Commonwealth and Afro-Asian Games. He said instead of organising sports events abroad, players would be invited from various countries.

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