SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Malleswari, Bahadur disappoint
Athens, August 18
The short-lived glory of day four started fading for India as its athletes gave an insipid account of themselves in archery, athletics, swimming, water sports and weightlifting at the Olympics here today. Medal hopes in the 63kg weightlifting evaporated after Karnam Malleswari retired after her first attempt to clear a snatch of 100kg failed.

I had back problem in morning, says Malleswari


Sunil Dutt and Rahul Gandhi upbeat on Olympic hopes after Rathore's triumph.
(28k, 56k)

India wary of mighty Australia
Athens, August 18
Having survived a scare in the match against South Africa, India go into a crucial group B hockey match against strong contenders Australia here tomorrow, fully aware that any slip-up at this stage could jeopardise their hopes of an Olympic semifinal berth.

Frontline yet to show cohesion
The Indian men’s hockey team’s creditable last-gasp win at the Athens Games may have been inspired by the historic silver medal-winning achievement by shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

Diwakar enters second round
Athens, August 18
India’s boxers provided mixed fare in the Olympic Games with fly weight boxer Akhil Kumar going down in the first round while bantam weight Diwakar Prasad advancing to the second round.

India’s Diwakar Prasad celebrates his victory over Morocco’s Hamid Ait Bighrade during the bantamweight boxing preliminaries in Athens India’s Diwakar Prasad (left) celebrates his victory over Morocco’s Hamid Ait Bighrade during the bantamweight boxing preliminaries in Athens on Tuesday.
— AP/PTI photo

Greek sprinters pull out
Athens, August 18
Greece’s two top athletes pulled out of the Athens Olympics today and apologised to the Greek people for a scandal over missed dope tests that has tarnished the games’ return to their birthplace.



Swimmers in the fourth heat of the men's 200 metres backstroke explode form the start during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games
Swimmers in the fourth heat of the men's 200 metres backstroke explode form the start during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games on Wednesday. From bottom to top are: Australia's Patrick Murphy, Canada's Nathaniel O'Brien, Australia's Matt Welsh, Croatia's Gordan Kozulj, Russia's Arkady Vyatchn, Japan's Tomomi Morita and Spain's Aschwin Wildeboer. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES
 
Shon Seung-Mo completes Chinese wipeout
Athens, August 18
South Korean seventh seed Shon Seung-Mo staged a thrilling comeback to defeat second seed Chen Hong in the quarter-finals of the Olympic men’s badminton singles here Wednesday which left China without a player left in the event they were expected to dominate.

Shon Seung-Mo of South Korea returns to Chen Hong of China during their men’s quarter final badminton match at the Athens Olympics on Wednesday. Shon won 10-15, 15-4, 15-10.
— Reuters photo

Shon Seung-Mo of South Korea returns to Chen Hong of China during their men’s quarter final badminton match at the Athens Olympics

Hoogenband destroys Thorpe’s treble dream
Athens, August 18
Pieter van den Hoogenband won his second straight Olympic 100m freestyle crown here today destroying Ian Thorpe's hopes of becoming the first man to complete a 100m, 200m, 400m freestyle treble at the games.

Swimming: Phelps’ gold haul rises to three
Athens, August 18
Michael Phelps of the USA increased his gold medal haul to three at the Athens games by winning the 200-metre butterfly and the 4x200-metre freestyle relay last night. Phelps took the Olympic record but fell just short of his own world record, holding off Takashi Yamamoto to win the butterfly event in 1 minute, 54.01 seconds. The hard-charging Japanese swimmer took silver in 1:54.56, while Britain’s Stephen Parry won bronze in 1:55.22.



Michael Phelps of the US swims to win the 200m butterfly event at the Olympic Games in Athens on Tuesday. — AP/PTI photo

Michael Phelps of the US swims to win the 200m butterfly event at the Olympic Games in Athens on Tuesday

Korzhanenko, Bilonog win shot put at Ancient Olympia
Ancient Olympia, August 18
Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine won the men's Olympic shot put title here on today. Adam Nelson of the USA took the silver medal and Joachim Olsen of Denmark won the bronze.

Mohini Bhardwaj of the United States competes in the balance beam OLYMPIC DIARY
Mohini second Indian-American to win medal

Twenty-six-year-old Mohini Bhardwaj has become the second Indian-American to win an Olympic medal after Alexi Grewal.

Mohini Bhardwaj of the United States competes in the balance beam during the women's gymnastics team final at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens on Tuesday. — AP/PTI

Rajasthan CM announces award for Rathore
Jaipur, August 18
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has announced a cash prize of Rs 11 lakh and a residential flat worth Rs 8.80 lakh from the state housing board to Mr Rajyavardhan, winner of the silver medal in the shooting competition at the Olympics in Athens yesterday.

Satyadev faces uphill task
Athens, August 18
Before their departure for the 28th Olympic Games, Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Sunil Dutt had exhorted the Indian archers to draw inspiration from Arjuna, the third Pandava from the Mahabharatha.

Swedish eves in last 8
Athens, August 18
Sweden scored twice in five minutes to beat Nigeria here yesterday and avoid facing gold medal favourites Germany in the quarterfinals of the Olympic women’s football competition.

Roddick, Venus shown the door
Athens, August 18
Andy Roddick hit one last errant shot into the net and hung his head, his Olympic hopes over. Frustrated by a call and his hard-hitting opponent, second-seeded Roddick was upset by No 16 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 4-6, 4-6 in the third round today.

Federer crashes out
Athens, August 18
World No. 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland crashed out of the Olympic tennis tournament here yesterday when he lost to unseeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

Odumbe banned
London, August 18
Maurice Odumbe has been banned for five years by the Kenyan Cricket Association for taking bribe from an Indian bookmaker but the cricketer is planning to appeal against the ruling.

Haryana, AP eves record wins
Kapurthala, August 18
Haryana and Andhra Pradesh registered identical 11-0 victories over their respective opponents in the 17th Dhanoa Sub-Junior National Women’s Hockey Championship at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

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Malleswari, Bahadur disappoint
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Athens, August 18
The short-lived glory of day four started fading for India as its athletes gave an insipid account of themselves in archery, athletics, swimming, water sports and weightlifting at the Olympics here today.

Medal hopes in the 63kg weightlifting evaporated after Karnam Malleswari retired after her first attempt to clear a snatch of 100kg failed. She subsequently complained of stomach ache and withdrew to the great disappointment of the Indian fans here.

Anastasia Tsakiri of Greece, too, could not finish as all three attempts to lift 117.5kg in clean and jerk failed. Nataliya Skakun of Ukraine set a new world record, besides adding to her world record in the clean and jerk. Earlier, she had snatched to a world record of 115kg.

Malleshwari had won bronze in Sydney but fumbled here. Earlier, Chanu and Kunjurani had finished fourth each in the 53kg and 48kg categories, respectively.

In fact, turnover of local community at all venues featuring Indian athletes has increased manifold. The Indian community, pinning its hopes on lifter Malleswari and jumper Anju George have started making beelines for tickets for these events.

Shot putter Bahadur Singh of Punjab Police was a big disappointment. He fouled all his three throws at historic Ancient Olympia, the birth place of ancient Olympics, to give a dismal start to the day's proceedings.

Though Bahadur had cleared 20.40 metres to qualify for the Olympics, strong winds appear to have taken a heavy toll on him. Besides Bahadur, another athlete to make all three foul throws was Marco Antonnio Verni of Chile. In all 20 shot putters had qualified for the event.

Reena Kumari, who raised hopes of an archery medal with a tie-break win over Bhutanese rival yesterday, went down tamely to Shu Chi Yuan 148-166 in the quarterfinals.

In swimming, young Shikha Tandon was a trifle slower than her own best to get eliminated in the heats in the 100m freestyle for women. Shikha clocked 59.70 seconds, finishing 50 metres in 28.31 seconds and took 31.39 seconds for the second half of the race.

In men's single sculls, Paulose Pandari Kunnel finished fifth and last to be relegated to the last group to fight for positions 25 to 30.

In 49er race , Indian pair of Malav Shroff and Sumeet Patel had moved to No 15 after three races from the 19th and last they occupied at the end of the first, lodging in all 3.51 penalty points.Top

 

 

I had back problem in morning, says Malleswari

Athens, August 18
Karnam Malleswari today said it was a "back problem" that led to her shock exit from the 63kg category even.

"I had a back problem in the morning but I thought I will still take a chance.

But when I took the first lift, I felt an acute pain in the back and had to abandon it (thereafter)," the Sydney games bronze medallist said at the Nikaia Olympic Weightlifting Hall here.

The 29-year old Malleswari, who opted for the first lift of 100kg, could not lift the bar even upto her knees. After the failed attempt she went straight to the medical room without even acknowledging her coaches Pal Singh Sandhu and Leonid Taranenko.

Malleswari said medical tests at the venue facility showed a problem in the spinal chord but that the injury was not serious, although she might be out of action for a while.

"I was taken to the hospital and MRI scan was done, and it has been found that there is a problem in the L4 and L5 in the spinal chord and I have been asked to consult an orthopaedic surgeon," she said.

"The injury is not very serious but it could keep me out for sometime. It is really unfortunate that I could not take part in the Olympics as I was very confident of winning a medal."

Malleswari rued her lost chance to win Olympic glory.

"If you see the results (of the winners) in this lift category, it is similar to what I had in Sydney. So, definitely I could have won a medal here.

"I had worked very hard for the Olympics so it is really sad that I could not finish it. I have been doing well of late."

The other Indian representation in the same class, Pratima Kumari, turned out to be a non-starter.

While Malleswari pleaded ignorance about reason behind Pratima's non-participation, coach Pal Singh Sandhu said the 28-year-old Allahabad lifter too had suffered a back injury two days ago and her name was withdrawn before the start of the event.

"She (Pratima) had a back problem about two days back and we had withdrawn her name from the start list before the event," Sandhu said. — PTITop

 

India wary of mighty Australia
M R Mishra

Athens, August 18
Having survived a scare in the match against South Africa, India go into a crucial group B hockey match against strong contenders Australia here tomorrow, fully aware that any slip-up at this stage could jeopardise their hopes of an Olympic semifinal berth.

The Indians, who lost their opening encounter against Holland, were lucky to earn the full three points as they came from behind to score a 4-2 victory against South Africa last night, riding on two goals in the last two minutes.

They will be determined to rectify the weak links against the Australians in what promises to be a pulsating floodlit contest at the Helliniko Hockey Centre.

The topsy-turvy results in the pool have actually come as a boon for the Indians, throwing up a variety of possibilities in the battle for a place in the semifinals. It has also shown that the so-called weaker teams like South Africa and New Zealand cannot be taken for granted.

The Argentinians have already done India a favour by holding Australia to a 2-2 draw yesterday, depriving the formidable Aussies of garnering full points which could prove costly when the semifinalists are decided.

Defending champions Holland are leading the points table after two matches, having won both their games to collect six points while Australia are placed second with four points. India and South Africa have three points to their credit and New Zealand are yet to open their account.

India’s coach Gerhard Rach must be a relieved man after the late goals against the South Africans ensured a victory for his team as any other result could have severely dented the players’ confidence in a big way.

The Indians, seeking to capture their ninth gold medal in the Olympic arena, have been a trifle patchy in the two matches they have played so far.

Barring goalkeeper Adrian D’Souza, none of the other players have shown the desired consistency so far and it remains to be seen whether the team can pick itself up for the tougher battles ahead.

Rach has promised a better show from his team this time round and will be hoping that his skillful forwards can start delivering before it is too late.

Like in the opening match against Holland, the forwards were guilty of frittering away a number of chances that came their way last night.

Ageing striker Dhanraj Pillay did have a good match and was responsible for reducing the margin after trailing by two goals early in the match. But the performance of the younger lot, like Gagan Ajit Singh, Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh, needs some improvement.

Another veteran, Baljeet Singh Dhillon, managed to convert a penalty corner and the team is experimenting with him to do the job with Sandeep Singh still having problems with form and a hand injury.

The midfield will be the key for India as the Australians tend has relied on an Asian and European blend of hockey in recent times and it will be important to stop them in the midfield before they can pose much of a threat.

The Indians, thanks to the brilliance of D’Souza, have not conceded too many goals from penalty corners and they would be keen to maintain that record in the subsequent matches.

The defenders will have their task cut out in trying to contain the dangerous Jamie Dwyer and Grant Schubert, two of the best forwards in the world. — PTITop

 

Frontline yet to show cohesion
V. Baskaran

The Indian men’s hockey team’s creditable last-gasp win at the Athens Games may have been inspired by the historic silver medal-winning achievement by shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

The 4-2 victory in their second group ‘B’ match, against South Africa yesterday, has kept India’s medal hope alive. India laboured from a 0-2 deficit and went on to complete the match in the last 10 minutes where the players proved that skill and fighting qualities will always be decisive in victory.

The highlight of the match, in which the individual brilliance of Dhanraj Pillay, Baljit Dhillon and Dilip Tirkey was visible throughout, will be remembered for long. Not to forget the support shown by the younger lot, including Vikram Pillai, Harpal Singh and Viren Rasquinha.

Adrian D’Souza also excelled in goalkeeping on two occasions when he thwarted good moves from the South African forwards.

Though India’s victory was commendable there are some grey areas which need to be improved upon urgently. The forward line has not yet shown the necessary cohesion and the mid-field is also not supporting it to the fullest extent.

Frontliners — Deepak Thakur, Gagan Ajit Singh and Prabhjot Singh — did not do anything worthwhile yesterday. They seemed to be running around aimlessly with the ball and got dispossessed easily. This made the Indian team attack looking vulnerable in the first half.

The forward line also looked disjointed with no concrete help from the mid-fielders, which could pose problems for Indian coach Gerhard Rach in future games. The sooner these mistakes are rectified the better for the team.

This is where Dhillon and Dhanraj Pillay proved to be above everyone else and showed they were capable of getting past any defender with their dribbling and passing.

I have always believed that even in victory one has to learn and rectify the mistakes for further improvement in such high-level competitions. Harpal needs to improve his tackling in the danger area.

Another major worry for the team is the performance of wing-halves Ignace Tirkey and Sandeep Singh. Both have proved to be weak links in the defence especially Ignace who is prone to desert his zone and leave gaps frequently which have to be plugged by someone else.

Sandeep Singh has to learn from his mistakes which became visible during the Olympic opener against defending champions the Netherlands.

South Africa were reduced to 10 men towards the end for five minutes which gave the Indian forwards more space.

The Indians have been conceding goals in the first 10 minutes which should be avoided. Most of the Indian forays have emanated from the right flank with little thrust seen from the other side, which needs to be rectified at the earliest in order to stretch the rival teams’ defence to the full.

In the game against South Africa India secured five penalty corners and converted three of them which is an encouraging sign.

The drawn Argentina-Austrlia encounter has thrown open the pool and is a welcome result from the Indian point of view.

Hopefully, the victory against South Africa would make the Indians gain in confidence ahead of their crucial match against the strong Australians tomorrow. — PTITop

 

Diwakar enters second round

Athens, August 18
India’s boxers provided mixed fare in the Olympic Games with fly weight boxer Akhil Kumar going down in the first round while bantam weight Diwakar Prasad advancing to the second round.

Akhil lost 16-37 to former world champion and Sydney Games bronze medallist Jerome Thomas of France while Diwakar outclassed Morocco’s Hamid Ait Bighrade 25-17 in the 54 kg bout last night.

Diwakar will now face Nigerian Bolum Nestor in the round of 16.

Diwakar fought intelligently, gathering points with quick and telling blows and then moving out, to take the first three rounds 5-3, 10-4 and 5-4 to build up a healthy 20-11 lead.

His opponent, one from a non-boxing nation, geared up and came charging at him in the last round and the Indian backpedalled for the most part, probably realising he was ahead on points. The final round went in the Moroccon’s favour but the Indian was far ahead on points by then.

Earlier, in the 48 kg class Akhil fought bravely but dropped his guard often to allow his more fancied rival to score points at will.

Akhil tried to use the upper cuts against the Frenchman, who rarely let his guard drop, and lost the bout in which his rival clearly had the upper hand.

The Indian trailed 3-6 after the first round which increased to 7-17 in the second. He was down by 16 points at the end of the third round.

Despite going on an all out attack in the final round and landing a few solid punches on the Frenchman’s face and body he was clearly outpointed in the end.

Two other boxers — Jitender Kumar (light heavy weight) and Vijender (lightwelter weight) — have already been eliminated. — PTI

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Greek sprinters pull out

File photographs of Greek sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou
File photographs of Greek sprinters Costas Kenteris (top) and Katerina Thanou (bottom).

Athens, August 18
Greece’s two top athletes pulled out of the Athens Olympics today and apologised to the Greek people for a scandal over missed dope tests that has tarnished the games’ return to their birthplace.

“With a sense of responsibility and national interest I am retiring from the Olympic Games,’’ Olympic 200 metres champion Costas Kenteris said as he emerged from an Athens hotel after an International Olympic Committee disciplinary hearing.

He and training partner Katerina Thanou, the 100 metres silver medallist in Sydney, protested their innocence.

Kenteris, 31, said he had broken with their controversial coach Christos Tzekos and blamed sports officials for the mess, saying that he had not been notified of Thursday’s dope test appointment.

“My country has waited 108 years for the games to come home,’’ Kenteris said, acknowledging the national scandal that has cast a shadow over the early days of the 16-day festival.

“I want to apologise to the Greek people that I will not be at the games, that I will not manage to race, and that is why I handed my accreditation into the IOC today,’’ Thanou, 29, said as she emerged a few minutes later.

Having missed the eve-of-games tests in the Olympic Village, the pair then checked into hospital after reporting a late-night motor cycle accident. Two postponed IOC hearings later, they emerged from hospital today to face the panel.

No witnesses to the accident have come forward.

The IOC’s executive board went into immediate session after the disciplinary hearing to discuss the affair further.

Kenteris, who had been a candidate for the national honour of lighting the Olympic flame at last Friday’s games opening ceremony, surprised world athletics with his gold medal in 2000.

He said his failure to take the test was down to an administrative lapse and that he personally had been unaware of the appointment. “I am adamant, I was never notified to go to the Olympic Village to take the test. Over the past years, I have gone through over 30 tests with no problems,’’ he added. — ReutersTop

 

Shon Seung-Mo completes Chinese wipeout

Athens, August 18
South Korean seventh seed Shon Seung-Mo staged a thrilling comeback to defeat second seed Chen Hong in the quarter-finals of the Olympic men’s badminton singles here Wednesday which left China without a player left in the event they were expected to dominate.

China took gold and bronze in the men’s singles at the Sydney Games and, with three of the top four seeds, were tipped for a clean sweep of medals here.

But Chen’s surprise exit completed a wipeout for the sport’s standard-bearers which began on the first day when unseeded Singaporean Ronald Susilo knocked out top seed and world number one Lin Dan. A semi-finalist at the world championships last year, Shon started slugglishly against Chen but came storming back to defeat the world number two 10-15, 15-4, 15-10.

Shon will meet the winner of the quarter-final between Indonesian eighth seed Soni Dwi Kuncoro and unseeded compatriot Park Tae-Sang.

The Korean admitted he was slow off the mark and had to change his approach to keep alive his medal hopes.

Chen, who edged out Xia Xuanze to make the Olympic team due to the world champion’s loss of form, did not look convincing in previous rounds and was taken to three games by Denmark’s Kenneth Jonassen and Lee Chong-Wei, who were both unseeded.

Earlier in the day, unseeded Indonesian star Taufik Hidayat continued to revel in his underdog role to claim a place in the last four.

The Asian champion, who knocked out Malaysian third seed Wong Choong-Han in the round of 16, produced a beautifully measured performance to beat 27-year-old Danish sixth seed Peter Gade 15-12, 15-12.

The semi-finals take place on Thursday. — AFPTop

 

Hoogenband destroys Thorpe’s treble dream

Athens, August 18
Pieter van den Hoogenband won his second straight Olympic 100m freestyle crown here today destroying Ian Thorpe's hopes of becoming the first man to complete a 100m, 200m, 400m freestyle treble at the games.

"I am the champion! I did it again," van den Hoogenband said. "I really wanted to win the gold. It is hard to be a defending champion."

South African Roland Schoeman took silver after being edged out in the closing metres while Australian middle-distance great Thorpe was third.

Van den Hoogenband, the world record-holder, was fifth at the turn as Schoeman displayed the form that helped South Africa claim the men's 4x100m freestyle relay gold in a world record time.

Schoeman's split of 22.60 put him under world record pace as he hit the wall ahead of relay teammate Ryk Neethling.

But the Netherlands's van den Hoogenband, who took silver behind Thorpe in the 200m on Monday, reeled in Schoeman in the final 25m to win in 48.17sec.

"I was closing - it was like I was in a trance," van den Hoogenband said. "When I touched the wall and looked back I saw it was mine. I was so happy."

Schoeman took the silver in 48.23, while Thorpe claimed the bronze in a personal best of 48.56

"I guess I have the set," said Thorpe, who added the bronze to his 200m free gold and 4x200m free silver. He admitted that he didn't expect to find himself on the podium after squeezing into the final with the 8th-fastest time. — ReutersTop

 

 

Swimming: Phelps’ gold haul rises to three

Athens, August 18
Michael Phelps of the USA increased his gold medal haul to three at the Athens games by winning the 200-metre butterfly and the 4x200-metre freestyle relay last night.

Phelps took the Olympic record but fell just short of his own world record, holding off Takashi Yamamoto to win the butterfly event in 1 minute, 54.01 seconds.

The hard-charging Japanese swimmer took silver in 1:54.56, while Britain’s Stephen Parry won bronze in 1:55.22.

It was the second gold for Phelps, to go along with two bronzes — easily making him the most decorated swimmer of the games so far.

Phelps came into the event as the clear favourite, having set the world record of 1:53.93 at last year’s world championships. He also had the best time in the world this year, his winning swim (1:54.31) at last month’s US Olympic trials.

The 19-year-old went out strong, doing the first 100 below world-record pace. He tired a bit at the end — not surprising since it was his ninth race of the four-day-old Olympic meet.

Later, Klete Keller narrowly held off Ian Thorpe at the wall to help the USA win gold in the 4x200-metre freestyle relay last night over the Australians.

The Americans won in 7 minutes, 7.33 seconds — a US record — four years after finishing second to the Aussies at the Sydney games.

The Australian team of Grant Hackett, Michael Klim, Nicholas Sprenger and Thorpe earned silver in 7:07.46. The Italian team of Emiliano Brembilla, Massimiliano Rosolino, Simone Cercato and Filippo Magnini took bronze in 7:11.83.

The USA avenged its shocking loss to Australia in the 4x100 freestyle relay on Sunday.

Michael Phelps led off and had the Americans in front after 200 metres, with Hackett in second. The Aussies dropped to third behind the Americans and Italians on Klim’s leg. But Sprenger moved them back to second before Thorpe took over.

Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay kept the US lead, allowing Keller to dive in ahead of Thorpe on the anchor leg. Even though Thorpe’s 200 split of 1:44.18 was faster than Keller’s 1:45.53, the American was able to hold him off. — APTop

 


Medals tally

Country G S B T

China

10

6

4

20

USA

8

9

7

24

Japan

7

3

1

11

Australia

6

3

5

14

Ukraine

4

1

1

6

Russia

3

6

6

15

France

3

3

4

10

Italy

2

3

2

7

South Korea

2

3

2

7

Germany

2

2

4

8

Greece

2

0

1

3

Romania

2

0

1

3

Turkey

2

0

1

3

Netherlands

1

3

4

8

Slovakia

1

2

1

4

Hungary

1

1

1

3

Georgia

1

1

0

2

Bulgaria

1

0

2

3

Thailand

1

0

2

3

Switzerland

1

0

1

2

South Africa

1

0

0

1

UAE

1

0

0

1

North Korea

0

2

1

3

Austria

0

2

0

2

Poland

0

2

0

2

Britain

0

1

4

5

Cuba

0

1

4

5

Zimbabwe

0

1

1

2

Czech Repubic

0

1

1

2

Belarus

0

1

1

2

India

0

1

0

1

Indonesia

0

1

0

1

Portugal

0

1

0

1

Serbia-Montenegro

0

1

0

1

Spain

0

1

0

1

Belgium

0

0

2

2

Brazil

0

0

2

2

Argentina

0

0

1

1

Azerbaijan

0

0

1

1

Canada

0

0

1

1

Colombia

0

0

1

1

Mongolia

0

0

1

1

Slovenia

0

0

1

1

— DPA

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Korzhanenko, Bilonog win shot put at Ancient Olympia

Ancient Olympia, August 18
Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine won the men's Olympic shot put title here on today.

Adam Nelson of the USA took the silver medal and Joachim Olsen of Denmark won the bronze.

Russia's Irina Korzhanenko became the first woman to win a gold medal at the ancient site that gave birth to the Olympics, recording the three longest throws of the shot put competition.

Thousands of spectators sitting on grassy slopes surrounding the pit watched Korzhanenko's winning toss of 21.06 metres. The longest in the world this year, it came on the third of her six attempts.

Yumileidi Cumba of Cuba won the silver with a throw of 19.59m on her last attempt, and Nadine Kleinert of Germany took the bronze.

The competition was held under a blazing sun. Strong winds blew dust across the venue, where the first games were held 2,780 years ago for men only.

"It's a privilege and honour to compete here," Nelson said. "There's something special about this place.

It's a reminder of where it all began."

The arena is spare by modern standards, a large dirt oval surrounded by grass knolls and forests of pine and laurel. Ancient columns and ruins sit nearby.

An announcer reminded spectators they were in the same spot from which the ancient Greeks watched their athletic heroes nearly 28 centuries ago, and he encouraged them before the start of competition to "sit in silence and feel the mystical powers of this sacred place."

The shot put was being held at this former religious sanctuary about 200 miles southwest of Athens, two days before the rest of the track and field competition begin on Friday.

It was the first competition at the site since 393 AD, when the ancient Olympics were abolished by the Roman Emperor Theodosius as a pagan practice.

American Kristin Heaston, who opened the historic qualifying round, failed to advance to the final. — AP

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Athens Diary
Mohini second Indian-American to win medal
Prabhjot Singh

Twenty-six-year-old Mohini Bhardwaj has become the second Indian-American to win an Olympic medal after Alexi Grewal.

Mo, as she is known to her friends, was the member of the US gymnastics team that won silver in the artistic team championship by aggregating 113.584 points behind Romania (114.283) here on Tuesday night.

In the 1984 Olympic Games at Los Angeles, Alexi Grewal, representing the USA, won the cycling road race gold. Alexi, whose father is an Indian, is now a religious preacher while her younger brother, Danny, is a top road cyclist.

Besides Mohini Bhardwaj, another Indian-American gymnast in the US team is Raj Bhavsar. Besides Mohini and Raj representing the USA, two Indian-Canadians are also here. Andrew Kooner and Kamini Jain are here for the second successive Olympics as members of the Canadian contingent.

Kamini Jain, born to a British mother and an Indian father, is a canoeist while Andrew Kooner is a boxer. Kamini had finished ninth in the Sydney games. While Kamini was born in Tripoli, Andrew Kooner has England as his birthplace.

Mohini played a stellar role in her team’s silver medal win with an individual aggregate of 28.225 points. Born to a Russian mother and an Indian father in Philadelphia, she is a student of the University of California and trains at the All-Olympians Gymnastics Centre.

To raise money for her training, Mohini started selling raffle tickets. When Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson came to know about her, she donated $20,000 to become her main sponsor.

Mohini could not make it to the Sydney Olympics. In 1996, she had finished sixth in the US Olympic team trials. Between 1998 and 2001, she studied and competed at the University of California in Los Angeles.

Andrew Kooner, competing in 54kg (bantamweight category), got a bye in the first round and will have his first bout on August 20. Kamini Jain will compete in the K4 500 metres race, scheduled for August 23.Top

 

Rajasthan CM announces award for Rathore
Tribune News Service

Jaipur, August 18
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has announced a cash prize of Rs 11 lakh and a residential flat worth Rs 8.80 lakh from the state housing board to Mr Rajyavardhan, winner of the silver medal in the shooting competition at the Olympics in Athens yesterday. His name would also be recommended for Arjuna Award.

The young man who made history by being the first Indian to win a silver at Olympics hails from Garabdesar village, in Bikaner district of the desert state.

Interestingly, almost all members of Rathore’s family are proficient enough at wielding the shotgun.

Major Rajyavardhan’s father, Col. Laxman Singh Rathore, who, after retirement lives in his modest house in Vaishali Nagar colony of the pink city said that Rathore worked extremely hard to make his dream a reality.

The religious minded family had lighted an ‘akhand jyoti’ in a Hanuman temple of the town on the day the games started and continued to offer prayers for success of Rathore.

Born on January 29, 1970, Major Rajyavardhan’s forefathers in the past six generations have been serving Army and police.Top

 

Satyadev faces uphill task

Athens, August 18
Before their departure for the 28th Olympic Games, Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Sunil Dutt had exhorted the Indian archers to draw inspiration from Arjuna, the third Pandava from the Mahabharatha. The first Indian archer to make it to the Olympic pre-quarterfinal, Satyadev Prasad will need a miracle of sorts to upset his Korean tival tomorrow.

Satyadev remains the lone Indian archer in the individual event, while both Majhi Swaiyan and Tarundeep Rai are cooling their heels following their ouster.

Prasad, however, continues to impress and yesterday he came up with another spirited performance to edge past his Dutch opponent Van Der Hoff by three points.

Satyadev scored 158 (25, 25, 27, 23, 30, and 28) while Van Der Hoff totalled 155( 25, 30, 28, 23, 26 and 23).

Satyadev had beaten Yuji Hamano of Japan 155-150 in the first round match.

However, the litmus test for the Indian will be at the famed Panathinaiko Stadium tomorrow when he takes on Hyun Dong Im of South Korea.

The 19-year old Korean beat Alexandros Karageorgiou of the host nation 171-159 to reach the quarterfinal.

Im created 72-arrow world record in the qualifying round with his score of a whopping 687 that put him right on top of the table.

The previous record was created by Shin Young-sung in 1995. — UNITop

 

Swedish eves in last 8

Athens, August 18
Sweden scored twice in five minutes to beat Nigeria here yesterday and avoid facing gold medal favourites Germany in the quarterfinals of the Olympic women’s football competition.

The Swedes won 2-1 and took Group E on a countback after Nigeria and Japan finished on one win each and level goal difference in the pool.

Nigeria led after a 25th-minute goal from US-based striker Mercy Akide who popped in a rebound off a powerful header, but the Swedes claimed victory with goals by Hanna Marklund in the 68th minute and Malin Mostroem five minutes later.

Sweden will now play Australia in the quarterfinal on Friday after the Aussies finished third in Group G following a 1-1 draw with world number two USA.

The Americans led through an 18th-minute strike by midfielder Kristine Lilly but Australia lifted their game in the second half and equalised through midfielder Joanne Peters eight minutes from time.

The USA will take on Japan in the quarterfinals.

Nigeria will play Germany in another quarter-final after finishing second in Group E.

The Germans were too strong for Mexico, winning through goals by Petra Wimbersky in the 20th minute and Birgit Prinz in the 79th minute.

Brazil swamped hosts Greece 7-0 with Cristiane scoring a hat-trick to set up a match in the last eight with Mexico on Friday. — AFPTop

 

Roddick, Venus shown the door

Athens, August 18
Andy Roddick hit one last errant shot into the net and hung his head, his Olympic hopes over.

Frustrated by a call and his hard-hitting opponent, second-seeded Roddick was upset by No 16 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 4-6, 4-6 in the third round today.

In the women's section title-holder Venus Williams of the crashed out losing 4-6, 4-6 to France's Mary Pierce.

It was bad day for other US players, too: No 16 Chanda Rubin lost to No 2 Amelie Mauresmo of France 3-6, 1-6 and Lisa Raymond was eliminated by Alicia Molik of Australia 4-6, 4-6.

Roddick had a chance to extend the match in the final game, getting four break points, but he failed to convert any. That was a pattern throughout the match: Roddick wasted his chances, and Gonzalez converted his.

Of Americans in early action, only Taylor Dent won, beating Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 6-4, 6-4.

The hardest server in the world, Roddick did compile 12 aces against Gonzalez, but he was broken once in each set, including at love to fall behind 4-5 in the second. By then, though, he appeared distracted by an extended argument with the chair umpire that began late in the first set and dragged on into the second.

The stunner came a day after No 1 Roger Federer lost to 18-year-old Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, leaving the men's tournament without its two biggest stars.

It was a striking change of fortunes for players who met in the Wimbledon final last month, when Federer won his second straight title there.

Pierce, the 1995 Australian Open champion and 2000 French Open winner now ranked 28th in the world, had beaten Williams only twice in eight previous matches, the last time in 1998.

Pierce now plays either world No 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium or Australia's Nicole Pratt in the quarterfinals. — AgenciesTop

 

Federer crashes out

Unseeded Thomas Berdych of the Czech Republic gestures to the crowd after his upset victory over top seed Roger Federer
Unseeded Thomas Berdych of the Czech Republic gestures to the crowd after his upset victory over top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland. — AP/PTI photo

Athens, August 18
World No. 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland crashed out of the Olympic tennis tournament here yesterday when he lost to unseeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

But US Open champion and world No 2 Andy Roddick of the USA saved three match points before beating unseeded Tommy Haas of Germany 4-6, 6-3, 9-7 in the second round.

Berdych, ranked 74 in the world, beat the Australian Open and Wimbledon champion 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 after Federer dropped serve in the last games of the last two sets of their second round match.

Federer’s defeat opens the way for third seed Carlos Moya of Spain, who beat Belgium’s Olivier Rochus 6-0, 7-6 (7/3).

Women’s world No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne, sidelined for 11 weeks by a debilitating virus, and Venus Williams kept on collision course.

Both women are only a match away from the quarterfinal after winning their second round matches. — AFPTop

 

Odumbe banned

London, August 18
Maurice Odumbe has been banned for five years by the Kenyan Cricket Association for taking bribe from an Indian bookmaker but the cricketer is planning to appeal against the ruling.

Odumbe’s suspension follows last month’s hearing into the affair by the ICC’s anti-corruption and security unit conducted by former Zimbabwean Supreme Court Judge Ahmed Ibrahim.

The International Cricket Council last night confirmed that it had received a copy of the Ebrahim report which recommended a five-year ban on Odumbe after a hearing into charges that “he had received money, benefit or other reward which could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute.” The recommendation was subsequently implemented by the Kenyan Cricket Association, which was supported by ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed, the ICC said. — PTITop

 

Haryana, AP eves record wins

Kapurthala, August 18
Haryana and Andhra Pradesh registered identical 11-0 victories over their respective opponents in the 17th Dhanoa Sub-Junior National Women’s Hockey Championship at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

Haryana, in their opening group E match, went on the offensive from the beginning and outclassed Vidharbha in all aspects of the game.

Haryana opened their account in the third minute through Gurvinder Kaur who converted a penalty corner with a hard direct shot which sounded the board. Gurvinder also scored in the 12th and 25th minutes.

Haryana’s other scorers were Ritu Rani (8th and 55th minutes), Meenakshi (14th and 60th minutes), Anshul (5th minute), Supreet (20th minute), Bhagwant (37th minute) and Sandeep (43rd minute).

N.V. Jayalakshmi engineered a cakewalk 11-0 verdict for Andhra Pradesh against Bhopal in a group Fouting. The ebullient Andhra forward contributed six goals in her team’s victory. She recorded goals in the 3rd, 10th, 32nd, 42nd, 51st and 58th minutes. S Paramjyoti scored a brace in the 23rd and 46th minutes. D. Kanta (23rd minute), N. Soundarya (31st minute) and A. Mamta (57th minute) got one goal each for the winners.

T. Anuradha spearheaded the Manipur attack against Maharashtra in the group encounter and enabled her state to win with an authoritative 7-1 margin. Anuradha topscored with six goals, including a fine hat-trick.

The Manipur forward started chasing her three-in-a-row feat in the third minute with a field goal and achieved the rare feat by scoring two more goals in succession in the 14th and 25th minutes. She struck again in the 31st, 55th and 58th minutes to complete her tally.

N.G. Priya contributed one goal for Manipur. The face-saving goal for Maharashtra was scored by Sonali in the 27th minute.

Earlier, an unfinished overnight group match between hosts Pepsu and Uttaranchal ended in a one-all draw. When the match was abandoned yesterday due to poor light Uttaranchal were leading 1-0. The goal was scored by Sushma.

This morning, Pepsu managed to share the honours by restoring parity through Gurvinderjit Kaur who converted a penalty corner in the 46th minute. — UNI

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2 selected for spinners camp
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, August 18
Delhi under-15 player Manan Sharma and under-17 player Karan Harit have been selected to attend the spinners’ camp trials at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. NCA vice-chairman C.K. Khanna announced here today that the spinners’ camp will be held from September 3. He said the two players were selected after assessing their performances over the last few months.

Top

 
 OLYMPIC BRIEFS

Rowing pair disqualified
ATHENS:
The Canadian men’s coxless pair of Dave Calder and Chris Jarvis were thrown out of the Olympic rowing regatta on Wednesday for steering into a South African boat as they raced for the finish line, officials said.
The two boats were level as they battled it out to qualify for the final. South Africa, favourites for a medal, will now contest the final after initially finishing fourth. — Reuters

Athlete hurt
ATHENS:
A 27-year-old Olympic athlete from Ireland has been injured in a car accident, doctors from the Athens hospital KAT said on Wednesday.
The unnamed athlete, who crashed into an lorry on the Peloponnese peninsula, suffered injuries to his back and legs, but these are not life-threatening, doctors said. — DPA

Commentary
NEW DELHI:
All-India will Radio broadcast live the running commentary of the men’s hockey match between India and Australia in the Athens Olympics on Thursday.
The commentary will be on air from 10.55 pm to 12.55 am, besides the daily highlights on Rajdhani Channel and AIR FM Gold, according to an AIR press note. — UNI
Top

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