SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

Ganguly counting on Reid magic
Sourav Ganguly Trent Bridge, August 30
Indian captain Sourav Ganguly hopes the second training stint with former Australian seamer Bruce Reid would help his young bunch of fast bowlers click together as a unit.

No Indian umpire for Champions Trophy
London, August 30
India may be the financial hub of modern cricket and Sourav Ganguly’s men raring to topple Australia for the Test and one-day world champion status, but the subcontinent giant will have no representation in the umpires and referees panel for the ICC Champions Trophy.

‘Great Escape’ from Athens begins

Athens, August 30
Hundreds of thousands of Olympic athletes and visitors began what the Greek media termed the “Great Escape’’ from Athens today in an exodus expected to tax airport staff to the limit.

Beijing Mayor Wang Qishan waves the Olympic flag after receiving it from Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyiannis (not in picture) during the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Athens on Sunday.
— AP/PTI photo

Beijing Mayor Wang Qishan waves the Olympic flag after receiving it from Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyiannis

Anonymous bomb scare
Olympic protest

Indian excuses resurface
New Delhi, August 30
If Anjali Bhagwat had stiff muscles, KM Binu ran with wrong spikes, Karnam Malleswari suffered a last-minute back problem and Suma Shirur was done in by a mental block! The exceptions were heptathlete JJ Shobha, who braved excruciating pain to finish the event at 11th place, and tennis stars Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes.


Australia's tennis star Llayton Hewitt holds the TD Waterhouse Championship Cup at the Hamlet Country Club in Commack
Australia's tennis star Llayton Hewitt holds the TD Waterhouse Championship Cup at the Hamlet Country Club in Commack, New York, on Sunday. Hewitt defeated Peru's Luis Horna 6-3, 6-1 in the final. — AP/PTI

EARLIER STORIES
 

Indians failed to get the basics right
India were drawn in a tougher pool for the Olympic Games but that cannot be used as an excuse for the way we miserably failed to qualify for the semi-finals. Just before the start of the league matches, I had said that India’s first match against the Netherlands would be crucial in deciding our progress in the mega event where a medal has eluded us for the past 24 years.

Rs 500-crore Olympic fund demanded
New Delhi, August 30
After India returned with a solitary silver medal from the Athens Olympics, a Rs 500-crore Olympic Fund has been demanded to ensure a better show in the next edition of the Games in Beijing.

Ex-priest’s Olympic marathon stunt flayed

Dublin, August 30
The Irish-born former priest who disrupted the Olympic men's marathon and pushed the race leader into the crowd has been strongly condemned in his country's newspapers today. Cornelius Horan, 57, who now lives in London, lunged at Brazilian race leader Vanderlei de Lima and pushed him into the crowd lining the marathon route last night.
De Lima managed to rejoin the race but was passed two miles later by Italian Stefano Baldini and finished in third place. Horan carried a placard saying "The Grand Prix Priest. Israel Fulfilment of Prophecy Says The Bible. The Second Coming is Near".

Vanderlei de Lima of Brazil (L) is grabbed by a lone spectator while leading the men's Olympic marathon during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games on Sunday. De Lima got away and rejoined the race, holding his leg, with around 15 minutes to run but lost the lead to Italian Stefano Baldini soon after. — Reuters photo

Vanderlei de Lima of Brazil is grabbed by a lone spectator while leading the men's Olympic marathon during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games on Sunday. De Lima got away and rejoined the race

HP cricket chief faces graft charges
Mandi, August 30
The three-member inquiry commission appointed by the Virbhadra Singh government to look into the affairs of the Himachal Pradesh State Cricket Association (SCA) has levelled charges of distortion of the association’s constitution and the misuse of funds against its president, Anurag Thakur.

US Beach Volleyball duo Misty May and Kerri Walsh show their Olympic gold medals at MTV Video Music Awards in Miami
US Beach Volleyball duo Misty May (left) and Kerri Walsh show their Olympic gold medals at MTV Video Music Awards in Miami on Sunday. — Reuters

Ferrari's world champion German rider Michael Schumacher, who came second, jubilates during the victory ceremony of the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit
Ferrari's world champion German rider Michael Schumacher, who came second, jubilates during the victory ceremony of the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, on Sunday. McLaren driver Kimi Raikkonen won the race. Michael Schumacher clinched an unprecedented seventh Formula One drivers' title at the Belgian Grand Prix.
— AP/PTI

Atwal finishes 13th in Buick Open
New Delhi, August 30
Arjun Atwal, the first Indian to qualify for the USPGA Tour, recorded his best performance of the season when he finished tied for the 13th place at the Buick golf championship at River Highlands course in Cromwell, Connecticut. Atwal shot a six-under 64 on the final day yesterday to finish joint 13th and take home about $ 70,000.

Probe into dope scandal sought
New Delhi, August 30
Archery Association of India (AAI) president Vijay Kumar Malhotra has sought a judicial probe to bring out the whole truth about the doping scandal involving the women weightlifters, which had sullied the image of the country in the Olympic Games at Athens.

Army school soccer team finishes third
Solan, August 30
The under-14 soccer team of Army Public School, Dagshai, secured the third position in the All-India Public School Conference football tournament played at RIMC, Dehra Dun, recently.

India finish a dismal 66th
Athens, August 30
The ending could not have been more pathetic for the second most populated nation in the world as India finished joint 66th along with tiny Hong Kong and Paraguay with just a silver medal to show on the leaderboard at the 28th Olympic Games which concluded here last night.

A court worker dries the back wall at Arthur Ashe stadium prior to the start of play at the US  Open in New York on Monday A court worker dries the back wall at Arthur Ashe stadium prior to the start of play at the US  Open in New York on Monday. Roger Federer of Switzerland and Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium are the top seeds in the tournament. — Reuters

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Ganguly counting on Reid magic

Trent Bridge, August 30
Indian captain Sourav Ganguly hopes the second training stint with former Australian seamer Bruce Reid would help his young bunch of fast bowlers click together as a unit.

"We are not bowling well as a team. Someday one or two bowl well and others don't, and on other days, it is someone else who is bowling well and not the others," Ganguly said on the sidelines of team's practice session here today.

Reid, who had assisted the Indians on their tour of Australia last season, joined the team yesterday and would be working with them tomorrow also.

He would rejoin them for a brief during the ICC Champions Trophy between India's two group matches against Kenya and Pakistan on September 11 and 19, respectively.

No sooner than he arrived, Reid turned his attention to the two young pacers Laxmipathy Balaji and Irfan Pathan and asked them to bowl in a certain manner.

For Irfan, he also put three pegs in his follow through to ensure he doesn't run on to the pitch.

Reid initially restricted himself to teach the two youngsters the nuances of fast bowling before summoning the two other fast bowlers of the squad - Ajit Agarkar and Ashish Nehra.

Agarkar had yesterday passed a fitness test and was available for selection after the side strain he suffered in the first match of the tri-series against Pakistan in Holland.

It was a hectic day for the Indians after the many long rainy days spent inside the hotel rooms in Amsterdam. The players enjoyed the bright sunshine and were perked up by the sight of Sachin Tendulkar bowling his leg-breaks to his mates.

Tendulkar, who has been ruled out of the three-match series against England with a tennis elbow, hates being kept out of action and bowled his leg-spins for long stretches to the frontline bowlers.

The team management indicated that the decision to not play Tendulkar in the NatWest Challenge was more of a precautionary measure and there was no serious trouble with the Mumbai star.

The team was pretty hopeful the little master would be available for selection for the all-important Champions Trophy which begins on September 10.

It was also learnt that the Indian team management had asked for a 16th player as replacement for Tendulkar but the Indian board turned down the request.

The Board was of the view that the team already had adequate backup in Rohan Gavaskar and young wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Karthik.— PTI

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Reid named bowling coach

New Delhi, August 30
Former Australia bowler Bruce Reid will have another stint as the bowling coach of the Indian side as BCCI roped him to train the bowlers for the NatWest Challenge series and the ICC Champions Trophy.

Talking to UNI, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary S K Nair said, “The team management had requested for a bowling coach after the triangular series in Holland and the Board decided to engage Bruce Reid, who has worked with our bowlers in the past.”

After the proposal came from the team management, the board consulted with skipper Sourav Ganguly and coach John Wright before Reid’s name was finalised, he added.

The lanky Australian has already began working with the Indian team practising at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. India takes on host England in three one-dayers on September 1, 3 and 5 and then plays the Champions Trophy that begins on September 10. — UNI

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No Indian umpire for Champions Trophy

London, August 30
India may be the financial hub of modern cricket and Sourav Ganguly’s men raring to topple Australia for the Test and one-day world champion status, but the subcontinent giant will have no representation in the umpires and referees panel for the ICC Champions Trophy.

Former Test batsman Gundappa Viswanath is among the ICC Referees panel while K Hariharan, A V Jayaprakash and I Shivram are in the list of ICC international umpires. But none of them were appointed to officiate in the 12-nation event in England from September 10 to 25.

The ICC statement which confirmed the appointments today, however, did not specify the reasons for the non-inclusion of the Indian officials.

Chris Broad, Clive Lloyd, Ranjan Madugalle and Mike Procter of the Elite Panel of ICC referees will share referee duties over the group stage of the tournament.

Umpires officiating at the ICC Champions Trophy 2004 will take part in a series of technology trials as the ICC continues its approach to understanding what role technology can play in aiding and improving umpire decision-making.

The two technological innovations involving umpires will see standing officials wired-up to TV stump microphones, and third umpires calling no balls.

Umpires in seven of the 15 ICC Champions Trophy matches will wear earpiece that picks up the audio from the stump microphone as the ball passes the batsman.

Umpires and referees for Champions Trophy (read under Date, Match, Venue, Referee, Onfield Umpires and TV Umpire):

Sep 10: England v Zimbabwe, Edgbaston — Ranjan Madugalle, Simon Taufel, Steve Bucknor and Billy Bowden.

New Zealand v USA, Oval — Mike Procter, Billy Doctrove, David Shepherd and Darrell Hair.

Sep 11: India v Kenya, Rose Bowl — Jeremy Lloyd, Daryl Harper, Rudi Koertzen and Aleem Dar.

Sep 12: South Africa v Bangladesh, Edgbaston — Chris Broad, Lloyds, Taufel and Hair.

Sep 13: Australia v USA, Rose Bowl — Madugalle, Bowden, Dar, and Bucknor.

Sep 14: Pakistan v Kenya, Edgbaston — Lloyd, Hair, Doctrove and Koertzen.

Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, Oval — Procter, Harper, Shepherd and Taufel.

Sep 15: West Indies v Bangladesh, Rose Bowl — Broad, Lloyds, Dar and Bowden.

Sep 16: Australia v New Zealand, Oval — Madugalle, Bucknor, Koertzen and Shepherd.

Sep 17: Sri Lanka v England, Rose Bowl — Procter, Bowden, Hair and Doctrove.

Sep 18: South Africa v West Indies, Oval — Broad, Lloyds, Shepherd and Harper.

Sep 19: India v Pakistan, Edgbaston — Lloyd, Koertzen, Taufel and Bucknor. — PTI

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‘Great Escape’ from Athens begins

Jason Read of the USA, who won a gold medal in the men's eight rowing, holds an Iraqi flag
Jason Read of the USA, who won a gold medal in the men's eight rowing, holds an Iraqi flag (L), a German flag (R) and a U.S. flag during the closing ceremony of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games on Sunday. The next summer Olympic Games will be held in Beijing in 2008. — Reuters

Athens, August 30
Hundreds of thousands of Olympic athletes and visitors began what the Greek media termed the “Great Escape’’ from Athens today in an exodus expected to tax airport staff to the limit.

Officials estimate up to 200,000 persons will leave for overseas destinations over the next 48 hours while thousands of Athenians who delayed summer holidays until the end of the games will head for Aegean islands and family reunions across Greece.

“Until August 31, we expect a huge wave of departures,’’ said Athens airport spokeswoman Marina Papageorgiou.

“The day after the closing ceremony is the toughest one,’’ she said.

Among efforts to ensure smooth departures are a ban on entry into airport terminals to non-ticket holders and strict parking and traffic restrictions.

Greek media said the “Great Escape’’ was the biggest mass departure Athens had to cope with.

Today alone, about 70,000 athletes, officials and foreign visitors will board some 900 flights with almost as many departures tomorrow.

The number of flights is 50 per cent more than for an average August, Greece’s peak holiday month.

But it will be not only athletes, sports officials and foreign visitors who will leave the capital.

“September is finally here and I will be leaving,’’ said central Athens cafe owner Dimitris Karaiosifoglou. “We did our duty for the Olympics and now it’s time to rest.’’

About 4,000 top security personnel brought to Athens from around the country will also go home after being called up for Olympic duty.

Many of the some 45,000 volunteers who helped out at the games will also return to their homes across Greece.

But many policemen and troops will have to wait until the end of the Paralympics in late September before getting a break from gruelling duties they have carried out since the start of August as part of the biggest security operation in peacetime Europe. — Reuters

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Anonymous bomb scare

ATHENS: Greek anti-terrorist police searched a ferry in Piraeus harbour, near Athens, after the Olympic Games closed following an anonymous telephone call warning there was a bomb aboard, the Merchant Marine Ministry said.

A caller told Greek newspaper Eleftherotypia that a bomb had been placed aboard the ferry boat Nefeli, which provides a regular service to the island of Aegina in the Gulf of Saronica. The ferry was scheduled to sail early on Monday. But the ministry said the warning was probably a hoax call. — AFP

Olympic protest

BEIJING: Two foreign Tibet activists were detained in China on Monday after unveiling a banner in a Beijing park reading “No Olympics for China until Tibet is free”, witnesses said.

The activists, an Australian and an American, had unveiled the three-metre banner in a park celebrating China’s ethnic minorities.

“They have been detained and had their passports taken away,” Paul Bourke of the Australia Tibet Council said. — AFP

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Indian excuses resurface

New Delhi, August 30
If Anjali Bhagwat had stiff muscles, KM Binu ran with wrong spikes, Karnam Malleswari suffered a last-minute back problem and Suma Shirur was done in by a mental block!

The exceptions were heptathlete JJ Shobha, who braved excruciating pain to finish the event at 11th place, and tennis stars Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes.

There seemed to be no end to the excuses given by Indian athletes for their shoddy performance at yet another Olympics that ended last night in Athens.

Whether these were genuine reasons for their failure, only the athletes can tell. But one thing is for sure, they have got readymade excuses for every failure and it appears to come to them naturally.

The trend started soon after the beginning of the games on August 13 when medal hope N. Kunjarani Devi failed to finish on the podium in her weightlifting event and quickly put the blame on a tough field.

“I had come with a lot of hope. Nobody comes here if he or she did not believe winning a medal. But the standards in the Olympics are very high,” she said after finishing fourth.

Sydney bronze medallist Malleswari chose a safe way — a sudden back pain — to answer a flurry of questions over her failure to complete even the first lift in the 63kg category.

“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,” Malleswari said.

Anjali was the next star to follow, holding almost everything — stiff muscles, poor alignment and missed shots — responsible for her failure to qualify for the final in her pet event, the 10m air rifle.

“I missed my first shot and thought that my muscles were not really relaxed. I took the second shot in the same manner and missed again,” she said after her years of hard work went down the drain.

“I suddenly realised that the alignment was not right. And I knew there itself that my chance was gone. At this level, it is very difficult to come back from there.”

Shooter Suma Shirur, who went a step ahead than Anjali to make it to the final, was, however, two steps ahead in making an excuse.

“I am a bit disappointed that I could not do so well in the final. I have the world record of 400 and I could have done better. This is my first Olympics final. So probably there was some kind of a mental block.”

Young and talented Binu set the track ablaze clocking a national record in 400m but soon found fault with his spikes after finishing seventh in the semifinals.

“The spikes were not suited to the new track laid down at the Olympic stadium. They gave me a back pain after the heats and the pain did affect my performance,” Binu said about the spikes with which probably he had no problem while rewriting the record books in the heats.

Anju Bobby George was no doubt India’s best bet for a medal in athletics, but as the long jumper’s hopes went up in smoke, she could not help giving an excuse.

“It was quite windy out there and there was also some pollution. After the first jump, I felt a slight uneasiness and giddiness. My performance just went down after that,” she said. — PTI 

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Indians failed to get the basics right
V Baskaran

India were drawn in a tougher pool for the Olympic Games but that cannot be used as an excuse for the way we miserably failed to qualify for the semi-finals.

Just before the start of the league matches, I had said that India’s first match against the Netherlands would be crucial in deciding our progress in the mega event where a medal has eluded us for the past 24 years.

In the game against the Dutch, India conceded a goal within the first five minutes due to some lethargic trapping by the young Sandeep Singh which had a bearing on India’s psyche right through the tournament.

However, India could have regrouped and should have played the rest of their four group matches with authority. They did that against South Africa and of course against eventual Olympic champions Australia.

A draw with Australia would have boosted the morale of the team and also raised their chances of coming back into contention in Pool ‘B’. But that last minute goal by Australia left a long lasting scar on the entire team management.

Against New Zealand, India once again went down in the dying minute but here I thought we were done in by poor umpiring.

Even against Argentina what could have been a creditable victory resulted in a heartbreaking draw after the South Americans equalised in the dying minute to relegate India to the fourth place with only four points.

India failed to win even those matches which were within their grasp. Also, the Indians never started a game with confidence, most of the time they appeared to be under pressure.

In fact, what hurt most was that India could not even get the basics right. They made errors in trapping, passing, close man to man marking and wing-half play, which rendered them inconsistent.

India also did not field the right starting eleven and it was appalling to see in the first three games that players were being substituted without any reason, denting the confidence of a few players.

The starting eleven should have been identified and allowed to play their natural hockey which would have made the players more confident. Substitution should have been made only when the player was tired or losing concentration. But this did not happen.

Though Viren Rasquinha and Vikram Pillay had a good tournament, I think they were made to overwork because in the two crucial positions — the left half and right half — Ignace Tirkey and Sandeep Singh — were found wanting.

Had these two wing halfs done their duty well and played to their potential, India would have definitely qualified for the semi-final.

In the mid-field, the Indian team missed the services of Vimal Lakra and Baljit Saini. In the upfront, the game was not played through the wings and most of the time the team was relying on long passes of Gagan Ajit Singh which was not fruitful as there was no forward who could play and attack from the left wing.

When the forwards play to their potential, the opponent defence is stretched which creates more openings for the other forwards to score goals.

Throughout the tournament I think the Indian forwards played only up to 20 per cent of their potential which was surely not good enough.

Statistically, Indians played seven games, won two, lost four and drew the other. They conceded 18 and scored 16 goals in the entire tournament. This was in spite of keeper Adrian D’Souza who put up a sterling performance and surely was the find of the tournament.

As far as the performance of other teams like Spain, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands is concerned, all these four teams played the semi-finals just because all the players were committed and put up a consistent performance both in defence and attack.

It was heartening to see Australia win their first-ever gold medal at the Olympics although they reached the semi-final 8 times, winning one silver and three bronze medals. For a country that plays a lot of hockey, it deserved this victory. They answered the supporters in the semi-final itself against Spain whom they beat by a huge margin.

The Olympics are over and the Indian team management should take a hard look at the team’s performance instead of merely indulging in a blame-game.

The federation should start thinking about the future and how to bring up a good combination for the 2006 World Cup which in turn would lay a strong foundation for the 2008 Olympics. — PTI

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Rs 500-crore Olympic fund demanded

New Delhi, August 30
After India returned with a solitary silver medal from the Athens Olympics, a Rs 500-crore Olympic Fund has been demanded to ensure a better show in the next edition of the Games in Beijing.

Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) Rajeev Shukla, in a letter to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, has sought a Rs 500-crore fund for the Indian athletes’ preparation for the Beijing Games.

Saying that the collective failure at Athens was due to scarcity of funds and resources for training, he said the proposed fund would take care of all that and enable India to put up a better show next time.

“We should create a special fund of at least Rs 500 crore, for preparation of our athletes for Beijing Olympics. At the same time, we should identify no more than 10 sports where our athletes have the best chance of winning a medal at the Olympics level,” he said. — UNI

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Ex-priest’s Olympic marathon stunt flayed

Dublin, August 30
The Irish-born former priest who disrupted the Olympic men's marathon and pushed the race leader into the crowd has been strongly condemned in his country's newspapers today.

Cornelius Horan, 57, who now lives in London, lunged at Brazilian race leader Vanderlei de Lima and pushed him into the crowd lining the marathon route last night. De Lima managed to rejoin the race but was passed two miles later by Italian Stefano Baldini and finished in third place. Horan carried a placard saying "The Grand Prix Priest. Israel Fulfilment of Prophecy Says The Bible. The Second Coming is Near".

Describing himself as "a Catholic priest on sabbatical", Horan is an eccentric who has staged a number of demonstrations at high profile events.

Last year he was jailed for two months for a dangerous protest at the British Grand Prix when he ran out on the track and forced Formula One drivers to swerve to avoid him.

The Irish Times says Horan caused one of "the biggest scandals" in Olympic history.

The Irish Independent headlines its front page "Man who stole gold" and describes Horan's protest as a "grotesque incident" that ruined the finish of the marathon.

The Irish Examiner, with a headline "Holy terror", says the country has gone from basking in the glory of getting a gold medal in the individual showjumping final last Friday "to red-faced shame".

"A media whore, a madman, or a deluded do-gooder -- in the list of labels you could apply to Fr Neil Horan, ambassador for his country is not one," the newspaper says.

The Examiner says Horan from Scartaglin, County Kerry, in the south west of the country, sees himself as an agent of peace in a troubled world.

Since he was ordained in 1973 and posted to England, the newspaper says Horan has been an Irish dancing enthusiast.

He believes dance is a way of bridging the gap between different nationalities and wrote to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein offering to perform a peace dance for him.

The Examiner says that according to Horan's theory of a second coming, Jesus Christ will rule the world from Jerusalem.

"There will be two classes of people: 'immortal saints' who will rule a world government for 1,000 years from Jerusalem, and 'mortal citizens' who will become 'adopted Jews' and live for 900 years," the Examiner says. — AFP

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HP cricket chief faces graft charges
Kuldeep Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Mandi, August 30
The three-member inquiry commission appointed by the Virbhadra Singh government to look into the affairs of the Himachal Pradesh State Cricket Association (SCA) has levelled charges of distortion of the association’s constitution and the misuse of funds against its president, Anurag Thakur.

“The inquiry report has been put up before the Chief Minister for action,” an official said. The three-member commision led by the former Director, State Sports and Youth Affairs, Mr AL Vaidya, revealed that Thakur distorted the basic constitution of the SCA to concentrate all powers in his hands to misuse funds. “Charging Rs 21, 000 as membership fee, Thakur inducted over 26 life members in the SCA out of which as many as 15 were ‘outsiders,” the report says. To maintain his hold over the SCA, Thakur allegedly inducted outsiders as life members, sidelining the SCA’s members nominated by the 12 District Cricket Associations (DCAs) in the state. “He holds his sway in the House as the new members number 26, two more than the total voting strength of the DCAs’ members, with two members nominated from each district.”

Refuting the charge against him as a political stunt, Thakur said most members of the association were from Himachal Pradesh and they had bailed out the SCA from its financial crunch.

“They have been given voting rights because they have paid money with the consent of the SCA’s House. There is no truth in the inquiry report as none of DCA members raised this issue in the SCA’s House. The president is elected by two-thirds majority in the House,” he said.

Thakur said the inquiry was targeted at him because he was the son of the former Chief Minister. “The SCA today is an active organisation with a Rs 8 crore budget, 40 times higher than Rs 20 lakh that it had a few years ago”, he claims.

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Atwal finishes 13th in Buick Open

New Delhi, August 30
Arjun Atwal, the first Indian to qualify for the USPGA Tour, recorded his best performance of the season when he finished tied for the 13th place at the Buick golf championship at River Highlands course in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Atwal shot a six-under 64 on the final day yesterday to finish joint 13th and take home about $ 70,000. His previous best on the PGA Tour was a tie for the 21st place at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Atwal had rounds of 68, 72, 70 and 64 for a four-day total of six-under 274, according to information received here.

Jyoti Randhawa, who was invited to play the tournament, failed to make the cut after rounds of 71 and 72. The cut came at one-over 141.

The tournament was won by Woody Austin, who beat Tim Herron with a birdie on the first playoff hole for his first victory since his rookie year in 1995 when he won the Buick Open.

Both Austin and Herron finished at 10-under 270 after scheduled 72 holes of play.

Meanwhile, despite a typhoon wreaking havoc on the Keya Golf Club course over the weekend, Jeev Milkha Singh closed with a creditable three-under 68 to notch his second top-10 finish of the season on the Japanese PGA Tour.

Jeev, who rallied brilliantly after being placed tied for the 87th place following a two-over 73 start on Thursday, finally tallied four-under 280 at Fukuoka, according to information received here today.

The Chandigarh star, enjoying a revival of form this season, had earlier finished runner-up at the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup. The finish also elevated him to 35th place on the Japanese Tour Money List.

The tournament was won by Steven Conran of Australia, who secured his first victory on the Japanese Tour in seven years. — PTI

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Probe into dope scandal sought
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, August 30
Archery Association of India (AAI) president Vijay Kumar Malhotra has sought a judicial probe to bring out the whole truth about the doping scandal involving the women weightlifters, which had sullied the image of the country in the Olympic Games at Athens.

“Doping is shameful. A judicial enquiry should be held to bring out the truth as now everybody is accusing everybody else”, Prof Malhotra remarked here today. He said a judicial probe was the only answer to get at the truth of the doping scandal and fix responsibility.

Prof Malhotra, who quit as the president of the All-India Council of Sports when a Congress-led government assumed power at the Centre, said it was a matter of concern that two women weightlifters (Pratima Kumari and Sanamacha Chanu) had tested positive for banned substances. He said there was the need to have a close look at the diet supplement being given to the sportspersons as it does not seem to suit every athlete.

Prof Malhotra conceded that India’s display at Athens was pathetic and suggested that the country adopt the Chinese model of sports promotion to catch up with the rest of the world.

“Though both India and China attained independence almost at the same time, China has made great strides in sports”, Prof Malhotra said. He said India’s sports population was not in proper ratio to the country’s population of over 100 crore people. “We lag behind even small countries in the world in sports development”, Prof Malhotra pointed out.

As president of the Archery Association of India, he said he was satisfied with the Indian women’s 8th place finish and the men’s 11th place finish at Athens. He reminded that the Indian archers had not even qualified for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, and but for the windy weather and bad luck, our archers could have easily figured among the medals.

Prof Malhotra said Satyadeo Prasad was particularly unlucky to lose, off the last arrow, in the quarter-final round against the World No I archer from Korea, Im Dong Hyun, who was the top seed, by 165 to 167. (Satyadeo had beaten Y Hamano of Japan 155-150 and Ron Van Der Hoff of Netherlands 128-145 in the first two rounds. The Indian women beat Great Britain 230-228 but lost to France 227-228 in the quarter-final).

He said though the archery event was held inside a stadium, which was an unsual practice for the sport, the high-velocity wind proved a deterrent to the Indian archers who had mostly trained at the placid atmosphere of Bengal throughout their training camps.

He said in future, the weather conditions would be taken into consideration while preparingthe archers for major competitions like the Asian Games and the Olympics.

“The archers did well, but we expected better results”, he said.

He said the mistakes made in the run up to the Athens Games would be weeded out when the archers get down to training for the next Asian Games (2006) and the Olympic Games (2008, China).

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Army school soccer team finishes third
Our Correspondent

Solan, August 30
The under-14 soccer team of Army Public School, Dagshai, secured the third position in the All-India Public School Conference football tournament played at RIMC, Dehra Dun, recently.

The APS team bagged the bronze medal by defeating Bhavan Savan Public School, New Delhi, 2-1, said a press note issued by the school here today.

The school team started the tournament on a winning note by defeating Daly College Indore by a solitary goal. In the second league match, the APS team defeated the Moti Lal Nehru Sports School, Rai, 5-0.

However, they lost to Tashi Namgiyal Academy, Gangtok, 2-4 in the semifinal. The gold medal was captured by Tashi Namgiyal Academy, Gangtok, and the silver went to YPS, Mohali.

Vijay Joon emerged the top scorer from APS with six goals while Tundup Dorje scored five. Two school students, Lalit Thapa and Vijay Joon, have been selected for the national camp. 

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India finish a dismal 66th

Athens, August 30
The ending could not have been more pathetic for the second most populated nation in the world as India finished joint 66th along with tiny Hong Kong and Paraguay with just a silver medal to show on the leaderboard at the 28th Olympic Games which concluded here last night.

India, with one bronze, finished at the 80th position in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 77th in the 1996 Atlanta games, while it failed to get a single medal in Barcelona, 1992, Seoul, 1988, and the 1984 Los Angeles games.

The 76-member “best ever prepared” contingent was reduced to nothing in the world’s biggest sporting arena. Their display did not even merit mention in any paper or TV shows beamed all over the world.

The assertions and haughty announcements by sports officials that India would win more than five medals and add to that a survey by a company that the country would win around nine to 10 medals became a butt of ridicule as the games progressed. — UNI

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 BRIEFLY

EME expedition
NEW DELHI:
An expedition to scale the formidable Mount Shivling was flagged off on Monday by the DG, EME, Lt-Gen V.K. Dhir, as part of the eighth Corps reunion celebrations of the EME.
A seven-member team, led by Major Kulwant Singh Dhami, a Sena Medal holder who has scaled 13 peaks so far, will commence their expedition on September 4, an EME note said here. Other team members include Capt Vishal Ahlawat, Naik S. Vickey, Lance Naik Rajender Singh, CFN Vihay Sharma, CFN Praveen Kumar and CFN K.V. Makkoti. — PTI

Handball trophy
Bilaspur:
Government Post-Graduate College, Bilaspur, won the Himachal Pradesh University state-level inter-college handball championship held at Swami Vivekananda Government College, Ghumarwin, near here, last evening by defeating SBSD College, Bhatoli 17-15 in the final. College Principal Shashi Sharma said here today that Government College, Una, won the women’s championship by defeating Swami Vivekananda College, Ghumarwin, in the final.
The Himachal Pradesh Agriculture and Land Development Bank Chairman, Mr Kashmir Singh Thakur, distributed trophies and certificates among the winners. Mr Thakur announced a grant of Rs 1.10 lakh for the repair of the college building, basketball court and the rain shelter outside the college premises. — OC

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