Roller skating may be included in
70 SAI coaches shunted out of Punjab
Raikkonen starts favourite at Silverstone
Ganguly claims one wicket in Glamorgan win
New Zealand seeks ban on Zimbabwe
India beat South Korea
India begin with big win
Tania qualifies for WGM title
Olympian Prabhjot Singh injured
Singapore, July 6
It is believed that the final vote by the IOC members was 54-50.
It was an amazing victory for bid leader and two-time Olympic champion Sebastien Coe, who was brought in last year to replace American Babara Cassani, who quit as leader of the London 2012 team.
London’s bid was trailing badly behind the French and looked doomed.
But Coe, along with businessman Keith Mills, turned everything around and today the tens of thousands of miles flying the world to seal the bid paid off in spectacular style.
It was also a massive personal victory for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who flew into Singapore three days before the IOC members voted, to hold a series of private one-on-one meetings with the members to sell the bid.
Nearly 20 members were escorted up to a special suite in the Swiss Hotel over Monday and Tuesday to meet the Prime Minister.
Moscow, New York and Madrid were all eliminated in three rounds of voting by the nearly 100 IOC members present, leaving London and Paris as the two survivors and one of them sure of victory.
When Rogge opened the envelope bearing the winner’s name and read out London, the London bid team jumped to their feet.
Coe was embraced by everyone around him.
Across the aisle, the French team sat in stunned disbelief.
It was the third time in 20 years that the French capital had been rejected by the IOC.
And it was a bitter blow for French President Jacques Chirac, who had been personally involved in all three Paris bids — once as Mayor of Paris and twice as President.
The 72-year-old Chirac had flown into Singapore on Tuesday afternoon so he could address the IOC session during Paris’ final presentation.
The French team were hoping that the presence of Chirac would clinch victory for a bid that had been the frontrunner since the campaign began.
But in the end, the IOC decided that London, who last held the Games in 1948, should have 2012.
The match-up between Blair and Chirac, set amid a backdrop of barely disguised personal animosities and traditional British-French rivalries, was one of the most intriguing aspects of the final few hours of campaigning.
The rivalries flared on Monday, when consultants to the London Olympic bid in Singapore criticised Paris’ Stade de France, a centerpiece of the French capital’s campaign, in apparent breach of the IOC rules.
The Paris delegation reacted with some barbs of its own, with Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe quick to take the moral high ground.
“I think that to deserve victory, you have to respect the Olympic spirit and demonstrate fair play,” Delanoe said, when asked about the remarks.
Chirac added to the tensions with comments published in the French newspaper, Liberation, on Monday, ridiculing British cooking.
“The only thing they have done for European agriculture is mad cow (disease),” he reportedly said during a weekend meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
“You cannot trust people who have such lousy cooking,” Chirac added, labelling British cooking the worst in Europe, apart from that of Finland.
In London a crowd of 4,000 people whooped and cheered as they saw the result live on two giant television screens erected in Trafalgar Square.
Union Jack flags and balloons waved as Londoners celebrated in the square, which aptly features Nelson’s Column dedicated to Admiral Horatio Nelson, who 200 years ago defeated the French at the Battle of Trafalgar, effectively ending Napoleon’s ambitions of invading England.
A groan of disappointment swept through Paris. In front of the city hall, thousands of people, who had been expecting to celebrate victory, looked downcast and some let out boos as the news was broadcast live on two big video screens. — AFP
Roller skating may be included in 2012 Olympics
Chandigarh, July 6
It may be recalled that in 1992, roller hockey had been a demonstration sport but all these years, skating was not considered even though it fulfilled all the requisites of the Olympic charter.
Randhir Singh, Secretary General of the Indian Olympic Association, said the number of events in the 2008 Olympic Games, to be held in Beijing, is currently limited to 28. But there is possibility of a review by the 99 members, including him, who would vote for each sport on July 8.
He said the President of the IOC, Mr Jacques Rogge was also of the view that criteria for a new sport to become part of Olympics was that it should have substantial TV audience, cause less injuries and also allow access to both the sexes.
Randhir Singh who is also the Secretary General of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said the members will vote by secret ballot and each sport needs a 50 per cent majority to remain on the Olympic programme. If a majority is not reached, that particular sport will be struck off the games programme for the 2012 Olympics, but will remain an official Olympic sport, meaning it will be placed on the reserve list. He said sports which have already been voted off the Olympic programme list were croquet, rackets and even tug of war. Though few sporting disciplines like roller-skating and golf were also on the recognised list alongwith climbing, bridge and surfing, which were otherwise fulfilling the charter and statues of the IOC, said Randhir Singh.
A senior skating official of the Roller Skating Federation of India evinced hope that this year the President of the International Roller Skating Federation( FIRS) has appealed to the IOC that the sport should be included in the 2012 Olympics.
Meanwhile, the current Olympic Games programme includes 35 sports and nearly 400 events. Twentyeight sports disciplines are part of the Summer Olympic Games and seven in the Winter Olympics. The 28 disciplines are, swimming, archery, athletics. badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoeing & kayaking, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, softball, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling.
70 SAI coaches shunted out of Punjab
Patiala, July 6
The SAI corporate office at New Delhi today issued transfer orders to 741 coaches, out of which nearly 70 are from Punjab. In fact by effecting these transfers, the SAI, in one punch, has withdrawn all SAI coaches posted in Punjab. The coaches withdrawn by SAI are, at present, posted in the Punjab Sports Department, Punjabi University, Patiala, GND Varsity, Amritsar and PAU, Ludhiana.
Interestingly, 10 NIS coaches, posted in the academics wing, have also been transferred to different SAI centres across the country, including the SAI northern centre at Joshi Chouhan, near Sonepat.
Sources disclosed that the transferred coaches have been asked to report at their new postings within 24 hours.
The mass transfers were shrouded in secrecy and till late yesterday night even top SAI officials, barring the Director General (DG) and the Secretary, were unaware of the orders.
Both the DG, Mr R.P. Wattal and the Secretary, Mr B.K Sinha, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
Mr Ananta Ghosh, President of the All-India SAI Welfare Coaches Association was in touch with Member Parliament, Ms Jyoti Sikdar, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Sports Committee. She has assured the Secretary of the Punjab SAI Coaches Welfare Association, Mr Ranjit Singh that she will be taking up the issue in the forthcoming session of the Parliament commencing on July 23.
Mr Ranjit Singh added that he would be leading a delegation of coaches to meet the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and the Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Sports) Mr Rana Sodhi shortly to apprise them of the development.
The Director (Sports), Punjab, Mr Kartar Singh, has criticised the SAI’s decision. He said his department would not relieve the coaches at any cost and added that he would be writing to the SAI DG and Secretary to stall the transfers.
However, a sports department source revealed that the decision of the Director (sports) not to relieve the coaches does not hold much water as the SAI may discontinue the salaries of the coaches if at all they defy orders.
Mr Kartar Singh also assured a delegation of the Punjab SAI Coaches Welfare Association that he would will not relieve even a single SAI coach on deputation with his department. He added that he will be taking up the issue with the SAI top brass shortly.
Lausanne, June 6
The 23-year-old Olympic champion, who has set herself the target of beating Sergei Bubka’s haul of 35 world records, added another centimetre to her previous record jump — set in Brussels last September.
The former gymnast has now broken the world record on 14 occasions — seven times outdoors and seven indoors.
Earlier in the evening, French sprinter Ronald Pognon snatched a surprise 100 metres victory with Olympic champion Justin Gatlin of the US having to settle for third place.
Posting a personal best of 9.99 seconds, Pognon finished 0.03 ahead of last week’s Paris Golden League winner Aziz Zakari of Ghana with Gatlin on 10.03.
‘’My left leg felt a little tight and I didn’t want to push it too much,’’ Gatlin said adding that he still intended to compete at Friday’s Golden League meeting in Rome.
There was no sign of an upset in the following race, with Gatlin’s compatriot and fellow Olympic gold medallist Jeremy Wariner easily holding off the competition to take the 400 metres in 44.96 seconds.
Bahamas sprinter Chandra Sturrup had earlier powered her way to victory in the women’s 100 metres, leading from the start to set a year’s best time of 10.84.
America’s Lauryn Williams finished second, 0.07 behind, while last week’s Paris Golden League winner, Christine Arron of France took third place, a tenth of a second behind Sturrup.
‘’I got off to a flying start, but my run wasn’t perfect,’’ Sturrup insisted. ‘’I will be ready for (next month’s world championships) in Helsinki.’’
Fellow Bahaman Tonique Williams-Darling had less to smile about after finishing second in the 400 metres.
The Olympic champion and 2004 Golden League jackpot winner lost out by 0.19 seconds to America’s Sanya Richards, who crossed the line in 49.95. — Reuters
London, July 6
The Finn, 24 points behind Renault’s pacesetter Fernando Alonso with nine races remaining, started on pole position and finished second last year as McLaren emerged from a nightmare start to that Formula One season.
With McLaren now fighting for the championship, he is the clear favourite again.
“Silverstone is usually good for us. We did one test there already this year and we were pretty quick so I think we will have a good week as long as we don’t have any problems with the car,” he said.
Even if Raikkonen finished only second in last weekend’s French Grand Prix won by Alonso, his pace was noted by envious rivals.
Raikkonen would probably have won had he not been penalised 10 places on the starting grid for a blown engine in Friday practice. He still set the third best qualifying lap with much more fuel on board.
He also set the fastest lap on his way from 13th on the grid to second place.
“Aerodynamically, the McLaren is very strong and it (Silverstone) is a very big aero circuit,” said BAR’s Briton Jenson Button.
“I think we’ll see them just walking away with it at Silverstone which is a little bit disappointing but that’s the way it is.”
The good news for Alonso, who said at the weekend that Renault had put a cross against the British Grand Prix before the season started as one of their more difficult races, is that McLaren do not have it all their own way.
Raikkonen’s team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya will be disadvantaged by being one of the first out in qualifying after failing to finish in France.
That reduces the likelihood of a McLaren one-two and plays into the hands of Alonso, Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher and Button.
While Alonso has said a podium finish was the most he could hope for, having never scored a point at Silverstone up to now, Italian team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella was sounding more optimistic.
“I think we will be strong,” he said. “When we tested there last month, McLaren also looked very quick so maybe they will be a little bit ahead of us.
“But we have new engine developments for Silverstone, which will give us a boost, and I have always had strong races there in the past.”
Schumacher won easily last year in a dominant season for Ferrari, his 10th win in 11 races.
The champion has struggled in 2005, winning only last month’s six-car US Grand Prix after the seven Michelin teams withdrew for tyre safety reasons.
“I’ve always enjoyed driving there, and it’s no different this time, although I can’t really say how well we’ll do there,” the German said on his website.
“France was a little misleading in that respect,” added Schumacher, who was third at Magny-Cours. “Following our performance on Friday and Saturday I had expected for a little more to be possible there so I’m slightly more cautious in making a prediction on the outcome.
Button, still without a win in 92 starts, believes third place is within his grasp but says he has no chance of winning. “It won’t happen, we’re not capable of doing that,” he said. — Reuters
London, July 6
After bowling out the rivals for 128, Glamorgan rode the twin half centuries by the duo to reach 129 in only 12.3 overs.
After winning the toss yesterday, Glamorgan captain Croft invited Gloucestershire to bat and barring Mark Alleyne (32) and Jonathan Lewis (34), no other batsman could put up any resistance.
Coming as a first-change bowler, Sourav rolled his arm for three overs, in which he conceded 14 runs and had Alex Gidman caught by Adam Harrison.
The Gloucestershire innings eventually folded up for 128 in 18.1 overs as they lost all their wickets.
In reply, Elliot and Croft did not give any respite to the Gloucestershire bowlers in the match under the Cardiff floodlights.
Together they put up Glamorgan’s highest partnership for any wicket in the Twenty20 Cup and the two openers took Glamorgan to win with 7.3 overs to spare.
Croft reached his 50 from 37 balls with five fours and three sixes, while Elliott took one ball less to reach his half century that included nine hits to the fence.
Brief scores: Gloucestershire 128 all out in 18.1 overs; Glamorgan 129 for 0 in 12.3 overs. — UNI
Wellington, July 6
The New Zealand team is currently scheduled to tour the African nation from next month and cannot cancel without incurring a fine of at least two $ 2 million.
“New Zealand Cricket may therefore be forced into a situation of having to tour Zimbabwe even if its members have moral objections to having to play cricket while, just kilometres from the grounds, people are having their homes destroyed and their basic human rights abused,” Foreign Minister Phil Goff said in a letter to the International Cricket Council (ICC).
In the letter released today, Goff asked the ICC to exclude Zimbabwe because of its demolition of thousands of shacks and other homes that has left at least 200,000 people homeless.
“The appalling human rights abuses taking place in Zimbabwe cannot be ignored,” Goff said.
“We are gravely concerned for the well-being of the people of Zimbabwe, and believe that it is extremely difficult to justify sporting tours going ahead in such circumstances.”
He also asked the ICC to change its rules to allow any country to cancel a tour if gross human rights abuses were occurring in the other country involved.
The request had the overwhelming support of New Zealand parliamentarians and of the Australian Government, he added. — AFP
Rotterdam, July 6
India were now on nine points, with South Korea also on nine.
India, who led 2-1 at the break, scored through Birender Lakra (15th), Tushar Khandekar (17th) and Sandeep Singh (55th).
South Korea reduced the margin on the stroke of half time through a penalty conversion by Hong Sung Kweon.
The Indians started strongly, making inroads through the middle and using both flanks effectively.
Korea were reduced to 10 men in the 14th minute when Choi Hong Ho got a yellow card for dangerous play.
India used the advantage in numbers to score within the next minute when a Vinay free hit deflected and came to Lakra to score from the top of the circle.
Two minutes later, Vivek Gupta sent a crisp cross to Lakra and Tushar was in the right place to pick up the pass to ensure India led 2-0.
India should have increased the lead further but Tushar and then Lakra missed chances in the striking circle.
India wasted two penalty corners in the 22nd and 28th minutes.
With just two minutes left for the break, an error by Lakra earned Korea their fourth penalty corner.
Hong Sung Kweon waited for the Adrian charge and then slid the ball into the gap for Korea to cut the scores to 1-2.
Both teams started cautiously, with the Koreans playing an extra man upfront to try and equalise the scores, but the Indians did not take advantage of that, preferring to rotate the ball in the midfield and trying to create chances for Tushar upfront.
Not many scoring chances came either team’s way as the match got muddled in the midfield.
But the breakthrough for India came in the 55th minute when India earned their third penalty corner.
Sandeep, after having failed with the high flicks, decided to keep the flick low and that paid off as the Korean goalkeeper was beaten on the line.
Confidence up, the Indians controlled the game, but got a scare in the end when Vinay was given a yellow card in the 67th minute as India were reduced to 10 men.
But the determined Indians kept away the Koreans and played off time to emerge victorious. — UNI
India begin with big win
New Delhi, July 6 The Indians, expected to qualify for the final round, to be held in Doha in September, together with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, were never tested by Nepal at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium. The home team, fielding mostly youngsters, straightaway asserted their supremacy as Talwinderjit Singh opened the scoring with a three pointer. India again scored through long rangers as they made full use of their height advantage. Talwinderjit emerged as the top scorer with 19 points, followed by skipper S. Sridhar (14) and young sensation H. Laldinsanga, who tallied 13 points.
New Delhi, July 6
The Indians, expected to qualify for the final round, to be held in Doha in September, together with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, were never tested by Nepal at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium.
The home team, fielding mostly youngsters, straightaway asserted their supremacy as Talwinderjit Singh opened the scoring with a three pointer. India again scored through long rangers as they made full use of their height advantage.
Talwinderjit emerged as the top scorer with 19 points, followed by skipper S. Sridhar (14) and young sensation H. Laldinsanga, who tallied 13 points. — PTI
Tania qualifies for WGM title
New Delhi, July 6 Former Asian girls champion, Tania has now fulfilled all formalities for the coveted WGM title, which will be awarded to her at the next meeting of the FIDE at Dresden (Germany) early next month. She is India’s eighth Woman Grand Master.
New Delhi, July 6
Former Asian girls champion, Tania has now fulfilled all formalities for the coveted WGM title, which will be awarded to her at the next meeting of the FIDE at Dresden (Germany) early next month. She is India’s eighth Woman Grand Master.
Olympian Prabhjot Singh injured Patiala, July 6 Prabhjot was hit during a practice session at the NIS yesterday. His foot has been plastered. The institute’s doctors have diagnosed him as suffering from a hairline fracture on the right foot. Doctors have advised the player rest for a fortnight. Prabhjot, an employee of the Indian Oil Corporation, was a key member of the Indian team that took part in the Athens Olympics and the senior Asia Cup held at Kuala Lumpur in 2003. He was a trainee at the SAI-run Patiala-based Sports Project Development Area (SPDA) scheme from 1993 to 97.
Patiala, July 6
Prabhjot was hit during a practice session at the NIS yesterday. His foot has been plastered. The institute’s doctors have diagnosed him as suffering from a hairline fracture on the right foot.
Doctors have advised the player rest for a fortnight. Prabhjot, an employee of the Indian Oil Corporation, was a key member of the Indian team that took part in the Athens Olympics and the senior Asia Cup held at Kuala Lumpur in 2003.
He was a trainee at the SAI-run Patiala-based Sports Project Development Area (SPDA) scheme from 1993 to 97.
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