SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

India keen to make amends
Monchengladbach, September 8
Reeling under two defeats on the trot, the Indian hockey team will have to conjure up an extraordinary display and win by a big margin when they take on South Africa in a crucial World Cup tie here tomorrow.

Spain outplay Australia
Monchengladbach, September 8
Playing with a clinical precision, Spain stunned the Olympic champions Australia 3-1 in their opening match of the hockey World Cup yesterday. Spain opened the scoring in the 8th minute when Eduard Tubau moved into the circle and smacked the ball past the Australian goalkeeper Stephen Mowlam.

  • Holland beat battling SA
  • New Zealand hold Pakistan 4-4
Spain’s Pol Amat celebrates after scoring against Australia during their Pool A match of the hockey World Cup in Monchengladbach Spain’s Pol Amat celebrates after scoring against Australia during their Pool A match of the hockey World Cup in Monchengladbach on Thursday. — AFP


 

 





India failed on all fronts
India’s performance in the World Cup match against England was a big blow to our hockey reputation, and not because we’ve started the tournament on a disastrous note. Leave alone the 2-3 loss and the fact that two defeats at the start of the tournament have virtually wiped away India’s chances of making into the semifinals after three decades. What stood out like a sore thumb was the Indian team’s reluctance to attack and total failure on all fronts.

Paes-Damm advance to US Open final
New York, September 8
India’s Leander Paes and his Czech partner Martin Damm came from behind to defeat Paul Hanley of Australia and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe 6-7, 7-6, 7-5 to enter the final of the US Open men’s doubles event here today. In the title clash, sixth seeds Paes and Damm will take on the second seeded pair of Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden, who defeated Australian Ashley Fisher and American Tripp Phillips 6-1, 6-4 in the other semifinal.
  • Roy-Roberto in quarterfinals

Leander Paes rejoices after he and his Czech partner Martin Damm defeated Leos Friedl and Mikhail Youzhny in the men’s doubles quarterfinal of the US Open in New York on Thursday. Paes and Damm won 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. — PTI 

Leander Paes rejoices after he and his Czech partner Martin Damm defeated Leos Friedl and Mikhail Youzhny in the men’s doubles quarterfinal of the US Open in New York

Federer rolls into semis
New York, September 8
Two-time defending champion Roger Federer continued his mastery over Americans at the US Open, beating fifth seed James Blake to reach the semifinals.

BCCI reconstitutes umpires’ panel
Mumbai, September 8
The BCCI today reconstituted its panel of international umpires and brought in three new faces to do duty in ODIs at home, cricket board joint secretary M.P. Pandove announced here today.

Hoax press conference!
New Delhi, September 8
It turned out to be a wild goose chase for reporters who were invited to a press conference by BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi but only to find that he was actually addressing the media in Mumbai! After being made to wait for close to one hour by Modi’s public relation executives at a hotel lobby, it was revealed that a “mistake” had happened and Modi was actually supposed to brief the media in Mumbai and not here.

Raina hurt in practice match
Chennai, September 8
Left-hander Suresh Raina was injured today during a practice match organised for the Indian cricket team before it leaves for the tri-series in Malaysia.

JSCA has voting right: HC
Ranchi, September 8
The Jharkhand High court has ordered that the Jharkhand State Cricket Association be allowed to participate in the meetings of the BCCI.

Razzaq takes Pak to 235
London, September 8
England’s lesser lights turned the tables on Pakistan’s “Big Three” in the fourth one-dayer at Trent Bridge today.

Peter Brock dies in rally mishap
Sydney, September 8
Australian motor racing great Peter Brock died in an accident during a rally in Western Australia, motor sport officials said today. Brock, 61, was killed while he was taking part in the Targa West rally, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) said in a statement.

Kapur tied sixth
Singapore, September 8
Shiv Kapur underlined his growing maturity with a fighting two-under 69 that put him in tied sixth in the Barclays Singapore Open at the Serapong Golf Club in Sentosa island.

  • Atwal struggles

Anand ends up fourth
Rishon Le Zion, September 8
World No. 2 Viswanathan Anand finished a distant fourth in the World Blitz chess championship, which was won by Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk of Russia here in Israel.

Kickboxing meet begins
Sangrur, September 8
The 19th National Kickboxing Championship began today at Sohrab Public School, Malerkotla, about 35 km from here. More than 600 kickboxers and about 100 technical officials from 24 states took part in a march past. This is for the first time that the championship is being conducted in Punjab. Mrs Razia Sultana, Parliamentary Secretary, inaugurated the championship.

Inter-frontier meet concludes
New Delhi, September 8
Frontier Headquarters, Lucknow, won the overall trophy in the first Inter-Frontier SSB Sports and Games Meet (wrestling, judo, taekwondo, fencing and karate) which concluded here yesterday.

SD school cagers overwhelm Guru Nanak school
Kharar, September 8
St. Soldier Convent School, Mohali, beat St. Soldier Convent School, Chandigarh, in the inaugural match of the North Zone CBSE Volleyball Cluster 2006-07 tournament conducted by Ambika Public School, here, today.

 


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India keen to make amends
Anand Philar

Monchengladbach, September 8
Reeling under two defeats on the trot, the Indian hockey team will have to conjure up an extraordinary display and win by a big margin when they take on South Africa in a crucial World Cup tie here tomorrow.

Having lost 3-2 to both Germany and England, India are precariously placed at the bottom of the six-team pool B and unless they regroup, their campaign in the prestigious championship may come to an early end.

Coach Vasudevan Baskaran put up a brave front, unwilling to write off his boys as yet. “I would say our position is critical, but we still have five more matches, including the two classification games, to make amends for our defeats,” he said here today as the Indian team enjoyed a day’s break.

Looking ahead to the game against South Africa tomorrow, Baskaran felt that his team could win if the players put behind them the two defeats and play positively.

“Of course, the boys were extremely disappointed by the two defeats, but we spent some time together talking about the matches and I am pretty confident that they will bounce back in time for the game against South Africa tomorrow,” he said.

He admitted that the going would not be easy against the 10th ranked South Africans who put up a determined show last night despite going down 2-0 to the Netherlands.

“We expect a tight man-to-man marking from the South Africans just like they did against the Dutch. So, it would not be easy to break their defence. However, I believe we have the ability to counter such tactics. Tonight, we will be planning out our strategies during our video session, and as I said earlier, we are confident of doing well,” Baskaran said.

The South Africans gave a torrid time to the Dutch who were anxious to chalk their first points following their shock reversal against Korea.

“We are in much the same position as the Dutch were when they took on the South Africans. I would say our position is critical at this moment,” the coach said.

Baskaran revealed that he would be making certain changes in the 16 by including rookie full-back V Raghunath who will thus be making his international debut at the senior level.

“We are still to take a final decision, but it is quite likely that we will play Raghunath tomorrow. Also, we need to take a call on goalkeeper Bharat Chettri who suffered a hit on his shoulder. We will also be looking at the energy levels of the players and take a final decision on whom to play,” he said. — PTI 

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Spain outplay Australia

Monchengladbach, September 8
Playing with a clinical precision, Spain stunned the Olympic champions Australia 3-1 in their opening match of the hockey World Cup yesterday.

Spain opened the scoring in the 8th minute when Eduard Tubau moved into the circle and smacked the ball past the Australian goalkeeper Stephen Mowlam.

Australia had a few sharp chances in the circle but the Spanish defence held them off with some timely interceptions.

Spain increased the lead in the 21st minute. Pol Amat deflected home after a free hit from outside the circle zipped into the Australian striking zone.

Two goals down Australia for the first time in the match seemed desperate to cut the margin. They came close but a shot hit the post and came out.

Six minutes into the second half, Spain got the third goal when Xavier Ribas cracked a penalty corner shot into the Aussie goal.

Australia pulled one back in the 47th minute when Troy Elder was on target with a penalty corner.

Holland beat battling SA

The Netherlands struck once in each half through Taeke Taekema (15th) and Geert-Jan Derikx (66th) for a 2-0 win against a battling South Africa for their first success in two Pool B matches of the hockey World Cup here yesterday.

Having lost their opener 3-2 to Korea, the Dutch put on a determined show to put out the South Africans.

Incidentally, the second Dutch goal from open play made history as for the first time in a World Cup the video umpire came into play.

After Derikx took a shot from the top of the circle from open play to sound the boards, umpire Satinder Kumar from India referred it to the video umpire who upon consulting the replays, allowed the goal to stand.

The decision took a little more than 30 seconds during which the clock and play was stopped.

New Zealand hold Pakistan 4-4

Pakistan were held to a 4-4 draw by New Zealand in a Pool A match today.

Pakistan looked in danger of losing when New Zealand led 4-3 with five minutes left, but Muhammad Zubair found the net from a melee for his second goal of the game to tie the score.

For the Kiwis, Dean Couzins (15th, 36th), Blair Hopping (18th) and Hayden Shaw (54th) scored, while Pakistan replied through Shakeel Abbasi (9th), Rehan Butt (43rd) and Muhammad Zubair (21st, 65th). — UNI, PTI

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India failed on all fronts
Pargat Singh

India’s performance in the World Cup match against England was a big blow to our hockey reputation, and not because we’ve started the tournament on a disastrous note.

Leave alone the 2-3 loss and the fact that two defeats at the start of the tournament have virtually wiped away India’s chances of making into the semifinals after three decades. What stood out like a sore thumb was the Indian team’s reluctance to attack and total failure on all fronts. England attacked like never before. I have never seen them play such attacking stuff.

I also felt India underestimated England, which can be disastrous in a competition like the World Cup where every team is strong, simply because they come through a tough qualifying process.

We lost 2-3 for the second time in two days. But that score did not mean it was a close match. India even led in the first half, but that was simply because England missed two penalty strokes. Imagine what the scoreline would have been and how the match would have panned out if England had converted them.

India got the first goal through Shivendra against the run of play in the 28th minute and with England missing two strokes, led 1-0 at half time. In the second half, James Tindall and then Simon Mantell (2) converted in a span of less than 10 minutes and India’s misery was complete. Dilip Tirkey scored a consolation goal to make it 2-3, but there was no doubting England’s dominance.

I feel there were too many mistakes in the defence, especially from a player like Kanwalpreet, who was the reason why India gave away the strokes and a penalty corner. One simply cannot afford so many mistakes.

The hesitant, defensive posture for the better part of the match presented Indian hockey in a different picture from the one the world has known them for. The inclination to attack was missing till too late. By then, England had seized the momentum.

Altering strategy to suit the requirement of matches is fine, but allowing the rivals to dominate play without putting up a fight is not something that the hockey fans at home will easily digest.

For a better part of the contest, India confined themselves into a defensive shell and allowed England to dominate so much that it appeared embarrassing. India did not just lose the match, they might have lost some of the respect that the Indian teams get in spite of slipping from the podium decades ago.

I cannot figure out the logic of testing the opposition by allowing them repeated penetration into the Indian striking circle. Lapses inside the scoring zone can make even modest opposition push you to the limits and England’s display in this encounter showed they had the hunger for success that India lacked. India lost the game in the midfield, where it allowed England to dominate the crucial link.

The soft-game approach seems baffling. There were very few signs of India’s will to make a contest for midfield supremacy. England had a free rein and they capitalised on it to mount raids that made life difficult for Indian defenders.

It was not as if the half-backs were falling back to help the deep defence. India’s half-line did not seem in play on this day. They squandered the gains from the previous match against Germany, in which the defending champions scraped to a 3-2 victory through a last-minute goal.

England would have been surprised to see India’s defensive approach a day after they gave Germany a good contest in the World Cup’s opening match. One would have thought that India would attack with vigour against England.

India’s half-time lead could be attributed to luck as England failed to capitalise on two penalty strokes. The Indian goal came against the run of play, and through some deft passing between Gagan Ajit Singh, Tushar Khandekar and Shivendra Singh.

When things are going your way, teams normally try and capitalise on the openings. They do not wait for the opposition to bounce back. But England was allowed the luxury of seizing control. It also helped that India was down to 10 players when England began their spree of three penalty corner conversions midway during the second half.

After two losses, the team management will need to work hard to motivate players and keep their morale high. — PTI 

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Paes-Damm advance to US Open final

New York, September 8
India’s Leander Paes and his Czech partner Martin Damm came from behind to defeat Paul Hanley of Australia and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe 6-7, 7-6, 7-5 to enter the final of the US Open men’s doubles event here today. In the title clash, sixth seeds Paes and Damm will take on the second seeded pair of Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden, who defeated Australian Ashley Fisher and American Tripp Phillips 6-1, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

Earlier, Paes and Damm made it to the semifinals after a three-set victory over Leos Friedl of the Czech Republic and Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny. The sixth seeded combination prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in just over two hours.

Roy-Roberto in quarterfinals

There was good news from the junior section also as India’s Rupesh Roy and Venezuela’s Roberto Maytin entered the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Russian Vladimir Zinyakov and Japan’s Tatsuma Ito.

They will face the US team of Jarmere Jenkins and Austin Krajicek, who got the better of Australian Greg Jones and Chilean Hans Podlipnik 4-6, 7-5, 7-6. — Agencies  

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Federer rolls into semis

New York, September 8
Two-time defending champion Roger Federer continued his mastery over Americans at the US Open, beating fifth seed James Blake to reach the semifinals.

The 25-year-old Swiss superstar overpowered Blake 7-6 (9-7), 6-0, 6-7 (9/11), 6-4 to extend his winning streak against US opponents to 27 matches. Andy Roddick is the last American to beat him but that was three years ago in Montreal.

Federer will play Nikolay Davydenko for the place in Sunday’s men’s final. Davydenko reached his first US Open semifinal by rallying to defeat 14th seeded German Tommy Haas 4-6, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in a five-setter earlier yesterday.

It wasn’t classic Federer but he found a way to fight off the set points and tie Ivan Lendl’s record of 10 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals.

“I was happy with the way I hit the ball because I knew the crowd would be tough and I would have to get used to a night session on Ashe,” said Federer, who is also bidding to become the first since Lendl in 1987 to post three successive US Open crowns. — AFP

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BCCI reconstitutes umpires’ panel

Mumbai, September 8
The BCCI today reconstituted its panel of international umpires and brought in three new faces to do duty in ODIs at home, cricket board joint secretary M.P. Pandove announced here today.

Amish M. Saheba of Gujarat, Suresh Shastri of Mumbai and G.A. Pratap Kumar of Andhra will replace K. Hariharan (Delhi), I. Sivaram (Hyd) and A.V. Jayaprakash (Kar) in the panel with immediate effect.

While Saheba and Shastri will perform on-field duties, Pratap Kumar will be the TV umpire, Pandove said after a meeting of the umpire sub-committee chaired by BCCI Vice-President Lalit Modi. The appointments were made for three years.

The decision to reconstitute the entire panel was taken largely because the existing members could not graduate to the ICC’s elite umpires’ panel.

ICC reviews the performance of all international umpires before deciding on their promotion to the Elite Umpires’ List. Every July-August ICC invites nominations from every board. The full members can nominate three umpires and they can be re-nominated or withdrawn.

India has only Javagal Srinath, as a part time match referee, in the ICC’s list of elite umpires and match referees.

The BCCI also appointed ex-captain and former ICC elite panel umpire S. Venkataraghvan as the Director of Umpires. The former spinner will give a roadmap within 10 days on how to improve the standard of umpiring in the country, Pandove said.

In what would be a novel way to assess the performance of umpires along with the reports of captains and match referees, all domestic matches from the U-19 level upwards would be video recorded. “The video recording along with the reports given by the captain and match referee would be considered to assess the performance of umpires,” he said.

Venkataraghvan has recommended appointment of retired umpires — both Indian and foreigners — to conduct refresher courses for the umpires twice a year. He has also recommended appointment of coach from each zone who would assess the umpires on a daily basis. The appointments would be done in the next 10 to 15 days.

The names of 29 umpires, who passed the umpires test in Delhi, along with those former cricketers turned umpires have been recommended for practicals. — PTI

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Hoax press conference!

New Delhi, September 8
It turned out to be a wild goose chase for reporters who were invited to a press conference by BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi but only to find that he was actually addressing the media in Mumbai! After being made to wait for close to one hour by Modi’s public relation executives at a hotel lobby, it was revealed that a “mistake” had happened and Modi was actually supposed to brief the media in Mumbai and not here.

What irked the mediapersons was the fact that they had been informed about the so-called press conference just half-an-hour in advance through SMS initially and later requested personally to make it to the briefing since an important announcement was to be made.

Even while they were waiting, news filtered in that an annoucement had been made in Mumbai by a top BCCI official, and Modi was also present there.

All this while, the PR people kept on insisting that Modi was in the hotel itself and would be coming any time. “We just had a chat with him on the phone, he is around and would come down in five minutes,” one of them said. — PTI

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Raina hurt in practice match

Chennai, September 8
Left-hander Suresh Raina was injured today during a practice match organised for the Indian cricket team before it leaves for the tri-series in Malaysia.

The Uttar Pradesh batsman got hit when he deflected an Ajit Agarkar full toss on to his cheek and started bleeding on the field. Raina was playing for the India juniors in the match when the injury occurred.

The blow required two stitches and doctors present at the ground did the needful, Indian team’s biomechanist Ian Frazer said. — PTI

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JSCA has voting right: HC

Ranchi, September 8
The Jharkhand High court has ordered that the Jharkhand State Cricket Association be allowed to participate in the meetings of the BCCI.

Hearing the case yesterday, a Division Bench, comprising acting Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice Permod Kohli, observed that the JSCA, headquartered at Jamshedpur, is the original association, which has merely changed its name.

As such, the Bench ordered, the JSCA and its authorised representatives are eligible to participate in the BCCI’s annual general meeting and entitled to contest elections of the BCCI with voting right. — PTI 

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Razzaq takes Pak to 235

London, September 8
England’s lesser lights turned the tables on Pakistan’s “Big Three” in the fourth one-dayer at Trent Bridge today.

Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan, the bedrock of the Pakistan batting order, all failed to produce commanding performances as the touring side, 2-0 up in the five-match series, were restricted to 235 for eight after opting to bat first in the day-nighter.

England’s top performers were the unlikely duo of seamer Jon Lewis, who has never established himself in the side, and part-time spinner Michael Yardy. Lewis took two for 49, while Yardy, bowling rapid, flat left-arm spin on his debut, found turn and bounce to take three for 24 off 10 overs.

Pakistan would have fared far worse but for Abdul Razzaq, who hit an extraordinary 75 runs off 72 balls, including five sixes off the final two overs, to get his side past 200. England’s last four overs went for 69. — Reuters

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Peter Brock dies in rally mishap

Sydney, September 8
Australian motor racing great Peter Brock died in an accident during a rally in Western Australia, motor sport officials said today.

Brock, 61, was killed while he was taking part in the Targa West rally, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) said in a statement.

An eyewitness said Brock appeared to lose control of his vehicle on a tight hairpin bend before slamming into a tree. — AFP

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Kapur tied sixth

Singapore, September 8
Shiv Kapur underlined his growing maturity with a fighting two-under 69 that put him in tied sixth in the Barclays Singapore Open at the Serapong Golf Club in Sentosa island.

Kapur finds himself at the same score as defending champion and world No. 6 Adam Scott, just three behind joint-leaders Ernie Els (65) and Scott Strange (69) at the midway stage.

Jyoti Randhawa (73) and Arjun Singh (67) were tied 10th at one-under 141 and SSP Chowrasia, India’s most improved star on Asian Tour this year, shot an even par 71 to be one-over 143 and tied 27th.

Gaurav Ghei (71) was tied 41st and Jeev Milkha Singh, leader on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, survived a disastrous round of 76.

Atwal struggles

Ancaster (Canada): Daniel Chopra shot a one-under 69 with four birdies and three bogeys to take tied 47th spot after the first round of the Canadian Open. However, Arjun Atwal was still unable to get out of his wretched form managing only a two-over 72 for tied 110th place to be in danger of missing yet another cut. — PTI

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Anand ends up fourth

Rishon Le Zion, September 8
World No. 2 Viswanathan Anand finished a distant fourth in the World Blitz chess championship, which was won by Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk of Russia here in Israel.

The Russian won the tiebreak game against compatriot Peter Svidler to pocket the coveted title.

Scoring 10 points in all, Anand tied for the third spot along with Azerbaijan’s Teimour Radjabov but finished fourth overall with his slightly inferior tiebreak. — PTI

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Kickboxing meet begins

Sangrur, September 8
The 19th National Kickboxing Championship began today at Sohrab Public School, Malerkotla, about 35 km from here. More than 600 kickboxers and about 100 technical officials from 24 states took part in a march past. This is for the first time that the championship is being conducted in Punjab. Mrs Razia Sultana, Parliamentary Secretary, inaugurated the championship.

Deputy Commissioner S.R. Ladhar, SDM, Malerkotla, Dr Indu, Amjad Ali, CMD, Sohrab Group, and Harichandan, working president of the Indian Association of Kickboxing Organisation, were present on the occasion. — OSR

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Inter-frontier meet concludes

New Delhi, September 8
Frontier Headquarters, Lucknow, won the overall trophy in the first Inter-Frontier SSB Sports and Games Meet (wrestling, judo, taekwondo, fencing and karate) which concluded here yesterday.

Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Director-General Tilak Kak, declared the meet concluded.

KM Leisamba Maik, Frontier Headquarters, Guwahati, won the gold, KK Somenjit Singh, Frontier Headquarters, Guwahati, bagged the silver and Tek Narayan, Frontier Headquarters, Lucknow, got the bronze medal in the 62-68 kg category in taekwondo.

CH Jiten Singh of Frontier Headquarters, Guwahati, won the gold, Deepak Kumar of Frontier Headquarters, Lucknow, got the silver and Gopi Chand of Force Headquarters won the bronze in the 81 kg judo event.

In the sabre fencing event, the gold medal went to TH Honen Sinah, Frontier Headquarters, Guwahati, the silver medal was won by H. Dolendra Singh, Frontier Headquarters, Guwahati, while the bronze medal was won by Kanhaiyalal, Frontier Headquarters, Lucknow. — OSR

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SD school cagers overwhelm Guru Nanak school
Tribune News Service

Kharar, September 8
St. Soldier Convent School, Mohali, beat St. Soldier Convent School, Chandigarh, in the inaugural match of the North Zone CBSE Volleyball Cluster 2006-07 tournament conducted by Ambika Public School, here, today.

As many as 32 teams from different states are participating in this tournament. The meet was presided over by Sh. Darshan Singh Sandhu, PCS, SDM, Kharar.

Today’s Results:

St. Soldier Convent School, Mohali, b St. Soldier Convent School, Chandigarh S.D. Public School, Chandigarh, b Guru Nanak Khalsa Public School, Chandigarh DAV Public School, Sector 8, Chandigarh, b DAV Public School, Mohali DAV Public School, Sector 15, Chandigarh, b MUM Public School, Nadaun.

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HAP Range athletes shine

KARNAL: Haryana Armed Police Range athletes put up a good show on the third day of the Haryana Police Games being held at Vachher Stadium, Madhuban, here on Friday. HAP stamped their authority by winning their matches in basketball, kabaddi, volleyball, handball and hockey.

Results (winners): Athletics (men): Pole vault: Ram Pal (HAP Range); 400m 
hurdles Rohtash Singh (HAP); 3000m 
steeplechase: Amit Kumar (Rohtak Range); 4x100m relay: Ajay Kumar, Randhir Singh, Preet Pal and Anil Kumar (HAP).

Athletics (women): 100m hurdles: Renu (Combined Range); Naresh (Combined Range); 4x100m relay: Naresh, Promila, Meena Kumari and Renu (Combined Range). — TNS

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