SL surrender; India level series
‘History in the making’
Want to protest? Apply first
Miyake turns pressure into power
Baichung takes India into semis
Novak ends Nadal’s run
Anti-doping agency bifurcated
Anand enters Mainz chess final
I always had faith in my team: Kumble
Vaughan, Collingwood quit
Diver Laura Wilkinson hopes to repeat her splendid victory of the Sydney Olympics here and wants a perfect farewell in Beijing. “It’s my last Olympic Games, I'm excited. The Olympics are always exciting. It doesn’t get old,” said the 10m platform specialist and the 30-year-old American diving icon.
China's Premier Wen Jiabao has urged the men's national basketball team to ''win honour for the motherland'' during the Beijing Olympics. Wen turned up at a team practice session on Sunday, shaking hands with coaches and players, including China's favourite sportsman Yao Ming, who plays for the NBA's Houston Rockets. China open their Olympic schedule with a highly anticipated game against the United States on August 10. US President George W Bush last month asked China's President Hu Jintao for tickets to the game. ''Your first game will catch the attention of the world, and you must have confidence, stay collected and play well,'' Wen told the players, according to the official government website (www.gov.cn). ''No matter whether you win or lose, above all do it with spirit. ''Use an outstanding competition to win honour for the motherland,'' he added. ''Win respect. Win friendship. Show the spirit of the Chinese people.''
Olympic 100 metres freestyle champion Pieter van den Hoogenband is to drop the 200m from his Beijing programme to concentrate on winning the 100 title for the third successive time. Van den Hoogenband, who won the title in Sydney and Athens is competing with Australian Grant Hackett to become the first male swimmer to win three successive Olympic titles in the same event. Hackett is seeking a hat-trick of 1500m freestyle titles. Van den Hoogenband dropped the 200m freestyle because the final on August 12 is just hours before qualifying for the 100m freestyle begins, Dutch daily De Telegraaf reported on Sunday. ''My love for the 100 freestyle is that big that unfortunately I am forced to adjust my ambitions,'' he was quoted as saying in the newspaper. ''I am no longer the young god of Sydney 2000. I am someone in his 30s, who has to use his resources sparingly. ''I know I should be able to get a medal on the 200m freestyle as except for (Michael) Phelps I measure up to everyone else.'' Van den Hoogenband, who completed the 100m-200m freestyle double at Sydney, said.
When swimming, Alexander Popov looked so at ease that it was hard to imagine his natural habitat was not water. His style, and above all, his unerring ability, gave the Russian sprinter unprecedented results in the shape of the Olympic “double-double” 50m/100m. He even had his sights on a rare treble at Sydney 2000 but had to settle for silver in the 100m freestyle. An interesting Olympic anecdote: his results at Atlanta 96 would turn out to be exactly the same as those achieved in the previous Olympiad. His haul of medals may have been greater if he had not picked up an infection while attending a meeting to determine the host city for the 2008 Games.
SL surrender; India level series
Galle, August 3
In his second appearance for his country after serving out a ban for misbehaviour, Harbhajan Singh redeemed himself with match figures of 10 for 153 - the 5th 10 wicket haul of his career - four of which for 51 surfaced in the 2nd innings.
But the unanimous choice of man of the match was predictably Virender Sehwag for his contributions of 201 not out and 50 in a low scoring match. At least to him, Ajantha Mendis posed no mystery.
But the Sri Lankan rookie, too, garnered 10 wickets in the match, procuring four for 92 in India’s second venture. Indeed, his devouring of 18 wickets in two Tests is a magical start to his career.
In front of a full house - all of 5,000 spectators - who watched in dispirited silence in a reputedly chauvinist region, only Thilan Samaraveera weathered the Indian attack in the fourth innings with an unbeaten knock of 67; though, Ishant Sharma could have caught him off his own bowling when he was 52.
Dangled a target of 307, Sri Lanka fared disastrously, surrendering three wickets for a paltry 10 runs, including the critical ones of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.
Ishant, cranking up impressive pace and movement, sent back Malinda Warnapura in his very first over caught at second slip; and then surprised Jayawardene with extra bounce, which extracted a faulty square cut.
Sandwiched between these dismissals was Sangakkara’s demise to an outswinger from Zaheer Khan, which, too, ended in the safe hands of VVS Laxman at second slip.
Michael Vandort scratched around until after lunch, but perished leg before wicket to a Harbhajan armer. Thirtyfive for four could have become 75 for five, but Dinesh Karthik spilled Tilakaratne Dilshan when he was 17 off the off-spinner; and the 5th wicket stand proceeded to realise 76 runs - the only symbol of resistance from the home side.
The last six Sri Lankan wickets, in fact, crumbled for a mere 23 runs, the last five in a space of six runs. But it required the re-introduction of Ishant on a palpably spinning track to remove Dilshan - caught behind - after Harbhajan and Anil Kumble had failed to obtain a breakthrough. The doughty Sri Lankan hooked Ishant for four, but snicked the very next ball to the wicket-keeper. Ishant’s analysis of 15-8-20-3 in the innings was self-explanatory.
On resumption, India made a hash of their second innings. The experienced pair of Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman failed to drive home the overnight advantage. The latter’s elegant stroke-making was short lived as he misread an Ajantha Mendis top spinner to be plumb leg before.
The Bengal southpaw lived a charmed existence. He survived two referrals of lbw appeals, the first of which had been given out. Having done so, he advanced to a flighted delivery from Muttiah Muralitharan - which also turned sharply away from him - to be stumped by Prasanna Jayawardene, whose keeping to diverse and deceptive spinners has been impressive.
The suicidal tendency was triggered by Karthik. He started by reverse sweeping Murali and later hoisted him over midwicket for six. In between, he sent Mendis soaring over long on. 20 runs off 22 balls would have been par for the course in a one-day international, but was absurd in circumstances where India were looking to consolidate.
Indeed, from 252 for five, India collapsed to 257 for nine, leaving it to the 10th wicket partnership of Harbhajan and Khan to extend the cumulative surplus to over 300.
India (first innings): 329
Sri Lanka (first innings): 292
India (second innings):
Gambhir b Mendis 74
Sehwag c Dilshan b Vaas 50
Dravid lbw Murali 44
Tendulkar c M J’dene b Vaas 31
Ganguly st P J’dene b Murali 16
Laxman lbw Mendis 13
Karthik c Sangakkara b Murali 20
Kumble lbw b Mendis 2
Harbhajan c & b Mendis 11
Ishant run out 0
Zaheer not out 1
Extras (lb-7): 7
Total (all out, 76.2 overs): 269
FoW: 1-90 2-144 3-200 4-200 5-221 6-252 7-255 8-257 9-257 10-269
Bowling: Vaas 13-4-32-2, Kulasekera 5-0-31-0, Muralitharan 31-3-107-3, Mendis 27.2-4-92-4
Sri Lanka (2nd innings):
Vandort lbw Harbhajan 10
Warnapura c Laxman b Ishant 0
Sangakkara c Laxman b Khan 1
M J’dene c Dravid b Ishant 5
Samaraweera not out 67
Dilshan c Karthik b Ishant 38
P J’dene c Ganguly b Harbhajan 4
C Vaas lbw b Harbhajan 0
Kulasekera c Ishant b Kumble 1
Mendis c Kumble b Harbhajan 2
Murali c & b Kumble 0
Extras (b-4 lb-2 nb-2): 8
Total (all out, 47.3 overs): 136
FoW: 1-4 2-5 3-10 4-37 5-113 6-130 7-131 8-132 9-135 10-136
Bowling: Zaheer Khan 8-1-18-1, Ishant 15-8-20-3, Kumble 10.3-3-41-2, Harbhajan 14-1-51-4
Miami, August 3
During her peak, the New York Times described the Romanian as performing with “joyless expression” and like many athletes from the then communist Eastern Bloc she rarely let her emotions show. In an interview with Reuters though Comaneci said despite starting her gymnastics career at 6 and winning gold eight years later in 1976 she does not feel like she missed out on an ordinary childhood or suffered misery for her medals.
“People have told me that (I looked sad) when I was I competing but I never complained,” she said.
“People assume a lot of things about gymnasts -- that the girls work too hard, it’s way too much for them, they are too young to work so hard. I never personally complained, everybody else complained for me. In any case, it was not too hard -- it was what it takes to be an Olympic champion. Also nobody says anything about boys at 12-13 years old working too hard. It's only the girls -- oh, poor girls. Why are we treated differently?” Comaneci, who defected to the United States in 1989 just before the Romanian revolution overthrew dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu, is now a 46-year-old mother married to former US gold medal winning gymnast Bart Conner.
With Conner she runs a gymnastics academy and an equipment company in Oklahoma. “I basically have my life today as a result of what I did as a child. What did I miss out on? Yeah, I missed not hanging out at shopping malls, I guess, but that is not a big deal because you don’t get a medal for that,” she said.
Comaneci, who won three golds in Montreal and then two more in Moscow four years later, had a tough taskmaster in coach Bela Karolyi. Her childhood consisted of hour after hour of practice with little or no material reward and she feels today’s gymnasts have it less rough.
“What is different is that they can make a living from gymnastics and people stay longer in the sport. Also you don’t have to do four events, you can specialise in one, so that shortens their workout. We had to do compulsory as well don’t forget. But the hard work is the same. There is no magic pill, you have to work and train hard. People asked what was the secret of Romanian gymnastics - we just worked twice as hard as everyone else. Now everyone does it - which is why they are much better,” she says with a grin. — Reuters
‘History in the making’
Beijing, August 3
Police cordoned off the square, the scene of student protests in 1989, during the hour-long performance by the Beijing 2008 Olympics Orchestra involving musicians from schools and universities in China, the USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Guam.
Using a location of such cultural significance for a musical event was a similar move to 2001 when the Three Tenors - Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras - sang in the Forbidden City to showcase Beijing as fit to hold the Olympics. The city was chosen to host the 2008 Games weeks later.
''This band is the first foreign group to perform on this historic ground and we are making history today,'' Max Ronquillo, leader of the Guam Territorial Band, told Reuters.
''This is a significant message from the Chinese to say that China is now open to the world.''
As the orchestra drummed and trumpeted its way through medleys of classical pieces, songs by Irish singer and composer Enya, and even a Gloria Estefan number, the police around the square stood to attention in the rising heat.
Students Jeff Detlefsen and Daniel Tubbs, both 20, from the California State University, Fresno, said they jumped at the chance to join the trip although neither are avid Olympic fans.
''I don't know if I will ever get to China again and I certainly won't be playing in Tiananmen Square again so this really is a trip of a lifetime,'' said Detlefsen, a music education student, who was playing the bass trombone.
Would they have watched the Games at home? ''I really only pay attention to the medal count,'' admitted Tubbs, a criminology student, who was playing the trumpet.
The growing disinterest in the Games by Generation Y -- those now aged about 14-28 -- is a concern for International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge with figures showing that the average Olympic spectator is over 40.
To compete against the pull of more youth-orientated sports, music and computer games, the IOC has introduced sports like BMX cycling which makes its debut at Beijing and snowboarding for the Winter Olympics. — Reuters
Beijing, August 3
Accused by critics of stifling dissent ahead of the Games, China recently said three parks in Beijing may be used for officially approved demonstrations.
Critics of China's policies in Tibet, its ties with Sudan and its restrictions on media and political activism, have long said the Beijing Games should be a platform for voicing their causes.
But Liu Shaowu, security chief of the Beijing Games Organising Committee (BOCOG), spelled out the hurdles facing potential demonstrators in a statement issued on an official Games news website (www.beijing2008.cn) yesterday.
Applicants must personally hand authorities a written application five days before any planned protest. Foreigners must submit a Chinese application at the Beijing Public Security Bureau's border entry and exit administration, Liu said.
And he reminded potential applicants of the country's broad ban on gatherings that authorities call ''harmful''.
''Assembling to march and protest is a citizen's right. But it must be stressed that when exercising this right, citizens must respect and not harm others' freedoms and rights and must not harm national, social and collective interests,'' Liu said, according to the China News Service.
Police must tell applicants whether approval has been given at the latest two days before the planned protest, Liu said. If there is no police answer, protesters can take that as approval.
Chinese police rarely, if ever, approve even small protests.
The country's 1989 law on protests carries a sweeping ban on any that authorities say threaten national unity or stir ethnic discord - making it especially unlikely that Tibet protesters have any chance of approval.
Nor can protests offend the country's constitution, which sets in stone Communist Party rule. But the Chinese government apparently hopes that designating the parks as protest zones will blunt claims that critics have no venue during the Games.
Beijing, August 3
The attention has added to the pressure she already felt as the daughter of 1968 featherweight weightlifting bronze medallist Yoshiyuki Miyake, whose brother Yoshinobu won gold in the division in 1964 and 1968.
With her blue-and-red striped T-shirt, red shoes, ponytail and sideswept fringe, the 22-year-old looked like a shy schoolgirl as she softly answered questions from reporters, covering her mouth with her hand when she laughed.
''In Athens it was just about participating, but since then I've taken part in other international competitions, I've accumulated experience, although I now have some other pressure that I didn't feel in Athens,'' she said.
''But I would like to turn that pressure into power.'' Apart from the pressure to succeed, Miyake had a more prosaic worry on her way to Beijing: food.
Japanese athletes changed their diet earlier this year to get accustomed to Chinese food and at the time, Miyake complained the food lacked taste and her father said they would pack soy sauce for the Games.
But she said the fear had been unfounded.
''The food in the Olympic village is very good. I brought some food from Japan just in case but I don't think I'll need it,'' she said.
Her father, who also acts as her coach, joked that there was a downside to eating in the Olympic canteen. — Reuters
Hyderabad, August 3
In what may be called as the best match of the tournament so far played under heavy ground conditions at the Gachibowli Stadium, the 32-year-old Indian skipper showed his class to score in the 54th and 80th minute to take the hosts at the top of Group A with seven points from two wins and one draw.
However, Turkmenistan reduced the margin in the 82nd minute through second half substitute Yusup Orazmamedov.
Tajikistan, with five points, is the other team from the group to progress to the last four stage. They thrashed Afghanistan 4-0 in another match played simultaneously at the Lal Bahadur Stadium, while Turkmenistan ended at four points from one win, a draw and a loss.
India will take on the second placed team from Group B in the semifinals on Thursday.
Hosts' English coach Bob Houghton must be a happy man with all his charges coming out with flying colours in the all-important match, though a draw would have been enough for India to book a semifinal berth.
India's back four were spot on and the midfield up to the task with forwards Baichung and Sunil Chhetri creating havoc whenever the hosts raided the rival defence.
Goalkeeper Subrata Paul continued his good form in the tournament and was outstanding under the bar.
In the first half, India and Turkmenistan made several goal-bound moves at both ends and on many occasions both the sides were lucky to escape unscathed.
There were hardly any minute which did not produce a close shave or a fine defence-splitting pass or a cross from the flanks, though the hosts gradually stamped their authority as the match progressed.
Backed by 3000-odd crowd, the best attendance so far at the Gachibowli Stadium, the Indians played their hearts out and could have gone ahead in the first half itself only to see the crosspiece coming for Turkmenistan's rescue.
The first scoring chance though came from Turkmenistan in the fourth minute of the match but Dovletmurad Atayev's pass from the right edge of box was shot over by Berdy Shamuradov from inside.
Four minute later, India got a free kick around 25 yard from the rival goal but Surkumar Singh was off target and in the very next minute N P Pradeep, after being fed by Sunil Chhetri, shot straight to Turkmenistan goalkeeper Maksatmyrat Shamuradov.
India then had two dangerous moves in quick succession with Baichung and Chhetri working in tandem. First, in the 20th minute, the Indian skipper failed to hold on to the ball in a tussle with the rival goalkeeper after he was sent clear by Chhetri.
India's best chance to take the lead came in the 29th minute from a move initiated by Chhetri. Renedy Singh sent a floater inside a crowded box for Baichung to have a glancing backward header which hit the crossbar after Turkmenistan custodian Shamuradov managed to get a hand. Later, a first time right footer by Climax Lawrence from the rebound was, however, blocked by a defender.
Chhetri chested down a loose ball in the Turkmenistan half and passed it to Baichung whose left footer beat the diving rival goalkeeper and rolled into the right corner of the net to the wild celebrations of the home crowd.
The Sikkimese Sniper completed his brace 10 minutes from time by making a glancing header from a Renedy corner kick. Turkmenistan reduced the margin within two minutes through Yusup Orazmamedov but it was too late in the day to stop India from winning. — PTI
Cincinnati, August 3
Serb Djokovic will meet Andy Murray in the final after the 21-year-old Briton overcame giant Croatian Ivo Karlovic in the day’s other semifinal. Nadal, who is set to replace Roger Federer as world number one, was a shadow of the player who romped to the Wimbledon and French Open titles this year. He conceded before the match that he was struggling.
“No one is unbeatable but the way he was playing we all thought he’s not going to lose any time soon,” said Djokovic. “I tried not to think of his winning streak and what his new ranking spot will be. I tried just to focus on my game. It was my intention to have a fast start and to step in and go for it. And in the second set I just tried to stay with him.”
Australian Open champion Djokovic got off to a roaring start and broke Nadal’s opening two serves to go 5-0 up before taking the first set in less than half an hour. Nadal made a fight of it in the second, carving out a break point at 3-2, but Djokovic saved it with a fierce forehand. Five games later Djokovic made the crucial break after a series of brilliant baseline rallies before closing out the match.
Briton Murray reached his first Masters Series final when he beat Karlovic 6-4, 6-4 and the semifinal victory guarantees his rise from world number nine to six, his highest ranking. It also increased the chances of achieving his goal of a top-eight seeding at the U.S. Open in three weeks’ time.
Maintaining the momentum that carried him to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon for the first time last month and the semifinals of the Masters Series in Toronto last week, Murray won well against a uniquely difficult opponent. The 2.08-metre Karlovic leads the tour for the second successive year for the number of aces and the number of service games won.
The canny Scot found a way to return the tour’s best serve. Murray frequently stood more than two metres behind the baseline to receive, but often leaped forward to take the delivery earlier than expected. His ability to anticipate the location of Karlovic’s serves improved as the game went on. — Reuters
Anti-doping agency bifurcated
New Delhi, August 3
The halving of the doping agency is intended to bring it in conformity with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines and infuse a more professional approach and enhance credibility in anti-doping mechanism in the country. There has been persistent complaint against the lop-sided functioning of the doping agency in its previous form and a ministry official asserted that the new arrangement will root out any kind of foul play, put things in order. The Ministry has also reconstituted the General Body and Governing Body of the NADA with the induction of more medical experts in place of Government officials. In addition, an executive board has been added for better supervision.
Earlier, the NADA society consisted of nine officials, four representatives from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and National Sports Federations (NSFs), two sportspersons, one jurist and one scientist. The number of officials in the new setup has been reduced to six, but additional two medical experts and one representative from the NSFs have been inducted. director-general of health Prof. P. Rama Rao will be the new medical expert in the body.
The NADA will be responsible for implementing the anti-doping code and providing disciplinary action against drug abuse and appellate forum for disputes. Prominent personalities drafted into the General Body include Dr Manmohan Singh, chairman of the IOA Medical Commission, former Indian cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Olympian athlete Shiny Wilson, IOA president Suresh Kalmadi and secretary-general Raja Randhir Singh, Rowing Federation of India president K.P.Singh Deo, Wrestling Federation of India president G.S.Mander and All India Tennis Association secretary-general Anil Khanna.
The NDTL has been established as an independent body, distinct from NADA, to bring it at par with international standards, equipped with the most modern equipment and supported by eminent technical experts. The NDTL had recenlty undergone the final proficiency testing audit and its permanent accreditation is due for consideration in the WADA Executive Board meeting in September, 2008. Prominent sportspersons in the NDTL Governing body include former Indian hockey captain M.P.Ganesh, Indian Amateur Boxing Federation secretary Col. Muralidharan Raja, Amateur Athletics Federation of India secretary-general Dr. Lalit K.Bhanot and National Rifle Association of India secretary-general Baljit Singh Sethi, who is the deputy chef-de-mission of the Indian contingent for the Beijing Olympic Games.
Mainz, August 3
Anand won once and drew twice against World number 2 Alexander Morozevich on the second day to grab four points out of six and to top the league. In the final Anand will meet Norwegian teenager Magnus Carlsen, who was second with 3.5 points from six games.
Anand and Carlsen had drawn both of their encounters in the league stage. While Anand took two exciting draws and one win to qualify for the final, Carlsen was lucky against Morozevich.
Carlsen chose the Queen’s Indian involving a pawn sacrifice. In return he received active pieces and compensation. While he gradually increased his pressure on the kingside, Anand countered on the queenside and suddenly an outburst of tactical complications followed. In a still interesting position Anand, despite being two minutes ahead on the clock, decided not to risk too much and settled for a perpetual.
After five rounds, Anand, Morozevich and Carlsen all had three points, while Judit was trailing with one. As the first two in the preliminary qualify for the final, the sixth round, in which Anand played against Morozevich and Polgar against Carlsen promised to be really exciting.
The game between Anand and Morozevich was full of tactical possibilities. In this Ruy Lopez, Chigorin game lasting 47 moves, it was Morozevich’s fault. He blundered right after the opening and allowed Anand a winning knight sacrifice.
Once Morozevich declined the sacrifice Anand could have won with a second sacrifice soon after. But the Indian ace took another route, which was safer, though it gave Morozevich some chances. However Anand calmly repelled all threats and used his material advantage to win the game and the tournament.
Carlsen drew with Polgar to take the second place and make the final where he clashes with Anand. — PTI
Galle, August 3
“I always had faith in my team. It’s a great comeback and I’m specially happy because everyone contributed to the cause,” an elated Kumble said after India beat Sri Lanka by 170 runs in the second Test to level the three-match series 1-1.
Kumble felt the openers did a splendid job for the side, while spinner Harbhajan Singh and pacer Ishant Sharma also delivered when it mattered most.
“Veeru (Sehwag) and (Gautam) Gambhir gave us fantastic starts, which was crucial. Later Harbhajan and Ishant bowled well to guide us to victory,” he said.
The Indian captain, however, still insisted that the team needed to address certain issues in the next match. “There are a few grey areas, which we need to address. We have to ensure that if put in those conditions, we can come out on a better note,” he said.
Kumble also felt there was need to look into certain areas of the referral system once the series is over. “It’s still on trial and I think it needs good look-in. Both the captains would sit with the umpires, match referee and officials at the end of the tour to discuss those issues,” he said.
His counterpart Mahela Jayawardene heaped praise on the visitors and said, “It was a really good comeback by India. It was a crucial match for them and they did well.”
‘Losing early wickets did us in’
Losing three early wickets in their second innings cooked Sri Lanka’s goose in the second Test against India, rued home captain Mahela Jayawardene.
Chasing 307, Sri Lanka needed a good start but with Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan reducing them to 10 for three within four overs in the second innings, the home side hardly had any chance to recover, Jayawardene said. “Batting first would have been ideal though I don’t think toss alone was crucial. Though it was not easy to chase down 307, I thought we could have achieved it. It’s always important to get a good start when you chase, which is something we did not get. That is probably where we lost the game,” Jayawardene told reporters after his side lost by 170 runs to allow the Indians level the series 1-1.
Jayawardene felt Ishant did an excellent job with the new ball and felt Sri Lanka would do well to learn their lesson from the defeat. “We felt that in these kind of conditions usually slow medium guys are effective. Ishant is an exceptional bowler and with his height he creates a bit of bounce on these kind of wickets. So that is something that India enjoys. We too need to make a smart choice. I think we will have a chat with the selectors. We have got a few options in our squad as well,” he said. — PTI
Vaughan, Collingwood quit
London, August 3 It meant the 33-year-old batsman had overseen three series losses against top-class opposition since returning from a career-threatening knee injury. His announcement was followed by that of 32-year-old Durham all-rounder Collingwood, who said in a statement that his game had suffered as a result of taking on the ODI captaincy. “I’ve made the decision to stand down as England captain,” a tearful Vaughan told a press conference. “It’s the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make but also the easiest. The hardest because I’m giving away the job I’ve loved for the last five years, one I’ve put my heart and soul into, but also the easiest because my mind has told me to pack it in.
London, August 3
It meant the 33-year-old batsman had overseen three series losses against top-class opposition since returning from a career-threatening knee injury.
His announcement was followed by that of 32-year-old Durham all-rounder Collingwood, who said in a statement that his game had suffered as a result of taking on the ODI captaincy.
“I’ve made the decision to stand down as England captain,” a tearful Vaughan told a press conference. “It’s the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make but also the easiest. The hardest because I’m giving away the job I’ve loved for the last five years, one I’ve put my heart and soul into, but also the easiest because my mind has told me to pack it in. — AFP