Sikdar hints at doping by Indians
Things looking up for Bhengra
Ex-Bengal captains feted
Parmar to get a well defined role
Mohun Bagan into first of must-win clashes
Olympians hog the limelight
Indians move to fifth spot
CPT, FCI move up
Highland Flame set for encore
Track trials

 
 
SIKDAR HINTS AT DOPING BY INDIANS 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 29 
Not all the national records created in the recent inter-state, national open and circuit meets are above suspicion, feels Jyotirmoyee Sikdar.

Her logic is simple. “See the recently set national mark in 4x400 women’s relay is 3 mins 28 secs. Most of those who set the record travel the distance in 53 secs. Multiply that with four and the time you get is more than the new national mark,” she argues.

The double Asian Games gold-medallist thinks there must be something wrong and didn’t rule out chances of large-scale doping.

P.T. Usha had levelled similar charges after K.M. Beenamol broke her long-standing 400 record in a meet in Kiev. According to Sikdar, there will be little authentic about Indian athletics unless proper action is taken.

The Asian Games double gold-medallist thinks Indians stand no chance of doing well in the track events in the Sydney Olympics.    


 
 
THINGS LOOKING UP FOR BHENGRA 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 29 
Things are finally looking up for Gopal Bhengra. The former hockey international, who had to resort to stone-crushing to make ends meet, has got a job of coaching schoolchildren along with support from other quarters.

Bhengra played for India in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina and represented Mohun Bagan and MMC in the Calcutta League from 1980 to 1986. Things turned to worse after the left-back left Calcutta and returned to his native village of Uyurguraiah, near Ranchi.

A father of five, Bhengra sought employment as casual labourer in some of the farms but had to settle for crushing stones to feed his family, which does not own any land.

Reducing 100 blocks of stones to tiny pieces fetched Rs 60/65 and the former Bengal captain says it was impossible to meet the mark everyday. The dust emanating from the chunks has affected his sight.

“I had no alternative since there are not too many arable lands in our village which reduces the number of job opportunities. I had to make small pieces out of these big blocks to look after my wife, three sons and two daughters,” Bhengra, now 54, recollects. This went on for about four-five years.

His drudgery drew the attention of former women’s hockey player Savithri Putri and his plight started making the headlines. Last year, the Indian Hockey Federation presented him Rs 50,000. He is now based at SSI Ucchavidyalaya, in Kuthi, and travels to other schools in Gumla (St Ignatious), Bahrihatu, Palamau and Ranchi where he conducts two-month camps for a monthly salary of Rs 3,000.

Among others to have offered help is Sunil Gavaskar, who grants him Rs 1,000 per month. Bhengra also gets a monthly assistance of Rs 500 from Mahesh Bhupathi.

All this, however, has not brought about any dramatic change in his lifestyle. His eldest son works as a labourer in a farm in Punjab and his daughters are yet to be married off.

Yet, his eyes turn bright when he says that his younger sons, Jitender (14) and Arjun (9) have taken to hockey. The former plays right-half and is a boarder at the SSI Ucchavidyalaya where his father teaches the game.    


 
 
EX-BENGAL CAPTAINS FETED 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 29 
Fourteen former Bengal captains were present at today’s felicitation, organised by the West Bengal Hockey Umpires Association (WBHUA).

Among the 14 who were feted at the function marking the 95th birth anniversary of Dhyan Chand, was the legend’s son, Raj Kumar Singh. He led Bengal in 1976. Former international star Balbir Singh was the chief guest.

Those who failed to turn up were Inam-ur Rehman, Leslie Claudius, Vece Paes, R. Shah, Tom Mendes, Joginder Singh and Bir Bahadur Chhetri. While Claudius is away in Sydney, Joginder and Chhetri are in Delhi to take part in the former’s benefit match.

Chief guest Balbir, who scored India’s winning goal in the 1966 Asian Games final against Pakistan in Kuala Lumpur, was presented Rs 5,000. The Bengal skippers, who reside in the city were given Rs 2,000 each and others Rs 3,000 each.

THE ROLL OF HONOUR

Anwar Ahmed, Gurbux Singh, Raj Kumar Singh, D.K. Ghosh, Samar Mukherjee, Ranjan Pal, Gopal Bhengra, Anand Mandapaka, Balwinder Singh, Anil Maity, Cecil Saviel, Christopher Thomas, Zafar-ul Hussain, M.S. Yadav.

Former stars honoured

In another ceremony marking Dhyan Chand’s birthday, the State Bank of India felicitated several former stars. Among those honoured at the local head office of the bank were Gurbux Singh, Pankaj Roy, Tulsidas Balaram, P.K. Banerjee, Chuni Goswami, Sukumar Samajpati and Bula Chowdhury. SBI chief general manager S.K. Gupta felicitated the stars.

Khalsa HS champion

Khalsa High School beat Behala Parnasree Vidyamandir 3-0 for the Pankaj Gupta Memorial hockey title. Parminder Singh, Jagroop Singh and Hardeep Singh scored. Belgachia Manohar Academy got the Fair Play trophy.

Manipur’s Posterior Hockey Academy won the under-16 invitational meet, beating Khalsa HS 5-3 in the tie-breaker.

The teams were locked 2-2 in regulation time with M. Gandhi and K.H. Dhajid scoring for the Manipur team. Jagdish Singh and Ravinder Jeet Singh struck for Khalsa HS.

Entally Hockey Association beat Paikpara Sporting 4-2 on penalties to win the Dhyan Chand Memorial (U-14) title.

Regulation time ended 1-1 with Avijit Biswas scoring for the Paikpara team and Amit Hella equalising.

Hockey quiz

Howrah Brathi won the Hockey Darpan organised hockey quiz competition at the Calcutta Sports Journalists Club with 55 points. Students AC came second with 20. Nilimesh Roy was the quiz master.    


 
 
PARMAR TO GET A WELL DEFINED ROLE 
 
 
BY INDRANIL MAJUMDAR
 
Calcutta, Aug. 29 
The advent of another season has woken up the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) bosses. It’s time for them to identify a coach for the senior squad.

Though the top-brass is still undecided, it has been agreed that M. P. Parmar, CAB’s director of coaching, will be given a specific brief on his functioning.

“He will have to take a wider role in the interests of the state,” was how a top CAB official put it.

Parmar, under whose guidance Bengal last won the Ranji Trophy in 1989-90, was recalled to the state and requested to adorn the coveted post last season at the behest of Jagmohan Dalmiya. But in the absence of any proper guidelines, the team’s thinktank rarely took any interest in utilising his experience.

Parmar hardly participated in selection or team meetings. Neither did he get involved in any practice session. In effect, he was often made to feel like an ‘outsider’.

But Bengal’s dismal showing — they failed to make the knockout stage — has forced the CAB bosses to chalk out a definite plan this time. With the 66-year-old veteran coach unwilling to take independent charge, the authorities are likely to make his services available as a ‘consultant’.

He will, in fact, be asked to work in tandem with the coach and given a free hand to tackle any indiscipline on or off the field, an aspect Parmar feels is the root cause of failure.

“From what little I’ve seen last year, the approach was very casual at nets. The seniors, like Utpal Chatterjee and Srikant Kalyani, were noticeably more dedicated than the juniors,” Parmar told The Telegraph.

He did point that out to concerned players on a couple of ocassions last season, but corrective steps weren’t followed in the long run.

“The second line of the Bengal squad is not sound. The players know there are few replacements and this allows complacency to creep in.

“I feel a few of the current players have been pushed into the fray a little too early. They haven’t come through the hard work, which is essential for success,” Parmar explained.

“Players have taken professionalism to a different level. Earlier, we used to have physical conditioning sessions as a prelude to the new season but now players are off to England in the off season. Naturally team spirit suffers. No feeling develops for the state,” he laments.

This “feeling” is one aspect Parmar will have to work on along with the coach.

Though the CAB is not looking beyond the state for a coach, another round of failure may prompt a rethink next season. But one thing is certain: Palash Nandy will not make an unceremonious exit. He will get a fair hearing if the CAB decides to dump him.    


 
 
MOHUN BAGAN INTO FIRST OF MUST-WIN CLASHES 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 29 
The situation demands an improved performance, but Mohun Bagan coach is without one of his key weapons.

After yesterday’s loss to Tollygunge Agragami, anything other than a win against Mohammedan Sporting at Salt Lake Stadium tomorrow will virtually blow out their chances of recapturing the Super League title. The man who took Mohun Bagan past Mohammedan Sporting with a ‘golden goal’ in the McDowell Cup semi-final, Jose Ramirez Barreto, is out with two bookings.

So is Debjit Ghosh. But coach Subrata Bhattacharya must be more upset at the absence of the Brazilian forward rather than the defender whom he uses as a defensive midfielder.

“We can’t think of anything but a win and will go all out for that,” Bhattacharya said and added Rennedy Singh will play his first match of the season. That should add variety to his midfield alreday boasting the likes of Basudeb Mondal, R.P. Singh and Satyajit Chatterjee. But then, his worries lie deeper. A shaky defence, and Mohammedan Sporting do have a lively forward line.

Coach Syed Firoze said Mohammedan Sporting will not play the typical defence-oriented game and go for three points which shall take them them closer to the third spot. “A shock defeat can force two outcomes — they’ll either be too dejected or come out with an accentuated urge to do well. Whatever happens, it should not alter our plans,” said Firoze.

The trio of Abdul Khalique, Nazim-ul Haq and Kasif Jamal has been effective this season and put three past the Bagan defence in the McDowell Cup before losing 3-4. Also, they were only team apart from East Bengal to have snatched points from Mohun Bagan in the Super Division first-leg stage.

Tolly eye a point vs EB

In another crucial match at Kishore Bharati Stadium, East Bengal meet Tollygunge Agragami and need a win to rule out Mohun Bagan’s slim chances of forcing a play-off final. Tollygunge, after yesterday’s giant-killing act, are cautious and their coach said one point is what he is looking for.

Shankar Moitra, criticised for being unable to turn a bunch of mediocres into a cohesive unit, did score a vital point yesterday which fetched his team three precious ones. His aim now is to draw against East Bengal which will help them seal the third spot.

East Bengal coach Syed Nayeemuddin, not known for taking things lightly, ruled out chances of being complacent, though a draw tomorrow and another against Bagan Saturday will be enough for his team to win the title.

“They have some good players like Abdulatif Seriki and Sashthi Duley and we are not taking them lightly,” Nayeem said. Midfielder Chandan Das will not be around, having been booked out, but Nayeem didn’t disclose who the replacement would be.    


 
 
OLYMPIANS HOG THE LIMELIGHT 
 
 
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
 
New Delhi, Aug. 29 
In the absence of cricketers, some of the Sydney-bound Olympians hogged the limelight at the Arjuna and Dronacharya Awards function at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.

Pugilists Gurcharan Singh, Jitender Kumar, swimmer Nisha Millet and badminton ace Pullela Gopichand received tumultuous applause on receiving their trophies.

There were several prominent Olympians absent today. Hockey skipper Ramandeep Singh and centre-forward Dhanraj Pillay — recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award — are training with the squad Down Under, while athletes Gulab Chand and Gurmeet Kaur are in Jakarta for the Asian Track and Field meet.

Twenty of the 23 chosen for the Arjuna Award received the scroll of honour, bronze statuette of Arjuna and enhanced cash prize of Rs. 1.50 lakh.

There were three recipients for the Droncaharya Award — athletics coach Ken Owen Bossen, weighlifting coach Ajay Kumar Sirohi and boxing coach Hawa Singh (posthumously).

The cash prize for this award is now Rs 2.50 lakh. Since 1985, 22 coaches have been conferred the Dronacharya.

There was a wave of anguish when the name of Hawa Singh, gold-medallist in the 1966 and 1970 Asian Games, was announced. Hawa Singh expired barely a fortnight ago in his native village in Mahendergarh, Haryana.

His wife Angoori Devi collected the award on his behalf, from President K.R. Narayanan.

The maximum applause was reserved for a frail woman named Andal Amma who received the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award on behalf of her son Dhanraj Pillay.

His brother Ramesh, who played as winger for Bombay, said that Dhanraj would have come and received the award himself had the department of sports paid for his air ticket from Australia.

Pillay is the 10th recipient of Rajiv Khel Ratna and the first hockey player. The prize-money has been enhanced to Rs 3 lakh.

In hockey, three were nominated for lifetime achievements — V.J. Philips, Haripal Kaushik and Balbir Singh.

Golfer Jeev Milkha Singh was also warmly applauded when he received his award in the presence his legendary father Milkha.

In the physically handicapped category, athlete G. Venkata Ravanappa was honoured for his multi-medal efforts in the 1994 and ’99 World Masters Games.    


 
 
INDIANS MOVE TO FIFTH SPOT 
 
 
BY SANTANU GHOSE
 
 
The Indian Open team moved up to fifth place in their group at the end of the second day’s action Monday in the World Teams Bridge Olympiad being held at Maastricht.

Starting indifferently with a winning draw, 16-14 (49 imps to 41) against Japan and a 10-20 loss (39 to 64) to mediocre Cyprus, they blizted unfancied Uruguay 25-5 (55 to 7) to finish the day with 88 VPs from five matches. India play Czech Republic and Egypt late on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, England consolidated their position in the group with two facile wins and a 16-14 winning draw against Indonesia, who have moved up with a blitz over Mexico and a 20-10 win over Yugoslavia.

In the other groups, Australia continued to head group B with three big wins, scoring 69 VPs out of 75 during the day. There are two new but not unexpected leaders in the other groups, Poland and Italy in A and D, respectively, both winning all three matches of the day.

In other important matches, USA got the better of the Netherlands 16-14 on View-Graph despite Berkowitz-Cohen selling a game on a blind opening lead and missing a good slam duly bid by Muller-de Boer of the host nation to thundering applause from the audience in the View-Graph hall.

USA also beat Russia 20-10 while Israel lost 7-23 to France and 6-24 to Sweden.

The Indian ladies, however, have gone from bad to worse and are now lying near the bottom of their group, just one VP ahead of Pakistan. They were blitzed in two consecutive matches by South Africa and Scotland, scoring 5 and 3, before a 15-15 tie with Mexico. India play Egypt and China late on Tuesday.

In group B, Germany have overtaken Greece with three big wins while in group A, Norway overtook Austria for the top spot with a blitz over Ireland in the evening after a 21-9 win over Indonesia and a 16-14 winning draw against Jamaica.

In other important matches of the women’s series, England beat USA 17-13 while China, after being blitzed by Canada, missed a chance to hammer hosts the Netherlands when they bid a grand missing an ace while their opponents languished in game, losing 14-16 in the process.    


 
 
CPT, FCI MOVE UP 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 29 
Calcutta Port Trust and FCI reached the IFA Shield cluster championship semi-finals today with identical 1-0 wins. Sujit Dey scored Port’s winner against Eastern Railway and Mohammed Ali did the trick for FCI against Salkia Friends.

Meanwhile, State Bank of Travancore has confirmed participation in the finals, beginning September 4. JCT is the other outstation team in this eight-team event.

Coalfields held

The first division group A match between Eastern Coalfields and Kalighat ended goalless. In third division championship play-off matches, Chandni beat Town 2-1, Beleghata SC defeated Janbazar 1-0.

Two share lead

Suvrajit Saha and Shanker Roy shared the top spot with 7.5 points each after Round IX of the all-India Fide-rated meet. Ram Kumar Mishra, Hariom Sharma and Dipan Chakraborty had 7 each.    


 
 
HIGHLAND FLAME SET FOR ENCORE 
 
 
BY STAR RACER
 
Calcutta, Aug. 29 
Fields in tomorrow’s race-card are looking much healthier compared to previous weeks, thanks to the news about the arrival of MAM Ramaswamy’s 30-horse contingent which has, perhaps, prompted the local professionals to push their sparingly raced wards. The favourites, nevertheless, may still be dominating the proceedings. Highland Flame in the feature, the Star of Italy Cup, may go to the start as the hottest favourite. The Daniel David-trainee has to his credit an impressive victory despite his 16-month lay-off. The Teconro-Cityglow son is set score an encore in the hands of Cristopher Alford who may also win on Magnifico, Allaying and Astoria.

Read as: Horse number, last four runs, horse name, trainer, jockey, weight & draw:

1st Race Star Of Italy Cup (1.40 pm)1,400m (Cl II—Rated 66-94)

1 - - - 1 Highland Flame [D. David] C. Alford 60.0 2
2 1031 Aldebro [Vijay] Md Amil 58.5 4
3 1020 Gentle Priest [Bharath] S. Rabani 55.5 1
4 3324 High Life [Bharath] N. Connorton 52.5 3
1. Highland flame (1) 2. Gentle Priest (3) 3.Aldebro (2)
Highland Flame: Won despite a 16-month lay-off. May be hard to toss. Gentle Priest: Looking and working well. May make the finish lively. Aldebro: May place.

2nd Race Rontgen Handicap (2.15 pm)1,400m (Cl V —Rt. 00-28) — Indian jockeys only

1 0031 Airs Image [R. Alford] R. Gowli 60.0 8
2 0000 Crest Star [Goenka] Md Yasin 56.5 4
3 - 030 Tsaynen Blue [Rodrigues] C. Alford 55.0 3
4 4324 Armila [P. Locke] N. Engineer 53.5 6
5 0000 Abstone Queen [R. Alford] Manohar S. 52.5 7
6 - 004 Three Good [Bharath] M. Reuben 52.0 2
7 0003 Ballard Lady [R. Alford] Salim K. 50.5 1
8 ---- Chicarica [Mujeeb] E. Smith 49.0 5
1. Airs Image (1) 2. Tsaynen blue (3) 3. Abstone queen (5)
Airs Image: An easy winner. May do the trick again. Tsaynen Blue: Very impressive in his work outs. Ready to take on the best. Abstone Queen: Coming up.

3rd Race Anybody Here Handicap (2.45 pm)1,400m (Cl IV — Rt. 22-50)

1 1122 Athletico [Vijay] Surender S. 60.5 4
2 0000 Swash Buckler [Rodrigues] Brij S. 58.0 1
3 0004 Persuasion [Bharath] Manohar S. 58.0 5
4 2322 Bul Bul [P. Locke] N. Engineer 57.0 3
5 1042 Magnifico [Vijay] C. Alford 53.5 7
6 2302 Avionic [Bharath] M. Reuben 52.5 2
7 0002 Armed Alarm [Bharath] S. Rabani 48.0 6
1. Magnifico (5) 2.Armed alarm (7) 3. Bul bul (4) Magnifico: Ran an aweful race in last start. Capable of doing much better. Armed Alarm: Last run very encouraging. Bul Bul: Knocking at the door.

4th Race Douetil Memorial Cup (3.15 pm) 1,400m (Cl III—Rt. 44-72)

1 2111 Allaying [Bharath] C. Alford 60.0 8
2 2010 Super Smile [Bharath] Md Islam 59.0 10
3 1134 Too Soon To Tell [Javed] Manohar S. 57.5 4
4 3121 Rheinheart [Bath] S. Shanker 56.0 6
5 4431 Analyzer [D. David] Md Amil 56.0 9
6 1420 Acadameus [D. David] A. P. Singh 55.5 1
7 2000 Sky Hawk [Mujeeb] Md Yacoob 53.5 11
8 1032 Charlene [Bharath] S. Rabani 53.5 3
9 0030 Storm Trooper [Karki] M. Reuben 53.0 7
10 4200 Scimitar [Mujeeb] Sher S. 53.0 2
11 0000 Kargil Soldier [Stephens] N. Connorton 53.0 5
1. Allaying (1) 2. Too soon to tell (3) 3. Rheinheart (4)
Allaying: Winner of the Fillies’ Stakes. In a rousing form. Too Soon To Tell: Beating Allaying may be a hard task, though at a striking mark. Rheinheart: May place.

Fifth Race Bright Hanovar Handicap (3.45 pm)1,100m (Cl V, 3-y-o onlyRt. 00-28 Indian jockeys only

1 0000 Acaress [Bharath] Md Islam 60.0 5
2 - - 00 Astoria [Vijay] C. Alford 56.5 3
3 0430 Eau Savage [Bath] S. Shanker 55.5 4
4 - - 00 Arroway [D. David] A. P. Singh 52.0 6
W ---- Brid’s Empire [R. Alford] (Withdrawn) 51.5 --
6 0044 Fibonacci [Stephens] Brij S. 50.5 2
7 0000 Private Lives [Bharath] <.b> S. Rabani 49.0 1
1.Astoria (2) 2. Private lives (7) 3. Eau savage (3)
Astoria: Has come prepared from Bangalore. Also commands respect on his bloodlines. Private Lives: Enjoys a weight advantage. Eau Savage: May place.

6th RaceBuchanan Handicap (4.15 pm)1,000m (Cl IV —Rt. 22-50) — Indian jockeys only

1 0000 Mountain Memory [R. Alford] Rutherford A. 61.0 2
2 4404 Diplomatic Gesture [Bath] Som S. 59.0 3
3 0444 Silver Raising [Javed] N. Akhtar 57.0 5
4 0222 Floral Path [Bath] Md Islam 56.5 6
5 0030 Heaven’s Blessing [Bath] S. Shanker 55.0 1
6 2120 Scarlet Raider [R. Alford] R. Gowli 54.0 8
7 3300 Rock Falcon [R. Alford] Salim K. 52.5 7
8 - 223 Piece Of Cake [D. David] S. Tamang 51.5 9
9 4332 Arizona Star [Mujeeb] Sher S. 51.0 4
1. Scarlet Raider (6) 2. Silver Raising (3) 3.Floral path (4)
Scarlet Raider: Ignore last run when heels clipped by Soviet Port. Silver Raising: Well in at the weights. May run a good race. Floral Path: May place.
Day’s Best: Highland Flame Double: Magnifico & Scarlet Raider
   

 
 
TRACK TRIALS 
 
 
BY OUR TURF CORRESPONDENT
 
Calcutta, Aug. 29 
Anolini was imressive from among the following horses worked here today:

Outer sand track

1,400m: Anolini (C. Alford) and Crucible (Rb) in 1-47s; (400m) 27s. Former easily 2 ls ahead.

1,200m: Acquest (C. Alford) in 1-28s; (400m) 26s. Handy.

1,000m: Alumina (C. Alford) and Serenader (Rb) in 1-17s; (400m) 27s. Former too good. Citadel (M. Reuben) and Starry Flag (Rabani) in 1-16s; (400m) 28s. Former too good. Mystic Hill (A. P. Singh) in 1-16s; (400m) 28s. Amistad (Rabani) in 1-18s; (400m) 29s.

800m: Amarante (Amil) in 59s; (400m) 28s. Sky Command (Manohar) in 56 2/6s; (400m) 27s. Fit. Little Boy Blue (Brij S.) in 1-3 2/5s; (400m) 30s.

Sand track

1,400m: On The Bit (Connorton) in 1-50s; (400m) 31s. Hurricane Star (Connorton) in 1-49s; (400m) 29s.

800m: Global Harmony (G. Singh) in 54 2/5s; (400m) 24 2/5s. Magic Ring (Yacoob) in 1-0s; (400m) 28 3/5s. Fit. Crest Star (Amjad) in 58s; (400m) 25s.

On Monday, outer sand track

800m: Astoria (Rb) in 58s; (400m) 25s.Fit. Magnifico (Rb) in 59s; (400m) 25s. Moved well.

600m: Tsaynen Blue (Upadhya) in 43 2/5s; (400m) 27s. Easy.    

 

FRONT PAGE / NATIONAL / EDITORIAL / BUSINESS / THE EAST / SPORTS
ABOUT US /FEEDBACK / ARCHIVE 
 
Maintained by Web Development Company