East Bengal book semi-final berth
Deepak Kumar sinks Xavier’s national mark
Foreign hand to boost Indian hopes
Plans afoot for a parallel NFL
Flag off on Saturday
AIFF elections postponed
Umpires launch academy
ONGC make it three in-a-row
Bangalore Races/ Six Speed has it easy
Calcutta Races/ Singh brothers show the way

 
 
EAST BENGAL BOOK SEMI-FINAL BERTH 
 
 
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
 
New Delhi, Nov. 5: 
East Bengal 1 JCT 0
Churchill 2 Muktijoddha 1

East Bengal struggled to overcome a depleted JCT 1-0 in their crucial Group 2 quarter final league tie of the Allwyn Durand Cup football meet. Midfielder Suley Musah scored the match-winner with a crisp left footed volley in the 58th minute.

In another Group 2 match, Churchill Brothers ousted Muktijoddha Krira Chakra 2-1.

The Calcutta league champions finished second, behind Churchill, in their group with six points from three matches and play the winners of Group 1 in the first semi-final on Wednesday. Churchill entered the last-four stage with an all-record win.

Five times champions JCT were eliminated with three points from three matches. This is for the first time since 1994, that JCT have not reached the semi-finals in the tournament. In 1998, JCT were not invited .

East Bengal will be without key striker Dipendu Biswas in the semi-finals. Dipendu received his second yellow card in as many matches, when he was booked for elbowing Ranjit Singh in an aerial duel today. Coach Syed Nayeemuddin, however, hinted that if Siva Mumumi recovers from his leg injury he will replace the lanky striker alongside Bijen Singh upfront.

Both sides were cautious in the first half. East Bengal’s best chance came through a fierce Chandan Das free kick, which goalkeeper Arvind Kumar parried but Dipendu and Bijen reacted slowly to the rebound. JCT came close to scoring only once in the first half, in the 22nd minute. Following Hardip Sangha’s corner kick, striker Hardip Gill headed goalwards but Falguni Dutta cleared it on time.

In the second half, East Bengal showed more cohesion in the midfield. The match-winner came of a well executed move. After playing a few passes with Isiaka, Chandan sent a waist high cross in the penalty box, which was deftly flicked by Dipendu to an unmarked Musah on the left. The Ghanaian disturbed the net with a firm, well hit left-footed volley.

TEAMS

East Bengal: Sangram Mukherjee; Falfuni Dutta, Sur Kumar Singh, Jackson Agyapong, Rattan Singh, Carlton Chapman (Tushar Rakshit, 28th), Chandan Das, Suley Musah, Isiaka Ayomi, Dipendu Biswas (Sheikh Sanjib, 80th) and Bijen Singh (Dipanker Roy 86th).

JCT: Arvind Kumar, Sukhdev Singh, Ranjit Singh, Tarsem Lal, Taranjit Singh, Hardip Saini, Rampal, Harinder Singh, Hardip Sangha, Jagjit Randhawa (Jaswinder Singh 61st), Hardip Gill (Sukhjit Singh 70th).

Referee: S. Suresh.

In the other match, Churchill Brothers rode a brace from substitute Francis Silveira to a convincing win over the Bangladesh outfit. With four goals from three matches, he is the joint top-scorer of the tournament along with Manjit Singh of Mahindra United.

Silveira, who came on in the second half, scored in the 55th and 67th minutes. Reazul Karim Liton reduced the margin six minutes before the whistle for Muktijoddha.

The teams

Churchill Brothers: Casmiro Palha, Rajesh Meetei, Ousman Hussein, Jaspreet Singh, Farooq Haider, Jose Colaco, Andre Requina, Edson Crastro, Uday Konar(Somatai Shaiza 46th), Abhishek Yadav (Francis Silveira 46th) and Kaustav Ghosh.

Muktijoddha: Aminul Haque; Hasan Al Mamun, Mohammed Sajan, Rajni Kanta Burman, Prodeep Poddar (Pradeep Barua 55th), Masud Rana, Shiekh Tushar, Arif Khan Joy (Sawrov Raju 72nd), Nazareav Yorkin (Reazul Karim Liton 66th), Ariful Kabir Farhad, Saifur Rehman Moni.

Referee: M.K. Roy.

Suresh returns

Boosted by the return of stopper-back M. Suresh after a one match suspension, Mohun Bagan take on TFA in their quarter final league tie tomorrow. The Calcutta club need at least a 2-0 win to book their semi final berth.    

 
 
DEEPAK KUMAR SINKS XAVIER’S NATIONAL MARK 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Nov. 5: 
Deepak Kumar sunk Sebastian Xavier’s national record in 100m breastroke. Richa Mishra, who had won five golds at the last nationals, launched her quest for more glory by lapping up all three on offer today. Local boy Akbar Ali Mir, expected to lead the Railways challenge this time, got off to a good start.

And Bengal too had something to cheer about.

After the uneasiness of having been short on preparation, organisers Bengal Amateur Swimming Association (BASA) will have heaved a sigh of relief that the 55th senior national aquatic championships got off to just the right start where it mattered most — in the pool.

The opening day at the Subhas Sarobar in Beleghata produced its excitement, and have whetted the appetite.

Winning golds, specially in his pet event is not new to CRPF inspector Deepak Kumar, but today’s record left him pretty excited.

“Sebastian had told me, ‘If anyone can break my record, it’s you,’ and I can’t but remember that today,” he said soon after clocking 1:07.16 seconds to rewrite Xavier’s 1994 mark of 1:08.52.

Deepak, whose home is in Jamshedpur though he is posted in Delhi, has won the event at the last two nationals as well.

Richa, also a Delhi-based CRPF inspector, began her golden run with a win in the 200 freestyle. The 16-year-old followed it up by leaving the rest of the field in the shade in the 100 breast stroke and the 50 m butterfly.

Richa, who will compete in nine more events, looks set to do better than her five golds inMumbai, especially with some of her top rivals giving the meet a skip.

So, how many has she targeted? “I’ll take them all,” she says with an impish smile. But isn’t the absence of Nisha Millet, Shikha ...? “I’m not scared of Nisha Millet or Shikha Tandon,” she shoots back, even before the question is out. I have my pet events and I’ve beaten them in those, so there were at least three-four golds assured as far as I’m concerned.”

Akbar Ali Mir came out flying from the blocks in the opening event of the day, the 200 freestyle to win in two miniutes, 0.22 seconds. He led from start to finish but was surely slowing down. Kailash Nath of the Police, who had won the event last year, had a horrible start. He finished very strongly, but it was not enough to get him among the medals.

He had to, however, be content with a silver in the 50 butterfly, being pipped at the post by Anil Kumar of the Services.

The lone medal for Bengal came in this event as Sudip Chatterjee took bronze.

The gold was Akbar’s first at the senior nationals, but the class X student of Sukantanagar Vidyaniketan, was unhappy with his performance. “I was producing much better times than I did today,” he said. “In the 200 freestyle, I took off too early.”

Deepak Kumar, whose father Ram Balak Singh, had represented the country in waterpolo, won the 100 breastroke in style. “I had prepared very hard, beacuse I want to get into the Indian team for the Afro-Asian Games,” the said. “If I’m given the proper facilities, I’ll win at those Games too,” he promised.

Deepak, who also holds the SAF Games record in the same event, credits much of his recent improvement to Asian Games silver medallist Khazan Singh Tokas. “Since I acme under his coaching (in 1997), my timings have improved tremendously,” he said.

In waterpolo, Bengal swept past Delhi 9-4.

RESULTS

MEN’S — 200 m freestyle: 1. Akbar Ali Mir (Rlys) 2:00.22 seconds. 2. T.A. Sujith (Ser) 2:01.26. 3. Amar Murlidharan (Pol) 2:01.67.

100 m breast stroke: 1. Deepak Kumar (Pol) 1:07.16 (natl record; previous record 1:08.52 by Sebastian Xavier in 1994). 2. Harinder Singh (Pol) 1:08.76. 3. Vinay B. (Kar) 1:08.93.

50 m butterfly: 1. Anil Kumar (Ser) 26.93. 2. Akbar Ali Mir 27.16. 3. Sudip Chatterjee (Ben) 27.20.

WOMEN’S — 200 m freestyle: 1. Richa Mishra (Pol) 2:14.18. 2. V. Sivaranjani (Kar) 2:14.82. 3. Chitra K (Kar) 2:15.24.

100 m breast stroke: 1. Richa Mishra 1:19.53. 2. Ambika Iyangar (Kar) 1:23.13. 3. Bhavna Sharma (Mah) 1:23.15.

50 m butterfly: 1. Richa Mishra 30.84. 2. Reshma Millet (Kar) 32.09. 3. Chitra K 32.15.

WATERPOLO: Bengal 9 (N.G. Ghosh 3, D. Mullick 2, D. Mitra 2) bt Delhi 4 (B. Kumar 2, P. Sivakumar 2); Karnataka 16 (D. Anil 7, P. Alfred 4) bt Guharat 2; Manipur 16 (W. Dhanabir Singh 5, L. Lenin Singh 4) bt NSA 2 (A. Banerjee 2); Punjab 9 bt J&K 3.    


 
 
FOREIGN HAND TO BOOST INDIAN HOPES 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Nov. 5: 
The Swimming Federation of India will employ a top foreign coach to help in its preparation for the next Asian Games. “When I go back from this meet, there’ll probably be something concrete on my table,” SFI secretary-general Virendra Nanavati said soon after the inauguration of the senior nationals at Subhas Sarobar today.

“We’ve already discussions with Sam Freas, director of the US Swimming Hall of Fame, when we were in Sydney, and he’s taken a keen interest,” Nanavati said. “The fact that he was here (to conduct a clinic at Bangalore in 1997) has helped, but we’ve pointed out that he should send only a national level coach and not club level.”

Nanavati said they had also spoken to Bernie Moulray, the Australian coach who had trained Nisha Millet before the Sydney Olympics, but indicated that his chances of coming over are slim.

Nanavati spelt out the plan.

“Whoever comes, we’ll give him a pool of about 100 boys and girls (selected on the basis of performances at the senior and junior nationals) for further screening and training by him over a period of six-eight weeks. He would then come back from time to time to gauge the progress and suggest changes if required,” he said, before adding: “When the Asian Games are around, he can be asked to stay back for a much longer period.” Nanavati said that many swimmers were already making plans to go abroad for special training. “The SAI offers a substantial sum for such programmes, but bringing a coach here would benefit many more.”

Asked why India have failed to win a medal at the Asian Games since Khazan Singh’s silver in 1986, Nanavati replied: “We sometimes overlook the fact that doing well at the Asian level is about reaching world standards because some of the top swimming nations like China, Japan and Korea are in this continent.”    


 
 
PLANS AFOOT FOR A PARALLEL NFL 
 
 
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
 
New Delhi, Nov. 5: 
The failure of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to pay the clubs their dues and the repeated broken promises by the body may lead to some dramatic changes in the Indian football scene.

According to sources, officials of Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Mohammedan Sporting, Mahindra United, Salgaocar and Churchill Brothers met in Mumbai a few days ago, at the behest of representatives of United Breweries, to chalk out a plan for a parallel National Football League (NFL) on a home and away basis.

The UB officials had intended to work out a project with Zee TV about telecast of this parallel League. Zee TV’s Sports channel is due to start next month.

If it happens, the parallel League will be shown live on this channel and will be held during May-July. The prize money on offer will also be more than any other meet in India. However, the six club officials are yet to give their consent. The next meeting is in Mumbai on November 15.

Joaquim Alemao of Churchill, however, today denied any such involvement. “We are not a party to any parallel NFL. We are very much in the NFL fold.”

It is believed that Vasco of Goa is likely to be invited if Churchill pull out. JCT were also favoured but their problems of a venue for home matches do not make them an attractive proposition.    


 
 
FLAG OFF ON SATURDAY 
 
 
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
 
Jamshedpur, Nov. 5: 
Veteran rallyists Mitil Chakraborty and Prasanta Pal, among others, will be seen on the fast track once again as The Telegraph-Wagon-R Rally flags off on November 11. Organised by BMSC, the rally has so far received entries from 25 cars and 26 motorcycles.

The event is over two legs, from Calcutta to Jamshedpur and back again in the Time-Speed-Distance format covering 700 km in a driving time of 18 hours. The rally will pass through Howrah, Hoogly, Bardhaman, Bankura, Purulia, Midnapore and East Singbhum.

According to Udit Sarkar, the Jamshedpur leg co-ordinator, challenge for the four-wheeler section will be provided by dare-devil driver Among Imkong of Nagaland, assisted by ace navigator Sanjeev Shah of Bangalore.

In the two-wheeler section, old rivals Manju Sridhar on a Yamaha RXG and Jayita Basu Sarkar on a Yamaha RX 135 are set for a duel. Others settling old scores include Animesh Saha, Somdev Chanda, Sutanu Roy and Valmiki Biswas.

“Bengal Motors Sports Club has revived the two-decade old cherished motor sporting event in eastern India for cars and bikes. The first leg of the rally will be flagged off from the south gate of Victoria Memorial by sports and transport minister Subhas Chakrabarty,” said Sarkar.

“The second-leg will begin near Sacred Heart Convent School here. The Federation of Motor Sports Club of India has accorded national status to this event, also being supported by Maruti Udyog and IBP Red.”

There are 11 new entrants this year. The total prize money is Rs 2 lakh.    


 
 
AIFF ELECTIONS POSTPONED 
 
 
FROM A CORRESPONDENT
 
New Delhi, Nov. 5: 
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) elections have been postponed by three weeks. Originally scheduled for December 9 in Mumbai, they are now likely to be held on December 29 or 30. The venue has been shifted to Delhi at the insistence of the AIFF secretary, Kedar Nath Mour.

Yesterday, Mour and the IFA secretary Ranjit Gupta met the Union sports minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and informed him of the alleged financial irregularities in Indian football. They also requested the ministry to probe into the financial affairs of the AIFF.

Meanwhile, Samir Thapar, president of the Punjab Football Association, has not yet ruled himself out of the contest for the post of AIFF president.    


 
 
UMPIRES LAUNCH ACADEMY 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Nov. 5: 
The Umpires of Cricket Association of Bengal (UCAB) launched their academy at a simple function at YMCA, Chowringhee this evening. With chief guest, state sports minister Subhas Chakraborty, failing to turn up, Justice Mukul Gopal Mukherjee did the honours.

Classes will begin at the YMCA on November 22. “We’ll begin with the basic course, which will take eight weeks to complete,” informed UCAB president Arya Kishore Chatterjee. Only 40 seats are available, and they will be booked on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Dr Sekhar Chowdhury pointed out that the academy would go a long way in improving umpiring standards in the state. An advance course, to “help leading umpires brush up their knowlege” is on the anvil, he informed.    


 
 
ONGC MAKE IT THREE IN-A-ROW 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Nov. 5: 
ONGC today won the 21st PSCB football title, making it a hattrick of wins. In the final they beat Bharat Petroleum by two first half goals at the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium.

ONGC struck first in the 12th minute via Amit Mondal and consolidated their lead in the 18th when Swapan Pal lobbed in, over custodian Shanti Majumdar.

Referee Partho Rout Roy marched Mazumdar and off after a second half foul on ONGC’s C.T. Joseph. That red was off his second booking of the day. Mondal was named Man of the Match.

Volleyball AGM

Tushar Talukdar, Rathin Roy Chowdhury and Ranku Ghosh were unanimously re-elected president, general secretary and treasurer at the West Bengal Volleyball Association’s AGM today. Ashok Bhattacharya, minister in charge of urban development and municipal affairs, was elected chairman.    

 
 
BANGALORE RACES/ SIX SPEED HAS IT EASY 
 
 
BY TITAN BOY
 
Bangalore, Nov. 5: 
The Darius Byramji-trained three-year-old classic filly Six Speed started her winter season campaign with a brilliant six-length victory in the Abbey Falls Cup over six furlongs at the Bangalore races on Sunday, the opening day of the season. Pesi Shroff partnered the winner.

RESULTS

(With inter-state dividends)

1. Somanathpur Plate 1,200m: (1-8-9) Golden Estate (Shakti) 1; Krugar Park 2; Speedy Idea 3. Won by: 5; 2; (1-16.8). Tote: Win Rs 25; Place: 14; 21; 22; Quinella: 97; Tanala: 437. Fav: Golden Estate (1).

2. Prince Ardent Plate 1,600m: (2-7-1) Saffron Finch (Marshall) 1; Scenic 2; Gypsie’s Wish 3. Won by: 3/4; 5; (1-43.4). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 12; 24; 13; Quinella: 143; Tanala: 514. Fav: Barassie (6).

3. Makalidurga Plate 1,200m: (1-2-4) Sendawar (Prakash) 1; Step In Time 2; Tina’s Turn 3. Not run: Golden Fellowship (13). Won by: 7; 1-1/4; (1-15.5). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 10; 36; 21; Quinella: 71; Tanala: 225. Fav: Sendawar (1).

4. Abbey Falls Cup 1,200m: (1-5-2) Six Speed (Shroff) 1; Golden Fisher 2; Crystal Moment 3. Won by: 6-1/2; 1-1/4; (1-13.9). Tote: Win Rs 11; Place: 10; 26; Quinella: 24; Tanala: 82. Fav: Six Speed (1).

5. M. M. Galstaun Memorial Plate 1,400m: (4-3-5) Tresorie (Prakash) 1; Ronson 2; Renzino 3. Not run: First Classic (8) & Alluring Bay (12). Won by: 2-1/2; 4-1/2; (1-28.6). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 14; 16; 30; Quinella: 38; Tanala: 302. Fav: Tresorie (4).

6. Air Force Cup 1,600m: (6-3-7) Argolis (Marshall) 1; Rumpelstiltskin 2; Belief 3. Won by: 3-3/4; 4-1/4; (1-41.4). Tote: Win Rs 42; Place: 14; 51; 27; Quinella: 425; Tanala: 6,232. Fav: Star Fantasy (4).

7. V. Gopal Memorial Plate 1,200m: (4-7-1) Fantasy Flight (Prakash) 1; Winelight 2; Alphabetic 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 2-3/4; (1-16.1). Tote: Win Rs 51; Place: 20; 43; 14; Quinella: 716; Tanala: 3,168. Fav: Alphabetic (1).

8. Melkote Plate 1,400m: (1-2-10) Surfside (Ruzaan) 1; Star Liner 2; Franco Leone 3. Won by: 6; 3/4; (1-29.6). Tote: Win Rs 49; Place: 18; 13; 18; Quinella: 37; Tanala: 337. Fav: Star Liner (2).

9. Kumara Park Plate 1,200m: (1-7-9) Allabreva (Amit) 1; Super Premium 2; High Zoom 3. Not run: Ardent Blue (10). Won by: 9-1/2; SH; (1-16.4). Tote: Win Rs 35; Place: 15; 18; 35; Quinella: 73; Tanala: 729. Fav: Save The Day (3).

Jackpot: Rs 3,048; (C) Rs 568.

Treble: (i) Rs 28; (ii) Rs 146; (iii) Rs 472.
   

 
 
CALCUTTA RACES/ SINGH BROTHERS SHOW THE WAY 
 
 
BY STAR RACER
 
Calcutta, Nov. 5: 
The Singh brothers — Vijay and Bharath — could not have provided a better start to the 2000-2001 cold weather racing season. Five winners between them was no tall order as the duo is so comfortable with doubles and trebles. But the need at this crucial hour being winning the faith of a wide cross-section of the horse-owning fraternity, the brothers showed the way.

Seeing unusual colours of Naresh Kumars and of Ann Wright flashing beside the usual ‘gold and red belt’ and ‘gold and brown belt’ silks, was a heart-warming sight. No one really rues the dominance of the ‘gold’ but it is a case of two bigwigs being pushed to do so.

Nevertheless, the kins also helped their chief patron, Deepak Khaitan, win three events, while Daniel David opened the winter season account for his new owner MAM Ramaswamy.

Vijay started off with a difficult task at hand. His filly Annalee is no angel and she is capable of foiling all attempts when it comes to entering the stall allotted to her. The handlers at the gates fought a lost battle with the 7-10 hot-favourite until the least used gadget — nose-twitch — was used. Once inside the stall, she turned into a well-mannered baby, jumping out with the field before settling for the third spot.

She also won the race but the margin of her victory was a pressing one, thanks to apprentice Amarpreet Singh’s inability to check her from going eight-wide at the home-turn. She may win again.

Treasurer’s victory in the feature, the Midnight Cowboy Cup, kept Vijay on course for a treble as in his filly Fame Star the master trainer finds a future champion. Fame Star was entered to win the concluding event, the Leonidas Handicap, which she won by over four lengths. The style of her victory, however, failed to convince her backers, that the she is one of the best. But consider the light frame of the temperamental daughter of Gaswar-Dancing Flame, she likes to be prepared in race runs and not in gallops.

The second-placed Beau Bruno from Daniel David’s yard served notice of an early win and so did stablemate Aragrove who was placed fourth despite being squeezed for room in the closing stages of the race.

Daniel, however, had his share of luck in the Cally Handicap, when Bird’s Empire justified his even-money odds against a quietly fancied Private Lives.

Intending to spend the entire winter in the city, jockey A. Imran Khan was at his best on the winner.

The one to disappoint in the race was Adeline, the stablemate of the winner. With Cristopher Alford in the saddle, one expected fireworks between the two varieties of ‘gold’ silk but it was not to be. Give Adeline another chance, it must have been her off-day.

Bharath’s brace came through Lockers Park and Aracruz. While Lockers Park was hard-pressed to beat Daniel’s Ace Of Spades in the Beauregard Cup, Aracruz’s victory over On The Bit was easier. The two youngsters are, however, capable of improving and also repeating the winning performances.    

 

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