State meet draws superb response
DKS dismissed for 138
ITF junior meet in city from tomorrow
Srinath game for Sharjah
Ghouse, Manisha champions
Mumbai Races/ Allaire may display her talent
Mumbai Races/ Professionals’ opinion
Bangalore Races/ Tempt Me Not wins

Calcutta, Feb. 3: 
The seventh state-level Special Olympics for the mentally challenged will be held from Tuesday to Friday at the Salt Lake Stadium.

Announcing this, the area director for the Special Olympics Committee Lina Bardhan said that about 1370 participants from 48 organisations in and around Calcutta are expected to take part.

On the first two days, datas will be collected at the stadium on the athletes and fed into the computers. The groups will then be divided according to the 10 per cent range of the athletes’ ability. The actual competition will begin from Thursday.

Also present on the occasion today was David Page, regional director, Asia Pacific region for the international Special Olympics Committee. He expressed his concern over the lack of awareness for these ‘special’ people in the society.

Page also mentioned the plans he and his colleagues at the committee had for extending more support and widening the area of work for the mentally challenged.

Taekwondo nationals

Shiv Kumar and Seema Sharma won the men’s and women’s bantam weight gold on the opening day of the taekwondo national championships today.

Other results: Men: (Light wt) Prakash; (Middle wt) M. Prakash. Women: (Light wt) Malti; (Middle wt) M. Somorani.


Calcutta, Feb. 3: 
Soumen Karmakar scalped four wickets for 35 as DKS were dismissed for 138 runs by Barisha Sporting in the two-day CAB first division league tie today. Barisha were 136 for three in reply.


DKS 138 (Pitanbar Dutta 66; Sudipta Mukherjee 3/43, Soumen Karmakar 4/35). Barisha Sporting 136/3 (Ujjal Das 55). Match to continue.

YMCA 266 (Jayram Oraon 66; Pasenjit Banerjee 3/63, Gobinda Roy 2/12). Kumartuli 267/3 (Kamal Hassain Mondal 114 n.o., R. Krisnan 36, A. Ghosh 37). Kumartuli won by 7 wkts.

CAB knockout

Kamalesh Singh Rajput gave an impressive performance in notching up six wickets for 32 runs in Wari AC’s win over City AC in a CAB knockout match today.


Wari 226/6 (Sumon Chakraborty 58; Himadri Das 3/37). City AC 176 (Achudananda Das 55; Kamalesh Singh Rajput 6/32). Wari won by 52 runs.


Calcutta, Feb. 3: 
The city will host the third leg of the ITF junior India circuit from Monday. The venue will be Dakshin Kalikata Sansad, which has been staging this event for seven years now.

One significant change from the previous editions is the upgradation of this Double Diamond-sponsored meet from group V to IV. That translates to a bigger and better field. The boys’ singles will be a draw of 64 with no qualifying rounds. The girls’ singles remains a 32-player field, while the two doubles events will again be 16-team affairs.

The foreign participation consists of 17 boys and 10 girls from 13 countries. The number would have been bigger had the Chinese Taipei contingent (four players and a coach) not pulled out late citing possible earthquake aftershocks as the reason! The leading juniors of the country — including Sunil Kumar, last year’s runner-up Vinod Sewa, Amanjot Singh and Shivang Mishra — will be in fray.

The singles champions will earn 40 ranking points while the beaten finalists will get 30.


Calcutta, Feb.3: 
Speedster Jawagal Srinath, whose last ODI-appearance was 11 months ago, is available for next week’s fund-raising tri-series in Sharjah.

Featuring India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the fund-raiser is scheduled for February 8-11.

Though the government today clarified India’s participation had not yet been cleared, the Board is going ahead with Monday’s selection committee meeting, slated for noon at the CCI in Mumbai.

“We (the Board) got indications that the trip will be cleared. That’s why a selection meeting has been convened. If the government says “no,” by noon Monday, we’ll only pick India A to play Australia in Nagpur (February 17-19),” informed Board secretary Jaywant Lele, speaking from Vadodara.

Well, so much for the Board. Now, to return to Srinath.

“I’m available, yes,” Srinath told The Telegraph late this evening, when contacted on his cellphone in Panaji, where he is doing duty for South in the Duleep Trophy.

Srinath, it may be recalled, made himself unavailable for ODIs (preferring to focus more on Test cricket) after the March 2000 triangular in Sharjah.

Between then and now, Srinath missed three tournaments — the Asia Cup in Dhaka, ICC KnockOut in Nairobi and the October tri-series in Sharjah — besides the five ODIs at home against Zimbabwe.

Clearly, Srinath’s availability is excellent news for Indian cricket and his selection is guaranteed. In 187 ODIs, Srinath has already collected 252 wickets.

Returning, too, will be ‘controversial’ off-spinner Nikhil Chopra.

Though Chopra was in the squad for the first three ODIs versus Zimbabwe, the thinktank was advised not to field him till the Board’s (anti-corruption) commissioner, K. Madhavan, cleared him.

That was done last month and, so, Chopra’s first India appearance since last summer’s Asia Cup should be in Sharjah.

According to well-placed sources, the second spinner’s slot is likely to go to Sunil Joshi. However, at the moment, he isn’t exactly very hot property.

Incidentally, Srinath’s availability will make it that much more difficult for the in-form Debashish Mohanty to make his comeback.

Mohanty hasn’t played in the big league after his Republic Day 2000 appearance against Australia, during the Carlton and United Series, in Adelaide.

If the selectors pick three quicks, then Srinath, Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan are the certainties. Mohanty will come into the frame only if a fourth is taken. He will then be involved in a ‘face-off’ with Venkatesh Prasad.

A fourth quick, though, will queer the pitch for those in contention for the one allrounder’s slot: Reetinder Singh Sodhi and Virender Sehwag.

After all, if six batsmen (captain Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, vice-captain Rahul Dravid, Hemang Badani, Yuvraj Singh and V.V.S.Laxman), wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya, two spinners and four quicks simply have to be accommodated, there’s place for just one more.

So, both Sodhi and Sehwag can’t be Sharjah-bound.

Unless the selectors (Chandu Borde, Madanlal, Ashok Malhotra, T.A. Sekar and Sanjay Jagdale) author a surprise where the second spinner is concerned, the XIV shouldn’t raise eyebrows.

Meanwhile Chetan Chauhan, who will be the manager during the Australia series, is likely to take charge from Sharjah itself.


Calcutta, Feb. 3: 
It was top seed Manisha Malhotra’s day at the South Club as she annexed a double crown in the Indian Oil Servo senior national grasscourt championships. Her statemate Mustafa Ghouse just missed out on similar glory, through no fault of his though.

The 24-year old Manisha overcame doubles partner Rushmi Chakravarthi 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-2) before teaming up with his friend to whitewash Radhika Tulpule and Janaki Krishnamurthi 6-2, 6-2.

When Ghouse beat partner Vishal Uppal 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the men’s final, he was on course for a double, too. But with the men’s doubles final — which could start only after the two long singles finals — cut short by bad light at one set all, Ghouse and Uppal were declared joint winners with Rohan Bopanna and Vijay Kannan.

There were efforts to complete the final tomorrow, but none of the pairs agreed. The organisers could have avoided such a situation had they stuck to their original plan of scheduling the women’s doubles final Friday and the men’s singles final first up Saturday.

Manisha in elements

Manisha was in her elements today, looking a totally different player. A lot fresher than during her semi-final win over Shruti Dhawan yesterday, Manisha broke Rushmi in the fourth and sixth games to run through the first set 6-1.

The second set was an evenly-fought affair. Like in the first set, the first break came in the fourth game. Only, Manisha was at the receiving end this time, hurting herself with a double-fault on break-point.

Despite trailing, Manisha maintained a high standard of serve-and-volley tennis, firing four aces in different directions to take the sixth game at love. Rushmi then surrendered the initiative by double-faulting at break-point in Game 9.

In the tie-breaker, Rushmi struck some wonderful crosscourt winners to bag it 7-3.

The decider saw the duo matching each other stroke for stroke. They traded two service breaks and it was time for another tie-break. This time, it was Manisha’s turn to lift her game and cruise through to her second nationals triumph.

Even contest

The men’s final too was a well-fought contest between two big servers, spanning an hour and 52 minutes. Ghouse, the stronger of the two, clinched the opening set with a break in Game 7 following a double-fault by Uppal.

Uppal, looking more focussed in Set II, got the crucial break in the eighth game. Ghouse followed a pair of double-faults with a misjudgement, letting go an Uppal return which fell in. Uppal then held at love to bag the second set 6-3.

Uppal was playing some fine tennis — returning well and essaying some great drop-shots. But he just couldn’t steal a break off the seventh seed. They held serves till a disastrous game from Uppal, when he totally lost rhythm on serve, gave Ghouse the break and his maiden national crown.


MEN’S SINGLES: Mustafa Ghouse (Mah) bt Vishal Uppal (del) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

WOMEN’S SINGLES: Manisha Malhotra (Mah) bt Rushmi Chakravarthi (TN) 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-2).

WOMEN’S DOUBLES: Rushmi & Manisha bt Radhika Tulpule & Janaki Krishnamurthi 6-2, 6-2.

MEN’S DOUBLES: Rohan Bopanna & Vijay Kannan shared title with Uppal & Ghouse after play was stopped at 7-6 (9-7), 6-7 (5-7).


Mumbai Feb. 3: 
The stakes are really high in the 2,400m McDowell Indian Derby tomorrow. The winner of the mega event takes home a whopping purse of over Rs 45 lakh and a trophy valued at Rs 75,000. Whether it is going to be Allaire or any other horse from among the 14 in the line-up, the answer will be known shortly after 4.45 pm.

Allaire is on the up and it is hard to look beyond Darius Byramji Stable’s first choice for the premium event. The Deepak Khaitan-property had just about beaten Six Speed in the 2,000m Bangalore (summer) Derby. But the story was different about six months later. The Razeen-Fly For Baby filly not only beat the Speed but she also made it a no-contest over the galloping course of 2,400m in the Indian Oaks.

There is hardly a male species among the local rivals to match her talent. The challenge, if any, to the Aslam Kader-ride has to come from the visiting contenders. Frankly speaking, each of the outstation challengers has his own problem. While Chevalier needs a tailor-made track, Altimara has not been able to show significant improvement since her summer Derby performance. Hello Brother, on the other hand, has some hard-luck story to narrate in the end. All said and done, Allaire may win the Derby untroubled leaving behind Altimara, Hello Brother and Chevalier to sort out the minor placings.


1 pm: Thanks A Lot 1. Momentous Mover 2. Zongrilla 3.
1.30 pm: Blue Blood 1. Silver Blue 2. Immaculate 3.
2 pm: Romanza 1. Rigged For Revenge 2. Demedici 3.
2.30 pm: Rich Crown 1. Name Of Love 2. Triumphant 3.
3 pm: Lady Moura 1. Columbus 2. Gold Dust 3.
3.45 pm: Universal Star 1. Vengeance 2. Sariano 3.
4.15 pm: Memories Of You 1. Wild Eagle 2. Snow Dew 3.
4.45 pm: Allaire 1. Altimara 2. Hello Brother 3.
5.30 pm: Heroic 1. Scandalous 2. Isle Of Spice 3.
6 pm: Gironde 1. Afilado 2. Winning Girl 3.
Day’s Best: Blue Blood
Double: Thanks A Lot & Heroic

Mumbai , Feb. 3: 
Most of race professionals think Allaire is going to win the Derby. The following are their opinions:

Darius Byramji: Allaire will go very close to winning again because she is looking well and she has worked well. My danger could be Altimara because she is the best stayer in the field.

Madhav Mangalorkar: Because of a severe interference in the final stages of the race, Hello Brother was very unlucky to have lost the Bangalore Derby. I hope, luck will be by my side in Mumbai.

Jaggy Dhariwal: My horse (Storm Again) will win the Derby. He is a much improved horse now. Chevalier is the next best.

Aslam Kader: Both horses — Allaire and Altimara — are looking and working very well. But Allaire knows the Mahalaxmi track well and this factor may work to her advantage. I have opted for Allaire because she is a brilliant filly. But make no mistake, Altimara is a good stayer.

Pesi Shroff: I expect my Storm Again to perform well but he is up against a good stayer like Allaire. Chevalier, too, would run a good race. We all have to beat Allaire.

S. Rakesh: I was unlucky in the Bangalore Derby (winter). Hope God would be kind to me and Hello Brother this time.


Bangalore, Feb. 3: 
Tempt Me Not won the Bangalore Turf Club Trophy today.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Somwarpet Plate: Hope And Faith (Appu) 1; Purple Princess 2; Aveyron 3. Won by: 9; 6; (128). Win Rs 16; (P) 10; 10; 18;(Q) 15; (T) 48. Fav: Hope And Faith (1).

2. Siddaganga Cup: Trivia (Shakti) 1; Always Dancing 2; Saffron Finch 3. Won by: 2-3/4; 3/4; (1-27.6). Win Rs 25; (P) 13; 17; 21; (Q) 56; (T) 268. Fav: Trivia (5).

3. Bangalore Turf Club Trophy: Tempt Me Not (Rajesh) 1; Bold Chieftan 2; Symphony Of Fire 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 1/2; (1-13.8). Win Rs 96; (P) 20; 12; 14; (Q) 67; (T) 709. Fav: Bold Chieftan (8).

4. Malpe Plate: Refresher (Appu) 1; Assertive Allies 2; Gypsie’s Wish 3. Not run: Donna Mia (3). Won by: 4; 1-3/4; (1-55.8). Win Rs 25; (P) 12; 14; 15; (Q) 32; (T) 111. Fav: Refresher (7).

5. S. V. Subramaniam Memorial Plate: Alluring Bay (Guruprasad) 1; Oser 2; Argyle Gold 3. Won by: Nk; 1-1/4; (1-41.3). Win Rs 84; (P) 22; 24; 20; (Q) 389; (T) 3,231. Fav: Fereneze (7).

6. Madhugiri Plate: Silver Touch (Shobhan) 1; Guide 2; Make No Mistake 3. Not run: Sound Profit (6). Won by: 1/2; 1-1/4; (1-31.5). Win 33; (P) 16; 66; 42; (Q) 616; (T) 6,685. Fav: Silver Touch (1).

Jackpot: Rs19,064; (C) Rs 1,505.

Treble: (i) Rs 874; (ii) Rs 799.


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