Divya tamed in final
RFI to check backdoor Services entries
Tolly face Churchill
Injured Gilchrist to miss 3-day tie
Long session for Sourav
Wari AC win
Vote of trust for AITA ‘reject’ Amanjot Singh
Wi to lead top Asian field
Chennai Races/ Storm Again trounces opposition
Calcutta Races/ 6 for Wednesday’s ‘Metropolitan’

Calcutta, March 4: 
Bengal picked up a silver and a bronze on the final day of the 21st Dundee Open national rowing championships over the Calcutta Rowing Club course today.

Divya Chadda won the silver for Bengal in the women’s singles sculls. She lost to Kerala’s Jincymol Varghese in the gold race. Varghese won easily in 4:01.46.

Bengal’s bronze came in the women’s coxed fours. Bengal’s Hindola Roy Chowdhury, Olivia Roy, Sreya Mitra, Aparajita Sen and Rinku Pesari beat Orissa’s Bhyagabati Mallick, Nirupama Jena, Monalisa Mohanty, Sagarika Barik and Suchitra Pattanaik in a tough fight. Bengal clocked 3:54.00 to win by half a length.

The men’s sculls title went to Corps of Engineers Rowing Association’s (CERA) Rateesh Singh, who beat Karnataka’s Bhaskar Reddy by a length, timing 3:24.00.

The men’s fours gold race was a disappointment, with CERA rowers virtually deciding to resting on their oars at the last push, allowing the other Services team, Services Sports Control Board, to earn a half-length verdict for gold. This drew criticism from the crowd.

The women’s fours gold race, though, was a tough contest. The Andaman team finished in dead heat with the Kerala team, but a course infringement protest was lodged. The protest was overruled, but the race re-run because of the dead heat. This time Andaman finished half a length ahead (3:38.59). Another protest erupted, but was scotched by officials.


Gold races: Women’s pairs — Kerala (3:58.38) bt Andaman easily. Men’s pairs: SSCB (3:24.90) bt CERA by ½ length.


Calcutta, March 4: 
The Rowing Federation of India (RFI) has finally decided to take active steps to reduce “backdoor proliferation” of Services rowers into championships from “paper associations”, denying opportunities to civilian amateurs, as RFI president K. P. Singh Deo put it today.

At its annual general meeting here last evening, it was decided that only two Services teams — Corps of Engineers Rowing Association and Services Sports Control Board — will be allowed in championships, and Services personnel will not be allowed to be represented from civilian clubs/teams.

“It was becoming a farce,” said Deo. “Hence in this silver jubilee year of the federation, we decided enough was enough, and any rower who earns his living off a job with the Services, can qualify to represent only their two representative teams at national meets. In the first year this non-civilian representation from clubs will be cut by 50 per cent and thereafter, slowly, to nil.”

The basic idea of the RFI is to bring back rowing to university kids. The fact, though, remains that with the superior facilities available with the Services, the national team is likely to always see a high population of rowers from the Services. And this will be a boost for India as the RFI looks forward to a gold at the 2002 Pusan Asian Games.

“We can achieve that,” said Deo, “and we will. In the process, we will strive to get more equipment (like better boats, even Indian makes) and training equipment like Ergometers and other mechanical aids.

“We have beaten all but the Chinese with whatever we have, and with a little bit more initiative, we’ll surely beat them as well,” he said.

The SAF Games in October in Islamabad has rowing included, and this will be a booster meet.

The meeting yesterday also decided to hold a novel night rowing festival in July, to be held in Ooty, or Kodaikanal or Chennai. “Special lights will be arranged and several teams will be invited for the occasion,” said Deo.


Calcutta, March 4: 
Tollygunge have been clinging onto all manner of straws on their fast slide down the National League ladder. Sitting in ninth spot, they take on sixth-placed Churchill Brothers tomorrow, but they are probably banking more on an unlikely bonus of points from their FC Kochin loss where I.M. Vijayan played and created a controversy.

The fact is, while it is not sure if Vijayan’s Bangladesh trip and a lack of transfer papers thereafter can rob Kochin of points, what is sure is that Churchill (14 points from 10 matches) are sure to prove more than a handful for Tollygunge (8 points from 10 matches).

Bhabani Mohanty’s return has rejuvenated Tollygunge somewhat, but Churchill’s Igor Skhvirin can still weave a magic or two at the rival goalmouth. He may be lying a trifle low this season, but being a true opportunist, the Tollygunge ‘keeper — Hemanta of brother Prasanta Dora — will have to be on his toes.

Tollygunge have fixed up Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting’s Alfaz Ahmed, but the player arrives Wednesday and can register the day after.


New Delhi, March 4: 
Adam Gilchrist, who sidetracked the Indians in the first Test with a scintillating 122 off 112 balls, is now himself sidelined with an abductor muscle injury. The vice-captain will miss the three-day match against the Board President’s XI starting at the Ferozeshah Kotla Tuesday.

Coach John Buchanan termed it as a “minor niggle,” and is confident Gilchrist will be fit for the second Test starting at Eden Gardens next Sunday. Gilchrist himself is also sure of playing in Calcutta.

Realising that Gilchrist is a major weapon, especially after his Mumbai onslaught, the Aussies are taking no risks. They are flowing in Brad Haddin, a 24-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman from New South Wales.

Describing Haddin as “a right-handed Gilchrist”, Buchanan said he also opens the batting in one-dayers and is noted for his hard hitting.

Gilchrist said he aggravated the injury during a workout at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. He has been advised complete rest for three days.

The Aussies flew in from Mumbai this morning and had a light workout in the afternoon. Only six players — Ricky Ponting, Michael Kasprowicz, Justin Langer, Mark Waugh, Damien Martyn and Colin Miller — trained today. The Aussies will take a day off tomorrow to visit the Taj Mahal.

The playing XI for the three-day tie will be announced Tuesday morning. Langer, Glenn McGrath and either Steve Waugh or Shane Warne are likely to sit out the match.

Gilchrist’s injury has made the Aussies realise the danger of bringing just one specialist ’keeper for the tour. Explaining the rationale, Buchanan said their original gameplan was to use Langer as the standby wicketkeeper. But since he is suffering from a sore shoulder — thanks to the blow he got from Sachin Tendulkar’s pull which richocheted to a diving Ponting — the one-drop batsman won’t be asked to keep wickets.

Buchanan added it was important for the bowlers to bowl with a regular ’keeper behind the wicket, which was why Haddin is being summoned. Ponting could have been another stop-gap arrangement but the visitors didn’t want to risk an injury.

Meanwhile, the final XI of the Board President’s team will be chosen after the selectors meet skipper Sourav Ganguly tomorrow. Among the certainties are Mohammed Kaif, Jacob Martin, Dinesh Mongia, Narendra Hirwani, Sarandeep Singh, Vijay Dahiya and promising fast bowler Surinder Singh Baggal.


Calcutta, March 4: 
India skipper Sourav Ganguly was the lone batsman at the Eden nets this morning, trying to shrug off post-defeat blues and putting his mind to the job at hand.

Sourav had a two-and-a-half-hour workout from 9.30 am, assisted by four bowlers — former India seamer Subroto Banerjee, Bengal pacers Lakshmi Ratan Shukla, Sabir Ali and Shib Shankar Pal.

Sourav, who will lead the Board President’s XI side in a three-day match versus the Aussies in Delhi from Tuesday, leaves station tomorrow. Sourav has been included in this team on his own request.


Calcutta, March 4: 
Wari AC today won their match in the CAB league’s pre-quarter final stage.


Relegation play-offs

Shibpur Inst. 239. Calcutta Rangers 242/5 (K.N. Harish 131 n.o.). Rangers won by 5 wkts.

YMCA 279/9. George Telegraph 281/3 (S. Shoaib 107 n.o., Subhranil Som 53 n.o.). George won by 7 wkts.

Championship, pre-quarters

Wari 437/8. Monoharpukur Milan Samity 405+8=413/8 (Naushad Akhtar 101, Vijay Talreja 68, Sanjay Das 68; Suman Chakraborty 3/105). Wari won by 24 runs.

Tapan Memorial 375/9 (Somdeb Saha 100, Samir Ghose 97; Debashis Sarkar 4/154, Moloy Roy Chowdhury 5/137). Young Bengal 158 (Tutul Dasgupta 60, Maidul Mondal 58; Rajib Dutta 4/30, Arup Bhattacharjee 3/65). Tapan Memorial won by 217 runs.    

Calcutta, March 4: 
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) did not pick Amanjot Singh in its team to compete in the south-east Asia ITF junior circuit on disciplinary grounds. Secretary Anil Khanna, however, chose to stay mum on what the “indiscipline” was all about.

If that was shocking news for the country’s top under-16 boy, there was relief round the corner. Thanks to the backing of Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA) and Paes En Sport, the Chandigarh lad will, after all, be playing five events back-to-back.

“Amanjot is an outstanding prospect as can be seen from his remarkable improvement in rankings,” Dr Vece Paes told The Telegraph.

“He won two titles and was runner-up twice in his last six tournaments. He has jumped a hundred places from around 185-190 in two months’ time.”

Paes En Sport has been managing the careers of Amanjot and Sunil Kumar jointly with CLTA since March last year, besides adopting city boy Vinod Sewa. The three were chosen as they are believed to be the most talented among all juniors in the country.

Defending their decision to support Amanjot despite the AITA ‘stricture’, Dr Paes said he is a tall and fit boy who is aggressive by nature — both on and off court. “That’s something which gets him into trouble sometimes, though we have not been told why the AITA dropped him. We have to accept that decision, but there is this competitive edge in his game which will yield good results if nurtured properly.”

The trio of Sunil, Amanjot and Sewa left the city for Jakarta last evening for a grade III meet in the Indonesian capital beginning tomorrow. The week after, they’ll be joined at the Kuala Lumpur meet (grade III) by the other six AITA team members — Rohan Gajjar, Nishank Misra, Sania Mirza, Sasha Abraham, Ankita Bhambri and Megha Vakaria — along with coach Sandeep Kirtane.

Grade II tournaments in Singapore, Pattaya and Manila will follow. While AITA will pick up the tabs for its chosen eight, Amanjot’s bills will be settled separately.

These are five important weeks for the nine boys and girls. Entry to the French Open and Wimbledon junior events will hinge on their performance in south-east Asia. Getting into the French Open is tougher as it’s a draw of 32, compared to the 64-field in the other majors.

At the moment, Sunil is the best bet to make it to the French Open draw. Ranked around 60 currently, the left-hander needs to climb to the top 25.

“Sunil will make it to the French,” Dr Paes said confidently. “It will be tougher for Sewa (No. 83) and Amanjot (90), but it’s a good challenge for them. And these boys love a challenge.”

The confidence Dr Paes has in his ‘elite’ trio is difficult to miss. Indian tennis will have something to celebrate if they justify that faith. Of course, the AITA will be in no position to share the kudos.


Calcutta, March 4: 
The Wills Indian Open will play host to a prominent international field of golfers this year, led by current Order of Merit leader Charlie Wi from Korea. They tee off at the Classic Golf Resort from March 15 to 18, according to information.

The 150-strong field will have over 80 foreign participants, including Thongchai Jaidee from Thailand, who won the Korean Open last year and is currently running third in the Order of Merit, 1999 Order of Merit winner Kyi Hla Han from Myanmar and South African Craig Kamps.

Wi is the top money winner on the APGA tour this season.

The Indian contingent will comprise, among others, holder Jyoti Randhawa and former winner Arjun Atwal of Calcutta.

Amandeep Johl, Arjun Singh, Vivek Bhandari, twice Indian Open champion Ali Sher, Firoz Ali, Harmeet Kahlon, Amritinder Singh, Uttam Singh Mundy, Yusuf Ali, Digvijay Singh, Mukesh Kumar alongwith their other compatriots will represent the country.


Chennai, March 4: 
The 5-4 favourite Storm Again kept his date with history when the Alnasr Alwasheek-Perchance To Dream colt handed an easy four-length beating to his nearest rival, Altenburg, in the 2,400m Indian Turf Invitation Cup at the Guindy race-course in Chennai on Sunday. Trained by Jaggy Dhariwal, jockey Pesi Shroff partnered the Poonawalla Stud-bred horse to victory in record-rime.

Jammed for a free galloping room, mid-way through the trip, Pesi was quick to shoot out of trouble as he took the longer far-side route. Taking no further chance, the champion jockey assumed the lead nearing the home-turn and went on increasing the margin of his victory, leaving Altenburg, Hello Brother and Appeaser to sort out the minor placings.

Sinclair Marshall retires: Eighteen short of his 1,000 wins, veteran jockey Sinclair Marshall announced his retirement at the Guindy racecourse on Sunday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. PGP Cup 1,200m: (5-4-3) Splendid Chance (Prakash) 1; Ganga Divine 2; Head Hunter 3. Won by: 1-1/2; 3-1/2; (1-13.1). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 11; 18; Quinella: 24; Tanala: 71. Fav: Splendid Chance (5).

2. Indo National Limited Trophy 1,200m:(11-7-10) Royale Girl (Appu) 1; Private Audience 2; Reign Dance 3. Not run: Princess Ivory (9). Won by: 7; 1-3/4; (1-14.2). Tote: Win Rs 45; Place: 14; 17; 13; Quinella: 50; Tanala: 239. Fav: Reign Dance (10).

3. Ghatala Cup 1,600m: (4-7-11) Bold Aristocrat (Appu) 1; Oracle King 2; Make A Million 3. Won by: 3/4; 3-1/2; (1-40.4). Tote: Win Rs 40; Place: 19; 60; 102; Quinella: 355; Tanala: 11,916. Fav: Bold Aristocrat(4).

4. A. V. Thomas Super Mile Cup 1,600m: (9-4-5-7) Adamile (Kader) 1; Averoff (Shroff) 2; Royal Court (Prak-ash) 3; Adjure Syndic (Krishnan) 4. Won by: 1-3/4; 1; 2; (1-35.4 – record). Tote: Win Rs 31; Place: 14; 14; 29; Quinella: 40; Tanala: 361. Fav: Averoff (4).

5. Guindy Lodge Cup 1,800m: (7-9-8) Imperial Scholar (Abraham) 1; Minoan 2; Bengal Lancer 3. Won by: 9; 1-1/4; (1-50.4 – record). Tote: Win Rs 50; Place: 14; 125; 33; Quinella: 3,234; Tanala: 1,02,040 (C.o). Fav: Queen’s Ransom (2).

6. Indian Turf Invitation Cup 2,400m: (8-2-4-3) Storm Again (Shroff) 1; Altenburg (Kader) 2; Hello Brother (McCullagh) 3; Appeaser (Marshall) 4. Won by: 4; 3/4; 3/4; (2-29.1 – record). Tote: Win Rs 21; Place: 12; 21; 37; Quinella: 52; Tanala: 438. Fav: Storm Again (8).

7. SRM Japan Trophy 1,400m: (9-3-2) Hope And Faith (Appu) 1; Flying Scotsman 2; Cosmic Jazz 3. Not run: Forest Whisper (7). Won by: 1-1/4; 2-3/4; (1-27.4). Tote: Win Rs 20; Place: 11; 17; 23; Quinella: 50; Tanala: 328. Fav: Hope And Faith (9).

8. Le Mirage Cup 1,600m: (5-6-7) Rebounding Flame (A. Imran K.) 1; Belezian 2; Covington 3. Won by: 2-3/4; 6; (1-41). Tote: Win Rs 31; Place: 14; 16; 38; Quinella: 70; Tanala: 1,496. Fav: Rebounding Flame (5).

Jackpot: Rs 3,541; (C) Rs 416.

Treble: (i) Rs 255; (ii) Rs 105.


Calcutta, March 4: 
Barring the main event, the Metropolitan, which has only six runners, fields in Wednesday’s six-event race-card are big. First race starts at 1.35 pm.


1. Play Boy Handicap 1,400m (Cl V; 5-y-o & over Rt. 00-28) 1.35 pm: Royal Ruler 60; Double Dancer 59.5; Scavenger’s Son 59.5; Floral Path 59; Armila 57.5; Armed Alarm 52; Nearco Prince 50.5; Go India Go 49.5.

2. Bangalore Turf Club Cup 2,000m (Cl III; Cl IV eligible Rt. 22-72) 2.15 pm: Double Bull 60; Solo Act 59; Analyzer 56; Beau Bruno 55; Cool Quest 55; Silver Toy 55; Alkido 52.5; Super Smile 49.5; Arco Europa 48.5.

3. Adelina Handicap 1,200m (Cl V; 3-y-o only Rt. 00-28) 2.50 pm: Anokato 60; Aherlow 58.5; Alumnus 57.5; Angels Venture 57.5; Arterial 57.5; Lightning Speed 57.5; Aberdan 56.5; Sunset Down 56.5; Peppy Mistress 56; Breakfast AT Tiffany 55; Secret Adversary 55; Victoria Rose 54; Lively Project 53.5.

4. Navy Cup 1,400m (Cl IV; Rt. 22-50) 3.25 pm: Black Mane 60; Citadel 60; The Stud 59.5; Bold Apparel 59; Diplomatic Gesture 56.5; Gentle Priest 56; Aflicker 55; Alembic 54.5; Russian Czar 54; Tequila Shot 52.5; Pneumatic Power 51; Flinders 49; Cancun 48.5; Software 48.5; Acaress 47.5.

5. The Metropolitan 1,200m (Cl I; Rt. 88 & over) 3.55 pm: Stately Don 61; Annalee 57; Tsavo 55; Anolini 51.5; Clarice Cliff 50; Mystic Hill 47.5.

6. Daramul Handicap 1,200m (Cl IV; 5-y-o & over Rt. 22-50) 4.35 pm: Crimson King 60; Constantine 59.5; Just Kidding 59; Aragrove 56.5; Aileron 55.5; Storm Centre 54.5; Rheinheart 53.5; Pure Passion 53; All Jade 52; Googy Gangster 51.5; Glass Slipper 51; Stately Honour 51.

Jackpot: 2; 3; 4; 5 & 6.

Treble: (i) 1; 2 & 3; (ii) 4; 5 & 6.


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