Gopichand to open vs Andersen
Madhya Bharat, Magor A in lead
Md. Sp. lose tamely
Sangram, Dipankar may get nod
Bagan-EB tie on August 11
Calcutta Races/ Favourites may come good again
Calcutta Races/ 2 trophy events in Friday’s card
Mysore Races/ Carbon Copy may make amends

Kualalampur, July 17: 
The injury Pullela Gopichand suffered during the PSCB championships in Pune, prior to the Malaysian Open, has more or less subsided and the All England champion is eager to be back in the thick of action.

In Pune, Gopichand had sprained the big toe on his left foot. The doctor advised seven days rest. He flew off to Hyderabad before returning to Pune to join the preparatory camp for ten days.

“I had problems keeping the foot down, let alone run or practice. For sometime, I missed my usual training schedule. But the ten days training in Pune and the fact that I am here three days before my first match has helped. I am moving well, but feel a bit out of breath at times.

“However the new format of scoring which will be implemented here may work in my favour,” says Gopichand. Relaxing after a hard workout in the morning, he seems focussed on the job at hand.

Further good news for Gopichand came in when Olympic champion Ji XinPeng from China pulled out because of injury. The Indian star was drawn to meet him in the third round — the pre-quarters.

Gopichand is likely to face a tough quarter final if he runs into newly crowned world champion Hendrawan of Indonesia. “I lost to him in the second round at Sydney Olympics. He is a tough player and since winning the world championships, he has been in fine nick. But since I have nothing to lose, I think this is one clash that will be interesting.”

The $ 120,000 event has attracted big names, except for world No. 1 Peter Gade Chrsietnsen of Denmark.

This is also officially the first GP event which will have the best of five games of seven points each format. Both for Gopichand and youngster Chetan Anand, who meets top seeded Chinese Chen Hong in the first round, the new format will be of advantage as both are naturally attacking players.

Chetan may be playing the top seeded All England runner-up, but his spirits are high and he sure has an outside chance of creating a major upset here.

India No. 2 Abhin Shyam Gupta has an easy first round against a qualifier before running into seeded Malayasian Ong Ewe Hock, the veteran campaigner. But Abhin Shyam has the game and the patience to defeat Ong, who at 30 may find the totally defensive game of Abhin, trying and indeed tiring.

Sachin Ratti, who replaces Taufique Hidayat in the bottom half of the draw also has an easy first round match against local boy Pei Wei Chung, before running into unseeded Chinese Chen Lu.

Gopichand starts off his campaign against Jim Ronny Andersen of Norway.

Hendrawan may be the local favourite but Gopichand is raring to go and their possible quarter final clash is being keenly looked forward to.

In ladies singles, of the three Indian entries only B. R. Meenakshi, the highest ranked Indian in the world, is in the main draw. She plays Yuli Marfuah of Indonesia, the winner running into world champion Gong Ruina.

Meenakshi is superbly fit, and if she plays with little control, she should get the better of Marfuah. Manjusha Kanwar and P.V.V. Lakshmi play in the qualifying events, which will not be easy.

The favourites overwhelmingly remain the Chinese with Gong Ruina and top seeded Zhou Mi being favoured to lift the title.

The ladies doubles, too, typically will be ruled by them. Here there is only one Indian entry, Manjusha and Meenakshi playing the Malaysian pair of Fong Chen Yen-Lee Yin Yin. The Indians have a strong chance.

In men’s doubles, new Indian stars V. Diju-Sanave Thomas, who reached the second round at Seville, play the Malaysian pair of Fairuzizuan-Lin Woon Fui. The winner will take on second-seeded Chinese Zhang Wei-Zhang Jun. The other Indian pair of Vijay Deep Singh-Marcose Bristow have to qualify. In mixed doubles, all three Indian entries are in the main draw. Favourites in both men’s and mixed doubles remain the Indonesians.


Calcutta, July 17: 
The Telegraph Merchants’ Cup golf championship was teed off by the state governor, Mr Viren Shah, at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club this morning. He took off with two well struck tee shots.

The meet is being co-sponsored by Samsung, Kingfisher and Seagrams.

At the end of the first day the Telegraph Challenge Cup saw Ajay Rathore of Maxtone Paints playing off a 13 handicap, carding a six-over round to lead a 23-strong field. Following were Arun Nanda at +10, PremBagree at +8 and CitiBank’s Onkar Kakkar at +6.

In the Merchants’ Cup proper, Williamson Magor A and Madhya Bharat, both at 81 lead Division I. In Division II ITC B (U Lall ) 84 leads, and and in Division III Bata A (Mayuk Ray) 81 is ahead.

Day’s best by Rishad

The day’s Division I individual honours went to Rishad Chinoy of Tisco (68).

The Merchants’ Cup has had a record of 51 teams (of four memebrs) entered. Competition is expected to be fierce this year as firm favourites and defending champions Williamson Magor A have lost star player, Aditya Khaitan to injury.


Calcutta, July 17: 

Calcutta Port Trust beat Mohammedan Sporting 1-0 in their Calcutta Football League Super Division match at the Kishor Bharati Stadium today. What in seasons of yore would have been termed a major upset, somehow does not even raise eyebrows today. Port beating Mohammedan Sporting is not categorised as news any more.

To be fair, Mohammedan Sporting did not even deserve to win. The team is a pot pourri of vague talent from states like Jharkhand, and established names have been given a go-by by the wayward management of the club. There is no cohesion, no game-making, no strategy of any worth, and no player who, anyway, could have made any sense of coach Chandu Roy Chowdhury’s plans.

The first match victory over BNR last Friday looks a flash in the pan in retrospect, that too because BNR have managed to put together an even worse outfit.

For the record, Port’s Sanjit Saha scored the winner in the 28th minute of the match, punching a loose ball at the top of the defensive third, off a header from Amar Pyne. The shot slided through a forest of static Mohammedan Sporting defenders, with goalkeeper Imran Khan diving short.

Mohammedan Sporting did exert a decent amount of pressure in the first quarter of the match. Ashok Murmu’s shot in the seventh minute landed in Port ’keeper Sandip Guha’s hands and C. Prakash ballooned over an Ayaz Bin Abdul Haq prompt from the goalmouth in the 12th minute.

All that, though, was mainly because there was a decent amount of youthful energy at work early in the match, and because Port were waiting by the wings, cautious.

Port were activating mostly through counter-attacks, and it was off one of these counter-attacks that Port got the winner. Thereafter, Port, sort of, ‘took over’ the proceedings, slowly pushing the Mohammedan Sporting defence to the wall, showing up the huge gaps of inexperience.

The second half was all Port. They won — and wasted — two flag kicks within eight minutes of change of sides, and Shib Shankar Chowdhury’s direct free-kick came off the crosspiece in the last minute.

In between a part of the crowd threw a few missiles on Mohammedan Sporting coach Chandu Roy Chowdhury and players on the bench.

One can understand the frustration of the members of the club.

Port coach Prasanta Banerjee later said he was happy with the win, but that he was not too surprised.

Port had held East Bengal in their first match and this win has given the team a good start, he said.


CALCUTTA PORT TRUST: Sandip Guha, Srimanta Das, Rabindranath Karmakar, Madhusudan Majumdar, Shib Shankar Chowdhury, Sanjit Saha, Kaushik Prasad, Gourav Dutta, Sandip Ghosh, Pradip Indu (Sujit Dey, 54), Amar Pyne (Bijoy Pal, 75).

MOHAMMEDAN SPORTING: Imran Khan, Sk Sarawat Ali, Insan Ali, Lusku Murmu, Mohammed Jasim (Shakeel Akhtar, 78), Alauddin Rehman, Ashok Murmu (Bimal Thapa, 54), C Prakash (Setu Raman, 46), Amjad Hussain, Ali Reza, Ayaz Bin Abdul Haq.

Referee: Gautam Sadhukhan.

Rajasthan, Aryan draw

In the only first division group A match of the day, Rajasthan and Aayrn shared two goals.

Partha Banerjee scored for Rajasthan and Pronob Basunia for Aryan.


New Delhi, July 17: 
Debutants Sangram Mukherjee and Dipankar Roy are likely to make the England-bound Indian soccer squad. The 14-day tour begins Friday.

According to national coach Sukhwinder Singh, both Sangram and Dipankar have been impressive at the preparatory camp.

Dipak Mondal joined the squad here today. I.M. Vijayan is expected here by tomorrow. Bhaichung Bhutia will join the squad in England.

With the injured Jo Paul Ancheri and Basudeb Mondal (because of family problems) ruled out, there were 21 probables at practice today. The camp was shifted to the capital from Patiala today to facilitate issue of visas. They squad leaves Thursday.

Sukhwinder confirmed that three goalkeepers — Virender Singh, Sangram and N. Balaji — will make the trip.

Though Sangram played well in the Merdeka Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Virender will be the first choice ’keeper due to his experience. In Ancheri’s absence, the coach is reluctant to drop any of the midfielders. Khalid Jamil will play as a defensive midfielder while Renedy Singh or Dipankar may be used as snatchers.

There will be seven forwards and as many defenders and the axe is likely to fall on M. Suresh, Abdul Hakeem or Alvito D’ Cunha.

Bhaichung is likely to get back the captaincy after skipping the Merdeka Cup.


Calcutta, July 17: 
The Mohun Bagan-East Bengal Derby of this season’s Calcutta Football League Super Division has been confirmed for August 11, IFA joint secretary Ranjit Gupta said today. This ‘exhibition match’ will be played at the Salt Lake Stadium. The date, though, could still be revised if police permission is not forthcoming.

The IFA today released another set of dates of the league in which the other so-called ‘big’ match, between Mohammedan Sporting and Tollygunge Agragami scheduled for July 21, has been relegated to an ordinary match.

It was also notable that the Howrah Municipal Stadium will be hosting only one match — SAIL vs BNR on July 23 — because the town’s police has, in all probability, not liked the crowd problem that they had to face in the Mohammedan Sporting-BNR match last Friday. The crowd gatecrashed and one gate was broken.

Also, tomorrow, the Behala Youth-Taltala DS match of first division group B will not be held because of the poor condition of the Mohammedan Sporting ground.


July 20: Bhratri Sangha vs Port Trust (Kishor Bharati Stadium), FCI vs George Telegraph (East Bengal).

July 21: Mohun Bagan vs FCI (Mohun Bagan), SAIL vs BNR (Howrah MS).

July 24: Mohammedan Sporting vs George Telegraph (Kishor Bharati), Tollygunge Agragami vs Port Trust (Rabindra Sarovar).

July 25: East Bengal vs Bhratri (East Bengal), BNR vs FCI (Rabindra Sarovar).


Calcutta, July 17: 
Favourites ruled the roost last Thursday and they may, once again, find the going easy in tomorrow’s six-event race-card. Secret Adversary, Melodeon and Alverina, all of them, are going to be hot-favourite and may deliver the goods in the first-half of their respective events. Equally easy it may turn out to be for Tequila Shot, Alkido and Cup of Life, in rest of the card, in spite of keen competition in this half of the card.

Alkido, in particular, takes on a strong opposition in the main event, the 1,400m Pa Bear Cup. But going by his last winter season record, the Bharath Singh-trained gelding may come good in the trusted hands of Cristopher Alford.

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

1st Race at 1.40 p.m.

Silver Balm Handicap 1,000m (Cl IV—Rated 22-50)— Indian jockeys only

1 0100 Bold Apparel [Daniel] B. Gurang 60.0 1
2 3320 On The Bit [Stephens] R. Gowli 59.5 5
3 0000 Storm Trooper [Karki] P. Kujur 57.5 2
4 1001 Adeline [Daniel] C. Alford 56.5 4
5 0001 Secret Adversary [Daniel] S. Tamang 49.5 3

1. Secret Adversary (5) 2. Adeline (4) 3. On The Bit (2)

Secret Adversary: A fluent winner, may carry his lightweight to a repeat victory. Adeline: Set to concede weight to a speedy youngster. On The Bit: May place.

2nd Race at 2.20 p.m.

Jingle Handicap 1,200m (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) — Indian jockeys only

1 2020 Cavala [Jaiswal] V. Jaiswal 60.5 6
2 - - 20 Melodeon [Vijay] A. P. Singh 57.5 7
3 3004 Constantine [Karki] P. Kujur 56.0 3
4 0104 The Stud [Javed] G. Uapdhya 56.0 1
5 0440 Ardon [Daniel] B. Gurang 55.0 2
6 0031 Blessed Spirit [Daniel] Saran S. 53.5 5
7 0000 Reactor [Bath] S. Shanker 50.0 4

1. Melodeon (2) 2. Reactor (7) 3. Ardon (5)

Melodeon: Working very well. Likely to beat the present lot. Reactor: Ignore his winter runs. Looking fit and may trouble the best. Ardon: May place.

3rd Race at 2.50 p.m.

Mr. Mauritius Cup1,200m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28)

1 0210 Tsaynen Blue [Javed] R. Gowli 60.0 1
2 0200 Royal Ruler [R. Alford] P. Alford 58.5 6
3 - 432 Aliqa [Javed] E. Smith 57.5 3
4 1004 Stately Honour [Mujeeb] Rutherford A. 57.5 2
5 4240 Alvernia [Bharath] Md. Islam 55.5 4
6 0004 Special Sovereign [Mujeeb] P. Kumar 55.5 5

1. Alvernia (5) 2. Stately Honour (4) 3. Tsaynen Blue (1)

Alvernia: In winter, she placed close to Automatic, a winner last week. May strike. Stately Honour: May improve upon his good fourth Tsaynen Blue: May place.

4th Race at 3.20 p.m.

Malto Handicap 1,000m (Cl V—Rt. 00-28) — Indian jockeys only

1 0421 Flying Power [Karki] P. Kujur 60.5 5
- ---- Armila [R. Alford] (Withdrawn) 57.0 --
3 0000 Tequila Shot [Bath] S. Shanker 56.0 4
4 - 040 Lightning Speed [Javed] R. Gowli 53.5 1
5 - 004 Alumnus [Daniel] Surender S. 52.0 3
6 0004 Lively Project [Daniel] P. Kumar 50.5 2

1. Tequila Shot (3) 2. Lively Project (6) 3. Lightning Speed (4)

Tequila Shot: A speedy customer. May runaway with the race. Lively Project: The outing benefit may see her in better light. Lightning Speed: May place.

5th Race at 3.55 p.m.

Pa Bear Cup 1,400m (Cl II—Rt. 66-94)

1 0330 Prince Obolensky [Stephens] K. Kumar 60.0 7
2 2001 Arctic Fancy [Daniel] B. Gurang 58.0 5
3 3041 Lockers Park [Bharath] S. Rabani 58.0 10
4 - 000 Giorgio [Rodrigues] G. Upadhya 56.5 4
5 1310 No Regrets [Javed] R. Gowli 56.5 1
6 - 003 Aldebro [Vijay] A. P. Singh 56.0 3
7 2112 Sovereign Bullet [Daniel] S. Tamang 56.0 8
8 4402 Added Asset [Daniel] F. Khan 54.5 6
9 3130 Lovely Prospect [Daniel] Md. Yasin 53.0 9
10 1210 Alkido [Bharath] C. Alford 51.5 2

1. Alkido (10) 2. Aldebro (6) 3. Added Asset (8)

Alkido: Still good placed at the weight despite his brilliant winter season. Aldebro: An eye-catching third in last start. May go close again. Added Asset: May place.

6th Race at 4.30 p.m.

Ridicular Handicap 1,000m (Cl III, 5y-o & over—Rt. 44-72)

1 0400 Best In Show [Daniel] Md. Yasin 60.0 7
2 3022 Winning Hand [Javed] R. Gowli 60.0 4
3 2000 Mameena [Stephens] F. Khan 59.5 3
4 2330 Cup of Life [Mujeeb] C. Alford 57.5 6
5 4101 Spanish Drum’s [Daniel] Dalpat S. 57.0 5
6 - - - 0 Azurica [Javed] Som S. 56.0 1
7 2000 Classic Pursuit [Bharath] S. Rabani 56.0 2

1. Cup of Life (4) 2. Mameena (3) 3. Winning Hand (2)

Cup of Life: Seems to be coming to terms with his bleeding problem. Looking very fit. Mameena: Ignore his last run. May do better. Winning Hand: May upset.

Day’s Best: Melodeon

Double: Secret Adversary & Tequila Shot

Calcutta, July 17: 
The two trophy events — the Salisbury Cup and the Nikita Cup — feature in Friday’s six event card. First race starts at 1.40 pm.


1. Artaius Handicap 1,100m (Cl III, Rt. 44-72) 1.40 pm: Endless Surprise 60; Ispahan 59.5; Solo Act 55; Magnifico 51.5; Scarlet Raider 51.

2. Salisbury Cup 1,400m (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) 2.25 pm: Alborada 60.5; Ballet Master 59; Melodeon 57.5; Tajik 57; Bul Bul 54.

3. Princess Huma Handicap 1,100m (Cl IV, 5-y-o & over Rt. 22-50) 2.55 pm: Kargil Soldier 61; Starina 61; Just Kidding 56; Global Harmony 51.5; Appyness 47; Floral Path 47.

4. Nikita Cup 1,000 (Cl IV; Cl V eligible, 3-y-o only Rt. 00-50) 3.25 pm: Alegria 60; Albright 57.5; Alcalde 57.5; Anokato 55; Maltayar 48.5.

5. Flying Glance Handicap 1,400m (Cl III, Rt. 44-72) 3.55 pm: Harry The Horse 60; Aracruz 54.5; Mr. Bombshell 52; Double Bull 51; Actress 50; Raaz 48.5.

6. Misty Morn Handicap 1,400m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 4.30 pm: Black Mane 60.5; Rheinheart 60; Ballard Lady 56.5; Finders Keepers 56; Consul’s Secret 54; Lamborghini 54; Stella Blue 51; Double Cross 47.

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

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

Today’s track trials

Outer sand track

1,400m: Alshiem (A. P. Singh) and Annella (C. Alford) in (400m) 28s. Former was a length better, both moved well. Alamito (C. Alford) and Rescue Act (Rabani) in 1-30s; (400m) 29s. They were level. Alembic (Surender) in and Calculus (A. P. Singh) in 1-45s; (400m) 28s. They level.

1,000m: Aiberni (C. Alford) and Alcalde (Rabani) in 1-11s; (400m) 28s. Former was a length better.

800m: Alegria (C. Alford) in 55s; (400m) 26s. Good. Winning Hand (Gowli) in 57s; (400m) 27s. Harry The Horse (F. Khan) and Ispahan (Gowli) in 55s; (400m) 26s. They were level. Calamint (C. Allord) in 57s; (400m) 27s. Good. Finders Keepers (Jaiswal) in 58s; (400m) 27s. Lightning Speed (Gowli) in 1-4s; (400m) 29s. Starina (Rutherford) in 59s; (400m) 26s. Fit.

Sand track

800m: Pure Passion (Rutherford) in 53s; (400m) 22s. Note. Rheinheart (Shanker) in 56s; (400m) 26s. Easy. Russian Czar (Rutherford) in 59s; (400m) 28s. Double Bull (Tamang) in 1-2s; (400m) 29s. Tajik (C. Alford) in 1-3s; (400m) 28s.

600m: Just Kidding (C. Alford) in 47s; (400m) 29s.

400m: Chivalrous (Rb) in 29s.    

Mysore, July 17: 
Carbon Copy, twice runner-up in his last two starts, is expected to make the winning bracket tomorrow in the Hyderabad Race Club Gold Trophy. C. Krishnan partners the Ravi Shanker-trained gelding by Sir Bruce-Sobriety.


2.15 pm: Dynamic Gamble 1. My Goodness 2. Sword of Justice 3.
2.45 pm: Grand Cordon 1. Starry Splendour 2. Dad’s Joy 3.
3.15 pm: Lost Horizon 1. Tattoo 2. Crown Ivory 3.
3.45 pm: Vivid Dreams 1. Dream of Dreams 2. Misty 3.
4.15 pm: Carbon Copy 1. Cruising Away 2. Travel Around 3.
4.45 pm: Treasure Island 1. Octane 2. Fly To The Stars 3.
5.15 pm: Prestigious Baby 1. Blushing Memories 2. Anjaam 3.

Day’s Best: Vivid Dreams

Double: Dynamic Gamble & Treasure Island

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