Akhtar Ali set to be Dronacharya
Soumyadeep, Indu top seeds at East India meet
Bagan to honour Duley, Barreto
Pune Races/ Star Shine may beat top-class set
Pune Races/ Daring Don comes out victorious
Calcutta Races/ Alamito, Rescue Act impress

New Delhi, July 26: 
Former Davis Cup coach Akhtar Ali is almost certain to get the coveted Dronacharya Award this year. Akhtar has been in contention for quite sometime now. The chances of his son Zeeshan, however, getting the Arjuna Award are not very bright.

AITA sources and the sports ministry, have indicated that Akhtar’s nomination is almost a certainty. It is learnt that there are about 85 nominations for the various awards this year.

Akhtar is being honoured as India’s first professional coach and for his contribution with the Davis Cup squad.

The other choice for the Dronacharya Award is hockey coach Maharaj Kumar Kaushik, who has aroused a lot of controversy since he himself applied for the award for guiding the Indian team to a gold medal in the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games. Considering India’s hockey fortunes have tumbled drastically since then, Kaushik’s application is being favoured by the bigwigs in SAI and the sports department.

The only snag is that Indian Hockey Federation supremo K.P.S. Gill is vehemently opposed to Kaushik’s nomination. Sources revealed that recommendation by the national sports federation is not mandatory but is always very helpful.

I.M. Vijayan’s nomination for the Arjuna is also under a cloud because of his controversial decision of not bothering to take an international clearance from the Bangladesh Football Federation while returning to play in India.

It is learnt that if two footballers are chosen for the Arjuna then both Bruno Coutinho and Vijayan will be nominated. However, in case just one footballer is chosen, then Bruno may get the nod. Others being considered are V.V.S. Laxman (cricket) and India’s first WGM S. Vijayalakshmi.


Calcutta, July 26: 
The Servo National Ranking (East) table tennis championships (formerly the East India championships) wil be played at the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra from Sunday to August 2. And this being the first meet of the national circuit of the Table Tennis Federation of India, most top stars of the country will be in fray.

It will be after quite some time that the city will witness Olympian Chetan Baboor and S. Raman and national champion Soumyadeep Roy in the well over-300 fray. There will be 20 states and institutions in action.

This will also be the first meet in the country to be played under the modified rules of the International Table Tennis Federation.

That means: (1) Sets wil be played for 11 points with best-of-five (till pre-quarters) for junior categories and best-of-seven otherwise. (2) Two serves each (alternating) instead of five. (3) Bigger balls (40mm diameter) — 3 star orange Nittaku to be used.

The Rs 5 lakh budget meet also carries a prize purse of Rs 30,000 for the men’s singles winner, and Rs 15,000 downwards for the women’s singles winner and so on. In the men’s and women’s singles there will purses for the quarter finalists as well (Rs 2,500 and 1,000, respectively). Money will be around from the semi-final stage in other categories.

Soumyadeep Roy of PSCB is the men’s top seed and N.R. Indu (PSCB) the women’s top seed. Arunava Ganguly of PSCB and Sumita Roy of Bengal top boys’ and girls’ sections, respectively.

Bengal Table Tennis Association secretary Ashis Dutta said the TTFI’s decision to abolish the cadet section from these meets has “robbed” the state of several medals, because “that is where we are extremely strong and could have swept the field.”

Arup Basak, whose suspension ended June 30, will be back in action, but will not have any seeding because he did not play last season.


MEN’S SINGLES: 1. Soumyadeep Roy (PSCB); 2. Subhajit Saha (PSCB); 3. S. Raman (PSCB); 4. Shibaji Dutta (PSCB); 5. Ranabir Das (Rly); 6. Chetan P. Baboor (PSCB); 7. Sourav Chakraborty (Rly); 8. Bhusan Thakur (Rly).

WOMEN’S SINGLES: 1. NR Indu (PSCB); 2. Poulami Ghatak (PSCB); 3. Mouma Das (PSCB); 4. MS Mythili (PSCB); 5. Anindita Chakraborty (Rly); 6. Mantu Ghosh (PSCB); 7. Kasturi Chakraborty (Ben); 8. Mallika Parekh (Rly).

BOYS’ SINGLES: 1. Arunava Ganguly (PSCB); 2. Niloy Basak (ben); 3. A Amalraj (PSCB); 4. Soumyajit Sarkar (Ben).

GIRLS’ SINGLES: 1. Sumita Roy (Ben); 2. Mousumi Paul (Ben); 3. S Sangeetha (TN); 4. Madhurika Patkar (Mah).

SUB-JR BOYS’ SINGLES: 1. Amarnath Das (Ben); 2. Arpit Bhopalkar (PSCB); 3. Jayanta Sarkar (Ben); 4. Soumyajit Sarkar (Ben).

SUB-JR GIRLS’ SINGLES: 1. Salavkara Mahalanabis (Ben); 2. Pallabi Kundu (Ben); 3. Sukanya Bose (Ben); 4. UV Agni (TN).

J.M. Banerjee Memorial meet

A veterans’ table tennis meet will be held at the Khudiram Anushilan Kendra on August 1 afternoon. It will be held in the memory of ace player of the 50s, J.M. Banerjee.


Calcutta, July 26: 
Sasthi Duley of Tollygunge Agragami and Jose Ramierz Barreto of Mohun Bagan will get the Jarnail Singh Award and the Dhiren Dey Award on Sunday.

The club has chosen July 29 as the Mohun Bagan Club Day, commemorating their 1911 IFA Shield win over East York Regiment.

A club official said it will be a day-long affair, with the prize distribution and felicitations (Sailen Manna has been named Mohun Bagan Ratna and Manna, Chuni Goswami, Subrata Bhattacharya and Satyajit Chatterjee will be feted for serving the club for over 12 years) being fenced by a veterans’ match and a cultural programme.

A souvenir (with the focus on July 29, 1911) will also be released.

Sonali win

Sonali Shibir today beat Wari AC 2-1 in their IFA League first division Group A match. Raju Guha and Bashir Kjhan scored for the winners, Anirban Ghosh for Wari.

Shabbir warned

The IFA’s league sub-committee today warned Bhratri Sangha coach Shabbir Ali about his “indecent” attitude in the match versus Mohun Bagan.

No other action will be taken against the coach.

The committee also rescheduled last Tuesday’s Tollygunge-Port Trust match to July 31, at the Mohun Bagan ground. No change in any other fixtures have been made.


Pune, July 26: 
Second in the Indian 1,000 Guineas and third in the Oaks, Narendra Lagad’s Star Shine is fancied to win the Class I Fair Wood Trophy, in Pune over mile circuit, on Friday. C. Rajendra partners the Potroe-Worthwhile filly.


1.45 pm: Desert Fighter 1. Razana 2. Northern Supreme 3.
2.15 pm: Discover 1.Pink Floyd 2. Tiger Talk 3.
2.25 pm: Beau Wonder 1. Grey Area 2. Destiny Calling 3.
3.15 pm: Potential Force 1. Piece of Art 2. Seville Star 3.
3.45 pm: Star Shine 1. Signal Tap 2. Realism 3.
4.15 pm: Spring Time 1. Stilleto Xpress 2. Inspire 3.
4.45 pm: Dancing Dreams 1. Femme Fatale 2. Cats Concert 3.
Day’s Best: Potential Force
Double: Discover & Spring Time

Pune, July 26: 
The Hormuz Antia-trained Daring Don claimed the P. Hadow Trophy in Pune on Thursday. Amyn Merchant partnered the Don’t Forget Me-son.


(With inter-state dividends)
1. Denier Plate 1,200m: (1-7-3) Crown Affair (Rajendra) 1; Tulsa Time 2; Numero Uno 3. Won by: 1; 3-1/4; (1-13.6). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 12; 22; 18; Quinella: 73; Tanala: 232. Fav: Crown Affair (1).
2. Take On Plate 1,400m: (2-6-3) Starsky (Prakash) 1; Fly Me To The Moon 2; Aphaia 3. Won by: 2-1/2; 8; (1-26.4). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 10; 15; 12; Quinella: 38; Tanala: 59. Fav: Starsky (2).
3. New Hanover Plate 1,200m: (1-3-8) Cryptonite (Belose) 1; Fabulous Fortune 2; Flossy 3. Won by: 1/2; 3-3/4; (1-13.4). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 14; 12; 42; Quinella: 39; Tanala: 592. Fav: Cryptonite (1).
4. Monica Plate 1,600m: (2-5-9) Classic Rock (Biramne) 1; Fortune’s Wheel 2; Heaven Sent 3. Not run: Fine Arrow (4). Won by: 2-1/4; 2-1/4; (1-40.1). Tote: Win Rs 32; Place: 14; 18; 22; Quinella: 53; Tanala: 392. Fav: Fortune’s Wheel (5).
5. P. Hadow Trophy 1,200m: (4-8-5) Daring Don (Merchant) 1; Master Honey 2; Days of Glory 3. Won by: 1/2; 2-1/4; (1-11.5). Tote: Win Rs 39; Place: 14; 12; 24; Quinella: 43; Tanala: 395. Fav: Master Honey (8).
6. Replican Plate 1,000m: (7-2-5) Star of Attention (Prakash) 1; Thunderlite 2; Forest Hunter 3. Won by: 3-3/4; 2-1/2; (1-1). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 12; 11; 66; Quinella: 15; Tanala: 233. Fav: Star of Attention (7).
7. Incence Plate 1,000m: (8-4-11) Mischiefmaker (Bast) 1; War ‘N’ Peace 2; Dhama Dham 3. Not run: Sabara (12). Won by: 8-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-0.9). Tote: Win Rs 64; Place: 25; 19; 116; Quinella: 115; Tanala: 5,513. Fav: War ‘N’ Peace (4).
Jackpot: Rs 3,441; (C) Rs 189.
Treble: (i) Rs 158; (ii) Rs 459.

Calcutta, July 26: 
Alamito and Rescue Act were impressive from among the following horses worked today:

Outer sand track

1,600m: Flamebird (Gowli) and No Regrets (Upadhya) in 1-54s; (400m) 29s. Former was a length better.
800m:Adorer (Som S.) and Lady Shirley (Gowli) in 59s; (400m) 30s. Former a length better. Wandering Warrior (Som S.) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Moved well. Cool Quest (Gowli) in 1-0s; (400m) 31s. Easy.
600m: Merano (Rb) 41s; (400m) 25s. Impressed.

Monsoon track:

1,200m: Alamito (Islam) and Rescue Act (Rabani) in 1-23s; (400m) 24s. Former was a length better.
800m:Aventura (Islam) and Sunset Down (Rabani) in 59s; (400m) 27s. Former a length better.

Sand track

800m: Rare Gold (Rutherford) in 56s; (400m) 25s. Moved well. Ghunghat (Yasin) in 56s; (400m) 26s. Easy.
600m, Gate practice: From 2000m to 1,400m: Crest Star (Gajinder) and Ghunghat (Yasin) in 47s. Both Jumped out well, former far better.

On Wednesday, outer sand track

1,400m: Victory Waltz (A. P. Singh) and Affliction (C. Alford) in 1-47s; (400m) 30s. Former a length better. Alsheim (C. Alford) and Annella (A. P. Singh) in 1-46s; (400m) 30s. Level.
1,200m: Annatto (C. Alford) and Master Bold (Rb) in 1-28s; (400m) 30s. Level. Alvarada (A. P. Singh) in 1-30s; (400m) 30s. Easy.

Sand track

800m: Eau Savage (G. Singh) in 1-0s; (400m) 28s. Heaven’s Blessing (G. Singh) 57s; (400m) 25s. Lovely Duchess (P. Alford) in 58s; (400m) 26s. Just Kidding (P. Alford) in 57s; (400m) 27s. Pure Passion (Rutherford) in 53s; (400m) 25s. Red Trident (P. Alford) in 59s; (400m) 29s.
600m: Armila (Engineer) in 43s; (400m) 26s.

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