Amiya Walvalker emerges new national karting champion
Barasat clinch title
Quick win for Kalighat
Irina Brar tops
Bengal ‘B’ blanked out
Mumbai Racing/ Dancing Eve may strike
Race Review/ Daniel’s ‘Silver’ shone brightest

On Sunday, Amiya Walvalker of Mumbai became the second national go-karting champion, lifting the title in the final race of the JK Tyre National Go-Karting championship in Goa. That gave two titles to Mumbai, the first one having been captured by none other than the now-famous kid Asif Nazir.

There is this little hill, near Belloy Nuvem, just off NH 17 (the Margao-Panaji highway) in Goa. Not very illustrious in itself, this bit of elevation amid verdant green that Goan countryside represents, has now gained social status. Above the spanking new Woodburn Country Club, in the lap of the rolls, and atop with the best view in many miles around, is the as new Goa Kart Racing Track. There was much hectic activity there Sunday, and, as the sun set on a perfect, warm and breezy evening, the halogens lit up a 450m tarmac track and an array of bright-eyed youngsters ready to get going for glory.

Go-karting has caught on like wildfire, to use a rather cliched cliché, and the packs of young hearts raring to be bravehearts grow each day. The final races — initially scheduled to be held over the Connaught Place inner circle, but pushed out after the December 13 attack on Parliament — were the culmination of a national movement, so to say, a resurgence of the dying motorsport scenario.

The final came off an eight-city circuit that threw up 18 of the country’s most promising young driving enthusiasts. That included the top two from each centre plus two qualifiers from the eight third-placed participants at each centre. The level of competition can be gauged from the fact that one of the qualifiers from the runners-up pack, Sameer Ebrahim of Chennai, went all the way to the final and even held a fine lead over Walvalker for a few laps before one of his two engines died out on him. The other qualifier was Abhimanyu Jadhav of Bangalore.

Activity on the pre-final day was restricted to qualifying runs to select the grid placings for the three ‘semi-final’ races, so to say. The top six in the qualifiers finished virtually neck-and-neck, with only four-tenths of a second separating them overall.

The semi-final qualifiers were on a grid of six karters each. It was in the third ‘semi-final’ that Bengal’s Mahindra Jubbal, who had made the preliminary qualifiers at third spot (34.51 seconds, against topper Walvalker’s 24.44 and second finisher Ebrahim’s 34.48) started in pole position. He was expected to give a good fight and at least reach the final, but he crashed out in the third lap.

The first ‘semi-final’ started amid a big cheer, and Walvalker led. However, a minor crash between two competitors at the first corner led to the race being restarted. Rayomond Banajee took the lead, but Walvalker soon overtook him to regain his pole position. S. Narendran came back from a late in position to be at second position.

The second ‘heat’ saw Ebrahim in the lead, followed by Rajiv Patel. Patel took over lead for some time before Ebrahim was back at the helm again to finish first. Arvind KC came in after Ebrahim and the two made it to the final.

The six finalists were Walvalker, Ebrahim, Jadhav, Adil Amaan, S. Narendran and Arvind KC.

In the final Ebrahim took the lead rightaway, pushing ahead of Walvalker at pole. The chase was close with a minute fraction of a second separating the two. By the third lap Ebrahim was even pulling away, but then one of his two engines simply died out. Ebrahim could not believe his eyes as the entire field slowly went past him and he was lapped and lapped. Ebrahim did go through the 24 laps, but it was a painful thing, nevertheless.

Walvalkar won not just the title, but also a brand new Ford Ikon (the company being one of the sponsors) and a JK Tyre-sponsored professional drive at JK Tyre National Racing Championship 2002. That was the route that Asif Nazir had come from, to gain great heights.

That is where Walvalker is headed to. Perhaps the Narain Karthikeyan way, too.


Calcutta, Jan.8: 
Barasat beat Durgapur 2-0 to win the IFA all-Bengal inter-sub division sub-junior (under-16) football meet at the SAI ground today.

Just as it seemed the first-half would end goalless, Raja Chatterjee, who along with Bongaon’s M. Biswas has emerged the second-highest goal scorer of the tournament, drew first blood in the 44th minute. Chatterjee and Biswas have slotted eight goals each, second only to Probir Sujit Ghosh of Krishnanagar who has nine. Biswajit Das sealed Durgapur’s fate in the 65th minute.

Farid-Ranjan final

Top seeds Farid Alam and Ranjan Prasad reached the final of the boys’ under-18 and under-14 categories, respectively, in the Britannia Maska Chaska junior age-group tennis meet. At the Ordnance Club today, Alam and Prasad both beat Vaibhav Das 7-5, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-3, respectively, in the semi-finals.

OTHER SEMI-FINAL RESULTS: Boys’ (U-18): Biplab Das bt Dharamveer Vishwakarma 6-2, 2-6, 6-2; (U-14): Arup Mallick bt Bapi Halder 6-3, 6-4; Boys & girls’ (U-10): Md Imran bt Ramveer Shrivastav 8-2, Ayush Bajoria bt Madhurima Chowdhury 8-4.

Kalyani win

Hosts Kalyani University won the North-East Zone inter-university men’s kho-kho tournament when they beat Punjabi University 13-12 and Delhi University 21-10 and gathered six points in Kalyani today. Punjab, who beat Calcutta University 14-8 were the runners-up with four points. Calcutta University beat Delhi 9-8 to gather two points and come in third.

D’Abrew remembered

Veteran sports journalist John D’Abrew, who died in his sleep on January 3 was remembered by friends and colleagues at a condolence meet organised by the Calcutta Sports Journalist Club at its Maidan tent this evening.

All those who spoke at the meet and even those who did not had been touched by the genial D’Abrew’s goodness in some way or the other and John’s passing away loss was felt by everyone in their own way. That came out clear in what they had to say about their association in and around the Maidan with D’Abrew.


Calcutta, Jan. 8: 
While Kalighat Club squeezed a victory out of Belgachia United Club in just a day today, Mayanka Chakraborty scored his third century of the season to guide Netaji Subhas Institute to 371 for eight on the first day of their two-day CAB first division league game against George Telegraph Sports Club.

Apart from Mayanka who hit 109, other major contributors for Netaji Subhas were Bhaskar Malakar who hit 88 and Aranya Deb Sarkar who scored 66.

Summarised Scores

Netaji Subhas Institute 371/8 (M.Chakraborty 109, B. Malakar 88; F. Sajjad 3/87) vs George Telegraph Sports Club.

Belgachia 148 (M. Lodhgar 4/45). Kalighat 151/2 (Md. Ziauddin 59). Kalighat won by eight wickets.

Burnpur Cricket Club 260 (S. Roy 89; J. Mukherjee 5/60). Taltala Club 12/1.

Eastern Railway S.A. 371/8 (S. Bhattacharya 78, O.P. Tiwari 75) vs Ballygunge United.

BNR 218 (S. Mukherjee 6/87) vs Sporting Union

Mohun Bagan 307 (M. Sengupta 106, A. Banerjea 100; C.P. Verma 5/106) vs Aryan Club

City A.C. 365 (A. Das 160, D. Singh 61; M.N.Routh 4/107) vs YMCA.

All matches to continue unless otherwise specified.

Sinthee Corus cricket

Ashok Malhotra C.A. and Friends of the Stadium won their matches in the all-Bengal sub-junior cricket tournament organised by Sinthee Corus.

Summarised Scores

Durgapur C.C.C. 140 (Chandan Roy 5/38). Friends of the Stadium 142/1 (Promit Biswas 50, Pankaj Show 67). Friends of the Stadium won by nine wickets.

Ashok Malhotra C.A. 100 (Sandeep Jaiswal 4/31. Putu Choudhury XI 95 (Sandeep Jaiswal 40, Mohan Koyal 3/21). Ashok Malhotra C.A. won by six runs.


Calcutta, Jan. 8: 
Irina Brar today returned a 73 card to top the gold division of the West Bengal ladies golf championship at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club today.

Manasi Halwasiya, the only junior golfer in the fray, did not have a good day, finishing third in the silver division (Kanungo Trophy) with 91.

LEADING SCRATCH SCORERS: Gold Division—I. Brar 73, A. Chopra 75, S. Khanna 77; Silver Division: Kanungo Trophy—R. Sen 90, C. Das 91, M. Halwasiya 91, West Bengal Challenge Cup—C. Das 67, R. Sen 70, S. Vakharia 72; Bronze division: Burdwan Cup—S.K. Mehra 70, S.S. Kohli 70, T. Barua 74.

Kaivan Cup

Julien Day School and Ballygunge Institute today won their matches in the Kaivan Cup organised by the Bengal Hockey Association.

Julien Day beat Calcutta West Club 6-4 on aggregate after they were tied 2-2 in regulation time while Ballygunge beat La Martiniere for Boys 3-1 in matches played at the BHA grounds.

President’s Cup

Behala Sports Association beat Paikpara Hockey Training Centre 1-0 in the final of the President’s Cup meet at the BHA grounds yesterday.


Calcutta, Jan. 8: 
Bengal ‘B’ today went down to Delhi ‘A’ 0-5 in the inter-state squash tournament being held at the Calcutta Racket Club.

Yesterday, Bengal ‘A’ had managed a better performance against the fancied Services team losing 2-3.

In other matches today, Uttar Pradesh’s woes continued as they lost to Rajasthan 0-5 after having been blanked out by Tamil Nadu yesterday. Services, who have always had a strong squash team, looked far from convincing, dropping two games before overcoming Delhi ‘B’ 3-2.


Mumbai, Jan 9: 
Working well, the Narendra Lagad-trained filly Dancing Eve is taken to win the 1,200m Prince Khartoum Trophy at the Mumbai races on Wednesday. C. Rajendra partners the Don’t Forget Me-Anissa daughter.


1.30 pm: Winning Melody 1. Sugar Daddy 2. Truluck 3.

2 pm: Dancing Eve 1. Signor Escobar 2. Divyakiran 3.

2.30 pm: Foreign Connection 1. Royal Standard 2. Portentous 3.

3 pm: Majestic Crown 1. Miss Trump 2. Attia In Sunlight 3.

3.30 pm: Altazano 1. Salt Lake 2. Cozumel 3.

4 pm: Al-Gibran 1. Idolize 2. Sea Nymph 3.

4.30 pm: Star Status 1. Divine Protocol 2. Accademia 3.

5 pm: C’Est Egal 1. Secret Force 2. Topaz 3.

5.30 pm: Sarena Pride 1. Infuriate 2.Aylesfield 3.

Day’s Best: Foreign Connection

Double: Star Status & C’Est Egal.


Calcutta, Jan. 8: 
Sunday gave a big boost to a two-year short but steady career of trainer Daniel David, and his greatest moment followed shortly after 3.30 pm. It was when his filly Touch of Silver presented the trainer with a chance to win the Kingfisher Calcutta Derby Stakes, his first major classic.

The Serious Spender-Corviglia daughter took 2 minutes and 32.7seconds to traverse the 2,400m circuit. But then, there was this two-minute agonising wait for the trainer, as the winner was picked out of the photo-finish camera, the judge separating the three horses among boys and men. The magic happened as the MAM Ramaswamy-owned horse got the nod, ahead of Arterial and Calorescence. Not only the Derby, the winner had also claimed the fillies’ triple crown in the process. Earlier in the season she had won the Calcutta 1,000 Guineas and followed it by her easy victory in the Oaks.

The story did not end there. The victory of the Silver had also equalled the age-old record of Phillip Corner as Daniel saddled his sixth winner of the day. With luck by his side and one more event to follow, he stood a fair chance of re-writing the record books. And Daniel, helped by jockey Prakash Bhonsle, carved another victory to the delight of his numerous followers. It was Impressive Prince in the concluding event who, despite his topweight, had the measure of a strongly fancied Odyssey in another close-contest.

Touch of Silver was clearly out-quoted in the bookmakers’ ring with the 2,000 Guineas winner Antequera getting the first attention of Derby Day massive crowd, at 8-10, in the betting. The Green Forest-Silver Reflet four-year-old was, however, a big let down. The Darius Byramji-ward clearly ran short in the department of stamina and any excuse about the traffic problem faced by Aslam Kader on the favourite nearing the distance-post could hardly be a valid ground for his listless performance. Antequera finished fifth, so much so, he was tamed by The Archer by two lengths thus avenging his Guineas defeat.

It was Prakash in the curtain raiser, The Metropolitan,to set the ball rolling for the stable when Beneficent called the shot from the start and literally out-paced the field, including the 7-10 hot-property, Artwork, also a Darius’ trainee.

Riding a well-judged race, Nic Connorton on a neglected Star Selection made it two in-a-row for the stable that had fancied a well-bred debutant Assetive Dancer — by Razeen out of Roccobarocco — to win the Alokananda Stakes, an event for the juvenile fillies.

If Vijay Singh’s easy winner Accrete caused a temporary halt to the Daniel-onslaught in the Brave Dancer Cup, the stable returned more stronger to it a make a clean sweep in the jackpot legs.


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