Leipus watch on Indian fitness
ItŪs a washout again at East London
City leg on Sunday
No swimming at National Games

East London, Nov. 11: 
Itís a designer watch with a difference. For one, itís not sleek. Then, itís made in Finland (by Polar Electro) and not in Switzerland or Japan. And, basically, itís a heartrate monitor with infrared capability.

Hightech, yes, and thanks to physio An drew Leipus, the Indians are finally adopt ing .scientific methods. of training. The watch . purchased by all players on tour at a discounted rate of Rands 1,800 (around $ 200) . is the latest device they have been exposed to.

Among others, the watch (introduced about a decade ago) is used by the Springbok rugby players and some provincial cricket teams in South Africa.Apparently, it has also been used by Steve Waughís Aus tralians.The watch can be worn during gym sessions as also nets proper.

Speaking to The Telegraph at the team hotel (Holiday Inn) last evening, Leipus explained: .In sim ple terms, the watch (which has an inbuilt computer) helps assess the intensity of exercises, the effects of training... Idea, of course, is to make the training effective.As for me, I just have to place the watch next to an infrared connection and press a button for the data to be downloaded to my laptop..

Leipus,who has been with the team for 25 months, added: .Should the players have a personal laptop, they can monitor their own fitness... There may be occasions when I won.t meet them for threefour weeks.Well, they can continue with their training programme as the watch can record a maximum of 260 hours of heartrate (if the sampling is every minute). Then,when I see them, I.ll download the data..

But, can the recordings be ma nipulated? Leipus answered laughing: .Yes, if somebody else is given the watch and asked to train!. He added: .The watch it self won.t lie....

Meanwhile, the isokinetic (musclestrength) tests done at the Centre for Sports Medicine, in Jo hannesburg, straight after the teamís arrival (latter half of Sep tember), have generally revealed: (a) strengthtoweight ratio is below ideal (b) im balances between muscle groups (c) eccen tric weakness in the throwing arm.

The tests were conducted by a top spe cialist, Dr Jannie Klingbeal,who placed his recommendations, too, on record.

In a nutshell, injuries are waiting to happen. Only, now that Leipus has what he describes a .scientific data base,. he is fine tuning training programmes to suit indi vidual players. Significantly, those who did n.t make the triseries cut will undergo their tests during the third and final Test, when the team will be based in Johannes burg.

Leipus, then, will have the scientifical lyassessed data base of around 20 players. Obviously, itís a plus for the physio. What Leipus is worried about, though, is players maintaining fitness levels when thereís a break from international commitments. After all, even the Finnish watch can play a limited role.

Incidentally, taking .all parameters. into account,Venkatesh Prasad is among the fittest. Good going for the 32yearold veteran.


East London, Nov. 11: 
All 2003 World Cup venues in South Africa, plus the three outside the country, will have a supersopper during the February 9March 23 tourna ment.This .assurance.was given this afternoon by Dr Ali Bacher, executive director of the 2003 World Cup.

Speaking from his Johannesburg residence,Dr Bacher told The Telegraph: .The ideal situation will be for each of the 15 venues to have an exclusive supersopper. But, just in case thatís not possible, we could have neighbour ing centres sharing one .provided, of course, the venues in question don.t have matches on the same day..

Dr Bacher indicated Bloemfontein and Kimberley as also Cape Town and Paarl may get into the sharing act. If it comes to that, even Port Elizabeth and East London. At the moment, unbelievably, South Africa only has two supersoppers. Both are at the Wanderers (Johannesburg).

Actually, itís shocking that an otherwise highly profes sional body . the United Cricket Board of South Africa . has paid little attention to an important facility. More so, when there is no dearth of sponsors and funding isn.t a problem.

Had all international centres already been in possession of a super sopper, play would surely have been possible both yesterday and today, the first two days of the fourday India versus South Africa A game, at Buffalo Park. Thanks both to in termittent rain in the first half and, then, the lack of a supersopper, not a ball was bowled today either.

A poor advertisement for cricket in South Africa and even Mercedes Benz,which sponsors the sport at the provincial level in these parts. But the maximum damage has been to the cause of the many hopefuls, either looking to stage a Test comeback or aspiring for their first cap. The huge dis appointment on so many faces, this afternoon, left nothing unsaid.

In fact, unlike yesterday,when umpires Ian Howell and Craig Schoof made three inspections before deciding no play was possible, two visits to the field sufficed today. Not surprisingly, both captains (Sourav Ganguly and Dale Benkenstein) gladly went along with the umpires. decision.

Referring to the fiasco here, Dr Bacher insisted there wouldn.t be a repeat during cricketís No.1 showpiece. .I wish to assure everybody that play will begin within an hour of the rain ceasing and the sun coming out. Thatís a guarantee..

Dr Bacher revealed all venues have been .instructed. to upgrade their drainage system as well. .The process has begun and will be complete by next March, 11 months before the tournament....

Sleepy East London, in particular, will host two World Cup league matches and one Super Six game. The league matches will feature EnglandHolland on February 16 and South AfricaCanada on February 27. The SuperSix game, on March 15, will be between the Group B toppers and the thirdplaced team in Group A.

Dr Bacher pointed out as much as Rands 45 million (around $ 5 mil lion) could eventually be spent exclusively on up grading stadia. Expenditure on supersoppers will be separate. Incidentally, while supersop pers are generally imported from Australia, a South African company has begun indigenous production.

Procuring the supersoppers, then, will be cheaper.


In South Africa ó Benoni, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Centurion, Durban, East London, Johannesburg, Kimberley, Paarl, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth and Potchefstroom.

Outside South Africa ó Bulawayo, Harare and Nairobi.


Calcutta, Nov. 11: 
Motorsport comes down to the basics at Kartica in the eastern fringes of the city next Sunday,when the sixth leg of the JK Tyre National GoKarting Championship is held. Karting is a race sport that . to sort of oversimplify it . strips Formula One of all its technical hype, yet presents to the beginner enough adrenaline for a realtime race.

World F1 champion Michael Schumacher has risen from these kart ing pit stops and recently, it may be recalled, did not fare too well at the world meet in a backtobasics trip.

Bengal Motor Sports Club, which is providing the technical assis tance here, believes this will rejuvenate motorsport in this part of the country. Interest ingly, all star na tional racers, in cluding Narain Karthikeyan (who will be in the city tomorrow), Perci van, Asif Nazir and Karun Chan dok have cut their racing teeth on Karts and have graduated to the British Formula III,where they bide their time and hone their skills in an effort to reach the rarefied air of F1. All the national stars will be in the city at one time or other between November 16 and 18.

The legs completed before Calcutta are Bangalore, Chennai, Hyder abad,Ahmedabad and Mumbai (today).There will be two more, in Vado dara and Ludhiana. The national finals, comprising champions from each centre will be held at Connaught Place,New Delhi, on December 23. The circle will be closed to traffic and used for the purpose.

The kart, originally developed as a fun machine, comprises a simple, low, rectangular, tubular chassis car with pneumatic or solid tyres. The solidaxle rear wheels derive power from a twostroke 4.5bhp Kinetic Pride 2 or a 6/7.5bhp Kirloskar Briggs & Stratton fourstroke engine. Power transmission is via a chain and sprocket arrangement.

Speeds achieved by fun racers are between 4050kmph, and the track length here is 380m. However, if this sounds insignificant, it may be re membered that this is more for entry level driving technique develop ment over a turning, twisting track. It is about control and opportunism. To make things simpler, there are no gears to handle.

The sides of the kart have fibreglass bumpers to protect the driver.


Calcutta, Nov. 11: 
The swimming event of the National Games has been cancelled following inclem ent weather.The Games are sched uled to take place from November 20 in Chandigarh.

BOA president Asoke Ghosh said today that the organisers we re unable to control chilling tem peratures in the pools, leading to the cancellation of the event.

The organisers have inducted netball as a replacement.

Railways TT

Sarath Kamal set up a title clash with Subham Chowdhury in menís singles of the allIndia Rail ways table tennis tournament at SAI Eastern Centre today. In womenís final, Nandita Saha will face Sushmita Roy.    

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