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sport JCT hold Mahindra After controlling the proceedings, Mumbai side fail to score even once Ludhiana: Even after controlling the proceedings for almost the entire 90 minutes, Mahindra United ultimately split points with JCT in their last away match of the phase I of the ONGC I-League in Jalandhar on Saturday. Mahindra were goalless by JCT. Going into the match with an opportunity to go atop the standings, the Mumbai outfit proved a much the better side throughout, both in terms of ball possession and the chances created. But they had to return with just one point from this sixth round clash as they failed miserably in the penetrating zone. Mahindra central midfielder Svetozar Mijin, though, had a superb day in office. He constantly probed the rival defence but was unable to do the needful in front of cohesive brand of football by the Jalandhar-based side. Remaining unbeaten so far with just two games to be played before the league takes its first break, this was Mahindra United’s third consecutive draw. By vistue of this drawn encounter, the Mumbai side remains on the third position. Nigerian striker Muritala Ali of Mahindra United, however, was adjudged the Man of the Match.

INDIAWATCH BHULLAR IN SIGHT OF TOP-10 Gaganjeet Bhullar, who started the third round in tied 13th place, had played 10 holes at the Singapore Open to slip to 20th and was three-under for the tournament and with a chance to aim for another top-10 this season. Jyoti Randhawa, the only other Indian to make the cut, seemed to be doing fine till he dropped a double bogey on fifth, his last hole before the rain stoppage.

dna.sunday

The State association’s initiative of 10-match tourney for U-21 will start from December 6 Vivek Phadnis.

BANGALORE

Indian hockey is no longer what it used to be. The National team is not what it used to be, tournaments are few and the general interest in the sport has gone down. With the idea of trying something new, Karnataka and Mumbai

will play an under-21 10-match ‘Test’ series. The first five matches will be played in Mumbai from December 6 onwards. They will then visit Karnataka for the remaining five matches. This is an initiative of the Karnataka State Hockey Association (KSHA) and the Bombay Hockey Association (BHA). This is perhaps the first such series being played. “Actually, BHA suggested this to us. We immediately accepted because it sounded good,” said KSHA Secretary K Krishnamurthy. “The whole point of this series is to keep players active. The other thing is that with the Senior Na-

tional Championship not being conducted regularly, the players lose out on chances to show their talent.” The Premier Hockey League was a popular tournament but with the Indian Hockey Federation being dissolved, the event has hit the dead end and players have lost a chance to strut their stuff. However, this idea of a ‘Test’ series is at a very nascent stage, though it could be said that the contests will turn out to be rather interesting. The KSHA conducted selection trials to pick the State team here on Saturday. “About 80 players turned

A

mong the early luminaries in the roster of Indian national badminton champions is one unusual name - Erland Kops. The Dane, who won the Indian national title in 1959, would go on to become a legend - winning seven All England titles (four of them consecutively) and halting the marauding Malayans in their tracks. Kops was remarkably ahead of his times. At a period when Asia was still largely unknown to Europeans, Kops undertook to base himself there, traveling across the badminton-playing world and becoming the first European to consistently beat the Asians on home turf. Kops had no equal in the Sixties. Old-timers in Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata still fondly recall his memorable battles with Indian players of those times. Now 73, Kops opens up to DEV S SUKUMAR on the sidelines of the recently-concluded Denmark Open. Excerpts:

SARITA, USHA IN SEMIS India’s women boxers Laishram Sarita Devi and Usha Nagisetty entered the semifinals of the third Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam on Saturday. In the 54 kg weight category bout, Sarita jabbed and scored at will as she beat Ayako Minowa of Japan. In the 57 kg category, Usha beat Koroleva Oxana of Kazakhstan. On Sunday, India’s four time World Champion Mary Kom will face Ting Lo Yueh of Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) in the 46 kg category.

LOCALWATCH

SUNDAY INTERVIEW ACE OPINION: Erland Kops feels Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat (in this pic) is the most talented player he has ever witnessed

Bangalore: Harshith R defeated Suraj D 11-7 11-1 11-8 to win the sub-junior boys title in the Sri MS Ramahaiah Memorial Annual State Open tabletennis tournament. At Prakash Courts on Saturday, Harshith earlier beat Srenidhi 8-11 1311 10-12 11-6 in the quarterfinal and outclassed Sunand Vasan 10-12 11-8 911 11-7 in the semifinal. In the sub-junior girls’ final, Maitreyi Bailoor dominated the proceedings. She beat Ridhi Rohit 11-6 112 13-11 to win the title round.

Results Boys: Semifinal: Suraj D (CU) bt Shreyas Telang (BNM) 5-11 11-4 11-6; Harshith R (Star) Sunand Vasan (Hor) 10-12 11-8 9-11 11-7 Final: Harshith R (Star) bt Suraj D (CU) 11-7 11-1 11-8 Girls: Semifinal: Maitreyi B (BGM) bt Maiurya M (HITA) 11-6 11-8 9-11 11-5; Ridhi Rohit (PITA) bt Haripriya (JITA) 11-8 11-5 11-6; Final: Maitreyi B (BGM) bt Ridhi Rohit (PITA) 11-6 11-2 13-11

The idea of a ‘Test’ series is at a very nascent stage, though it could be said that the contests will turn out to be rather interesting up and we have identified 45. We are going to have a camp and the list will be pruned to say 25 after which the final 18 will be named,” Krishnamurthy added. One issue with the Karnataka leg of the series is that the turf at the KSHA Stadium is yet to be complet-

ed. “We are hoping the turf will be ready by the time it is our turn to host the matches. But in case it is not ready, we can always think of having the matches at the new hockey pitch at Madikeri,” the Secretary said. Asked if such a series could be extended for the senior teams as well, Krishnamurthy said: “It may be possible but one issue is that most top players will be playing for their respective employers and may not always be available. “Having such a series with other states is also a possibility. Let us see how this series goes first,” he signed off.

‘It was always difficult to beat Indian players’

The Indian women playing only their second international tournament put up a remarkable performance at the Asian Rugby 7s Circuit, Borneo. The team stunned the Malaysian team with their brilliant all round display winning 21-10. While in their other match of the day against Thailand they were handed a 45-0 thrashing.

HARSHITH, MAITREYI LIFT TITLES

17

KSHA to keep players active with Test Series

MIXED DAY FOR RUGBY EVES

CATCHING THEM YOUNG: Madhav Sudarshan, Ruthvika, Sagarikka (left to right) won individual gold medals on the first day of Swim Life triple meet held at St Josephs Indian high school on Saturday

Bangalore, November 1, 2009

Gagan beats injury to win double gold

You were based in Asia for a while. Was it purely to pursue badminton? No, that came about because I was with the East Asiatic company and they stationed me in Bangkok in 1958. I worked there for three years. I played a lot of badminton with the local people and that raised my level and understanding of the game of the Asians. Some time after I left Bangkok, I met a Chinese stewardess and stayed with her family in Singapore for six months. I played in Singapore and Thailand and India. It took me 1-1/2 years to get back to Denmark. I only played badminton during that time. I was travelling by myself, I was the only European. You were the first European to face the Asians on their terms; to win titles in Asia. I think my Bangkok training helped a lot. We’d go to the Far East once every three years, for the Thomas Cup. There were not many tournaments. You never got used to those circumstances. But after three years of living there it became like a home court for me.

ter a month, I would have around 700 dollars, and I won some prizes... You were famous for your physical style of play. How did you train? Simply by playing. I didn’t like to run. I did a lot of bicyling to strengthen my legs, in the countryside. Unlike your contemporaries, you still follow the game… I go to the Denmark Open and the Copenhagen Masters every year, and I follow the club matches. I usually go to the World Championships. I like to see my friends. Your opinion of the current players, Taufik Hidayat and Lin Dan? (Sighs) Taufik… I would be very frustrated if I were his coach. Because he’s so talented... he’s probably the most talented player I’ve seen, but he hasn’t got the determination... you don’t know whether he wants to play or not. I’d never dare to bet on him. Maybe he will play, and if he plays he will win, and maybe he doesn’t want to play, so he will lose. It’s up to him. See, I prefer people who try, and try very hard. And I find it difficult to forgive people with such talent who don’t use it.

You played a lot in India as well… India was probably the nation I’ve travelled the most. My first time was in 1959. I was stationed in Bangkok, and I got an invitation from Calcutta to play in a tournament. In those days, Indian badminton was organised in an easyIs that an essential part of his genius going way. So I was invited for two as well? weeks, and I ended up staying for a I practise everyday, a lot. That was month and played three tournathe way I did it, and I could still keep ments. They sort of invented a few the interest in the game. But if you Erland Kops tournaments just because I was there. took Taufik and trained him like me, I’ve been all over the north. If you draw a line he’d lose interest. He’s more talented than Lin Dan. from Calcutta to Bombay I’ve been to every place Lin is a very very determined player, but he doesn’t up north, and Hyderabad and Pune as well. I’ve have Taufik’s talent. been everywhere… Lucknow, Jaipur, Gorakhpur, Jamshedpur... Was your relentless hunger to win a result of any deprivation in childhood? Your battles with Nandu Natekar are still remem- No... I came from a well-to-do family. So the hunger was an accident, maybe. It was a game, it was playbered by fans… Natekar was a beautiful player, beautiful strokes, time. Later on it got more serious. Then I set my but as I told him, he wasn’t a problem because he eyes on the All England, and you need to train had no stamina, no power. If he played for more harder... it wasn’t like I’d come from poverty. I had than half an hour he had no stamina left. And my a good childhood, no problem at home at all. style, I could run for days. There were a number of other talented Indian players, it was always diffiRudy Hartono is called ‘The Greatest’ in badcult to beat them. minton. What’s your opinion of him? He broke your record of seven men’s singles titles at the All EngHow did you sustain yourself through those years? land. I didn’t make any money. I got my pocket money, Not in my opinion. My record was made by me. and they paid a food allowance. That would be His record was created by him and the Indonesian around 15 dollars a day. It wasn’t a lot, but there association. I’ve seen him play (Indonesian compawas no way to spend that money, because we were triot) Liem Swie King in the All England final, and either in the train, or the hotel, or the court. So af- King played far below his best.

CIL DROP TOUGH TIE

Jain, Bangalore University dominate Day One

Gagan AP

DNA Correspondent.

BANGALORE

Gagan AP of Jain University began his campaign at the All India Inter-university Swimming Championship with a double gold haul in Amritsar, Punjab on Saturday. Despite nursing a shoulder injury, the first year BBM student fought against stiff challenge posed by Rohit Havaldar of Bangalore University (BU) to win his first gold medal in the 400m freestyle event. Gagan clocked 4:09.97 seconds while Havaldar was just a 0.59 secs behind him. Finishing third was Srinand Srinivas (4:22secs) of Rajiv Gandhi University. “I have been nursing an injury in my right shoulder for a few days now. But since this meet is the last competition for the season, I decided to take part,”

said the 17-year-old long distance swimmer. Later in the day, Gagan came back to win the 200m breastroke event, a triumph which he did not expect. “I thought I will take it a little easy in 200m breastroke but getting a gold in the event was a bit of a surprise,” Gagan exclaimed. Meanwhile, Havaldar made up for his 400m freestyle loss in 200m backstroke as he beat Sandeep NA of Vishweshwarayya Technological University (VTU) to win the gold. Havaldar touched pads on 2:11.78 secs while Sandeep finished far behind clocking 2:21.20 secs. In the women’s section, Tejaswini V of BU claimed the first position in 50m butterfly. The engineering student from UVCE timed 32.63 secs to win the gold. She also bagged the first place in her pet event-200m breaststroke with a timing of 3:03.44 secs.

CIL and South Western Railways (in Yellow) slug it out during their match played at Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday Nishant Ratnakar Bangalore: CIL men were unable to take down tough opponents South Western Railways in their State ‘A’ Division volleyball league match being held at the Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday. The close contest saw Railways win 25-22, 25-21, 2514. In another match, MEG beat SAI 25-22, 25-21, 25-14.

Other results Men: Jindal bt HMT 25-23, 25-20, 25-22; KSP bt Jindal 25-21, 32-30, 25-23. Women: KSP bt Spikers 25-7, 25-10, 25-10; Spikers bt Vidyanagar School 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 14-25, 15-8.


Erland Kops interview