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Thursday, August 09, 2001

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India makes a clean sweep

By Our Sports Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, AUG. 8. India made a clean sweep of the titles in the fifth SAARC carrom championship held at Ghiyasuddin School Hall, Maldives, from August 2 to 5.

In the men's team championship, the Indian team, with World No. 1 R.M. Shankara, K. Radhakrishnan and M. Nataraj in its ranks, predictably breezed past its rivals in the five-team league to win the title. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh finished second and third respectively.

India also extended its lease over the women's team title with an all-win record in the four-team league. Rashmi Kumari's last minute pullout from the championship reduced the Indian team to two players, but P. Nirmala and R. Sharmila responded to the challenge and won all their matches without difficulty. Sri Lanka and Maldives `A' came second and third respectively.

In the individual events, M. Nataraj upset R.M. Shankara 25-11, 25-4 to win the men's singles title. The Nataraj- R.M. Shankara duo took the doubles title with a hard fought 25- 17, 24-25, 25-4 win over M.T.M. Hilmy and V.N. Fernando of Sri Lanka.

R. Sharmila won the women's singles title with a surprisingly easy victory over World No. 1 P. Nirmala 25-5, 25-9. Sharmila completed a double when she partnered Nirmala to win the doubles title. The duo defeated Aminath Nima and Aishath Shazna of Maldives 25-11, 25-14 in the final.

K. Radhakrishnan and P. Nirmala won the mixed doubles title with a 25-13, 25-4 win over Ajith Chandrasoma and Amitha Wickremasinghe of Sri Lanka.

Maldives will again host the sixth SAARC carrom championship next year.

The results:

Men: Team championship (league): India bt Maldives `B' 3-0 (M. Nataraj bt Hussain Ali 25-0, 25-0; K. Radhakrishnan bt Mohammed Fareem 25-0, 25-1; R.M. Shankara bt Hassan Nazim 25-0, 25-0); bt Bangladesh 3-0 (Nataraj bt K.G. Humayun 25-0, 25-11; Shankara bt H. Rahman 20-18, 15-23, 21-14; Radhakrishnan bt A.F.M. Hoque 16- 19, 25-9, 24-14); bt Maldives `A' 3-0 (Shankara bt Ahmed Naseem 25-0, 25-3; Nataraj bt Mohammed Fareem 25-5, 25-10; Radhakrishnan bt Hussain Nisham 25- 17, 25-0); bt Sri Lanka 3-0 (Radhakrishnan bt Ajith Chandrasoma 25-8, 25-9; Shankara bt D.N. Fernando 12-17, 24-10, 25-4; Nataraj bt M.T.M. Hilmy 25-5, 25-0.

Sri Lanka bt Maldives `A' 2-1 (Chandrasoma lost to Hussain Nisham 3-24, 16-23; Fernando bt Mohammed Fareem 25-4, 25- 2; Hilmy bt Ahmed Naseem 24-8, 13-14, 25-3); bt Maldives `B' 2-1 (Hilmy bt Hassan Nizim 10-25, 21-8, 25-7; Chandrasoma bt Mohd. Amir 17-19, 21-11, 25-9); bt Bangladesh 2-1 (Hilmy bt Humayun Kabir 25-11, 18-13; Fernando bt Hoque 25-0, 25-6; Chandrasoma lost to H. Rahim 10-25, 14-18).

Bangladesh bt Maldives `A' 3-0 (K.G. Humayun bt Mohammed Fareem 23-12, 18-8; H. Rahman bt Hussain Nisham 25-16, 14-25, 25-2; A.F.M. Hoque bt Ahmed Naseem 19-16, 17-11) bt Maldives `B' 3-0 (Hoque bt Hassan Nazim 25-14, 14-15, 25-14; A. Rahman bt Hussain Ali 25-8, 25-11; K.G.H. Kabeer bt Mohammed Amir 25-8, 25-6); Maldives `A' bt Maldives `B' 3-0 (Ahmed Naseem bt Hassan Nazim 19-6, 22-6; Mohammed Fareem bt Mohammed Amir 11-19, 14-13, 25-10; Hussain Nisham bt Hussain Ali 19-16, 14-25, 23-13).

Final standings: 1. India, 2. Sri Lanka, 3. Bangladesh.

Women's championship (league): India bt Maldives `B' 2-0 (Sharmila bt Nuzath Ali 25-3, 25-0; P. Nirmala bt Aminath Liva 25-0, 25-0); bt Sri Lanka 2-0 (Sharmila bt Leela de Silva 25-0, 25-5; Nirmala bt Nadeeshani Attapattu 25-0, 25-4); bt Maldives `A' 2-0 (Nirmala bt Nima 17-25, 25-0, 25-11; Sharmila bt Shanee 25-0, 25-0).

Sri Lanka bt Maldives `A' 2-1 (Amitha Wickremasinghe bt Aishath Shazna 25-14, 25-14; Leela de Silva bt Fathmath Shani 25-4, 19- 17; Nadeeshani Attapattu lost to Aminath Nima 12-10, 0- 25); bt Maldives `B' 3-0 (Leela de Silva bt Afeefunnisa 16-22, 18-13, 21- 14; Amitha Wickremasinghe bt Liva 25-0, 25-5; Nadeeshani Attapattu bt Nuzath Ali 25-9, 18-9, 20-12); Maldives `A' bt Maldives `B' 3-0 (Fathmath Shanee bt Nuzath Ali 25-3, 25- 0; Aminath Nima bt A. Liva 25-0, 25-5; Afeefunnisa bt Aishath Shazna 24-19, 18-16.

Final standings: 1. India, 2. Sri Lanka, 3. Maldives `A'.

Men's singles (final): M. Nataraj (Ind) bt R.M. Shankara (Ind) 25-11, 25-4. Semifinals: Nataraj bt K. Radhakrishnan (Ind) 25-4, 25-10; Shankara bt V.N. Fernando (SL) 17-25, 25-19, 25-2.

Men's doubles (final): M. Nataraj/R.M. Shankara (Ind) bt M.T.M Hilmy/V.N. Fernando (SL) 25-17, 24-25, 25-4. Semifinals: Nataraj/Shankara bt Mohammed Fareem/Hussain Nisham (Mdv) bt 25-0, 25-0; Hilmy/V.N. Fernando bt Ahmed Naseem/Mohammed Amir (Mdv) 24- 14, 25-6.

Women's singles (final): R. Sharmila (Ind) bt P. Nirmala (Ind) 25-5, 25-9. Semifinals: Sharmila bt Aminath Nima (Mdv) 25-0, 25- 0; Nirmala bt Amitha Wickremasinghe (SL) 25-17, 25-8.

Women's doubles (final): P. Nirmala/R. Sharmila (Ind) bt Aminath Nima/Aishath Shazna (Mdv) 25-11, 25-14. Semifinals: Nirmala/Sharmila bt Fathimath Shanee/Afeefunnisa (Mdv) 25-0, 25- 0; Aminath Nima/Aishath Shazna bt Amitha Wickremasinghe/Nadeeshani Attapattu (SL) 8-25, 25-1, 25-16.

Mixed doubles (final): K. Radhakrishnan/P. Nirmala (Ind) bt Ajith Chandrasoma/Amitha Wickremasinghe (SL) 25-13, 25-4. Semifinals: Radhakrishnan/Nirmala bt Hussain Nisham/Aishath Shazna (Mdv) 25- 1, 25-5; Ajith Chandrasoma/Amitha Wickremasinghe bt Mohammed Fareem/Aminath Nima (Mdv) 25-19, 9-25, 25-13.

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