After a month of polling, voting has finally closed in India’s general election. It was predicted that the Prime Minister’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had failed to secure an overall majority. In the world’s largest democracy, over 600 million adults had the right to vote in the election, in which over forty parties were represented. The BJP had been widely expected to win the election relatively easily. Their main threat was the Congress Alliance, which governed India for its first 50 years of independence, led by Sonia Gandhi. Two Communist parties have also polled well. The main issue in the election has been the economy. The BJP had to abandon their ‘India Shining’ slogan in the campaign following harsh criticism. The party needs to gain 272 seats for an overall majority in Parliament. Current polls indicate that it has won between 240 and 280 seats. Turnout was less than 60%.ARCHIVE: 2nd week TT 2004
Wounded Warrior has moved to the top of the weights for the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday after 45 horses stood their ground at the latest forfeit stage. Press Association The Noel Meade-trained six-year-old was third to Don Poli in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham and would be making his first appearance in a handicap over fences should he take his chance. Tony McCoy, who will be riding for the final time in Ireland before he retires, will have the choice of a number of JP McManus-owned contenders including If In Doubt, trained by Philip Hobbs, and the Paul Webber-trained Cantlow. Ante-post favourite Gallant Oscar remains in the mix but connections of the Tony Martin-trained gelding are keen on going for the Crabbie’s Grand National instead if he can get a place in the maximum 40-strong field. Other leading fancies in line for Fairyhouse include Grand Jesture, trained by Henry de Bromhead, Colm Murphy’s Empire Of Dirt, Robert Tyner’s Embracing Change, the Dermot McLoughlin-trained Vics Canvas and Los Amigos from Jim Dreaper’s stable. Champion trainer Willie Mullins has left in Perfect Gentleman and Dogora as he bids to win the race for the first time.
After having gone over two months without losing more than two consecutive games, that trend ended abruptly this past weekend at the Field House.The Badgers will now head to Iowa with hopes of ending their first three-game losing streak of the season and with an aim to avenge their first Big Ten loss of the year tonight at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.On Sept. 23, the Hawkeyes came into the Field House and beat the Badgers in four sets. That win could be partly attributed to the Badgers’ attack errors, which totaled a season-high 32 in that match. This past weekend, Wisconsin had a bit of a relapse in that regard, committing 27 errors against Ohio State.“I feel like we made errors at critical times, like we would get points and make a serving error or hit a ball into the block or into the net, and you just can’t have that,” senior captain Brittney Dolgner said. “It’s just really important to be consistent all the time, and that’s just one of the things with volleyball. … If we continue to [be consistent], I think we’ll win a lot more matches.”Now, however, the Hawkeyes have sputtered out to a 3-11 record in the Big Ten, good for last place tie with Indiana. After coming out flat in their past three games, the Badgers are looking forward to another opportunity to bounce back against a conference opponent.“We’ve got another opportunity tomorrow,” head coach Pete Waite said. “We can train, watch tape and get better, and that’s been our goal. We’ve kind of hit a plateau as far as energy level is concerned. … In the Big Ten if you have any sort of a flat day, you’re going to pay for it.”As for necessary improvements, aside from avoiding unforced errors, Dolgner noted the team needs to reassess its approach to individual matches. According to the outside hitter, much of the team’s success stems from the players’ attitude going into each match.“I think we just need to come out with an attitude that we know we can win,” she said. “I think that if we come out with that attitude I think things will just come from there, the passing will come from there, communication usually comes from our team when we’re playing well.”The Badgers will have to contend with Iowa hitters Megan Schipper and Aimee Huffman, who average 3.02 and 2.62 kills per set, respectively. In the teams’ first match this season, Schipper notched a team-high 15 kills against Wisconsin.But it wasn’t necessarily those kills that beat the Badgers — it was the Badgers themselves. Along with their 32 attack errors against Iowa, Wisconsin also had a season-high seven serving errors against the Hawkeyes, something that plagued the Badgers against Ohio State last Saturday, when they tallied four serving errors, including two by freshman Kirby Toon.However, the Badgers’ performance against the Buckeyes could be looked at as something of an anomaly, since Wisconsin went into the weekend tied for fifth place in the Big Ten and had beaten some top tier opponents, including No. 8 Michigan only a week earlier.Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes have lost five consecutive matches and rank last in the Big Ten in hitting percentage and assists per set, and are 10th in the conference with only 12.24 kills per set.With only six matches left in the regular season, the Badgers have quite a bit of ground to make up in the conference if they want to be considered for a bid to the NCAA Tournament. After getting swept by two of the conference’s better teams this past weekend, Waite knows the team must play up to the Big Ten’s standards if it wishes to play in the postseason.“It just was not clicking on all cylinders and that’s something that, at this point in the season, we want to be doing,” Waite said. “We’re going to have to get back into the gym and find that spark that gets everything back together again.”