COLLECTIVE EFFORT

THE JUNGS, Samaresh and Anuja, inspire each other.-R.V. MOORTHY

She is not just your regular coy woman behind her man's success. While Samaresh Jung was busy playing gold digger, his wife Anuja Jung was busy with some shooting of her own and scooped up her share of the medals as well.

The duo could not have been happier that they share the same passion. "We don't have to look for inspiration elsewhere. We get inspired by each other," she said. But it's not all guns on a bed of roses. Each time the couple globetrot to pile on the metals, they are forced to leave their daughter Saurabhi behind with her grandparents.

"The only bad part about shooting abroad is that we have to leave Saurabhi behind," said Anuja, dedicating her win to her daughter.

"You know, sometimes when we return from a long stint abroad, she looks at us in a strange manner. We are lucky we have our parents to look after her."

JAMAICA'S ASAFA POWELL dedicated his medals to his brothers who had tragic deaths.-AP

Commonwealth Games 100m gold medallist and 100m world record holder Asafa Powell dedicated his sprinting career to two of his brothers who died under tragic circumstances. The 23-year-old Powell took to the tracks five years ago after watching his five older brothers play football and compete on the track. Tragedy struck in 2002, when his brother Michael was shot and killed in a taxi in New York.

Things got worse the following year when another of his brothers, Vaughn, collapsed on a football field and died. "I took it really hard back then, but now I dedicate everything in my career to them," said the Jamaican in Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper. "I could have quit but I never thought about it because I know they would have wanted me to continue running, so why stop? I've still got too much to do." Powell said he believed his brothers who died were celebrating his gold medal. "They would be jumping all over the place — I am sure they are watching me."

This year's Commonwealth Games danced to the tunes of Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy, who composed the music for the Games. The trio had earlier composed music for the Afro-Asian Games and the National Games.

"The people involved with the Commonwealth Games liked our work and hence invited us to do the music for them," said Ehsaan.

Their composition, played at the Commonwealth Games this year, is an invitation to the players and officials to come to India, where the games are going to be held four years later.

"The concept of the piece is akin to the theme song of the Olympics which is indeed a great honour," said Ehsaan.

Monarchy-struck cops

Two police officers had to pay the price for being star-struck, after they were removed from Commonwealth Games security duties for taking snapshots too close to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and inside Prince Edward's hotel room. According to Victoria State Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon, a woman detective sergeant was believed to have come within one metre of the Queen before members of the monarch's security detail told the officer to leave, reported the Australian Associated Press. Another officer was caught taking photographs inside the hotel room being used by Prince Edward, the vice-patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

"They took the camera off him and deleted the photos," said Nixon. "In both cases, I think they are an error of judgment, and both those people are back in their own work and I think that's probably sufficient to deal with those matters."

Sports depression x 3

Psychologists in Melbourne are a busy lot. Games organisers sought advice from them on how to prevent the sports-crazy city from descending into post-games depression.

With 3.6 million people gripped with Commonwealth Games fever, organisers feel that Melbourne could mirror the scenes that broke out after the Olympics in Sydney and Atlanta. "There are psychologists who are advising us on this," said Ron Walker, Melbourne 2006 Chairman.

"When Atlanta had finished there was a depressive mood amongst many of the people who lived in or around the city because it was quite a hype to have the Olympics. The same thing happened in Sydney."

But it will be a different sort of a depression for residents of Melbourne. No city in the past has ever hosted three major sporting events within such a short span.

The city hosted the Australian Open tennis event in January, then came the Commonwealth Games and next month it is the turn of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix, after which one can expect a triple burst of withdrawal symptoms.

Not a bad time at all to be a psychologist. Nandita Sridhar