Shahbaz makes late dash

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The Independent Online
Shahbaz Ahmed, the former Pakistan captain, has settled a row with his country's hockey association and looks set to join the team's quest for Olympic gold.

Shahbaz, who led Pakistan in the Barcelona Olympics and to the gold medal at the 1994 World Cup in Sydney, had refused to play under the new captain, goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmed, after leading a revolt against the team management two months ago.

Mudassar Asghar, the Pakistan Federation secretary, said that Shahbaz, one of the world's leading forwards, had made his peace and would go to Atlanta today. Pakistan are hoping the tournament officials will permit Shahbaz's late inclusion in the 16-man squad.

Cliff Meidl, who will represent the United States in the kayak, is the miracle man of Atlanta. The Californian was working as a plumber's mate when he struck high-voltage cables with a pneumatic drill.

Meidl absorbed 30,000 volts - 15 times the charge of an electric chair - and fell on to the drill with tore apart his knee. He suffered major burns, a portion of his skull was blown open and he had three heart attacks.

Fifteen operations later, he was advised to take to the water as part of his rehabilitation and found his inspiration from watching the kayak event at the Seoul Games.

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