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BRIEFS

Arrows out of F1 season

London: The struggling Arrows Formula One team have been denied entry to the 2003 world championship, reducing the series to just 10 teams.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) issued its official entry list on Monday without Arrows, who said last month that they had formally applied and paid their deposit. Arrows, whose boss Tom Walkinshaw has most recently been trying to sell the team to German investors, missed the last five races of last season.

“An application to compete in the 2003 championship was also received from Arrows Grand Prix International but was declined for reasons which have been communicated to the Arrows team,” said the FIA in a footnote to the list.

Montoya warning

London: Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya has warned Formula One world champions Ferrari to watch out for Williams next season. “I was at the (Williams) factory on Friday and I’ve got to say that the steps are big for next year and hopefully we can give Ferrari a run for their money,” he said at the annual Autosport Awards on Sunday night.

Montoya, presented with an award by Finland’s 1982 champion Keke Rosberg for claiming the fastest qualifying lap in Formula One history at Monza in September, won no races despite starting on pole seven times last season.

Ferrari’s F2002 was named as the car of the year in the awards organised by Britain’s Autosport magazine while five times world champion Michael Schumacher once again won the International Racing Driver category. Schumacher sent a video message, saying that he hoped to collect the award again and in person next year.

Romario hits matchwinner

Rio de Janeiro: Veteran striker Romario pounced to give Fluminense a 1-0 win over Corinthians in the Brazilian championship semi-finals on Sunday while Santos’ youthful team produced another effervescent display to beat Gremio 3-0.

Corinthians, who missed a last minute penalty, only allowed Fluminense striker Romario one scoring chance in Rio de Janeiro, but the single opportunity was enough for the 36-year-old to score his 16th goal of the championship.

Santos, whose starting line-up has an average age of 22.8, won with two goals from forward Alberto and one from his 18-year-old striking partner Robinho. Gremio ended with 10 men after Brazil World Cup defender Anderson Polga was sent off.

Injured Becker pulls out of meet

London: Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker has withdrawn from this week’s Honda Challenge at the Royal Albert Hall with a calf muscle injury, organisers said on Monday. The German will be replaced by former French Open finalist, Mikael Pernfors. Pernfors completes the line up of John McEnroe, Michael Stich, Pat Cash, Petr Korda, Henri Leconte, Jeremy Bates and Mats Wilander.

Royal backing

London: British Olympic Association president Princess Anne has publicly backed a potential London bid for the 2012 Olympic Games.

“There is now a level of expectancy of what London has to offer,” the Princess Royal said in an interview published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday. “We have done the homework. We can only do so much. We have to wait to see what the government response is.”

Princess Anne said bids were worthwhile whether or not they were successful. She was speaking during a meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Mexico City. The British government is currently considering a report on the cost benefits of a London Olympics.

n Football: Premier League, Manchester United vs Liverpool from 10 am on ESPN n Cricket: Third ODI, Bangladesh vs West Indies, live from 12.55 pm on ESPN n General: Sportsline Tonight, live from 7.30 pm on STAR Sports


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