The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Usha’s school goes national

Kozhikode: With a view to promote talents at the national level, the Usha School of Athletics, run by former sprint queen P.T. Usha at Koyilandi near here, will now offer training to girls from all over the country.

The school has decided to recruit children in the age group of 10-12 years from all over the country to impart training in its second batch during this year, according to a release from the school.

Twelve girl children, selected only from within Kerala, were given training in the first batch at the school during the previous year and their performance in the state junior meet was encouraging, prompting the training institution to extend its services to children across the nation, the release said.

Ozalan up for sale

London: Aston Villa are determined to sell Turkey defender Alpay Ozalan during January’s transfer window. Manager Graham Taylor said there had not been a concrete offer for the player who handed in a transfer request in August and has played only a handful of games this season for the English Premier League club.

“All I can say to fans is that there has been no concrete bid for him and there wasn't in the summer,” Taylor told the Villa website. “What we’re getting now is a repeat of what we had in August when the transfer deadline was approaching. Then we were getting all this talk about Alpay going. He didn’t do so.”

Eto’o way of apology

Palma de Mallorca (Spain): Real Mallorca striker Samuel Eto’o has promised to buy 30,000 euros of tickets for the club’s fans to apologise for a sending-off that resulted in him being banned for four matches.“I regret what happened and fully deserved the ban,” Eto’o told reporters on Tuesday. “As a way of making it up to the fans I will buy 30,000 euros of tickets so that they can watch Mallorca play at Son Moix.”

The Cameroon international was sent off after 30 minutes of a league match against Barcelona at Son Moix for kicking out at midfielder Thiago Motta.

New challenges for Dakar Rally

Marseille: The Dakar Rally celebrates its quarter century on Wednesday by turning away from Senegal and the western Sahara and heading east for new desert challenges in Libya and Egypt.

The 25th edition of the world’s most challenging long-distance rally starts with a night prologue from Marseille to Narbonne before the 342 competitors head for Spain and a ferry crossing from Valencia to Tunis on January 5.

The caravan of cars, bikes and trucks then blazes a trail across North Africa to the finish in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on January 19. After a total of 8,552 km including 5,216 on special stages, the rally that was created in 1978 as the Paris-Dakar will reach journey’s end without visiting either the French or Senegalese capital.

Newton recovering

Sydney: Former British Open and US Masters golf runner-up Jack Newton is recovering in an Australian hospital after suffering from a serious form of meningitis, doctors said on Tuesday. He is expected to be released from the hospital north of Sydney within five days after falling ill with meningococcal meningitis.

n Cricket: Fifth Test, Australia vs England, 2nd session live from 8am on STAR Sports n Soccer: Premier League, Arsenal vs Chelsea from 8 am on ESPN n Cricket: Second Test , South Africa vs Pakistan — live from 1.55 pm on STAR Sports n Tennis: Tata Open live from 5 pm on ESPN

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