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‘Mystery’ illness claims champ

Beijing: Hui Cheung-kwok, who won two gold medals in bowling in 1998 and 2002 Asian Games, Friday died of a mysterious illness, similar to SARS.

The 41 year-old Hong Kong-born player was confirmed dead, but the reason is still a mystery.

Unconfirmed report said before his death he showed symptoms similar to those of SARS victims.

Hui was the first Hong Kong player to win Asian Games gold medals in Bangkok and Busan.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has so far killed 69 people in Hong Kong since March 12 while 1,008 are still admitted to various hospitals in the former British colony now under the Chinese rule.

Meanwhile, more than 20 arm wrestlers from China and Indonesia (countries worst affected by SARS) have not been cleared for the ongoing Asia-Pacific armsport championship in Guwahati.

The organisers were unaware that no medical tests were done and said had no instruction from the district health authorities to carry out tests on the athletes on their own.

Rally driver critical

Dunedin: International rally driver Possum Bourne was in intensive care in Dunedin Hospital on Friday with head, chest and leg injuries after an accident the week before, Television Three New Zealand reported.

The accident happened in Central Otago last Friday when New Zealander Bourne was in collision with a car driven by another race driver, Michael Baltrop.

Bourne was checking out the course for a race on Saturday in the Wanaka area, 200 kilometres from Dunedin, when the accident happened. He was still unconscious and in a critical condition, the TV station said. Baltrop’s condition was described as stable by Dunedin Hospital on Friday. It took rescue teams an hour to cut Bourne, 47, and Baltrop out of their twisted wrecks before airlifting both to Dunedin.

Gazza in rehab for depression

London: Ex-England midfielder Paul Gascoigne, who has been playing for a Chinese B-League team, is being treated for depression in a clinic in Arizona, his friend and adviser Jimmy Gardner said on Friday.

He told Sky Sports: “It’s depression. He’s not happy.”

Gardner added: “It’s not alcohol. It’s definitely not alcohol.”

He said Gascoigne had not finished with the Chinese club, Gansu Tianma, but added: “Of course he wants to play again in England. He shouldn’t have left England, should he'”

Earlier, Gansu Tianma said they were trying to track Gascoigne down after reports that he had checked himself into a US rehab clinic.

Kalyani gets the sack

Hyderabad: Lanco Group of Industries, who sponsor several sportspersons of Andhra Pradesh, has terminated the services of athlete A. Kalyani after she tested positive for using banned substances during the National Games in Hyderabad. Guntur-based Kalyani, who won bronze in the 400m hurdles in the National Games, was given a placement in the public relations department of the group.

n Cricket, tri-series: India vs South Africa, from 12.30 pm on STAR Sports n Soccer, Premier League: Live from 7.25 pm on STAR Sports n Cricket, Australia vs West Indies: Second Test Day I, live from 7.30 pm on ESPN


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