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Young Kato loses life race

Paris: Japanese motorcycle star Daijiro Kato died in hospital on Saturday after failing to recover from injuries sustained in the Japan Grand Prix on April 6, a statement from his team said.

Honda rider Kato, 27, suffered serious injuries to the head, chest and neck when he spun off into the tyre barrier before the chicane leading to the home-straight on the third lap in the race on the team’s home track of Suzuka.

Kato’s 990cc machine crashed into a barrier and the rider was thrown back on to the track with his face down. “The whole team are close to his family in their time of grief,” said a statement from the Telefonica Movistar Honda team. “The team manager Fausto Gresini and several members of his staff will be flying to Japan for Kato’s funeral.”

Kato, who leaves a wife Maikko and two children, won the 250cc world championship in 2001 and stepped up to the Premier Class in 2002 to finish seventh overall. The death was the first in the sport since another Japanese rider Nobuki Wakai was killed at the 1993 Spanish Grand Prix.

Aussies want Dokic back

Melbourne: Australia would welcome back Jelena Dokic if she wanted to play for Australia at next year’s Athens Olympics, Tennis Australia said on Sunday.

Dokic had vowed never to represent Australia again after she severed ties with her adopted country more than two years ago over media clashes with her notorious father Damir. But according to a report in the Sun-Herald here, Dokic, 20, has changed her mind after being told she was ineligible to represent Serbia and Montenegro, formerly Yugoslavia, in Athens next year.“We remain in periodic contact with Jelena,” Tennis Australia spokesman John Lindsay said. “We have always said the door is open if there is a change in her position. But it’s a very personal matter for Jelena and we would not want to put any pressure on her.

“We have told her we are here if she has a change of mind.”

India annex SAARC title

New Delhi: India reasserted their supremacy as the golfing superpower of the region, drubbing Sri Lanka 3-0 to clinch the fifth SAARC golf championship trophy at the par-72 Delhi Golf Club Sunday.

This was India’s fifth consecutive victory and the fourth time that they beat Sri Lanka in the final. Last year India beat Bangladesh.

In the final, which was played in a matchplay format, Jaideep Patwardhan was a 6 and 4 winner against N. Amaraprathama while India’s No. 1 amateur Keshav Misra won 3 and 2 over Indika Santha.

The best individual player of the championship title was bagged by Harinder Gupta who was pushed to the 19th hole before he beat a battling B. G. Lalitha Kumara.

Indika Santha gave a scare to Misra by winning the first two holes with birdies. But the Indian No. 1 amateur pulled back and won the next five holes at a stretch before finishing the match on the 16th hole.

As expected, the best match of the day was between Gupta and Lalitha Kumara.

Cop watch

Manchester: The Football Association (FA) have been asked to look at incidents involving West Ham United captain Joe Cole and Rufus Brevett after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Bolton Wanderers, Greater Manchester police said.

The two players have been reported to the FA after their relegation-threatened team lost 1-0 at the Reebok Stadium in a Premier League match that flared up just before and after the final whistle as West Ham’s Ian Pearce was sent off.

n Soccer, Premier League from 8.30 am on ESPN n Tennis, Monte Carlo Masters Series from 9.30 am on STAR Sports n Cricket, Tri-series final — India vs South Africa from 1.30 pm on STAR Sports n Cricket, West Indies vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day III, live from 7.25 pm on ESPN


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