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Kanetkar set for German stint

Bangalore: India’s top-ranked shuttler Nikhil Kanetkar revealed on Sunday he has decided to have a training stint with top German star Bjoern Joppien in July-August.

Kanetkar, ranked 51 in the world, said he would be training for about a month with Joppien, world No. 27, in Langenfeld club. Incidentally, Pullela Gopichand had played for the same German club prior to his All-England Championship triumph in 2001.

Playing in the German league is not a new thing for the 24-year-old Kanetkar, who appeared for the second division club Bisphmisheim last year. The club has since been promoted to the first division and he would be playing for it this year as well.

Unhappy start for President

Buenos Aires: Racing Club failed to give their number one fan Nestor Kirchner a victory on the eve of his inauguration as Argentina’s President.

Kirchner, whose inauguration was on Sunday, was in the stands of Racing’s fine stadium in Avellaneda when they went down 2-0 to modest Olimpo in their first match since Osvaldo Ardiles resigned as coach.

Man of the Match Cristian Castillo scored both Olimpo goals in a six-minute spell early in the second half to send Racing to their fourth consecutive home defeat in their first match under Ardiles’ successor Emilio Commisso. “Olimpo won well,” Kirchner said. He echoed fans’ sentiments when he added that he favoured the return to the helm of Reinaldo Merlo, who steered Racing to the Apertura title in 2001.

FA deny Becks deal

London: The English Football Association (FA) have denied claims they guaranteed the appearance of skipper David Beckham in their recent international football friendly against South Africa.

England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and the FA have consistently maintained Beckham was given the choice whether to visit Durban as his booking against Turkey last month meant that he was suspended for the Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia.

In a potential diplomatic rift, therefore, the FA are set to consult their lawyers on Monday after claims by Danny Jordaan, the head of South Africa’s bid to host the 2010 World Cup, that they signed a contract some time ago, pledging Beckham would feature.

Siena in Serie A

Rome: Siena gained promotion to Serie A for the first time in their 99-year history with a convincing 3-1 victory over Genoa on Saturday.

The small Tuscan club join Serie B leaders Sampdoria who earned promotion to the top flight last week. The result leaves third from bottom Genoa, Italy’s oldest club, on the verge of being relegated to Serie C.

Sport on Screen

Soccer, Spanish League — from 10 am on STAR Sports ,Formula One — Highlights from 11 pm on STAR Sports, Golf, PGA Tour — Colonial tournament from 12.30 am (Tuesday) on STAR Sports


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