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Top trio may leave Kenya

Nairobi: Three leading medals prospects may defect from the Kenya team before the Paris World Championships in August.

Commonwealth 3,000m steeplechase champion Stephen Cherono and distance runner Albert Chepkurui are seeking Qatar citizenship, Athletics Kenya secretary general David Okeyo said on Friday.

In addition, Lornah Kiplagat, 29, whose marathon wins include Los Angeles in 1997 and 1998, Amsterdam in 1999 and Osaka last year, is married to Dutchman Pieter Langerhorst and could qualify for Dutch citizenship any time. “While Kiplagat’s case is straightforward because of marriage and having not run for Kenya for four years, Cherono and Chepkurui must wait until 2005 to run for Qatar,” Okeyo said.

Pillay support for kids

New Delhi: A leading Delhi public school has roped in Indian hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay to develop interest for the game amongst school children by popularising unique six-a-side matches. “This type of hockey is fast gaining popularity in the country and it is already a success in Mumbai. This will be less taxing on the children since it will be of half an hour duration and will be exciting to follow,” said the striker while inaugurating a hockey ground at the Heritage School in Gurgaon. “It is necessary to develop interest amongst young kids for the game since the game’s future depends on them,” he said.

Delhi to host qualifiers

New Delhi: India will host the Middle Asia Zone qualifying round for the Asian basketball championship here next month. The winner of the round to be held at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium from July 9-12 will qualify for the 22nd Asian Basketball Confederation championship to be held in Nanjing, China, from September 3-12. The qualifiers will see Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, besides hosts India, in action. India was allotted the championship last month at the Asian Basketball Confederation meeting held in Kuala Lumpur. Kyrgyzstan was the other contender.

‘False’ players face life ban

Mexico City: Mexico has discovered eight South Americans playing in the country with false naturalisation documents and could strike them off for life, a leading Mexican football federation (FMF) official said.

Victor Garces, head of the FMF’s first division section, announced on Thursday that four Brazilians, two Uruguayans, a Paraguayan and an Argentine had presented false documentation in their applications for naturalisation.

“These cases will be submitted to the (FMF’s) national council and the players could be disaffiliated,” Garces said, adding that Fifa had been informed. Garces named the eight as Brazilians Joao Batista (Colibries), Douglas dos Santos (Atletico Tapatio), Adelino Batista and Marcos de Oliveira (both Leon), Uruguayans Sergio Vazquez (Puebla) and Miguel Angel Larrosa (Necaxa), Paraguayan Pablo Caballero (Puebla) and Argentine Juan Manuel Zandona (Veracruz).

The issue first came to light last month after Batista used false naturalisation papers to obtain a Mexican passport in December.

Boca in final

Cali (Colombia): Striker Carlos Tevez, 19, scored twice on Thursday to guide Boca Juniors to a resounding 40 win at America of Colombia which put his side into the final of the South American Libertadores Cup.

The Argentines, whose other two goals in the semi-final second leg came from penalties by Rolando Schiavi and Marcelo Delgado, completed a 60 aggregate win and now face Santos. Boca also met Santos in the 1963 final won by Brazil

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