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BRIEFS

Nikhil, Chetan in 2nd round

Jaipur: Indian shuttlers had an easy outing on the first day of the Asian satellite badminton championship here with Nikhil Kanetkar, Chetan Anand and Sachin Ratti sailing into the second round.

Ratti comfortably beat Malaysia’s Jamaluddin Mohammed Hazwan 15-13, 15-4. Kanetkar defeated Bangaldesh’s Javed Mustafa 15-5, 15-2 while Chetan Anand got the better of countryman K. Srinivasan 15-5, 15-2.

Manjusha Kanwar came back from a game deficit against qualifier Fatima Nazneen 3-11, 11-4, 11-2.

Tomas Pospichal passes away

Prague: Tomas Pospichal, right wing in the Czechoslovak team which lost to Brazil in the 1962 World Cup final in Chile, has died at the age of 67, the Czech football federation said Wednesday. He had a heart transplant a few years ago. He set up wing-half Josef Masopust for the opening goal before the Brazilians hit back to win 3-1. In all, he won 26 caps and scored eight goals.

Fans attitude key to Kluivert decision

Madrid: Unsettled striker Patrick Kluivert says the attitude of Barcelona fans will be vital in helping him decide whether to remain at the Catalan club. “I don’t want to leave,” the 27-year-old striker said on Tuesday.“But I’m suffering on the pitch at the moment.”

The Dutch international, yet to score a league goal this term, has been singled out for criticism by discontented fans who are unhappy at the team’s poor scoring record in the league. “It’s important that the fans don’t whistle at me,” he said.

Officials concerned

Athens: International Olympic Committee officials on Wednesday kicked off their penultimate inspection of Athens’ preparations for the 2004 Olympics amid concerns that key transport projects were lagging behind. Officials, led by chief inspector Denis Oswald, will carefully scrutinise Olympic venues and infrastructure projects and are expected to instil a sense of urgency for the Athens tram and suburban railway that have fallen behind schedule. The organisers have also expressed concerns over the construction of the two lines, considered essential to decongest notoriously heavy traffic in the capital during the Games.

Charity raises $ 1.75m

Marseille: A charity match between France’s 1998 World Cup-winning team and Olympique Marseille raised 1.5 million euros ($1.75 million), the club said on Wednesday.

Eighty per cent of the takings will go to families of victims of the Algerian earthquake in May and 20 percent to the families of firefighters killed in forest blazes in France this year. Almost 40,000 spectators watched the game earlier this month, organised by Zinedine Zidane who is the son of Algerian immigrants. The quake killed 2,300 people.

Sport on Screen

Cricket, Bangladesh vs England — First Test, Day III live from 8.55 am on Star Sports
Rugby, World Cup — Live from 3.30 pm on ESPN

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