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Sports Briefs

Oprah backs Lance

London: Lance Armstrong can be a hero again, feels Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey said the hardest thing Armstrong has done in his life is confess that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win his seven Tour titles. “If he is willing to do the work ... he can be a real hero,” Winfrey said. “Everybody has the ability within them to rise again. What really matters in the world is what kind of human being he chooses to be.” '

Swapnil wins

Chennai: IM Swapnil Dhopade shocked top seed Grandmaster Aleksej Aleksandrov of Belarus in the penultimate round to jump to the joint lead in the 5th Chennai Open International Grandmasters’ Chess Tournament.

Bulpin axed

Calcutta: Lajong FC, on Tuesday, relieved Desmond Bulpin of his duties as the head coach of the club. Thangboi Singto, who was the assistant coach, will take charge as interim coach. A top official of the club said they were unhappy with the performance of the coach.

AITA livid

New Delhi: The AITA hit out at its vice-president, Karti P Chidambaram, for questioning the Davis Cup team selection, and asked why he did not raise the issue when he was the chairman of the Davis Cup committee. Chidambaram had shot a letter to the sports ministry, seeking their intervention in resolving the crisis which began when 11 players made themselves unavailable for the upcoming tie against South Korea.

Saina aim

Mumbai: Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal, who became the world No. 2 last week after a gap of two years, Tuesday said she is aiming for the top slot this year. “I am working hard and performances are coming. Now that I am No.2, I will definitely reach No. 1,” Saina said on the sidelines of Samsung Galaxy Grand event launch here.

18 in fray

Calcutta: A strong Indian contingent of 18 golfers will tee it up at the Final Stage of the Asian Tour’s Qualifying School for the 2013 season at Hua Hin, Thailand. The final stage will be played from January 23-26, 2013. The top 40 players and ties will earn Asian Tour cards out of a total of 248 players.

Cup venue

Mumbai: MIG Club will host a few matches of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup as scheduled along with a couple of warm-up games, club officials said on Tuesday. “Reports appearing that we are not hosting any matches in the tournament are incorrect,” the club’s secretary Ashish Patankar said.

Clarke injury

Hobart: Australian captain Michael Clarke is doubtful for Wednesday’s final ODI against Sri Lanka after twisting his ankle. He was underwent treatment and an assessment of his fitness was made later on Tuesday, Cricket Australia said.

Staff Reporter & Agencies