Aussies eager for Pete nod
Melbourne: Organisers of the Australian Open are still anxiously waiting to hear whether US Open champion Pete Sampras intends to play next year’s first Grand Slam.
Officials at the Kooyong Classic, the final warm-up event before the Australian Open, said on Tuesday they were saving a spot in their invitation-only tournament for Sampras, who has not played since his win over Andre Agassi in New York last month. Six of the eight available places have already been filled and tournament director Colin Stubs said one of the remaining two spots had been reserved for the 31-year-old American.
India kick off vs Bangladesh
New Delhi: India will take on Bangladesh in their first match in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-14 festival of football to be held in Nepal in December.
Altogether six teams will take part in the meet to be played in a single round robin format.
India will play Bangladesh on December 20, Nepal on December 22, Sri Lanka on 24th, Maldives on 26th before meeting Bhutan on December 28 in their last match.
The top team after the round robin matches will be declared the champion, AFC said in a press release Tuesday.
Ullrich to join Danish team
Berlin: Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich is set to join the Danish CSC stable when his doping ban ends next March, his manager said on Tuesday. The 28-year-old Ullrich, serving a six-month ban after testing positive for amphetamines, would link up there with his close friend and former teammate Bjarne Riis, who heads the Danish outfit.
“Everything has been talked about and cleared,” Ullrich’s manager Wolfgang Strohband told German sports news agency SID on Tuesday. “I expect the deal to be signed shortly.”
Team Telekom, which stopped Ullrich’s salary after he failed a drugs test last June, had presented the German rider with a contract for next year, which he turned down.
Paes-Hill loses to unseeded pair
St Petersburg: The third seeded duo of Leander Paes and Aussie Michael Hill went out of the St Petersburg Open tennis tournament doubles when they were upset by unseeded pair of Russia’s Marat Safin and Georgia’s Irakli Labadze 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 3-6.
Paes and Hill last week bowed out of the Madrid Masters in the second round.
Raducan to retire
Bucharest: World champion Andrea Raducan will retire after leading Romania at the world championships in November, a Romanian Gymnastics Federation official said Tuesday.
“Raducan badly wants to compete successfully at the world championship because she sees this competition as her last as a performer,” FRG general secretary Adrian Stoica said.
Raducan won widespread sympathy after she was deprived of a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics, failing a drugs test after unwittingly taking a cold cure. She considered retiring earlier this year after putting on 7 kgs (15 pounds).
Athens: Greece is considering issuing national or municipal bonds to help finance a facelift for Athens before the 2004 Olympic Games, the financial daily Imerisia reported on Tuesday. Imerisia said the environment, town planning and public works ministry was considering a proposal to issue bonds to finance the construction and overhaul of local squares, roads, sewage systems and parking areas.The bonds would be serviced by an expected increase in real estate property taxes, the paper said.
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