The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Gascoigne fails Chinese test

Beijing: A Chinese soccer team that offered ageing British soccer star Paul Gascoigne a try-out has decided not to sign him, saying his physical condition doesn’t meet its standards. Gascoigne had spent the past two days trying out for the first-division Liaoning Bodao club at its practice site in Haikou, on southern China’s Hainan island.

But a Bodao coach was quoted as saying in the official Xinhua news agency that ‘Gazza’was rejected because “he is too weak physically.” “He is not aggressive enough, either,” said the coach, whose name was not given. “And his passing is awful. We cannot buy a player just because he was very famous.” There was speculation in China that Gascoigne’s wild lifestyle may have taken its toll. Gascoigne earned a reputation as a drinker while playing in Britain but said last week he had shed that habit as well as a few pounds and was ready to play.

Fatal attraction

Tegucigalpa: The Honduran national goalkeeper Milton Flores was shot dead early on Sunday in the red light district of the San Pedro Sula, 240km from here, police sources said.

The 29-year-old, nicknamed ‘Chocolate’, was soliciting a sex worker when he was hit by a hail of gunfire from an AK 47 assault rifle.

Police said seven bullets had been recovered from the head of the footballer, who was probably the victim of a gang of local youths in the town which has a high crime rate.

The sex worker was slightly injured.

Jan Ullrich’s belief

Berlin: Germany’s Jan Ullrich believes he is the only cyclist who can beat four-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and that is why he turned down an offer to ride on the American’s team. Ullrich, who won cycling’s most prestigious race in 1997, said the Tour would have become dull if he and Armstrong were on the same side.

“If I were on his team, he would have had the world’s best helper and would be 20 minutes ahead of everyone else in every tour stage,” Ullrich said. “Cycling would become totally boring. I’m the only one who can beat him — with the right training and a good team.”

Six-in-a-row by Michelle Kwan

Dallas: Michelle Kwan captured her seventh national title at the US figure skating championships Saturday. Kwan turned in a brilliant performance in the free skate to atone for her disappointment at the Olympics. She now goes after her fifth world title in Washington in March.

Only Maribel Vinson (nine) has won more US titles than the 22-year-old, who has never won Olympic gold.She has an Olympic silver and bronze.

Storm cuts short Day 3

Johannesburg: An electrical storm forced the suspension of the third day’s play in the Dunhill Championship Saturday with 22 players including joint leaders Bradley Dredge and Bradford Vaughan still to complete their round.

Welshman Dredge and South African Vaughan were both 13 under par when play was abandoned.

Dakar Rally

Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt): Japan’s Hiroshi Masuoka claimed his second Dakar Rally title in succession Sunday after safely completing the 18th and final stage. The 42-year-old finished the timed section of the 56 km stage more than eight minutes behind winner Finland’s Ari Vatanen. n Tennis: Australian Open, men’s and ladies’ singles quarter finals from 5.30 am on STAR Sports n Cricket: Talk show Harsha Online from 10.30 pm on STAR Sports n Cricket: Legends of cricket from 11.30 pm on ESPN

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