Indian boys in final round
New Delhi: India’s three-member boys’ team has qualified for the junior Davis Cup final round after finishing third in the Asia-Oceania zonal qualifiers in Jakarta last week.
India defeated Chinese Taipei 2-1 in the play-off match for the third-fourth places to finish behind hosts Indonesia and Korea in the zonal qualifying event from April 29 to May 4, according to information received Tuesday. Sumir Prakash Gupta went down to Chia-chu Lien 6-2, 1-6, 4-6 in the opening singles before Rupesh Roy levelled the scores for India with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 victory over Huai-en Chang.
Roy and Gupta then defeated Lien and Chin-yu Huang in the doubles match 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 to put India through to the 16-nation finals to be held in Germany in September.
Fourteen nations participated in the zonal competition from where the top four team qualified for the finals. The teams were split into groups of four, with teams topping their respective groups making it to the knock-out stages.
India topped group 4 after defeating Uzbekistan 2-1 and Pakistan 3-0. They then lost to Korea in the semi-finals 1-2.
BMW plans to stay on
London: BMW will stay in Formula One beyond the end of their current agreement with Williams, according to the German carmaker’s motorsport director Mario Theissen.
“We will continue beyond 2004 in Formula One,” the Guardian quoted him as saying. “This has been agreed already by the board. So (what) we are talking about is not if, but how, to continue. The ultimate goal is to be competitive, to get into a position to win the championship.”
Former champions Williams, who have used BMW engines since 2000, are confident of continuing the partnership but have yet to announce a new deal despite months of negotiations. Theissen has said before that BMW’s main options were to pull out, agree a revised deal with Williams or start their own team. The Guardian said the latter option was understood to have been rejected as well.
The British-based team, nine times constructors world champions between 1980 and 1997, were runners-up last season but have been struggling with their new car despite having probably the most powerful engine on the grid.
Barcelona lose 55 million euros
Barcelona: Spanish giants Barcelona may have to offload some of their top stars to wipe out a record loss this season of 55 million euros ($62 million).
The Catalan giants will have a total debt of 98 million euros when the season ends, said interim-president Enric Reyna on Monday.
The loss for the season had reached 36 million euros at the end of April and will hit 55 million when the curtain comes down on a disastrous campaign. The season saw them crash out of the Champions League in the quarter finals and has seen them limp along in the Spanish first division where they are currently in eighth place.
They are in serious danger of missing out on European football next season for the first time in their illustrious history. Reyna delivered a parting shot prior to his stepping down on Tuesday ahead of new presidential elections due to be held on June 22. “I never imagined how delicate one had to be to run this club,” he said.
Champion lands in jail
Melbourne: Australia’s former world cycling champion Stephen Pate was sentenced to a minimum eight-month jail term on Tuesday after pleading guilty to 11 charges including assaulting his wife. The 39-year-old pleaded guilty in the Victoria County Court after assaulting his wife twice in November last year and twice more in February this year, Australian Associated Press reported. On one occasion Pate pulled a knife on his wife, held it to her throat and threatened her when she tried to call police, AAP reported.
Judge John Barnett jailed Pate for 20 months. Pate, who suffered depression and started drinking heavily after missing out on selection for the Sydney Olympics, has already served three-and-a-half term.
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