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Koreans admit to throwing match

Jakarta: South Korea admitted they threw their Thomas Cup match against England on Monday, plunging the elite tournament into controversy. The Koreans lost 1-4 after fielding a weakened team, with Asian champion Park Sung-Hwan and Korean Open winner Lee Hyun-il playing doubles together instead of singles.

Team manager Kim Jong-soo said their tactics were to avoid winning their group to ensure a more favourable quarter final draw. “We formulated a strategy before we arrived where we want to meet Denmark in the quarter finals, and that means not finishing top of the group,” he said. “The badminton world federation created these rules, but I’d much prefer having the two top automatically qualify for the quarter finals.”

No French GP in 2009

 Paris: The French Grand Prix will be held at Magny-Cours for the last time this year but Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he hoped it could return to a new circuit in Paris in 2010. “We agreed that there would be a French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours in 2008 but not in 2009,” Ecclestone told the a French sports daily.

Juniors win gold

 New Delhi: Indian juniors put up their best ever performance in the Hyder Aliyev International Boxing Tournament, winning a gold and a bronze medal in the sixth edition of the event held in Azerbaijan. 15-year-old Shiva Thapa clinched the gold medal in the 50kg category while Devendro Singh bagged the bronze in the 48kg. The meet ended on Saturday.

Safina pulls out

 Rome: Dinara Safina pulled out of the Italian Open on Monday due to a back injury. The Russian won the biggest title of her career on Sunday, beating Elena Dementieva in three sets at the German Open.

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