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India’s young Formula One hopes begin journey Three of India’s young hopefuls took their first steps towards a possible career in Formula One racing as Sahara Force India F1 Team Academy stepped on the gas with its initiative. Arjun Maini, Tarun Reddy and Jehan Daruvala, winners of the One From A Billion Hunt held last year, began their European karting careers at the British Super One Championship. Britain’s premier kart championship, incorporating the KF3 Class MSA British Championships for juniors has helped produce many Formula One stars, including current Sahara Force India driver Paul Di Resta. In the first round of the season at the PF International Circuit near Grantham in Lincolnshire last weekend, mixed weather meant the boys were unable to crack the top ten and had to be satisfied with the experience gained in challenging conditions. The trio will now look forward to the next six rounds of the series, starting at Whilton Mill Circuit near Daventry on May 12.

Spurs top charts in West: The San Antonio Spurs cemented their position as the Western Conference top seeds for the second year in a row after thrashing the Portland Trail Blazers 124-89 on Monday. Tim Duncan and Daniel Green each scored 18 points as the Spurs overwhelmed Portland to finally see off the Oklahoma City Thunder in the race for bragging rights in the West. Over in the East, the Philadelphia 76ers claimed the final post-season spot in the conference with a 105-87 rout of the New Jersey Nets. Memphis beat Cleveland 109-101 to move within half a game of the Los Angeles Clippers for fourth spot in the West.

Soniya bags bronze: N Soniya Chanu bagged a bronze in women's 48kg category to open India's medal account on the opening day of Senior Asian Weightlifting Championships at Pyeongtaek, South Korea on Tuesday. Soniya finished third in snatch with an effort of 75kg in the first competition of the championship, which is a London Olympic Qualification event. She was fifth in clean and jerk with an effort of 100kg and finished fifth overall with a total lift of 175kg. K Sanjita Chanu (48kg) finished 10th in snatch (71kg), 11th in clean and jerk (91kg) and 11th in total lift (162kg). Sania pulls out: India’s Sania Mirza pulled out of this week’s WTA Tour event in Stuttgart when her partner for the week Italian Flavia Pennetta was forced out with a wrist injury. Sania and Pennetta were seeded two. Wimbledon’s early victims to get 26% pay rise: Wimbledon's early victims will be comforted by a significant increase in prize money this year after organisers on Tuesday announced a 26 percent pay rise for firstround losers. The winners' cheques for the men's and women's singles will increase to 1.15 million pounds ($1.85 million) for this year's championships, a 4.5 percent, or 50,000pounds, jump on the amount pocketed by last year's champions Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova. Total prize money for the June 25-July 8 meet will be 16.1 million pounds. First-round losers in the men's and women's singles this year will earn 14,500 pounds while those who lose in qualifying can look forward to a 21 percent increase in prize money.

U-17 age fraud shocks AIFF National Football Federation Irked As 90 Out Of 120 Campers Found To Be Overage Maxin Mathew


Bangalore: All India Football Federation (AIFF) vice-president AR Khaleel cut an angry figure on Tuesday. Felicitating young footballers on the final day of the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge (MYFC) tournament, the soft-spoken octogenarian did not mince words when he spoke about the age fraud at the AIFF’s U-17 camp early this month and the embarrassment that it had brought to the national football body. As many as 90 of the 120 boys selected for a preparatory camp

FOOTBALL’S UGLY SIDE for the 2017 U-17 World Cup were found to be overage. Close to 150 promising youngsters were picked from the AIFF U-14 football fest in February, the U-16 Nationals and the Subroto Cup and given a three-week training stint at the Kalyani Football Stadium in Kolkata after which the list was pruned to 120. It was the MRI scan done on each player that brought the age fraud to light. “AIFF is appalled with what happened. The fact that more than 70 per cent of the players were part of this age fraud is shocking. This has to stop at ev-

ery level where such tournaments or camps are held across the country,” Khaleel told TOI. With India having bid for the 2017 U-17 World Cup, the KSFA president said all measures would be taken to curb the menace prior to selections for the FIFA International Academy in Bangalore that is expected to be launched in June. “We have the U-17 World Cup coming our way in a few years and such fraudulent practices will not be allowed. Prior to selections for the academy, proper tests will be done to detect age fraud. No schools or associations should send overage footballers for selections and those caught will be heavily penalized,” Khaleel added. No age determination tests are in place for schoolchildren participating in MYFC yet, with the only record being the players’ birth certificates submitted by the schools prior to the tournament. But tournament organizers Procam International’s Director (Operations) PN Sankaran said medical testing would be introduced in November later this year when the next season begins. “We’ll conduct random tests on players starting next season. MYFC has a no-tolerance policy toward age fraud,” he said.

Chethan Shivakumar

ON THE BALL: A slice of action from the MYFC final between Pandua SBS and CRPF, Delhi on Tuesday

Pandua SBS HS crowned champs Bangalore: The talented duo of Jayanta Murmu and Premananda Singha let their feet do the talking for Pandua SBS High School, Kolkata, leading them to a convincing 5-0 win over CRPF High

Indians on song: Indian cueists continued to call the shots in the Asian Snooker Championships in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday. While Aditya Mehta and Pankaj Advani notched their fourth straight victories in their respective groups, Kamal Chawla defeated Firas Kamil Shaba of Iraq for this third straight win. Results: Aditya Mehta (Ind) bt Bashar Husain A (Qat) 4-0; Pankaj Advani (Ind) bt Sultan Mohammed (Pak) 4-0; Kamal Chawla (Ind) bt Firas Kamil Shaba (Irq) 4-0.

Chitra ousted in pre-quarters: India’s Chitra Magimairaj went down 0-3 to defending champion Reanne Evans in the pre-quarterfinals of the WLBSA’s World Snooker Championship in Cambridge, England, on Monday. However, there was cheer for India as R Umadevi clinched the Seniors title with a 2-0 verdict over Eva Palmius. Umadevi lost the Plate final to Owen-Sevilton 0-2. Results: Pre-quarterfinals: Reanne Evans bt Chitra Magimairaj 3-0. Seniors: Final: R Umadevi bt Eva Palmius 2-0. Semifinals: Umadevi bt Jenny Poulter 2-1; Palmius bt Martina Lumsden 2-1. Plate: Final: Owen-Sevilton bt Umadevi 2-0.

Aditi to spearhead Indian challenge: Bangalore teenager Aditi Ashok, who won the season-opener in Noida last week, will lead India’s challenge in the 34th Queen Sirikit Cup Amateur Ladies Invitational Golf Team Championship that gets under way in Singapore on Wednesday. Gurbani Singh and Raksha Phadke are the other members of the threemember Indian team.

Khalin, Chikka for Bonallack Trophy: Bangalore lads Khalin Joshi and S Chikkarangappa, the top two amateurs in the country, will represent the Asia-Pacific team in the eighth edition of the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy to be played in Portugal from April 25-27. The amateur team event is played between Europe and Asia-Pacific on the Ryder Cup model.

Mourinho’s Warriors Seek To Overturn Champions League Deficit Madrid: Real Madrid look like being crowned kings of Spain but need to overturn a 2-1 Champions League semifinal first leg deficit against Bayern Munich on Wednesday to continue dreaming of European glory. Coach Jose Mourinho was lured to one of the world's richest clubs to build a dynasty that would end Barcelona's pre-eminence and he struck what could be a decisive blow in the Spanish Primera Liga's title race with a 2-1 win over champs at Camp Nou on Saturday. With a seven-point lead at the top of La Liga and four matches left, Real now divert their aim to Barca's European crown. Mourinho's team will need to replicate the defensive rigour and clinical

finishing that did for Barcelona if they are to reach next month's Champions League final in Munich. Normally outspoken and provocative, Mourinho has recently shunned news conferences, leaving No. 2 Aitor Karanka to handle the media with anodyne responses. The rules of European football’s governing body UEFA dictate the head coach must speak to the media before the home game against Bayern. However, the lack of controversy seems to have benefited his team, particularly ahead of El Clasico which they won for only the second time in 11 attempts with Mourinho at the helm. “We were able to rid ourselves of the pressure we felt in previous encounters,” Real captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas told reporters. “We have taken a big step forward. We aren't the finished article

TALISMAN: Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored the winning goal for his team against Barcelona in El Clasico during the weekend, will be a key figure against Bayern too. The Portuguese has already netted 54 goals in all competitions this season

Athletics camp: Vasantha Vallabharaya Sports Club will conduct a free athletics coaching camp at Vasantha Vallabha Nagar Ground, Near City Engineering College Ground, Vasanthapura, Bangalore from May 1. Contact: 98454-42502, 96110-78000. Wrestling selection trials: Selection trials for the Karnataka sub-junior wrestling team that will participate in the sub-junior National championship, which will be to be held in Himachal Pradesh, will be held at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on April 30. The nationals will begin on May 10. Contact: 98441-23303.

Fixture: Champions League (semifinal; second-leg; first-leg score in brackets): Real Madrid (1) vs Bayern Munich (2). LIVE on TEN Action+ at 12.15am. AGENCIES


week when world No. 5 Chen Jin of China was able to win the tournament after top seed Lin Dan pulled out of the semifinals. While it left world No. 4 Peter Gade in a tricky spot, it gave Chen, who won the final, enough points to be in a comfortable position to try to make the fourth place and secure his spot. “The Chinese are in everything today. You just can’t keep them out. What do you do?” laughed Jwala at first, but continued on a more serious note, “Sure it’s not good for the game, but they are the Chinese, they are the dominant power and will do things their way.”


New Delhi: Jwala Gutta, India’s premier doubles badminton player does little to shake away the look of lethargy from her face. If she did, then it would be defeating the entire purpose. ‘I’m so sleepy,” she mock-lamented as she settled down for a press conference and in the same vein, reasoned that it was the early morning practice that had led to the lethargy.

BADMINTON On the eve of the qualification for the London Olympics through the Indian Open Super Series 2012 which begins on Wednesday, Jwala insisted she was game for the challenge. “The draw is tough, but the number of withdrawals and walkovers is puzzling. They could have done with a re-draw,” she said. Ashwini Ponnappa (in doubles) and V Diju (in the mixed doubles) will partner the 28-year-old here.

Results: Qualifying (Round 2; winners make main draw): Men: Vladimir Ivanov (Rus) bt Sameer Verma 17-21, 25-23, 21-14; Suppanyu Avihingsanon


for the final camp will be announced on Wednesday. Results: Pandua SBS HS, Kolkata: 5 (Jayanta Murmu 2, Premananda Singha 2, Sunil Tudu 1) bt Central Reserve Police Force HS, Delhi: 0. Awards: Man of the Match:Jayanta Murmu (Pandua SBS HS); Best Defender: Sufaid Ali (MSP HSS, Kerala); Best Midfielder: Mangal Murmu (Pandua SBS HS); Best Striker: Jayanta Murmu (Pandua SBS HS). TNN

The conversation veered towards the manner in which the Chinese shuttlers have been gobbling up qualification spots for London. A case in point was the Badminton Asia Championships last

Bangalore: Armugam scored in either half as Army Red added to Army Green's woes, handing them an 8-2 thrashing in the Ozonegroup National Hockey League Championship here on Tuesday. Armugam put Red ahead in the fifth minute before Sunil Ekka and

HOCKEY LEAGUE Mukesh Lakra gave them a healthier lead as they headed into the breather. Red made it 4-0 in the 38th minute through Chittaranjan Singh. Then followed goals at regular intervals with Armugam (47th), Rinel Singh (49th), Santial Mundu (59th) and Rajesh Kumar (65th) adding to the tally. Army Green, who looked destined to return without making an impres-

Brilliant Salgaocar get the better of Al Arouba There were eleven musketeers and they all lived up to the motto: All for one, one for all. Salgaocar Sports Club played what can be called a perfect team game to stun Oman Cup champs Al Arouba 3-1 despite fielding a second-string side in a AFC Cup Group D clash at Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Saturday. The I-League champions had five first XI stars nursing injuries and two mainstays suspended for the penultimate clash. But with seven locals hungry to establish themselves, Salgaocar found themselves with enough ammo to gun down their rivals.

Britain face Senegal first: Hosts Britain, taking part in their first Olympic football event since 1960, will kick off the bid for gold against Senegal at Manchester United's Old Trafford on July 26 after the draw was made at Wembley on Tuesday. Van Persie is football writers’ Footballer of the Year: Arsenal striker Robin van Persie was named England's Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association on Tuesday, two days after being picking up the PFA Player of the Year prize. Van Persie, 28, was the first Dutchman to win the prestigious honour since Dennis Bergkamp, also of Arsenal, in 1998 and the third player from the Netherlands to do so following Frans Thijssen of Ipswich in 1981. Monday’s result: Spanish Primera Liga: Osasuna: 1 (Nino 53) drew with Malaga: 1 (Cazorla 67). AGENCIES

sion on the scoreboard, finally struck in the 58th and 64th minutes through Binoy Bhengra and Johny Jasrotia (off a penalty corner). Earlier, Indian Air Force slumped to their third consecutive defeat, losing 1-4 to MEG 'A'. The Sappers drew first blood through Milan Muthappa, a minute before half-time. In a more action-packed second half, the Thambis, backed by plenty of support from a noisy crowd, took the game away before Lovepreet Singh scored IAF's only goal in the final minute of the encounter. Results : MEG 'A' 4 (Milan Muthappa 34, Robin 37,58, Siraj 42) bt IAF 1 (Lovepreet Singh 69); Army Red 8 (Armugam S 5,47, Sunil Ekka 34, Mukesh Lakra 35, Chittaranjan Singh 38, Rinel Singh 49, Santial Mundu 59, Rajesh Kumar 65) bt Army Green 2 (Binoy Bhengra 58, Johny Jasrotia 64). Today's matches: IOCL vs Fortis (1.30pm); BPCL vs SAI (3pm); Air India vs MEG 'A' (4.30pm)

Mario, Raffaella to tie the knot? Getty Images

Mario Balotelli's girl, Raffaella Fico, has revealed that the couple is getting married. The Italian model let the news slip as she hit back at claims that their relationship was on the rocks after the Manchester City striker's fling with Wayne Rooney hooker Jennifer Thompson. “What do you mean our relationship has reached the end? We’re planning our marriage, which will happen soon,” Daily Star quoted her as saying. AGENCIES


Thingalaya claims 110m hurdles gold Patiala: Siddhanth Thingalaya of ONGC clocked an impressive 13.69secs, the fastest by an Indian on home soil, to win men's 110m hurdles gold on the final day of the 16th Federation Cup Senior National Athletics Championship here on Tuesday. However, Thingalaya's time was below the Olympic qualification norm of 13.60s as well as the Indian best 13.66s which he clocked at the Australian National Championships in Melbourne on April 15. Tamil Nadu hurdlers J Surendhar and T Balamurugan finished second and third respectively. As expected, Kerala's CT Raji took the top spot in women's 100m hurdles, clocking 14.61s, the slowest winning time in all the 16 editions of the championships. Shot putter Saurabh Vij, who tossed the iron ball to a season's best 19.80m during the first leg of Indian Grand Prix here two weeks ago, also had a disap-

ATHLETICS pointing evening as he fouled in three of his series and could not go beyond 18.42m which fetched the gold to him. In yet another keen contest, Kerala runner Sajeesh Joseph once again overpowered veteran Ghamanda Ram (ONGC) in the men's 800m but barely missed the Olympic grade by just over two seconds in his winning time of 1:48.36. Heptathlete Sushmita Singha Roy, who had a hattrick of wins in the Fed Cup (2006-08) after B N Sumavathy (1995-97) and J J Shobha (200204), extended her number of wins to four in this event with 5553 points. AGENCIES

Tirkey is now a Rajya Sabha MP Biswajyoti Brahma


New Delhi: Hard as steel on the hockey turf, but remarkably soft-spoken off it, the ex-India captain and three-time Olympian Dilip Tirkey took oath as a Rajya Sabha member on Tuesday. The former defender said it was a great honour for him to take his oath in the presence of the Vice President, PM and senior leaders of the house. “It’s a different feeling. Some of them asked me about my age,” said the 34-year-old. Tirkey described his first day in a new role. Tirkey’s appointment comes at a crucial time, as the Indian hockey team prepares for the London Olympics. The former defender said that despite his new commitments, he would still find time out for his first love. “I can’t live without hockey. If given a chance, I will still definitely work with the national team,” he said.

4000 LONDONERS ROPED IN FOR GAMES TEST EXERCISE At least four thousand people will participate in the biggest exercise to test plans for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Key backroom staff including Games organisers, the government emergency services, councils, health providers and transport operators are part of the three-day exercise starting on Tuesday. It is being staged to mimic the eighth, ninth and tenth days of the Olympics that will host 26 sports across 14 venues, including beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade, the triathlon in Hyde Park and tennis at Wimbledon. “Obviously nothing can fully prepare us for the reality of hosting the world’s biggest sporting event, but we really want to make sure we do all we can to ensure we deliver an Olympics and Paralympics that are as safe and secure as possible, while also making sure everyone involved has a great time,” the Daily Express quoted culture secretary Jeremy Hunt as saying. This is the third and final command post exercise before the Games begin on July 27. ANI Reuters

(THA) bt B Sai Praneeth 19-21, 21-19, 23-21, Yong Zhao Ashton Chen (Sin) bt C Rohit Yadav 21-13, 2113, Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (THA) bt Anand Pawar 21-12, 21-14. Women: Neha Pandit bt Mohita Sahdev 21017, 22-24, 21-14; Arundhati Pantawane bt Sabrina Jaquet (SUI) 19-21, 21-13, 21-18; Xiao Jia Chen (CHN) bt Lianne Tan 21-18, 21-9; Nichaon Jindapon (THA) bt Elizabeth Cann(ENG) 21-11, 21-11.

Army Red & MEG score

Two in lead: Giriraj Singh and Manu Gandas

Leading scores (after 18 holes): Category A: 71: Giriraj Singh, Manu Gandas. Category B: 73: Prakhar Asawa; 75: Mohan Sardar, Piyush Sangwan.

yet but we have given ourselves a big lift for the upcoming games.” Leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo displayed less of the petulance that has contributed to his failure to deliver on big occasions in the past and broke away to grab the winner against Barcelona, his 54th goal in all competitions this season. With Ronaldo working better as a team player, Real are confident they can maintain a 100% home record in this season's competition and edge closer to a record 10th European Cup victory. That could involve having to beat Barca again in the final if Pep Guardiola's side overcome a 1-0 def- icit at home to Chelsea in the other semifinal second-leg. Mourinho, in his third successive Champions League semifinal, is eyeing a third triumph in Europe's elite club competition after his victories with Porto in 2004 and Inter in 2010, the latter after a 2-0 final win over Bayern at the Bernabeu. But Jupp Heynckes, also knows the Spanish capital well having led Real to European glory in 1998.

Now, Jwala protests Chinese way


were tied for the lead on one-over 71 after the first round of the Rajasthan Rambagh Junior Golf Championship in Jaipur on Tuesday.

School, Delhi in the final of the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Tuesday. This is the second inter-city title for the unbeaten Kolkata school, which won a cash award of Rs 50,000 while CRPF took home Rs 30,000. The list of 22 players shortlisted by the Celtic coaches

Real down but not out as Bayern come calling

Raonic advances: Canada’s Milos Raonic overcame Alejandro Falla of Colombia in the opening round of the Barcelona Open ATP Tour event on Monday. Important results (I round): Robin Haase (Ned) bt Sergey Bubka Jr. (Ukr) 6-1, 3-2 retd.; Milos Raonic (Can) bt Alejandro Falla (Col) 6-4, 7-6 (7-3); Joao Sousa (Por) bt Igor Kunitsyn (Rus) 7-6 (7-5), 6-3; Jarkko Nieminen (Fin) bt Javier Marti (Esp) 6-4, 6-1; Santiago Giraldo (Col) bt Denis Istomin (Uzb) 7-6 (7-3), 6-4; Albert Montanes (Esp) bt Gerard Granollers-Pujol (Esp) 7-5, 6-2.



INDIAN HOPE JOYDEEP KARMAKAR Joydeep Karmakar must consider himself a bit lucky to be in the Olympics in the first place. He was given the quota place in 50m Rifle Prone event which was won by Hari Om Singh. But that does not take anything away from the Bengal shooter who has been given the berth on the basis of his consistency. The otherwise relaxed world No. 58 appears more excited than nervous ahead of his Olympics event which is likely to be dominated by Sergei Martynov of Belarus.

COLOURFUL: German athletes present their official attires in Dusseldof on Tuesday


TEOFILO STEVENSON One dream boxing matchup that would remain stubbornly confined to the realms of fantasy was a fight during the 1970s between Muhammad Ali and Cuba’s three-times Olympic heavyweight champion Teofilo Stevenson. At the age of 20, Stevenson won his first gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics, where Cuba won their first three titles, plus a silver and a bronze. Stevenson won on a walkover over Romanian Ioin Alexe. His second gold at the

Montreal Olympics excited the interest of American promoters, who offered him $5 million to challenge Ali. Stevenson, a national hero and personal favourite of Fidel Castro, rejected all inducements, asking each time: “What is $1 million compared to the love of eight million Cubans?” Stevenson was a lithe, athletic fighter with a solid left jab and punishing right hand. Today, an active administrator, he can often be seen welcoming foreign delegations given his due to his felicity in conversing in English. Pix: Getty Images

DID YOU KNOW? Pierre de Coubertin wrote the Olympic Games oath and it was first taken during the 1920 Antwerp Games by Belgian fencer Victor Boin. The oath states, “In the name of all competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules that govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams.”

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