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Bahrain withdraws from hosting Formula One's opening race (Sports)
22-02-11  The opening Formula1 race scheduled for 13 March 2011 at Bahrain has been cancelled after Bahrain chose to withdraw in view of the political unrest there. No new alternate date has been announced for the Bahrain Grand Prix this season.

The decision to withdraw was conveyed by the Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa to Formula One's Bernie Ecclestone by telephone on 21-Feb-2011.

Last Friday, a new national dialogue has been initiated in Bahrain involving all sections of Bahrainis society to resolve the current political situation in the kingdom. The decision to withdraw was taken so that the country could focus on this dialogue.

Bernie Ecclestone expressed his sadness on this development and wished the country well on its path to recovery. He also said that everyone would miss the hospitality and warmth of the people of Bahrain.

Cancellation of the Bahrain event now makes the Melbourne event - Qantas Autralian Grand Prix - the first race of the season. It is scheduled for 27 March 2011.
Fernando Alonso wins inaugural Formula One Grand Prix in Korea (Sports)
24-10-10  Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso has won the inaugural Korean Grand Prix today, 24-Oct-2010.

The race that was predicted to be a dry race turned out to be very wet race from the beginning. In fact the race was delayed due to the rains which had been on since morning around the race track.

Lewis Hamilton, of McLaren Mercedes, completed at the second position while the other Ferari driver Felipe Massa completed the race in the 3rd position.

The highlight for Indian fans was Vitantonio Liuzzi, the driver for Force India Formula One, who finished the race in the 6th position bagging 8 points for his team.

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull lead the race for a majority of the race but had to pull out when his car developed some engine trouble in the 46th lap. Mark Webber, the other Red Bull driver, had to drop out of the race in the 18th lap after his car had an accident with Mercedes GP driver Nico Rosberg's car.

After today's race the Mark Alonso is leading the championship tally with 231 points, while today's first and third position at Korea has put the Red Bulls on top of the constructors' tally.

Two races, one each at Sao Paulo Brazil and Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi
Operation CWG Cleanup: IT Department raids premises of Contractor - cum - BJP leader (Sports)
19-10-10  Operation CWG Cleanup - the cleaning up to the corruption allegations in the multi-thousand crore Commonwealth Games organized in Delhi from 3 to 14 October 2010 has started.

The organizing committee and the other government agencies involved in preparing Delhi for CWG 2010 has faced severe media scrutiny in the run up to the event for a host of negative reasons. However, all adverse reporting by the media had been put on a hold before the event, so that the games could be completed in a cordial environment, and now that the games have been successful the clean-up exercise has been taken up.

Soon after the conclusion of the games, the government announced a multi-agency probe into the alleged irregularities.

As one of the firmst public reactions, the income-tax department has conducted its first raid in this connection at the premises of one of the contractors Sudhanshu Mittal - who is also a BJP leader - to determine tax evasion if any.

This led to a press conference by BJP President Nitin Gadkari, who tried to drag Prime Minister's Office into the CWG controversy. He accused the government of spending Rs. 70000 crore on the games, out of which only 350 crore were spent on sportspersons.
Korea to hold its first Formula One Grand Prix this weekend (Sports)
18-10-10  This weekend, South Korea, will join the distinguished league of nations that host a Formula One Grand Prix. KAVO (Korea Auto Valley Operation), the organizers along with the local and national governments have worked hard to prepare the race track - Korean International Circuit - in South Jeolla around 370 kms from Seoul.

The Formula One teams will descend here for the event from 22 to 24-October-2010. The first practice session is due to start on Friday at 10:00 am (local time), where as the race will be on Sunday at 15:00 local time (11:30 am Indian Time).

KAVO has prepared a circuit of 5.621 km length and installed a seating capacity of 1.3 lakh spectators. The race on Sunday will be a 55 lap event with a race distance of 309.155 km.

With 3 races to go this season, the leader of the championship tally so far is Mark Webber with 220 points. Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel are behind with 206 points each.

RBR Renault is at the top of the Constructor Standings with 426 points, followed by McLaren Mercedes with 381 points.
Commonwealth Games 2010 - Are we ready? (Sports)
22-09-10  The Commonwealth Games are just 11 days to go and all claims by the Indian politicians that the preparations are proper and in time are falling short. Questions are being asked on multiple fronts including safety, security and hygiene.

Michael Fennell the President of Commonwealth Federation (CGF) has expressed concern over the preparedness.

Countries like Canada, New Zealand have announced that they will pull out of the games if the preparations are not up to the mark. The Australian government too raised grave concerns over cleanliness and hygiene.

Some of the athletes from Britain, Australia have already announced they are pulling of the games.

Seems like Commonwealth Games which was being touted as a mega fair to demonstrate India's organizing ability is turning out to be biggest international fiasco for India.

The preparations in the run up to the games have cost our country a fortune. It really hurts to hear adjectives like "unliveable", "disgusting", "filthy" and "lack of preparedness and fears about security" especially after thousands of crores of taxpayers money has been spent.
Commonwealth Games Village is not liveable - Michael Fennel expresses concern (Sports)
21-09-10  The Commonwealth Games Village is "unliveable". This is what the advance parties arriving from some participating countries at the Village are saying. Claims of the organizing committee for "world class" readiness of the games village have been challenged.

The condition of the residential zone has "shocked the majority of Commonwealth Games Associations that are in Delhi".

Michael Fennell, the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, has written to the Indian Cabinet Secretary, expressing his concern over the preparedness of the Athletes Village.

In his press statement, Michael has said "Many nations that have already sent their advanced parties to set up within the Village have made it abundantly clear that, as of the afternoon of September 20th, the Commonwealth Games Village is seriously compromised."
The Games Village is set to be officially opened on the 23 September 2010, for the games which are scheduled to be held from 3rd to 14th October 2010.

The preparations in the run up to the Commonwealth Games have been under the media scanner for quite sometime, which has constantly highlighted the high costs, low quality and delays in the project. Several issues relating to corruption too have been pointed out by the media.
Sushil Kumar beats Alan Gogaev for gold at World Wrestiling Championship (Sports)
13-09-10  Sushil Kumar has become the first Indian to win a gold medal at World Wrestling Championship in Moscow on Sunday 12-Sept-2010.

Speaking to a TV reporter after his victory, Sushil said that it was a huge achievement for him. The humble youngster acknowledged his country's support and blessings and said he looks forward to repeating his good performance in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Sushil Kumar beat Alan Gogaev of Russia 3-1 in the finals for the gold in the 66 kg freestyle wrestling category. Earlier, he had beat Hasanov Jabrayil of Azerbaijan in the semi-finals of the event.

The 27 year old wrestler from Haryana who was the only Indian to win a medal in wrestling at Beijing Olympics 2008, has created history by winning the gold medal at the world wrestling event. He had won a bronze at Beijing.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso to start Italian Grand Prix on 12-Sept-2010 at pole position (Sports)
11-09-10  Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso qualifies for the pole position for Formula 1 Gran Premio Santander D'Italia 2010 scheduled for Sunday 12 September 2010 at Monza.

Fernando clocked 1 min 21.962s in the first run during the final session of the qualifying at Monza to bag the pole. Jenson Button of McLaren-Mercedes will start Sunday's Grand Prix from the second position and Felipe Massa in the third position.

Jenson's qualifying time was 1:22.084 while Felipe clocked 1:22.293.

Force India-Mercedes driver Adrian Sutil will start the race at the 11th position while his teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi qualified for the 20th position.

The race in Italy is a 53 lap event at the 5.793 km long circuit at Autodromo di Monza. The record for the fastest lap at this circuit is held by R. Barrichello who had clocked 1:21.046 in 2004.

The total race distance at Monza on 12-Sept-2010 is 306.720.

With 6 races to go, including the Italian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton is at the top of the world championship table with a 182 points, with Mark Webber close at his heals with 179 points.
India to host Formula One race on 30-Oct-2010 (Sports)
08-09-10  The World Motor Sport Council has decided to include India in its Formula One calendar for the 2011 season.

The decision was taken at an extraordinary meeting of the Council in Paris today, 8 Sept 2010 and the first Formula One Grand Prix in India has been scheduled for 30-Oct-2011.

However, there is one rider to the decision. The race in India will be held as scheduled "subject to the homologation of the circuit".

In the matter of increasing the number of teams in Formula One, the council has said that although several parties had expressed their interest but "It was considered that none of the candidates met the requirements to be granted an entry into the Championship. Consequently, the allocation of the 13th team will not be granted."

The Formula One World Championship will become a 20 race event in the year 2011, if India successfully homologates the circuit in time.
Viswanathan Anand! are you Indian? HRD Ministry asks (Sports)
24-08-10  In another glaring example of red-tape, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry of the Indian Government ended up questioning the nationality of world chess champion, Viswanathan Anand.

It so happened that the University of Hyderabad had some time back requested clearance from the HRD Ministry to honour Viswanathan Anand and renowned mathematician David Mumford of Havard University with a honorary doctrate on Monday during the International Conference of Mathematics currently underway in Hyderabad.

The issue got complicated when the HRD Ministry raised doubts over the chess champion's nationality. The matter was not resolved even when copies of Anand's Indian passport were sent to the ministry.

So much so that even Anand refused to accept the doctrate in the wake of this controversy.

When the story broke out in the media, HRD Ministry Kapil Sibal was quick to react to the goof-up by his ministry. He spoke to Anand today (24-Aug-2010) and has apologized to him saying that there is no question over nationality. Kapil Sibal said that Anand has agreed to accept the doctrate.

Viswanathan Anand, born on 11 Dec 1969, is an Indian chess grandmaster and the current world chess champion since 2007. He was conferred the Padma Vibhushan that same year.
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