Vol. VIII No. 38 - Tuesday
September 22 - September 28, 2009



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


SPORTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

The Prem Golf Academy holds a short game clinic at Star Dome

Noppawan comes up short in double bid

New Delhi presses accelerator to get venues ready

Mayweather pummels Marquez in ring return

The Prem Golf Academy holds a short game clinic at Star Dome

Students practice their putting under the watchful gaze of the Prem golf instructors.

The Prem Golf Academy presented its first introductory short game clinic on Sunday 13 September at the Star Dome putting and chipping greens. Sixteen Chiang Mai players - from beginners to intermediate players – attended the session. There was also one PGA professional from Thailand who was amazed at how much he and the others learned in just three hours! “I never thought golf instruction could be made so easy to understand,” he commented. Another student mentioned, “It is nice to know that there is actually something I can do, myself, to make a good chip shot!”

Spike and the Team Elite players.
Spike and his Lead Instructor, Supanniga (Pro Nah) Bhuranabhan, were assisted by Nont, Es and Dos, three of the Team Elite players at The Prem Golf Academy located at The Prem Tinsulanonda International School. “I could not have been more proud watching our Team Elite players pass on our information as true gentlemen and with great compassion.” said Spike.
Spike and Pro Nah would like to thank the management at Star Dome Driving Range for their kind and friendly cooperation in making this event such a great success.
For information on further clinics and instruction visit http://golf.premcenter.org or contact: (Eng) Spike, 084 769 4503, (Thai) Pro Nah, 081-7165523 or 081-7164454.


Noppawan comes up short in double bid

Noppawan Lertcheewakarn. (AP Photo/file)

CMM Reporters
Chiang Mai’s teenage tennis star, Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, only just failed in her bid last week to add the US Open girls singles and doubles crowns to her Wimbledon victories earlier this year.
The 17 year old Thai starlet was beaten by Britain’s Heather Watson, the eventual champion, in the quarter-finals of the singles event (6-2, 6-1) and later lost with her regular partner Elena Bogdan of Romania, 6-1, 3-6, 10-7 in the doubles final to Russia’s Valeria Solovieva and Maryna Zanevska of Ukraine.
The US Open was the last Grand Slam event that Noppawan can compete in as a junior as she will now make the step up to the senior events from next year.


New Delhi presses accelerator to get venues ready

Indian Sports Minister Manohar Singh Gill (2nd left) reviews
the construction of the National Stadium in New Delhi, India in this August 2009 fie photo. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Sandeep Nakai
New Delhi (AP) - One of the most critical races of the Commonwealth Games is hitting full pace right now. With little over a year until the opening ceremonies, it’s a race against time.
The seat of the world’s largest democracy has become one of the largest civil constructions sites on the globe. And a building program that started slowly and has been hampered by delays and a lack of central coordination is now going ahead at a frenetic pace as varying groups and agencies work to wrap up preparations of the competition and training venues for 17 sports, accommodation for more than 5,000 athletes and officials and an expanded metro system that will be a legacy of the Games.
On the unfinished business list: just about everything.
India had lobbied for the Games for almost two decades. Is that enough time to get ready to put it on?
International events that were scheduled as test events are adding to the pressure on the organizing committee, which had little or no control over construction at venues.
Some of these events, in sports such as boxing, field hockey and shooting, could now prove to be an embarrassment if contractors do not hand over the venues in time.
India’s Sports Minister Manohar Singh Gill demonstrated the pressure recently when he criticized national sports federations for scheduling major international events in the city ahead of the Oct. 3-14, 2010 Games.
“These international tournament events could have been avoided,” says Gill, a career bureaucrat who was inducted into the union cabinet last year to speed up the lethargic construction process of games infrastructure.
“A lot of work still needs to be done and the time is very short. The work at all the venues started late, and now we’ve got to host events as big as world championships as test events.”
Some events have already been casualties of the slow start on construction.
The 2009 World Badminton Championships were supposed to be held in New Delhi, but organizers decided last year to move the tournament to the southern city of Hyderabad as they were not happy with the state of construction at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
Other events - the Commonwealth shooting and Commonwealth boxing championships - were postponed. The wrestling federation decided to move the Commonwealth championships to another city.
“The sports federations could have avoided this,” said Gill. “Even before the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, the organizers preferred to host small tournaments to check the infrastructure and other facilities.”
Baljit Singh Sethi, secretary-general of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), says Gill’s criticism is unfounded as it was mandatory to host the Commonwealth nations shooting championship one year before the Commonwealth Games at the same venue.
Authorities overseeing construction and renovation of New Delhi’s aging sports stadiums have been trying to meet the December 2009 deadline for handing over these venues to the Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee. As well as venues for 17 sports across six clusters, 26 new training facilities are being constructed and a further 16 refurbished.
Chief organizer Suresh Kalmadi has all along continued to reinforce his claim that most of the games-linked infrastructure would be ready by December.
“All but the cycling and rugby, where construction work began late, will be ready nearly 10 months ahead of the Commonwealth Games,” says Kalmadi, a federal lawmaker who is also chief of the Asian Athletics Association. “Work has been fast-tracked, shifts have been increased. People are working double and triple shifts. The (Commonwealth Games) Federation has given us a clean chit. Earlier, they had doubts but now they are convinced.”
The delay in completing projects has led to a sharp increase in budgeted costs, although no official figures are available.
On a recent visit to monitor New Delhi’s preparations, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Michael Fennell endorsed Kalmadi’s view.
“I’ve been voicing criticism that things were not moving quickly, but I’m pleased to see some good progress in preparations all around,” said Fennell. “Things are now moving in the right direction. One is never satisfied until the work is finished, but overall I’ve got the feeling that things are under control.”
Fennell, and officials of all Commonwealth nations and territories, will be back in New Delhi next month to scrutinize the preparations during the Oct. 5-13 CGF general assembly.
New Delhi’s residents have patiently waited for ongoing projects in the heart of the city to be completed, in the hope that they will leave behind a favorable legacy. But they are not always pleased at the slow progress.
“The projects don’t seem to have kept pace with the deadlines, but in the end they will surely finish the work,” says local trader Vikas Comar. “Perhaps, things could have been better planned and an entire sports city could have been built on the outskirts. The city is already bursting at the seams, they shouldn’t have disrupted the life of so many residents.”
In a column in the Indian Express recently, architect Gautam Bhatia painted the scene of a flamboyant and memorable Indian-style opening ceremony, followed by trouble.
“Yet when the games begin another India takes over. At the Games Village the shower issues puffs of air; the stadium entrance lies unpaved; during the evening high diving event the lights short circuit; the diver peers down into the darkness hoping there is water in the pool. Meanwhile athletes move about the city, caught in traffic jams, victims like its citizens of mismanagement, incompetence, and a civic apathy they have learned to recognize as truly Indian,” he wrote. “From the very outset the Commonwealth Games project was mired in risk and controversy.”
The widespread venues, owned by a diverse group of agencies such as the federal-government run Sports Authority of India (SAI), the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and the government-owned Delhi Development Authority (DDA), has contributed to complications, and proper coordination began late.
The SAI is planning to start the process of handing over refurbished venues with the National Stadium next month. The venue will host the men’s field hockey World Cup Feb. 28-March 13.
Different sports federations are scheduled to conduct international events between February and June to test the facilities.
Following that, the organizing committee has plans to conduct a full-scale dress rehearsal of the Commonwealth Games in August to test competition venues, security, accommodation and transport.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games are the biggest multiple-sport event staged in India since the 1982 Asian Games.
New Delhi was chosen to host the Games after several failed bids, becoming only the second Asian city to be allocated the games after Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, hosted the 1998 edition.
The Commonwealth Games feature 71 nations and territories that comprised or were linked to the old British empire.


Mayweather pummels Marquez in ring return

Greg Beacham
Las Vegas (AP) - Floyd Mayweather Jr. returned to the ring with another emphatic victory, beating Juan Manuel Marquez in a unanimous decision on Sunday morning (Thai time).
Mayweather overpowered the smaller, lighter Marquez to maintain his perfect record in his return from retirement and a 21-month ring absence.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. steps back after knocking down Juan Manuel Marquez during their welterweight boxing fight in Las Vegas, Saturday, Sept. 19. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch)

Mayweather knocked down Marquez in the second round and then peppered him with countless damaging shots to extend his career record to 40-0.
“Marquez is tough as nails,” Mayweather said. “He’s a great little man. He was really hard to fight, and he kept taking some unbelievable shots.”
Mexico’s Marquez fought at 64 kilograms (142 pounds), but just 18 months previous was fighting at 57 (125). He moved up two weight classes to be Mayweather’s hand-picked comeback opponent at the MGM Grand Garden. At Friday’s weigh-in, he was two kilos (four pounds) lighter than Mayweather, who paid a $600,000 penalty for missing the bout weight of 65 kilos (144 pounds).
The size disparity was obvious from the opening bell, but Marquez stayed on his feet for 12 one-sided rounds.
Mayweather had an astonishing edge in punch stats, landing 290 of his 493 blows (59 percent) while allowing just 12 percent of Marquez’s 583 punches to land. Mayweather landed more jabs in each round than Marquez landed total punches, and just 16 percent of Marquez’s power shots even got to Mayweather.
Mayweather often appeared to be toying with Marquez, who’s generally considered among the world’s top handful of fighters. Just 18 months ago, Marquez lost a narrow decision to Manny Pacquiao - another mighty mite who’s likely Mayweather’s top choice for his next bout.
Pacquiao accepted a similarly mismatched challenge last year when he demolished Oscar De La Hoya, but the Golden Boy acknowledges his skills have diminished - and Mayweather clearly is still at the top of his game.
Mayweather was too heavy and too speedy for his undersized Mexican opponent in his first fight since stopping Ricky Hatton in December 2007. He then took a lengthy break from the sport that’s dominated his life since he was a toddler, but returned for another eight-figure payday that should pay off his tax debts while setting up another megafight.
“I’ve been off for two years, so I felt like it took me a couple of rounds to really know I was back in the ring again,” Mayweather said. “I know I’ll get better.”
Marquez was surprised by the first knockdown.
“He hurt me in that round, but not any other time,” Marquez said. “I don’t want to make any excuses, but the weight was the problem. He’s too fast.”
Judge Burt Clements gave every round to Mayweather, 120-107. Dave Moretti threw the eighth round to Marquez for a 119-108 total, while William Lerch gave two rounds to Marquez, 118-109.
On the undercard, Indonesia’s Chris John retained his WBA featherweight title with a unanimous decision over American Rocky Juarez while Australia’s Michael Katsidis took the interim WBO lightweight belt with a split-decision victory over American Vicente Escobedo.



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