Sports Centre

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Narain Karthikeyan says being a second test driver may not give him the visibility that he would have got while driving on 19 race weekends but working with a top team is bound to pay in the long run in Formula One. 

Karthikeyan impressed Williams F1 during pre-season testings in this month, and although he was involved in negotiations with super Aguri F1, a new Japanese team with F1 aspiration, India’s first F1 driver chose to go with nine-time champions. The 29-year old Coimbatore resident, whose F1 career seemed to have run into desert sand when his former team Jordan, now known as Midlands F1, decided not to renew his contract, said it was a career decision to join Williams and he was happy with it. 

“Sure I wanted to race, that is what every driver wants to do. But there are limited opportunities in Formula One and to get a step up somewhere is difficult. 

“Thankfully I have got that first step with Williams. In the short term it might not look good but it is definitely going to benefit me in the long term. I had to think in terms of my career,” Karthikeyan told from the UK. Karthikeyan said there was never any doubt in his mind about his future, nor was he disappointed that the official test and reserve driver’s role went to Austrian Alex Wurz.


Maintaining world-ranking priority this year: Sania Mirza. Sania said she expected a tough season ahead and indicated that her priority was to ensure that her WTA ranking did not slip further this year. “I just want to stay at the ranking that I am,” the 19-year-old told reporters after her first round victory at the $175,000 Bangalore Open. “The second year is much harder than the first. Things are getting harder. I just try to give my best. I will do my job.” In the latest WTA rankings, Sania’s world ranking slipped from 32 to 38. The Hyderbadi admitted that Indian sportsmen were under tremendous pressure while performing at home because of huge expectations.


Double Grandmaster norm holder Parimarjan Negi scored a fluent win over former Women’s World Champion Zhu Chen of China in the first round of Group ‘A2’ in the Aeroflot international open chess tournament.
Having scored two back-to-back GM norms in Hastings in England and in New Delhi, Negi displayed his superior opening preparation against Zhu Chen who fretted and fumed without really making any headway in the one-sided encounter.


March 2006

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