One can sing at 16

One can sing at 16 or 60, she says For all the latest Mumbai News download Indian Express App More Related NewsBy: AP | Rio De Janeiro | Updated: December 17 2016 2:54 am There’s no pro shop few furnishings no local club professional and no restaurant (Source: Reuters) Top News Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic golf course took three years to build as the project was slowed down by environmental lawsuits Brazilian bureaucracy and stop-and-start funding by a billionaire real estate developer Four months after golf’s surprising popularity at the Olympics an even larger test remains: What to do with an acclaimed course in a country where few play the game and in a city that can’t pay to maintain it “You know that it’s not going to be easy” Paulo Pacheco head of the Brazilian Golf Confederation told The Associated Press “It’s challenging It’s not easy to do It’s very hard I think it’s the only opportunity we have to improve golf in Brazil” Everything feels unfinished around the course except the course itself which threatens to become a white elephant Billed as the first public championship-level course in the country the layout is hidden behind several luxury apartment towers known as “Riserva Golf” which won’t be completed until 2018 Cinderblock walls and fencing obstruct the view from the street and no signs mark the entrance to the course in the western Rio suburb of Barra da Tijuca Once through the rutted parking lot and inside the clubhouse there’s no pro shop few furnishings no local club professional and no restaurant And few players Only four middle-age men were on the course one morning this week though the early rain showers didn’t help Even in good weather attendance has been sparse in a city of 6 million that has only 1500 golfers Brazil has about 20000 players compared to 25 million in the United States and the game is played almost exclusively by the wealthy Another problem: Who will pay to keep the course running Out-going Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes says the city can’t pay He has said repeatedly he would not have pushed to build the course were in not for the Olympics “It’s not a popular sport in Brazil” Paes said last year “But there are some things you need to do when you deliver the Olympics” Last week a state court froze Paes’ assets as a public prosecutor investigates whether he improperly waived an environmental tax for the course builder The builders’ assets were also frozen The state of Rio de Janeiro has declared a “financial calamity” and is several months behind in paying teachers and public employees And the country itself is in the deepest recession in decades with unemployment at 12 percent Pacheco who has been managing the course was vague in explaining how it will stay afloat He said he would be leaving the job in a few weeks and that negotiations were taking place with a new management company that could take over Jan 1 But nothing’s been signed with just two weeks to go Pacheco said employees of the present management company were being “partially paid” and were still working as both sides work out a pay settlement Some employees complained several weeks ago about not being paid Neil Cleverly the Briton who helped build the layout and had been managing maintenance is no longer working at the course since his visa expired Pacheco said it would be six months before the course was fully operating and estimated the cost to maintain the layout at between $75000-100000 monthly World golf officials are concerned “As has been the case since the very beginning of this project getting an accurate picture of the current situation on the ground and the best parties responsible for the short- and long-term success of the Olympic Golf Course has been difficult” said Ty Votaw vice president of the International Golf Federation Pacheco acknowledged that local golf officials have been slow in getting organized He said a new website and Rio tourist agencies would soon be promoting the course which will charge $80 green fees after Jan 1 for Brazilians and foreigners “The IGF is worried” he said “It’s the legacy you have to give back to the Olympics” In a deal with the city billionaire developer Pasquale Mauro spent about $20 million to build the course in exchange for permission to construct multi-million-dollar apartments on some of Rio’s most desirable real estate It’s not just any course From a wetland area formerly part of a nature reserve _ American golf architect Gil Hanse carved out a links-style layout with undulating fairways that bump up against scrubland brimming with wildflowers Local animal life includes small alligators nesting owls and a large rodent called a capybara that leaves tracks through the course’s abundant bunkers Players raved about the course during the Olympics “Gil did a good job taking nothing and turning it into a great golf course without having time to make any changes or adjustments” American Rickie Fowler said “There’s a lot of fun characteristics” Marcos Dias one for four players alone on the course one day this week said it could be a “milestone” in developing young Brazilian talent “There was no place to practice Now I have everything to improve my game” Dias said “In the United States you have a real good scenario to develop your game It’s like here with soccer Wherever you go here you find a soccer field But for golf it’s really rare to have a course like this to play” For all the latest Sports News download Indian Express App More Top NewsBy: AFP | Beijing | Updated: August 1 2016 7:21 pm Sun Yang became China’s first male Olympic swimming champion when he won the 400m and 1500m freestyle at London 2012 Top News Sun Yang’s career has mixed tales of sex and drugs with jaw-dropping world records but China’s wild-child star will hope to stay clear of trouble as he anchors his country’s Rio Olympics swimming assault If China’s swimming team has a reputation for controversies Sun is no exception and the man who knows no equal over 1500m has often made headlines for his activities outside the pool Chief among his indiscretions was a three-month doping suspension in 2014 — served in secret and announced retrospectively — for taking a banned stimulant which he said he needed for a heart complaint Sun’s rap sheet also includes clashing with officials over his affair with an air hostess detention time for driving a Porsche SUV — that was hit by a bus — without a licence and an altercation with a female Brazilian swimmer at last year’s world championships Along the way Sun lashed the national anthem of China’s bitter war-time rivals Japan as “ugly” and turned heads by pulling out of the 2015 world championships 1500m final again citing a heart problem But no one would argue with the athletic achievements of the 6ft 6in (198m) Sun 24 who is acclaimed as China’s most successful swimmer Sun became China’s first male Olympic swimming champion when he won the 400m and 1500m freestyle at London 2012 where he also lowered his own world record over the longer distance — after smashing Grant Hackett’s decade-old mark at the 2011 world championships in Shanghai The two titles in London put Sun at the forefront of his country’s best ever Olympic swimming performance as China finished second behind the United States in the pool tally with five gold medals Anti-doping row More glory could follow in Rio although with China’s swimmers taking part in few international events their form is hard to assess In London China unleashed Ye Shiwen then only 16 who won a sensational women’s individual medley double including a new world record in the 400m race Ye attracted doping innuendo — strongly rejected by China — after her final 50m burst in the 400m medley was quicker than American Ryan Lochte’s when he won the men’s gold a few races earlier China’s anti-doping procedures have also been in the spotlight ahead of Rio after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) suspended the accreditation of its national testing laboratory in Beijing in April In March China’s state media had reported that six Chinese athletes had failed doping tests — including two who were let off with warnings for taking the banned muscle-builder clenbuterol Liu Peng head of the General Administration of Sport said in May that WADA’s suspension of the Beijing lab has brought “difficulties and challenges” for China’s anti-doping work according to a Chinese media report Chinese swimming has a chequered reputation following a rash of doping cases in the 1990s Seven Chinese swimmers tested positive for steroids at the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima In 1998 swimmer Yuan Yuan was banned after Australian customs officers discovered a large stash of human growth hormone in her bags at the world championships in Perth Ning the merciless The towering Sun will be the most recognisable figure in China’s team but his current form is largely an unknown quantity after he missed the national championships in April with a foot injury In June at Santa Clara he won the 200m freestyle in a world-leading time but then pulled out of the 400m final and the 1500m event without explanation It echoed last year’s world championships in Kazan Russia where Sun won the 400m and 800m but withdrew from the 1500m blaming a heart condition Kazan was eventful for Sun who was also involved in an angry confrontation with Brazil’s Larissa Oliveira in the warm-up pool Sun will hope for less choppy waters in Rio — although he may face a challenge from Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri who swam the second-fastest 1500m in history at the European championships in May As for Ye after her phenomenal 2012 Olympics she failed to make the podium at either the 2013 or 2015 world championships and was 22 seconds off her 400m medley world record at the Chinese championships after suffering stomach pain However Ning Zetao who served a one-year suspension after testing positive for clenbuterol in 2011 should shine for China after he upstaged a strong field to win 100m freestyle gold at last year’s world championships For all the latest Sports News download Indian Express App More Top NewsNew York:As a youngster Frances Tiafoe the son of a Sierra Leone immigrant played tennis in hand-me-down gear and dreamed of the day he’d face Roger Federer at the US Open On Tuesday that wish forged from hours of hitting a ball against the wall of a Maryland club where his father worked as a maintenance man comes true in front of almost 25000 fans on New York’s showpiece Arthue Ashe Stadium It’s a long way from the days when cash-strapped Tiafoe practiced with his twin brother Franklin at the College Park Tennis Club Roger Federer shakes hands with Frances Tiafoe (R) at 2017 Miami Open Reuters "I played with hand-me-down rackets and gear from my wealthier peers or used demo rackets the club supplied" 19-year-old Tiafoe told theplayerstribunecom "While my dad worked I picked up the game during nights and weekends at the facility when the other kids weren’t around "I’d hit against the wall by myself mimicking techniques I had seen older boys at the academy do I’d imagine I was playing against Rafa or Roger in the US Open that those guys were just on the other side of the wall" Tiafoe was just six months old when Federer was winning the Wimbledon junior title the Swiss star’s first step on the road to turning pro later that year Now ranked at 70 in the world Tiafoe has already illustrated why he’s being talked of as America’s most likely next Grand Slam champion At Cincinnati in the run-up to the US Open he defeated World No 6Alexander Zverev just weeks after losing to the German in the Wimbledon second round He has also already faced Federer losing in two tight sets at Miami in March this year where "the ground shook" the American teenager remembered "What are the chances that a kid like me a kid with immigrant parents who picked up the game the way I did who came up how I came up would ever get the chance even to lay eyes on Roger Federer" Federer the 19-time major winner who is chasing a record sixth US Open title said he was grateful that he had already got a look at Tiafoe in Miami "Clearly he has nothing to lose but everything to gain" said the 36-year-old A defeat for reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Federer on Tuesday under the Arthur Ashe lights would be a shock of seismic proportions He has never lost in the first round in New York His earliest exit came on his debut in 2000 back when Tiafoe was still to reach his second birthday "He’s an aggressive baseliner like so many of the Americans" said Federer who missed the 2016 tournament through injury "Thankfully I played him in Miami this year so I have a little bit of an idea of how he plays and his patterns and what he prefers to do "I’m excited to play on center court for the first time with the proper structure and roof now I missed it last year I’m very excited" Written by Press Trust Of India | London | Published: September 11 2013 3:31 am Related News South Asian human rights campaigners in London joined forces to organise a protest against an invitation for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to visit the UK The South Asia Solidarity Group led a demonstration along with 10 other groups outside the office of Labour Party MP Barry Gardiner in north London on Monday Gardinerin his capacity as the chair of the Labour Friends of India groupsparked widespread debate last month with an invitation for Modi to speak on The Future of Modern India at a special event in the House of Commons But the election campaign chief of the BJP has since declined the invitation and said he has no immediate plans to visit the UK In the face of so much opposition to the invitation to ModiBarry Gardiner has now released a statement saying that Modi is unable to come in the next few weeks But we are continuing our campaign demanding that the invitation is withdrawn?but Shruti believes that much like her father,has come down heavily on the present talk of austerity.

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