‘Forget Courtois and Cech! Lloris is the Premier League’s best keeper’, ex-Tottenham No.1 tells talkSPORT

first_imgTottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, according to former Spurs number one Paul Robinson.The north London side face derby rivals Chelsea in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday, with the Blues boasting two world class shot stoppers of their own, in top flight great Petr Cech and rising star Thibaut Courtois.Cech has long been regarded as one of the world’s best keepers, though it appears 22-year-old Courtois – who rose to stardom during loan spells with La Liga champions Atletico Madrid – has replaced the Czech veteran as Jose Mourino’s first choice.But ex-England international Robinson believes the man they will face at Wembley, France captain Lloris, is the best in English football thanks to his all-round ability.Asked who he tips as the best in the top flight, the former Spurs goalie told the Players Lounge:“I really like Lloris, he’s one of Tottenham’s captains. He’s a leader.“He comes off his line, he takes chances, he gets away with them and he’s a fantastic shot stopper.“And 75 or 80 per cent of a goalkeeper’s game at the moment is with his feet and I don’t think there’s anyone better than him in the Premier League at the moment.”last_img read more

Video: Arsenal target nicknamed the ‘the new Mesut Ozil’ scores stunning free-kick

first_img Arsenal target Hakan Calhanoglu Arsenal have been keeping tabs on Bayer Leverkusen star Hakan Calhanoglu and after another brilliant goal you can’t really blame them.The set-piece specialist, who is being monitored by a host of huge European clubs, including Barcelona, has had an excellent season following a summer switch from Hamburg.And if he continues to score with sumptuous strikes like this one for Leverkusen against Hoffenheim, it’s probable he’ll be on the move again sooner rather than later.Check out the stunning free-kick below… 1last_img

Fox opens up on immigration and more political hot potatoes

first_imgThe former president calls his former energy secretary and successor, Calderon, “a man with character” and “good political experience.” And he calls Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez a “demagogue” and “a dreamer, but in the wrong sense: He dreams of becoming the Castro of the 21st century.” Fox also believes the U.S. Constitution should be changed to allow immigrants to run for the White House, specifically Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I wish he would have the opportunity to become a candidate for president of the United States,” Fox said. But while protesting that immigration reform should not be “left in the hands of the xenophobic,” Fox is eager to share many of his opinions on the consistently explosive issue: — On the Dream Act, which would open financial aid to illegal-immigrant students: “Anything that has to do with bringing equal opportunity to everyone in the U.S is more than welcome – granting driver’s licenses, opening up equal opportunity to go to college, universal access to hospitals, access to schools.” Fox adds that he believes such legislation, like the California Dream Act vetoed by Schwarzenegger on Saturday, is “humanitarian, very fair and honest, especially for those who contribute to this economy.” — On whether law enforcement agencies should be determining the legal status of suspects: “The problem is that this is a federal issue … It’s getting more and more complicated because of the lack of action and decision-making by the U.S. Congress.” — On whether illegal immigrants who commit crimes, including gang activity, should be deported: “They should be jailed as well as any other U.S. citizen.” — On whether it is in an immigrant’s best interest to learn English upon arriving in the United States: “Absolutely, yes, and they are doing so. We are focusing on those who don’t speak English. I see most of them learning English; (their) kids are in school.” — On the 138,000 letters sent by the government to employers in 2006 – including 35,474 in California – advising companies that they had workers with suspicious Social Security numbers: “I don’t know any case of using different Social Security numbers. I hear people say this and many other things. I don’t know why we have to generalize that my people would be doing that. “Many, many, many companies – construction, farmers, ranchers, apple producers in Washington, hospitals, schools, NGOs – all of them hire people that work here and contribute to this nation.” — On whether America should have an open border with Mexico: “I’m not for open borders; I’m not for breaking the law.” As anti-illegal-immigration groups planned another protest today at the United Church of Christ in Simi Valley, Fox also weighed in on the sanctuary movement that allows migrants facing deportation to take refuge in participating churches. “It’s not that they try to hide (people) or try to break the law,” Fox said. “The human rights of these people are being violated. … I think it’s OK (to shelter them) for humanitarian reasons.” Fox, whose book press release calls him “a historic figure of democracy, peace and social justice who has frequently been compared with Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa and Nelson Mandela,” is unlikely to vanish from the headlines with the L.A. conclusion of the “Revolution of Hope” tour. He says CNN’s Lou Dobbs has agreed to debate him on immigration, and also to visit the San Cristobal ranch that has captured the attention of the Mexican press. Arguing that the United States can’t be a “great nation isolated behind a wall,” he promises to continue to press for immigration reform. “I’m telling this nation you need these people,” Fox said. “Who’s going to harvest the vegetables in California?” bridget.johnson@dailynews.com (818) 713-3702 IF YOU GO: Vicente Fox, Mexico’s former president, will speak about his new book at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Beckman Auditorium, California Institute of Technology, 332 S. Michigan Ave., Pasadena. The event is free; no tickets or reservations are required.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! No longer muzzled by concerns of fragile diplomacy and political alliances, former Mexican President Vicente Fox has recently begun seizing the opportunity to speak out. In his new book, “Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith, and Dreams of a Mexican President,” Fox details everything from his opposition to an “American Berlin Wall” on the southern border to his feelings about President George W. Bush. Replaced by Felipe Calderon late last year, Fox is now traveling across America to promote his biography. And in anticipation of a Tuesday speech at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Fox spoke with the Daily News from a hotel in Dallas. Hardly the first world leader to stake out a personal mission after returning to civilian life, Fox’s message is like that of an immigration evangelist. And he says “the main purpose (of his book) is to address the U.S.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.His biography, which debuted Monday, has not yet been released in Spanish or in Mexico. Under criticism at home for what is viewed by many as an excessively opulent San Cristobal ranch, Fox is here painting a rosy picture of Mexico, stressing that by 2040, the republic will be the “fifth largest economy in the world.” When not preaching the gospel of speedy immigration reform – “Manana, manana, manana is not helping anybody” – Fox comes across as an ambassador for the land of his birth, pitching his ties to the land of his ancestors. His paternal grandfather, Joseph Louis Fuchs, immigrated to Mexico from Cincinnati and, as Fox stresses, “was not persecuted, was not harmed” for his immigrant status. Fox also lauds Mexico’s business opportunities and tries to counter the country’s lawless reputation. “People think of Mexico as violent and crime-ridden,” he said, “but it’s comparable to the U.S.” last_img read more

Feeling used, Bono snaps back

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event “Tragically, in these last few years under this government, Italy has become the last in the list among the 22 richest nations of the world in terms of per capita spending on behalf of the Third World,” Bono wrote. The premier’s office responded Sunday that the government “will stay faithful as ever” toward aid commitments. It cited Italy’s economic problems for “some delay” in delivering on its promises. Bono complained in a front-page commentary Sunday that he feels exploited by propaganda for the campaign of Italy’s premier, which says the activist rock star is “grateful” to the leader for the nation’s aid for poor countries. Bono’s photo appears in a 160-page glossy publication prepared by Silvio Berlusconi’s party being delivered to millions of Italian voters before April 9-10 elections. The publication says Bono “is grateful to the premier for action promoted by the Italian government on behalf of poor countries.” Bono, lead singer of the Irish group U2, wrote in the Milan Daily Corriere della Sera that, in a phone conversation, Berlusconi had committed himself to implementing a decision by the Group of Eight industrialized countries to cancel poor countries’ debt so the money could be spent on health care and education. last_img read more

Hines: England players under pressure to keep winning

first_imgThe burden of carrying a 17-game unbeaten record could “paralyse” the England players, according to Scotland coach Nathan Hines.England will equal the All Blacks’ record of consecutive test match victories if they can defeat Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday.Rather than add to the daunting task that lies ahead of the Scottish players, however, Hines said Eddie Jones’ team could be playing in fear of losing their stunning run of wins.The former Scotland second row revealed an insight into coping with expectation when he was a player in France under current head coach Vern Cotter. Hines said: “When I was at Clermont we had a run of 77 (games unbeaten) at home. That is a burden.“The pressure of thinking: ‘Am I going to be part of the team that loses this record?’ That can be paralysing at times.“I went in to games thinking: ‘I don’t want to be part of that team (who lose)’. So I don’t think we have any expectations on us.” He added: “Obviously we haven’t won there since 1983. We are just going to focus on what we can do to win the game. All the other stuff is irrelevant, really.” England have the home advantage in the penultimate weekend of the Six Nations and Twickenham has been a graveyard of Scottish hopes for the last four decades.But Hines believes the current group are mentally capable of dealing with the hostility of the London crowd.He said: “It is like any other (away) arena really. It is loud. It’s not your own. And it makes you need more resolve.“You have to be stronger and rely a little bit more on one another, rather than relying on drawing on positive energy from the crowd.”last_img read more

WIN with Watson’s Hire on day eight of our 12 Days of Giveaways!

first_imgTo celebrate our continued success as well as the arrival of our new sister site,www.donegalwoman.ie, we’re bringing you an amazing giveaway.As an early Christmas present to our readers, we are hosting the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!Every second day from now until December 24th, we will be offering an unbelievably good prize. The seventh prize was an Afternoon Indulgence Spa Package to enjoy with a friend at Spa Solis in the luxurious Lough Eske Castle.Congratulations to our Facebook follower Trish Lowry! You’re the winner! It’s time to bring you DAY EIGHT’s wonderful prizeOur eighth prize is from the Northwest’s leading tool hire company Watson Hire! They are giving away a brilliant €200 voucher to spend on buying or hiring high-quality tools and accessories.Watson Hire have an excellent range of tools, hardware and hire equipment available anywhere in Co. Donegal. They have two large workshops where they repair and service all types of equipment.They also stock home appliances and Christmas decorations at great prices.This Christmas, Watson Hire are giving you no excuses to delay getting that job done. If you hire with Watson’s you pay for only two day’s hire and have the tool for the whole Christmas break – from 23rd December until 3rd January 2017!For further details and more great offers, check out their Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/watsonhire/Here’s how you can enter to winThis competition is open to all our readers, and there are multiple ways to enter. Each entry on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Email counts as one, so the more you do the more chances you have of being the lucky winner.This competition is open from 5pm today (Thursday, 15th December) to 12noon Saturday (17th December). Here’s how you can enter on all Donegal Daily and Donegal Woman platforms:Facebook:Find the competition post pinned to the top of the Donegal Daily or the Donegal Woman Facebook page.LIKE the postLIKE the Donegal Daily and the Donegal Woman Facebook pageSHARE the postTAG a friendTwitter:Visit @donegaldaily and @dglwomanRETWEET the competition tweet pinned at the top of the pageFOLLOW @donegaldaily and @dglwomanInstagram: Visit @donegaldaily or @donegalwomanLIKE ♥ the competition image for Watson HireFOLLOW @donegaldaily and @donegalwomanEmail:Simply send a mail to donegalcompetitions@gmail.comPut WATSON HIRE GIVEAWAY in the subject titleTerms & conditions apply. Good luck!WIN with Watson’s Hire on day eight of our 12 Days of Giveaways! was last modified: December 15th, 2016 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Confirmed: Google Presentations

first_imgRelated Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… richard macmanuscenter_img Tags:#news#web Google has tonight announced its much anticipated Powerpoint competitor. It has been added to Google Docs – the new, simpler name for “Google Docs & Spreadsheets”. With the new Presentations feature, users can create “simple web-based presentations”. A quick glance at the functionality shows it is similar to the other Google Docs features (word processing and spreadsheets) – with sharing, revisions, etc. Note that Presentations is also available as part of the Google Apps suite of tools.We’ll test out Presentations some more before delivering our verdict to you. For now here is the rest of the email Google sent out (sans the PR quotes from execs):Presentations are a natural addition for Google Docs , as they are usually created with the intention of being shared. Web-based, collaborative presentations offer users much-needed relief from manually managing and compiling group members’ input in separate attachments, and they make it possible for multiple users to view a set of slides while a moderator controls the presentation. Users will see that these features are still in simple, early stages; the Google Docs team is making them available today in response to strong user demand for presentation-sharing, and updates and improvements will continue to roll out over the coming months.Google Docs is an innovative, web-based platform for creating, sharing, storing, and publishing documents; it now includes capabilities for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations.Starting today, users can:– Create and keep presentations in one place on the web that’s accessible anytime, from any Internet connected computer.– Manage, update and share presentations with colleagues by sending them a simple email invitation.– Edit together online and in real time, or contribute at different times to the same presentation on the web.– Present and control slide shows for all viewers over the web, with no special setup required. Chat with viewers in real-time via integrated chat.– Import existing presentations to get started quickly.– Quickly publish presentations to the general public or individuals of their choice.The Google Blog has more details, including that users can connect through Google Talk and “can chat about the presentation as they’re watching.” Below is a video which shows Presentations in action: Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Mixed Numbers at CDC

first_imgThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would see a minuscule increase in total funding in the 2013 budget—$39 million—bringing its total to $11.2 billion. However, more than half of that total is not from discretionary funds but comes from other sources, including almost $4.3 billion for a mandatory program to vaccinate children. CDC’s discretionary budget would drop from $5.7 billion, the level of the past 2 years, to $5 billion in 2013. The agency is getting some extra wiggle room thanks to $903 million it would get from the “Prevention Fund,” money that comes through President Barack Obama’s health care legislation and that funds disease prevention at different levels of government. The Prevention Fund dollars will go, among other things, to promoting rapid detection of disease outbreaks and reducing the spread of various diseases. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

I am satisfied with the type of game I am playing: Prakash Padukone

first_imgPadukone: ‘I don’t lack the killer instinct’Few players have had such an abrupt fall from the pinnacle of fame as 26-year-old Prakash Ramesh Padukone, India’s stellar badminton player. Fewer still have ever risen from the ashes of defeat and climbed again to the dizzy heights as Padukone has.After completing a,Padukone: ‘I don’t lack the killer instinct’Few players have had such an abrupt fall from the pinnacle of fame as 26-year-old Prakash Ramesh Padukone, India’s stellar badminton player. Fewer still have ever risen from the ashes of defeat and climbed again to the dizzy heights as Padukone has.After completing a unique grand slam last year by winning the Danish open, the Swedish open and the prestigious All-England title, Padukone had crowned himself the indisputable king of badminton. But that glory was short-lived. Soon after, he lost in all the major tournaments, including the Indian National crown which he had held for an unprecedented nine consecutive years. And just when Padukone was being written off as a “has been”, he staged a spectacular come-back last month when he convincingly beat China’s number one, Han Juan, at the inaugural World Cup prize money tournament m Kuala Lumpur. The champion had returned.Padukone’s entry into the exclusive ranks of the world’s top badminton players came rather late when he was 24 years old in the 1979-80 season. His finest hour, so far, was probably that spring day in March 1980, when he became the first Indian to win the All-England title after defeating the redoubtable Liem Swie King of Indonesia. But the pressure of being the World’s top player began to tell on the champion. He lost out to an unseeded Indonesian in the second World Championship held at Jakarta. Said a despondent Padukone: “Unlike Mohammed Ali, I am not the greatest and defeat is part of the game.” But like Ali, he has staged a comeback from the wilderness of defeat.advertisement’What people see in the end is who won or who lost…. I try to be asfair as possible but if I find that my opponent is trying to cheat then I would also change.’A more confident but still shy Padukone spoke to India Today’s Raj Chengappa in Bangalore last fortnight just before his departure to Pune for the Indian Masters tournament. Excerpts:Q. In the past one year your performance has been erratic. After your fantastic grand slam you were beaten in most of the major tournaments till you made a come-back in the World Championship at Kuala Lumpur last month. What were the factors that led to your initial downfall and how were you able to overcome these to reach the top again ?A. Immediately after the All-England Championship (March, 1980) I had my own problems. It’s quite natural for a player because once you reach the peak then I think there will be a slight downfall. That was the reason I was not playing so well after the All-England. Then after about six months I moved over to Denmark. That was another big change for me. I had my own problems when I went there because the climate, the people, the food and the training methods were entirely different. So it took me quite some time to settle down. I am now satisfied of my performance.Q. What were the problems you encountered after winning the 1980 All-England?A. Maybe it was the pressure of being a champion. It is much easier when you haven’t won a major championship to win a tournament. But to continue as a champion, I would say, is two to three times more difficult than becoming a champion. So I had more of mental tension. I was not feeling confident. Mentally I was very upset and I just couldn’t concentrate on the game. You know, concentration is very important in this field. But I was hardly concentrating. I was thinking of something else while playing and somehow I could not get involved in the game. This was one of my biggest problems.Q. How did you overcome it? A. Once I got used to the local conditions (in Denmark) I started playing better. I met my coach, Svend Carlsen, and he was very helpful. After the nationals (which I lost to Syed Modi) I had a discussion with him. His approach to training was very scientific and I was impressed. I strictly followed his schedule and I got back on top.Q. What were your main weaknesses at that time ?A. Well, I had to improve my physical fitness, sharpen my strokes, improve my smashes and get back to my original form. Be fitter, faster and try to concentrate on the game.Q. Experts feel that you have the talent to be the world’s best but you are unable to deliver the coup de grace. Do you think this observation is right?A. Well, it’s not for me to say. I play for my own satisfaction. I always try to do my best. And if I am satisfied, that is all that matters. I don’t think I lack the killer instinct.advertisementQ. What do you think of the current styles in international badminton ? Do you conform to it?A. The present emphasis is mostly on speed and power. But mine is a combination of speed and power, along with the basic strokes. I am more of a stroke player. I depend on strokes but not entirely on strokes. Added to the strokes I have a little bit of power. It may not be as powerful a smash as the Indonesians and Chinese have; but I have a reasonably good smash. Also I have a certain amount of speed. That’s my type of game and I have no intentions of switching over completely.Q. What is your assessment of some of the top international players like the Chinese, the Indonesians, and the Danes ?A. The Chinese play an aggressive type of game like the Indonesians. The Danes don’t jump and smash like the Indonesians; they don’t have as much power as the Indonesians. I think with China’s entry in international badminton the standard of badminton has gone up tremendously. China is powerful as far as badminton is concerned. If one has to win a tournament now it is far more difficult. I think it’s good in a way because the general standard has gone up, the spectators can see better players and now no one nation can dictate terms to the rest of the world as the Indonesians did at one time.Q. When compared with the other international players, are you happy with your style ?A. I am satisfied with the type of game I am playing: strokes with power and speed. It’s all wishful thinking when somebody says that if I had a smash like Liem Swie King I would have been unbeatable in the world. That’s very easy to say. The same way if King had my strokes then nobody would have touched him. So one has to be satisfied with what one has got. You can’t have everything: the speed, the stroke, exact length and power. You’ve got to base your game either on this or that. It is very difficult to be a perfect player. To be on top you have to choose. I don’t think you can be both very aggressive and at the same time very positive. I have chosen a combination of both.Q. How is it that you are able to remain so cool when you play? You have been compared to Bjorn Borg in this respect.A. Well, it’s inborn. I haven’t been like this right from the beginning. Losing and winning does affect me. I think all players would like to win; the difference is some show it outwardly and some don’t. I am one of those persons who hide it. When I lose I may be smiling outside but inside I feel it. I don’t show it on the outside. That’s my way of doing things.advertisementQ. You are considered an outstanding sportsman while playing but last year you remarked that once you reach the top it’s not important if you play fair and square. Why?A. Well, it depends on the opponent. Because one or two bad decisions can turn the entire result of a match. What people see in the end is who won or who lost. They never would say he lost because of a bad decision. I try to be as fair as possible but if I find that my opponent is trying to cheat then I would also change. I won’t cheat but I will not be fair to him. If the opponent is not a gentleman then in my opinion one should not behave like a gentleman to him. It was different before when there was not so much prestige but now every result counts because each tournament is important for ranking, seeding and could get you good contracts – now one has to look at it from a very wide angle. It’s not just getting called an outstanding sportsman that matters. I would still like to be one but in a different way depending on how things go.Q. You became the world champion when you were 25 years old unlike Hartono, your idol, who came to the top when he was 18. Why was your entry to the top so late? Is it affecting your game ?A. It all depends. You can’t compare my standard to Hartono’s. We are from two different nations. Probably if I was in Indonesia I could have become a champion earlier. Maybe or maybe not. I am not sure. But there would have been chances because badminton has been an established game in Indonesia for the last 30 years. It has been their national game. They have the facilities and they have been producing world champions right from the beginning. They had the basic set-up whereas I had to work on my own. There were not enough facilities in India when I started playing. Nor did we get the opportunities to go out and play in tournaments. For example, in 1973 when I was 18 years old I was sent for the All-England and then for the next three years I was not sent again because of financial or political reasons. You know 19,20 and 21 are the most crucial years of any badminton player and I could not play in the All-England! I was sent only in 1977. But I am satisfied with what I have achieved. There is no point in repenting over the past. Better late than never.Q. You are getting married next month. Do you think it would affect your game ?A. No.Q. Why do you say so? Don’t you think marriage may slow you down?A. In what way? Why do you say so? You tell me the reason, then I will clarify.Q. You may get involved in your family life and probably get domesticated.A. Well, I might. I think it’s entirely up to the individual. Of course I may not be able to devote so much time to the game. But because I am a licensed player my time is my own. I can always adjust my training in such a way that I can devote a certain amount of time for home.Q. How many years more have you given yourself far badminton ?A. Maybe another three. I haven’t decided what to do after that.Q. Why has no other Indian player reached the heights you have climbed? Is it because of lack of initiative or do they have too many problems ?A. I think comparatively now youngsters are getting a lot more opportunities for playing in tournaments than what we had 10 years ago. But of course I don’t say there are no problems. Finance is one of the biggest problems not only in badminton but in all the sports in India, especially to send players abroad. Another problem is that the game is becoming more expensive. We don’t have many good halls when compared to either Denmark or Indonesia where every street corner has a badminton hall. Therefore the number of players which you can choose from is less. Equipment is another headache. Indian rackets and shuttles are not up to international standards and we have to do something about it. But badminton is getting to be more popular now. People have come to recognise badminton as a sport. I am sure in the next few years we will have the basic facilities and the situation would improve.Q. After Padukone who? This is the question raised quite often these days.A. Syed Modi will be our brightest prospect.Q. What are the main weaknesses of Indian players? How can they improve?A. Basically, I think they have to improve their physical fitness and also the power of their game. We have got to have power. It’s not enough to have strokes Because if you have good strokes you have good control and create openings. But to finish a rally you have to have a good smash. It may not be a smash like Liem Swie King has but a reasonably good smash to take advantage of the opening which you have created. Otherwise, you again play a drop then the rally continues and you get tired. You don’t have the finish. These are the two things they should concentrate on. As far as strokes are concerned nobody can beat us. But we need speed and fitness.Q. What is the key factor that makes or breaks a champion ?A. One has got to have the self-confidence that you can be a good player and be a world champion. If you don’t have the self-confidence then no amount of training and practice would help. As the standard is high and everybody wants to win you have to keep on trying. Because, naturally, you can’t win the first time. You keep trying without getting dejected because of one or two losses. That is important, too.Q. Wasn’t it lack of confidence that made you lose your crown last year?A. If I was not self-confident I wouldn’t have become a champion in the first place. Once you win a tournament that is something different. You become more tense and there is more pressure. This is different from the pressure when you try to reach the top.Q. Do you think you have reached your peak now? Will there be a decline again?A. Better to wait and see. Nobody can predict what will happen. I am not an astrologer.last_img read more