Thursday, March 10, 2011

Udupi: Golden Girl Ashwini Eyes Olympic Gold

Daijiworld Media Network – Udupi (SP)
Udupi, Mar 10: Ashwini Shetty Akkunji, who has made the country proud by winning gold medals at the Commonwealth and Asian Games, said that she has now been concentrating on winning gold in the next Olympics, and that she has been practicing hard for the same. She was speaking during her visit to Srikrishna Mutt here on Wednesday March 9.
Ashwini said that her chances of bagging a medal at Asian Championship being held in Japan are not bright because of the paucity of time for practice. She revealed that the fracture she suffered during a practice session in Bangalore about two months ago to her hand is yet to heal fully, and that this has also been affecting her performance.
She expressed happiness at being chosen as the brand ambassador of Corporation Bank, and expressed the confidence that this will be a stepping stone for her future achievements, as the bank will be extending her all the assistance she needs for her practice and achievements.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Official: Asian Games stayed within budget, despite claims

MTR Ktt with 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games advert...Image via Wikipedia
GUANGZHOU - Finance authorities in this southern city said the 16th Asian Games and Asian Para Games last year had not left the city a huge monetary hole.
In response to criticisms made by deputies of the city's people's congress, Zhang Jieming, director of the Guangzhou finance bureau, said the city's budget for the games was 13.6 billion yuan ($2 billion).
So far, the city has used some 9.1 billion yuan, accounting for 67 percent of the budget, according to Zhang.
"I can say that the investment has been kept within the budget," Zhang said at a special news conference on Wednesday after the annual session of the local people's congress, which concluded last week.
"The funds come mainly from the marketing development related to the games, subsidies from higher governments and the sales of the Asian Games town in Panyu district," Zhang said.
Zhong Nanshan, a deputy with the Guangzhou People's Congress, claimed at the session that the games had left the city owing some 210 billion yuan.
"Actually, the government debt is not as high as the figure some deputies mentioned," Zhang said. Early in 2002, when Guangzhou launched a bid to host the 2010 Asian Games, local authorities planned a budget of about 12.1 billion yuan for the games, according to Zhang.
However, local authorities submitted a general investment plan of as high as 220 billion yuan to the central government after it won the bid.
"The 220-billion-yuan plan included the building of stadiums, Asian Games town and some key infrastructure projects from 2005 to 2010. That's why some people say that Guangzhou has invested a huge amount of money to host the games," Zhang said.
The city invested as much as 109 billion yuan to improve urban infrastructure from 2005 to 2010, according to Zhang.
"At present, the government owes some 88.4 billion yuan from urban construction over the past several years, including debt interest," Zhang said.
Zhang said that it is a common practice for local governments to collect money for urban construction through government debts, according to Nanfang Daily.

Guangzhou Promises to Release Asiad Spending Details Before 2013

The 16th Asian Games opens on November 12, 2010 in Guangzhou, capital city of south China's Guangdong province. [Photo: Xinhua]
Guangzhou's finance chief Zhang Jieming said Wednesday the total spending of the Asian Games would be released before 2013, the Information Times reports.
Zhang, the director of the Guangzhou Financial Bureau said that the city had injected 13.6 billion yuan for the 16th Asian Games held in November, 2010 - 6.3 billion yuan was used for venue construction and 7.3 billion yuan for operation and maintenance.
The details of expenditure and revenue will be made public after auditing, Zhang Jieming said at a press conference on Wednesday.
During the annual session of the People's Congress of Guangzhou city, Zhong Nanshan, a renowned medical expert and member of the National People's Congress, claimed that the Guangzhou Asiad cost more than 257 billion yuan, leaving the city with a debt of more than 210 billion yuan, according to previous reports.
Zhang Jieming denied those reports. He added that the municipal government is faced with a debt of 88.4 billion yuan, mainly because between 2005 and 2010, Guangzhou, capital city of south China's Guangdong Province, allocated 109 billion yuan for infrastructure improvement, including subway, road and bridge construction, and environmental facilities, to give the city a facelift.
But he emphasized that the local government is "prudent" towards the issue of budget, and the current debt is "affordable."
Beijing released its Olympic spending details in June, 2009, about ten months after the Olympic Games held in August, 2008.

‘Asian Games left Guangzhou in huge debt’

Beijing: A controversy has broken out over China's massive spending on last year's Asian Games in Guangzhou city after a local legislator claimed the sporting extravaganza had left the city with a debt of USD 32 billion.

While the Chinese authorities are yet to provide breakdown of the money spent on the Games, Zhong Nanshan, a deputy with the Guangzhou People's Congress said there was a big financial gap after the local authorities invested what he claimed was 257.7 billion yuan (USD 38.4 billion) on the the sporting spectacle.

Zhong said that after the Games the city is left with a 210 billion yuan (USD 32 billion) debt, which also included the previous outstanding loans.

"How will the city government find the money to improve people's living standards with such heavy debts to pay in the years ahead?" Zhong was quoted as saying

However, Zhang Jieming, director of Guangzhou finance bureau claimed that the income and expenditure for the Asian Games had balanced.

"I don't know what sources Zhong Nanshan cited. You reporters should ask him how he got his figure," Zhang told the official media.

The expenditure directly used for the games was 13.6 billion yuan, (USD two billion) with more than 100 billion yuan (USD 15 billion) also invested in improving urban infrastructure during the past five years, Zhang said.

"I haven't exchanged views on the games budget with Zhong. So far, there has not been a complete financial report. This is normal. There are several figures related to the games budget and we will unveil the official financial accounts at the proper time," Zhang said.

Many other deputies at the local People's Congress have joined Zhong in calling on the government to unveil its official report on the cost of the games.

"Guangzhou's budget income was less than 100 billion yuan last year. Where does this huge investment in the games come from? The government should give the public an explanation," Zheng Jingping, a deputy with the Guangdong Provincial People's Congress was quoted as saying.

Prior to the games' opening, Guangzhou Mayor Wan Qingliang said the investment in the games had been kept within the budget and amounted to about 120 billion yuan, (USD 18 billion).

Guangzhou, one of China's highly industrialised cities, hosted the 16th Asian Games and the Asian Para Games in November and December last year.

PH execs to fight for inclusion of billiards

Southeast Asian GamesImage via Wikipedia
PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco said member-countries of the Southeast Asian Games Federation will meet on Feb. 25 in Bali, Indonesia to debate – and ultimately decide – which sports will be included in the 26th Southeast Asian Games roster.
“There will be a big debate and discussions over the events of the SEA Games,” said Cojuangco upon learning that billiards and snooker, along with women’s football will not be included in the Games this November.
The Philippines will send chefs de mission Sim Chi Tat and commissioner Chito Loyzaga to the council meeting, along with newly appointed sports and rules committee representative Steve Hontiveros to lobby for some sports and assess the situation in the run-up to the Games.
Malaysia earlier questioned the decision of Indonesian organizers to scrap billiards and snooker, women’s football and reduce the number of events in shooting, sailing and cycling.
Meanwhile, Cojuangco said he will personally oversee and supervise the training of a unified national team in cycling.