Tag Archives: citizenship

Monisha Kaltenborn becomes team principle at Sauber

Lady first! Kaltenborn makes history after taking helm at Sauber

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UPDATED:

08:17 GMT, 11 October 2012

Monisha Kaltenborn has become Formula One's first female team principal after taking over from Peter Sauber at his eponymous team.

Kaltenborn, 41, already held the role of chief executive officer and will immediately take on the additional responsibilities at this weekend's Korean Grand Prix as 68-year-old Sauber takes a back seat.

The move had appeared on the cards when Sauber transferred a third of the team's equity to Kaltenborn as a 'gift' at the end of 2011.

Taking the reins: Kaltenborn will head the team at Sauber

Taking the reins: Kaltenborn will head the team at Sauber

Sauber will remain in his role as president of the board of directors for all Sauber companies and remain responsible for the group's strategic direction.

In a team statement, Sauber said: 'We decided a long time ago that Monisha would take over from me, but we left the timing open.

'Now is a good time for both of us, so this is the right moment to pass on the baton. After all, there have been a number of races I've been unable to attend – most recently the Japanese Grand Prix, where the team put in an excellent performance.

'I'm in no doubt that Monisha has all the necessary skills to be an outstanding team principal, and I'm equally certain she will ensure that the values underpinning the company live on. That is very important to me.'

Podium finish: Kobayashi came third in the recent race in his native Japan

Podium finish: Kobayashi came third in the recent race in his native Japan

Sauber, who first entered F1 in 1993, have enjoyed an encouraging campaign. The Swiss team lie sixth in the constructors' championship after scoring four podium finishes, the most recent at last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix through Kamui Kobayashi.

Indian-born Kaltenborn, who holds Austrian citizenship, initially joined Sauber in 2000 to run their legal department but had moved up to the role of CEO in January 2010.

She said: 'I have set my sights high and am committed to taking the team forward as Peter Sauber would want and leading it on to success.'

London 2012 Olympics wrestling: Olga Butkevych loses first round wrestling encounter

Butkevych apologises after losing first round wrestling encounter

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UPDATED:

16:49 GMT, 9 August 2012

Olympics 2012

Olga Butkevych apologised for her performance as her Olympic dreams evaporated in to thin air after just six minutes.

Ukraine-born Butkevych was expected to reach the quarter-finals but Britain's first Olympic wrestler crashed out in the first round of the -55kg freestyle after an agonising defeat to Lissette Alexandra Antes Castillo.

Butkevych, who came to Britain in 2007 and gained citizenship in May, received a huge reception as she took to the mat at the ExCeL, but she was unable to deliver a win for the 10,000 rowdy fans in the arena on London's Docklands.

Battle: Great Britain's Olga Butkevych (left) in wrestling action

Battle: Great Britain's Olga Butkevych (left) in wrestling action

The 26-year-old lost a tight first period, but clinched the second to increase her hopes of victory.

Those hopes were dashed in the most agonising fashion soon after, however, as her 21-year-old opponent pushed her off the mat with just four seconds of the final round left.

'I'm sorry, I'm sorry,' a tearful Butkevych said afterwards.

'It's my big competition, once every four years. I've been competing every year for the past four years.

'But this year, the big year, I lost. I didn't feel pressure from the crowd, but was proud to be there for them.

'There were so many people here to support me and I'm proud but sorry.'

Questions will now be asked about British Wrestling. The body, who received 1.4million in funding over the last four years, were tasked with producing three Olympic-level wrestlers, but only Butkevych made the cut after the other two athletes ear-marked for a place in the squad failed to reach their targets.

Oh Olga: Butkevych reacts after her defeat on Thursday

Oh Olga: Butkevych reacts after her defeat on Thursday

UK Sport also challenged British Wrestling to produce one top-eight finish at the Games, but Butkevych's first-round exit means the body fell well short of that target.

The fact that Butkevych was selected despite not being born in Britain has also caused some unease, but British Wrestling's performance director Shaun Morley brushed off suggestions that the 26-year-old should not have been representing Team GB, and insisted the future is bright for the sport in the country.

'I think it was obvious to everyone that Olga has got the quality to compete at that level, those questions are ridiculous,' he said.

'I think Olga just has to learn from the experience and move on to the next level.

He added: 'At the end of the day we have spent the last four years starting to develop a programme and that is starting to come to fruition.

On the mat: Butkevych (red) apologised after her defeat to Ecuador's Lissette Alexandra Antes Castillo

On the mat: Butkevych (red) apologised after her defeat to Ecuador's Lissette Alexandra Antes Castillo

'I'm hoping that a lot of young kids will take inspiration from Olga, and the rest of the team here today, and come in to the sport and hopefully in four years' time we will have someone who can compete for a medal.'

It is unclear whether Butkevych will carry on wrestling in the hope that she will make Rio 2016.

She had to sweat off four kilograms to compete today as there is no -59kg category in the Olympics and she feels that may have been one reason why she lost.

She added: 'Maybe I've lost too much weight and she was too strong for me. I lost the challenge and I'm so upset.

'I'm disappointed. I felt like it was definitely my match and I should have won, but that's sport.

'I still don't know what happened. My body was shaking more and more.'

London 2012: Yamile Aldama – I wouldn"t have been a Plastic Brit if I"d come here to sweep streets

Yamile Aldama: I wouldn't have been a Plastic Brit if I'd come here to sweep streets

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UPDATED:

20:08 GMT, 14 July 2012

Up for it: Yamile Aldama

Up for it: Yamile Aldama

Yamile Aldama, just 16 days away from
stepping on to the Olympic triple-jump runway, admits that the injustice
of the 'Plastic Brit' taunts she has endured still hurts.

'If I'd come here and said I wanted
to sweep the streets, then they would have been happy for me to do that,
but they aren't happy to let me compete That's sad,' she said.

The Cuban-born triple jumper competed
for Sudan at the 2004 Olympics while her British husband was serving a
15-year prison sentence for a drugsmuggling offence. But, as she
explained last week, she felt she had no choice.

'I had to compete for Sudan because I couldn't get a British passport,'
she said. 'I was on my own with a seven-month-old baby. I was in a new
country, where I didn't have any money or family. I didn't want to rely
on other people, so I had to compete to survive.'

Eight years on, during which time she has lived in London and supported
herself, a British passport has finally arrived, followed by British
Olympic selection. She is not bitter, just puzzled at the scorn she has
received.

'I was obeying all the rules,' she said. 'I will have been here for 12 years in November. My children grew up here. I didn't fast-track anything. When I applied for my citizenship, I didn't know the Olympics would be here. It was two years before they were even awarded!'

In March she became world indoor champion and, having recovered from a shoulder injury, she goes into the London Olympics 'ready, prepared and focused'.

It was not the case at her first Olympics in Atlanta, in 1996. She failed to make the final then but believes it will be different this time, as she heads to Portugal to work 'in a bubble' to ensure her final preparations are not distracted, even if it means being separated from her young family.

Wimbledon 2012: Johanna Konta beaten by Christina McHale

Konta heartbreak on SW19 bow as McHale edges epic encounter

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UPDATED:

16:54 GMT, 26 June 2012

Johanna Konta could not cause an upset on her Wimbledon debut as she lost to 30th seed Christina McHale in a marathon encounter on Court 17.

Konta, who was born in Australia but received British citizenship last month, won the first set on a tie-break but lost the second and play was suspended at 7-7 in the decider at 9pm on Monday night.

Konta, ranked 187 places below her opponent, had her serve broken in the third game when they resumed, and despite then setting up three break points of her own the Briton lost 6-7 (7/4), 6-2, 10-8.

Out: Johanna Konta could not get beyond the first round at Wimbledon

Out: Johanna Konta could not get beyond the first round at Wimbledon

Konta, 21, is the third British woman to be knocked out in the first round after Laura Robson joined Naomi Broady in falling by the wayside.

Britain's No 5 started the day well, winning her first service game, but a rain delay then forced the players off for just over an hour.

When they returned McHale held well and then had four break points, but Konta remained calm, firing off some solid returns to take the game back to deuce.

When she offered her opponent at fifth break point, however, McHale jumped at the opportunity, firing at Konta's feet, and she could not return over the net.

Done it: Christina McHale celebrates her victory over Konta

Done it: Christina McHale celebrates her victory over Konta

Konta mustered enough spirit to take McHale to 0-40 in the following game, but she wasted all three break points, her last effort a forehand that went way over the baseline.

A wayward backhand from Konta then sealed the win for McHale, who will now face Mathilde Johansson in the second round.

On Monday Konta came back from the brink of defeat in the third set when McHale was serving for the match at 5-4 up, but her comeback ultimately proved short-lived after the resumption.

London 2012 Olympics: Cuban-born Yamile Aldama could captain Great Britain team at London Games

Cuban may lead GB Games team: Aldama in contention for honour

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UPDATED:

01:52 GMT, 13 March 2012

UK Athletics chief coach Charles van Commenee is considering appointing a foreign-born athlete to captain the British team at the Olympics.

Just days after controversially making American-born Tiffany Porter captain at last weekend’s World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, he revealed that Cuban-born triple jumper Yamile Aldama is in contention for the honour at London 2012.

‘She’s certainly a candidate, yes,’ said Van Commenee, after Aldama won gold. In all, Britain took a record nine medals — five of them with the help of athletes born outside the United Kingdom.

Flying the flag: Cuban-born triple jumper Yamile Aldama could captain Great Britain at the Olympics

Flying the flag: Cuban-born triple jumper Yamile Aldama could captain Great Britain at the Olympics

Should Van Commenee name Aldama, 39, as captain of the country’s biggest Olympic team, it would further fuel the ‘Plastic Brits’ debate highlighted by Sportsmail.

Aldama was born in Cuba, the country she represented at Sydney 2000. She then moved to Britain but competed for Sudan, whose rules were lax, when her British citizenship did not arrive in time for Athens 2004.

She competed for Sudan again at Beijing 2008 before deciding to represent Britain, where her British husband and family live, in 2011, in time for the London Games.

Decision maker: Head coach Charles van Commenee says he has great respect for Aldama

Decision maker: Head coach Charles van Commenee says he has great respect for Aldama

Golden girl: Aldama celebrates winning the triple jump in Istanbul

Golden girl: Aldama celebrates winning the triple jump in Istanbul

Van Commenee, 53, cited Aldama as a special case because of how she moved from country to country and had to contend with her Scottish husband, Andrew Dodds, being jailed in 2001 for 15 years for trafficking 11million of heroin into the country.

‘She has had to overcome so many difficulties and the medal shines even more,’ he said.

‘She loves athletics. She is a coach at a club in north London, just teaching young children how to triple jump. And then getting her first title in 39 years, it is quite a story. I have a lot of time and respect for her.

‘She is a great example for other athletes in how she trains and looks after herself and supports others.’

Roman Pavlyuchenko gave Spurs an ultimatum to leave

Let me go or I'll leave for nothing: Pavlyuchenko's Spurs ultimatum sealed Moscow move


Back home: Pavlyuchenko

Back home: Pavlyuchenko

Roman Pavlyuchenko warned Tottenham he would sit out the remaining 18 months of his contract and leave for nothing if they did not let him sign for Lokomotiv Moscow.

The Russia striker, who will arrive in Moscow for a medical before finalising an 8million move, admitted that he gave Spurs the ultimatum because he feared for his chances of playing at Euro 2012.

Spurs recently unilaterally invoked an option to extend Pavlyuchenko's contract until the end of next season, which would have made the 30-year-old eligible for British citizenship.

'I explained that if they did not let me go now, when match practice for the European Championship is particularly important, then I would not consider a transfer in the summer,' he told Russian newspaper Sport-Express.

'I would have worked the last year of my contract and left free of charge – especially as there would have been the additional bonus of a residence permit in England.

'Naturally, no reasonable person would want to lose absolutely all his money on a player who joined the club for a lot of money.

'But, as I understand it, Tottenham still negotiated till the last moments of the English transfer window, trying to find the best option for themselves.

'Maybe (Tottenham chairman Daniel) Levy was hoping for some more offers from Europe and or English clubs – I don't know.'

It is understood that Pavlyuchenko, who cost 13.8m when signed from Spartak Moscow in 2008, was at least offered to Newcastle, Queens Park Rangers and Everton in January.

Lokomotiv had tried to sign him for more than a year but had always been put off by the demands of Tottenham, who at one stage demanded they turn a profit on his sale.

Super Pav: The popular Russian admits it is hard leaving his home in London

Super Pav: The popular Russian admits it is hard leaving his home in London

Pavlyuchenko admits that he has some regrets over his Spurs career, saying: 'there is some disappointment from the fact that I didn't fully show myself 100 per cent.

He added: 'Alas, three months after my arrival, instead of Juande Ramos, (Harry) Redknapp came in, and we didn't hit it off from the start.'

The Russian also hit out at suggestions he did not commit himself fully during training. He said: 'This is total nonsense, which was in the press thanks to Redknapp, who somehow had to explain his decisions and who generally could never attend a training session and then declare that Pavlyuchenko worked badly there.

'No, I never skive and the reason for being out of favour lies in something else.'

Pavlyuchenko also admitted his family had been unsettled by the move away from London. And an emotional exit was compounded by the Spurs squad singing 'Super Pav' to him as a goodbye at Spurs Lodge training ground.

Clash: Pavlyuchenko was upset by Harry Redknapp's public criticism

Clash: Pavlyuchenko was upset by Harry Redknapp's public criticism

'You can't imagine how difficult it is to pull away my daughter, who is in the second year at a British school, already speaks well and has friends there.

'I don't think she quite understands yet and says, “Well, I have friends in Moscow”.

'Larisa (his wife) cried a little. She really grew to love London, but there's nothing you can do.'

'It was sad to go to the training ground to say goodbye to the lads today. They gave me a great send-off – they even sang the “Super Pav” song.

'This part of my life, anyhow, has ended. But another begins – hopefully even more interesting.'

The striker's volatile spell in north London came to an end in suitably volatile fashion when he woke up on deadline day to stories of a training-ground bust-up with Spurs assistant boss Kevin Bond.

But he questioned the motives behind whoever leaked the story and insists the incident was blown out of proportion.

'There was no conflict,' he said. 'It was a normal working conversation – well, maybe a little more prickly than usual.

'But I didn't argue with the
assistant coach. Already by the next training session everything was
friendly and we spoke normally.'

Pavlyuchenko had wanted to talk about his future with his manager but
appeared to be unaware of the trial at Southwark Crown Court, where
Harry Redknapp denies tax evasion charges.

Stories: Bond (left) and Pavlyuchenko were rumoured to have clashed

Stories: Bond (left) and Pavlyuchenko were rumoured to have clashed

'In general I'm categorically opposed to events in the dressing room being put on public display,' he said. 'But, to my surprise, someone has already done it in this case, and in some muddled way.

'In fact, I just wanted to know where was our head coach, for whom I had some questions and whom was at training just once last week.

'And Bond said that he didn't know. That, briefly, was the essence of the conversation. We didn't swear – the rest is just gossip. I even read that we fought – people have a good imagination!'

Lokomotiv president Olga Smorodskaya, who had tried to sign Lukas Podolski from Cologne earlier in the window, said: 'I am very glad that we finally completed negotiations for Roman Pavlyuchenko.

'For us, this is a very good buy. I am grateful to Roman for the firmness of his decision to move to Lokomotiv. I am also grateful to the Spurs management, with whom there were two-and-a-half months of difficult negotiations, but nevertheless we came to a positive outcome.'

London 2012: Hugh Robertson calls for an end to "plastic Brits"

Robertson calls for an end to 'plastic Brits' competing to boost medal count

Olympics minister Hugh Robertson has called for a clamp down on the number of 'Plastic Brits' wanting to take part in London 2012.

The issue has been highlighted by British Wrestling, who has recruited several athletes from Eastern Europe, reportedly in the hope of qualifying them for Team GB.

The seven-strong squad currently comprises of four grapplers from Ukraine, and one from Bulgaria.

Making a stand: Sports Minister Hugh Robertson does not support the idea of athletes competing for Great Britain just to win medals

Making a stand: Sports Minister Hugh Robertson does not support the idea of athletes competing for Great Britain just to win medals

Creating an issue: American born Shana Cox is expected to run for Great Britain at the Olympics

Creating an issue: American born Shana Cox is expected to run for Great Britain at the Olympics

And it follows the row over Cuban Yamile Aldama, Americans Tiffany Porter and Shana Cox, as well as Shara Proctor of Anguilla being drafted into the athletics team last year.

Robertson said: 'I do not support fast-tracking people simply to win a medal.

'I think that all naturalised athletes should follow the normal citizenship requirements.

'Therefore while I am supportive of [Kevin] Pietersen, who came here through a family connection to become English and served all the necessary qualifying periods, the wrestlers do not seem to be in the same category.'

It takes five years to become a naturalised British citizen, though this can be expedited through marriage.

IOC rules state that athletes must wait three years after a change of citizenship before competing for their new country, however this is reduced to one year when both countries agree.

Whitehall sources say home secretary Theresa May will now ask serious questions about future citizenship applications.