Tuesday, February 26, 2013


  • ‘Messi is in the same class as di Stefano, Cruyff, Maradona and Pelé’ – says former France captain and World Cup winner Desailly
  • Argentina and FC Barcelona star Lio nel Messi waits to see if he is winner of 2013 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award
  • Messi nominated by world’s media for coveted Award for fourth year
  • Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Rio de Janeiro on March 11
  • Apply for media accreditation on www.laureus.com/accreditation

RIO DE JANEIRO, February 26, 2013 – Lionel Messi will discover in two weeks if he is the winner of the 2013 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award.
And as the clock counts down to the Awards Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on March 11, re spected former France captain and Laureus World Sports Academy Member Marcel Desailly has paid a remarkable tribute to the brilliant Argentina and FC Barcelona star, who scored 91 goals in 2012, beating Gerd Muller’s all-time record of 85 which dates back to 1972.
Desailly said: “Lionel Messi is just extraordinary, a phenomenon. Many footballers have great seasons, but he just keeps producing them year after year. His opponents know how dangerous he is, but they just cannot find a way to stop him scoring. He is without doubt the greatest player of this generation and as a goalscorer one of the greatest players of all time.
“And we should remember that he has achieved all this by the time he is 25. Who knows what he can achieve by the time he stops playing. Even now, I would put him in the same cl ass as di Stefano, Cruyff, Maradona and Pelé,” added Desailly.
In the most prolific year of his career, Messi also overtook the great Pelé, who scored 75 goals in 1958, and he became the first man to be named FIFA World Footballer of the Year four times.
The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2012, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.   The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, March 11.
Messi, who is nominated for t he fourth straight time, faces a formidable challenge if he is to become the first team player to win this prestigious individual Award. Among the other Nominees whom he must beat are Olympic heroes Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Mo Farah and Bradley Wiggins and three-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports over 140 community sports projects around the world. Since its inception, Laureus has raised €60 million for projects which have improved the lives of more than one-and-a-half million young people.
The 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony, which will be attended by the greatest names in sport, past and present, and broadcast to a worldwide TV aud ience, will be staged at the celebrated Theatro Municipal, a spectacular venue in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, which stages gala performances by international dancers and musicians and which also hosted events at Rio +20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012.
The Laureus World Sports Awards will enhance the calendar of major global events that Rio de Janeiro is hosting in the coming years, such as the 2013 World Judo Championship, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Rio is the birthplace of sport and culture in Brazil, a state of vibrant energy and natural beauty that has become a showcase of the country to the world.
Among the winners who have received Awards at previous Award Ceremonies have been Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Ale x Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Justine Henin, Kelly Holmes, Rafael Nadal, Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Serena Williams and Zinedine Zidane. Guests attending the Awards Ceremony have included His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, David and Victoria Beckham, Sean Connery, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Morgan Freeman, Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey.

The full list of Nominees for the 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards is:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Usain Bolt (Jamaica) Athletics; Mo Farah (UK) Athletics; Lionel Messi (Argentina) Football; Michael Phelps (US) Swimming; Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Motor Racing; Bradley Wiggins (UK) Cycling
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Jessica Ennis (UK) Athletics; Allyson Felix (US) Athletics: Missy Franklin (US) Swimming; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Athletics; Lindsey Vonn (US) Skiing; Serena Williams (US) Tennis
Laureus World Team of the Year
China Olympic Table Tennis Team; European Ryder Cup Team; Miami Heat (US) Basketball; Red Bull Formula One Team (Austria); Spain Men’s Football Team; US Men’s Basketball Team
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Yannick Agnel (France) Swimming; Gabby Douglas (US) Gymnastics; Kirani James (Grenada) Athletics: Andy Murray (UK) Tennis; Neymar (Brazil) Football; Ye Shiwen (China) Swimming
Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) Athletics; Ernie Els (South Africa) Golf; European Ryder Cup Team; Anna Meares (Australia) Cycling; Felix Sanchez (Dominican Republic) Athletics; Germany Men’s Olympic Eights Rowing Team
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Patrick Anderson (Canada) Wheelchair Basketball; Johanna Benson (Namibia) Athletics; Daniel de Faria Dias (Brazil) Swimming; Alan Fonteles Oliveira (Brazil) Athletics; David Weir (United Kingdom) Wheelchair Racing; Alex Zanardi (Italy) Hand Cycling

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year

Felix Baumgartner (Austria) Skydiving; Jamie Bestwick (UK) BMX; Julie Bresset (France) Mountain Biking; Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing; Joel Parkinson (Australia) Surfing; Philip Köster (Germany) Windsurfing

Reformist and forward looking budget, says Prime Minister.

  • Indian Railways to join 1 billion tonne select club with China.
  • Educational tourist train"Azadi Express" proposes
  • Eight more companies of women RPF personnel to be set up.
  • Several measures taken to deal with fire accidents.
  • 17 distressed bridges sanctioned for rehabilitation to be completed over the next year.
  • Train Collision Avoidance System to be put to rigorous trials.
  • Railways will strive to work towards zero accident situation.
  • Rail Minister calls for paradigm shift in approach to tariff and non-tariff segments of earnings.
  • Passenger earning target Rs 32500 crore this year.
  • Freedom fighters to renew their passes only once in 3 yrs.
  • Complementary passes for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Olympic awardees.
  • Coach making facilities at Bhilwara and Raebarelli.
  • Indian Railway Financial Management Institute to be set up at Secunderabad.
  • Coaches to be made wheelchair friendly.
  • Hostel facilities for all single women railway employees at all Div.HQS.
  • Free wi-fi facility at select trains.
  • Exclusive lounges at 7 stations.
  • 1800111321 number for redressing complaints.
  • Wagon maintenance workshop in Kalahandi in Odisha.
  • E-ticketing to be made available through mobile phone.
  • 104 Stations identified for added amenities.
  • Target of investment of 1 lakh crore through PPP mode in 12th FYP.
  • For the first time, Arunachal Pradesh brought under  Rail Network.
  • UID-Aadhar to be used for ticket reservation.
  • Need based border connectivity top priority.
  • Freight loading estimated to be 1007 tonnes this year.
  • No hike in passenger fares; 67 new express and 26 passenger trains to be launched.
  • Next generation E-ticketing introduced to be able to book 7000 tickets in a minute.
  • Gross traffic receipts to be 18062 crore rupees over 2012-13.
  • Thrust on using renewable sources of energy.
  • Some Railway related activities included under MGNREGA.
  • Railways to fill up 1.52 lakh vacancies.
  • Dronacharya awardees to get Shatabdi and Rajdhani passes.
  • 47000 vacancies reserved for differently abled to be filled.
  • Plan to spend 3000 crore rupees to connect mines.
  • Rail budget remarkable and commendable, says P Chidambaram.

    Railways is committed to ensure security, safety and better passengers facilities including sanitation in trains and railway stations. Minister of Railways Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal has said that to strengthen the security of rail passengers, especially women passengers, Railways have already created four companies of women RPF personnel and another eight would be set up. Presenting the Railway Budget for 2013-14 in Parliament today he said, recruitment to RPF is being conducted with 10% vacancies reserved for women. He said, the presence of women RPF personnel will be further strengthened with the field units.

    The Minister said, many trains are being escorted by Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force in sensitive sections. Further, the Ladies Special local trains in Metropolitan Cities are being escorted by lady RPF Staff. Shri Bansal said, security helpline numbers have been made available on several zonal railways to facilitate passengers in reporting any untoward incidence for immediate intervention.
    Rs one lakh crore to be raised from public-private partnership, Rs 1.05 lakh crore through internal resources in the 12th Plan; Elimination of 10,700 unmanned level crossings targeted during the Plan; no more new such crossings to be created.Briefing media Prashar exclusively, Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said, during the last four months, efforts have been stepped up to ensure better upkeep of the Railway network and maximize passenger convenience.Bansal said, work on installing bio-tiolets in railway coaches is on.The Railway Minister added that people’s aspirations and demands regarding safe, convenient and secure traveling on trains, are genuine.He said, the Ministry is well aware of what is expected from it and it is diligently working to deliver better services.Railways to set up six more Rail Neer bottling plants.
    Identification of 104 stations for upgradation in places with more than one million population and of religious significance.Corporate Safety Plan to be prepared for ten-year period 2014-24. 
    BSE Sensex dropped by 134 points to 19197 in the late morning trade due to selling pressure ahead of the railway budget amid weak global cues as the Early results in Italy polls show hung parliament thus euro crisis to prevail.   Earlier, the Sensex resumed lower at 19,290 and dropped further to 19,186, showing a loss of 109.53 points from its last close.
    The Nifty also moved down by 43 points to 5,811
    New Look Mahindra Racing Completes Second Solid Test in Jerez

    Mumbai, February 25, 2013: Mahindra Racing has completed its second pre-season test for the 2013 Moto3™ World Championship in promising style. The group-test at Spain’s Jerez circuit, venue for the third round of this year’s MotoGP season, saw the Indian team’s two new riders complete the test with the fifth and eighth fastest times of the 33 Moto3 participants.
    Three trouble-free days for Mahindra’s all-new MGP-3O (pronounced three "o") were marred only by rain on the final day that led to an early finish for the team, who had achieved most of their objectives.

    Portuguese teenager, Miguel Oliveira, recorded the fifth fastest time of the test (1’47.958). The 17 year old from Pragal near Lisbon, was also impressively quick in the wet conditions of Thursday despite having a small fall. “I'm really happy that we had the opportunity to continue the job started in Valencia,” he commented. “I'm pleased with the way we are working and I’m learning so much about the bike and my team. We are on a good path and we are ready to fight.

    “Our immediate area of focus is to find a good set-up for the bike and doing our job without looking at the other teams and riders. We need to give the best!"

    Experienced Spanish rider Efrén Vázquez was eighth fastest in Jerez (1’48.327). He finished testing at lunchtime feeling satisfied with his move to Mahindra Racing: "I'm really happy with the bike and everything is going better than we expected. I'm very pleased with the team. It has all changed since last year and the expectations and thinking are very positive. The project we are working for is a good one and we can do well."

    The successful ‘Jerez 1’ test followed on from last week’s Valencia test, the first outing for the 2013 Mahindra. Efrén finished the three days at Valencia with the eighth quickest time (1’40.495), while his young teammate was 10th fastest (1’40.526). Both times were well within the 2012 pole position time at Valencia, scene of the traditional end to the MotoGP season in November. It marked an impressive debut for riders, team and bike.

    The 2013 Mahindra bikes completed 750km (Efrén) and 800km (Miguel) over the two tests, but the hard work now continues back in the team’s Swiss base before the final test, ‘Jerez 2’ (18-21 March). Bikes and equipment will then be shipped to Qatar for the first race of the season on 7 April.

    About Mahindra Racing

    Mahindra Racing became the first Indian team to participate in the FIM MotoGP™ World Motorcycle Racing Championship in 2011 and the Italian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (CIV) in 2012.
     Racing in the Moto3™ class in MotoGP, Mahindra Racing enters the 2013 season with its own new 4-stroke, single-cylinder 250cc motorcycle developed in conjunction with experienced Swiss firm Suter Racing Technology AG. Experienced Spanish rider Efrén Vázquez (26, from Bilbao) is teamed with exciting Portuguese teenager Miguel Oliveira (17, from Pragal near Lisbon) in the team.
     In the 2012 CIV season, Mahindra Racing competed in the 125 GP Class and became the first team from India to win an international motorsport event, eventually recording six victories from eight races and securing the Constructors’ Championship. In 2013, Mahindra Racing will enter the Moto3™ class in CIV.

    For further information please visit: www.mahindraracing.com
    About Mahindra
    The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise through solutions that power mobility, drive rural prosperity, enhance urban lifestyles and increase business efficiency.
    A USD 15.9 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra employs more than 155,000 people in over 100 countries. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology and vacation ownership. In addition, Mahindra enjoys a strong presence in the agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, financial services, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel and two wheeler industries.
    In 2012, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000 list, a listing of the biggest and most powerful listed companies in the world.

    Visit us at  www.mahindra.com 
    Our Social Media Channels -  
    For further enquiries
    Roma Balwani                                         
    Senior Vice President – Group Communications
    Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. 
    Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2013 moves to Mumbai

    Mumbai, 25th Feb 2013: The third leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2013 will commence at the prestigious Bombay Presidency Golf Club from tomorrow. The tournament which will be played from the 26th – 28th February 2013 at the 18 hole BPGC will see a close fight between Veteran golfer Smriti Mehra and the young brigade of Vani Kapoor and Neha Tripathi for the top spot both in the tournament and the Hero Order of Merit for 2013.

    Delhi Golfer Smriti Mehra who will start her campaign in the third leg fresh from her convincing win in the second leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2013 will be eager to repeat her performance at the BPGC and consolidate her top spot in the Hero OOM. Smriti currently leads the Hero OOM for 2013 with a total earning of Rs. 1, 90, 000 to her kitty from two tournaments.

    Kolkata Golfer Neha Tripathi, who had a great start to the season winning the first leg of the Hero Women’s Golf Tour 2013 will be hopeful of a good show in the third leg. Neha is currently second on the Hero OOM with a total earning of Rs. 1, 65,000 from two tournaments.

    DLF Golf & Contry Club’s golfer Vani Kapoor who stormed the circuit with some aggressive and exceptional golf last year in her rookie season, is yet to taste victory this season. Vani who has been consistent in the first two legs (third and tied second finish on the tour), would be eager to win her first for the season. Vani is currently placed third in the Hero OOM with a total amount of Rs. 1,52,500 to her kitty.

    While the OOM war gets hotter this season, one can’t rule out Bangalorean Sharmila Nicollet who finished tied second in the second leg with a strong comeback on the final day. Sharmila had to miss the first leg of the tour due to an injury and only started her campaign in the second leg. Sharmila in the past has been the Hero OOM merit leader for the 2010-11 and 2009-10 season and also is the only Indian representative in the current Ladies European Tour season.
    Smriti Mehra looks forward to a second consecutive title at the third leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2013

    Mumbai, 25th Feb 2013: Veteran Delhi golfer Smriti Mehra will look forward to her second consecutive title at the third leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2013. The third leg will be played at the par 70 Bombay Presidency Golf Club from the 26th – 28th February 2013. Smriti who was the winner in the second leg of the HWPGT 13 currently leads the Hero Order of Merit with a total earning of INR 1,90,000 from the first two legs.

    DLF Golf & Contry Club’s golfer Vani Kapoor who stormed the circuit with some aggressive and exceptional golf in her rookie season will be eager to get her first winners cheque on the tour forthis season. Kolkata Golfer Neha Tripathi, who had a great start to the season winning the first leg of the Hero Women’s Golf Tour 2013 will be hopeful of a good show in the third leg.

    Hero MotoCorp sponsored golfer, Sharmila Nicollet will be another professional to watch out for in this leg. Sharmila who had to miss the first leg of the tour due to an injury finished tied second in the second leg with a strong comeback on the final day.

    The Rs. 5,00,000 event is the third in the series of 12 this year.

    Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland i...