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Thursday, 02 November, 2006

The Hindu 31st Oct 06

Claes to coach Fatima

In a sporting gesture, Swedish coach Ekegren Claes has decided to train for two weeks the physically challenged sailor from Hyderabad, Fatima Bee, who is preparing for the Fespic Championship in Kuala Lumpur next month.

Speaking to The Hindu after a training schedule at the Hussain Sagar Lake here on Monday, Claes said he was amazed to see the sailor's spirit. "She has the talent and the determination to do well at higher grade. All that I am trying to do is to help her master some of the nuances. These should help her in winning events and not just compete in them," he said.

In the company of Arjuna Awardee C.S. Pradipak, Cleas already had a feel of the 2.3 Access Dinghy boat, specially designed for handicapped sailors.

For someone who is a regular on the Indian circuit, competing since 1987, this enthusiastic Swedish sailor will, however, not accompany Fatima for the Kuala Lumpur event. "The focus during the training will be also on physical conditioning and developing the required mental toughness," he says. Incidentally, Pradipak said that this would be the first time that India will field a team in the Fespic Championship when Fatima and A.K. Singh will compete for top honours.

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