All-local women's singles final in Tokyo
TOKYO • Local star Akane Yamaguchi beat former world No. 1 Wang Shixian of China 21-12, 15-21, 26-24 in badminton's Japan Open yesterday, setting up a women's singles final today with compatriot Nozomi Okuhara. The latter downed Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei 21-12, 14-21, 21-19.
In the men's singles, Lin Dan swept aside Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia 21-17, 21-17.
The Chinese five-time world champion will face Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, who beat Chou Tien-chen of Chinese Taipei 21-19, 21-13, in the final.
Blatter sold Cup rights to Warner for a song
GENEVA • Fifa president Sepp Blatter sold the television rights for the 2010 and 2014 football World Cups to disgraced former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner at a knockdown price, Swiss media have claimed.
Swiss television channel SRF alleged that Blatter signed off the screening rights for the tournament in South Africa and Brazil to Warner for US$600,000 (S$850,000 at the current rate) - a mere 5 per cent of their true market value.
Sun is ambassador for City in homeland
LONDON • Former football international Sun Jihai has been appointed Manchester City's ambassador in China.
The Chinese spent six years with the English Premier League club between 2002 and 2008, making 130 appearances and scoring on four occasions.
Canadian cagers fluff first shot at Rio
LOS ANGELES • The Canadian basketball team, boasting nine National Basketball Association players, blew their initial chance to qualify for next year's Olympics after a shock loss to Venezuela at the Fiba Americas tournament on Friday.
Canada had dominated the tournament by winning each contest by 17 or more points. But they fell 78-79 in the semi-finals to a Venezuelan team without any NBA player, fully aware that a win would have locked up a place in Rio.
Putin fast-tracks US boxer Jones' passport
MOSCOW • Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday granted citizenship to boxer Roy Jones, after the American asked for a passport over tea in Russia-annexed Crimea.
The Kremlin released a decree granting citizenship to Jones, 46, who met Mr Putin last month while visiting the Crimean city of Sevastopol.