Feng starts year with win in Doha opener
DOHA • Table tennis world No. 4 Feng Tianwei got through her opening match of the year yesterday, beating Hong Kong's world No. 55 Minnie Soo at the Qatar Open.
The Singaporean won 11-5, 8-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-6 and earns a place in the round of 16 against either Japan's Hitomi Sato or Dutchwoman Li Jie.
Ariya, Yang share lead at Honda LPGA
BANGKOK • World No. 2 golfer Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand cruised to a shared lead with South Korea's Amy Yang after the first round of the Honda LPGA yesterday, with a six-under 66 at the Siam Country Club in Pattaya.
Finishing a stroke behind the duo were China's Feng Shanshan, the American Ryann O'Toole, South Korea's Kim Sei Young and Minjee Lee of Australia.
Changes needed after Budapest snub
LONDON • Budapest's withdrawal from bidding for the 2024 summer Olympics highlights the need for changes to the Games model, insiders say.
The Olympics were once the most hotly contested sports commodity in the world, but in recent years the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has seen the bidding process turn into a carousel of early exits, with cities scared off by costs, size or local opposition.
The Hungarian capital pulled out on Wednesday, citing a lack of political and national unity, leaving former hosts Los Angeles and Paris in a two-horse race ahead of the IOC vote in September.
Scolari offers Chan a word of sympathy
HONG KONG • Eastern Sports Club coach Chan Yuen Ting was comforted by her opposite number Luiz Felipe Scolari, after her Asian Champions League debut at Chinese football powerhouses Guangzhou Evergrande ended in a nightmarish 7-0 defeat on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old became the first woman to guide a men's team in a top-flight continental competition, when she led the Hong Kong champions out at the Tianhe Stadium.
Kazakh biathletes upset by doping raid
SAPPORO • Kazakhstan's top biathletes have lashed out at the Austrian authorities over a doping raid which they said made them feel like criminals.
Kazakhstan won two biathlon golds at the Asian Winter Games in Japan yesterday, but the athletes said their celebrations were dampened by their experience a week earlier, when they were investigated and cleared of doping at the World Championships.
Wanderers fined for offensive banner
MELBOURNE • A-League football team Western Sydney Wanderers have been fined A$20,000 (S$21,800) for bringing the game into "disrepute", after fans displayed an offensive banner during their local derby with Sydney FC last Saturday.
The banner, depicting a blue-faced man intended to resemble Sydney coach Graham Arnold performing a sex act, was held aloft by Wanderers' fans during their 1-0 victory at Sydney's Olympic Stadium.