Chinese paddlers dominate in Hungary
BUDAPEST • Today's women's singles final of the World Table Tennis Championships in Hungary will be an all-China affair between Liu Shiwen and Chen Meng.
Liu beat compatriot and defending champion Ding Ning 4-2 in yesterday's semi-finals while Chen thrashed teammate Wang Manyu 4-0.
Sun, le Clos to star in new Fina Swim Series
GUANGZHOU • Nine Olympic gold medallists, including Chinese swim star Sun Yang and South Africa's Chad le Clos, as well as 16 other world champions, will take the plunge this weekend at the all-new Fina Champions Swim Series.
Featuring a unique three-legged format where only finals will be held, it will serve as a qualifier for both the July 12-28 World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Celtics' record scorer Havlicek dies at 79
MIAMI • John Havlicek, a National Basketball Association Hall of Famer and the Boston Celtics' all-time leading scorer (26,395 points), died in Florida on Thursday at the age of 79.
The forward, who had Parkinson's disease, spent all 16 seasons of his career with the team, won eight titles and was selected to the All-Star team 13 times.
A Celtics statement described Havlicek as "the perfect team player".
NBA, Kings to jointly investigate Walton
•LOS ANGELES • The National Basketball Association and the Sacramento Kings announced a joint investigation on Thursday into allegations of sexual assault against their newly hired coach, Luke Walton.
In a lawsuit filed on Monday by Kelli Tennant, a former TV host, she claimed Walton had sexually assaulted her in a Santa Monica hotel room in 2014, while he was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, but his lawyer, Mark Baute, has denied the accusations.
Walton was the former Los Angeles Lakers coach from 2016 until this month.
Dakar organisers defend Saudi choice
RIYADH • Dakar Rally chiefs have defended the decision to stage the world's most gruelling motor racing event in Saudi Arabia despite the kingdom's controversial human rights record, claiming there is a "real desire for openness".
Saudi Arabia will host the race from 2020 in a five-year deal, wresting the event from South America, where it was staged for 11 years.
Stallings, Mullinax lead in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS • Scott Stallings and Trey Mullinax of the United States birdied seven of their final nine holes to take a one-stroke lead at the rain-shortened opening round of four-ball at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Thursday.
They combined for an 11-under 61 at the team event, with Briton Martin Laird and Canadian Nick Taylor, and American Brian Gay and Slovak Rory Sabbatini sharing second on 62.