Singapore set for historic medal
BOURGES (France) • Singapore are guaranteed a historic first medal at the World Juniors and Cadets Fencing Championships in Bourges, France.
Lau Ywen edged out Risa Takahima of Japan 15-14 in the quarter-finals to advance to the last four of the Under-17 sabre event, which was played early this morning.
Bryant turns down Barcelona's offer
LOS ANGELES • Kobe Bryant, the National Basketball Association's highest-paid player based on his 2016 salary, has reportedly turned down a pitch from European club Barcelona to extend his basketball career overseas.
Bryant, whose salary this season is US$25 million (S$33 million), lived in Europe for eight years and has made many trips to Barcelona.
According to Spanish sports newspaper Mundo Deportivo, Bryant turned down an offer from the team to end his basketball career overseas. The 37-year-old did not comment on the report.
AFC suspends two Thai referees
KUALA LUMPUR • The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has suspended two Thai referees pending an investigation into allegations of match-fixing, the regional governing body said late on Friday.
Thanom Borikut and Chaiya Mahapab have been provisionally suspended for 60 days by the AFC's disciplinary committee and an application has been made to world governing body Fifa to have the ban extended worldwide.
Hoffman holds one-shot lead
HOUSTON • Charley Hoffman remained one stroke clear after the weather-hit second round of the Houston Open on Friday, while Jordan Spieth (one-over 73) endured a frustrating day to finish six shots off the pace.
Hoffman fired a 70 to post a 10-under total of 134 in the final PGA Tour event before next week's Masters, the first Major of the year, to lie a stroke ahead of fellow American Jamie Lovemark (68). Twenty-seven players were set to complete their second round.
Gao named full-time China coach
BEIJING • Three days after guiding China to an unexpected spot in the final round of Asia's 2018 World Cup qualifiers, Gao Hongbo has been appointed permanent coach of the team, according to the Chinese Football Association.
Gao was hailed by the CFA as the best candidate available for the coach's post.
He had coached the Chinese national team between 2009 and 2011, and was named interim coach of the outfit in February to guide the team for the last two rounds of the Asian Zone preliminary qualifiers.