S'pore paddlers crash out in Hong Kong
Singapore's top female paddler and second seed Feng Tianwei was shocked 11-2, 6-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 by unranked Chinese He Zhuojia in the Hong Kong Open round of 16 yesterday.
The Republic's top male player Gao Ning suffered a worse fate, falling to Egypt's Omar Assar 11-7, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10 in the opening round.
In the women's doubles, Yu Mengyu and Zeng Jian were thumped 11-9, 11-9, 11-5 by the hosts' Doo Hoi Kem and Lee Ho Ching in the quarter-finals.
World Cup anthem not in tune with fans
LONDON • World Cup organisers divided football fans by releasing the tournament's official song yesterday - a fast-paced dance tune titled Live It Up featuring American actor and rapper Will Smith.
The song, which has a Latin American feel, came in for some flak on social media, with netizens questioning what it had to do with host country Russia.
Others also compared it unfavourably with past efforts including Shakira's Waka Waka theme song for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Bierhoff welcomes real-time player data
BERLIN • The first-ever use of tablet computers delivering real-time player data to coaches during World Cup football matches next month is a useful tool that will make teams more flexible, Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff said yesterday.
One device will be for a team analyst in the stands, and the other will be for the coaches. Cameras will track the positional data of players and the ball, and the information can be shared between the analyst and the bench during the game.
Moriya among leaders at LPGA Volvik event
LOS ANGELES • Moriya Jutanugarn, playing with new confidence since her maiden LPGA win at the LA Open last month, had six birdies in a six-under 66 on Thursday to join a four-way tie for the lead at golf's LPGA Volvik Championship.
The Thai, who had notched 11 top-10 finishes last year, missed just one fairway and hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation. She was joined atop the leaderboard by Germany's Caroline Masson, and Americans Danielle Kang and Amy Olson.
Queiroz to leave Iran following World Cup
TEHERAN • Carlos Queiroz will not remain at the helm of the Iran national team after the conclusion of the country's involvement in the World Cup in Russia, the former Real Madrid coach told Reuters on Thursday.
Queiroz, who has been in charge since April 2011, has decided to call time on his seven-year stint after the football tournament, in which they have been drawn with Morocco, Spain and Portugal in Group B.
Iaquinta faces jail over arms, mafia link
ROME • Prosecutors are seeking a six-year prison sentence for former Italy striker Vincenzo Iaquinta on charges of arms possession and links with the Calabrian mafia, daily Corriere dello Sport reported on Thursday.
The former Juventus player was a member of the Azzurri's 2006 World Cup-winning football squad.