Young S'pore paddlers off to an excellent start
DUSSELDORF • Singapore mixed doubles pair Ethan Poh and Zhang Wanling were due to play Austria's Daniel Habesohn and Sofia Polcanova late last night for a place in the main draw at the World Table Tennis Championships.
They had won their first two qualifying matches.
In men's singles qualifying, Poh and Pang Xue Jie thrashed French Polynesia's Ocean Belrose and Alan Jasarovic of Montenegro respectively by 4-0 scorelines. In women's play, Tan En Hui edged out Venezuela's Neridee Nino 4-3, while Zhang hammered Nepal's Nabita Shrestha 4-0.
Barca set to appoint Valverde as coach
BARCELONA • Spanish football club Barcelona are set to confirm Ernesto Valverde as their new coach today.
The 53-year-old former Barca player, who left Bilbao after four years in charge last week, has been lined up for the role since Luis Enrique announced in March that he would leave at the end of the season.
Sato is toast of Japan after Indy 500 victory
TOKYO • Formula One misfit Takuma Sato was the toast of Japan yesterday, after becoming the first driver from his country to win the storied Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.
The 40-year-old, once the butt of jokes in F1 after several high-speed crashes, claimed one of motor racing's biggest prizes, holding off Brazil's three-time winner Helio Castroneves in a dramatic climax. But F1 McLaren driver Fernando Alonso's outing ended in frustration and a blown engine with 21 laps remaining of the 200.