Ko hopes ‘role model’ Tiger will bounce back

SINGAPORE - Women’s world number one Lydia Ko paid tribute to her “role model” Tiger Woods on Tuesday, expressing hope that the golf legend will recover from injury and rejoin the tour. The 18-year-old said that Woods has been a top ambassador for the sport. “No matter what Tiger is going through right now, Tiger will always be Tiger. Tiger grew the game, there’s a lot of players that are playing on tour because of Tiger.” Ko became the youngest player of either gender to take the world number one spot last year at 17 years of age, eclipsing Woods’ record by almost four years. Ko described him as “amazing” in his prime. “He’s been a great role model, he still is... I think what he’s done to grow the game is fantastic and hopefully he’ll be able to get healthy and get back on the tour.”–AFP

Vinci knocked out of Malaysian Open

KUALA LUMPUR - Top seed Roberta Vinci was knocked out of the first round of the Malaysian Open after losing to Taiwan’s Kai-Chen Chang 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 on Tuesday. In an earlier first-round match, second seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine easily dispatched Japan’s Miyu Kato in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1. China’s Zhaoxuan Yang, seeded eighth, beat her fellow countrywoman Saisai Zheng 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. On Monday Eugenie Bouchard had an easy win over Hong Kong’s Zhang Ling, 6-3, 6-1. The Canadian, who has been showing signs of returning to form, will meet Japan’s Karumi. Third seed Sabine Lisicki from Germany also heads to the second round, facing Barbora Krejcikova from the Czech Republic. Lisicki had defeated Magda Linette from Poland 6-4, 7-6(5) on Monday in a tough battle in hot and humid conditions.–AFP

16 teams to feature in U-21 Hockey

LAHORE – Sixteen teams will feature in the 35th U-21 National Hockey Championship which will commence today (Wednesday) here at the National Hockey Stadium. SBP DG Usman Anwar will inaugurate the event as four matches will be played on the opening day. “The championship is a very important event of the annual calendar of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) which will help in spotting new hockey talent and also help in selecting the national team for the Junior World Cup 2016.” The participating teams are NBP, Police, Pakistan Board and Punjab (W) (Pool A), Baluchistan, Railways, KP (C), Wapda (Pool B), SSGC, Army, Sindh, Islamabad (Pool C) and Punjab (C), Customs, POF, KP (W) (Pool D). Besides this, an exhibition match between Olympian XI and Lahore Media XI will be played on March 9.–Staff Reporter

National ski team to leave for Lebanon

ISLAMABAD – The five-member national ski team will leave Lebanon on tomorrow (Thursday) morning to feature in 25th Alpine Asian Boys’ Ski Championship 2016. Ski Federation of Pakistan (SFP) spokesman Obaid Ur Rehman Abbasi said around 14 Asian countries were participating in the championship to be played at Mazar Ski resort, Faraya Lebanon from March 3-7. “It is for the first time that the SFP is sending top players from various organisations to appear in the event. The players are selected on merit and on the recent performance in national ski competitions at Naltar. Waqas Azam (CAA) will lead the team while members are Zahid Ali Khan (Army), Fazal Wadood (GB ski association) and M Suleman (PAF). Yasir will be the coach.” Waqas said: “We will leave no stone unturned to win the event.”–Staff Reporter

Mardan Regional Games inaugurated

PESHAWAR - Commissioner Mardan Division Zakir Hussain Afridi Tuesday inaugurated the Mardan Regional Games being held by KP Directorate General of Sports in connection with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Youth Games 2016 at Mardan Sports Complex in the presence of a large number of sports lovers. Mardan region comprises Mardan, Swabi, Buner and Malakand District. More than 600 players of 17 different sports are taking part in this three days regional gala to be culminated on March 3. Also present on the occasion were Acting District Nazim Mardan Asad Ali, Deputy Commissioner Mardan Dr Imran Hamid Sheikh, Director sports Tariq Mahmood, DSO Jamshed Baloch and member provincial organizing committee Saqlain Shah. Zakir Hussain announced a donation of Rs 10,000 each for both karate teams.–Staff Reporter