Injured Cibulkova hobbles out of Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO - World number 11 and former Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova joined the Olympic Games tennis tournament's growing list of absentees on Monday when she pulled out with a left calf injury. The 27-year-old has been told to rest for between seven and 10 days after picking up the injury at the Montreal WTA tournament last week where she lost in the second round to Eugenie Bouchard. Cibulkova is the latest high-profile player to withdraw from the Games which get underway on Friday. The women's singles has already been stripped of Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka, who is pregnant, Belinda Bencic and Karolina Pliskova. Maria Sharapova, the silver medallist behind Serena Williams at the 2012 London Olympics, is also missing as she serves a two-year doping ban.–AFP



Golf amateur Tiffany hopes to sparkle

HONG KONG - Golf's Olympic return has been hit by a host of withdrawals but for Hong Kong amateur Tiffany Chan, reaching the Rio Games is a dream come true. The 22-year-old booked her ticket by finishing 56th in the Olympic rankings, giving her the chance to compete against the leading lights of the women's game. "I myself am really honoured to play in the Olympics as it is the highest stage any athletes could get to," Chan told AFP in Hong Kong. The university student is one of three amateurs to qualify for Rio, which will feature 60-strong men's and women's competitions as golf returns to the Games after a 112-year absence. Top men's players like Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy have pulled out, with some citing concerns over the Zika virus which can cause birth defects.–AFP




Van Zyl sceptical over golf no-shows

RIO DE JANEIRO - South African golfer Jaco Van Zyl cast doubt on the reasons given by the world's top golfers for pulling out of the Olympics on Monday, questioning whether health concerns really prompted the withdrawals. World number one Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy have all opted to skip the Olympics in Rio, citing fears over the deadly mosquito-borne Zika virus. The rash of withdrawals has dealt a crippling blow to the credibility of golf's return to the Olympics after a 112-year absence. Van Zyl however said he believed the Zika virus was being used as a pretext for players simply not willing to play in Brazil. "Honestly, I can't feel that the Zika virus would be their reason not to go, the Zika virus is in Florida," Van Zyl said.–AFP




National Women Hockey starts on 5th

ISLAMABAD – The 29th National Women Hockey Championship will start at Pakistan Sports Complex, Naseer Bunda Stadium from August 5. A total of 11 teams will be seen in action, which include Wapda, Railways, Army, HEC, Punjab Colours, Punjab Whites, Sind Colours, Sind Whites, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Islamabad. The teams are divided into two pools; top two sides will qualify for the semifinals, while it has been decided to distribute three special awards, which include best player, best goalkeeper and top scorer. The event will also serve as trials for the next assignment of the national team, which include 4th Women's Asian Hockey Federation Cup in Bangkok, Thailand to be held from October 1 to 9. The selection committee consists of Saleem Sherwani and Mussadiq Hussain.–Staff Reporter




21st CNS Open Golf starts tomorrow

ISLAMABAD - The 21st Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Open Golf Championship 2016 will tee off at Karachi Golf Club from August 4. It was announced during a media brief held at Karachi Golf Club on Tuesday. Speaking at the occasion, Patron PN Golf (South) Commodore Ali Abbas said: “The event will be held from August 4 to 7 and will be the highest prize money golf event of Pakistan offering Rs 6 million and in addition Rs 0.5m for caddies/semi professional match of KGC. The event is open to various categories including 36 holes each for caddies, semi-professionals, senior professionals and junior professionals, 18 holes for seniors and ladies, 9 holes for veterans and 72 holes matches each for professionals and amateurs. Commodore Ali Abbas also highlighted Navy’s role in promoting sports.–Staff Reporter