Alex dreams of maiden title win

TORONTO - Marina Alex fired an eagle on her final hole to take a one-shot lead following the second round of the Manulife LPGA Classic on Friday. Alex upstaged a powerful field with an eight-under-par 64 to move to 10 under for the tournament. The 2013 rookie's round left her dreaming of a maiden tour victory. Her 36-hole lead was the first time she has ever led a tournament in three years as a professional. "I've been close. At that point whether you're the last group, second-to-last, third-to-last, it's all kind of the same. I have a little bit of experience there, so it'll be good," said Alex, who got off to a flying start with four birdies in her first seven holes. Four more birdies and an eagle on the last catapulted her clear of Thailand's PK Kongkraphan and South Korea's Kim Hyo-Joo.–AFP



Sagan to race in Oz Tour Down Under

SYDNEY - World road champion Peter Sagan will start his 2017 cycling season with his new team Bora-Hansgrohe at Australia's Tour Down Under, organisers said on Saturday. Slovakia's Sagan, 26, a seven-time Tour de France stage winner and 11-time Grand Tour stage winner, was confirmed for the January 14-22 tour around Adelaide in South Australia. "The race and the fans are in store for something special next year when he tackles the climb for the second time," race director Mike Turtur said. "He has had an outstanding season to date, not just with his Tour de France campaign but with victory at the one day classics, Tour of Flanders and the Gent-Wevelgem." Sagan rode in his first Tour Down Under six years ago when making his WorldTour debut and is looking forward to returning.–AFP



18-memebr Pak junior hockey squad named

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) selection committee chairman Abdul Rashid Junior along with members Farhat Khan, Qasim Khan and Wasim Feroz Saturday announced 18-memebr Pakistan hockey squad for the upcoming 4th Junior Asia Cup to be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from September 24 to 30. The trials will be held here at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium for two days in running, in which 45 players were invited. The 18 selected players are Waqar Younis and Adeel Rao (goalkeepers), Amjad Ali, Rizwan Ali and Waqas Ahmad (fullbacks), Junaid Rasool, Moin Shakeel, Adil Lateef and Junaid Manzoor (halfbacks), Awais Arshad, Khairullah, Shahzaib Khan, Ahmad Nadeem, Ali Aziz, Afraz, Waqar Ali, Naveed Alam and Abdullah Babar (forwards) while 10 players were named as standbys.–Staff Reporter




Messi ruled out of Venezuela qualifier

BUENOS AIRES - Argentina striker Lionel Messi will miss Tuesday's 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Venezuela with a groin problem, national team coach Edgardo Bauza said on Friday. "Unfortunately, he won't be able to play. We can't take any risks. We spoke with the doctor and it's the sensible thing to do. It must be treated, we must take care of him," Bauza told reporters at the team's training base in Buenos Aires. Messi made a triumphant return after his short-lived international retirement by scoring the winning goal in Thursday's 1-0 victory over Uruguay in Mendoza. The result moved Argentina to the top of the 10-team South American qualifying group after seven of 18 matches. The top four teams will automatically qualify for the 2018 finals in Russia.–AFP



Day's wife, kids uninjured after crash

BOSTON - World No 1 Jason Day's wife and children escaped injury after being involved in a traffic accident, a statement said Friday. Day's wife Ellie, children Dash and Lucy and a friend were riding in a car when it was hit by a bus, a statement said. Ellie Day was taken to hospital as a precaution but later released. "Thankfully everyone is now resting comfortably," Jason Day said following his second round at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Massachusetts. "We want to thank the emergency services and hospital personnel for their assistance," added Day, who fired a one-under-par 70 at TPC Boston. In December, Ellie Day was taken to hospital from an NBA game in Cleveland. She had been sitting courtside when Cavaliers star LeBron James crashed out of bounds while chasing a loose ball.–AFP