Akbar, Toba in National Snooker final
KARACHI - Defending champion Hamza Akbar is set to face M Asif Toba in the final of the Jubilee Insurance 39th National Snooker Championship on Monday, at the Karachi Gymkhana. The 20-year-old overcame Asjad Iqbal 6-4 in the semi-final, whereas Toba put up a brilliant fight to outclass Sohail Shehzad 6-1 on Sunday. The cueists from Punjab dominated the championship that featured players from around Pakistan in eight groups. By reaching the final, both Akbar and Toba have booked their place in the Asian Snooker Championship that is scheduled to take place next month in the UAE. “I needed to win this match – it’s my biggest win as I felt more pressure playing the last-four encounter,” Akbar said. –Agencies


Ligety wins 6th giant slalom in Slovenia
KRANJSKA GORA - Olympic champion Ted Ligety survived a strong challenge by Austrian Benjamin Raich to win the Kranjska Gora World Cup giant slalom for a record sixth time on Saturday. The American's win in the Slovenian resort, in a combined time of two minutes and 30.80 seconds, made him the first man to win six World Cup races in one discipline at the same venue. He beat 36-year-old Raich by 0.18 and Norway's 19-year-old sensation Henrik Kristoffersen by 0.25. "Benni is probably one the best if not the best skier of our generation. He's definitely one of the greats of our era for sure," said Ligety, who trails Austria's Marcel Hirscher by 50 points in the World Cup giant slalom standings. "Henrik is one of the greats to come. It's great to be sandwiched between these guys." –Reuters


Felix takes Kranjska Gora slalom title
KRANJSKA GORA - German skier Felix Neureuther rebounded from his Winter Olympics disapointment to win the World Cup slalom race in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, on Sunday for his seventh career win in the discipline and third of this campaign. The 29-year-old -- who failed to medal in the Olympics in Sochi last month after racing despite being involved in a car crash shortly before his competitions -- timed faster over both the legs than compatriot Fritz Dopfer and the rising Norwegian star Henrik Kristoffersen. "I have come back today, I am proud of myself, I managed to push myself to the limit to win here," said Neureuther. "I was in the form of my life, just at the right time (for the Olympics), and then there was this car accident. It was the most difficult moment of my life."–AFP


Mariya wins Nagoya women's marathon
TOKYO - Russian veteran Mariya Konovalova won the Nagoya Women's Marathon Sunday in two hours, 23 minutes and 43 seconds, while defending champion Ryoko Kizaki came in third. Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia finished second in 2:24:07, followed by Kizaki on 2:25:26. Konovalova, 39, commanded the race from the start as her Japanese rivals attempted to keep up, along with Prokopcuka and Ashete Dido of Ethiopia. Konovalova and Prokopcuka picked up their speed after 30 kilometres to leave their rivals behind. But the Russian, third finisher in last year's Chicago marathon, remained in control, and went on to a solo run in the final stage of the race. "I am happy I won. I am becoming older, but I have not lost any of my mental strength. That strength pushed me during the race," she said.–AFP


Football team gets goat as trophy
LAKKI MARWAT - A football team of Manzar Faqeer village was rewarded with a goat for winning the district level football tournament here on Sunday. The final match was decided by penalty kicks as both teams could not score goal in the regulation time. Over two dozen local teams participated in the tournament which was played at an open ground in Manzar Faqeer. A large number of spectators and football lovers turned up to watch the final match.–Staff Reporter