SA’s Buhai leads by a shot in China

SHANGHAI - South Africa's Ashleigh Buhai coped admirably with swirling winds to battle her way to a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Blue Bay LPGA in China on Thursday. Still searching for the first win of her LPGA Tour career, Buhai shot a four-under-par 68 at Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Club on the southern island of Hainan. "I feel I am getting more comfortable with the situation," the 28-year-old told of her trophy drought. Buhai is however getting closer and has two top-five finishes this year. China's Feng Shanshan, the world number three who last week picked up her second win of the season, shot a 67 for the lowest round of the day and is just a shot back. But the rest of the field struggled in the blustery conditions and the scoring averaged at four-over-par 76.–AFP

 Bottas wants to be treated as Hamilton

SAO PAULO - Valtteri Bottas intends to take the initiative in his intra-team battle with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton next year and prove he deserves to be treated as an equal. The Finn, who joined the team as an emergency replacement for 2016 world champion German Nico Rosberg in January this year, has committed to Mercedes for another year. But he told reporters ahead of Brazilian Grand Prix that he has no intention of being seen as a No 2 driver to Hamilton. "Even though he is a really, really good driver and very consistent, I also need to believe in myself," said Bottas. "I can't put myself in a place of number two, otherwise I would rather stay at home." In his maiden year with the team, Bottas has recorded his first Formula One wins and pole positions, but struggled for consistency.–AFP

 Murtaza, Tanveer new INA chief, secy

ISLAMABAD - Col (R) Ghulam Murtaz Shah and Rana Tanveer Ahmed were unanimously elected as president and secretary of Islamabad Netball Association (INA) for the next four-year term. Pakistan Netball Federation (PNF) nominated Punjab Netball Association secretary Ch M Rizwan as election convener during INA general council meeting here at a local hotel, in which Col (r) Ghulam Murtaz Shah and Rana Tanveer Ahmed were elected unanimously. Other office-bearers were Adnan Ahmad (SVP), Syed Liaqat Hussain Bukhari, Mir Mushtaq Ahmed, Naik Muhammad, M Akram Bhatti and Ms Iqra Naseem (vice presidents), Adnan Sami (finance secretary), Moinuddin and Fatima Naz (associate secretaries) and Yasir Ghafoor, Alina Ghazi, Laraib Aslam, M Asid and Saddique Bangash (executive committee members).–Staff Reporter

 Jamali lashes out at PHF

Lahore - Former Prime Minister and Pakistan Hockey Federation president Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali has come down hard on the hockey federation for consecutive poor performances in international events.  Talking to Nawa-i-Waqt, Jamali lamented the pathetic performance of Pakistan team which even faced 3-1 defeat at the hands of minnows Japan while earlier, the former world champions were humiliated by Australia. “Such pathetic performances are not only disappointing the entire nation, former hockey players and lovers, but also bringing bad name to the country, which had ruled the game for decades.” He said that the current PHF officials are incompetent who don’t know how to run a federation. “Due to such bungling PHF officials, the national game has been declining with each passing day. They don’t have any planning or strategy to raise the standard of declining Pakistan hockey. They are just busy in begging money from different sectors but paying no attention towards the betterment of the game. They even don’t know how to utilize the begged funds in a befitting manner.  “So in the current situation, they must accept their failure and quit the federation. If they are not ready to quit, then I demand the Prime Minister to replace the current PHF setup with those, who are technocrats, hard workers and sincere to this game, as only these persons can bring out Pakistan hockey from difficult phase and can take it to the new heights with their hard work and vast experience,” he added.  He also demanded the Prime Minister to form a committee to audit the funds of the hockey federation. “Not only this setup, the former PHF officials also wasted the national exchequer with both hands but no improvement in the national game has been witnessed. There must be accountability of PHF officials, as it is the only way to save the sinking ship of Pakistan hockey.”–Hafiz Imran