Injury-hit Hanyu faces race for fitness

TOKYO - Defending Olympic figure skating gold medallist Yuzuru Hanyu said Thursday that a slow recovery from his injuries is preventing him from resuming practice, with less than two months until the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Hanyu has been off the ice for nearly five weeks on doctors' orders to nurse his damaged right ankle ligaments, after injuring himself in practice on the eve of the NHK Trophy. Before the injury, Hanyu was seen as favourite to defend his 2014 Sochi crown in South Korea. "The original diagnosis was that I would be in full health in three to four weeks," he said. "I am also experiencing inflammation in my tendon and bone so that the pace of recovery is not fast," he said. Hanyu fell and twisted his right ankle while attempting the ultra-tough quadruple Lutz during practice.–AFP

BoP Polo Tournament restarts

LAHORE - The Bank of Punjab (BoP) Polo Tournament will restart today (Friday) as wet conditions are likely to improve here at the Lahore Polo Club ground. Rain and the bad weather marred the start of the event on its scheduled time. Top five teams are participating in this eight-goal tournament, which are further divided into two groups. Group A consists of Newage and Master Paints while Group B comprises Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), Guard Group and Black Horse Paints. Newage will take on Master Paints in the opening match today (Friday) at 2pm while Guard Group will vie against Black Horse Paints at 3pm. LPC executive committee member Umer Sadik said keeping in view the safety and protection of the players, the matches were not conducted in the wet ground, as it could hurt any player.–Staff Reporter Volleyball future is bright: Yaqoob

LAHORE - Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) chairman Chaudhry M Yaqoob Thursday claimed that sun of 2018 would bring a revolutionary change in Pakistan volleyball. Addressing a press conference here at the Olympic House Thursday, he said the PVF was making every effort to lift the standard of volleyball in Pakistan. “The federation has hired an Iranian coach to train upcoming youngsters and groom them for international exposure. “Pakistan juniors are undergoing through a hectic training and coaching program under the Iranian coach at Peshawar. All the boys are 6 feet plus and have the potential and temperament to bring laurels for the country.” Yaqoob also said the National Volleyball Championship is being played at POF Wah Cantt from December 18 to 24, which will be featured by top teams.–Staff Reporter Punjab contingent to be selected on merit

LAHORE – Punjab Sports Minister Jahangir Khanzada Thursday said Punjab contingent for the Quaid-e-Azam Inter-Provincial Games will be selected purely on merit to get desired results in the mega event. He expressed these views after witnessing girls’ hockey trials here at the National Hockey Stadium. He urged the selectors to select the players on merit and in this regard, no leniency would be shown at any level. The trials for the selection of Punjab contingent are under progress here at various venues. As many as 62 girls took part in hockey trials at National Hockey Stadium and 20 were selected. The trials of athletics, hockey, football (men), badminton, baseball, tennis, taekwondo, kabaddi, judo, boxing, wrestling, squash, netball and snooker teams were also held at various venues.–Staff Reporter LAHORE: International U-19 cricketer Zafar Gohar in a photo with cancer patients after playing a friendly match. Islamabad United management along Zafar visited Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) and distributed their merchandise (shirts and souvenirs) amongst cancer survivors’ team, patients and hospital employees.