Ricciardo fastest as pace ups in testing

BARCELONA – Australia's Daniel Ricciardo was fastest as he and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen upped the pace on the second morning of pre-season testing in Barcelona on Friday. Pastor Maldonado and Raikkonen had beaten the time that sealed world champion Lewis Hamilton pole position on the same circuit at the Spanish Grand Prix last season on Thursday. And on the quicker soft tyres, both Ricciardo and Raikkonen went faster again with the Red Bull man setting the best time of 1min 24.574sec. Defending world champions Mercedes again went for mileage ahead of speed as Nico Rosberg completed more laps than any other driver, with 66, and set the fourth fastest time. Meanwhile, despite warning, McLaren-Honda could suffer limited running time due to a faulty seal, world champ Fernando Alonso managed 28 laps.–AFP.

Nishioka reaches Delray quarter-finals

DELRAY BEACH - Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka booked his first ATP quarter-final on Thursday with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Marinko Matosevic at Delray Beach. Nishioka, a 19-year-old left-hander, notched just his second tour-level win, converting five of his nine break opportunities in the 69-minute encounter. "I'm so happy," said Nishioka. He'll face Australia's Tomic for a place in the semi-finals. Tomic, now 22, held on Thursday to beat eighth-seeded Serbian Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4. Tomic withstood 13 aces from Troicki, who is his doubles partner this week, sealing the win in just under two hours. American Donald Young continued his strong start to the season, reaching his third quarter-final of 2015 with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez.–AFP

Kiprotich wary of fame game

TOKYO - Reigning Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich believes the marathon world record could soon dip under an eye-popping two hours and two minutes -- but insisted he was not the man to do it. A national hero in Uganda, where he is unable to walk down the street for fear of causing a traffic pile-up, Kiprotich said he was more concerned with racking up titles than chasing the speed demons as he prepared for this weekend's Tokyo Marathon. "For me, it's more about winning races than times," Kiprotich, who backed up his gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics with a world title in Moscow a year later, said. "I believe that with good preparation and good weather that someone can run under 2:02," added Kiprotich, competing in Sunday's race to honour his daughter Elizabeth who passed away last month.–AFP.

Imtiaz grabs gold for Army

ISLAMABAD - Young M Imtiaz finally managed to win gold for Army in the Shah Khan Ski Trophy, which concluded at Naltar ski resort Friday. Imtiaz from Naltar valley outclassed his main opponents of PAF and Gilgit-Baltistan scouts, covering both runs in 1.01.83 seconds whereas his close opponent Noor Walli of PAF was second with 1.03.12 seconds and Sohaib also from PAF got third with 1.04.49 seconds. Imtiaz maintained his supremacy and never allowed his opponents to bridge the gap and won gold for his team. This was the first medal for Army in the ongoing winter competitions. PAF remained overall winners, as they pitched two ex-Olympians M Abbas and M Karim in various competitions. GB scouts, Army and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) remained second, third and fourth on point's table.–Staff Reporter.

Inter-Board Sports Gala inaugurated

ISLAMABAD – The opening ceremony of the Inter-Board Sports Gala 2015 female category was held here at Liaquat Gymnasium, Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Friday. Chief guest PSB DG Dr M Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera declared the events open. 985 female athletes of 19 educational boards marched past the chief guest. They will participate in five disciplines including athletics, badminton, hockey, table tennis and volleyball. Ganjera announced top performers would be included in the national training camp for participation in the international competitions. IBCC chairman M Ramzan Achakzi thanked the chief for conducting the Inter-Board sports gala. DDG Facilities Agha Amjedullah, director NFC Azam Dar, deputy director hostels Malik Imtiaz Hussain and others were also present there.–Staff Reporter