Van Gaal steals show at Man Utd awards

LONDON - Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was the talk of social media in Britain on Wednesday after an eccentric turn at the club's end-of-season awards ceremony at Old Trafford. The 63-year-old Dutchman clipped assistant manager Ryan Giggs around the ear after the Welshman outbid him for a round of golf with former United striker Dwight Yorke during an auction at the event on Tuesday. He then took to the stage to deliver a rambling seven-minute speech, at one point punching the air and roaring "Yes!" as he recalled a team meeting at which captain Wayne Rooney had urged the team to push for second place in the Premier League. Van Gaal also said that United had been "very close" to winning the title, despite the fact they currently trail champions Chelsea by 15 points.–AFP

Injury may force Padraig out for first time

VIRGINIA WATER - Padraig Harrington may be forced to pull out of a tournament through injury for the first time in his 20-year professional career after sustaining a problem to his left shoulder while working out in the gym. The triple major champion withdrew from Wednesday's BMW PGA Championship pro-am and is hoping 24 hours of treatment and rest will help him recover in time for the first round at Wentworth. "Working on the principle I've never pulled out of an event injured I believe I'll make it tomorrow," Harrington said.” I was doing a gym exercise and it was a little bit unstable. I hit shots after the gym. I got up this morning and it's what most people would call a frozen shoulder so there's a weakness in it and a pain when I go to lift my arm," the Irishman said.–Reuters

Hinchcliffe improving after practice crash

INDIANAPOLIS - Canadian race car driver James Hinchcliffe was in stable condition Monday after undergoing surgery on his upper left thigh following a high-speed crash during practice for Indianapolis 500. The 28-year-old Toronto native, who is the latest driver of several to crash during practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track, hit a barrier in turn three after apparently experiencing mechanical problems with his race car. Following the surgery, he was moved to the Indiana University Methodist Hospital's intensive care unit. "Obviously we're relieved that James is awake and out of surgery," said Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team owner Sam Schmidt. "That's the most important thing on our minds right now and we will do absolutely everything required to ensure a complete recovery." –AFP

Mixed reception as Sterling accepts award

LIVERPOOL - A mixture of boos and calls for him to stay greeted Liverpool and England forward Raheem Sterling when he received the club's Young Player of the Year award a day after it emerged he wants a transfer. The 20-year-old -- who joined Liverpool from Queens Park Rangers in 2010 -- had stirred up fans feelings when it was reported he was seeking a move away having turned down a new contract worth around £100,000 a week. His agent moved to calm the mood by saying the reports had been "blown somewhat out of proportion" it is still expected that Sterling will tell manager Brendan Rodgers and chief executive Ian Ayre on Friday he wishes to leave. Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho was named player of the year. Manchester City are the perceived favourites to sign Sterling.–AFP

14th National Men Netball C’ship starts

ISLAMABAD - 14th National Men Netball Championship 2015 will start today (Thursday). The championship is organised by Pakistan Netball Federation (PNF) in collaboration with Pakistan Sports Board. PNF secretary Mudassar Arain said that all the affiliated department teams including Army, Pakistan Air Force, Police, Wapda, HEC, Sindh, KPK, Fata, Punjab, Balochistan and Islamabad have confirmed their entries in the mega event while Army is the defending champion of the title. “PNF president will be the chief guest during opening ceremony. We have made top class arrangements to conduct the event in style. I am grateful to PSB for providing excellent facilities, accommodation, meal and taking good care of our teams and players like they always did in the past.”–Staff Reporter