Aussie BMX star partially paralysed

SYDNEY - Australian former BMX world champion and two-time Olympian Sam Willoughby has been left partially paralysed after a training accident in the United States, with no movement from the chest down. The 25-year-old, who won silver at the 2012 London Olympics but could only manage sixth in Rio, underwent surgery for fractures to his vertebrae which compressed his spinal cord, his family said. "Fortunately, this surgery was successful enough at decompressing his spinal cord and aligning his vertebrae that a second operation for further stabilisation was not necessary," they said in a statement issued through Cycling Australia late Thursday. "At this stage, Sam still has no movement from his chest down but has regained use of his arms and is slowly regaining some sensation in his legs.”–AFP




Wiesberger leads in Bavaria with 63

BAD GRIESBACH - Bernd Wiesberger surged into the early lead at the European Open in Germany with an eight-under-par 63 Thursday and vowed there would be no repeat of last year's calamity. The Austrian made a sensational start to the European Tour tournament for a second year in a row to lead by two strokes from Italy's Renato Paratore, on a day when more than three hours of play were lost to fog. Wiesberger opened with a 64 in 2015 but followed that with a 76 to miss the cut. "I'm thinking more of what happened today, keep pushing and playing the game. What happened a year ago, it was a weird week and I know I am not going to repeat that tomorrow," said Wiesberger, 30. "Obviously I played alright, but had a couple of shots that cost me. But I hit a lot of good shots and happy."–AFP



Muzammil loses ITF World Jr doubles final

ISLAMABAD – Muzammil/ Muller went down fighting 2-0 in the final of the ITF World Junior Championship Grade-5 doubles event against second seeded pair of Chinese Taipei played in Colombo on Friday. It was truly wonderful performance shown by Muzammil/Muller as they were up against Chieh Cheng Yu/Hu-Chen Yu. It was world class tennis on offer as both Muzammil/Muller played fearlessly and kept their opponents on the run in the entire first set. It was a silly mistake in the 12th game of the first set, which cost Muzammil/Muller dearly as they lost the set 5-5. The second set started with same passion and aggression shown by both pairs, as Muzammil/Muller dominated first part of the set, but again when it mattered the most, they committed too many crucial mistakes which cost them second set 6-4.–Staff Reporter



SSS contribution for tennis hailed

LAHORE - International Tennis Federation (ITF) Development Officer Asia Suresh Menon visited SICAS Boys Liberty Branch yesterday and was given presentation of the tennis activity by Salamat School System (SSS) in promotion of tennis at their campuses. The Salamat School System is the pioneer in Pakistan to introduce 10&under ITF regulated programme in their PR curriculum. Suresh witnessed the demonstration and exhibition match and himself gave coaching and played drills with the children. He highly praised the efforts of SSS for promoting tennis at grassroots levels and hoped that it would bear fruit in future and they would produce champions. PTF secretary Khalid Rehmani and PLTA secretary Rashid Malik, Managing Director Salim Salamat and Sheharyar Salamat were also present on the occasion.–Staff Reporter



Pak GIR programme lauded by world bodies

LAHORE - Pakistan Rugby Union (PRU)’s ‘Get into Rugby Programme’ in progress at the various cities of the country. PRU head coach and coordinator of the programme Shakeel Ahmed Malik said: “We have shown some potential in this field and our programme is highly lauded by the World Rugby and Asia Rugby. Pakistan is in top 10 world nation in the GIR Programme in 2016 which shows our growth in new talent.” Shakeel said PRU development officers had been working on this programme which was in progress in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad, Vehari, Muzafarghar, Bahawalpur, Bahwalngar, Lodhran, Dunya Pur, Fort Abbas, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala and other cities at schools and colleges level. PRU president Fawzi Khawaja said: “The PRU feels proud that our GIR program is the leading one in Asia.”–Staff Reporter