International Sports Briefs
Phelps sets record
ANNAPOLIS: Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps broke his own American record in the 200-yard butterfly on Sunday, winning in 1min 39.65secs at the Maryland State Championships at the US Naval Academy. Phelps set the old mark of 1:39.70 in 2006 at Austin, Texas. The 14-time Olympic champion looked back to see his split times from four years ago and entered the race with a goal of breaking his US mark. The meet was the next step in Phelps' training for the 2012 London Olympics after winning an unprecedented eight gold medals in 2008 at Beijing.
Benzema ruled out
MADRID: Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema will miss Wednesday's Champions League clash with his old club Lyon due to a groin strain, Spanish newspapers reported. The Frenchman has not played since Real suffered a shock 1-0 loss to Lyon in their last-16 first-leg match in France on February 16. He is expected to be out of action for a further two weeks, meaning he will miss the return leg in Madrid on Wednesday, sports newspapers AS and Marca said Monday. The 22-year-old joined Real from Lyon, his boyhood club, for 35 million euros in July last year.
MONTERRAY: Russian teenager Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova claimed her first WTA title here on Sunday after battling back to win her second match of the day. The 18-year-old saw off experienced Slovak second seed Daniela Hantuchova 1-6, 6-1, 6-0 in the final. Pavlyuchenkova was earlier taken to a three-setter -- 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 -- by Latvian Anastasija Sevastova in her semi-final which had to be played earlier on Sunday after rain washed out much of Saturday's play. Hantuchova had completed her Saturday match before the rain, and she looked on her way to her fourth WTA title after racing through the first set.