Women’s karate begins

KATHMANDU: Manila Thapa Magar and Sabina Shrestha entered the 25-kg final at the Valley-wide Official Women’s Karate Tournament, which began here under the auspices of Nepal Shito Ryu Karate Association’s Women’s Department to mark the 55th birthday of Queen Komal. Nirmala Acharya and Rojina Uprety made it to the 50-kg final, while Kabita Shahi and Binju Ranjit entered the 30-kg final. In all, 126 athletes are taking part in the tournament. —

HNS

Pakistan batsmen falter

DHARMSALA: Pakistan’s batsmen faltered after a fluent start as they slipped to 165 for five on the opening day of the three-day match against the Indian Board President’s XI. Salman Butt (21) and Taufeeq Umar (37) shared an opening stand of 54. Younis Khan was dismissed for a duck and Yousuf Youhana departed for 18. Skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq (35) then shared a 72-run stand for the fifth wicket with Asim Kamal, who top-scored with an unbeaten 43. — AP

Leander Paes opts out

NEW DELHI: Leander Paes, India’s most successful Davis Cup player, will not play the singles in the Asia-Oceania group one first round tie against China starting here on Friday. Paes, the team captain with a 71-30 win record in Cup play, decided instead to field Harsh Mankad and Prakash Amritraj on the grass courts of the RK Khanna Tennis stadium. “I don’t think I could have taken the load on all three days,” Paes said after the draw was finalised. — AFP

Bryant, accuser settle suit

DENVER: Kobe Bryant and the 20-year-old woman who accused him of rape nearly two years ago settled her civil lawsuit against him, ending a sordid case that tarnished one of the NBA’s brightest young stars. Terms were not released. A statement faxed to The Associated Press by Bryant’s attorneys said only that the matter had been resolved “to the satisfaction of both parties.” The Statement said: “The parties and their attorneys have agreed that no further comments about the matter can or will be made.” — AP

Blazers fire coach

PORTLAND: Maurice Cheeks was fired as coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, who have dropped seven of nine games and are in danger of missing the NBA playoffs for the second straight year. Kevin Pritchard, the team’s director of player personnel, was appointed interim head coach. Cheeks, near the end of a four-year contract estimated at $12 million, was popular among the players and fans. — AP

Barca forward Giuly out

BARCELONA: FC Barcelona forward Ludovic Giuly will miss next week’s Champions League match against Chelsea with a back injury. Giuly, who suffered bruising against Numancia last Saturday, missed Tuesday’s match against Espanyol and is expected to be sidelined for two more games — Saturday’s visit to Osasuna and Tuesday’s first knockout round, second leg against Chelsea. “He’s still got around 10 days to go,” Barcelona doctor Lluis Til said. — AP