Bista finishes first


Jagannath Bista finished the 18-km distance in 56 minutes 38 seconds to win the Open Road Race competition, jointly organised by Community Service Centre and Community Police Service Centre to mark the Martyrs’ Day. Lok Bahadur Rokka came second in 58.52 seconds, while Amrit Bahadur Malla finished third in 1hr 3mins. In women’s section, Sushma Sharma, Kamala Gurung and Bidhya Adhikari grabbed top three spots respectively. — HNS

Barcelona signs Lopez


Barcelona signed Argentine striker Maxi Lopez on a four-and-a-half year deal from River Plate. The deal is reportedly worth $ 7.8 million and keeps the 20-year-old at Barcelona until June 2009. He was officially presented at the Camp Nou stadium after the signing. Lopez follows Italian veteran midfielder Demetrio Albertini, who joined Barcelona on Tuesday. — AP

Ronaldo flies to Brazil


Real Madrid Brazilian striker Ronaldo has flown back to his country due to a serious family problem. “Ronaldo had to go back his country after receiving a call from his family that he needed to be in Brazil due to a health problem of a close relative,” a brief statement on the Real Madrid website said, giving no more details.— AP

Ogilvie takes Hope lead


Joe Ogilvie believed there would be some low scores in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic but he surprised even himself with a 9-under 63 to lead after two rounds. Ogilvie grabbed a three-stroke lead, with defending champion Phil Mickelson in pursuit. Mickelson shot a 64 to tie for second at 14 under with Fredrik Jacobson of Sweden, who had a second-round 62 — the best round of the tournament so far. — AP

Venue to be changed


The one-day cricket match between New Zealand and Australia at Hamilton on March 2 will be transferred to another venue because of concern over the quality of the pitch. Hamilton’s Westpac Park hosted a limited-overs match between New Zealand and a World XI on Wednesday which lasted only 36 overs and saw 16 wickets fall for 164 runs. — AP

Brazil, Colombia win


Paulinho Betanin headed in the winning goal as Brazil claimed a 1-0 victory over Venezuela in the under-20 South American championships. Argentina scrambled to hold Chile to a 1-1 draw and Colombia downed Uruguay 3-1 in other matches. Brazil and Colombia now share the lead in the final leg of the tournament with six points each, while Argentina has four points and Chile one. — AFP

Rafique recalled


Bangladesh recalled left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique to its 12-member, squad on Friday for the fourth and fifth ODI against Zimbabwe. Rafique re-enters the squad at the expense of Abdur Razzaq for Saturday’s crucial fourth game. Zimbabwe leads the series 2-1 and a win on Saturday will clinch the series. A hero of Bangladesh’s Test series win over Zimbabwe — it’s first ever — Rafique missed the first three earlier games with a hamstring injury. — AP