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Short Sport, March 3, 2013

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 March, 2013, 4:00am

LPGA denies rumours of malaria outbreak

Golf officials denied rumours of a malaria outbreak on the LPGA Tour yesterday after Natalie Gulbis and Pak Se-ri pulled out of the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore due to illness and staff members also fell sick. Tournament officials said South Korea's Pak had been cleared of malaria, while Gulbis was awaiting test results but attended a function in Singapore on Friday and did not appear to be seriously ill. "Pak Se-ri withdrew this week due to illness. She does not have malaria, just flu-like symptoms," said a spokesperson for the LPGA Tour. "Natalie Gulbis withdrew from the event on Friday due to illness. She is getting checked in Singapore, but has not been given a diagnosis yet. LPGA officials are in contact with both players." Some of the LPGA's rules officials have also fallen ill but they have not been diagnosed with malaria and were still going about their duties, officials added. Fears of an outbreak swirled after top coach Butch Harmon tweeted that America's Gulbis and Pak, who withdrew on Wednesday and is now back in South Korea, were in hospital in Singapore with malaria. AFP

 

Wild card Mattek-Sands reaches first WTA final

Wild card Bethanie Mattek-Sands beat third-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia at the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur to reach her first WTA singles final in two years. Mattek-Sands won the first set 6-4 yesterday before the semi-final match was suspended for an hour because of rain. When play resumed the American quickly took the second set 6-1 to set up a final against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic. The 127th-ranked Pliskova defeated fourth-seeded Ayumi Morita 6-0, 6-2 of Japan. AP

 

Taiwan beat Australia in baseball classic

Taiwan's star pitcher Wang Chien-ming led the island to a 4-1 victory over Australia in the first game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic in Taichung. Wang, a free agent after an injury-plagued season with the Washington Nationals, threw six shutout innings in front of a cheering home crowd of 20,000. Kuo Hong-chih, another former Major Leaguer pitched in relief for Taiwan and hurled a perfect inning. Taiwan were shut out in preliminaries in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics. Hopes are high this year. AFP

 

James strikes late as Heat win 13th straight

The Miami Heat extended their NBA winning streak to 13 games with a 98-91 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, with LeBron James shaking off his worst shooting night of the season to sink a key three-pointer in the closing seconds. Dwyane Wade scored 22 points for the Heat, who maintained a 61/2 game lead in the Eastern Conference. James scored 18 points on 4 for 14 shooting, plus added 10 assists and eight rebounds. Marc Gasol scored 24 for the Grizzlies, who had won their previous eight. AP

 

Armstrong faces more lawsuits over doping

Lance Armstrong is facing two more lawsuits in the wake of his admission that all seven of his Tour de France victories were fuelled by banned drugs. The Nebraska-based Acceptance Insurance Company sued Armstrong and Tailwind Sports Corporation claiming Armstrong committed fraud by concealing his use of drugs during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tours. Armstrong was also sued in US federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday in a class-action lawsuit claiming Armstrong and FRS - a maker of nutritional supplements - engaged in false advertising. AFP

 

Nadal and Ferrer to meet in Mexico final

Rafael Nadal advanced to the Mexican Open tennis final with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Nicolas Almagro, setting up a championship match against Spanish compatriot and three-time defending champion David Ferrer. Nadal beat Almagro in one hour, 49 minutes to improve to 9-0 in their head-to-head meetings. Ferrer had to work hard to reach his fourth straight final, edging Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1 in two hours, 23 minutes. Ferrer has won 19 straight matches in this event and will be trying for his third title of the year. Nadal is coming back from a long-term knee injury, and knows it will be tough. "I'm in no condition to be or even say that I'm the favourite," he said. AP

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