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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Hodgson is boss

LONDON - Roy Hodgson was appointed England manager on a four-year contract, the Football Association announced yesterday.

The West Bromwich Albion boss emerged as the surprise front-runner for the England job on Monday as the FA confirmed it had ignored the popular clamour for Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp to be appointed.

Hodgson held around four hours of discussions with senior FA officials at Wembley, paving the way for the 64-year-old's appointment to the most demanding role in English football.

A better Day

LOS ANGELES - One frustrating month after an ankle injury forced his withdrawal during the Masters, Jason Day is back hungrier than ever to claim an elusive second US PGA Tour win.

Day returns at the Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina this week alongside the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood and while still not fully fit, he's confident the left ankle strain will soon be behind him.

"It's feeling a lot better," Day said. "It takes about six weeks to fully heal and I have taken about four weeks off but the pain is gone. I don't think it will be an issue."

Muamba is back

BOLTON - Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has confirmed he will definitely attend his side's home Premier League game with Tottenham today (Fiji time).

The 24-year-old Zaire-born (now Democratic Republic of Congo) player has made a remarkable recovery after he suffered cardiac arrest during an FA Cup match with the same opponents on February 17.

He was technically dead for 78 minutes and unconscious in hospital for three days but was eventually released from the hospital on April 16. "We are absolutely delighted that we will be able to welcome Fabrice and his family back to the Reebok," said Bolton manager Owen Coyle. It's fitting the match is between these two clubs and he can attend.

Gajdosova through

ESTORIL, Portugal - Australian Jarmila Gajdosova cruised through to the second round of the Estoril Open on Wednesday but compatriot Mathew Ebden was easily eliminated from the claycourt tennis tournament.

Gajdosova defeated Mara-Teresa Torr-Flor of Spain 6-3 6-1 to advance while Ebden was defeated by two-time winner Albert Montanes (2009, 2010) 6-2 6-3.

Former women's champions Maria Kirilenko, Anabel Medina Garrigues and Zheng Jie opened in Portugal with contrasting victories.

Second-seeded Russian Kirilenko, who lifted the title at the Estadio Nacional in 2008, overcame Briton Elena Baltacha 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 in a struggle which began with a first set lasting exactly one hour.

French draw

PARIS - Ligue 1 leaders Montpellier extended their lead to six points yesterday with a 2-2 draw with Evian but will rue missing a last-minute penalty which was delayed as a free-for-all ended with four players being sent off.

Senegalese striker Souleymane Camara's penalty strike was saved after calm had been restored to leave Montpellier six points ahead of big-spending Paris Saint Germain, who can cut it to three if they beat St Etienne at home on Wednesday.

Camara, who had set up leading scorer Olivier Giroud for a second-half equaliser to make it 2-2, had to wait while Cedric Mongongou of Evian and Montpellier's Moroccan playmaker Younes Belhanda were red carded.

76ers too good

CHICAGO, Illinois - Playing without injured superstar Derrick Rose, Chicago were humbled 109-92 by Philadelphia yesterday in a NBA play-off stunner that exposed major weaknesses of the Bulls.

Jrue Holiday scored 26 points and Lou Williams came off the bench to score 20 as the 76ers, who had the worst regular-season record of any NBA play-off team, pulled even at 1-1 in the first-round eastern conference series.

Momentum in the best-of-seven series clearly swung to the 76ers after the Bulls struggled without Rose, who suffered a torn left knee ligament in the final seconds of Chicago's game one triumph on Sunday.

Rose, last season's NBA Most Valuable Player, was lost for the remainder of the playoffs and the Bulls missed his firepower, leadership and playmaking skills during a drought of 11 consecutive missed shots in the second half.

Henry out

HARRISON, New Jersey - French playmaker Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer's top scorer, will be sidelined for three to four weeks with a right hamstring strain, the club said yesterday.

Henry was injured after scoring the only goal for New York in a 1-0 victory over New England last Saturday.

It was the ninth goal of the season for the 34-year-old striker, a former star at Arsenal and Barcelona.

The team announced that a scan taken on Monday showed the injury was not as bad as first feared and that Henry will miss no more than a month.

Swimmer dead

TOCKHOLM - Alexander Dale Oen stood on top of a world championship podium less than a year ago, wiping away tears as the Norwegian national anthem played in triumph again just three days after the country was rocked by a gun massacre.

The Beijing Olympics silver medallist became a symbol of resilience and resurgence in Norway with that victory, the country's first swimming world title at a time when it was in desperate need of something to cheer for.

Yesterday, Norway was in mourning after Dale Oen died suddenly of cardiac arrest during a pre-Olympic training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona. He was 26.

Dale Oen, one of Norway's biggest medal hopes for the London Olympics, was found collapsed on his bathroom floor late on Monday and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

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