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16-yr-old boxer dies in ring

Hanoi: A teenage traditional martial arts boxer died in competition during a tournament in south-central Vietnam, the first such death in the Communist country since the Vietnam war ended in 1975, officials said on Thursday.

Nguyen Van Lach, 16, was knocked down during the last round of the three-round match on Saturday in Khanh Hoa province, about 1,350 km south of Hanoi.

This is the first time a boxer has died in the ring in Vietnam where all sports are strictly regulated.

Nguyen Duc Son, an official of the provincial sports authority said Lach had had his health checked before the match and was wearing proper protective gear. He also had written consent from his parents because he was under 18 years old.

This type of traditional martial art, known as vo co truyen, allows boxers to use both hands and legs during competition, but elbows and knees are prohibited.

Two-tie ban, fine on Stoitchkov

New York: Bulgarian international Hristo Stoitchkov was fined $2,000 and suspended for DC United’s first two matches of the Major League Soccer (MLS) season on Wednesday for a challenge that left an opponent with a badly broken leg.

The incident occurred in the 10th minute of a pre-season friendly between United and American University when Stoitchkov, dived into Freddy Llerena, breaking two bones in the midfielder’s lower right leg. The referee abandoned the match because of the injury.

Stoitchkov will miss United’s season opener at the Kansas City Wizards on April 12 and at home to the Chicago Fire on April 19.

Brazil to appeal Carlos ban

Rio de Janeiro: Brazil are to appeal a provisional international ban on Roberto Carlos for his sending off in the friendly international against Portugal last month, the Brazilian football confederation (CBF) said on Wednesday.

The CBF said in a statement on its website that its lawyers had lodged an appeal with Fifa’s disciplinary committee. It did not give any further details. Carlos was dismissed for apparently pushing referee Alon Yefet of Israel after he awarded the free kick from which Portugal scored their winner in the 2-1 victory.

Sania in quarters

Hyderabad: Sania Mirza defeated Pichitta Thongdach of Thailand 6-4, 7-5 to enter the quarter finals of the Japan Open junior grade I tournament in Nagoya. Sania will now meet Kawatoko of Japan in the round of eight, according to information received here on Thursday.

In doubles, Sania and Sanaa Bhambri ousted Japan’s Suglura and Tachiki 6-1, 6-0. The pair will meet Takao and Tanaka of Japan, who defeated India’s Tara Iyer and Chinese Taipei’s Chan 6-2, 6-2.

Riep’s red for ripping yellow

Santiago: Chilean soccer player Rodrigo Riep has been banned for four matches for tearing up a referee’s yellow card, the league said on Wednesday. “The strange incident involving the Deportes la Serena player Rodrigo Riep has finished with a four-match suspension,” the Chilean league said on its website.

It added that Riep was given three matches for tearing up the yellow card and one more for insulting the referee’s assistant during the second division game against Antofagasta on Sunday. Riep was sent off for the incident.

Hitzfeld contract

Berlin: Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has extended his contract by a year and should stay at the club for at least the next two seasons. Hitzfeld, whose previous deal with the four-time European champions ran until the end of next season, said after Thursday’s training that he had signed for another term, taking his contract to June 2005.

n Cricket, Dhaka tri-series: India vs Bangladesh, live from 1.30 pm on STAR Sports n Cricket, Australia in West Indies: First Test, Day II, live from 7.30 pm on ESPN n Golf: Augusta Masters, Day II, live from 1.00 am (Saturday) on STAR Sports


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