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BARCELONA (REUTERS) – Valtteri Bottas lapped close to record pace as he put Formula One champions Mercedes back on top of the testing timesheets on Friday (Feb 21), but Ferrari suffered an engine problem.

The Finn, whose teammate Lewis Hamilton is aiming to equal Michael Schumacher's record seven titles, produced the quickest lap of Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya so far in the first pre-season test of 2020.

Bottas's time of 1min 15.732sec in the morning session was three tenths slower than the outright circuit lap record of 1:15.406 he set in qualifying for last year's Spanish Grand Prix.

Bottas had also completed 65 laps, one short of a full race distance, by lunchtime.

Renault's Esteban Ocon was second fastest, 1.370 slower but with 76 laps on the board.

Max Verstappen, who did 168 laps on Wednesday, again pounded out more than any other driver in the morning with a total of 86.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was ninth of the 10 drivers on track, although lap times are of little significance at this stage of the season with teams running on different fuel levels, but stopped 21/2 hours into the session with 40 laps done.

The session was suspended for 20 minutes while the Read More – Source

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SINGAPORE – The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Friday (Feb 21) that the AIA Community Shield on Saturday will serve as a platform to support those affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus situation in Singapore.

The FAS, together with the two teams competing in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) curtain-raiser, Tampines Rovers and Hougang United, will make a collective donation to The Courage Fund, which is facilitated by Community Chest and National Council of Social Service (NCSS).

The FAS will match donations of $5,000 each from Tampines and Hougang and include the gate proceeds as part of the total donation.

FAS president Lim Kia Tong said: "As fellow Singaporeans, we have a moral duty to help those who have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak here.

"The FAS is grateful to have the opportunity to do so by contributing to The Courage Fund, which will directly aid those who have suffered as a result of the current circumstances.

"Football is more than just a sport, it can be used as a platform to do good and impact lives; this is one way of doing so. It is our hope that together with the fans' show of support by attending, this initiative will bring the total donation amount to $25,000 – a landmark amount as the FAS celebrates the 25th anniversary of professional football in Singapore this year."

Tampines Rovers chairman Desmond Ong said: "The club is happy to be able to do our part in helping those who have been impacted during these difficult times.

"We would also like to record our thanks to the FAS for making this possible. Hougang United have also been excellent in agreeing to step up to the plate. From their senior management, the playing squad, right through to the Hools, they are a credit to local football and we are proud to stand alongside them on the pitch this Saturday."

Hougang United chairman Mr Bill Ng concurred, sayingRead More – Source

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TOKYO (AFP) – Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike hit back on Friday (Feb 21) at a candidate to be London mayor who offered to host this year's Olympics due to the coronavirus epidemic affecting Japan.

Mr Shaun Bailey had tweeted: "London can host the Olympics in 2020. We have the infrastructure and the experience. And due to the coronavirus outbreak, the world might need us to step up.

"As mayor, I will make sure London is ready to answer the call and host the Olympics again."

London has hosted the Games in 2012, 1948 and 1908.

A spokesman for London's incumbent Mayor Sadiq Khan told the CityAM newspaper: "Everyone is working towards what will be a fantastic Tokyo Games.

"In the unlikely event that it be required, London, as it has done throughout history, will do its best to step up to the plate."

But in rare undiplomatic comments, Ms Koike blasted Bailey's offer, saying it is "not appropriate to try to make it an issue in a mayoral election".

"A reason why this issue has attracted global attention is due to the cruise ship," she said, in reference to the Diamond Princess, a vessel in Japan that has seen more than 600 cases of coronavirus.

"But the cruise ship's nationality belongs to Britain," she said referring to the ship's registration.

"I wish aspects like these would be well understood."

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Leinster second row Devin Toner will start in place of Iain Henderson in the Irish second row for Sunday's Six Nations game against England after the Ulster lock was ruled out for family reasons, the Irish Rugby Football Union said.

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union – Ireland v New Zealand – Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland – November 17, 2018 Ireland's Devin Toner applauds the fans after the match REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

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DUBLIN: Leinster second row Devin Toner will start in place of Iain Henderson in the Irish second row for Sunday's Six Nations game against England after the Ulster lock was ruled out for family reasons, the Irish Rugby Football Union said.

The change will mark Toner's first international start since the 69-capped forward was omitted from the Ireland squad for last year's World Cup.

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Connacht's Ultan Dillane joins the replacements as Andy Farrell's men hope to make it three championship wins from three at Twickenham.

Revised team: 15-Jordan LarmourRead More – Source

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Valtteri Bottas lapped close to record pace as he put Formula One champions Mercedes back on top of the testing timesheets on Friday, but Ferrari suffered an engine problem.

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Pre Season Testing – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – February 21, 2020 Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi during testing REUTERS/Albert Gea

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BARCELONA: Valtteri Bottas lapped close to record pace as he put Formula One champions Mercedes back on top of the testing timesheets on Friday, but Ferrari suffered an engine problem.

The Finn, whose team mate Lewis Hamilton is aiming to equal Michael Schumacher's record seven titles, produced the quickest lap of Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya so far in the first pre-season test of 2020.

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Bottas's time of one minute 15.732 in the morning session was three tenths slower than the outright circuit lap record of 1:15.406 he set in qualifying for last year's Spanish Grand Prix.

Bottas had also completed 65 laps, one short of a full race distance, by lunchtime.

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SYDNEY: Leg-spinner Poonam Yadav bamboozled Australia as India opened the seventh edition of the Women's Twenty20 World Cup with a stunning upset of the reigning champions and tournament hosts by 17 runs at Sydney Showground on Friday (Feb 21).

Australia restricted India to 132 for four and looked on course to run down their victory target when a half century from Alyssa Healy got them nearly halfway there.

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But Yadav (4-19) removed the opener right after she reached the milestone and then, roared on by a crowd of 13,432 overwhelmingly backing the visitors, wreaked havoc with a string of "wrong'un" deliveries that the Australians were unable to pick.

Rachael Haynes and Ellyse Perry were sent back in successive deliveries and Yadav was only denied a hat-trick when wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia was unable to take a difficult chance off the bat of Jess Jonassen.

Bhatia made no mistake off yet another Yadav "wrong'un" to remove Jonassen cheaply two overs later and Australia were reeling at 82-6.

The four-times World Cup winners were unable to recover despite a dogged 34 from Ash Gardner, the righthander avoiding becoming Yadav's fifth victim only after the umpires ruled the Indian's looping delivery had bounced twice.

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DETROIT (REUTERS) – All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo piled up 33 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and three steals as the Milwaukee Bucks continued their dominance of the Detroit Pistons with a 126-106 victory in the National Basketball Association on Thursday (Feb 20).

The Bucks, who own the league's best record, have defeated the Pistons 11 consecutive times, including the post-season. Milwaukee are 3-0 against Detroit this season after sweeping the four-game season series a year ago and sweeping their Central Division rivals again in the first round of the playoffs.

Milwaukee's Khris Middleton contributed 28 points and eight rebounds. Eric Bledsoe had 19 points and six assists, and Brook Lopez tossed in 18 points for the victors.

The Bucks, who have won 15 of their past 17 games, will conclude the season series against Detroit on March 23 at Milwaukee.

Christian Wood led the Pistons with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Bruce Brown had 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Derrick Rose and Langston Galloway scored 12 points apiece, Thon Maker added 11 points, and Tony Snell had 10.

The Pistons, who play their next four games on the road against Western Conference teams, have lost five straight.

Antetokounmpo had 19 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals in the first half as Milwaukee rolled to a 70-41 half-time lead. Middleton supplied 20 points as the Bucks committed just one turnover during the half while the Pistons made 11, leading to 14 Milwaukee points.

Antetokounmpo had 10 points and eight rebounds during the first eight minutes, and the Bucks led 32-18 after the first quarter.

When Bledsoe drained a three-pointer just over a minute into the second quarteRead More – Source

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LAS VEGAS (REUTERS) – Heavyweights Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, who will clash in a highly-anticipated rematch on Saturday (Feb 22), will not be able to face off after Friday's weigh-in, a Top Rank Boxing official said.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission will not allow the fighters to stand toe-to-toe as is customary after a weigh-in, Top Rank media relations director Evan Korn said on Thursday.

"The Commission wants to ensure the fight goes off without a hitch," he said.

The news comes one day after the two undefeated fighters shoved each other on stage at the outset of a news conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where the fight will be held.

After exchanging shoves, the two shouted insults in each other's faces at a news conference that had a more hostile tone than previous ones leading up to the fight.

As the event was winding down, it was announced that they would not face off again for pictures.

Britain&#03Read More – Source

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NEW YORK (REUTERS) – Brooklyn point guard Kyrie Irving will undergo season-ending surgery to repair his right shoulder, Nets general manager Sean Marks announced on Thursday (Feb 20).

The injury, described throughout the season as an "impingement," has bothered Irving since early November. He missed 26 games between Nov 16 and Jan 10.

In that time, he visited a specialist and received a cortisone shot, but his shoulder has not been 100 per cent since his return to action on Jan 12.

"The shoulder is a tough thing," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "I just think it was an on-and-off thing where it's bothering you. Some days you feel good, some days you don't feel good. But I think it got to the point it was, 'Hey, let's see another specialist.' "

Irving, who turns 28 next month, is averaging 27.4 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds in his first campaign with the Nets. He signed a four-year, US$136 million (S$190.4 million) deal as a free agent in July.

More recently, a sprained knee sidelined him for the final five games before the All-Star break.

The Nets are 17-16 this season when Irving does not play, and they are 8-12 when he has seen action. The team won 12 of their first 18 gamesRead More – Source

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Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said on Friday it was inappropriate for candidates in London's mayoral election to propose their city host the 2020 Olympic Games if the coronavirus outbreak forces organisers to look for an alternative site.

FILE PHOTO: Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike speaks at the opening ceremony of the Ariake Arena, which will host volleyball and wheelchair basketball competitions in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan February 2, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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TOKYO: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said on Friday it was inappropriate for candidates in London's mayoral election to propose their city host the 2020 Olympic Games if the coronavirus outbreak forces orRead More – Source

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