Mon, 07 Apr 2003

Batam to host badminton tournament

BATAM, Riau: Batam has been named the host city for the Sanyo Indonesia Open 2003 badminton tournament, a senior official of the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) said on Friday.

"The Sanyo Indonesia Open 2003 will be held from June 24 though June 29 at the Tumenggung Abdul Jamal stadium here," PBSI secretary-general Luthfi Hamid said.

He said the decision to choose Batam -- located some six miles to the south of Singapore -- as the host of this year's event was because of its close proximity to the Singapore and Malaysia Opens.

The five-star rated annual championship, sanctioned by the world badminton governing body (IBF), will offer cash prizes of more than US$180,000 in total.

"By playing in Batam all international shuttlers coming to the event will have easy access to compete in the Singapore Open or the Malaysia Open," said Luthfi. --JP

;REUTERS; ANPAs..r.. Putbriefs-Baseball-Sosa Sosa blasts 500th home run of MLB career JP/11/Brief

Sosa blasts 500th home run of MLB career

CINCINNATI, Ohio: Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa hit his 500th major league home run in a game against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.

Sosa's solo shot at the Great American Ball Park came in the top of the seventh inning off pitcher Scott Sullivan, making him the 18th player in the history of the sport to reach the milestone.

The Dominican Republic native made his usual home run hop as soon as the ball left the bat then put his head down and circled the bases to a deafening ovation. --Reuters

;AFP; ANPAs..r.. Putbriefs-Soccer-Beckham Why would I sell Beckham? asks Fergie JP/11/Brief

Why would I sell Beckham? asks Fergie

LONDON: Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has dismissed out of hand recent reports that David Beckham's days at Old Trafford could be numbered.

"Why would I want to sell my best players" Ferguson told the Daily Mail on Saturday.

Last month the England captain was linked to a possible move to Real Madrid, with the Spanish giants' president Jorge Valdano saying he was the European champions' "next big project".

Aside from interest from Real speculation this week in Italy suggested Inter Milan were contemplating a 32 million pound swap deal involving Beckham and Inter's own Argentinian striker Hernan Crispo. --AFP

;REUTERS; ANPAs..r.. Putbriefs-Baseball-AL Royals cruise past Indians to remain unbeaten JP/11/Brief

Royals cruise past Indians to remain unbeaten

KANSAS CITY, Missouri: The surprising Kansas City Royals stayed unbeaten with a 5-1 win over the Cleveland Indians in American League action on Friday.

The Royal's 4-0 start matches the best in team history.

Losers of 100 games a year ago, Kansas City scored four second-inning runs and coasted from there.

Michael Tucker had the big blow, a two-run single off loser Jason Davis.

Lefty Chris George worked 6 2/3 innings for the win, surrendering five hits while striking out four. --Reuters