Other Sports

Sports briefs: Jan. 9


Japanese fisherman ties largemouth bass record

A Japanese man is being credited with tying the 77-year-old world record for catching the biggest largemouth bass.

The International Game Fish Association announced Friday that it had confirmed the 22-pound, 4-ounce fish caught by Manabu Kurita (man-AH-boo koo-REE-ta). The Florida-based group said Kurita caught the fish July 2 on Lake Biwa, Japan's largest lake.

Kurita's fish tied the record of George Perry, who caught his bass on Georgia's Montgomery Lake on June 2, 1932.

Kurita used 25-pound test line and a live blue gill as bait.


Excite Night a start to new season

Kentucky's gymnastics squad opens its season with Excite Night against Texas Woman's University at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday. The matchup starts at 6:30 p.m., but the doors will open at 5:30 for a pre-meet celebration. "It's a circus theme that will be great for the kids," seventh-year head coach Mo Mitchell said. "We want people to come out, be a part of Excite Night and support the new and improved UK gymnastics team." Tickets are available by calling the UK Athletics ticket office at 1-800-928-CATS.


Togo's team bus attacked in Angola

Gunmen in an area plagued by separatist violence used machine guns to open fire Friday on a bus carrying Togo's national soccer team to a tournament in Angola, killing the driver and wounding at least nine people, including two players. Football federation vice president Gabriel Ameyi said backup goalkeeper Obilale Kossi and central defender Serge Akakpo were among those injured.

Some players said they wanted to pull out of the African Cup of Nations tournament following the violence, but an official in Angola said it would go ahead as planned.

Togo's bus in a convoy from Congo was six miles across the border in Angola when it came under fire. The bus driver died in the 30-minute ambush, according to Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor, who was not hurt.

"We were machine-gunned like dogs," Togo player Thomas Dossevi told Radio Monte Carlo. "They were armed to the teeth ... We spent 20 minutes underneath the seats of the bus."

The 16-team African championship starts Sunday in Angola, with Togo due to play its opening match on Monday against Ghana.


No Federer-Nadal finals in Qatar

Top-ranked Roger Federer was upset by Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 6-4 on Friday in the semifinals of the Qatar Open. The sixth-ranked Davydenko improved to 2-12 against Federer. The Russian defeated Federer at the season-ending championships in London in November. The upset prevents a Sunday showdown of Federer against Rafael Nadal. The second-ranked Nadal cruised past fifth-seeded Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-1, 6-3. Nadal and Davydenko have each won four times in head-to-head matches.

Andy Roddick has pulled out of this year's Davis Cup, hoping to avoid more knee problems by cutting down on the number of times he changes court surfaces. The 27-year-old Roddick injured his left knee last October, and the Australian Open warmup in Brisbane is his first tournament back. The United States is scheduled to play Serbia on March 5-7 on indoor clay in Belgrade.

■ Top-seeded Kim Clijsters set up a highly anticipated all-Belgian finals against seven-time Grand Slam winner Justine Henin with a victory over Andrea Petkovic on Friday at the Brisbane International. Clijsters beat the 22-year-old German 6-4, 6-2, hours after Henin secured a spot in the final of her first tournament since returning from retirement. Henin, who advanced 6-3, 6-2 over 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, leads Clijsters 12-10 in head-to-head matches after winning their last three meetings — all in 2006.


Beltre finalizes 1-year deal with Red Sox

Adrian Beltre and the Boston Red Sox agreed to a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $10 million. The two-time Gold Glove winner is coming off injuries. He'll take over at third base from Mike Lowell, who is coming off thumb surgery and has been the subject of trade talks. Beltre gets $9 million this year and a $1 million buyout for 2011 if he declines a $5 million option. The option would escalate to $10 million if Beltre has 640 plate appearances this season.

■ Former University of Kentucky and Lexington Christian standout Andy Green signed a minor-league contract with the New York Mets. Green, who has played in 138 games in the majors, spent most of last season in the minors for the Mets.

■ Outfielder Scott Podsednik and the Kansas City Royals agreed Friday to a $1.75 million, one-year contract. Podsednik had one of his best seasons with the Chicago White Sox last year, hitting .304 with 48 RBI, 75 runs and 30 steals. He has a .277 career average.

■ Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez and the Seattle Mariners finalized a $20.5 million, four-year contract that avoided salary arbitration. The 26-year-old hit .283 with 18 homers and 70 RBI last season, his first in Seattle.


Derby Trial purse to be doubled

Prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder Robert LaPenta will honor one his most accomplished horses and boost the significance of the final major prep for the Kentucky Derby after reaching an agreement with Churchill Downs to sponsor this year's 86th running of the Grade III $200,000-added The Cliff's Edge Derby Trial. The move doubles the purse for the race and returns it to its previous distance of one mile. It was run at 7½ furlongs from 2007 to 2009. The race is scheduled for Saturday, April 24, the opening day of the 42-day Spring Meet and one week before the Kentucky Derby.

■ While Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s camp insisted his prospective bout with Manny Pacquiao can be saved, Pacquiao's promoter says he's moving on. After six weeks of contentious negotiations failed to produce a compromise on Mayweather's insistence on stringent drug testing for the bout, Pacquiao has made plans to fight welterweight Joshua Clottey in mid-March, Top Rank boss Bob Arum told The Associated Press on Friday.

The last word

Seattle Times reader Tom Pacher, on Roberto Alomar's Hall of Fame prospects after falling short on his first try by just eight votes:

"Not to worry. He's within spitting distance."