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Headlines from around the world in sports

File-This Aug. 1, 2013 shows Toronto Blue Jays' Melky Cabrera running off the field after being forced out at second during the fourth inning of their baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif. Cabrera had a benign tumor removed from his spine and is expected to be ready for spring training. He hasn't played since Aug. 1 because of a season-ending ankle injury, had the surgery on Aug. 30. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

File-This Aug. 1, 2013 shows Toronto Blue Jays' Melky Cabrera running off the field after being forced out at second during the fourth inning of their baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif. Cabrera had a benign tumor removed from his spine and is expected to be ready for spring training. He hasn't played since Aug. 1 because of a season-ending ankle injury, had the surgery on Aug. 30. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)


Tokyo will host 2020 Summer Games

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics yesterday, capitalizing on its reputation as a “safe pair of hands” and defying concerns about the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Tokyo defeated Istanbul 60-36 in the final round of secret voting yesterday by the International Olympic Committee. Madrid was eliminated earlier after an initial tie with Istanbul.

Tokyo, which hosted the 1964 Olympics, billed itself as the safe and reliable choice at a time of global political and economic uncertainty.

“Tokyo can be trusted to be the safe pair of hands and much more,” bid leader and IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda said in the final presentation. “Our case today is simple. Vote for Tokyo and you vote for guaranteed delivery. … Tokyo is the right partner at the right time.”

Tokyo had been on the defensive in the final days of the campaign because of mounting concerns over the leak of radioactive water from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

In the final presentation before the vote, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave the IOC assurances that the Fukushima leak was not a threat to Tokyo and took personal responsibility for keeping the games safe.


Kiwis beat U.S. in first two races of America’s Cup

SAN FRANCISCO – Emirates Team New Zealand skimmed above the waves of San Francisco Bay to beat defending champion Oracle Team USA in the first two races of the 34th America’s Cup.

With Dean Barker at the wheel of their 72-foot catamaran, the Kiwis lost and then regained the lead on the windward third leg of the opening race before sailing away from Oracle to win the opening race by 36 seconds.

Team New Zealand, showing better speed and crew work, led the whole way in the second race to win by 52 seconds on a hot, gorgeous day on San Francisco Bay.

The Kiwis need seven more wins to claim the oldest trophy in international sports.

Oracle Team USA, owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison, must win 11 races to retain the Cup. It was docked two points in the biggest cheating scandal in the 162-year history of the America’s Cup.


Jets cut QB Quinn, promote LB Lansanah

NEW YORK – The New York Jets released Brady Quinn, leaving rookie starter Geno Smith and backup Matt Simms as the team’s only healthy quarterbacks for the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The move yesterday had been expected because Coach Rex Ryan prefers to not have three quarterbacks active for games – and it prevents Quinn’s salary from being guaranteed. Salaries for NFL veterans became guaranteed at 4 p.m. EDT yesterday.

Quinn was signed by the Jets on Monday to provide a veteran presence at the position with Mark Sanchez sidelined with a shoulder injury. It’s very likely the Jets will re-sign Quinn early next week.

Linebacker Danny Lansanah, who had an outstanding training camp, was promoted from the practice squad. He last played in a regular-season NFL game in 2009.


Source: Bruno Mars to sing at Super Bowl half

NEW YORK – A person familiar with Super Bowl entertainment plans told the Associated Press that Grammy-winner Bruno Mars will perform at halftime of February’s NFL championship game.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity on Saturday because the league had not yet made a formal announcement.

This season’s Super Bowl will be played Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Mars is one of pop music’s top acts, with several No. 1 hits including his most recent, “When I Was Your Man.”

The 27-year-old singer-songwriter-producer was honored for best male video and choreography for “Treasure” at the MTV Video Music Awards last month.


Blue Jays’ Cabrera has tumor removed from spine

MINNEAPOLIS – Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera had a benign tumor removed from his spine.

Cabrera had the surgery on Aug. 30 and hasn’t played since Aug. 1 after a season-ending ankle injury.

Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos announced the procedure yesterday before Toronto’s game against the Minnesota Twins. The team expects Cabrera to be ready for spring training.

Cabrera signed a two-year, $16 million contract with Toronto in the offseason. He finished this season with a .279 average and three home runs and 30 RBIs in 88 games.

MLB’s recent drug investigation began last year after Cabrera, the All-Star Game MVP for the San Francisco Giants, tested positive for elevated testosterone.


Vettel gets pole position for Italian Grand Prix

MONZA, Italy – Championship leader Sebastian Vettel will start the Italian Grand Prix from the pole position after posting the fastest time in qualifying yesterday, while Lewis Hamilton’s bid for a fifth straight pole ended in disappointment.

Vettel has won the Italian GP twice and will be hard to stop after securing his 40th career pole. The three-time defending Formula One champion will share the front row with teammate Mark Webber.

Fernando Alonso needed a strong performance but finished fifth behind Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa and Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg, who was a surprising third.

Hamilton placed 12th in his Mercedes for his worst performance since last year’s Spanish Grand Prix, while Kimi Raikkonen also recorded his poorest qualifying run of the campaign in 11th.


Peterson, Svoboda share lead in Tour

DAVIDSON, N.C. – John Peterson and Andrew Svoboda shared the third-round lead in the Chiquita Classic, the second tournament in the four-event Tour Finals series.

Peterson had five back-nine birdies to shoot 5-under 67 to match Svoboda at 10-under 206 at River Run. Svoboda birdied the final two holes for a 69. The former St. John’s player won the Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship last month.

The bulk of the field is made up of players in the top 75 on the Tour money list and Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings. The top 25 on the money list are assured PGA Tour cards, while the other players are fighting for 25 additional cards through earnings in the four-event series.

Svoboda has already wrapped up a PGA Tour card by finishing 25th on the money list. Peterson was 30th on the money list.

Two-time PGA Tour winner Troy Matteson, Peter Malnati and Greg Owen were a stroke back. Matteson shot 67, Malnati 69, and Owen 71.


Langer fires 67 for lead in Montreal Championship

SAINTE-JULIE, Quebec – Bernhard Langer shot a 5-under 67 to open a three-stroke lead in the Champions Tour’s Montreal Championship.

Langer had five birdies in a bogey-free second round to reach 6 under on La Vallee du Richelieu’s Rouville Course. The two-time Masters champion has two victories this year and 18 overall on the 50-and-over tour.

Kenny Perry, the Senior Players Championship and U.S. Senior Open winner in consecutive tour starts this summer, was 3 under along with Willie Wood, Chien Soon Lu, Bill Glasson and Anders Forsbrand. Perry had a 71, Wood and Lu shot 68, and Glasson and Forsbrand shot 69.


Brett Hull to rejoin Blues organization

ST. LOUIS — Hall of Famer Brett Hull, the St. Louis Blues’ career leading scorer, is rejoining the organization in the front office.

The team set a news conference for tomorrow in the Scottrade Center concourse, with the public invited.

The 49-year Hull set several team records in 11 seasons with St. Louis, with five 50-goal seasons, including a franchise-record 86 in 1990-91. His No. 16 jersey was retired in 2006. He holds records for goals, hat tricks, game-winning goals, power-play goals and shots on goal, and is second in assists, points and short-handed goals.

Hull won a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars and has been an executive with the Stars.


Coyotes sign LW Boedker to two-year deal

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Phoenix Coyotes signed left wing Mikkel Boedker to a two-year contract.

Terms of the deal were not released yesterday.

A restricted free agent, Boedker did not file for arbitration because he believed a deal with the Coyotes would get done before the start of training camp.

The 23-year-old from Denmark had seven goals and 19 assists during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. Boedker has 34 goals and 61 assists in parts of five seasons with the Coyotes.


Capitals re-sign C Johansson to 2-year, $4 million deal

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals re-signed restricted free agent center Marcus Johansson to a two-year, $4 million contract.

The Capitals announced yesterday that Johansson will earn $1.825 million next season and $2.175 million in 2014-15.

The 22-year-old Johansson had six goals and 16 assists in 34 games last season. He missed part of the season with a concussion but returned to play well at the end skating on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

Johansson was a first-round draft pick by the Capitals in 2009.

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