Uchida late show gives Japan revenge over Bahrain

SOCCER Atsuto Uchida scored a freak late goal as Japan beat Bahrain 1-0 to clinch Asian Group 2 in their final third-round qualifier for the 2010 World Cup on Sunday. [KYODO]

Kanemoto goes deep twice in Hanshin win

BASEBALL Tomoaki Kanemoto homered in consecutive at-bats and drove in three runs in the Hanshin Tigers’ 5-3 win over the Nippon Ham Fighters in interleague play on Sunday. [KYODO]

Murata goes yard twice, clubs winning shot in 10th

BASEBALL Shuichi Murata played hero twice Saturday, delivering a game-tying three-run homer in the eighth inning before hitting a walkoff shot in the bottom of the 10th to lift the Yokohama BayStars to a 5-4 win over the Seibu Lions. [KYODO]

Nakazawa tells revenge-hungry Japan to batter Bahrain

SOCCER Yuji Nakazawa has told Japan to go out and “batter” Bahrain as Takeshi Okada’s men seek to wrap up the third round of 2010 World Cup qualifiers as winners of Asian Group 2 this weekend. [KYODO]

Chunichi Dragons supporters groups sue baseball clubs over cheering ban

BASEBALL Two private supporters’ groups for the Chunichi Dragons sued professional baseball clubs on Thursday after an anti-gang council comprising of professional baseball clubs and police banned them from cheering for their teams. (1) [MAINICHI]

Asashoryu beats Hakuho, earns 22nd Emperor’s Cup

SUMO Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu posted a sweet victory over rival Hakuho to win his first title of the year on the final day of the Spring Grand Tournament held in Osaka on Sunday. [THE JAPAN TIMES]

Mao Asada strikes gold at world championships in figure skating

SPORTS Japan’s Mao Asada rallied from second place in the short program to take the gold medal with 185.56 points after the free program Thursday of the women’s event at the world figure skating championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, winning a world championships title for the first time.

Red Sox arrive in Japan for opening series

BASEBALL Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima and other Boston Red Sox players arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda airport early Friday aboard a chartered plane to open the regular season with games against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday and Wednesday at Tokyo Dome. [KYODO]

Japanese baseball joins fight against global warming

BASEBALL Japanese professional baseball players have vowed to shorten playing time per game as part of the national pastime’s contribution to the fight against global warming. [AFP]

‘Dice-K’ to Start Red Sox Opener in Japan

BASEBALL Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka will start the Boston Red Sox’s regular-season opener against the Oakland Athletics in Toyko on March 25. [AP]

Injured ozeki Kotooshu drops out of spring sumo

SUMO Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu has pulled out of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament due to an arm injury, his stablemaster, Sadogatake, said Monday. [KYODO]

Asashoryu still in driver’s seat at spring sumo

SUMO Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu manhandled komusubi Takekaze to remain in a share of the lead with an unblemished record on the seventh day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday. [KYODO]

Ichiro finally ends March hitless streak

BASEBALL Ichiro Suzuki snapped an 0-for-21 slump with an infield single in the Seattle Mariners’ 10-inning, 3-3 tie with the San Francisco Giants in a spring training game Thursday. [KYODO]

JSA suspends 3 wrestlers indicted over death of junior wrestler

SUMO The Japan Sumo Association said Thursday it has decided to suspend from competition three wrestlers indicted for the assault and subsequent death of a 17-year-old junior wrestler last June. (1) [KYODO]

New independent baseball league taking shape

BASEBALL A new independent baseball league in Japan is taking shape with four clubs expected to be established ahead of its inauguration scheduled for 2009. [KYODO]

Hiroshima beat Kashima in controversial cup win

SOCCER Second-division Sanfrecce Hiroshima won the Xerox Super Cup after beating J-League champions Kashima Antlers 4-3 on penalties in a match marred by controversial refereeing and a pitch invasion on Saturday. [KYODO]

Natsumi 3rd in World Cup cross country skiing, best ever by Japanese

SPORTS Madoka Natsumi turned in the best-ever finish by a Japanese cross country skier to take a podium spot in a World Cup meet in Stockholm when she came third in the 1-kilometer sprint race Wednesday. [KYODO]

Gamba Osaka beats Houston Dynamo for Pan-Pacific championship

SOCCER Brazilian forward Bare scored four goals to lead Gamba Osaka to a 6-1 win over the Houston Dynamo for the Pan-Pacific Championship in Honolulu on Saturday night. [THE CANADIAN PRESS]

Japan’s women win East Asian soccer championship

SOCCER Japan brushed aside host China 3-0 to win the women’s competition at the East Asian championship on Sunday. [KYODO]

Sumo elite attend antidoping seminar

SUMO A total of 900 stablemasters, sumo wrestlers and okamisan, or wives of stablemasters, attended a seminar on doping held by the Japan Sumo Association on Wednesday at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan stadium. [YOMIURI]

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