WORLD SPORTS at 1330 GMT

TOP STORY:

SOC--ENGLISH PREVIEW

MANCHESTER, England " It seemed Marco Silva had taken on a near-impossible job when he was hired as manager of Hull at the start of January. The promoted club from northern England was up for sale, in last place in the Premier League and planning to sell some of its best players. But the 39-year-old Portuguese coach labeled "Mini-Mourinho" is turning things around. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 700 words, photos.

NEW/DEVELOPING:

OLY--PYEONGCHANG 2018-ONE YEAR TO GO

GANGNEUNG, South Korea " The one-year countdown to the Pyeongchang Games began Thursday with Yuna Kim revealing the Olympic torch and organizers opening online ticket reservations. By Kim Tong-Hyung. SENT: 560 words, photos.

ATH--NITRO ATHLETICS-BOLT

MELBOURNE, Australia " Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell helped the Bolt All-Stars win the 4x100-meter mixed relay Thursday on the second of three nights of the Nitro Athletics meet. SENT: 340 words.

BIA--BIATHLON WORLDS

HOCHFILZEN, Austria " Led by Martin Fourcade, defending champion France starts as favorite in the mixed relay, the first of 11 medal events at the biathlon world championships. UPCOMING: 250 words by 1500 GMT.

GLF--THE WEEK AHEAD

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. " Even in gloomy weather, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is a must-see. That pertains to the views more than the golf. By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 775 words, photos.

BKN--KNICKS-OAKLEY EJECTED

NEW YORK " Former Knicks star Charles Oakley was forcefully removed from his seats at Madison Square Garden and arrested after an altercation near team owner James Dolan. By Brian Mahoiney. SENT: 510 words, photos.

FOOTBALL:

SOC--UEFA-2026 WORLD CUP

NYON, Switzerland " Europe will formally ask FIFA for at least 16 places in the expanded 48-team World Cup lineup, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said Thursday. SENT: 500 words, photos.

SOC--COPA DEL REY FINAL

MADRID " There could hardly be more contrasting teams in the Copa del Rey final. Alaves, the recently promoted club from Basque Country, will be playing in the final of a major tournament only for the second time in its 96-year history. Barcelona, on the other hand, will be making its 39th appearance in the domestic competition's final. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 600 words, photos.

Also:

" SOC--FIFA RANKINGS " Africa champion Cameroon ranked 33rd, Argentina still 1st. SENT: 120 words, photos.

" SOC--AUSTRALIAN ROUNDUP " 19 and counting: Sydney FC remains unbeaten this season. SENT: 300 words.

OLYMPICS:

OLY--PYEONGCHANG-MEDAL FORECAST

UNDATED " Norway will top the medal table a year from now at the Pyeongchang Olympics. Germany and the United States will be next. That's the predition from a sophisticated data-processing program, though the future of Russian participation makes forecasting tough. By Stephen Wade. UPCOMING: 700 words by 1600 GMT.

GOLF:

GLF--KUALA LUMPUR

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia " Marc Warren overcame a missed cut last week to shoot a 9-under 63 and take a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the Maybank Championship on Thursday. SENT: 300 words, photos.

CRICKET:

CRI--INDIA-BANGLADESH

HYDERABAD, India " Virat Kohli scored his 16th test century as India reached 356-3 at stumps Thursday on the first day of the one-off cricket test against Bangladesh. By Chetan Narula. SENT: 420 words, photos.

CRI--PAKISTAN-ODI CAPTAIN

ISLAMABAD " Pakistan ODI captain Azhar Ali has stepped down and the Pakistan Cricket Board has appointed wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed as the new skipper. SENT: 240 words.

RUGBY:

RGU--WALES-ENGLAND

CARDIFF, Wales " England selected an inexperienced back row for the Six Nations match at Wales on Saturday as injuries continue to affect the titleholders. SENT: 360 words, photos.

RGU--NEW ZEALAND-TUIPULOTU

WELLINGTON, New Zealand " All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu has been cleared of doping after tests on a B sample found no banned or specified substances. By Steve McMorran. SENT: 430 words.

Other Stories:

" BKN--NBA CAPSULES " Clippers beat Knicks; Charles Oakley ejected. SENT: 1,475 words, photos.

YOUR QUERIES: Questions and story requests are welcome. Contact your local AP bureau or the AP International Sports Desk in London by telephone at +44 207-427-4224 or email lonsports@ap.org.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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