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Sports in brief


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Slovakia, Russia make Euro '16 field

Russia is returning to the European Championship for the fourth straight time, while Slovakia will be playing in the tournament for the first time as an independent nation.

Russia qualified for next year's tournament in France with a 2-0 win over Montenegro on Monday in Moscow, securing second place in Group G behind group winner Austria.

Slovakia beat Luxembourg 4-2 to finish second to Spain in Group C, guaranteeing its first appearance since it played as part of Czechoslovakia in 1992.

Ukraine, Slovenia and Sweden will have to try to qualify through the playoffs.

The top two teams from the nine groups qualify automatically. The best third-placed team also advances, while the other eight meet in playoffs to determine the final four spots in the 24-team field. Turkey can qualify today by beating Iceland and having Kazakhstan defeating Latvia; otherwise Hungary will qualify as the top third-place team.

England wrapped up its campaign with a 3-0 win at Lithuania, finishing with the best record in qualifying with 10 straight wins, on the strength of goals by Everton's Ross Barkley and Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

FIFA: The sport's world governing body suspended Thai soccer association president Worawi Makudi for 90 days. The FIFA ethics committee said a breach of its code appears to have been committed and the case "is now the subject of formal investigation proceedings." He had been under investigation after a probe into the World Cup bidding process.


U.S. Open champ Spuzich dies

Sandra Spuzich, the 1966 U.S. Women's Open champion who won six other LPGA Tour titles, died Oct. 6 at her Indianapolis home, the U.S. Golf Association said. She was 78. In 1982, at age 45, she became the oldest player in LPGA Tour history to win twice in a season, a record that still stands. Spuzich is survived by her longtime partner, former LPGA Tour player Joyce Kazmierski.

TV: British Open broadcasts on NBC will start a year early, debuting in 2016. In June, NBC Sports Group announced a 12-year deal with the R&A for U.S. television coverage starting in 2017. ESPN was scheduled to air the event next July to cap an eight-year contract, but NBC said Monday it had negotiated with the R&A and ESPN to take over in 2016.


Tennis: John Isner smashed 20 aces to top Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 6-2 in his opening match at the Shanghai Masters. Former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic fought off a match point before beating local hope Wu Di 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

Boxing: Manny Pacquiao said his surgically repaired shoulder is 80-90 percent healed and he expects to resume training in November or December, with a return to the ring in March. Pacquiao acknowledged Amir Khan was a possible opponent, but added no determination had been made. Pacquiao had surgery on his right shoulder four days after he lost by unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in boxing's richest fight ever in May.

Times wires

Sports in brief 10/12/15 [Last modified: Monday, October 12, 2015 9:30pm]
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