Ottawa Citizen

SIDELINES

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❚ Liam Firus of North Vancouver placed eighth in

men’s singles and Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., finished 10th in women’s

singles on Saturday to conclude the ISU world junior figure skating

championsh­ips at Minsk, Russia. Han Yan of China won the men’s gold medal, with U.S. skaters Joshua Farris and Jason Brown second and third. Nam Nguyen of Burnaby, B.C., was 13th. Julia Lipnitskai­a of Russia took the women’s gold, with Gracie Gold of the U.S. in second and Adelina Sotnikova of Russia in third.

❚ Manchester City raced five points clear atop the standings of England’s

Premier League of soccer in the league with a 2-0 victory against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, while Chelsea’s woes continued after a 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion. Arsenal edged Liverpool 2-1 to move three points behind third-place Tottenham and three points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea, which is 20 points behind City after losing to West Brom in the Premier League for the first time. At the bottom of the 20-team standings, Wigan Athletic lost 2-0 at home to Swansea City. Blackburn Rovers drew 1-1 at home to Aston Villa, while Queens Park Rangers tied Everton 1-1. Stoke City is eighth after a 1-0 home victory over Norwich City.

❚ FIFA deferred a final decision on whether Islamic women can play

in a head scarf, or hijab, until July when they will also make their long-awaited decision on what goalline technology system

to employ. The annual meeting of the game’s ultimate law-making body, the Internatio­nal Football Associatio­n Board, decided in England on Saturday to test the specially designed head scarf further before a final decision is taken in a special meeting at Kyiv on July 2. Two systems of two companies, Hawk-eye and Goalref, will be tested again. Other proposals to introduce a fourth substitute in extra-time in Cup matches and to limit the severity of the triple sanction punishment on goal-scoring opportunit­ies, by which an offender can concede a penalty, receive a red card and then a suspension, were withdrawn. ❚ Roger Federer downed Andy Murray 7-5 6-4 in the final of the Dubai Championsh­ips on Saturday, the Swiss maestro’s 72nd ATP Tour title. The 30-year-old won a fifth Dubai title without dropping a set all week.

❚ Brett Lawrie hit a pair of two-run doubles and started two slick double plays to help the Toronto Blue Jays to a 7-1 victory against the

Pittsburgh Pirates in the major-league baseball spring training opener for both teams at Dunedin, Florida. Eric Thames hit a solo homer and an RBI single for Toronto.

❚ The Oakland Athletics and Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes have finalized a four-year contract worth $36 million. The A’s made the announceme­nt Saturday. Cespedes, 26, will be placed on the 40-man roster after the A’s moved third baseman Scott Sizemore to the 60-day disabled list with a tear in his left knee that will sideline him for the season. Cespedes played in Cuba’s top league for eight seasons before defecting in 2011. ❚ The San Diego Padres have signed outfielder Cameron Maybin to a five-year contract extension with an option for the 2017 season. Financial terms were not announced, but San Diego media reported the deal was worth $25 million for five years with a $7-million option year. Maybin, 24, hit .264 with 40 RBI and stole a career-high 40 bases last season.

❚ Mark Martin, qualifying for a record 31st Sprint Cup start at Phoenix Internatio­nal

Raceway, captured the pole position for the start of Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500, a NASCAR race at suburban Avondale, Arizona. Martin, 53, secured his 52nd career pole. Defending Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart will join Martin on the front row, with Regan Smith and Jimmie Johnson qualifying third and fourth fastest, respective­ly.

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