Kofu Beats Nagoya For 1st Win

Ventforet KofuVentforet Kofu stunned defending J-League champion Nagoya Grampus 3-1 at home for their first victory of the season on Sunday.

In their first meeting with Nagoya in four years, Mike Havenaar scored a decisive second midway through the second half for the promoted Yamanashi Prefecture club, who had three draws and two defeats from their first five games on the year.

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Nippon Ham's Saito Sidelined

Yuki SaitoThe Nippon Ham Fighters’ Yuki Saito may need a month before returning to the rotation after the 22-year-old right-hander was diagnosed with a left abdominal strain on Monday.

An MRI revealed that the injury is expected to shelve Saito for two to three weeks, but according to chief trainer Yoshihiro Fukushima, the heralded rookie could be out longer.

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Hakuho Starts Test Meet Strong

Hakuho starts test meet strongYokozuna Hakuho got back to the earnest business of winning Sunday, putting on his bravest face at a meet which this time is only for show.

After a match-fixing scandal caused the cancellation of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in March and following an earthquake and tsunami in the northeastern Japan sumo resumed with a "test meet" to a surprisingly enthusiastic crowd at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

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Sendai Teams Give Fans Hope

Vegalta SendaiWeeks ago, it was almost inconceivable that Vegalta Sendai would be playing in the J-League in the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami, let alone leading Japan’s domestic football competition.

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Jfa Sends Letters To Fifa

JFA President Junji OguraJapan Football Association President Junji Ogura said Tuesday that the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and the Argentina Football Association have sent letters to soccer’s world governing body FIFA asking that it cooperate to gain the release of Japanese players for this summer’s Copa America.

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Del Piero To Aid Japan

Del Piero to aid JapanJuventus striker Alessandro del Piero is launching a T-shirt business to support disaster areas of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Del Piero, one of the most popular foreign players in Japan, announced on Friday that he will sell originally designed T-shirts for 15 euros each and donate all proceeds to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

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Matsuzaka Donates 1 Million

Daisuke MatsuzakaThe Boston Red Sox said Friday pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has pledged $1 million to help victims of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan on March 11.

''Our efforts on the field are dedicated to all who are suffering from this catastrophe,'' the club quoted Matsuzaka as saying in a videotaped message released earlier this month. ''We are in this together, so we must overcome tragedy together.''

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Ramirez Donates 1 Mil. Dollars

Alex RamirezYomiuri Giants outfielder Alex Ramirez has pledged 1 million dollars to support earthquake relief efforts in Japan, his club said Tuesday.

The two-time Central League MVP will also donate medical supplies through a doctor friend.

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Japan Move Up To 15th In Fifa

Japan tops 15th in FIFA RankingsJapan have risen to 15th in the latest world rankings released Wednesday by soccer world governing body FIFA.

The 2011 Asian Cup champions moved up two spots from the previous month and remained the highest-ranked team in the region, with Australia following in 21st and South Korea 29th.

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Shimoda Defends Title In Us

Akifumi Shimoda Newly crowned WBA super bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda will likely face No. 1 contender Rico Ramos of the United States in his first title defense in June, Teiken Gym chairman Akihiko Honda said Monday.

‘‘We have been told by the WBA to hold a mandatory title fight.

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Japan Ski Team Misses Medal

Noriaki Kasai Japan’s ski jumping team came up short in its bid for a third consecutive Nordic ski world championship medal on Saturday with a sixth-place finish in the large hill event.

Veteran Noriaki Kasai was Japan’s best performer with a jump of 125.5 meters, combining with Taku Takeuchi (115.5), Fumihisa Yumoto (111.0) and Daiki Ito (123) for 410.7 points.

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40 Wrestlers Involved Bout - Fixing

Takenawa coachA sumo coach implicated in the recent revelations of bout-fixing has told the Japan Sumo Association (JSA) that some 40 wrestlers were involved in the scam, the Mainichi has discovered.

Sumo coach Takenawa, 35, himself a former maegashira-ranked wrestler, expressed his deep apologies to the JSA for the match-fixing, but went on to say, "It wasn't just me who was involved.

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Suntory Beats Sanyo , Win Title

Suntory SungoliathSuntory Sungoliath beat Sanyo Wild Knights 37-20 to capture their first national championship crown in nine years on Sunday, avenging last month’s defeat in the Top League playoff final in the process.

Hirotoki Onozawa’s 11th-minute try turned a 3-0 deficit into a 5-3 lead and further tries from Yasunori Nagatomo and Tusi Pisiata helped Suntory move into a 24-6 halftime lead.

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Kitajima Faces Tough Competition

Kosuke KitajimaKosuke Kitajima knows his position on the national team is no guarantee for the world championships in Shanghai this July. And it is his Japanese rivals who are raising the bar in the level of competition.

‘‘I’m sure this year’s national championships will be an extremely tough one,’’ the two-time double Olympic breaststroke champion told reporters Friday at Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center.

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