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Reuters Sports News Summary

13 Jan 2021 / 16:00 H.

    Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.

    Handball: United States, Czechs pull out of world championship

    The United States and the Czech Republic have pulled out of the Jan. 13-31 world handball championship in Egypt after a COVID-19 outbreak among players of both teams, the International Handball Federation (IHF) confirmed. "USA Team Handball have officially communicated to withdraw their participation in the world championship following several positive results after the obligatory COVID-19 tests," the sport's governing body said on its official website.

    Doping: Pound says farewell to WADA and passes anti-doping torch

    Tributes from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to IOC chief Thomas Bach poured in for retiring anti-doping crusader Dick Pound last week but there was understandably no applause from the likes of Lance Armstrong, Gary Bettman or Vladimir Putin. No doubt the sentiment of disgraced Tour de France champion Armstrong, NHL commissioner Bettman and Russian President Putin was good riddance to the no-nonsense Canadian lawyer who clearly delighted in ruffling feathers from the Kremlin to New York.

    Japan presses on with Olympics preparations despite surging coronavirus cases

    Japan's government is continuing with preparations to hold the Tokyo Olympics this summer as planned, following a postponement because of the coronavirus pandemic, chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato said on Wednesday. Japan has repeatedly insisted it will hold the Games despite opinion polls showing a majority of respondents want them postponed again or cancelled.

    NBA roundup: Sixers slip past Heat in OT

    Joel Embiid scored 35 of his 45 points in the second half and overtime to lift the host Philadelphia 76ers past the Miami Heat 137-134 on Tuesday. Embiid was 13 of 13 from the free-throw line, including two with 8.9 seconds left in overtime, to go along with 16 rebounds, five steals and four assists. Danny Green tied a franchise record with nine 3-pointers on his way to 29 points, and he added 10 rebounds as the Sixers snapped a three-game losing streak.

    Korda continues progress with maiden ATP final spot at Delray

    American Sebastian Korda, who hit the headlines by reaching the fourth round of the French Open in October, has booked a spot in his first ATP Tour final after beating Britain's Cameron Norrie in the Delray Beach Open semi-finals. Korda, the son of former world No.2 and 1998 Australian Open champion Petr, made his Grand Slam debut at the U.S. Open as a wildcard last year.

    Harden vents frustration with struggling Rockets

    James Harden's relationship with the Houston Rockets appears beyond repair after a second consecutive lopsided defeat left him venting his frustration with the team. The Rockets (3-6) are second from bottom of the Western Conference following Tuesday's 117-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. They lost to the same team 120-102 on Sunday.

    Top 25 roundup: Oklahoma State upsets No. 6 Kansas

    Freshman Cade Cunningham scored 18 points and recorded a key block that led to the game-winning basket Tuesday as Oklahoma State upset No. 6 Kansas 75-70 at Stillwater, Okla. With 40 seconds remaining and the score tied, Kansas' Marcus Garrett slashed to the basket looking to take the lead. Cunningham blocked the shot, controlled the rebound and started a fastbreak that culminated with a run-out by Rondel Walker, who converted a three-point play for a 73-70 Oklahoma State advantage.

    Swimming: Former Olympic champion Keller part of U.S. Capitol siege - reports

    American Klete Keller, who won two Olympic gold medals as a relay teammate of Michael Phelps, was identified as being among the Donald Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, according to multiple reports. Swimming news website SwimSwam said in a report https://swimswam.com/olympic-gold-medalist-in-us-capitol-during-clashes-video-appears-to-show that at least a dozen people within the sport identified the towering man wearing a U.S. Olympic team jacket inside the building as Keller after reviewing video and screenshots of the riot.

    NBA: James keen to avoid returning to bubble life

    LeBron James guided the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Championship inside a bio-secure environment in Orlando last year but says just the thought of being stuck inside a bubble again gives him the shakes. The 2019-20 season was hit with a four-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was completed in October with teams competing in a bubble at Walt Disney World.

    NBA tightens health protocols as COVID-19 impacts season

    NBA players should stay at their residences when they are at home and in their hotels when on the road for at least the next two weeks, the league said on Tuesday in a list of new health protocols designed to limit COVID-19's impact on the season. The league, which postponed one game on Sunday and three games this week due to the virus, is trying to avoid a league-wide suspension of play like the one that derailed it in March before it returned in a "bubble" environment in Orlando in July.

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