Kyodo sports news summary

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TOKYO, Oct. 24 (21:56) Kyodo

Boxing: Nishioka defends WBC title for 5th time

TOKYO - Japanese champion Toshiaki Nishioka won a unanimous
decision against Rendall Munroe to successfully defend the WBC super
bantamweight crown for the fifth time on Sunday.

All three judges had the bout 119-109 in favor of Nishioka
against his top-ranked British challenger. Nishioka saw his record
improve to 37-4, including 23 knockouts, with three draws.

Horse Racing: Big Week runs big race to win Kikka-sho

KYOTO - Seventh choice Big Week stole the last jewel in the
Triple Crown, winning the 71st Kikka-sho over the Yutaka Take-ridden
favorite Rose Kingdom on Sunday.

Under first-time Kikka-sho winner Yuga Kawada, Big Week turned
for home stalking pacesetter Cosmo Laputa before moving clear halfway
down the final straight at Kyoto Racecourse.

Baseball: Saito hopes to continue major league career

TOKYO - Japanese reliever Takashi Saito hopes to find his new
team in the major leagues next year after the Atlanta Braves
unconditionally released him earlier this month.

''I don't have a particular image of where I would be playing
since my season ended only recently, but the desire to continue my
career in the U.S. remains strong,'' the 40-year-old Saito said at
Narita airport upon his arrival from the United States. ''Retirement
is not an option.''

Soccer: Omiya draw with Kawasaki, fail to erase nightmarish week

SAITAMA, Japan - Omiya Ardija failed to wash away a week they
would rather forget as Jun Suzuki's side drew 2-2 with Kawasaki
Frontale before their own fans on Sunday.

Omiya went down 2-0 early as Takuro Yajima and Yusuke Mori
scored for Kawasaki. The hosts roared back after halftime through
goals by Yuki Fukaya and Naoki Ishihara, but could not move out in
front as relegation-threatened Ardija stayed in 14th place on 28
points with seven games to go.

Soccer: Ardija offer more apologies, but few explanations

SAITAMA, Japan - Omiya president Seigo Watanabe said Ardija
would aim to become ''the cleanest club in Japan.'' He just didn't
explain how.

Watanabe shed more tears and offered more apologies following
Omiya's 2-2 draw with Kawasaki Frontale on Sunday, but offered no
details as to how the J1 side would clean up their act.

Golf: Mika Miyazato 3rd at LPGA event in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR - Mika Miyazato continued her recent run of good
form by finishing tied for third at the inaugural Sime Darby LPGA
Malaysia on Sunday.

The lesser-known Miyazato shared third with Sweden's Maria
Hjorth after a final-round 2-under 69 left her with a 6-under 207
total, three strokes behind winner Jimin Kang of South Korea.

Golf: Yokomine uses ace to win Masters GC Ladies

MIKI, Japan - Overnight co-leader Sakura Yokomine held firm in a
closely contested final round, highlighting her scorecard with a
hole-in-one to emerge the winner of the Masters GC Ladies on Sunday.

Yokomine, who was tied with Yukari Baba and South Korean Jeon Mi
Jeong after the second round, fired a 4-under 68 to finish with a
10-under 206 total for her second win this season -- just one stroke
clear of Baba at Masters Golf Club in Hyogo Prefecture.

Golf: Ikeda retains Bridgestone Open title

CHIBA, Japan - Yuta Ikeda successfully defended his Bridgestone
Open title on Sunday, matching the course record with a bogey-free 62
for a three-shot victory.

Ikeda had five birdies each on the front and back nine to finish
at a tournament record 23-under 265 at Sodegaura Country Club.

Figure skating: Japanese figure skating chief backs Asada to bounce

NAGOYA - Hidehito Ito, the Japan Skating Federation's director
of figure skating, said Sunday he is unconcerned by the form of Mao
Asada and confident the world champion will come good after a
disastrous start to the season at the NHK Trophy.

Asada, who is skating a new program under recently appointed
coach Nobuo Sato, struggled with error-littered performances in both
the short and free programs and finished in eighth place Saturday
with 133.40 points -- her worst ever score at a senior international

Marathon: Noguchi back from long injury layoff

MUNAKATA, Japan - Athens Olympic women's marathon gold medalist
Mizuki Noguchi returned from a long injury layoff on Sunday, running
in the western Japan women's corporate ekiden road relay meet in
Fukuoka Prefecture.

The 32-year-old Noguchi ran the 10.5-kilometer third leg in
strong winds and rain in 34 minutes, 15 seconds, the fifth-fastest
time out of 16 runners, in the 42.195-km race.

Figure skating: Takahashi triumphs at NHK Trophy

NAGOYA - Japan's Daisuke Takahashi demonstrated his
world-champion pedigree to post a commanding victory at the Grand
Prix season-opening NHK Trophy on Sunday.

Top after Saturday's short program, the 24-year-old delivered a
passionate if not perfect free skate to earn 234.79 points and finish
way ahead of American Jeremy Abbott and Florent Amodio of France.

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