• BC-AP--AP Sports Digest, AP

    Updated:

    WORLD SPORTS AT 1330 GMT

    TOP STORIES:

    SOC--PSG-REAL MADRID

    PARIS _ A weakened Paris Saint-Germain missing stars Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani through suspension and injury faces an uphill battle against Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday. UPCOMING: 500 words by 2100 GMT, photos.

    RGU--RWC-SOUTH AFRICA

    TOKYO _ For the second time this week, the Springboks stressed for the referee's benefit that New Zealand doesn't deserve any favors from him this weekend. South Africa and New Zealand meet on Saturday in Yokohama on just the second day of the Rugby World Cup. By Foster Niumata. SENT: 745 words, photos.

    OLY--BEIJING MASCOTS

    BEIJING _ A smiling panda and a walking Chinese lantern will be the mascots for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing. By Shanshan Wang. SENT: 355 words, photos.

    SOC--ATLÉTICO MADRID-JUVENTUS

    MADRID _ Cristiano Ronaldo faces a familiar opponent as Juventus opens its Champions League campaign at Atlético Madrid. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 600 words by 2100 GMT, photos.

    SOC--BAYERN-RED STAR

    MUNICH _ Bayern Munich’s quest to atone for last season’s disappointing Champions League performance begins at home against Red Star Belgrade. Bayern made its earliest exit since 2011 and is targeting the semifinals or better. UPCOMING: 500 words by 2100 GMT, photos.

    SOC--GERMANY-TER STEGEN

    Whether Germany coach Joachim Löw was watching or not, Marc-André ter Stegen delivered his message. The Barcelona goalkeeper produced a player-of-the-match performance to help the Spanish team escape with a 0-0 draw at Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League group opener on Tuesday. It was Ter Stegen’s first game since he voiced discontent with his backup role to Germany No. 1 Manuel Neuer. By Ciaran Fahey. SENT: 480 words, photos.

    SOC--WCUP-ASIAN QUALIFYING-KOREAS

    SEOUL, South Korea _ South Korea's soccer association is unsure whether its World Cup qualifier against North Korea next month will take place in Pyongyang or on a neutral ground. By John Duerden. SENT: 370 words, photos.

    SOC--ASIAN CHAMPIONS ROUNDUP

    KASHIMA, Japan _ Guangzhou Evergrande eliminated title-holder Kashima Antlers of Japan on away goals and advanced to the Asian Champions League semifinals on Wednesday. SENT: 145 words.

    SOC--OBIT-RICKSEN

    GLASGOW, Scotland _ Fernando Ricksen, a former Netherlands national team defender, has died after a six-year battle with motor neurone disease. He was 43. SENT: 160 words, photo.

    RGU--RWC-JAPAN-RUSSIA

    TOKYO _ The Rugby World Cup opener has been four years in the making for Michael Leitch and his Japan squad. The hype has been steadily growing, and now Leitch's lineup will have its first genuine taste of the expectation which comes with being host when it plays Russia on Friday in the opening match of the first Rugby World Cup to be held in Asia. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 820 words, photos.

    RGU--RWC-SAMOA’S TATTOOS

    YAMAGATA, Japan _ Samoan rugby players will wear skin suits to cover their traditional tattoos during some training sessions at the World Cup in order not to offend their Japanese hosts. SEND: 425 words, photos.

    JUD--IRAN SUSPENDED

    LAUSANNE, Switzerland _ Iran has been suspended from international judo competitions because it boycotts bouts with Israeli athletes. SENT: 245 words, photo.

    BIA--DOPING-VASILYEVA

    SALZBURG, Austria _ Russian biathlete Margarita Vasilyeva has been banned for 18 months after missing three doping tests. SENT: 145 words.

    GLF--AUSTRALIA-SWINGING THROUGH THE SANDBELT

    Former Australian and European Tour professional Michael Clayton reckons he's played Melbourne's so-called sandbelt courses about 1,000 times. Lucky him. The courses feature bunkers sculpted out of sand and fairways and greens unlike any others. They are most often praised by pros who have played them. By Dennis Passa. SENT: 875 words, photos.

    GLF--OLESEN-COURT

    LONDON _ Danish golfer Thorbjorn Olesen will remain suspended from the European Tour until at least December after being charged with sexual assault and being drunk on an aircraft. SENT: 180 words, photos.

    CRI--INDIA-SOUTH AFRICA

    MOHALI, India _ South Africa plays India in the second of three Twenty20 matches. UPCOMING: 300 words by 2000 GMT, photos.

    TEN--WTA ASIA

    OSAKA, Japan _ Top-seeded Naomi Osaka reached the quarterfinals at the Pan Pacific Open by beating qualifier Viktoriya Tomova 7-5, 6-3 on Wednesday. SENT: 275 words, photos.

    HKN--PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Ryan O'Reilly believes he has another gear to get to after winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP and leading the St. Louis Blues to the Stanley Cup. The 2018-19 Selke Trophy winner as the NHL's top defensive forward is among the key players to watch this season. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 1,340 words, photos.

    HKN--NHL RDP

    James Reimer and Anton Forsberg combined for a shutout as the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0 in an NHL preseason game in Tampa, Florida, on Tuesday night. SENT: 1,265 words, photos.

    BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES

    BOSTON _ Mike Yastrzemski, grandson of former Red Sox great and Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, homered in his first game in Fenway Park, and Alex Dickerson had a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the 15th inning to lift the San Francisco Giants to a 7-6 victory over Boston on Tuesday night. SENT: 1,920 words, photos.

    FIG--VIRTUE & MOIR RETIRE

    Canadian ice dancing stars Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir say they are "stepping away" from the sport. SENT: 375 words.

    YOUR QUERIES: Questions and story requests are welcome. Contact your local AP bureau or the AP International Sports Desk in London by telephone at +44 207 427 4224 or email lonsports@ap.org.

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