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Manny Pacquiao’s eighth boxing world title has thrown entire Philippines into a joyous mood. Philippines runs out of awards for Pacquiao

*It's not only other boxers who can't keep up with Philippine world champion Manny Pacquiao -- the government has run out of honours to bestow on him.

Pacquiao, a sitting congressman, recorded a unanimous points victory over Mexican Antonio Margarito last week in Dallas, Texas, to claim the vacant WBC super welterweight title, claiming a record eighth weight-division crown.

At the moment, President Benigno Aquino has nothing to award Pacquiao when he returns to Manila on Saturday, although his peers in lower house of Congress have said they will give him the Congressional Medal of Distinction.

“Congressman Pacquiao already has a number of awards,” deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte told reporters, saying a committee has been created to see if there was a need to give him another award.

“If I remember it correctly, he has an Order of Sikatuna and an Order of Lakandula,” she said, referring to the Philippines' highest award for an individual who has rendered exceptional and meritorious services to the republic and an award normally given to visiting dignitaries.

Lin Dan gets rock star treatment at Village

*Chinese badminton ace Lin Dan is getting rock star treatment at the Asian Games, with fans even fighting over his sweaty towels thrown into the stands at the end of every match.

Security guards at the Tianhe badminton venue rushed to break up a scrum between fans tusseling over the towel that Lin tossed into the crowd following his win over Hong Kong’s Hu Yun on Thursday.

A young woman succeeded in snatching the sweat-soaked souvenir away from a middle-aged man following the tie in which fans repeatedly chanted both Lin’s name as well as his girlfriend’s, retired badminton star Xie Xingfang, press reports said.

Earlier this week, Lin kept alive the faint hopes of millions of adoring female fans after revealing he has no intention of getting married in the near future.

“I am still young so getting married is not on my agenda yet,” the 27-year-old said. “As an athlete, I need to focus on my training and competition,” Lin, widely regarded as the best player of all time, was quoted as saying by the state Xinhua news agency.

Magnificent velodrome wows Sebastian Coe

*The base for Olympic cycling was visited by members of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) co-ordination commission on Thursday as part of their latest tour to check preparations. They, like everyone else who has seen the construction, could not help but be impressed.

“I think this is a jaw-dropping venue. It is going to be one of the iconic venues of the Games,” Coe said. “I think it's beautiful from the outside, it is stunning inside, it's intimate and it's going to be a legacy for British cycling for many years to come.”

The velodrome will be the first Olympic Park venue to be completed, early in 2011, and there is no doubt it will line up alongside Beijing's Birds Nest and aquatic centre as the most-photographic of Olympic venues once the public are allowed to get close.

US confident of fair voting for World Cup bid
*The head of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) is confident voting to determine the hosts of the 2022 World Cup will be fair despite the recent vote-selling scandal that has rocked FIFA.

Sunil Gulati, USSF president and USA Bid Committee chairman, told reporters on Friday his team, spearheaded by former US president Bill Clinton, would head to Zurich for the Dec 2 vote certain FIFA had dealt with the allegations of vote selling.  Two FIFA EC members were banned and fined on Thursday, one for bribery, over allegations they offered to sell their votes.

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