Once best-known for his teeth gnashing and growls in the start hut, Manfred Pranger will now be famous for posting his maiden World Cup slalom victory on the notorious Hahnenkamm mountain. \nPranger covered the steep, unpredictable Ganslern course in a two-run aggregate time of 1 minute, 31.51 seconds Sunday, then cried on the podium in front of 20,000 spectators, including his blue-capped fan club, who recited a slow, solemn song of pride for him. \n"I was in the military six years ago and every Monday I would watch the Austrian flag being raised," said Pranger, whose last podium result was a second place in Flachau a year ago. "And I'd always dream that maybe one day that would happen for me at a ski race." \nPranger posted the fastest time in the opening leg at four previous slaloms, but each time failed to maintain his lead for the win. He led by nearly half a second after Sunday's first run. \n"Between the runs today, I started to doubt myself," said Pranger, who struggled with lower back pain and confidence this season before a fourth-place finish in Wengen last week. "That's why it was especially fabulous when I finally crossed the finish line first." \nOddly, a lack of self-confidence never appeared to be a problem for Pranger, who has long ignored the smiles, smirks and raised eyebrows provoked by his unconventional motivational grimaces in the start hut. \n"I'm totally concentrated in the start," Pranger said. \nTeammate Benjamin Raich finished eighth and continued to close on overall leader Bode Miller, who failed to qualify for the second leg. \nMiller lost his balance a few gates from the bottom and finished the gates from the reverse direction, leaving him 2.11 seconds off the pace.
A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympic Games has said that he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid. Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu, was paid US$8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games, financial records showed. Takahashi said the work included lobbying International Olympic Committee (IOC) members such as Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital
BITING THE BULLET: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi said that top players would make contributions so that the club’s employees can collect 100 percent of their salary Three-quarters of Rugby Australia’s staff were temporarily laid off yesterday amid huge financial losses from the sport’s coronavirus-enforced shutdown, while Lionel Messi confirmed on Monday that Barcelona’s players would take a 70 percent pay cut to ensure that the club’s other employees are paid. The cuts to rugby staff were “the toughest decision in the game’s history,” governing body CEO Raelene Castle said. “Although extremely painful, they are necessary to ensure ... we are able to come out the other side of this global crisis, fully operational and ready to throw everything into the rebuild.” The sport has been hit hard by
If British industry succeeds in saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it would in part be thanks to the pioneering role played by Formula One (F1) racing teams in the country. Seven of F1’s 10 teams have joined forces with leading aerospace and engineering firms to ramp up production of ventilators, while Mercedes has also worked with medics and academics to produce an alternative breathing aid. Normally obsessed with improving the performance of cars that race at more than 320kph, the teams are stripping back lifesaving devices and using computer simulation to test whether more simplified models can be mass produced. The seven
After the University of Michigan lost to Ohio State University in the semi-finals of the women’s NCAA Big Ten Tournament, Michigan Wolverines coach Kim Barnes Arico and her staff hit the road, where they intended to take advantage of a full week off before the NCAA Tournament by visiting as many potential recruits as possible. “That was our window. You get to go to someone’s home. That helps you build relationships. Helps build so many things,” Barnes Arico said. “We had all these things scheduled until we went to see high-school championships.” Of course, the championships were canceled, as was the NCAA