■Loeb wins Wales test
Loeb wins Wales test
World champion Sebastien Loeb overtook Jari-Matti Latvala on the final stage on Sunday to win the season-ending Wales Rally. Loeb, who clinched a record fifth world title in Japan last month, trailed Latvala by 4.9 seconds following a 10 second jump start penalty in the penultimate stage but surged ahead to win by 2.7 seconds. The French driver ended the 2008 championship with 11 wins from 15 races for the first time, taking his career tally to 48. His last-gasp victory also secured the manufacturers’ title for Citroen. Loeb’s teammate Dani Sordo finished third, 1 minute, 7.9 seconds behind Latvala.
Ricky Stuart quits as coach
Ricky Stuart has quit as Australia’s rugby league coach in the wake of his “offensive” behavior toward World Cup officials following the Kangaroos’ shock defeat in last month’s final. Stuart was widely condemned for his outbursts at match referee Ashley Klein and British referees official Stuart Cummings after the Kangaroos’ 34-20 loss to New Zealand in the Brisbane final on Nov. 22. Australian Rugby League chairman Colin Love said Stuart had informed him at a meeting here Monday that he would not be applying for the national job for next year’s season. Stuart’s decision came with the announcement of a A$20,000 (US$13,000) fine imposed under World Cup disciplinary guidelines.
Bradman bat up for sale
The cricket bat Australia’s Don Bradman used to make his highest first-class score is up for sale. The bat with which Bradman scored 452 not out for New South Wales against Queensland in 1930 will be auctioned in Melbourne next week. Bradman’s unbeaten 452 is the third highest individual first-class score of all time and stood as the world record for almost three decades. Pakistan’s Hanif Mohammad made 499 for Karachi in 1958-1959 and West Indian Brian Lara scored 501 not out for English county Warwickshire in 1994. Bradman, regarded as the greatest batsmen of all time, died in 2001 aged 92.
Bernard sets new record
Olympic champion Alain Bernard of France set a new world shortcourse record in winning the French 100m freestyle crown in a time of 45.69 seconds on Sunday. Bernard beat the former record of 45.83, set by Sweden’s Stefan Nystrand on Nov. 17, last year in Berlin. It is the first time Bernard, who won three Olympic medals in Beijing including gold in the 100m freestyle, has swam under the 46-sec mark. What was the Frenchman’s first world shortcourse record comes in the wake of him setting four world records, three over 100m and one over 50m, in the longer, 50m pool earlier this year.
Russian wins singles cup
Albert Demtschenko of Russia won a World Cup luge singles race on Sunday, edging two-time Olympic champion Armin Zoggeler of Italy by 0.146 seconds. Demtschenko, who crashed in the season-opener last month at Igls, Austria, had a two-run time of 1 minute, 39.265 seconds. “I had some problems at Igls, but now I’m very happy,” he said. “This was the best answer after the crash at Igls. The most important thing today was my head.” David Moeller of Germany was third. He and Zoggeler top the overall standings with 155 points. Demtschenko is sixth with 100.