Kircheison takes Cup
Bjorn Kircheisen of Germany won a Nordic combined event in difficult weather conditions on Sunday for his first World Cup victory of the season and 12th overall. Organizers interrupted the jumping discipline twice before finally calling it off as rain made a fair competition impossible. Results from a provisional round of jumping on Saturday decided the starting order for Sunday’s 10km freestyle cross-country ski race. Kircheisen finished with a time of 23 minutes, 43.3 seconds and edged Bill Demong of the US by 0.3 seconds and Jason Lamy Chappuis of France by 0.5. Overall World Cup leader Anssi Koivuranta of Finland took fourth, 3.6 seconds behind. The next stop on the Nordic combined World Cup circuit is Oberhof, Germany, on Saturday and Sunday.
Crosby tallies record votes
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is headed to the NHL All-Star Game by a landslide. The young star on Sunday eclipsed Jaromir Jagr’s record for most votes ever received by one player in one season in the history of NHL All-Star Game fan balloting. With 13 days of voting still to go in fan balloting for next year’s NHL All-Star Game in Montreal, Crosby had claimed 1,020,736 votes as of Sunday. The total surpassed the 2000 total of Jagr, who was a member of the Penguins. Crosby, 21, has 13 goals and 33 assists in 32 games this season. The top overall pick of the 2005 NHL draft, Crosby has notched 112 goals and 228 assists in 245 career contests.
Riner takes gold in open
France’s over-100kg world champion Teddy Riner, who only managed a bronze at the Olympics, rediscovered his gold medal-winning touch to win the open category world championship title in Paris on Sunday. The 19-year-old Guadeloupean dominated this competition and said this new format for the open category at world level, kept apart from the other categories, resulted in a “spicing-up” of the action. “The best nations have two or three representatives here. There’s the best and nothing but the best,” said Riner, who was never really in trouble in his five bouts in two days. In the final, Riner beat experienced Russian Alexander Mikhaylin, world heavyweight champion in both 2001 and 2005, to collect the US$25,000 winner’s check. In the women’s competition, China’s Tong Wen lived up to her mantle as the big favorite, adding this title to her Olympic crown from Beijing after beating Russia’s Elena Ivashchenko in the final.
Norwegians win team sprint
Tor Arne Hetland and Ola Vigen Hattestad of Norway won Sunday’s Cross Country World Cup team sprint event despite finishing in the same time as Sweden. Both teams covered the 6x1.5km course in 17 minutes, 37 seconds, 0.7 seconds ahead of Russia in third. Natalia Korostelewa and Natalia Matwejewa of Russia won the women’s team sprint in 9:35.5. Norway was runner-up, 0.2 seconds back. Germany finished third.
Wildeboer sets record
Aschwin Wildeboer broke the men’s 100m backstroke world record at the Spanish short-course championships on Sunday. The Spaniard’s time of 49.20 seconds was 0.13 seconds faster than the mark set by Stanislav Donets of Russia last week at Rijeka, Croatia. “Above all, this is compensation for all the hard work we have done,” the 22-year-old Wildeboer said.