Pasini, Muranen notch firsts
Renato Pasini of Italy and Pirjo Muranen of Finland recorded individual World Cup firsts in winning their respective 1.3km freestyle sprint races in Demino, Russia. For Pasini, it was his first World Cup victory, secured with a surge in the final section to edge Russia’s Alexei Petukhov and Anton Gafarov by 0.1 seconds in the final run in the men’s race. The win lifted Pasini to third place in the World Cup sprint standings with 240 points from eight races. Ola Vigen Hattestad tops the standings with 480 points. Meanwhile, Muranen won her first World Cup race this season when she finished ahead of Italy’s Arianna Follis and Magda Genuin. Petra Majdic of Slovenia leads the women’s sprint standings with 525 points. Aino Kaisa Saarinen of Finland is second with 296. Follis, who had her second podium finish in as many days, is third with 289.
Moan overcomes delay
Norway’s Magnus Moan secured his fifth victory of the season at the 14th Nordic combined World Cup event of the season at Chaux-Neuve, France on Saturday. He forged his victory in the 10km cross-country race despite a delayed start of two minutes because of the fact he finished in 25th place in the ski jump. Moan took the lead after 8.2km, overtaking Finland’s Anssi Koivuranta, who was placed first after the ski jump. Moan, World Cup runner-up in 2005 and 2007, reached the finish line nine seconds ahead of his Finnish rival. Third place was taken by the German Bjorn Kircheisen.
Colas wins dual moguls
Guilbaut Colas of France won his second event of the weekend with victory in the Freestyle World Cup dual moguls and Canada’s Jennifer Heil took out the women’s event at Park City, Utah, on Saturday. Colas, who also won the men’s individual moguls on Thursday at Deer Valley, added another gold by beating American David Babic in the men’s finals. Alexandr Smyshlyaev of Russia was third. American Hannah Kearney maintained her overall moguls lead by finishing second to Heil, the 2006 Olympic moguls gold medalist. Angeli VanLaanen of the US won the women’s ski halfpipe earlier on Saturday down the hill at Park City Mountain Resort, while Kevin Rolland led a 1-2 finish for France in the men’s halfpipe.
Austrians dominate events
Austrians dominated snowboarding World Cup events on Saturday, with Andreas Prommegger taking the men’s parallel giant slalom and Doris Guenther the women’s race in Bayrischzell, Germany. Prommegger beat Matthew Morison of Canada in the final to win his second World Cup event. Guenther beat Germany’s Amelie Kober in the final of the women’s parallel giant slalom. “I improved from race to race and was feeling better with every run,” Guenther said after her eighth career win. Both Austrians lead the parallel World Cup standings and Guenther also leads the women’s overall standings.
India beat New Zealand
Eight-time Olympic champions India beat New Zealand 2-0 and European champions Holland got the better of Olympic champs Germany by the same scoreline on the opening day of the Punjab Gold Cup field hockey tournament in Chandigarh, India, on Friday. Holland and current Olympic champs Germany are both using the tournament to blood young players. Germany played only one of the four Olympians in its squad against the Dutch — goalkeeper Max Weinhold.