Brazil to play for third title
Brazil will play for a third consecutive world volleyball championship against Cuba after beating host Italy in the semi-finals in Rome on Saturday. Brazil won 25-15, 25-22, 23-25, 25-17 in its bid to become the second team to win three straight world titles. Italy won in 1990, 1994 and 1998. The Soviet Union won a record six titles. Victory in yesterday’s final would add to a remarkable run for Brazil. As well as the 2002 and 2006 world titles, the South Americans won the Olympic gold in 2004 and silver in 2008. Top-ranked Brazil earned its 12th straight win over Italy since 2003 with a focused effort in front of a sellout crowd of more than 12,000 in the PalaLottomatica. Vissotto topscored for Brazil with 24 points, while Alessandro Dei scored 20 in Italy’s first loss of the tournament.
Belgian wins championship
Belgium’s Philippe Le Jeune won the individual show jumping championship on Saturday at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, with a flawless run. Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Al Sharbatly was second and Canada’s Eric Lamaze finished third. Four competitors took part in the final, which has a unique format for this level of competition. All riders were required to jump the course four times. They competed on their own mounts first, and then rode each of their competitors’ horses. Le Jeune was the only person to post four clear rounds. Al Sharbatly finished the night with eight faults, while Lamaze had nine. The fourth competitor, Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa, had 12.
Aussie takes second win
Australia’s Chris McCormack won the Ironman World Championship for the second time in four years in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on Saturday, finishing the 226.3km triathlon in eight hours, 10 minutes, 37 seconds. The 37-year-old McCormack held off a late challenge from Germany’s Andreas Raelert, with the two running side by side into the final kilometers of the marathon following a 3.9km swim and 180k bike ride. Raelert was second in eight hours, 12 minutes, 17 seconds. Belgium’s Marino Vanhoenacker finished third in eight hours, 13 minutes, 14 seconds.
Banned driver injured
Shane Hmiel, banned for life from NASCAR in 2006 after failing three drug tests, was critically injured on Saturday during qualifying for the US Auto Racing Club’s (USAC) Silver Crown race at Terre Haute Action Track in Indiana. The USAC said the 30-year-old Hmiel, from Pleasant Garden, North Carolina, was airlifted to Indianapolis’ Methodist Hospital, where he was in critical condition with head injuries. “We are very concerned about Shane and offer our resources and our support to his family during this time of healing,” USAC president and CEO Kevin Miller said. Hmiel’s father, Steve, is director of competition for NASCAR’s Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
Holden wins Bathurst 1000
Holden drivers Craig Lowndes and Mark Scaife won Australia’s premier motor race, the Bathurst 1000, beating Jamie Winchup and Steve Owen in the first one-two finish by teammates since 1984. Lowndes won the 1,000km endurance race for the fifth time and Scaife for the sixth, beating the fellow TeamVodafone Holden combination of Jamie Whincup and Steve Owen by 0.173 seconds. Garth Tander and Cameron McConville of the Holden Dealer Team were third, a further second behind.