Maldonado joins Williams
Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado will partner Rubens Barrichello at Formula One team Williams next year. The 25-year-old Maldonado joins the British team after winning the championship in GP2, which acts as a feeder series to F1. Maldonado is the first Venezuelan driver on the starting grid in 27 years. Johnny Cecotto was the last, racing 18 times over the 1983 and 1984 seasons.
McCaw bags third award
New Zealand captain Richie McCaw became the first player to win the International Rugby Board’s player of the year award three times after receiving this year’s edition of the prize on Wednesday. The 29-year-old flanker led an all All Black clean sweep of the major prizes with Tri-Nations champions New Zealand, beaten just once this year, named team of the year and Graham Henry coach of the year for a record fourth time.
Aberdeen sack McGhee
Scottish Premier League strugglers Aberdeen got rid of manager Mark McGhee on Wednesday as the former Dons striker paid the price for the club’s recent run of poor results. The 53-year-old was recently given a vote of confidence by the Aberdeen board, but now McGhee and his assistants, Scott Leitch and Colin Meldrum, have all left Pittodrie with the Dons second bottom of the table.
Pacquiao could pick fight
Should a highly anticipated clash with Floyd Mayweather Jr fail to materialize, Manny Pacquiao will pick from a shortlist of three opponents for an April 16 bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the Filipino’s promoter Bob Arum has said. Arum told the Manila Bulletin that the shortlist consisted of former light-middleweight champion Shane Mosley, undefeated WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto and Mexico’s WBA and WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez. Arum said he would talk to Pacquiao about who he would prefer to fight when he arrives in Manila for the fighter’s 32nd birthday on Dec. 17.
Clijsters receives award
Kim Clijsters, whose five titles this year included her second US Open crown in a row, was named the WTA Player of the Year in awards voting announced by the tour on Wednesday. The 27-year-old Belgian, who also won the award in 2005, won at Brisbane, Australia; Miami and Cincinnati, Ohio, and the season-ending WTA Championships in Doha as well as taking her third title at Flushing Meadows. Just one year after making a comeback following a break to rest injuries and start a family, Clijsters was voted the top honor in a balloting of players as well as the Player Service award for supporting women’s tennis off the court.
LPGA adjusts gender rule
LPGA players have voted to allow transgender players to compete on tour in response to a lawsuit filed by a California woman who had her sex changed five years ago. The players voted to remove the “female at birth” requirement from the tour’s constitution at a year-end meeting at the LPGA Tour Championship, commissioner Michael Whan said. He said steps will be taken in the coming weeks to make the change. Players competing this week in Orlando were mostly satisfied with the change.