Vonn wins super-combined
Lindsey Vonn dominated the first super-combined of the women’s alpine skiing season on Friday to increase her commanding lead at the top of the World Cup standings. The American, fastest in the morning’s downhill, did solidly in the afternoon’s slalom to win in a combined time of 2 minutes, 28.35 seconds. Slovenia’s Tina Maze was second, 0.41 seconds behind, while Austria’s Nicole Hosp was third, 0.58 seconds adrift. It was Vonn’s seventh victory this season and the three-time World Cup champion has now also won in four of five disciplines this winter. Vonn’s two main rivals after the downhill, Austria’s Elisabeth Goergl and Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch, both faltered out of contention in the slalom section. Downhill world champion Goergl was on a fast tempo when she missed a gate, while World Cup holder Hoefl-Riesch made a huge mistake on the icy slalom course and finished outside the top 20. With 1,070 points in the World Cup standings, Vonn leads Maze by 302, points. Austria’s Marlies Schild is third.
Hannover edge Nuremberg
Hannover ended their winless Bundesliga run of eight matches by beating Nuremberg 1-0 on Friday with Mohammed Abdellaoue’s first-half goal. The Norway striker struck after getting on the end of Lars Stindl’s cross from the right while in between two Nuremberg defenders to score from five meters in the 18th minute. The visitors failed to threaten before the break, but drastically improved afterward, goalkeeper Ron Robert Zieler denying halftime substitute Tomas Pekhart from equalizing in the 55th. Jens Hegeler came closest for Nuremberg in the 88th, deflecting a free-kick agonizingly wide. It was Hannover’s first win since a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich on Oct. 23, leaving the team in seventh place ahead of the weekend’s games.
Abshero blazes to victory
Ethiopian Ayele Abshero ran the fourth-fastest time ever to win the Dubai marathon on Friday. Abshero, who has just turned 21, also clocked the fastest winning debut in history, taking the title in an event record time of 2 hours, 4 minutes, 23 seconds. Abshero, the 2009 junior cross-country World Champion, led an Ethiopian podium sweep with Dino Sefir in second (2:04:50) and Markos Geneti third (2:04:54). Kenyan Jonathon Maiyo finished fourth in 2:04:56, but he was the only non-Ethiopian in the top 10, most of whom set personal bests. Pre-race favorite Martin Lel dropped off the lead group before the 30km mark, but soldiered on to finish 35th in 2:34:57. Abshero’s time is only headed by Kenyans Patrick Makau — with his world record 2:03:38 — and Wilson Kipsang (2:03:42) and his illustrious colleague Haile Gebrselassie (2:03:59). There was also an Ethiopian winner in the fast women’s race, Asselefech Mergia Medessa defending her title as she led home Kenyan debutante Lucy Kabuu, with another Ethiopian, Mare Dibaba, in third. Medessa’s personal best of 2:19:31 was an Ethiopian and course record, as the other podium sitters also finished under 2:20 for the first time ever in a women’s marathon.