Swiss duo take world title
Switzerland’s Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter won the two-man event and the World Cup bobsled title on Friday in the season finale at Calgary Olympic Park. Hefti and Lamparter edged Germany’s Manual Machata and Andreas Bredau by 0.01 seconds. Germany’s Maximilian Arndt and Kevin Kuske were third, 0.26 seconds back, and finished second in the season standings. In the women’s event, Canada’s Kaillie Humphries and Jennifer Ciochetti won their first race together. Humphries won last week with Emily Baadsvik in Whistler, British Columbia, on the track where the Calgary pilot won the Olympic gold medal two year ago. Germany’s Anja Schneiderheinze and Lisette Thoene were second, followed by teammates Sandra Kiriasis and Petra Lammert. Another German pair, Cathleen Martini and Janine Tisher finished fifth and won the world title.
Hangzhou to host tour
China will host a new round of cycling’s WorldTour series, the Tour of Hangzhou, at the end of the season, world governing body UCI announced on Friday. The five-stage race will take place from Oct. 17 until Oct. 21 in the city of 8.7 million people, which is close to Shanghai, and will follow the Tour of Beijing which has already been penciled in for Oct 10 to Oct. 14. The Tour of Hangzhou will be the fifth round of the WorldTour to be staged outside of Europe.
Teen blazes competition
Teenage French sprinter Jimmy Vicaut registered the best 60m indoors performance of the year on Friday when he clocked 6.53 seconds in Dusseldorf. Vicaut, who was sixth in the 100m final outdoors at the world championships in Daegu last summer, edged out America’s Joshua Norman, who timed 6.63 seconds. Three other season bests were recorded on Friday — in the 1,500m and 5,000m by Kenyan duo Nixon Chepseba and Thomas Longosiwa respectively and in the 800m by Poland’s Adam Kszczot.
Alonso quickest in testing
Ferrari finished Formula One’s first preseason test on a high note as Fernando Alonso was fastest in Friday’s session. The Spanish double world champion had a quickest lap of 1 minute, 18.877 seconds to go 0.7 seconds faster than the field. The Italians rebounded from a subdued start with the second-fastest time this week among this season’s designs, although Alonso’s running was restricted to 39 laps because of a hydraulics problem. Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso was second on Friday ahead of defending world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, whose best lap was 1 minute, 19.606 seconds. Lewis Hamilton was fourth for McLaren in front of Lotus’ Romain Grosjean.
Skipper avoids sanction
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie has escaped further sanctions from British yachting’s governing body for grappling with a cameraman during a race. Ainslie was disqualified from races at the world sailing championships last year after being found guilty of gross misconduct by the International Sailing Federation. The Royal Yachting Association’s tribunal announced on Friday that “it would not be appropriate ... to impose a penalty over and above that imposed by the international jury.” Ainslie jumped from his dinghy and confronted the cameraman after being angered by the media boat creating a wash by being too close to the race.
Wolfsburg edge Freiburg
Petr Jiracek scored two goals as Wolfsburg edged out bottom-place Freiburg 3-2 in Bundesliga on Friday. Freiburg twice came back to level, but had no answer after Jiracek’s second goal in the 61st minute proved to be the winner. The game was held in freezing weather and light snowfall and it got off to a fast start with Jiracek putting the home side ahead after five minutes. Johannes Flum leveled in the 11th, but Marcel Schaefer made it 2-1 for Wolfsburg in the 14th. Daniel Caligiuri leveled again in the 38th before Jiracek’s second sealed Wolfsburg’s seventh home victory.
Alleged fondling coach dies
Ukrainian ice hockey coach Ivan Pravilov, a noted youth instructor who had pleaded innocent to charges of fondling a teen boy, died of a suspected suicide, police said on Friday. Pravilov, who was 49, was in custody when he was found to be unresponsive in his cell at about 3am, according to prison spokesman Darrin Howard, who said a preliminary investigation suggested he took his own life. An autopsy was pending, Howard said. Pravilov, who served as an instructor for several NHL and US collegiate players, was indicted last month on charges he fondled a 14-year-old Ukrainian boy who was attending youth hockey clinics in Philadelphia. Pravilov was charged with travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct and transporting a person to engage in criminal sexual activity, US federal prosecutors said. Pravilov faced up to 40 years in prison and a US$500,000 fine if convicted.
Rio not worried about strike
Rio Olympic organizers said they were confident preparations for the 2016 Games would not be affected by the police strike that is threatening to disrupt Carnival celebrations in the city. Rio’s Olympic committee said in a statement on Friday that it remains “fully confident” in the public security policies in place in the city. The committee said the Olympics and the test events scheduled before the Games would take place as usual. Rio state officers went on strike on Thursday to demand a salary increase, prompting fears of an increase in violence. The Olympic committee said a democratic state such as Brazil must allow workers to make demands, adding that “common sense” and “dialogue” should prevail.
Feuz wins downhill
Emerging Swiss standout Beat Feuz celebrated his 25th birthday by winning the inaugural World Cup downhill yesterday on the course for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. For his third win of the season, Feuz clocked 2 minutes, 14.10 seconds down the long and highly technical Rosa Khutor slope. Another 25-year-old, Benjamin Thomsen of Canada, finished second, 0.27 seconds behind, and Adrien Theaux of France was third, 0.59 back. Veteran Bode Miller of the US was fastest midway down, but then made a big mistake and finished fourth, missing the podium by just 0.02 seconds.
Schild wins slalom
Austrian Marlies Schild won a women’s World Cup slalom in Soldeu, Andorra, yesterday. Schild clocked in at a combined 1 minute, 39.44 seconds, while Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter came just 0.6 seconds behind to land in second place. Austria’s Kathrin Zettel was 0.86 seconds back to finish third.
DECREASED TENSION: The US players’ lawyers said that the soccer federation no longer disputes that the jobs of the women’s and men’s national teams require equal skill Women players suing the US Soccer Federation (USSF) said in in court documents filed on Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged that the jobs of male and female soccer players require equal skill. The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by the federation’s lawyers earlier last month provoked widespread outrage in saying that playing on the men’s national team required a higher level of skill based on speed and strength and carried greater responsibility. The fierce backlash — not only from the women players, but also from sponsors such as Coca-Cola —
A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympic Games has said that he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid. Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu, was paid US$8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games, financial records showed. Takahashi said the work included lobbying International Olympic Committee (IOC) members such as Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital
If British industry succeeds in saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it would in part be thanks to the pioneering role played by Formula One (F1) racing teams in the country. Seven of F1’s 10 teams have joined forces with leading aerospace and engineering firms to ramp up production of ventilators, while Mercedes has also worked with medics and academics to produce an alternative breathing aid. Normally obsessed with improving the performance of cars that race at more than 320kph, the teams are stripping back lifesaving devices and using computer simulation to test whether more simplified models can be mass produced. The seven
BITING THE BULLET: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi said that top players would make contributions so that the club’s employees can collect 100 percent of their salary Three-quarters of Rugby Australia’s staff were temporarily laid off yesterday amid huge financial losses from the sport’s coronavirus-enforced shutdown, while Lionel Messi confirmed on Monday that Barcelona’s players would take a 70 percent pay cut to ensure that the club’s other employees are paid. The cuts to rugby staff were “the toughest decision in the game’s history,” governing body CEO Raelene Castle said. “Although extremely painful, they are necessary to ensure ... we are able to come out the other side of this global crisis, fully operational and ready to throw everything into the rebuild.” The sport has been hit hard by