Thomson takes third place
Britain’s Alex Thomson arrived in Les Sables d’Olonne, western France, yesterday to take third place in the Vendee Globe round-the-world yacht race. The 38-year-old skipper and his boat Hugo Boss crossed the line at 7:25am GMT after completing the course in 80 days, 19 hours and 23 minutes. He is the third Briton to make the podium after Ellen MacArthur in 2001 and Mike Golding in 2005. The prestigious non-stop race was won by France’s Francois Gabart, who completed the grueling course on Sunday in a new record time of 78 days, 2 hours and 16 minutes. His compatriot Armel Le Cleac’h was second. Thomson, who is married with a child, has participated twice before in the Vendee Globe, in 2004 and 2008, but was forced to abandon both times.
Scholes loses defrosting 4x4
Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has had his top-of-the-range 4x4 stolen from outside his house, as he defrosted the windscreen with the engine running, police said on Tuesday. The grey Chevrolet Captiva was taken from the driveway in Oldham, northwest England, just before 8am on Monday, Greater Manchester Police said in a statement. Media reports said the former England player had gone back inside his house while the engine was melting ice on the vehicle, which retails from ￡22,905 (US$36,062) in Britain, and returned to find it gone. Scholes, 38, has spent his entire career at Old Trafford, where Chevrolet is a sponsor, and made more than 700 appearances for the club, as well as 66 for England.
Tomic to lose license
Australian tennis ace Bernard Tomic has been caught speeding in his yellow Ferrari and will lose his license, reports said yesterday. Fresh from the Australian Open where he was knocked out in the third round by Swiss master Roger Federer, Tomic was allegedly clocked going 78kph in a 60kph zone on the Gold Coast on Tuesday. The 20-year-old was handed a A$220 (US$229.6) fine which comes with a loss of three points from his license, the Sydney Morning Herald said, adding that the player only had one point to lose, given past infringements. He was found guilty in November last year of failing to stop for police in a high-powered orange BMW some 11 months earlier. At the same hearing, the tennis star also admitted to three other charges after a series of run-ins with the authorities on the same day relating to his driving.
Rain influences play
Fourth seed Sorana Cirstea joined British No. 1 Heather Watson and Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm in the second round of the Pattaya Open as the trio cruised through their matches on Tuesday. However, it was heavy work for the top seed and world No. 13 Ana Ivanovic, who trailed 1-2 in the final set against Ayumi Morita before rain suspended play late on Tuesday. She will be hoping to regroup to join second-seeded Maria Kirilenko in the next round, who made it through with a nervy 6-3, 7-5 win over unfancied Uzbek Akgul Amanmuradova. Rain prevented last year’s champion Daniela Hantuchova, a late entry because of a withdrawal, from starting her title defense against Russian Olga Puchkova. Before the skies opened, Romanian ace Cirstea completed a routine 6-1, 6-3 win over American challenger Bethanie Mattek-Sands behind a strong service game.