Heft, Bauman win at Cup
Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann of Switzerland won a World Cup bobsled race in Winterberg, Germany, on Friday, ending US pilot Steven Holcomb’s seven-race winning streak to start the season. Hefti and Baumann finished the two runs in 1 minute, 52.68 seconds. Alexsandr Zubkov and Alexey Voevoda of Russia were second in 1:53.14, followed by Cory Butner and Chuck Berkeley of the US in 1:53.15.
Putin skis at Sochi
Russian President Vladimir Putin polished his action-man credentials on Friday by skiing in Sochi on the first day of a visit to the host city of the Winter Olympic Games opening in a month. The leader donned a black ski-suit along with Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev for a run close to a complex that will be used for downhill and biathlon competitions in the Olympics.
Libya releases US players
Libyan authorities have released two Americans detained by the army in the violence-hit city of Benghazi, the basketball club they played for said on Friday. The two had been in Libya contracted to al-Hilal basketball club. Club president Salah al-Fetouri said the army had detained them because they had questioned what they were doing at night on a campus normally closed for non-students.
Takanashi has fourth win
Sara Takanashi of Japan extended her domination of the women’s ski jump World Cup on Friday by earning her fourth straight victory to start the season, underlining her status as the overwhelming favorite for the Sochi Olympics. Takanashi landed jumps of 99m and 96.5m for a total of 232.6 points at the night event in Russia, where she hopes to become the sport’s first female Olympic champion next month when women’s ski jumping makes its debut in Sochi. So far, she has been unbeatable this season — although Carina Vogt of Germany came close on Friday. Vogt had longer jumps in both rounds, but received lower marks from the judges to finish 0.9 points behind in second place. Irina Avvakumova of Russia was third, 7.4 points behind.
Confusion on Cup warm-ups
Confusion reigned for two World Cup finalists on Friday with Cameroon announcing a warm-up against Argentina on June 6 that the South Americans later denied, instead confirming a friendly with Slovenia a day later. Guillermo Tofoni, whose World Eleven agency organizes all Argentina’s friendlies, said they would play their last warm-up against the Slovenians at the River Plate stadium in Buenos Aires on June 7. He denied Argentina would meet Cameroon in a friendly before the Brazil finals. Apart from the Slovenia game, Lionel Messi’s team will play Trinidad and Tobagoat a venue yet to be settled, in preparation for their Group F matches against Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria.
Dhaka Asia Cup to proceed
Asia’s cricket chiefs yesterday said violence-plagued Bangladesh would remain the venue for next month’s Asia Cup and added Afghanistan as the fifth team in the regional one-day tournament. “The tournament will go ahead as scheduled in Dhaka from Feb. 25 to March 7,” Asian Cricket Council chief executive Ashraful Huq said after an executive board meeting in Colombo. Afghanistan will join India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the 50-over tournament, Huq added.