Tue, Dec 30, 2014 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

MOTOR RACING

Schumacher faces ‘long fight’

Michael Schumacher faces a “long fight” for recovery as the first anniversary of his skiing accident approaches, the former Formula One driver’s manager said on Sunday. Her comments cast doubts over a newspaper report that said he was making cognitive progress. “We need a long time. It’s going to be a long time and a hard fight,” Sabine Kehm told reporters by telephone. “He is making progress appropriate to the severity of the situation,” she added, reiterating a statement she made a month ago. Schumacher suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident in Meribel in the French Alps on Dec. 29 last year. He emerged from an induced coma in June, and was released from the hospital in September.

FOOTBALL

Harbaugh leaves 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh have parted ways, the National Football League team announced shortly after their regular season finale on Sunday. Harbaugh is widely expected to return to the American college ranks and accept the head coaching position at the University of Michigan, which according to multiple media reports have offered him a six-year, US$48 million deal. “I had the time of my life. It’s like that song,” Harbaugh said in a report on NFL.com. “I had the time of my life; I really did.” The 49ers finished a tension-filled season with a disappointing 8-8 record, missing the post-season. However, the fiery Harbaugh signed off with a 20-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals and was handed the game ball after the final whistle. Harbaugh took over the 49ers in 2011, leading the team to three straight post-season berths, including three NFC championship games and a Super Bowl appearance.

SOCCER

Lemina not playing for Gabon

Gabon have named their 23-man squad for the African Nations Cup, but Olympique de Marseille midfielder Mario Lemina has already said he will not honor his call-up. The 21-year-old French junior international was named by Gabon coach Jorge Costa for the Jan. 17 to Feb. 8 tournament, but has declined the invitation. “All that is being said are just rumors. I’m sorry, but there has been no agreement between Gabon and me,” Lemina, who was born in Gabon, said on Twitter. “I will not go to CAN.” Lemina, who helped France win the under-20 World Cup last year, is still hoping for a call-up to the French senior national team and is unwilling to pin his colors to the Gabonese mast at this stage. The squad is headlined by Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but also has Cardiff City defender Bruno Ecuele Manga and Charlton Athletic striker Frederic Bulot.

ALPINE SKIING

Ganong takes first WC win

Skiing on a hill he has not seen before usually gets Travis Ganong fired up. Racing the downhill on a new slope to the men’s World Cup circuit certainly brought the best out of the US skier on Sunday. A flawless run on the Deborah Compagnoni course earned Ganong his first World Cup victory, less than six weeks before his home world championship race in Beaver Creek, Colorado. “First World Cup win!!!! Stoked to be able to say that!!” Ganong posted on Twitter. “I love to take on a new challenge and a new slope,” said Ganong, a Squaw Valley, California, native who was just 26th in the only training session on Friday. “I love the hill, the mountains are huge here and it’s fun skiing.” It’s the second downhill win in a row for the US team and the second in Italy after Steven Nyman’s triumph in Val Gardena last week.

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