Thu, Mar 17, 2016 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

CYCLING

Van Avermaet wins title

Belgian rider Greg van Avermaet won the Tirreno-Adriatico title by one second on Tuesday, 39 years after compatriot Roger de Vlaeminck. The final 10.1km time trial was won by Fabian Cancellara of Trek-Segafredo, with BMC Racing Team’s Van Avermaet more than 30 seconds back in 24th place, but crucially still only seven seconds behind Peter Sagan. Tinkoff’s Sagan finished second in the overall classification behind Van Avermaet, who benefited from Sunday’s mountainous stage — a 178km ride from Foligno to Monte San Vicino — being canceled because of snow. Van Avermaet says triumphing by “one second is not a lot, but it’s enough for me to win. It was not my best time trial today, but I’m happy that this one second is my side.”

FOOTBALL

Ebner aims for rugby spot

Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots special teams player Nate Ebner has been drafted into the US seven-a-side rugby set up with the aim of securing a spot in the team’s Olympic squad, it was confirmed Tuesday. Ebner, a talented schoolboy rugby player who recently signed a two-year contract extension with the Patriots, is to train with the US team at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, southern California, a statement said. “We are excited and looking forward to Nate joining the program and working with the squad,” USA Rugby Men’s Sevens head coach Mike Friday said. “We are aware of Nate’s rugby background from his high-school and college days and this was the key to him being in a position to compete with the current squad. He is in great shape and we will be able to condition him over the next six to eight weeks to be more aligned with rugby and work with him to get him up to speed on his skills and tactical understanding.” Ebner played rugby while studying at Ohio State.

ATHLETICS

Lupu to miss indoors

Former European indoor 800m champion Nataliya Lupu of Ukraine will miss this week’s world indoor championships in Portland over her use of meldonium, the same substance which led to tennis star Maria Sharapova’s positive test at the Australian Open. The Ukrainian track and field federation said Lupu withdrew from the championships, which begin today, after the World Anti-Doping Agency “raised concerns about the use of meldonium.” It was not immediately clear if Lupu, who won European indoor gold in 2013 and world indoor silver the year before, had been suspended from competition. In a statement on the federation Web site, Lupu says she had used meldonium for 15 years for medical reasons with doctors’ prescriptions. She says she stopped taking the drug in November last year, two months before it was officially banned.

HORSE RACING

Horse wears Harris Tweed

Veteran race horse Morestead upped the style stakes for this year’s Cheltenham Festival by modeling the word’s first Harris Tweed suit designed for a race horse. Complete with a flat cap and tie, Morestead wore the three-piece suit alongside champion jockey A.P. McCoy. Bookmaker William Hill commissioned former Alexander McQueen apprentice Emma Sandham-King with making the suit, which took four weeks to make and used up more than 18m of tweed. Britain’s Cheltenham Festival, a horse racing event held each year in the western English county of Gloucestershire, started on Tuesday.

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