Mark Todd knighted
Equestrian Mark Todd, who competed at his seventh Olympic Games in London this year and won his fifth medal, has received a knighthood in New Zealand’s annual New Year’s honors list. Todd won a bronze medal in the three-day teams event in London, 28 years after winning gold medals in the individual and teams events at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. In total, the 60-year-old Todd has won two gold and three bronze medals. He also won the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials on four occasions, including at his first attempt in 1980 and again in 2011, when he became the oldest winner of the event. International Cricket Council president Alan Isaac was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Deportivo fire coach Oltra
Deportivo La Coruna, lying bottom of the Spanish league, fired Jose Luis Oltra as coach on Sunday. “We think it’s an ideal time to go ahead with such a change,” club president Augusto Cesar Lendoiro said, adding that a replacement would be named shortly. Deportivo have won just two of their 17 La Liga matches this season. A former coach of Tenerife and Almeria, the 43-year-old Oltra had been at the Galician club since 2011 and had led them back into the top-flight.
Jimenez breaks leg
Spanish golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez has broken his right shinbone and will be sidelined for up to five months. Jimenez said in a statement on Sunday that he had undergone surgery on his leg after injuring it while skiing on Saturday. Jimenez was a vice captain on Europe’s Ryder Cup-winning team in September. In November, the 48-year-old Jimenez became the oldest European Tour winner by capturing his third Hong Kong Open title. He has 19 career European Tour titles.
Sport hits new low in mine
Sport will plunge to new depths in March when former professional tennis players Marcelo Rios and Guillermo Coria contest a match 1,500m down inside the world’s largest copper mine. “A tennis court of clay and cement will be built at a depth of 1,500m,” organizer Juan Romero told El Mercurio newspaper. El Teniente is the world’s largest copper mine and situated 120km south of the Chilean capital, Santiago. “This event will go down in the history of our country,” Romero added. Chile’s Rios, 37, is a former world No. 1 who collected 18 ATP titles before retiring in 2004. Argentine 30-year-old Coria retired in 2009 after reaching world No. 3 and claiming nine titles.
Nene mulls Brazil move
Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian striker Nene said on Sunday he was looking to move back to his homeland after falling out with the Ligue 1 leaders, adding that he has received the green light to do so from sporting director Leonardo. “My intention is to play in Brazil — that is clear for me — I have already spoken to Leonardo and they will agree to let me go,” Nene told the Web site of Brazilian sports daily Lance before heading off for PSG’s winter camp in Doha. “My idea is to return to Brazil, but I also have offers from European clubs, clubs in Sao Paulo and another country. My priority is to head home,” said the forward, who Lance says is a reported target for Santos, where he played in 2003. Nene has been frozen out at the Parc des Princes since he was left out of the starting line up for a Champions League game against Porto earlier this month.