West Indies down Zimbabwe
West Indies offspinner Shane Shillingford’s 10-wicket haul on Friday led his team to victory over Zimbabwe by an innings and 65 runs inside three days to complete a 2-0 win in the two-Test series. Shillingford took 5-34 to finish with 10-93 at Windsor Park for 19 wickets in the series at an average of 10.53, surpassing Courtney Walsh’s West Indies record for a two-Test series of 16 wickets set against New Zealand in 1995. Zimbabwe trailed on first innings by 206 runs after West Indies declared overnight at 381-8 and was then skittled out for 141, allowing the hosts to win their sixth straight Test and retain the Clive Lloyd Trophy. Offspinner Marlon Samuels grabbed 3-35 and there was a wicket each for fast bowler Tino Best and captain Darren Sammy.
Parisien takes fifth stage
Canadian Francois Parisien won the fifth stage of the Tour of Catalonia on Friday as Ireland’s Daniel Martin extended his overall lead. Parisien of the Argos-Shimano team took the stage honors on the line as 13 riders finished the 156km ride from Rialp to Lleida to a time of 3 hours, 32 minutes, 2 seconds. However, Martin was the real winner of the day as he gained a bonus second by finishing third in a sprint and then gained three more seconds on second-placed Joaquim Rodriguez in the dash to the line to extend his advantage to 14 seconds with just two stages remaining. After two grueling days of climbing through the Pyrenees, Friday’s more manageable stage saw the riders finish nearly 500m lower in Lleida than they began in Rialp. Just after the 50km mark though Olivier Kaisen (Lotto) and Tristan Valentin (Cofidis) made a break and quickly built up nearly a four minute advantage, with the peloton catching them with about 15km to go. The big names then began to bunch together as last year’s Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins briefly led Team Sky to the front of the pack. In an incredibly tight finish Parisien surged towards the line to take his first stage victory of the season.
Cancellara wins again
Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland broke away with 35km to go and won his third E3 Harelbeke WorldTour classic in the past four years with a superb solo effort on Friday. In a sprint finish of the chasing group, Fabian Sagan of Slovakia took second place ahead of Daniel Oss of Italy. The victory was the clearest indication yet that Cancellara was back to his best form after last year’s season was ruined by crashes and injury. Battling wind and cold on the 211km route that finished in Harelbeke, Belgium, Cancellara finished in 5 hours, 8 minutes, 28 seconds, beating Sagan by 66 seconds. “This is big day for me after a tough time after last year. It was beautiful,” said Cancellara, who celebrated his 32nd birthday earlier this week. The Harelbeke race is an established classic and has been staged since 1958.
Japan edge Canada 2-1
Japan edged Canada 2-1 in an international friendly on Friday to clinch a morale-boosting win ahead of Tuesday’s showdown with Jordan, where victory would secure a place in the 2014 World Cup finals. Vitesse striker Mike Havenaar grabbed the Japan winner in Doha with a left foot drive in the 74th minute. Shinji Okazaki had given the Asian champions a 10th-minute lead, before Marcus Haber leveled for Canada on the hour mark, heading in a cross from Will Johnson.
Morales banned for doping
Former world boxing champion Erik Morales of Mexico tested positive in two random samples taken ahead of his loss in October last year to Danny Garcia, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said on Friday. Morales has received a two-year ban as a result of the violation after refusing the chance to challenge the findings in an arbitration process. The 36-year-old pro fighter tested positive for the banned anabolic agent Clenbuterol in out-of-competition urine tests on Oct. 3 and Oct. 10 last year in Mexico, although it proved to be little help in the ring on fight night. Unbeaten American Garcia knocked out Morales in the fourth round on Oct. 20 last year in New York to keep the WBA and WBC light-welterweight titles. Garcia defends the crowns against Zab Judah next month. Morales, 52-9 with 36 knockouts, has lost three of his past four fights.
Provisional status aimed for
Wrestling has two opportunities left at a return to the Olympic program. US wrestling officials appeared to have settled on which one they think is the best bet. Former world champion Bill Scherr, the chairman of a committee of top US wrestling figures, says the sport’s best chance to remain an Olympic sport is to beat out the likes of squash, roller sports and karate for re-inclusion as a provisional sport in the 2020 Olympics. Though the International Olympic Committee recommended last month to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympics, that move is far from final. Wrestling will compete with seven other sports for a provisional spot in the 2020 Games in a vote in May. However, officials also will lobby the 114-member IOC General Session in September in hopes it will overturn the executive board’s recommendation by a simple majority vote.
Olympic rules overhauled
Olympic boxers will fight without head guards in a pro-style scoring system starting this year after several significant rule changes by the sport’s international governing body. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) unveiled several rule amendments this week, but the two biggest changes will move the amateur sport much closer to the professional version. Male boxers at the world championships in October and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 will not wear the protective head guards adopted by the amateur sport before the 1984 Los Angeles Games. According to AIBA, medical data suggests that fighting without head guards will decrease concussions. The amateur sport also is moving to a pro-style, 10-point scoring system, discarding the latest version of the much-criticized computer punch-count systems implemented after the Seoul Olympics in 1988.
Recari leads Kia Classic
Beatriz Recari shot a bogey-free five-under 67 on Friday to take the lead after two rounds at the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California. The Spaniard’s two-round total of eight-under 136 gave her a one-stroke lead over Paula Creamer and Karrie Webb. Creamer shot a 68, and Webb had a 70 on the hilly Aviara course designed by Arnold Palmer. First-round leader Jane Park shot a 69 and was tied at six-under with Cristie Kerr, I.K. Kim, Park In-bee and Kang Hae-ji. Stacy Lewis, playing her first tournament as the world’s top-ranked player, carded her second straight 70 and was four strokes off the lead. Taiwan’s Amy Hung was tied for 50th with a two-over 72, while her compatriot Candie Kung missed the cut.