Prodigy wins World Cup
Austrian prodigy Gregor Schlierenzauer secured his second victory in two days by winning the ski jump World Cup event in Zakopane, Poland, on Saturday. The 20-year-old claimed his 31st win on the world circuit after jumps of 140m and 134m gave him a total of 295.6 points. It was Schlierenzauer’s seventh victory of the season and the 31st of his career. He is now in fifth place in the list of all-time World Cup victories, which is led by Finland’s Matti Nykaenen on 46. The back-to-back victories enabled Schlierenzauer, the defending World Cup champion, to trim Ammann’s lead at the top of the overall standings by 20 points to 103.
Frenchman claims fifth win
France’s Jason Lamy-Chappuis claimed his fifth win of the season in Schonach, Germany, on Saturday to consolidate his place atop the nordic combined World Cup overall standings. Lamy-Chappuis, in fourth after the ski jump, won the cross-country skiing leg 2.1 seconds ahead of Pavel Churavy of the Czech Republic with Italy’s Alessandro Pittin in third at 4.4 seconds. Lamy-Chappuis’ rivals for Olympic gold in Vancouver next month, such as Austria’s Felix Gottwald, American Todd Lodwick, Hannu Manninen of Finland and Norway’s Magnus Moan, were unable to get close to him.
Swiss win Cup final
Swiss pair Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter won the two-man bobsleigh World Cup final and simultaneously picked up the European Championship accolade on the Igls piste in Austria on Saturday. Driver Hefti and brakeman Lamparter tore down in a combined time of one minute, 44.01 seconds to see off Germans Andre Lange, in his final season, and Kevin Kuske by 0.11 seconds for a fourth victory this season. Another Swiss pair, Daniel Schmid and Juerg Egger, were third at 0.36 seconds. Ivo Rueegg gave Switzerland another crown as he topped the overall individual World Cup standings with 1,514 points, despite not actually winning a race, ahead of Germany’s Thomas Florschuetz (1,475) and another German, Karl Angerer (1,474).
Brothers claim first win
Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger secured their first European luge championship title in Sigulda, Latvia, on Saturday by winning the men’s doubles. The defending Olympic champions had the fastest times in both runs to finish with a total time of one minute, 24.415 seconds. German duo Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished 0.562 seconds back in second and former world champions Tobias and Markus Schiegl of Austria were third, 0.608 seconds back. In the women’s singles event, Tatiana Ivanova of Russia also had the fastest time in both runs to beat Corinna Martini of Germany and Nina Reithmayer of Austria.
Dukurs wins title
Martins Dukurs of Latvia won the overall skeleton World Cup title and became European champion after securing victory in the last race of the season in Igls, Austria, on Saturday. It was the fourth win of the season for the 25-year-old Dukurs, who had seven podium finishes in eight races. The event also counted as the European skeleton championships. Dukurs finished on the 1976 Olympic track in a combined two-run time of one minute, 46.14 seconds to beat Frank Rommel of Germany by 0.25 seconds.
Minnows knock out Lille
Fourth division Colmar knocked Ligue 1 side Lille out of the French Cup 10-9 on penalties after Salim Mezriche scored the winner following a goalless draw after extra-time in their round of 64 game on Saturday. French champions and Ligue 1 leaders Bordeaux dispatched second division Ajaccio 5-1 in a last 32 match, with a hat-trick from Argentine striker Fernando Cavenaghi. In another rescheduled last 64 tie, Ligue 1 bottom club Grenoble won their all-first division tie with second-placed Montpellier 3-2 after extra-time, thanks to a goal by Nassim Akrour after 104 minutes. Amateurs Colmar defeated Lille despite being reduced to 10 men in the 94th minute after Cedric Faivre had put the ball into the net with his hand against the third-placed Ligue 1 side. Pape Dieye missed Colmar’s third spot-kick in the shootout, but Tulio de Melo failed to capitalize for Lille. The goalkeepers, Colmar’s Thomas Aupic and Lille’s Ludovic Butelle, scored to make it 9-9, before Lille captain Stephane Dumont hit the post and Mezriche converted for the victory.
Rookie Prugh grabs lead
Rookie Alex Prugh, who is playing in just his third USPGA Tour event, fired a seven-under 65 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the rain-hit Bob Hope Classic. Prugh moved to a 21-under 195 total for a slim lead in the US$5 million event over fellow Americans Bubba Watson — who shot 68 on Saturday — and Martin Flores — who carded a 65. Prugh is in his first season on the USPGA Tour after finishing 16th on the Nationwide Tour money list last year. His Nationwide season included a win in New Zealand, where he shot a closing-round 64. “I was almost bored with myself a little bit,” Prugh said. “It’s not a bad thing. I was hitting the driver very well and I kept on hitting fairway after fairway ... Boring rounds are actually fine with me.”
Kaymer shoots another 67
Martin Kaymer shot his third successive round of five-under 67 to lead the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship by one stroke and stay on course to repeat his success in the 2008 edition. Going into the final day, the super-talented German — who was second last year — was at 15-under 201, but snapping at his heels were Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Ian Poulter of England. The two were tied for second place after identical rounds of 67 put them at 14-under 202. Swede Peter Hanson was alone in fourth place on 203, while Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, England’s Chris Wood and Ireland’s Shane Lowry were a further shot behind.
Lopez takes Luevano’s title
Puerto Rico’s Juan Manuel Lopez stopped Steven Luevano of the US in the seventh round to win the WBO featherweight title in New York on Saturday. A hard right-left combination from the challenger knocked Luevano down and although the American made it to his feet, referee Benjy Esteves stopped the contest. The fight began cautiously with Luevano (37-2-1) trying to dictate with his jab, but Lopez (28-0) took charge from the third, landing a series of jarring left hands. Luevano rallied in the fifth, fighting well on the inside, but southpaw Lopez regained control in the sixth, cutting his opponent under the left eye and bloodying his nose. Lopez may make a first defense of his title against Cuban exile Yuriorkis Gamboa (17-0), who knocked down Rogers Mtagwa three times in a second-round stoppage on the same bill.
China wants to unite its 1.4 billion people through soccer, while also using the sport as “a bridge to work with the rest of the world,” Chinese Football Association secretary-general Liu Yi told reporters in an interview published yesterday. Liu spoke about what lies behind the country’s push to become a major soccer power by 2050. Under Chinese President Xi Jinping — who is described by state media as an “avid soccer fan” — the world’s most populous country has grand plans to host and even one day win a World Cup. Liu spoke about “using football to motivate the whole nation.” “Football is
‘JOB NOT DONE’: The outfielder, who hit a homer and stole two bases, said that players ‘have to be good at all aspects of game all the time and not take plays off’ Los Angeles outfielder Mookie Betts put himself in rarefied company with a standout performance in the Dodgers’ Game 1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the 116th World Series on Tuesday. Betts sparked the Dodgers’ four-run fifth inning with a walk and two stolen bases, joining Babe Ruth as the only players in World Series history to record such an inning. After walking to lead off the inning, Betts stole second base. After Corey Seager walked, Betts reached third on a double steal, giving the Dodgers runners on second and third with one out. Betts took an aggressive stance off the bag
TENNIS Federer eyes Australia Roger Federer is practicing pain-free after undergoing two knee surgeries this year and said that he expects to return to the circuit at the Australian Open in January. The 39-year-old Swiss reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park at the start of the year, but missed the rest of the season after undergoing a second arthroscopic procedure on his right knee. “I’m on the right track,” he told German-language magazine Schweizer Illustrierte. “I’m gradually coming back, but I’m going to take my time and don’t want to put any pressure on myself. I will only take part in a
Marcus Rashford once again sank Paris Saint-Germain after netting the decisive goal in a 2-1 Champions League win in the French capital. Rashford, who scored the winning spot-kick when United knocked PSG out two seasons ago, drilled home a low shot three minutes from the end, which won a thrilling Group H contest at a near-empty Parc des Princes. United had taken the lead in the 23rd minute when Bruno Fernandes slotted home from the spot at the second attempt, but Anthony Martial inexplicably headed Neymar’s corner into his own net 10 minutes after the break. The rest of the match was an