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.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017