Latest – Queenstown skier Alice Robinson has finished ninth in the latest World Cup Super G race in Cortina, Italy.
Robinson was fourth after the first run and slipped slightly in the second in what was an incrediblly even event with just 0.62 seconds seperating Robinson from the winner.
Elena Curtoni won the event as fellow Italian Sofia Goggia crashed, a little over two weeks before the speed events at the Beijing Olympic Games.
Goggia, who leads the downhill World Cup standings, lost her balance in the third section of the treacherous course and appeared to twist a knee before getting up and slowly skiing down the piste.
Goggia, 29, has won five of the six World Cup downhills this season and was hoping to secure a double in Cortina d’Ampezzo after prevailing in yesterday’s downhill at the Italian resort.
The women’s super-G at the Olympics is scheduled for Feb. 11, four days before the downhill.
Goggia also lost the lead in the super-G World Cup rankings to another Italian, Federica Brignone, who took fourth place.
Robinson is 13th in the standings.
Liverpool win as Arsenal misfire
Liverpool had to withstand a spirited second-half fightback from Crystal Palace before emerging with a 3-1 win to close the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City to nine points.
Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp Photo: PHOTOSPORT
Liverpool moved on to 48 points, nine behind City, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton yesterday. Palace are 13th on 24 points.
Bottom of the table Burnley earned themselves a precious point in a 0-0 draw away at Arsenal, with their back line and keeper doing just enough to keep out the misfiring Gunners.
The draw lifts Arsenal above Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference to sixth place, ahead of Spurs’ late game away at Chelsea.
Burnley stay bottom on 12 points but are now only four points from the safety zone – and with at least two games in hand on the three teams above them.
Brighton & Hove Albion striker Danny Welbeck netted a late header to cancel out Leicester City forward Patson Daka’s opener as the teams played out a 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium.
The draw extended Brighton’s unbeaten run to seven matches in all competitions, with the south-coast club staying ninth in the table on 30 points after 22 matches.
Leicester, who were missing several players through injury, sit a place below Brighton on 26 points from 20 games.
Canterbury warm up for playoffs with solid win
Blackcaps cricketers Tom Latham and Daryl Mitchell have been in good touch for the Canterbury Kings in the T20 Supersmash.
Tom Latham Photo: PHOTOSPORT
Latham scored 66 and Mitchell 68 not out, as Canterbury completed an eight wicket win over the Otago Volts late yesterday, with almost three overs to spare.
Both elimination finals will be played in Dunedin on Thursday with the Otago Sparks playing playing the Auckland Hearts in the women’s game and Canterbury playing the Wellington Firebirds in the men’s game.
Today’s matches in both the mens and womens competitions between Wellington and Northern, are the last of pool play.
But neither result will impact on the playoff picture.
Covid hits six nations team
France’s Six Nations preparations were hit by a string of positive COVID-19 tests which kept scrumhalf Antoine Dupont and six others out of the squad’s training camp.
Antoine Dupont Photo: PHOTOSPORT
Dupont, Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont, Francois Cros, Gaetan Barlot, Anthony Jelonch, Cyril Baille and Bernard Le Roux will not start the preparations in southern France, the French rugby federation said in a statement on Sunday.
The FFR added that Uini Atonio and Cameron Woki were also out with injuries.
All nine players have been replaced in the squad.
Belgian wins on European Tour, Fox off the pace
Thomas Pieters sealed his sixth European Tour title with a one-shot victory in a thrilling final round of the HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Belgian golfer Thomas Pieters. Photo: PHOTOSPORT
The Belgian carded a level-par 72 in testing conditions at Yas Links to hold off the chasing pack.
Pieters, 29, finished the tournament on 10-under-par, one clear of Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello and India’s Shubhankar Sharma, and two ahead of Frenchman Victor Dubuisson and Norway’s Viktor Hovland.
“I was well in control of my ball all day,” said Pieters, who will move back into the world’s top 50. “Early on I felt pretty confident but it got close at the end.
“I just hope all the juniors back at home are watching this. I used to watch as a kid and think it was impossible for me but then Nico (fellow Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts) came on the scene and started winning.”
Four-times major Rory McIlroy was tied 12th at five-under for the tournament and world number two Collin Morikawa ended a disappointing week in 62nd place on five over par.
New Zealand’s Ryan Fox had a disappointing day finishing with a four-over 76, to end at four-over for the tournament, in 61st place.
Rally legend wins a world championship event
France’s Sebastien Loeb won the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally to become, at 47, the oldest driver to win a round of the world championship.
The nine-times world champion, driving for M-Sport Ford in his first rally since 2020 after retiring from full-time competition in 2012, took a record-equalling eighth career Monte Carlo victory after late drama for rival Sebastien Ogier.
Compatriot Ogier, an eight-times world champion who has also won Monte Carlo eight times and is now competing part-time for Toyota, suffered a puncture to his car’s front-left tyre on the penultimate stage while leading by nearly half a minute.
Loeb’s new co-driver Isabelle Galmiche became the first woman to stand on top of a world rally championship podium since Italy’s Fabrizia Pons partnered winner Piero Liatti in Monte Carlo in 1997.
The victory was Loeb’s 80th in the world championship and first since Spain in 2018, when he was with Citroen.
The Frenchman also finished second in the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia this month.
The next round of the championship is in Sweden on Feb. 24-27.
UFC fighter wins, despite contract dispute
Francis Ngannou out-grappled Cyril Gane at UFC 270 in California to retain his UFC heavyweight crown before wrestling with questions about his future amid a feud with the promotion over his contract.
Francis Ngannou of Cameroon and France (blue gloves) fights Curtis Blaydes of America (red gloves) during the UFC Fight Night at Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China, 24 November 2018. Photo: Chen bo – Imaginechina
Famed for his frightening knockout power, the Senegalese fighter changed tack to deal with the threat of his former sparring partner Gane to win a decision victory before revealing that he had torn knee ligaments in the run-up to the fight.
“If you feel like there’s a chance that you can do it (fight), then you have to do it. I believe in myself, I’ve been through a lot of stuff in my life,” Ngannou said.
The 35-year-old was homeless for a period after moving to France to become a boxer before coach Fernand Lopez introduced him to the MMA Factory gym in Paris, allowing him to sleep there while moulding him into one of the sport’s most feared fighters.
Despite being the defending champion, Ngannou’s purse for the title defence was $600,000 according to the California State Athletic Commission, a fraction of what he could earn from a boxing match with the likes of Tyson Fury.
That fee does not include any possible share of pay-per-view revenues that Ngannou may have been entitled to, but the fighter feels he deserves more.
Covid hits the Socceroos
Australia football coach Graham Arnold is set to miss their crucial World Cup qualifier against Vietnam on Thursday after returning a positive test for COVID-19.
Sydney FC head coach Graham Arnold. Photo: PHOTOSPORT
Arnold has gone into isolation ahead of the game in Melbourne and will be replaced on the sidelines by his assistant, Rene Meulensteen.
“Arnold — who is fully vaccinated, received a booster 10 days ago, and is asymptomatic — immediately isolated from Socceroos staff after returning the result upon his arrival into Melbourne late last week,” the governing body said.
“Socceroos staff already in Melbourne have also been isolating over the past two days and have since undertaken three rounds of PCR testing.”
Australia are third in Group B of Asia’s World Cup preliminaries. Only the top two finishers are guaranteed to advance to the finals in Qatar later this year.
Saudi Arabia lead the standings with 16 points, four ahead of Japan with the Australians a further point adrift.