Headlines from Around the World in Sports
FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, from Argentina, attends a press conference during a promotional event at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. Messi's collision with Benfica goalkeeper Artur late in Wednesday's Champions League match may only rule the Barcelona forward out for one match. Messi is trying to equal a 40-year-old scoring record held by Gerd Muller. He has scored 84 goals in 2012 and has four games to catch Mueller, who scored 85. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
This combo of two file photographs shows at top; FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, from Argentina, scoring his second goal against Zaragoza during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, in a Nov. 17, 2012 file photo, and at bottom; a June 18, 1972 file photo of Gerd Mueller, left, of West Germany, scoring a goal against the Soviet Union in the Heysel Stadium, in Brussels. Messi scored his 85th goal during the Spanish league game with Betis on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, matching the current record of most goals scored within one calendar year, previously held by former German striker Gerd Mueller. (AP Photos, Files)
Messi breaks 40-year record with 86th goal of 2012
SEVILLE, Spain – Lionel Messi broke German great Gerd Mueller’s 40-year-old record for most goals in a year by scoring for the 86th time in 2012.
The Argentine forward scored twice yesterday, putting Barcelona ahead of Real Betis, 2-0, by the 25th minute of the Spanish league match.
His first goal was an individual effort in the 16th minute to equal Mueller’s record. He eclipsed the 1972 milestone with a familiar left-footed finish nine minutes later.
Messi has 74 goals for Barcelona and 12 for Argentina this year. Mueller scored 85 for Bayern Munich and West Germany.
Maze wins World Cup
giant slalom in Switzerland
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland – Tina Maze of Slovenia won her third straight World Cup giant slalom yesterday to extend her lead in the overall standings, and defending champion Lindsey Vonn placed 27th after almost crashing out.
Maze held her morning lead to finish 0.08 seconds ahead of Viktoria Rebensburg, the Olympic champion from Germany, in a total time of 2 minutes, 11.07 seconds. Tessa Worley of France was third, trailing Maze by 0.55.
Vonn hit trouble midway down her second run after her skis appeared to touch. The American racer came out of rough, course-side snow to complete the race nearly six seconds slower than Maze and score four valuable World Cup points.
Austria’s Hirscher wins
giant slalom ahead of Luitz
VAL D’ISERE, France – Defending World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria protected his first-run lead to comfortably win a giant slalom race yesterday, with some help via Frenchman Alexis Pinturault’s clumsy mistake three gates from the end.
Hirscher, who was third in Saturday’s slalom, secured his first win of the season, his third consecutive podium spot and fifth so far.
He finished 1.16 seconds ahead of Germany’s Stefan Luitz, with American Ted Ligety climbing up from sixth to finish 1.42 behind in third place on the Stade Olympique de Bellevarde course.
Pinturault was left just as stunned as the home fans by his error as he caught an inside ski and put his hand down with the finish line in sight, missing out on the chance of a second straight success after winning Saturday’s slalom.
Norway’s men, women
capture World Cup relays
HOCHFILZEN, Austria – Norway won the men’s and women’s World Cup biathlon relays yesterday.
The Norwegian men used nearly flawless shooting to beat defending champion France in the 4x7.5-kilometer race. The team of Lars Helge Birkeland, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Vetle Sjastad Christiansen and Henrik L’Abee-Lund missed one target before finishing in 1 hour, 17 minutes, 55.2 seconds.
France also avoided penalty loops but lost time with six shooting mistakes and trailed Norway by 34.5 seconds. Russia had nine missed targets and came 46.6 behind in third.
The Norwegian women’s team of Fanny Welle-Strand Horn, Synnoeve Solemdal, Hilde Fenne and Tora Berger missed five targets and finished in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 45.1 seconds to beat Ukraine by 30.4 seconds in the 4x6K relay.
Russia had four missed targets and trailed Norway by 45.4 seconds in third place.
wins World Cup 500
NAGANO, Japan – Japan’s Keiichiro Nagashima won the men’s 500-meter race yesterday to claim his first speedskating World Cup victory of the season.
Nagashima, the Vancouver Olympics silver medalist, beat Canada’s Gilmore Junio by two hundredths of a second, clocking 35.14 seconds for his 11th career victory.
Jan Smeekens of the Netherlands was third in 35.18.
South Korea’s Lee Sang-hwa clocked 37.60 to win the women’s 500 for her fourth straight World Cup win. Germany’s Jenny Wolf was second in 37.91 while Japan’s Nao Kodaira was third in 38.09.
Hein Otterspeer of the Netherlands won the men’s 1,000 in 1:09.20, 0.44 seconds ahead of Denny Morrison of Canada. Kjeld Nuis, also of the Netherlands, was third in 1:09.72.
Christine Nesbitt of Canada won the women’s 1,000 in 1:15.132, 0.13 seconds ahead of Heather Richardson of the United States. Lotte van Beek of the Netherlands was third in 1:15.87.
Hamelin wins men’s 500
at short track World Cup
SHANGHAI – Charles Hamelin of Canada won the men’s 500-meter race at a short-track speedskating World Cup event yesterday.
Hamelin clocked 40.821 seconds for his first win of the season. Vladimir Grigorev of Russia was second with a time of 40.854 while China’s Wu Dajing took third in 41.687.
China’s Wang Meng won the women’s 500 with a time of 43.743 ahead of compatriot Fan Kexin, who had a time of 43.975. Marianne St. Gelais of Canada was third in 53.900.
makes it 4-for-4
WINTERBERG, Germany – World Cup titleholder Alexander Zubkov won his fourth consecutive four-man bobsled race yesterday to extend his lead in the season standings.
Pushed by Alexey Negodaylo, Dmitry Trunenkov and Maxim Mokrousov, Zubkov beat World Championship runner-up Maximilian Arndt of Germany and his crew of Alex Mann, Alexander Roediger and Martin Putze by 0.19 seconds. Arndt made the podium for the first time this season.
Arndt was followed over the finish line by the Latvian team of Oskars Melbardis, Daumants Dreiskens, Arvis Vilkaste and Intars Dambis, 0.35 seconds back.
Germans sweep podium at
World Cup event on home ice
ALTENBERG, Germany – Olympic champion Felix Loch won his second luge World Cup race of the season yesterday to lead a German sweep of the podium places.
Loch finished .205 seconds ahead of Andi Langenhan, who won the World Cup in Koenigssee last weekend. Johannes Ludwig, who had improved the track record to 53.429 seconds in the first run ahead of Loch, dropped to third place in the second run.
Perry and O’Hair take
Franklin Templeton Shootout
NAPLES, Fla. – Kenny Perry and Sean O’Hair birdied five of the last six holes to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout yesterday.
Rory Sabbatini and Charles Howell III made a charge on the back nine that included an eagle on a par-4 but finished one stroke back at 30-under 186. They had a 15-under 57 in the scramble format in the final round.
The 52-year-old Perry became the oldest player to win the Shootout, and also won for the third time with the third different partner.
Jamieson wins maiden
European Tour title
DURBAN, South Africa – Scotland’s Scott Jamieson won his first European Tour title yesterday, beating England’s Steve Webster and Spain’s Eduardo de la Riva in a playoff after the Nelson Mandela Championship was reduced to a 36-hole shootout because of rain.
Jamieson shot an 8-under 57 in his second round at the shortened Royal Durban Golf Club course, which was adjusted to a par-65 and reduced by about 1,600 yards after being under water on Thursday and Friday because of thunderstorms.
Jamieson’s score – the second 57 of the day after South Africa’s Jaco van Zyl – gave him a 7-under total of 123 to sit tied with Webster and De la Riva. Jamieson won on the second playoff hole after Webster made a bogey. De la Riva was eliminated on the first extra hole.