Headlines from around the world in sports
Jones, Williams picked for U.S. Olympic team
Lauryn Williams and Lolo Jones were selected for the U.S. bobsled team that will compete in next month’s Sochi Olympics.
They are now positioned to join a group of eight other Americans who have competed in both the Summer and Winter Games. Williams is a three-time summer Olympian who helped the U.S. win a gold medal in the 400-meter relay at the London Games. Jones is a two-time veteran of the summer games in the 100-meter hurdles, missing out on gold in Beijing after a late stumble.
Jones is in her second season of bobsledding, then recruited Williams to the sport last year. They will join Aja Evans, another Winter Olympic first-timer, as the push athletes in Sochi, along with drivers Jamie Greubel, Elana Meyers and Jazmine Fenlator.
The U.S. qualified three men’s two-man sleds and two four-man sleds for Sochi. Reigning Olympic four-man champion Steven Holcomb will drive USA-1 and Nick Cunningham will be at the control of USA-2 in both disciplines, and Cory Butner will drive the third two-man entry.
Holcomb and his crew of Curt Tomasevicz, Steve Langton and Chris Fogt will be USA-1. Holcomb snapped a 62-year U.S. gold medal drought in the four-man event at the 2010 Vancouver Games, and now will try to give the U.S. its first two-man gold since 1936.
Justin Olsen, Johnny Quinn and Dallas Robinson will push Cunningham’s four-man sled.
Pinturault wins World Cup slalom
WENGEN, Switzerland – Alexis Pinturault of France soared from seventh place after the first run to win a World Cup slalom yesterday.
Pinturault was almost a half-second faster than everyone else in the afternoon to finish 0.34 ahead of Felix Neureuther of Germany.
First-run leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria was third, trailing 0.63 behind Pinturault’s total time of 1 minute 42.87 seconds.
Pinturault rose above Ted Ligety of the United States into third place overall.
Bode Miller placed 26th, trailing Pinturault by 2.98.
White locks up Olympic halfpipe spot
MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. – Shaun White is ready to three-peat.
The two-time Olympic halfpipe champion locked up a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in his signature event by winning the final qualifier yesterday.
White posted a score of 96.6 to edge Danny Davis by 1.6 points. Ben Ferguson finished third. White, Taylor Gold and 2010 Olympian Greg Bretz earned automatic berths on the four-man team.
White qualified for Sochi in slopestyle on Thursday. The event is making its Olympic debut.
Kaitlyn Farrington posted a 91.4 to win the women’s competition, ending 2002 gold medalist Kelly Clark’s four-event winning streak. Clark finished second and has already earned a spot on the U.S. women’s halfpipe team. Two-time Olympic medalist Hannah Teter was third.
Big day for Canada in World Cup moguls in Quebec
VAL ST. COME, Quebec – Alex Bilodeau of Canada won his third straight World Cup moguls event yesterday, edging teammate Mikael Kingsbury.
The two could meet in a showdown at next month’s Sochi Olympics. Bilodeau is the reigning Olympic champion and Kingsbury is the defending world champion.
Bilodeau won with a score of 26.49 while Kingsbury followed at 25.66. Bradley Wilson of the United States was third.
In the women’s event, Chloe Dufour-Lapointe (23.79) and sister Justine (22.51) took first and second place. Japan’s Junko Hoshino was third.
Bardal wins shortened ski jump World Cup event
ZAKOPANE, Poland – Anders Bardal of Norway won a rainy ski jump World Cup event yesterday that was shortened to one round because of the bad weather.
Bardal took advantage of good conditions during his jump to soar 131.5 meters on the large hill to earn 127 points, beating Peter Prevc of Slovenia by 2.3 points. Richard Freitag of Germany was another 2.6 points back in third.
Because of rain and strong winds, organizers had to cancel the trial run and the second round. Some jumpers had to deal with water in the inrun track, slowing down their speeds and ruining their chances for a win.
Four Hills tournament winner Thomas Diethart and Andreas Wellinger were both allowed a second try because of a watery track, but neither finished in the top 40.
Kowalczyk earns cross-country victory at home
SZKLARSKA POREBA, Poland – Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland earned a dominant home victory on the cross-country World Cup by winning a classical-style mass start race yesterday, while Maxim Vylegzhanin of Russia had a much narrower victory in the men’s event.
Kowalczyk is one of Poland’s biggest gold-medal hopes in Sochi and was cheered on by a sea of Polish flags as she skied alone toward the finish, beating Yulia Tchekaleva of Russia by 41.8 seconds in the 10-kilometer race. Julia Ivanova of Russia was third, 1:15.2 back.
Vylegzhanin held off fellow Russian Evgeniy Belov to win by 2.2 seconds. Alexey Poltoranin of Kazakhstan was third, another 0.1 seconds back.
The Norwegian and Swedish teams skipped the meet because of national championships.
Crosby to captain Canada at Sochi Olympics
OTTAWA, Ontario – Sidney Crosby will captain the Canadian hockey team at the Olympics.
After the Pittsburgh Penguins star scored the gold-medal-winning overtime goal against the United States in Vancouver four years ago, he’s the natural choice in Sochi. Along with leading the NHL in scoring, the 26-year-old center is the face of the league and hockey in Canada.
Hockey Canada announced that the Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews and the Predators’ Shea Weber would be alternate captains.
Former England goalkeeper Williams dies at 93
WOLVERHAMPTON, England – Former England goalkeeper Bert Williams has died at 93.
His death was announced yesterday on the website of his former club Wolverhampton Wanderers. No cause was given.
Williams played against the United States in the 1950 World Cup, a 1-0 victory by the Americans in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, that is one of the great upsets in soccer history.
He was the oldest-living England international player.