Sports Wire:Austria first, U.S. last in skiing worlds

first_imgAustria won the team competition title Sunday and finished with the most medals at the World Alpine Ski Championships in Are, Sweden. Sweden was second and Switzerland third in the team event. The United States, without injured Bode Miller and other top skiers, finished last of the 11 teams. The U.S. was 10th after the super-G. It dropped into last place after the opening slalom run and finished the day last with 77 points, setting a new mark for the lowest points total in a team competition. The Americans started badly with their first three skiers – Kaylin Richardson, Ligety and Resi Stiegler – all skiing off course in the super-G. Miller skipped the team competition after injuring his knee in the opening leg of Saturday’s slalom. The speed racers had already left Are to prepare for the next World Cup competition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Yevgeni Popov led Russia to a World Cup win in Winterberg, Germany in the four-man bobsled and increased his lead over Steven Holcomb of the United States in the season title race. Russia I completed its two heats in 1 minute, 51.08 seconds, with Holcomb’s United States I finishing second in 1:51.11. Blatter weighs in FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants tougher punishments for soccer teams with violent fans. “The Swiss high court recently confirmed that we can order point deductions, relegations and expulsions,” Blatter told the Swiss weekly SonntagsZeitung. Soccer’s governing body said that a ruling early February by the Swiss high court – which rejected a Spanish club’s appeal – backed FIFA’s authority to act where necessary. “We intervene against any kind of discrimination, against racism as well as against political and religious extremists,” Blatter said. “But we can only act within the limits of our constitution.” Blatter said FIFA was not responsible for public security, and he urged domestic soccer associations to cooperate with state authorities. Tottenham advanced to the FA Cup quarterfinals by beating Fulham 4-0 in London behind two goals each by Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov. Defending champion Barcelona lost to Valencia 2-1 in the Spanish soccer league and was joined atop the standings by Sevilla, which defeated Atletico Madrid 3-1. N.J. test results in New Jersey’s first in-the-nation tests for steroid abuse by high school athletes found no positive results, according to the group that administered the tests. New Jersey became the first state to administer the tests amid concerns that high school students might be bulking up to be more competitive. National studies have shown that about 2 percent of teenagers use steroids before graduating from high school. However, among 150 random samples from tournament-bound high schools, there was no evidence of the performance-enhancing drugs, according to Bob Baly, assistant director with the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Shanahan pays visit New York Rangers forward Brendan Shanahan was released from a hospital, one day after he was knocked unconscious and taken off the ice on a stretcher. Then he made a surprise visit to New York’s dressing room about an hour before the club’s 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. The 38-year-old left winger sustained a concussion when he slammed into Philadelphia’s Mike Knuble during the third period of New York’s loss to the Flyers on Saturday. Shanahan skated toward the bench as Knuble came the other way. Neither player saw the other and they slammed shoulder-to-shoulder. Shanahan went flying backward and struck his head against the ice at 7:27 of the period. He stayed down for about 10 minutes with his eyes closed. Shanahan was fitted with a neck brace and strapped to a board before leaving the ice. Renney said there were no signs of neurological damage, and Shanahan left the hospital after a Sunday morning examination. “He saw the neurologist and they are pleasantly surprised with where he is today,” Renney said before Sunday’s game. “It’s not like he can play hockey in the next little while, but they’re optimistic with where it sits this morning.” There is no timetable for Shanahan’s return to the lineup. Briefly Juan “Pachin” Vicens, a Puerto Rican basketball star who played in two Olympics, died Sunday. He was 72. Vicens competed in the Summer Games in 1960 in Rome and 1964 in Tokyo and two world championships. In 1959, he was selected the best player of the worlds in Chile. Brett Favre will have ankle surgery in the next few weeks, and Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy says the three-time NFL MVP will have plenty of time to recover for minicamps. The 37-year-old quarterback was supposed to have surgery on his left ankle the day after the season, but skipped it and had yet to reschedule. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “It’s tough going into that knowing we’re a second-rate team,” U.S. ski star Ted Ligety said. “It’s tough … getting psyched up and think you have a chance at a medal when you don’t have the members on the team that win World Cups.” Lindsey Kildow and Julia Mancuso, the only Americans to win medals at the worlds this year, also missed the team event. Kildow was injured in slalom training while Mancuso was exhausted and left early. center_img “We’re a little bit bruised up and I think we could use some rest before the next races,” U.S. Alpine director Jesse Hunt said. The Austrians flew in super-G silver medalist Fritz Strobl to strengthen their chances in the team event. “Austria is the No. 1 ski nation and because of this, winning the team event was our big goal,” said Renate Goetschl, who took bronze in last week’s super-G. “At the Bormio worlds we weren’t able to do it so now we had our revenge.” Austria ended the championships with three gold, three silver and three bronze medals. Sweden had three gold – all from Anja Paerson – two silver and two bronze medals. Norway finished third with two golds from Aksel Lund Svindal. Austria won with 18 points, while Sweden had 33 and Switzerland had 39. last_img read more