Ski queen Vonn completes downhill double

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN - US ski queen Lindsey Vonn chalked up her 81st World Cup win on Sunday to complete the downhill double at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the final races before the Winter Olympics. Vonn clocked one minute, 37.92 seconds with Italy's Sofia Goggia, the current overall downhill leader, just behind in second at 0.11 secs back. Tina Weirather of Lichtenstein was third at 0.12 secs. Vonn also pipped Goggia in Saturday's downhill. Vonn has won the last three downhill races on the World Cup circuit after also claiming victory in Cortina d'Ampezzo a fortnight ago. It leaves Vonn second in the downhill overall rankings and just 23 points behind Goggia. Vonn's 81st win edges her closer to Inge Stenmark's all-time alpine record of 86 World Cup victories.–AFP

Babos clinches Taiwan Open title

TAIPEI - Hungary's Timea Babos triumphed over Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine to win the Taiwan Open Sunday, her second title of 2018 after claiming the doubles trophy in Melbourne last month. The Hungarian fourth seed carried over the momentum from the Australian Open to win in straight sets 7-5, 6-1. It was her third WTA singles title after winning the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey in 2012 and the Hungarian Ladies Open in Budapest last year. Kozlova was making her debut at a WTA final. She stayed close in the first set but conceded an easy victory in the second. The Ukrainian had beaten Babos in their last encounter at the 2015 Qatar Total Open in Doha. She had earlier knocked out fifth seed Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan and Sabine Lisicki of Germany in the semifinal before facing Babos.–AFP

Mladenovic sets up final with Kvitova

SAINT PETERSBURG - Reigning champion Kristina Mladenovic of France battled back from a set down to beat Russia's Daria Kasatkina on Saturday to set up St Petersburg Ladies Trophy final with Czech Petra Kvitova. Fourth seed Mladenovic made another step to retaining her only WTA title with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win in two hours 17 minutes over Russia's 20-year-old to record her second win in as many head-to-head meetings. "I want to give a big credit to Daria as she played an amazing match," Mladenovic said. "It was a physically tough battle with plenty of variations and a tough mental battle for both of us. To be in the final is a big reward for me for the work, I've put in. It's a great result already." In earlier semifinal, Kvitova fought hard to beat Germany's Julia Goerges 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.–afp

Sharma fires 10 birdies to win Malaysia title

KUALA LUMPUR - India's Shubhankar Sharma fired 10 birdies to stun crowds and secure a two-shot win at the US$3 million Maybank Championship in Malaysia Sunday. It is the second Asian Tour and European Tour victory for the 21-year-old, who pocketed US$500,000 and triumphed with a 10-under-par 62 on the final day of the event just two months after clinching the Joburg Open. In sweltering conditions, Sharma came into the final round tied-19th, needing to make up four shots to catch overnight leaders Spaniard Jorge Campillo and South African Dylan Frittelli. His road to victory began with an incredible four consecutive birdies, which included a 15-foot putt at the 7th hole. Another birdie on the 9th was followed with an impressive birdie on the 11th, before he dropped in a further four to finish on a high.–AFP

US women break 4x800m relay record

NEW YORK - US women set a world record in the 4x800m relay at the Millrose Games indoor athletics meeting with a time of 8min 05.89sec. Ajee Wilson anchored the American quartet that also included Chrishuna Williams, Raevyn Rogers and Charlene Lipsey, who bettered the world record of 8:06.24 set by Russia in Moscow in 2011. "It was insane," said Wilson, who clocked 1:58.37 for her leg. "I could feel the crowd. They really pushed me, encouraged me to keep digging." Elsewhere in the meeting at the New Balance Armory Track and Field Center, Rio Olympics 400m gold medalist Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas won the little-contested 300m in 35.45sec, matching the best indoor time ever recorded in the event for which no world record is recognized. She equalled a mark set by Russian Irina Privalova in 1993.–AFp