Shiffrin holds off Worley at Kranjska Gora

KRANJSKA GORA - American Mikaela Shiffrin made a rare error early in her second run but held on to edge key rival Tessa Worley and win the giant slalom World Cup event at Kranjska Gora in Slovenia on Saturday. With the Winter Olympics just over a month away Shiffrin looked relieved with her narrow lead of 0.31sec over French skier Worley, who will travel to South Korea as defending giant slalom Olympic champion. Shiffrin had been flawless on the first run of 55.08sec while Worley ran 55.94sec, but she set off slowly for the second descent on packed ice, taking an early gate wide with one leg way off the ground. But the 22-year-old from Colorado who is set to be a key attraction at the Pyeongchang Games next month showed depth of character to hold her nerve through the remaining gates.– AFP

Rublev says he wants Murray 'back soon'

DOHA - Rising Russian Tennis sensation Andrey Rublev said Friday that he hopes that former world number one Andy Murray "comes back soon" from injury and wins more titles. Rublev, the world number 38, is tipped to be one of the next generation of players to replace the "old guard" of stars like Murray, who is struggling with a hip injury. But speaking after reaching the Qatar Open final, Rublev said the game needed Murray. "It's always tough when you have an injury, and it's tough to recover ... he had amazing season in 2016," said the 20-year-old. "I wish he is going to come back soon and he will win many more tournaments." Murray is among a host of players who have pulled out of the Australian Open -- where Rublev will be seeded for the first time -- due to injury. –AFP

Hirscher edges key rivals for victory

ADELBODEN - Marcel Hirscher won a 51st career World Cup race Saturday to lift him to third in career victories as he edged Henrik Kristoffersen and Alexis Pinturault in the Adelboden giant slalom. Austrian Hirscher has dominated the World Cup giant slalom for seven years now, but came fourth at the last two Olympic Games. His key rivals in February at Pyeongchang, South Korea were breathing down his neck in Switzerland on Saturday with the 23-year-old Kristoffersen 0.17sec back for his sixth second spot of the season and Pinturault at 0.21sec having stood fifth after the first run.  The Norwegian was bronze medallists at slalom and the Frenchman in the giant slalom at the Sochi games four years ago. Hirscher moves ahead of Italian icon Alberto Tomba with his 51st career World Cup win. –AFP

National U-18 Snooker C’ship starts

ISLAMABAD - Jubilee Insurance National Junior U-18 Snooker Championship 2018, started with two major upsets on the opening day on Saturday. President, Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), Munawar Hussain Shaikh inaugurated the six-day event sponsored. A total of 32 players are competing on league basis as 16 matches were decided on the opening day. First major upset was caused by Sheikh M Mudassir of Punjab when he with superb planning and strategy managed to defeat top seed M Umer Khan also from Punjab 3-1. Ahsan Ramzan of Punjab did second upset when he outplayed Sindh champion Sheikh Qambar Hussain 3-0. League matches will continue till 8th, with two players from each group will qualify for the pre-quarterfinals. Following are the complete results of the opening day: Samran Yaseen (Isb) beat Bilal Khan (KP) 3-1 (42-53, 60-32, 54-22, 44-12), M Hamza Ilyas (Pjb) beat Muhammad Rafay (Sindh) 3-0 (1-0, 83-39, 50-20), Shahzaib Malik (Pjb) beat Abdullah Rizwan (KP) 3-0 (59-11, 50-22, 80-22), Malik Muzammil Khan (KP) beat Mustafa Amir (Sindh) 3-0 (1-0, 70-26, 68-30), Sheikh M Mudassir (Pjb) beat Muhammad Umer Khan (Pjb) 3-1(47-63, 71-61, 56-46, 61-18), Ahsan Raza (Pjb) beat Sheikh Qambar Hussain (Sindh) 3-0 (71-14, 61-33, 60-25), Muhammad Rafiq (KP) beat Kamran Chaudhray (Isb) 3-0 (53-26, 60-37, 56-21), Yasir Ahmed (Bal) beat Agha Damin Ali (Pjb) 3-0 (58-45, 67-44, 50-31), M Shehryar Abbas (Pjb) beat Sheriyar Khan (Sindh) 3-1, (49-59, 59-24, 42-56, 53-28), Munsif Uddin (KP) beat Abdul Mueed (Bal) 3-0 (69-09, 71-02, 53-23), Kamran Albert Masih (KP) beat Noman A.Salam (Bal) 3-0 (81-16, 64-28, 54-13).–Staff Reporter