Vonn leads Cortina downhill training

CORTINA D'AMPEZZO - American speed queen Lindsey Vonn dominated the first women's World Cup downhill training session at Corina d'Ampezzo on Wednesday with in-form fellow American Mikaela Shiffrin clocking the 13th fastest time. Vonn -- the 2010 Olympic downhill gold medallist -- timed 1min 37.99sec down the Olympia delle Tofane course in the Italian Dolomites, 0.95sec faster than home hope Sofia Goggia Austria last weekend. The 33-year-old Vonn missed out on Sochi with injury and is looking to lay the groundwork for next month's Winter Games in South Korea with a good showing in Cortina where she has achieved 11 of her 78 World Cup wins, most recently the downhill and Super G in 2016. Vonn is chasing her first downhill win this season with just one World Cup success in the Super-G at Val d'Isere, France.–AFP

 Real without Ronaldo unimaginable: Zidane

MADRID - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on Wednesday dismissed media speculation linking superstar Cristiano Ronaldo with a move away from the Bernabeu. "I can't imagine a Madrid without Cristiano," said the Frenchman. "He's in his club. Everyone, the club, the fans, want him. "We know what can be said outside but within, what Cristiano must do is just think about playing as he has been doing, and that's what I want, to talk only about his attitude and what he can bring us." With the January transfer window open, speculation has been rife over a possible exit for Ronaldo from the Spanish capital, with former club Manchester United a rumoured eventual destination. Some have been trying to read an intent to leave into his attitude but Zidane insists Ronaldo has only one focus.–AFP

 Liverpool's Flanagan sentenced for assault

LONDON - Liverpool defender John Flanagan was sentenced to rehabilitation and 40 hours of unpaid work on Wednesday, having pleaded guilty to attacking his girlfriend. The 25-year-old full-back admitted an offence of common assault by beating at a hearing on January 2. Liverpool Crown Court heard that he kicked his partner Rachael Wall in a central street in the northwest English city in the early hours of December 22. District judge Wendy Lloyd sentenced Flanagan to a 12-month community order, which includes 15 rehabilitation activity days, 40 hours of unpaid work, £85 court costs ($117, 96 euros) and an £85 victim surcharge. "You are, of course, a young man of previous good character and therefore it's undoubtedly sad that you have brought yourself here by your behaviour," she said.–AFP

 Naseem, Haris in U-21 snooker quarters

ISLAMABAD - Eight players including defending champion M Naseem Akhtar of Punjab and Haris Tahir of Punjab qualified for the quarterfinals of the Jubilee Insurance 10th National Junior U-21 Snooker Championship 2018 here at PSB Billiards & Snooker Hall on Wednesday. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played today (Thursday). The quarterfinalists are Sheikh M Mudassar, Usman Ahmed, M Shahbaz, Raees Ali Usama and M Umer Khan all from Punjab and Ali Zaman Khan from Sindh while no player from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Islamabad could reach quarterfinal stage.–Staff Reporter

 Tariq, Zulfiqar elected AFLP chief, secy

ISLAMABAD - Sardar Tariq Mehmood and Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali were unanimously elected as president and secretary of Australian Football League in Pakistan (AFLP) for the next four years respectively during the general council meeting of the body held here Wednesday. The others elected office-bearers were Raja Nazeemul Ameen as SVP, Col (r) Amjad, Raja Nadeem Khairat and Dr M Shahbaz vice president, Syed Sharafat Hussain Bukhari deputy secretary, M Ashfaq treasurer and Shafqat Niazi, Shahid Ahmed, Irfan Khan and Zubair Ahmed as executive committee members. Sardar Tariq, who is also Meridian Group of Companies chairman, thanked the house and vowed to promote Australian Football League in Pakistan. He said the national championship will be held in March at Islamabad. “The executive committee meeting will be held in next week to decide about holding coaching course for the players.”–Staff Reporter