Gut wins again as Vonn goes off piste

VAL-D'ISÈRE - Lara Gut stormed to victory in the women's World Cup downhill race on Saturday, clinching her second win of the weekend and closing the gap on overall leader Lindsey Vonn. The 24-year-old Swiss pipped the American speed queen in Friday's super-combined, also at Val d'Isere, and with Saturday's result Gut has 478 points to Vonn's 480. Vonn careened off piste, although she did at least manage to stay on her skis, and had to watch on as Gut produced a barnstorming run in 1min 44.51sec to win ahead of her compatriot Fabienne Suter in second and Canada's Larisa Yurkiw in third. "It's way too early in the season to start calculating points for the World Cup," Gut said however. "But I can tell you these two wins are no surprise. I've been working very hard and feel very good," she added.–AFP

On-fire Svindal wins downhill

VAL GARDENA - Norway were dominant for a second day as Aksel Lund Svindal clinched the World Cup downhill race ahead of Frenchman Guillermo Fayed and another Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud. Svindal also won Friday's super-G ahead of Jansrud and a third Norwegian, Aleksander Kilde. This was Svindal's fifth World Cup win of the season and his third in the downhill as he leads the standings for the speciality and also stands atop the overall scoreboard. Olympic downhill champion Matthias Mayer of Austria lost control on a bump during his run and fell heavily on his back before being evacuated to hospital by helicopter, causing a lengthy delay to proceedings. "I've been trying to win this for a lot of years," Svindal said. "It was perfect conditions today and that's the way you want to race."–AFP

Platini hits out at FIFA investigators

PARIS - Michel Platini launched a virulent assault on FIFA's ethics watchdog in a statement read out at the football world body's tribunal which is deciding whether he is guilty of corruption. "I am already judged, I am already condemned," the 60 year-old suspended FIFA VP and UEFA leader said in the statement. The tribunal is to release its verdict on Monday and FIFA's ethics investigators have called for Platini to face a life ban. Platini however attacked an "anthology of indiscretions, rumours, confidences leaked to the press by anonymous and malevolent sources from within FIFA that you have done nothing to silence," in the statement to the judges. Platini said the case prepared by FIFA prosecutor Vanessa Allard is "loaded" and declared: "I no longer have any trust in FIFA's disciplinary bodies."–AFP

Renolds maintains Philippine Open lead

MANILA - Canada's Lindsay Renolds kept his lead and stayed on track to win his first Asian Tour title, shooting a second round four-under-par 68 at the Philippine Open on Saturday. The Phuket-based Canadian was followed closely by Scott Barr of Australia, who shot a 66 at the Luisita Golf and Country Club. "It is exciting to be in this position. My game feels good and I feel good. I'm not really worried or nervous," said 29-year-old Renolds, who needs to win the tournament to keep his Asian Tour card next year. "Obviously there's a lot on the line tomorrow but if I play good golf then things will work out the way it should," he said. The Philippine Open will end on Sunday. Second-placed Barr needs to improve his 64th place Order of Merit ranking by a notch to keep his Asian Tour card next year.–AFP

Sports gala inaugurated in Lakki

LAKKI MARWAT - Pakistan Army Tajazai Base Camp Commanding Officer Lt Col Muhammad Basit Siddique inaugurated sports gala in a colourful ceremony here at the Lt Adnan Shaheed Sports Complex in the District Headquarters Complex Tajazai on Saturday. District Nazim Ishfaq Ahmad Khan Meenakhel, Deputy Commissioner M Bakhtiar Khan and District Police Officer Ali Akbar Shah also accompanied him. The district government has organised the gala with the collaboration of Pakistan Army wherein local players and clubs will participate in volleyball, basket ball, athletics and karate events. A large number of sports lovers attended the opening ceremony. Judokas of Shaheen Karate Academy Naurang exhibited their skills and also broke marble stones and crossed the ring on fire.–Ghulam Mursalin

Shaheed BB National Ranking Tennis

ISLAMABAD - As many as 77 matches were decided in the qualifying rounds of men singles, boys U-18 and boys U-14 in the 1st Shaheed Benazir Bhutto National Ranking Tennis Championship 2015, which started here at Islamabad Tennis Complex on Saturday. Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Taj Haider, ITC MD Fazle Subhan along with other dignitaries and tennis lovers were also present on the inaugural day. Haris Irfanul Haq, Hasnain Mehmood, Mubarak Shah, Yusaf Khan, Shaheen Mehmood, Raja Shafaqat, Talha bin Asif and Farhanullah qualified for the main draws of men’s singles by winning two consecutive matches. Top players from across the country have been participating in the championship. Senator Farhatullah Baber inaugurated the championship and witnesses the matches for some time. Ahmed Asjad, Kashan Umer, Kashif Khan, Zalan Khan Noor-e-Mustafa, Saifullah Khalid and yousaf Hassan qualified for the main draws for U-18 by winning two matches each. Umer Masood, Sahfin Waqar, Amir Masood, Noor-e-Mustafa, Hanzala Naeem, Zalan Khan, Faizan Sahid and M Hassan Khan qualified for the main draw of boys u-14 by beating respective opponents. –Staff Reporter