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De Bruin misses an Olympic ticket two-man bob with 13th place at the European Championships
4:03 PM: Bobsleigher Ivo de Bruin did not meet the Olympic requirement of the two-man bob in the last World Cup race of this season. The Dutchman finished seventeenth in Sankt Moritz, far from the required position in the top 8.
The competition on the Swiss bobsleigh track was also regarded as a European championship. De Bruin finished thirteenth in that title fight with inhibitor Jelen Franjic.
De Bruin has one more chance to qualify for the Olympic Games. The 35-year-old from North Holland is aiming for a place in the top 8 in the four-man bob for Sunday. This season, the Dutch four-man bobsleigh finished eleventh twice and twelfth last week.
De Bruin did not achieve those performances in the two-seater this winter. Sixteenth place in the opening race in Innsbruck was his best result. In Sankt Moritz he came in seventeenth on Saturday, 1.92 seconds behind the German winner Francesco Friedrich, who conquered the world cup in the two-man bob with his seventh victory of this season and added the European title.
Final places for snowboarders in the last test before Games
4.01 pm: Dutch freestyle snowboarders Niek van der Velden and Melissa Peperkamp have reached the final in the slopestyle section in the Swiss winter sports resort of Laax at the last World Cup competition before the Olympic Games. Van der Velden finished eighth, Peperkamp was seventh. They will both participate in the Winter Games in Beijing next month.
Van der Velden (21) finished second last week in the American Mammoth Mountain. That was his first ever podium finish in the World Cup. The Dutch snowboarder is now also in second place in the standings. Van der Velden achieved a best score of 62.78 points in Laax. American Sean Fitzsimons won with 80.91.
The 17-year-old Peperkamp was seventh with a score of 68.21 in the women. Australian Tess Coady won with 86.18. Like Van der Velden, Peperkamp is in second place in the standings. The World Cup continues after the Games.
Controversial victory skier Kriechmayr in classic descent Wengen
2:43 pm: Skier Vincent Kriechmayr has won the classic downhill run for the World Cup in Wengen, Switzerland. The Austrian was the fastest down the Lauberhorn, traditionally the longest track in the World Cup circuit. The 30-year-old Kriechmayr, reigning world champion in the downhill, clocked 2.26.09 and was 0.34 seconds faster than the Swiss favorite Beat Feuz. The Italian Dominik Paris finished third at 0.44 of the winner.
Kriechmayr’s participation in Wengen was controversial. He had only recently tested positive for corona and should have been quarantined according to the rules and therefore not allowed to participate, but the international ski federation FIS granted him a special dispensation. This exemption led to protests, especially from its French and Swiss competitors, but the FIS did not bow to those objections.
Swiss Marco Odermatt finished fourth in the classic on the Lauberhorn at 0.46 and consolidated his lead in the overall World Cup standings. He is well ahead of Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who set the seventh fastest time in Wengen.
Gilbert goes for Milan-Sanremo in last year
2:34 pm: Belgian cyclist Philippe Gilbert skips the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in his last year as a professional and sets his sights on Milan-Sanremo. That is the only one of the five ‘monuments’ that is missing from his honors list. The 39-year-old Gilbert also drives the classics in the Ardennes, including the Amstel Gold Race.
“We choose Philippe for the Ardennes races, the races where he started his career and where he also achieved many successes,” said Lotto Soudal manager John Lelangue at the team presentation in Spain. “He will also start in Milan-Sanremo.”
Gilbert won the Amstel Gold Race four times in his career, the Tour of Lombardy twice, Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2011, the Tour of Flanders in 2017 and Paris-Roubaix in 2019. The Belgian conquered in 2012 at the World Championships. in Valkenburg the rainbow jersey.
Gilbert will start his season in Mallorca at the end of this month. He will then work towards Milan-Sanremo, the Italian spring classic that will be held on March 19. The Belgian will then participate in the Gold Race, the Brabantse Pijl, Walloon Pijl and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Gilbert may also ride the Tour de France in his last year. He is on the ‘long list’ of ten riders.
The Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan of Lotto Soudal will ride both the Tour and the Giro and, like Gilbert, wants to compete for the win in Milan-Sanremo.
Mono bobsleigher Sleper closes world cup with twelfth place
12.20 pm: Mono bobsledder Karlien Sleper has closed the World Cup with a twelfth place in Sankt Moritz. After the first descent through the Swiss natural ice rink, Sleper was in eleventh place, in the second run she fell back one place. The 29-year-old Dutchman is almost certain to participate in next month’s Olympic Games in Beijing.
Sleper met the national qualification requirements for the new Olympic event monobob in November with a tenth place on her debut in the World Cup in Innsbruck. Sports umbrella NOC*NSF demands a place in the top 12 at a World Cup competition. Sleper managed to meet that a few times this season.
To actually be allowed to go to Beijing, Sleper has to be in the ranking among the best six women who do not participate in the two-man bob. That ranking will be drawn up on Sunday.
American Kaillie Humphries won the World Cup in Sankt Moritz, 0.04 seconds ahead of compatriot Elana Meyers Taylor. Sleper gave 2.45 seconds to 36-year-old Humphries, the two-time Olympic champion from Canada who has been naturalized as an American. Meyers did win the World Cup, ahead of Humphries. Sleper finished in fifteenth place.
The match in Sankt Moritz also served as European Championship and the Dutch finished sixth in that ranking.
Maarten Tjallingii sets up Chinese cycling team with Dutch riders
11.13 am: Former cyclist Maarten Tjallingii has set up a Chinese team together with Frenchman Amaël Moinard. The so-called China Glory Cycling Team aims to prepare Chinese cyclists for an international career with the help of foreign mentors. The eleven riders that have been registered for the time being include the Dutchmen Reinier Honig (38) and Etienne van Empel (27).
Tjallingii and the French former rider Moinard will take charge of the Chinese team, which works closely with the Chinese cycling federation and is now registered with the international cycling union UCI. “That was the first step. The new team will be on the road soon for the international season,” China Glory Cycling Team reported on Twitter.
The 44-year-old Tjallingii played for Skil-Shimano (now Team DSM) and the Rabobank team (now Jumbo-Visma) among others. He rode the Tour de France three times and retired from active sport in 2016 after the Giro d’Italia.
Ajax Women, despite leading position, no further with trainer Danny Schenkel
10:52 am: Danny Schenkel will stop as head coach of the football players of Ajax after this season. The 43-year-old Amsterdammer’s contract expires in the summer and will not be extended. Schenkel’s team takes the lead in the Women’s Eredivisie.
The former professional football player of, among others, Sparta Rotterdam, Willem II and Telstar is in his third season with the Amsterdam women’s team. Schenkel succeeded Benno Nihom in the summer of 2019. In his first season, the Eredivisie was terminated prematurely due to the corona pandemic. Last year, Schenkel won the Eredivisie Cup with Ajax. The national title went to FC Twente.
Ajax’s football players won 2-1 against ADO Den Haag on Friday when the competition resumes. Schenkel’s team has 2 points ahead of PSV and 4 points on FC Twente, which will play against PEC Zwolle on Sunday. Ajax also participates in the battle for the Eredivisie Cup and the KNVB Cup.
“For now we are focusing on the second half of the season,” says Schenkel, who is looking for a new challenge for next season. “We are still competing for prizes on three fronts. We will end my period at Ajax very nicely.”
FC Twente announced last week that head coach Robert de Pauw will leave after this season. Last summer he succeeded Tommy Stroot, who switched to VfL Wolfsburg, in Enschede.
Golden State Warriors Warriors record biggest win of the season
9.10 am: The Golden State Warriors basketball players have recorded their biggest win of the season. The number 2 in the western division defeated the Chicago Bulls by a whopping 42 points: 138-96. Three Warriors players scored more than 20 points: Jonathan Kuminga (25), Jordan Poole (22) and Andrew Wiggins (21). Stephen Curry scored 19 points.
The San Francisco team recovered from the defeat a day earlier in Chicago against NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks (118-99). “A good team can overcome that. And we’ve responded in a good way,” Curry said.
The Warriors are second in the west behind Phoenix Suns (32-9) with 31 wins versus 11 losses. The Suns won 112-94 at Indiana Pacers, thanks mainly to Devin Booker (35 points) and Deandre Ayton (27).
Dallas Mavericks, led by Luka Doncic, ended the winning streak of Memphis Grizzlies. The 22-year-old Slovenian led his team to a 112-85 victory with a so-called triple-double (27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists). The Grizzlies had won their previous eleven games. The team from Memphis is in third place in the west with 30 wins against 15 defeats.
Second tournament win in a row for tennis player Wesley Koolhof
07:57 am: Tennis player Wesley Koolhof has booked his second tournament win in a row in the run-up to the Australian Open. The 32-year-old Dutchman and his British doubles partner Neal Skupski won the ATP tournament in Adelaide. In the final they were too strong in two sets for Ariel Behar from Uruguay and Gonzalo Escobar from Ecuador: 7-6 (5) 6-4.
Koolhof and Skupski already won the doubles title in Melbourne a week earlier. De Gelderlander took his ninth title on the ATP Tour in Adelaide. Koolhof and 32-year-old Skupski only recently formed a couple. Koolhof ended the collaboration with Jean-Julien Rojer at the end of last year.
Koolhof and Skupski now return to Melbourne, where they will compete in the Australian Open. The first grand slam tournament of the year starts on Monday.
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