Swiss skier Lara Gut wins World Cup opener
Lara Gut of Switzerland won the season-opening World Cup giant slalom. Meanwhile, in auto racing, 20-year-old Darrell Wallace Jr. became the second black driver to win on NASCAR’s national level — and first since 1963.
Gut wins opener of World Cup
Lara Gut of Switzerland won the season-opening World Cup giant slalom Saturday in Soelden, Austria, for her fourth career victory but first in the discipline.
Gut, the first Swiss woman to win a giant slalom since Sonja Nef in 2003, had a two-run time of 2 minutes, 25.16 seconds.
Kathrin Zettel of Austria was second, 0.84 seconds behind Gut, and Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany was third. Mikaela Shiffrin of Eagle-Vail, Colo., finished sixth.
Wallace posts milestone victory
Darrell Wallace Jr. became the second black driver to win on NASCAR’s national level and first in a half-century, taking the Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.
Black driver Wendell Scott won in Jacksonville, Fla., in December 1963 in what is now known as the Sprint Cup Series, the highest of NASCAR’s three national levels.
The Martinsville track is about 30 miles from Scott’s hometown of Danville, Va.
“This means everything,” said the 20-year-old Wallace, who is from Concord, N.C. “This is an emotional win for me, especially doing it in Wendell Scott’s backyard.”
Wallace, driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, beat Jeb Burton into Turn 1 off a restart with five laps to go in the Kroger 200. Wallace led a race-high 96 laps in his 19th career start.
Williams, Li advance to final
American Serena Williams overcame fatigue and Jelena Jankovic of Serbia to reach the final of the season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. The top-ranked Williams beat Jankovic 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 despite feeling exhausted.
“Last night I was in my hotel and I was lying down, and I just hit a wall,” Williams said. “I literally felt like I just hit a wall.”
Williams will face Li Na of China in Sunday’s title match. Li defeated Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-2.
Li, who is1-9 against Williams, also feels tired.
“Right now I’m on ‘E’ (empty),” Li said. “I’m going to try to put some gas in the tank tonight, go to the gas station and fill up and try.”
Federer to face del Potro for title
Roger Federer earned a rematch with Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina for his hometown Swiss Indoors title in Basel by edging Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 7-5 in a semifinal.
Federer has won five titles at the venue.
Defending champion del Potro beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
• The U.S. women’s bobsled national team will have three pilots — Elana Meyers in USA-1, Jamie Greubel in USA-2 and Jazmine Fenlator in USA-3.
Fenlator, who is from Wayne, N.J., was third in Friday’s selection race in Park City, Utah, 0.03 seconds ahead of fourth-place Bree Schaaf of Bremerton.
Fenlator and Schaaf each had a world-class track athlete as a brakeman — hurdler Lolo Jones for Fenlator and sprinter Lauryn Williams, an Olympic gold medalist in the 400-meter relay last year, for Schaaf.
Jones and Williams are among six push athletes seeking three spots on the 2014 Olympic team.
• Russian Julia Lipnitskaia, 15, won the Skate Canada women’s title in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Canadian Patrick Chan, 22, was the men’s winner.
• Bernard Hopkins, 48, of Philadelphia retained his IBF light-heavyweight title with a unanimous decision over German Karo Murat in Atlantic City, N.J.
• Points Offthebench, considered a major contender in next weekend’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita, was euthanized after breaking down during a half-mile workout at the Arcadia, Calif., track. The 4-year-old gelding fractured his right foreleg, trainer Tim Yakteen said.
• Jockey Tyler Baze, suspended since June for failing a sobriety test at Betfair Hollywood Park, was denied reinstatement by Santa Anita stewards for failure to undergo evaluation with the Winners Foundation, which seeks to aid people in horse racing with substance-abuse problems.
Baze, 31, was born in Seattle. According to Daily Racing Form, he was in a traffic accident in Santa Rosa, Calif., in July and was jailed for five days after being charged with DUI. Records showed he had a 0.354 percent blood-alcohol level, more than four times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
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