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Hirscher wary of Kristoffersen in Svindal's absence KITZBÜHEL: On-fire Henrik Kristoffersen is the skier to take over from injured Norwegian teammate Aksel Lund Svindal in the battle for the overall World Cup crystal globe, favourite Marcel Hirscher insisted Sunday.Svindal has long been the powerhouse of the Norwegian team and this season was no difference, the 33-year-old having notched up seven victories.His latest was in Friday's super-G, but his dream of a third overall title went up in smoke in Saturday's downhill, a horrific crash throwing the towering Norwegian high into the sky before sliding into the safety netting.The diagnosis was immediate and bad: ruptured knee ligaments that required surgery, ruling him out for at least nine months.Kristoffersen and Kjetil Jansrud will now have to continue without Svindal as they try to add to the remarkable tally Norway have notched up so far this season of 14 victories out of 24 races.The 21-year-old Kristoffersen became the first Norwegian ...

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Fowler holds firm to win in Abu Dhabi ABU DHABI: Rickie Fowler won his fourth title since May last year, producing magical shots en route to clinching the $2.7 million Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on Sunday.The world number six had taken the outright lead when third round play was completed early Sunday morning, and then protected his lead with solid play and pulling off crunch shots when needed most.He finished with a three-under par 69 round for a four-day tally of 16-under ...

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Stade Francais win secures quarter, eliminates Ulster PARIS: Stade Francais secured the bonus-point victory they needed over Leicester on Sunday to storm into the European Champions Cup quarter-finals, with Ulster eliminated.Parisians Stade ran in five tries to Leicester's three in a 36-21 victory that will likely see them face a trip to the Tigers in the last eight."We understood that Leicester's intention really was to come here and win," said Stade coach Gonzalo Quesada, whose side are struggling down in 11th place ...

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Nowitzki calls time on international career BERLIN: Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki on Sunday announced his retirement from international competition for Germany."The last match at Euro 2015 was my last match for Germany," the 37-year-old Nowitzki told Bild newspaper.On that occasion in Berlin on September 10, Germany lost 77-76 to Spain, a loss which knocked them out of the competition.His retirement announcement came a few days after the International Basketball Federation announced that Germany had failed in a bid to stage ...

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Hirscher lurks in Svindal's absence, Dopfer in slalom pole KITZBUEHEL: Austrian Marcel Hirscher was perfectly placed in Kitzbuehel's World Cup slalom on Sunday to capitalise on a season-ending injury to Aksel Lund Svindal.Hirscher had fallen 107 points behind Svindal in the overall standings, but the Norwegian sustained ruptured knee ligaments in a crash in Saturday's downhill, ruling him out for at least nine months.That has opened the door for Hirscher, who finished joint fourth in the first leg of the slalom, 0.34sec off German ...

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Vonn wins super-G to close on Stenmark CORTINA D'AMPEZZO: American Lindsey Vonn continued her seemingly unstoppable pursuit of Ingemar Stenmark's World Cup victory record by winning the women's super-G at Cortina d'Ampezzo to take the overall lead of the competition on Sunday.A day after claiming a record 37th World Cup downhill win, Vonn was one of several skiers to benefit from a late start on the Olympia delle Tofane course in the spectacular Dolomites mountains. Starting with bib 19, the former Olympic ...

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Suarez bounces into quarters after horror start MELBOURNE: Spain's Carla Suarez battled through knee pain to come back from a set down and make the Australian Open quarter-finals on Sunday, ending the dream run of giant-killing local hope Daria Gavrilova.The 10th seed bounced back from a disastrous start to come through the testing encounter 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena and will play Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in the last eight.The Polish fourth seed herself came back from the brink to reach ...