Section: Other Sports

Jonathan Brownlee wins World Triathlon Series event in Auckland

Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee won the second race of the 2015 World Triathlon Series in Auckland, New Zealand.

Brownlee, whose brother Alistair is injured, clocked one hour 55 minutes 26 seconds to beat Spanish defending champion Javier Gomez by 15 seconds.

“It was great to win,” said Brownlee. “It’s the first time I’ve won a World Series event for a while.”

Lucy Hall, in 17th, was the highest-placed Briton in the women’s event, which was won by USA’s Gwen Jorgensen.

It was a record seventh straight World Triathlon Series victory for 28-year-old Jorgensen.

Her compatriot Katie Zaferes was second, with New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt third.

Ireland’s Aileen Reid finished 15th, while Britain’s Jessica Learmonth pulled out on the bike leg.

British Triathlon performance director Brendan Purcell said: “Jess has been unwell, it was touch and go whether she was going to race, so it was good to see her swim and bike well until she had a mechanical problem.”

Both races featured a 1,500m swim, 43.2km bike and 10km run.

Read more at BBC Sport

Winter Sports: Lindsey Vonn equals Ingemar Stenmark’s World Cup record

Lindsey Vonn has equalled Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 19 World Cup titles.

The American won Thursday’s super-G race to match Stenmark’s mark, a day after winning a record-equalling seventh downhill title.

Vonn’s World Cup win in Meribel was her 67th, a women’s record.

The 30-year-old said: “Ingemar is a legend in our sport and someone I’ve always idolised. I’m honoured to be mentioned in the same sentence as him.”

On chasing Stenmark’s record of 86 World Cup wins from the 1970s and 80s, she added: “Mathematically it’s definitely possible, but it’s not my goal. My goal is just to keep winning races.”

Vonn picked up a crystal globe, her 19th, as super-G’s best performer over the season.

“I knew I had to win the race to win the globe,” added Vonn, who had watched closest rival Anna Fenninger of Austria set the fastest time just four runners before.

Vonn only returned to racing at the start of this season after two serious knee injuries.

Earlier this year, she overtook Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell’s 35-year women’s record of 62 career World Cup wins.

Meribel is the final World Cup meeting of the season.

Read more at BBC Sport

America’s Cup: Martin Whitmarsh appointed new CEO of Ben Ainslie Racing

Martin Whitmarsh appointed new CEO of Ben Ainslie Racing as former McLaren stalwart aims to win America’s Cup

Martin Whitmarsh, the former McLaren team principal and chief executive of The McLaren Group, was announced as the new CEO of Ben Ainslie Racing, the team founded by Britain’s four-time Olympic gold medallist with the aim of retrieving the America’s Cup and bringing it back to British waters for the first time since the inaugural competition was held off the Isle of Wight in 1851.

Whitmarsh, who will take a seat on the board and report to Ainslie, BAR’s team principal, was recommended to the yachtsman by a number of high-profile figures within motorsport, among them Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Adrian Newey. The latter is already committed to working for BAR as part of a consultancy agreement between the fledgling Portsmouth-based team and Red Bull Advanced Technologies.

Whitmarsh admitted the prospect of working with Formula One’s pre-eminent designer again, after the pair spent nine years together at McLaren between 1997 and 2006, was a key factor behind his decision to join BAR, although he claimed he needed little persuading once he had sat down with Ainslie.

“Ben came to see me at my house a couple of weeks ago and it was an easy sell,” he said. “There were no negotiations. Frankly, within minutes of talking to Ben I knew I wanted to do it. I rang him the next morning to accept.”

Since that meeting, Whitmarsh has been out in Borneo, where his daughter, an anthropologist, is working on a project with orangutans.

It was the last trip in what he describes as a “life-changing” nine months since he walked out of the McLaren Technology Centre for the last time, having been ousted as team principal last January following a lengthy power struggle with Ron Dennis.

Whitmarsh declined to discuss his departure, or even the current goings-on at McLaren (“I’m still too close to it all”) but said he did not regret his decision and would almost certainly never go back.

“It has been good for my soul,” he said of his mid-life gap year. “I mean, you’re the first journalist I have spoken to in 12 months. I’ve been travelling. I’ve been able to spend more time with my kids who are grown up now. My son is a music photographer so I’ve helped him set up a bit. I’ve been out to visit my daughter in Uganda and Rwanda and Borneo, and see what she is doing. I feel quite energised by it all. Formula One is a sport that can take over your life, it can consume you. And I think it got pretty close to doing that with me.

“But I know I’m a lucky, lucky man. I had an amazing 25 years and never have to work again if I don’t want to. Whatever I do now should be because I want to do something fresh.”


That opportunity has arrived, unexpectedly, in the shape of BAR, who will be competing for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017.

Whitmarsh will begin his role next month, just a few weeks before the team move from their temporary offices in Whiteley to a new state-of-the-art facility in Camber Quay.

“That is what I have been brought in to help do. If I look back at my 25 years at McLaren, we developed from a business with fewer than 100 people to over 3000 people, a business that went from £19 million turnover to over £600  million.

Read more at The Telegraph

Boxing: Mayweather says World will stop when I fight Pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather says he has never wanted to win a fight more after coming face-to-face with Manny Pacquiao at a press conference.

The pair met in Los Angeles to promote their long-anticipated $300 million mega-fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 2.

“Pacquiao is one of the best fighters of the era,” Mayweather said. “I think we couldn’t shoot at a better time.

“I’m in the gym right now working, dedicating myself to my sport and pushing myself to the limit because I have never wanted to win a fight more in my life.

“He wants to win just as the same as I do. One thing I do know about any sport is when you lose once it’s in your mind. When you lose twice, it’s in your mind.

“From day one I was told to push myself to the limit, to be a winner. We tried to make this fight happen in the past but we kept bumping heads about random blood testing. We finally resolved everything.

“May 2, that’s when the world stops. Mayweather-Pacquiao, the biggest fight in boxing history.”

Pacquiao emerged first on to the stage and when Mayweather arrived the pair stood a foot away from each other in a stare-off that lasted a minute.

“This is what the fans have been waiting for since five years,” said Pacquiao. “I came from nothing into something and I owe everything to the Lord.”

Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach was less polite.

“I love challenges and this is the biggest challenge of my life,” Roach said.

“I’ve been looking forward to this fight for a long, long time. We are in the toughest fight of our lives and Floyd is the best fighter in the world, but we’re going to kick his ass.”

It was the only meeting the pair will have before fight week in a showdown to decide boxing’s pound-for-pound No.1 that will make more money than any other fight in history.

American Mayweather, 38, has won world titles in five weight divisions and will take a 47-0 record into the fight against Filipino Pacquiao, 36, who suffered a fifth career defeat in 61 fights when he was knocked out by Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.

Southpaw Pacquiao has won world titles in eight divisions and will be putting his WBO belt on the line against Mayweather’s WBA and WBC straps.

Read more at ESPN

Athletics: Johnson-Thompson smashes Ennis record on way to gold

Katarina Johnson-Thompson broke Jessica Ennis-Hill’s British record, but fell agonisingly short of the world record as she claimed pentathlon gold at the European Indoor Championships in Prague.

Johnson-Thompson amassed 5,000 points, just falling short of Ukrainian Nataliya Dobrynska’s haul of 5,013, to land the first major title of her career in commanding fashion.

If there were any doubts left that this 22-year-old was destined for greatness they were blown out of the water by a performance of utter domination in her first pentathlon for three years.

“I was gutted, instant regret,” she said. “If someone had said to me, ‘You’ve got 5000 points and a gold medal’, at the beginning of the day I would have taken it, but because everything was going so well and I was so close, I think that’s what made me so sad.

“I could have got it if I had pushed a little bit more. It’s regretful, but its still a good score. It’s just that I accumulated all those points to get to that moment where I could actually achieve it.

“It’s been a long day. I got up at 6 o’clock and we didn’t get much rest. You forget I had a hurdles PB today and that’s great. Just because it all blends into one all I was thinking about was the disappointment of not getting the world record.”

Fired up by last year’s injury frustrations when a stress fracture to her foot ruled her out of the Commonwealth Games and European Championships, and boasting a fearless new attitude, Johnson-Thompson came first in the 60m hurdles, high jump and long jump to finish well clear of the field.

The Liverpool athlete roared to a 60m hurdles personal best of 8.18 seconds – her third PB in the discipline in less than three weeks – before clearing a championship record 1.95m in the high jump and equalling her season’s best of 12.32m in the shot put, by far her weakest event.

She lay second after the first three events, but the long jump, at which she is the British indoor record holder and reigning world indoor silver medallist, offered her the chance to all but guarantee gold and to put the world record within touching distance.

She delivered, leaping out to 6.89m on her first attempt. Needing to clock at least two minutes 11.86 seconds over 800m for the world record, Johnson-Thompson looked on course over the first three laps, but, with legs tiring, drifted off the pace and crossed the line in two minutes 12.78 seconds.

Ennis-Hill’s three-year-old British record of 4,965 points was still consigned to history, though. The Olympic heptathlon champion is due to return to the sport this summer following the birth of her first child.
Read more at ESPN

Cycling: Geraint Thomas wins the Volta ao Algarve for Team Sky

Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas has won the five-stage Volta ao Algarve for his fourth career stage-race victory.

The Welshman held a 27-second lead going into the final stage – won by German Andre Greipel – and stayed out of trouble to secure overall victory.

Thomas, who had led the race after winning stage two, said: “I don’t get to win very often so it’s really nice.”

The 28-year-old’s victory came on the same day that Team Sky’s Chris Froome won the Ruta del Sol in Spain.

Thomas’s only other stage-race wins had been in the Bayern-Rundfahrt, which he won in both 2011 and 2014 and the Fleche du Sud in 2006.

He added: “You look at the previous winners and there are a lot of strong guys there. There’s a lot of strong teams here too.

“We’ve got a big month ahead with Paris-Nice and the classics. The form seems to be building nicely so I’m looking forward to the next few weeks.”

Overall standings:
1. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky), 19hr 46min 13sec
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Etixx-QuickStep) +27sec
3. Tiago Machado (Por/Katusha) + 1min 11sec
4. Richie Porte (Aus/Team Sky) + 1min 14sec
5. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa/Astana) + 1min 18sec

Read more at BBC Sport

Pentathlon: World Cup double gold for GB as Jamie Cooke wins

Great Britain claimed double modern pentathlon gold at the World Cup event in Sarasota as Jamie Cooke followed up Samantha Murray’s success in Florida.

Cooke, 23, sealed victory by overhauling Egypt’s 2014 world silver medallist Amro El Geziry after the second of four shooting stages.

Earlier, world champion Murray began her season in style by claiming gold in the women’s event.

“The plan is Rio and this a good start to the year,” said Cooke.

“We’ve worked really hard over the winter period, the whole boys’ team and the girls’ team, and I think it has been reflected here because obviously Samantha won yesterday and Kate French came third.”

Pentathlon GB performance director Jan Bartu added: “These results far exceeded our expectations.

“I can’t remember us doing this before [winning both individual golds]. We are all over the moon and it’s fantastic.”

Cooke’s triumph followed consistent performances across the four events – fencing, swimming, riding and the combined run-shoot.

But Bartu singled out his fencing for particular praise.

“Jamie put in one of his best fencing competitions ever and that set him up,” he said.

Read more at BBC Sport

Athletics: Katarina Johnson-Thompson sets British long jump record

Katarina Johnson-Thompson set a second British record within a week as she won the long jump with a leap of 6.93m at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix.

The 22-year-old heptathlete from Liverpool set a national indoor record with her third jump to win the event.

Johnson-Thompson broke the British high jump record last week with 1.97m and also set a hurdles personal best.

“I jumped a PB and ran a PB in the hurdles last week, so I knew I was in all right shape,” she told BBC Sport.

Johnson-Thompson missed last summer’s Commonwealth Games and European Championships with a foot injury.

She now heads to next month’s European Indoor Championships in Prague, where she will compete in the pentathlon.

“I’m happy with it but I’m like ‘right, let’s move on from this,'” she added. “I’m just so happy to be in good shape, competing and healthy and happy. I’m not going to take it for granted any more.”

Olympic champion Greg Rutherford set four indoor personal bests on his way to winning the men’s long jump with a 2015 world leading 8.17m, one centimetre short of the national record.

The 28-year-old looks likely to stick with his plan of skipping Prague to focus on winning a first world outdoor title later in the year.

“I don’t know now,” he said. “It’s a possibility but it’s a slim one. I think probably not still. I never planned to do it and never set it as a target.

“We’ve done one jump session and one run-up session in the build-up to this and the rest has been weight sessions, so we’ll see.

“If it was any other year then I’d consider it, but I’m so determined to win the World Championships this year and I do believe I can do that.”

World number one Jenny Meadows won the 800m in a time of two minutes 01.25 seconds, while Nigel Levine won the 400m in 46.43secs ahead of compatriot Jarryd Dunn.

The 60m was won by 38-year-old Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis in 6.50 seconds ahead of Britain’s Chijindu Ujah (6.55).

Read more at BBC Sport

Athletics: Mo Farah breaks indoor two-mile world record in Birmingham

Britain’s Mo Farah broke the two-mile indoor world record with a superb run at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix.

Farah, 31, left the field behind as he stormed home in a time of eight minutes 3.40 seconds – breaking Kenenisa Bekele’s previous record of 8:04.34.

It is the double Olympic champion’s first world record.

“This means a lot to me,” Farah told BBC Sport. “I love representing my country, giving something back to all the people. Unbelievable.”

The build-up to Saturday’s race had been dominated by a row with Great Britain team-mate Andy Vernon.

Farah claimed Vernon had questioned his nationality after the double Olympic champion won European 10,000m gold in 2014, with Vernon describing that as a “huge, huge misrepresentation”.

The bad feeling clearly did not upset Farah on the track as he dominated the field in Birmingham, leaving Kenyan Paul Koech and American Bernard Lagat trailing as he ran a sub-four minute mile for the second half of the race, clocking 3:59.5.

“It (the row with Vernon) inspired me, I wanted to do it,” said Farah.

“Whatever’s happened has happened, we’ve got to move on, but at the same time I’m an athlete, that’s what I do best. I just have to keep running.”

Asked if he had a message for Vernon, Farah said: “No, at the end of the day whatever’s done is done. I just have to move on.

“I think it’s too soon to say anything right now. I’ve moved on and put that behind me. I want to keep running well.”

Vernon congratulated Farah on Twitter, saying:  “Everything aside that was a cracking run @Mo-Farah. Congratulations on the new WR.”

Farah, who will skip next month’s European Indoor Championships, has five global track titles over 5,000m and 10,000m but had not set a world record until Saturday.

“Definitely, it’s about setting myself a goal and knowing what I want out of the year,” he said. “It’s two different things going for a world record or going for a championship.

“I shouldn’t get carried away, it’s only two miles indoors, but at the same time it would be nice to be able to do what I can do for 10k, if I can go close or break it.

“But I will never give up (on championships). I want to be able to know I collected as many medals as I could for my country.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Boxing: Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao confirmed for 2 May

Floyd Mayweather will fight Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on 2 May in what promises to be the richest bout in the history of boxing.

American Mayweather, 37, and Filipino Pacquiao, 36, are considered to be the best two fighters of their generation.

Mayweather’s WBC and WBA welterweight titles and Pacquiao’s WBO belt will be on the line at the MGM Grand.

Mayweather is unbeaten in 47 professional fights; Pacquiao has 57 wins and five losses from 64 contests.

The fight is expected to generate as much as £162m ($250m). The most lucrative fight in history is thought to be Mayweather’s bout against Saul Alvarez in 2013, which made an estimated £97m.

Mayweather-Pacquiao is also expected to break the record for pay-per-view buys in the United States. The current record of 2.4 million was set when Mayweather fought fellow American Oscar de la Hoya in 2007.

Mayweather wrote on his webpage: “What the world has been waiting for has arrived. Mayweather vs Pacquiao on May 2, 2015 is a done deal.

“This will be the biggest event in the history of the sport. Boxing fans and sports fans around the world will witness greatness on May 2.”

Mayweather, whose unbeaten record stretches back to 1996, has won his past five bouts on points, most recently a rematch with Marcos Maidana in September.

British welterweight Amir Khan, who wants to fights Mayweather and also held talks with Pacquiao in January, said before the bout was announced that it is “not going to be what people expect”.

He told the Daily Mail  on Thursday: “Four years ago it would have been a massive fight because both of them were at their peak. It might have gone past that now.

“It will be a good fight for a couple of rounds. I think it will go the distance but that Mayweather will win by unanimous decision.”

Read more at BBC Sport