Hirscher wins; Ligety 3rd
Two-time defending overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria won the challenging giant-slalom race on the Gran Risa course in Alta Badia, Italy, with two solid runs Sunday and attributed his victory to a fixed screw in his equipment setup.
Favorite Ted Ligety of the United States finished third at the site of one of his most memorable victories and all of a sudden no longer looks dominant with the Sochi Olympics less than 50 days away.
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Another American, Tim Jitloff, finished fifth to match his career-best result from Sestriere four years ago.
Overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway was 13th and maintained a 95-point lead over Hirscher in the standings.
American Bode Miller failed to advance from the first run, which he finished in 40th place.
World Cup leader Tina Wierather of Liechtenstein protected her lead from the first run to win the first giant-slalom race of her career in Val d’Isere, France. It was her second victory of the season and third of her fast-improving career.
Wierather leads the overall standings with 595 points, followed by Switzerland’s Lara Gut (568), who finished second, and Maria Hoefl-Riesch (535) of Germany.
World slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States was eighth. Compatriot Julia Mancuso did not finish the second run.
Shaun White was third at the U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle contest in Copper Mountain, Colo. It puts him in the driver’s seat to earn a spot on the U.S. slopestyle Olympic roster with three more qualifiers left.
Hollywood Park closes
Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., closed Sunday, ending 75 years of racing that featured such Thoroughbred stars as Seabiscuit, Triple Crown winners Citation, Seattle Slew and Affirmed, and superstar mare Zenyatta. The track hosted the first Breeders’ Cup in 1984.
For its last day, the track came alive again, with jammed parking lots, lines at the betting windows, and fans and employees swapping stories about the Track of the Lakes and Flowers. Paid attendance exceeded 13,000 — more than double that of a typical weekend — and after 2 p.m. the gates were opened to everyone to alleviate congestion, a track spokesman said.
The track will be turned into a residential and retail development starting next year.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are closing in on a one-year contract with former All-Star closer Chris Perez. He had a difficult season this year, when he was arrested on marijuana charges and lost his job as the Indians closer.
Former major-leaguer Alex Cabrera broke a three-decade-old Venezuelan record for most home runs in a season. Cabrera hit his 21st home run Sunday, a grand slam that surpassed the tally set in 1980 by former big-league catcher Bo Diaz.
Pedro Rodriguez ensured Barcelona didn’t miss the injured Lionel Messi by scoring a hat trick in 10 minutes before setting up Cesc Fabregas twice as the visitors came back from a two-goal deficit in a 5-2 win at Getafe.
In England, Emmanuel Adebayor continued his Tottenham renaissance, scoring twice to clinch a 3-2 victory at Southampton.
• Golf star Lydia Ko, 16, has split with Guy Wilson, the only coach she has had since she took up the sport as a 5-year-old in New Zealand.
• Two-time NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson and Sachia Vickery earned wild-card invitations into the Australian Open by winning U.S. Tennis Association playoffs.
• Norway beat Kazakhstan in a photo finish to win the first cross-country skiing World Cup team sprint of the season in Asiago, Italy. Finland won the women’s event.
• Jason Lamy Chappuis of France pulled away in the home straight to win a Nordic combined World Cup event in tough conditions in Schonach, Germany.
• Defending champion Sara Takanashi of Japan won her third straight women’s ski jump World Cup competition of the season in Hinterzarten, Germany, to extend her overall lead in the buildup to the Sochi Winter Olympics.
• David Duncan of Canada completed a skicross double in San Candido, Italy, to move to the top of the overall freestyle World Cup standings, while Katrin Mueller of Switzerland claimed her second win in three races.
• David Boudia of Noblesville, Ind., and Sam Dorman of Tempe Ariz., won the men’s 3-meter synchronized title on the final day of the U.S. Diving Winter Nationals in Austin, Texas. Maren Taylor of Arlington, Va., won the women’s 3-meter title, and Steele Johnson of Carmel, Ind., took the men’s 10-meter title. Anna James of Midland, Texas, and Jessica Parratto of Dover, N.H., won the women’s 10-meter synchro title.
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