In brief - 2006-07-12

  • 2006-07-12
Lithuanian cyclist Edita Pucinskaite, riding for the Nobili Rubinetterie team, won the Giro d'Italia long-distance road race that ended in Italy last weekend. The Lithuanian finished 11 seconds ahead of Nicole Brandli from Switzerland and 13 seconds ahead of Susanne Ljungskog from Sweden, who placed third. Pucinskaite, who won the 10th stage held on July 8, covered a distance of 71 kilometers in 1 hour, 56 minutes and 16 seconds. In 2003, the Lithuanian took second place in the Giro d'Italia.

Roger Federer was crowned Wimbledon champion for the fourth year in a row after he produced a jaw-dropping performance to defeat Spain's Rafael Nadal 6-0, 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (2-7), 6-3 in the men's singles final. The Swiss top seed's display of tennis was nearly flawless, and drew several gasps of admiration from the Center Court crowd.

The Latvian Social Democratic Workers Party have added sports veteran Janis Lusis, who won the 1968 Olympic gold in javelin, to its list of candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections. Lusis told the Baltic News Service that he had previously run in Riga's municipal elections but agreed to run for Parliament after a suggestion by Labor Party leader Aivars Kreituss. If Lusis is elected, he will work on the sports sub-committee because "not everything in this country has been put into order where sports are concerned." He added that there was "too much democracy" in Latvian sports 's there are over 100 sports federations, but no national priorities have been defined. Lusis, 67, won the gold medal in javelin at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. He has also won Olympic silver and bronze medals. Lusis was among the 10 best javelin throwers in the world from 1953 to 1970. He is currently coaching his son Voldemars Lusis, a member of the Latvian Olympic team.

Other parties in Latvia have also decided to add popular athletes to their lists of candidates for elections this fall. The Greens and Farmers' Union has made an offer to weightlifter Viktors Scerbatihs, and the Harmony Center will have Mihails Zemlinskis, a former defenseman for the Latvian national soccer team, among its candidates. Scerbatihs won a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics' over 105 kilogram weight-lifting event, with a total result of 455 kilograms. He has also won three bronze medals in the World Championships (in 1997, 1998 and 2003) and several medals in the European Championships.

German cyclist Andreas Kloeden has produced his most promising performance in the Tour de France. Kloeden, who spent most of the season out with shoulder injuries, came back during the time-trial on July 8, finishing eighth. "There is not a single rider here who I didn't beat in 2004. I feel confident we can keep the yellow jersey in the team all the way to Paris," the German said. Kloeden's team, T-Mobile, have so far dominated the Tour de France.