In brief - 2004-11-25

  • 2004-11-25
The Slovenian national basketball champions Union Olimpia continued to torment Kaunas' Zalgiris following a 78-83 home defeat for the Lithuanian side on Nov. 18. Zalgiris did not lead the game once throughout the match, which marked its second defeat in a row in Euroleague's Group B. This was the seventh time that Union Olimpia has defeated Zalgiris. Zalgiris is currently in sixth position in the group, while Union Olimpia is in fifth place.

Russia's Albert Demtschenko won the men's singles in a World Cup luge event on Nov. 21 to take the lead in the overall standings. Demshenko had a two-run time of 1.38.412 minutes down the 1,200-meter track, 16-curve track in Sigulda. The Latvian Martins Rubenis delighted the home crowd by taking second place in 1.38.647. Markus Kleinheinz of Austria was third in 1.38.705. After two events in the nine-race series, Demshenko tops the overall standings with 185 points, 15 ahead of Kleinheinz.

Roger Federer beat Lleyton Hewitt in the Masters Cup final on Nov. 21 to top off an astonishing year. The 23-year-old Swiss has become the first player since Mats Wilander in 1988 to earn three Grand Slam titles in a season, and his victory in Houston means he has now won the last 13 finals he has reached, beating the record of 12 held jointly by Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. Federer finishes the year with a 74-6 win-loss record, the best winning record since McEnroe managed 82-3 in 1984.

Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, soccer's international governing body, said that he would have supported England's players if they'd walked off in protest following sustained racial abuse from Spanish fans during a friendly soccer game against Spain on Nov. 17. Under-21 England players received similar abuse in a game the night before. FIFA has already launched an investigation into the monkey chants, which were chiefly aimed at Ashley Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips during the game in Madrid. In the meantime, the Spanish Football Association has apologized to the English Football Association for the incident.

In what has to be one of the most bizarre soccer signings ever, the 50-year-old Brazilian legend Socrates (photo) played his first game for English non-league side Garforth Town on Nov. 20. Garforth owner and manager Simon Clifford invited Socrates to join the club, along with former Brazilian stars Caranca and Zico, who he hopes will join the club later. Clifford's masterplan is to bring Garforth into the Premiership by 2025. Socrates came on as a late substitute in the game, which was watched by a capacity 3,000-strong crowd. A doctor by profession, Socrates' new team-mates include a gardener and an electrician.