Olympic and world champion discus thrower Virgilijus Alekna earned second place in the European Athletic Association's Waterford Crystal European 2006 Athlete of the Year competition. Portuguese runner Francis Obikwelu, 26, took first place. The track-and-field star won two European gold medals in Sweden last year. Alenka, who is Lithuania's top athlete, said he was pleased with his second-place honor.
ASK Riga beat city rival Barons last weekend in the SEB week-12 basketball game. Yet ASK Riga didn't win by much, ending the game with a close 79-78. Barons shot only 17 percent from behind the arc, while ASK Riga put in a measly 27 percent. Although an anti-climatic match over all, ASK Riga's Curtis Millage put in a worthy performance, carrying his team to a win in crunch time. With one win and one loss, ASK Riga is currently in third place of Division I, while the second straight loss put Barons at the bottom of SEB standings.
Soccer idol David Beckham, who recently announced he was moving to America to join California's LA Galaxy team, is working on an early release from Spanish side Real Madrid. The 31-year-old had originally planned to join LA Galaxy this August but having been informed by Madrid that he won't play for the rest of the season, Beckham hopes to join the Galaxy ahead of the start of America's Major League Soccer season in April. "I understand his lawyers are working to secure a possible amicable exit from Real. We're not able to pay the buy-out clause," Major League Soccer chief Don Garber told the press. "We want him to have it as soon as possible. David's keen to come sooner."