Sports in briefs

  • 2007-01-24
Baltic Basketball League team Nevezis Kedainiai snatched an 80-76 victory over Panevezys on Jan. 20, their third win in Division II. Kedainiai got a double-digit lead early in the second quarter (25-14) and kept their game up until the fifth minute, when Tomas Gaidamavicius nailed a three-pointer (30-39). At half-time the score was 49-43, Panevezys. In the second half of the game, Nevezis put in all their effort to pull ahead 58-57. Once the scoreboard read 70-68, the guests didn't let down, swishing hoops until the final buzzer.

Top seed Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova booked a place in the Australian Open quarterfinals with a 7-5 6-4 victory over Vera Zvonareva. Zvonareva fought every step of the way to end the opener 5-5, but cracked under the pressure as Sharapova converted a break point for a 6-5 lead. Sharapova will face 12th seed Ana Chakvetadze, another fellow Russian in the open's next round.

Italian skier Karen Putzer won the giant slalom at Cortina D'Ampezzo - her first World Cup victory since March 2003. Putzer beat U.S. Olympic champion Julia Mancuso by 0.41 seconds with her time of two minutes 46.93 seconds. Putzer's compatriot, Denise Karbon took third place - her first podium finish in nearly two years. Sweden's Anja Paerson, the World Cup champion, and Austrian giant slalom leader Nicole Hosp failed to finish the first leg in foggy conditions.

The organizing committee of the Otepaa World Cup cross-country skiing competition decided to go ahead with the planned Jan. 27-28 race in Estonia despite poor snow. "To carry out the program we must produce enough snow to cover the ski stadium and a track of at least 2.5 kilometers," said Alar Arukuusk, chairman of the organizing committee. Forecasts from the Estonian Meteorology and Hydrology Institute show the temperature will fall low enough to allow for the production of artificial snow. The Otepaa World Cup races were in doubt because it was not possible to produce artificial snow due to unusually warm weather.