Maze claims world super-G gold, Vonn crashes

Updated 07 February 2013
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Maze claims world super-G gold, Vonn crashes

SCHLADMING, Austria: Slovenia’s Tina Maze won super-G gold here yesterday in an opening world championship race that came close to being canceled due to fog and was overshadowed by a bad crash involving US ski star Lindsey Vonn.
Current World Cup leader Maze finished with a time of 1min 35.39sec, ahead of Switzerland’s Lara Gut at 0.38sec and American Julia Mancuso in third place at 0.52sec.
The race, which started three and a half hours late due to thick fog, nevertheless finished on a sour note after Vonn crashed and had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital.
The 28-year-old two-time world champion and Olympic gold-medallist landed on the side of her ski after a jump and flipped over before crashing into a safety gate, even as she was leading the race.
Austrian television reported she suffered complex knee injuries and would be unable to race for the rest of the season.
The start of yesterday’s super-G had had to be delayed repeatedly by the organizers due to thick fog, which seriously limited visibility and made racing down the course, where athletes can reach a speed of 120kph, highly dangerous.
Scheduled to start at 11:00am (1000GMT), it only went ahead at 2:30pm.
But some fog continued to hinder the racers even after the start, including Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg, who had been a firm favorite but finished eighth.
Top contenders Anna Fenninger of Austria and 2011 world bronze medallist Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany also went out during the tricky course.
Maze, who has had a sensational season and leads the super-G as well as overall World Cup rankings, let out a scream, kissed her ski and flashed a beaming smile after an impressive run down the 2,194-meter Planai course.
“World championships are always something special and you have to stay focused.”
“I was certain we would race today, 100 percent,” she said with a laugh, adding “I had a good run.”
“You need a little luck, but I know I’m racing well, I’ll try everything,” the 29-year-old added about securing further medals in Schladming, where she is one of the favorites.
Mancuso, taking her second silver medal after Garmisch in 2011, was pleased with her result.
“That was exciting, I think it’s always really nice to win a medal. Of course I know I could have had a better run but I’m always smiling with a medal.”
She admitted the repeated delays and long waiting had made it harder to race on Tuesday.
“But you have to be ready when you leave the gate and you never know what can happen.”
Two-time Olympic champion Hoefl-Riesch, 28, said she also struggled to keep her focus during the long waiting periods.
“I’m disappointed of course but... I’m glad I came down in one piece on such a crazy day where so much has happened,” she said.
Reigning super-G and downhill champion Elisabeth Goergl of Austria, who has suffered poor form this season, had to settle for 11th place.
The race — the first of 11 during the two-week ski fest — was further plagued by interruptions, as a course worker fell and had to be airlifted after barely eight skiers had gone down.
The super-G was eventually interrupted for good at 4:00pm although 23 skiers had yet to run.
The result nevertheless stands as it is, with Maze taking the first gold medal of the 2013 world championships.


Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir ‘100 percent ready’ to face England, says coach

Updated 22 May 2018
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Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir ‘100 percent ready’ to face England, says coach

  • Left-armer is fit after a knee injury
  • 'He’s fine, he’s ready to go'

LONDON: Pakistan spearhead Mohammad Amir is “100 percent ready” for the first Test against England at Lord’s starting on Thursday despite a knee injury, according to team coach Mickey Arthur.
The left-arm fast bowler was seen stretching out his right knee as Pakistan beat Test debutants Ireland by five wickets during a one-off match in Malahide, Dublin concluded last week.
Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood suggested Amir had suffered a recurrence of a “chronic” problem.
But head coach Arthur, speaking to reporters at Lord’s on Tuesday, had no qualms about the fitness of Amir.
“He’s perfect, 100 percent,” Arthur insisted. “He’s fine, he’s ready to go.”
As for Amir, missing Pakistan’s final warm-up match ahead of the two-Test England series, last weekend’s drawn match against Leicestershire, Arthur added: “It was his rotation. (Mohammad) Abbas sat out the first (tour) game, Hasan (Ali) sat out the second, so he sat out the third.”
Amir was the hottest property in world cricket after bursting on the scene as a teenager in 2009 and at 18 he was the youngest bowler to have taken 50 Test wickets.
But his world was turned upside down in 2010 when he became involved in a spot-fixing scandal after deliberately bowling no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England — an incident that would eventually see him sent to prison by an English court and given a five-year ban by the International Cricket Council.
Amir’s first 14 Tests saw him take 51 wickets at just a fraction over 23 apiece, figures that had him on course to be an all-time great.
But the 17 Tests since his comeback two years ago have seen him take 49 wickets at a more expensive average of 34.91
Amir, and Pakistan for that matter, have not been helped by the fact that those 17 Tests since 2016 have also seen 16 catches dropped off his bowling.
The stigma of his spot-fixing exile has started to fade, with Amir playing for Pakistan during their 2-2 draw in a four-Test series in England two years ago.
He also starred for Essex as they won English domestic cricket’s first-class County Championship title last season.
Now the 26-year-old Amir is set to be the leader of an inexperienced Pakistan attack.
England, who didn’t manage a single win during their recent seven combined Tests in Australia and New Zealand, collapsed to 58 all out in Auckland in March as Kiwi left-arm quick Trent Boult took six wickets.
And Arthur backed Amir to do similar damage
“I think Mohammad Amir is the finest exponent of pace and swing when he gets it 100 percent right,” Arthur said.
“We’ve used that spell that Trent Boult bowled in Auckland. We’ve had a look at his lengths.
“We believe he (Amir) bowls incredibly well at left-handers and there will be three left-handers (Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan) in the (England) top four.
“He’s ready, I just hope it goes really well for him because he’s been unlucky at times with the amount of dropped catches.
“He’s ready, he’s determined, he’s fit, he’s strong, he’s excited, he’s in a very good place at the moment.”
Arthur is unusual in having served as the head coach of three leading nations — his native South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.
But he was adamant he had no desire to replace Trevor Bayliss when the Australian steps down as England coach next year.
“No, I’m very happy,” Arthur said. “I’d like to keep going with Pakistan for as long as they will have me because it’s unfinished business for us at the moment. This is a very young cricket team and I worry if we move on what happens to these guys. Their fitness regime is outstanding, they are training hard and they are enjoying their cricket. I’m very, very happy with where I am at the moment,” he insisted.