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The Inside Track | NEWSWIRE

Appleby in a Familiar Position at Kapalua

January 08, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

If it's Kapalua, it must be Stuart Appleby.

On another blustery Hawaiian day that severely tested the 28-man Mercedes Championships field of last year's PGA Tour winners, Appleby birdied three of his last six holes for a three-under-par 70 and a two-shot lead over U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell.

Appleby had a tap-in birdie on the 663-yard closing hole on Saturday, leaving him at six-under 213, in prime position to become the first player in nearly 50 years to win the winners-only event three straight times.

Jim Furyk, also a past winner at Kapalua, shot a 72 and was at three-under 216.

Only half a dozen players were under par, including Lucas Glover, who had a hole in one on the 203-yard eighth hole.


Austria's Raich Wins,

Moves Past Rahlves

Benjamin Raich of Austria overcame a late mistake to win a World Cup giant slalom at Adelboden, Switzerland, the last before next month's Olympics at Turin, Italy, and overtake Daron Rahlves atop the overall standings.

Raich completed two runs on the Chuenisbaergli course in 2 minutes 23.25 seconds for his second consecutive giant slalom victory.

"I reached a major goal of mine today," said Raich, who won last month at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. "It's a dream come true. It's a classic and a victory means a lot on such a difficult course."

Raich was followed by Fredrik Nyberg of Sweden at 2:23.74. Kalle Palander of Finland and Stephan Goergl of Austria tied for third at 2:24.47.

Nyberg, 36, became the oldest man to finish among the top three in a World Cup race. He beat the mark set by Italy's Kristian Ghedina, who at 35 was runner-up last season in a downhill at Chamonix, France.

Rahlves, of Sugar Bowl, Calif., crashed during the second run, and teammate Bode Miller of Franconia, N.H., was 14th.

Rahlves was 14th in the opening run before his crash near the finish of his second run. Miller was 16th after his left ski got stuck coming out of the start hut on his first run. They are tied for second in the overall standings with 489 points. Raich has 546.

Raich also took the lead of the giant slalom standings after five races with 286 points.

Janica Kostelic got another day to nurse her swollen right hand before resuming her bid to beat Sweden's Anja Paerson for the overall World Cup title.

A giant slalom was called off at Maribor, Slovenia, because warm weather led to dangerously soft snow. Organizers hope to repair the course in time for today's scheduled slalom.

Alex Bilodeau of Canada won a World Cup freestyle moguls event at Ste-Adele, Canada, with Jeremy Bloom of the U.S. second. Bilodeau had a score of 27.66 points, followed by Bloom at 26.97 and Janne Lahtela of Finland at 26.86.

Kari Traa of Norway won the women's competition with 26.80 points. Jennifer Heil of Canada was second at 26.32 and Nikola Sudova of the Czech Republic third at 25.88.

Hilde Pedersen of Norway won a 10-kilometer cross-country race at Otepaa, Estonia, the first time the 41-year-old finished in the top three of a World Cup event.

Vassili Rotchev of Russia won the men's 15-kilometer race.

High winds and heavy snow forced the postponement of the U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix Tour halfpipe finals at Mount Bachelor, Ore. The competition was scheduled to resume today, with an abbreviated slope-style event to follow.

Tim Nardiello, the U.S. skeleton coach accused of sexual harassment by one slider, Felicia Canfield, and inappropriate conduct by Marsha Gale, the mother of 2002 Olympic gold medalist Tristan Gale, will go to court Monday, fighting to clear his name and get his job back so he can coach in the Olympics.

Neither Canfield nor Gale will be on the Olympic team. But based largely on the harassment claims, which Nardiello strongly denies, he was put on administrative leave by the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation.

"None of us are perfect," Nardiello said in an exclusive interview with the Associated Press as he took a break from e-mailing plans and advice to his team, which is training in Germany for a World Cup race next weekend.

"But none of us deserve this.... I'm not resigning. They can fire me."


Baldomir Shocks Judah

for Welterweight Title

Zab Judah saw a big-money fight go out the window when he lost his undisputed welterweight crown by dropping a unanimous decision to unknown Carlos Baldomir of Argentina at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Baldomir (42-9-6) won only the World Boxing Council welterweight title as he didn't pay the sanction fees to the World Boxing Assn. and the International Boxing Federation.

Judah (34-3) was supposed to fight undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. in April.


Federer Wins Another

Qatar Open Title

Top-ranked Roger Federer won the Qatar Open for the second year in a row, beating seventh-seeded Gael Monfils, 6-3, 7-6 (5).

In so doing, he became the first player to win consecutive titles in Doha since Stefan Edberg in 1994 and 1995.

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