Hamilton sweeps to dominant Belgian F1 win

first_imgBy Abhishek Takle(REUTERS) – Lewis Hamilton took another step towards a record-equalling seventh Formula One title on Sunday with a dominant lights-to-flag victory in the Belgian Grand Prix.The Briton, who had started from pole position after an inspired qualifying display, was at the front for every single lap as he led team mate Valtteri Bottas across the line for a Mercedes one-two.Hamilton looked to be in perfect control in the lead after retaining his advantage at the start and down the long flat-out blast to the Les Combes chicane despite a snap of oversteer.The durability of his tyres, which stirred memories of his winning three-wheeled limp to the line at his home British Grand Prix, raised some concern for the champion.But even those worries, which injected a hint of jeopardy into the otherwise straightforward race, proved unfounded as he crossed the line a comfortable 8.4 seconds clear of his Finnish stablemate.“I know it’s not necessarily what everybody always wants to see, a Mercedes at the front,” said Hamilton, who now has a 50-point lead in the championship over Bottas and is 47 ahead of Red Bull’s third-placed finisher Max Verstappen.“But no matter how much success we have, we just keep our heads down.”Hamilton’s win was the 89th of his career, putting him ever closer to matching Michael Schumacher’s seven title triumphs and leaving him just two short of the German’s record tally of 91 race victories.It was also the champion’s fifth win from seven races so far this season and the fourth of his career on the Spa-Francorchamps track.Bottas, winner of the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix but now effectively two whole race victories behind Hamilton, said: “I think Lewis was faultless today.”“PRETTY BORING” Verstappen, the only non-Mercedes winner so far this year, took his sixth consecutive podium but dubbed the race “boring.”“I ran out of tyres at the end, so I was just stretching it out, saving the front tyres,” said the 22-year-old, who had a lonely afternoon after a first-lap battle with former team mate Daniel Ricciardo.“It was not enjoyable out there today.”Ricciardo finished fourth for Renault, while also taking the extra point for fastest lap. Team mate Esteban Ocon rounded off a strong weekend for the French manufacturer by snatching fifth on the last lap from Red Bull’s Alexander Albon.Lando Norris, the sole McLaren in the race after team mate Carlos Sainz failed to make the start due to an exhaust issue, was seventh while Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly took ‘Driver of the Day’ honours in eighth.FERRARI STRUGGLE Ferrari, winners in Belgium for the last two years, finished out of the points as their lack of speed was laid bare on Spa’s long straights.Sebastian Vettel, leaving Ferrari at the end of the year, was 13th, a place ahead of last year’s pole-sitter and winner Charles Leclerc, whose race was further hampered by slow pitstops.“We need to work and find something because like this it’s very difficult,” Leclerc said of the Italian team’s form that even drew a shake of the head from Vettel’s replacement Sainz.The race was interrupted by an early safety car, sent out after a crash involving Antonio Giovinazzi and George Russell.The Italian lost control of his Alfa Romeo at the exit of the Fagnes chicane.Russell, running behind Giovinazzi in his Williams, collected a loose wheel that came off the car, leaving debris strewn across the track.last_img read more

With a title in mind, USC is set to tee off

first_imgFor the No. 2 USC women’s golf team, this season is all about redemption.After falling just short of their goal of a national championship last season, the Women of Troy seek to reclaim the title that eluded them last year.Sizing it up · USC sophomore Jennifer Song returns this season in an attempt to build on an accolade-filled freshman year, in which she finished in the top 10 nine times. But after finishing second in the National Championship, Song is out to improve. – Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information“We look forward to getting back that national championship in the spring,” said junior Lizette Salas, a first team All-American last season.After winning the 2008 NCAA title, the team led the 2009 National Championship going into the final round only to finish third, nine strokes back of Arizona State. For then-freshman Jennifer Song, the heartbreak was doubled by her second-place finish after leading on the final day. Song led by two strokes heading into the final round, only to see it slip away on the final hole to finish one stroke behind Purdue’s Maria Hernandez.This year, the team is determined to get back to the top. The Women of Troy return their top six golfers from last season, including everyone that traveled to the National Championship. Led by an All-American trio — Song, Salas and senior Belen Mozo — the team’s expectations are nothing short of another NCAA title.Song, now a sophomore, returns to attempt to top a phenomenal season that culminated in her breaking the school single-season scoring record. She finished the season as the top female collegiate golfer in the country, with nine top-10 finishes during the season and a scoring average of .18 strokes below par. After the season, she was named a First Team All-American and the NCGA Freshman of the Year.Instead of using the summer to rest, Song continued her torrid pace and became just the second woman to win two USGA titles in one year. After winning the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship by the largest margin in tournament history, she went on to win the US Women’s Amateur Championship. In between, she finished 13th at the US Women’s Open Championship — the top finish by an amateur.Now that she’s back in school, Song isn’t planning on slowing down.“It definitely gave me a lot of confidence, and going into the season I’m full of energy and really excited,” Song said.Still, she doesn’t dwell on last season’s success, saying, “I just try to hit one shot at a time.”Salas, now a two-time All-American, finished last season ranked fourth in the nation. Her nine top-10 finishes, which included two victories, earned her the Pac-10 Women’s Golfer of the Year award. Salas also broke the school’s scoring record last season, with an average of only .09 strokes over par. Salas, however, isn’t satisfied with last season’s finish.“I kind of struggled towards the end of last year,” she said, referring to her 18th-place finishes at the NCAA West Regional Tournament and the National Championship.Over the summer, Salas also struggled with a back injury at the end of last season. Though her competitive schedule was limited, she competed in the US Women’s Amateur and the US Women’s Public Links this summer. After making it to the round of 16 in the Public Links, she fell in the second round of the US Amateur to the eventual champion: Song.“I learned a lot this summer and I’m just now getting healthy and back into competitive golf,” Salas said. “I’m just going to keep getting stronger and come back better this year.”Mozo seeks to become the first ever four-time All-American for the Trojans this season after being named a Second Team All-American last year. While struggling with a shoulder injury last season, Mozo’s game was inconsistent. She earned three top-10 finishes and set a personal record with a 65 at the 2009 UCF Challenge, besting her previous low score by three strokes. Her 65 tied with Song for the lowest round on the team last season and marked the third-lowest score of any golfer in the country.Mozo underwent shoulder surgery over the summer and is just beginning to recover.“She’s starting to swing now, but we don’t have her swinging drivers yet,” USC coach Andrea Gaston said. “We’ll see if she can come back for any of our October tournaments, but we don’t want to rush anything.”Also returning is 2008 All-American Stefanie Endstrasser. The senior struggled with her game last season, but showed flashes of brilliance in her third place finish at the 2008 Mason Rudolph Championship.“Stephanie hasn’t been up to form, but she’s been working really hard,” Gaston said. “She played a few events over the summer while attending summer school in Europe.”The team is also looking for continuing contributions from senior Caroline Kim and sophomore Inah Park. Both became regular contributors for the Women of Troy last season, but they’ll be challenged for their roster spots by Endstrasser and incoming freshman Cyna Rodriguez.Rodriguez, a native of the Philippines, recently attended the prestigious David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Florida to prepare for collegiate competition. Her victories on the amateur circuit make her an instant contender for a roster spot.The road to redemption for the Women of Troy begins this Friday at the Mason Rudolph Championship at the Legends Golf Club in Nashville, Tenn. Gaston sees the fall season as a time for “everyone to get the competitive experience so we can have more depth and count on every player.”last_img read more

Jaime Munguia calls out Canelo, GGG after 11th-round TKO of Gary O’Sullivan

first_imgA relentless attack from @jaimemunguia15 ends this fight in the 11th round 🛎#MunguiaOSullivan pic.twitter.com/M7HLP69eVG— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) January 12, 2020″I would give myself about an 8 or 9 (out of 10) because I needed to still do a few more things, but we’re going to take this fight by fight,” Munguia said of his debut at 160 pounds during the postfight interview on DAZN.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThat said, Munguia wants a crack at the best the division has to offer, led by the face of boxing, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.”I want to fight against the best of the division,” he said, “whether it’s Canelo (Alvarez), (Gennadiy) Golovkin, (Jermall) Charlo.”. @Canelo, @GGGBoxing, @FutureOfBoxing …Jaime Munguia wants ALL THE SMOKE at middleweight 😤 pic.twitter.com/QljCs03A3o— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) January 12, 2020Absent from his list of middleweight championship mentions was WBO titleholder Demetrius Andrade.Munguia’s first stab at middleweight was definitely an invaluable experience. The 35-year-old O’Sullivan was rugged enough to hang with the quicker, stronger puncher and frustrate him at times. The veteran even caught Munguia with some big shots that tested the former junior middleweight champion’s chin.It took Munguia (35-0, 28 KOs) committing to his jab in the ninth round to show real-time maturity and pull away before pummeling O’Sullivan into a retirement from his corner.Earlier in the fight, O’Sullivan repeatedly complained about low blows and rabbit punches. Munguia even had a point deducted in the sixth round for a low blow. In the seventh, Munguia seemed to have dropped O’Sullivan with crunching body shots, but it was ruled another low blow — although unintentional this time. Munguia drove O’Sullivan back against the ropes with a fast combination during the waning seconds of the seventh.Four rounds later, Munguia got the stoppage he was seeking. Now he’ll look to further test his skills at 160.Co-main event: Alejandra Jimenez def. Franchon Crews-Dezurn to win WBC/WBO women’s super middleweight titlesJimenez wobbled Crews-Dezurn with a big right hand in the second round, and she seemed to immediately realize what damage the punch could do. The Mexican fighter, who had moved down from heavyweight, showed the willingness to eat Crews-Dezurn’s punches just to dole out punishment of her own. The non-stop pressure worked; Crews-Dezurn’s legs were never the same from the fourth round on.Although Crews-Dezurn showed plenty of fortitude in fighting back, and while she, in fact, landing more punches, Jimenez produced the harder shots throughout the fight. That output powered her to a split-decision victory and the titles. Judges saw it 98-92 and 97-93 for Jimenez and 97-93 for Crews-Dezurn, though the scores could have easily been tighter.The co-main event was a WAR 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Zdf1JSJVBm— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) January 12, 2020After the fight, Jimenez said through a translator that “we’re going to go for Claressa Shields at middleweight” next.Alejandra Jimenez is the new, unified super middleweight champion 🏆🏆Now she wants @Claressashields 👀 pic.twitter.com/OK9VgDYUqp— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) January 12, 2020Shields (10-0) on Friday became the quickest boxer ever — man or woman — to be crowned a three-division world champion. It didn’t take her long to respond to Jimenez. Oh Jimenez you don’t want smoke with me, and to my sis @TheHHDiva I thought you edged it. @DAZN_USA— ClaressaT-rexShields (@Claressashields) January 12, 2020   It might have taken longer than he expected, but Jaime Munguia made sure to deliver a knockout in his middleweight debut.Munguia pummeled Gary O’Sullivan against the ropes with a series of stinging rights and lefts before the veteran’s corner threw in the towel behind the referee’s back. Munguia dropped O’Sullivan seconds later, and the ref spotted the towel to bring a halt to the fight. The stoppage gave the 23-year-old Mexican an 11th-round TKO victory at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Saturday night, live on DAZN. Come on and get that ass whooped Jimenez, I thought @TheHHDiva edged tonight https://t.co/dQw2IsPrzI— ClaressaT-rexShields (@Claressashields) January 12, 2020 Hector Tanajara Jr. dominates Juan Carlos Burgos; lightweightsTanajara asserted the jab and stayed on the outside through the first five rounds. The last five had him stepping in the phone booth and connecting on powerful, stinging shots inside. The combination of strategies led to the 23-year-old fighter scoring a unanimous decision (99-91, 97-92, 97-92) and improving to 19-0.Joshua Franco stops Jose Burgos with ninth-round TKO; junior bantamweightsFranco rocked Burgos with a left hook and unleashed a barrage of unanswered shots to force the stoppage in the ninth round.last_img read more