Yuzuru Hanyu may not land in the history books, but still has one foot on Olympic gold

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Double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu almost became the first skater to land a quadruple axis while easily outpacing Shoma Uno and Yumi Kagayami win the Japanese national championship on Sunday. Hanyu tried the jump, which unlike other quads includes an extra half spin, at the start of his free skate at Saitama Super Arena. He eventually landed on two feet and the jump was downgraded to a triple axel, but that still set the stage for a program that included three more quads and left him with 322.36 points. Uno packed five quads in his free skate but barely held on to his quad flip and quad toe and fell on another quad toe, leaving him with 295.82 points and the silver medal. Kagiyami finished with 292.41 points. The trio of Japanese skaters should be the toughest competition for the American star Nathan Chen at the Beijing Winter Olympics, which are due to begin in just under six weeks. Chen is competing at the US Nationals in two weeks. In another potential Olympic preview this weekend, the Russian star Kamila Valieva confirmed its status as a big favorite in Beijing with a record performance at its national championship. The Skate Canada and Rostelecom Cup winner scored 193.10 points in her free skate, eclipsing her record of 185.29 set earlier this year, and finished with an incredible 283.48 points. Valieva had set the record for a Grand Prix with her score of 272.71 points at the Rostelecom Cup.

FOOTBALL

Date set for USWNT appeal to court

Oral arguments in the appeal of the United States women’s national soccer team players seeking equal pay are scheduled for March. The 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals said Sunday that the hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. on March 7 in Pasadena, Calif. According to circuit court procedures, the identities of the three judges on the panel will be made public on February 28. We hope that 2022 will be the year of peace and health – and equal pay. We look forward to these pleadings, ”player spokesperson Molly Levinson said in a statement. The players, led by Alex Morgan, sued the U.S. Soccer Federation in March 2019, claiming they weren’t paid fairly under their collective bargaining agreement compared to what the men’s team receives under their deal, which expired in December 2018. The women sought more than $64 million in damages plus $3 million in interest under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. L ‘USSF said the women had agreed to a contract of employment with a higher guaranteed salary than the men and additional benefits. The USSF said Sept. 14 that it had offered identical contracts to men’s and women’s unions, which are separate and have no obligation under federal labor law to agree to similar terms.

Alabama arrives healthy, but minus two coaches

Top-ranked Alabama arrived in North Texas without an offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien or offensive line coach Doug Marronebut coach Nick Saban expected the two assistants to go for the playoff semi-final at the Cotton Bowl. The Crimson Tide said last Wednesday that O’Brien and Marrone had tested positive for the coronavirus and were self-isolating with mild symptoms. Saban, who said the entire Alabama team was vaccinated and more than 90% of players had also received boosters, also said there were no known COVID-19 issues among players. . Saban said both coaches are doing well in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and will be attending meetings and practices via Zoom until they can rejoin the team ahead of Friday’s game against Cincinnati. “They will do all their work and practice with the players virtually, the same way I did when I tested positive before the Auburn game a year ago,” Saban said. “They will be there for the game. . . Nobody is, you know, really that sick that they can’t function and do the things that they need to do with our players. The Bearcats (13-0), the first team from outside a Power Five conference to make the college football playoffs, arrived later Sunday. “If you want a chance to win the title, you have to beat the champions, and that’s what we have. We have a chance to beat the champions,” Cincinnati coach Luc Fickel noted. “The best team doesn’t always win the game. It’s just a reality, the teams that play the best win the football game. The Cincinnati football team arrived in Texas the same day the American Athletic Conference announced that the Bearcats’ league opener in men’s basketball, scheduled for Tuesday in Houston, had been canceled due to COVID issues for the Cougars. The game was declared a no contest and Cincinnati was awarded a forfeit victory.

SAIL

Storms hit Sydney-Hobart race

The super maxi Black Jack was leading a much-reduced Sydney-Hobart racing fleet after high winds and high seas forced almost a quarter of the boats to retire. The storm forced 21 of the original 88 starters out of the race, and the remaining 67 hoped for less grueling conditions after being battered by strong southerly winds for the latter part of the day. While the three super maxis remained in the race, the big list of victims included the TP52 Gweilo, which was considered one of the main contenders for the general classification. The 628 nautical mile (approximately 720 mile) race starts from Sydney along the southern coast of the state of New South Wales and crosses the Bass Strait to Hobart, the capital of the island state of Tasmania. Monaco’s Black Jack continued to lead the battle for line honors. He was ahead of super maxi rivals LawConnect and SHK Scallywag 100. The size of Black Jack’s lead was difficult to confirm as LawConnect had problems reporting the boat’s exact position. Last year’s race was canceled the week before it started due to coronavirus quarantine concerns, but the 2021 edition is continuing with mass virus testing protocols in place. Skippers have been advised that boats must immediately withdraw from the race if a crew member receives a message from health authorities that they have tested positive for COVID-19.

VARIOUS

Racing matriarch Martha Earnhardt dies at 91

Martha Earnhardt, the matriarch of one of NASCAR’s best-known families, has died. She was 91 years old. Grandchildren Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller said in a statement that she died Saturday night in Kannapolis, North Carolina “As we mourn her loss and begin to imagine life without our beloved ‘Mamaw’, we find comfort in knowing that she is at peace in eternal glory and in joyful reunion with her husband Ralph and son Valley, Excitedand DanyMartha Earnhardt was married to Ralph Earnhardt from 1947 until the NASCAR driver’s death. Her son, the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., was a seven-time NASCAR champion and father of Dale Jr. and Kelley. Martha and Ralph Earnhardt raised five children – daughters Kaye and Cathy and three sons – in a modest home with an auto shop in the back at the corner of V-8 and Sedan Avenue in the “Car Hill” community of Kannapolis Danny died two weeks ago aged 66.

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