Ten things to know from last week. January 25-31: Nadal the greatest, 24 Hours of Daytona, Springboks, Super Bowl set...
  1. 24 Hours to the wire. As it has now become usual, the 24 Hours of Daytona were defined in the last moment, as the #60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb-Agajanian Acura frustrated Wayne Taylor Racing’s option to win the race for a fourth year in a row. Hélio Castroneves (BRA) and Simon Pagenaud (FRA) are now Daytona 24 Hours and Indy 50 winners. They were joined by Tom Blomqvist (ENG) and Oliver Jarvis (ENG). The GTD PRO class was defined by a last-lap side-by-side action, as Mthiau Jaminet (FRA, Pfaff Motorsports Porsche) and Laurens Vanthoor (BEL, KCMG Porsche) touched, relegating Vanthoor to third. Jaminet was joined by Matt Campbell (NZL) and Felipe Nasr (BRA). The LMP2 class saw Colton Herta (USA, DragonSpeed USA) pass Louis Delétraz (CHE, Tower Motorsport) with a few minutes to go; the Swiss driver left the track and went back to third. Herta was joined by Eric Lux (USA) and fellow IndyCar drivers Patricio O’Ward (MEX) and Devlin DeFrancesco (CAN/ITA). Riley Motorsports won LMP3 and Wright Motorsports won GTD.
  2. Super Bowl set. The Kansas City Chiefs could not repeat the formula of advancing via overtime thanks to the coin flip: the Cincinnati Bengals lost the toss but intercepted the ball and scored to secure their first Super Bowl appearance since 2015. Meanwhile, the Los Ángeles Rams came back from a 14-point deficit to eliminate the San Francisco 49ers. They are back in the Super Bowl after four years.
  3. 34 wins in a row. The South African Men’s Rugby Sevens team equalled second longest win streak of all time with 34 straight victories in the Sevens Word Series, as they took the stop in Sevilla (ESP), their fourth win in a row. They defeated Australia in the Final. The Aussies won the Women’ s Final, defeating Ireland.
  4. No more Bourbon. Face Time Bourbon (FRA) and Björn Gopp (SWE) could not attempt a historic third Prix D’Amerique (Harness Racing) win in a row, as he was scratched with an injury a few days before the race. This opened the door to Davidson du Pont (FRA) and 21 year-old Nicolas Bazire (FRA) to win the race. In Thoroughbread racing, Life Is Good (USA) won the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. (PRI), who had just ridden Colonel Liam (USA) for a second win in a row in the Pegasus World Cup Turf.
  5. Speed Skiing. Women’s World Record holder, Valentina Greggio (ITA), won her fourth World Speed Ski Championship, with a speed of 201.29 km/h, a bit off the 247 km/h she has achieved in the past. Billy Simon (FRA) won the Men’s Championship with a speed of 208.32 km/h, improving from the 2nd place in 2019.
  6. Greatest. Rafael Nadal (ESP). defeated Daniil Medvedev (RUS) in five set after being two down. This is his 21st Grand Slam title, putting him back on top among the men’s in the all-time winning list, and became the second man in the Open era to complete a second Grand Slam, the other one being Novak Djokovic (SRB), who was absent from this tournament. He hd previously won the 2009 Australian Open.
  7. Local win. Ashleigh Barty (AUS) won the Women’s singles title, the first singles Australian Open title in 44 years. Sam Schröder (NED) beat local Dyan Alcott (AUS) in the Quads Finals, while Shingo Kunieda (JPN) increased his all-time record for most Men’s Wheelchair Grand Slams won with the win. He lost the Doubles Final against Alfie Hewett (ENG) and Gordon Reid (SCO), who won for the third year in a row. In Women’s Wheelchair, Diede de Groot (NED) won her 6th Singles Grand Slam Final in a row, and won Doubles alongside Aniek van Koot (NED).
  8. The Vos. After last being a Cyclo-Cross World Champion back in 2014, Marianne Vos (NED) has found her best pace again at 24, and won her 8th World Championship, following the ones she won in 2006 and from 2009 to 2014. She is the #1 of all-time in Cyclo-Cross titles won. She won ahead of last year’s Champion, Lucinda Brand (NED). The Olympic Mountain Bike Champion, Tom Pidcock (ENG), won the Men’s race, followed by Lars van der Haar (NED) and Eli Iserbyt (BEL). Mathieu van der Poel (NED) and Wout van Aert (BEL) were absent.
  9. Back at it. Jason Belmonte (AUS) was largely absent from last year’s PBA Tour but came back from where he left off: winning the first Major of the Season, the PBA Players Championship Finals. This is his 14th Major title, increasing his record for most Majors won.
  10. Win after cancer. Dale McDowell (USA) came back to the World of Outlaws Late Model series after four months out recovering from prostate cancer and he did so in the best possible way: winning the season opener at Volusia Raceway, ahead of Dennis Erb, Jr (USA) and NASCAR Cup Champion, Kyle Larson (USA).