Ten things to know from last week. March 22-28, 2022: A new #1 in Golf, Italy is out of the World Cup, the ONE card...
Five things to know from last week
A new #1. Scottie Scheffler (USA) has become the new number one player in the Official World Golf Rankings. He is the 25th player to earn this spot in 36 years. Scheffler defeated Kevin Kisner (USA) to win the World Golf Championship-Dell Technologies Match Play. He was the 2020 PGA Rookie of the Year.
The new rules are working. After last week’s disappointment with its two cars retiring in the last lap, this time Red Bull won the Saudi Grand Prix thanks to Max Verstappen (NED), who finished ahead of both Ferraris, after a great fight with Leclerc and good battles overall aided by the new rulebook that allows draft between the cars. The fourth was Sergio Pérez (MEX), who had won the pole position and led the first part of the race but was affected by an untimely yellow flag.
The wind for Australia. Tom Slingsby (AUS) and his Team Australia repeated as Champions in the second SailGP season, after taking an exciting season finale in San Francisco Bay that had to be suspended to allow a whale to cross. They finished ahead of Japan and the United States, which had been hit by Spain earlier in another regatta. New Zealand and France also collided at some point.
14-0. Silvana Trinzoni became the first Skip to win three consecutive Women’s Curling World Championships, along with Alina Pätz, Esther Neuenschwander, Melanie Barbezat; and Carole Howald for a second time. They won all 14 games of the tournament, beating Sweden 7-5 in the Semis, and South Korea 7-6 in the Final. Locals Canada beat Sweden for bronze. Both Olympic Finalists, Great Britain (Scotland) and Japan had to withdraw due to COVID-19 issues.
Historic African win. Biniam Girmay (ERI) won the Gent–Wevelgem to become the first African that wins a UCI World Tour event. He beat Christophe Laporte (FRA), who also lost the win to Wout Van Aert (BEL) in the E3 Saxo Bank Classic two days earlier. In Spain, Sergio Higuita (COL) beat Olympic Champion Richard Carapaz (ECU) to win the Volta a Catalunya. In the Women’s World Tour, Elisa Balsamo (ITA) is unstoppable and won World Tour three one-day races in the span of one week: the Trofeo Alfredo Binda-Comune di Cittiglio, the Classic Brugge–De Panne, and the Gent–Wevelgem. In Africa itself, Mountain Bike’s Cape Epic was decided on the very last stage, as Georg Egger and Lukas Baum (DEU) won a great final stage to suppress a deficit of almost three minutes from Andreas Seewald (DEU) and Martin Stošek (CZE). Local hero Matthew Beers (ZAF) could not repeat last year’s win and was third, alongside Christopher Blevins (USA). The Mixed competition was won by African riders Mannie Heymans (NAM) and Genevieve Weber (ZAF). The Women’s competition was won by Haley Batten (USA) and Sofía Gómez Villafane (ARG).
Italy is out again! Italy will be absent for a second World Cup in a row after Northern Macedonia eliminated the four-time Champions. Canada secured the comeback to a World Cup for the first time since 1986.
Home dance. Russia was absent from the Figure Skating World Championships but that does not take away from Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Cizeron (FRA), who won their fifth Ice Dance World Championship, one month after their maiden Olympic gold. It was sweeter winning in Montpellier. They also broke the World Records yet again in Combined, Free Dance, and Short Dance. Shoma Uno (JPN) took advantage of Nathan Chen’s (USA) absence to win the Men’s Individual Title, while the Russian absences also opened the way for Alexa Knierim / Brandon Frazier (USA) in Pairs, and for Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) in Women’s Singles.
ONE Muay Thai. Nong-O Gaiyanghadao (THA) continues to cement his place as one of the best Muay Thai fighters of all time, by beating Felipe Lobo (BRA) with a brutal third-round uppercut to defend the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship for a record-setting fifth time. He has been a World Champion in five different weight classes and has won all eight bouts since his comeback in 2018. Other legends featured in the Singaporean card included the Mixed combat sports fight between Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon (THA) and Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (USA). Jitmuangnon had a good Muay Thay Round 1 but Johnson won the fight via submission when the rules changed to MMA for Round 2.
ONE Kickboxing. Superbon Singha Mawynn (THA) proved why so many people have him as the best Pound for Pound kickboxer in the world, as he defeated Marat Grigorian (ARM) to defend the ONE Kickboxing Featherweight title, of which he is the first Champion after beating one of the greatest of all time, Giorgio Petrosyan (ARM/ITA). On the same card, Chingiz “Chinga” Allazov (BLR) beat Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong in the ONE Featherweight World Grand Prix Championship Final, setting up the clash against Nong-O. Another great fight was the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Championship fight where Hiroki Akimoto (JPN) dethroned “One-Punch Man” Capitan Petchyindee (THA), in a decision.
Freeride. The Freeride World Tour concluded its 2022 season, with Maxime Chabloz (CHE) -who won the season finale- and Jess Hotter (NZL) winning the Ski divisions, and Blake Moller (USA) and Tiphanie Perrotin (FRA) winning Snowboard. Relieve the best Ski action from the Xtreme Verbier Ski, the last stop of the season.
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