Monday, 6th March
Sensational Snooker Championship in Thailand
Bangkok recently hosted the World Women's Snooker Championship that included players like Ng On Yee and Chinese teenager Bai Yulu. China's 19-year-old has been touted as one of the brightest young talents in the sport for a few years now, having won the World Women’s Under-21 title in 2019. It was Yulu who made history earlier in the week with the highest ever break in women's snooker of 127. The final was eventually contested between Thailand’s Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan and Yulu, with the local star victorious by 6-3.
Bakuriani, Georgia's popular ski resort, concluded the FIS Snowboard and Freestyle Ski World Championship last week. Eva Adamczykova (CZE) and Jakob Dusek (AUT) became Snowboard Cross champions. Halfpipe gold went to Xuetong Cai (CHN) and Chaeun Lee (KOR), while the Big Air champions are Anna Gasser (AUT) and Taiga Hasegawa (JPN). In Freestyle Ski the week opened with Freeski Halfpipe. Gold medals were won by Mathilde Gremaud (SUI) and Birk Ruud (NOR). Two titles were decided on Saturday. Hanna Faulhaber (USA) and Brendan Mackay (CAN) won Freeski Halfpipe, while the Freeski Big Air champions are Tess Ledeux (FRA) and Troy Podmilsak (USA).
Planica in Slovenia also had a busy week with the conclusion of the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships. Jarl Magnus Riiber (NOR) became the Gundersen Large Hill HS138/10 km champion, while favourites Norway also took the 4 x 5 km Team title. The Ski Jumping HS138 champions are Alexandria Loutitt (CAN) and Timi Zajc (SLO). The team gold was claimed by the hosts. Jessie Diggins (USA) won the 10 km Individual Start Free, with the 15 km men's title going to Simen Hegstad Krueger (NOR). Norway also won both the 5 km and 10 km Relay Classic/Free. The championship concluded with the Mass Start Classic. Ebba Andersson (SWE) won the 30 km, with Paal Golberg (NOR) claiming the 50 km victory.
The Boí Taüll Resort, one of Spain's favourite ski resorts located in the Pyrenees, hosted the International Ski Mountaineering World Championships all of last week. Medals in nine categories were contested, with 29 gold medals won. Full results can be found here: https://bit.ly/3Zmfot5. Over in Heerenveen, Netherlands, the Thialf Ice Arena was the location for the International Skating Union World Speed Skating Championships. As expected and together with strong local support, the Netherlands produced an exceptional performance. Twenty gold medals were on offer with full results here: https://bit.ly/3JfdvJ3
Strade Bianchi is a popular cycling road race on the UCI WorldTour and UCI Women's WorldTour. Demi Vollering (NED) and Thomas Pidcock (GBR) are the 2023 champions. Sunday was also the start of Paris-Nice, a 7-day road race as part of the UCI WorldTour. Åsarna in Sweden hosted the IFSS On-Snow World Championships and World Masters 2023, one of the main annual events of the International Federation of Sleddog Sports. Up to thirty titles were contested with the full results here: https://bit.ly/3KUHiYM. After winning the third test against India, Australia have secured their spot in the final of the International Cricket Council World Test Championships. India are the favourites to claim the other final spot. Should they win the fourth test starting this week, they will qualify. However, Sri Lanka can still overtake them with two tests to play on their tour of New Zealand.
In motorsport news, Sebastien Loeb (FRA) tops the FIA rankings after round two of the FIA/FIM World Rally-Raid Championship. Toby Price (AUS) leads the motorbike category. Round 2 of the FIM Superbike World Championship took place in Indonesia over the weekend. Alvaro Bautista (ESP) continued his sensational start to the season with two wins. Max Verstappen (NED) achieved his 36th victory in his Formula One career as he produced a dominant performance in Bahrain to claim a one-two win for Red Bull. The NTT Indycar Series started the new season in St. Petersburg, Florida. Marcus Ericsson (SWE) earned his fourth career victory in Indycar Racing.
Beth Potter (GBR) and Alex Yee (GBR) opened the World Triathlon Championship Series in style with wins in Abu Dhabi. The Longines Global Champions Tour, one of the world's premier show jumping competitions, also opened the new season with Doha hosting. Local star Khalid Mohammed A S Al Emadi claimed the top honours. Michael van Gerwen (NED) extended his lead at the top by winning Night 5 of the Professional Darts Corporation Premier League. However, van Gerwen lost out to Andrew Gilding (ENG) who won his first televised tournament at the UK Open. China defeated Germany 8-7 in the final of the World Junior Curling Championships hosted in Düssen, Germany. Tayfun Taşdemir (TUR) defeated Haeng-Jik Kim (KOR) 50-39 in the final of the Carom Billiards World Cup 3-Cushion in Las Vegas. Eklent Kaçi (ALB) became the World Pool-Billiard Association World 10-Ball Champion also featuring in Las Vegas.
Rosemary Wanjiru (KEN) and Deso Gelmisa (ETH) won the Tokyo Marathon, a platinum race by World Athletics. Kyrgyzstan has won the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship Division III, Group B title. Golf star Jin Young Ko (KOR) successfully defended the HSBC Women's World Championship held in Singapore. China were in dominant form at the World Table Tennis Star Contender Tournament held in Goa, India. Mikaili Sol (USA) and Carlos Mario (BRA) won in Salinas del Rey, Colombia's popular kiteboarding spot in the Caribbean, at the Global Kitesports Association Freestyle World Cup.
Further snow sports featured over the weekend. Kvitfjell in Norway hosted the Women's Alpine World Cup. Super G titles went to Cornelia Huetter (AUT) and Nina Ortlieb (AUT, while Kajsa Vickhoff Lie (NOR) triumphed in the Downhill. Aspen hosted the Men's Alpine World Cup. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) won Downhill, with Super G going to Marco Odermatt (SUI). Engadin in Switzerland hosted Freestyle Aerials with victories going to Danielle Scott (AUS) and Dmytro Kotovskyi (UKR). Aneta Havlickova (CZE) and Pavel Cihacek (CZE) won the FISB Skibob World Cup Final held in Paseky, Czech Republic. Staying in the Czech Republic where Nové Město na Moravě hosted the next IBU Biathlon World Cup. Johannes Thingnes Boe (NOR) and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (NOR) won both the Sprint and Pursuit titles. It was also Boe's 13th World Cup win in the 2022/2023 season. Norway secured the Single Mixed Relay win, while France won the Mixed Relay.
Georgia will play Portugal in the final of the Rugby Europe Men's Championship. Argentina's men have produced a sensational performance to win the World Rugby Sevens Series in Vancouver. New Zealand's women continue their impressive run with another victory. They are now 14 points clear with only two rounds remaining. New Zealand's men still lead the standings, but only by 12 points with Argentina chasing. There are four rounds remaining. Although the official record is not clear in rugby union, on Saturday inside centre Rameka Poihipi dotted down after a record-breaking nine seconds in the clash between the Chiefs and Moana Pasifika, making it the fastest try in Super Rugby.
Until next time, have a great week in sport.