Canada, Russia, USA win in men's ice hockey
SOCHI, Russia (AFP) — Defending champions Canada and host Russia swept aside battling opponents, while the USA steamrolled Slovakia on the second day of the men's ice hockey tournament at the Sochi Olympics yesterday.
Shea Weber and Jamie Benn scored second period goals as Canada got their gold medal defence off to a solid start in the preliminary round by edging Norway 3-1 in front of a crowd of 10,261 at the Bolshoi Ice Dome.
Russian star Alex Ovechkin scored with his first shot of the Games as the host nation survived a scare to beat Slovenia 5-2, and the United States — who won the silver four years ago in Vancouver — scored six goals in the second period as they thumped hapless Slovakia 7-1.
After a slow start in the first period, the defending Olympic champion Canadians got rolling in the second when Weber scored on a blast from the point with just over six minutes gone.
Russian jumper fractures ribs
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Mikhail Maksimochkin fractured two ribs in a dramatic training crash on the large hill at the Sochi Olympics and spent Wednesday night in hospital and won't attempt to qualify for the individual final.
Alexander Uvarov, president of the national ski jumping federation, said he visited Maksimochkin in hospital yesterday morning to discuss options for rehabilitation.
A statement on the FIS website said Maksimochkin was expected to be released from hospital today and would not attempt to qualify for the individual large hill final tomorrow.
A decision on whether he competes for Russia in the team event on Monday will be made by the weekend.
Normal hill gold medal winner Kamil Stoch of Poland crashed during the same session Wednesday, leaving the hill with his left arm in a sling. He was not seriously injured and was expected to take part in the second set of training rounds last night.
Russian skater Plushenko withdraws injured
SOCHI, Russia (AFP) — Yevgeny Plushenko's rivals were stunned yesterday night after hearing that the four-time Olympic medallist had withdrawn injured at the last minute from the Winter Olympics.
Plushenko, pulled out shortly before he was due to skate his short programme at the Iceberg Skating Palace, after stumbling out of a triple axel jump and quickly announced he was calling time on his career.
Rumours that the 31-year-old, a two-time Olympic gold and two-time silver medallist, might not compete had been rife after he complained of a sore back after helping his team win the inaugural team gold.
Panama to get taste of Major League Baseball
NEW YORK, USA (AFP) — Panama will get a taste of Major League Baseball for the first time since 1947 when the New York Yankees play the Miami Marlins in an exhibition in March.
The "Legend Series" will be played on March 15-16 at Panama City's Rod Carew Stadium and will honour the legacy of newly retired Yankees great and Panama native Mariano Rivera, the game's all-time saves leader.
Rivera, formerly the Yankees' steel-nerved star closing pitcher, will serve as one of the promoters of the affair and the series will also include charitable events off the field.
The games will be a rematch of the 2003 World Series and Panama will become the seventh country to host games between major league clubs (Mexico, Japan, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and China).