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Sports news briefs — Jan. 12

Compiled from wire reports


Abbott clinches title, gets Olympics nod

• Jeremy Abbott won his fourth U.S. figure skating title and locked up his second Olympic berth Sunday in Boston. Jason Brown was second, earning the Americans’ second spot in the Sochi Games. Defending champion Max Aaron was third. Skating last, Abbott had a cushion of nearly 13 points on Aaron after the short program, and once he landed a quadruple toe loop to open the free skate, the Olympic berth was in his grasp.

• Latvia won a four-man World Cup bobsled race, while the U.S. team capped another rough week after a solid start to the season in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Reigning Olympic champion Steven Holcomb and his team of Steve Langton, Curt Tomasevicz and Chris Fogt were seventh in 2 minutes, 10.29 seconds. Latvian pilot Oskars Melbardis earned his first victory of the season. His team finished two runs in 2:09.52.

• Dutch skaters continued to dominate the European Speed Skating Championships, clinching victories in three of four races in Hamar, Norway. Olympic gold medalist Ireen Wust won the women’s 1,500-meter event in 54.87 seconds. Koen Verweij finished the men’s 1,500 race in 1 minute, 45.69 seconds. Olympic bronze medalist Jan Blokhuijsen won the men’s 10,000-meter race in 13 minutes, 7.22 seconds. Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic won the women’s 5,000-meter race in 6 minutes, 58.13 seconds.

• Marie-Michele Gagnon ended a 30-year drought for Canadian women in World Cup combined events by earning her maiden victory in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria. Gagnon finished in an overall 2 minutes, 5.55 seconds to beat second-place Michaela Kirchgasser of Austria by 0.32.

• Marcel Hirscher of Austria won a World Cup slalom to seize the lead in the overall and discipline standings in Adelboden, Switzerland. Hirscher sliced through the gates on the final slope to beat Andre Myhrer of Sweden by 0.29 seconds. Hirscher’s combined two-run time was 1 minute, 49.75 seconds.

• Olympic champion Felix Loch of Germany won his fourth World Cup luge race of the season in Oberhof, Germany. Loch’s two-run time was 1 minute, 26.957 seconds, leading a German sweep. Andi Langerhan was second in 1:27.152.


Winnipeg Jets fire coach amid skid

• Claude Noel was fired as coach by the Winnipeg Jets and replaced with Paul Maurice. Noel was fired amid a five-game losing streak that dropped the Jets to 19-23-5 and 10 points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Assistant coach Perry Pearn was also fired. Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said Maurice’s deal is only until the end of this season.

• Todd Grantham is leaving Georgia to become Bobby Petrino’s defensive coordinator at Louisville. Georgia coach Mark Richt confirmed that Grantham had accepted an offer from the Cardinals. Grantham was Georgia’s defensive coordinator for four years. Grantham was entering the final year of a three-year contract worth $850,000 per year. ESPN reported Grantham will earn $1 million per year at Louisville.

• Pittsburgh sophomore forward Durand Johnson will miss the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee Saturday. Johnson was blossoming as Pitt’s sixth man, averaging 8.8 points and 3.0 rebounds.

— From wire reports


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