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Sports news briefs — Oct. 5

Compiled from wire reports

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auto racing

Vettel claims pole for the Korean GP

• Sebastian Vettel’s extraordinary dominance of Formula One continued Saturday when he claimed the pole position for the Korean Grand Prix in Yeongam, South Korea.

The German has taken the pole for three straight races — winning the first two. He’s aiming for a third consecutive win at the Yeongam circuit and, most importantly, a fourth consecutive F1 championship.

Vettel set his pole time early in the final qualifying session, and was able to abort his final flying lap when nearest challenger Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes came up 0.2 seconds short in his bid to beat Vettel’s time.

• John Force, 64, took the Funny Car points lead at Maple Grove Raceway, topping qualifying in the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals in Mohnton, Pa. The 15-time world champion moved into the points lead for the first time this season when his time of 3.987 seconds at 323.50 mph from Friday held up through two qualifying sessions Saturday. Morgan Lucas led the Top Fuel field, Jason Line topped Pro Stock qualifying, and Michael Ray was fastest in Pro Stock Motorcycle in the fourth of six playoff races in the Countdown to the Championship.

golf

Feng takes lead 
in China with 64

• Chinese golfer Shanshan Feng shot a 9-under 64 to take a 1-stroke lead over American Stacy Lewis after the third round of the Reignwood LPGA Classic in Beijing. Shrouded in the Chinese capital’s notorious smog, Feng carded nine birdies in a bogey-free round for a total of 21-under 198, boosting the chances of a home winner in the first LPGA tournament played in the country.

• Britain and Ireland won four and halved one of the eight foursomes to tie Continental Europe 9-9 at the Seve Trophy in Saint-Nom-La-Breteche, France. Continental Europe led 8-6 after the morning session, but Britain and Ireland rallied in the afternoon. Paul Casey and David Lynn beat Miguel Angel Jimenez and Matteo Manassero by a hole to even the contest. Lynn converted a birdie putt from 10 feet on the last hole. The tournament ends today with 10 singles. Whichever squad scores 5½ points will win the event.

other SPORTS

U.S. gymnasts get 1-2 finish in vault

• The United States won a second gold-silver double in as many days at the gymnastics world championships in Antwerp, Belgium, with defending champion McKayla Maroney beating all-around champion Simone Biles in the vault. Earlier, 17-year-old Kenzo Shirai of Japan twisted his way to the floor gold medal, becoming the first athlete to perform a quadruple twist at a major event final. The U.S. women kept up their dominance as Maroney performed two daring vaults with poise and elegance to edge Biles in the final. Maroney received 15.724 points, with Biles finishing at 15.595. Hong Un-jong of North Korea took bronze with 15.483.

 Rafael Nadal was assured of taking the No. 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic after advancing to the final of the China Open in Beijing when Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic retired with a back injury. The Spaniard was a break up at 4-2 in the opening set of their semifinal when Berdych retired soon after taking an injury timeout. Djokovic earned a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 victory over fifth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the other semifinal. Even if he loses to Djokovic in today’s final, Nadal will still sit atop the rankings.

• The University of Texas medical staff says quarterback David Ash will not play next week against No. 11 Oklahoma because of lingering effects of a head injury. Ash missed part or all of the last four games Texas (3-2, 2-0) has played and didn’t play in the Longhorns’ 31-30 win Thursday night at Iowa State.

• Tour de France champion Chris Froome withdrew from today’s Il Lombardia race in Milan, Italy, because of back pain. Team Sky says the injury affected Froome during last weekend’s world championship race, which the British rider had to abandon midway. Team Sky Doctor Alan Farrell says a scan this week revealed “an inflamed sacroiliac joint.” The withdrawal could cost Froome the lead in the UCI World Tour standings. He is 80 points ahead of defending Lombardia champion Joaquin Rodriguez.

• Nikolai Kulemin will miss at least two weeks with a bone chip in his ankle. Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said Saturday the winger blocked a shot with his foot in practice Friday.

— From wire reports


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