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Boomstra takes the lead at the World Championship checkers after winning a tiebreak
7:34 pm Roel Boomstra has taken the lead in Eindhoven in the battle for the world title in drafts. The 28-year-old Boomstra did this by winning the tiebreak against the Russian Aleksandr Schwartzman (54).
Both the three ‘Rapid’ matches and the three ‘Blitz’ matches ended in a draw, which meant that it came down to the ‘Superblitz’. Both drafts started with 10 minutes, after which they were added 2 seconds per move. After six draws in a row, a lead had to be forced via a tiebreak.
“Today the game was of a very high level, which is of course also nice for the viewer. For me it was important to stay calm and keep the peace and luckily I succeeded,” said Boomstra. “The hardest part of the battle is yet to come. It is of course nice for me that I have taken the lead, but this doesn’t mean anything yet. I need two more wins. Schwartzman is a real fighter so I expect a lot from him in the remaining parties.”
The drafts player with the most points can call himself world champion, provided he has booked three victories.
Ski Association: four participants in Games are final worthy
6.24 pm: For skiers and snowboarders, qualifying for the Olympic Games closes on January 17. The Dutch Ski Association supplies four athletes to the Olympic team; alpine skier Adriana Jelinkova, snowboard crosser Glenn de Blois, and freestyle snowboarders Niek van der Velden and Melissa Peperkamp. “We are very satisfied with that,” says technical director Wopke de Vegt of the union. “If you are sent to the Games on behalf of the Netherlands in these sports, you are worthy of the final.”
Theoretically, snowboard star Michelle Dekker could still qualify for the World Cup in Simonhöhe next Friday, but according to De Vegt she should probably make the podium. Then she has another chance. “Sam Vermaat and Casper Wolf are still in action when snowboarding, but they are far outside the top 30 and should, for example, be first.”
Partly due to the corona pandemic, many athletes still had to qualify this year, so that the World Cup competitions were almost all very heavily occupied, explains the technical director. That didn’t make it any easier. The four Olympians that the federation is now sending out are in line with expectations. “Glenn was already very close before Pyeongchang, Niek proves that he belongs to the world top and Melissa is the runner-up.”
With Jelinkova, the Netherlands has an alpine skier at the Games for the first time since the 1952 Games. The 26-year-old skier suffered a serious knee injury a day after she won Olympic qualifying last year, but she has recovered and is fit. “She has to make do with where she stands, that’s how her guidance works with her,” says De Vegt. She can ski, he assures. Now it’s about the shape of the day.
De Vegt does not want to make a prediction about possible medals. According to the former skating coach, you can’t just compare it with long track skating. “There is hardly anyone there anymore. In the snow, the risk of something going wrong is much greater, without us wanting to use that as an excuse. Glenn has won competitions and Niek has shown that he is the best in the world. The opportunities are completely open there.”
Dutch cyclocross talent Haverdings to Baloise-Trek
2:45 pm: The 17-year-old cyclo-cross rider David Haverdings will compete for the Baloise-Trek Lions team from next season. The cyclist from Zuidlaren in Drenthe won fourteen races this season as a second-year junior with Orange Babies Cycling Team, including in Koksijde, Overijse and Tabor. At the European Championships on the VAM mountain he took silver in the juniors.
“I feel I’m ready for a step up. At the Baloise-Trek Lions I hope to further develop my talents. This feels like a natural step.” In his new team, which is led by Sven Nys, he will meet, among others, U23 world champion and compatriot Pim Ronhaar. Due to the lack of many races for promises, he regularly participates this season with the elite riders. Dutch elite champion Lars van der Haar is also part of the team. Haverdings will represent the Netherlands at the end of this month at the World Cup in Fayetteville, USA.
Paris Saint-Germain cancels training camp as a precaution
13:26 o’clock: Paris Saint-Germain has canceled a training camp of several days in Qatar and Saudi Arabia as a precaution. The French top club does not think it is responsible to go out in view of the high number of corona infections in its own country. The trip was scheduled from 16 to 19 January.
Many PSG players have already been affected by the virus. For example, Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Juan Bernat, Danilo Pereira, Julian Draxler and Angel Di Maria were sidelined for some time due to an infection.
Monfils withdraws injured in Adelaide
13:22 o’clock: Gaël Monfils has withdrawn injured in his second round match against Brazilian Thiago Monteiro at the (second) tournament of Adelaide. The Frenchman, who had already won a tournament in the same city last week, was suffering from his neck. It is still unclear what the consequences will be for his participation in the Australian Open, which starts next week.
Monfils had won the first set against Monteiro, after which he was treated for his injury in the second. He then lost the second set and decided to retire at the start of the third act.
Bayern Munich sees six players return after infection
12.48 pm: Bayern Munich saw six players return to the training field after being infected with the corona virus on Wednesday. Manuel Neuer, Dayot Upamecano, Omar Richards, Leroy Sané, Alphonso Davies and Tanguy Nianzou again partially participated in the practice session for the entire group, according to the club.
The league-leader resumed the competition last weekend with a defeat against Borussia Mönchengladbach. At the time, thirteen players were missing, nine of whom were infected with the virus. On Saturday, Bayern will probably play against FC Köln with a somewhat wider selection.
Eliud Kipchoge with Ineos support on the hunt for third Olympic title
12.01 pm: Eliud Kipchoge’s main goal is a third Olympic title in the marathon. The Kenyan athlete said this on Wednesday at the presentation of Ineos as the new partner of the NN Running Team of Dutch manager Jos Hermens. The British chemical company previously collaborated on the so-called 1.59 project in which Kipchoge was the first to run a marathon under 2 hours. That happened in Vienna in 2019 and led to an unofficial record because there were specially created conditions.
Ineos announced through sports director Dave Brailsford that it would support the team at least until the Paris 2024 Olympics. A first formulated challenge is Kipchoge’s winning Olympic gold in the marathon. “That would be his third marathon gold in a row, an unprecedented achievement,” said Brailsford, who long headed the Sky cycling team, of which Ineos has been the namesake since 2019. Knowledge sharing is central with a sponsor who is also active in Formula 1 and sailing. “We can learn from each other: how to train, how to coach.”
Kipchoge (37) is the world record holder in the marathon with a time of 2.01.39, run in 2018 in Berlin. In Tokyo he won his second Olympic marathon title in a row. When asked what time it takes in Paris, the Kenyan was clear: “The goal is to win, time doesn’t matter to me.”
Six corona infections at European Figure Skating Championships
10.28 am: At the European Figure Skating Championships in the Estonian capital Tallinn, six participants tested positive for the corona virus shortly before the start. The umbrella organization ISU does not want to say who it is, but that those involved have gone into isolation.
The European Championships start on Wednesday with the short programs for men and couples. The Dutch Lindsay van Zundert (16), who will soon be flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Winter Games, is one of the participants. The Dutch skating association has announced that she is in good health.
Basketball players Memphis Grizzlies record tenth win in a row
8:17 a.m.: The Memphis Grizzlies basketball players have booked their tenth consecutive win in the American professional league NBA. Golden State Warriors were defeated 116-108. Ja Morant starred with a score of 29 points.
Ziaire Williams and Tyus Jones were both good for 17 points. Stephen Curry was important for the Warriors, with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
It was the Warriors’ tenth loss of the season.