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UPI NewsTrack Sports

Feb. 15, 2013 at 5:15 PM   |   Comments

Ligety wins third Alpine worlds gold

SCHLADMING, Austria, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Ted Ligety of the United States won the men's giant slalom at the Alpine World Championships, becoming the first triple gold medalist at the event since 1958.

Ligety turned in a combined two-run time of 2 minutes, 28.92 seconds Friday, beating Austria's Marcel Hirscher by 0.81 seconds and Manfred Moelgg of Italy by 1.75 seconds.

The U.S. veteran previously captured the super-G and super-combined at the championships in Schladming, Austria. The International Skiing Federation said in a written statement the last skier to win three golds at a world championship meet was Austrian Toni Sailer in 1958.

"It has been a crazy week," Ligety said. "I am now joining some legends of the sport. That's just incredible."

Hirscher, the overall leader in the men's World Cup points race, has been battling back trouble and said he was happy to make the podium after being cheered on by an estimated 35,000 people in his home country. "The atmosphere was just amazing although it was one of the most difficult races in my career," he said. "I gave all I could and must look really worn out right now."


Payton, Pitino on Hall of Fame ballot

HOUSTON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Nine-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton and Coach Rick Pitino are among 12 finalists on the ballot for the 2013 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Pitino, who has taken six teams to the Final Four, is a finalist for the second consecutive year. He coached Kentucky to the 1996 NCAA championship.

Payton played 18 seasons, mostly with Seattle, in the NBA. He average 16.3 points a game in 1,335 games and was selected for the All-Star Game nine times.

Joining Payton as first-time hall finalists are Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Tom Heinsohn, Sylvia Hatchell and Dawn Staley.

Second-time finalists, along with Pitino, are Maurice Cheeks, Spencer Haywood, Bernard King, Guy Lewis and Jerry Tarkanian.

A finalist needs 18-of-24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The class will be announced April 8 and induction ceremonies will take place Sept. 8 in Springfield, Mass.


Prosecutors oppose bail for Pistorius

PRETORIA, South Africa, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- A South African prosecutor said Friday the government opposes bail for Paralympics star Oscar Pistorius in the shooting death of his girlfriend.

Gerrie Nel told a magistrate the government's opposition stems from its belief the slaying of 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp was premeditated, the Beeld newspaper reported.

"Is the state's argument that it was a preplanned murder?" Magistrate Desmond Nair asked Nel.

"Yes," Nel replied.

Nair postponed the case until Feb. 19 when a formal bail application will be made by the defense.

An attorney for Pistorius, Kenny Oldewage, described his client as "severely traumatized."

At one point during the hearing Pistorius burst into tears and Nair told him to calm down.

Police spokeswoman Denise Beukes said neighbors had heard screaming and shouting before the predawn Thursday shooting of model and law school graduate Steenkamp in Pistorius' house in an upscale gated community on the outskirts of the country's administrative capital.


GM: Redskins won't change their name

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- General Manager Bruce Allen said the Washington Redskins are proud of their name and have no intention of changing it despite increased criticism.

A long-running controversy over the team's nickname is resurfacing due to next month's hearing on a lawsuit to strip the name of federal trademark protection, The Washington Times reported Thursday.

"We represent an iconic sports franchise that's 81-years-old, that involves millions of fans worldwide, that has thousands of alumni," Allen said. "It's ludicrous to think in any way that we're trying to upset anybody."

Several groups, including the National Congress of American Indians, have publicly criticized the team's name.

"There's nothing we feel that is offensive, and we're proud of our history," Allen said.

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