Matti Nykänen, the Flying Finn who fell so far, so fast | Andy Bull

18-02-2019 The ski-jumper, who won five Olympic medals, had an otherworldly talent but not the sense, or support, he needed to cope with the fame it won himMatti Nykänen used to fly so far, so fast that it felt as if he would never come down. When the Finn broke the world ski jump record for the fifth, and final, time at Planica in 1985 he was moving so quickly that the cameraman struggled to track him through the air.Watching the footage you wonder if he might disappear into the yonder off the far side of the screen. In those days, the mid-1980s, Nykänen was the best ski jumper in the world and almost unbeatable. The records were the least of it. He won five world titles, five Olympic medals, including three golds in one Games, and four World Cups. Continue reading...

Pro Piacenza beaten 20-0 after naming team of just seven teenagers

18-02-2019 • Club would have been thrown out of league for forfeiting match• All seven were teenagers; Hicham Kanis scored six for CuneoSerie C’s bottom club Pro Piacenza have endured a tough season, resulting in point deductions and forfeiting matches, but their latest setback was almost beyond belief as they were able to field only seven players in a 20-0 defeat at mid-table Cuneo. Related: Sergio Ramos sent off as Real Madrid’s resurgence is ended by Girona Continue reading...

Formula E: 'Absolute chaos' as Nelson Piquet crash brings out red flag in Mexico

18-02-2019 Nelson Piquet's spectacular crash with Jean-Eric Vergne causes "absolute chaos" and brings out the red flag at the Mexico City E-Prix.

Wales’s 1969 wing wizard Maurice Richards: ‘I scored the tries but forwards won it’

18-02-2019 The scourge of England in Cardiff 50 years ago looks back on a thrilling victory in which he ran in four tries and explains why he switched codes at the end of that yearThey used to say the wind blew hardest at Cardiff Arms Park when it was trying to catch Maurice Richards. It had no more success than the England team that arrived in the Welsh capital 50 years ago chasing a share of the Five Nations title but left resembling the rubble where the north stand had been. Richards ran in four tries in a thrilling 30-9 victory that afternoon, equalling a Wales record that still stands. Wales scooped the triple crown and the championship.That afternoon’s demolition of England was the start of a golden era for the men in red, but before the end of the year the 24-year-old Cardiff wing, a 1968 Lion who had still to reach his peak, had left Wales and his job at Port Talbot steelworks for rugby league, where he would become Salford’s record try scorer and appearance holder in a 14-year career. Continue reading...

Daytona 500: Giant crash triggered by Paul Menard causing 'carnage everywhere'

18-02-2019 American driver Paul Menard triggers a giant crash in the Daytona 500 with 10 laps to go, a race that Denny Hamlin went on to win.

FA Cup: Chelsea v Man Utd - watch best goals

18-02-2019 Watch the best goals from the last 20 years of Chelsea v Manchester United FA Cup ties, including strikes from David Beckham and Eden Hazard.

Pep Guardiola: Newport were chanting 'Who are you?' It was nice – video

18-02-2019 Pep Guardiola praised his Manchester City players, in particular Phil Foden, as they beat Newport County 4-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.Newport had beaten both Leicester City and Middlesbrough on their way to the fifth round of the tournament, and contained the Premier League leaders well for significant spells of the game.  Continue reading...

Root joins Murray and Southgate in standing up for social tolerance | Tim de Lisle

18-02-2019 England captain has done cricket a great service – his reaction to a perceived homophobic remark was cool, calm, collected … and rightCricketers call it sledging, or chirping: the business of trying to undermine your opponent with verbal abuse. It’s a dismal habit that shows us sport at its most small-minded and should have been banned long ago. But this week it has done the world a favour.In the Test in St Lucia, the West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel was bad-mouthing the England captain, Joe Root. What Gabriel said the stump microphone did not catch but it did bring us Root’s reply: “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.” Continue reading...

'The whole village is united': Warnock attends Emiliano Sala's funeral – video

18-02-2019 The Cardiff City manager, Neil Warnock, has attended the funeral of Emiliano Sala in the town of Progreso, Argentina. Sala was killed when the aircraft he was flying in crashed on 21 January, en route to Cardiff from Nantes, the player having signed with the Premier League club days earlier Continue reading...

Sri Lanka v England: Pick your England team for first Test

18-02-2019 Who do you think should be in the England side for the first Test against Sri Lanka? Choose your XI and share it with your friends.

The breakdown will be a key to who gets into the fast lane at Cardiff | Nick Evans

18-02-2019 England will miss Mako Vunipola on Saturday but they have enough ball-carriers to turn on the power against WalesIt is not uncommon to introduce themes every now and then – we often use them at Harlequins – and one we’ve used recently is called decapitation strike. It’s a military term and it’s all about targeting the key individuals of an organisation and taking advantage of the knock-on effect – watching everything else fall away if you can eliminate their leaders. It could well be a key theme for Wales to target England’s half-backs in a similar fashion on Saturday.Owen Farrell is so influential in terms of how he organises England’s attacking and territorial shape, and he and Ben Youngs would be the two Wales targets. That may look like the Wales scrum-half coming hard off the defensive line, making sure that Farrell has to pass early, negating the ability to bring Billy Vunipola and Manu Tuilagi into the game thus winning the gainline battle. If Wales make him play early then they can bring their defensive line up and shut down England’s options. Continue reading...

Naomi Osaka says she was unwilling to sacrifice her happiness after split from coach

18-02-2019 World number one Naomi Osaka says she was unwilling to "sacrifice" her happiness following her split from coach Sascha Bajin.

The Spin | Sheer pace is sheer bliss though fast bowlers often blow hot and cold

18-02-2019 Mark Wood’s Sunday spell in St Lucia was a refreshing reminder of how pace bowling turns a slow game into a fast oneThere are certain words that are crying out to have “sheer” in front of them. Sheer bliss. Sheer lunacy. Sheer pace.In cricket, sheer pace is sheer bliss, as long as it’s on your side. In St Lucia on Sunday evening England, who had been blown away in the first two Tests by a resurgent West Indies attack, finally produced a riposte. Mark Wood came on after 20 overs, when the game is inclined to nod off, and suddenly every delivery carried an electric charge. Bowling to Shai Hope, Wood beat the bat outside off stump with his first ball, and his second, and his third. The fourth was a bouncer, which Hope wisely ducked. The little box on the screen that clocks the bowler’s speed showed 145kph, or 90mph. A stiff breeze was helping, but then Wood, so often kept off the field by a dodgy ankle, deserved a fair wind. Continue reading...

Denny Hamlin wins Daytona 500 after series of huge crashes

18-02-2019 Victory comes month after death of team’s co-owner, JD GibbsOnly 14 cars finish race after smashes take out most of fieldDenny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 for the second time in four years, leading a 1-2-3 sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing. The victory on Sunday was a fine tribute to JD Gibbs, who died last month after battling a degenerative neurological disease. JD Gibbs co-founded the race team with his father and discovered Hamlin. Hamlin said when he arrived at Daytona International Speedway that both the 500 and this season were dedicated to JD Gibbs.Kyle Busch finished second and Erik Jones was third as the Gibbs drivers held off Ford driver and reigning Nascar champion Joey Logano’s frantic push in overtime. Continue reading...