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Buechel gets close victory in downhill

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Liechtenstein’s Marco Buechel gave his father a birthday gift on the slopes, winning a World Cup downhill by five-hundredths of a second at Lake Louise, Canada.

Buechel dedicated the victory to his father, Norbert, who turned 60 on Saturday. His winning time was 1 minute 50.72 seconds. Manuel Osborne-Paradis was second in 1:50.77, and Peter Fill was third in 1:50.86.

Austrians had dominated this World Cup race by winning five of six from 1999 to 2005, but their top result was Hans Grugger’s fourth. Defending overall World Cup champion Michael Walchhofer, also of Austria, was 10th.

The top American was Steven Nyman, who was 17th in 1:51.99. Bode Miller, who won a downhill and super-G at Lake Louise in 2004, was 29th in 1:52.48.

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A super-giant slalom is scheduled for today.

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Austria’s Kathrin Zettel got her first World Cup victory, winning a women’s giant slalom at Aspen, Colo.

Olympic gold medalist Julia Mancuso, who underwent surgery in July for a chronic hip problem, was seventh, more than 3 seconds off the pace.

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Zettel, who had been on the World Cup podium eight times previously, finished with a combined time of 2:16.10 to edge Olympic silver medalist Tanja Poutiainen.

American Resi Stiegler, who eked into the top-30 qualifying group after a couple of Austrian skiers were disqualified, finished 20th in 2:21.04. Compatriot Jessica Kelley finished 22nd in 2:21.18 after making a stunning recovery when she fell on her hip.

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The women’s World Cup races in St. Moritz, Switzerland, next month were canceled because of a lack of snow and forecasts of warm weather. The International Ski federation had yet to announce where the races will be held. It is in talks with organizers at Beaver Creek, Colo., which plays host to men’s races next week.

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Brian Joubert took his second Grand Prix figure skating gold of the year, beating out Johnny Weir with an exuberant free skate at the Cup of Russia at Moscow.

Joubert’s free skate included three quads. He finished more than 40 points ahead of Weir.

Joubert won the free skate with 160.23 points and received an overall 237.83.

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Weir got a total of 196.28 after finishing fifth in the free skate with 121.18.

Sarah Meier easily won the women’s free skate event to wrap up the gold medal.

Meier finished with 159.17 points, ahead of Julia Sebestyen with 146.75. Yoshie Onda was third with 143.60.

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Jens Arne Svartedal won a cross-country ski sprint race at Kuusamo, Finland, his ninth World Cup win. Norway swept the top five places, Odd Bjorn Hjelmeset finishing second.

In the women’s event, Petra Majdic beat Marit Bjorgen and Astrid Jacobsen.

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Erben Wennemars edged Enrico Fabris and Ivan Skobelev to win his second 1,500-meter World Cup speedskating race of the season at Moscow.

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Wennemars, who won the season-opening 1,500 in the Netherlands two weeks ago, finished in 1:46.85. He was .45 seconds ahead of Fabris, the 2006 Olympic gold medalist.

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Jason Lamy Chappuis won the World Cup Nordic combined opener at Kuusamo, Finland, beating Hannu Manninen by 19.5 seconds.

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High wind and fog forced organizers to cancel a World Cup ski jumping competition on at Kuusamo. It was not immediately known whether the event would be rescheduled for today.

MISCELLANY

Diamondbacks trade for left-hander Davis

The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired left-hander Doug Davis from Milwaukee in a six-player deal that sent catcher Johnny Estrada to the Brewers.

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Right-handers Greg Aquino and Claudio Vargas also went to Milwaukee, and the Diamondbacks obtained left-hander Dana Eveland and outfielder Dave Krynzel.

Davis, 31, is 62-63 with a 4.35 earned-run average in eight major league seasons. He was 11-11 with a 4.91 ERA in 34 starts last season with Milwaukee and, like Estrada, is arbitration eligible.

Estrada, 30, batted .301 with 11 home runs and 71 runs batted in during his only season with Arizona.

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UC Santa Barbara (16-7) defeated Northwestern, 3-2, to advance to the Division I men’s soccer semifinals Friday against Wake Forest in St. Louis. Top-seeded Duke (18-3-1) plays host to eighth-seeded UCLA (12-5-4) today in the last quarterfinal.

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Brazil defeated the United States, 25-19, 25-18, 25-23, at the men’s volleyball world championships in Hiroshima, Japan.

Brazil, which improved to 3-1 in Group F, will play Bulgaria on Wednesday in a match that could determine which teams will reach the semifinals. The United States fell to 1-3.

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Former Spanish cyclist Jesus Manzano, who triggered a police probe two years ago by claiming widespread doping in the sport, told police he was offered a bribe to withdraw his allegations, the Spanish daily El Pais reported.

Manzano said Santiago Lucas, his attorney, told him that Carlos Bueren -- a lawyer reportedly acting for former Liberty Seguros team director Manuel Saiz -- had offered him money to withdraw his allegations.

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Major League Soccer champion Houston will play Costa Rica’s Puntarenas and D.C. United will meet Honduras’ Olimpia in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup, the regional club title of North and Central America and the Caribbean. Mexico’s Pachuca will play Guatemala’s Deportivo Marquense or Honduras’ Victoria, according to the draw. The other match will involve Mexico’s Apertura winner against the Caribbean Football Union champion.

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The USC men’s water polo team advanced to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship match with a 5-3 victory over Stanford at Irvine. The Trojans (25-0) will play California (28-4), which defeated UCLA, 8-5.


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