Marco Andretti became the third generation of his family to drive a Formula One car this week, making his debut on the final day of winter testing. Andretti was 14th quickest after posting a time of one minute, 21.873 seconds, through 62 laps of the 4.42km circuit in a Honda 2006 RA106 car. The 19-year-old driver is the grandson of 1978 F1 champion Mario Andretti and son of former McLaren driver and two-time IndyCar champion Michael Andretti. US — Olympic and world sprint champion Justin Gatlin has worked out for the Arizona Cardinals, his second tryout for an NFL team. Gatlin faces an eight-year ban from athletics following a positive doping test. Gatlin, who has not played American football since high school, worked out for the Houston Texans on November 28. The 24-year-old sprinter still shares the world 100m record of 9.77 seconds, but that will be wiped off the books once his doping penalty becomes official.
Paul Casey’s Ryder Cup hole-in-one has been voted as the European PGA Tour’s shot of the year. The Englishman used a four-iron to ace the 193m 14th hole while playing fourballs with David Howell against Americans Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson on the second day of the clash at the K-Club outside Dublin in September. That effort gave the win to Casey and Howell by five and four, the first time in Ryder Cup history that a hole-in-one had closed out a match.
Michelle Wie has been accepted into Stanford University and is planning on entering the school Tiger Woods attended. The 17-year-old said she would enrol in the prestigious college next year, dispelling any talk she would concentrate exclusively on her professional golf career once she finished high school in Hawaii. Wie has missed the cut in all six US PGA Tour events she has played, and is 1-for-12 in making the cut against the men. BRAZIL — Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Porto Alegre to welcome home club world champions Internacional. Internacional, who stunned Barcelona 1-0 in Japan on Sunday to win the trophy, arrived in Sao Paulo after flying via Paris. Some fans wore duck masks — a tribute to 17-year-old striker Alexandre, who is nicknamed Alex the Duck — and others carried banners apologising to substitute Adriano, the scorer of the winning goal against Barcelona. Adriano had been jeered by the crowd during home matches before the team left for Japan.
Kenyan athletics officials allayed fears by foreign athletes over the risk of contracting malaria during next year’s world cross country championships in Mombasa. Britain’s former European title holder Jon Brown said he had cancelled plans to run in the March 24 championships because the Kenyan venue was located in a region prone to malaria outbreaks. But Athletics Kenya spokesman Peter Angwenyi said precautions had been taken to ensure the hotels where the athletes will be sleeping were free from malariacarrying parasites. GERMANY — The crib sheet used by Germany and Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann to help him defy Argentina in the World Cup quarter-final penalty shootout fetched $1.68 million. The sweat-stained piece of hotel notepaper contained scouting notes on the Argentine penalty-takers, telling Lehmann which way they would direct their spot kicks. It was bought during a televised appeal for children’s charities by the German energy producer EnBW. Germany went on to lose 2-0 in the semi-final to eventual winners Italy. THAILAND — Golf’s Johnnie Walker Classic is to remain in Phuket next year following the postponement of an alcohol advertising ban by Thailand’s post-coup government. Riche Monde, the Thai distributors of Johnnie Walker whisky, said the shelving of the ban meant there was no need to shift the $2.44 million tri-sanctioned tournament to either China or South Korea. Adam Scott, Retief Goosen, Ernie Els and Paul Casey have confirmed they will contest the March 1-4 tournament. AUSTRALIA — Netball Australia (NA) has told world governing body IFNA it’s not able to step in as a replacement host for the world championships next year. IFNA withdrew the hosting rights from Fiji earlier this month following the military coup there and sought expressions of interest from major netball nations. Australia was thought a likely contender as it last hosted the quadrennial championship in 1991 — with England, New Zealand and Jamaica all hosting since — and has already bid for the 2011 tournament. NEW ZEALAND — Touch New Zealand (TNZ) says it’s ‘gutted’ three people associated with the organisation — one its former chief executive, another former Kiwis rugby league captain Hugh McGahan — have been charged with fraud involving community grant applications. High profile ex-Kiwi Brent Todd also appeared in Auckland District Court on similar charges. The charges were believed to have involved hundreds of thousands of dollars of gaming machine money.