Dakar chief Peterhansel roars forward

Riyadh: Overall leader Stephane Peterhansel finally won a stage in the 2021 Dakar Rally today to leave his closest rival Nasser Al-Attiyah trailing in the Saudi Arabian desert dust. The 55-year-old stretched his advantage over the Qatari to 17 minutes and 50 seconds with three stages remaining.

Santosh cleared to fly back to India, remains under observation

New Delhi: Indian motorcycle racer CS Santosh continues to be “under observation” but has been cleared to fly back to India, his team Hero MotoSports said today, days after he suffered a crash at the ongoing Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. The 37-year-old suffered the crash last Wednesday and was airlifted to a hospital in Jeddah. “Santosh is stable and continues to be under observation. Based on scans and assessments, he has been cleared to be flown back to India, where he will be attended by the local doctors,” Hero MotoSports Team Rally said in a statement. “He will be transferred in a sleeping state.”

Kohli loses second spot to Smith, Pujara up to 8th

Dubai: India skipper Virat Kohli was today pushed to the third spot by Australian batsman Steve Smith in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen, but middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara climbed two places to eight. Kohli has 870 points and is 30 behind Smith. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (919) still leads the chart. Pujara, whose dogged half-centuries (50, 77) in the third Test helped India draw the match, is placed eighth, just behind his stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane.

Neymar fit for Paris SG as Pochettino targets 1st trophy

Paris: Brazil forward Neymar will return to Paris St Germain’s squad for tomorrow’s French Super Cup final against Olympique de Marseille after a month out injured, manager Mauricio Pochettino said. Neymar has been out of action since mid-December and his return is a welcome boost for Pochettino, who replaced the sacked Thomas Tuchel at the start of the year.

Sabalenka into Abu Dhabi final with 14th straight win

Abu Dhabi: Aryna Sabalenka swept into the final of the Abu Dhabi Open with her 14th consecutive win, beating Maria Sakkari 6-3 6-2 today. Sabalenka hit eight aces to book a final against Veronika Kudermetova, who beat Marta Kostyuk 7-6(8) 6-4, in the first WTA tournament of the year. “I’m really looking forward to this final,” Sabalenka said, adding she was trying to focus on improving her footwork. “I’m just focusing on the right things. This helps me to, first of all, not think about all these wins, and secondly, to keep winning,” she added. Sabalenka finished last season with wins at the indoor tournaments in Ostrava and Linz, and the Belarusian has won her first five matches of the new season in Abu Dhabi.

West Ham scrape to 1-0 FA Cup win at Stockport

Stockport: West Ham United laboured into the FA Cup fourth round after a late Craig Dawson header gave them a 1-0 win at National League (fifth tier) site Stockport County on Monday. West Ham will next face League One (third tier) side Doncaster Rovers at home and the winners of that tie will book a clash with either Manchester United or Liverpool in the fifth round.

NorthEast, Bengaluru see winless streaks continue

Vasco: NorthEast United and Bengaluru FC saw their winless streaks continue as they played out a drab 1-1 draw in the Indian Super League here today. — Agencies

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