Short Sport, January 17, 2013

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 January, 2013, 2:27am


New China event among LPGA highlights

A new tournament in China is among the highlights of the 28-event LPGA 2013 schedule announced this week. The US$1.8 million Reignwood Pine Valley LPGA Classic in Beijing will kick off a Fall Asian Swing in the first week of October on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course at Reignwood Pine Valley Golf Club. Held in conjunction with the China Golf Association and China LPGA, the tournament will be the LPGA's first trip to Beijing, where interest in women's golf was boosted by Feng Shanshan's major championship victory at last year's Wegmans LPGA Championship. Feng's triumph made her the first Chinese golfer, male or female, to win a major title. The season begins with the Australian Women's Open from February 14-17. AFP


Vendee Globe leader Gabart crosses equator

Frenchman Francois Gabart crossed the equator as he maintained his dominance in the Vendee Globe round-the-world race, in the process setting a record time of 66 days, one hour and 39 minutes to reach the mark. Gabart, at 29 the youngest skipper in the event, shredded the previous record of 71 days, 17 hours and 12 minutes set by 2009 winner Michel Desjoyeaux. The young skipper now has his heart set on beating Desjoyeaux's winning time of 84 days three hours and nine minutes and hopes to arrive in Les Sables d'Olonne, western France, on January 27 or 28 as he looks to complete the endurance race in less than 80 days. Gabart leads closest challenger compatriot Armel Le Cleac'h by 205.6 nautical miles. AFP


Big money Super Series draws Chinese stars

Teenage Chinese Olympic sensation Ye Shiwen headlines the field for the inaugural Super Series, billed as the world's richest swim meet, which starts tomorrow in Perth. The dual Olympic gold medallist is part of a powerful mainland team facing Australia and South Africa in the unique tri-nation event, with US$500,000 in prize money paid by a wealthy mining corporation for both individual and relay events over two days. The 16-year-old won Olympic gold medals in the 400 metres and 200 metres individual medley at London 2012, setting an astonishing world record in the 400m event and an Olympic record in the 200m. London 200m butterfly champion Jiao Liuyang and 2008 gold medallist Liu Zige will also be competing in the Super Series. China claimed five gold medals in London, second only to the US, and their Super Series team includes four current world record holders. AFP