Thomas
Hunter at the Crikey sports desk writes:

Gatlin
grabs world 100m record.
American sprinter
Justin Gatlin has shaved one hundredth of a second from the world record for the
men’s 100 metres, wresting the title of World’s Fastest Person from Jamaican
Asafa Powell. Gatlin was racing in Qatar in perfect conditions when he took out
the race, beating his previous personal best of 9.85 seconds, a time he ran to
win the gold medal at the Athens Olympics. Gatlin and Powell will face off in
June in arguably the biggest 100 metres race since Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis’ encounter
at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Giro
d’Italia, stars rising.
In the post-Lance Armstrong
world of pro cycling, there are a few clear favourites for this year’s Tour de
France, and into the second week of the Giro d’Italia they are starting to make
their presence felt. Ivan Basso surged to the overall lead yesterday, taking
out the 171-kilometre eighth stage, his first stage win in the event. But one
of his main rivals, Jan Ullrich, is also riding into some good form. Although
Ullrich couldn’t match Basso in the hills on Sunday, his performance in
Saturday’s seventh stage suggested his fitness was returning after an injury
interrupted start to his season. Australian rider Robbie McEwen took out his
third stage win for the event on Friday, while compatriot Brad McGee has
plummeted from seventh overall after four stages to 150th after eight.

Liverpool
wins FA cup.
It’s being talked about as one of the
all-time great FA Cup finals, a battle, as the BBC put it,
“between one of the aristocrats of the English game
and one of its most famous underdogs”. West Ham was the underdog, and with 90
minutes gone and a one goal lead, its supporters dared to imagine a Cup win.
But then Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard struck a ball 30 metres out into
the top corner of the net – all was square at 3-3. It came down to a penalty
shoot-out, which Liverpool won 3-1. Steven Gerrard’s astounding two-goal
performance has given England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson food for thought. His
other main strikers – Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen – are both under injury
clouds less than a month before the start of the World Cup. Gerrard has duly
lodged his application for the role.

Alonso
takes out Spanish GP.
Patriotism is alive and well
in Formula One, with crowds in Barcelona staying on long after the race had
finished to celebrate the Spaniard’s first win in his home Grand Prix. “To race here in front of an all-blue grandstand and in
front of my people was the best feeling,” Alonso said. “66 laps
was not enough to enjoy it. I could relax towards the end and enjoy the crowd
and their support carried me along.” The race itself was a dull affair,
“a flashback”, wrote Kevin Eason in The Times, “to days gone
by that we thought had been consigned to the sporting dustbin.” Boring or not, it
was a welcome return the winner’s podium for Alonso, who has watched a
resurgent Michael Schumacher take out the last two races to creep to within 11
points of the championship lead. The Schu came in second, keeping himself well
in contention, just 15 points behind Alonso with 12 races to go.

Peter Fray

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