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Sports briefs: FIFA boss Blatter blasts Brazilians
First Published Jan 06 2014 05:05 pm • Last Updated Mar 24 2014 11:32 pm

SKIING • Germany’s Felix Neureuther used a blistering second run to edge first-leg leader Marcel Hirscher and win a World Cup night slalom Monday in Bormio, Italy. Trailing by just 0.01 after the opening run, Neureuther attacked from start to finish in his second trip down the Stelvio course for a two-leg combined time of 1 minute, 59.75 seconds.

Hirscher, the two-time defending overall World Cup winner from Austria, finished second, 0.36 seconds behind, and Italy’s Manfred Moelgg placed third, 0.65 back.

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Park City’s Ted Ligety bloodied his nose after a gate snapped up and hit him in the face during the pre-race warm-up then was 14th in the opening run. In the second run, Ligety fell toward the bottom of the course and finished 27th.

FIFA chief Blatter criticizes Brazil

soccer • FIFA President Sepp Blatter criticized Brazil’s slow preparations for the World Cup, calling the country further behind than any other hosting the international event during his 15-year tenure. Brazil has completed only six of the 12 World Cup stadiums despite a FIFA deadline to finish by the end of 2013.

"Brazil has just realized what it means to organize a World Cup," Blatter said in an interview with Swiss newspaper 24 Heures. "They started a lot too late."

Delays have included financial problems, worker safety issues and construction-site accidents. Three construction workers died at stadiums late last year.

The tournament is scheduled to begin June 12.


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Wozniacki prevails in season opener

tennis • Only days after her New Year’s Eve engagement to golfer Rory McIlroy, Caroline Wozniacki opened her 2014 season with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Julia Goerges of Germany in the first round of the Sydney International. Wozniacki pulled out of the Brisbane International last week after hurting her right shoulder in practice and struggled early against Goerges, who replaced the injured Sloane Stephens in the draw.



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