Lewis Hamilton clinches pole position for season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton will be on pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday. (AFP)
Updated 24 November 2018

Lewis Hamilton clinches pole position for season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

ABU DHABI: Five-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton clinched pole position for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Mercedes driver’s 11th pole of the season and record-extending 83rd of his career looked in some doubt as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was quicker at the first time split.
But Vettel went too wide on the last turn and qualified only third behind the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton is aiming to sign off in style with an 11th win of the season, while Bottas has yet to win one and Vettel’s last victory came at the Belgian GP in August.
For the second straight year, four-time F1 champion Vettel led during the championship only to finish second behind Hamilton.


Russian athletics champ blasts own sports authorities

Updated 5 min 41 sec ago

Russian athletics champ blasts own sports authorities

  • Lasitskene, a three-time world champion, has in the past been critical of Russia’s athletics federation

MOSCOW: Russian high jump world champion Maria Lasitskene on Tuesday accused her country’s own sports authorities of failing to protect athletes from the deepening doping crisis, in a rare public broadside at top officials.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday handed Russia a new, this time four-year, ban from top global sporting events, including the next summer and winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup, for tampering with laboratory data.

The ruling means Russian athletes cleared to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will do so under a neutral flag. But Lasitskene and some other Russian track and field athletes face additional obstacles to being cleared for competition.

“I’ve already missed one Olympics and one-and-a-half years of international competition,” Lasitskene wrote in an open letter addressed to Russia’s sports authorities.

“And it seems that’s not the end of it. So who ultimately is to blame? Who’s going to give me back what I’ve lost?” she wrote in the letter published on Russian sports media outlet Championat.Com.

Lasitskene, a three-time world champion, has in the past been critical of Russia’s athletics federation, which has been suspended for doping since 2015, and has been one of the few Russian athletes to voice her anger publicly.

World Athletics, the global body governing athletics, last month halted the reinstatement procedures for Russia’s athletics federation after its president and six others were provisionally suspended for serious breaches of anti-doping rules.

As a result of these fresh sanctions, World Athletics also said it was reviewing the process it has used in the past to clear some Russians, including Lasitskene, to compete internationally as neutrals.

“Why have we arrived at a situation when an athlete is supposed to be delighted about getting neutral status?” Lasitskene wrote.

“Was the Sports Ministry and Russian Olympic Committee really happy with the Russian athletics federation’s work?”

The president of Russia’s Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, on Monday dismissed the sanctions against Russia as inappropriate and excessive.