Monte Carlo

Women's athletics award shortlist with Richards, Isinbayeva, Vlasic

Sanya RichardsMonte Carlo - Sanya Richards could cap a golden season with the athlete of the year award as the United States 400 metres runner is on the final shortlist of the women's ballot.

Richards won the world title in Berlin and also shared the Golden League jackpot of 1 million dollars with Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and Ethiopian distance runner Kenenisa Bekele.

Isinbayeva is also on the list published by the ruling body IAAF on Tuesday. She raised her world record yet again to 5.00m indoors and 5.06m outdoors this year but also famously no-heighted at the worlds.

Bolt heads five-man shortlist for athletics award

Bolt heads five-man shortlist for athletics awardMonte Carlo  - Three-time sprint world champion Usain Bolt of Jamaica heads a shortlist of five men vying for the World Athlete of the Year award from the ruling body IAAF.

Bolt, winner of the prestigious award last year, lowered his own world records in the 100 and 200 metres to 9.58 and 19.19 seconds, respectively, en route to world titles in Berlin in August. He also was part of the Jamaican 4x100m gold relay.

Late goal from supersub Pedro gives Barca UEFA Super Cup

Late goal from supersub Pedro gives Barca UEFA Super Cup Monte Carlo  - Supersub Pedro Dominguez won the UEFA Super Cup for Barcelona in Monte Carlo on Friday, with a classy extra-time goal that finally broke the deadlock against defensive Shakhtar Donetsk.

The late 1-0 win gives Barca their fifth trophy within the space of four months, and confirms their status as the best team in Europe.

With just just five minutes of extra-time left, with a penalty shootout looming, Pedro played a clever one-two with Lionel Messi, cut in from the left and scored with a calm low drive.

Vlasic, Thorkildsen, Pitkamaeki sign for Golden League series

Vlasic, Thorkildsen, Pitkamaeki sign for Golden League seriesVlasic, Thorkildsen, Pitkamaeki sign for Golden League seriesMonte Carlo  - Croatian high jump star Blanka Vlasic is the latest star to commit herself to the elite Golden League athletics series with its 1-million dollar jackpot, the ruling body IAAF said on Friday.

The IAAF said that the world champion Vlasic is joined by javelin throwers Andreas Thorkidsen of Norway, a double Olympic champion, and Tero Pitkamaeki of Finland, the reigning world champion, to compete in all six meets of the series.

Berlin worlds to be watched around the world

Berlin worlds to be watched around the world Monte Carlo - The August 15-23 world athletics championships in Berlin will be broadcast in a record 212 countries and territories around the world, the ruling body IAAF said on Thursday.

The last contracts, according to the IAAF, were an agreement of the Asian Broadcasting Union (ABU) to extend its coverage to the Indian sub-continent and an extension of coverage in sub-Sahara Africa via Canal France International and sister company TV5.

Monaco Formula One Grand Prix starting grid

Formula One Grand PrixMonte Carlo - Starting grid for Sunday's Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, the sixth of 17 season races over 78 laps of 3.340 kilometres for a race distance of 260.520 kilometres.

First row 1. Jenson Button, Britain, Brawn GP 2. Kimi Raikkonen, Finland, Ferrari

Second row 3. Rubens Barrichello, Brazil, Brawn GP 4. Sebastian Vettel, Germany, Red Bull

Third row 5. Felipe Massa, Brazil, Ferrari 6. Nico Rosberg, Germany, Williams

Fourth row 7. Heikki Kovalainen, Finland, McLaren-Mercedes 8. Mark Webber, Australia, Red Bull

Button grabs pole in Monaco

Button grabs pole in MonacoMonte Carlo  - Championship leader Jenson Button on Saturday grabbed the pole position for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, beating Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen into second place.

The BrawnGP driver Brawn waited until the end before posting a time of 1 minute 14.902 seconds for the 3.340-kilometres course through the streets of Monte Carlo to make sure of his fourth pole position of the season.

Team principal Ross Brawn said that Button had shown before that he could compete well when under pressure.

"I think he likes to keep the best for last," said Brawn.

Compromise in Formula One controversy a step closer

Compromise in Formula One controversy a step closer Monte Carlo  - The Formula One budget row is a step closer to being solved, English newspapers reported on Saturday.

The reports said that talks at the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo were moving closer to a compromise on the controversial issue over which Ferrari and others have threatened to quit F1.

Friday saw several meetings to discuss the ongoing controversy surrounding a budget cap of 45 million euros (61 million dollars) proposed a few weeks ago by the president of the sports governing body FIA Max Mosley.

Alonso fastest in final practise session for Monaco Grand Prix

Alonso fastest in final practise session for Monaco Grand Prix Monte Carlo  - Fernando Alonso in a Renault on Saturday posted the fastest time in the final practise session for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix.

The two-time world champion needed 1 minute 15.164 seconds for the 3.340-kilometres course through the streets of Monte Carlo, beating the time set by championship leader Jenson Button in a BrawnGP by 0.069 seconds.

Still no decision in budget-cap row

FIA president Max MosleyMonte Carlo  - A three-hour meeting between the sports' governing body (FIA) and the association of Formula One teams (FOTA) in Monte Carlo on Friday failed to bring an end to the controversy raging around the budget cap.

FIA president Max Mosley a few weeks ago introduced a controversial budget cap of 45 million euro (61 million dollars).

The cap is not mandatory, but teams which keep to it will have all technical freedom in areas such as engines and aerodynamics, while teams which spend more money face restrictions.

After Friday's meeting Mosley said that small steps forward had been made.

Ferrari hoping to come back into the frame

Ferrari hoping to come back into the frameMonte Carlo - Ferrari's Felipe Massa is hoping that Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix will herald a change of fortune for the Italian team.

Massa and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen are lying far off the pace ahead of the sixth race of the season in 12th and
13th place with just three points - 38 points behind BrawnGP driver Jenson Button.

Ferrari hoping to come back into the frame

Ferrari hoping to come back into the frameMonte Carlo - Ferrari's Felipe Massa is hoping that Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix will herald a change of fortune for the Italian team.

Massa and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen are lying far off the pace ahead of the sixth race of the season in 12th and
13th place with just three points - 38 points behind BrawnGP driver Jenson Button.

Barrichello fastest in first training for Monaco Grand Prix

Barrichello fastest in first training for Monaco Grand PrixMonte Carlo  - BrawnGP driver Rubens Barrichello set the pace in Thursday's early free practise session for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

The Brazilian posted a time of 1:17.189 for the 3.340 kilometre- long course through the streets of Monte Carlo.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa was 0.310 seconds behind his compatriot, while Lewis Hamilton, who last year won the race, posted the third- fastest time, 0.389 seconds behind Barrichello.

World championship leader Jenson Button had the eighth-fastest time.

Usain Bolt is a key asset as IAAF seeks bright future

Usain Bolt is a key asset as IAAF seeks bright futureMonte Carlo - Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt is a major athletics asset capable of lowering his 100-metres world record again at the Berlin world championships in August.

"Bolt is a fantastic young athlete. The people really appreciate him," the head of the ruling athletics body IAAF, Lamine Diack, told the German Press Agency dpa on Tuesday.

"He will come to Berlin to be world champion. He will be at his best ... Maybe he run 9.65 seconds."

Isinbayeva, Bekele confirm Golden League series start

Isinbayeva, Bekele confirm Golden League series startMonte Carlo  - Russian pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva and Ethiopian distance running ace Kenenisa Bekele will compete at the Golden League athletics series for a 1-million dollar jackpot.

The ruling body IAAF said on Thursday that Isinbayeva and Bekele have committed themselves to the elite series of six meets between June 14 and September 4.

Isinbayeva, the world and Olympic champion and world record holder

in women's pole vault, shared the jackpot in 2007 with American runner Sanya Richards.

Nadal outlast Djokovic to win fifth straight title in Monte Carlo

Nadal outlast Djokovic to win fifth straight title in Monte Carlo Monte Carlo  - Rafael Nadal won the Monte Carlo Masters for a record fifth straight time on Sunday, spending nearly three hours in fighting off dogged Serb Novak Djokovic, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.

The laboured victory pulls Nadal even with New Zealand's Anthony Wilding, who won five (non-consecutive) titles at the event from 1908 onwards.

The Spaniard had to fight for two and three-quarters hours against the determined number three Djokovic, who handed Nadal his first dropped set since the 2006 final against Roger Federer.

Nadal to face Djokovic for a fifth Monte Carlo

Rafael Nadal Monte Carlo  - Rafael Nadal escaped a late struggle from Andy Murray with a straight-sets win to reach his fifth consecutive final at the Monte Carlo Masters on Saturday with a date now looming against Novak Djokovic.

Nadal won his 26th match in a row at the venue as he secured a 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) result in well over two hours.

He has also won 30 consecutive Monte Carlo sets since the 2006 final against Roger Federer and completed his 20th straight match win on clay dating to last May in Rome.

Djokovic turns the tables to oust Wawrinka in semi-finals

Djokovic turns the tables to oust Wawrinka in semi-finals Monte Carlo - Third seed Novak Djokovic thwarted the upset plans of Stanislas Wawrinka, defeating the Swiss 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 on Saturday to reach his first final at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Djokovic will test himself against either four-time champion Rafael Nadal or Scottish fourth seed Andy Murray, competing for the first time in his career on clay after a breakthrough week on the surface.

Wawrinka aims for revenge against Djokovic on Monte Carlo clay

Stan WawrinkaMonte Carlo  - Stan Wawrinka has a score to settle with Novak Djokovic as the pair stage a re-run of last year's Foro Italico final when they meet in in a semi-final Saturday at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Djokovic, seeded third to the 13th of Wawrinka, beat the Swiss for the Rome title last May. But Wawrinka is riding a wave of clay confidence a day after defeating good friend Roger Federer in the third round.

He followed up that achievement on Friday, putting out German qualifier Andreas Beck 6-2, 6-4.

Nadal, Murray finish the job to reach Monte Carlo quarters

Nadal, Murray finish the job to reach Monte Carlo quartersMonte Carlo - Rafael Nadal was due to continue his clay campaign Friday with an afternoon quarter-final against Ivan Ljubicic after finishing off a rain-interrupted contest over Nicolas Lapentti at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Officials at the season clay kick-off were riding a lucky streak of perfect weather before more rain was forecast for the weekend.

Nadal completed a 6-3, 6-0 third-round crushing of the Ecuadorian after getting through only one game on Thursday.

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