Monday 18 December 2017

In brief: O'Sullivan falls apart in early exit


Ronnie O'Sullivan suffered a stunning 9-6 defeat to qualifier Stuart Bingham last night in the first round of the UK Championship.

The three-time former world champion looked to be fending off Bingham's threat when he moved from the overnight score of 4-4 to a 6-4 lead with breaks of 62 and 77.

However, the 35-year-old, a day on from his birthday, then dropped five frames in a row to make his early exit.

Bingham did not even need to score heavily to take the frames, his highest break in the run being a modest 48 to O'Sullivan's paltry 24.

Stephen Hendry again proved to be Jimmy White's nemesis as the Scot won their battle of the veterans.

Hendry, who beat White in four World Championship finals during the 1990s, trailed 8-7 against crowd favourite White, but won back-to-back frames to triumph 9-8.

The 41-year-old five-time UK champion set up a second-round clash with Welshman Mark Williams.


Mark Webber has revealed he fractured a shoulder when he was within sight of clinching this year's Formula One world title.

Webber sustained the injury with four Grands Prix remaining, at that stage holding an 11-point lead over Fernando Alonso, while he was 21 clear of Red Bull team-mate and eventual champion Sebastian Vettel.

In his book that reviews his tilt for the championship, 'Up Front -- 2010, A Season To Remember', Webber in no way blames the injury for missing out on the title. The Australian ended up third, 14 points behind Vettel.

Remarkably, although Webber has confirmed the need for pain-killing injections ahead of the Japanese and Korean Grands Prix, he decided to keep the injury secret from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Only those close to him, in particular trainer Roger Cleary and FIA chief medical officer Gary Hartstein, were aware of the break.


Marion Jones reckons she did not deserve a prison term for lying about steroid use and involvement in a drugs fraud case.

Jones (35), who won three gold medals at the Sydney Olympics, was given a six-month prison sentence in January 2008. "I know I broke the law and committed a crime by lying," said the former fastest woman in the world.

"My reputation, fame and fortune was lost. Learning that lesson would have benefited society more than putting me away for six months."

During her sentence, Jones spent six weeks in solitary confinement and served two years' probation for lying to federal investigators about using performance-enhancing drugs.

Jones, who admitted in court in 2007 to steroid use between September 2000 and July 2001, was stripped of her Olympic medals, and her records were erased from the history books.

Irish Independent

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