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The Blues crowned in VII, Pogacar untouchable and LeBron James’ record… Sports news of the weekend

With Antoine Dupont, the Sevens rugby Blues won their first title since 2005 while the French biathlon team continued its total domination of the discipline by winning the Oslo mixed relay. In individual sports, Tadej Pogacar (cycling) and Max Verstappen (Formula 1) are still untouchable at the dawn of their new season. Back to the weekend’s sports news.

Published on: 04/03/2024 – 11:35

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The sporting events that should not be missed, the summary of the five major football championships and the image of the weekend… Here is the France 24 sports recap.

Tadej Pogacar hits hard on the Strade Bianche: Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE) won for the second time the Strade Bianche, a 215 km event which served as his back-to-school race, on Saturday in Siena (Italy). Pogacar, already winner of the event in 2022 after a 40 km raid, left his rivals 81 km from the finish and then had a lead of up to four minutes over the first pursuers. Among the women, Lotte Kopecky won the event for the second time in a row.
Max Verstappen still untouchable for the resumption of F1: another sport, another untouchable car. Without suspense, the three-time reigning world champion Max Verstappen easily won the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday, ahead of his Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez, a double which offers a breath of fresh air to the team and its boss, in the center of a matter. The Dutchman started 2024 as he finished 2023, on the top step of the podium. And in style since he was more than 20 seconds ahead of his runner-up at the finish.

Humbert winner in Dubai and in the ATP top 15: the Frenchman Ugo Humbert, crowned in Dubai on Saturday, entered the Top 15 of the ATP ranking published on Monday for the first time and still dominated by the Serbian Novak Djokovic. Humbert, now 14th in the world after having progressed four places, at 25 years old occupies the best ranking of his career with this sixth title in six finals contested on the circuit.

40,000 career points for LeBron James: lhe Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James became the first player to score more than 40,000 points in the NBA on Saturday against Denver, and continues to raise his record to insane heights at 39. In February 2023, LeBron James climbed a mountain by seizing the points record from legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,390 points). With 26 points scored Saturday against Denver and a total of 40,017 points, the “King” of the City of Angels has now soared, and only he knows to what height he will carry this mark.
France victorious in the mixed biathlon relay in Oslo: the French team, ideally launched by Julia Simon, dominated from start to finish the mixed relay in Oslo, seventh stage of the Biathlon World Cup, less than a month after winning world gold. The blue quartet, made up of Simon, Sophie Chauveau, Fabien Claude and Quentin Fillon Maillet, won with more than thirty seconds ahead of Sweden and the Boe brothers’ Norway. The reward for high-level shooting performance, with the use of only six pickaxe bullets.

PSG still stalls before the Champions League

Deprived of Kylian Mbappé who left at half-time, Paris SG conceded a second draw in a row in Ligue 1 against Monaco on Friday (0-0), four days before their round of 16 second leg of the Champions League against Real Sociedad.

The competition is still far behind: Brest is nine points behind but continues at its breakneck pace. By beating Le Havre (1-0), the Bretons recorded their third consecutive victory and a thirteenth match without defeat in a row in Ligue 1, a record in the club’s history.

In the Manchester derby, City gets the better of United

Manchester City overthrew their neighbor Manchester United (3-1) thanks to a double from Phil Foden and a new goal from Erling Haaland on Sunday, to stay one point behind leader Liverpool, to whom they go in a week.

Liverpool (1st, 63 pts) has one point more than Manchester City (2nd, 62 pts) before their reunion next Sunday at Anfield for the 28th day. Arsenal, third (58 pts), travels to bottom-place Sheffield United on Monday.

Napoli serve the crown to Inter Milan on a platter

Naples may have offered its crown to Inter Milan: the reigning champion beat Juventus Turin on Sunday who could be relegated fifteen points behind the Milan leader at the end of the 27th day of the Italian Championship on Monday which will see Inzaghi’s men face Genoa.

Napoli won 2-1 in the weekend’s fixtures and returned to victory in the league after a defeat and two draws. This success, achieved thanks to a spectacular volley from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (42nd) and a two-step penalty scored by Giacomo Raspadori (85th), allows the 2023 champion to move back to 7th place in the rankings.

Above all, it undoubtedly destroyed Juve’s already slim hopes of depriving Inter of their 20th “scudetto”.

Atlético revives, FC Barcelona struggles

FC Barcelona, ​​reigning Spanish champion, missed the opportunity to come back to six points behind the leader, Real Madrid, by conceding a draw (0-0) on the pitch of Athletic Bilbao during the 27th day of Liga and is now under threat from Atlético. Still third (58 points), Barça does not take advantage of the misstep of its Madrid rival in Valencia on Saturday (2-2) to reduce the gap and remains eight lengths from the lead, notably with a Clasico at the Santiago Bernabéu in play.

Earlier in the afternoon, after three matches without a victory, Atlético Madrid returned to success by beating Betis Sevilla at home (2-1). Still deprived of Antoine Griezmann, the Colchoneros (4th, 55 points) are three lengths behind Barça.

Bayer Leverkusen continues to take off

Bayer Leverkusen is on a royal road to winning a first German championship title and putting an end to eleven consecutive seasons of domination by Bayern, after its victory on Sunday in Cologne (2-0) during a derby between neighbors.

Ten days before the end of the Bundesliga, Xabi Alonso’s men are ten points ahead of Bayern Munich (64 against 54), who have only taken four points out of 12 possible during the last four days and who see his hopes of a twelfth national coronation in a row are becoming increasingly distant.

In February, Lionel Messi caused a mini diplomatic incident by not taking part in a friendly match in Hong Kong between a Chinese team and his club Inter Miami. A gesture interpreted as an affront to China. With the status acquired by the Argentinian in the history of world football, the rule of absolute silence that he has adopted on political subjects does not prevent recovery and exploitation.

Also read: Lionel Messi or the contradictions of geopolitics and football business

The Blues of rugby sevens won their first victory since 2005 in a tournament. © Patrick T. Fallon, AFP

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