"His career will tell you that

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"His career will tell you that

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VAL DISERE, France - World Cup leader Tina Wierather of Liechtenstein protected her lead from the first run to win the first giant slalom race of her career on Sunday, her second victory of the season and third of her fast-improving career. "Today was a very great day for me. It was always my dream to be good in GS," Wierather said. "I took quite a long time to get there. It feels awesome to have my first win (in GS)." Wierather leads overall with 595 points from Lara Gut (568), who finished second, and Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany (535). "Its cool to have the chance to fight for it. Its the first time Ive been so consistent. But its only December so Im not thinking about that," Wierather said. "Its just that Ive been healthy for some years now and I could improve a little bit every summer. I feel very strong and feel ready for more than just downhill, but also super-G and GS." Julia Mancuso of the United States did not finish the second run. After winning a super-G race at St. Moritz last weekend, the 24-year-old Wierather secured her third career win and 13th podium finish with an overall time of 2 minutes, 24.10 seconds. "Its a process of many years. I tried to improve my technique, my physical performance. Its like a big puzzle and at the moment it looks like it is working," Wierather said. "I used to play tennis until I was 12. I never liked this battle. In skiing its you against the hill and you see the time. You just fight the hill and not the other girls. Thats what I like about ski racing." Wierather was 0.75 seconds clear of Gut, who was third after the first run, and 0.95 ahead of Swedens Maria Pietilae-Holmner, who had been second. Italian Federica Brignone was fourth, ahead of the former World Cup winner Hoefl-Riesch. Gut has four World Cup wins this season, and five podiums, but had failed to finish the last two GS races. "Its always fun to be on the podium and to make points," the 22-year-old said. "But I was skiing good even in Beaver Creek and St. Moritz before going off course." Pietilae-Holmner, the GS runner-up at the 2007 worlds, secured her first World Cup podium in GS. "Its a perfect Christmas present," the 27-year-old said. "I had two seasons with both knee injury and shoulder injury. Im back without injury so I can put the energy in the right things." World slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin was eighth, improving from her 12th-place finish in slalom at Courchevel on Tuesday. The previous weekend, the 18-year-old had failed to finish another GS in the Swiss resort of St. Moritz. "I was really tired coming from the U.S. to here (Europe). I had to rethink how I was doing things, getting my recoveries and stuff," Shiffrin said. "Before this race I actually got some rest and I felt a lot better today, which means that I just have to ski faster. Im happy with the top 10." She thought that she could have done better, however, with more preparation. "I think the first run was a little bit straighter than I thought it would be from looking at it on inspection. Its a lesson for next time," she said. "I have to be able to see its a little straighter so I can go, because some of the other girls hammered it and they were really fast, and thats where I lost some time." Defending overall champion Tina Maze, who was second in Saturdays downhill, improved in her second run to finish 11th. The Slovenian is still looking for her first win of the season and says she feels mentally tired. "Maybe its the result of the progam I have. Since St. Moritz every day Im in ski boots, skiing and training and its tough to be in shape every day and to concentrate 100 per cent," she said. "I really need two days break now, just to relax a little bit. I think its pretty tiring when youre going up and down and fighting every day to be positive." The 30-year-old Maze looked set for a competitive time but almost fell on her first run. "I was skiing really good so Im excited about my skiing, but with that mistake it was just too hard to come in front and be relaxed in the second run," she said. "I was attacking too much and on this snow when you push too much its not a good idea." Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. . -- James Harden scored 31 points, including 25 in the second half, and the Houston Rockets dug out of a double-digit, first-half hole to beat the Orlando Magic 101-89 on Wednesday night. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. . TSN 1290s coverage begins with Hustler & Lawless at 3pm. Rick Ralph hosts the Official Jets Pre-game Show at 5pm. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Toronto Raptors guard, who will represent the Eastern Conference at the All-Star Game in New Orleans on Sunday, says he doesnt complain in the face of adversity "because I know this little girl is just happy for anything. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. .J. -- Kevin Gilbride retired Thursday as offensive co-ordinator for the New York Giants. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. . -- The Atlanta Braves added to their extensive wave of long-term deals with their young stars on Sunday by agreeing to a $42 million, four-year contract with All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel.ATLANTA -- Braves third baseman Chris Johnson gets to keep his dream job for another three years. Atlanta was the team he cheered for while growing up in South Florida, and he idolized third baseman Chipper Jones. "In this game, not many times does a team tell a player they want him to be around for a really long time," Johnson said. "Im excited they feel that way about me and have the confidence in me to be around for a little while. Now I just want to work as hard as I can to prove theyre right." After agreeing to a $23.5 million, three-year deal announced Friday, Johnson is under contract through 2017. The 29-year-old was among the teams biggest surprises last season. A supposed throw-in to the Justin Upton trade, Johnson ranked second in the NL with a .321 average. He had 12 homers and 68 RBIs. His agreement continued Atlantas recent trend of signing a core of players to long-term deals. First baseman Freddie Freeman ($135 million over eight years), closer Craig Kimbrel ($42 million over four years), pitcher Julio Teheran ($32.4 million over six years) and shortstop Andrelton Simmons ($58 million over seven years) agreed to long-term deals before or during spring training, and right fielder Jason Heyward struck a $13.3 million, two-year deal. General manager Frank Wren said Johnsons agent approached the team early last month to see whether the sides could work out a new deal. Wren said the Braves arent placing unrealistic expectations on their third baseman. Johnson is off to a slow start, hitting .255 with one homer and four RBIs in 26 games. "I think what we saw last year -- maybe hes not going to hit .320, but weve always felt he was somewhere in the .280-.300 range as a hitter," Wren said. "His career will tell you that." In the first 304 games of his career with Houston and Arizona, Johnson hit .276 and averaged eight homers and 43 RBIs. "I think as we go forward," Wren said, "thats the kind of player he can be -- somewhere in that .dddddddddddd285-.300 range -- and hit 10-15 home runs, drive in 70 and play solid third base." Johnson was part of the trade that brought Upton, a slugging left fielder, to Atlanta and sent fan favourite Martin Prado, pitcher Randall Delgado and three minor leaguers to Arizona on Jan. 24 last year. "Theres not many people that are going to be traded with him that arent going to be the other guy, " Johnson said. "But Im fine with that. Its good because it doesnt bother me really to be the other guy. It kind of gave me the fire to prove I need to be here and was not just a name in the trade." Johnson is making $4.75 million this season under a one-year deal. The agreement includes salaries of $6 million next year, $7.5 million in 2016 and $9 million in 2017. Atlanta has a $10 million option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout. Wren is grateful that Liberty Media, the Braves owner, has committed the money to keep another part of the core group together as the team prepares to move into a new ballpark in suburban Cobb County in 2017. "You have to be careful," Wren said. "You have to have that combination of players and especially what we did all winter was looking at really high level young talent that was either pre-arbitration or first-year arbitration and extending them. It fits into that mould." Johnson, who would have been eligible for free agency after the 2016 season, met Jones was he played for Stetson and Jones father Larry was an assistant coach with the school. Johnson never imagined he would replace Jones the year after the longtime Braves star retired after the 2012 season. "Its nuts," he said. "Its crazy. I cant believe it. Its awesome, but Im going to try to make sure I keep grinding and keep working and try to get better every day." Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. Trebuie să fii logat sau înregistrat pentru a vedea acest link. ' ' '

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