Ted Ligety became the first man in 45 years to win three gold medals at a skiing world championships by blowing away the field in winning his favored giant slalom Friday in Schladming, Austria. The American can match French great Jean-Claude Killy, who earned four golds in 1968, if he wins Sunday’s slalom. Ligety, who also took the super-G and super-combined titles, built on his big first-run lead of 1.31 seconds with a fast start but cautious finish in the second. Marcel Hirscher of Austria was 0.81 behind in second, and Manfred Moelgg of Italy took third, trailing Ligety by 1.75. Ligety is the first American to win two world GS titles, and has equaled Bode Miller’s American record of four golds at the worlds . . . Martin Dukurs won his fourth straight skeleton overall title with his eighth World Cup victory of the season at Rzahanaya Polyana, Russia. The Latvian slider edged world champion Alexander Tretjakov by 0.17 seconds in the first heat on the Sochi Olympics track to claim his 25th career Cup victory.
With victory, Serena returns to No. 1
Serena Williams rallied from 4-1 down in the third set to beat former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, in the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open in Doha and reclaimed the world No. 1 ranking. She needed to reach the semifinals to replace Victoria Azarenka at No. 1 when the rankings come out next week. She’ll face third-ranked Maria Sharapova, who beat Sam Stosur, 6-2, 6-4. Azarenka dispatched Sara Errani, 6-2, 6-2, to also reach the semis and will take on Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat Caroline Wozniacki, 6-2, 7-5 . . . Julien Benneteau upset the sluggish Roger Federer, 6-3, 7-5, to reach the semifinals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Federer struggled with his serve and the timing of his ground shots throughout the match. Grigor Dimitrov beat Marcos Baghdatis, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-0), 6-3, and will face Juan Martin del Potro, who defeated Jarkko Nieminen, 6-3, 6-4 . . . Rafael Nadal overcame a poor start and a difficult third set to beat Carlos Berlocq, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, and advance to the semifinals of the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo . . . John Isner advanced to the SAP Open semifinals in San Jose, Calif., for the first time in his career, overpowering Xavier Malisse, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2.
Sandusky case costs Penn State $27m
Penn State’s bill for legal fees, consultants, and other costs associated with the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal stands at more than $27.6 million. An updated figure as of November 2012 was provided this week on a university website. It includes a $13 million price tag for board of trustees communications and the internal investigation into the scandal by former FBI director Louis Freeh . . . The prison sentence for disgraced junior hockey coach Graham James was increased from two years to five for sexually preying on former NHL player Theo Fleury. The Manitoba Court of Appeal in Winnipeg increased the prison sentence on James, who was convicted last year of sexually abusing Fleury and his younger cousin, Todd Holt, when they played for James in the junior ranks in the 1980s . . . The Columbus Blue Jackets activated 39-year-old defenseman Adrian Aucoin (lower-body injury) off injured reserve.