Svindal wins alpine worlds — Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway won the men’s downhill title at the alpine skiing world championships Saturday in Schladming, Austria, after a powerful run down the Planai course that no one came close to matching. Svindal kept a near-perfect line down the entire 3.33-kilometer course to finish in 2 minutes, 1.32 seconds for his second world downhill title, after also winning the marquee event in 2007. It was his fifth world title overall, to go with an Olympic gold in super-G. Dominik Paris of Italy, who leads this season’s World Cup downhill standings, trailed Svindal by 0.46 in second. David Poisson of France finished third, 0.97 behind.
Red Sox prospect shoots self — Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington says outfield prospect Bryce Brentz accidentally shot himself in the leg last month, but could recover in time to play in spring training. Cherington said Saturday that Brentz was cleaning the gun went it went off. The bullet passed through Brentz’s left leg. Cherington said Brentz wasn’t doing anything illegal. Brentz was a first-round draft pick by the Red Sox in 2010.
Former Fresno coach dies — Jim Sweeney, who coached Fresno State’s football team for 19 seasons and retired with a school-record 144 victories, has died. He was 83. The school announced Sweeney’s death on Friday night. It provided no further details. Sweeney also coached Montana State and Washington State before he was hired by Fresno State in 1976. He retired following the 1996 season, and the field at Bulldog Stadium was renamed in his honor.
Saints hire Ryan — New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has chosen Rob Ryan as his new defensive coordinator, hoping New Orleans can overhaul a unit that was historically bad last season. Ryan, the brother of New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, spent the past two seasons as Dallas’ defensive coordinator. He was fired after last season, when his defense ranked 19th.
U.S. tied in Fed Cup — American Varvara Lepchenko won in her Fed Cup singles debut to lift the U.S. team to a 1-1 tie against Italy on Saturday in Rimini, Italy, after Sara Errani beat Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-1. Lepchenko rallied past Roberta Vinci 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 after the Italian struggled with a leg cramp in the final set, which featured seven breaks of serve. The doubles today will feature Melanie Oudin and Liezel Huber against Nastassja Burnett and Karin Knapp.
U.S. women get victory — Tom Sermanni coached the U.S. women’s soccer team to a 4-1 win over Scotland on Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla., making the most of two first-half goals by Christen Press. It was quite the debut for Sermanni, who was born in Scotland and spent the past eight years as Australia’s coach.
— From wire reports