although FIFAs investigators are preparing

  • KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia -- Benjamin Raich has reached a World Cup podium for the 91st -- and probably last -- time in his career at the same resort where he earned his first top-three finish 15 years ago. Nike Air Max Billigt Sverige . The 36-year-old Austrian, who is considering retirement after the season, came runner-up to Olympic champion Ted Ligety in a giant slalom on the Podkoren course on Saturday. As a 21-year-old, Raich finished third in a slalom here on Jan. 6, 1999. Raich was only 17th after the opening leg but posted the fastest time in a blistering second run to get his first World Cup podium since winning a super-G in Crans Montana Switzerland, in February 2012. Raich said he never lost faith in his skiing despite failing to reach a podium for the last two years. Even his persistent back problems getting worse in January didnt hit his confidence. "I knew I still have a fast turn but, if youre not in good health, you cant race that good," Raich said. "Ive always had back problems in my career. Three, four days, then it was gone. This year it was more than a month." The injury hampered his buildup to the Sochi Olympics, and finally forced him to skip the super-combined race in Sochi. It wasnt Raichs first mishap in the Olympic season. He needed weeks to recover following an accident while riding his off-road motorbike in early August. The 80-kilogram bike rolled over on steep terrain and landed on his right leg, but Raich escaped with a torn muscle in his thigh. "I had a really tough season," Raich said. "It was not easy, it was not fun. But after preparing for the Olympics, I had a really good feeling. I was in good health. And now I am back on the podium -- as I believed." Raich won the overall title in 2006 and finished runner-up five times, including in the 2008-09 season when Aksel Lund Svindal edged him by two points. Raich also won 11 medals at major championships, including two golds at the 2006 Turin Olympics. Not having to prove anything to anybody, Raich can compete without pressure -- just like in the early days of his career. "My first podium in Kranjska Gora, I felt very free," Raich said. "Afterward you have big goals and you know everyone wants to see you on the podium. So there was more pressure then but I handled that always very well." Austria mens head coach Mathias Berthold said he wasnt taken aback by Raichs podium finish. "I was only surprised by the way he did it, coming from 17th with a sensational second run," Berthold said. "Since his back problems are gone, he has progressed extremely well." Berthold said he will speak with Raich about next season -- but not before the current campaign is over. "We let the World Cup finals go by," Berthold said. "Its not good to discuss long-term plans while your focus should be on a race the next day." Raich has said before that he will take his decision regardless of the career plans of longterm girlfriend Marlies Schild. The 32-year-old slalom specialist won a record 35th slalom race in December, and she is also yet to decide whether shell remain on the World Cup. Norways Henrik Kristoffersen, who trailed the 17-year-older Raich in third for his first career GS podium, said Raich was his idol when following ski racing as a kid. "I think today Benni was the most impressive skier," Kristoffersen said. "I watched him when I grew up and I remember my dad (Lars Kristoffersen) telling me that Benni had the cleanest turn and he was the best in GS." Raich smiled when hearing Kristoffersens words. "Its nice to be on the podium next to him," Raich said. "Because he is the future and I am the past." Nike Air Max Billigt Online .And although FIFAs investigators are preparing to release the findings of a World Cup corruption probe, Hassan Al Thawadi dismissed any chance of Qatar losing the showpiece event. Billiga Skor Nike Air Max . - IndyCar racing officials expressed confidence on Monday that the NOLA Motorsports Park will be able to complete more $4.Berkeley, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Nigel Hayes recorded a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds and No. 6 Wisconsin went into Haas Pavilion and shut down the California Golden Bears en route to a 68-56 victory. Cal came in averaging over 70 points per game but succumbed to Wisconsins vaunted defense, which limited the Bears to 38.9 percent shooting. Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky each donated 14 points and combined for 14 rebounds for the Badgers (11-1), winners of four in a row following their lone loss against No. 2 Duke. We took care of the ball, got high percentage shots when we needed them, free throw shots, said Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan, whose team went 17-of-18 from the stripe. I thought we played pretty well considering we were the team traveling. Tyrone Wallace led Cal (10-2) with 17 points while Jordan Mathews added 15 in the loss, the teams first in eight games. The only time the Bears led was when it was a 2-0 game. They were within 17-16 late in the first half bbefore Wisconsin went on a 15-4 tear over the final 6 1/2 minutes. Köpa Nike Air Max Billigt. Five players contributed points during the surge, and Duje Dukans three-point play yielded a 32-20 cushion heading into the locker room. Cal trimmed a 17-point deficit down the eight on Mathews 3-pointer at the midway point of the second half, but Kaminsky answered with a straightaway 3 to restore the double-digit advantage. Hayes converted a three-point play and threw down a dunk in two of the next three Wisconsin possessions, and the difference never dipped below a dozen the rest of the way. Obviously they saw an opportunity with Hayes and decided to ride him. He had success from start to finish, Cal head coach Cuonzo Martin said. We had to get better in this particular game on our post defense. Game Notes Cal had won its previous 17 non-conference home games ... Hayes has recorded three double-doubles this season ... 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