Great Britain's SUSIE WOLFF "is to take part in two practice sessions at grands prix this year as part of an expanded role as Williams development driver," according to Andrew Benson of the BBC. The Scot, 31, "has been given the chance following an impressive performance in a test at Silverstone last July." Wolff "will drive in an in-season test and the first practice sessions at the British and German Grands Prix" (BBC, 2/24). REUTERS reported Williams Chief Technical Officer PAT SYMONDS said Wolff had "demonstrated a natural talent for developing a car and providing strong feedback." The last woman to take part in any stage of a grand prix weekend was the Italian GIOVANNA AMATI, "who tried and failed to qualify with Brabham in 1992" (REUTERS, 2/24).
People and Pop Culture
The Int'l Rugby Board has announced the appointment of ALAN GILPIN as head of Rugby World Cup. Gilpin will start his new role in May. A former lawyer, Gilpin joins the IRB from the Sodexo and Mike Burton Group joint venture (Rugby World Cup). ... SingTel Dir of Content Acquisition and Programming GUNA KALIANNAN has moved to the Wasserman Media Group to a key position in the Asian region. Kaliannan has had a 15-year career in the media industry.
Guna started his career in journalism before switching to TV where he joined the Content Acquisition team at ESPN STAR Sports. He moved on to work in Business Affairs at Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific before joining SingTel to head the Sports division with the much publicised acquisition of Premier League rights in 2009 (Wasserman Media Group). ... Second Bundesliga club Energie Cottbus "has, as expected, parted ways with head coach" STEPHAN SCHMIDT. The 37-year-old "confirmed the news on Monday." The decision "was made during collective talks with the club's management" (SID, 2/24). ... Portuguese football club Braga announced the resignation of coach JESUALDO FERREIRA on Monday. Ferreira, 67, previously coached Portuguese sides Benfica and Oporto as well as Spanish club Málaga (EFE, 2/24).
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German biathlon website biathlon-online reported that German biathlon talent JULIA PIEPER "has died." The "cause of her death is yet unknown." The 19-year-old "competed for ski club WSV Oberhof and represented Germany at the 2013 IBU Youth/Junior World Championships" in Obertilliach, Austria (BILD, 2/24). ... Queensland teenager JACK BARRIE "has signed a lucrative deal with Major League Baseball outfit the Minnesota Twins on his 18th birthday." The contract, confirmed on Monday, "is believed to be worth six figures" (AAP, 2/24). ... Jamaican sprinter VERONICA CAMPBELL-BROWN's American-based lawyer HOWARD JACOBS said that she "has been cleared to resume her career" by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The two-time Olympic 200m Gold Medalist "was suspended by her country's national federation last year following a positive test for a banned diuretic" (REUTERS, 2/24).
GUO RETURNS: Chinese Basketball Association side Liaoning Flying Leopards coach GUO SHIQIANG "will return" in the playoffs and "will remain at the helm next season." Guo's resignation "was triggered by a foul" from KORAMBEK MAKHAN which was not penalized by the referee. The referee of the game, ZHENG JUN, was on Friday "sentenced to a 15-game ban by the CBA" (GLOBAL TIMES, 2/24). ... Belgian side KRC Genk has fired Manager MARIO BEEN "ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash with Russian side Anzhi." Genk said that assistant Managers PIERRE DENIER and HANS VISSER "would lead the training while the club was looking for a replacement for Been" (REUTERS, 2/24). ... Serie B side Pescara has "confirmed the appointment" of SERSE COSMI as its new coach (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 2/24).
AP's ROB HARRIS: "Wonder how many criticising @piersmorgan have seen his interviews ... surely a sports interview show awaits back in UK"
Scotland Daily Record's DAVID MCCARTHY: "Why is @SkySportsGolf showing The Great Escape on ch404..all that's missing is Steve McQueen on a motorbike."
Bloomberg's TARIQ PANJA: "Sandro Rossell's impact on Barcelona image stunning during his short presidency: Sold out shirt front before embroiling club in Neymar mess"
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