SPORTS digest

Ferrari’s Vettel wins Canadien Grand Prix


Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has won the Canadian Grand Prix after leading the race from the pole to the checkered flag. With the victory, Vettel took a one-point lead over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in the Formula One standings.

Vettel picked up his second career victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and the first for Ferrari in Montreal since Michael Schumacher won three in a row from 2002-04. It’s his 50th career win and his third of the season.

Valtteri Bottas was second in his Mercedes, Max Verstappen was third and the other Red Bull car, driven by Daniel Ricciardo, was fourth. Hamilton, who came in leading the championship standings, came in fifth.

Switzerland says no to Olympics


Voters in the Swiss region of Valais have voted against a bid to host the 2026 Winter OIympics in the town of Sion.

The dpa news agency reported that voters refused to pledge financial support by a vote of 54 percent.

Sion Mayor Philippe Varone said the vote Sunday was the end of the bid. He says “there is no Plan B.”

Sion offered what the bidders termed a sustainable Olympics relying on already existing jumps and ski courses. Voters rejected assurances from the International Olympic Committee and bid supporters that expensive new construction would not be needed.

Sites that are still in the running include Turin and Milan in Italy; Graz in Austria; Stockholm; Turkey’s Erzurum; Calgary, Canada; and Sapporo, Japan.

The decision will be made in fall 2019.

FIFA delays talk of 48-team World Cup


Talks on exploring a 48-team World Cup in 2022 have been taken off the agenda at FIFA’s annual congress Wednesday. FIFA says a request to start a feasibility study into adding 16 teams to the Qatar-hosted tournament has been withdrawn by South American body CONMEBOL.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino says his staff will continue talks with Qatar about potential expansion. Infantino has been enthusiastic about seeking agreement for an expanded event.

A 48-team World Cup would require extra stadiums and could lead to Qatar sharing hosting duties with Middle East neighbors.

Qualifying games for the 2022 World Cup are likely to begin in early 2019.

Brewers, Rays swap infielders


The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired infielder Brad Miller and cash from the Tampa Bay Rays for first baseman/outfielder Ji-Man Choi.

The NL Central-leading Brewers made the deal Sunday and assigned Miller to Triple-A Colorado Springs. He was cut by Tampa Bay on Thursday. The 28-year-old Miller was hitting .256 with five home runs and 21 RBIs in 48 games for the Rays. Mostly a shortstop, he has started at every position in the majors except catcher and pitcher. He hit 30 home runs for the Rays in 2016, but dipped to just nine last year.

The 27-year-old Choi hit .233 with two homers and five RBIs in 12 games for Milwaukee.

Hopes for united Korean flag dashed


Hopes that the rival Koreas would march under one flag as a unified Korean team at a regional judo championship in Mongolia were dashed this weekend by a dispute over the flag. At the center of the disagreement between the teams competing Sunday at the East Asia Judo Championship is how the “unification flag” depicts the Korean peninsula.

The North Korean team opposed the flag because it excluded two islands that are claimed by Japan and administered by South Korea. North and South Korea have in recent months been cooperating for a series of conciliatory measures. During the Winter Olympics in February, the rival Koreas entered the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium together, under one flag, which was white with the blue Korean peninsula in the middle.

Wire reports

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