FORMULA ONE: Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton set a track record at the Bahrain Grand Prix on his way to a record-extending 98th career pole position on Saturday in Sakhir, Bahrain.
The seven-time F1 champion looked in total control as he set a time of 1 minute, 27.264 seconds under the floodlights. He finished about .3 seconds ahead of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and around .4 clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
“We did some really good work overnight. I was really happy with the car from the get-go,” the veteran British driver said. “I just didn’t make any mistakes.”
Bottas thought he was closer to Hamilton’s time.
“I was quite surprised when I saw the gap,” the Finnish driver said. “I definitely have the speed but I haven’t quite got it all together yet.”
Verstappen’s teammate Alexander Albon was in fourth place and a full second behind Hamilton, who will bid for his record-extending 95th F1 win on Sunday.
EUROPEAN TOUR: Adrian Meronk clung on to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Championship as a couple of home players made big charges on Saturday at Malelane, South Africa.
Meronk went to 14 under par overall at Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa with a 1-under 71 that included three birdies but also two bogeys.
Meronk has already made history here as the first Polish player to lead a European Tour event and is honing in on a maiden tour victory for himself and his country.
Jayden Schaper of South Africa made the biggest move with a 5-under 67 to go second on 13 under, and he saved the best for the end with an eagle and two birdies on his last four holes. Another home player, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, is third on 11 under after a 68. He picked up all five of his birdies on the back nine.
TEST CANCELED: Another test event for the 2022 Beijing Olympics was called off Saturday, when bobsled and skeleton officials canceled plans to have a training week and World Cup race on a newly built track to end this year’s sliding season.
The decision comes just days after luge officials also canceled that sport’s season-ending World Cup and training week on the track built in Yanqing. The reason, in both cases, was the same: ongoing concerns about international travel during the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China about a year ago.
In a letter sent to national federations Saturday, International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation Secretary General Heike Groesswang said several weeks of conversations were held about how to move forward with the training week and World Cup “under the challenging circumstances the COVID-19 pandemic causes to all of us.”
The new schedule calls for a bobsled training week in early October and a skeleton training week later in October. That means many nations will likely have to choose some semblance of their 2021-22 national teams by the end