Good week/bad week

We pick out the champs and chumps from the previous seven days in the world of sport

By Graeme Mair.   Last Updated: 23/02/10 3:10pm

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Gold standard: Williams

Gold standard: Williams

Sky Bet

Good week for...

Amy Williams

The Bath slider produced a skeleton masterclass to tame the high-speed track at the Whistler Sliding Centre on the way to gold at the Winter Olympics.

British champions at the Winter Games are a rare breed, Williams' triumph was her country's first since Rhona Martin's curlers struck gold in Salt Lake City eight years previously.

And you have to go back to figure skater Robin Cousins in 1980 for Britain's previous individual gold medallist.

Williams ended the drought in some style, setting a track record on her opening slide and leading throughout the four runs to finish more than half-a-second clear - a huge margin in skeleton terms - of Germany's Kerstin Szymkowiak.

Ian Poulter

The outspoken Englishman claimed his first victory in America at the WGC Accenture World Match Play and as a result is now at a career-high fifth in the world rankings.

He defeated fellow countryman Paul Casey 4&2 in the 36-hole final at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Arizona, having thrashed Sergio Garcia 7&6 in the semi-final.

Poulter has often found himself the centre of attention for his terrible outfits and boastful comments but, for the time being at least, his golf is providing the main talking point.

Craig Kieswetter

The Somerset batsman-wicketkeeper earned a call-up to the one-day leg of England's tour of Bangladesh after starring for the second-string Lions.

Kieswetter made scores of 44 not out, 77no and 50 against Pakistan A but saved his biggest statement for England's senior side, top scoring with 81 as the Lions triumphed over their supposed superiors.

The selectors had seen enough and immediately promoted the 22-year-old to the full squad for the three-match one-day international series in Bangladesh from February 28-March 5.

And, with England still yet to find an adequate replacement for Marcus Trescothick in their one-day team, it could be another Somerset opener who provides the solution.

Bode Miller

The maverick American completed a remarkable comeback with victory in the men's combined at the Winter Olympics.

Miller's best days looked firmly behind him last season when he failed to win a race during the World Cup season and few thought he would be able to get his hands on a gold medal in Vancouver.

The 32-year-old surprised his critics by rejoining the United States team after several seasons as an independent racer and slowly rediscovered his best form.

Bronze in the downhill on Whistler mountain was followed by silver in the super-G and, coupled with a pair of silvers from Salt Lake City eight years earlier, made him the most decorated American skier in Olympic history.

But the top step of the podium was still proving elusive and, after managing just seventh place in the downhill section of the combined, that did not look likely to change.

However, Miller stormed through the field on the slalom run to overturn his deficit and put the crowning glory on his colourful career.

Bad week for...


Salif Diao's late winner for Stoke heaped more misery on Premier League crisis-club Portsmouth, who seem to have carved out a regular spot in our bad week section.

The south coast team have crippling debts and are attempting to stave off a winding up order from HMRC over unpaid taxes, which is due to be heard in the High Court on March 1.

Earlier in the week they asked the Premier League to be allowed to sell players outside the transfer window in an effort to ease their financial situation.

On the field things took another turn for the worse as Diao came off the bench to net his first league goal for eight years and give 10-man Stoke a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Fratton Park.

Portsmouth now sit seven points adrift of Burnley at the foot of the table and need something approaching a miracle to avoid relegation.

Super 14 defences

It was an incredible week of scoring in the Super 14 with the Waratahs the only team to muster less than 20 points.

The pick of a wild round of fixtures was the Chiefs' 72-65 victory over the Lions in Johannesburg, a match featuring nine tries for each team.

And there was not much defence on show elsewhere as the Bulls beat the Brumbies 50-32, the Hurricanes swept away the Force 47-22 and the Reds crushed the Crusaders 41-20.

John Jackson and Dan Money

Britain's two-man bobsleigh team failed to follow Williams' example, their Winter Olympics ending with a crash in the opening heat.

The duo's was among four sleds to overturn at the Whistler Sliding Centre, raising further safety concerns over the track.

Brakeman Money flew out as the sled turned over and slid upside down, while driver Jackson was trapped by the upturned car - both men were left with ice burns and bruises but thankfully escaped serious injury.

Hull KR

Hull KR's stuttering start to the Super League season continued with a 30-0 home thrashing at the hands of Huddersfield Giants.

The Robins went scoreless for just the second time since their elevation to the top tier as the New Craven Park faithful literally had nothing to cheer about.

Coach Justin Morgan, who guided the side to fourth place in the table last season, admitted: "We did not start well and did not get any better. In fact we got progressively worse as the game went on.

"...I will have to delve very deeply to find any positives to take from today."

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