The World Rally Championship powered through the fifth stop of the season over the weekend.
Jari-Matti Latvala ended a miserable run of form by winning the Rally de Portugal while helping Volkswagen finish the event occupying the top three spots for the third time this campaign.
Having not won since October and failed to score a point in his last three outings, the 30-year-old turned it all around over the four-day gravel test to celebrate his 13th career win.
The result also lifted him from ninth to fifth in this seasons overall standings.
Latvala finished 8.2 seconds clear of Championship leader and teammate Sebastien Ogier who had threatened to snatch an unlikely victory late on, but eventually had to settle for second.
In the overall standings Ogier now holds a 42 point lead over teammate Andreas Mikkelsen who completed the VW podium sweep with third in Portugal.
Back in Europe
The Volvo Ocean Race competitors, on Wednesday, completed Leg 7 of the gruelling round-the-world challenge.
After setting off from Alicante in October travelling across Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Americas the remaining six-boat fleet have now returned to Europe.
And to mark the return to Europe it was a European team that enjoyed top honours.
Dutch syndicate Team Brunel arrived first in Lisbon Portugal to secure leg 7.
Having set off from Newport, Rhode Island in the US Team Brunel skippered by Bouwe Bekking completed the transatlantic leg in 9 days 11 hours 9 min 49 sec.
It was the team’s second triumph in this edition following Leg 2 from Cape town to Abu Dhabi.
With the win Brunel now stand in third place on 22 points, six points behind overall leaders Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, who were fifth.
Mapfre produced a stunning late push for victory but it was only good enough for second place.
They are fourth in the overall standings four points adrift of Brunel ahead of the final two legs.
The next of which is leg 8 – a 647 nautical mile trip to Lorient in France. It’s the shortest of the lot but by now means to be taken lightly.
Off to the Candidates Tournament
The 2014/2015 FIDE chess Grand Prix culminated in the fourth and final stop in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
Over the course of the season 16 players have been bidding for the top two spots in order to qualify for the Candidates Tournament.
After Baku, Tashkent and Tbilisi this season’s four-stop FIDE Grand Prix came to a close.
And overall it was Italian chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana who came out on top of the season standings following a joint victory in Russia.
He added that result to a joint first in Baku while he came joint third in Tashkent.
American Hikaru Nakamura ended the Grand Prix series in second and along with Caruana qualified for next year’s Candidates Tournament, which will determine the challenger for the World Chess Championship.
Urban sport goes large
If you like extreme urban sport then the Festival International des Sports Extrêmes, better known as FISE, is for you.
It’s been gathering momentum for 19 years now and attracts the best international athletes over a five-day event not to mention hundreds of thousands of spectators, who pay no entry fee to watch.
The BMX event is split in two main disciplines: ‘‘Racing’‘ which is a timed race over a park style circuit that including curves, jumps and obstacles. While the second is ‘‘freestyle’‘ with athletes showing off their latest tricks.
The Mountain bike event also has two specialties – Freeride and freestyle.
Skateboarding is undoubtedly the oldest urban action sport that exists and to no great surprise also features.
In the Roller event the Benches, stairs, walls and guardrails are well used in the ‘‘street’‘, ‘‘park’‘ and ‘‘ramp’‘ categories.
It’s widely regarded as a toy for kids, but the scooter comes into its own at FISE and now features strongly.
Another discipline is the wakeboard – a thrilling combo of water skiing and surfing with a drag lift.
There’s also the the flyboard which highlights again FISE’s goal of promoting action sports.
Water is forced under pressure to a pair of boots with jet nozzles underneath which provide thrust for the rider to fly up to 15 metres.
The rider performs various tricks flips and turns in the air and makes for great viewing.
After last week’s Montpellier stop the World series heads to Chengdu, China in October.
The science of eight limbs
On inside sport we take a look at a Muay Thai – a sport that packs quite the punch, and kick, and elbow and knee – you get the picture.
Muay Thai is an ancient martial art of Thailand. It is known as the ‘science (or art) of eight limbs’ due to the fact that its technique include punches and kicks not only with hands and legs but with elbows and knees also.
Its fighting styles covers long, mid and close range combat.
Within the last two decades Muay Thai has achieved a surge in popularity and it’s practiced around the world for self defence, fitness and competition.
Emotion from Morocco
To finish Sports United we leave you with some of the defining moments from the prestigious World Masters Judo tournament that recently took place in Rabat, Morocco. (See clip above)