Vonn’s male competitors speak out

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World Cup ski champ Lindsey Vonn has yet to submit paperwork with the International Ski Federation (FIS) to compete at a men’s event in Alberta next month, but a few possible competitors are already chiming in how they think she’ll do.

“She’s an amazing skier and we know how she stacks up against us,” Manny Osborne-Paradis told the Calgary Sun. “She’s definitely close, but I don’t think she’d do as well as she thinks.”

Out of context them might sound like fightin’ words, but Osborne-Paradis says he’s in support of the publicity Vonn would bring to the sport. He’s more concerned with where she’ll start since position, earned through FIS points, is important in alpine skiing.

Male competitor Ben Thomsen, who placed second at an event in Sochi last year, seemed downright nervous about going up against the Vancouver gold medalist. He told the Sun he was forced to watch dishes after losing to her in training during a camp last year.

“Since Lake Louise is not in my wheelhouse, I am a little upset,” said Thomsen. “I am worried I’ll end up with a whole season of dishes.” He also called the Alberta course, dubbed “Lake Lindsey” by some because of Vonn’s dominance at the venue, the easiest on the schedule.

U.S., Great Britain to hold track and field dual meet

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The U.S. and Great Britain go head-to-head in a track and field meet on July 21 at the London Olympic Stadium.

“The Meet” will include nine running, jumping, hurdles and relay events and last two hours. Specific events and athletes will be announced early next year.

The U.S. topped the overall medal standings at every Olympics and world outdoor championships since 2004.

Great Britain is one of three countries to earn at least five medals at every Olympics and worlds since 2007, joining the U.S. and Kenya.

British athletes made six podiums at the just-completed worlds at the London Olympic Stadium, including in all four relays. The other two medals came from Mo Farah, who is moving to road racing and marathons after this season.

“The Meet” is similar to swimming’s “Duel in the Pool,” a biennial head-to-head competition between the U.S. and rival Australia from 2003 through 2007 and between the U.S. and Europe between 2009 and 2015.

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Maria Sharapova gets U.S. Open wild card

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NEW YORK (AP) — Maria Sharapova was granted a wild-card invitation for the U.S. Open’s main draw on Tuesday and will take part in a Grand Slam event for the first time in more than 1 ½ years.

Sharapova is among eight women given entry into the 128-player field by the U.S. Tennis Association — and by far the most noteworthy.

The former No. 1-ranked player and owner of five major titles, including the 2006 U.S. Open, has not entered a major tournament since the Australian Open in January 2016, when she tested positive for the newly banned drug meldonium.

That led to a 15-month doping ban, which expired in April. She returned to the tour, but her ranking — currently 148th — was too low to allow entry into major tournaments, and the French Open denied her a wild card. Sharapova planned to try to qualify for Wimbledon, but the 30-year-old Russian wound up skipping the grass-court portion of the season because of an injured left thigh.

Sharapova has been participating in tournaments via wild-card invitations, beginning in April on red clay at Stuttgart, Germany. She’s only played nine matches this season.

Sharapova was 19 when she won her U.S. Open trophy. Two years before, at 17, Sharapova won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. She has since completed a career Grand Slam and become one of the most recognizable — and marketable — athletes in the world.

The U.S. Open starts in Flushing Meadows on Aug. 28.

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