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Ennis aiming for 7000-point mark in heptathlon

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British heptathlete Jessica Ennis surpassed the high expectations of a nation this summer when she won gold in front of her home crowd in London.

Now the champ is setting her goals even higher. 

Ennis says she’ll aim to be only the fourth woman ever to break the 7000-point barrier in the seven-event heptathlon when she competes at the world championships in Moscow next summer.

“Your motivation levels are very different,” Ennis told the London Telegraph. “It’s just getting back into it and looking forward to the next championship.

“The World Championships are going to be the main focus for next year, preparing and being where I need to be. I’m still 26, I’ve got time to achieve a bit more, and it’s about re-setting your goals.”

Ennis barely missed the 7000-point mark during the London Olympics, as she totaled a British record and top-five all-time score of 6,955 after winning the 100m hurdles and 200m and 800m races.

Ennis still isn’t sure if she’ll take a shot at the open 100m hurdles in Rio after clocking 12.54 seconds during the heptathlon competition in London. Her time would have good enough for fourth place, just ahead of American track-star-turned-bobsledder Lolo Jones, but Ennis’s coach isn’t keen on the idea.

Instead, she seems content to focus on winning another heptathlon world championship… for now.

Mikaela Shiffrin wins Aspen World Cup slalom

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With a slalom win today in Aspen, Colo., Mikaela Shiffrin broke some of the barriers she had been chasing.

En route to her fourth consecutive slalom World Cup title – which would tie the record for the most with Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider from 1992-95 – she became the first female skier to win four World Cup slalom races in a row since Austria’s Marlies Schild did it in the 2011-12 season.

In addition, Shiffrin became the first female skier from the U.S. to win a slalom World Cup race in Aspen. And she’s now tied with France’s Perrine Pelen for sixth overall with total slalom World Cup victories.

“I was pissed after I made that ridiculous mistake yesterday,” Shiffrin said to media, referencing yesterday’s giant slalom crash. Both her and Lindsey Vonn crashed and did not finish in Aspen’s giant slalom. “I tried to use that anger today.”

Shiffrin called the mistake a “brainfart” and Vonn dismissed it because “giant slalom isn’t [her] strongest event.”

Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova was second behind Shiffrin, followed by Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter.

By finishing behind Shiffrin in Aspen, Zuzulova extends her slalom World Cup podium finish streak to four.

Hansdotter has the second-most second place World Cup slalom finishes at 13 total, including today’s race. Only Pernilla Wiberg, of Sweden, has more with a total of 14.

MORE: Shiffrin, Vonn discuss friendship and rivalry

Fencing great Valentina Vezzali fails to qualify for Rio 2016

Mario Monti, Valentina Vezzali
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TURIN, Italy (AP) – Six-time Olympic champion fencer Valentina Vezzali has failed to qualify for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Games.

The 41-year-old Vezzali was eliminated in the second round of the foil event at the Trofeo Inalpi meet Saturday, while Italian teammate Arianna Errigo reached the semifinals and gained the necessary points to qualify.

Vezzali won at least one gold at the last five Olympics in either individual or team foil. She has a total of nine Olympic medals and 25 at world championships.

Her second son was born in 2013, the year in which she also became a member of Italy’s parliament.

Vezzali told the Gazzetta dello Sport this week that “I had another son and it was really difficult to come back. … I don’t think I have anything else to prove.”

MORE: Hanyu, Miyahara win NHK; Wagner into Grand Prix Final