Sochi Olympics Speedskating Men

Preview: Shani Davis goes for more glory in speed skating

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All races can be seen live online. TV listings can be found here.

EVENT SCHEDULE

Feb. 8 – Men’s 5,000m – 6:30 a.m. ET

Feb. 9 – Women’s 3,000m – 6:30 a.m. ET

Feb. 10 – Men’s 500m race 1 and 2 begin at 8 a.m. ET

Feb. 11 – Women’s 500m race 1 and 2 begin at 7:45 a.m. ET

Feb. 12 – Men’s 1,000m medal event – 9 a.m. ET

Feb. 13 – Women’s 1,000m medal event – 9 a.m. ET

Feb. 15 – Men’s 1,500m medal event – 8:30 a.m. ET

Feb. 16 – Women’s 1,500m medal event – 9 a.m. ET

Feb. 18 – Men’s 10,000m medal event – 8 a.m. ET

Feb. 19 – Women’s 5,000m medal event – 8:30 a.m. ET

Feb. 21 – Men’s team pursuit – 8:30 a.m. ET

Feb. 22 – Women’s team pursuit – 8:30 a.m. ET

MORE: Speed skating breakdown event-by-event

U.S. OUTLOOK

While Shani Davis doesn’t seem ready to say that this will be his last Olympics performance at 31, the possibility is there. He’s already considered one of the greatest winter performers ever, but he could cement his legacy even further as he shoots for a big gold haul. In addition to shooting for individual medals, Davis will also participate in the team pursuit in a rare turn.

Davis would be the first U.S. Winter Olympics performer to win three straight gold medals in the same event if he takes 1000m gold again. The 1,500m might mean just as much to the icon, too, as he’s been limited to silver medals in the past.

MORE: Shani Davis eyes history

It’s not just about Davis for America.

The United States hopes to match its record eight medals from 2002, as Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe could very well battle each other for medals (and benefit the U.S. program in the process). The women’s team hasn’t won a medal since 2002, yet Richardson and Bowe seem like they have a strong chance to change that, possibly in a memorable way.

MORE: U.S. speed skating hopes for a big medal haul

INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK

There will be plenty of competition from the rest of the world, however.

Mo Tae-Bum hopes to defend his surprise gold from Vancouver in the 500m and ranks among the top contenders to foil Davis’ bid at a 1000m hat trick. Denis Yuskov figures to make it difficult for Davis to get that long-desired gold in the 1500m (aka what Davis calls “the race of kings.”) Sven Kramer hopes to add to his own legend in the 5,000m and 10,000m events while also aiding the Netherlands in the team pursuit. His countryman Bob de Jong cannot be ignored, either.

MORE: Joji Kato and Keiichiro Nagashima seek gold medals this time

Lee Sang-Hwa could very well dominate the women’s 500m. Ireen Wüst is a multiple-medal threat after getting gold (3000m) and bronze (1500m) in 2006 and another gold in the 1500m in Vancouver. Martina Sablikova is another speed skater who could be a threat in more than one event.

MORE: The icy details about sports in the Olympics

Francesco Friedrich wins historic fourth straight bobsled world title

German bob team, Francesco Friedrich, right, and Thorsten Margis, celebrate their victory  after the men's  two-man bob race at the  Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships at Lake Koenigssee, Germany, Sunday Feb. 19. 2017. (Angelika Warmuth/dpa via AP)
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KOENIGSSEE, Germany (AP) — Germany’s Francesco Friedrich was again fastest in both runs to extend his lead and beat Justin Kripps of Canada for his fourth straight world championship in two-man bobsled on Sunday.

Friedrich, who held a 0.52-lead from Saturday’s opening heats, clocked 49.17 seconds and then 48.94 with his brakeman Thorsten Margis for a combined time of 3 minutes, 16.71 seconds after four runs — 1.20 ahead of Kripps and Jesse Lumsden.

The 26-year-old Friedrich says “We were simply unbeatable this week.”

Germany’s Johannes Lochner was 1.25 back in third with Joshua Bluhm, ahead of Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis of Latvia, Nick Poloniato and Neville Wright of Canada, and Oskars Melbardis and Janis Strenga of Latvia.

American pilot Steven Holcomb was seventh with Carlo Valdes, 1.68 back.

A skeleton and bobsled team competition was scheduled later Sunday.

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MORE: PyeongChang 2018 daily schedule highlights

Marcel Hirscher reclaims slalom title, wraps up ‘perfect worlds’

ST MORITZ, SWITZERLAND - FEBRUARY 17:  Gold medalist Marcel Hirscher of Austria celebrates on the podium following the Men's Giant Slalom during the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships on February 17, 2017 in St Moritz, Switzerland.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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Austrian Marcel Hirscher reclaimed the slalom world title, wrapping up what he called “the perfect world championships” with two golds and one silver in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Hirscher, the five-time reigning World Cup overall champion, prevailed by .68 of a second combining two runs. Fellow Austrian Manuel Feller earned silver, followed by German Felix Neureuther, .93 behind.

Hirscher’s biggest slalom rival, Henrik Kristoffersen, was a disappointing fourth, giving Norway fourth-place finishers in all five men’s events at worlds.

The top American was David Chodounsky in 12th.

Full Results | Race Replay

Hirscher led by .43 after the morning run and had the third-fastest second run. He finished worlds with golds in the giant slalom and slalom and silver in the super combined, missing gold by .01. All that despite entering worlds sick, reportedly spending days ill in bed.

He said that super combined silver, and especially his maiden GS title, took the pressure off Sunday.

“It was super easy for me, mentally, to [go] into this race,” Hirscher said. “It doesn’t matter if I straddle at the first gate. The only thing that wouldn’t be fine is skiing slow.”

Hirscher is en route to his sixth straight World Cup overall title this season. No other man has won that many, consecutive or not. He previously won the slalom world title in 2013, then was upset at the Sochi Olympics, taking silver behind countryman Mario Matt, who at 34 became the oldest Olympic Alpine champion.

Hirscher led the 2015 Worlds slalom by .88 after the first run, then straddled a gate near the end of the second run while his lead was evaporating.

Hirscher has already proven his excellence on the World Cup and world championships stages. It’s PyeongChang where he must deliver, since he lacks Olympic gold. Hirscher is only 27 years old, but he has cast doubt on going all the way to the 2022 Winter Games.

Feller, 24, took surprise silver without a World Cup podium to his name.

Neureuther earned his third straight world slalom medal, but none have been gold.

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