Maria Hoefl-Riesch

Maria Hoefl-Riesch crashes in World Cup Finals downhill (video)

Leave a comment

Maria Hoefl-Riesch crashed, landed into netting and screamed repeatedly at the World Cup Finals downhill in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

She suffered a shoulder injury and was taken away by helicopter, according to reports.

“She has pain in the shoulder and back on the right side,” Germany team spokesman Ralph Eder said, according to The Associated Press. “We don’t know yet but we don’t expect any fracture or (dislocation).”

Update: Hoefl-Riesch is done for the season due to injuries sustained in the crash, according to reports.

The German Hoefl-Riesch lost her World Cup overall points lead to Austrian Anna Fenninger, who was sixth in Wednesday’s race.

Swiss Lara Gut won in 1 minute, 32.31 seconds, .05  better than Austrian Elisabeth Goergl. Swiss Fraenzi Aufdenblatten was third.

Hoefl-Riesch entered the four-race World Cup Finals with a 29-point lead over Fenninger in a tight race for the overall title and crystal globe trophy. Hoefl-Riesch has finished in the top three of the overall standings each of the previous six seasons and was looking for the second overall title of her career.

A 10-time Olympic and world medalist, Hoefl-Riesch, 29, has said she may retire after this season. She clinched the season downhill title Wednesday. It’s unknown if Hoefl-Riesch will be able to enter the remaining races this week, starting with a super-G on Thursday.

Fenninger, 24, appears very likely to win her first overall title now after winning gold and silver at the Sochi Olympics. She leads Hoefl-Riesch by 11 points and Gut by 235 with three races to go. Race winners receive 100 points, followed by 80 points for second place and on down the line.

Americans Julia Mancuso and Stacey Cook were 10th and 18th on Wednesday.

Lenzerheide Downhill
1. Lara Gut (SUI) 1:32.31
2. Elisabeth Goergl (AUT) 1:32.36
3. Fraenzi Aufdenblatten (SUI) 1:32.88
4. Fabienne Suter (SUI) 1:33.15
5. Andrea Fischbacher (AUT) 1:33.27
6. Anna Fenninger (AUT) 1:33.38
7. Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT) 1:33.41
8. Daniela Merighetti (ITA) 1:33.58
9. Dominique Gisin (SUI) 1:33.60
10. Julia Mancuso (USA) 1:33.65
18. Stacey Cook (USA) 1:35.28

Final World Cup Downhill Standings
1. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) — 504
2. Anna Fenninger (AUT) — 464
3. Tina Maze (SLO) — 409
15. Julia Mancuso (USA) — 160
17. Stacey Cook (USA) — 156

Ligety stuns in men’s downhill

Three U.S. ice dance teams into GP final with NHK 1-3 finish

Leave a comment

U.S. ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani notched a victory and two personal bests on their way to the top of the NHK Trophy podium in Nagano, Japan. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, also of the U.S., earned the bronze. With podium finishes, both duos are into the Grand Prix Final held in two weeks in Barcelona.

U.S. couple Madison Chock and Evan Bates already qualified for the final by winning medals at Skate America and Cup of China earlier this season, making for an unprecedented three team force in the ice dance discipline of the Grand Prix Final.

The “ShibSibs” now own the highest total score of any ice dance team in the Grand Prix circuit this season, 174.43. They were the only team to crack into the 174-barrier. Their free dance, the second component of their overall score, was also a personal best. The NHK Trophy win was the siblings’ second career Grand Prix title across six seasons on the circuit. Their previous gold medal came from the 2011 NHK Trophy.

The U.S. traditionally has strong ice dance representation at the Grand Prix Final. Last year, in their first appearance, Chock and Bates earned silver medals. The Shibutanis have competed twice in the final and finished fourth in the 2014 event. Hubbell and Donohue will make their Grand Prix Final debut this year.

U.S. Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White own five consecutive Grand Prix Final ice dance gold medals from the 2009-10 season through 2013-14. They have not competed for the past two seasons.

MORE: Ladies, men’s and pairs results from NHK and Grand Prix Final analysis

World records fall at Weightlifting World Championships

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 27:   Yue Kang of China (L) and Olga Zubova of Russia (R) help Jong Sim Rim of North Korea to the podium after they finished with the top total scores in the women's 75kg weight class during the 2015 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships at the George R. Brown Convention Center on November 27, 2015 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Article by Dan Levinsohn

Ten world records fell this week at the IWF World Weightlifting Championships, which concluded last night in Houston, shedding light on who will contend for a medal next summer in Rio.

The tournament brought together 609 lifters from a record breaking 98 participating countries, with men competing in eight different weight classes and women in seven.

The athletes didn’t waste any time getting to work rewriting the record books. On the first night of competition in the men’s 56kg division, London gold medalist Om Yun Chol of North Korea lifted a 171kg in the clean and jerk. His previous world record stood at 170kg, set at the 2014 Asian Games.

Though Om claimed his fifth total title at the World Weightlifting Championships with 302kg, he barely took gold over China’s snatch winner and London silver medalist, Wu Jingbiao, who lifted the same total weight. Om ultimately won through body weight tiebreaker. Neither the snatch nor the total lifts were all-time bests.

Some of the other world records included Azerbaijan’s Boyanka Kostova winning 112kg in the snatch and 252kg total in the women’s 58kg division, China’s Deng Wei lifting 146kg in the 63kg category’s clean and jerk, and Russia’s Aleksey Lovchev lifting a 264kg clean and jerk and a 475kg total in the men’s +105kg competition. Snatch world record holder and London gold medalist Behdad Salimi of Iran (+105kg) could not compete in this year’s Championships due to a recent knee injury; he recorded his highest-ever total, 465kg, at the 2014 Asian Games.

Asian countries continued to dominate most fields, with China placing first in six of the 15 total categories and North Korea and Chinese Taipei winning one title each. Overall, Chinese women won 11 gold medals, nine silver, and one bronze, ranking first in the overall medal table. Though China’s men won seven gold medals, three silver, and one bronze, Russia’s men took first place with seven golds, four silvers, and two bronzes.

The United States saw particularly impressive results from its female athletes, who finished 14th overall in the women’s medals. In the 75kg division, Jenny Arthur placed seventh in the clean and jerk with 138kg; she placed eighth in total with 244kg. In the +75kg category, Sarah Robles claimed a 122kg snatch and 157kg clean and jerk for a sixth place total finish of 279kg.

Perhaps the Championship’s most dramatic moment occurred during the women’s 75kg event. North Korea’s Rim Jong-Sim, who previously won gold in the 69kg division at the London Olympics, injured herself during her third snatch attempt (video here). First, she tore the labrum in her left hip. Then, defying doctor’s orders, she injured a stretch muscle and hurt her left knee on three subsequent clean and jerk attempts. She collapsed soon after her lift and was eventually hoisted onto the awards-ceremony podium by her fellow athletes, ultimately finishing second.

NBC Researcher Dylan Howlett contributed to this article from Houston.