Mikaela Shiffrin extends historic slalom winning streak

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Make it three wins in three days for Mikaela Shiffrin, and 15 wins in her last 15 slalom starts. Oh yeah, she’s sick, too.

The world’s hottest skier topped the World Cup field in Semmering, Austria, by .64 of a second over two runs on Thursday. The Sochi Olympic slalom champion followed up giant slalom victories on Tuesday and Wednesday in Semmering.

Slovakian Veronika Velez Zuzulova was second, followed by Swiss Wendy Holdener. Shiffrin led Zuzulova by .09 after the first run but had fallen .33 behind the Slovak in the second before making up nearly a second in the final 20 seconds of the course.

“Every gate I thought I was giving it away, but I was starting to fight,” she said.

Shiffrin had screamed after recent victories, but this time she put her glove to her mouth in apparent disbelief. Shiffrin called Thursday’s win her toughest of the this week’s triple.

“The past races, it’s been mostly nerves when I get to the start, but I don’t know what’s happening and all of a sudden I feel really, really sick,” she said. “Today, actually, I am sick. And the past two days I’ve been sick. So I wasn’t sure if I was sick like I have the flu or if I was sick because of nerves. It was a weird thing today. I was OK for my run, for the second half of my run, so it’s good.”

RESULTS | RUN 2 REPLAY

Shiffrin has now won her last 15 slalom starts, including her last 12 World Cup slalom starts, the longest women’s streak in any World Cup discipline in history. Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell won 11 straight downhills from 1972-74. Shiffrin also bagged a world title and two national titles during her unbeaten run.

A caveat: Shiffrin missed five World Cup slaloms last season due to a knee injury. Since that absence, Shiffrin has won seven straight World Cup slaloms, which is one shy of the consecutive slaloms record shared by Croatian Janica Kostelic and Swiss Vreni Schneider.

Shiffrin can match those legends in the next World Cup race, a slalom in Zagreb on Tuesday (NBCSN and NBCSports.com/live, 10 a.m. ET). Shiffrin won the last two times the Zagreb race was held in 2013 and 2015.

Big picture, Shiffrin boosted her World Cup overall standings lead to 215 points over Swiss Lara Gut through 15 of a scheduled 37 races. She has six wins this season, the most by one skier in a campaign before New Year’s Day since Bode Miller in 2004.

Shiffrin has downplayed talk of going for the overall title — she even skipped speed races earlier this month — but she could become the third U.S. woman to take the biggest annual crown in ski racing (Tamara McKinneyLindsey Vonn).

MORE: Bode Miller plans to race next season, U.S. coach says

Gymnastics doctor’s lawyers want trial moved, cite media coverage

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Attorneys for a former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics doctor accused of molesting dozens of athletes are pushing to have his trial moved out of the Lansing area.

The Lansing State Journal reports that attorneys representing Larry Nassar filed a change-of-venue request because of what they called “inflammatory and sustained media coverage” that they say has made it difficult for Nassar to get a fair trial in the area.

The media attention grew more intense this week when 21-year-old 2012 Olympic gold medal gymnast McKayla Maroney wrote on Twitter that Nassar started assaulting her when she was 13.

Nassar has pleaded not guilty to nearly two dozen charges in Michigan. He has pleaded guilty to three child pornography charges in an unrelated case but has not been sentenced.

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MORE: Aly Raisman speaks out about USA Gymnastics scndal

Nathan Chen holds off Yuzuru Hanyu to win first Grand Prix

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U.S. champion Nathan Chen opened the Grand Prix season by beating Olympic gold-medal favorite Yuzuru Hanyu.

Chen, 18, held off Hanyu at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, totaling 293.79 points to win by 3.02 over the Japanese megastar.

Russian Yevgenia Medvedeva easily won the women’s title despite a rare fall in her free skate. Medvedeva is undefeated since 2015 Rostelecom Cup.

Full scores are here.

Chen landed four quadruple jumps in a strong but imperfect free skate for his first Grand Prix title in his second senior international season.

“I got a little tired halfway through the program and started faltering a little bit on the second quad toe – that was a big mistake,” Chen said, according to the International Skating Union .”I can’t let things like that happen in the future. But this is my first Grand Prix win, and I’m very happy with that.”

Hanyu outscored Chen in the free skate, but the American benefited from his 5.69-point lead from Friday’s short program.

Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world champion, has never won his opening Grand Prix start in eight tries.

He did three quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate rather than the planned five, but did not fall as he did in the short program.

Chen has now outscored Hanyu in three of their last four head-to-head events dating to February. Hanyu got the better of Chen at the most important event — winning the world championships, where the American was sixth.

Also Saturday, two-time world medalists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani won the ice dance with 189.24 points, sweeping both the short and free programs.

The siblings and U.S. champions have now won four straight Grand Prix titles (not counting the Grand Prix Final).

They won by 4.5 points over Russians Yekaterina Bobrova and Dmitry Soloviyev.

The world’s top two couples were not in the field — Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.

Russia swept the pairs podium, led by world bronze medalists Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov.

The top pairs teams from the rest of the world — including world champions Sui Wenjing and Han Cong — were not in the field.

The Rostelecom Cup women’s free skate is later Saturday.

The Grand Prix season continues next weekend with Skate Canada, headlined by three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and three-time world champion Patrick Chan.

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Rostelecom Cup
Men
1. Nathan Chen (USA) — 293.79
2. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) — 290.77
3. Mikhail Kolyada (RUS) — 271.06
11. Grant Hochstein (USA) — 206.09

Women
1. Yevgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — 231.21
2. Carolina Kostner (ITA) — 215.98
3. Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) — 207.17
6. Mariah Bell (USA) — 188.56
9. Mirai Nagasu (USA) — 178.25

Ice Dance
1. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) — 189.24
2. Yekaterina Bobrova/Dmitry Soloviyev (RUS) — 184.74
3. Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) — 179.35
7. Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons (USA) — 148.75

Pairs
1. Yevgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) — 224.25
2. Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS) — 204.43
3. Kristina Astakhova/Aleksey Rogonov (RUS) — 199.11
7. Marissa Castelli/Mervin Tran (USA) — 170.53