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Lindsey Vonn withdraws from World Cup race due to back injury

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ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — After injuring her back in a World Cup race, Lindsey Vonn withdrew from another scheduled super-G on Sunday before the race was canceled due to fog.

“Unfortunately I will not be able to race today,” Vonn wrote on her Twitter account 45 minutes before the original scheduled start.

“I am extremely disappointed but my biggest goal this season is the Olympics,” said the American star, who won the downhill title at the 2010 Vancouver Games but missed the 2014 Sochi Games due to injury.

Vonn jarred her back Saturday early in a World Cup super-G on the same St. Moritz course, and completed the race in obvious pain in 24th place.

Late Saturday on Twitter, she described the injury as “an acute facet (spinal joint) dysfunction,” though she had not had an MRI.

Vonn added Sunday: “I need to take care of myself now so I can be ready for next week, and more importantly, for February.”

The Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea are staged Feb. 9-25.

Fog and strong winds high on the mountain had already forced race organizers Sunday to shorten the scheduled race and use a lower start gate.

The 10:30 a.m. local time (0930 GMT) start was pushed back to 11:30 a.m. (1030 GMT) before organizers gave in to the thick fog shrouding the mountain.

The super-G was intended to be a stand-alone race and also double up as the first leg of a combined event with an afternoon slalom run. The combined was also canceled.

WATCH LIVE: London Marathon

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Watch the world’s best distance runners chase world records at the London Marathon, live on NBCSN and commercial free on the NBC Sports Gold “Track and Field Pass” for subscribers on Sunday at 3:30 a.m. ET.

NBCSN coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

WATCH LIVE: London Marathon
NBCSN coverage — STREAM LINK
NBC Sports Gold commercial free — STREAM LINK

Sunday’s race start times (ET)
3:55 – Elite Wheelchair Races
4:00 – World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup ambulant races
4:15 – Elite Women’s Race
5:00 – Elite Men’s Race, Mass Race

The men’s field features arguably the two greatest distance runners of all time — Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele.

Kipchoge, the Rio Olympic marathon champ, ran the fastest marathon ever recorded — 2:00:25 in Nike’s sub-two-hour attempt last May in non-record-eligible conditions.

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history under legal conditions, having run six seconds shy of Kenyan Dennis Kimetto‘s world record of 2:02:57 from 2014.

In the women’s race, Kenyan Mary Keitany, already the world-record holder in a women’s-only race, looks to take down Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s world record with male pacers set in London 15 years ago. That time is 2:15:25.

Keitany is challenged by Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, the third-fastest female marathoner in history behind Keitany and Radcliffe.

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Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

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French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

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