Wagner, Virtue/Moir skate ahead in Paris

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With an injured Yuna Kim pulling out of the Trohpee Eric Bompard in Paris, the stage was handed over to American Ashley Wagner as the favorite and the American delivered Friday, leading after the Ladies’ short program.

Scoring a 66.75, Wagner skated to a six-point lead over two Russian teenagers seen as her biggest challengers at the year’s fifth Grand Prix stop, with 15-year-old Anna Pogorilaya in second (60.03) and 17-year-old Adelina Sotnikova in third (60.01). American Christina Gao was fourth.

In ice dancing, reigning Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir scored their season’s best on their way to a first-place finish after the short dance.

Home favorites Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat were in second while Russia’s Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov, fourth a week ago at NHK Trophy, placed third.

Virtue/Moir, the Canadians, looked more polished on the ice compared to their appearance at Skate Canada last month, where they scored a 73.15. Their 75.31 in Paris was just shy of the season high from Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who recorded a 75.70 at Skate America.

The two ice dance teams train alongside one another in Detroit year-round, as well as using the same coach. Davis/White were silver medalists behind the Canadians at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Wagner didn’t make the 2010 Olympics, but continued to solidify herself as the front-runner for Team USA for the Sochi Games, which has three spots in Ladies’ singles. Judges marked her down for under-rotating her triple flip-triple toe combination to start, an element she’s made a personal goal to have ready for the Olympics.

Pogorilaya and Sotnikova went one-two at the Cup of China earlier this month. In the short program in Paris, however, both popped their dobule Axel attempts midway through their programs, opening the door for Wagner, who skated last, to build a lead.

Gao, who has been fifth at the last four U.S. Championships, was fourth at Skate Canada earlier this season and remains in striking distance of the podium in Paris with a 58.81, called for under-rotating her triple loop. None of the top four women fell on any of their jumps.

The Trophee Eric Bompard is the fifth of six Grand Prix events of the season, with the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow the remaining stop next week before December’s Grand Prix Final in December.

All four events – Men’s, Ladies’, pairs and ice dance – conclude Saturday in Paris.

Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships TV, live stream schedule

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Every race of the world Alpine skiing championships airs live on Peacock from Feb. 6-19.

France hosts the biennial worlds in Meribel and Courchevel — six women’s races, six men’s races and one mixed-gender team event.

Mikaela Shiffrin is the headliner, in the midst of her most successful season in four years with a tour-leading 11 World Cup wins in 23 starts. Shiffrin is up to 85 career World Cup victories, one shy of Ingemar Stenmark‘s record accumulated over the 1970s and ’80s.

World championships races do not count in the World Cup tally.

Shiffrin is expected to race at least four times at worlds, starting with Monday’s combined. She earned a medal in 11 of her 13 career world championships races, including each of the last 10 dating to 2015.

Shiffrin won at least one race at each of the last five world championships (nobody has gold from six different worlds). Her six total golds and 11 total medals are American records. At this edition, she can become the most decorated skier in modern world championships history from any nation.

She enters one medal shy of the record for most individual world championships medals since World War II (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt) and four medals shy of the all-time record. (Worlds were held annually in the 1930s, albeit with fewer races.)

She is also one gold medal shy of the post-World War II individual record shared by Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson.

The other favorites at these worlds include Italian Sofia Goggia, the world’s top female downhiller this season, and the two leading men: Swiss Marco Odermatt (No. 1 in super-G and giant slalom) and Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (No. 1 in downhill).

2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships Broadcast Schedule

Date Event Time (ET) Platform
Mon., Feb. 6 Women’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Tues., Feb. 7 Men’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 8 Women’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 9 Men’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 11 Women’s Downhill 5 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Men’s Downhill 5 a.m Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Tue., Feb. 14 Team Parallel 6:15 a.m. Peacock
Men’s/Women’s Parallel Qualifying 11 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 15 Men’s/Women’s Parallel 6 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 16 Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Fri., Feb. 17 Men’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 18 Women’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 19 Men’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock

*Delayed broadcast
*All NBC coverage streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for TV subscribers.

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