Lindsey Jacobellis wins snowboardcross event, meets Olympic criteria

Lindsey Jacobellis

Lindsey Jacobellis made her first World Cup podium in nearly two years and met Olympic selection criteria, boosting her chances of making her third U.S. Olympic Team on Saturday.

Jacobellis, 28, won a World Cup snowboardcross event in Lake Louise, Alberta, with a broken right thumb.

“I’m having a hard time getting good pulls out of the gate because I broke my thumb last race,” Jacobellis said, according to The Associated Press. “I really was dependent on working the features to try and get back out ahead.”

It’s the latest injury for the 2006 Olympic silver medalist who missed all of the 2012-13 season after tearing an ACL at the January 2012 Winter X Games.

Jacobellis met Olympic selection criteria, but she isn’t yet fully assured of making the U.S. Olympic Team with more World Cup events in January.

Jacobellis won a final loaded with stars. Canada’s Dominique Maltais, the 2006 Olympic bronze medalist, took second. Norway’s Helene Olafsen, fourth at the 2010 Olympics, was third.

Reigning Olympic champion Maelle Ricker of Canada crashed and was fourth as she continues to come back from a concussion.

Ricker, Maltais and Olafsen went one-two-three at the World Championships in January.

In the men’s race, two-time U.S. Olympian Nate Holland took seventh two weeks after breaking his collarbone. Two-time Olympic champion Seth Wescott has yet to race this season as he recovers from ACL surgery.

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12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell

At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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

Francesco Friedrich

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. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

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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