Bode Miller

Bode Miller third in Hahnenkamm downhill; Austrian wins

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Bode Miller‘s bid to win his first downhill race at skiing’s most revered venue came up short, while an Austrian captured the famed Hahnenkamm event for the first time in eight years on Saturday.

Hannes Reichelt delighted a crowd that normally reaches 50,000 by winning the World Cup downhill in Kitzbuehel, Austria. Miller, the fastest by nearly one second in training Thursday, took third, .34 behind the Austrian and .13 behind Aksel Lund Svindal.

“Winning training runs doesn’t do it for you,” Miller said, according to the U.S. Ski Team. “You’ve got to execute on race day. It’s too many times that I’ve made these stupid mistakes that aren’t really forced. They are not forced errors. It’s not on a tough part of the course, it’s just a real basic part. So, it’s pretty heartbreaking.”

American Travis Ganong matched the best World Cup result of his career, seventh, on a modified course.

Miller, who had won combineds in Kitzbuehel in 2004 and 2008, posted his best World Cup downhill finish since Feb. 3, 2012 and his second podium this season. He took second in a giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Dec. 8.

It’s another promising result for Miller, 36, who missed all of last season following knee surgery. He is slated to compete in his fifth Olympics and looking to win his sixth Olympic medal.

His best chances in Sochi will likely come in the speed events of downhill and super-G, events he won bronze and silver in at the 2010 Olympics.

His biggest threats appear to be Reichelt and Svindal.

Reichelt became the first Austrian to win the Hahnenkamm downhill since Michael Walchhofer in 2006. He ranks second in the World Cup downhill standings to Svindal, who extended his World Cup overall lead Saturday.

“This is like dream,” Reichelt said, according to The Associated Press. “Being an Austrian, coming down this course and winning here in front of all these fans, is a huge present. This is a real highlight of my career. If you win here, you are a legend.”

The men’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a super combined on Sunday, where the super-G will count as a separate race. Also Sunday, the U.S. Olympic Team is scheduled to be named.

Kitzbuehel Downhill
1. Hannes Reichelt (AUT) 2:03.38
2. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 2:03.59
3. Bode Miller (USA) 2:03.72
4. Adrien Theaux (FRA) 2:04.04
5. Christof Innherhofer (ITA) 2:04.15
6. Carlo Janka (SUI) 2:04.23
7. Travis Ganong (USA) 2:04.41
7. Max Franz (AUT) 2:04.41
9. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) 2:04.46
10. Didier Defago (SUI) 2:04.52
19. Marco Sullivan (USA) 2:05.22
27. Steven Nyman (USA) 2:05.93
32. Jared Goldberg (USA) 2:06.07
36. Erik Fisher (USA) 2:06.44
43. Andrew Weibrecht (USA) 2:07.43

Tina Maze back on top of podium in Cortina

Eliud Kipchoge sets next marathon

Eliud Kipchoge
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Eliud Kipchoge will race the London Marathon on April 26 before he is expected to defend his Olympic title in Japan on Aug. 9, which would mark the shortest break between marathons of his career.

Kipchoge, who in his last 26.2-mile effort became the first person to break two hours at the distance, won all four of his London Marathon starts, including breaking the course record in 2016 and 2019.

His time this past April 28 — 2:02:37 — is the third-fastest time in history. Kipchoge has the world record of 2:01:39 set at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna on Oct. 12 was not in a record-eligible race.

Kipchoge’s previous shortest break between marathons came in 2016, when he also ran London and the Olympics. The Olympics will be two weeks earlier in 2020 than in 2016.

Kipchoge, 35, has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

He has yet to race the two most prestigious marathons in the U.S. — Boston and New York City — but has said they are on his bucket list.

MORE: Eliud Kipchoge opines on shoe technology debate

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Canadians become first female doubles luge team in World Cup

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WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless made luge history Saturday, becoming the first female team to compete in a World Cup doubles race.

The 16-year-olds from Whistler combined to finish 22nd in a field of 23 sleds, though that seemed largely irrelevant. There have been four-woman teams in what is typically called four-man bobsledding, but luge has never seen a pairing like this until now.

The German sled of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the race in 1 minute, 16.644 seconds. Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished second and the Russian team of Vsevolod Kashkin and Konstantin Korshunov placed third for their first medal of the season.

The U.S. team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman placed 11th.

But the story was the Canadian teens, who qualified for the World Cup event on Thursday. They were nearly a half-second behind any other finisher and almost 2.7 seconds back of Eggert and Benecken. But they’ll forever be able to say that they were winning the race at one point — a technicality because they were the first ones down the hill at the Whistler Sliding Center, but accurate nonetheless.

The only sled they beat was the Italian team of Ivan Nagler and Fabian Malleier, who crashed in the second heat.

There are women’s singles and men’s singles races on the World Cup luge circuit, but there is no rule saying doubles teams must be composed of two men. There have been more female doubles racers at the junior level in recent years, and it was generally considered to be just a matter of time before it happened at the World Cup level.

That time became Saturday.

Canada had the chance to qualify a second sled into the doubles field because some teams typically on the circuit chose to skip this weekend’s stop, and Nash and Corless got into by successfully finishing a Nations Cup qualifying race on Thursday.

They were 11th in that race out of 11 sleds, more than a full second behind the winner and nearly a half-second behind the closest finisher. But all they had to do was cross the line without crashing to get into Saturday’s competition, and earned their spot in the luge history books as a result.

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MORE: Top U.S. bobsled driver pregnant, to miss season