Lara Gut rediscovers winning form in Cortina super-G

Lara Gut

Swiss Lara Gut snapped a drought to win the final speed event of the World Cup season before the Sochi Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, on Sunday.

Gut prevailed in 1 minute, 27.81 seconds, beating Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather by .12. German overall World Cup leader Maria Hoefl-Riesch was third.

Americans Stacey Cook and Julia Mancuso were 13th and 16th, taking a step back after two straight days in the top 10 in the Italian Dolomites.

The victory was important for Gut’s medal hopes in Sochi. She had won three of the first four races this season in November after never winning more than one World Cup race in a single season.

Gut, a double 2009 world silver medalist, then disappeared beginning in mid-December, making the podium once over 10 races and tumbling to fifth in the World Cup overall standings.

“It was a difficult time,” Gut said, according to Agence-France Presse. “I could see success in my mind, but you couldn’t see it on the slopes. Now today, this win, it was very important for me.”

She has now won three of five super-G races this season and is the clear Olympic gold-medal favorite in the event. Weirather is her top challenger. Hoefl-Riesch is better in the downhill.

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a giant slalom and slalom in Slovenia next weekend, the final races before the Olympics. American Mikaela Shiffrin will highlight the fields.

Cortina d’Ampezzo Super-G
1. Lara Gut (SUI) 1:27.81
2. Tina Weirather (LIE) 1:27.93
3. Maria Hoefl-Riesch (GER) 1:28.42
4. Verena Stuffer (ITA) 1:28.49
5. Tina Maze (SLO) 1:28.53
6. Elisabeth Goergl (AUT) 1:28.63
7. Nadia Fanchini (ITA) 1:28.79
8. Anna Fenninger (AUT) 1:29.00
9. Marie Marchand-Arvier (FRA) 1:29.10
10. Nicole Hosp (AUT) 1:29.22
13. Stacey Cook (USA) 1:29.35
16. Julia Mancuso (USA) 1:29.71
29. Jacqueline Wiles (USA) 1:31.18
32. Leanne Smith (USA) 1:31.32
35. Laurenne Ross (USA) 1:31.84
DNF. Julia Ford (USA)

Kelly Clark beats 13-year-old for Winter X title

South Korea’s first gold medalist of 2018 PyeongChang Olympics to compete for China

Lim Hyo-Jun

Lim Hyo-Jun, a short track speed skater who won South Korea’s first gold medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been cleared to skate for China and was reportedly named to the national team Monday.

Lim, who won the 1500m on the first day of medal competition at the PyeongChang Games, began the process of switching to China after a June 2019 incident where he pulled down a teammate’s trousers, leaving him standing, exposed, in front of female teammates.

Lim, the 2019 World overall champion, was banned from the team for a year and later found guilty of sexual harassment before the verdict was overturned on appeal.

It was reported in March 2021 that Lim was in the process of trying to gain Chinese nationality to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Lim was not cleared to switch by the International Skating Union until this July. His Chinese name is Lin Xiaojun.

Another star South Korean skater, triple 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ahn Hyun-Soo, switched to Russia after not making the 2010 Olympic team. He then won three golds for the host nation as Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Games.

China’s national team for the upcoming season reportedly does not include veterans Wu Dajing, the nation’s lone gold medalist across all sports at the 2018 Olympics, and Fan Kexin, a three-time Olympic medalist.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei

World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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