Preview: Men’s ski jumpers ready to soar

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EVENT SCHEDULE
Individual
Saturday – Normal hill qualification, 11:30 a.m. ET
Sunday – Normal hill first round, 12:30 p.m. ET; Final round, 1:30 p.m. ET
Feb. 14 – Large hill qualification, 12:30 p.m. ET
Feb. 15 – Large hill first round, 12:30 p.m. ET; Final round, 1:30 p.m. ET

Team
Feb. 17 – Large hill first round, 12:15 p.m. ET; Final round, 1:15 p.m. ET

TV SCHEDULE
Saturday – Normal hill, 2:30-6 p.m. ET, NBC
Sunday – Normal hill medal event, LIVE at 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN (also on NBC’s primetime coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET)
Feb. 14 – Large hill, 2:15 p.m. ET on NBCSN (also on NBC’s late night coverage starting at 12:05 a.m. ET)
Feb. 15 – Large hill medal event, 8-11:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Feb. 17 – Team large hill medal event, LIVE at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN (also on NBC’s primetime coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET)

MORE: The five key storylines in men’s ski jumping at the Sochi Games

U.S. OUTLOOK
The American men have gone without an Olympic ski jumping medal since the very first Winter Games at Chamonix in 1924. In fact, not one has cracked the Top 10 in an Olympic ski jumping event since the 1988 Calgary Winter Games. First-time Olympian Nick Fairall hopes to continue the momentum from his Olympic Trials win, but neither he or his teammates – Nick Alexander, Peter Frenette, and Anders Johnson – are expected to push for a medal.

INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK
The best in the sport continue to come from Europe. World Cup ski jumping legend Gregor Schlierenzauer (pictured) of Austria is looking to fill a hole still left on his resume: An individual Olympic gold. Switzerland’s Simon Ammann is back to defend his double golds from Vancouver. And another Austrian, three-time Olympic champion Thomas Morgenstern, is ready to return to action after a devastating crash in January. Other contenders include Poland’s Kamil Stoch, Norway’s Anders Bardal, and Slovenia’s Peter Prevc; Stoch and Bardal are reigning world champions and Prevc leads the World Cup standings.

Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei
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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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Dmitriy Balandin, surprise Olympic swimming champion, retires

Dmitriy Balandin
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Dmitriy Balandin, the Kazakh swimmer who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 Rio Olympics, retired at age 27.

“Today I would like to announce the end of my sports career,” Balandin said last week, according to Kazakhstan’s Olympic Committee. “I am still inspired. A new phase of my life begins. I have a lot of cool projects in my head that will soon be implemented.”

Balandin reportedly has coaching aspirations.

In 2016, he won the Olympic men’s 200m breaststroke out of lane eight as the last qualifier into the final. He edged American Josh Prenot by seven hundredths of a second and became Kazakhstan’s first Olympic swimming medalist.

He followed that up with 11th- and 17th-place finishes in the breaststrokes in Tokyo last year.

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