Mikaela Shiffrin completes dominating World Cup slalom season (video)

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Mikaela Shiffrin had already clinched the title, which made Saturday quite a victory lap.

The Olympic slalom champion won the last World Cup slalom race of the season at the World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, by a blowout margin of 1.44 seconds.

That’s about the same margin that separated second place from eighth.

Shiffrin, who turned 19 on Thursday, won her second straight crystal globe as the slalom champion, adding points from all eight races during the World Cup season.

That trophy will complement her Olympic and World Championship gold medals in the event she has come to own in a little over a year.

She proved that Saturday, taking a 1.57-second lead after the first of two runs and just about maintaining it in her second run to beat Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter by 1.44. Austrian Marlies Schild was third.

Shiffrin won her fifth World Cup slalom race of the season, more than any man or woman in one discipline this year, and became the first skier to score more than 600 World Cup points in any discipline this season. She won the season title by 150 points.

She won four slalom races last season when she won the season title by 33 points.

She said she skied with no pressure Saturday.

“I was really just trying to ski that I was having fun, show the world that it’s really fun to ski slalom,” Shiffrin said after receiving her crystal globe.

The Colorado native’s next goal is to win a World Cup giant slalom, which she has never done despite two podium finishes this season. She’ll get another chance in the final World Cup race of the season Sunday.

Next year could be even bigger for Shiffrin, who plans on adding super-G to her slalom and giant slalom, which could vault her into the overall title mix. The World Championships are in her hometown of Vail in February 2015.

Lenzerheide Slalom
1. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) 2:04.54
2. Frida Hansdotter (SWE) 2:05.98
3. Marlies Schild (AUT) 2:06.20
4. Kathrin Zettel (AUT) 2:06.22
5. Wendy Holdener (SUI) 2:06.24
6. Nicole Hosp (AUT) 2:06.65
7. Sarka Strachova (CZE) 2:06.86
8. Maria Pietilae-Holmner (SWE) 2:07.35
9. Chiara Costazza (ITA) 2:07.62
10. Marie-Michele Gagnon (CAN) 2:07.73

Final World Cup Slalom standings
1. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) — 638
2. Frida Hansdotter (SWE) — 488
3. Marlies Schild (AUT) — 385

Bode Miller plans to ski next season

Katie Ledecky out-touches new rival at swimming’s U.S. Open, extends streak

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It was a rare sight: Katie Ledecky being matched stroke for stroke in a distance race in an American pool. She was up for the challenge.

Ledecky out-touched emerging 16-year-old Canadian Summer McIntosh by eight hundredths of a second in the 400m freestyle at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C., on Thursday night.

Ledecky and McIntosh were tied at the 300-meter mark. Ledecky ended up clocking 3:59.71 to McIntosh’s 3:59.79 to extend a decade-long win streak in freestyle races of 400 meters or longer in U.S. pools.

“I know we’ll have a lot more races ahead of us,” Ledecky said on Peacock. “We bring the best out of each other.”

The U.S. Open continues Friday with live finals coverage on Peacock at 6 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

At the Tokyo Olympics, McIntosh placed fourth in the 400m free at age 14.

She accelerated this year, taking silver behind Ledecky at the world championships and silver behind Tokyo gold medalist Ariarne Titmus of Australia at the Commonwealth Games.

Then in October, McIntosh outdueled Ledecky in a 400m free — also by eight hundredths — in a short-course, 25-meter pool at a FINA World Cup meet in Toronto. Long-course meets like the Olympics and the U.S. Open are held in 50-meter pools.

McIntosh also won world titles in the 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley, becoming the youngest individual world champion since 2011.

A potential showdown among Ledecky, Titmus and McIntosh at the 2024 Paris Games is already being compared to the “Race of the Century,” the 2004 Olympic men’s 200m free where Australian Ian Thorpe edged Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband and Michael Phelps.

In other events Thursday, Regan Smith, an Olympic and world medalist in the backstroke and butterfly, won a 200m individual medley in a personal best 2:10.40, a time that would have placed fifth at June’s world championships. She beat 16-year-old Leah Hayes, who took bronze in the event at worlds.

Olympic 400m IM champ Chase Kalisz won the men’s 200m IM in 1:56.52, his best time ever outside of major summer meets. Frenchman Léon Marchand won the world title in 1:55.22 in June, when Kalisz was fourth.

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Eliud Kipchoge, two races shy of his target, to make Boston Marathon debut

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
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World record holder Eliud Kipchoge will race the Boston Marathon for the first time on April 17.

Kipchoge, who at September’s Berlin Marathon lowered his world record by 30 seconds to 2:01:09, has won four of the six annual major marathons — Berlin, Tokyo, London and Chicago.

The 38-year-old Kenyan has never raced Boston, the world’s oldest annual marathon dating to 1897, nor New York City but has repeated in recent years a desire to enter both of them.

Typically, he has run the London Marathon in the spring and the Berlin Marathon in the fall.

Kipchoge’s last race in the U.S. was the 2014 Chicago Marathon, his second of 10 consecutive marathon victories from 2014 through 2019.

He can become the first reigning men’s marathon world record holder to finish the Boston Marathon since South Korean Suh Yun-Bok set a world record of 2:25:39 in Boston in 1947, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

In 2024 in Paris, Kipchoge is expected to race the Olympic marathon and bid to become the first person to win three gold medals in that event.

The Boston Marathon field also includes arguably the second- and third-best men in the world right now — Kipchoge’s Kenyan training partners Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto. Chebet won Boston and New York City this year. Kipruto won Boston last year and Chicago this year.

American Des Linden, who won Boston in 2018, headlines the women’s field.

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