U.S. Alpine skiing team nominations for 2014-15 announced

Lindsey Vonn
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Lindsey VonnMikaela ShiffrinJulia MancusoTed Ligety and Bode Miller were among 38 athletes nominated to the U.S. Ski Team for the 2014-15 season on Wednesday.

Vonn, 29, aims to return from January knee surgery for the first speed races of the World Cup season in December, a little over one month after the campaign starts with a giant slalom in Soelden, Austria.

Shiffrin, 19, hopes to build off winning Olympic gold and the World Cup season title in the slalom. Her next goals include winning her first World Cup giant slalom race and perhaps entering her first super-G events, in particular at the 2015 World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek, Colo., in February.

Mancuso, 30, is coming off an interesting season. She won Olympic bronze in the super combined but did not finish higher than 15th in any World Cup discipline.

Ligety, 29, at last won Olympic giant slalom gold in Sochi. His aspirations are even higher on the World Cup circuit, though. He wants to win an overall title, combining results from all disciplines. He’ll have to improve from third and fourth the last two years and knock off three-time reigning champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria.

Miller, 36, became the oldest Olympic Alpine skiing medalist ever with his super-G bronze in Sochi. Next season will likely be his last before retiring.

The 38 nominations did not include two-time Olympian Resi Stiegler, one of the top U.S. technical skiers for the last decade when healthy. Stiegler, 28, was 30th in the World Cup slalom start last standings after last season, five spots shy of the top 25 spot necessary to be renamed to the U.S. A team given her age.

Stiegler was not given a discretionary selection, but three-time Olympians Steven Nyman and Marco Sullivan did earn discretionary B team spots while being outside of the top 30 in World Cup start list standings, according to Ski Racing Magazine.

“Marco Sullivan, you look at his career and what he’s done for American ski racing and also the year he had last year where he was consistently skiing pretty well, at the same time got unlucky in a couple races, just off the mark,” U.S. men’s coach Sasha Rearick said, according to Ski Racing. “He’s still top 30 in the world. For sure, he has 100 percent support of the entire group of guys to be named to the team. And Steve Nyman, in a similar situation. He was skiing well early in the season, took a big crash and was a little out of sorts but came back skiing stronger. Both guys, when you look at their historical performances over the years, they’ve built up a credibility that we fully support them being named to the team.”

The 2014-15 U.S. Ski Team will be formally named in the fall.

Top U.S. pairs team splits

Olympian Derrick Mein ends U.S. men’s trap drought at shotgun worlds

Derrick Mein
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Tokyo Olympian Derrick Mein became the first U.S. male shooter to win a world title in the trap event since 1966, prevailing at the world shotgun championships in Osijek, Croatia, on Wednesday.

Mein, who grew up on a small farm in Southeast Kansas, hunting deer and quail, nearly squandered a place in the final when he missed his last three shots in the semifinal round after hitting his first 22. He rallied in a sudden-death shoot-off for the last spot in the final by hitting all five of his targets.

He hit 33 of 34 targets in the final to win by two over Brit Nathan Hales with one round to spare.

The last U.S. man to win an Olympic trap title was Donald Haldeman in 1976.

Mein, 37, was 24th in his Olympic debut in Tokyo (and placed 13th with Kayle Browning in the mixed-gender team event).

The U.S. swept the Tokyo golds in the other shotgun event — skeet — with Vincent Hancock and Amber English. Browning took silver in women’s trap.

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Mo Farah withdraws before London Marathon

Mo Farah
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British track legend Mo Farah withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon, citing a right hip injury before what would have been his first 26.2-mile race in nearly two years.

Farah, who swept the 2012 and 2016 Olympic track titles at 5000m and 10,000m, said he hoped “to be back out there” next April, when the London Marathon returns to its traditional month after COVID moved it to the fall for three consecutive years. Farah turns 40 on March 23.

“I’ve been training really hard over the past few months and I’d got myself back into good shape and was feeling pretty optimistic about being able to put in a good performance,” in London, Farah said in a press release. “However, over the past 10 days I’ve been feeling pain and tightness in my right hip. I’ve had extensive physio and treatment and done everything I can to be on the start line, but it hasn’t improved enough to compete on Sunday.”

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

Sunday’s London Marathon men’s race is headlined by Ethiopians Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese, the second- and third-fastest marathoners in history.

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