Lindsey Vonn hopeful to be in winning form in first races

Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn hopes she will make the podium, perhaps win, in her first races in nearly one year in December, but the Olympic downhill champion won’t be discouraged if she has poor early results in her comeback from another knee surgery.

Vonn, 29, recently did more media in Europe after skiing for the first time since December last week. She aims to make her competitive return Dec. 5-7 in speed races in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It will all depend on training, but Lake Louise is a good place for me, with three races in which I will hopefully make the podium, or even win,” said Vonn, who has won 14 times at the Canadian World Cup stop, in an interview with German press agency DPA.

Vonn’s target is Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell‘s career record 62 World Cup wins, which she is three away from. Vonn and Moser-Proell recently chatted in a 25-minute German video interview. A Vonn fans social media page reported a translation here, nothing that Moser-Proell told Vonn she hopes the American breaks her record.

Vonn also hopes to race giant slalom and super combined, but “that will depend on my training and confidence,” she said.

“It will only motivate me more if I don’t start with great results,” she told DPA. “I know I can be fast again. I need to find the right equipment and confidence. That may take a while.”

In 2013, Vonn made her return at Lake Louise from major right knee injuries on Feb. 5, 2013, and a partial retear on Nov. 20. She finished 40th in her first race, 11th in her second and fifth in her third, all at Lake Louise.

Vonn failed to finish her next race in Val d’Isere, France, on Dec. 21, aggravating her troublesome knee and forcing her to require more surgery and give up hope on skiing in the Sochi Olympics.

Photos: Sochi Olympic Park ready for Formula One race

Vonn skiing in Austria last week (and doing a non-English interview):

LINDSEY VONN: Trainingstag am Gletscher in Sölden from Christian Jost on Vimeo.

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

Derrick Mein

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

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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