Lindsey Vonn could return one week early

Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn could return to competition one week earlier than expected.

The 2010 Olympic downhill champion is giving serious thought to skiing at the World Cup stop in Aspen, Colo., on Thanksgiving weekend but also called it “a long shot,” according to The Associated Press.

The World Cup races in Aspen in three weeks are a giant slalom and a slalom, technical events in which Vonn doesn’t have as much recent success as the speed events of downhill and super-G.

Vonn, who hasn’t competed since December and had knee surgery in January, said in interviews in the summer and earlier in the fall that she hoped to return for speed events in Lake Louise, Alberta, a venue where she is very comfortable with a winning history.

“You know me, I never rule anything out until the last minute,” Vonn, who said she’s at 85 percent, told the AP. “At the same time, I need to also be more reserved than I was last year. I think Lake Louise is the perfect place for me to start. That’s still the plan.

“But you never know. Things could change if I start skiing incredibly fast. I can’t rule it completely out.”

If Vonn returns at Aspen instead, it would be the first time she would be in the same race with Mikaela Shiffrin since Jan. 27, 2013, when they both skied a slalom in Maribor, Slovenia.

Shiffrin is not expected to race at Lake Louise but hopes to enter at least one World Cup speed event later in the winter and at the World Championships in Colorado in February.

Vonn and Shiffrin have never shared a podium together.

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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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Dmitriy Balandin, surprise Olympic swimming champion, retires

Dmitriy Balandin

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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