Ted Ligety

Ted Ligety rallies to win Beaver Creek giant slalom (video)

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Ted Ligety won his first World Cup race this season, coming from behind to take a giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Sunday.

The Olympic giant slalom champion, fourth after the first run, clocked a two-run time of 2 minutes, 34.07 seconds. He was .25 behind Austrian Benjamin Raich after the morning run and ended up winning by .18 over France’s Alexis Pinturault following the afternoon run. Austrian Marcel Hirscher was third.

“That first run was definitely difficult, didn’t feel like I got in the groove as much as I have in the past,” Ligety said. “Second run, I was confident I could ski the way I wanted to.”

Ligety, who won a Beaver Creek giant slalom for a fifth straight year, was skiing with four screws in his left hand after breaking his wrist in training Nov. 23.

He trained for one week without a ski pole and skipped last week’s World Cup stop in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“I don’t really think about my hand when I’m skiing,” said Ligety, who added he’s not taking any pain medication. “It doesn’t feel great, but it doesn’t really hurt that much.”

Ligety was off to a slow start this season before the injury, finishing 10th in the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 26. Ligety had won in Soelden the previous three seasons. That 10th was Ligety’s best finish in four races this season before Sunday.

“After the first race, not doing as well as I wanted to, I was a little bit frustrated,” Ligety said. “That’s how it goes sometimes in ski racing.”

Ligety now has 24 World Cup wins, with 23 of them in giant slalom. He’s tied for the second-most World Cup giant slalom wins ever. Leader Ingemar Stenmark, the retired Swede, won twice as many.

Ligety said thinking of catching Stenmark is “a pipe dream.”

“Stenmark is so far away,” Ligety said. “He’s such a legend in the sport. I think what he’s done is pretty unattainable.”

The men’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues in Are, Sweden, with a giant slalom Friday and a slalom next Sunday.

Lindsey Vonn second in Lake Louise super-G

Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

MORE: Past U.S. Open champions get wild cards

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Conseslus Kipruto tests positive for coronavirus, canceling world-record bid

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Conseslus Kipruto, the Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion, tested positive for the coronavirus without symptoms, which will keep him from a world-record chase on Friday, according to his social media.

The Kenyan was to race in the first in-person Diamond League meet of the year in Monaco on Friday.

“Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities,” was posted. “Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League.

“I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well.”

Kipruto, 25, is the 14th-fastest steepler in history with a personal best of 8:00.12. The world record is 7:53.63, set by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen in 2004.

Last year, Kipruto won the world title by .01, extending a streak of a Kenyan or Kenyan-born man winning every Olympic or world title in the event since the 1988 Seoul Games. He was sidelined by a stress fracture in his left foot until opening his season extremely late on Aug. 24.

MORE: Trayvon Bromell’s road back through destruction, death

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Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities. Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League on August 14th. I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well. Wish to thank Monaco for all the work they have done and I wish them and my colleagues a wonderful competition. Athletics is back and I will be back as well. Anyone willing to organise a steeple once I can be cleared? @diamondleaguemonaco #nike #quarantine #WR #Kenya

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