K.C. Oakley breaks through with Deer Valley moguls title (video)

Leave a comment

American K.C. Oakley beat the Olympic gold and silver medalists to bag her first World Cup moguls victory at the Visa Freestyle International in Park City, Utah, on Friday night.

Oakley, who was injured last year and did not make the U.S. Olympic team for Sochi, posted an 82.53 in her last run, topping a podium over the first- and second-place finishers in Sochi — Canadian sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe — who tallied 79.46 and 79.28, respectively.

“I’m like freaking out right now,” said Oakley, 26, who had nerve entrapment surgery and broke a fibula along with torn ligaments last year. “A new confidence that I’ve never had.”

Sochi bronze medalist Hannah Kearney did not make the final and remains three wins behind the World Cup victories record held by 1992 U.S. Olympic champion Donna Weinbrecht.

In the men’s final, Canadian Olympic silver medalist Mikael Kingsbury prevailed with 90.25. Australian Matt Graham was second with 85.49, followed by two-time U.S. Olympian Patrick Deneen.

Olympic champion Alexandre Bilodeau retired after last season.

The Visa Freestyle International continues with dual moguls finals Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.

The world’s best moguls skiers reconvene in Austria next week for the World Championships.

Video: Ashley Caldwell leads historic U.S. 1-2 in aerials final

Gregorio Paltrinieri swims second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri swam the second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history, clocking 14:33.10 in his native Italy on Thursday.

Paltrinieri, 25, missed Chinese Sun Yang‘s world record from the 2012 Olympics by 2.08 seconds.

The Italian now owns the second- and third-fastest times in history, including his 14:34.10 from the 2016 European Championships, also held at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.

Paltrinieri is a versatile distance swimmer. At last year’s world championships, he finished sixth in the open-water 10km to qualify for the Olympics, then won the 800m free in the pool in a European record time and finished with 1500m bronze, just missing a third straight world title in that event.

German Florian Wellbrock won the 1500m in 14:36.54 at worlds, with Paltrinieri finishing 2.21 seconds back.

Sun, 28, was in February banned eight years stemming from destroying a drug-test sample with a hammer in September 2018. Sun, who focused more on the 200m and 400m frees in recent years, did not race the 1500m at the 2017 or 2019 Worlds.

Top-level swim meets in the U.S. are scheduled to resume in November with the Tyr Pro Series.

MORE: Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Bianca Andreescu to miss U.S. Open

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the U.S. Open, citing “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic” compromising her ability to prepare to defend her Grand Slam title.

“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu, a 20-year-old Canadian, posted on social media. “The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”

Andreescu’s absence means the U.S. Open, the first Grand Slam tournament since tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be without both 2019 male and female singles champions.

Rafael Nadal previously announced he would not defend his title, saying he would rather not travel given the global situation. Roger Federer is also out after knee surgery. Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty didn’t enter, either, citing travel concerns.

Last year, Andreescu made her U.S. Open title run as the 15th seed, sweeping Serena Williams in the final. Ranked 208th a year earlier, she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a Slam and the first teen Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Andreescu then missed the Australian Open in January due to rehab from a knee injury that forced her to retire during a match at the WTA Finals on Oct. 30. She also missed the French Open and Wimbledon in 2019 following a rotator cuff tear.

MORE: Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis competition

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!