Lindsey Jacobellis wins fourth World Championship in snowboard cross (video)

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Lindsey Jacobellis added another major snowboard cross title Friday, becoming the first snowboarder to win four World Championships in the same event.

Jacobellis, a three-time U.S. Olympian and 2006 silver medalist, prevailed in Kreischberg, Austria. The 29-year-old also won World Championships in 2005, 2007 and 2011.

“I never won any of the starts,” Jacobellis said, according to The Associated Press. “Every race I had to fight. It’s incredible how much this sport has evolved, especially on the women’s side. And I am happy to be a part of that history, and I am still with it.”

France’s Nelly Moenne Loccoz took silver and Italian Michela Moioli bronze. Olympic champion Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic finished sixth in trying to repeat as World champion.

Jacobellis also owns eight X Games gold medals, a record for any winter or summer athlete. She lacks an Olympic gold, being passed after falling on a trick move in 2006 and going out in the semifinals in 2010 and 2014.

Italian Luca Matteotti won the men’s World title, ahead of Canadian Kevin Hill and American Nick Baumgartner. Another American, Nate Holland, crashed in the final and was fourth.

Matteotti was a surprise winner, having never made a podium at an Olympics or Worlds and his last World Cup win coming Dec. 8, 2010. He was sixth at the Sochi Olympics.

The two-time Olympian Baumgartner won his second Worlds bronze, repeating his 2009 finish.

Sochi Olympic champion Pierre Vaultier of France was eliminated in the quarterfinals. Two-time U.S. Olympic champion Seth Wescott didn’t compete. Sochi bronze medalist Alex Deibold of the U.S. failed to reach the quarterfinals.

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan
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Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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