Tina Maze becomes oldest women’s World champion; Lindsey Vonn 5th


Tina Maze captured the World Championships downhill, relegating Lindsey Vonn to fifth place in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Friday.

Maze, 31, became the oldest woman to win Worlds gold in an individual race. She bagged her second medal in as many events this week, after taking silver in the super-G on Tuesday. The Slovenian could become the first woman to win five medals at a single World Championships.

“I knew I could do this [win five medals],” Maze, who raced with words to the Slovenian national anthem on her suit, said in a press conference. “I knew that before I came here. Of course, it’s in my mind, but thinking about it, it makes no sense. You have to go day by day.”

Maze, the co-Sochi Olympic downhill champion, prevailed by .02 of a second over Austrian Anna Fenninger, who won the super-G on Tuesday. Swiss Lara Gut took bronze, .34 back.

Maze repeated Friday that she will consider retirement after this season, July to be specific. She said at the Sochi Olympics that she would not continue to the 2018 Winter Games, which would have been her fifth.

“I don’t feel old at all,” Maze said. “Of course, I’m one of the oldest, but I feel full of energy. I was never injured, that’s my big thing.”

Vonn was 1.05 behind, shrugging her shoulders after crossing the finish after taking super-G bronze. (full results here)

“I didn’t have the greatest feeling on the snow, couldn’t get things going,” Vonn, who has won three of six World Cup downhills this season, said on NBCSN. “It’s unfortunate. I wish I could have done better today for the hometown crowd.”

Vonn recorded her worst result in a World Championships downhill.

She earned gold in 2009, silver in 2007 and 2011 and was fourth in 2005. Vonn, whose last gold medal was in the 2010 Olympic downhill, missed the 2013 World Championships downhill due to injury.

The World Championships continue with the men’s downhill Saturday. Vonn’s next race is expected to be the super combined Monday. Vonn said she hasn’t skied slalom in about 2 1/2 years.

“Maybe in the combined I can pull off a miracle,” Vonn joked to media.

World Championships broadcast schedule

Bode Miller leaning toward retirement

2022 Pan Pacific Championships canceled as swimming calendar shifts

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The Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, a quadrennial major international meet, will not be held in 2022 “out of respect for the recent changes to the international sporting calendar,” according to a press release.

The Pan Pacs’ charter nations — the U.S., Australia, Canada and Japan — agreed to the move. The 2026 event will be held in Canada, which was supposed to be the 2022 host.

The decision came after the 2021 World Championships were moved to May 2022, following the Tokyo Olympics moving from 2020 to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The quadrennial multi-sport Commonwealth Games — which includes Australia and Canada, but not the U.S. or Japan — are scheduled for July 27-Aug. 7, 2022.

“Organizing a third major championships in that window presented several challenges,” according to the Pan Pacs release.

Pan Pacs mark the third-biggest major international meet for U.S. swimmers, held in non-Olympic, non-world championships years.

MORE: Caeleb Dressel co-hosts a podcast. It’s not about swimming.

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Boston Marathon canceled for first time after 123 years; virtual event planned

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The Boston Marathon, held every year since 1897, has been canceled as an in-person event for the first time. It will be held as a virtual race instead due to the coronavirus.

“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for an historic 124th Boston Marathon,” Boston Athletic Association (BAA) CEO Tom Grilk said in a press release.

The world’s oldest annual marathon had been postponed from April 20 to Sept. 14, it was announced March 13.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he first considered canceling the postponed marathon during a coronavirus surge in April.

“We were maxed out in our hospital emergency rooms,” Walsh said Thursday. “I realized that the downside of the curve, which we were on, the backside of the curve, is going to be going for some time. The concern of a second surge made me have some real reservations about can we have the marathon or not.”

Walsh said experts said a potential second surge would be between August and October. He held out hope to hold the race until talking with the BAA last week.

All participants originally registered for Boston will be offered a full refund of their entry fee and have the opportunity to participate in the virtual alternative, which can be run between Sept. 7-14.

More details, including entry information, will be announced in the coming weeks.

It’s the biggest alteration to the Boston Marathon, which was inspired by the marathon’s debut at the first modern Olympics in 1896. Previously, the biggest change came in 1918, the last year of World War I. The marathon was still held on Patriots’ Day in April but as a 10-man military relay race.

The original 2020 Boston elite fields included two-time U.S. Olympian Des Linden, the 2018 Boston winner who was fourth at the Feb. 29 Olympic Trials, where the top three earned Olympic spots.

London is the world’s other major spring marathon. It was rescheduled from April 27 to Oct. 4. Its original fields for April were headlined by the two fastest men in history — Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele. It’s unknown if they will remain in the field, should London happen.

The fall major marathon schedule

Boston — Sept. 7-14 (virtual event)
Berlin — TBD (will not be held as planned on Sept. 27)
London — Oct. 4
Chicago — Oct. 11
New York City — Nov. 1

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results