No medal for Mikaela Shiffrin in World Championships opener

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Mikaela Shiffrin did her job in her first event of the World Alpine Skiing Championships, but the U.S. lost in the quarterfinals of the team event in Vail, Colo., on Tuesday.

Shiffrin, the reigning Olympic, World and World Cup slalom champion, prevailed in her two matchups in the team event, which includes dueling slalom runs.

Shiffrin beat Finland’s Merle Soppela and Sweden’s Maria Pietilae-Holmner by a combined .11 of a second. In the quarterfinals, Sweden knocked out the U.S. team — with Shiffrin, Ted Ligety, David Chodounsky and Paula Moltzan.

Shiffrin, 19, is just getting started at the World Championships. She is a medal contender in the giant slalom Thursday — slated to be her first time racing against Lindsey Vonn in more than two years — and the gold medal-favorite in the slalom Saturday.

The U.S. has never won a medal in the World Championships team event, which debuted in 2005 and may join the Olympic program.

On Tuesday, Austria won gold in the team event, which means Marcel Hirscher has a shot to become the third skier to win four gold medals at a single World Championships.

Austrian Toni Sailer and France’s Jean-Claude Killy each won four golds when they swept all the races at the 1956 and 1968 Worlds, respectively*. That was before the super-G and team event were added to the Worlds program.

Hirscher, who won the super combined Sunday, is slated for the giant slalom Friday and slalom Sunday. Hirscher is the World Cup leader in the giant slalom and the defending World champion in the slalom.

Canada earned silver in the team event, with Sweden taking the bronze.

World Alpine Skiing Championships broadcast schedule

*Clarification: Sailer and Killy won three races and also earned golds in the combined, which wasn’t a separate race at those World Championships but the addition of the results from the downhill and slalom events.

Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
Ironman
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic marathon champ in 1984, runs London Marathon at 65

Joan Benoit Samuelson
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Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, ran her first 26.2-mile race in three years at Sunday’s London Marathon and won her age group.

Benoit Samuelson, 65, clocked 3 hours, 20 minutes, 20 seconds to top the women’s 65-69 age group by 7 minutes, 52 seconds. She took pleasure in being joined in the race by daughter Abby, who crossed in 2:58:19.

“She may have beaten me with my replacement knee, but everybody said I wouldn’t do it! I will never say never,” Benoit Samuelson said, according to race organizers. “I am a grandmother now to Charlotte, and it’s my goal to run 5K with her.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Benoit Samuelson raced the 1987 Boston Marathon while three months pregnant with Abby. Before that, she won the first Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, plus the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983 and the Chicago Marathon in 1985.

Her personal best — 2:21:21 — still holds up. She ranks sixth in U.S. women’s history.

Benoit Samuelson plans to race the Tokyo Marathon to complete her set of doing all six annual World Marathon Majors. The others are Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City.

“I’m happy to finish this race and make it to Tokyo, but I did it today on a wing and a prayer,” she said, according to organizers. “I’m blessed to have longevity in this sport. It doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel I owe my sport.”

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