Olympic triathlon champion believes he could run 2:15 marathon

Alistair Brownlee
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Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee wants to become the first triathlete to repeat as Olympic gold medalist and then, perhaps, take on different athletic challenges including an Ironman triathlon and a marathon … and “Strictly Come Dancing.”

“After Rio [2016] I intend to have a bash at a marathon and that might be a nice way to lead into an Ironman,” Brownlee told the Guardian before winning the World Triathlon Series event in London on Sunday.

He “reckons he could run somewhere in the 2:10-2:15 range,” in a marathon, the report stated.

“Going under 2:10 is probably a bit quick,” Brownlee, 27, said, according to the report. “I’ll be going for a nicely paced marathon on a flat course with a tailwind. That said, I might cross the line in Rio and be fourth and think flipping hell, that’s it, I’m carrying on with triathlon.”

How fast is a 2:10 marathon?

It’s seven minutes faster than the top British finisher in the 2012 Olympic marathon and would have placed fourth overall at the London Games.

A total of 26 British men in history have clocked sub-2:11, according to the London Marathon. The British record is 2:07:13, set by Steve Jones in 1985. Mo Farah, the Olympic and World 5000m and 10,000m champion, is in second place after his 2:08:21 at the 2014 London Marathon.

Brownlee would not be the first Olympic triathlon champion to venture into the Ironman, a triathlon made up of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a 26.2-mile run. An Ironman is more than four times longer than an Olympic triathlon.

German 2008 Olympic triathlon champ Jan Frodeno finished third in the 2014 Ironman World Championship.

Brownlee also told the Telegraph he declined an invitation to compete on “Dancing on Ice,” a British reality TV show like “Dancing with the Stars,” on an ice rink instead of in a ballroom studio. But he would consider “Strictly Come Dancing,” the British equivalent of “Dancing with the Stars” that three-time Olympic gymnastics medalist Louis Smith won in 2012.

“I suppose it would be cool to do something that you could actually get good at, like Strictly because you get good at dancing,” Brownlee said, according to the Telegraph. “It’s definitely not something to do while still competing though. Maybe post-2016. But I wouldn’t do ice skating. I’d probably end up with no fingers and broken toes.”

Gwen Jorgensen leads U.S. sweep with 10th straight triathlon victory

Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight

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Before Mikaela Shiffrin can hold the World Cup wins record, she can become the most decorated Alpine skier in modern world championships history.

Shiffrin takes a respite from World Cup pursuits for the biennial world championships in France. She is expected to race at least four times, beginning with Monday’s combined.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup victories in 23 starts this season, her best since her record 17-win 2018-19 campaign, but world championships do not count toward the World Cup.

Shiffrin remains one career victory behind Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins until at least her next World Cup start in March.

Shiffrin has been more successful at worlds than at the Olympics and even on the World Cup. She has 11 medals in 13 world championships races dating to her 2013 debut, including making the podium in each of her last 10 events.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

She enters worlds one shy of the modern, post-World War II individual records for total medals (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt won 12) and gold medals (Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson won seven).

Worlds take place exactly one year after Shiffrin missed the medals in all of her Olympic races, but that’s not motivating her.

“If I learned anything last year, it’s that these big events, they can go amazing, and they can go terrible, and you’re going to survive no matter what,” she said after her most recent World Cup last Sunday. “So I kind of don’t care.”

Shiffrin ranks No. 1 in the world this season in the giant slalom (Feb. 16 at worlds) and slalom (Feb. 18).

This year’s combined is one run of super-G coupled with one run of slalom (rather than one downhill and one slalom), which also plays to her strengths. She won that event, with that format, at the last worlds in 2021. The combined isn’t contested on the World Cup, so it’s harder to project favorites.

Shiffrin is also a medal contender in the super-G (Feb. 8), despite starting just two of five World Cup super-Gs this season (winning one of them).

She is not planning to race the downhill (Feb. 11), which she often skips on the World Cup and has never contested at a worlds. Nor is she expected for the individual parallel (Feb. 15), a discipline she hasn’t raced in three years in part due to the strain it puts on her back with the format being several runs for the medalists.

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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.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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