Anna Fenninger, the two-time reigning World Cup overall champion, stopped ski training in Austria on Tuesday due to persistent knee problems, according to Austrian reports.
The World Cup season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, is Oct. 24.
Fenninger, 26, is favored to win her third straight World Cup overall title this season given last year’s runner-up, Tina Maze, is taking this season off.
The biggest threats to Fenninger are Americans Lindsey Vonn, who owns four World Cup overall titles, and Mikaela Shiffrin, the Olympic, World and World Cup slalom champion. Vonn and Shiffrin were third and fourth in the World Cup overall standings last season.
Vonn, 30, suffered an ankle fracture in a New Zealand training crash Aug. 13 but plans to train in Austria in mid-October and race in Soelden, according to Austrian media reports quoting the head of her ski equipment company last week. Vonn’s camp has not confirmed the reports.
Vonn missed Soelden the last two seasons as she worked her way back from major knee surgeries. Fenninger and Shiffrin shared the Soelden win to open last season.
Vonn and Fenninger are best at the speed events of downhill and super-G. The first World Cup speed event of this season is not until Dec. 4.
Vonn has said her primary goal this season is to win her first World Cup overall title since 2012.
MORE ALPINE SKIING: Upcoming milestones for Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin
UPDATE: Fenninger’s social media pages said Wednesday that she hoped to return to snow next week.
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.
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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.
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