Marcel Hirscher joined by Americans on Beaver Creek super-G podium

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Austrian Marcel Hirscher won his first World Cup super-G race, while the U.S. put two men on the podium in Ted Ligety and Andrew Weibrecht in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Saturday.

Hirscher, the four-time reigning World Cup overall champion, prevailed by .33 over Ligety. Weibrecht was .36 behind.

Pre-race favorite Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal, seeking his fourth straight win on tour, placed 21st. Full results are here.

Hirscher is the reigning World Cup slalom and giant slalom champion and World champion in the super combined, but he had only one previous World Cup super-G podium before Saturday — a third place back in 2012.

“It is nearly the same technique as giant slalom,” Hirscher said on NBCSN of Saturday’s course, which had a lower start due to weather conditions, which included falling snow to benefit early bib numbers. Hirscher started fourth, while the pre-race favorites were 16th and later.

Ligety, too, is better in the giant slalom as the reigning Olympic and World champion. He did, though, win the 2013 World title in the super-G.

“It’s really the most technical super-G hill on the World Cup,” Ligety said. “You actually have to be really good at turning and have to have some of the gliding skills.”

Weibrecht is more of a speed racer. He’s a two-time Olympic super-G medalist and notched his first career World Cup podium in his 117th start Saturday.

“It’s just such a monkey off my back,” Weibrecht said. “I get the question all the time that you have two Olympic podiums, but you never had a podium in World Cup, who is that? I’m sick of dealing with that.”

On Friday, Weibrecht was fifth in the downhill, then matching his best World Cup finish.

“I like to joke sometimes that he’s the fastest guy in all four events,” Ligety said. “Even slalom sometimes he’s ridiculously fast. It’s no surprise when he gets on the podium, that’s for sure. It’s more of a surprise it hasn’t happened more often.”

Hirscher and Ligety will be favored in a Beaver Creek giant slalom Sunday, live on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra at 5 p.m. ET.

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2022 Ironman Kona World Championships results

Ironman Kona World Championships
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2022 Ironman Kona World Championship top-10 results and notables (full, searchable pro and age group results are here) …

Pro Women
1. Chelsea Sodaro (USA) — 8:33:46
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) — 8:41:37
3. Anne Haug (GER) — 8:42:22
4. Laura Philipp (GER) — 8:50:31
5. Lisa Norden (SWE) — 8:54:43
6. Fenella Langridge (GBR) — 8:56:26
7. Sarah Crowley (AUS) — 9:01:58
8. Daniela Ryf (SUI) — 9:02:26
9. Skye Moench (USA) — 9:04:31
10. Laura Siddall (GBR) — 9:07:49
16. Heather Jackson (USA) — 9:22:17
DNF. Sarah True (USA)

Pro Men
Race is on Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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Chelsea Sodaro wins Ironman Kona World Championship, ends American drought

Chelsea Sodaro
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Chelsea Sodaro was the surprise winner of the Ironman Kona World Championships women’s race, ending the longest American victory drought in the event’s 44-year history.

Sodaro, a 33-year-old mom to an 18-month-old, prevailed in an unofficial 8 hours, 33 minutes, 46 seconds on Hawaii’s Big Island.

“My mind is a little bit blown right now,” she said in a finish area interview 25 minutes later, standing next to her daughter, Skylar. “This is the culmination of things being right in my life and having perspective. … This is freakin’ incredible, but the greatest gift at the end of the finish line is my little 18-month-old.”

Sodaro was in fifth place after the 2.6-mile swim and 112-mile bike, then recorded one of the fastest 26.2-mile marathon runs in event history (2:51:45) to win by 7 minutes, 50 seconds over Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay.

Swiss Daniela Ryf, who was eyeing her sixth Ironman world title, led after the bike but faded quickly on the run.

MORE: Ironman Kona Race Results

Sodaro, whose lone previous full Ironman was a second-place finish at June’s European Championships (reportedly in the second-fastest Ironman distance debut in history), became the first American to win in Kona since Tim DeBoom in 2002 and the first American to win the women’s race since Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser in 1996.

She is the first woman or man to win in their Kona debut since Brit Chrissie Wellington took the first of her four titles in 2007.

Sodaro (née Reilly) was an All-America runner at Cal, then placed 19th in the 10,000m at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

She turned to triathlon in 2017, made podiums on the World Cup circuit (just below the top-level World Series for Olympic hopefuls) and moved up to long-distance racing in 2018.

At the half Ironman distance, she was fourth at the 2019 World Championships, her last major championship start before the pandemic, pregnancy, childbirth and a move up to the full Ironman this year.

“I’m pretty stoked that I think I maybe get to take the rest of the year off and be a mom for a month or so,” Sodaro said.

The pro men’s race is Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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