Anna Fenninger sets return date goal after knee surgery

AP
0 Comments

VIENNA (AP) — Two-time overall champion Anna Fenninger is expecting to return to World Cup skiing for the first race of the 2016-17 season after a year-long injury layoff.

The Austrian skier was ruled out for up to 12 months after damaging her right knee in a training crash on Oct. 21, three days before the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden.

”My recovery goes according to plan,” Fenninger said on Wednesday, adding she had been walking without crutches for one week. ”Today was the first time I woke up and forgot that I am injured. The next couple of months will be very tough but I will keep on fighting. Soelden 2016 is my goal.”

The Olympic super-G champion had surgery on the medial collateral and the cruciate ligament as well as the patellar tendon. Austrian team doctor Christian Hoser said after the operation seven weeks ago that Fenninger would need nine to 12 months of recovery before getting back on skis.

Initially ”in shock” when doctors informed her on the extent of her injury, Fenninger said she tried to look forward as soon as possible.

”Every day is like strength training. I’ve lost a lot of muscle mass and need to build it up again,” she said at a sponsor event. ”To be able to walk without crutches has been the biggest moment during my recovery so far.”

The 26-year-old Fenninger won the overall title the past two seasons, and earned gold in super-G and giant slalom at the world championships in Beaver Creek this year. She has won eight medals in total at Olympics and world championships, and has won 14 World Cup races.

Apart from Fenninger, the Austrian women’s team has also been without Nicole Hosp, Andrea Fischbacher and Kathin Zettel, who all retired in the offseason. Still, the team earned five podium finishes in three speed races in Lake Louise last weekend, which were all won by American standout Lindsey Vonn.

”Sometimes it’s hard sitting in front of the TV but I have to watch the races as skiing is my passion,” Fenninger said. ”It was great to see the strong performances by my teammates. That’s really cool.”

VIDEO: Ted Ligety crashes, feels like he got punched by Mike Tyson

Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
Getty
0 Comments

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

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan
Getty
0 Comments

Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!