Lindsey Vonn cedes World Cup overall standings lead

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Lindsey Vonn‘s quest for a fifth World Cup overall title this season became much trickier this weekend.

Vonn ceded her standings lead to Swiss Lara Gut after the American finished 13th in a giant slalom in Courchevel, France, on Sunday.

Gut tied for second in the giant slalom after winning both a super combined Friday (Vonn was second, .01 behind) and a downhill Saturday (Vonn failed to finish) in Val d’Isere, France. Austrian Eva-Maria Brem prevailed in Sunday’s race (results here).

Vonn felt the after-effects of nearly crashing Saturday.

“I’ve just been trying to recover and trying to get ready for today,” Vonn told media in Courchevel. “I didn’t really feel very balanced today. I think I rung my bell a little bit yesterday.”

Gut now leads the World Cup overall standings by 58 points over Vonn through 12 of a scheduled 41 races.

Gut, the 2014 Olympic downhill bronze medalist and one of only two women’s Alpine medalists from Sochi currently racing, made up 180 points on Vonn in three races this weekend.

Vonn entered the three French races with a 122-point cushion on Gut and riding a four-race winning streak.

Vonn seeks to become the oldest World Cup overall champion and to take the title for the first time since before her two major knee surgeries that knocked her out of the Sochi Olympics.

Gut could well be the World Cup overall leader going into 2016, with next week’s two races being a giant slalom and slalom — Vonn’s two worst disciplines (though Gut is more of a speed racer, too).

“I just need a break,” Vonn said, adding that she would prepare for the next race in Lienz, Austria, on Dec. 28. “I think after yesterday I’m just really sore. I’m actually, physically, need a break.”

Vonn’s path to the World Cup overall crown — the biggest prize this season with no Olympics or World Championships — appeared clear after significant knee injuries to Anna Fenninger and Mikaela Shiffrin, who were first and fourth in last season’s standings.

Tina Maze, second in last season’s standings ahead of Vonn, is sitting this season out and may never compete again.

MORE: Olympic downhill champ done for season after crash

South Korea’s first gold medalist of 2018 PyeongChang Olympics to compete for China

Lim Hyo-Jun
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Lim Hyo-Jun, a short track speed skater who won South Korea’s first gold medal of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, has been cleared to skate for China and was reportedly named to the national team Monday.

Lim, who won the 1500m on the first day of medal competition at the PyeongChang Games, began the process of switching to China after a June 2019 incident where he pulled down a teammate’s trousers, leaving him standing, exposed, in front of female teammates.

Lim, the 2019 World overall champion, was banned from the team for a year and later found guilty of sexual harassment before the verdict was overturned on appeal.

It was reported in March 2021 that Lim was in the process of trying to gain Chinese nationality to compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics, but Lim was not cleared to switch by the International Skating Union until this July. His Chinese name is Lin Xiaojun.

Another star South Korean skater, triple 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ahn Hyun-Soo, switched to Russia after not making the 2010 Olympic team. He then won three golds for the host nation as Viktor Ahn at the 2014 Sochi Games.

China’s national team for the upcoming season reportedly does not include veterans Wu Dajing, the nation’s lone gold medalist across all sports at the 2018 Olympics, and Fan Kexin, a three-time Olympic medalist.

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Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei
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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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