WATCH LIVE: U.S. Figure Skating Championships

Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold, Polina Edmunds
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Olympians Polina EdmundsGracie Gold and Ashley Wagner vie for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships title on Saturday, live on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra at 8 p.m. ET.

Earlier, the pairs and ice dance competitions conclude with NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra coverage starting at 3 p.m. ET.

In the women’s event, Edmunds leads after the short program, with Gold in second place and Wagner in fourth at St. Paul, Minn.

The U.S. will send three women to the World Championships in Boston in March, with the team named after the free skate and only the U.S. champion guaranteed a spot.

Edmunds, the youngest American competitor at the Sochi Olympics across all sports at age 15, seeks her first national title. Gold eyes her second and Wagner her fourth.

Check out the U.S. Figure Skating Championships All-Access Page

Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea were the surprise top performers in the pairs short program Thursday, topping defending champions Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim.

In the short dance, favorites Madison Chock and Evan Bates took a slim lead over Olympic teammates Maia and Alex Shibutani.

WATCH LIVE: Pairs free skate and free dance — 3-6 p.m. ET — CLICK HERE

WATCH LIVE: Women’s free skate — 8-11 p.m. ET — CLICK HERE

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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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan
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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.

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