Lindsey Vonn clinches record season title after Facebook gaffe

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Lindsey Vonn‘s desire to win is so intense that, after one of her skis detached on a bumpy turn in Friday’s World Cup downhill, she later pulled out a hammer and pounded on the broken ski’s binding.

Vonn had the bit of frustration filmed (also telling of that intensity), and it was briefly posted on Facebook (video below the story) before being deleted. Vonn later apologized.

It makes one wonder Vonn’s reaction to her finish in Saturday’s downhill, also in La Thuile, Italy.

She placed second, .14 behind Italian Nadia Fanchini, but clinched her record-breaking eighth World Cup downhill season title and 20th season title overall. Full results are here.

“I’m really happy with my second place,” Vonn told media in La Thuile. “It was good for my self-confidence. I was a little bit unsure of myself after yesterday.”

Vonn is the favorite in any downhill or super-G race she starts (and, unlike Friday, finishes), so Fanchini’s victory was an upset.

But Vonn’s downhill season title broke her ties with retired Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll (most downhill titles) and retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark (most titles in all disciplines and overall).

“It’s kind of more than I ever dreamed was possible,” Vonn told media in La Thuile.

Of the video she deleted Friday, Vonn said she “should have just done boxing with my trainer” to vent, according to The Associated Press.

“I’m always usually careful with what I do and say on the social media platforms, and I just didn’t really think it through,” Vonn said, according to the AP. ”I was a little bit too emotional. It was a good lesson for me. I just have to remember that I have a lot of people looking up to me, and I can’t let my emotions get the best of me.”

Earlier, Vonn apologized through a statement and on Facebook for the hammer incident.

“This was a huge mistake born out of the frustrating race I had today and was in no way, shape or form a reflection on the performance of the Head race team, and the Head skis and bindings which I race on and which have been instrumental in my success,” Vonn said in a statement. “In fact, thank goodness the binding released as it should [during the race], preventing a possible injury.

“The video was posted on social media to express my emotions but I understand how it could be misinterpreted.”

“I love my Head skis and bindings and I cannot apologize enough to Head and the Head race team for today’s unfortunate event.”

Vonn’s runner-up on Saturday also moved her back into the standings lead for the World Cup overall title, the sport’s biggest prize this season with no Olympics or World Championships. Vonn tops Swiss Lara Gut by 43 points with a month left this season.

Vonn will look for her 77th World Cup win again on Sunday in a super-G in La Thuile. She’s 10 wins shy of the career record held by Stenmark.

MORE: Vonn discusses SI swimsuit issue

Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned 4 years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)