Lindsey Vonn ends season early following crash

Lindsey Vonn
AP
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Lindsey Vonn will not race again this season due to left knee injuries suffered in a Saturday crash, according to her social media.

“Today I am making the difficult decision to end my season and leave the World Cup circuit due to an injury I suffered last Saturday,” was posted on her social media Wednesday. “Because I am currently leading the Overall World Cup standings, this is one of the toughest decisions of my career.”

Vonn, with a slim 28-point standings lead over Swiss Lara Gut, was eight races from possibly winning her fifth World Cup overall title and her first since two major right knee surgeries knocked her out of the Sochi Olympics.

But on Saturday, she fractured her left tibial plateau in a super-G crash (video here).

She raced Sunday thinking she had one hairline fracture, finishing 13th in a super combined, but learned after further scans Tuesday that the injury was worse than first thought.

“Those images showed that there was not just 1 hairline fracture, but in fact 3,” was posted on Vonn’s social media. “And the fractures are not hairline, but instead they are significant enough that they are not sufficiently stable to permit me to safely continue skiing. Further damage any of the fragments could result in a serious surgery that would risk my future in ski racing. With the World Championships in St. Moritz next year and the Winter Olympics in South Korea the following year, I cannot take that risk.”

MORE: Lindsey Vonn’s long history of injuries

Vonn, 31, hoped to become the oldest women’s World Cup overall champion ever this season.

She won eight of the season’s first nine speed races (downhill and super-G) through Feb. 6, putting her on pace for her most successful season ever. Vonn’s highest win total for one season was 12 in 2011-12, the season before she crashed in the 2013 World Championships super-G.

Vonn also clinched her record-breaking 20th World Cup season title across all disciplines and the overall by taking the downhill crystal globe for a record eighth time.

She also moved closer to the World Cup wins record of 86 held by retired Swede Ingemar Stenmark, reaching 76 victories. Since Vonn has won eight and nine races the last two seasons, she is on pace to break the record before the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics.

In 2018, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion Vonn will be older than any previous Olympic women’s Alpine skiing medalist.

With Vonn out the rest of the season, Gut is in line to earn her first World Cup overall title.

She should pass Vonn in the standings either this weekend or next weekend, ahead of the final four races of the season at the World Cup Finals in St. Moritz from March 16-20.

Gut, 24 and the Olympic downhill bronze medalist, has a 293-point edge over third-place Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany.

VIDEO: Vonn meets Ingemar Stenmark

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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