Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman to compete this weekend

Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas
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Olympic champions Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman will return this weekend to the Jesolo Trophy, the Italian meet that launched their comebacks one year ago.

Douglas and Raisman lead the U.S. roster for the Saturday-Sunday competition. The full team, which unlike last year is without three-time reigning World all-around champion Simone Biles, can be found here.

Douglas and Raisman took part in last year’s Jesolo meet, their first competition since the London Olympics. Raisman was third and Douglas fourth in a meet where the top five all-around finishers were Americans.

Since, they solidified their standings as favorites to become the first U.S. women to make back-to-back Olympic gymnastics teams since 1996 and 2000.

Both Douglas and Raisman made the six-woman team for October’s World Championships, where Douglas finished second in the all-around to Biles.

Douglas then won the American Cup in February, her first all-around title since the London Games.

Raisman has not performed in competition since October’s World Championships.

Biles is expected to make her 2016 competition debut in April.

MORE: Douglas family TV series gets premiere date

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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