Gracie Gold, Ashley Wagner
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World Figure Skating Championships broadcast schedule

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The World Figure Skating Championships will be held in the U.S. for the first time since 2009, in Boston from March 30-April 3 on NBC, NBCSN and streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.

NBC Sports will air 29 hours of coverage of Worlds.

Competition will feature U.S. Olympians Gracie GoldAshley Wagner and Mirai Nagasu looking to snap a 10-year medal drought for American women, the longest in the Winter Olympic era.

They’ll go up against formidable talent from Russia and Japan, led by Grand Prix Final champion Yevgenia Medvedeva and three-time World champion Mao Asada.

A U.S. man last earned a medal in 2009, when Evan Lysacek took gold in Los Angeles. This year’s trio of Adam RipponMax Aaron and Grant Hochstein look to end that dry spell.

However, the favorites will be the last three World champions — Javier FernandezYuzuru Hanyu and Patrick Chan.

In ice dance, U.S. champions Maia and Alex Shibutani and 2015 World silver medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates are medal contenders.

And in pairs, U.S. champions Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea will make their Worlds debut along with Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim, who this season were the first U.S. pair to qualify for the Grand Prix Final since 2007.

WORLDS PREVIEWS: Men | WomenPairsIce Dance

START ORDERS: Ice Dance | Men

Date Time (ET) Program Network
Wed., Mar. 30 Noon Ice Dance Short Dance (LIVE) NBCSN, Live Extra
Wed., Mar. 30 Midnight Men’s Short Program NBCSN, Live Extra
Thurs., Mar. 31 4 p.m. Ladies’ Short Program (LIVE) NBCSN, Live Extra
Thurs., Mar. 31 8 p.m. Ice Dance Free Dance (LIVE) NBCSN, Live Extra
Fri., April 1 3 p.m. Pairs’ Short Program (LIVE) NBCSN, Live Extra
Fri., April 1 9 p.m. Men’s Free Skate (LIVE) NBCSN, Live Extra
Sat., April 2 2 p.m. Pairs’ Free Skate (LIVE) NBCSN, Live Extra
Sat., April 2 9 p.m. Ladies’ Free Skate (LIVE) NBC, Live Extra
Sun., April 3 2 p.m. Gala Exhibition (LIVE) NBCSN, Live Extra
Sat., April 9 1 p.m. Encore Universal HD
Sun., April 10 3 p.m. Encore NBC
Mon., April 18 5 p.m. Encore Universal HD

Regan Smith swims another historic backstroke time at Pro Series meet

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Regan Smith, who last summer broke both backstroke world records, put up the fastest 100m back in history outside of a major international meet or trials competition on Saturday.

Smith, a 17-year-old Minnesota high school senior, clocked 58.26 seconds to win at a Pro Series meet in Knoxville, Tenn. It tied for the 12th-fastest time in history. None of the other fastest dozen came in January, six months out from when swimmers peak for the world’s biggest events like the Olympics.

Making it more impressive: Smith did it 27 minutes after finishing second in the 200m butterfly, which she’s also expected to contest at June’s Olympic trials in Omaha.

“It actually wasn’t as bad, as I was nervous it was going to be,” Smith, whose world record is 57.57, said of the double on NBCSN. Smith entered two events per day at the three-day Knoxville meet, in part to prepare for the trials, where she is slated to race six straight days in a bid to make the Olympic team in enough events to swim eight straight days in Tokyo.

On Saturday, Smith held off fellow 17-year-old Phoebe Bacon by six tenths. Bacon beat Smith at the U.S. Open in December, posting the second-fastest time among Americans in the event for 2019.

The teen emergence puts pressure on Kathleen Baker, the Rio Olympic silver medalist who had the world record before Smith took it at worlds.

Full Knoxville results are here. USASwimming.org live streams the last night of finals Sunday at 6:30 ET.

In other events Saturday, world silver medalist Hali Flickinger overcame Smith in the 200m fly, winning in 2:08.34. Smith, third-fastest among Americans last season, was .39 behind. The second-fastest American last year, Katie Drabot, was not in the field. The top two at trials make the Olympic team.

Erika Brown beat world champion Simone Manuel in a freestyle sprint for a second straight meet, taking the 50m free in 24.57 seconds.

Brown, a University of Tennessee senior, edged Manuel by .06 and took .01 off her personal best. Brown ranked third among Americans last year behind Manuel (24.05) and Abbey Weitzeil (24.47).

Brown also defeated Manuel in the 100m free at the U.S. Open in December, moving to fourth-fastest in the U.S. last year in that event. The top six in the 100m free at trials are in line to make the Olympic team, given relay spots.

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Mikaela Shiffrin nearly makes it three-way tie for World Cup win

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Mikaela Shiffrin came .01 shy of making it a three-way tie for a World Cup giant slalom win on Saturday, confirming GS has been the most up-for-grabs discipline for either gender in recent years.

Shiffrin, beaten in her last two slaloms, had the fastest second run to place third behind co-winners Italian Federica Brignone and Slovakian Petra Vlhova in Sestriere, Italy. The reigning Olympic and World Cup champion in the GS rallied from fourth place and .42 behind after the first run.

Shiffrin still leads the World Cup overall standings by 233 points over Vlhova. The American last won Dec. 29. Though she made the podium in three of her four races since, Shiffrin expressed a lack of confidence heading into this weekend’s races at the 2006 Olympic venue.

“The most exciting thing for me is that people have stopped asking me, like, are you unbeatable?” said Shiffrin, who won a record 17 World Cup races last season and has four victories nearly halfway through this season, tied with Vlhova for most on tour. “I feel really good in GS. It’s just been a long time since [the last GS on Dec. 28].”

Vlhova earned her third victory this month after beating Shiffrin those last two slaloms. Brignone leads the GS season standings by 61 points over Shiffrin, seeking to become the sixth different woman to win that discipline title in the last six years. There are four more GS races left this season.

It’s the second straight season with a World Cup GS tie. Last Feb. 1, Shiffrin and Vlhova tied in Maribor, Slovenia.

It’s the first time the top three finishers were separated by such a small margin since the last three-way tie for a win in 2006, when Lindsey VonnMichaela Dorfmeister and Nadia Styger had the same super-G time, and fourth-place Kelly VanderBeek was .01 behind.

“Last season, I had the lucky side of the hundredths many times, so sometimes I’m not going to be on the lucky side, too,” said Shiffrin, who had three victories by .16 or tighter last season.

World Cup racing continues with a parallel giant slalom on Sunday at 5:45 a.m. ET on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and streaming on NBC Sports Gold.

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